Monday, September 08, 2008
Dutch Prepare for Large Utility Vehicle Buy (NSI News Source Info) September 8, 2008: The Netherlands’ Ministerie van Defensie has announced a EUR 250+ million project to replace nearly 8,000 light, medium and heavy wheeled logistics and patrol vehicles between 2011-2018. This will not include tactical vehicles such as the Landmacht’s Fennek reconnaissance vehicles, CV90/ YPR/ BvS10 armored personnel carriers, tanks, et. al., but it will replace a significant percentage of the Dutch patrol vehicle and truck fleet.
Russia postpones launch of European GOCE satellite (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - September 8, 2008: The launch of a Russian Rockot carrier rocket bearing Europe's first GOCE satellite has been postponed, the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center said on Monday. The decision to delay blast-off was made after a pre-launch inspection of the rocket showed glitches in one of the on-board devices. The new launch date will be announced shortly, Khrunichev said in its press release. The carrier rocket, bearing a Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite, had originally been scheduled for lift off on September 10. The Rockot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM in conjunction with a Breeze-KM upper-stage for commercial payloads. The launch will be carried out by Russia's Space Forces from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia and will put the GOCE satellite into a low earth orbit (LEO) of 270-300 km (170-186 miles). GOCE, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), is the first European satellite designed to provide unique models of the Earth's gravity field on a global scale and with unprecedented accuracy and spatial resolution. The satellite, along with a host of support equipment, was delivered to the Plesetsk center from Amsterdam in July for pre-launch check and recently mounted on the rocket. The contract to launch GOCE was concluded between the ESA and Eurockot Launch Services GmbH, a joint venture of the Khrunichev center (49%) and EADS Astrium (51%). A total of seven launches of Rockot carrier vehicles have been made since 2000 under the Eurockot program, with 16 satellites owned by leading space agencies and organizations from the United States, Europe and Asia put into orbit.
Russian, French presidents to hold talks on Georgia in Moscow (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - September 8, 2008: The presidents of Russia and France will hold a meeting in Moscow on Monday to discuss developments in the Caucasus following the recent South Ossetia conflict. Ahead of the French president's visit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said "Nicolas Sarkozy would like to continue discussing the developments in the Caucasus" with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev signed a six-point ceasefire deal during Sarkozy's visit on August 12, under which Russia was to pull its troops back to the positions they held before Georgia's August 8 attack on breakaway South Ossetia. However, Russia says the plan allows for a continued "additional security measures" in a buffer zone within Georgia proper. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the "amended" document signed by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili bears no relation to that signed by Russia. In particular, he said that plans for discussions on the regions' future status, included in the sixth point of the document, were removed from the amended text. The French delegation also includes European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. The group will later travel to Tbilisi. Nesterenko said he was "not authorized" to comment on other issues to be on the Medvedev-Sarkozy agenda. Moscow said hundreds of civilians were killed in Georgia's attack on South Ossetia, and thousands fled the devastated region. Russia's General Staff said 64 servicemen were killed and 323 injured in its operation to force Georgia to peace in South Ossetia. On August 26, Russia recognized South Ossetia and another Georgian breakaway republic, Abkhazia, as independent states.
Militant leader killed in special operation in Daghestan (NSI News Source Info) MAKHACHKALA - September 8, 2008: A militant leader was killed in a special operation in Daghestan in southern Russia, a spokesman for the republic's Interior Ministry said Monday. "Three militants have been killed in a special operation near the village of Magaramkent in southern Daghestan," the source said. "The so-called 'emir of Daghestan,' Ilgar Malachiyev, was among the dead." Malachiyev had been stopped in his car by federal troops and was killed when they returned fire. The source refused to give any further details, saying the operation was ongoing. According to Daghestan's Interior Ministry, Malachiyev's militant group has some 40 members, three of whom are on the federal wanted list. In 2008, they are believed to have killed five people, including three policemen, and injured nine. Azerbaijan's National Security Ministry and Prosecutor General's Office earlier said that Malachiyev and his accomplice Samir Makhdiyev were responsible for the August 17 blast in the country's largest Sunni mosque, Abu-Bekr, which left three people dead and 11 injured.