Saturday, August 30, 2008
U. S. Air Force Making Combat Experience Count (NSI News Source Info) August 30, 2008: The U.S. Air Force has been using combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to get as many of their combat pilots some combat experience as they can. This ensures that the air force will end up with the largest number of combat experienced pilots for over a decade after the fighting ends. It's a big deal, for a pilot, to earn combat wings. And the large number of these pilots has changed the way the air force fights, and trains new pilots to fight. Pilots who have been in combat know, from experience, exactly how all those standard procedures, drummed into new pilots, or practiced endlessly by peacetime pilots, should really be carried out. Combat clears away a lot of administrative deadwood and dangerous busywork. This knowledge, once passed on to a new pilot, or one who has not been in combat, makes that pilot much better once they do get into a combat zone. All this is nothing new. Back in World War II, it was discovered that training new pilots for combat, went much better if the instructors were combat veterans. The World War II experience made a lot of how much more effective new pilots were, the more hours they had spent in the air during training. That was because it was so easy just count the hours of air time, and combat performance, and do a regression analysis. It was harder to quantify the combat experience of the instructors, but starting in the 1960s, after the unexpectedly dismal showing of U.S. pilots early in the Vietnam war, the combat pilot community learned how to quantify combat experience, and how to use it when available.
Sikorsky Debuts Fly-by-Wire UH-60M (NSI News Source Info) August 30, 2008: Sikorsky has begun flight testing the UH-60M Upgrade, the latest version of the Black Hawk and the first fly-by-wire helicopter for the U.S. Army. The first flight at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla, test center lasted around 60 minutes and included hover, forward flight and a hover turn, Sikorsky says. The M Upgrade introduces a digital fly-by-wire (FBW) system with triple-redundant Hamilton Sundstrand dual-channel flight control computers and actuators, and BAE Systems active control sticks. Sikorsky says FBW, coupled with Rockwell Collins’ Common Aviation Architecture System (CAAS) glass cockpit, reduces pilot workload, improves aircraft handling qualities and increases pilot situational awareness. Eliminating mechanical control linkages also saves weight and reduces maintenance, the company says. At the same time, the engines are upgraded to General Electric T700-701Es with fully authority digital engine control. The UH-60M entered services in June and U.S. Army plans to procure a total of 1,227 new Black Hawks. Some 900 of those are to be M Upgrade aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Russian, U.S. airlines involved in near miss over Caribbean (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - August 30, 2008: Russian and U.S. airliners were a minute away from a midair collision over the Atlantic Ocean when the Russian Boeing 747 descended avoiding a crash, a spokesman for the Russian air company said. The Transaero Boeing 747 was en route from Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, to Moscow on Friday at a height of 10,000 meters, when it was involved in the near miss with a U.S. a Delta Air Lines plane, with 152 passengers on board, official Transaero spokesman, Sergei Bykhal said. "During the flight the aircraft's Traffic Collision Avoidance System went off. Later, we discovered that a U.S. Delta airliner was heading to the left of the Transaero aircraft," Bykhal said. The pilot of the Russian airliner descended 200 to 300 feet to avoid the U.S. passenger aircraft and later resumed the normal flight level, the spokesman said, adding that his actions have been described as irreproachable. The Russian airliner arrived at 12.05 p.m. Moscow time [08:05 GMT] on Friday at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport on schedule. An investigation into the incident has been launched. In 2002, 69 people, including 45 children, were killed in a midair collision, involving a Boeing 757 cargo plane and a Tu-154 passenger aircraft, over Lake Constance, near the German border with Switzerland. The crash occurred when the only officer on duty, Peter Nielsen, was working on his own, in breach of safety procedures. Nielsen who was monitoring up to 15 flights when the accident happened failed to notice the two planes closing in on each other. Independent investigations said that vital safety equipment had been switched off during the tragedy and identified organizational deficiencies with the air traffic control company, Skyguide, which contributed to the midair crash. Nielsen was stabbed to death in February 2004 by a Russian national, who lost his wife and both of his children in the crash. Vitaly Kaloyev was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of murder by a Swiss court. He was later released from prison in November 2007.
Barracuda Demonstrator Unmanned Air Vehicle, Europe (NSI News Source Info) August 30, 2008: The Barracuda demonstrator unmanned air vehicle has been developed by EADS Military Air Systems in Germany and Spain, with an industrial team of about 30 aerospace companies and specialised suppliers. The air vehicle has a radius of action of more than 200km and a maximum speed over Mach 0.6. The operating ceiling is 20,000ft. The purpose of the Barracuda demonstrator is to demonstrate and test technologies for future agile, autonomous and network-capable UAV systems. The first flight of the air vehicle took place in April 2006 at the San Javier Military Air Base in southern Spain. During one of the flight trials in September 2006, the Barracuda air vehicle crashed into the sea. Barracuda construction The demonstrator air vehicle, including swept wings, is of entirely carbon-fibre construction. The air vehicle, of length 8.25m and wingspan 7.22m, has a maximum take-off weight of 3,250kg. The vehicle has a swept horizontal tail and outwardly canted fins and rudders. "The Barracuda demonstrator unmanned air vehicle has been developed by EADS." EADS Military Air Systems at its Augsburg (Germany) site is responsible for the manufacturing of the fuselage and EADS Military Air Systems in Getafe (Spain) for the construction and manufacturing of the swept wings. The air vehicle fuselage is manufactured using the vacuum assisted process (VAP) developed by EADS. Liebherr is responsible for the design and supply of the air vehicle's electro-mechanical actuation control system. The Liebherr primary fly-by-wire and the secondary flight control systems provide an all-electric-aircraft capability for the Barracuda in flight.
First flight of the Barracuda air vehicle took place in April 2006 at the San Javier Military Air Base in southern Spain. The Barracuda air vehicle has a radius of action of more than 200km and a maximum speed over Mach 0.6. Fly-by-wire and flight control systems provide an all-electric-aircraft capability for the Barracuda in flight. The Barracuda air vehicle is of entirely carbon-fibre construction with a maximum take off weight of 3,250kg. The Barracuda carries a maximum payload of 300kg.Avionics For reliability and safety the Barracuda has a triplex flight control and navigation system. The avionics system installed has an open and modular configuration which will allow the installation of new sensors and communications equipment. The flight control computer is provided by MTU and the navigation system by Thales. Payloads The Barracuda carries a maximum payload of 300kg. The avionics system will support communications for network-enabled operations and real-time transmission of information, including broadband line-of-sight. In the future it may support beyond line-of-sight data links, secure and jam resistant crypto-links, multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) / Link 16 NATO tactical data link, and a satellite communications link. Payload systems will include infrared and other electro-optical sensors and, for future applications, it may include laser target designators, a high-accuracy emitter location system (ELS) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Barracuda may also be capable of carrying weapon systems. The systems are installed in the central payload bay. Turbofan engine The Barracuda air vehicle is powered by a P&W Canada JT15D-5C turbofan engine which provides 14.2kN thrust. The position of the engine's air intake as part of the dorsal surface and the profile of the air intake contribute to the low radar signature of the air vehicle. "Barracuda demonstrates and tests technologies for future agile, autonomous and network-capable UAV systems." Landing gear The aircraft uses a conventional wheeled take-off and landing gear. Eaton is responsible for the design and supply of the hydraulic power system and the actuators for lowering and retracting the landing gear and for steering the nose wheel. The demonstrator air vehicle is a fully electric aircraft in flight and the hydraulics systems are used only for the landing gear actuation and nose wheel steering. The air vehicle is fitted with E-brake electrically operated carbon brakes developed by Meggitt's Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems. The E-brake is a reduced-weight, high-reliability braking system for manned and unmanned aircraft. Mission control station A ground-based mission control station provides mission planning, monitoring and data evaluation. The air vehicle operates completely autonomously. During flight, high level commands can be entered to change pre-planned missions. The entire system of the control station and air vehicles has a small logistical footprint, so the system is easy to operate and deploy.
China aids Iran's tactical missile programme
(NSI News Source Info) August 30, 2008: China is producing several families of tactical guided missiles, primarily for the anti-ship role, that appear to have been designed and developed for a single export customer - Iran. At the China Air Show 2004, in Zhuhai during late October and early November, the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, exhibited three variants of two new missiles - the JJ/TL-6B, JJ/TL-10A and KJ/TL-10B. These weapons are identical to Iranian missiles known as Nasr (TL-6) and Kosar (TL-10). Brochures produced by the Iran Aerospace Industries Organisation (IAIO) appear to carry photos of even the same models exhibited in China, labelled with Iranian programme names. It is now clear that two missile programmes revealed a few years ago by China National Aero Technology Import & Export Co (CATIC) - the FL-8 and FL-9 - were the TL-10 and TL-6, respectively, under yet another name. A third weapon exhibited at Zhuhai and destined for Iran was a new variant of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (COSIC) C-701 anti-ship missile, the radar-guided C-701R. The C-701 has previously been presented by the IAIO in Iran, where it is claimed as a national programme Of the newly unveiled missiles the smaller KJ/TL-10 series appears to have made the most progress. Development work began during the mid-1990s and Hongdu publicity material from Zhuhai shows a TL-10 being fired from an unidentified naval ship. A Hongdu spokesperson told JDW that deliveries of the TL-10A variant were already under way to a foreign customer. It was stressed that both the TL-6 and TL-10 programmes are for export and not for national use. The officials added that the radar-guided TL-10B and TL-6B missiles were still in development with perhaps another two years remaining until they were operational. Conflicting accounts were given as to whether the missiles are, or will be, both air- and surface-launched. The Chinese abbreviation KJ indicates an air-to-ship missile (Kong Jian), while the JJ designator is for a surface-to-surface weapon (Jian Jian). The TL (Dragonfly) name identifies the missile family within Hongdu, a unit of China Aviation Industry Corporation II (AVIC II). JDW was told that the radar-guided TL-10B would be a helicopter-launched weapon, while an air-launched version of the TL-6 was also part of that missile's development plan. Helicopters were identified as the platform for an air-launched TL-6, but elsewhere at the show AVIC I displayed a model of the Shenyang F-8IIM carrying TL-6 missiles. The latest C-701R missile from COSIC, the parent company of the better-known China Precision Machinery Import Export Co, CPMIEC, is fitted with a radar seeker (believed to be a millimetre wave radar) replacing the earlier electro-optical seeker of the C-701T. Effective range now stands at 25 km. The C-701R has been redesigned with a longer missile body and the deletion of the pop-out fin tips found on the C-701T. The size, shape and general performance of the C-701 is very similar to that of the TL-10 series. Both weapons are clearly intended for Iran but it is not known why two apparently competing designs have evolved for the same customer. Iranian sources show that both the TL-10 and C-701 missiles are included within the national Kosar programme. Chinese industry representatives at Zhuhai declined to comment on links with Iran.
Hezbollah Attacks Via Venezuela (NSI News Source Info) August 30, 2008: The ceasefire with Hamas is holding, at least according to Palestinian standards. Since the ceasefire began June 19th, about 50 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza. About half of attacks were Kassam rockets, which can reach Israeli civilians. The shorter range (about five kilometers) mortars are aimed at the Israeli troops guarding the border fence. The Israelis no longer shut the border every time the Palestinian terrorists fire on them, but the attacks are increasing, and the ceasefire may not survive for much longer. Hamas insists that it cannot control all the Palestinian factions in Gaza. Israel has told Lebanon that, if Hezbollah achieves its goal of taking over the Lebanese government, all of Lebanon will be a target in any future war between Hezbollah and Israel. During the 2006 war, Israeli air attacks were largely restricted to Hezbollah owned targets. Iran-backed Hezbollah has made no secret of its desire to take control of the Lebanese government, and launch another attack on Israel. Only 30-40 percent of Lebanese favor a Hezbollah dominated government, but most Lebanese favor attacks on Israel. However, most Lebanese don't want a war on Israel (that is, attacks on Israel, where the Israelis shoot back.) Stopping Hezbollah from gradually bullying its way into control of the government is only a matter of time, unless the Lebanese majority allows another civil war to develop. Hezbollah bullying has, this year, gotten Hezbollah a veto over any government decisions. Hezbollah is now pushing for outright control of the government. The 250 kilometer border with Egypt is becoming more of a problem. That's largely because Egyptian smugglers are more active with moving illegal African migrants trying to get into Israel to find work. There's plenty of work, as Israel cannot trust Palestinian workers to cross from the West Bank without some suicide bombers coming with them. So foreign workers have been replacing over 100,000 Palestinians who used to work in Israel. Egyptian smugglers charge migrants (mostly Africans) about $300 each to get them across the border. The smugglers also bring in illegal drugs. There are about 250,000 foreign workers in Israel (40 percent of them illegal), and at least 5,000 additional illegals get in each year. Most of those jobs would have been held by Palestinians, were it not for the Palestinian terror bombing campaign against Israel, that began eight years ago. Israel is investigating Moslem charities in Israel and the West Bank, and shutting down those found to have connections to terrorist groups. Israel has also been encountering, and arresting, more Israeli Arabs who are trying to organize terrorist attacks inside Israel. This is hard for Israeli Arabs to do, even with access to all the "how to be a terrorist" stuff on the Internet. That's because Israeli intelligence often plugs into terrorist communications throughout the region, and has lots of Israeli Arabs who will report any terrorist activity in their family or neighborhood. Israel believes Iranian and Hezbollah commercial operations in Venezuela (run by a leftist government that is anti-Israel and tolerant of Islamic radicalism) are a cover for teams of terrorists intent on kidnapping Jewish residents of, or visitors to, Venezuela. The captives would then be smuggled back to Lebanon and used to extract prisoners and other concessions from Israel. In neighboring Colombia, the army has captured documents, earlier this year, showing that leftist rebels had close, but secret, ties with Venezuela. It is feared that similar arrangements have been made with Hezbollah. Israel is having increasing morale and discipline problems in its armed forces. The Golani Brigade, or of the most effective units in the army, has been a particular problem. Last week, fifteen Golani Brigade troops left their base and went home, complaining of poor treatment. Officers went to the homes of these soldiers and took their weapons, and the army plans to punish the troops. Last year, a hundred Golani Brigade left their base, also complaining of excessive discipline and poor treatment. Three years ago, several Golani Brigade troops refused to participate in operations to half the construction and use of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Most Israeli troops are reservists, called to active duty periodically to supply troops needed for security and counter-terror operations. More and more, politics is influencing the troops attitudes towards their military duties. August 28, 2008: In Lebanon, a Hezbollah gunman opened fire on a Lebanese army helicopter, killing one of the Lebanese soldiers on board. The Hezbollah man thought it was an Israeli helicopter landing commandos for a raid. The next day, the gunman was handed over to the Lebanese government, as Lebanese politicians openly asked whether the country had really become two separate states, one of them controlled by Hezbollah. This is something Hezbollah strenuously denies, despite the fact that Hezbollah does have check points on roads leading into territory that Hezbollah troops control, and limits access by Lebanese soldiers and police. August 22, 2008: Two more Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, landing in wasteland.
Boeing Delivers Two 777 Models to Emirates (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE - August 30, 2008: Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Dubai-based airline Emirates celebrated the delivery of a 777-300ER (Extended Range) and a 777-200LR (Longer Range) Thursday, marking the first double 777 delivery to a Middle East airline. Emirates first Middle East Carrier to receive two 777 variants on the same day. Representatives from the Emirates and Boeing team are pictured here prior to the airplanes' departure for Dubai. These new 777s are the 62nd and 63rd of the model type delivered to Emirates, one of the world's biggest operators of the most successful large twin-engine airplane flying today. To date, 56 customers from around the world have ordered 1,092 777s. Boeing has more than 355 unfilled orders for the 777, worth more than $91 billion at current list prices.
Boeing Delivers Two 737-800s to Brazil's Varig Airlines (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE - August 30, 2008: Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered two 737-800s to Brazil's Varig Airlines on Tuesday. The jetliners, sporting a bright new livery, then departed from Boeing Field to Sao Paulo. Varig's new livery features a unique starburst design that appears in three different locations on the tail as part of a variable paint scheme. The 737-800s are equipped with Blended Winglets and Boeing's special short-field performance package designed for short runways such as Santos Dumont in Rio de Janeiro. "The Boeing Next-Generation 737 family combines low operating costs with high performance, enabling our low-cost carrier business to succeed throughout South America," said Fernando Rockert de Magalhães, GOL/Varig's vice president -- technical. GOL, one of the world's leading low-cost carriers, purchased Varig, Brazil's flagship airline, last year. A third Varig 737-800 (photo top) is now undergoing pre-delivery flight tests.
Putin in fresh attack on US over Georgia (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - August 30, 2008:Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made fresh accusations of US involvement in the Georgia conflict and rejected suggestions Moscow could target Ukraine next, in an interview aired Saturday.The powerful former Kremlin leader urged the European Union to refrain from imposing sanctions against Russia when it meets for an emergency summit on Monday.A transcript of the interview to Germany's ARD television was released by the Russian government Saturday and excerpts were broadcast on Russian television.Putin spoke after Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia on Friday, three days after Moscow formally recognised the independence of two Georgian secessionist regions."We know there were many US advisors there," Putin said, reiterating remarks he had made in a previous interview to CNN."But these instructors, teachers in a general sense, personnel who trained others to work on the supplied military equipment, are supposed to be in training centers and where were they? In the military operations zone," he said."Why did the senior US leadership allow their citizens to be present there when they had no right to be in the security zone? And if they allowed it, I begin to suspect that it was done intentionally to organise a small victorious war. "And if that failed, they wanted to create an enemy out of Russia and unite voters around one of the presidential candidates. Of course, a ruling party candidate, because it is only the ruling party that has this kind of resource," he said.The White House has dismissed the accusations as "patently false".Putin also rejected suggestions from French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that Russia could have designs on other former Soviet republics -- specifically Ukraine -- after sending troops deep inside Georgia this month."We have long ago recognised the borders of modern-day Ukraine," he said.Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been strained over Kiev's demands that Moscow prepare the withdrawal of Russia's Black Sea fleet from the Crimean port of Sevastopol, where the Russian fleet has been based for 200 years.But Putin offered reassurances that the fleet will eventually leave Crimea: "We have an agreement with Ukraine about maintaining the presence of our fleet until the year 2017 and we will implement that agreement."US Vice President Dick Cheney will visit Georgia on Tuesday in a new show of Western support for the Tbilisi government.
Iran warns any attack would start 'world war' (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN - August 30, 2008: A senior Iranian military commander has warned that any US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic would start a world war, the state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday."Any aggression against Iran will start a world war," deputy chief of staff for defence publicity, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement carried by the agency.Iran is under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process which lies at the core of fears about Iran's nuclear programme as it can make nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atom bomb."The unrestrained greed of the US leadership and global Zionism... is gradually leading the world to the edge of a precipice," Jazayeri said, citing the unrest in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Georgia."It is evident that if such a challenge occurs, the fake and artificial regimes will be eliminated before anything," he said, without naming any countries.Iran does not recognise Israel, which is often described by officials in Tehran as a "fake regime."The United States and its staunch ally Israel, the region's sole if undeclared nuclear armed nation, accuse Iran of seeking atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme.Iran has repeatedly denied the allegations, insisting its nuclear drive is aimed solely at providing electricity for a growing population when its reserves of fossil fuels run out.The United States has never ruled out military action against Iran over its defiance of international demands for an enrichment freeze, but so far is pursuing the diplomatic route with calls for more sanctions.Iranian officials have repeatedly vowed a crushing response to any attacks.