Friday, July 31, 2009

DTN News: New Look ~ Hummer With Tracks At An Auto Exhibition In Beijing

DTN News: New Look ~ Hummer With Tracks At An Auto Exhibition In Beijing
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - July 31, 2009: The Hummer H2 is an SUV and SUT sold by General Motors under the Hummer brand. It is a large truck (lighter and slightly slimmer than the Hummer H1, while slightly longer and slightly taller) with room for six passengers (including driver). The rearmost part of the H2 SUV was modified to a pickup truck bed for the 2005 H2 SUT ("Sport Utility Truck").
A man looks at a Hummer with tracks in place of wheels at an auto exhibition in Beijing, China, Friday, July 31, 2009. The five-day exhibition showcases imported cars, many of them high-priced luxury models.
The H2 is built under contract by AM General at a specially constructed plant in Mishawaka
Indiana, USA. Although it shares GM's GMT820 truck platform with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, those vehicles differ in many ways and are constructed in three other GM plants. The H2's final frame assembly is made up of 3 sections:
The front uses a modified GM 2500-Series utility frame, the mid-section is all new and is completely boxed, and the rear section uses a modified GM 1500-Series frame which is upgraded for the 8,600 pound (3629 kg) gross vehicle weight. The 2008 Hummer H2 does 0-60 in 8.2 seconds.
The H2 has a massive truck frame and has a wider-than-average track firm that may offer stability against overturning compared to some of the more common light truck SUVs, although objective tests have not been performed by the government or other outside parties due to its specialized vehicle class.
It is marketed as both a general purpose vehicle and as an off-road vehicle. Because of mass marketing by GM, it is primarily used as a passenger vehicle on typical roads. Along with the Ford Excursion, the H2 is also a very common vehicle for a limousine conversion.

DTN News: China Delivered The First Of Four F22P Frigates Ordered By Pakistan

DTN News: China Delivered The First Of Four F22P Frigates Ordered By Pakistan *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KARACHI, Pakistan - July 31, 2009: China on July 30 delivered the first of four state-of-the-art frigates commissioned by nuclear-armed Pakistan from top ally Beijing, a naval spokesman said. The F-22P or Zulfiqar class frigate, an improved version of the Chinese Type 053H3 frigate, is a general purpose frigate being built by China and Pakistan for the Pakistan Navy (PN). The first ship, PNS Zulfiqar, is to enter service with the PN in August 2009. A second is almost complete and undergoing sea trials, while the third and fourth are under construction. "The first F-22P Frigate constructed for the Pakistan navy at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai was delivered to Pakistan on Thursday," said Lt. Cmdr. Shakeel Ahmed. In keeping with contracts signed between China and Pakistan in 2005, the frigates will be equipped with anti-submarine helicopters, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and other defense systems. "The F-22P frigates will not only enhance the war fighting potential of the Pakistan navy but will also strengthen the indigenous ship-building capability of the country," said Ahmed. The announcement came two days after Pakistan hit out at India, branding its rival's first nuclear-powered submarine "detrimental" to regional peace and vowing to take "appropriate steps" to maintain a "strategic balance". Relations between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan have plummeted since Islamist gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai last November, attacks that New Delhi blamed on banned Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). India on Sunday launched the first of five planned submarines by naming the 6,000-tonne INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies), powered by an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor that can reach 44 kilometers an hour (24 knots). China is Pakistan's strongest ally and Islamabad relies heavily on Beijing for its defense needs. Many Chinese companies operate in Pakistan and China is involved in the construction of a deep-sea port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.

DTN News: South Korea May Drop Quest To Buy Used Apache Helicopters

DTN News: South Korea May Drop Quest To Buy Used Apache Helicopters
*Source: DTN News / Defense News (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - July 31, 2009: South Korea's hopes of buying refurbished U.S. Apache attack helicopters may be fading - and being replaced with visions of a locally developed aircraft, sources from the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) say. The Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration of South Korea is reconsidering buying Block 1 Apaches and upgrading them to Block II. (U.S. Army) One of the options considered was buying Block 1 Apaches and upgrading them to Block II. The sources said DAPA officials asked the U.S. Army about the cost, upgrade possibilities and spare parts supply. The U.S. officials responded that South Korea should make a bulk purchase of enough spare parts to last 30 years, one source said. The DAPA officials were not pleased. Another turnoff: "We asked the U.S. Army team if South Korean tactical data link systems can be integrated into refurbished Apache helicopters, but they said it's difficult," the source said. "That's another key factor that made us reconsider a buy of older Apaches." Apache maker Boeing declined to comment. The Joint U.S. Military Affairs Group-Korea (JUSMAG-K) in Seoul, which coordinates Korean purchases of U.S. arms, downplayed the reports of discord. "At this point, the U.S. and ROK governments are simply sharing information and no negotiations have taken place," a group official said July 10. "Neither the U.S. and ROK governments have ventured beyond this information-sharing phase, and no requests have been made." In May, Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee halted a feasibility study on the AH-X effort to buy 36 foreign helos to replace the Army's 500MD TOWs and AH-1Ss by 2011, and ordered a fresh study to be completed by year's end. He also asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Army to adjust the Korea Attack Helicopter (KAH)'s operational requirements, which had originally called for a medium or light attack helicopter, by September. Build Our Own A senior DAPA official hinted to journalists in early July that the consensus view is now that developing an indigenous attack helicopter would reduce parts problems and create more South Korean jobs. "We can't operate foreign weapons systems forever," the official said. "I believe we've secured a good technology base to build our own attack helicopter following the successful utility helicopter development program." The official apparently referred to the Korea Utility Helicopter, Surion, rolled out July 31 after three years of development by Korea Aerospace Industries, with technical assistance from Eurocopter. A U.S. industry source disagreed. "Still, the money for a KAH program must come from somewhere and the Korean government money is tight," he said. "Where will the money come from? Also, it will take many years to develop a new attack helicopter, probably more than the eight years that they project, even with the expertise of a Boeing or Eurocopter supporting the project ... and lots of money over many years from the Korean government and taxpayers." The KAH program calls for building about 270 attack helicopters in partnership with foreign manufacturers. But many defense experts have advised purchasing aircraft from foreign firms would be more economically sound than developing an indigenous model, which is expected to cost up to 10 trillion won ($8 billion) or more. An interim report of the early study said, "There is no country, even if it has an outstanding helicopter building infrastructure, technology and experience as well as related experts, that has succeeded in developing an attack helicopter within 10 years." It took more than nine years in general to see the first flight after development and an average of 21 years to have them enter service initially, the report said. The report said the South Korean Army's current attack helicopters lack strategic deterrence and rapid-response capabilities. Moreover, about half of the Army's 500MD TOW helicopters will reach their life span of 30 years by 2013, and AH-1S helicopters have also been operated for more than 16 years, it said.

DTN News: U.S. Shifting Drones' Focus To Taliban

DTN News: U.S. Shifting Drones' Focus To Taliban *In Afghanistan, the military is moving away from targeting Al Qaeda in favor of stabilizing the country.
*Source: DTN News / Los Angeles Times By Julian E. Barnes
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - July 31, 2009: Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan -- U.S. military leaders have concluded that their war effort in Afghanistan has been too focused on hunting Al Qaeda, and have begun to shift Predator drone aircraft to the fight against the Taliban and other militants in order to prevent the country from slipping deeper into anarchy.The move, described by government and Defense Department officials, represents a major change in the military's use of one of its most precious intelligence assets. It also illustrates the hard choices that must be made because the drones are in short supply.
A Reaper drone, which comes equipped with Hellfire missiles and precision-guided bombs, takes off from Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan. Such unmanned aircraft are to be used to hunt specific insurgent targets.
Senior government officials say that defeating Al Qaeda remains the overriding U.S. objective. However, they have determined that the best way to do that is by strengthening and stabilizing Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, rather than endlessly looking for important Al Qaeda figures.
But a shortage of drone aircraft could limit the effectiveness of the thousands of additional troops being sent as part of the Obama administration's new focus on Afghanistan, officials say. A preliminary review has concluded that the command in Afghanistan requires up to four times as many Predators as it currently has.
To try to meet the demand, the military has shifted about eight Predator drones assigned to special operations forces in Afghanistan to conventional forces. It is refocusing them on major insurgent strongholds rather than on scouring remote mountain ranges for suspected terrorists.
In addition, the U.S. military's Central Command is planning to send about a dozen more drones to Afghanistan, representing about a 25% increase. Among them are aircraft being reassigned from Iraq, despite resistance from the U.S. command there.
The sweeping redeployment means that insurgent groups that have carried out ambushes and roadside bombings will for the first time be tracked by dozens of drones capable of remaining over a target for hours undetected, identifying key individuals, and firing missiles within a matter of seconds.
A focus on hunting Al Qaeda reflected priorities set early in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. A move away from that strategy could invite protest from U.S. politicians and experts who believe that it could allow the organization to rebuild strength.
Osama bin Laden and the most senior Al Qaeda leadership planned the Sept. 11 attacks from Afghanistan, which was ruled by the Taliban until a U.S.-led invasion ousted it. The Al Qaeda leadership is believed to have reestablished itself across the border in Pakistan. U.S. military and intelligence services are also using drones to attack Al Qaeda figures and their Taliban allies there.
U.S. military officials believe mid-level Al Qaeda figures remain in Afghanistan, where special operations forces have been directed to hunt them down. The military also has long hoped it could learn clues to Bin Laden's whereabouts by spying on his former associates.
Despite the shift, the special operations forces retain a substantial amount of Predators. But officials say they are working to ensure that unconventional missions are more closely aligned with the new counterinsurgency strategy of the overall force.
But top military officials have concluded that they need to keep Afghanistan from sliding further into chaos in order to keep Al Qaeda from rebuilding there. Doing so will require a campaign to build confidence in the government and make the population feel more secure.
"We have been overly counter-terrorism-focused and not counter-insurgency-focused," said one U.S. official.Senior government officials said Bin Laden remained a prime target but that they needed to focus on fighting the Taliban.
"We might still be too focused on Bin Laden," the official said. "We should probably reassess our priorities."
Although military officials emphasize that the drones will be used primarily as spy planes, the aircraft are armed. Predators carry two Hellfire missiles. Reaper drones, which are also being sent, are armed with Hellfires and precision-guided bombs.
Airborne attacks carry their own set of risks for the war effort. Afghan officials have repeatedly complained about civilian deaths resulting from airstrikes, and the Taliban seeks to make maximum use of such incidents' propaganda value.
A new directive from the top commander in Afghanistan is forcing the military to be more careful about airstrikes. But with up to 20 more drones dedicated to the task, the military may have more chances to attack key Taliban leaders.
Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, made it clear in a recent interview that protecting the Afghan population, not hunting suspected terrorists, was his priority.
"I don't think there is enough focus on counter-insurgency. I am not in a position to criticize counter-terrorism," he said. "But at this point in the war, in Afghanistan, it is most important to focus on almost classic counter-insurgency."
Under McChrystal's order, the command has been doing an extensive review of how it uses its reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft. Rather than spread the drones throughout the country so that all regional commands get the use of the planes for a little while each day, McChrystal wants to use the predators in a more concentrated fashion.
Top commanders are ending the practice of blindly trolling for information with the Predators. McChrystal said the best way to use intelligence aircraft is to watch a single target for days, even weeks.
The preliminary review found that the command in Afghanistan could use as many as 40 to 45 combat air patrols of Predators -- as many as 180 individual drones. That total is more than the military has in its inventory.
The shift of assets from Iraq is sensitive. Military officials said that U.S. generals in Iraq resisted, arguing that intelligence assets will be needed even after the U.S. drawdown speeds up next year.
But the Obama administration's primary military effort is now clearly Afghanistan. And a senior Defense official said Central Command, which has operational control over both wars, made its moves to shift Predator drones in consultation with McChrystal and the commander in Iraq, Army Gen. Ray Odierno.
In addition to the drones, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of Central Command, has ordered combat engineer units, road-clearance teams, helicopters and other equipment to move from Iraq to Afghanistan.
The military also plans to increase the number of U2 flights.The advanced camera on the U2 is useful in spotting locations where roadside bombs have been placed, but only if the planes fly over the same area every 24 hours.
In addition, all of the Air Force's unmanned Global Hawks are going to be shifted to Afghanistan, officials said.
Times staff writer Greg Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

DTN News: Airbus Delivers 1000th A330/A340 Family Aircraft

DTN News: Airbus Delivers 1000th A330/A340 Family Aircraft
*A330-300 for Thai Airways International
*Source: DTN News / EADS ~ Airbus (NSI News Source Info) BLAGNAC, France - July 31, 2009: Airbus yesterday July 30, delivered the 1000th aircraft from the A330/A340 Family. The aircraft, an A330-300, was handed over to Thai Airways International (THAI) at a special ceremony in Toulouse. In attendance was a delegation from Thailand led by Air Chief Marshal Narongsak Sangapong, Acting President of THAI, plus representatives from the engine manufacturers and major equipment suppliers, as well as some 100 Airbus staff currently working on the programme.
Airbus A300-600R will start to retire in 2008-2010, Thai will acquire eight A330-300 as replacement aircraft for delivery starting in 2009. Because of the delayed Boeing 787-9 program, Thai may not be able to acquire the Boeing 787-9 fleet before 2012; hence, a plan to lease more A330-300 or Boeing 777s is being considered.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tom Williams, Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes, said: “When the A330/A340 Family first entered service in 1993 it set a new standard in the mid-size widebody market. Today, the product line remains the benchmark for in-service aircraft in this category, offering airlines a proven range of models optimised for medium, long and very long haul operations."
“We are extremely proud that the 1000th aircraft from this product is being delivered in the colours of THAI, which is one of Airbus' longest standing customers and currently operates a fleet including both the A330 and the A340."
Air Chief Marshal Narongsak Sangapong, said: “We are pleased to be taking delivery of the 1000th aircraft from this modern and efficient Airbus product line, which forms a major element of our fleet today. With these aircraft we are able to offer our passengers the highest levels of comfort, while also benefiting from the operational flexibility to operate the aircraft both on long range and regional services.”
With today’s delivery, THAI increases its in-service A330/A340 fleet to a total of 25 aircraft, comprising 15 A330-300s, four A340-500s and six A340-600s. The airline also operates a fleet of 17 A300-600Rs on its regional network.
Since the first aircraft from the A330/A340 Family was delivered in 1993, the product line has become the most successful mid-size widebody programme ever, with 1,406 firm orders from 103 customers worldwide. Today, aircraft from the family are flying with 100 operators worldwide and the world fleet has accumulated more than 27 million flight hours in over 5 million revenue flights.
The A330/A340 Family comprises the twin engine A330 for medium and long range operations and the four engine A340 for very long haul routes. A new freighter version of the A330 is currently under development and will enter service in 2010.

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Opens Cyber Security Operations Center

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Opens Cyber Security Operations Center
*New Cyber Center to Protect Company's Global Digital Infrastructure and Defend Against Intrusions and Cybercrime
*Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman Corporation (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON., USA - July 31, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) last week opened a new, state-of-the-art Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC), a comprehensive cyber threat detection and response center that focuses on protecting Northrop Grumman and its customers' networks and data worldwide. Northrop Grumman opened a new, state-of-the-art Cyber Security Operations Center, a comprehensive cyber threat detection and response center that focuses on protecting Northrop Grumman and its customers' networks and data worldwide. The opening was announced today during a press briefing at the National Press Club, where company officials also briefed reporters on Northrop Grumman's cybersecurity capabilities. The CSOC is a world-class facility that delivers the company's core security services and innovative solutions developed for the Northrop Grumman network and its customers. Located in suburban Maryland, the CSOC is staffed around-the-clock, providing security monitoring for more than 105,000 clients and 10,000 servers worldwide. "Northrop Grumman has one of private industry's largest and most sophisticated digital infrastructures," said Tim McKnight, vice president and chief information security officer of Northrop Grumman Information Systems sector. "The growing sophistication of cyber threats requires that we take assertive and holistic measures to defend our network and protect critical information assets. To respond, Northrop Grumman has integrated the latest cyber security technologies to meet this threat head-on. Along with more than a decade of expertise in information security for .mil and .gov customers, this new center creates a game-changing capability that will not only better protect our networks, but will keep pace with the ever-changing nature of the threat. Equally important, what we learn can be directly applied to our cyber customers." This 6,300 square foot facility is equipped with a large classified conference facility and secure connectivity to numerous customer networks. The heart of the CSOC is the security operations center floor, where analysts use customized tools to monitor and process more than 1.5 billion daily cyber events that occur on the Northrop Grumman network. "Advanced technology is key to defending any network, but it is the experience and curiosity of our analysts that allow us to proactively identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities," added McKnight. "They keep our network resilient and secure by constantly trying to make connections, determine if events are random or not. It's like a cyber 'CSI'." At the CSOC, incident handlers respond to suspected security incidents; computer forensic examiners collect and analyze evidence from digital media; a technical team develops and deploys solutions and systems used within the CSOC; intelligence operators analyze and report on internal and external threats; and computer network defense experts design and develop security capabilities that can identify advanced threats. Many of these internal capabilities are even replicated in Northrop Grumman's external delivery as the Tier One security provider to multiple government agencies. Northrop Grumman is an industry leader in all aspects of computer network operations and cyber security, offering customers innovative solutions to help secure the nation's cyber future. Northrop Grumman is the first company to be able to share a trusted identity with its U.S. Department of Defense customer through secure encrypted email. For more information about Northrop Grumman in cybersecurity, go to 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: Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 127 Successful Test Flights

DTN News: Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 127 Successful Test Flights *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) SUNNYVALE, Calif., - July 31, 2009: The U.S. Navy supported the May 26 launch of a U.K. Royal Navy Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT). The unarmed missile was launched from the submerged Royal Navy submarine HMS Victorious (UK SSBN 06) in the Atlantic Ocean. The Trident II D5 missile now has achieved 127 consecutive successful test flights since 1989 – a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle. Trident II (D5) missiles are deployed in Ohio- class (Trident) submarines, each carrying 24 missiles. The Trident II (D5) is a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertially guided FBM with a range of more than 4,000 nautical miles (4,600 statute miles). Trident II is more sophisticated than Trident I (C4) with a significantly greater payload capability. All three stages of the Trident II are made of lighter, stronger, stiffer graphite epoxy, whose integrated structure means considerable weight saving. The missile’s range is increased by the aerospike, a telescoping outward extension that reduces frontal drag by about 50 percent. Trident II is launched by the pressure of expanding gas within the launch tube. When the missile attains sufficient distance from the submarine, the first stage motor ignites, the aerospike extends and the boost stage begins. Within about two minutes, after the third stage motor kicks in, the missile is traveling in excess of 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) per second. “This performance has been achieved in tests conducted by the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy over the past two decades,” said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Trident missile prime contractor. “The cooperation of both governments, supported by industry, provides a credible strategic deterrent.” The test was part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation following an overhaul of the submarine. For the test, a missile was converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation. First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard U.S. Navy OHIO-class and Royal Navy VANGUARD-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the prime contractor and program manager for the Trident missile. Lockheed Martin provides program management and engineering services for the United Kingdom’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile program through an annual contract funded by the U.K. Royal Navy, with work performed at facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom. For the period from April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract of $21.3 million contract for United Kingdom technical services in support of the Trident Missile System. Lockheed Martin Space Systems has been the U.S. Navy’s prime strategic missile contractor since the inception of the program more than 50 years ago. Since 1968, Lockheed Martin has provided program support to the Royal Navy under the terms of the 1963 U.S.-U.K. Polaris Sales Agreement, which was modified in 1982 to provide for the Trident II D5 ballistic missile system. 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: Lockheed Martin Awarded Customs And Border Protection P-3 Orion Fleet Maintenance Contract

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded Customs And Border Protection P-3 Orion Fleet Maintenance Contract
*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) Marietta, Ga., - July 31, 2009: Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has been awarded an $821 million maintenance, repair, and overhaul contract for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) P-3 Orion fleet. The contract is for a base period of one year, with nine additional one-year options. CBP currently operates 16 P-3s, updated with a suite of modern surveillance sensors oriented towards conducting homeland security missions. We are extremely proud to support Customs and Border Protection's homeland security missions, and honored by the trust and confidence that CBP has placed with Lockheed Martin to maintain this critical capability," said Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin vice president of P-3 programs. "The Customs P-3s have a mission that is unique within the P-3 community. It is our privilege to lend our efforts to support that mission." Work on the contract will be performed at multiple facilities. The operational portion – aircraft launch and recovery, daily maintenance, short-term phase maintenance, and minor modifications – will be performed by Lockheed Martin personnel at CBP operational sites. Depot maintenance will be performed primarily at Lockheed Martin’s Greenville, S.C., facility. "The Customs and Border Protection program is a great example of the benefits of effective government/industry partnerships," said Rob Weiss, Lockheed Martin executive vice president for Global Sustainment. "Our priority is to provide all of our customers with integrated life-cycle solutions that ensure operational effectiveness and readiness at best value." In April 2008, CBP contracted with Lockheed Martin under the P-3 Aircraft Service Life Extension Program (ASLEP), ordering up to 14 all-new production wing life extension kits. To date, CBP has placed firm orders for six life extension kits. ASLEP is the only P-3 life extension program validated by the OEM to extend P-3 service life 20-25 years, equating to 15,000 additional flight hours. A total of 47 ASLEP kits have been ordered from five P-3 operators which include Norway, CBP, the U.S. Navy, Canada and Taiwan. 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: Oshkosh Defense Receives Two Service Contracts For $43.8M To Integrate TAK-4 Suspension System On Cougar MRAPs

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense Receives Two Service Contracts For $43.8M To Integrate TAK-4 Suspension System On Cougar MRAPs
*Source: DTN News / Oshkosh Corporation (NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. - July 31, 2009: Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), announced today it has received aftermarket support contracts totaling $43.8 million to work with Force Protection Incorporated (FPI) to install the Oshkosh® TAK-4® independent suspension system on more than 500 Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for Afghanistan. FPI issued the supply order for engineering and technical support following two contracts awarded from the MRAP Joint Program Office. The contracts for Oshkosh engineering and installation support will be performed at the MRAP Sustainment Facility in Kuwait and sent to the Afghan theater of operation. Engineers installing the Oshkosh TAK-4 suspension upgrade kits will equip Cougars with the same off-road mobility offered on more than 10,000 Oshkosh Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVR). The suspension kits were awarded under a previous contract and include the TAK-4 proprietary suspension system, an advanced Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), run-flat tires, steering and brake systems, and other component upgrades. “The Oshkosh TAK-4 independent suspension system brings something to the table no one else can provide – unsurpassed off-road mobility,” said Andy Hove, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense. “Increased mobility translates beyond greater speeds and less-fatigued warfighters – it increases survivability because these vehicles are no longer restricted to the often dangerous road networks in Afghanistan.” Vehicles outfitted with Oshkosh’s TAK-4 independent suspension system benefit from:
• Increased vehicle mobility – 16 inches of independent wheel travel provide advanced off-road capabilities in the most rugged terrain of Afghanistan
• Improved ride quality – shock and vibration are greatly reduced resulting in mission-ready soldiers and Marines and minimal component damage
• Greater off-road speeds – speed off-road is almost triple that of straight axle vehicles improving mobility as well as survivability
• Lower life-cycle costs – more than 75 percent of the parts are common with the U.S. Marine Corps MTVR for improved reliability, as well as streamlined availability and training. In testing of early-fielded Cougars upgraded with TAK-4, the customer determined the enhancement significantly improved the vehicle’s mobility. Based on this successful testing, Oshkosh worked with FPI to develop a field-installable kit to upgrade the vehicle. The advanced suspension system, which has undergone more than 400,000 miles of government testing, is also featured on the MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), the U.S. Army’s Palletized Load System (PLS A1) as well as the U.S. Marine Corps’ MTVR and Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR). More than 1,500 Cougars are being equipped with the Oshkosh TAK-4 independent suspension through a separate contract, and the company continues to work with the military to evaluate using it on additional MRAP models. About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corp. manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, BAI®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, log on to

DTN News: Raytheon, SafeNet Demonstrate Cybersecure Networking Solution For U.S. Army

DTN News: Raytheon, SafeNet Demonstrate Cybersecure Networking Solution For U.S. Army
*Information assurance solution delivers secure communications
*Source: DTN News / Raytheon Company (NSI News Source Info) MARLBOROUGH, Mass., - July 31, 2009: Raytheon Company and SafeNet Inc. recently partnered to demonstrate a new technology that secures radio communication among warfighters. Raytheon exhibited its DragonFire family of radios with SafeNet's Type 1 encryptor at the U.S. Army Cryptographic Modernization Technology Day in June 2009 at Fort Monmouth, N.J. Together these technologies provide secure streaming video and data, in a mobile ad hoc network environment, on various platforms such as fixed and rotary wing aircraft, light armored vehicles and fixed locations. Type 1 qualification is provided by the National Security Agency and authorizes equipment for handling classified data. "This cybersecurity solution addresses a critical need in current military communications by allowing only authorized users to communicate in a secure network environment," said Jerry Powlen, vice president, Network Centric Systems Integrated Communications Systems. "Raytheon leverages more than 20 years' experience designing and building crypto-enabled solutions to provide the warfighter the most secure technology." "SafeNet has more than 25 years of leadership developing advanced encryption solutions for technologies like the DragonFire radios," said Jim Summers, corporate vice president and general manager, SafeNet's Government Enterprise Data Protection Division. "With SafeNet's world-class team of encryption engineers, we continue to develop innovations for tomorrow's critical government needs." In 2007, SafeNet was acquired by Vector Capital, a $2 billion private equity firm. Vector Capital acquired Aladdin in March 2009, and placed it under common management with SafeNet. Together, these leading global companies are the third largest information security company in the world. SafeNet's encryption technology solutions protect communications, intellectual property and digital identities for enterprises and government organizations. SafeNet has more than 25 years of security expertise in more than 100 countries around the world. For more information, visit Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people

DTN News: Boeing Delivers Harpoon Missiles With Updated Guidance Control

DTN News: Boeing Delivers Harpoon Missiles With Updated Guidance Control *Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, USA - July 31, 2009: Boeing in June delivered the first four Harpoon Block II missiles equipped with a redesigned Guidance Control Unit (GCU), which provides growth capabilities and resolves obsolescence issues. The missiles were delivered to the U.S. Navy for transfer to two Foreign Military Sales customers. Harpoon Block II expands the capabilities of the Harpoon anti-ship weapon. Harpoon, the world's most successful anti-ship missile, features autonomous, all-weather, over-the-horizon capability. The new GCU, which controls most of the missiles' functions, incorporates a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to improve GPS security. In addition, the GCU can accommodate possible future implementation of a data link for network centric operation. Boeing began developing this GCU in 2007 to provide a common guidance system for Block II and future versions of the Harpoon missile. All new Harpoon missiles will incorporate the redesigned GCU. "Boeing's investment in developing a new, more robust GCU positions the Harpoon program to meet our customers' needs for many years to come," said Steve Morrow, Naval Weapon Systems program director for Boeing. "With this upgrade, Harpoon continues to adapt and evolve to meet our customers' requirements." Boeing has delivered more than 7,100 Harpoon missiles to the United States and 28 allied navies and is scheduled to deliver an additional 31 missiles this year. Harpoon Block II executes both anti-ship and land-strike missions. The 500-pound blast fragmentation warhead delivers lethal firepower against a variety of land-based targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, port/industrial facilities and ships in port. 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 Rolls Out US Navy's P-8A Poseidon

DTN News: Boeing Rolls Out US Navy's P-8A Poseidon
*Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE., USA - July 31, 2009: The Boeing Company and the U.S. Navy yesterday July 30, formally unveiled the service's newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, during a ceremony at the Boeing facility in Renton, Wash. In June 2004, the United States Navy announced the selection of the Boeing Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft, 737 MMA, and awarded a contract to Boeing for the system development and demonstration phase of the program for the US Navy's next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft. The aircraft was given the designation P-8A in March 2005. It is planned that up to 108 P-8A MMA aircraft are to be purchased by the Navy to replace the fleet of 196 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft which are approaching the end of operational life. A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. "The P-8A Poseidon will equip the U.S. Navy with the most advanced multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the world," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "The Poseidon is also the latest in a decades-long Boeing tradition of working closely with the Navy and other customers to deliver a wide range of platforms that meet their most critical mission requirements, including commercial-derivative military planes, fighters, rotorcraft, and attack, electronic warfare and unmanned aircraft." As the replacement for the Navy's P-3C Orion aircraft, the P-8A will provide greater payload capacity, significant growth potential, unprecedented flexibility and interoperability, and advanced mission systems, software and communications. "The P-8A program is an outstanding example of evolutionary acquisition at work," said Capt. Mike Moran, U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program manager. "The team has worked hard to stay on schedule and within cost in this development effort, and we all should be extremely proud of the results." The P-8A is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation. The team currently is assembling and testing the first five P-8As as part of the program's System Development and Demonstration contract, awarded in 2004. The integrated Navy/Boeing team will begin formal flight testing of the P-8A later this year. The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, and initial operational capability is planned for 2013. 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, Emirates Celebrate Record 78th 777 Delivery

DTN News: Boeing, Emirates Celebrate Record 78th 777 Delivery *Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) EVERETT, Wash., - July 31, 2009: Boeing delivered Emirates' 78th 777 on July 29, the airline's 45th 777-300ER (Extended Range). The Dubai-based carrier is now the world's largest operator of the 777 and the only airline to operate every model type, with an additional nine 777-200s, 12 777-300s, 10 777-200LRs (Longer Range) and two 777 Freighters in its fleet. Emirates also has an additional 28 Boeing 777s on order, valued at more than $7 billion at current list prices. The airlines' latest 777-300ER, shown here at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. prior to departure for its home base in Dubai, is configured for long-haul operations. "The 777 is an excellent aircraft in terms of operating economics, and importantly, the new technologies incorporated within enable us to fit it out with the latest onboard systems and passenger amenities," said Tim Clark, president Emirates Airlines. "Emirates is committed to maintaining a young and modern fleet, which enhances our passengers' comfort and safety and also makes our aircraft some of the most environmentally-friendly in the skies." Emirates received its first Boeing 777 in 1996. The airline recently completed an upgrade program on all its 777s that equipped the airplanes with Emirates' award-winning ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) system, offering passengers in every cabin up to 1,000 channels of on-demand entertainment. "The 777 is the world's most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane and Emirates has contributed significantly to the 777 program's success, both in becoming the now largest 777 airline customer and through its continued feedback on quality step improvements we've made to the airplane," said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for the Middle East, Central and South Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With suppliers around the world contributing to and benefitting from 777 production, Emirates' investment toward building the world's largest Boeing 777 fleet has played a role in maintaining and strengthening the global aviation manufacturing industry."

DTN News: Air India Considers Cancelling Delivery Of Six Boeing Aircraft

DTN News: Air India Considers Cancelling Delivery Of Six Boeing Aircraft
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - July 31, 2009: After coming under attack in Parliament over extravagant booking of aircraft, loss-hit Air India is now having second thoughts on acquisition of 111 aircraft — payments for which have added considerably to its financial woes — besides considering a proposal to cancel delivery of six Boeing aircraft, say sources. Air India operates several variants of the Boeing 777 — the Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ER. The proposal, made at a recent Air India board meeting, is seen as an attempt to bring down the annual interest burden. These six Boeing aircraft, likely to be B777’s, are part of the total 68 Boeing aircraft ordered by the national carrier. The list price of a single such aircraft varies from $165 million to $200 million. However, the negotiated price for Air India could be much lower because of the huge size of the order. A top airline official told The Indian Express that the airline was now trying to work out the ‘cost economics’ of cancellation of the order. “Since these are firm orders, there are likely to be huge penalties, and the airline has already made some advance payments for acquisition of these aircraft,” said the official. By September-end this year, three Boeing 777’s would be inducted in the fleet, leaving only six Boeing 777’s to be delivered by 2012.
In 2005, Air India had more than doubled the order for aircraft from around 24 to 68 in 2005, which got approved in the same year. The aircraft acquisition plan recently came under attack in Parliament where questions were raised on the rationale behind such a huge order. Sources in the Planning Commission reveal that Air India failed to back the aircraft acquisition plan with a viable business plan.
Currently, for servicing the total aircraft order, which is set to cost the airline around a little over $11 billion, the airline has to shell out $1.2 billion annually as capital repayment and interest. The aircraft acquisition issue also figured prominently in a recent meeting of the Committee of Secretaries, chaired by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar. A bleak outlook for the aviation sector and slump in passenger traffic have forced most airlines to trim their fleet as they reduce capacity, and even cancel some aircraft deliveries. When contacted, Air India spokesperson Jitendra Bhargav expressed his ignorance on the matter and added that SBI Caps had been given the mandate to draw a financial restructuring plan that would submit its report on all matters including aircraft acquisition. The airline currently has a fleet of 148 aircraft. Earlier, civil aviation minister Praful Patel had said that Nacil’s borrowings had risen steeply from Rs 6,550 crore in November 2007 to Rs 15,241 crore in June 2009. “This has been largely due to servicing of debt on account of purchase of new aircraft as also operating losses which have compounded due to economic recession and high oil prices,” Patel said. The company is likely to post losses of around Rs 5,000 crore for the fiscal 2008-09 and has already exhausted its working capital limit of Rs 16,000 crore.