F-18 crash attributed to rare dual engine failure
Firefighters douse an apartment complex when a US Navy F-18 jet fighter crashed after take-off on April 6, 2012 in the tourist resort of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
July 2nd, 2012
05:12 PM ET

F-18 crash attributed to rare dual engine failure

By Jennifer Rizzo

A Navy F-18 fighter jet that crashed into a Virginia Beach neighborhood in April experienced dual engine failure, marking the first time an F-18 has had two unrelated catastrophic engine failures at the same time, according to a report released on the investigation.

In the first five seconds of flight, the jet's right engine stalled from a fuel leak, the investigators said. The pilot tried to compensate with extra thrust from the left engine but it also failed due to an unrelated problem with the afterburner.

"It was not a single failure but an extremely unusual and complex multisystem emergency," Rear Adm. Ted Branch said at a press conference Monday.
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Filed under: Military • Navy
July 2nd, 2012
04:39 PM ET

U.S. and Pakistan 'moving closer' to a deal to reopen Afghan border routes

The U.S. and Pakistan are "moving closer" to an agreement on re-opening border crossings into Afghanistan for NATO supplies, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

The official, who is not authorized to speak publicly about sensitive negotiations, says representatives from the two nations discussed the re-opening of ground supply routes into Afghanistan during meetings this weekend that included Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

RECOMMENDED: Pakistani view of U.S. hits new low

A senior Pakistani government official also said an agreement is expected soon to reopen the supply routes. The official, familiar with the Pakistan-U.S. discussions, said the movement comes as a result of the recent talks. FULL POST

July 2nd, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Officials insist no specific terror threat tied to Olympics

by Suzanne Kelly and Dan Rivers and Jonathan Wald

Government officials from Washington to London insist that there are no known specific or credible terror threats tied to next month's Olympic games in London. Nonetheless, authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are urging vigilance.

President Barack Obama met last week with his national security team to talk about preparations for the Olympic games as well as this week's Fourth of July holiday. After the meeting, the White House issued a statement saying that "The President directed all to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep the American people safe and to continue close cooperation on the Olympics with our British counterparts," according to National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

In a speech just last week, the head of Britain's MI5 domestic security service talked a little more specifically about the current threat environment. Jonathan Evans told the audience at a defense and security lecture that "The games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the center of the world's attention in a month or so. No doubt some terrorist networks have thought about whether they could pull off an attack. but the games are not an easy target and the fact that we have disrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the UK as a whole is not an easy target for terrorism." FULL POST


Filed under: Al Qaeda • AQAP • Living With Terror • Terrorism
Iran test firing long-range and other missiles
July 2nd, 2012
10:59 AM ET

Iran test firing long-range and other missiles

Iran will test-fire missiles during "war games" this week, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reported.

The three-day exercise, which began Monday, will target desert bases made to look like airbases of "extra-regional powers," the agency said.

"During the war games, long-range, medium-range, and short-range missiles will be used and will be fired from different points across the country at 100 designated targets," Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh told reporters, according to Mehr.

The point of the exercises, he said, is to give experts the chance to assess the "precision and efficiency of warheads and missile systems," the agency reported.

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Filed under: Iran • Middle East
Space junk diplomacy
July 2nd, 2012
12:00 AM ET

Space junk diplomacy

By Jamie Crawford

Imagine waking up to a world where your cell phone doesn't work, you can't fill your car's tank using a credit card, and you cannot monitor the day's news or watch your favorite program on television. Sound farfetched? Perhaps - but the U.S. government is leading the charge with other nations to keep one possible catalyst for that scenario from unfolding.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the United States would join the European Union and other nations to develop the "International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities" that would establish an international framework for the responsible use of space. In a statement announcing the initiative, Clinton said the United States was committed to "reversing the troubling trends that are damaging our space environment."

Eleven countries have space-launch capacity, and over 60 own and operate more than 1,100 satellites that play an unseen role in our daily lives, or serve military or intelligence-gathering dimensions for the governments who oversee their use.

The problem of space debris, or "space junk" as it is known, has become an increasing impediment to the effective management of outer space, with several near misses in recent years of both commercial and official assets for many space-faring nations.
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Filed under: China • Security Brief