Tuesday, June 23, 2009

DTN News: European Nations Ministers Delay Decision On Airbus A400M By A Month

DTN News: European Nations Ministers Delay Decision On Airbus A400M By A Month *Sources: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) SEVILLE, Spain - June 23, 2009: Defence ministers from the seven European nations engaged in building the troubled Airbus A400M military plane agreed Monday to postpone until next month a decision on whether to renegotiate the contract. "We have reached an agreement to extend the deadline by one month to look into the issues, in particular the financial questions with the company," French Defence Minister Herve Morin said. The ministers from Germany, France, Britain, Spain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg had gathered in Seville, southern Spain, on Monday to decide whether to grant a six-month delay to renegotiate the A400M contract with Airbus, a subsidiary of European aerospace giant EADS. (L to R) Defence ministers from France Herv Morin, Spain Carme Chacon, Turkey Vecdi Gonul, Luxembourg Luc Frieden and Britain Kuentin Davis pose in front of an Airbus A400M military plane during the meeting of defence ministers from the seven European nations engaged in building the troubled Airbus A400M military plane on June 22, 2009 in Sevilla. The ministers agreed to postpone until next month a decision on whether to renegotiate the contract of the Airbus A400M military plane. The A400M transporter was initially scheduled to start being delivered at the end of 2009 but the programme has suffered from delays of at least three years and clients have threatened to cancel their orders. Deliveries of the A400M transporter were scheduled to start at the end of 2009, but the program has suffered from delays of at least three years, and clients have threatened to cancel their orders. The seven countries initially had the possibility to cancel their orders as of April 1 because of the delays, but EADS negotiated a three-month extension to present a new delivery timetable. That extension was due to expire at the end of this month but is now extended until the end of July. France and Germany were in favor of a six-month delay to renegotiate the contract, but Britain expressed concern at the additional cost of such a move. "For our British colleagues, it was out of the question," Morin said. "It is better to avoid a complete blockage, and I have proposed that we have this delay of one additional month," he said. He proposed that the ministers meet again in late July to allow time to gather the "elements that it is hoped will allow us to be able to commit to a renegotiation of the contract and allow the continuation of the program." The A400M programme is a direct result of a commonly expressed need by European Air Forces for a new generation military airlifter. The scope of this initiative to jointly specify and procure an aircraft of a common definition remains unique at this stage. European NATO members issued a Request for Proposal in September 1997. It was to respond to this RFP that the aerospace industries of the concerned nations came together in the partnership now known as Airbus Military. June 2001 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which represented a major milestone towards the industrial launch of the A400M. In May 2003, the contract was signed between Airbus Military Sociedad Limitada and OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d'Armement), representing Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, and United Kingdom for a total of 180 aircraft. In April 2005 South Africa ordered eight aircraft, followed in December by a contract signed with Malaysia for four aircraft. Both nations became A400M programme partners, bringing the total commitment to 192 aircraft.
Quentin Davies, Britain's minister for defence equipment and support, described Monday's talks as "difficult." Asked whether Britain would remain in the project, he replied "we will be if we can be, but we need to make a very great deal of progress with [Airbus] in order to save this project." Spain's secretary of state for defence Constantino Mendez emphasized that "all countries showed their willingness to be in the program and that they did not plan to withdraw either completely or partially." The military transport plane was unveiled last year but has been hit by delays in building its massive turbo-prop engines, putting the 20 billion euro ($28 billion) project at risk.

DTN News: Iran TODAY June 23, 2009 - Iran Says Courts Will Teach Protesters A Lesson And Week Of Turmoil Unrest Ahead

DTN News: Iran TODAY June 23, 2009 - Iran Says Courts Will Teach Protesters A Lesson And Week Of Turmoil Unrest Ahead
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - June 23, 2009: Iran's judiciary will teach those arrested during protests over the disputed presidential election a lesson, an official said, after riot police broke up the latest demonstration in Tehran. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi speaks to reporters in a press conference in Tehran, on June 22, 2009. Iran's foreign ministry blasted the BBC and Voice of America, accusing them of aiming to disintegrate the Islamic republic by their coverage of deadly street protests sparked by the results of the June 12 election which saw hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returning to power. Hundreds of people have been detained during protests sparked by official results of Iran's June 12 election showing hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by a landslide. Two defeated candidates -- former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi and pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karoubi -- have called for the election to be canceled, citing irregularities. Iran's top legislative body, the Guardian Council, on Tuesday again ruled out annulment of the election saying there had been no major polling irregularities. State television said more than 450 people were detained during clashes with police in Tehran on Saturday in which at least 10 people were killed. Iranian demonstrators hold up a placard showing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a protest against the recent Iranian elections, outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles on June 22, 2009. A video of a blood-drenched young woman named Neda, purportedly killed in the Tehran protests, has become an Internet symbol of the demonstrations and heightened pressure on Iran in its battle with foreign media. The video, showing blood pouring from the nose and mouth of the young woman, was placed online Saturday and has since been viewed hundreds of thousands of times around the world. "Those arrested in recent events will be dealt with in a way that will teach them a lesson," the official IRNA news agency quoted senior judiciary official Ebrahim Raisi as saying on state television late on Monday. He said a special court was studying the cases. "The rioters should be dealt with in an exemplary way and the judiciary will do that," Raisi said. Iranian police broke up a protest in Tehran and the hardline Revolutionary Guards said they would help crush what they called rioters opposing the re-election of Ahmadinejad. In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged an immediate stop to the use of force against civilians and said Iran should respect civil rights in dealing with protests. A picture obtained on June 23, 2009 shows Iranian riot policemen patrolling a street in Tehran on June 22, 2009. Iran was bracing for pro-government student protests against the British embassy in Tehran on June 23 as the world voiced increasing alarm at the violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators. People in Tehran, in a gesture of defiance first used in the 1979 Islamic revolution and now adopted by pro-reform protesters, again chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) from their rooftops at nightfall on Monday. Witnesses said supporters of Mousavi had earlier gathered in Tehran's Haft-e Tir square. Iran's state Press TV channel said they were dispersed. Residents said riot police, some on motorbikes, and members of the religious Basij militia were out in force. One witness said that from his balcony he had seen a group of protesters chanting slogans being attacked by the Basij, who dragged the demonstrators out of a house to which they had fled.
A picture obtained on June 23, 2009 shows members of Iran's Islamic Basij militia patrolling a street in Tehran on June 22, 2009. Iran was bracing for pro-government student protests against the British embassy in Tehran on June 23 as the world voiced increasing alarm at the violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators.
"The Basiji were really aggressive and swearing at me to go inside," said the witness, who declined to be identified. "I was scared they were going to break into my house too." The statement on Monday by the Revolutionary Guards, viewed as the most loyal guardians of the ruling clerical establishment, signaled a crackdown on any new unrest in the world's fifth-largest oil exporter. "In the current sensitive situation ... the Guards will firmly confront in a revolutionary way rioters and those who violate the law," said a statement on the Guards' website. Iranian state television on Tuesday said Tehran had been calm for a second night. "The presence of police and Basij forces in parts of the city has raised people's feeling of security," IRIB said. Mousavi called on Sunday for new protests by his supporters. U.N. REACTION A U.N. statement issued by Ban's office said he urged "the authorities to respect fundamental civil and political rights, especially the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of information." Ban called on the Iranian government and the opposition to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue and legal means. A picture obtained on June 23, 2009 shows a riot policman supervising traffic in a street in Tehran on June 22, 2009. Iran was bracing for pro-government student protests against the British embassy in Tehran on June 23 as the world voiced increasing alarm at the violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators. Iranian authorities have accused Western powers of supporting the protests, the most widespread since the 1979 Islamic revolution, and have not ruled out expulsions of some European ambassadors. Sweden, the European Union's next president, said the bloc's members should consider drafting a plan to take in and provide aid to demonstrators at their embassies in Iran. Italy said it was prepared to open its embassy to wounded protesters. Iranian state television said 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in demonstrations in Tehran on Saturday, which defied a warning from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The office of Tehran's prosecutor general blamed the weekend deaths on "unknown vandals" who had opened fire on civilians and killed people on Saturday, said Press TV. Iranians on social networking sites called for mourning for "Neda," a young woman shot dead on Saturday. Footage of her death has been watched by thousands on the Internet and her image has become an icon of the protests. A picture obtained on June 23, 2009 shows Iranian riot policemen backed up by the Islamic Basij militia standing guard in a street in Tehran on June 22, 2009. Iran was bracing for pro-government student protests against the British embassy in Tehran on June 23 as the world voiced increasing alarm at the violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators. Witnesses said security officials prevented her funeral from going ahead, blocking roads leading to a central Tehran mosque where the ceremony was to have taken place. "Police were spraying paint on the cars of those who insisted on driving toward the mosque," said one witness. Her fiance Caspian Makan told BBC Persian TV that Neda Agha-Soltan had been caught up accidentally in the protests. "She was near the area, a few streets away, from where the main protests were taking place, near the Amir Abad area. She was with her music teacher, sitting in a car and stuck in traffic," it quoted him as saying.
"She was feeling very tired and very hot. She got out of the car for just a few minutes."

DTN News: DPP Slams AIDC Plan To Work With Chinese Firm / Taiwanese Defense Company Seeks China Deal

DTN News: DPP Slams AIDC Plan To Work With Chinese Firm / Taiwanese Defense Company Seeks China Deal
*Sources: DTN News / Taipei Times / AP
*The DPP’s Chai Trong-rong raised fears of security leaks if a firm that is involved in Taiwan’s air defense were to cooperate with a Chinese company By Rich Chang ~ Taipei Times
(NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - June 23, 2009: The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday criticized the government-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation’s (AIDC) proposal to co-­produce commercial aircraft with a Chinese aviation company. The Republic of China Air Force's AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo is a light fighter aircraft named after the late ROC President Chiang Ching-kuo. It entered active service in 1994, and 131 production aircraft had been manufactured by 1999. Although named and commonly known as the Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF), the project was a joint effort between Republic of China and United States defense companies, with final assembly by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) (based in Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China). The IDF program was initiated when purchase of the US -built F-20 Tigershark ran into political problems.* The AIDC yesterday confirmed it had proposed cooperating with China Commercial Aircraft Co to co-assemble commercial airplanes.
“The AIDC receives 80 percent of its business from the military, and has been a very important player in the domestic arms industry. China is an enemy of Taiwan. How can a domestic company responsible for developing Taiwan’s air defense technology cooperate with the enemy?” DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said at a press conference yesterday.
There was a strong chance military secrets would end up being leaked through the cooperation, he said.Chai said because President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is leaning toward China and neglecting national security, it made sense that the US has hesitated to sell advanced arms to Taiwan as it has concerns that advanced technology could end up in Chinese hands.
Chai said Ma should stop jeopardizing Taiwan’s national security.
AIDC spokesman Lee Shih-chang (李適彰) confirmed a news report that the AIDC had proposed co-production of civilian aircraft with the Chinese company under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ direction.He said the company was well prepared to make sure military technology would not be leaked to China.
The AIDC and China Commercial Aircraft plan to complete production of their first commercial airplane by 2014.
The Taiwanese company said when thinking about cross-strait aviation exchange, the assembly of civil aircraft and parts production management were two areas worth considering.
The AIDC had said that while the civil aviation market in Taiwan was rather limited because of the size of the nation, the market had nearly been destroyed since the launch of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp.
The AIDC was founded in 1969 under the authority of the Air Force. In 1996 the company was transformed from a military entity into a government-owned company under the authority of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.The company produced Taiwan’s Indigenous Defense Fighter.
*Related Info ~ DTN News: Taiwanese Defense Company Seeks China Deal ~ Source: AP
The producer of a strategically important Taiwanese jet fighter said Monday it was discussing a deal on commercial aircraft manufacture with a Chinese company, despite concern from the island's military. Li Shih-chang of the government-held Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation told The Associated Press his company met with China's state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation during the Shanghai air show in May. "We are still talking about a possible concept for commercial aircraft, but there has not been a deal yet," Li said. "We will not give up on any possible business opportunity." AIDC made Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Fighter jets on a now discontinued production line, and remains responsible for IDF maintenance. Li's statement comes amid steadily improving ties between Taiwan and the mainland. Since coming into office 13 months ago, President Ma Ying-jeou has jettisoned his predecessor's pro-independence policies, in favor of much greater political and economic engagement with China. Ministry of Defense spokesman Yu Sy-tue questioned the wisdom of any deal between AIDC and the Chinese company. "Of course we have some concerns, " he said. "But we do not have the power to interfere with their commercial aircraft deals." Li said his company would be able to keep confidential military information out of Chinese hands. "We have worked with nine countries and 16 companies and we have the experience to keep secrets from leaking," he said. Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. Beijing continues to claim the island of its territory, and threatens to attack if Taiwan makes the break permanent.

DTN News: Russia To Sell 1,000 Infantry Fighting Vehicles To Greece

DTN News: Russia To Sell 1,000 Infantry Fighting Vehicles To Greece *Sources: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW- June 23, 2009: Russia and Greece are finalizing a contract on the delivery of 1,000 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles to the Greek army, a Russian government official said on Monday. Earlier reports said Russia was negotiating a contract to sell around 415 BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles to Greece. "We are going through the final stages of negotiations with Greece on the delivery of 1,000 BMP-3 vehicles. They [the Greeks] want to buy vehicles for both ground forces and naval infantry," Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti. The purchase would be one of the largest arms deals between Russia and a NATO member state. In the 1990s, Greece acquired over $1 billion worth of Russian weapons. Russian TOR-M1 air defense systems, Kornet and Fagot antitank weapons, as well as air cushion landing craft Zubr are in service with the Greek Armed Forces. The BMP-3M is the successor to the BMP-3, which entered service with the Soviet army in 1987. The vehicle features an upgraded turret with digital fire control system, additional armor protection, and more powerful engines.

DTN News: Russia To Lease A Nuclear Submarine To India - Report

DTN News: Russia To Lease A Nuclear Submarine To India - Report
*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW- June 23, 2009: A Russian government official dismissed on Monday media rumors that Russia planned to lease several nuclear submarines to India, saying a contract envisioned only the transfer of the Nerpa vessel. India is reportedly paying two billion dollars for the completion of two Akula-II class submarines which were 40-60% completed. Three hundred Indian Navy personnel are being trained in Russia for the operation of these submarines. India has finalized a deal with Russia, in which at the end of the lease of these submarines, it has an option to buy them.The first submarine will be named INS Chakra. Whereas the Russian Navy's Akula-II submarine is equipped with 28 nuclear-capable cruise missiles with a striking range of 3,000 kilometers, the Indian version was reportedly expected to be armed with the 300 km range 3M-54 Klub nuclear-capable missiles. Missiles with ranges greater than 300 kilometers cannot be exported due to arms control restrictions, since Russia is a signatory to the MTCR treaty. "We will lease only one submarine. In my opinion, India needs the sub more for enhancing its prestige rather than for accomplishing specific goals," Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti. India reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine. Indian media have reported that the construction of the vessel was partially financed by the government. On November 8, 2008, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan, its on-board fire suppression system went off, releasing a deadly gas into the sleeping quarters. Three submariners and 17 shipyard workers were killed. There were 208 people, 81 of them submariners, on board the vessel at the time. According to Russian navy officials, the trials will resume in early July and the submarine will be delivered to India by the end of 2009. Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.

DTN News: Russia Buys 12 spy Drones From Israel

DTN News: Russia Buys 12 spy Drones From Israel *Sources: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW- June 23, 2009: Russia has bought 12 unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel in a recent deal worth $53 million, a Russian government official said on Monday. "The contract envisions the purchase of 12 UAV, including two heavy vehicles and 10 small vehicles. The delivery has not yet been made because the contract was signed only recently," Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti. Dzirkaln said the main goal of the purchase was to study the Israeli achievements in the development of spy drones in order to build reliable UAVs domestically. "We must take their know-how and put it to practical use [in developing our own craft]," the official said. The Russian military stressed the need to provide its Armed Forces with advanced means of battlefield reconnaissance in the wake of a brief military conflict with Georgia last August, when the effectiveness of Russian military operations was severely hampered by the lack of reliable intelligence. 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 a flight duration capability of up to 12 hours by 2011. However, Russian defense companies, including the Irkut aircraft maker and the Vega Radio Engineering Corp., have failed so far to provide the military with effective spy drones. According to various estimates, the Russian military needs up to 100 UAVs and at least 10 guidance systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance in case of any military conflict.

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense MTVR OBVP Participates At Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense MTVR OBVP Participates At Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration *Sources: DTN News / Oshkosh Corporation (NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. - June 23, 2009: Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is demonstrating its Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) with On-Board Vehicle Power (OBVP) at this year’s Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) in Dahlgren, Va. Nothing matches the Oshkosh® MTVR's ability to support today's combat forces. Built to claw through the ugliest environments, this high performance, all-terrain vehicle can easily carry 15 tons over the highway and up to 7 tons off-road. With built-in twenty-first century technologies like TAK-4® independent suspension, J1939 databus self-diagnostics, a Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), and Command Zone™ advanced electronics, this truck outruns, outlasts and outmaneuvers any other truck on or off the road. And, it's easily transportable by C-130. Get your forces into places no other truck can go with the Oshkosh MTVR. (Free Advertisement for Oshkosh Corporation....DTN News wish OSHKOSH CORP., ....ALL THE BEST WISHES IN THEIR COMING VENTURES)
The annual Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed exercise began on June 15 and continues each weekday through June 25 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren. CWID is an annual event that allows the military and other government agencies to identify solutions to fill current gaps in communications and information sharing capabilities. Selected technology solutions undergo interoperability trials to assess their operational effectiveness. To demonstrate the export-power capabilities of the MTVR with OBVP at CWID, the vehicle will power an operations center, two Humvees with communications equipment and the Oshkosh display using the company’s diesel-electric drive technology. This is a system that delivers up to 20 percent more power than current systems without reducing mobility. The MTVR with OBVP offers 120 kW of exportable military-grade power while stationary, and in motion provides 21 kW of military-grade power. These features allow the vehicle to satisfy the greater demand for electrical power facilitated by modern military equipment. “We are living in an age in which military vehicles must not only be able to provide robust transportation capabilities, but also meet any number of additional technological needs,” said Andy Hove, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense. “The MTVR with OBVP provides exportable power while maintaining or improving the mission requirements of the vehicle, and CWID is a great forum to demonstrate these advanced technologies.” Oshkosh’s MTVR is an all-terrain, multipurpose logistics vehicle used by the Marines and Navy Seabees. The vehicle comes in several variants for the transportation of troops, materials or equipment. Since 1998, Oshkosh has supplied the Marines and Seabees with more than 10,000 MTVRs, which have been successfully operating in off-road missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. About Oshkosh Defense Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com. About Oshkosh Corporation Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corp. manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, BAI®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, Geesink™, Norba™, Kiggen™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, log on to www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

DTN News: US Navy Orders Material For Additional Austal JHSVs

DTN News: US Navy Orders Material For Additional Austal JHSVs *Sources: DTN News / Austal ~ Australia (NSI News Source Info) HENDERSON, Western Australia - June 23, 2009: The US Navy has exercised contract options funding Austal’s acquisition of long lead-time material associated with the construction of two additional 103-metre Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV). In October 2005, Austal/General Dynamics was awarded a contract to build the first of their design for a Littoral Combat Ship. The keel of the future USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid on 19 January 2006 at Austal USA's yard in Mobile, Alabama, and the naming ceremony was held on 4 October 2008. The LCS 2 is the first ship built by Austal USA for the U.S. Navy and the Navy’s first Trimaran Littoral Combat Ship. It is the first naval warship constructed in Mobile, Alabama since World War II. The basis of Austal's seaframe design is the 127 metre trimaran hull 'Benchijigua Express'. In November 2008, Austal has won the contract to design and build the US Department of Defence’s next generation high-speed catamaran, multi-use platform, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), as part of a program potentially worth over US$1.6 billion. As Prime contractor, Austal will design and construct the first 103-metre JHSV, with options for 9 additional vessels expected to be exercised between FY09 and FY13. The new JHSV is similar to the Austal-built WestPac Express operated by the US Marines for the past seven years. Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 103 metre JHSV in November 2008. The contract included options for nine additional vessels to be awarded between FY09 and FY13. Each JHSV is valued at approximately AUD $225 million, with the potential 10-vessel program valued at approximately AUD $2.3 billion. Austal USA President and COO, Joe Rella said, “Due to on-time performance and high quality results during our design reviews with the Navy, and the efficiency of our material procurement to date, we have earned the confidence of the Navy to make this award. This is a testament to the quality products of our Program, Design, Production Control and Procurement teams.” Long lead-time material for the additional vessels will include diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears. Similar to the Austal-built “WestPac Express” operated by the US Marines for the past seven years, the JHSV will be capable of transporting troops and their equipment, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, operating in shallow waters and reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots fully loaded. The vessels will be a joint-use platform operated by both the United States Army and Navy.Construction of the first JHSV is scheduled to commence at Austal’s US shipyard in November.

DTN News: South Korea Firm Develops Aircraft Identification System

DTN News: South Korea Firm Develops Aircraft Identification System
*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 23, 2009: LIG Nex1, a leading defense firm in South Korea, has developed an indigenous identification, friend or foe (IFF) system for its "Shingung" portable ground-to-air weapons, the company announced June 21. The New Bow (Shingung, Shin-Gung or Shin-Kung, possibly God's Bow or Divine Bow) is a shoulder-launched missile targeting helicopters, or low-flying fighter and transport aircraft. The KP-SAM [Janes claimes was recently redesignated as the NEX1 Future Chiron (Singung), but no one else seems to agree], is a two-man, fire and forget system that is fired in the same way as the Mistral, which is mounted on a tripod. The 10 kilogram missile features an integral Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, full night and adverse weather capabilities, and a two-color infrared seeker to aid in negating countermeasures. It has a 7 km maximum target range and flies at a maximum altitude of 3.5 km and maximum speed of Mach 2.1. The Singung is designed to automatically explode against a target flying within a radius of 1.5 m, shattering into hundreds of pieces while shooting down a target. It is mainly intended to bring down enemy aircraft and helicopter that infiltrate at low altitude. It boasts more than 90 percent-plus hit-ratio accuracy and comes at a unit price of W180 million. Only four countries including the United States, Russia and France, have that kind of portable surface-to-air missile systems. According to the Defense Ministry, the missile is lighter and more accurate than the Stinger missile of the U.S., Russia’s Igla and France’s Mistral. The KP-SAM program was originally aimed at developing a new man-portable SAM for the protection of troops in the foreword area. However, by 2003 the delivery of the Igla SAMs from Russia in payment for Russian debts to Korea appear to have solved the problem. The primary difference between the Russian Igla system and the KP-SAM is the IFF system mounted forward of the launcher. Development of the Chiron (Singung) man-portable surface-to-air missiles system (MANPADS SAM) is believed to have commenced during 1995 when the system was then known as the KP-SAM. The portable anti-aircraft missile Singung was developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD)over eight years starting in 1995 with a W70 billion [$71 million] budget. In late 2005 it entered service with the South Korean Army, after being in development for nearly 8 years. The South Korean Army had ordered some 2000 units to be delivered by LG Innotek Co. Ltd. Series production was expected to commence during 2004, with deployment and IOC during the same year, however, extended trials meant that the system was not ready for series production and deployment before September 2005. Trials during the research and development phase were carried out using both fixed and rotary wing targets. The program was originally aimed at developing a new man-portable SAM for the protection of troops in the foreword area. The seeker technology was Russian, from the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association (LOMO) but that the control section, warhead and motor were of a South Korean design. The four-year joint development with the state-run Agency for Defense Development was completed in May following successful test trials both by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Army, LIG Nex1 said in a news release. About 5 billion won ($3.9 million) was spent to develop the IFF, an electronic system that can determine the intent of an aircraft with the speed of the fastest computer, it said. Company officials expect the sophisticated identification system will not only greatly upgrade the country's air defense capability, but also have the potential of defense exports amounting to 100 billion won ($79 million) in the coming years. "The South Korean military have had to use IFF systems built by U.S., French and other foreign defense firms" in the past, said Kim Soo-hong, an executive director of LIG Nex 1. "We're planning to further develop the IFF system enough to be fitted with other similar weapons systems, not just the Shingung anti-aircraft missile." The Shingung is a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile capable of hitting targets as high as 3.5 kilometers with a speed of Mach 2.0. It has a distance range of 7 kilometers. Established in 1976 as Glodstar Precision, LIG Nex1 develops and manufactures a wide range of defense systems, such as precision-guided missiles, underwater systems, radar, fire-control systems, communications, electronic warfare and avionics. Major products include the "Hyeonmoo" medium-range ground-to-ground missile with a range of 180 kilometers; the "Haeseong" cruise missile with a range of 150 kilometers; and the "Cheonma" self-propelled surface-to-air missile system, also known as K-SAM, with an effective range of 10 kilometers.

DTN News: Germany Paves Way For Afghan AWACS Deployment

DTN News: Germany Paves Way For Afghan AWACS Deployment
*Sources: DTN News / NATO
(NSI News Source Info) BERLIN, Germany - June 23, 2009: German politicians are backing deployment of the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) for missions over Afghanistan. NATO announced its decision to deploy the aircraft during a meeting in Brussels on June 12 after France threatened to block the move on cost grounds. E-3A AWACS aircraft from the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&C Force) provided airspace security and surveillance support for the President of the USA during a visit in Germany on 4 and 5 June 2009. The use of E-3A aircraft for airspace surveillance and control has become an important part of national and international efforts to ensure the safety and security of political summits and other strategic world leadership events. Past examples of other international events supported by the E-3A Component include: the 2008 NATO Summit in Romania, the 2007 EU-Africa Summit in Portugal, the 2006 World Cup football competition in Germany, the 2005 G8 economic Summit in the United Kingdom and the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Greece. The E-3A aircraft, a modified Boeing 707, is equipped with radar capable of detecting air traffic over large distances and at low altitudes. One E-3A operating at 30,000 feet generates an air picture of aircraft movements from high to low altitude that can detect targets within 400 km or 215 nautical miles. The NAEW&C Force is composed of two components: the NATO flagged E-3A Component at Geilenkirchen, Germany which is comprised of 17 aircraft and multinational crews from 14 NATO nations, and the E3-D Component at Waddington whose seven aircraft and crews are British. The crew of each NATO E-3A AWACS can include up to one-third German personnel, and deployment of the aircraft in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission has been a subject of political debate in Germany over the past months. A decision in favor of deployment was made by the Federal Cabinet on June 17. The German Bundestag will now debate the issue July 3, in its final meeting before summer recess. The German government has agreed in principle to send an additional 300 personnel to the Afghan theater, primarily to support the three or four AWACS aircraft that NATO plans to deploy. The mission is due to last until Dec. 13. NATO announced its intention to send AWACS to Afghanistan as early as March 2008. However, the proposal faced opposition from German politicians keen to avoid direct support of combat operations by German troops. To date, German military participation in Afghanistan has focused on support roles, including aerial reconnaissance and logistics, while ground troops have been concentrated in less-dangerous regions. Germany's Defense Ministry, meanwhile, has stressed the unarmed nature of the AWACS mission and has stated that the aircraft cannot be used to identify ground targets and prosecute air strikes. According to the federal government, the aircraft's main mission will be management of air assets, allowing "a better coordination of civilian and military air traffic, for the protection of the troops deployed there and the Afghan civilian population." However, unlike the German Air Force Tornado jets operating in support of the Afghan mission, AWACS offers a real-time imagery capability, and therefore could theoretically direct combat operations. Another potential hurdle is the fact that the German parliament announced last October that German participation in ISAF had reached its upper limit, with 4,500 personnel deployed. The additional 300 German servicemen required for the AWACS mission will be on top of this figure. The political ramifications of the AWACS mission have history in Germany. In May 2008, the issue of German participation in NATO AWACS flights during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 was ruled illegal by the constitutional court. These missions had been flown to secure Turkish airspace during the U.S.-led invasion, although military action in Iraq was opposed by the then German government. The court ruled that German aircrew had been involved in military operations without parliamentary consultation. Based at Geilenkirchen, Germany, the multinational NATO AWACS component operates 17 E-3As and three Boeing 707 trainer/transport aircraft. The force includes about 3,100 personnel. For the upcoming ISAF mission, the AWACS aircraft are likely to be based in Konya, Turkey.