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