The shield has been riling up Russia since it was announced, and in May the Kremlin came out and said it was not ruling out a first strike against the NATO shield in Europe.
Not long after the strike was threatened a story came out saying that Obama would release classified data on the shield to the Russians in an effort to calm them down.
No word on that yet, but then again, we know Obama wants to wait until after the election to assuage Russian concerns.
The USS Ross was commissioned in 1997 and has almost 300 crew
The Ross is 505 feet long and weighs around 9,000 tons full
In 2009 the Missile Defense Agency announced that the Ross would be upgraded to hold the advanced Standard Missile-3
In addition to the missiles that the ship carries, the Carney also has a landing pad for an anti-submarine helicopter
The Ross — like the 62 other ships in the Arleigh Burk class of destroyers — cost around $1.8 billion
This is the USS Carney, the oldest of the ships being sent to Spain
Seen from the mast here, the Carney was commissioned in 1996
One USS Carney tradition is the playing of National Anthem on guitar after each underway replenishment
In the back here, the Carney launches a coordinated volley of vertically-launched missiles
The ship also has a five inch gun which poses a massive threat to nearby enemies
The USS Cook, seen here receiving fuel on-the-go, was commissioned in 1998
The ship was one of the first to come to the aid of USS Cole — another Arleigh Burk-class destroyer — after it was damaged in a suicide attack by al Qaeda operatives in 2000
Here, the Cook fires a torpedo as part of an exercise
The ship is seen here firing Tomahawk missiles into Iraq in April, 2003
The ship was part of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group
The USS Porter in the foreground — is the youngest ship of the four being sent to Spain and was commissioned in 1999
an SA330 Puma lands on the Porter’s helipad for personnel transfer
In 2007 the Porter sank two pirate boats off the coast of Somalia that were attacking an oil tanker
The ship carries 90 Tomahawk missile, which can be launched from the vertical launch system
On August 12, 2012 the Porter collided with a Japanese Oil Tanker near the Strait of Hormuz and will be in Dubai for repairs for the time being
That’s what will be protecting Europe.
Posted by truther on July 25, 2012
FAR from the aeroplane-sized craft that are the face of cutting-edge warfare, a much smaller revolution in drones is under way. Micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs) with uncanny navigation and real-time mapping capabilities could soon be zipping through indoor and outdoor spaces, running reconnaissance missions that others cannot. They would allow soldiers to look over hills, inside buildings and inspect suspicious objects without risk.
Unlike their larger cousins, whose complex navigation systems let them fly autonomously for hours or even days (see “Aloft for longer than ever”), MAVs are not known for their smarts. They typically rely on a GPS signal to tell them where they are, and on human operators for nearly everything else, such as where to go, what to look for and where to land.
Now researchers led by Roland Brockers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have developed a MAV that uses a camera pointed at the ground to navigate and pick landing spots. It can even identify people and other objects. The system enables the drone to travel through terrain where human control and GPS are unavailable, such as a city street or inside a building.
A human operator needs to tell the drone only two things before it sets off: where it is and where its objective is. The craft figures out the rest for itself, using the camera and onboard software to build a 3D map of its surroundings. It can also avoid obstacles and detect surfaces above a predetermined height as possible landing zones. Once it selects a place to put down, it maps the site’s dimensions, moves overhead and lands.
In a laboratory experiment, a 50 centimetre by 50 centimetre quadrotor craft equipped with the navigation system was able to take off, travel through an obstacle-filled indoor space and land successfully on an elevated platform. Brockers’s team is now testing the system in larger, more complex environments. The system was presentedat the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in April.
Vijay Kumar of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia says that autonomous navigation and landing capabilities are unprecedented in a drone of this size. “Typically the information required to locate a landing site and stabilise a vehicle over it is coming in at a 100 times a second,” he says. “No one else has been able to design a system so small with this kind of processing power.”
With such capabilities making their way into ever smaller craft, it may not be long until the PD-100 Black Hornet (pictured), which is set to become the world’s smallest operational drone, gets an upgrade as well.
As it stands the PD-100, which has been in testing by Norwegian manufacturer Prox Dynamics since 2008, can navigate autonomously to a target area using onboard GPS or fly a pre-planned route. It can also be controlled by a human from up to a kilometre away, has an endurance of up to 25 minutes, can hover for a stable view, and fly both indoors and out.
At just 20 centimetres long and weighing about 15 grams, the PD-100 makes the drone created by Brockers’s team look like a behemoth. And while it may look like a toy, Prox Dynamics claims it can maintain steady flight in winds of up to 5 metres per second. This has attracted the attention of the UK Ministry of Defence, which last year issued a request for the vehicle under the name “Nano-UAS”.
Drones, Part 1: Targeted Killings
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs, have fundamentally changed the nature of warfare. But who controls them? What are they doing, and why? Tune in to learn more Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know about drones.
Before anyone knew the Cold War was drawing to an unceremonious close, Ronald Reagan pushed for an orbiting missile defense system called “Star Wars” or the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), to protect the U.S. from Soviet nuclear missiles.
The idea of Mutually Assured Destruction, where the two superpowers would keep from annihilating each other only to prevent from being annihilated, failed to appeal to Reagan’s Hollywood sensibilities.
His idea, back in 1983, was to place satellites above the earth capable of shooting down missiles sent America‘s way with some sort of space based weapon. Laser, rail-gun, slingshot, it didn’t matter because the technology for achieving the goal was decades away.
Reagan didn’t care, and while his call to the nation’s scientists to build SDI may have helped in the demise of the Soviet Union, efforts at building Star Wars didn’t stop when the Cold War ended — it just took a while to put a system in place.
Raytheon has been working on a missile killer for years, and was first successful in its efforts back in 1999 when it scored its first Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) force of impact or ”hit-to-kill” engagement.
The dream of an orbiting missile defense interceptor system was scrapped, but EKVs are aboard about 30 ground-based interceptor missiles that have been deployed in Alaska and California beginning in 2004.
And a couple weeks ago the defense contractor signed a seven-year $636 million contract to provide the EKV to The Boeing Company, which is the prime contractor for the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program.
So now the EKV will be the centerpiece of the GMD as the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), working to engage high-speed ballistic missile warheads in space.
Each EKV has an infrared seeker used to detect and discriminate the incoming warhead from other objects as well as its own propulsion, communications link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system and computers to support target selection and intercept.
The impact from the 18,000 mile-per-hour intercept packs enough kinetic punch to knock out the mightiest of ballistic missile’s and would do Reagan proud.
Below are a few pictures of what it looks like:
Posted by truther
Israel continues to “prepare all other options” for a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, as diplomatic talks go nowhere, according toReuters. Talk of a joint U.S.-Israeli military strike on Iran has waned recently, but talk of U.S.-Israel cyberattackshas taken its place.
U.S. defense contracts, Israel’s new submarine acquisitions and Iranian military exercises suggest that all sides are getting ready for the possibility of military conflict.
Among recent U.S. defense contracts that could relate to an Iranian attack, Raytheon was awarded a $338 million contract to provide the Navy with 361 Tomahawk cruise missiles in their most recent configuration.
Of those, 238 of the misses will be designed to launch from submarines and the remainder from Navy ships like the Ticonderoga class Arleigh Burke guided missile cruiser currently operating with the 5th Fleet based in Bahrain east of Iran.
These are the same missiles that started the Libyan Operation Odyssey Dawn bombing campaign last March when 124 were launched from Navy ships and subs against Qaddafi’s missile defense radars and anti-aircraft sites around Tripoli.
The U.S. could simply be renewing depleted reserves from that mission, as well as others, or it could be planning ahead for a specific attack. With work on the contract expected to be completed in 2014, this particular batch wouldn’t be used in any immediate action, but could replenish reserves spent in any upcoming airstrikes.
Taking out radar and aircraft defenses would be one step in an Iranian attack. Another, equally as vital, would be determining where Tehran’s fleet of submarines may be parked in the Persian Gulf.
There are several ways of locating a sub accurately enough to destroy it, and one of them is using theERAPSCO sonar buoy.
The buoys are a one-time-use asset that gets dropped into the water to work with other buoys pinpointing underwater objects. The Navy just ordered 17,000 of them under a $13 million contract days after the Tomahawk order. The buoys can be used for research as well, but in the face of biting defense cuts, it seems possible the Navy has something mission-focused for them in mind. Their delivery is also expected in early 2014, to potentially replenish supplies used before then.
USS Carl Vinson and the USS Bunker Hill
Both of these acquisitions could be part of a standard ordering cycle that we simply have no idea of, but in light of the following developments we thought them worth mentioning.
On May 9 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which seeks to “reaffirm the commitment to Israel’s security as a Jewish state; provide Israel with the military capabilities to defend itself by itself against any threats… [and] expand military and civilian cooperation” among other statements of U.S. policy.
Former counter-terrorism specialist and CIA military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi wrote that the bill “basically provides Israel with a blank check drawn on the U.S. taxpayer to maintain its ‘qualitative military edge’ over all of its neighbors combined.” (To that end the U.S. is stockpiling an increasing number of weapons in Israel.)
One senior Israeli figure with close ties to the leadership told Reuters that Netanyahu had made the decision to attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election in November so that the move “will bounce the Americans into supporting them.”
F/A-18E Super Hornet
The P5+1 talks that sought to resolve Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities have broken down again, but no one has given any strong indications of what it would take for the conflict to spill over from the cyber realm to the physical world.
Nevertheless U.S., Israel and Iran seem to be ready if it does.
It breaks down the difference between bombs of the past, such as the Little Boy dropped at Hiroshima, and ones more recently detonated by the U.S., like the Castle Bravo.
Posted by truther
In what is referred to as the “microaviary” on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, drone are in development and design to replicate the flight patterns of moths, hawks and other air-borne creatures of the natural world.
Greg Parker, aerospace engineer, explains: “We’re looking at how you hide in plain sight” for the purpose of carrying out espionage or kill missions.
Cessna-sized Predatory drones, used to carry out unmanned attacks, are known round the world. The US Pentagon has an estimated 7,000 areil drones in their arsenal.
In 2011, the Pentagon requested $5 billion for drones from Congress by the year 2030. Their investigative technology is moving toward “spy flies” equipped with sensors and mircocameras to detect enemies andnuclear weapons.
Parker is using helicopter technology to allow his computer driven drone “dragonflies” become precise intelligence gathering weapons. “To have a computer do it 100 per cent of the time, and to do it with winds, and to do it when it doesn’t really know where the vehicle is, those are the kinds of technologies that we’re trying to develop.”
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has unveiled hummingbird drones that can fly at speeds of 11 miles per hour.
DARPA is also inserting computer chips into moth pupae in the hopes of hatching “cyborg moths”.
Within DARPA is the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems project (HIMEM), whose aim is to develop shutterbugs – insects with cameras attached to their very nervous system that can be controlled remotely. Under HIMEM, there are researchers working on cyborg beetles.
Other institutions are hard at work for the US government, developing more insect technology.
The California Institute of Technology has created a “mircobat ornithopter” that flies and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.
A team at Harvard University has successfully built a housefly-like robot with synthetic wings that buzz at 120 beats per second.
Back in 2007, at the International Symposium on Flying Insects and Robots , Japanese researchers unveiled a radio-controlled hawk-moth.
While the US military would have the American public believe that these new “fly drones” are used for overseas missions, insect drones have been spotted surveilling streets right here in the US.
The US government is experimenting with different types of micro-surveillance capabilities, such as cultivating insects with computer chips in them in the hopes of breeding software directly into their bodies to control flight patterns remotely.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been working on this technology since the 1970s. Known as the “inscetothopter”, it was developed by the Office of Research and Development for the CIA. It appears to be a dragonfly; however it contains a tiny gasoline engine to control its four wings. It was subsequently classified as a failure because it could not maintain flight against natural wind patterns.
The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has created a butterfly shaped drone that is the smallest built thus far. It can hover in mid-flight, just as a helicopter and take pictures with its 0.15 gram camera and memory card.
The “butterfly” imitates nature so well, that birds and other insects are convinced it is real and not man-made.
June 14, 2012 – MOSCOW – Russia has every possibility to provide a proper response to the projected deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Europe, though Moscow would like to see the U.S. plans revised, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “We should look forward and give response [to these plans] in a timely manner,” Putin told servicemen at a Russian air base. “Of course, our partners should better not do this [implement their missile shield plans] as this move would drive our response,” he added. The president stressed that regardless to the rhetoric western politicians use to describe the shield deployment plans, “This remains a part of the arms race. We have every possibility to provide a proper response,” he said. In liaison with this, Putin stressed the importance of timely implementation of state defense orders. “We must implement state defense orders strictly on time, with the necessary quality and at reasonable prices. If we do it, there will be no particular threat to us.” –RIA Novosti
China called the reports inaccurate, and denied violating any U.N. restriction.
The U.S., which has previously said it took China at its word that it was complying with the sanctions, said Wednesday that in recent weeks it has raised with Beijing allegations that Chinese companies assisted North Korea’s missile program.
According to the Japanese reports, four of the vehicles were shipped from Shanghai to North Korea last August aboard the Harmony Wish, a Cambodian-flagged cargo vessel. Japanese authorities tracked the ship by satellite, and searched it after it had delivered its cargo, when it transited through Japan the following month, the reports said.
Such vehicles — called TELs, for transporter, erector, launcher — became the focus of international attention when North Korea displayed what looked like several of them during a military parade in its capital, Pyongyang, in April.
They are a concern because they could give the North the ability to transport long-range missiles around its territory, making them harder to locate and destroy.
Japan’s top government spokesman declined to confirm the reports Wednesday. But he said that if necessary, Japan would work with the international community to determine if U.N. regulations were violated.
In Beijing, Liu Weimin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said his country has not violated any restrictions.
“Chinese companies did not violate U.N. and Chinese laws,” he said, calling the reports “inaccurate.” He did not specifically confirm or deny the vehicles were sold, but said China is opposed to proliferation and is “complying with U.N. laws and regulations.”
Although no suspicious vehicles were aboard the ship when it was searched in Japan, authorities found documents detailing the cargo it had unloaded in North Korea, and that included the vehicles, according to the Asahi, a major Japanese newspaper. It cited multiple but unnamed government sources.
It said the exported vehicles were believed to have been the ones used in the military parade, which was held shortly after a North Korea rocket launch that was widely condemned as an attempt to develop its long-range missile technology. The rocket, which North Korea claimed carried a satellite, failed soon after liftoff.
NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, and other media later had similar reports, also citing unnamed government sources.
The Asahi said the evidence was shared with South Korea and the United States, but claimed that Washington requested it not be made public.
On April 19, after press reports on the possible Chinese origin of the launch vehicle displayed in the military parade, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said that China had provided repeated assurances that it was complying with the U.N. sanctions.
“I think we take them at their word,” he said.
But at a news conference Wednesday, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. in recent weeks has raised with Beijing its concerns over allegations of Chinese entities assisting North Korea’s missile program. She said the U.S. would continue to work with China and others in the international community on enforcing the sanctions. She refused to give further details as it pertained to intelligence, which the department refrains from commenting on.
Asahi identified the Chinese exporter as Wuhan Sanjiang Import Export Co., a subsidiary of state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., and the North Korean importer as Rimmok General Trading, which it said was likely a front company.
Immediately after the parade, private experts said the vehicles probably came from China, citing similarities to Chinese design patterns in the windscreen, the windscreen wiper configuration, the door and handle, the grill, the front bumper lighting configurations, and the cabin steps.
Despite the latest reports, experts say pinning a sanctions-busting charge on Beijing would be difficult because it would be hard to prove that Beijing knowingly approved the exports for military purposes.
With different modifications, the vehicle can also be used in commercial fields. The Asahi report said that China claims the vehicles were to be used to carry lumber.
The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions against North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006 and stepped up sanctions after its second test in 2009 to try to derail the country’s rogue nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The sanctions restrict exports of weapons or technology that could be used to boost those programs.Eric Talmadge
- Reports: NKorea missile launchers came from China (kansascity.com)
- China Sent Missile Launchers to North Korea (theepochtimes.com)
- First batch of 20,000 North Korean workers in China (chinadailymail.com)