Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Iran "Gulf of Tonkin" Watch, Russia, STRATCOM, DARPA: Robo limbs+

Recordings Show Iran-US Clash in Gulf

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, The guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) is seen underway in November 2003. An Iranian fleet of high-speed boats charged at and threatened to blow up a three-ship U.S. Navy convoy, including the USS Port Royal, passing near Iranian waters, then vanished as the American ship commanders were preparing to open fire, the top U.S. Navy commander in the area said Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Christopher Mobley)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Video and audio recordings clearly show Iranian boats confronting U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, and a voice speaking in heavily-accented English can be heard threatening that the American vessels were going to explode, military officials said Tuesday.
The incident, which President Bush denounced Tuesday as a "provocative act," was videotaped by a crew member on the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, one of the three ships that faced down five Iranian boats in a flare-up early Sunday.
The recordings were described by several military officials who viewed them. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the recordings were still being reviewed and had not been released to the public.
"It is a dangerous situation," Bush said during a White House news conference. "They should not have done it, pure and simple. ... I don't know what their thinking was, but I'm telling you what my thinking was. I think it was a provocative act." (cont...)

Russia Holds Drills in Mediterranean

MOSCOW, Jan 8--Russian fighter jets, helicopters and warships held maneuvers Tuesday in the central Mediterranean, a navy spokesman was quoted as saying as Russia moved to boost its naval presence in the region.RIA Novosti news agency quoted navy spokesman Igor Dygalo as saying: "Planned flights by our seaborne aircraft took place today," and added, "The flights will continue all day."Su-33 and Su-25 fighter jets were involved in the exercises along with rescue and anti-submarine helicopters, he said. The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier was joined by an anti-submarine ship and a supply vessel.Dyaglo said two other Russian vessels were holding joint exercises with the Italian navy near the port of Taranto on Tuesday.The exercises are part of a series of naval maneuvers in the north Atlantic and the Mediterranean announced by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in December in what he said was a bid to boost the country's maritime presence and protect shipping.Vessels from Russia's Northern, Black Sea and Baltic fleets were to take part in the exercises, Serdyukov said.

Russian fleet will sail in Pacific war games

For the first time, Russia will join the armada of foreign and U.S. warships participating this summer in the largest naval war games in the world.
Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told the members of the Chamber Commerce of Hawaii yesterday that the Russian navy will join the estimated three dozen warships from 11 nations in the Rim of the Pacific exercise held every two years in waters off Oahu and Kauai.
The other foreign navies participating this year have not been announced. In 2006 the participants included Australia, Japan, Chile, Canada, Peru, South Korea and the United Kingdom. (cont...)

Osiris stock climbs on bioterror contract win

Shares in Osiris Therapeutics surged more than 20 percent Friday on news that the Baltimore biotechnology company won a federal contract worth up to $225 million to develop and stockpile a stem cell treatment for radiation exposure.
Synth Skin for Robo-Limbs

It's not enough to have thought-controlled, artificial limbs that can let wearers type, cook, and play the piano just as easily as they had organic hands. Pentagon-backed researchers want the prosthetics to feel like real limbs, too. So they're creating patches of synthetic skin that'll provide direct feedback to the brain. (cont...)

One thing that is not often mentioned about “prompt global strike” is the possibility of “conventional counterforce”. Conventional counterforce is made possible by the development of highly accurate hypersonic weapons with conventional payloads or that utilize high velocity impact i.e. kinetic energy counterforce against hardened targets such as ICBM silos (but not deeply buried command and control). The Russians have expressed concern about the prospect of conventional counterforce.

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