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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Australia's First Submarine Lost with All Hands

Australia is slowly crossing off its list of unsolved war mysteries, yet one stubborn wreck seems determined to stay hidden despite new interest in finding it.

Australian Submarine AE-1 missing since 1914 (

With the recent finding of AHS Centaur off Brisbane, the location of HMAS Sydney in Western Australia and the return of the last two Vietnam MIAs, Australia’s military sleuthing seems on a roll. Yet, the tiny 55m (181ft) submarine AE1, the Royal Australian Navy’s first submarine, lies somewhere in Papua New Guinean waters.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Indian gov't committed to modernizing navy: president

INS Arihant

The Indian government is committed to modernizing the Indian Navy in keeping with the requirements of the 21st century, Indian President Pratibha Patil said Thursday.

In July was launched INS Arihant, an indigenously designed nuclear submarine that is an important milestone in the Navy's modernization process and to ensure an equitable balance of power in the region, she said, while on board the aircraft carrier INS Viraat off Mumbai harbor during a "day at sea."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

U.S. firm wins contracts to produce Patriot system for Taiwan

U.S. defense manufacturer Raytheon Company said Wednesday that it has been awarded contracts worth a total of US$1.1 billion to produce new Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for Taiwan.

The awards cover ground-system hardware through an initial contract valued at US$965.6 million and an initial spares contract valued at US$134.4 million, the company said in a statement.

It said the new Patriot fire units will feature improved man-machine interface and reduced life-cycle costs and will be produced in Massachusetts, Texas and Alabama.

The items are part of an arms sale package approved by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush in late 2008.

Photo : air-and-space

Astute comissioning date put back

THE commissioning date of Barrow’s newest submarine has been put back by three months to allow sea trials to continue.

Astute, which was delivered to the Faslane naval base in Scotland in November, was originally earmarked to be commissioned into the navy in a ceremony at Faslane at the end of January.

But a spokesman for the base said the commissioning date had “moved to the right considerably” and was now not expected to take place until April at the earliest. He said Astute - which technically still belongs to BAE Systems Submarine Solutions until the Ministry of Defence agrees to take it over - is getting on with sea trials.

Russia successfully tests long-range missile

Russia on Thursday said it had successfully test-fired an RS-20V intercontinental ballistic missile.

Russia on Thursday said it had successfully test-fired an RS-20V intercontinental ballistic missile as part of a wider attempt to extend the lifespan of its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.

"The launch was carried out as part of experimental construction work aimed at confirming the flight characteristics of the RS-20V missile and to extend its life span to 23 years," Russia's Strategic Missile Forces said in a statement.

U.S. Department of Defense Announces Latest Contract Awards


Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded a $163,800,000 not-to-exceed undefinitized contract action for the procurement of four S-70B anti-submarine warfare/anti-surface warfare aircraft for the government of Brazil under the foreign military sales program.  This effort includes associated non-recurring engineering, production and transportation.  Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn. (81 percent), Horsehead, N.Y. (10 percent), and Troy, Ala. (9 percent).  Work is expected to be completed in June 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.301-4.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0009). 


                 L-3 Services, Inc., Reston, Va., is being awarded a $55,656,285 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for integration, production, test and evaluation, fielding, training, certification, maintenance, and life-cycle sustainment management support of tactical satellite, telecommunications, information technology networking and psychological operations equipment for various customers.  The cumulative value of this contract, including this modification, is $150,300,000.  Work will be performed in Tampa, Fla. (70 percent), and Fayetteville, N.C. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2010.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command E-commerce web site, with two offers received.  Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, North Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-07-D-5879).

Russian defense minister insists on Bulava missile development

The Russian military will not abandon plans to develop the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the defense minister has said.

The latest launch of the missile, which Russia hopes will be a key element of its nuclear forces, from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea ended in failure on December 9. Only five of 12 Bulava launches have been officially reported as being successful.

"We will certainly not give up the Bulava. I think that despite all the failures, the missile will fly," Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on Thursday.

The minister cited a number of reasons for the failures of Bulava tests, including attempts to replace specific materials with cheaper substitutes and obsolete manufacturing equipment.
"Overall, there are a number of problems and, unfortunately, they cannot be solved as quickly as we would want," Serdyukov said.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Faulty contract jeopardises Indian Navy's submarine projects

The Indian Navy said Tuesday its underwater capability would be reduced 50 per cent by 2015 because of delays in construction of submarines. While its programme to construct the French designed Scorpene submarines at the Mazgaon Shipyard has already suffered serious delays, the follow-on programme for indigenous construction of six submarines is a non-starter.

Defence officials said the matter was discussed at the meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) which met on Tuesday.

Arms sale to Pak justified as India buys from US: Chinese official

The third of Pakistan's new Agosta 90B submarines, PNS Hamza. Photo: DCN.

A senior Chinese defense official has justified Beijing's sale of warships and submarines to Pakistan on the ground that India was indicated that China was conscious India might be worried about the sales.

"The initiative may invite concerns from its neighboring countries. But the doubts are unnecessary," Zhai Dequan, deputy director of China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, was quoted as saying in the official media.

The statement came in the midst of efforts by Norman Bashir, chief of Pakistan's naval staff, to persuade Beijing to sell higher capacity ships as compared to the F22P frigates that China begun delivering last June.

Zhai said Pakistan’s desire for high capacity systems is normal for an independent nation seeking to bolster its security. India has also entered into large deals for military hardware from the US and Russia, he said.

INS Viraat ready for President Patil's 'day out at sea'

President Pratibha Patil (

Mumbai: President Pratibha Patil will experience her first 'day at sea' when she steps aboard India's lone aircraft carrier INS Viraat Wednesday, an Indian Navy official said.

INS Viraat

The president, who is also the supreme commander of the country's armed forces and the first woman in the post, will board the vessel around 11 a.m.

"The supreme commander will be on board the warship as it is anchored offshore Mumbai. She will be flown to the aircraft carrier," the official said.

Navy sends SOS on ageing submarines

A top body in the military establishment went into a huddle today after the Indian Navy sounded an “SOS” — save our submarine fleet.

The navy has 16 submarines that are being retired faster than they can be replaced. The worry over the fast depleting submarine fleet occupied mindspace among the defence ministry’s top officials on the eve of President Pratibha Patil’s visit to INS Viraat, the navy’s aircraft carrier and flagship.

The carrier itself is more than 50 years old and is an example of how the navy has to operate its vessels through continuous refits. The Viraat resumed service only last month after being in the dry docks for two years.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma goaded the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) led by defence minister A.K. Antony to meet today after telling it that the submarine fleet of 16 vessels would be nearly halved in five years unless the Centre cleared a proposal for a new line. The proposal has been pending for more than six years.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweden offers new submarines

Swedish defence industry lost out when Norway chose new jet fighters. Now the Swedes want to offer new submarines to replace Norway's old subs which will have to be renewed in about ten years.

Sweden is one of few countries which still build submarines of the type which would fit the needs of the Norwegian Navy.

In a few years the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) will have to decide whether or not to invest in new submarines at a cost of NOK 3-4 billion each.
- International cooperation is absolutely of interest, says rear-admiral Arne R√łksund of the Norwegian Defence Department.(Original News)
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China wary of Russian naval repairs

Pic : FAS

China has procured from Russia 12 Kilo class submarines and four 956E/EM DDGs, or guided missile destroyers, since 1993. The first two Vasayanka-class Kilo submarines were exported to China in 1993, and the second two Kilo 636 submarines were delivered in 1996. The first two 956E DDGs were delivered in 1996 and 1999 respectively.

These battleships are now all due for overhaul or technical upgrading. But there are differences between China and Russia as to how this is to be done. Simply, China does not wish to trust its naval equipment to Russian technical experts.

A senior authoritative source from the Russian military industry said that for submarines, maintenance is more important that building the vessels themselves. Maintenance was not a major topic of discussion when the submarines were purchased, he said, but with the PLA Navy submarines due for overhaul, Russia and China have been involved in long drawn-out discussions.
In fact, the discussions have been under way for four years, the source said, adding that providing overhaul services was not necessarily included in the permit to export submarines.

Bulava Blues Blocks More Boreis

Russia has delayed, for at least a few months, starting construction of their fourth Borei class SSBN (ballistic missile nuclear subs, or "boomers"). Russia wants to have the new Borei class boats replace the current Delta IV class SSBNs. The first Borei is already in the service, but not yet commissioned, and two others are under construction. The problem, and unofficial reason for the delay, is the inability to make the new Bulava SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile) work. 

Pic : FAS

KVH to support Navy torpedoes

Pic :

Rhode Island-based KVH announced it will provide its TG-6000 inertial measurement units to support navigation requirements in the anti-submarine warfare MK54 torpedoes for the Navy.

Under the $6.4 million order, KVH will deliver its fiber-optic gyro-based TG-6000 units that officials say will measure the MK54's rate and acceleration in a three-axis configuration for the weapon system's navigation.

"The integration of the KVH TG-6000 within the MK54 torpedo clearly validates the precision, performance, robust design, and value offered by our fiber optic gyro technology and our inertial measurement units in particular," Jay Napoli, KVH vice president for fiber optic gyro sales, said in a statement.
"We are honored that the TG-6000 is a part of the technology that the U.S. Navy uses to complete missions and protect the United States and its allies around the world." (Original News)
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Northrop Grumman Wins U.S. Navy Submarine Maintenance Contract

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) subsidiary AMSEC LLC has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy for maintenance, repair and modernization of submarines home-ported or transient through Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is Hawaii's regional maintenance center for the U.S. Navy. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is located within the Pearl Harbor Naval Station complex, two miles southeast of the Honolulu International Airport.

AMSEC LLC was one of six contractors awarded a five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract that has a combined value of $140.4 million to all contractors involved.
"AMSEC is proud to support Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY) by playing a major role in maintaining the readiness of submarines in the Pacific," said Harris Leonard, vice president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and president, AMSEC Operations. "This award provides the U.S. Navy access to AMSEC subject matter experts and leverages our rich 28 year history of maintenance, repair and modernization support to the fleet."

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (Pic :

Work will be performed at the company's Pearl Harbor location and is expected to be completed by December 2014. The maximum value for each submarine maintenance contract is $23.4 million. The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) in Pearl Harbor is the contracting activity.

Brazil expands defense manufacturing

Brazil is expanding its defense manufacturing program and has set a target to make its own armored vehicles -- more than 2,000 in the first phase -- with Italian help.

Last year President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced a government-led revival of the armaments industry, which peaked during dictatorship years in the 1970s and 1980s but slumped at the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.

Lula's comments have indicated the aim of the defense industry's revival is three-fold: to open a new source of export revenue; to make Brazil self-sufficient in some of the frequently used equipment within its burgeoning armed forces, and to reassert the country's pre-eminence in Latin America.

Brazil has campaigned for a permanent seat on the Security Council as part of the effort to assume a leadership role in the region. Diplomacy and good manners have kept Brazil's neighbors quiet about Lula's ambitions, but a proactive foreign policy has involved vigorous contacts with distant partners like China, Iran and Russia.

Thales welcomes Royal Navy frigate’s sonar upgrade

One of the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) most advanced Type 23 frigates has re-entered operational service, fitted with Thales’s Sonar 2087 system, following a period of inten¬sive sea trials.

HMS Sutherland has been declared fit for operational service after trials of its major sonar and defensive systems, and now becomes the sixth Type 23 frigate to be upgraded with the Sonar 2087 system.

In November 2008 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that HMS Sutherland had left Rosyth dockland for the trials after a multi-million pound refit that included major upgrades to its sonar, Sea Wolf missile defence and gun systems.

The MoD has said the installation of Sonar 2087 will improve the frigate’s submarine-hunting ability. This type of frigate can also carry the Merlin helicopter fitted with Thales UK’s FLASH dipping sonar. The combination of 2087 and FLASH makes the Type 23 a formidable anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform.

Sonar 2087 is a towed array system that enables Type 23 frigates to hunt the latest submarines at considerable distances and locate them beyond the range at which they can launch an attack.

The system is a low-frequency active sonar, consisting of both active and passive sonar arrays. The system is manufactured at Thales sites in the UK (Cheadle Heath in Manchester and Templecombe in Somerset) and France (Brest).

Mike Waldron, Group lead for Sonar systems at the MoD’s Defence Equipment & Support facility, says: “Recent operational deployments using Sonar 2087 against actual ‘threat platforms’ has shown this to be a very capable ASW system, giving these platforms a significant capability enhancement.

“HMS Sutherland now enters the in-service reliability phase alongside the other five Sonar 2087-fitted platforms so that the MoD and Thales can fully test and assess the system performance.” (Original News)
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Russia to start construction of 4th Borey-class sub in early 2010

A Russian shipyard will start building a fourth Borey class (Project 955) strategic submarine in early 2010, the Navy's chief said on Monday.

The Borei class is a forth-generation ballistic missile submarine (

Vladimir Vysotsky said the postponement of the submarine construction from late this year to early next year was not linked to the latest unsuccessful launch of Russia's troubled Bulava intercontinental missile.

The latest launch of the missile, which Russia hopes will be a key element of its nuclear forces, from a submarine in the White Sea ended in failure on December 9.

Only five of 12 Bulava launches have been officially reported as being successful. The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).

The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear-powered submarines.

The Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, is expected to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry officials, who have suggested that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.

But the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put in service with the Navy. (Original News)
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TNI-AL "Pensiunkan" 27 Armada Perangnya

Kasal, Laksamana Madya TNI Agus Suhartono. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta - Markas Besar TNI Angkatan Laut segera "mempensiunkan" 27 armada perangnya karena sudah tidak laik untuk dioperasionalkan. Usai menghadiri rapat paripurna ke-30 TNI Manunggal Masuk Desa (TMMD), Kepala Staf Angkatan Laut (Kasal) Laksamana Madya TNI Agus Suhartono ketika dikonfirmasi ANTARA News di Jakarta, Senin, mengatakan, ke-27 armada perang yang akan segera dipensiunkan adalah enam kapal perang dan 21 unit pesawat Nomad.

Strategic nuclear force in transition

While the US continues the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty START) talks with the Russians, (The White House recently made a very quiet announcement that the talks have been extended past the former Treaty’s termination date.) there are indications that the US strategic nuclear forces are in a transition from a Triad force to a Dyad one.

During the era of the cold war and nuclear deterrence with the Soviet Union the US strategic force was based upon three components—strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)—this was the called the nuclear Triad.. Indications are that the manned bomber force is being phased out.

Pic : Global Security

The Triad was designed to insure nuclear force survivability and attack flexibility. Each leg of the Triad contributed its unique capability to the mix. The manned bomber was the first force component in the nuclear deterrent forces. It added strategic flexibility and the ability to retarget during the conduct of any phase of a nuclear war.

Defence: New submarines next?

New submarines to the cost of NOK 3-4 billion each may be the next invstment for the Norwegian Defence, after it has taken delivery of new frigates and ordered new jet fighters.

The six submarines in service today are 20 years old, and may be serviceable for another 10 years.

Meanwhile, experience shows that it often takes ten years from ordering new subs until they are received and put into service, NRK reports. The alternatives for politicians will be to either order new subs, prolong the life of those in service now, or to cancel the submarine division altogether, like Denmark has done.(Original News)
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Japanese Submarine Typ I-401 Sen Toku

Japanese submarine aircraft carriers (Japanese Submarine Typ I-401 Sen Toku)

During WW2, Japan laid down the I-400 class of Submarine, they were huge boats, 400 feet long, of 3,530 tons, on deck a large 115 foot long by 12 feet in diameter hangar, designed to carry three aircraft with folding wings and tail. An 85 foot long pneumatic catapult launched these aircraft, and a deck crane was available to retrieve them.

The huge hangar door open on the deck of an I-400 class Japanese Submarine, probably this is I-401.

I-401, has just been found off Hawaii. University of Hawaii team finds sunken wartime submarine.
On Sunday the 20th. of March 2005 details of a research team from the University of Hawaii finding the wreck of WW2 Japanese Submarine I-401 were released. On St Patrick's day, the 17th. of March, during test dives off Oahu, a wreck was found, to quote the pilot of the research vessel Terry Kirby:
" We thought it was rocks at first, it was so huge, but the sides of it went up, and up, and up, three or four stories tall. It is a levithian down there, a monster."
Kirby went on to say, the main hull is in good shape, the numbers I-401, clearly visible on the sides, and her AA guns in almost perfect condition.

Japanese float plane on her launch catapult on the deck of I-14

Military optimistic on US arms sales to Taiwan

Washington is likely to agree to the sale of submarines to Taiwan as a gesture of good faith, according to a high-ranking ROC military official Dec. 10.

Existing Taiwanese Hai-Lung submarine.
Source: R.O.C. Ministry of National Defense Website

The comment was made in response to the latest Reuters report that the Barack Obama administration is moving toward possible new arms sales to Taiwan, including Black Hawk helicopters and design work on diesel-electric submarines. Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and military equipment included in the Po Sheng command and control program are still under discussion, the report said.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cmdr of Guam Based USS Buffalo Relieved

Guam - The Commander of the Guam based USS Buffalo (SSN-715), Christopher M. Henry, has been relieved "due to loss of confidence in his ability to command."

The announcement was made by the Public Affairs Officer for Submarine Group 7, Lt. Commander Greg Kuntz.

The USS Buffalo is a nuclear powered fast attack submarine assigned to Squadron 15 based here in Guam. Squadron 15 reports to Group 7 based in Yokosuka Japan.
Lt. Cmdr. Kuntz says that Squadron 15 Commodore, Captain Douglas E. Wright relieved Commander Henry "due to loss of confidence" in Henry's "ability to command."

Shipbuilders to compete for MSDF submarine contract for first time

In this December, 2007 file photo, the MSDF submarine Soryu is seen at its launching ceremony at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe Shipyard. (Mainichi)

It is increasingly likely that in fiscal 2010, defense contractors will have to compete to build a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) submarine for the first time ever. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp. are the only two companies in Japan able to build military submarines, and a possible clash between the two companies over the fiscal 2010 submarine contract is attracting widespread industry attention. "Both companies are in a tough situation with the recession," said one source with a major shipbuilding firm. "To maintain their shipbuilding facilities, certainly both companies would want the order."

According to the Defense Ministry and other sources, under the 1976 National Defense Program Outline, the MSDF retires the oldest of its 16 submarines every year and replaces it with a new one -- with Mitsubishi and Kawasaki taking the order for the new sub in alternating years from fiscal 1977 on. In fiscal 2009, however, the Defense Ministry declared that no submarine would be retired that year and no new vessel would be needed.

Australian hospital ship Centaur wreck found off Moreton Island

A MEMORIAL service will be held early next year for the 268 Australians who lost their lives when hospital ship Centaur sunk in 1943. The wreck was found today. 

THE wreck of the hospital ship Centaur has been found off Moreton Island. 
Five high-resolution sonar shots of the area, taken overnight, confirmed to searchers the ship was resting 2059m below about 30 miles due east of Moreton Islands’ southern tip.

Premier Anna Bligh said she would work with the RSL for a memorial service for the victims early next year, while an exclusion zone will be created around the site.

"The exact location can now be marked and an exclusion zone created, on this very significant gravesite,'' she said.

"In early January, the search team will return to the site with specially designed submarines, these will be equipped with high definition cameras and the entire site will be filmed.

"Once we have been through the entire search process we will then embark on an appropriate way of preserving the marking the site.''

Ms Bligh said nothing will be brought up from the ship, which will be left intact at its resting place.

She said the Centaur was broken two-thirds of the way along the side of the ship, where it was hit by the torpedo.

"I understand from the searchers this morning that this ship was torpedoed, it was a hospital ship, clearly marked, and those who lost their lives on it were mostly civilians,'' Ms Bligh said.

Of the 332 people on board the ship when it sank, only 64 survived.

The search was jointly funded by the state and federal government, at a cost of $4 million.

Ms Gillard said the discovery would ensure all Australians knew and commemorated the 268 nurses and crew who died.(Orignal News)
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Americans support action on Iran - if needed

Iran fires a missile from a submarine during an exercise in the Persian Gulf in 2008

Just over half of Americans support a military attack on Iran by the United States and its allies if Teheran doesn't halt its nuclear program, according to a new poll by The Israel Project.

In such a scenario, 51% of Americans would support targeted military strikes and 44% would oppose them.
Fewer of those polled, however, would support Israel taking such action on its own, by a split of 42% to 49%.

However, should Israel go ahead and attack Iran anyway, and then came under retaliatory attack from Iran, a strong majority said the US should lend military defense. In that case 61% said the US should help Israel in that event (with 32% opposed). The number jumped to 68% (with 29% opposed) if Israel comes under attack from Iranian proxies Hizbullah and Hamas.

"That's a very big number at a time when America's involved in two wars that are fairly unpopular with the American people," said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, referring to American backing for entering a potential conflict with Iran on behalf of Israel.

Those surveyed were skeptical that engagement and negotiations, or even multilateral sanctions, would halt Iran's nuclear program. Only 40% said there was some or even a good chance those would work, with 59% giving them little or no chance. The skepticism increased if the US alone imposed sanctions.

Still, that path was still favored over force. Twenty-one percent said increased economic sanctions were the best approach for now, with 19% saying increased diplomatic pressure, 17% giving direct negotiations with Iran and 13% choosing US military action.

"While Americans' first choice is diplomacy and sanctions, Americans take the Iranian threat seriously and are prepared to back that with difficult choices and real action if needed," assessed Neil Newhouse, the Republican half of the bipartisan team that conducted the poll.

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, the other half of the polling team, explained, "Americans want intensified sanctions and support for Iran's domestic opponents, but Iran's response to the elections and the international community leave them very skeptical about the ability to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons."

Whichever approach is taken, those polled stated emphatically that they want their elected officials focused on the issue. Some 78% agreed with the statement that "even with all the problems that America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons."
The surveys were conducted last Monday through Wednesday of 800 registered voters and had a +/- 3.5 percent margin of error. (Original News)

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