Thursday, July 09, 2009
DTN News: Northrop Grumman's Second E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Enters Next Phase Of Flight Testing *Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman Corporation (NSI News Source Info) BETHPAGE, N.Y., - July 9, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC - News) second E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, known as Delta Two, has transitioned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, in Maryland, as part of the carrier suitability phase of testing, in preparation for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation. Northrop Grumman's Second E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Enters Next Phase of Testing Shown during earlier flight testing over the skies of St. Augustine, Fla., Northrop Grumman's two developmental E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, Delta One and Delta Two, have transitioned to NAS Patuxent River, in Maryland, to continue flight testing in preparation for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation. Airborne for the first time in August 2007, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, with its new AN/APY-9 radar, will provide battle commanders with unparalleled maritime domain awareness including airspace control for manned and unmanned assets, monitoring of surface movements, civil support, and command and control of tactical forces. The first E-2D System Development and Design (SDD) aircraft, Delta One, transitioned to Pax River on May 30 and testing began shortly thereafter, led by the U.S. Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20. "The joint Advanced Hawkeye team has been putting the two SDD aircraft through a rigorous flight test program at Northrop Grumman's Manufacturing and Flight Test Center in St. Augustine, Fla.," said Jim Culmo, vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control programs for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This next phase of testing -- carrier suitability -- will be the first opportunity to get the E-2D out on the carrier. We're looking forward to the first Advanced Hawkeye carrier landing as it brings us that much closer to delivering this revolutionary weapons system to the warfighter." To ensure that aircraft operating on carriers are compatible, all naval aviation assets undergo carrier suitability testing prior to joining the fleet. The bulk of the testing involves catapult and arrested landing structural tests as well as the interoperability between the aircraft and the carrier. Designed and built for the U.S. Navy, the E-2D will utilize its newly developed AN/APY-9 Electronic Scan Array (ESA) radar, Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), and off-board sensors, in concert with surface combatants equipped with the Aegis combat system to detect, track, and defeat cruise missile threats at extended ranges. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will also provide unparalleled maritime domain awareness including airspace control for manned and unmanned assets, monitoring of surface movements, civil support, and command and control of tactical forces. The E-2D's new AN/APY-9 radar, designed and built by a radar team led by Lockheed Martin, represents a two-generational leap in radar technology. "The AN/APY-9 can see smaller targets and more of them at a greater range than currently fielded radar systems," Culmo added. Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
DTN News: EADS' Advanced Aerial Refueling Boom System Performs Nighttime Contacts With NATO F-16 *Source: DTN News / EADS North America
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 9, 2009: The EADS advanced aerial refueling boom system (ARBS) -- featured on Northrop Grumman's KC-45 offering for the U.S. Air Force -- has demonstrated its superior nighttime operational capabilities during a multi-contact mission with an F-16 fighter aircraft. A Portuguese F-16 completes one of 17 nighttime contacts with the EADS Advanced Refueling Boom System, as seen ..." This validation confirmed the performance of the boom's state-of-the-art enhanced vision system -- which features laser infrared lighting and high-definition digital stereoscopic viewing -- and was carried out as part of the final qualification phase for the EADS A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), on which the Northrop Grumman KC-45 is based. The night mission was completed with the boom system installed on EADS' A310 testbed aircraft, and involved a Portuguese Air Force F-16AM as the receiver. After approach maneuvers for calibration of illumination, the boom made 17 contacts with the F-16 fighter. "Nighttime missions are a vital part of aerial refueling operations for the U.S. Air Force, and the ARBS has once again shown its maturity with this latest validation of the enhanced vision system in realistic conditions," said Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., EADS North America's Chairman and CEO. To date, the EADS boom system has performed more than 400 contacts with receiver aircraft that range from the F-16 to the E-3F AWACS and Australian KC-30A MRTT. Follow-on activities will include additional boom and hose-and-drogue contacts with a variety of small and large receiver aircraft from the French, Portuguese, and Spanish air forces. Continued ARBS flight testing -- along with final validations of the optimized Cobham 905E hose and drogue refueling pods -- will lead to military certification of the A330 MRTT platform. In June, an A330 MRTT built for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) demonstrated successful hose-and-drogue contacts with an F/A-18 receiver aircraft. The A330 MRTT has been selected by the air forces of Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In 2008, Northrop Grumman's KC-45 version of the aircraft was selected by the U.S. Air Force to recapitalize its aging tanker fleet. Deliveries of the A330 MRTT will begin next year, with Australia's Air Force becoming the first military service to receive the aircraft. About EADS North America 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 $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 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.
DTN News: 18th Air Force Commander C-130J Delivery Continues U.S. Air Force Build-Up Of Super Hercules Fleet
DTN News: 18th Air Force Commander C-130J Delivery Continues U.S. Air Force Build-Up Of Super Hercules Fleet *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) MARIETTA, Ga., - July 9, 2009: Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News) yesterday delivered the 14th of 16 C-130J Super Hercules to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The aircraft will be assigned to the 41st Airlift Squadron, the first active-duty combat C-130J squadron in the U.S. Air Force. This latest C-130J Super Hercules was accepted by Major General Winfield W. Scott III, Commander 18th Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. "After we deliver this aircraft to Little Rock, this C-130J could be flying a combat mission within the week, if so tasked. That's a testament to the employees who build this aircraft and the quality of the aircraft," Scott said. "The C-130J is a great aircraft, the capabilities of which we are just beginning to touch on. It's not only the capability that the J brings, but it's also its increased sustainability. With the J, the maintenance crews have to work less; we can turn it around quicker and fly it harder." C-130Js from the 41st Airlift Squadron "Black Cats" are engaged in high-tempo operations in multiple combat theaters. In the last two years, the 41st has already carried 56,000 passengers, 3,500 tons of cargo and flown 2,600 combat sorties over 4,000 flight hours. Since the Air Force started operating the C-130J in 2000, it has flown 40,000 sorties and about 87,000 flying hours. The C-130J is a proven airlifter that has been selected by 11 countries. As of March 2009 263 C-130Js have been ordered and 174 have been delivered. The C-130J is a flexible, multimission aircraft that is available in varied configurations to meet a wide-range of operational needs. 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.
DTN News: Northrop Grumman Plays Major Role In NASA's Development Of Alternate Astronaut Escape System
DTN News: Northrop Grumman Plays Major Role In NASA's Development Of Alternate Astronaut Escape System *Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman Corporation (NSI News Source Info) SEGUNDO, Calif., - July 9, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC - News) played a major role in NASA's development of an alternate astronaut escape system that was successfully demonstrated today in a simulated launch abort test. The Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) test vehicle features fixed fins and drag plates to inexpensively, yet effectively, simulate deployable fins or other aerodynamic devices that would be used on an operational launch vehicle. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith The unpiloted test was part of an assessment by the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) of a potential alternate launch abort system concept that could be used for future piloted spacecraft. The test occurred at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. NASA's Constellation Program is designing the Orion crew exploration vehicle, Ares launch vehicles and Altair Lunar Lander that will return humans to the moon to live and work. The Orion launch abort system offers a proven method of pulling the crew out of danger in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during the climb to Earth orbit. The alternate system is called the Max Launch Abort System (MLAS), which could deliver aerodynamic performance benefits, weight savings and be relatively simple in some spacecraft applications. The demonstration vehicle consists of a full-scale composite fairing, a full-scale crew module simulator and four solid rocket abort motors mounted in the boost skirt with motor mass simulators in the forward fairing. "Our contribution to the MLAS demonstration is one example of a number of Northrop Grumman initiatives designed to help NASA mitigate risks related to key aspects of its Constellation Program," said Carl Meade, director of Constellation Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. Northrop Grumman developed and produced the composite fairing, fins, drag plates, and motor cage structure. Company personnel based in Wallops Island, Va., performed structures and mechanism assembly and supported the vehicle integration and flight test. Northrop Grumman's subcontractor, Ensign Bickford Aerospace and Defense, Simsbury, Conn., provided pyrotechnic separation system mechanisms. "We contributed our expertise in structures and mechanisms including advanced composites design, analysis and manufacturing from across the company," said Tod Palm, Northrop Grumman's MLAS program manager. "It was especially gratifying to work alongside NASA in a fast-paced, seamless team environment. We look forward to future opportunities to work with the NASA team to address similarly challenging issues." The prototype in the test was used to evaluate the means to safely propel a spacecraft and its crew from an errant rocket. It represents a departure from the tower launch abort system used during Apollo launches and retained for the NASA Constellation Program. The MLAS test was primarily a demonstration of unpowered flight along a stable trajectory, vehicle reorientation and stabilization, followed by crew module simulator separation from the MLAS fairing, stabilization and parachute recovery of the crew module simulator. Northrop Grumman is working with NASA on other elements of the Constellation Program, including the Altair Lunar Lander. The company brings extensive experience with lunar landers, solar system probes and space observatories, along with its expertise in designing and producing large complex systems from spacecraft to ships to high performance aircraft. Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
DTN News: U.S. Army Awards Fluor LOGCAP IV Task Order for Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Fluor Corporation
(NSI News Source Info) IRVING, Texas - July 9, 2009: Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR - News) announced today that the company was authorized to proceed by the U.S. Army Sustainment Command (ASC) to provide services under Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) IV Task Order 5 to support the U.S. military in Afghanistan.Under the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP IV) Fluor provides the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), coalition forces, and Federal inter-agency with multi-functional logistical services during contingency operations worldwide to support U.S. national strategic objectives.
The total value of the task order is potentially more than $7 billion over five years, which includes up to four, one-year options that may be awarded for Task Order 5. Fluor will book awards as the task order is incrementally funded, with an initial undisclosed award expected to be booked in the third quarter of 2009. The task order award includes work for 74 operating bases in Afghanistan’s Northern region. Fluor’s scope of work will include providing construction services, power, water, housing, base operations, sustainment services and logistics support. “For more than 50 years, our company has supported the U.S. government across a variety of sectors. Our dedicated employees are well-versed in building, operating and maintaining military installations in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world as well as cleaning up nuclear waste and helping people get back on their feet in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said John Hopkins, group executive of Fluor’s Government Group. “I know they feel an immense sense of pride and accomplishment when they are supporting the men and women who serve in our military.” “We are greatly honored to be a member of the Army team that is so dedicated to providing support services to our soldiers at war,” said Bob Jones, senior vice president of Fluor’s Government Group. “We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated professionals to provide valuable logistics services to help our military personnel accomplish their vitally important missions.” This new award is the fourth and most significant task order to date in terms of scope granted to Fluor under the LOGCAP IV program. Previously, Fluor was awarded work under LOGCAP IV which included: Task Order 2 to expand and operate four forward operating bases in Northern Afghanistan; Task Order 3 to provide measurement and testing services in Kuwait; and Task Order 4 to build and operate eight additional forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Fluor has realized more than $300 million to date for all incrementally funded LOGCAP work. Fluor is one of three providers that support U.S. forces under LOGCAP IV. Fluor was originally chosen as a LOGCAP IV contractor by ASC in June 2007 as part of an 18-month, competitively bid, open and transparent process. About Fluor Corporation Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR - News) designs, builds and maintains many of the world's most challenging and complex projects. Through its global network of offices on six continents, the company provides comprehensive capabilities and world-class expertise in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and project management. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 200 company and had revenues of $22.3 billion in 2008.
DTN News: President Obama Retreats On Third-Site Missile Defenses *Source: DTN News / The Heritage Foundation by Sally McNamara WebMemo #2529 (click for link)
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 9, 2009: On his first presidential visit to Moscow this week, Barack Obama continued to cast doubt on U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. Since taking office, President Obama has conditioned his support for the "third site" deployment of 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic on a number of factors--its workability, its cost-effectiveness, and the provability of an Iranian nuclear threat. On a visit to Prague in April, President Obama gave a keynote speech focusing on total nuclear disarmament whereby missile defenses would be completely unnecessary. Following revelations in April that President Obama "secretly" offered Moscow a grand bargain whereby it would sacrifice the third site in exchange for Moscow's help discouraging Iran's nuclear program, President Obama has seemingly gone out of his way to back away from the missile defense deal, which was concluded with Prague and Warsaw in the final months of the Bush Administration. This week's Obama-Medvedev summit has reinforced the message that the third site remains a bargaining chip that can be played at the President's will in exchange for achieving his higher profile political agenda items such as strategic arms reductions. Constitutionally mandated to ratify or reject treaties, the U.S. Senate should make clear to President Obama that it will not sacrifice missile defense in exchange for a new treaty with Russia reducing strategic nuclear weapons. Will He or Won't He? President Obama's commitment to negotiating a new strategic arms treaty with Russia before the expiration of the current START treaty this December has topped his political agenda. Although missile defense has not yet been officially incorporated into the negotiations for the new treaty, Russia has made it quite clear that the issues are interlinked and that it will not separate these agenda items. President Medvedev stated that the new treaty must be linked specifically with Moscow's objections to the third-site deployments. President Obama has offered to "discuss" both offensive and defensive weapons systems in the context of the new treaty. By investing so much political capital in a new treaty and fudging uncomfortable issues such as missile defense, President Obama risks having to sacrifice this vital aspect of U.S. national security in order to advance the negotiations. Further, he has repeatedly sent the message that the third-site deployment is not important to him. At best, President Obama has been deliberately vague with regard to the third site; at worst, he is simply looking for a way out, while keen to avoid the accusation that he has caved in to Russian pressure. However, it has become increasingly obvious that the third-site deployment is a red-line issue for Moscow and that President Obama will have to choose between abandoning its Central and Eastern European allies and U.S. national security interests and appeasing Russian aggression on this issue. The Third Site Is Workable and Cost-Effective President Obama and his Administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, have repeatedly hinged the Administration's support for deployment of U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic on the proven workability of the ground-based system. This caveat, however, has already been satisfied--missile defense technology already works. In a December 2008 test, the Missile Defense Agency performed a successful interception and destruction of an incoming ballistic missile. In September 2007, the U.S. missile defense system destroyed the mock warhead of a long-range missile. Since 2001, 37 of 46 "hit-to-kill" missile defense tests have been successful. As General Trey Obering, former director of the Missile Defense Agency, states in The Heritage Foundation's 33 Minutes documentary, "Our testing has shown not only can we hit a bullet with a bullet; we can hit a spot on a bullet with a bullet." Alternatives to the third site include the deployment of sea-based or mobile theater-based missile defense systems. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated that these alternatives do not provide a level of defense comparable to that of the third site. The CBO states: "None of the alternatives considered by CBO provide as much additional defense of the United States." The report also found that the estimated $9-14 billion 20-year cost of the third site was half of the estimated costs of a ship-based alternative. The Third Site Is Urgently Needed The negative implications for the security of the United States, its forward-deployed troops, and its allies in Europe should not be underestimated in the event that the third site is abandoned. The violence meted out to its own people in the wake of rigged elections illustrates the repressive and belligerent nature of the Iranian regime, which has continued developing its nuclear and missile programs regardless of international pressure. On May 20, Iran successfully test-fired the Sajjil 2 solid-fuel missile, which has a 1,200-1,500 mile range, putting Israel within Tehran's reach. Israel's Space Research Center also reports that Iran intends to accelerate its production of even longer-range ballistic missiles and their delivery systems in the near future. And in April, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center stated that Iran could develop a missile capable of reaching the United States as early as 2015. President Obama is determined to negotiate with Iran--a strategy that is so far failing--and work closely with Moscow in seeking to persuade Tehran away from its nuclear and missile proliferation programs. However, it would be dangerous not to employ other strategies simultaneously, including missile defenses, stronger sanctions, and preparations for the potential use of force against Iran's nuclear facilities. Ultimately, Moscow may not work with Washington to disarm Iran and may even work against American interests. It is important, therefore, that President Obama has alternate options. Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has described Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb as a ticking clock--and time is not on President Obama's side. The CBO report states that alternate options to the third site may not be available as early as its estimated 2013 timeframe. Considering the time necessary to complete ratification of the treaties in Poland and the Czech Republic, appropriate the funds necessary for its construction from Congress, and physically construct the installations, the Obama Administration must press forward with the deployment of the third site sooner rather than later. The Third Site: Critical to U.S. National Security Departing Moscow with a tentative agreement on strategic arms control that will severely limit America's delivery systems as well as its strategic stockpiles, Obama has given away far more than he gained. He cannot afford to give away missile defense too. The deployment of U.S. missile defenses in Europe has become a critical matter for Moscow, which is determined to have a sphere of privileged interest in its near-abroad. Since Russia's invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and its subsequent annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Moscow has yet to face any serious consequences for its actions. For the sake of U.S. national security and to prevent another dangerous geopolitical setback in Russia's neighborhood, President Obama must make it clear that he supports the deployment of missile defenses to Poland and the Czech Republic and seek full funding of these sites from Congress. Sally McNamara is a Senior Policy Analyst in European Affairs at The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. She would like to thank Nicholas Connor, intern at the Thatcher Center, for his assistance in preparing this paper.
DTN News: President Asif Ali Zardari Admits Pakistan Deliberately Created, Nurtured Militants/Terrorism For Tactical Use
DTN News: President Asif Ali Zardari Admits Pakistan Deliberately Created, Nurtured Militants/Terrorism For Tactical Use *Source: DTN News / DDI News (Click here for link)
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - July 9, 2009: In the first such "candid admission" by any Pakistani head of state, President Asif Ali Zardari has said that militants and extremists were "deliberately created and nurtured" in the country as a policy to achieve "some short-term tactical objectives". But these militants and extremists began to "haunt" the country in the post-9/11 era, Zardari said during an interactive meeting with former senior civil servants at the presidency last night. Militants and extremists emerged on the national scene and challenged the state not because the civil bureaucracy was weakened and demoralised, but because they "were deliberately created and nurtured as a policy to achieve some short-term tactical objectives," he said. "Let us be truthful to ourselves and make a candid admission of the realities," Zardari said. "The terrorists of today were the heroes of yesteryears until 9/11 occurred and they began to haunt us as well," he added. Labelling Pakistan as a frontline state in the war against terrorism, Zardari pledged to eliminate this scourge from society. "I have taken charge at a difficult time and will come up to the challenges the country is facing." His admission came days after he said in an interview that the Pakistan Army would even target militants it had backed in the past for use as a proxy force against India.
DTN News: China Says Urumqi 'Under Control' After Show Of Force / Ethnic Violence Continues In Urumqi Despite Chinese Show Of Force
DTN News: China Says Urumqi 'Under Control' After Show Of Force / Ethnic Violence Continues In Urumqi Despite Chinese Show Of Force
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - July 9, 2009: Authorities said the restive Chinese city of Urumqi was "under control" Wednesday following sporadic violence as mobs wielding makeshift weapons roamed despite a massive security presence. Chinese soldiers wearing riot gear sit in the back of a military truck as they patrol the streets of Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, in China July 6, 2009. At least 140 people have been killed in rioting in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, with the government blaming exiled separatists for the Muslim area's worst case of unrest in years. Hundreds of rioters have been arrested, the official Xinhua news agency reported, after rock-throwing Uighur people took to the streets of the regional capital on Sunday, some burning and smashing vehicles and confronting ranks of anti-riot police. President Hu Jintao abandoned a Group of Eight summit in Italy, in what observers said was an unprecedented move, to tackle one of China's worst spikes in ethnic tensions in decades. In Urumqi, the capital of the remote northwest Xinjiang region where 156 people died in unrest on Sunday, army helicopters circled overhead as thousands of soldiers and riot police filled the city shouting out "protect the people". "We support this," said a 45-year-old Han Chinese as he watched the troops roll by in trucks. "But they should have got here sooner. It took them three days to do this. Why so long?" After authorities blamed Muslim Uighurs for Sunday's unrest that also left more than 1,000 people injured, Han Chinese took to the streets Tuesday with shovels, meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons vowing to defend themselves. After a night-time curfew was declared on Tuesday, Chinese authorities appeared determined to show they were able to maintain order. Thousands of riot police wearing helmets and carrying shields lined up on a main road in Urumqi dividing the city centre from a Uighur district, with columns of soldiers behind them. The security build-up had an impact with fewer people wielding weapons taking to the streets, and Urumqi mayor Jerla Isamudin told reporters in the late afternoon that the situation in the city was "under control". He also warned that anyone found guilty of murder in connection to the unrest would be given the death penalty. Official news agency Xinhua said late Wednesday that the city "appeared to be calm" but added "sporadic standoffs and clashes were still reported." Tensions remained high, with some Han Chinese and Uighurs continuing to arm themselves with sticks, poles, knives and other weapons, leading to confrontations and violence, according to AFP reporters. In one of two attacks witnessed by AFP reporters, about 20 Han Chinese men armed with wooden bats attacked a Uighur man in central Urumqi. The beating stopped after about one minute when security forces moved in to disperse the mob, the AFP reporter said, while a local Han Chinese woman said the victim was a Uighur man. The extent of the man's injuries was unclear, as he was quickly taken away. In the second incident, a group of Han Chinese saw three Uighurs at an intersection and chased them. Two of the Uighurs escaped, but a third was caught by some of the crowd and he was assaulted for around 30 seconds, before police took him away. AFP reporters said he had blood on his face after the beating. In another incident, about 200 Uighurs armed with sticks, pipes and rocks began protesting directly in front of a police cordon that was dividing their neighbourhood from a Han-populated area, an AFP reporter witnessed. A Chinese military helicopter is seen circling the city of Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province, Wednesday, July 8, 2009. Sobbing Muslim women scuffled with riot police, and Chinese men wielding steel pipes, meat cleavers and sticks rampaged through the streets Tuesday as ethnic tensions worsened in China's oil-rich Xinjiang territory, forcing officials to declare a curfew. The crowd of Uighurs grew after a helicopter dropped leaflets blaming Sunday's unrest on exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, but they also claimed police had overnight allowed Han Chinese to freely attack Muslim areas. In a BBC interview on Wednesday, Kadeer blamed Chinese policies for the violent unrest and claimed the death toll from riots was "much higher" than the 156 stated by Beijing. Xinhua late Wednesday reported government sources as saying they had evidence the riot was "instigated and masterminded" by Kadeer, citing "recordings of calls" which referred to unrest ahead of the rioting. China's state media said Wednesday over 100 people "killed by rioters" in the initial violence had been identified, providing the first partial breakdown of the death toll. Highlighting the severity of the crisis, the government announced President Hu had cut short his trip to Italy for the G8 summit. "I have never seen a Chinese president shorten a trip abroad before... there is clear concern," said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University. Xinjiang's eight million Uighurs make up nearly half the population of the region, a vast area of deserts and mountains rich in natural resources that borders Central Asia. The Turkic-speaking people have long complained of repression and discrimination under Chinese rule, but Beijing insists it has brought economic prosperity to the region.
DTN News: Cyber Attack Targets US, South Korean Government Web Sites / US Officials Eye North Korea In Cyber Attack
DTN News: Cyber Attack Targets US, South Korean Government Web Sites / US Officials Eye North Korea In Cyber Attack
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK, USA - July 9, 2009: U.S. and South Korean government Web sites have been disrupted in what officials are calling a widespread and coordinated cyber attack.
U.S. officials said the attack targeted U.S. government Web sites including that of the White House, departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Treasury, and The Voice of America.
The officials said the attacks began July 4.
In South Korea, the attacks affected Web sites for the presidential office, the ruling party, the defense ministry and others. South Korea's National Intelligence Service reportedly said it suspects North Korea could be involved, saying such a coordinated attack is likely the work of a large organization or state.
Computer experts describe this kind of attack as a "distributed denial of service." A computer virus spreads from one personal computer to another, directing data traffic from those computers to the targeted Web sites.
VOA Internet Office Director Michael Messinger said visits to the agency's Web site are down by about 40,000 a day. He said although difficult to pinpoint, the attack appears to have originated in South Korea. He said the attack has caused a "significant disruption" to the VOA servers.
U.S. officials were quoted as saying the New York Stock Exchange and other financial institution Web sites also came under attack.
South Korean authorities issued a security warning Wednesday after several major government agencies and financial institutions were disabled by apparent hacker attacks.
DTN News: Taliban Kill 8 Police, Capture 8 Others In Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - July 9, 2009: Afghan and U.S.-led international forces raided militant compounds in central Afghanistan overnight, killing several insurgents and one civilian.U.S. Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. patrol through a village on July 8, 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of Operation Khanjari which was launched to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections.
Military officials said Wednesday a ricocheting bullet killed the civilian woman during a search operation in Ghazni province.
In the east, Afghan officials said Taliban insurgents killed eight policemen and captured eight others during an attack on a police post in Nuristan province.
Officials said 21 Taliban rebels were also killed in the battle.
Nuristan province lies on the border with Pakistan's tribal areas considered strongholds of Taliban insurgents.
Also Wednesday, British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth said the situation in Afghanistan is serious and not yet decided. During an address in London, the secretary said that success in Afghanistan will be achieved incrementally.
Ainsworth's speech came as the defense ministry announced a British soldier was killed Tuesday night during an explosion in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.
A U.S. soldier was reported killed in western Farah province.
DTN News: Friendly Fire Downed Russia Jets In Georgia ~ Report
* Russia lost six planes in war, not four, report says
* "Friendly fire" accounts for three of downed planes
* Russia was unsure of its air superiority until war ended
*Source: DTN News / Reuters By Dmitry Solovyov (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - July 9, 2009: Russia lost six planes in its war with Georgia last August, not four as was officially announced, and at least three were downed by "friendly fire", a Russian military journal reported.
In August 2008, an unknown number of Su-25s of the Georgian Air Force participated in bombing raids on targets in South Ossetia during the War in South Ossetia, and Russian military Su-25 undertook air raids on targets in Georgia. The Russian military officially confirmed the loss of three Su-25 aircraft to the Georgian air defense, while it estimates that it destroyed 3 Georgian Su-25 in the war. In early August 2008, Russian Su-25s attacked the Tbilisi aircraft plant, where Su-25 is produced, dropping bombs on the factory's airfield.
Russia defeated neighbouring Georgia and briefly seized large chunks of its land in a five-day war after the U.S. ally tried to retake the pro-Moscow rebel region of South Ossetia.
But the war uncovered serious deficiencies in the Russian armed forces, prompting doubts among some analysts as to whether Moscow would be able to defeat a bigger enemy and spurring the Kremlin to accelerate long-delayed military reforms.
The authoritative Moscow Defense Brief said Russia lost six planes, not four as the government announced at the time, in a report citing military sources and media reports that is to be published on Thursday in its quarterly edition.
"The absence of cooperation between the Russian Army and Air Force led them to conduct completely separate campaigns," said the journal, published by the independent Moscow-based think tank, the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
"Pilots were not fully apprised of the situation on the ground, received inexact and late intelligence, and at the start of hostilities ... they did not even have exact information on the structure and strength of the Georgian Air Defense Forces." Official data provided by deputy chief of the General Staff Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn showed Russia lost three Su-25 ground attack aircraft and one Tu-22M3 long-range bomber.
But providing crew names, exact times, locations and types of aircraft, the Moscow Defense Brief argued that Russia in fact had lost six aircraft in combat during the five-day war.
The two aircraft that were lost but not mentioned in official reports were Su-24M front-line bombers, the report said.
"Of these (six), two aircraft were certainly downed by enemy fire, three were probably hit by 'friendly fire' and it remains difficult to determine who shot down the last one," it said. Five aircraft fell in South Ossetia and one in Georgia, it said. Contacted by Reuters, Russia's Defence Ministry declined immediate comment. A Georgian Defence Ministry official told Reuters that Georgia had shot down 15 Russian aircraft.
Aside from the downed aircraft, several other Su-25 ground attack aircraft were seriously damaged, though they managed to return to base, the journal said. All of these jets had been hit by shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, it said. The worst day of the campaign for Russian aviation was the war's second day, Aug. 9, with a total loss of four planes. A transport helicopter was destroyed in South Ossetia a few days after the end of combat when it collided with and badly damaged a helicopter gunship on landing.
"Russian Ground Forces ... were not sure until the end of combat whether Russia's aviation had achieved air superiority," the Moscow Defense Brief said.
"Russian aircraft were frequently taken by Russian and Ossetian forces for Georgian aircraft, and they were fired upon without identification and in the absence of any aggressive action on their part."
(Additional reporting by Margarita Antidze in Tbilisi)
(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)
DTN News: India Says Satisfied With Su-30 Fighter, Despite Recent Crash
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - July 9, 2009: India is satisfied with the performance of Russian Su-30MKI fighters, despite a crash in April, and plans to double the number in service with the air force by 2015, the defense minister said on Wednesday. The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI is a variant of the Sukhoi Su-30 jointly-developed by Russia's Sukhoi Corporation and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is an air superiority fighter which can also act as a multirole, strike fighter jet. The development of the variant started after India signed a deal with Russia in 2000 to manufacture 140 Su-30 fighter jets. The first Russian-made Su-30MKI variant was integrated into the IAF in 2002, while the first indigenous Su-30MKI entered service with the IAF in 2004. In 2007, the IAF ordered 40 additional MKIs. Capable of carrying nuclear weapons and tailor-made for Indian specifications, the fighter jet integrates Indian systems and avionics. It also contains French and Israeli subsystems. The MKI variant features several improvements over the basic K and MK variants and is classified as a 4.5 generation fighter. Due to similar features and components, the MKI variant is often considered to be a customized Indian variant of the Sukhoi Su-35.* The Indian Air Force originally ordered 50 SU-30MKI aircraft from Russia in 1996-98 and an additional 40 planes in 2007. Hindustani Aeronautics (HAL) was also contracted to build 140 aircraft in India between 2003 and 2017 under a licensed production agreement. "We have purchased 98 Su-30MKI combat jets since 1996. By 2015, we are planning to increase their number to 230," A. K. Antony told the upper house of the Indian parliament. "The Indian Air Force is happy with the aircraft and we believe it is one of the best in the world," he added. Antony said the investigation into the cause of the April 30 crash of an Indian Air Force Su-30MKI was still underway. The plane crashed during a routine training flight near a village 170km from the town of Jaisalmer in the northeastern state of Rajasthan, killing one of its two pilots. The incident was the first since the Su-30MKI was put into service with the Indian Air Force in 2002. Russia sent in May a group of 20 experts to examine the wreckage of the plane and help the Indian Air Force with the investigation.
DTN News: Airbus Confirms 09 Order, Delivery Goals ~ June Orders Up
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - July 9, 2009: European aerospace giant Airbus Wednesday reiterated its previous targets for 300 new aircraft orders and 483 deliveries in 2009. Toulouse-based Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. NV ( EAD.FR), said it received 68 aircraft orders, after 22 cancellations, in the first half of 2009, bolstered by a surge of orders around the time of the Paris Air Show last month. Airbus' rival, Boeing Co. (BA) of the U.S., announced few new orders at the Paris show and had net orders of just one aircraft in the first half due to cancellations. In June alone, Airbus won gross new orders for 58 aircraft, according to the company's data. "Things are looking up and there is an air show still to come in Dubai," a company spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires. Airplane manufacturers tend to win fresh business at major air shows. The 300-plane order target is based on recent memorandums of understanding that Airbus hopes to turn into firm orders for around 69 aircraft by the end of 2009, the spokesman said. "The orders target remains at 300 aircraft, though it remains challenging." Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy earlier this year forecast between 300 and 400 new orders for Airbus single-aisle and wide-body planes this year. But a recoil in airline passenger traffic due to the global economic crisis, high fuel prices, order cancellations and delivery deferrals requested by airlines seeking to conserve cash has raised doubts about whether global leaders Airbus and Boeing can reach previous targets. There also has been much speculation about whether Airbus will attain its plane delivery targets given delivery deferrals. In the first half, however, the company delivered 254 aircraft to customers - a figure slightly higher than half its full-year target. "We're on target to meet our projected deliveries for this year," the spokesman said. Data from Airbus show that the bulk of the company's orders and cancellations so far this year have been for single-aisle aircraft. First-half net orders in this sector totaled 47 planes, while those for wide-body planes totaled 21. These totals reflect 15 and seven cancellations, respectively. Airbus shares ended trading Wednesday on the Euronext Paris exchange down EUR0.16, or 1.4%, at EUR11.23, in line with the overall market. The CAC-40 blue- chip indicator ended the day 1.3% lower than the previous close.
DTN News: Canada Approves C$10 Billion Purchase Of Chinooks, Armored Vehicles *Source: DTN News / The Ottawa Citizen
(NSI News Source Info) OTTAWA, Canada - July 9, 2009: The Harper government has approved a plan to purchase new armoured vehicles for the Canadian Forces and is set to announce that it has finally reached a deal on the purchase of additional Chinook helicopters. The government is now trying to decide how best to roll out the military projects, which total almost $10 billion, for maximum public-relations value. The helicopter and armoured-vehicle programs are expected to be among a number of defence-related announcements to be made throughout the coming months by the government, according to defence insiders. On Tuesday morning, Defence Minister Peter MacKay will be in Gander, N.L., to make an announcement at the search-and-rescue squadron there. The announcement will be about 9 Wing Gander, but other details are not being released at this point, according to the Defence Department. Earlier this year, Mac-Kay went across the country making a series of announcements about infrastructure improvements at various bases. Asked about the Chinook and armoured-vehicle projects, MacKay’s press secretary Jay Paxton said: “We have nothing to announce.” He added that when a project is to be announced, the news media will be informed. Officials with Boeing, the manufacturer of the Chinook helicopters, referred all questions about the deal to the Canadian government. But in an interview in May, Boeing business-development manager Richard Meanor said he expected a government announcement on the Chinook deal by the end of the summer. The Harper government originally announced its intention to buy 16 Chinooks in the summer of 2006, but negotiations with Boeing have been slow because Canada wanted a variety of changes made to the aircraft. In the meantime, the Canadian Forces also purchased six used Chinook helicopters from the U.S. military for immediate use in Afghanistan. The 16 Chinooks aren’t expected to be delivered until after 2011, the end of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan, according to various Conservative cabinet ministers. In the summer of 2006, the Defence Department noted that the total cost of the purchase of the 16 Chinooks would be around $4.7 billion. That included a 20-year support package for the aircraft. The armoured-vehicle purchases would include what is being called a close-combat vehicle that would be used to accompany the army’s Leopard 2 tanks. The acquisitions will also include a new armoured tactical patrol vehicle and an upgrade of the existing LAV-3 fleet that has been worn down by continued use in Afghanistan. Also added to the package is the purchase of a new armoured engineering vehicle. Defence industry officials estimate the value of the armoured-vehicle purchases total around $5 billion. The approval by the government of the purchases now sets in motion the process for the Defence Department to officially begin the projects and receive funding from Treasury Board. The individual programs will then unfold over the next seven to 10 years. According to a timeline of the procurements obtained by the Citizen, the bulk of the money for the close-combat vehicle and the tactical armoured patrol vehicle would be spent from 2013 to 2016. It is unclear whether the Conservative government will move more quickly than that with the procurements. At one point, consideration was being given to announce both the Chinook deal and the armoured vehicle package all at once at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, but that plan did not proceed, say defence insiders. Late last year, army commander Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie said the purchase of the new vehicles could be used as part of the government’s economic stimulus to create jobs. In particular, the upgrades of the LAV-3s would be attractive to the Conservatives since that work would likely be done at General Dynamics Land Systems Canada facilities in London, Ont., and Edmonton. The rest of the vehicle purchases would be from foreign firms, with industrial input from Canadian companies. Some firms, such as DEW Engineering of Ottawa, have already joined forces with BAE Systems of Britain in anticipation of the close-combat vehicle program. A number of exhibitors at the recent CANSEC military trade show held in Ottawa were also highlighting what they could offer the Canadian Forces.
DTN News: India Clears Anti-Tank Nag Missile For Production *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - July 9, 2009: Two decades after the homegrown Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) was conceived, it has been cleared for production. The ATGM was indigenously designed and developed by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO]. The Nag (Cobra) is a third generation, all weather, top-attack, fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile. It is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Design work on the missile started in 1988 and the first tests were carried out in November 1990. The missile uses a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) warhead to penetrate ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) or composite (Chobham type) armour that is found in the latest tanks. The system is expected to supercede Indian production of the Soviet origin 9K113 Konkours (NATO: AT-5 Spandrel) and Euromissile Milan M2 anti-tank missiles. Technical Characteristics ~ As originally conceived, the Nag would have been available with three different types of guidance, These included a wire guided version, an infra-red version and a millimetric wave (mmW) version. The cumbersome nature of a wire guidance system had led to plans for this being dropped. Currently, guidance is based on an imaging infra-red (IIR) passive seeker that ensures a high-hit accuracy in both top- and front-attack modes. The mmW seeker, on the other hand, is intended to operate as an optional system that can replace the IIR passive seeker as a module. Also incorporated into the guidance system, is a CCD camera. The missile has a weight of 42 kg and can engage targets at ranges up to 6 km. The Nag is claimed to be first anti-tank missile which has a complete fiberglass structure. The Nag will be produced in two main versions. The land version has been tested from a tracked vehicle known as NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier). The carrier is a stretched BMP-2 with an additional pair of road wheels and is manufactured by the Ordnance Factory, Medak. It carries four missiles in a ready-to-fire mode on the turret and more missiles can be reloaded without exposing the crew on the battlefield. With the IR version of the missile, targets are acquired using a thermal sight, and are then assigned to the nose-mounted IIR seeker. Missile guidance is initially by area correlation around the target, then by centroid tracking. Terminal homing is by area correlation around the centroid. Nag is also configured to be used on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). Eight missiles are carried in two quadruple launchers. Launchers mounted on either side are linked to a nose-mounted stabilized thermal sight and a laser range-finder package. The 4-kilometer-range missile will be produced at state-owned Bharat Dynamics, which will make about 200 missiles in the first year and double that number in following years. The Indian defense forces require about 4,000 ATGMs. The production of the Nag missile was ordered early this month after successful heat trials in the Rajasthan desert, said a senior Indian Army official. The winter trials of the missile were concluded last December. All the user tests of the Nag missile have been completed and the Army has given its approval, said a senior DRDO scientist. The latest trials of the Nag missile were conducted using an advanced imaging infrared seeker head, one of the Army's essential requirements, the Army official added. The Nag will replace the existing Russian Konkours and European missile Milan, both of which are manufactured under license by Bharat. The Army urgently needs the more advanced Nag to improve kill probability as the missile uses a high explosive warhead to penetrate the armor found in modern tanks, the official said. The Nag missile will be made in land and helicopter versions, where it will be fitted on the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter, although the current order is only for the land variant. The Nag is a third-generation, all-weather, top-attack, fire-and-forget missile, one of five missile systems developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. Design work started in 1988 and the first tests were carried out in November 1990. The DRDO scientist said focus will now shift to the helicopter version, which will have an extended range of seven kilometers. The air version will be completed in two years, added the scientist. The land version also eventually will have a range of seven kilometers.