Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: November 3, 2011

3 November 2011 — Stop NATO

  • The Lynching Of Libya
  • Depths Of Bloody Chaos: West’s Violent ‘Democratization’ Of Libya May Lead To New, Worse Civil War
  • ‘Preventing Destabilization From North Africa To Europe’s Borders’: NATO Chief Praises German Role In Libyan War
  • Afghan War: U.S. Squadron Flies 10,000 Sorties With 4,000 ‘Targets’
  • Pakistan: Teenager Who Protested Drone Strikes, 12-Year-Old Cousin Killed In U.S. Attack
  • Asian NATO: U.S. To Boost Arms Sales To, Military Ties With India
  • U.S. Pushes F-35 Joint Strike Fighters For India Against China
  • Royal Canadian Air Force Wants 80 U.S. Joint Strike Fighters
  • U.S. PAC-3 Missile Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile
  • U.S. Navy Fires Electromagnetic Railgun For 1,000th Time
  • Georgian MPs Meet McCain, White House Officials On Abkhazian, South Ossetian Conflicts

The Lynching Of Libya


News International
November 3, 2011

The lynching in Libya
Iftekhar A Khan

British writer and political thinker George Orwell died at 46. In the short span of his writing life, he left behind lucid pieces of prose in which he articulated his brilliant political thought. Had he lived longer, the world would have been further enriched by his political philosophy. In his essay ‘Shooting an Elephant,’ Orwell wrote, ‘When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.’ After having launched unprovoked wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the white man has now inflicted tyranny on Libya.

Before finally murdering Libyan leader Col Muammar Qaddafi together with his son as they fled the town of Sirte on Oct 20, and then having put their bloodied, rotting bodies on display, the US-led Nato forces had been bombing and systematically destroying Libya for seven months with the specific objective of regime change. According to Barack Obama, the war in Iraq was of choice, in Afghanistan of necessity and in Libya simply to change regime. As renowned documentary filmmaker John Pilger said of Obama, ‘The son of Africa claims a continent’s crown jewels.’ That was the title of his article on Oct 26 on Obama’s thrust into Libya and then Uganda. Obama announced on Oct 14 that he was dispatching US special forces to join the civil war in that county.

NATO particularly focused on destroying Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown, with a population of 100,000. For months, thousands of citizens were trapped without food and medicines while they faced bombardment by American, British and French aircraft round the clock. Consequently, many thousands were killed, but the mainstream Western media remained shamelessly silent.

As Qaddafi and his retinue left the city in a small convoy, the vehicles were spotted by American AWACS aircraft, which in turn called in French fighter jets that bombed them. The Libyan leader was seriously wounded in the raid. Soon the so-called rebels ‘liberating’ Libya caught up with him. One of them, Sanad al-Sadek al-Ureibi, claimed to have shot Qaddafi twice, hitting him in the head and the chest. But before being murdered, Qaddafi was humiliated and brutally beaten – and according to Seaumus Milne’s Guardian article (Oct 26), even sodomised with a knife.

Would the International Criminal Court in The Hague reconsider who deserves to be tried for war crimes, Qaddafi posthumously, or his tormentors, and all those who perpetrated the genocide of the people of a country? The barbarity has removed the thin mask of civility from the face of Western civilisation. Rest well, Orwell: your observation stays valid.

Behind the ‘liberation’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’ is a mad scramble for Libya’s energy resources. The United States and Europe targeted Qaddafi because he stood in the way of their establishing Western control over the African continent and its vast energy and minerals reserves, including those hitherto untapped.

Just a day after the Libyan leader’s assassination, British defence secretary Philip Hammond – who did concede that the new Libyan regime’s image was ‘a little bit stained’ by the murder – told the BBC: ‘I expect British companies and their sales directors to pack their suitcases and go to Libya to participate in the reconstruction of the country as soon as they can. Libya is a rich country with oil reserves, and I expect there will be opportunities for British companies to get involved.’

British Conservative MP Daniel Kwaczynski did one better. He demanded that Libya pay for Britain’s bombing raids on it during the NATO campaign.

Meanwhile, US politicians are apprehensive that Britain and France might carve out a larger share of the spoils. Republican senator Lindsey Graham urged the United States: ‘Let’s get in on the ground [in Libya]. There’s a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya. Lot of oil to be produced.’

The kings, princes and princelings of the oil-rich Arab should take warning from Qaddafi’s fate. Nicolas Sarkozy threatened right at the start of the US/Nato intervention in Libya: ‘Every ruler, and especially every Arab ruler, could confront a similar situation.’

The writer is a freelance columnist based in Lahore.


Depths Of Bloody Chaos: West’s Violent ‘Democratization’ Of Libya May Lead To New, Worse Civil War


Voice of Russia
November 2, 2011

Violent ‘democratization’ of Libya may lead to another civil war
Vladimir Gladkov

As could be easily predicted, the NATO-led overthrow of the Libyan government risks pushing the country into the depths of bloody chaos. While prominent human rights groups keep reporting severe violations by the rebel forces, it has turned out that many of the local militia leaders are abandoning the promise to give up their weapons even after the death of Col. Gaddafi. According to their claims, militia commanders are intending to preserve their autonomy as ‘guardians of the revolution’. Without any doubt the presence of such ‘guardians’ will hardly help to bring peace and stability to the troubled region. Once again an attempt of the so-called ‘democratization’ violently conducted by the US and its NATO allies has led to some extremely bitter results.

The questionable activities of the Libyan rebels became a subject of concern of human rights groups a long time ago…The leaders of Libya’s new government – the National Transitional Council – are describing their goals as an intention to build a modern democratic state, based on the values of ‘moderate’ Islam. However the documented involvement of the Libyan militia in killings, abductions and torture hardly meets the standards of a democratic state.

Now the issue of the militias has become one of the most serious challenges that Libya’s new provisional government is facing. Lots of independent brigades have spread around the country, creating an escalating threat of internecine confrontations.

While NTC leader Mohammed al-Alagi is promising that his government will never tolerate any extremist ideology, the actions of the militia brigades question this statement.

‘We are a Muslim nation, with a moderate Islam, and we will maintain that. You are with us and support us – you are our weapon against whoever tries to hijack the revolution,’ says al-Alagi. However the self-proclaimed ‘guardians of the revolution’ may have their own ideas about who would be the next to blame for ‘hijacking the revolution’.

This idea is fully backed by [an] Amnesty International report, entitled ‘The Battle for Libya – Killings, Disappearances and Torture’.

‘Opposition fighters and supporters have abducted, arbitrarily detained, tortured and killed former members of the security forces, suspected Gaddafi loyalists, captured soldiers and foreign nationals wrongly suspected of being mercenaries fighting on behalf of Gaddafi forces,’ says the report.

The rebel authorities seemed to find a loophole to avoid the accusations of war crimes. ‘They are not the military, they are only ordinary people,’ said al-Alagi about the militia brigades. Now even the new government has to admit it has a problem with the uncontrollable militia units.

‘Nobody wants to give up arms now, and many tribes and cities are accumulating arms ‘just in case,’ ’ said Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the council’s executive board.

‘This could lead to a mess, to conflict between the councils,’ says Ramadan Zarmoh, a leader of the Misurata military council, claiming that the city’s militia should disband itself almost immediately after a new defense ministry is formed. ‘If we want to have democracy, we can’t have this.’

However, militia leaders have clearly demonstrated not only their unwillingness to give up arms but also a strong intention to take part in the political process. Local leaders in Misurata have already threatened to intervene in the appointment of a new prime minister. If the situation continues to develop at this rate, Libya risks being dragged down to the brink of another civil war – even more chaotic and bloody than the previous one.


‘Preventing Destabilization From North Africa To Europe’s Borders’: NATO Chief Praises German Role In Libyan War


The Local
November 2, 2011

NATO leader praises German role in Libya

-‘I would say that the operation in Libya had the goal of preventing a destabilization from North Africa to Europe’s borders,’ [Rasmussen] said.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has praised Germany’s role in the transatlantic alliance’s military operation in Libya, even though the German government refused to support it at the United Nations.

Speaking to the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Rasmussen said Germany had shown ‘flexibility’ in moving its AWACS reconnaissance aircraft from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan. That allowed other NATO aircraft doing reconnaissance work in Afghanistan to be moved to Libya.

‘Germany has, despite its abstention in the UN Security Council, contributed to this operation,’ Rasmussen told Die Zeit.

[I]t later emerged that Germany was quietly helping NATO by reassigning the aircraft, sending personnel to NATO headquarters to help with bomb targeting decisions and offering financial and diplomatic backing to anti-Qaddafi rebel forces.

The United States even praised Germany in September, with an aid to US President Barack Obama saying he was ‘very pleased’ by the country’s actions.

In comments to Die Zeit, Rasmussen also said that the action in Libya revealed that European countries need to invest more money in their militaries in order to stay effective. He added, that the campaign was not purely humanitarian, but also meant to keep the entire region peaceful.

‘I would say that the operation in Libya had the goal of preventing a destabilization from North Africa to Europe’s borders,’ he said.


Afghan War: U.S. Squadron Flies 10,000 Sorties With 4,000 ‘Targets’


U.S. Air Force
November 2, 2011

MC-12 reaches major milestones in Afghanistan
by Capt. Korry Leverett
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan: Airmen from the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here achieved three major milestones in the month of October supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

The squadron, which operates the MC-12 Liberty, surpassed 10,000 sorties flown, 50,000 flight hours and supported ground operations that led to the capture or elimination of more than 4,000 targets.

‘The program was brought to Bagram (Airfield) in June 2009 and in less than two years with roughly two dozen airplanes we’ve been able to fly 10,000 sorties and 50,000 flying hours,’ said Lt. Col. James Thompson, the 4th ERS commander. ‘It’s been amazing. According to Headquarters Air Force, we are the No. 1 sortie rate per manned aircraft in the Air Force. ‘

In April 2008, then Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates established a Defense Department-wide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force to identify and recommend solutions for increased ISR assets in the Central Command area of responsibility. Gates tasked Air Force officials July 1, 2008, to acquire 37 C-12 aircraft to augment remotely piloted aircraft.

‘If you take a look at the start of the MC-12 Liberty program, it was created in about six months,’ Thompson said. ‘Because of the speed at which this platform was brought to the fight, the program was named in honor of the Liberty Ships, which were mass produced during World War II.’

According to Thompson, the MC-12 is the workhorse of the Air Force. Aircrews hit the maximum flying hours authorized every month, he said. Airmen from the 4th ERS work seven days a week, with virtually no days off for six months.

Not only do the Airmen work every, day but so do the aircraft. An F-16 Fighting Falcon or F-15E Strike Eagle is typically retired when it hits approximately 8,000 flying hours. In the two years since the program was created more than 4,000 hours have been put on the MC-12s.


Pakistan: Teenager Who Protested Drone Strikes, 12-Year-Old Cousin Killed In U.S. Attack


Press Trust of India
November 1, 2011

Pak teen who protested US drone strikes killed in UAV attack

Islamabad: A Pakistani teenager, who recently joined a protest rally against US drone strikes, was killed in an attack by the CIA-operated spy planes in North Waziristan tribal region, a campaigner against the missile strikes said today.

Sixteen-year-old Muhammad Tariq of North Waziristan had joined hundreds of tribesmen in the rally against drone strikes in the Pakistani capital on Friday. The protesters had called for an immediate end to the strikes, saying they killed many civilians.

Tariq was killed with his cousin Waheed, 12, in a US drone strike last night near Mirali, a key town in the restive North Waziristan tribal agency, said Karim Khan, who is leading a campaign against the missile attacks.

Khan, who belongs to Mirali, had lost his son in a drone attack last year.

He filed a case against the former CIA station chief and several top US officials in a police station in Islamabad for what he said was the murder of innocent tribesmen in drone strikes.

At least four people were killed in last night’s drone strike on a house and a vehicle, according to local media reports.

It was the forth strike in Waziristan in five days.

On Sunday, US spy planes fired six missiles at a house in North Waziristan and killed at least six people.

At least 11 people…were killed in two strikes in South and North Waziristan on Thursday last.

The US has stepped up drone strikes in recent months despite opposition from the Pakistan government.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that no permission had been given to the US to launch drone attacks on targets inside Pakistan.

Gilani, who was in Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, told Pakistani expatriates that the drone attacks were counter-productive because they caused collateral damage and undermined his government’s efforts to garner support against extremists and terrorists.

He contended that the drone attacks were one of the reasons for the deterioration of relations between Pakistan and the US.

The US spy aircraft routinely carry out missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions…


Asian NATO: U.S. To Boost Arms Sales To, Military Ties With India


November 2, 2011

India remains strong customer for U.S. military equipment, Pentagon report says
By Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer

-Any consideration of India’s role in the region must include China and U.S. concerns about the Chinese modernization of its armed services especially its navy.
‘The attention given to maritime security cooperation in the report should be seen in light of a series of maritime incidents in which Chinese naval vessels have challenged other countries’ naval vessels in the South China Sea.’

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is portraying India as a major customer for U.S. military equipment, worth an estimated $6 billion in the past decade, even as U.S. companies are shut out of a multibillion dollar bid for fighter jets that India is starting this week.

In the newest edition of a congressionally mandated report, the Defense Department signaled that it was hoping to interest India in its top-of-the-line and most expensive weapon, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, still being tested.

Arms sales, as well as more frequent military exercises and exchanges, are seen as an important ways to cement ties between the two countries…

[Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert} Scher signaled that he hoped the relationship, and the arms sales would continue to grow.

‘I think there is a great potential to do much more,’ Scher said in a briefing at the Pentagon. ‘India sees the U.S. as a reliable defense supplier and we have been able to provide some top-of-the-line equipment. Is there some potential for more? Certainly there is…’

Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation, a long-time observer of U.S. and Indian affairs, said the report should be a catalyst to deepen defense ties and possibly lead to a loosening of present export and licensing controls.

‘The Defense Department offer to provide India with information on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sends a clear signal that the U.S. considers India one of its most important future defense partners and is willing to consider co-production of some of its most sophisticated defense technology,’ Curtis told CNN.

The Pentagon’s government-to-government program of foreign military sales to India have included C-17 and C-130 aircraft, radar systems, Harpoon weapons and specialized tactical equipment.

Any consideration of India’s role in the region must include China and U.S. concerns about the Chinese modernization of its armed services especially its navy.

‘The attention given to maritime security cooperation in the report should be seen in light of a series of maritime incidents in which Chinese naval vessels have challenged other countries’ naval vessels in the South China Sea,’ Curtis said.

‘It is clear that the U.S. views India as a leader in helping to maintain freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean region and will likely look for ways to enhance India’s involvement in maritime security endeavors throughout the Indo-Pacific in the future.’


U.S. Pushes F-35 Joint Strike Fighters For India Against China


Bloomberg News
November 2, 2011

Pentagon Awaits India’s Interest in Lockheed Martin F-35 Jet

-Lockheed Martin said in June it may offer the F-35 stealth fighter to India. The Cornyn-Lieberman requirement for the security cooperation report helped open an avenue to do that…

The U.S. Defense Department offered India technology sharing and talks on its top weapons program, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to gain more security cooperation in the face of regional competition from China.

‘Should India indicate interest in the JSF, the United States would be prepared to provide information on the JSF and its requirements,’ including on security and infrastructure, the Defense Department said yesterday in a congressionally mandated report on U.S.-India security cooperation.

The U.S. has tallied about $6 billion of government military sales to India since 2002. More joint work on science and technology ‘may lead to co-development opportunities with India as a partner,’ the Defense Department said in the report.

The nine-page review of defense ties with India was prepared in response to a legislative provision sponsored earlier this year by Senate Armed Services Committee members Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin builds the F-35 in Texas. United Technologies Corp. makes the plane’s engines in Connecticut.

‘Our two governments must be proactive in finding new ways to take on emerging security challenges together,’ Lieberman said yesterday in an e-mail, citing cybersecurity and counterterrorism.

Nuclear Technology

The report reflects the desire by successive U.S. administrations to convince India to increase security cooperation and buy American equipment as it expands and modernizes its military. The push included a years-long fight for congressional approval in 2008 of an agreement intended to clear the way for U.S. manufacturers such as General Electric Co. to sell India nuclear-energy technology.

The U.S. expected the nuclear-energy agreement to help increase a range of technology sales to India, especially in the defense sector.

The Pentagon report alludes to disappointing results. It cites the ‘setback’ in April, when Lockheed’s F-16 jet fighter and Boeing Co.’s F/A-18 Super Hornet were eliminated from the $11 billion Indian competition to replace the subcontinent’s aging fleet of 1970s-era MiG-21s.

Aircraft on the shortlist were Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale and the Eurofighter made by BAE Systems Plc, Finmeccanica SpA and European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co.

Weapons Cooperation

Lockheed Martin said in June it may offer the F-35 stealth fighter to India. The Cornyn-Lieberman requirement for the security cooperation report helped open an avenue to do that, Lockheed Senior Vice President Patrick Dewar said in a June interview at the Paris Air Show.

Laurie Quincy, a spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin, declined to comment on yesterday’s report.

India has urged the U.S. to give it more access to technology so that the two countries can develop weapons together. The Pentagon acknowledged that goal in the report.

‘The United States wants to develop deeper defense industrial cooperation with India, including a range of cooperative research and development,’ they wrote in the assessment. ‘The United States is committed to providing India with top-of-the-line technology.’

While the Obama administration and Congress work to overhaul export restrictions that unnecessarily hamstring the sharing of military technology with allies, the U.S. and India find ways to lower barriers within existing laws, said Robert Scher, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia.

‘Best Systems’

‘We are looking at what we can do within our systems to reflect the change in our approach, the change in our relationship with India,’ Scher told reporters at the Pentagon today, adding that nothing is imminent. The goal is ‘to make sure that they can get access to some of our top technology and our best systems,’ he said.

The Cornyn-Lieberman provision had called for the Pentagon to assess the potential for jointly developing equipment such as a replacement for the U.S. Air Force T-38 trainer jet. Yesterday’s report didn’t specifically address that system.

–With assistance from Gopal Ratnam in Washington. Editors: Terry Atlas, Steven Komarow


Royal Canadian Air Force Wants 80 U.S. Joint Strike Fighters


Canadian Press
November 1, 2011

RCAF worried Ottawa buying too few F-35 stealth fighters
Murray Brewster

OTTAWA: Military planners are concerned the Harper government is buying too few F-35 fighters with almost no room for any loss of the stealth jets throughout their projected lifetimes, according to internal Defence Department briefings.

‘Canada is the only country that did not account (for) attrition aircraft’ in its proposal, said an undated capability-and-sustainment briefing given to senior officers late last year.

The eye-popping pricetag for individual joint strike fighters — ranging from $75 million to $150 million, depending upon the estimate — has limited the purchase to 65 aircraft.

Access-to-information records, obtained by The Canadian Press, show that when the joint strike fighter was proposed almost a decade ago, the air force had recommended a fleet of 80.

Nevertheless, Defence Minister Peter MacKay has insisted 65 is adequate to meet Canada’s military needs.

But a separate information briefing from earlier in 2010 shows that the country is purchasing ‘the minimum acceptable fleet size’ and that the air force has been told it should ‘be prepared to manage the operational risk should the fleet drop below 65 due to attrition.’

The F-35s are replacing roughly 77 CF-18s — just over half the original number of 138 purchased almost 30 years ago.

On the upside, the planners believe that the highly automated F-35s will likely lead to fewer human-error — or ‘pilot-distraction’ — crashes.

There was a spike in CF-18 accidents shortly after they were introduced as aircrew became familiar with them — something the air force worries will happen with the new jets.

The concern has been flagged to the attention of the Harper government, which ‘will consider the acquisition of replacement attrition aircraft,’ said the briefing.

But there’s a problem with that. Lockheed Martin is expecting to shut down its production line in 2035, while Canada is committed to flying the stealth fighter until at least 2050.

No one at the Defence Department was immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

But the executive director of the Air Force Association of Canada said it’s understood the Harper government is buying what it can afford.

‘The cost drives anything and everything, every time,’ said Dean Black, a retired lieutenant-colonel. ‘The folks in the highest offices in the country balance all of the considerations and we happen to be living in a tough economy. It is understood these are dire times.’

Given the economic times and since the issue is routinely rocketed into the political stratosphere, the chances of the Harper government convincing anyone it needs more stealth jets is unlikely, he said.

Black said it’s long been accepted that in the event of war or serious emergency, even with CF-18s, the Royal Canadian Air Force does not have enough fighters to maintain continuous air cover over each of the country’s major cities.

A U.S. diplomatic cable recently highlighted Washington’s concern about that fact and complained about the necessity of the U.S. Air Force stepping in to defend Canadian airspace.

‘I’m hoping this report will focus the attention of our elected officials and most senior military officials on what it is we have to do to protect Canadians in Canada.’

The first Canadian F-35 is expected to be delivered in 2016 to the pilot training centre in the U.S.


U.S. PAC-3 Missile Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile


United Press International
November 2, 2011

Lockheed’s PAC-3 on target

DALLAS: A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 missile detected, tracked and intercepted a tactical ballistic missile in a test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

The test Tuesday included a ripple fire engagement, utilizing a PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative Missile as the first interceptor and a PAC-3 Baseline Missile as the second interceptor.

The CRI Missile includes block upgrades to the PAC-3 Baseline Missile for performance improvement.

‘We continue to improve the capability of the PAC-3 missile, staying ahead of the evolving threat,’ said Richard McDaniel, PAC-3 Programs vice president in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business.

‘This flight test success completes the validation of PAC-3?s latest software and hardware updates as we continue to provide this extremely capable hit-to-kill weapon to the warfighter.’

The PAC-3 missile is designed to defeat advanced tactical ballistic and cruise missiles, and fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. As the most technologically advanced missile for the Patriot air defense system, PAC-3 significantly increases the Patriot system’s firepower, as 16 PAC-3s can be loaded in place of only four legacy Patriot PAC-2 missiles on the Patriot launcher.

Lockheed Martin achieved the first hit-to-kill intercept in 1984 with the Homing Overlay Experiment, using force of impact alone to destroy a mock warhead outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Further development and testing produced today’s PAC-3 missile, which won a competition in 1993 to become the first hit-to-kill interceptor produced by the U.S. government.


U.S. Navy Fires Electromagnetic Railgun For 1,000th Time


Daily Mail
November 2, 2011

U.S. Navy fires the railgun that can shoot a missile 100 miles at eight times the speed the sound for the 1,000th time

-Navy officials said that the range of a railgun is up to 20 times greater than that of conventional weapon systems.
A projectile could reach a target 290 miles away in less than six minutes and impact it with incredible force.
– ‘People see these things in the video games, but this is real.
‘This is what is very historical.’

The U.S. Navy has hit a major milestone with the 1,000th firing of its electromagnetic railgun.

Commanders said the milestone means that the incredible state of the art weapon has moved closer to actual deployment on warships.

The railgun is not like other weapons of warfare. Instead of relying on explosions to fire a projectile, it uses an electromagnetic current to shoot a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound.

The first shot was launched in March of 2007, but the railgun has improved massively since then.

The energy level has jumped from 0.5 megajoules to 1.5 megajoules.
A single megajoule is roughly equivalent to a one-ton car travelling at 100mph.

The impact of the projectile hitting a target would be 33 times that force.
The railgun developed by the Navy launches and accelerates hundreds of conductive projectiles along pairs of metal rails using the effects of a strong magnetic field.

It can accelerate a seven pound projectile to a speed of 5,600 miles.
Navy officials said that the range of a railgun is up to 20 times greater than that of conventional weapon systems.

A projectile could reach a target 290 miles away in less than six minutes and impact it with incredible force.

The aim is to potentially replace extremely expensive Tomahawk missiles.
Naval Research Laboratory Commanding Officer, Capt. Paul Stewart said: ‘A railgun weapons system must be able to launch hundreds of projectiles and withstand extreme pressures, currents and temperatures.

‘The firing of the one-thousandth shot demonstrates Navy researchers are steadily progressing toward achieving that goal, developing a more effective and efficient future ship combat system.’

The latest tests were carried out at the Naval Research Laboratory Materials Testing Facility in Dahlgren, Virginia.

The military is determined to press ahead despite the possibility of budget cuts casting doubt on its future.

Programme manager Roger Ellis said: ‘People see these things in the video games, but this is real.

‘This is what is very historical.’


Georgian MPs Meet McCain, White House Officials On Abkhazian, South Ossetian Conflicts


Rustavi 2
November 2, 2011

Davit Bakradze discussed security issues with Senators

The chairperson of the Georgian parliament, Davit Bakradze, met with American senators within an official visit to the United States. Bakradze discussed regional security issues, the situation in Georgia`s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Georgia-US relations with John McCain, Roy Blunt and Mark Begich.

Bakradze will hold more meetings in Washington. He will discuss cooperation issues with congressional representatives and US administration authorities. A meeting with the US Undersecretary of State, Mr. William Burns, is also on the agenda. Bakradze is also expected to deliver a speech at the Marshal Foundation.

On Friday, Georgian senior lawmakers will leave for Boston and deliver a report about the reforms carried out in Georgia in recent years at the Kennedy School of Harvard University.

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