Russians drop Satellite over Colorado Springs

A test?  EMP Test?  Folks… this is VERY SERIOUS in case you’re not quite grasping this situation.

Colorado Springs is the home for the Missile Defense Agency, NORAD, Ft. Carson, Peterson AFB, the Air Force Academy and Schriever AFB.

We have 10s of thousands of retired military personnel there.  There are thousands of active duty Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.  There are thousands more civilians working as DOD civilians and contractors in support of those bases and the various agencies defending this country.  Colorado Springs is the eyes and ears of Space.

An EMP attack over that city…. well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, ok?

Several full articles follow.  To hell with Copyright.  The word needs to get out!
Moscow Denies Reports of Russian Satellite ‘Explosion’ Over U.S.

September 9, 2014

Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied media reports of a Russian military satellite allegedly having exploded above the United States.

On September 9, some media outlets in U.S. and Russia cited the American Meteor Society as reporting that eyewitnesses observed a blast of possibly Russia’s Kosmos-2495 imaging reconnaissance satellite in the sky over the states of Colorado and Wyoming, on September 2.

Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on September 9 that “the Russian satellite group functions normally and is being constantly monitored by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.”

Konashenkov added that “most likely, the true motive” behind the reports is an attempt by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot the location of the Russian satellite again after they lost track of it.

 

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Russia Denies Burn-Up of Military Spy Satellite Over U.S.

September 9, 2014


The satellite, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome near Arkhangelsk on May 6, was designed to drop its film in special canisters from space onto Russian territory.

The Defense Ministry has challenged reports that a Kobalt-M spy satellite reentered the Earth’s atmosphere and burnt up over the U.S., potentially leaving Russian military intelligence photos lying in Colorado or Wyoming.

On Sept. 3, the American Meteor Society recorded more than 30 eyewitness reports of a slow-moving fireball crossing Colorado and into southern Wyoming. Local media reported the event as a meteor entering the atmosphere, but amateur space flight observers on the spaceflight101 blog said on Tuesday it must have been a Russian Kobalt-M spy satellite, after comparing the path of the fireball to the orbits of known satellites.

Defense Ministry spokesperson Major-General Igor Konashenkov denied this on Tuesday, however, claiming that Russia keeps close tabs on its satellite fleet and that nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

“We can only guess what condition the representatives of the so-called American Meteor Society must be in to have identified a [fireball] at that altitude as a Russian military satellite,” Konashenkov quipped in a comment carried by RIA Novosti.

However, the amateur claims are backed up by the U.S. Space Tracking Network, which publicly tracks the orbits of spacecraft and issues warnings when it detects a satellite that is in danger of falling from space.

On Sept. 2 it issued such a warning for Kosmos-2495 — the international catalogue designation for the Kobalt-M satellite.

The satellite, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome near Arkhangelsk on May 6, was not equipped to digitally transmit its photographs back to its handlers at Russia’s military intelligence unit, the GRU. Instead, it was designed to drop its film in special canisters from space onto Russian territory.

Interfax reported Tuesday that the satellite may have been attempting to position itself to drop a canister back to Earth, when it moved into too low of an orbit — thereby falling back to earth over the U.S.
It is possible that much of the satellite and its photos survived, and are now sitting somewhere in the U.S. midwest.

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Kosmos 2495 Re-Entry

September 9, 2014

A Russian film-return reconnaissance satellite or a component thereof may have re-entered the atmosphere over the United States last week, witness reports and orbital data suggests. Contrary to reports from U.S. observers, the Russian Ministry of Defence claims that none of their satellites re-entered over the United States, supported by video that shows the satellite in question re-entering the atmosphere over Kazakhstan (videos at the bottom of this page).

The puzzling incident took place last Tuesday, September 2 in the skies over Colorado and Wyoming. Around 10:30 p.m. local time (4:30 UTC on the 3rd), a bright fireball was observed from central Colorado into southern Wyoming, perhaps visible from as far as New Mexico, South Dakota and southern Montana. Over 30 witness reports of the event were published by the American Meteor Society. The fireball made local news last week, however, no photos or video of the event were published.

A number of witnesses, including experienced sky-watchers reported that the object was moving much slower than a usual fireball, some immediately conclude that what they were observing was the re-entry of a piece of space debris.

Object over New Mexico during the early Stages of Re-Entry (Credit: Thomas Ashcraft)

Most likely already immersed in plasma, the tumbling object experienced the first stages of re-entry over New Mexico.

Reports submitted to AMS are in good agreement on the time of the event and most observers were able to track the object for a considerable period of time which supports the theory of a decaying satellite.

Confirmed Observations


Reported observations of the Fireball from New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana (Final viewing directions in red)

Some witnesses were able to see the re-entering object for thirty seconds or longer, reporting that the object was moving slowly. Fragmentation and an increasingly longer trail were reported by the majority of witnesses, describing that the object first split in two fragments, one smaller and one bigger before a complete break-up of the objects followed by a slow fade-out of the glowing fragments.

The longevity of the event and the low velocity of the object suggests that it was indeed a re-entering spacecraft – most likely a satellite flying in a highly inclined orbit, based on the observed track from south to north.

Dan B. observed comet Jacques from Alamogordo, New Mexico using image stabilized binoculars when noticing a bright object entering the field of view. In his report, he described the object to be orange in color, tumbling at a rate of one revolution per second with a vivid smoke trail.

Notably, he also states that the object was much slower than a meteorite. Very little fragmentation was seen from his perspective as the object flew from zenith to the horizon.


Dan B.(New Mexico) viewing direction & Kosmos 2495 Ground Track

Looking at the map of witness reports, this observation lines up perfectly with observations made from Colorado who picked up the object after passing over Dan B.’s location – this confirms that he observed the extremely rare sight of a satellite in the early stages of re-entry – showing a trail of smoke without experiencing break-up yet.

The report of discernible tumbling ahead of re-entry, the duration of the visible entry process and length of the ground track with confirmed observations indicates that the object was of considerable size.

Re-Entry seen from Cloudbait Observatory (Credit: Cloudbait.com)


Animation of frames acquired at Cloudbait Observatory from 4:34:04 to 4:34:26 UTC clearly showing the south-north motion of the object

Looking for candidates that match the observation, one can turn to re-entry data provided by U.S. Space Surveillance. For September 2 and 3, there are only four decay messages: a small piece of satellite debris, the 1U INVADER CubeSatellite, the two-metric-ton Yaogan 5 satellite from China and the Russian Kosmos 2495 satellite launched earlier this year. Considering the size of the fireball, the debris and CubeSat can be ruled out immediately, leaving only Yaogan-5 and Kosmos 2495. The re-entry of Yaogan 5 was observed by U.S. assets and can be pin-pointed with a certainty of one minute showing a decay time of 20:30 UTC on September 2 while passing over the southern Indian Ocean.


Yantar Photoreconnaissance Satellite

This only leaves Kosmos 2495 – a Russian film-return satellite delivered to orbit on May 6, 2014 atop a Soyuz rocket launching from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

A relic of the soviet era, the Kobalt-M satellites originate in the Yantar photoreconnaissance project that dates back to 1964. Kosmos 2495 was likely the second to last of its kind to fly into space since Russia has started the operation of electro-optical satellites that downlink acquired imagery to the ground instead of returning physical film to Earth. Operating from a very low orbit of around 200 Kilometers, the satellite can obtain high-resolution imagery of ground targets.

Kobalt-M satellites measure 6.3 meters in length and 2.7m in diameter with a launch mass of 6,600 Kilograms, including a 900kg fuel load that is expended during the mission to maintain the satellite’s extremely low operating orbit. To return film to the ground, the satellite uses two small return capsules that are separated from the satellite and land in Russia. A third capsule is part of the main satellite body to return at the end of the mission when the spacecraft performs a targeted re-entry to land in a pre-determined location within Russian territory.


Kosmos 2495 Ground Track

Looking at the last known orbital parameters from September 2 at 17:11:55 UTC, Kosmos 2495 was in an orbit of 201 by 246 Kilometers inclined 81.4 degrees. This data confirms two items of interest – the satellite was still in orbit on September 2nd but re-entered before September 3rd 7:48 UTC which is the time stamp of the Kosmos 2495 decay message.

Second and most importantly, the satellite was in an orbit that was not close to a natural, untargeted decay. (For reference, the propagation software SatEvo shows that the orbit had an approximate lifetime on the order of two weeks.) This indicates that the satellite’s re-entry was the result of a propulsive event – either a retrofire or a propellant/pressurant leak supplying negative delta-v.

Plotting the satellite’s ground track for the night of September 2nd shows that the Kosmos 2495 satellite made a pass over New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming at the reported time of the fireball.

Both the ground track and the timing of the event are in good agreement with the last orbital data of Kosmos 2495 that would have passed over the border between New Mexico & Colorado at 4:36:25 UTC if it had still been in the orbit it was observed in at the 17:11 Epoch. An early arrival of approximately three to five minutes is plausible as the result of the reduction in period from a propulsive event. [This section was corrected on September 9, 15 UTC to correct for a date error.]

Nevertheless, the possibility of Kosmos 2495 landing nominally and the Colorado event being an unrelated re-entry of a slow meteor lining up in location and time with the predicted ground path of the satellite still exists and can only be ruled out with conclusive evidence.

Observations & Kosmos 2495 Ground Track


Observer locations & last seen viewing directions (red) & Kosmos 2495 Ground Track (yellow)

With a Russian satellite weighing 6.6 metric tons, it is safe to assume that a number of components survived re-entry and reached the ground. As a relic from the older days of satellite development, the Yantar bus employs a more robust construction with heavier structural elements which has some implications on the re-entry process as dense components are known to survive longer in the high-temperature entry environment than the conventional light-weight structures used in modern spacecraft. Additionally, the film capsule of the spacecraft was specifically built to survive re-entry and protect the images it carried.

According to a post on the SeeSat-L message board, the re-entering spacecraft created a debris cloud that was seen drifting for over thirty minutes on Doppler radar images from Denver and Cheyenne.

Doppler Image showing the Debris Cloud (Source: SeeSat-L)


Doppler image of the debris cloud well after the event, located east of the satellite ground track. (Cross-track difference between the orbital track and the debris cloud may be a sign of a plane change performed by the satellite as part of a propulsive event pre-entry. Winds from the west may have contributed as well.)

Usually, dense components of re-entering satellites can travel 800 to 1,300 Kilometers downrange from the orbital decay point. Their journey back to Earth is influenced by atmospheric properties such as crosswinds. Assuming that orbital decay occurred on the border of Colorado and New Mexico, components of the satellite potentially flew as far as the Canadian border.

All this leaves the question why the Kobalt-M satellite would make an apparent crash landing in North America instead of performing a targeted deorbit burn to return the film to Russia. A targeted September 2 landing in the Orenburg region, Russia would have had to occur around 18:25 UTC based on the latest orbital data available for Kosmos 2495.

It is nearly impossible that Russia would intentionally crash its satellite on American territory, especially in times when tensions between Russia and the west are mounting due to the ongoing unrest in the Ukraine. No comments on the incident were made from either side. Using space and ground-based assets, USSTRATCOM has most likely tracked the re-entry in real time – identifying the spacecraft and monitoring the trajectory of debris.


NASA study on surviving components of re-entering UARS Satellite & potential downrange distance from 80-Kilometer decay altitude

The most probable explanation for the unexpected re-entry of Kosmos 2495 would be a malfunction of the satellite that led to an incorrect timing of its deorbit – possibly a software error or a partial retrofire performed earlier in its last orbit leaving the satellite in a very short-lived orbit resulting in an untargeted decay.

Looking at the data, it appears very likely that the re-entry was the result of a sudden change in velocity – such as a retrograde burn. Had the satellite lowered its orbit earlier, perhaps several hours before the event, it would have been orbiting well ahead of its prediction based on the latest Elset which was not the case.

Well-respected satellite tracker Marco Langbroek brings up an interesting theory: “This reentry happened some 5 minutes after the satellite passed its [ascending] node at 4:27 UT. So I wonder whether for example an intended orbital plane change (which you normally do by firing a booster in one of the nodes) went wrong and it was sent plummeting down instead.”

Satellite Tracker Ted Molczan posts his initial analysis here, detailing the possible scenarios of what was seen in the Kazakh & American skies last week.

Igor Lissov dug up a number of videos uploaded to the Internet showing a re-entry event taking place over the Atyrau region, Kazakhstan. These videos were all uploaded on September 2nd or 3rd. Observations reported from Kazakhstan around 18:15 UTC on September 2nd are a very close match with the calculated time and ground track of a controlled re-entry of Kosmos 2495 for a landing of the film capsule in the Orenburg region, Russia.

The videos show a bright object flying in front of a larger disintegrating object – indicative of the film capsule on a ballistic entry path pulling out in front of the Service Module of the satellite that broke up in the upper atmosphere. This supports the claims of the Russian Ministry of Defence, denying that Kosmos 2495 burned up over the United States.


Re-Entering object over Kazakhstan, possibly the film capsule flying in front of the disintegrating Service Module

The apparently successful return of Kosmos 2495 obviously raises the question what type of object re-entered over the United States in the night of September 2nd, closely matching the path of the Kosmos satellite in position and timing? Which sizable object was seen tumbling in a cloud of ionized plasma from witnesses in New Mexico before being observed across Colorado, visible for thirty seconds or longer? A slow meteor or another spacecraft re-entering as a huge (but possible) coincidence, or perhaps a component that separated from Kosmos 2495?

One possible theory is that the Kosmos satellite released the re-entry vehicle in its last known orbit (Epoch 17:11) from where the cone-shaped entry vehicle independently conducted a targeted deorbit burn for a landing in Russia while the Service Module remained in orbit to be disposed via re-entry over the Pacific Ocean at the first suitable opportunity. An error in that last burn of the Service Module could have caused a later re-entry and also explain the observed timing difference of just a few minutes to predicted passes over the U.S. – But this raises the question why the lone Service Module was not tracked in orbit during more than ten hours of free flight.



Russia Building Military Town in Arctic

Two words…Forward Positioning

One wonders if there is anyone left in Military Intelligence paying any attention to this stuff.

Russia Building Military Town in Arctic


Modular blocks used for the construction of Russia’s military base in the Arctic have been delivered to Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt.



MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – Modular blocks used for the construction of Russia’s military base in the Arctic have been delivered to Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt, Colonel Alexander Gordeyev, head of the Eastern Military District’s press service, said Monday.

“The modular blocks for the construction of military stations have been delivered to Wrangel Island and to Cape Schmidt. The complex will be assembled in the form of a star that allows the personnel to move freely inside the construction, limiting exposure to cold temperatures as much as possible,” Gordeyev told journalists.

Two 34-modular administrative-residential complexes will be assembled within a month to support the activities of the Eastern Military District’s Arctic group.

The complex consists of residential, utility and administrative units. It has a gym, a sauna and a psychological relaxation room.

Russia intends to strengthen its position in the Arctic on all fronts: military, political, financial and economic. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the creation of a new public authority to implement Russian Federation policy in the Arctic.

By the end of 2014, Russia plans to expand its military deployments in the Arctic and by October, 2015 the air defense reconstruction in the Arctic islands should be completed.

Russian Bombers Ready To Strike US At Moment’s Notice

Shocking: Russian Bombers Are Circling The Skies Above U.S., Ready To Strike At Moment’s Notice

Major Beth Smith, spokeswoman for NORAD, commented about the…


Photo credit: World Economic Forum (Flickr)

Russian strategic bombers penetrated US airspace 16 times in the last 10 days, according to US defense officials. The bombers penetrated 16 times into northwestern US air defense identification zones. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned about the heightened possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

US jets scrambled in response to the Russian bombers several times.

Major Beth Smith, spokeswoman for NORAD, commented about the incursions, saying, ” Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones.”

Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon, who broke the story, wrote that the bomber flights are the “latest case of nuclear saber rattling by the Russians.”

Russia also violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 signed by Reagan and Gorbachev by testing a nuclear cruise missile.

President Barack Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney for saying that Russia was America’s biggest strategic threat in the 2012 election:

A few months ago, when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. Not al Qaeda; you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.

Admiral Cecil Haney, head of US Strategic Command, has spoken about the Russian nuclear threat, saying that Russia conducted several large nuclear war games in May.

He said this recently at a defense industry breakfast:

Additionally, we have seen significant Russian strategic aircraft deployments in the vicinity of places like Japan, Korea, and even our West Coast.

He went on to say:

Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine], testing of its newest air-launched cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area.

How concerned should the world be about Russia? Is Russia now a significant threat to American interests? Or was Hillary Clinton’s Russian “reset” successful?

Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/nuclear-alert-russian-bombers-penetrate-us-airspace-16-times-last-10-days/#UfvzJuJIe6o0eavE.99

Russia is hacking American Energy Companies!

Energy Companies Hit By Cyber Attack From Russia-Linked Group

June 30, 2014

The industrial control systems of hundreds of European and US energy companies have been infected by a sophisticated cyber weapon operated by a state-backed group with apparent ties to Russia, according to a leading US online security group.

The powerful piece of malware known as “Energetic Bear” allows its operators to monitor energy consumption in real time, or to cripple physical systems such as wind turbines, gas pipelines and power plants at will.

The well-resourced organisation behind the cyber attack is believed to have compromised the computer systems of more than 1,000 organisations in 84 countries in a campaign spanning 18 months. The malware is similar to the Stuxnet computer programme created by the US and Israel that succeeded in infecting and sabotaging Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities two years ago.

The latest attacks are a new deployment of malware that was first monitored by IT security companies at the beginning of the year.

Early infections by Energetic Bear appeared to be based solely around espionage.

Symantec, a US cyber security company, said on Monday, however, that it had identified a virulent new “attack vector” designed to give the malware control over physical systems themselves.

Symantec said the group behind Energetic Bear, who they have dubbed Dragonfly, succeeded last year in infecting three leading specialist manufacturers of industrial control systems. Dragonfly then inserted the malware covertly into the legitimate software updates those companies sent to clients.

As clients downloaded the updates, their industrial control systems become infected. Contaminated software from one of the companies was downloaded to more than 250 industrial systems.

The malware is said to have indiscriminately infected hundreds of organisations, but by filtering infections to see where it is in regular contact with its command and control servers, Symantec said it had a clear picture of where Dragonfly’s interests lie.

According to Symantec, which produces the Norton range of antivirus software, Energetic Bear is most actively in use in Spain and the US, followed by France, Italy and Germany.

(All NATO countries!)

Symantec said it believed that Dragonfly was “based in eastern Europe and has all the markings of being state-sponsored”.

Stuart Poole-Robb, a former MI6 and military intelligence officer and founder of KCS Group, a security consultancy, said: “To target a whole sector like this at the level they are doing just for strategic data and control speaks of some form of government sanction.

“These are people working with Fapsi [Russia’s electronic spying agency]; working to support mother Russia.”

Timestamps and Cyrillic text and names within the code for Energetic Bear indicate the malware’s origins are in Russia, although attributing cyber attacks is far from an exact science.

For example, Chinese hackers, who have also been involved in energy-related espionage in the past, have been known to route their attacks through Russia to provide cover for their activities.

Russia thinks the US Shot down their Rocket and Satellite…. RIGHT!

*Breaking* Proton-M rocket carrying Russia’s most advanced satellite crashes

Published on May 15, 2014

Check out the magnified image at the end of the video @5:59. I have slowed the speed 3x. An unidentified object approaches the right side of the rocket and appears to fly into it.

US and Europe Strike Russian Military Satellite. Star Wars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO5Od…

Proton-M rocket carrying Russia’s most advanced satellite crashes

A Russian Proton-M rocket with an advanced satellite on board crashed outside of Kazakhstan’s territory on Friday, about nine minutes after lift-off. The Express-AM4R would have been Russia’s most advanced and powerful satellite.

There are so far no reports of damage or casualties resulting from the Proton-M’s failure to deliver the satellite into orbit.

The rocket could have crashed over the Altai Mountains or the Pacific Ocean, a source told RIA Novosti.

All other launches of Proton-type rockets will be halted at Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan until the reason for the crash is determined, a source told RIA Novosti.
There was an emergency engines shutdown on the 540th second following the launch, the Russian Federal Space Agency said, as quoted by Itar-Tass.
The third stage had another 40 seconds to go before the planned separation from the satellite when the engines failed, RIA Novosti quoted a source as saying.

All of the fuel left over from the launch was likely burnt up in the atmosphere, including the toxic heptyl components used to power the Proton rocket, Interfax reported, citing a source.

Both the rocket and the satellite on board also burnt up in thick layers of the atmosphere during the fall, but debris from the objects could have fallen on the ground, Itar-Tass reported, citing Roscosmos.”Individual small fragments of the rocket could have fallen…the impacted area is being specified,” a source from Roscosmos said.

A special commission from the Russian Federal Space Agency will be in charge of investigating the reasons behind the crash.

Space expert Stephen Clark told RT that it is extremely unlikely that there are casualties.

“None have been reported up until this point. It is a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean or the Russian Far East where this debris has likely fallen. And that area is very sparsely populated, so it is highly unlikely that someone was hurt or killed by this,” he said.

The Proton-M rocket, carrying an advanced Express-AM4R satellite, was launched on schedule from Baikonur on Friday. The Express-AM4R would have been Russia’s most advanced and powerful satellite.

The spacecraft weighed 5.8 metric tons and had 63 transponders providing X-band, C-band, S-band, L-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band capacity along with 10 antennas installed.

The satellite was to provide internet access in Russia’s remote regions at affordable prices. This was Russia’s third launch of Express series satellites this year. In March, Express-AT1 and Express-AT satellites were put into orbit.

In 2013, Russia carried out 32 of the 82 space launches completed worldwide, only one of which failed, Interfax reported.

U.S. Space Restrictions on Russia May Strike Back
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/ar…

 

 

US and Europe Strike Russian Military Satellite. Star Wars

Published on May 15, 2014

ON THE VERGE OF WW3. Russia to ban US from using Space Station over Ukraine sanctions.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world…

Russia is to deny the US future use of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and will also bar its rocket engines from launching US military satellites as it hits back at American sanctions imposed over Ukraine crisis.

Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a series of punitive measures on Tuesday against the US in response to sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea.

The two countries have long cooperated closely on space exploration despite their clashes in foreign policy.

The Space Station is manned by both American and Russian crew, but the only way to reach it is by using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.

The US is keen to keep the $100 billion (£600) ISS flying until at least 2024, four years beyond its original target.
What other World Powers Could or have the Technology to do this?

Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

Get lost, Russian deputy tells GPS

Russia is about to shut down American GPS stations on Russian soil – not as a reaction to the Crimean crisis, but instead in response to Washington’s failure to agree to host ground stations for the Russian GLONASS system.

Russian deputy foreign minister Dmitry Rogozin said the suspension would take place beginning June 1, and will involve the stations of the American GPS satellite navigation system on the territory of Russia.

Rogozin took to twitter to assure Russians that this action will not affect the quality of the received signal by Russian users of the navigation system. “We hope that these negotiations will find solutions that will restore proportional cooperation; if not, from September 1, the operation of these stations will be stopped completely,” he explained.

The Russian Federal Space Agency – aka Roscosmos – appealed to the US authorities for permission to build several measuring stations for the GLONASS system in May 2012, but the parties have failed to reach an agreement.

The New York Times blames the CIA and Pentagon for not allowing GLONASS stations in America, saying that they fear the installations could be used to spy on American interests. There may also be commercial reasons for the US to promote its domestic system over the Russian one.

The American Global Positioning System – more simply known as GPS – initially had military and civilian modes that reduced the accuracy for non-authorized users. However, during 1991’s Operation Desert Storm, when some military equipment only had civil GPS systems, the higher level of accuracy was opened up for everyone and this has remained the case.

According to Rogozin, Russia and the US agreed to build the 11 GPS stations in Russia, with agreements signed in 1992 and 2011. In 2013, GLONASS monitoring stations opened in Brazil, and there are plans to extend the infrastructure to Indonesia, Australia, and Spain.

 

U.S. to Conduct Strategic Bomber Exercise

Nuclear drills follow ‘massive’ Russian war games last week

B-52 bomber (AP)

BY:
May 11, 2014 7:30 pm

The U.S. Strategic Command, which is in charge of waging nuclear war, will hold large-scale bomber exercises this week—days after Russia held what Moscow called “massive” war games simulating a U.S. and NATO nuclear attack.

Ten U.S. B-52 bombers and up to six B-2 strategic bombers will take part in the war games called “Global Lightning 14” from Monday through May 16, the command said in a statement late Sunday.

The purpose is to “demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness in training scenarios throughout the continental U.S.,” the command said in a statement from its Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska headquarters.

“This exercise provides unique training opportunities to incorporate the most current technology and techniques in support of our mission,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, Strategic Command commander. “Continued focus and investment in our strategic capabilities allow US Stratcom to deter, dissuade, and defeat current and future threats to the U.S. and our allies.”

Global Lightning, planned for more than a year,  will began days after Russian President Vladimir Putin last week oversaw what Russian defense officials called a “massive” nuclear war drill that simulated U.S. and NATO nuclear attacks.

Stratcom said in its statement, in an apparent reference to the Russian war games, that “the timing of the exercise is unrelated to real-world events.”

Tensions remain high between the United States and Russia over Moscow’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and ongoing pro-Russian unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday declined to categorize Russia as an enemy, despite its aggression in Ukraine.

“We’re not at war with Russia, so do define an enemy as being at war or not at war?” Hagel said on ABC’s This Week.

Russia is “an adversary in Ukraine, sure,” he said.

“But I think that’s a little simplistic to get into either enemy, friend, partner, so on,” Hagel said. “Russia continues to isolate itself for a short-term gain. The Russians may feel that somehow they’re winning, but the war was not about just short term.”

U.S. officials have said some 40,000 to 80,000 Russian troops are deployed within a short distance of Ukraine’s eastern border.

Russia is seeking to create a federated state in Ukraine as part of Putin’s announced plan to restore elements of the Soviet Union. The Russian leader regards many of the former Soviet republics surrounding Russia, including Ukraine, as the “near abroad” that Moscow wants to control.

The Russian war games included the test launch of a SS-25 Topol intercontinental missile and two SS-N-23 submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Additional missile firings included six Russian air-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

It could not be learned if Global Lightning will include U.S. missile launches.

A Stratcom spokeswoman declined to provide further details of the exercise.

“Global Lightning 14 is designed to provide training opportunities and to test and validate command and control procedures for U.S. Strategic Command and its subordinate units,” said Army Lt. Col. Stephanie Bounds, the spokeswoman.

“Just as technology changes, so do the threats. This exercise provides the opportunity to incorporate the most current technology and techniques in support of our mission.”

The command “is constantly honing its capabilities to deter, dissuade, and defeat current and future threats to the U.S. and our allies,” she said.

Bounds declined to provide details of the exercise but said: “All activities are designed to test and validate command and control procedures for U.S. Strategic Command and its subordinate units.”

A U.S. official said the U.S. Cyber Command, part of Strategic Command, will take part in the exercises that are said to include simulated cyber attacks against Strategic Command communications and command systems.

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear strategy official, said the Russian exercises appeared intended as a political message to the West.

Schneider said Russia usually holds its nuclear drills in the fall and the timing of last week’s war games “suggests to me that the intent was nuclear intimidation against NATO over the Ukraine.”

Moscow on April 14 also conducted a test launch of a new ICBM called the SS-27 by NATO that carried multiple simulated warheads that analysts say potentially violated the 2010 New START arms treaty.

Moscow and Washington also have been battling over Russia’s plan to upgrade aircraft used in conducting permitted spy flights over the United States that intelligence officials say could undermine U.S. security. The flights are carried out under the Open Skies Treaty.

Russia temporarily blocked a U.S. overflight of Russia and a spokesman mentioned the dispute over the new Russian aircraft in criticizing U.S. officials.

The Obama administration also recently turned down a proposal from Russia aimed at resolving differences over U.S. and NATO missile defenses in Europe. Moscow is opposing the deployment of interceptors and radar in the region and has charged the United States with seeking to counter Russian strategic offensive missiles.

The administration insists the missile defenses are aimed at countering Iranian long-range missile threats.

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