Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Russia, Kazakhstan to conduct joint war games on Oct. 3

Russia, Kazakhstan to conduct joint war games on Oct. 3 (NSI News Source Info) ASTANA - October 1, 2008: Troops from Russia and Kazakhstan will conduct joint maneuvers near the Kazakh city of Almaty on October 3, the Central Asian country's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. The drills, named Aldaspan-2008, will include command-and-staff exercises and tactical maneuvers. They will engage Kazakh staff officers and airmobile troops, as well as Russian Air Force officers and aircraft, and a special-purpose group of the General Staff. The two countries, both members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), are set to conduct joint naval anti-terrorism exercises in the Caspian Sea in 2009. The CSTO is a security grouping also comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Russia has recently been strengthening military ties with Eurasian allies amid growing tensions over NATO expansion and U.S. missile shield plans for Central Europe.

Russia plans to raise defense expenditure by 50% in 3 years

Russia plans to raise defense expenditure by 50% in 3 years (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - October 1, 2008: Russia is planning to increase its spending on defense by 50% in the next three years, a senior MP said Tuesday. Russia's defense budget is believed to be less than a tenth of the United States', but the country's military expenditure has been steadily growing in the past few years. "According to a draft federal budget for 2009-2011, expenditure on national defense will increase in 2009 by 25.7% from 1.02 trillion rubles ($40 billion) to 1.28 trillion rubles ($51.3 billion) and would account for 14% of total budget spending," said Viktor Zavarzin, chairman of the Defense Committee in Russia's lower house of parliament. He also said that by 2011 the total defense expenditures would increase by 45.6% compared with 2008. A large portion of additional expenditures would go toward raising salaries and improving the living conditions of military personnel, he added. Russia is soon to adopt a new military doctrine that aims to transform the Armed Forces into a mobile and effective military force. Their structures will be "optimized" through the use of combined arms units performing similar tasks. President Dmitry Medvedev said last week that Russia would make the modernization of its nuclear deterrent and Armed Forces a priority in the decade up to 2020. "We must ensure air superiority, precision strikes at land and sea targets, and timely deployment of troops," Medvedev said. "We are planning to launch large-scale production of warships, primarily, nuclear submarines with cruise missiles and multi-purpose attack submarines." Russia's Defense Ministry earlier said it would spend around 1 trillion rubles ($40 billion) of federal budget funds in 2008, 20% more than in 2007, and that in 2008-10 military spending would account for 15.5-16% of total federal budget spending.

Russian warship visits naval base near Kyoto

Russian warship visits naval base near Kyoto (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - October 1, 2008: A Russian warship from the Pacific Fleet has made a port call at the Maizuru naval base in Japan's Kyoto Prefecture, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday. Maizuru hosts a key district headquarters for Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force. "Today, the Admiral Panteleyev large ASW ship accompanied by a rescue tugboat arrived at the Maizuru port on an unofficial visit," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo told RIA Novosti. The visit is part of the Pacific Fleet's agenda of annual activities in international waters. "The Russian vessels will participate in joint exercises with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force and practice coordinated maneuvering and communications," Dygalo said. The Admiral Panteleyev is an Udaloy-class destroyer that serves as an anti-submarine warfare platform fitted with a variety of ASW weapons and limited surface-to-air defense capabilities. The unofficial visit of the Russian ships to Japan will last until October 3, the spokesman said.

Israel Asks To Buy F-35s: Pentagon

Israel Asks To Buy F-35s: Pentagon (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - October 1, 2008: Israel has asked to buy up to 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal worth as much as $15.2 billion if all options are exercised, the Pentagon said Sept. 30. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the sale initially would be for 25 fighters designed for conventional take off and landing. But Israel would have the option of buying another 50 of the aircraft, either designed for conventional take off and landing or for short take off and vertical landing, the agency said. "The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as 15.2 billion dollars," it said in a statement. The F-35 is a stealthy new multi-role fighter built by Lockheed Martin that is intended to replace the F-16. Israeli officials have said they plan to buy 100 fighters over the next decade. It was unclear how soon delivery of the aircraft might begin. The DSCA disclosed the proposed sale in a notification to Congress, which has 30 days to raise any objections to the sale. A deal would then have to be concluded with the Israelis. "It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives," the DSCA said. "Israel needs these aircraft to augment its present operational inventory and to enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability," it said.