(NSI News Source Info) BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - March 26, 2009: Kyrgyzstan is not considering the possibility of U.S. troops returning to the Manas airbase in the north of the country, the Kyrgyz foreign minister said on Thursday. Kyrgyzstan has officially informed Washington of the termination of the agreement on a U.S. military presence at the Manas airbase and has given it 180 days to withdraw some 1,200 personnel, aircraft and other equipment. "We are currently not considering the return of the U.S. [troops] to the base," Kadyrbek Sarbayev said at a news conference in Moscow. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed on February 20 a decree to close the Manas airbase, located close to the former Soviet republic's capital of Bishkek. The base, staffed mainly by U.S. Air Force personnel, had been used since 2001 to support NATO operations in nearby Afghanistan. Bakiyev linked the decision to Washington's refusal to pay more for the base and to the conduct of U.S. military personnel, including the killing of a Kyrgyz national by a U.S. soldier in December 2006.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Taiwan Seeks Advanced U.S. Jet Fighters
(NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - March 26, 2009: Taiwan is looking to buy U.S. "fifth-generation'' fighter jets featuring stealth and vertical takeoff capabilities, a Chinese daily reported on Thursday. "Taipei has plans to buy an F-35 modification with vertical takeoff to provide support to naval infantry operations," Jin Nian Jiancao said. It said there were two main reasons Taipei wanted to buy F-35s. "Firstly, the existing fleet of Taiwanese fighters can be easily destroyed with Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles deployed in mainland China," it said. "Secondly, F-35s will make Taiwan less dependent on airfields in the event of an armed conflict between the two coasts of the Taiwan Strait." The fighter needs a runway of 300 meters or less to take off. Washington has yet to react to Taipei's request. Observers attribute the U.S. silence to fears of a critical reaction from Beijing. The U.S. has stalled on the island's request for 66 less advanced F-16s. Taiwan first expressed an interest in F-35s as early as 2006, according to Jane's Defence Weekly.
DTN News: UN Nuclear Watchdog To Elect New Chief
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) VIENNA - March 26, 2009: The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet to elect a new director general at a session in Vienna on Thursday. The term of the current IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who has headed the agency since 1997, ends in November 2009. The 66-year-old ElBaradei, who together with the watchdog was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, has signaled that he will step down when his term of office ends. The 35-nation board will meet in a closed session. The two frontrunners are Japan's IAEA ambassador, Yukiya Amano, and South Africa's envoy, Abdul Samad Minty, both need to secure a two-thirds majority to win the vote. Insiders say that Amano, whose candidacy is reported to be backed by the U.S. and some EU states, is the favorite for the four-year post over Minty, although neither is expected to garner the required two-thirds majority, which could mean the contest is thrown open to a new candidate. The vote comes at a crucial time for the nuclear watchdog involved in stalled investigations in Iran and Syria and high-profile monitoring of North Korea's nuclear disarmament program. In a recent report speech made to the IAEA board of governors on March 2 ElBaradei said that watchdog, charged with promoting the peaceful and safe use of nuclear technology, is continuing to monitor and verify the dismantling of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor, but said that despite numerous efforts there had been no progress in investigations into Iran's nuclear activity.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Says North Korean Missile Launch Would Be 'Provocative'
(NSI News Source Info) MEXICO CITY - March 26, 2009: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the firing by North Korea of a missile of any kind would be a "provocative act." North Korea announced plans last month to launch what it says is a communications satellite from the newly constructed Musudan-ri launch pad on the country's northeast coast. However, the U.S., Japan and South Korea believe that the secretive communist state is in fact planning to test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile. Speaking to journalists in Mexico City, Clinton said Washington would consider the firing of a missile by North Korea a violation of a UN Security Council resolution that forbids the country from undertaking ballistic activity. She also said that any missile launch could have consequences for six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program. The talks involve the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, China and Japan. "We have made it very clear that the North Koreans pursue this pathway at a cost and with consequences to the six-party talks, which we would like to see revived," Clinton said. "We intend to raise this violation of the Security Council resolution, if it goes forward, in the U.N.," she said. "This provocative action in violation of the U.N. mandate will not go unnoticed and there will be consequences." The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1718 on October 14, 2006, which forbids North Korea from conducting further nuclear tests or launches of ballistic missiles. North Korea tested the Taepodong-2 missile in July 2006, but it malfunctioned around a minute after take-off. Japan has said more than once that it is ready to intercept the North Korean rocket if it appears to threaten the country's security. South Korea has also called on its neighbor not to launch a missile, saying it would be a "serious challenge."
Sikorsky Aircraft Delivers 100th New Production UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopter To U.S. Army
(NSI News Source Info) STRATFORD, Conn. - March 26, 2009: In a rollout ceremony attended by government officials, armed services personnel, and employees, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today celebrated delivery of the 100th new production UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter to the U.S. Army. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army's Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in 1972. The Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61. The UH-60A entered service with the Army in 1979, to replace the UH-1 Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter. With a new airframe, avionics and propulsion system, the UH-60M helicopter is the latest and most modern in a series of BLACK HAWK variants that Sikorsky has been delivering to the Army without interruption since 1978. "The UH-60M helicopter delivers great technology and a load of confidence based on Sikorsky's three decades of experience in designing, building and servicing the workhorse of the United States Army," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino, a retired U.S. Army Master Aviator with 26 years of combined active, reserve and National Guard service. "I can talk about the aircraft's reduced pilot workload, increased lift, better protection and enhanced survivability, but nothing means more than when soldiers tell us how much they depend on and trust this helicopter." Col. L. Neil Thurgood, Utility Helicopters Project Manager for the U.S. Army, noted an entire battalion of the aircraft has deployed to Afghanistan. "The UH-60M BLACK HAWK has been warmly received by our soldiers who appreciate its performance, durability and robust design," said Col. Thurgood, who spent time with employees in the Stratford plant, thanking them for the important part they play in America's defense. The Army currently has more than 1,740 BLACK HAWK variants with more than 5.8 million combined flight hours in inventory, constituting the world's largest and most battle-tested BLACK HAWK fleet. The Army BLACK HAWK fleet will soon exceed more than 1 million hours of combat duty in the Iraq and Afghanistan war theaters since 2003. "The BLACK HAWK is a great aircraft, the military's battlefield transport of choice," Pino said. "With the UH-60M helicopter, the Army and Sikorsky are building upon that tradition and ensuring that it will continue for generations to come." The UH-60M helicopter's new composite spar wide-chord blade will provide 227 kg (500 lbs) more lift than the current UH-60L blade. The new General Electric T700-GE-701D engine will add more horsepower and allow additional lift during external lift (sling load) operations. The UH-60M helicopter represents the Army's third standard baseline BLACK HAWK version in the 30-year production history of the program. Sikorsky delivered the UH-60A BLACK HAWK helicopters from 1978 until 1989, and delivered the UH-60L from 1989 until 2008. Not content with the status quo, Sikorsky is even now working on an upgrade to the UH-60M helicopter. The upgrade will feature fly-by-wire flight controls, full authority digital engine controllers, enhanced cockpit displays and a composite tail-cone. Brig. General Walter Davis, Director of Army Aviation, received a briefing on this effort. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. Its mission statement reflects the company's long commitment to safety and innovation: "We pioneer flight solutions that bring people home everywhere... every time(TM)." United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
Mirion Technologies Secures Dosimetry Contract With Polish Army
(NSI News Source Info) SAN FRANCISCO - March 26, 2009: Mirion Technologies Health Physics Division today announced a contract award to supply the Polish Army with active tactical dosimeters and portable readers. The SOR-T dosimeters, from Mirion’s MGP Instruments product line, meet the rigorous demands of military applications with a broad measurement range of gamma and neutron dose rates and can withstand harsh operational environments.
The complementary XOM portable readers are specifically designed and ruggedized for field management of individual or collective dosimetry. “This contract presents an excellent opportunity to build upon our long-standing relationship with the Polish Army,” said Antony Besso, President of Mirion’s Health Physics Division. “Seventeen of the twenty-six NATO member countries rely upon electronic dosimeters from Mirion’s Health Physics Division to help protect their soldiers from nuclear and radiological threats.” ABOUT MIRION TECHNOLOGIES Mirion Technologies is one of the world leaders in radiation detection, measuring and monitoring. Mirion has 13 facilities in Europe, Asia, and North America. Mirion Technologies is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area and is a portfolio company of American Capital
EADS North America-Built UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters Surpass The 10,000 Flight-Hour Milestone In U.S. Army Service
EADS North America-Built UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters Surpass The 10,000 Flight-Hour Milestone In U.S. Army Service
(NSI News Source Info) ARLINGTON, VA - March 26, 2009: The U.S. Army's growing fleet of UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters has passed the 10,000 flight-hour milestone, demonstrating the aircrafts' mission performance and reliability in operations throughout the United States. Fifty-eight UH-72As have been delivered by EADS North America to the U.S. Army and Army National Guard for missions including homeland security, medical evacuation, logistics and VIP flights. The UH-72 Lakota is a United States Army light utility helicopter that entered service in 2006, built by the American Eurocopter division of EADS North America. The Lakota is a militarized version of the Eurocopter EC145 modified to the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) requirements. In June 2006, the US Army selected it as the winner of its LUH program with a 345+ aircraft fleet planned. "Day after day, the UH-72A program is fulfilling a key role in the modernization of the U.S. Army's helicopter assets," said EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "All Lakotas have been delivered on time or ahead of schedule, and we remain committed to providing America's warfighters with the very best equipment to accomplish their important missions." The UH-72A is based on Eurocopter's proven EC145 multi-role helicopter. As part of EADS North America's expansion of its U.S. industrial presence, a full-scale Lakota production capability in Columbus, Miss. facility and pilot training in Grand Prairie, Texas are components of the American Eurocopter business unit. These two facilities generate high-value jobs in the United States. The UH-72A fleet has an operational availability rate higher than 90 percent, underscoring the readiness of these rotary-wing aircraft to perform their varied assignments. The Lakota fleet is supported through a combination of performance-based logistics using full contractor logistics support (CLS) and a hybrid CLS concept with the Army National Guard aircraft. With their coast-to-coast basing, UH-72As are used in operations that range from support and medical evacuation missions at the Army's National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, Calif. to multi-role airlift flights in the nation's capital area. Lakotas also participated in disaster relief and coordination missions for Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in the southern U.S. last September. Current basing and operating locations for the UH-72A fleet include the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.; Fort Eustis and Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Irwin, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Morrisville, N.C.; Pineville, La.; Tupelo, Miss.; the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. Lakotas carry six passengers and a crew of two pilots in the standard Light Utility Helicopter configuration, while two litters are accommodated for MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) flights. The UH-72A also has been certified by the U.S. Army for the free-fall deployment of paratroopers, using the rotary-wing aircraft's large side-fuselage sliding doors. Certain Lakotas will be equipped with a mission equipment package for the Army National Guard including an electro-optic and infrared sensor, digital moving map, searchlight, and data link for the Army National Guard Reconnaissance and Interdiction detachment (RAID) missions. To date, 128 Lakotas have been ordered by the Army, with the military service planning to acquire a total of 345 UH-72As through 2016. In addition, five Light Utility Helicopters have been ordered by the U.S. Navy for pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md. In addition to their U.S. Army basing in the continental United States, overseas deployments of UH-72As are anticipated in Europe and Japan. The Lakota's phase-in enables aging National Guard OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while Lakota deliveries to the active component of the Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to warfighting missions. Training of U.S. Army personnel for the UH-72A is provided by EADS North America through American Eurocopter. More than 200 Army pilots and nearly 100 maintenance personnel have been trained to date at American Eurocopter's Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters. A new pilot training class begins every two weeks at Grand Prairie, and now includes the use of a new full-motion helicopter flight simulator at the Texas facility. Production of the UH-72A averages three to four helicopters per month -- with the capability of reaching five aircraft monthly at the Columbus production site. The state-of-the-art installation is performed at a 220,000 sq. ft. addition to American Eurocopter's Mississippi rotary-wing aircraft center of excellence, which is located adjacent to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The facility has met its goal of creating new job opportunities in the region, with total employment planned to surpass 250 as the UH-72A program reaches its full production and final assembly capability. EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $10 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 190,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
Lockheed Gets $320 Million US F-35 Aircraft Deal
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 26, 2009: Lockheed Martin Corp is being awarded a U.S. Navy contract add-on worth up to $320 million for "long lead" items used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Defense Department said Wednesday. Work on the contract is expected to be completed in November 2011. The F-35 is being developed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well as for eight international partners -- Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
Lockheed Martin Statement - F-22 Accident F-22 Raptor is one of our favorite project. We are saddened by the loss of David Cooley and our condolenences to the family. May God rest his soul in peace. (DTN Defense-Technology News) (NSI News Source Info) FORT WORTH, Texas - March 26, 2009:Lockheed Martin test pilot David Cooley, 49, was killed today at about 10 a.m. Pacific time in the crash of an F-22 aircraft flying on a test mission from Edwards AFB, California. We are deeply saddened by the loss of David and our concerns, thoughts and prayers at this time are with his family. David joined Lockheed Martin in 2003 and was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He worked at the F-22 Combined Test Force, where a team of Lockheed Martin and Air Force pilots conduct F-22 aircraft testing. Questions about the aircraft accident should be addressed to the Edwards Air Force Base Public Affairs Office at 661-277-3511.
U.S. Air Force F-22 fighter Jet Crashes, Program Questioned * Production line to close without more F-22 orders * U.S. has budgeted for 183 of the aircraft * Condition of pilot in crash unknown (Adds details on F-22 production decision, byline) By Jim Wolf (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 26, 2009: A U.S. Air Force F-22 fighter jet crashed in the California desert Wednesday, the Air Force said, coming at a time the Obama administration is deciding whether to extend Lockheed Martin Corp's F-22 production line. The decision on the production line is due in a month or so as part of the White House's detailed fiscal 2010 budget request to Congress. Lockheed has said it plans to start phasing out its supplier base unless President Barack Obama opts to buy more than the 183 F-22s currently budgeted. The aircraft, designed to be the world's top dogfighter, went down about 35 miles northeast of Edwards Air Force Base, where it had been based, the Air Force said in a statement. Edwards lies in the Mojave Desert, adjacent to Rogers Dry Lakebed, the largest dry lakebed in North America. The Air Force said the condition of the aircraft's lone pilot was not immediately known. To date, the Air Force has accepted 135 F-22s from Lockheed Martin, Lt. Gen. Mark Schackelford, the Air Force's top uniformed acquisition officer, told Congress Wednesday. This is the second time an F-22 has crashed. The first was during a test and evaluation period in December 2004, also at Edwards, the Air Force said. In that case, the pilot ejected safely. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Bernard Orr)
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Promises New Peace Talks With Palestinians
(NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV - March 26, 2009: Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday to renew peace talks with the Palestinians once his government is formed. Netanyahu, whose right-wing Likud party reached an agreement on Tuesday with the center-left Labor Party to form a coalition, has until April 3 to form his government. "Peace... is a common and enduring goal for all Israelis and all Israeli governments, mine included. This means I will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for peace," he told Arab and Israeli business people at a conference in Jerusalem. "I think the Palestinians should understand that they have in our government a partner for peace, for security, and for rapid economic development of the Palestinian economy," he added. The Likud party had earlier signed coalition deals with the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas Party and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, led by Avigdor Lieberman. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has refused to bring her Kadima Party into a coalition with Likud, over Netanyahu's refusal so far to commit to U.S.-backed negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state. Livni had also demanded a power-sharing deal. The tentative coalition deal with Labor avoided the need to form a strongly right-wing government with Lieberman, which would set the scene for difficult peace talks. Lieberman has in the past sparked controversy, saying Israeli Arabs should be forced to pass a loyalty test or lose their citizenship, and calling for the annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. However, last month Lieberman said he supported the establishment of a Palestinian state rejecting the "far right" label commonly applied to him.
Russia Shares IAEA Concerns On Iran's Nuclear Program - Reports
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - March 26, 2009: Russia cannot consider Iran's nuclear program "transparent" while the UN nuclear watchdog still has concerns on this account, a senior Russian member of parliament said Wednesday. The United States and other Western countries suspect Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the accusations saying its nuclear program is purely civilian. "We in no way close our eyes to what is happening in Iran, and cannot consider this program transparent while the International Atomic Energy Agency has related questions," the chairman of the Russian lower house international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, told a RIA Novosti press conference. "Unlike the U.S., we consider the IAEA the only source of any generalizations, conclusions and recommendations," he said, adding that he expected talks on the issue to bear fruit in the future. "I believe the Russian-American and Russian-European dialogue, as well as the dialogue between Russia and China and other Asian region states on the Iranian issue, will be more productive in the future, and that ultimately Iran will be included in it," he said.
Sevastopol Residents Protest U.S. Warship Visit
(NSI News Source Info) SEVASTOPOL - March 26, 2009: About 500 demonstrators gathered on Wednesday in Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea to protest the visit of a U.S. frigate to the port, which hosts a key Russian naval base. USS Klakring (FFG-42), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is a ship of the United States Navy named for Rear Admiral Thomas B. Klakring (1904–1975), who was awarded three Navy Crosses as commander of the submarine USS Guardfish (SS-217) during World War II. Klakring was laid down on 19 February 1982 by the Bath Iron Works Corp. Bath, Maine; launched on 18 September 1982; sponsored by Beverly Bohen, a niece of R.Adm. Klakring; and commissioned on 20 August 1983 at Bath, Commander Leonard O. Wahlig in command. As of 2006, Klakring is homeported at NAVSTA Mayport, Florida, and is part of Destroyer Squadron 14. In March of 2008, the ship was the subject of protests in Sevastapol, Ukraine. Klakring participated in Operation Earnest Will in the Persian Gulf in 1987 as the first air-capable, air-embarked ship. Klakring participated in Operation Prime Chance in the Persian Gulf during the "Tanker War". Klakring is one of the surface combatants in Larry Bond's 1993 technothriller Cauldron. The USS Klakring (FFG 42) frigate entered the Black Sea on March 20 and is closely monitored by Russia, whose Black Sea Fleet has its main base in Sevastopol. The U.S. warship is scheduled to stay in the city until Saturday before heading to Batumi in Georgia. "We welcome all foreigners who come here as tourists, but we will not tolerate the U.S. military in our city," said city council member Andrei Merkulov, one of the organizers of the rally. Locals in Ukraine's Crimea, which has a largely Russian-speaking population, frequently protest against visits by NATO ships. Last November, the USS Mount Whitney cut short its visit to Sevastopol amid similar protests. Ukraine has been pursuing NATO membership since pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko was inaugurated in January 2005. However, regular opinion polls show that the majority of Ukrainians continue to oppose NATO membership.
U.S. President Barack Obama Expects Steady Progress In U.S.-Iran Ties
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 26, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama expects steady progress in relations with Iran as he pursues a policy of greater engagement than his predecessor George Bush. Speaking at the end of an hour-long prime-time news conference, the president held up ties with Tehran as an example of the need for patience while new policies take effect. "We did a video sending a message to the Iranian people and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, 'Well, they did not immediately say they were eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism.' Well, we didn't expect that," he said. "We expect that we're going to make steady progress on this front," Obama concluded. In his election campaign, Obama promised more engagement with Iran, something that had been resisted under the Bush administration. Russia welcomed the U.S. president's video message to the Iranian people, in which he congratulated them on the Iranian New Year. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said last Friday that it was "important for us that the new [U.S.] administration is making advances to Tehran." The United States and other Western nations suspect Tehran of secretly seeking nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is purely aimed at generating electricity.
U.S. President Barrack Obama Dismisses Need For New International Reserve Currency
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 26, 2009: U.S. President Barrack Obama sees no need for a new global reserve currency as proposed by Russia and China, declaring the dollar "extraordinarily strong." "I don't believe that there is a need for a global currency," Obama said during a prime-time news conference on Tuesday. Russia has submitted a proposal to the G20 summit due in London next week for the IMF to examine creating a supra-national reserve currency, a move that was supported by the chairman of the People's Bank of China in an essay released on Monday. Obama said that investors' behavior showed that they had faith in the U.S. economy and currency, adding that there were already signs of recovery from the global economic crisis. "The dollar is extraordinarily strong right now," the president said. "And the reason the dollar is strong right now is because investors consider the United States the strongest economy in the world, with the most stable political system in the world." "We are beginning to see signs of progress," he said, adding that people should look forward with "a renewed confidence that a better day will come." The G20 summit, involving developed and emerging economies and international financial institutions, will be held in London on April 2 with the aim of finding ways to overcome the ongoing global financial crisis. As well as proposing the new reserve currency, Russia has put forward suggestions for how international financial structures should be reformed in the wake of the crisis, including steps to ensure the diversification of countries' foreign currency reserves to reduce the emphasis on the dollar.
Boeing Marks Milestone For KC-10 Contractor Logistics Support Program
(NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS - March 26, 2009: The Boeing Company today recognized a milestone for its KC-10 Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) program: The program has provided aircraft maintenance more than 750 times for the current fleet of 59 aerial-refueling tanker aircraft. The March 20 return of a KC-10 Extender to the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., marked the 750th time Boeing Global Services & Support employees in San Antonio have completed KC-10 maintenance since the U.S. Air Force awarded the contract in 1998. "This milestone is important not only because the aircraft was the 750th returned to the Air Force following scheduled maintenance, but also because it's the 750th time we've returned an aircraft to the Air Force on time," said Mike Wright, Boeing KC-10 program director. "To be able to get the aircraft back to the warfighter on time, all the time, is important to all of us." The aircraft received depot-level maintenance and was also the second in the fleet to undergo refurbishment. "The refurbishment work is a lot like restoring a vintage car," Wright said. "We replace panels, decals, lighting fixtures and heavily used aircraft equipment. We also paint the interior of the aircraft and generally give it a good restoration throughout." Boeing is working with the Air Force to refurbish the remaining 57 KC-10s in the fleet. The work is necessary, according to the Air Force, as the KC-10 Extender continues to play an integral role in the ongoing global war on terrorism. The Boeing KC-10 CLS program currently provides depot-level maintenance and modifications, supply-chain management and other critical support tasks to the KC-10 fleet. Boeing also provides around-the-world support for the aircraft with a network of Field Service Representatives and other support personnel.
Boeing Laser System Redeploys Quickly, Then Tracks Targets And Fires Laser
(NSI News Source Info) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - March 26, 2009: Boeing has successfully demonstrated its Re-Deployable High-Energy Laser System (RHELS) by quickly relocating the prototype weapon system from its Albuquerque development site to a test range, where it tracked ground and airborne targets and fired at a ground target. RHELS integrates a solid-state, thin-disk laser; an acquisition, pointing and tracking capability; beam control, fire control and thermal management systems; and a weapons operator console into a modified 40-foot-long shipping container transportable on a semitrailer. Boeing began the two-week-long test Feb. 23 by packing up RHELS at its Albuquerque facility, moving it to a local government facility in Albuquerque and setting it up there, all in only a few hours. With the system status re-established, RHELS then tracked in-flight aircraft and moving and stationary ground vehicles, and successfully fired its laser, hitting a remote target board on the ground. Due to test-range restrictions, the system did not fire at moving targets. "RHELS demonstrates that a solid-state, high-energy laser weapon system can be transportable, rugged, supportable and affordable," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems. "RHELS drives tactical directed-energy laser systems out of the laboratory and into the hands of the warfighter. Its transportability also means developers and warfighters have the opportunity to test this transformational, ultra-precision directed-energy weapon system at a number of ranges under varying conditions and against a diverse set of targets." In future tests, RHELS will fire its laser at in-flight targets and moving ground vehicles. RHELS is designed to engage rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) projectiles, shoulder-fired missiles and unmanned aircraft, as well as a variety of ground-mobile tactical targets. RHELS is a Boeing-funded initiative to show that directed energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today's battlefield. It also provides key lessons for the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD), a truck-mounted, high-energy laser, counter-RAM weapon system that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Army. "RHELS reduces risk for HEL TD in a controlled but realistic setting," said Lee Gutheinz, Boeing program director for High-Energy Laser/Electro-Optical Systems. "It confirms the functionality of a compact, reliable and highly efficient laser system while maintaining future scalability to many tens of kilowatts of laser power." Boeing leads the way in developing high-energy laser systems for a variety of warfighter applications. These systems include Airborne Laser, Advanced Tactical Laser, HEL TD, Laser Avenger and the Tactical Relay Mirror System.
Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS Launcher Successfully Fires Air Defense Missile (NSI News Source Info) DALLAS, TX., - March 26, 2009: A Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher successfully fired two Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) during a U.S. Army “common launcher” feasibility demonstration at White Sands Missile Range, NM. U.S. Army and industry representatives conducted the “proof of concept” firing to examine the viability of firing an air defense missile from the currently-fielded HIMARS. The demonstration featured two modified AMRAAMs, which were rail-launched from a modified Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) enclosure assembly launch pod mounted on a HIMARS launcher. The test, in which all objectives were met, included the operational test missiles (configured from excess AMRAAM assets); integration of modified Surfaced Launched AMRAAM launch rails into an empty ATACMS pod; and the launch of the AMRAAMs using the HIMARS fire control system with modified software. The Army is evaluating HIMARS as a potential solution for a light “common launcher” for future air defense, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System and ATACMS munitions. In addition to its capability to support multi-mission munitions, the HIMARS launcher offers tactical flexibility, high reliability and C-130 transportability. “We’re looking at the idea of a ‘common launcher,’” said Col. Dave Rice, U.S Army Project Manager, Precision Fires Rocket & Missile Systems. “We’re looking at HIMARS because it is already in the force, it’s very deployable, it’s a great platform to be a common launcher, and we’ve now shown it can successfully fire air defense missiles.” The U.S. Army’s Air Defense Artillery and Field Artillery branch schools are now consolidated under a single Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, OK, resulting in areas of commonality between the two combat arms branches. The “common launcher” concept is one example where both air defense artillery and field artillery operational needs are jointly addressed. “We believe this test firing shows that HIMARS is a feasible ‘common launcher’ candidate,” said Scott Arnold, vice president for Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We’ve shown we can effectively modify the onboard fire control software and successfully fire air defense missiles from this reliable and deployable system that is already in the hands of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.” The demonstration was a coordinated effort between the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems, Cruise Missile Defense Systems, Prototype Integration Facility, Raytheon Missile Systems and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
Raytheon To Showcase Innovation For 'The Next Space Age' At National Space Symposium 2009
(NSI News Source Info) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - March 26, 2009: Raytheon Company will highlight several government defense, space and environmental system technologies at the 25th National Space Symposium: "The Next Space Age." The conference will be held at the Broadmoor Resort and Conference Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 30-April 2, 2009. Raytheon will host an exhibit (Booth #503) featuring innovative capabilities in the areas of weather and climate monitoring; space navigation and integrated ground control; space protection; advanced missile warning and missile defense; and responsive space solutions. Key technologies to be highlighted at the show include Raytheon's Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, the Global Broadcast Service, the 3rd Generation Infrared missile warning sensor and rapidly deployable space solutions that help military commanders meet urgent tactical needs. At the event, Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Services President Lynn Dugle will host the Raytheon-sponsored James E. Hill Lifetime Achievement Award luncheon. Jon Jones, president of Space and Airborne Systems, will participate on an executive panel titled "Today's Top Space Companies Look at the Next Space Age," with fellow space industry leaders. "Raytheon has been offering innovative space solutions to civil, military and intelligence leaders for more than 40 years," said Garnett Stowe, vice president of National Intelligence Programs in the company's Business Development organization. "From data gathering capabilities in orbit to data retrieval and processing systems on the ground, Raytheon's industry-leading technology will be on full display at this year's National Space Symposium." The Raytheon Global Positioning System Operational Ground Control Segment team will be on site to demonstrate the ability to command GPS signals, provide situational awareness, and expose data. Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people