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Russia deploys chemical defense troops to Italy – Defence Blog


Russia reportedly is deploying its Troops of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence or RChB Defense to Italy.

Russia has loaded nine Il-76 cargo planes that flew to Italy, with eight mobile medical teams, medical equipment and aerosol disinfection trucks. Moscow also sent about 100 military specialists in virology and epidemics, one special military laboratory and 20 mobile disinfection vehicles.

Mobile complexes with equipment for diagnosis and disinfection were delivered to the Italian Air Force Practitioner de Mare airbase, located 30 kilometers south-west of Rome, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

In photos released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, the doors of military trucks bore signs with heart-shaped Russian and Italian flags that read: “From Russia with love” in Russian, Italian and English.

Putin spoke to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday, the Kremlin said, saying the Russian leader had offered his support and help in the form of mobile disinfection vehicles and specialists to help the worst hit Italian regions.

Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of almost 800 on Saturday, taking the toll in the world’s hardest-hit country to almost 5,000.

 

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Pentagon abandons plans to buy more Israeli missile defense systems – Defence Blog


The U.S. Department of Defense abandons plans to buy Israeli-made missile defense systems due to cyber vulnerabilities and other problems. according to The Times of Israel.

The Israel-based, English-language online newspaper has reported that U.S. military curbing its plans to adopt the Iron Dome missile defense system due to concerns about its compatibility with existing US technologies, scrapping its plans to buy two more batteries.

A central problem was Israel’s refusal to provide the U.S. military with Iron Dome’s source code, hampering the Americans’ ability to integrate the system into their air defenses.

Gen. Mike Murray, head of Army Futures Command, said the service identified a number of problems — including cyber vulnerabilities and operational challenges — during efforts last year to integrate elements of Iron Dome with the US Army’s Integrated Battle Command System.

“It took us longer to acquire those [first] two batteries than we would have liked,” Murray told the House Armed Service tactical air and land forces subcommittee on Thursday. “We believe we cannot integrate them into our air defense system based on some interoperability challenges, some cyber challenges and some other challenges.”

Last year, U.S.’s military magazine, Defense News, quoting the deputy in charge of the service’s air and missile defense modernization efforts, has announced that the contract to purchase two Iron Dome batteries for the U.S. Army’s interim cruise missile defense capability has been finalized.

“Now that the contract is set in stone, the Army will be able to figure out delivery schedules and details in terms of taking receipt of the systems,” Daryl Youngman told Defense News at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, on Aug. 8.

The Iron Dome is the world’s most-used system, intercepting more than 1,900 incoming targets with a success rate exceeding 90 percent since being fielded in 2011.

Iron Domedetects, assesses and intercepts a variety of shorter-range targets such as rockets, artillery and mortars. It is effective day or night and in all weather conditions including low clouds, rain, dust storms and fog. It features a first-of-its-kind multi-mission launcher designed to fire a variety of interceptor missiles.

The system can protect deployed and maneuvering forces, as well as the Forward Operating Base (FOB) and urban areas, against a wide range of indirect and aerial threats.

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U.S. forces again blocked Russian military patrols in northeast Syria – Defence Blog


U.S. forces again blocked Russian military patrols from entering the Kurdish-controlled areas in the vicinity of the town of Tel-Tamr, in the northern countryside of Al-Hasakah.

According to press reports, American military personnel again have allegedly blocked Russian military convoys trying to gain access to key oil fields in Al-Hasakah province, and the Russian forces then apparently turned back and returned to their home base.

Several armored vehicles carrying American soldiers stopped Russian military vehicles west of Al-Hasakah province while they were trying to reach the M4 highway to reach key oil fields in the province.

The tensions between U.S. and Russian military forces in northeastern Syria have been escalating as both sides try to gain control over key oil fields in the region.

According to Al-Masdar, the U.S. and Russian forces have repeatedly blocked one another from using the roads under their control in northeastern Syria, creating a cold-war-like situation in the Al-Hasakah Governorate.

Although U.S. President Donald Trump declared a decisive victory over the Daesh terror group and launched American soldiers’ withdrawal process in December 2018 – saying defeating Daesh was the sole reason for American presence in the country – the Trump administration adjusted that mission last year by assigning several hundred U.S. troops to remain to guard oil fields from the terror group, which used Syrian fuel as a key income source during its rise.

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U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle catches fire in Poland – Defence Blog


A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle caught fire in Poland Saturday afternoon.

The incident according to an eyewitness happened near Gorzekaly village in northern Poland on 18 January.

As firefighters arrived, they found a Stryker armored vehicle involved in flames, according to Orzysz 998 volunteer fire brigade. Four fire brigades took part in the firefighting operation: WSP Bemowo Piskie, OSP Drygały, OSP Orzysz, JRG Pisz.

No one was injured in the fire. Two Soldiers were in the vehicle at the time the fire began and reported hearing a loud noise before smoke began seeping into the back of the cab.

The eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle is the U.S. Army’s Stryker Brigade Combat Team primary combat and combat support platform. Significantly lighter and more transportable than existing tanks and armored vehicles, the Stryker fulfills an immediate requirement to provide Combatant Commanders with a strategically deployable (C-17/C-5) and operationally deployable (C-130) brigade capable of rapid movement anywhere on the globe in a combat ready configuration.

The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) combines the capacity for rapid deployment with survivability and tactical mobility. The Stryker vehicle enables the team to manoeuvre in close and urban terrain, provide protection in open terrain and transport infantry quickly to critical battlefield positions.

Photo by Orzysz 998
Photo by Orzysz 998

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Boeing achieves significant milestone with new Laser Weapon System – Defence Blog


The world’s largest aerospace company Boeing announced that its Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) recently completed a series of key demonstrations with the U.S. Air Force and Army.

The high-energy 5kW CLWS successfully completed several demonstrations of its capabilities, validating its readiness for deployment, according to a recent company news release.

Test operators used handheld, game-style controllers to acquire, track and disable small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in flight. With the CLWS in a fixed-site configuration on a standard shipping container, the first-time system operators successfully defeated approximately 30 targets.

“We received great feedback on the ease of use and maturity of the CLWS system, and its seamless integration into the command and control (C2) network,” said Boeing CLWS Program Manager Kurt Sorenson. “In the past year, Boeing has demonstrated CLWS capabilities with first-time military operators at five test venues. They successfully engaged and defeated hundreds of UAVs with a very high success rate.”

CLWS contains an integrated counter-Unmanned Aerial System package, including a radar system for detection and a high-resolution sensor system for target identification and aimpoint selection. During the MFIX engagement, the system was successfully tasked to provide target verification using its “slew to cue” capability, which allows the radar sensor to tell the camera where to point and engage the target.

Two other High Energy Laser (HEL) weapons originally developed and delivered by Boeing were also successfully demonstrated: the Army Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser (MEHEL) on the STRYKER platform, and the large-aperture, higher-power Army High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (HELMTT).

“Boeing’s continuous development of a range of high-energy laser weapons, from the Compact Laser Weapon System to higher-power, tactical-class systems, demonstrates the maturity of the technology,” said Ron Dauk, Boeing Laser & Electro-Optical Systems program manager. “Our proven CLWS systems are ready to provide Force Protection capability for Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) to today’s warfighter.”

Boeing delivered multiple CLWS units in 2018 to a U.S. Department of Defense customer. These units have been deployed overseas for nearly six months as part of a limited user evaluation.

CLWS on Container at Ft. Sill. The Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) successfully demonstrated defeat of fixed and rotary wing targets in the fixed-site container configuration during the Ft. Sill demonstrations. Photo courtesy of the Boeing Company.

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Pentagon concerns spike in pro-Russian sentiment among U.S. troops – Defence Blog


The U.S. military officials have concerned the spike in pro-Russian sentiment among the households of military members.

More than 1,000 U.S. adults responded between Oct. 24 and Oct. 30, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points to the second annual national defense survey conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. Almost 46% of the households of military members viewed Russia as an ally even considering the increase in tension between the two countries.

The Voice of America has reported that while a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concerned.

“There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion,” Defense Department spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason told VOA.

“This is not only through discordant and inflammatory dialogue but through false narratives designed to elicit sympathetic views,” she said, adding, “we are actively working to expose and counter Russian disinformation whenever possible.”

The Deutsche Welle reported that in order to manipulate public discussions, especially in times of elections or referendums, information providers controlled by the Kremlin have purposefully disseminated disinformation, extremely hyperpartisan news and populist narratives. This is not an extension of pluralism of opinion through balanced and objective information that is acceptable in the sense of a free public sphere, but rather illegitimate interference.

These novel disinformation campaigns exploit the increased information overload experienced by people in the digital world. They flood the information space with a multitude of lies, half-truths or absurd news.

A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the Russian propaganda uses every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to users’ interests to influence they.

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“Mystery” missile battery spotted on roof of building across street from White House – Defence Blog


NBC News reported Tuesday that the White House and the U.S. Capitol were put on temporary lockdown following an airspace violation in Washington D.C., according to law enforcement sources.

The Secret Service said in a statement that the brief lockdown was due to a “potential violation of the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region.”

During lockdown also was spotted point of mystery air defense system atop a building across the street from the White House.

Sara Cook, a CBS News producer covering the White House, tweeted out an image showing a missile battery in the roof of a building near the White House.

Andrew Leyden wrote in response to Sara Cook tweet: “There are several types of anti-aircraft missile batteries around DC, near DCA, JBAB, Carderock and other locations. That one you spotted was actually put in place many many years ago.”

According to some sources, the air defense system that was spotted is an element of AN/TWQ-1 Avenger pointed on the roof of the New Executive Office Building (NEOB), a U.S. federal government office building in Washington, D.C.. The building is located at 725 17th Street NW, on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue. To the south is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), which is next to the White House.

The Drive said that the AN/TWQ-1 is more typically seen mounted on a Humvee, but can be positioned in fixed emplacements, as well. It is armed with the two four-round launchers for the FIM-92 Stinger missile and a .50 caliber M3P machine gun.

Another Twitter user wrote: “Isn´t it quite normal that in/around Washington DC and especially around the hill/White House several defense installations are available? I would be more confused if there are not such things in place?!…as well as they hopefully change positons random to screw up observers!”

As to ‘lockdown’, U.S. Capitol Police confirmed that access to the Capitol Complex buildings was halted “for a short time.” The situation was cleared at 9:12 a.m., Capitol Police said, about 45 minutes after the aircraft was first reported in the restricted airspace.

A spokesperson for NORAD said in a statement later Tuesday that the object could have been “a flock of birds or a weather balloon.”

The event was “resolved without incident,” the spokesperson said.

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U.S. Army orders 30mm automatic chain guns – Defence Blog


The U.S. Army has awarded a contract to Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, part of Northrop Grumman, to deliver 30mm automatic chain guns and bevel gears.

The contract, from U.S. Army Contracting Command and announced by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $8 million.

According to a statement issued Friday, Alliant Techsystems Operations was awarded an $8 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of the M230 30mm automatic gun and the bevel gear.

The U.S. Department of Defense also noted that work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 19, 2024.

The M230 chain gun is a 30mm, single-barrel automatic cannon developed by Hughes and now manufactured by Northrop Grumman. It is an electrically operated chain gun, a weapon that uses external electrical power (as opposed to recoil or expanding gas generated by the firing cartridge) to cycle the weapon between shots.

A 30mm automatic M230 chain gun is located under the fuselage. It provides a rate of fire of 625 rounds a minute. The helicopter has a capacity for up to 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

The gun has a positive cook-off safety for open bolt clearing and double ram prevention. Spent casings are ejected overboard through the bottom of the gun.

Photo by Capt. Brian Harris

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