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Rapid Fire August 20, 2013: Chimerica Cyber-Lying to Itself

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* China’s military officials are not even pretending to be credible when they state that they “oppose of taking use of information and technology to conduct any kind of operation and hostility towards another party in the cyber domain”, but given recent revelations about the extent of the NSA’s activities, the Chinese have a point when they denounce double standards (implicitly, from the US) in such matters. The two countries are quite obviously both victim and perpetrator. What is this ongoing hypocrisy supposed to accomplish? * According to a spokesman of US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and other sources who spoke with the Daily Beast, the Obama administration may have temporarily halted military aid to Egypt, while falling short of making that an official and explicit decision. * Turkey’s defense procurement agency contracted Aselsan, the country’s biggest defense contractor, to develop CAFRAD Faz-1, a phase array radar. * As Kurdish groups consolidate territorial control in their part of Syria, actors from Iraqi Kurds, to Iranian Kurds, to the Iranian and Turkish governments are being drawn to the issue. Why? 3 words: arms trans-shipment control. * India’s ISRO space agency called off the launch of GSLV-D5, whose homegrown engine was leaking. […]

* China’s military officials are not even pretending to be credible when they state that they “oppose of taking use of information and technology to conduct any kind of operation and hostility towards another party in the cyber domain”, but given recent revelations about the extent of the NSA’s activities, the Chinese have a point when they denounce double standards (implicitly, from the US) in such matters. The two countries are quite obviously both victim and perpetrator. What is this ongoing hypocrisy supposed to accomplish?

* According to a spokesman of US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and other sources who spoke with the Daily Beast, the Obama administration may have temporarily halted military aid to Egypt, while falling short of making that an official and explicit decision.

* Turkey’s defense procurement agency contracted Aselsan, the country’s biggest defense contractor, to develop CAFRAD Faz-1, a phase array radar.

* As Kurdish groups consolidate territorial control in their part of Syria, actors from Iraqi Kurds, to Iranian Kurds, to the Iranian and Turkish governments are being drawn to the issue. Why? 3 words: arms trans-shipment control.

* India’s ISRO space agency called off the launch of GSLV-D5, whose homegrown engine was leaking. They’re assessing the source of the leak before deciding what to do next.

* There is a lot of competition among US states to be selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the hosts of future UAS test sites.

* Linda Hudson, president and CEO of BAE Systems, will retire early next year. The company’s board is looking for a successor.

* The US Army’s PEO Soldier is aiming for a Milestone C/Low Rate Initial Production decision a year from now for its XM25 grenade launcher, which would then lose the ‘X’, to just M25. If Congress funds it.

* Helium is used for far more than balloons, and it’s in short supply. As of Oct 7/13, the US Federal Helium Reserve will no longer be allowed to sell helium to private industrial and scientific users, in order to maintain availability for military research. Hopefully, that will remove some of the issues described in this 2010 NAS report, but the global supply shortage has led to lobbying – and Congress may backtrack.

* A USAF B-1B Lancer bomber crashed in Montana during training yesterday. The 4 crewmembers ejected with some injuries. Today’s video below shows a GE F101 turbofan engine (used on B-1 bombers) during an afterburner test in recently-renovated facilities. Testing technicians neglected to say how many milliseconds it takes to cook a steak Pittsburgh style with it:

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