Rapid Fire 2010-12-13: Russian MANPADS for Venezuela

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* UN arms data shows that Russia delivered over 1,800 shoulder-fire anti-aircraft missiles (MANPADS) to Venezuela in 2009. * Italian C-27J light tactical transports will be fitted with jamming equipment and ground-penetrating radar for the anti land-mine role. The USA’s larger EC-130H “Compass Call” Hercules aircraft can act in a similar jamming role, but lack the accompanying radar. An attractive export package for Alenia? A forecast of things to come for some of the USAF’s own C-27Js? * Australia’s 1st squadron of F/A-18F Super Hornets declared operational and ready for duty. * Brazil picks Elbit Systems Aeroeletronica subsidiary’s Hermes 450 UAV, will buy 2 for initial operations. Its Federal Police already use IAI’s larger Heron drones. * US Navy still plagued by cracks in the aluminum superstructure of its most advanced surface combatants, the CG-47 Ticonderoga cruisers. * Russia won’t be building any new aircraft carriers before 2020. Which means the Admiral Kuznetsov’s planned upgrades had better go well. * Top Chinese and US military officials agree to exchange visits in 2011. * USAF bans use of blank thumb drives, CDs to prevent repeat of WikiLeaks.

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