The US And Japan Join Hands In The South China Sea To Counter PLA

Iran’s navy fired a missile from a helicopter at a mock of U.S. aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday. Footage broadcast on Iranian state TV showed the replica vessel being struck by the projectile as part of an exercise Iran designated “GreatProphet 14.” After that Iranian commandos fast-roped down from the helicopter onto the vessel which resembles Nimitz class supercarrierViewers may note that

American Nimitz class supercarriers routinely sail into the Persian Gulf. Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S.Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said in an emailed statement that the Navy was aware of the Iranian military exercise that involved attacking a mock-up of a vessel similar toa motionless aircraft carrier. She said, “This exercise has not disrupted coalition operations in the area nor had any impacts on the free flow of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and surrounding waters,” In a similar exercise in 2015 Iran’s navy sunk a replica U.S. aircraft carrier. Tensions in the region escalated after theU.S government under President Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran nuclear deal and imposed stringent sanctions against Iran.

The deal offered Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Trump administration is of the view that Iran was misusing the deal. It is to be noted that about 20% of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, the entry point to the Persian Gulf. The Russian Defense Ministry said that ZalivShipyard in Crimea launched the fourth Karakurt-class corvette of project 22800, "Tsiklon" (Cyclone)on 24 July It stated, “On behalf of Navy Commander-in-ChiefAdmiral Nikolai Yevmenov the shipbuilders were congratulated by the head of the Navy shipbuilding department Rear Admiral Vladimir Tryapichnikov. The event was also attended by Crimean head Sergey Aksenov and representatives of Kerch city administration,”

The Russian Navy operates two corvettes of project 22800. The Mytishchi and the Sovetsk operate in the Baltic fleet. The Odintsovo corvette is undergoing acceptance trials and is the first corvette of project 22800 to be armed with Pantsir-M. The class is intended to be a more seaworthy, blue water complement to the Buyan-M class corvettes, which had been designed for the littoral zone and are currently serving in Russia's Caspian Flotilla, Baltic Fleet, and Black Sea Fleet. They are also to be a cheap alternative for larger Admiral Grigorovich class frigates. The ships of this class have a displacement of 800 tons and a length of 67 m or 220 ft. These have a speed of 30 knots or 56 km/hor 35 mph, range of 2,500 nm or 4,600 km or 2,900 mi, and endurance of 15 days.

The Pentagon said Wednesday it would withdraw nearly 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany. This comes after President Trump had stated that Germany was failing to meet NATO defense spending targets. About 6,400 soldiers and other military personnel would be sent back to the U.S., while 5,600 personnel would be shifted to Belgium and Italy Defense Secretary Mark Esper said was aimed at bolstering the Pentagon’s ability to deter Russia from threatening U.S. allies in Eastern Europe. But Trump did not mention deterring Russia from his comments and pointed to the financial angle “We’re reducing the force because[Germany is] not paying their bills. It’s very simple. They’re delinquent.” He added that he might rethink the decision“if they start paying their bills.” Officials indicated that troop movements could happen within weeks and roughly 24,000 troops would remain in Germany.

The move faces strong opposition and the full-fledged implementation will depend on the Presidential election which is to be held in November. President Trump has been pressing NATO allies to do more when it comes to military expenditure and has been pretty vocal about this. The Russian defense ministry said that a Russian Su-27 jet fighter buzzed two U.S. reconnaissance planes on Thursday after they had approached the Russian border over the Black Sea. It said the Russian fighter approached theU.S. strategic reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 and P-8A Poseidon patrolling plane. The ministry said in a statement, "The American reconnaissance planes were not allowed to breach the Russian Federation's state border,

"A similar incident took place on Monday over the Black Sea. Missions like this are designed as a show of force and also enable the U.S to test the Russian response time. Russia also sends its aircraft for similar missions. The P-8 is equipped with radar, optical, and sonar sensors to detect submarines & surface ships. The P-8 features the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar. P-8 is also able to drop and monitor sonobuoys which are expendable sonar systems. Powered by 2 × CFM56-7B27A turbofans that are capable of generating 121 kN of thrust, it is able to reach a maximum speed of 490knots or 907 km/h. It has a combat radius of 1,200 nm or 2,222km that enables it to cover large swaths of ocean.

Indian Navy has sent a clear message to Beijing through its aggressive deployment of almost all frontline warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean Region. This comes after an escalation because of the border row in eastern Ladakh. On 15th June Indian & Chinese militaries engaged in a conflict. The clashes took place in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley. The valley refers to the land between steep mountains and the Galwan River. It is strategically located between Ladakh in the west and Aksai Chin in the east. Viewers may note that this was the first time the India and China are involved in a fierce confrontation since the deadly clashes between the two armies that took place in Nathu La in 1967 which resulted in the death of 88soldiers of the Indian Army and about 300 soldiers the PLA or People’s Liberation Army of China. Tensions have not died down since then through negotiations and de-escalation processes are underway. An undisclosed defense source was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Yes, our message has been registered by China.” It was further reported that there was no visible increase in forays by Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean Region.

The commander of U.S. Forces Japan said on Wednesday that the U.S. military will help Japan monitor "unprecedented" Chinese incursions around East China Sea islands which are controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing as China prepare to begin fishing in nearby waters. Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider said during an online press conference, "The United States is 100 percent absolutely steadfast in its commitment to help the government of Japan with the situation.

They (Chinese ships) would go in and out a couple of times a month and now we are seeing them basically park and truly challenge Japan'sadministration” Schneider stated Beijing will likely end a fishing ban in the East China Sea around Aug 15, allowing a large trawler fleet backed by a maritime militia, the Chinese coast guard and the Chinese navy to fish around the disputed islands. The dispute over the East China Sea islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, has been going on for years. It is important to note that Japan hosts the largest deployment of U.S. forces in Asia that includes an aircraft carrier strike group, fighter squadrons, and an amphibious force deployed in Okinawa. Tactically the U.S is in a position to mount an offensive in favor of Japan in case a conflict starts.