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Russian soldiers are officially rocking a 'silent' mortar system
Cue the "silent but deadly" jokes: the Russian military has finally managed to get its hands on a new 'silenced' mortar system to help soldiers remain undetected while providing indirect fire support downrange.
The Russian Army has reportedly started to receive the first of its new "silent" 2B25 Gull 82mm mortar system designed by the Rostec-owned Burevestnik Institute, state-run media outlet TASS reported on May 7 citing an unnamed defense source.
"The deliveries of 2B25 silent mortars to the troops have begun. In particular, special-purpose units received several dozen such mortars recently," the defense source told TASS. "During its operation, the Gull proved its worth as an easy-to-operate and reliable weapon, which is actually stealthy."
The first of "several dozen" silent mortar systems purchased by the Russian Ministry of Defense back in September 2018, Burevestnik researchers claim the Gull system can nail targets at up to 1,200 meters away with a firing rate of 15 rounds per minute.
So how "silent" is the Gull, really? As Jane's 360 reported last year, the Gull's noise level "does not exceed that of a Kalashnikov AKMB assault rifle fitted with the PBS-1 silencer," while the system itself "produces almost no muzzle flash or smoke."
According to TASS, the Gull system "is currently the sole silent mortar on the world arms market."
SEE ALSO: This Is The Mortar System That's Been Dropping Rounds On The Taliban For The Last 16 Years
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NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.
Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
The State Department doesn't really care if its human rights training for partner security forces is working or not
By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?
Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.
A Kansas VA hospital police supervisor reported 'dangerous' deficiencies among his officers. Now he says he faced retaliation
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.
A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.