Saturday, September 23, 2017

Japan Is Ready For To Conduct Anti-Submarine Operations

A US Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon on display next to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's maritime patrol asset, the Kawasaki P-1, at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, November 19, 2014. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Douglas G. Wojciechowski

Harold Hutchinson, We Are The Mighty: This is how Japan plans to hunt enemy subs

The P-3 Orion has served with the United States for a long time, but also saw wide export service. One of those export customers was Japan, which operated over 100 Orions built by Kawasaki.

Like the American Orions, these Japanese planes needed to be replaced – and for Japan, this was a very important program. In World War II, American submarines managed to choke off Japan’s maritime supply routes. This is a lesson that stuck with the island nation, and lead them to a focus on anti-submarine warfare.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I would not be surprised if the Japanese are using these planes right now to monitor North Korean sub activity.

The British Royal Navy's Ships Will Be Sitting Ducks In The 2020s

Type 23 frigate HMS ‘Montrose’ firing a Harpoon missile. Royal Navy photo

Robert Beckhusen, War Is Boring: The Royal Navy Faces a Future Without Anti-Ship Missiles

Britain could see years without one if it retires the Harpoon in the 2020s

Right now, the Royal Navy’s main surface-to-surface anti-ship weapon is the over-the-horizon Harpoon missile, which is also the primary equivalent weapon in service with the U.S. Navy since 1977. Back then, the missile soon became a workhorse that provided considerable range compared to other anti-ship weapons at the time.

With the advent of new Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles proliferating around the world, however, that is no longer the case. And unlike the U.S. Navy, the Royal Navy will be without Harpoons or a replacement for them within a few years, turning its ships into sitting ducks.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are some stories that you just cannot make-up .... this is one of them. And while I am sure the Royal Navy will be finding a replacement soon, it is going to be a "rush job" .... and not cheap.

Is The USS Gerald Ford Obsolete?

Tug boats maneuver Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), into the James River during the ship’s Turn Ship evolution on June 11, 2016. US Navy photo.

Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign Policy: Will the USS Gerald Ford be remembered as the doomed Yamato of the carrier era?

Commissioned by the Japanese in December of 1941, just over a week after their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Yamato was the largest, most powerful battleship that had ever existed — a title that it still holds to this day, over 75 years later. With its nine 18.1-inch guns, it could fire 3,000 pound shells up to 26 miles away — so far that it required spotter aircraft to identify targets over the horizon. In comparison, the heaviest guns on U.S. battleships were 16 inches and limited to a maximum range of 20 miles. To paraphrase President Trump, it was truly a ship to make its enemies shake with fear.

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WNU Editor: Advancements in naval aviation made the era of battleships and large surface ships obsolete. Will advancements in anti-ship missiles do the same thing for aircraft carriers? The Russians are working on developing these missiles .... Watch Russia's Only Operational Battlecruiser Launch A Massive "Shipwreck" Anti-Ship Missile (The Drive), but so is the U.S. .... Army, Pentagon Upgrade ATACMS Missile to Attack Ships at Sea (Scout Warrior).

China Displays Its First Unmanned Attack Helicopter For The Public

China is touting the AV500W, photographed here, at an exhibition in Tianjin. Photo courtesy of Pakistan Defense/Twitter

TopYaps: China Displays Its First Unmanned Attack Helicopter For The Public At Military Expo

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has unveiled its first unmanned combat helicopter AV500W for the foreign buyers at the fourth China Helicopter Expo, one of the largest expos in the country. The helicopter was displayed in the northeastern Tianjin city to attract buyers and extend China’s military drone export possibilities abroad.

Read more ....

Update #1: China touts military drone helicopter at exhibition (UPI)
Update #2: China unveils unmanned attack helicopter (The Nation/China Daily)

WNU Editor: What a contrast in business styles when it comes to drone weapons sales. The U.S. is reluctant to sell their drones, and if they do, it is strictly regulated and only to close allies. The Chinese .... they will sell to anyone who can pay.

Drone Collides With U.S. Army Helicopter Over Staten Island

CBS New York: Drone Hits Army Helicopter Flying Over Staten Island

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A drone hit a U.S. Army helicopter flying over New York City on Thursday evening.

Two Blackhawks with the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina were in the city on duty for the United Nations General Assembly, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

They were able to continue on and land at Linden Airport, where WCBS 880’s Tom Kaminski took a look at the damage.

“As that drone came apart, a piece of it was actually found upon landing up on the transmission deck, right at the bottom of the main rotor system,” he said. “Which is very distressing that something would be able to get in there. And that has always been the thing that we worry about constantly.”

Read more ....

More News On A Drone Collision With A U.S. Army Helicopter Over Staten Island

Army Helicopters Hit By Drone Over Staten Island: Officials -- NBC New York
Drone collides with, damages Bragg helicopter in NY -- Fayetteville Observer
Army chopper lands in Linden after colliding with drone --

Quote Of The Day

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Paik Hak-soon, longtime North Korea analyst at the Sejong Institute, a think tank outside Seoul: "The way North Korea's supreme leadership works, Kim Jong-un has to respond more assertively as its enemy gets more confrontational, like Trump has. There is no backing down in the North Korean rule book."

Hat tip Fred for this link.

U.S. Army To Investigate Fake Evacuation Orders Sent To U.S. Military And Families In South Korea

North Korean soldiers photograph Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, in March as he visits the Joint Security Area inside the Korean Demilitarized Zone. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Sean K. Harp/ Army)

Washington Post: U.S. families got fake orders to leave South Korea. Now counterintelligence is involved.

Army counterintelligence officials in South Korea are investigating fake mobile alerts and social media messages warning American military families and Defense Department personnel of orders to evacuate the volatile peninsula on Thursday.

U.S. Forces Korea “did NOT send this message,” officials said in a subsequent Facebook post. They warned that Americans living in South Korea with U.S. troops and Defense Department employees should confirm that any evacuation-related communications are legitimate before acting.

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WNU Editor: This is no joke. This is what the message read (see link here).

More News On The U.S. Army Investigating Fake Evacuation Orders Sent To U.S. Military And Families In South Korea

U.S. army probes fake evacuation orders sent to U.S. military, families in South Korea -- Reuters
REVEALED: US military families in South Korea get fake orders to EVACUATE the country in hoax text messages -- Daily Mail
US military receive fake evacuation orders in South Korea -- RT
US Military Gets Mysterious and False Text Message to Evacuate Korean Peninsula -- Newsweek
US Forces Korea warns of fake evacuation messages -- Stars and Stripes
US Forces Korea: Evacuation message is fake -- Navy Times.

Another Nuclear Test In North Korea?

News of the earthquake was broadcast in Seoul, South Korea

The Guardian: North Korean quake raises concerns about further nuclear test

China reports ‘suspected explosion’ but South Korea suggest minor tremor was a natural occurrence.

An earthquake detected in North Korea has led to conflicting reports that the country may have carried out another nuclear bomb test.

China said the 3.4 magnitude quake was a “suspected explosion”, however an official at South Korea’s meteorological agency said its initial analysis of the tremor, which they put at magnitude 3.0, showed it was a natural quake.

“A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a man-made earthquake,” said the unnamed official. “In this case we saw none. So as of now, we are categorising this as a natural earthquake.”

The earthquake was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong province, where the Punggyeri nuclear site is located, the official said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China says that it was a test .... South Korea says no. Who to believe?

More News On Concerns That North Korea May Have Conducted A Small Nuclear Test

North Korea: Tremor detected near weapon test site -- BBC
Small North Korean quake likely natural, not nuclear test: experts -- Reuters
North Korea is rocked by 3.4 magnitude earthquake that China claims is an 'explosion', hours after 'rabid dog' Trump mocked 'madman' Kim - but South Korea claims tremor was natural -- Daily Mail
Earthquake in North Korea sparks fears over new nuclear test -- Sydney Morning Herald
China experts say 3.4-quake hits North Korea in 'suspected explosion' -- SBS
Quake detected in NK presumed to be natural: S. Korean agency -- The Korea Herald

Blueprint Of Nazi Rrifle Found On Newest Kalashnikov Monument In Moscow

RT: Scandal erupts after blueprint of Nazi rifle found on newest Kalashnikov monument

A blueprint of what was supposed to be the iconic AK-47 assault rifle, engraved in the monument to its inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, appeared to feature a German firearm. The monument commissioners agreed to fix the error following public uproar.

With just three days after its opening, the monument will undergo a reworking, the Russian Military Historical Society (RVIO) said Friday. The RVIO said they will remove a plate with the wrong blueprint, saying that otherwise they’d have to “explain a lot to those passing the Kalashnikov monument.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Apparently the mistake was noticed within minutes after the monument was unveiled. What can I say but that Muscovites certainly know all that there is to know about their Kalashnikov. Truth is .... I did not spot it (and I still cannot understand the hullabaloo), but one of my cousins who served in the military spotted it right-away .... and he is pissed.

More News On Monumental Error Found On Newest Kalashnikov Monument In Moscow

Nazi gun removed from statue of AK-47 founder Mikhail Kalashnikov in Moscow -- DW
German Rifle to Be Erased From New Kalashnikov Monument -- Moscow Times
German rifle’s sketch to be removed from Kalashnikov’s monument in Moscow -- TASS
Kalashnikov statue changed because of German weapon -- BBC
Blunder Forces Rework To Remove Nazi Gun From Kalashnikov Memorial -- Radio Free Europe

Tweets For Today

Would China Invade North Korea?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a performance held for participants of the ruling party's party meeting, December 2016. KCNA/via Reuters

John Dale Grover, National Interest: Why China Could Invade North Korea

Beijing might be compelled to act militarily if Pyongyang was attacked or collapsed on its own.

Over the past few months, tensions between the United States and North Korea have increased, with Kim Jung-un testing a possible hydrogen bomb on September 3 and the United Nations Security Council voting to implement further sanctions shortly after. Writers have discussed American policy towards China, the possibility of a deal with North Korea, and the need to avoid backing Kim into a corner. However, China’s perspective and the genuine possibility of a limited or complete Chinese intervention into North Korea, has received less coverage. China might be compelled to act militarily if North Korea was attacked or collapsed on its own. Doing so would protect Beijing’s objectives of securing the border, preventing U.S. forces from nearing the Yalu River, and thwarting the emergence of a united, U.S.-allied democratic Korean state.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If you break it .... you own it. China may not be the ones who are responsible for the mess that is North Korea today, but any intervention by Beijing will mean that China will become responsible for the costs and responsibilities of taking care of a population of 25 million people who have known nothing but deprivation and suffering for generations. Is that worth the price for China to have a puppet regime in Pyongyang? From my perspective the answer is no. As for the Chinese .... they are not ready to break that connection with North Korea, but they are starting to have a debate on whether they should.

Picture Of The Day

President Vladimir Putin observes the main stage of the Russia-Belarus Zapad 2017 joint strategic exercises on the Luzhsky range in the Leningrad region, Russia, on September 18, 2017. © Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures (September 16-22) (Sputnik)

U.S. Navy Awards Massive Contract To Finish Ballistic-Missile Sub Design

An undated artist’s rendering of the planned Columbia-class submarine. Naval Sea Systems Command Image

USNI News: Navy Awards Electric Boat $5.1B Columbia-Class Submarine Design Contract

General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $5.1 billion contract to undertake the detailed design work for the U.S. Navy’s next generation of ballistic missile submarines – the Columbia-class (SSBN(X))

According to the Pentagon notification, “the Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) contract award is for the design, completion, component and technology development and prototyping efforts for the Columbia-class Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs). This work will also include United Kingdom (U.K.) unique efforts related to the Common Missile Compartment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A $5.1 billion contract just for the design?!?!? 

More News On The U.S. Navy Awarding The Final Contract To Finish A Ballistic-Missile Sub Design

US Navy awards $5B to finish ballistic-missile sub design -- Norwich Bulletin/AP
Navy Awards $5 Billion Sub Contract to Electric Boat -- Hartford Courant
Newport News shipyard gets share of $5.1B sub contract -- Daily Press
General Dynamics Wins $5B Contract for Nuclear Submarines -- Nasdaq
General Dynamics Wins $5B Contract for Next-Gen SSBNs -- Maritime Executive
Navy $5 Billion Deal Builds New Nuclear-Armed Columbia-Class Sub -- Scout Warrior

Friday, September 22, 2017

A New U.S. - Russia START Treaty?

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Reuters: Despite tensions, U.S. sees value in New START treaty with Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States sees value in the New START arms control treaty with Russia, despite Washington’s concerns about Moscow’s track record on arms control and other issues, senior U.S. officials said on Friday.

The remarks by the Trump administration officials, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, suggest the treaty will remain in force and the door remains open to pursuing an extension of the accord, which is set to expire in 2021.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty gives both countries until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.

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WNU Editor: The treaty will be extended, but in regards to reports that the U.S. wants to negotiate a new treaty .... the feedback that I am reading from Moscow is that no one is interested. The focus in Moscow right now is on elections .... specifically the Russian Presidential election in March. If the U.S. wants a new deal on START, the best time to bring this up will be a few months after the election.

The Fall Of The Islamic State's Defacto Capital At Raqqa Is Imminent

A fighter from the SDF tries to communicate on a radio amid the rubble of a damaged street in Raqqa this month Reuters Reuters

ABC News: 'End in sight' in campaign to retake Raqqa from ISIS, says top diplomat

It began on the 73rd anniversary of D-Day -- the U.S.-led Allied invasion of Normandy, France during World War II -- and now, less than four months later in ISIS's self-declared capital, "the end is now in sight," according to a top U.S. diplomat.

The fight for Raqqa, Syria, has been bloody and prolonged, but Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, said Friday that the terror group is down to its last three neighborhoods in the north-central part of the city.

"It is a matter of time until the operation in Raqqa is finished," McGurk added.

Read more ....

Update: US-backed force 'mopping up' last IS holdouts in Raqqa (The New Arab).

WNU Editor: Defense Secretary Mattis' annihilation strategy is apparently in play. The remaining ISIS fighters have asked for safe passage out of Raqqa, but U.S. and Kurdish-Arab fighters have said no. It looks like they want them dead.

Update #2: Once the eastern part of Syria has been liberated, the next big target will be Idlib .... After Raqqa: The Next Jihadist Stronghold in Syria (Patrick Hoover & Omar Kebbe, Jamestown).

Growing List Of Countries Are Threatening To Stay Away From The Winter Olympics In South Korea Because Of Security Fears

Daily Mail: France, Germany and Austria all threaten to stay away from the South Korean 2018 Winter Olympics over security fears sparked by Kim Jong-un

* Three countries revealed they could avoid games if security situation worsened
* Absence of the leading winter sports powers would be hammer blow to games
* Pyeongchang Olympics will take place just 50 miles from North-South border

Austria, Germany and France have threatened to stay away from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea amid security fears over the nuclear-armed North.

Winter Olympics powerhouse Austria also revealed it could stay away from the Pyeongchang Games next February if security concerns deepened.

France's Sports Minister Laura Flessel said yesterday: 'If this gets worse and we do not have our security assured, then our French team will stay here.'

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Winter Olympics will be running from February 9 to 25, and will take place in Pyeongchang, just 50 miles from North Korea.

Tonight's Movie Is 'Go For Broke!'

From Wikipedia: Go for Broke! is a 1951 war film directed by Robert Pirosh, produced by Dore Schary and featured Van Johnson in the starring role, as well as several veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Henry Nakamura, Warner Anderson, and Don Haggerty amongst its large cast.

The film dramatizes the real-life story of the 442nd, which was composed of Nisei (second-generation Americans born of Japanese parents) soldiers.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 22, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson enter a hall during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times: Straws in the wind for a reset in US-Russian relations

The receding specters of a war involving North Korea and a US-Russia confrontation in Syria. The sound of cracking ice in the frozen conflict in Ukraine. Russia and the United States bidding farewell to “tits-for-tat.” Is this the dawn of a brave new world?

You might be skeptical, but it’s possible to draw positive conclusions from the two meetings, on successive days, between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. These meetings, in fact, bode well for another meeting ahead, between presidents Valdimir Putin and Donald Trump, this time in Danang, Vietnam, on the sidelines of the November 11-12 APEC summit.

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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 22, 2017

Does NKorean H-bomb threat push US closer to war? -- Robert Burns and Matthew Pennington, AP

Analysis: Kim Jong Un, taking on Trump, makes it personal -- Foster Klug, AP

Analyst: North Korea earned revenue from bitcoin mining -- Elizabeth Shim, UPI

Saudi Arabia to test Tehran’s influence in Iraq -- Najmeh Bozorgmehr and Erika Solomon, Financial Times

How can Iran educate a million Afghan refugees? -- Shirin Shakib, DW

India-Japan Relations: Strong and Getting Stronger -- Shashank Joshi, War on the Rocks

The Worsening Rohingya Crisis Is Creating a Dangerous New Reality in Myanmar -- Laignee Barron & Eli Meixler, WPR

No way back for Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees -- Bertil Lintner, Asia Times

The Promises and Perils of Syrian Kurdistan -- Fritz Lodge, The Cipher Brief

Gulf Crisis Still Smolders As Washington Searches for Options -- Bennett Seftel, The Cipher Brief

How Sweden is Balancing its Security in the Baltics -- Anna Wieslander, Atlantic Council

What you need to know about the German electorate -- Mara Bierbach, DW

A Guide to the New Zealand election and the MMP electoral system -- ABC News Online

Catalonia independence bid - what you need to know -- Chase Winter, DW

The Last Hurdle for Ukraine’s Recovery -- Anders ├ůslund, Project Syndicate