Your Ad Here

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama Intervened Frequently in Arms Control Talks

U.S. President Barack Obama played a key role in hammering out a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, speaking with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 14 occasions since last spring to help resolve impasses that arose between negotiators meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the New York Times reported Friday.

(Mar. 29) - A U.S. Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile. U.S. President Barack Obama played a key role in resolving disagreements with Russia over a new strategic arms control treaty finalized last week (Getty Images).

When Obama and Medvedev agreed last April to negotiate the new treaty, the deal was considered a relatively limited step toward achieving more ambitious arms control goals. The agreement would include moderate arms reductions while renewing and possibly revamping systems for monitoring compliance with the replacement pact.

The leaders last week approved the final terms of the pact, which would require the United States and Russia to both lower their respective strategic arsenals to 1,550 deployed warheads. Each nation's fielded nuclear delivery vehicles -- missiles, submarines and bombers -- would be capped at 700, with another 100 allowed in reserve. The deal must be ratified by the U.S. and Russian legislatures to enter force.

Despite involvement by experienced arms control specialists from the two nations, Moscow frequently forced the U.S. president's direct involvement in addressing major disagreements in the talks, according to the Times.

“When President Obama’s domestic positions were weakened in recent months and he was completely consumed in his crusade for health care reform, making all other issues irrelevant, it is surprising how much attention he kept on START. Even being 24-hours-a-day busy on health reform, he had a 25th hour for START,” said Sergei Rogov, head of the Moscow-based Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies.

Missing U.S. WW II sub found by film crew

A Toronto television production company says it has located the wreckage of a missing U.S. submarine that was sunk in 1944 in the South China Sea.

World War II submarine USS Flier (SS 25) in port in California in 1944. It was later sunk by a mine in the South China Sea and remained missing until a Toronto film crew located it in the spring of 2009. U.S. Navy photo handout by yap films.
In a news release, yap films said the U.S. Navy had confirmed the wreck they found was the World War II submarine USS Flier (SS 25) that sank and was lost since Aug. 13, 1944.

The Flier was a 1,525-ton Gato class submarine built at Groton, Conn., and went into service in October 1943. Of the 86 men aboard when the vessel hit a mine, 14 escaped, but only eight survived the swim to Palawan in the Philippines.

Modernizing spy-sub “Sarov”

Less than two years after it entered service in the Fleet, the top-secret spy-sub B-90 “Sarov” is at the White Sea Navy Base in Severodvinsk for modernization, Russian media reports.According to newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a representative of the Zvezdochka yard in Severodvinsk confirms that the vessel is in the area for upcoming upgrades.

The B-90 "Sarov" (photo: Sevmash)

The upgrades are made less than two years after the vessel entered service in the Northern Fleet, the newspaper informs. As BarentsObserver has reported, one of the unique features of the spy-sub is its ultra-small nuclear reactor aimed to charge the subs batteries, so it can stay much longer underwater, totally silent, than normal diesel-electric submarines. This is most important for a submarine aimed for spy-voyages not to be detected by foreign vessels, submarines, or detection systems on the seabed.

As also reported by BarentsObserver, it is expected that the “Sarov” is operating in northern waters from bases in the Kola Peninsula.

According to, the vessel has since it was included in the fleet on 7 August 2008 conducted a number of specialized operations. After each operation, the vessel has undergone technical improvements. None of the newspaper’s sources want to reveal the essence of the latest upgrades. They could however be connected with sub’s new type of reactor, the newspaper writes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Navy commissions submarine New Mexico

Just before noon Saturday, Cindy Giambastiani took the podium on Pier 14 and issued the order: "Officers and crew of the USS New Mexico, man our ship and bring her to life!"

Giambastiani, sponsor of the $2.25 billion Newport News-built submarine, set in motion more than 100 submariners, who broke formation and rushed single file onto the topside hull of the Navy's newest warship, creating a blur of navy-and-white that cut through the center of a sea of onlookers.

Battling cool weather and a stiff easterly breeze, the Navy on Saturday morning commissioned the USS New Mexico, the sixth submarine of the Virginia class and the third delivered by Northrop Grumman Corp.

The setting for Saturday's ceremony invoked the lasting legacy of the company's Newport News shipyard, the nation's sole builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of two to build fast-attack submarines.

Providing a frame behind the stage was the hulking Newport News-built George H.W. Bush carrier, the Navy's newest flattop that was tied to a pier a few hundred yards in the distance. Visible across Hampton Roads harbor was the yard's 23-story robin's egg-blue crane, standing over the sight where the next Navy carrier will rise.

The yard built its first submersible more than 100 years ago.

But it was 50 years ago that Newport News began its long partnership with the Navy in the submarine-building business when it launched the Robert E. Lee, the first of 14 Polaris-class subs.

Babcock deal guarantees submarine work for 15 years

The owner of Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth has been guaranteed 15 years of work as a preferred engineering supplier for warships and submarines.

Some of Babcock's work will be carried out at Devonport Dockyard

Babcock International confirmed that it would be guaranteed the work between 2010 and 2025 after signing a terms of business agreement with the MoD.

The deal, worth about £1.2bn, is for the provision of submarine support, maintenance and decommissioning.

The work will be carried out at Devonport and on Clydeside, Scotland.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said the company would be Britain's lead partner for submarine work and the agreement would deliver savings and benefits to the MoD.