Monday, September 22, 2008

more leftovers

Here comes the second part of the catch-up of the events of the short blogging hiatus.
On the beginning of the month, Iran denied it had bought Russia's advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. Israeli experts warned that Iran could receive such a system by the end of 2008 while U.S. officials do not expect it to happen that early. However, another news piece that came up on the very same day clearly indicates that these two countries perceive Iran as a major threat: Jane’s announced that the U.S. will provide Israel with aid to face a range of emerging threats, especially long-range guided missiles from Iran or Syria. U.S. aid to the Arrow 3 program is currently planned to include US$750 million until the system 2013, when the system is expected to become operational.

There are also some news regarding the cooperation with another partner – or one might say it is pay-day. The first cash to fund Czech research stemming from Prague's agreement to host part of a US anti-missile shield should be sent by month's end, a Czech scientist told the CTK news agency in early September. US experts are at the moment sifting through a shortlist of eight projects from publicly funded research institutions and private firms in such fields as robotics, laser technology, medicine, radio-location technology, nano science and special crystals, the news agency said.

The Russian attitude towards the Polish interceptor base is well known. Moscow already floated ideas to base Iskander missiles in Belarus and Kaliningrad and target them in direction of Poland. Now this threat reached a higher level. Russia is contemplating to aim its ICBMs at the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe. The missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic and other similar facilities in the future could "be designated as targets for our ICBMs," said the commander of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov.

Should the Czech parliament reject the two agreements in the final reading in December, there might be another option for the United States to pursue: Romania wants to host a missile defense system to defend the European Union against missile attack, Romanian Defense Minister Teodor Melescanu stated. However, Romania’s offer was put strictly into a NATO-context. “In our opinion,” Melescanu said, “it would be better for the EU countries to have their own defense system”.

The Times of India reported that Bangladesh is all set to build its own missile arsenal. The caretaker government in Dhaka is in the process of clinching a deal with an integrated European company MBDA for buying OTOMAT MK-II surface-to-air missiles and five launch systems. These missiles can carry a payload of 210 kg and can hit targets 180 km away. Bangladesh conducted its maiden missile test on conducted on May 12 when it successfully test-fired land attack anti-ship cruise missile C-802A, which is a modified version of Chinese Ying Ji-802.

Indian scientists have developed path-breaking technology that has the potential to increase the range of missiles by at least 40%. This would boost the Agni-III missile to a range of 4,900km. The enhanced range is made possible by adding a special-purpose coating of chromium metal to the blunt nose cone of missiles and launch vehicles.

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