Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Conduct First East Coast Flight of X-47B Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Conduct First East Coast Flight of X-47B Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft
*Flight Adds Momentum to Team's Preparations for Carrier Suitability Testing
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Northrop Grumman
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 31, 2012: The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator has successfully completed its historic first flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent (Pax) River.

The 36-minute flight – the first for the tailless, strike-fighter-sized aircraft since it was transported to the Navy base in June from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. – was successfully completed on July 29 at 11:36 a.m. Eastern time. It marks the first time a tactical unmanned aircraft has been fully integrated into the air traffic patterns and the command and control structure of the Pax River flight test complex.

"This flight of the X-47B is the first time an autonomous, carrier-capable unmanned system has flown at Pax River," said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman. "It's also a major milestone for the program as the Navy/Northrop Grumman team prepares the aircraft to enter carrier suitability testing this fall, the last major phase of testing before we begin carrier trials in 2013."

Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the Navy's UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The company designed and built two X-47B demonstrator aircraft for the program, which is managed by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

During the flight, which comprised two precision racetrack patterns over the Chesapeake Bay, the aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 7,500 feet and a maximum air speed of 180 knots.

"This flight makes two critical points for the Northrop Grumman/Navy Integrated Test Team," said Daryl Martis, Northrop Grumman's X-47B test director. "It validates the performance of the aircraft demonstrated during its initial flight testing at Edwards, and it proves that we've successfully implemented the command and control structure required to operate the X-47B safely from Pax River."

Martis reported that the flight reconfirmed the aircraft's aerodynamic performance, and the performance of its propulsion and flush air data systems. Mission operators also confirmed that the aircraft responded correctly to commands from its onboard guidance, navigation and control system.

The team of mission operators for the first Pax River flight included Lt. Cmdr. Brian Loustaunau, U.S. Navy, NAVAIR's lead flight test project officer on the UCAS-D program.

"It's very significant to have a Navy mission operator fully integrated into test operations during the X-47B's first flight at Pax River," said Loustaunau. "The team is performing well and looking forward to our next phase of testing."

During the flight, the aircraft communicated with a shore-based version of the aircraft carrier systems that will help guide the X-47B to precision landings on the carrier deck, which are located in the Navy UCAS Aviation/Ship Integration Facility at Pax River.

In 2013, the UCAS-D program plans to demonstrate the ability of the X-47B to safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, and air traffic control operations. Those trials will be followed by a demonstration of autonomous aerial refueling in 2014. The program also plans to mature technologies required for potential future Navy unmanned air system programs. For the latest X-47B news and information, please visitwww.as.northropgrumman.com/products/nucasx47b/.

Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D industry team includes GKN Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Eaton, GE, Hamilton Sundstrand, Dell, Honeywell, Goodrich, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace and Rockwell Collins.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
CONTACT: Brooks McKinney, APR
         (310) 331-6610 office
         (310) 864-3785 mobile

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Northrop Grumman
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Japan Expert Panel To Assess Safety Of US Military Aircraft

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Japan Expert Panel To Assess Safety Of US Military Aircraft
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources RTT
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 26, 2012: Japan has set up a panel of experts to make its own assessment on the safety of the U.S. military's Osprey transport aircraft brought to the country on Monday.

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto presided over the first meeting of the panel, headed by Defense Ministry's Deputy Director-General for Policy Tetsuro Kuroe, on Wednesday.

Other members include a Self-Defense Force helicopter pilot, an aircraft accident investigator from the Transport Ministry, and an expert in aeronautical engineering. The team plans to visit the United States sometime over the next few weeks to interview U.S. military officials about the cause of the recent Osprey accidents and measures to prevent a recurrence. They will also observe emergency training for Osprey pilots.

A series of accidents involving Osprey, including one in Morocco in April and another in the U.S. state of Florida in June, has triggered concerns in Japan over the planned deployment of the aircraft at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma air station in Okinawa prefecture.

Morimoto said he hoped the experts would carefully investigate the accidents and provide an objective view so that people's apprehension about the aircraft's safety could be removed, Japanese media reported.

A fleet of 12 MV-22 Ospreys arrived on Monday at the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni air station in Yamaguchi prefecture, despite objections from local residents.

The Marines plan to conduct test flights near the base next month and begin full operations of the aircraft at the Futenma air station in Ginown, Okinawa prefecture, in early October.

Officials of 14 prefectures hosting U.S. bases have asked the Foreign Ministry details on the training flights over Japan which is having about 50,000 American soldiers on its soil as part of a bilateral military pact.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources RTT
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Lockheed Martin Delivers Another Super Galaxy

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS:  Lockheed Martin Delivers Another Super Galaxy
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 26, 2012: Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] delivered the fifth production C-5M Super Galaxy to the Air Force, July 20, 2012, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

The Super Galaxy is the eight overall C-5M for the Air Force and will undergo internal paint restoration at Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., before traveling to its permanent home at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

The Super Galaxy is America’s premier global direct delivery weapon system and the only strategic airlifter capable of linking the homeland directly to the warfighter in all theaters of combat without refueling.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

The C-5 is a large high-wing cargo aircraft. It has a distinctive high T-tail, 25 degree wing sweep, and four TF39 turbofan engines mounted on pylons beneath the wings. The C-5 is similar in layout to its smaller predecessor, the C-141 Starlifter. The C-5 has 12 internal wing tanks and is equipped for aerial refueling. It has both nose and aft doors for "drive-through" loading and unloading of cargo. The C-5 is also known as FRED (fucking, sometimes written as "fantastic", ridiculous, economic/environmental disaster) by its crews due to its maintenance/reliability issues and large consumption of fuel.

A total of 52 C-5s are contracted to be modernized, consisting of 49 B-, two C- and one A-model aircraft through the Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program (RERP). Over 70 changes and upgrades are incorporated in the program, including the newer General Electric engines. Five C-5M Super Galaxies have been produced. The RERP upgrade program is to be completed in 2016.

The first C-5A was delivered to the USAF on 17 December 1969. Wings were built up in the early 1970s at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, Charleston AFB, Dover AFB, Delaware, and Travis AFB, California. The C-5's first mission was on 9 July 1970, in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. C-5s were used to transport equipment and troops, including Army tanks and even some small aircraft, throughout the later years of the US action in Vietnam. In the final weeks of the war, prior to the Fall of Saigon, several C-5s were involved in evacuation efforts; during one such mission a C-5A crashed while transporting a large number of orphans.

C-5s have also been used to deliver support and reinforce various US allies over the years. During the Yom Kippur war in 1973, multiple C-5s and C-141 Starlifters delivered critical supplies of ammunition, replacement weaponry and other forms of aid to Israel, the US effort was named as Operation Nickel Grass. The C-5 Galaxy's performance in Israel was such that the Pentagon began to consider further purchases. The C-5 was regularly made available to support American allies, such as the British-led peacekeeper initiative in Zimbabwe in 1979.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Lockheed Martin
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DTN News - AIRLINES NEWS: Boeing Delivers Nippon Cargo Airlines' First 747-8 Freighter

DTN News - AIRLINES NEWS: Boeing Delivers Nippon Cargo Airlines' First 747-8 Freighter
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 25, 2012: Boeing (NYSE: BA) has delivered a 747-8 Freighter to Narita-based Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA), marking the Japanese debut for the 747-8. The new airplane is NCA's first 747-8 Freighter on order with Boeing.

"We are excited to take delivery of this new fuel-efficient freighter, which will be a perfect addition to NCA's cargo fleet," said Takuzo Nomura, Senior Executive Managing Director, NCA. "The 747-8 Freighter will provide improved economics and efficiency as well as environmental benefits that are all essential in today's market."
The airline currently operates eight 747-400 Freighters with two 747-400 Freighters on lease with other airlines.
"Nippon Cargo is a longtime partner and valued customer of the Boeing Company," said Brad McMullen, vice president of Japan and Oceania Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We will continue to work closely with Nippon Cargo as they integrate the new 747-8 Freighters into their all-Boeing fleet and help to strengthen their commitment as a market leader."
The environmentally focused Nippon Cargo Airlines will also undertake its first biofuel flight with this milestone 747-8 Freighter delivery. The new airplane will become the first 747-8 to use a blend of environmentally progressive biofuels (jet kerosene and used cooking oil) to fly across the Pacific Ocean. 
Nippon Cargo Airlines, one of the launch customers for the 747-8 Freighter in 2005 and also part of a team that helped develop the aircraft, plans to begin revenue service with its new 747-8 Freighter by mid-August on Asia and North American routes.
The 747-8 Freighter will provide double-digit improvements in fuel burn, operating costs and lower emissions over the 747-400 Freighter. The 747-8 Freighter also provides 16 percent more revenue-generating cargo volume and boasts a significantly improved environmental performance. Per tonne-kilometer, its carbon dioxide emissions are 16 percent lower than those of the 747-400 Freighter. It also reduced its noise footprint by more than 30 percent. 
Kevin Yoo
BCA International Communications
+1 206-249-6372

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

Monday, July 23, 2012

DTN News - SYRIA UNREST: Syria 'Will Not Use' Chemical Weapons On Its Own People

DTN News - SYRIA UNREST:  Syria 'Will Not Use' Chemical Weapons On Its Own People
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources BBC
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 23, 2012:  Syria has said it will not use chemical weapons against its own people, but would do so against an external attack.

Acknowledging their existence for the first time, Damascus said the weapons, stored and secured by the armed forces, would never be used "inside Syria".

Rebels have told the BBC's Paul Wood in Syria that they are encouraged by the killing of four top security officials.

But the refugee crisis has deepened, and Iraq has announced it is opening its borders to help people flee.

An estimated 1.5 million people are homeless within Syria, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which says the number is rising.

'External aggression'
"Any chemical or biological weapons will never be used, I repeat, will never be used in the Syrian crisis, no matter what the internal developments in this crisis are," Mr Makdissi said, at a news conference broadcast on Syrian state TV.

"All varieties of these weapons are stored and secured by the Syrian armed forces and under its direct supervision, and will not be used unless Syria is subjected to external aggression."

Until now, Syria has never officially confirmed it has chemical weapons. It is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which outlaws production.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said "it would be reprehensible if anybody in Syria is contemplating use of such weapons of mass destruction like chemical weapons".

While Damascus's acknowledgement that it has such arms adds a new dimension, it is not in itself significant, says Leonard Spector of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in the US.

"This has been part of the military balance for decades," he has told the BBC news website.

The West and Israel have been deeply worried that Syria might use its stocks of chemical weapons, says the BBC's Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon.

On 16 July, the most senior Syrian politician to defect to the opposition told the BBC the government would not hesitate to use chemical weapons if it were cornered.

Nawaf al-Fares, Syria's former ambassador to Iraq, said unconfirmed reports indicated such weapons might have already been used.

However, the opposition has not reported any use of chemical weapons.

Aleppo offensive
Meanwhile, Arab League foreign ministers have urged President Assad to resign rapidly, offering him safe passage. They say the opposition should form a transitional government.

Rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) told our correspondent undercover with them near Damascus that the once-feared secret police is now a spent force, and the government is relying entirely on a weakened military.

They say the deaths of four men, including the defence minister and President Assad's brother-in-law, in a Damascus bombing on 18 July, were a severe blow to the government.

But parts of the capital that had fallen into rebel hands have been recaptured by government forces.

State TV on Monday showed images of troops going house-to-house and kicking down doors in Damascus, searching for rebel fighters.

Continued clashes were reported in the northern city of Aleppo.

Rebels launched a new offensive at the weekend, vowing to take the city completely and use it as a base for liberating the whole country.

Videos posted online on Monday showed jubilant rebel fighters in the Sakhour district.

State TV played down the scale of the violence, saying troops were merely hunting down "terrorists".

The most senior Turkish diplomat remaining in Syria, the consul in Aleppo, has been withdrawn for consultations.

Turkey and Lebanon have taken in thousands of refugees in camps near the Syrian border and the UN refugee agency says its staff are building a camp in Jordan as well.

Around 1,000 people are arriving in Jordan every day and the agency says the site at Za'atri should be able to cope with more than 100,000 refugees.

Tighter sanctions
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has announced another 20m euros for "emergency medical care, shelter, food and water to those Syrians most affected by the ever-worsening crisis, both inside and outside the country".

The aid coincided with a decision by EU foreign ministers to tighten EU sanctions on the Syrian government.

EU member states will be required to send inspectors to board planes and ships on their territory believed to be carrying weapons or suspicious supplies to Damascus.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called for more support for the opposition, "including helping them prepare for Syria after Assad".

Russian airline Aeroflot is to end flights to Damascus from 6 August, citing lack of demand.

On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 19,106 people had been killed since March 2011. The UN said in May that at least 10,000 people had been killed.

Syria blames the violence on foreign-backed "armed terrorist gangs".

In June, the Syrian government reported that 6,947 Syrians had died, including at least 3,211 civilians and 2,566 security forces personnel.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources BBC
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: Colorado Shooting Suspect Makes First Appearance In Court

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: Colorado Shooting Suspect Makes First Appearance In Court
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Gillian Flaccus and Nicholas Riccardi — The Associated Press / The Globe And Mail
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 23, 2012: Wearing orange-red hair and looking dazed, the man accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage at the opening of the new Batman movie appeared Monday in court for the first time.

With his eyes at times downcast, James Holmes sat in a maroon jailhouse jumpsuit as the judge advised him of the case.
Mr. Holmes, 24, has been held in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility since Friday. Mr. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and he could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.
Authorities have disclosed that he is refusing to cooperate and that it could take months to learn what prompted the horrific attack on midnight moviegoers at a Batman film premiere.

Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday her office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims' families.
Mr. Holmes has been assigned a public defender, and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the former doctoral student has “lawyered up” since his arrest early Friday, following the shooting at an Aurora theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, some critically.
“He's not talking to us,” the chief said.
Mr. Holmes has been held without bond at the lockup in Centennial, Colo., south of Denver and about 13 miles from the Aurora theater.
His hearing is at the same complex, and security there was tight early Monday. Uniformed sheriff's deputies were stationed outside, and deputies were positioned on the roofs of both court buildings at the Arapahoe County Justice Center.
Police have said Mr. Holmes began buying guns at Denver-area stores nearly two months before Friday's shooting and that he received at least 50 packages in four months at his home and at school.
Mr. Holmes' apartment was filled with trip wires, explosive devices and unknown liquids, requiring police, FBI officials and bomb squad technicians to evacuate surrounding buildings while spending most of Saturday disabling the booby traps.
Investigators found a Batman mask inside Mr. Holmes' apartment after they finished clearing the home, a law enforcement official close to the investigation said Sunday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.
Officials at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus were looking into whether Mr. Holmes used his position in a graduate program to collect hazardous materials, but that disclosure was one of the few it has made three days after the massacre. It remained unclear whether Mr. Holmes' professors and other students at his 35-student Ph.D. program noticed anything unusual about his behavior.
His reasons for quitting the program in June also remained a mystery. Mr. Holmes recently took an intense oral exam that marks the end of the first year. University officials would not say if he passed, citing privacy concerns.
Amid the continuing investigation of Mr. Holmes and his background, Sunday was a day for healing and remembrance in Aurora, with the community holding a prayer vigil and President Barack Obama arriving to visit with families of the victims.
Mr. Obama said he told the families that “all of America and much of the world is thinking about them.” He met with them at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, which treated 23 of the people injured in the mass shooting; 10 remain there, seven hurt critically.
Congregations across Colorado prayed for the shooting victims and their relatives. Elderly churchgoers at an aging Presbyterian church within walking distance near Holmes' apartment joined in prayer, though none had ever met him.
Several thousand gathered for healing at the vigil Sunday night.
“You're not alone, and you will get through it,” said the Rev. Kenneth Berve, pastor at Grant Avenue United Methodist Church and a witness to Friday's horrors. “We can't let fear and anger take control of us.”
Meanwhile, the owner of a gun range told the AP that Holmes applied to join the club last month but never became a member because of his behavior and a “bizarre” message on his voicemail.
Mr. Holmes emailed an application to join the Lead Valley Range in Byers on June 25 in which he said he was not a user of illegal drugs or a convicted felon, said owner Glenn Rotkovich. When Mr. Rotkovich called to invite him to a mandatory orientation the following week, Mr. Rotkovich said he heard a message on Mr. Holmes' voicemail that was “bizarre — guttural, freakish at best.”
Mr. Rotkovich left two other messages but eventually told his staff to watch out for Holmes at the July 1 orientation and not to accept him into the club, Mr. Rotkovich said.
The pastor for the suspect's family recalled a shy boy who was driven to succeed academically.
“He wasn't an extrovert at all. If there was any conversation, it would be because I initiated it, not because he did,” said Jerald Borgie, senior pastor of Penasquitos Lutheran Church. Mr. Borgie said he never saw the suspect mingle with others his age at church. He last spoke with Holmes about six years ago.
“He had some goals. He wanted to succeed, he wanted to go out, and he wanted to be the best,” Borgie said. “He took pride in his academic abilities. A good student. He didn't brag about it.”
During the attack early Friday, Mr. Holmes allegedly set off gas canisters and used a semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol to open fire on theater-goers, Chief Oates said. Mr. Holmes had bought the weapons at local gun stores in the past two months. He recently bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.
The gunman's semiautomatic assault rifle jammed during the attack, forcing him to switch to another gun with less firepower, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press. That malfunction and weapons switch might have saved some lives.
Chief Oates said a 100-round ammunition drum was found in the theater, but he said he didn't know whether it jammed or emptied.
The shooting was the worst in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.
*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Gillian Flaccus and Nicholas Riccardi — The Associated Press / The Globe And Mail
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - RIMPAC 2012: Royal Canadian Army During Multi-National Military Exercise RIMPAC In Hawaii / Pacific Nations Seeking 'Insurance' At War Games

DTN News - RIMPAC 2012: Royal Canadian Army During Multi-National Military Exercise RIMPAC In Hawaii / Pacific Nations Seeking 'Insurance' At War Games
*China isn't invited but remains unspoken presence
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Pictures of The Day + U~T  San Diego
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 23, 2012: Soldiers of the 1st Platoon A Company of the Royal Canadian Army advance on the objective with an observer from the United States Marine Corps (L) during live fire training for the multi-national military exercise RIMPAC at Pohakuloa Training Area on the island of Hawaii July 22, 2012.

China’s bullying behavior, and growing military muscle, has led to an explosion of interest from other Pacific nations in American-run naval war games this month.

One expert said Pacific nations are looking for an “insurance policy” against the possibility of China becoming a great but ugly power.

Led by the U.S. Navy’s San Diego-based Third Fleet, the Rim of the Pacific international maritime exercises off Hawaii include 22 nations, a 50 percent increase from two years ago. For the first time, Russia is a player.

“A lot of these countries interested in doing these exercises have China in the back of their mind,” said Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum CSIS, a Honolulu think tank on Asia policy.

“If you have an 800-pound gorilla roaming your front yard, you’d like to have a 1,600-pound gorilla in the living room,” he said, referring to the United States. “And we’re housebroken.”

These every-other-year exercises, launched in 1971 with Canada and Australia, are not new. But experts say the United States, which some in Asia see as a declining power compared to China, has more to prove this year. The White House’s January announcement of a military “pivot” toward Asia comes at the same time as sweeping defense spending cuts.

“The assurance that the United States wants to send out is that the talk of our demise is greatly exaggerated. That not only do we have the strength to continue to play the role in the region that we have, but we have a commitment to do so,” said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at Honolulu’s East-West Center.

“The United States, though, is struggling to make that message believable because of its financial crisis.”

China was not invited to these war games, known widely as RIMPAC. The U.S. Third Fleet’s Gerald Beaman, the three-star Navy admiral in charge of the exercises, said the policy is not new and was set well over his head.

In 1998, the United States allowed a small Chinese contingent to observe RIMPAC. But that was before Congress in 2000 restricted American-Chinese military contact and required an annual report on the Chinese defense picture.

According to the latest China report in May, Beijing announced an 11 percent jump this year in its military budget to $106 billion, though actual spending is believed to be higher. By any count, China is continuing more than two decades of defense spending growth, which includes ambitions to make a second-hand aircraft carrier operational this year and deliver an advanced fighter jet as early as 2018, the report said.

In the past few years, China has upset its neighbors in the South China Sea by making claims to natural resources around the Spratly Islands that are still unresolved.

China severed military ties with the United States in early 2010 over American arms sales to Taiwan. High-level discussions between U.S. and Chinese defense leaders has slowly resumed since 2011.

While RIMPAC revved up in Hawaii, Adm. Samuel Locklear, the four-star admiral who leads U.S. Pacific Command, visited Chinese defense officials in June.

Private Dvon Bradley (L) and Private Josh Nelson of the 1st Platoon A Company of the Royal Canadian Army advance towards the objective during live fire training for the multi-national military exercise RIMPAC.

Response from China to RIMPAC 2012 has been cool. A June 29 editorial in the English-language Global Times, opined that China may be “lonely” but not isolated by the Hawaii war games.

“The exercise is nothing but a big party held by the U.S., which is in a melancholy state of mind due to difficult realities,” the newspaper wrote.

“We will think that the exercise enhances the U.S. central position and isolates China. However, whether or not the U.S. has such intentions, an Asian geopolitical landscape with an isolated China is unlikely to come about.”

For the 25,000 international troops attending, the war games are a chance for those who brought ships and planes to practice shooting at targets in the Pacific Missile Range Facility, the world’s largest.

Off Kauai, it boasts 1,100 square miles of underwater space where acoustic sensors give military commanders detailed feedback on how their shots went off.

For large Pacific nations, this is a chance to practice working together, such as refueling each other’s aircraft. The idea is, when the next crisis hits the Pacific — as some say is inevitable, with the 2011 Japanese earthquake an example — it won’t be difficult for responding nations to work together.

For nations that sent only troops, such as Tonga, Indonesia and Malaysia, it’s a chance to learn. Activities include amphibious landings, anti-piracy training, mine clearing and diving and salvage operations and disaster-assistance drills.

New Zealand has returned to RIMPAC, after strained relations with the United States since 1984 over New Zealand’s objections to nuclear weapons.

The frayed ties began to mend when Kiwi troops participated in Afghanistan and further improved after joint security agreements in 2010 and this year. New Zealand troops came to Camp Pendleton last month to train with U.S. Marines, who had gone there in May.

But the nuke dispute has meant U.S. warships can’t dock in New Zealand, and New Zealand’s two warships weren’t allowed to tie up in Pearl Harbor with the other RIMPAC vessels, which caused a flap in Kiwi media.

New Zealand and its neighbor Australia both see their futures in amphibious ships, which are different from most warships because they transport troops and put them ashore. New Zealand bought its first modern amphib, the Canterbury, in 2008. Australia is expecting its first, the Canberra, to enter service in 2014 and the Adelaide to follow.

But neither country has a Marine Corps. So they are training army soldiers to work from ships, a cultural sea change. Australian and New Zealand military spokesman touted the ability to use amphibs to respond to humanitarian crises.

Out of 46 vessels present, Russia supplied three, a destroyer, salvage tug and tanker.

The Russians declined an interview request, according to a U.S. Navy spokesman. But Third Fleet’s Beaman said the contingent was involved in gunnery exercises, diving and salvage, anti-piracy and maritime security training.

Russia has also participated in naval exercises with China in recent years.

Cossa of the Pacific Forum said Russia is taking another look at Asia, where it has run hot and cold in the past, with the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency.

The U.S. Navy spent $2.3 million on RIMPAC in 2010 — not counting the fuel used and salaries of U.S. troops involved, which the Navy says would gone toward training anyway.

The increased interest in the exercises apparently cost the United States only a bit more. Third Fleet officials say the price tag will likely go up 15 percent when the bills are tallied this year.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Pictures of The Day + U~T  San Diego
*Link for  Pacific Nations Seeking 'Insurance' At War Games - China isn't invited but remains unspoken presence
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com