Tuesday, March 02, 2010

DTN News: Russia, India To Develop Joint 5G-Fighter By 2016

DTN News: Russia, India To Develop Joint 5G-Fighter By 2016 Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - March 3, 2010: A Russian-Indian fifth-generation fighter jet could be developed by 2015-2016, a Russian defense industry official said on Tuesday. Moscow and New Delhi are expected to sign a contract on a joint development of the new fighter in the near future, focusing on the design concept and technical requirements put forward by India. "I hope that we will be able to build a joint fifth-generation aircraft in the next five to six years. It is a time-consuming and complex project," said Alexander Fomin, first deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation. The new aircraft will be most likely based on Russia's T-50 prototype fifth-generation fighter, which has already made two test flights and is expected to join the Russian Air Force in 2015. India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was reported to be seeking a 25% share in design and development in the project. Fomin said the fighter for the Indian Air Force could incorporate several integrated on-board systems developed by third parties. "The integration is good because we will not have to invent a bicycle and can use the things that our neighbors already have, but it is also a difficult task because we will have to combine all the elements in a unified system," the official said. The new fighter for the Indian Air Force is expected to feature a two-seat cockpit, advanced electronics and could be armed with BrahMos supersonic missiles. Russia has been developing its fifth-generation fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype, known as the T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia's Far East. Russian officials have already hailed the fighter as "a unique warplane" that combines the capabilities of an air superiority fighter and attack aircraft.

DTN News: Russians Say Many Tanks Sat Derelict For Months

DTN News: Russians Say Many Tanks Sat Derelict For Months Source: DTN News / AP (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - March 3, 2010: 200 Russian tanks found abandoned in forest, residents of a Russian village say scores of modern battle tanks sat abandoned for months on the edge of a snowy forest, but the Russian military insists they were just in transit to a new base and had been guarded the whole time. Amateur video footage posted on Russian Web sites over the weekend showed curious civilians clambering unhindered over the tanks and caught national attention. The Kremlin has announced major military cutbacks and some officials say the army doesn't need half of its 20,000 tanks. Observers wondered if this meant the tanks had simply been left to rust next to a railroad station in the obscure Urals village of Kamishlovsk. But Lt. Gen. Dmitry Burdakov, a spokesman for Russia's Volga Military District, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the tanks had arrived by rail in January and were awaiting pickup by trucks for delivery to a military base, which he said would be completed by mid-March. He said the tanks were not dangerous because they contained no ammunition. Burdakov also disputed contentions by locals who claimed in the videos that they had unhindered access to the tanks, which they said had been present since November. He also declined to say how many tanks there were. The videos said there were between 70 to 200 tanks.
Locals in a nearby village said the tanks had been sitting there for almost four months covered in snow. The armoured vehicles were identified as a mixture of T-80 and T-72 battle tanks, the workhorses of the Russian army. One Web site, life.ru, also showed footage of fenced-off tanks being guarded by military officers. The site said officers arrived to protect the vehicles after the initial media reports surfaced.

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 2, 2010

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 2, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued March 2, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 3, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued March 2, 2010 are undermentioned; CONTRACTS
AIR FORCE ~Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $568,531,272 contract which will provide the incremental funding for the original F-22 weapons system undefinitized contract action modification awarded on Dec. 15, 2009, to authorize and fund the Structural Retrofit Program II and the Reliability and Maintainability Maturation Program during the calendar year 2010. At this time, $411,201,032 has been obligated. 478 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8611-08-C-2897, P00040). ~Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $213,000,000 contract which will provide the government of Egypt with the following: 20 F-16C/D Block 52 multi-role fighter aircraft; support equipment; technical orders and integrated logistics support. At this time, $106 Million has been obligated. 312 AESG/SYK, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. (FA8615-10-6051) ~L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $7,869,228 contract which will provide for aircraft flightline maintenance for F-16 aircraft and add sharpshooter targeting pod maintenance in support of Taiwan’s F-16 program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. AETC/CONS/LGCI, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA3002-09-C-0006,P00004). ~Electro-Methods, Inc., South Windsor, Conn., was awarded a $6,018,762 contract which provides for the build of three sub assemblies, inner, outer, and 28 radial gutters making the whole assembly. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBB, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8121-10-C-0011). NAVY ~The Ross Group Construction Corp.*, Tulsa, Okla. (N69450-10-D-0771); ~Leetex/Hill&Wilkinson, LLC*, Dallas, Texas (N69450-10-D-0772);
~Project Management Innovations International*, Austin, Texas (N69450-10-D-0773);
~K-W Construction, Inc.*, San Marcos, Texas (N69450-10-D-0774);
~Moab-Amigo, JV*, San Antonio, Texas (N69450-10-D-0775);
~Global Engineering & Construction, LLC*, Kent, Wash. (N69450-10-D-0776), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-bid-build construction contract for general building type projects at military installations in the south Texas region of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value for all six contracts combined, including the base period and four option years, is $100,000,000. The Ross Group Construction Corp. is being awarded task order #0001 at $9,900,000 for the complete design and construction of a fitness center at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by June 2011. All work on this contract will be performed in the south Texas region of the NAVFAC Southeast AOR. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2015. Contract funds for task order #0001 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with 16 proposals received. These six contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. ~Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $25,493,949 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5203) for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system production. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information and making the data available to all participating CEC units. Work will be performed in Largo, Fla. (47 percent); St. Petersburg, Fla. (20.0 percent); Dallas, Texas (18 percent); and McKinney, Texas (15 percent). Work is expected to be completed by January 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. ~Hal Hays Construction, Inc.*, Riverside, Calif., is being awarded $7,199,999 for task order #0002 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price award fee contract (N62742-09-D-1183) for the construction of the Arizona Memorial visitor parking center at Pearl Harbor Naval Base. The work to be performed provides for the construction of a new parking lot which consists of access road and drop-off area; sidewalks; chain link and ornamental fencing and vehicular gates; drainage improvements; lighting; closed circuit television; landscaping; and other miscellaneous items of work. Work will be performed in Oahu, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Funds are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY ~Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Rockford, Mich. is being awarded a maximum $13,228,034 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for temperate weather combat boots. Other locations of performance are in Arizona and Michigan. Using services are Army and Air Force. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the first of two one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is March 4, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-09-D-0033). ~Ameriqual Group, LLC*, Evansville, Ind., is being awarded a maximum $11,384,897 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for various polymeric traypack ration items. Other location of performance is in Indiana. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There were originally two proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the third option year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 28, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM3S1-07-D-Z193). ~Palm Springs FBO Two, LLC, Palm Springs, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $5,411,270 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other location of performance is in California. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally three proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2014. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0036).

DTN News: Pentagon Slips F-35 Schedule, Reviews Costs

DTN News: Pentagon Slips F-35 Schedule, Reviews Costs
* Pentagon delays F-35 development by 13 months * Sees additional aircraft purchases if costs come down * U.S. Air Force sees no alternative to F-35 Source: DTN News / Reuters By Andrea Shalal-Esa (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 3, 2010: U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley on Tuesday underscored the Pentagon's commitment to the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 fighter program and said the program would likely survive a mandatory live-or-die review triggered by cost overruns on the program. Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter last week signed an acquisition decision memorandum implementing restructuring steps outlined by top defense officials in recent weeks. In the Feb. 24 memo, which was first reported by the DODBuzz.com website, Carter said the Pentagon was extending the development phase of the program by 13 months; adding one carrier variant plane for extra testing; and moving a decision about moving into full-rate production to November 2015, when initial operational testing is completed. Donley told defense reporters the Pentagon was still working through details before notifying Congress about a probable breach of the Nunn-McCurdy cost thresholds that would trigger a review that could lead to the program's cancellation. But said no "showstoppers" had emerged that could lead to a decision to cancel the program. There also were no alternatives in the Pentagon's weapons arsenal, he added. In Carter's memo, he agreed to add $2.8 billion to the development cost of the F-35, and said the Pentagon would withhold $614 million in award fees from Lockheed and the other contractors on the program, Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and BAE Systems (BAES.L). Donley said the Pentagon was restructuring its contract with Lockheed to encourage the company to make good its earlier promises on the program and meet the schedule. He said it was unclear how many additional jets could be purchased of the 122 that were removed from the Pentagon's five-year budget plan. Carter's memo said the department would request long lead procurement funding for 48 fighter planes in fiscal 2011. Donley said moves by Lockheed to lower costs on the program would allow the department to buy more aircraft than planned in the fiscal 2011 budget plan, and could allow the military to re-accelerate the now-delayed timetable for moving into full-rate production and operational use of the new planes. Donley also said he was not aware of any further management changes in the F-35 program "on the government side" after a decision last month to remove Marine Corps Major General David Heinz, who was running the program. He said it was unclear when a replacement for Heinz would be named, but said Senate confirmation was needed since it would now be a three-star position. Carter and the chief executives of the prime contractors working on the F-35 programs are due to meet at the Lockheed plant in Fort Worth, Texas, later this week. Donley said the Air Force was considering funding a service life extension program for the Lockheed F-16 fighter planes, given the expected delays in fielding of the F-35, but said not final decisions had been made. It was not yet clear if any funding for such a program would be added to the fiscal 2011 budget or later budget years, he said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa)

DTN News: Missile Defense Agency Selects TASC For Ballistic Missile Defense System Security Contract

DTN News: Missile Defense Agency Selects TASC For Ballistic Missile Defense System Security Contract
* TASC team to provide MDA with program security, security engineering, information technology/information assurance, and office operations Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) CHANTILLY, Va., - March 3, 2010: The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has selected TASC, Inc. to provide protection support and technical services to the Ballistic Missile Defense System. TASC will compete for task order awards under the five-year MDA Special Programs Office indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. Work on the contract will be conducted at MDA locations across the United States. Under the terms of the contract, TASC and its industry team will provide the MDA with program security, security engineering, information technology/information assurance, and office operations. "TASC will partner with the Missile Defense Agency in its mission to develop and employ enhanced protection methodologies to preserve Ballistic Missile Defense System superiority, assist in predicting and countering existing and emerging world threats, while pursuing new technologies and capabilities," said Wood Parker, President and CEO for TASC. "Our industry team has the necessary experience and capabilities to support the MDA and help the U.S. Government bring national missile defense from concept to reality." For more than 20 years, TASC has helped intelligence and defense organizations optimize protection of sensitive acquisitions, activities and operations critical to national security while helping predict, respond to and solve real-world, time-sensitive challenges. "TASC has been instrumental in developing executable solutions to maximize the protection of activities operating in space, air, on the ground and at sea, and we are committed to providing these critical services to the Missile Defense Agency," said Parker. About TASC TASC is the premier, non-conflicted provider of advanced system engineering, integration and decision-support services across the intelligence community, Department of Defense and civilian agencies of the federal government. For more than 40 years, TASC has partnered with our customers toward one goal—the success of their missions. Our broad portfolio of services includes system and policy analysis; program, financial and acquisition management; enterprise engineering and integration; advanced concept and technology development; and test and evaluation. With nearly 5,000 employees, TASC generates more than $1.6 billion in annual revenue. For more information and career opportunities, visit our website at http://www.tasc.com/. Approved for Public Release 10-MDA-5216 (23 FEB 10) Material cleared for public release can be reused in its original form any time, any place. Any updating, changing or combining of previously cleared material will form a new document that requires the material be re-submitted for a new public release clearance. Please re-submit any new material with the past clearance documentation. A marked copy of the document indicating where new information is placed will help speed the review.

DTN News: AxleTech International Independent Suspension Wins Again With General Dynamics RG-31 MRAP Vehicle

DTN News: AxleTech International Independent Suspension Wins Again With General Dynamics RG-31 MRAP Vehicle Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TROY, Michigan - March 3, 2010: AxleTech International, a General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) company, announced today that it has won a significant award to supply 250 new RG-31 MRAP vehicles with its proprietary 4500 Series ISAS® product. The independent suspension systems will be delivered to BAE Systems’ Land Systems South Africa division in South Africa for integration into vehicles being manufactured under a contract awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps on February 16 to General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada, the prime contractor for the award.
AxleTech’s Independent Suspension Axle System (ISAS®) will enhance the RG-31s’ capabilities in the rough terrain of Afghanistan. Work is expected to begin immediately.
The company’s ISAS technology is an industry standard and widely deployed with proven performance on thousands of vehicles including Textron armored personnel carriers, Thales Bushmasters and the upgraded Navistar Defense MaxxPro. Major components are common to the current RG-31, RG-33 and Husky vehicles, heavy equipment transporters (HETs) and the Palletized Load System (PLS).
Mary Petrovich, general manager of AxleTech International, said, “We are proud to be the world’s largest independent supplier of high-performance ISAS systems. This award, on the heels of our MaxxPro win last week, reaffirms AxleTech’s position as a leader in mission-critical military drivetrain solutions. With best-in-class turning radius, maneuverability, and ride and handling, we offer unsurpassed off-road mobility. These upgraded RG-31s will give U.S. soldiers improved mobility and ride comfort with similar protection levels.”
AxleTech International is a global manufacturer and supplier of axles, axle components, planetary axles, brakes and aftermarket parts for commercial specialty trucks, military vehicles and off-highway machines used in the construction, material handling, forestry, mining and agricultural markets.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 91,700 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at www.gd.com.

DTN News: Raytheon Awarded $18 Million For SLAMRAAM Long-Lead Purchases

DTN News: Raytheon Awarded $18 Million For SLAMRAAM Long-Lead Purchases Source: DTN News / Raytheon (NSI News Source Info) TEWKSBURY, Mass., - March 3, 2010: Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (SLAMRAAM) program has received approval from the U.S. Army for long-lead purchases, not to exceed $18 million, leading to low rate initial production. This approval is significant as it underscores the Army's confidence in the system and the capability it brings to the warfighter. This funding will accelerate the manufacturing schedule for key command and control components subsequent to the U.S. Army Milestone C decision planned for next year. "SLAMRAAM represents an important step forward in the defense of our troops on the battlefield as well as our nation and allies," said Karen Kalil-Brown, vice president for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' National & Theater Security Programs. "SLAMRAAM will field the first command and control air defense system supporting the Army's vision of 'system of systems.'" SLAMRAAM is a tailorable, state-of-the-art air defense system that can defeat current and emerging cruise missile threats, unmanned aerial systems and a wide range of air breathing threats. It provides the warfighter with a system of highly mobile battlefield elements networked and geographically distributed to provide integrated fire control capability against airborne threats. Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 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 88 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 75,000 people worldwide.

DTN News: Russian Helicopter Manufacture Up 8.3% In 2009

DTN News: Russian Helicopter Manufacture Up 8.3% In 2009

Source: DTN News / Russian Helicopter

(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - March 3, 2010: The Russian helicopter industry continued to increase its output in 2009: Russian Helicopters enterprises produced 183 helicopters for local and international customers, increasing the total by 14 compared to 2008. The 8.3% growth was made possible through a joint effort by all Russian rotorcraft industry specialists.

The deliveries breakdown stayed similar to that of 2008: 105 civil helicopters were delivered by the end of 2009, of which 9 were in VIP configuration with luxury interiors.The share of export, counting FSUE Rosoboronexport contracts, exceeded 50% of the total 2009 deliveries.

EnterpriseHelicopter Type2009
Ulan-Ude Aviation PlantTotal60
Total, Mi-8/17160
Kazan Helicopter PlantTotal85
Total, Mi-8/1779
Total, ANSAT-U6
Kumertau Aviation Production EnterpriseTotal13
Total, Ka-322
Total, Ka-2265
Total, Ka-286
RostvertolTotal15
Total, , Mi-24/353
Total, Mi-262
ProgressTotal10
Total, including deliveries to Russian Defence Ministry: 183

Russian Helicopters, JSC is an affiliated company of UIC Oboronprom. It is the managing body of the following helicopter industry enterprises: Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Kamov, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, Kazan Helicopters, Rostvertol, Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company, Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, Vpered Moscow Machine-Building Plant, Stupino Machine Production Plant, Reductor-PM , Helicopter Service Company (VSK), Novosibirsk Aircraft Repairing Plant and Ural Works of Civil Aviation.

UIC Oboronprom, JSC is a multi-profile industrial and investment group established in 2002. Its main tasks include helicopter engineering (Russian Helicopters managing company), engine-building (United Engine Industry Corporation managing company), air defense systems and complex electronic systems (Defense Systems holding company), and other machine-building activities. The companies of the group reported revenues of over 130 billion roubles in 2009.

DTN News: 3rd Boeing-Built WGS Satellite Passes On-Orbit Tests; Air Force Accepts Control Of Spacecraft

DTN News: 3rd Boeing-Built WGS Satellite Passes On-Orbit Tests; Air Force Accepts Control Of Spacecraft Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - March 3, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced yesterday (March 2) that the U.S. Air Force accepted control of the third Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) military communications satellite on March 1, after the spacecraft passed several weeks of rigorous on-orbit tests. WGS is the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest-capacity satellite communications system. WGS-3 completes the initial constellation of three spacecraft, which will provide broadband communications to every theater of operation around the world. “Knowledge is power, especially on the battlefield, where the ability to quickly communicate large amounts of information can make a world of difference to mission success,” said Air Force Col. Don Robbins, WGS Group Commander. “With their wide bandwidth and high throughput, WGS satellites are game-changers that give our warfighters a distinct advantage.” Boeing is building three more WGS satellites under Block II of its contract with the Air Force. The Block II satellites will include performance boosters such as a radio frequency bypass designed to support airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms requiring additional bandwidth. “We’re working with the Air Force to develop cost-effective solutions to the crucial communications challenges facing U.S. warfighters, such as mobile communications, secure and jam-resistant communications, and enhanced support to advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. “We’re showing that future WGS satellites can be efficiently evolved to meet those challenges, and we have a proven, high-performing team of Air Force and Boeing personnel in place to make it happen.” WGS-3 was launched on Dec. 5, 2009, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a Delta IV rocket. On-orbit testing demonstrated the functionality of WGS-3’s communications payload features by passing test signals through each of the satellite’s 19 antenna beams. The tests also verified WGS-3’s beam-steering functions. Boeing employees conducted the tests at the company’s Mission Control Center in El Segundo, with support from Air Force and Army personnel at the center and at government facilities in central California. Air Force operations personnel at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado are conducting additional tests and moving WGS-3 into its operational position over the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite is expected to become operational this spring. WGS-1 and WGS-2 are operating over the Pacific Ocean and the Middle East, respectively. WGS-4, -5 and -6 will be ready for launch in 2011 and 2012. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security 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 Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY March 2, 2010 ~ Afghan Curbs On Live Media Coverage Of Taliban Attacks

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY March 2, 2010 ~ Afghan Curbs On Live Media Coverage Of Taliban Attacks Source: DTN News / BBC (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - March 2, 2010: The Afghan government has banned live media coverage of militant assaults in the country saying that broadcasts could help militants during attacks. The ban comes days after Taliban militants killed 17 people in a deadly suicide attack in the centre of Kabul. The government announced a similar ban for election day in August 2009. This indefinite ban applies to both domestic and international news. Journalists criticised the move saying it amounts to "censorship". "We see this as direct censorship. This is prevention of reporting and contravenes the constitution," said Rahimullah Samandar, the head of Afghanistan's Independent Journalists' Association. But a spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, said the ban would be applied under Article 7 of Afghanistan's national security law. Journalists would only be allowed to film the aftermath of attacks. Details of how it would work and how the authorities plan to enforce the ban are not yet clear.

DTN News: Boeing Receives Contract For US Navy Direct Attack Moving Target Capability

DTN News: Boeing Receives Contract For US Navy Direct Attack Moving Target Capability Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, - March 2, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that it has been awarded an $11.4 million contract to supply Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (Laser JDAM) to meet the U.S. Navy’s Direct Attack Moving Target Capability (DAMTC) requirement. The initial contract, which calls for the delivery of 23 munitions for testing and evaluation, is expected to lead to a production contract in 2011. With follow-on options, total DAMTC deliveries could reach 11,000 units and the total contract value could exceed $91 million. “The non-developmental Laser JDAM has proven performance on today’s battlefield,” said Debbie Rub, vice president, Boeing Weapons. “DAMTC will provide enhanced moving and maneuvering capability beyond current Laser JDAM capability when it counts the most.” Laser JDAM is currently in the Navy inventory. Additional quantities procured for the DAMTC mission will ensure an ability to engage stationary, fast-moving and maneuvering land targets. Laser JDAM combines a precision laser seeker to acquire and track laser-targeted signals and a JDAM guidance tail kit to engage the target. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security 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 Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: BAE Systems To Provide Mission Computer Systems For Indian Navy Patrol Aircraft

DTN News: BAE Systems To Provide Mission Computer Systems For Indian Navy Patrol Aircraft Source: DTN News / BAE Systems (NSI News Source Info) GREENLAWN, N.Y. - March 2, 2010: BAE Systems is developing the mission computer system suite for the P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy. The aircraft is a variant of the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon. Developed by a Boeing-led team, the P-8I is a multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft with a broader range of capabilities to operate over land or water while performing anti-submarine warfare; search and rescue; and long-range intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance. “Maritime surveillance and patrol is becoming more and more important to effective defense,” said Donna Linke-Klein, director of mission computers and antenna solutions for BAE Systems. “The P-8I mission computer system provides superior interoperability for the future battle space.” BAE Systems’ mission computer system suite for the P-8I is a flexible and ruggedized processing platform that can be configured to meet the general purpose, input and output, video, voice, and graphics processing needs for modern military battle management requirements. The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range; anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft. The Indian government selected Boeing to provide eight P-8I aircraft to fill its maritime patrol needs, replacing Tupolev Tu-142M aircraft. BAE Systems will begin deliveries to Boeing in 2011. About BAE Systems BAE Systems is a global defense, 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.

DTN News: Northrop Grumman, Air Force Set To Resolve Critical B-2 Sustainment Issue

DTN News: Northrop Grumman, Air Force Set To Resolve Critical B-2 Sustainment Issue
*Redesign of Bomber's Aft Deck Promises to Reduce Maintenance Costs, Improve Aircraft Availability Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman (NSI News Source Info) PALMDALE, Calif.,- March 2, 2010: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC - News) and the U.S. Air Force hope to soon resolve, once and for all, a technical issue that's challenged engineers and maintainers of the nation's fleet of B-2 stealth bombers for more than 20 years: cracking in the B-2's aft deck, a metallic panel on the bomber's upper surface that shields its composite airframe from the heat of engine exhaust. A photo accompanying this release can be found at http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/mediagallery.html?pkgid=7168 The team has just completed a paper "fly-off" between two alternate approaches for redesigning the aft deck. The goal of the program is to develop and produce a new aft deck that can span normal long-term B-2 maintenance cycles without needing additional service or repairs. Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long range strike arsenal, and one of the most survivable air systems in the world. "Resolving the aft deck problem is an important part of guaranteeing the long term viability of the B-2," said Dave Mazur, Northrop Grumman's vice president of long range strike and B-2 program manager. "We are committed to helping the Air Force develop and implement the solution that is in the best long term interests of both the B-2 fleet and U.S. taxpayers." Located behind the B-2's exhaust outlets, the aft deck is exposed to extreme temperatures and acoustic-induced vibrations, making it vulnerable to fatigue and cracking. "The key to producing a reliable, high performance aft deck is creating a balance between stiffness and flexibility," explains Chuck Osberg, Northrop Grumman's aft deck program manager. "If the deck is too flexible, high cycle fatigue will cause premature failure; if it's too stiff it can put undue stress on adjacent structures." According to Osberg, the winning aft deck design -- a fundamentally new approach -- was selected on the basis of cost and performance. It reflects many years of thermal and structural analysis of the aft deck, the structures to which it attaches and its operating environment by Northrop Grumman engineers. It also includes new stiffening elements designed to significantly reduce the vibration and metal fatigue currently experienced in flight by the aft deck. The aft deck upgrade program is the latest in a series of modernizations that the Air Force, Northrop Grumman and its subcontractors have undertaken to ensure that the B-2 remains fully capable against evolving threats. The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. It remains the only long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate deeply into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours. 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: BAE Pleads Guilty To U.S. Conspiracy Charge

DTN News: BAE Pleads Guilty To U.S. Conspiracy Charge
* Admits failure to live up to anti-bribery commitments * Agrees to pay $400 million fine to U.S. government * Judge says conduct involved duplicity on enormous scale
Source: DTN News / Reuters By Dan Margolies (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - March 2, 2010: BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L), Europe's biggest military contractor, pleaded guilty in U.S. court to conspiring to make false statements in connection with foreign arms contracts and will pay a $400 million fine. BAE had announced last month it would resolve a long-standing inquiry by the U.S. Department of Justice into questionable payments it made to secure arms contracts in Saudi Arabia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and other countries. The Justice Department said BAE had violated commitments it made to the U.S. government in 2000, when it was seeking to expand into the United States, to comply with the anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The act makes it illegal to pay bribes to foreign officials in order to secure or retain business. U.S. District Judge John Bates said the company's conduct involved "deception, duplicity and knowing violations of law, I think it's fair to say, on an enormous scale." As part of its plea, BAE will retain a corporate monitor for up to three years and implement a program to ensure its compliance with the FCPA. David Parkes, BAE's company secretary, entered the plea on BAE's behalf. Giving "yes" or "no" answers to the judge's questions, Parkes did not elaborate on the company's conduct. He declined to comment on leaving the court. The $400 million fine is one of the biggest levied against a defense contractor, comparable to the $402 million that engineering and contracting group KBR Inc (KBR.N) and its former owner Halliburton Co (HAL.N) agreed to pay in February of 2009 over its dealings with Nigerian officials. BRITISH SETTLEMENT BAE last month also agreed to pay $50 million to settle a parallel action by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO). An earlier inquiry by the SFO into allegations BAE had paid about 1 billion pounds over a decade to Prince Bandar bin Sultan in connection with the al-Yamamah arms deal was halted in December 2006 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair cited possible harm to Saudi-UK relations, but the move drew fierce criticism from anti-bribery campaigners and the British media. BAE's settlement with the SFO relates to the sale of an air traffic control system in Tanzania. Court documents filed in the United States said BAE had set up "an elaborate system" to conceal its relationships with marketing advisors and to make secret commission payments to them. BAE "was aware that some or part of those payments would be passed on to others" to influence the award of defense contracts to BAE, the documents stated. The criminal information filed against BAE alleged that BAE's contracts with third parties were held by "secretive legal trusts in offshore locations." U.S. prosecutors calculated that BAE made about $200 million in improper payments. Under the law, BAE was fined twice that amount. Judge Bates said none of the company's current officials or board members knew about or was involved in the payments in question. Since the Justice Department launched its criminal investigation in 2005, BAE has replaced its chief executive and chairman, and hired a new chief legal officer. In court documents, U.S. prosecutors said BAE also no longer employs senior management implicated in its criminal misconduct, "although it does continue financial and advisory relationships with at least one individual involved in the criminal conduct and undisclosed payments." The identity of the individual was not disclosed.
(Reporting by Dan Margolies; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

DTN News: Tunisia Orders Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Airlifters

DTN News: Tunisia Orders Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Airlifters Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) MARIETTA, Ga., - March 2, 2010: The government of Tunisia has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT - News) for the purchase of two C-130J Super Hercules airlifters with an initial three years of logistics support. Tunisia's new C130Js, scheduled to be delivered in 2013 and 2014, will be the longer fuselage or "stretched" variant of the C-130J. A contract signing ceremony took place at the Tunisian Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Tunis last month. During the ceremony, Abdellatif Chebbi, Tunisia MND chief of Cabinet, conveyed his appreciation for the successful conclusion of the negotiations and praised the capabilities and flexibility of the C-130J-30 aircraft. In addition, Dennys Plessas, Lockheed Martin regional vice president of Business Development, welcomed the Tunisian Air Force to the growing worldwide Super Hercules family. "Tunisia is the 12th country to select the C-130J Super Hercules," said Jim Grant, Lockheed Martin vice president of business development for Air Mobility. "More and more, as countries recognize and appreciate the proven qualities of this tremendously flexible platform, we are seeing it become the preferred airlift option." Tunisia currently operates a fleet of C-130Hs and C-130Bs, first purchased in the mid-1980s. The new C-130Js will support Tunisian operations across the mission spectrum, including relief efforts around the world, firefighting and traditional airlift sorties. Other nations which are operating, or have ordered, the C-130J include Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Iraq, Italy, Norway, Oman, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States. The C-130J has become the standard by which all other airlift is measured in terms of availability, flexibility and reliability. C-130Js are currently deployed in two combat theaters and are operating at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably. In non-combat, but equally harsh environments, the C-130Js are often now the first to support humanitarian and disaster relief efforts. 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 2009 sales of $45.2 billion. For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/

DTN News: Global Hawk Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft Makes History With First Roundtrip Flight From Northrop Grumman's Palmdale Facility

DTN News: Global Hawk Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft Makes History With First Roundtrip Flight From Northrop Grumman's Palmdale Facility
* Historic Flight One of Many Significant Program Milestones in Recent Months Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman (NSI News Source Info) PALMDALE, Calif., - March 2, 2010: Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) made aviation history Feb. 2 when it successfully completed its first roundtrip flight from the company's Palmdale, Calif., manufacturing facility. AF-20, a Block 30 Global Hawk built for the U.S. Air Force, performed the historic mission, soaring at altitudes of 58,300 feet for approximately four hours and 18 minutes. Photos accompanying this release are available at http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/mediagallery.html?pkgid=7162. "This was the first time ever that the same Global Hawk has taken off and landed in a single mission from Palmdale, heralding a new era of flights in and out of the facility," said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman vice president of High-Altitude, Long-Endurance systems. "It's also a huge leap forward for the site as we achieve full production acceptance activities and direct deliveries to the aircraft's main operating base at Beale Air Force Base, Calif." AF-20 is the eighth consecutive production Global Hawk to complete its operational check flight on the first attempt. The mission also marked the first time the sixth Air Force mission control element and a King Air chase aircraft were utilized. Prior to this flight, two Global Hawks, AF-12 and AF-16, simultaneously flew historic missions on Dec. 14, 2009. AF-12, one of two Block 20 aircraft to be modified with the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) Joint Urgent Operation Need (JUON) system payload, became the first UAS to land at Palmdale. At the same time, the AF-16 aircraft, which will be equipped with an airborne signals intelligence payload, became the first Block 30 to fly out of Beale Air Force Base, where it is currently being used for training and for initial operational test and evaluation later this year. Part of the Air Force's Objective Gateway program, BACN is an airborne gateway and communications relay system that enables warfighters to rapidly share data and information gathered by multiple users across multiple dissimilar systems present within the battlefield," said Guerra. "It is the top urgent operational need requested by field commanders and scheduled for deployment by the end of this year." AF-16 was first delivered to Beale Air Force Base on Nov. 24, 2009, after completing months of development flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and receiving a military airworthiness certification from the Air Force. Since then, two additional Block 30 aircraft have been delivered to Beale Air Force Base, with all three planned for deployment later this year in support of overseas contingency operations. To date, 21 production Global Hawks have been delivered to the Air Force and other customers. "Logging more than 30,000 combat hours since its first deployment nine years ago, Global Hawk is a highly sought after intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system in theater," said Steve Amburgey, Global Hawk program director for the 303d Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. "Demonstrating its versatility and persistence, it was recently used for disaster relief support in Haiti where it provided more than 3,600 images of affected areas." Northrop Grumman Corporation is the prime contractor on both the Global Hawk and BACN programs. The principal Global Hawk industry team includes: Aurora Flight Sciences, Bridgeport, West Va. (V-tail assembly and other composite structures); L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City (communication system); Raytheon Company, Waltham, Mass. (ground station); Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis (engine); and Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas (wing). For more information on the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS, please visit: www.supportglobalhawk.com. 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: Raytheon To Enhance Air Traffic Management Systems In India

DTN News: Raytheon To Enhance Air Traffic Management Systems In India Source: DTN News / Raytheon (NSI News Source Info) HYDERABAD, India, - March 2, 2010: Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has been awarded a contract by the Airports Authority of India to automate air traffic control services at the Chennai International Airport. Raytheon will install AutoTrac III, its next-generation air traffic management system, to help reduce delays in aircraft arrival and departure. The new system will also have real-time meteorological information to assist air traffic controllers in adjusting to changing weather conditions. In addition to the Chennai International Airport, Raytheon is upgrading air traffic management systems at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. "For more than 60 years, Raytheon has been at the forefront of designing and delivering the world's most innovative and reliable civilian and military air traffic management systems," said Andy Zogg, Raytheon Network Centric Systems vice president of Command and Control Systems. "This award continues our long-standing relationship with AAI and its commitment to make Indian air space as safe as possible." AutoTrac III features a new generation of flight and surveillance data processing systems to ensure air traffic safety. The system's modern, open architecture design and high performance is fully adaptable and scaleable to fit any air traffic management environment from simple tower automation to a fully integrated multi-center system. Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 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 88 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 75,000 people worldwide.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Solar X-Ray Imager To Be Launched On NOAA GOES-P Spacecraft

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Solar X-Ray Imager To Be Launched On NOAA GOES-P Spacecraft Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) PALO ALTO, Calif., - March 2, 2010: The Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) instrument, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] at its Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is ready for flight. The GOES satellite. Mainly a weather satellite but the X-ray sensor (The SXI instrument) is always pointed at the sun. The Solar X-ray Imager is being developed by the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL). SXI will provide near real-time imaging of the Solar Corona in the spectral range of 6 Å to 60 Å (~0.2 to 2KeV) allowing investigation of solar features such as active regions, magnetic loops and coronal holes. SXI is being developed for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and will fly on the GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) N and O satellites. It is anticipated that images from SXI will contribute towards improving our understanding of how the behaviour of the Sun can affect the "space weather" and its subsequent impact on the Earth. LMSAL will be using CCDs developed by Marconi Applied Technologies (formerly EEV) in Chelmsford, UK. LMSAL have placed a subcontract with MSSL both to manage the procurement of these devices and to perform some characterisation on them additional to the characterisation provided by Marconi. The CCD used in the SXI imager is the Marconi CCD 64, some of the key features of which are as follows: 512 x 580 active pixel imaging area; Back illuminated to maximise quantum efficiency in the low energy X-ray region; *16 µm square pixels; *Anti blooming facility to improve the dynamic range by preventing charge spilling into adjacent pixels; *On-chip temperature sensors; *Two output amplifiers (for redundancy); *Dump gate and drain for windowing. Built for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md., SXI is awaiting launch – scheduled for March 2 – on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-P spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. SXI is one of a suite of instruments that resides on the current generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). “It is enormously satisfying to have our third SXI instrument ready for launch and we look forward to seeing it operating on-orbit,” said George Koerner, SXI program manager at the ATC. “While the other GOES instruments provide near-constant viewing of the Earth, SXI is designed to view the Sun and provide vital information regarding solar activity.” The SXI will be used to aid NOAA and U.S. Air Force personnel in issuing forecasts and alerts of space weather conditions, and in developing a better understanding of Sun-related phenomena that affect the Earth's environment. Turbulent space weather can affect radio communication on Earth, induce currents in electric power grids and long distance pipelines, cause navigational errors in magnetic guidance systems, upset satellite circuitry and expose astronauts to increased radiation. SXI will observe solar flares, coronal mass ejections, coronal holes and active regions in the X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum. These features are the dominant sources of disturbances in space weather that lead to, for example, geomagnetic storms. SXI will also examine flare properties, newly emerging active regions, and X-ray bright points on the Sun. SXI will provide continuous, near real-time observation of the Sun's corona, acquiring a full-disk image every minute. The images cover a 0.7 degree field of view with 0.0014 degree pixels. The solar disk, as viewed from Earth, is approximately 0.5 degrees in diameter. By recording solar images every minute, NOAA observers will be able to detect and locate the occurrence of solar flares. This is the name given to the explosive releases of vast amounts of magnetic energy in the solar atmosphere. Since scientists are not yet able to predict the occurrence, magnitude or location of solar flares, it is necessary to continually observe the Sun to know when they are happening. When a flare erupts, it throws out large clouds of ionized, or electrically charged, gas. A small fraction of the cloud is very energetic and can reach the Earth within a few minutes to hours of the flare being observed. These energetic particles pose a hazard to both astronauts and spacecraft. Coronal mass ejections, which are often associated with flares, take several days to reach the Earth. Fast, powerful ejections give rise to geomagnetic storms, which can disrupt radio transmissions and induce large currents in power transmission lines and oil pipelines. They have resulted in large-scale failures of the North American power grid and greatly increased pipeline erosion. SXI also will monitor coronal holes -- persistent sources of high-speed solar wind. As the Sun rotates every 27 days, these sources spray across the Earth like a lawn sprinkler and cause recurring geomagnetic storms. NOAA’s environmental satellite system is composed of two types of satellites: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) for national, regional, short-range warning and “now-casting”; and Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) for global, long-term forecasting and environmental monitoring. Lockheed Martin and its heritage companies built all of the POES satellites going back to the very first weather satellite launch on April 1, 1960, and is currently developing the next generation GOES-R satellite system, with a first launch set for 2015. Both GOES and POES are necessary for providing a complete global weather monitoring system. Both also carry search and rescue instruments to relay signals from people in distress. The ATC has a 47-year-long heritage of spaceborne solar instruments including the Soft X-ray Telescope on the Japanese Yohkoh satellite, the Michelson Doppler Imager on the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, the solar telescope on NASA’s Transition Region and Coronal Explorer, the Solar X-ray Imager on the GOES-N and O environmental satellites, the Focal Plane Package on Hinode and an Extreme Ultraviolet Imager on each of the two spacecraft in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory. The laboratory also conducts basic research into understanding and predicting space weather and the behavior of the Sun including its impacts on Earth and climate. 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 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Orion Team Fabricates World’s Largest Heat Shield Structure

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Orion Team Fabricates World’s Largest Heat Shield Structure * Innovative high-temperature material system to provide better crew protection Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) DENVER, - March 2, 2010: The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led team developing the Orion crew exploration vehicle achieved a major technology milestone by completing fabrication of the world’s largest heat shield structure. The shield is five meters (16.4 feet) in diameter and is critical to the protection of the spacecraft and its crew from the extreme temperatures experienced during re-entry. The work was completed at Lockheed Martin’s composite development facility in Denver, Colo. The Orion heat shield structure hovers above its layup mold during removal at the Lockheed Martin composite development facility in Denver, CO. The crew exploration vehicle is at the height of its development phase, which has spurred several new technologies and innovations such as a cutting edge high-temperature composite material system. The new system was developed by the Lockheed Martin Orion thermal protection system team in partnership with TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading supplier of aerospace thermoset and thermoplastic prepregs. TenCate’s composite materials are used in commercial aircraft, radomes, satellites, general aviation, oil and gas, medical and high-end industrial applications. “In addition to the technology advancement, we achieved a $10 million cost savings and improved the project schedule by 12 months through the innovative tooling, materials and fabrication processes the team put into action,” explained Cleon Lacefield, Lockheed Martin vice president and Orion program manager. The new resin system was developed over an 18-month period during which thousands of coupons were tested in extreme environments that simulated a ballistic re-entry from a lunar mission. The team verified that the thermal insulator on the outside of the composite material can be thinner due to the higher temperature capability, resulting in improved mass optimization of the Orion spacecraft. The new resin system enables much simpler and more efficient manufacturing techniques compared to other high temperature resin systems. This resin system has the potential to be used in a wide range of commercial applications including aircraft, automobiles, launch vehicles, payload fairings, and re-entry vehicles. The expansive heat shield will be applied to the Orion ground test article, which is the first full-sized, flight-like test article for Orion being built at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La. The ground test article is designed to serve as a production pathfinder to validate the flight vehicle production processes and tools. When completed, the crew module will be tested on the ground in equivalent flight-like environments, including static vibration, acoustics and water landing loads. This early high fidelity testing is necessary to correlate sizing models for all subsystems on the vehicle. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor to NASA for the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The Lockheed Martin Orion Project office is based in Houston, Texas, near NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The team includes major subcontractors Aerojet, Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Orbital Sciences Corporation and United Space Alliance; and an expansive network of minor subcontractors and small businesses working at 88 facilities in 28 states across the country. 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 2009 sales of $45.2 billion. Media Contact: Linda Singleton, 281-283-4219, 832-526-8089 or linda.singleton@lmco.com

DTN News: France Defends Talks On Sale Of Warships To Russia

DTN News: France Defends Talks On Sale Of Warships To Russia Source: DTN News / Timesonline.UK by Charles Bremner, Paris (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - March 2, 2010: The scene is set for conflict between France and its Nato allies when President Medvedev of Russia arrives in Paris today intent on ordering up to four powerful warships from French shipbuilders. The first of the Mistral amphibious assault ship (LHD) was commissioned in 2006. Two of these ships are in service with the French Navy, named Mistral and Tonnerre. The third ship will be ordered in 2009 and forth is planned. Primary mission for these ships are amphibious landing operations. They also provide command and force projection capability. The Mistral class vessels are the largest combatants in the French Navy service after the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. They replaced the Ouragan class LSDs. The new vessel uses four mechanized landing craft (LCM) or two hovercraft (LCAC) in the stern deck to deliver troops and vehicles ashore. It can carry a full tank battalion with up to 40 Leclerc MBTs, or up to 70 lighter vehicles. Ship provides accommodation for 450 marines, however surge capacity is 900. The Mistral class LHD has six helicopter landing spots. Up to 16 medium (NH90, Tigre) or 35 light helicopters can be carried and stored in the hangar deck. It is worth mentioning that every helicopter, operated by the French military, can land on these ships. Currently this class can not operate V/STOVL aircraft, as it has got no ski-jump bow associated equipment. Ships are equipped with 69-bed hospitals, furthermore hangar can also be converted into a modular field hospital. The Mistral class can be deployed as command and control vessels. Command center can host up to 150 personnel. Vessel is armed with two Simbad launchers for Mistral surface-to-air missiles and two 30-mm Breda-Mauser guns. The Mistral class uses new propulsion technology, which gives ships significant maneuvering capabilities. It is an all-electric warship. Power is generated by four diesel generators, providing 20.8 MW. These vessels have a range of 10 700 nautical miles (20 000 km) at 14 knots. Washington and the former Soviet bloc members of Nato are alarmed by President Sarkozy’s willingness to sell a 600ft Mistral Class amphibious assault ship, and possibly three more, to the Russian Navy. Georgia, which was subjected to a Russian invasion in 2008, is leading the charge to stop Moscow acquiring Mistrals, which sell for about £400 million each. Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, the chief of the Russian Navy, has described the helicopter and troop-carrying vessel as an ideal asset for Black Sea operations in the Caucasus. No Nato nation has sold military hardware on nearly such a scale to Russia. France is arguing that the Mistral is little more than a freight vessel and that Moscow must be drawn into a partnership. “We cannot on one hand claim to be partners with the new Russia and, on the other hand, treat it like it was the old Soviet Union,” Hervé Morin, the Defence Minister, said. The contract, which has been approved in principle by President Sarkozy, could create 2,000 jobs. Russian officials said that no final decision had been taken on the order, but Mr Medvedev indicated in a French media interview last week that he hoped to clinch the warship contract on his Paris visit this week. Related Links US anti-missile sales raise tensions with Iran Mystery of UAE plane with arms for China

DTN News: India TODAY March 2, 2010 ~ Ready To Go ‘Extra Mile’ If Pakistan Acts Against Terror Says Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

DTN News: India TODAY March 2, 2010 ~ Ready To Go ‘Extra Mile’ If Pakistan Acts Against Terror Says Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
* Indian PM tells members of Saudi Shura Council all problems can be solved if Islamabad cooperates with New Delhi Source: DTN News / Daily Times (Pakistan) + By Md Rasooldeen Arab News (NSI News Source Info) RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - March 2, 2010: India will go the extra mile to improve relations with Pakistan if Islamabad acts decisively on terrorism, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
“If Pakistan cooperates with India, there is no problem that we cannot solve and we can walk the extra mile to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries,” said Singh during the first visit to the kingdom by an Indian leader since 1982.
However, he told the Saudi Shura Council that Islamabad needed to act against Pakistan-based militant groups. He said “no sanctuary should be given to those who promote terror, violence or instability” in Afghanistan, according to a text of his speech given to journalists.
He noted that both India and Saudi Arabia were threatened by extremism and violence, and said, “History teaches us that ... terrorism must be confronted with determination and united effort ... nowhere is this challenge greater than in Afghanistan.”
Singh said India sought a cooperative relationship with Pakistan for permanent peace, as both countries were bound together by a shared future. “We seek cooperative relations with Pakistan. Our objective is permanent peace because we recognise that we are bound together by a shared future. If there is cooperation between India and Pakistan, vast opportunities will open up for trade, travel and development that will create prosperity in both countries and in South Asia as a whole.”
The Indian prime minister described West Asia as a vital part of India’s extended neighbourhood, and said, “We have a high stake in the peace and stability of the region ... the countries of the region, nor the world, can afford fresh turmoil”. He reaffirmed India’s support for the struggle of the Palestinian people and New Delhi’s backing for the Arab peace plan to ensure peace and stability in the region.
The West has been hoping that Saudi Arabia would take on a greater role in ending the war in Afghanistan after hosting talks between pro-government representatives and ex-Taliban officials in September 2008. reuters
*Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday, said that India and Saudi Arabia had put into place a road map for bilateral economic, political and security-related cooperation that would constitute the core of their relationship in the coming years. The historic visit saw the two countries sign 10 agreements and issue a Riyadh Declaration. "We have agreed to impart a strategic character to our relations, " the premier told the members of the Shoura Council. Singh, who signed the Riyadh Declaration with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Sunday, said that his dialogue with the monarch and his meetings with the other leaders had led to the reaffirmation of close bilateral ties and common interests. He pointed out that the Delhi Declaration that he signed with King Abdullah in 2006 enshrined the shared vision of a new relationship. "Our two countries pledged to work, not just for the development and prosperity of our peoples, but for the security and peace of the region as a whole." The premier said: “India regards Saudi Arabia as a pillar of stability in the Gulf region. Under the enlightened and sagacious leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, the Kingdom has taken rapid strides toward modernization. Its influence today extends far beyond the region.” "As I stand before you, I am conscious of the wealth of history behind us, and the promise of new partnerships ahead of us," he said, recalling that Indian Muslim scholars had gone to Makkah to learn Islamic theology while Arab Muslim scholars came to India to learn mathematics, science, astronomy and philosophy. Saudi Arabia is home to the largest Indian community abroad, numbering about 1.8 million. "Indian workers and professionals have participated in the extraordinary development of this region. Indeed, it would be difficult to identify a major project in this region with which Indians have not been involved in some way or the other," he noted, pointing out that around 165,000 Indian pilgrims perform Haj annually. "Both our countries are today threatened by extremism and violence. The pursuit of terror in the name of religion or any other cause or grievance cannot be acceptable to civilized societies. It has no sanction in any religion," he said. Speaking on regional issues, the Indian leader said the people of Palestine had been denied for far too long their just, legitimate and inalienable rights, including the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state. Turning to the Indian Subcontinent, the prime minister said India wishes to live in peace and friendship with its neighbors. "I believe that all countries of South Asia should work to realize a common vision of peace and inclusive development for the region. We seek cooperative relations with Pakistan. Our objective is permanent peace because we recognize that we are bound together by a shared future. If there is cooperation between India and Pakistan, vast opportunities will open up for trade, travel and development that will create prosperity in both countries and in South Asia as a whole. “But to realize this vision, Pakistan must act decisively against terrorism. If Pakistan cooperates with India, there is no problem that we cannot solve and we can walk the extra mile to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries," he said. At the conclusion of his visit, King Saud University conferred an honorary doctorate on Singh. University Rector Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman Al-Othman presented the degree. A memorandum of understanding for cooperation was signed between the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and King Saud University in the presence of the prime minister. Speaking to community members at a reception held at the Indian Embassy later, Singh said that Indians are the largest overseas community in Saudi Arabia and that this was proof of the respect they have earned and the confidence put in them by the government and people of Saudi Arabia. "What is special and unique are the values that every Indian stands for which are the product of a 5000-year-old civilization. An Indian knows the meaning of respecting other's beliefs, customs and faiths. Pluralism and diversity are second nature to us. All this makes Indians tolerant and naturally inclined to harmonious peaceful coexistence. I have no doubt that you reflect these lofty values in your workplaces, homes and in social interactions." He concluded by saying, " I am returning to India confident that our relations with Saudi Arabia have been placed on a even sounder footing."