Wednesday, August 12, 2009
DTN News: African Army Chiefs Discuss Counterterrorism Tactics *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ALGIERS, Algeria - August 12, 2009: The army chiefs of staff of four northwest African nations met Aug. 12 in Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, to discuss joint tactics to fight terrorism in their region, an official statement said. Female police cadets march during their graduation ceremony at the police academy in Ain Benian August 6, 2009. Even in relatively liberal Algeria, some people believe the police force is not a suitable profession for a Muslim woman, and, whatever your gender, it can be a dangerous job: Islamist insurgents have killed hundreds of officers. But Algeria, a former French colony in North Africa where almost all the 35 million population are Muslim, takes pride in the fact that equality for women is enshrined in its laws. The Algerian hosts were joined by top-ranking soldiers from Mauritania, Mali and Niger, all susceptible to violence for which responsibility is often claimed by Al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). At the meeting, the military men would "together study ways and means of strengthening cooperation against the criminal behavior in cross-border territories, and in particular, terrorism," the Algerian authorities said. The chiefs of staff were meeting at the Tamanrasset headquarters of the 6th Military Region, deep in the Algerian Sahara, as part of an ongoing effort to share tactical resources and military intelligence. AQIM, which emerged from one of Algeria's armed Islamic extremist movements, has in recent months carried out attacks and taken civilian Western hostages in Niger and Mali, as well as fighting the Algerian security forces. In Mauritania, a young suicide bomber killed himself and injured two French paramilitary police and a Mauritanian when he detonated a belt packed with explosives Aug. 8 near the French embassy in Nouakchott. The attack was Mauritania's first suicide bombing. On Aug. 10, Mauritania's Interior Minister, Mohamed Ould R'Zeizim, said the bomber had been recruited "by the Salafists," the Islamic movement to which AQIM claims allegiance, and had been trained in camps in the Sahara. A vast stretch of the desert and the arid Sahel to the south is difficult to police, and it is a region where smugglers of all kinds and drug traffickers are active, as well as Muslim fundamentalists.
DTN News: Yemeni Army In Fresh Attack On Houthis Rebels
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) SANAA, Yemen - August 12, 2009: Yemen's army has launched aerial, artillery and missile strikes on the heights of Matra and Dhahian, two strongholds of Houthi rebels in Sa'ada province.
Since last July, tensions have been rising between Houthis and the army in Sa'ada province despite a declaration by the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh claiming that the conflict was over.
Sa'ada, in northwestern Yemen, is located on the border with Saudi Arabia. The country's Supreme Security Committee said in a statement that the assault was "the last option after the rebels rejected to respond to the call of peace made by the government."
The committee said the government ordered the army to launch the attack "to protect the citizens in line with its constitutional responsibility." Meanwhile, the media office of rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a statement that fighter jets bombarded the Matra town, which locates the group's headquarters.Yemeni army soldiers stand on missile launchers during a military parade in Sanaa May 21, 2009. The parade was held to mark the 19th anniversary of the country's Unity Day.
"This is the beginning of the sixth aggression (war) against us," DPA cited the statement as saying. Since 2004, thousands of people have died in clashes between government forces and Houthis, who reject the current administration and want a restoration of the Zaidi clerical regime overthrown in a 1962 military coup.
Houthis belong to the Zaidi sect, which is an offshoot of Shi'ism.
DTN News: Saudi Princess Loses A Fortune *Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - August 12, 2009: Burglars made off with jewels and cash worth 11 million euros ($15.6 million) from the hotel room of a Saudi princess in Sardinia, Italians newspapers reported Sunday, sparking a diplomatic incident. It was the biggest heist from Saudi royalty since Kriangkrai Techamong, a Thai worker stole a fabled blue diamond and a 90kg bag of other jewellery from the wife of the future king of the country. Sardinia is a large island belonging to Italy, and about 200km off the west coast of the country. It has many luxury resorts, and Premier Silvio Berlusconi owns property on the island. "The thieves used a master key. In 10 minutes at dinner time, without making any noise, they managed to remove the safe from a suite occupied by the Saudi princess," who was not named, the daily La Stampa reported. The safe was only fixed with silicon to the wall into which it was embedded, it said. According to the daily La Repubblica, the burglary sparked a diplomatic incident. "A military official from the Saudi embassy arrived in Sardinia and the Italian secret services and diplomats from both countries have been involved." A Moroccan businessman also had his room burgled in another luxury hotel on the Costa Smeralda, the most chic resort area on the island, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also owns a luxury villa. (Photo: The luxury resort where the princess was staying when she was robbed.) Using a similar technique, thieves pulled the safe out of the wall and got away with around 150,000 euros worth of jewels and money. Both burglaries were carried out this week. The two hotels belong to the same chain, Iti Hotels. Investigators suspect they were the work of an expert gang, probably from abroad, helped by someone with inside knowledge, who had worked in both establishments. A third burglary was carried out in a hotel in Portofino, on Italy's northwest coast, where a German businessman had the safe stolen from his room, containing a million euros worth of jewellery and 3,000 in cash, according to Il Corriere della Sera.
DTN News: Yonex-Sunrise BWF World Championships 2009 ~ Japanese Kenichi Tago Stuns Joachim Persson At World Badminton Championships
DTN News: Yonex-Sunrise BWF World Championships 2009 ~ Japanese Kenichi Tago Stuns Joachim Persson At World Badminton Championships
*Source: DTN News / BWF (NSI News Source Info) HYDERABAD, India - August 12, 2009: Seventh-seeded Joachim Persson of Denmark crashed out of the world badminton championships here on Tuesday, losing to unseeded Japanese Kenichi Tago in the men's singles first round.Kenichi Tago of Japan plays a shot against Joachim Persson of Denmark during the mens singles badminton match of the World Badminton Championships at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad. Persson crashed out of the world badminton championships, losing to Tago in the men's singles first round.
The 22nd-ranked Japanese came back strongly after losing the opening game, winning 16-21, 21-14, 21-13 in 57 minutes. Ninth-seeded Yu Hsing Hsieh of Taipei survived a scare in another first-round encounter, saving a match-point before ending Indian Arvind Bhat's resistance with a 21-14, 19-21, 24-22 victory. The Indian was just a point away from winning the match when he led 22-21 in the third game before faltering at crucial stages to suffer his third defeat against the same opponent. "I think I deserved to win," Bhat said. "I was feeling good with my game, but I am sad about the end result. It has often been happening in my career that I am unable to finish off matches." Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana, seeded 16th, and Raul Must of Estonia were also involved in tough matches before advancing to the second round. Ponsana downed Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania 21-14,14-21, 21-17, while Must posted a 21-16, 18-21, 21-12 victory over Russian Ivan Sozonov. Among the women there were no early upsets, with seeded Hong Kong's players Wang Chen and Yip Pui Yin and Korean Hye Youn Hwang advancing to the second round with straight-game wins.
DTN News: BAE Systems To Provide Target Location System To the U.S. Army *Source: DTN News / BAE Systems (NSI News Source Info) NASHUA, New Hampshire - August 12, 2009: BAE Systems will provide U.S. Army soldiers with handheld laser target locators that will enable them to identify target locations while on foot, in daylight or at night, and in obscured-visibility conditions such as fog and smoke. The company has partnered with Vectronix Inc. to produce, maintain, and provide logistical support for up to 200 laser target locator modules (LTLM) per month under a five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract worth up to $347 million. “These modules will enable soldiers to determine target coordinates quickly, safely, and accurately,” said Dan Murray, LTLM program director for BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire. “The system provides a much-needed capability in a single, lightweight package. Removing weight from soldiers’ packs makes their jobs easier and enables them to complete missions faster and with greater precision.” Weighing less than 5.5 pounds, the LTLM consists of a direct-view optic system, a night-vision camera derived from the thermal cameras used in BAE Systems’ advanced thermal weapon sights, a laser range finder, a digital compass, and a GPS receiver. The system will allow users to recognize targets more than 4.2 kilometers away in daylight and 900 meters in total darkness. Deliveries are scheduled to begin this year. About BAE Systems BAE Systems is the premier global defense, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems’ sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008. For further information, please contact: Karen Spiller, BAE Systems Tel: +1 603 886 2818 Mobile: +1 603 566 2090 firstname.lastname@example.org Shannon Smith, BAE Systems Tel: +1 703 907 8257 Mobile: +1 703 967 3854 email@example.com www.baesystems.com
DTN News: Thailand TODAY August 12, 2009 ~ Thais Reject US Request To Extradite Arms Dealer *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BANGKOK, Thailand - August 12, 2009: A Thai court on Tuesday rejected a U.S. request to extradite a Russian arms dealer who allegedly sold weapons to dictators and warlords around the world, raising the prospect that he could be freed by the weekend. Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout gestures after leaving a courtroom in Bangkok, August 11, 2009. A Thai court on Tuesday refused to extradite alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to the United States to face trial on charges of supplying weapons to Colombian rebels. The unexpected ruling in favor of Viktor Bout was welcomed by Russia. The United States, which had mounted the sting operation that led to his arrest at a Bangkok hotel, said it was "mystified" by the court's decision. Bangkok Criminal Court Judge Chittakorn Pattanasiri said Thai prosecutors have 72 hours to indicate whether to appeal, and, if not, Bout will be set free. If an appeal is filed, Bout will be held pending further proceedings. The 42-year-old Bout, who has denied any wrongdoing, jumped up from his seat upon hearing Tuesday's ruling and hugged his crying wife. He flashed a victory sign to TV cameras as he was escorted from the courtroom by guards. Bout's extradition hearing was marred by allegations from both the Americans and Russians, some in public, mostly in private, accusing each other political interference and of bribing Thai officials _ a common practice in a country where the judiciary is notoriously corrupt. "Round one has gone to Bout, but the battle for justice for this international menace is not over. It is unacceptable that this man goes free," Ed Royce, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, said in a statement. "Politics seems to have trumped the law. Something is rotten in Bangkok." There was no immediate comment from the Thai government. Bout has never been tried despite being the subject of U.N. sanctions and a Belgian money-laundering indictment. Over the past two decades, he has allegedly supplied weapons used in civil wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa. He was arrested in March 2008 after U.S. agents posed as arms buyers for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which Washington classifies as a terrorist organization. Two months later, he was indicted on charges of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to FARC, including more than 700 surface-to-air missiles, thousands of guns, high-tech helicopters and airplanes outfitted with grenade launchers and missiles. If convicted in the U.S. of the most serious terrorism-related charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison. When the Thai court took up the request to extradite Bout in June 2008, it seemed like an open and shut case. Under the Thai-American extradition treaty, authorities only needed to identify Bout, prove his crimes merit a trial and show the case was not political. But from the start, Bout's extradition hearing was marred by repeated delays as a defense attorney fell sick and witnesses failed to turn up. The delays inspired a Cold War-era tug of war between Russia and the United States. Arms trade experts have alleged Bout has been useful for Russia's intelligence apparatus, and that Russia did not want him to go on trial in the United States. American lawmakers led by Royce accused the Russians of influencing the process. The Russian Foreign Ministry has publicly criticized the pressure it said was being applied on Thailand by the Americans. In interviews with The Associated Press, representatives on both sides have leveled unproved accusations of Thai officials being bribed by the other side. Still, Bout's extradition appeared inevitable after a Thai Foreign Ministry official told the court in May that the request met the conditions of the Thai-American extradition treaty. Yet on Tuesday, Judge Chittakorn rejected the extradition request because he deemed FARC a political movement, rather than a terrorist group, which meant that Bout's alleged crimes were political offenses. Extradition cannot be granted when it involves a political offense. Chittakorn also ruled the extradition treaty did not apply because Bout's alleged crimes couldn't be prosecuted in Thailand and did not involve Thai citizens or Thai interests. U.S. Embassy deputy chief of mission James F. Entwistle said Thai prosecutors have said they will appeal. "We're disappointed and mystified by this lower court ruling," Entwistle said. "We think the facts, relevant Thai law, and the terms of the bilateral extradition treaty clearly supports the extradition of Viktor Bout to the United States to stand trial on serious terrorism charges." In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters any appeal would be up to the Thai government. "We're disappointed in the court decision," he said. Russian Embassy official Andrey V. Dvornikov said Moscow was "satisfied" with the court's decision and he was awaiting the Thai prosecutors' decision on an appeal. "This case will be over when Mr. Bout is home," he said. The U.N. suspects Bout's clients have included warlords and dictators, including Liberia's Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and both sides of the civil war in Angola. Bout, whose network of companies had as many as 50 airplanes, also reportedly supplied arms to the Taliban and, indirectly, al-Qaida _ charges he has repeatedly denied. In their 2007 book, "Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible," Steve Braun and Douglas Farah alleged Bout sold as many as 10,000 AK-47 assault rifles to FARC in the late 1990s through a front company. The FARC has been trying to overthrow successive Colombian governments for a half-century. It has been put on the defensive in recent years by Colombia's U.S.-backed military. Bout's nickname, the "Merchant of Death," came in 2000 from a minister at Britain's Foreign Office who was concerned about Bout allegedly ferrying weapons around Africa. Bout is widely believed to be a model for the arms dealer portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie "Lord of War." David M. Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University and former prosecutor of the Sierra Leone tribunal that indicted Charles Taylor, said Bout would likely return to weapons dealing if he is set free. "He was a player and could be a player again. This guy has nine lives," Crane said. "He certainly has the capability of showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time and providing weapons for cash or diamonds."
DTN News: Congress Drops Plan To Spend $550 Million On New Jets
*Source: DTN News / Reuters (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, U.S. - August 12, 2009: U.S. House leaders have dropped plans to spend $550 million in the Air Force budget on passenger jets used by lawmakers and senior government officials, officials said on Monday. An Air Force presidential aircraft, part of the fleet used by U.S. presidents, is pictured above the Statue of Liberty in New York, in this photograph released to Reuters on May 8, 2009. The House of Representatives reversed the move to upgrade the executive jet fleet after public criticism, opposition from other lawmakers and the Defense Department had said it did not need more planes that it had requested. "If the Department of Defense does not want these aircraft, they will be eliminated from the bill," Representative John Murtha, chairman of a House panel on defense appropriations, said in a statement. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she supports the decision. Before leaving for the August congressional recess, the House approved a Defense Appropriation bill for fiscal year 2010 that included $550 million for three Gulfstream jets and five military versions of a Boeing 737. The Pentagon's original request was $220 million to purchase one Gulfstream plane and three Boeing Co. aircraft. Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said the four additional planes his subcommittee ordered would have replaced older aircraft that have safety and maintenance issues.
DTN News: Boeing, US Woo Brazil With Technology For Defense Deal
*Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) SAO PAULO, Brazil - August 12, 2009: US aerospace giant Boeing is proposing to transfer 1.5 billion dollars in fighter jet technology to Brazil in a bid to score a contract for 36 combat aircraft, a top company executive said Monday. The offer appear to be an attempt to blunt competing bids from France's Dassault, which is putting forward its advanced Rafale fighter, and Sweden's Saab, which is proposing its yet-to-be-built Gripen NG, to replace Brazil's aging fleet of 12 French-made Mirage-2000 jets and 50 US-made F-5 aircraft. (Photo: A Mirage 2000 aircraft) The deal is estimated to be worth between "two and three billion dollars," Boeing said, and would involve delivering F/A-18 Super Hornets from 2014. Brazil, which is set to announce the winning bid by the end of the month, could increase the order to a total of 120 aircraft by 2040. "We believe that the 1.5 billion dollars of technology we are gonna give to our partnership here will make them a better industry for years to come," Boeing executive vice president James Albaugh told reporters in Sao Paulo. The deal would be associated with materials and other support, he said, noting Brazil is seeking "a path to independence, to take care of the airplanes on their own." The technology transfer is a "clear signal" to Brazil that the United States is backing the deal, said Albaugh. US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher and Pentagon acquisition and technology chief Ashton Carter said last week they had outlined the proposal to Brazilian officials. Accompanied in Brasilia by President Barack Obama's national security advisor, Jim Jones, they said the technology transfer was part of a final gambit to try to persuade Brazil's air force to buy the new combat aircraft. "We want to have a technology relationship with Brazil that gets deeper and deeper with the time," Carter said. "This is just the first step." One consideration, both for Brazil and for the United States, was likely to be how the F/A-18 might stack up against Venezuela's air force should any future confrontation take place. Venezuela recently purchased 24 Russian and Chinese-developed Su-30MK2s, a modern fighter considered to have superior performance over the US plane.
DTN News: Taiwan TODAY August 12, 2009 ~ Taiwan Military Rescues Some 300 Typhoon Victims
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) CISHAN, Taiwan - August 12, 2009: Taiwan's military rescued about 300 people Tuesday after a mudslide touched off by Typhoon Morakot consumed a village, but scores remained missing. A helicopter on a relief operation in the area crashed into a mountain with three crew aboard. In this image released by the Taiwan Military News Agency, soldiers man Armored Personnel Carriers (APC's) moving through the flooded village of Xue Jia, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009. Rescue officials have said more than 300 people were ferried from disaster areas on more than 100 emergency flights. Chen Chung-hsien, an official in charge of the relief effort, said it was unclear if the two pilots and one technician had survived the crash near Wutai in Pingtung county. The helicopter had been delivering food and rescuing villagers trapped after a mudslide inundated the remote village of Shiao Lin, leaving at least 400 people unaccounted for. Morakot, which triggered the worst flooding in Taiwan in 50 years, dumped as much as 80 inches (two meters) of rain at the weekend before moving on to China. Taiwanese authorities put the confirmed death toll from Morakot at 50 and listed 58 people as missing, not including the residents missing in Shiao Lin, whose fate has been unclear since Sunday's mudslide. Access to the area — in the southern reaches of the island's heavily foliated mountainous spine — is restricted to the military. Rescue operations were being carried out by helicopters, which hovered over the village looking for survivors. Officials said more than 300 people were brought out Tuesday on up to 120 flights from a large mountainous area in Kaohsiung to an improvised landing zone at Cishan Junior High School. The people saved came from Shiao Lin and surrounding villages, officials said. Those rescued Tuesday escaped the mudslide by running to higher ground, from where they were plucked by the helicopters. But those saved from other villages — which are miles (kilometers) away from Shiao Lin — had enough time to run to open ground. One of the women ferried out Tuesday implored the military to do everything to rescue her family and friends. "There are still a lot of people trapped inside," Lin Mei-ying told television station ETTV. "Please go faster, so they can be saved." Taiwan's National Fire Agency said 100 villagers were buried alive when the mudslide hit, though it did not offer details to back up that assessment. But some of the 30 residents who were among those rescued Monday said the figure was far higher — perhaps as many as 600. Taiwan's population registry lists Shiao Lin as having 1,300 inhabitants, though many are believed to live elsewhere. The village's almost total isolation complicated reporting about its fate. Shiao Lin was cut off after floodwaters destroyed a bridge about eight miles (12 kilometers) away. A back road wending its way northward toward the mountain community of Alishan was also believed to be cut off, and with rain still falling in the area, prospects for an early resumption of overland travel were poor. A woman rescued Monday told Taiwan's China Times newspaper that she fled with her husband and their baby from their two-story Shiao Lin home minutes before the mudslide buried it. "We heard two loud bangs," the woman surnamed Chi was quoted as saying. "The sky was filled with dust like a volcanic eruption, and flood waters, mud and rocks streamed onto the roads." Officials said more than 600 people from nearby villages survived by running to open ground and have been waiting since Sunday for rescuers. Television footage showed the streets of one village covered by thick mud and rubble. A 51-year-old man from Jilai village was swept 1.2 miles (two kilometers) away when the mudslides that struck Shiao Lin rushed down a nearby mountain. According to news reports, he survived by holding on to a log. After pummeling Taiwan, Morakot slammed into China's Fujian province, bringing heavy rain and winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour, according to the China Meteorological Administration. Authorities evacuated 1.4 million people, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The heavy rains triggered a massive landslide in Pengxi, a town in Wenzhou city of eastern China's Zhejiang province, destroying seven three-story apartment buildings at the foot of a mountain late Monday, an official surnamed Chen from the Pengxi government told The Associated Press. Xinhua reported that an unknown number of residents were buried in the landslide, though Chen put the number at six. All were pulled out alive but two later died of their injuries, he said.
DTN News: More US Troops For Afghanistan ~ Are They Inevitable?
*Supporters say it's time to surge, Iraq-style. Opponents say the US should wait to see if the extra 21,000 troops already on the way have an effect.
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - August 12, 2009: The 21,000 US troops promised to Afghanistan have still not all arrived, yet speculation is rife that rising violence may force the senior commander there to ask for more. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, left, salutes to ISAF soldiers during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, July 10, 2009. Last month was the deadliest ever for US forces in Afghanistan. In all, 76 coalition troops were killed. Seeking to reverse that trend, the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is preparing an assessment of the mission. News reports suggest that he could ask for an additional 10,000 to 45,000 troops. Previous commanders have all asked for more forces. In the past, "the handwriting was on the wall for more forces – and may still be," says Michael O'Hanlon, an analyst at Brookings, a think tank in Washington. If General McChrystal does ask for thousands more troops, it could cause a rift between the administration and left-leaning Democrats in Congress. Yet there is some support for a comprehensive request now – truly surging forces the same way that forces were deployed to Iraq in 2007. That plan took shape only after the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld – a strong advocate of smaller forces. "We made mistakes in Iraq," said Sen. Lindsay Graham (R) of South Carolina on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday. "Let's not 'Rumsfeld' Afghanistan, let's not do this thing on the cheap." Other experts believe sending more forces before the original 21,000 troops have settled doesn't make sense. No one knows the impact they will have yet. Moreover, simply adding more troops won't make a difference if there aren't enough Afghan forces prepared to take the lead and be the "face" of the security force, say other analysts. "It would be extremely dangerous to simply have an increase in US brigades," said Tony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an adviser to McChrystal, at an event late last month. "If it's done without building up the Afghan forces and putting them in the lead ... [then] yes, simply putting in more outside NATO-ISAF troops will not, by itself, help." Recent public opinion polls in the US show increasing concern about the mission there. But top military officials say they will need at least another year to show progress. Mr. O'Hanlon of Brookings says he believes Congress will stay with Mr. Obama until at least next year's mid-term elections. "There is more time here than people think," he says.
DTN News: Boeing To Demonstrate Unmanned Cargo Aircraft For US Marine Corps *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, USA - August 12, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] received a $500,000 contract from the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory on Aug. 5 to demonstrate the company's A160T (YMQ-18A) Hummingbird for the Marines' Immediate Cargo Unmanned Aerial System Demonstration Program. "This is a big win for the program and Boeing's newly created Unmanned Airborne Systems division," said John Groenenboom, A160T program manager for Boeing. "Since 2007, when the A160T made its first flight, it has shown it has the ability to carry multiple payloads and perform at various altitudes and speeds. We are confident it will perform well for the Marines." In flights that will take place by February, Boeing will demonstrate that the A160T can deliver at least 2,500 pounds of cargo from one simulated forward-operating base to another in fewer than six hours per day for three consecutive days. The Marines are studying the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in lieu of trucks and personnel to deliver supplies. "This is an important mission, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate the A160T's capabilities for the Marine Corps," said Vic Sweberg, Boeing director of Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS). "By creating a new division specifically for unmanned airborne systems, Boeing can better support our customers' growing requirements for unmanned capabilities, and the A160T is among the most versatile platforms of our UAS business." In addition to the A160T Hummingbird, Boeing's UAS division includes ScanEagle, SolarEagle, and MQ-X. The A160T has a 2,500-pound payload capacity. It features a unique optimum-speed-rotor technology that significantly improves overall performance efficiency by adjusting the rotor's speed at different altitudes, gross weights and cruise speeds. The autonomous unmanned aircraft, measuring 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, has hovered at 20,000 feet and cruised at more than 140 knots. The A160T established a world endurance record in its class in 2008 with an 18.7-hour unrefueled flight. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide. Contact: Chris Haddox Boeing Phantom Works Office: 314-234-6447 Mobile: 314-707-8891 firstname.lastname@example.org Ellen LeMond Boeing Unmanned Airborne Systems Office: 314-777-0669 Mobile: 314-705-1661 email@example.com
DTN News: Technology TODAY August 12, 2009 ~ Microsoft Should Follow Apple's Lead On Windows 7 Pricing
DTN News: Technology TODAY August 12, 2009 ~ Microsoft Should Follow Apple's Lead On Windows 7 Pricing
*Source: DTN News / PC World
(NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK, USA - August 12, 2009: Apple's upcoming Snow Leopard upgrade currently occupies two of the three top spots on Amazon's software top seller list. The pre-sale prices are $29 for a single computer and $49 for a 5-user family pack. Microsoft occupied the same two spots last month when it was pre-selling the Windows 7 Home Premium edition upgrade for $50 and the Professional edition for $100. There's a profound difference between the $29 Apple is charging, and Microsoft's $50 offer: Apple's price won't expire. That same Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade will now set you back a solid $120. While one might ask why Microsoft would need to lower its prices when its current prices are more aggressive than what they asked for Vista. I have the answer; Consumer's expectations have changed. People now expect to be able to buy netbooks for $300, notebooks for $500 and premium desktops for a few hundred more. For the person running XP on a $300 netbook, spending an additional $120 for Windows 7 is exorbitant. Ditto for the person who bought a laptop running Vista two years ago. Many people would rather put that money toward their next computer purchase that will be much more powerful than they already have. A person could argue that regardless of whether people buy Windows 7 upgrade or just buy a new computer, Microsoft sells an OS. This is technically true, but MS has to be much more aggressive with its pricing for OEMs than consumers. It is much happier to sell you an upgrade to your existing computer where they pocket more cash. Microsoft is smart to sell a family pack for $150. This allows users to update up to three computers to Windows 7 Home Premium. This makes sense for households and small businesses that actually own three computers. However, there is a huge market for people that only own a single computer that is powerful enough to run Windows 7. For the chunk of change that Microsoft is asking, these folks might just continue using XP or Vista, which still work fine for the overwhelming majority of computing tasks.
DTN News: Boeing, Schiebel To Pursue Opportunities In Unmanned Airborne Systems With CAMCOPTER S-100
DTN News: Boeing, Schiebel To Pursue Opportunities In Unmanned Airborne Systems With CAMCOPTER S-100
*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - August 12, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and Schiebel Industries AG of Austria yesterday Aug 11, announced they have signed a teaming agreement to pursue marketing and support opportunities for Schiebel's S-100 CAMCOPTER. The S-100 is a compact unmanned aerial vehicle that provides a platform for a wide variety of payloads, including a stabilized video system for surveillance and reconnaissance. The Aerial Vehicle (AV) combines long endurance and large payload capacity into a relatively small outline. The AV can complete its entire mission automatically, from takeoff to landing, controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer based on proven flight control methods and algorithms. Redundant INS and GPS modules ensure precision navigation and stability in all phases of flight, ensuring that the payload is accurately positioned in accordance with its tasking. The onboard navigation computer is capable of storing and managing all waypoint commands, allowing continuous operation independent of the control station. The datalink receives control inputs from, and transmits position and payload data to, the control station in real-time. Mission radius is dependent upon the user-specified ground antenna configuration, and payload weight. CAMCOPTER® S-100 has been designed as a platform for a wide variety of payloads, and therefore no standard payload is offered, rather they are integrated according to customer requirements. The AV features two payload bays, side hard points and an internal auxiliary electronics/avionics bay. The primary payload bay, located directly beneath the main rotor shaft, is capable of mounting payloads weighing up to 50 kg (100 lbs.).Fixed-mounted daylight and/or infrared cameras provide the operator with situational awareness and orientation. The AV fuselage is a carbon-fibre monocoque, which gives a superior strength/weight ratio, providing maximum capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations. In a standard configuration, the AV is capable of carrying a 25 kg (55 lbs) payload for up to 6 hours. The AV is powered by an aviation-certified rotary engine. The S-100 is also being developed for maritime applications, where, like its predecessor, it will be capable of landing on helicopter deck-equipped ships without the use of additional landing equipment. "This teaming agreement allows us to offer another quality unmanned airborne platform to customers who depend on the intelligence these aircraft can provide," said Vic Sweberg, director of Boeing Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS). "It will further enable our new division to deliver innovative solutions tailored to our customers' needs and budgets." Boeing's UAS division includes the A160T Hummingbird, ScanEagle, SolarEagle and MQ-X. The S-100 is an autonomous helicopter that uses vertical takeoff and landing technology. The aircraft can be programmed to fly autonomous missions via a point-and-click computer software interface, or be directed manually with a joystick. It also can operate under adverse weather conditions and beyond line-of-sight on land and at sea. Its data link range extends up to 200 km, with a service ceiling of 18,000 feet. "We are excited about teaming with Boeing's newly created Unmanned Airborne Systems division," said Hans G. Schiebel, director of Schiebel Industries AG. "Through this collaboration, we hope to leverage Boeing's depth of experience and proven contacts to provide the S-100 to U.S. government and military customers. The S-100 CAMCOPTER could have applications for a variety of civilian customers, as well." Darren Sekiguchi, director of Boeing Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Services, said that CAMCOPTER customers "will benefit from Boeing's experience in supporting unmanned airborne systems. Our field service representatives have collectively flown more than 200,000 hours while providing command and logistics support to a variety of unmanned airborne systems programs." Founded in 1951 in Vienna, the Schiebel group of companies focuses on the development, testing and production of mine detection equipment and the CAMCOPTER® Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Pakistan Air Force To Complete Induction Of Four Ilyushin Il-78 Aircraft By 2010
*Source: DTN News / Pakistan Daily By Farooq Hussain
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - August 12, 2009: Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has said that the Pakistan Air Force plans to complete the induction of up to four Ilyushin Il-78 aircraft fitted with a mid-air refueling capability, extending the capacity of its fighter aircraft to patrol areas over the border region by 2010. In an exclusive interview, Rao Qamar said, the refueling capability is an “extremely significant” development. “This is an absolutely new capability we are getting, which we are inducting. We never had this capability in the Pakistan Air Force,” he said. Answering to a question, he said, US-supplied F-16 multirole fighter aircraft can stay for up to four, five, six hours in Pakistan’s northern areas, ranging from the northern Swat valley and its surrounding region. “During this time, if there is any militant attack anywhere in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], these aircraft can go there immediately, within minutes, and they can bomb the militants. It will create the right kind of deterrence against the militants”, he said. He said the PAF’s operations in the north have brought significant pressure to bear on Taliban militants, who were on the advance until the recent military campaign in Swat began reversing the tide. “They [Taliban militants] never see us on the ground. The only time they find out that an aircraft has struck is when the bomb explodes on them. It creates a great psychological impact”, he said. Replying to a question, Rao Qamar went on to say, the PAF was focused on enemy air forces. We remained focused on enemy land forces and enemy air forces and, therefore, we were preparing ourselves to fight against organized modern air forces and against modern armies. “We never thought we would be required to fight against militants or be involved in counter-insurgency operations. When we started this [counter-insurgency], we had to learn while on the job. We had to re-orient our thinking, we had to refine our … existing SOPs [standard operating procedures] and we had to develop new SOPs for this kind of warfare. However, we did that very quickly”, he said. The recent operation has led the PAF to identify new areas for development, such as acquiring more precision-guided bombs, enhanced night precision attack capabilities and the capability to monitor communications and track the movement of militants, he said. The PAF’s other, already established, requirements include the development of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, co-produced with China, he said. The PAF plans to eventually induct up to 250 JF-17 fighters, making the aircraft the backbone of its inventory, he said, adding that, the first ’fully made in Pakistan’ JF-17 is expected to be produced by the end of this year at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra, north of Islamabad. However, there is still a requirement for a more advanced fighter aircraft, as the PAF prepares to counter the future edge that may be acquired by the IAF once it completes the planned purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft (MRCAs), he said. “We knew about this requirement of the Indian Air Force for 126 latest-generation fighter aircraft. Yes, it is an alarming development because when they get 126 such capable aircraft, then we also need to have something matching to counter that threat,” ACM Qamar said. Replying to a question, he said, the PAF has finalized the technical proposal for the FC-20 and informed the Chinese of its requirements. “[The technical proposal] is more or less finalized now. There are some changes that are required, which [the Chinese] are making,” he said. The next stage of the contract will involve financial negotiations between China and Pakistan, he said. Air Chief Marshall Qamar believes that, following the signing of a contract, it will take two to two-and-a-half years before the first FC-20 aircraft is received. Rao Qamar Suleman answering to a question said the PAF has also signed a contract for the purchase of four Chinese airborne early warning and control aircraft. The first of these is due to arrive in 2011 and the remaining three will be delivered in 2012.