China is increasing military spending, particularly through “unprecedented” modernization of air force, the Pentagon said in a report. Beijing rebuked the document as “preposterous criticisms of China’s normal defense and military building.”Beijing’s military spending last year exceeded $145 billion, assessed the US Department of Defense on Thursday in its annual report to the Congress. The estimate is more than 20 percent higher than the official Chinese figure.“China has the fiscal strength and political will to support defense spending growth at comparable levels for the foreseeable future,”the report said. “Continued increases will support People’s Liberation Army (PLA) modernization efforts and facilitate China’s move toward a more professional force.”
The crew of a UK submarine had a close brush with death when an air-conditioning failure caused temperatures to soar, it has emerged. Catastrophe was averted after the submarine dived down 200 meters into cooler waters.It has been revealed HMS Turbulent was hit by a potentially disastrous situation while on patrol in the Indian Ocean three years ago. The vessel’s air conditioning system became clogged, causing temperatures to rocket to 60C (140F). “I genuinely thought there was going to be a loss of life on board,” commanding officer Ryan Ramsey told the Plymouth Herald, describing how crewmembers were collapsing everywhere, many still at their work stations. “It was absolutely terrifying, and I’m not afraid to say I was scared. I remember looking at a picture of my family quickly thinking, ‘We need to pull through this.’”
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).
Vasily Kashin, an analyst at the Moscow-based Center for Analysis for Strategies and Technologies, has said Russia may consider making use of more advanced Chinese military resources, according to ArmyStar, a China-based news website specializing in global military.China has long been an exporter of military technology. With Beijing’s permission, countries including Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Sudan and Argentina manufacture and develop a variety of military equipment such as anti-ship missiles, small battleships, tanks, anti-tank missiles, artillery, air defense systems, ground-to-ground missiles, fighter planes, armored personnel carriers, armaments, communication facilities and the Z-11 helicopter.Last but not least, China’s mass exports of military hardware to North Korea are well known. It is safe to conclude that China is the most “lenient” in terms of military exports, since Western countries always attach political conditions to such trade, the report said.
China’s escalating anti-terror campaign has highlighted the role of the secretive Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, reports Russia’s Regnum news agency.Following a spate of terror attacks in the restive region of Xinjiang in northwestern China, President Xi Jinping has called for “walls made of copper and steel” and “nets spread from the earth to the sky” to defend against terrorism.Playing a significant role in the campaign will be the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a unique economic and semi-military governmental organization that is said to have caught the interest of neighboring Kazakhstan and Russia.
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.”
United States Army soldiers who served in Afghanistan alongside former prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are speaking up to condemn their one-time colleague and those who are labeling him a hero following his release from Taliban custody this week.Republican lawmakers were quick to pounce on the White House over a recent under-the-table arrangement that relinquished five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for Bergdahl, a 28-year-old soldier caught by the Taliban in 2009. Others are now voicing their outrage too, including many soldiers who say that Bergdahl willingly deserted the US Army five years ago and indirectly caused the deaths of a half-dozen American troops as a result.One of the more vocal critics of the just released soldier is Nathan Bradley Bethea, who told The Daily Beast this week that he served in same battalion as Bethea at the time he went missing in June 2009.