Japan set to acquire medium-range cruise missles

Japan is set to acquire medium-range, air-launched cruise missiles, “capable of striking North Korea,” according to Japanese DM Itsunori Onodera. Onodera added that the new missiles “would be for defense,” as Japan would still rely on the US to strike any enemy bases.

The Joint Strike Missile (JSM) will be mounted on F-35A stealth fighters as “stand-off” missiles that “can be fired beyond the range of enemy threats,” Onodera said.

Japan is also looking to mount Lockheed Martin Corp’s extended-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM-ER) on their F-15’s. The JSM, designed by Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, has a range of 500km (310miles), and the JASSM-ER can hit targets 1,000km (621miles) away.

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Russia claims it intercepted U.S. fighter jet

A Russian interceptor was reportedly scrambled to stop a “rogue US fighter jet” from “actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation” earlier this month, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed. The DM also accused the US of “provoking close encounters” with Russian jets in Syria continuously. A US F-22 fighter was purportedly preventing two Russian Su-25 aircraft from bombing Islamic State targets to the west of the Euphrates, according to the ministry.

Russian DM spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said it was “another example” of US aircraft preventing Russian forces from carrying out operations against the Islamic State. Konashenkov added that “most close-midair encounters between Russian and US jets in the area around the Euphrates River have been linked to the attempts of US aircraft to get in the way (of the Russian warplanes) striking against Islamic State terrorists”. He also insisted that the US has provided no explanation for the incident, as well as other similar encounters.

The claims were made in response to the Pentagon’s claims regarding “an increase in unsafe behavior by Russian warplanes”. “We saw anywhere from six to eight incidents daily in late November, where Russian or Syrian aircraft crossed into our airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River,” Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, spokesman for USAF Central Command, said.

“Our greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces, and it’s increasingly tough for our pilots to discern whether Russian pilots are deliberately testing or baiting us into reacting, or if these are just honest mistakes”.

He also said that Russian pilots have been “crossing into the airspace east of the Euphrates and flying dangerously close allied forces,” and that such actions “could be interpreted as threatening, giving our pilots the rights to fire in self defense”.

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US military invests $10 million on Traumatic Brain injury scanner

The US military is investing $10 million for the development of a portable device capable of assessing traumatic brain injuries on the field. The contract for $9,990,947 was awarded to the California-based Neural Analytics, Inc. The contract was given at a “firm fixed price,” the Army Times reported. “Our objective is to build an instrument for someone with little or no training that they can use reliably,” Leo Petrossian, CEO of Neural Analytics, said. The device will be developed over the next year and a half and could be +Qready for testing in March 2019.

The Lucid System will have to be approved by the US Army and Federal Drug Administration (FDA), which may take up to two years. Only then could Lucid be deployed to all branches of the US military. The investment comes as US defense authorities reported a dramatic increase in traumatic brain injuries to soldiers since 2001. Over 217,000 traumatic brain injuries among US army soldiers alone have been reported.

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences reported that 17.3% of returning US military personnel, since 9/11, met the criteria for “being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.” Up to 22% of combat casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan “were the result of brain injuries,” which marks an increase of 12% since the Vietnam, according to the Department of Defense and Veteran’s Brain Injury Center.


Kurds report Iraqi assault

The Iraqi military launched an offensive against Kurdish forces near the Turkish border on Thursday, according to the Kurdistan defense organization. 

At 6 am local time, Iraqis and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces started firing on Peshmerga positions from the Zummar front, north west of Mosul, tweeted the Kurdistan Region Security Council.

The KRSC warned of an “unconstitutional” Iraqi military build up for six days in a released statement earlier on Thursday.


The Kurdistan Region on Oct 23 warned of the military buildup and recently offered to annul the results of the independence referendum to avoid war with Bagdad.

More details to follow. Image 1 of Kurdish fighters from Think Progress.


Russia fires multiple ICBM’s in drill

Russia’s military fired multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles in a drill on Thursday.

The Defence Ministry says its forces launched three ICBM’s from “submarines” and another from the northwestern Plesetsk Cosmodrome, or space center.

The state-backed RT news agency reported that Moscow said the launches were “conducted as part of large-scale war games involving Russia’s strategic forces.”

Video purports to show launch of ICBM’s

Two submarines from the Northern and Pacific Fleet’s fired three missiles as training for their crews, RT reported.

Cruise missiles from Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bombers engaged targets in dual test grounds in Russia and one target in Russian ally Kazakhstan’s territory.

“All the objectives f the exercises were successfully achieved,” said the defense ministry.

More details to follow. Image 1 of Russian RT-2PM2 Topol-M from Wikimedia. 


Dozens of terrorists hiding among civilians in Raqqa

As dozens of terrorists are found hiding among civilians fleeing war-torn Raqqa, the US-led coalition said that “any and all negotiations” are off the table. Other than the terrorists hiding behind women and children, an estimated 500 are prepared to fight until death.

Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said officials in the Raqqa Civil Council, whos responsibility is to govern the city after Daesh has been driven out, “are working to negotiate the safe passage of thousands of civilians being held hostage.”

But the coalition “will not support any negotiated withdrawal of fighters,” he said. The Syrian Democratic Forces claim that the city should be under their control within days.

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South Korea hit by hacking attack

According to South Korean lawmaker Rhee Cheol-hee, North Korea stole thousands of military documents from the South in September 2016. The documents supposedly contained US-South Korean war plans against the North, and plans for the assassination of Kim Jong-un.

235 gigabytes of military documents were allegedly stolen from the Defense Integrated Data Center. Rhee said 80% of the information hasn’t been identified yet. “The Ministry of National Defense has yet to find out about the content of 182 gigabytes of the total (stolen) data,” the lawmaker said.

Back in May, the South Korean government said a large amount of data was stolen, and placed blame on North Korea.

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