Khamenei Demands that IRGC Develop More Advanced, Modern Weapons

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Khamenei Demands that IRGC Develop More Advanced, Modern Weapons

Sunday, 13 October, 2019 – 11:15
FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives a speech to a group of scholars and seminary students of religious sciences in Tehran, Iran September 17, 2019. Official Khamenei website/Handout via REUTERS
Asharq Al-Awsat
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Sunday to develop more advanced and modern weapons, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

“The Guards should have advanced and modern weapons … Your weapons should be modern and updated. It should be developed at home. You need to develop and produce your weapons,” Khamenei said.

The Iranian leader’s statement come after months of tension between Washington and Tehran in the wake of sanctions against Iranian oil exports, after US President Donald Trump pulled out in May 2018, from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

On Thursday, Chief Commander of the IRGC General Hossein Salami also said his naval forces were fully prepared to defend Iran in case an armed conflict with “enemies” breaks out.

Speaking at conference on “speedboats” in the northern port of Anzali, he further questioned the enemies’ ability to confront Iran’s naval unit if armed maritime conflict erupts.

According to Reuters, in response to Washington’s “maximum pressure” policy, Iran has gradually reduced its commitments under the nuclear pact and plans further breaches if European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran’s economy from US penalties.

China: New weapons to parade on National Day

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS AGENCY)

 

New weapons to parade on National Day

Xinhua

70 Years On
New weapons to parade on National Day

CNS

Senior Colonel Wu Qian speaks at a briefing on arrangements for National Day military parade in Beijing on Tuesday.

A selection of new weapons utilized by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will feature in the upcoming National Day parade, and the media will not be disappointed, said a senior PLA officer at a group interview Tuesday.

Tan Min, executive deputy director of the office of joint parade command, made the remarks in response to a question raised by Japanese media asking whether China’s latest ballistic missile DF41 will make an appearance in the parade.

All the weapons and equipment to feature in the parade are domestic and in active service with a high level of IT application and better strike accuracy, he said.

The new weapons also display a joint combat system of the PLA and innovative features from China’s national defense industry, said Tan.

The parade, which will take place in Beijing on Oct. 1, marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Be glad Iran’s satellite launch failed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Be glad Iran’s satellite launch failed

Satellite imagery provided to Fox News suggests that an Iranian satellite launch this week failed quite spectacularly.

The rocket blew up on its launchpad or shortly after launch.

This is good news for the United States and regional security. Iran claims that its satellite program is peaceful and designed only to monitor the weather, but the reality is very different. Iran’s satellite program is just a cover for the regime’s development of a competent ballistic missile program. Because satellites are launched from Earth into a controlled orbit trajectory, they help Iran better understand how to get ballistic missiles onto their targeting course.

That is something the U.S. doesn’t want to see happen. There is no good reason for Iran to build ballistic missiles, aside from striking distant targets with nuclear weapons.

If Iran can develop and deploy a nuclear-armed ballistic missile, it would achieve two malevolent opportunities. First, it would dangle the annihilation of a major Israeli city (or, if it can build many warheads, Israel itself). Such a development would require Israel to go to war with Iran in order to mitigate the risk of a second Holocaust. But Iran would also hope that Western powers would restrain Israel from that action and isolate the Jewish state into fear.

Second, Iran would extort the U.S., the Sunni-Arab kingdoms, and Europe for economic or political reasons. Considering Iran’s theological project to dominate the Middle East, this extortion threat would either cause a war or allow Iran to subjugate the rights of its neighbors. Certainly, it would spark regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt to build their own nuclear forces.

So, yeah, it’s a good thing that Iran’s satellite blew up on its launchpad.

China to impose sanctions on US companies in case of arms sales to Taiwan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China to impose sanctions on US companies in case of arms sales to Taiwan

Xinhua

China on Wednesday urged the United States to immediately cancel the planned arms sales to Taiwan, saying China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests including imposing sanctions on US companies involved in the planned sales.

The US Defense Department on Wednesday officially notified the US Congress of the plan to sell 66 F-16 fighters and relevant equipment worth around US$8 billion to Taiwan and to provide support.

“China firmly opposes the plan and has lodged solemn representations and protests to the US side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing.

The US arms sales plan seriously violated international laws and basic norms governing international relations, as well as the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, especially the August 17 Communique, Geng said.

“[Such a move] constitutes severe interference in China’s internal affairs, and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.”

The spokesman said the Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is associated with China’s core interests. “China has firm determination to safeguard its own national sovereignty, unity and security.”

Geng urged the US side to abide by the one-China principle and relevant provisions laid out in the three China-US joint communiques, “immediately cancel the aforementioned arms sales plan, cease arms sales to Taiwan and sever military ties with the island.”

“Otherwise, all the ensuing consequences will be born by the US side,” Geng added.

India: India rethinks buying US armed drones

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

India rethinks buying US armed drones

The Indian Air Force has raised concerns about an armed drone surviving in a contested air space like PoK or along the LAC.

INDIA Updated: Jul 28, 2019 07:14 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
New Delhi
IAF,Indian airforce,India
This undated US Air Force file photo released on June 20, 2019 shows a photo of a RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. – A US spy drone was some 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest point in Iran when it was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile June 20, 2019.(AFP)

Last month’s downing of the US Global Hawk drone by Iran in the Persian Gulf has prompted a rethink within the Indian military establishment, led by the air force, over the acquisition of American-made armed drones on account of their cost and questions over their survivability.

India’s three services had planned to buy 30 drones from the US at a cost of $6 billion. While the tri-services have not yet approached the defence minister for “acceptance of necessity,” or AoN, to procure the drones, the plans were for the air force and the army to acquire 10 Predator-B drones each and the navy to buy long-distance surveillance versions.

According to the military brass, the IAF has internally raised questions about an armed drone surviving in a contested air space like over Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) or along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — the disputed de facto border between India and China — with both potential adversaries equipped with top of the line surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems .

“The armed drone has been successfully used by US in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria as the skies are dominated by their air force. Pakistan is the only country that has counter-capabilities but will think 100 times before it decides to take a US drone down by a SAM or beyond visual range air-to-air missile,” said a senior military commander on condition of anonymity.

The US’s top of the line RQ-4 Global Hawk was shot down by Iran’s S-300 missile system on June 20 in Persian Gulf airspace.

The rethink on US drones has nothing to do with US President Donald Trump’s Kashmir recent mediation faux pas; the Narendra Modi government has decided to cut out the Trump noise over Kashmir and concentrate on building India-US ties for times to come.

Trump said after meeting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month that Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue — a claim India immediately and firmly denied.

The other significant reason behind the Indian rethink is the prohibitive price of armed drones like the Predator-B. According to the military establishment, the cost of a bare drone platform will be to the tune of $100 million and a full complement of weapons like laser-guided bombs or hell-fire missiles will cost another $100 million.

“This means that an armed drone with full complement of weapons will be more expensive than Rafael multi-role fighter with all weapons and missiles on board. Under the circumstances, the IAF will give preference to acquiring more multi-role fighters with long-range air-to-air missiles and the Indian army will be looking towards replacing its dated T-72 tanks. The Indian navy needs more surface combatants at sea rather than an armed drone for projecting itself as an Indo-Pacific power,” said a senior South Block official.

After the shooting down of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 fighter by a Pakistani F-16 in an aerial skirmish on February 27 in the Rajouri sector, the air force has become interested in longer-range air-to-air missiles and the army wants equipment for its battle groups like tanks and howitzers for a faster response to the western adversary.

When asked to comment on the drone acquisition plans, a senior defence ministry official said, requesting anonymity, that a decision on whether or not to acquire armed drone from the US or any other country will only be taken once the three services approach the government with a proposal.

First Published: Jul 28, 2019 07:12 IST

China: Turkey blocked from F-35 program for accepting Russian S-400

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Turkey blocked from F-35 program for accepting Russian S-400: White House

Xinhua
Turkey blocked from F-35 program for accepting Russian S-400: White House

AFP

In this file photo taken on June 12, 2019, an F-35 fighter plane flies over the White House in Washington DC.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems has led to the termination of Ankara’s involvement with the F-35 program.

“Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible,” the White House said in a statement.

The statement noted the F-35 jets cannot coexist with S-400 systems, arguing that its intelligence collection platform would be used to learn about the advanced capabilities of F-35 stealth fighters.

“Much of the F-35’s strength lies in its stealth capabilities. So, the ability to detect those capabilities would jeopardize the long-term security of the F-35 program,” Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord told the media at the Pentagon later on Wednesday.

The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program, Lord said.

Turkey suppliers, which provide over 900 parts for F-35, would no longer receive US$9 billion in projected work share over the life of the program, according to Pentagon.

“Turkey will certainly and regrettably lose jobs and future economic opportunities from this decision,” Lord added.

Turkey has ordered over 100 F-35 fighter jets, and a handful of them had been scheduled to transport to Turkey in the coming months. The arrangement of those F-35 was still under discussion, according to Lord.

Ankara’s acceptance of the S-400 not only has detrimental impacts on Turkish interoperability with the NATO alliance but also undermines the commitments all NATO allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems, the White House said.

The Trump administration, at the same time, sought to reduce the repercussion for the bilateral relations.

Washington still greatly values the strategic relationship with Turkey, the statement added, saying US-Turkey military-to-military relationship is strong and the two allies would continue to cooperate extensively.

The United States has been actively working with Turkey to provide air defense solutions to meet its legitimate air defense needs, said the statement.

The statement, however, made no mention of possible sanctions against Turkey as required by law under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

Pentagon officials also deferred all questions about possible sanctions to the Department of State.

In December 2017, Ankara and Moscow signed a US$2.5 billion agreement for two batteries of the S-400 system. Turkey began taking the delivery of the S-400 system Friday.

China to Sanction U.S. Companies for Arms Sales to Taiwan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

 

China to Sanction U.S. Companies for Arms Sales to Taiwan

Beijing says U.S. approval of $2.2 billion in military sales harms its national security

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, shown here in June, arrived in the U.S. on Thursday. PHOTO: RITCHIE B TONGO/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

China will sanction U.S. firms that participate in arms sales to Taiwan, after Washington approved sales of $2.2 billion in tanks, missiles and related military hardware, Beijing said.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that the arms sales “harmed China’s sovereignty and national security” and that the sanctions were necessary to safeguard its national interests.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, part of the United States Defense Department, notified Congress on Monday of proposed arms sales including 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, Hercules armored vehicles, heavy equipment transporters and Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

The proposed sales risk further testing relations between the U.S. and China, already strained by protracted trade tensions. They swiftly drew the ire of Beijing, which sees such sales as interference in its sovereignty claims over the self-ruled island.

It coincided with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s arrival in the U.S. on Thursday, as part of a visit to four Caribbean allies, a trip that has also prompted anger from Beijing.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged the U.S. to immediately withdraw the sale and said it had lodged “stern representations.” The official China Daily said Ms. Tsai was “playing a game of brinksmanship” by building up Taiwan’s military defense.

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India drops plan to buy Israeli Spike anti-tank missiles

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS PAPER)

 

India drops plan to buy Israeli Spike anti-tank missiles

India was negotiating the purchase of 321 launchers and 8,356 fire-and-forget missiles with Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.

INDIA Updated: Nov 20, 2017 23:22 IST

Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
T-90 (Bhishma) army tanks during a dress rehearsal for the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi in January 2014.
T-90 (Bhishma) army tanks during a dress rehearsal for the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi in January 2014. (Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

India has dropped plans to buy Spike anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems worth Rs 3,200 crore from Israel, defence ministry sources said on Monday. Instead, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been asked to develop the ATGMs for the army’s infantry and mechanised infantry units to provide impetus to the Make in India plan, the sources said.

India was negotiating the purchase of 321 launchers and 8,356 fire-and-forget missiles with Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.

However, a report in Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted a Rafael spokesperson as saying that the Israeli firm had not been officially informed of any change in the decision to buy Spike missiles. Rafael already “began the transfer of development and manufacturing knowledge as part of the Make-in-India program. This activity will continue as planned,” Rafael deputy spokesman Ishai David told Haaretz.

With the defence ministry retracting the tender to buy the ATGM systems, the army’s wait to induct the weapon is likely to get longer, army sources said. The DRDO could take up to four years to develop the next-generation ATGMs.

The Spike missile can destroy armoured vehicles and bunkers from a distance of 2.5 km and the army was planning to equip more than 400 units with the third-generation ATGM systems.

The decision not to buy the missiles comes around 10 months after the defence ministry appointed a committee, headed by a major-general, to examine various aspects related to the deal.

India had chosen the Israeli ATGM over US defence and aerospace firm Raytheon’s Javelin system nearly four years ago. The army currently uses the older Milan and Konkur ATGMs built by public sector undertaking Bharat Dynamics Limited under license from French and Russian firms, respectively.

Hoping that it would bag the order, Rafael had stitched up an alliance with India’s Kalyani Group to produce the missiles in Hyderabad.

Blue Grass Army Depot on target for chemical weapons destruction

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF WKYT OF LEXINGTON KENTUCKY)

Blue Grass Army Depot on target for chemical weapons destruction

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) – A meeting on Wednesday in Richmond gave the public updates on the latest the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, the facility where chemical weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot will be destroyed.

“We’re all on board in trying to get rid of these weapons of mass destruction in the safest possible way,” said Craig Williams. Williams has been the liaison between the Madison County government and the Pentagon on how to rid of the chemical weapons.

More than 500 tons of deadly chemical agents are stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot. The pilot plant is in the process of systemizing or testing the equipment before the it becomes operational.

The big news to come out of Wednesday’s meeting is that two Sarin samples will be taken next summer; those samples will be critical to ensure that the plant is ready for 2020.

“It will reduce the potential risk to the citizens and the work force at the depot,” added Williams.

Jeff Brubaker, the site project manager, says from a risk perspective, the Sarin liquid stored at The Blue Grass Army Depot will be the first to be destroyed.

“Because of its high volatility represents 99% of the risk to the public; if there were to be some sort of an event and we’re looking to eliminate that maximum risk as quickly as possible,” said Brubaker.

The only other remaining chemical stockpile in the country is in Colorado. Seven other plants have completed the destruction of their stockpiles.

Iran And Saudi Arabia Fight Proxy War In Yemen: Yemen People Pay The Biggest Price

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

US: No ‘blank check’ for Saudi Arabia in Yemen

U.S. weapons for Saudi atrocities?

U.S. weapons for Saudi atrocities? 04:52

Story highlights

  • Saudi-led airstrikes hit a funeral home in the Yemeni capital
  • At least 155 people killed, health ministry officials say

(CNN)The White House on Saturday condemned a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a wake in Yemen that local health officials said killed at least 155 people.

“US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check,” US National Security Council Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“Even as we assist Saudi Arabia regarding the defense of their territorial integrity, we have and will continue to express our serious concerns about the conflict in Yemen and how it has been waged.”

US 'not afraid' to raise Yemen concerns with Saudis

 US ‘not afraid’ to raise Yemen concerns with Saudis 02:00
Price added that the US would reevaluate its support for the coalition in its fight to prevent Houthi rebelsallied with Iran and forces loyal to Yemen’s deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh from taking power.
“In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition and are prepared to adjust our support so as to better align with US principles, values and interests, including achieving an immediate and durable end to Yemen’s tragic conflict,” he said.
Earlier Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition denied accusations that it was responsible for the attack.
It later said it will “immediately investigate” reports that its warplanes were responsible for the airstrikes, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Yemen: A 'poor country's' forgotten war

 Yemen: A ‘poor country’s’ forgotten war 05:00
“The coalition confirms that its troops have clear instructions not to target populated areas and to avoid civilians,” SPA added.

‘Too heavy a price’

Witnesses of Saturday’s airstrike in Sanaa reported multiple civilian casualties at the wake, where hundreds of people had gathered to mourn the death of rebel-appointed Interior Minister Jalal al Rowaishan’s father.
In addition to the reported deaths, hundreds of attendees were also wounded in the strike, local health officials said.
At least 20 people lost limbs, according to medical staff at the German Hospital in Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia now spends more than Russia on defense

 Saudi Arabia now spends more than Russia on defense 01:20
Robert Mardini, regional director for the International Committee of the Red Cross, condemned what he called an “outrageous loss of civilian life.”
“Civilians in Yemen have already paid far too heavy a price these past 18 months,” he said in a statement.

Escalating crisis

The Saudi-led coalition, involving several Arab countries, began a military campaign in Yemen in March 2015 after Houthis — a minority Shia group supported by Iran — drove out the US-backed government, led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and took over Sanaa.
The crisis quickly escalated into a multisided war, which allowed al Qaeda and ISIS — other enemies of the Houthis — to grow stronger amid the chaos.
Since peace talks in Kuwait failed in August, the coalition has intensified airstrikes, despite vocal criticism from rights groups that the bombardments have been indiscriminate and could constitute war crimes. The attacks have often hit civilian targets with devastating results.
The US has come under increasing pressure to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
The US Senate last month rejected a bipartisan proposal to block a pending $1.15 billion United States arms sale to Riyadh.

Yemen: A 'poor country's' forgotten war

 Yemen: A ‘poor country’s’ forgotten war 05:00
Critics of the military deal, which was approved by the Obama administration, complained it could further drag the US into the war in Yemen and contribute to the worsening humanitarian crisis there.
Civilian casualties are only part of the crisis. Yemen’s UNICEF office has reported that nearly 10,000 children younger than 5 died from preventable diseases there during the past year.
Some 1.5 million children are currently malnourished in Yemen, and 370,000 of them suffer from severe acute malnutrition, according to the charity.
Yemen’s economic infrastructure has also been ravaged by war.
At least 430 factories and companies were destroyed by coalition airstrikes since the start of the conflict, according to Ahmed Bahri, political chief of the Sanaa-based Haq Party.