Thursday, April 16, 2009

U.S. Air Force, Industry Cheer As T-38 Turns 50 / U.S. Air Force, Industry Herald T-38 Turning 50

U.S. Air Force, Industry Cheer As T-38 Turns 50 / U.S. Air Force, Industry Herald T-38 Turning 50
(NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- April 16, 2009: The test pilot who flew the T-38 Talon on its maiden flight 50 years ago said April 10 that during the historic sortie he felt he was on the safest mission of his career. Then something dawned on him. "I hadn't landed it yet!," said Lew Nelson, one of the speakers at a celebration held on the grounds of the Northrop Grumman facility here to commemorate the golden anniversary of the Talon's first flight.
Mr. Nelson did end that April 10, 1959, flight by landing the Talon safely for the first time.
Still going strong 50 years after its maiden flight, the supersonic T-38 Talon jet trainer is widely used by the US Air Force for advanced training missions. (US Air Force file photo)
Thus began five decades of the venerable supersonic jet trainer's service in developing 75,000 pilots -- and still counting -- who would strap into it to earn their wings.
"Every fighter and bomber pilot trained by the Air Force in the past 50 years has been trained in the T-38," said Maj. Gen. Greg Feest, 19th Air Force commander at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, who served as keynote speaker at the event attended by several hundred Northrop Grumman employees and invited guests. "The impact this aircraft has had on the Air Force has been profound. We have relied on the T-38 to ready our young aviators to meet the challenges of aerial combat to ensure air domination."
The Air Force received its first T-38 in January 1961 after its initial testing. It has proven a bargain at an initial cost of $756,000 per aircraft, despite recent upgrades to its avionics and propulsion systems, said Duke Dufresne, a Northrop Grumman senior vice president who hosted the El Segundo ceremony.
"When you couple the relatively low cost of this aircraft with its exceptional safety record and ease of maintenance, I think it's safe to say the T-38 has been one of the most cost-effective investments in pilot training the Air Force has ever made," Mr. Dufresne said.
Of the initial 1,187 Talons produced between 1959 and 1972 at Northrop's Hawthorne, Calif., facility, more than half are still in service. The Air Force operates most of the fleet, though Navy and NASA pilots also fly the T-38.
In its early years, the T-38 held several performance records. The Air Force Thunderbirds used the airframe from 1974 to 1982 because of its economic operation and high performance.
Maj. Gen. David Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander at Edwards AFB, Calif., who also spoke at the ceremony, said he shares two significant milestones with the date of the T-38's maiden flight. April 10 is his birthday, and he began his own aviation career April 10, 1977, when he entered undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, Okla.
He said the T-38 provided the first real thrill of his pilot career. "You run it up, plug in the afterburners and release the brake," he said of his initial T-38 experience. "Then you feel it push you back in the seat, and you go, 'Whoa! This is cool!' The first time you do it, that's a big, big thrill."
He said his training in the Talon provided the foundation for his military aviation career. "I've had almost 1,000 hours in the jet, having flown it at four locations now," he said. "It has been a tremendous workhorse for the Air Force. It's very economical and very effective at what we have asked it to do."
The Talon is not likely to end its Air Force service anytime soon. A replacement trainer on the horizon would not likely see service for at least 8 to10 more years. With its upgrades, including a redesigned wing that will retrofit the entire fleet, the Talon is expected to fly past 2020 if needed, which would give the first supersonic jet trainer a service life of more than 60 years.
"Today, we say thank you to this amazing airplane for its service to our nation and the thousands of dedicated people who have worked tirelessly to create, modify, produce and maintain the T-38 over the years," General Feest said. "It has served its nation well in the past. It continues to serve its nation today, and the Air Force will rely on it for tomorrow."

LAAD 2009: Saab Makes Case For Gripen As F-X2 Choice

LAAD 2009: Saab Makes Case For Gripen As F-X2 Choice
(NSI News Source Info) RIO DE JANIERO - April 16, 2009: In a press briefing at the Latin America Aerospace and Defense conference, executives of Swedish company Saab appealed to Brazil's desire to gain technology through its fighter jet competition, and said Saab would make offset investments in Brazil equal to the size of the contract, which Brazil plans to award this year. 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.
In October 2008, it was reported that the Brazilian Air Force had selected three finalists in their F-X2 program. They are Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Gripen NG, and the number of aircraft involved are said to be anywhere between 36 and 120. The decision should be made early 2009. On 2 February 2009, Saab submitted a tender for 36 Gripen NGs to the Brazilian Air Force Command. The $2.2 billion competition for 36 fighters pits the Gripen against Boeing's F-18 and Dassault's Rafale. Saab is trying to displace French and U.S. companies in its fighter strategy for Brazil, India and South Africa, said Bob Kemp, Gripen International's sales and marketing director. For nations not aligned with NATO, Saab's strategy is to "move the French, who dominated this market over the last 20, 30 years [with] the Mirage [and] Jaguar," and persuade customers to choose Gripen fighters instead, Kemp said. "So far, we've been most successful here and getting ourselves established in South Africa, with campaigns in India and in Brazil here. "We believe that we have got a unique opportunity to succeed in these nations because they're looking for independence. And this is an area that we offer something quite unique, because Sweden itself is an independent nation and we recognize the value of controlling your own destiny," he said. More than 99 percent of fighters worldwide come from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Kemp said. "I can tell you those guys don't go around handing out their technology. That's why they still have over 99 percent of the market. If you want to do something different and control your own destiny, there is only one choice, and that is Sweden." Saab has completed 78 test flights with the Next-Generation Gripen it is proposing for Brazil's contest, Kemp said. The company received nine requests for proposals or for information involving the Gripen from countries worldwide.

Iran's Ahmadinejad Offers New Start With West

Iran's Ahmadinejad Offers New Start With West
(NSI News Source Info) Tehran and Beirut - April 16, 2009: Iran's hard-line president said Wednesday that he would soon unveil proposals to resolve the international impasse over his country's nuclear program, and he offered a fresh start with the West, an announcement that comes as he struggles to shore up domestic support ahead of the presidential election in June.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, visits Iran's Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP), a new facility producing uranium fuel for a planned heavy-water nuclear reactor, just outside the city of Isfahan 255 mile (410 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Thursday, April 9, 2009. The West fears the reactor could eventually be used for producing a nuclear weapon. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced the plant's opening during a ceremony in the central city of Isfahan. The plant will produce pellets of uranium oxide to fuel the heavy-water research reactor, which is scheduled to be completed in 2009 or 2010.
"We are preparing a new package to be presented and we will hold talks based on that package, which includes peace and justice across the globe, respecting the rights of all nations and participation of all nations and countries in resolving international issues," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech to supporters gathered in the oasis city of Kerman. "The Iranian nation is a generous nation," he said later. "It may forget the past and start a new era."
Ahmadinejad revealed no details about the proposals. Last summer, nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, a confidant of Ahmadinejad, delivered a document outlining possible areas of cooperation with world powers during talks aimed at getting Iran to stop nuclear activities in exchange for economic incentives. The United States, the European Union, China and Russia largely ignored the offer. One conservative Iranian lawmaker said the new proposal would have a moderate tone but would not raise the issue of Iran's enrichment of uranium, which the West wants stopped. Western governments believe Iran wants to build nuclear weapons, but Tehran says its enrichment program is intended to produce electricity.
"Iran does not want to negotiate about enrichment of uranium and considers it as done and taken for granted," said the lawmaker, Hamid Reza Haji Babaie."The new package from the Iranian side means all sit at the table and all consult to get to common ground," he said. "Not like before, when others asked and only Iran was supposed to be accountable and had to answer."
In any case, Ahmadinejad plays a relatively minor role in determining Iran's nuclear policy and its stance toward the U.S. Those positions are largely shaped by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the cleric who is Iran's highest religious and political authority, in consultation with other leaders of the national security establishment.
His speech comes amid potentially alarming news for Ahmadinejad, who is vulnerable among poor voters because of his handling of the economy and among educated urbanites for pursuing a foreign policy that has soured relations with the West.
"He wants to do something that looks like detente in foreign policy," said Hamid Reza Jalaipour, a social scientist and political commentator. "He moderates his tone for domestic consumption."A poll recently showed that his reformist rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi would handily beat him in the June 12 vote, and Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and powerful ayatollah, threw his organization's support behind the challenger.
Ahmadinejad's supporters have dismissed the poll and point to others showing the president in the lead. They also noted that reformists were split between Mousavi and former parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi, but that conservative factions appeared to be coalescing behind Ahmadinejad.
But there are signs of unrest in the Ahmadinejad camp. On Tuesday, Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, one of his closest aides, resigned as senior advisor. He was disliked by powerful members of the clergy for his mystically infused political rhetoric and mistrusted by the public as a Karl Rove-like figure.
Earlier a pro-Ahmadinejad lawmaker lashed out at Mousavi, a respected former prime minister, as close to "extremist" critics of the government, in a piece published by a newspaper loyal to the president, a move that raised eyebrows. Mousavi is taking heat from conservatives for vowing to loosen social restrictions and moderate a foreign policy that has become more anti-Western under Ahmadinejad.
Indeed, despite Ahmadinejad's softened rhetoric Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry rejected a request by the country's most popular soccer club to travel to the U.S. for an exhibition game, the team's managing director told an Iranian news agency. The Persepolis club often travels abroad for matches.

India: Has State-Of-The-Art Badminton Courts At Cricket Club of India And Yonex Pro Shop In Mumbai - - With Video

India: Has State-Of-The-Art Badminton Courts At Cricket Club of India And Yonex Pro Shop In Mumbai - - With Video By Harit Joshi Mid-Day Video By - Swapnil Chavan Mid-day (NSI News Source Info) April 16, 2009: Deprived of Indian Premier League matches after the second edition was shifted to South Africa, the Cricket Club of India has set its sights on the growing popularity of badminton by building state-of-the-art courts and a Yonex Pro Shop in its complex. The newly constructed courts was inaugurated by shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia on March 31,2009. Inauguration of CCI's state-of-the-art Badminton Courts Seen in the video being interviwed are world top badminton players Taufik Hidayat, Saina Nehwal, Prakash Padukone, Badminton officials, celebrities including Vikram Dhar, Chief of India operations for Sunrise & Co., representing Yonex Badminton as well a comprehensive range of apparel collection and footwears.

Pakistani Taliban In Swat Say Won't Give Up Guns

Pakistani Taliban In Swat Say Won't Give Up Guns
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD - April 16, 2009: Pakistani Taliban will not lay down their arms in a northwestern valley as part of a deal that included the introduction of sharia law but will take their "struggle" to new areas, a militant spokesman said on Wednesday.
President Asif Ali Zardari, under pressure from conservatives, signed a regulation on Monday imposing Islamic sharia law in the Swat valley to end Taliban violence.
Pakistan's hard-line cleric Sufi Muhammad leaves Mingora with his supporters in Pakistani troubled valley of Swat on Thursday, April 9, 2009. A hard-line cleric who negotiated a peace accord that halted fighting between the Taliban and security forces in part of northwest Pakistan said Thursday he is leaving the region to protest the government's failure to impose Islamic law.
The strategy of appeasement has alarmed U.S. officials, while critics say the government has demonstrated a lack of capacity and will to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Details of the deal have not been made public but government officials backing the pact have said part of it was that militants would give up their arms.
But a Pakistani Taliban spokesman in the scenic valley, a one-time tourist destination 125 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, said they would be keeping their guns.
"Sharia doesn't permit us to lay down arms," Muslim Khan said by telephone. "If a government, either in Pakistan or Afghanistan, continues anti-Muslim policies, it's out of the question that Taliban lay down their arms."
Surging violence across Pakistan and the spread of Taliban influence through the northwest are reviving concerns about the stability of nuclear-armed Pakistan, an important U.S. ally vital to efforts to stabilise neighbouring Afghanistan.
The government has struggled to come up with an effective strategy, alternating in different areas between military offensives and peace deals.But the militants have been gaining strength and violence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan has been on the rise.
Some Taliban fighters last week moved out of Swat and into Buner district, only 100 km (60 miles) from Islamabad, and Khan said his men would push into new areas.
"When we achieve our goal at one place, there are other areas where we need to struggle for it," he said.
Militants infiltrated into Swat in 2007 from strongholds on the Afghan border to the west to support a radical cleric.
The White House voiced disappointment over the introduction of sharia law in Swat saying the decision went against U.S. goals of promoting democracy and human rights.
Visiting U.S. Senator John Kerry said late on Tuesday he was pessimistic about the pact: "I have serious reservations about whether or not it will hold."
The insurgency had made progress over the past few months and the government needed to act with urgency, he said. "I don't think that the effort has been resourced the way that it needs to be either in personnel or strategy," Kerry said.
Afghanistan said its security could be hurt by the deal in Swat, even though the valley is not on the Afghan border.
Khan said militants would go to Afghanistan to fight U.S.-led forces if Afghan Taliban called for help. "Our struggle is for a cause and that's to enforce Allah's rule on Allah's land. We will send mujahideen to Afghanistan if they demand them," he said.
One security analyst, retired Brigadier Syed Mehmood Shah, said peace could be found if the government disarmed the militants: "The agreement should be given a chance."But another said the Swat militants were part of an expanding network."
There is no comprehensive counter-insurgency strategy from the military or government. They are not taking it seriously," said Khadim Hussain of the Aryana Institute think-tank.
In a decision militants will welcome, the Supreme Court ordered the release on bail of a radical cleric held since just before soldiers stormed his Red Mosque complex in Islamabad in 2007 to clear out gunmen.

Boeing Plans To Bid For $2 Billion Defence Projects In India

Boeing Plans To Bid For $2 Billion Defence Projects In India
(NSI News Source Info) NEW-DELHI, India - April 16, 2009: Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. plans to bid for two defence projects in India worth $2 billion (around Rs10,000 crore) in the next few months, the company’s country head said on Wednesday. The US plane maker is looking to supply India with 22 attack helicopters and at least a dozen heavy-lift choppers to replace its ageing Soviet-era fleet.
Vying for deal: Boeing’s Apache AH-64 helicopters. A number of other models have been derived from both AH-64A and AH-64D for export. The British-built AgustaWestland Apache (assembled from kits purchased from Boeing) is based on the AH-64D with several different systems, including newer, more powerful engines. The US plane maker is looking to supply India attack helicopters and heavy-lift choppers. “We are very keen to offer our Apache AH-64 helicopters to India and we have already responded to their request for information on our product,” Vivek Lall, India country head of Boeing’s Integrated Defense the attack helicopters, but the government cancelled the tender last month saying bidders did not meet its requirements and said a fresh tender would be issued soon. Senior defence officials said the new tender for the two deals was likely to come after the general election. “We will be very happy to bid after scrutinising the details,” Lall said on Wednesday. Boeing also plans to bid for a separate $1 billion deal to supply at least a dozen heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force, with Lall saying the US aircraft manufacturer was interested in offering its Chinook CH-47. India is looking to spend more than $30 billion over the next five years to modernize its largely Soviet-era weapons systems and is also launching its first military spy satellite next year. Boeing, which has already sealed a $2.1 billion deal to sell India eight maritime patrol aircraft, is gearing up for trials to supply 126 fighter jets in one of the world’s biggest arms deals, worth more than $10 billion. Two US companies, Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp., are vying with Russia’s MiG-35, France’s Dassault Rafale, Sweden’s Saab KAS-39 Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon, a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish companies, for the fighter deal.

Eurocopter And Helibras Announce The First Flight Simulator For helicopters In Latin America

Eurocopter And Helibras Announce The First Flight Simulator For helicopters In Latin America
(NSI News Source Info) April 16, 2009: Eurocopter and its Brazilian subsidiary Helibras are pleased to announce the introduction of the first flight simulator for helicopters in Latin America at the Latin America Aerospace & Defense (LAAD) show in Rio de Janeiro.
The flight simulator which will be operational in two years time in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, will be designed to recreate the cockpit environment and missions of a EC725 helicopter.
The EC 725 was developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a specialist helicopter for Combat Search & Rescue operations after the AS 532 A2 Cougar model was rejected for this purpose following extensive trials between 1996 and 1999. The more ambitious EC 725 design made its maiden flight at Marignane on the 27th November 2000 and the machine made its first presentation on the 15th January 2001. The French Air Force subsequently ordered 6 for Combat Search & Rescue duties with the first being delivered in February 2005. Eight more helicopters were ordered for the French Armed Forces in November 2002.
Brazilian Government has announced that a Helibras factory will produce at least 50 units of the most updated Super Cougar (EC 725). First units will be operational in 2010. Brazilian Air Force 18 on order, Brazilian Navy 16 on order and Brazilian Army 16 on order. It will be used notably to train the pilots who will fly the 50 military EC725 helicopters that will be built for the first time on Helibras’ assembly lines in Itajubá, in the state of Minas Gerais.
The simulators will improve flight safety by providing optimal training regardless of weather conditions and aircraft availability and simulating the toughest missions in complete safety. Eurocopter President Lutz Bertling stated: “Eurocopter’s strategy is to develop its support and services activity and to promote a proactive pilot training policy. Over the last few months, we have introduced numerous simulators for the EC225 in France, the EC135 in Germany and the United States, and the NH90 in Germany. The forthcoming introduction of the EC725 simulator in Brazil and in Malaysia will broaden our offer and meet the expectations of our customers in this growing area of strategic importance.”
True to its policy of internationalization, Eurocopter has a major presence in Latin America: Helibras was set up in 1978, Eurocopter Mexico in 1982, and Eurocopter Chile in 2001. More than 500 employees work at these three subsidiaries. One thousand Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service in Latin America.
Eurocopter is the only helicopter manufacturer with production facilities in Latin America. The AStar/Ecureuil model is made in Brazil (known as Esquilo) and production will soon begin on the EC725, which will lead to Helibras doubling its staff strength to that of 600 persons with a reinforced engineering centre.
Eurocopter’s three Latin American subsidiaries also customize and maintain aircraft, and provide a full range of services. Eurocopter’s recent successes will strengthen the Group’s presence in Latin America even further. In addition to the contract for 50 EC725s for the Brazilian armed forces, the Mexican Ministry of Defense ordered six EC725s in March. About Eurocopter Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.5 billion Euros, orders for 715 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.

British Forces Of Black Watch Battalion Seize Taliban Weapons

British Forces Of Black Watch Battalion Seize Taliban Weapons
(NSI News Source Info) April 16, 2009: The Scottish troops who have taken over the reins of Regional Battle Group (South), based in Kandahar, Afghanistan, have hit the Taliban within the the first days of their arrival. Soldiers of The Black Watch following the successful seizure of Taliban weapons during one of their first operations of their current deployment in Helmand province [Picture: Sgt Chris Halton RLC] The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) took the helm from 42 Commando Royal Marine last Friday, 10 April 2009, and have hit the ground running by seizing a Taliban weapons haul including mines and grenades. The operation saw Alpha (Grenadier) Company set off at dawn on 11 April 2009 to conduct a 36-hour operation where they were dropped by helicopter onto a well-known Taliban supply route and netted Taliban anti-personnel mines, mortar and rocket-propelled grenades which were destroyed in a controlled explosion by the Royal Engineer troop. Commanding Officer of The Black Watch Lieutenant Colonel Cartwright said: "The fact that Alpha Company deployed on operations so soon after their arrival in theatre demonstrates their flexibility and high level of preparation. It's pleasing to have had such a positive result." Royal Marines of 42 Commando Regiment hand over command to the The Black Watch with a traditional flag-changing ceremony at Camp Roberts [Picture: Sgt Chris Halton RLC] Major Matt Munro, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, said: "There is no doubt that our first deployment proved the excellent training that we have been through together. The use of helicopters gave us the initiative which we maintained throughout. It was also good to start building up a relationship with the Afghan National Army and Canadian forces at this early stage." The Black Watch took over from 42 Commando Royal Marines as the battalion responsible for supporting a variety of operations across the whole of southern Afghanistan, not just those of the main UK Task Force in Helmand province. The flag of 42 Commando was lowered at Kandahar Airfield, 3 SCOTS's home for the next six months, before being replaced by the Saltire of the Inverness-based battalion, raised by Regimental Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer Class 1) Lawrie McDougall, to the sound of a lone piper, Corporal Rab Lindsay. Servicemen from 42 Commando Royal Marines and The Black Watch salute the flag during the handover ceremony at Camp Roberts [Picture: Sgt Chris Halton RLC] Lt Col Stephen Cartwright, said: "42 Commando have had an enormously successful tour here using imaginative and daring tactics to outmanoeuvre the Taliban and win the confidence of the Afghan people. We will seek to build on their achievements and hope to work closely with the Afghan National Army and the multi-national forces across Helmand, Kandahar, and the other provinces of southern Afghanistan." The Battalion will be based within Camp Roberts on the airfield and will work directly to the Dutch-led divisional headquarters known as Regional Command (South), part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force.

Brazil Awards Lockheed Martin Contract To Support Long-Range Surveillance Radars In The Amazon

Brazil Awards Lockheed Martin Contract To Support Long-Range Surveillance Radars In The Amazon
(NSI News Source Info) RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - April 16, 2009: Lockheed Martin received a $1.6 million contract from the Brazilian Air Force to support six of its TPS-77 – known in Brazil as the TPS-B34 – long range air surveillance radars currently monitoring airspace in the Amazon region. Since their installation between 2000 and 2005, the Lockheed Martin-manufactured radars have been an integral part of the Brazilian Integrated Air Traffic Control and Air Defense System (SISDACTA), also supplying information to the Amazon Protection System (SIPAM), a complex network of ground-based and airborne sensors providing surveillance in the region, implemented by the Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM) Project. The TPS-77s have dual-use capability, providing both air surveillance and air traffic control. These radars have withstood the unique environmental challenges experienced in the Amazon jungle and also have demonstrated 100% reliability during deployments, by road and by air, to support Brazilian Air Force exercises. Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide technical support for the six radar systems and on-the-job training for Brazilian radar technicians. The one-year contract includes options to extend the support for up to five years. The AN/TPS-77 is the latest configuration of the world’s most successful 3-D solid-state radar design. This transportable radar provides continuous high-quality 3-D surveillance on aircraft targets at ranges out to 250 nautical miles. The AN/TPS-77 shares some technical components and maintenance activity with Lockheed Martin’s AN/FPS-117 radar. There are 36 AN/TPS-77s and 134 AN/FPS-117 systems operational in 25 countries.
Many have performed for years completely unmanned in remote areas, and in a wide range of operational environments. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 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.

BAE Wins $64M Contract For 10-Ton Dump Trucks / BAE Systems Receives $64.1 Million Contract For FMTV 10-Ton Dump Trucks

BAE Wins $64M Contract For 10-Ton Dump Trucks / BAE Systems Receives $64.1 Million Contract For FMTV 10-Ton Dump Trucks
(NSI News Source Info) April 16, 2009: BAE Systems received a contract modification from the U.S. Army worth $64.1 million to produce 500 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) 10-ton dump trucks. The total value of the contract modification could reach $128.4 million.
The vehicles will be manufactured in Sealy, Texas in the recently developed Long Term Armor Strategy (LTAS) configuration.
These new dump trucks have twice the payload capacity as the present vehicles and include the LTAS cab.
Deliveries will begin in August 2009 and are expected to be completed by December 2010. “We continue to respond rapidly to the needs of the U.S. Army,” said Chris Chambers, the vice president and general manager for Global Tactical Systems programs.
“This contract modification will see the fielding of the highly effective dump-truck in the Long Term Armor Strategy configuration, significantly increasing its adaptability.” The LTAS is a system designed for the FMTV and is comprised of the armored cab or “A-Cab” and appliqué armor or “B-kit.”
This configuration allows FMTV crews to operate FMTVs in on- and off-road non-tactical and low-threat tactical environments with minimal vehicle weight. The crews can increase their protection during periods of increased threat levels by installing the B-kits.
More than 53,000 FMTVs and trailers have been manufactured in the vehicle’s 17 years of production. The commonality of parts among the FMTVs 17 production models includes shared engines, transmissions, power trains, tires and cabs.
This commonality significantly reduces the logistics burden and operating and support costs for the U.S. Army and has been instrumental in achieving the FMTVs 95 percent sustained operational readiness rate in Iraq and Afghanistan.
BAE Systems employs more than 2,700 people at Sealy and Houston, Texas and has nearly 900,000 square feet of manufacturing, storage and office space on approximately 200 acres. The Sealy facility has a long history with wheeled vehicle products and has established itself as a world-class designer, volume manufacturer and through-life supporter of high-quality, best value, military tactical trucks and wheeled vehicle systems with payload capacities from 2.5 to 18 tons. Today, BAE Systems’ Global Tactical Systems is the exclusive manufacturer of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles and is the producer of three Mine Resistant Ambush Protected variants, the Caiman, the RG33 and the RG31.

Hawker Delivers 1st King Air 350ER To USAF / Hawker Beechcraft Delivers 1st King Air 350ER To USAF

Hawker Delivers 1st King Air 350ER To USAF / Hawker Beechcraft Delivers 1st King Air 350ER To USAF
(NSI News Source Info) WICHITA, Kan. - April 16, 2009: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) has delivered the first special mission extended-range (ER) King Air 350 to the United States Air Force. The versatile King Air 350ER is part of the Beechcraft King Air family - the world's best selling turboprop line of all time.
Hawker Beechcraft exhibited a King Air 350ER at the 2007 Paris Air Show; and at the Royal International Air Tattoo the following month. Photos of the aircraft, actually a modified 2005-built B300, show that visual features of the King Air 350ER include a belly pod, and enlarged engine nacelles compared to the nacelles of standard B300 King Airs. Four 350ERs equipped for ISTAR missions over Afganistan have been ordered for the Royal Air Force. This variant is called the Shadow R1 in RAF service. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force operates a solitary B300 on maritime patrol and reconnaissance duties.
The Air Force awarded the contract for 23 King Air 350ER turboprops, designated by the military as the MC-12W, to HBC last November.
In total, the project has an estimated value of $171 million. "This contract shows the strength of our special mission aircraft and our relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense," said Jim Maslowski, president, U.S. and International Government Business.
"We are proud to provide this crucial tool to our military for this important mission." Visiting HBC for the delivery were Lieutenant General David A. Deptula, Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Brigadier General Blair E. Hansen, Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
The remainder of the aircraft will be delivered by the end of July. The King Air 350ER, a derivative of the King Air 350, provides extended range through the addition of nacelle fuel tanks, along with an increase in gross weight from 15,000 to 16,500 pounds and the incorporation of heavy-weight landing gear.
Modified with military-required equipment, the MC-12W provides the Air Force with advanced technology and reliability. The King Air 350ER is ideally suited for use in special missions as an airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform.
The aircraft can provide more than eight hours of endurance and has the flexibility to loiter low and slow or cruise at 300 knots and 35,000 feet. Taking off at gross weight with full fuel and full payload, the King Air 350ER can fly out 100 nautical miles, perform a low altitude surveillance mission for 7 hours and 20 minutes, fly back 100 nautical miles, and still land with more than 45 minutes of fuel on board.
No other aircraft in its class can come close to this performance. Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide.
The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers.

Antonov Exhibits AN-74, AN-140 At LAAD Show / ANTONOV Will Present Its New Projects In Latin America

Antonov Exhibits AN-74, AN-140 At LAAD Show / ANTONOV Will Present Its New Projects In Latin America
(NSI News Source Info) April 16, 2009: ANTONOV ASTC will represent a number of its modern projects at LAAD-2009 aviation exhibition in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). ANTONOV airplanes are well-known in the region.
More than 260 AN-24 and AN-28 passenger airplanes, AN-26 and AN-32 transports and AN-2 light multipurpose biplanes work today in the countries of Latin America.
The Antonov An-140 is a short-range turboprop airliner, first flown on September 17, 1997. Apart from the main production line in Kharkiv, Ukraine by KSAMC, aircraft are being produced in Russia and under licence by HESA in Iran as the IR.AN-140 or Iran-140. It can carry a maximum of 52 passengers.
Basing on many-year positive experience of using the ANTONOV airplanes in the region, the ASTC offers to the aircraft operators a number of new machines. They are able to perform effectively a wide spectrum of tasks successfully working under climatic conditions of the countries of Latin America.
Among ANTONOV programs represented at the exhibition, are the new versions of AN-74 multipurpose family including maritime patrol one. It is intended to effectively perform various missions including: aerial and maritime patrol missions; search and rescue operations; electronic and radio reconnaissance; detection of polluted sea areas. If it is necessary, the aircraft can be easily converted to carry passengers, evacuate sick wounded persons.
The cargo compartment of more than 50m3 along with highly-mechanized ramp and advanced loading-unloading devices allow independent loading-unloading, transportation of a wide range of cargoes as well as aerial delivery.
The new transport version of AN-74 can transport various cargoes including military-purpose ones with a total weight up to 10 t. For more convenient loading/unloading of palletized and containerized cargoes, roller equipment was mounted on the aircraft floor.
Turboprop AN-140 can effectively enlarge a fleet of the airlines. Capability to be operated in a wide rate of heights of airfields and climatic conditions, under VFR and IFR at day and night are among its advantages. Potential of the AN-140’s structure makes it possible to develop a whole family of aircraft of different purposes on the basis of this aircraft.
ANTONOV ASTC together with its partners on the program has designed several new versions of the AN-140 including one for weather prospecting, coastal economic area protection, aerophotography and aerocartography, fire fighting, search and rescue operations both over the water and land, natural resources exploration and monitoring as well as cargo and passenger-cargo aircraft.
Taking part in the LAAD-2009 air show ANTONOV intends to conduct a series of negotiations with representatives of aviation enterprises of Latin America to discuss possible directions of cooperation including design of new types of aircraft.

Embraer To Modernize Brazilian Navy Skyhawks / Embraer To Modernize Brazilian Navy AF-1 And AF-1A Jets

Embraer To Modernize Brazilian Navy Skyhawks / Embraer To Modernize Brazilian Navy AF-1 And AF-1A Jets
(NSI News Source Info) SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS, Brazil - April 16, 2009: Embraer signed a contract, today, to modernize 12 Brazilian Navy jets – nine AF-1s (single-seat) and three AF-1As (two-seat).
Embraer will modernize the Brazilian Navy’s squadron of 12 A-4 Skyhawk light attack aircraft, which are the main component of its naval aviation force.
The ceremony took place during the seventh edition of the Latin America Aero and Defence (LAAD) trade fair, which is being held at Riocentro, April 14-17, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and was attended by the Minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, the Head of the Brazilian Navy, Admiral Júlio Soares de Moura Neto, the Aeronautics Commander, General Juniti Saito, and Embraer President & CEO Frederico Fleury Curado.
This is the first large-scale program between the company and the Navy, and its sole objective is to technologically upgrade the 12 aircraft. “Embraer is honored by the confidence of the Brazilian Navy, and receives it as a new distinguished defense customer among over 20 armed forces which currently operate its aircraft around the world.” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President & CEO.
“By choosing Embraer, the Navy is making an important contribution to consolidating the technological and industrial capacity of Brazil for modernizing military aircraft.” The 12 airplanes that will be modernized are known, worldwide, as the A-4 Skyhawk.
This upgrading will fully restore the operating capacity of the Navy’s 1st Intercept and Attack Plane Squadron, for their joint mission with the naval and navy air force groups in the Nation’s defense.
The program includes restoring the aircraft and their current systems, as well as implementing new avionics, radar, power production, and autonomous oxygen generating systems. This contract demonstrates Embraer’s commitment to offer its customers modern products, with advanced technology and quality services.
The Company has recently worked on upgrading the Brazilian Air Force’s F-5 and A-1 (AMX) fighter jets. With this program, Embraer, in conjunction with the Brazilian Navy and Air Force, as well as the Ministry of Defense, fulfills its role in assuring gains in technological capability and in generating highly qualified jobs in Brazil.
Embraer 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 March 31, 2009, Embraer had a workforce of 17,375 employees – not counting the employees of its subsidiaries OGMA and HEAI – and its firm order backlog totaled US$ 19.7 billion.

Embraer Launches KC-390 Military Transport Jet Program

Embraer Launches KC-390 Military Transport Jet Program
(NSI News Source Info) SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS, Brazil - April 16, 2009: In a ceremony held, today, during the seventh edition of the Latin America Aero and Defence (LAAD) trade fair, which takes place from April 14 to 17, at Riocentro, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Embraer signed a contract with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) for the KC-390 military transport aircraft program.
Embraer has signed a contract with the Brazilian air force to develop the jet-powered KC-390 airlifter, with an in-service date of 2015.
The event was attended by the Minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, the Head of the Navy, Admiral Júlio Soares de Moura Neto, the Brazilian Aeronautics Commander, General Juniti Saito, and Embraer President & CEO Frederico Fleury Curado. “The launch of the KC-390 program is a new landmark in the historical strategic partnership between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer,” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President & CEO.
“We are convinced that the development of the KC-390 will result in an effective cargo and tanker aircraft for the FAB and shall also become another successful export platform for both Embraer and Brazil.” The FAB established the requirements for this aircraft, just as has occurred with other successful products manufactured by Embraer, like the Bandeirante, the Tucano, the aerial surveillance and remote sensing versions of the ERJ 145, which are used in the Amazon Surveillance System (Sistema de Vigilância da Amazônia – SIVAM), and the Super Tucano.
The new jet will meet the needs of the FAB, in full compliance with the new National Defense Strategy. The participation of other countries in this program will be evaluated, in conjunction with the FAB, and the aircraft is expected to enter service in 2015.
The KC-390 Program will contribute, in the short term, to maintaining highly qualified jobs, and, longer-term, it has the potential for generating significant export volumes with important aggregate value. The existence of a study regarding this military transport aircraft was presented two years ago, at LAAD 2007.
The jet will have a cargo bay equipped with an aft ramp, to transport a wide variety of types of cargo, including armored vehicles, and will be outfitted with the most modern systems for handling and launching cargos. The new jet can be refueled in flight and can be used for in-flight or on-ground refueling of other aircraft.
The cargo bay will allow configurations for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions. The technical advances of the KC-390 include fly-by-wire technology, which lessens pilot work load by optimizing mission results and increasing safety and the capability for operating on short and rustic runways.
The FAB already operates other transport aircraft manufactured by Embraer, like the EMB 120 Brasilia, the ERJ 145, and the Legacy 600. Besides these, the fleet of military aircraft designed and manufactured in Brazil, like the Tucano, the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) airplanes operated within the SIVAM, and the Super Tucano, as well as the AMX, which was developed in a partnership with Italian companies. In June 2008, Embraer signed a contract for the sale of two EMBRAER 190 jets to the FAB, which will be configured especially for carrying authorities.
Embraer 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 March 31, 2009, Embraer had a workforce of 17,375 employees – not counting the employees of its subsidiaries OGMA and HEAI – and its firm order backlog totaled US$ 19.7 billion.