(NSI News Source Info) WARSAW - April 28, 2009: Poland is to dispatch 400 more soldiers to Afghanistan by the end of this month amid the worsening security situation in the war-ravaged country, German news reports said here Tuesday. Poland will bolster its 1,600-strong contingent in Afghanistan with 400 more troops to help improve security in the leadup to an August election there, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said recently the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan will need some 4,000 extra soldiers to secure Afghanistan's presidential poll. "We have taken today a decision to formally ask the president to increase our contingent by 400 soldiers," Tusk told a news conference. "It is related to the elections in Afghanistan and we are all aware the situation there will not be any easier over the weeks to come. Sending more troops is justified from the point of view of our own forces' security there," Tusk added. Poland, NATO's largest ex-communist member, had previously said it would not increase its forces in Afghanistan as it looks to make budget savings because of a sharp economic slowdown. Poland's Defense Ministry recently agreed to cut spending plans this year by 2 billion zlotys ($601.5 million), but Tusk said it could afford the 35.1 million zlotys needed for the troop reinforcements. Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who as commander-in-chief must approve the additional deployments, has spoken in favor of increasing Poland's engagement in Afghanistan and is widely expected to approve Tusk's request. Warsaw will increase its overall troop size in Afghanistan to 2,000 by the end of April, said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk following his meeting with his British counterpart Gordon Brown in the Polish capital. The situation ahead of the Afghan presidential elections, scheduled for August, requires "utmost efforts," added Tusk. There are currently 1.600 Polish troops deployed in Afghanistan fighting a rejuvenated Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgency. Polish soldiers have faced increased attacks in recent times, Polish military officials have been quoted saying. The US has reportedly pressed Poland to send additional soldiers to Afghanistan. Polish troops have been based mostly in the Afghan province of Ghasni since last fall as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which has currently deployed around 55,000 troops. ISAF is by far NATO's largest mission, and is seen as crucial to the security and long-term credibility of the controversial western military alliance. The ISAF mission was mandated by the United Nations in December 2001, in the wake of the overthrow of the Taliban. The largest troop contingents come from the US with 23,220 followed by Britain with 8,910 and Germany with 3,500. American President Barack Obama announced he would boost the number of US soldiers in Afghanistan by around 17,000. However, he has also called on European allies to make a similar commitment.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Poland To Send 400 More Soldiers To Afghanistan
Pakistan: Where Has Sufi Mohammad Gone?
(NSI News Source Info) PESHAWAR - April 28, 2009: The government as well as followers of Sufi Mohammad's defunct Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi are looking for him for one reason: to start talks to remove the last few remaining hurdles in the enforcement of Nizam-i-Adl Regulation. Sufi Mohammad was last seen leaving for his home in Lal Qila area from his base camp in Maidan on Saturday afternoon. Sufi Mohammad was last seen leaving for his home in Lal Qila area from his base camp in Maidan on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning, according to his spokesman Ameer Izzat, the cleric started for his base camp along with his son Ziaullah, just when the paramilitary forces moved in to attack militants’ hideout in Lal Qila. ‘The last time we had contact with Sufi Sahib was when he said he was on his way to Maidan. He said that he wanted to return home but he was not allowed to proceed by security people because of the fighting there,’ Ameer Izzat said. ‘There has been no communication since then and we don’t know where he is. Everybody is looking for him. We are looking for him. The government is looking for him. We are concerned. We want him to come back and resume talks to resolve the pending issues.’ Ironically, the NWFP government faces the same predicament. It desperately needs to start talks and announce the remaining steps for the implementation of the recently-announced regulation but it does not know where to find the TNSM chief. In fact, a two-member team of the NWFP government comprising Senator Afrasiab Khattak and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain flew into Upper Dir on Monday. But Sufi was nowhere to be seen. Anxious to resolve the remaining issues, the government is believed to have reached out to all those who could locate Sufi Mohammed. One significant announcement would be the setting up of Darul Qaza in Malakand. This would be a major stride in the full implementation of the regulation but before it does so, the government would like to consult the unpredictable TNSM leader. Pakistani citizens rally against Taliban in Lahore, Pakistan on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Fighter jets began bombing Taliban hide-outs in a district near the Pakistani capital Tuesday, a military spokesman said, signaling an expansion of an offensive against militants seemingly emboldened by a controversial peace deal. The TNSM wants the operation to be halted and one reason for the demand is to help find their leader, who is known for his disappearing antics. In 1994, when the TNSM had launched an armed rebellion against the state for enforcement of Sharia in Malakand, Sufi was literally pulled out from the mountains by a helicopter to negotiate a settlement. Sufi had agreed and went along with government officials to disarm his supporters and dislodge them from the mountains.
First Japanese Helicopter Carrier Commissioned At Tokyo Bay
(NSI News Source Info) TOKYO - April 28, 2009: DDH 181 Hyuga, the Japanese Maritime Self defense Force (JMSDF) new 'Helicopter Destroyer' was commissioned at the Yokosuka port in Japan on March 18, 2009. Hyuga is the lead ship of this new class of 'helicopter destroyers'. Two additional ships are planned, the second is already under construction. During World War II Hyuga was one of Japanese Imperial Navy's battleships, that was converted into a 'hybrid battleship/aircraft carrier' in 1943. The 197 meter long, 13,950-ton flat-deck vessel can carry up to four helicopters on deck and operate 11 SH-60K type helicopters. The ship is operated by a crew of 340 sailors. Japan has clearly stated that the vessel has been restricted to operate helicopters only as Japan cannot possess offensive aircraft carriers under the pacifist constitution. Hence, Hyuga is not equipped with offensive capabilities. Nevertheless, Hyuga is equipped with 16 Mk41 VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells for anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles and accommodates two 20mm Phalanx anti-missile cannon and two triple 12.75-inch torpedo mounts for self defense. While its primary function is anti-submarine warfare, the Hyuga will also give Japan its first real power projection capability since 1945. The Hyuga is the largest warship built in Japan since World War II. The Japanese constitution forbids it to have aircraft carriers, which is the main reason it is called a destroyer. The vessel could also be instrumental for disaster recovery missions in the region, prone to floods, earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis. The new vessel was opened to the public a month later, on April 11.
Russia To Finalize Plans For New Aircraft Carrier By 2012
(NSI News Source Info) ISTANBUL - April 28, 2009: Russia will finish drafting plans for a new aircraft carrier for its Navy by 2012, a deputy defense minister for procurements said on Tuesday. In file photo from 2004, the Russian navy's Admiral Kuznetsov carrier is seen in the Barents Sea, Russia. The Russian navy said Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 that its sole aircraft carrier and several accompanying ships have left their base and are heading for the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. "We are planning to resolve all the issues in 2010-2011, and after that we will make a final decision. At this point it is necessary to determine all technical specifications of the ship and the means of achieving them. Simultaneously, we have to decide on the strategic uses of aircraft carriers in the future," Vladimir Popovkin said. So far the Russian Navy only has one aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, built in 1985, with a displacement of 55,000 metric tons, a crew of 1,500, and capability to carry more than 50 aircraft. Vice Adm. Anatoly Shlemov, the head of defense contracts at the United Shipbuilding Corporation, said in February that Russia's new-generation aircraft carrier would most likely be nuclear-powered, and have a displacement of up to 60,000 metric tons. He added that the new carrier would serve as a seaborne platform for new-generation fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, in particular a fifth-generation fighter set to replace the Su-33 multirole fighter aircraft currently in service, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Shlemov said that unlike in the past, the new aircraft carrier would not be armed with cruise missiles, which were not part of its "job description." He also said that at least three such carriers were to be built, for the Northern and Pacific Fleets. Shlemov 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.
Russian Armed Forces To Acquire New Drones In 2010 - Popovkin
(NSI News Source Info) ISTANBUL - April 28, 2009: Russia's Armed Forces are to be equipped with new domestically-produced drones in 2010, a deputy Russian defense minister responsible for military procurements said Tuesday. "Russian drones not inferior to foreign varieties will appear in a year, no earlier," General of the Army Vladimir Popovkin said at the IDEF 2009 defense industry exhibition in Istanbul. The issue of insufficient modern weaponry, including drones, in the Russian military came to the fore in August 2008, when Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war after Tbilisi launched an offensive of its former republic of South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control. The lack of advanced reconnaissance equipment severely hampered the effectiveness of Russian military operations in South Ossetia due to an absence of reliable up-to-date intelligence. Popovkin confirmed Russia had concluded a deal to buy a number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel, which he earlier called a "temporary measure," and without specifying a figure. "Despite that, we have not stopped any of our efforts on developing them in Russia. We have maintained funding and concentrated our work in one place. I am personally leading on this," he said.
Final “Increment 1” VH-71 US Presidential Helicopter Delivered
(NSI News Source Info) April 28, 2009: The ninth and final VH-71 to be built under “Increment 1” of the US Presidential Helicopter Replacement Programme departed AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility today on its way to the United States for completion by prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
The aircraft will depart the UK for the US later this week aboard a US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland said at the delivery ceremony “The delivery of the final aircraft today has been achieved just over four years after the contract was awarded in 2005.
All the aircraft delivered are completely compliant to the specifications required by the U.S. Government and the progress achieved in such a short period of time is uncommon for an acquisition of this size and complexity. The whole VH-71 team can be proud of this remarkable achievement”.
He went on to say “The VH-71 helicopters meet or exceed all the performance requirements specified in the contract and it remains the only helicopter available today, or in the medium term, that can meet the demanding requirements. The VH-71 delivers much greater safety, speed, range and capability that the legacy aircraft which are now reaching the end of their service life.” The contract to build four Test Vehicles (TV) and five Pilot Production (PP) aircraft was awarded in January 2005 after an exhaustive evaluation of all solutions. Since then the programme schedule for AgustaWestland has changed by only six months while accommodating over 800 customer changes including 50 major design changes.
The VH-71 is more than an executive transport helicopter - it is a command and control platform that will provide the President with seamless communications connectivity and fulfil the Marine One mission requirements.
The VH-71 aircraft will be ready to enter service in late 2010 following installation of the cabin interior, communications suite and other mission equipment. Following delivery of the final “Increment 1” aircraft AgustaWestland will continue to provide technical and logistical support for the fleet of aircraft and is ready to proceed with “Increment 2” or a range of alternative solutions utilising the capabilities of the “Increment 1” VH-71. The VH-71 is based on the successful multi-mission AW101 helicopter currently serving with seven armed forces and has logged more than 180,000 flight hours, including prolonged combat operations in Iraq and Kosovo.
AgustaWestland Unveils The TUHP 149 Helicopter
(NSI News Source Info) April 28, 2009: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, unveiled a full scale mock-up of the TUHP 149 helicopter at IDEF 2009 in Istanbul today. The TUHP 149 is the AgustaWestland candidate for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme (TUHP).The TUHP 149 features a wide, constant cross section and unobstructed cabin with large sliding doors. The cabin can be easily reconfigured to meet different operational requirements with the capability to transport up to 18 equipped troops.
It is a new generation 8.1 ton medium lift multi-role helicopter designed to meet the military requirements of Turkish end users.
The TUHP 149 maximizes the involvement of TAI and additional leading Turkish aerospace and defence companies, including ASELSAN, TEI, ROKETSAN, HAVELSAN, building on the strategic partnership already set up by AgustaWestland and Turkish industries through the ATAK programme.
The TUHP 149 features a wide, constant cross section and unobstructed cabin with large sliding doors. The cabin can be easily reconfigured to meet different operational requirements with the capability to transport up to 18 equipped troops.
The leading edge technology, open architecture digital avionics and integrated mission and weapon systems allow the aircraft to undertake a wide range of missions. The high performance twin engine helicopter is designed for operations in all environments day and night.
The aircraft can be configured to carry a wide range of weapons, including rocket launchers, air-to-surface and machine-guns as well as external auxiliary tanks in a variety of combinations. Pintle mounted machine-guns can also be fitted on fixed frame windows or in the doors. Structural provisions for the installation of an external cargo hook, heavy duty rescue hoist and a wide range of other mission equipment are provided.
The TUHP 149, due to its modular design for rapid role re-configuration, is perfectly suited to perform an impressive range of duties including troop transport, battlefield and logistic operations, fire support, SAR and combat SAR, special forces operations, reconnaissance, surveillance, CASEVAC, command control and communication, external load lifting as well as VIP military transport.
The new technology TUHP 149 has been designed from the outset with low support and maintenance requirements to minimize the operating costs and the through life ownership costs. A range of support and training services packages will be available to provide cost effective through life support to meet customer's requirements. A full "Level D" flight simulator is also envisaged.
Australia To Buy Seven CH-47Fs For $560Million / Australia – CH-47F Chinook Helicopters
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINTON - April 28, 2009: On April 13 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of seven CHINOOK Helicopters and other related equipment, services and support.
The estimated cost is $560 Million.The USA’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces Australia’s official request for 7 CH-47F CHINOOK Helicopters with 14 (2 per aircraft) T55-GA-714A Turbine engines, 7 Dillon Aero M134D 7.62mm Miniguns, 16 AN/ARC-201D Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radios (SINCGARS), 7 Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below Blue Force Trackers (FBCB2/BFT), 2 spare T-55-GA-714A Turbine engines, plus mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, special tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, and support. The estimated cost is $560 million, but a DSCA request is not a contract.
The Government of Australia has requested a possible sale of seven CH-47F CHINOOK Helicopters with 14 (2 per aircraft) T55-GA-714A Turbine engines, 7 M134D Dillon Aero Miniguns, 16 AN/ARC-201D Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radios (SINCGARS), 7 Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below Blue Force Trackers (FBCB2/BFT), 2 spare T-55-GA-714A Turbine engines, mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, special tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $560 million.
Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. Australia’s efforts in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in Iraq and in Afghanistan have had a significant impact on regional political and economic stability and have served U.S. national security interests. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives and facilitates burden sharing with our allies.
The proposed sale of the CH-47F CHINOOK helicopters and components to Australia will contribute to U.S. security objectives by providing a coalition partner with significantly improved airlift capability. This will improve the Royal Australian Army’s ability to participate in coalition operations, enhance the capacity of Australia’s Defense Forces to provide lift for ground forces and supplies in support of humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and to contribute to stability operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractors will be: Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in St. Louis, MO; Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA; and ITT in Fort Wayne, IN. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of two contractor representatives to Australia for approximately 3 years to support delivery of the CH-47F helicopters in-country. Also, approximately 6 U.S. Government personnel will participate in program management and/or technical reviews in-country for one to two-week intervals annually.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law. It does not mean that the sale has been concluded.
Turkey Buys 36 Leguan Bridge Laying Armoured Vehicles
(NSI News Source Info) MUNICH - April 28, 2009: The Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Turkey agreed in November 2008 that the Turkish Armed Forces will buy 36 bridge laying armoured vehicles of the LEGUAN type, which is based on the LEOPARD 1.Turkey is finalizing contract negotiations for the purchase of 36 Leguan bridge-laying armored vehicles, derived from the Leopard 1 tank. (KMW photo)
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG (KMW) will supply the systems as part of an engagement letter. The final negotiations are currently under way between KMW and the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB). All expectations are that the contract will be signed soon.
Within the programme, the Turkish Armed Forces will manufacture and assemble substantial parts of the systems itself in Turkey. The joint project underscores the close German-Turkish cooperation in the field of armoured vehicles and family vehicles.
International deployments for bridge system:
The LEGUAN bridge laying armoured vehicle can be controlled by only one person with the hatch closed and install a load category MLC 80 bridge that is 26 metres long in approximately five minutes using an electronic control system.
KMW has already produced the LEGUAN bridge-layer on the basis of the LEOPARD 1 or LEOPARD 2 battle tank for the Norwegian, Greek, Belgian and Finnish armed forces. The bridge-laying system can, however, also be mounted on other used or new battle tank chassis. For example, it is in use on the chassis of the Polish PT91, the American M1 "Wolverine" and the M47/M60 in Spain.
But the bridge can also be laid by wheeled vehicles, such as the MAN 8x8 and the 10x10 vehicle from Finnish company SISU. With the aid of additional pontoons, the LEGUAN can also be used to construct ferries of various load categories, and if necessary link them together to form floating bridges.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG leads the European market for armoured wheeled and tracked vehicles. At locations in Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the USA, some 3400 employees manufacture and support a product portfolio ranging from air-transportable, heavily armoured wheeled vehicles (MUNGO, DINGO, GFF4 and BOXER) through reconnaissance, anti-aircraft and artillery systems (FENNEK, GEPARD, LeFLaSys, Armoured Howitzer 2000, AGM and DONAR) to heavy battle tanks (LEOPARD 1 and 2), armoured personnel carriers (PUMA) and bridge-laying systems (LEGUAN and PSB2).
Study Says China, India, UAE Top Arms Importers
(NSI News Source Info) STOCKHOLM - April 28, 2009: The United Arab Emirates has become the third-biggest arms importer worldwide, a leading defence think tank said Monday. The figures from the UAE reflected what the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) described as a "worrying" regional trend of increased arms imports into the Middle East. The oil-rich country accounted for 6 percent of the world's arms imports between 2004 and 2008, according to the report from SIPRI - the same proportion as South Korea. Only China with 11 percent and India with 7 percent had a larger share of the market, said the report. The UAE's position was all the more striking because in the previous study, covering the period 1999-2003, the UAE was the 16th biggest importer of military equipment. The SIPRI described the country's rise to third place as "the most significant change" in its new survey of global arms sales. The study also found that the average volume of worldwide arms transfers for 2004-08 was 21 percent higher than 1999-2003. There had been a 38 percent increase in arms transfers to the Middle East region in the latest study compared to its previous five-year survey, SIPRI said. "During the past five years, we have seen the re-emergence of the Middle East as a major recipient of conventional weapons systems," SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman said in a statement. "While we are a long way from the levels reached in the early to mid-1980s, this is still a worrying trend in a region beset by multiple sources of potential conflict," he added. The United States remains the biggest supplier of military equipment. Its sales account for 31 percent of exports worldwide, ahead of Russia (25 percent) and Germany (10 percent), the report noted.
Vietnam To Purchase 6 Russian Submarines: Report
(NSI News Source Info) April 28, 2009: Russia will build six submarines for the Vietnamese navy, the daily Kommersant reported April 27.
Kilo class is the NATO designation for the very quiet Russian diesel-electric Project 877 Paltus (Turbot) submarines. The Kilo Class Submarines were designed primarily for the purpose of anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare in the protection of naval bases, coastal installations and sea lanes in shallow waters. They were also used for reconnaissance and patrol missions. Design of the Kilo Class Submarines was undertaken by Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau.
The first submarine entered service in 1982. Continuing development of the Kilo class (Project 877) lead to the Type 877EKM and the Type 636. Project 636 was a further development of Project 877EKM. The Russian Type 636 Submarine was developed for the purpose of anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-surface ship (ASuW) warfare. Project 636 submarines have earned the nikname the "The Black Hole", from the US navy because of their almost mysterious ability to just disappear.
Project 636 submarines are to detect hostile submarines at a range of up to four times greater than it can be detected itself. Project 636 submarines are renowned for their quitness, part of which was gained through an advanced anti-acoustic rubber coating applied on the outer hull surface. Flooding ports were removed from the fore-body of the 636 varient to reduce the submarine's acoustic signature. Anechoic tiles are fitted on casings and fins to absorb the sonar sound waves of active sonar, which results in a reducion and distortion of the return signal. These Anechoic tiles help attenuate sounds that are emitted from the submarine, thus reducing the range of which the sub may be detected by hostile passive sonar.
Depending on the varients Kilo clss Submarines may be fitted with six 553mm torpedo tubes, eighteen torpedoes, twenty-four mines, eight SA-N-8 Gremlin or 8 SA-N-10 Gimlet Surface-to-air missiles. Export versions of the Submarines may not be equipped with air defense weapons.
A number of Kilo Class Submarines have been exported to various countries including: Algeria, People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Poland, Romania and Iran.
The St Petersburg naval dockyard Admiralteyskye verfi and Vietnam will shortly sign the contract, worth $1.8 billion, the report said, quoting sources close to Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport. It gave no time frame. "Initially it was expected that the submarines would be bought by Venezuela, but Rosoboronexport refused to clinch the deal with that country, largely due to a recent meeting between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his American counterpart Barack Obama," Kommersant said. Chavez, a ferocious foe of the United States under the George W. Bush presidency, showed signs of warming to Obama during the Americas conference earlier this month, telling the new U.S. president: "I want to be your friend."