MOSCOW, December 18 -- The Russian Navy will take the delivery of 12 warships and combat boats, two submarines and four Bal and Bastion coastal defense systems in 2019.
efense Minister Sergei Shoigu said this at the ministry’s year-end board meeting attended by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. "A total of 12 warships and combat boats, two submarines and 12 support vessels will enter service with the Navy. Four Bal and Bastion coastal defense systems will be delivered to the troops. As a whole, the task is to raise the share of modern weaponry in the Navy to 64%," the defense chief said.
The Bastion mobile coastal defense missile system with the standardized Yakhont (Oniks) supersonic homing anti-ship cruise missile is designed to strike surface ships of various classes and types from amphibious assault formations, convoys, naval and carrier strike groups, and also sole warships and ground radiocontrast targets amid intensive fire and jamming.
The Bal mobile coastal defense missile complex with the Kh-35 anti-ship missile is designed to control territorial waters and straits, defend naval bases, other coastal facilities and infrastructure, and also defend the coastline in the areas vulnerable to amphibious assaults. The system can be used in any weather conditions, day and night with the fully autonomous guidance after the launch amid an enemy’s fire and jamming. The system can strike targets at a range of 120km with the Kh-35 missile and 260km with the Kh-35U missile.
MOSCOW, December 18 -- Intelligence agencies from at least ten countries have been showing high interest in Russia’s Armed Forces.
The head of the Military Counterintelligence Department at the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Colonel General Nikolai Yuryev revealed in an interview ahead of the military counterintelligence agency’s centennial anniversary. "Russia’s Armed Forces still are a matter of interest for foreign intelligence agencies," he noted. "This is proven by the fact that military counterintelligence officers exposed dozens of intelligence agents from the US, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia and Poland," Yuryev added. The general stressed that the FSB Military Counterintelligence Department and army security agencies were particularly tasked with preventing foreign intelligence agencies from reaching out to the Russian Armed Forces, collecting intelligence concerning security threats, preventing terrorist and subversive activities against the army, as well as with protecting state secrets, countering organized crime, corruption, arms and drug trafficking in the army.
Russia’s military counterintelligence agency will mark its centennial anniversary on December 19.
MOSCOW, December 1 -- The Russian Aerospace Forces have successfully conducted a test-firing of a modernised air defence rocket at the Sary Shagan testing range in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
According to Colonel Sergei Grabchuk, the officer tasked with running the department which operates the Russian Aerospace Forces anti-missile defence system, after a series of tests, the new antimissile defence system "confirmed the characteristics that were set to it and successfully completed the task, hitting the conventional target with a given accuracy".
The air defence system is in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces and is designed to protect against air attacks.
THE HAGUE, November 16 -- The Dutch Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld said Thursday her country's government opposes the establishment of a "European army".
Bijleveld said the vision of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for a European army is going "far too far". She noted that the Netherlands will remain responsible for the deployment of its army. Bijleveld also stressed the Dutch government is not alone, since there are other countries which oppose the EU army.
When necessary, the Dutch army can work with NATO and the EU, but the country is not dependent on them, she added. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for creating a European Union army, stressing that Europeans can no longer merely rely on the U.S. for their security.
“We Europeans now have to really take our faith fully into our own hands if we want to defend our union,” Merkel said addressing the European Parliament.
French president Emmanuel Macronsaid earlier that building a European army will reduce dependence on the U.S., adding: "We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a real European army."
LONDON, November 4 -- A Russian Tu-142 bomber blindsided a US flagship taking part in NATO’s massive Trident Juncture 18 drills off Norway. Spectacular photos of the flyby have expectedly sparked a media uproar, while Moscow called the flight routine.
The plane appeared in the air at the very moment the marines on board the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet, gathered on deck for a group photo. The flyby provided the American troops with a rare opportunity to check out the Tu-142, which NATO codenamed ‘Bear-F.’ "It's a long-range maritime patrol reconnaissance plane," one of the marines said. Military.com reported that the US soldier was “fascinated” as he witnessed the Russian Bear live in the air for the first time.
"The main task I see is to prepare for combat operations. We are doing this, we are readying our reserves," Poltorak said on Wednesday, adding that the situation in the conflict zone was "complicated but stable" for now.
In televised comments at the start of a cabinet meeting, he reported that pro-Russian separatists had taken on "reinforcements". "We observe their movements, we know where they are and we expect unpredictable actions from them."
Also on Wednesday, US General Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme commander, lent his weight to a report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), released last week, that said columns of Russian tanks were entering Ukraine.
"We agree that there are multiple columns that we have seen; we agree with the OSCE reports. And as to their intent: I'm not sure," Breedlove said during a visit to Sofia. "My strategic team believes that there is a possibility that, as you know, this pocket of separatist Russian-backed forces and Russian forces in the east of Ukraine - it's not a very contiguous pocket.
"What worries me the most, I've said before, is that we have a situation now where the former international border, the current international border, of Ukraine and Russia, is completely porous; it is completely wide-open. Forces, money, support, supplies, weapons are flowing back and forth across this border completely at will.
Russia has repeatedly denied claims that its troops are moving across the border into rebel-held eastern Ukraine, despite openly offering its backing to elections in the separatist areas.
Reports from Donetsk, said the military presence had been increasing in recent days:
"We ourselves witnessed a military column travelling to Donetsk yesterday," she said. "There's certainly a build-up, with daily sightings of military convoys and a build up of fighting. "The Ukrainian Defence Ministry announced it is going to prop up its military to defend against possible rebel advancement across their territory."
OSCE observers had reported seeing a convoy of 43 unmarked military vehicles, five towing Howitzer heavy artillery pieces and another five towing multi-launch rocket systems, travelling into the rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Tuesday.
On the ground, several hours of heavy artillery fire rocked Donetsk, the most intense fighting since the weekend.
WASHINGTON, October 13 -- Turkey has allowed the US and its partners to use its air bases, the White House said.
"We have not asked for the Turks to send ground forces of their own into Syria," US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on NBC's Meet the Press. "The Turks have, this just in the last several days, made a commitment that they will in the first instance allow the United States and our partners to use Turkish bases and territory," she added.
ISTANBUL. October 7 -- Turkey, a NATO member, says the alliance has drawn up a strategy to defend the country if it is attacked along its border with Syria.
Defense Minister Ismet Yildiz said Monday that NATO did that at Turkey's request as Islamic State militants, who have captured a large swath of Iraq and Syria, are trying to take the Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border.
NATO is required to help protect member countries from military attacks. Yildiz told reporters: "If there is an attack, NATO's joint defense mechanism will be activated."
Kurdish forces are defending Kobani, but two banners of the Islamic State group were raised over a building and a nearby hill on Monday, suggesting that the militants may have broken through the Kurdish perimeter.
BERLIN, October 5 -- Finland’s most citizens would not want their country to join NATO, and thus the issue is not on the agenda, Finland’s Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said.
“We should have joined NATO in 1995, when we joined the European Union. But now we are very satisfied with the close partnership with the Alliance, though purely formal; though we do not have security guarantees in case of attacks. Anyway, I do not see a majority calling for joining (NATO),” he said.
Besides, the prime minister stressed importance of economic relations with Russia.
“If everything is good in the Russian economy, everything will be good in ours, too,” he said. Thus, Helsinki is for “diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian conflict,” which has been a reason for the sanctions against Russia. Finland is also affected by the sanctions, the prime minister added.
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