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Aerospace & Defense

The latest coverage of the Defense Department, State Department and aerospace industry.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Russia plans more assault ships amid rising tensions with Ukraine

By Dan Boylan - The Washington Times

The Russian navy is accelerating plans to build more amphibious assault warships, according to a leading supplier of vessels to the Kremlin, amid reports that Moscow has blockaded Ukrainian ports near the annexed Crimea peninsula. Published December 3, 2018

Recent Stories

National Security Advisor John Bolton unveils the Trump Administration's Africa Strategy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Bolton outlines U.S. African strategy to challenge China, Russia

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration on Thursday announced a sharp refocus of its Africa strategy to counter what it called the "predatory" practices of China and Russia, moves which National Security Adviser John Bolton said "deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage."

Abdelqader al-Murtada and Saelem Mohammed Noman Al-Mughalles, at left, representatives of the Houthi rebels delegation and to the right, Askar Zaeil and Hadi al-Hayi representing the delegation of the Government of Yemen together with representatives from the office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen and the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) during the ongoing peace talks on Yemen held at Johannesberg Castle, in Rimbo, north of Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 2018. Yemen's government and the Houthi rebels are exchanging lists of prisoners as part of peace talks in Sweden aimed at winding down the devastating civil war. (Claudio Bresciani/TT via AP)

U.N. chief says Yemen's warring sides agreed on Hodeida truce

- Associated Press

The United Nations secretary general on Thursday announced that Yemen's warring sides have agreed after weeklong peace talks in Sweden to a province-wide cease-fire in Hodeida and a withdrawal of troops from the contested Red Sea port city.

American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, speaks to Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United Nations Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi during a Security Council meeting on Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

U.S. urges U.N. to ban Iran nuclear missiles, keep arms embargo

- Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to again ban Iranian ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and to maintain an arms embargo that is scheduled to be lifted in 2020 under the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

Martin Griffith, special envoy for Yemen of the U.N. Secretary General, attends a press conference at Johannesberg Palace, north of Stockholm on Monday Dec. 10, 2018. Yemen's warring parties are meeting for a fifth day of talks in Sweden aimed at halting the country's catastrophic 4-year-old war. (Stina Stjernkvist/TT via AP)

U.N. envoy hands Yemen's warring sides draft deal

- Associated Press

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen on Wednesday gave the country's warring sides at peace talks underway in Sweden a draft agreement they need to consider before this round of negotiations wraps up the following day.

In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

North Korea lashes out after Trump hits Kim regime on human rights

- The Washington Times

North Korea's state media lashed out at mounting U.S. criticism of Pyongyang's human rights record Tuesday, delivering a blistering commentary just hours after the Trump administration leveled sanctions against three top North Korean officials for their involvement in abuses.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talks to the media in presence of Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev following their meeting at the government building in Skopje, Macedonia, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) ** FILE **

'Mattis revolution': Defense secretary is last Trump 'general' standing

- The Washington Times

He's the last man standing among the band of retired military officers President Trump once called "my generals," but Defense Secretary James N. Mattis just scored arguably the biggest win of his tenure, staving off a steep budget cut and highlighting the political muscle he still wields inside the administration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he delivers his speech at the United Russia party congress in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia overtakes U.K., is now No. 2 in global arms industry

- The Washington Times

While the U.S. remains the world's clear leader, Russia is making major strides in arms sales and last year passed the U.K. to become the world's second-largest weapons producer, according to a comprehensive new study examining top international arms companies.

In this aerial photo, Japan's Coast Guard ship is seen at sea during a search-and-rescue operation for missing crew members of the U.S. Marine refueling plane and fighter jet off Muroto, Kochi prefecture, southwestern Japan, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP)

Search for U.S. Marines underway after fatal midair collision in Pacific

- The Washington Times

One Marine was killed and another wounded as American and Japanese search and rescue teams continue to seek survivors from a catastrophic midair collision between two U.S. warplanes in the Pacific, Marine Corps officials said Thursday. Five service members are still reported missing Thursday morning.

In this May 2, 2018, file photo, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, right, poses with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea is sending its foreign minister to key ally China for talks amid a stall in efforts to persuade Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear programs. Ri was due to arrive late Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, and meet Friday, Dec. 7 with Wang. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin, File)

North Korean sends top diplomat to key ally China

- Associated Press

North Korea's foreign minister arrived in key ally China on Thursday for talks amid stalled efforts to persuade his government to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs.

Brian Hook, U.S. special representative for Iran, walks past fragments of Iranian short range ballistic missiles (Qiam) at the Iranian Materiel Display (IMD) at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, in Washington, Thursday Nov. 29, 2018. The Trump administration accused Iran of stepping up violations of a U.N. ban on arms exports by sending rockets and other weaponry to rebels in Afghanistan and Yemen. The presentation displays weapons and fragments of weapons seized in Afghanistan, Bahrain and Yemen that it said are evidence Iran is a "grave and escalating threat" that must be stopped.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S. threatens Iran over illegal rocket exports

- The Washington Times

President Trump's point man on curbing Iranian aggression offered fresh evidence Thursday that Tehran is violating a United Nations ban on weapons exports by sending rockets and other military equipment to proxies around the Middle East, and warned that the U.S. is prepared to use force to curtail such activity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin laid blame for the incident in the Kerch Strait on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, saying he orchestrated the provocation to bolster his popularity. (Associated Press)

U.S. admiral says Russia must be countered

- The Washington Times

The U.S. and its allies must step up their efforts to counter Russian aggression in the North Atlantic due to the Kremlin's demonstrated ability to exacerbate tensions in the strategic hot spots while stopping short of all-out war, the head of the Navy's recently reestablished 2nd fleet said Wednesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responds to reporters. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate defies Trump with vote to rein in Saudis

- The Washington Times

The Senate leveled up one of its harshest rebukes to date of President Trump's foreign policy Wednesday, voting overwhelmingly to advance a resolution that could halt American support for Saudi Arabia's ongoing war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

The damage on one of three Ukrainian ships is seen docked after been seized ate Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Kerch, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. The Ukrainian parliament is set to consider a presidential request for the introduction of martial law in Ukraine following an incident in which Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels. (AP Photo)

Russia to deploy more anti-aircraft missiles in Crimea

Associated Press

The Russian military is boosting the defense of the occupied Crimean peninsula with more anti-aircraft missiles in the wake of the weekend standoff with Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.

Journalists gather at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory awaiting the landing of InSight on Mars Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif . A NASA spacecraft is just a few hours away from landing on Mars. The InSight lander is aiming for a Monday afternoon touchdown on what scientists and engineers hope will be a flat plain on the red planet. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NASA spacecraft lands on Mars after six-month journey

- Associated Press

A NASA spacecraft designed to burrow beneath the surface of Mars landed on the red planet Monday after a six-month, 300 million-mile (482 million-kilometer) journey and a perilous, six-minute descent through the rose-hued atmosphere.

Europe, Iran defy Trump, pledge to preserve nuclear deal

- The Washington Times

Europe and Iran, defying the Trump administration, pledged Monday to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal and defeat intensifying U.S. sanctions, but are having trouble finding a nation willing to host the system that operates the financial workaround, according to leading diplomats.

Anxiety abounds at NASA as Mars landing day arrives

- Associated Press

A NASA spacecraft's six-month journey to Mars neared its dramatic grand finale Monday in what scientists and engineers hoped would be a soft precision landing on flat red plains.

Central American migrants, as part of the Central American caravan trying to reach the United States, wait in a line to receive donated dinner downtown in Mexicali, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. The United States closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the busiest border crossing with Mexico to install new security barriers on Monday, a day after hundreds of Tijuana residents protested against the presence of thousands of Central American migrants. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Army says no timetable for pulling troops from border

- The Washington Times

The Army says there is no timetable for the 5,800 troops at the border being withdrawn, undercutting a general who said Monday that he was beginning to draw down troops this week and expected all of them would be home by mid-December.

In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, Houthi Shiite fighters guard a street leading to the residence of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

Yemeni rebels say they will halt rocket fire at Saudi Arabia

- Associated Press

A senior leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels said on Monday that the group will halt rocket fire into Saudi Arabia for the sake of peace efforts, answering a key Saudi demand in the first public sign of hope for the latest push to stop the bloodshed and civilian suffering in the Arab world's poorest country.

In this March 12, 2014, file photo, a North Korean soldier, center top, looks at the southern side as three South Korean soldiers guard at the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File) **FILE**

North Korea deports American even as it boasts of new weapon

- Associated Press

North Korea on Friday said it will deport an American citizen it detained for illegal entrance, an apparent concession to the United States that came even as it announced the test of a newly developed but unspecified "ultramodern" weapon that will be seen as a pressuring tactic by Washington.

(Associated Press) ** FILE **

2 Navy SEALs and 2 Marines charged in Green Beret's death

- The Washington Times

A pair of Navy SEALs, assigned to the vaunted special operations group SEAL Team Six, as well as two members of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, have been charged with the murder of a fellow Army Green Beret, Navy officials announced Thursday.

From The Vault

In this June 3, 2011, file photo, the Pentagon is seen from air from Air Force One. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) **FILE**

Trump reinstates broad ban on transgender troops

- The Washington Times

President Trump moved late Friday to exclude most transgender people from signing up for the U.S. military, after his defense and homeland security chiefs said they were worried about the armed forces' ability to handle the different challenges the troops would bring.

Illustration on the potential for Iranian popular revolt against the current regime by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Rallying to the willing

This is the second round of violent protests by Iranians against their government for suppressing their rights and attempts to enjoy those rights. Barack Obama didn't have much sympathy for the protests against the government suppression of voters in a national election in 2009.

Illustration on the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Communism's century of devastation

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941 "a day that will live in infamy," and with good reason. The date that Tojo's Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor heralded America's entrance into the bloody fighting of World War II. But there are other dates that live in infamy, and many of them aren't nearly as well known. But they deserve to be. Take Nov. 7, 1917.

Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government's foreign relations department (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Minister defends Kurds' vote for independence

Falah Mustafa Bakir heads the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government. He spoke with Washington Times special correspondent Seth J. Frantzman the day after Sunday's vote on why the region's nonbinding independence referendum deserves international support.