Friday, January 02, 2009
Pakistan To Start Production Of JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets (NSI News Source Info) Islamabad - January 3, 2009: Pakistan looks to strengthen the capability of its air force amidst rising war fears with India. Pakistan is ready to start serial production of multi-role fighter aircraft (JF-17 Thunder) in collaboration with China. Chairman of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Air Marshal Khalid Chaudhry said that the PAC has set up a factory for initiating the serial production of JF-17 Thunder aircraft. Giving further details about the various plans of PAC, Chaudhary said: "the Mirage Rebuild Factory, which is a part of PAC has been rebuilding 35 years old version of the Mirage aircraft which were bought as scrap from various countries." "State-of-the-art machinery recently imported from various developed countries has been installed to manufacture various gadgets for different versions of the aircraft in the inventory of Pakistan Airforce," the News quoted Chaudhary, as saying.
China Military Requires Drones For Target Practice
(NSI News Source Info) January 3, 2009: China is increasing its production, and use, of target drones. The first such drone China used was the CK-1, which was a reverse engineered Russian La-17C. A 1950s design, the Chinese didn't get it working reliably until the 1970s. You could usually only use the CK-1 once, so not many were built. China could not afford the expense, even though they equipped the CK-1 to land, via a controlled crash, or descend via parachute. After repairs, it could be used again, sometimes.
An improved model, the CK-2, was developed in the early 1990s, but it has rarely been shown in public. The CK-2 is supersonic and apparently used to test anti-aircraft missiles (air and ground launched.) Older J-7 (MiG-21 clone) and J-5 (Mig-17) are often converted into drones, to test missiles. This is becoming more common as the J-7 is phased out of service.
There is also the TJ-1, which is basically a cruise missile, and is used to test radars and missiles built to detect and destroy cruise missiles. The navy uses the propeller driven ASN-5 and ASN-7 drones for anti-aircraft gunnery practice.
South Korea to Develop Trainer Into Light Fighter / South Korea’s T-50 Spreads Its Wings (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL - January 2, 2009: South Korea's arms procurement agency has signed a contract with a local aircraft manufacturer to develop an indigenous trainer into a light attack jet by 2012, agency officials said Dec. 31. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) signed the deal with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) on Dec. 26 to upgrade and modify the aircraft maker's T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet into a light combat aircraft that will replace the South Korean Air Force's aging, lower-class fighters, they said. Under the deal, valued at about 400 billion won ($305 million), KAI will develop four prototypes of the T-50 trainer into advanced light attack jets by 2012; the new jet will be designated the FA-50. A separate deal on production will be sealed after that, according to DAPA and KAI officials. Developed in 2006, the $21 million Mach 1.4 T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and the world's only high-performance supersonic trainer in production. KAI is the prime contractor and Lockheed Martin is the principal subcontractor, assisting with development and international marketing. With the modifications, the FA-50 will have advanced tactical data link systems and precision missile guidance equipment, the officials said. For example, the jet will be outfitted with the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) kit, incorporating an internal navigation system and flip-out control fins to guide bombs. The WCMD corrects launch errors, determines atmospheric conditions and computes optimum flight paths and cluster bomb release points. Armaments will include AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munition bombs. A DAPA source said the agency initially wants to buy about 60 FA-50s to start service in 2013, the same year mass production for export will likely begin. The Air Force wants to introduce up to 150 FA-50s to replace the A-37 attack aircraft and F-4/F-5 fighters currently serving as a low-tier backup to its higher-class KF-16 and F-15K fighters, the source said. According to DAPA officials, the FA-50 will be equipped with the EL/M-2032 radar from Israel's Elta Systems, which is credited with a look-up tracking range of 65 to 100 kilometers. The FA-50 program had been stalled for years over the selection of a radar system. DAPA originally wanted to equip the plane with the lightweight Vixen-500E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, developed by U.K. firm Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems, and to launch the project last August. But co-developer Lockheed Martin opposed the move, citing protection of its technology, DAPA Commissioner Yang Chi-kyu told a National Assembly session Sept. 25. "In general, aircraft source code cannot be transferred to other nations," Yang said. "To install the U.K. equipment on the FA-50, the aircraft's source code would have had to be shared with the company concerned, which was impossible." Sources said Lockheed had been pushing Seoul to select its AN/APG-67(V)4 radar. Lockheed and the U.S. government also rejected the possible selection of the AESA radar, as the T-50 development contract stipulates that the T-50's capabilities should be no better than those of the KF-16 fighter. But the Vixen-500E is believed to be better than the KF-16's AN/APG-68 pulse-Doppler radar, they said. The contract also bans South Korea from integrating T-50 variants with non-U.S. technology that the U.S. doesn't have, and U.S. officials discouraged the idea of putting European equipment into the aircraft for export, they said. Lockheed agreed on the installation of the Israeli radar because the system is to be integrated by ITT Defense of the U.S.
Raytheon Loses Protest On Aegis Upgrade
(NSI News Source Info) January 2, 2009: Raytheon's protest of the U.S. Navy's decision to award sole-source contracts to Lockheed Martin for its Aegis modernization program has been denied by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Following the Dec. 22 decision by GAO, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is now free to proceed with its plans to procure the ship-based Aegis Combat System Modernization on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers. On May 16, NAVSEA announced its intent to conduct four sole-source procurements with Lockheed Martin to support the Aegis Modernization efforts. Raytheon contested the decision with GAO on Sept. 23, challenging three of the four contracts. The protest requested the GAO recommend that the Navy conduct a competitive acquisition instead. But GAO denied Raytheon's protest, declaring the Navy's use of sole-source contracts "reasonable." Meanwhile, a Dec. 22 letter to House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from GAO reported that in fiscal 2008 the agency received 1,563 protests (including 59 cost claims) and 89 requests for reconsideration, for a total of 1,652 cases. GAO closed 1,581 cases and sustained 21 percent of protests filed. There was not a single instance "in which a federal agency did not fully implement a recommendation made by [GAO] in connection with a bid protest decided the prior fiscal year," GAO said.
South Korea To Buy 4 CN-235 Maritime Patrol Planes
(NSI News Source Info) Seoul - January 2, 2009: The Korean Times reports that South Korea is looking to improve its Coast Guard, which currently consists of 15 helicopters and just one patrol plane. To that end, a contract has been signed with Indonesia’s Digiranta for 4 CN-235-100 aircraft, at a cost of about $92 million.
The CN-235-110 uses GE’s CT7-9C engines, but lacks features like the pressurized cabins, aerodynamic improvements, and range extensions found on subsequent versions. The CN-235 turboprop is a joint venture between EADS-CASA of Spain and Indonesia’s IPTN, and either partner can take orders to produce them. It operates in a light transport role for a number of countries, including South Korea.
A maritime patrol version has also been created. It been ordered by Indonesia, Spain, Brunei, Colombia, Ireland, Thailand, Turkey, and the UAE; and a modified version serves as the US Coast Guard’s new HC-144A Ocean Sentry. The CN-235 has a cruising radius of over 1,000 nautical miles, and the MP variant’s systems can detect and track more than 100 targets, up to 200 nautical miles away, in a wide variety of weather conditions. Coast Guard missions often include border patrol, and these aircraft will have some value as surveillance platforms. In practice, however, that mission is too dangerous for South Korea’s Coast Guard to execute at sea.
South Korea’s navy is tasked with handling incursions from North Korea, and ongoing minor incidents and warning shots have flared into significant naval skirmishes in 1999 and 2002. On the water, South Korea’s Coast Guard is more concerned with activities like illegal fishing by Chinese vessels, who murdered a Coast Guard official in September 2008.
South Korea’s Coast Guard also provides a “softer” way of asserting sovereignty over the disputed Liancourt Rocks (Korean: Dokdo/ Japanese: Takeshima).
Japan Mission Completed In Iraq
(NSI News Source Info) Tokyo - January 2, 2009: Crew members disembark Japan Air Self-Defense Force's C-130H aircraft after its arrival at Komaki Air Base in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture (state), central Japan, from Kuwait on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. It was first of Japan's three C-130Hs on their way to return home after completing airlift mission in Iraq.
Hamas Rockets Made in China
(NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV, Israel - January 2, 2009: The Israel-based Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports that the rockets fired by the Hamas are contraband from mainland China. Hamas is a terrorist organization that took control on the Gaza strip by force in 2007.Palestinian missiles being launched from northern Gaza towards an Israeli town on Dec. 30, 2008. Rockets fired by the Hamas are reportedly contraband from mainland China. "It was revealed that the rockets were contraband from China. The experts who liquidated the rockets saw that it was made in China," said Hagai Huberman, an Israeli Military Correspondent to the Makor Rishon newspaper, to New Tang Dynasty Television.
Chinese communist authorities have been accused of selling weapons to Hamas before. In 2006 a Paris-based intelligence newsletter reported that Chinese Ministry of State Security official, Gong Xiaosheng, worked with Hamas militants.
In a separate case in August this year, a group of Israeli terror victims alleged that the Bank of China assisted terrorist attacks by allowing the transfer of money to Hamas.
According to their lawyer Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, Chinese authorities were informed about it but did nothing to stop it.
Russia Tests New S-400 Air Defense System As Billions More Allocates For Arms (NSI News Source Info) Moscow - January 2, 2009: The Russian Air Force is testing a new missile for the S-400 Triumf air defense system, the Air Force commander said on Friday. The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2. The system is expected to form the cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses up to 2020 or even 2025. "The S-400 system is being successfully deployed with air defense units. At present, we are testing a new missile for this system," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said. Russia successfully conducted last year live firing tests of the S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and deployed a battalion of the first missile regiment equipped with the new system to protect the airspace surrounding Moscow. The system is believed to be able to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second. A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources. The new state arms procurement program until 2015 stipulates the purchase of enough S-400 air defense systems to arm 18 battalions during this period. Russia to allocate $35.3 billion for arms production in 2009-11Moscow (RIA Novosti) Dec 28 - State capital investments into serial production of armaments and military hardware in 2009-2011 will total about $35.3 billion, a first deputy chairman of Russia's military-industrial commission said Monday. "In practice, over three years these expenditures will total about 1 trillion rubles," Vladislav Putilin said. Putilin also said the government had approved the state defense order for 2009-11 worth a total of 4 trillion rubles ($141 billion). Russia plans to put into service more than 400 new weapons, materiel and other pieces of military equipment, the official added. In the period of 2009-2011, Russian armed forces will receive 70 strategic missiles, 30 Iskander missiles and a number of carrier rockets and spacecraft. In addition, "Russia will buy 38 military aircraft, six drones, over 60 helicopters, 14 ships, almost 300 tanks and over 2,000 vehicles," Putilin said.
Russia's Pacific Fleet Warships Join Anti-Piracy Mission (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - January 2, 2009: A naval task force from Russia's Pacific Fleet led by the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer has joined a Russian frigate on an anti-piracy mission off Somalia, a source in the fleet's headquarters said Friday. "A group of warships of the Pacific Fleet has entered the Arabian Sea to join the Baltic Fleet's escort ship Neustrashimy. They will be jointly accomplishing their mission according to plan," the source said. The Neustrashimy (Fearless) frigate has been operating off the Horn of Africa according to international maritime law and agreements since the end of October to protect commercial ships from pirate attacks. Apart from the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer, the naval task force also includes the rescue tug-boat Foty Krylov and the tankers Boris Butoma and Pechenga. The naval grouping is expected to be joined by the Russian Northern Fleet's Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser, which is currently on its way to South Africa's Cape Town, following which it will sail to the Horn of Africa. Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, a Russian Navy spokesman, earlier said that the Neustrashimy frigate had protected over 50 commercial ships from pirates off the Somali coast since late October. Pirates have been increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, where over 120 ships have been attacked so far this year, with around 40 vessels seized. The navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off the coast of the East African nation. The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in December authorizing countries and multinational organizations involved in tackling piracy to "undertake all necessary measures in Somalia, including in its airspace" to prevent "acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea." Resolution 1851 (2008), which was drafted by the United States, will be in force for one year.
Pakistan To Soon Reopen NATO Supply Route
(NSI News Source Info) Peshawar - January 2, 2009: Pakistan will reopen a key route for NATO supply trucks headed for Afghanistan in the next two days, an official said on Thursday as troops pursued militants in the lawless northwest tribal zone.
Security forces backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy artillery launched the operation on Tuesday to flush militants out of the area near Jamrud, the gateway to the famed Khyber Pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan. Troops of the Pakistan army and security forces gathered in Pakistan's tribal area of Khyber near Peshawar, Pakistan to carry out operations Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. The Pakistani military launched an operation Tuesday in the Khyber tribal region to secure the major supply route to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, which has been repeatedly attacked by militants. The military offensive forced the closure of the highway from the city of Peshawar to the Afghan border town of Torkham after a series of attacks on truck depots in and around Peshawar that saw hundreds of NATO vehicles torched.
"The road will be open in a day or two for all types of traffic, including NATO vehicles," the administrator of the Khyber tribal area, Tariq Hayat, told reporters in Peshawar. "We have achieved 80 per cent of our objective," he added, saying a total of 159 people had been arrested or turned themselves in since Tuesday, including 116 Afghans who were illegal migrants or involved with suspected extremists.
More than 30 suspected militant hideouts had been destroyed, he said. "The detained Afghans will be interrogated and those proven innocent will be deported, while those found guilty will be punished," he said.
Among the Pakistanis arrested were tribal leaders accused of harbouring militants or organising kidnappings for ransom in the rugged tribal badlands, where extremists holed up after the Taliban were ousted in Kabul in 2001.
Afghanistan Is Thoroughly Corrupt / Bribes Corrode Afghans’ Trust in Government (NSI News Source Info) Source:Dexter Filkins of the New York Times reports on the depth and breadth of corruption in Afghanistan. KABUL - January 2, 2009: When it comes to governing this violent, fractious land, everything, it seems, has its price. Want to be a provincial police chief? It will cost you $100,000. Want to drive a convoy of trucks loaded with fuel across the country? Be prepared to pay $6,000 per truck, so the police will not tip off the Taliban. Need to settle a lawsuit over the ownership of your house? About $25,000, depending on the judge. No doubt we fund those police. Given Afghanistan's fertility rate of 6.58 we are funding the development of a much larger corrupt state. Hey, look at it on the libertarian free market bright side: Afghanistan has privatized everything, even the airport. People pay bribes for large things, and for small things, too: to get electricity for their homes, to get out of jail, even to enter the airport. A high rate of consanguineous (cousin) marriage with tribal loyalties over loyalties to the state, a high fertility rate, and an estimated average IQ of 84 all tell us that Afghanistan isn't on the road toward modern industrial society. The US under the Obama Administration is going to get more involved with Afghanistan and Pakistan. We have a few advantages. First off, we can afford to bribe to rent loyalty. Though verifying performance will be difficult. Also, not too many countries care what happens in Afghanistan. So we probably won't be playing a Great Game for influence over Afghanistan. But our policy makers will continue to be blinded by politically correct ideology. Plus, the Pakistani government exercises limited control over Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas and some substantial portion of Pakistan's intelligence service is sympathetic to the Taliban on both tribal and religious grounds. US policy makers are in way over their heads in the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. We can't expect much from their performance. Update Obama team adviser and former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel says Pakistan's government played us for suckers. Geez, are we really such Rubes? After all we've got foreign policy experts calling the shots in Washington DC. Surely experts know what they are doing? (okay, I'm being sarcastic) Mr. Riedel is one of a chorus of terrorism experts who see the terrorist network’s base in the mountains of Pakistan as America’s greatest threat, and perhaps the biggest problem facing Mr. Obama’s new team. He speaks angrily about what he calls a savvy campaign by Pakistan’s government under President Pervez Musharraf to fleece Washington for billions of dollars even as it allowed Al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan’s tribal lands. “We had a partner that was double-dealing us,” he said during an interview in his house in a Washington suburb. “Anyone can be snookered and double-dealt. But after six years you have to start to figure it out.” It takes 6 years to figure out that we are being snookered? Me thinks sufficiently talented people do not go into government service.By Randall Parker at 2009 January 01 01:17 PM
Nigeria: Air Force to Acquire Two ATR42 Combat Aircraft (NSI News Source Info) January 2, 2009: Nigerian Air Force has resolved to acquire two new ATR42 combat aircraft early next year to patrol the nation's waterways against piracy and other criminal elements. Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, disclosed this when he paid a working visit to the Logistics Command Headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday. According to the CAS, maritime operation is not the sole responsibility of the Air Force but with the involvement of the Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration (NIMASA), the Nigerian Navy, Marine Police and other stakeholders in the industry. To hasten the patrol of the Nigerian coastal waters, the NAF boss said the Federal Government had authorised and also paid for the procurement of the two ATR42 combat Aircraft, which would arrive the country's shore in the coming year. According to him, immediately the Aircraft were delivered, criminals would have no hiding place on the Nigerian territorial waterways. Petinrin noted that his visit to the Logistics Command Headquarters was as a result of its critical importance to the existence of the Armed Forces worldwide. Owing to the success of recent several military operations that bordered on multi-national exercises in Lagos, especially the visit of the U.S. and France Naval ships, the CAS explained that the Air Force played significant roles in the area of communication support during the joint exercises with the Nigerian counterparts. The CAS added that a huge chunk of the 2009 budget earmarked for the Air Force, with the active support of the Federal Government, would be directed on the purchase of new Aircraft, while the grounded ones on its fleets would be brought back in proper shapes. Technically, the Air Force chief said there was no fleet that was completely grounded. However, Petinrin, thanked Mr. President for sharing in the vision of the service, saying the Federal Government has always been supportive in all areas, particularly at resuscitating the Nigerian Air Force and as well, make it combat-ready to defend the territorial integrity of the nation, both internally and externally. He pledged that the agenda of his team to the Federal Government and good people of the country had been to see that the Aircraft fly and fight and be able to deliver.