Imagery appearing on social media channels seems to suggest that Russia has deployed either the S-300 or S-400 air defense systems near Ras Lanuf on the Libyan coast. The oil port is controlled by the Libyan NationalArmy (LNA) commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. If this development is confirmed, it will mark a significant escalation in Libya’s civil war since this will indicate that a foreign power is now actively involved. Viewers may note that the reports of the appearance of the air defense system come after a flight by a Russian Aerospace Forces An-124 strategic airlift aircraft into Libya’s Al Khadim Air Base on Aug 3. The An-124 is generally used to transport bulky equipment and could be used to transfer S-300 and S-400 systems and their supporting components. Russia has also been using Ilyushin Il-76transporters. It is interesting to note that when Turkey received its S-400s, they were delivered through An-124s and Il-76s. Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono said:"Anyone who is trying to change the status quo by force needs to be forced to pay a high cost." Mr. Kono said China's building of fortified installations across the South China Sea is "destabilizing”. He added: "A free and open maritime order in the South China Sea is as important as any other place and what happens there will concern the international community.”
China claims almost 90% of the South ChinaSea through its so-called nine-dash line map. It says that it has "indisputable sovereignty" over the sea. The wide-reaching demarcation was rejected by an arbitral tribunal at The Hague in July 2016. China has tried imposing a unilateral decision as per which all ships & aircraft navigating in the area need to identify itself to the Chinese military. It has militarized several islands in the area and has even deployed advanced missiles systems like YJ-12 Anti Ship Missile as well as HQ-9 Surface to Air missile. Royal Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane has conducted its first operational sortie.. The aircraft flew together with Typhoon fighter jets and shadowed the Russia Navy's missile-armed Project 22160 patrol ship Vasily Bykov as it sailed in the North Sea to the northwest of the United Kingdom.
The mission occurred on Aug. 3, 2020, but was only publicly announced on Aug. 7. Annabel Goldie, the U.K. Minister of State for Defense, said in a statement, "In an increasingly unstable world of persistent challenge and competition, it is important that the U.K. Armed Forces possess cutting edge technology to meet threats wherever they emerge. The sight of our new Poseidon aircraft, working in concert with the Royal Navy has showcased the UK’s readiness to defend its water from any incursion. The RAF continues to evolve and develop as the Next Generation RAF becomes a reality. The Poseidon aircraft is a key part of that development and evidence of the hard work performed by all those involved,” RAF Air Vice Marshal Ian Duguid, head of No.11 Group, said. "This mission by the Poseidon, to monitor Russian naval activity, shows how the RAF will now be able to contribute to MaritimeSecurity alongside the Royal Navy and our NATO allies, to secure the seas and skies.” The RAF presently has two P-8As, also known by the British designation Poseidon MRA1, and another seven on order. The first of China’s big-deck amphibious assault ships has begun sea trials.
Photos and video of the lead vessel in the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s Type 075 class emerged earlier when the still-unnamed warship departed the pier at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai. Viewers may note that the ship caught fire in port in April which resulted in damage. Quoting unnamed military analysts, The GlobalTimes added that it expected the first Type 075 to be commissioned into PLAN service within“a year or two.” Type 075 reportedly has a displacement between35,000 and 40,000 tons. Hence, Type 075 is significantly larger than both the Australian Canberra class (27,500 tons) as well as the South Korea Dokdo class(18,800 tons) and similar in size to the U.S. Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ships. The Pentagon has officially signed a cooperation agreement with Poland which will pave the addition of another 1,000 personnel to the total number of U.S. troops in that country. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced that negotiations regarding the new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with Poland were completed on Aug. 3, 2020. It is to be noted that Poland is a NATO member.
This comes less than a week after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration announced it would be withdrawing thousands of troops from Germany and transferring a portion of them to locations elsewhere in Europe. Esper said,"The EDCA will enable an increased enduring U.S. rotational presence of about 1,000 personnel,to include the forward elements of the U.S. Army’s V Corps headquarters and a Divisionheadquarters, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and the infrastructure to support an armored brigade combat team and a combat aviation brigade. This is in addition to the 4,500 U.S. personnel already on rotation in Poland” Viewers may note that President Trump and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, had signed joint declarations calling for increased defense cooperation last year. Reports indicate that Indian Army Chief ManojMukund Naravane has asked top military commanders in the Central and Eastern sectors to be prepared for any eventuality and maintain the highest operational preparedness. Naravane stated this after visits to Eastern and Command headquarters on Thursday.
The Indian Army said in a statement," the Chief of Army Staff interacted with all the corps commanders of Eastern Command and reviewed the prevailing security situation and operational preparedness in the eastern theater,” The Indian Air Force has also put its bases near the borders with China on high alert and deployed additional fighter jets and attack helicopters. The development comes against the backdrop of tensions and mobilization of troops by India and China along their Line of Actual Control (LAC) Tension in the region spiked after a clash on 15th June. The conflict took place in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley.
Russia has indicated that any incoming missile will be treated as a nuclear attack. In the Krasnaya Zvezda article, senior officers of the Russian military's General Staff, Maj.-Gen. Andrei Sterlin and Col. Alexander Khryapin, stated that there will be no way to determine if an incoming ballistic missile is fitted with a nuclear or a conventional warhead, and hence the Russian military will see itas a nuclear attack. The article noted, “Any attacking missile will be perceived as carrying a nuclear warhead. The information about the missile launch will be automatically relayed to the Russian military-political leadership, which will determine the scope of retaliatory action by nuclear forces depending on the evolving situation.” This position indicates Russia is concerned about deep strike conventional weapon being developed by the U.S that could enable the American military to take of key military assets and government facilities without having to use atomic weapons