DTN News: Lockheed Martin Receives Trident II D5 Missile System Production And Support Contract*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) SUNNYVALE, Calif., - December 9, 2009: The U.S. Navy is awarding Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a contract with a value not to exceed $851 million for production and deployed system support for the Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) program for fiscal year 2010. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin is providing D5 missile hardware production support and reentry system hardware, as well as operations and maintenance to support the readiness and reliability of missile systems deployed aboard the Navy’s Trident II OHIO-class submarines. The contract also continues the D5 Life Extension effort, which updates selected electronic components to support the extended service life of the Navy's OHIO-class submarines.
“Under the leadership of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Program, the Fleet Ballistic Missile program sets the standard for partnership, disciplined performance and continual improvement,” said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We are dedicated to supporting the Navy as it continues to raise the bar on this critically important program.” First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard OHIO-class submarines and British VANGUARD-class submarines. Lockheed Martin completed D5 missile deliveries for the U.S. inventory objective in 2007. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles.
The TRIDENT II D5 Missile ~ In October 1980, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, the Navy embarked on a 3- year advanced development program directed toward achieving significantly enhanced performance characteristics in a new submarinelaunched ballistic missile (SLBM) designed to utilize the full volume available in the TRIDENT SSBN’s launch tube. Primary among the specific performance objectives were improved accuracy and increased payload. In February 1981, the Secretary of Defense reconfirmed the mission and need for qualitative improvements to our SLBM systems and directed the Navy to proceed with Phase I (Demonstration and Validation) of the SLBM Modernization Program. The Secretary of Defense further directed that the Navy prepare for a Defense System Acquisition Review Council (DSARC) II review before the end of fiscal year (FY) 1983 to select an SLBM modernization option having an initial operational capability (IOC) not later than 1989.
In October 1981, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the Navy to fund the development of the D5 missile to support a late 1989 IOC.
IOC was delayed 3 months by initial Performance Evaluation Missile flight failures. The TRIDENT II (D5) missile was deployed in 1990 and will be the U.S.’s strategic seaborne deterrent well into the next century.
The TRIDENT II (D5) is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertially guided missile. TRIDENT II (D5) is launched underwater from the OHIO Class of nuclear-propelled TRIDENT submarines, each of which has 24 launch tubes. The TRIDENT II and its predecessor TRIDENT I have ranges of more than 4000 nautical miles (4600 statute miles). TRIDENT II is more sophisticated, with a significantly greater payload capability.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the prime contractor and program manager for the U.S. Navy’s Trident missile. Approximately 2,400 Lockheed Martin Space Systems employees, principally in California, Georgia, Florida, Washington, Utah and Virginia, support the design, development, production, test and operation of the Trident Strategic Weapon System. Lockheed Martin Space Systems has been the Navy’s prime strategic missile contractor since the inception of the program more than 50 years ago. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion
DTN News: IAI, EADS Discuss Adapting A320 For Airborne Early Warning
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV, Israel - December 9, 2009: Israel Aerospace Industries and EADS are in advanced discussions on teaming up to offer an airborne early warning system installed on a member of the Airbus A320 family, an IAI official says.
The discussions come after a series of overtures by IAI to adapt Elta Systems' conformal AEW technology to the A320 family.
EADS's Military Aircraft division previously rejected the concept, says Baruch Reshef, deputy director of Elta's group marketing and sales division. But its attitude has recently changed. "They are in favour of co-operation if we can find solutions that fit their platforms," he says.
IAI and EADS officials see a huge market opportunity for AEW technology, Reshef says, amounting to more than $10 billion over the next five years. IAI expects that an A320-based system could capture 30-40% of the market share, he says.
The first such A320 AEW platform could be available for service entry within three to four years of a contract award, Reshef says. The installation process "would be quite short in comparison to other programmes", he adds.
If both sides agree, IAI would help expand Airbus's portfolio of military offerings, which include the A330-based multirole tanker transport, A400M airlifter and a previous offer to provide adapted A320s for NATO's alliance ground surveillance programme - a capability which has subsequently been narrowed to include only unmanned aircraft. IAI would also gain a new platform for its conformal AEW technology, already installed on the Gulfstream G550 business jet for Israel and Singapore.
EADS declined to comment on the report, following a request from Flight International.
An A320-based system would join other Western market offerings in the airborne early warning and control segment, which include the Boeing 737, Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and Saab Microwave Systems' Erieye radar, which has so far been integrated with the Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet and Saab 340 and Saab 2000 turboprops.
IAI's Phalcon series of AEW radars began with the EL/M-2075 L-band electronically scanned array, first installed on the Boeing 707 for Israel and Chile. India has also acquired the radar for installation on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport.
DTN News: Lockheed Martin Receives $14.75 Million Award To Integrate Ku Band Messaging Interface With The MH-60R Helicopter
*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) OWEGO, NY - December 9, 2009: Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has received a $14.75 million U.S. Navy contract to integrate a digital messaging interface that will improve the flow of data the MH-60R anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter can send to U.S. Navy ships across the new Ku band tactical data link. The Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopter is the newest aircraft in the US Navy's fleet. It is replacing SH-60B and SH-60F helicopters and combines the capabilities of these aircraft.
The helicopter is equipped for a range of missions including: anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), naval gunfire support (NGFS), surveillance, communications relay, logistics support, personnel transfer and vertical replenishment (VERTREP). For vertical replenishment missions the helicopter is fitted with a 2,721.55kg (6,000lb) cargo hook. Lockheed Martin, Owego, is the mission systems integrator. The maiden flight of the MH-60R took place in July 2001. The first low-rate initial production (LRIP) helicopters were remanufactured SH-60Bs but following MH-60Rs are all new-build. The first new production MH-60R helicopter was delivered in August 2005. Operational evaluation (OPEVAL) was completed in October 2005 and full-rate production approved in April 2006. Production levels are planned to increase to up to 30 helicopters a month. The US Navy expects to operate 252 MH-60R helicopters by 2015.
As the ‘eyes and ears’ of the U.S. Navy fleet, the MH-60R helicopter collects and processes voice, video, radar and acoustic sensor data to alert the host ship of undersea and surface movements. MH-60R and legacy SH-60B aircraft currently send data across the C-band microwave frequency range. With the introduction of Ku band, the air-to-ship downlink will expand significantly, enabling the MH-60R to stream large quantities of information-rich data to the strike group commander.
The high definition Ship Air Upgrade interface Lockheed Martin is integrating — designated SAU 07000 — will allow a ship or strike group to request specific data from the helicopter, simultaneously receive streaming imagery and other messages, and capture ever greater levels of detail about multiple targets observed by the helicopter.
“The SAU 07000 interface establishes point-to-point Internet-equivalent connectivity between the MH-60R and the ship, enabling both to publish and subscribe for information,” said George Barton, director of Naval Helicopter Programs at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, NY. “With the enhanced interaction between the air and ship, the host ship can take fuller advantage of the Ku band pipeline’s capability, thereby giving the strike group commander greater situational awareness in the area of operation.”
“The SAU 07000 interface is an important step in integrating the MH-60R into a secure and interoperable naval communications network as part of the Navy’s Network-centric Warfare objective,” said Capt. Dean Peters, MH-60 Multi-Mission Helicopter program manager. “The interface also will prepare the MH-60R for future mission capabilities, such as over-the-horizon communications relay and connectivity to the U.S. Defense Department’s Global Information Grid.”
During the next 30 months, Lockheed Martin will develop software for MH-60R SAU 07000 integration, perform ground and flight tests in Owego, NY, and support U.S. Navy tests at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. Ku band-capable MH-60Rs are scheduled for deployment as part of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group in 2012.
Developed jointly by the Naval Air Systems Command and the Naval Sea Systems Command, the SAU 07000 interface will be integrated into ship combat systems, including Aegis-equipped ships. SAU 07000-equipped MH-60R aircraft will remain backward compatible with the legacy C-band message interface to support naval ships that have not yet upgraded to the new interface.
The MH-60R multimission helicopter is designed and manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego is the systems integrator for the MH-60R, and also provides the digital cockpit, which is common to all MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters.
The two companies have delivered 48 MH-60R aircraft to the U.S. Navy to date, which has established four of 10 MH-60R squadrons. The Navy intends to purchase 300 MH-60R aircraft. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego is the rotary wing center of excellence for Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company has more than 35 years of experience as a leading mission systems integrator of maritime helicopters, including the British Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk 1 helicopter fleet, and two generations of U.S. Navy helicopters, the SH-60B and the MH-60R.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
DTN News: Sensor Turret Installation Is Validated For The UH-72A *Source: DTN News / EADS
(NSI News Source Info) ARLINGTON, Virginia - December 9, 2009: Flight tests have been completed with the electro-optical/infrared sensor turret for UH-72A Lakotas that will be operated by the U.S. Army National Guard in Security and Support (S&S) missions.
The L3 Wescam MX-15 turret’s chin-mounted centerline installation was validated during flight tests with an EC145 – the helicopter on which EADS North America’s UH-72A is based.
Completion of these tests marks a major milestone in the integration of the Army National Guard’s full mission equipment package. The Army National Guard will be a major operator of UH-72A Lakotas, receiving aircraft configured for the S&S mission, as well as for use in medical evacuation and multi-role transportation.
DTN News: Airlines News TODAY December 9, 2009 ~ United Airlines Places $10 Billion Plane Order*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) CHICAGO/PARIS - December 9, 2009: Taking advantage of down market prices, United Airlines said on Tuesday it placed a $10 billion-plus order for 50 wide-bodied jetliners divided between Airbus and Boeing Co, in a bid to slash fuel costs and emissions.
United, a unit of UAL Corp, has letters of intent to order 25 of Boeing's 787 Dreamliners and the same number of A350 planes from its European rival Airbus, part of EADS, following a six-month contest. The carrier also has future purchase rights for 50 of each aircraft.
The third-largest U.S. airline said its order capitalizes on lower prices as Boeing and Airbus grapple with an economic downturn that has led to airline capacity cuts, weaker orders and cancellations. The order also marks one of the biggest aircraft deals since the start of the recession, as well as a bounce in U.S. plane investment after years of industry restructuring.
"We obviously thought the current environment was an opportunity for us," United Airlines President John Tague told Reuters.
"We resisted the pressure during the up cycle to buy during the 'while supplies last' market environment and had the patience to wait until we saw this opportunity. We feel very rewarded by that," he said.
United did not give many details on its order financing but said it obtained financing from both manufacturers.
The carrier said it expects to take delivery of the aircraft between 2016 and 2019. When that happens, it will retire its international Boeing 747s and 767s.
"This order was analyzed in the context of replacement for our 767 and 747 fleet," Tague said. The new planes are smaller than the ones they replace and therefore represent a reduction in average seat count by about 19 percent, the carrier said.
Additionally, the newer aircraft will reduce United's fuel costs and carbon emissions by about 33 percent compared with the retired aircraft and cut lifetime maintenance costs by about 40 percent per available seat mile.
United indicated it had not yet decided whether to choose Rolls-Royce Group Plc or General Electric Co engines for the 787s. Rolls is sole engine supplier on the
The order prompted Helane Becker, airline analyst at Jesup & Lamont, to upgrade UAL shares to "buy" from "hold."
"We believe the order can be a major positive for United Airlines going forward for a variety of reasons," she said in a note. "The company gains flexibility at a minimum cost."
Other experts were less impressed.
"I just see it as kind of an overdue beginning of a reinvestment," said airline consultant Robert Mann, noting that rival U.S. airlines are already updating their fleets.
Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at The Teal Group, agreed the order was overdue.
"A decision to continue treading water is hardly inspirational," Aboulafia said.
"All this is signs of an airline that is doing the bare minimum necessary to continue flying international routes in 10 years," he said.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 together make up the next generation of lightweight composite-built jets being developed by the world's two large airliner manufacturers. They are designed to address a promising market for aircraft built with tough but lightweight materials to save fuel and carrying 200 to 300 passengers over long distances on two engines.
Planemakers see a market for thousands of such aircraft once the airline industry recovers from recession.
Airbus sales chief John Leahy toasted the order from an airline that shares common roots with Boeing and has always flown long-distance planes made by the U.S. planemaker.
United so far uses Airbus planes only for its short-haul and medium-haul fleet.
"We are very pleased with this order because it establishes that large carriers that clearly have a Boeing bias can introduce 25 A350s and very easily and efficiently fly them side by side with their Boeing fleet," Leahy said in an interview.
Amid lower plane orders due to the recession, the deal -- worth $10.1 billion at list prices -- could kick-start a replacement cycle for less-efficient planes, he said.
The Boeing part of the order will be a confidence boost to the 787 Dreamliner project, coming ahead of its first maiden flight which has been overshadowed by delays. Meanwhile, Airbus will start building the A350 next year.
Separately, Ireland's Ryanair Holdings Plc said it was likely to shelve plans to buy 200 Boeing aircraft because the U.S. plane maker wants to change delivery conditions.
Boeing shares were up 11 cents at $55.93 on the New York Stock Exchange. EADS shares were down 1.4 percent in Paris trading.
DTN News: Indonesian Navy Gets 10 Landing Craft From South Korea*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) JAKARTA, Indonesia - December 9, 2009: The Navy received 10 amphibious assault vehicles donated by South Korea at a ceremony at Tanjung Priok harbor on Monday, marking improving ties between the two nations and giving the Indonesian military a boost, officials said.
“The 10 tanks were previously used by the South Korean military. They overhauled the tanks, including the engines, before handing them over to us,” Navy spokesman First Adm. Iskandar Sitompul said.
The LVT-7A1 amphibious tanks were manufactured in 1983 by a South Korean arms contractor. Air Vice Marshal Sagom Tamboen, a spokesman for the Indonesian Armed Forces, said the gift of military hardware showed that ties with South Korea were warming, especially in the field of defense. “The relationship between us is very good, especially in arms purchases and transfer of technology,” Tamboen said. “The South Korean government is also expecting us to cooperate on arms manufacturing with them.” Sitompul said South Korea was planning to send 20 more amphibious tanks to the Navy.
The remaining assault vehicles, Sitompul added, were being overhauled before being shipped to ensure they were 90 percent fit for operations. He declined to comment on a delivery date. Sitompul said the amphibious tanks would be used by the Indonesian Marine Corps (Kormar), which is in dire need of landing craft.
A military source told the Jakarta Globe that Kormar had approximately 130 landing vehicles, but that only 30 percent of them were operational. Sitompul said the Marines would also receive 17 BMP 3F amphibious tanks purchased from Russia as part of a $1 billion loan agreement signed between the two countries in 2006.
“We hope the presence of 17 new BMP 3F amphibious tanks will strengthen our military,” he said. Sitompul did not provide a delivery date for the Russian tanks. Amid the influx of new hardware, the Navy was evaluating whether to dispose of most of Kormar’s aging tanks, especially the BTR 50s, the majority of tanks used by the Marines, Sitompul said. “New tanks like the LVT have better capability in terms of speed and power,” he said.
DTN News: U.S. and South Korea Hold Combined Exercise
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) YEOJU-GUN, South Korea - December 9, 2009: U.S. soldiers from 2nd battalion, 2nd aviation regiment, 2nd combat aviation brigade, 2nd infantry division and South Korean soldiers participate in the combined air assault exercise on December 8, 2009 in Yeoju-gun, South Korea. South Korean army and U.S. soldiers conducted a air assault exercise to prepare for possible aggression by North Korea, which the South remains technically at war with since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
South Korean Army soldiers aim their machine guns during a South Korea-U.S. combined air assault exercise to prepare for possible aggression by North Korea in Yeoju, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama's envoy began a rare trip to North Korea Tuesday for the highest-level talks with the communist nation in more than a year as a senior U.S. official warned of strong sanctions against Pyongyang unless it rejoins international nuclear talks.
DTN News: The Jihadist Strategic Dilemma
*Source: By George Friedman STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - December 8, 2009: With U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement of his strategy in Afghanistan, the U.S.-jihadist war has entered a new phase. With its allies, the United States has decided to increase its focus on the Afghan war while continuing to withdraw from Iraq. Along with focusing on Afghanistan, it follows that there will be increased Western attention on Pakistan. Meanwhile, the question of what to do with Iran remains open, and is in turn linked to U.S.-Israeli relations. The region from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush remains in a war or near-war status. In a fundamental sense, U.S. strategy has not shifted under Obama: The United States remains in a spoiling-attack state.
As we have discussed, the primary U.S. interest in this region is twofold. The first aspect is to prevent the organization of further major terrorist attacks on the United States. The second is to prevent al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups from taking control of any significant countries.
U.S. operations in this region mainly consist of spoiling attacks aimed at frustrating the jihadists’ plans rather than at imposing Washington’s will in the region. The United States lacks the resources to impose its will, and ultimately doesn’t need to. Rather, it needs to wreck its adversaries’ plans. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the primary American approach consists of this tack. That is the nature of spoiling attacks. Obama has thus continued the Bush administration’s approach to the war, though he has shifted some details.
The Jihadist Viewpoint
It is therefore time to consider the war from the jihadist point of view. This is a difficult task given that the jihadists do not constitute a single, organized force with a command structure and staff that could express that view. It is compounded by the fact that al Qaeda prime, our term for the original al Qaeda that ordered and organized the attacks on 9/11 and in Madrid and London, is now largely shattered.
While bearing this in mind, it must be remembered that this fragmentation is both a strategic necessity and a weapon of war for jihadists. The United States can strike the center of gravity of any jihadist force. It naturally cannot strike what doesn’t exist, so the jihadist movement has been organized to deny the United States that center of gravity, or command structure which, if destroyed, would leave the movement wrecked. Thus, even were Osama bin Laden killed or captured, the jihadist movement is set up to continue.
So although we cannot speak of a jihadist viewpoint in the sense that we can speak of an American viewpoint, we can ask this question: If we were a jihadist fighter at the end of 2009, what would the world look like to us, what would we want to achieve and what might we do to try to achieve that?
We must bear in mind that al Qaeda began the war with a core strategic intent, namely, to spark revolutions in the Sunni Muslim world by overthrowing existing regimes and replacing them with jihadist regimes. This was part of the jihadist group’s long-term strategy to recreate a multinational Islamist empire united under al Qaeda’s interpretation of Shariah.
The means toward this end involved demonstrating to the Muslim masses that their regimes were complicit with the leading Christian power, i.e., the United States, and that only American backing kept these Sunni regimes in power. By striking the United States on Sept. 11, al Qaeda wanted to demonstrate that the United States was far more vulnerable than believed, by extension demonstrating that U.S. client regimes were not as powerful as they appeared. This was meant to give the Islamic masses a sense that uprisings against Muslim regimes not dedicated to Shariah could succeed. In their view, any American military response — an inevitability after 9/11 — would further incite the Muslim masses rather than intimidate them.
The last eight years of war have ultimately been disappointing to the jihadists, however. Rather than a massive uprising in the Muslim world, not a single regime has been replaced with a jihadist regime. The primary reason has been that Muslim regimes allied with the United States decided they had more to fear from the jihadists than from the Americans, and chose to use their intelligence and political power to attack and suppress the jihadists. In other words, rather than trigger an uprising, the jihadists generated a strengthened anti-jihadist response from existing Muslim states. The spoiling attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in other countries in the Horn of Africa and North Africa, generated some support for the jihadists, but that support has since diminished and the spoiling attacks have disrupted these countries sufficiently to make them unsuitable as bases of operation for anything more than local attacks. In other words, the attacks tied the jihadists up in local conflicts, diverting them from operations against the United States and Europe.
Under this intense pressure, the jihadist movement has fragmented, though it continues to exist. Incapable of decisive action at the moment, it has goals beyond surviving as a fragmented entity, albeit with some fairly substantial fragments. And it is caught on the horns of a strategic dilemma.
Operationally, jihadists continue to be engaged against the United States. In Afghanistan, the jihadist movement is relying on the Taliban to tie down and weaken American forces. In Iraq, the remnants of the jihadist movement are doing what they can to shatter the U.S.-sponsored coalition government in Baghdad and further tie down American forces by attacking Shiites and key members of the Sunni community. Outside these two theaters, the jihadists are working to attack existing Muslim governments collaborating with the United States — particularly Pakistan — but with periodic attacks striking other Muslim states.
These attacks represent the fragmentation of the jihadists. Their ability to project power is limited. By default, they have accordingly adopted a strategy of localism, in which their primary intent is to strike existing governments while simultaneously tying down American forces in a hopeless attempt to stabilize the situation.
The strategic dilemma is this: The United States is engaged in a spoiling action with the primary aim of creating conditions in which jihadists are bottled up fighting indigenous forces rather than being free to plan attacks on the United States or systematically try to pull down existing regimes. And the current jihadist strategy plays directly into American hands. First, the attacks recruit Muslim regimes into deploying their intelligence and security forces against the jihadists, which is precisely what the United States wants. Secondly, it shifts jihadist strength away from transnational actions to local actions, which is also what the United States wants. These local attacks, which kill mostly Muslims, also serve to alienate many Muslims from the jihadists.
The jihadists are currently playing directly into U.S. hands because, rhetoric aside, the United States cannot regard instability in the Islamic world as a problem. Let’s be more precise on this: An ideal outcome for the United States would be the creation of stable, pro-American regimes in the region eager and able to attack and destroy jihadist networks. There are some regimes in the region like this, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The probability of creating such stable, eager and capable regimes in places like Iraq or Afghanistan is unlikely in the extreme. The second-best outcome for the United States involves a conflict in which the primary forces battling — and neutralizing — each other are Muslim, with the American forces in a secondary role. This has been achieved to some extent in Iraq. Obama’s goal is to create a situation in Afghanistan in which Afghan government forces engage Taliban forces with little or no U.S. involvement. Meanwhile, in Pakistan the Americans would like to see an effective effort by Islamabad to suppress jihadists throughout Pakistan. If they cannot get suppression, the United States will settle for a long internal conflict that would tie down the jihadists.
A Self-Defeating Strategy
The jihadists are engaged in a self-defeating strategy when they spread out and act locally. The one goal they must have, and the one outcome the United States fears, is the creation of stable jihadist regimes. The strategy of locally focused terrorism has proved ineffective. It not only fails to mobilize the Islamic masses, it creates substantial coalitions seeking to suppress the jihadists.
The jihadist attack on the United States has failed. The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has reshaped the behavior of regional governments. Fear of instability generated by the war has generated counteractions by regional governments. Contrary to what the jihadists expected or hoped for, there was no mass uprising and therefore no counter to anti-jihadist actions by regimes seeking to placate the United States. The original fear, that the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan would generate massive hostility, was not wrong. But the hostility did not strengthen the jihadists, and instead generated anti-jihadist actions by governments.
From the jihadist point of view, it would seem essential to get the U.S. military out of the region and to relax anti-jihadist actions by regional security forces. Continued sporadic and ineffective action by jihadists achieves nothing and generates forces with which they can’t cope. If the United States withdrew, and existing tensions within countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan were allowed to mature undisturbed, new opportunities might present themselves.
Most significantly, the withdrawal of U.S. troops would strengthen Iran. The jihadists are no friends of Shiite Iran, and neither are Iran’s neighbors. In looking for a tool for political mobilization in the Gulf region or in Afghanistan absent a U.S. presence, the Iranian threat would best serve the jihadists. The Iranian threat combined with the weakness of regional Muslim powers would allow the jihadists to join a religious and nationalist opposition to Tehran. The ability to join religion and nationalism would turn the local focus from something that takes the jihadists away from regime change to something that might take them toward it.
The single most powerful motivator for an American withdrawal would be a period of open quiescence. An openly stated consensus for standing down, in particular because of a diminished terrorist threat, would facilitate something the Obama administration wants most of all: a U.S. withdrawal from the region. Providing the Americans with a justification for leaving would open the door for new possibilities. The jihadists played a hand on 9/11 that they hoped would prove a full house. It turned into a bust. When that happens, you fold your hand and play a new one. And there is always a hand being dealt so long as you have some chips left.
The challenge here is that the jihadists have created a situation in which they have defined their own credibility in terms of their ability to carry out terrorist attacks, however poorly executed or counterproductive they have become. Al Qaeda prime’s endless calls for action have become the strategic foundation for the jihadists: Action has become an end in itself. The manner in which the jihadists have survived as a series of barely connected pods of individuals scattered across continents has denied the United States a center of gravity to strike. It has also turned the jihadists from a semi-organized force into one incapable of defining strategic shifts.
The jihadists’ strategic dilemma is that they have lost the 2001-2008 phase of the war but are not defeated. To begin to recoup, they must shift their strategy. But they lack the means for doing so because of what they have had to do to survive. At the same time, there are other processes in play. The Taliban, which has even more reason to want the United States out of Afghanistan, might shift to an anti-jihadist strategy: It could liquidate al Qaeda, return to power in Afghanistan and then reconsider its strategy later. So, too, in other areas.
From the U.S. point of view, an open retreat by the jihadists would provide short-term relief but long-term problems. The moment when the enemy sues for peace is the moment when the pressure should be increased rather than decreased. But direct U.S. interests in the region are so minimal that a more distant terrorist threat will be handled in a more distant future. As the jihadists are too fragmented to take strategic positions, U.S. pressure will continue in any event.
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: Maritime Safety Administration Of China Takes Delivery Of Two Grand Helicopters
*Source: DTN News / AgustaWestland
(NSI News Source Info) VERGIATE, Italy - December 8, 2009: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) of China has taken delivery of two Grand light twin helicopters during an official ceremony held at AgustaWestland's Vergiate facility in Italy Dec.4 2009. The MSA is responsible for monitoring all inland and coastal waters and these two helicopters will be dedicated to controlling and fighting water pollution. The aircraft will also be based aboard the MSA's new large vessels performing missions in the Guangdong province, Southern China. The contract also includes an option for an additional two aircraft to be exercised next year.Giuseppe Orsi, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “We are delighted to deliver these two helicopters to the MSA, marking another major success for AgustaWestland in the increasingly important Chinese commercial helicopter market. As additional vessels on order are completed for the MSA, further expansion of its helicopter fleet will be required and we are committed to offering the best solutions to meet future customer requirements”.
The Grand helicopter was selected following the evaluation of the responses to an international tender issued by the Ministry of Telecommunications of China, to whom the MSA reports. The Grand was chosen for its class leading operational capabilities and performance in the maritime role. AgustaWestland has already sold almost 30 helicopters in China and sees growing future business opportunities in the country where it aims to establish itself as the market leader in the light and medium twin commercial markets. The Grand is a top-of-the-range light twin helicopter offering high performance capabilities, space and payload, previously only associated with larger helicopters, whilst retaining attractive light twin economics. The Grand has set a new standard in its class offering the highest performance, including full Cat. A/Class 1 capability enabling it to operate from elevated helipads. Orders for nearly 280 helicopters have been placed by almost 150 customers in over 30 countries worldwide for various roles including EMS, SAR, harbour pilot shuttle and VIP/corporate transport.
DTN News: Northrop Grumman Receives Contract to Supply Radar Systems for U.S. Navy Submarines*Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman
(NSI News Source Info) CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - December 8, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Sperry Marine business unit has been awarded a contract to supply navigation radar systems for eight new U.S. Navy nuclear attack submarines.
The firm, fixed-price contract, valued at $20.9 million, was awarded to Sperry Marine by Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
The contract calls for Sperry Marine to produce and deliver eight AN/BPS-16(v)5 radar sets to be installed on eight Virginia-class Block III submarines. The scope of work will include manufacturing, fabrication, assembly and testing.
The AN/BPS-16(v)5 is an advanced submarine navigation radar and electronic navigation system, which provides naval electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS-N) capability running on Sperry Marine's Voyage Management System (VMS) software.
"The AN/BPS-16(v)5 with VMS software will permit the new submarines to be certified to use ECDIS-N as their primary navigation tool," said J. Nolasco DaCunha, vice president of Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine. "With this contract, the submarine community continues to make rapid progress toward the U.S. Navy's goal of converting the entire fleet to ECDIS-N."
The Virginia-class Block III submarines are being built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat. The lead submarine in the Block III build, North Dakota (SSN 784), is scheduled to be delivered in 2014.
Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine, headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., and with major engineering, business development, international sales and support offices in New Malden, United Kingdom and Hamburg, Germany, provides smart navigation and ship control solutions for the international marine industry with customer service and support through offices in 16 countries, sales representatives in 47 countries and authorized service depots in more than 250 locations worldwide.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
DTN News: Boeing's 3rd WGS Satellite Sends 1st Signals From Space*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., - December 8, 2009: Boeing [NYSE: BA] has acquired the first on-orbit signals from the third of six Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites. The signals indicate that the spacecraft is healthy and ready to begin orbital maneuvers and operational testing. WGS is the latest U.S. Department of Defense satellite communications system.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launched the WGS-3 satellite at 8:47 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A ground station in Dongara, Australia, received the satellite's first signals 58 minutes later at 9:45 p.m. Eastern time. Boeing's Mission Control Center in El Segundo, Calif., confirmed that the satellite is functioning normally.
"This mission marks another important advancement in the communications capabilities that our advanced satellites provide to U.S. military personnel around the world," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The nation's warfighters rely on satellites like this one to help them execute difficult missions safely and effectively, and the Air Force-Boeing team is committed to coming through for them."
Following a series of orbital maneuvers and on-orbit tests over the West Coast of the United States, WGS-3 will be placed into geosynchronous Earth orbit over the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite joins WGS-1, which entered service over the Pacific Ocean in April 2008, and WGS-2, which began operations over the Middle East in August 2009. The WGS-1 and WGS-2 satellites meet and, in some cases, exceed Air Force mission requirements. Together, the three WGS satellites will provide assured access to high-data-rate communications for U.S. forces and allies around the world.
WGS is the Department of Defense's highest-capacity communications satellite system. The satellites are built on the proven Boeing 702 platform with 13 kilowatts of power. The payload provides reconfigurable coverage areas and the ability to connect X-band and Ka-band users anywhere within their field of view via an onboard digital channelizer -- features not available on any other communications satellite.
Boeing is building three more WGS satellites for the Air Force with enhancements that include a radio frequency bypass designed to support airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms requiring additional bandwidth. Satellites four through six are planned for launch in 2011 and 2013.
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: Boeing, Korean Air Announce Order For New 747-8 Intercontinental
*Five airplanes worth $1.5 billion at list prices
*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE, - December 8, 2009: Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Korean Air on Dec.4 announced an order for five 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners. Korean Air is the first Asian airline to order the passenger version of the new, fuel-efficient 747-8.
The airplanes have a total average list price value of $1.5 billion. Korean Air already has arrangements to operate seven 747-8 Freighters.
"This is a great day in the history of our long and enduring partnership with Korean Air," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The technologically advanced 747-8 Intercontinental is particularly well suited for Korean Air's operations. It will provide exceptional levels of passenger comfort, greatly enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and noise. The announcement comes at an exciting time as we move closer to the first 747-8 Freighter flight in early 2010."
Korean Air plans on flying the 747-8 Intercontinental on long-haul routes to the Americas and Europe.
"The 747-8 Intercontinental fills the void between the 300- and 550-seat airplanes in our future fleet," said Won Tae Cho, managing vice president of Korean Air Passenger Business Division. "The technological enhancements Boeing has made to this airplane will deliver exceptional economics and a flying experience that will thrill our customers, enabling Korean Air to provide Excellence in Flight to our customers."
The new 747-8 Intercontinental is stretched 18.3 feet (5.6 m) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration, an additional 51 seats. It also offers a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,815 km). Using the new GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 provides airlines a quieter, more fuel-efficient airplane. The 747-8 also provides nearly equivalent trip costs and 13 percent lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 26 percent greater cargo volume.
The 747-8 also features a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck. The airplane interior incorporates features from the 787 Dreamliner, including a new curved, upswept architecture that will give passengers a greater sense of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The architecture will be accentuated by lighting technology that provides smooth transitions for a more restful flight.
The 747 program is in the later stages of the 747-8 Intercontinental design phase. Assembly on the airplane is set to begin around mid-2010, with the first delivery of the passenger version scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011.
With the addition of the Korean Air order, Boeing has secured 110 orders for the 747-8. Thirty-two of the orders are for the 747-8 Intercontinental, and the remaining 78 are for the 747-8 Freighter.