News Briefs – September 29, 2017


Russia says its airstrike kills 5 al-Qaida branch warlords

The Russian Defense Ministry says its airstrike has killed five warlords of al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov in a statement Sept. 27 said the military targeted the warlords, who Moscow says are responsible for attacking Russian military police in Hama province last week.

Russia’s presence in Syria has been expanding beyond its original role of providing cover to President Bashar Assad’s offensive against Islamic State group militants.

The Russian military said the airstrike was launched after receiving intelligence about an upcoming high-level meeting of the leaders of al Qaeda’s Levant Liberation Committee south of the city of Idlib. It said five warlords and 32 militants died in the airstrike, which also destroyed an ammunition depot nearby.

The ministry did not specify when the airstrike took place. AP

Russian military holds missile drills

The Russian military on Sept. 26 test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile and also launched drills involving missile units in Siberia.

The Defense Ministry said a Topol ICBM was launched from the Kapustin Yar launch facility in southwestern Russia, and its practice warhead successfully hit a designated target at the Sary-Shagan firing range in Kazakhstan. The ex-Soviet neighbors have close economic and military ties.

The ministry said the missile test was part of efforts to develop new technologies for piercing missile defenses, but gave no specifics.

Russia long has voiced concern about NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense plans, which it described as a threat to its security, and pledged to deploy weapons capable of penetrating it.

In a separate development, the military also launched large-scale maneuvers in Siberia involving the Yars missile launchers along with support vehicles. It said 4,000 troops will be involved.

The Yars, the most advanced nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Russian military arsenal, is mounted on a heavy truck, making it more difficult for an enemy to spot and destroy it. The ministry said the exercise will involve the missiles’ deployment and feature action to protect them from enemy scouts and precision strikes.

The drills come a week after Russia and Belarus wrapped up their massive weeklong war games that caused jitters in some NATO countries, including Poland and the Baltics.

The Russian military has intensified its combat training amid tensions with NATO over Ukraine. AP

Poland’s leaders visit military drills with NATO troops

Poland’s president and defense minister are visiting Polish and other NATO troops as they perform major defense exercises.

President Andrzej Duda and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz on Sept. 26 watched land and airborne troops at the test range in Drawsko Pomorskie in northwestern Poland.

The Dragon-17 exercise involves some 17,000 land, air force and navy troops and 3,500 units of equipment from 12 NATO and partner nations. It runs through Sept. 29 at locations in northern Poland.

For the first time, the biannual drill is being joined by Poland’s new Territorial Defense Forces, which train civilian volunteers to support regular troops.

The defensive scenario of the maneuvers was inspired by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Poland and the Baltic region are concerned about Russia’s increased military activity. AP

Lockheed Martin increases share repurchase authority

The Lockheed Martin board of directors has authorized the purchase of up to an additional $2 billion of Lockheed Martin common stock under its share repurchase program.

With this increase, the total remaining authorization for future repurchases under the share repurchase program is approximately $4 billion.

The number of shares purchased and the timing of purchases are at the discretion of management and subject to compliance with applicable law and regulation.

Lockheed Martin declares fourth quarter 2017 dividend

The Lockheed Martin Corporation board of directors has authorized a fourth quarter 2017 dividend of $2 per share, representing a 10 percent increase or $0.18 per share over last quarter.

The dividend is payable on Dec. 29, 2017, to holders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 1, 2017.

Raytheon declares quarterly cash dividend

Raytheon announced Sept. 28 that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.7975 per outstanding share of common stock.

The cash dividend is payable on Nov. 9, 2017, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Oct. 12, 2017.