Friday, July 24, 2009

DTN News: US and North Korea Trade Sharp Barbs At ASEAN Meeting

DTN News: US and North Korea Trade Sharp Barbs At ASEAN Meeting
*Source: DTN News / Int'l News (NSI News Source Info) PHUKET, Thailand - July 24, 2009: North Korea and the United States exchanged harsh criticism Thursday at the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum on Thailand's Phuket island. Most of the discussions focused on the security situation on the Korean peninsula and Pyongyang's efforts to build up its nuclear weapons program.
Foreign ministers and representatives from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for photos during ASEAN Regional Forum in Phuket, Thailand, Thursday, July 23, 2009. Front row, from left are North Korea's chief delegate Pak Kun-gwang, Canada's Deepak Obhrai, China's Yang Jiechi, Cambodia's Hor Namhong, Brunei's Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Bangladesh's Dipu Moni, Australia's Stephen Smith, Thailand's Kasit Piromya, Vietnam's Pham Gia Khiem, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, East Timor's Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres, Sri Lanka's Rohitha Bogollagama, Singapore's George Yeo, Russia's Sergei Lavrov and ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan. Back row, from left are Mongolia's Sukhbaatar, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, India's S.M. Krishna, Indonesia's Hassan Wirajuda, Japan's Hirofumi Nakasone, Laos' Thongloun Sisoulith, Malaysia's Anifah Aman, Myanmar's Nyan Win, New Zealand's Murray McCully, Pakistan's Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Philippines' Roberto Romulo, South Korea's Yu Myung-hwan and Papua New Guinea's Samuel Abal. Foreign ministers from mostly Southeast Asian and other Pacific-region nations ended their meetings in Thailand with smiles as they posed for pictures. Earlier the leaders from 27 nations did not come away with what they had hoped for: a commitment from North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program and return to six-party talks with the US, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia. North Korean delegate Ri Hung-sik told reporters at the forum his government was not against having a dialogue but he said "how can you have a dialogue with a knife at your back". "Until America's deep-rooted anti-North Korea attitude is solved, the problems will continue. Because of that, the Six-Party Talks are also over," he said. During the ASEAN forum the United States and other countries agreed on a package of incentives, including economic and energy aid, which could be offered to North Korea. But in a harsh criticism of Pyongyang, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the regime "had no friends left" to protect it from international efforts to end its nuclear program. She also expressed disappointment in comments by the North Korean delegation who attended the forum. "Unfortunately, the North Korean delegation offered only an insistent refusal to recognize that North Korea has been on the wrong course. In their presentation today, they evinced no willingness to pursue the path of de-nuclearization and that was troubling not only to the United States, but to the region and the international community," Clinton said. The meeting began with the hopes that North Korea would re-enter six-party talks on ending its nuclear program. North Korea dropped out of the six-party talks after the UN censured its long-range missile test in April. Thailand's foreign minister, Kasit Piromya, said ASEAN as a regional bloc will continue to play a role in the North Korean nuclear disarmament efforts. "The goal is to bring about peace and stability to the Korean peninsula and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. So we urge the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) to return to the Six Party Talks, look beyond the past and join others in finding the way forward," Piromya said. Despite the request, North Korean officials told reporters there would be no prospect of resumption of the talks unless the United States ends what it termed as its anti-North Korean attitude. Meanwhile ASEAN leaders also pledged to support the implementation of recent United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang.

DTN News: U.S. Offers Burma Possible Benefits

DTN News: U.S. Offers Burma Possible Benefits
*U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Wants Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Released
*Source: DTN News / Int'l News
(NSI News Source Info) PHUKET, Thailand - July 24, 2009: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made an explicit appeal to Burma on Wednesday to release jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, offering the prospect of direct U.S. investment in the repressive Southeast Asian nation.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem shake hands at the end of a group photo session for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) summit on the resort island of Phuket, southern Thailand, Thursday, July 23, 2009. Other Foreign Ministers are from left, Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, Kasit Piromya of Thailand, Anifah Aman of Malaysia, Nyan Win of Myanmar, Murray McCully of New Zealand, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Pakistan, Zacarias Albano da Costa of East Timore, Alberto Romulo of the Philippines and Rohitha Bogollagama of Sri Lanka.
The release of Suu Kyi is "critical" to easing the strained relations between Burma and the United States, Clinton said. "If she were released, that would open up opportunities at least for my country to expand our relationship with Burma, including investments in Burma," she told reporters while attending a regional security forum. President Obama renewed a year-long investment ban on Burma on May 15, citing its "large-scale repression of the democratic opposition," and U.S. officials suggested he would reverse it if Burma took strides to ease political repression. The new administration has made an intensive effort to reach out to repressive governments with a long history of human rights abuses in an attempt to shift what officials consider stalemated policies. A brutal military junta that has orchestrated gang rape of ethnic minorities, crushed democracy efforts, and kept most of the nation's revenue from natural gas, gems and other natural resources rules Burma. State Department officials are also firmly convinced that the Burmese government is undergoing a wrenching internal debate over what to do about Suu Kyi, whose party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide electoral victory in 1990 that the military leadership refused to accept. Since then, she has been under house arrest for most of the time, as have hundreds of her supporters. In May, just days before Suu Kyi's six-year term under house arrest was to expire, the government put her on trial for an incident involving a U.S. citizen who swam across Rangoon's Lake Inya to reach Suu Kyi's lakefront bungalow. Clinton's statement appeared intended to sharpen the choice for the Burmese government, but Suu Kyi's attorneys reported Wednesday that they have been denied a request to meet with her one more time before Friday's final court hearing. The secretary, in an interview with National Public Radio on Wednesday, attributed the many delays in the trial to internal angst among the junta. But other U.S. officials think the trial was postponed to avoid a confrontation at the security conference held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). After Clinton's remarks, a senior State Department official said the administration has privately presented Burma with "ideas about how to begin a process of dialogue and engagement that begins with Aung San Suu Kyi," including letting her "participate in the politics" of a planned 2010 election. The United States is also seeking the release of other political prisoners, he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "This is worth a shot," the official said. "We are not naive about this, and there is an understanding there is a good chance that the junta will say, 'No, thank you.' " U.S. officials reiterated Clinton's offer in a private meeting with Burmese officials Wednesday night. In two public appearances Wednesday, Clinton also sharpened her concern, first expressed Tuesday, about "the transfer of nuclear technology" from North Korea to Burma. "We have been very clear in stating that the United States would like to see changes in the behavior of the regime in Burma," she said. Despite the U.S. investment ban, countries such as India, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and China have poured money into investments to exploit Burma's natural resources. At least 69 Chinese multinational corporations are involved in 90 hydropower, mining, and oil and natural gas projects in Burma, according to a 2008 report by the group EarthRights International. Before flying to this resort island for the ASEAN forum, Clinton told Thai television in Bangkok that the organization should consider expelling Burma from the 10-nation group if the military junta does not release Suu Kyi. But later in the day she backpedaled, saying that such a decision is up to ASEAN. To solidify relationships with the ASEAN countries, Clinton signed a nonbinding nonaggression pact that China -- a major economic competitor with the United States in the region -- signed six years ago. But she also said the United States would become the first non-ASEAN country to open an ambassador-level diplomatic post with the group. Clinton played down comments she had made earlier Wednesday, to Thai television, suggesting the United States would provide a "defense umbrella" for Persian Gulf allies if Iran acquired a nuclear bomb. She said she had indicated no new policy.

DTN News: Hamas Will Not Obstruct PNA-Israel Peace Deal ~ Media

DTN News: Hamas Will Not Obstruct PNA-Israel Peace Deal ~ Media
*Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV, Israel - July 24, 2009: The Hamas movement will not obstruct the implementation of any peace deal reached between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel, the Haaretz daily reported on Wednesday. Palestinian women attend a demonstration calling the Hamas and Fatah movements, to be united against Israeli policies, on July 23, 2009 in the West Bank city of Nablus. President Mahmud Abbas said on July 20 that the way to resolve the internal Palestinian impasse was to hold simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections. He spoke a day after it was announced that the seventh round of reconciliation talks in Egypt between Abbas's secular Fatah and the Islamist Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip would be postponed for a month until August 25. Khaled Meshal, a Hamas political leader based in Syria, informed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov of the radical Islamic group's intentions, who in turn passed on the news to the Israeli authorities, the paper said. "Meshal... told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov at their meeting in Damascus that if [PNA leader Mahmoud] Abbas reaches a final agreement on conflict settlement with Israel and this is approved by a Palestinian referendum, then Hamas will not scupper the deal," the daily reported. Haaretz also said that "the Israeli authorities were unhappy with Russian contacts with high-ranking Hamas officials." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions. The call was rejected by Palestinian President and leader of Fatah movement Abbas, who said negotiations would only resume if Israel halted settlement construction in the West Bank. The Hamas and Fatah movements, the largest political organizations in Palestine, split in June 2007 when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and pushed the Fatah movement out of the enclave of 1.5 million. Hamas has since remained in power in Gaza, independent of the officially recognized government of Fatah in the West Bank, which is headed by Abbas.

DTN News: US May Rearm Georgia, Despite Moscow's Opposition

DTN News: US May Rearm Georgia, Despite Moscow's Opposition *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - July 24, 2009: The United States does not exclude possibly rearming Georgia following its humiliating defeat to Russia a year ago, even at the cost of angering Moscow, a State Department spokesman said Thursday. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden makes a speech at the parliament in Tbilisi, July 23, 2009. Biden said Washington supported Georgia's aspiration to join NATO, adding that any improvement in relations with Moscow would not come at Georgia's expense. "Georgia is on a path that the United States supports toward NATO membership," reminded Philip Crowley when asked about Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's calls for US military aid. "Clearly, you know, a fundamental tenet of NATO membership is to have a military that meets NATO standards and would add to the capability of the alliance," the spokesman added, before citing the "defense requirements" of the former Soviet Union republic. In interviews with The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post this week on the eve of US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Georgia, Saakashvili asked for anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons from the United States in order to defend Georgia against a possible Russian attack. As Biden met Saakashvili in Tbilisi Thursday, a senior Russian diplomat warned that Moscow would not permit Georgia to re-arm following a fierce, five-day war last August in which much of its military was destroyed. "We will continue to prevent the re-arming of Saakashvili's regime and are taking concrete measures against this," Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in an interview with the state news agency ITAR-TASS. Biden acknowledged the United States was working on "maintaining" the Georgian military but said these efforts were limited to "planning, training, organization" -- not supply of weapons. The vice president also defended Georgia's territorial integrity and its bid to join the North Atlantic alliance. "The vice president outlined today not only the importance of our relationship with Georgia, our willingness to help Georgia with its defensive requirements and a commitment that we will continue to work closely with the government going forward," Crowley explained. US soldiers interact with Georgian soldiers during a joint NATO-Georgia military training exercise 30km outside Tbilisi at the Vaziani base on May 25, 2009. Russia has sternly criticized NATO for carrying out exercises this month in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia, saying such activity less than a year after Russia and Georgia fought a war was highly destablizing. When asked if that commitment could affect relations with Russia, with which President Barack Obama has vowed to "reset" frozen ties, Crowley told reporters that Washington has refused to recognize any Russian sphere of influence. "I think we have made clear to Russia that ultimately decisions like this rest with the people of Georgia," he said. "We will continue to have, I'm sure, conversations with Russia on these issues." Georgian officials said US supply of arms to Georgia was not specifically discussed in the meetings with Biden but was also not beyond the realm of possibility. "The US-Georgia strategic partnership charter envisages, among other issues, that the United States will help Georgia to further develop its defense capabilities," parliamentary speaker David Bakradze told AFP. Tbilisi and Washington signed a strategic partnership agreement in January that includes a plan to train and equip Georgian forces to boost their capabilities to eventually operate with NATO troops. The agreement, signed by former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and her Georgian counterpart Grigol Vashadze, amounted to a declaration of intent that did not formally commit the incoming Obama administration.

DTN News: Israeli Allies Fly With U.S. Forces At Red Flag

DTN News: Israeli Allies Fly With U.S. Forces At Red Flag
*Source: DTN News / NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. U.S. Air Force (NSI News Source Info) NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. USA - July 24, 2009: Flying at home station is necessary for training, but flying with other units, especially an allied unit like the Israeli Air Force, results in valuable experience and preparation for the fight.
Nir, A Israeli crew chief from Ramon Air Base, Israel waits for the F-16C Falcon to taxi out July 20, 2009 during Red Flag 09-4. Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies. U.S. aircraft will come from Nellis and Creech in Nevada, South Carolina, Idaho, the United Kingdom, Washington, Oklahoma and Ohio. Aircraft types will include F-15s, F-16s, E-3s and KC-135s. In addition to U.S. aircraft, the Israeli Air Force will be flying F-16C Falcons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brett Clashman)
A squadron of F-16Is from Ramon Air Base, Israel, is one of the nine units participating in Red Flag 09-4 through July 24 in Las Vegas. Red Flag exercises present a unique experience for U.S. and allied units to fly together against red air, or 'enemy' aircraft provided by the Aggressor Squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base, in a realistic combat environment.
The Israeli Air Force's "Bats" squadron is made up of the F-16-I Storm, a multi-role, two-seater fighter jet capable of low flying, strike and offensive counter air. Captain Gilad, a 25-year-old IAF pilot and Tel Aviv, Israel, native, experienced Red Flag for the first time this week.
"So far Red Flag has answered my expectations," he said. "It's very interesting. We can learn a lot from each other. We're learning new tactics and flight techniques, but there are a lot of similarities too." Red Flag is an optimal venue for pilots from U.S. and allied units around the world to work together in a combat environment.
The IAF pilots bring new procedures or methods for U.S. pilots, while the IAF pilots also learn from their U.S. counterparts.
"The reason anyone comes to Red Flag is to learn how to fight together," said Maj. Kate Lowe, Red Flag Air Boss. "So Just like U.S. forces from different squadrons or sister services come together to participate, we bring in allied forces to get to know both their fighting capabilities as well as the people themselves." Israeli Air Force pilots speak to one another in Hebrew, and while language has the potential to be an obstacle, it's practically a non-issue at Red Flag. "Language barriers are always a challenge, but their English is way better than my Hebrew," Major Lowe said.
It's not so much the language itself, as it is the technical terminology used in mission planning and briefings in the Red Flag building.
"Most of us know pretty good English," Captain Gilad said, referring to his comrades. "But it's the different acronyms, and aviation talk that is sometimes challenging."
When it comes to skill, Captain Gilad and his fellow IAF pilots came prepared for any challenge Red Flag 09-4 threw at them. The only thing new, he said, is the terrain, the base and training rules - which are a bit different from those in the IAF, but not too much. For example, IAF F-16I pilots are allowed to coast at 100 feet off the ground, while U.S. F-16s have to stay at 500 feet unless they're strafing, a term related to ground attack.
"We learn a lot from U.S. pilots, like daily routines and how to give organized briefings, but flying here is one of the main goals that we want to experience," he said. "Flying in unknown terrain - it's very different than flying in our homeland where we know every rock and every corner." Coming from a country that's only about 300 miles in length by 30 miles in width, Captain Gilad isn't kidding when he says he knows every rock and corner.
And while the terrain presents the IAF with new challenges, the heat of Las Vegas, he said, isn't so much of a problem. Another plus Red Flag offers U.S. and Israeli pilots alike, is the scale of the flying missions. Unlike home station flying, Red Flag missions encompass many different types of aircraft flying Large Force Employments, or LFEs.
"We do a lot more basics training in Israel," Captain Gilad said. "Flying here is more mission-oriented." When he's in Israel, Captain Gilad serves in two squadrons.
One squadron is operational, where pilots are on alert, and ready to respond to emergencies or threats. In the other squadron, he's an instructor pilot, teaching other pilots about combat - especially dogfights.
Although his military commitment is up, Captain Gilad chooses to remain in the IAF. "In Israel everyone has to be in the military," he said.
"By testing, they choose if you go in the army, navy or air force." Captain Gilad attended the Israeli Flight Academy for three years, but it took two additional years of training before he became operational, or ready to fight.
Although the IAF is not involved in a fight right now, earlier this year, he fought in the Gaza Strip conflict.
"We have to be very cautious because it's so close to home," he said. "We attack very strategically. But right now it's mainly homeland defense and protecting our citizens." Like the U.S., Israel recognizes the diplomatic and strategic need to maintain allied relationships.
"We have a great relationship with the U.S. Air Force," Capt Gilad said. "A relationship we want to keep and make better." And the Air Force recognizes that America's strategic partnerships are more important than ever.
Red Flag is vital in fostering and maintaining those relationships, capitalizing on the global community of like-minded Airmen while enhancing interoperability between allies and partners like Israel.
"It's not only the mentality and the way the U.S. and Israeli air forces approach planning and executing tactics, but also our systems," Major Lowe said. "Are our radios compatible? Are our weapons compatible? Can we hear each other? Better to know it now than when the bombs are dropping."
This may be Captain Gilad's first Red Flag, but it won't necessarily be his last. The IAF, according to Captain Gilad, tries to send pilots of all ages and experience levels to Red Flag.
"We could find ourselves here again," he said. "We always send someone who's been here before for better guidance. Coming to Red Flag is a big privilege, and everybody wants to come because it's very good experience for us."

DTN News: Israeli Missile-Defense System Hits Snag

DTN News: Israeli Missile-Defense System Hits Snag
*Source: DTN News / AP (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - July 24, 2009: A joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense system meant to shield Israel from Iranian attack hit a snag when a series of tests were aborted because of malfunctions, defense officials said Thursday. This file photo, taken on Friday Dec. 2, 2005, released by Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd., shows an Arrow missile being launched at an undisclosed location in Israel. Israeli defense officials say three tests in the U.S. of the missile defense system meant to shield Israel from Iranian attack have been aborted over the past week. (AP Photo/Israel Aircraft Industries, File) The Arrow, a joint project between state-run Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. and Chicago-based Boeing Co., is part of a multilayered missile-defense system Israel is working on to protect it from all forms of attack, ranging from short-range rocket fire from Lebanon and Gaza to longer-range missiles from Iran. Israel sees Iran as its biggest threat because of its nuclear program and development of medium-range ballistic missiles. Those fears have been compounded by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's persistent anti-Israeli rhetoric. Israel's concerns were heightened this week when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. would extend a "defense umbrella" over its Gulf Arab allies to prevent Iran from dominating the region "once they have a nuclear weapon." The comments raised eyebrows in Israel. "I was not thrilled to hear the American statement from yesterday that they will protect their allies with a nuclear umbrella, as if they have already come to terms with a nuclear Iran," Dan Meridor, Israel's minister of intelligence and atomic energy, told Army Radio. "I think that's a mistake." Hours after Meridor spoke, Clinton clarified her remarks, saying she was "not suggesting any new policy" on Iran and continued to believe that "Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is unacceptable." Israeli officials and analysts played down the glitches in the Arrow tests, saying they were expected in such a complicated project and would not affect the long-term development of the system. A statement from the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said the mission was an interception test and also exercised the Arrow system's interoperability with other elements of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system. The tests of the Arrow II system took place over the past week off the coast of California, most recently on Wednesday, the defense officials said. But communication glitches between the missile and the radar led U.S. defense officials to abort the test before an intercepting missile could be fired, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the tests. The Pentagon said the target missile was dropped from a C-17 aircraft. It said the radar system detected the target, but "not all test conditions to launch the Arrow Interceptor were met, and it was not launched." It said the results were being analyzed. An operational version of Arrow II is partially deployed, and the U.S. and Israel are in the preliminary stages of developing an upgraded Arrow III. The homegrown "Iron Dome" system is designed to bring down short-range rockets of the kind Palestinian and Lebanese militants use. Last week, Israeli officials reported a successful live test of the system. The Arrow project was spurred largely by the failure of the U.S. military's Patriot missiles to intercept Iraqi Scud rockets that struck Israel in the 1991 Gulf War. Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror said tests of the same Arrow system in Israel earlier this year were "very successful." He said the recent tests were carried out in the U.S. because that would allow for greater distances than would be possible in Israel. He said malfunctions of systems still in their experimental stage were to be expected and said other tests were called off on Friday and Monday. The defense officials said the improved Arrow II was meant to intercept a dummy Iranian Shihab missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. But U.S. officials blocked the launch of an intercepting missile because of the communications glitch, the Israelis said. Iran's Shihab-3 has a range of up to 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers), putting Israel well within striking distance. Isaac Ben-Israel, a retired general and weapons expert, said the interceptor wasn't fired because it is too expensive to use in a test that isn't expected to go according to plan. He said such glitches are common when developing new systems and he did not consider it a significant setback. "I expect that within a short period of time, after they determine exactly what happened, they will repeat this experiment and then we will know if it works or not," Ben-Israel said.

DTN News: Ukraine Halts Missile-Loaded Russian Convoy

DTN News: Ukraine Halts Missile-Loaded Russian Convoy *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine - July 24, 2009: Ukraine has stopped two Russian military convoys, one of which was transporting missiles to the disputed naval base of Sevastopol.
Police stopped a convoy of three vehicles and found each was transporting a cruise missile to Russia's fleet in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian interior ministry said.
The convoy did not have the necessary authorization from Ukraine but was later allowed to continue its journey, the ministry added. Russia has had a fleet in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol for more than 200 years, but the base has recently become a source of tension as relations between the two nations frayed.
Moscow has a lease on the base until 2017 and Ukrainian officials have repeatedly called for the fleet to leave when the lease expires.
Vasyl Kyrylych, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, told Interfax that Russia must beware to avoid "possible violations" of Ukrainian law and agreements on the Russian fleet.
The Russian Black Sea fleet is just one of several disputes driving a wedge between Moscow and Kyiv.

DTN News: ITT Ready To Meet Buy American Requirements Of Federal Stimulus Package

DTN News: ITT Ready To Meet Buy American Requirements Of Federal Stimulus Package
*Source: DTN News / ITT Corporation (NSI News Source Info) WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. USA - July 24, 2009: As communities across the country prepare to launch major infrastructure projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), ITT Corporation (NYSE: ITT) confirmed today that it will meet the act's Buy American provisions so its U.S. customers can access the company's industry-leading technology for water, wastewater and energy management. "ITT is a global enterprise, and we're accustomed to being flexible to satisfy the needs of our customers anywhere in the world," said Colin Sabol, vice president of marketing and business development for ITT's Fluid and Motion Control group. "We have a solid U.S. presence, and are prepared to meet the economic stimulus bill's Buy American requirements in a manner that complies with both the ARRA provisions and the interpretation of those provisions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Furthermore, we recognize that for those seeking stimulus funding, time is of the essence, and we are equipped to do whatever is necessary to expedite their projects." Shortly after the ARRA was signed into law in February, ITT added to the company's website a special section at that highlights its readiness to assist with shovel-ready infrastructure projects. The company also published a white paper in March to provide straightforward information and practical advice about the ARRA to consulting engineers, as well as state and local municipal boards. The white paper was originally based on draft guidance from the EPA and the federal Office of Management and Budget regarding implementation of the ARRA's Buy American provisions. It has now been updated to reflect final guidance that was issued by the EPA in late June. Of the $787 billion in federal spending that was authorized by the ARRA, $60 billion has been specifically earmarked to support water, wastewater and energy infrastructure projects involving both traditional and "green" technology. All of these are areas that ITT is ideally positioned to serve, given its extensive engineering expertise and broad selection of innovative fluid technology products. At facilities throughout the United States, ITT not only manufactures and assembles, but conducts testing and research on pumps, valves and other equipment and systems designed to move and treat water and wastewater. Among its many leading brands are Flygt®, Bell & Gossett®, Goulds Pumps®, Flowtronex®, Leopold®, WEDECO® and Sanitaire®. These brands have a wide range of applications in the very facilities that the ARRA was designed to improve and upgrade, including office buildings, schools, libraries, heating plants, pumping stations and wastewater treatment centers. "With our broad offering of solutions, ITT is eager to be a full-fledged partner on these vital infrastructure projects that will play a key role in our nation's economic recovery," said Sabol. For more information about ITT's role in helping advance ARRA initiatives from design to construction, visit About ITT Corporation ITT Corporation is a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company operating on all seven continents in three vital markets: water and fluids management, global defense and security, and motion and flow control. With a heritage of innovation, ITT partners with its customers to deliver extraordinary solutions that create more livable environments, provide protection and safety and connect our world. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated 2008 sales of $11.7 billion.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Meets Key Milestones For Navy Submarine Communications Program

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Meets Key Milestones For Navy Submarine Communications Program
*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) MARION, MA, - July 24, 2009: Lockheed Martin’s team developing a Communications at Speed and Depth (CSD) capability for U.S. Navy submarines has successfully completed the system requirements review. The capability will enable secure, two-way communications between submarines operating below periscope depth and at tactical speeds with surface ships, aircraft and land-based assets. All classes of U.S. Navy submarines will be equipped with this transformational capability.
Under the management of the Submarine Integration Program Office (PMW 770), the U.S. Navy has put in place highly-focused connectivity initiatives at the Program Executive Office for C4I and Space in San Diego, California. These efforts are addressing a broad spectrum of technology enablers, including advanced acoustic and acoustic-RF (radio frequency) communications, high-bandwidth satellite communications, and optical-fiber buoys – across all frequency bands (see Table 1) – that promise to achieve long-sought Communications at Speed and Depth (CSD) goals. And while it was in the midst of a comprehensive CSD Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) that was completed in the early fall of 2005, the Submarine Force was also pressing on with technology demonstrations that will underpin the art of the possible. A future undersea communications network capability will enable communications among submerged submarines, Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs), and undersea sensors to multiply the effectiveness of the Submarine Force in maintaining undersea dominance. By coupling the undersea acoustic communications network with the mainstream Global Information Grid (GIG) communications infrastructure, end-to-end warfighter connectivity is enabled among surface, air, shore, submarines, other undersea platforms, and undersea sensors. “The Submarine Communications at Speed and Depth Program extends the principles of FORCEnet below the ocean surface to provide the Submarine Fleet with two-way networked connectivity when operating at tactical depth and speed,” Navy Capt. Dean Richter, PMW 770 CSD Acquisition Program Manager, explained. “The goal of CSD is to multiply the effectiveness of submarine platforms in support of Navy, joint, and coalition warfare by enabling two-way communications and network-centric warfare while optimally engaged in the mission at hand. These increased operational capabilities will allow submarine platforms to maintain their stealth posture while supporting Special Operations Forces [SOF] and providing decisive firepower for the Joint Task Force [JTF] in the Global War on Terror [GWOT],” he noted. “Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups are provided with significantly enhanced protection against undersea threats with the full utilization of the superior weapons and surveillance capabilities of a submarine operating at depth in coordinated anti-submarine warfare operations to achieve undersea dominance.” This ultimate outcome was anticipated in the “Submarine Force Future Capability Vision,” which states that “Submarines must be a part of the joint and service information networks, to include sensors and networks deployed from the submarine and off-board vehicles. Effective integration into these networks allows the submarine to share situational awareness, plan collaboratively and fight synergistically with other joint forces.” [Emphasis added.] The “Vision” calls out specific FORCEnet development goals, including “Connectivity from below periscope depth at tactically useful speeds to reduce time latency in the exchange of information for situational awareness, blue-force tracking, and target engagement.” There are clearly strategic imperatives for effective CSD, Richter acknowledged. “CSD responds to the following critical operational goals for defense transformation as identified in the Quadrennial Defense Review Report 2001, the Secretary of Defense Transformation Planning Guidance of April 2003, and the FY 2004-2009 Defense Planning Guidance.
“The on-schedule progress of this program results from a strong government-industry team that is focused on delivering a much-needed capability to the fleet,” said Brent Starr, the Navy’s CSD principle acquisition program manager. “The system requirements review was a huge success.” The Lockheed Martin-led industry team, which includes Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems and ERAPSCO, a joint venture between Sparton Electronics Florida, Inc. and Ultra Electronics – USSI, will deliver three types of two-way communications devices and associated submarine and shore equipment. Two of the devices – the tethered expendable communications buoy (TECB) Iridium system and the TECB–UHF system – are launched from submarines. The third is an acoustic-to-RF Gateway (A2RF) system that can be launched from submarines and aircraft. Since the January contract award, the team has completed both the integrated baseline review and system requirements review milestones on schedule. Hardware delivery is expected in mid-2010. “Successful on-schedule completion of the system requirements review is a major step in providing submarines the same access to communication networks as the rest of the U.S. Navy's fleet,” said Rod Reints, Lockheed Martin’s senior program manager for the CSD program. “Our team is now starting the preliminary design phase, moving us closer to our goal of providing communications at speed and depth to the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet.” 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: Northrop Grumman Performs Successful SABR Fit-Check Aboard F-16 Fighter At Edwards Air Force Base

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Performs Successful SABR Fit-Check Aboard F-16 Fighter At Edwards Air Force Base
*Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman Corporation (NSI News Source Info) BALTIMORE, USA - July 24, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation's newest active electronically scanned array (AESA) fighter sensor, the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), has been successfully installed on a U.S. Air Force F-16 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. In November, SABR began a series of flight demonstrations aboard the company's test aircraft, successfully detecting and displaying multiple aerial targets and generating high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) ground maps. "The fit-check completed on June 29, is another important milestone leading up to a planned F-16 flight demonstration later this year," said Arlene Camp, director of Advanced F-16 Radar Programs at Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems Division. "Installation took less than five hours and assessed SABR's design goals to integrate seamlessly within existing F-16 Block 50/52 physical constraints for interface to aircraft power, cooling, and avionics." The aircraft was returned to original configuration after the installation evaluation. "Northrop Grumman is the sole provider of radars for the F-16 and for over 30 years has continually improved the F-16 radar's performance and reliability. SABR is Northrop Grumman's latest investment towards enhancing and sustaining the F-16's combat capability for decades to come," added Camp. Although designed specifically for the F-16, SABR is scalable and adaptable to other platforms and missions. Compared to the mechanically-scanned array radars it is designed to replace, SABR will provide increased performance, multi-functionality and greater reliability. SABR's greater detection and tracking range, high-resolution SAR maps, and interleaved mode operations will provide pilots improved situational awareness and all-environment precision strike capability. 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: Boeing Awarded Production Contract For US Air Force AWACS Block 40/45 Upgrade

DTN News: Boeing Awarded Production Contract For US Air Force AWACS Block 40/45 Upgrade
*Source: DTN News / Boeing Company
(NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE, USA - July 24, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that it has received a $44 million Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for the Block 40/45 upgrade of the U.S. Air Force Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet. The contract, awarded by the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., marks the official beginning of the Block 40/45 production phase. The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an American military airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, to the United States, United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, and NATO air defense forces. Production ended in 1992 after 68 had been built. Boeing will provide shipset hardware, spare parts, ground systems installation, and delivery and logistic support for the first aircraft to undergo the upgrade. Air Force personnel will install the hardware at the Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Installation is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2011. The remaining five LRIP aircraft will be covered in a follow-on contract. "Block 40/45 brings the AWACS mission system into the 21st century and enables rapid future upgrades, allowing the AWACS fleet to remain a key asset in air battle management for many years to come," said Paula Pielak, Boeing AWACS 40/45 and Advanced Projects program manager. "We look forward to putting this tremendous capability into production and delivering it to the warfighter." Boeing met all key performance parameters for the upgraded Block 40/45 system during a flight test acceptance program, proving the system's reliability and stability. The program was completed in July 2008. The Block 40/45 upgrade, which is the largest in the history of the AWACS program, dramatically enhances the system’s potential for using network-enabled operations and increases AWACS mission execution capability, effectiveness and reliability while lowering life-cycle costs through a number of improved features, including: the primary AWACS display, which increases situational awareness through its intuitive mission displays and detailed map database higher processing power, which enables better operation of the fleet's advanced battle management tools, such as Automatic Air Tasking Orders and Airspace Coordination Order updates the capability to determine the most effective airborne weapon to pair against an identified target the Multi-Source Integration process (MSI), which automatically integrates data from on-and off-board sources, such as radar and Identification Friend or Foe, Electronic Support Measures and Link 16. The open system and lean architecture of the MSI enables rapid software upgrades and requires less hardware. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: Boeing Defence Australia Completes 50,000 Flight-Support Hours For Bell 206B-1 Kiowa

DTN News: Boeing Defence Australia Completes 50,000 Flight-Support Hours For Bell 206B-1 Kiowa *Source: DTN News / Boeing Defence Australia (NSI News Source Info) OAKEY, Queensland - July 24, 2009: Boeing Defence Australia (BDA), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], today announced it has completed 50,000 flight support hours for the Australian Defence Force's fleet of 19 Bell 206B-1 Kiowa helicopters. The Bell 206B-1 Kiowa has been in service with the Army since 1972; its main roles being observation and rotary flying training. It is also utilised for the command and control of tactical aircraft, such as the F/A-18 and F-111. They often work closely with artillery and armoured cavalry units. The majority of the Kiowa fleet is located in Darwin, used by 1 Aviation Regiment. BDA provides the Australian Army with pilot and aircrew training, fleet maintenance and support services for the Bell 206B-1 Kiowa and S-70A-9 Black Hawk helicopters as part of the Army Aviation Training and Training Support (AATTS) program based at Oakey. "This is a significant milestone for the team and I congratulate everyone, past and present, who has participated in achieving this result," said Matthew Sibree, project manager for the BDA AATTS program. "Throughout our team's 16 years of supporting this platform, we have continuously worked to improve maintenance processes, enabling the Kiowa to fly up to 6,000 hours per year. Most civilian platforms average anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 flight hours per year. "This program is unique because it involves both operational maintenance and deeper level maintenance," Sibree added. The customer can program the aircraft to complete up to 50 missions per day, and the BDA maintenance team is responsible for servicing each aircraft before and after every mission. "Boeing has provided excellent support within those 50,000 hours and contributed greatly to the training outputs required of Army Aviation aircrew training," said Lt. Col. Scott Benbow, Commanding Officer at the School of Army Aviation, Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey. "The Australian Army's relationship with Boeing is a fine example of how industry and defense, when well combined, can achieve very good results." BDA will continue to work on the Kiowa platform for at least the next three years, until Air 9000 Phase 7 -- the replacement helicopter training system for both the Australian Navy and Army -- enters service. BDA, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 13 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, BDA supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.