Molte le congetture sulle sue finalità: spesso la realtà supera qualsiasi tipo di fantasia.
«UVB-76, conosciuta anche come “The Buzzer”, è il soprannome dato da radioamatori e ascoltatori di onde corte a una misteriosa stazione radio che trasmette in AM e in modulazione a banda laterale singola con soppressione della banda inferiore (USB) sulle frequenze 4625 kHz e 6998 kHz. La stazione abitualmente trasmette un breve e monotono ronzio Ascolta[?·info], ripetuto 25 volte al minuto, senza sosta. Nella storia della stazione, in alcune saltuarie occasioni, il suono si interrompe lasciando il posto a messaggi vocali cifrati in russo. Le prime trasmissioni sembrano essere iniziate tra la fine degli anni ’70 e i primi anni ’80.
La stazione è soprannominata dai radioascoltatori di tutto il mondo “The Buzzer”, mentre quelli russi sono soliti chiamarla “жужжалка” (žužžalka), “il brusio”. Il nome ufficiale della stazione è sconosciuto, sebbene alcuni messaggi vocali trasmessi abbiano fatto intuire un possibile callsign. Fino a settembre 2010 la stazione si autoidentificava come UVB-76 (cirillico: УВБ-76). Da settembre 2010 sembra che il sito di trasmissione sia cambiato e che la stazione sia quindi stata spostata. Il callsign da allora utilizzato all’interno dei messaggi vocali è MDZhB (cirillico: МДЖБ).
Il suono trasmesso consiste in un ronzio simile a quello di un sonar, dalla durata di 1,2 secondi, con pause di 1 – 1,3 secondi circa, ripetuto dalle 21 alle 34 volte al minuto. Fino a novembre 2010 ogni ronzio aveva una durata minore, di circa 0,8 secondi.
Alle 22:25 UTC del 1º settembre 2010, il ronzio venne sostituito da un celebre pezzo di musica classica della durata di 38 secondi estratto dal Lago dei cigni del compositore russo Tchaikovsky. Quattro giorni dopo, il 5 settembre, alle ore 12:30 UTC, una voce femminile iniziò a contare in sequenza da 1 a 9 in russo; dopo poco più di un’ora, alle 13:39 UTC, venne trasmesso un altro messaggio vocale.
Lo scopo della stazione non è mai stato ufficialmente rivelato. Si pensa che i messaggi vocali siano una sorta di sistema di comunicazione cifrato, probabilmente ad uso militare. Il ronzio potrebbe quindi essere una sorta di “marcatore”, utilizzato per lasciare la frequenza sempre occupata in modo da poter prontamente trasmettere in caso di bisogno. Questa teoria è avvalorata dall’esistenza di due altre stazioni simili, soprannominate The Pip e The Squeaky wheel. Come The Buzzer, queste stazioni trasmettono un suono continuo (nel caso di The Pip si tratta di un cicalino, nel caso di The Squeaky wheel di un suono simile al cigolio di una ruota), interrotto occasionalmente da trasmissioni vocali cifrate.» [Fonte]
In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.
It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.
Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.
It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.
In fact, no-one does. “There’s absolutely no information in the signal,” says David Stupples, an expert in signals intelligence from City University, London.
What’s going on?
The frequency is thought to belong to the Russian military, though they’ve never actually admitted this. It first began broadcasting at the close of the Cold War, when communism was in decline. Today it’s transmitted from two locations – the St Petersburg site and a location near Moscow. Bizarrely, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, rather than shutting down, the station’s activity sharply increased.
There’s no shortage of theories to explain what the Buzzer might be for – ranging from keeping in touch with submarines to communing with aliens. One such idea is that it’s acting as a “Dead Hand” signal; in the event Russia is hit by a nuclear attack, the drone will stop and automatically trigger a retaliation. No questions asked, just total nuclear obliteration on both sides.
This may not be as wacky as it sounds. The system was originally pioneered in the Soviet era, where it took the form of a computer system which scanned the airwaves for signs of life or nuclear fallout. Alarmingly, many experts believe it may still be in use. As Russian president Vladimir Putin pointed out himself earlier this year, “nobody would survive” a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. Could the Buzzer be warding one off?
As it happens, there are clues in the signal itself. Like all international radio, the Buzzer operates at a relatively low frequency known as “shortwave”. This means that – compared to local radio, mobile phone and television signals – fewer waves pass through a single point every second. It also means they can travel a lot further.
While you’d be hard pressed to listen to a local station such as BBC Radio London in a neighbouring county, shortwave stations like the BBC World Service are aimed at audiences from Senegal to Singapore. Both stations are broadcast from the same building.
It’s all thanks to “skywaves”. Higher frequency radio signals can only travel in a straight line, eventually becoming lost as they bump into obstacles or reach the horizon. But shortwave frequencies have an extra trick – they can bounce off charged particles in the upper atmosphere, allowing them to zig-zag between the earth and the sky and travel thousands, rather than tens, of miles.
Which brings us back to the Dead Hand theory. As you might expect, shortwave signals have proved extremely popular. Today they’re used by ships, aircraft and the military to send messages across continents, oceans and mountain ranges. But there’s a catch.
The lofty layer isn’t so much a flat mirror, but a wave, which undulates like the surface of the ocean. During the day it moves steadily higher, while at night, it creeps down towards the Earth. If you want to absolutely guarantee that your station can be heard on the other side of the planet – and if you’re using it as a cue for nuclear war, you probably do – it’s important to change the frequency depending on the time of day, to catch up. The BBC World Service already does this. The Buzzer doesn’t.
Another idea is that the radio station exists to “sound” out how far away the layer of charged particles is. “To get good results from the radar systems the Russians use to spot missiles, you need to know this,” says Stupples. The longer the signal takes to get up into the sky and down again, the higher it must be.
Alas, that can’t be it either. To analyse the layer’s altitude the signal would usually have a certain sound, like a car alarm going off – the result of varying the waves to get them just right. “They sound nothing like the Buzzer,” says Stupples.
Intriguingly, there is a station with some striking similarities. The “Lincolnshire Poacher” ran from the mid-1970s to 2008. Just like the Buzzer, it could be heard on the other side of the planet. Just like the Buzzer, it emanated from an undisclosed location, thought to be somewhere in Cyprus. And just like the Buzzer, its transmissions were just plain creepy.
At the beginning of every hour, the station would play the first two bars of an English folk tune, the Lincolnshire Poacher.
“Oh ‘tis my delight on a shining night
In the season of the year
When I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire
‘Twas well I served my master for nigh on seven years…”
After repeating this12 times, it would move on to messages read by the disembodied voice of a woman reading groups of five numbers – “1-2-0-3-6” – in a clipped, upper-class English accent.
To get to grips with what was going on, it helps to go back to the 1920s. The All-Russian Co-operative Society (Arcos) was an important trade body, responsible for overseeing transactions between the UK and the early Soviet Union. Or at least, that’s what they said they did.
In May 1927, years after a British secret agent caught an employee sneaking into a communist news office in London, police officers stormed the Arcos building. The basement had been rigged with anti-intruder devices and they discovered a secret room with no door handle, in which workers were hurriedly burning documents.
It may have been dramatic, but the British didn’t discover anything that they didn’t already know. Instead the raid was a wake-up call to the Soviets, who discovered that MI5 had been listening in on them for years.
“This was a blunder of the very first order,” says Anthony Glees, who directs the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham. To justify the raid, the prime minister had even read out some of the deciphered telegrams in the House of Commons.
The upshot was that the Russians completely reinvented the way messages are encrypted. Almost overnight, they switched to “one-time pads”. In this system, a random key is generated by the person sending the message and shared only with the person receiving it. As long as the key really is perfectly random, the code cannot be cracked. There was no longer any need to worry about who could hear their messages.
Enter the “numbers stations” – radio stations that broadcast coded messages to spies all over the world. Soon even the British were doing it: if you can’t beat them, join ‘em, as they say. It’s quite difficult to generate a completely random number because a system for doing so will, by its very nature, be predictable – exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Instead officers in London found an ingenious solution.
They’d hang a microphone out of the window on Oxford Street and record the traffic. “There might be a bus beeping at the same time as a policeman shouting. The sound is unique, it will never happen again,” says Stupples. Then they’d convert this into a random code.
Of course, that didn’t stop people trying to break them. During World War Two, the British realised that they could, in fact, decipher the messages – but they’d have to get their hands on the one-time pad that was used to encrypt them. “We discovered that the Russians used the out-of-date sheets of one-time pads as substitute toilet paper in Russian army hospitals in East Germany,” says Glees. Needless to say, British intelligence officers soon found themselves rifling through the contents of Soviet latrines.
The new channel of communication was so useful, it didn’t take long before the numbers stations had popped up all over the world. There was the colourfully named “Nancy Adam Susan”, “Russian Counting Man” and “Cherry Ripe” – the Lincolnshire Poacher’s sister station, which also contained bars of an English folk song. In name at least, the Buzzer fits right in.
It also fits with a series of arrests across the United States back in 2010. The FBI announced that it had broken up a “long term, deep cover” network of Russian agents, who were said to have received their instructions via coded messages on shortwave radio – specifically 7887 kHz.
Now North Korea are getting in on the act, too. On 14 April 2017, the broadcaster at Radio Pyongyang began: “I’m giving review works in elementary information technology lessons of the remote education university for No 27 expedition agents.” This ill-concealed military message was followed by a series of page numbers – No 69 on page 823, page 957 – which look a lot like code.
It may come as a surprise that numbers stations are still in use – but they hold one major advantage. Though it’s possible to guess who is broadcasting, anyone can listen to the messages – so you don’t know who they are being sent to. Mobile phones and the internet may be quicker, but open a text or email from a known intelligence agency and you could be rumbled.
It’s a compelling idea: the Buzzer has been hiding in plain sight, instructing a network of illicit Russian spies all over the world. There’s just one problem. The Buzzer never broadcasts any numbered messages.
This doesn’t strictly matter, since one-time pads can be used to translate anything – from code words to garbled speech. “If this phone call was encrypted you’d hear “…enejekdhejenw…’ but then it would come out the other side sounding like normal speech,” says Stupples. But this would leave traces in the signal.
To send information over the radio, essentially all you’re doing is varying the height or spacing of the waves being transmitted. For example, two low waves in a row means x, or three waves closer together means y. When a signal is carrying information, instead of neat, evenly spaced waves like ripples on the ocean, you’re left with a wave like the jagged silhouette of an ECG.
This isn’t the Buzzer. Instead, many believe that the station is a hybrid of two things. The constant drone is just a marker, saying “this frequency is mine, this frequency is mine…” to stop people from using it.
It only becomes a numbers station in moments of crisis, such as if Russia were invaded. Then it would function as a way to instruct their worldwide spy network and military forces on standby in remote areas. After all, this is a country around 70 times the size of the UK.
It seems they’re already been practicing. “In 2013 they issued a special message, ‘COMMAND 135 ISSUED’ that was said to be test message for full combat readiness,” says Māris Goldmanis, a radio enthusiast who listens to the station from his home in the Baltic states.
The mystery of the Russian radio may have been solved. But if its fans are right, let’s just hope that drone never stops.
«Germany has put all major arms exports to Turkey on hold, stepping up the ongoing dispute between the two countries. The decision prompted a swift reaction from Ankara, with Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik telling reporters on Sept. 12 that it weakens Ankara’s fight against terrorism and makes Europe more vulnerable.»
«German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sept. 12 rejected a total ban on arms exports to NATO ally Ankara,saying that such sales had already been restricted somewhat, but Turkey remained a key ally in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Merkel told broadcaster NDR that Germany would decide on arms sales requests from Turkey on a case-by-case basis. She also said she saw no reason to impose a travel warning for Germans travelling to Turkey, but said Berlin would keep its options open.»
«Turkey has signed a controversial deal with Russia to arm its forces with Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles»
«President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a deposit had already been paid»
«The deal is thought to be worth $2.5bn (£1.9bn). Turkey has the second-largest army in Nato»
«The alliance reacted sceptically to the decision, saying the system was not compatible with its equipment.»
«Turkey’s decision has both practical and political significance. Inevitably it will be seen as a further sign of Ankara’s gradual estrangement from its Western allies»
«Turkey has been in the market for new air defences for some time. Four years ago it flirted with the idea of buying a Chinese system. But after pressure from its Nato allies it backed away from the deal.»
«On regional policy Ankara and Moscow are more closely aligned.»
«Nato has not been informed about the details of any purchase»
«Germany’s Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said Berlin would put all arms exports to Turkey on hold due to the deteriorating relationship between the two nations»
«Relations between the two countries have deteriorated»
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Su questo argomento abbiamo già parlato in diverse occasioni.
In un’epoca in cui vi sono superpotenze con arsenali atomici in grado di distruggere il mondo in pochi minuti, così come potenze locoregionale anche esse dotate di armamenti atomici, sia pure di livello inferiore, diventa essenziale il mantenimento degli equilibri tra i potenziali avversari.
Equilibri che devono essere preservati sia a livello degli armamenti effettivamente in linea, sia a livello di geopolitica, sia infine a livello delle alleanze.
La rottura degli equilibri, indipendentemente dalle cause che abbiano innescato il fenomeno, corre il concreto rischio di far sentire uno dei contendenti minacciato nella sua integrità, e di rispondere quindi con l’opzione militare.
L’incrinatura della Nato nei confronti della Turkia è evidente, e la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel ne è causa efficiente.
Ella propugna una sua scala valoriale, in ossequio alla quale sembrerebbe disposta a disintegrare Unione Europea e Nato, scala valoriale che peraltro è condivisa quasi esclusivamente da lei. La sua opposizione alla Turkia è squisitamente ideologica.
Un vero politico coagula consensi, agglutina forze anche molto differenti, appiana gli attriti, stringe accordi non compromessi.
Da questo punto di vista Frau Merkel è un pericolo attuale alla pace.
Sappiamo bene che parlando di questi argomenti molte persone si lasciano trasportare dalle loro viscerali ideologie, emettendo giudizi tanto tranchant quanto utopici. Sono persone che a voce reclamano la pace ma nei fatti spianano la via al conflitto armato.
Turkey has signed a controversial deal with Russia to arm its forces with Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a deposit had already been paid. The deal is thought to be worth $2.5bn (£1.9bn).
Turkey has the second-largest army in Nato. The alliance reacted sceptically to the decision, saying the system was not compatible with its equipment.
Turkey has been establishing closer links with Russia after its recent souring of ties with the US and Europe.
Mr Erdogan’s government objects to US military support for the YPG Syrian Kurdish rebels, who are linked to rebel Kurds in Turkey.
Russia says the S-400 system has a range of 400km (248 miles) and can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one.
Russia deployed the S-400 at its air force base near Latakia in Syria in December 2015, after Turkish jets had shot down a Russian Su-24 warplane on the Syria-Turkey border.
That incident caused a diplomatic rift between Russia and Turkey, but President Erdogan later patched up his quarrel with President Vladimir Putin.
Tensions within Nato
A military adviser to Mr Putin, Vladimir Kozhin, said the S-400 contract with Turkey was “strictly compatible with our strategic interests”. “On that score, one can quite understand the reaction of some Western countries who are trying to put pressure on Turkey.”
Mr Erdogan, quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet daily, voiced displeasure with unnamed Western partners who were “seeking enormous amounts of money” for military drones.
He said Turkey had killed 90 YPG “terrorists” in the past week with Turkish drones – developed because the Western ones were too expensive.
“We are responsible for taking security measures for the defence of our country,” he stressed.
The BBC’s Mark Lowen in Turkey says the missile deal is clearly a rebuff to Nato, after the US and Germany withdrew Patriot air defence batteries from Turkey.
In 2015, Turkey urged its Nato allies to keep those batteries positioned on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Speaking to AFP news agency, an unnamed Nato official said: “No Nato ally currently operates the S-400”. They added: “Nato has not been informed about the details of any purchase.”
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said Berlin would put all arms exports to Turkey on hold due to the deteriorating relationship between the two nations.
Mr Gabriel’s counterpart in Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said the comments were inappropriate for a foreign minister.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since Turkey arrested a Turkish-German journalist in February as part of a crackdown on political opponents in the country.
Last month, President Erdogan called Germany’s ruling politicians “enemies of Turkey”.
Turkey is also angry with the US for not extraditing Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric who, according to Mr Erdogan, organised the July 2016 coup plot by rogue Turkish officers. Mr Gulen denied any involvement.
Manufacturer: Almaz-Antey arms firm; Deployment: Hmeimim airbase near Latakia – entered service in Russia in 2007; Range: 400km (248 miles); Speed: up to 4.8km (3 miles) per second; Max target height: 30km – can track up to 80 targets simultaneously; Types of target: aircraft, cruise missiles, medium-range missiles, drones, other airborne surveillance systems. (Sources: RIA Novosti, Russian 1TV.ru)
– Long-range surveillance radar tracks objects and relays information to command vehicle, which assesses potential targets
– Target is identified and command vehicle orders missile launch
– Launch data are sent to the best placed launch vehicle and it releases surface-to-air missiles
– Engagement radar helps guide missiles towards target
Not a good choice for Nato
By Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence correspondent
Turkey’s decision has both practical and political significance. Inevitably it will be seen as a further sign of Ankara’s gradual estrangement from its Western allies.
Turkey has been in the market for new air defences for some time. Four years ago it flirted with the idea of buying a Chinese system. But after pressure from its Nato allies it backed away from the deal.
Choosing a Russian system which will be hard, if not impossible, to integrate into Nato’s wider air defence system makes little strategic sense.
It was not that long ago – November 2015 – that Turkey actually shot down a Russian warplane that it said had intruded into its airspace from Syria.
But since then much has changed. On regional policy Ankara and Moscow are more closely aligned. And Turkey’s internal policies are seen as increasingly repressive by many of its allies.
In Nato generally the only Russian equipment used is legacy hardware in the forces of former Warsaw Pact countries. Greece also has an earlier Russian air defence system that was first sold to Cyprus.
Al-Jahrah. Cimitero dei carri armati iracheni dopo la guerra del golfo. Si noti come molti di essi abbiano ricevuto un colpo che ha scamottato via la torretta. In gran parte sono stati neutralizzati dagli Apache.
«The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), which approves big-ticket purchases, gave the green light to acquire six additional Apache helicopters after 22 were bought as part of a $2.5 billion deal in 2015»
«DAC approved procurement of six Apache helicopters along with associated equipment for the army totally about 4,168 crore rupees ($650 million)»
«It will be the first time the Indian army has received attack helicopters and it hopes to deploy the craft along India’s high-altitude frontiers — particularly its border in the east with regional rival China»
«India has increasingly turned to the United States and France, rather than traditional ally Russia, for its military hardware in recent years»
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«The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability. ….
One of the revolutionary features of the Apache was its helmet mounted display, the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS) ….
The AH-64 was designed to perform in front-line environments, and to operate at night or day and during adverse weather conditions ….
Longbow-equipped Apaches can locate up to 256 targets simultaneously within 50 km (31 mi). ….
In 2014, it was announced that new targeting and surveillance sensors were under development to provide high-resolution color imagery to crews, replacing older low definition black-and-white imaging systems. ….
The AH-64 is adaptable to numerous different roles within its context as Close Combat Attack (CCA). In addition to the 30 mm M230E1 Chain Gun, the Apache carries a range of external stores and weapons on its stub-wing pylons, typically a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, and Hydra 70 general-purpose unguided 70 mm (2.756 in) rockets. One 18-aircraft Apache battalion equipped with Hellfire missiles is capable of destroying 288 tanks» [Fonte]
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Alcune cose sarebbero da notarsi.
Da un punto di vista economico, l’elicottero Apache AH-64D ha un prezzo di listino di 65 milioni Usd. Sei Apache avrebbero dovuto costare 390 milioni. 260 milioni in pezzi di ricambio, armamento suppletivo, e munizionamento a scorta sembrerebbero essere un investimento giustificabile solo se a ridosso di una qualche operazione a breve termine, tenendo conto della rapida obsolescenza delle armi.
Dal punto di vista politico invece, si nota come l’India abbia iniziato a diversificare i fornitori, tra i quali rientra anche Israele.
Gli Apaches non sono esenti da critiche.
«While effective in combat, the AH-64 also presented serious logistical complications. Findings reported in 1990 stated “maintenance units could not keep up with the Apache’s unexpectedly high work load… To provide spare parts for combat operations, the U.S. Army unofficially grounded all other AH-64s worldwide; Apaches in the theater flew only one-fifth of the planned flight-hours» [Fonte]
Gli Apache sono un sistema d’arma allo stato dell’arte. Durante la Guerra del Golfo, pur avendo svolto per problemi tecnici solo un quinto delle missioni preventivate, hanno concorso a distruggere un numero impressionante di carri armati avversari.
Resta un ragionevole dubbio.
L’esercito iracheno aveva armamenti obsoleti e quasi nessun mezzo di contrasto contraereo: per gli Apache è stato una sorta di tiro al bersaglio.
Sono in molti ad essere dubbiosi sulla loro reale capacità operativa qualora dovessero affrontare un esercito armato allo stato dell’arte, con batterie missilistiche terra aria di breve raggio. Un elicottero in volo è un bersagli relativamente statico. Sarebbe difficile pensare ad un attacco in forze di carri armati senza che sia stata loro assicurata la protezione contraerea.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India on Thursday cleared the purchase of six more Boeing Co (BA.N) Apache helicopters in a deal worth close to 42 billion rupees ($654.6 million), a defence ministry official said.
The order follows India’s purchase of 22 Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015.
Thursday’s deal, approved by the government’s Defence Acquisition Council, includes the helicopters and associated equipment, spares, training, weapons and ammunition.
The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by the defence minister, also cleared an order for gas turbine engines – worth an estimated 4.9 billion rupees – for two ships currently under construction in Russia, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
India approved a $650 million purchase of six attack choppers Thursday from US aviation giant Boeing, officials said, as it boosts its military might amid border tensions with China and Pakistan.
The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), which approves big-ticket purchases, gave the green light to acquire six additional Apache helicopters after 22 were bought as part of a $2.5 billion deal in 2015.
Two Defense Ministry sources told AFP on the condition of anonymity that the deal was approved exclusively for the army, without providing further details including a date for delivery.
“DAC approved procurement of six Apache helicopters along with associated equipment for the army totally about 4,168 crore rupees ($650 million),” an official told AFP by text message. The initial batch of 22 Apaches — equipped with Hellfire and Stinger missiles — replaced the Indian Air Force’s aging fleet.
Soon after the first Apache acquisition, the army put in a separate request for a fleet of at least 39, one of the officials told AFP. It will be the first time the Indian army has received attack helicopters and it hopes to deploy the craft along India’s high-altitude frontiers — particularly its border in the east with regional rival China.
New Delhi and Beijing are locked in a tense impasse over a strategic Himalayan plateau where hundreds of Indian and Chinese soldiers have been squaring off against each other for more than three months.
India — the world’s largest defense importer — has been investing tens of billions in updating its Soviet-era military hardware to counter long-standing territorial disputes with its nuclear-armed neighbors.
India has signed several big-ticket defense deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in 2014. In April, it signed a military deal with Israel worth nearly $2 billion, which includes an advanced defense system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology. India has increasingly turned to the United States and France, rather than traditional ally Russia, for its military hardware in recent years
«America’s unmanned dominance has been contested by China’ ambitious drive to be the leading force in drone development and distribution»
«China is increasingly becoming a potent player in the unmanned game. …. China is developing a new generation of UUVs, aimed at pinpointing the location of U.S. submarines in the depths of Pacific waters»
«In another advance for China, two months ago, news broke that China is aiming to develop a sea-skimming drone, a drone-bomber, or drone “warthog” capable of tearing across the water just half a meter above the surface — well below radar coverage»
«In addition to its phantom profile, the advanced concept carries with it a 1,000 kilgram payload, packing enough explosive power to significantly damage an entire U.S. flattop»
«Will this be China’s second, aircraft killer after the Dong-Feng 21? …. China’s new system would be far more economically viable to deploy and operate than the DF-21. …. A U.S. carrier task force could be quickly overwhelmed by an aerial armada of these new deadly weapon units steaming at high speeds directly toward it»
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La storia degli armamenti evidenzia l’alternanza di fasi nelle quali predominano le armi di attacco seguite da fasi nelle quali dominano quelle da difesa.
Un caso classico è stata l’introduzione della mitragliatrice, che ha conferito agli eserciti terrestri un’arma di difesa micidiale, quasi insormontabile. Fino alla fine della prima guerra mondiale la mitragliatrice ha condizionato una situazione di sostanziale stallo tra le forze opposte. Questa fase fu superata con la introduzione del carro armato, strumento bellico contro cui la mitragliatrice svolge al massimo un ruolo psicologico.
Al momento attuale sembrerebbe che le armi di difesa anti – nave stia iniziando a prendere il sopravvento sul potere offensivo, del tutto non indifferente, montato sulle navi da guerra.
Un fattore che trova una sempre maggiore considerazione è quello legato al costo degli armamenti.
Le navi da guerra, specie poi le porterei, sono molto onerose essendo i costi nell’ambito dei miliardi. Al contrario, i sistemi d’arma anti – nave sono economici, si parla di cifre che variano dai 50,000 Usd fino a circa il milione. La disparità dei costi si aggiunge alla efficienza di questi sistemi.
Tutte queste considerazioni trovano però valore sotto la condizione che le telecomunicazioni siano in grado di funzionare anche in zone operative nelle quali operino avversare tecnologicamente avanzati. Un drone teleguidato ha infatti capacità operativa sotto la condizione che il sistema di telecomando funzioni anche quando fosse disturbato dall’avversario.
Is this the next “carrier killer” in China’s arsenal?
China was dubbed an “emerging force” in drone warfare in and called a “rising drone power” by 2015. In four short years, its status has gone from “new” to “leading” on multiple fronts in the drone domain. One of those fronts is the application of (militarized) drone technology in sea operations. For over a decade, the United States was the undisputed leader in unmanned development and deployment in East Asia. From the Grey Eagles deployed in South Korea to Global Hawks flying from Japan, and more recently tests with the X-47B, the Sea Hunter USV, and a generation of UUVs under development that should enable U.S. attack submarines to discover other potential underwater enemies more quickly than in previous years.
Yet America’s unmanned dominance has been contested by China’ ambitious drive to be the leading force in drone development and distribution. In prior articles, we argued that China is increasingly becoming a potent player in the unmanned game. Recently, in The Diplomat, Steven Stashwick described how China is developing a new generation of UUVs, aimed at pinpointing the location of U.S. submarines in the depths of Pacific waters.
In another advance for China, two months ago, news broke that China is aiming to develop a sea-skimming drone, a drone-bomber, or drone “warthog” capable of tearing across the water just half a meter above the surface — well below radar coverage. In addition to its phantom profile, the advanced concept carries with it a 1,000 kilgram payload, packing enough explosive power to significantly damage an entire U.S. flattop. Will this be China’s second, aircraft killer after the Dong-Feng 21?
The drone’s speed and below-the-radar-coverage translates into a potentially deadly reduction in reaction time for whatever lies in its sights. The detection-speed metric would probably afford the target vessel less than a minute to defend itself, presenting a looming threat for even the most advanced warships. The U.S. Navy (USN) could still rely on its Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) technology, which can project existing naval sensory ranges through E-2D coordination. The Hawkeye aircraft, operating some 25,000-30,000 above a warship, can act as the task force’s eyes, possibly detecting incoming attackers from a distance of several hundred kilometers. Such coordinated defensive action can put a much-needed cushion of time between the run-up to attack and the prosecution of an assault against America’s naval giants. Yet for other nations, this “warthog” poses a new lethal treat.
With an estimated range of 900 miles, it certainly stretches China’s capabilities to project power from its shores – that’s two to three times the range of a conventional cruise missile or what are colloquially called “sea skimmers.” China’s drone-missile hybrid can be launched from a land-based military installation and dart out to sea. Using its onboard radar technology, the unit would seek out an enemy target and execute a strike much like an advanced cruise missile. However, the hybrid would carry with it a lower price tag than a conventional cruise missile and would therefore by far more expendable than its pure missile counterpart. In this, China’s new system would be far more economically viable to deploy and operate than the DF-21.
Yet most striking in this development is China turning from the development of UAVs for aerial purposes toward unmanned systems aimed at tasks in the maritime realm. With the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Air Force (PLAAF) increasingly becoming main military actors, and the South China Sea, East China Sea, and general naval expansion as centers of military attention, China appears poised to steer its R&D regarding new (unmanned) military systems in the direction of systems that would benefit operations in the naval realm.
A second striking feature is how the development of unmanned systems is slowly moving toward the development of armed, next-generation unmanned systems. Unarmed systems could still be used in the maritime realm, and indeed China has deployed them to its new bases in the South China Sea, but their survivability in any possible conflict will be limited, or even non-existent due to a lack of defense capabilities. The development of sea-skimming drones exemplifies China’s desire to weaponize its current, and especially its next, generation of unmanned systems slated for East Asia waters and the Pacific. Such systems, moreover, would complement China’s larger A2/AD naval strategy, which aims to prevent the U.S. Navy and other allied naval forces from operating safely within the first island chain.
Furthermore, the drone-missile hybrid paves the way for near-future military applications with the basis for building on the concept of drone swarming in a unique unmanned domain. A U.S. carrier task force could be quickly overwhelmed by an aerial armada of these new deadly weapon units steaming at high speeds directly toward it. In expansive waters, the threat level posed through the application of this lethal devise is high enough, but when prosecuted in tight littoral regions such as the Taiwan Strait or waters adjacent South Korea and even Japan, evading the weapons could be tricky business.
Si resta sempre sorpresi su come riescano i russi ad impiegare in modo così produttivo un bilancio militare che ufficialmente si attesterebbe attorno ai 65 miliardi di dollari americani.
I russi dispongono di una marina sufficiente per svolgere compiti locoregionali, senza attuali ambizioni globali. Una flotta di tale impostazione strategica abbisogna sicuramente di armi offensive, ma soprattutto di quelle difensive: sistemi contraerei ed anti-missile, sistemi missilistici anti-nave e, ovviamente siluri efficienti.
Loro obiettivo conclamato è il dominio dei mari limitrofi la Russia, ossia impedire ad altre marine militari di potersi avvicinare pericolosamente alle loro coste.
Alla fine del secolo scorso l’allora Unione Sovietica aveva messo in linea il siluro VA-111 Shkval, prodotto militare altamente innovativo: poteva infatti navigare ad una velocità di circa 90 km/h al momento del lancio, raggiungendo in breve i 370 km/h. Se è vero che essendo molto rumoroso era altrettanto facilmente individuabile, la sua stessa velocità gli avrebbe assicurato alte probabilità di colpire e distruggere l’obiettivo.
Cerchiamo di comprendere, per quello che è dato di sapere, come funziona un simile marchingegno e di razionalizzare le conseguenze tattiche e strategiche.
«La supercavitazione è una tecnica che permette di utilizzare gli effetti dell’ordinaria cavitazione per creare una bolla di gas all’interno di un liquido, permettendo ad un oggetto di viaggiare ad altissima velocità all’interno del liquido stesso, rimanendo però completamente avvolto dalla bolla di gas. La bolla riduce drasticamente la resistenza dell’oggetto, permettendogli di raggiungere velocità impossibili da ottenere con una normale tecnica di navigazione. Occorre considerare che la resistenza incontrata da un oggetto in un gas è molto inferiore a quella riscontrata in un liquido.
Quando in un liquido la pressione statica è minore della relativa tensione di vapore, avviene una transizione di fase e il liquido passa in fase gassosa sotto forma di bolle. Questo fenomeno è detto cavitazione. In genere la cavitazione è dannosa e da evitare nelle applicazioni fluidodinamiche: genera rumore, diminuzione di efficienza degli oggetti coinvolti ed erosione delle superfici a contatto.
La supercavitazione è utilizzata da alcuni siluri superveloci. Un siluro a supercavitazione è progettato per generare appositamente queste bolle di gas: l’estremità anteriore del siluro ha forma piatta con bordi sagomati. Quando l’oggetto raggiunge la velocità dell’ordine di 45 m/s, l’estremità piatta deflette l’acqua, che, incontrando a valle dell’estremità una pressione inferiore alla sua tensione di vapore, passa in fase gassosa dando origine ad una bolla di gas attorno alla punta del siluro. Aumentando ulteriormente la velocità ed iniettando gas di altra origine è possibile far crescere la bolla gassosa fino a ricoprire l’intero siluro.» [Fonte]
«Il VA-111 Shkval (in russo: шквал, “groppo”) è un siluro russo. Grazie all’utilizzo del fenomeno della supercavitazione può raggiungere delle velocità estremamente elevate (370 km/h). A causa di ciò la velocità e il rumore generato impongono un funzionamento più simile alla palla di fucile, che a quello di un siluro tradizionale e la portata è relativamente ridotta (tra i 7 e i 13 chilometri secondo le versioni).
La modalità di costruzione di tali armi rimane uno dei segreti più gelosamente custoditi dell’industria bellica russa, ma nel caso dello Shkval è noto che il siluro invia una parte dei gas che fuoriescono dai suoi ugelli di scarico in direzione del suo muso, cosa che permette di mantenere il siluro in una bolla di gas stabile di forma adeguata che lo separa dall’acqua circostante (supercavitazione). Il naso del proiettile è relativamente piatto e il corpo dell’arma possiede numerose alette destinate a stabilizzarlo.
Non esiste siluro occidentale paragonabile.» [Fonte]
È entrato in servizio nei primi anni del novanta: supporta testate convenzionali oppure nucleari.
Questo nuovo tipo di siluro a razzo dovrebbe essere un consistente miglioramento tecnico rispetto al VA-111 Shkval.
Very little information is being released on Khishchnik apart from the fact that it is being developed by Elektropribor, a design bureau which makes instruments for ships and subs as well as aviation components. Its existence was revealed in documents uncovered by Russian defense blog BMPD which revealed that the company had been working on Khishchnik since 2013 and that launch tests were expected in 2016 as part of a contract worth 3 billion roubles ($53m). There have been no official comments or announcements.
Other companies may also be working on the project. In 2016, Boris Obnosov, CEO of Russian company Tactical Missiles Corp, mentioned work in this area to Rambler News Service.
“Take for instance the well-known unique Shkval underwater missile. We are working on upgrading it heavily.”
The ‘heavily upgraded’ Shkval seems likely to be the Khishchnik.
Shkval has been upgraded several times previously, with improvements in range and guidance. A new name suggests a more significant upgrade. An export version of the Shkval, the Shkval-E was produced in 1999. There would be a big market for an unstoppable, carrier-killing torpedo.»
L’attuale tecnologia arriverebbe quindi a supportare velocità subacquee di 1,500 metri al secondo, ossia 5,400 km/h.
Da quanto sembrerebbe di poter capire, il Khishchnik potrebbe raggiungere la velocità di poco meno di 800 km/h con una portata utile di 30 – 50 kilometri. La testa generatrice del bubble sarebbe orientabile, consentendo quindi cambiamenti di rotta. Sembrerebbe anche verosimile che il sistema di guida sia stato migliorato afferendogli capacità di auto indirizzamento sull’obiettivo.
Stati Uniti e forze navali Nato non hanno sviluppato un simile sistema d’arma per il semplice motivo che, almeno al momento, le loro flotte militari non sono contrastate da forze navali degne di quel nome. In ogni caso, all’occorrenza, l’Occidente ha a disposizione tutte le tecnologie necessarie.
Opposta è invece la situazione sia della Russia sia della Cina, che solo del tutto recentemente inizia a sviluppare l’esigenza di flotte militari di altura.
Questi due stati hanno come preoccupazione principale le portaerei americane, che vorrebbero poter tenere più lontane possibile dalle loro coste e dalle loro basi navali. In questa ottica il VA-111 Shkval ed adesso il Khishchnik, sono armi che le portaerei non possono ignorare. Se è vero che le portaerei navigano ben protette da flotte di difesa e rifornimento, è altrettanto vero che nel rapporto prestazioni / costo una portaerei vale quasi venti miliardi, tenendo conto dell’armamento di bordo, mentre un siluro Khishchnik costa circa 50 milioni.
Accanto a questa tipologia di siluri, russi e cinesi hanno sviluppato una vasta gamma di missili ipersonici a bassa quota anti – nave.
«La Russia ha iniziato la sperimentazione dei nuovi ipersonici da crociera anti-nave Zircon, come ha riportato giovedì Sputnik News citando RIA Novosti. I missili da crociera dovrebbero essere in grado di raggiungere cinque o sei volte la velocità del suono (Mach 5 o Mach 6), ha aggiunto il rapporto. ….
I moderni missili anti-nave russi, come gli Onyx, possono raggiungere velocità fino a 2,6 Mach (circa 750 metri al secondo). Il missile da crociera Kalibr viaggia ad una velocità di 0,9 Mach, ma mentre si avvicina al bersaglio la sua velocità di punta può arrivare fino a 2,9 Mach. ….
In conclusione, anche se nessuno intende sottovalutare le capacità difensive delle navi militari della Nato ed americane in modo particolare, anche se li riteniamo essere troppo allarmistici, ben comprendiamo i titoli recentemente comparsi sulla stampa.
«Il missile supersonico CM-302 è in grado di colpire anche bersagli terrestri. ….
la Cina non possiede missili antinave simili ai russi P-1000 “Basalt” e P-700 “Granit”. Il P-700 da solo è grande come un piccolo aereo, con una massa di 7 tonnellate e colpisce il suo bersaglio ad una velocità Mach 2 e inoltre ha un proprio sistema di guida computerizzato dotato di contromisure EW (Electronic Warfare). Questi missili possono essere lanciati in salve, e durante il volo sono capaci di comunicare tra loro per coordinare l’attacco contemporaneamente su diversi bersagli. Il P-1000 può essere equipaggiato con una testata nucleare. Questi missili sono stati modernizzati più volte, possono essere lanciati dalle coste e sono stati progettati per colpire una portaerei a più di 700km di distanza.»
The principle of supercavitation continues to intrigue torpedo designers.
WHEN introduced 40 years ago, the Soviet Shkval (“Squall”) torpedo was hailed as an “aircraft-carrier killer” because its speed, more than 370kph (200 knots), was four times that of any American rival. The claim was premature. Problems with its design meant Shkval turned out to be less threatening than hoped (or, from a NATO point of view, less dangerous than feared), even though it is still made and deployed. But supercavitation, the principle upon which its speed depends, has continued to intrigue torpedo designers. Now, noises coming out of the Soviet Union’s successor, Russia, are leading some in the West to worry that the country’s engineers have cracked it.
Life in a bubble
Bubbles of vapour (ie, cavities) form in water wherever there is low pressure, such as on the trailing edges of propeller blades. For engineers, this is usually a problem. In the case of propellers, the cavities erode the blades’ substance. Shkval’s designers, however, sought, by amplifying the phenomenon, to make use of it. They gave their weapon a blunt nose fitted with a flat disc (pictured above) that creates a circular trailing edge as the torpedo moves forward. They also gave it a rocket motor to accelerate it to a speed fast enough for that edge to create a cavity consisting of a single, giant bubble which envelopes the entire torpedo except for the steering fins.
The result is that most of the torpedo experiences no hydrodynamic drag, greatly enhancing its potential velocity. To take advantage of this it is propelled, when the booster rocket runs out of oomph, by a hydrojet—a motor fuelled by a material, such as magnesium, that will burn in water.
Shkval’s problems are threefold. First, it has a short range—around 15km compared with around 50km for America’s principal submarine-launched torpedo, the Mk 48. Second, the hydrojet is noisy, so opponents can hear the weapon coming. Third, it cannot track its target. Most torpedoes use sonar to home in on the ship they are intended to sink. Because Shkval travels inside a bubble, any sonar needs to be mounted on the cavitation disc, which is too small for the purpose. In addition, returning sonar pings would be drowned out by the hydrojet’s noise. As a consequence, Shkval’s only guidance is an autopilot which steers it towards the place where its target was located at the moment of launch, in the hope that the target has not moved.
These deficiencies have not stopped Western countries trying to build supercavitating torpedoes of their own. Diehl, a German firm, announced a programme for such a weapon, Barracuda, in 2004. In 2006 General Dynamics, a big American firm, was commissioned to look into the matter (though its brief did not include the word “torpedo”, referring only to an “undersea transport”) by the country’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The firms’ engineers tried to overcome the guidance problem by developing a new type of cavitator. Rather than a flat disc, General Dynamics’ design had a curved surface, increasing the area available for sonar reception. In addition the sonar’s transmitters, mounted on the torpedo’s steering fins, were separate from the receiver, and the interference caused by engine noise was reduced by special filters. In the end, though, these efforts ran into the sand. Barracuda was never completed. General Dynamics’ project was shelved after a year. American naval research into supercavitation in general ended in 2012, though which particular problems proved insurmountable has never been revealed.
Russia, though, has not given up on the idea. In October 2016 plans emerged for a new supercavitating torpedo, Khishchnik (“Predator”). Few details have been released, except that the work is being carried out by Elektropribor, a design bureau specialising in high-precision systems for submarines. Combining a General Dynamics-style sonar with a better motor could, however, result in a weapon that the world’s navies would truly have to fear.
Such a motor is possible, according to Georgiy Savchenko of the Institute of Hydromechanics at Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences. His supercavitation-research group estimates that with the right fuel (perhaps lithium, which packs more energy per kilogram than magnesium) a new torpedo could have ten times the range of Shkval. It would still be noisy, but, added to its speed, such a combination of range and tracking ability would make it hard to evade. Moreover, there is no theoretical reason why Khishchnik should not travel quite a lot faster than Shkval does. In laboratory tests, supercavitating projectiles have clocked more than 5,000kph.
The supercavitating design being developed for Khishchnik might also feed into the Kanyon project, a giant nuclear-powered torpedo with a nuclear warhead that is intended to attack coastal targets. In what was either a deliberate leak or a piece of disinformation, this project was revealed to the world in 2015 during a televised meeting between Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, and senior officers of the country’s armed forces. The camera, looking over one of these officers’ shoulders, gave a picture of plans for the putative device, annotated with helpful information such as “speed of travel—185kph”.
The leaked design did not appear to use supercavitation—but if Kanyon is genuine, then thoughts of adding it cannot have escaped its designers. Even if Kanyon is smoke and mirrors, though, Khishchnik seems real enough. Perhaps, this time, aircraft-carrier skippers should be worried.
The Elektropribor Design Bureau in Saratov is developing a high-speed torpedo dubbed Khishchnik (Russian for ‘raptor’) and designed to replace the Shkval, expert Vladimir Tuchkov writes in an article with the Svobodnaya Pressa online news agency. The blog of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) has reported that Elektropribor is soon to complete the development of a sophisticated high-speed torpedo. The weapon is designed for replacing the famous Shkval capable of accelerating to 200 knots under water. CAST learnt about that when Elektropribor applied for participating in the 2015 Aircraft Maker of the Year Competition held by the Union of Aviation Industrialists of Russia (UAIR).
Two applications have been submitted, with one of them dedicated to “the execution of the state defense order for developing components of advanced underwater vehicles.” The application continues: “Since 2013, the company has been developing and manufacturing prototypes and testing a component of the underwater missile embodying advanced boundary layer control principles.”
The weapon in question is the Khishchnik, of which very little is known due to the program being very hush-hush. The torpedo is under development by the company developing components for military planes, and the weapon has been submitted for the competition to be held by UAIR. The thing is, the type of weapons is called rocket-assisted torpedo, and Elektropribor is developing electrical units for its rocket motor and the control systems.
The NII-24 Research Institute (now the Region State Research and Production Company, a subsidiary of Tactical Missiles Corp.) kicked off Shkval’s development in 1960. The requirements specification called for a torpedo with a cruising speed of 200 knots and a range of 20 km for launch via the standard 533-mm torpedo tube.
The first prototype was made as soon as 1964. The same year, it launched its tests at Lake Issyk-Kul followed by tests in the Black Sea near the city of Feodosiya. The tests failed. The designers developed one model after another that kept on failing to meet the stringent requirements specification. It is the sixth prototype that passed the tests and was cleared for full-rate production. The torpedo entered the Soviet Navy’s inventory in 1977.
Its high speed resulted from cavitation. Research into this field was started by a TsAGI affiliate in the Soviet Union in the late ‘40s. In the late ‘50s, the scientists came up with a harmonious theory of cavitation movement and issued recommendations for applying its principles to high-speed underwater vehicle development. Cavitation boils down to an object (a torpedo in this case) moving inside an air bubble, overcoming the drag caused by the air, rather than by water. A combined-cycle gas turbine unit in the nose section creates the air bubble enveloping the torpedo.
The weapon is propelled by a jet from its solid-propellant rocket motor, rather than by a screw or a waterjet. The Shkval’s power plant is two-stage. First, the solid-propellant motor accelerates the torpedo to the cavitation speed. Then, the sustainer – an underwater ramjet – kicks in.
The development of the underwater ramjet proved to be as difficult as that of the cavitation generator. It is radically different to the ones used in planes and rockets. It uses seawater as actuating medium and oxidizer, while hydroreactive metals are its fuel.
The speed requirement was met, but the range proved to be a mere 13 km. The torpedo’s launch depth was 30 m, and the weapon dashed to its target at 6 m below the surface. Initially, its warhead was nuclear and had a yield of 150 kilotons. The torpedo weighed 2,700 kg and measured 8,200 mm long.
While having a huge speed, the torpedo lacked a seeker. There were two reasons for that. First, maneuvering worth mentioning is impossible at such a speed, because the air bubble will disintegrate. Second, the torpedo is very noisy and it vibrates, which will make the seeker hear nothing but the motor.
Naturally, the heading of the enemy ship subject to sinking as well as its speed and other factors is taken into consideration prior to the Shkval’s launch, i.e. a lead is allowed for, but it is short, because the Shkval covers 13 km inside 130 s – a bit more than 2 min. The torpedo’s baseline model carried a 150-kt nuclear warhead. It was replaced with a high-explosive one weighing about 250 kg, when the time came to slash the nuclear stockpiles. However, the launch of the torpedo exposed the submarine, for the Shkval’s wake gave its position away lock, stock and barrel. The torpedo’s short range was fraught with another problem: to attack an aircraft carrier or other major combatant, the submarine had to enter its antisubmarine coverage area, which reduced its own chances for survival. In other words, although the designers produced high technical characteristics, the weapon proved to be of little use in practical terms. The Shkval was removed from the inventory.
Designers in two more countries echoed the ideas embodied in the Shkval. In 2005, Germany announced the development of the Barracuda supercavitating torpedo with a speed of 400 km/h, and, two years ago, the Iranian chief of naval operations mentioned a torpedo travelling at 320 km/h. However, these are not weapons ready for combat, rather prototypes undergoing the trials.
The Khishchnik is not a version of the Shkval. Serious money has been set aside for its development. The two contractors alone – Elektropribor and the SEPO-ZEM plant in Saratov – co-pursuing the Khishchnik-M program have received more than 1.5 billion rubles ($25 million).
Therefore, it is possible that the torpedo will have a seeker and be able to maneuver and its range and stealth will increase, expert Vladimir Tuchkov writes in the article on the Svobodnaya Pressa news website.
Bene. Adesso la Russia li ha forniti e sono in corso trattative per forniture anche di sistemi S-500.
«L’S-400 Triumph (in cirillico С-400 Триумф, nome in codice NATO SA-21 Growler) e precedentemente identificato come s-300-PMU 3, è un sistema d’arma antiaereo di nuova generazione sviluppato dall’azienda del settore difesa russa NPO Almaz, prodotto da MKB Fakel, azienda di stato russa con sede a Khimki e esportato da Rosoboronexport.
Sarebbe un sistema d’arma molto superiore alla precedente serie S-300 ed in sue versioni per l’export è stato esportato in Cina; nel novembre 2014 Mosca e Pechino hanno firmato un accordo da 3 miliardi di dollari per la fornitura di sei battaglioni del sistema antiaereo/antimissile S-400 che permetteranno di rafforzare in modo significativo la difesa aerea della Cina. Inoltre in India è stato formalizzato l’interessamento che dovrebbe portare all’ordine di acquisto ufficiale di 12 sistemi durante una visita del primo ministro indiano in Russia nel dicembre 2015
L’S-400 è stato progettato come sistema d’arma capace di intercettare e colpire aerei da guerra e missili da crociera e balistici che volano ad una velocità da 0 a 4,8 km/s (17.000 km/h). Il sistema può individuare fino a 36 (80 nelle nuove versioni) obiettivi contemporaneamente in un raggio che va da 30 a 400 km (quest’ultima distanza con il missile 40N6 con compiti ABM e anti AWACS) in base al tipo di missile utilizzato.
Il sistema è composto nella sua versione per l’esercito russo (almeno fino al 2010) dal posto comando 55K6E e dal radar 91N6E di acquisizione, gestiti con il sistema di gestione del combattimento 30K6E. Il posto comando è affiancato in genere da 6 complessi 98Zh6E ognuno comprendente un radar 92N6E di ingaggio e da un numero variante di TEL 5P85SE2/5P85TE2, armati con 4 missili 48N6E2/E3; a complemento di tutto ciò un sistema di supporto logistico 30Ts6E comprendente stivaggio dei missili ed equipaggiamenti di manutenzione.» [Fonte]
«The new weapon—which will form the upper tier of Russia’s layered integrated air defense system—is expected to be able to engage targets at altitudes of about 125 miles—or 660,000 feet. That means that S-500 will be able to engage targets such as incoming ballistic missiles in space at ranges as great as 400 miles. The first regiment of S-500 will be deployed to protect Moscow and central Russia.
The S-500 is expected to able to detect and simultaneously attack up to ten ballistic missile warheads flying at speeds of twenty-three thousand feet per second. It is also reportedly being designed to use hit-to-kill interceptors—a design with similarities to Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
Like all modern Russian air defense systems, the S-500 is expected to be highly mobile and will use a network of radars for targeting over vast distances. The missile system is expected to use the 91N6A(M) battle management radar, a modified 96L6-TsP acquisition radar, as well as the new 76T6 multi mode engagement and 77T6 ABM engagement radars»
Ragionando in estrema sintesi.
– La Turkia occupa il fronte europeo meridionale del continente e dello schieramento Nato.
– La Turkia governa lo Stretto dei Dardanelli, tramite il quale passa anche il traffico marittimo diretto non solo in Russia, ma anche in Ukraina, Romania e Bulgaria.
– «La Turchia è uno dei cinque stati membri della NATO che fanno parte della politica di condivisione nucleare dell’alleanza, assieme a Belgio, Germania, Italia e Paesi Bassi. Un totale di 90 bombe nucleari B61 sono ospitate presso la base aerea di Adana, di cui 40 sono assegnate per l’uso da parte dell’aviazione turca.» [Fonte]
In altri termini, la Turkia non è uno stato qualunque all’interno della Nato.
Negli ultimi due anni la Turkia ha subito severi sommovimenti che hanno esitato in posizioni robuste del governo centrale. Una cosa è quanto riportano i media liberal occidentali ed una ben differente è la realtà dei fatti.
La Germania, guidata dalla Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel, ha raffreddato i rapporto con la Turkia fino a quasi annullarli, in nome dei principi valoriali che essa Cancelliera nutre e del così detto ‘buon governo’. La Germania ha coinvolto nel suo modo di vedere e sentire tutta l’Unione Europea, annullando così l’iter di adesione della Turkia all’Unione Europea.
Le conseguenze si sono immediatamente riflesse su posizione e ruolo della Turkia nella Nato. Al momento sarebbe lecito domandarsi se la Nato esista ancora.
«Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the agreements involving the sale of Almaz-Antey S-400 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems have been “inked.”»
«Earlier in July, Bloomberg reported that Ankara agreed to a $2.5 billion U.S. deal with Moscow for four S-400 systems, of which two would be produced in Turkey»
«The Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf utilizes four anti-air missiles: 40N6 (400 km), 48N6 (250 km), 9M96E2 (120 km) and 9M96E (40 km). Collectively, these missiles position the S-400 as a multi-layered system capable of engaging targets at long-range and short-range as well as high-altitude and low-altitude»
«the agreement has deepened concern that Turkey is drifting away from its longstanding alliance in NATO, which it joined during the security bloc’s first enlargement in 1952»
«The S-400 deal “is a clear sign that Turkey is disappointed in the US and Europe,”»
«But it is not compatible with NATO systems, nor would it be subject to the same NATO limits on deployment, meaning that Ankara could set it up in places like the Armenian border or Aegean coast»
«Turkey’s relationship with other NATO members has been strained, in part because of the ongoing war in neighboring Syria — sentiment that appears to have intensified after the attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016»
«On Sunday, Erdogan accused the EU of “messing us about,” citing the bloc’s broken promises over issues like visa deals and Syrian migrants. “We will sort things out for ourselves,” he said. “There’s no other option.”»
«The S-400 system would “close Turkish skies,” to Western aircraft»
* * * * * * *
La politica estera perseguita da Frau Merkel nei confronti dei paesi del Visegrad, del Medio Oriente ed adesso della Turkia resta semplicemente inspiegabile.
L’unica spiegazione che renderebbe plausibili i suoi comportamenti sarebbe al limite della fantapolitica: Frau Merkel ci ricorda sempre di più Kim Philby.
«Angela crebbe in campagna, a 80 km a nord di Berlino, nella Repubblica Democratica Tedesca socialista. Winifred Engelhardt, ex membro anziano dell’Unione Cristiano Democratica asserisce in un libro che la capacità della famiglia di viaggiare tranquillamente dalla Germania Est alla Germania Ovest, come anche il loro possesso di due automobili, porta alla conclusione che il padre di Merkel avesse relazioni con il regime comunista, in quanto tali libertà per un pastore cristiano e la sua famiglia sarebbero state impossibili nella RDT.
Come molti giovani, Angela Merkel fu membro del movimento giovanile socialista Libera Gioventù Tedesca. In seguito, divenne membro dell’amministrazione del distretto e segretaria dell'”Agitprop” (agitazione e propaganda) presso l’Accademia delle Scienze di tale organizzazione.
Angela Merkel compì gli studi a Templin e all’Università di Lipsia, dove studiò fisica dal 1973 al 1978. Operò e studiò in seguito all’Istituto Centrale per la Chimica fisica dell’Accademia delle Scienze a Berlino-Adlershof dal 1978 al 1990. Angela Merkel parla correttamente il russo.» [Fonte]
Agitprop è l’acronimo di отдел агитации и пропаганды (otdel agitatsii i propagandy), ossia Dipartimento per l’agitazione e la propaganda, organo del comitato centrale e regionale del Partito comunista dell’Unione sovietica il quale fu in seguito rinominato «Dipartimento ideologico». Per esservi ammesso si doveva essere comunisti di fede comprovata, vagliati a dovere dall’allora Kgb.
Speaking to fellow Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers on July 25, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the agreements involving the sale of Almaz-Antey S-400 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems have been “inked.”
“We have now taken steps with Russia about this issue. Deals have been inked. In God’s will, we will see S-400 missiles in our country and precede the process with joint production,” Erdogan said to the AKP.
Earlier in July, Bloomberg reported that Ankara agreed to a $2.5 billion U.S. deal with Moscow for four S-400 systems, of which two would be produced in Turkey. Prior to that Russian officials stated that the deal was nearing completion, with the two sides still negotiating on financing.
On July 14, Aselsan, Roketsan and Eurosam – a French-Italian consortium responsible for developing and producing the MBDA S-400 SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain) SAM system – signed a deal to collaborate to develop Turkey’s homegrown long-range SAM system.
Erdogan’s recent statements confirm that the S-400 and Turkey-Eurosam programs are parallel initiatives, with the S-400 being sought for near-term procurement.
Following the collapse of its deal with Beijing for HQ-9s, the Turkish Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM) commissioned Aselsan and Roketsan to manage the development of a domestic long-range SAM while the SSK and Turkish Ministry of Defence began talks with overseas vendors.
In November, the head of the SSM Dr. İsmail Demir stated (via the Daily Sabah) that it would “take five to seven years to conclude the [domestic SAM] project.”
The Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf utilizes four anti-air missiles: 40N6 (400 km), 48N6 (250 km), 9M96E2 (120 km) and 9M96E (40 km). Collectively, these missiles position the S-400 as a multi-layered system capable of engaging targets at long-range and short-range as well as high-altitude and low-altitude.
Turkey is poised to be the third S-400 customer following China and India, which have ordered their S-400 systems in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Turkey reached an agreement with Russia to purchase the latter’s most sophisticated missile-defense system, the S-400, a senior Turkish military official told Bloomberg last week.
Under the $2.5 billion agreement Ankara would receive two batteries of the antiaircraft missile from Moscow within the coming year and then produce two more batteries in Turkey.
At the beginning of June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was ready to deliver the missile system, and a Russian military-industry official said an agreement on technical details had been reached in mid-June.
Turkey stepped up efforts to acquire its own missile-defense system after the US, Germany, and the Netherlands — all NATO members — decided at the end of 2015 not to renew their Patriot-missile deployments in southern Turkey. Spanish and Italian missile batteries remain in the country, but those systems are linked to the NATO air-defense system.
The deal has not been finalized and could still fall through, as has happened before — under pressure from the US, Turkey scrapped plans to buy missiles from a Chinese state-run company that had been sanctioned for allegedly selling missiles to Iran. (Ankara has also sought out alternative missile systems from the US and France.)
But the agreement has deepened concern that Turkey is drifting away from its longstanding alliance in NATO, which it joined during the security bloc’s first enlargement in 1952.
The S-400 deal “is a clear sign that Turkey is disappointed in the US and Europe,” Konstantin Makienko, an analyst at Moscow-based think tank the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told Bloomberg. “But until the advance is paid and the assembly begins, we can’t be sure of anything.”
“The problem is, how do you interoperate in the NATO system with Russians? They’ll never interoperate,” US Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters on Friday. “We’ll have to see — does it go through? Do they actually employ it? Do they employ it only in one area? All that kind of stuff. But you know, we’ll have to take a look at it.”
The S-400 system can detect and target manned and unmanned aircraft and missiles and hit targets up to 250 miles away. But it is not compatible with NATO systems, nor would it be subject to the same NATO limits on deployment, meaning that Ankara could set it up in places like the Armenian border or Aegean coast.
A Turkish official also told Bloomberg that the S-400s delivered to the country would not have friend-or-foe identification systems, making them deployable against any target.
While Russia is unlikely to supply Turkey with its most up-to-date missile system, the deal would give Ankara a leg up on its goal to build defense-industry capacity — which may stem in part from Western reticence to exchange advanced technology with Turkey.
The licensing agreement allowing Turkey to produce S-400 batteries domestically would save it some of the billions needed to create a new industry, Makienko told Bloomberg.
“Either way, this is in line with Turkey’s massive weapons modernization drive that saw the emergence of new land, air and sea-based systems for domestic use and export,” Center for Naval Analyses researcher Sam Bendett told The National Interest.
Turkey has also discussed a missile-system purchase with a Italian-French joint venture, and agreements with Russia may be a means to gain leverage in those negotiations.
The deal may also serve political purposes.
Turkey’s relationship with other NATO members has been strained, in part because of the ongoing war in neighboring Syria — sentiment that appears to have intensified after the attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.
Turkish officials were reportedly disappointed in NATO countries’ response to the coup, and Erdogan’s crackdown in the months since has been criticized by members of the security bloc. Ties with Germany are especially strained, and Berlin is currently redeploying its troops and equipment from a base in southern Turkey to positions elsewhere.
It may also be Turkey’s way of spurning the EU, the political and economic bloc that has in the past recognized Ankara as a candidate for membership. Foundering accession talks were scrapped by the EU in late 2016, amid Erdogan’s post-coup-attempt crackdown.
On Sunday, Erdogan accused the EU of “messing us about,” citing the bloc’s broken promises over issues like visa deals and Syrian migrants. “We will sort things out for ourselves,” he said. “There’s no other option.”
Turkish officials have said more than once that dealings with Russia shouldn’t be seen as a search for an alternative to either the EU or NATO. But observers in Russia described it as a significant development
The S-400 system would “close Turkish skies,” to Western aircraft in particular, Makienko, the Moscow-based analyst, told Russian news site Vzglyad, according to Russian state-owned outlet Sputnik. “If the Turks really purchase Russia’s missile defense systems, it will be a tectonic shift, a game-changer in the arms market,” he said.
NATO member Turkey has reportedly reached a preliminary agreement with Moscow to purchase Russia’s fearsome S-400 air and missile defense system.
The agreement is not final, but the deal—if it goes through—could be yet another indication that Ankara is starting to shift its alignment towards the Kremlin.
Further, the agreement might also be a signal from Ankara aimed at the European Union. The EU, in previous years, had recognized Turkey as a candidate for membership into that bloc, but the 28-member union voted to suspend already moribund accession talks with Turkey on Nov. 24, 2016, in the wake of a series of purges that followed a July 15, 2016 coup attempt to overthrow Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Politically, Turkey may be sending a strong message to the EU,” Center for Naval Analyses researcher Sam Bendett told The National Interest.
However, while the deal would be significant if it were finalized, Turkey had previously reached a preliminary deal with China to purchase Beijing’s potent HQ-9 air defense system in September 2013. However, Ankara scrapped the deal in November 2015 under pressure from Washington and other NATO allies.
“I think it is too early to say anything. In 2013 there was a similar preliminary decision by Turkey to buy Chinese HQ-9 systems but that failed to materialize,” Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, told The National Interest.
However, this time around, given the tensions between Ankara and Washington over the later’s support for Kurdish rebels in Syria combined with the Europeans’ distaste for Erdoğan’s increasingly autocratic rule, the chances of a deal being finalized are looking more promising.
“The deal may still fall through at the very end, but it’s starting to look like it may actually go through,” Bendett said.
Ankara certainly needs modern air defense systems and hopes to gain the technology to build its own similar systems. Thus, a final deal will likely hinge on the degree of technology transfer Moscow is willing to afford Turkey.
According to Bloomberg—which broke the story—the Russians will supply two S-400 batteries and allow Ankara to license build two additional systems, but the exact details have yet to be worked out. Thus far, the Russians have not offered official comment on reports of the deal, which could be worth more than $2.5 billion.
But while the Russians seem willing to sell Turkey some of their most advanced air defense weapons, Moscow is not likely to part with all of its secrets. Turkey will likely receive a less capable export version of the S-400.
“The S-400 comes in a number of configurations, and besides, we expect to have the S-500 in the coming years,” Kashin said.
“Turkey is an increasingly important partner, although a difficult one.”
Bendett agreed that Turkey is not likely to receive the most capable version of the S-400.
“A modern military should have modern air defenses – that is what Turkey is striving for as it fields new systems,” Bendett said.
“But it’s likely that the Russians will not sell the latest S-400 version to the Turks, or sell it with certain caveats. Either way, this is in line with Turkey’s massive weapons modernization drive that saw the emergence of new land, air and sea-based systems for domestic use and export.”
The Turkish purchase could be beneficial for the United States and its NATO allies if the deal is finalized and Ankara remains oriented towards the West. Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 would afford NATO a valuable up close look at the system’s operational capabilities and limitations—and devise a means to neutralize it. Even a degraded export version of the S-400 would provide the West with insights on how to defeat Russia’s latest air defenses.
But a finalized deal might also mean that Turkey meant to forge its own path, one that is more oriented towards the Kremlin. And that is not likely to be received as good news here in Washington.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, talks with Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, at the start of the 7th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and its dialogue partners as part of the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meetings in Manila, Philippines, on Monday.
Le esondazioni si prevengono costruendo argini degni di tal nome. Una volta che il fiume è straripato, non resta altro da fare che aspettare che le acque si ritirino, e quindi ricostruire quanto distrutto. Sempre poi che ciò sia possibile.
Per far ciò serve avere una chiara visione dell’attuale, in questo caso di un fiume che potrebbe esondare, ed una altrettanto chiara visione del futuro: si tratta infatti di privarsi oggi di una certa quale quota di risorse disponibili per costruire gli argini che proteggeranno nel futuro.
Bene: questa visione è latitata nell’ultimo decennio in tutto l’Occidente ed in molti paesi del sud – est asiatico. Lamentarsi oggi non ha alcun senso: il latte è stato versato.
* * *
Per capire meglio la situazione, guardiamo con attenzione la fotografia. Il Ministro Wang Yi incontra Mrs Julie Bishop. Ma chi sono veramente, al di là della carica?
«Wang Yi is a Chinese diplomat and politician. He formerly served as China’s Vice Foreign Minister, Ambassador to Japan, and Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office. As of March 2013, he is the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. ….
After graduating from high school in September 1969, he was sent to Northeast China. He subsequently served in the Northeast Construction Army Corps in Heilongjiang Province for eight years ….
was enrolled in the department of Asian and African Languages of Beijing International Studies University (BISU). He studied the Japanese language at the institution, graduating in February 1982 with a bachelor’s degree. ….
From August 1997 to February 1998, Wang was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Foreign Relations of Georgetown University in the United States. ….
From September 1999, Wang studied international relations at China Foreign Affairs University and obtained a master’s degree. In February 2001» [Fonte]
Ricapitolando. Mr Wang Yi ha alle spalle una formazione culturale di tutto rilievo, come attestano i titoli accademici conseguiti. Parla fluentemente giapponese ed inglese per essere vissuto in tali nazioni, più altre lingue asiatiche minori. Ha vissuto lunghi periodi all’estero. Ha un curriculum dedicato alla politica estera di tutto rilievo. In altri termini: è uno che conosce il proprio mestiere.
«Julie Isabel Bishop (born 17 July 1956) is an Australian politician, serving as the Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2013, and the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party since 2007. ….
She was educated at St Peter’s Collegiate Girls’ School and later at the University of Adelaide, where she studied law, graduating in 1978 ….
she attended Harvard Business School for eight weeks to complete an Advanced Management Program for Senior Managers ….
Bishop was appointed Minister for Ageing in 2003. She was later promoted to Minister for Education, Science and Training and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues» [Fonte]
Mrs Bishop parla unicamente inglese, non ha mai vissuto nei paesi del sud – est asiatico, ha un curriculum accademico scarno, non si era mai interessata di problemi di politica estera, ignora totalmente quelli militari. È diventata ministro degli esteri per il solo merito di essere nata femmina. Un po’ pochino per superare una selezione meritocratica e per poter parlare alla pari con Mr Wang Yi.
Il confronto tra Mr Wang Yi e Mrs Julie Bishop è il miglior modo per comprendere perché la Cina adesso domini in modo totale il Mare Cinese del Sud.
«China claims nearly all of the sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes and which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits»
Se l’Asean affida a Mrs Bishop le trattative per un problema da cinque trilioni di dollari dimostra in modo lampante la propria incompetenza.
«The United States, Australia and Japan on Monday denounced Beijing’s island-building and militarization of the South China Sea, in contrast to the increasingly tepid response from Southeast Asian nations over the festering issue.»
Le Filippine sono il grande assente, eppure hanno una posizione altamente strategica.
«The Philippines had been one of the most vocal critics of China and filed a case before a UN-backed tribunal.
But after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte last year, Manila has played down the verdict in favor of pursuing warmer ties with Beijing, a move that led to offers of billions of dollars in investments or aid from China»
Ma le sentenze dei tribunali trovano valore solo ed esclusivamente se hanno un supporto politico: senza valgono come la carta straccia.
Stati Uniti ed Asean si sono giocati l’amicizia delle Filippine nel tentativo utopico di voler loro imporre le proprie concezioni ideologiche, mentre la Cina ha guardato con spietato realismo la cartina geografica.
L’Occidente liberal e femminista si sta avviando mestamente sul viale del tramonto: si sta suicidando. Senza meritocrazia le società implodono.
MANILA — The United States, Australia and Japan on Monday denounced Beijing’s island-building and militarization of the South China Sea, in contrast to the increasingly tepid response from Southeast Asian nations over the festering issue. * China claims nearly all of the sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes and which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits.
Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei — all members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc — as well as Taiwan.
But in recent years Beijing has managed to weaken regional resistance by courting some ASEAN members.
On Sunday Beijing scored a coup when ASEAN ministers issued a diluted statement on the dispute and agreed to Beijing’s terms on talks during a security forum which the bloc is hosting in Manila.
China insists that a much-delayed code of conduct between it and ASEAN members over the disputed sea must not be legally binding, a demand to which Southeast Asian countries have so far acquiesced.
But in a joint statement after their foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the same gathering, the US, Japan and Australia delivered a noticeably sterner rebuke to Beijing.
Criticizing ongoing “land reclamation, construction of outposts, militarization of disputed features” in the disputed sea, the trio said any code of conduct must be “legally binding, meaningful and effective,” a demand noticeably absent from the ASEAN statement.
The three nations also called on China and the Philippines to respect last year’s international arbitration ruling which dismissed much of Beijing’s claim in the sea.
The Philippines had been one of the most vocal critics of China and filed a case before a UN-backed tribunal.
But after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte last year, Manila has played down the verdict in favor of pursuing warmer ties with Beijing, a move that led to offers of billions of dollars in investments or aid from China.
Critics of China have accused it of assiduously dividing ASEAN, which operates on a consensus basis, with strong-arm
tactics and checkbook diplomacy, enticing smaller countries in the bloc such as Cambodia and Laos to support it.
Vietnam, which had been pushing for stronger language in Manila, has been largely left to fend for itself since Duterte’s China rapprochement.
The US, Australia and Japan oppose Beijing building giant artificial islands that could be used as military bases, fearing it will eventually establish de facto control over the waters.
China insists the three countries should stay out of what it says are purely bilateral disputes with its neighbors.
On Sunday Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned any interference from “outside parties” could jeopardize negotiations over the code of conduct.
«nazione che, per potenziale economico, sviluppo tecnologico e armamento, ha una particolare influenza in campo internazionale e un forte peso sugli eventi mondiali»
Se il potenziale economico è di grande importanza nel connotare una superpotenza, indubbiamente il peso maggiore gravita sulle capacità militari.
Molto spesso si assume che la capacità di produrre bombe termonucleari sia sinonimo di potenza atomica: ciò è solo parzialmente vero.
Se è ovvio che la disponibilità di bombe termonucleari è di fondamentale importanza, è altrettanto vero che senza vettori efficienti a portata globale le armi atomiche sarebbero del tutto inutili: ciò che conta è la reale capacità di distruggere eventuali obiettivi nemici in qualunque parte del mondo essi siano situati.
Questa capacità è ottenuta con l’uso di basi di lancio mobili per ridurne la possibilità di localizzazione e neutralizzazione: missili quindi lanciabili da motrici terrestri, da aerei, da sommergibili. Come si vede, il tutto richiede un insieme di conoscenze e di tecnologie allo stato dell’arte.
«On July 30, Chinese president Xi Jinping presided over a large military parade celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). China unveiled its new DF-31AG ICBM. The DF-31AG is an upgrade to the DF-31A missile that was introduced in 2009. The DF-31AG was mounted on an all-terrain vehicle, demonstrating better mobility. The missile possesses a longer range, and carries multiple warheads. The DF-31A only carries a single warhead. While the DF-31AG shows improved survivability and longer range, China has yet to release details of the missile.
Unlike previous displays held in Beijing, this was held at Zhurihe base in Inner Mongolia. More than 100 planes flew overhead, and nearly 600 different types of weaponry were on display, including the J-20 stealth fighter, DF-21D antiship ballistic missiles, and DF-31AG ballistic missile.»
* * * * * * *
Molte le novità tecniche, alcune esplicite ed altre implicite.
– Il sistema DF-31AG Icbm è un prodotto allo stato dell’arte per mobilità, gittata, e capacità di gestire testate multiple. In altri termini, la Cina ha adesso un sistema di lancio terrestre che la annovera nel club delle superpotenze atomiche.
– Non potendo sfilare per intuibili motivi, la Cina ha anche sviluppato una nuova tipologia si sottomarini atomici della classe 093, in grado di lanciare sia missili Icbm, sia missili anti-nave Yj-18, sia infine missili da crociera a lungo raggio DF-10.
– Il Csis annovera solo da qualche tempo negli armamenti strategici i missili anti-nave, in questo caso i DF-21D. Questo è un missile di medio raggio a testata atomica, usabile come missile antinave. Sembrerebbe essere alquanto datato, ma corrono voci che la Cina stia sviluppando un qualcosa di simile ai sistemi anti – nave russi P-800 Onyx, P-1000 Basalt oppure i Bastion, denominandoli CM-302. Sono considerati essere armi strategiche perché potenzialmente in grado di affondare le portaerei.
* * * * * * *
Tuttavia le maggiori novità sembrerebbero essere insiste nella scelta della base in cui tenere la sfilata, Zhurihe, e nel discorso tenuto da Mr Xi.
«The world is not peaceful»
«Today we are closer than any other period in history to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and we need more than any period in history to build a strong people’s military»
«Wherever the party points, march there»
Il fatto che la Cina sia prepotentemente entrata nel novero delle superpotenze è evento critico dopo oltre settanta anni di oligopolio americano e russo.
La politica strategica mondiale non è più pensabile in termini di accordi russo-americani, ed anche gli accordi solamente bilaterali sembrerebbero essere destinati all’oblio. Non solo: i rapporti sino-russi sono molto migliori di quelli con gli americani.
Solo che, a differenza della Russia, la Cina nutre grandi ambizioni marittime, per il momento ancora vagamente inespresse, ma destinate a realizzarsi. Si pensi soltanto alla costruzione delle isole artificiali nel Mare Cinese del Sud, isole che hanno conferito alla Cina il predominio assoluto locoregionale. Tutte le proteste del mondo occidentale sono restate lettera morta.
Si voglia o meno, è cambiata un’era. L’epoca in cui l’Occidente poteva fare e disfare a proprio piacere il mondo è terminata e, si direbbe, in modo definitivo.
In questo contesto l’Unione Europea è semplicemente esclusa dalla geopolitica militare mondiale.
Eppure la somma delle spese militari degli stati afferenti l’Unione è quasi doppia di quella cinese e cinque volte tanto di quella russa. Ma a fronte di simile livello di spesa, la forza militare europea è virtualmente nulla: di conseguenza, l’Unione non può pretendere di fare politica mondiale.
Military display is latest effort by President Xi Jinping to improve standing as party leadership shuffle looms.
BEIJING—China unveiled a new, more mobile intercontinental ballistic missile at a parade of advanced weaponry and combat troops, in President Xi Jinping’s latest display of military—and political—muscle.
State television showed at least 16 DF-31AG missiles in Sunday’s parade at the Zhurihe combat-training base in northern China, marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the force that is now known as the People’s Liberation Army.
The DF-31AG is mounted on an all-terrain vehicle so it is harder to track and can be fired from multiple locations, and it could have a longer range than the older DF-31A, which was also displayed and is carried by a vehicle designed mainly for roads, military experts say.
Mr. Xi, wearing combat fatigues and a peaked cap, inspected the troops from an open-top military vehicle before the parade, which featured tanks, helicopters, stealth jet fighters and some 12,000 personnel.
“The world is not peaceful,” Mr. Xi in a speech afterward that invoked his signature political idea of a “China Dream” to build the country into a global economic and military power. “Today we are closer than any other period in history to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and we need more than any period in history to build a strong people’s military.”
Mr. Xi also ordered troops to obey the Communist Party leadership, saying: “Wherever the party points, march there.”
It is the first time a parade has been held to mark the anniversary since 1949, according to state media, and is the latest in a series of moves that analysts say are designed to boost Mr. Xi’s political standing in the run-up to a reshuffle of the party’s leadership this year.
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned repeatedly that he is weighing military action to halt North Korea’s nuclear program, and in recent weeks has become increasingly critical of China, accusing them of failing to rein in Pyongyang. The U.S. Air Force flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Saturday in direct response to North Korea’s latest missile test.
“I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk,” Mr. Trump wrote in a pair of posts on his Twitter account. “We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
China’s parade would have been planned months in advance, analysts said, and wasn’t a direct response to Pyongyang or Washington, but it demonstrated Mr. Xi’s efforts to build a military that can respond to external challenges—including on the Korean Peninsula.
Last year, the Chinese leader launched sweeping military reforms—including cutting 300,000 troops—that are designed to overhaul Soviet-modeled command structures and better prepare the armed forces for combat, at home and abroad if needed.
The PLA is training for scenarios that include a conflict over the disputed South China Sea, a blockade of China’s oil supplies through the Indian Ocean, and operations to protect its citizens and investments in Africa and the Middle East.
“By presiding over a landmark parade for a party-loyal PLA growing leaner and meaner by his orders, Xi shows that he is large and in charge in the run-up to the 19th Congress,” said Andrew Erickson, an expert on China’s military at the U.S. Naval War College. “Debuting publicly such a powerful, penetrating deterrent weapon as the DF-31AG ICBM seeks to demonstrate that China commands heightened respect abroad even as it maintains order at home—both central components of Xi’s China Dream.”
China hasn’t provided any details about the DF-31AG, but a model was displayed for the first time this month in an exhibition at Beijing’s Military Museum. Analysts say the missile’s design and name suggest it is an improved version of the DF-31A, but beyond its improved survivability and possibly longer range, it remains unclear what the enhancements are.
China has an estimated 75 to 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles, including the solid-fueled DF-31A, which has a range of more than 7000 miles and can reach most locations in the continental U.S., according to the Pentagon.
Other equipment in the parade included five J-20 stealth jet fighters and several DF-21D antiship ballistic missiles, which experts say are designed to hit approaching U.S. aircraft carriers in a potential conflict.
Chinese state television said more than 40 percent of the equipment in the parade was being displayed for the first time, but didn’t provide details of every piece of new weaponry.
Troops in the parade came from the army, navy and air force but also from two new services created about 18 months ago—the rocket force, which controls conventional and nuclear missiles, and the strategic support force, which handles electronic warfare.
Electronic weaponry on display included equipment designed for electromagnetic countermeasures and aerial drones that can be used for radar-jamming, state television said, without providing details.
Da un punto di vista militare il fatto che gli Stati Uniti non mantengano una portaerei, e relativa flotta di appoggio, in ogni parte del mondo sembrerebbe essere ininfluente sulle capacità belliche globali americane.
Il problema sembrerebbe essere più politico e di visibilità.
«a quick look at the latest positioning of US aircraft carriers, amphibious ready groups, and other navies around the globe shows a gaping hole in the region of the East or South China Sea, and even in proximity to Japan, a place where the US navy traditionally has maintained at least one carrier group»
«In fact, according to Stratfor, the only active carrier group is USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG, conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe»
«The absence of a deployed U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, long seen as a symbol of American power projection, is noteworthy»
«According to Fox, it is believed to be the first time since World War II that at least one U.S. aircraft carrier has not been deployed»
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I tempi stanno cambiando, ed anche molto velocemente: spesso può essere anche un segnale minimo a far rendere conto di come stiano le cose nei fatti.
Se la Russia è una superpotenza atomica fin dalla fine della seconda guerra mondiale, Arabia Saudita ed India stanno iniziando a svolgere un importante ruolo locoregionale. La Cina invece sta lanciando molti segnali di sentirsi stretta nel ruolo regionale, e di ambire ad essere militarmente presente almeno nell’Oceano Pacifico ed in quello Indiano.
Se nessuno nega agli Stati Uniti un ruolo di primaria superpotenza atomica assieme alla Russia, la Cina dispone anche essa di un imponente arsenale nucleare e di efficienti vettori transcontinentali.
Se nessuno nega agli Stati Uniti un ruolo marittimo egemone, nessuno può di converso negare come la Cina stia allestendo un sistema navale più destinato a ruoli strategici che locoregionali. La Cina di fatto è già la terza superpotenza, assieme a Stati Uniti e Russia.
Si consideri infine come negli ultimi lustri siano stati sviluppati sistemi di missili anti – nave che al bassissimo costo di produzione associano una non indifferente capacità operativa. Le capacità difensive delle portaerei dovrebbe subire sostanziali miglioramenti: non sono più invulnerabili.
«il missile ipersonico 3M22 Tzirkon ha una velocità di Mach 6,2 (6500 km/h), un peso di 5 tonnellate e nella prima fase avrà un’autonomia di 400 km. Successivamente, aumentando il carico di carburante, il campo operativo del missile Tzirkon potrebbe raggiungere i 1000 km»
«missili antinave Kh-41 Moskit dalla gittata di 250 km e un velocità di Mach 3,2 (3587 km/h) furono schierati permanentemente sulla base aerea di Burevestnik, sull’isola di Iturup, nell’arcipelago delle Curili»
«Un missile che vola a 6000 km/h a bassa quota è molto difficile da intercettare, dato che tra il momento dell’individuazione sul radar e l’impatto sulla portaerei, i sistemi di difesa hanno solo un minuto per inquadrarlo e attivare le contromisure»
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Un ultimo dato. Nel 2016 la Cina ha stanziato per spese militari dirette per 215 miliardi di dollari: una cifra enorme per ambizioni soltanto locoregionali.
Last weekend, when commenting on China’s public demonstration of its one and only aircraft carrier, which China then proceeded to sail in close proximity to Taiwan to make a clear diplomatic “statement”, we noted something tangentially troubling: ” a quick look at the latest positioning of US aircraft carriers, amphibious ready groups, and other navies around the globe shows a gaping hole in the region of the East or South China Sea, and even in proximity to Japan, a place where the US navy traditionally has maintained at least one carrier group. In fact, according to Stratfor, the only active carrier group is USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG, conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.”
As it turned out, the Eisenhower carrier group was on its way back to dock in Norfolk, VA, which means that for the next several weeks, not only will there be no U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Middle East or the South China Sea, but as Fox News reports, “there will be no American aircraft carriers deployed at sea anywhere else in the world, despite a host of worldwide threats facing the United States.”
The absence of a deployed U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, long seen as a symbol of American power projection, is noteworthy. According to Fox, it is believed to be the first time since World War II that at least one U.S. aircraft carrier has not been deployed.
As it further reports, the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and her strike group returned to Norfolk, Va., Friday following a seven-month deployment. The Ike launched hundreds of airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria from both the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. Two destroyers in the carrier’s strike group also saw combat. The USS Nitze and USS Mason were attacked in the Red Sea when allegedly Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen launched cruise missiles, which were intercepted by the Mason. A retaliatory strike by the Nitze destroyed the radar installations in Yemen in October, even though in the meantime speculation emerged that the attack may have been coordinated by Saudi interests in an attempt to stage another “false flag” attack on US military assets.
The latest summary of US naval forces around the globe as of the last week of December is shown in the map below courtesy of Stratfor. As of this moment, the Eisenhower has crossed the Atlantic and is back at Norfolk base.
The Eisenhower’s replacement carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, was delayed by more than six months in the shipyards and will not be able to replace the Ike well into 2017, according to Navy officials.
While there is no U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East right now, there is a large deck U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship, the LHD-8 Makin Island, with thousands of Marines on board as well as helicopters and some jets to respond to a crisis, according to officials.
Still, before it becomes the topic of a twitter rant by the President-elect and his opponents, the Navy told Fox News the U.S. military has other jets available to make up for the aircraft carrier gap in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. The Navy can also “surge” a carrier now in port to deploy if necessary.
“We are not going to discuss the timing of operational movements of carrier strike groups into and out of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” said Capt. Terry Shannon, a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesman, in a statement to Fox News. Centcom is tasked with control over all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
It’s not the first time there was a carrier gap in the Middle East. Last fall, the U.S. Navy relied on a French aircraft carrier to fill the void when the USS Theodore Roosevelt returned home. At the time it was the first gap in carrier coverage in the Middle East since 2007.
Other factors contribute to the U.S. Navy not having an aircraft carrier deployed anywhere in the world right now. From 2011 to 2013, the Navy maintained two carriers in the Persian Gulf on the orders of Centcom’s then-commander, Gen. James Mattis, who is now President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary, which likely means that the current carrier gap is temporary until Mattis takes his post after the Trump inauguration.
The congressionally mandated budget cuts known as sequestration have also been felt on the waterfront since 2011. After billions of dollars were cut from the Navy’s budget, ships such as the George H.W. Bush were forced to prolong their time in the shipyards, which had a ripple effect down the line. If the Bush had left the shipyard on time, she would have relieved the Ike in the Gulf or the Mediterranean, officials tell Fox News.
Fox News reproted that it recently flew out to the USS George H.W. Bush 40 miles off the coast of North Carolina to see the crew’s final tuneup. With jets landing every 60 seconds, the flight deck crew worked on getting the time between “traps” (landings) down to 40 seconds. Aboard the ship, 18- to 22-year-old men and women work 14 hour days on the flight deck, with little rest — all this before deploying and potentially dropping live rounds on ISIS.
“This is the military equivalent of spring training, because once we complete this at the end of December, then we’ll be going forward and it’ll be real forces that we’ll be going flying with and against,” said Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander, Carrier Strike 2, interviewed on his perch above the four-acre flight deck known as “Vulture’s Row.”
In addition to fighting ISIS, the ship’s commanding officer says his crew will be ready to deal with a resurgent Russia or China if necessary.
“While we don’t have any emergent or pending conflicts with them, certainly, it is fair to say that we have divergent interests in many cases. and so we need to be prepared to understand how we will react to that if necessary,” said Capt. Will Pennington. The Bush recently made history when on Aug. 8, 2014, a pair of F-18s from the carrier launched the first airstrikes against ISIS in northern Iraq. Now, two and a half years later, the ship is headed back to the fight against the Islamic State terror group.
“That doesn’t mean that three months or six months from now, that will be the priority for our country. So we have to be ready to execute anywhere, anytime, any mission,” said Capt. James McCall, commander of Air Wing 8, in charge of all of the aircraft on board.
La Finlandia fece parte del Regno di Svezia dal XII secolo al 1809, quando divenne un granducato autonomo all’interno dell’Impero Russo fino alla rivoluzione del 1917. Il 6 dicembre di quell’anno la Finlandia ottenne l’indipendenza, seguita da una guerra civile terminata con la sconfitta dei “Rossi” filo-bolscevichi da parte dei filo-conservatori “Bianchi” sostenuti dall’Impero tedesco. Dopo un breve tentativo di stabilire una monarchia nel Paese, la Finlandia divenne una repubblica.
L’esperienza finlandese della Seconda guerra mondiale ha coinvolto tre conflitti separati: la Guerra d’inverno (1939-1940) e la Guerra di continuazione (1941-1944) contro l’Unione Sovietica, e la Guerra di Lapponia (1944-1945) contro la Germania nazista. Dopo la fine della guerra, la Finlandia ha aderito all’Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite (ONU) nel 1955, all’Organizzazione per la cooperazione e lo sviluppo economico (OCSE) nel 1969, all’Unione europea nel 1995 e alla zona Euro fin dal suo inizio nel 1999.» [Fonte]
I problemi storici della Finlandia sono riassumibili in un’unica riga: confina ad est con la Russia ed ad ovest con la Svezia, due nazioni molto più agguerrite e potenti di lei. Nessuna di queste due nazioni, e dei blocchi che rappresentano, può permettere che la Finlandia transiti in modo definitivo nell’orbita militare strategica dell’altra.
Ciò compreso, risulta chiaro perché l’Urss non occupò la Finlandia alla fine della seconda guerra mondiale, pur avendola vinta sul campo, e perché la Finlandia non è stata incorporata nella Nato.
Durante l’epoca della guerra fredda invalse l’uso del termine ‘finlandizzazione‘ per connotare una politica estera ed interna attenta a non irritare le superpotenze, concedendo loro il concedibile in cambio della garanzia alla indipendenza ed al non coinvolgimento in eventuali operazioni belliche. Fu una Realpolitik grondante di sano buon senso, che concorse grandemente al mantenimento dello status quo mondiale.
Si come però il termine ‘finlandizzazione‘ sia anche stato usato in senso impropriamente denigrativo, attribuendogli un senso di succube sottomissione alieno alla realtà dei fatti.
Con la guerra civile ukraina e la successiva annessione della Krimea alla Russia, gli Stati Uniti e l’Unione Europea, capitanata dalla Germania di Frau Merkel, il settore geopolitico baltico ha subito una crescente militarizzazione, che ha esitato in un crescendo di tensioni. È anche stata ventilata la possibilità che la Finlandia entrasse a far parte della Nato.
«The relationship is much more pragmatic with Finland, less problematic than with any other neighbor Russia would have in this part of the world»
«Finns and Russians both find this relationship useful …. It’s a part of a long tradition»
«The military-political situation in the Baltic Sea is challenging and worrying …. The general situation is bad but the current dynamics are not as bad as they could be»
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«Russia would respect Finland’s decision if it decided to join NATO, but would respond.» [Mr Putin]
«What do you think we will do in this situation? We moved our forces back, 1500 kilometres away – will we keep our forces there? How they assure the safety and independence of their own country is the Finns’ choice. Undoubtedly we appreciate Finland’s neutral status» [Mr Putin]
«The Finnish public, despite being alarmed for a time over Russian actions in Ukraine, now appear satisfied with the status quo»
Nell’ultimo decennio le superpotenze sono riuscite a sviluppare missili ipersonici capaci di viaggiare a basse quote a velocità superiori ai 7,000 kilometri all’ora, più di cento kilometri al minuto primo.
Missili di tal tipo hanno una portata massima di circa 500 kilometri e non sembrerebbero essere intercettabili dai sistemi di difesa al momento disponibili.
È del tutto evidente come il loro posizionamento avanzato sia una minaccia concreta, anche perché non lascerebbero il tempo necessario per attivare le eventuali contromisure.
– Russian president visits Finland for centenary celebrations
– The heads of state meet for the second time this year
After the stiff formality of the G-20 summit earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin is engaging in some more relaxed diplomacy with the west.
Russia’s leader will be in Finland on Thursday, celebrating the former duchy’s century of independence. Together with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Putin will hop on a steamboat built in 1893 for an hour-long lake cruise near the southern part of the border between the two countries. He’ll then head to a medieval castle, Olavinlinna, where the visiting Bolshoi Theater will perform Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta — the opera’s first airing in Finland in 100 years.
The western leader with whom Putin arguably gets on best will be the first head of state from the European Union to meet with the Russian president since the G-20 meeting in Hamburg.
Arkady Moshes, who heads a research program on Russia at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki, says Putin is probably “more comfortable” talking to Finland, a non-NATO member of the EU, than to others. “The relationship is much more pragmatic with Finland, less problematic than with any other neighbor Russia would have in this part of the world,” he said by phone.
“Finns and Russians both find this relationship useful,” Moshes said. “It’s a part of a long tradition.”
Finnish media are speculating the two will discuss U.S.-Russia relations, after Putin’s first meeting with Donald Trump at the G-20. A weaker EU after Brexit, the region’s deepening defense cooperation and even tighter monetary union will probably also be raised. And Finland’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council puts climate change, in the age of Trump, on the agenda.
The talks take place as Russian and NATO military exercises in the Baltic Sea region intensify and as warships ply the waters off the coast of Finland and Sweden. Both NATO and Russia are building up their potential in the area, as decisions taken three years ago — when Putin annexed Crimea — are implemented.
“The military-political situation in the Baltic Sea is challenging and worrying,” Moshes said. “The general situation is bad but the current dynamics are not as bad as they could be,” he said.
The special relationship between the Finns and the Russians is rooted in one key factor. Finland, which shares a 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border with Russia, has stayed out of NATO chiefly in deference to the government in Moscow (though the Finnish military is now fully compliant with equipment used by the alliance.) Leaders of the two countries are in touch with each other several times a year and lower-ranking officials are in contact much more often.
Last year, Putin told policy makers in Helsinki directly not to join the alliance. This time, the tone of talks is likely to more relaxed. “Psychologically, it will be easier for Putin to come to Finland, because it’s a celebration,” Moshes said.
Vladimir Putin came to Finland with a handshake for his counterpart, President Salui Niinisto – and a warning that Moscow will respond if his host country joins NATO.
Finland and neighbouring Sweden have increased cooperation with the Western military alliance since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its backing for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
This was Putin’s first visit to Finland since those crises erupted in 2014.
He said Russia would respect Finland’s decision if it decided to join NATO, but would respond.
“What do you think we will do in this situation? We moved our forces back, 1500 kilometres away – will we keep our forces there? How they assure the safety and independence of their own country is the Finns’ choice. Undoubtedly we appreciate Finland’s neutral status,” the Russian president said during a joint outdoor news conference.
The presidents’ meeting at Naantali comes amid increased Russian and NATO activity in the Baltic region. Finland is militarily neutral but interest in the possibility of joining the alliance has been rising.
The former Soviet Baltic states have called on NATO to step up air defences.
The Baltic Sea has been the arena for a series of close encounters between Russian and Western aircraft in recent months. The Russian and Finnish presidents agreed to draw up security measures to control flights in the area.