Wednesday, July 08, 2009

DTN News: 2009 G8 Summit Being Held In L'Aquila, Italy

DTN News: 2009 G8 Summit Being Held In L'Aquila, Italy *Source: DTN News / G8 Summit (NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - July 8, 2009: The 2009 G8 Summit is to be held in L'Aquila, Italy -- the country that currently holds the G8 Presidency -- from 8 to 10 July.
The G8 group's member countries are Canada, the Russian Federation, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with the European Union represented by the European Council's duty President and by the President of the European Commission.
The annual Leaders' Summit is the highest-profile and most important event in the G8 process, but that process does in fact cover the whole year, with meetings at the ministerial and ranking functionary levels.
This handout photo provided by G8/ANSA shows the participants the Group of Eight (G8) (L to R) Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, and Head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso posing for a family photo during the G8 summit in L'Aquila, central Italy, on July 8, 2009. Group of Eight leaders kick off talks today on issues ranging from the global financial crisis to climate change to the situations in Iran and Xinjiang, China.*
The main issues on the Italian Presidency's agenda are: a response to the global economic and financial crisis; the restoration of grassroots confidence and a boost to growth on a more solid and balanced basis, also through the definition of new, shared ground rules for economic activities; a focus on the social aspect of employment, to help the weaker sectors of society both in the industrially advanced countries and in the poorer countries; the struggle against protectionism and the deregulation of world trade for everyone's benefit; the resolution of regional crises; food security and safety; and the struggle against climate changes.
To debate these issues, the Italian Presidency has organized a G8 Summit which will be unique in terms of the number of countries attending, comprising as it will both the emerging countries, Africa and the main International Organizations. Some 90% of the world's economy will be represented at the Summit in the expanded working sessions. G5 leaders (L to R) Manmohan Singh, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo pose for a family photo during the Group of Eight (G8) summit in L'Aquila, central Italy, on July 8, 2009. Group of Eight leaders kick off talks today on issues ranging from the global financial crisis to climate change to the situations in Iran and Xinjiang, China. Summit Proceedings: G8 Statement on the Global Economy, Climate Change, Development and Africa ~ With the publication of the "Proceedings" page, the G8 website nears completion and gets set to host the Chair's Summary on the 2009 Summit at the end of the three-day event. The "Summit Proceedings" page will carry the "G8 Statement on the Global Economy, Climate Change, Development and Africa" at the end of the 8 July session devoted to the International Economy.

DTN News: U.S. President Barack Obama Arrived In Italy For G8 Summit

DTN News: U.S. President Barack Obama Arrived In Italy For G8 Summit *Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - July 8, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama left Moscow on Wednesday aboard Air Force One after two days of talks with Russian leaders. Obama flies to Italy for a meeting with leaders of the Group of Eight nations in the Italian city of L'Aquila. U.S. President Barack Obama and his first lady Michelle Obama arrive in Pratica di Mare military airport on the outskirts of Rome, Wednesday, July 8, 2009. Obama is in Italy to attend the G8 (Group of Eight) summit in L'Aquila from July 8 to July 10. U.S. President Barack Obama is flanked by Italian Gen. Rolando Mosca Moschini (Military and Defence Presidential Advisor), as they review the honor guard prior to his meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Presidential Palace, in Rome, Wednesday, July 8, 2009. Obama is in Italy to attend the G8 (Group of Eight) Summit in L'Aquila from July 8 to July 10. U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Italy on Wednesday to attend the G8 summit. Obama, who arrived from Moscow at an air base south of Rome, was due to meet with President Giorgio Napolitano before heading to the central city of L'Aquila for the summit

DTN News: Will Consumers Take a Shine to Google’s Chrome OS?

DTN News: Will Consumers Take a Shine to Google’s Chrome OS? *Source: DTN News / PCWorld By Todd R. Weiss
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 8, 2009: Americans love chrome on motorcycles and toasters, but will average consumers take a shine to the Google Chrome operating system? Google announced its lightweight Chrome computer operating system today and says consumers can expect it by the end of 2010. Google describes the operating system as lean and mean and perfect for small Internet-friendly devices that are both easy-to-use and transport - such as a Netbook. True, Netbooks are very popular with consumers right now, but will they be in 2010 and can Google ride the Netbooks' coattails into the heart of consumers? Google Chrome: A Nerd's Dream Come True My guess is that though bleeding edge technology lovers and fanatics will think this is "cool" news, the average technology-hungry consumer will have more questions about this option than answers. Innovation is a great thing, but the question isn't about Google's innovative spirit, it's about what do consumers want and need. After all, consumers don't like too many confusing choices. Ever scratch your head in the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store asking yourself "do we really need 30 different brands?" Here's what consumers want to know: *What is Chrome? It's a new operating system -- the code the runs all the programs and hardware on a computer or device. Chrome is being built on top of the code that also runs the alternative Linux operating system. Linux is a free and competitive alternative to Windows. *Why should I care? It will be another operating system to consider when buying a Netbook. Your other options are buying a Netbook that runs Linux or Microsoft Windows. *How are operating systems different? Like Fords, Chevrolets and Toyotas, these computer operating systems are built differently, have different features and some are more popular than others. *So does the OS truly matter for me, the consumer? That is the million dollar question. So far, as Netbooks have grown in popularity, it appears that consumers do apparently care which operating system powers their Netbooks, but not for the reasons you might think. They don't care whether it's a Ford or a Honda engine under the hood. Many may not know how to tell a hard drive from a CPU fan or spark plug. But what consumers like is familiarity and comfort. * So are they buying up Netbooks that run Linux because Linux is cool? No. Instead, consumers bought Linux-powered Netbooks initially because that was what the first wave of Netbooks ran to save money. But as Microsoft worked on a smaller, feature-laden version of its Windows operating system to power Netbooks, manufacturers began buying it cheaply and loading it on to their new Netbooks. And what happened to the Netbook marketplace after Windows started appearing on Netbooks? Well, that's when consumers saw the Windows label, which is familiar and friendly, and decided to buy the Windows versions because they already know how to use them and are familiar with them. Since then, the Linux-powered Netbook market has fallen drastically, according to industry analysts, while Windows versions are today's shiny chrome on a fancy Harley-Davidson. It gets consumers in the door and helps make the sale. What consumers do care about, though, is whether Chrome or any other new operating system will run their favorite programs, like Apple's iTunes or Microsoft Office. Those will be among the measures of success for Chrome or anything that follows it. We'll have to wait to get those answers. So what's this all mean for Google? Well, wanting to be innovative is a great thing. But this looks like a hard road that Google is about to enter. That's not to say they shouldn't do it. The question is, what will you, the consumer, get out of it. Americans love chrome. But will they love this Chrome? Let the polishing begin. See more like this: open source, google, netbook

DTN News: Pakistan Recruits Police After 90% of Swat Cleared Of Militants

DTN News: Pakistan Recruits Police After 90% of Swat Cleared Of Militants
*Source: DTN News / Bloomberg
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - July 8, 2009: Pakistan said it is recruiting former soldiers to the police force in the Swat Valley to improve security now the army has cleared 90 percent of the northwestern region of Taliban militants. Police in northwestern Pakistan, where the Taliban control vast swaths of territory, have in recent years been shot, blown up and beheaded at an alarming rate. Police and security officials say the series of attacks now being seen in Punjab is aimed at destroying police morale and discipline there so the militants can extend their influence beyond the country's mountainous northwest. Retired and trained army personnel are needed to help fill 2,500 positions, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said in the capital, Islamabad, yesterday, according to the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan. Kaira said power and water services have been restored in the region where the army is completing an offensive started in April after the Taliban violated an accord that allowed Islamic law to be introduced in Swat. More than 2 million people fled the fighting in Swat, creating the worst exodus in Pakistan since the country’s founding in 1947. The U.S. must continue to provide non-military aid to preserve the gains made against the Taliban and prevent their return to Swat once the army withdraws, Paul Jones, the U.S. deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in Washington yesterday. Pakistan will recruit more personnel for its special Rangers and Frontier Corps units in Swat, Kaira said at the National Press Club, according to APP. More than 1,600 militants were killed in the offensive that began when the Taliban advanced to within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of Islamabad, according to the military. Return of Civilians The government said last week it wants civilians to start returning this month to towns and villages now that electricity, gas and telephone services have been restored. “It is vital that we help address the economic and social conditions that extremists exploit in western Pakistan with more economic aid,” Jones told a Senate panel yesterday. The army offensives “have successfully rolled back Taliban gains, but they underscored that there are no quick fixes when combating a ruthless insurgency,” he said. The U.S. is providing more than $164 million to refugees in Pakistan and helping raise more than $300 million from other countries, Jones said. President Barack Obama has said a non-military aid package to Pakistan worth $1.5 billion a year is conditional on the government cracking down on Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in regions bordering Afghanistan. Soldiers killed four terrorists in the Swat Valley during in the past 24 hours, the military said yesterday. A commander, Muhammad Rasol, was among those killed, it said. Troops arrested 34 militants in the Swat and Bannu areas, the military said in its statement. South Waziristan The military has now turned its attention to Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan and is targeting forces of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan. Mehsud formed his Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan movement from an alliance of about five pro-Taliban groups in December 2007, according to the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at a camp allegedly run by Mehsud’s forces in the Chenakai area of South Waziristan yesterday, the Dawn newspaper reported, citing unidentified local officials. At least 16 militants were killed, it said. Pakistan says such attacks harm its battle to defeat terrorists because they cause civilian casualties. There has been a reasonable reduction in the raids, APP cited Kaira as saying, adding that drone attacks are no solution to the terrorism problem. To contact the reporters on this story: Paul Tighe in Sydney at;

DTN News: British Airways First Six Airbus A380 Jets Face Delay

DTN News: British Airways First Six Airbus A380 Jets Face Delay
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, U.K. - July 8, 2009: British Airways this week announced it had deferred delivery of its first six superjumbo Airbus A380 jets. British Airways is the latest big carrier to announce drastic cuts in response to the weak global economy. The carrier also will postpone its order for 12 Airbus A380 superjumbo jets. BA is postponing by an average of five months delivery of its first six A380s, the first of which is still due to arrive in 2012. Delivery of a second batch of six is being delayed by an average of two years, with the final plane due to arrive in 2016. Job cuts are also part of the downsizing and BA plans to shed as many as 3,700 jobs in the fiscal year through March. The delivery dates have been pushed back an average of five months, the airline said. The first of the planes is due for delivery in 2012. Delivery of six additional A380s was delayed by an average of two years, the airline said. Boeing has seen orders for its mid-sized 787 Dreamliner evaporate as the aircraft encounters production and design problems. The A380, with more than 500 seats, is proving to be too big for some routes, and analysts are wondering whether airlines will carry through with all of their orders at a time when business and tourist travel is falling.

DTN News: PIA Negotiating $2 Billion Deals Amid Declining Orders / PIA Fleet Expansion On The Cards

DTN News: PIA Negotiating $2 Billion Deals Amid Declining Orders / PIA Fleet Expansion On The Cards
*Source: DTN News / The Nation
(NSI News Source Info) LAHORE, Pakistan - July 8, 2009: In mid June, PIA entered into negotiations with Boeing and Airbus for procurement of 27 new aircrafts of worth more than $2 billion at list prices.
In July 2002, PIA purchased six Boeing 747-300 aircraft from Cathay Pacific, five of which were already on lease with PIA. The sixth arrived shortly after and PIA operated it mainly on its North American and European routes. In October 2002, after a period of ten years without any new order, the airline purchased eight Boeing 777 aircraft from The Boeing Company, including three 777-200ER (Extended Range), two 777-200LR (Longer Range) and three 777-300ER versions. PIA was the launch customer that revived the Boeing 777-200LR project that, until then, only had three orders by EVA Air. The first two Boeing 777-200LR produced were test aircraft used by Boeing, before they were delivered to PIA. One of these Boeing 777-200LR was displayed at the Paris Airshow during 2005. During 2004, PIA took delivery of its first Boeing 777-200ER aircraft in January. On delivery of the first three Boeing 777-200ERs the airline introduced a new aircraft livery, which was later applied to the majority of the fleet. PIA also acquired six half life Airbus A310-300/ET from the Airbus management on a ten year lease agreement. On 3 November 2005 PIA signed an agreement with the aircraft manufacturer, ATR to purchase seven ATR42-500. The aircraft were purchased to replace the aging F-27 aircraft. The seven ATR aircraft were delivered between 2006 and 2007. On 6 December 2005, PIA leased an additional new Boeing 777-200ER from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The aircraft had the same specifications as the previous Boeing 777-200ER that PIA operated. The aircraft was delivered in January 2007 on ten year lease to the airline.
On 25 February 2006 Boeing delivered its first 777-200LR Worldliner to PIA, where it flew from Everett to Islamabad via Manchester, England. PIA started non-stop flights from Toronto to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore from 3 March 2006 taking advantage of Boeing 777-200LR's long range capability. PIA planned non-stop flights to New York City and other US cities with sizable Pakistani population centres, but was not given permission due to security reasons. On 31 May 2006, PIA took delivery of its first ATR aircraft from Toulouse, France. On December 23, 2006, PIA took delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER. After the arrival of a second ATR 42-500, PIA has ceased using military Lockheed C-130 Hercules for passenger services in the north of Pakistan. The military planes were being used after the Fokker F27 fleet was grounded due to a fatal crash in July 2006.
On 5 March 2007, the European Commission banned all but eight planes of PIA's 44-plane fleet from flying to Europe citing safety concerns. PIA was blacklisted by 27 European Union states. The remaining eight, namely the fleet of Boeing 777s, has been exempted from the ban. PIA claims that this is discriminatory and the bans are not justifiable. On 26 March 2007, Tariq Saeed Kirmani resigned after severe pressure from higher authorities because of the EU ban. Zafar Khan was appointed as the new chairman of Pakistan International Airlines. A team from the European Union visited Karachi in July 2007, to check the condition of the planes and review the ban. On July 5, 2007, the EU lifted the restriction on 11 aircraft that PIA could fly into Europe, of which five were Boeing 747-300s and six Airbus A310-300s. On November 29, 2007, The EU completely lifted the ban on PIA. In the same year, PIA signed a lease deal for seven new Airbus A320-200 from Kuwait based leasing company ALAFCO, the factory built aircraft were to be delivered between 2009 and 2010, however the deal however was cancelled in 2008 due to various factors. On March 19, 2008, PIA decided to retire its Boeing 747 fleet due to rising fuel costs. On May 7, 2008, Captain M. Aijaz Haroon was appointed the new Managing Director and decided to re-introduce the Boeing 747s. During April 2009, the management decided to launch a long-term ‘Business Plan of PIA’ including purchase of new aircraft with details of the plan being finalised. According to sources, proposals for the purchase of new aircraft are under consideration and will only be confirmed after approval by the competent authority.
In May 2009, PIA tendered for short term, wet lease, of three Boeing 737-300 aircraft, to be added to the fleet from July. During June 2009, PIA entered final discussions with Airbus and Boeing at the Paris Air Show for a new order of 27 narrow body A320 or 737 family aircraft, for the airline.
The deals could be one of the major narrow-body sales campaigns of 2009, and was revealed to Flight Daily News at the Paris Air Show by PIA Managing Director Capt Mohammed Aijaz Haroon.
It is worth mentioning here that the deal is being struck when there is recession worldwide, due to which, Boeing and Airbus have secured a grand total of just four new aircraft orders between them in the first three months of 2009.
The world’s airlines have ordered a total of just 50 aircrafts in the first quarter (28 for Boeing, 22 for Airbus), but they have cancelled 46 (32 for Boeing, 14 for Airbus), for a net order gain of just four aircraft. This is a massive turnaround from the 709 aircraft ordered in the first three months of 2008 (289 for Boeing and 420 for Airbus).
Speaking after signing a deal at the show with Thales for a RealitySeven Boeing 777-300ER full-flight simulator, Aijaz said the airline has completed the evaluation for the expansion of its fleet. “We’re looking at the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. We’ve had meetings with Airbus and Boeing and are waiting for their final numbers. We expect to finalise a deal within the next few weeks.”
This PIA deal, if it goes through, will be the biggest purchase order by an airline in 2009, while the world’s aviation industry is facing its worst crisis since the great recession.
Losses for 2009 are estimated to be in the range of $9 billion and this estimate is based on Brent Fuel prices of $56 per barrel. The Asia Pacific airlines are expected to account for one third of industry losses in 2009.
The crisis has been further aggravated by the worldwide threat of terrorism, which coupled with economic recession, has dealt a severe blow to aviation industry. In such times, airlines have embarked on tightening belts, freeze on recruitments and aircraft induction, and adopted new marketing strategies, utilizing their best talents to retain their share of revenue, both passenger and cargo.
The frequency of flights to USA which once were over 9 flights a week, five to Newyork, two each to Chicago and Houston, have been slashed down to two flights a week. Similar drastic reductions in frequency of flights to UK, Europe, Far East, Gulf and regional sectors have seen a sharp decline in fleet utilization.
Investigations conducted by this scribe reveal that PIA has seen a sharp decline in the utilization of its Boeing 777 fleet from the industry average of 16 hours/day to under 10.4 hours/day in Feb 2009.
The PIA business plan submitted to EXIM Bank at the time of induction of B777s was based on average fleet utilization of 16 hours/day and an annual increase in revenue generation of over Rs2 billion per annum from 2003 onwards.
The A310 fleet utilization has dropped from 8.9 hours/day in 2008 to under 8.4 hours/day in Feb and March 2009. The utilization of ageing fleet of Boeing 747 was 3.1 hours in 2008 and has drastically reduced to 1-2 hours/day in March 2009. Ageing fleet of Boeing 747 and B737 are due for grounding along with at least 5 A310s whose block hours are above 59,000 HRs with landing cycles in the range of 17,000 to 20,000.
PIA has in spite of huge losses increased its surplus employees by another approximately 8,500 in the last 12 months. It has hired another 80 pilots, when there are almost 66 pilots hired in 2006 awaiting their turn for being operational.
It has 520 fully trained pilots flying Boeing 777s, A310s, B737, ATRs and the Boeing 747s. While the requirement of pilots is based on retirement age of 60 years, the fact is that the age of utilization of pilots has been raised by CAA to 65 years.

DTN News: Saab May Make Gripen Jet fighter In Brazil To Help Win Order

DTN News: Saab May Make Gripen Jet fighter In Brazil To Help Win Order *Source: DTN News / Bloomberg (NSI News Source Info) STOCKHOLM, Sweden - July 8, 2009: Saab AB, the Swedish maker of the Gripen jet fighter, is ready to make Brazil the manufacturing center for the aircraft to increase its chances of winning a $1.8 billion order and safeguard the model’s future. On the 11 June the first single-seat Gripen C destined for the South African Air Force flew for the first time. Flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg the aircraft took off from Saab's facility at Linköping in Sweden at 13.00 and touched down safely back at Linköping at 14.03 in the afternoon. The Swedish Chief Prosecutor Christer van der Kwast decided on 16 June to close the preliminary investigation into Saab concerning alleged illegal methods in connection with the sale of Gripen. Gripen participated in a multinational exercise conducted over northern Sweden between the 8th and 16th June. Air Forces from ten nations participated in the NATO-led operation Loyal Arrow to train methods for quick reaction and the ability to participate in international efforts. The Annual Report on offset performance for 2008 has been approved by the Czech Ministry of Defence. The report concluded that the Gripen industrial co-operation programme in the Czech Republic generated CZK 4.94 billion in export value for the country. On 2 June, Saab attended a conference on Swedish- Brazilian Industrial co-operation being held in São Paulo, together with the Brazilian Industry association, FIESP, and the Swedish Trade Council. Saab is prepared to shift as much as 50 percent of future Gripen production to the South American country, where the main competition to provide 36 warplanes is from Boeing Co.’s F/A-18, Bob Kemp, marketing chief for the $50 million plane, said in an interview. Final assembly work has already been offered to Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA, or Embraer, he said. Saab is betting on the Brazilian order to rescue the flagship Gripen as the production backlog shrinks. Winning the contract, which may be awarded as early as next month, is crucial to establishing the model as the warplane of choice in markets not already dominated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp., which is grabbing market share with its F-35. “Maybe in the future Brazil will become the leading exporter of the next-generation Gripen,” Kemp said yesterday by telephone from Linkoeping, Sweden, where Saab is based. “This fits perfectly with their strategic ambitions. We are looking at six or seven major defense companies that have the potential of offering equipment for our aircraft.” Saab fell 0.9 percent to 57.25 kronor in Stockholm trading. The stock has declined 20 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 6.42 billion kronor ($812 million). Recommendation Brazil’s defense ministry said that final bids for the contract were submitted last month from Boeing, Saab and France’s Dassault Aviation SA, which is pitching the Rafale. The air force will make a recommendation to Defense Minister Nelson Jobim in early August, with the final decision in the hands of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Saab may be able to fend off Boeing because it can transfer more technology to Brazil than the Chicago-based company, Kemp said, adding that the Gripen costs about 20 percent less than the more-sophisticated F/A-18 and is better matched to Brazil’s need for a low-maintenance fighter able to operate in small numbers from widely dispersed airfields. Spare parts and maintenance may also cost one-third less, he said. While Brazil’s initial requirement is to replace a batch of aging Mirage jets made by Paris-based Dassault, the country may need as many as 120 planes, Kemp said, each with a life of as many as 40 years. ‘Weak at Home’ “In terms of value for money the Gripen is a superb aircraft, but Saab is at a terrible disadvantage in not having a strong home market,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president at Teal Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based consultancy. While the model has so far won 250 orders, 204 of them are from Sweden, where some planes have been leased out as the government reins in defense spending. The future of the 1,320 mile-per-hour plane will be determined by purchases in Brazil, India and Switzerland within the next 18 months, Aboulafia said. Saab may need to provide more inducements because it can’t match the offset work that Boeing can offer in fields such as civil aerospace, he said. Brazil would be granted a full 50-50 partnership on development, production and marketing of the Gripen for export, the executive said, including the manufacture of high-value communications, display and avionics systems. Saab has so far won only two export contracts for the Gripen, with South Africa buying 26 planes and Thailand taking six. Deliveries will run out in 2012 and output is down to 10 to 12 aircraft a year from about 15 previously, with suppliers including Volvo Aero, maker of the Gripen’s RM12 engine, already winding down production. Broad Collaboration Saab’s plan to develop an enhanced “next generation” Gripen means it can offer Brazil collaboration from the design stage on, unlike Boeing and Dassault, Kemp said. The size and status of the Brazilian aerospace industry makes a partnership feasible, he added. Embraer is the world’s fourth-biggest planemaker after Boeing, Airbus SAS and Bombardier Inc. “I think there’s no question in the minds of Brazilians that Boeing’s product is the best and competitively priced,” Mike Coggins, senior manager for business development at Boeing’s defense unit, said by telephone from St. Louis. It makes no financial sense to co-produce locally the 36 planes Brazil is seeking, although a larger order in the future may provide the necessary scale, he said. As part of its offsetting technology transfer package, Boeing will allow Brazilian companies to help develop future upgrades, he added. Export Candidates Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico represent possible export opportunities within Brazil’s immediate sphere of influence, Saab’s Kemp said, with aircraft replacement orders anticipated within the next five years. The Gripen upgrade plan may work against Saab because Sweden hasn’t ordered the plane and that will make the model “tough to sell,” according to Teal’s Aboulafia. Saab’s pitch to Brazil comes as the company focuses its marketing on nonaligned countries that aren’t already major customers for U.S. warplanes as the company seeks to sell at least 200 more Gripens abroad, Kemp said. Norway dealt Saab a blow in November with a contract for 48 Lockheed Martin F-35s and the Netherlands selected the U.S. plane as the best candidate to replace 85 older aircraft a month later. Denmark may make the same choice this year. All three countries are partners on the F-35 program. Among countries with no participation in the F-35, India is key, Kemp said, with a requirement for at least 126 fighter aircraft and perhaps as many as 300. Saab has proposed a deal in which it would build the first 18 planes and Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. would manufacture the rest. “Our relationship with India is good,” Kemp said. “We want to transfer technology and allow the Indians to get on with it. Basically we would become a subcontractor to HAL.” To contact the reporter on this story: Sabine Pirone in London at

DTN News: Lockheed To Support Japanese Destroyers

DTN News: Lockheed To Support Japanese Destroyers
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - July 8, 2009: Lockheed Martin was awarded a $7 million Foreign Military Sales contract by the U.S. Defense Department to support lifetime Aegis modernization efforts for the Atago-class and Kongo-class destroyers. Lockheed Martin won a new FMS contract to support lifetime Aegis modernization efforts for Atago-class and Kongo-class destroyers. Shown above is the Kongo. (U.S. NAVY) The July 2 contract modifies a previous award and is expected to be completed in early 2010. "This modification includes options which, if exercised, would increase the cumulative value of the contract by $41 million," said a DoD award notification. Japan built four Kongo-class destroyers in the 1990s and launched two Atago-class destroyers in 2007 and 2008. "This work will include preparing for and responding to price and availability requests, conducting studies, supporting USN [U.S. Navy] in development of a technology control plan to address product protection, computer program modifications, and future cooperative development and interface between U.S and Japan baselines," the Pentagon notification. Japan has been engaged in efforts to improve its sea-borne based ballistic missile defense capabilities in the wake of North Korean missile tests and saber rattling.

DTN News: U.S. Army Receives First Lockheed Martin EQ-36 Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar System

DTN News: U.S. Army Receives First Lockheed Martin EQ-36 Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar System *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) SYRACUSE, NY - July 8, 2009: Lockheed Martin has delivered the first Non-Recurring Engineering Enhanced AN/TPQ-36 Counterfire Target Acquisition (EQ-36) Radar System to the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army's new EQ-36 radar will provide the capability to detect, classify, track and determine the location of enemy indirect fire such as mortars, artillery and rockets in either 90-degree or 360-degree modes. EQ-36 systems will replace aging TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 medium-range radars, which only operate in limited 90-degree modes. The value of this acquisition could exceed $1.6 billion. The EQ-36 radar’s delivery on July 2 followed its successful live-fire performance testing against indirect fire from mortars, artillery and rockets from a simulated enemy. The series of tests, held this spring at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, included engineering, contractor and government acceptance testing. The on-time delivery of the first operational EQ-36 system was just 30 months after the Army's Program Executive Office – Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors awarded Lockheed Martin a $120 million design and development contract for five systems. EQ-36 radar systems will replace the aging TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 medium-range radars now in the Army’s inventory. “We’ve listened carefully to the U.S. Army and understand the urgent need to field EQ-36 to protect soldiers currently in the theater,” said Carl Bannar, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Radar Systems business. “We’re very proud to deliver this first operational EQ-36 system to our customer on schedule.” To accelerate the fielding of the EQ-36 radar, the U.S. Army in June 2008 exercised contract options with Lockheed Martin for 12 additional systems, which will include enhanced performance capabilities. Further, to support the war fighter, delivery of all 12 systems has been accelerated. With production for both orders now running in parallel, the remaining EQ-36 systems will be delivered by fall 2010. In October 2007, the EQ-36 program completed a successful Preliminary Design Review and in March 2008, the program successfully completed its Critical Design Review. In November and December 2007, a prototype EQ-36 radar, built by industry partner SRC, was tested against mortars and rockets at Yuma Proving Ground. During the tests, which were specifically designed to evaluate the radar’s ability to meet U.S. Army requirements, the EQ-36 prototype successfully located the firing positions of both rocket and mortar launchers. Live fire testing was conducted over a seven-day period without a single false alarm. Download: high-res version of EQ-36 image 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. Media contact at Lockheed Martin:
Mark Wesel, (315) 456-1701;
email: For additional information about Lockheed Martin,

DTN News: The U.S.-Russian Summit Turns Routine

DTN News: The U.S.-Russian Summit Turns Routine
*Related Special Topic Page Special Summit Coverage
*Source: By George Friedman STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) July 8, 2009: The Moscow summit between U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ended. As is almost always the case, the atmospherics were good, with the proper things said on all sides and statements and gestures of deep sincerity made. And as with all summits, those atmospherics are like the air: insubstantial and ultimately invisible. While there were indications of substantial movement, you would have needed a microscope to see them. An agreement was reached on what an agreement on nuclear arms reduction might look like, but we do not regard this as a strategic matter. The number of strategic warheads and delivery vehicles is a Cold War issue that concerned the security of each side’s nuclear deterrent. We do not mean to argue that removing a thousand or so nuclear weapons is unimportant, but instead that no one is deterring anyone these days, and the risk of accidental launch is as large or as small whether there are 500 or 5,000 launchers or warheads. Either way, nuclear arms’ strategic significance remains unchanged.
U.S. President Barack Obama, second right, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, speak to head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia Andrew Sommers, left, and chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin, second left, as they attend Manezh Exhibition Hall during the Parallel Business Summit in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 7, 2009.
The summit perhaps has created a process that could lead to some degree of confidence. It is not lack of confidence dividing the two countries, however, but rather divisions on fundamental geopolitical issues that don’t intersect with the missile question. The Fundamental Issues There are dozens of contentious issues between the United States and Russia, but in our mind three issues are fundamental. First, there is the question of whether Poland will become a base from which the United States can contain Russian power, or from the Russian point of view, threaten the former Soviet Union. The ballistic missile defense (BMD) system that the United States has slated for Poland does not directly affect that issue, though it symbolizes it. It represents the U.S. use of Polish territory for strategic purposes, and it is something the Russians oppose not so much for the system’s direct or specific threat — which is minimal — but for what it symbolizes about the Americans’ status in Poland. The Russians hoped to get Obama to follow the policy at the summit that he alluded to during his campaign for the U.S. presidency: namely, removing the BMD program from Poland to reduce tensions with Russia. Second, there is the question of Iran. This is a strategic matter for the United States, perhaps even more pressing since the recent Iranian election. The United States badly needs to isolate Iran effectively, something impossible without Russian cooperation. Moscow has refused to join Washington on this issue, in part because it is so important to the United States. Given its importance to the Americans, the Russians see Iran as a lever with which they can try to control U.S. actions elsewhere. The Americans do not want to see Russian support, and particularly arms sales, to Iran. Given that, the Russians don’t want to close off the possibility of supporting Iran. The United States wanted to see some Russian commitments on Iran at the summit. And third, there is the question of U.S. relations with former Soviet countries other than Russia, and the expressed U.S. desire to see NATO expand to include Ukraine and Georgia. The Russians insist that any such expansion threatens Russian national security and understandings with previous U.S. administrations. The United States insists that no such understandings exist, that NATO expansion doesn’t threaten Russia, and that the expansion will continue. The Russians were hoping the Americans would back off on this issue at the summit. Of some importance, but not as fundamental as the previous issues, was the question of whether Russia will allow U.S. arms shipments to Afghanistan through Russian territory. This issue became important last winter when Taliban attacks on U.S. supply routes through Pakistan intensified, putting the viability of those routes in question. In recent months the Russians have accepted the transit of nonlethal materiel through Russia, but not arms. Even before the summit, the Russians made a concession on this point, giving the United States the right to transit military equipment via Russian airspace. This was a significant policy change designed to demonstrate Russia’s flexibility. At the same time, the step is not as significant as it appeared. The move cost the Russians little under the circumstances, and is easily revoked. And while the United States might use the route, the route is always subject to Russian pressure, meaning the United States is not going to allow a strategic dependence to develop. Moreover, the U.S. need is not as apparent now as it was a few months ago. And finally, a Talibanized Afghanistan is not in the Russian interest. That Russia did not grant the U.S. request last February merely reveals how bad U.S.-Russian relations were at the time. Conversely, the Russian concession on the issue signals that U.S.-Russian relations have improved. The concession was all the more significant in that it came after Obama praised Medvedev for his openness and criticized Putin as having one foot in the Cold War, clearly an attempt to play the two Russian leaders off each other. What the Summit Produced Much more significantly, the United States did not agree to withdraw the BMD system from Poland at the summit. Washington did not say that removal is impossible, but instead delayed that discussion until at least September, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Moscow. A joint review of all of the world’s missile capabilities was established at the summit, and this joint review will consider Iranian — and North Korean — missiles. The Polish BMD system will be addressed in that context. In other words, Washington did not concede on the point, but it did not close off discussions. The Russians accordingly did not get what they wanted on the missiles at the summit; they got even less of what they wanted in the broader strategic sense of a neutralized Poland. The Russians in turn made no visible concessions on Iran. Apart from studying the Iranians’ missile systems, the Russians made no pledge to join in sanctions on Iran, nor did they join in any criticism of the current crackdown in Iran. The United States had once offered to trade Polish BMDs for Russian cooperation on Iran, an idea rejected by the Russians since the BMD system in Poland wasn’t worth the leverage Moscow has with Iran. Certainly without the Polish BMD withdrawal, there was going to be no movement on Iran. NATO expansion is where some U.S. concession might have emerged. In his speech on Tuesday, Obama said, “State sovereignty must be a cornerstone of international order. Just as all states should have the right to choose their leaders, states must have the right to borders that are secure, and to their own foreign policies. That is why this principle must apply to all nations – including Georgia and Ukraine. America will never impose a security arrangement on another country. For either country to become a member of NATO, a majority of its people must choose to; they must undertake reforms; and they must be able to contribute to the alliance’s mission. And let me be clear: NATO seeks collaboration with Russia, not confrontation.” On the surface, this reiterated the old U.S. position, which was that NATO expansion was between NATO and individual nations of the former Soviet Union, and did not — and should not — concern Moscow. The terms of expanding, reforming and contributing to NATO remained the same. But immediately after the Obama-Putin meeting, Russian sources began claiming that an understanding on NATO expansion was reached, and that the Americans conceded the point. We see some evidence for this in the speech — the U.S. public position almost never has included mention of public support or reforms. In many ways, however, this is splitting hairs. The French and Germans have long insisted that any NATO expansion should be limited to countries with strong public support for expansion, and which meet certain military thresholds that Georgia and Ukraine clearly do not meet (and could not meet even with a decade of hard work). Since NATO expansion requires unanimous support from all members, Russia was more interested in having the United States freeze its relations with other former Soviet states at their current level. Russian sources indicate that they did indeed get reassurances of such a freeze, but it takes an eager imagination to glean that from Obama’s public statement. Therefore, we come away with the sense that the summit changed little, but that it certainly didn’t cause any deterioration, which could have happened. Having a summit that causes no damage is an achievement in itself. The Kennedy Trap Perhaps the most important part of the summit was that Obama does not seem to have fallen into the Kennedy trap. Part of the lack of serious resolutions at the summit undoubtedly resulted from Obama’s unwillingness to be excessively accommodating to the Russians. With all of the comparisons to the 1961 Kennedy-Khrushchev summit being bruited about, Obama clearly had at least one overriding goal in Moscow: to not be weak. Obama tried to show his skills even before the summit, playing Medvedev and Putin against each other. No matter how obvious and clumsy that might have been, it served a public purpose by making it clear that Obama was not in awe of either of them. Creating processes rather than solutions also was part of that strategy. It appears, however, that the Russians did fall into the Kennedy trap a bit. The eagerness of Putin’s advisers to tout U.S. concession on Ukraine and Georgia after their meeting in spite of scant public evidence of such concessions gives us the sense that Putin wanted to show that he achieved something Medvedev couldn’t. There may well be a growing rivalry between Medvedev and Putin, and Obama might well have played off it. But that is for the gossip columns. The important news from the summit was as follows: First, no one screwed up, and second, U.S.-Russian relations did not get worse — and might actually have improved. No far-reaching strategic agreements were attained, but strategic improvements in the future were not excluded. Obama played his role without faltering, and there may be some smidgen of tension between the two personalities running Russia. As far as summits go, we have seen far worse and much better. But given the vitriol of past U.S.-Soviet/Russian relations, routine is hardly a negative outcome. In the meantime, BMD remains under development in Poland, there is no U.S.-Russian agreement on Iran and, as far as we can confirm at present, no major shift in U.S. policy on Ukraine and Georgia has occurred. This summit will not be long remembered, but then Obama did not want the word “disastrous” attached to this summit as it had been to Kennedy’s first Soviet summit. We wish there were more exciting things to report about the summit, but sometimes there simply aren’t. And sometimes the routine might turn out significant, but we doubt that in this case. The geopolitical divide between the United States and Russia is as deep as ever, even if some of the sharper edges have been rounded. Ultimately, little progress was made in finding ways to bridge the two countries’ divergent interests. And the burning issues — particularly Poland and Iran — continue to burn. 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DTN News: Two-Decade LCA Engine Effort Stalls

DTN News: Two-Decade LCA Engine Effort Stalls
*Analysis: Internationally, a project for one year takes ten fold longer in India. Decisions are taken at a snail pace and time is wasted on unneccessary red tape bureaucracy. Defense procurement system is politically corrupt, as an example urgently needed Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers for Indian Air Force, which took 30 odd years to acquire at the cost of hundreds of young Indian Air Force pilots life.
India is the largest democratically governed country in the world as is an examplery system for other nations to follow suit, but at the same time the system is a curse with too many voices and noises, NO ACTION. India should have for some period a system of administration similar to China, which is straightfoward with no two way decision making that would benefit for the betterment of the country at large. (DTN Defense-Technology News)
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - July 8, 2009: India's 20-year, nearly $500 million effort to develop a homegrown engine for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has come to a standstill with the Air Force rejection of a co-development offer from France's Snecma.
The Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is the world's smallest, light weight, multi-role combat aircraft designed to meet the requirements of Indian Air Force as its frontline multi-mission single-seat tactical aircraft to replace the MiG-21 series of aircraft. The delta wing configuration , with no tailplanes or foreplanes, features a single vertical fin. The LCA is constructed of aluminium-lithium alloys, carbon-fibre composites, and titanium. LCA integrates modern design concepts and the state-of-art technologies such as relaxed static stability, flyby-wire Flight Control System, Advanced Digital Cockpit, Multi-Mode Radar, Integrated Digital Avionics System, Advanced Composite Material Structures and a Flat Rated Engine. The LCA design has been configured to match the demands of modern combat scenario such as speed, acceleration, maneuverability and agility. Short takeoff and landing, excellent flight performance, safety, reliability and maintainability, are salient features of LCA design. The LCA integrates modern design concepts like static instability, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated avionics, glass cockpit, primary composite structure, multi-mode radar, microprocessor based utility and brake management systems. The avionics system enhances the role of Light Combat Aircraft as an effective weapon platform. The glass cockpit and hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS) controls reduce pilot workload. Accurate navigation and weapon aiming information on the head up display helps the pilot achieve his mission effectively. The multifunction displays provide information on engine, hydraulics, electrical, flight control and environmental control system on a need-to-know basis along with basic flight and tactical information. Dual redundant display processors (DP) generate computer-generated imagery on these displays. The pilot interacts with the complex avionics systems through a simple multifunction keyboard, and function and sensor selection panels. A state-of-the-art multi-mode radar (MMR), laser designator pod (LDP), forward looking infra-red (FLIR) and other opto-electronic sensors provide accurate target information to enhance kill probabilities. A ring laser gyro (RLG)-based inertial navigation system (INS), provides accurate navigation guidance to the pilot. An advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite enhances the aircraft survivability during deep penetration and combat. Secure and jam-resistant communication systems, such as IFF, VHF/UHF and air-to-air/air-to-ground data link are provided as a part of the avionics suite. All these systems are integrated on three 1553B buses by a centralised 32-bit mission computer (MC) with high throughput which performs weapon computations and flight management, and reconfiguration/redundancy management. Reversionary mission functions are provided by a control and coding unit (CCU). Most of these subsystems have been developed indigenously.
The first prototype of LCA rolled out on 17 November 1995. Two aircraft technology demonstrators are powered by single GE F404/F2J3 augmented turbofan engines. Regular flights with the state-of-the-art "Kaveri" engine, being developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bangalore, are planned by 2002, although by mid-1999 the Kaveri engine had yet to achieve the required thrust-to-weight ratio. An Indian Air Force official said the service now will have to search for an off-the-shelf engine overseas to power the aircraft. India's Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) was developing the Kaveri engine to power the LCA. Trying to integrate nearly 16,000 parts and subsystems became too complicated and in 2005, the Kaveri engine caught fire when it was first tested on board a Tupolev-16 aircraft in Russia. GTRE began looking for co-development partners, and after an international tender was released in 2007, NPO Saturn of Russia and Snecma of France were invited to participate but only Snecma of France was short-listed. GTRE has developed nine prototypes of the Kaveri, but the engine was found to be heavier than the required 8.5 tons and provided less thrust than needed to power the LCA, according to a GTRE scientist. The first lot of 40 LCAs being introduced, beginning in 2010, will be powered by the GE 404 engine, but the next batch of aircraft will include several features added by the Air Force that increase the weight of the aircraft by 2 tons. The GE 404 will not be powerful enough to fly the heavier plane, the Air Force official said. New LCAs with bigger engines will be inducted at a later stage. The EJ 200 engine of Eurojet Turbo of Germany and higher thrust GE 414 engine are the two main contenders. Both Eurojet Turbo and General Electric have given demonstrations of their engines.