Chinese businesses are exploring land development deals near the Panama Canal and offering their skills in building the region’s information technology infrastructure. These are prime examples of Beijing’s stepped-up economic involvement in the Western Hemisphere, the senior American military official for Central and South America told reporters Monday. Read More
Colombia’s ongoing push to curb violence and diminish the influence of drug cartels within its borders is the region’s “bright shining example,” the commander of Southern Command told attendees at a Washington think-tank forum Friday. Read More
On 3 September the first of Sweden’s newly upgraded Visby-class guided-missile patrol craft was turned over to the Swedish military after having completed extensive modifications that bring her up to “Level 5” standard. All five units of the class previously were expected to be operational by late 2007, but because of additional delays the decision was made to upgrade the class to enhance safety and performance—and to better support international operations, which often take place far from Swedish waters.
The subsequent Level 5 enhancements that are being added to the entire class through 2014 include additional command, control, and communications equipment and antennas; a helicopter landing system; enhanced mine-hunting equipment; and other improvements. The Visby class incorporates numerous advanced measures to reduce its radar, infrared, magnetic, acoustic, visual, laser, and wake signatures. Ships of the class include the Visby, Helsingborg, Härnösand (pictured here), Nykõping, and Karlstad, each of which measure 239 feet and displace more than 600 tons.