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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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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