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U.S. successfully tests anti-ballistic missile off coast of Hawaii

WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday said it had successfully tested its anti-ballistic missile system off the west coast of Hawaii, increasing the capacity to knock down missiles targeting the United States and its allies from rogue states like North Korea and Iran.

The intercepting missile, which is being developed by the United States and Japan, was launched from the USS John Finn on Friday after radar on the destroyer detected and tracked the medium-range ballistic target missile.

In August the Pentagon was given the mandate to pursue more options for defeating U.S.-bound North Korean missiles by using radar and more missiles to spot and shoot down inbound threats.

The military has been exploring whether the United States can add another layer to defenses to those already in place for intercepting incoming missiles.

The Aegis system, used in the latest test, was fitted with a Standard Missile 3 Block IIA (SM-3 IIA) interceptor being developed in a joint venture between Raytheon Co and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd........ to read more
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guess this sentence is interesting:

"Because the topline doesn’t immediate bounce back up, investment in hypersonics and other technologies “comes down to a judgment call, how fast we modernize – that’s probably going to be the biggest knob we have to turn” to adjust to a lower topline, if that spending level comes to fruition."

Shanahan: Next Pentagon Budget May Trade New Weapons Development for Readiness
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Oct 18, 2018
understandably,
US Military Leaders Keep Quiet on Saudi Arabia Amid Khashoggi Outrage
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... goes on below due to size limit
now
Mattis treads carefully on Khashoggi crisis
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The Defense Secretary condemned the killing of the Washington Post columnist — but did not mention Saudia Arabia by name.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday morning condemned the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, but stopped short of explicitly linking the gruesome killing to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The secretary’s keynote remarks are among the first public indications of the Pentagon’s handling of the murder, which has threatened to fracture U.S. relations with a key ally in the Trump administration’s bid to constrict Iran’s activities in the region. That spectre raised concerns that Russia, already vying for power in the region, could take advantage of any new distance between the U.S. and Riyadh.

In a speech emphasizing the U.S. commitment to security in the region, Mattis said that “the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all” — without mentioning the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by name.

“Failure of any nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most,” he told attendees of the Manama Dialogue, an annual security conference in the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain.

In his prepared remarks, Mattis insisted that the U.S.’s “shared security interests with our Arab and Israeli partners remain, and our respect for the Saudi people is undiminished.” He did not announce any change in arms sales policy to Riyadh, a move some U.S. lawmakers have begun to clamor for, and said that the U.S. is still evaluating “the situation.”

“I will continue consulting with our President and Secretary of State as they consider the implications of this incident within our broader strategic framework,” he said.

The State Department has already revoked the visas of suspected killers, and “will be taking additional measures,” according to Mattis.

Mattis sought to downplay claims that the U.S. has already ceded influence to Moscow in the region, particularly in Syria, where Moscow backs the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. President Donald Trump has publicly expressed a desire to get the United States of Syria, where it is currently wrapping up a counter-ISIS mission.

“Today, I make clear: Russia’s presence in the region cannot replace the long-standing, enduring, and transparent U.S. commitment to the Middle East – one I reiterate without reservation here,” Mattis said.

The speech is intended to send a message to allies and partners in the region that they should “continue to look to the United states as your security partner of choice because you can rely on us and depend on us to be there long term,” Katie Wheelbarger, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told reporters traveling with Mattis prior to the speech.

But the comparatively gentle remarks are almost certain to frustrate increasingly vocal critics of the Kingdom in Congress.

The crown prince, or MBS as he is commonly known, faces a growing tornado of suspicion related to any role he may have had in the grisly murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi, who was a fierce critic of Riyadh. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and close watchers of the kingdom’s leadership say it strains credulity to think that MBS did not sign off on the murder. Riyadh has offered evolving explanations of Khashoggi’s death, at first offering an outright denial and, most recently, claiming it was a “premeditated” murder carried out by rogue security officials.

“Yes, I think he did it,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN earlier this week.

The Trump administration, led by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, has embraced MBS as a key partner in the region. Although the young crown prince has styled himself as a reformer—earlier this year he gave women the right to drive—he has also faced criticism for clamping down on dissent and carrying out a punishing war in Yemen that has been marked by civilian deaths, disease outbreaks and starvation. The U.S. provides targeting and other related support to the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in Yemen and increasingly horrified lawmakers have offered legislation to curtail that support. Trump administration officials believe that providing less support to the Saudi coalition will only increase civilian deaths.

Mattis on Saturday said that “we recognize and President Trump has called for congressional involvement in the matter” but did not offer specifics on what role the administration sees for Congress—and it remains unclear whether Congress will move to act on its own. The president, meantime, has cited the jobs and income generated by a $110 billion weapons deal with the desert kingdom that experts say is vastly inflated.

The Senate last year took up part of the
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in a resolution that was defeated by just a handful of votes. Several of the lawmakers who voted against blocking the sale — both Republicans and Democrats —
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that the alleged Khashoggi murder could change their minds.

Mattis in his remarks at Manama also reiterated the Trump administration’s strategy to constrain Iranian influence across the Middle East, blaming Tehran for Assad’s grip on power in Syria.

But his broad concentration on the importance of partners and allies suggests fears are still burning that the Trump administration’s “America First” strategy will loosen U.S. commitments in the region.

“We stand with our partners who favor stability over chaos, and we support unity of effort among our nations’ militaries in response to shared threats and challenges, for in such unity is the real power to set and to maintain peace,” Mattis said.
 
Yesterday at 9:18 PM
Aug 21, 2018
somehow related is
The Navy is moving forward on its next-gen jamming pod

1 hour ago
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OK now the USNI News gave more sense to me:
GAO Denies Raytheon Next Generation Jammer Protest; Navy Signs Contracts with L3, Northrop
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now noticed a long one:
Navy's Next Gen Jammer Is Three Pods, Not One, And Competition For One Of Them Just Heated Up
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will go to buy a snack first LOL
 

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