Wednesday, December 09, 2009

DTN News: French Defense Ministry Orders Two Eurocopter EC225 Helicopters For Search And Rescue Missions

DTN News: French Defense Ministry Orders Two Eurocopter EC225 Helicopters For Search And Rescue Missions *Eurocopter, a subsidiary of EADS and the world's leading helicopter manufacturer, is pleased to announce the purchase of two EC225s by the French Defense Ministry for the country's navy.
*Source: DTN News / EADS N.V. (NSI News Source Info) MARIGNANE, France - December 10, 2009: The two EC225s ordered by the French Armament Procurement Agency (DGA) will be the first to be operated by the French Navy.
The helicopters, which will be used to perform search and rescue (SAR) missions off the coast of Brittany, are slated for delivery in the first half of 2010 and will be assigned to the Lanvéoc naval air station in the Finistère region.
They are destined to replace the navy's Super-Frelon helicopters, which are near the end of their service life, and will be operated until such time as the first NH90 NFH helicopters enter service at the base in late 2011. "We are extremely pleased that the DGA continues to place its confidence in Eurocopter products," declared Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. "Since it was first launched, the EC225 has been selected in nearly every tender in which it was a candidate. This helicopter has quickly become the reference for sea SAR missions around the world."
The many operators who count on the EC225 for SAR missions testify to its success: South Korea's national rescue agency, the Chinese Ministry of Transport, the Japanese Coast Guard, as well as the large commercial operators servicing oil and gas platforms in the North Sea, Bering Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
The EC225 was designed from the outset with SAR missions in mind. The twin-engine helicopter has an entirely redesigned five-blade rotor system and a maximum takeoff weight of 11 metric tons. Its extremely low vibration levels are unparalleled in the industry, and make it possible to fly long missions without tiring out flight crews.
Amongst its many possible mission scenarios, the EC225 is capable of rescuing ten people within a range of 300 NM. Another outstanding feature of the EC225 is its automatic pilot, which is the only one of its kind in the world. It includes advanced modes specifically developed for SAR operations, and offers extraordinary capabilities for maneuvering into hover flight positions and maintaining them.
It is so precise that it can hold the helicopter's position above a ship at sea down to an accuracy of one meter. The EC225 is also the only helicopter in the world that offers automatic engine failure controls, whether it be during takeoff, cruise flight or hoisting operations.
These features are crucial for flight safety and allow flight crews to perform more effective missions—even in the extreme operating conditions often confronted by sea SAR teams. About Eurocopter Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.5 billion Euros, orders for 715 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors.
Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres.
More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.

DTN News: British Forces ~ Driving ambulances in Helmand

DTN News: British Forces ~ Driving ambulances in Helmand *Source: DTN News / British Ministry of Defence (MoD) (NSI News Source Info) - December 10, 2009: Two Royal Logistic Corps soldiers are currently deployed to Afghanistan where they are providing an essential role driving wounded troops to the Camp Bastion hospital. Army driver Private Matt 'Pimmy' Pimblett with the Mastiff Armoured Battlefield Ambulance in Helmand province[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009] Private Matt 'Pimmy' Pimblett, who has served two previous tours in Iraq, is now working in Afghanistan as a Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) driver with 254 Medical Regiment. Based in Camp Bastion, Pte Pimblett has driven the Mastiff armoured ambulance vehicle on Combat Logistic Patrols all over Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the south of the country. The logistic patrols ensure that the troops in the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) receive the food, water, ammunition and supplies they need. The patrols have to contend with occasional small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and the improvised explosive device (IED) threat, so the presence of an ambulance vehicle is essential. Pte Pimblett said: "We supply people at FOBs with food, ammo, medical kit, and post, so it's very important. It's a dangerous job due to the IED threat. "We've had small arms fire and RPGs fired at us, found IEDs, and have assisted with the extraction of dead Afghan soldiers." Private Matt Pimblett RLC "We've had small arms fire and RPGs fired at us, found IEDs, and have assisted with the extraction of dead Afghan soldiers. "It was an eye-opener to the realities of war and the effects it can have on people's lives. "Nevertheless, I like getting stuck into the work and, although it may seem strange to people back home, I quite like the danger as I love the adrenaline rush!" Another RLC driver, Corporal Graham Laurence, is currently serving with 253 (North Irish) Medical Regiment in Afghanistan, also based at Camp Bastion. Cpl Laurence drives the battlefield ambulance, taking patients, many who have serious traumatic conditions, from the medical helicopters to the emergency department of the field hospital. Corporal Graham Laurence with the Mastiff Armoured Battlefield Ambulance[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009] This is a role where, unfortunately, he has been exposed to the worse injuries experienced by UK, US, Danish and Afghan troops that are taken off the helicopters. Cpl Laurence said: "I was initially concerned to how I would react to seeing such things but after a while I was OK when I did see injured patients. "I am now comfortable carrying out my duty. It is really fulfilling to know that I played a critical role in getting soldiers to urgently needed specialist medical care." Cpl Laurence has also driven local Afghan civilians, who are sometimes treated in the hospital, out of Camp Bastion so they could go home: "It can be difficult communicating with the Afghans due to obvious language difficulties, but it does give a valuable insight into their culture and customs," he said.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Cryostat To Fly On NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer Mission

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Cryostat To Fly On NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer Mission *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) PALO ALTO, Calif., - December 10, 2009: NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) – scheduled for launch on Dec. 11, 2009 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. – will scan the entire sky in infrared light, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. Two Thermos-like annular tanks filled with solid hydrogen, called a dual-stage cryostat, built by the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company [NYSE: LMT] Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto, will keep the mission’s sensitive infrared telescope and detectors chilled to near absolute zero. Expected to last about 10 months, the solid hydrogen cryostat will cool the WISE focal plane to 7.6 Kelvin (minus 446 Fahrenheit) and the optics to 12 Kelvin (minus 438 degrees Fahrenheit). (Image: EYE FOR THE INVISIBLE: Technicians prepare the WISE satellite for launch). “After years of effort, it is very satisfying to finally reach the milestone of launch,” said Iran Spradley, Senior Manager of the Thermal Sciences Department at the ATC. “We look forward with anticipation to the many discoveries that WISE is sure to make, and are enormously pleased to have played a role in this very important mission.” “Being a part of the WISE mission will always be a highlight in my career,” said Larry Naes, recently retired Lockheed Martin WISE cryostat program manager. “From the very beginning of the program, our colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory assembled the best of the best to implement this mission, with a singular team focus to optimize the science and produce data that will contribute greatly to our understanding of the infrared universe.” The WISE mission will build on the heritage of NASA’s very successful Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) launched in 1983. WISE, however, will have hundreds of times greater sensitivity and will uncover objects never before seen, including the coolest stars and the most luminous galaxies in the universe. The vast catalogs of infrared objects generated by WISE will help answer fundamental questions about the origins of planets, stars and galaxies, and provide astronomers a treasure trove of data that will be accessed for decades. It is near-Earth objects, both asteroids and comets with orbits that come close to crossing Earth’s path that will be the closest of WISE’s discoveries. It is expected that WISE will find hundreds of these, and hundreds of thousands of additional asteroids in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. By measuring the objects’ infrared light, astronomers will get the first good estimate of the size distribution of the asteroid population. This information will reveal approximately how often Earth can expect an encounter with a potentially hazardous asteroid. WISE will orbit Earth at an altitude of 326 miles, circling pole to pole about 15 times each day. A scan mirror within the WISE instrument will stabilize the line of sight so that snapshots can be taken every 11 seconds over the entire sky. Each position on the sky will be imaged a minimum of eight times, and some areas near the poles will be imaged more than 1,000 times. About 7,500 images will be taken every day at four different infrared wavelengths.NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The mission’s principal investigator, Edward L. (Ned) Wright, is at UCLA. The mission was competitively selected in 2002 under NASA’s Explorers Program managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Logan, Utah, and the spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp, Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing will take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. The mission’s education and public outreach office is based at the University of California, Berkeley. The ATC is the research and development organization of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC). LMSSC, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs and develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security and military, civil government and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; ballistic missiles; missile defense systems; and nanotechnology research and development. 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: Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder Demonstrates Air-To-Surface Capability

DTN News: Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder Demonstrates Air-To-Surface Capability *Source: DTN News / Raytheon Company (NSI News Source Info) TUCSON, Ariz., - December 10, 2009: Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) demonstrated the capability to employ the AIM-9X Sidewinder advanced infrared-guided air-to-air missile to attack surface targets. During a Sept. 23 test, an AIM-9X fired from a U.S. Air Force F-16C fighter sank a rapidly moving target boat in the Gulf of Mexico. "With a software upgrade, AIM-9X retains its air-to-air capabilities and gains an air-to-surface capability," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "AIM-9X now has the potential to take on an additional mission at a very affordable cost." The test marks the third time an AIM-9X engaged moving surface targets. In April 2008, a U.S. Air Force F-16 launched an AIM-9X and sank a maneuvering boat, and in March 2007, a U.S. Air Force F-15C fired an AIM-9X and destroyed a fast-moving armored personnel carrier. 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 worldwide. Note to editors: More than 400 Raytheon employees design and build the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile in Tucson, Ariz.; Andover, Mass.; and Goleta, Calif. Hundreds of employees in scores of businesses across the U.S. manufacture AIM-9X components. Major suppliers include: Alliant Techsystems, Rocket Center, W.Va.; Atlantic Inertial Systems, Cheshire, Conn.; Axsys Technology, San Diego, Calif.; BAE Container Solutions, Longmont, Colo.; Celestica, Austin, Texas; Cristek Interconnects, Anaheim, Calif.; ENSER, St. Petersburg, Fla.; HR Textron, Valencia, Calif.; Klune Industries, Spanish Forks, Utah; L3 Comm, San Diego, Calif.; L3 KDI Precision Products, Cincinnati, Ohio.

DTN News: Boeing Successfully Completes 747-8 Freighter Engine Runs

DTN News: Boeing Successfully Completes 747-8 Freighter Engine Runs *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EVERETT, Wash., - December 10, 2009: Boeing (NYSE: BA) successfully completed the first engine runs for the 747-8 Freighter. The milestone marks another step in the 747 program's steady progress in preparing for flight test. "We are very pleased with the engines' performance during this test," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. "The engines and all the systems performed as expected." Engine runs began slightly before 10 a.m. (PST) Tuesday. During initial engine runs, the engines are started and operated at various power settings to ensure all systems perform as expected. The engine run test began with the auxiliary power system providing power to start the first of four General Electric GEnx-2B engines. The remaining three engines were started using the cross-bleed function. Basic systems checks continued throughout the test. The engines were powered down and inspected and will be restarted following a technical review. The team completed a vibration check and monitored the shutdown logic to ensure it functioned as expected. "This milestone is an exciting one for the GEnx-2B team and we anticipate the engines will continue the same high performance that we have experienced in our ground and flight tests," said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx Program at GE Aviation. The GEnx-2B engine is optimized for the 747-8. It helps provide customers with improved fuel efficiency, reductions in emissions and noise and a lower cost of ownership.

DTN News: China Cargo Airlines To Incorporate Boeing Operational Efficiency Products

DTN News: China Cargo Airlines To Incorporate Boeing Operational Efficiency Products *Airplane Health Management for multiple models; 777 Electronic Flight Bag applications
*Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) HONG KONG - December 10, 2009: Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Shanghai-based China Cargo Airlines Dec. 9 announced an agreement to incorporate two key Boeing solutions into the carrier's operations over the coming months. China Cargo's new 777 Freighters will use Boeing Class 3 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) to bring advanced computer information delivery and management to the airplanes' flight decks. Multiple Airplane Health Management (AHM) modules will be deployed on the airline's new 777 Freighters and current 747-400 Freighter fleet. The airline operates two 747-400ER (Extended Range) Freighters and will introduce six 777 Freighters, with the first delivery expected in the first quarter of 2010. (Image of China Cargo Airlines MD-11 Freighter) "We believe that Electronic Flight Bag and Airplane Health Management will bring increased efficiency and a greater awareness of each airplane's situation and condition to both flight deck and ground-based personnel," said China Cargo President Zhu Yimin. "This will benefit our customers by improving on-time service while reducing costly delays." China Cargo is the first airline in China to operate the Boeing EFB and AHM combination, bringing the carrier to the forefront in maintenance and performance technology. "China Cargo is incorporating fleet enhancements that will increase the value of its 777 and 747-400 freighters," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "But the key is the benefits that EFB and AHM will bring to China Cargo's operations." Boeing Class 3 EFB, using software developed by Boeing and its Jeppesen subsidiary, incorporates the Onboard Performance Tool (OPT) and Electronic Document Browser (EDB) and provides information from airplane systems, flight crews, and cabin crews to the airline's base operation. The OPT gives pilots the ideal speeds and engine settings for an aircraft, in any weather, on any runway, with any payload, improving efficiency, range and payload. The EDB module allows instant access to the latest information, replacing multiple bulky paper documents and minimizing the need for manual updating and revision. Airplane Health Management is a multi-module decision support capability provided through the Web portal. Real-Time Fault Management collects real-time airplane data to provide enhanced fault forwarding, troubleshooting, and historical fix success rates, reducing schedule interruptions and increasing maintenance efficiency. The AHM Custom Alerting and Analysis module (formerly known as Service Monitoring) provides a powerful analysis and alerting tool to identify potential system issues and also monitors such items as tire pressure, oxygen pressure, hydraulic fluid and auxiliary power unit and engine oil levels. The Performance Monitoring module monitors fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to optimize airplane operations and support maintenance decision making. The monitoring of the two models will bring value to the airline's engineering management by improving maintenance performance and flight operations through reduced delays, cancellations, air turn backs and diversions. China Cargo Airlines is a joint venture of China Eastern Airlines and China Ocean Shipping and operates dedicated freight services using China Eastern's route structure. The airline also operates six MD-11 Freighters.

DTN News: Airbus Order Brings $2 Billion In Sales For Rolls-Royce

DTN News: Airbus Order Brings $2 Billion In Sales For Rolls-Royce *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK- December 9, 2009: Rolls-Royce, the engine manufacturer, has won a $2 billion (£1.2 billion) contract, with United Airlines placing its first new aircraft order in 12 years. Rolls will supply Trent aero engines for 25 Airbus A350 XWBs in a deal that will boost significantly the aircraft’s profile in the United States. Rolls is the sole engine supplier for the A350. Airbus has sold the A350, which is expected to be introduced from 2013, to only one other American carrier, US Airways. Boeing, Airbus’s rival, also benefited from United’s order yesterday as it sold 25 of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the carrier. Rolls and General Electric will compete to provide the engines for United’s 787s in the coming months. The value of the two aircraft orders is $10 billion, with the larger Airbus aircraft worth about 60 per cent of the total. In addition, United has placed provisional orders for 50 more of both aircraft. Mark King, president of Roll’s civil aerospace division, said: “This represents a significant endorsement of our Trent XWB technology and its operational advantage. We are delighted that United Airlines has put its trust in the long-term performance advantages of Trent technology.” United Airlines is America’s third-largest airline but it has struggled financially in recent years and has been unable to buy new, fuel-efficient aircraft. It emerged from four years in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006 but then was forced to reduce its fleet as the US economy entered recession. It has retired nearly 100 older Boeing 737s and six 747s. The financial weakness of many North American carriers means that the continent now has an ageing fleet of aircraft. This brings significant costs to the airlines as older aircraft need more maintenance, burn more fuel and emit more carbon dioxide. The new 787 and A350 aircraft are expected to be about 25 per cent more fuel-efficient than existing aircraft. United’s order for new aircraft is a key boost for Airbus and Boeing in a year in which orders have dried up. Many carriers have been forced to cancel orders or postpone delivery because of the severe downturn in the aviation sector. Boeing, for example, had added only 13 orders for the 787 before the United announcement, but has lost 83 orders. • Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, the budget airline, has continued to apply public pressure on Boeing to conclude a deal for 200 new aircraft. Mr O’Leary said that he might shelve plans to place the $6 billion (£3.7 billion) order because Boeing wanted to change the delivery conditions. “We have effectively almost reached agreement on price for a 200-aircraft order ... but the deal is unlikely to take place because now they want to go back and change delivery conditions,” he said.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY December 9, 2009 ~ US Defence Secretary Robert Gates Tells Troops In Afghanistan Success In Reach

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY December 9, 2009 ~ US Defence Secretary Robert Gates Tells Troops In Afghanistan Success In Reach
*Source: DTN News / AP
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - December 9, 2009: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday toured the nerve centre of NATO command in Afghanistan, telling soldiers that success was in reach, despite the worsening eight-year war with the Taliban.
U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates (2rd R) and Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak inspect the honor guards in Kabul December 8, 2009. Gates visited the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) joint operation centre where around 170 people from 42 nations work and praised improved cooperation between the different allied countries. "We have all the pieces coming together to be successful here," Gates told staff in the imposing command room full of banks of telephones and computers where commanders coordinate operations throughout Afghanistan.
U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates (L) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai attend a news conference in Kabul December 8, 2009.
He spoke after the overall NATO commander in Afghanistan predicted the US troop surge will reverse the momentum of Taliban insurgents "by this time next year" and ensure their ultimate defeat. "By the summer of 2011, it will be clear to the Afghan people that the insurgency will not win, giving them the chance to side with their government," General Stanley McChrystal told US lawmakers in Washington. Related article: US general confident on surge McChrystal, who stands at the centre of a renewed push in the Afghan war, said he was confident of success because the Taliban were unpopular and Afghans see foreign troops as a "necessary bridge to future security and stability." The additional 30,000 troops ordered by President Barack Obama will turn back insurgent momentum "by this time next year" and cut off the Taliban from the population, McChrystal, said. The general, testifying before the House and Senate armed services committees, said that "by the summer of 2011, it will be clear to the Afghan people that the insurgency will not win, giving them the chance to side with their government." McChrystal, who stands at the center of a renewed push in the Afghan war, said he was confident of success because the Taliban remained unpopular and that Afghans did not see foreign troops as occupiers but as a "necessary bridge to future security and stability." The Taliban "are not a national liberation front that people inside are just waiting for their success," the general said. "They succeed largely on their coercion."

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY December 9, 2009 ~ ISI Building Targeted In Multan Eight Killed

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY December 9, 2009 ~ ISI Building Targeted In Multan Eight Killed *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MULTAN, Pakistan - December 9, 2009: Two suicide attackers launched a gun-and-bomb assault on the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) building here on Tuesday and killed at least eight people and injured over 45. The attackers also died. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The assailants, armed with rocket-propelled guns and hand grenades and riding a single-cabin vehicle, first fired on policemen at a checkpoint near the ISI regional headquarters.
Map locates Multan, Pakistan, where a deadly bomb exploded near an intelligence office. They then fought a gunbattle with security personnel manning a checkpoint in Qasim Bela Cantonment area. According to witnesses, the attackers rammed their explosives-laden vehicle into the Bela post after being challenged by security personnel. The powerful blast damaged a number of buildings in the area. The ISI building was partially damaged.
A view of destruction caused by a bomb explosion in Multan, Pakistan on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. A bomb exploded near an intelligence office in central Pakistan, authorities said. According to officials over 40 people injured and many dead. Rescue teams and police rushed to the scene and shifted the bodies and the injured to hospitals. The army and police threw a cordon around the area. According to rescue officers, 12 people were killed in the two attacks. But Multan Commissioner Syed Mohammad Ali Gardezi told journalists that nine people had died, including the two attackers, two security personnel, two civilians and three children.
An unidentified official shows remains of explosives after an explosion in Multan, Pakistan on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. A bomb exploded near an intelligence office in central Pakistan, authorities said. According to officials over 40 people injured and many dead. Forty-seven people were injured. The commissioner said that 36 injured were taken to the Combined Military Hospital and 11 to Nishtar Hospital. Four of them were in a critical condition. Seven ISI officials were reportedly injured after being hit by shards of glass. The children killed in the blast were residents of nearby flats. The commissioner said that some hand grenades and rockets were found. About 800-1,000 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack. He said that body parts of the suicide attackers were also found.
A soldier stands guard near the site of a suicide bomb attack in the Pakistani city of Multan December 8, 2009. Militants armed with rocket-propelled and hand grenades and a car bomb attacked an office of Pakistan's main security agency in the city of Multan on Tuesday killing nine people, officials said. Mr Gardezi said that security personnel did not let the attackers reach their main target -- the building of ISI. Inter-Services Public Relations in-charge Major Farooq Feroze said that 10 people had died in the twin-attack, including two army personnel, Faisal and Shakeel, five children, a civilian and the two attackers. He said the attackers fired two rockets before detonating their vehicle. DIG Arif Ikram told reporters that the blast took place at 12.02pm and the main target of the attackers was the ISI building. AFP adds: ‘It was a suicide attack. There were two attackers who were stopped at a checkpost, but they tried to flee and security personnel fired at them,’ DIG Ikram said. ‘The attackers returned fire and also launched two rockets, and later exploded their vehicle.’ Sailab Mehsud adds from Laddah: Talking to Dawn on phone from an unspecified place, TTP spokesman Azam Tariq said their men had carried out the attacks in Multan. ‘Our people will not spare security personnel and government officials if the army continues operation in Malakand, Waziristan, Orakzai and Kurram agencies,’ he said, warning that the Taliban would carry out more such attacks across the country.