Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oshkosh 1070F Heavy Equipment Transporter, United Kingdom

Oshkosh 1070F Heavy Equipment Transporter, United Kingdom (NSI News Source Info) October 14, 2008: The Oshkosh 1070F (8×8) heavy equipment transporter (HET) became the new British Army heavy tank transporter in 2001 replacing the Scammel Commander. The vehicle has been in production by Oshkosh since 1992 and they have supplied over 2,600 of them to the US Army in various engine configurations such as the 1070E and the 1070E1. The UK version (1070F) had to be supplied with compliance to European legislation on emissions (EURO III).
The vehicle has a top speed of 85km/h on a primary highway and has a central tyre inflation system to adjust pressures for different terrains. There are five steering axles on the trailer and the whole vehicle has a turning circle of 30.5m.
The 1070F uses a Kings GTS 100 hydraulic tilting trailer (designed and built by King Trailers Limited of the UK).
The UK 1070F has an 18l Caterpillar which is compliant with all EU regulations.
UK contract The British Army heavy transporter contract was awarded as a 20-year PFI (private finance initiative) to the FASTRAX consortium (Kellogg Brown and Root, Deutsche Bank and the Oshkosh Truck Corporation). FASTTRAX was awarded the £290m whole-life-cost contract for 92 tractor trucks, 89 King GTS 110/7 semi-trailers along with three Tru-Hitch recovery systems and also staff to operate them as Sponsored Reserves in January 2001. The vehicles were delivered by Oshkosh between 2003 and 2004.
Oshkosh 1070F features The Oshkosh 1070F HET has the same basic chassis and axle set-up as the M1070 model, but the cab, engine and transmission have been changed to meet European requirements. The cab is an all-steel affair with two doors that seats six. The driver and front passenger are seated on suspension seats and the four passengers in the back are on a bench seat able to convert into two double bunks (the full crew for the truck and loaded tank is 12). The 1070F uses the Caterpillar C-18 engine, which is an 18.1l six-cylinder in-line turbocharged and after-cooled diesel power unit that can produce 700hp and 2,576Nm torque at 1,300rpm. The vehicle provides the necessary power to move its 118,050kg GCW (72t Challenger II tank) at a speed of 80km/h on tarmac surfaces and 38km/h on a 2.5% gradient. The transmission used in the 1070F is the Allison HD 4076P, seven-speed automatic with TC-561 torque converter and second-gear start. The 1070F's cab is 2.59m wide (3.67m including the mirrors), the height is 3.74m, the length is 9.49m, the ground clearance is 0.40m and the unladen weight is 20t (unladen weight with trailer is 46t). The 1070F is equipped with an Eaton VORAD sideways radar to visualise blind spots on the nearside and has Rockwell air actuated S-cam Bendix ABS/ATC brakes. The Oshkosh also has a central tyre inflation system (CTIS) operated via a series of buttons on the dash ('CC' for cross-country, 'HWY' for normal on a highway, 'MSS' for mud, snow and sand) that can keep a tyre inflated even if a bullet goes through it. The tyres used for the UK 1070F are Michelin 425/95 R20 (16.00 R20) 22 ply tubeless. "The Oshkosh 1070F became the new British Army heavy tank transporter in 2001." The truck (maximum speed of 85km/h) has a total fuel capacity of 947l with a range of 325 miles. The rig is fitted with a twin winch giving dual 24.9t pulling capacity and uses a Kings GTS 100 hydraulic tilting trailer (designed and built by King Trailers Limited of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, UK) with a length of 17.28m and a weight of 26t and 285/70R 19.5 (150/147J) tubeless tyres at a pressure of 116PSI. There are five steering axles on the trailer, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th and the whole vehicle has a turning circle of 30.5m and a fording depth of 0.70m.
Steering and auxiliary systems The steering system for the rig is a two-axle Ackerman (front and rear) with integral hydraulic with dual steering gears on the front axle (20.1:1 front steering gear ratio, 25.0:1 rear steering gear ratio and 2.21:1 rear steering reduction ratio). The suspension system in the front is a Hendrickson parabolic taper leaf spring and in the rear is a Tridem Hendrickson-Turner air ride. The 1070F has an auxiliary diesel power pack consisting of a Lister Petter LPA2 twin-cylinder direct-injection diesel to provide backup hydraulic power for adjustment of the live 'Hydroneck', power steering system balance pressure adjustment and power override, and the suspension system raise / lower facility. This can also be used in a cold start for the main engine.

DTN News: Indian Commandos in Action

DTN News: Indian Commandos in Action
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - October 14, 2008: The Para Commandos are a special forces unit of the Indian Army. Formed in 1966, the Para Commandos are the largest and most important part of the Special Forces of India. They form the highly-trained Corps of the Indian Army and, generally, all the Indian Special Forces (SF) personnel are selected from it. Army Maj. Tom Seagrist, 1st Special Forces Group stationed at Fort Lewis, observes Indian army Lt. Gen. S.S. Soin as he fires an M-4 on Range 43 Aug. 8. Members of the Indian army are visiting military installations throughout the United States for two weeks to compare numerous weapons systems. Sniper on your six.....watch out! Really well camouflaged, this sniper patiently awaits for his target to pop up. Posing for the camera is this section of Para Commandos, armed with everything from pistols to sub-machine guns to assault rifles and even the 84mm Carl Gustav anti-tank launcher! A convoy of Para Commandos drive home, after undergoing a war game in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Para commandos train in all climates that India offers - from the deserts of Rajasthan to the forests of North East to the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, India's Para Commandos can be everywhere and anywhere.

Russia to start production of new Ka-52 helicopters in October

Russia to start production of new Ka-52 helicopters in October (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - October 14, 2008: The Progress aircraft maker, based in Russia's Far East, will start production of a new model of the Ka-52 Hokum-B attack/reconnaissance helicopter in October 2008, a company official said Monday. The Ka-52 is a twin-seat derivative of the Ka-50 Hokum-A attack helicopter, and is designed primarily for reconnaissance and target designation purposes. It is similar to the U.S. AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. "The Kamov design bureau has successfully completed testing of the Ka-52 Hokum-B attack/reconnaissance helicopter and it has been adopted for service with the Russian Air Force," Konstantin Parshin said. "The production of the helicopter will start in October at the Progress aircraft-manufacturing company," the official said. Deliveries of the Ka-52 Hokum-B to the Russian Air Force will start in 2009. According to its commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, the Russian Air Force will receive more than 100 new combat helicopters, including the Ka-52 and the Mi-28N Night Hunter, over a five-year period up to 2015. The Kamov design bureau has said it plans to supply Ka-50 and Ka-52 helicopters to foreign customers in the future.

Defendory 2008: China debuts new 6x6 APC

Defendory 2008: China debuts new 6x6 APC
(NSI News Source Info) October 14, 2008: China's Shaanxi Baoji Special Vehicles Company chose Defendory 2008 for the European debut of a new, larger 6x6 version of its ZFB05 4x4 light armoured personnel carrier (APC). Designated the ZFB08, the new prototype came to fruition at the beginning of 2008 and has been developed primarily for export, with company officials citing Africa as the main potential market. The company has already sold the ZFB05 4x4 to a number of African states and the vehicle has also seen service with Chinese peacekeepers in Lebanon and Haiti. Image: China's Shaanxi Baoji Special Vehicles Company's prototype ZFB08 6x6 wheeled light APC made its debut at Defendory 2008 (Jane's/Peter Felstead)

Britain Upgrades its M270 MLRS for Afghanistan

Britain Upgrades its M270 MLRS for Afghanistan (NSI News Source Info) October 14, 2008: The 2006 controversy over the quality of Harrier support notwithstanding, close air support has proven to be a valuable asset to British forces in Afghanistan. When available and on-station, it provides a high-end counter to the standard enemy tactics of concentration and ambush. The cost of operating modern aircraft, however, and the size of modern air fleets, are both working to put a crimp in that option. Full battlefield coverage that can respond to any emergency within a few minutes is either cost-prohibitive, or beyond most militaries’ capabilities.
MLRS-System with launch vehicle, loader and a command center inside an APC M270 MLRS
Fortunately, the rise of precision artillery fire offers an alternative with less reach, but 100% persistence and availability within its range. By 2010, MBDA expects to begin selling a loitering attack UAV called ‘Fire Shadow’ for use in Afghanistan. This one-shot, rocket-boosted UAV sports a range of 165 km, 10-hour endurance, and a 50 pound warhead. To succeed, however, it will have to outclass an already-fielded option: British forces began using the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System’s M30/31 GMLRS 227mm GPS-guided rockets and their 200 pound warheads in 2007, as a significant supplement to the UK’s close support options. British forces have recorded over 140 firings of the rockets in Afghanistan, which have earned GMLRS a nickname: “the 70 km sniper”. During this period, the M270 MLRS has maintained 100% mission availability, often operating in ‘switched on and ready’ mode for 48 hours at a stretch. That kind of use, under conditions that differ significantly from their originally-envisaged role defending NATO from the USSR, created a March 2007 Urgent Operational Request for changes to the vehicle.

Chile Looking to Replace F-5s With More F-16s

Chile Looking to Replace F-5s With More F-16s (NSI News Source Info) October 14, 2008: Mercopress reports that Chile is looking to replace its 16 upgraded F-5E/F+ Tiger II aircraft with more second-hand F-16s. The F-5+ are slated for decommissioning in 2009, and Chile’s existing F-16 fleet currently includes 10 advanced F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft, and another 18 F-16A/B Mid-Life Upgrade aircraft bought from the Netherlands for $180 million. Mercopress places Chile’s next buy at $170 million for 16 more F-16A/B MLU fighters from The Netherlands, to be delivered in 2009.
Chilean F-16A
Chilean military equipment purchases are somewhat unusual, in that they are financed by a set percentage of windfall earnings from copper mining, one of Chile’s major exports. That legislation dates back to Chile’s military dictatorship, and is scheduled to be amended, but the fund created by that arrangement is expected to hit $3 billion in the coming months. This is so despite a slew of purchases that are modernizing Chile’s armed forces, after a long slump in copper prices that had put a crimp in Chile’s options. The last decade has seen purchases of F-16s, handfuls of Bell 412 and Eurocopter AS535 Super Puma helicopters, a strong core of used Leopard tanks and accompanying Marder IFVs for the Army, plus 2 new Scorpene Class submarines, 8 used frigates, and 3 new C-295 MP maritime patrol aircraft for use along Chile’s long naval frontier. If the reports of a new F-16 order turn out to be correct, Chile will have ended up replacing its 16-24 recently-retired Mirage 50CN Panteras and 16 F-5+ with 44 F-16s.

Romania Looking to Modernize its Forces

Romania Looking to Modernize its Forces (NSI News Source Info) October 14, 2008: The Ceausescu regime was a poor performer even by communism’s low standards, which has left Romania with a long and difficult modernization task as it seeks to integrate into NATO. Romania certainly isn’t one of NATO’s bid senders in absolute terms, but it is one of only 4 NATO countries to approach or exceed the accepted defense spending commitment of 2% of GDP. At Black Sea Defense & Aerospace 2008, Romania’s Curierul National interviewed Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu regarding Romania’s future plans. Among other things, the recent official request for a used and new American F-16s does not appear to be the end of the competition to replace its upgraded MiG-21 Lancers.
MiG-21 Lancer-C
SA-2 firing, 2007
“The six strategic programs refer to the purchase of the new multi-role planes and of the multirole systems and ground-to-air long-range missiles for the Air Force, the purchase of 4 multifunctional corvettes and 4 mine-hunter boats for the Naval Forces, respectively to the acquisition of some armoured personnel carriers (8×8 and 4×4) and some armoured and non-armoured off-road vehicles for the Land Forces. These purchases are absolutely necessary for the Romanian Army, whose technique is obsolete in a proportion of 90%.... the total is 13 billion euros, indeed, but I want to emphasize that we do not have this money… ready to spend it when necessary. However, the executive has given us the possibility, by Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2006, which allows ministries to contract loans on the international banking market, we can employ such loans up to the limit of 2.38% of GDP…. in a predictable financing line for the period 2009-2013. We also consider achieving these acquisitions with the participation of internationally prestigious companies, which we would attract in the modernisation and privatisation process of the defence industry.” Indeed, the MiG 21s will deplete their flight resource by 2010-2011 and therefore we must absolutely start the programme of purchasing a multi-role plane…. The issue is the purchase of 48 planes, the budget effort exceeding 3.5 billion lei… financed by foreign loans, using the mechanisms of Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2006…. As there appeared some information about the purchase of second-hand planes, too, I want to emphasize that, personally, I think we are too poor to buy cheap, used things. I do not think that the solution of second hand devices is the best option and therefore I feel inclined to the purchase of new aircraft. And I insist on the human resource. We have valuable pilots and we cannot waste this value we have…. As I have said, there are five models of multirole planes that meet the technical-operational requirements set up by the specialists of the Romanian Air Force. We are considering the F-16 plane… the JAS-39 Gripen… the Eurofighter Typhoon… the F-18… and the Rafale [the F-35 was eliminated]. ....To take a decision based on real and as complete as possible data, the Ministry of Defense has conducted information activities during the recent years, which have included working visits of delegations of specialists, organisation of presentations and sending requests for information to potential producers, suppliers and users of multi-role aircraft. As a result of these activities the 5 types of airplanes I mentioned above were identified. But no decision has been taken yet.”

Embraer’s 2008 Deliveries Reach 145 Jets After Three Quarters

Embraer’s 2008 Deliveries Reach 145 Jets After Three Quarters (NSI News Source Info) SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS, Brazil - October 14, 2008: Embraer released the figures on its aircraft deliveries and order book, today, updated to the end of the third quarter of 2008 (3Q08). Based on the first three quarters of 2008, when it delivered 45, 52, and 48 jets, respectively, Embraer shows a steadier production process, which represents a 34% increase over the same period in 2007 (when the Company delivered 108 jets). Therefore, Embraer reaffirms its estimate of delivering 195 to 200 aircraft in 2008, plus ten to 15 Phenom 100s.
ERJ 145
In 3Q08, Embraer delivered 37 jets to the commercial aviation market, nine executive jets, and two aircraft to the defense segment and government segment, The Company’s firm order backlog came to US$ 21.6 billion in 3Q08, an increase of 4.3 per cent over the previous quarter. On September 30, 2008, Embraer’s order book for Commercial Aviation, according to product, stood as follows: -- firm orders: 1,780 -- options: 863 -- deliveries 1,321 -- firm order backlog: 459 In the third quarter, Embraer announced 13 new commercial aircraft sales, including twelve EMBRAER 190s (five to China’s Kun Peng, five to Austria’s NIKI, and two to LAN, of Mozambique), and one EMBRAER 195 to Montenegro Airlines. Moreover, Embraer unveiled 17 EMBRAER 190 sales that were included in the backlog as “undisclosed customer”: 12 for Aeroméxico and another five to NAS Aviation. The list of new operators was joined by China’s Kun Peng, TACA Airlines from El Salvador, Petroecuador, and Virgin Nigeria. Furthermore, in line with contract clauses, US Airways did not confirm five firm orders, which then became purchase options. Three ERJ 145 aircraft were not delivered to Grand China Express, a company of the HNA Group from China, due to a reduction in the growth of its fleet, and new delivery dates and quantities are now being negotiated. The flow of deliveries for EMBRAER 190 aircraft to the same customer continues unaltered. New executive jet orders in the period included two Legacy 600s to K2 SmartJets, one Lineage 1000 to Royal Jet (representing the Al Habtoor Group, from the United Arab Emirates), and three Phenom 300s to Ireland’s JetBird. The number of firm orders for the Phenom family surpassed 800 aircraft, and the Phenom 100 continues on schedule with its program for being certified in the fourth quarter of 2008. In the Defense and Government segment, Embraer announced contracts for three EMB 145 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) jets for the Indian Government, and 12 Super Tucano aircraft to the Chilean Air Force. The Company’s progress in implementing lean manufacturing processes throughout all of its divisions continues to contribute towards establishing a more constant production cadence and meeting delivery commitments, making it possible to keep aircraft coming off the line and to achieve more solid financial planning and a more stable cash flow. Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A.) is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 120 seats, and one of Brazil’s leading exporters. Embraer’s headquarters are located in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, and it has offices, industrial operations and customer service facilities in Brazil, the United States, France, Portugal, China and Singapore. Founded in 1969, the Company designs, develops, manufactures and sells aircraft for the Commercial Aviation, Executive Aviation, and Defense and Government segments. The Company also provides after sales support and services to customers worldwide. On September 30, 2008, Embraer had a workforce of 23,745 employees and a firm order backlog of US$ 21.6 billion.

Australian Forces Firing Taliban In Afghanistn

Australian Forces Firing Taliban In Afghanistan (NSI News Source Info) October 14, 2008: An unusual photo of an Australian Service Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) firing on a known Taliban extremist spotting location in Baluchi, Afghanistan. Australian Service Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV)