*The new strategy focuses on clearing Taliban strongholds while protecting the local populations and establishing Afghan control. Source: DTN News / Fox News (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 31, 2010: NATO forces will launch a major offensive in the Afghanistan city of Kandahar in June, sources told Fox News, part of a new war strategy that began earlier this year with the offensive in Marjah.A Canadian Chinook helicopter lands in Camp Nathan Smith in the town of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan March 29, 2010. The new strategy focuses on clearing Taliban strongholds while protecting the local populations and establishing Afghan control. Part of the objective in Kandahar is to be done with the "clearing phase" of operations by the beginning of August, before Ramadan, two senior U.S. officials told Fox News. The U.S. and its allies already are laying the groundwork for the offensive by removing corrupt politicians from power to make way for new leaders. The intent with Kandahar, officials tell Fox, is to rely as little as possible on major military offensives and firefights. Also unlike Marjah, the city of Kandahar is densely populated, so coalition troops are not encouraging the town to evacuate.Afghan security forces with the German NATO-led International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) are seen during a joint operation Baghlan, north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, March 29, 2010. Thousands of Afghan and International forces are involved in the clearing the area from the enemy and bringing peace and stability in the province Zalmai Mangal provincial deputy police chief of Baghlan province said. They hope to bring large numbers of U.S. and Afghan troops into the city at the height of the Afghan surge this summer, and to support the Afghan led effort to rebuild its critical infrastructure and governmental governmental institutions while inflicting as little collateral damage as possible, military officials tell Fox News. Kandahar is considered the spiritual heartland of the Taliban and a stubborn holdout of insurgent fighters. The southern city was the seat of government for the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan prior to the U.S. led invasion of the country in 2001. Fox News' Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY March 31, 2010 ~ Kandahar Offensive To Begin In June, Senior Officials Say
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY March 31, 2010 ~ Kandahar Offensive To Begin In June, Senior Officials Say
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 30, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued March 29, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 31, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued March 30, 2010 are undermentioned; CONTRACTS NAVY ~PAE Government Services, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., is being awarded an $83,868,260 cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) modification under a previously awarded cost reimbursement and IDIQ contract (N33191-07-D-0207) to exercise Option 3 for base operating support services at Camp Lemonier and forward operating location Manda Bay. The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, comprehensive support functions in the following annexes: general information at Annex 1; management and administration at Annex 2; public safety at Annex 4; air operations at Annex 5; ordnance at Annex 7; supply at Annex 10; laundry services at Annex 11; morale, welfare, and recreation at Annex 12; galley at Annex 13; housing at Annex 14; facilities support at Annex 15; utilities at Annex 16; base support vehicles and equipment at Annex 17; and environmental at Annex 18. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $295,243,649. Work will be performed in Djibouti, Africa, and Kenya, Africa, and is expected to be completed by April 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe and Southwest Asia, Naples, Italy, is the contracting activity. ~Raytheon Technical Services Co., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded $49,912,663 for delivery order #7130 under a Basic Ordering Agreement contract (N00383-07-G-008D) to repair components for the APG 65/73 radar systems used in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind. (55 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (30 percent); Forest, Miss. (12 percent); and Andover, Mass. (3 percent). Work is expected to be completed by December 2012. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. ~TEC-AECOM, JV, Charlottesville, Va., was awarded a maximum amount $40,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract on March 29 for environmental planning and engineering services for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Executive Order (EO) 12114, “Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions - Ship Homeporting Issues,” at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities worldwide. The work to be performed provides for the preparation of various documents to support the proposed infrastructure-related actions with respect to ship homeporting issues. The preponderance of documents to be prepared under this contract are NEPA documents including the following: categorical exclusions, environmental assessments, and environmental impact statements, as well as environmental reviews and environmental studies under EO 12114. Examples of tasking may also include homeporting of ships, new construction, renovation, base realignment and closure actions, proposed operational actions, and demolitions. Work will predominantly be performed in Virginia (20 percent), Florida (20 percent), California (20 percent), and Washington (20 percent). Work may also be performed within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic area of responsibility and the adjacent waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, including the continental United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and North Africa (20 percent). Tasks associated with this contract may be assigned anywhere in the world. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2015. Contract funds 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 five proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-10-D-3008). ~BAE Systems, Inc., Nashua, N.H., is being awarded a $9,233,109 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00039-09-C-0129) for the production of the first optional compact low frequency active transmit system and spares. This contract includes additional options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $29,709,200. Work will be performed in Hudson, N.H., and is expected to be completed by September 2011; if all options are exercised, work will be completed by December 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-09-C-0129). ~Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $6,395,328 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) for 144 retrofit kits under the Engineering Change Proposal 6240R1, “FT 50 18K Main Landing Gear Sidebrace Fitting Failure - Revision for Retrofit” for the F/A-18E/F aircraft. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., and is expected to be completed in October 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ~Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $13,200,000 modification for planned and growth supplemental work under a previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2100) for the accomplishment of the fiscal 2008 Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of USS Enterprise (CVN 65). As a result of this contract modification, the total estimated amount of this contract will be $654,854,987. This contract modification is in accordance with the overall program plan for the CVN 65 EDSRA. EDSRAs are similar to overhauls in that they restore the ship, including all subsystems that affect combat capability and safety, to established performance standards. Additionally, an EDSRA provides an opportunity to perform hull inspections, recoating, and other maintenance related evolutions below the waterline that cannot be accomplished while the ship is waterborne. The EDSRA provides sufficient time to perform more extensive repairs and testing than are possible during an extended selected restricted availability. Work that results from subsystem open and inspects is added to the contract as it is identified. Work will be performed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to be completed in April 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $13,200,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity. ~Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $6,223,862 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0310) for integrated logistics support of the advanced targeting/forward looking infrared pods for the F/A-18C/D and F/A-18E/F aircraft. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas (98 percent), and El Segundo, Calif. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND ~L-3 Communications Corp., EOS Division, Garland, Texas, is being awarded a two-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of MX 10160 image intensifier assemblies in support of U.S. Special Operations Command Headquarters Procurement Division. The work will be performed in Tempe, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in 2012. The estimated value of the contract is $30,000,000. The contract number is H92222-10-D-0012. ~L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, LLC, Madison, Miss., is receiving a firm-fixed-price modification of $6,260,514 for exercise of option periods one and two, providing an additional six months of lease services of four helicopters for pilot training in support of U.S. Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, beginning on April 1, 2010, and ending Sept. 30, 2010. Work will be performed at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The contract modification number is H92222-09-C-0048-P00005. AIR FORCE ~Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $23,847,566 contract which provides for the Reliability Information Analysis Center to research, test, develop, and deliver concept recommendations, architecture analysis, ontological models, alternatives analysis, life-cycle costs estimates, prototype development assessments, and prototype tools. At this time, $797,000 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (HC1047-05-D-4005).
DTN News: Russia Set To Float Out 2nd Stealth Corvette Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - March 31, 2010: St. Petersburg's Severnaya Verf shipyard will float out on Wednesday a new corvette featuring stealth technology, a Russian Navy spokesman said. The Soobrazitelny is the second Project 20380 corvette designed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. "The corvette features innovative solutions regarding hull design, armament, communications and electronics," the spokesman said. The first Project 20380 corvette, the Steregushchy, was put into service with Russia's Baltic Fleet in October 2008, and two other ships of the same series, the Boyky and the Stoyky, are under construction. The Project 20380 corvette can be deployed to destroy enemy surface ships, submarines and aircraft, and to provide artillery support for beach landings. It uses stealth technology to reduce the ship's secondary radar field, as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures. Russia plans to have up to 30 vessels of this class to ensure the protection of its coastal waters, as well as its oil and gas transportation routes, especially in the Black and the Baltic seas. Each corvette has a displacement of 2,000 metric tons, maximum speed of 27 knots, and a crew of 100. Related News Russia's Navy to build up Baltic Fleet over Polish missile plans Russian Navy could be in dire straits by 2015 - expert Russian Navy to receive two new stealth warships in 2010-11 Russia to float out new missile frigate in 2011
DTN News: Big Bang Machine Sets Collision Record Source: DTN News / By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer (NSI News Source Info) GENEVA - March 31, 2010: The world's largest atom smasher conducted its first experiments at conditions nearing those after the Big Bang, breaking its own record for high-energy collisions with proton beams crashing into each other Tuesday at three times more force than ever before.An event display shows activity during a high-energy collision at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, outside Geneva. The $10 billion Large Hadron Collider directed two proton beams into each other at three times more force than ever before as part of its ambitious bid to reveal details about theoretical particles and microforces. In a milestone for the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider's ambitious bid to reveal details about theoretical particles and microforces, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, took high-tech photographs so they could study the disintegrating protons after they collided at a combined energy level of 7 trillion electron volts. The collisions herald a new era for researchers working on the machine in a 17-mile (27-kilometer) tunnel below the Swiss-French border at Geneva. "That's it! They've had a collision," said Oliver Buchmueller from Imperial College in London as people closely watched monitors. In a control room, scientists erupted with applause when the first successful collisions were confirmed. Their colleagues from around the world were tuning in by remote links to witness the new record, which surpasses the 2.36 TeV CERN recorded last year. Dubbed the world's largest scientific experiment, researchers hope the machine can approach on a tiny scale what happened in the first split seconds after the Big Bang, which they theorize was the creation of the universe some 14 billion years ago. The extra energy in Geneva is expected to reveal even more about the unanswered questions of particle physics, such as the existence of antimatter and the search for the Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle that scientists theorize gives mass to other particles and thus to other objects and creatures in the universe. Tuesday's initial attempts at collisions were unsuccessful because problems developed with the beams, said scientists working on the massive machine. That meant the protons had to be "dumped" from the collider and new beams had to be injected. The atmosphere at CERN was tense considering the collider's launch with great fanfare on Sept. 10, 2008. Nine days later, the project was sidetracked when a badly soldered electrical splice overheated, causing extensive damage to the massive magnets and other parts of the collider some 300 feet (100 meters) below the ground. It cost $40 million to repair and improve the machine. Since its restart in November 2009, the collider has performed almost flawlessly and given scientists valuable data. It quickly eclipsed the next largest accelerator — the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago. Two beams of protons began 10 days ago to speed at high energy in opposite directions around the tunnel, the coldest place in the universe, at a couple of degrees above absolute zero. CERN used powerful superconducting magnets to force the two beams to cross, creating collisions and showers of particles. "Experiments are collecting their first physics data — historic moment here!" a scientist tweeted on CERN's official Twitter account. "Nature does it all the time with cosmic rays (and with higher energy) but this is the first time this is done in Laboratory!" said another tweet. When collisions become routine, the beams will be packed with hundreds of billions of protons, but the particles are so tiny that few will collide at each crossing. The experiments will come over the objections of some people who fear they could eventually imperil Earth by creating micro black holes — subatomic versions of collapsed stars whose gravity is so strong they can suck in planets and other stars. CERN and many scientists dismiss any threat to Earth or people on it, saying that any such holes would be so weak that they would vanish almost instantly without causing any damage. Bivek Sharma, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, said the images of the first crashed proton beams were beautiful. "It's taken us 25 years to build," he said. "This is what it's for. Finally the baby is delivered. Now it has to grow."
DTN News: "Indian F-16 Deal Better Than Pakistan's" Source: DTN News / The Hindu
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 31, 2010: Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace specialist on Monday said the F-16 aircraft being offered India would be “much more advanced” than the fighters provided to Pakistan. An F-16 performs at the Aero India 2009 show. The aircraft's maker Lockheed Martin has assured India that the F-16s being offered to it would be better than the one provided to Pakistan. Speaking to visiting Indian journalists in Dallas, Texas, Orville Prins, Vice-President, Business Development (India) said, “I can assure you, the Super Viper is much more advanced in all aspects than the F-16s being given to Pakistan.” Mr. Prins' assurance comes in the wake of reports that India was concerned over the U.S. providing Pakistan with a new set of F-16 aircraft, a decision which could be a crucial geopolitical factor when the Indian Air Force (IAF) decides on the $10-billion Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender, described as “mother of all deals.” According to a statement by Lockheed Martin, the F-16IN Super Viper is the “ultimate fourth generation fighter” and is tailored exclusively to meet or exceed all of India's Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirements. The company said the aircraft is “the right choice for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and is ready for integration into India's infrastructure and operations now.” Evolutionary integration of fifth generation technologies makes the F-16IN the most advanced fourth generation fighter in the world today, said the company. However, Mr. Prins declined to discuss details regarding the company's dealings with Pakistan, adding that Lockheed Martin was not the firm that was selling anything to any country, but was simply partnering with the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Prins pointed out that it was not only Lockheed Martin that was supplying to Islamabad, but there were six other contenders in the MMRCA race, including the U.S.'s Boeing, the French D'Assault, the Swedish Gripen, the European consortium EADS, and the Russian MiG.
DTN News: Boeing Licenses XR700 Solar Power Technology To Stirling Energy Systems
Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SEAL BEACH, Calif.,- March 31, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) have formed a strategic partnership to complete the commercialization and deployment of Boeing's XR700 high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar power technology. Through a licensing agreement with Boeing, SES has acquired the sole rights to develop, manufacture and deploy the HCPV product globally. SES will lead the commercialization process, with Boeing providing technical program development and engineering expertise under a contracting partnership. Tessera Solar, an SES affiliate, will be responsible for development, construction and operation of solar power facilities using the XR700. Boeing began developing the XR700 technology in 2007 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Program. The technology development phase is expected to continue for the next two years before achieving commercial-scale deployment in 2012. "Boeing Defense, Space & Security's Energy Solutions business seeks to create new products and services in emerging energy-technology markets, including renewable energy and Smart Grid," said Tim Noonan, vice president, Boeing Advanced Global Services and Support. "Working with Stirling Energy Systems, an established leader in concentrating solar power generation, allows us to leverage Boeing's leadership in systems development, materials expertise, and reliability engineering to create jobs and to help America's vital energy infrastructure go green." The XR700 technology uses a non-imaging optical system to concentrate sunlight by a factor of 700 onto high-efficiency, triple-junction solar cells. The cells currently are supplied by Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab, which in 2009 achieved the world record for terrestrial concentrator solar cell efficiency, at 41.6 percent. Boeing is in the development and construction phase of a 100-kilowatt facility at California State University, Northridge, using the HCPV solar power technology. Boeing and its subcontractors also have completed the development of an automated 2-megawatt per year production factory in Detroit that is producing and assembling the solar arrays for the Northridge solar facility. Installation of the solar arrays at the Northridge facility is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2010, with the solar facility expected to be operational during the third quarter. "Boeing's selection of SES and Tessera Solar as strategic partners for their solar power technology demonstrates the strength of the businesses' technology and development expertise," said Jim Barry, CEO of NTR plc, majority shareholder of SES and Tessera Solar. "This agreement will complement SES and Tessera Solar's existing utility-scale offering and strengthen their position as solar energy leaders." The HCPV product will extend SES's solar energy portfolio and is expected to give Tessera Solar access to more project-development opportunities, especially in the distributed-generation (under 50-megawatt) sector. Tessera Solar will continue to deploy its SunCatcher -- a solar power system that uses an SES engine to convert the sun's heat to electricity -- for large-scale (greater than 50-megawatt) projects. Later this year, SES and Tessera expect to begin construction on three large SunCatcher power projects, totaling over 1,600 megawatts, in Texas and California. The XR700 HCPV technology will be aimed at smaller-scale projects of 50 megawatts and less. "This venture with Boeing represents an ideal opportunity for SES to extend our reach into the solar market for future technology deployments with a product that shares many of the SunCatcher's key differentiating features -- scalability, low water use and high efficiency," said SES CEO Steve Cowman. "We are pleased to obtain the rights to deploy a complementary technology to the SunCatcher and therefore offer an additional product to suit our potential customers that are interested in smaller-scale projects," said Tessera Solar North America CEO Bob Lukefahr. Stirling Energy Systems (SES) is the global supplier of the SunCatcher™ solar dish engine system, the latest innovation in modular Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), and next generation of grid-quality, solar-electric power generation. The SES SunCatcher™ combines a mirrored concentrator dish with a high-efficiency Stirling engine to track, collect and convert the sun's thermal energy to grid-quality electricity. The SunCatcher™ technology has significant advantages over other CSP technology, including zero water use for power production, minimal impact to the environment, the highest electric efficiency and cost competitiveness. Founded in 1996, the company maintains corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., and engineering and test site operations at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. NTR owns a controlling stake in SES Inc. NTR plc, the international renewable energy group, builds and runs green energy and resource-sustaining businesses. Founded in 1978, NTR has evolved from being a developer and operator of infrastructure in Ireland to an international developer and operator of renewable energy (wind, solar and ethanol) and sustainable waste management businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The company employs more than 4,100 people. 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.