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MISSILE DEFENSE
Lockheed Martin receives new THAAD contract
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) May 19, 2017


Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control has received a $112.2 million contract increase modification for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense support program under the Missile Defense Agency. The system contract originally had a ceiling of $449 million, and the current modification raises it to $561.2 million.

It will include forward stationing requirements, logistical support, software support, theatre deployment requirements, security, and engineering services.

The work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama; Sunnyvale, California; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Troy, Alabama. The ordering period will continue until March 31, 2019. The project is a sole-source acquisition with no additional funds are being obligated.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is designed for intercepting ballistic missiles during their terminal descent phase. A THAAD battery can carry up to 72 interceptors, is mobile, and carries a long-range radar.

It is designed to be interconnected with other ballistic missile defense systems, including the Patriot, the PAC-3, Aegis naval systems, and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications system, or C2BMC.

Chinese rappers rap South Korea over THAAD
Beijing (AFP) May 19, 2017 - Sporting baseball caps, baggy pants and sneakers, a crew of young Chinese men strut down a long empty hallway toward an old-school television set bearing the words "NO THAAD" in bright red lettering.

So opens the latest in a string of propaganda videos attempting to meld popular culture with China's political message of the moment.

THAAD -- or Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence -- refers to the US missile defence system deployed in South Korea to counter threats from the North, but which China fears will undermine its own military capabilities.

"I feel nauseous when I think of THAAD," 23-year-old Wang Zixin ("Chuckie"), leader of CD REV, the Sichuan-based rap group behind the video, told AFP.

"It's just like if someone installed a camera on your doorstep -- you would feel annoyed and uneasy."

Released last week on a state-run web portal, the clip came ahead of South Korean presidential envoy Lee Hae-Chan's visit to Beijing this week.

"I meant that it seems like you never wanna be friendly to me, but some 21st century colonies, some puppet committing felonies," the stars of the "NO THAAD" video rap in a mix of English and Chinese.

"I don't wanna see South Korea with this attitude ... Why not choose us rather than Uncle Sam?"

Wang told AFP that while rap cannot change South Korea's stance on THAAD, such songs can "let Koreans know that China's young people are passionate and tough".

CD REV is no stranger to propaganda rap: the group's patriotic "This is China" video last summer denounced foreign media over a montage of assembly lines, historic sites and bustling street scenes.

Similar efforts surfaced around the Belt and Road summit earlier this week, an international gathering on a massive Chinese-led global trade infrastructure project which the government hyped up with a "bedtime story" series and not one, but two raps.

Tensions between South Korea and China over THAAD have ballooned into economic boycotts, with Chinese tour groups quietly halting visits to the South and supermarkets under the Lotte brand -- the company that penned the THAAD land deal -- losing business in China.

MISSILE DEFENSE
Yemen rebel missile shot down near Saudi capital
Riyadh (AFP) May 19, 2017
Saudi Arabia said it shot down a ballistic missile, fired by Yemeni rebels, southwest of the capital Riyadh late Friday, ahead of US President Donald Trump's arrival in the Sunni-led kingdom. Air defence units "intercepted a ballistic missile that was launched by Huthi militias", and it fell over an unpopulated area 180 kilometres from Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement. ... read more

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