Friday, October 03, 2008

Arrival of Three Mirage 2000-5 in French Military Compound in United Arab Emirates

Arrival of Three Mirage 2000-5 in French Military Compound in United Arab Emirates (NSI News Source Info) October 4, 2008: On Wednesday, Oct. 1, three Mirage 2000-5 of the Groupe de Chasse 1/2 “Cigognes” fighter squadron based in Dijon, accompanied by a Boeing C 135F of the 93rd “Bretagne” In-Flight Refueling squadron based in Istres, took off from Istres for the United Arab Emirates, where they will be deployed on the Base Aérienne 104, a French military compound within the perimeter of the UAE air base at Al Dhafra.
Mirage 2000-5
The flight lasted less than seven hours. The establishment, on Sept. 1, of the BA 104 is the first step in the process to establish a permanent French military presence in the United Arab Emirates (designated IMFEAU), as agreed by the Memorandum of Understanding signed on Jan. 15, 2008 by French Defence Minister Hervé Morin, who accompanied French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his official visit to the UAE. The IMFEAU will ultimately comprise a naval support base, an army combat group and an air base. It is the concrete consequence of the strategic partnership concluded in 1995 by the two countries by the signature of bilateral agreements. The French Air Force Mirage 2000-5s will be deployed on Al Dhafra air base alongside the Mirage 2000-9s operated by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

USAF to Inspect Its A-10s

USAF to Inspect Its A-10s (NSI News Source Info) October 4, 2008: The U.S. Air Force has ordered immediate inspection of about 130 A-10 combat attack aircraft due to fatigued, cracking wings. The order is to inspect 56 Air Combat Command (ACC), 42 Air National Guard, 18 reserve-owned and 11 Pacific Air Forces planes.
A-10 combat attack aircraft
The cracks are occurring on the center wing panel just aft of the main landing gear trunnion mount on both the right and left sides of the aircraft, ACC spokesperson Maj. Kristi Beckman said. The single-seat, twin-engine Thunderbolt II, affectionately known as the Warthog, is the only aircraft affected, Beckman said. The first 244 aircraft were built with "thin skin" on the wings, but Fairchild-Republic later determined that a stronger wing skin was needed if the planes were going to last longer. The remaining 112 aircraft were built with a thicker wing covering. "Taking immediate action is necessary for the safety of our aircrews and to bring our A-10 fleet back to health," the Air Force said via news release late Oct. 3. "Accordingly, [Air Force Material Command] is working closely with ACC and the other Combat Air Force major commands to address all of the thin-skinned winged A-10s, with a priority focus being on the A-10s we currently have in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility." The Warthog was originally manufactured by the now-defunct Fairchild-Republic and has been in service 1975. The Air Force has more than 350 of the planes. The Warthog has been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide close air support and to drop precision-guided weapons from high altitudes.

Israel to Install Radar Antennae Near Nuke Site

Israel to Install Radar Antennae Near Nuke Site (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM - October 4, 2008: Israel will install two massive radar antennae near the Dimona nuclear plant to bolster its defense measures against Iran, the Maariv newspaper reported on Oct. 3. The 400 meter-high (1,300 feet) antennae will be erected in the Negev desert near a top-secret military site, where Israel is widely thought to have developed the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, the paper said.
Israel to Install Radar Antennae Near Nuke Site
An Israeli army spokesman said a new installation was being constructed but would not give further details, saying only that it was a "military facility serving current military activities." Maariv said work on the twin masts, which would be the largest in the region, would begin in two weeks and would be completed in three months, but did not provide details on what the system would be used for. The newspaper said the antennae were part of a massive new radar system that the United States will deploy in Israel, a project announced by the Pentagon earlier this week. The deployment comes amid heightened fears regarding Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which the U.S. and Israel say is aimed at developing weapons that could threaten the Jewish state's existence. Iran insists its program is entirely peaceful. Israel has long considered Iran its main strategic threat, both because of its nuclear program and because of repeated statements by Iranian leaders predicting the demise of the Jewish state. The Pentagon was scheduled to deploy the radar to Israel in the fall of 2009 for a joint exercise but moved it up a year after high-level talks in Washington. The U.S. deployed a similar radar to Japan in 2006 in response to a North Korean missile test. Also known as X-Band, the AN/TPY2 radar is designed to track ballistic missiles through space and provide ground-based missiles with the targeting data needed to intercept them. Data from the system will be provided to Israel's missile defence system, but the radar will remain owned and operated by the U.S. military.

India to Seal Big-Ticket Military Deals

India to Seal Big-Ticket Military Deals (News Source Info) NEW DELHI - October 4, 2008: India said on Oct. 3 it was gearing up to seal military contracts worth billions of dollars, including a massive fighter jet deal that has prompted a dogfight among global aeronautical giants. India's move to buy 126 fighter jets worth $12 billion was in its final stages, with evaluations of six short-listed aircraft set to begin next year, Air Chief Marshal Fali Major told a press conference. Israeli Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System radar systems
"A number of projects now are reaching a conclusion," Major said in New Delhi, referring to contracts slated to be awarded. "The Indian air force is in a state of transformation, and we are on the way to modernization," he said. U.S.-based Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Russian MiG, Sweden's Saab and French Dassault are vying for the world's richest fighter jet deal in 15 years. Industry sources said Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's Super Hornet have already emerged as front-runners. The military official's statements came a day after the U.S. Senate endorsed a U.S.-India nuclear deal, removing all hurdles for the resumption of civilian nuclear trade between the two countries after more than three decades. Experts say the deal will also open doors for the military to buy technology that had been banned for export to India after the U.S. slapped sanctions on the country after its 1998 nuclear weapons tests. U.S. defense contractors have been lobbying hard to secure deals with India. Major's comments came less than a week after India and its main arms exporter Russia extended their military ties by 10 years with the sale of 347 tanks and talks on collaboration on a fifth-generation fighter jet. Most of the big-ticket hardware from countries including Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the U.S. is destined for the technology-hungry air force. "The Indian air force needs the capability to support India's resurgent growth, and so we are phasing out old equipment with new hardware," Major said. The air force will also buy six Hercules transport planes from Lockheed Martin for $968 million and will begin final talks for six air-to-air refueling planes with either Airbus or the Russians this month, Major said. The first of two Israeli Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System radar systems worth $1.1 billion would reach India in January, other officials said. Major, meanwhile, also said India had begun upgrading its military installations and airbases on the border with China to counter any possible threat from its giant Asian neighbor. "A comprehensive infrastructure development program has been undertaken in the northeast, where roads and advanced landing grounds are being beefed up," he said. "By 2009 we would have our Sukhoi-30 multi-role fighter jets deployed on the eastern sector," Major said as other officials said military engineers were working at high speed to fortify the Sino-Indian border. The Indian military says China has also built strategic roads and air fields close to disputed frontier regions. The two populous countries, which fought a brief but a bitter border war in 1962, still have territorial disputes that have not been resolved despite 13 rounds of high-level talks.

Germany Awaits New Capabilities of Air-to-Ground Eurofighter

Germany Awaits New Capabilities of Air-to-Ground Eurofighter (NSI News Source Info) BERLIN - October 4, 2008: German Air Force officials have confirmed that the air-to-ground version of the Eurofighter Typhoon EF2000 will enter service before the end of 2009. Incorporation of an attack-optimized version of the fighter jet into the Luftwaffe boosts the capabilities of the service which, until now, had used the fighter only for pilot training and, since June 3, limited air defense duties in Germany's southern sector.
In contrast to the United Kingdom and Italy, Germany plans to replace its fleet of Panavia Tornado interdictors with the new jet, starting with Jagdbombergeschwader 31 'Boelcke' (Fighter-Bomber Wing 31, JBG 31), based at Nörvenich, near Cologne. Infrastructure at the Nörvenich base is being prepared for induction of the air-to-ground Eurofighter Typhoon. According to local press reports, upwards of 130 million euros ($180.1 million) is to be spent on modernization of the base and neighboring barracks in the next five years. Ultimately, JBG 31 will receive 35 Eurofighters, the first of which are due to be accepted in December 2009. However, first deliveries depend on the first operational wing, at Neuburg in Bavaria, achieving its initial complement of 24 aircraft. Luftwaffe officials confirmed that the air-to-ground aircraft will initially be optimized for use of the GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Luftwaffe acquisition of this weapon was announced by Boeing in July, and Germany is the first international customer for the weapon. Introduction of LJDAM gives the Luftwaffe a precision-attack capability usable in asymmetric warfare. The GBU-24 Paveway laser-guided bomb and Taurus standoff weapon currently in the arsenal are considered too large for that type of combat. Boeing said that delivery of LJDAM kits is expected to begin in mid-2009, although the Luftwaffe admits that a full air-to-ground capability will not be realized until 2011-12. In the interim, ground-attack training will focus on use of the Eurofighter's internal 27mm gun. Germany has contracted for 180 Eurofighters, although the status of the final Tranche 3 deliveries (68 aircraft) is under discussion. Eurofighter GmbH, the plane's manufacturer, admits that two nations have requested information on reducing Tranche 3 numbers. One option raised by Eurofighter is a possible split in the Tranche 3 process, whereby orders would be further separated into more affordable supplementary packages without any changes in the hardware itself. Eurofighter wants a final decision on Tranche 3 in early 2009 at the very latest.

Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet a Finalist in Brazil Fighter Aircraft Competition

Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet a Finalist in Brazil Fighter Aircraft Competition (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS - October 3, 2008: The Boeing Company today announced that the Brazilian Air Force has selected the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet as one of three aircraft to be evaluated in the Request for Proposals phase of Brazil's F-X2 fighter competition.
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
The F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet was among six fighter aircraft originally under consideration. Brazil is expected to make a final contract award in late 2009. The stated initial requirement is for 36 aircraft, with the potential for up to 120 aircraft. "Boeing is honored that Brazil has selected the Super Hornet as a finalist for the next phase of the F-X2 competition," said Bob Gower, F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs vice president, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "This selection reinforces the Super Hornet's ability to meet the operational requirements of the Brazilian Air Force and the forward-leaning stance of the U.S. government regarding transparency and technology release. Boeing looks forward to establishing long-term partnerships with the Brazilian Air Force, Brazilian industry and the government of Brazil." The Block II Super Hornet, with its Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, presents a comprehensive multi-role capability solution at an affordable price. Boeing has delivered 367 Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy to date, all on or ahead of schedule. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.1 billion business with 71,000 employees worldwide.

Eurocopter Takes Up the Challenge to Gain Leading Position in the Military Market in Japan

Eurocopter Takes Up the Challenge to Gain Leading Position in the Military Market in Japan (NSI News Source Info) October 3, 2008: The world’s leading helicopter manufacturer showcases the NH90 and EC135 helicopters at Japan Aerospace from 1st – 5th October 2008. Having sold the first helicopter to Japan in 1964, Eurocopter has been present in the country for more than 40 years. Today, with a fleet of 360 helicopters and a 57% market share in the civil and parapublic sectors, Eurocopter is determined to gain a foothold in the defence market in Japan with the NH90 and the EC135 helicopters.
NH90 helicopter
To enter this market, Eurocopter presents 2 helicopters perfectly well-adapted for the Japanese authorities: the NH90 military helicopter for defence and parapublic operations and the EC135 for advanced training missions. The NH90, which is the world’s most advanced multi-role helicopter in the ten-ton class, is the sole fly-by-wire helicopter available on the market today, together with all composite construction and the highest crash-worthiness standards. The NH90 is the biggest military helicopter programme ever launched in Europe with an unparalleled success – a total of 507 helicopters on order by 14 nations – proof that its concept and design are well-adapted to the 21st century. With similar defence concerns as Australia, who ordered 46 MRH90s (the Australian variant of the NH90), mission requirements in Japan will range from search and rescue, troop transport, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to maritime and aviation security. The EC135, a modern light twin-engine helicopter equipped with a glass cockpit, is well-tailored for advanced training missions, and therefore perfectly adapted for air crew from defence forces operating new generation multi-role or combat helicopters, such as Japan. Twelve years after making its debut in the market in mid-1996, more than 700 EC135 helicopters have been delivered to 160 clients in 40 countries worldwide for missions ranging from pilot training, law enforcement to Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Search and Rescue (SAR). The EC135 presented on Eurocopter’s booth is in the EMS configuration, more commonly known in Japan as Doctor Heli. In Japan, Eurocopter is represented by its local subsidiary Eurocopter Japan and its distributor EuroHeli, which provides the support of the entire fleet of helicopters flying throughout the country. The fleet in Japan is the largest in Australasia belonging to a wide variety of customers, such as the Japan Coast guards, police forces, fire brigades, TV stations/press as well as corporate and private customers. Helicopters play a particularly important role in the news gathering segment. Almost a third of the Eurocopter fleet in Japan flies for the various TV stations, accounting for 76% of this market. In terms of partnership programs in the country, Eurocopter has been cooperating for the past 30 years with Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the development and manufacturing of the airframe and transmission kit on the BK117 and EC145, selected by the US Army in 2006 as its new-generation Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) with an order of up to 352 aircraft. Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 14,000 people. In 2007, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover exceeding 4 billion Euros, orders for 802 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors.

DTN News: First Patria APC in Hands of Slovenian Military

DTN News: First Patria APC in Hands of Slovenian Military (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 3, 2008: The Slovenian Armed Forces presented Tuesday the first of the 135 armoured personnel carriers that it has bought from Finnish contractor Patria. The vehicle will undergo a four-week validation test before the military will officially take over the vehicle. Dragan Bavcar, who chaired the commission deciding on the contract for 8-wheeled armoured personnel carriers, told the press that Defence Minister Karl Erjavec appointed a group of experts for the validation. The head of the 72-member validation group, Miroslav Galun, said the goal was to confirm that the vehicles met the contract demands.
During the first week of validation, the group will inspect the APC's maintenance characteristics, a week later it will focus on endurance, followed by a tactics check, including shooting, said Galun. Bavcar said that during the validation period, the APC would be in military's service, however the ministry would take over the carriers only after they were validated. Bavcar also said that so far some eight APCs had been produced, however the ministry did not start the validation because the preliminary verification tests were unsatisfactory.
The first vehicle, which the army took over on Monday, is nearly five months late and the Defence Ministry has said that it would penalise Patria for the late delivery in accordance with the contract. The APCs were originally equipped with an overhead remote controlled weapon stations produced by Israeli contractor Elbit, but the system failed a test and was replaced with one made by the Norwegian company Kongsberg.
The Patria APCs were acquired in a deal that had been investigated by a parliamentary inquiry commission, which however failed to adopt a final report over partisan divisions. The scandal culminated only two weeks before Slovenian general election, after Finnish public broadcaster YLE ran a TV report which accused the outgoing Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa of accepting a bribe from Patria.
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Japan's Kanematsu Corporation Signs Agreement For 16 AgustaWestland Helicopters

Japan's Kanematsu Corporation Signs Agreement For 16 AgustaWestland Helicopters (NSI News Source Info) October 3, 2008: AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that Kanematsu Corporation, AgustaWestland’s representative in Japan, has signed an agreement for 16 helicopters comprising 14 AW109 Power light twin helicopters and two AgustaWestland Grand twin engine helicopters with a commitment through 2011. A signing ceremony was held today at the Japan Aerospace 2008 Exhibition in Yokohama. AgustaWestland has achieved growing success in Japan’s law enforcement market recently and through the partnership with Kanematsu Corporation, AgustaWestland is rapidly becoming the leader in this important market. A total of 21 AW109 Power helicopters had been ordered to perform law enforcement duties in Japan prior to this latest agreement.
AW109 Power light twin helicopter
Most of the 21 AW109 Power helicopters already ordered are in service together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police (TMP) AW101 and the two Tokyo Metropolitan Police (TMP) AW139 helicopters indicating the very strong relationship AgustaWestland has formed with the Japan National Police Agency and confirming that the AW109 Power has become the benchmark helicopter for light twin engine law enforcement tasks in Japan. Giacomo Saponaro, Senior Vice President, International Government Business Unit, AgustaWestland said today during the signing ceremony "This latest order is further evidence of the rising success we have experienced in the Japanese helicopter market in recent years, including the very competitive law enforcement market, where we have met several requirements by offering the best solutions and establishing strong relationships with our customers and our local partners. We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Kanematsu Corporation and we are committed to building on the success already achieved by offering the best solutions for future rotorcraft requirements in this country". AgustaWestland is committed to working with the JNPA and Kanematsu Corporation to ensure the current fleet of helicopters are operating to their full potential and is fully committed to provide helicopter solutions for JNPA’s future requirements. The JNPA AW109 Power helicopters feature state of the art high tech special police equipment and are used for security patrol, transport and search and rescue. The Japanese police configuration is equipped with a rescue hoist for rescue operations and stretchers for emergency medical operations. Over 460 AW109 Powers have been ordered for both commercial and government purposes from 50 countries. The AW109 Power’s range of roles also includes VIP/corporate, maritime applications, emergency medical service and training.