Friday, October 31, 2008

Iran Plans To Build Russian Ka-32 Helicopters Under License

Iran Plans To Build Russian Ka-32 Helicopters Under License (NSI News Source Info) KISH ISLAND, Iran - November 1, 2008: Iran is planning to manufacture over 50 Russian-designed Ka-32 helicopters under a production license, an Iranian aircraft industry official said on Wednesday.
KA-32 Helix helicopter is produced in two variants: KA-32C -ship-based variant and the KA-32T- transport variant. The KA-32 helicopter has been developed on the basis of the unique experience gained in the process of creation and operational use of ship-bome helicopters, and is capable to successfully operate in the conditions of the Far North and tropical latitudes, day and night, in complicated weather conditions
Ka-32 is a civilian version of the Russian Ka-27 military helicopter developed by the Kamov design bureau. "We have long been considering the Kamov helicopter manufacturer as our partner...and we are planning to sign a contract on the licensed production of at least 50 Ka-32 helicopters [in Iran]," the managing director of Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), Majid Hedayat, said at the Iran Air Show 2008. Ka-32 is a 12-ton aircraft than can carry up to four tons of payload. It can stay in the air about four hours per sortie and cruises at 205 kilometers an hour. The Ka-27 has been used by the Russian navy since the 1970s. There are fears in the West that with the ability to manufacture the Ka-32, Iran could easily convert them back to their original Ka-27 military configuration. IAIO will also manufacture 100 advanced Tu-214 and Tu-204 airliners with a 210-passenger capacity in cooperation with Russia within the next 10 years.

Indonesia Evaluating Purchase Of Indian Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv

Indonesia Evaluating Purchase Of Indian Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv (NSI News Source Info) November 1, 2008: The Indonesian army is weighing purchase of the Indian designed and built Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, ands is also in talks for sourcing spare parts from the country, according to Lt Gen (retd) Andi M Ghalib, the Indonesian ambassador to India. "We are talking about purchasing the ALH from India and are in discussions about sourcing spares for our weapon systems from here. Also, Indian naval ships have been paying goodwill visits to Indonesian ports." Ghalib told media sources here.
A more powerful engine for the Dhruv, the Shakti (Ardiden 1H) rated at 900kW is being developed between HAL and Turbomeca and will be manufactured at Bangalore
Embassy officials reiterated that the strategic and defence partnership between India and Indonesia had received impetus from two different commitments-that emanating from an improved bilateral relationship as well as from India's commitment to a strategic engagement with ASEAN, which was growing by the day. They also said that India had been supplying defence equipment, especially for the Indonesian navy, and the two countries were exploring other areas for defence cooperation. Apart from defence, the two countries were also engaged bilaterally in addressing non-traditional security challenges facing the region, such as terrorism, maritime piracy and so on. India and Indonesia signed a bilateral agreement on cooperative activities in the field of defence in 2001.

Spider Light Strike Vehicle, Singapore

Spider Light Strike Vehicle, Singapore (NSI News Source Info) October 31, 2008: The changing face of warfare has spawned new requirements for vehicles. While there is still an overwhelming requirement to protect troops from mine and roadside bomb attack using highly armoured patrol vehicles there is also a need for much smaller, lighter, relatively unarmoured vehicles to transport small bodies of men over short range for strike and reconnaissance missions.
The Spider vehicle can be configured in various ways but the SRAM is the favoured one
The light strike vehicle (LSV) was born for fast hit-and-run raids, scouting missions, special forces support, and low-intensity guerrilla warfare. A number of versions of this 'dune buggy' type of vehicle have been produced, notably the Blackwater light strike vehicle (US) and the Spider light strike vehicle from ST Engineering (ST Kinetics) of Singapore (adopted by the Singaporean armed forces). Other forces using this type of light attack vehicle include US Marines, US Army, Greek forces, Mexican Army, and forces of Oman, Portugal and Spain. Spider LSV One of the latest examples of the LSV is the Spider. This vehicle has been designed to be light, fast, powerful and easily transportable by helicopter (six Spiders can fit into one C-130 transport plane). The 4×4 vehicle has tubular space frame chassis allowing a light weight of only 1,600kg and a maximum payload of 1,200kg. The vehicle is powered by a four-cylinder 2.8l power unit from Peugeot (Euro III emission standard), which can develop 130hp at 3,800rpm and has a maximum torque of 410Nm at 1,800rpm (maximum speed on roads of 130km/h and 80km/h for off-road). This small vehicle (4,500mm long and 2,030mm wide) carries a crew of three to six men depending upon the armament, and carries a foldable roll cage for protection (1,900mm). The Spider has been equipped with a range of refined technology such as semi-automatic transmission, double wishbone front suspension with a single shock absorber, and trailing-arm rear suspension as well as hydraulic power-assisted steering, all around power-assisted ABS brakes. In addition the Spider has a range of 700km, can ford water 600mm deep and can handle gradients of around 60° and side slopes of 50°. The vehicle can also be equipped with lightweight capsulised composite armour around the cabin area as a protection suite against 7.62mm small-arms-type fire and grenade fragments (the vehicle can be enclosed and even the windscreen is removable). The Spider also has the distinction that its rear cabin can be detached and operated by remote control to a range of 500m, allowing it to be sent into situations unmanned if required as a decoy. Armaments The Spider can carry a number of armament configurations including various light and heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and cannons, as well as mini UAVs, and sensor and surveillance systems. Some of the more common weapons are the CIS-50 12.7mm heavy machine gun and the Ultimax 100 section automatic weapon. However the vehicle has been designed more specifically to carry the super rapid advanced mortar system (SRAMS). SRAMS is a 120mm smoothbore mortar system (modified to make it lighter and produced by ST Engineering). The Spider vehicle has been designed to be light fast, powerful and easily transportable by helicopter. The Spider system has a three-man crew to operate as an SRAM crew with two personnel riding in the SRAMS-equipped Spider and one in the tandem ammunition support vehicle. The vehicle can only carry six 120mm rounds for the SRAMS so the tandem vehicle provides the ammunition (fire rate of ten rounds a minute with recoil of less than 26t and a blast diffuser). The SRAMS also has navigation and positioning technology, power gun drives and an integrated automatic fire control system. The Singapore Armed Force (SAF) has already procured 50 Spider SRAM units. Design refinements The design of the Spider has also stepped outside conventional thinking by introducing the vehicle with an alternative power source for mobility. It may be fitted with a motor generator (MOGEN), which is a hybrid electric generator and motor unit. The vehicle can be operated on electrical power to allow it to move in silent stealth mode when undertaking operations on the frontline. This alternative MOGEN unit can also be used to provide back-up power as an auxiliary power source if there is a problem with the engine. Additional refinements for the future could include a retractable wheel system to give the vehicle a lower centre of gravity for better stability and manoeuvrability at high speeds in off-road operations.

French Air Force Acquirig Further Rafale Jet Fighters

French Air Force Acquiring Further Rafale Jet Fighters (NSI News Source Info) October 31, 2008: France has ordered another 60 Rafale jet fighters, to be delivered over the next five years. Ultimately, France plans to buy 294, and 60 have been delivered so far. Two years ago, the French Air Force activated its first squadron of Rafale fighters.
Rafale jet fighters
The navy had received ten navalized Rafales two before that, for service on the nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The first prototype of Rafale was shown in 1986, and the aircraft should have entered service in the late 1990s. While one of the more modern combat aircraft in the world, development of the Rafale was delayed by technical problems, and shortages of money. Entering development just as the Cold War ended meant that there was little enthusiasm to spend billions on an aircraft that would face no real opposition. But, facing the need to eventually replace all those Mirage fighters, development did get restarted, creating an aircraft superior to the American F-15s and F-16s, very similar to the F-18F, but inferior to the F-22 and F-35. The Eurofighter was another competitor for scarce export sales. By 2006, the French armed forces have only ordered 120 Rafales (82 for the air force, 38 for the navy), although eventually over 300 are expected to be ordered. The 28 ton aircraft sell for about $100 million each, and so far, there have been no export orders.

Iraqi Troops Seize EFP Factory

Iraqi Troops Seize EFP Factory (NSI News Source Info) October 31, 2008: The Iraqi Army recently found and seized a terrorist workshop, in eastern Baghdad, that was producing explosively formed penetrator (EFP) weapons. The workshop contained metal working equipment for producing EFPs, as well as 34 completed weapons, and components for more than fifty additional weapons. Some of the captured material came from Iran. While Iran stridently denies sending EFPs, or EFP components, to Iraq, they have long advocated the use of this specialized weapon. Iranian supported Hezbollah, in Lebanon, has long used EFP against Israeli troops. In eastern Baghdad, Shia terrorist groups have gone underground, but the Iraqi Army and police is largely Shia, and many Shia are hostile to any kind of terrorism, Shia or Sunni. Last year, about five percent of the Coalition combat deaths in Iraq, and about eleven percent of those killed by roadside bombs, were because of EFPs. The EFP is nasty because it can penetrate the armor on just about anything but an M-1 tank. An EFP is a precision weapon, not an ad-hoc assemblage of explosives (like most roadside bombs). Your typical EFP is a cylindrical device, the optimal one often described as similar to a coffee can. But the cylinder metal must be thicker. You fill about 60 percent of the "coffee can" with explosives (C4, also known as plastique will do). Then you insert a detonator on the closed end of the "coffee can" and a concave copper plug that is pushed into the plastic explosive. The tricky part here is that the depth of the concave copper part, and the thickness of the copper, have to be just right. It requires someone expert at math and the chemistry of explosives to make those calculations. You can make a mould for casting the copper plug, but you must make sure you get the thickness just right. The more precisely the copper plug is made, and the EFP assembled, the more armor the device will penetrate, and the more damage it will do inside the target vehicle. You set EFPs off with the detonator, either via wire, or wireless, connection. When the C4 explodes, it forms the copper cap into a blob of molten copper, moving faster than a speeding bullet (about 1,500 meters a second). The blob stays intact, and lethal, for a few hundred meters, traveling pretty much in a straight line. However, the EFP is still difficult to aim. The user has to place it so that, when it goes off, it will hit a vehicle sitting in a position the user has already figured out. For this reason, EFPs are usually set up at places where vehicles have to stop. When the EFP hits an armored vehicle, it burns and punches its way through the armor. Once inside the vehicle, it injures or kills whoever it hits, as well as igniting combustible material and generally scaring the hell out of everyone. The increased use of MRAP vehicles however, has meant that, when EFP went up, casualties from those weapons declined (but did not disappear). EFPs weigh under ten pounds, are small and easily carried and concealed. They are quick to set up. Some appear to have been made in Iraqi workshops, in Shia parts of the country. These are crude, and much less effective. But most others appear to come from Iran, made in government factories that have long specialized in EFP manufacture. . Naturally, these "Iranian EFPs" don't have any distinguishing marks on them (indicating a state arms factory, or a "Made in Iran" label). The Iranians are not stupid, they don't want to admit supplying these weapons. But all indications are that, most EFPs are made in Iran. And their main purpose is to kill American and British troops, and cause more chaos in Iraq. Last year, when Iraqi troops were also attacked with EFPs, a delegation of Iraqi politicians went to Iran to plead for a halt in the flow of EFPs. The Iranians again denied everything, which led to more Iraqis seeing Iran as an enemy, not a fellow Shia state they could depend on.

Sudan Hot Spot....Fighting To Control Oil

Sudan Hot Spot....Fighting To Control Oil (NSI News Source Info) October 31, 2008: Southern Kordofan state, and specifically its oil producing areas, are once again a major source of trouble between the Sudanese national government ("North" Sudan, run by the National Congress Party) and the Government of South Sudan (the regional "South" Sudan government run by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement). The failure to implement the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is being blamed for the trouble, but that's just a symptom. Despite the national unity government (Government of National Unity, sometimes called the GNU) in the capital, the "North" and the "South" remain divided. Both are suspicious of the other, for political, religious and ethnic reasons. The GOSS does not trust the national government to divide oil wealth fairly. At the moment Sudan produces around 500,000 barrels of oil a day, and that generates a lot of cash. Southern Kordofan is a key oil producing region. In fact, the CPA essentially created Southern Kordofan as a "border area" (comprising what was West Kordofan, part of South Kordofan, and part of the Nuba Mountains). Both "African" (meaning black African, and in this case several "Nuba" tribal clans) and "Arab" tribes (Arab tribes like the Hawazma and Misseriya) live in the region. The Dinka tribes (Dinka Ngok, an African tribe) live in the Abyei "hotspot" as do Arab tribes that the southerners complain the government purposely moved into the area during the war. The national government accuses the GOSS of attempting to "polarize" the area by appealing to the black African tribes and the GOSS says that's the National Congress Party's game with "the Arabs." (The code phrase is "ethnic favoritism.") Many of these "Arab" tribes were involved in abductions, militia attacks, and slaving activities during the long civil war pitting Khartoum against the SPLM's military wing, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The Nuba tend to be sedentary farmers. The Arabs are traditionally pastoralists, even though many also have farms. The "old fight" in the area was between the farmers and pastoralists (sedentary and nomads). Now the fight is over oil. But there are other complications. The Nuba are a very "mixed" ethnic group with internal divisions. Moreover, the Nuba have a long history of conflict with other southern tribes like the Dinka. The Sudan Army and the SPLA have been establishing "joint patrols" in some of the contested areas, but numerous sources have reported an increasing number of both northern and southern forces near Southern Kordofan. The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has peacekeeping forces throughout the south, but they are not deployed as a "buffer force." At the moment most UNMIS troops are engaged in various engineering projects (infrastructure development) and local security operations. October 30, 2008: UNAMID reported that "gunmen" attacked two peacekeepers who were protecting a water distribution facility in the town of Kutum (North Darfur state). One peacekeeper (a South African) was slain in the attack. So far this year 11 UNAMID peacekeepers (troops and police) have died in Darfur. A government attempt to rescue nine kidnapped Chinese oil workers only got three out alive, the rest were killed or are missing. October 27, 2008: New troop and police contingents for UNAMID (UN-AU "hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur) continue to arrive, but they are coming slowly. UNAMID now has around 11,000 troops and police. The UN Security Council authorized 26,000. October 24, 2008: The UN and several NGOs operating in Darfur reported that an attack on a dozen villages in the Muhagiriya region (South Darfur state) by a janjaweed militia killed at least 40 civilians. Over 10,000 people fled from the area. The series of attacks occurred from October 5 through October 17. The delay in reporting is typical. The humanitarian workers get the reports from refugees. The reports corroborate an NGO report from the same period that an "Arab militia" (another phrase used to describe janjaweed militias) attacked the villages of Shabab and Sinet in the Muhagiriya area. October 22, 2008: The government said that it had discovered the general area in Southern Kordofan state where an "Arab tribe" may be holding nine kidnapped Chinese oil workers. The government said that the Awlad Omran clan (a sub-clan of the Misseriya tribe) had taken the oil workers as "hostages." The Chinese workers were with an company doing contract work for the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC). Sudan's national Sudapet oil company is part of GNPOC. China, Malaysia, and India are also part of the consortium.

USAF Ship Vehicles to Support Warfighters

USAF Ship Vehicles to Support Warfighters (NSI News Source Info) CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - October 31, 2008: Charleston Air Force Base officials began shipping M1117 armored security vehicles for the Army on board C-17 Globemaster IIIs Oct. 24 here.
M1117 AVS
Charleston AFB members received 82 ASVs in October and will continue shipping the vehicle as part of a surge to supply the increased manpower of the Army military police corps supporting peacekeeping operations. The ASV is an armored, four-wheel-drive vehicle that provides ballistic protection to warfighters who are using them against various threats and is designed to provide them security and safety required in the area of responsibility. "The ASV is a one-of-a-kind vehicle," said Robert St. George, Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command Material Fielding Team ASV fielding site manager. "The Army has been using these vehicles for a few years now and other Air Force bases have helped ship them all over the world." The vehicle also has a turret which can traverse 360 degrees and includes an armament system designed to meet the security mission requirements of the Soldiers. The ASV is equipped with all-wheel independent suspension which provides forces mobility, agility and handling. "A lot of guys I talked to went through a few ... improvised explosive devices and .50 caliber rounds and did very well with (the ASV) and of course there's damage, but the cargo is safe. So the main objective of this vehicle is the cargo. We can replace the vehicle but we can't replace the cargo -- the main objective is to keep the troops safe inside," said Craig Louque, Textron Marine and Land Systems field service representative for the manufacturers. "This is the first load we're sending out, so we've prepared them to be loaded up and shipped out," said Senior Airman Ashley Kelly, a 437th APS aerial port expeditor. "My favorite part about getting vehicles like this ready is being able to drive them. I love driving them because how many people can honestly say they've driven an up-armored vehicle?"

U.S. Department of Defense Agency Selects Verizon Business for Data and Voice Services

U.S. Department of Defense Agency Selects Verizon Business for Data and Voice Services (NSI News Source Info) BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - October 31, 2008: Verizon Business will provide a broad range of data and advanced voice services to the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO) through two agreements worth as much as $1.12 billion. The services will be provided under the federal Networx contracting program. Under one agreement valued at as much as $752 million, DITCO, the contracting arm of the department's Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), selected Verizon Business in a Networx Fair Opportunity conducted in June 2008 to provide Defense Department agencies with data services. They include network-based Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network services based on multi protocol label switching; Internet protocol services; asynchronous transfer mode; and wireless and point-to-point private line for existing services. DISA provides real-time information technology (IT) and communications support to the president, vice president, secretary of defense and the military services including the combatant commands. Critical IP VPN data traffic will ride on the Verizon Business vBNS+ (Very High Performance Backbone Network Service) network, which is dedicated primarily to government and educational institutions with high-performance network requirements. In a separate agreement valued at as much as $368 million, DITCO designated Verizon Business in a Networx Fair Opportunity held in February 2008 as the primary provider for voice services to help more than 700,000 users at military locations worldwide communicate and collaborate effectively. Long-distance, toll-free, calling-card, ISDN (integrated services digital network) and video-teleconferencing are among the services Verizon Business will provide. As the projects are implemented, DITCO will have the ability to order additional services from Verizon Business that could increase the value of the agreements. The agreements were awarded under the U.S. General Services Administration's Networx Universal contract, which covers 10 years. Networx is among the largest federal telecommunication contracts ever awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA), providing federal agencies with a common vehicle for purchasing a comprehensive set of networking and technical services. The two new agreements extend and expand Verizon Business' existing relationships with the Department of Defense. The company has been providing voice and data services to DITCO under the GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service (FTS) 2001 contract, the predecessor to the Networx program. "As a long-time provider for DITCO, we have seen the government's needs for secure global communications evolve over the years, and we look forward to helping keep it on the cutting edge of advanced telecommunications technology and the IP evolution," said Susan Zeleniak, group president, Verizon Federal, a sales organization within Verizon Business dedicated to serving federal government customers. "As the leading provider of communications to the federal government, we have unmatched experience helping critical agencies meet their vital missions." Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications, operates the world's most connected public IP network and uses its industry-leading global-network capabilities to offer large-business and government customers an unmatched combination of security, reliability and speed. The company integrates advanced IP communications and information technology (IT) products and services to deliver leading enterprise solutions including managed services, security, mobility, collaboration and professional services. These solutions power innovation and enable the company's customers to do business better.

Lockheed Martin Delivers 500th Arrowhead System To U.S. Army

Lockheed Martin Delivers 500th Arrowhead System To U.S. Army (NSI News Source Info) ORLANDO, FL - October 31, 2008: Lockheed Martin marked the delivery of the 500th Arrowhead system to the U.S. Army at a celebration held at its Ocala and Orlando, FL, facilities. Arrowhead is the U.S. Army’s Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Known as the “eyes of the Apache,” the Arrowhead system provides Apache pilots the most advanced long-range, electro-optical precision engagement and pilotage capabilities to ensure flight safety in day, night and adverse-weather missions.
The Arrowhead® modular design melds existing legacy hardware with new FLIR sensors to fight decisively during day, night, or adverse-weather missions … regardless of battlefield obscurants. Arrowhead system
“The delivery of the 500th Arrowhead system marks a significant milestone,” said LTC John Vannoy, product manager for Apache sensors. “It demonstrates the teamwork and total commitment to success from the Arrowhead Team and Program. Our Soldiers deserve nothing less.” “We are proud to develop and integrate a system that helps Apache pilots complete their missions safely,” said Bob Gunning, vice president of Apache Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This 500th delivery milestone signifies the strong dedication we and our Army partners have to outfitting our Warfighters with the most advanced capabilities available.” Arrowhead uses forward-looking infrared sensors to provide pilots with enhanced image resolution, allowing Apache aviators significant standoff range and unrivaled targeting capabilities. Arrowhead improves performance and reliability over legacy systems by more than 150 percent, reduces maintenance actions by nearly 60 percent, and will save the Army nearly $1 billion in operation and support costs over its 20-year system life. Electronics assembly of the Arrowhead system is performed at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Ocala facility, while final assembly is performed in Orlando. Both sites were recognized in 2007 by IndustryWeek as two of the top 10 ‘Best Plants in the Country’. The plants were chosen for their efficient and strategic manufacturing processes as well as their dedication to continuous improvement through lean thinking. 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 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.

Japanese Destroyer Gets Ready for Intercept Test

Japanese Destroyer Gets Ready for Intercept Test (NSI News Source Info) October 31, 2008: The Japanese Ship (JS) CHOKAI (pronounced Choh Kai), (DDG 176) is one step closer toward her anticipated ballistic missile defense intercept flight test next month.
Japanese Ship (JS) CHOKAI (pronounced Choh Kai), (DDG 176)
The CHOKAI has successfully completed a Tracking Exercise, in the mid-Pacific, where its radars acquired a ballistic missile target, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai, HI, and transmitted data via a tactical data link to other ships and shore command facilities. The CHOKAI's weapon system calculated a fire control solution and the crew conducted a simulated intercept of the target by a Standard Missile - 3 (SM-3). Next month, CHOKAI will conduct an actual intercept attempt. She is the second of four Japanese destroyers that have been, or will be, equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense capability. A similar test was conducted last December with the JS KONGO. The objective of the November test will be to engage and intercept a separating target to be launched from the PMRF. Upon completing the intercept test, CHOKAI will return to Japan.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Signs Contract for Three AW139 Helicopters Plus Options

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Signs Contract for Three AW139 Helicopters Plus Options (NSI News Source Info) October 31, 2008: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has signed a contract for three AW139 medium twin engine helicopters plus options for several additional aircraft. These helicopters will be used to perform search and rescue, coastal patrol and law enforcement duties around Malaysia’s extensive coast line.
AW139 helicopter
This order marks the entrance of the AW139 helicopter into the Malaysian government market and follows the earlier success of the aircraft in the Malaysian commercial market. The MMEA adds to the growing number of customers which have placed orders for or are already operating the AW139 for homeland security, maritime patrol and search and rescue missions, including the Japan Coast Guard, Korean Coast Guard, Spanish Marine Safety Agency (Sasemar), Estonian Border Guard, UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Italian Coast Guard. A new generation medium twin-turbine helicopter setting new standards against which all new medium twin are measured, the AW139 has been designed with inherent multi-role capability and flexibility of operation, offering unmatched performance and safety levels as well as the largest cabin in its class. With a maximum cruise speed of 165 kts (306 km/h), a maximum range of 573 nm (1061 km) and over 5 hours endurance, the AW139 helicopter offers class leading mission capability. State-of-the-art mission-dedicated technology and equipment and outstanding performance features enable the AW139 to accomplish the most demanding operations in the harshest weather and environmental conditions. Orders for more than 400 AW139s have been placed by over 100 customers from around 40 countries for several applications including EMS/SAR, law enforcement, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, fire fighting, utility and other commercial and government roles. Following the recent establishment of its Malaysian subsidiary AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the company continues to expand its presence in Malaysia to get closer to its customers offering total capability solutions. A new regional maintenance and support centre was set up earlier this year, located at Kuala Lumpur’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. (ends) AgustaWestland Signs Contract Worth Over 200 Million Dollars to Supply AW139 Helicopters to Malaysia (Source: Finmeccanica; issued October 30, 2008) AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has signed a contract worth over 200 million dollars with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for the supply of three AW139 helicopters plus options for several additional aircraft. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency will use the helicopters for search and rescue, coastal patrol and law enforcement duties. The agreement marks the entrance of the AW139 in the Malaysian government market and further confirms its success worldwide. Over 400 units have been ordered so far by more than 100 customers in over 40 countries, making the AW139 the best selling medium twin helicopter worldwide. The AW139 is more and more setting the new standard for a number of roles including search and rescue, patrolling and fire fighting and it has been chosen by leading operators in several countries comprising Italy, UK, Spain, Estonia, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The AW139 has also achieved a remarkable success for other roles including VIP/corporate, offshore, emergency medical service, utility, military duties, law enforcement, homeland security and border patrol.

Army Awards Development Contracts for JLTV

U.S. Army Awards Development Contracts for JLTV (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - October 31, 2008: The Army announced today the awarding of three contracts for technology development on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Together, the three contracts are worth a combined total of approximately $166 million. They have been awarded to: BAE Systems Land & Armament Systems – Ground Systems Division, Santa Clara, Calif.; General Tactical Vehicles (A Joint Venture of General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. and AM General, LLC), Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego; Owego, N.Y. The JLTV is a joint program between the Army, the Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command, where the Army has been designated as the lead agency. The JTLV family of vehicles will provide the Joint Services with a balance between three key factors: performance, payload and protection, said Col. John Myers, Project Manager for the Army's Joint Combat Support Services.
Industry teams led by BAE Systems, General Dynamics (photo) and Lockheed Martin have been short-listed for the Pentagon’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.
At the same time, the JLTV must remain transportable and provide expeditionary mobility, said Lt. Col. Wolfgang Petermann, JLTV product manager for the Army, located at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. He explained that the JLTV will replace a portion of the Humvee fleet, but it is not meant to serve as a direct replacement for that vehicle. The technology development phase specified by the contracts will last 27 months, during which time contractors must each develop seven prototype vehicles to represent the three payload categories required by the JLTV program.. Contractors must also develop companion prototype trailers that meet many of the same requirements as the JLTV in terms of mobility, transportability and payload. The three JLTV payload categories include sub-configurations to, among other things, carry infantry, perform reconnaissance, act as command and control vehicles carry heavy guns and serve as an ambulance. During the TD phase, vehicle armor, ballistic hulls, vehicles and trailers will undergo performance and reliability testing, including assessments from joint warfighters, added Lt. Col. Ben Garza, JLTV Program Manager for the Marine Corps located at Quantico, Va. With their prototypes, contractors must demonstrate a "family of vehicles" approach across the three payload categories. The vehicles must share a commonality of components, and demonstrate technical maturity, requirements achievability and integration capabilities. "We are confident that we will successfully achieve JLTV requirements, and we are eagerly looking forward to demonstrating the technical capabilities during the TD phase," Petermann said. While the winners of the contracts will ultimately produce refined prototypes of the JLTV and its companion trailers at the end of the TD phase, Myers said the Army's current intention is to hold another full and open competition for the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase which will allow all interested parties to compete. Right now, the Army, Marine Corps and SOC are refining their respective tactical vehicle strategies, therefore a final planned quantity has not yet been determined, Petermann said. However, for production cost-estimating and other analyses, the request for proposals included a projected production quantity of approximately 60,000 systems to be delivered over an eight-year span. (ends) Pentagon Contract Announcement (Source: US Department of Defense; issued Oct. 29, 2008) -- Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, N.Y., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008, a $35,942,059 cost plus fixed fee contract. The contract is for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles (FoV) Technology Development Phase. Work will be performed in Owego, N.Y., and Sealy, Texas with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Web with seven bids received. Tank & Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-C-0431). -- General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008 a $45,061,720 cost share contract for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles (FoV) Technology Development Phase. Work will be performed in Livonia, Mich., Sterling Heights, Mich., Muskegon, Mich., and South Bend, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Web with seven bids received. Tank & Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity ((W56HZV-08-C-0430). -- BAE Systems Land & Armaments-Grounds System Division, Santa Clara, Calif., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008 a $40,493,203 cost share contract for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles (FoV) Technology Development Phase. Work will be performed in Santa Clara, Calif., Warrenville, Ill., Johnson City, N.Y., and Troy, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Web with seven bids received. Tank & Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity ((W56HZV-08-C-0426). (ends) BAE Systems – Navistar Defense Team Selected for Technology Demonstration Phase of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program (Source: BAE Systems; issued Oct. 29, 2008) ARLINGTON, Virginia – BAE Systems, through its Ground Systems line of business, and teammate Navistar Defense, LLC have been awarded a $40.5 million contract to participate in a 27-month technology demonstration phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. JLTV is the U.S. multi-service initiative for fielding a family of future light tactical vehicles. The BAE Systems-Navistar team was one of three teams selected for the technology demonstration program. “We have matured our concept through a full year of engineering, prototyping and testing, and incorporated real operational lessons from MRAP. As a result, we believe we have an agile yet highly protected vehicle that is very close to being fielded in the war fight,” said Raj Rajagopal, president of Land & Armaments, Ground Systems. “From the human engineered crew compartment to the advanced ballistic hull, every part of our JLTV prototype was built with the soldier and marine in mind, providing unmatched survivability and mission effectiveness.” During the demonstration phase, the BAE Systems-Navistar team will submit seven prototype vehicles and four trailers for evaluation and testing by the Army. The BAE Systems-Navistar JLTV proposal is named the Valanx. Valanx is a family of v-hulled, blast-resistant vehicles that optimize what's referred to as the "iron triangle" – payload, protection and performance – to meet all requirements of the JLTV program. There are several variations of the Valanx designed to meet scouting, general mobility, infantry carrying, ambulatory and other needs for combat troops. Vehicle models for the various Valanx variations will be designed and fabricated during 2009 and tested in 2010, leading to the selection of two teams for a JLTV system development and demonstration (SDD, Milestone B) in 2011. "We believe the Valanx provides the foundation for a family of vehicles that will offer unmatched strength, protection and support for the Warfighter for decades to come," said Kevin Thomas, director, product creation for Navistar Defense, an affiliate of Navistar International Corporation. "Our team is eager to move forward and continue our partnership with the Joint Services as they determine the best tactical vehicle solution for our men and women in uniform.” The Valanx design incorporates lessons learned from the U.S. Department of Defense's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program and features the latest in lightweight, advanced armor and a v-shaped hull design to provide unmatched crew protection. The vehicle will out-perform existing tactical systems by providing exportable power that exceeds JLTV requirements and existing MRAP capabilities. Its modular design maximizes commonality across JLTV variants and enables the seamless integration of future technologies. The team unveiled its first Valanx prototype in February 2008. The BAE Systems Ground Systems-Navistar team builds off the two company’s current leadership in armored and tactical vehicle development and support, which includes the team working together for the benefit of the joint U.S. customer on programs like MRAP. Combined, the BAE Systems Ground Systems-Navistar team maximizes JLTV program value through proven capabilities, lean manufacturing and extensive worldwide logistics support. The team also includes Arvin Meritor to manufacture the lightweight independent suspension and drivetrain solutions for the Valanx. The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive advanced mobility systems and is the largest axle supplier to the U.S. military. The BAE Systems-Navistar team draws on top talent from across the country. Sites participating in the development include: York, Pennsylvania; Ontario, San Diego and Santa Clara, California; Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights and Troy, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Johnson City, New York; Austin, Texas; Nashua, Hew Hampshire; Reston, Virginia; Melrose Park and Warrenville, Illinois; Fort Wayne, Indiana; West Point, Mississippi; Huntsville, Alabama; and Laurinberg and York, South Carolina. BAE Systems is the premier global defense and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15.7 billion (US $31.4 billion) in 2007. Navistar Defense is an affiliate of Navistar International Corporation, a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military vehicles, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, IC brand school and commercial buses, and Workhorse brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. (ends) General Dynamics and AM General JLTV Team Awarded JLTV TD Contract (Source: General Tactical Vehicles (GTV); issued Oct. 29, 2008) STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. --- General Tactical Vehicles (GTV), a joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General, has been awarded a $45 million Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) 27-month Technology Demonstration (TD) contract from the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. GTV is one of three awardees to receive TD contracts under this program. The GTV JLTV solution will provide the U.S. Army and Marine Corps with a family of more survivable vehicles with greater protection, payload and mobility than the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The innovative GTV JLTV design features a robust light-weight hybrid hull, semi- active suspension system, digital cockpit, and over 95 percent common components across the entire JLTV family of vehicles. Key deliverables under the JLTV TD contract include seven vehicles and four trailers representing the three mission role variants (infantry, general purpose, utility) comprising the JLTV Family of Vehicles; designs for each of 10 sub-configurations; and ballistic hulls and sample armor components for government testing. "The GTV solution meets or exceeds the JLTV protection, payload and performance requirements, offering a low-risk, innovative, adaptable family of vehicles and trailers with commonality of components exceeding 95 percent, resulting in speed to production and low life-cycle cost," said Don Howe, GTV senior program director. "The GTV JLTV design ensures capability growth opportunities and planned product improvements and the GTV Team's significant experience with deployed global forces provides a unique and valuable insight to the needs of the warfighter. The GTV Team offers our customer the optimum combination of survivability, innovation, performance, reliability, supportability and affordability," said Howe. "The GTV Team is very appreciative of the confidence that the Army and Marines have shown in our JLTV solution and joint capabilities. GTV offers a full-spectrum combat and tactical platform capable team, with the strength of more than 120 years of combined experience in the design, production and global support of over one million combat and tactical vehicles," Howe said. General Tactical Vehicles is a joint venture between AM General and General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, formed to provide the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps a low-risk, affordable, technically advanced and economically sustainable solution to their Joint Light Tactical Vehicle requirements. General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 85,600 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. Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, AM General operates manufacturing facilities in Mishawaka, Indiana, and an Engineering and Product Development Center in Livonia, Michigan. The company has more than 3,000 employees, of whom 2,300 work in the South Bend/Mishawaka area. The company also provides spare parts, field service and training support for all its products, and its Engineering and Product Development Center provides integrated logistics support and systems technical support for a variety of military systems in addition to the HMMWV. (ends) Lockheed Martin JLTV Team Awarded $36 Million Contract, Advances to Program's Technology Development Phase (Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Oct. 29, 2008) OWEGO, N.Y. --- The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps today selected Lockheed Martin as one of three companies to continue development on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, NY, which leads the JLTV Team as prime contractor, will receive a $35.9 million contract from the two services for the program's 27-month technology development phase. "We are honored that trust has been placed in Lockheed Martin and our JLTV Team to continue development of this vital program," said Louis DeSantis, vice president and general manager of Ground Vehicle Systems at Lockheed Martin. "We are committed to meeting the demanding program requirements and providing the lowest-risk, most technically innovative vehicle that serves our Soldiers and Marines." The technology development contract will be 27 months in duration. The first 15 months require competitors to develop and deliver seven JLTV variants, four trailers, four blast hulls, and ballistic panels that will be used for testing. The remaining 12 months are scheduled for government testing. The Technology Development phase will then be followed by a Systems Design and Development phase and, later, by a production contract. Lockheed Martin currently has three operational prototypes: the JLTV Category B model, which is designed as an infantry carrier and was unveiled in October 2007; the Utility Vehicle Light Category C model, which is designed with a focus on payload and was introduced in February 2008; and the General Purpose Mobility Category A model, which was unveiled earlier this month at the Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting and Exhibition. Lockheed Martin is currently in the process of building its fourth JLTV prototype, an additional variant of the Infantry Carrier, and anticipates completing production in November. The Lockheed Martin-led JLTV Team includes: -- BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems, providing advanced armor solutions and production facilities for high volume assembly; -- Alcoa Defense, supplying materials experience, design services and aluminum components that give the vehicle its structural strength at reduced weight; and -- JWF - Defense Systems, offering state-of-the-art machining and cost-effective fabrication. Lockheed Martin serves as the prime contractor and design agent, providing systems engineering, platform integration, design expertise, and program and supply chain management. 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 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Russian Akula II SSN (nuclear attack submarine) on Sea Trials

Russian Akula II SSN (nuclear attack submarine) on Sea Trials (NSI News Source Info) October 30, 2008 The second Russian Akula II SSN (nuclear attack submarine) is now undergoing sea trials in the Pacific. The first Akula II was finished in the 1990s, but two others had work suspended on them for a decade. Then there were rumors that, three years ago, that India had arranged to lease two Akula IIs, for $65 million a year per sub.
Russian Akula II SSN (nuclear attack submarine)
The 7,500 ton Akula IIs have 14 torpedo tubes (including six that are outside the pressure hull, 40 torpedoes or missiles, and a crew of 51. Russia officially denies that there is a lease deal with India, but there has been a lot of activity on the Indian end to indicate preparations to receive one or two Akulas (training, base building). India did lease a Russian nuclear sub (a Charlie I class) from 1988 to 1991.

No reconciliation with Mullah Omar: Pentagon

No reconciliation with Mullah Omar: Pentagon
(NSI News Source Info) Washington - October 30, 2008: The United States supports Afghan government efforts to reconcile with insurgents but not with Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader who harbored Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday. "We as a government do not believe that Mullah Omar is somebody you reconcile with," said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. "Mullah Omar has the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands, based on the support he provided to Osama bin Laden. So we do not reconcile with Al-Qaeda," he said. Morrell's comments were the most pointed rejection yet of a negotiated peace with Omar, who protected bin Laden before and after the September 11, 2001 attacks and is today a key figure in a resurgent Taliban. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has initiated contacts with the Taliban through Saudi Arabia amid growing concerns over rising violences and signs that insurgent groups are coalescing against his government. The president's brother Qayoum Karzai was part of an Afghan delegation that met with former Taliban leaders in late September in Saudi Arabia. "We are trying so that our brothers, those Afghan Taliban who have taken the gun against their people and country, and their leader Mullah Omar, can return back to their country and work for peace," the president said September 30 after the talks. General David Petraeus, who assumes command of US forces in the Middle East on Friday, said earlier this month that the United States should be prepared to talk with its enemies. "The key there is making sure that all of that is done in complete coordination, with complete support of the Afghan government and with President Karzai," he said. "If there are people that are willing to reconcile, then I think certainly that that would be a positive step in some of these areas that have actually been spiraling downward throughout the course of this year," he said. Morrell acknowledged there has been a renewed emphasis on reconciliation "that we are working to support." "We are talking about reconciling with -- with insurgents within Afghanistan -- not foreign fighters but insurgents within Afghanistan," Morrell said.

Three industry teams selected to develop Humvee replacement

Three industry teams selected to develop Humvee replacement (NSI News Source Info) Washington - Octobere 30, 2008: The Pentagon on Wednesday selected industry teams led by Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and BAE to develop light tactical vehicles to replace the Humvee. The three teams have until January 2011 to develop and test the vehicles for the army and marines, positioning them to compete for production contracts that could ultimately be worth 40 billion dollars. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration was awarded a 35.9 million dollar development contract, General Tactical Vehicles received a 45 million dollar contract, and BAE Systems Land and Armaments-Ground System Division won a 40.4 million dollar contract. General Tactical Vehicles is a joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General. The army and marine corps are expected to buy as many as 60,000 of the vehicles over the next few years as they replace the estimated 160,000 Humvees now in service.

Australia’s M113 APC Family Upgrades

Australia’s M113 APC Family Upgrades (NSI News Source Info) October 30, 2008: The M113A1 family of vehicles was introduced into service in Australia in the mid 1960s, and arrived in time to see service in Vietnam. Additional vehicle variants were added until 1979, and there are 766 M113A1 vehicles currently in the Australian Army fleet. By February 2005, however, only 520 remained in service.
M113A1 & M1A1s, 1AR
A number of upgrades have been suggested for Australia’s APCs over the years, with a number of reviews and proposals for upgrades submitted for consideration. Many of Australia’s M113s remain in M113A1 configuration, with some having undergone repair and overhaul at 25,000 km. Bushmaster wheeled mine-resistant vehicles have replaced some M113s, but the M113’s lightweight tracked mobility remains important to Australian mechanized formations and externally-deployed troops. A plan approved in the late 1990s involved a “minimum upgrade” of 537 vehicles from 1996-1998, at a cost of about A$ 40 million in 1993 dollars, with a major upgrade to follow. That was derailed mid-stream by an unsolicited contractor proposal to combine the 2 phases. The end result was Australia’s LAND 106 project, which aimed to perform major upgrades to 350 M113 APCs. That program suffered from problems in its early stages, delaying any fielded modernization until 2007, but the program is said to be back on track now. The new Labor government has just added emphasis to that assessment, by expanding the program as part of Australia’s push for a “Hardened and Networked Army.”

Troop Buildup in Afghanistan May Double

Troop Buildup in Afghanistan May Double (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - October 30, 2008:Military planners now think they may need to send more than double the number of extra troops initially believed needed to help fight the war in Afghanistan. The buildup in the increasingly violent campaign could amount to more than 20,000 troops rather than the originally planned 10,000, two senior defense officials said Wednesday on condition of anonymity because no new figures have been approved.
U.S. Military patrolling in Afghanistan
The newest calculations reflect growing requests from field commanders in recent weeks for aviation units, engineers and other skills to support the fighting units, the officials said. Officials had been saying for months that they needed more people to train Afghan security forces and two more combat brigades - a total of some 10,000 people. Commanders later increased that to the trainers and three combat brigades - or some 15,000, when extra support is included. Now, military planners say that the number may have to grow yet again by another 5,000 to 10,000 support troops. They would be helicopter units, intelligence teams, engineers to build more bases, medical teams and others to support the fight in the undeveloped nation, where forces have to work around rugged terrain and a lack of infrastructure. The growing numbers being quoted for the buildup in Afghanistan are not unusual. President Bush announced in January 2007 that he would send up to 20,000 additional troops to Iraq for what since has become known as the "surge." But the number eventually grew to 30,000 by the time commanders added requests for all the military police, additional aviation needs and other support they wanted. In Afghanistan, it is far more difficult for troops to operate in the undeveloped nation, which lacks roads, runways and facilities to support troops. And commanders in Afghanistan do not consider this a short-term surge in troops but rather the number that will be needed over a longer period, one official said. It is unclear whether the number will win approval. Some officials believe it's unwise to build too large a force in Afghanistan, where there is long-held hostility to the presence of foreign forces. If that large a force is approved, it's also unclear where the Pentagon would get that many extra troops for the Afghan campaign - and how quickly they could be sent. The Defense Department already has approved the deployment of about 4,000 people - one additional Marine combat battalion and one Army brigade to be sent by January. But with some 150,000 forces committed in Iraq, the U.S. has not had the available troops to send to Afghanistan. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has often noted that in Afghanistan "we do what we can, in Iraq we do what we must." The military shortfall in Afghanistan has been a common complaint from commanders. The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has grown from fewer than 21,000 two years ago to more than 31,000 today. At a Defense Department press conference later Wednesday, press secretary Geoff Morrell didn't offer a number. In response to a question about the latest figures, he became animated in defending Pentagon efforts to get commanders more troops. "Unfortunately, we don't have them all ... sitting at the ready, waiting just for the beck and call and we can send them overnight," Morrell said, adding officials must weight needs in Afghanistan with needs globally. "They are coming," he said of the reinforcements. "They have been coming. They will continue to come." "It would be a mistake to suggest that we have been sitting on our hands while the commanders in Afghanistan have been screaming for more forces," Morrell said.

Indian Air Force to Induct LCA Tejas Fighter Jets by 2010: Defence Minister

Indian Air Force to Induct LCA Tejas Fighter Jets by 2010: Defence Minister
*Indian Air Force to Induct LCA Tejas Fighter Jets by 2010: Defence Minister (NSI News Source Info) October 30, 2008: Union Defence Minister A K Antony today said that the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) would be delivered to the Indian Air Force by 2011. Talking to media during his visit at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Antony said, "The final operational clearances for the indigenously developed aircraft will be given by 2010."
Tejas Light Combat Supersonic Fighter....the aircraft has eight external hardpoints to carry stores, with three under each wing, one on the centre fuselage and one installed under the air intake on the port side.
Antony, who also witnessed an air show in which latest aircraft including LCA, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and SARAS showed their capabilities and strength, said that LCA and ALH 'Dhruv' would be the prized induction in Air Force. He also cleared all doubts about the engine used in LCA and the development of engine 'Kaveri' and the LCA prototype will take place simultaneously.Expressing happiness over the functioning of the ALH, the Chief of the Air Staff, F.H. Major said that the process of weaponisation of the helicopter is taking place and the process is on.

Romania Awards Lockheed Martin Contract To Provide 17 Radar Systems

Romania Awards Lockheed Martin Contract To Provide 17 Radar Systems (NSI News Source Info) EAGAN, Minn. - October 30, 2008: Lockheed Martin has completed installation of an air defense and communications network modernization project for the Romanian Air Force. The project, completed by Lockheed Martin and several Romanian subcontractors, enhances the air defense and command and control capabilities of Romania's Air Sovereignty Operations Center (ASOC) by extending the air space management system's radar, voice, and data link communication network to provide an enhanced air surveillance picture covering the entire country. TPS-79 Multi-Mission Surveillance Radar systems "This project provides the Romanian Air Force with significantly improved situational awareness as well as modern command and control capabilities that are interoperable with other NATO assets," said Rick Udicious, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Tactical Systems business. In November 2004, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract by the Romanian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to extend and enhance the capabilities of the ASOC that Lockheed Martin initially delivered to Romania in 1998. With the program's successful site acceptance tests on Sept. 19, 2008 - including flight tests - the backbone of this network modernization project was completed on schedule and within the planned budget. Among the sensors that currently provide data for the Romanian air defense system are five Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117 long-range radars which, under a separate 2007 contract, are ahead of schedule for upgrade to state-of-the art technology by the end of this year. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin and the Romanian MoD signed a contract for the co-production of 17 TPS-79 Multi-Mission Surveillance Radar systems for Phase II of the Air Force "Gap Filler" upgrade program. Once completed, these systems also will plug seamlessly into Romania's enhanced air defense network. Since 1997, Lockheed Martin has installed ASOC airspace management and air defense systems - compatible with a variety of sensors - in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania. 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 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.

Australia Orders 293 Bushmaster MRAPs, Will Upgrade More M-113s

Australia Orders 293 Bushmaster MRAPs, Will Upgrade More M-113s (NSI News Source Info) October 30, 2008: The Minister for Defence, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today announced that a contract has been signed with Thales Australia for an additional 293 Bushmaster vehicles.
The latest order brings to 737 the number of Bushmaster armored patrol vehicles ordered by the Australian Army.
“The Bushmaster has demonstrated its ability to provide a high level of protection for our soldiers,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “This protection, coupled with exceptional mobility at speed and in desert conditions, provides a capability that is unparalleled by any comparable vehicle in operation in the world.” First deployed to the Middle East in 2005, the Bushmaster has acquitted itself well in Iraq and Afghanistan, proving to be a highly relevant and capable vehicle that has captured the attention of coalition armed forces. Bushmasters have been exported to the Netherlands and United Kingdom, and a number of other countries have also shown a keen interest in the Protected Mobility Vehicles. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is providing protected mobility to Australian troops with the acquisition of a further 293 Bushmasters to meet Protected Mobility Medium requirements for Land 121 Project Overlander Phase 3. These vehicles will provide protection by replacing trucks where troops are required to travel in the rear of the vehicle. The Overlander Phase 3 requirement also includes additional vehicles to enable the Enhanced Land Force. “An enhanced acquisition process and close cooperation between the Australian Government and Australian industry has resulted in a world class product for Australia, and has received international interest,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. These additional Bushmasters will increase the total number of vehicles being acquired under Land 116 Project Bushmaster Phase 3 to 737. (ends) Government Approves Additional Armoured Personnel Carriers The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today announced that the Government has approved a $220 million project to upgrade 81 additional M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to improve the protection, mobility and firepower of the Australian Army. LAND 106 is already delivering 350 upgraded M113 APC vehicles. This project is now back on track and delivering a reliable vehicle that provides increased firepower, protection and mobility. The Government has decided to upgrade an additional 81 APCs to improve the capability of the Army’s Mechanised Infantry units, 7 RAR, a recently established battalion, and 5 RAR, both of which are currently based in Darwin. “These high priority upgrades will provide improved protection, mobility and firepower to Australian soldiers, allowing missions to be carried out more efficiently, safely and effectively,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. These enhancements will include the stretching of the M113 vehicles, add-on armor kit, spall liners, the addition of a new Australian designed and built turret and new weapon, replacement of the drive train and suspension and the adoption of measures to improve the comfort of troops in the vehicle such as heat mitigation measures and better stowage of equipment. “The increased number of vehicles to be upgraded by BAE Systems Australia will see the production line at the Bandiana production facilities in northern Victoria remain open until July 2011,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. BAE Systems Australia is also opening additional facilities in Williamstown, Victoria and Wingfield, South Australia to ensure all of its delivery commitments are met.

DTN News: J-10 Fighter Jets To Debut At China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition

DTN News: J-10 Fighter Jets To Debut At China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (NSI News Source Info) October 30, 2008: The Seventh China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition will be held from November 4 to 9 in Zhuhai. Top-notch equipment including the orbital module of Shenzhou VII will make its debut at the exhibition, but the biggest attraction this year will be the aerobatic show by J-10 fighter jets, Guangzhou Daily reported. Highlight No. 1: Debut of the orbital module of Shenzhou VIIReporters learnt from the exhibition's organizer that Shenzhou VII's orbital module will make its debut at the exhibition. According to the organizer, this is the premier showing of the main and core parts of the Shenzhou spacecraft and the first time in history that the public will be able to have close contact with the orbital module.
The China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) will also display models of the disposable re-entry module and the Long March II F carrier rocket, showcasing the comprehensive relationship between the carrier rocket system and the spacecraft system.
In addition, the organizer has sent invitations to Shenzhou VII taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng, and arrangements for their attendance at the exhibition are being organized. Highlight No. 2: Display of China's missile defense systemMissiles on display at the exhibition include long-distance, high-altitude, low-altitude, surface-to-surface, ship-to-air, ship-to-ship missiles, and the exhibits feature weapons from low to high altitude, comprising China's comprehensive missile defense system.
Highlight No. 3:
J-10 fighter jet aerobatic showThe People's Liberation Army Air Force will participate in the exhibition for the first time and will have a number of advanced planes performing as well as featuring the Air Force Sky Diving Team. The two widely-popular J-10 fighter jets have arrived at the exhibition, and will not only be on display, but will also perform in an aerobatic show.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

U.K. to Send Upgraded Vehicles to Afghanistan

U.K. to Send Upgraded Vehicles to Afghanistan (NSI News Source Info) October 30, 2008: The British Defence Secretary, John Hutton announced today over £700m for an extra 700 vehicles to protect the safety of troops on duty in Afghanistan.
Buffalo mine-protected vehicle
The defence minister described the provision of new vehicles as an 'absolute priority'. "I have seen first-hand the difference our Mastiff and Jackals are already making to our troops in Afghanistan. The arrival of 700 new vehicles will improve even further their ability to move cross country, and provide vital support with the utmost protection to our existing vehicle fleets," Hutton said. The £700m budget includes; £350m for over 400 new armoured tactical support vehicles (TSV). The three TSV categories are the Wolfhound, a heavy armoured support truck, used for supporting and resupplying Mastiffs in the highest threat areas, the Husky, a mobile medium support truck for low-threat zones and the Coyote, a light armoured support vehicle used to support the Jackal vehicles over harsh terrain. Over 100 new Warthog armour reinforced cross-country vehicles will also be supplied. These vehicles will replace the Viking in Afghanistan as the extremely agile all-terrain, armed off-road vehicle of choice. A £96m specialist route-clearing system, which includes the Buffalo mine-protected vehicle, will also give forces improved capabilities in dealing with improvised explosive devices (IED). All these vehicles have the highest level of mine blast protection currently available, a necessity, as the death toll of British troops stationed in Afghanistan has risen to 121, with a huge proportion of these deaths linked to IED, mine and roadside bomb explosions. Hutton showed his awareness of the risk to troops from such explosions."Today's multi-million-pound package shows that we are responding to new and changing threats on the ground and will provide our serving personnel with the highest levels of protection and mobility that technology will allow," he said. In addition to the new vehicles, a series of new upgrades and modifications were also announced. These include; modifications to 30 4x4 and 6x6 purchased Cougar vehicles, mobility and protection modifications to the Panther vehicles, and the specially designed Snatch-Vixen, which has enhanced load capacity, mobility and protection to suit the Afghan terrain

India Seeks 8 Mine Countermeasure Vessels

India Seeks 8 Mine Countermeasure Vessels (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - October 30, 2008: The Indian Navy has floated global bids worth more than $1.4 billion to acquire eight mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) as it expands its blue-water capabilities. France's DCN International, Fincanteri of Italy, Izhar of Spain, Kangnam of South Korea and Northrop Grumman of the U.S. have been invited by the Indian Defence Ministry to participate.
Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs)
The MCMVs will hunt for mines with a high-definition sonar and then destroy them using explosives by remote-controlled mine-disposal systems. The navy wants the MCMVs to be an important element of its blue-water navy, which is being built to protect Indian interests from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, a senior navy official said. The MCMVs will replace the 12 existing Pondicherry-class ocean minesweepers procured in the 1970s and 1980's. The shortlisted shipyards will be expected to transfer technology so six of the craft can be produced at India's state-owned Goa Shipyard. The MCMVs will be made of reinforced plastic with help from several Indian electronic companies that also will provide a variety of radar. A navy official said the MCMVs should be capable of operating in areas of naval interest to locate, classify, sweep, hunt and neutralize all types of marooned and drifting mines. The MCMVs will also be deployed with local naval defense and search-and-rescue missions. The vessel should be 50 to 60 meters long, no wider than 11 meters, have a maximum speed of at least 16 knots and be able to operate at least 10 days with a planned lifespan of 30 years. The MCMVs will be fitted with one lightweight, 30mm anti-surface air gun, two 12.7mm heavy machine guns and two Kavach chaff launchers developed by the state-owned Gun Carriage Factory at Jabalpur. The contract entails compulsory defense offset of about $420 million.

Russia's The State Defense Order: An Arms Race Gets Off To A Heavy Start

Russia's The State Defense Order: An Arms Race Gets Off To A Heavy Start
(NSI News Source Info) Moscow - October 29, 2008: The state defense order is the lifeblood of the army. It is approved by the federal budget and it is within its limits that the state pays for all purchases (from food to nuclear ammunition) and all works (from construction of heating mains to development of the latest weapons) for the army. A balanced order is essential for the fulfillment of delivery plans, but, as the past few years have shown, the defense order remains sometimes unfulfilled in some respects, which is particularly critical amid the continuing world financial crisis. The causes of such irregularities in recent years have been the sharply increased military equipment prices and the inability of some firms to fulfill their orders on time and with required quality. Growing prices prompted the Defense Ministry to complain as early as 2007. This resulted in the government resolution on prices for armaments and military equipment, which set the profit rate at 25%. Under the new rules, prices for military products must be registered with the Federal Tariff Service for the entire production cycle, or for a calendar year if the cycle exceeds one year. Prices for nuclear munitions must be registered with the Federal Nuclear Power Agency, and can be revised only if there are increases in prices for stock materials and components. Still, weapons and equipment prices continue to grow. The price of a Be-200CS aircraft, for example, purchased for the Emergencies Ministry, has risen from 700-750 million rubles to a billion, a T-90 tank has increased from 42 million rubles to over 60 million, and a Project 20380 ship - the corvette Steregushchy - has gone up in price during its construction from 1.8 billion to 5 billion rubles. Such ballooning prices can have a serious effect on the 2006-2015 State Armaments Program, which plans to allocate nearly five trillion rubles for the re-equipment of the armed forces with new and upgraded arms. Put together in 2005 and based on the prices valid at that time, the program today cannot keep up with rapidly mounting costs and risks falling back amid the current economic crisis. An equally serious threat is the increasing deterioration of production facilities at some defense plants, making them in many cases incapable of producing military hardware. A glaring example is last year's scandal involving the modernization of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian Navy. Most experts agree that a shortage of engineers and skilled workers at the shipyard, coupled with rising component prices, caused the fallback. This raises doubts that the yard, which is working on a large submarine building program, can also shoulder an aircraft carrier construction program being pushed on it. There are many examples of failure to fulfill the state defense order: delivery of Su-34 aircraft and Mi-28N helicopters is well behind schedule, the missile-carrying submarine Yury Dolgoruky is certain not to be launched in 2008, and the second submarine in the series is unlikely to hit the water in 2009, as scheduled, either. At the same time, there is some good news: the timeline for Topol-M deliveries to troops is being scrupulously followed, although it is not known whether it will be kept when another new missile - the RS-24 - starts to be mass-produced. It is understandable that defense sector plants cannot solve their problems by themselves, as these have taken twenty years to pile up. A way out must be found in the near future, and must involve state support, not only in the form of financial injections and bylaws regulating profit rates. It must above all be a state program for retooling defense plants, providing them with up-to-date equipment and staffing them with highly-trained workforce. And while the first problem can be addressed by imports from abroad, the second one will take years and require an overhauling (actually re-establishing) of a system of vocational training. Aside from other factors, there is also the psychological one - the appeal of a worker's job in the post-Soviet era has substantially diminished in Russia. Defense order problems are not endemic to Russia alone. The number of programs to make purchases for the US Armed Forces that failed or were terminated because of exorbitant prices defy listing. Among the latest and largest, mention should be made of the winding up of a program to build LCS class warships, a program to build Zumwalt-type destroyers, a program to build the Comanche reconnaissance helicopter and a program to build the ARH-70 reconnaissance helicopter. The models that have made it to the production stage are also plagued by problems. The U.S. Navy, for example, is dissatisfied with the quality of San Antonio class landing craft, whose tactical fitness is under threat because of a host of defects, while the Marine Corps has refused to adopt for service the newest EFV amphibious vehicles, which have likewise proved to be unreliable and costly. The resumption of an arms race following a long pause is proving too heavy for both key participants, although is unlikely to "call off the competition." The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Competing Against Israel

Competing Against Israel (NSI News Source Info) October 29, 2008: For the second year, the Hamas office in the capital of Iran, is sponsoring a hacking contest.
Masked militants of Islamic Jihad march during a rally marking the 13th anniversary of the death of the group's leader Fathi Shekaki in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Friday Oct. 24, 2008. Shekaki was shot and killed in a shooting attack in Malta in 1995. The group claims Israel was responsible for his death.
Whoever makes the most spectacular attack on the most important Israeli web sites (belonging to a government agency or one of the major political parties), wins a prize of $2,000. Not that a lot of Moslem hackers need much encouragement for this sort of thing. But the Islamic radical groups have noticed that they are not getting the best hacking talent, and the Israelis typically respond much more forcefully. It has been found, however, that a prize, and a formal competition, tends to bring in the more skilled, if less religiously radical, Moslem hackers. There are a growing number of programmers and Internet specialists in the Moslem world, but most of them have legitimate jobs in software firms, or maintaining software and Internet services for companies. Some are involved with Internet crime, and a very few spend some time trying to get some Internet based terrorism going. Currently, many of the religious minded Moslem hackers are involved in an Internet based war between Sunni and Shia Moslems. Although most Hamas members are Sunni, Shia Iran is a major backer of Hamas. So it makes sense for Hamas to come up with something to stop the Internet war between Shia and Sunni Moslems, and unite everyone against Israel.

Pirates Seize Ships Off Somalia...Another Ceasefire To Ignore..

Pirates Seize Ships Off Somalia....Another Ceasefire To Ignore (NSI News Source Info) October 29, 2008: A third of the nearly 200 pirate attacks in the world so far this year have occurred off the Somali coast. Moreover, nearly all the serious piracy cases (where the ship is hijacked, not just robbed) have occurred off Somalia. So far this year, 63 ships have been attacked off the Somali coast. Pirates managed to seize 26 vessels (8 off the east coast, 18 in the Gulf of Aden).
Armed pirates hijacked a tanker and a ship off Somalia's coast, the latest in a series of attacks that have sent jitters among seafarers in an area known for its lawlessness.
Currently, 12 vessels are held for ransom, along with some 250 sailors. NATO, the European Union and countries in the region still have no solution to the piracy. The twenty or so warships off the Somali coast can make life more difficult for the pirates, but won't stop the piracy. They might reduce it a bit for a while, but more and more warlords are setting up piracy operations along the north coast (in Puntland). The money is too good to ignore, and the foreign warships are unwilling to shoot-on-sight speedboats (even if weapons are not visible.) While the French have seized and destroyed two such speedboats, most nations sending warships have given their captains more restrictive ROE (Rules Of Engagement). The Ethiopian policy of driving away hostile civilians, led to 35,000 people fleeing Mogadishu last month. These refugees go to camps along the roads leading to Mogadishu. From there, the members of families belonging to Islamic or clan militias that want to regain control of Mogadishu, commute to the city (10-20 kilometers away) to fight. Ethiopia has agreed to withdraw from Somalia, feeling that they have the rebellion in Ogaden (a province adjacent to Somalia full of ethnic Somalis) under control, and can come back into Somalia if the Somalis do not control their Islamic militants (who have been preaching for the need to take Ogaden from Somalia). NATO warships have begun patrolling the coast of Somalia, and escorting aid ships (especially those carrying food) to Mogadishu and other ports. Much of the food is stolen by warlords once it gets ashore. October 27, 2008: In the southern port of Kismayo, seized by Islamic militants two months ago, a woman was executed by stoning. She had been raped, but was accused of adultery, for which Sharia (Islamic law) prescribes stoning to death as punishment. October 26, 2008: The Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS, a successor to the Islamic Courts Union) and the Transitional National Government (TNG) signed a ceasefire, that calls for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops. However, about a third of the gunmen loyal to the ARS, the radical third, refused to abide by the agreement. These radicals have over a thousand gunmen available for fighting. This agreement calls for Ethiopia to withdraw from Mogadishu by November 21st, and be out of the country in four months. The ARS and TNG signed a ceasefire last June, but that one was wrecked by radical factions of the ARS. This time, the TNG and ARS are to set up a security force of 10,000 gunmen, who will fight those who violate the ceasefire. October 25, 2008: Another foreign aid worker (employed by a woman's rights NGO) was killed, making it fifteen so far this year. The Islamic radical groups are increasingly hostile to foreigners, or Somalis working for foreign aid organizations. They will tolerate the free food coming in, as long as the foreign aid workers do not try and stop the Islamic radicals from controlling who the food goes to. October 24, 2008: Gunmen loyal to the Transitional National Government (TNG) attacked and drove Islamic radical gunmen out of the town of Bardale, which is 60 kilometers west of the TNG capital at Baidoa. Five people were killed in this action. October 23, 2008: France turned eight pirates over to the Puntland government, four days after capturing them at sea. The French sailors burned the pirates two speed boats (the pirates had already tossed their weapons into the water). October 21, 2008: Indian sailors are threatening, through their union, to refuse to work on ships going near the Somali coast. Pirates recently seized an Indian dhow (a type of sailing ship used throughout the Indian ocean for centuries) off the Somali coast. Fortunately, Puntland police were able to arrest four of the pirates (the other four escaped) and freed the dhow and its crew of 13. Normally, when the pirates come ashore, they do so at a heavily guarded village that has been taken over by a warlord. But smaller groups of pirates are now out there, and these groups are not so formidable on land. October 20, 2008: Two UN aid workers have been killed in the past two days, and the UN is helpless to do much about it.

Escalating Conflict in Mosul, Iraq

Escalating Conflict in Mosul, Iraq (NSI News Source Info) October 29, 2008: The central government in Baghdad perceives the semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north of Mosul and the Kurds' larger ambitions to expand areas under their control as a central obstacle to its power. The American military is increasingly concerned that Mosul, a northern city in Iraq where insurgents remain strong, could degenerate into a larger battleground. Left, an American soldier near an Iraqi Amy base in western Mosul.
Iraqi soldiers in western Mosul. Tension has risen to the point that last week American commanders held a series of emergency meetings with the Iraqi government and Kurdish officials, seeking to head off violence essentially between factions of the Iraqi government.
A Iraqi Army captain interrogated an Arab whose father is being held as a suspected insurgent. The Americans are hoping to refocus the central government and the Kurds on fighting the insurgency rather than each other.
Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint in Mosul after a mortar landed nearby. The Kurds are resisting, underscoring yet again the depth of ethnic and sectarian divisions here and the difficulty of creating a united Iraq even when overall violence is down.
Worry is so high that the American military has already settled on a policy that may set a precedent, as the United States slowly withdraws to allow Iraqis to settle their own problems. Left, an Iraqi soldier prayed at an Iraqi Amy base in western Mosul.
The competing agendas of the Kurds and central government have nearly provoked violence before, but each side eventually grasped the risks. That may be the case now. But the tensions underscore that achieving basic security is only the first step toward deeper progress in Iraq -- and that much remains, bitterly, unresolved.

Russian Military To Receive Up To 30 Alligator Helicopters By 2012

Russian Military To Receive Up To 30 Alligator Helicopters By 2012 (NSI News Source Info) ARSENYEV (Primorye) - October 29, 2008: The Russian Armed Forces will receive up to 30 new Kamov Ka-52 Alligator helicopters by 2012, the head of the Progress aircraft maker said on Wednesday.
Kamov Ka-52 Alligator
"The company plans to deliver up to 30 Ka-52 helicopters by 2012," Yury Denisenko told reporters after a demonstration of the helicopter in Arsenyev, in Russia's Far East. Ka-52 chief designer Sergei Mikheyev said the helicopter would meet strong demand on the world arms market, and that India and several Southeast Asian countries had already shown an interest. He also said a new, ship-born Ka-52 modification would be developed soon. The multi-role all-weather combat Ka-52 Alligator (NATO reporting name: Hokum B) helicopter is a twin-seat derivative of the attack Ka-50. It can be used for a wide range of combat missions.