(NSI News Source Info) February 28, 2009: Finland and Belgium have become the latest countries to speak to the Pentagon about possible purchase of the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, said manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. Three variants of the radar-evading F-35 are being developed with financing from the United States and eight other countries. Lockheed Martin calls it the world's most advanced multi-role fighter. "Finland and Belgium have expressed interest to the JPO," said Chris Geisel, a Lockheed spokesman, referring to the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Program office. The F-35 is designed specifically to replace U.S. Air Force A-10s and F-16s, U.S. Navy F/A-18s, U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18s, and U.K. Harrier GR.7s and Sea Harriers. Spain, looking eventually to replace its Harrier jump jets, has gone further, with a contractual study in place since late 2007, Geisel said. Greece and South Korea each received F-35 briefings from the U.S. government early this year, he added. F-35 competitors include Saab's Gripen, the Dassault Rafale, Russia's MiG-35 and Sukhoi Su-35, and the Eurofighter Typhoon made by a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish companies. Israel is the furthest along in a projected government-to-government F-35 deal. It appears likely to buy an initial 25 F-35s in 2012 for delivery in 2014, with an option for 50 more, Dan Crowley, Lockheed's F-35 program general manager, told a briefing Thursday during a U.S. Air Force Association symposium in Orlando, Florida. Crowley said Singapore appears likely to get F-35s two years after Israel. Asked about other potential buyers through the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales program, Crowley said Japan has expressed interest but is "farther out" on a decision as it weighs other options. Lockheed says all 24 countries that fly its F-16 fighter are potential customers for the F-35, which is designed to replace at least 13 types of aircraft, including the F-16. The eight countries that have joined the United States to co-develop the F-35 -- Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway -- appear to be largely sticking to their plans to buy some 730 F-35s of their own, Pentagon officials have said. The United States currently plans to buy a total of 2,443 F-35 models -- including 1,763 for the U.S. Air Force and 680 for the Marine Corps and Navy together. It is the costliest U.S. arms acquisition program ever at a projected $299 billion over the next two decades. "As we mature the F-35, we continue to see evidence of ever-strengthening customer support," including statements of intent to buy from Norway and the Netherlands, Crowley said. "We will see more of the same in 2009," he said, "as our international partners begin ordering their first airplanes." Lockheed's chief F-35 subcontractors are Northrop Grumman Corp and BAE Systems Plc. Two rival, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development. One is built by United Technologies Corp's Pratt & Whitney unit; the other by a team of General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group Plc. Lockheed said it was on track to meet its F-35 cost projections. It said the conventional take-off and landing model was projected to cost in the "upper" $60 million range per copy in adjusted 2014 dollars, when full production is due to kick in. The short takeoff and landing version, to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps, is projected to cost in the mid-to-upper $80 million range, the company said, citing what it called Pentagon program office projections. The projection for the variant designed to land on Navy aircraft carrier is in the low $90 million range in 2015 dollars, Geisel said. "These costs represent aircraft early in the production cycle when aircraft costs are highest," he added. He said as production ramps up, cost per aircraft is projected to decrease.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Lockheed Says Interest Growing In F-35 Fighter /F-35 Will Be The Most Formidable Strike Fighter Ever Fielded
Lockheed Says Interest Growing In F-35 Fighter /F-35 Will Be The Most Formidable Strike Fighter Ever Fielded
China Exports Qing Buqiang Zidong QBZ-95 Light Assault Rifle To Myanmar / Myanmar Is A Controlled Embargoed Country, In Spite The Factor China Exports
China Exports Qing Buqiang Zidong QBZ-95 Light Assault Rifle To Myanmar / Myanmar Is A Controlled Embargoed Country, In Spite The Factor China Exports Assault Rifle Type 95 - Report
(NSI News Source Info) February 28, 2009: China has apparently sold some of its new assault rifles (the Type 95) to Myanmar. Troops in that country have been seen carrying the Chinese weapon. The QBZ-95 (Type 95) is bullpup design (the magazine is behind the trigger) that uses China’s proprietary 5.8x42mm cartridge, which is a little wider than the 5.56 NATO, but shorter in overall length.
The Type 95 uses a 30-round magazine, similar to the M-16. The Type 95 fires single shots or bursts. China is still in the process of replacing its own Type 81 (improved AK-47) rifles with the new rifle The Type 95 is about ten percent lighter than the older rifle, and has apparently been well received by the troops. The Type 95 was first seen in Hong Kong when China took over in 1997. The Type 95 comes in a variety of styles (a compact version, an automatic rifle, and a sniper rifle). An export version (the Type 97), using the standard 5.56mm NATO round is called, and is apparently what Myanmar is using. At the same time China was exporting Type 97 rifles to Myanmar, it provided Bangladesh with financing and technical assistance for building a factory to produce a modified version of the Chinese Type 81 assault rifle.
This is a 7.5 pound rifle that looks like the Chinese Type 56 (itself a copy of the Russian AK-47). The main differences are that the Type 81 has less recoil and "jump" (of the rifle when fired), which improves accuracy.
The Bangladeshi version of the Type 81 is called the BD-08, and the new factory will be able to produce 10,000 a year. Eventually, Bangladesh will replace all its current Type 56 rifles with BD-08s. Both use the same 7.62/39mm ammo.
US Increased Military Aid To Pakistan....Is This The Solution To End Afghan War?
By increase in military supplies to Pakistan, there will be no solution to Afghan war instead would accelerate misery in the region, hostility towards foreign NATO troops and stronger foothold of Islamic extremists in FATA region.
*How To Start Winning The War In Afghanistan / To Conclude Afghan's War, Two Factors Required - Close Pakistani Border (Taliban Reinforecement) & Shut Down Opium Trade (Taliban Revenue)
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON: February 28, 2009: Increased US military aid going to the Pakistani Army has failed with US President Barack Obama proposing to massively increase non-military and military aid to Pakistan in his maiden budget.
Though the exact amount of military aid has not been specified. Mr Obama’s maiden budget proposes spending of $130 billion for 2010 and $75.5 billion for 2009. There is a further request for $205.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between now and 2010.
A soldier of Pakistan Army patrols in the main market of Mingora, capital of troubled Swat valley in Pakistan on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009. Taliban militants in the valley have extended a cease-fire, strengthening a peace process that Western governments say risks granting a safe haven to extremists close to the Afghan border.
The $130-billion request for the war also includes military aid to Pakistan to fight the Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The budget comes at a time when the Obama administration has just concluded trilateral talks with Afghanistan and Pakistan on the situation in the region with Pakistan seeking both military and non military aid.
The development is worrying for neighbours as past anti-terror funds supplied by the US have been diverted by the Pakistani military to prepare a war against India and to strike deals with the Taliban.
US government reports have also detailed the misuse of military funds by Pakistan and Mr Obama himself has earlier pointed out that $10 billion of US funds being wasted during the Musharraf regime.
Since Pakistani links were uncovered in the Mumbai terror attacks, India has been asking the US and other countries to stop military aid to Pakistan. The matter was taken up by the Indian side during special envoy Richard Holbrooke’s visit to India.
But the Obama administration, which initially did a lot of tough talking on the issue, needs the Pakistani military, which is now asking for drones to take action against militant hideouts, to take action against the Al Qaeda and Taliban.
Though India has been talking about a congruence of interests in the region with the US, the issue of military aid for Pakistan remains a point of disagreement between India and the US.
On the budget expenditure US policy towards Pakistan, joint chief of staff Admiral Mike Mullen was quoted as saying:
"I think it's very important that we help resource them and develop this comprehensive strategy with Pakistan over a number of years. I'm delighted to see that kind of support in the 2010 budget. “ The budget also proposes increasing non-military aid to Afghanistan and also Pakistan.
“External challenges include undertaking a responsible drawdown of troops from Iraq and focusing the appropriate resources on achieving US objectives in Afghanistan,” said the budget in the areas related to the defence department. There has been a lot of talk in the US polity of increasing non-military aid to Pakistan conditional to effective counter terrorism measures. There are reports that the US might be looking at $5-billion aid to Pakistan apart from the $1.5-billion package which is in the US Congress.
Mr Obama in his budget has also proposed to increasing non- military aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the resurgence of the Taliban through developmental activities. The proposal is for 10.5 billion in supplemental non-military funding for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the budget, the proposal looks at doubling foreign aid and includes increasing the number of civilian personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan to do development and reconstruction work to counter the Taliban. “In addition, we must leverage allied support to help struggling states such as Pakistan, which are the keystone for regional stability,” said the budget.
The defence spending for this year, according to the budget, $533.7 billion, which is a four per cent increase from last year. Incidentally, the move to double aid to Pakistan comes at a time when the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that Pakistan has been fudging statements to the US for certain transport facilities it provided in counter terror effort. The fraud was revealed during an audit carried out by the US authorities.
Indian Navy To Be Responsible For Overall Maritime Security
(NSI News Source Info) Kochi - February 28, 2009: In a bid to strengthen the maritime and coastal security of India, the Centre had decided to designate the Indian Navy as the authority responsible for overall maritime security, which includes coastal and offshore security. The Indian Navy uses modern technology and weapon systems, some of which are domestically developed. Others, like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, are jointly developed with Russia. Some major strides in defense research. There are reports on the joint development by India and Israel of the Barak-II missile system, an improved, longer range version of the Barak-I air defence missile which is operational on Indian Navy ships. The Barak-I is used on most of the main ships of the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy's nuclear deterrence capability is based on Sukanya class ships armed with the Dhanush ballistic missiles that has a range of 350 km. India has a number of foreign made cruise missile systems, including the Klub SS-N-27. It also has its own Nirbhay cruise missile systems under development. The Sagarika (Oceanic) submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which has a range of at least 700 km (some sources claim 1000 km) forms part of India's nuclear triad. Another successful program has been the adaptation of the Yakhont anti-ship missile system into the BrahMos by the NPO and the DRDO. The BrahMos has been tailored to Indian needs and uses a large proportion of Indian-designed components and technology, including its fire control systems, transporter erector launchers, and its onboard navigational attack systems. The successful test of Brahmos from INS Rajput (D51) provides Indian Navy with precision land attack capability. Announcing the Government’s decisions on the sidelines of the keel laying ceremony for the ‘Indigenous Aircraft Carrier’ being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) here, Mr Antony said in its endeavour, the Indian Navy would be assisted by the Coast Guard, State Marine Police and other Central and State agencies for the coastal defense of the nation.
As part of the measures to spruce up the maritime security in the backdrop of the recent Mumbai attacks, the Defence Minister said Joint Operation Centres (JOCs) at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair would be set up under the charge of existing Naval 'C-in-Cs'.
The JOCs would be manned and operated by the Navy and Coast Guard with inputs from diverse agencies, including Central and State Government. Besides, a 'National Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence' network for real-time maritime domain awareness linking the operations rooms of the Navy and Coast Guard, both at the field and apex-level would be established.
In order to synergise operations between the Navy and the Coast Guard, the Navy would control the operations of the two forces, which would result in effectively managing threats from the sea and security of the coastline.
Russia Busts Gang Stealing Arms For China / How China Steals U.S. Military Secrets
A spate of recent spying cases opens the lid on China's aggressive military buildup. What's most troubling: It is based largely on U.S. technology. How China Steals U.S. Military Secrets
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - February 28, 2009: The continuing deadlock over new arms deals between Russia and China has led to a remarkable development: Russian security services are investigating a suspected plot to steal Russian weapons and sell them to Beijing. RIA Novosti reported Wednesday that a number of Russian navy officers were under investigation for allegedly trying to ship 30 anti-submarine missiles and 200 bombs, worth a total of $18 million, to Tajikistan for eventual delivery to China. The Kremlin is taking the allegations very seriously. Russia's chief military prosecutor, Sergei Fridinsky, told RIA Novosti a criminal investigation had started on the case. He said the naval officers had been working with several businessmen. The report gave no indication whether any of the powerful, super-wealthy Russian organized crime families were involved. The targeted weapons do not appear to have been state-of-the-art or strategically significant, at least according to the report. Russian navy spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo described them to the news agency as "decommissioned, recycled ammunition." Dygalo stated that the plot had been foiled by "the navy, in conjunction with the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Security Service."
However, RIA Novosti gave a tantalizing hint that the plot, and the existence of organized criminality within the Russian navy, may have gone far higher. It cited what it described as "some media reports" as claiming that very senior Russian naval officers, up to the rank of several vice admirals and rear admirals, may have been implicated.
Guatemala Interested In Russian Weapons In Exchange For Food
(NSI News Source Info) MEXICO CITY - February 28, 2009: Guatemala's vice-president has said the Central American country is interested in buying Russian military hardware in exchange for food. "Guatemala is interested in acquiring aircraft, armored vehicles, and other armaments to fight organized crime. We could pay, as the Russian side suggests, with sugar and coffee for the arms deliveries," Rafael Espada told the Prensa Libre newspaper. Espada said the issues were discussed with Russian diplomats last Wednesday. "The Russian side presented information on the armaments that could interest Guatemala's Armed Forces and national police," he said, adding that no specific agreements have been reached yet. "The government has been instructed to study the Russian side's proposals and draft relevant recommendations," Espada said. In turn, Guatemalan Armed Forces spokesman Francisco Loranca told journalists that the country's Ground Forces, Air Force and Navy were in need of arms deliveries.
Russia Slams As Farce Canada's Statement On Tu-160 Flight
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - February 28, 2009: A Russian government source expressed astonishment on Friday over a statement made by Canada's defense minister over a flight by a Russian strategic bomber near the Canadian border. The Tupolev Tu-160 is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber designed by the Soviet Union. It is similar in configuration to the B-1 Lancer but is significantly faster than the B-1B at altitude with a greater combat range and payload capacity. Entered service in 1987 with the 184 Guards Bomber Regiment, based at Priluki, Ukraine, the Tu-160 was the last strategic bomber designed by the Soviet Union but remains in production, with at least 16 currently in service with the Russian Air Force. Pilots of the Tu-160 call it the “White Swan”, due to its maneuverability and antiflash white finish. Although several civil and military transport aircraft are bigger, the Tu-160 has the greatest total thrust, and the heaviest takeoff weight of any combat aircraft, and the highest top speed as well as one of the largest payloads of any current heavy bomber. Peter Mackay said two Canadian fighters forced the Russian Tu-160 Blackjack to make a U-turn on February 18 as it neared Canadian airspace less then 24 hours before U.S. President Barack Obama was due to visit Ottawa. The Canadian minister said the move was "a strong coincidence." "The Canadian defense minister's statements concerning the flights of our long-haul aircraft are totally unclear... This was a routine flight. The countries adjacent to the flight path had been notified and the planes did not violate the airspace of other countries. In this light the statements by the Canadian Defense Ministry provoke astonishment and can only be called a farce," the source said. The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky, confirmed that all the neighboring states had received prior notification of the flights by Russian strategic aircraft. Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik, a Russian Air Force spokesman, said earlier the Tu-160 flights were in compliance with international agreements and rules and did not violate Canadian airspace.
Russia Says Self-Sufficient For Early Warning Missile Data
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - February 28, 2009: Russia no longer depends on Ukraine to provide it with strategic missile tracking data following the launch of its new radar facility in the country's south, the commander of Russia's Space Forces said on Friday. Russia's Voronezh-DM radar site in the southern town of Armavir went into service on Thursday. Maj. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said the Armavir radar would monitor missile routes and probable directions for a missile attack in the south and southeast of Russia in place of the early warning facilities in Mukachevo in western Ukraine and Sevastopol, the Crimea. Russia terminated a 1997 agreement with Ukraine on the use of both Ukrainian radars in February 2008 on the grounds that they had become obsolete. With an effective range of 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) the Voronezh-class radar has capabilities similar to its predecessors, the Dnepr and Daryal, which are currently deployed outside Russia, but uses less energy and is more environmentally friendly. Gen. Ostapenko said Russia would build more radar stations to replace the existing ones, adding that the Armavir facility was the second, after the Lekhtusi complex, in the Leningrad Region, which had been put into operation in March 2006. Washington wants to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar station in the neighboring Czech Republic, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran and other "rogue" states. Russia has fiercely opposed the plans, saying the European shield would destroy the strategic balance of forces and threaten Russia's national interests.
Russia To Build Nuclear-Powered 60,000-Ton Aircraft Carrier
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - February 28, 2009: Russia's new-generation aircraft carrier will be nuclear powered and have a displacement of up to 60,000 metric tons, a United Shipbuilding Corporation executive said on Friday. Vice Adm. Anatoly Shlemov, the company's head of defense contracts, said the new carrier was still at the drawing board stage, but its blueprint and basic specifications have already been defined. He said the carrier will serve as a seaborne platform for new-generation fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, in particular, a fifth-generation fighter that will replace the Su-33 multirole fighter aircraft currently in service, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). "It will be a fifth-generation aircraft with classic horizontal take-off and landing capability," the admiral said. Shlemov said, unlike in the past, the new aircraft carrier would not be armed with cruise missiles, which were not part of its "job description." He said that at least three such carriers were to be built, for the Northern and Pacific Fleets. The executive offered no timeline on the project, saying it was not as yet clear which shipyard would get the contract. The new carrier has an estimated price tag of $4 billion. So far the Russian Navy only has one aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov Project 1143.5, built in 1985, with a displacement of 55,000 metric tons, a crew of 1,500, and capability to carry more than 50 aircraft. :