Tuesday, October 07, 2008

CN-235-MPA for Indonesian Defence Ministry

CN-235-MPA for Indonesian Defence Ministry (NSI News Source Info) October 8, 2008: Indonesia needs a high-tech operational marine equipment to monitor the situation at its sea and to save its territory. On Friday, 6 June 2008, Dirgantara Indonesia delivers a unit of CN-235-220 M MPA configuration, an aircraft with special mission and modern equipment to save Indonesian territory, to Indonesian Defence Ministry in Jakarta.
The delivery is personally signed by Dirgantara President, Budi Santoso and General Director of Indonesian Defence Facility, Mayor General Eris Herryanto and Indonesian Airforce Logistics Assistant, Mayor General Imam Wahyudi. Budi Santoso says the special missioned aircraft is completed with modern equipment that is for coast patrol on Indonesian territorial waters. For tracking and monitoring tasks, on the aircraft are installed a maritime tracking radar and a multi function radar type Ocean Master 100 MK II, while a storm scope guided with ESM type Vigile 200 is installed for detecting electromagnetic content during the maritime detection. The equipment for those military configuration for coast patrol are France Thales Airborne System products. Such aircraft are required by Asian countries with border coasts, such as Malaysian, Brunei Darussalam, South Korean and some Middle East countries.

Philippine AF Seeking New Utility Helos

Philippine AF Seeking New Utility Helos (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI - October 8, 2008: The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is still determined to procure new combat utility helicopters (CUH) despite serious tender issues, though other options are being explored. Due to the ongoing insurgency in the south, President Gloria Arroyo in December 2006 required the military "to achieve a strategic defeat of the communist terrorist movement by 2010, to destroy all Abu Sayaff and other terrorist groups, and to contain the secessionist groups in order to establish a physically and psychologically secure environment conducive to national development."
Agusta Westland Helicopter
The PAF needs to increase its helicopter fleet to meet this mandate. The Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group at the U.S. Embassy in Manila is providing 20 refurbished UH-1Hs to augment the PAF's 45 operational Huey helicopters as part of the increase. Ten were delivered in June 2007 and an additional 10 will be delivered by the end of this year. The 20 helicopters were refurbished through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing program at a cost of $22 million. The United States has given about $30 million in Foreign Military Financing to the Philippines over the past two years. The PAF conducted the first round of bidding for its eight new CUH requirement Sept. 5. AgustaWestland, the only company that submitted a tender, was disqualified since its bid did not meet the specifications of the bid document. A pre-bid conference was held Sept. 19 for the rebidding for the CUH. Representatives of AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter, McDonnell Douglas and PZL Swidnik attended the conference, and the rebid was rescheduled for Oct. 9. A U.S. source said that the first CUH bidding failed primarily due to the inability of helicopter manufacturers to meet the PAF's 3,000-pound payload requirement with the given $68 million total program budget, which includes the actual fly-away unit cost of the CUH, spare parts, training, shipping costs, taxes and currency fluctuation. However, specified requirements limit the type of aircraft being offered. "The normal helicopters that offer approximately 3,000-pound payloads are the Bell 412EP, Eurocopter EC155, Sikorsky S-76 and AgustaWestland AW139," a U.S. source said. "I do not think any of these helicopters have 3,000 pounds payload with full fuel, as required, but all offer 3,000 pounds payload at the specified range and endurance missions (less than full fuel)." Because the specifications and budget remain the same, the source said, the upcoming rebidding for the CUH requirement is also expected to fail. "They added that none of those who participated in the pre-bid conference could meet both the payload requirement and program budget," the source said. "The PAF would have to increase their budget by about 50 percent to enable manufacturers to tender bids that will meet payload requirements." A PAF white paper on the CUH is calling for "prudence and cost-efficiency in the purchase of helicopters." The white paper considers two viable options if the Oct. 9 bidding process fails again: ■ First, amend the specifications allowing more bidders to participate in the tender. Specifications will have to reduce the external payload or increase the unit price. "This, however, poses more problems than finding a solution," according to the paper. "Decreasing the payload affects the overall effectiveness and capabilities by increasing logistical requirements to achieve mission goals. On the other hand, increasing the price per unit decreases the number of helicopters purchased." ■ Second, shift funds to upgrade at least 20 existing UH-1H Hueys to the Huey II. "While not brand new, this option will essentially give the PAF operational capability in terms of payload and power to fulfill its missions," the white paper states. The Philippines' long history with the UH-1 - maintenance and training facilities are already in place - make the second option attractive. Maintenance of the Huey II could be undertaken by the 410th Maintenance Wing, which conducted the upgrade of the Huey IIs of the 505th Search and Rescue Wing. The two operational lines could upgrade and maintain the Huey IIs.

Boeing Tweaks AH-6 for Export

Boeing Tweaks AH-6 for Export
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - October 8, 2008: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced a new rotorcraft program, the AH-6 light attack/reconnaissance helicopter. Designed on a combat-proven platform with a heritage of successful service with Special Operations, the AH-6 is designed to meet the current requirements of international military customers while maintaining flexibility for future growth. "Boeing has been approached by several potential customers seeking light attack and reconnaissance capabilities in a flexible rotorcraft platform," Dave Palm, director of Boeing Rotorcraft Business Development, said today at the Association of the United States Army's annual convention in Washington, D.C. "We believe this system is a perfect fit for those customers seeking long endurance, proven performance and 2,000-pound payload within an affordable helicopter." The AH-6 features an Electro-Optical/Infrared forward-looking sight system as well as a mount for weapons that have been qualified on the aircraft, including Hellfire missiles, the M260 seven-shot rocket pod, a machine gun and a mini-gun integrated with a sensor system. A communications package allows the AH-6 to connect to other aircraft and to ground stations. Boeing will produce the AH-6 at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Mesa, Ariz., and will draw on that organization's existing secure supply base to ensure on-time, on-cost delivery.

Russia asks EU to monitor its troop pullout from Georgia

Russia asks EU to monitor its troop pullout from Georgia (NSI News Source Info) TSKHINVALI - October 8, 2008: EU observers in Georgia will be monitoring the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the buffer zone next to South Ossetia, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday. "During yesterday's talks with EU representatives, Murat Kulakhmetov, the commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, asked that two EU representatives be present at each [of the six] peacekeeping outpost during the withdrawal," the source said. Under an EU-brokered peace deal, Russia agreed to pull its peacekeepers out of undisputed parts of Georgia by October 10, leaving troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Moscow has recognized as independent countries. Kulakhmetov said that the removal of the six posts would begin Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time (06:00 GMT). "The withdrawal of the Russian posts will begin at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time and will be completed within 24 hours," he said. Moscow launched a five-day operation to "force Georgia to accept peace" after Tbilisi attacked South Ossetia on August 8 in an attempt to regain control over the republic, which split from Georgia in the early 1990s. A number of Russian peacekeepers and a reported 1,600 South Ossetian residents lost their lives during the conflict. Russia's response to the Georgian attack was called disproportionate by a number of Western countries, and Russia drew further criticism when on August 26 it recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian republic, as independent states. So far, only Nicaragua has followed suit.

India to launch first Moon mission on Oct. 22

India to launch first Moon mission on Oct. 22 (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - October 8, 2008: The launch of India's first unmanned mission to the Moon has been scheduled for October 22, an Indian space official said on Tuesday. The launch of the Chandrayaan I lunar orbiter by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was originally planned for September 19 but scientists took more time to carry out final testing of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with the orbiter on board. "The orbiter has been delivered to the Sriharikota main launch center of ISRO. The launch date is tentatively set for October 22," ISRO spokesperson S. Satish said. The Chandrayaan remote sensing satellite weighs about 1.3 tons and carries high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, soft and hard X-ray frequencies. The spacecraft carries five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other international space agencies such as NASA and ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency. Over a two-year period, it is planned that a survey of the lunar surface will be conducted to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. The polar regions are of special interest, as they might contain water ice. The satellite will release its Moon Impact Probe once it enters lunar orbit to give scientists a closer look at a specific region of the surface. The ISRO plans to launch a second lunar mission - Chandrayaan-2 - in 2011. Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, is teaming up with ISRO in the development of Chandrayaan-2's lander and associated rover. Chandrayaan-2 will comprise an orbiting spacecraft and a landing platform with the moon rover.