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China Builds Spy Satellites to Monitor South China Sea

By MarEx 2018-08-17 10:57:50

According to Chinese state media, the Chinese Academy of Sciences is now working on a fleet of 10 satellites to monitor shipping in the South China Sea. Beijing claims more than 90 percent of the sea's waters as its own, and it has developed a string of island bases with air defense systems, anti-ship missiles and bomber-capable airfields to cement its de-facto control of the region.  By the end of 2019, the academy's Sanya Institute of Remote Sensing intends to...

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Video: Indian Coast Guard Rescues Victims of Kerala Floods

By MarEx 2018-08-17 19:07:16

The Indian Coast Guard and Navy are contributing to an intensive emergency-response effort in Kerala, where the worst flooding in a century has killed over 300 people and displaced more than 200,000. India's defense ministry says that 20 fixed wing military transport aircraft and 38 helicopters from the Indian Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are in use in Kerala, with more on the way. Over 400 Navy and Coast Guard small boat teams are working to rescue people from...

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Pentagon Warns of China's Expanding Military Reach

By MarEx 2018-08-17 18:16:17

The Pentagon has released its annual report on China's military capabilities, and it noted several developments that could be of concern for U.S. military planners. Notably, China's bomber force has been much more active in "overwater" training flights in "critical maritime regions," and the Pentagon assesses that these likely include trainings for attacks on U.S. targets or U.S. allies. In addition, the report notes, China is becoming a true "nuclear triad" nation, with nuclear weapons platforms on land, under the sea and in...

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Op-Ed: Arm Ukraine to Counter Russia's Black Sea Fleet

By MarEx 2018-08-17 17:16:27

[By Mykola Bielieskov] When it comes to U.S. military assistance for Ukraine in the context of Russian aggression, most observers think of the Javelin anti-tank guided missiles provided to the Ukrainian Ground Forces. At the beginning of March 2018, the U.S. State Department gave its approval for the provision of this kind of weaponry to Kyiv. There is nothing surprising in this, since the land forces of Ukraine bear the main burden of confronting and deterring further Russian aggression. However, today it...

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Video: Wreck of WWII Destroyer Found in Aleutian Islands

By MarEx 2018-08-17 16:36:13

A research team with partners from Scripps, NOAA and the University of Delaware has discovered the stern section of the destroyer USS Abner Read. The wrecked section was lost in action in the Bering Sea in 1943.  In the early hours of August 18, 1943, the Read was off the island of Kiska, Alaska, which had recently been retaken from Japanese forces. At about 0150 hours, she was struck by a massive explosion, likely from a Japanese mine. The blast tore the ship in...

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A Step Forward: The New Caspian Sea Convention

By The Lowy Interpreter 2018-08-17 15:22:07

[By Dr. Stephen Blank]  Demarcation of the Caspian Sea has been one of the longest lasting casualties of the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet collapse invalidated the 1940 Irano-Soviet treaty that had demarcated the rights of both countries regarding the Caspian Sea. Thus, after 1991, five territories became littoral states of the Caspian Sea, necessitating clarification of its legal status so that they could exploit and demarcate it among themselves. The fact that this agreement...

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Digital Twins

By Paul Benecki 2018-08-17 15:08:53

Individual shipowners may not always have the resources to invest in their own research and development. With intense competitive pressures, rising bunker prices and new compliance costs, their focus is on the bottom line.  But R&D comes naturally to class societies, which have engineering expertise at the core of their business model and are leading the way in developing new data-driven opportunities for shipping. While the top class societies' much-discussed “digitalization” initiatives may sound futuristic or abstract, they are all...

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Baptism of Fire: The Rescue of the SS Mirlo

By William Thiesen 2018-08-17 14:48:31

One hundred years ago, on the afternoon of Aug. 16, 1918, British tanker SS Mirlo was steaming through wind-swept seas north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. At about 4:30 p.m., a torpedo from German U-boat U-117 ripped into her hull, shooting up a column of water. The hit was seen seven miles away by the lookout at the Chicamacomico Coast Guard Station in Rodanthe, North Carolina. Flames leaped into the sky as a cargo of fuel gushed out of the Mirlo's hull...

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NDAA Eliminates Commercial Rules for U.S.-Flag Superyachts

By MarEx 2018-08-17 12:07:43

On August 13, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 into law, providing $717 billion in funding for the armed forces. As in years past, the NDAA for FY2019 also contains non-defense provisions - including a new code of shipping regulations for U.S.-flagged superyachts.  Since 1920, private recreational vessels over 300 gross tons have been required to register as commercial vessels in order to flag in the United States. Historically, many prominent American yacht owners have...

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