US criticizes Russian anti-ship missile delivery to Syria

US criticizes Russian anti-ship  missile delivery  to Syria

WASHINGTON, May 17 (RIA Novosti) – The United States’ top military officer and leading US lawmakers on Friday criticized Russia’s delivery of advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to the Syrian government, as first reported by The New York Times.

“It’s at the very least an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering, so it’s ill-timed and very unfortunate,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon.

“This weapons transfer is obviously disappointing and will set back efforts to promote the political transition that is in the best interests of the Syrian people and the region,” said US Sen. Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement.

“There is now greater urgency for the US to step up assistance to the moderate opposition forces who can lead Syria after Assad,” he added, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Syrian leader faces growing international pressure from the United States and others to step down from power, pressure that has increased in the wake of reports that government forces may have used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

“Russia is offering cover to a despotic ruler and defending a bankrupt regime. We can watch from the sidelines as the scales are tipped in Assad’s favor, or protect US national interests by supporting the armed opposition striving to build a new Syrian future,” said US Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement to RIA Novosti.

Unnamed American officials told the New York Times Thursday that Russia had recently sent Syria a more advanced version of the Yakhont missile, which it has delivered to Syria in the past, this time equipped with advanced radar that would make ocean delivery of supplies for opposition fighters far more difficult and could thwart efforts to impose a naval embargo or no-fly zone.

The report comes with an international conference on the Syrian crisis – convened by the United States and Russia – looming in June. It is expected to include representatives of the Syrian government and opposition forces, and aims for a peaceful resolution to the two-year old civil war in Syria that has killed at least 80,000 people according to figures from the United Nations (UN).

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told RIA Novosti she was aware of the report, and said, “We have consistently called on Russia to cut off the Assad regime’s supplies of Russian weapons, which act to further destabilize the region.”

The US State Department said Friday that the transfer of missiles from Russia to Syria had been previously reported in December 2011 and April of 2012, and that it was not aware of any new weapons transfers.

“Any indication that they are new or referring to something new does not jive with our knowledge,” said spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

She said while the United States remains “concerned about any transfer of weapons or assistance to the Syrian regime… we continue to work with the Russians in planning the international conference and in working to get both sides back to the table to work to a political transition.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Friday that Russian arms deliveries to Syria take place under existing contracts and are fully within the law. He also said that the supplies will not change the balance of power in the conflict.

“I do not understand why the media is trying to sensationalize this,” Lavrov said during a press conference in Sochi with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday.

Peru mulls deals to buy Russian helicopters, tanks – Rostec

Peru mulls  deals to buy Russian helicopters, tanks - Rostec

LIMA, May 18 (RIA Novosti) – Peru is interested in buying 700 Kamaz trucks and a new batch of Mi-8/17 helicopters from Russia, as well as testing the T-90S tank that is currently on display at a defense technology exhibition in Lima, the head of Russia’s delegation to the show said on Saturday.

“Russia is discussing the possibility with Peru of signing a contract for the delivery of Kamaz vehicles of various modifications,” said Sergei Goreslavsky, head of the delegation to SITDEF Peru 2013 of the Russian Technologies (Rostec) hi-tech state corporation that comprises state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, adding that the deal concerned about 700 vehicles. Kamaz trucks cost between $80,000 and $90,000 each.

Goreslavsky also said that Peru, which currently has about 100 Mi-8 helicopters in its arsenal, is planning to buy more of the aircraft “not only for the Defense Ministry, but also for dealing with the consequences of natural disasters.”

If the Kamaz and Mi-8 deals go ahead, Russia is prepared to set up centers for servicing the vehicles and aircraft, he added
The Peruvian army may also buy about 100 tanks from Russia, Goreslavsky said. Earlier this week, Uralvagonzavod, the manufacturer of the T-90S tank, said it was prepared to leave behind the tank that is currently on show at the defense expo in Lima – which runs through Sunday – in order for Peru to test it. Under the tank deal, Peruvian tank operators would undergo training in Russian military academies.

Rosoboronexport sold $14.5 billion worth of weaponry to Latin American countries in the past 12 years, the company’s general director Anatoly Isaikin told the State Duma on Monday.

Russia to deliver 12 more Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan

Russia to  deliver 12 more Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan

MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will deliver 12 Mil Mi-17V5 military transport helicopters to the Afghanistan Armed Forces by the end of 2013, state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Thursday.

The helicopters were options in a $367.5 million deal Rosoboronexport signed with the Pentagon in May 2011 for delivery of 21 Mi-17V5s. According to US officials, the deal could be worth up to $900 million including spares and servicing.

“The option agreement has been signed and the delivery will be completed by the end of this year,” said Grigory Kozlov, director of Rosobornexport’s helicopter exports department.

Kozlov said the Pentagon has already started paying for the option deal as well as delivering US equipment to be installed on Russian helicopters specifically for Afghan missions.

Russia and the United States may soon start new negotiations on the purchase of additional Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan despite opposition from some US lawmakers, Kozlov said.

“I think this issue [the additional purchase] will be decided by the end of May and we will enter a new round of talks on the delivery of helicopters on top of the current 21 plus 12 units,” Kozlov said.

The deal to provide Russian helicopters for Afghanistan’s armed forces, paid for by the United States, has attracted considerable criticism from some politicians there.

The US Department of Defense said in April it plans to sidestep a Congressional ban to purchase helicopters from Rosoboronexport, despite objections from US lawmakers who allege that the firm has equipped the Syrian government with equipment, including helicopters, to attack civilians.

The Afghanistan armed forces want Russian-made helicopters in preference to others, because they have a history of using them since the Soviet invasion, and because of their low prices, durability and simplicity.

In Moscow, the helicopter exhibition has opened

In Moscow, the helicopter exhibition  has opened

At the VI International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia, which take place in Moscow from May 16 to 18, amost ready for testing helicopter Ka-62 was shown.
This machine – a kind of peaceful transformation of the Ka-60 “Killer Whale”, created in the interest of the security forces.
It was to fill the niche vacated after discontinuation of the Mi-4.
A distinctive feature of the Ka-60 was that it was the first single-rotor helicopter designed by the firm “Kamov”, where traditionally only did coaxial rotors and the first Russian helicopter with tail eleven-blade rotor fan type, called “fenestron.”

Belarus will supply Vietnam unmanned aircraft systems

TSAMTO, May 16. Belarus plans to deliver to Vietnam unmanned aircraft systems. The Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich said at a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, BelTA informs.

According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, “We very much hope associate with scientific and technical cooperation. Here and unmanned aircraft systems, the contracts for which we sign as part of your visit, and future joint projects in the field of bio-and information technologies, as well as in medicine “- BELTA.

Type procured Vietnam UAVs are not reported

Russia have developed homing anti-tank complex

Russia have developed homing anti-tank complex

Tula Instrument Design Bureau has developed the latest modification of the anti-missile system (ATRA) “Cornet” (the index is not yet assigned) able to pursue and destroy the tanks in the automatic mode, as do American “Javelin” and Israeli “Spike.”

Until now, the Russian complex had to be controlled manually, constantly adjusting the sight with the joystick on the remote launch. The new system operates on a “fire and forget”, but the operator can correct the trajectory if necessary.

Russian Pacific Fleet warships enter Mediterranean

Russian Pacific Fleet warships enter Mediterranean

VLADIVOSTOK, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – A group of warships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet entered the Mediterranean waters for the first time in decades, a fleet spokesman said on Thursday

“The task force has successfully passed through the Suez Channel and entered the Mediterranean. It is the first time in decades that Pacific Fleet warships enter this region,” Capt. First Rank Roman Martov said.

The vessels are now en route to Cyprus and are scheduled to make a port call in Limassol.

The group, including the destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, the tanker Pechenga and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krylov left the port of Vladivostok on March 19 to join Russia’s Mediterranean task force.

The task force currently includes the large anti-submarine ship Severomorsk, the frigate Yaroslav Mudry, the salvage/rescue tugs Altai and SB-921 and the tanker Lena from the Northern and Baltic Fleets, as well as the Ropucha-II Class landing ship Azov from the Black Sea Fleet.

The task force may be enlarged to include nuclear submarines, Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said last Sunday.

The Defense Ministry said in April Russia has begun setting up a naval task force in the Mediterranean, sending several warships from the Pacific Fleet to the region. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in March a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean was needed to defend Russia’s interests in the region.

A senior Defense Ministry official said the Mediterranean task force’s command and control agencies will be based either in Novorossiysk, Russia, or in Sevastopol, Ukraine.

Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, head of the parliamentary defense committee, previously told RIA Novosti that the Mediterranean task force should be comprised of 10 warships and support vessels as part of several tactical groups tasked with attack, antisubmarine warfare and minesweeping.

The Soviet Union maintained its 5th Mediterranean Squadron from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy’s 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels.