World

May 17, 2012

News Briefs May 17, 2012

Court shoots down $1.4 million tort judgment against Navy

Federal prosecutors say the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a $1.4 million judgment against the Navy for allegedly disclosing trade secrets on the design of a military craft to a rival.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says the appellate court ruled May 11 against United States Marine Inc. and VT Halter Marine Inc., Gulf Coast shipbuilders that charged the Navy disclosed designs for a high-speed military vessel to a competitor.

The Justice Department argued the federal Court of Federal Claims should take the case, not a federal district court. The matter nonetheless went to trial in district court and the plaintiffs were awarded $1.4 million.

But the 5th Circuit now says the case needs to be heard by the Court of Federal Claims in Washington and vacated the award. AP

 

Germany pledges $193 million annual Afghan support

Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will give Afghanistan $193 million a year to help support its police and military forces after troops from the NATO-led mission leave the country in 2014.

Speaking in Berlin May 16 after signing a partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Merkel said Germany was committed to helping Afghanistan after its forces take sole responsibility for the country’s security.

Karzai said he estimates Afghanistan will need $4.1 billion annually to run its security services, of which it could pay $500 million itself and possibly more as its economy strengthens.

Further pledges are expected at a NATO summit in Chicago May 20 and 21.

Germany currently has some 4,700 troops in Afghanistan. AP

 

Two Navy ships collide in Pacific; no injuries

The U.S. Navy says an amphibious assault ship and a replenishment tanker collided in the Pacific Ocean but there were no injuries and no fuel spills.

A Third Fleet public affairs statement says the collision between the assault ship USS Essex and the oiler USNS Yukon occurred at midmorning May 16 approximately 120 miles off southern California.

The Navy says an apparent steering malfunction occurred as Essex approached the Yukon for replenishment while under way.

Neither ships’ fuel tanks or systems were compromised, but the Navy says a full assessment of any damage is continuing.

The Essex is due to return to San Diego May 18 after 12 years based in Sasebo, Japan. AP

 




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Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 
 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 
 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 




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