domingo, 25 de junio de 2017

Trump may take a hard line with Pakistan

Even though the US Government was unable to defeat the Taliban with 100.000 troops in the country, apparently Trump thinks that by taking a harder line with Pakistan and sending a few thousand more troops to Afghanistan he is going to pressure the Taliban into making peace.

The result will probably be for Pakistan to create more difficulties for the US Government in Afghanistan and also a point blank refusal to allow any drone attacks, as a majority of the Pakistani public would support such a move. However, the United States claims that the Pakistani spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has ties to the Haqqani network of militants who are thought to be responsible for some deadly attacks in Afghanistan. The Afghan Government too has accused Pakistan as giving safe haven to the militants. Pakistan Government denies this, as they have lost about 7.000 of its security forces and about 22.000 civilians as a result of militant activity since 2003.

There are some within the US Government and in various think tanks who do not consider Pakistan an ally at all:

  • The Pentagon designated the Haggani network that Pakistan is alleged to support, as "terrorist organization" in 2012.
  • Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, a top U.S. military officer, told the U.S. Congress in 2011 that the Haqqani net was a veritable arm of the Pakistani ISI.
  • David Sedney, who was Obama's deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan from 2009 to 2013, claims that Obama's attempt to make Pakistan a strategic partner failed miserably and said that it made Pakistan's behavior even worse.

But this appears very one-sided: Pakistan in effect allowed UAV attacks on its territory in the face of tremendous political opposition. It also eventually carried out military operations in the territories that were quite costly in casualties for their security forces.

The U.S. has given considerable aid to Pakistan since 2002: $33 billion and that included Coalition Support Funds (CSF) that is meant to reimburse allies that incurred costs in supporting counter-insurgency operations. Pakistan did incur heavy costs in its operations in conflicts with various militant groups in the tribal areas of north-west Pakistan. However, the U.S. argues that Pakistan has failed to take action against the Haqqani network and last year withheld $300 million in CSF funding to Pakistan. US officials say the Trump administration may do the same... But also warns that moves such as this would encourage China to invest even more than the $60 billion it has already invested in Pakistan.

India to Purchase 22 Predator

According to The Diplomat, the Indian Government had expressed interest in purchasing an unarmed naval variant of the Predator already before 2015. However, the United States rejected India’s request because the country was neither member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) nor did it enjoy Major Defense Partner (MDP) status.

Now, the US Government has approved the deal, which is valued at over $2 billion. The deal, still pending congressional approval, would be the first such purchase by a country that is not a member of the NATO alliance. With these new UAVs, India seeks to protect its maritime assets, in particular in the Indian Ocean, and detect intrusions on a real-time basis.

Next to the threat of terrorism emerging from the maritime domain, India has been in particular concerned about the growing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

UAV designs ready to be 3D printed

A very good collection which includes custom UAV models ready for real life usage thanks to 3D printing technology. 

FDM Lightweight Structures

The FDM process offers several material options, from ASA to Nylon 12 CF, each has attributes that make it suitable for a variety of lightweight structural applications. With this variety in materials, FDM technology is boosting design freedoms without having to sacrifice material use or part stiffness in both Aerospace and Automotive Industries

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3D Robotics X8+ UAV Structure Scan Demo Using DroidPlanner 2.0

Adam from demonstrates a fully autonomous "Structure Scan" flight using DroidPlanner 2.0 and a 3D Robotics X8+ multirotor UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). Post processing done with Autodesk 123D Catch 3D stitching software.

Pakistan: JF-17 shoots down an iranian UAV

An Iranian UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operating in Pakistan’s Parom area of Panjgur district was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) JF-17 fighter.

Iran’s army chief recently warned that Tehran would strike militant safe havens inside Pakistanremarks that drew a strong protest from Islamabad─ after 10 Iranian border guards were killed by militants allegedly from across the border earlier this year.

It was unknown when the UAV was shot down but the wreckage was recovered by local security forces last monday. According official sources, the UAV was shot down by a JF-17 in the Parom area of Panjgur district after it ventured “deep inside Pakistani airspace” on a spying mission.

The JF-17 (Joint Fighter-17) can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Technically is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the PAC (Pakistan Aeronautical Complex) and the CAC (Chengdu Aircraft Corporation) of China.

China launches record-breaking UAV swarm

The China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) claims to have set a new record for the number of UAVs flying in a swarm, the state-owned Xinhua news agency quoted the corporation as saying.

The 11 June news report states that the swarm comprised 119 UAVs, breaking CETC's previous record swarm of 67 UAVs. Xinhua did not mention when or where the event took place.

The size of the mini UAV swarm is greater than that trialled by the USAF in October 2016 when three Boeing F/A-18 Hornet deployed a swarm of 103 Perdix micro UAVs, which the US DoD noted was one of the world's largest micro UAV swarms to date.

CETC published a video in 2016 of its fixed-wing UAV swarm prototype, which shows the UAVs in a coordinated launch from the ground. The corporation said that the UAVs were flying ad hoc networks, sensing and avoiding collision, and demonstrating autonomous group control.

A CETC engineer was quoted by Xinhua as saying that UAV swarms will become "a disruptive force" that will "change the rules of the game".