Iran Claims It Can Build Aircraft Carriers, Unmanned Subs

Plus, Russia is set to overtake the UK and Japan as third largest defense spender. Thursday defense links.

Some defense and security linkage:

Iran’s Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari claimed on Tuesday that Iran has the technological know-how to build aircraft carriers. In an interview with the IRGC-linked, semi-official Fars News Agency, Sayyari said: “Our country enjoys the power and ability to build aircraft carriers.” Sayyari indicated that Iran was not planning on utilizing this capability at present, but it has it if necessary.

During the same interview, Fars News Agency asked Sayyari if Iran was planning on building unmanned submarines and other unmanned undersea capabilities. “This issue is on our agenda like other issues and cases,” Sayyari told FNA.

The Financial Times takes a look at Russia’s rising defense expenditures. The piece notes that Moscow is expected to overtake both the United Kingdom and Japan in defense spending this year, giving it the third largest defense budget after the U.S. and China.

A report released on Monday by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Inspector General documents hundreds of serious problems with the ongoing F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The report found 363 problems with the program, 147 of which it labeled as “major.” Defense News, Defense One and Aviation Week have summaries.

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Taking something of a page out of its northern neighbor’s playbook, South Korea held a massive military parade on Tuesday in which he showed off two of its new long-range missiles. According to Business Insider, it was “South Korea's biggest Armed Forces Day ceremony in a decade,” and included, “about 11,000 troops, 190 weapons systems and other equipment and 120 aircraft.” President Park Geun-hye spoke at the parade, which was also attended by visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Breaking Defense reports on a speech from Monday that Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter gave on U.S.-Indo defense ties at the left-leaning Center for American Progress. The BD report focuses on complaints from the audience over the slow pace of India’s arms purchases from the U.S. – which is something that President Obama and PM Singh sought to address during their meeting last week. The full transcript of the speech can be found here.