Tuesday, September 29, 2009
DTN News: Australia's Versatile BUSHMASTER Infantry Mobility Vehicle, Performing Satisfactorily In Iraq And Afghanistan With NATO Forces
DTN News: Australia's Versatile BUSHMASTER Infantry Mobility Vehicle, Performing Satisfactorily In Iraq And Afghanistan With NATO Forces *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) CANBERRA, Australia - September 29, 2009: The Bushmaster 4x4 armoured vehicle is currently deployed in southern Iraq with the Australian Army's Al Muthanna Task Group. The Bushmaster armoured vehicle, developed by Thales Australia (formerly ADI Limited) in Australia is in full production at Thales's engineering and manufacturing facility at Bendigo, Victoria. The vehicle was operationally deployed to Iraq in April 2005 and the US Army and Iraqi defence officials have expressed interest in the Bushmaster after observing its capabilities with the Australian Army. The Australian Army has tested the vehicle over thousands of kilometres in the extreme climatic conditions and terrain from sub-zero mountain areas to desert and tropical conditions. With a road cruise speed of 90km/h, the Bushmaster transports up to ten troops, quickly and comfortably. The Australian Army has tested the vehicle over thousands of kilometres in the extreme climatic conditions and terrain from sub-zero mountain areas to desert and tropical conditions in north Australia. In July 2002, the Australian Army awarded a contract to ADI Limited for 300 Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles in six variants: troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command. The first of 300 Bushmaster vehicles was delivered to the Australian Army in August 2004 and the vehicle was operationally deployed to Iraq in April 2005 and Afghanistan in September 2005. Deliveries are scheduled to complete in 2008. In June 2006, the first batch of 152 troop transport variants completed delivery. Delivery of the command variant is underway. In February 2006, ADI signed a licensing agreement with Oshkosh Truck Corporation of USA to market, manufacture and support the Bushmaster for North American customers and countries eligible for foreign military sales. In January 2007, Oshkosh was awarded a contract by the US Marine Corps for two category II Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, to be based on the Bushmaster, which will then undergo testing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. In August 2006, the Royal Netherlands Army placed a contract for 25 Bushmaster vehicles, for operations in Afghanistan. For speed of deployment, the vehicles are being supplied from those already delivered to the Australian Army. 12 vehicles are being fitted with Thales SWARM remote-controlled weapon system and all vehicles have the Thales SOTAS M2 multimedia communication system and Thales Claire thermal imager. The vehicles were deployed to Afghanistan in October 2006. In November 2007, the Netherlands Army ordered an additional five vehicles to replace vehicles damaged in Afghanistan. In September 2006, it was announced that Australian Army Bushmaster vehicles would be fitted with a Remote Weapon Station (RWS), for added troop protection. 44 Raven R-400 weapon stations, from Recon Optical of the USA and Electro Optic Systems (EOS) of Australia, have been ordered and upgraded vehicles are to enter service in 2008. In December 2006, the Australian Army ordered a further 143 vehicles. The additional vehicles are to be delivered by 2009. In August 2007, the procurement of another 250 vehicles was announced. In May 2008, under an urgent operational requirement, the UK placed an order for 24 Bushmaster vehicles for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. With a road cruise speed of 90km/h, the Bushmaster transports troops, quickly and comfortably and is suitable for deployment in complex, diffuse and lethal operational environments such as Iraq. The Bushmaster family of vehicles provides high-level protection against anti-tank mines, improvised explosive devices, mortar fragments and small arms fire. BUSHMASTER CREW CABIN Bushmaster is designed to transport up to ten troops. The cabin, with 1,415mm headroom, is fitted with seven face-to-face ergonomically designed seats with full harness seat belts. There is a personal weapons storage area, mission equipment storage, a radio suite, an air-conditioning unit and a cooled water drinking system. "Bushmaster armoured vehicles are available in six variants: troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command." The cabin is fitted with four roof hatches with locking handles to provide protection against ambush and alternative escape routes The vehicle is transportable in C-130 Hercules aircraft for rapid deployment in forward areas of operation. DRIVER'S CABIN The driver and crew cabin areas are ergonomically designed for comfortable travel in varied terrain and harsh environments, minimising crew fatigue and allowing the crew to rest or concentrate on the mission. The engine noise level inside the cabin and crew compartment is very low The cabin is fitted with a large windscreen and side windows for all round visibility. The dashboard is ergonomically arranged, with easily readable and night-vision-goggle-compatible cockpit instrumentation. The driver can use the push-button control central tyre inflation system to adjust the tyre pressure while on the move to suit the terrain type and to keep the tyres inflated with limited punctures. WEAPONS The commander's hatch on the left is equipped with a weapon mount for a 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine gun. A light cannon can also be fitted. The ballistically protected windows can be fitted with optional shooting ports. Lockers can be replaced with additional ammunition and arms or fuel and water tanks to extend the operational radius. The crew seating can be reconfigured to accommodate operational requirements. 44 Australian Army vehicles are being fitted with the Recon Optical / Electro Optic Systems Ltd Raven R-400 weapon station. The system is in service with the US Army, designated the M101 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). Raven sensors include thermal imager, CCD TV and eyesafe laser rangefinder. PROPULSION The Bushmaster engine, a Caterpillar 3126E ATAAC turbocharged six-cylinder, produces up to 246kW (330hp) at 2,400rpm. It provides a power to weight ratio of 16kW/t, cruise speed of 110km/h and maximum speed and 120km/h. The vehicle has an extended range of more than 1,000km. "Bushmaster is designed to transport up to ten troops." A double wishbone independent suspension system designed by Timoney in County Meath, Ireland provides good cross-country mobility across difficult terrains. The complete powerpack, (engine, automatic transmission, cooling system) can be easily replaced in the field without special tools. SELF-PROTECTION The armour-protected chassis protects against the blast of Claymore, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, mortars, improvised explosive devices and NATO 5.56mm and 7.62mm ball ammunition. An upgrade armour kit provides protection against 5.56mm and 7.62mm armour-piercing rounds. The shaped hull deflects the blast from the equivalent of a 9.5kg high-explosive land mine detonated under any wheel or under the centre section of the vehicle. Wire cutters are installed on the roof on both sides of the vehicle to protect soldiers exposed above the roofline. The fuel and hydraulic tanks are located outside the crew compartments to minimise fire risk. The fuel tanks are equipped with fire retardants to prevent explosion and inhibit deterioration of the fuel. A 270l drinking water tank is installed under the floor of the crew compartment, contributing to crew safety in the event of a landmine explosion. The armour protected seating provides additional protection against spinal injuries.
DTN News: First Turkish T129 Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - September 29, 2009: The first prototype of the T129 attack helicopter destined for Turkey has made its maiden flight at an AgustaWestland facility at Vergiate, Italy, the firm said Sept. 28. Turkey is to acquire 50 T129 helicopters, which are based on the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta helicopter now in service with the Italian Army. Turkey announced on 30 March 2007 that it had decided to negotiate with AgustaWestland to purchase 51 (+40 optional) A129 helicopters. Based on the A129 International, they will be assembled in Turkey by TAI as the T129. The deal is reported to be worth $3 Billion. The final contract was signed on September 7, 2007. On 22 June 2008, the agreement between TUSAS Aerospace Industries and AgustaWestland formally entered into force. It has now been confirmed that the T129 will be a 100% Turkish built platform. Under the agreement, TAI will develop an indigenous mission computer, avionics, weapons systems, self-protection suites and the helmet-mounting cuing systems. TUSAS Engine Industries Inc (TEI) will manufacture the LHTEC CTS800-4N engines under licence. Under the agreement, Turkey has full marketing and intellectual property rights for the T129 platform. There are also no restrictions imposed on Turkey for the export or transfer of the platform to third countries (excluding Italy and the United Kingdom). The T129 P1 prototype was flown by test pilots from AgustaWestland and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). AgustaWestland, TAI and Turkish firm Aselan are partners on the program, which features Turkish involvement in design, development and production. In a statement, AgustaWestland said the program is running on time and on budget. Muharrem Dortasli, TAI general manager, said Turkish industry would play a "primary role" in any eventual exports of the T129. AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi called the T129 "the most modern combat helicopter in the world." AgustaWestland has opened a center in Italy to train Turkish engineers on the program. The company also is waiting to hear if its under-development AW149 has been selected by Turkey in a utility helicopter contest, where it is competing against the Sikorsky Black Hawk.
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY September 29, 2009 ~ Pakistanis Flee As Army 'Tightens' Grip On Militants *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - September 29, 2009: As the Pakistani army dispatches fresh troops to Waziristan tribal areas to launch a major offensive against local militants, residents of the area begin migrating to safe places. Local residents stand beside the wreckage of a vehicle at the site of a suicide bombing in Baka Khel area near Bannu, Pakistan on Monday, Sept. 28, 2009. A suicide car bomber attacked a vehicle in Baka Khel killing five people, including Maulvi Abdul Hakim, a tribal leader who was instrumental in allowing security forces to pass through the area and gain access to the North Waziristan tribal region, official said. "The military, backed by gunship helicopters is fully prepared for a major offensive against insurgents in Waziristan. The fresh contingents of security forces have been dispatched to South Waziristan to launch a full scale assault against the militants," a senior Pakistan military official told a Press TV correspondent on Sunday on condition of anonymity. The military reported Monday that five security forces and some 15 militants were killed as Pakistan's army and militants traded rocket and mortar fires in North Waziristan in a pre-dawn attack. Meanwhile, the local administration has issued indefinite curfew in Tehsil Razmik, a region in North Waziristan, urging people to take refugee in safer areas as the operation is looming. In recent months, an increasing number of people have fled the Makeen and Ladha regions in South Waziristan to relatively safer towns. More than 2 million people were displaced by the fighting in the Swat Valley and more than 230,000 of them live in refugee camps. International agencies say the emergency could become much worse if there is a further exodus from Waziristan.
DTN News: Russian Weapons In The Middle East *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 29, 2009: Three events have come together independently. But they produced an intrigue that has hooked both politicians and media in the Middle East. Here is what happened. First, Moscow hosted MVSV-2008, an international show of weapons and military equipment. Then King Abdullah II of Jordan visited the show, met with designers and producers and had a discussion with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. A few days previously, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had flown in for talks with Dmitry Medvedev. The press and television in Amman, Damascus and Tel Aviv made much of the events, especially the Syrian visit. Israeli media claimed Bashar al-Assad had arrived on a purchasing spree, and his main aim was to buy the Iskander-E tactical missile system, in addition to Pantsyr-S1 and Buk-M2 ground-to-air missile systems and Su-30, MiG-29SMT and MiG-31E fighters. The Iskander missile had been promised to Damascus in 2001, and only a personal request by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to former President Vladimir Putin put a stop to its sale to Syria. But now that Israel has helped to train Georgian commandos and equip the Georgian army that attacked South Ossetia, Moscow is within its rights to "repay the debt" and provide Damascus with the system, the media in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv said. Yet Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters during al-Assad's visit that Moscow "is ready to supply Syria only with defensive weapons, ones that do not upset the balance of strength in the region." This means Syria, as Moscow promised to Tel Aviv, will not get the Iskander system. Regarding ground- and air-based air defense units, including interceptor fighters, they are not considered offensive armaments and are immune from Russian-Israeli agreements. It is another matter that military technical cooperation between Moscow and Damascus needs re-evaluating. Syria owes Russia $3 billion for weapons supplied to it, and this on top of Damascus' $10 billion debt for armaments sold in Soviet times which Moscow forgave, incidentally, for a pledge to spend another $2 billion on arms purchases from Russia. Contracts currently being negotiated include Pantsyr and Buk missile systems, as well as Sukhoi and MiG fighters, but not Iskander missiles. The parties are also discussing the expansion of a Russian naval maintenance base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Any movement of Black Sea Fleet forces from Sevastopol to Syria, as some Middle East publications suggest, is, of course, out of the question. But a supply and maintenance center for warships on missions in the Mediterranean will come in handy for Moscow. In the Soviet era, the Soviet Navy's 5th Mediterranean Squadron made full use of this port. King Abdullah's visit to Moscow did not produce as much excitement as the trip by Bashar al-Assad to Sochi, perhaps because problems between Jordan and Israel are not as serious as between Tel Aviv and Damascus. Discussions mainly focused on military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Amman, rather than on Middle East issues. This cooperation is now on the rise, Dmitry Medvedev said during the meeting. "Our relations are making good headway, this is our third meeting in six months and that points to the intensity of our contacts and good-neighbor relations," the president said, opening the discussion. "Trade between our countries grows steadily, although both countries would like to see it develop more quickly," Medvedev said. Jordan lives up to these words. In recent years it has bought from Russia two Il-76MF military transport planes worth a combined $100 million, and six light multi-role Ka-226 helicopters (at an estimated cost of $25 million), which will be assembled in Jordan under license. The two countries have even set up a joint venture, Oboronprom Middle East, to assemble 15 to 20 Ka helicopters a year. Plans are also under way to set up a joint venture for the production of RPG-32 Hashim multi-caliber grenade launchers. The launcher was developed by the Bazalt Moscow State Research and Production Enterprise at the suggestion of Abdullah himself. It is designed to engage armored vehicles and defended gun posts from a distance of up to 700 meters with 72mm and 105mm grenades. It will be produced in quantity both in Russia and in Jordan. Trial specimens have already been sent to Amman and were highly praised. A manufacturing license contract is expected to be signed soon. Jordan has received a special $350 million credit from Russia for this purpose, although the sum is also supposed to cover repairs and upgrading of weapons previously supplied to Amman. Other equipment includes armored personnel carriers, fighting infantry vehicles, Kornet anti-tank missile systems, Igla ground-to-air missiles, and weapons for special operations - reconnaissance, sabotage and protection of the royal palace. King Abdullah is a former commando. He is an arms expert, and his buying of Russia's VSS silent sniper rifles and PSS silent pistols is good publicity for Russian arms-makers. It is not impossible that after his visit to Moscow, Amman will take delivery of Pantsyr-S1 ground-to-air missile systems, which are considered today among the most effective close-range air defense systems. Russian weapons appeal not only to buyers in the Middle East. On August 23, the Russian president sent a message to President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, raising the matter of military-technical cooperation between the two countries. "Russia is interested above all in trade and economic cooperation between security-related agencies," the Russian leader told his Nicaraguan counterpart. "Military-technical cooperation between us offers a promising future." This means that the military equipment once supplied to Nicaragua by the Soviet Union and which needs repairing, upgrading or replacing could be replaced with more advanced weapons, if Managua is willing. And Managua is willing, as is clear from the close ties that exist between Ortega and Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan leader is very pleased with Russian weapons. The target mentioned at the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, of exporting $8 billion worth of Russian arms supplies in 2008, compared with $6.2 billion in 2007, does not seem too far-fetched. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
DTN News: South Africa Potential Military Export ~ G6 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) CAPE TOWN, South Africa - September 29, 2009: The G6 is a 155mm long-range gun developed and produced by the LIW division of Denel, mounted on a chassis made by Alvis OMC (now part of BAE Systems Land Systems). The G6 is in service with the South African Army (43 systems) and has also been exported to the United Arab Emirates (78 systems) and Oman (24 systems). The G6 155mm self propelled howitzer is a highly autonomous system with 700km vehicle fuel range, 50km weapon range using velocity enhanced long range projectiles and the ability to fire the first round within 60 seconds of the vehicle stopping. In September 2001, the G6 achieved a range of 53.6km using the new Velocity enhanced Long Range Projectile (V-LAP) and the new M64 bi-modular charge system. V-LAP combines base bleed and rocket motor technology, while the M64 charge system increases muzzle velocity to 910m/s VLAP is part of Denel’s new Assegai range of 155mm ammunition. The G6 is operated by a crew of six - driver, commander, gun layer, breech operator, ammunition loader and ammunition handler. G6 155MM HOWITZER The 155 mm main gun is equipped with a 45 calibre auto-frettaged barrel, a semi-automatic screw type breech and an electrical trigger mechanism. The gun is fitted with a single baffle open type muzzle brake and a reinforced epoxy resin fume extractor. The howitzer has on-board storage for 45 projectiles and 50 charges. Semi-automatic projectile loading is carried out using an electronically controlled hydraulic flick-rammer. Two loading chutes are installed at the rear of gun for direct loading from a ground ammunition pile. Firing ports are provided for the crews' personal weapons and a machine-gun mounting is fitted on the left turret cupola with an optional machine-gun. EXTENDED RANGE FULL-BORE AMMUNITION (ERFB) The gun is compatible with all NATO 155mm ammunition, including extended range full-bore (ERFB) projectiles of explosive, cargo and practice types, which are all ballistically matched and with field-fittable base bleed units. The ERFB projectiles provide the G6 with increased range and terminal effectiveness. Using base-bleed projectiles, the G6 has a nominal range of 39km at sea level. As an example of the gun's accuracy, at 75% of the maximum range the probable error specification is 0.48% of the range value and 1 mil in deflection. A five-zone combustible case modular propelling charge system is based on cool-burning propellants which ensure a barrel life of more than 6,000 standard charges. The system is compatible with direct action, electronic timing or proximity type fuses.
The G6 is operated by a crew of six - driver, commander, gun layer, breech operator, ammunition loader and ammunition handler. The G6 Self Propelled Howitzer has a maximum range of 50km using velocity enhanced long range projectiles. As an example of the gun's accuracy, at 75% of the maximum range the probable error specification is 0.48% of the range value and 1 mil in deflection. The G6 Self Propelled Howitzer is capable of carrying out strike missions co-operatively or as a separate combat arm without involving other forces. The crew are protected against landmines, gunfire and bombardment fragments.
155mm HOWITZER FIRE CONTROL SYSTEMS Target data is transmitted from a command and control centre to the commander's station in the crew compartment via a VHF/UHF communications link. The crew activate the gun by pressing an autolay button and the bearing, elevation and engagement data are downloaded to the automatic gun laying system. The gun laying and navigation equipment comprises a ring laser gyroscope system equipped with a touchscreen control developed by the Kentron division of Denel. The gun has fully autonomous laying and navigation capability with no need for survey and alignment at the gun position. The system can be interfaced to an optional global positioning system (GPS). The system also has a back-up laying system. The gun is fitted with a trunnion mounted telescopic sight for direct firing up to 3,000m. G6 SELF-PROTECTION SYSTEMS The G6 is equipped with eight launchers which fire 81 mm smoke grenades. The high strength armour-plate hull protects the crew against small arms fire and shell splinters. The crew are protected against TM46 (or equivalent) landmine blast, 20mm gunfire from the front, and all around counter bombardment fragment and impact by 7.62mm ammunition. The driving compartment is fitted with large bullet proof windows with an armoured shutter for the front window. When the armoured shutter is in place the driver uses a periscopic sight. G6 PROPULSION SYSTEM The air-cooled diesel engine provides a 386kW power output. The six-speed automatic/manual gearbox is fitted with a torque converter. The permanent six-wheel drive has longitudinal and transverse differential locks. The suspension system consists of fully independent torsion bars with shock absorbers and hydro-pneumatic bump stops. The wheeled chassis supplied by Alvis OMC is capable of a road speed of 85km/h and a cross country/desert speed of 30km/h. The maximum gradient is 40%, trench crossing 1m and the fording depth is 1m. The cruising range on one full tank is 700km. G6-52 ARTILLERY SYSTEM Denel has completed development of a new artillery system, the G6-52, and the system is currently undergoing extensive trials. The system is offered with the Somchem Modular Charge System (MCS) which can fire the Naschem M2000 Assegai system which includes the V-LAP projectile. With the V-LAP projectile, the system has a range of 67km and a rate of fire of eight rounds/minute. Multiple rounds (up to six) can be fired to simultaneously hit the same target using the ADS (Thales) AS2000 artillery target engagement system. Automated ammunition handling, fuze handling and ammunition inventory reduce crew workload. The G6-52 turret is mounted on a Land Systems OMC 6x6 wheeled vehicle which has an off-road speed of nearly 70km/h and a range of 700km.
DTN News: Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95003 Successfully Completed The High Altitude Flight *Source: DTN News / Sukhoi Company (JSC) (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 29, 2009: Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95003 successfully completed the high altitude flight test campaign in Armenia. Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95003 successfully completed the high altitude flight test campaign in Armenia. On September 21, 2009, the aircraft SN 95003 landed at the flight-test center in Zhukovsky. Better known for its military jets, Russia's Sukhoi, the country's largest aircraft manufacturer, is branching out. The Superjet 100 is an attempt to break into the business for smaller commercial aircraft. Carrying up to 100 passengers, the Superjet is still under development, but should be ready for service by early next year. The international Shirak Airport at Gyumri is located at high altitudes (5000 ft/1524m). Built in 1961, it has been upgraded in 2007 to meet ICAO First Class Airport requirements. The airfield is clutched in the surrounding mountains and, hence, available for takeoff and landing only from the southern side. Its runway is 3220m long and 45m wide. Certification program on SSJ100 SN 95003 was performed by the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft crew: SCAC senior test pilot Alexander Yablontsev, SCAC test pilot Vadim Shirokikh with participation of AR MAK test pilot Mikhail Torokhov. The program of tests included continued take-off as well as OEI missed approach flights. The majority of the takeoffs were performed with one engine failure imitation at maximum take-off weight. During the high altitude flight test program at the Shirak Airport (Gyumri), SSJ100 confirmed the design take-off and landing characteristics. The system performance proved the compliance with the certification requirements. The results of the test campaign ensure safe and reliable operation of aircraft from the mountain airfields with 3300m (10000ft) elevation.
DTN News: Russian Bombers Test High-Precision Weaponry During Drills *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) BARANOVICHI, Belarus - September 29, 2009: Russian strategic and tactical bombers equipped with new high-precision weapons systems have successfully conducted live-firing drills at a practice range in Belarus, a Ground Forces spokesman said on Sunday. The drills at the Obuz-Lesnovski range were part of the Zapad (West) 2009 large-scale Russian-Belarusian military exercises currently underway in Belarus. 'Today, Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers and Su-24M Fencer tactical bombers, which are equipped a specialized computing subsystem SVP-24, conducted a series of live-firing drills aimed at destroying ground targets designated by a commander of a motorized infantry brigade,' Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said. SVP-24 allows target data to be automatically transmitted by on-ground spotters and received by ground attack aircraft during combat. Drobyshevsky said the drill involved quick retargeting of the aircraft in response to a decision made by a unit commander on the ground, who shifted priority to a new set of targets during an intense battle. 'Air strikes on these new targets were delivered with high precision in poor weather conditions from outside the effective range of the enemy's air defenses,' he said. The September 8-29 Zapad 2009 exercises involve around 13,000 service personnel, 63 airplanes, 40 helicopters, 470 infantry fighting vehicles, 228 tanks and 234 artillery pieces on both sides. S-300 air defense missile systems are also participating in the drills, designed to test the effectiveness of the unified regional anti-aircraft defense systems of Russia and Belarus.
DTN News: Boeing Advances Security Upgrade For GPS Ground Control System *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - September 29, 2009: Boeing [NYSE: BA] has completed developmental system testing on the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite ground control system, known as the Operational Control Segment (OCS), for the addition of a critical new security capability. Boeing has completed developmental system testing on the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite ground control system, known as the Operational Control Segment (OCS), for the addition of a critical new security capability. The test demonstrated that the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) software upgrade meets all contractual system requirements. SAASM is designed to protect GPS receivers against fake satellite signals sent by adversaries. The test demonstrated that the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) software upgrade meets all contractual system requirements. SAASM is designed to protect GPS receivers against fake satellite signals sent by adversaries. "The completion of these tests continues the program's outstanding performance record and demonstrates the benefits of our continuous-improvement program," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The team's emphasis on system integration and risk reduction provides the Air Force with high confidence in our ability to continue to meet the GPS mission and maintain the 100 percent system performance we have delivered since the new OCS went operational in 2007." Boeing is now working with the Air Force in the operations suitability test phase to verify the software is ready to fly the constellation, and is incorporating final operator-requested changes with the goal of providing operational capability of the new security measures later this year. Also, using GPS IIF Space Vehicle 2 on the ground at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and connected to the OCS at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, Boeing and the Air Force have successfully completed the first in a series of combined system tests that verify the OCS and GPS IIF space vehicle work together to perform the GPS missions. Enabling SAASM within the OCS will deliver a new mission capability to the GPS constellation and synchronize space, control and user equipment for military implementation. The OCS keeps the GPS system operational within specified accuracy to perform global civil, commercial and military operations. Assisted by Boeing, the Air Force began transitioning satellite operations from the previous system in September 2007. The conversion was completed in three phases without any service interruption. 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: Riyadh 'Offers Airspace' For Israel Attack On Iran *Source: DTN News / PressTV (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 29, 2009: Israeli fighter jets have been allowed to use Saudi airspace to launch go-it-alone air strikes on Iranian nuclear installations, says a recent report. The issue ahs been discussed in a closed-door meeting in London, where British Intelligence Chief Sir John Scarlett his Israeli counterpart, Meir Dagan, and Saudi official have been present Daily Express. According to the report Scarlett has been told that Saudi airspace would be at Israel's disposal should Tel Aviv decide to move forward with his military plans against Iran. The British daily added the likelihood of an Israeli attack against Iran has increased significantly after the country announced plans to launch its second enrichment facility in the central city of Qom. In line with its policy of nuclear transparency, Iran announced the construction of a second enrichment plant in a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog on September 21. The new plant is due to produce enriched uranium up to 5 percent. The letter was sent 12 months before the agency's regulations oblige its members states to inform of new developments. With eyes firmly fixed on Iran's nuclear progressions, the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to bomb the country's enrichment facilities out of existence. Tel Aviv accuses Tehran of nuclear weapons development - a charge rejected by both Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, which has so far made "21 unannounced inspections" of the country's nuclear facilities. The UN nuclear watchdog in its previous reports has confirmed that Iran only enriches uranium-235 to a level of "less than 5 percent." Uranium, which fuels a nuclear power plant, can be used for military purposes only if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent. Details of the controversial Israeli plans to attack Iran emerged after John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, recently told a group of intelligence analysts that “Riyadh certainly approves” of Israel's use of Saudi airspace in the event of war with Iran. Bolton, had previously said he had discussed the possibility with Saudi officials in closed-door meetings. “None of them would say anything about it publicly but they would certainly acquiesce in an overflight if the Israelis didn't trumpet it as a big success.” The recent revelations follow a flurry of media reports in July, which suggested the Saudi government had approved the use of its airspace for an attack. While Saudi officials deny having diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, an Israeli defense source has confirmed that the Mossad spy agency maintained “working relations” with the kingdom. According to a study published bythe Center for Strategic and International Studies, a military exchange between Iran and Israel could result in the death of as many as 6 million people.