World

June 15, 2012

News Briefs June 15, 2012

Guilty plea in sale of Army-issued silencers

A man accused of selling Army-issued assault rifle silencers while he was with the Colorado Army National Guard has pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge.

Court records show 26-year-old Matthew Colin Laflin of Northglenn pleaded guilty Wednesday to possessing a firearm that wasn’t properly registered. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18 in federal court in Denver.

According to Laflin’s plea agreement, co-defendant Eric Lee of Boulder had obtained about 25 silencers while he was serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq around 2007. Court documents say Lee provided two silencers to Laflin, who sold them to an informant and an undercover agent last year.

Lee pleaded guilty in April to possessing an unregistered firearm and is due for sentencing July 17. AP

 

Putin says Russia needs new strategic bomber

President Vladimir Putin says Russia needs a new strategic bomber and will develop it despite high costs.

Speaking June 14 at a meeting with the military top brass after visiting a base in southern Russia, Putin said the project would be expensive and technologically challenging. He added that the job needs to be done despite high costs, according to Russian news agencies.

Putin didn’t mention any specific figures or a give a time frame for the project.

Russia’s air force has several dozen Soviet-built Tu-95 four-engine turboprop bombers whose design dates back to the 1950s and just over a dozen more modern supersonic Tu-160 bombers.

Efforts to upgrade the fleet has been stymied by the 1991 Soviet collapse that left Russian economy in shambles. AP

 

Study finds Arizona base first choice for F-35s

Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., appears to be the U.S. Air Force’s first choice for the location of a new training center for F-35 fighter jets.

The Arizona Republic reports the Air Force released a study June 13, saying the base in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale is the preferred site.

The study analyzed the potential noise, land-use and other issues surrounding Luke and three other sites in New Mexico, Idaho and at the Tucson International Airport.

Officials expect to announce a final decision in July.

If chosen, Luke could receive up to $125 million in federal funds for construction-related projects and F-35s could arrive as early as next year.

The F-35 is intended to eventually replace the aging F-16. The base has long been the training ground for F-16 pilots. AP

 

Lawmakers: F-22 oxygen problem worse than thought

Two members of Congress say new information from the Air Force shows an oxygen-deficit problem on F-22 fighter jets is worse than previously disclosed.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said June 14 that through May 31, the Air Force reported more than 26 incidents of apparent oxygen deprivation per 100,000 flight hours. They say that’s at least 10 times higher than that of any other Air Force aircraft.

The Air Force grounded its F-22s for about four months last year because of the problem. In May, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered new flight restrictions on the F-22 and directed the Air Force to enlist the help of Navy and NASA experts to determine why some pilots continue to experience dizziness and other symptoms while flying. AP

 




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Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

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Lockheed Martin photograph

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