DTN News: Raytheon Awarded $5.5 million Contract To Develop HEALICS Technology*Source: DTN News / Raytheon
(NSI News Source Info) TEWKSBURY, Mass., - October 12, 2009: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a $5.5 million contract to design, fabricate and test Self-HEALing mixed-signal Integrated Circuits (HEALICS) technology. If all contract phases are completed, the value of the contract could reach $11 million.
Raytheon's HEALICS effort incorporates self-healing into a complex system-on-chip (SoC) design, providing the capability for the chip to sense undesired circuit behaviors and correct them automatically. This maximizes the yield of increasingly complex mixed-signal SoC's on an individual wafer to meet demanding performance specifications in the presence of extreme process variations and environment conditions.
"The Raytheon approach breaks through the limitations of the current application-specific approaches and provides an efficient, general solution for self-healing," said Michael Del Checcolo, vice president of Engineering for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. "This solution can be integrated into a wide variety of mixed-signal circuit designs leading to significant increases in yield-to-performance, resulting in increased functionality and lower cost for a broad range of military applications."
Using its OpenAIR™ business model for assembling talent and capabilities, Raytheon is partnering with the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.; and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., to bring a unique and complimentary set of skills, experience and expertise to this program.
Integrated Defense Systems is Raytheon's leader in Global Capabilities Integration providing affordable, integrated solutions to a broad international and domestic customer base, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security.
Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people
Raytheon Related News....for full stories click on the links below~ Raytheon Announces MathMovesU® Sweepstakes Grand PrizewinnerPosted: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 11:42:00 -0400~ Raytheon Awarded $5.5 million Contract to Develop HEALICS TechnologyPosted: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 09:00:00 -0400~ ThalesRaytheonSystems Improved Sentinel Radar Performs Successfully During Recent Army DemonstrationsPosted: Thu, 08 Oct 2009 09:00:00 -0400~ Raytheon Introduces Improved Mobile Device for Fast Intelligence SharingPosted: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 10:00:00 -0400~ Army Awards Raytheon $13 Million to Improve Situational Awareness for PilotsPosted: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 09:00:00 -0400
DTN News: Boeing Small Diameter Bomb II Successfully Engages Target In Flight Test
*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, USA - October 12, 2009: The Boeing [NYSE: BA] GBU-40 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) II team successfully concluded a 42-month risk reduction program on Sept. 29 with a flight test in which the weapon impacted its target. The GBU-40/B / GBU-42/B Small Diameter Bomb II is in development, it will be equipped with a multimode terminal seeker and two way datalink, and is expected to enter production at the end of the decade.
"Our design, development and testing have resulted in a highly capable, robust system that not only meets the needs of today's warfighters, but also has the capacity to adapt to the unknowns of tomorrow's threats and operational conditions," said Debra Rub, Weapons Programs vice president. "Bottom line, our weapon system has proven itself, and when this capability is available to the warfighter it will help transform the battlefield."
In the latest test, the Guided Test Vehicle (GTV), dropped from an F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., was equipped with form-factored (production-ready) components, including a Harris data link, Lockheed Martin tri-mode seeker, and modified SDB Increment I (GBU-39) assemblies. The weapon received in-flight target updates using a tactical radio communications system, which were processed by the seeker. Using the updates, the seeker successfully performed all objective functions, including search, detect, track and classify. The weapon fuze detonated upon impact with the intended target. An F-22A Raptor performing a test flight early February, 2007, with four GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs on board. The F-22A will carry up to eight SDBs, while retaining two AIM-120 AMRAAMs. Raptor performs first drop of small diameter bomb. An F-22 Raptor drops a small diameter bomb from its weapons bay during a test mission Sept. 5 . The test marks the first airborne separation of a small diameter bomb from the internal weapons bay of an F-22. Testing of the SDB with the F-22 is part of the Increment 3.1 upgrade to the aircraft. Major Jack Fischer, 411th Flight Test Squadron test pilot noted that "Targets we can't get with most weapons, we can get with the F-22 because we have stealth, with this weapon and aircraft, there is no place we can't reach and no place for an enemy to hide."
The weapon performed as planned and achieved all test goals. The team collected full telemetry data on the weapon's subsystems, providing confirmation of system performance and validation of the weapon's design and producibility.
"This successful test caps a stellar risk reduction phase for the program," said Dan Jaspering, director of Direct Attack Programs for Boeing. "It's exciting to have a proven, mature system as the U.S. Air Force moves toward awarding an Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract next year.
"Boeing's successful track record with SDB I and the risk reduction program for SDB II pave the way for a truly low-risk path through validation, operational testing and scheduled fielding," Jaspering added.
Previous flight tests were conducted in May and August 2007. Boeing also conducted an extensive captive-carry flight test program for the SDB II seeker, data link and guidance subsystems aboard its King Air test bed aircraft. The tests exercised weapon components and software under a variety of tactically relevant conditions. In June, the program completed a Boeing internal Critical Design Review with Air Force participation.
Boeing is teamed with Lockheed Martin in the SDB II program competition, and as the prime contractor will provide the air vehicle and system integration. Lockheed Martin will supply the sensor/seeker.
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.
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~ Oct. 7, 20093rd Boeing C-17 Joins 12-Nation Strategic Airlift Capability Initiative
~ Oct. 7, 2009Boeing to Release Third-Quarter 2009 Results on Oct. 21
~ Oct. 7, 2009Boeing AH-6i Light Attack/Reconnaissance Helicopter Makes 1st Flight
~ Oct. 6, 2009Boeing and RSC-Energia Team to Develop Future Spacecraft Docking System
~ Oct. 6, 2009Boeing's 2nd Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite Fully Operational
~ Oct. 6, 2009Boeing to Recognize Third-Quarter Charge for the 747 Program
DTN News: Airlines News TODAY October 12, 2009 ~ Gulf Air fleet Expansion Takes Off
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MANAMA, Bahrain - October 12, 2009: Gulf Air yesterday officially began its fleet renewal programme with the arrival of the first of 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft. Welcoming the first plane at the apron of Bahrain International Airport, Gulf Air chairman Talal Alzain said the airline had now taken another step forward in its mission to deliver a national airline everyone in Bahrain could be proud of.
"We shall be a dynamic and focused business that supports the national economy," he said.
"By investing in our fleet now, we are securing the future of Gulf Air because with a modern, more efficient fleet we can lower our costs and deliver better service."
From now until April next year, Gulf Air will receive one A320 aircraft per month and an additional two A320s in December next year, completing the delivery of its first batch of A320 aircraft on order.
Chief executive officer Samer Majali said the arrival of the plane is the start of exciting times for the airline.
"The beginning of the fleet renewal is another milestone for us and is extremely timely as we continue to shape our new strategic direction."
He said the new aircraft together with the others that will follow will be used to replace Gulf Air's older narrow-body aircraft that are less fuel efficient and becoming more expensive to maintain.
"They will also be used to grow our Middle East network on important strategic and high-yielding routes such as our expansion into Iraq."
He said Gulf Air chose the A320 due to the innovations and performance advances Airbus had made.
"These make the aircraft more operationally efficient and reliable whilst at the same time achieving the highest levels in comfort for our customers. Its environmental performance was also a consideration, which is the best among all single aisle aircraft."
The new A320 has been decked in the airline's distinctive gold and white livery and displays the golden falcon emblazoned on the tail fin.
Gulf Air now has a total of 13 narrow-body aircraft: nine A320s, two A319s and two A321s.
Powered by CFM56 engines, the new aircraft will carry 136 passengers in a two-class configuration with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.
It also boasts eco-friendly paint.
The environmentally sustainable chromate-free paint uses 15 per cent less paint when applied to the aircraft, which in turn allows the aircraft to weigh less, which results in less fuel burned and ultimately less aircraft CO2 emissions.
DTN News: Financial News (Asia) TODAY October 12, 2009 ~ RPT-GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar Limps Up, Asian Shares Dip
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) HONG KONG - October 12, 2009: The dollar edged further away from 14-month lows on Monday as investors trimmed bets against the beleaguered U.S. currency, while South Korean stocks dragged down other Asian markets on worries third-quarter earnings may not live up to expectations.
European shares were set for a positive start, with futures on the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 up 0.8 percent.
Trading activity was limited due to a holiday in Japan and with most U.S. financial markets closed later in the day for Columbus Day.
South Korea's KOSPI led the decline among Asian markets and shed 0.4 percent, hurt by heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics <005930.ks> and steelmaking giant POSCO <005490.ks>.
Some investors were starting to get nervous about the third-quarter earnings season, especially as economic data out of the United States in the past few weeks has suggested that its rebound from a deep recession may be losing momentum.
"Shares are likely to be volatile for some time, as investors increasingly want to confirm with their own eyes whether economic data and results are in line with earlier hyped-up expectations," said Hong Soon-pyo, a market analyst at Daishin Securities in Seoul.
Quarterly results from major U.S. banks and companies this week are seen as a key reality check for whether a seven-month rally in stocks this year has more legs. Among those reporting are Intel Corp on Tuesday and JPMorgan Chase on Wednesday. [RESF/US]
"Cost cutting has been the main driver of second-quarter earnings, but the main focus in Q3 is the ability to generate revenue," said analysts at Calyon in a note to clients.
The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> dipped 0.3 percent, with material and financial shares among the biggest drags. But for the year, the index is up about 62 percent.
The Thomson Reuters regional index <.TRXFLDAXPU> was also down 0.3 percent.
Equity indexes were mixed across the region, with the MSCI index for India <.MSCIIN> up nearly 1 percent and Singapore <.MSCISG> rising 0.7 percent.
Shares of POSCO, the world's fourth-largest steelmaker, dropped 0.7 percent before what is expected to be upbeat earnings and guidance on Wednesday. According to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, POSCO is likely to post a positive surprise in quarterly earnings compared with median estimates.
DOLLAR IN REPRIEVE
The dollar won a brief reprieve late last week from a steady slide that has raised worries about the waning status of the world's reserve currency and prompted some central banks in Asia to intervene in foreign exchange markets to stem corresponding gains in their own currencies.
The dollar index, a gauge of its performance against six major currencies, edged up 0.1 percent to 76.496 <.DXY> after falling as far as 75.767 last week. The dollar climbed 0.6 percent to 90.22 yen , while the euro shed 0.1 percent to $1.4709 .
The greenback has been battered by investors shifting funds out of safe-haven U.S. Treasuries and money markets and into emerging market assets, and by worries that central banks are cutting their share of foreign reserves held in dollars.
Thailand's central bank governor signalled on Monday that it would intervene further to curb gains in the baht against the dollar and said it was diversifying reserves after weeks of such intervention . [ID:nBKK488087]
South Korean government bonds dipped despite the drop in stocks, giving up some of their big gains from Friday when the Bank of Korea tried to tamp down expectations for an interest rate increase as soon as next month.
Three-year KTB bond futures dipped 0.01 point to 109.05, while one-year swap rates edged up a basis point to 3.50 percent after dropping 11 basis points on Friday -- the biggest one-day drop in nine months -- on the BOK's shift in tone.
Gold edged up near last week's record but the dollar's rebound as well as worries about falling jewellery demand in main consumer India were likely to limit gains.
Spot gold was quoted at $1,049.45 an ounce, up $1.20 from New York's close and within striking distance of a lifetime high of $1,061.20 an ounce hit last Thursday. Bullion gained nearly 5 percent last week, its best weekly performance in nearly half a year.
Oil futures rose about 1 percent and topped $72 a barrel on growing optimism about the pace of the global economic recovery and a positive demand forecast from the International Energy Agency .
The IEA said world oil demand will recover at a faster pace than previously expected for the rest of this year and next as the economy picks up.
Related Headline News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Bangladesh TODAY October 12, 2009 ~ Myanmar Builds Troops On Border, Says Bangladesh
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) DHAKA, Bangladesh - October 12, 2009: Bangladesh said on Sunday it had sent army reinforcements to the border with Myanmar as Yangon was undertaking a military build-up along the 320-km (200-mile) frontier, partly overlooking the Naf river. THE border clashes between Myanmar government forces and rebels on the Bangladesh border have demonstrated that Myanmar has to fight with the ethnic rebels in the border areas and Bangladesh is not comfortable with such events.
But talking to reporters in the afternoon, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni called the military movements on the Myanmar side a "routine practice, not a build up."
The minister said she would meet her Myanmar counterpart in Colombo on October 15 on the sidelines of Asian Cooperation Dialogue and discuss bilateral issues. She did not elaborate.
Senior military officials had earlier said Bangladesh sent three army brigades to its southeastern hilly border after Myanmar deployed fresh regular army contingents along with Nasaka border troops, dug bunkers and added artillery.
"They look like going for a massive build-up," said Lieutenant-Colonel Azam of the Bangladesh Rifles (border guards) at Naikhyangchhari, a paramilitary frontier camp. The colonel gave only one name.
"But we hope the build up will not escalate into a shootout," he told a Reuters reporter at Cox's Bazar border district.
Border rumblings happen sporadically between the two countries and there are sometimes minor clashes, but they usually do not escalate beyond that.
Intelligence officials said Myanmar had already reopened a long-disused military airport at Sittowe (Akyab) near the border, and was renovating another.
A leading Bangladesh daily, Jugantar, printed photographs on Sunday showing aircraft at the Sittowe base and troops in armored vehicles moving on the border.
Officials said on Sunday they were "closely monitoring" the situation on the Myanmar side of the border.
"We (are) seeing some abnormal movement of troops and amour on their side but are not sure what that is for," said Colonel Didarul Alam of the Bangladesh Army, in Chittagong port city.
Security sources say Myanmar is erecting barbed-wire fences along its border with Bangladesh, ostensibly to hold off an influx of Muslim refugees into Bangladesh.
But military and civil officials said that did not warrant rebuilding air bases or deploying thousands of regular troops.
Dipu Moni said the fence was being erected "in conformance with international laws."
There are more than 21,000 Muslim "Rohingya" refugees from western Myanmar in two Bangladeshi camps but many more have mingled with local residents since a major influx in 1992, local and U.N. officials say.
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY October 12, 2009 ~ Pakistan Army Awaits Orders To Strike Taliban
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - October 12, 2009: Pakistan's army said Monday it was waiting for government orders to launch a strike against Taliban strongholds in the northwest tribal belt after a brazen hostage siege left 19 people dead. Pakistani soldiers patrol outside the main gate of army headquarters during an encounter with militants in Rawalpindi.
Suspected Taliban-linked gunmen staged an audacious day-time raid on the military nerve centre near Islamabad on Saturday, shooting their way into a building and barricading themselves inside with 42 hostages.
In total, eight militants, eight soldiers and three hostages were killed in the crisis that unfolded at the heart of the military establishment in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which ended with a commando raid Sunday.
The army claimed success in an offensive against the Taliban earlier this year in the one-time tourist paradise of northwest Swat valley, but a wave of attacks in the past week show the Islamist threat is far from quashed.
Now the pressure is on the follow up the Swat push with a full-fledged operation on the Taliban bastions of North and South Waziristan, in a tribal region outside direct government authority and a known Al-Qaeda bolthole.
Military and government officials have been saying for months that they will attack the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) movement in their stronghold, but despite sporadic air strikes, no timeframe has been set.
"The army is fully prepared to launch an operation against Tehreek-e-Taliban," said a military spokesman.
"We are waiting for government orders. The government will formally announce the launching of an operation. The government has decided in principle to launch an operation against Taliban in Waziristan."
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that recent attacks -- including a car bomb killing 52 people in Peshawar city -- may speed up their assault on the area, and local officials said they were readying for the offensive. Related article: Devastating Peshawar bomb blast
"An operation against the Taliban in Waziristan is a must," Syed Shahab Ali Shah, the top administrative official of South Waziristan, told AFP,
"According to my information the government has decided to launch an operation against Waziristan's Taliban, but I do not know about the actual date," he added.
"An entire international community that includes the US, India, and China wants Pakistan to take the battle to the (headquarters) of the Taliban in South Waziristan," local newspaper The Daily Times said in an editorial.
"This attack, from what it appears, is likely to hasten the process and we should expect forces to start moving on the ground by the end of the month," it said, adding that the strike would likely start before winter sets in.
An editorial in the English-language daily The News, meanwhile, said: "The time for a decisive push into the heartland of TTP has come. The organisation has already demonstrated it is far from a spent force.
"It has in fact struck back with a vengeance."
Analysts say, however, that an operation in Waziristan will be a tougher task then flushing militants out of Swat, with the Taliban entrenched in a hostile terrain and able to slip easily across the Afghan frontier.
Pakistan Related Headlines News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Palestinians Vow New Push For War Crimes Report
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media By Amy Teibel
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - October 12, 2009: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday he is pushing for a vote on a United Nation's report that accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza war, reversing a decision that has left him at the lowest point of his presidency. U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell, left, meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009. Talks come within the framework of efforts aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process.
Also on Sunday, Washington's special Mideast envoy wrapped up his latest round of shuttle diplomacy in the region, again having failed to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks.
Abbas' renewed push for a vote on the war crimes report in the U.N. Human Rights Council reverses his decision earlier this month to delay voting for six months. Palestinian officials withdrew their support under what Palestinian and U.S. officials said was heavy U.S. pressure.
This decision sparked sharp criticism across Palestinian society, with Abbas and his aides scrambling to repair the damage.
"I have instructed our ambassador in Geneva to contact the groups to have an exceptional session of the council, and to move in this direction until in the end, having those who committed the worst, ugliest crimes against our people punished," Abbas said.
It remained unclear on Sunday if renewed Palestinian support would bring about a vote.
Abbas defended his decision to agree to a six-month deferral by suggesting that the Palestinians had simply gone along with the prevailing view at the council. "From a position of responsibility and honesty, I say that the deferral came after an agreement between all the groups in the Human Rights Council, and after studying all positions and seeking the utmost support for the project," he said.
Abbas noted that he's asked a committee to look into the decision-making surrounding the U.N. report. "If the committee finds any wrongdoing, any mistake in the deferral, we have the courage to take the responsibility and to say that we made a mistake," Abbas said.
However, the committee members are public figures with little clout, and it's unlikely they would issue findings considered damaging to Abbas.
Israel has vehemently denied the report's allegations and said a push for war crimes prosecutions of Israeli leaders would damage U.S. efforts to restart peace talks.
On Sunday, Washington's special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, spent more than an hour huddling with Israel's prime minister and defense minister. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the talks "continued their discussions on moving the peace process forward."
Two lower-level Israeli officials will head to Washington this week for further discussions, it added. Mitchell did not comment publicly after the meeting and was returning to Washington, U.S. officials said.
Mitchell, a former U.S. senator and mediator of Northern Ireland's peace deal, has been shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian officials for months, trying to restart negotiations that broke down late last year.
Mitchell met with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas late last week before traveling to Cairo over the weekend to meet with Egyptian officials, who often play leading roles in mediating the conflict.
Even with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to his boss, Mitchell appeared to have made little progress in persuading the adversaries to soften their positions.
Israel has refused to give in to U.S. pressure to freeze construction in Jewish settlements built in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The Palestinians, who claim both areas as parts of a future independent state, say they won't resume talks without such an internationally mandated freeze. They also want guarantees that an Israeli pullout from the West Bank and east Jerusalem will be the basis of a final agreement. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.
"The Israelis need to acknowledge that the 1967 borders are the borders between the two states, and this is the foundation of any negotiations," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top Abbas aide. Netanyahu has signaled he wants to keep parts of the West Bank and says east Jerusalem will remain in Israeli hands.
Complicating the U.S. peace mission is the deep divide between rival Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinians seek to build a state that includes both territories, located on opposite sides of Israel.
Egypt has been trying to broker a power-sharing deal between Abbas' government in the West Bank and the Hamas rulers in Gaza. Hamas seized control of Gaza after ousting pro-Abbas forces in 2007.
A reconciliation deal was to have been signed on Oct. 25, but Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Sunday that the elusive agreement has been delayed for several weeks. The accord was to have allowed the two sides to cooperate in rebuilding war-ravaged Gaza and prepare for Palestinian elections next year.
Hamas said on its Web site that it was postponing the agreement because of Abbas' decision to delay action on the U.N. report. A U.N. panel led by veteran war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone accused Israel of using disproportionate force and deliberately targeting civilians during its winter assault on Gaza. It also called Hamas' firing of rockets at civilian areas in southern Israel a war crime.
Palestinians Related Headlines News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Fincantieri ~ The “Nasir” Delivered In Muggiano, Second Of Four Patrol Vessels For The Iraqi Navy*Source: DTN News / Fincantieri
(NSI News Source Info) Muggiano, La Spezia SP, Italia - October 12, 2009: On October 8, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) there was the delivery ceremony for the second of four patrol vessels ordered by the Iraqi Navy from Fincantieri. The order, worth overall 80 million Euros, also comprises the provision of logistical support and crew training for each vessel.
Representing Iraq at the ceremony was the Secretary General of the Ministry of the Defence, General Saleh Sarhan, while Italy was represented by the Director General for Naval Constructions and Armaments, Chief Inspector Admiral Dino Nascet on behalf of the Chief of Staff of the Navy. Fincantieri was represented by the Director of the Naval Vessels Unit, Alberto Maestrini.
Sister to the “Fateh” which was delivered last May, the “Nasir” (which means “Victory”) will be escorted to the Suez Canal by Italian Navy vessels and then to Umm Qasr by U.S. Navy vessels for a voyage to the Persian Gulf of approximately one month. On reaching Iraqi territory the “Nasir” will immediately start patrolling the Exclusive Economic Zone (58 km of coastline rich in oil fields, the country’s main economic resource), search and rescue operations, controlling maritime traffic and firefighting.
The next vessel is scheduled for delivery at the end of the year.
These “Saettia MK4” class vessels have been developed from the ships built by Fincantieri for the Italian Coast Guard (five “Diciotti” class vessels) and for the Armed Forces of Malta (one vessel) and will constitute the core of the patrol fleet of the Iraqi Navy with tasks similar to those of the Italian Coast Guard.
53.40 metres long and 8 wide, these vessels can reach a speed of 23 knots and accommodate a crew of 38. The Italian Naval Register is supervising construction of the vessels in accordance with strict international standards regarding safety and respect for the environment.
Fincantieri also directly supplies the naval systems and components manufactured at the company’s facilities in Bari and Riva Trigoso, such as: propulsion apparatus (Isotta Fraschini V1716T2MSD 2360 kW engines, shafts and variable pitch propellors), and generators (Isotta Fraschini L1306T3ME 220 kW generators) and stabilising systems.
DTN News: Israel TODAY October 12, 2009 ~ Israeli Security Expert Helping South Africa Make 2010 World Cup Safe
*Source: DTN News / jpost.com By Yaakov Lappin
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - October 12, 2009: With more than 50 homicides a day, and car jackings at gunpoint so frequent that the government has put up signs in some areas to warn drivers, the mean streets of South Africa - particularly those in Johannesburg - pose a formidable challenge to police preparing to secure the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
(Image: A South African policeman checks out a suspect)
Cities such as Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth are considered generally safe, but those who wind up in the wrong parts of Johannesburg can find themselves facing armed robbers who place no value on human life and do not think twice before pulling the trigger or driving a knife into their victims in order to steal minuscule sums or cellphones.
But South African-born Israeli security expert Marc Kahlberg - hired by the South African authorities to provide Israeli policing know-how and technological solutions - told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that police in the country are well prepared for the tournament, and that soccer tourists will be safe so long as they remain in city "safe zones."
Kahlberg served in the South African military before making aliya. He became an Israel Police officer, and was appointed to head the Netanya Tourist police at the height of 2002's Palestinian suicide-bombing campaign.
In recent years, Kahlberg has taken the lessons he learned from his work to secure Netanya against terrorists and criminals, and made them available to the South African police.
"The police in South Africa are working hard," he said. "Over 50,000 cops have been directed to secure the world Cup - that's thousands more than the sum total of Israel's entire police force. There is money being invested in training new manpower, technology and a very professional and dedicated command level. It will take a generation of education to reduce the violent crime."
For the past four years, Kahlberg has been traveling to Johannesburg regularly to help the South African police create safe zones around the 10 soccer stadiums, the hotels, and Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.
These areas will be under intensive CCTV camera watch during the tournament next June and July, while a surveillance balloon will hover over train stations and stadiums to give police a bird's eye view of the situation on the ground, a tactic used frequently by police in Israel. Thousands of officers will flood the sites and check any suspicious-looking individual.
"I brought the balloon, the technology, and the tactics from Israel," Kahlberg said. "Police will also set up mobile control rooms on the ground to coordinate and monitor events" - another Israeli policing practice.
"I gave them the Israeli concept of making a zone secure," Kahlberg said.
For the safe zone concept to work, the cooperation of tourists is needed, Kahlberg said. "The stadiums, train stations, taxi ranks and hotels will be safe zones. Lots of Israelis are planning to visit next year. My advice to them is, stay in the safe zones. There shouldn't be a safety problem."
Upon arrival, tourists will receive maps detailing where the safe zones are situated.
"A lot of the problems used to start when tourists would arrive at the airport. Robbers would follow them out of the airport and strike. Now police have managed to stamp that out. People who linger at the airport's exits are stopped," Kahlberg said.
Shopping centers are not entirely safe, either - in recent years gangs of gunmen armed with AK-47s have burst into the malls, and ordered all shoppers to lay on the ground, before collecting wallets, jewelry and cellphones. Mall guards are often bribed to look the other way.
Still, "there were only 39 incidents during this year's FIFA Confederation Cup in South Africa," Kahlberg said. "Tourists should not go to downtown Johannesburg at night. Be vigilant, but know that the safe zones really are safe."
Other Israeli defense firms have pitched in to the South African security effort as well, including Bet Alfa Technologies and Elbit Systems Ltd. These companies have sold their hi-tech solutions to the South African police.
"It's a shame the Israel Police does not have the budget to buy the technology being sold by Israeli companies abroad," Kahlberg said.
Unfortunately, not all Israelis in South Africa are fighting crime - there are Israeli criminals operating in the country, Kahlberg said.
During his visits to South Africa, Kahlberg underwent an attempted armed robbery, when a thief placed the cold barrel of a handgun to his temple after he stepped out of a restaurant.
Only later, after being rescued by security guards, did Kahlberg learn that the stolen gun was empty of bullets.
He also escaped an attempted car jacking while driving at night in Johannesburg, when stones shattered his car windows after he slowed down to examine a man lying on the ground.
"I knew it was a trap, but I slowed down anyway. I hit the gas when my window was smashed," he said.
Johannesburg's affluent areas have become fortresses, while downtown and the slums are urban jungles where the armed gangs thrive.
"I don't know one person in South Africa who has not been affected by crime," Kahlberg said.
Israel Related Headlines News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Financial News TODAY October 12, 2009 ~ Gulf Arabs In Secret Talks With Russia And China To Ditch US Dollar According To British Media
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - October 12, 2009: Britain's The Independent newspaper says Gulf Arab states are in secret talks with Russia, China, Japan and France to replace the US dollar with a basket of currencies in the trading of oil.
The US dollar eased after the report, written by veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk and posted on The Independent's website. It cited unidentified sources in Gulf Arab states and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong.
Fisk said the proposal was for trade in crude oil to move to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.
"Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars," said the report. It added that France had also been involved in the talks.
The article said the plans may help to explain the sudden rise in the price of gold, which is commonly seen as a safe haven in troubled economic times.
The Independent said US authorities were aware that the meetings had taken place but had not discovered the details and were "sure to fight this international cabal".
The issue of shifting oil trade away from the US dollar has been raised occasionally in recent years, but analysts and experts say it is unlikely to occur any time soon.
"I don't think we will see much concrete actions coming out of such discussions because even when the dollar is weak, it doesn't mean that commodities are undervalued," said David Moore, commodities analyst at the Commonwealth Bank.
"In fact, when the dollar weakens, commodities prices tend to increase by a higher ratio."
Iran began settling most of its crude oil exports in non-dollar currencies - primarily the euro - several years ago, but the actual price for its oil is still set in dollar terms.