Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DTN News: Boeing Postpones 787 First Flight

DTN News: Boeing Postpones 787 First Flight *Sources: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) EVERETT, Wash., - June 24, 2009: Boeing June 23 ~ yerterday announced that first flight of the 787 Dreamliner will be postponed due to a need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft. The second of six Boeing 787s earmarked for the aircraft’s flight-test program, which has again been postponed, this time for at least several weeks. (Boeing photo) The need was identified during the recent regularly scheduled tests on the full-scale static test airplane. Preliminary analysis indicated that flight test could proceed this month as planned. However, after further testing and consideration of possible modified flight test plans, the decision was made late last week that first flight should instead be postponed until productive flight testing could occur. First flight and first delivery will be rescheduled following the final determination of the required modification and testing plan. It will be several weeks before the new schedule is available. The 787 team will continue with other aspects of testing on Airplane #1, including final gauntlet testing and low-speed taxiing. Work will also continue on the other five flight test aircraft and the subsequent aircraft in the production system. Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said a team of experts has already identified several potential solutions. "Consideration was given to a temporary solution that would allow us to fly as scheduled, but we ultimately concluded that the right thing was to develop, design, test and incorporate a permanent modification to the localized area requiring reinforcement. Structural modifications like these are not uncommon in the development of new airplanes, and this is not an issue related to our choice of materials or the assembly and installation work of our team," Carson said. Boeing's financial guidance will be updated to reflect any impact of these changes when the company issues its second quarter 2009 earnings report in July. Boeing will hold a conference call with Carson, Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of Airplane Programs, and Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, to discuss the 787 program June 23 yesterday at 10:00 a.m. EDT, 7:00 a.m., PDT. A webcast of that call will be accessible at

DTN News: US Army Delivers Armored Trucks To Iraqi Army

DTN News: US Army Delivers Armored Trucks To Iraqi Army
*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) BAGHDAD - June 24, 2009: Iraqi troops in northeastern Baghdad have a new weapon in their arsenal, thanks to U.S. soldiers here. Soldiers from 115th “Muleskinner” Brigade Support Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team delivered five up-armored Ford F-350 trucks to the 11th Iraqi Army Division at Joint Security Station Rasheed here June 19. The upgraded trucks offer significant protection and maneuverability for Iraqi Staff Maj. Gen. Mizher Shaher Lateef and his men to move about in his area of operations, said Army Capt. Peter Bogart, the brigade’s provost marshal. “It was a project that highlights the partnership we have with the [Iraqi army],” Army Maj. Michele Reid, the battalion’s executive officer, added. Soldiers on Mizher’s personal security detachment will use the trucks to escort the general during his daily operations. The detachment’s officer in charge will be held responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicles. Soldiers from the 115th BSB’s B Company armored the trucks by increasing the amount of protective layers inside and outside the vehicles. After 37 days and about 60 work hours per truck, the trucks were complete and ready for delivery to Mizher. “The soldiers in the service and recovery shop worked extremely hard on these trucks,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer Staceyann McNish, the battalion’s service and recovery chief. “They spent numerous manhours perfecting the construction of these turrets and gunner’s boxes. The end result was breathtaking.” Other than determining the best way to complete the armor, the project went quite smoothly, Reid said. “We did have to consider the added weight of Kevlar and metal to how it would affect the trucks,” she explained, “along with considering road conditions.” The beds of the trucks now contain a gunner’s box made of armor plating and Kevlar for maximum protection while on patrols. The seats are lined with Kevlar and were re-upholstered to cover it. “We are very grateful to the United States military for all their help,” said 2nd Lt. Salem Ibrahim, a platoon leader for the 11th Iraqi Army Infantry Division. “It has been a great opportunity to work this closely with the coalition forces.”

DTN News: North Korea Provides Internet Comic Fuel

DTN News: North Korea Provides Internet Comic Fuel *Sources: DTN News / Reuters ~ By David Fox (NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK - June 24, 2009: Despite the seriousness with which the world takes North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, the isolated country remains a rich source of humour for cartoonists, satirists and comedians around the world. The diminutive, bouffant-haired leader, Kim Jong-il, has already been the star of a satirical full length cartoon, plaintively singing “I’m so ronery” in Team America, while plotting to blow up the world. These days, it seems, every time North Korea rattles its sabres, the noise can be heard via the Internet. Kim and North Korea are most frequently a subject of discussion on the various late night TV chat shows so popular in the United States. “According to Kim Jong-Il’s biography, they say he has been constantly accused of dishonesty, drunkenness and sexual excess. So if he lived here, he could be in Congress,” Jay Leno said on his show. “North Korea conducted a nuclear test and the blast was so small that many scientists are saying it was a dud. Apparently, the nuclear bomb didn’t work well because it was made in Korea,” jibed Conan O’Brien. And with news wires buzzing that Kim, who succeeded his father, Kim Il-sung, may in turn be succeeded by a favourite son, David Letterman said: “”North Korean dictator Kim Jung Il may be stepping down. Experts in the State Department say he could be replaced by his son, Menta Li Ill.” But it isn’t just professional comedians having fun at the expense of North Korean and its dear leader, the Internet is full of keen amateurs doing the same. Facebook, for example, has over 350 profiles and groups dedicated to Kim, listing his hobbies (films, nuclear experiments, torture), friends (Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad). One group is set up to list achievements genuinely reported by the Korean Central News Agency, which frequently ascribes miraculous events to Kim, such as causing flowers to spontaneously bloom or even influencing the weather. A not entirely more ridiculous Facebook group does the opposite, listing what he should be credited with: “There is no such thing as evolution, just a list of animals Kim Jong Il allowed to live”; “Kim Jong Il has two speeds: Walk and Kill”; “Kim Jong Il can slam a revolving door.”. But perhaps the most popular resources of North Korean humour and satire on the Internet remains NK news, which has as a mission statement: This site aims its satirical lens solely at the regime of Kim Jong Il, and certainly not at the long-suffering people of North Korea, Korean culture, or Korea in general, North or South. Its random insult generator draws on years of bellicose statements from the north. None of them are made up, apparently. The latest offering: “You sycophantic aggressor, your accusation against the DPRK is no more than barking at the moon!”

DTN News: U.S. Creates Command For Cyber Battlefield

DTN News: U.S. Creates Command For Cyber Battlefield
*Sources: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 24, 2009: The U.S. military on June 23 announced a new "cyber command" designed to wage digital warfare and to bolster defenses against mounting threats to its computer networks. Defense Secretary Robert Gates formally established the command - the country's first - that would operate under U.S. Strategic Command, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. The command will begin operating in October and be fully operational in October 2010, Whitman said. The US military announced a new "cyber command" designed to wage digital warfare. The precise details of US cyber military power remain secret, but it includes technology capable of penetrating and jamming networks, including the classified Suter airborne system, analysts say. The move reflects a shift in military strategy with "cyber dominance" now part of U.S. war doctrine and comes amid growing alarm over the perceived threat posed by digital espionage coming from China, Russia and elsewhere. U.S. officials say China has built up a sophisticated cyber warfare program and that a spate of intrusions in the United States and elsewhere can be traced back to Chinese sources. The officer widely expected to lead the command is Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA). Alexander has described cyberspace as the new military frontier that could shape the future of national security, comparing it to sea or air power. The Defense Department said the command would streamline various cyber efforts across the armed forces and would focus on military networks. Officials have said the command would likely be located at Fort Meade, Maryland and that the Pentagon would not be taking over security efforts for civilian networks from other government agencies. The U.S. military relies on 15,000 networks and about seven million computers, with more than 100 foreign intelligence agencies trying to hack into U.S. networks, according to Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn. "Our defense networks are constantly under attack," Lynn said in a speech last week. "They are probed thousands of times a day. They are scanned millions of times a day. And the frequency and sophistication of attacks are increasing exponentially," he said. The threat ranges from teenage hackers to criminal gangs acting as cyber mercenaries to foreign governments, Lynn said. Lynn cited cyberattacks that shut down Georgia's government and commercial web sites during Russia's military incursion last year. Defense officials have said the cyber command would focus on security efforts along with offensive capabilities to ensure "freedom of action in cyberspace" for the United States. The precise details of U.S. cyber military power remain secret, but it includes technology capable of penetrating and jamming networks, including the classified Suter airborne system, analysts say. The technology has been reportedly added to unmanned aircraft and allows for users to take over and manipulate enemy sensors. Reported breaches of the U.S. electricity grid and of networks used by aerospace contractors building the F-35 fighter jet have underlined concerns over cyber security. Last year, several thousand computers in the Defense Department were infected by malicious software, prompting the military to ban troops and civilian staff from using external memory devices and thumb drives. In the proposed defense budget for fiscal 2010, the administration has proposed increasing funds for training to triple the number of cyber security experts from 80 to 250 per year. President Barack Obama has put a top priority on cyber security and announced plans for a national cyber defense coordinator. A recent White House policy review said that "cybersecurity risks pose some of the most serious economic and national security challenges of the 21st century." Obama has promised privacy rights would be carefully safeguarded even as the government moves to step up efforts to protect sensitive civilian and military networks.

DTN News: Al-Qaeda Threat To Peace In East Africa Region

DTN News: Al-Qaeda Threat To Peace In East Africa Region
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON - June 24, 2009: An Al-Qaeda force fighting alongside Somali extremists against the transitional government has sent ripples through regional capitals. Commanded by a Kenyan, the group, called Al-Muhajirun, has 180 well-trained and battle-hardened fighters, some who have seen action in Afghanistan, Pakistan and possibly Iraq.
Al-Shabaab, the Somali militant group which has threatened to annex Kenyan territory, is not itself considered a serious threat to Kenya, a ministry of Internal Security official told the Nation, "not in the conventional sense" and because its main concerns are domestic.
Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden
But Al-Qaeda, whose dream is to create a Taliban-type super-state running from Mozambique to the north, has the potential to destabilise East Africa. Al-Muhajirun has also internationalised the conflict and brought some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world to East Africa?s front door, said the official, who can not be named because of government secrecy laws.
"The extent to which Kenyans are being exposed to these kinds of terrorist things is a major concern," said a senior police officer who asked not to be named so as to comment freely. The emergence of a large and well-trained and armed group reflects a dynamic which could have disastrous consequences for Kenya?s future security.
The group is headed by Kenyan Saleh Nabhan, an old Al-Qaeda hand, and many of its members are Kenyan, some of them young people who have been recruited, turned into radicals and sent to fight in the Somali "jihad", said a regional conflict and peace expert, who declined to be named because of his work with the security services. Security and defence bosses are concerned that Somalia could become East Africa?s Afghanistan, a country that attracts extremists who are trained in terrorism but who return to their own countries to set up Al-Qaeda networks.
They fear that the war in Somalia will spawn a new breed of war-hardened Al-Qaeda terrorists. The other members of Al-Muhajirun are Ugandans, Americans, Europeans and Saudis. Others are from other parts of the Middle East and Asia, said the Internal Security official, who is privy to intelligence reports.
A Mr Abu Mansur al-Meriki, a US citizen, is Nabhan?s deputy in the Al-Muhajirun chain of command. On Saturday, the Speaker of the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur, also known as Sheikh Aden Madobe, issued an urgent appeal for Yemen, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia to send forces in Somalia within 24 hours to fight off an invasion by Al-Qaeda jihadists and save the fledgling government.
Speaking at a press conference at Villa Somalia, the State House in Mogadishu, Sheikh Madobe said the Transitional Federal Government was fighting against "international jihadists who have come to Somalia from all the five continents of the globe". He claimed that a "general" from Pakistan was now in Somalia and directing the Al-Qaeda.
He did not name him but said he was operating out of Bakara market, the biggest trading centre in Mogadishu and around Sana'a, a strategic junction in north Mogadishu. "This terror will pass on to the rest of the world, especially to neighbouring countries, if not confronted," he warned. On Thursday, suspected terrorists killed Somali National Security minister Omar Hashi Aden and 24 others. A day before, Mogadishu?s police chief was killed during a fight with insurgents. On Sunday, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang?ula said the government would not respond to statements made by the insurgents.
However, he assured the public that Kenya?s national and strategic interests would be protected at all costs. Nominated MP Sheikh Mohamed Dor dismissed threats from the Al-Shabaab group and said Kenya and other regional countries had a duty to intervene in Somalia to restore peace. "Al-Shabaab should not issue threats, especially against Kenya, that has hosted a lot of Somali leaders," he said on the phone.
Sheikh Dor warned that the escalating situation in Somalia will affect its neighbours and urged members of the African Union or Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) to move in and restore order. Ethiopia, which fought and routed the extremists in 2006, rejected the call for armed intervention and government spokesman Bereket Simon told the Nation in Addis Ababa that Ethiopia would not deploy its armed forces in Somalia without "a clear and approved mandate by the international community". "Any further action from Ethiopia will be done according to the international community's reaction," said Mr Simon.
Mr Simon, a minister in the Ethiopian government, said helping Somalia was not the responsibility of neighbouring countries, alone but of the international community. There has been heightened diplomatic activity in Addis Ababa, with Western diplomats reportedly trying to get Ethiopia, an influential nation in the region because of its huge military, to intervene again in Somalia.
The view in Addis Ababa is that the insurgency in Somalia is largely supported by Eritrea and some Arab states. Eritrea, Ethiopia?s bitter enemy, is reported to have put thousands of troops on alert, possibly with the intention of sending them in to back up the extremists should Ethiopia respond to the call for help.
Ethiopian withdrew its troops from Somalia early this year after a tough, two-year campaign. Defence assistant minister David Musila declined to comment on the deployment on grounds that such matters cannot be discussed in public. But he echoed Mr Wetang?ula?s statement and said Kenya?s national interests will be protected. "It is not in our normal tradition to discuss matters on national security publicly," he said.
There has been some speculation that some form of military action was in the offing, possibly under AU or Igad auspices. But Kenya, which has a relatively large and influential Somali population of its own, has been reluctant to play the aggressor in Somalia and might not attack unless attacked.
But Kenyan security officials appeared to support the Ethiopian position that a multi-lateral, rather than unilateral approach, is the only hope for Somalia.

DTN News: Pakistan Commander Blows The Lid On Islamabad's Kargil Plot /Gen. Pervez Musharraf As Army Chief Of Staff Had Engineered The Kargil Campaign

DTN News: Pakistan Commander Blows The Lid On Islamabad's Kargil Plot / Gen. Pervez Musharraf As Army Chief Of Staff Had Engineered The Kargil Campaign *Sources: Int'l Media / Indian Express / TIME (News upgraded June 24, 2009 ~ popular viewers demand) (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - June 13, 2009: In the first account by a Pakistani military officer that nails Islamabad’s lie on Kargil, a former pilot who was Director of Operations of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during the 1999 conflict has given a blow-by-blow account of the preparations undertaken by his country’s Army that led to operations inside the Indian side of the Line of Control. A retired Pak military officer has revealed that entire Kargil operations were planned by Musharraf with tacit approval of Nawaz Sharif. The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir. The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LOC), which serves as the de facto border between the two states. During and directly after the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan's Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces, led by General Ashraf Rashid. A part of Kashmir is under Pakistani control. This part is known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in India and as Azad Kashmir (free or independent Kashmir) in Pakistan. Through this Pakistan was able to deploy Kashmiri fighters to fight alongside its regular forces. The Indian Army, late on supported by the Indian Air Force, attacked the Pakistani positions and, with international diplomatic support, eventually forced withdrawal of the Pakistani forces across the LOC. The war is one of the most recent examples of high altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, which posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. This was only the second direct ground war between any two countries after they had developed nuclear weapons, after the Sino-Soviet border conflict of 1969; it is also the most recent. (India and Pakistan both test-detonated fission devices in May 1998, though the first Indian nuclear test was conducted in 1974.) The conflict led to heightened tension between the two nations and increased defence spending by India. In Pakistan, the aftermath caused instability of the government and the economy, and, on October 12, 1999, a coup d'etat by the military placed army chief Pervez Musharraf in power. Published in India in the latest issue of the 'Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review' magazine, PAF Air Commodore (retd) Kaiser Tufail, the man who “interrogated” IAF Flight Lieutenant K Nachiketa after his MiG-27 crashed in PoK during a bombing run in the initial days of the war, has laid bare the detailed Kargil plan by the Pakistan Army. He says that the “Army trio” of General Pervez Musharraf, 10 Corps Commander Lt Gen Mehmud Ahmad and Force Command Northern Areas commander Maj Gen Javed Hasan “took no one into confidence, neither its operational commanders, nor the heads of the other services”. Tufail, a decorated fighter pilot who was in charge of air operations during the war, has revealed that the Pak Army placed Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles on hill tops, moved artillery guns and ammunitions to posts that India had vacated during winter and drew plans to cut off the strategic Drass-Kargil road to choke supplies to the Siachen glacier. Now based in Lahore, Tufail says the entire operation was planned by Musharraf but had the tacit approval of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, after a presentation, said “‘General sahib, Bismillah karein’... not withstanding the denials we hear from him every new moon.” Recalling his meeting with top Army officers, including Lt Gen Mehmud Ahmad who was commanding the Rawalpindi Corps, Tufail writes that the Kargil plan was revealed on May 12, two weeks before India retaliated with air strikes, when Ahmad briefed him and others on the operation. “Come October, we shall walk in to Siachen — to mop up the dead bodies of hundreds of Indians left hungry, out in the cold,” Ahmad is quoted as having said during the briefing, adding that “I have Stingers on every peak” to counter the threat of Indian air strikes against Pakistani intruders. “The target was a vulnerable section of Drass-Kargil road, whose blocking would virtually cut off the crucial lifeline which carried the bulk of supplies needed for daily consumption as well as annual winter stocking in Leh-Siachen sector. He (Lt Gen Ahmad) was very hopeful that this stratagem could choke off the Indians in the vital sector for up to a month, after which monsoons would prevent vehicular movements and also suspend airlift by IAF,” Tufail writes on details of the briefing. Expressing surprise over the failure of Indian intelligence to detect Pakistani movements that led to the occupation of Indian Army posts on the heights of Kargil, Tufail says it was well known in Skardu, days before operations were launched, that “something big is imminent”. “Helicopter flying activity was feverishly high as Army Aviation Mi 17s were busy moving artillery guns and ammunition to the posts that had been vacated by the Indians during the winter season. Troops in battle gear were to be seen all over the city. Interestingly, Army messes were abuzz with war chatter amongst young officers. In retrospect, one wonders how Indian intelligence agencies failed to read any such signs many weeks before the operation unfolded,” Tufail writes. Bringing out the disagreement between the Pak Army and Air Force on the operations, Tufail writes that many senior PAF officers tried to explain to the Army that Indian air strikes would wipe out bunkers occupied by ground forces but these were dismissed by the Army after Lt General Ahmad said “troops were well camouflaged and concealed and that IAF pilots would not be able to pick out the posts from the air”. “Perhaps it was the incredulousness of the whole thing that led Air Commodore Abid Rao (Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations) to famously quip, ‘After this operation, it’s going the be either a Court Martial or Martial Law’ as we walked out of the briefing room.” And for the first time, giving details of IAF success in bombing Pakistani positions during the war, Tufail writes that round the clock air attacks had made retention of posts by Pakistani infiltrators “untenable”.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf as Army Chief of Staff had engineered the Kargil campaign, the capturing of a few mountain peaks on the other side of the Line of Control, which was essentially a mini invasion of India.
“The Mirage 2000s scored at least five successful laser guided bomb hits on forward dumping sites and posts. During the last days of operations which ended on 12 July, it was clear that delivery accuracy had improved considerably,” he writes. Contrary to the Indian view that he was shot down, Tufail claims that Flt Lt Nachiketa’s MiG-27 went down due to engine trouble “caused by gas ingestion during high altitude strafing.” He writes: “Flt Lt Nachiketa, who ejected and was apprehended, had a tete-a-tete with this writer during an interesting ‘interrogation’ session.” He conceded that the PAF had trouble maintaining air patrols in the region to deter Indian fighters as its F-16 mainstay was facing shortage of supply parts due to American sanctions. “After one week of CAPs (combat air patrols), the F-16 maintenance personnel indicated that war reserves were being eaten into and the activity had the be ‘rationalized’, an euphemism for discontinuing it altogether,” Tufail writes. According to him, F-16 was the only fighter available with Pakistan to counter India but it was decided to discontinue patrols in case its services were needed during a full-blown war. “Those not aware of the gravity of the F-16 operability problem under sanctions have complained of the lack of cooperation by the PAF,” he writes.
Pictures & articles from the Kargil conflict (Click on links below) Well equipped Pakistani troops who were dug into the Kargil heights Captured Pakistani weapons wake India up to Pakistani involvement Pakistani soldiers angrily mourn their dead More coffins appear in Pakistan at the Pakistani government denies involvement Horror turns to anger in Pakistan as the death toll mounts Mpeg video clip: Indian artillery in direct fire mode - India's first televised war. Mpeg video clip: The IAF hits a Pak camp with pinpoint accuracy Ununiformed Pakistani men in retreat After the battle - victorious Indian troops Anger in Pakistan as the government admits involvement and sues for peace. Map of the area of operations
Time Magazine Pakistan: Under Fire

DTN News: Defence Groups Fight For military Contracts

DTN News: Defence Groups Fight For military Contracts *Sources: DTN News / The Times By David Robertson (NSI News Source Info) LONDON - June 24, 2009: Defence companies are preparing for the biggest surge in orders for fighter jets since the Cold War, with nearly $100 billion (£61 billion) of business thought to be up for grabs — but the stakes are higher than ever for those manufacturers chasing the contracts. Eurofighter Typhoon ~ The authorisation for Tranche 3 production and capabilities will have a tremendous effect on the export potential of Eurofighter Typhoon. Having already secured two export contracts with Austria in 2003 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2007, the Eurofighter partner companies are actively pursuing campaigns in Switzerland, India, Japan, Romania, Greece, Turkey and exploring possible opportunities in Bulgaria and Croatia. With the production of Eurofighter Typhoon now being confirmed until the later part of the next decade and the agreed new capabilities, Eurofighter Typhoon confirms itself as the most advanced real multirole fighter available on the market. The winners of big orders will gain entry to new markets and guarantee multibillion-dollar revenue streams for decades; the losers may be forced out of the fighter market altogether because the cost of developing new aircraft has risen so high that they might not be able to challenge in future. BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence company, is one of the best-placed. It is part of the consortium building the Eurofighter Typhoon, a leading contender in many of the competitions. Defence sources have said that the future of Rafale, France’s independent fighter programme, is under threat if it cannot win at least one big order. Likewise, Russia’s MiG could cease to be a viable export product for all but second-tier states. Gripen, of Sweden, needs big wins to stay in production. Even Boeing, the largest aerospace company in the world, is facing an uncertain future in the market as its F18 Super Hornet and F15 may be eclipsed by the Typhoon and Lockheed Martin’s F35. Defence chiefs have told The Times that they have never known so much international competition for fighters, with a dozen countries expected to announce plans to buy new aircraft soon. The biggest prize is India’s medium multirole combat aircraft project, worth more than $12 billion for about 126 aircraft. Gripen, Typhoon, the F18 Super Hornet, the Lockheed Martin F16 and the MiG 35 are on offer, with a decision likely next year. Brazil wants 36 new fighters and a preferred bidder is expected to be announced this year. In the running are the F18, Rafale and Gripen. A senior defence source said at the Paris Air Show: “This is the last roll of the dice for some of these aircraft. If Rafale and Gripen do not win at least one big order, it is hard to see how they can survive. MiG is finished in the leading countries if it does not get India.” There are also strategic concerns for a country such as France because, if it cannot afford to keep Rafale going, it will have to join an international project, such as the Joint Strike Fighter. BAE is leading Typhoon campaigns in the Middle East and Japan and is also involved with the India bid. The Japanese order could be the most valuable, at up to $25 billion, depending on the model selected. The Japanese are thought to want Lockheed Martin F22s at $250 million each, but the United States does not permit them to be exported. However, the Pentagon has said that it will not buy any more F22s and it may be willing to loosen export rules so that Lockheed can keep the production line open. If the F22 is unavailable, the Typhoon may be next in line. It would be a coup for Europe, as previously Japan has bought its military equipment from the United States. It would open a market for BAE and extend the life of the production line at Warton, Lancashire. BAE switch Walt Havenstein, chief executive of BAE Systems’ US business, has resigned a year after missing the top job. Mr Havenstein, who has worked for BAE since 2000, is to become chief executive of SAIC, an American defence group. General Anthony Zinni, a member of BAE Systems Inc’s board, becomes chairman of the US business and will stand in for Mr Havenstein until a successor is found.

DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 24, 2009 - South Korean Soldiers On Guard Near DMZ Demilitarized Zone

DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 24, 2009 - South Korean Soldiers On Guard Near DMZ Demilitarized Zone *Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 24, 2009: South Korean Army soldiers move along the barbed-wire fence as they patrol the border line in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas in Chulwon, South Korea, Tuesday, June 23, 2009.South Korean Army soldiers conduct a drill during a demonstration for the media near the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas in Chulwon, South Korea, Tuesday, June 23, 2009. A North Korean ship suspected of carrying illicit weapons was plying the waters off Shanghai on Tuesday en route to Myanmar, a news report said, as regional military officials and a U.S. destroyer kept a close eye on the vessel's movements. A North Korean ship suspected of carrying illicit weapons was plying the waters off Shanghai on Tuesday en route to Myanmar, a news report said, as regional military officials and a U.S. destroyer kept a close eye on the vessel's movements.

DTN News: IAI Delivers First Batch Of Kfir Fighter Jets To the Colombian Air Force

DTN News: IAI Delivers First Batch Of Kfir Fighter Jets To the Colombian Air Force *Sources: DTN News / Israel Aerospace Industries (NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV, Israel - June 24, 2009: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is delivering the first batch of upgraded Kfir fighter jets to the Colombian Air Force in a ceremony held at IAI's facilities in Israel. In attendance at the ceremony was Juan Hurtado Cano, the Colombian Ambassador to Israel, high ranking officers from the Colombian Air Force, and executives from the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD-SIBAT), and IAI. IAI is upgrading all 12 Colombian air force Kfir C-1/-2 fighters under a $150M contract awarded in late 2007.
In late 2007 IAI was awarded a multi-year contract worth over $150 million to upgrade the existing Colombian Air Force Kfir jets, and to supply additional jets.
Mr. Itzhak Nissan, IAI's President and CEO said: "IAI's new technologies were integrated in the new Kfir jets to better their capabilities and allow longer operational service. The short delivery schedule and high quality of the aircraft were feasible thanks to IAI's integration capability, and the knowledge and experience of Lahav and other IAI divisions".
The Kfir fighter jet, manufactured at IAI's Lahav Division of the Military Aircraft Group, is a multi-role, all-weather combat jet with high carrying capabilities of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground munitions.
The additional Kfir jets, models C10-C12, have been upgraded and improved to include IAI's latest technologies and products. Currently, Kfir jets play an advanced role in the Air Forces of Sri Lanka, Ecuador and Colombia, and they have been used in the US Navy to act as adversary aircraft in dissimilar air combat training.
Kfir jets are also used by the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), a civilian company that provides fleet tactical aircraft and services to the US military. ATAC provides airborne tactical training, threat simulation, and research & development.
Principal Deputy Director of SIBAT, Mr, Meir Shalit said: "IMOD is proud of IAI and their great achievement and cooperation with the Colombian Air Force. IMOD sees IAI as a genuine partner that promotes Israel's quality defense export".
Colonel Diego Sepulveda Alzate of the Colombian Air Force said: "We feel immense happiness, satisfaction, and pride for this addition to the Colombian Air Force. We are grateful to the workers at LAHAV and at IAI in general for all their hard work."
Israel Aerospace Industries, is one of Israel’s leading technological-industrial companies employing around 16,400 people and is a leading developer of aviation and aerospace technology in the military and civilian markets. IAI’s backlog grew from over $1 billion at the beginning of 2009 to a record high of over $8 billion. IAI is a world leader in a wide range of advanced technologies, including development, production, renovation, upgrading, repair and maintenance of aircraft, missiles, launchers, communications satellites, observation satellites and ground services, electronic systems, avionics systems, advanced radar, precision-guided munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles.

DTN News: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Tells United States 'Stop Dancing With Dictators'

DTN News: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Tells United States 'Stop Dancing With Dictators'
*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 24, 2009: In an unusually harsh article published in The Washington Post on Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari blamed the United States for the present mess in Pakistan, claiming that Washington used his country as a ‘blunt instrument of the Cold War.’
‘The West, indeed the entire civilized world, does not have that luxury in Afghanistan and Pakistan (of walking away),’ warned President Zardari. But in the same article, he urged his American allies to send ‘immediate assistance’ to help him save democracy. The tone and the content of the article surprised many in Washington, causing some to speculate if relations between the two governments were still as friendly as both say. ‘The West, most notably the United States, has been all too willing to dance with dictators in pursuit of perceived short-term goals,’ he wrote. ‘The litany of these policies and their consequences clutter the earth, from the Marcos regime in the Philippines, to the Shah in Iran, to Mohammed Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan.’ According to Mr Zardari, ‘each case has proved that myopic strategies that sacrifice principle lead to unanticipated long-term consequences.’ In Pakistan, he added, ‘the West stood by as a democratically elected government was toppled by a military dictatorship in the late ’70s. Because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the West used my nation as a blunt instrument of the Cold War. ‘It empowered a Gen Zia dictatorship that brutalised its people, decimated our political parties, murdered the prime minister who had founded Pakistan’s largest political party, and destroyed the press and civil society. ‘And once the Soviets were defeated, the Americans took the next bus out of town, leaving behind a political vacuum that ultimately led to the Talibanisation and radicalisation of Afghanistan, the birth of Al Qaeda and the current jihadist insurrection in Pakistan. ‘The heroin mafia, which arose as a consequence of the efforts to implode the Soviet Union, now takes in $5 billion a year, twice the budget of our army and police. This is the price Pakistan continues to pay. ‘Dancing with dictators never pays off. Frankly, the worst democracy is better than any dictatorship. Dictatorship leads to frustration, extremism and terrorism.’
Troops of Pakistani para-military force patrol in troubled area of Buner, Pakistan, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 in Buner, Pakistan. Over two million people are displaced from Pakistan's troubled areas of Swat and Buner due to severe fighting. The president then moved to a conciliatory note, saying that ‘the past is the past, and we can’t undo it. We can, however, address the consequences of past mistakes and make sure they are not repeated.’ His ‘most immediate goal,’ the president wrote, ‘is for the civilized world to rally to the support of Pakistani democracy and the Pakistani people’s struggle against extremism.’ In this war, he said, ‘we are in the trenches for ourselves but also for the world.’ Pakistan, he wrote, had lost more soldiers – 1,200 of them – fighting the Taliban in Pakistan than all of the countries of Nato have lost, combined, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thousands of civilians, victims of attacks such as the recent bombing of the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar, have died too, he added. The president warned that the world did not have the luxury to walk away from Afghanistan and Pakistan, as doing so would have disastrous consequences for all. ‘The West, indeed the entire civilized world, does not have that luxury in Afghanistan and Pakistan (of walking away),’ he warned. ‘If the Taliban and Al Qaeda are allowed to triumph in our region, their destabilising alliance will spread across the continents.’ Reminding Washington that only an ‘economically viable’ Pakistan can successfully combat terrorism, Mr Zardari appealed for urgent international assistance for Pakistan. ‘We need immediate assistance. The Obama administration recognises that only an economically viable Pakistan can contain the terrorist menace,’ he wrote. Mr Zardari noted that the US administration had committed $1.5 billion per annum for five years to help stabilise Pakistan’s economy. ‘Now, rest of the world must step up and match the US effort... Pakistan needs a robust assistance package so that we can deliver for the people and defeat militants,’ he said. He also asked for assistance in helping Pakistan deal with the millions of people displaced during the Swat offensive. ‘Pakistan paid a heavy price more than US and Nato in the anti-terror war,’ the president wrote. ‘But aid is not enough,’ he noted. ‘In the long term, Pakistan needs trade to allow us to become economically independent. Only such an economically robust Pakistan will be able to contain the fanatics and demonstrate to the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide that democracy and economic development go hand in hand.’ He praised a US scheme for creating regional opportunity zones in Afghanistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas region of Pakistan that will remove trade barriers and provide economic incentives to build factories, start industries, employ workers – and give hope to the people. This opportunity zone concept, he wrote, should be a model to Europe, as well. Europe must realize that it was in its own self-interest, as the United States has realized, to do everything possible to grow the Pakistani economy and to provide incentives for Pakistani exports to the continent,’ he added. ‘My wife travelled the world preaching democracy to what should have been its loudest choir,’ the president recalled. ‘The doors of many western governments were shut to her, but she was not deterred.’ The president quoted Benazir Bhutto as saying that ‘truth, justice and the forces of history are on our side’ and added: ‘Today, we shall see if America and Europe are on our side as

DTN News: Georgia Plans To Send 500 Troops To Afghanistan - US Official

DTN News: Georgia Plans To Send 500 Troops To Afghanistan - US Official
*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 24, 2009: Georgia plans to send about 500 soldiers to Afghanistan next year to bolster the force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a U.S. defense official said Monday. The main arm of the military of Georgia is the Georgian Land Force which is based on brigade size military units. The branch has 5 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 engineering brigade; 2 tank battalions and 6 support service battalions. The strength of Land Forces is 22 999 from which 2 382 are officers, 20 598 sergeants and corporals (contracting) and 16 civilians. The ground arm is equipped with various weapons systems and army branches. Georgia, which wants to join the NATO alliance over objections from Russia, will deploy "the equivalent of a battalion" in Afghanistan in 2010, the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. Close to 90,000 foreign forces, most of them U.S. troops, are stationed in Afghanistan, fighting an increasingly bloody insurgency being waged by the Taliban and its allies. Insurgent attacks have reached record highs in recent weeks in Afghanistan, raising concerns about security ahead of the country's second-ever presidential elections, scheduled in two months. About 2,000 Georgian troops were deployed in Iraq from August 2003 but were rushed back to Georgia in August last year, amid a battle with Russian forces over South Ossetia. News of Georgia's plans came as the White House said US Vice President Joe Biden was due travel to Georgia and Ukraine between July 20 and 24.

DTN News: U.S. And Kyrgyzstan Draft New Air Base Deal: Report

DTN News: U.S. And Kyrgyzstan Draft New Air Base Deal: Report *Sources: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - June 24, 2009: The United States and Kyrgyzstan have drafted a proposed new agreement for U.S. forces to carry on using the Manas air base for operations in Afghanistan, a Kyrgyz government source said on Tuesday. In this April 14, 2007 file photo, U.S. soldiers patrol the air base during a joint military exercise with France, at the U.S. Manas Air Base, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The United States and Kyrgyzstan have reached a deal for use of a Kyrgyz airport to transport U.S. non-lethal military supplies to Afghanistan, a senior Kyrgyz official said Tuesday, June 23, 2009, four months after the country said U.S. troops would be evicted. Parliament would start reviewing the proposed deal later on Tuesday, said the source, who declined to be named. "The government today submitted to parliament an agreement with the United States government on creating a transit center to provide logistics support for operations in Afghanistan," the source said. In February, Kyrgyzstan said it would shut down the base outside the capital Bishkek by August after securing pledges of $2 billion in aid and credit from Russia, which operates its own air base in the mainly Muslim Central Asian country. Manas is home to about 1,000 U.S. personnel and serves as a key refuelling point for aircraft used in military operations in nearby Afghanistan. (Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Ralph Gowling)