Egypt - UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopters
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - September 10, 2008: The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopters as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $176 million. The Government of Egypt has requested a possible sale of 4 UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters with 8 T-700-GE-701D engines, 1 spare T-700-GE-701D engine, 4 AN/APR-39A(V)2 Radar Signal Detecting Sets, 4 AN/ALQ-144A(V)1 Infrared Countermeasure Sets, 4 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS), 4 AN/AVR-2A Laser Warning Sets, and 4 Improved Hover Infrared Suppression Systems (IHIRSS). Also included: SAFIRE/II/HD Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), M130 Flare and Chaff Dispensers, and AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser Systems (CMDS), spare and repair parts, tools and support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $176 million. This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. Egypt needs these helicopters to support a newly established military Search and Rescue Operations Center and to assist with border security missions. The helicopters will be used to perform search and rescue, surveillance, observation missions, and to modernize Egypt’s existing aircraft inventory. Egypt will have no difficulty absorbing these additional aircraft into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractors will be: Sikorsky Aircraft (United Technologies) Corporation of Stratford, Connecticut, Schweizer Aircraft Company of Horseheads, New York, and General Electric Aircraft Company of Lynn, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U. S. Government or contractor personnel in Egypt. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
Saudi Arabia - AH-64D APACHE Longbow Helicopters
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - September 10, 2008: The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of AH-64D APACHE Longbow Helicopters as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $598 million. The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of 12 AH-64D Block II APACHE Longbow Helicopters, 30 T700-GE-701D Engines, 12 Modernized Targeting Acquisition and Designation Systems/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, 4 each AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars and AN/APR-48 Radar Frequency Interferometers, 28 M299 HELLFIRE Longbow Missile Launchers, 12 AN/ALQ-144C(V)3 Infrared Jammers, 12 AN/APR-39A(V)4 Radar Signal Detecting Sets, 12 AN/ALQ-136(V)5 Radar Jammers, 12 AAR-57(V)3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems, 36 Improved Countermeasures Dispensers, and 12 AN/AVR-2B Laser Warning Sets. Also included: composite horizontal stabilators, Integrated Helmet and Display Sight Systems, repair and return, transportation, depot maintenance, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support, and other related elements of program support. The estimated cost is $598 million. This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia will use the AH-64D for its national security, and protecting its borders and oil infrastructure. The aircraft will provide the Saudi military more advanced targeting and engagement capabilities. The proposed sale will provide for the defense of vital installations and will provide close air support for the Saudi military ground forces. This sale also will increase the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) APACHE sustainability and interoperability with the U.S. Air Force, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and other coalition air forces. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region. The prime contractors will be Boeing Corporation of Mesa, Arizona, General Electric Company of Fairfield, Connecticut, and Lockheed Martin Corporation of Palmdale, California. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale requires the assignment of one Contractor Field Service representative (CFSR) to Saudi Arabia for two years for the airframe and electrical systems, and another CFSR for two years for the Fire Control Radar. Also, this program will require U.S. government and contractor personnel participation in annual, one-week Program Management Reviews in Saudi Arabia. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the sale has been concluded.
Australia Acquires 4 C-17s
(NSI News Source Info) September 10, 2008: In March 2006, the Australian government announced that the Australian Defence Forces will acquire up to 4 new Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift planes and associated equipment for A$ 2 billion ($1.49 billion then conversion). The first aircraft will be delivered to Australia later in 2006, with the balance of the fleet originally slated for to delivery by mid 2008.
Since then, aircraft have been rolling off the assembly line, and flying the (un)friendly skies to support Australia’s military. The last aircraft has arrived, but that doesn’t mean expenses are done. The latest item is a contract with Boeing, which will create an Australian training facility.
*Australia: Why the C-17?
*Australia: C-17 Related Contracts & Events
*Appendix A: A New Day for Boeing’s C-17? (April 2006) Australia: Why the C-17?
Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III was in competition with the Airbus A400M to become Australia’s next-generation transport aircraft. While the A400M’s flyaway price tag of USD$ 100 million or so would be approximately half that of a C-17 in return for about half the payload and two-thirds of the cargo volume, Australia’s M1 Abrams tanks would not be transportable in an A400M. Indeed, the Long Beach Press-Telegram quotes industry observers, who said it was the C-17’s ability to tote its M1 Abrams tanks and CH-47 Chinook helicopters that won over the Australian government. Another consideration was the fact that the A400M lacks even a test model, and would not have been available sooner than 2009 at the very earliest.
The maximum payload capacity of the C-17 is 170,900 lb (77,500 kg), and its maximum gross takeoff weight is 585,000 lb (265,350 kg). With a payload of 160,000 lb (72,600 kg) and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 ft (8,500 m), the C-17 has an unrefueled range of 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 km). The C-17 is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,000 ft (900 m) and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate out of unpaved, unimproved runways (although this is rarely done due to the increased possibility of damage to the aircraft). The thrust reversers can be used to back the aircraft and reverse direction on narrow taxiways using a three-point (or in some cases, multi-point) turn maneuver.
The C-17 is designed to airdrop up to 102 paratroopers and equipment. In Australian terms, it ca also can carry one 60-ton M1 Abrams tank, as well as loads ranging from 5 Bushmaster infantry vehicles to 3 Tiger reconnaissance/attack helicopters.
Australia now joins the USA and Britain as operators of the C-17 Globemaster III. Australia plans on basing No. 36 Squadron’s C-17s at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley near Brisbane, which will become the primary base for both its new C-17s and its A330 MRTT tanker aircraft. Amberly is currently home to Australia’s F-111 fleet, and is undergoing the infrastructure upgrades required for these new roles.
Australia: C-17 Related Contracts & Events
Sept 5/08: Boeing announces a $33 million U.S. Air Force Foreign Military Sales contract to provide a C-17 Aircrew Training System (ATS) to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The contract marks the first international sale of the system, which has been used by the USAF since 1992. The RAAF’s Heavy Air Lift Director, Group Captain Andrew Doyle, added that the RAAF had deliberately reduced the frequency of simulator training, in order to avoid long trips to the United States. With the new ATS in place, that will no longer be an issue.
The new ATS at the RAAF’s Amberley base will include a Weapons Systems Trainer, a loadmaster station, and a learning center. It will also use Boeing’s newly developed Virtual Cargo Load Model, a new training device that allows loadmaster students to practice configuring a variety of cargo loads on a laptop computer.
Boeing subcontractor Flight Safety International of Tulsa, OK is providing the hardware, while Boeing Support Systems is responsible for software development and integration as well as program management. Boeing Australia Limited will provide support. Boeing release.
March 10/08: The RAAF’s 4th and final C-17 touches down at RAAF Base Amberley after making the journey from the US. The delivery has now been finalized within its agreed timeframe and within budget, and RAAF C-17s have already been involved in Operation Catalyst (Iraq), Operation PNG Assist, and Operation Astute (Timor-Leste), as well as several Australian Defence Force exercises. The RAAF is now working towards more complex roles, including the airdrop of personnel and cargo and high dependency aero-medical evacuation.
The Globemaster fleet will be operated by No. 36 Squadron out of RAAF Base Amberley. Full operational capability of the aircraft is scheduled for the end of 2011, with the completion of in-country training and permanent facilities for No. 36 Squadron. Related upgrades are also in progress at RAAF Bases Darwin, Townsville, Edinburgh and Pearce.
Feb 12/08: The RAAF’s 3rd C-17A arrives in Australia. The 4th Globemaster will arrive at RAAFB Amberley in early March.
Jan 18/08: Boeing delivers the 4th and last C-17A Block 17 to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during a ceremony at the company’s Long Beach, CA manufacturing facility. In 2008, a variety of air lift roles are planned to be cleared for Australia’s Globemasters, including aero-medical evacuation, in which the C-17 will be configured to carry 6 “high-dependency”/intensive care patients or 36 “low-dependency” patients. Australian Ministerial release.
With the delivery of this new airlifter, the worldwide C-17 fleet now includes 171 U.S. Air Force C-17s as well as 4 in the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and 2 in the Canadian Forces. The RAF and the Canadian Forces will each receive 2 additional C-17s in 2008, completing their orders. The U.S. Air Force is on contract to receive 19 more C-17s by mid-2009, whereupon their current orders will also be complete unless new planes are added to the program. Boeing release.
Sept 20/07: The Minister for Defence announces the official go-ahead for Stage 3 of the redevelopment of RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Public Works gave their approval, and that was then approved by Parliament. Construction is expected to begin in early 2008 with completion expected in late 2011.
Sept 20/07: The Minister for Defence announces the official go-ahead for the C-17 Infrastructure project. Specifically, the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Public Works gave their approval, and that recommendation was approved by Parliament. Construction will commence in early 2008 around each of the 5 home and deployment bases.
May 30/07: A Ministerial release announces that the Government will commit A$ 268.2 million (currently about $220 million) for The C-17 Infrastructure project, which will create the required permanent facilities and airfield pavements to support C-17 operations at RAAF Base Amberley, and expanded infrastructure at deployment bases RAAF Bases Edinburgh, Darwin, Pearce and Townsville. Subject to Parliamentary clearance of the works, construction is planned to start in early 2008 and is expected to be complete by 2011.
The release adds that this project will generate a significant amount of short-term employment opportunities for skilled consultants, sub-contractors and construction workers in each of the 5 regions that encompass the home and deployment bases.
May 30/07: The Australian Government announces that it is committing A$ 331.5 million (currently about $271 million) for RAAF Base Amberley’s 3rd stage of redevelopment. RAAFB Amberley is located in the middle of Australia’s eastern coast, near Ipswich in Queensland. This stage of the redevelopment will include fuel farm works, training accommodation, medical and dental facilities, trainee living-in accommodation, combined messing facilities and office accommodation. Subject to Parliamentary clearance of the project, construction is expected to begin in early 2008 with completion expected in late 2011.
The efforts are meant to keep up with Amberley’s growth, including the newly arrived No 36 Squadron to operate the new C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, the planned relocation of 9th Force Support Battalion in late 2007, and the 2009 relocation of 33 Sqn from RAAFB Richmond in New South Wales once they begin receiving their KC-30B Multi-Role Tanker Transports.
Amberley currently supports Australia’s 22 F-111C/G fighter-bombers and RF-11C reconnaissance aircraft, and is slated to receive 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets as replacements when the F-111 are retired in 2010. RAAF Base Amberley is also home to 38 Sqn and its aged but incomparable DHC-4 Caribous; as well as providing support for RAAF units including the Headquarters of Combat Support Group, and the RAAF Security and Fire School and Airfield Defence Wing.
May 11/07: The RAAF takes delivery of its 2nd C-17 Globemaster III a month ahead of schedule, during a ceremony at the Boeing facility at Long Beach, California.
The aircraft will transport newly acquired Army Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats and their support equipment, along with C-17 logistical equipment, back to RAAF Base Amberley. It is expected to arrive on May 19, 2007.
Nov 28/06: Australia’s first C-17 is rolled out in “Block 17” configuration. A black stallion on the C-17’s tail identifies the airplane as part of the RAAF’s No. 36 Squadron, an airlift unit that will be based in Amberley, west of Brisbane. After a December 4, 2006 welcome ceremony in Canberra, Australia, the aircraft will fly to RAAF Base Amberley on December 6th.
The aircraft arrived on schedule.
Oct 5/06: Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, CA received an $8.5 million cost-plus-incentive fee, fixed-price-award fee and time and materials contract modification. This is an undefinitized contract action for the FY 2007 portion of the Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership program.
The RAAF has procured four C-17 aircraft (via a separate contracting action). This action will provide the sustainment of these aircraft over the course of FY 2007 to include aircraft maintenance, upgrade, and sustainment. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8614-04-C-2004/P00129).
July 31/06: Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, CA received a $780 million firm-fixed-price, undefinitized delivery order contract that will provide 4 C-17 aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force ($195 million per plane). The C-17 system group, in accordance with air mobility command, has arranged for the reallocation of four C-17 aircraft delivery positions from the Air Force Multi-Year Procurement II (MYPII) contract, F33657-02-C-2001, for delivery to the RAAF. Negotiations were complete July 2006, and work will be completed in phases: 1st delivery November 2006; 2nd, May 2007; 3rd, January 2008 and 4th, February 2008 (FA8614-06-D-2006, delivery order 0001).
The Headquarters 328th Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract. The Public Affairs point of contact is ASC/PAM at 937-255-3334.
July 28/06: Boeing Co. in Long Beach, CA is awarded an $80.7 million cost-plus-incentive-fee/ fixed-price award-fee/ time-and-materials contract modification. This contract modification is a foreign military sales requirement for Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17 Globemaster IIIs to join the international C-17 Sustainment Partnership Program. This action incorporates the RAAF’s 4 aircraft into the C-17 “virtual fleet” which includes aircraft maintenance, upgrade, and sustainment. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH is the contracting activity (FA8614-04-C-2004/P00110).
The proposed plan will also require seven each U.S. Government and Australian representatives at the facility, plus the assignment of up to ten each U.S. Government and contractor representatives to travel to Australia for annual participation in training, program management, and technical review. Additional subcontractors may be needed depending on the exact nature of the contracting arrangements established. As part of its role, Boeing will establish a facility at RAAF Base Amberly to provide logistics support for the C-17. See also Boeing’s August 17, 2006 release.
April 3/06: The formal DSCA request [PDF format] includes:
*Up to four C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft
*Up to 18 Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines
*Up to four AN/AAQ-24V(13) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Systems
*Up to 15 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles; plus
Personnel Life Support equipment, spare and repair parts, supply support, training equipment and support, publications and technical data.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notes that this sale will involve the following contractors:
*Boeing Company Long Beach, CA
*Boeing Company Training Systems St. Louis, MO
*AAI Services Corporation Goose Creek, SC
*United Technologies Corporation East Hartford, CT
*Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation Rolling Meadows, IL
Appendix A: A New Day for Boeing’s C-17? (April 2006)
The timing is fortuitous for Boeing, as C-17 production is expected to shut down in 2008 and each new C-17 aircraft ordered reportedly extends Boeing’s C-17 line by 3 weeks. Nevertheless, as Copley News Service explains, Boeing is slightly ahead of schedule and will be able to deliver the additional four aircraft without affecting its timelines for closure. The US Air Force has listed obtaining 7 more C-17s as its top unfunded requirement, however, and this could buy enough time to extend C-17 production into early 2009 while Boeing hunts for more orders.
The DSCA notes in conclusion that industrial offset agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected, but at this time the specific offset agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractors.
(NSI News Source Info) September 10, 2008: CFB Trenton, located in the province of Ontario about 2 hours drive away from Toronto, is one of the Canadian Forces’ busiest bases. It is the backbone of Canada’s transport fleet, housing Canada’s new C-17 fleet along with C-130 Hercules transports, Airbus A310 Polaris (CC-150) transports/refuelers, and Challenger (CC-144) VIP business jets. When Canada’s new C-130J Hercules transports arrive, they, too will be based at CFB Trenton.
Accommodating that level of activity and restoring Trenton’s flightline over the next 5 years will require the rebuilding and construction of new taxiways, ramps and aprons, as well as several new maintenance hangars. All of these activities are included within the C$ 500 million (about $470 million) budget, announced by the Minister for Defence on Sept 5/08.
So, too, is relocation of Canada’s JTF2 special forces to Trenton. JTF2 has seen long-standing service in the “commando olympics” of Afghanistan, and is also Canada’s key unit for potential domestic anti-terrorism operations like hostage rescues. The unit is growing in size, and has begun to outgrow its current location at Dwyer Hill Training Centre near Ottawa. Moving to CFB Trenton keeps the unit close to its required transports for fast deployments, and CFB Trenton already hosts the Canadian Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre so it was a natural choice. DND has been working with the Department of Public Works and Government Services to purchase parcels of land bordering the base, and associated buildings, training centers, and other infrastructure will also be required.
Russia to test-launch four ICBMs by year-end
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - September 10, 2008: Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will test-launch another four missiles by the end of this year, the forces' commander said on Wednesday.
"In accordance with an adjusted missile launch program for 2008, we will carry out four missile launches before the end of the year, including a test-firing of the RS-24 ICBM from the Plesetsk base," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said.
Three launches have been made so far this year, one in June and two in August.
"All the launches were successful," he said.
He said the Strategic Missile Forces command will ensure the forces' development as the most economical and effective branch of the military.
Solovtsov said in the past few years the forces have been receiving not more than 4% of the country's defense budget (9.89 billion rubles in 2008), while they have two-thirds of Russia's total nuclear warheads.
Russian missile cruiser to return to Sevastopol base
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - September 10, 2008: The missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, will return to its base in Sevastopol later on Wednesday following its peacekeeping mission near Abkhazia, a fleet source said.
A group of Russian warships led by the Moskva arrived at the Sukhumi port at the invitation of the Abkhaz president on August 27, following the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.
"The missile cruiser Moskva has left the port of Novorossiisk and will return to Sevastopol on Wednesday morning," the source said.
After Russia recognized the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh suggested that Russia's Black Sea Fleet could deploy its warships in Abkhazia.
The Sevastopol base was a focus of tensions between Ukraine and Russia during the recent Georgia conflict, with Kiev threatening to refuse to allow Russian Black Sea Fleet ships to return to the base.
Russia has repeatedly said that it has no plans to withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from the naval base in Sevastopol, Ukraine, until the bilateral agreement on the base's lease expires in 2017.
Ukraine to close radar station used by Russia
(NSI News Source Info) KIEV - September 10, 2008: Ukraine is to shut down a radar facility in the west of the country currently being used by Russia, a national space agency official said on Tuesday.
Deputy General Director Eduard Kuznetsov said the agency will continue using an early-warning attack station based in Sevastopol, Crimea, but would close the Mukachevo facility following Moscow's decision to stop using it.
Russia terminated an agreement on the use of both radars (Sevastopol and Mukachevo) in February 2008 on the grounds that they are operationally obsolete. Kiev called Moscow's move unfriendly.
The two radar facilities allow Ukraine to track missile launches at a distance of up to 1,500 kilometers.
Kiev has not ruled out that once the radars are no longer used by Russia that they could be used "in the interest of EU countries."
Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the U.S. of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an accompanying tracking radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its national security.
The Kremlin has also expressed concern over NATO's expansion to Russia's borders and pledged to take "appropriate measures."
Regular troops to be deployed in Abkhazia, S.Ossetia - Lavrov
(NSI News S0urce Info) MOSCOW - September 10, 2008: Russia will deploy regular troops and not Russian peacekeepers in the Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian foreign minister said Tuesday.
"With the signing and ratification of the treaty we initialed today, the troops will be there on an international-legal basis. These are not peacekeepers, this is a military contingent whose number is defined by the Defense Ministry in consultation with its partners in South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Sergei Lavrov told journalists.
Lavrov also said Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have initialed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, and the documents would be signed by the presidents in the near future.
Earlier Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said about 3,800 service personnel will be based in each republic.
Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26, two weeks after it had concluded a military operation in response to an attack by Georgian forces on August 8 on the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.
Russia was condemned by the international community for its "disproportionate" response to Georgia's attack and Moscow's recognition of Georgia's breakaway provinces. Nicaragua is the only other country to recognize their independence.
The Russian top diplomat said at a news conference with his South Ossetian and Abkhaz counterparts that all sides had agreed on Tuesday to take joint measures to counter any foreign aggression.
"Russia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia will take all possible measures jointly to remove and prevent threats to peace or attempts to destroy peace and to counter acts of aggression against them on the part of any country or any group of countries," Lavrov said.
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.
Lavrov said Russia has already selected potential candidates for the posts of ambassadors to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. His Abkhaz and South Ossetian counterparts Sergei Shamba and Murat Dzhioyev confirmed that they had also selected envoys to Russia.
The Russian minister said the UN Security Council will not consider extending the UN mandate for Abkhazia without the participation of the republic's representatives.
The UN mission mandate expires on October 15. "This time the Security Council will not make a decision without the participation of Abkhaz representatives," Lavrov said.
"Discussing regional security issues, including the security of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, is senseless without their participation," Lavrov said.