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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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...
 

 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 
 

Iran unveils new short-range missiles, drones

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones Aug. 24, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers. The official IRNA news agency said the Ghadir missile, with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), is designed to destroy marine...
 
 

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 




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