Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ Pakistan Suicide Bombing Toll Mounts To 45

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ Pakistan Suicide Bombing Toll Mounts To 45
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) PESHAWAR, Pakistan - October 13, 2009: The death toll from a suicide bombing carried out by a teenage boy who struck in a busy market in northwest Pakistan has risen to 45, officials said Tuesday. A view of the destruction caused by a suicide bombing in Shangla, Pakistan on Monday Oct. 12, 2009. A suicide car bombing targeting Pakistani troops killed dozens of people Monday, the fourth grisly militant attack in just over a week, as the Taliban pledged to mobilize fighters across the country for more strikes. The bomber, wearing a vest packed with explosives, flung himself at a military convoy as it passed through a bazaar in Shangla district on Monday, in the fourth deadly attack blamed on Taliban rebels in eight days. "Two people died overnight and two more died this morning," doctor Ehsanullah Khan of the state run Alpuri hospital told AFP. Thirty-eight people remained in hospital with injuries from the blast, he added. Fazle Karim Khattak, the administration chief of Malakand region, said that 39 of the dead were civilians and six were soldiers. "The attacker was a young boy. He was standing at the side of the road. As soon as the convoy arrived, he rushed into the vehicles and blew himself up," Khattak told AFP. A military official Monday said the bomber was about 13 or 14 years old. After a brief lull following the death of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud in a US missile strike in August, Pakistan has again been plunged into crisis with a wave of militant attacks killing 125 people in eight days. Monday's attack in Alpuri town came after a group of 10 Islamist extremists raided Pakistan's army headquarters over the weekend leaving 23 people dead and underscoring the vulnerability of the nuclear-armed nation. Shangla borders the scenic Swat valley, where the government claims to have quashed the Taliban threat in an offensive launched in April after Taliban rebels advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Islamabad. The surge in violence comes as the army says it plans a full-scale offensive on Pakistani Taliban bases in lawless South Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan.
Pakistan Related Headline News....for full stories click on the links below

DTN News: Kazakh Su-24 Attack Aircraft Drops A Bomb On Residential Area

DTN News: Kazakh Su-24 Attack Aircraft Drops A Bomb On Residential Area
*Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) ASTANA, Kazakhstan - October 13, 2009: An Su-24 Fencer fighter-bomber has accidentally dropped a bomb on a house in southern Kazakhstan, which did not explode, Kazakh military prosecutors said. Designed from the outset as an all-weather, low-level attack aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer' bears a resemblance to the American F-111, altough the Soviet jet is somewhat smaller. Entering service after the F-111, but before the Tornado, the 'Fencer is comparable in performance with the two premier Western interdictors, being somewhat faster and with better rough field capability, but having less advanced avionics and attack systems. The Su-24 Fencer has a combat radius only 300 km less than that of the F 111E/F and equal to the Mirage IV A, At least 500 attack 'Fencers' were built. The type is also used for maritime strike/reconnaissance and for electronic jamming/Sigint/reconnaissance. The eight weapons pylons beneath the Su-24's fuselage, wing gloves and outer wing panels can carry a wide variety of weaponry, ranging from tactical and defence-suppression bombs and missiles through to nuclear weapons. The wings are high-mounted, variable, swept-back, and tapered. There are twin turbofan engines. The air intakes are tapered away from the body, rectangular-shaped, and mounted on the body forward of the wings’ leading edges. There are twin exhausts. The fuselage is long, slender, with pointed, solid nose, and rectangular-shaped body from the air intakes to the exhausts. There are two belly fins and four pylons. There is a bubble canopy. The dorsal spine extends from the cockpit to the tail. The tail fin is swept-back and tapered with square tip. The flats are high-mounted on the fuselage, swept-back, and tapered with angular tips.The chief designer of the plane between 1965 and 1985 was Ye.S. Felsner, and then, from 1985, work was headed by L.A. Logvinov. The total production of the Su-24 type was about 1,400 planes. The Su-24/Su-24M was the only type of modern domestically-produced frontline bomber and forms the backbone of the strike capability of the frontal aviation of the Air Forces of the RF and Ukraine. The Design Bureau has been implementing a joint program with the Air Forces to upgrade combat aircraft since 1999.* The 120-mm high-explosive bomb fell off the plane during a training flight in the Almaty region at about 07.00 GMT on Monday. "The bomb fell on a house but did not explode. There were no casualties in the accident," Kazakhstan's main military prosecutor's office said in a statement. According to the prosecutors, who launched a probe in the accident, the sappers have already disarmed the bomb. Kazakhstan's Air and Air Defense Forces have at least 30 Su-24 attack aircraft in active service.
Russia Related News....for full stories click on the links below

DTN News: Air Transportation Article Index ~ Il-76s Falling Apart

DTN News: Air Transportation Article Index ~ Il-76s Falling Apart
*Source: Strategy Page
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 13, 2009: Russia has suffered another setback in its attempt to revive the Il-76 military transport as an exportable aircraft for their struggling aviation industry. All Russian Il-76 were recently grounded because the engine fell off one of them while it was preparing to takeoff. All Russian Il-76s will remain grounded until it can be determined what went wrong, and whether or not the problem is common to all Il-76s. The IL-76 is a medium-range military transport aircraft, and is also known by the Nato codename 'Candid'. The missions of the aircraft are: to drop paratroopers; carry troop forces and combat material with crews and armaments, including medium-sized battle tanks; to airlift cargo for troop forces and transport for disaster relief operations. The IL-76 medium-range transport aircraft is produced by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Joint Stock Company in Moscow and the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corporation in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Over 500 aircraft have been produced since service entry in 1974. There are several design variants, including the basic IL-76, IL-76M, IL-76MD and the IL-76-MF. In terms of design, aerodynamic configuration and flight performance characteristics, the IL-76M version virtually resembles the IL-76 basic aircraft, but has a maximum payload of 47t, compared to 28t for the IL-76. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered three Il-76MD aircraft fitted with the Phalcon AEW (airborne early warning) system produced by Elta of Israel. The first aircraft is due for delivery in September 2008. In April 2008, the IAF requested the purchase of a further three aircraft for delivery in 2011–2012. In August 2005, Jordan ordered two IL-76MF variants and in September 2005, China placed an order for up to 38 IL-76 transports. It was only two years ago that Russia rolled out an upgraded model. New engines and electronics give the Il-76MD-90 eight percent better fuel efficiency, and the ability to lift up to 60 tons of cargo. Further improvements, in development, will increase fuel efficiency another 14 percent. Russia is trying to make the Il-76 a contender in the military air transport market. The Il-76 is somewhat similar in capability to the U.S. C-17, but uses older technology, more similar to the recently retired U.S. C-141. The Russians have also been buying a stretched version of the Il-76 (the Il-76MF). This version first flew in 1995, and has become popular with users of earlier Il-76 models. The Il-76MF has better engines and can carry 50 tons of cargo over 4,000 kilometers. Another popular Il-76 is the tanker version (called the Il-78.) There are far more Il-76's in use than all of America's four engine jet transports (C-5, C-141, C-17) put together. Over 900 Il-76s were manufactured over the last thirty years, with nearly a hundred exported, so far, mainly to Cuba, Iraq, China, India, Libya and Syria. With few foreign or domestic sales in the last decade, the Il-76 manufacturer (Chkalov) was surviving by manufacturing wings and other components for the An-124, An-70 and An-225 transports. In addition, it made replacement parts for the Il-76 and Il-114 aircraft. There was no help from Russia, because Chkalov was no longer a Russian firm,. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the manufacturer of the Il-76, which was located in Uzbekistan, was no longer under the control of Russia (the dissolution agreement left all Soviet assets owned by the post-Soviet nation they were in.) A 2006 Chinese order for 75 Il-76s forced the Chkalov firm to reorganize, and move at least 60 percent of the Il-76 production to a Russian firm (Ilyushin). The new assembly line at the Ilyushin Ulyanovsk provides the Il-76 with two production lines, as well as some protection against political problems in Uzbekistan (which needs the 18,000 jobs the Chkalov operation creates). Russia always produced many of the Il-76 components, and the Chkalov plant still has plenty of work manufacturing replacement parts, and refurbishing aircraft. Russia is also renegotiating the deal with the Chinese, because the Chkalov low balled the price so much that they were sure to lose a lot of money on it. Russia is a major user of Il-76 aircraft, and expects to buy or refurbish 75 of them in the next decade, and do nearly as much business with foreign customers. The new models of the Il-76 indicate a substantial R&D investment, and an effort to make the Il-76 a serious competitor (mainly on price, at about $50 million each) with the C-17 (which costs about three times as much, and is able to carry up to 86 tons). What the C-17 is best at is carrying about half that weight, half way around the world, non-stop. The Il-76 has a hard time matching that. The C-17 is also easier to maintain, and more reliable. But a fuel-efficient Il-76, that can be refueled in the air, has a price that's tough to beat.
Disclaimer statement Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: Nobel Geopolitics

DTN News: Nobel Geopolitics *Source: By George Friedman STRATFOR (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 13, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prize, which was to be awarded to the person who has accomplished “the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the promotion of peace congresses.” The mechanism for awarding the peace prize is very different from the other Nobel categories. Academic bodies, such as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, decide who wins the other prizes. Alfred Nobel’s will stated, however, that a committee of five selected by the Norwegian legislature, or Storting, should award the peace prize. Related Series Special Series: Obama’s Foreign Policy Landscape The committee that awarded the peace prize to Obama consists of chairman Thorbjorn Jagland, president of the Storting and former Labor Party prime minister and foreign minister of Norway; Kaci Kullmann Five, a former member of the Storting and president of the Conservative Party; Sissel Marie Ronbeck, a former Social Democratic member of the Storting; Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, a former member of the Storting and current senior adviser to the Progress Party; and Agot Valle, a current member of the Storting and spokeswoman on foreign affairs for the Socialist Left Party. The peace prize committee is therefore a committee of politicians, some present members of parliament, some former members of parliament. Three come from the left (Jagland, Ronbeck and Valle). Two come from the right (Kullman and Ytterhorn). It is reasonable to say that the peace prize committee faithfully reproduces the full spectrum of Norwegian politics. A Frequently Startling Prize Prize recipients frequently have proved startling. For example, the first U.S. president to receive the prize was Theodore Roosevelt, who received it in 1906 for helping negotiate peace between Japan and Russia. Roosevelt genuinely sought peace, but ultimately because of American fears that an unbridled Japan would threaten U.S. interests in the Pacific. He sought peace to ensure that Japan would not eliminate Russian power in the Pacific and not hold Port Arthur or any of the other prizes of the Russo-Japanese War. To achieve this peace, he implied that the United States might intervene against Japan. In brokering negotiations to try to block Japan from exploiting its victory over the Russians, Roosevelt was engaged in pure power politics. The Japanese were in fact quite bitter at the American intervention. (For their part, the Russians were preoccupied with domestic unrest.) But a treaty emerged from the talks, and peace prevailed. Though preserving a balance of power in the Pacific motivated Roosevelt, the Nobel committee didn’t seem to care. And given that Alfred Nobel didn’t provide much guidance about his intentions for the prize, choosing Roosevelt was as reasonable as the choices for most Nobel Peace Prizes. In recent years, the awards have gone to political dissidents the committee approved of, such as the Dalai Lama and Lech Walesa, or people supporting causes it agreed with, such as Al Gore. Others were peacemakers in the Theodore Roosevelt mode, such as Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger for working toward peace in Vietnam and Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin for moving toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Two things must be remembered about the Nobel Peace Prize. The first is that Nobel was never clear about his intentions for it. The second is his decision to have it awarded by politicians from — and we hope the Norwegians will accept our advance apologies — a marginal country relative to the international system. This is not meant as a criticism of Norway, a country we have enjoyed in the past, but the Norwegians sometimes have an idiosyncratic way of viewing the world. Therefore, the award to Obama was neither more or less odd than some of the previous awards made by five Norwegian politicians no one outside of Norway had ever heard of. But his win does give us an opportunity to consider an important question, namely, why Europeans generally think so highly of Obama. Obama and the Europeans Let’s begin by being careful with the term European. Eastern Europeans and Russians — all Europeans — do not think very highly of him. The British are reserved on the subject. But on the whole, other Europeans west of the former Soviet satellites and south and east of the English Channel think extremely well of him, and the Norwegians are reflecting this admiration. It is important to understand why they do. The Europeans experienced catastrophes during the 20th century. Two world wars slaughtered generations of Europeans and shattered Europe’s economy. Just after the war, much of Europe maintained standards of living not far above that of the Third World. In a sense, Europe lost everything — millions of lives, empires, even sovereignty as the United States and the Soviet Union occupied and competed in Europe. The catastrophe of the 20th century defines Europe, and what the Europeans want to get away from. The Cold War gave Europe the opportunity to recover economically, but only in the context of occupation and the threat of war between the Soviets and Americans. A half century of Soviet occupation seared Eastern European souls. During that time, the rest of Europe lived in a paradox of growing prosperity and the apparent imminence of another war. The Europeans were not in control of whether the war would come, or where or how it would be fought. There are therefore two Europes. One, the Europe that was first occupied by Nazi Germany and then by the Soviet Union still lives in the shadow of the dual catastrophes. The other, larger Europe, lives in the shadow of the United States. Between 1945 and 1991, Western Europe lived in a confrontation with the Soviets. The Europeans lived in dread of Soviet occupation, and though tempted, never capitulated to the Soviets. That meant that the Europeans were forced to depend on the United States for their defense and economic stability, and were therefore subject to America’s will. How the Americans and Russians viewed each other would determine whether war would break out, not what the Europeans thought. Every aggressive action by the United States, however trivial, was magnified a hundredfold in European minds, as they considered fearfully how the Soviets would respond. In fact, the Americans were much more restrained during the Cold War than Europeans at the time thought. Looking back, the U.S. position in Europe itself was quite passive. But the European terror was that some action in the rest of the world — Cuba, the Middle East, Vietnam — would cause the Soviets to respond in Europe, costing them everything they had built up. In the European mind, the Americans prior to 1945 were liberators. After 1945 they were protectors, but protectors who could not be trusted to avoid triggering another war through recklessness or carelessness. The theme dominating European thinking about the United States was that the Americans were too immature, too mercurial and too powerful to really be trusted. From an American point of view, these were the same Europeans who engaged in unparalleled savagery between 1914 and 1945 all on their own, and the period after 1945 — when the Americans dominated Europe — was far more peaceful and prosperous than the previous period. But the European conviction that the Europeans were the sophisticated statesmen and prudent calculators while the Americans were unsophisticated and imprudent did not require an empirical basis. It was built on another reality, which was that Europe had lost everything, including real control over its fate, and that trusting its protector to be cautious was difficult. The Europeans loathed many presidents, e.g., Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan. Jimmy Carter was not respected. Two were liked: John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Kennedy relieved them of the burden of Dwight D. Eisenhower and his dour Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was deeply distrusted. Clinton was liked for interesting reasons, and understanding this requires examining the post-Cold War era. The United States and Europe After the Cold War The year 1991 marked the end of the Cold War. For the first time since 1914, Europeans were prosperous, secure and recovering their sovereignty. The United States wanted little from the Europeans, something that delighted the Europeans. It was a rare historical moment in which the alliance existed in some institutional sense, but not in any major active form. The Balkans had to be dealt with, but those were the Balkans — not an area of major concern. Europe could finally relax. Another world war would not erase its prosperity, and they were free from active American domination. They could shape their institutions, and they would. It was the perfect time for them, one they thought would last forever. For the United States, 9/11 changed all that. The Europeans had deep sympathy for the United States post-Sept. 11, sympathy that was on the whole genuine. But the Europeans also believed that former U.S. President George W. Bush had overreacted to the attacks, threatening to unleash a reign of terror on them, engaging in unnecessary wars and above all not consulting them. The last claim was not altogether true: Bush frequently consulted the Europeans, but they frequently said no to his administration’s requests. The Europeans were appalled that Bush continued his policies in spite of their objections; they felt they were being dragged back into a Cold War-type situation for trivial reasons. The Cold War revolved around Soviet domination of Europe. In the end, whatever the risks, the Cold War was worth the risk and the pain of U.S. domination. But to Europeans, the jihadist threat simply didn’t require the effort the United States was prepared to put into it. The United States seemed unsophisticated and reckless, like cowboys. The older European view of the United States re-emerged, as did the old fear. Throughout the Cold War, the European fear was that a U.S. miscalculation would drag the Europeans into another catastrophic war. Bush’s approach to the jihadist war terrified them and deepened their resentment. Their hard-earned prosperity was in jeopardy again because of the Americans, this time for what the Europeans saw as an insufficient reason. The Americans were once again seen as overreacting, Europe’s greatest Cold War-era dread. For Europe, prosperity had become an end in itself. It is ironic that the Europeans regard the Americans as obsessed with money when it is the Europeans who put economic considerations over all other things. But the Europeans mean something different when they talk about money. For the Europeans, money isn’t about piling it higher and higher. Instead, money is about security. Their economic goal is not to become wealthy but to be comfortable. Today’s Europeans value economic comfort above all other considerations. After Sept. 11, the United States seemed willing to take chances with the Europeans’ comfortable economic condition that the Europeans themselves didn’t want to take. They loathed George W. Bush for doing so. Conversely, they love Obama because he took office promising to consult with them. They understood this promise in two ways. One was that in consulting the Europeans, Obama would give them veto power. Second, they understood him as being a president like Kennedy, namely, as one unwilling to take imprudent risks. How they remember Kennedy that way given the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the coup against Diem in Vietnam is hard to fathom, but of course, many Americans remember him the same way. The Europeans compare Obama to an imaginary Kennedy, but what they really think is that he is another Clinton. Clinton was Clinton because of the times he lived in and not because of his nature: The collapse of the Soviet Union created a peaceful interregnum in which Clinton didn’t need to make demands on Europe’s comfortable prosperity. George W. Bush lived in a different world, and that caused him to resume taking risks and making demands. Obama does not live in the 1990s. He is facing Afghanistan, Iran and a range of other crisis up to and including a rising Russia that looks uncannily similar to the old Soviet Union. It is difficult to imagine how he can face these risks without taking actions that will be counter to the European wish to be allowed to remain comfortable, and worse, without ignoring the European desire to avoid what they will see as unreasonable U.S. demands. In fact, U.S.-German relations already are not particularly good on Obama’s watch. Obama has asked for troops in Afghanistan and been turned down, and has continued to call for NATO expansion, which the Germans don’t want. The Norwegian politicians gave their prize to Obama because they believed that he would leave Europeans in their comfortable prosperity without making unreasonable demands. That is their definition of peace, and Obama seemed to promise that. The Norwegians on the prize committee seem unaware of the course U.S.-German relations have taken, or of Afghanistan and Iran. Alternatively, perhaps they believe Obama can navigate those waters without resorting to war. In that case, it is difficult to imagine what they make of the recent talks with Iran or planning on Afghanistan. The Norwegians awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the president of their dreams, not the president who is dealing with Iran and Afghanistan. Obama is not a free actor. He is trapped by the reality he has found himself in, and that reality will push him far away from the Norwegian fantasy. In the end, the United States is the United States — and that is Europe’s nightmare, because the United States is not obsessed with maintaining Europe’s comfortable prosperity. The United States cannot afford to be, and in the end, neither can President Obama, Nobel Peace Prize or not. This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com

DTN News: DAGR Is APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System) Perfect Weapon, But Held Hostage By U.S. Department Of Defense ~ Report

DTN News: DAGR Is APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System) Perfect Weapon, But Held Hostage By U.S. Department Of Defense ~ Report
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 13, 2009: After twelve years of development effort, by several different companies, someone finally developed a guided version of the 70mm air-to-ground rocket. But the U.S. military still won't buy it. Lockheed-Martin recently completed twelve out of twelve successful tests of their DAGR 70mm guided rocket. Over a year ago, DAGR was declared ready for service, but the U.S. Department of Defense didn't respond with any orders.DAGR is compatible with all HELLFIRE® platforms – Predator, Reaper and Warrior UAVs; and Cobra, Apache, Seahawk, Kiowa and Tiger helicopters. DAGRTM is a semi-active laser guidance kit that adapts to 2.75-inch/70mm rockets to provide guided-rocket performance comparable to that of the precision-strike laser-guided HELLFIRE II® missile. DAGR is being developed by Lockheed Martin as a non-developmental item to fill the gap between unguided rockets and the HELLFIRE weapon system by providing a precision-strike, air-to-ground weapon for non-armored or lightly-armored high-value targets close to civilian assets or friendly forces, while limiting collateral damage. DAGR integrates proven seeker, guidance, electronics, integrated flight simulation, and countermeasures technologies developed on HELLFIRE and Joint Common Missile (JCM) to provide a highly lethal and precise 2.75-inch/70mm weapon. Our baseline DAGR guidance kit offers 2.75-inch/70mm rockets lock-on-after-launch and lock-on-before-launch capability, target handoff, enhanced built-in test, and laser coding from the cockpit. Its off-axis capability increases the engagement envelope, providing additional field of view for angle-of-attack, moving targets, and wind. Accompanied by Lockheed Martin’s 4-pack launcher, the DAGR system allows quick and easy integration on all HELLFIRE platforms including Cobra, Apache, Seahawk, Kiowa and Tiger helicopters. Fully compatible with the M299 and M310 “smart” launchers, DAGR increases launcher load out by up to four times and provides single-switch operational flexibility, drawing upon a payload that includes DAGR as well as multiple variants of HELLFIRE for multi-mission capability. Additionally, due to DAGR’s compatibility with the HELLFIRE weapon system, the usual resources for fielding a new weapon system – development, training, additional equipment and force structure – are avoided. DAGR would appear to be an ideal weapon, as it also uses the Hellfire fire control system. Lockheed-Martin developed DAGR with their own money. Two years ago, the U.S. Army cancelled work on a similar effort, APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System). Both are basically a 25 pound 70mm rocket, with a laser seeker, a six pound warhead and a range of about six kilometers.
Laser designators on a helicopter, or with troops on the ground, are pointed at the target, and the laser seeker in the front of the DAGR homes on the reflected laser light. DAGR actually weighs about 30 pounds (the 70mm rocket plus the guidance package). The 2.75 inch (70mm) rockets were developed during World War II as an air-to-air weapon for use against heavy bomber formations. The Germans had developed a similar, and very successful weapon (the R4M), but before long it was noted that neither the Japanese nor the Germans had any heavy bombers, so the U.S. 70mm rocket was switched to air-to-ground use. Actually, the 70mm rocket was retained for air-to-air use into the 1950s, but it was never successful in that role. The 70mm rocket became very popular in the 1960s, when it was discovered that the weapon worked very well when launched from multiple (7 or 19 tube) launchers mounted on helicopters.
The 42-55 inch long rockets could be fired singly or in salvoes, and gave helicopter pilots some airborne artillery for supporting troops on the ground. There are many variations in terms of warheads and rocket motors. Some versions can go over 10 kilometers. Developing a guided 70mm rocket took so long because the manufacturers underestimated the technical difficulties of getting the laser seeker and flight control mechanisms into that small a package, at a weight and price the army could afford. The price of the DAGR is about $20,000 each (about a third less than a smart bomb, and much less than a Hellfire missile). The AKWS developer, BAE, believed it was close to perfecting AKWS, but Congress ran out of patience and money for it. The guided 70mm rocker is to be used against targets that don't require a larger (hundred pound), and more expensive (over $100,000) Hellfire missile, but still need some targeting precision. In tests, the APKWS hit within a few feet of the aiming point, and the DAGR is just as accurate. The DAGR makes an excellent weapon for UAVs, especially since you can carry four of them in place of one Hellfire. The launcher for DAGR is built to replace the one for Hellfire, but carry four missiles. Apparently the orders for DAGR have not been forthcoming because the Hellfire is doing the job and there just isn't a big demand for a smaller missile.

DTN News: Terrorism News TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ France Charges 'Big Bang' Scientist With Terror Ties

DTN News: Terrorism News TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ France Charges 'Big Bang' Scientist With Terror Ties
*Surce: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - October 13, 2009: French magistrates charged a nuclear scientist suspected of Al-Qaeda links with "membership of a terrorist group" on Monday, judicial officials said. A view of a superconducting solenoid magnet at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva. French magistrates charged a nuclear scientist suspected of Al-Qaeda links with "membership of a terrorist group" on Monday, judicial officials said. The 32-year-old engineer, who was studying the universe's birth -- the Big Bang -- at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), was arrested on Thursday last week by police intelligence. He appeared Monday in front of an anti-terrorist magistrate in Paris to be placed under formal judicial investigation and was to hear later in the day whether he will remain in custody pending trial. Officials said last week that investigators monitoring the Internet had intercepted contacts between him and Al-Qaeda's North African offshoot. He had expressed a desire to carry out attacks, but had "not got to the stage of carrying out material acts of preparation". The suspect's 25-year-old brother, who does not work at CERN, was also arrested last week but has since been released without charge. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research operates one of the world's leading nuclear research laboratories attached to a 27 kilometre (15 mile) tunnel running under the Franco-Swiss border just outside Geneva. In the tunnel, a particle accelerator attempts to recreate the sub-atomic conditions present at the time of the Big Bang. The lab confirmed on Friday that a physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider had been arrested on "suspicion of links to terrorist organisations." It added, however, that "he was not a CERN employee and performed his research under a contract with an outside institute. His work did not bring him into contact with anything that could be used for terrorism." According to CERN's website, the suspect's experiment was "set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive and build the universe we inhabit today." Nevertheless, reports have suggested the arrest of a scientist with alleged Al-Qaeda ties will increase fears that the Islamist militant group is seeking weapons technology or planning to attack nuclear targets. Terrorism Related Headline News....for full stories click on the links below

DTN News: U.S. Firm Selling Su-27s To Civilians

DTN News: U.S. Firm Selling Su-27s To Civilians *Source: Strategy Page (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 13, 2009: An American company is offering two Su-27 fighters, for the bargain price of $5 million each. The aircraft are demilitarized, but recently refurbished. Since the refurbishment, the aircraft have been in the air only 16 hours, and the engines only have 19 hours of use. The introduction in the mid-1970s of the USAF F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon put the then Eastern bloc fighter pilots at a distinct disadvantage. The deployment of the Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrum in the mid-1980s leveled the playing field. Designed as a high performance fighter with a fly-by-wire control system, and the ability to carry up to 10 AAMs, the highly maneuverable Su-27 is one of the most imposing fighters ever built. The MiG-29 is superficially similar in layout to the larger Su-27, and unlike counterpart American fighters which are easily distinguished, a close attention to design details is needed to distinguish the two Russian fighters: The most striking difference is the Su-27's signature centerline fuselage stinger, which protrudes well aft of the engine exhaust, and is entirely absent on the MiG-29, though this feature may not be apparent from all angles. The vertical stabilizers on the MiG-29 are canted outward, while those of the Su-27 are vertical. Conversely, the air intakes on the MiG-29 are canted inward, while the air intakes on the Su-27 are vertical. The Mig-29 fuselage sits entirely above the air intakes, engine pods and exhaust beneath the wings, whereas on the Su-27 there is a distinct droop of the forward fuselage below the upper edges of the air intakes.
The aircraft were purchased, from Ukraine, last year by an American firm (Tac Air), to assist the U.S. Air Force is determining how the Su-27 performs. This work is apparently done, and now the Su-27s are no longer needed. The electronics are up to date, and qualified maintenance services are available, in Nevada (where Tac Air is located). The two-seat aircraft was refurbished in Ukraine last year, and received further upgrades and modification in the United States earlier this year. There are dozens of flyable demilitarized jet fighters owned by American collectors, and the two Su-27s are expected to sell. Russia's Sukhoi aircraft company has sold over a billion dollars worth of these aircraft (plus components and technical services for them) a year for the last few years. Sukhoi mainly supplies Su-27/30 jet fighters to India, China, Malaysia, Venezuela and Algeria. The 33 ton Su-27 is similar to the U.S. F-15, but costs over a third less. Developed near the end of the Cold War, the aircraft is one of the best fighters Russia has ever produced. The government helped keep Sukhoi alive during the 1990s, and even supplied money for development of an improved version of the Su-27, which was called the Su-30. This proved to be an outstanding aircraft, and is the main one Sukhoi produces. There are now several Su-30 variants, and major upgrades. While only about 700 Su-27s were produced (mostly between 1984, when it entered service, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991), add Su-30 production and you have over 1,000 aircraft (including license built ones in China and India).
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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: Technology TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ Origins Of Ancient Chinese Civilization Under Reconsideration

DTN News: Technology TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ Origins Of Ancient Chinese Civilization Under Reconsideration *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - October 13, 2009: Recent archaeological discoveries from far-flung corners of China are forcing scientists to reconsider the origins of ancient Chinese civilization. The Chinese civilization is the oldest civilization still in existence today, and extends backwards in history in an unbroken chain over nearly four thousand years. Throughout these thousands of years of history, the Chinese people have been instrumental in developing technologies and advancing the knowledge of mankind. A group of articles by Science news writer Andrew Lawler have explored how, over several millennia, China evolved from a much wider array of peoples and cultures than once imagined. Lawler crisscrossed China recently for three weeks, traveling from the country's steamy southeastern plains to the rugged westernmost province of Xinjiang, interviewing dozens of archaeologists at a host of sites. This special news package puts a spotlight on how the various archaeological findings of the past decade are challenging what the Chinese people once thought about their country and themselves. The wealth of these recent archaeological discoveries demands a re-write of some history books - and young scholars are even now questioning the existence of a legendary Chinese dynasty, the Xia. Less willing to take ancient texts at face value than their predecessors, this new generation of Chinese researchers is relying on physical data - and more "Western" methods - in their attempts to accurately retrace Chinese history. "The exciting discoveries made recently across China, coupled with the country's fast-paced development, make this an opportune time to dig into new questions about China's origins, the state of its threatened ancient sites, and the increasing expertise of its archaeologists," said Lawler, author of the Science news package. Lawler's special news package on Chinese archaeology covers the accidental discovery and later excavation of Jinsha, an ancient site located near downtown Chengdu in Sichuan, and about 600 miles (1000 kilometers) from the traditional center of Chinese civilization along the Yellow River. Long assumed to have been a cultural backwater, researchers have only recently gleaned the real history of Sichuan's surprisingly ancient and rich culture, which is thousands of years older than they had once believed. These recent discoveries have led Chinese researchers to acknowledge significant outside influence on their ancient culture, breaking an old taboo put in place when China was largely closed to the outside world.

DTN News: AC-130 Gunships....Old Ammo Available

DTN News: AC-130 Gunships....Old Ammo Available *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK, US - October 13, 2009: The U.S. Air Force found a way to save over $50 million, by modifying 64 year old ammunition. It's all about saving money on practice ammo for the 40mm cannons used on AC-130 gunships. Brought new, each 40mm round costs $200. But there was still 350,000 rounds of World War II vintage 40mm armor piercing ammo available, still in its original waterproof packaging, sitting in air force storage bunkers (one can only wonder what else is down there). The AC-130s don't use armor piercing ammo, but the high explosive incendiary (it explodes and causes fires and lots of metal fragments). For practice, you need the high explosive incendiary (which explodes when it hits), not the armor piercing (which is difficult to be seen from the AC-130.) Thus for years, the AC-130 crews had no interest in the old armor piercing stiff. But then some clever air force boffins figured out how to add a small spotting charge to the old armor piercing round. The procedure doesn't cost much, and the resulting armor piercing ammo provides the visual feedback gunners need while practice firing. This made training a lot cheaper. Converting all the old ammo will take care of training needs for about five years. The World War II era rounds cost $8 each when manufactured. Adjusted for inflation, that's about $90 today. Plus the cost of storage for over sixty years. Accountants differ on exactly how to deal with all this in terms of calculating the "real" savings. But the program does get that ancient stuff out of the bunker, before the ammo becomes too old to safely use. On the downside, this just further encourages the military to never throw anything away. Many nations do this packrat thing, although the Russians are probably the worst offenders. They still have large quantities of World War II ammo and equipment in storage. Much of it was finally sold off when the Cold War ended in 1991. This was much appreciated by museums and private collectors. But they didn't sell everything, and even the U.S. has much vintage material sitting around, waiting for another opportunity. The navy, for example, had hundreds of 16 inch naval gun ammo, which continued to be used into the early 1990s. Not so much with the 5 inch anti-aircraft shells made in the last year of World War II. By the end of the Cold War, there were still over half a million of these left. The shells were no longer of any use against aircraft (which don't get close enough), and the gun that used them (the 1930s era 5/38 model) was no longer used. Demilitarizing (taking it apart and disposing of it) is expensive, so the tendency is to just leave the old ammo in the bunker and hope no one will notice.

DTN News: England TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ Ascot + Beauty + Obama = Luz Ni Zama

DTN News: England TODAY October 13, 2009 ~ Ascot + Beauty + Obama = Luz Ni Zama
*Source: DTN News
(NSI News Source Info) ASCOT, England - October 13, 2009: Ascot is a village in the English county of Berkshire, most famous as the location of Ascot Racecourse, home of the prestigious Royal Ascot race meeting.
Luz Ni Zama wears a Barack Obama outfit on day five of The Royal Ascot meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Ascot England Saturday June 20, 2009. Royal Ascot is one of the world's most famous race meetings and a major event in the British social calendar.

DTN News: China's Unusual Deals Working To Grow African Arms Presence

DTN News: China's Unusual Deals Working To Grow African Arms Presence
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) HONG KONG - October 13, 2009: In recent past, “Africa: The Next Defense Market Opportunity?” looked at projected trends, and discussed the reasons behind China’s resurgent status as an arms vendor to those states. The trainer was built through joint cooperation between the governments of Pakistan and the PRC. Initially, the aircraft was to feature many American parts, but due to political developments at the end of the 1980s, this plan was scrapped. The first prototype was built in 1989, with the first flight taking place at the end of 1990. *The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) first received fourteen jets in 1994 after which it decided to order 75 more to replace its fleet of Cessna trainers. *The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) received its first six jets in 1998. Later Chinese upgrades included indigenous engines. The PLAAF is anticipated to continue adding the trainer to its fleet in order to replace older trainers that are now obsolete. Other nations have shown interest in the trainer, and it now also serves in the air forces of *Egypt, *Sri Lanka and *Zimbabwe. While the plane primarily serves as a trainer, it can also be used in the ground-attack role. In 2008, the point was underlined by sales like the deal with Zimbabwe for 12 K-8/JL-8 jet trainers and light attack aircraft, but a number of deals are reportedly pending with various countries. These reportedly include everything from K-8 Karakorum jets and FC-1/JF-17 fighters, to WMZ-551 wheeled APCs, artillery, and of course the usual set of small arms and ammunition deals.
One of the challenges that the July 2008 Forecast International report had discussed is the region’s economic weakness, but UPI Asia notes that China has a solution. Zambia has used its copper resources to pay China in a number of military deals, Kenya has been negotiating with China to trade fishing rights for arms, and similar deals are under discussion elsewhere. While China’s economy has cooled as a result of the global recession, long-term, secure access to the resources needed to supply its growing economy is one of the regime’s top strategic priorities. Africa is poor by policy, but the continent has rich resources of oil and key industrial metals. This Chinese arms thrust is one component of a unified strategy that bundles weapon sales and economic ties.
Other building blocks include soft-power approaches, and a key component block was added recently with the launch of a PLAN hospital ship. Few countries own dedicated hospital vessels, which can serve in quasi-diplomatic goodwill roles, or function in their traditional role as high-capacity medical support for amphibious assaults. A combination of arms sales, naval activities, and economic ties is promising, but it will also require other forms of local relationship-building and military presence, in order to give China the full range of tools for influencing African regimes.
Oddly, none of these sales, deal structures, or strategic considerations were even mentioned in a recent SIPRI analysis of China’s stepped-up deployment of peacekeeping troops. Troops whose chosen missions appear to have a strong focus on African operations.