Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Report - Cutting the Cloth: Ambition, Austerity and the Case for Rethinking UK Military Spending

HMS Illustrious Decommissioning
Oxford Research Group

A new report, Cutting the Cloth: Ambition, Austerity and the Case for Rethinking UK Military Spending by Richard Reeve has been published today by Oxford Research Group.
The report analyses the UK’s past, current and future commitments to funding its armed forces in relation to other components of British international spending (development and diplomacy), the current threats to UK security, and the military spending patterns of its NATO allies, European peers, and other states.
It finds that, while UK military spending as a share of GDP fell markedly during the 2010-2015 Coalition Government, it remains well above the norm for European states and democracies worldwide. Two expensive commitments help to determine why the UK still spends so much on its military: submarine-launched nuclear weapons; and a force structure that prioritises global power-projection and expeditionary operations over national defence. In light of current threats to UK security, these commitments are either irrelevant or risk overstretch of diminished armed forces and blowback from foreign wars.
Manifesto commitments of the new Conservative government to pursue fiscal austerity while maintaining major equipment procurement plans, including bringing two aircraft carriers into service and renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system, are likely to severely squeeze the armed forces’ practical defence capabilities over the next parliament.
The report recommends that the coming Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) be seized upon as an opportunity to rethink UK security strategy and spending. In balancing ambition with austerity, the UK could actually strengthen its defence by committing to do less militarily with less money.

Monday, May 18, 2015

DoD Identifies Navy Casualty

The USS Farragut was ordered to respond after Iran Revolutionary Guard naval boats intercepted and boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged M/V Maersk Tigris on Tuseday.
US Navy

Washington May 18, 2015 - The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Devon J. Doyle, 21, of Alamosa, Colorado, died May 16, in Manama, Bahrain, of a non-combat related incident while on liberty. The incident is under investigation.
He was assigned to USS Farragut (DDG 99), homeported in Mayport, Florida.

China-Russia joint drill enters active phase


Chinese naval vessels head toward Russian missile cruiser "Moscow" during a China-Russia joint maritime military drill in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on May 17, 2015. The combined military drills between China and Russia have entered the active phase. Naval forces from the two countries have arrived at the exercise area in the eastern Mediterranean.

Photo taken on May 17, 2015 shows Russian missile cruiser "Moscow" during a China-Russia joint maritime military drill in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on May 17, 2015. The combined military drills between China and Russia have entered the active phase. Naval forces from the two countries have arrived at the exercise area in the eastern Mediterranean.

Photo taken on May 17, 2015 shows a Russian navy frigate taking part in a China-Russia joint maritime military drill in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The combined military drills between China and Russia have entered the active phase. Naval forces from the two countries have arrived at the exercise area in the eastern Mediterranean.

Photo taken on May 17, 2015 shows Chinese supply vessel "Weishanhu" taking part in a joint maritime military drill between Chinese and Russian naval forces.


Chinese missile frigate "Linyi" arrives in the eastern Mediterranean Sea to take part in a China-Russia joint maritime drill on May 16, 2015. The combined military drills between China and Russia have entered the active phase. Naval forces from the two countries have arrived at the exercise area in the eastern Mediterranean.

Chinese supply vessel "Weishanhu" restocks missile frigate "Linyi" with supplies on May 17, 2015, during a joint maritime drill between the naval forces of China and Russia in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.


Photos: 81.cn/Lijing

Warships at IMDEX 2015

The Warships Display offers a rare opportunity to get first-hand experience of the on-board operations and rub shoulders with senior naval officers from various countries.
The warships on display are berthed at Changi Naval Base and only open to registered visitors and delegates. Please note that some of the warships will be departing on 21 May 2015 as they will be taking part in the 5th Western Pacific Naval Symposium Multi-lateral Sea Exercise (WMSX).
Warships Display Opening Hours
20 May (Wed)10:00am - 4:00pm
21 May (Thu)10:00am - 12:30pm
2:00pm - 4:30pm
Guests who are interested in visiting the warships, please proceed to the Changi Exhibition Centre shuttle bus waiting area and board the complimentary Warships Visit shuttle bus.
DateFromToFrequency & Time*
20 & 21 May
(Wed & Thu)
IMDEX Asia
(Changi Exhibition Centre)
Warships Display
(Changi Naval Base)
First bus: 9:30am
Last bus: 3:30pm
(30 min interval)
Warships Display
(Changi Naval Base)
IMDEX Asia
(Changi Exhibition Centre)
First bus: 9:30am
Last bus: 4:30pm
(30 min interval)
*Shuttle bus service frequency is subject to traffic conditions and there will be no shuttle bus service between 12nn and 1pm
This year, we are honoured to have the participation of 20 warships, vessels and submarine from 13 navies and agency.
Royal Australian Navy
HMAS Perth [FFH 157]
Anzac Class Frigate
Bangladesh Navy
BNS Dhaleshwari [F36]
Castle Class Corvette
HMAS PerthBNS Dhaleshwari
Royal Brunei Navy
KDB Daruttaqwa [09]
Darussalam Class Patrol Vessel
People's Liberation Army Navy
CNS Yulin [FFG-569]
Jiangkai II Class Frigate
KDB DaruttaqwaJiangkai CNS Yulin
Indian Navy
INS Kamorta [P28]
Kamorta Class Corvette
Indian Navy
INS Satpura [F48]
Shivalik Class Frigate
INS KamortaShivalik Class
Indonesian Navy
KRI John Lie [358]
Bung Tomo Class Corvette
Indonesian Navy
KRI Tombak [629]
KCR-60M Class
KRI John LieKRI Tombak 629
Royal Malaysian Navy
KD Lekir [26]
Kasturi Class Corvette
Republic of Korea Navy
ROKS Incheon [FFX 811]
Incheon Class Frigate
KD LekirROKS Incheon
Republic of Singapore Navy
RSS Endeavour
Endurance Class Landing Ship, Tank
Republic of Singapore Navy
RSS Intrepid
Formidable Class Frigate
RSS EndeavourRSS Intrepid
Republic of Singapore Navy
MV Swift Rescue
Submarine Support and Rescue Vessel
Singapore Police Coast Guard
Mako Shark [PH 51]
Shark Class Patrol Craft
MV Swift RescueMako Shark
Sri Lanka Navy
SLNS Sayura
Sukanya Class Patrol Vessel
Royal Thai Navy
HTMS Krabi [551]
Offshore Patrol Vessel
SLNS SayuraHTMS Krabi
Royal Thai Navy
PGM. 113
United States Navy
USS Pasadena [SSN-752]
Los Angeles Class Submarine
PGM 113USS Los Angeles
United States Navy
USS Fort Worth [LCS 3]
Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship
United States Navy
USS Mustin [DDG 89]
Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer
USS Fort WorthUSS Mustin
Note:

Some of the warships will be departing on 21 May 2015 as they will be taking part in the 5th Western Pacific Naval Symposium Multi-lateral Sea Exercise (WMSX).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Latest North Korean Propaganda




Pyongyang, May 6 (KCNA) -- At a recent NPT review conference and a meeting of the UN Disarmament Commission, the south Korean puppet forces pulled up the DPRK over "threat" and "challenge" in a bid to boost "cooperation with foreign forces in pressurizing the north." 
The puppet chief executive of south Korea invited to Chongwadae riff-raffs of the U.S. Centre for Strategic and International Studies and jabbered that south Korea is "bolstering up deterrence" to cope with someone's "provocation" and "threat" through "close cooperation" with the U.S., again raising a hue and cry over "nuclear issue of the north." 
Rodong Sinmun Wednesday observes in a commentary in this regard:
Rodon Sinmun on Ulterior Aim Sought by S. Korean Authorities in Talking about "Nuclear Threat from North"
The puppet forces' noisy trumpeting about "nuclear threat from the north" is a crafty artifice to justify their reckless military provocation and moves for boosting the cooperation with the U.S. in its scenario for invading the north.
Needless to say, "the nuclear threat from the north" cited by the puppet forces whenever an opportunity presents itself is nothing but sophism to justify the deployment of THAAD in south Korea.
They are vociferating about " the north's moves to bolster up the nuclear capacity" and "threat," prompted by their sinister intention to give further momentum to the international campaign for isolating and stifling the DPRK and deter the nuclear hysteria against it from waning.
No matter what hue and cry they raise over "nuclear threat from the north," they can never cover up their true colors as the arch criminal and warmongers wrecking peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in other parts of Northeast Asia and increasing the danger of a nuclear war by cooperating with foreign forces.

Navy settles environmental violations at Naval Station Norfolk

Philadelphia May 6, 2015 – A settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Navy will help reduce potentially harmful discharges of ozone-depleting substances and ensure the safe storage and disposal of hazardous waste at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, where EPA alleges environmental violations occurred.
Under the settlement, the Navy will pay an $83,900 penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The Clean Air Act violations pertained to regulations designed to reduce discharges of ozone-depleting substances used as coolants in air conditioning units. EPA alleged that the facility did not perform leak rate calculations when it serviced the units. The Navy has implemented improved training and recordkeeping to help ensure proper servicing of equipment.
In addition, EPA alleged that the facility violated emissions limits on an industrial device used for abrasive blasting and also had recordkeeping violations. The Navy has addressed both issues.
The RCRA violations pertained to regulations that require the safe, environmentally-sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste. The Navy took prompt action to address the hazardous waste violations, which will help ensure that those wastes are managed properly.

ARA and Blue Sun Performing on Navy Certification Contract for 100% Drop-in Fuels

Panama City FL May 6, 2015 - Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) and Blue Sun Advanced Fuels are performing on a Defense Logistics Agency Energy (DLA Energy) contract that was awarded for production of 100% drop-in renewable jet and diesel fuel utilizing ARA's and Chevron Lummus Global's (CLG) Biofuels ISOCONVERSION technology. The first contract fuel deliveries were made in February of 2015; the remainder of the fuel will be delivered in 2015 and 2016 to support certification and testing of renewable fuels for U.S. Navy ships and aircraft.
The contract calls for production of CHCD-76 and CHCJ-5. CHCD-76 is a catalytic hydrothermal conversion diesel fuel, developed as a variation of the commercial ReadiDiesel(R) with the intention to meet the Navy's F-76 Naval Marine Distillate Fuel spec and qualification protocols. CHCJ-5 denotes a catalytic hydrothermal conversion jet fuel, developed as a variation of the commercial ReadiJet(R) with the intention to meet the Navy's JP-5 jet fuel spec and qualification protocols.
Blue Sun Advanced Fuels, a licensee of the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION technology, converts the renewable oils to crude oil in their 100 barrel-per-day (4,200 gallon-per-day) demonstration-scale Biofuels ISOCONVERSION facility in St. Joseph, Missouri.
The U.S. Navy will test both the CHCD-76 and CHCJ-5 neat, i.e. without blending with conventional petroleum fuel, with the goal of MILSPEC certifications of both the diesel and jet fuels as 100% drop-in fuels in the 2017 timeframe. Potential benefits of these drop-in fuels include:
  • 100% renewable and sustainable
  • Fully compatible with petroleum diesel and jet engines and can be used neat or blended in any proportion -- no requirement for blending with petroleum fuels
  • Requires no changes to fuel storage and transportation infrastructure-- fuels can be intermixed during distribution and storage without concerns relative to quality or specifications
  • Can be stored over long periods of time with no deterioration in quality
Demonstrating the feedstock agnostic nature of the technology, ARA and Blue Sun will utilize several different fat, oil, and grease feedstocks in the production of the certification fuels, including Resonance(TM), an industrial oil feedstock from Agrisoma Biosciences.
In October 2012, ReadiJet, made from Agrisoma's Resonance crop, was flown in a Canadian National Research Council Falcon 20 jet, becoming the world's first ever 100% drop-in jet fuel flight with a fuel that meets petroleum specs without blending.
"We are a step closer to our goal of commercial scale production of 100% drop-in diesel and jet fuel from industrial and waste oils at prices competitive with their petroleum counterparts," said Chuck Red, Vice President of Fuels Development at ARA.
The Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process seamlessly converts renewable feedstocks such as plant oils, tallow, algae oil, and waste vegetable oil into 100% drop-in diesel and jet fuels, which meet petroleum specs without blending, as well as naphtha that can be used as a gasoline blend stock and consists of:
ARA's Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH) process, which mimics nature's way of converting biomass to petroleum crude. While nature's processes take millennia to produce petroleum crude, it takes less than a minute for the ARA CH process to turn plant oils into a high quality crude oil. A U.S. patent was granted to ARA in 2010 on the CH process.
CLG's ISOCONVERSION(TM) Catalysts which efficiently upgrade the crude oil produced by the CH reactor into on-specification, finished fuels. The final products are all fungible and nearly identical to petroleum-derived fuels. ReadiJet and ReadiDiesel can be tailored to meet all commercial and military jet fuel specifications.