U.S. looks set to offer Israel powerful new radar

The Bush administration appears set to offer Israel a powerful radar system that could greatly boost Israeli defenses against enemy ballistic missiles while tying them directly into a growing U.S. missile shield.

President George W. Bush is expected to discuss the matter during a visit to Israel starting on Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state amid mounting U.S. concern over perceived threats from Iran, people familiar with the matter said.

This is “probably the No. 2 issue” on Bush’s agenda for the visit, second only to the Middle East peace process, said Rep. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican who has spearheaded calls in Congress for tighter U.S. missile-defense ties with Israel.

Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said in an e-mail, “While the U.S. and Israel cooperate closely on defense matters, there will not be any announcements during next week’s visit.” Bush is also to visit Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Richard Lehner, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, which is developing the multibillion-dollar layered shield, said questions about a new radar system for Israel were a “policy issue” outside the agency’s purview.

Riki Ellison, a prominent missile-defense advocate with close ties to the Pentagon and companies involved in building the hardware, said he understood giving Israel the missile-tracking system was “on the table right now.”

The system Bush may offer is known as a forward-based X-band radar. Transportable by air, it uses high-powered pulsed beams for extremely high-resolution tracking of objects in space such as a missile that could be tipped with a chemical, germ or nuclear warhead.

Built by Raytheon Co, the system has been described by U.S. officials as capable of tracking an object the size of a baseball from about 2,900 miles away.

It would let Israel’s Arrow missile defenses engage a Shahab-3 ballistic missile about halfway through what would be its 11-minute flight to Israel from Iran, or six times sooner than Israel’s “Green Pine” radar is currently capable of doing, Kirk said in a telephone interview on Friday.

‘PARTING GIFT’ FROM BUSH?

Kirk is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves who confers with Israeli officials on missile defense. He serves one weekend a month as deputy director of intelligence in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center.

With an X-Band system at work, he said, a missile intercept theoretically would take place over Iran or a neighboring state and not over Israel.

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Raytheon tailors ‘Iron Man’ suit for warfighters

U.S. soldiers soon may be suiting up in wearable robotic armor
U.S. soldiers soon may be suiting up in Raytheon Co.’s version of an “Iron Man” wearable robotic armor that the company says will give them the ability to lift heavy objects with little effort while still allowing freedom of movement.

Raytheon’s futuristic suit, known as the Exoskeleton, combines sensors, controllers and other devices that enable the person wearing the suit to easily carry a man on his back or to lift 200 pounds a hundred times in a row without tiring, according to a company news release.

The suit is “essentially a wearable robot that amplifies its wearer’s strength, endurance, and agility,” Raytheon said. The suit is strong but flexible enough to enable the wearer to walk, run, kick and climb normally, as one would do playing soccer or climbing stairs, the company said.

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Bush Pushes for Seed Money for Missiles in Space

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – The Bush administration and Republican allies in Congress are again pushing for seed money to explore options for putting a multibillion-dollar layer of ballistic-missile interceptors in space.

Last year, the Democratic-controlled Congress rejected the administration’s request for $10 million to resume studies on the idea, first floated in the 1980s as part of then-President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.

Derided by critics as “Star Wars,” the concept has been embraced by missile-defense backers as potentially more effective than sea- and ground-based parts of an emerging shield against missiles that could be tipped with chemical, germ or nuclear warheads.

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Homeland Ministry Plans Raytheon “Ray Guns” at Airports

The DHS, affectionately called the “Ministry” here because it resembles something out of Orwell’s famous novel, wants to fit airports with ray guns. I kid you not. “The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider fitting high-power microwave electropulse rayguns at US airports, in order to defend against the threat of terrorists firing portable anti-aircraft missiles at airliners,” reports Lewis Page for The Register. “American defense heavyweight Raytheon would partner with Israel’s Rafael and Kongsberg of Norway to provide the technology, according to a report in Flight International. The proposed kit is known as ‘Vigilant Eagle’, and is competing for DHS securo-dollars with defensive systems that could be fitted to the airliners themselves – for instance BAE Systems’ JetEye.”

Okay, tell me this does not sound like another “defense industry” scam, yet another scheme to make billions of dollars. Sure, there is the possibility somebody with a rocket launcher may take out an airliner. But if al-Qaeda hates our freedom, why haven’t’ they done this already? Is al-Qaeda conducting a war against the Great Satan, one with battles strung over decades? At this rate, it will take a thousand years to install the Great Caliph/Khalifah.

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