Monday, June 14, 2010

Briefings : J-6, US defence cuts, South America

The PLAAF has officially bid farewell to the J-6, it's version of the MiG-19 Farmer. The type remained in production long after the Soviet Farmer had ceased production and indeed up until the 1990s was the core type in China's air force. The J-6 was retired from combat duties in 2005 and now withdrawn from it's remaining duties too.

A committee in US Congress is looking into ways of dramatically cutting US military spending. The Sustainable Defense Task Force plans to cut over a trillion dollars in military spending over the next 10 years with all services in the firing line for possible deep cuts. One programme of course in the firing line will be the JSF with flight tests of the Block 1 aircraft now underway. Another big procurement programme in trouble is the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle for the US Marines who have been asked to justify it.

One place military spending is still ongoing is in South America. Venezuela wants to buy another 22 K-8Ws for the training and light strike roles while Chile wants to modernise it's Hercules transports with new cockpit displays.

The safety of ammunition used by the British Army has raised concerns with a watchdog worrying that the potential for a serious accident. The PM is to tell MPs that the winding down of the British presence in Afghanistan is to soon begin. The Chief of the Defence Staff was removed from his post earlier (or his early retirement announced rather) indicating the PM wants a new chief to oversee the withdrawal. However US government geologists have apparently found vast mineral wealth in Afghanistan so maybe they'll be wanting to stay after all.

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