Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

The latest news from Robert Johnson on Business Insider

older | 1 | (Page 2) | 3 | 4 | .... | 29 | newer

    0 0

    night-vision-goggles

    In the wake of the Pratt & Whitney settlement (the defense giant illegally sold a bunch of helicopter engines to the Chinese) we wondered who else had been busted for outlaw arms dealing that we hadn't heard about. 

    We went through the State Department's list — which is long, diverse, and contains the names of both blue-chip companies and sketchy front corporations — to find some of the biggest illegal arms.

    To keep it manageable we posted only the biggest within the last six years.

    Turns out selling weapons and classified equipment to other countries without a permit is very illegal, but extremely lucrative. Hundreds of individuals are banned from doing business with the State Department for risking the practice and getting caught, but there seems little shortage of others to pick up the slack once they're gone.

    A lot like another illegal business, it's almost impossible to prevent.

    ITT Corporation transferred night vision goggles and laser weapon countermeasures to engineers in China

    ITT Corporation, one of the world's largest defense contractors, was fined $100 million in 2007 for exporting military-grade night vision goggles to the People's Republic of China.

    The contractor also supplied classified data to China about light interference filters, a component of some night vision goggles. The filters protect the goggles from lasers and infrared light, which could be used as a countermeasure against enemies wearing the goggles. 

    ITT sold the goggles to the UK and Singapore as well. 

    Fortunately for ITT they caught a deal where they have to pay only half the fine, if they use the $50 million saved to develop better night vision goggles. 



    Marsh Aviation sold a bunch of military aircraft engines to Venezuela

    Marsh Aviation and Floyd Stilwell — each of Arizona — were indicted in 2010 for violating the Arms Export Control Act and a charge of conspiracy after allegedly exporting T-76 aircraft engines to the Venezuelan Air Force. 

    T-76 engines were the power behind the Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco light armed reconnaissance aircraft. 

    The Feds also contend that Marsh Aviation helped the Venezuelan Air Force assemble the engines and the aircraft, assisting them later with testing, maintenance, and use. 

    Marsh Aviation counts both the United States Air Force and a dozen South American Air Forces among its legitimate customers. They were selected by DynCorp as the general contractor to modify the State Department's fleet of Broncos. 



    Rocky Mountain Instruments Company sold military optics to China, Russia, Turkey, and South Korea

    Rocky Mountain Instruments (RMI) company pled guilty to twelve counts of willingly exporting defense articles without a license in June 2010. The company remains on probation and stay there until June 2015. They also paid a $1 million fine. 

    RMI exported optics to a list of countries between 2005 and 2007. They also sold information on how to use the advance optics. 

    According to the Justice Department, the sales involved targeting and guidance systems for drones, the AC-130 gunship, the Abrams tank, the TOW missile system, and Bradley fighting vehicles. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.


    0 0

    Tent City in Lakewood, New Jersey is home to dozens of tents and shelters housing over 70 homeless people. Pitching tents in the woods is one thing, but carving out the amenities to make life satisfying, and propel residents forward is another thing entirely.

    Finding shelter is only one issue facing Americans who lose everything and have no place left to go. Food, clothing, of course, but the ability to stay clean and be available to reach out into the world to find employment is vital.

    With few New Jersey homeless shelters offering assistance, Reverend Steve Brigham decided to offer Tent City residents more than just those basics, he's tried to create a place that somehow allows residents a sense of ownership and belonging.

    Not many people are faced with problem of turning a tent into a home and the amount of work it actually requires is immense. 

    In this video Reverend Steve discusses the amenities and community that are a crucial part of Tent City:

    Produced by Daniel Goodman and Robert Johnson

    Don't Miss:

    If You Thought 'Tent City' Was Bad Before, You Should See It Now

    How A Pro Eater Prepares For The Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest

    Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    EKV

    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:

    EFV

    EFV

    EFV 

    Now check out these companies that got rich off illegal weapon sales > 

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    The My Little Pony fan club extravaganza BronyCon went down at the Meadowlands in New Jersey a couple weeks ago, and some news from the scene has bled over into the military world.

    Joe Gould at Outside The Wire reports that some of the BronyCon attendees were military servicemembers who include themselves among the My Little Pony fans called "bronies".

    The Military Bronies even have a Facebook page that jumped from about 1,500 to over 2,000 "likes", after Gould's post went up, and is filled with interesting comments about what military life is like for such a unique subculture.

    One commenter named Zane Raddue says: "I discovered MLP: FiM (My Little Pony: Friendship in Magic) during my second deployment to Afghanistan, and I haven't looked back! I've even turned a few of my brothers in arms into bronies!"

    Equestria Daily has a forum dedicated to Military Bronies as well and commenter Octavia testifies to the number of servicemembers at BronyCon: "Wow, there seem to be more military Bronies at that event than I thought there would be. Really cool to see some love dedicated directly towards the Bronies serving in the military."

    Beneath that commenter Archiveit posts: "One might assume My Little Pony and the military go together like a unicorn and an M2 machine gun." Followed by a link to this picture:

    Military Bronies

    Equstria Daily also has the following photo, which along with another from Fox, allegedly showing service members in uniform with the rainbow Pony patch, seems to be causing the loudest outcry.

    Military Bronies

    The Military Bronies on Facebook make clear:

    "I want to make one thing clear. Regardless of how easy it is for others to claim this, we DO NOT promote wearing of unauthorized patches, badges or insignia on your uniform. I know that every branch in the US has a uniform regulation that prohibits such things, and we stand behind that regulation. I'm also certain that other countries have similar regulations. We do not recommend you do ANYTHING that goes against the regulations of your branch of service. Sorry to rant on that, but it's been stated by some that we all do this and I wanted to clarify that this is NOT the case."

    To which commenter David Gillam replies: 

    "Meh. If I can go to the PX (Post Exchange) and get joke tabs that read Dumba$$, infidel, and all the others we picked up for "under the flap", a Mil-Bronie aint so bad. Its a shame we dont have a separate cutie instead of stealing Rainbow's though."

    One of those infidel patches is below and we've also written about them here >

    Infidel Patch

    Finally, this YouTube video apparently taken during a military luncheon at BronyCon seems to sum up the passion of the Military Bronies. The group sings the song Twilight, the name of a Pony from the show, and shout Semper Filly at the end. A twist on the Marines motto Semper Fidelis.

    Now check out China's military might >

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    I spent a week in the Athabasca oil sands last month and what I saw was a truly massive operation that's driven by the demand for something we all use every day.

    The Athabasca sands hold the second largest deposit of oil in the world and could eventually produce up to 2-trillion barrels of crude.

    But the type of oil there is thick and needs considerable refining even after it is extracted. The following presentation outlines how the oil gets from the ground to your gas tank.

     

    Produced by Robert Johnson and Daniel Goodman

    Don't Miss:

    Here's Why The US Should Allow Natural Gas Exports

    The US Can Produce As Much Oil As Saudi Arabia

    Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    With a buildup of U.S. naval power in the Persian Gulf and Iranian promises to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, Hezbollah has stepped in to offer an insight on how easily Iran could back up its threats.

    The official Hezbollah site Moqawama has posted an interactive infographic showing Iran's missiles surrounding an American aircraft carrier. It's apparently written by Sayed Hadi Mousavi who has a Facebook page here that says he lives in Tehran.

    The missiles are:

    Zafar: These are small, powerful missiles installed on Iran's fleet of power boats and have radar eluding capabilities.

    Nasr: Cruise missiles said to be capable of destroying a three-ton ship. Known to be fired from small boats, the Nasr could possibly be fired from helicopters and submarines as well.

    Kowsar: A medium range (up to 12 miles), land-based, anti-ship missile reportedly able to defeat electronic jamming systems and stay on course to its target. Some reports put this as the missile that Hezbollah fired at two Israeli warships in 2006, killing four Israeli servicemembers.

    Noor: A reverse engineered Chinese missile with a range of up to 100 miles.

    Qadar: One of the most powerful missiles in the Iranian arsenal with a range of about 125 miles.

    Tondar: Turbojet-powered ballistic missile.

    Saeqhe: The infographic says this anti-ship missile is capable of hitting naval targets up to 186 miles away.

    Persian Gulf: Another smart missile said to able to hit targets up to 186 miles away.

    Click on the missiles for additional information and watch them fall to the deck of the carrier and explode.

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    shooter gear

    James Holmes had a plan when he walked into an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and systematically began firing rounds into fleeing moviegoers, and he'd clearly spent some time and thought putting that plan together.

    Holmes brought five weapons to the theater: a Smith & Wesson AR-15, two Glock .40 pistols, a knife and a Remington model 870 pump shotgun he left in his car.

    The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, nearly identical in appearance to a military M16, that usually holds up to 30 rounds of high-powered ammunition. 

    But AP tweeted that Holmes had a high-capacity, drum-style ammo clip in the rifle that can carry much more ammunition than a box-shaped magazine.

    The Glocks are also semi-automatic, meaning once a round is chambered all the shooter needs to do is keep pulling the trigger until the clip is empty. They weigh about 2 lbs when loaded with up to 17 .40 caliber rounds. The .40 calibers flatten when they enter the body, without passing through, causing the most damage possible. 

    With all this hardware, Holmes burst in through an exit door at the front of the theater, tossed at least one tear gas canister to the floor and fired into the ceiling causing profound chaos and panic.

    Twelve people are believed to be dead of the 71 people shot. That's a lot of bullets – meaning Holmes had to reload as he calmly stalked the theater, shooting people running for the exits as he walked up the aisle.

    The 870 shotgun would have been devastating in a crowded movie theater – it's a bottom-loading, pump-action weapons that holds about four rounds.

    Assuming the small arsenal he brought with him was acquired legally (some of Colorado's gun laws are listed below) Holmes would have went through the required background check and passed given that reports of his criminal history include only the traffic ticket reported by NBC.

    In addition he seems to have purchased a full line of assault gear shown on the parking lot outside the theater. He was wearing a ballistic helmet, goggles, a gas mask, a ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, along with throat and groin protectors and black tactical gloves available at any law enforcement gear website

    It's curious that Holmes clearly came prepared to receive fire from law enforcement, but according to police he calmly gave himself up. It's also worth noting that this equipment would have cost several-thousand-dollars regardless of where it was purchased

    Shooter Gear

    Looking further at the same scene it appears there could be a police shield against the side of the building near the rest of the discarded gear.

    Shooter Gear

    Beside the shield and in front of the Hyundai Holmes drove to the Cinemaplex, there also looks to be dark, liquid splashes. The spots stretch from the bottom right of the picture below, to the door of the theater down the alley at the top.

    Shooter Gear

    Here's a summary of some of the gun laws in the Colorado Revised Statutes (via Angelo Young of the International Business Times):

    * Gun registration is not required.

    * Gun permits are not required to keep firearms in vehicles.

    * As of 2003, it is illegal for any local government or law enforcement agency to "enact an ordinance, regulation or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase or possess under state or federal law."

    * It is prohibited for law enforcement or local government to build databases of gun buyers or gun owners who leave weapons for repair or sale on consignment; people who transfer gun ownership unless they are federally licensed gun dealers; or serial numbers of guns bought, sold, dropped off for repair or left for sale on consignment.

    * There are no laws pertaining to bringing firearms from another state.

    SEE ALSO: Members Of The U.S. Military Among Casualties In Dark Knight Shooting >

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Intrepid

    The sections of the World War II-era aircraft carrier USS Intrepid open to the public are painstakingly restored and lovingly maintained.

    But restoration is expensive, and vast portions of the ship remain just as they were when the ship left naval service in 1974.

    Check out the pictures >

    During a recent tour of the ship, we visited parts of the vessel that have been untouched for nearly 40 years.

    Exploring this part of the ship we saw the Intrepid as it was in the spring of '74, when Nixon was neck-deep in the Watergate scandal, the Vietnam war still waged, and the Intrepid was finally decommissioned in Rhode Island.

    Well maybe not just as it was, after all, four decades have taken their toll on the 69-year-old carrier, but there were enough old personal items around to make us feel like the crew had just left.

    The USS Intrepid has been moored at Pier 86 since 1982 when it was converted into a museum



    While more than 915,000 people visit the aircraft carrier every year to look at the cordoned off sections of the ship on display...



    There are still parts of the ship that no one sees



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.


    0 0

    Ekranoplane

    In the thick of the Cold War, the Soviet Union built an immense vessel to carry their troops across the seas and into Western Europe.

    Equipped with nuclear warheads and able to blast across the sea at 340 mph, the Lun-class Ekranoplane; part plane, part boat, and part hovercraft — is a Ground Effect Vehicle (GEV).

    A GEV takes advantage of an aeronautical effect that allows it to lift off with an immense amount of weight, but limits its flight to 16 feet above the waves. Its altitude can never be greater than the length of the wings.

    Think of a large seabird, like a pelican, cruising inches from the water and not needing to flap its wings.

    The only complete Ekranoplane now sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

    While there is talk of refitting the Lun-class and getting the GEV back in the fleet, it's now rusting away, and was spotted by aviation blogger Igor113 who posted these pictures to his blog.

    The Lun-class Ekranoplane was used by the Soviet Navy from 1987 to the late 1990s



    Nearly 243 feet long, almost as big as the Spruce Goose, the Lun is a ground effect aircraft that can only fly near the surface of the sea



    Eight turbofans producing 28,600 pounds of thrust apiece are mounted at the nose of the aircraft



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.


    0 0

    Chemical Weapons

    It has been one week since the Wall Street Journal reported that Syrian forces were hauling chemical weapons out of storage to potentially lob against rebel fighters, and now Damascus officials say they won't hesitate to use them against foreign forces as well.

    The New York Times reports that officials issued the warning Monday to ward off Western intervention.

    From The Times:

    Over the past four decades, Syria has amassed huge supplies of mustard gas, sarin nerve agent and cyanide, according to unclassified reports by the Central Intelligence Agency.

    In a report to Congress covering last year, the C.I.A., referring to chemical weapons, said, “Syria has had a C.W. program for many years and has a stockpile of C.W. agents, which can be delivered by aerial bombs, ballistic missiles, and artillery rockets. We assess that Syria remains dependent on foreign sources for key elements of its C.W. program, including precursor chemicals.” In a similar report for 2006, the C.I.A. said Syria’s arsenal included “the nerve agent sarin, which can be delivered by aircraft or ballistic missile.” The report also said that Syria “is developing the more toxic and persistent nerve agent VX.”        

    So while Nawaf Fares, Syria's ex-ambassador to Iraq told the BBC last week that Syria's regime would "not hesitate" to use chemical weapons against its own people, the Times piece has Damascus officials saying they'd never do such a thing.

    It seems a minor distinction. If the regime is going to use them when it feels threatened, it probably doesn't matter much internally who they use them against. 

    What's of even greater interest is that the country seems to have officially confirmed they have chemical and biological weapons at all. 

    The Daily Beast reports the Director of National Intelligence believes that Iraq's chemical weapons may have been moved to Syria prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion:

    Whether or not sensitive weapons technology was moved to Syria is a hotly disputed question in the intelligence community. James Clapper, now the Director of National Intelligence and formerly the director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, said in 2003 that he believed materials had been moved out of Iraq in the months before the war and cited satellite imagery

    While that also is not a new suspicion it now has a far greater impact than it did nine years ago.

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    MOP

    Its been nearly eight months since the Pentagon sent its largest and most powerful bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), back to Boeing for modifications necessary to take out Iranian nuclear facilities, but the Air Force says it's now ready to go.

    Jeff Schogol at Defense News reports that Air Force Secretary Michael Donley says that while the MOP bomb continues to be refined and optimized, the Pentagon feels the 30,000 pound piece of ordnance is now sufficient to strike whatever targets the military may have in mind.

    While the bomb went back to the drawing board with Pentagon planners considering Iran a potential target, recent developments in Syria offer up alternate possibilities for the MOP's initial mission.

    Schogol mentions in his piece Defense Department spokesman George Little who said Tuesday that Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons are much on the minds of military planners: "I think I've been very clear," Little said, "as have others in the U.S. government, that it would be unacceptable not to secure them.”

    Securing those weapons could take different forms, from Jordanian special forces, to Turkish ground troops, to bombing campaigns. Though traditional bombings could cause the chemical weapons to be released into the environment, producing catastrophic effects on the ground. 

    The Heritage Foundation puts the number of facilities chemical weapons storage facilities at 50, but with Syria's recent deployment of the weapons, the number of locations at which the weapons are stored could change by the day. Most of these facilities would have to be secured by ground troops to prevent the chemicals release.

    But underground bunkers Syria may have at their disposal are another story. Independent Media Review & Analysis says Syria has 30 such bunkers, whether that number is accurate may be irrelevant, because there's little doubt Assad's regime have them — and that may be where the MOP bomb comes in.

    The MOP's modifications allow it to crash through 60 feet of reinforced concrete and detonate up to 200 feet below ground, giving it plenty of earth to cover up the chemical arsenal it's targeting.

    As the Syria situation continues to unfold it'll be interesting to see how this chemical weapons situation plays out. In the meantime, the Air Force wants the world to know it's ready to do its part.

    Now: Check out Syria's traditional military arsenal >

     

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    AMDR

    As the Navy directs its attention, and the majority of its fleet, to distant parts of the Pacific, concern about ship's safety becomes paramount.

    America's ships are getting expensive and the thought of a well placed missile sending one or more of them to the bottom of the ocean has surely caused more than one military planner a restless night.

    To help keep that from happening Raytheon has produced an elaborate Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) system for the Navy. 

    The AMDR uses a two bands of radar to asses incoming threats, determine the priority in which they need to be addressed, neutralizes the threat, and keeps monitoring the site to make sure the target is down and out.

    Raytheon released an animated video, via their website, that illustrates the AMDR's capabilities and how the design could protect the fleet, even in the face of a multi-pronged attack.

    The following is a series of screenshots from the video, and a description of what the radar targeting system is doing at various points its counterattack. 

    Our tour begins with a US task force traveling an unnamed body of water in hostile territory



    This task force consists of six destroyers defending a carrier — the lead destroyer is carrying the AMDR system



    Here's a cutaway from the lead ship, showing how the AMDR relays communications and radar waves — the yellow 'S' represents a particular band of radar



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.


    0 0

    Reddit user Envinoverdad posted this photo yesterday after taking it with an iPhone. The thread is tilted: Shell shocked soldier hiding at a fireworks show. The comments are from responses on the thread. I think the whole thing speaks for itself.

    From Envinoverdad: "I took the picture. There was a fireworks show at a local speedway. She walked out to the concession stand area and stood by herself. She covered her ears and cried uncontrollably the whole time. Some tried to console her, but she wanted no part in it. Possibly one of the most gut wrenching moments in my entire life. I was shaken and began crying hysterically after seeing this."

    PTSD

    From commenters: 

    Gypsyred: "I had a roommate who moved in with me shortly after leaving the hospital after his return from Afghanistan where he lost his leg. He was generally a cheerful, clear-thinking person who always seemed to be coping far better than I think I would have. That being said, he was still very much dealing with PTSD.

    He spent the Fourth of July rocking himself under the dining room table, much like this woman. All I could think to do was sit and hold his hand and tell him random stories. I think I kept talking about this aquarium I loved as a kid. I don't know if he even heard me because he seemed almost catatonic. We never talked about it."

    Unisolusa: "I have had this happen to me every year since my return from Iraq in 2008. My girlfriend has been by my side and held my hand and never once ask or question me about what happens or goes on in my head when I hear the fireworks start going off. It's the ones that whistle that get me. I was injured by a mortar blast at the beginning of 2008 and that whistle is such a distinct sound. I am glad to say I haven't lost my cool like a few of my friends do, but I do close my eyes, and cover my ears. ON occasion I do apparently rock back and forth but I never realize I'm doing it until someone mentions it later."

    Greiton: "my cousin (a huge marine tough guy that honestly i didn't think was scared of anything) got his first leave from Iraq over the forth of July several years back i remember sitting in the house with him as he was covering his ears crying and shaking. i cant imagine what kind of horrors he endured that would ever reduce him to tears in front of a group of people. our soldiers deserve all the respect and support we can give them."

    See the V-22 Osprey >

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Iran Speedboat

    It's getting easy to overlook the tired rhetoric and hollow tension surrounding Iran, the U.S. and Israel.

    It's been months, and months since the back-and-forth began. First, Iran's shutting the Strait of Hormuz, then it's saying it'd never shut the strait. Then Israel's planning a solo attack. No, they're not.

    It's frustrating, and more than a little confusing, but that doesn't mean the situation couldn't turn ugly at the drop of a hat.

    Joby Warick at The Washington Post reports improved Iranian weapons and an enhanced plan of attack could nail the U.S. fleet parked in the Gulf, and there may be little Navy officials can do about it.

    From The Post:

    [Iran's] emerging strategy relies not only on mobile missile launchers but also on new mini-submarines, helicopters and hundreds of heavily armed small boats known as fast-attack craft. These highly maneuverable small boats, some barely as long as a subway car, have become a cornerstone of Iran’s strategy for defending the gulf against a much larger adversary. The vessels can rapidly deploy Iran’s estimated 2,000 anti-ship mines or mass in groups to strike large warships from multiple sides at once, like a cloud of wasps attacking much larger prey.

    “This is the scenario that is giving people nightmares,” said [an] official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in discussing strategy for defending against a possible Iranian attack.

    We recently wrote on one strategy for thwarting a multi-pronged attack against a naval task force, but Raytheon's new system isn't up for handling the hundreds of heavily armed small boats officials believe Iran would send against the U.S. fleet.

    While Iran has called American ships in the region a threat, and Tehran has allowed nuclear discussions to seemingly fizzle, the latest round of sanctions are entering the final phase of Washington approval.

    Iran chicken crisisThe Iranian sanctions already in place are having quite a bite, with the cost of chicken doubling in the past year.

    The lack of enough chicken, a staple in the Iranian diet, has led Tehran's security forces to ban creative agencies from showing poultry in movies or on TV.

    The "chicken crisis" as it's being called, has seen many people take to the streets in protest, while others wonder how long it will be before the poor to take up arms against the rich.

    Assuming the next round of sanctions make matters worse, it seems reasonable to wonder when Tehran might decide it has little to lose, and accepts the Pyrrhic victory found in sinking a couple of U.S. Navy ships.

    With its flotilla of speedboats, fleet of submarines, and huge inventory of missiles and mines, Iran is in the position to inflict some damage on the U.S. fleet if for no other reason that it has such a wide array of vessels to attack.

    In addition to the more than 20 ships of the 5th Fleet stationed in Bahrain, there will be another strike group headed to the Gulf led by the carrier USS John C. Stennis. On top of this, four additional minesweepers arrived in the region last month to ensure shipping lanes remained open and undisturbed. Those craft joined the refitted USS Ponce which is being used as a forward staging base.

    To that end, 19 other countries will descend upon the Gulf September 16, with the U.S., to conduct an immense 11-day mine sweeping operation to practice mine countermeasures.

    So while the dialogue about Gulf developments can appear to be the same tired old mantra from yesterday, the situation continues to develop and it may not be Iran that strikes first.

    With both the U.S. and Israel blaming Iran for the Bulgarian terrorist bombing, it seems likely the two nations could be keeping score, and reach a point where they jointly launch a strike against the Muslim nation.

    If that happens, expect the U.S. to suffer casualties and the price of oil to go through the roof. Just don't expect to see it before the November elections.

     Now: See how the US may respond to a full-on attack >

     

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Ekranoplane

    The Lun-class Soviet Ekranoplane was a marvel of late 20th century technological prowess and the Soviets' considered it an integral part of their colossal military machine.

    I stumbled upon these pictures back in January when aviation blogger Igor113 posted them to Live Journal, but thought they deserved to be looked at again.

    Check out the photos >

    Maybe it was joining the Navy on an amphibious assault craft in May, or pondering the naval developments in the Persian Gulf for most of today, but something about this vessel implies the past is just a step away and maybe serves as a reminder to not take too much, too seriously.

    I like it and this is what I wrote about it early this year: Equipped with nuclear warheads and able to blast across the sea at 340 mph, the Lun-class Ekranoplane; part plane, part boat, and part hovercraft — is a Ground Effect Vehicle (GEV).

    A GEV takes advantage of an aeronautical effect that allows it to lift off with an immense amount of weight, but limits its flight to 16 feet above the waves. Its altitude can never be greater than its wingspan.

    Think of a large seabird, like a pelican, cruising inches from the water and not needing to flap its wings.

    The only complete Ekranoplane now sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

    While there is talk of refitting the Lun-class and getting the GEV back in the fleet, it's now rusting away, and was spotted by aviation blogger Igor113 who posted these pictures to his blog.

    The Lun-class Ekranoplane was used by the Soviet Navy from 1987 to the late 1990s



    Nearly 243 feet long, almost as big as the Spruce Goose, the Lun is a ground effect aircraft that can only fly near the surface of the sea



    Eight turbofans producing 28,600 pounds of thrust apiece are mounted at the nose of the aircraft



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.


    0 0

    Tent City provides shelter and a sense of community for homeless individuals living in a part of New Jersey where there are no homeless shelters. Before Reverend Steve Brigham started the encampment that has become known as Tent City there were many small camps in the woods around Lakewood, NJ, but they were poorly organized and none offered the security that Tent City.

    During a recent trip to Tent City, the camp was divided and the community that Reverend Steve has built seemed to be at risk of falling apart. In the video below, Reverend Steve explains how and why he started Tent City.

    Produced by Daniel Goodman and Robert Johnson

    Don't Miss:

    If You Thought 'Tent City' Was Bad Before, You Should See It Now

    How A Pro Eater Prepares For The Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest

    Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Terrorist Hiker

    With heightened scrutiny on Iran and every accusation a potential charge against the country should a military strike develop, this piece out of Bahrain is of interest.

    The Gulf Daily News reports an Iraq religious academy is training more than 1,500 Arabs in the use of combat weapons and fighting skills.

    Funded by an Iranian infusion of $1 million, the camp allegedly started training recruits late last week.

    From the Gulf Daily News:

    The training, which began yesterday at a camp about 5km away from a main road between Najaf and Karbala, is funded by Iran, our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej reports. Apart from members of Hawza Ilmiyya Najab, the religious academy, those being trained include citizens from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other Arab countries, the report adds.

    Their countries' national flags were flown over the main gate of the camp during the opening ceremony of the camp, it says. Mohmmed Redha Ali Al Sistani, son of Iranian religious scholar Ali Al Sistani; Iraqi Transport Minister Hadi Al Amiri; Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister and a senior member of Iraq Islamic Dawa Party Ali Al Adeeb; Iranian General Qasim Sulaimani and other members of the State of Law Coalition attended the ceremony. 

    Iranian terrorists have also been accused by India of an attack against an Israeli diplomat's wife in January.

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0


    USS WaspI wrote a piece recently on the long list of developments in the waters off Iran.

    It's something I think most military writers, and readers, think about a lot lately and while I can only speak for myself, it's getting hard to make the situation real for my readers.

    After spending three days on the USS Wasp in May and catching a glimpse of the people aboard the ships that make up the U.S. fleet, I know what's behind the names of the ships we list when describing a naval buildup.

    The sailors that populate the ships assigned there and what their lives are like, is where America's understanding falters. The Persian Gulf and sweeping for mines, it's abstract and I want to go for the minesweeping exercises in September and make it real.

    The 11 day exercises will bring together 20 countries to practice a worst-case scenario that might find the Strait of Hormuz, where nearly 40 percent of the world's oil passes, blocked by underwater mines. Iran has threatened to close the strait in the past and could attempt to do so if the U.S. attacks Tehran's nuclear facilities.

    I'd love to go cover this firsthand. If you're in a position to help my naval embark request along its way and get me onto a Navy ship to cover the joint exercise, please let me know: rjohnson@businessinsider.com

     

    Now: Check out the USS Wasp >

     

     

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    GBU-28 and F-15

    Following last week's announcement from the U.S. Air Force that its 30,000 pound bunker-buster bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), was ready for action, Iran's state-owned media outlet PressTV has published an angry reply.

    From PressTV:

    Moves this week by the United States to position specialized massive “Penetrator” bombs for an attack on Iran clearly demonstrate a total lack of grasp by key players of the risks involved and the chain of events that will inexorably follow.

    This week, a threat against Iran by the United States was published by the UK Telegraph. Peter Foster, of their Washington Bureau met with Mike Donnelly, US Air Force Secretary to question him about deployment of experimental “bunker buster” bombs...He has no combat experience and cannot fly an airplane. He is a perfect choice to run an Air force.   

    The dogging of Donnelly's lack of combat aviation experience kind of sums up the tone for the rest of the very long post.

    From there it calls the MOP's cost, effectiveness, and delivery into question:

    [The Massive Ordnance Penetrator] has never been successfully tested. Essentially, it is an 8” cannon barrel filled with high explosives hoped to be dropped from the B2 Stealth Bomber. Each B2 costs $2.1 billion dollars not to mention the $300 billion in design costs.

    It then goes on to to say there are concerns that dropping a "defective bomb on non-existent targets without rationale or legal authority" raises concerns.

    From there PressTV mentions it's also hoped, presumably by the U.S., that Iran has not modified its air defense like Serbia did in the '90s — a move that allowed it to shoot down "several" American stealth planes. The reference must be to the F-177A  taken down down over Serbia in 1999.

    The post then changes the MOP to MOb and says every member of Congress involved in the MOP project "have accepted large campaign contributions from Israeli sources in the past few months and are expecting more."

    The response is fascinating, and confusing in equal measure, but well worth checking out.

    The MOP was sent back to Boeing at the beginning of the year for modifications that would allow it to penetrate what was believed to be Iran's deep nuclear facilities.

    Though still undergoing enhancements and modifications the Air Force says the bomb is ready to take out whatever targets it has in mind. 

    It appears Iran is convinced those targets may be Tehran's alleged nuclear facilities.

    Check out the full piece here >

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Guam Submarine

    With the Pentagon's increased focus on the Pacific region, and deployment of 60 percent of its naval fleet to the area, the locations now being considered for bases could shape U.S. military policy for decades. 

    Guam has been a prime contender for years, but a new report out by the Center of Strategic and International Studies could bring that plan into reality.

    Brett Kelman at Pacific Daily News reports 109 unclassified pages of the document were released yesterday and outline a plan to move as many as 5,000 marines to the U.S. territory.

    While this is a few thousand troops less than originally planned, the report also recommends bringing more weapons systems than originally called for.

    If the White House agrees to the plan, which was drafted to reignite stalled efforts at a 2007 buildup agenda, the island could see three new submarines, a rotation of 12 B-52 bombers, and an extensive missile defense system to protect it all.

    Already hosting B-52 rotations, Submarine Squadron 15 which includes three Los Angeles class nuclear submarines, and Naval Special Warfare Unit One which includes three SEAL teams — and a specialized group to deliver the SEALs into hostile territories — the additional buildup would make Guam a sizeable outpost in the Philippine Sea.

    Guam is about 2,200 miles closer to Taiwan than Hawaii, already home to U.S. forces and the port facilities necessary to host and maintain fleet operations. 

    Given these considerations there seems little doubt that the island will see an increased U.S. military presence and we'll follow this up when additional information becomes available.

    In the meantime we'll start taking a look at other proposed bases in the Philippines, ThailandVietnam, and Singapore in the coming days.

    Now: See how the U.S. could protect itself against a full-on attack >

     

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »


older | 1 | (Page 2) | 3 | 4 | .... | 29 | newer