Thursday, August 12, 2010
DTN News: Russia And India Hold Joint Military Exercises
* Russia-India partnership ~ Opinion & analysis By Ria Novosti
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including Ria Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 13, 2010: Ahead of the scheduled Russian-Indian naval exercises, in which the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky will take part, Tatiana Shaumyan, director of the Center for Indian Studies at the Institute of Asian Studies, discusses the state of Russian-Indian relations and the prospects for defence cooperation between the two countries. Interview by Igor Chekunov.
Russia and India enjoy longstanding and close ties in many areas. How would you describe Russian-Indian relations on defence at present?
Defence cooperation is one of the most important and longstanding aspects of our relationship with India. This cooperation began in the 1960s, soon after the Indo-Chinese border conflict. Our defence cooperation has been ongoing since then, despite some interruptions in the 1990s due to factors beyond our control, notably the collapse of the Soviet Union, when many Soviet-era structures were dismantled and Russian ones were only just emerging. It was a difficult period, because Russia supplied about 70% of India’s military hardware. But gradually defence cooperation was restored and today it is considerable. The structure of the relationship has transformed from the sale of ready-made weapons from Russia to India to the joint development of new technologies and the production of missiles and aircraft. This is a big step forward from our past relationship. Currently, Russia and India are implementing several joint military programs. The most important are the production and upgrading of the BrahMos missile and the construction of fifth-generation supersonic fighters, among other things. It would be desirable to see the level of cooperation that we have achieved in the field of defence maintained in other areas, especially in trade and science and technology. The upcoming exercises will add considerably to Russian-Indian military cooperation. The situation around the world changes from year to year, and therefore the goals and objectives of these exercises also change. What do you consider their purpose to be at this moment?
The threat of armed conflict, as such, always exists theoretically, but it seems to me that today one of the greatest security challenges for Russia and India is the fight against international terrorism, as both countries, unfortunately, have been the victims of international terrorist acts. The threat of terrorist attacks in Russia has spread beyond the regions that are generally considered targets, and in India today there are attacks not only in Kashmir but in other regions and major cities as well – Mumbai and Delhi. The fight against terrorism is one area where our joint exercises and projects can have a very significant impact. Joint naval exercises have grown in importance in recent years because of the threat of piracy, which has become a danger to the ships of practically ever country involved in international commercial shipping. Russia and India have repeatedly suffered heavy losses due to international piracy on shipping lanes. If we work together to develop methods to counter this threat together, both countries will benefit.
India-US relations are rapidly developing in parallel with the close relations between India and Russia. Although the Obama administration has apparently shifted US foreign policy priorities from India to China, the United States and India continue to cooperate on military and nuclear issues.
I believe that, one way or another, these two Asian powers will always be a priority for the United States. The United States wants to develop relations with China while keeping India as an ally and vice-versa. Balancing relations with various countries is a key aspect of international relations. The United States sees India as a major and influential actor in global politics. Moreover, I think that the United States has actually recognised India as a nuclear power. By signing a nuclear deal with India in 2005 the Americans clearly recognised India’s nuclear arsenal. When it comes to the South Asian region, the United States has for a long time relied on its longtime military and political ally Pakistan. The United States has a special relationship with Pakistan today in light of the situation in Afghanistan, and that’s why India is now a priority in US foreign and military policy.
This leads to the next question. Given the active India-US relationship, how does the US government view Russia-India cooperation such as military exercises?
The United States should accept it as a fact. The American government has no real leverage to compel the two countries to not carry out these exercises. Military exercises are an integral component of the bilateral relations between sovereign states in today’s world. The zero-sum game is long gone. Given current realities, India-US cooperation and active India-Russia cooperation are not mutually exclusive.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint Naval Activities Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 13, 2010: The US and Vietnam are conducting joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, a sign of increasing military ties between the two former enemies. The week-long activities focus mainly on non-combatant exercises and are part of the 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Washington and Hanoi. But correspondents say they could anger China, which has been in a dispute with Vietnam over islands in the area. Tensions over territories in the South China Sea have increased recently. The US has described the exercises as a "series of naval engagement activities" which focus mainly on damage control and search and rescue. The US Navy on Sunday hosted Vietnamese military and government officials on the USS George Washington, which is on its way back from naval exercises with South Korea in the Sea of Japan.
Its strike group of three destroyers are also in the South China Sea, while the USS John S McCain is due to call at the Vietnamese port of Danang later on Tuesday.'Belong to nobody' Nga Pham of the BBC's Vietnamese service says the training shows a remarkable warming of the relationship between the US and Vietnam. It also shows Washington's determination to defend free navigation in the area contested by a number of south-east Asian countries and China, our correspondent adds. The US has increased its presence in the region in recent months as part of a show of support for South Korea against North Korea, which has been blamed for the sinking of the South Korean vessel Cheonan in March. Capt David Lausman, commanding officer of the George Washington, said on Sunday that the waters "belong to nobody, yet belong to everybody". "China has a right to operate here, as do we and as do every other country of the world," he added.
Last week, the Vietnamese foreign ministry said that Chinese ships which were carrying out seismic studies in the Paracels zone - a disputed area - had breached Vietnam's sovereignty. Beijing has always protested against the involvement of any other parties in the South China Sea dispute, saying it was a matter for "bilateral negotiation".
DTN News: Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News Dated August 12, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 12, 2010: Comprehensive daily news related on Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.
*Comprehensive daily news related on Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated August 12, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued August 12, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - August 12, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued August 12, 2010 are undermentioned;
DTN News: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Tours Flood Zone Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - August 12, 2010: Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, has arrived in Sukkur for his first visit to a flood-hit area of the country. Zardari's spokesman said he is being briefed near the Sukkur barrage in Sindh province, 15 days into the nation's worst-ever natural disaster, which appears to be worsening. About 1,600 have been killed in the crisis and about two million people have been forced to leave their homes. There has been extensive damage to infrastructure, crops and other agricultural resources due to the flooding, triggered by extensive monsoon rains. As the floods were beginning Zardari embarked on trips to meet the leaders of the UK and France, returning via Syria, to much criticism at home and abroad. Anger Imran Khan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the capital Islamabad, said: "People are very angry. "I spent some time in Sindh province, Zardari's home province, and the anger was clear on the street with people saying, why is he gallivanting around Europe and when he was there why wasn't he getting money from other countries for the crisis?" Imtiaz Gul, the head of the Centre for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad, said that the government was unable to cope with the situation and bad decisions had been made. "President Zardari’s visit to Europe and Syria symbolizes the political leadership’s indifference and the lack of commitment to the plight of people of Pakistan." However, Khan said that Zardari's visit to the affected region will be heavily stage managed and therefore he is likely to get a good reception. The UN on Wednesday called for $459m to be raised to aid the estimated 14 million people affected by the flooding. The money was said to represent the minimum needed for emergency assistance over the next three months and did not include anything for rebuilding infrastructure. Farming hit The UN also said that the cost of agricultural losses might reach billions of dollars. At least four million people are expected to need food assistance across Pakistan for the next three months at a cost of nearly $100m. Khan said: "It is going to get worse. We are expecting weather systems to come in bringing in more rain. "The government is failing to cope. But the UN has said that this is going to take weeks, months [to fix]. Nobody seems to have been prepared for a crisis of this size." The US has said that the 19 helicopters and 1,000 marines it has pledged to assist relief efforts are close to the southern border of the country and would begin aid missions soon. As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on Thursday in Pakistan, millions of flood-affected people also started daily fasting. Many residents of the affected northwest are particularly pious, and said that they would not neglect fasting. "I cannot disobey God, so I am fasting as it is part of my faith no matter what the conditions are," Fazal Rabi, 47, who was staying in a tent village in Akbarpura, said.
DTN News: The Government Of Panama Orders Six AW139 Helicopters
(NSI News Source Info) VERGIATE, Italy - August 12, 2010: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce the signing of a contract by the Government of Panama for six AW139 medium twin engine helicopters. The contract also includes pilot and maintainer conversion to type training. Four aircraft will be equipped to perform a wide range of national and public security roles, one will be used for utility missions and the last aircraft will be used to transport senior government officials and other VIPs.
Emilio Dalmasso, Senior VP Commercial Business Unit, AgustaWestland said after the signing of the contract “We are delighted that the AW139 has been selected by the Government of Panama for this important requirement. This latest endorsement by the Government of Panama is further recognition that the AW139 continues to be the outright leader in its class.” The two powerful PT6C-67C turboshaft engines, each producing 1,252 kW (1,679 shp) give the AW139 class leading performance with a maximum cruise speed of 167 knots (310 km/h). The aircraft has a range of over 1000 km or an endurance of over 5 hours with auxiliary fuel, making it ideal for long range transport and for border patrol missions. The cockpit features the latest technology including a Honeywell Primus Epic® fully integrated avionics system, a 4-axis digital Automatic Flight Control System and large flat panel colour displays - reducing pilot workload and allowing the crew to concentrate on the mission. Over 470 orders have been placed by almost 130 customers from over 50 countries to date, making it the benchmark helicopter in the medium twin category for a wide range of roles including EMS/SAR, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, law enforcement, fire fighting and other government duties.
This latest contract for AW139s further expands the presence of AgustaWestland in the Panamanian helicopter market where the company has already sold four AW119Ke single engine helicopters.
DTN News: U.S. Not Surprised By Russia's Missile Deployment In Abkhazia
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, U.S. - August 12, 2010: Washington is not surprised by reports that Russia deployed S-300 air-defense systems on the territory of former Georgian republic of Abkhazia, the U.S. Department of State said. Russian Air Force head Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said on Wednesday S-300 systems had been placed in Abkhazia to protect the airspace of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He did not say how many S-300s were deployed. "I believe it's our understanding that Russia has had S-300 missiles in Abkhazia for the past two years," Philip Crowley, the department's assistant secretary, told a daily press briefing. "There have been systems in Abkhazia for two years. We can't confirm whether they [Russia] have added to those systems or not... this is by itself is not necessarily a new development. That system has been in place for some time," he added. The Georgian Foreign Ministry described the Russian move as "extremely dangerous and provocative" and threatening "not only the Black Sea region, but European security as a whole." Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia two weeks after a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008, which began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Russia signed agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia earlier this year on establishing permanent military bases in the republics. The bases are located in Gudauta, on Abkhazia's Black Sea coast, and in South Ossetia's capital, Tskhinvali. Each base hosts up to 1,700 servicemen, T-62 tanks, light armored vehicles, air defense systems and a variety of aircraft.
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DTN News: NORAD Praises Results Of Joint Air Defense Drills With Russia
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, U.S. - August 12, 2010: Officers of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) say they are satisfied with the results of joint anti-terrorism drills with the Russian Air Force and hope for further cooperation. The exercise, dubbed Vigilant Eagle, was carried out on August 6-11, and involved Russian, Canadian and U.S. air force personnel operating from command centers at the Elmendorf airbase in Alaska, and in Khabarovsk, Russia. "This exercise is one milestone in working together in other future efforts. Our folks are proud to be a part of such an important event and are passionate about partaking in efforts to protect our borders," Air Force Lt. Col. John Oberst was quoted as saying on the NORAD Website. The exercise scenario, put together by NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, created a situation requiring both the Russian Air Force and NORAD to launch or divert fighter aircraft to investigate and follow a U.S. flagged Golfstream 4 plane on an international flight that has been taken over by terrorists. "What we are practicing today is the communication procedures between NORAD, plus U.S. civilian air traffic control agencies and our Russian counterparts so that we can pass on information to them about air terrorism events to allow them to posture their forces to respond in kind," Canadian Forces Col. Todd Balfe, Alaska NORAD Region deputy commander, said. The drills involved U.S. AWACS E-3B and Russian A-50 airborne warning and control aircraft, Russian MiG-31 and Su-27 fighters and U.S. F-22 interceptors, along with refueling aircraft from both countries. The exercise was carried out under a cooperative military agreement between Russia and the United States, which tasks NORAD, the bi-national U.S. and Canadian command, and the Russian Air Force to conduct a live-fly exercise for up to five days.
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DTN News: MiG-35 Stalls In Indian Fighter Tender Contract
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - August 12, 2010: Russia's MiG-35 multirole fighter aircraft has failed to make the short-list in a $10 billion international tender for 126 combat aircraft for the Indian air force, according to Indian media reports quoted by Kommersant daily. The favorites to win the tender are the French Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, Indian media say. Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the holding company for most of the Russian aircraft industry, and its fighter subsidiary MiG, have not officially confirmed the reports. "The official results of the tender have not yet been announced," said UAC's Press Secretary Konstantin Lantratov. "The MiG-35 is not leaving the tender, and I have no official information about this," said UAC First Vice-President Mikhail Pogosyan. A MiG source quoted by Kommersant said it was too early to say what the Indians had decided. "The envelopes with the commercial proposals should be studied by the tender commission only this week," the source said. Several sources quoted by the paper listed a raft of problems around the MiG-35 program, including a lack of financing to support it. One source said the lack of state funding to support the program had been noted by UAC President Aleksei Fyodorov as long ago as the end of 2008, but the issue was not resolved. The MiG-35 is said to be a cheaper aircraft than its rivals but is said to have problems with engine life. "Time between overhauls should be at least 2000 hours and overall life 4000 hours, but the RD-33 doesn't meet these parameters now," said one source. India already operates the early model MiG-29A fighter aircraft and is taking delivery of the MiG-29K naval fighter, which it will operate from a Russian-built aircraft carrier which is currently under refit. The selection of two favored aircraft for the Indian tender follows a long trials process, which also involved Sweden's SAAB Gripen, America's Lockheed Martin with the F-16, and Boeing's F-18 Super Hornet, as well as the Russian MiG-35.
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