Monday, January 28, 2008

China/US/Russia War Watch, Pandemic Drill, FCS, + News

Electronic Weapons Article Index (CHINA)

China Plans a Disruption
January 28, 2008: While the details of Chinese military plans are secret, the general strategy isn't. The weapons, equipment and techniques the military uses, as well as discussions in professional journals, makes it clear how the Chinese plan to fight the United States in the next war. That's how many Chinese military experts describe it. The U.S. is the principal foe, and some kind of conflict is inevitable. All that may seem strange to Americans, but for most Chinese, it's just the way it is.
China plans to disrupt the American military, not destroy it. China takes for granted that they will be on the defensive, and forced to deal mainly with American air and naval forces. Methods discussed include attacks via the Internet (hacking and such) and electronic warfare (jamming and deceptions). China has been very active in controlling its domestic Internet users, and an increasing number of hacker attacks on U.S. military targets are being traced back to China. There, the government denies everything. Yet their professional journals talk about all the opportunities in this area. There are similar discussions of electronic warfare opportunities. In addition, the professional journals are full of exhortations to develop insights into the details of how the American armed forces operates, and adapt Chinese tactics to take care of any U.S. weaknesses. ......

Russian Navy Hits Target in Atlantic Ocean with Supersonic Cruise Missile (update)

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) -- The flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet has effectively engaged a designated target with a supersonic cruise missile as part of a Navy exercise in the northern Atlantic, a Navy spokesman said.
The Moskva guided-missile cruiser launched the P-500 Bazalt (NATO reporting name SS-N-12 Sandbox), a liquid-propellant supersonic cruise missile, last used in 2003.
The P-500 Bazalt, which entered service in 1973, has a 550 km range and a payload of 1,000 kg, enabling it to carry a 350 kT nuclear or a 950kg semi-armor-piercing high explosive warhead.
A Joint Naval Task Force, comprising the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as auxiliary vessels, is currently on a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic.
"The missile system used for launches has no match in performance terms," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, an aide to the Navy commander, said Monday.
Russian warships will also practice interoperability with naval aviation and strategic bombers for several days.
The operation is the first large-scale Russian Navy exercise in the Atlantic for 15 years. All the warships and aircraft involved are carrying full combat ammunition loads, the Navy said.
Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, commander of Russia's Northern Fleet who is heading the task force, earlier said that the current tour of duty to the Mediterranean, which started on December 5, was aimed at ensuring Russia's naval presence "in key operational areas of the world's oceans" and establishing conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation.

Pandemic Risk – US releases in-depth results of 2007 Pandemic Flu exercise

The three US sponsoring bodies – the Treasury, the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security (FSSCC), and the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC), on Thursday released in-depth results (PDF: 1.5 Mb) of the Pandemic Flu Exercise held in 2007.
This exercise, held from September 24 to October 12, 2007, was the largest of a number of pandemic flu exercises held for financial services across the world. Originally, over one-third of participants stated that they had not yet developed pandemic-specific business continuity plans. After the exercise 91% said they would apply lessons they learned from the exercise to their business continuity plans.
“The results of this report demonstrate the clear need for conducting this exercise,” said Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Valerie Abend. “Even businesses who had pandemic plans in place found that a global avian flu outbreak poses complex issues and were able to identify areas where more work was needed.”
The exercise simulated absentee rates at up to 49 percent across the country. Results, taken from over 400,000 responses, compare issues ranging from healthcare and school closings, to financial market information and industry security. All findings are anonymous. Critical infrastructures that the sector relies on were tested and issues such as telecommuting and stockpiling equipment and anti-virus medication were included.
99% of participants said that the exercise met its objectives and was useful in assessing their pandemic planning needs. As a result, the exercise “provided participants with the opportunity to examine key crisis management issues, foster strategic thinking, and strengthen the sector's overall preparedness”. The overall conclusion of the report is that while there may be significant impacts to the financial services sector during a pandemic outbreak, the US sector overall will continue to operate

Three nations hold Cope Tiger war games

Aviation and ground units from the Royal Thai Air Force and Army, US Air Force and Marine Corps, and Republic of Singapore Air Force have begun Cope Tiger 2008, a multi-nation field training exercise in Thailand.
The war games began on Saturday and will last until Feb. 5.
Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral large force exercise conducted in the Asia-Pacific region and is the only multilateral field training exercise held in Thailand. Headquarters are at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Nakhom Ratchasima, and at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base.
More than 1,400 people will participate in the exercise. They include approximately 700 Thai and an equal number of US service members, as well as Singapore forces. .....

Hovering Drones Rushed to Iraq (Updated)

Ducted-fan unmanned aerial vehicles are making their way to Iraq to help spot improvised explosive devices. These new drones, which can hover in place, have been under development as part of the Army's massive Future Combat Systems, but it's actually the Navy that plans to deploy them, reports Flight International:......

Defense Focus: FCS follies -- Part 1

For the past 2-1/2 years, we have been reporting in these columns about the growing problems generating by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visionary Future Combat Systems program to make the U.S. armed forces unbeatable in the 21st century.FCS had the ambitious vision of integrating the firepower of combat forces of the U.S. Army through a wireless network in real time. It offered the prospect of field commanders video conferencing with front-line officers in tanks on the battlefield. It offered the vision of minimizing combat casualties by sending in large numbers of robots to defuse mines and open ways through battlefields.The program was one of the most costly in the history of the U.S. Army. The Washington Post Friday said its estimated cost was $200 billion. As we have previously reported in these columns, some estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office have already gone 50 percent higher than that. And even those estimates assumed that the basic concepts of the program were sound and that it would work as projected.In fact, as the Post reported Friday, the number of lines of software code required by the project has more than doubled in only the past five years. The Army originally reckoned it needed 33.7 million lines of code. Now it reckons it needs 63.8 million. The paper also cited Dennis Muilenberg, Boeing's project manager on the FCS, as maintaining that the original estimate was 55 million lines of software, not 33 million.No one doubts that interconnectivity and rapid response is vital on the battle field. No one doubts the U.S. armed forces have enjoyed a decisive global superiority in applying these key technologies over the past quarter century. And no one with any sense doubts that it should be a top priority goal to seek to retain that advantage through the coming decades.But as we have warned in these columns before, the FCS from the very beginning appeared doomed to failure: It sought to replace the flexibility easily available in modern off-the-shelf communications technology with enormously ambitious and rigid integrated goals that swallowed up limitless resources.......

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Air Space Control Software that Mimics Human