Wednesday, September 30, 2009
DTN News: Boeing Wins $5.4 Million U.S. Air Force Contract *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE, USA - September 30, 2009: The Boeing Co. said Tuesday it received a $5.4 million contract to integrate a new satellite communication system into the U.S. Air Force B-52 fleet. The system will enable communication with the B-52 from ground, air and space platforms. The first of three contract phases has been authorized to begin and includes planning, risk mitigation and development of system requirements. Phase two will cover the design and installation of the communication hardware. Phase three will integrate the new system into the global information grid, Boeing said. Total contract value is expected to be more than $100 million. Chicago-based Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) Integrated Defense Systems unit in St. Louis is the second-largest employer in the region with 16,000 workers.
DTN News: Russia Concerned Over Revised U.S. Missile Defense Plan Plan *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 30, 2009: Russia's envoy to NATO is calling for guarantees from Washington that a revised U.S. missile defense plan won't threaten Moscow. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, center, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, examine a Belarusian drone while visiting a military base during the West 2009 joint military exercises near Brest in western Belarus on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. Russia and Belarus on Tuesday completed two days of massive joint military exercises on bases that are close to borders with NATO members. Dmitry Rogozin says that the prospective U.S. system involving missiles on navy ships could potentially cause Russia concern. He said Tuesday that Russia wants assurances that the prospective U.S. system would be only aimed to counter short- and medium-range missiles. President Barack Obama earlier this month dumped a plan for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, which Moscow fervently opposed. Obama said that a shield involving a network of sensors and missiles at sea or on land would be deployed instead. Rogozin demanded guarantees that the planned U.S. missile defenses won't move close to Russia's borders.
DTN News: BAE Wins U.K. Deal For 24 Viking Vehicles *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 30, 2009: BAE Systems has secured its first order for an upgraded Viking all-terrain vehicle with a deal to supply 24 to the British military. The Sept. 29 announcement comes 24 hours after rival all-terrain vehicle contractor ST Kinetics rolled out the first of the similar Warthog machines also ordered for the military here. Viking (BvS10) is a fully amphibious armoured all-terrain vehicle, which consists of two tracked vehicle units linked by a steering mechanism. The UK Ministry of Defence ordered 108 Vikings from BAE Systems, Land Systems Hagglunds (formerly Alvis Hagglunds), in three variants – Troop Carrier (TCV), Command Vehicle (CV) and repair Recovery Vehicle (RCV). The 24 million pound ($38.2 million) deal to supply the Viking Mk II will see the vehicle delivered to the Ministry of Defence in early 2010 and deployed to British forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan by spring. The vehicles are primarily an attrition buy to replace Viking Mk1s damaged in theater, including a number lost to roadside bombs. Twenty two of the BvS10 Mk II vehicles, developed and built in BAE's Swedish factory at Ornskoldsvik, will be the troop-carrying variant and two will be in command vehicle configuration. The upgraded vehicles have better protection, a more powerful engine, more electrical power and other improvements compared with the Mk1. A spokeswoman for the MoD said the entire Viking fleet, including the new vehicles, will be returned to the Royal Marines for operations outside Afghanistan once ST Kinetics' Warthog machines are available in theater in sufficient numbers. The spokeswoman declined to say how many Vikings had been damaged beyond repair or when they would be entirely withdrawn from the country. The Vikings were originally operated only by the Royal Marines, but the vehicles' all-terrain capabilities have seen them adopted by Army units fighting in Afghanistan. In a statement, BAE said the MoD has acquired 166 Vikings, of which around 50 have been used in Afghanistan by the Royal Marines and other units. But when the MoD started looking for an urgent operational requirement procurement of a vehicle with greater protection and higher payload than the Viking Mk1, it turned to Singapore-based ST Kinetics for its Warthog rather than acquire the up-rated BAE machine. ST Kinetics secured a 150 million pound contract from the United Kingdom late last year to purchase slightly more than 100 vehicles. The first production standard Warthog, a version of the Bronco vehicle, rolled out from the Singapore production line Sept 28. The British will take delivery of the first Warthog before the end of the year and the first vehicle is expected to be deployed in Afghanistan by mid-2010. As part of the deal, Thales UK will be integrating communications, electronic warfare and other equipment on the Warthog at a factory in the United Kingdom. Earlier in September, the government committed to speeding up delivery of Warthogs. Details of how that will be achieved have yet to be made public. One of the methods expected to be adopted is flying the vehicles to the U.K. for fitting out rather than transporting them by sea. The Viking Mk II and its Singaporean rival are now head-to-head in a competition to meet a French requirement for 129 vehicles. An announcement on a winner is expected by the end of the year.
DTN News: Israel Takes Delivery Of 2 German-Built U212 Submarines *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - September 30, 2009: Israel has taken delivery of two German-built submarines, a military spokesman said Sept. 29. "We have received two Dolphin-class submarines," he said on condition of anonymity. The U212 submarine is capable of long-distance submerged passage to the area of operation. The German Navy has ordered four of the submarines. The Type 212 is being constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) of Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) of Enden. HDW is responsible for the bow sections and TNSW for the stern section. HDW is assembling the first and third vessels, TNSW the second and fourth. U31, the first of class, was launched in March 2002 and commissioned in October 2005. The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. Delivery was initially expected in 2010. Including the new subs, Israel has five German submarines - the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal. Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the Holocaust, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War. It split the cost of the third. According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 2,810 miles and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be key in any attack on Iran's controversial nuclear sites. An Israeli submarine recently used the Suez Canal for the first time in June, escorted by Egyptian navy vessels, in what Israeli media said was intended as a message to Iran. Widely considered the Middle East's sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, Israel suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, a charge Tehran denies.
DTN News: British Forces Upgrading Puma Helicopters Fleet For Deployment in Afghanistan *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 30, 2009: Britain's Ministry of Defence has signed a deal with Eurocopter UK to extend the life of up to 30 Pumas operated by the Joint Helicopter Command. The contract is valued at around 300 million pounds ($476 million) and includes new engines, avionics and communications equipment. A RAF Puma HC1 painted in desert colours. Whilst UKSF are often supported by specialized flights of the RAF/Army Air Corps and Navy, sometimes they are flown by other units. It is believed that RAF Pumas have been supporting SAS 'Task Force Black' in Iraq. In April 2007, two Pumas from No 230 Squadron, RAF, collided north of Baghdad during a covert operation in support of the SAS. Pumas assigned to SAS support reportedly carry extra communications gear to enable them to carry out their missions. Defensive countermeasures such as radio/infrared jammers and decoy flare launchers help protect against incoming missiles. Pumas can also be fitted with GPMGs on pintle-mounts at the cabin doorways to provide covering fire. The announcement comes days after the MoD announced a 408 million-pound program to upgrade its entire fleet of Boeing-built Chinook medium-lift helicopters with more powerful engines and avionics. The Labour administration here has come under sustained criticism for providing insufficient helicopter resources for British troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the last couple of years its response has included the purchase of more AgustaWestland Merlin helicopters and the update of Lynx and Sea King rotorcraft destined for operations in Afghanistan. The deal with Eurocopter will see 28 Pumas updated with an option for a further two airframes to be included in the program. The work will extend the out of service date of the modified rotorcraft from 2012 to 2022. By that time it is hoped the proposed Future Medium Helicopter program will have started feeding new machines into service with the Joint Helicopter Command. Some 34 Pumas are currently capable of being deployed, although they are not at theatre entry standards for use in Afghanistan. Aircraft from the 34 not modified will eventually be used for spares. The remainder of the fleet's 43 helicopters are being scrapped, said a ministry spokesman. Deliveries are due to start in 2011 with the first 14 helicopters due to enter service by the end of 2012. Aircraft modification is being undertaken in Romania. The MoD spokesman said the upgrade work being done by Eurocopter's Romanian subsidiary represented 10 percent of the contract value. The largest single slice of the work, about 60 percent by value, goes to France. Much of that results from a 45 million-pound deal with Turbomeca for new engines. Defence procurement minister Quentin Davis said the upgrades would allow the Puma "to meet the requirements of battlefield commanders to transport troops in the hottest and most demanding conditions that we encounter in Afghanistan. The upgrades amount to a significant capability enhancement for the aircraft."
DTN News: Venezuela Gives Ecuador Six Mirage 50 Jets *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) QUITO, Ecuador - September 30, 2009: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced September 28 he will receive six Mirage 50 jets "in good condition" donated by Venezuela, amid concerns of a South American arms race. "Venezuela wants to give us six Mirage jets ... we are going to accept them," Correa said in the northern town of Ibarra. The Venezuelan Mirage 5-fleet was in the process of being upgraded to 50EV-standard at the time of the coup, and only two modified aircraft were in country. It remains unknown if these, or some of the – then – unmodified Mirage IIIEVs were used for strike against Baraquisimento AB, during which five FAV VF/NF-5s were destroyed on the ground, mainly by 30mm cannon fire. Correa added that the country was discussing the purchase of a further 12 jets from South Africa and 24 Super Tucano fighters from Brazil, as well as radar systems and helicopters. It is just the latest sign of a military build up in South America and what the United States has warned could become an arms race. Venezuela, led by leftist President Hugo Chavez, recently announced a $2.2 billion from Russia to buy weapons. The purchases have come as tensions have grown between Ecuador, its Venezuelan ally and Colombia over support of leftist Colombian rebels and Bogota's agreement to allow the United States to use Colombian military bases.
DTN News: Taiwan Military Delegation In US, Seeking F-16s *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - September 30, 2009: Taiwan wants to buy more F-16 fighter jets and will press the issue at an annual defence meeting with US officials, a military officer said Monday. The plea for new jets comes amid growing concern in Taiwan that the balance of power with China is shifting in favour of the mainland. "We'll utilise the opportunity to again express the hope of buying F-16s," the Taiwan defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The US-Taiwan Defence Industry Conference 2009 in the US state of Virginia, which runs from Sunday until Tuesday, will include speeches by state and defence department officials. The Taiwanese side is headed by Deputy Defence Minister Chaou Shih-chang, the military official said. Taiwan applied to the US government to buy 66 F-16 fighters in early 2007, but observers said Washington held up the deal for fear of angering Beijing. Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council which organised the conference, urged the Obama administration to approve the purchase, citing China's growing military might. The new planes are meant to beef up the air force's combat strength until Taiwan can buy so-called "third generation" fighters from the United States, military officers said. The United States agreed in 1992 to sell Taiwan 150 less sophisticated F-16 fighters, but refused to supply the F-16 C/Ds that the island now wants. The F-16 C/Ds have a longer range and more powerful ground attack capability. Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command, warned earlier this month that Sino-US ties could face at least temporary strain if the US administration agrees to sell Taiwan the advanced F-16 jets. The United States has remained Taiwan's leading arms supplier even though it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. China opposes any arms sales to Taiwan, which it regards as part of its territory.
DTN News: Rheinmetall And KMW Hand Over First Serially Produced Boxer Vehicle *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) MUNICH, Germany - September 30, 2009: The armed forces of Germany and the Netherlands have taken delivery of an optimally protected, highly mobile transport vehicle with massive useful load carrying capacity. At a ceremony in Munich, Rheinmetall Defence and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) transferred the first serially produced Boxer to the Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matiere d'Armement (OCCAR), which is administering the Boxer project, and Germany's Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB). (Image: Rheinmetall has acquired Dutch armored vehicle company Stork PWV, a move that gives the German armor company control of Artec, the company created to develop the Boxer armored vehicle for the Dutch and German armies). The transfer took place in the presence of German defence minister Dr. Franz-Josef Jung, and Dutch defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop. The series order for the Boxer includes a total of 272 vehicles for the German Bundeswehr and 200 for the Dutch armed forces. The Dutch Army will take delivery of the Boxer from 2011 through to the end of 2016. "The Boxer project underscores the cutting edge position of the German defence industry, and not just in Europe", declares Klaus Eberhardt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall Defence, noting that "no other vehicle is so systematically oriented to the current and future needs of the armed forces. We thus see strong potential for additional international sales." In the words of Frank Haun, Chief Executive Officer of KMW, "the Boxer is an impressive example of European defence cooperation. The German and Dutch armed forces are getting a highly protected, highly mobile transport vehicle that's specifically designed to meet the needs of the modern military. I'm especially pleased that the defence ministers of both Germany and the Netherlands are on hand for the official transfer, which indicates the importance which both countries attach to the Boxer project." The Boxer armoured transport vehicle is a pioneering, highly mobile 8x8 wheeled vehicle. Thanks to its modular design, it can be quickly modified for a wide variety of missions, going from a medivac role, for instance, to a command and control configuration. To do this, all that is necessary is to exchange the mission modules on the vehicle chassis. When configured as a section (squad) transport vehicle, the Boxer can carry up to ten men, who benefit from excellent protection against landmines and ballistic threats: the fully armoured fighting compartment assures maximum crew survivability. Superb mobility, excellent self-defence weaponry and a heavy payload are further key features of this versatile, highly flexible transport vehicle. Rheinmetall and KMW have joined forces with other national and international partners in the ARTEC consortium to make the Boxer a reality.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
DTN News: Australia's Versatile BUSHMASTER Infantry Mobility Vehicle, Performing Satisfactorily In Iraq And Afghanistan With NATO Forces
DTN News: Australia's Versatile BUSHMASTER Infantry Mobility Vehicle, Performing Satisfactorily In Iraq And Afghanistan With NATO Forces *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) CANBERRA, Australia - September 29, 2009: The Bushmaster 4x4 armoured vehicle is currently deployed in southern Iraq with the Australian Army's Al Muthanna Task Group. The Bushmaster armoured vehicle, developed by Thales Australia (formerly ADI Limited) in Australia is in full production at Thales's engineering and manufacturing facility at Bendigo, Victoria. The vehicle was operationally deployed to Iraq in April 2005 and the US Army and Iraqi defence officials have expressed interest in the Bushmaster after observing its capabilities with the Australian Army. The Australian Army has tested the vehicle over thousands of kilometres in the extreme climatic conditions and terrain from sub-zero mountain areas to desert and tropical conditions. With a road cruise speed of 90km/h, the Bushmaster transports up to ten troops, quickly and comfortably. The Australian Army has tested the vehicle over thousands of kilometres in the extreme climatic conditions and terrain from sub-zero mountain areas to desert and tropical conditions in north Australia. In July 2002, the Australian Army awarded a contract to ADI Limited for 300 Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles in six variants: troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command. The first of 300 Bushmaster vehicles was delivered to the Australian Army in August 2004 and the vehicle was operationally deployed to Iraq in April 2005 and Afghanistan in September 2005. Deliveries are scheduled to complete in 2008. In June 2006, the first batch of 152 troop transport variants completed delivery. Delivery of the command variant is underway. In February 2006, ADI signed a licensing agreement with Oshkosh Truck Corporation of USA to market, manufacture and support the Bushmaster for North American customers and countries eligible for foreign military sales. In January 2007, Oshkosh was awarded a contract by the US Marine Corps for two category II Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, to be based on the Bushmaster, which will then undergo testing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. In August 2006, the Royal Netherlands Army placed a contract for 25 Bushmaster vehicles, for operations in Afghanistan. For speed of deployment, the vehicles are being supplied from those already delivered to the Australian Army. 12 vehicles are being fitted with Thales SWARM remote-controlled weapon system and all vehicles have the Thales SOTAS M2 multimedia communication system and Thales Claire thermal imager. The vehicles were deployed to Afghanistan in October 2006. In November 2007, the Netherlands Army ordered an additional five vehicles to replace vehicles damaged in Afghanistan. In September 2006, it was announced that Australian Army Bushmaster vehicles would be fitted with a Remote Weapon Station (RWS), for added troop protection. 44 Raven R-400 weapon stations, from Recon Optical of the USA and Electro Optic Systems (EOS) of Australia, have been ordered and upgraded vehicles are to enter service in 2008. In December 2006, the Australian Army ordered a further 143 vehicles. The additional vehicles are to be delivered by 2009. In August 2007, the procurement of another 250 vehicles was announced. In May 2008, under an urgent operational requirement, the UK placed an order for 24 Bushmaster vehicles for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. With a road cruise speed of 90km/h, the Bushmaster transports troops, quickly and comfortably and is suitable for deployment in complex, diffuse and lethal operational environments such as Iraq. The Bushmaster family of vehicles provides high-level protection against anti-tank mines, improvised explosive devices, mortar fragments and small arms fire. BUSHMASTER CREW CABIN Bushmaster is designed to transport up to ten troops. The cabin, with 1,415mm headroom, is fitted with seven face-to-face ergonomically designed seats with full harness seat belts. There is a personal weapons storage area, mission equipment storage, a radio suite, an air-conditioning unit and a cooled water drinking system. "Bushmaster armoured vehicles are available in six variants: troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command." The cabin is fitted with four roof hatches with locking handles to provide protection against ambush and alternative escape routes The vehicle is transportable in C-130 Hercules aircraft for rapid deployment in forward areas of operation. DRIVER'S CABIN The driver and crew cabin areas are ergonomically designed for comfortable travel in varied terrain and harsh environments, minimising crew fatigue and allowing the crew to rest or concentrate on the mission. The engine noise level inside the cabin and crew compartment is very low The cabin is fitted with a large windscreen and side windows for all round visibility. The dashboard is ergonomically arranged, with easily readable and night-vision-goggle-compatible cockpit instrumentation. The driver can use the push-button control central tyre inflation system to adjust the tyre pressure while on the move to suit the terrain type and to keep the tyres inflated with limited punctures. WEAPONS The commander's hatch on the left is equipped with a weapon mount for a 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine gun. A light cannon can also be fitted. The ballistically protected windows can be fitted with optional shooting ports. Lockers can be replaced with additional ammunition and arms or fuel and water tanks to extend the operational radius. The crew seating can be reconfigured to accommodate operational requirements. 44 Australian Army vehicles are being fitted with the Recon Optical / Electro Optic Systems Ltd Raven R-400 weapon station. The system is in service with the US Army, designated the M101 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). Raven sensors include thermal imager, CCD TV and eyesafe laser rangefinder. PROPULSION The Bushmaster engine, a Caterpillar 3126E ATAAC turbocharged six-cylinder, produces up to 246kW (330hp) at 2,400rpm. It provides a power to weight ratio of 16kW/t, cruise speed of 110km/h and maximum speed and 120km/h. The vehicle has an extended range of more than 1,000km. "Bushmaster is designed to transport up to ten troops." A double wishbone independent suspension system designed by Timoney in County Meath, Ireland provides good cross-country mobility across difficult terrains. The complete powerpack, (engine, automatic transmission, cooling system) can be easily replaced in the field without special tools. SELF-PROTECTION The armour-protected chassis protects against the blast of Claymore, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, mortars, improvised explosive devices and NATO 5.56mm and 7.62mm ball ammunition. An upgrade armour kit provides protection against 5.56mm and 7.62mm armour-piercing rounds. The shaped hull deflects the blast from the equivalent of a 9.5kg high-explosive land mine detonated under any wheel or under the centre section of the vehicle. Wire cutters are installed on the roof on both sides of the vehicle to protect soldiers exposed above the roofline. The fuel and hydraulic tanks are located outside the crew compartments to minimise fire risk. The fuel tanks are equipped with fire retardants to prevent explosion and inhibit deterioration of the fuel. A 270l drinking water tank is installed under the floor of the crew compartment, contributing to crew safety in the event of a landmine explosion. The armour protected seating provides additional protection against spinal injuries.
DTN News: First Turkish T129 Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - September 29, 2009: The first prototype of the T129 attack helicopter destined for Turkey has made its maiden flight at an AgustaWestland facility at Vergiate, Italy, the firm said Sept. 28. Turkey is to acquire 50 T129 helicopters, which are based on the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta helicopter now in service with the Italian Army. Turkey announced on 30 March 2007 that it had decided to negotiate with AgustaWestland to purchase 51 (+40 optional) A129 helicopters. Based on the A129 International, they will be assembled in Turkey by TAI as the T129. The deal is reported to be worth $3 Billion. The final contract was signed on September 7, 2007. On 22 June 2008, the agreement between TUSAS Aerospace Industries and AgustaWestland formally entered into force. It has now been confirmed that the T129 will be a 100% Turkish built platform. Under the agreement, TAI will develop an indigenous mission computer, avionics, weapons systems, self-protection suites and the helmet-mounting cuing systems. TUSAS Engine Industries Inc (TEI) will manufacture the LHTEC CTS800-4N engines under licence. Under the agreement, Turkey has full marketing and intellectual property rights for the T129 platform. There are also no restrictions imposed on Turkey for the export or transfer of the platform to third countries (excluding Italy and the United Kingdom). The T129 P1 prototype was flown by test pilots from AgustaWestland and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). AgustaWestland, TAI and Turkish firm Aselan are partners on the program, which features Turkish involvement in design, development and production. In a statement, AgustaWestland said the program is running on time and on budget. Muharrem Dortasli, TAI general manager, said Turkish industry would play a "primary role" in any eventual exports of the T129. AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi called the T129 "the most modern combat helicopter in the world." AgustaWestland has opened a center in Italy to train Turkish engineers on the program. The company also is waiting to hear if its under-development AW149 has been selected by Turkey in a utility helicopter contest, where it is competing against the Sikorsky Black Hawk.
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY September 29, 2009 ~ Pakistanis Flee As Army 'Tightens' Grip On Militants *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - September 29, 2009: As the Pakistani army dispatches fresh troops to Waziristan tribal areas to launch a major offensive against local militants, residents of the area begin migrating to safe places. Local residents stand beside the wreckage of a vehicle at the site of a suicide bombing in Baka Khel area near Bannu, Pakistan on Monday, Sept. 28, 2009. A suicide car bomber attacked a vehicle in Baka Khel killing five people, including Maulvi Abdul Hakim, a tribal leader who was instrumental in allowing security forces to pass through the area and gain access to the North Waziristan tribal region, official said. "The military, backed by gunship helicopters is fully prepared for a major offensive against insurgents in Waziristan. The fresh contingents of security forces have been dispatched to South Waziristan to launch a full scale assault against the militants," a senior Pakistan military official told a Press TV correspondent on Sunday on condition of anonymity. The military reported Monday that five security forces and some 15 militants were killed as Pakistan's army and militants traded rocket and mortar fires in North Waziristan in a pre-dawn attack. Meanwhile, the local administration has issued indefinite curfew in Tehsil Razmik, a region in North Waziristan, urging people to take refugee in safer areas as the operation is looming. In recent months, an increasing number of people have fled the Makeen and Ladha regions in South Waziristan to relatively safer towns. More than 2 million people were displaced by the fighting in the Swat Valley and more than 230,000 of them live in refugee camps. International agencies say the emergency could become much worse if there is a further exodus from Waziristan.
DTN News: Russian Weapons In The Middle East *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 29, 2009: Three events have come together independently. But they produced an intrigue that has hooked both politicians and media in the Middle East. Here is what happened. First, Moscow hosted MVSV-2008, an international show of weapons and military equipment. Then King Abdullah II of Jordan visited the show, met with designers and producers and had a discussion with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. A few days previously, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had flown in for talks with Dmitry Medvedev. The press and television in Amman, Damascus and Tel Aviv made much of the events, especially the Syrian visit. Israeli media claimed Bashar al-Assad had arrived on a purchasing spree, and his main aim was to buy the Iskander-E tactical missile system, in addition to Pantsyr-S1 and Buk-M2 ground-to-air missile systems and Su-30, MiG-29SMT and MiG-31E fighters. The Iskander missile had been promised to Damascus in 2001, and only a personal request by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to former President Vladimir Putin put a stop to its sale to Syria. But now that Israel has helped to train Georgian commandos and equip the Georgian army that attacked South Ossetia, Moscow is within its rights to "repay the debt" and provide Damascus with the system, the media in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv said. Yet Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters during al-Assad's visit that Moscow "is ready to supply Syria only with defensive weapons, ones that do not upset the balance of strength in the region." This means Syria, as Moscow promised to Tel Aviv, will not get the Iskander system. Regarding ground- and air-based air defense units, including interceptor fighters, they are not considered offensive armaments and are immune from Russian-Israeli agreements. It is another matter that military technical cooperation between Moscow and Damascus needs re-evaluating. Syria owes Russia $3 billion for weapons supplied to it, and this on top of Damascus' $10 billion debt for armaments sold in Soviet times which Moscow forgave, incidentally, for a pledge to spend another $2 billion on arms purchases from Russia. Contracts currently being negotiated include Pantsyr and Buk missile systems, as well as Sukhoi and MiG fighters, but not Iskander missiles. The parties are also discussing the expansion of a Russian naval maintenance base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Any movement of Black Sea Fleet forces from Sevastopol to Syria, as some Middle East publications suggest, is, of course, out of the question. But a supply and maintenance center for warships on missions in the Mediterranean will come in handy for Moscow. In the Soviet era, the Soviet Navy's 5th Mediterranean Squadron made full use of this port. King Abdullah's visit to Moscow did not produce as much excitement as the trip by Bashar al-Assad to Sochi, perhaps because problems between Jordan and Israel are not as serious as between Tel Aviv and Damascus. Discussions mainly focused on military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Amman, rather than on Middle East issues. This cooperation is now on the rise, Dmitry Medvedev said during the meeting. "Our relations are making good headway, this is our third meeting in six months and that points to the intensity of our contacts and good-neighbor relations," the president said, opening the discussion. "Trade between our countries grows steadily, although both countries would like to see it develop more quickly," Medvedev said. Jordan lives up to these words. In recent years it has bought from Russia two Il-76MF military transport planes worth a combined $100 million, and six light multi-role Ka-226 helicopters (at an estimated cost of $25 million), which will be assembled in Jordan under license. The two countries have even set up a joint venture, Oboronprom Middle East, to assemble 15 to 20 Ka helicopters a year. Plans are also under way to set up a joint venture for the production of RPG-32 Hashim multi-caliber grenade launchers. The launcher was developed by the Bazalt Moscow State Research and Production Enterprise at the suggestion of Abdullah himself. It is designed to engage armored vehicles and defended gun posts from a distance of up to 700 meters with 72mm and 105mm grenades. It will be produced in quantity both in Russia and in Jordan. Trial specimens have already been sent to Amman and were highly praised. A manufacturing license contract is expected to be signed soon. Jordan has received a special $350 million credit from Russia for this purpose, although the sum is also supposed to cover repairs and upgrading of weapons previously supplied to Amman. Other equipment includes armored personnel carriers, fighting infantry vehicles, Kornet anti-tank missile systems, Igla ground-to-air missiles, and weapons for special operations - reconnaissance, sabotage and protection of the royal palace. King Abdullah is a former commando. He is an arms expert, and his buying of Russia's VSS silent sniper rifles and PSS silent pistols is good publicity for Russian arms-makers. It is not impossible that after his visit to Moscow, Amman will take delivery of Pantsyr-S1 ground-to-air missile systems, which are considered today among the most effective close-range air defense systems. Russian weapons appeal not only to buyers in the Middle East. On August 23, the Russian president sent a message to President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, raising the matter of military-technical cooperation between the two countries. "Russia is interested above all in trade and economic cooperation between security-related agencies," the Russian leader told his Nicaraguan counterpart. "Military-technical cooperation between us offers a promising future." This means that the military equipment once supplied to Nicaragua by the Soviet Union and which needs repairing, upgrading or replacing could be replaced with more advanced weapons, if Managua is willing. And Managua is willing, as is clear from the close ties that exist between Ortega and Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan leader is very pleased with Russian weapons. The target mentioned at the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, of exporting $8 billion worth of Russian arms supplies in 2008, compared with $6.2 billion in 2007, does not seem too far-fetched. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
DTN News: South Africa Potential Military Export ~ G6 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) CAPE TOWN, South Africa - September 29, 2009: The G6 is a 155mm long-range gun developed and produced by the LIW division of Denel, mounted on a chassis made by Alvis OMC (now part of BAE Systems Land Systems). The G6 is in service with the South African Army (43 systems) and has also been exported to the United Arab Emirates (78 systems) and Oman (24 systems). The G6 155mm self propelled howitzer is a highly autonomous system with 700km vehicle fuel range, 50km weapon range using velocity enhanced long range projectiles and the ability to fire the first round within 60 seconds of the vehicle stopping. In September 2001, the G6 achieved a range of 53.6km using the new Velocity enhanced Long Range Projectile (V-LAP) and the new M64 bi-modular charge system. V-LAP combines base bleed and rocket motor technology, while the M64 charge system increases muzzle velocity to 910m/s VLAP is part of Denel’s new Assegai range of 155mm ammunition. The G6 is operated by a crew of six - driver, commander, gun layer, breech operator, ammunition loader and ammunition handler. G6 155MM HOWITZER The 155 mm main gun is equipped with a 45 calibre auto-frettaged barrel, a semi-automatic screw type breech and an electrical trigger mechanism. The gun is fitted with a single baffle open type muzzle brake and a reinforced epoxy resin fume extractor. The howitzer has on-board storage for 45 projectiles and 50 charges. Semi-automatic projectile loading is carried out using an electronically controlled hydraulic flick-rammer. Two loading chutes are installed at the rear of gun for direct loading from a ground ammunition pile. Firing ports are provided for the crews' personal weapons and a machine-gun mounting is fitted on the left turret cupola with an optional machine-gun. EXTENDED RANGE FULL-BORE AMMUNITION (ERFB) The gun is compatible with all NATO 155mm ammunition, including extended range full-bore (ERFB) projectiles of explosive, cargo and practice types, which are all ballistically matched and with field-fittable base bleed units. The ERFB projectiles provide the G6 with increased range and terminal effectiveness. Using base-bleed projectiles, the G6 has a nominal range of 39km at sea level. As an example of the gun's accuracy, at 75% of the maximum range the probable error specification is 0.48% of the range value and 1 mil in deflection. A five-zone combustible case modular propelling charge system is based on cool-burning propellants which ensure a barrel life of more than 6,000 standard charges. The system is compatible with direct action, electronic timing or proximity type fuses.
The G6 is operated by a crew of six - driver, commander, gun layer, breech operator, ammunition loader and ammunition handler. The G6 Self Propelled Howitzer has a maximum range of 50km using velocity enhanced long range projectiles. As an example of the gun's accuracy, at 75% of the maximum range the probable error specification is 0.48% of the range value and 1 mil in deflection. The G6 Self Propelled Howitzer is capable of carrying out strike missions co-operatively or as a separate combat arm without involving other forces. The crew are protected against landmines, gunfire and bombardment fragments.
155mm HOWITZER FIRE CONTROL SYSTEMS Target data is transmitted from a command and control centre to the commander's station in the crew compartment via a VHF/UHF communications link. The crew activate the gun by pressing an autolay button and the bearing, elevation and engagement data are downloaded to the automatic gun laying system. The gun laying and navigation equipment comprises a ring laser gyroscope system equipped with a touchscreen control developed by the Kentron division of Denel. The gun has fully autonomous laying and navigation capability with no need for survey and alignment at the gun position. The system can be interfaced to an optional global positioning system (GPS). The system also has a back-up laying system. The gun is fitted with a trunnion mounted telescopic sight for direct firing up to 3,000m. G6 SELF-PROTECTION SYSTEMS The G6 is equipped with eight launchers which fire 81 mm smoke grenades. The high strength armour-plate hull protects the crew against small arms fire and shell splinters. The crew are protected against TM46 (or equivalent) landmine blast, 20mm gunfire from the front, and all around counter bombardment fragment and impact by 7.62mm ammunition. The driving compartment is fitted with large bullet proof windows with an armoured shutter for the front window. When the armoured shutter is in place the driver uses a periscopic sight. G6 PROPULSION SYSTEM The air-cooled diesel engine provides a 386kW power output. The six-speed automatic/manual gearbox is fitted with a torque converter. The permanent six-wheel drive has longitudinal and transverse differential locks. The suspension system consists of fully independent torsion bars with shock absorbers and hydro-pneumatic bump stops. The wheeled chassis supplied by Alvis OMC is capable of a road speed of 85km/h and a cross country/desert speed of 30km/h. The maximum gradient is 40%, trench crossing 1m and the fording depth is 1m. The cruising range on one full tank is 700km. G6-52 ARTILLERY SYSTEM Denel has completed development of a new artillery system, the G6-52, and the system is currently undergoing extensive trials. The system is offered with the Somchem Modular Charge System (MCS) which can fire the Naschem M2000 Assegai system which includes the V-LAP projectile. With the V-LAP projectile, the system has a range of 67km and a rate of fire of eight rounds/minute. Multiple rounds (up to six) can be fired to simultaneously hit the same target using the ADS (Thales) AS2000 artillery target engagement system. Automated ammunition handling, fuze handling and ammunition inventory reduce crew workload. The G6-52 turret is mounted on a Land Systems OMC 6x6 wheeled vehicle which has an off-road speed of nearly 70km/h and a range of 700km.
DTN News: Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95003 Successfully Completed The High Altitude Flight *Source: DTN News / Sukhoi Company (JSC) (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 29, 2009: Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95003 successfully completed the high altitude flight test campaign in Armenia. Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95003 successfully completed the high altitude flight test campaign in Armenia. On September 21, 2009, the aircraft SN 95003 landed at the flight-test center in Zhukovsky. Better known for its military jets, Russia's Sukhoi, the country's largest aircraft manufacturer, is branching out. The Superjet 100 is an attempt to break into the business for smaller commercial aircraft. Carrying up to 100 passengers, the Superjet is still under development, but should be ready for service by early next year. The international Shirak Airport at Gyumri is located at high altitudes (5000 ft/1524m). Built in 1961, it has been upgraded in 2007 to meet ICAO First Class Airport requirements. The airfield is clutched in the surrounding mountains and, hence, available for takeoff and landing only from the southern side. Its runway is 3220m long and 45m wide. Certification program on SSJ100 SN 95003 was performed by the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft crew: SCAC senior test pilot Alexander Yablontsev, SCAC test pilot Vadim Shirokikh with participation of AR MAK test pilot Mikhail Torokhov. The program of tests included continued take-off as well as OEI missed approach flights. The majority of the takeoffs were performed with one engine failure imitation at maximum take-off weight. During the high altitude flight test program at the Shirak Airport (Gyumri), SSJ100 confirmed the design take-off and landing characteristics. The system performance proved the compliance with the certification requirements. The results of the test campaign ensure safe and reliable operation of aircraft from the mountain airfields with 3300m (10000ft) elevation.
DTN News: Russian Bombers Test High-Precision Weaponry During Drills *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) BARANOVICHI, Belarus - September 29, 2009: Russian strategic and tactical bombers equipped with new high-precision weapons systems have successfully conducted live-firing drills at a practice range in Belarus, a Ground Forces spokesman said on Sunday. The drills at the Obuz-Lesnovski range were part of the Zapad (West) 2009 large-scale Russian-Belarusian military exercises currently underway in Belarus. 'Today, Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers and Su-24M Fencer tactical bombers, which are equipped a specialized computing subsystem SVP-24, conducted a series of live-firing drills aimed at destroying ground targets designated by a commander of a motorized infantry brigade,' Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said. SVP-24 allows target data to be automatically transmitted by on-ground spotters and received by ground attack aircraft during combat. Drobyshevsky said the drill involved quick retargeting of the aircraft in response to a decision made by a unit commander on the ground, who shifted priority to a new set of targets during an intense battle. 'Air strikes on these new targets were delivered with high precision in poor weather conditions from outside the effective range of the enemy's air defenses,' he said. The September 8-29 Zapad 2009 exercises involve around 13,000 service personnel, 63 airplanes, 40 helicopters, 470 infantry fighting vehicles, 228 tanks and 234 artillery pieces on both sides. S-300 air defense missile systems are also participating in the drills, designed to test the effectiveness of the unified regional anti-aircraft defense systems of Russia and Belarus.
DTN News: Boeing Advances Security Upgrade For GPS Ground Control System *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - September 29, 2009: Boeing [NYSE: BA] has completed developmental system testing on the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite ground control system, known as the Operational Control Segment (OCS), for the addition of a critical new security capability. Boeing has completed developmental system testing on the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite ground control system, known as the Operational Control Segment (OCS), for the addition of a critical new security capability. The test demonstrated that the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) software upgrade meets all contractual system requirements. SAASM is designed to protect GPS receivers against fake satellite signals sent by adversaries. The test demonstrated that the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) software upgrade meets all contractual system requirements. SAASM is designed to protect GPS receivers against fake satellite signals sent by adversaries. "The completion of these tests continues the program's outstanding performance record and demonstrates the benefits of our continuous-improvement program," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The team's emphasis on system integration and risk reduction provides the Air Force with high confidence in our ability to continue to meet the GPS mission and maintain the 100 percent system performance we have delivered since the new OCS went operational in 2007." Boeing is now working with the Air Force in the operations suitability test phase to verify the software is ready to fly the constellation, and is incorporating final operator-requested changes with the goal of providing operational capability of the new security measures later this year. Also, using GPS IIF Space Vehicle 2 on the ground at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and connected to the OCS at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, Boeing and the Air Force have successfully completed the first in a series of combined system tests that verify the OCS and GPS IIF space vehicle work together to perform the GPS missions. Enabling SAASM within the OCS will deliver a new mission capability to the GPS constellation and synchronize space, control and user equipment for military implementation. The OCS keeps the GPS system operational within specified accuracy to perform global civil, commercial and military operations. Assisted by Boeing, the Air Force began transitioning satellite operations from the previous system in September 2007. The conversion was completed in three phases without any service interruption. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Riyadh 'Offers Airspace' For Israel Attack On Iran *Source: DTN News / PressTV (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 29, 2009: Israeli fighter jets have been allowed to use Saudi airspace to launch go-it-alone air strikes on Iranian nuclear installations, says a recent report. The issue ahs been discussed in a closed-door meeting in London, where British Intelligence Chief Sir John Scarlett his Israeli counterpart, Meir Dagan, and Saudi official have been present Daily Express. According to the report Scarlett has been told that Saudi airspace would be at Israel's disposal should Tel Aviv decide to move forward with his military plans against Iran. The British daily added the likelihood of an Israeli attack against Iran has increased significantly after the country announced plans to launch its second enrichment facility in the central city of Qom. In line with its policy of nuclear transparency, Iran announced the construction of a second enrichment plant in a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog on September 21. The new plant is due to produce enriched uranium up to 5 percent. The letter was sent 12 months before the agency's regulations oblige its members states to inform of new developments. With eyes firmly fixed on Iran's nuclear progressions, the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to bomb the country's enrichment facilities out of existence. Tel Aviv accuses Tehran of nuclear weapons development - a charge rejected by both Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, which has so far made "21 unannounced inspections" of the country's nuclear facilities. The UN nuclear watchdog in its previous reports has confirmed that Iran only enriches uranium-235 to a level of "less than 5 percent." Uranium, which fuels a nuclear power plant, can be used for military purposes only if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent. Details of the controversial Israeli plans to attack Iran emerged after John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, recently told a group of intelligence analysts that “Riyadh certainly approves” of Israel's use of Saudi airspace in the event of war with Iran. Bolton, had previously said he had discussed the possibility with Saudi officials in closed-door meetings. “None of them would say anything about it publicly but they would certainly acquiesce in an overflight if the Israelis didn't trumpet it as a big success.” The recent revelations follow a flurry of media reports in July, which suggested the Saudi government had approved the use of its airspace for an attack. While Saudi officials deny having diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, an Israeli defense source has confirmed that the Mossad spy agency maintained “working relations” with the kingdom. According to a study published bythe Center for Strategic and International Studies, a military exchange between Iran and Israel could result in the death of as many as 6 million people.
Monday, September 28, 2009
DTN News: Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Blamed Over Bin Laden links *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - September 28, 2009: A former Pakistani intelligence officer alleges that PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif had held a series of meetings with Bin Laden to conspire against the former government of Benazir Bhutto. Brigadier Mumtaz Ahmad, an ex-director of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) claimed that Sharif had sought Osama Bin Laden's help for toppling Bhutto's government in the 1990s. (Image: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leads the second-largest political party in the nuclear-armed country). "Former Premier Nawaz Sharif had met al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden ... all funds to topple the government of Benazir Bhutto in late 90's were provided by al-Qaeda," he said in an interview with a local TV channel. The revelation comes days after Khalid Khwaja; a former official from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) claimed that he himself had arranged five meetings between Bin Laden and Sharif. While reacting to the statement, the PML-N spokesman Ehsan Iqbal described the remarks as baseless and said that no such meetings had ever taken place, according to a Press TV correspondent. Bhutto, 54, who was assassinated in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi in late 2007, spent three decades of her life navigating the turbulent and often violent world of Pakistani politics. Bhutto was first elected prime minister after years of military rule in 1988. Sharif was elected premier after the dismissal of Bhutto's government in 1990. US officials believe that Bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, is hiding somewhere in Pakistan's volatile tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.
DTN News: Northrop Grumman Partners With University of Central Florida Research Foundation and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium On College.....
DTN News: Northrop Grumman Partners With University of Central Florida Research Foundation and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium On College Training Program *Source DTN News / Northrop Grumman (NSI News Source Info) HERNDON, Va., - September 28, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) recently partnered with the University of Central Florida (UCF) Research Foundation and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium to sponsor several programs that will encourage students to continue their studies in science-based programs at universities and colleges in Florida. The programs will be administered using a $25,000 grant Northrop Grumman awarded to UCF Research Foundation. Participating in the check presentation at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Rocket Garden are, from left, Robert Crabbs, associate director of UCF's Florida Space Institute; Jaydeep Mukherjee, director, NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, and interim director, Florida Space Institute; Sreela Mallick, assistant director, NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium; Roy D. Bridges, Jr., director, Space and Science Services, Northrop Grumman Technical Services, and Roy Tharpe, director, Space and Science Services, Northrop Grumman Technical Services and chairman of the National Space Club Florida Committee. A photo accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/ The grant supports the Northrop Grumman Academy, a specialized training program for college students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Thirty-two students will participate in one of two five-day sessions taking place during their winter and spring breaks. The Academy consists of classes taught at the Kennedy Space Center's Center for Space Education at the KSC Visitor Complex, tours of the KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station facilities as well as the opportunity to design, construct and release scientific balloon payloads. A program to recruit and train Brevard Community College students as technicians to support the launch of high-altitude sounding rockets is also supported by the grant. "Northrop Grumman is honored to sponsor the Northrop Grumman Academy and sounding rocket launch training for the students of Florida colleges and universities. I would have been thrilled to attend a program like this when I was in college," said Roy Bridges, director of Space and Science Services for Northrop Grumman Technical Services. "As a major employer in Brevard County, we recognize the critical need for STEM- educated graduates for our workforce today and well into the future." Space Florida and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium have conducted the undergraduate academy since 2006. The two academies were renamed the Northrop Grumman Academy. A recent survey of past students indicated that a majority of past attendees are working successfully in STEM fields, many for NASA and major space contractors. "We want to support STEM students locally who have the capability to be hired by the local space industry," said Jaydeep Mukherjee, director of the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium and interim director of UCF's Florida Space Institute. Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. CONTACT: Michelle Bohlen Northrop Grumman Technical Services (443) 825-7236 firstname.lastname@example.org Bryan Culbert Northrop Grumman Technical Services (321) 868-3605 email@example.com
DTN News: Lockheed Martin-Built IKONOS Satellite Marks 10 Years In Operations *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) DENVER, USA - September 28, 2009: The world’s first commercial, high-resolution, Earth imaging satellite, IKONOS, will achieve its 10th year of operation on Sept. 24. Built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], the satellite continues to provide high-resolution imagery of the Earth to commercial and government customers around the world. IKONOS is owned and operated by GeoEye [NASDAQ: GEOY] of Dulles, Va. “When we launched IKONOS in 1999, many said it would change the way we look at the world, and that prediction has certainly come to fruition,” said Jim Crocker, vice president and general manager of Sensing and Exploration Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. The spacecraft collects 0.82-meter resolution black-and-white imagery while simultaneously collecting four-meter resolution multispectral data. These map-accurate images are used for applications in land management, environmental monitoring, local and regional government, national security, disaster relief, and many other geospatial applications. IKONOS is based on the Lockheed Martin LM900 LEO, three-axis stabilized, remote sensing bus. At a weight of 1600 pounds (720 kg), it’s a stable, highly agile, precision pointing spacecraft ideally suited for high resolution remote sensing missions. In 2007, Lockheed Martin performed a life expectancy analysis of the spacecraft and determined it may continue to be fully operational into the next decade. IKONOS is one of 150 small satellites developed by Lockheed Martin, all of which have met or exceeded their design life. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded $30 Million Contract To Provide Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods To Royal Moroccan Air Force
DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded $30 Million Contract To Provide Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods To Royal Moroccan Air Force *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) ORLANDO, FL., - September 28, 2009: Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has signed a foreign military sales contract to deliver Sniper® Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) to the Royal Moroccan Air Force. The $30 million contract includes integration support, product spares and logistics support. The Sniper ATPs will fly on the Royal Moroccan Air Force’s newly-purchased F-16 block 50 aircraft. “The Royal Moroccan Air Force selected the Sniper ATP for its unmatched ability to provide precision targeting, as well as its non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NT-ISR) capability,” said Hulan Woods, program manager of Sniper ATP Morocco at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We look forward to working with the Royal Moroccan Air Force to provide the multi-mission capable Sniper pod for their F-16 aircraft.” Packaged in a single lightweight pod, Sniper ATP’s enhanced image clarity provides critical long-range positive identification of targets and real-time targeting. Its state-of-the-art tracker enables employment of advanced laser-guided weapons against moving targets. Sniper ATP also incorporates meta-data in every frame of video to ensure accuracy throughout intelligence and command and control functions. The Sniper pods will include a video down link that relays high-resolution, streaming video to forward-deployed forces for non-traditional ISR and rapid target coordination via the widely-used Rover ground receiver. The Royal Moroccan Air Force will take delivery of Sniper pods over the next two years to support aircraft integration and fielding. Deployed in theater since January 2005, Sniper ATP is in service with the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and 11 international air forces and coalition partners. The Sniper pod is operational on U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1, F-18, Harrier, A-10 and Tornado aircraft. It is currently being integrated and is flying on the B-52. Its common software and hardware interface design enables users to “plug and play” across services and multiple platforms, providing a common software and hardware configuration across aircraft fleets. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
DTN News: Boeing Statement On Release of KC-X Tanker Draft Request For Proposal *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ARLINGTON, Va., - September 28, 2009: The Boeing Company Sept. 25, 2009 received the Draft Request for Proposal document for the KC-X Tanker competition from the U.S. Air Force, and released the following statement: Boeing invented boom refueling 60 years ago, and has since built and delivered more than 2,000 of the best aerial refueling tankers in the world, setting the global standard for tanker refueling and continuing to push the leading edge of refueling technology. So when the United States put out the request for a new tanker, Boeing gathered all of its tanker know-how into one place: the new KC-7A7 tanker. "Our next step is to conduct a detailed review of the document. We want to understand how requirements will be defined and prioritized and how the proposals will be evaluated. That information will help us decide which plane to offer or whether to offer both planes. We appreciate that there will be frequent, open discussion with the U.S. Air Force as we go forward. Both the Air Force and the American taxpayer will benefit from the tanker options we can offer. Boeing has a KC-7A7 'family of tankers' available to meet the warfighter's requirements. Whether it's the agile, flexible 767-based tanker or the large 777-based tanker, Boeing will deliver a combat-ready tanker with maximum capability at the lowest cost." More information on the KC-7A7 is available at www.unitedstatestanker.com
DTN News: Boeing Receives A-10 Modernization Contracts From US Air Force *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, USA - September 28, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced Sept. 24, 2009 that it has received two separate contracts from the U.S. Air Force to support modernization of the service's fleet of 365 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. The contracts, which have a total value of $4.2 million, consist of several tasks ranging in duration from three to 18 months. The first contract, which will be performed by Boeing and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), provides engineering services for the A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP). The program centers on updating and aligning modern structural analysis tools, processes and standards for the A-10 fleet. The second contract, which will be performed by Boeing and industry team partners Raytheon Technical Services and BAE Systems Platform Solutions, is for a Trade Study Analysis and Operational Assessment/Proof of Concept for the Upgraded Data Transfer Unit (UDTU). The goal of this contract is to update the aircraft's avionics architecture to improve memory and data capability. The ASIP and the UDTU contracts are two of many that will be awarded as part of the $1.6 billion A-10 Thunderbolt Life-Cycle Program Support (TLPS) contract. A-10 TLPS is designed to support the sustainment of the A-10 and integration of current and future requirements. In June, Boeing was selected as one of three contractors to fulfill several A-10 TLPS task and delivery orders for the Air Force. Other A-10 contracts Boeing has received include a services contract that provides the Air Force with on-site engineering support and 3-D models of the A-10 wing, and a contract for fuselage lofting (transfer of a scaled-down plan to full size). The $2 billion A-10 Wing Replacement Program, which Boeing received in June 2007, plans to manufacture up to 242 enhanced wing assemblies. Work remains on schedule as Boeing continues to develop the 3-D models that provide the engineering foundation for production of the new wings. The models allowed the Air Force to quickly resolve wing-crack issues that temporarily grounded the A-10 fleet last year. "We are honored to continue supporting the Air Force and the A-10 fleet," said Bill Moorefield, A-10 program manager for Boeing. "We are committed to the standard of excellence we have exhibited on the A-10 Wing Replacement Program, and we look forward to delivering the same outstanding level of customer satisfaction and performance on this contract." The A-10, also known as the Warthog, was introduced into the Air Force inventory in 1976. The twin-engine aircraft provides close-air support of ground forces and employs a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general-purpose bombs. The simple, effective and survivable single-seat aircraft can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The aircraft is supporting warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq today. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Boeing Submits Proposal For NASA Commercial Crew Transport System *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, USA - September 28, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] submitted a proposal to NASA on Sept. 22 to accelerate the development of commercial human space transportation as defined by NASA in its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) announcement. Boeing's submission, which draws on the company's experience with proven human-rated spacecraft, proposes development of technologies that will mature its Commercial Crew Transportation System concept. NASA's CCDev initiative is intended to stimulate private-sector development of a commercially managed system that could be used to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station, Bigelow Aerospace's Orbital Space Complex, and other potential destinations in low Earth orbit. "Boeing's knowledge of the space station and our long history of supporting NASA with proven human-rated systems should allow us to work closely with NASA to develop a commercially viable, yet safe, crew transportation system," said Keith Reiley, Boeing program manager for the CCDev proposal. "Boeing has a lot to offer NASA in this new field of commercial crew transportation services. To show our commitment, we are willing to make a substantial investment in research and development." Boeing has strong project management skills, commercial manufacturing experience using Lean management practices, one of the strongest supplier networks in the United States, and a team of talented engineers with practical human spaceflight experience. Most recently, Boeing has applied this experience on its Ares I and Constellation work in support of NASA's exploration mission. Boeing can apply these skills and capabilities to meeting specific milestones to show progress in developing a reliable and safe commercial crew transportation system. Joining Boeing on the CCDev team will be Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, LLC. Bigelow Aerospace will provide additional investment, requirements for crew transportation to its Orbital Space Complex, and its expertise from testing and validating the technologies necessary to construct and deploy a full-scale, crewed, commercial orbital space complex. To support the commercial space industry with space-platform and human-rated systems experience, Boeing also has joined three other teams competing for CCDev agreements. These teams are submitting their own separate proposals. NASA has announced it will sign funded agreements with one or more teams in November, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The value of the Space Act Agreements can vary, but NASA has said approximately $50 million is available to distribute and that the funded, fixed-price agreements will run through September 2010. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Airlines News TODAY September 28, 2009 ~ Boeing And FedEx Express Celebrate Carrier's First 777 Freighter Delivery
DTN News: Airlines News TODAY September 28, 2009 ~ Boeing And FedEx Express Celebrate Carrier's First 777 Freighter Delivery *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EVERETT, Wash., - September 28, 2009: Boeing (NYSE: BA) and FedEx Express September 22, celebrated the delivery of the world's largest air cargo carrier's first 777 Freighter. The world's largest and most capable twinjet freighter will help FedEx Express deliver more cargo even faster, allowing the carrier to offer customers greater flexibility. FedEx Express ordered 15 Boeing 777 Freighters in 2006 and is the largest customer for the highly efficient twinjet freighter. This is Boeing's ninth 777 Freighter delivery and marks the first 777 Freighter to enter service with a U.S.-based global freight carrier. "The 777F is a game changer," said Michael L. Ducker, president, International, FedEx Express. "Its operational efficiencies and environmental benefits alone are impressive, but combine those advantages with the service improvements it delivers and FedEx Express will be able to take international shipping to another level. Our customers around the world will benefit from more point-to-point routes and the shorter flight times, increasing their competitiveness in the global marketplace." With the 777 Freighter, transit times from points in Asia to the FedEx hub in Memphis, Tenn., for example, will drop by one to three hours compared with the MD-11 Freighter. This will allow FedEx to accept packages from its customers later in the day and still deliver them on time. "The 777 Freighter will have a unique role for FedEx Express, providing exceptional range that brings new efficiency to the airline and its customers," said Kevin Schemm, vice president, North America Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 777 Freighter will allow FedEx Express to operate point-to-point routes that save valuable flying time, coupled with outstanding fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility." In the FedEx Express operation, the 777 Freighter can fly 5,800 nautical miles (6,675 statute miles, 10,740 km), an increase of 2,100 nautical miles (2,410 statute miles, 3,890 km) versus the airline's MD-11 Freighter fleet. The FedEx 777 Freighter has a revenue payload capacity of 215,000 pounds (97.5 metric tons), a 37,000-pound (16.7-metric-ton) increase over the MD-11 Freighter. The 777 Freighter uses 18 percent less fuel than the MD-11 Freighter on comparable FedEx Express routes, reduces maintenance cost and provides quieter takeoffs and landings that meet airport noise standards. Some 58 customers have ordered more than 1,100 777s, including 71 777 Freighters.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY September 27, 2009 ~ Six foreign troops killed in Afghanistan *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - September 27, 2009: A suicide car bomb explosion targeting Afghanistan's energy minister killed four civilians Sunday, while attacks and a violent storm killed six international troops, including three French and two American forces, officials said. Daily wages laborers stand near an election poster of Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, center, with first vice president Mohammad Qasim Fahim and second vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili, right, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. The U.N. is warning that violence in Afghanistan could increase after the results from the country's disputed presidential election are finally tallied and disclosed. Preliminary results from the Aug. 20 vote show President Hamid Karzai with 54.6 percent. Taliban assassination attempts against Afghan officials have intensified this year, with more than 100 officials and pro-government tribal elders attacked, half of them fatally. The convoy carrying Energy Minister Ismail Khan, a powerbroker in the western region of Herat, was headed to the airport when a suicide car bomb exploded outside a high school, said Raouf Ahmadi, a police spokesman. Ahmadi said four civilians died and 17 people were wounded, including four of Khan's bodyguards. He said Khan escaped unharmed and arrived safely at the airport. A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility and said the explosion targeted Khan, who was once governor of Herat, a western province bordering Iran. The Taliban assassination campaign is a strong sign of deteriorating security in the country, where a record number of US and NATO troops have also died this year. The Obama administration is now debating whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan as its government faces allegations of widespread fraud from the disputed Aug. 20 presidential election. Two US service members died Saturday in the country's south, one from a roadside bomb explosion and the other from an insurgent attack, the NATO-led force said. A British soldier died Sunday from a bomb explosion while patrolling in southern Afghanistan, Britain's Defense Ministry said. Elsewhere, three French soldiers died in a violent storm in northeastern Afghanistan late Saturday. One soldier was struck by lightning while two were swept away by a rain-swollen river during an operation in Kapisa province, said military spokesman Christophe Prazuck. This year has been the deadliest of the eight-year war for US and NATO troops. The latest six deaths bring to 64 the number of NATO troops killed this month. Elsewhere in western Afghanistan, three Afghan civilians died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Farah province. Gen. Mohammad Faqir Askir, Farah's police chief, said the vehicle had just turned off the main highway toward a village when the bomb exploded. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said seven Taliban militants were killed in a gunbattle Saturday with police in Kunduz province, once a relatively peaceful region in the north of the country that has recently seen more violence as militants try to expand control.-
DTN News: Iran Test-Fires Missiles Amid Nuclear Tension *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info)TEHRAN, Iran - September 27, 2009: Iran test-fired short-range missiles as its elite Revolutionary Guards began war games on Sunday aimed at boosting the Islamic Republic's deterrent capabilities, official media reported. In this photo released by the Iranian semi-official Mehr News Agency, Revolutionary Guard's Zelzal missile is launched in a drill, Sunday Sept. 27, 2009, near the city of Qom, 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Tehran, Iran. Iran said it successfully test-fired short-range missiles during military drills Sunday by the elite Revolutionary Guard, a show of force days after the U.S. warned Tehran over a newly revealed underground nuclear facility it was secretly constructing.* The missile maneuvers coincide with increased tension in Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, after last week's disclosure by Tehran that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant. State radio said the Guards on Monday would test-fire the Shahab 3 missile, which Iranian officials say has a range of around 2,000 km, potentially putting Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf within reach. It has been tested several times before. Iran's English-language Press TV said two short-range missiles as well as a multiple missile launcher were tested on the exercise's first day. It showed footage of a missile launch in desert-like terrain, leaving a vapor trail. "Iran tests two short-range missiles," it said in a scrolling headline, naming them as the ground-to-ground Fateh (Victorious) missile and the Tondar (Thunder) naval missile. The Revolutionary Guards said "the drill aims to maintain and boost the country's armed forces deterrent capabilities," Press TV said. The United States, which suspects Iran is seeking to build nuclear bombs, has previously expressed concern about Tehran's missile programme. Iran says its nuclear work is for peaceful power generation purposes. Iran often conducts war games or tests weapons to show its determination to counter any attack by foes such as Israel or the United States. "FABRICATED WESTERN CLAMOUR" Neither the United States nor its ally Israel have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear row. Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for world oil supplies. Iran acknowledged the existence of the enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom for the first time on Monday in a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog. U.S. officials said the disclosure was designed to pre-empt an announcement by Western governments, which were aware of the site, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the plant was legal and open for inspection by the IAEA. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday the discovery of a secret nuclear plant showed a "disturbing pattern" of evasion by Iran which added urgency to its talks with six world powers in Geneva on Thursday. An Iranian official warned that "fabricated Western clamour" over the new enrichment plant would negatively affect the talks, state radio said on Sunday. Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's IAEA envoy, said, referring to the six powers: "This Western approach will have a negative impact on Iran's negotiations with the 5+1 countries." Earlier this month, Obama scrapped a Bush-era plan to deploy missiles in Poland that had been proposed amid concerns Iran was trying to develop nuclear warheads it could mount on long-range missiles.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
DTN News: South Korea Could Swiftly Hit North Korea Nuke Bases Says General Lee Sang-Eui *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - September 26, 2009: South Korea could mount swift and precise attacks on North Korea's nuclear bases should war break out on the peninsula, Seoul's incoming top military officer said Thursday. The North has about 600 Scud missiles capable of hitting targets in South Korea, and possibly also of reaching Japanese territory in some cases. There are another 200 Rodong-1 missiles which could reach Tokyo. In addition the North has three times test-launched long-range Taepodong missiles, most recently in April.* General Lee Sang-Eui, named as next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Seoul had a list of major targets its forces would strike first should a conflict erupt. Nuclear weaponry would pose the greatest threat, he told a parliamentary confirmation hearing, pledging to "mobilise all means available to precisely and swiftly strike" such bases. New Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young told his own confirmation hearing last week that Seoul knew where the North was storing its nuclear arsenal. Kim said Seoul could strike the sites through quick consultations with Washington if North Korea tried to fire a nuclear weapon at the South. Lee, quoted by Yonhap news agency, said the North was believed to have up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plutonium, enough to build at least six nuclear bombs. After months of hostility including missile and nuclear tests, Pyongyang began making peace noises to Washington and Seoul in August. South Korean officials have expressed scepticism about the overtures, saying the hardline communist state has not changed its fundamental attitude. Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan accused the North last week of developing nuclear weapons to launch an attack on the South and "communise" the peninsula. Lee in Friday's parliamentary hearing said Seoul should seek longer-range missiles to deter threats from its neighbour. "As North Korea is threatening us with various missiles such as Rodongs and Scuds, we also need to upgrade our missile capability," Lee said. "We will study, over the long term, ways to bolster missile capability while taking into account our security needs." Under an agreement with the United States, which stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, Seoul restricts its missiles to a maximum range of 300 kilometres (187 miles). There have been calls to end the pact since North Korea launched a long-range rocket in April and staged its second nuclear test in May. But in July General Walter Sharp, commander of US forces in South Korea, said he saw no immediate need for South Korea to develop longer-range missiles. The North has about 600 Scud missiles capable of hitting targets in South Korea, and possibly also of reaching Japanese territory in some cases. There are another 200 Rodong-1 missiles which could reach Tokyo. In addition the North has three times test-launched long-range Taepodong missiles, most recently in April. The two Koreas have remained technically at war since their 1950-1953 war ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
DTN News: Capgemini Competing For Scorpion Architect Contract *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - September 26, 2009: Consulting firm Capgemini is a contender for the architect's contract in the French Army's Scorpion 10 billion euro ($15 billion) modernization program, defense executives said. (Image: The Rotem KW1 Scorpion armored personnel carrier is fully amphibious). EADS, meanwhile, has enlisted U.S. consulting company SAIC as a subcontractor in its bid for the architect's job. SAIC worked with Boeing on the Future Combat Systems before the U.S. Army canceled portions of the complex program. The tender for architect has attracted a great deal of industry attention and information systems specialist Capgemini works on a number of important contracts for the Defense Ministry, an executive said. Nexter and Thales have made a joint bid to be architect, Safran's Sagem has partnered with Boeing, while the CS consultancy has teamed with Ineo, a division of energy group GDF Suez. Scorpion is intended to deliver a coherent system of systems comprising command-and-control networks and new armored vehicles. Industry has now received the Scorpion tender terms and conditions from the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement procurement office and have until the end of October to reply. A selection is expected around March. The bidders are free to reform their industrial teams in the light of the terms and conditions."