Monday, October 27, 2008
Russian Arms Exports Taking Another Jump in 2008 (NSI News Source Info) October 27, 2008: The collapse of the Soviet Union triggered a twin collapse for Russia’s vast arms industries. On the one hand, revelation of the state’s bankruptcy collapsed domestic arms spending. As a follow-up punch, it also collapsed aid-financed exports to dependent Soviet client states.
MRAPs and New Wheeled APCs for Spain (NSI News Source Info) October 27, 2008: Western militaries are quickly coming to the realization that the light Land Rover, G-Wagen, and HMMWV type flat bottom vehicles deployed as light troop transports are no longer adequate on a non-linear battlefield with no defined front lines, in a world where the technology for making improvised and professional land mines is proliferating globally. Spain has been late to this realization, and the Ministerio de Defensa has been the target of criticism for that lateness.
Team VSE to Help Modernize MRAPs in Theater (NSI News Source Info) October 27, 2008: Letterkenny Army Depot recently chose VSE Corporation as its prime contractor for a $194 million contract to maintain and modernize Route Clearance Vehicles (RCVs).
Boeing Launches Third Italian Earth Observation Satellite (NSI News Source Info) October 27, 2008: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today successfully launched the third of four Italian Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO) SkyMed spacecraft. A Delta II rocket procured from United Launch Alliance for Thales Alenia Space Italia lifted off at 7:28 p.m. pacific time from Pad SLC-2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft was deployed to low-Earth orbit approximately 58 minutes after liftoff. "The third successful Delta launch for the COSMO-SkyMed program further strengthens Boeing's continued commitment to provide domestic and international commercial customers reliable access to space for science, defense and telecommunications services," said Ken Heinly, director of Boeing Launch Products & Services, and president of Boeing Launch Services, Inc. Boeing Launch Services successfully launched the first two COSMO-SkyMed satellites in June and December of 2007. Thales Alenia Space Italia developed the COSMO-SkyMed program for the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence. It is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civil and military) system comprised of four medium-sized satellites and supporting ground stations for orbit control systems and data reception and processing. The system will take imagery of the Earth using an X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument capable of operating in all visibility conditions at the request of institutional and commercial users, including members of the civil and scientific, and defense communities. Boeing has a close business alliance with Thales Alenia Space. The European company has provided Delta II tanks since 2001 and built many elements for the International Space Station (ISS), including the Multi-purpose Pressurized Logistics Modules, Cupola and Harmony Node 2. Boeing is the prime contractor for the ISS. Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused subsidiary that provides business development, sales, procurement and program management of Delta launch services for commercial customers. It is part of the Space Exploration division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and is based in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Eurocopter Delivers the First EC120 B Colibri Helicopter to HeliDax (NSI News Source Info) MARIGNANE, France - October 28, 2008: Eurocopter delivered on its Marignane site the first EC120B Colibri helicopter to HeliDax, the company selected by the French Ministry of Defense in 2007 to provide up to 22,000 helicopter flight hours for the Army's light aviation (EA.ALAT) school in Dax located in the southwest of France.
Royal Navy Lynx Helicopter In Afghanistan (NSI News Source Info) October 27, 2008: A Royal Navy Lynx Mk 7 helicopter, retrofitted with a variety of electronic countermeasures, lands at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, from where it will support NATO troops in Helmand province.
RAF Flies Precision-Guided Bomb on Typhoon (NSI News Source Info) October 27, 2008: The Royal Air Force's new precision-guided bomb has been flown for the first time onboard the Eurofighter Typhoon. Six Paveway IV trials weapons were fitted on an Italian test aircraft operating out of an air base in Sardinia. The test flights are part of an integration program subcontracted to weapons supplier Raytheon Systems by BAE Systems. The U.K. arm of Raytheon has a deal to integrate the 500-pound bomb on Typhoon as part of an incremental capability program that expires in 2012.
Eurofighter Typhoon ZJ802, one of the first delivered to the RAF
Part of that program saw the weapons fitted to an Italian instrumented production aircraft at the Alenia integration facility in Turin for physical and electronic interface testing before the aircraft was flown to the Decimomannu air base in Sardinia on Oct. 24 for a series of flight tests. Integration of Paveway IV is part of the Eurofighter Phase 1 Enhancements program, which also includes fit of a laser designator pod and Enhanced GBU-16. For the moment, the Paveway IV has to be dropped at subsonic speeds on Typhoon, but Eurofighter has submitted a list of proposals to Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, the European partners in the multirole aircraft, to allow the weapon to be used at supersonic speed. Other Phase 2 enhancements include the possible fit of Brimstone anti-tank missiles, the small diameter bomb, Storm Shadow and Taurus cruise missiles and the Meteor air-to-air weapon. The RAF has cleared the new Paveway IV for operational use on its Harrier GR9 fleet. The weapon is expected to be deployed for the first time in Afghanistan in a matter of weeks. Raytheon is also working on integrating the weapon on the Tornado strike aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled to replace the Harrier on Afghanistan duty in the first half of 2009. The British have recently declared operational an austere Typhoon Tranche 1 aircraft which features earlier variants of the Paveway family allied with the Rafael Litening laser designator.
Report: Taiwan to Produce 300 Cruise Missiles (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI - October 27, 2008: Taiwan plans to manufacture up to 300 cruise missiles, despite warming ties with rival China, it was reported Oct. 27. "President Ma Ying-jeou has given the order for the production of 300 Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles," the Taipei-based China Times said, citing what it said was an unnamed authoritative military source.
Hsiungfeng II ship-to-ship missile being launched as the Taiwan navy debuts its 170-tonne "stealth" missile boat at a mock enemy target in the island's biggest ever wargame held in Litzechien, northeastern Ilan county. Taiwan 06 March 2007 has test-fired a cruise missile capable of hitting rival China - a Hsiung-feng 2E (Brave Wind) cruise missile, with a possible range of 600 kilometres (360 miles), it was reported, amid fresh tensions across the region
However, the paper said it was not clear when the missiles would be put into service. Taiwan's defense ministry declined to comment on the report. The paper said Hsiungfeng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 600 kilometers (375 miles). The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the paper said, and would be capable of hitting airports and missile bases in southeast China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong. China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing views the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence. However, tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased since Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou was elected as president in March vowing to boost the economy and improve ties with China.