Sunday, May 31, 2009
DTN News: Indian Navy To Atlantic, For First Anti-Sub War Games (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - May 31, 2009: The Indian Navy is sending warships of its western fleet to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time for anti-submarine drills with the British and the French, continuing with its strategy of long-reach deployments despite the demands of coastal security after 26/11. INS Delhi (D61) is the name-ship of the Delhi class destroyers of the Indian Navy. She was built at the Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai (Bombay) and was commissioned on 15 November 1997. Her class is the largest class of warship to built in India. The Delhi class is a hybrid of Soviet and Western designs, incorporating elements of the Sovremenny class destroyer, the Rajput class (Kashin-II) destroyer, and the Godavari class frigate. The main gun at the bow of the ship is a 100mm gun supplied by Russia. The ship is also fitted with four six-barrel AK-630 gatling guns. The ship is equipped with four quad launchers for the Uran anti-ship missile system. The Uran system launches the Kh-35 (NATO designation SS-N-25) Four ships — the INS Delhi, the INS Beas, the INS Brahmaputra and the fleet tanker, INS Aditya — will engage the Royal Navy and the French Navy in separate war games involving nuclear-powered submarines in the eastern Atlantic in June and July. “Yes, there is a change in our deployment pattern. While coastal defence is important we believe in a constructive engagement, and pooling in of information and deployments to Europe and the Far East are in keeping with this strategy,” a navy spokesperson said. In March and April, ships from the eastern fleet were deployed in China, Japan and South Korea. But the Indian Navy is also looking at the drills with the British and the French navies because of the nature of the exercise. The Indian Navy is eager to gain knowledge on nuclear-powered submarines but it does not have one of its own. China’s People Liberation Army-Navy is expanding with the acquisition of such submarines (SSNs). The Royal Navy and the French Navy will be deploying two SSNs in the war games — Konkan ’09 (with the British) and the Varuna ’09 (with the French). Nuclear-powered submarines have longer underwater endurance and their sound signatures are recorded differently from conventional diesel-electric submarines in the SONAR detection equipment. The British will be deploying the HMS Trafalgar nuclear-powered submarine in the exercise between June 20 and June 25. They will also be deploying two guided missile frigates, the HMS Westminster and the HMS Lancaster, two auxiliaries, the RFA Fort Rosalie and the RFA Mounts Bay, Merlin and Lynx helicopters, Falcon and Hawk fighter aircraft and a Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft. With the French, the western fleet is likely to have a deeper engagement. The Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Vice-admiral S.P.S Cheema, is likely to visit Brest, the headquarters of the French Navy’s Atlantic command, during the exercise from June 30 to July 4. The Varuna ’09 will involve “high-end anti-submarine exercises”. The navy spokesperson said the Indian Navy was also studying the French coastal security model. The French would deploy the nuclear-powered submarine Emeraude, a guided missile destroyer, the Primaguet, a guided missile frigate, the Lieutenant de Vaisseau le Henaff, Atlantiue II long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, Lynx helicopters, Rafale and Super Entendard fighter aircraft. A second reason for deploying so far away, a naval officer said, was that the Indian Navy was gradually looking at a situation in which it would have to operate with western navies in foreign waters. In some ways that kind of a situation had already emerged in waters off Somalia, where the Indian Navy had to coordinate at a ship-to-ship level with other navies in anti-piracy patrols.
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY May 31, 2009 - Pakistan Officials Detaining Elements Of Islamic Extremist (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD - May 31, 2009: Pakistani plainclothes police officers detain an activist of outlawed Hizb ut-Tahrir or Liberation Party during a rally against the ongoing military operation, Sunday, May 31, 2009 in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan launched an offensive against militants in Swat and surrounding districts last month after they violated the terms of a cease-fire and advanced into a region close to the capital, Islamabad.
DTN News: Algeria Military Is Targeting At Active Pockets Of al-Qaeda
(NSI News Source Info) May 31, 2009: The rural areas along Algeria's Mediterranean coast has become a dangerous place for police and army patrols. In the past two weeks, there have been two instances where large (twenty or more gunmen) groups of Islamic terrorist gunmen have ambushed these patrols, killing five police in one and seven soldiers in another.
Algerian soldiers and municipal workers stand at site of a car bomb attack which targeted the local military commander in Bouira, 150 km (90 miles) east of Algiers. Two car bombs in Algeria killed at least 11 people on Wednesday, the day after an attack that left 43 dead at a military academy, Algerian press agency APS said quoting the Interior Ministry.* These attacks are believed to be proof that at least two separate gangs of terrorists are operating out there. One attack was a hundred kilometers south of the capital, and the other was 500 kilometers east, along the coast. The U.S. is Algeria's largest trading partner (and for the U.S., Algeria is the second largest trading partner among Arab countries.) This brings a lot of Americans to Algeria, but some of them are also working on cooperation in counter-terror operations. This includes exchanges of information. The U.S. tracks Islamic terrorist communications worldwide, as well as financial transactions through the international banking system.
This fills in important gaps in the Algerian governments knowledge of what their domestic terrorists are up to, and who they are. This has forced the Algerian terrorists to adapt, communicate less, and limit their operations. But these terrorists keep at it, a constant reminder that there are some unhappy Algerians who are willing to kill for their beliefs. May 30, 2009: Police found, cornered and killed five of the Islamic terrorists who had ambushed a police patrol outside the capital ten days ago. That terrorist group, of more than twenty men, apparently dispersed after the encounter. The group the police tracked down south of the capital, contained two al Qaeda leaders, and information taken from the bodies indicated arms caches in the area, and approximate locations of the other 4-5 terrorist cells connected with this one. While the government has been successful in wiping out most of the Islamic terrorists, there are always more. The families of the 1960s era revolution leaders, who took over after independence from France was achieve, show no interest in sharing power, much less giving it up. This oligarchy, which is so common in the Arab world, is corrupt and incompetent (especially when it comes to running the economy.)
High unemployment among young men, and disgust with the corrupt and inept government, provides a steady stream of recruits. Most of them are not too bright (the smarter young guys either immigrate, or figure out how to work the corrupt system). The government has had its most success in hunting down the terrorist leadership.
These men are either killed, or convinced (with the help of some economic inducements) to quit their terrorist activity, denounce Islamic terrorism and behave. While the government has been winning, they have not won. Until the governance problems are solved, there will always be Islamic terrorists out and about.
DTN News: Russian Weapons Are In High Demand And Still Being Smuggled From Origin
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - May 31, 2009: For the second time in the last three months, Russian customs officials have announced the cracking of a ring of retired and active duty military personnel caught smuggling weapons. In this case, the gang had been operating for about two years and were stealing components for S-75 (a fifty year old system), S-125, S-200 and S-300 (a 1990s design) anti-aircraft missile systems, and smuggling them to neighboring countries (that used to be part of the Soviet Union), where they were sold, or exported to more distant nations that used these missile systems, and were interested in less expensive spare parts.
At the time of the arrests, some 22 tons of missile parts were seized. This gang had apparently sold parts that returned to the thieves at least $10 million. Over a dozen officers were involved in the theft and smuggling of these items. Back in March, Russian police caught a group of naval officers (including at least two admirals) trying to smuggle 30 anti-submarine missiles and 200 bombs to China. The shipment itself was caught at the Tajikistan border, mislabeled as older, obsolete, weapons.
The shipment was actually new models, and the plot was apparently meant to enable China reverse-engineer the weapons and produce their own versions. The smugglers were apparently being paid $18 million for the shipment. The Russian admirals had arranged for the weapons to be classified as obsolete and eligible for disposal, but word of the scheme leaked out. This theft and smuggling has been going on for nearly two decades, and became most rampant after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It was even more common in other former communist countries, leading to a flood of AK-47s, machine-guns and RPG onto the black market. In Africa, this sudden appearance of cheap weapons eventually fueled fighting that killed millions of people. These days, the theft is more often of high tech, or rare, components, and weapons technology.
DTN News: NATO TODAY May 31, 2009 - Georgian Soldiers In Joint NATO Military Exercises
(NSI News Source Info) TBILISI, Georgia - May 31, 2009: Georgian soldiers participate in NATO training exercises on May 30, 2009, at the military base of Vaziani, 30 km from Tbilisi. Russia has sternly criticized NATO for carrying out exercises this month in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia, saying such activity less than a year after Russia and Georgia fought a war was highly destablizing.
DTN News: Airbus Eyes Production In U.S., India
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS - May 31, 2009: Weeks before the first China-built Airbus rolls off the assembly line near Beijing, the European planemaker's top official has pulled out the map and targeted future jetliner production in the United States and India. Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders, writing 40 years after the birth of the first plane project by a four-nation European consortium, said Airbus must become global to stay competitive. "We have to leave national sentiment behind us," Enders wrote in a column in Friday's edition of the Financial Times. "Airbus will only remain competitive in the long term if it develops resources and markets globally and becomes a genuinely international company, with development and production also in the U.S., China, India and elsewhere." Airbus agreed in 2006 to set up an assembly line for the A320 family of jets, its most popular model, at Tianjin in China to reduce costs and gain an edge over rival Boeing in one of the world's largest aviation markets. The first plane will be delivered by end-June, the first time an Airbus has been assembled outside its two main host countries, France and Germany, supported by Britain and Spain. India has pressed Airbus to consider opening a production line there also, but so far the European company has been tied up in domestic restructuring and a series of aircraft production delays, as well as fierce union opposition to offshoring jobs. When India's civil aviation minister floated the idea of an Indian assembly line at an Airbus ceremony at the Paris air show two years ago, Airbus officials cautiously welcomed the concept but said the costs might outweigh the benefits. The economic crisis has since threatened planemakers' orders.
In the United States, Airbus considered assembling freighters in Alabama as part of a deal to sell mid-air refuelling tankers built from the same fuselages to the Pentagon. But the plans were suspended when Boeing appealed against the contract. U.S. production is attractive to firms whose costs are in euros but whose products, like aircraft, are priced in dollars. Unions and politicians in Europe, however, are concerned about job losses. Writing days before European parliamentary elections, Enders said shutting trade borders was no fix to the economic crisis. "Next month in Tianjin we shall deliver the first Airbus made in China ... No one will benefit more from this than Europeans." He also blamed European governments for hobbling Airbus's first major military project, the A400M airlifter, with a wish list for customisation that only added to production delays. The four-year setback has usually been blamed on engine problems. "Too often there has been a reversion to defending diverse national requirements that offer little in terms of performance but impact significantly on cost and deliverability," he said. "That certainly has been the case with the A400M, and we have asked the European partners in the programme for a greater degree of realism in order to enable delivery of the aircraft we all want at a sensible price." Parent EADS is trying to negotiate contract changes to rescue the 20 billion euro project by an end-June deadline. (Editing by Marcel Michelson/Will Waterman)
DTN News: Russian, Japanese Leaders Urge Serious Response To North Korean Tests
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW/TOKYO - May 31, 2009: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso held a phone talk and urged a response to North Korea's nuclear test, the Kremlin said Saturday. Since the start of the week Pyongyang has conducted an underground nuclear test explosion and test-launched at least six short-range surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles in defiance of previous UN resolutions. "The sides were united that it is necessary to react seriously to these steps, which are a challenge to the system of international security," the Kremlin said. Pyongyang is already under a number of UN sanctions over its first nuclear test, carried out in 2006.
DTN News: Extra U.S. Troops In Afghanistan By Mid-July
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL - May 31, 2009: The majority of the 17,000 extra U.S. troops being sent to fight a growing Taliban-led insurgency in southern and western Afghanistan should be on the ground by mid-July, the U.S. military said on Sunday. A further 4,000 troops are arriving to train Afghan security forces and they will be deployed by August. Washington pledged to send 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to reinforce security ahead of presidential elections scheduled for August 20 and to support NATO-led troops which have struggled to fight an escalating insurgency there. "10,000 Marines are beginning to arrive now and will continue to arrive for the next month and a half or so and they will be principally located in Helmand but also in Farah," said Colonel Greg Julian, spokesman for U.S. forces. Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan and Farah in the west are among the areas that have seen the fiercest fighting as insurgents gathered strength in recent years, despite the presence of a growing number of foreign troops. "Everyday we are faced with suicide bombers, an increased number of improvised explosive devices," said General Zaher Azimy, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. "If the violence wasn't increasing there would be no need for the presence of foreign forces and Afghan forces themselves could handle this issue." Some 7,000 U.S. army troops are also being deployed to southern Kandahar province. "3,500 are already on the ground in Kandahar with additional helicopters. Following that an additional 3,500 army troops will arrive in Kandahar and will be located in rural areas of that province," Julian told a news conference. All 21,000 troops will be deployed by August, another U.S. military spokesman said, but declined to comment further. The 4,000 training troops will be sent mainly to south and west Afghanistan and more than half will train and mentor Afghan police, who are a younger force than the Afghan army and have suffered from poor training, illiteracy and corruption. The Afghan National Army (ANA) has also expanded its forces to 90,0000 troops from about 83,000, and will boost numbers further for the August poll, Azimy said. "Currently we have 90,000 ANA forces and we expect to increase this number during the elections to 95,000 forces as well as the additional forces of the Afghan National Police and the international forces," he told journalists. The Afghan army, described by U.S. military officials as a success story, now leads more than twice as many military operations per week in Afghanistan, compared with this time last year, a spokesman for NATO-led forces said.