An alleged ballistic missile site outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Jane’s Photo
Saudi Arabia appears to have a previously undisclosed ballistic missile site possessing launch sites oriented toward Israel and Iran, according to an analysis of satellite images from Jane’s Defence Weekly.
The site — believed to use Chinese DF-3 ballistic missiles acquired by Saudi Arabia in the 1980s — is about 125 miles southwest of the capital of Riyadh near the town of Al-Watah.
According to the report, one launch pad is oriented toward Israeli targets — including Tel Aviv — while a second pad is set to send missiles in the direction of Tehran. Read More
USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), left, leads the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD-17) on June 16, 2013. US Navy Photo
Marines on two amphibious warships in the Red Sea have not been given tasking to respond to the growing unrest in Egypt, Navy and Marine Corps officials told USNI News on Friday.
“There hasn’t been an official tasking,” Marine Capt. Eric Flanagan at the Pentagon told USNI News.
“They’re not getting ready to go into Egypt.” Read More
A crew member prepares to board a tanker that was hijacked by pirates in Benin on 24 July 2011. UN Photo
The winds of global piracy have shifted, as attacks by pirates off West Africa now exceed those of their Somali counterparts. The Nigeria-based pirates may not yet inspire Hollywood films, but they have prompted regional governments to take collective action. A June 24–25 summit in Yaounde, Cameroon, brought representatives from the Economic Community of West African States, the Economic Community of Central African States, and the Gulf of Guinea Commission together to draft a code of conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity. It has been signed by 22 states. Read More
An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo
In the wake of the public uprising that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — senior members on the Senate Armed Services Committee — have called on the Obama administration to suspend $1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt.
“We ought to suspend aid until the new government shows that it is willing to — and in fact does — schedule elections and put in place a process to come up with a new constitution,” Levin said Monday. Read More
From the July, 1 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
Issues for Congress:
The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Read More
INS Chakra II, shortly after its April, 2012 commissioning. Indian Nay Photo
India may be interested in leasing a second nuclear attack submarine (SSN) from Russia, according to a Wednesday report from Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Jane’s quoted Russian officials at the International Maritime Defence in St. Petersburg saying the Indian Navy was interested in leasing a follow-on submarine to INS Chakra II , an Akula-class submarine the Indian Navy is leasing from the Russians for ten years. Read More
People’s Liberation Army Navy guided missile destroyers in April, 2012. PLAN Photo
China and Russia made headlines this past weekend when they participated in the rather blandly titled Joint Sea 2013. Despite the name, Joint Sea was China’s largest ever joint naval exercise, and one of the more noteworthy bits of naval activity in the past several years. Eighteen surface ships, one submarine, three airplanes, five ship-launched helicopters and two commando units took part in the exercise, participating in a variety of activities including antisubmarine warfare, close maneuvering, and the simulated takeover of an enemy ship. Chinese and Russian officials alike were quick to note that Joint Sea wasn’t directed at any third party, something that might sound insincere but that actually reflects the reality that Chinese and Russian interests in the Pacific are very different. Read More
Free Syrian Army fighters. Reuters Photo
As the United States begins providing arms to Syrian rebels , it enters an increasingly complex arena of arms-trafficking and proxy warfare. The highly factionalized Syrian rebellion and the combined third-party actors supporting it—often with competing aims—mean U.S. attempts to shape the Syrian conflict through military support will depend not simply on American resources and intentions, but the dynamics of the civil war and the network of actors that facilitates its logistics. With the U.S. role in Syrian arms-trafficking shifting from one of restraint to one of support, the difficulties encountered in producing viable political outcomes in Syria are likely to persist. Read More
USS Enterprise (CVN-65) at Subic Bay in 1993. US Navy Photo
The Philippines plan to give greater access to U.S. and Japanese allies to military bases including the former U.S. Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippine defense officials said Thursday in a report in Reuters.
The report comes in tandem with reports, the military is preparing a proposal to expand leftover U.S. bases after the Pentagons removed its forces in 1992.
According to the report, Philippine naval leaders are preparing a $230 million plan to base development bases as hedges against increased Chinese expansion into the South China Sea. Read More
People’s Liberation Army Navy Rear Adm. Kan Li Kui drinks a sample of purified water at a disaster site in Biang, Brunei Darussalam June 19, as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise. US Marine Corps Photo.
Last week Brunei hosted an important but little-noticed exercise in its portion of the island of Borneo. The multinational event sponsored by and held in conjunction with the second meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and was the first of its kind. The group focused on boosting interoperability among the participants’ medical and disaster response capabilities. But as important was the mix of participants included countries better known for tense maritime stand-offs than working together. Read More