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UK considers US-style FMS regime

It was the possibility of a UK FMS like regime, however, that gained particular traction in some quarters of industry. Other European countries are reported

• The introduction of a US-style Foreign Military Sales system has been discussed in UK government and industry

• The idea is not being “actively progressed” though, with costs likely to be a barrier to have looked at similar options.

While UK industry sources have expressed enthusiasm for such a regime, rhe potential initial costs to government at a time of austerity suggest that the scheme will remain on hold for some time.

Sources close

Continue reading UK considers US-style FMS regime

The Economist August 3rd 2013

The world this week

Politics

A military judge found Bra­dley Manning, an American soldier, guilty of violating the Espionage Act for releasing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wild-Leaks in 2010, though not of «aiding the enemy». Mr Man­ning could be sentenced to 136 years behind bars for his role in the largest leak in American military history.

The Obama administration declassified a number of docu­ments connected with its electronic-surveillance programmes, in the «interest of increased transparency». The move was eclipsed by the Guardian, a British newspaper, which published secret docu­ments providing more detail about xKeyscore, a system which

Continue reading The Economist August 3rd 2013

Raptor under threat.

In what could become one of the most infamous decisions concerning a major procurement programme in recent years, the House Appropriations Committee’s defence panel subcommittee has endorsed a proposal to remove the six F-22A Raptor next-generation fighters from the FY2000 Defense Budget. This would save $1.8 billion which it feels would be better spent on pilot retention, readiness shortfalls and ordering additional fighters of existing types — however, $1.2 billion would be included for F-22 research and development (R&D).

The committee also approved an overall defence spending bill of $266.1 billion, this is $15.5 billion more than in FY99 and

Continue reading Raptor under threat.

NML Cygni

BIGGEST STAR

We’re moving into the realms of the true giants when we start to look at the biggest stars in the universe. Unlike planets, asteroids and other celestial objects that are too dark and too small to give away obvious clues to their presence from afar, these colossal balls of fusing hydrogen can bloom up to spheres so big that they’re difficult to comprehend, blazing multi-spectra radiation across interstellar space and making their exact location known by the massive gravitational influence they have over their local environment.

There are an estimated 100 to 400 billion stars in the Milky

Continue reading NML Cygni

NGC 1277

BIGGEST BLACK HOLE

The biggest black hole whose mass has so far been properly measured lies at the heart of a galaxy called NGC 1277, 250 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Perseus – and it’s a real whopper. While our own galaxy’s central black hole has an estimated mass of 4.1 million Suns, the black hole in NGC 1277 is around 17 billion solar masses.

Astronomers discover and assess black holes in distant galaxies by measuring the orbits of the stars that surround them. Many have now been found, with masses equivalent to millions or even

Continue reading NGC 1277

Netherlands Concerned Over Spiralling JSF Costs

ALTHOUGH THE Netherlands plans to be involved in the next phase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) development programme (see News Briefs, November, p12), the Dutch Court of Audit is expressing concern at the cost of the project. In its latest report to the Dutch House of Representatives, released on October 11, the Court says the cost per aircraft still cannot be calculated and there is no insight into development costs because 65% of the test phase still has to be completed.

If JSF is acquired for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), the current

Continue reading Netherlands Concerned Over Spiralling JSF Costs

Huge LQG

BIGGEST SUPER STRUCTURE

Our giant is one of many super-structures that make up the known, observable universe. These galactic superclusters are made up of smaller clusters and groups relatively near to each other that, gravitationally, move in harmony.

A single supercluster typically contains thousands of individual galaxies: our own Milky Way galaxy, for example, is part of the Local Group of over 50 galaxies that is part of the much larger Virgo Supercluster. This contains more than 100 galaxy groups and clusters for a total number of galaxies that number in the tens of thousands. The Virgo Supercluster spans a

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SPACE NEWS

Space Archaeopteryx

The telescope «Herschel» discovered in the constellation Cetus, at a distance of 11 billion light-years away, a giant galaxy. It was formed as a result of the collision of two large galaxies more (X01N and X01S), consisting of about 400 billion stars each. The galaxy, which was named NHMM01, new stars began to appear — to 2000 units per year! For comparison, in our own galaxy — the Milky Way — are born every year is only two or three stars. Collision of galaxies in the cosmos is not uncommon. The singularity of the findings in that.

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Denmark to boost transport, helicopter force

APPROVAL of Denmark’s 2005-2009 defence agreement was granted by the Danish parliament on June 10 with a clear majority vote. The decision clears the way for acquisition of an additional lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules transport and four more EH101 helicopters.

Although the annual budget of DKrl9 billion ($3 billion) for the period is about the same as during the present period, it changes direction significantly in order to fund the transition away from the previous Cold War focus on defence to concentrate more on force-projection for continually increasing international operations. As part of what has been described as the most

Continue reading Denmark to boost transport, helicopter force

5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT The Apollo spacecraft

The Apollo programme cost $200 billion

The initial estimated cost of the Apollo programme was around $7 billion (£4.6 billion), before it was revised to $20 billion (£13.2 billion) by the first NASA administrator, James Webb. By the end of the programme, the 17 missions had cost the US government $23.9 billion (£15.8 billion), around $200 billion (£132 billion) in today’s money.

Apollo 1 met a tragic end

The first manned Apollo mission was scheduled to launch on 21 February 1967 but never made it. During a launch pad test on 27 January, a cabin fire broke out destroying the

Continue reading 5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT The Apollo spacecraft

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