Daily Archives: April 24, 2016

Real reason for the Saudi war on Yemen a US$80B Salman Canal bypassing the Strait of Hormuz

Asian Defence News

Sunday, April 24, 2016


This is Why West Turns a Blind Eye to Saudis’ Misdeeds in Yemen

21:16 21.04.2016(updated 13:31 22.04.2016)

Saudi Arabia is planning to build a canal that will connect the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea bypassing the Strait of Hormuz controlled by the Iranians. Since the canal would pass the Shia territories in Yemen, Riyadh needs to take the country under full military control, Craig Murray notes.

Regardless of vocal opposition from the EU Parliament and major human rights groups, the US government plans to continue high-tech weapons deliveries to Saudi Arabia which uses it against defenseless Yemeni civilians, Craig Murray, human rights activist, author and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, writes on his blog.

Embarrassingly for London, “UK special forces are operating inside Yemen in support of the onslaught,” he notes.

“Yemen of course has very little oil of its own,” the author remarks.

“But where the West gets involved in conflict, it is almost always at base either about oil resources (e.g. Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Iraq) or oil routes (e.g. Afghanistan, Georgia, Balkans). It turns out that Britain’s unflinching military support of Saudi Arabian aggression in Yemen is about oil routes,” Murray elaborates.

The truth of the matter is that last year Riyadh announced a plan to build a 950 kilometer canal, dubbed Salman Canal, connecting the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea.

But what lies at the root of the plan?

It is expected that the canal will allow ships to reduce their trip through the Strait of Hormuz almost by half. What is more important, Iran is keeping an eye on the strait. By bypassing Hormuz, Saudi Arabia hopes to overcome this “obstacle.”

“Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE could export their oil through this canal up to the Arabian Sea, thus avoiding the Strait of Hormuz,” Gulf News reported in September 2015.

In accordance with the plan, 630 kilometers of the canal will be built in Saudi Arabia and 320 kilometers… in Yemen.

“The canal will add 1,200km of clean and splendid coasts in the Empty Quarter and will have 20 tunnels for cars and pedestrians on the Saudi side, while it will add 700km of waterfront to Yemen and revive the desert areas in the east of the country,” Saad Bin Omar of the Riyadh-based Arab Century Centre for Studies said, as quoted by the media outlet.

However bright the prospects are in the eyes of Riyadh, it does not mean that Yemen will enthusiastically embrace the project.

To complicate matters further, “the eastern Yemeni regions through which it would pass are predominantly Shia, this is a major problem for the Saudis,” Murray stresses.

“There would need to be a Yemeni government not only willing to agree, but both able and willing to enforce security on the canal,” he explains.

And it means Riyadh needs not only to establish a government loyal to the Saudis in Yemen but also to maintain effective military control of the country.

Remarkably, Washington and London are backing Riyadh and its military adventure, while American thought leaders admit that Saudi Arabia’s activities in Yemen and Syria undermine the regions’ stability.

“Iranian control of the Strait of Hormuz has long been the nightmare of the American right,” Murray notes, adding that “Western elite support for the appalling Saudi regime is a given, because Saudi cash pumps primarily into banking, armaments and high end property, the three areas most dear to the interests of the 1%.”

“The United Kingdom is supporting yet another war for oil. But don’t worry about it, the corporate media is full of the Queen’s birthday! Stop thinking and shout hurrah!” Murray remarks.


North Korea to halt nuclear tests if US suspends military drills with South Korea

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by | 24th April 2016 | @ascorrespondent

NORTH KOREA is ready to put a stop to its nuclear tests but only if the U.S. agrees to cease its annual military exercises with South Korea.

In his first interview with a Western news organization, North Korean foreign minister Ri Su Yong spoke with the Associated Press, defending his country’s right to maintain a nuclear deterrent, adding that North Korea would not bow to international pressure.

Pyongyang has long claimed that it was the U.S. that drove the nation to develop nuclear weapons.

“Stop the nuclear war exercises in the Korean Peninsula, then we should also cease our nuclear tests,” he said.

Ri also hinted that the suspension of the military exercises would likely reduce tensions between North and South Korea.

On Sunday, North Korea announced that it had successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine the day before, and that it has bolstered its nuclear attack capabilities.

The state-owned Korean Central News Agency reported that its leader Kim Jong Un had observed the firing of the missile from a test facility.

While South Korean weapons experts said it is unlikely that North Korea currently possesses an operational submarine that can fire multiple missiles, they do accede that the North is making progress on such technology.

Such a development is raising alarm bells, as missiles fired from submarines are harder to detect prior to launch compared to land-based ones.

In response to the missile test, the U.S. said it is restricting foreign minister Ri’s movement, as he is currently in New York to attend U.N. functions.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said due to the recent missile firing, the U.S. has decided that it was necessary to limit the travel of Ri and his delegation to only those places necessary for them to conduct their duties.

North Korea has been firing missiles and artillery shells into the sea in protest against military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, and refuses to stop, despite international sanctions.

Additional reporting by Associated Press



North Korea launches missile from submarine


N. Korea appears to have fired submarine-launched missile: Seoul’s Defense Ministry

Published on Apr 23, 2016

北, 신포 동북방 동해상에서 ‘잠수함 미사일’ 1발 발사
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says the projectile,… presumed to a submarine-launched ballistic missile, was fired from near Shinpo, Hamgyeongnam-do province, on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m, South Korea time.
The South Korean military is currently assessing whether the launch was a success.
The projectile was fired from a two-thousand ton submarine and South Korean military officials believe the missile’s rocket booster did ignite, but it was only in the air for a short time.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul say they are keeping a close eye on North Korea’s movements, and maintaining a high state of readiness.
North Korea conducted a failed SLBM launch in November of last year and another, possibly successful, launch around six months before that.
Experts have noted that SLBMs need to be tested numerous times in order to refine the launches, especially given the complexity of the technology involved.
This latest launch comes amid mounting speculation North Korea could conduct a fifth nuclear test ahead of a rare party congress early next month.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.

Sagem, OIS-AT create AASM Hammer joint venture

21 April 2016

French company Sagem announced on 19 April that it had signed a joint venture (JV) with Indian company OIS Advanced Technology (OIS-AT) that will allow the manufacture of components for the AASM Hammer precision-guided munition in India.

The agreement will have OIS-AT manufacturing bomb guidance and glide kits for the system in India, as part of the Indian government’s ‘Make In India’ campaign to promote defence equipment manufacturing in India.

Sagem added in a statement that the guidance and glide kits would be “customised to specifically meet Indian Air Force requirements”.

According to IHS Jane’s Air Launched Weapons, Sagem is understood to have been negotiating an AASM contract with India to supply weapons for Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKIs, upgraded Mirage 2000Hs, and upgraded SEPECAT Jaguar IS/IBs. Indian sources also stated that the AASM would be integrated on Indian Navy MiG-29Ks.

The AASM Hammer is a modular kit that adds a guidance/seeker assembly to the existing ‘dumb’ general-purpose aerial bomb, along with pop-out airfoils to increase the bomb’s gliding range. Additionally, a rocket booster further extends the bomb’s stand-off capability.

The baseline version of the system for use by the French military and for existing export variants is for use on a 250 kg (500 lb) bomb. Initial testing was conducted on a Dassault Mirage 2000N, with later tests taking place on a Dassault Rafale. It is currently cleared for use on the Lockheed Martin F-16 and Dassault Rafale, with Sagem having evaluated compatibility with larger platforms such as the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion, and the Dassault Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft.

The 250 kg variant has a maximum range of 15-60 km, depending on the attack profile, and can use either a GPS, an inertial navigation system (INS) with imaging infrared seeker, or a laser seeker.

Source  janes.com


Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM) HAMMER Air-to-Ground Missile

Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM) HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) is a new generation medium-range modular air-to-ground weapon designed and manufactured by Sagem (Safran group), for the French Air Force and Navy.

The AASM weapon system has a length of 3m and weight of 330kg, and has a range of over 60km at high altitudes and 15km at low altitudes. It has fire and forget capability, and an extended stand-off capacity.

The interoperable missile has the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously. It can also strike fixed or moving targets with high precision. The missile is maintenance-free and has low lifecycle costs.

The missile uses single, double or triple store adaptors and uses Sagem’s Hemispheric Resonating Gyro, inertial / GPS hybridisation and strap-down infrared imagers and associated algorithms for conventional deep strike missions.

The AASM HAMMER missile consists of a guidance kit and a range extension kit. The kits are fitted with Mk82 warheads including Smart Bomb Unit (SBU)-38, SBU-64 and SBU-54. The easy to use missile supports operations with 125kg, 250kg, 500kg and 1,000kg bomb bodies, and can be reprogrammed during the flight.

The basic version SBU-38 HAMMER is provided with hybrid INS/GPS guidance, while the SBU-54 version is equipped with INS/GPS/IR (infrared) guidance. The latest version SBU-64 uses INS/GPS/laser guidance.


The hybrid inertial/GPS layout is the standard guidance mode for coordinates. Once the coordinates have been entered in the weapon, the inertial guidance system enable it to hit the target without requiring a GPS signal, if it is unavailable. This version is designated the SBU-38 Hammer (Smart Bomb Unit).

The AASM’s modularity allows it to be used on 125, 250, 500 and 1000kg bomb bodies. Its engine provides it with range greater than 50km, meaning it can be fired at a standoff distance. Autonomous after it has been dropped, it can be used at low altitudes, cross hilly terrain or veer sharply from the firing aircraft.


The inertial/GPS/IR kit adds an infrared imager for terminal guidance. With a simplified model of the scene around the target first being uploaded to the weapon, this imager allows the AASM to recalculate its trajectory during the last few seconds prior to impact, using image recognition algorithms. This allows the AASM to hit its target with the highest possible accuracy, even if GPS coordinates are incorrect, or the GPS signal is unavailable. This version is called the SBU-64 Hammer.
The AASM’s modularity allows it to be used on 125, 250, 500 and 1000kg bomb bodies. Its engine provides it with range greater than 50km, meaning it can be fired at a standoff distance. Autonomous after it has been dropped, it can be used at low altitudes, cross hilly terrain or veer sharply from the firing aircraft.


The inertial/GPS/laser kit adds terminal laser guidance to engage agile, moving land or naval targets, illuminated by a ground or airborne laser designator. It will be deployed by French armed forces starting in 2012. This version is designated the SBU-54 Hammer (Smart Bomb Unit).
The AASM’s modularity allows it to be used on 125, 250, 500 and 1000kg bomb bodies. Its engine provides it with range greater than 50km, meaning it can be fired at a standoff distance. Autonomous after it has been dropped, it can be used at low altitudes, cross hilly terrain or veer sharply from the firing aircraft. Source sagem.com

The laser terminal guidance version can be deployed to engage moving targets, while the infrared terminal guidance version minimises target coordinate errors.

The combat proven missile can operate in all weather conditions during the day and night. It has vertical strike capability and can support deep strikes, close air support, air interdiction, and SEAD-type or anti-ship combat missions.


The propulsion system is fitted at the rear of the missile and consists of a solid rocket motor and four winglets for flight control. Source airforce-technology