- State-owned CCTV ran a program/infomercial on China’s FD2000 air defense system, showing a recent live test in north China. The system is meant for exports and the demonstration’s purpose seems to be to convince Turkey. But the Turks have expressed concerns about technology and production sharing more than performance. France seems to have an edge but the US is not giving up [Reuters].
- A recent tradeshow was a showcase for [IHS] China’s various UAV and robot prototypes of various shapes and purposes. Backed mostly by pictures, it’s uncertain how far along these systems really are.
- A Japanese newspaper recently claimed that China had established a new military service focused on space warfare, but while plausible, the absence of official bragging about it make that assertion dubious, or maybe premature. Want China Times.
Warily Watching Russia
- The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on the limits of stealth posed by Russian air-defense detection:
“Russia’s National Air Defence troops (PVO Strany) are a formidable force with advanced equipment and elaborate tactics. Their unofficial motto remains ‘Don’t fly, don’t let others fly’. Given Russia’s export sales of air-defence hardware, it is likely that Western air forces and those of their allies will continue to face not only Russian-made systems, but Russian tactics as well. Indeed, Russia actively exports its own expertise and operational concepts in air defence along with its armaments.
- One week into a fragile truce in Ukraine, Russia has kept [CNN] a strong military presence on both sides of the border. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is now openly focusing [Kyiv Post] on non-military solutions to the crisis.
Us Biz Dev
- The US Army’s Project Manager Close Combat Systems (PM CCS) will host an industry day [FBO] on October 16 inPicatinny Arsenal, NJ to discuss the acquisition of rounds for the Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW). They’ll have an RFP out next week.
Getting a Good Grip
- Jeremy Wyatt, a professor of robotics and AI at the University of Birmingham in England, introduced [ITV News] Boris, a robot that learns to apply different grips to grasp various objects. The idea is to give robots enough flexibility that they can work alongside humans outside the confines of very predictable, scripted environments like factories.
- Anthony H. Cordesman from the CSIS think tank adds plenty of caveats to his support for President Obama’s strategy against ISIL by listing a number of risks that may undermine it. Last but not least, self-inflicted wounds for lack of decisiveness.
- Another problem: a rather weak coalition [Foreign Policy] with tepid Arab support [NYT].
- The CIA now estimates [BBC] ISIL’s fighter strength to about 30,000, or 3 times earlier assessments.
- The UK started delivering weapons and ammo to Kurdish forces in Erbil, Iraq. Video below: