Russian strategic bombers run Arctic exercise
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Twelve Russian strategic bombers will take part in an Arctic exercise on Monday and Tuesday including tactical launches of cruise missiles, an air force spokesman said.
He did not specify where the exercise was taking place but said TU-95MC bombers would take off from five air bases stretching from the Volga River city of Engels to Anadyr on the Chukotka Peninsula overlooking the United States.
"The planes will also practice mid-air refuelling from Il-78 transport planes," the spokesman said.
Last month, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's air force to resume long-range patrols by the strategic bombers, abandoned since the end of the Cold War.
In line with his assertive foreign policy and efforts to build up the Russian armed forces, Putin has said the resumption of patrols is needed to guarantee national security.
The air force exercise also follows a widely advertised scientific expedition to the North Pole last month with the task of finding justification for Russia's claims for a bigger slice of the Arctic zone, believed to have rich mineral resources.
New 'strategic partnership' against China
Ships, aircraft and submarines from four countries begin week-long war games in the Bay of Bengal on 4 September
It is the first flexing of muscles by the newly-formed "Quadrilateral Initiative", which brings together the US, Japan, India and Australia.
Singapore also has a small presence in the exercises.
Many analysts see the manoeuvres as efforts by a democratic coalition to "contain" rising Chinese power.
Although the participants deny this, Beijing seems to be increasingly worried.
When the four powers set up the initiative (informally named the Quad) in Manila last May, a deeply-concerned Beijing sent formal protests to the four governments.
Quad members reassured China that their "strategic partnership" was only aimed at maintaining regional security, and was not targeting any particular power.
A month later, Chinese President Hu Jintao sought clarification from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the G8 summit in Germany. Although he received reiterations of peace and friendship, Chinese commentary suggests Beijing was not convinced.
Dubbed Malabar 07-02, these are the biggest joint manoeuvres Indian warships have participated in. (cont..)
Japan Eyes Defense Changes
U.S. military operations have centered on the Middle East and Southwest Asia for most of the last two decades. The result is a myopic focus on combat against insurgents and terrorists. But the Western Pacific and Eastern Asia offer another concern. Some of the world’s largest, economically fastest-growing and most industrialized nations are beginning to develop and flex their military muscle. The question for the U.S. and its partners, in particular Japan, is how to keep a lid on political tensions and the impulse to use military force to solve problems of state. Here, in a special report, Aviation Week & Space Technology examines a series of measures to do just that, ranging from the development of nonexplosive technologies to bilateral cruise and ballistic missile defenses
China, North Korea and Russia are just over the horizon, but the newest defense crisis for Japan is emerging from within.
Planners are paid to worry about foreign military capabilities; so Japanese and U.S. officials are closely monitoring advanced weapons development in North Korea and China. Even Russia is a concern because of its role as a source of sophisticated military gear for the world market. Now Japanese and U.S. planners believe they have created an answer for emerging missile and advanced strike aircraft threats with a series of new bilateral agreements addressing cooperative missile defenses, operations centers, training programs and base sharing.(cont..)
Virtual Weapons in Real Life (July 07)