Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cap badge of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces
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Insignia of Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Indone...
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Fijian military regime admits to buying arms from Indonesia...

Fijian military regime admits to buying arms from Indonesia

A high-level Police and Military delegation is in Indonesia strengthening co-operation and links with the big Asia-Pacific republic.They are signing a police co-operation agreement, meeting Indonesia’s top military commander, seeing weapons about to be shipped to Fiji, and visiting training centres.
Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration Joketani Cokanasiga leads the delegation for the signing of a Police Co-operation Agreement with the Indonesian National Police in Jakarta.
The delegation includes Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Iowane Naivalurua, Fiji Military Forces Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, Senior Superintendent of Police Maretino Qiolevu and Joji Dumukoro, of the Ministry of Defence.
Prior to the signing, they visited a weapons-making factory in Bandung, two hours drive from the capital.
The Minister was able to see first-hand the process of making armoured vehicles and light weapons by the State-owned company, PT.
Mr Cokanasiga and his delegation also saw a consignment of weapons recently ordered for the Fiji Military Forces which would be dispatched to Suva shortly.
They were accompanied on the visit by Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia Ratu Tui Cavuilati.
The delegation is this afternoon meeting Admiral Agus Suhartono, Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian Military.
They will then visit the Military Academy in Magelang, the Police Academy and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation (JCLEC) in Semarang.
The delegation earlier met with the secretary to the Co-ordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Dr Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan.
They were later treated to a welcome dinner by the Chief of the Indonesian National Police Timur Pradopo and his senior staff.
The delegation returns to Fiji on Saturday

Fijian military and police officials have visited Indonesia. It is believed that a shipment of arms will be sent to Fiji in the near future.  What are these arms for? Do they include large patrol craft and heavier weapons which could be fired from patrol craft. Does Fiji intend to "invade" Tonga to remove a high-ranking  Fijian military officer and deport him back to Fiji?   Few individuals own guns and other weapons in Fiji. What are all the weapons for? To keep Fijians fenced  in or to be aggressive to other island nations such as Tonga?

Military dictatorship has considered making arms in Fiji. Who would buy from them?

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

There is no alternative to the F-35 Joint Strike fighter says US and Canada...

The F-35 Lightning II was developed by United ...
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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) – Defense chiefs from the United States and Canada said on Friday that budgetary pressures would not derail development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, saying there was no real alternative to what has become the Pentagon's costliest weapons program.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said flatly he was confident Congress would approve funding for the F-35, which is facing fresh scrutiny for possible cuts as lawmakers weigh how to scale back the U.S. deficit.

Two days ago Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay expressed concern about reports of delays in F-35 delivery and said his government was in direct talks with manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp.

MacKay, speaking to reporters alongside Panetta at a security conference in Halifax, said his country would press ahead with the program.

"There is no fifth generation aircraft other than the F-35 available to Canada and the United States.

 So all of the hypothetical discussions, and negative discussions, quite frankly, about this program are really just clatter and noise," MacKay said. "This program is going ahead."

The United States is developing a family of radar-evading F-35s with eight international partners - Canada, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Denmark and Norway.

It is projected to cost the United States more than $382 billion to buy a total of 2,447 F-35 models over the next two decades. Other countries, including the co-development partners, are expected to buy roughly another 750 aircraft.

Canada says it plans to buy 65 of the jets, which in theory will start arriving in 2016. It has not yet signed a binding contract.

Panetta acknowledged that the Pentagon was still looking at ways to make the $450 billion in cost-cuts over the next decade, approved by Congress.

"But we also have to look to areas where we have to continue to invest for the future. And the F-35 is one of those areas, where we are going to continue to invest for the future," Panetta said.

Panetta's comments appeared predicated on the expectation that Congress would reach a deficit reduction deal before a November 23 deadline.

If a 12-member congressional "super committee" fails, automatic, across-the-board cuts would kick in. Those would force the Pentagon to slash another $600 billion over the next decade, something that Panetta warned in a letter to Congress this week could affect the F-35 program this week.

"This is the fighter plane for the future. And in some ways we really have no alternative," Panetta told reporters in Halifax.

"This is the plane that is going to be able to provide the technology, the capabilities for the future. We need to have those. It's true for us. It's true for our partners."

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in Washington he did not mean to leave the impression during a recent hearing that he was contemplating canceling a version of the F-35.

Dempsey told a congressional hearing last month that in the tight budget environment maintaining three variants of the F-35 "creates some fiscal challenges for us" and added it's "something we'll have to keep an eye on."

He told reporters on Friday that he meant it would be a challenge if the Pentagon was hit with an additional $600 billion in across-the-board cuts, which would slash funding for a proportion of all programs equally.

"I didn't have a crosshair on the F-35," Dempsey said. But he added that everyone should understand that an additional across-the-board cut would "affect ... everything we do."

Acknowledgements: Reuters/ Yahoo News
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