Canada is poised to buy 65 F-35 fighter jets built byLockheed Martin Corp, sources familiar with the process told Reuters, which would make it the 11th country to join the program. [ID:nL1N0OM2PI]The United States and its allies plan to buy more than 3,100 F-35s in coming years to replace aging F-16s, F/A-18s and other warplanes.Following is a list of the expected purchases, according to data provided by Lockheed, the prime contractor for the $398.6 billion weapons program, and defense officials in the United States and other purchasing countries.Lockheed is developing three models of the plane for the U.S. military and eight partner countries that helped fund the plane’s development – Britain, Australia, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Canada.South Korea, Japan and Israel have also placed orders for the jet.
Three B-52 Stratofortress bombers have landed at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, for a two-week deployment to “become familiar with airbases and operations in the region.” One of the planes is set to take part in D-Day celebrations in Normandy.Obama pledges $1bn for more troops, military drills in E. EuropeThe bombers that have crossed Atlantic have come from two locations: two from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and one from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. All aircraft have arrived in the UK unarmed.The B-52s will participate in various training exercises in the US European Command area of operations “providing opportunities for aircrews to sharpen skills in several key operational sets and become familiar with airbases and operations in the region.”Though the ultimate destination of the B-52s has not been mentioned, it is most likely they will take part in the Baltops maritime exercise of 13 Baltic Sea region nations (beginning on June 6) and Saber Strike 2014, a US-Europe security cooperation exercise also conducted on the territory of three Baltic states (already underway, June 3-14).
Kiev has admitted showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired more than 150 missiles” in Monday’s military action.DEATH TOLL: 181 people killed, 293 injured in Kiev military opThe Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also confirmed on Tuesday that the deadly explosion at the city’s administrative building was indeed an airstrike. Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.The OSCE Ukrainian mission’s daily report stated that “on 2 June, shortly after 15:00 hrs, rockets hit the occupied regional administration building. Based on the SMM’s limited observation these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft.”
The Afghan president refused to visit the Bagram military base when US President Barack Obama made a surprise visit there to meet troops on May 25. Similarly, the American president turned down a proposal for talks at Karzai’s palace in downtown Kabul.Air Force One flew all night to bring Obama from Washington, DC, to the airstrip of Kabul’s international airport in Bagram.Officially, the American president had come to the US largest military base in Afghanistan to address troops ahead of the end of Afghan campaign.“I’m here on a single mission, and that is to thank you for your extraordinary service,” Obama said in a speech before some 32,800 American service personnel, practically all of the US contingent in Afghanistan, making their probably last tour of duty to the country.
The US is to disclose its legal basis for drone-targeting Americans suspected of terrorism. The government will not appeal an earlier court decision. Judges decided in April that national security was no longer a fit excuse for non-disclosure.The decision by the US Solicitor-General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. not to appeal April’s ruling was revealed by an anonymous administration official on Tuesday, and reached last week, according to AP. The court’s decision will demand the release of a memorandum laying out the foundations for drone killings of American citizens suspected of terrorism.The move resulted out of pressure by liberal and conservative senators, following last year’s revelations by the government of the four Americans killed in Yemen in 2011.However, only a part of the document will be revealed, and the date for its release is yet to be named.
The US Strategic Command, the agency responsible for country’s nuclear arsenal, will hold large-scale war games this week that will include 10 B-52 Stratofortresses and up to six B-2 Spirit bombers, along with other military and government agencies.The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber built to carry nuclear weapons.The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American strategic bomber, designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses that can drop up to sixteen 1,100 kg B83 nuclear bombs.The exercise will be conducted from May 12-16 and is set “to deter and detect strategic attacks against the US and its allies,” the Strategic Command said in a statement.
Ukrainian troops which have encircled Slavyansk are firing their machine guns at any transport that is trying to move out of the city, preventing civilians from leaving, members of the self-defense forces are saying.Bursts of gunfire and at least two explosions were heard on the outskirts of Slavyansk overnight, with locals fearing that Ukrainian military could enter the city any moment.“The city is encircled and civilians are not allowed to leave,” a representative of the self-defense forces told Itar-Tass. “Just recently, a family with a young child tried to leave the city by car. As a result, [the troops] opened fired, killing at least 2 people.”According to the source, the government forces blockade points around the city have seen an influx of“people in black uniforms.”