Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Pakistan....Today's in Pictures August 26, 2008 NSI News Source Info The United Nations refugee agency assisting the voluntary return of registered Afghans from Pakistan said that the number returned in 2008 had passed the 200,000 mark over the weekend. An Afghan family climbed onto a truck for the trip home from Peshawar, Pakistan, where an American diplomat was attacked by gunmen Tuesday. The diplomat, riding in a bulletproof vehicle, was not wounded. In the Kabal district of the Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan, people gathered at the destroyed house of a brother of a provincial lawmaker after the house was hit by a rocket. The attack killed the brother of Waqar Ahmed Khan, two of his nephews and five others according to the police.
Boeing Awarded US Army Contract for 191 CH-47F Chinook Helicopters (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS - August 26, 2008: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a five-year U.S. Army contract valued at $4.3 billion for 181 CH-47F Chinooks and 10 additional Chinooks under Fiscal Year 2008 supplemental funding. There are options in the award for an additional 24 aircraft over the course of the contract. "This multiyear award will yield a cost savings of more than $449 million for the U.S. Army and taxpayers," said Jack Dougherty, vice president, Boeing H-47 Programs. "This also builds security into our production schedule for the next five years, stabilizing the work force for Boeing and for our supplier partners in more than 45 states." "The Army is committed to providing an outstanding CH-47F Chinook aircraft to our soldiers in the field," said Col. Newman Shufflebarger, Army project manager for Cargo Helicopters. "This multiyear award not only allows the Army to field this important aircraft at a substantial savings, but enabled the contractor to enter long-term agreements for specialty metals, to include titanium, which significantly reduced long-lead times for these critical materials. The Army was able to reduce the lead time associated with a new-build aircraft by six months." Also from the U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Thomas H. Todd III, product manager for CH-47F, said, "This multiyear settlement is the result of the tireless efforts of government and Boeing representatives. It ensures that our soldiers will maintain a technological advantage over our adversaries when it comes to heavy-lift missions." "A long-term contract commitment is good for the warfighter, the Army customer and U.S. business," said Ken Eland, chief engineer for Boeing Tandem Rotor Programs and capture team leader for the company's CH-47F multiyear pursuit. "This award enables Boeing and our Team Chinook partners to make capital investments to reduce lead times for parts and components, improve parts availability and provide for a more accurate delivery schedule, which will enable greater precision in fielding the Chinook to U.S. Army units." Boeing Rotorcraft Systems has delivered 48 CH-47F helicopters to the U.S. Army to date and has fully trained and equipped two units, with a third unit scheduled to stand up in August. Since the aircraft received its combat-ready certification from the Army in 2007, the F-model has completed several thousand flight hours, including deployments to Liberia in support of U.S. President George Bush, and is currently undergoing its first deployment to Iraq. As with its predecessors, the CH-47F continues to excel across the full spectrum of operational missions, including air assault, combat re-supply, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and transport operations. Built at the Boeing Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Township, Pa., the CH-47F helicopter delivers greater mission-critical capability for the warfighter with a newly designed, improved airframe, a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and a BAE-designed Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS). The CAAS greatly improves aircrew situational awareness, and DAFCS provides dramatically improved flight-control capabilities through the entire flight envelope, significantly improved performance and safety in the harshest of environments. CAAS also incorporates an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data. Improved survivability features include the Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser systems. Powered by two 4,733-horsepower Honeywell engines, the new CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and transport more than 21,000 pounds. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius of more than 400 nautical miles.
Flyover of Emirates' Boeing 777-200LR Launches Boeing Classic Golf Tournament (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE - August 26, 2008: Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Emirates took advantage of an upcoming delivery of a 777-200LR (Longer-Range) with a dramatic flyover of the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge golf club in Snoqualmie, Wash., on Friday that officially started play at the annual Boeing Classic PGA Champions Tour event. Emirates is one of the world's largest operators of Boeing 777s. The airline's newest 777-200LR was flown by retiring Boeing test pilot Capt. Jim Metcalfe. The airplane is pictured here banking over the 18th finishing hole at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge course east of Seattle.
Singapore Completes Frigate Fleet (NSI News Source Info) Taipei - August 26, 2008: The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has taken delivery of the last of six 3,200-ton Formidable-class frigates. French-based shipbuilder DCNS in tandem with ST Marine delivered without ceremony the RSS Supreme on Aug. 22. Commissioning is tentatively scheduled for 2009. Four of the six Formidable-class frigates are commissioned and operational in the 185 Squadron. As a multirole stealth vessel, the frigates have a complete weapon suite that includes one Sikorsky S-70B helicopter for anti-ship and anti-submarine missions. The ships have a range of 4,200 nautical miles. "This also marks the conclusion of a comprehensive technology transfer to Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) at the local shipyard providing turnkey shipbuilding," said Tan Jin Kien of EASTWEST Public Relations for DCNS. In 2000, Singapore's Defense and Science Technology Agency commissioned DCNS for six Formidable-class frigates as part of the New Frigate Program. The agreement included full technology transfer to ST Marine under ST Engineering. "The first frigate, RSS Formidable (68), was built at the DCNS shipyard in Lorient, France. The five following frigates were built in Singapore by ST Marine under DCNS supervision," Tan said. A derivative of the La Fayette frigate, these are the first frigates in Singapore naval history. With a complement of 70 sailors, the ships will expand Singapore's ability to participate in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. "The RSN now has a genuine 'blue water' capability that will enable it to participate fully in joint naval operations with Singapore's friends and allies for purposes such as SLOC [sea lines of communication] protection and naval peacekeeping," said Sam Bateman, senior fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. "As we have seen with the recent RIMPAC exercise off Hawaii and an earlier Malabar exercise hosted by the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal, these vessels now allow the RSN to play in the big league of blue water navies," said Bateman. On Aug. 25, the RSN and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) concluded the joint SINGSIAM exercise that included one Formidable, the RSS Tenacious. "Exercise SINGSIAM, which is conducted once every two years, allows the RSN and the RTN to develop combined operational concepts and naval tactics in areas such as maritime security," said a Singapore Ministry of Defense press release. The Formidable-class frigate, RSS Steadfast, is making a port call at Shanghai from Aug. 25 to Aug. 29. "Singapore and China enjoy warm and friendly defence ties. The port call by RSS Steadfast is the first visit by a RSN frigate to China and is a reflection of the growing interactions between the two navies and defence establishments," said a Singapore Defence Ministry press release. The Steadfast sailed to China after participating in the RIMPAC exercise in Hawaii in July.
AgustaWestland Wins India VIP Helo Battle (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - August 26, 2008: AgustaWestland's EH101 is the final contestant for the Indian Air Force's $300 million contract for 12 VIP helicopters after Sikorsky's S-92 was judged lacking. In trials that began earlier this year, the S-92 could not fulfill the Air Force's rate-of-climb requirement and engine and technical specifications, a senior Indian Defence Ministry official said. Air Force officials said the EH101, also called the AW101, is fully compliant. Price negotiations are expected to take about a year. The Italian helicopter also has a larger volume and higher tail boom, which would allow VIP cars to park near the stairs, the official said. The trials were also evaluated by participants from the Special Protection Group (SPG), the special force that protects VIPs. Eight of the medium-lift helicopters are to be used for the president, prime minister and other Indian VIPs. The eight VIP helicopters will carry 10 passengers; the non-VIP helicopters, 30. The VIP helicopters will have state-of-the-art, open-architecture communications suites that can provide secure access to the leadership network. The helicopter should be low-vibration, low-noise aircraft that can fly at night and in bad weather and carry modern sensors and jammers and protection against missiles and nuclear, biological and chemical threats. The helicopter should be able to fly at 200 kilometers per hour and serve for 30 years. In September 2006, India invited bids from Sikorsky, AgustaWestland and Kamov of Russia. Kamov was technically disqualified and Sikorsky and AgustaWestland were asked to carry out trials on a no-cost, no-commitment basis. The copters will replace Russian Mi-8 helicopters at Palam Airport on the outskirts of New Delhi. The 12-ton aircraft were purchased in 1982 by the Indian Air Force for search and rescue, and later converted for VIP transport. The Air Force operates about 400 helicopters, including the Russian-made Mi-8/17, Mi-24/35 and Mi-26s. The aircraft also include the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter and the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, built by Hindustan Aeronautics under license from France.
S. Korea To Tout T-50 Trainer to Singapore (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL - August 26, 2008: Senior defense officials from South Korea and Singapore will meet this week in Singapore to discuss the potential sale of Seoul's T-50 supersonic trainer jets, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense here said Aug. 26. The one-day "strategic dialogue" slated for Aug. 28 is the first of its kind between defense authorities of the two nations, said Oh In-je, chief of the ministry's International Policy Bureau. The meeting is aimed at expanding bilateral defense ties and exchanges, he said. "The two sides will focus on ways to help promote close bilateral cooperation on defense industry and military exchanges during the strategic dialogue," Oh said. Jeon Jei-guk, deputy minister for policy at the Korean Defense Ministry, will represent the South Korean delegation while Singapore's delegation will be led by Gary Ang Aik Hwang, assistant deputy defense minister for policy, he noted. A top agenda item is South Korea's export of T-50s to Singapore, which wants to equip its Air Force with 12 to 16 advanced trainers under a $500 million trainer acquisition program, he added. The T-50 Golden Eagle, built by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin, was included on Singapore's short list of preferred bidders, along with the M-346 of Italy, earlier this year for its trainer jet program. Singapore is expected to choose its preferred bidder by December next year, according to Defense Ministry and KAI officials. "To my knowledge, should Singapore decide to purchase T-50s, it is likely to take over the aircraft from South Korea after completing pilot training courses in Korea," a military source said, asking not to be named. "That means we can expect the sales of T-50s will draw the effect of exporting not only the advanced jet trainer but also South Korean Air Force's pilot training programs." The T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and the world's only high-performance, supersonic trainer in production today. KAI is the prime contractor for the T-50 and Lockheed Martin is the principal subcontractor, assisting with development and international marketing. The single-engine trainer features a variety of technological advances, including digital flight controls and a modern, ground-based training system that helps new pilots smoothly transition into advanced fighters such as the F-16 and the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. The aircraft has been operational with the South Korean Air Force since 2005, when mass production started. Per-unit price is about $21 million. KAI officials expect T-50 variants will secure about 30 percent of the share of the global trainer market, or 1,100 of the 3,300 trainers needed, within the next 25 years. The T-50 is also competing with the M-346 for a $1 billion acquisition by the United Arab Emirates, which wants to purchase between 35 and 40 trainers. Other potential consumers for T-50s include the United States and Greece, according to KAI officials.
Russia to support Abkhazia, S.Ossetia if they are attacked (NSI News Source Info) SOCHI - August 26, 2008: Russia will defend Abkhazia and South Ossetia with all necessary support if they come under attack, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday. "Under the decree recognizing independence of both republics, which I have signed, our country will help Abkhazia and South Ossetia to ensure their security and if they are attacked we will certainly offer them appropriate support," Medvedev told CNN. Russia's president signed decrees earlier on Tuesday recognizing Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and called on other countries to follow suit. The president said that recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was in line with international law, adding that during the independence debate in Kosovo, Russia's western partners said Kosovo was a special case. "Each case of recognizing independence is a special case," he said, "A special case in Kosovo, a special case in Abkhazia and South Ossetia." Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Georgia has long sought to bring the breakaway regions back under its control, while accusing Russia of trying to annex the republics. "Until recently we tried to help restore [Georgia's] state unity, but the last nail was driven in following [Georgia's] decision to attack," Medvedev said. He also said that Russia, while recognizing the independence of S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, had no intention of interfering in other conflicts on the post-Soviet territory. "As to our involvement in other conflicts, we naturally are not going to do this," he said. "However, Russia is a state which has to ensure its interests along the entire length of its border, this is absolutely clear," he added. The move to recognize the rebel republics will further worsen Russia's relations with Western powers, already strained over what they called Moscow's disproportionate response to Georgia's military offensive on South Ossetia. The United States and the EU have already condemned Russia's decision as "unacceptable and regrettable."
Western leaders blast Russia for recognizing Abkhazia, S.Ossetia (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - August 26, 2008: Foreign leaders spoke out Tuesday against Russia's decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while people in the Georgian breakaway regions greeted the news with raucous celebrations. Britain, the United States, Germany, France and Italy expressed their support for Georgia's sovereignty. The British Foreign Office said Russia's decision did not contribute to a peaceful settlement in the Caucasus and was out of line with its international commitments. "We reject this categorically and reaffirm Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity," a Foreign Office spokesperson said. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia "regrettable." Germany's Angela Merkel said Russia's decision was "totally unacceptable," adding that she hoped the European Union would say the same. France also called the decision "regrettable," while Italy said the move was illegal. Georgia called the decision to recognize the republics "an unconcealed annexation" and said its ties with Russia would now "stall for a long time, if not for good." Georgia attacked South Ossetia on August 8 in an attempt to regain control over the separatist republic, which split from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. Most people living in South Ossetia have Russian citizenship and Moscow subsequently launched an operation to "force Georgia to accept peace." The operation was concluded on August 12. Russia's president signed decrees Tuesday recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and called on other countries to follow suit. "This is not an easy decision, but it is the only way to protect people's lives," Dmitry Medvedev said in a televised address a day after both houses of Russia's parliament voted unanimously on resolutions asking the Russian leader to recognize the independence of the two republics following requests from their leaders. Russian officials have said Georgia lost its right to the two regions following its military offensive against South Ossetia, in which hundreds of people died and thousands were forced to flee the devastated capital, Tskhinvali.
Russia not seeking new Cold War, but not afraid - Medvedev (NSI News Source Info) SOCHI - August 26, 2008: Russia does not want a new Cold War but is not afraid of one should it occur, the Russian president told the Russia Today international news channel on Tuesday. President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees on Tuesday recognizing Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states despite warnings by Western leaders against the move. "We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new Cold War, but we don't want one, and in this situation everything depends on the position of our partners," Medvedev said, adding that the West should understand why Moscow recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia's sovereignty. Medvedev also said that U.S. presidential candidates may use this current situation in their election campaigns, although "voters are indifferent to events abroad during U.S. elections." The president said that recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was in line with international law, adding that during the independence debate in Kosovo, Russia's western partners said Kosovo was a special case. "Each case of recognizing independence is a special case," he said, "A special case in Kosovo, a special case in Abkhazia and South Ossetia." "Until recently we tried to help restore state unity, but the last nail was driven in following [Georgia's] decision to attack," Medvedev said. The move to recognize the rebel republics will further worsen Russia's relations with Western powers, already strained over what they called Moscow's disproportionate response to Georgia's military offensive on South Ossetia. Russian officials said Georgia lost its right to the two regions after launching a military offensive to retake the rebel region on August 8 in which hundreds of people died and thousands were forced to flee the devastated capital Tskhinvali. Georgia called the decision to recognize the republics "an unconcealed annexation" and said its ties with Russia would now "stall for a long time, if not for good." U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia "regrettable."
Moscow says NATO begins supplying new arms to Georgia (NSI News Source Info) BOCHAROV RUCHEI (Sochi) - August 26, 2008: NATO countries are starting new arms deliveries to Georgia, the Russian foreign minister said Tuesday. Sergei Lavrov accused those who were supporting the Georgian leadership, which started the hostilities in South Ossetia, of being "cynical and hypocritical." "According to our information, they are even starting to supply new types of weapons, restoring the military infrastructure that was used in the aggression," he said. Lavrov said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashivli had received promises that "NATO will defend him" and "rearm his regime." Asked precisely which countries were currently rearming Georgia, the Russian minister said: "Virtually all states that are supplying arms to Georgia are NATO member countries." He said Saakashvili's "foreign sponsors" had played an extremely "destructive" role in providing him with offensive weapons prior to the armed confrontation with Georgia's breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He stressed that all such supplies were at odds with OSCE and EU rules and regulations. "These weapons, which were supplied to Georgia both overtly and covertly, were eventually used against Russian citizens," Lavrov said. He added that Russian warships would patrol the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, "as well as other parts of the world's oceans," on a regular basis.
Georgia....Today's in Pictures August 26, 2008 NSI News Source Info Acting a day after Russia's Parliament unanimously supported the request of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to secede, President Dmitri A. Medvedev announced that he had signed decrees recognizing the two territories' independence, and some residents in both regions celebrated. He blamed the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, for causing the bloodshed and forcing Moscow's hand. A South Ossetian fired his weapon from a bullet-riddled car in Tskhinvali as celebrants drove through the streets with flags. People in Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, embraced during a celebration of Russia's recognition of the region. People there took to the streets carrying Abkhazia flags. Georgian refugees from surrounding villages are seen in the central square in the town of Gori, northwest of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and near the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Gori was occupied by Russian troops until late last week.
CIA used Swiss to thwart foreign nuclear programs: report
(NSI News Source Info) Washington - August 26, 2008: The CIA recruited a family of Swiss engineers to help it thwart the Libyan and Iranian nuclear programs as well as an underground network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, The New York Times reported Monday. The newspaper said the operation involved Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, who have been accused in Switzerland of dealing with rogue nations seeking nuclear equipment and expertise. The Swiss case against them has been hampered by the destruction of relevant documents, which Swiss officials have said was to prevent their falling into terrorist hands. But the Times said the real reason for the destruction was pressure from the US Central Intelligence Agency, which feared that its ties with the Tinners would be exposed. Over four years, the CIA paid the Tinners 10 million dollars, some of which was delivered to them in a suitcase stuffed with cash, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed officials. In return the engineers delivered a flow of secret information that helped end Libya's nuclear weapons program, expose Iran's atomic efforts and undo Khan's nuclear supply network. The Tinners also played an important role in a clandestine American operation to funnel sabotaged nuclear equipment to Libya and Iran, according to the Times. Contacted by AFP, CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield declined to comment on the Tinner case, but noted that "the disruption of the AQ Khan network is a genuine and very significant intelligence success -- a success that has helped make the world a safer place." Friedrich Tinner began working with Khan in the mid-1970s, using his expertise in vacuum technology to help Khan develop atomic centrifuges, the Times said. But in 2000, the CIA recruited his son, Urs Tinner, who eventually persuaded his father and younger brother to join him as moles. As part of their services, the Swiss engineers helped the CIA sabotage atomic gear bound for Libya and Iran, the report said. In 2003 and 2004, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency discovered vacuum pumps delivered to Iran and Libya that had been damaged cleverly so that they looked perfectly fine but failed to operate properly, according to The Times. They traced the defective parts from Pfeiffer Vacuum in Germany to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US state of New Mexico.
U.S. Army discuss route-clearing plans on Route Canucks in Iraq on Aug. 19, 2008. August 26, 2008 NSI News Source Info U.S. Army discuss route-clearing plans on Route Canucks in Iraq on Aug. 19, 2008. The service members are clearing the route of obstacles for a convoy consisting of four large generators headed to designated Iraqi communities.
Peru, Pakistan Asking About Korean Dragonflys
(NSI News Source Info) August 26, 2008: The A-37 Dragonfly was developed from the T-37 Tweet trainer as a counter-insurgency support aircraft, whereupon it was sent to Vietnam and became only aircraft to undergo operational testing in actual combat. The jet’s slow speed, excellent maneuverability when performing close air support, maintainability on the ground, and ability to carry its own weight in ordnance made it a popular and effective choice on the front lines. Several Latin American air forces still fly the A-37, and now Pakistan and Peru have expressed interest in the A-37Bs used by South Korea’s Black Eagles aerobatic flight team since 1994. The A-37Bs will be replaced shortly by South Korea’s own supersonic T-50s. In January 2008, KOIS reported that Peru’s air force chief of staff had asked about Korea’s A-37Bs during his October 2007 meeting with Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) commissioner Lee Sun-hi. Peru already operates the A-37B with Grupo Aereo 7 at Piura, near its northern border with Ecuador. Its air force is a mix of Russian and Western types, but budget issues and low readiness are often cited as problems with the fleet. Pakistan requested engine parts, and possibly aircraft, via a diplomatic channel in May 2007. The Pakistani Air Force does not operate A-37s in an attack role, though its ongoing civil war may make that option attractive. It does operate T-37 Tweet trainers at its Academy in Risalpur, however; they are scheduled for withdrawal once the K-8 Karakorum (aka. Hongdu JL-8) arrives in sufficient numbers, but until then they will need to be maintained. UPDATE: The USA approved the sale of 20 T-37s to Pakistan in August 2008, in return for the cost of shipping them.
Australian Agreement re: A$ 1B+ AP-3C Orion Support & Upgrade Program (NSI News Source Info) August 26, 2008: In November 2005, the Australian Government, Tenix Defence and Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace (AA) have signed the P3 Accord Master Agreement to provide capability upgrades and Through Life Support (TLS) for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The three parties have established a Joint Management Office (JMO) to supervise all Accord activities under a unique risk-sharing contractual arrangement. The JMO will develop and implement all RAAF AP-3C capability upgrades and TLS solutions through to the aircraft’s planned withdrawal date – at which point it will likely be replaced by the 737-based AP-8A MMA. The combined value of the TLS and block upgrades to the aircraft is expected to be more than A$ 1 billion… Australia’s AP-3C Programs [updated] The AP-3 Accord AP-3 Accord Updates [updated] Australia’s AP-3C Programs TLS responsibility. The alliance will develop and implement all needed logistics support solutions through to the AP-3C’s planned withdrawal date. An Industry Plan will be developed to foster the role of small and medium-sized enterprises, providing niche expertise to the fleet. A comprehensive workforce development and sustainment program will be established. In addition to the TLS responsibility, Tenix and AA will manage a number of upgrade programs, including: JP 2070 Lightweight Torpedo EuroTorp MU90 LWT integration AIR 5418 Follow on Stand-Off Weapon. Contenders include Lockheed’s JASSM, EADS’ Taurus 350, and Boeing’s Harpoon-derived SLAM-ER. AIR 5418 will also equip the RAAF’s F/A-18s and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Australian Aviation had an excellent analysis of the contenders, and the tactical employment of these types of weapons. In the end, Lockheed Martin’s JASSM was picked – but this weapon is not currently integrated with the P-3. Other upgrades will include: AIR 5276 Ph 4 Electronic Warfare Self Protection AIR 5276 Ph 5B Electro-Optics Integration AIR 5276 Ph 6 Data Links AIR 5276 Ph 8A & B ESM Update MIS 886 Acoustic Data Collection and Recording System, and MIS 554-P3 Crash Data Recorder Tenix has been involved in the support and upgrade of the P-3 Orion since the mid 1990s, including the RAAF’s much-criticized Project Air 5276” modernization effort as well as other activities. Australian Aerospace has been the deeper maintenance provider for the P3 Fleet since 1993 and was the prime integrator for the Royal New Zealand Air Force Kestrel Program, which successfully extended the life of the RNZAF P-3 Fleet.
U.S. Orders Thousands of Hellfire Missiles(NSI News Source Info) 26 August, 2008: The U.S. Army has purchased thousands of Hellfire II precision-strike, laser-guided missiles for helicopters, UAVs, and possibly, tripods and Humvees, service officials said. A U.S. AH-1 Cobra fires a Hellfire II missile. (Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control) Signed Aug. 21, the $357 million deal is to begin delivery in 2010. It also includes options to buy more in 2009 and 2010; if exercised, these options would sustain Hellfire production into 2013 and put the total number of missiles purchased over 15,000, the U.S. Army's largest Hellfire purchase to date, said Lockheed Martin Air-to-Ground Missile System Program Manager Ken Musculus. The purchase will also send missiles to France, Greece and the Netherlands via the Foreign Military Sales program. The purchase will be France's first, bringing the total of Hellfire-customer nations to 16, U.S. Army Joint Attack Munitions Systems Program Manager Col. Mike Cavalier said. France will use the missile to arm its 40 HAD Tiger attack helicopters, scheduled to arrive in 2012. The Army plans to use the missiles, which will include high-explosive anti-tank and blast-fragmentation variants, to arm UAVs. "The Air Force has been putting them on the Predator and the Reaper. The Sky Warrior A [Army UAV] has been weaponized and fielded," Cavalier said. The Army also plans to experiment with mounting the missile on other land-based platforms. "Over the past four years, we have started to get aggressive with Hellfire," Musculus said. "All I can say is we do have several programs we are undertaking to put the Hellfire missiles on a BMP [Soviet-built infantry fighting vehicle], on tripods and on applications to put it on ships." The Army's Future Combat Systems modernization program is exploring possible uses for the weapon. "We have Future Combat Systems out here and we work with them on a daily basis," Cavalier said. "There are some initiatives that have come up." Other allied nations may buy the missiles, Lockheed and Army officials said: the Spanish Navy for its helicopters and Turkey for its T-129 attack helicopter. In service since the early 1990s on attack helicopters such as the Apache, the Hellfire II uses laser guidance to lock on targets from as far as eight kilometers away.