Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Malaysian MB-339CM Flies

Malaysian MB-339CM Flies
(NSI News Source Info) November 27, 2008: Alenia Aermacchi signed a contract with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence related to the supply of 8 MB-339CM trainer aircraft.­ Alenia Aermacchi yesterday completed the first flight of the MB-339CM for the Malaysian air force. The hour long mission was flown by Alenia Aermacchi chief test pilot Quirino Bucci and chief flight test engineer Carlo Monti. The test particularly explored the functioning of the new avionics. The “CM” has a HUD and three multi-function displays in both the front and rear cockpits. The avionics provides embedded simulation capabilities, digital maps, and is compatible for use with night vision goggles. The communications system is also upgraded and an Autonomous Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation pod and other features are part of the package, according to Aermacchi. An air-refuelling probe also is included. Malaysian pilots are due to start flying the aircraft come January, with the first two aircraft to be handed over by April and six more before the end of next year.
Additional Info
First Aermacchi MB-339CM for Malaysian Air Force Takes to the Air (Source: Alenia Aermacchi; issued November. 27, 2008) VENEGONO, Italy --- The first MB-339CM advanced trainer for the Malaysian Air Force made a successful first flight on 25 November from the Alenia Aermacchi facilities at Venegono airport. The flight, carried out by Alenia Aermacchi Chief Test Pilot Quirino Bucci with Chief Flight Test Engineer Carlo Monti, lasted about one hour and entailed the functional check of all on-board systems and particularly of the new avionics.
The first flight marks an important MB-339CM program goal. In January 2009 the Malaysian pilot training activities – which are slated to begin at Alenia Aermacchi – will proceed and the delivery of the first two aircraft is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009. The six remaining aircraft will all be delivered by the end of the next year, thus fulfilling the contract for the supply of eight MB-339CM advanced trainers signed in late 2006 by Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence.
In addition to the aircraft, the deal covers the provision of spare parts, ground equipment and related services. The Royal Malaysian Air Force has been operating the MB-339A for over 20 years. Its selection of the MB-339CM confirms its confidence in the Alenia Aermacchi ability to once again provide it with a trainer with state of the art quality standards and levels of effectiveness.
The MB-339CM is derived from the current MB-339CD variant of the widely used two-seat, aerobatic, single-engine aircraft for the Advanced and Lead-In-Fighter Training phases of the military pilot training syllabus. With its performance, excellent handling and sophisticated systems, the MB-339CD is one of the most successful members of the Alenia Aermacchi training aircraft family. The MB-339CM is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics with a human-machine interface that includes a HUD (Head-Up Display) and three MFD (Multi Functional Displays) in both the front and rear cockpits, as well as software to simulate complex operational scenarios.
The aircraft features an air-refuelling probe, which makes it even more representative of most modern fighters, and enhanced training and operational capabilities. This version adds further training and operational capabilities, integrating new functions in its avionics system. These include embedded simulation, digital maps, compatibility with night vision goggles, new radio and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems, a new integrated AACMI (Autonomous Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation) pod as well as modern safety equipment such as the Crash Data Recorder and Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).

Pakistan Tries To Clean Up ISI Image By Shutting Down Political Wing

Pakistan Tries To Clean Up ISI Image By Shutting Down Political Wing (NSI News Source Info) November 27, 2008: After much pressure by the United States, Afghanistan, India and many Pakistanis, the new Pakistani government is ridding the ISI (Inter Service Intelligence agency) of personnel who are more interested in committing terrorism, than in stopping it. The government recently announced that the political wing of ISI was being disbanded. This section was believed responsible for Pakistani support of Islamic, or simply Pakistani, terrorist operations in Afghanistan and India, as well as support for Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan itself. The political wing has also served as a domestic spying operation whenever the military was running the country (which is about half the time.) Pakistan is currently run by a newly elected civilian government.
ISI's Political wing being cut off
ISI has long supported Islamic terrorists, and this time Pakistan is determined to root out "Taliban spies" in the ISI. The problem is that these Islamic radicals have been operating openly in the ISI for three decades, and were put there by the government in the late 1970s, when it was decided that Islamic conservatism was the solution for Pakistan's problems (corruption and religious/ethnic conflicts.) These guys are not just "Taliban spies," but Pakistani intelligence professionals that believe in Islamic radicalism. The ISI itself was created in 1948 as a reaction to the inability of the IB (Intelligence Bureau, which collected intelligence on foreign countries in general) and MI (Military Intelligence, which collected intel on military matters) to work together and provide useful information. The ISI was supposed to take intel from IB and MI, analyze it and present it to senior government officials. But in the 1950s, the government began to use the ISI to collect intel on Pakistanis, especially those suspected of opposing the current government. This backfired eventually, and in the 1970s, the ISI was much reduced by a civilian government. But when another coup took place in 1977, and the new military government decided that religion was the cure for what ailed the country. Typically, the Pakistani generals seized control of the government every decade or so, when the corruption and incompetence of elected officials became too much for the military men to tolerate. The generals never did much better, and eventually there were elections again, and the cycle continued. The latest iteration began in 1999, when the army took over, and was only voted out of power last year. Civilian governments tend to be hostile to the ISI, and apparently they are going to make a real effort to clear out many of the Islamic radicals in the ISI. But as recent attempt by the government to take control of the ISI backfired when the generals said they would not allow it. Nothing is simple in Pakistan. The ISI grew particularly strong during the 1980s, when billions of dollars, most of it in the form of military and economic aid, arrived from the oil-rich Arab governments of the Persian Gulf. All this was to support the Afghans, who were resisting a Russian invasion (in support of Afghan communists who had taken control of the government, and triggered a revolt of the tribes). The Afghan communists were atheists, and this greatly offended Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries, who feared that Russia would encourage Arab communists to rebel elsewhere. So the resistance to the Russians in Afghanistan was declared a holy war which, after a fashion, it was. After about nine years of fighting the tribes, the Russians got tired of their slow progress (and more pressing problems back home, like the collapse of their economy from decades of communist mismanagement). The Russians were gone by 1989 (and the Soviet Union collapsed three years later), but the Afghans promptly fell upon each other and the civil war seemed never-ending. This upset Pakistan, which wanted to send millions of Afghan refugees back home. Few of the refugees were interested as long as Afghans were still fighting each other. So the ISI created its own faction, the Taliban, by recruiting teachers and students from a network of religious schools that had been established (with the help of Saudi Arabian religious charities) in the 1980s. The most eager recruits were young Afghans from the refugee camps. The Taliban were fanatical, and most Afghans were willing to support them because they brought peace and justice. But the Taliban never conquered all of Afghanistan, especially in the north, where there were few Pushtun tribes (most Taliban were Pushtuns, from tribes in southern Afghanistan). The Pushtuns were about 40 percent of the population, and had always been the most prominent faction in Afghanistan (the king of Afghanistan was traditionally a Pushtun.)

Chinese Commandos Train To Kill Pirates

Chinese Commandos Train To Kill Pirates (NSI News Source Info) November 27, 2008: The Chinese South Sea Fleet recently conducted an anti-terrorism drill in which commandos flew to a merchant ship and then assaulted it by rappelling down from the helicopter and "cleared" the vessel of pirates and "rescued" the crew. Earlier this month, a Chinese cargo ship, the "Delight", and its 25 man crew, was taken by Somali pirates. About the same time, a Chinese fishing boat, with a crew of 24, was also taken by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya. China has said it will contribute forces to help deal with the Somali pirates.

Sensors for combat helmets could gather blast data

Sensors for combat helmets could gather blast data (NSI News Source Info) Washington - November 27, 2008: The US Navy is developing sensors for combat helmets to measure the force of roadside explosions and gather data that might be useful in treating traumatic brain injury, a researcher said Tuesday. David Mott, a researcher at Naval Research Laboratory, presented findings showing that helmets, while providing protection against blasts, channel the shock wave to different parts of the head. "The medical community does not really understand what causes TBI (traumatic brain injury). There are some theories regarding direct pressure on the head. There are other theories regarding cumulative effects of lower level explosions," he said. With the helmet sensor being developed, a Marine would have a history of all the blasts to which he or she was exposed over the course of a deployment, he said in a telephone interview from a scientific conference at San Antonio, Texas. "It will record pressure history as well as accleration, which will give us an idea of the severity and directionality of the blast," he said. The helmet ideally would stay with the same marine over the course of a deployment, he said. "So you would get a total history of every event they have been involved with whether it was severe enough that they went to the medic or whatever it was," he said. "Down the road if health issues come up, or there is some other event you'll have that history and maybe you'll be able to relate it to what other type of injuries you may have. Mott said prototypes of the sensor have been developed, but the project was still in the research and development phase. The findings he presented at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics in San Antonio drew from research conducted by teams at NRL and Canadian Allen-Vanguard Technologies. The teams examined what happens when 1.5 kilograms of C-4 explosives detonates within meters of a crash dummy wearing a combat helmet with sensors. Mott then modeled the fluid dynamics of the shock wave and found that it entered the gap between the helmet and the head and traveled about the head. The helmet provided protection to the side of the head facing the blast, he said. "But it gathered some of the wave that comes underneath in that gap and it can cause higher pressure on the backside of the head," he said. "The pressure that is produced on that backside is comparable to what that incident wave would produce on an unprotected surface," he said. He said the impact was not likely to be as severe on a human because there were differences in the case of a crash dummy that were not taken into account in the model.

CAEW – Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft, Israel

CAEW – Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft, Israel (NSI News Source Info) November 27, 2008: The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) aircraft was first unveiled in public at the UK's 2008 Farnborough Air Show. The prime contractor, system developer and system integrator for the CAEW is Elta Systems Ltd, a subsidiary of IAI. The CAEW provides improved performance in terms of higher operating altitude, longer range and increased time on station. The CAEW aircraft is based on the G550 airframe from Gulfstream Aerospace of the USA. The operationally proven G550 CAEW aircraft is the third generation of airborne early warning and control systems developed by IAI Elta since the mid-1980s. Gulfstream was awarded a contract for four (plus two options) G550 modified aircraft in August 2003. First flight of the modified aircraft was in May 2006 and it was delivered to Elta for the installation of the mission systems in September 2006. The first and second CAEW aircraft were delivered to the Israel Air Force in February and May 2008 and since then have been in operational use. The Singapore Air Force has also ordered a number of CAEW aircraft to be delivered during 2009 and 2010. The CAEW provides improved performance in terms of higher operating altitude, longer range and increased time on station. The main AEW performance advantages result from the capability to point the radar beams in any direction in space at any time, with the beam's parameters controlled by the radar computer. CAEW airframe The CAEW aircraft is based on the Gulfstream G550 airframe, which is an upgraded variant of the Gulfstream V-SP with improved aerodynamic performance. The aircraft is manufactured at the Gulfstream business jet production centre in Savannah, Georgia, USA and transferred to IAI Elta Systems Ltd in Ashdod, Israel. Compared to the original G550, the CAEW redesigned aircraft has an increased zero-fuel weight, a modified structure, additional cabling, three (instead of one) power generators and a liquid cooling system to accommodate the mission equipment. One particular specification is the aircraft's low drag aerodynamic profile. IAI's Bedek Aviation is contracted to provide the maintenance and logistic support for the Israeli CAEW aircraft. Cockpit The baseline G550 aircraft uses a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite and the two-man flight deck has a Gulfstream PlaneView cockpit. The CAEW flight deck provides the pilot with real-time 360°, three-dimensional AEW information. Mission systems The AEW system has six multi-purpose, Windows-based, operator stations with 24in colour monitors that are installed in the rear half of the main cabin. The forward section of the main cabin behind the cockpit accommodates the electronics. The Elta AEW system provides rapid target acquisition and target information with total 360° coverage. Avoiding host aircraft obstruction is achieved by using the placement of a number of conformal antennae combined with dynamic beam allocation to the targets. The multiple conformal antennae provide the coverage without the need for a large mushroom-shaped radar system installed on comparable aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with the Elta EL/W-2085 AEW system which includes a phased array airborne early warning radar, an identification friend or foe system, electronic support measures (ESM), electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) systems. The system is highly automated and uses advanced multi-sensor data fusion techniques to cross-correlate data generated by all four sensors - the radar, IFF, ESM / ELINT and CSM / COMINT. The data is combined with an automatically initiated active search by one sensor for specific targets that have been detected by other sensors. "The Elta AEW system provides rapid target acquisition and target information with total 360° coverage." The phased array airborne early warning radar, an active electronic steering array (AESA), operates in L and S bands (1GHz to 2GHz and 2GHz to 4GHz) and provides 360° azimuthal coverage. The system has high-accuracy three-dimensional tracking, low false-alarm rate, flexible and high target revisit time, electronic counter-countermeasures and programmable search and track modes of operation. The modes of operation include track initiation, extended detection range mode with long dwell time, and target verification. When a target has been identified as a priority the radar switches to a high scan rate tracking mode with optimised beam to target characteristics. The forward-facing hemisphere radar array and the weather radar are mounted in the nose radome. The lateral arrays are housed in conformal radomes along the sides of the forward fuselage. The radome located on the tailcone houses the aft facing hemispherical array. The information friend or foe system uses the radar's receive / transmit modules and antennae and provides target interrogation, decoding, target detection, location and target tracking. The electronic support measures and electronic intelligence systems use multiple narrow and wideband receivers. The ESM / ELINT also provides the radar warning receiver function and supports the aircraft's self-protection system. The antenna pods are mounted under the wingtips. An electronic support measures antenna is mounted in a fairing above the nose cone which houses the weather radar. The direction finding function uses differential time of arrival. The automated communications intelligence system covers the high (HF) to very-high (VHF) frequency bands from 3MHz to 3GHz. Communications The aircraft's communications suite provides network-centric operations capability and is interoperable with air force, navy and ground force assets and includes U/VHF, HF, satellite communications, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), secure voice, secure data link and intercom. "The CAEW aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines." The aircraft is fitted with a robust jam-resistant full duplex EL/K-189 satellite communications and datalink. The satellite communications operates at Ku band, 12.5GHz to 18GHz. The satellite antenna dish and one planar array are housed in the vertical tail surface top fairing and another planar array is housed in a ventral blister radome. The antennae are dual axis stabilised with pointing capability. The carrier link can provide voice, data and compressed video. The aircraft can be fitted with the data link specified by the customer country. CAEW countermeasures The aircraft is fitted with an integrated self protection suite with 360° radar warning receiver (RWR), missile approach warning system (MAWS), chaff and flare decoy dispensers and directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM). Engines The aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines rated at 68.4kN and fitted with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). The engines are fitted at the rear of the fuselage. The integral wing tanks have a fuel capacity of 23,400l and the fuel system is equipped with an automatic fuel distribution system to accommodate the changing fuel load during flight. The aircraft is equipped with a Hamilton Sundstrand electrical power generation system and the CAEW aircraft also has power generators mounted on the engines providing 240kW of power. Gulfstream was responsible for the design and supply of the liquid cooling system to accommodate the high power consumption of the airborne electronics.

Russia Test Fires Intercontinental Missile

Russia Test Fires Intercontinental Missile (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - November 26, 2008: Russia on Wednesday successfully test-fired for the third time its new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile, designed to counter air defense systems like the controversial US missile shield. The missile was fired from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in north Russia and hit targets on the Kamchatka Peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean 4,000 miles to the east, Russian news agencies reported. "The targets that were set were reached. The tasks were fully carried out," the commander of Russia's strategic missile forces, Nikolai Solovtsov, was quoted as saying by Interfax. "The deployment of the RS-24 missiles, which have a detachable warhead, strengthens the military options of the Russian missile forces in overcoming missile defense systems." Military spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin told Interfax that "the missile... was launched from a mobile launcher. This is the third test-firing of the RS-24 in the last two years." Russia in May 2007 first test-fired the RS-24, which the military has said is designed to overcome air-defense systems such as the controversial US missile shield planned for deployment in eastern Europe. The second test, which was also successful, was in December 2007. Experts and Russian news agencies have said the missile is capable of carrying three nuclear warheads. The new test comes after Moscow has repeatedly expressed its fury over US plans to place a missile defense radar system in the Czech Republic and linked interceptor missiles in Poland. Both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have urged Barack Obama to drop the plans when he takes over the White House in January but the US president-elect has yet to reveal his intentions.

Royal Netherlands Navy Launches Harpoons From New Frigate

Royal Netherlands Navy Launches Harpoons From New Frigate (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS - November. 26, 2008 -- Boeing, Nov. 25 today announced that the Royal Netherlands Navy has successfully test-launched two Boeing Harpoon missiles from air defense and command frigate (LCF) HMS De Zeven Provinciën. The exercise, which was the first LCF launch of a Harpoon, was held off the coast of Virginia on Nov. 8. In the exercise scenario, a hostile ship attacked the Dutch frigate, which responded with a salvo of two Harpoon Block IC missiles, marking the first time the Dutch Navy has launched multiple Harpoons on a single target. Both Harpoons hit and destroyed the target. The Netherlands has been a Harpoon customer since 1975. "We are extremely pleased with the performance of the Harpoon Weapon System during this test, and we congratulate the Royal Netherlands Navy on achieving this new milestone," said Jan Browne, Boeing director of Stand-Off Strike Weapons. "Harpoon is an extremely reliable weapon system in use by the United States and 27 allied countries. We are proud of Boeing Weapons Programs' 33-year relationship with the Netherlands." Boeing has delivered more than 7,000 missiles to U.S. and allied navies. The Harpoon Block I missile is capable of flying in excess of 67 nautical miles and carries a 500-pound warhead. In 2001, Boeing delivered the first Harpoon Block II missile, which incorporates a Global Positioning System navigation system to provide autonomous, over-the-horizon capabilities, even in adverse weather. The Harpoon Block III missile, which includes a data link system for in-flight target updates, is currently in development.

India Sank Wrong Ship in Pirate Attack

India Sank Wrong Ship in Pirate Attack (NSI News Source Info) November 26, 2008: The "pirate mother ship" blown out of the water by the Indian navy in the Gulf of Arden last week was actually a Thai fishing trawler that had been seized by the pirates, the International Herald Tribune reports. The boat's owner learned of the mistake when a surviving crew member was rescued after holding on to a floating barrel for five days. Fourteen others are missing and presumed dead. "The Indian navy assumed it was a pirate vessel because they may have seen armed pirates on board the boat, which had been hijacked earlier," said an official from the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center. A spokesman for the Indian navy defended the sinking, saying it had received threats from the vessel and acted accordingly.

Sri Lanka rebel HQ 'to fall soon'

Sri Lanka rebel HQ 'to fall soon' (NSI News Source Info) Source - BBC News, November 26, 2008: The Sri Lankan army has said that the capture of the Tamil Tiger rebels' stronghold of Kilinochchi is imminent. Kilinochchi is the rebels' de facto capital in the north and troops have been attacking it from three directions since Sunday morning.
Sri Lankan soldiers patrol in a railway station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008. Sri Lankan soldiers captured a Tamil Tiger rebel training camp, while air force helicopters bombed two rebel groups in the north, the military said
The rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for Tamils in the north and east since 1983 and 70,000 people have died in the violence. The Tamil Tigers have not yet commented on the army claims. Eastern clashes "The fall of Kilinochchi is very imminent," defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. The spokesman said the rebels appeared to be retreating. Heavy fighting has been going on in the area for the past few days as the Sri Lankan military makes a final push to claim the territory. The defence ministry has said in a statement that its soldiers are also closing in on Mullaitivu, where the rebels are believed to have concentrated their forces following recent army advances elsewhere in the north. The rebels say they are mounting a successful defence. "Troops of the 59th division advancing towards the Tigers' most strategic commanding base in the north-eastern coastal belt, Mullaitivu, are further consolidating and extending their defences," the ministry said. On Tuesday the army said troops had captured the village of Olumadu, on the A34 road to Mullaitivu. The pro-rebel website, TamilNet, has not commented on the latest fighting but on Tuesday released photos of "dead soldiers" from the fighting around Kilinochchi. Correspondents say the photos - if genuine - are the first to be publicly released of the weekend offensive by the army to capture Kilinochchi. Tensions are also running high in the east, where police say at least nine people, including two soldiers, were killed in separate incidents on Tuesday. It was the greatest loss of life in a single day for months in the east. The eastern region is governed by a coalition led by a party that defected from the Tamil Tigers, known as Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP). The campaign group, Human Rights Watch, alleges that the TMVP is responsible for some of the recent killings and abductions. Correspondents say that with the battle raging in the north, some view the increase in attacks on security forces in the east as a diversionary tactic by the rebels. On Thursday the Tigers' leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is to deliver his only speech of the year as the rebels commemorate their dead.

US has never advised Israel against Iran strike: Olmert

US has never advised Israel against Iran strike: Olmert (NSI News Source Info) Washington - November 26, 2008: The United States has not pressured Israel to rule out military action in order to halt Iran's nuclear program, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday after talks with President George W. Bush. The outgoing prime minister, who ends what is probably his last visit to Washington in office, said he had "spoke at length with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the president on Iran." "There is a basic, deep understanding about the Iranian threat and the need to act in order to remove threat," he told reporters. Israel considers Iran its greatest threat, because of Tehran's accelerating nuclear program and repeated statements by its leaders predicting the Jewish state's demise. Israel -- the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power -- and the United States accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, while Tehran has insisted its program is entirely peaceful. The Jewish state has refused to rule out military response to the nuclear standoff and Olmert said on Tuesday that the Bush administration has never advised them against such action. "I don't remember that anyone in the administration, including in the last couple of days, advised me or any other of my official representatives not to take any action that we will deem necessary for the fundamental security of the state of Israel, and that includes Iran," Olmert said. As Bush prepares to leave the White House on January 20 and with Olmert set to step down amid a corruption scandal after February elections, the premier wanted to clinch new US commitments on Iran before president-elect Barack Obama takes office. Officials said Olmert would press Bush and Congress to allow Israel to purchase dozens of F-35 stealth fighter jets, which would considerably boost the Israeli air force's ability to carry out long-range strikes. The Pentagon has announced that Israel had asked to buy up to 75 jets, but Congress has yet to give the 15-billion dollar (12-billion euro) deal a green light. Over the past year, the United States has considerably increased its already tight defense ties with its ally, giving the Jewish state an unprecedented 10-year, 30-billion dollar defense aid commitment.

Russian warships cruise into US back yard to make power point

Russian warships cruise into US back yard to make power point
(NSI News Source Info) La Guaira, Venezuela - November 26, 2008: Russian warships arrived in Venezuela Tuesday, for the first time in regional waters since the Cold War, ahead of a two-day visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It was a major symbolic show of military and diplomatic force as Russia moves to underscore its international heft amid intense frustration with Washington over a European-based missile shield and over the war in Georgia. Oil-rich Venezuela is among the staunchest US critics worldwide. The Venezuelan navy welcomed the warships, including the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great and destroyer Admiral Chabankenko, at the northern port of La Guaira, near Caracas, for a week of joint maneuvers. Medvedev was due to arrive Wednesday for a two-day visit, before heading to communist Cuba, to promote ties and oversee the start of the exercises, as Moscow seeks to rebuild influence in the Americas that eroded after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and even expand it. The exercises, dubbed VenRus 2008, would take first take place in dock and then at sea on December 1, vice admiral Luis Morales Marquez, a Venezuelan operations commander, told journalists here. The aim was to "strengthen links of friendship and solidarity with the Russian fleet and the Bolivarian national armed forces," Marquez said. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said the maneuvers were not a provocation, but an exchange between "two free, sovereign countries that are getting closer," at a news conference late Monday. "We carried out maneuvers with Brazil recently, with France, with the Netherlands and now with Russia," Chavez said. But analysts see the Russian leader as boldly bringing a defiant message to Washington's doorstep, in the wake of Russian outrage at US plans to install a strategic missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, and support for the brief Georgia war in August. "If the Venezuelans and the Russians want to have, you know, a military exercise, that's fine, but we'll obviously be watching it very closely," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday in Washington. "I don't think there's any question about who ... the region looks to in terms of political, economic, diplomatic and as well as military power," McCormack added. The US has expressed concern, however, about Russian arms supplies to the oil-rich OPEC country. The two countries have signed 4.4 billion dollars in bilateral arms deals since 2005, including radars, 24 Sukhoi-30 planes, 50 helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikovs. Medvedev was expected to expand arms deals during his visit, as well as economic and energy ties, including plans for a joint civilian nuclear reactor. Some 1,600 Russian forces traveling on four Russian ships joined 700 Venezuelans for the exercises. Venezuela was due to mobilize three frigates, an amphibious warfare ship and eight patrol boats, as well as Sukhoi planes recently purchased from Russia. Marquez suggested more exercises could take place in Russian waters at a later date. A Russian naval spokesman said in Moscow that the exercises would include operation planning, helping ships in distress and supplying ships on the move. "Until a few years ago, we did a lot of maneuvers with the United States. Now we don't do maneuvers with the United States, of course. We got out of that defense system and we're creating our own system of defense," Chavez said. In September, two Tu-160 Russian strategic bombers carried out training for several days in Venezuela. "Nations frequently exercise with each other. Russia is free to exercise peacefully with anyone that they want to exercise with," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Monday. "But also people note through these exercises the company that nations keep." Medvedev's four-nation Latin America tour began in Peru where he signed a series of economic and political accords before traveling to regional economic powerhouse Brazil.

QNA Wins US Army Order For EARS Sniper Detectors

QNA Wins US Army Order For EARS Sniper Detectors (NSI News Source Info) VA - November 26, 2008: QinetiQ North America's Technology Solutions Group has announced a $9.95 million order from the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF) for SWATS Soldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting Systems. Part of the Ears Gunshot Localization System product family, SWATS soldier-worn units will be deployed to US Army troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan this year. The deployment, expected to be complete by early next year, will also include QinetiQ North America personnel to provide training and field support. This is the US Army's first large-scale deployment of any soldier-wearable gunshot and sniper detection solution. According to Don Steinman, Director of Technology Marketing and Transition for QinetiQ North America's Technology Solutions Group, QinetiQ North America worked directly with the United States military to extensively test Ears, both in-theatre and in stateside demonstrations. The results, he says, meet the US Army's requirement and give soldiers an important tool to help keep them safe. The Ears systems purchased by the REF will include next-generation sensors and rugged features that further address the environment in which the gunshot localization systems will be deployed. "The soldiers gave us feedback and we acted on it," said Steinman. "The result is a powerful, rugged, and lightweight gunshot localization system that helps the individual warfighter rapidly respond to dangerous situations."

Oshkosh 1070F Heavy Equipment Transporter, United Kingdom

Oshkosh 1070F Heavy Equipment Transporter, United Kingdom (NSI News Source Info) November 26, 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 British Army heavy transporter contract was awarded as a 20-year PFI to the FASTRAX consortium." 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.

RG33 Mine-Resistant Ambush Vehicle (MRAP), USA

RG33 Mine-Resistant Ambush Vehicle (MRAP), USA (NSI News Source Info) November 26, 2008: The RG33 is a family of mine-protected vehicles manufactured by BAE Systems. The RG33 4×4 and 6×6 are in production in the United States for the US Marine Corps mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle programme. BAE Systems manufactures three of the US Marine Corps' five variants of MRAP vehicles: the Caiman, the RG31 and the RG33. The RG33 is manufactured in several configurations including the category I 4×4, category II 6×6, the heavy armored ground ambulance (HAGA) and the special operations command (SOCOM) vehicle. The RG33 series is in the medium weight class, providing survivability, advanced mobility, mission flexibility, rapid availability and vehicle commonality. The initial contract for the USMC was placed in January 2007 for two 4×4 and two 6×6 RG33 vehicles. In February 2007, the USMC ordered 15 RG33 category I 4×4 and 75 category II MRAP vehicles. "The RG33 is a family of mine-protected ambush vehicles manufactured by BAE Systems." In June 2007, BAE Systems was awarded a contract for 425 category I and 16 category II. In October 2007, the USMC ordered 399 category II MRAP, 112 category II ambulances and 89 SOCOM vehicles. In August 2008, the US Marine Corps placed a $43.5m contract on BAE Systems for 40 RG33 MRAP vehicles: 36 special operations command variants, two RG33 MRAP category II 6×6 variants, and two category II HAGAs. In June 2008, BAE Systems was awarded a $53m contract for 40 SOCOM MRAP vehicles. The RG33 vehicle hull production is being carried out at BAE Systems' York, Pennsylvania, facility and final assembly, integration, and test is carried out at the Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Survivability RG33 series vehicles provide survivability against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), medium machine gun or small arms fire and mine blast protection at a level equal to or exceeding currently fielded mine-protected vehicles. The vehicle incorporates a monocoque V-shaped hull incorporating design features based on leveraging knowledge gained in recent and ongoing conflicts. The crew and passenger survivability features include blast-resistant seats, transparent armour and protected interior stations. The vehicles can be equipped with additional armour packages. Mobility The RG33 series provides a large volume under armour to provide maximum troop-carrying capacity and to give troops the optimum manoeuvrability on the battlefield. "The RG33 is manufactured in several configurations including the category I 4×4 and category II 6×6." The platform's advanced power train enables the vehicle to safely operate on any terrain and also to maintain pace with other high-speed combat vehicles. They have the speed and manoeuvrability to keep pace with the Stryker brigade combat team. The power train is of sufficient capacity to allow upgrades and enhancements. Both 4×4 and 6×6 vehicles are transportable by land, rail, sea and air. Mission flexibility The RG33 series provides flexibility by being configurable for missions such as infantry carrier, ambulance, command and control, convoy escort, explosive ordnance disposal and other roles and is recoverable by another RG33. The vehicle features on-board exportable power for a range of mission equipment such as command, control, communications, computers and information (C4I). Commonality The RG33 series of vehicles (4×4 and 6×6) have a commonality of parts of more than 90%, which provides saving in acquisition costs, operations, maintenance and program management. RG33 6×6 mine-protected vehicle The RG33 6×6 is a proven, survivable, blast-protected vehicle that can operate in explosive hazardous environments, carrying out missions such as route and area clearance, explosive hazards reconnaissance and explosive ordnance disposal operations. Troop-friendly features include large ballistic windows, a rear ramp for rapid entry and exit of the crew and robotic systems. A common weapon ring may be mounted to the rooftop for integration of a wide variety of weapon systems, to include the army's gunner protection kit. The modular RG33 6×6 vehicle is mission adaptable, with roles including infantry carrier, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), convoy protection, weapons carrier, utility, command and control, communications shelter and ambulance. Optional equipment for the RG33 6×6 includes add-on armour, hydraulic rear ramp, medical equipment, explosives ordnance disposal arm, 6kW auxiliary power unit, 120/240 AC import / export power, secondary battery suite, thermal driver's vision enhancer, tail-light camera, central tire inflation system, transparent armour gun shield and a remote weapons station. RG33 4 × 4 mine-protected vehicle The RG33 4×4 mine protected vehicle transports up to eight personnel with the same troop-friendly features as the 6×6 version. "The RG33 series provides a large volume under armour to provide maximum troop-carrying capacity." A common weapon ring is mounted to the rooftop for integration of a wide variety of weapon systems, including the army's gunner protection kit, or remote weapon systems. The modularity allows the vehicle to be adaptable for multiple missions including reconnaissance, tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided weapon systems (TOW ) / improved target acquisition system (ITAS) / long-range acquisition / surveillance system (LRAS), weapons carrier, utility and convoy protection. Optional equipment is the same as for the 6×6, with the exception of the ordnance disposal arm. Mine-resistant recovery and maintenance vehicle (MRRMV) A new variant of the RG33 is the mine-resistant recovery and maintenance vehicle (MRRMV) for retrieval and repair of disabled mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, medium mine-protected vehicles and other medium tactical vehicles in combat situations. The MRRMV has a two-man crew and carries equipment and spare parts to conduct on-site vehicle repairs. The vehicle supports field maintenance tasks that require lifting, welding, cutting and heating and has the capacity to carry two recovered crew and combat spares. The MRRMV was first shown at the Association of the US Army's (AUSA) winter symposium in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, in February 2008.

GTV, Navistar-BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin will develop JLTV

GTV, Navistar-BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin will develop JLTV (NSI News Source Info) November 26, 2008: The U.S. Army narrowed the list of potential JLTV bidders to three, awarding development contracts for each of the three teams, to continue the 27 month technology development of the proposed Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The finalist to be selected at the end of this phase could win orders to deliver more than 60,000 armored vehicles over an eight year span augmenting and replacing part of the 160,000 HMMWVs currently in service with U.S. armed services. General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008 a $45,061,720 cost share contract for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Family of Vehicles 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). General Tactical Vehicles is a joint venture between AM General and General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), 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. 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. 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 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). 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. 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 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). “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.

Pakistan: IDEAS-2008 Defense Exhibition

Pakistan: IDEAS-2008 Defense Exhibition (NSI News Source Info) November 26, 2008: KARACHI: The five-day International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS-2008) started today at the Karachi Expo Center with the participation of 162 defense manufacturing organizations from 58 countries and will continue for five days till November 28. The organizers of the event said it is the biggest exhibition in the country’s history.
Pakistan-made missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to different ranges are on display at the Defense Exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 A fighter jet JF-17 Thunder which was jointly built by Pakistan and China is on display at the Defense Exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008
A Turkish participant displays arms on a stall in preparation for a defense exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008
The event is aimed at bringing together local and international arms manufacturers and buyers, and exploring possibilities for cooperation and joint ventures in the field of defense production. At least 256 defense-related companies will take part in the exhibition including 94 Pakistani firms. Out of the 94 Pakistani defence companies, almost 60 per cent are from the private sector. As many as 221 defense manufacturing companies participated in IDEAS-2006 including 73 domestic and 148 foreign firms from 27 countries. The first IDEAS was held 2000, with the participation of 125 companies from 45 countries. IDEAS-2008 will see the JF-17 thunder fighter aircraft put to display for the first time at a defense exhibition as a co-production of Pakistani and Chinese defense industries. A seminar is also being held on the first day of IDEAS at a local hotel where national and international defense experts and analysts will dwell on issues concerning security and defense needs of the region in the backdrop of the war against terrorism. Some 66 defense delegations from participating countries are also taking part in the IDEAS-2008 out of which 30 delegations are high-level, headed either by the defense ministers, secretaries or services’ chiefs of the countries. On the sidelines of the IDEAS-2008, over 100 high-level meetings will be held between foreign delegates, key government officials and participants of the exhibition for forging alliances in defense production. Some 7,500 persons have been directly employed by the organizers of IDEAS this year for holding the event. The organizers have also involved over 300 students of prestigious institutes of higher education in the city and imparted training regarding event organization. There have been also numerous persons indirectly employed for holding of the event. Director-General of Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) Major General Mohammad Farooq, who is the organizer of IDEAS, told newsmen at a press conference on Sunday that holding an event with such a remarkable presence of international participation would surely help in the growth of the country’s defense industry and related businesses. Maj. Gen. Farooq said that various unnecessary expenditures for holding IDEAS-2008 had been slashed as the organizers, for the first time, had put in place the idea of self-reliance and hence did not get any financial support from the national exchequer. He said that IDEAS-2008 would also directly benefit the cause of augmenting production capabilities of Pakistan’s defense manufacturing industry. The event also provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, needs and strategies on defence issues among friendly and regional countries, thus promoting a move towards peaceful resolution of international disputes, he said. He said that, owing to the holding of four previous IDEAS events since 2000, the demand for small and light arms, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles manufactured by Pakistan had increased phenomenally in the international market. He said that, thanks to embargoes slapped on Pakistan’s defense procurement from time to time, the country had achieved self-reliance in defense manufacturing in different spheres. To a question, the DG DEPO said that, given the shortage of space for demonstration of heavy and mechanized weapons and other security concerns, future events of IDEAS should be shifted to a better location, away from heavily populated areas. He said that, as development of infrastructure in other cities would take time, the immediate shifting of the venue of events and exhibitions such as IDEAS was not possible. He expressed his gratitude for people of Karachi who had shown their most sincere and heartfelt gesture of hospitality for guests from so many countries participating in IDEAS, which had ensured the success of the international exhibition. He said that the occupancy of major hotels in Karachi had shot up to 100 per cent due to the event and such positive trends would surely help promote business and economic activities for benefit of Karachiites.