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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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...
 

 

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge. She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed. To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy...
 
 

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin ) F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.  “We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between...
 
 

U.S. will beef up air operations in Poland

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said March 10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “No decision [have been...
 




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