World

May 24, 2012

News Briefs May 24, 2012

Saudi Arabia inks $3 billion U.K. trainer jet deal 

Saudi Arabia’s official news agency says the kingdom has signed a deal with the United Kingdom valued at $3 billion to buy air force trainer jets.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted an unnamed defense official May 23 as saying the deal also includes simulators, ground equipment, training devices, spare parts and technical manuals.

The report did not identify the type of aircraft. Saudi Arabia has been in talks with British defense manufacturer BAE Systems to purchase the company’s Hawk trainers.

The U.S. late last year finalized the sale of $30 billion worth of F-15SA fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, which is bulking up its defenses against regional rivals including Iran. AP

 

Russia test-fires new missile

The Russian military says it has successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile with an enhanced capability to penetrate missile defenses.

Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Koval said that the first launch of the new missile was performed May 23 at the Plesetsk launchpad in northern Russia. Koval didn’t say the name of the missile, but says it was fired from a mobile launcher.

Koval says the missile’s practice warhead successfully reached a designated target at a range on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

He says the new missile will boost Russia’s military potential thanks to its improved ability to penetrate missile defense.

Russia has called the planned U.S. led NATO missile defense system around Europe as a potential threat to its nuclear forces. AP


U.S. Army more selective on recruits, re-enlistments

Uncle Sam may still want you. But you? Maybe not.

Internal Army documents show that in sharp contrast to the peak years of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the service last year took in no recruits with misconduct convictions or drug or alcohol issues. And a soldier already serving on active duty must meet tougher standards to stay on for another tour in uniform.

The Army is also spending hundreds of thousands of dollars less in bonuses to attract recruits or entice soldiers to remain on active duty.

The greater scrutiny and the bonus cutbacks are key elements of an effort to slash the size of the active duty Army from its peak of about 570,000 during the height of the Iraq war to 490,000 by 2017. AP

 

Justices’ stocks at issue in Boeing-ICO appeal

An appeal filed in the California Supreme Court says two state appellate court justices owned stock in Boeing while involved in deciding whether to reverse a multimillion-dollar award against the firm.

The legal challenge May 22 by ICO Global Communications says the justices removed themselves from the case before a decision was reached favoring Boeing, but their moves to step out came nearly two years after the appeal was filed and gave a justice newly appointed to the case only 12 days before arguments to review massive documents.

The appellate court later reversed a $603 million jury trial award against Boeing for breaching a contract with ICO to build and launch satellites. ICO says it was denied due process due to the recusals of the justices. AP




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F-16 crashes in Bavaria

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, crashed Aug. 11 at approximately 9:38 a.m. near Engelmannreuth in the county of Bayreuth, Germany. The incident happened during a training flight at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, Germany. The pilot safely ejected. U.S. military...
 
 

Japan annual defense paper shows heightened worry over China

Japan emphasized China as a threat in escalating regional tensions in this year’s annual defense report as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government tries to convince the public of the need to pass legislation to give Japan’s military a greater role. The report, approved July 21 by the Cabinet, was delayed for more than a week...
 
 

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....
 




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