DTN News: Pakistan TODAY March 1, 2010 ~ JuD Chief Saeed Advocates War, If India Doesn’t TalkSource: DTN News / ANI
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - March 1, 2010: Jamat ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on Sunday said Pakistan will have to “fight a war at all cost” if India is not prepared to hold talks.
In an interview given to a Pakistan news channel, Saeed said: “India wants war… If India is not prepared to hold talks, Pakistan will have to fight a war at all costs.”
Commenting over India’s accusations about his (Saeed) involvement in 26/11 Mumbai attack, Saeed said: “Let India prove it in any court, I will be ready to accept everything.”
Saying the people should go to Kashmir for ”jehad” against India, Saeed also criticized the Pakistan Government calling it as “coward.”
Saeed, was placed under house arrest in Lahore in December 2008 after the JuD was declared a terrorist group by the UN Security Council in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.
He was freed after about six months on the orders of the Lahore High Court.
The Pakistan Government challenged his release in the Supreme Court, but no hearing has been held in the matter for various reasons.
DTN News: Russia Agrees To Provide Lebanon With Mi-24 Helicopters Instead Of MiG Fighters
Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BEIRUT, Lebanon - February 28, 2010: President Michel Suleiman returned Friday afternoon to Beirut concluding a 2-day official visit to Moscow, the first ever visit by a Lebanese head of state to Russia.
Suleiman said the Russian authorities agreed to substitute the 10 MiG-29 fighter jets previously mulled military aid with Mi-24 advanced military helicopters "based on the request of the Lebanese side that conducted technical and functional studies on the Russian fund for the Lebanese Air Force."
The Lebanese side based the request on army command's recommendation that the vital need currently is for this type of military helicopters that can be equipped with missiles and advanced combat means.
On Thursday, Suleiman met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow where he signed a memorandum on bilateral military cooperation.
Medvedev, whose country is keen to preserve influence in the Arab world that dates back to Soviet times, described the visit as a "landmark event" in relations between Moscow and Beirut.
Suleiman, who in turn labeled the visit as historic, hailed Medvedev for his support of Lebanon.
He said the two sides had discussed signing a long-term military cooperation agreement.
"It is a framework agreement and is planned to be signed in the near future," said the head of Russia's military-technical cooperation agency, Mikhail Dmitriyev.
DTN News: Israel TODAY February 28, 2010 ~ Top Israeli Official Says "A Nuclear Iran Would Endanger World Stability"Source: DTN News / CNN By Charley Keyes
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - February 28, 2010: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that Iran's nuclear program poses a danger that extends beyond Israel.
"Iran is not just a challenge for Israel. I believe it is a challenge for the whole world," Barak said in a speech in Washington. "I can hardly think of a stable world order with a nuclear Iran."
Barak said he doubts that Iran is "crazy" enough -- he used the Yiddish word "meshugah" -- to launch a nuclear attack against Israel, but warned the existence of a nuclear-armed Iran could endanger the region, disrupt oil supplies and empower Iran's terrorist allies.
"I don't think the Iranians, even if they got the bomb, are going to drop it in the neighborhood," Barak said. "They fully understand what might follow -- they are radical but not total 'meshugah.' They have a quite sophisticated decision-making process and they understand realities."
Iran maintains it is interested in nuclear development only for power-generation and other civilian uses. But Barak said all countries must reject what he called "the verbal gymnastics" Iran uses to justify its nuclear research.
"It means they are not just trying to create a Manhattan-project-like crude nuclear device," he said. "They are trying to jump directly into the second or second-and-a-half generation of nuclear warheads that could be installed on top of ground-to-ground missiles with ranges that will cover not just Israel, but Moscow or Paris."
He said Israel supports diplomatic efforts to pressure Iran to change course.
After his speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Barak met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department. The United States is working to rally international support for more stringent economic sanctions against Iran.
"Iran is not living up to its responsibilities and we are working with our partners in the international community to increase pressure on Iran to change course," Clinton said in a photo-taking session with Barak.
On efforts to revive stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Barak said most Israelis are prepared to do what is needed.
"There is a strong, silent majority in Israel which is ready to make tough, painful decisions to reach peace once they feel there is readiness on the other side and we are not having this tango alone," Barak said in his speech.
He insisted that Israel will seek peace and protect its security.
"We have to stand firm on our two feet, open-eyed, without a drop of self-delusion about the realities of our neighborhood, but having one hand, preferably the left hand, looking for any window, turning every stone in order to find opportunities for peace, while the other hand, the right one, will be pointing a finger, very close to the trigger, ready to pull it when it is ultimately a necessity," Barak said.
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY February 28, 2010 ~ Russia Blames Nato For Heroin Surge From AfghanistanSource: DTN News / BBC
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - February 28, 2010: The head of Russia's federal drug control agency has accused Nato of not doing enough to curb the production of heroin in Afghanistan.
Victor Ivanov said at least 30,000 people died in Russia every year from heroin, 90% of it from Afghanistan.
He blamed the Obama administration for ending a military drive to destroy opium poppy crops in Afghan fields.
The US said the practice was alienating farmers and driving them to support the Taliban.
This is not the first time Mr Ivanov has lambasted Nato for failing to stamp out drug production in Afghanistan.
He said leaving poppy fields guaranteed immunity for drug producers.
Russia says the consequence has been a flood of cheap heroin in to Central Asia and Russia.
Mr Ivanov said drug production in Afghanistan was now a global destabilising factor, particularly for Russia.
Russia is believed to have around five million drug addicts, half of whom are addicted to heroin.
DTN News: Israel Air Force IAF Expands Training For Rapid Refueling
* Exclusive: Long-range destinations like Iran would necessitate risky practice.Source: DTN News / Jerusalem Post By Yaakov Katz
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - February 28, 2010: In preparation for long-range missions and possible conflict with Iran, the Israel Air Force has expanded its training programs to include rapid refueling operations on runways.
It’s a dangerous practice since the aircraft’s engines are running while the fuel nozzle is still connected to the jets. The training is for both pilots and ground crews and it is being done to enable the aircraft to carry as much fuel as possible for long-range missions.
Fuel nozzles are traditionally disconnected from fighter aircraft while they are still parked in hangers and before they are rolled out to the runway, where they usually wait for several minutes before takeoff and while burning fuel. The new protocol includes keeping fuel trucks on the runway, having ground personnel reattach the nozzle and fuel the aircraft to the maximum fullness, disconnecting seconds before takeoff.
“We understand that many of our threats and challenges require us to develop a long-range capability,” one senior IAF officer explained. “Part of our preparation includes knowing how to fuel our aircraft so they can have as much fuel as possible.”
Last week, the IAF inaugurated a new unmanned aerial vehicle called the Heron TP. With the same wingspan as a Boeing 737, the Heron TP is Israel’s largest and most sophisticated drone, weighing 4,650 kg. and capable of flying for 36 hours while carrying a payload of hundreds of kilograms. The Heron will increase the IAF’s long-range capabilities, mainly in intelligence and surveillance, and according to foreign reports could also have missile strike capabilities.
Meanwhile on Saturday, The New York Times reported that Iran recently moved almost its entire stockpile of low-enriched uranium to an above-ground facility. According to a recent report by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, close to two tons of low-enriched nuclear uranium was moved all at once from storage deep underground to a facility where it can be enriched to a 20-percent level, putting the material just a jump away from the 80-to-90% that is required for nuclear weapons.
Iran’s action, which according to the report has confused Western officials, exposes the material to an air strike or even to ground-based sabotage.
The Times quoted one official as saying the move was tantamount to painting a bull’s-eye on the stockpile.
The paper raised several possible explanations, primarily that Iran might have run out of suitable storage containers for the radioactive material and was forced to move it all at once. It would, however, not require the entire two tons to enrich uranium for the aging reactor in Teheran where it makes medical isotopes.
Other explanations raised by the paper include the possibility that the Islamic Republic actually wants Israel to attack, since that would likely unite the Iranian people behind the regime and silence the opposition Green Movement and the demonstrations protesting against the results of June’s presidential election.
Teheran, the Times said, might be using the move as leverage against the West and as part of a threat to further enrich its entire stockpile if the international community did not reduce its pressure on the Islamic Republic.
DTN News: Chinese Test Anti-Satellite WeaponSource: DTN News / Space.com
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - February 28, 2010: Is this different than the U.S. test in the 80s or the destruction of the falling satellite in the summer of 2007? The key difference may be how the U.S explains their actions (whether you accept it or not) and the complete lack of Chinese explanation for their test.
The other key difference; the Chinese test caused hundreds of pieces of debris that are still in orbit. The debris from the U.S. satellite interception and the test in the 80s has since safely deorbited. The Chinese debris (at a higher altitude) will be in orbit for decades – a continued threat to all satellites and the international space station.
See details on U.S. actions here:
A recently issued report by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has cast an eye on China's growing space capability.
The annual report -- The Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2005 - flatly claims that China is developing and intends to field anti-satellite (ASAT) systems.
In assessing China's overall military prowess, the U.S. Defense report stresses that China is "facing a strategic crossroads." Noting that China's emergence has significant implications for the region and the world, the Defense Department assessment stresses that "questions remain" about choices that China's leaders will make regarding its military might as that country's power and influence grow.
Expanding launch vehicle industry
The Secretary of Defense report to Congress was issued July 19, and is a yearly effort that delves into the current and future military strategy of the People's Republic of China.
The report's intent is to address "the current and probable future course of military-technological development on the People's Liberation Army and the tenets and probable development of Chinese grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy, and of the military organizations and operational concepts, through the next 20 years."
Within the report's pages, a number of items are flagged specific to China's space capabilities.
The document points out that China's space launch vehicle industry is expanding to support the national emphasis on satellite launch capability and its human spaceflight program.
Credible ASAT capability?
In the arena of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, China is making headway, the report claims.
"China is working on, and plans to field, ASAT systems. Beijing has and will continue to enhance its satellite tracking and identification network - the first step in establishing a credible ASAT capability. China can currently destroy or disable satellites only by launching a ballistic missile or space-launch vehicle armed with a nuclear weapon. However, there are many risks associated with this method, and consequences from use of nuclear weapons," the report says.
China is also conducting research to develop ground-based laser ASAT weapons.
The report cites the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency as believing that Beijing "eventually could develop a laser weapon capable of damaging or destroying satellites."
Given this technology -- at lower power thresholds - "Chinese researchers may believe that low-energy lasers can 'blind' sensors on low-Earth-orbiting satellites," the report suggests, but whether Beijing has tested such a capability is unclear.
No evidence to back up claims
Jeffrey Lewis, a Research Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy in College Park, Maryland, is skeptical of some of the Pentagon's assertions.
The important point to ask, according to Lewis, is how does this report compare to previous years?
"In general, the 2005 edition is much more detailed than previous reports. But not when it comes to Chinese ASAT capabilities," Lewis told SPACE.com. "Although the 2005 edition does flatly state--as have previous reports--that China intends to field ASAT systems, the 2005 edition omits most of the evidence cited in previous reports, including discredited claims about the development of a parasite microsatellite and a ground-based direct ascent ASAT that was supposed to be fielded as early as this year."
Lewis said that, although the U.S. Department of Defense is still willing to assert that China intends to deploy ASATs, "it's pretty clear they don't have any evidence to back that up."
In a section on China's "Space and Counterspace" activities, the report contends that Beijing has focused on building the infrastructure to develop advanced space-based command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and targeting capabilities.
"Building a modern ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance] architecture is likely one of the primary drivers behind Beijing's space endeavors and a critical component of its overall C4ISR modernization efforts," the report states.
Beijing's ongoing space-based programs with potential military applications include its manned spacecraft activities. The U.S. Secretary of Defense assessment notes that China launched its first manned spacecraft into Earth orbit on October 15, 2003. Furthermore, Chinese press reports indicate that it will send up a two-person crew on a five-day mission in September of this year.
Possible military applications
Other space-based programs with possible military applications are also discussed in the report:
China has two remote-sensing satellite programs known as Ziyuan-1 (ZY-1), also known as the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, and ZY-2. China launched the ZY-1B in October 2003. A third ZY-2 satellite was launched in October 2004. ZY-2 payloads probably are digital imagery reconnaissance satellites and have worldwide coverage. Beijing also tested new film-based imagery satellites and small digital imagery satellites in 2003 and 2004.
China is interested in electronic intelligence (ELINT) or signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance satellites. Although these digital data systems probably will be able to transmit directly to ground sites, China may be developing a system of data relay satellites to support global coverage. Furthermore, Beijing has acquired mobile data reception equipment that could support more rapid data transmission to deployed military forces and units.
China is studying and seeking foreign assistance on small satellites. It has launched a number of them, including an oceanographic research satellite, Haiyang (HY)-1, in 2002 with at least two more satellites in this series, HY-2 and -3, expected. Beijing launched four small satellites during 2004; two of these probably have imagery missions and the other two possibly are conducting space environmental research. Other missions for satellites of this class include Earth observation, communications, and navigation.
China is developing microsatellites - weighing less than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) - for remote sensing and networks of electro-optical and radar satellites. In April 2004 Beijing launched a microsatellite with a probable imagery mission. A joint venture between China's Tsinghua University and the United Kingdom's University of Surrey is building a constellation of seven mini-satellites.
The U.S. Department of Defense report also scopes out various trends in space modernization, including the goal of rapid launch satellites. "With ever-better satellites, China is becoming a peer in quality to the world's leading producers," the report says.
Space walks and space stations
In human spaceflight, after China's two-person mission scheduled for this fall, the report explains that China hopes to conduct space walks and docking missions with a space lab by 2010, followed by a full space station by 2020.
The report observes that in 2004, China placed 10 satellites into orbit, the most of any year, and has a similar schedule through 2006. "It hopes to have more than 100 satellites in orbit by 2010, and launch an additional 100 satellites by 2020."
In the next decade, the report continues, Beijing most likely will field radar, ocean surveillance, and improved film-based photo-reconnaissance satellites. "China will eventually deploy advanced imagery, reconnaissance, and Earth resource systems with military applications."
In the interim, the report adds, China probably will supplement existing coverage with commercial SPOT (France), LANDSAT (U.S.), RADARSAT (Canada), Ikonos (U.S.), and Russian satellite imagery systems.
China: beyond any crossroads
John Tkacik, Jr., a Senior Research Fellow in China Policy in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C. conservative think tank advised that the Pentagon report deserves a careful reading.
Doing so would leave a reader with no doubt that China's "ambitious" weapons modernization and doctrinal reforms are aimed at promoting vast increases in its "comprehensive national power."
The compendium of Pentagon facts in the new report describe a China already well past any "crossroads" he stresses in a July 25 press statement from the group.
Tkacik notes that China's next steps--disputing the Pentagon's view--is, in his opinion, not hard to forecast. He suggests that the report's view of "current trends" indicate China has already chosen a pathway along which China would emerge to exert dominant influence in an expanding sphere.
DTN News: New Russia's Aircraft Carrier Will Develop The End Of 2010Source: DTN News / Lenta.ru
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - February 28, 2010: Technical design of Russia's aircraft carrier will be developed by the end of 2010. This RIA Novosti reported with reference to the statement made by Chief of the Navy Vladimir Vysotsky.
According to him, after the will identify key tactical and technical characteristics of the spacecraft, will begin development of working documents. Vladimir Vysotsky said that development work on the creation of Russia's aircraft carrier already started.
"In favorable circumstances, I think that by 2020, the ship could be launched," - declared Commander of the Navy.
He also stressed that to build an aircraft carrier in the financing of the state defense order will be very difficult. According to Vysotsky, to achieve this task requires federal target program.
In February 2009 the Head of the state defense order the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Anatoly helmets said that Russia's new-generation aircraft carrier will be atomic.
He also clarified that the ship will have a displacement of up to 60 thousand tons.
According Shlemova, with plans to build three to six aircraft carriers. In June, Vladimir Vysotsky said that the establishment of standard ships of this type has become bleak.
That is why Russia will not build conventional aircraft carriers and naval aviation systems. According to the Commander in Chief of the Navy, they would include "space component, air, sea and advanced technologies in other areas."
DTN News: Queen Elizabeth Class (CVF) Royal Navy Future Aircraft Carrier Construction Begins At Portsmouth BaseSource: DTN News / BAE Systems
(NSI News Source Info) PORTSMOUTH, U.K. - February 28, 2010: The programme to build the nation's new aircraft carriers gained further momentum today, as BAE Systems began construction at Portsmouth Naval Base - the future home of the Queen Elizabeth Class ships.
Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, was invited to push the button on the company's new state of the art plasma steel cutter, marking the start of full scale production at the site. The team at Portsmouth is building Lower Block 2, one of the large structures, that forms part of the hull on the first ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth. Housing machinery spaces, stores, switchboards and some of the ship's accommodation, this block alone will weigh around 6,000 tonnes and will stand over 18 metres tall, 70 metres long and 40 metres wide.
Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said: "Here in Portsmouth work is just beginning but across the country in Devon, Tyneside, Glasgow and Rosyth work is already under way. In all, six shipyards across the UK will be involved in the manufacture of the ships' hulls, supporting up to 8,000 jobs in the construction and up to another 3,000 throughout the supply chain. The progress already being made to deliver these defence assets, which will be a cornerstone of future defence policy, is a testament to UK industry."
First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said: "The two ships will be the largest and most powerful warships ever built for the UK, each providing four acres from which to project airpower anywhere in the world. With 80 per cent of the world's land mass within 500 miles of the ocean, the carriers will provide unparalleled logistical flexibility for the future of defence."
Alan Johnston, Managing Director of BAE Systems' Surface Ships business, said: "This is a very proud day for our workforce here in Portsmouth and comes on the back of our work on the Clyde, where another large part of the carrier's hull is already taking shape.
"The design and build of ships of this magnitude is a massive engineering feat and a real testament to skills harnessed in our industry across the UK. We will continue to work closely with our partners in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and to invest in the skills of our employees and our facilities not only to deliver the Royal Navy's future flagships, but also to secure the long-term future of the UK's warship building industry."
BAE Systems is a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, responsible for delivering the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK. The carriers will sustain thousands of skilled jobs across industry and will be a key component of the UK's maritime defence capability. BAE Systems employees at its yards on the Clyde began the manufacture of the carrier's Lower Block 3 in July 2009 with work beginning on the largest section, Lower Block 4, in January.
Elsewhere across the UK, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance is making strong progress - the first of the flight deck extensions, known as the sponsons, have already been delivered to the final assembly yard in Rosyth, while the first blocks of the hull are due to leave Appledore in Devon for the Scottish shipyard in the spring. Over £1 billion of orders have been placed for equipment for the two ships and many of the ships' key components such as the diesel generators and turbines have already been manufactured.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).