Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DTN News: Boeing Wins $750 Million Contract to Support B-52 Fleet

DTN News: Boeing Wins $750 Million Contract to Support B-52 Fleet
*Sources: DTN News / U.S Department of Defense; issued June 29, 2009 *DTN News....Thanks Defense-Aerospace for excellent news coverage on Defense factors
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 30, 2009: The Air Force is awarding a firm-fixed-price contract to the Boeing Co., Wichita, Kan., for $750,000,000.
Boeing has been awarded a $750 million extension to its fleet support contract for the US Air Force’s B-52 strategic bombers. (USAF photo) This action is a follow-on to the B-52 fleet support contract and will provide recurring and non-recurring engineering services, including: drawing and technical data maintenance, systems engineering support, technical analyses, government furnished property maintenance, detailed design engineering system and subsystem integration, hardware and software support, technical order updates, flight safety analyses, reliability and maintainability analyses, ground and flight test support, engineering feasibility studies, material deficiency report analysis, field problem investigation, and in-flight emergency response.
At this time, $9,605,869 has been obligated.
327th Aircraft Sustainment Group Contracting Division, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8107-09-D-0001).

DTN News: Boeing Joins The Wing To Body For First 747-8 Freighter

DTN News: Boeing Joins The Wing To Body For First 747-8 Freighter *Sources: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EVERETT, Wash., - June 30, 2009: Boeing has completed another milestone in the assembly of its first 747-8 Freighter by joining the wing to the fuselage. Workers attached the 40-foot (12 m) fuselage section to the center wing box in the final assembly bay at the factory in Everett, Wash. The wing and center section are now being prepared for final body join, when the assembly will be connected to the forward and aft fuselage sections. The 747 Program has secured 78 orders from leading cargo operators for the new 747-8 Freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed orders for the airplane. "We continue to gain momentum on the assembly of the first 747-8 Freighter," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 Program. "The airplane is coming together well and will be ready to fly later this year as planned. This will be a great freighter, which will build on the 747 family's leadership in the cargo market." The 747-8 Freighter is the new high-capacity 747 that will give cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any freighter airplane, while providing enhanced environmental performance. The 747-8 Freighter will offer 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400 Freighter. The airplane will carry forward its predecessor's efficiency, with nearly equivalent trip costs and 16 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400 Freighter. In fact, the 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter. The 747 Program has secured 78 orders from leading cargo operators for the new 747-8 Freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed orders for the airplane.

DTN News: Iraqis Take Control As U.S. Troops Leave Cities

DTN News: Iraqis Take Control As U.S. Troops Leave Cities *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BAGHDAD, Iraq - June 30, 2009: Iraqi forces prepared to take control of towns and cities nationwide on June 30 as American troops withdrew in a milestone for the country's recovery six years after the U.S.-led invasion. Iraqi army tanks take part in a parade in Baghdad's Green Zone, June 30, 2009. U.S. combat troops left the last of Iraq's cities on Tuesday, restoring to the country a proud sense of sovereignty that many applauded even though some fear it may leave them more vulnerable to attacks. Baghdad's streets were quiet and traffic much lighter than usual as people stayed at home for a national holiday to mark the June 30 pullback, ahead of a complete U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the nation's joy at the handover was mixed with sorrow for "beloved friends and relatives" who had been "targeted by terror." But he also took aim at critics of the Iraqi security forces, saying the nation's army and police were up to the task of defending the country in the wake of the U.S. pullout. "It is a big mistake for people to think that the Iraqis will not handle the security issue," Maliki said. "It is an offence to the Iraqis. The people who said that the foreign troops would never withdraw and would keep permanent bases in our country were giving a green light to the terrorists to kill civilians." Iraqis had celebrated into the night on June 29, but soldiers and police were out in force to prevent insurgent groups spoiling the party as American troops left their posts in urban centers. President Jalal Talabani, meanwhile, thanked U.S. forces for the sacrifices they made in overthrowing now executed dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, and in the years of violence that followed. "They bore the burden and dangers against the most cruel regime and against the mutual enemy - the terror," Talabani said on state television. The handover coincided with a U.S. Army announcement that four of its soldiers died from combat-related injuries on June 29, taking to 4,321 the number of American troops killed since the invasion. The pullout is part of a landmark security agreement signed in November between Baghdad and Washington covering the fate of the 133,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq. In the wake of bombings that have already killed more than 200 people this month, all leave for Iraqi security personnel has been canceled. Motorcycles, a favored form of transport for several recent bombers, have also been banned from the streets. Across Baghdad, tanks and armored vehicles manned by soldiers and police were decorated with artificial flowers, flags and banners, as nationalistic songs and popular music played. "We are happy to receive the security responsibilities and we are able to totally protect our citizens," said policeman Ibrahim al-Mashhadani. Abu Mustapha, a carpenter, added: "I believe that the security of the nation will improve when the U.S. forces leave." On Monday, the former defense ministry building in the capital, taken over in the wake of the invasion, was handed back to the Iraqi government. "This marks the end of the rule of the multinational force," said Gen. Abboud Qambar, the head of Baghdad Operation Command. The security shake-up was celebrated by huge crowds in Baghdad's largest park on the evening of June 29. Revelers had to undergo three security checks to enter but no one seemed to complain amid a jubilant atmosphere, where an onstage banner declared that Baghdad's sovereignty and independence had been recovered. Even policemen joined in the fun, dancing with the partygoers. Maliki warned earlier this month that insurgent groups and militias were likely to step up attacks in the run-up to June 30 in a bid to undermine confidence in Iraq's own security forces. There have been several huge bombings since, the deadliest near the northern oil hub of Kirkuk on June 20 when a truck loaded with explosives was detonated, leaving 72 people dead and more than 200 wounded. Only a small number of U.S. forces in training and advisory roles will remain in urban areas, with the bulk of American troops in Iraq quartered elsewhere. The Status of Forces Agreement, which set the pullback deadline, says U.S. commanders must seek permission from Iraqi authorities to conduct operations, but American troops retain a unilateral right to "legitimate self-defense."

DTN News: Israel Prepares F-15 Jets For Long Range Attack

DTN News: Israel Prepares F-15 Jets For Long Range Attack
*Sources: DTN News / (IsraelNN.com)
(NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV, Israel - June 30, 2009: The Israel Air Force’s F-15 fleet is undergoing an upgrade, with systems that make it better equipped for complex long distance attack scenarios. The systems are being installed in both the F-15 and the F-15I -- a model of the F-15 that was developed by its U.S. manufacturer specifically for the IAF. The F-15I is deployed by the Israeli Air Force where it is known as the Ra'am. It is a dual-seat ground attack aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engines, and is based on the F-15E. After the Gulf War, in which Israeli towns were attacked by SCUD missiles based in Iraq, the Israeli government decided that it needed a long range strike aircraft. In 1993, Israel issued a Request for Information (RFI) asking any aircraft companies interested in producing the new Israeli fighter for their proposals. In response, Lockheed Martin offered a version of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas offered both the F/A-18 Hornet and the F-15E. On 27 January 1994, the Israeli government announced that they intended to purchase 21 F-15Es. The F-15E design was modified to Israeli requirements, including the DASH Helmet Mounted Sight and was renamed F-15I. On 12 May 1994, the US Government authorized the purchase of up to 25 F-15Is by Israel. In November 1995, Israel purchased 4 more F-15Is, bringing them to the US imposed limit. 25 were built from 1996 to 1998. According to IDF journal BaMachaneh, the F-15I model is currently being fitted with two new systems – one called “Barad Pelada” (“Steel Hail”), and another named Lightning. The Barad Pelada advanced weapons system has been operational in the IAF’s F-16s for almost four years, but had to be modified in order to fit the F-15. Barad Pelada is an advanced Israeli armament that operates like a smart bomb. “The system is unique in that it is able to plan the bombing in an accurate way by identifying the target from above,” a knowledgeable source in the IAF explained. “After the identification, the system carries out guidance to the target and only then is impact made.” The Lightning advanced attack system has also been in use in the IAF’s other jets. Until now, the F-15I jets had to rely on the older Inbar system, which used to be fitted in all of the IAF’s jets but was gradually phased out. The Inbar system is capable of providing an operational solution in some ranges, but other attack scenarios require advanced systems like the Lightning, IAF sources said. “The need for the new system led to an accelerated procedure of development of advanced means,” a source in the IAF’s Weapons Department explained. “Once the testing at the Flight Experiment Center is finished, we will complete the system’s integration in the aircraft.” A combination of two systemsFor the time being, however, the F-15I jets will not part with the older Inbar systems. “From now on, the aircraft will enjoy a combination of both attack systems and will enjoy a meaningful advantage in their operational activity,” the sources said. The F-15 jets, meanwhile, recently received a new weapon system named “Barad Kaved” (“Heavy Hail”) and used it for the first time during operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza in early 2009. IAF sources said the use was a success. The F-15 fighters used Barad Kaved in attacks with zero malfunctions, and “we are very pleased with its performance in the operation,” the sources said. Pilots' Course graduation ceremony (Israel news photo: IAF website). 'Sharp as a razor'
“The reelection of Iran’s president, his grave utterances regarding his will to harm the state of Israel and Iran’s continual effort to achieve unconventional weapons require us to maintain an army that is coiled and ready to spring into action, and an Air Force that is skilled and sharp as a razor, that will stand up to any enemy and remove any threat from our citizens and residents,“ IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Thursday in an IAF ceremony for new pilots at the Hatzerim Air Force Base.

DTN News: INDIA....A First ~ Foreign Interest In ARJUN Main Battle Tank By Colombia

DTN News: INDIA....A First ~ Foreign Interest In ARJUN Main Battle Tank By Colombia *Sources: DTN News / Hindustan Times By Rahul Singh Email Author New Delhi, June 29, 2009
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - June 30, 2009: Seeking to build up its armoured warfare capabilities to crush a potential threat from Venezuela, its Latin American neighbour Colombia has shown interest in buying India’s indigenous Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun. With the handing over of a batch of 16 indigenously designed and developed Arjun Main Battle Tanks (MBT) to the Indian Army, its 43rd Armoured Regiment has now received a full complement of 45 tanks. This ensures that the Arjun is now inducted in the army at full regimental strength- an autonomous, fully functional, combat unit. The tanks were handed over to Lt Gen D Bhardwaj, director general mechanised forces (DGMF) by Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, chief controller, research & development and distinguished scientist, DRDO, at a function in Avadi today. The army has already placed a confirmed order for 124 of these tanks. It is expected that the remaining 74 tanks will be handed over to the army by March 2010. The first ever expression of interest from abroad in the MBT Arjun could translate into an export order worth Rs 1,700 crore, with Colombia wanting to raise at least two regiments of main battle tanks. “Bogota has expressed interest in the MBT Arjun. The Colombian army has an immediate requirement for 10 tanks to be followed up with the induction of another 100 over five years,” said a senior official, on the condition of anonymity. The competitors for the Colombian order include France (MBT Leclerc), US (MIAI Abram), Israel (Sabra), Korea (KI AI) and China. India’s reluctance to export military equipment could tip the scales in the favour of international suppliers. The ministry of external affairs had recently turned down a Bolivian request for a line of credit to buy seven Dhruv advanced light helicopters worth over Rs 300 crore from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

DTN News: India's Saina Nehwal Says World Championships Next Target ~ Yonex-Sunrise Contracted Player

DTN News: India's Saina Nehwal Says World Championships Next Target ~ Yonex-Sunrise Contracted Player *Sources: DTN News / ANI (NSI News Source Info) HYDERABAD, India - June 30, 2009: Saina Nehwal returned home on June 28, Sunday to a rousing welcome after winning her first Super Series title in Indonesia. Saina said she has now set her eyes on bigger events like the World Championships at home in August and the All England Championship. Many fans were present at the airport to greet Saina, who said the victory in a world class event has given her the confidence that she can be among the world's top five soon. "It is really great and fantastic. Now I think I will be able to win more Super Series events," Saina told reporters. "I was in good form in Indonesia and backed myself to win the title," she said. Saina was aiming to win back-to-back titles at Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold, but lost to a Chinese qualifier Xin Wang in the quarterfinals. Saina said she felt a bit tired after playing three tournaments. "I was a little bit tired in Malaysia. I played all top players in the earlier tournaments and it was really hectic. When I went to Malaysia first two games were really tough. I just couldn't move on the court in the quarterfinals." Saina said her immediate focus is to put up a strong performance at the World Championships here in August. Yonex-Sunrise sponsore of BWF World Championships Super Series "This victory has given me confidence. I am looking forward to win events like World Championships and the All England Championship." Saina upset World No.3 Chinese Lin Wang to become the first Indian to win an elite badminton event since her coach Pullela Gopichand won the prestigious All England Championships in 2001. Before that former world no.1 Prakash Padukone had won the All England title in 1980. Saina, however, is only 19 and has risen in the ranks in world badminton fast. Her ranking has gone up one place to World No.7 after the victory.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded $16.5 Million For Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Rounds

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded $16.5 Million For Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Rounds
*Sources: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) ARCHBALD, PA, - June 30, 2009: Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $16.5 million order to deliver paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Rounds
(E-LGTR) to the U.S. Navy. This award represents the fourth option to a 2005 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, valued in excess of $114 million.
The Lockheed Martin Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round (E-LGTR) provides realistic Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) (GBU-10/12/16) tactical employment training as an alternative to expending operational Paveway II LGB assets. The E-LGTR accurately emulates the laser guided bomb envelope, flight characteristics and guidance system of the Paveway II system. Live-fire training permits aircrews to practice delivery tactics in a real-mission environment and experience actual weapon characteristics with today's range limitations. The E-LGTR provides significantly improved CEP (within 3 meters) and CE90 performance against challenging airborne lased tactical target environments. Since its deployment in 1992, Lockheed Martin has sold over 50,000 units to the U.S. Navy and international customers, providing a cost effective and optimal training solution for semi-active paveway II laser guided weapons. Since the completion of the enhancement program in 2006, over 2,000 units have been delivered to the U.S. Navy. Under the award, Lockheed Martin will extend production deliveries of E-LGTRs to the U.S. Navy during 2010. This will bring the total quantity of LGTRs awarded on this contract to over 50,000. “It is critical that our Warfighter has the tools to train exactly as they fight. Lockheed Martin’s E-LGTR is a proven, combat representative munition that provides the Warfighter with operationally realistic and cost-effective direct-attack weapons employment training,” said Capt. Mat Winter, U.S. Navy Precision Strike Weapons Program Manager. “From the training ranges to the battlefield, I have received positive feedback on the E-LGTRs impact on the Warfighter’s mission effectiveness. With this contract award, I look forward to our continued partnership to ensure the Warfighter is ready to fight, and win.” The paveway II E-LGTR is used to maintain aircrew proficiency and eliminate consumption of paveway II Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) inventory when training aircrews in live-fire exercises and weapons delivery. Recognized worldwide as the only available live-fire training solution for Warfighters, the E-LGTRs are a cost-effective training solution for all paveway II laser guided weapons. The E-LGTR is fully compatible with F-16, FA-18, AV-8 and multiple international platforms. Lockheed Martin has delivered over 82,000 units to U.S. Navy and international customers since 1992, representing a savings in excess of $1.3 billon when compared to training with paveway II tactical weapons. Paveway is a generic term, developed by the U.S. Air Force, for laser guided weapon systems. Lockheed Martin is a fully qualified provider of paveway II LGB and Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb kits and provides these systems to the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and international customers. Lockheed Martin also supports paveway weapon systems by being the sole source provider of the paveway II E-LGTR. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

DTN News: Navantia Launches Two Ships For Venezuela

DTN News: Navantia Launches Two Ships For Venezuela
*Sources: DTN News / Navantia ~ dated June 24, web-posted June 30, 2009 (NSI News Source Info) SAN FERNANDO-Puerto Real shipyard, Spain - June 30, 2009: On 24th. June, Navantia launched, at the San Fernando-Puerto Real shipyard, the first of the four Economic Zone Patrol Boat (PVOZEE) and the third of four offshore patrol boats (OPV’s) that are being built for the Venezuelan Navy. The vessels were named “Caribe” and “Naiguatá” and were christened by Dinorah Villasmil de Mata and Alma Pura Blanco de Padrón. Attending the ceremony were, among others, the Vice-chairman of SEPI, Federico Montero, and the San Fernando-Puerto Real shipyard's General Manager, Fernando Miguélez. The PVOZEE has a length of 98.90 meters, a displacement of 2,200 tonnes and a maximum speed of 25 knots. The missions are the control of the economic exclusive zone, search and rescue and also anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.The OPV has a length overall of 79.90 metres and the capacity to displace 1,500 tonnes and reach a maximum speed of 22 knots. These ships will be able to carry out a wide variety of missions such as coastal surveillance and protection, protection of maritime traffic, health assistance to other ships, external firefighting, the fight and control of marine pollution, transport of personnel and provisions, search and rescue operations, rapid intervention, frogmen support, surface defence and passive electronic warfare. The contract for these 8 patrol boats, whose construction will mean 5 million work hours (1,456,900 for Navantia and 3,580,700 for auxiliary industry), was signed on 28 November 2005. Their deliveries are scheduled to take place between October 2009 and July 2011.

DTN News: U.S. Army Selects Northrop Grumman, Cobham Team To Provide VIS-X Vehicular Intercom Systems / Northrop-Cobham Win $2.4Bn US Army Order

DTN News: U.S. Army Selects Northrop Grumman, Cobham Team To Provide VIS-X Vehicular Intercom Systems / Northrop-Cobham Win $2.4Bn US Army Order
*Sources: DTN News / Northrop Grumman
(NSI News Source Info) BALTIMORE - June 30, 2009: Northrop Grumman Cobham Intercoms LLC (NGCI LLC), a company formed by Northrop Grumman Corporation and Cobham, has been selected to provide the VIS-X Vehicular Intercommunication System Expanded for the U.S. Army's Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM). Under the terms of this indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract, the NGCI team is required to be able to deliver up to 500 VIS-X systems per month during the first year following completion of First Article Testing and up to 2,000 systems per month in subsequent years. The total value of the 10-year ID/IQ contract has an anticipated not-to-exceed ceiling of $2.4 billion. VIS-X will provide vehicle crew members and occupants with improved speech intelligibility and hearing protection. It will also provide vehicle crew members and occupants with increased command and control of the on-board and external communication assets, connection to future Internet Protocol (IP)-based digital communications networks, VoIP services, and an increased number of user interfaces for use by crew and next generation IP radios. VIS-X can be used in both new production and legacy vehicle platforms, allowing the warfighter to utilize the same state-of-the-art equipment regardless of vehicle type or age. "The enduring partnership between Northrop Grumman and Cobham is one that will continue to benefit our warfighters by providing them with cutting-edge technologies on the battlefield," said Jeff Palombo, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Land Forces Division. "Providing enhanced situational awareness and IP-based digital communication networks will better protect our troops and allow them to fight smarter." "VIS-X will allow soldiers and other vehicle mounted troops to communicate faster, safer and more securely with greater understanding of the operational situation during the most demanding missions," said Steve Collier, vice president Cobham Defense Communications. "The new teaming agreement between Cobham and Northrop Grumman strengthens the 15 year relationship between our two companies supplying the existing VIC-3 system." Northrop Grumman and Cobham will continue to supply VIC-3 systems to support the large installed base of more than 85,000 vehicles. Cobham's products and services have been at the heart of sophisticated military and civil systems for more than 70 years, keeping people safe, improving communications and enhancing the capability of land, sea, air and space platforms. The Company has four divisions employing more than 12,000 people on five continents, with customers and partners in over 100 countries and annual revenue of more than 1.4 billion pounds sterling / U.S.$ 2.1 billion. Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

DTN News: BAE Systems Selected As Supplier For Air Warfare Destroyer Hull Blocks Contract

DTN News: BAE Systems Selected As Supplier For Air Warfare Destroyer Hull Blocks Contract
*Sources: DTN News / BAE Systems Australia
(NSI News Source Info) WILLIAMSTOWN, Victoria - June 30, 2009: The selection of BAE Systems Australia as the supplier to build hull blocks for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program reflected the company’s shipbuilding experience and capability, Jim McDowell, Managing Director, said today. Australia's naval forces include surface combatants (destroyers, frigates and patrol boats), submarines, amphibious forces, minewarfare and clearance diving forces, afloat support vessels and hydrographic ships. The most capable of our surface combatants will be the three air warfare destroyers (AWD), which will be able to operate for extended periods against high-level air, surface and sub-surface threats. They will be supported by the less capable frigates and in some cases patrol boats. The destroyers' combination of great endurance, offensive and defensive weapons, flexibility and versatility will see them become the warships of first resort in the full spectrum of conflict and in support of the ADF's diplomatic and constabulary roles. For example, the destroyers will be able to operate for long periods at considerable distances from home. In the absence of the necessary land bases to support fighter aircraft, the destroyers will be able to provide autonomous air defence for protracted periods against high-level threats, through their own long-range air surveillance radars, multi-channel fire control radars, surface-to-air missiles and closer range self-defence weapons and countermeasures systems. Even where bases are available, land-based air defence aircraft will rarely be able to respond quickly enough to threats developing at sea. In these cases, the ever-present destroyers will be the main providers of air defence. Mr McDowell said ASC Pty Ltd had reconsidered BAE Systems Australia's offer in recent weeks and the two companies had negotiated to achieve a positive outcome. “We always felt that we had submitted a very competitive bid, one that was backed up by our proud naval shipbuilding record, our strong balance sheet, and our highly skilled workforce,” Mr McDowell said. “Now, we are ready to get on with the job. BAE Systems is pleased to be involved in the AWD construction program; on top of contracts we have already secured to supply the maritime satellite communications terminals and Mark 45 deck guns for these warships.” Mr McDowell said that the latest contract would secure work for up to 400 highly skilled BAE Systems employees at its Williamstown shipyard for the next five years. “This contract creates the critical mass needed to sustain the shipyard for the medium term,” he said. Over the period of the contract, BAE Systems will build a total of 36 blocks for all three destroyers. These blocks comprise the hull machinery compartments, and bow and stern sections of the ships which represent the most complex parts of the hull. To deliver the program, BAE Systems will upgrade the infrastructure at its Williamstown shipyard. Major elements include the construction of Australia’s largest wholly enclosed blast and paint facility, new construction halls and automated fabrication systems. This will create a flow on effect for employment in the Victorian construction industry. “I am also very grateful to the Victorian Government which is contributing towards the infrastructure upgrade cost for Williamstown,” Mr McDowell said. Work is scheduled to begin on the first of the blocks towards the end of this year. About BAE Systems: BAE Systems is the premier global defence, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.

DTN News: First Pakistani-Built JF-17 To Fly By Year's End

DTN News: First Pakistani-Built JF-17 To Fly By Year's End
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - June 30, 2009: Pakistan's Chief of the air staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, told graduates at the thirty-eighth Combat Commander's Course at PAF Base Mushaf, Sargodha, that the first Pakistani-built JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft will begin construction this week, and fly by the end of the year, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan. The first operational squadron of JF-17s is based at Peshawar and is set to fully enter service by the end of the year. The Peshawar-based JF-17s initially are to be tasked with the air-to-air role, with air-to-ground capabilities being retrofitted at a later date. However, these aircraft were manufactured in China and flown to Pakistan as air freight before they were reassembled. The Pakistani-built aircraft initially will have some components delivered from China, but with increasing indigenous content as production progresses. It is planned that the second batch of JF-17s will have a large degree of Western sourced systems, reducing Chinese input further. However, according to retired Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail, domestic JF-17 production heralds for Pakistan, "cutting-edge technology in the hands of Pakistani engineers and technicians." He further stated, "Since the production is being done at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex [an Air Force outfit], it also helps the Air Force gain first-hand experience in aircraft production, which is not a bad thing at all, even though aircraft production has usually been a civilian domain worldwide." Domestic production also means that in the long term, potential upgrades would be implemented faster due to reduced bureaucratic red tape from dealing with foreign companies, especially if aircraft had to be sent overseas. A more short-term effect, however, would be to boost national morale in seeing "a locally manufactured aircraft taking to the skies," he said. The program itself is also set to receive a boost from seeing "an all-Pakistani aircraft, rather than a part-Chinese-part-Pakistani one, becoming operational, as there have been some detractors across the border [in India] who have not been able to digest the success of the JF-17 project, particularly when compared to the Tejas Project," he said. National pride aside, however, Tufail said the most important aspect was that the Air Force will not "have to worry about sanctions when we have production in our hands." This has been the overriding Air Force concern since U.S sanctions nearly crippled the F-16 fleet in the 1990s. With more than 250 JF-17s planned to replace the A-5C, F-7P, Mirage-III, and Mirage 5 combat aircraft, Pakistan's defensive potential is unlikely to be harmed to such a degree whatever the future international political climate.

DTN News: Germany Army Orders EuroSpike Missiles

DTN News: Germany Army Orders EuroSpike Missiles *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BONN, Germany - June 30, 2009: The Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement in Koblenz has contracted with EuroSpike GmbH of Röthenbach, Germany, to supply the Bundeswehr with SPIKE LR guided missile systems worth around EUR 35 million.
EuroSpike – the world's most advanced antitank missile system. Automatic and manually operated 40 mm grenade launchers are typical infantry support weapons. Specifically developed to meet the needs of the infantry, Rheinmetall Defence's DM12 40 mm dual-purpose cartridge is a shaped charge projectile with high lateral fragmentation, designed for engaging lightly armoured and soft targets. Accurate even at long ranges, it produces a high degree of lethality. It can be fired from a variety of grenade launchers; the zone of fragmentation produced poses no threat to the firer. Apart from service and practice rounds, the Rheinmetall Defence range of 40 mm x 46 and 40 mm x 53 ammunition features a variety of special cartridges, including illumination and signal ammunition, coloured smoke, smoke-obscurant and impulse rounds as well as flash-bang and tear gas cartridges. Used to provide short-term protection or to disorient and surprise–especially in urban settings–pyrotechnic weapons are now standard infantry equipment. Rheinmetall Defence offers a comprehensive portfolio of pyrotechnic items, ranging from the fast-acting bi-spectral Spirco smoke/obscurant grenade to flares, signalling devices and coloured smoke grenades, as well as riot-control products and flash-bang grenades for SWAT teams. The contract encompasses 311 lightweight multipurpose guided missile systems (MELLS) for the German Army's new Puma infantry fighting vehicle as well as infantry units and special operations forces. EuroSpike GmbH is jointly owned by Diehl subsidiary Diehl BGT Defence (40%), Rheinmetall AG of Düsseldorf (40%) and the Israeli company Rafael (20%). EuroSpike GmbH is responsible for marketing, sales and programme management of the SPIKE guided missile family in Europe. Furthermore, the contract contains an option for the procurement of an additional 1,160 MELLS guided missiles, worth around EUR 120 million. In December 2008 the Budget Committee of the German Parliament authorized integration of the MELLS into two pre-production Puma IFVs, allocating around €68 million for the project. Requested by the German military, the decision to integrate MELLS systems into the Puma significantly expands the vehicle's operational scope, providing it with a full range of battlefield capabilities. The SPIKE LR guided missile meets the needs of the modern military perfectly. Combining maximum lethality with a substantial standoff, it enables pinpoint accuracy in a variety of tactical situations and terrain while simultaneously assuring an extremely high level of force protection. A multipurpose guided missile, the SPIKE LR's advanced seeker and missile guidance technology enables pinpoint, round-the-clock engagement of armoured and soft-skinned vehicles as well as helicopters, bunkers, mortar and artillery positions. State-of-the-art signal processing and a dual-mode seeker (visible light + infrared) mean that it can operate in all weather conditions. The fibre optic link between the gunner and missile during flight offers unique tactical and operational advantages in contemporary asymmetric threat scenarios and/or military operations in urban terrain. SPIKE LR is unique in meeting all of the customer's core requirements: --Range: 4,000 metres --System weight: < 45 kg (infantry version) --Deployable in concealed positions and enclosed spaces, ensuring maximum survivability for dismounted gunners and/or fighting vehicles. --It is possible to abort the mission and/or change targets in mid-flight owing to the fibre optic link (fire & observe mode) --Armoured vehicles can be engaged from above in top attack mode. Since cooperation between the contractors began in 1997, key development and production work packages have been allocated to the German partner companies on a licence basis. Rheinmetall Defence Electronics builds and integrates the weapon station for the guided missiles in Bremen, and is also in charge of logistics and training. Diehl BGT Defence carries out final integration of the SPIKE guided missiles at its plants in Maasberg in the Saarland and Röthenbach near Nuremberg, where it also manufactures the warhead, the energy supply components and launch canisters. Additional high valued-added work packages such as the control, guidance and seeker assemblies are performed at the company’s plant in Überlingen. The serial production order for SPIKE LR ensures that Germany maintains key capabilities in the production and integration of missiles and optronic seekers (70% German work share) as well as safeguarding high-tech jobs long term. It also enables German defence contractors to play a major part in developing and perfecting new lightweight missiles made by EuroSpike GmbH.

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Unit To Market Israeli Mini-Robot In US

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Unit To Market Israeli Mini-Robot In US *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) CLINTON, Tenn. - June 30, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) subsidiary, Remotec Inc., based in Clinton, Tenn., has signed an agreement with ODF Optronics LTD, Tel Aviv, Israel, to be the exclusive worldwide manufacturer and sole provider of ODF's Eye-Drive mini-robot in the United States and Canada.
EyeDrive is an observation and surveillance remote-controlled mini-robot that provides continuous real-time 360-degree audio and video surveillance. It includes a unique touch screen operator control unit featuring ODF's proprietary Point 'n Go(tm) navigation. This innovative system allows the user to simply touch a location on the control unit's panoramic view to direct the robot, making deployment intuitive and easy. At about five pounds, EyeDrive can be easily carried, deployed and controlled by a single operator.
"EyeDrive is an innovative system with great synergy to our Andros product line, providing unique capabilities to our first-responder and military customers. It is lightweight and durable enough to be thrown through windows, over fences or into other hard-to-reach locations," said Mike Knopp, president of Northrop Grumman's Remotec subsidiary.
"With this agreement, Northrop Grumman Remotec strengthens its lead in the U.S. robotics market in all weight classes. Remotec and ODF are a formidable team determined to help our valued customers keep danger at a distance."
Both Remotec and ODF Optronics produce an array of combat-proven robots."The EyeDrive was designed from the ground up with innovative features that meet exacting requirements and has been validated in combat with excellent user feedback," said Josef Fishman, president and chief executive officer of ODF Optronics.
"Remotec is a natural partner for us given their reputation for customer satisfaction and excellent performance. The agreement with Northrop Grumman is considered by ODF as a major step toward successful introduction of ODF products to the North American and global strategic markets."
For more than 25 years, Remotec has served the military, explosive ordnance disposal units, hazardous materials units, and other first responders as a leading provider of mobile robotic systems for application into a variety of undesirable, hazardous, and potentially life-threatening environments.
ODF Optronics Ltd. develops and manufactures innovative and cost-effective situational awareness and image understanding systems that serve and protect military, law enforcement and security professionals engaged in low-intensity conflict and anti-terrorism activities in urban environments. ODF Optronics products are in use by many military, police and government agencies in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and Israel. The company is also active in developing and producing customized special-order products for Special Forces.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

DTN News: NATO Selects Sherpa From Renault Trucks Defense / Renault Trucks Defense ~ NATO Selection

DTN News: NATO Selects Sherpa From Renault Trucks Defense / Renault Trucks Defense ~ NATO Selection
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BRUSSELS, Belgium - June 30, 2009: NATO is choosing the vehicle Sherpa from Renault Trucks Defense as the suitable armoured vehicle dedicated to reconnaissance and liaison.
The Renault Sherpa 2 is a light tactical military truck intended for projection forces. It is designed to be highly mobile on difficult terrain and has a payload of 2 to 3 tons.
At the end of the international tender "Blast and Bullet Proof Protected Vehicle Rough Terrain - PVRT -" issued in 2008, the NAMSA has chosen the Sherpa from Renault Trucks Defense, in its armoured version, to meet NATO protected liaison and reconnaissance needs.
The vehicle is the Sherpa light scout.
Following the recent success in 2007 and 2008 of the Sherpa as shelter carrier and tactical vehicle for NATO and the last order by the French authorities of the tactical Sherpa Syracuse III, the Sherpa range confirms its reliability with this new International reference.