Archive for the ‘U.S. Navy’ Category

Warships from Japan, U.S. Could Shoot Down North Korean Missile

March 27, 2009

North Korea says it is prepared to launch a long range missile that will put a satelliete into orbit.

The U.S. says North Korea is really testing a long range ballistic missile that could put a nuclear weapon on the United States.

japan is stuck in the middle.  If the North Korean flight fails, Japan could be under a rain cloud of debris and rocket fuel.  If the North korean flight is successful, Japan could be the victim of a North korean missle attack.

Both the U.S. and Japan have the capability to shoot down the North korean missile, experts say, and both sides have sent ships at sea in a show that they mean business.

North Koreea upped the ante Thursday by saying if their missile is shot down they will restart their nuclear weapon progam.  Previously the North koreans said  by shooting down its peaceful satellite launch the aggressor would commit an act of war.

USS Hopper, a destroyer with the Aegis radar system aboard, was scheduled for a port call in Japan in coming days. But the port call was canceled and the ship will remain in the Sea of Japan ahead of the launch. Hooper is on the missile shoot down patrol and will be joined by at least two other U.S. Navy ships and at least two from Japan that could shoot down the North korean missile.

It’s a classic stand off of politics and military.

Peace and Freedom

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TOKYO – Japan’s military mobilized Friday to protect the country from any threat if North Korea‘s looming rocket launch fails, ordering two missile-equipped destroyers to the Sea of Japan and sending batteries of Patriot missile interceptors to protect the northern coastline.

Pyongyang plans to launch its Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite April 4-8, a moved that has stoked already heightened tensions in the region. The U.S., Japan and South Korea suspect the North will use the launch to test the delivery technology for a long-range missile capable of striking Alaska.

Japan has said that it will shoot down any dangerous objects that fall its way if the launch doesn’t go off successfully. Tokyo, however, has been careful to say that it will not intervene unless its territory is in danger.

The North said earlier this month that any attack on the satellite would be an act of war.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
327/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_nkorea_missile

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/03/27/north.korea.us.ships/index.html

The USS Chaffee is one of two destroyers headed to South Korea for an upcoming ceremony.

The USS Chaffee is one of at least two U.S. Navy destroyers headed to patrol.

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US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

March 26, 2009

The US has deployed two warships with anti-missile capabilities in the waters off Japan as tensions mount over North Korea’s plans to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile capable of striking Alaska.

By Peter Foster
Telegraph (UK)
.
The deployment comes as America, Japan and South Korea threaten North Korea with ‘serious consequences’ if it proceeds with plans to conduct the missile test in defiance of a 2006 UN resolution.

North Korea, which has informed international agencies of its plan to fire the missile between April 4 and 8, says the launch is a “satellite test” which it is entitled to make under international law.

USS Chafee: US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

USS Chafee:The US Navy spokesman said the two destroyers, the USS McCain and USS Chafee, had left Sasebo port in southwestern Japan Photo: AP

 

Recent satellite imagery has shown that the North Korea has now assembled two stages of the three-stage Taepodong-2 missile on a launch pad in the country’s northeast. Experts estimate that missile could be ready to fire within four days.

Japan has threatened to shoot down the missile if it crosses over Japanese territory, a move which Pyongyang has already said it would consider an “act of war”.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has warned any launch would threaten to end the six-party talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme. The talks have been stalled since December in a dispute over how to verify its disarmament.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/
asia/northkorea/5053883/US-deploys-warshi
ps-as-North-Korea-prepares-to-launch-missile.html

Related:
 North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

Pro-Russia protest against US frigate in Sevastopol

March 25, 2009

Pro-Russia protesters cried “NATO out” Wednesday as a US naval frigate arrived in the Ukrainian naval port of Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is also based.

The USS Klakring docked at 0630 GMT, as about 250 largely communist and far-left demonstrators also shouted “Yankee go home!”

The frigate is in port for a five-day “friendly visit” and will not take part in any exercises, a Ukrainian navy statement said.

It is feared that Sevastopol in the Crimea, where the Russian fleet has maintained a presence for over 200 years, could become a flashpoint in strained relations between Russia and the West.

Russia signed a 20-year contract with Ukraine in 1997 to station its fleet in the Black Sea and makes an annual payment of 12 million dollars (nine million euros) to Kiev for the privilege.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/200903
25/wl_afp/ukrainerussiausmilitarynat
osevastopolprotest_20090325131321

Activists from the Ukrainian Communist Party and Russian Bloc ... 
Activists from the Ukrainian Communist Party and Russian Bloc protest as the USS Klakring sails into Sevastopol. The pro-Russia protesters cried “NATO out” as the US warship arrived in the Ukrainian port — where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.(AFP/Vasiliy Batanov)

Drama on China’s high seas casts U.S. as adversary

March 24, 2009

China’s flash of maritime muscle against a U.S. Navy ship this month has put its neighbors and America on watch against a bolder push to exert sovereignty in regional waters.

After a decade of increases in defense spending that averaged 16 percent a year, China has the military means to enforce claims in the energy-rich and trade-heavy South and East China Seas — and to challenge U.S. activities there, as it did March 8 when five Chinese vessels confronted the U.S.N.S. Impeccable.

By Dune Lawrence
Bloomberg

“China is looking to expand” its sphere of influence toward Guam and to the Philippines, says Tai Ming Cheung, a senior fellow at the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation in La Jolla, California. “The maritime arena is one of the most fluid and strategic for China in terms of how it’s going to defend and expand and protect its interests internationally.”

China’s move reflects its increasing international political and economic clout, which may lend it confidence in challenging the United States — and complicate America’s response. President Barack Obama needs China’s support in dealing with North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear programs, not to mention its financial help in the form of continued purchases of U.S. government debt to support stimulus plans.

“There are much bigger factors at play, notably the need to keep China on board in cooperating in resolving the financial and economic crisis,” says Tim Huxley, executive director in Asia for the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Just eight weeks after Mr. Obama’s inauguration, the Chinese boats crowded “dangerously” close to the American surveillance ship and demanded that it leave waters about 120 kilometers, or 75 miles, south of Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, which sent a warship escort.

China said the United States broke international law by spying close to its shores. The United States said its activities were allowed under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

For Shane Osborn, the dispute seemed all too familiar. Osborn piloted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet over the same area in April 2001 — just weeks after the start of George W. Bush’s first term as president. The Chinese pilot died. Mr. Osborn made an emergency landing on Hainan, a beach resort and military base, where the Chinese detained him and his crew for 11 days on the ground that they had entered China’s airspace without permission.

The Impeccable’s encounter “was a little bit like déjà vu,” says Mr. Osborn, 34, now state treasurer of Nebraska. While tension died down soon after the 2001 incident, Mr. Osborn says he is concerned that will not happen this time, and he is quick to point out how China’s military has changed in the past eight years.

“They’ve made large investments in upgrading their equipment, and it’s starting to show now,” he says. “They were just at the beginning of it” then.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/20
09/03/24/asia/letter.php

US admiral condemns China’s ‘aggressive’ actions

March 19, 2009

A top U.S. commander says China’s “aggressive and troublesome” run-in with an unarmed American ship shows that Beijing won’t behave acceptably.

Adm. Timothy Keating told senators that Beijing’s suspension of military contact last year because of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and the South China Sea confrontation are “vivid reminders” that it has yet to become a “responsible stakeholder.”

Associated Press
.

The U.S. has pushed for more frequent and intense communications with China to avoid military confrontations that could upset a relationship crucial to solving global crises. But Keating, who heads the Pacific Command, said the bilateral military relationship “certainly isn’t where we want it to be.”

The United States says its Navy survey vessel was harassed and threatened by Chinese-flagged trawlers in international waters; China claims the U.S. ship was conducting surveillance within its exclusive economic zone.

Keating said the Chinese behaved in an “aggressive and troublesome manner” and are “not willing to abide by acceptable standards of behavior.” In his written testimony he said the actions were “unlawful and dangerous.”

President Barack Obama last week signaled a need for more frequent and intense communications with China to avoid military confrontations that could upset a relationship crucial to solving global crises.

The United States has also pushed for China to allow port visits and more contact between the countries’ officers and for China to provide more information about its huge military spending.

Said Keating: “A mature, constructive, military to military relationship is hardly a reality today.” He added that military contacts with the People’s Liberation Army “fell short of expectations in 2008.”

Keating also said that a slight warming of relations between Taiwan and China is a good sign and shows the region is “somewhat stable.”

U.S. Intercepts Ballistic Missile in Hawaii Test

March 18, 2009

HONOLULU —  The U.S. military says its ground-based mobile missile defense system has successfully shot down a medium-range ballistic missile during a test in Hawaii.–Associated Press

The military says the target missile was shot down Tuesday over the Pacific Ocean.

The target missile was fired from a mobile launch platform off the island of Kauai.

Soldiers with the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade then launched an interceptor from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai’s west coast.

The Missile Defense Agency said in a statement that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system had “completed a successful intercept.”

The technology is specifically designed to shoot down ballistic missiles during their last stage of flight.

U.S. Navy announces new missile defense command

March 16, 2009

Next month the Navy will establish a new command with missile defense in mind.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, announced the coming formation of the Navy Air and Missile Defense Command during a speech before a business group Wednesday night in Northern Virginia.

Andrew Scutro
Navy Times

“We’ll formally stand it up in April, but it will be the place where the Navy comes to bring together the thinking, the ideas, the concept, the intellectual effort for our air and ballistic missile initiatives, efforts and programs so that we can stay in the forefront of this important mission area,” Roughead told the group.

He said it will be based in Dahlgren, Va. — where the Navy has an existing facility — though further details about the new command were not readily available Wednesday night.

Tensions over ballistic missile launches have risen in recent weeks because of news that North Korea was preparing a test launch. The saber-rattling was taken seriously enough to prompt a comment from Adm. Timothy Keating, head of U.S. Pacific Command, who was quoted saying, “If a missile leaves the launch pad, we’ll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president.”

The Navy has had several successful ship-launched intercepts of test ballistic missiles. As of November, Navy shot 19 interceptor missiles at speeding targets and was successful in 16 attempts.

Read the rest:
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2
009/03/navy_bmd_command_031609w/

China Warship Rushes to Disputed Islands, Oil Beneath: Ace To Other Nations’ Claims?

March 16, 2009

One of China’s largest fisheries patrol ships has arrived in the disputed Paracel Islands.

The move comes after China protested to Manila over new legislation proclaiming Philippine sovereignty over parts of the disputed Spratly islands.

Both the Paracels – known in China as Xisha – and the Spratlys are subject to overlapping claims.

Separately, China and the US were involved in naval skirmishes last weekend off China’s island of Hainan.

The China Daily said that the patrol ship, a retired Chinese navy rescue vessel, the China Yuzheng 311, set sail from Guangzhou last week and reached the Paracel island group during the weekend.

Read the rest from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
asia-pacific/7945380.stm

Related:
China, Japan Cancel Summit: Islands, Oil Remain Sticking Point

A file Philippine Air Force photo shows Chinese built structures ... 
A file Philippine Air Force photo shows Chinese built structures on the Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly islands in the South China Sea. China on Monday defended its move to send a patrol ship to the disputed Spratly islands, saying it was not a violation of an agreement to maintain the peace in the area.(AFP/PAF/HO/File)

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From China Daily

China’s largest fishery patrol ship has started its way to the Xisha Islands to enhance the fishery protection and maritime surveillance efforts in the South China Sea.

The ship, China Yuzheng 311, sailed at midday Tuesday from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

Yang Jian, a Ministry of Agriculture engineer, said given the country’s heavy task of maritime rights and interests protection, the vessel would reinforce the fishery administration in the South China Sea.

China Yuzheng 311 was converted from a rescue vessel of Chinese navy. It is 113.5 meters long and 15.5 meters wide and at 4,450 tonnes.

The patrol ship will be in charge of maritime patrol in China’s exclusive economic zones, navigation protection and fishery emergencies.

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

March 15, 2009

Kim Jong Il is obviously uncomfortable. As tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops staged an annual war-games exercise last week, he put North Korea’s military on alert. The real pea under his mattress, though, could be four battle cruisers that ply the Sea of Japan, just over the horizon from the Dear Leader’s beaches. These ships—two American, two Japanese—carry missiles capable of reaching North Korean nuclear-tipped rockets on their way to Japan, or even the satellite Kim has promised to put up any day now. U.S. Admiral Timothy Keating may have had these same missiles in mind when he threatened in late February to shoot down anything Kim felt emboldened to launch.

Related:
 US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

By Fred Guterl
Newsweek
March 14, 2009
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The Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile III off Kaua’i, Hawaii, 25 January 2001. The RIM-161 Standard missile 3 (SM-3) provides Lake Erie with the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles.

These four cruisers aren’t the only ships that act as a de facto antimissile defense. The U.S. Navy has 73 Aegis ships around the world equipped with missiles that can reach space targets—whether the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that carry nuclear warheads or satellites that fly in low earth orbit. As the Obama administration shows signs of backing away from plans to put missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, this fleet of “Aegis” cruisers, as they’re called, may be called upon to take up the slack. U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher, head of the House strategic forces subcommittee, praised recent progress on Aegis in hearings last month. “This was a major accomplishment that we should all take pride in,” she said. “The same cannot be said of the long-range” ground-based missile defense. However, there are reasons to doubt that relying on Aegis will be an effective military strategy in the long run.

Compared with land-based missile defense, Aegis has the advantage of proximity. Ships can go, with minimal diplomatic hassle, wherever the threat is greatest. Kim’s saber rattling, in fact, led the United States to supply Japan with Aegis equipment and know-how. Aegis, a combination of radars and interceptor missiles, was originally designed to defend battle cruisers against fighter jets. Technological improvements over the years gradually extended its range. The Bush administration funded a new interceptor—SM-3, for “standard missile”—capable of reaching the ICBMs Russia and China have and North Korea and Iran want. Tests suggest that it can fly fast and far enough to catch an ICBM shortly after leaving the atmosphere. That’s an impressive feat, but experts caution that these tests were “scripted” and didn’t take into account countermeasures an enemy might invoke. By the time a rocket leaves the atmosphere, it’s almost impossible for an interceptor missile to tell the difference between the warhead and a decoy balloon. “If I were to throw a rock at you, but warn you ahead of time, you’d probably be able to deflect it,” says Philip Coyle, former assistant deputy of defense in the Clinton administration and now an adviser to the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C. “But that’s not to say you could get every rock thrown in the room, or in the whole country.”

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/12/nkorea.launch/in
dex.html#cnnSTCText

File:USSLeyteGulfCG-55.jpg
Aegis cruiser USS Leyte Gulf

Tokyo is now developing a lighter, faster and more nimble version of the SM-3 that would come closer to hitting an ICBM at the end of its “boost phase,” before it had time to throw up decoys. The new version, expected to be ready in a few years, will travel twice as fast as the current one, but still too slow by half, says MIT missile expert Theodore Postol. The Navy has an Aegis missile on the drawing board designed to attain such speeds, though funding has yet to be approved.

This missile wouldn’t be a silver bullet either, says Postol. Even if the new interceptors hit their targets 100 percent of the time, they would still allow some warheads through. That’s because the warhead occupies a small volume of the missile, usually at the tip, and interceptors aren’t close to being able to sniff them out and make a direct hit. An airtight defense would require layers of redundancy—throwing lots of missiles at each ICBM—and could be countered easily by launching more ICBMs. “Missile defense encourages the enemy to do exactly what you don’t what them to do—build more missiles,” says Coyle. “I don’t know if Kim is worried, but he shouldn’t be.” Postol argues that putting missiles on drone planes, which could shoot down on ICBMs while they’re still rising off the launchpad, would work better than firing missiles from ships.

In one respect, Aegis is a completely effective weapon: it could easily take out low-flying military intelligence satellites. Does that confer a significant military advantage? Shooting down a nation’s satellite would be so provocative it’s hard to envision a scenario in which it would be a smart move. Besides, a hit on a 15-ton spy satellite would more than double the amount of space debris currently in orbit. That would make everybody uncomfortable.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/189255

 Sun Setting On American Superpower?

File:DDG-178MakingAshigara.jpg
A Japan Navt Aegis ship of the Kongo class

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Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

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Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

March 13, 2009

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said today that “North Korea poses a continuing threat that should trouble us a great deal.”

North Korea is threatening to launch a ballisic missile over Japan and toward the United States.

Today Japan said it could shoot down any missile or object that looked to be a threat to Japan.
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“Japan is legally able to shoot down the object to secure safety if it looks like it will fall on to Japan,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said during a news conference.

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura says it has the right to shoot down the satellite.

Above: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura says it has the right to shoot down the satellite.

Bolton said “Japan is sending a signal to Washington not to go soft on North Korea.”

The White House has already said it will not authorize a shoot down of the North Korean missile but could change its mind.  Hillary Clinton said there were “a lot of options.”

“Japan is certainly threatened by North Korea.  North Korea, with its nuclear weapons, is a regional and global threat,” Bolton said.

Even though the U.S. Navy has already demonstrated the ability to destroy an orbiting satellite, the White House says the U.S. will not interfere with North Korea’s missile test.

“Obama’s outreach and engagement with many [including Syria, Iran and the Taliban] is in contrast to Japan’s relationship with North Korea,” Bolton said.

Bolton was interviewed by the Fox News Channel on Friday morning, March 13, 2009.

North Korea remains a trouble spot in the world today only because China allows them to play that role.
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This week North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way. 
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China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency. 
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Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.


One of Japan’s missile defense ships, KONGO

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Reuters

Japan said on Friday it could shoot down any threatening object falling toward its territory, after North Korea said a planned rocket launch would send it across Japanese territory.

North Korea has given notice to global agencies that it plans to launch a satellite between April 4 and 8, presenting a challenge to new U.S. President Barack Obama and allies who see it as a disguised missile test.

“Under our law, we can intercept any object if it is falling toward Japan, including any attacks on Japan, for our safety,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told a news conference.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement any such launch would be in violation of Security Council Resolution 1718.

“If North Korea goes ahead with the launch, we believe there will be discussions and a response by the Security Council on the violation of the resolution.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009
0313/ts_nm/us_korea_north_19

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/03/13/nkorea.launch.japan
/index.html

Related:
 Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

 White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

 China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Japan Warns North Korea
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/20
09/mar/13/north-korea-japan-nucle
ar-missile


A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….Japan also has AEGIS ships with ballistic missile defense systems….

http://michellemalkin.com/20
09/03/13/52-days-52-mistakes/