Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pakistani security forces in Karachi to keep law & order

Pakistani security forces in Karachi to keep law & order (NSI News Source Info) December 3, 2008: A Pakistani suspected of taking part in riots is detained by members of Pakistani security forces during a raid in Karachi on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 in Pakistan. Shooting and violence erupted in different parts of Karachi, the largest city and commercial hub of Pakistan, raising the death toll to 32 in three days of violence. Pakistani police officers patrol in their vehicles along a street in Karachi on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 in Pakistan

Pakistani Taliban hit NATO convoys for third consecutive day

Pakistani Taliban hit NATO convoys for third consecutive day
(NSI News Source Info) December 3, 2008: The Taliban have hit NATO’s precarious supply line through Peshawar the third time in three days. Today, Taliban fighter detonated a bomb under a bridge as a NATO convoy was passing through Peshawar. The bomb was detonated as the lead vehicle crossed the bridge. Two drivers and a driver’s assistant were wounded, and the bridge was heavily damaged. The convoy was stopped dead in its tracks, but the Taliban did not follow up the bombing with an ambush.
Baitullah Mehsud's Taliban pose in front of a captured US Humvee after hijacking a supply column on Nov. 10. Baitullah's Taliban flag is draped over the hood A rocket attack at a truck terminal in Peshawar on Nov. 30 killed a driver and wounding another, and set three NATO shipping containers ablaze. The next day, a Taliban force of 25 men assaulted the truck terminal and killed two drivers and torched 21 trucks. Several Humvees being transported to Afghanistan were burned. The Pakistani military launched a military operation with the intent of clearing the Taliban from the Peshawar district more than three weeks ago. In a press conference, a Pakistan Frontier Corps general briefed on the success of the operation, noting 25 Taliban fighters were killed and 40 captured. The operation, designed to relieve pressure on the provincial capital, was the second military offensive in Peshawar since the summer. Taliban attacks on NATO trucking are only increasing. The most embarrassing incident occurred on Nov. 10, when a large Taliban force hijacked and looted a NATO convoy in the lawless neighboring tribal agency of Khyber. Thirteen containers in all were seized and two Humvees were driven around by Taliban fighters loyal to Baitullah Mehsud, the same Taliban leader a senior Pakistani Army official described as a “patriot” just two days ago. The hijackers had time to take pictures and posed with a Taliban flag draped on the US-made vehicle. A NATO official said the attacks are not a serious threat to operations in Afghanistan. “The attacks that have taken place on NATO supplies, while of concern, have not been of strategic significance,” said NATO spokesman James Appathurai. “They have not affected the operation in any substantial way.” The increase in Taliban attacks comes as Pakistani military officials threatened to move some or all of the 100,000 troops based in northwestern Pakistan to the eastern border with India after tensions have risen over the Mumbai terror siege last week. The Indian government has demanded the Pakistani government hand over a list of 20 senior members and operatives of several terror groups openly operating inside Pakistan. The withdrawal of Pakistani troops, or even the shift of some military units, could put NATO’s supply lines through Peshawar at risk. The Taliban control large swaths of terrirtory in Paksitan's northwest, while the military is bogged down in heavy fighting in Swat and Bajaur. The Peshawar route is the most used by NATO to supply its forces in Afghanistan. An estimated 70 percent of NATO supplies move through Khyber to resupply troops fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The bulk of NATO's supplies arrive in the port city of Karachi, move north to Peshawar, and head west to the Torkham crossing into Afghanistan and the final destination in Kabul. The rest of the supplies pass through the Chaman border crossing point in Baluchistan or arrive via air. NATO is seeking alternative routes through the former Soviet republics and China, however the road and rail infrastructure is poor and the routes add a significant amount of time and expense to move supplies into Afghanistan.

Fifth Gripen Fighter Delivered to South Africa

Fifth Gripen Fighter Delivered to South Africa
(NSI News Source Info) December 3, 2008: South Africa has taken delivery of its fifth Gripen multi-role fighter as part of the SA Air Force’s modernisation and transformation programme. The aircraft, a dual seat operational type conversion variant, arrived in Cape Town on Saturday 29th November.
South Africa ordered 26 Gripens, of which nine are dual seat aircraft. Deliveries of 17 single-seat fighters will commence when the dual-seat aircraft have all been taken into SA Air Force service with the final aircraft on schedule to be delivered by 2012.
The aircraft and associated industrial offset benefits are being delivered according to the schedule stipulated by South Africa when it ordered the aircraft in December 1999. The SA Air Force Gripen fleet is operated by 2 Squadron, stationed at AFB Makhado in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province.
The first group of six pilot instructors is currently undergoing training on Gripen at AFB Makhado. All six pilots made their first Gripen solo flights on 26 October. The training course is being delivered by Saab instructors.
Apart from the comprehensive conversion to type training for pilots and maintenance technicians, Saab has also provided and delivered Mission Simulators, a Computer Based Training System, and an extensive Logistics Support Package consisting of Ground Support Equipment, spare parts and enabling products that are located at AFB Makhado as well as other SAAF supporting bases.

DTN News: Humvee Remains Dominant Despite MRAP Craze

DTN News: Humvee Remains Dominant Despite MRAP Craze
(NSI News Source Info) NEWTOWN, Conn. - December 3, 2008: The international market for light wheeled combat vehicles remains a highly competitive and dynamic environment. In its annual analysis "The Market for Light Wheeled Vehicles" the Forecast International Weapons Group expects the market will produce over 71,300 light wheeled vehicles, worth in excess of $21.789 billion, through 2017.
Since 2005, the Forecast International Weapons Group has considered the impact of the AM General High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle on the light wheeled vehicle market.
Prior to the emergence of the global war on terror, the HMMWV served as essentially a utility vehicle, not a dedicated combat vehicle.
However, in the asymmetric warfare environment of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, circumstances are forcing the HMMWV to evolve into a light armored vehicle.
Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, notes that the HMMWV has a significant impact on the overall market. “As the market statistics clearly indicate, the HMMWV will utterly dominate the market during the forecast period," Lockwood said
"We expect the HMMWV will account for 67.76 percent of all light wheeled vehicle production worldwide, worth a commanding 34.18 percent of the market value, through 2017.”
Despite the dominance of the HMMWV, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program has emerged as the short-term star of the market. Through September 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense has placed orders for 15,197 MRAP vehicles, with deliveries to be complete in 2009.
The total value of all MRAP-related contract awards through September 2008 is nearly $12.406 billion. During the 2008-2009 timeframe, Forecast International expects the four primary MRAP contractors – BAE Systems, Force Protection Industries, General Dynamics Land Systems and Navistar/IMG – will combine to produce 11,590 MRAP vehicles in various configurations.
This level of production makes MRAP the second-most prolific program in this market, accounting for 16.24 percent of all light wheeled vehicle production worldwide, worth 28.85 percent of the market value, through 2017.
Forecast International, Inc., is a leading provider of Market Intelligence and Analysis in the areas of aerospace, defense, power systems and military electronics. Based in Newtown, Conn., USA, Forecast International specializes in long-range industry forecasts and market assessments used by strategic planners, marketing professionals, military organizations, and governments worldwide.

Boeing Airborne Laser Team Fires High-Energy Laser Through Beam Control System

Boeing Airborne Laser Team Fires High-Energy Laser Through Beam Control System (NSI News Source Info) EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - December 2, 2008: The Boeing Company, industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency last week fired a high-energy laser through the Airborne Laser's (ABL) beam control/fire control system, completing the first ground test of the entire weapon system integrated aboard the aircraft. During the test at Edwards Air Force Base, the laser beam traveled through the beam control/fire control system before exiting the aircraft through the nose-mounted turret. The beam control/fire control system steered and focused the beam onto a simulated ballistic-missile target. "This test is significant because it demonstrated that the Airborne Laser missile defense program has successfully integrated the entire weapon system aboard the ABL aircraft," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "With the achievement of the first firing of the laser aboard the aircraft in September, the team has now completed the two major milestones it hoped to accomplish in 2008, keeping ABL on track to conduct the missile shootdown demonstration planned for next year." Michael Rinn, Boeing vice president and ABL program director, said the next step for the program is a series of longer-duration laser firings through the beam control/fire control system. "Once we complete those tests, we will begin demonstrating the entire weapon system in flight," Rinn said. "The team is meeting its commitment to deliver this transformational directed-energy weapon system in the near term." The program has logged many accomplishments over the past several years. In 2005, the high-energy laser demonstrated lethal levels of duration and power in the System Integration Laboratory at Edwards. In 2007, ABL completed numerous flight tests that demonstrated its ability to track an airborne target, measure and compensate for atmospheric conditions, and deliver a surrogate high-energy laser's simulated lethal beam on the target. In September 2008, the team achieved "first light" by firing the high-energy laser into a calorimeter aboard the aircraft. Boeing is the prime contractor for ABL, which will provide speed-of-light capability to destroy all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight. The ABL aircraft is a modified Boeing 747-400F whose back half holds the high-energy laser, designed and built by Northrop Grumman. The front section of the aircraft contains the beam control/fire control system, developed by Lockheed Martin, and the battle management system, provided by Boeing.

Iran to hold large-scale naval drills in Gulf of Oman

Iran to hold large-scale naval drills in Gulf of Oman (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN - December 2, 2008: Iran is to hold on December 2-7 a large-scale naval exercise involving over 60 warships in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian television reported on Monday, citing the navy commander. "Over 60 combat vessels will take part in the exercise, codenamed Ettehad-87, in the Gulf of Oman," Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said. The four-stage exercise will involve destroyers, missile boats, submarines, helicopters, fighters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). "The goal of the exercise is to improve the combat readiness of the Iranian navy to counter potential external threats and to test modern weaponry developed by the Iranian defense industry," the admiral said. Sayyari confirmed last week the delivery of two new domestically-built missile boats, Kalat (Fortress) and Derafsh (Flag), as well as a Ghadir-class light submarine to the Iranian navy. Iran has launched a domestic weapons procurement campaign aimed at improving its defense capabilities and has announced the development of 109 types of advanced military equipment over the past two years. Tehran has conducted several high-profile war games this year, while promising to strike back hard against in the event of any attack, including closing off the Strait of Hormuz, through which over 25% of world oil passes. There has been continued speculation that the United States or Israel might launch air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. Washington and Tel Aviv have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military action against Iran over its refusal to halt its controversial nuclear program. Iran says it needs the program for peaceful power generation.

Ukrainian Army Has Received 56 Bulat Main Battle Tanks

Ukrainian Army Has Received 56 Bulat Main Battle Tanks (NSI News Source Info) December 2, 2008: During the last year the military units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces received from Kharkiv 56 Bulat main battle tanks (MBT), which are an upgraded version of the T-64B battle tank. This was announced by Alexey Podgorniy, the acting director general of the Kharkiv-based State Enterprise Malyshev Plant. The next year is to see delivery of another 30 upgraded tanks. If provided with relevant financial support, the Malyshev Plant will be able to establish in the near future the facilities for production of the first ten Oplot MBTs. The Oplot MBT, which is to enter service with the separate tank brigade of the 6th Army Corps of the Ukrainian Army, is the first national tank of Ukraine. The Oplot features a 1200 hp engine, automatic gearbox, new fire control system, excellent tactical and mobility characteristics, good crew ergonomics and, if compared with similar foreign tanks, low cost. Besides, it is planned to supply three Atlet armoured repair and recovery vehicles and ten BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers. These armoured vehicles, according to the General Designer of Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau Lt Gen Mikhailo Borysiuk, are in many aspects are on a par with the most advanced foreign vehicles.

Ukrainian Army includes Atlet ARRV

Ukrainian Army includes Atlet ARRV (NSI News Source Info) December 2, 2008: On 24 November, 2008, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence took a decision to accept for service with the Ukrainian Army the Atlet armoured repair and recovery vehicle (ARRV) developed by the State Enterprise Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau. This ARRV is intended to carry out the following missions: recover and tow a disabled tank, self-propelled artillery system, and other similar vehicles; repair the vehicles; and carry out welding and excavation work.
The vehicle is fitted with towing devices, winches, crane, dozer blade, load platform as well as a full range of tools and contrivances to carry out repairs of armoured vehicles. The total weight of the ARRV is 46 tons, and it has a crew of three.
The armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun that can ba laid and fired from within the vehicle under complete armour protection.

Philippines Army In Readiness

Philippines Army In Readiness (NSI News Source Info) December 2, 2008: Government soldiers assembled in front of the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) during a simultaneous inspections of troops inside a military headquarter in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city, metro Manila November 28, 2008. The Philippines assembled hundreds of soldiers and dozens of armoured vehicles in five key military bases in the capital on Friday, assessing preparedness of troops against attacks and protest similar to Mumbai and Bangkok. The Philippines army soldiers assembled in readiness for a simultaneous inspections of troops inside a military headquarter in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city, metro Manila November 28, 2008