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ANNO 2017

Boeing’s Nuclear Deterrent ICBM Program Completes First Key Review
Da defenseworld.net del 1 dicembre 2017

Boeing's Ground Based Strategic Deterrence Program

Boeing’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to replace the nuclear-armed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) completed its first key review with the U S Air Force. The review validated program technical requirements prior to the design and development phase of America’s next intercontinental ballistic missile system, a Boeing release said. The November review established the baseline for the GBSD, which will replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and continue the nuclear deterrence mission for generations to come.

Boeing completed the System Requirements Review about two months after being awarded $349 million to mature the GBSD system design under a Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction contract. Frank McCall, Boeing director of Strategic Deterrence Systems and GBSD program manager said, “We concentrated on modularity and affordability to enable efficient government ownership of the system through 2075 and beyond.”

Boeing’s design addresses the replacement of the entire ICBM system, including new flight systems, weapon system command and control (WSC2), and launch systems within existing Minuteman silos. Now that the requirements baseline has been set, Boeing will move through a series of cost-capability studies, weighing affordability against configuration options to come up with a GBSD solution that is capable, flexible and affordable. Boeing will present its Preliminary Design Review to the Air Force in 2020.

 

China to Deploy Multi-warhead DF-41 Intercontinental Missile in Early 2018
Da defenseworld.net del 28 novembre 2017

China's DF-41 Ballistic Missile Illustration

The Chinese military will deploy its most power missile yet, the multiple-warhead DF-41 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in early 2018, CCTV reported Sunday. Military expert Yang Chengjun was quoted as saying on CCTV, “DF-41 is 4th-generation and China’s latest strategic missile.”

The missile is quick, mobile, and precise, he added. No failure has occurred during the test launches of DF-41 which is a rival of the American LGM-30 Minuteman and the Russian RT-2PM2. The Chinese missile even has an edge with regard to some technologies, Yang claimed. The DF-41 has a range of 12,000 kilometers and a deviation of some one hundred meters. It can carry six to 10 multiple maneuverable warheads, which makes it difficult to be intercepted. The missile is 16.5 meters in length with a diameter of 2.78 meters. It can be launched from roadand rail-mobile launcher platforms, as well as silo-based launchers. “The missile can hit every corner of the earth, allowing China to counter a nuclear strike on the country,” Yang was quoted as saying.

 

The Victoria Lines revisited
Da timesofmalta.com del 12 novembre 2017

The Victoria Lines are a set of fortifications built between 1870 and 1899. They consist of four principal forts, a number of other gun batteries and a continuous infantry line that connects them together to form a 12-kilometre-long defensive line which cuts across Malta from coast to coast, from Kunċizzjoni/Fomm ir-Riħ in the west to Madliena/Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq in the east.

The Victoria Lines have lain abandoned ever since their military significance faded a hundred years ago. Nevertheless, they still provide a very interesting insight into the development of fortifications in the 19th century and, as such, form an intrinsic part of Malta’s historical heritage. They also offer some of the best vantage points from where to enjoy the beauty of the countryside spread out beneath them.

Walking along the Victoria Lines can only confirm their potential to become Malta’s foremost countryside/heritage trail. The views are generally spectacular, albeit with one glaring exception, which is the large hard stone quarry between Mosta and Naxxar. Otherwise, the Victoria Lines offers breathtaking scenery, including some very interesting valleys of ecological interest. And all the various vantage points and valley beds are linked together in a tangible manner through the unifying historical nexus provided by the Victoria Lines, built at a particular period in Malta’s history and representing an intriguing example of military engineering technology from the last quarter of the 19th century.

Properly delineated countryside trails have an inherent value in facilitating access to the countryside for locals wishing to discover and enjoy the Maltese rural landscape. Furthermore, they should also be seen as an additional product in the global Malta tourism product offer.

A proper national heritage trail along the Victoria Lines would be an additional activity to propose to tourists visiting Malta. This would be something else for tourists to enjoy, especially in the shoulder and winter months, in line with Malta’s stated tourism strategy not to be perceived only as a sea and sun destination but as an all-year destination with a diversified and, in a number of respects, unique product offer.

Before 1995, the Victoria Lines had been practically unknown to most people in Malta. In that year, Mosta local council launched an initiative, in the context of an EU-funded programme called Med-Urbs, which served to raise the public profile of the Victoria Lines. This culminated in a series of events in 1997 to mark the 100th anniversary since the dedication of the fortifications to Queen Victoria in 1897 on the occasion of her diamond jubilee.

In terms of recognition, the Victoria Lines will always suffer from being compared to the much more imposing fortifications around the Grand Harbour. However, the Victoria Lines and the other fortifications erected during British rule are now accepted as a deserving element in Malta’s historical heritage and, often enough, are featured in local and foreign publications.

The 1995 Med-Urbs programme provided the opportunity to reflect upon the experience of Hexham and other counties in the UK in their promotion of Hadrian’s Wall as one  continuous trail linking together various scenic and archaeological sites, where the historical legacy of the wall provides the principal and unifying attraction.

The programme also provided the impulse for a number of tangible interventions along the Victoria Lines. Between 1995 and 1997, various sections of the Lines were cleared of accumulated debris and vegetation. In the following years, actual restoration works were also undertaken by the Restoration Directorate, most notably the intervention in 2002 at Binġemma Gap. This was possible after the Lines had been extensively surveyed and a detailed photographic record compiled, in conjunction with research carried out in the UK at the Public Records Office in Kew.

Since then, the Planning Authority has scheduled the whole length of the Victoria Lines and the pros­pected trail now features in the relevant local plans such that it may be said that a national countryside/heri­tage trail along the Lines has al­ready been established as a concept.

Unfortunately, however, what has been established as a concept is still a long way from also being achieved in practice. Parts of the Victoria Lines have remained largely inaccessible, and even in those areas where the original patrol path had been cleared, vegetation has grown again, making it quite difficult to walk even along those particular stretches.

Continued encroachment of sections of the fortifications at Dwejra by certain individuals remains a serious concern. And little progress has been achieved in securing the allocation of Fort Binġemma and of ex-military buildings at Dwejra and along other parts of the Victoria Lines for uses that would support an eventual countryside/heritage trail. As far as I know, the only exception is the allocation of Tarġa Battery to Mosta local council, which plans to restore it and open it to the public.

Anyone approaching certain parts of the Victoria Lines today is still likely to remark upon the problem of litter, but for those who remember the same areas 20 years ago it is fair to say that wholesale dumping has been contained. Similarly, wanton damage to the fortifications has been curtailed although they remain subject to ongoing deterioration.

One important consideration that has not changed concerns the ownership of the land on which the Victoria Lines are built and of the space alongside them which originally formed a patrol path. This is all government-owned except for a small part at its eastern-most extremity at Madliena, but this segment would not be essential for an eventual trail since this could start from Fort Madliena and continue down to San Giovanni Battery. There are two places where the path is obstructed by farming-related encroachments but the land is leased from the government and, undoubtedly, a solution could be found to open up the path. 

It has to be kept in mind that the Victoria Lines extend over 12 kilometres, for the most part in open countryside. It is not a site that could be enclosed within a perimeter fence. There are also real and practical difficulties in undertaking restoration and even simple cleansing interventions in locations that are distant from access roads.

Therefore, one must not underestimate the daunting challenge in implementing effective measures to protect, conserve and rehabilitate this most interesting vestige of Malta’s more recent history. In particular, the required initiative must not be perceived as being primarily a restoration project but rather as the development of a new ‘product’, specifically a managed heritage trail.

The essential aim must be to secure unimpeded and safe access along the whole length of the Victoria Lines, with the ultimate goal of establishing a properly managed National Heritage Trail. And, once inaugurated, the eventual trail will need to be maintained and sustained on an ongoing basis. This will involve promoting the trail to induce people to visit, while providing safeguards against any damage to the historical heritage and to the surrounding natural habitat.

The Victoria Lines cannot be segregated from their surroundings. The fortifications exist in synthesis with the natural environment and any intervention made must not disturb this important relationship.

By definition, the concept of a heritage trail implies an open invitation to the public to visit. This will necessitate giving due consideration to issues of safety and liability. This will involve providing interpretation, channelling access and managing visitor flows.

The objective to be set must be twofold: (i) a cultural one – seeking to protect/rehabilitate this element of Malta’s historical heritage while making it accessible to the public, and (ii) an economic one – develop an additional attraction/activity for tourists in off-peak months.

The project would need to address issues concerning access, restoration, reutilisation of heritage sites, links with local communities, public education, heritage interpretation, marketing and ongoing management of the eventual trail. This last aspect is likely to be the most challenging as it requires the establishment of new structures and the acquisition of new skills, plus a broad collaborative ef­fort between the government, local councils, NGOs and the private sector.

There is no ready template from past experience that can be directly applied but it is possible to identify some of the essential elements that will need to be incorporated into the required comprehensive strategy. These are outlined in the accompanying box.

In conclusion, the Victoria Lines may be said to be Malta’s most extensive, military-architecture undertaking. Its defining characteristic is the combination of natural features and man-made structures to create a defensive barrier that cuts across the whole width of the island.

The individual components of the Victoria Lines, such as the forts, are interesting in themselves, but it is their linkage together into one integrated defence system which provides the unique character. This is something that can only be fully appreciated if one walks along the Victoria Lines. Hopefully, sometime in the future, it will be possible to do so from one end to the other.

 

Proposed strategy

Stage A

• An officially sanctioned and government-appointed Victoria Lines heritage trail steering committee. A small project man­agement team with the active participation of those government entities that will need to play a key role (principally the Parks Directorate and the Res­toration Directorate and possibly also the newly announced agency – Ambjent Malta);

• An open link with the relevant local councils (to secure their involvement);

• The participation of NGOs with relevant expertise (such as Wirt Artna and the Malta Ramblers Association);

• The involvement of the private sector.

Stage B

• A detailed action plan to secure access along the whole length of the Victoria Lines from Fort Madliena to il-Kunċizzjoni;

• Consideration on how best to use the various existing buildings along the Victoria Lines (at Għargħur, Dwejra, Binġemma and Kunċizzjoni) in support of the envisaged trail;

• The necessary action through the government property department to secure access through those few points along the Victoria Lines where the original patrol path is obstructed by encroachments;

• An assessment of the potential to tap EU funding (for rural development, tour­ism product diversification, heritage conservation).

Stage C

• Interventions to trim vegetation and facilitate access along the whole length of the path;

• Targeted restoration interventions, in particular where there is the danger of damage to the remaining parts of the wall.

Stage D

• A management plan to develop the path as a national countryside/heritage trail based on a collaborative arrangement involving government agencies, NGOs and the private sector.

Ray Cachia Zammit was editor of a publication on the Victoria Lines in 1996 that served to raise public awareness about the fortifications. This article was prompt­ed by a talk on the Lines given earlier this year by Judge Joseph Galea De­bono and Prof. Anthony Bonanno.

 

22 Most Impressive Walled Cities in the World
Da touropia.com del 24 ottobre 2017

Throughout history city walls were made as protection from the enemy. They were usually massive structures, punctuated with guard towers. Some were built on hills, making invasions more difficult, while others fronted seas and oceans to protect the towns from invaders in ships or, in some cases, pirates. Today well preserved walls bring tourist from the whole world to wonder around these medieval walled cities.

22. Monteriggioni

Located on a small natural hillock, this completely walled medieval town was built in the 13th century by the overlords of Siena to command the Cassia Road running through the Val d’Elsa and Val Staggia just to the west of Monteriggioni. Very little work has been done to Monteriggioni’s walls or buildings since they were first erected. Subsequently, Monteriggioni’s walls and the buildings that make up the town are the best preserved example of their kind in all of Italy, so it is not surprising that this little town attracts buses full of tourists.

21. Znojmo

Znojmo is one of the most historic cities in the Czech Republic, with the city wall one of the key elements to see. This medieval wall is actually several walls with ditches or moats in between. Once known as a fortified royal city, Znojmo’s wall served as part of the line of defense on the border with Austria. Znojmo visitors recommend walking around the wall, using a map obtained from the city tourist office. 

20. Diyarbakir

The first city wall surrounding Diyarbakir, Turkey, was constructed by the Romans in the late third century, though the present wall dates back to the Byzantines. The black basalt walls are second only to the Great Wall of China in length and how well it’s been preserved. The four-mile-long wall has five gates, 16 keeps and 82 watchtowers. The fortifications, which are up to 11 meters (36 feet) high and 3 to 5 meters (9 to 15 feet) wide, are considered a good example of Middle Ages military architecture.

19. Briancon

Briançon is a small town in the Hautes-Alpes that is the highest altitude city in France. The old town is heavily fortified with a wall built in the 17th century to protect the region from Austrian invaders and to guard the road to Italy, less than 16 km (10 miles) away. Located on the Durance River, Briançon is built on a peak, with the wall surrounding it. The Fort des Tetes is the most important part of the wall.

18. Budva

Budva, on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro, dates back to 500BC. Its city wall, however, is only a few hundred years old, built by the Venetians in the Middle Ages to protect the city from Ottoman invaders. Only one side of the wall faces the sea today; the other sides have been incorporated into the old and new towns. Within the walls, travelers can find narrow cobblestone streets and stone buildings. Great sea and Old Town views can be seen from atop the wall.

17. Cartagena Walled City

When the Spanish conquered parts of South America in the 16th century, they sent the riches back to Spain from Cartagena. The Caribbean Sea port became a favorite target for pirates, who attacked it one after another. The Spanish fought back by erecting a sea wall that is up to 18 meters (60 feet) wide in some places. Fortifications began in the late 16th century, with the initial walls enclosing what is now San Diego and El Centro.

16. Lugo City Walls

The wall at Lugo, Spain, stands out from other walls, which are rectangular; Lugo’s wall is shaped like a quadrangle. Much of the original wall, built in the late 3rd century by the Romans, is still intact, though the moat is missing. The 2.5-km (1.5-mile) long wall still has two towers and 82 of its original 85 turrets. The wall originally had five gates; today it has 10 to accommodate the increased need to get from the old town to the new.

15. Mdina

Mdina, Malta, stands out among ancient walled cities because, just like when it was built, the entire city remains inside the walls. In Mdina’s case, this is easy since it has only about 250 residents left. Sitting in the center of the island, Mdina’s thick, stone fortifications were first built by the Phoenicians, with the Normans adding the bulk of the wall and a moat. After the Knights Hospitaller arrived in the mid 1500’s the importance of Mdina as the seat of power faded steadily. Today Mdina is known as the “silent city” since few motor vehicles are allowed inside the walls.

14. Visby

Residents of the Baltic coast town of Visby, Sweden, began building their city wall in the 12th century, a time when walled cities were being built throughout Europe. The original city wall was about 6 meters (18 feet) high and did not have towers. The oldest part is a citadel where gun powder was kept. A 13th century war provided the impetus for Visby citizens to continue working on the wall, when extra height and towers were added; 27 of the 29 towers remain today.

13. Tallinn

The original wall surrounding Tallinn in Estonia was called Margaret Wall because Margaret Sambiria ordered it built in 1265. Only 5 feet wide then, the wall was widened and enlarged over the years. In the 14th century, Tallinn residents were required to do guard duty on the wall, most of which, along with its gates, is still intact today. Key parts of the wall to visit include the Long Leg Gate Tower, and the Nun’s Gate and Tower, and Fat Margaret Tower.

12. York 

York is an ancient city in the north of England. The city was founded by the Romans, taken over by the Angles, captured by the Vikings and finally incorporated in the Kingdom of England in 954. It boasts the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Since Roman times, the city has been defended by walls of one form or another. The majority of the remaining walls, which encircle the whole of the medieval city, date from the 12th – 14th century.

11. Harar

Harar is an ancient walled city in eastern Ethiopia. For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial center, linked by the trade routes with Africa and Arabia. With 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines it is one of the most important cities of Islam. Harar was part of the Adal Sultanate, a medieval muslim state located in the Horn of Africa. In the 16th century the city was encircled with a wall including five gates. This wall, called Jugol, is still intact, and has become the symbol of the city.

10. Taroudant

Taroudant is a fascinating and authentic Berber town in the heart of the Souss Valley, with the best preserved city walls in Morocco. It is often called the “Grandmother of Marrakech” because it is a scaled down, slowed down town that resembles Marrakech with its surrounding city walls. The walls were constructed in the 16th century under the Saadi Dynasty. Today the town is a market town andhas a souk near each of its two main squares.

9. Toledo

An often overlooked gem, Toledo is one of the former capitals of the Spanish Empire. The history of Toledo dates back to Roman times. Roman occupation was followed by Visigothic rule, Muslim rule and finally the Reconquista of Toledo in 1085 AD. It was the capital of the Spanish empire until the mid 1500’s when the royal court moved to Madrid. The city is surrounded by the River Tajo on three sides and two medieval walls on the fourth side.

8. Pingyao

Pingyao is a small Chinese city renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall. The majestic wall, which includes six major gates and 72 watchtowers, encircles an old city which has little changed architecturally over the past 300 years. In 2004, part of the southern walls collapsed but were reconstructed. However, the rest of the city walls are still largely intact and Pingyao is considered to be one of best-preserved walled cities in the world.

7. Obidos

The town of Óbidos is located on a hill and is encircled by a fortified wall. In the 8th century the Moors established a fortification on top of the hill. It was taken from the Moors by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, in 1148. The castle of Óbidos and the walls of the village were remodeled in the 14th century. The walls are made out of local limestone and marble. The village was also enlarged around this time, with settlements created outside the city walls. The well-preserved mediaeval look of its streets, squares, walls and its massive castle have turned the picturesque village into a popular tourist attraction in Portugal.

6. Xi'an

Xi’an one of the oldest cities in China, with a history of more than 3,100 years. For 1,000 years, the city was the capital for 13 dynasties, and a total of 73 emperors ruled here. Xi’an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army. A well-preserved city wall, which was reconstructed in the 14th century during the early Ming Dynasty, surrounds the city. One of the world’s largest city walls, it is wide enough to easily ride 5 bikes across.

5. Itchan Kala 

Itchan Kala is the walled inner town of the city of Khiva in Uzbekistan. The old town retains many historic monuments and old houses, dating primarily from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. The most spectacular features of Itchan Kala are its sun-dried brick walls and four gates at each side of the rectangular fortress. The city walls were destroyed several times, but they were always rebuilt.

4. Avila

Located in western Spain, the medieval city of Ávila is built on the flat summit of a rocky hill, which rises abruptly in the midst of a veritable wilderness. Ávila has a magnificently well-preserved city wall which encircles the entire old town. The ramparts have nine gates and 88 towers many topped with stork nests. The city walls were primarily constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries.

3. Carcassonne

The French city of Carcassonne is one of the most perfectly preserved walled cities of the world and the largest walled city in Europe. The fortification consists of two outer walls, towers and barbicans built over a long period of time. One section is Roman and is notably different from the medieval walls with the red brick layers and the terracotta tile roofs. One of these towers housed the Catholic Inquisition in the 13th Century and is still known as ‘The Inquisition Tower’. Portions of the 1991 film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ were shot in and around Carcassonne.

2. Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a holy city to three religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, whilst being the modern capital of the State of Israel and the country’s largest city. It is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century rubs shoulders with the twenty-first century, and where picturesque old neighborhoods nestle against glistening office towers and high-rise apartments. The walled city of Jerusalem, which until the late nineteenth century formed the entire city, is now called the Old City. It is divided into four quarters: The Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. Jerusalem has been surrounded by walls for its defense since ancient times. In the 16th century, during the reign of the Ottoman empire in the region, it was decided to fully rebuild the city walls on the remains of the ancient walls. The construction lasted from 1535-1538 and these walls are the walls that exist today.

1. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a walled city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia. Nicknamed “Pearl of the Adriatic”, it is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of the Mediterranean. The walled city was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice and achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. The world famous walls surround the old city. Constructed mainly during the 12th–17th centuries, they have been well preserved to the present day.

 

Russia Tests Inter-continental Ballistic Missile, Topol RS-12M
Da defenseworld.net del 27 settembre 2017

Illustration of Russian ICBM Topol RS-12M

A Topol RS-12M intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been test launched from the Kapustin Yar range in Russia’s southern Astrakhan region, the Russian defense ministry said on Tuesday. "A combat group of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile Topol RS-12M from the Kapustin Yar state central range in the Astrakhan region," Tass said quoting a ministry spokesman.

The goal of the launch was to test advanced ballistic missile warheads. The missile’s exercise warhead hit a target at the Sary-Shagan range in Kazakhstan, the ministry said. According to the ministry, data on the Topol launch will be used to develop advanced anti-missile defense penetration aids. The RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle) is a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, which entered service in 1985.It has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,125 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 550 kilotons.

Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for New American Security told USNI News yesterday that while the fundamental strategic balance between the two countries remains in place, there have been changes over the years in how each views the others and what either will do to protect itself. Moscow’s placement of cruise missiles close to its western borders does violate the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Fontaine said. The Russians claim that the placement of Aegis Ashore in Poland and Romania to deter missile attacks from Iran on NATO countries likewise broke the 1987 agreement.

 

The collapse of Tito's secret weapon of $ 4 billion
Da balkanwarhistory.com del 27 settembre 2017

Located deep in the Inland of the Plješevica Mountain near Bihać, once the most advanced Yugoslavian military airport Zeljava was famous for one of the three leading airports of this type in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

With the aim of securing the airspace, Tito invested at the airport Zeljava about 4 billion US dollars to secure possible attacks against Yugoslavia.

 

 

 

 

According to the expert engineer for the radar system, Air Force lieutenant colonel in the air force service Ivan Prsa says that this military building looked impressive in 1968 when it was officially opened.

Zeljava once was the strongest airport

- It was the strongest military airport infrastructure in the whole of Yugoslavia. Inside, there was an aviation brigade with 60 airplanes and more than 3,000 people, of which there were only about 500 officers, about 900 non-commissioned officers, and about 2,000 soldiers. The air base had the capacity to operate from three Avio brigades in case of need, and was the ideal shield against sudden strikes - Prsa's story adds that it was the strictest guarded military facility in the former state.

 

On May 17, 1992, the army of Yugoslavia mined the airport with 56 tons of explosives and completely disabled it, and the tooth of time made its interior completely collapse.

The USK Prime Minister Hamdi Lipovac announced the possibility in 2011 for the creation of a modern cargo airport.

However, the height and cost-effectiveness of the investment dictate the flow of project realization, so the instructors say that it is such a nonprofitable, while for some kind of museum tourism the interior of the airport is not safe.

 

 

Leading polluters

The tunnel has a very dangerous toxic compound produced in a fire after blasting. Therefore, until they are decontaminated, they are unusable for any activity.

The border zone, in which the airport is located, is a large reservoir of drinking water sources of Klokot, Privilice and Zegar as a water supply system in the city of Bihac, as well as Smiljanovac that supplies Ripač.

 The former airport was one of the major polluters of the underground waters that dotted from Lika so that it is better for Bihac and Una Sana Canton to never work, says the inspector at the border crossing Izacic Hazim Alagic, in the JNA he had the title of a parachute.

Sources: www.avaz.ba jugoslavenska-narodna-armija.blogspot.ba
 

 

Russia Tests Nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ‘RS-24 Yars’
Da defenseworld.net del 13 settembre 2017

Russia Tests Nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ‘RS-24 Yars’

Russia successfully tested a Yars silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday at Plesetsk space center. "The test launch of a RS-24 Yars silo-based solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with a multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle [MIRV] was carried out by a unit of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces," Russian ministry said in a statement.

The missile has a range of up to 6,800 miles and is one of the most advanced in Russia’s colossal nuclear arsenal. The ministry launched the weapon in a test to confirm its “reliability” amid tensions worldwide. "The experimental warheads arrived at the designated area at the Kura training ground on the Kamchatka peninsula. The goals have been achieved, all tasks have been fulfilled," the statement said.

The RS-24 Yars, which is equipped with three to six warheads, is capable of hitting different targets up to 12,000km away. The solid-fuel rocket is an upgraded version of the Topol-M missile, and can be launched both from the ground and from a vehicle. It was first tested a decade ago, and has been in use by Russia’s strategic forces for the past seven years. According to Sputnik, Russia is switching to Yars ICBMs with its share set to stand at 72 percent by the end of 2017.

 

Oshkosh Wins $177.5M For Production of Additional JLTVs
Da defenseworld.net del 1 settembre 2017

Oshkosh was awarded a $177.5 million modification contract for additional production quantities of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and kits.

Work is expected to be completed by Aug. 25, 2024, US Department of Defense said in a statement Thursday.

Oshkosh Defense had won a contract worth $243 million from the US Army for 657 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and logistics support in March last year.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a United States military program to part-replace the Humvee that is currently in service.

 

Boeing, Northrop Pip Lockheed Martin in Race To Build Minuteman Nuclear Missile Replacement
Da defenseworld.net del 22 agosto 2017

Minuteman Missile Comparison: USAF National Museum image

Boeing has been awarded a $349.1 million contract and Northrop Grumman a $328.6 million contract for the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent program. “This contract is to conduct technology maturation and risk reduction to deliver a low technical risk, affordable total system replacement of Minuteman III to meet intercontinental ballistic missiles operational requirements,” a Pentagon contract announcement said.

The decision means rejection of a bid by Lockheed Martin, which also had competed for the work and had put together a high profile team of sub-contractors to execute the project. Boeing and Northrop now have three years to develop the next ground-based strategic deterrent missile, after which a single company is to be selected to run the program. The final winning company will be the recipient of a windfall of defense spending. Costs of the program have been estimated to be at least $85 billion, the Washington Post reported.

“The Minuteman III is the enduring ground-based leg of our nuclear triad. However, it is an aging platform and requires major investments to maintain its reliability and effectiveness,” Air Force Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said in a statement. Inter-continental ballistic missiles produced and maintained by Boeing under the Minuteman program make up one leg of the United States’ so-called nuclear triad, which includes the capability to launch nuclear missiles on a moment’s notice from air, ground and submarine. “As the Air Force prepares to replace the Minuteman III, we will once again answer the call by drawing on the best of Boeing to deliver the capability, flexibility and affordability the mission requires,” Frank McCall, Boeing’s program manager for the effort, said in a statement.   Northrop Grumman chief executive Wes Bush emphasized his own company’s past experience with missile programs, a company statement posted Monday said. The Pentagon’s decision is the second big project loss to Lockheed Martin, which earlier lost out in a race to build the B-21 stealth bomber.

 

Russia unveils new transporter-loader vehicles for intercontinental ballistic missile
Da defence-blog.com del 18 agosto 2017
KB Motor in cooperation with Special Vehicles Company (ZSA) facility part of JSC «Remdizel» (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) displayed publicly for the first time a new series of the special transporter-loader vehicles for the intercontinental ballistic missile.

The KB Motor is specialized in transport equipment for the space industry and Russian Strategic Rocket Forces and Special Vehicles Company is a wheeled special platform maker were developed new special transporter-loader vehicles for the intercontinental ballistic missile.

The KB Motor has developed a new generation of the transporter-loader system towed by the ubiquitous K-78504 tractor and 15T528 transporter-loader vehicle based on the K-78501 wheeled platform. These systems are a part of the ground infrastructure serving the ballistic missile system, it is designed to quickly transport the missiles along roads of any quality from storage facilities for subsequent installations in an underground missile silo.

According to armyrecognition.com, the new vehicles are a part of Platforma-O family includes four heavy wheeled vehicles. Platforma-O comprises K-7850 16×16 special wheeled platform with a lifting capacity of 85 t, K-78509 12×12 special wheeled platform with a lifting capacity of 60 t, K-78504 8×8 wheeled arctic intended for towing of a 90 t semi-trailer, and K-78508 8×8 wheeled ballast prime mover with a lifting capacity of 75 t intended for the transportation of aircraft on the airfield.

It should be noted that K-7850 and K-78509 are supposed to be used as the mobile ICBM systems` new chassis. There is a plan to integrate them with RS-24 Yars (SS-27 Mod 2) mobile ICBM launchers,” the source pointed out.

 

South Korea, US Fire Missiles In Response To Pyongyang's ICBM Launch
Da defenseworld.net  del 5 luglio 2017

South Korean Hyunmoo-2A ballistic missile

South Korea and the US fired a barrage of missiles, including South’s Hyunmoo-2A and US ATACMS sending a warning message to North Korea. 

North Korea had claimed a successful long-range missile test Monday. South Korea, US fired the ballistic missiles into the East Sea, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Hyunmoo-2A is a ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers, and the ATACMS, or the Army Tactical Missile System, is a surface-to-surface missile.

The live-fire training was held on the orders of President Moon Jae-in who cited the need for demonstrating the allies' missile defense posture with action, not just a statement, Moon's office Cheong Wa Dae was quoted as saying by Yonhap Wednesday.

The US troops said they mobilized the assets to counter "North Korea's destabilizing and unlawful actions" a day earlier, referencing its firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile. "The deep strike precision capability enables the ROK (South Korea)-US Alliance to engage the full array of time critical targets under all weather conditions," the Eighth Army said. The North Korean Central News Agency said the North has mastered the atmospheric re-entry technology and other skills for an ICBM via the test inspected by leader Kim Jong-un. "The test-launch was aimed at confirming the tactical and technological specifications and technological features of the newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-sized heavy nuclear warhead," the KCNA said in an English-language report. The test was also to "finally verify all technical features of the payload of the rocket during its atmospheric re-entry, including the heat-resisting features and structural safety of the warhead tip of ICBM made of newly developed domestic carbon compound material, in particular," it added.

The inner temperature of the warhead tip stayed within the range of 25-45 degrees Celsius at the time of the re-entry, with all other core devices normally operating before the missile struck a mock target accurately, it argued. "All technological characteristics" necessary to fire an ICBM from a mobile launcher were verified as well, it said. Kim Jong-un described the Hwasong-14 ICBM as an Independence Day "gift" for Americans.

 

Nike-Raketenstellung Reetz (Blankenheim)
Da rottenplaces.de del 15 giugno 2017

Vom Die belgischen Streitkräfte betrieben ab 1963 in der Gemarkung Reetz „Auf dem Kump“ eine Raketenstellung, auf der als Teil der NATO-Luftabwehr bis Anfang der 1990er Jahre 23 Nike-Raketen des Typs „Nike-Hercules“ (Langstrecken-Flugabwehrrakete aus USamerikanischer Produktion; Anm. d. Red.) stationiert waren. Die Stellung, die Teil eines Raketensperrgürtels war, befand sich auf einem stark gesicherten Gelände, auf dem 400 Soldaten ihren Dienst taten. Stationiert waren hier ab 1982 auch atomare Gefechtsköpfe unter direkter Kontrolle der USA, die 1988/89 abtransportiert wurden. Die Radar- und Steuerzentrale dieser Raketenstellung befand sich westlich des Nachbarortes Mülheim auf dem „Kalkbüsch“ am Finkenberg.

Die hier installierten Radarantennen dienten dem Zweck, Höhe, Geschwindigkeit und den Kurs eines anfliegenden Flugzeuges erkennen und dieses auch als „Feindflugzeug“ identifizieren. Parallel dazu mussten Kurs und Flugbahn der stellungseigenen Abwehrraketen zum feindlichen Flugobjekt errechnet werden. Dafür waren leistungsstarke Computer zuständig, die in atombomebnsicheren Bunkern untergebracht waren. Schon während des Zweiten Weltkriegs diente das Areal als Flugabwehr, später als Flugwacht. Von hier aus wurden Bomberverbände, die in Richtung deutscher Großstädte flogen, gesichtet, identifiziert und weitergemeldet. Das Gelände der Stellung war eine Zeit lang verpachtet und der Öffentlichkeit nicht zugängig.

Über die Jahre „schlachteten“ Kupferdiebe und Vandalen das Gelände mit seinen Gebäuden förmlich aus. Die Schäden sind enorm. Noch Ende 1990, also mit dem Abzug der Belgier, wollte der Verein „Art Eifel“ hier Filmvorführungen und Ausstellungen durchführen. Nike Nike war ein US-amerikanisches Flugabwehrraketenprogramm (SAM-N-25 – Bezeichnung bis 1962; MIM-14/14A/14B – Bezeichnung ab 1962), das in der ursprünglichen Variante MIM-3 Nike Ajax und später in der verbesserten Variante Nike Hercules über viele Jahre das Rückgrat der US- merikanischen Luftverteidigung darstellte. Es war für den Einsatz gegen hochfliegende, überschallschnelle und auch multiple Ziele (etwa gegen Bomberpulks) konzipiert. In der Variante Nike Zeus wurde sie auch im ersten US-amerikanischen Raketenabwehrsystem verwendet.Quellen: wisoveg.de, Wikipedia, cold-war.de, rundschau-online.de di Andrè Winternitz

 

 

USAF Awards $48M Contract To BAE Systems To Operate 5 Phased Array Radar Systems Stations
Da defenseworld.net del 11 maggio 2017

BAE Systems has been awarded a $48 million contract by the US Air Force to operate Solid State Phased Array Radar Systems (SSPARS) at five major strategic radar stations.

BAE Systems will manage, operate, maintain and logistically support five SSPARS sites: Beale Air Force Base, California; Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts; Clear Air Force Station, Alaska; Thule Air Base, Greenland; and Royal Air Force Fylingdales, United Kingdom. “BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Rockville, Maryland, has been awarded a $48,487,511 modification (P00562) to exercise an option on previously awarded contract FA2517-06-C-8001. Contractor will manage, operate, maintain and logistically support the Solid State Phased Array Radar Systems,” the US Department of Defense said in a press release Wednesday.

Work is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2018.  The SSPARS is a ground-based radar system that provides U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., with warning and attack-assessment information on all intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched throughout the world that might be headed for U.S. territory. The system also helps warn USSTRATCOM and NATO authorities of submarine- and sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) attacks and provides data to help evaluate the severity of ballistic missile attacks.

 

 

Chinese expert say that China should take military action against THAAD deployment
Da defence-blog.com del 4 maggio 2017

China should take military countermeasures against THAAD deployment, a Chinese military expert said after the defense ministries of South Korea and the U.S. confirmed onMay 2 that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system is now operational in South Korea. The system reportedly has the initial capability to intercept North Korean missiles.

The deployment of THAAD poses a substantial threat to China. The system enables SouthKorea and its allies to monitor military projects in northern, northeastern and easternChina, Yang Chengjun, a senior military strategist of missile studies, told the GlobalTimes.

Diplomatic channels have so far proven unable to stop the deployment of THAAD, Yang said, suggesting that China take military action to safeguard its national security. For instance, China could send more troops armed with advanced weapons to its north-east region, enhance air and naval forces and conduct regular anti-THAAD drills in the region. The country could also disclose more information about the deployment of its own advanced weapons, such as the DF-41 strategic missile, according to Yang.

 

 

A nuclear peril, and its silences
Da printfriendly.com del 28 aprile 2017

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon during a visit to Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant, one of the UK's four nuclear warhead-carrying submarines. Danny Lawson/PA Images.

Donald Trump has said that there is a risk of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea and using such terminology implies a potential nuclear dimension. Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said that the United Kingdom would support the United States in further military action against the Assad regime in Syria. This raises some worrying questions early in the UK's general-election campaign, especially if it is put in the context of the country's long-term commitment to the use of nuclear weapons.

When Britain's new prime minister Theresa May announced the next stage of the Trident replacement programme in July 2016 she was asked directly whether she would ever “press the button” and fire these, the nuclear missiles in the United Kingdom's arsenal. She said yes, unreservedly, ensuring that the UK would remain a fully functioning member of the nuclear club: that tiny group of nine states compared with the 186 states that do not possess nuclear weapons (see "A nuclear world: eight-and-a half rogue states", 13 January 2017).

The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was asked the same question during the current general-election campaign, and repeated his oft-expressed refusal to do so. For this he was roundly condemned by leading Conservatives and their supporters in the press. The defence secretary Michael Fallon termed Corbyn an out-and-out security threat, while confirming that Britain’s retains a nuclear "first-use" strategy. To put it bluntly, Theresa May is prepared to start a nuclear war whereas Jeremy Corbyn won’t (see "Britain's nuclear plans: the Corbyn factor", 17 September 2015).

The implications of this very bald statement are startling in two quite different ways. The first is that starting a nuclear war would most probably be the war crime to end all war crimes; the second is that the prospect of this raised scarcely a flicker of interest in the media or the country at large, apart from the opportunity for the Conservatives to label Corbyn unpatriotic and a threat to British security.

True, any self-respecting analyst of British nuclear policy knows full well that successive political leaders may have been reluctant to talk about firing nuclear weapons. A previous column on the topic in this series remarked on the manner in which Theresa May was at least open about it (see also "Britain's nuclear-weapons future: no done deal", 21 July 2016).

Such an analyst will also know that the British government has never signed up to the idea of “no first use”, but that this is almost never stated in public. Indeed, the willingness to "go first" is typically consigned to a few weasel words hidden in the depths of a lengthy defence statement, and then only rarely.

The big boys' club

It is not easy to understand why one of the smaller nuclear powers is willing to undertake the ultimate and entirely self-defeating effort to “punch above its weight” in nuclear weapons (and other geostrategic) terms. But it helps to put this in a historical perspective. In the 1950s, Britain had not yet shed its imperial past; but it had become the world’s third nuclear power after the United States and the Soviet Union, and was seen by the British establishment as still in status a co-equal among three superpowers.

This was a radical change from the multipolar world of the 1930s. Then, six states – Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, Germany and France – were all in military competition. The second world war then saw Germany and Japan defeated, and France humbled, leaving the newly nuclear-armed Britain to see itself very much as part of the "big boys’ club".

In those days, before the advent of CND and the era of anti-nuclear campaigning, a legacy of wartime endured: namely, the military continued to see nuclear weapons as not so dissimilar from conventional weapons except in the level of power they unleashed. After all, the argument went, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs had not been hugely more devastating than the conventional massed bomber raids on Hamburg and Dresden, or indeed the terrifying destruction of Tokyo by firebombing.

The notion that nuclear weapons represented just another item in the arsenal had a particular significance for Britain, which could no longer even begin to match the conventional forces of the Soviets or Americans. A fact now lost in the depths of nuclear history is that when Britain’s interests in Asia seemed threatened by the rise of Chinese communism in the 1950s, defence analysts actually theorised about the need to prevail in a war by using nuclear weapons.

One of the most influential such thinkers, John Slessor, believed that: “in most of the possible theatres of limited war… it must be accepted that it is at least improbable that we would be able to meet a major communist offensive in one of those areas without resorting to tactical nuclear weapons” (see Milan Rai, Tactical Trident, the Rifkind Doctrine and the Third World, Drava Papers, 1995).

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the UK developed the capability to drop nuclear bombs from the V-bomber force based in the Middle East and southeast Asia, and by Scimitar and Buccaneer aircraft on carriers. The ideas behind this were illustrated by the then defence minister, Duncan Sandys, in a 1957 debate:

“One must distinguish major global war, involving a head-on clash between the great powers, and minor conflicts which can be localised and which do not bring the great powers into direct collision. Limited and localised acts of aggression, for example by a satellite Communist state could, no doubt, be resisted with conventional arms, or, at worst, with tactical atomic weapons, the use of which could be confined to the battle area” (see Hansard, Volume 568, column 1765, 16 April 1957).

The idea of limited nuclear war persists to this day. It was and is a central part of Nato’s strategy of flexible response. This was originally codified in document MC 14/3 of 16 January 1968, and has long been a part of Britain’s nuclear thinking, however hidden from public view (see Lewis Betts, Duncan Sandys and British Nuclear Policy-Making, Palgrave 2016).

When Argentina overran the Falkland/Malvinas Islands in 1982, prime minister Margaret Thatcher ordered the despatch of a naval taskforce, with the defence secretary John Nott telling the House of Commons that it would carry its full range of weapons. At the time this included helicopter-borne nuclear depth-bombs for anti-submarine warfare and free-fall bombs for delivery by Sea Harriers. There followed a row within Whitehall over the wisdom of putting such weapons at risk in a warzone. Some, at least, were reportedly transferred to an auxiliary, RFA Regent, which was deployed to the south Atlantic but, unlike its sister ship RFA Resource, was kept clear of the warzone (see "Nuclear weapons: the oxygen of debate", 29 December 2006).

In recent years there has been an assumption that Britain has given up the idea of limited nuclear war, having withdrawn all its tactical nuclear weapons in the 1990s. But this is not correct, since a low-yield variant of the otherwise very powerful Trident thermonuclear warhead is available ("low yield" in this case meaning merely the size of the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bomb).

A new danger

All this, and much more, has long been in the public domain (see Paul Rogers, Sub-Strategic Trident: A Slow Burning Fuse, London Defence Papers No 34, Brassey’s for the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, London, 1996). Yet it almost never figures in the public debate about defence. Indeed, on rare occasions when people like Jeremy Corbyn raise the issue, they are labelled security risks.

In part such attitudes are still explained by the British establishment’s fundamental need to see the UK as a major world player, especially at a time of relative decline. But there is also the matter of generational change. These issues were debated In the 1980s, at least to an extent. But the cold war ended in 1990, and few people under the age of 40 have much awareness of just how dangerous that period was.

Today, with Trump, Putin, Kim Jong-un and even Theresa May around, the world has entered a new period of uncertainty and potential nuclear danger. Yet there are few signs of any kind of rational debate emerging in the weeks of campaigning until Britain's general election on 8 June. Instead, there is the appalling prospect of serious discussion about UK nuclear weapons being submerged by accusations of unpatriotic behaviour and threats to national security.

This could of course, change, if the Labour leadership were to persist in the following questions to Theresa May, questions which are entirely reasonable in the context of the last few days:

If a potentially violent crisis develops over North Korea and President Trump requests British support would she:

* provide political support?

* provide military assistance as a symbol of the special relationship?

* ensure that the UK nuclear force was maintained on a high state of alert in case of an untoward escalation of a crisis?

About the author

Paul Rogers is professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He is openDemocracy's international security adviser, and has been writing a weekly column on global security since 28 September 2001; he also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group. His latest book is Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins (IB Tauris, 2016), which follows Why We’re Losing the War on Terror (Polity, 2007), and Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010). He is on Twitter at: @ProfPRogers

 

North Korea Showcase New Ballistic Missile At Military Parade
Da defenseworld.net del 15 aprile 2017

’Pukguksong-2’ intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) showcased during military parade (Yonhap photo)

North Korea showcased its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time at a public event during a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang today.

A huge truck carrying the missile-shaped objective appeared to be a new type ICBM rolled through the main square of the capital in front of leader Kim Jong-un, Yonhap reports Saturday.

"It's presumed to be a new ICBM. It seems longer than the existing KN-08 or KN-14 ICBMs, a South Korean military official told Yonhap.

The North also showed off various other ballistic missiles including what it claims to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and new intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) ’Pukguksong-2’.

 

Kompleksy Zeppelin oraz Maybach - Zossen
Da bunkrowo.pl del 9 aprile 2017

di Tomasz Hołownia

 

-2’.Wϋnsdorf to niewielka miejscowość położona na południe od Berlina. Graniczy z nieco mniejszym miasteczkiem – Zossen.

Obu nazw używa się niemal zamiennie na określenie jednego miejsca w Brandenburgii. Nazwa Zossen pochodzi od słowa sosna, a wizerunek tego drzewa znajduje się w herbie miasta.

Ale nie realia gospodarcze przyciągnęły nas w to miejsce.

W 1877 roku powstał w okolicznych lasach poligon artyleryjski.

W 1910 w Wϋnsdorf, armia cesarstwa niemieckiego założyła garnizon. Utworzono tu tym samym główną kwaterę armii niemieckiej. W latach 30stych nowi włodarze – naziści, rozpoczęli budowę nowych obiektów.

Wybudowano schrony przeciwlotnicze o charakterystycznej, szpiczastej konstrukcji, zakończonej iglicą.

Powstało ich kilkanaście a każdy pomieścić mógł około 300 osób! Miały one zapewnić ochronę cywilnym pracownikom oraz mieszkańcom Zossen. Zbudowano tu również dwa kompleksy bunkrów o nazwach Zeppelin oraz Maybach (Maybach I zbudowany w 1939 roku oraz Maybach II wybudowany rok później). Kompleksy Maybach I i II składały się z ponad dwudziestubudynków.

Budowla końcowa północ – maskowana na domek dwurodzinny

Z pozoru niewinne domki, większość parterowych, kilka z piętrem, ze spadzistymi strzechami, kominami, popularnymi kolorami oraz wieloma szczegółami, usytuowane na planie owalu przypominały zwykłe, nie wyróżniające się osiedle. Jednak pod tą powłoką i skrzętnym kamuflażem kryły się masywne szkielety z żelbetu, zbrojone tonami metalu.

Każdy z tych obiektów był połączony z kolejnym podziemnymi poternami. Każdy miał dwa poziomy piwnic. Wszystkie drzwi w obiektach były gazoszczelne. W obiektach tych mieszkali oraz pracowali głównodowodzący niemieckiego wojska oraz służby im podporządkowane. W bunkrach Maybach I miało siedzibę dowództwo Armii Lądowej, w Maybach II Naczelne Dowództwo Sił Zbrojnych. Do tych budynków dochodziły wiadomości ze wszystkich frontów II Wojny Światowej, stąd dowodzono niemiecką armią, przez właśnie to miejsce przeszedł rozkaz ataku na Polskę!

W Sali lacznosci telefonicznej - 1941 rok

Nieopodal znajduje się Zeppelin. Nazwa pochodzi od centrali telefonicznej, która pracowała w systemie kodowym Zeppelin. Niepozorny z zewnątrz obiekt, maskowany zasadzonym nań drzewostanem w rzeczywistości był największym i najważniejszym punktem strategicznych oraz operacyjnych połączeń. 24h na dobę pracowało tu 35 dalekopisów, stacje przesyłowe dużej mocy, linie telegraficzne oraz telefoniczne.

Obiekt Zeppelin schodzi pod ziemię na 18 metrów. Korytarze są przestronne, a niektóre hale mają wielkość sali gimnastycznej. Nowoczesne wyposażenie pozwalało na efektywną pracę- używano na przykład poczty pneumatycznej do szybkiego przekazywania wiadomości. Obiekt wyposażono także w awaryjne źródła prądu oraz w baterie, które umożliwiłyby korzystanie z najważniejszych urządzeń pracując przez 14 dni!

Rzut Maybach 1 oraz Zeppe

Obiekty przetrwały bombardowania wojsk amerykańskich oraz angielskich a do tego celu wysłano aż 580 bombowców. Ale gdy do Zossen zbliżały się wojska radzieckie, generał Krebs poprosiłHitlera o pozwolenie na opuszczenie i zniszczenie bunkrów. To pierwsze Niemcom się udało, jednak armia czerwona 20 kwietnia 1945 roku wkroczyła do skrzętnie zamaskowanego i ukrytego w lesie kompleksu, przejmując urządzenia telekomunikacyjne w pełni gotowe do użytku. W roku 1946 czerwonoarmiści wysadzili kompleksy Maybach I oraz Maybach II, zachowując przy tym Zeppelin.

W okresie zimnej wojny w Zossen i Wünsdorf znajdowała się kwatera główna Zachodniej Grupy Wojsk Armii Czerwonej. Podobna kwatera Północnej Grupy Wojsk Armii Czerwonej znajdowała się w okolicach Wilkocina a tutaj możecie zobaczyć nasz materiał z tego właśnie miejsca. Tu zapadały decyzje dotyczące nie tylko żołnierzy, ale wszystkich mieszkańców NRD. Bunkry zostały zdemilitaryzowane dopiero w 1994 roku, kiedy żołnierze radzieccy opuścili ziemie niemieckie.

 

Russia to take corresponding measures if South Korea deploys THAAD
Da defence-blog.com del 6 febbraio 2017

Russia will take corresponding measures to ensure its national security if South Koreadeploys the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, Alexander Timonin, Russian Ambassador to South Korea, said at a press conference on Friday in Seoul.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Timonin said that the deployment of THAAD in SouthKorea would pose a threat to security on the Korean Peninsula and would contributenothing to regional peace. He said the deployment indicates that South Korea would beincorporated into the U.S. missile defense system, which would challenge Russia’sstrategic security.

Timonin pointed out that Russia still hopes for South Korea to decide against thedeployment.

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said on Friday that South Korean DefenseMinister Han Min-goo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have reached consensuson making sure that THAAD is deployed in South Korea this year.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element provides the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) with a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.

 

 

Maastricht, le bunker OTAN
Da tchorski.morkitu.org del 2017

Cette page est un compte-rendu de visite dans le bunker de l'Otan situé à Maastricht. Les lieux possèdent de nombreux noms, comme bien souvent dans le Mergelland. Ainsi on trouve les dénominations de Bosberg, Boshberg, Boschberg, Cannerberg, et bien-sûr NATO Maastricht. Il s'agit d'une carrière souterraine de tuffeau, attenante au Jezuïetenberg. Selon un plan de mauvaise qualité, les deux exploitations ne sont plus jointives mais accolées. Un seul tunnel de jonction existe. Cet unique tunnel entre le Bosberg et le Fallenberg fut obturée avec une porte en métal en 1904, dans le but d'éviter les situations de vandalisme, qui arrivèrent de temps à autre. Cette fermeture fut financée par la famille Poswick, propriétaire des terres de surface au-dessus du Cannerberg. En 1957, l'OTAN prenant possession du site et réalisant un accord avec les moines jésuites, la jonction est fermée avec un mur de béton, une nouvelle entrée vers le Jezuïetenberg est percée, légèrement au nord de celle de l'OTAN. Les galeries du Bosberg sont médiévales, tout comme le Jezuïetenberg. Durant les années 40, l'occupant nazi prend possession du lieu. Les tunnels du Cannerberg sont utilisées en vue de mettre en place une usine d'assemblage des missiles de type V1. Cette usine est en grande partie montée en 1944.

Lors de l'offensive des Ardennes, l'occupant allemand est chassé du site. Les militaires sont évacués, le commandement armé de l'occupant américain prend possession des lieux. Après la seconde guerre mondiale et surtout à l'orée de la guerre froide, l'occupant américain y installe un poste de contrôle. En 1949 le site est évalué par le commandement, qui trouve agréable que les voies d'accès soient déjà bétonnées, l'électricité installée. De plus comme il s'agit d'un lieu reculé, cela s'avère en quelque sorte parfait. La carrière est dès lors retransformée en bunker. En 1956 les travaux d'aménagement sont mis en oeuvre et le site classé comme top-secret. Il en ressort que l'ensemble de galeries est très profondément transformé. Une ville entière s'installe sous terre, avec notamment le bétonnage de certaines galeries, en particulier dans le secteur de l'entrée dite 'officielle'. Les accès sont strictement contrôlés. Des infrastructures militaires sont mises en place : poste de commandement, salle des machines, salle de téléphones, citernes, cuisine, wc et douches, bar, etc. Au cours de cette installation, tous les murs de la carrière sont systématiquement et strictement raclés, ce qui provoque la disparition pure et simple, totale, de toutes les inscriptions médiévales. A la place sont installées des signalétiques directionnelles. Les axes principaux sont transformés en rues, qui portent les noms de l'alphabet OTAN, à savoir Alphastreet, Bravostreet, Golfstreet, Foxtrotstreet et autres de A à G + Mainstreet. Durant toute l'occupation du site, l'activité est secrète. Le personnel OTAN n'avait aucun droit quant à révéler son métier. Il en ressort que si la population se doutait que l'occupation était de type militaire, personne ne savait qu'il s'agissait d'une base de l'OTAN. Il est de fait que ce n'était pas particulièrement choquant à l'époque, considérant que d'abondantes fortifications de tout âge existent autour de Maastricht, ville inévitablement stratégique. Etaient employées 400 personnes de divers grades militaires, en provenance des Pays-Bas, de Belgique, des Etats-Unis, d'Angleterre et d'Allemagne. Un personnel de garde de 40 personnes était actif de nuit et lors de grands exercices, il y eut jusque 1000 personnes présentes. Le site est déclassé durant les années 90.

A lieu en cette période un fort démantèlement des infrastructures. Le moindre matériel est enlevé, à l'exception des infrastructures de la salle des machines - il s'agit des gros moteurs diésel qui pouvaient maintenir l'électricité en cas de chute du réseau électrique public. Etant donné que le site est isolé à l'aide d'amiante, un démantèlement ultérieur a lieu, avec un énorme chantier de retrait des matériaux amiantés. A nouveau le souterrain se trouve raclé de toutes parts. De nombreuses parois sont arrachées, évacuées ; le site est décontaminé, aspiré, balayé. La décontamination a pris 10 ans, a couté 40 millions d'euros, 9000 tonnes d'amiante sont évacuées. De ces diverses strates d'élimination : le retrait des traces d'occupation médiévales, le retrait du matériel OTAN, le retrait des matériaux amiantés, il en ressort à ce jour que le site est totalement vide. L'intérêt historique des lieux a été annihilé. Le parcours dans ces galeries s'avère insipide et sans intérêt. Au vu de cet aspect pénalisant, l'exploitation touristique met en oeuvre des reconstitutions. Dans les salles vides se trouvent de grandes photos d'époque, qui montrent comment c'était avant. Une galerie technique sortait sur le canal Albert. Elle possède à ce jour un énorme portail d'acier qui a été soudé. Les installations sont condamnées. Les photos ci-dessous représentent un compte-rendu de la visite. Au vu de la situation, ce sont des photos extrêmement médiocres. Il n'est guère possible de faire mieux.

vedi il servizio fotografico

 

 

Kazemat Verplaatsing objecten Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie
Del 22 febbraio 2017

Om ruimte te maken voor de aanleg van de 3e kolk en de verbreding van het Lekkanaal, moet een aantal objecten van de Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=98459&contentPageID=835867) worden verplaatst. Het gaat om drie kazematten, een sluisje, een duikerhoofd en een palengroep. De verplaatsingen zijn unieke operaties! Van de meest in het oog springende verplaatsingen doen we op deze pagina verslag.

Kazemat Vreeswijk Oost Op 22 februari hebben we kazemat Vreeswijk Oost verplaatst. Hieronder vind je meer informatie over de verplaatsing, zoals verschenen persberichten, artikelen en een infographic.

Timelapse filmpjes
Op 21 februari hebben we de kazemat alvast opgehesen in het draagportaal. Van deze hijsactie vind je hier (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=710204)het timelapse filmpje. Van de volledige verplaatsingsoperatie, dus ook van de verplaatsing en positionering van 22 februari, hebben deze totale timelapse (/PageByID.aspx?sectionID=100646&contentPageID=710757) laten maken.


Animatie
Met deze animatie (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=708342) laten we zien hoe de verplaatsing in zijn werk gaat.


Persberichten
We hebben een aantal persberichten over de verplaatsing verzonden. Natuurlijk gaan we voor veel aandacht voor dit unieke evenement! Ieder persbericht belicht weer een ander aspect.
 . Dit eerste persbericht is algemene aankondiging van de verplaatsing.
 . Het tweede persbericht belicht de technische aspecten van de    verplaatsing.
 . Het derde bericht vertelt wat er op 22 februari allemaal nog meer te doen was, naast het bewonderen van (het verplaatsen van) de kazemat.
 . Het vierde persbericht blikt terug op de 22ste.


Artikel
Om de meer technische media te interesseren voor de verplaatsing, hebben we een artikel (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=699994) gemaakt dat dieper in gaat op de techniek achter de verplaatsing.


Infographic
De verplaatsing is natuurlijk geen sinecure. Voor de feitelijke verplaatsing hebben we aardig wat voorbereidingen moeten treffen. Deze infographic (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=695227) laat overzichtelijk en eenvoudig zien uit welke stappen de verplaatsing bestaat.


Kleurplaat
Bij dit bijzondere evenement slaan we de kleintjes niet over. Zij kunnen meedoen aan een kleurwedstrijd door deze kleurplaat (/PageByID.aspx?sectionID=100646&contentPageID=699996) mooi in te kleuren en in te sturen voor 22 februari of op 22 februari in te leveren in de grote tent. Alle benodigde informatie staat op de kleurplaat.


Kazemat Schalkwijkse Wetering
Op 23 mei verplaatsten we de zwaarste van de drie kazematten.
Kazemat Schalkwijkse Wetering weegt 1,6 miljoen kilo en is probleemloos op zijn nieuwe plek terecht gekomen. Je leest hier (/PageByID.aspx?sectionID=100646&contentPageID=835871) het persbericht dat we over deze verplaatsing hebben verzonden.


Sluisje Schalkwijkse Wetering
In de periode van 3 tot en met 6 juli verplaatsten we het 1,4 miljoen kilo wegende sluisje Schalkwijkse Wetering. Dat deden we in 4 delen. Lees hier (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=835872) het persbericht over deze verplaatsing of bekijk hier (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=836342) het timelapse filmpje dat we van deze bijzondere verplaatsing hebben gemaakt.

Kazemat Houtense Wetering
Op 21 augustus verplaatsten we het laatste NHW-object in de reeks, kazemat Houtense Wetering. Kazemat Houtense Wetering is met 750.000 kilo de lichtste, maar het was niet de gemakkelijkste. Aan het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog heeft de bezetter in de kazemat een bom tot ontploffing gebracht. Dit heeft de kazemat beschadigd. Om te voorkomen dat de kazemat verder zou beschadigen tijdens de verplaatsing, heeft Sas van Vreeswijk voorafgaand aan de verplaatsing een stalen korset om de kazemat heen aangebracht ter bescherming. Kazemat Houtense Wetering is 80 meter in oostelijke richting verplaatst. Lees hier (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=99154&contentPageID=865642) het persbericht dat we over deze bijzondere en laatste verplaatsing hebben verzonden.


Na afronding van de totale verplaatsingsoperatie hebben we een mooie foto-impressie van alle verplaatsingen laten maken. Die kun je hier (/PageByID.aspx? sectionID=100646&contentPageID=923864) bekijken.

 

Die Festung der Franzosen
Da donaukurier.de del 31 gennaio 2017

Franck Deleyrolle besuchte das Fort Prinz Karl, in dem vor 100 Jahren sein Urgroßvater interniert wurde

Ingolstadt (DK) Vor 100 Jahren wurden im Fort Prinz Karl bei Ingolstadt die ersten Kriegsgefangenen aus Frankreich interniert. Jetzt besichtigte der Urenkel eines jener Soldaten mit dem Ingolstädter Geschichtslehrer Maximilian Schuster die Festung.

Eine kleine Episode der deutsch-französischen Freundschaft. Die deutsche Kugel durchschlug seinen linken Arm; vermutlich rettete ihm der Treffer das Leben. Für Ferdinand Deleyrolle, Friseurgeselle aus Paris, 26 Jahre alt, Soldat II. Klasse im 55. französischen Infanterieregiment, war die Schlacht um Lothringen schnell zu Ende. Als Gefangener der Bayerischen Armee gelangte er in die Tiefe des Feindeslandes: nach Ingolstadt. Die Festungen rund um die Stadt waren errichtet worden, um Franzosen abzuwehren. Jetzt diente das dem Prinzen Karl von Bayern gewidmete Fort im Nordosten des äußeren Verteidigungsrings um die Schanz dazu, außer Gefecht gesetzte Gegner zu internieren. Am 27. August 1914 (so dokumentiert es ein königlich-bayerischer Behördenstempel), eine Woche nach seiner Verwundung an der Front, schlossen sich hinter Deleyrolle die Festungstore.

Auf den Tag genau 100 Jahre später schritt ein Moderator und Hörfunkjournalist aus Marseille auf den Kriegsgefangenen zu: Franck Deleyrolle blickte Ferdinand Deleyrolle tief in die Augen. Sein Urgroßvater stand – als Fotografie lebensgroß auf Kunststoff gebannt – im Ingolstädter Schloss vor einer rekonstruierten Kasematte, die originalgetreu einer Gefangenenunterkunft des Forts Prinz Karl nachempfunden war; so gab der einfache Soldat Ferdinand Deleyrolle jener besonderen Episode der Ingolstädter Festungsgeschichte ein Gesicht. Ein ergreifender Augenblick für Franck Deleyrolle. Der Gast aus Frankreich musste es erst mal verarbeiten, hier in einem bayerischen Schloss einer historisch-wissenschaftlichen Annäherung an seinen Urgroßvater gegenüberzustehen, vom dem er nicht viel wusste, und dem er deshalb rege nachgeforscht hat. „Franck war in diesem Moment wie vom Blitz getroffen, er hat wirklich mit sich gerungen“, erzählt Maximilian Schuster, der den 40- jährigen Besucher an jenem für die Deleyrolles familienhistorisch denkwürdigen 27. August begleitet hat.

Schuster ist Geschichtslehrer an der Fronhofer-Realschule. Er hat mit Schülern die fünf Räume füllende Sonderausstellung über Ingolstadt zur Zeit des Ersten Weltkriegs erarbeitet, die vorgestern zu Ende gegangen ist; ein reihum gelobtes Gemeinschaftsprojekt mit dem Katharinen-Gymnasium. Bei den Vorbereitungen war Schuster im Internet auf den Stammbaum der Familie Deleyrolle gestoßen – Francks große Fleißarbeit. Der Hobbyforscher aus Marseille und der Ingolstädter Geschichtslehrer nahmen Kontakt auf. Zusammen holten sie den unbekannten Soldaten aus dem Dunkel der Geschichte; ein Schicksal, das für viele steht.

Der Urenkel hatte anfangs nur eine Postkarte mit dem Foto Ferdinands samt dem Vermerk „Fort Prinz-Karl Ingolstadt Bavière“. Mithilfe des Französischen Roten Kreuzes war es ihm gelungen, die Kriegszeit des Urgroßvaters zu rekonstruieren. Eines fügte sich zum anderen.

Franck Deleyrolles Tour in die Familienhistorie ging noch tiefer: An der Seite Schusters durfte er das Fort Prinz Karl besichtigen. Das bestens erhaltene Relikt der Ingolstädter Landesfestung ist der Öffentlichkeit eigentlich nicht zugänglich (siehe Kasten). Doch die Immobiliengesellschaft des Freistaats Bayern (ihr gehört das Denkmal) ermöglichte eigens für den Gast aus Frankreich einen Rundgang. Die Besucher blickten in die Kasematten, in denen die französischen Kriegsgefangenen (zuerst Mannschaftsdienstgrade, später meist Offiziere) einigermaßen erträglich lebten. Beeindruckt schritt Deleyrolle an den gewaltigen Mauern entlang, zwischen denen die Franzosen damals Fußball spielten. Er hat bei seinen Recherchen ein im Fort entstandenes Mannschaftsfoto aufgestöbert und seinen Uropa darauf identifiziert.

Ferdinand Deleyrolle erlebte in der Festung friedlich-fade Jahre bis zum Kriegsende. 1918 kehrte er nach Paris zurück und heiratete die Witwe seines Chefs, der gefallen war. Er adoptierte auch die zweijährige Tochter des Paares, Franck Deleyrolles Oma. 1941 erlag Ferdinand Deleyrolle in seinem Salon einem Herzinfarkt. Beim Haareschneiden.

Zurück aus der Vergangenheit widmete sich der Urenkel sogleich euphorisch der Zukunft des Forts. „Er hat nach unserem Besuch lange darüber sinniert, wie man dieses Denkmal nutzen kann“, erzählt Schuster. „Er stand richtig unter Strom! Denn so ein imposantes Monument dürfe der Öffentlichkeit nicht verschlossen bleiben, sagt er. Keine deutsche Stadt könne so was vorweisen!“ Das findet Schuster auch. Die deutsch-französische Begegnung endete, wie sie begonnen hatte: in Freundschaft. „Die Frage der Kriegsschuld ist überhaupt kein Thema mehr gewesen“, berichtet Schuster. Das sei definitiv vorbei. „Franck hat den Besuch in Bayern sehr genossen. Auch Ingolstadt gefällt ihm außerordentlich.“ Der Mann aus Marseille glaubt an eine starke Europäische Union. Die Wahlerfolge Marine Le Pens und ihres rechtsradikalen Front National in seiner Heimat sind ihm ein Grauen. Franck Deleyrolle will gern wiederkommen. Als Zeichen der Freundschaft weit über alle Festungen hinaus. Von Christian Silvester

 

A nuclear world: eight-and-a half rogue states
Da printfriendly.com del 13 gennaio 2017

Nuclear test.Wikimedia/National Nuclear Security Administration. Public Domain.

When Theresa May presented to parliament the case for renewing the state's nuclear forces in July 2016, she was asked directly by a Scottish MP whether she would be prepared to order a nuclear attack. The usual response to this question over the years has been to prevaricate. The United Kingdom's new prime minister, just a few days into the job, gave an unequivocal "yes." This was one of the very rare occasions in British politics when a direct query on nuclear use solicited a direct answer. In a sense, Theresa May did everyone a favour by being so clear.

The British nuclear force is not one of the larger ones, certainly in comparison with the United States and Russia. However, it still has 100-200 thermonuclear warheads, with just one of its Trident submarines capable of launching sixteen missiles, each with three warheads. The actual numbers may be lower than this in routine deployments, but a submarine ordered to fire could certainly ripple-fire over thirty warheads to different targets within half an hour. Typical missile flight times of less than half an hour mean that the destruction could all be achieved in just double that period (see: "Britain's nuclear-weapons future: no done deal," 21 July 2016).

Each warhead is rated at about 100 kilotons of destructive power. This exceeds the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs by over four-fifths in each case. At a very conservative estimate, if each Trident warhead killed 100,000 people (an event of Hiroshima's magnitude), the British prime minister could deliver an order that would kill 3 million people within an hour.

The British prime minister could deliver an order that would kill 3 million people within an hour. But consider a more cautious scenario, where the ballpark figure for nuclear use is "only" a million killed in an hour. How many countries have that capability? The United States and Russia each still have several thousand nuclear weapons, though their total arsenals are drastically down from the 1980s peak of over 60,000. Five other countries – France, China, Israel, Pakistan, and India – operate broadly at the UK's level of capability. North Korea is doing its best to get to that point, but has some way to go.

Leaving aside all the theology of deterrence, the reality is that eight countries underpin their approach to national security in the ability to commit appalling crimes against humanity – and one other is trying to emulate them.

To be clear, the above estimates are extremely modest. For example, in the 1980s the UK government's secret estimate of casualty rates from an all-out Soviet nuclear attack on the west was around 40 million people killed out of a population of 56 million. The government of the day preferred to give ridiculous advice on how to “protect and survive” rather than publish this figure.

A different way of thinking

This all presents us with an alternative way of looking at the possession of nuclear weapons: namely, that any state willing to kill at least a million people in less than an hour as a core part of its fundamental defence posture should be considered a rogue state. This makes for eightand- a-half rogue states worldwide.

One counter-argument is that nuclear weapons keep the peace without carrying any risk of untoward accident or escalation. The history of the past sixty years suggests otherwise. Moreover, far more information is now available about the accidents, dangerous crises, and near-misses in this period, which shows how close the world has come to catastrophe on several occasions.

The UK too has had its share of mishaps. The Nuclear Information Service chronicles many of the country’s problems and is publishing a further report on the subject in February 2017. Today, all seven “open” nuclear states are upgrading their forces, with Israel no doubt doing the same. As, at the same time, Putin and Trump talk up their nuclear prowess, addressing the issue looks difficult. Yet that is the very reason why the rogue-state approach is so useful.

In 2017, there are 193 member-states of the United Nations with seats in the general assembly, of which 185 do not feel the need to possess their own nuclear weapons. Some gave up any efforts, Switzerland and Sweden among them. Others, certainly including Argentina and Brazil, have looked seriously at the possibility; South Africa actually had a small arsenal in the early 1990s but got rid of it. Several countries no longer have the nuclear weapons of other states on their territory, such as Canada, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. These instances all flow from a particular context, but it's nonetheless true that very few nuclear rogue states remain (see: "Two steps to zero," 27 July 2008).

How else can the willingness to acquire the capacity to commit an appalling war crime, and treat this as central to your military stance, be described? In an era when prospects for nuclear disarmament are poor, calling rogue states by their true name is a way of thinking that should catch on.

About the author

Paul Rogers is professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He is openDemocracy's international security adviser, and has been writing a weekly column on global security since 28 September 2001; he also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group. His latest book is Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins (IB Tauris, 2016), which follows Why We’re Losing the War on Terror (Polity, 2007), and Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010). He is on Twitter at: @ProfPRogers

A lecture by Paul Rogers, delivered to the Food Systems Academy in late 2014, provides an overview of the analysis that underpins his openDemocracy column.

The lecture - "The crucial century, 1945-2045: transforming food systems in a global context" - focuses on the central place of food systems in human security worldwide. Paul argues that food is the pivot of humanity's next great transition. It can be accessed here

Related Articles

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Paul Rogers The thirty-year war: still on track
Paul Rogers Britain's nuclear deep: a new transparency
Paul Rogers Nuclear disarmament: the prospects
Paul Rogers Britain's nuclear-weapons future: no done deal
Paul Rogers The nuclear-weapons risk
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US Deploys Sea-Based X-Band Radar To Counter North Korean Nuclear Missile Launch
Da defence-blog.com del 6 gennaio 2017

US Deploys Sea-based X-Band Radar To Counter North Korean Nuclear Missile Launch

US department of Defense has deployed high-tech sea-based X-band radar to look out for a North Korean long-range-missile launch in the coming months. The deployment of sea-based X-band radar (SB-X) is the first US military response to North Korea’s threat that it could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. The radar is able to track the long-range launches and provide crucial data. The Sea-based, X-band Radar (SBX 1) transits the waters of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, CNN reported today.

Generally the SB-X is sent north of Hawaii and stationed about halfway to Alaska for the optimum spot to track a potential North Korean missile launch headed for Alaska, Guam or the West Coast of the US. Additional surveillance assets are also being identified to monitor activity on the Korean Peninsula. Defense officials have stressed that if North Korea were to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, it might not be shot down by a US missile defense system. "If the missile's threatening, it will be intercepted. If it's not threatening, we won't necessarily do so," Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters Tuesday. "It may be more to our advantage to, first of all, save our interceptor inventory, and, second, to gather intelligence from the flight rather than do that (shoot it down) when it's not threatening." Carter added.

"The SB-X radar will increase the US ability to collect that type of missile data," North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently said the test launch of an ICBM is in its final stages.  However, US still does not believe that North Korea has gained mastery over the technology required for the missile to reenter the atmosphere. “There have been launches of three-stage long-range rockets with a satellite on the front end being boosted into space. The two technologies are very similar, but it is re-entry of the warhead that has not yet been demonstrated,” US officials said.

On Wednesday, the US Treasury froze all US property interests and assets belonging to seven North Korean government officials. The Treasury imposed the sanctions because North Korea continues to engage in grave human rights abuses and actively uses censorship policies to conceal those abuses.

Most of the seven sanctioned North Koreans on the blacklist work in top-level security and prison operations. They include Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong -- Vice Director of the Korean Workers' Party Propaganda and Agitation Department. The Treasury further sanctioned the State Planning Commission and the Ministry of Labor, slamming the two government bodies for coordinating forced labor -- including in North Korean mines.

This is the second time the US has imposed human rights sanctions on Kim's government, after blacklisting Kim and other top officials in July.