China makes first aircraft carrier out of Soviet warship.
RT.com 8 June, 2011, 13:15
A senior Chinese general has for the first time officially confirmed that the country is building an aircraft carrier. According to experts and media reports, the vessel is the half-built Soviet warship Varyag, which China bought and is completing.
The ship is not ready yet, Colonel General Chen Bingde, head of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) general staff said in an interview with Hong Kong Commercial Daily.
His aide Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo said the ship, when it is ready, will serve as a floating training camp for Navy pilots. It will not be sent on missions to territorial waters of other countries “unlike some other nations do,” the general said.
While not officially confirmed, defense experts believe that the aircraft carrier is the multi-role Soviet Varyag. The ship was about 60-70 per cent complete when funding stopped in 1992 after the USSR collapsed.
Ukraine, which took ownership, auctioned the vessel in the late 1990s, with the Chinese offering the highest bid of $20 million.
It was believed that Varyag would be examined by military engineers to copy technology and later sold to a private company to be used as an entertainment facility. This was what happened to two other Soviet aircraft carriers Kiev and Minsk, which China bought too.
However, PLA chose to complete the carrier for its Navy. In April 2011, Chinese media published unofficial photos and cited unnamed sources as saying that the ship is almost ready for sea trials. Reportedly renamed Shi Lang, the ex-Varyag is docked at the Dalian shipyard in Liaoning province, Northeast China.
Last Edit: Jun 9, 2011 16:50:52 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Stealth JH-7 Fighter? China is developing another fifth-generation fighter.
China-defense-mashup.com Posted By admin On June 9, 2011 @ 2:59 am In China Air Force, Chinese Defense Industry News | 13 Comments
2011-06-09 (China Military News cited from en.rian.ru) -- Photographs of an unknown Chinese fighter jet appeared on Internet forums on Wednesday, sparking speculation that the country has developed the world's second fifth-generation fighter.
The U.S. F-22 Raptor is currently the world's only operational fifth generation fighter plane.
The Chinese photograph depicts parts of an unknown combat plane standing at an aerodrome. The air scoop and part of the pilot's cabin lamp, shown in the picture, resemble the shapes of fifth-generation plane parts and appear to be closely related to the Chinese J-20 prototype.
Some resources say that this new one is the stealth version of JH-7 attacker
The Chengdu J-20 is a fifth generation stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese army's Air Force.
China has a reputation for releasing photos of new military hardware on unofficial military websites before it announces them publicly. In January, amateur photographs showing preparations for testing China's fifth generation fighter J-20 were released on the Internet. Chinese media later confirmed the information.
Russia is testing its own fifth generation aircraft T-50 PAK FA developed by the Sukhoi design bureau. The aircraft is expected to become operational in 2015.
A U.S.-led international consortium is also working on a new F-35 multi-purpose fighter.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 16, 2011 13:42:03 GMT -5
I wonder what happened to the Russian Stealth Bomber program...they are so hush hush until stuff is ready to be revealed or they claim program has stopped but really hasn't, like with T-50 or the next battletank.
Hmmm...Iran sure isn't Iraq, Libya n others, US empire would get buried there I think.
Iran Sends 2nd Home-Made Satellite to Orbit.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran successfully sent its second domestically-made satellite named 'Rasad' (Observation) into orbit, redisplaying the country's independence in its space program.
On auspicious birth anniversary night of Imam Ali ibn Abu-Taleb (P), pride-inspiring technicians of IRI Aerospace Org (IAO) successfully launched Iran's Rasad satellite into earth space Wednesday evening.
The competent IAO scientists and technicians who had the experience of launching Iran's 1st national satellite, Omid (Hope), into the earth space last year, whose main mission was image taking, and all phases of its design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, and preparation for being launched into the space were both initiated and completed inside the country, Iran's 2nd domestically produced satellite, Rasad, was launched successfully into the space on Wednesday evening.
Rasad satellite which weighs 15.3 kilograms and is designed to be launched into the 260 kilometer orbit of the earth is scheduled to rotate around the earth 15 times in 24 hours.
Rasad satellite's mission is establishing contact with earth stations, obtaining orders from those stations, image taking from the earth, and dispatching those images along with telemetry information back to the earth stations.
The topology and structure of the of the earth stations of Rasad satellite, too, are designed in a way to provide the possibility for maximum access to Rasad through them, obtaining information from it, and forwarding commands to it at ease for the operators in charge.
Iran has recently taken wide strides in aerospace. The country sent the first biocapsule of living creatures into space in February, using its home-made Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
Iran announced in February that it plans to unveil and send two recently-built satellites into space in the near future.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had also earlier announced that the country plans to send a home-made measurement satellite into orbit in the near future.
"Iran's measurement satellite will be launched into space from an Iranian launch-pad and will have an Iranian exchange station and control station," Iranian president said late 2010.
Ahmadinejad further noted Iran's plans for sending astronauts into space in 2024, and said that the issue had gone under a second study at a cabinet meeting and that the cabinet had decided to implement the plan in 2019, five years earlier than the date envisaged in the original plan.
Omid (hope) was Iran's first research satellite that was designed for gathering information and testing equipment. After orbiting for three months, Omid successfully completed its mission without any problem. It completed more than 700 orbits over seven weeks and reentered the Earth's atmosphere on April 25, 2009.
After launching Omid, Tehran unveiled three new satellites called Tolou, Mesbah II and Navid, respectively. Iran has also unveiled its latest achievements in designing and producing satellite carriers very recently.
A new generation of home-made satellites and a new satellite carrier called Simorgh (Phoenix) were among the latest achievements unveiled by Iran's aerospace industries.
The milk-bottle shaped rocket is equipped to carry a 60-kilogram (132-pound) satellite 500 kilometers (310 miles) into orbit.
The 27-meter (90 foot) tall multi-stage rocket weighs 85 tons and its liquid fuel propulsion system has a thrust of up to 143 tons.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations' Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), which was set up in 1959.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 16, 2011 13:45:30 GMT -5
Hmmm...hope it's true, but they didn't say the name of this new radar..
‘Iranian military can detect stealth aircraft’
TEHRAN, June 13 (MNA) -- Iran has developed a technology that can detect radar-evading aircraft, Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili said in Tehran on Monday.
“The Khatam-ol-Anbiya Air Base has the capability of detecting, identifying, pursuing, and targeting any kind of stealth planes and any kind of cruise missiles of the enemy,” explained Ismaili, who is the commander of the air base.
“It has been 32 years that we have been hearing the threats of the United States and its allies, but we have not lost sight of these threats, and the more we are threatened, the more vigilant we become, and the more sanctions are imposed on us, the more progress (we) make,” he noted.
Iran has manufactured highly advanced missile and radar systems and the country has no problems in this regard, he added.
He went on to say that the U.S. always threatens nations that do not act in its interests, but Iran has no enmity toward any country.
However, the Islamic Republic will respond to any country that seeks to take aggressive action against it, he added.
In January, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced that the Iranian military forces had downed two foreign spy planes over the Persian Gulf.
He also stated, “We have constant clashes with the enemy’s surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.”
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 28, 2011 11:12:31 GMT -5
China boosts naval power with carrier program: sources.
By Ben Blanchard and Benjamin Lim – Wed Jul 27, 12:41 pm ET
BEIJING (Reuters) – China is building two aircraft carriers as part of a military modernization program that is causing concern among other Asian countries, sources said on Wednesday.
President Hu Jintao has made the navy a keystone of China's defense upgrade and the carriers will be among the most visible signs of its rising military prowess.
China is ramping up its military spending as the United States considers cutting its defense budget, although Washington still far outspends China on security and is much more technologically advanced.
"Two aircraft carriers are being built at the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai," one source with ties to China's Communist Party leadership told Reuters, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the program.
The Defense Ministry has confirmed the existence of one carrier, a former Soviet vessel which was bought from Ukraine in 1998 and was once destined to become a floating casino.
That will be used for training and research purposes, ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said, seeking to reassure other countries that China would stick to its defensive military policy.
But he said it had a right to protect its extensive maritime territory and coast.
"This is the sacred responsibility of China's armed forces," Geng said in a statement.
"Building a carrier is extremely complex. We are currently refitting an old aircraft carrier, to be used for research and testing."
"An aircraft carrier is a weapons platform; it can be used for offensive or defensive purposes. It can also be used to maintain global peace and for rescue and relief work," he added.
Geng gave no timetable for starting sea trials but said pilots were being trained to operate from the carrier.
Sources with ties to the Communist Party and the military said that the ship would likely be based in the southern island province of Hainan, which sits atop the trade lanes of the sensitive South China Sea.
China has been flexing its muscles more aggressively in those waters, where a territorial dispute with Taiwan and several nearby countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, has festered for years.
Geng said the timing "had nothing to do" with the tension there though the message will be clear to many in Asia.
"China can now project its power to even further away from its coastline," said Alexander Huang, professor of strategic studies at Taiwan's Tamkang University.
"That will have significant security implications to forces operating in the Western Pacific, including the U.S., Japan and Australia, so this is a watershed development."
The carrier will add to regional concerns about China's military modernization and arms build-up. Defense spending is rising fast and Beijing continues to test new high-tech equipment, including a stealth fighter.
"China's next moves have to be watched carefully, or there eventually could be a negative impact on maritime safety in Asia," said Yoshihiko Yamada, a professor at Japan's Tokai University.
Xinhua news agency said it was the first time the government had confirmed it was pursuing a carrier program.
WORST KEPT SECRET
The old Soviet carrier's refitting has been one of China's worst-kept military secrets. Pictures of it sitting in Dalian harbor have circulated on Chinese websites for months, and it has been widely discussed in state media.
China would be the third Asian country to have a carrier after India and Thailand but it will take time before it can go to sea in Asian waters that have largely been the domain of the U.S. Navy since World War Two.
"It will be a long while before China develops a fully-fledged carrier capability, it will take a long time to train the necessary crews... it may be up to decade until China has carrier capability," said Tim Huxley, director for defense and military analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore.
For Beijing, the rationale of an aircraft carrier is more than just about modernizing a navy whose most notable engagements of the past few years have been skirmishes in the South China Sea with some of the other claimant nations.
Sending naval vessels further afield, to the waters off Somalia to fight pirates, and through the southern Japanese islands, has also partly been about ensuring trade routes are protected.
China frets about the powerful U.S. military presence close to its shores, in particular U.S. bases in Japan and South Korea, and Washington's close but unofficial ties with Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.
"Aircraft carriers are essential for China primarily to defend its territory and territorial waters and bring a semblance of parity among the world's big powers," Wang Baokun, a defense studies professor at Beijing's Renmin University, wrote in the China Daily earlier this month.
(Additional reporting by Daniel Magnowski in Singapore, Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo and Christine Lu in Taipei; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
Interview: Military experts say China deserves aircraft carrier for national security.
2011-07-28 22:49:35 by Xinhua writer Yan Hao
BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese military experts Thursday said the country, surrounded by foreign aircraft carriers, must have aircraft carriers to safeguard national security and development.
The Chinese government on Wednesday confirmed that the country was refitting a Soviet-era aircraft carrier.
Military experts interviewed by Xinhua on Thursday said China is surrounded by foreign aircraft carriers and other large-tonnage warships cruising in the waters it faces.
Currently, China is the only nation among five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council that does not have an active-service aircraft carrier.
"The U.S. operates 11 carrier battlegroups and has deployed six of them to the Pacific region," said Real Admiral Yin Zhuo, director of the Expert Consultation Committee of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
China's neighbors such as India and Russia also have carriers and continue developing their weapon systems, while Japan and the Republic of Korea have acquired large-tonnage warships which could be used as aircraft carriers depending on if they can purchase the vertical landing F-35B jets, Yin said.
"Other countries should not be surprised by China's refitting of a carrier for training purposes," said Li Jie, a researcher with the PLA Navy's Academic Research Institute.
India, for instance, was the first country in Asia to have a carrier after World War II. It bought the British HMS Hercules in 1957 and renamed the carrier Vikrant. In 1986, India bought another British carrier HMS Hermes and refitted it to its current active-service INS Viraat.
In 2004, India continued its purchase of foreign carriers with the acquisition of the Russian decommissioned Admiral Gorshkov. One year later, the country started building its indigenous carrier scheduled to come into service in 2014, according to Li.
The researcher noted that the USS George Washington, perhaps the closest carrier to China, is now forward-deployed at Yokosuka base in Japan.
In addition, China also faces several large-tonnage warships which have combat effectiveness equivalent to light aircraft carriers, Li said.
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force currently has two 18,000-metric ton Hyuga-class helicopter carriers, although the warships are classified by Japan as "helicopter destroyers."
Yin said the PLA navy's current defense capability could not answer the requirements of its missions.
"The navy's aviation forces and ships can not form a coordinated power in the high seas," Yin said, adding that the navy learned from task forces deployed to the Somali waters and Libya that an aircraft carrier is a must to better protect national security and interests.
"China's pursuit of an aircraft carrier will not pose a threat to other countries, and the Western nations should accept and be used to the reality that we are developing the carrier."
Du Wenlong, a researcher with the PLA's Academy of Military Science, said that refitting an imported carrier for research and training is just like making a draft for an article.
"The draft might be totally deleted in the future, but its value for reference is irreplaceable," Du said, noting that the most valuable treasure of the refitted carrier is help the PLA build a carrier battlegroup and how to use such vessels.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 14, 2011 15:59:46 GMT -5
Second Spaceplane flight failure raises questions on future.
The Washington Times Thursday, August 11, 2011 By Shaun Waterman
Pentagon scientists pledged to press on with work on a $308 million futuristic unmanned spaceplane despite the failure Thursday of a second test flight when they lost contact with the vehicle during maneuvers.
"We'll learn. We'll try again. That's what it takes," said Regina Dugan, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which ran both tests.
But some observers said there would now be a question mark over the program's future.
The Falcon HTV-2, as the experimental weapon is called, blasted off at 10:45 a.m. ET from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California atop a solid-fuel rocket made from a decommissioned ballistic missile.
Just outside the atmosphere, the wedge-shaped plane separated as planned from the rocket and began its glide back to Earth, reaching speeds up to 13,000 mph -- almost 20 times the speed of sound. This hypersonic velocity should enable it to reach a target anywhere on the planet within minutes and smash into it with huge explosive force -- but it also heats the vehicle's skin to 3,500 degrees.
Thursday's plan was for a 30-minute, 4,000-plus-nautical-mile test flight, ending with the Falcon crashing into the ocean just north of a U.S. military test site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.
But, instead, engineers lost contact with the plane just a few minutes into the flight. The loss of contact came after the plane entered its glide phase, when the onboard autopilot attempts maneuvers to direct its trajectory toward the target. "It was not a good day" for DARPA, said Mark J. Lewis, an aerospace professor at the University of Maryland and the former chief scientist of the Air Force, told The Washington Times.
"Obviously, the best outcome would have been for the vehicle to have completed the flight successfully, at the target," he said. "This has got to be a disappointment."
DARPA said in a statement an "anomaly" caused the loss of the signal.
"Initial indications are that the aircraft impacted the Pacific Ocean along the planned flight path," the agency said, adding it would convene an investigation by independent engineers to find out what happened.
The Independent Engineering Review Board for the first test flight in April 2010 concluded that the vehicle began to roll so violently that the autopilot lost control, also during the glide phase. The plane, which employs a controversial new aerospace design, is designed to self-destruct by crashing into the ocean if that happens.
After a series of ground tests, DARPA pushed ahead with a second test flight, saying it would learn from data gathered during the first. DARPA did not say Thursday exactly how far into the second flight they lost contact and did not return phone or email messages requesting comment.
A statement from Air Force Maj. Christopher Schulz, the Falcon program manager, on the agency's website pledged to learn from the second test flight as well and press on again.
"We know how to boost the aircraft to near space. We know how to insert the aircraft into atmospheric hypersonic flight. We do not yet know how to achieve the desired control during the aerodynamic phase of flight," Maj. Schulz said. "It's vexing; I'm confident there is a solution. We have to find it," he added.
Nonetheless, the future of the program appeared in doubt Thursday. Mr. Lewis said that the program had been funded for two test flights only, and that scientists were hoping the Air Force would keep the program going. "There's got to be a question mark over that now," he said.
The Falcon is part of U.S. effort -- known as Conventional Prompt Global Strike, or CPGS -- to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional weapon in less than an hour.
CPGS is a new class of weapons that officials hope will address recent threats, such as terrorist nuclear weapons, and help reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons as a strategic option.
"The services are under tremendous budget constraints right now," said hypersonic flight advocate Richard P. Hallion, the former chief historian of the Air Force.
But he urged the Pentagon to push ahead with other approaches to hypersonic flight, which he called "a critical defense technology."
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 16, 2011 11:01:18 GMT -5
Pakistan let China see crashed U.S. "stealth" copter.
ISLAMABAD | Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:58pm EDT
(Reuters) - Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown U.S. "stealth" helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The disclosure, if confirmed, is likely to further shake the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, which has been improving slightly after hitting its lowest point in decades following the killing of bin Laden.
During the raid, one of two modified Blackhawk helicopters, believed to employ unknown stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.
"The U.S. now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad," the paper quoted a person "in intelligence circles" as saying on its website.
It said Pakistan, which enjoys a close relationship with China, allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed aircraft as well as take samples of its special "skin" that allowed the American raid to evade Pakistani radar.
One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters there was reason to believe Pakistan had allowed the Chinese to inspect the aircraft. But the official could not confirm it happened with certainty.
No one from the Pakistani army was available for comment, but the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Pakistan's top spy agency, denied the report. The paper said Pakistan's top general, chief of army staff Ashfaq Kayani, denied that China had been given access.
The surviving tail section, photos of which were widely distributed on the Internet, was returned to the United States following a trip by U.S. Senator John Kerry in May, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy told Reuters.
Shortly after the raid, Pakistan hinted that it might give China access to the helicopter, given its fury over the raid, which it considers a grievous violation of its sovereignty.
"We had explicitly asked the Pakistanis in the immediate aftermath of the raid not to let anyone have access to the damaged remains of the helicopter," the Financial Times quoted the source as saying.
In an incident such as the helicopter crash, it is standard American procedure to destroy sophisticated technology such as encrypted communications and navigation computers.
Pakistan is a strategic ally to the United States but the relationship has been on a downward spiral since the killing of the al Qaeda leader in the raid by U.S. forces.
Islamabad was not informed in advance and responded by cutting back on U.S. trainers in the country and placing limits on CIA activities there.
The fact that the al Qaeda chief lived for years near the Pakistani army's main academy in the northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad reinforced suspicions in Washington about Islamabad's reliability in the war against militant Islamists.
There are also growing frustrations with Pakistan over its reluctance to mount offensives against militant factions in the northwest who are fighting U.S.-led foreign forces across the border in Afghanistan.
In a show of displeasure over Pakistan's cutback in U.S. trainers, its limits on visas for U.S. personnel and other bilateral irritants, the United States has suspended about a third of its $2.7 billion annual defense aid to Pakistan.
Despite this, both sides have tried to prevent a breakdown of relations.
The head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, visited the United States last month for talks with U.S. government and intelligence officials, which both sides said went well.
Despite the billions in aid, Pakistan still considers China a more reliable ally than the United States. China is a major investor in predominantly Muslim Pakistan in areas such as telecommunications, ports and infrastructure. The countries are linked by a Chinese-built road pushed through Pakistan's northern mountains.
Trade with Pakistan is worth almost $9 billion a year for Pakistan, and China is its top arms supplier.
In the wake of attacks that left 11 people dead in the China's western region of Xinjiang in late July, Pakistan dispatched the ISI's Pasha to Beijing.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 18, 2011 15:36:54 GMT -5
UPDATE 1-New Chinese stealth jet starts talk of Russian help.
By Thomas Grove
MOSCOW, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Similarities between a new Chinese fighter jet and a prototype Russian plane have led to suggestions that Moscow may be quietly helping Beijing compete with the world's military powers.
Experts say the fifth-generation J-20 fighter, which made its maiden flight in January during a visit of the U.S. defense secretary, could have its origins in the Mikoyan 1.44 stealth jet that never made it to the production line.
A highly placed source close to Russia's defence industry said the similarities suggested Mikoyan technology had been passed into the hands of Chinese arms designers.
"It looks like they got access... to documents relating to the Mikoyan -- the aircraft that the Ministry of Defence skipped over in its tender to create a stealth fighter," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He said it was not clear whether such a transfer of technology had been legal. Analysts say Russia's assistance to the Chinese may help Moscow keep tabs on the rising military power's defence capabilities of its eastern neighbour.
Independent analyst Adil Mukashev, who specialises in ties between Russia and China, suggested there had been a financial transaction.
"China bought the technology for parts, including the tail of the Mikoyan, for money," he said.
China's Defence Ministry declined a request for comment. Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which oversees production of the Mikoyan jets, denies any technology or design transfer took place with China.
Only the United States has an operational fifth-generation fighter, which is nearly impossible to track on radar. Russia is working to start serial production of its prototype craft in the next five to six years.
China's creation of such a plane would put the country into an elite group of military powers, although analysts say it will take years to perfect the craft.
The source said Chinese officials had been invited to the plane's first public display when Russia was in the early stages of creating a fighter jet to compete with the U.S. F-22.
Rival designer Sukhoi was eventually contracted to help build the fighter and the Mikoyan 1.44, which lacks the radar-evading engineering of the U.S. F-22, was passed over.
DEVELOPING MILITARY TIES
Russia, the world's top energy producer, has fed China, the largest energy consumer, with natural gas and oil in its fast rise to become a global power. But it has been unable to keep up with China's military spending, which was second only to the United States' in 2010.
Relations between the two countries are cordial but, in a sign that the two sides are suspicious of each other, Moscow is boosting its military capabilities in Russia's Far East to defend its position in resource-rich Siberia.
China, once a big buyer of Russian tanks, helicopters and jet fighters, has slowed its purchases from Moscow as its own production grew but military ties remain.
"It wouldn't be the first time for Russians to do this," Stratfor Senior Analyst Lauren Goodrich said of the possibility that China had received help from Russia.
"As long as it can control all the components, then Russia can not only control the production of such weaponry but would also know the signatures of the more advanced weaponry the Chinese have," she said.
China's ambassador to Russia, Li Huei, was quoted last year as saying defence cooperation with Russia was moving beyond the buying and selling of weapons.
Beijing is also trying to boost its naval power and its first aircraft carrier had its maiden voyage this month. The re-fitted Soviet craft was bought from Ukraine.
"The Chinese aerospace industry is booming and developing rapidly," said Mikhail Pogosyan, head of UAC.
"In the aerospace industry what matters is the experience you have -- not only to start a project but to see it through," he said on the sidelines of Russia's premiere air show, MAKS. (Additional reporting by Sabrina Mao in Beijing)
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 31, 2011 18:16:56 GMT -5
Iran inches closer to nuclear weapons.
22:55 30/08/2011 RIA Novosti military commentator Konstantin Bogdanov
Iran has acknowledged that it possesses new technologies that could bring it closer to developing nuclear weapons and more advanced missiles. The international community is finding it more and more difficult to restrain Tehran, and increasing the country's political and technological isolation could have dire consequences.
Smuggling to evade sanctions
Iran is now capable of producing carbon-plastic composite materials in violation of UN sanctions. Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Wahidi said his country is among ten nations in the world that can manufacture them. Associated Press quoted Wahidi as saying that this new capability will eliminate a bottleneck in Iran's production of modern military systems.
Carbon-plastic composites play a key role in the production of modern solid-propellant rocket engines. Given Iran's efforts to develop long-range solid-propellant missiles, Wahidi's ostentatious announcement should worry detractors.
Composite materials are a highly sensitive dual-purpose technology, whose export to various "unreliable" countries is closely monitored. Iran began to experience restrictions in its pursuit of this technology in 2004, but it apparently bypassed international sanctions by resorting to smuggling the necessary components.
In 2005-2006, it was reported that some companies in Gulf countries, registered in the name of Iranian nationals, were illegally importing metal-ceramic composites from China and India.
Metal-ceramic composites are an extremely interesting special material. It is virtually impossible to build the fuel assemblies of nuclear reactors without them. They are also used in jet engines due to their unique heat-resistant properties.
Iran has successfully smuggled both carbon-plastic composites and metal-ceramic composites into the country, two essential technologies it had lacked.
As for missile technology, Iran is steadily mastering the so-called Category II, a list of critical dual-purpose items not subject to sanctions but which have a direct bearing on Iran's ability to produce modern missiles. Iran is also making progress on nuclear technologies.
It appears that the Iranian defense industry is becoming increasingly able to advance its nuclear-missile program without substantial foreign technology transfers.
Arab nations in the Middle East have at times invested heavily in their hi-tech defense programs, primarily nuclear projects, but their economies were too backward in terms of engineering, production and human-resource capabilities to make much progress independently.
There was generally a "secret facility" built with substantial foreign assistance. A wide range of key equipment was imported, with foreign specialists completing a number of onsite operations. This arrangement made Arab nuclear projects extremely vulnerable, and resulted in surgical strikes against vital elements of the potentially dangerous production facilities.
Israel took full advantage of the situation. In 1981, Israeli bombers destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor at the Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Center near Baghdad during Operation Opera. Analysts say the Israeli strike virtually halted the entire Iraqi nuclear program. In September 2007, Israeli warplanes hit an unspecified facility in Syria. Some reports claim that the facility was part of Damascus' nuclear program.
Both air strikes accomplished their objectives. The nuclear weapons programs of Arab regimes unfriendly to Israel slowed down considerably. However, sending in the cavalry against Iran will not have the same success. Israel is unable to mount such an attack on Iran, and not because of the distance between the two countries. In 1976, for example, Tel Aviv conducted a spectacular hostage rescue operation at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. That was an extremely difficult objective because Israeli special forces had to be illegally redeployed over the Red Sea, Somalia and Ethiopia's Ogaden Desert.
The problem is that Iran's level of industrial and technological development is far beyond that of Syria and Saddam's Iraq. Israel itself has indirectly acknowledged this. "With Iran it's a different project. There is no one silver bullet you can hit and that's over," a senior Israeli defense official told Reuters.
Iran has a strong science education system. Iranian students perform fairly well at international physics and mathematics Olympiads.
It appears that opponents of Iran's nuclear program will soon have to stop treating the Iranian regime as a big, dumb kid who wants a nuclear bomb to scare its neighbors. Sooner or later, Iran's right to possess the most advanced military technologies, including nuclear weapons, will have to be addressed in earnest.
This right will be exercised in a painful manner for Iran's neighbors if the international community continues to pursue tougher measures to contain Tehran's technological development and to isolate it politically, without offering any alternative for elevating the Iranian state to that level of international politics that Tehran has de facto attained.
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Nov 28, 2019 11:30:45 GMT -5
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Jan 10, 2020 14:27:01 GMT -5
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Apr 19, 2020 4:29:09 GMT -5
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TheChornyvolk: No. But you can lick my ass, instead.
Jul 24, 2020 2:37:47 GMT -5
Raskolnikov: And get an STD? no way
Aug 5, 2020 11:06:27 GMT -5
Raskolnikov: I changed my opinion. Now I want!
Aug 9, 2020 15:46:12 GMT -5
White Cossack: WTF is going on here? That's Slavija, not Spermia.
Aug 30, 2020 13:48:17 GMT -5