China to launch satellite on Saturday
(NSI News Source Info) TAIYUAN - October 25, 2008: China will project a satellite coded as the 03 Group of the Shijian-6 serial research satellites sometime on Saturday, according to an official with the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province.
The rocket carrier would be a Long March 4B, said the official, noting both the satellite and the rocket were in good condition and all the preparations for the launch had been done.
A Long March-4B rocket carrying satellites coded as the 03 Group of the Shijian-6 serial research satellites blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, north China's Shanxi Province, on Oct. 25, 2008. China successfully launched two satellites with a Long March-4B carrier rocket early Saturday morning.(Xinhua/Wang Yongji)
Royal Air Force Regiment Force Protection Wing Patrolling Basra
(NSI News Source Info) BASRA, IRAQ - OCTOBER 25, 2008: People gather around a Land Rover as it arrives at the village Al Houta on October 18 2008 near Basra, Iraq. The trip by the 51 Sqn Royal Air Force Regiment Force Protection Wing was part of a 'key leader engagement' (KLE) visit to the village close to the Basra Airbase to recruit local labour and engage with the village shiek. Visits of this type are seen as key in efforts to continue winning the support of the local Iraqi population. Although improved security in the region has brought some benefits such as improved trade and commerce, much of the infrastructure remains in a poor state of repair. Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown has indicated that the number of UK troops could be scaled down - especially as the security situation in the south of the country continues to improve.
Indian Air Force to Induct the BrahMos Cruise Missile by 2012
(NSI News Source Info) October 25, 2008: The Indian Air Force (IAF) would get its own version of Brahmos — a supersonic cruise missile — by 2012, A Sivanthu Pillai, chief executive officer and managing director, Brahmos Airspace, said on Wednesday.Pillai was addressing media persons after inaugurating IWAPS 2008, a two-day international workshop on ‘Advances in processing of solid propellant rocket motors’ at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) here as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and centenary celebrations of HEMRL.“Trials and tests will be carried out by 2011 and it is expected to be inducted into the IAF by 2012,” he said, adding that the Army and Navy already had variants of the missile provided by Brahmos Airspace.Stressing on the importance of research in nanotechnology, Pillai, who is also chief controller, R & D (ACE & NS) at DRDO, said the organisation would lay more emphasis on this domain. “Materials such as nano-aluminium, which will augment weight reduction of equipment, will be increasingly used in various defence applications.Meanwhile, the DRDO will continue to develop innovative equipment,” he said. Around 300 scientists from several countries will participate in the workshop, which will also discuss futuristic development programmes.
USAF Creates Global Strike Command
(NSI News Source Info) October 25, 2008: The U.S. Air Force will stand up a new major command called Global Strike Command devoted strictly to the nuclear enterprise, the service announced Oct. 24 at the Pentagon.
“We’ve taken many corrective actions in response to painful lessons learned,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters, but “more work remains to be done.”
Air Force leaders released a so-called roadmap, titled “Reinvigorating the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise,” that details major actions the service will take, including:
* Establish the new command, led by a three-star, lieutenant general, and a Headquarters Air Force staff office, both devoted to nuclear enterprise matters;
* Consolidate sustainment functions under Air Force Materiel Command’s Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center;
* Improve nuclear stewardship in Air Force corporate processes; and
* Create strategic plans that address long-term nuclear requirements, including those for cruise missiles, bombers, dual-capable aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Nuclear-coded B-52 and B-2 bombers from the 8th Air Force and nuclear-tipped ICBMs under the 20th Air Force will fall under Global Strike Command instead. Yet the move splits the bomber force, with B-1s staying in Air Combat Command, according to the secretary.
The so-called Schlesinger Report - from the Secretary of Defense Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Management chaired by James Schlesinger, who has been both an energy and defense secretary - had recommended all bombers fall under a new command. But, Donley said, “We thought we should preserve the gains made in the last 15 years in making the bomber force more effective for support of theater [operations].”
Initial operating capability for the new command is expected in September 2009, officials said.
The decision to stand up a new major, nuclear command was made early this month at a conference of the air services’ four-star generals. The move follows the firing of the last Air Force secretary and chief of staff in June, as well as a series of disciplinary actions taken after nuclear management mishaps.
A definitive, high-level report last month detailed 180 corrective actions, costing up to $1.5 billion.
Portuguese Army Receives First Leopard 2A6 Tanks
(NSI News Source Info) October 25, 2008: The Minister of National Defence, Nuno Severiano Teixeira, will preside at 11 o’clock this morning the reception ceremony for the first eight Leopard 2A6 tanks delivered to the Portuguese Army. The ceremony will be held at the Santa Margarida army base in Constancia.
Leopard 2A6 tanks
The Leopard acquisition program, part of the Military Program Law, is intended to equip the army with modern vehicles, with a high degree of operational capabilities and versatility, and adequate levels of security and protection. With the acquisition of the Leopard 2A6 tanks, the Portuguese Army will obtain technical innovations that will place it on a par with Allied armies, and will reinforce the capabilities of the Mechanised Brigade, whose capabilities in terms of mobility and firepower will be significantly improved. In addition, this program will contribute to the modernization of the armed forces and to the rationalization of their equipment and will improve their effective combat capability for all types of missions. It will allow Portugal to participate in joint operations with its Allies, with similar levels of technology and of operational capabilities. To equip the Army, Portugal acquired from the Netherlands 37 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, manufactured in Germany, to replace the M-60A3 tanks in service. The Leopard 2A6 is one of the most successful tanks of the latest-generation. More than 3,200 Leopard tanks have been produced and are in service in a large number of countries which operate them in a wide range of organizations and operational doctrines. These include Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Canada, Chile and Singapore.
Alenia Aeronautica Signs Contract Worth 130 Million Euro to Supply Four C-27Js to Morocco
(NSI News Source Info) October 25, 2008: The C-27J tactical transport aircraft, designed and produced by Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, has achieved a further success on the international markets, with a 130 million Euro order for four aircraft to be supplied to the Moroccan Defence Ministry.
This brings the total number of orders received to 121, making the C-27J the world’s most successful transport aircraft in its category. After receiving 39 orders in Europe from Italy, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania, and 78 in the United States for the US Army and the US Air Force, this is the first C-27J order from a non-NATO country. The C-27J is a multirole aircraft able to perform logistical re-supply, MEDEVAC, troop transport, airdrop operations, Search and Rescue, humanitarian assistance and missions in support of homeland security.
DoD To Buy New Interim Vehicles
(NSI News Source Info) October 25, 2008: The U.S. Army and Marine Corps plan to rapidly develop and buy a fleet of 7- to 10-ton vehicles intended to fend off increasingly frequent roadside bombs yet be more mobile than MRAPs, a senior Pentagon official said.
Plasan Sand Cat
To be developed along the fast-track model used for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, the so-called interim vehicles will meet an urgent need in Afghanistan for tough transports that can go off-road, he said.
"We will replicate what we did with MRAP," in terms of speedy procurement, the senior official said.
Army, Marine Corps and Pentagon acquisition officials are eyeing potential candidates, including Oshkosh's Sandcat and Force Protection's 7-ton Cheetah vehicle. Pentagon acquisition chief John Young plans to meet with Army and Marine Corps vehicle programmers, after the military announces the winners of three development contracts for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) early next week.
The military may first buy 2,000 interim vehicles, and may ultimately field 5,000 interim vehicles or more to fill the void until the actual JLTV is ready around 2013.
"It does not surprise me that people are considering bridging strategies. The need is there now whether the JLTV technology is there or not," said Rickey Smith, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center – Forward.