Headlines – December 27, 2016



China’s first aircraft carrier sails into South China Sea –
China’s first aircraft carrier and five other warships passed by Taiwan and sailed into the contested South China Sea Dec. 26, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.
Russia focusing on pilot error or technical issues rather than terrorism in plane crash –
The Russian investigation into the crash of a military transport plane that killed dozens of members of the Red Army Choir is focusing on pilot error or a technical fault, rather than terrorism, a top official said Dec. 26.
India tests Agni-V ballistic missile –
India Dec. 26 conducted successful test of the nuclear-capable long-range surface to surface ballistic missile, Agni-V.


Bad news for India’s deadliest sub: Nirbhay cruise missile fails test (again) –
A Dec. 21 test launch of India’s nuclear-capable Nirbhay long-range cruise missile has reportedly been unsuccessful, according to local media reports. It is the third time that a Nirbhay missile trial has allegedly failed to achieve its test perimeters since March 2013.
UPDATE: IA issues RFI for 36,000 night sights for general purpose machine guns –
The Indian Army is looking to procure night sights to equip its 36,000-odd FN MAG 58-based 7.62×51 mm caliber 2A1 general purpose machine guns.
Upgraded South Korean F-16s capable of striking key North Korean underground targets, says report –
The Republic of Korea Air Force has enhanced the capability of some of its Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters by equipping them with bombs and missiles respectively capable of hitting key underground facilities in North Korea and shooting down combat aircraft at long-range, RoKAF officials told Yonhap news agency.
Unrecoverable’: revealed N-documents show Iran cannot make nuclear weapons –
In an unusual move, Iran and six world powers have released previously restricted documents about their nuclear deal to enforce their view that Tehran is not in a position to try to make nuclear weapons.
Russia launches anti-satellite weapon: A new warfront in space? –
It was the fifth time the weapon, a PL-19 Nudol missile, had been tested. Some military analysts have expressed concern over the test, saying that it was a provocative demonstration of Moscow’s might on a relatively new military frontier: outer space. But they suggest that it’s more about Russian posturing than an imminent threat.
Agni V test-fired: 8 things about India’s new missile that can strike northern part of China –
India’s indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile ‘Agni-5’ was today successfully test-launched from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. This was the fourth and final test of the missile.
Japan seeks to win Thai air defense radar contract –
Japan is seeking to win a contract to supply Thailand with an air defense radar system built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp, as it looks to counter growing Chinese influence in the Southeast Asian nation, according to four Japanese government officials and one industry source.
The long guns: History of U.S. military rifles –
Even before there was actually a “United States” there was what could arguably be considered the first true “American rifle.” Known as the Pennsylvania rifle, the Kentucky rifle or simply the long rifle, it was designed for hunting and was characterized by an unusually long barrel, a unique development that was uncommon in the European rifles of the era.
Get ready, China and Russia: The U.S. Navy is building ‘super’ torpedoes for its nuclear subs –
The U.S. Navy is now prototyping a new, longer range and more lethal submarine-launched heavyweight Mk 48 that can better destroy enemy ships, subs and incoming weapons at longer ranges, service officials said.
Trump poised for cost-cutting battle with defense contractors –
President-elect Donald Trump’s preemptive strike on the price tag of two major projects with leading defense contractors has fiscal hawks hopeful the incoming administration can rein in Pentagon contract costs even as Trump vows to invest in rebuilding the U.S. military.
Israel mulls acquisition of hundreds of missiles for possible Lebanon conflict –
Defense officials are looking into acquiring hundreds of missiles and precision rockets that could destroy targets during a confrontation with forces inside Lebanon.


New in 2017: Trump wants a huge Navy — but he has to fix the budget first –
President-elect Donald Trump has called for a 350-ship Navy, but the path to building the biggest fleet in nearly 20 years could be off to a rough start in 2017 because of the budget problems created by years of Washington’s bickering over defense spending caps.
Trump tells Twitter he wants A Super Hornet with F-35 capabilities –
President-elect Donald Trump again took to Twitter Dec. 22to question the cost of the F-35 fighter jet, advocating for modernization of a fourth-generation Boeing alternative that experts say would not likely be possible.
New in 2017: President Trump wants a bigger Marine Corps –
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to add nearly 12,000 Marines as part of his plan to expand the size of the U.S. military.
Army appeals court decision to stop Lakota helo buy –
The U.S. Army appealed Dec. 27 a U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruling to stop the service’s procurement of 16 LUH-72A Lakota helicopters arguing the court overstepped its authority, misinterpreted government procurement terms and requirements, and improperly supplemented the record with outside information not relevant to making a decision.
New in 2017: The carrier Gerald R. Ford should finally get commissioned — Maybe –
The new carrier Gerald R. Ford — the most expensive naval ship in history — was supposed to be commissioned in 2016, but a spate of problems with the ship’s new technology pushed its entry into the fleet into 2017, though nobody knows exactly when.
The Navy is establishing a V-22 Osprey training detachment –
The Navy announced in a Dec. 1 memo that a detachment to train crews and maintenance personnel for the Navy CMV-22B tilt-rotor carrier-onboard-delivery (COD) aircraft is on the horizon.
New in 2017: Marines seek to push hi-tech capabilities to squad level –
The Marine Corps is heading into 2017 with some anxiety about its readiness and capability.
New in 2017: Nano-drones for grunts –
Some Marine Corps squad leaders will be getting hand-held nano-drones in 2017, small devices that will offer once-unfathomable level of visibility over the battlefield.