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February 5, 2013

News Briefs February 4, 2013

Navy sets cost controls at Maine sub shipyard

A U.S. Navy admiral says new cost-control measures will impact Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Foster’s Daily Democrat says Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, wrote in a Jan. 25 memo that the Navy is looking to reduce “base operating support” by 10 percent in the coming year. A recent report from the Navy Times says the cuts will reduce the Navy’s shipyard workforce by an estimated 3,000 employees.

The cost controls are part of a package being put in place by the Navy to address an “immediate budget shortfall” in fiscal 2013. They could translate into a civilian hiring freeze and termination of temporary workers at the Kittery, Maine, sub-repair installation.

With no new defense budget, the Navy is continuing to receive the same funding as it did last year. AP

 

Germany aims to acquire armed drones

Germany plans to join the ranks of countries that deploy armed drones on the battlefield – a move critics say would lower the threshold for foreign military interventions.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Feb. 1 that Germany would work with France to develop a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

“We have a gap in our capabilities that we would like to close,” he said.

Germany already has unarmed drones, including the Israeli-built Heron 1 model, which it uses for reconnaissance purposes in places such as Afghanistan. Officials said Germany might consider purchasing an armed version of the Heron 1 for use after 2014, to bridge the gap until 2020 when the system being developed with France becomes available.

Opposition lawmakers warned that Germany could end up sending armed drones into conflicts abroad even when there are political reservations about deploying troops.

Over the past 20 years, Germany has steadily abandoned its post-war reticence about foreign military missions. But the constitution requires parliamentary approval before sending troops abroad and each proposed mission prompts heated debate in the country deemed responsible for two world wars in the last century.

U.N. human rights experts also have criticized the use of armed drones because they are controlled by operators who are often thousands of miles away from the targets they attack.

Last week, the U.N. independent expert on counterterrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, announced he would launch a special investigation into drone warfare.

Emmerson, a British lawyer, said the use of armed drones isn’t properly regulated by international law. He also said that countries have an obligation to “establish effective independent and impartial investigations into any drone attack in which it is plausibly alleged that civilian casualties were sustained.”

Pakistan has been particularly critical of the use of armed drones by the U.S., which along with Britain and Israel is among the countries with the most sophisticated drone programs. AP

 




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Headlines February 25, 2015

News: Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan - In the first official sign that the Pentagon plans to keep a U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan after this year, the Army is sending the 7th Infantry Division headquarters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a year-long deployment...
 
 

News Briefs February 25, 2015

Lithuania restores compulsory military service Lithuania will restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation, the government said Feb. 24. After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of growing aggression in Ukraine. Military...
 
 
Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph

Air Force Research Labís handheld imaging tool expands aircraft inspection capability

Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph An operator demonstrates the portability of the handheld imaging tool. The technology provides maintainers the ability to evaluate aircraft in the field to ensure mission-readiness. When pilots c...
 

 

Boeing, Royal Australian Air Force test extended range weapon

The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range demonstrated significant range increase while maintaining its expected accuracy during flight testing conducted by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force. The testing centered on a new wing kit that, when used in conjunction with the weaponís guidance kit, increases the bomb’s range from approximately 15 miles...
 
 

DRS Technologies to provide comm systems for Royal New Zealand Navy frigates

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced Feb. 25 that its Canadian subsidiary will be providing tactical integrated communications systems to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC-class frigates. This subcontract was awarded to DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. in support of a communications modernization contract from Lockheed Martin Canada...
 
 

Northrop Grumman LITENING achieves two million operating hour milestone

In the life cycle of every military system, some milestones stand out as signature achievements. One million operating hours is one of them – and Northrop Grumman’s fielded AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pods have hit that number for the second time. “This is a significant milestone for the LITENING program and our team is proud to be...
 




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