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US Space strategy underlines importance – Lynn

February 17th, 2011 by David No Comments

The US Defense Department’s National Security Space Strategy, issued in January, highlights the growing importance of space within overall defence planning, according to deputy defense secretary William Lynn.

Lynn underlined that more than 60 years after Sputnik triggered the US-Soviet space race, at least sixty nations have now deployed satellites into space, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Security.

The US controls “less than 40% of the space market” today, added Lynn.

Thirty-seven US senators signed a letter of concern to secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Feb 2 stating concerns that the European Union is developing a space “code of conduct”, which they think could undermine US space strategy and harm security.

Lynn countered that proposals for the code are consistent with US space strategy to promote freedom of access and introduce more timely notifications of problems in space.

“We think this kind of voluntary code of conduct that promotes responsible behavior…should be viewed positively,” said Lynn.

Gates: US defense needs $540bn in 2011

February 16th, 2011 by David No Comments

US defense secretary Robert Gates has said that the US Congress must provide $540bn in funding for the US Defense Department for the fiscal year 2011 to enable it to carry out its job.

Gates made the statement while presenting the 2012 budget at the Pentagon.

He also said he was looking at contractual options for cancelling the second engine option for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, describing it as a wasted $3bn.

“Exactly a year ago, the president requested $549bn to operate the Department of Defense during fiscal year 2011,” said Gates. “If forced to operate under a full-year continuing resolution, the department would only receive about $526bn.”

He added that the $23bn reduction was magnified because it comes five months into the fiscal year.

Obama asks Congress for $671bn 2012 defence budget

February 15th, 2011 by David No Comments

President Barack Obama has asked the US Congress to approve a defence budget of $671bn for the fiscal year 2012.

The Pentagon said the budget was declining overall, with funding for overseas contingency operations down $41.5bn, largely from the winding down of operations in Iraq.

The budget consists of a $553 base budget, with a further $117.8bn to fight the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The US Army’s portion of the base budget is $144.9bn, the US Navy and Marine Corps get $161.4bn, while the US Air Force share is set at $150bn. The Defense Department itself spends $96.8bn.

US Navy Department announces 2012 budget

February 15th, 2011 by David No Comments

The US Navy Department budget submitted by President Barack Obama for Congressional approval is for $161.4bn, rising by $1bn over the previous year’s baseline proportions.

The 2012 budget also includes an additional request for overseas contingency operations in the amount of $15bn.

Military pay will increase by 1.6%, with reenlistment bonuses also offered.

Russia boosts Kuril Islands’ missile defences

February 15th, 2011 by David No Comments

Russia will increase its missile defence forces on the Kuril Islands, disputed with Japan, says Russian newswire RIA Novosti.

Reinforcements reportedly include long and short range systems, notably including the modern S-400 Triumf system.

The islands lie between Japan’s Hokkaido and Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and are claimed by Japan.

They were seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War and annexed to Russia.

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