Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Afghanistan: British Marines Commandos Joint Operation Against Taliban, Well Conducted - Report

Afghanistan: British Marines Commandos Joint Operation Against Taliban, Well Conducted - Report
(NSI News Source Info) January 15, 2009: British Marine Commandos (all British marines are commandos) recently conducted an 18 day operation against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
This operation, involving 1,500 marines and a few hundred Danish and Afghan troops, serves as a model for the kind of operations possible as several additional brigades of American troops enter the area over the next year. The British marines killed over a hundred Taliban, and lost five of their own. More importantly, they also killed a key Taliban leader in the area, seized $3 million worth of opium (such drugs are a major source of income for the Taliban) and an IED workshop.
The British marines chased down the Taliban, who tried to flee. Staying on the Taliban day after day, the marines ultimately shattered the local organization. The operation disrupted the ability of several hundred Taliban to operate and crippled their support and command network. The operation also had a bad effect on Taliban morale, and the willingness of locals to support, or simply tolerate, the Taliban. The British made it very clear that they could decisively defeat the Taliban, and go after the enemy wherever they were, and no matter how hard their fought back. The British, in effect, dominated the battlefield, and the enemy. Multiply this several times, and run these operations constantly, and the Taliban military capability will be broken.
This is nothing new. It's been done before to the Afghan tribal warriors, and accounts of such disasters are among the less popular tribal legends throughout the region.

India Receives First Phalcon-Equipped AWACS

India Receives First Phalcon-Equipped AWACS (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - January 15, 2009: With relations between India and Pakistan on the downside after the Nov. 26 Mumbai terror attacks, the Indian air force has received the first of three Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft from Israel ahead of schedule. (Photo/Image: Courtesy Taxpayer)
In March 2004, Israel and India signed a US$1.1 billion deal according to which IAI would deliver the Indian Air Force three Phalcon AEW&C radar systems. India signed a separate deal with the Ilyushin Corporation of Russia for the of supply three Il-76 A-50 heavy air-lifters, which were to be used as platforms for these radar systems, for an additional US$500 million. In November 2007, Indian defense officials said that there were significant delays in the supply of the Russian Il-76 platform and the induction of the radar was now postponed to 2009-10. In June 2008, media reports suggested that India and Israel were about to sign a deal for three additional Phalcon radars. the first model has been acquired by India on Jan 12th 2009, where it has brief stopover at Delhi, where it was visited by Top IAF officals and later flew to Agra, where it would be based along with the other 2 ordered models. Air force sources said the first of the aircraft, fitted with an Israeli Phalcon radar on a Russian Il-76 aircraft, was expected by March, but arrived from Israel on Jan. 11. It is currently based at Agra Air Force station, near here. Under the $1.1 billion deal signed in March 2004, three Israeli early warning radar and communication systems are to be integrated with the Ilyushin heavy military transport plane to give India AWACS capabilities. The deliveries were to begin in November 2007, then later postponed to the end of 2008 and then to March 2009, sources said. The Israeli Phalcon AWACS will enable the Indian air force to carry out tactical surveillance over a radius of 400 kilometers and collect surface target information deep inside Pakistan while still operating in Indian airspace. The AWACS are later to be networked to other air force assets through a dedicated satellite. India also is developing its own AWACS through the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which signed a deal in July for the purchase of EMB-145 aircraft from Embraer of Brazil to be used as the AWACS platform. Three EMB-145 aircraft are to be modified and carry the Active Array Antenna Unit, developed by DRDO, on the aircraft's fuselage. Currently, the tactical surveillance job is being carried out by a variety of Israeli-made UAVs.

Pakistan Dismisses Indian Data As 'Not Evidence' / India Says Pakistan In Denial, Questions Anti-Terror Pledge

Pakistan Dismisses Indian Data As 'Not Evidence' / India Says Pakistan In Denial, Questions Anti-Terror Pledge
(NSI News Source Info) January 14, 2009: Pakistan's prime minister downplayed the significance of an Indian dossier on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, saying it is not evidence - and drawing an angry response from New Delhi on Wednesday. India says the dossier shows that Pakistani militants staged the November slaughter of 164 people. India specifically blames Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group believed to have links to Pakistani intelligence. Pakistan only recently acknowledged that the only surviving Mumbai gunman was Pakistani, but it insists none of its state agencies played a role in the attacks. Under international pressure, Pakistan has detained some suspects allegedly linked to the attacks, while repeatedly calling on India to provide evidence to allow legal prosecutions. "All that has been received from India is some information. I say information because these are not evidence," Yousuf Raza Gilani told Parliament late Tuesday, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan. The dossier, handed over on Jan. 5, included transcripts of phone calls allegedly made during the siege by the attackers and their handlers in Pakistan. Previously, India had given Pakistan a letter from the lone surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, that reportedly said he and the nine other gunmen were Pakistani. In his statement, Gilani said Pakistan was continuing to examine the dossier and urged "pragmatic cooperation" between the sides. Speaking in New Delhi, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called Gilani's comments part of a "continuing pattern of evasiveness and denial" over the attacks. "These reinforce the already strong doubts which exist on Pakistan's stance on terrorism from Pakistan and on its capacity and willingness to cooperate with other countries against terrorism," Mukherjee said. The Mumbai attacks are the latest crisis to roil ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, who have already fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. In particular, Pakistani observers have warned that the incident could set back tentative steps toward resolving issues such as the disputed territory of Kashmir. Islamabad has handled the crisis clumsily, and typical "tit-for-tat" responses by the two sides will produce no constructive result, said Asad Durrani, a former head Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's main spy agency. Pakistani trucks carrying supplies for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, drive through Kozak Pass near the Pakistani border town of Chaman, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009. Pakistan reopened a supply route for NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday after tribesmen ended a three-day blockade. Violence continued elsewhere in Pakistan on Wednesday, when gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed four police officers near the city of Quetta in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, said Mohammed Ishtiaq, an area police chief. Police were still investigating the motive for the shooting. Baluchistan has long been the scene of a low-level insurgency, with militant groups seeking greater regional autonomy and a larger share of revenue from its natural resources. In a separate incident there Wednesday, a roadside bomb critically wounded seven paramilitary troops in Dera Bugti district, some 310 miles (500 kilometers) east of Quetta, said Muhammad Ashfaq, a senior police official. Sarbaz Baluch, a purported spokesman for the Baluch Republican Army, one of the main militant groups in the province, said the group staged the attack out of revenge after a large portrait of a slain nationalist Baluchi leader was removed from the area. He claimed four troops were killed and six wounded.

Somalia: Ethiopian Convoy Seen Leaving Capital /Somali Joy As Ethiopian Withdraw /Ethiopia Begins Somalia Pullout

Somalia: Ethiopian Convoy Seen Leaving Capital /Somali Joy As Ethiopian Withdraw /Ethiopia Begins Somalia Pullout
(NSI News Source Info) January 14, 2009: There have been celebrations in the Somalia capital Mogadishu after Ethiopian troops withdrew from their two main bases in the city. People are returning to homes evacuated after the Ethiopians intervened two years ago to oust Islamist forces. Their pull-out has stoked fears of a highly volatile power vacuum but others say it could pave the way for peace. A ceremony was held in the city to mark the handover of security to government forces and moderate Islamists.
An Islamist fighter with a rocket-propelled grenade waited to single out Ethiopian soldiers during their pullout of the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Islamist fighters moved into bases formerly occupied by Ethiopian troops as their planned pullout of Somalia began. The Ethiopian troops stormed into Somalia in 2006 to oust an Islamist movement that briefly controlled much of the country and to help shore up Somalia's weak transitional government. A small African Union peacekeeping force remains in Mogadishu but analysts say it is not strong enough to withstand the Islamists, who once more control much of southern Somalia. The US wants the United Nations to take over peacekeeping duties. It is time Somalia stands on its own feet so we are saying goodbye to all Somalis Col Gabre Yohanes AbateEthiopian commander Ethiopia agreed to pull out last October as part of a UN-backed peace deal between the fragile transitional government and one of the main opposition factions. One of the Ethiopian bases was reportedly immediately taken over by an insurgent group opposed to the peace deal which paved the way for the withdrawal. When Mogadishu residents heard about it on Tuesday morning, they flocked to the area to see the empty bases for themselves. "We were chanting 'Praise be to Allah', who made the troops leave our area," local man Hussein Awale told Reuters news agency. 'Good work' Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein praised the Ethiopian forces saying: "We congratulate them for the good work they did. We also congratulate them for implementing the peace agreement," reported the AFP news agency. Ethiopian troops ride on a military truck as they leave Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 13, 2009. Ethiopian troops supporting Somalia's Western-backed government quit four of their main bases in Mogadishu on Tuesday, heralding an uncertain new chapter for the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.
Ethiopian commander Col Gabre Yohanes Abate said: "It is time Somalia stands on its own feet," according to the AP news agency. Islamist insurgents control much of Mogadishu now"So we are saying goodbye to all Somalis and their dignitaries." Some 16,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict between Somalia's transitional government and the Islamists, and a million more have been forced from their homes. Ethiopia has fought two border wars with Somalia and its intervention was deeply unpopular, united disparate groups against their presence. Western diplomats hope their withdrawal could reduce support for hardline Islamists and lead to moderates joining a government of national unity. The BBC's Mohamed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says the Ethiopians withdrew from two bases in the north-east of the city, where there have been daily clashes between them and insurgents. Our reporter says there are three remaining military bases, but the withdrawal from the strategic north-east of the city is seen as a strong signal that the Ethiopians are leaving. A small group of Ethiopian troops has been seen heading for the border in recent days. UN force? Uganda, Burundi and Nigeria are willing to send extra troops but the African Union has no money to pay for them and is wary of taking on an open-ended commitment. Increasingly urgent efforts are now going on to strengthen the small African Union force. Many of the city's residents get caught in the daily skirmishesPotential donor countries have been invited to a meeting this Saturday at African Union headquarters. The UN special representative to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, told the BBC he was in favour of any plan, including that proposed by the US, for a UN peacekeeping force in Somalia. "I will be supportive of any resolution adopted by the [UN] Security Council," he said. "Somalia has been left alone for a long time in the hands of some people doing what they want." Last month UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said few countries were willing to send troops to Somalia, as there was no peace to keep. Somalia has not had an effective national government since 1991, since when various militias have been battling for control.

AEW Airborne Early Warning Aircrafts Would Be Vital Factor In Aerial Warfare

AEW Airborne Early Warning Aircrafts Would Be Vital Factor In Aerial Warfare (NSI News Source Info) January 14, 2009: From small beginnings in 1942 with the UK's Airborne Controlled Interception programme, land-based airborne early warning (AEW) has become an integral part of aerial warfare.
Over the years, the original 'radar picket' role has morphed into AEW and control (AEW&C) and, most recently, battlespace management. At the time of writing, Chinese, Indian, Israeli, Russian, Swedish and US industries are all involved in the technology and it is with their activities that this feature concerns itself. US efforts centre on the Boeing E-3 Sentry, the Boeing 737 AEW&C, the Boeing E-767 and the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye aircraft.
Of these, the Hawkeye is something of a hybrid as it is carrier capable and is the primary AEW asset of the French and US navies. With this said, land-based Hawkeyes are operated by the air arms of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan. The Erieye radar system, is an Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) developed by Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson Microwave Systems) of Sweden. It is based on the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA). The Erieye is used on a variety of aircraft platforms, such as the Brazilian Embraer R-99 or EMB-145. It has recently been implemented on the Saab 2000 aircraft. The Erieye Ground Interface Segment (EGIS; not to be confused with the Aegis combat system) is a major component of the software used by the Erieye system. The radar provides 360 degree coverage and has an instrumental range of 450km and detection range of 350 km in a dense hostile electronic warfare environment — in heavy radar clutter and at low target altitudes. In addition to this, the radar is also capable of identifying friends or foes, and has a sea surveillance mode. The Erieye system has full interoperability with NATO air defence command and control systems. Sweden has loaned two of these systems to Greece, while they are still owned by the Swedish Air Force. SAAB signed an 8 billion krona provisional contract to supply 6 of these systems to Pakistan, which was finalized in June 2006. Pakistan Air force had rejected the longer-ranged E-2C Hawkeye offer as it uses PESA radar, whereas ERIEYE is comparatively shorter ranged, but has the more advanced AESA radar (Pakistan Navy has however separated its paths from the air force & have opted for E2C Hawkeye to be mounted on its P3C Orion aircraft). Recently, Royal Thai Air Force signed the contact to order a Erieye system equipped on Saab 340 and has the option to order another system. This order is a part of Gripen order.
Of these, the Mexican aircraft are equipped with the UHF-band (300 MHz to 3 GHz) Lockheed Martin AN/APS-125 radar, while those flown by Singapore are fitted with the UHF-band Lockheed Martin AN/APS-138. All other currently operational E-2s are equipped with the UHF-band Lockheed Martin AN/APS-145 sensor, a radar that is also installed aboard a percentage of the US Customs and Border Protection service's fleet of P-3 AEW&C aircraft. Currently, Northrop Grumman continues to promote the E-2 as a land-based AEW&C platform.

UK Troops Praise Equipment, MoD Says / Minister Hears Praise For Equipment from Front Line Troops

UK Troops Praise Equipment, MoD Says / Minister Hears Praise For Equipment from Front Line Troops (NSI News Source Info) January 14, 2009: Quentin Davies, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, has visited British Forces in Afghanistan and heard first-hand views from those on the front line on the quality and availability of equipment on operations. In addition to seeing the Commander of Regional Command South, Major General Mart de Kriuf, Mr Davies received a briefing at Kandahar Airfield from the British Joint Force Support, where the news of a significant increase in equipment coming to Afghanistan operations was relayed.
At Camp Bastion Mr Davies met General Dutton, Deputy Commander ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), and visited the Joint Helicopter Force who have the challenge of flying and maintaining the helicopter assets, without which operations would grind to a halt. He also visited the Equipment Support Group where he inspected the vehicles used by British Forces in Afghanistan.
Mr Davies also paid his respects at the sunset vigil service for Corporal Elms of 2 Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, and Serjeant (spelling with a 'j' unique to The Rifles) Reed of 6th Battalion The Rifles (Territorial Army). He later learned of the efforts to treat wounded personnel on a visit to the Camp Bastion field hospital.
Later, on his visit to Task Force Helmand Headquarters in Lashkar Gah, Quentin Davies met with the Commanding Officer of Task Force Helmand, Brigadier Gordon Messenger. He was briefed on the recent operation, Sond Chara, and met servicemen from 1st Battalion The Rifles and 42 Commando who had played a vital part in its success. Many had been out on the ground for weeks, enduring gruelling weather conditions and fighting pitched battles with insurgents – testing their equipment to the full.
Praising their achievements, Mr Davies said:
"Operation Sond Chara was a truly heroic effort. I've been hearing how you all saw a lot of action, but you've done a fantastic job in the conditions. After the tragic losses we have suffered, it is good to hear that such progress, and such momentum, has been achieved."
Discussing their equipment, he heard praise from J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines Fire Support Group, for their WMIK Land Rovers – their speed, mobility and the firepower they were able to bring to the operation. J Company had been heavily involved as part of Battle Group (South)'s efforts in the operation.
A variant of TUM is the Weapons Mount Installation Kit (WMIK) for use as reconnaissance and close fire support vehicles. WMIKs are manufactured jointly by Land Rover and Ricardo Vehicle Engineering and feature a strengthened chassis and are stripped down, fitted with roll cages and weapon mounts. Typically the vehicle will carry one 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Gun, 7.62 mm General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) or on occasion the MILAN ATGM, on the rear ring-mount, with an additional pintle mounted GPMG on the front passenger side. In late 2006, the MoD announced it was purchasing 40 new belt-fed Automatic Lightweight Grenade Launchers (ALGL) made by Heckler and Koch (HK GMG) that can fire up to 360 grenades per minute with a range of up to 1.5 km.; they are to be mounted on WMIKs in Afghanistan. Land Rovers from 16th Air Assault Brigade preparing for an evening raid near Basra, Iraq. The vehicles have become a symbol of British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In keeping with their hearts and minds philosophy they were chosen for patrol duties instead of armoured fighting vehicles such as the Challenger 2 MBT and the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle. Following a spate of incidents, there has been concern that the unarmoured nature of the Wolf exposes the crews to excessive danger, and they are being supplemented by more heavily armoured vehicles such as the Vector and Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicles. The Land Rover is also being supplemented by the now British built and Alvis Panther in some utility and liaison roles and the new Supercat MWMIK due to a shortfall of WMIKs. There are reports that some of this equipment may have to be sold at below cost once operations in Iraq are completed as the Treasury has refused to cover the cost of replacement. In Afghanistan "an average of one of these vehicles a week" is being lost, and with replacements often arriving late; a "fifth of the fleet" of WMIKs is currently "damaged or has been destroyed by enemy fire".
Sergeant James Melhuish RM of J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said: "The WMIK is a fantastic bit of kit; as a mobile fire platform they were a battle-winner in Op Sond Chara."
He also praised the Javelin missile, saying: "Javelin is a fantastic battle-winner – we were using it on an almost daily basis out on Op Sond Chara. It's perfect for when we need to make a surgical strike, particularly against large groups of enemy or where they are well protected – its accuracy and speed is awesome, without the need to wait for Close Air Support or Apaches."
42 Commando were keen to discuss helicopters, particularly the availability of strategic lift. In response, Mr Davies said:
"There have been developments in Iraq which will see Merlins coming to Afghanistan for the first time. Furthermore, we are re-engineering 12 Lynxes – they will be able to work harder than before and there will be no issue with hot and high conditions. This will bring new capacity to Afghanistan."
While some of the troops were keen to raise compatibility of new equipment with old as an issue, all were in agreement that progress had been made, in particular with the provision of night-vision equipment.
Sergeant Major Russ Taylor RM, J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said: "There has been a marked improvement with night-vision, everyone now has some form of capability. It has been the big development of the last few years and is a real progression."
Mr Davies was also briefed on the practical implications of new equipment – the training bill that comes with it, the timescales involved and the need for synchronicity of the new with existing equipment:
"Coming here and hearing your experiences and your opinions is important and helps me – I tried on your issue equipment yesterday and I know that with the protection it offers comes the challenge of weight. This issue must be one of our major priorities. In addition to informing our own programmes, I'm very keen to make leverage with the Americans so we can make use of their research and development – let's not reinvent the wheel.
"I've had very good discussions with the Brigadier as to what he sees are the requirements – from strategic lift, mobility on the ground and force protection. Along with what I have heard today from those serving with The Rifles and 42 Commando, I will take this away, and it will help inform future decisions."
Whilst in Lashkar Gah he also visited the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team who daily face the risk of unexploded ordnance and the IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) which have tragically claimed the lives of so many British personnel. He received briefs on the efforts being taken to negate the risks such devices pose and learned more about how intelligence and precise targeting were helping to expose the weaknesses of the enemy, whilst minimising the risk for civilians.
He added:
"I've been most impressed by the professionalism and thoroughness of all the work going into our operations here and I am sure that is why we are chalking up an increasing number of successes.
"The overall message from my visit is that British fighting forces have never been better equipped – there is a constant flow of new equipment, including personal issue kit, ISTAR [Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance] and electronic equipment as well as armoured vehicles. Generally, the training and support packages that goes with this equipment is working very well. But this doesn't mean we must be complacent, and I return to London with a number of issues which I want to take up as a matter of priority.
"I have been immensely impressed by the efforts of everyone out here and know that further success will follow."

Chad: Is Another Somalia, Bandits loot Food Trucks And Jungle Laws Applies

Chad: Is Another Somalia, Bandits loot Food Trucks And Jungle Laws Applies
(NSI News Source Info) January 14, 2009: It's quiet out there in eastern Chad, too quiet. The 3,700 European peacemakers may not have a lot of combat capability, but they do have some aircraft and UAVs and information collecting skills.
Apparently the rebel and government forces on both sides of the Sudan border have been receiving more weapons, learning how to use them, and training new recruits.
In other words, while the ceasefire is holding, everyone is getting ready for another round of fighting. Particularly worrisome are Sudanese probes across the border. This includes Sudanese aircraft crossing the border, apparently to look around, at night. Sudanese ground patrols are also all over the border, including night crossings to check out routes that could be used for more raids. Meanwhile, the civilian aid groups are demanding more military protection for their personnel. Protecting the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in this part of the world is very difficult. For example, the food that is imported to feed half a million refugees and other starving people in Chad, must be trucked in 2,800 kilometers from Libyan ports. There are currently 158 trucks en route, in two convoys. This route (it isn't really a road) can only be used five months a year, because the rest of the time seasonal rains turn stretches of the route into impassable mud and unfordable streams.
Libya protects the convoys from bandits until the trucks reach the Chad border. After that, Chad is supposed to take over security, but this does not always happen. As the food trucks move to the half dozen main refugee camps, bandits come in and take what they want. Last year, there were 2-3 attacks on relief workers (two-thirds from NGOs, the rest UN) each week. There are not sufficient peacekeepers in eastern Chad to protect the thousands of relief workers in the area, and the attacks are becoming more numerous and violent. The UN is having a hard time getting donations of food and money for Chad operations, and there's even less enthusiasm for contributing troops to the larger (by a third) UN peacekeeper force slated to replace the 3,700 EU troops this year. Everyone, both inside and outside Chad, just wishes the situation would go away. But it won't. It's fly paper for the goodhearted, a pit of pure evil that no one knows what to do with.

Embraer Sets Record with 2008 Deliveries / Embraer Sets New Record By Delivering 204 Jets In 2008

Embraer Sets Record with 2008 Deliveries / Embraer Sets New Record By Delivering 204 Jets In 2008 (NSI News Source Info) SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS, Brazil - January 14, 2009: Embraer delivered 59 jets to the Commercial, Executive, and Defense and Government aviation segments during the fourth quarter of 2008 (4Q08), totaling 204 jets in the year. For the second consecutive year, the Company set a new aircraft delivery record, delivering 20% more airplanes than in 2007 (169 jets). The last quarter of 2008 was also marked by the delivery of the first two Phenom 100 executive jets.
The value of the firm order backlog came to US$ 20.9 billion, on December 31, 2008.
During 4Q08, Embraer delivered 44 E-Jets to Commercial Aviation, eight Legacy 600s, two Phenom 100s, and one EMBRAER 175 to Executive Aviation, and four jets to the Defense and Government segment:
Deliveries by Segment: 2008
-- Commercial Aviation: 162
ERJ 145: 6
EMBRAER 170: 9
EMBRAER 175: 55
EMBRAER 190: 78
EMBRAER 195: 14
--Executive Aviation: 36
Phenom 100: 2
Legacy 600: 33
EMBRAER 175: 1
--Defense and Government: 6
ERJ 135: 2 RJ 145: 1
Legacy 600: 3
TOTAL: 204
During the last quarter of 2008, Embraer increased the number of customers with firm orders for jets from the EMBRAER 170/190 family, with the sale of 11 E-Jets (six EMBRAER 170s and five EMBRAER 190s) to British Airways, from the United Kingdom. The Company delivered the first EMBRAER 190s to Holland’s KLM Cityhopper, and EMBRAER 195s to Azul Linhas Aéreas, which is the first Brazilian airline to operate an E-Jet. Regional - Compagnie Aérienne Européene, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air France, received the 500th E-Jet.
The ERJ 145 is a family of regional jets produced by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. Family members include the ERJ 135, ERJ 140, and ERJ 145, as well as the Legacy business jet and the R-99 family of military aircraft. The ERJ 145 is the largest of the group. Each jet in the series is powered by two turbofan engines. The family's primary competition comes from the Canadair regional jets.
The new sales of the Phenom executive jets family increased the number of firm contracts to over 850 aircraft. The entry level Phenom 100 jet received the Type Certificate (TC) from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil – ANAC) and from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The first two units of the jet were delivered in December.
The ultra-large Lineage 1000 received, in the end of year, the Type Certificate from ANAC and from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the FAA.
In the Defense and Government segment, Embraer signed another important contract for the Super Tucano in Latin America with the Dominican Republic, besides the sale of one aircraft for transporting government officials in Asia to the Royal Thai Army. The Company signed a contract amendment with the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira – FAB) for the A-1M program of AMX modernization, in December.
Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A.) is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 120 seats, and one of Brazil's leading exporters. Embraer's headquarters are located in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, and it has offices, industrial operations and customer service facilities in Brazil, the United States, France, Portugal, China and Singapore. Founded in 1969, the Company designs, develops, manufactures and sells aircraft for the Commercial Aviation, Executive Aviation, and Defense and Government segments. The Company also provides after sales support and services to customers worldwide. On December 31, 2008, Embraer had a workforce of 23,509 employees and a firm order backlog of US$ 20.9 billion.

Russian RPGs Seen Dominating LAW Market / Russian RPG Line Remains Dominant / Russian RPG Dominates The World's Man-Portable Anti-Armor Weapon Market

Russian RPGs Seen Dominating LAW Market / Russian RPG Line Remains Dominant / Russian RPG Dominates The World's Man-Portable Anti-Armor Weapon Market (NSI News Source Info) NEWTOWN, Conn. - January 14, 2009: As Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-present) continues to demonstrate, the man-portable anti-armor weapon remains a particularly significant asset on the modern asymmetric battlefield. The role of the man-portable anti-armor weapon continues to morph from a dedicated anti-tank weapon to a general-purpose fire support asset for light and medium forces. (Photo: Iraqi Security Force (ISF) soldier with an RPG 7)
In its annual analysis, "The Market for Man-Portable Anti-Armor and ‘Bunker Buster’ Weapons," the Forecast International Weapons Group expects the market will produce over 1.79 million weapons, worth in excess of $5 billion, through 2018.
According to Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, “The market is evolving to address radical changes in the worldwide security environment. The challenges of this new environment present particularly ripe opportunities for man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons.” Russian defense contractors will continue to dominate the market, accounting for 59.31 percent of man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapon production, worth 46.53 percent of the total market value, through 2018.
During this period, the RPG-26 and RPG-27 will account for 44.63 percent of all new production, worth 25.55 percent of the total market value. Nevertheless, the ubiquitous RPG-7 remains the man-portable anti-armor weapon of choice worldwide.
The Forecast International Weapons Group expects the Russian RPG-7 series, as well as various licensed and unlicensed copies, will account for 7.55 percent of all new production, worth 5.37 percent of the total market value, through 2018. In contrast, the combined output of the leading European players will provide 12.10 percent of all man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons production.
However, these European players will account for 28.94 percent of the total market value through 2018. Of the European programs, Lockwood expects the MBT LAW will prove the most significant, accounting for 4.18 percent of all production, worth 16.15 percent of the total market value, through 2018.
Talley Defense Systems remains the sole American player to have an impact on the international market for man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons. Talley’s line of M72 LAW and M141 Bunker Defeat Munitions will account for 19.38 percent of all production, worth 16.78 percent of the total market value, through 2018. Unusually, the People’s Republic of China has virtually no impact on this market, contributing only 1.14 percent of total production and 0.70 percent of total market value with its Type 69 line.
The RPG-7 is a widely-produced, portable, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket propelled grenade weapon. Originally the RPG-7 [Hand-held], Protivotankovyi [Anti-Tank], Granatomjët and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company. The weapon has the GRAU index 6G3. The ruggedness, simplicity, low cost, and effectiveness of the RPG-7 have made it the most widely used anti-tank weapon in the world. Currently around 40 countries use the weapon, and it is manufactured in a number of variants by nine countries. It is also popular with irregular and guerrilla forces. The RPG has been used in almost all conflicts across all continents since the mid-1960s from the Vietnam War to the present day War in Afghanistan and Iraq War. The most commonly seen major variations are the RPG-7D paratrooper model (able to be broken into two parts for easier carrying), and the lighter Chinese Type 69 RPG. The RPG-7 was first delivered to the Soviet Army in 1961 and deployed at a squad level. It replaced the RPG-2, having clearly out-performed the intermediate RPG-4 design during testing. Its original design concept originated with two World War II era weapons: the American Bazooka and the German Panzerfaust. The current model produced by Russia is the RPG-7V2, capable of firing standard and dual high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, high explosive/fragmentation, and thermobaric warheads, with a UP-7V sighting device fitted (used in tandem with the standard 2.7x PGO-7 optical sight) to allow the use of extended range ammunition. The RPG-7D3 is the equivalent paratrooper model. Both the RPG-7V2 and RPG-7D3 were adopted by the Russian Ground Forces in 2001.
Despite the uncertainties of a post-Cold War world and the glut of available weapons, the international market for man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons remains a vibrant, dynamic environment. Evolving threat scenarios and new force structures are creating a new field of opportunity for the man-portable anti-armor weapon on the modern asymmetric battlefield.
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.

Oshkosh Submits Proposal For M-ATV Program / Oshkosh Defense Submits Proposal For M-ATV Program Based On Combat-Proven, Production-Ready MTVR

Oshkosh Submits Proposal For M-ATV Program / Oshkosh Defense Submits Proposal For M-ATV Program Based On Combat-Proven, Production-Ready MTVR (NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. - January 14, 2009: Oshkosh Corporation, announced today that its Defense division submitted its proposal for the U.S. Army’s MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) program on January 9, 2009.
The company’s submittal is based on the combat-proven Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) chassis, which has been successfully operating off road in Afghanistan as well as around the world for several years. The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) is accepting proposals for the M-ATV program, which seeks a highly mobile, more maneuverable and durable alternative to the current Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for off-road operation in the rough terrain of Afghanistan.
Oshkosh’s nondevelopmental M-ATV vehicle features an existing hull, which was developed and successfully tested for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. The hull, with its superior MANPRINT, and MTVR chassis combine to create a highly survivable, highly mobile combat vehicle to meet the urgent need for the Warfighter in Afghanistan.
“The Oshkosh Defense M-ATV is a variant of our armored MTVR, a proven vehicle that has protected and served our military men and women in off-road operations for years,” said John Stoddart, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense.
There are six distinct benefits that Oshkosh believes sets its vehicle ahead of any other offering. The vehicle is: Survivable, Mobile, Mission-Proven, Production-Ready, Best Value and Low Price. “This is a mature, highly mobile vehicle that has operated successfully in the off-road mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, and we have several manufacturing facilities within our corporation that have excess capacity to exceed the Services’ delivery requirements,” added Stoddart. “We stand ready to provide the Services with the vehicle they want.”
To ensure superior protection and survivability, Oshkosh is partnered with Plasan North America to provide the Oshkosh M-ATV’s armor system. Plasan has produced armor systems for more than 5,000 current MRAP vehicles and for the Armored Cab MTVR. These armor systems have saved lives in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The vehicle also will feature Oshkosh’s signature TAK-4 independent suspension system for exceptional off-road ride quality and durability to meet the essential capability not available in the current MRAP fleet – exceptional off-road mobility and durability. The Oshkosh M-ATV provides superior weight-carrying capability to avoid axles breaking in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan.
The Oshkosh M-ATV further provides parts and maintenance commonality with the MTVR and other tactical vehicles, which will minimize production costs and increase mission readiness. The Oshkosh MTVR was developed and fielded nearly 10 years ago as a next-generation replacement for the medium tactical fleet for the Marine Corps, particularly for all-terrain missions.
(Above photo: Two MK23 MTVR's equipped with Plasan MAS armor at Camp Pendleton, California) Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) or 7-Ton, is a six-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle used by the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy. It is designed to replace the old M900-series of tactical trucks, and was first fielded in 1998, after the contract was awarded to Oshkosh Truck Corporation. The MTVR comes in several variants, for a wide spectrum of tasks. It offers a major improvement in offroad capability. The MTVR is often referred to as a 7-Ton as this denotes the vehicle's off-road cargo capacity. The MTVR's maximum payload on paved surfaces is 15 tons. The MTVR is the Marine Corps prime mover for the M777 howitzer, fuel and water assets, troops and a wide variety of equipment. Its wide versatility and offroad capability make the MTVR an integral part of the Marine Corps logistical backbone.
The vehicle has more than 400,000 government-tested miles at a 70 percent off-road mission profile, making it ideal for Afghanistan. Many of the MTVRs have more than 70,000 operational miles in Afghanistan and are proving their durability with a 92 percent or better operational readiness rate in theater. The vehicle’s success was recently marked following Oshkosh’s production of the 10,000th MTVR in 2008. The vehicle features an off-road 7.1-ton payload capacity and an on-road 15-ton payload capacity.
The Oshkosh M-ATV is the survivability, mobility, mission-proven, production-ready and best value/low price solution for the Warfighter. The company’s main focus is to provide the best survivability solution coupled with the best mobility system to get American men and women into and out of the fight in areas where other vehicles fear to tread.
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection.

Taiwan's AIDC To Join Mitsubishi In Developing Regional Jet

Taiwan's AIDC To Join Mitsubishi In Developing Regional Jet
(NSI News Source Info) Taipei - January 14, 2009: Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) will join Japans's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd in developing regional jets, the Central News Agency (CNA) said Saturday. Mitsubishi has invited AIDC to jointly develop regional jets due to AIDC 's capability in aircraft design and manufacturing, CNA quoted Economics Minister Yin Chi-ming as saying. AIDC and Mitsubishi have formed a "partnership relationship" on developing commercial regional jets. Yin will visit Mitsubishi's aeronautics department next week to push the deal, CNA said. CNA said that Mitsubishi has entrusted AIDC to design a certain part of the regional jet, but AIDC also wants to be allowed to manufacture components for the jet. Mitsubishi is involved in making ships, planes and bullet trains. Its aeronautics section is called the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp which is in Nagoya, Japan.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is a passenger jet aircraft seating 70-96 passengers to be manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, a partnership between majority owner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toyota Motor Corporation. The aircraft program is expected to be launched in early 2008. On March 28, 2008, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp launched the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a 70-90 seat regional jet developed jointly with Pratt & Whitney, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins and Sumitomo Precision Products co Ltd. AIDC, based in Taichung, central Taiwan, used to be Taiwan's state-owned military aircraft maker, having produced UH-1H helicopters,? F-5E/F bombers and the Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF). The company became privatized in 1996, and is now focused on manufacturing components for commercial aircraft for Taiwanese and overseas clients.