Wednesday, January 28, 2009

EADS To Aid Flight Trials Of Indian LCA

EADS To Aid Flight Trials Of Indian LCA
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - January 29, 2009: The Indian Defence Ministry has short-listed EADS on a $20 million contract to aid in the flight trials of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The deal is expected to be signed during Aero India 2009, from Feb. 11-14 at Bangalore, said a senior Defence Ministry official. The HAL Tejas is a lightweight multirole fighter aircraft developed by India. It is a tailless, compound delta wing design powered by a single engine. Originally known as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – a designation which continues in popular usage – the aircraft was officially named "Tejas"., by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 4 May 2003. Limited series production of the Tejas commenced in 2007; it is currently projected to achieve limited initial operational clearance (IOC) with the Indian Air Force (IAF) by 2008, followed by full operational clearance (FOC) by the end of 2010. A two-seat trainer variant is also in development (exited the production line as of November 2008), as is a naval variant capable of operating from the Indian Navy's aircraft carriers. The IAF is reported to have a requirement for 200 single-seat and 20 two-seat conversion trainers, while the Indian Navy may order up to 40 single-seaters to replace its Sea Harrier FRS.51 and Harrier T.60. The LCA naval variant is expected to take to the skies by 2009. India's Aeronautical Development Agency, which designed, developed and monitors the LCA, had sought overseas partners to carry out design-and-development work in the flight-testing stage. The consulting company would help speed the flight testing through initial operational clearance and final operational clearance. Technical and commercial bids had been invited from EADS, Saab of Sweden, Dassault of France, Boeing and Lockheed Martin of the United States, and MiG Corp. of Russia. LCA development areas that EADS would aid include flight envelope expansion; flight testing for high angle of attack; aero database validation; external stores carriage with emphasis on stores separation modeling and testing; wake modeling and penetration flight tests; and refinements to existing simulation models. LCA is preparing to enter into the weapon-integration stage, and the first aircraft are expected to be inducted into the Air Force by 2010, nearly 15 years behind schedule. The Air Force has ordered 20 LCAs valued at more than $500 million. State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics is expected to roll out eight aircraft annually. The aim of the current flight trial program is to achieve initial operational clearance with the multimode radar integrated with a weapon suite. It could take three years and about 1,500 hours of flight testing to move into final operational clearance. Eight limited series production aircraft, along with two technical demonstrators and five prototypes, are part of the LCA's design-and-development program. The LCA is a single-seat, single-engine, supersonic multirole air superiority fighter jet designed for air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea combat roles.

General Dynamics Awarded $12 Million For MK47 STRIKER40 Weapon System Production

General Dynamics Awarded $12 Million For MK47 STRIKER40 Weapon System Production
(NSI News Source Info) CHARLOTTE, N.C. – January 29, 2009: General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics, has been awarded a $12 million contract from the U.S. government for production of the MK47 STRIKER40® Weapon System. “The MK47 is a lightweight grenade launcher capable of firing airbursting munitions.
Integrating the latest sensing, targeting and computer-programming technology, the MK47 is a reliable, portable 40mm grenade weapon system suited for mobile, tactical combat soldier units. It provides forces with a decisive technological advantage over enemies equipped with older crew-served weapons,” said Jeff Gramse, program manager of gun systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. Production work will be performed at General Dynamics in Saco, Maine, with program management being shared with the company’s Burlington, Vt., facility.

Japan Forces Arrive In Guam For Joint Exercise

Japan Forces Arrive In Guam For Joint Exercise
(NSI News Source Info) January 29, 2009: Japan Air Self Defense Force members offload from a C-130 after arriving Jan. 27 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. More than 60 JASDF members arrived in three C-130s to participate in Exercise Cope North 09-1, a regularly scheduled exercise scheduled for Feb. 2 through 13. Cope North is designed to enhance U.S. and Japanese air operations in defense of Japan.

Russian Strategic Bombers Fly Near Alaska On Routine Patrol

Russian Strategic Bombers Fly Near Alaska On Routine Patrol
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - January 29, 2009: A pair of Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers have carried out a routine patrol flight over the Arctic Ocean off Alaska, an Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday. "Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off from an airbase in eastern Russia on Tuesday and successfully carried out a patrol mission over the neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean and near Alaska," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik told RIA Novosti. The Tu-95 is still in service, as of 2008, and is expected to remain in service with the Russian Air Force until at least 2040. The Tu-95 is powered by four Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop engines, each driving contra-rotating propellers, and remains the fastest propeller-driven aircraft to go into operational use. Its wings are swept back at 35 degrees, a very sharp angle by the standards of propeller-driven aircraft. *Operators Current: Russia ~ Russian Air Force - 64 Tu-95MS Strategic bombers. The spokesman said that during the 10-hour mission, the crews practiced instrumental flight maneuvers in arctic climate conditions. "On route, the bombers were accompanied for 10 minutes by four USAF F-15 Eagle fighters," Drik added. Russia resumed regular strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in August 2007, following an order signed by then-president Vladimir Putin. All flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict compliance with international law on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.

Russia Delivers Mi-171 Helicopters To Iran

Russia Delivers Mi-171 Helicopters To Iran
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN - January 29, 2009: Russia has started deliveries of Mi-171 Hip transport helicopters to Iran under a $45 million contract, the Fars news agency reported on Wednesday. They will be operated by Iran's Red Crescent for rescue missions and the evacuation of people injured in natural disasters. The Mil Mi-17 (also known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service, NATO reporting name ("Hip") is a Russian-designed helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. *The Mi-17 is also used for search and rescue team like Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department in Malaysia. *In October 2007 reported the government of Saudi Arabia had signed a contract for up to 150 Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters worth $2.2billion. On 28 October 2008. *Royal Thai Army is proposes deal to buy 6 Mi-17 to meet its requirement of medium-lift helicopter. This is the first time in history Thai military buys aircraft from Russia. *A licensed production of the Mi-17 will start in China with production being led by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC and the Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Limited in Chengdu, Sichuan province. *On 15th December 2008, Defense News reported that India will purchase 80 Mi-17IV helicopters which will be delivered to Indian Air Force between 2010 and 2014. These will replace aging Mi-8s. Russia has already delivered two helicopters, and will supply another three to Tehran before the end of March. The contract was signed with the East Siberian Ulan Ude helicopter plant, which manufactures Mi-171 transport and Mi-171Sh combat/transport helicopters, in October 2007.

Pakistan Army 'Will Retake Swat'

Pakistan Army 'Will Retake Swat'
(NSI News Source Info) Islamabad - January 29, 2009: Pakistan's army chief has pledged to restore government control of the Swat valley, which is currently controlled by Taleban militants. Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani made the remarks to troops during a visit to the former tourist resort in the country's north-west near the Afghan border. Troops were deployed in Swat after an Islamic insurgency began in 2007. Hundreds have died in battles between troops and militants seeking to impose their austere version of Islamic law. The BBC's M Ilyas Khan says Gen Kayani's remarks come at a time when military circles are talking of a new phase in operations against the militants. The authorities are under severe pressure over the deteriorating security situation in Swat. Killings Gen Kayani "reiterated that the army had both the will and resolve to establish the writ of the government" in Swat, a military statement said. "No amount of sacrifice will deter us to do our duty," Gen Kayani said, according to the statement. The general also "lauded the morale" of soldiers in Swat, a mountainous region of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) which until two years ago was a popular tourist area. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari also pledged on Wednesday to curb militancy in the valley and stop the Taleban from establishing their own courts, a government spokesman said. Gen Kayani's comments coincided with an army statement which said that security forces killed seven militants and wounded 11 others in an operation in two villages there. There was no independent confirmation of the casualty figures or if those killed were militants. Civilians deaths are frequently reported in the violence. Further evidence of the deteriorating situation in Swat came when security forces found eight bullet-ridden bodies in the valley on Wednesday. The bodies were found in the town of Mingora. The militants are led by a radical local cleric, Maulana Fazlullah, who is linked to the Taleban. His men are accused of killing dozens of state employees and government supporters in addition to destroying nearly 200 schools - most of them for girls. The Taleban oppose education for girls, which they say is un-Islamic.

There Is No Agreement With US For Drone Attacks: Pakistan /Pakistan To U.S.: Stop The Drone Strikes (And More Weapons, Please) / Islamabad: No Deal...

There Is No Agreement With US For Drone Attacks: Pakistan /Pakistan To U.S.: Stop The Drone Strikes (And More Weapons, Please) / Islamabad: No Deal Allowing U.S. Predators Into Pakistan (NSI News Source Info) Islamabad - January 29, 2009: Pakistan has no agreement with the US that allowed drone attacks inside its territory, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Wednesday Jan 28. "There is no understanding between Pakistan and the United States on predator attacks," said Muhammad Sadiq in response to the statement by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates that US would continue such attacks against militants and that Pakistan was aware of this.
But the spokesman rejected the comments and said Pakistan had done more than any other country as far as Al Qaeda is concerned. "We look forward to working closely with the new US administration on all issues, including in the fight against terrorism," he said.
On Tuesday, Gates told a Senate Panel that missile strikes in Pakistan would continue in an effort to root out Al Qaeda members who have based themselves across the border from Afghanistan."Both president Bush and President Obama have made clear that we will go after Al Qaeda wherever Al Qaeda is.
And we will continue to pursue this," he said.Pakistan was expecting that the new US administration under President Barack Obama would bring an end to missile strikes inside Pakistani territory, but Gates' statement Tuesday has cleared the picture that there would be no pause on strikes.
US drones regularly conduct missile strikes on Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan, which Washington says aimed at targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.
Officials say that US carried out around 50 missile strikes on Pakistan last year, with civilians as majority of the casualties. Earlier, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said that drone attacks could affect Pakistan-US ties and asked Washington to stop drone attacks. He said that diplomatic and military contacts would be used to stop the US attacks.

£650 Million Royal Navy Warship Arrives In Portsmouth

£650 Million Royal Navy Warship Arrives In Portsmouth
(NSI News Source Info) January 29, 2009: The Royal Navy's newest warship, built at a cost of £650 million, sailed into its home port for the first time today. HMS Daring, the world's most advanced destroyer, was officially handed over to the navy last month after work was completed at the BVT Surface Fleet's Scotstoun shipyard on the Clyde, Scotland. The 7,350-tonne ship will be the first of the Royal Navy's series of six Type 45 destroyers. Daring was met at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, by a 15-gun salute as well as by families and friends of the ship's company. Hundreds of members of public also lined the harbour walls to welcome the ship. The ship features the latest propulsion, anti-aircraft weapon and stealth technology. The Type 45 destroyers have nearly twice the range - about 7,000 miles - and are 45% more fuel-efficient than the Type 42 destroyers they are replacing in the £6 billion project. It is capable of sailing 3,000 nautical miles, operating for three days and returning home without the need to refuel.
Daring, the first of the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers, entered and berthed in her home port of Portsmouth today for the first time, witnessed by hundreds of well-wishers.
The ships are to be armed with a new hi-tech missile system renamed today as the "Sea Viper", formerly known as the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (Paams). The Sea Viper system, in conjunction with the ship's Sampson Radar system, is capable of tracking hundreds of targets as far as 250 miles away and engaging up to 10 of them simultaneously. Daring can operate various helicopters, including the Chinook, embark 60 Royal Marines and is able to accommodate up to 700 people as part of an emergency evacuation. It has a crew of 191 and generates enough electricity from its gas and diesel engines to power a city the size of Leicester. The ship has been fitted with improved accommodation for ratings include larger bed spaces and less beds per room than previous destroyers. Daring was launched from BVT's facility in Scotstoun by the Countess of Wessex in January 2006. Since then it has undergone three sets of contractor sea trials. It will now undertake an intensive sea trials programme for the rest of the year, with a formal commissioning ceremony due to take place in the summer with a target of formal acceptance into service by late 2010. A flypast by Royal Navy and RAF aircraft took place as Daring entered Portsmouth Harbour. Quentin Davies, minister for defence equipment and support said: "HMS Daring is one of the most advanced ships ever built and along with the five other Type 45s will be one of the essential pillars of the Royal Navy in the 21st century. "Today is a special day for the Royal Navy, the city of Portsmouth and her dockyard, the crew of HMS Daring and all those involved in building her, as one of the most powerful warships in the world enters her home port for the first time. "It is with great pride that I have been able to witness the first arrival of HMS Daring into Portsmouth today." Defending placing such a large investment into a single warship, Mr Davies added: "This is a very flexible warship and I can see her as being of immense use to the defence of the nation in a variety of scenarios. "She is not a one-trick pony, she is the opposite of that." Speaking of the missile system, Mr Davies said: "The newly named Sea Viper, a world-leading missile system will allow the ship to detect her prey, target it and issue a deadly strike." Daring's commanding officer Captain Paul Bennett added: "Daring is a good-looking, large capability platform. She is an illustration of the talent and capability of British shipbuilding. "Today provides a fitting opportunity to mark the first entry into Portsmouth of a new class of destroyer for over 30 years. "It's been a fantastic event to mark the passage of this great warship into her home port and we look forward to a successful year of sea trials before embarking on operations."

American, British Forces Hone Warfighting Skills Together

American, British Forces Hone Warfighting Skills Together
By Casey E. Bain
Joint Fires Integration and Interoperability Team, U.S. Joint Forces Command
(NSI News Source Info) FORT POLK, La. - January 28, 2009: American Airmen and British joint terminal attack controllers and U.S. Army joint fires observers improved their warfighting skills here in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
The U.S. Army's 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson, Colo., currently is conducting their mission rehearsal exercise in preparation for its deployment to Afghanistan later this year.
Part of this training is focused on improving the close-air-support skills of the JTACs and JFOs supporting the 4th BCT.
American Airmen and British joint terminal attack controllers and U.S. Army joint fires observers conduct an after action report at the Joint Readiness Center in Fort Polk, La. (U.S. Air Force photo/Casey Bain)
Assisted by the operations group staff, officials of the Joint Readiness Training Center, the Air Force's Green Flag East, and U.S. Joint Forces Command's Joint Fires Integration and Interoperability Team, the 4th BCT members honed skills critical to its success during deployment.
"JRTC and Green Flag East have done a superb job of enhancing (close-air support) training for Army, Air Force, and coalition units as they prepare for the challenges that lay ahead once deployed in combat," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chris Olson, the JFIIT lead at JRTC. "Our job is to help integrate those assets and bridge the gaps between the services so they can improve their combat effectiveness while reducing the potential of fratricide and collateral damage on a very fluid and ever-changing battlefield."
Part of this joint close-air-support training involves integrating coalition assets like the British GR-4 Tornado from Royal Air Force Station Lossiemouth in Scotland.
"Our training at JRTC has been excellent," said Staff Sgt. Clinton Herblson, a 4th BCT JTAC from the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Carson. "The realistic training that we're receiving here will prepare us for the conditions we'll face once in country. Plus, the opportunity to work with our British counterparts is priceless; something that we normally wouldn't experience until we were actually deployed."
JRTC employs joint assets to provide realistic and rigorous training that replicates the operational environment found in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"The opportunity to train alongside other services and our coalition partners can't be overstated," said Army 2nd Lt. Gabriel Dearman, a fire support officer with Delta Company, 2-12 Infantry, 4th BCT, 4th ID. "This is the first time that we've had the chance to experience this level of training. It's taken our air-to-ground skills to a whole new level of proficiency."
Army Sgt. Clint Inderbitzen, a JFO from Charlie Company, 2-12 Infantry, 4th BCT, 4thID couldn't agree more.
"The training we receive at home station is good, but the opportunity to train here with so many different assets, like the British pilots flying the GR-4s, will only help us to execute our mission better once we're deployed," he said. The ability to provide JTACs and JFOs an opportunity to plan and execute a realistic mission in a live environment with many of the same assets they will have once in theater is crucial to the unit's success, said Army Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Lever, a JRTC fire support training mentor.
"Coaching, teaching, and mentoring Soldiers how to fully utilize all the capabilities at their disposal is an important part of what we do," Sergeant Lever said. "We're teaching fire supporters how to better execute multiple aspects of their mission, whether it's lethal or non-lethal effects that are needed by the maneuver commander."
The need for brigade combat teams to continue honing their joint air-to-ground skills is an important part of their training mission at home station and in other training events, according to JRTC, Green Flag East, and JFIIT leaders.
"(Brigade combat teams) need to become very familiar with what their Air Force JTACs and other joint assets can do to help the ground commander execute their mission more efficiently and effectively," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Corey Ingram, the lead fire support planner for JFIIT. "JTACs and JFOs working closely together at home station and in a JRTC training environment will build confidence in the entire fires team, which will pay huge dividends once they're deployed."
The benefits to this enhanced joint training environment have become evident to many of the leaders and Soldiers training here.
"JRTC has provided us with the best training that we've ever received," Lieutenant Dearman said. "From integrating numerous joint and coalition assets to allowing us to use and implement what we've learned from school and home station, we're not perfect but I think we're getting better every day."

Malaysia Takes Delivery of First Submarine / DCNS Hands Over Malaysia’s First Submarine / DCNS Delivers Royal Malaysian Navy’s Very First Submarine

Malaysia Takes Delivery of First Submarine / DCNS Hands Over Malaysia’s First Submarine / DCNS Delivers Royal Malaysian Navy’s Very First Submarine (NSI News Source Info) TOULON, France - January 28, 2009: Today (Jan. 27), DCNS delivered the Royal Malaysian Navy’s first-ever submarine. This on-time delivery follows Malaysia’s decision to set up a submarine force comprising two Scorpene-type conventional-propulsion boats.
The Royal Malaysian Navy took formal delivery of Scorpene submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman at today’s official handover in Toulon. The guests of honour included RMN Chief of Staff Admiral Dato’Sri Aziz Hj Jaafar.
Scorpène class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarine. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP), jointly developed by the French company DCNS, formerly DCN, and the Spanish company Navantia (Formerly Bazan, then Izar). The Chilean Navy ordered two Scorpène, which will replace the two Oberon class submarines retired by the Chilean Navy. The Royal Malaysian Navy ordered two, and the Indian Navy ordered six. All will be built in India at Mazagon Dock Limited. In 2008, the Brazilian Navy ordered four Scorpène, in addition to a fifth hull to be fitted with an indigenous nuclear propulsion plant. The Chilean Scorpène class O'Higgins and Carrera were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and are currently the only two in operation.
KD Tunku Abdul Rahman is the first of two Scorpene submarines ordered by Malaysia in June 2002 and developed jointly by DCNS and Spanish naval shipbuilder Navantia. In addition to the submarines proper, the contract calls for associated logistics and training. The submariners have been training in the Naval Training Center of DCI/NAVFCO since 2005, among a total of 146 Malaysians.
This major milestone for the RMN follows the completion, in late December 2008, of KD Tunku Abdul Rahman’s final sea trials demonstrating remarkable operational and combat system capabilities. These trials included successful firings of Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes and missiles.
KD Tunku Abdul Rahman is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia early in the second half of 2009. The second of the series, KD Tun Razak, is scheduled for delivery in late 2009. Manned by Malaysian crews of just 31, the boats offer an endurance of 45 days for a displacement of 1,550 tonnes and a length overall of 67.5 metres.
Scorpene represents the state of the art in submarine design and construction and benefits from the latest technologies developed for nuclear-powered classes operated by the French Navy, particularly as regards acoustic discretion and combat system performance. Excellent endurance makes the Scorpene one of the few medium-displacement designs suitable for extended ocean patrol duties. The modular design can also be readily tailored to each customer’s specific mission profiles and other requirements.
This programme confirms DCNS’s know-how as a leading prime contractor for sophisticated warship programmes. With ten units ordered to date (two for Chile, two for Malaysia and six for India), Scorpene is truly an international benchmark in SSK design.
The DCNS Group is one of Europe’s leading players on the world market for naval defence systems. To meet customer demands for more comprehensive and integrated systems, DCNS acts as prime contractor for naval shipbuilding, integration and support by combining its own development, marketing and production capabilities with those of selected partners. To manage the complexity of such projects, the Group draws on in-house expertise in naval architecture and systems engineering, ship assembly and integration and equipment design and production, as well as through-life support.
The DCNS Group employs 13,000 people and generates annual revenues of around €2.8 billion. DCI/NAVFCO has, since its creation, trained over 13 000 officers, naval engineers, submarine officer and specialists. Its services, which are accredited by the French Navy, are adapted to the special naval and aero-naval requirements of its client countries.

U. S. Navy And Marines Are Testing Continues of Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle / Peleliu Becomes First LHA to Receive EFV in Welldeck

U. S. Navy And Marines Are Testing Continues of Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle / Peleliu Becomes First LHA to Receive EFV in Welldeck (NSI News Source Info) CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -January 28, 2009: USS Peleliu (LHA 5) became the first LHA-class amphibious assault ship to receive the new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) in its welldeck during trials off the coast of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 22. The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) is the newest USMC amphibious vehicle, intended for deployment in 2015. It was renamed from the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle in late 2003. The USMC has reduced the number to be purchased from 1,013 to 573 AAAVs by 2015 due to escalation in unit cost. The vehicle is an amphibious armored personnel carrier; launched at sea, from an amphibious assault ship beyond the horizon, able to transport a full Marine rifle squad to shore. It will maneuver cross country with an agility and mobility equal to or greater than the M1 Abrams. The EFV is designed to replace the aging AAV, and is the Marine Corps' number one priority ground weapon system acquisition. It has three times the speed in water and about twice the armor of the AAV, and superior firepower as well.
"This is the first time the EFV has ever been aboard a large deck amphibious ship," said Staff Sgt. Niceforo Mendoza, assigned to the EFV Technology Center in northern Virginia. It's always great to get this vehicle on and off a platform to continue to learn what it can and can't do.
The Navy and Marine Corps will continue to test the new vehicle.
"It's always great to see up close the new equipment the Marine Corps has made for its Marines," said Gunnery Sgt. Jason Sallings, combat cargo assistant aboard Peleliu.
"It's also interesting, considering what I do, thinking about how I'd get them to fit in our stowage areas, because as these vehicles get bigger, these older ships stay the same size and extra room is a premium.," Sallings said the vehicle's draw for the average Marine rests on its physical characteristics.
"The EFV carries the same amount of combat-ready Marines," said Sallings. "But, this vehicle's profile is lower, it carries a larger gun, and it can move almost three times faster." Peleliu is currently off the coast of Southern California conducting routine operations.

SAAB International Has Favoured Gripen Offers India Technology For Multi-Role Fighter Jets

SAAB International Has Favoured Gripen Offers India Technology For Multi-Role Fighter Jets
(NSI news Source Info) New Delhi - January 28, 2009: Heating up the race for the contract to supply 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force, Gripen, a Swedish firm, has proposed to India transfer of technology to become 'an independent manufacturer' of its own fighter jets. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a 4.5 generation fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. Gripen International acts as a prime contracting organisation and is responsible for marketing, selling and supporting the Gripen fighter around the world. The aircraft is in service with the Swedish Air Force, the Czech Air Force, the Hungarian Air Force and the South African Air Force, and has been ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force. A total of 236 Gripens have been ordered as of 2008. India is evaluating the Gripen for its tender for 126 multi-role combat aircraft. Gripen International handed over its proposal on 28 April 2008. The company is offering the Gripen IN, a version of the Gripen NG for India's tender. Looking forward to the trials for the medium multi-role combat aircraft, the Swedish manufacturer of Gripen, SAAB International has favoured 'extensive transfer of technology' well in excess of 60 percent requirement to boost India's indigenous capabilities in this regard. 'Gripen would like to provide strategic leverage, operational dominance and define future capability of India by becoming an independent manufacturer. We would help India in designing and manufacturing their own aircraft,' country head of SAAB International Jan Widerstrom told IANS. 'We have offered transfer of technology levels far exceeding the RFP (request for proposal) requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF). An early transfer of technology would be ensured to maximize indigenous capabilities,' Widerstrom said. The deal is estimated to cost $10 billion. The contract will include licensed manufacture for 108 fighters by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and offset clauses for supplying sub-systems and components to the winning bidder by Indian aerospace firms in the public and private sectors. The selected manufacturer will have to supply 18 aircraft in flyaway condition in batches. The technical evaluation of the bidders is complete and will soon be followed by trials. 'Three aircraft will be brought to India, including two-seaters and one seater. The trials will be conducted for dry, dry and humid, and humid conditions,' Widerstrom added. Apart from the Swedish Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Lockheed Martin F-16, the French Rafale and the Russian MiG-35 are also in the fray. The Swedish company claims to have an edge over the competitors due to its 'low cycle cost' and 'range and payload capabilities' beyond IAF's operational requirements. 'We are recognized as very economical solution. Gripen has a very low life cycle cost,' Widerstrom said.

Boeing Most Versatile Aircraft B-737, Is Future Eye In The Sky....P-8 Poseidon

Boeing Most Versatile Aircraft B-737, Is Future Eye In The Sky....P-8 Poseidon
(NSI News Source Info) January 28, 2009: The U.S. Navy and Air Force really like the Boeing 737 airliner. The two services are in the process of buying over 150 of them. The B-737 has been used successfully since the 1960s as an airliner. It first flew in 1965, and over 5,000 have been built. The U.S. Navy C-40A is a modified Boeing 737-700C commercial aircraft. The plane entered service in 2001, and 19 have been built, eleven for the navy. The 78 ton aircraft can carry 121 passengers, or eight cargo pallets (or a combination of both, usually three pallets and 70 passengers.) Max range is 5,600 kilometers. It normally carries a crew of five (two pilots, one crew chief, one loadmaster and one transport safety specialist, which is what the navy calls a flight attendant).
When carrying just cargo, the flight attendant does not come along. The air force got four V-40Bs, which are basically executive transports, that can also operate as airborne headquarters. The other six air force aircraft are C-40Cs, which is basically the same as the C-40A. The C-40A is operated by navy reservists, and is mainly used to rush needed parts or personnel to where the fleet needs them. The C-40A replaced the C-137 (a military version of the 148 ton B-707.)
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft currently being developed for the United States Navy. It is intended to conduct anti-submarine warfare, shipping interdiction, and to engage in an electronic intelligence (ELINT) role. This will involve carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-shipping missiles, and other weapons. It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. The P-8 is to be built by Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems division from the 737-800. Operators are United States - United States Navy - on order & India - Indian Navy - eight on order. The navy is also using the 737 as the basis for its new P-8 maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The C-40 experience had a lot to do with the P-8 decision. Cruise speed for the 737 is 910 kilometers an hour and the P-8 version has a crew of 10-11 pilots and equipment operators, who operate the search radar and various other sensors. The 737 has hard points on the wings for torpedoes or missiles. The P-8A will be the first 737 designed with a bomb bay and four wing racks for weapons. The P-8 costs about $275 million each. Five are on order, and the first flight is to take place this year. Eventually, over a hundred P-8s are expected to enter service (for the U.S. Navy foreign customers as well.) The navy also plans to order another seven C-40As.

Israel's Heron Are In High Demand And Flying High

Israel's Heron Are In High Demand And Flying High
(NSI News Source Info) January 28, 2009: After four years of testing and development, Israel is replacing manned maritime aircraft, which patrol along its coast, with UAVs. The current patrol force consists of three Seascan aircraft, which are modified versions of the Israeli made Westwind executive jet.
This ten ton aircraft has a seven man crew and is equipped with a search radar, and can carry missiles. The Seascan has an endurance of six hours, and has been used for maritime reconnaissance for over thirty years. The Heron or Machatz-1 is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle developed by the Malat (UAV) division of Israel Aircraft Industries. It is capable of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) operations of up to 52 hours' duration at up to 35,000 feet. It has demonstrated 52 hours of continuous flight, but the effective operational maximal flight duration is less, due to payload and flight profile. There is a new version, Heron TP, also known as Eitan (UCAV). On September 11, 2005 it was announced that the Israel Defence Forces purchased US$50 million worth of Heron systems. The IDF's designation of the Heron is Machatz-1. Apart from Israel, the countries which operate the Heron are India and Turkey. France operates a derivative of Heron named Eagle. In 2008, Canada leased a Heron for use in Afghanistan. As of 2009, they have been deployed in the region. List of Heron operators: Israeli Defence Force - 1+ , Canadian Forces = 1+ , Indian Air Force - 50 Heron I, ? Heron II , Turkish Air Force - 10 & French Air Force - 1+ . The 1.1 ton Heron UAV, which enters service this year, can stay in the air for 30 hours or more, and has a payload of 500 pounds. This can include a search radar. Using the Heron, instead of the Seascan, will save a lot of money, and provide better coverage. The Seascan aircraft are about at the end of their useful lives. It was four years ago that Israel first began using some UAVs for maritime patrol. The United States has also been experimenting with this, as it is pretty clear that UAVs are ideal for this job. Maritime patrol consists of many hours in the air looking for whatever among not much. Boring as hell for humans, but ideal work for robots. While the U.S. is experimenting with the large, and expensive, Global Hawk, Israel (which really only has to worry about coastal patrols) is using a new version of the old, reliable, Heron, called the Mahatz I. One thing that makes UAVs for maritime patrol possible, or at least practical, is cheaper and more capable sensors. In the case of the Mahatz I, the radar used (synthetic aperture radar), works with onboard software to provide automatic detection, classification and tracking of what is down there. Human operators ashore, or on a ship or in an aircraft, are alerted if they want to double check using video cameras on the UAV. Also carried are sensors that track the sea state (how choppy it is). For this kind of work, one of the most important things is reliability. While the Heron/ Mahatz I is a bit smaller (at 1.2 tons) than the Predator, it is still pretty expensive (over $5 million each.) You don't want to lose them over open water. What the Israeli navy will be doing is finding out just how reliable the Mahatz I is when doing a lot of maritime patrol.

Russia 'Halts Missile Deployment' / Too Soon To Implement Iskander Plans - Russian Defense Source

Russia 'Halts Missile Deployment' / Too Soon To Implement Iskander Plans - Russian Defense Source (NSI News Source Info) January 28, 2009: Russia's military has announced it will halt its plans to deploy short-range missiles in its Baltic enclave Kaliningrad, Interfax news agency says. A Russian military official said a change in US attitude had prompted the latest decision, Interfax reports. Russian missile complex "Iskander" on display during a military equipment exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil. Russia could counter a planned US anti-missile defence system in central Europe by deploying missiles in neighbouring ally Belarus, a senior Russian general said Wednesday. Belarus, a close ally of Russia which borders Poland, said earlier Wednesday that it was purchasing Russia's Iskander-E conventional missile system by 2020, which is designed to destroy air defences, but has a range of just 280 kilometres (174 miles). The US envoy to Nato, Kurt Volker, said that if true, the suspension would be a "very positive step", the Reuters news agency reported. Russia had said the US missile shield plan in Europe was a direct threat. In November last year, President Dmitry Medvedev responded by announcing the Russian plan, saying it was to counteract moves by the US. The US has insisted that its plan to base radars and interceptor missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic is designed solely to guard against attack by "rogue states", such as Iran. While the Russian defence ministry has not confirmed the latest Interfax report, the BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow says the agency is often used by the Kremlin to float proposals. Interfax quoted an unnamed military official as saying that "the implementation of these plans has been halted in connection with the fact that the new US administration is not rushing through plans to deploy" parts of its missile defence shield in eastern Europe. If the official's statement is borne out it may signal a wider hope in the Kremlin that the US under President Barack Obama will roll back the plans for the missile defence shield in Europe, our correspondent says. If Russia does shelve its Iskander deployment, it would be a substantial conciliatory measure to the new US administration, our correspondent adds. President Obama spoke to President Medvedev by telephone on Monday. The two men pledged to stop the "drift" in their countries' relations, the White House said. 'Moscow infuriated' The US has agreements in place with Poland and the Czech Republic to plug what the US has said is a gap in its global system of missile defence. The proposed system has Nato-wide backing. The US has said Iran is working on long-range missile technology and that the US missile shield would counter this. The US plan infuriated Moscow and soured relations with the US. Mr Medvedev said in November that short-range Iskander missiles would be deployed in the western enclave of Kaliningrad, bordering Poland, to neutralise any perceived US threat.

Russian Army To Improve Combat Effectiveness With Spy Drones

Russian Army To Improve Combat Effectiveness With Spy Drones (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - January 28, 2009: Russia's Armed Forces will receive three new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the next 3 years to boost the reconnaissance and precision-strike capabilities of ground units, an industry official said on Tuesday. The new-generation Tipchak mobile aerial system has been designed for reconnaissance and target designation purposes on the battlefield in any weather conditions. The first Tipchak system was put in service at the end of 2008. "We will deliver one Tipchak UAV system to the Defense Ministry every year until 2011," said Arkady Syroyezhko, director of UAV development programs at the Vega Radio Engineering Corp. Tipchak operates up to six UAVs launched from a pneumatic catapult. Each UAV has a range of 40 kilometers (25 miles) and can provide targeting for artillery and theater-based ballistic missiles at distances up to 350 km (about 220 miles). The drone is fitted with infrared and video sensors and has a real-time digital data link for communication with artillery units for laser-guided targeting. The Russian Air Force has launched a number of UAV development programs for various purposes. Air Force Commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said last year that Russia would deploy advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with a flight range of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) and flight duration of up to 12 hours by 2011. The UAVs of both fixed- and rotary-wing types will perform a variety of tasks, including reconnaissance, attack, retransmission of radio signals and target designation, the general said. A source in the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said on Tuesday that the Defense Ministry was also considering buying UAVs abroad, but the decision has been delayed by lobbyists from the Russian defense industry. "The purchase of several UAV's from Israel worth $100 million is still being discussed," the source said.