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Showing posts from January 10, 2013

Three minutes worldwide news

Intelligence and Human Networks

By Tristan Reed

Stratfor views the world through the lens of geopolitics, the study of hard, physical constraints on man's ability to shape reality. Political decisions are limited by the geography in which they take place, eliminating many of the options concocted by ideologues and making their human decisions easier to predict. But the study of geopolitics only takes the understanding of global affairs so far: It identifies the geographical constraints but leaves an array of options open to human actors. So when forecasting on a shorter time frame, analysis must go beyond geographical constraints to more specific, temporal constraints. For this reason, predicting the short-term activities of human actors requires an understanding of the constraints they face in the human terrain within which they operate.

As a result, one task common to any intelligence organization is defining the human network of a state, criminal organization, militant movement or any other organization to bett…

US Army employing new Intelligent Micro-Grid as the technology proliferates

Intelligent Micro-Grid system technology developed for the US Army is finding its way to the private commercial sector, even as the army continues to guide further research and development enhancements.
Seeking to eliminate diesel generators, the army awarded Arista Power Inc - a startup manufacturer, designer, and integrator of renewable energy generation, management, and distribution systems - a nearly million-dollar development contract in January 2012 for phase one development of a new Intelligent Micro-Grid.
The system falls under the aegis of the Renewable Energy for Distributed Under-Supplied Command Environments programme, guided by the US Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center.
Arista Power delivered the initial Intelligent Micro-Grid to the army and demonstrated the system at the US Department of Defense (DoD) during the Pentagon's Energy Security Event in October 2012. The second phase, also a nearly million-dollar contract, was aw…

Gaza conflict could show shape of wars to come

The brief 2012 Second Gaza War was largely a "push-button war" between Palestinian rocket teams hidden in bunkers and tunnels, and Israeli operators in command shelters and Israeli pilots delivering precision-guided munitions, said Uzi Rubin of the Rubicon defence technology consulting organisation during a presentation to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, DC, on 18 December 2012. The ground forces had remained on the sidelines in what might be a glimpse of the shape of future wars, he suggested. 1155585An Israeli photographer captured this view of four incoming rockets during the 2008 war against Hizbullah. Israeli analyst Uzi Rubin believes that this sort of push-button war fought with missiles and precision-guided munitions could become common. (Israeli Police) Prospective Gulf conflicts with Iran might unfold along similar lines of static "push-button wars", he believed. Active and passive defence of population centres, national inf…

China unveils new strategic transport aircraft

By Robert Foster

The first images of the X'ian Aircraft Corporation's (XAC's) long-expected Y-20 large transport aircraft appeared on 24 December, marking a critical milestone in the nearly 20-year programme to develop an indigenous strategic transport aircraft for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). According to Chinese reports, these early images of an early taxi test were taken at the Yanliang test airfield near the XAC plant on 21 December. These early images confirm longstanding expectations that the Y-20 would be a large wide-body, four-turbofan engine-powered, high-wing and high T-tail configured military transport, with design influences from the Ilyushin Il-76 'Candid' and Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The Y-20 uses a wing-fuselage interface similar to that used by the Il-76, producing a pronounced hump atop the forward fuselage, while its wide body, empennage, and T-tail are similar to the C-17. As such, it appears that the Y-20 wi…

US special forces to trial prototype dry submersibles

By Richard Scott


US submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat has been selected by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to lead the design and build of a prototype 'dry' submersible for evaluation by the naval special forces community.
The USD44.3 million contract award is intended to provide USSOCOM with one of two User Operational Evaluation System (UOES) craft to support its Dry Combat Submersible Technology Development (DCS TD) programme; Submergence Group had previously been brought under contract in June 2012 for the build of another UOES craft design.
General Dynamics Electric Boat was, alongside Lockheed Martin, Oceaneering International, and L-3 Communications, awarded one of four Dry Combat Submersible-Light (DCS-L) Phase I contracts in April 2012. These initial contracts, concluding in July 2012, funded preliminary concept design activities for a 'dry' swimmer delivery craft.
While details of the DCS-L Broad Agency Announcement have rema…

UK relaunches F-35B/QE carrier simulation training

By Gareth Jennings

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is undertaking simulated training to operate the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL)-variant Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) from the decks of the future Queen Elizabeth (QE)-class aircraft carriers, the MoD revealed on 8 January.

Renewed training of Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) personnel on the F-35B at the BAE Systems simulator at Warton, Lancashire, follows the UK government's decision in 2012 to revert back to the STOVL aircraft after a brief dalliance with the carrier variant (CV) F-35C.

Speaking during a previous tour of the simulator facility when it was configured for the F-35C, BAE Systems officials told IHS Jane's that the change from one variant aircraft to another did not pose too much of a problem with regard to the company's simulator-based training.

As Mike Southworth, business development manager at BAE Systems' Engineering Integrated Solutions ex…