Israel is looking into reports that Russia plans to sell 250 advanced long-range Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to Iran
in an unprecedented billion-dollar deal.
According to reports, in addition to the fighter jets, Teheran also plans to purchase a number of aerial fuel tankers that are compatible with the Sukhoi and capable of extending its range by thousands of kilometers. Defense officials said the Sukhoi sale would grant Iran long-range offensive capabilities.
Government officials voiced concern over the reports. They said Russia could be trying to compete with the United States, which announced over the weekend a billion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Lockheed Martin Team Submits Proposal to Design and Build U.S. Air Force's TSAT Space Segment
ST. LOUIS, July 30, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and its TEAM TSAT industry partners today submitted a proposal to the U.S. Air Force for the Development and Production phase of the Transformational Satellite Communications System Space Segment
The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grummanteam today submitted its proposal to design and build the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Space Segment, the future global communications network for the U.S. Air Force that will provide seamless, protected communications for a wide range of defense and intelligence users.
The proposal builds upon the team's combined experience developing advanced military and commercial communications systems, including the Milstar satellite communications network currently in operation, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) system now in production, and the successful TSAT risk reduction and system definition activities conducted under contract to the Air Force. "Our team has worked closely with the Air Force for more than five years to mature the key TSAT technologies and define a program that is adaptive and executable," said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Building upon our legacy of delivering protected satellite communications systems with assured connectivity, our low-risk TSAT solution will provide unprecedented capabilities for our warfighters and we stand ready to deliver this vitally important system on cost and on schedule."
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., is competing to serve as the TSAT Space Segment prime contractor, with teammate Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, Calif., responsible for the communications payload, including laser and radio-frequency communications and on-board processing. Other members of the team include:
-- Juniper Networks, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., will apply its Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) routing software and related expertise in the design of the team's TSAT processor/router. Juniper's JUNOS software, which is used in the Department of Defense's Global Information Grid, is the first IPv6 routing system approved by the Defense Information Systems Agency;
-- ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., will provide dynamic bandwidth and resource allocation algorithms and software and the integrated cryptographic processor security system; and
-- Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, Gaithersburg Md., will provide the satellite ground control and gateway elements.
Agencies join in pandemic flu drill
CUMBERLAND - The Allegany County Health Department and Western Maryland Health System are collaborating with other agencies in the county to participate in a state-wide pandemic influenza exercise Tuesday through Thursday. This pandemic flu exercise will involve federal, state and local agencies. Different regions across the state will exercise various portions of pandemic flu plans, with a local focus on antiviral distribution to the hospital staff. Other local agencies to participate include the Allegany County Sheriff's Office, Cumberland Police and Allegany County Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security.The exercise is based on a pretend pandemic flu scenario. The heath department's role is to practice requesting antiviral medications from the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, just as it would be done in a real-life situation. DHMH will then request these supplies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Strategic National Stockpile.The CDC will send pretend "medications" to the state. During this exercise, the state will test air transportation for delivering supplies by helicopter to Allegany County. These requested medications will go to the hospitals to treat healthcare workers, who would receive antivirals first in any situation because they are most at risk for becoming infected with the influenza virus and they also need to be well to care for the sick in the community. The WMHS will distribute the "antivirals" to its employees. The county will coordinate communication with the local hospitals and first-responders and will be partially activating its Emergency Operations Center.Law enforcement agencies will practice providing security and safety for the people transporting the antiviral medications once they arrive in Allegany County.The Brandenburg Center, Thomas B. Finan Center and the Potomac Center in Hagerstown will practice distributing antivirals to their staff members.When the drill is complete, the participants will discuss in a state-wide conference what went well and what went wrong. Local planners will then use this information to better protect the community.
Singapore to take part in Indian navy exercise
Singapore, July 29: The republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will be participating in
ExerciseMalabar 07-2, held by the Indian Navy (IN) and the United States Navy (USN) in the Bay of Bengal.Singapore Defence Ministry in a statement issued today stated, the RSN accepted an invitation, in October last year, to participate in a multi-lateral exercise in the Indian Ocean.
"Doom Goes To War"
The Marines are looking for a few good games.
When it comes to knowing how the United States military spends our tax dollars, some of us are happy to adopt the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. I, for one, have enough futility in my life without being informed that the army has just developed, for instance, a US$4,500 titanium combat-ready toothbrush.
Well, here's another kind of scenario that, on the surface, promises to be just as stupid and expensive as the notorious $10,000 toilet seats of yore. It seems that the Marine Corps is using a modified version of id Software's Doom II, the addictive and hyperviolentPC-based videogame, for training purposes.
You read that right.
The cynic in me immediately imagines a squad of sweating, red-eyed marines slashing, shooting, zapping, and blowing up nightmarish demons on their PC monitors as their sergeant stands over them barking orders:
"Demon at 3 o'clock! Go with the nail gun! Kill, kill, kill!"
Gadzooks, is this the future of warfare?
It's a chilly, misty day in mid-December. Lieutenant Scott Barnett has put me in the passenger seat of his black Camaro Z28, and we're driving around the Quantico, Virginia, Marine Corps base at or below the posted speed limit of 25 mph. The slow creep makes the vast base seem even larger.
We glide past a cluster of nondescript brick buildings. "That's OCS, Officer Candidate School," says Barnett, project officer of the Marine Corps Modeling and Simulation Management Office ("McMismo," in the standard acronymic mil-speak). Just beyond it, very large helicopters hover like monstrous dragonflies over an airstrip. "We make officers there," Barnett says. "Takes 10 weeks."
Barnett, 30, is a fairly heavy guy with piercing blue eyes set in friendly, vaguely Germanic features. He wears his hair long - which for a marine means that it doesn't quite stick straight up on top.
We slow to a stop across from what looks like a fenced-in obstacle course. Barnett explains that it is, in fact, a fenced-in obstacle course.
"We bring young lieutenants here and run them through all kinds of battlefield scenarios," he says. "This place and Combat Town, which is where fire teams train, are seriously overbooked pieces of property. That's part of the problem."
He drives me through a long stretch of forest to another part of the problem: a weapons range. Several hundred yards away, in the middle of a long green field, about 100 marines are shooting the hell out of stationary targets with both rifles and machine guns. "Unlike in the army, the navy, and the air force," Barnett says with what is surely habitual pride, "every marine is a rifleman. The problem is that with budget cuts, we don't have the money to pay for the ammo and field time we need to keep ourselves in practice. So for a few years now, the corps has had to scramble to find cheaper, more efficient ways to train marines and keep them in fighting trim." We listen for a while to the staccato chatter of M-16s, and then Barnett drives me back to his office to show me what he firmly believes is part of the solution.
In today's military, computer simulation is increasingly taking the place of conventional training exercises. No longer must war games simply involve elaborate flight trainers or tank simulators in which highly trained officers learn how to handle multimillion-dollar death machines. This is especially true of the Marine Corps, which doesn't conduct warfare from "platforms" such as aircraft carriers, M-1 Abrams tanks, or B-52 bombers. The marines' role is to be extremely mobile, the worldwide 911 quick-response team, good-to-go anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Their primary fighting platform is a soldier with a rifle. That's a source of both pride and frustration. Because the marines don't have the big toys, they don't get the big bucks, either. Make do with less is what they're told by the Department of Defense. The Marine Corps was allotted just 4.1 percent - or $10.3 billion - of the DOD budget in fiscal 1997.
Two years ago, the ever-increasing pressure to produce more bang for the buck led to a mandate from the annual General Officers Symposium. As Lieutenant Colonel Rick Eisiminger, team leader of the Modeling and Simulation Office, tells me rather formally, "We were tasked with looking at commercial off-the-shelf computer games that might teach an appreciation for the art and science of war." Civilian translation: Barnett and his partner, Sergeant Dan Snyder, were ordered to dig into dozens of military-inspired videogames to see if any could be used for training. Which, when you think about it, is kind of like cops watching NYPD Blue to pick up procedural pointers. Which, when you continue to think about it, a lot of cops probably do
Hunted in reality, jihadists are turning to artificial online worlds such as Second Life to train and recruit members, writes Natalie O'Brien July 31, 2007 (cont..)
Defense Earnings Continue To Soar
Several of Washington's largest defense contractors said last week that they continue to benefit from a boom in spending on the wars in
Iraqand Afghanistan as well as sustained government demand for information technology, defying predictions that the sector's expansion would begin to slow.
Profit reports from Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin showed particularly strong results in operations in the region. Though the wars have started to reduce the Pentagon's appetite for large, futuristic weapons that traditionally drive these companies' bottom lines, the shift in defense spending hasn't hurt profits (cont..)
Homeland Security spending bill heads to conference
The Homeland Security Department’s 2008 spending bill is the first to be approved by both the House and Senate.
The Senate last week finished work on the $37.6 billion bill with a vote of 89-4.
It includes $3 billion in emergency spending for border security and $100 million for an emergency communications grant program (cont..)
10 fingerprints needed to enter US soon
Visitors traveling with visas or visa-free to the United States will soon have to give 10 digital fingerprints when entering the United States, a senior U.S. Homeland Security official said recently.
Border checks could also soon include other biometric data, such as facial and eye retina scans, as the U.S. upgrades security at its ports, airports and border crossings, said P.T. Wright, the operations director for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT Program.
All people from European nations and others participating in the U.S. Visa-Waiver program would have to give additional prints, as would people traveling from nations where visas are needed, he said.
A pilot project at 10 major U.S. airports would be launched in late 2007, expanding the current program that calls for taking prints of two fingers and facial photographs of visitors to the United States. (Cont..)
Searching for Security Skills
"Since 2001, the federal government has added an estimated 137,000 new positions at the departments of Homeland Security and State, the FBI, the military and the intelligence community. That does not count millions of contractors hired for military and other national security-related missions, nor the thousands of new security personnel scattered among departments from Energy to Treasury.
National security, in fact, has driven the increase in the size of the federal government. The Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization that promotes public-sector employment, estimates that the government will need 63,000 new workers in security fields in the next two years."
Wikipedia and the Intelligence Services: Is the Net's popular encyclopedia marred by disinformation?