*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - September 7, 2009: Brazil is making progress in talks with France on the possible purchase of Rafale fighter jets, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Sunday, hours ahead of a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. (Image: Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engined delta-wing highly agile multi-role 4.5th-generation jet fighter aircraft) Lula said discussions were very advanced, but he stopped short of saying that a decision would be announced during Sarkozy's visit. "Discussions with President Sarkozy are progressing rapidly. We are on the right path and we have a relationship of trust," Lula said in an interview with three French media, TV5 Monde, RFI radio and Le Monde newspaper. Brazil plans to buy 36 fighter jets to partially renew its air force. The contract is worth somewhere in the region of 4 billion euros ($5.7 billion), French sources have said. The providers being considered are the French Rafale, which is made by Dassault Aviation, the American F18 made by Boeing and the Gripen, built by Sweden's Saab. The stakes are high for France, which has been trying to export the Rafale for years without success. "Everyone knows that one of Brazil's requirements is technology transfer. We cannot buy a fighter jet if we don't have the technology," Lula said during his interview with the French media. He previously had said that in terms of technology transfer, the French were well placed. However, Lula would not be drawn into saying whether Sarkozy could expect to clinch a deal during his time in Brazil. "I don't know. It's a very sensitive subject. An agreement on such a scale involves lots of money, technology transfer, other competitors. All I can say is that we are at a crucial moment in the conversation with France," he said. The Rafale, a project initiated in 1988, has been operational in the French air force since 2006. However, it has yet to find any foreign buyers, much to Sarkozy's frustration. The French leader is in talks with the United Arab Emirates over the possible sale of 60 of the planes. During a visit to Brazil in December last year, Sarkozy signed defence contracts with Lula worth billions of euros. These included the sale of four conventional submarines and 50 military transport helicopters.
Monday, September 07, 2009
DTN News: Brazil, France Making Progress In Rafale Fighter Jet Talks Says Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
DTN News: Brazil, France Making Progress In Rafale Fighter Jet Talks Says Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
DTN News: Russia To Start Construction Of New Space Center In 2011
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 7, 2009: The construction of a new space center in Russia's Far East will start in 2011, a government official said on Monday. Specialists are busy at Russia's mission control center in Korolyov, outside Moscow, as Soyuz capsule carrying a Russian cosmonaut, docks at the international space station. Russia currently uses two launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missiles tests: the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia. Army Gen. Nikolai Abroskin, head of the Federal Service for the Production of Special Construction Work, said construction of the new Vostochny station would be carried out in three stages, and would be completed in 2018. "In all, seven launch pads are to be built at the space center, including two for manned flights and two for space freighters," the general said. He said an inter-agency working group had been created, and that work to design elements of the station's infrastructure was in progress.
DTN News: Arab States The World's Top Arms Importer
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) DUBAI, UAE - September 7, 2009: The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have been ranked as the top arms buyers in the world helping the US increase its share to more than 68.4% of all foreign armaments deals during global recession.
The UAE signed $9.7 billion in arms deals and Saudi Arabia signed $8.7 billion in weapons agreements, the New York Times reported on Sunday. (Image: UAEAF F-16E Desert Falcon taking off from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas. The United Arab Emirates is the only operator of the F-16E/F.)
According to a new congressional study, Washington signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4% of all business in the global arms bazaar, up from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before. Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion in worldwide weapons sales in 2008, while Russia was third with $3.5 billion in arms sales last year - down from the $10.8 billion in weapons deals signed by Moscow in 2007.
The growth in weapons sales by the US last year was particularly noticeable against worldwide trends.
The value of global arms sales in 2008 was $55.2 billion, a drop of 7.6% from 2007 and the lowest total for international weapons agreements since 2005, the study said.
The United States was the leader not only in arms sales worldwide, but also in sales to nations in the developing world, signing $29.6 billion in weapons agreements with these nations, or 70.1% of all such deals.
The study found that the larger arms deals concluded by the US with developing nations last year included a $6.5 billion air defense system for the UAE, a $2.1 billion jet fighter deal with Morocco and a $2 billion attack helicopter agreement with Taiwan.
Other large weapons agreements were reached between the US and Egypt, Iraq, India, South Korea and Brazil.
The annual report was produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress.
DTN News: Venezuela To Export Gasoline To Iran
*Source: DTN News / The Jerusalem Post (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - September 7, 2009: Venezuela has signed an agreement to export 20,000 barrels per day of gasoline to Iran, state TV reported Monday, boosting Teheran's defiance of looming Western threats of fuel sanctions if it doesn't suspend its key uranium enrichment program. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks next to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an agreement-signing ceremony in Tehran September 6, 2009. Picture taken September 6, 2009. The two countries signed the agreement late Sunday during the visit to Iran of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who pledged to deepen ties with Iran and stand together against the imperialist powers of the world. Western leaders have threatened to impose further sanctions against it should Iran refuse to bend to Western deadlines for nuclear talks aimed at curbing Teheran's nuclear activities. But the Venezuelan fuel will help cushion Iran against the biting sanctions. "On the basis of a strategic decision, it was agreed to export 20,000 barrels a day of gasoline from Venezuela to Iran," state TV quoted Chavez as saying at the end of his visit. The fuel shipments will begin in October. One of Iran's weakest points is its dependence on fuel imports. Despite its vast oil resources, it lacks the refinery capacity to meet its own demand and must buy vast quantities of commercial-ready fuel on the open market. Iran has managed to ride out the limited sanctions so far without serious hardships, although lack of significant foreign investment has left the economy stuck in low gear for years. Iranian leaders - particularly Ahmadinejad - have repeatedly insisted that Iran would never abandon its ability to make its own nuclear fuel. The US and some of its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is aimed at only at generating electricity. US President Barack Obama and European allies have given Iran until the end of September to agree to talks on its nuclear program. Iran has rejected any deadlines but its top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said last week that Teheran has prepared to present a package of new proposals and would be ready to open talks "in order to ease common concerns in the international arena." Chavez said Venezuela will import machinery and technology from Iran in return for its gasoline exports, the TV report said. The broadcast also quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that the two countries agreed to set up a bank together to help finance joint projects.
DTN News: LTTE Was Behind Attack On Sri Lanka Cricket Team In Lahore, Says Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
DTN News: LTTE Was Behind Attack On Sri Lanka Cricket Team In Lahore, Says Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - September 7, 2009: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here on Sunday that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse was of the opinion that terrorist elements in his country might be involved in acts of violence in Pakistan. Mr Gilani said that during his recent meeting in Libya, the Sri Lankan leader had told him there were indications that elements in Sri Lanka were linked to incidents of terrorism in Pakistan, including the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Pakistani army troops stand guard at a checkpoint in Bara, the main town of Pakistan's tribal region of Khyber, where security forces launched an offensive against militants on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009. Pakistani troops killed alleged militants in an operation in the Khyber tribal region. He said that investigators in both countries were also looking into reports that terrorists in Pakistan had received finances from Sri Lanka. The prime minister who was talking to journalists at the Shifa hospital where he had gone to inquire after the health of Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, also said that after the success of the operation in Swat and Malakand, the government was preparing an exit strategy as part of a long-term plan to root out terrorism. He, however, said that the army would stay in Swat and other areas to eradicate militancy and restore peace. The government, he said, was considering a proposal to set up a cantonment in Swat. About the chief ministers’ meeting convened by him, Mr Gilani said it would try to work out a common strategy on supply and prices of sugar and other essential commodities. He said that in Punjab sugar was still being sold at Rs47 per kg and despite LHC’s order and tax relief, mill-owners had refused to reduce the price. He said the government wanted uniform sugar price across the country, adding that the decision to sell sugar at Rs47 per kg had been taken in consultation with all stakeholders, including ministries concerned, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan and representatives of sugar mills. About the criticism of the Northern Areas political package, Mr Gilani said it had been prepared in accordance with a longstanding demand of the people of Gilgit and Baltistan. The package, he said, gave the people of Northern Areas internal autonomy and sovereignty in their affairs and now they had the authority similar to that enjoyed by provinces.
Soldiers of Pakistani army patrol during a crackdown operation against militants in Pakistan's tribal region of Khyber on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. Government forces destroyed four militant bases and killed 40 insurgents, including two militant commanders on Wednesday. Answering a question about complaints regarding lack of consultations, Mr Gilani said he had held consultations with the president and the prime minister of Azad Kashmir on the region’s new status. The prime minister rejected a perception that the reforms package would have a negative impact on Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir and said the government was firm on its principled stand and would keep on supporting the Kashmiri people. When asked about the duration of the military operation in tribal areas, he said the government, army and nation were united in the resolve to stamp out terrorism. He stressed the need for making people and religious scholars aware about threats posed by terrorism which was affecting economic development and creating serious law and order problems. ‘Military operation is just one component of the government’s multi-dimensional policy. It was started when terrorism reached an extreme point,’ he said. Terrorism, Mr Gilani said, could not be eliminated overnight, adding that law-enforcement agencies, local administration and politicians were working together to establish good governance and carry out development projects.
DTN News: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Changing To Moderate Tunes Towards US On IAEA
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - September 7, 2009: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expresses the country's readiness to hold "fair and logical" talks with the five veto-wielding of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves to the media as he arrives for a press conference at the presidency in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is ready for talks with world powers over its nuclear program.
"If wise officials of certain Western countries and the United States are to make final decisions, we expect change of approaches, an issue which Iran welcomes," the president told a news conference on Monday.
"Although the Iranian nation will turn threats into unique opportunities, continuation of the current approaches will not be beneficial," he added. "We are ready to hold talks and exchange views in a correct direction to solve global challenges," Ahmadinejad said.
The president ruled out talks on nuclear rights of the Iranian nation, saying, "Iran will never negotiate on obvious rights of our people."
"From our view point our nuclear issue is finished," he added. "We will continue our work in the framework of global regulations and in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," he stated.
Referring to Iran's plan to present its updated proposed nuclear package in view of last year's global developments to the Group 5+1, Ahmadinejad said, "Iran has prepared other packages on different issues which will be presented to other countries."
DTN News: The Versatile Tiger Attack Helicopter With Germany Armed Forces, French Tiger Attack helicopters In Afghanistan
DTN News: The Versatile Tiger Attack Helicopter With Germany Armed Forces, French Tiger Attack helicopters In Afghanistan *Source: DTN News/ Defence News ....(Click here for link)
(NSI News Source Info) BONN, Germany - September 7, 2009: The Tiger constitutes an entirely new generation of helicopters for the armed forces of Germany and France. One of the most advanced combat helicopter in the world today, Tiger offers flexibility and mission diversity to meet the new challenges facing Western alliance and United Nations member countries following the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.The German Army's total requirement of 212 and the French Army's requirement of a total of 215 Tiger helicopters remains unchanged.
Rapid reaction forces, the Franco-German Brigade, Euro-Corps and similar units can make use of Tiger's inherent multi-mission capabilities which include: dedicated anti-tank missions, mixed ground-target engagements, escort/combat support missions, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well as protection missions for unarmed transport helicopters flying humanitarian aid missions.
The Germans and French are co-developing the PAH-2 Tiger attack helicopter, which has many of the capabilities of the American AH-64 Apache. The EUROCOPTER Group, owned 70% by AEROSPATIALE France and 30% by Daimler Aerospace (DASA) of Germany, designs and manufactures a wide range of civil and military helicopters in the 2 to 10 ton class. Today, EUROCOPTER is the world's leading manufacturer of civil helicopters, with more than 11.000 helicopters in service in 126 countries.
Despite the political impetus behind co-operation from the French and German Governments, the Tiger was subject to a troubled and protracted gestation. Discussions on a joint program began in the late 1970s, but differences between French and German requirements delayed formal commitment until 1983. In order to reconcile the different requirements of the French and German armies, the industrial consortium was required to produce a common airframe with three separate weapons and equipment fits.
And in 1987 rising costs induced a simplified program with the same helicopter to be procured by both countries. An initial batch of 160 helicopters, 80 for Germany and 80 for France, will be procured. The German Army's total requirement of 212 and the French Army's requirement of a total of 215 Tiger helicopters remains unchanged. Production and final assembly of the machines will be at the Eurocopter plants in Donauw th (Germany) and Marignane (France). Cost and work shares are divided between the two partner countries on a 50:50 per cent basis. Deliveries will commence in 2002. Tiger is being built by Eurocopter, a subsidiary of the EADS (European Aeronautics Defence and Space) company formed by DaimlerChrysler Aerospace of Germany, Aerospatiale Matra of France and CASA of Spain. "Tiger can be equipped with four MBDA Mistral or Raytheon Stinger air-to-air missiles." The first flight of the aircraft was in 1991. Serial production began in March 2002 and the first flight of the production Tiger HAP for France took place in March 2003. France has ordered 80 aircraft (40 HAP combat support and 40 HAD multi-role combat). The first HAP version was delivered in March 2005. Germany has ordered 80 combat support aircraft and the first UHT Tiger for Germany was delivered in April 2005. Total procurement is planned to be 120 for France and 120 for Germany. In December 2001, Eurocopter, with the Tiger ARH (armed reconnaissance), was awarded the contract for the Australian Army’s Air 87 requirement for 22 helicopters. The Tiger ARH is a modified version of the Tiger HAP with upgraded MTR390 engines, a laser designator incorporated in the Strix sight for the firing of Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles and M299 "smart" launchers. The first Tiger ARH took its maiden flight in February 2004 and deliveries began in December 2004. It is scheduled to enter service in mid-2008. Certification of the Hellfire II missile is underway and should be completed in September 2005. Australian Aerospace (a subsidiary of Eurocopter) has set up a local production facility for assembly of the helicopters and the manufacture of parts for the entire programme. ADI Ltd is a major subcontractor, responsible for customising the mission and communications systems. In September 2003, Spain selected a version of the Tiger HAP combat support helicopter, to be called the HAD, which will be armed with the Rafael Spike-ER anti-armour and Mistral air-to-air missile systems. 24 helicopters will be ordered which will also have an uprated Enhanced MTR390E engine and a heavier payload. Six helicopters in the HAP version will be delivered to Spain in 2007, which will later be converted to HAD. The first three were delivered in May 2007. 18 HAD versions will be delivered between 2010 and 2014.( Image: French Tiger attack helicopters in Afghanistan)
France originally placed an order for 70 HAP and ten HAC, an anti-tank variant but this was changed to 40 HAP and 40 HAD variants in December 2005. Spain and France signed the development contract for the helicopter in December 2004. The production HAD made its maiden flight in December 2007. TIGER UHT HELICOPTER Tiger UHT multi-role fire support helicopters have an Osiris mast-mounted sight from SAGEM, with Infrared Charge Coupled Device (IRCCD) camera and laser rangefinder. There is a nose-mounted Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) with a 40° x 30° field of view. "In its combat support role the Tiger uses a gun, 68mm rockets and Mistral missiles." Tiger can be equipped with four MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) Mistral or Raytheon Stinger air-to-air missiles. The air-to-air missile control functions are on the flight control grip. Target acquisition is achieved by using the joystick to steer the sight manually or with automatic tracking. The FIM-92 Stinger missile, also produced under license by EADS (formerly LFK), is equipped with a 1kg warhead and range up to 5km. The Mistral missile has a 3kg warhead and range of 6km. The Tiger is fitted with EADS/LFK ATA firing posts for the launch of Euromissile HOT 3 and Euromissile TRIGAT LR anti-tank missiles, fired by the gunner. Only one weapon is activated at a time. The TRIGAT LR missile has a range of 500m to 5,000m and can be applied in direct attack or terminal dive attack modes. The HOT 3 missile has a range of up to 4,000m. Germany placed a production contract for the PARS 3 (TRIGAT LR) missile in June 2006. 680 PARS 3 LR missiles are to be delivered by 2014 for the German Army Tiger UHT helicopter. The Tiger ARH for Australia is being fitted with the M299 launcher for Hellfire II missiles and will also be armed with 70mm rockets. France and Spain have not yet selected an anti-tank missile. TIGER HAD The 40 Tiger HAD helicopters for France will be armed with eight Lockheed Martin Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles. Hellfire II has a semi-active laser seeker and range of over 8km. Spanish HAD will be armed with Rafael Spike-ER air-to-ground missiles, license-built by General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas. In addition, HAD is armed with one Nexter (formerly Giat) 30mm cannon turret, 70mm rockets and four Mistral air-to-air missiles. HAD helicopters will also be equipped with the Sagem Strix roof-mounted sight. TIGER ARH The Tiger ARH for Australia is being fitted with the M299 launcher for Hellfire II missiles and will also be armed with 70mm Hydra rockets, the Nexter 30mm cannon and four Stinger air-to-air missiles. COMBAT SUPPORT TIGER In its combat support role, the Tiger HAP uses a gun for short-range engagements, 68mm rockets at medium and long range and Mistral missiles to engage airborne threats. The helicopter is equipped with a turreted 30mm gun together with: either four Mistral missiles, 44 rockets plus four Mistral missiles, or 68 rockets. Only one weapon can be activated at a time. "The Tiger frames and beams have been fabricated from Kevlar and carbon laminates." The Tiger HAP helicopter for the French Army is equipped with a 30mm AM-30781 automatic cannon from Nexter. Rate of fire is 750 rounds a minute. Tiger HAP also carries four Mistral missiles and two pods each carrying 22 SNEB 68mm rockets. Tiger HAP has a SAGEM Strix roof-mounted sight, with a gyro-stabilised platform, infrared camera, Charge-Coupled Device Television camera (CCD TV), laser rangefinder and direct optical sight. French Tiger HAP helicopters will be capable of deployment from French Navy Mistral and Foudre Class amphibious transport vessels and Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. Initial operating capability for the maritime role is scheduled for late 2008. DESIGN In order to minimise the weight, approximately 80% of the airframe has been constructed of composite materials. The frames and beams have been fabricated from Kevlar and carbon laminates. Panels are composed of Nomex honeycomb material with carbon and Kevlar skins. The helicopter blades are of fibre-composite construction. Radar reflective structures and surfaces have been minimised. COCKPIT Each cockpit is equipped with two multi-function colour displays supplied by Thales Avionique and VDO Luftfahrtgerate Werk GmbH, which display imagery from the gunner's sight, the FLIR and video image from the Dornier/VDO Eurogrid digital map generator. The French Tigre helicopter has a TopOwl helmet-mounted sight for both crew stations and a head up display for the pilot, all supplied by Thales Avionique. The German Tiger crew is equipped with BAE Systems Integrated Day and Night Helmets. Australian Tigers have the Helmet-Mounted Sight Display (HMSD) from ADI. Each crew station is equipped with a Control and Display Unit (CDU). Navigation, communications and system status are controlled via the CDU. The CDU includes a Data Insertion Device (DID), which is a removable memory pack preprogrammed with mission data at a ground station. COUNTERMEASURES "Each cockpit is equipped with two multi-function colour displays." EADS Defence Electronics is providing the EWS electronic warfare suite for the Tiger, which includes a radar warning receiver, laser warner, MILDS missile launch detector developed by EADS DE, central processing unit from Thales and SAPHIR-M chaff / flare dispenser from MBDA. This system is also fitted in the NH 90 helicopter. Indra is providing the electronic warfare suite for the Spanish Tigers. NAVIGATION The navigation system contains two Thales Avionique three-axis ring laser gyro units, two magnetometers, two air data computers, BAE Systems Canada CMA 2012 four-beam Doppler radar, radio altimeter, global positioning system and a suite of low air speed sensors. TURBOSHAFT ENGINES The Tiger HAP / UHT is powered by two MTU / Turbomeca / Rolls-Royce MTR390 turboshaft engines rated at 960kW (1,285shp). Self-sealing crashworthy fuel tanks have explosion suppression and non-return valves. Tiger HAD has two MTR390-E enhanced engines rated at 1,094kW (1,467shp).
DTN News: India Indigenously Developed Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher Test Fired Successfully
*Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - September 7, 2009: Indigenously developed multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) weapon system, Pinaka, was successfully test-fired on Wednesday jointly by the army and Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists from the missile testing range on Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 km from Balasore, Orissa. Pinaka has undergone several tests in the past and is now in an advanced stage of development. It was put through sample trials at the Proof Experimental Establishment by army and scientists from DRDO, defence sources said. "The objective of the trials was to assess its stability in flight as well as accuracy and consistency," officials said. They also said that adding that the MBRL, capable of acting as a force-multiplier, could gradually replace the current artillery system. The first round of trials, conducted at 1214 hours, yielded the desired results, according to PXE director, Maj Gen Anup Malhotra. The sophisticated Pinaka is an area weapon system aimed at supplementing the existing artillery gun at a range beyond 30 km. It has a quick reaction time and high rate of fire. The unguided rocket system is capable of neutralising a large geographical area with rapid salvo of rockets. With a range of 40 km, Pinaka can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds with each salvo (12 rockets) from the battery of six launchers capable of neutralising a target area of 3.9 sq km. The system is capability of incorporating several types of warheads that can destroy solid structures and bunkers. Wednesday's exercise involved six rounds of sample trials for which rockets were picked up randomly from 102 samples, the sources said. The Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), the nodal agency to develop the Pinaka, has also reported to have developed a high performance artillery rocket system, which can fire up to a range between 70-120 km, they said. ARDE has announced that it is developing a 7.2-metre rocket for the Pinaka MBRL, which can reach a distance of 120 km and carry a 250 kg payload. These new rockets can be fired in 44 seconds, have a maximum speed of mach 4.7, rise to an altitude of 40 km before hitting its target at mach 1.8 and can destroy an area of 3.9 sq km. Integrating UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) with the Pinaka is also in the pipeline, as DRDO intends to install guidance systems on these rockets to increase their accuracy. Development and trials will continue and the rocket is expected to enter service by 2012. The first Pinaka regiment was raised in February 2000. A regiment consists of three batteries of six Pinakas each, plus reserves, the sources said. Tata Power's advanced material division and Larsen and Tubro's heavy engineering division were awarded a Rs 200 crore contract to produce 40 Pinaka MRBLs each.