Friday, November 28, 2008

China Concentrating R&D On Military Technology

China Concentrating R&D On Military Technology (NSI News Source Info) November 29, 2008: China appears to be developing an over-the-horizon (OTH) radar that can spot large ships (like American aircraft carriers) as far as 3,000 kilometers away, and use this information to guide ballistic missiles to the area,. Such radars have long been used to detect ballistic missile launches, and approaching heavy bombers. Some OTH radars have been modified to take advantage of the flat surface of an ocean, to pick up large objects, like ships. Cheaper and more powerful computers enable such OTH radars to more accurately identify ships thousands of kilometers away.

An Over-The-Horizon (OTH) Radar

China's principal weapon would be their DF-21 ballistic missile, equipped with a high-explosive warhead and a guidance system that can home in and hit a aircraft carrier at sea. The DF-21 has a range of 1800 kilometers and normally hauls a 300 kiloton nuclear warhead. It's a two stage, 15 ton, solid fuel rocket that could carry a half ton penetrating, high-explosive warhead, along with the special guidance system (a radar and image recognition system). It is believed that the Chinese have reverse engineered, reinvented or stolen the 1970s technology that went into the U.S. Pershing ballistic missile. This 7.5 ton U.S. Army missile also had an 1,800 kilometers range, and could put its nuclear warhead within 30 meters of its aim point. This was possible because the guidance system had its own radar. This kind of accuracy made the Russians very uncomfortable, as it made their command bunkers vulnerable. The Russians eventually agreed to a lot of nuclear and missile disarmament deals in order to get the Pershings decommissioned in the 1980s. The Chinese have long been rumored to have a system like this, but there have been no tests. If the Chinese do succeed in creating a "carrier killer" version of the DF-21, the U.S. Navy can modify its Aegis anti-missile system to protect carriers against such attacks. There are also electronic warfare options, to blind the DF-21 radar. Another problem the Chinese will have is getting a general idea of where the target carrier is before they launch the DF-21. This is not impossible, but can be difficult. China is developing the technologies, and it's only a matter of time before they can actually do it, or at least try to.

Ka-52 Alligator helicopter production launched

Ka-52 Alligator helicopter production launched
(NSI News Source Info) November 29, 2008: A new-generation Ka-52 Alligator combat helicopter making a demonstration flight over the airfield at the Progress Aviation Plant in Arsenyev. The multi-role Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter is an improved derivative of the two-seat mass-produced Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter.
Deliveries of the Ka-52 Hokum-B to the Russian Air Force will start in 2009. The Kamov design bureau has said it plans to supply Ka-50 and Ka-52 helicopters to foreign customers in the future.

Uganda: Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) - War Without End

Uganda: Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) - War Without End (NSI News Source Info) November 28, 2008: Uganda's internationally-directed mediation team issued a statement designed to put pressure on the LRA's Joseph Kony. Negotiators said that Kony "must" sign the peace agreement by the end of November 2008.
However, the mediation team did not say what would happen if Kony does not sign the agreement.
Congo and Uganda have indicated they would take combined military action against the LRA. Of course, the LRA appears to have anticipated this.
LRA cadres are now operating in the Central African Republic. Will the demand motivate Kony? He still faces arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court. An LRA spokesman said on November 27 that Kony would sign it. Several thousand more civilians have fled the Congo violence, and crossed into Uganda. So far, about 15,000 refugees have arrived. November 14, 2008: While the Congo has numerous troubles already in eastern Congo, LRA raids in Congo in September (which killed at least 200 people) have led to new regional security talks between Uganda and the Congolese government. The Government of South Sudan may also be involved. The Government of South Sudan knows that the Sudan government (in Khartoum) has used the LRA as a "tool" against Uganda. If trouble erupts between north and south Sudan the LRA could be a "north Sudanese tool" for use against the south. A UN report described the LRA attacks in Congo were "systematic." The LRA guerrillas abducted approximately a hundred Congolese children. They also abducted children in a series of attacks in Sudan. This is an old LRA tactic. The children was used to carry supplies. Over time they may become "LRA recruits." November 13, 2008: Since the Museveni government came to power in 1986 it has confronted Uganda's traditional "north-south" divide. The war with the LRA in some ways reflects this division. The LRA largely comes from the Acholi tribe in northeastern Uganda. Museveni is a southerner. Museveni has, in the view of northerners, favored southern tribal groups. This is one reason the government's "recovery and reconciliation program" (part of the peace process with the LRA) has focused on "reconstruction" efforts in northern Uganda. However, the northerners aren't "sold" on the government's sincerity. The Ugandan press makes that evident. This is one reason LRA die-hards refuse to surrender. They think if they can hang on long enough, government reconciliation programs will fail and the north will be ready to rebel again. This is why LRA senior commander Joseph Kony still claims the LRA is fighting "against the marginalization of the north" (ie, northern Uganda).

ST Aero to Retrofit Indonesian C-130Bs

ST Aero to Retrofit Indonesian C-130Bs (NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE - November 28, 2008: Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced that its aerospace arm, Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (ST Aerospace), has been awarded a US$51 million (about S$75m) contract to perform maintenance and modification on four C-130B aircraft for the Indonesian Air Force (IAF). The programme commences immediately and is expected to be completed over 30 months. The work will be performed by ST Aerospace's subsidiary, ST Aerospace Engineering Pte Ltd (STA Engineering). This contract is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year. "We are pleased that the Indonesian Air Force has selected us for this programme. We have previously provided services to IAF, and the continued endorsement through this new contract demonstrates its satisfaction with our quality proposition. With our extensive experience on the C-130 and our performances in serving leading air forces and airlines around the world, we look forward to bring value to the IAF and meet its expectations," said Tay Kok Khiang, President, ST Aerospace. ST Aerospace is the aerospace arm of ST Engineering. Operating a global MRO network with facilities in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, it is the world's largest aircraft MRO provider with a global customer base that includes many of the world's leading airlines, airfreight operators and military operators. Its services include airframe, engine and component maintenance, repair and overhaul; engineering design and technical services; and aviation materials and management services, including Total Aviation Support. ST Aerospace has a global staff strength of more than 7,000 engineers and technical specialists.

Iran Says Navy Can Strike Well Beyond Its Coast

Iran Says Navy Can Strike Well Beyond Its Coast
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Source; War News Updates - November 28, 2008: Iran's navy can strike an enemy well beyond its shores and as far away as Bab al-Mandab, the southern entrance to the Red Sea that leads to the Suez Canal, an Iranian naval commander said on Thursday.
Naval Commander Mahmoud Mousavi also repeated Iran's assertion that it could control the Strait of Hormuz, the entrance to the strategic Gulf waterway that is on Iran's coast, Fars News Agency reported.
The United States, Iran's arch-foe which has a naval base in Bahrain on the Arab side of the Gulf, has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to end a row over Iran's nuclear plans which Washington says is to make bombs. Tehran denies this.
"We have now attained the capacity to take our defence capability to the depth of the seas, oceans and the Red Sea and face the enemy at the Bab al-Mandab strait if the enemy should have an evil intention," Mousavi said.

Indian Commandos abseil into Mumbai Jewish centre

Indian Commandos abseil into Mumbai Jewish centre
Video: Commandos storm Jewish centre (ABC News) VIDEO ON LINE Video: Mumbai stand-off continues (ABC News) VIDEO ON LINE (NSI News Source Info) November 28, 2008: Commandos have launched a helicopter-borne assault on the Mumbai Jewish centre where suspected Islamist militants are holding at least 10 Israelis, live television pictures showed. Witnesses said the first group of seven armed men crouched on the roof of the building as the helicopter returned to drop at least 10 more military personnel. Intermittent loud explosions were heard. The black-clad soldiers cautiously took up positions on stairs and balconies around the outside of the building as equipment was dropped from the helicopter hovering above. It was not clear if the commandos involved in the assault were Indian or Israeli. Hundreds of witnesses gathered on nearby rooftops to observe the operation. A witness said security forces fired into the building, apparently to provide cover, as commandos rappelled down a rope from the helicopter. Indian authorities said they were still "mopping up" at the Oberoi-Trident hotel, where terrorists are believed to have held people hostage. A number of Australians, including Hunter Valley winery manager Garrick Harvison, are still in the Oberoi waiting for the all clear from Indian security forces. At least 125 people have been killed and more than 300 injured after terrorists armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades carried out attacks across India's financial capital late on Wednesday night (local time). Police said at least five gunmen had been shot dead and one captured. The Jewish cultural centre is run by the orthodox Chabad movement. Seven people escaped from the site earlier this morning. Earlier, the chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, Jonathan Solomon, said that he believed a number of Israeli nationals were being held at gunpoint. "There is an Israeli rabbi and his wife and a kid has been staying in the house," he said. "The kid is now safely out of the house and with the Israeli consulate. But two Israeli couples are inside the house and we are anxious about them." Additional Info:
Commandos storm Mumbai Jewish centre (NSI News Source Info) MUMBAI, INDIA - Nov 28 2008 05:09
Heavy gunfire erupted on Friday after Indian commandos were dropped by helicopter on to the roof of a Jewish centre in Mumbai, where suspected Islamist militants are holding at least 10 Israelis, a Reuters witness said. Television reports said it was the start of an assault by the paramilitary National Security Guard to flush out the militants.
The Jewish centre was one of three pockets in the country's financial capital where Indian forces were battling die-hard militants, more than 24 hours after the band of heavily armed fighters killed at least 121 people in coordinated attacks.
The Reuters witness said troops fired into the Jewish centre, apparently to provide cover, as commandos rappeled down ropes from helicopters that made at least three sorties. Television showed the commandos taking up positions on the roof.
The building is in a crowded part of the city, making a frontal assault difficult.Police said militants were still holed up as well at the Taj Mahal hotel and the nearby Oberoi-Trident hotel along with an unknown number of hostages.
There are seven South African Airways crew members still trapped in the Oberoi-Trident hotel, the Foreign Affairs Department said on Friday.
"Foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma telephoned them on Thursday. The crew indicated that despite their ordeal, they remain in good health," said spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.
A Reuters witness said commandos also entered the Oberoi-Trident on Friday morning, although there were no immediate signs of fighting.
Mumbai, a city of 18-million, is the nerve-centre of India's growing economic might and home to the Bollywood film industry. Hindu-dominated India, which has a sizeable Muslim minority, has been hit by militant attacks for decades. But this strike seemed aimed at crippling its ability to draw foreign investment.Its markets closed on Thursday because of the attacks but India's market regulator said he had asked stock exchanges to be ready to trade on Friday, with a final decision to be made later.
Pinning blame
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pinned blame for the attacks on militant groups based in India's neighbours, usually an allusion to Pakistan, raising prospects of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.He warned of "a cost" if these nations did not take action to stop their territory being used to launch such attacks.
An estimated 25 men armed with assault rifles and grenades -- at least some of whom arrived by sea -- had fanned out across Mumbai on Wednesday night to attack sites popular with tourists and businessmen, including the city's top two luxury hotels.
Police said at least seven of the attackers were killed and nine suspects had been taken into custody. They said 12 policemen were killed, including Hemant Karkare, chief of the police anti-terrorist squad in Mumbai.
At least six foreigners, including one Australian, a Briton, an Italian and a Japanese national, were killed. Scores of others were trapped in the fighting or were being held hostage.Police said 279 people were wounded.
Pakistan group
The Hindu newspaper said at least three of the attackers taken into custody were members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, based in Pakistan.
The group made its name fighting Indian rule in disputed Kashmir, and has been closely linked in the past to the Pakistani military's Inter Services Intelligence agency, the ISI.
Lashkar-e-Taiba has denied any role in the attacks.
"It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country," Prime Minister Singh said on Thursday.
"We will take up strongly with our neighbours that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated, and that there would be a cost if suitable measures are not taken by them," he said in a televised address.
Pakistan, condemning the assault, promised full cooperation.
The militants appeared to specifically target Britons, Americans and Israelis, witnesses said.
World leaders including United States president-elect Barack Obama condemned the incident.
The attacks brought the biggest chaos to the city since serial bombings in 1993, blamed on the city's Muslim crime syndicates, killed 260 people and injured hundreds. - Reuters