Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Airbus/EADS Sign A Titanium Supply Agreement With VSMPO-AVISMA, Integrated Structure Of The Russian Technologies State Corporation

Airbus/EADS Sign A Titanium Supply Agreement With VSMPO-AVISMA, Integrated Structure Of The Russian Technologies State Corporation
(NSI News Source Info) April 21, 2009: Airbus, the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, its parent company EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services and the Russian Technologies State Corporation’s integrated structure VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, the Russian Titanium manufacturer, have signed the biggest and longest-term contract in the history of Airbus/EADS cooperation with Russian industry.
The agreement was signed today in Moscow by Sergey Chemezov, General Director of the Russian Technologies State Corporation and Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus in the presence of Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime-Minister, Walter Jürgen Schmid, German Ambassador to Russia, Jean de Gliniasty, French Ambassador to Russia and Juan Antonio March Pujol, Spanish Ambassador to Russia.
The agreement covers the supply of Titanium to Airbus and other EADS Divisions until 2020. The scope of the contract includes the supply of Titanium and covers die forging parts for all existing Airbus aircraft, including new programmes such as the A350XWB. VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation may also machine Titanium products in order to develop a vertically integrated Titanium supply chain, starting from raw materials to finished products.
The contract comes as a confirmation of the framework agreement signed in July 2008 at Farnborough Airshow. The new agreement further boosts the relationship between the companies, which dates back to the early 1990s. It also enlarges Airbus’ cooperation with the Russian aviation industry, which currently includes production of components for Airbus at Russian plants, passenger to freighter aircraft conversions (P2F) and joint Research & Technology (R&T) projects.
VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation strengthens its role as a leading supplier of Titanium to Airbus/EADS, covering major Titanium requirements. The benefits of Titanium include strength and low weight properties that are in high demand in the aerospace industry. On aircraft, it is used in particular for landing gear systems, pylons and structural parts of the fuselage and wings.
“Airbus is preparing for long-term growth. This agreement is an important pillar of our internationalisation and especially our strategic relationship with Russian industry", says Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus. Sergey Chemezov, General Director of the Russian Technologies State Corporation adds, “The signed agreement demonstrates that Russia can offer high technology products to the world market and is one of the leading players in such an important sector as the aerospace industry.”
VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, integrated structure of the Russian Technologies State Corporation, is the world’s largest Titanium producer. At present the Company exports 70 per cent of its products, 30 per cent are sold in the domestic market. Major customers of VSMPO-AVISMA are the world’s leading aircraft-building companies. The Company is fully vertically integrated and employs over 20 000 people.
The Russian Technologies State Corporation is a legal body established by the Russian Federation in the form of state corporation business entity. The mission of the Russian Technologies State Corporation is assistance to Russian design and manufacturing organizations in developing, producing and exporting high technology industrial products in the domestic and foreign markets, and attracting investments to enterprises in various sectors of industry. The Russian Technologies State Corporation is the main shareholder of VSMPO-Avisma Corporation, owning 66 per cent of its shares. State shareholding of the unique titan manufacturer allows the state to provide the national industry and defence sector with this vital product as well as control titan export.
Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Over 9,200 Airbus aircraft have been sold to more than 400 customers and operators worldwide and more than 5,600 of these have been delivered since the company first entered the market in the early seventies. Airbus is an EADS company.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, EADS generated revenues of € 43.3 billion and employed a workforce of about 118,000. The Group includes Airbus as the leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft, with Airbus Military covering tanker, transport and mission aircraft, Eurocopter as the world's largest helicopter supplier and EADS Astrium, the European leader in space programmes from Ariane to Galileo. Its Defence & Security Division is a provider of comprehensive systems solutions and makes EADS the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium as well as a stakeholder in the missile systems provider MBDA.

Pakistan: Unfortunately Has To Face, It's Past Undoing

Pakistan: Unfortunately Has To Face, It's Past Undoing
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - April 21, 2009: Back in the late 1970s, when the army generals running Pakistan (for the third time since it was formed in 1947), the guy in charge, general Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, decided to back the many Islamic radicals in the country, who believed Sharia (Islamic) law, not the secular common law inherited from the British, should be the law of the land.
Pakistani Taliban gather during a rally addressed by their spiritual leader Sufi Muhammad in Mingora capital of Pakistan's troubled valley of Swat on Sunday, April 19, 2009. A hard-line cleric who mediated that deal demanded the government take meaningful steps to enforce the new system over the next month, including setting up proper appeals courts in four days. Already, a handful of judges trained in Islamic law have begun hearing cases.
The problem with that was that Sharia, in the fine print, called for a religious dictatorship, run by clerics. Neither the politicians nor the generals in Pakistan wanted that, but many local Islamic radicals did, and they used general Zia's support for Sharia to push for an Islamic republic. The Islamic radicals got a boost in the 1980s, when the Russian (Soviet) invasion of Afghanistan brought in billions of dollars a year from Saudi Arabia and other pious Gulf oil millionaires.
Along with the money came Arab volunteers, to join the fight against Godless communism in Afghanistan.
It also brought in some U.S. money and the CIA, but the major players, and paymasters, were the Gulf Arabs and their very conservative form of Islam. Pakistan served as the base for millions of Afghan refugees. Protected by American military power, the Afghans used their Pakistani bases to wear down the Russians, who eventually left Afghanistan in 1989 (the same year communist rule collapsed in Eastern Europe, followed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union over the next two years). Islamic radicals in Pakistani military intelligence came up with the idea for creating the Taliban in the mid 1990s, as a way to settle the civil war raging in Afghanistan in the wake of the Russian withdrawal. The Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, alienating most Afghans. Many Pakistanis were similarly dismayed by the failure of Islamic rule in Afghanistan, but the Taliban also took hold in Pakistan.
After all, Pushtun tribes lived on both sides of the border. In fact, there were twice as many Pushtun in Pakistan as there were in Afghanistan. While the tribal people (the Pushtuns and Baluchis) are less than 20 percent of the population, many non-tribal Pakistanis (over 80 percent of the population) still believe that Islamic law is a cure for the corruption and inefficiency that cripples the country. But most Pakistanis recognize that general Zia's use of Islamic conservatism and Sharia did not work. Islamic rule was a disaster in Afghanistan, and was equally harmful in Iran and Sudan. However, the minority in Pakistan that still believes in Islamic rule, are fanatical about it, and willing to kill, and, more importantly, die for it. This is where the Pakistani government is in big trouble. Up to a third of the population are believers in Islamic law as the cure for the country's problems. Many of these true believers are in the army and government bureaucracy. Thus going to war with the Islamic radicals risks rebellion and mutiny in many parts of the government.
For that reason, the government must constantly reassure the West that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are "safe" (under the guard of troops who are immune to calls for Islamic radicals to have nukes). In the meantime, the government is paralyzed with fear that if they take decisive action against the radicals, the nation might collapse into civil war. The Pakistani government and people are split on the issue of Islamic rule, and how to deal with corruption. The latter is the primary curse in the country, inhibiting economic growth and effective government. But much of the corruption is wrapped up in traditions that many Pakistanis are comfortable with. This web of feudal, religious and familial obligations keeps most of the population poor, and a minority (which has always run the country, and military) quite wealthy. India bit the bullet sixty years ago, and passed laws stripping many Indian nobles and landlords of rights and properties that kept many poor Indians in a state of feudal servitude. No such reforms in Pakistan, and the country continues to suffer for it.
Islamic radicals like to promise freedom from feudal obligations, and this is very popular. But many Pakistanis note that religious rule in Afghanistan and Iran simply replaced one form of economic tyranny and corruption with another, and the poor people were still poor and without power. But many Pakistanis are so desperate that they ignore (or are ignorant of) the lessons of Afghanistan and Iran, and step forward to fight, and die, for the Islamic revolution. The U.S. is increasingly frustrated by the incompetence of the Pakistani government in dealing with Islamic radicals (Taliban and al Qaeda). Thus the U.S. has been expanding its activities in the tribal territories over the last few years. First it was more intelligence gathering. That was, of necessity, done quietly, and the Pakistani government didn't complain much. Then, about a year ago, the use of UAV missile attacks on al Qaeda leaders increased.
There were protests in Pakistan, which the U.S. got away with ignoring. Pakistan and the U.S. benefitted from the death of these foreign terrorists, and these al Qaeda foreigners had few followers or supporters in Pakistan (even in the tribal territories). Then the U.S. expanded the attacks to Taliban leaders recently.
These guys had more followers in the tribal territories, but the U.S. and Pakistani government both wanted them dead. Now the U.S. is jamming the illegal Taliban radio stations that spread the Islamic radical line in many parts of the tribal territories. The U.S. is offering the Pakistani government jamming equipment, and the Pakistanis are inclined to take and use the gear. The Taliban and al Qaeda are hitting Pakistani troops several times a week with suicide bombings and gunfire. Soldiers manning checkpoints in the tribal territories are a frequent target. The army is responding with air raids and artillery fire on Islamic radical targets, particularly leaders. Over the weekend, more than fifty died from such violence in the tribal territories. Violence in Indian Kashmir has left ten dead in the last few days, including four policemen. Maoist violence in eastern India has reduced (to 45-55 percent) voter turnout in the elections underway there. In Bangladesh, a senior intelligence official was arrested for involvement in the sales of tons of weapons to rebels in northeastern India. The ten truckloads of weapons were seized, in Bangladesh, five years ago, but the investigation to find those responsible got nowhere. That was because so many senior government officials were involved in the gun running. But that government is gone, and the current one is after the corrupt officials. April 20, 2009: The prosecution of those responsible for last November's terror attacks in Mumbai, India, has filed charges against 47 people, 35 of them Pakistanis. India also launched an Israeli made radar satellite. This bird uses a high resolution SAR radar to obtain detailed images in any weather. India will use it to keep an eye on China and Pakistan. April 16, 2009: In Pakistan, a panel of judges has granted radical cleric Abdul Aziz bail, and released him from house arrest. Abdul Aziz was accused of complicity in the Red Mosque terrorism in the capital. Two years ago, this resulted in a bloody police raid on the Red Mosque. Now Abdul Aziz is back at the Red Mosque, calling for Islamic revolution and daring the government to arrest him again. In eastern India, Maoist election day violence left at least 16 dead. April 15, 2009: The Taliban group that negotiated a peace deal in Pakistan's Swat Valley, now say that it is un-Islamic for them to disarm. That was part of the deal with the government, which basically gave the Taliban control of Swat. Most of the locals don't want to be ruled by the Taliban, but the government does not want to commit the army to a battle for the strategic valley northwest of the capital.

India 'To Remain Top Buyer Of Russian Combat Aircraft Until 2015'

India 'To Remain Top Buyer Of Russian Combat Aircraft Until 2015'
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - April 21, 2009:India will remain the main purchaser of Russian-made combat aircraft for the next 15 years under existing and prospective contracts, a respected Russian think tank has said. Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets fly past during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2009. India will celebrate its Republic Day on Monday. In its report, The Forecast for Combat Aircraft Deliveries to India, the Center for Analysis and Technologies outlined the prospects for Russian-Indian cooperation in the sphere of combat aircraft until 2015. The report predicts that India will buy up to 90 Su-30MKI fighters under existing contracts and may also purchase additional Su-30 or modernized MiG-29K aircraft. Russia's MiG-35 Fulcrum is also participating in the current $10.6-billion tender to supply 126 multirole fighters to the Indian air force. Russian experts believe that the MiG-35 has an excellent chance of winning the tender because the Russian aircraft has superb performance characteristics and Russia and India share a long-standing partnership in strategic and military-technical cooperation. In addition, Russia signed in March last year a contract with the Indian Defense Ministry to upgrade around 70 MiG-29 fighters, in service since the 1980s, and agreed to develop a fifth-generation fighter together with India. India desperately needs to upgrade its fighter fleet, which includes Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighters, but mainly consists of obsolete Russian MiG-21 models.

Sri Lanka Army Accused Of Carnage Against Tamil Population

Sri Lanka Army Accused Of Carnage Against Tamil Population
*Analysis: The action taken by Sri Lankan army against local Tamil population, uprooting and displacing them is totally not acceptable. Sri Lanka must understand that Sri Lanka is not Israel and these actions taken by Sri Lankan army could provoke India to involve in war and could escalate to a major conflict in the region. Sri Lanka government must immediately cease and desist actions against local Tamil population prior the factor is raised at The International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sri Lankan forces. (DTN Defense-Technology News)
(NSI News Source Info) COLOMBO - April 21, 2009: An exodus of civilians fleeing Sri Lanka's war zone topped 39,000 and more were coming, the military said on Tuesday before its final deadline for the Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender or die was to expire. In this photograph released by the Sri Lankan military April 20, 2009 shows what the army says are thousands of people fleeing an area held controlled by the Tamil Tiger separatists in northeastern Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka on Monday gave the Tamil Tigers 24 hours to surrender or die after troops breached a huge earthen defence and unleashed an exodus of tens of thousands of civilians held there by the rebels, the military said. The huge outpouring of people started on Monday after soldiers breached an earthen berm blocking the main route out of a 17 square km (6.5 sq mile) no-fire zone on the northeastern coast, the last redoubt controlled the separatist Tigers. The presence of tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been the main obstacle for the Sri Lankan military, which has cornered the rebels with the aim of finishing the 25-year-old war. The United Nations and western governments have urged the military to renew a brief truce to negotiate the peoples' exit, a plea the government has rejected on the grounds that the Tigers have dismissed all entreaties to let the people out. "There are 39,081 civilians that have arrived and they are still arriving," military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. "Military operations are still continuing." With Asia's longest-running civil war now nearing its end, Sri Lanka will face the twin challenges of healing the divide between the Tamil minority and Sinhalese majority, and reviving an $40 billion economy that is suffering on multiple fronts. The island nation is seeking a $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan to shore up a balance of payments crisis and boost flagging foreign exchange reserves, half of which were spent defending the rupee in the last four months of 2008. On Monday, the military had given the LTTE a last ultimatum to surrender by noon on Tuesday (0630 GMT). It has given similar ultimatums in the past, and it was not clear what would happen once it passed. It was also unclear how many civilians remained inside the no-fire zone, but the military operation triggered protests by expatriate Tamils in London and Paris on Monday. In the latter city, around 180 people were arrested and four injured when the demonstration turned violent as protesters blocked an intersection and threw objects at buses and police, police said. AERIAL FOOTAGE Sri Lanka's military on Monday released video shot by unmanned aerial drones it said showed the throngs of people waiting to be checked by soldiers outside the no-fire zone, and one showing people running out of the LTTE-held area. Late on Monday, the military released another video shot by a drone, which it said showed several hundred people in a tight cluster along the shore. A few seconds later, two people outside the cluster aim and fire what appears to be a rifle toward the people several times. Muzzle flashes are visible in the video, which the military said was taken near the northern border of the no-fire zone on Monday. "They were being shot at by the LTTE. From the information we got from the 55 (army) Division, which was closest, quite a number of people were wounded by gunshots," air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.
The United Nations has long said the LTTE was forcibly preventing people from leaving and forcing others to fight. The LTTE insists people are staying out of choice, and on Monday the pro-LTTE web site www.Tamilet.com reported that a large number of people had fled toward Tiger areas as the military moved into the no-fire zone. TamilNet also said nearly 1,000 were killed in the assault, quoting LTTE political head B. Nadesan. The military denies killing civilians. It was impossible to independently verify the competing accounts since the battlezone is off-limits to most outsiders.

Somalia Seeking Navy Force To Fight Pirates

Somalia Seeking Navy Force To Fight Pirates
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - April 21, 2009: The best way to combat piracy off Somalia is to create a national naval force financed by international aid in the impoverished east African nation, a Somali government minister said April 20. During counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg escorts April 19, 2009 MV Abdul Rahman, a United Nations World Food Program ship, to a port in Somalia to deliver urgent humanitarian supplies in this Canadian National Defence handout photo obtained on April 20, 2009. HMCS Winnipeg is operating in the Gulf of Aden under Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) to counter acts of piracy and provide security for transiting merchant vessels. Commanded by Commander Craig Baines, the Halifax-class patrol frigate has a crew of approximately 240, including a CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment. Canada's participation in SNMG1, conducted under Operation SEXTANT, represents a continuing commitment to international peace and security. HMCS Winnipeg is the 5th Canadian Ship to deploy since 2006 to join SNMG1, which represents a multi-national maritime force capable of conducting missions across a broad spectrum of operations anywhere around the world. The solution for battling pirates lies in "helping the Somali government create naval forces to face this criminal operation," Somali Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Abdirahman Abdishakuur told the U.S. government's Middle East satellite network Alhurra Television. Somali naval forces would "need training and support to be equipped and ready to carry out operations at sea," Abdishakuur said. "We, as a government of national unity, are trying to stop these operations and promote peace and security in Somalia, but we need the assistance of the international community," he added. The pirates who continue brazen attacks on vessels off the Horn of Africa feed off Somalia's internal chaos, where close to two decades of war and lawlessness have made piracy one of the few viable businesses. Some two dozen international ships - operating under U.S., EU and NATO commands - patrol the seas off Somalia. More than 150 suspected pirates were arrested in the Gulf of Aden last year. Pirate attacks soared 200 percent compared with 2007, with more than 130 merchant ships assaulted, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Representatives of 24 nations are to meet next month in New York to look at legal measures to fight the crime wave. "The international community has spent millions of dollars to combat piracy," Abdishakuur said. "If they spend 10 percent of what they spend at sea to help the Somali government, they will be able to put an end to these operations." Aside from a national naval force, the minister said, the only viable way to combat piracy is to fight economic conditions on land. The youths getting involved with piracy are all unemployed, and so "there is no alternative for them but to resort to these criminal activities. "We should provide the youth with work and education opportunities to bring them back to the community and public life," Abdishakuur said. Piracy is expected to be a key issue when donors to Somalia meet on Thursday in Brussels. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has pledged to step up the piracy fight following the capture of a U.S. cargo ship earlier this month. U.S. Navy snipers ended the standoff by rescuing captain Richard Phillips and shooting dead three pirates. U.S. forces captured a fourth pirate, a teenager, who will reportedly go on trial in New York.