Saturday, August 02, 2008
Nano Market To Hit 2 Trillion Dollars By 2015 Denver CO - Aug 02, 2008: The global market for nanotechnology will be worth $2 trillion by 2015, the U.S. transportation secretary told an international conference of nanotechnology experts. Rodney E. Slater, speaking at the three-day nano renewable energy conference in Denver, Colorado, which ended on Tuesday, said that during 2007 nanotechnology sales totaled $50 billion, and that with technological advancements sales this year will be around $150 billion. The industry will grow to $800 billion by 2010, he said. Slater said that over the past seven years the U.S. has invested around $8.5 billion in nanotechnology. On the first day of the summit Michael Bruce, senior advisor for finance at the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, described nanotechnology as an important sector for national security, finance and environmental protection. Russia was represented at the conference by a delegation from state nanotechnology company Rosnanotech, led by general director Leonid Melamed. related reportRussia to invest $4 bln in nano research in next 4 yearsRussia will invest a total of $4 billion in nanotechnology research over the next four years, the head of state corporation Rosnanotech told an international conference of nanotechnology experts. Leonid Melamed led a Rosnanotech delegation at the three-day nano renewable energy conference in Denver, Colorado, which ended on Tuesday, said state nanotechnology funding plans adopted in 2007 focus on "nanotechnology research, which is coordinated by the Kurchatov Institute, and commercialization of nanotechnology projects, for which Rosnanotech is responsible." The corporation intends to invest around 70% of its budget on helping new companies at the early, high-risk stages of projects. Rosnanotech will support the companies until they grow sufficiently to be independent. "We finance projects irrespective of who the bidders are, and do not distinguish between Russian and foreign companies. I would like to draw your attention to the unique possibilities for developing and expanding business in Russia," he told the conference. The company has so far received 500 applications from companies in Russia and other post Soviet CIS states.
Military service breaks mentality
2 Aug, 2008 - Moscow: Defense of the country is one of the most important tasks for the government. Every country should be protected, no matter whether it is a peacetime now or not. For many years it was traditional for the young male population in Russia to be in military service for two years. It was obligatory, and everyone was to fulfill his duty. Today the rules have changed, and the term of military service has been reduced to 12 months. Plus the system of alternative service is developing, providing more qualified specialists.
Military service in Russia is a thing that mothers are afraid of when their boys are born. It isn't a normal way of spending time. Bullying is commonplace and is sometimes even perpertrated by those supervising training. How many stories we hear about those young guys who become victims of senior officers! The most shocking one was about one boy who lost his legs and now is an invalid, thanks to military service and Russia's legislation. Parents are doing their best to find an escape from such a fate for their child. The best way is to pay money to doctors so that they declare the son to be ill and unable to serve. That is illegal, and very expensive, but it is an escape from the eternal problems of going through "the school of true men." Serving in the army under Russia's conditions changes people. I have a friend who had to serve for two years. He was summoned because he failed the exam to enter the university. That was a person who enjoyed drinking good wine and playing his guitar near the fireplace. He had plans for his future life, his girlfriend and job. All that collapsed, as two years is quite a long time. Now I should apologize for the following words, but the degradation of the person was obvious. His character became stronger, but this doesn't mean my friend became brave or valiant. After these two years he decided education was useless: "Diploma? I don't need it to earn money; it can be bought if necessary!" It took him about a year to pull himself together. At the moment he works at a small company and repairs computers. Two months ago he told me that he would try to take exams to enter the university as at least an evening student. I haven't seen him since that time, but I hope his plans will come true. Still, that is the story of my friend, and not of all of those guys who have been in military service. The experience of serving breaks one's mentality, and it is difficult to come back to normal life. The only way to solve this problem is to improve the conditions of military service and to control this whole system, but it seems impossible. Plus, during two years of service, the outer world changes - change some vectors, and their guiding lines don't meet modern standards any more. But the new 12-month term, attractive as it looks, can't really help, as the mind changes anyway there. Mothers cry and become irritable if they don't manage to evade military service for their sons. There is nothing new, everyone knows that, but improvement is hardly visible. The social sphere is a wide field in Russia, and the day it works appropriately seems to be far away.
Emirates marks first commercial A380 arrival in US August 02, 2008, New York : Airbus's A380 superjumbo touched down at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday, marking the first commercial arrival of the giant, double-decker passenger plane on US soil. The Emirates Airline's Airbus A380 arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after its maiden flight on August 1. The Emirates aircraft, carrying 489 passengers in varying degrees of luxury, landed smoothly and on time after a 13-1/2-hour flight from Dubai. "Some of us were lucky, we had showers before [we] got off the airplane," Emirates president Tim Clark said, shortly after disembarking, losing no time in marketing the plane's two "shower spas", 14 first-class suites, bar and lounge. The plane is fitted out with lie-flat beds, flat screen televisions and spacious, windowed bathrooms in first and business class.
Emirates is the second airline to put the A380 into service, following Singapore Airlines, which started A380 flights to Sydney in October. The plane, costing $327 million at list prices, did visit New York and Los Angeles in March last year for route-testing purposes, but Friday's flight was the first regularly scheduled arrival of an A380 in the United States. With its huge capacity and relatively fuel-efficient engines, airlines hope the world's biggest passenger jet will be the most cost-effective way of serving high-volume routes linking big cities, especially in light of soaring oil prices. Airbus, part of aerospace group EADS, says an A380 uses up to 20 per cent less fuel per seat than a Boeing 747, and claims that when fully loaded and flying long distances it is more fuel efficient, per passenger, than a small family car. The touchdown marks a hard-won victory for Airbus, which spent $10 billion and more than a decade on Europe's largest industrial project, in the face of widespread scepticism. Airbus now has orders for about 200 of the planes from 16 airlines. The company is still struggling to iron out production problems after an 18-month delay in getting the first one out of its Toulouse, France, plant. The delays ended up pushing Airbus into loss and toppling its management, and are still causing political aftershocks in France. Despite problems, the plane is outselling its nearest competitor, Boeing's revamped, expanded 747-8 jumbo. Boeing, which invented the concept of mass travel over great distances with its original 747 in the 1970s, has sold only 27 passenger 747-8s so far. The plane, known as the Intercontinental, can seat 467 people in a standard layout and is set to fly first in Lufthansa colours in 2010. US suppliers While the A380's success may be bad news for Boeing, plenty of US suppliers are providing parts and electronics for the superjumbo, including Honeywell International, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Rockwell Collins and Goodrich. The engines on the Emirates A380 are also US-made, produced by the Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies. Emirates, the world's number-seven airline in terms of international passengers, is the biggest buyer of A380s, with 58 on order. After New York, it plans to fly the planes to London from December, then Sydney and Auckland from February. Some 20 airports worldwide can now handle the A380, which needs extra-wide runways for its wingspan and two-tiered facilities for loading passengers. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the region's airports, spent $179 million upgrading JFK facilities to accommodate the A380. Emirates took possession of the plane in a glitzy ceremony in Hamburg on Monday, flying it to Dubai and then to New York. Middle East carriers are expanding their fleets and routes even as European and US carriers find themselves pinched by high fuel prices and waning demand. Dubai expects the new planes will help transform it into a world business and leisure capital in the next few years, aiming to attract 15 million visitors a year by 2012.
Bribery rules on Afghan roads 2 Aug, 2008: Nangarhar province, On a hot summer afternoon in the chaotic border town of Torkham in eastern Afghanistan, Mohammad Younas is counting the money he needs to bribe local customs officials. Torkham, in Nangarhar province, is one of the busiest crossing points between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every day, hundreds of trucks and cars, laden with passengers and goods, pass through. The 35-year-old Afghan truck driver is carrying 15 tons of tomatoes he picked up in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. Trials and tribulations However, before driving towards the city of Jalalabad Younas has to wait an hour to get to the front of the queue. One Afghan customs official checks his papers and gives him the green light, but then asks Younas to wait until his papers are "cleared". After a few minutes of waiting, Younas pulls out 5,000 Afghanis ($108). ''You see this bribe? If I don't pay now, they will make me wait here for hours. The tomatoes will be spoiled in this hot weather." Younas has agreed to let me ride in his truck so I can see for myself the trials and tribulations faced by the average Afghan transporter. The tall, blue-eyed driver hands the money over to the customs official and is finally allowed to leave Torkham. ''We have better roads these days. We can play music and have more independence. But look at the level of corruption,'' he says. Younas began work in the transport industry shortly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. His village, Samarkhel, was caught in the fighting between Soviet and Mujahideen forces. Like millions of other Afghans, he took refuge in Pakistan. "I was a young boy then. We fled and lived in a refugee camp. I started as an assistant truck driver and after 16 years I learned how to drive. For all these years I have been driving mostly between Pakistan and Afghanistan." Rude police Younas chooses a Pashto music cassette to play as he steers his massive truck on one of Afghanistan's busiest roads. ''I am an experienced driver," he assures me. As we barrel down the Torkham-Jalalabad highway, Younas complains about corruption and the "rude behaviour of Afghan police". We arrive at a check post in the Daka area and a uniformed police officer asks Younas for his documents. Nader says he has to pay bribes on both sides of the border. After a 30-minute wait, it becomes clear that the police officer wants money or else we will wait here forever. After much bargaining, Younas doles out 600 Afghanis ($13). "Nothing gets done without money these days. During the Taleban days, we didn't have to pay bribes," he says, visibly angry. For about 45 minutes, Younas is quiet and the Pashto music blares as we travel in the scorching heat. I try to engage Younas, but in his frustrated state he is not interested in conversation. As we get close to the Mohammand Dara district, a passing American convoy orders all traffic to halt and Younas finally begins talking again. "This is a joke - the road is blocked again!" We wait for another 30 minutes before we get the green light from the American soldier waving from his humvee. Minutes later we arrive at another police check post. This time, the police demand a crate of tomatoes. Younas orders his assistant to give them a rotten one. 'We will all die' Younas refuses to be photographed for fear of retribution. However, most of his fellow drivers are keen to be photographed and to have their voices heard. Take Mohmmand Nader: "I leave Peshawar and we start paying bribes. Once we cross into our country, we start paying bribes. We have got used to it by now." Nangarhar police spokesman Ghafoar Khan is defensive: "We have in the past sacked corrupt traffic policemen and other police officials, we have also prosecuted them. If these drivers help us with some evidence, we will sack the corrupt officials. We are very serious about this." But drivers like Mohammad Ebrahim accuse the Afghan government of turning a blind eye to what he calls robbery. ''If we don't pay the traffic police or the customs official, they will make us wait for hours. And we can't afford to wait. Corruption is everywhere," he says while waiting outside a customs checkpoint on the outskirts of Jalalabad. My journey with Younas on the 74-km Torkham-Jalalabad highway took three hours and 45 minutes. We stop for lunch at a Jalalabad restaurant. Younas is soaked in sweat and visibly tired. "Corruption in Afghanistan is like Aids - if our government doesn't punish corrupt officials, we will all die," he says, before we say our farewells.
IAEA clears inspection plan for India Saturday, August 02, 2008, VIENNA: Governors of the UN nuclear watchdog approved an inspections plan for India by consensus on Friday, a key step towards finalising a US-Indian nuclear cooperation deal, diplomats in the closed meeting said.The accord would open up to India the world market in atomic materials and technology for civilian use, but is controversial since New Delhi has conducted nuclear test explosions and never joined the global Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).With the go-ahead from International Atomic Energy Agency governors, Washington must persuade a 45-nation nuclear supply cartel to grant India a waiver allowing trade with a non-NPT state, then get US Congress ratification, to sew up the deal.The initial Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting on India is expected to be held on Aug 21-22, diplomats said. The IAEA’s director told concerned agency governors that the inspections scheme met non-proliferation safeguards standards and talks had begun on a system of more intrusive, short-notice checks — which would boost confidence in India’s intentions.Washington and close allies say the deal ushers giant India towards the non-proliferation mainstream and fights global warming by promoting use of low-polluting nuclear energy in surging developing economies, reducing high oil and gas costs as well.Some smaller Western and developing nations and disarmament groups are concerned the accord could undermine loyalty to a 40-year-old NPT already strained by a thrust for nuclear power, led by Iran, in the volatile Middle East.Diplomats had said IAEA board approval of the inspections draft was certain because, despite qualms about vague language, it marks a net gain for non-proliferation by putting the bulk of Indian reactors under UN scrutiny.The “umbrella safeguards agreement” applies to India’s 14 declared civilian nuclear reactors, among the total of 22.ElBaradei touched on diplomatic concern that parts of the draft blur divisions between civil and military atomic sectors, with a possible loophole allowing India to transfer bomb-grade fuel separated from civilian stocks to its military programme.“These are not comprehensive or full-scope safeguards (unlike with NPT member states)...,” he said.“(But) it satisfies India’s needs while maintaining all the agency’s legal requirements,” he told the closed Vienna meeting. “As with other safeguards agreements between the agency and member states, the agreement is of indefinite duration. There are no conditions for discontinuation ... other than those provided by the safeguards agreement itself,” he said.Some diplomats were concerned such language might allow India to halt inspections unilaterally if nuclear fuel imports were cut off, for example in response to another nuclear test, although India is observing a voluntary moratorium.“There were many statements of support for the plan but also many statements with concern and questions, but no one openly opposed it,” said one Vienna diplomat, who like others spoke on ground rules of anonymity due to political sensitivities.Washington and New Delhi have lobbied other countries hard — 26 of the 35 IAEA board members also are in the NSG — to expedite the deal through remaining hurdles, with time fast-running out before US politics pause for Nov elections. India faces a tougher sell at the NSG, a cartel formed in response to India’s 1974 nuclear test to limit trade in “trigger list” nuclear items — those with civilian or military uses — to NPT member states with good non-proliferation records.
Your Health: Fat head and the fishy truth 2 August, 2008: DON'T be upset if someone calls you a "fat head". It is a lot closer to the truth than you think. Your brain is more than 60 per cent fat. The most common fats are like those found in fish. These fats are a unique class of compounds called omega 3 fatty acids. There are three major types of omega 3 fatty acids: - alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). But guess what? Your body cannot make them. You must get them from your diet. That is why nutritionists call them essential fatty acids. Once eaten, the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids more readily used by the body. UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Professor of Neurosurgery and Physiological Science, fish loving Fernando Gomez-Pinilla noted that some food have a drug-like effect. "Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain," Dr Gomez-Pinilla wrote in the July issue of the journal, Nature Reviews Neuroscience. "Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of ageing," he wrote. That is not based on just one study. In an analysis of over 160 studies, omega-3 fatty acids emerged as significant dietary compounds to enhance learning, memory and prevent mental disorders. "Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal brain function," Dr Gomez-Pinilla observed. Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are complex molecules that enhance electrical conductivity. They are needed for the formation of brain cell membranes, which develop connections called synapses (junctions between nerves). These are vital in learning. "Omega-3 fatty acids support synaptic plasticity and seem to positively affect the expression of several molecules related to learning and memory that are found on synapses." Dr Gomez-Pinilla noted that increasing the omega-3 fatty acid levels of children's diets improved school performance and reduced behavioural problems. Omega-3 acids combined with iron, zinc, folic acid and other vitamins have shown to improve verbal intelligence, learning and memory test scores after six months when given to children between the ages of 6 and 12.Research has shown that the nutritional content of one's diet can have effects on the health, including neurological function, of future generations. Strong evidence indicates that what you eat can affect your grandchildren's brain molecules and synapses. He observed that reducing the amount of food we eat can be beneficial. Consuming too many calories can decrease the flexibility of the brain cells' synapses and increase free radical damage.Although the brain is very susceptible to this damage, foods such as blueberries can help counteract it.Another important brain nutrient is the B vitamin folic acid. Insufficient folic acid has been linked with depression and cognitive impairment, and supplementation with vitamin has been demonstrated to be helpful in the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia. Folic acid has also been shown to enhance the effects of antidepressants. In depressed as well as schizophrenic individuals, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a signalling molecule, is reduced. Omega-3 fatty acids as well as curcumin, a compound present in the spice turmeric, can help elevate BDNF in a manner similar to antidepressant or antischizophrenic drugs. "BDNF is reduced in the hippocampus, in various cortical areas and in the serum of patients with schizophrenia," Dr Gomez-Pinilla stated. "BDNF levels are reduced in the plasma of patients with major depression. "Understanding the molecular basis of the effects of food on cognition will help us to determine how best to manipulate diet in order to increase the resistance of neurons to promote mental fitness." You should eat more fish. Try it steamed or boiled. Although fried fish tastes good, it has a poor omega 3 value as most of these highly sensitive fatty acids is destroyed by frying. Still, the concern is toxins given that fish have to ingest all the pollutants that we throw which ends up in the oceans. You may want to take fish supplements especially those that have undergone high end purification processes like molecular distillation or a more advanced form where impurities are totally removed.
USMC prepares to stand up third UAV squadron 2 August 2008: The US Marine Corps (USMC) has announced that it is on course to stand up its third unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron on 12 September. Unmanned Aerial Squadron (VMU) 3 will be based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) at Twentynine Palms in California and is being created to provide additional reconnaissance capability as well as assisting in the training of ground units. According to a USMC spokesperson, VMU-3 will rotate during training and on deployment with VMU-2, which is also based at MCAGCC, and VMU-1, which operates out of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point in North Carolina. Caption and credit: The RQ-7B UAV, which will equip VMU-3 once the squadron is stood up in early September (US DoD)
Royal Navy steps into breech in Afghanistan 02 August 2008: The Royal Navy will plug the gaps in Afghanistan caused by overall troop shortages in the UK armed forces, said Commander-in-Chief of NATO's Allied Maritime Component Command (CiC Fleet) Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope on 30 July, as one of the UK's largest tri-service pre-deployment exercises drew to a conclusion. The Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX) on Salisbury Plain in southern England took place between 21 July-1 August and is a prelude to the deployment of 5,800 troops from 3 Commando Brigade (3 Cdo Bde) to Afghanistan from September through October, as part of Operation 'Herrick 9'. The deployment will enable the rotation of the majority of the UK's approximately 8,000 personnel already in theatre and will include 3,000 maritime personnel. It is the "largest maritime contribution to land operations in recent years", said Adm Stanhope, and "clearly an indication of how taut we are, but it's clear that if this expertise exists we should be on the front foot providing [it] where we can". His comments came on the same day as the UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee - a parliamentary oversight body - released a report on the recruitment and retention of UK armed forces personnel in which it claimed that personnel shortages were threatening operational capability. "Operating at a higher tempo than ever before [with] commitments [that] outstrip the levels for which there are resources ... has put service personnel under extreme pressure," it said. Operational capability, it claimed, was also threatened by skilled areas that are understrength such as aircrew, mechanics and engineers. However, Adm Stanhope said that, while the navy deployment is "an indication we're busy and stretched, I have no doubt it's the right way of doing it".
CH-47 Chinook helicopter Aug 2, 2008: HEAVE HULL U.S. Navy special warfare combatant craft crewmen attach a11-meter rigid hull inflatable boat to an Army Reserve CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 159th Aviation Regiment during a maritime external air transportation system training exercise on Fort Eustis, Va., July 16, 2008.
New DDG-51s Could Get Tweaks, Upgrades 2 August, 2008: Even though the U.S. Navy will resume building Arleigh Burke-class destroyers because the ships are cheaper and the costs are predictable, the eight new Burkes could get new refinements that set them apart from earlier siblings, according to a congressional report. According to written testimony submitted July 31 to the House Seapower Subcommittee by Navy shipbuilding expert Ron O'Rourke, the Navy has several options to improve and accessorize the new series of destroyers that will resume with the ship carrying hull number DDG 113. The Navy acquisitions officials who appeared before the subcommittee July 31 said there isn't yet a plan for how and when to begin the paperwork for buying the new ships, which take the place of five bigger, more advanced Zumwalt-class destroyers. The general sense was that the new Burkes would correspond to the Flight IIA standard - including the latest SPY-1 radar- and be equivalent to ships that had been upgraded with the Navy's DDG Modernization, which includes open architecture, consumer off-the-shelf systems. Testifying for the Navy were Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, deputy chief of naval operations for integration of resources and capabilities; and Allison Stiller, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for ship programs. According to statistics provided by the Navy, the estimated cost for two new DDG 51s is about $3.5 billion, as compared to an estimated $3.2 billion per ship for DDG 1000. But lawmakers, including the Seapower Subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., hope that serialized production for new DDG 51s would bring down the per-ship costs by the time the next copies are being built. Stiller said it would take extra money and about 50 additional weeks to re-start production on the destroyers' main reduction gear, which ended when the Navy ordered what it thought would be the final ships in the class. Shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, are already at work on what was formerly the last destroyer, the Michael Murphy, the 62nd ship in the class. The cost for each ship of that vintage is about $1.3 billion. O'Rourke's report spelled out a number of options that the Navy could request for its new ships, from money-saving possibilities to new propulsion systems to new weapons. Apart from adding technology, the report's first money-saving option is to reduce crew sizes as much as possible. The House Armed Services Committee in 2005 gave the Navy a goal to reduce destroyer crew sizes from around 300 people to 200. That same year, the Navy reported to Congress that a Burke cost $25 million per year to operate, of which its crew cost $13 million. The more people the Navy can take off its warships, the more money it saves, O'Rourke wrote. As for upgrades to the ships themselves, the report mentions that if the new generation of DDG 51s included some of the technology from the DDG 1000s' all-electric drive system in a "hybrid plant," the new destroyers could use at least 16 percent less fuel. In the near-term, though, the novel gas-turbine and electric power plant would cost about $17 million to develop and add just under $9 million to the cost of each ship. Another potential fuel-saving upgrade would be a second bow bulb, located just above the sonar dome protrusion on the existing generation of destroyers. According to internal Navy studies, O'Rourke wrote, the second bow bulb would improve the ships' fuel efficiency by about 4 percent and lead to slightly better speed and range. The report also posits that a new DDG 51 could be outfitted with the 155mm Advanced Gun System that the DDG 1000 was intended to carry. With a range of 63 nautical miles and highly precise guided ammunition, the AGS is a much deadlier and longer-range gun than the 5-inch gun carried aboard today's Burke-class destroyers. O'Rourke's report quotes Navy studies that found a DDG 51 could carry an AGS forward of its superstructure, but only if its existing gun and missile tubes were removed. Even then, the ship could only carry 120 rounds for the larger gun, as opposed to the 600 rounds a DDG 1000 would carry for its two AGS guns. But there may be no need for an AGS after all, according to testimony July 31. The gun was designed to provide long-range fire support to Marine Corps forces ashore, in the tradition of the 16-inch guns carried aboard Navy battleships of yesteryear. That fire-support mission can now be handled by Tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles and precision air strikes, McCullough told the seapower subcommittee, and the Navy was studying ways to provide more long-range fire support from the new littoral combat ships, which carry a 57mm gun. There is a limit to how many upgrades engineers could shoehorn into a DDG 51 hull, which is about 100 feet shorter and 6,000 tons lighter than a DDG 1000. O'Rourke wrote that if the Navy wanted its new Burkes to have a radar system comparable to the one meant for the DDG 1000, there's a good chance the new destroyers would need to be longer and heavier, or lose some of their existing weapons. One alternative, he wrote, was to mount an advanced new radar on what he called a "non-combat adjunct ship," a vessel built around the powerful dual-band radar that was to have been fitted in the DDG 1000's composite deckhouse. The radar ship wouldn't be armed, but would travel with surface task groups and feed the other ships data from its sensors. If there were an attack, the warship escorts in formation with the radar ship would need to defend it.
Russia to launch production of Tu-334 airliner within 6 months MOSCOW, August 2, 2008 - Commercial production of a new Russian short-haul passenger airliner, the Tu-334, will start within the next six months, the manufacturer said Thursday. Sergei Ilyushenkov, managing director of the Tupolev joint-stock company, said the Tu-334, including its business-class version, would be assembled at the Kazan aircraft plant. The project will be funded by a private investor. The executive said the airplane, which seats up to 102 passengers, was unique and had "no match either in Russia or elsewhere." He said the Tu-334 business version would cost around $43-44 million, compared with over $60 million for a Bombardier business jet. Ilyushenkov also said the Tu-334's range could subsequently be increased to 6,400 km by using additional fuel tanks. Work on the Tu-334 started in the early 1990s, but proceeded slowly due to funding problems. A prototype was displayed in 1995, but it was little more than a mock-up with few systems installed. A functional aircraft first flew in 1999.
Airbus sells Laupheim site to Diehl/Thales
2 August 2008: Diehl and Thales have signed a contract for the purchase of Airbus' site in Laupheim. From October 1st, all operational business and assets of the Laupheim site will be transferred to Diehl/Thales. The Airbus plant in Laupheim employs a total of 1,100 employees and has currently an annual revenue base of 240 million Euros. It produces cabin linings, crew-compartments and air ducts for all Airbus products (A320 Family, A330/A340 Family and A380). "The sale of Laupheim is an important element in our restructuring programme Power8. It is beneficial for Airbus, our colleagues at Laupheim and our partner Diehl/Thales", said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. "It will further strengthen our ability to concentrate on our core business while at the same time creating a strong supplier for major cabin components", he added. The transaction is subject to confirmation by the anti-trust authorities. The contract with Diehl/Thales also includes major A350 XWB cabin work-packages such as the crew rest compartments and the complete cabin lining, including cabin ceiling and sidewall panels as well as overhead bins. Supply contracts will be Dollar-based.
Boeing Next-Generation 737 Becomes 110th Turkish Airlines Airplane ISTANBUL, Turkey, Aug. 02, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] delivered two new 737-800 airplanes to Turkish Airlines this week that take the airline's fleet beyond 110 airplanes for the first time. The Next-Generation 737s are part of a 23-airplane order from 2004. There now are 55 737s in the Turkish Airlines fleet. Turkish Airlines has placed two major orders with Boeing in recent years. Initially signing a contract for 26 Boeing 737-800s Oct. 7, 1997, the Istanbul-based carrier ordered an additional 15 firm 737-800s and eight options Sept. 28, 2004 .The carrier exercised those options Aug. 4, 2005, increasing its total Boeing orders to 49. The backbone of THY's fleet, Boeing 737-800 can carry 162 to 189 passengers and has a range of 5,665 km. The 737 is the world's most popular jet airliner, with more than 8,000 orders, and is still the most efficient, most reliable jet transport in its class. Turkish Airlines was founded in 1933 with a fleet of five airplanes that could carry 28 passengers in total. The airline made its first domestic flight in 1933 and first international flight in 1947; today, THY carries approximately 20 million passengers per year. THY has direct flights to 108 international and 33 domestic destinations. THY Technic, a subsidiary of THY, is certified as a maintenance center for 737s for Russia and neighboring countries.