Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ROVER, Vigilant Guard, FCS, Taiwan Drill, Russia etc..

"ROVER" is an unimpressive piece of equipment. Mostly, it looks like a ruggedized laptop with antennas. But quotes Lt. Col. Gregory E. Harbin, of the 609th Combat Operations Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, SC, who says "...the ROVER is bringing a phenomenal capability to our people on the ground." ROVER is the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver, which receives camera images from nearby aircraft and UAVs (somewhat like Israel's
wrist-mounted V-RAMBO
), then integrates them with other US positioning and targeting software.
Staff Sgt. Justin Cry, a Shaw Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC), has a job that's an art form at the best of times. Describing features from the ground to a pilot looking down while flying at high speed is no easy task. He used the system in Iraq and in New Orleans, and says simply: "I can circle an area on my screen, drawing arrows for emphasis, and what I'm drawing appears on (the pilots') screens as well."
ROVER continues to evolve, and is becoming an unheralded but critical piece of equipment in America's arsenal. This is DID's FOCUS Article covering the system and its ongoing developments – the latest of which is a contract for next-generation ROVER III data links.

Excerpt: "From Sept. 5 to 7, military contractor Anser Corp. threw a series of intelligence alerts and emergency reports -- via e-mail -- at guardsmen in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. They even videotaped phony cable news reports to convey the details, emotion and misinformation surrounding the terrorist attack."..(cont..)

Shelby announces defense funding for north Alabama

WASHINGTON, DC Tuesday, September 11, 2007 -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced subcommittee approval of important funding for North Alabama included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2008. Following today's action by the subcommittee, this bill will go to full committee for consideration on Wednesday. "The funding approved by the Senate will support important defense-related programs that strengthen our national security," said Shelby. "These programs are critical to the stability of our nation's military infrastructure and readiness and the Senate's approval demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and the strength of our military. Having just returned from Iraq, I know these programs will prove beneficial as we continue the fight against terrorism. In total, this bill provides $459.3 billion for defense-related needs.......
"Future Combat System (FCS) -- $3.107 billion
"Future Combat Systems (FCS), the core building block of the U.S. Army's Future Force, is a joint networked combat and combat-support system that provides our soldiers with greater situational awareness so they can see first, understand first, and act first," said Shelby. "FCS is integral to equipping the warfighter with the most technologically advanced weapons system." (Cont..)

Eye on Taiwan, Shanghai plans major air raid drill,,-6914728,00.html

BEIJING, Sept 12 (Reuters) - China is to hold a major air raid drill in Shanghai, the likely target of Taiwan missiles in the event of conflict, a sign the country's leadership still views war as a possibility with the island it claims as its own.
Saturday's drill will coincide with a rally in Taiwan's Kaohsiung city at which the ruling Democratic Progressive Party will try to mobilise 1 million people to demonstrate support for the island's frustrated bid for membership of the United Nations. (Cont...)

Russia tests 'Dad Of All Bombs'

Russia's military has successfully tested what it describes as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb.Channel One television said the new ordnance, nicknamed the "Dad Of All Bombs" is four times more powerful than the US "Mother Of All Bombs"."The tests have shown that the new air-delivered ordnance is comparable to a
nuclear weapon
in its efficiency and capability," Col Gen Alexander Rukshin, a deputy chief of the Russian military's General Staff, said.Unlike a nuclear weapon, the bomb does not pose an environmental threat from the release of radiation, he added.The statement reflected the Kremlin's efforts to restore Russia's global clout and rebuild the nation's military might.The muscle-flexing comes at a time when ties with Washington have become strained over US criticism of Russia's slips on democracy, Moscow's vociferous protests against US missile defence plans and rifts over global crises.The US Massive Ordnance Air Blast, a large-yield satellite-guided, air delivered bomb, had been described as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history.Channel One said that while the Russian bomb contained about 7 tons of high explosives compared with more than 8 tons of explosives in the US bomb, it is four times more powerful because it uses explosives developed with the use of nanotechnology.While the American bomb was equivalent to 11 tons of TNT, the Russian one was equivalent to 44 tons of regular explosives. The Russian weapon's blast radius is 1,000 feet, twice as big as that of the US design, the report said.Like its US predecessor, first tested in 2003, the Russian "Dad Of All Bombs" is a so-called thermobaric weapon that explodes in an intense fireball combined with a devastating blast. It explodes in a terrifying nuclear bomb-like mushroom cloud and wreaks destruction through a massive shockwave created by the air burst and high temperature.

Marine Corps' Mattis nominated to lead JFCOM

President Bush has nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Mattis to be promoted to the rank of general and commander of Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., the Defense Department announced today (cont..)


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