Saturday, February 3, 2018

Israel Carries Out Airstrikes Against Islamist Terrorists In Sinai, China's New Electromagnetic Railgun-Armed Warship

Israel carrying out secret airstrike campaign in Sinai to help Egypt -- report

Israeli drones, fighter jets, and helicopter gunships have carried out more than 100 airstrikes against Islamist terrorists in the Sinai, in a bid to help Egypt deal with the jihadist insurgency in the peninsula, the New York Times reported Saturday.
Israel was forced to take action, with the blessing of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, as Egypt struggled to deal with the violent uprising that has killed hundreds of Egyptian security forces and civilians, the report said.
While security coordination between Jerusalem and Cairo is known to be close, the ties are still unpopular in Egypt, despite nearly three decades of peace. In order to keep the cooperation quiet, the Israeli aircraft are often unmarked and sometimes use indirect routes in a bid to cover up the origin of the strikes, the report said.
The report said Sissi had kept the Israeli strikes secret, only letting a small group of military and intelligence officials in on the cooperation, and has kept northern Sinai a closed military area, barring reporters from the region.
Israeli and Egyptian officials refused to confirm or comment on the report, which the paper said was based on interviews with seven current or former British and American officials involved in Middle East policy, all speaking on condition of anonymity.
The report quoted American officials as saying that Israel’s air campaign has played a decisive role in enabling the Egyptian armed forces to gain an upper hand against the jihadists.
According to the US sources, Israel began its airstrikes following the capture of a north Sinai town by the Islamists and the downing of a Russian charter jet over Sinai in October 2014 that killed 224 people. They said Israel has had a string of successes in killing the terrorist leaders.
In the wake of the Israeli strikes, the Islamists slowed their advance and switched their attention to softer targets like attacking mosques and churches, the report said.
However, Israel has complained to the US that Egypt is not upholding its end of the agreement, and that Cairo was supposed to follow up on the airstrikes by sending ground forces into the region.

Pictures circulating on social media indicate that China’s navy may have mounted an electromagnetic rail gun on a warship, a feat that has yet to be tested at sea.
A photo of a huge gun barrel situated at the bow of a People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) Type 072-II amphibious warfare ship popped up on military technology Twitter feeds on Wednesday.

According to a translation of a former PLA-N officer's analysis, "everyone knows that the EM [electromagnetic] gun is under development, it's said that it was jointly developed by BIT [Beijing Institute of Technology] and a certain institute from CASIC [China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation], I'm not so sure about this, but doesn't matter, it's developed by Chinese anyway."

​The officer, who has been involved in building PLA-N vessels for decades, said the electromagnetic railgun was approved as part of a larger plan five or six years ago, so "it is reasonable as per schedule the prototype is doing aboard test."

The banner said, "Provide the first-class naval weapon & equipment for building the first-class navy in the world." That's pretty assertive and ambitious.

​An electromagnetic rail gun fires projectiles at high speeds without the use of chemical propellants. According to the US Navy's Office of Naval Research, "magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding medal conductor, or armature, between two rails to launch projectiles at 4,500 mph." Since the rounds travel so fast, creating a huge amount of kinetic energy, there is no need for any extra explosives attached to each rounds — them smashing into their target is enough to destroy it.

US, Indian and Russian weapons developers have tested electromagnetic railgun prototypes, but the above ship would mark the world's first warship to be equipped with the weapon.

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