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Ukraine; India, US, Japan; Robotic Fingers

Dated: 23 Jul 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels on Wednesday shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets near where a civilian airliner was downed last week. The incident comes as the first flight bearing the bodies of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17′s victims departed Ukraine, and a day after U.S. intelligence officials laid out their case tying the rebels, and their sponsor in Moscow. The case consisted of facts from social media, MASINT, and voiceprint analysis.

India, US, Japan: Indian warships will participate in naval exercises slated to begin Thursday alongside U.S. and Japanese ones as mutual concerns over China’s territorial assertiveness have bolstered New Delhi and Tokyo’s relationship.  “It is a reflection of the new strategic environment where there is a degree of unease in India and elsewhere over Chinese activities,” said Uday Bhaskar, a former Indian naval officer who is now at the New Delhi-based Society for Policy Studies. “To deal with the rise of China, India is now seeking to shape the environment by building collective capability.”

Robotic Fingers: Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand. The device, worn around the user’s wrist, works essentially like two extra fingers adjacent to the pinky and thumb. The supernumerary robotic fingers, or SR fingers, consist of actuators linked together to exert forces as strong as those of human fingers during a grasping motion. The video can be viewed here.

Ukraine, Japanese Defense Industry, Iron Beam

Dated: 21 Jul 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Ukraine: Fighting in eastern Ukraine resumed on Monday, raising new concerns about access for the international investigators who began arriving in Donetsk to inspect the wreckage of flight MH17 and victims’ bodies.  Russian president Vladimir Putin urged that the incident not be used for political ends as the UN Security Council was set to vote on a resolution that would demand a cease-fire around the vicinity of the crash site and the United States laid out its claims that Russia bears responsibility for the incident.

Japanese Defense Industry: Last Thursday, the Japanese Ministry of Defense approved exports of a sensor made by Japan’s largest military contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for use in air-defense missiles manufactured by Raytheon.  Additionally, the ministry also cleared a Japan-Britain research project involving technology for air-to-air missiles.  This comes as the Abe administration positions itself for more of a muscular stance in light of the recent move to ease restrictions on the nation’s military activities and the decision to permit limited arms exports within the region.

Iron Beam: With the proliferation of cheap, unmanned drones into the battlespace, the need for a cost effective solution is driving the demand for a laser based defense system.  WSJ article regarding the “Iron Beam” and future applications.