Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DTN News: Swedish Armed Forces To Deploy Additional 20 RG32 Light Armoured Patrol Vehicles To Afghanistan

DTN News: Swedish Armed Forces To Deploy Additional 20 RG32 Light Armoured Patrol Vehicles To Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - August 18, 2009: Swedish Armed Forces efforts to provide more type RG32 light armoured patrol vehicles to troops in Afghanistan are in full swing right now -- a complicated but vital task.
The RG-32 Scout is a family of mine-resistant 4x4 light armoured vehicles made by BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (formerly Land Systems OMC) in South Africa. It is based on the RG-31, which is already deployed worldwide with peace-keeping, security and combat forces. The vehicle crew is protected against 5.56x45mm NATO ball ammunition, grenades, firebombs, anti-personnel mines and side blasts. The five-seat version also offers protection against anti-tank mines and side blasts. Up to three RG-32s can be transported in a C-130 cargo aircraft.*
Additional night vision equipment and machine guns are also being despatched there. The Swedish Armed Forces continuously assess the situation in the mission area to ensure all necessary changes are made in terms of both equipment and personnel.
The planning work on despatching the vehicles began as early as last winter, when the Army Tactical Support Staff (ATS) produced a plan to ensure the equipment would be available as soon as possible in 2009.
At present more than 15 RG32s are in service in Afghanistan and an additional 20 are due to arrive in the autumn.
“Naturally we want the equipment in place as soon as possible. But achieving this in the middle of the ongoing mission in Afghanistan is complex and time consuming,” explains Berndt Grundevik, Inspector General of the Swedish Army.
When the Swedish Armed Forces began its mission in Afghanistan in 2002 the security situation was different to what it is today. The type of vehicle and equipment was chosen according to the prevailing circumstances at that time.
“The situation is different today which means we need other vehicles and equipment,” says Grundevik.
As the mission in Afghanistan is a long-term undertaking, further changes can become necessary in the future. 18 RG32s fitted with type 58 machine guns are now due to be sent the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLT) in Afghanistan and these should be available for operational deployment this autumn.
It also means troops will be able to fire the machine guns from the vehicles. “This sounds fantastic. When the new equipment is available we will be properly equipped to perform the tasks facing us,” says Thomas Lindell, Head of the Swedish OMLT group.
During the first half of 2009, the Swedish Armed Forces have also supplied one platoon with the Combat Vehicle 90, several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance tasks and increased medevac teams by 40 percent.
The Swedish OMLT is made up of a group of Swedish officers and soldiers whose task is to act as mentors to the Afghan army.
They are currently supporting commanders at corps and brigade level and from November also at battalion level. They are based at Camp Mike Spann, approximately 12 kilometres southwest of Mazar-e-Sharif.

DTN News: Russia Set To Modernize Libya's Soviet-Era Tanks

DTN News: Russia Set To Modernize Libya's Soviet-Era Tanks *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - August 18, 2009: Russia and Libya have signed a contract to overhaul at least 145 T-72 Russian-made battle tanks in service with the Libyan Army, a senior government official said on Monday. The Russian T-72 main battle tank was produced at the Malyshev HMB Plant, based in Kharkov, Ukraine and at UKBM Nizhny Tagil, Russian Federation and produced under licence in a number of countries. The T-72 first entered production in 1972 and an estimated 50,000 have been built. The T-72 has been exported to: Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Hungary, India, Iran, Libya, Poland, Romania, Syria and Yugoslavia. Hungary donated 77 T-72 tanks to the government of Iraq in November 2005. The T-72A tank was in production until 1985, along with export versions T-72M and T-72M1. The T-72B entered production in 1985. The export version of the T-72B, the T-72S has a new engine and suspension system and is configured for mounting explosive reactive armour (ERA). Moscow and Tripoli have been involved in talks on the modernization of the T-72 tanks since 2006 as part of renewed efforts to revive bilateral military-technical cooperation. "Work has been conducted in the Libyan direction, and we have already made headway after signing a number of contracts with the country over the past year, including on the modernization of T-72 tanks," Konstantin Biryulin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said in an interview with RIA Novosti. The official said talks on Russian arms deliveries to Libya are underway, but refused to disclose any details of the future contracts due to their confidential nature. "I do not want to help our competitors in their work [on the Libyan arms market]," Biryulin said. Russia has encountered tough competition with Western nations in arms sales to Tripoli since the UN lifted sanctions against Libya in 2003, when the Libyan president announced he would halt the country's nuclear weapons program and accepted responsibility for the 1998 terrorist bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland, agreeing to pay compensation to the victims' families. Libya was one of the largest buyers of Russian-made armaments in the second half of the 20th century. Tripoli has acquired from the Soviet Union more than 2,000 tanks, 2,000 armored infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, about 450 self-propelled artillery pieces, as well as a number of combat aircraft and large quantities of small arms since the beginning of the 1970s. Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy director of the Russian Center for Strategic and Technological Analysis, said last year that future Russian arms contracts with Libya could be worth up to $4 billion, and include the total overhaul of Libya's obsolete arsenal of tanks. "In particular, over 100 T-72s require an urgent overhaul, and the same refers to the T-62, T-55 and T-54 tanks, which constitute the backbone of the Libyan Army," the analyst said.

DTN News: South Korea Counts Down To Rocket, Satellite Launch

DTN News: South Korea Counts Down To Rocket, Satellite Launch
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - August 18, 2009: South Korea was counting down Aug. 18 to the launch of its first space rocket, a move aimed at joining Asia's space race despite protests from rival North Korea. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, South Korea's first space rocket, sits on its launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, south of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. South Korea will launch the country's first rocket on Wednesday. Officials said the rocket, partially built by Russia would blast off late in the afternoon of Aug. 19, weather permitting, and put into orbit a South Korean-built 22-pound (100-kilogram) satellite. A successful launch from the Naro Space Centre at Goheung, 300 miles (475 kilometers) south of Seoul, will mean the nation has joined an elite club of nine nations which have put a satellite into orbit. Security was tight around the launch site, where about 1,600 police were on guard. The defense ministry said a squadron of fighter jets and an Aegis-class warship would deploy in the area. The blast-off has been delayed several times from late 2008 for technical reasons. South Korea has sent 10 satellites into space using launch vehicles from other countries. In November 2007, Seoul announced a plan to launch a lunar orbiter by 2020 and send a probe to the moon five years after that. It unveiled the project one month after China launched its first lunar orbiter and two months after Japan did the same. In April 2008, Seoul sent its first astronaut into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. It has spent 502.5 billion won ($419 million) since 2002 to produce the 108-foot (33-meter) rocket, with the first stage built solely by Russia and the second by local engineers. North Korea, smarting over U.N. Security Council censure of its own rocket launch in April, has said it will watch closely to see whether world powers also refer the South's launch to the Council. Pyongyang insists it was unfairly punished for its April 5 launch, saying it put a peaceful communications satellite into orbit. Washington and its allies say no satellite was detected in orbit and the North's launch was a disguised test of a Taepodong-2 missile. Seoul has bristled at any comparisons with the North's operation, insisting its launch is purely for scientific purposes. "North Korea is not happy with South Korea acquiring advanced space rocket technology," Baek Seung-Joo of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses told AFP. But he noted that the South's launch would not cause global concern since Seoul has faithfully observed international accords. Science ministry officials denied Seoul is using Russian technology because Washington refused to transfer know-how. "That's not because of objections from Washington. We picked Russia after comparing price and other terms," a ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. He refused to comment on newspaper reports that Russia had been under pressure from Washington to limit technology transfer. Park Jeong-Joo, director of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, told journalists in July that Seoul "experienced a lot of difficulties in securing technology cooperation from developed countries." Seoul's closest ally Washington, concerned about a possible arms race in northeast Asia, has sought to restrict South Korea's missile development. A 2001 accord with the United States bars South Korea from developing missiles with a range of more than 187 miles (300 kilometers).

DTN News: Russia, Mongolia Hold Joint Military Exercises

DTN News: Russia, Mongolia Hold Joint Military Exercises *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) CHITA (Siberia), Russia - August 18, 2009: Russia and Mongolia are holding joint tactical exercises to practice interoperability during peacekeeping operations, the press service for Russia's Siberian Military District has said. The drills, dubbed Darkhan-2, are being held in Mongolia and involve a Russian engineer maintenance battalion numbering about 200 military personnel and 90 vehicles from the Siberian Military District, as well as a number of Mongolian military units. "Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov [commander of the Siberian Military District] and a group of staff officers arrived in Mongolia to inspect the deployment of the Russian troops participating in the exercise," the press service said. The Darkhan-2 exercise started on Monday and will continue until September 15. Last year, the two countries held a similar exercise, Darkhan-1, in the central and northern parts of Mongolia. The drills involved 250 Mongolian and 450 Russian troops, including a repair battalion from the Siberian Military District.

DTN News: Embraer Delivers Restored CBA 123 Aircraft To Musal

DTN News: Embraer Delivers Restored CBA 123 Aircraft To Musal *Source: DTN News / Embraer
(NSI News Source Info) Sao Jose dos Campos - August 18, 2009: Embraer delivered the second prototype of the CBA 123 airplane, last Friday, to the Aerospace Museum (Museu Aeroespacial – MUSAL). The ceremony was held at the museum, at Campo dos Afonsos, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Embraer restored the aircraft as part of the activities in commemoration of the Company’s 40th anniversary, and it will be on display in the main exhibition hall, next to the first prototype of the Bandeirante, which was the first airplane manufactured by Embraer. The Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector was a 1990 turboprop aircraft designed for regional flights, to carry up to 19 passengers. The program arose from a partnership between the Brazilian company Embraer and the Argentine company Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) (now named Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina SA). The project was an advanced turbopropeller aircraft for its time, including advanced technology in avionics, aerodynamics, and propulsion.* “It is a great honor for Embraer to see the CBA 123 exhibited in Brazil’s largest aerospace museum,” said Pedro Ferraz, Director of the Embraer Education and Research Institute. “We have a very special place in our hearts for this airplane. Although it was not produced in series, for commercial reasons, the CBA 123 represented a significant technological advance for Brazil’s aeronautics industry. It will undoubtedly be well cared for at the MUSAL.” Students in the general mechanics course of the National Industrial Apprenticeship Service (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial – SENAI) participated in the restoration of the second prototype of the CBA 123, tail number PT-ZVB, which was concluded last May. The airplane was exhibited, in June, to employees at Embraer’s headquarters, in São José dos Campos, outstate São Paulo, and later transferred to Rio de Janeiro. “We are very proud to receive the CBA 123, which will further enrich MUSAL’s collection,” said Air Force Major-General Márcio Bhering Cardoso, the museum’s Director. “We already have other historic Embraer airplanes, like the Bandeirante, the Xavante, and the AMX. Now, visitors will get to know another aircraft produced by the Company.” The MUSAL (www.musal.aer.mil.br), which was founded in 1973, covers 163,500 square feet (15,195 square meters), including a two-story building and five hangars. The exhibition rooms hold the main historical collections of aviation pioneers and the main hall shows the museum’s oldest aircraft to an average annual attendance of 60,000 visitors.

DTN News: U.S. Navy 688i-Class Submarines ~ New Sub Hatch Is BAE Systems’ Latest Innovation

DTN News: U.S. Navy 688i-Class Submarines ~ New Sub Hatch Is BAE Systems’ Latest Innovation *Source: DTN News / BAE Systems
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 18, 2009: U.S. Navy 688i-class submarines are now plying the ocean depths with greater assurance against water intrusion, thanks to BAE Systems employees in Middletown, Rhode Island. A team from the company’s Technology Solutions & Services business area developed new hatches for the 688i's missile tubes, the cylinders through which the attack sub launches weapons. (Photo: 668i submarines ~ BAE Systems engineered new missile tube hatches for 668i submarines, much like these) Engineers in Middletown provided, from concept to reality, specialized components for the hatches, which sit atop each of the vessel's missile launchers. The new design, which provides a watertight seal and a smooth mechanism for opening and closing the hatches, resulted from work performed under contract to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC). BAE Systems has supported the NUWC for more than 30 years. "The Navy tasked us with the concept, the final design, and the engineering of all aspects of the project," said design specialist Eric Lee. "We even assisted with the prototype installation and the first production installation." Lee and his colleagues performed all phases of the components' development, including the initial drawings, material selection, structural analysis, and final prototyping. They also used 3-D solid modelling to construct the complex shapes of the sub and its hatches, a step that allowed them to move quickly from preliminary design to production. Lee is one of about 140 employees based in Middletown and in Groton, Connecticut, who provide a wide range of engineering and technical services to NUWC. Last year, this team won two five-year task orders worth a total of $47 million for engineering and technical services in support of the Navy's submarine fleet. The work includes systems design and fabrication, documentation and program management support, and assembly and installation of prototype hardware. Another recent Middletown engineering success is the Electrical Towed Array Deployment Device. It's a mechanism for applying a measured pulling force to the submarine's thin-line towed array. Using complex control electronics, the device maintains a tight tug on the line while avoiding contact with parts of the towed array that could be damaged. The team also is attracting the attention of other Navy offices, helping the Naval Air Systems Command, or NAVAIR, maintain and upgrade aging aircraft. For example, the team designed a sealing system on the cargo doors of C-2 Greyhound planes. Component manufacturing is now under way.

DTN News: Irkut Corporation Latest Achievements In The Field Of Combat And Commercial Aviation To Be Presented At MAKS-2009

DTN News: Irkut Corporation Latest Achievements In The Field Of Combat And Commercial Aviation To Be Presented At MAKS-2009
*Source: DTN News / Irkut Corporation
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - August 18, 2009: At MAKS-2009 to be open at Zhukovsky on August, 18th, 2009 IRKUT Corporation presents it latest achievements in the field of combat and commercial aviation. During MAKS Irkutsk Aviation Plant – IRKUT Corporation subsidiary – is to celebrate the 75th Anniversary. On August, 18th, 1934 the Act of approval was signed on the No. 125 Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAP) construction completed to enlist the enterprise as an acting one. On August 24th, 1934 the celebration ceremony to open the IAP main shops took place. IRKUT Corporation is to present several latest products. (Photo: Yak-130 Combat Trainers) Guests of MAKS-2009 will be able to see the first Yak-130 combat trainer for the Russian Air Force. Also for the first time another Yak-130 aircraft with the English-language cockpit instruments for the export customer will take part in the flight demonstration program. The Yak-130 has been developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau which is a part of the IRKUT Corporation. At the IRKUT Corporation exposition (Booth 1 Hall F1) the Yak-130 combat simulator as well as IRKUT Corporation military programs information is available. At the IRKUT Corporation exposition (Booth 7, Hall F2) one can get acquainted with the company latest project – MC-21 mid-range commercial aircraft family. This aircraft is the most advanced Russia’s aviation industry project in the field of commercial aviation with IRKUT Corporation as a prime contractor. The Corporation exposition presents a wide range of the UAVs for commercial application. Among them Irkut-3, Irkut-10, the latest Irkut-200, as well as DA-42 optionally manned aircraft, being developed with a foreign partner. Be-200ChS amphibian developed by Beriev TANTK – also a part of IRKUT Corporation - could be seen at static display. The Corporation “business card”, namely Su-30MKI supermaneuverable fighter will participate in the flight demonstration. Su-30MKI family aircraft are in production at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant for India, Malaysia and Algeria. IRKUT Corporation Oleg Demchenko states: “Moscow International Aerospace Salon – is the main exposition for our Corporation. That’s why we present here the whole range of our products including the prospective ones. The IRKUT exposition reflects our success not just within the export-oriented aircraft but a growing demand for new technology stressed by the Russian customers”. Oleg Demchenko press-conference is scheduled on August, 19th, 13.00 at Press-conference Hall 2B.

DTN News: Russian Air Force Could Get 60 Su-Family Jet Fighters By 2015

DTN News: Russian Air Force Could Get 60 Su-Family Jet Fighters By 2015
*Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - August 18, 2009: Russia's Air Force may receive over 60 Su fighters worth at least 60 billion rubles ($1.9 bln) under a contract expected to be signed at the MAKS-2009 air show. "Contracts have been drafted to supply 48 Su-35, four Su-30M2 and 12 Su-27M fighters by 2015. They are expected to be signed on the opening day of the air show," a Russian defense industry source said on Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry is yet to provide an official comment. According to open sources, the cost of a Su-35 fighter, billed as "4++ generation using fifth-generation technology," is estimated at up to $1.4 billion. The Su-35 fighter, powered by two 117S engines with thrust vectoring, combines high maneuverability and the capability to effectively engage several air targets simultaneously using both guided and unguided missiles and weapon systems. The aircraft also features the new Irbis-E radar with a phased antenna array, which allows the pilot to detect and track up to 30 air targets, while simultaneously engaging up to eight targets. It is equipped with a 30-mm cannon with 150 rounds, and can carry up to eight metric tons of combat payload on 12 external mounts. Russia's Air Force commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said in July that up to three air regiments will be equipped with Su-35 fighters in the future. Russia also plans to export at least 160 Su-35 fighters to several countries including India, Malaysia and Algeria. Meanwhile, the MAKS-2009 air show, which opens on August 18 at the Zhukovsky airfield southeast of Moscow, has been overshadowed by a mid-air collision of two Su-27 fighters from Russia's elite aerobatics group Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) on Sunday. The commander of the group, Col. Igor Tkachenko, was killed in the accident, while two other pilots and five civilians were severely injured. However, the organizer of the MAKS-2009 air show has said the event will go ahead as planned.

DTN News: 2 Philippine Helicopters Hit By Rebel Fire

DTN News: 2 Philippine Helicopters Hit By Rebel Fire *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MANILA, Philippines - August 18, 2009: Suspected al-Qaida-linked militants fired at two low-flying military helicopters Sunday near a southern Philippine village where deadly clashes erupted last week, wounding two journalists and a government photographer, officials said. Philippine marines walk past residents of Jolo island in southern Philippines during a patrol August 17, 2009. The UH-1H Huey helicopters, carrying air force crewmen, a TV crew from the state-run National Broadcasting Network and a government photographer, made an emergency landing in Lamitan city on Basilan Island, regional military commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino said. Government troops stormed two strongholds of the Abu Sayyaf Muslim extremist group last Wednesday in predominantly Muslim Basilan, about 550 miles (880 kilometers) south of Manila, sparking fierce daylong clashes that killed 23 soldiers and 31 militants, the military said. It said the encampments were used for bomb-making training and to detain kidnapping victims. Rear Adm. Alex Pama, who helped supervise Wednesday's offensive _ the deadliest in years _ said Abu Sayyaf gunmen who were being hunted by troops may have fired at the helicopters. This photo taken on October 4, 2008 shows armed separatist Muslim guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) raising their rifles after they declared red alert status around Camp Darapanan, the rebels' base in Maguindanao province, southern Philippines. The Philippine armed forces on July 23, 2009 said it has suspended its "punitive operations" against Muslim separatist rebels in the strife-torn south to pave the way for peace talks. The Hueys were flying back to a military camp in Zamboanga city at low altitude because of low clouds when both were hit. They did not return fire because there were civilian houses nearby, Pama said. Metal debris hit a TV journalist, a cameraman and a photographer, Dolorfino said. The three were briefly treated at a hospital, Pama said. The Abu Sayyaf is on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations and is suspected of having received funds and training from al-Qaida. Although weakened by yearslong U.S.-backed offensives, about 400 Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Basilan and nearby Jolo Island and the Zamboanga peninsula have recently turned to ransom kidnappings to raise funds for terror attacks.

DTN News: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Says Pakistan Militants Planning Fresh Attacks

DTN News: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Says Pakistan Militants Planning Fresh Attacks *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - August 18, 2009: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that militants in Pakistan were plotting new attacks on India as he urged security forces to stay on high alert. Kashmiri militants shout slogans during a public meeting to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day in Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Around a dozen Kashmiri militant groups gathered publicly to urge Pakistan to lift bans against the Islamist organisation India blames for the Mumbai attacks and its political arm. "We appeal on the government of Pakistan to lift the ban against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) because no Kashmiri jihadi organisation was involved in the Mumbai attacks," Syed Salahuddin, head of the militant Hizbul Mujahideen, told the gathering of around 1,000 people. "There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks," Singh told a summit on internal security attended by the chief ministers from India's states. "After the Mumbai attacks, we have put in place additional measures. There is need for continued utmost vigilance," added Singh, who also pointed to the threat posed by left-wing militants in the east of the country. India has boosted its security to prevent assaults after the attacks in the country's financial capital Mumbai in November, in which gunmen killed 166 people. "All states need to actively share intelligence information to avert any terror attack," he said. India's intelligence-gathering techniques were severely criticised after their collective failure to thwart the bloody Mumbai attacks. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training cross-border militants in Muslim-majority Kashmir -- a charge Islamabad vehemently denies. Singh said cross-border terrorism remained a "most pervasive" threat. The two nuclear-armed countries have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and came dangerously close to a fourth following an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 by militants New Delhi said came from Pakistan. Singh said militants were operating far beyond the confines of the insurgency-hit northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. "There has been a surge in infiltration this year, which is disturbing," he said. On Saturday's 62nd anniversary of India's independence from British rule, the prime minister had stated in his speech that the government was working to eradicate violent extremism from the country's soil. India's Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told the summit that the country had faced no terror strike after the Mumbai attacks but "it does not mean that the threat of terror has vanished or receded". In the wake of the comments, Pakistan assured India of its "fullest cooperation" in preventing fresh acts of terror. India's deputy high commissioner was called to Pakistan's foreign ministry and told Singh's remarks "warrant serious and prompt attention", the ministry said in a statement. "In all sincerity, we would request India to share information that they have and for our part we stand ready to cooperate fully in pre-empting any act of terror," the Pakistan statement added. The prime minister also said India faced another serious challenge from left-wing extremism, namely Maoists who have inflicted heavy casualties on security forces. India's Maoists, also known as the Naxals, say they are fighting for the rights of neglected tribal people and landless farmers. They are now active in more than half of the country's 29 states -- particularly in the east, the poorest part of India. Estimates of their numbers nationwide range between 10,000 and 20,000, but little is known about their shadowy leadership. To deal with the Maoist crisis, Chidambaram announced a multi-pronged strategy at the summit. "We will talk, we will act, we will restore order and we will undertake developmental activities in Naxal-hit areas," he said.

DTN News: General Dynamics NASSCO Launches USNS Matthew Perry

DTN News: General Dynamics NASSCO Launches USNS Matthew Perry
*Source: DTN News / General Dynamics
(NSI News Source Info) SAN DIEGO - August 18, 2009: General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), yesterday Aug 17., launched the U.S. Navy’s newest supply ship, USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9), during a christening ceremony at the shipyard.
USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE-9) is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship of the United States Navy, named in honor of Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794–1858), who led the effort to open Japan to trade with the West. The contract to build Matthew Perry was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) of San Diego, California, on 30 January 2006. Her keel was laid down on 3 October 2008. She was launched and christened on 16 August 2009, sponsored by Hester Evans, a great-great-great granddaughter of Commodore Perry.*
The ship is named in honor of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, the U.S. Navy officer who established American trade with Japan in the mid-19th Century.
Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, the commander of the U.S. Navy’s 3rd Fleet, was the ceremony’s principal speaker. Ms. Hester Evans, the great-great-great granddaughter of Commodore Perry and the ship’s sponsor, christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the bow before the 689-foot-long ship slid into San Diego Bay.
More than 2,000 people attended the ceremony.Commodore Perry (1794-1858), the younger brother of Battle of Lake Erie hero Oliver Hazard Perry, received a midshipman commission in January 1809. Over the next 43 years, he commanded three ships and two squadrons of ships. In March 1852, he was selected to lead a U.S. mission to Japan, a country that had been essentially closed to outsiders for 200 years.
Through Perry’s stately negotiations, the Convention of Kanagawa treaty was signed on March 31, 1854. The treaty provided that humane treatment be extended to U.S. sailors shipwrecked in Japanese territory, that U.S. ships be permitted to buy coal in Japan, and that the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate be opened to U.S. commerce. Perry lived his final years in New York City following his mission to Japan.
USNS Matthew Perry is the ninth ship of the Lewis and Clark (T-AKE) class of dry cargo-ammunition ships for the Navy, and the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after Commodore Perry.
NASSCO began constructing the ship in April 2008 and is scheduled to deliver it to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command in the first quarter of 2010. When the Matthew Perry joins the fleet, its primary mission will be to deliver more than 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships on the move at sea.
General Dynamics NASSCO employs more than 4,500 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. NASSCO has delivered seven T-AKE ships to the Navy and is under contract to build five additional T-AKE ships, including the Matthew Perry. The Navy has also provided long-lead material funding to NASSCO for two more ships for a total class of 14 T-AKE vessels.
The shipyard is also building a series of five commercial product carriers for American Petroleum Tankers, a shipbuilding joint venture led by the Blackstone Financial Group. Additional information on NASSCO can be found at http://www.nassco.com/.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at www.gd.com

DTN News: U.S. Navy Awards Lockheed Martin $93 Million to Support Submarine Imaging System

DTN News: U.S. Navy Awards Lockheed Martin $93 Million to Support Submarine Imaging System *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) MANASSAS, VA, - August 18, 2009: The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a contract valued at almost $93 million for engineering services and support of the AN/BVY-1 Integrated Submarine Imaging System (ISIS) and for production of related hardware. ISIS integrates visual and digital imagery into submarine periscopes. It provides all-weather, visual, and electronic search, digital image management, indication, warning, and platform architecture interface capabilities for the SSN 688 Los Angeles Class, SSN 21 Seawolf Class, the SSGN Ohio Class, and the SSN 774 Virginia Class submarines, with potential application to the SSBN Trident Class submarines and other submarines. ISIS revolutionizes Navy submarine surveillance capabilities by integrating digital video and still images from devices on a submarine’s exterior and presenting real-time imagery and analysis on crews' existing control room tactical displays. “With ISIS, a submarine operator can manipulate a photonics mast with a joystick, while looking at digital video on a computer monitor, and share that video real-time with the entire combat team on various displays aboard the vessel,” said Denise Saiki, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Undersea Systems business. ISIS also provides submarine operators with additional image enhancement and analysis tools; active and passive range finding control; and recording, storage and recall options for imagery and associated data. In addition, the system’s infrared cameras can enhance images and transmit them from the submarine to other naval and joint forces. ISIS supports both periscope and photonic mast applications. Lockheed Martin began design work and testing of a portion of the inboard hardware and software for ISIS in 2004 that was first installed in a U.S. Navy submarine in 2006. In total, Lockheed Martin has delivered components for 20 ISIS systems for Los Angeles-class attack submarines and four configurations for Ohio-class guided missile submarines. ISIS is also scheduled to become the image processing system for the Virginia-class submarine. Under the new contract, Lockheed Martin will continue to provide design, development, testing, technology insertion/refreshment, production engineering, field engineering and system support services for ISIS. Some industry partners include 3Phoenix, In-Depth Engineering Corporation and SONALYSTS. 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: Boeing Awarded Production Contract For US Navy Shipboard Network

DTN News: Boeing Awarded Production Contract For US Navy Shipboard Network *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., - August 18, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a $14.6 million U.S. Navy contract to produce the information transfer system that controls mission-critical capabilities on guided missile destroyers. The production of six shipsets of the Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS) AN/USQ-82(V) further strengthens Boeing's support for the Navy's modernization efforts on DDG 51-class warships. The equipment will be retrofitted on the USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and three foreign navy vessels. The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va., awarded the contract, which also includes spares. Boeing's partnership with the Navy on GEDMS and its predecessor systems spans more than 35 years. "This equipment represents the most current version of the information transfer system Boeing has been providing to the Navy for many years," said Jay Nieto, GEDMS program manager for Boeing. "It enhances reliability, maintainability and survivability by managing data from the ship's most basic systems, including navigation, steering control, damage control, machinery control, combat and internal communications." Boeing has previously delivered GEDMS modification kits for the USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), which are under construction, and is on track for delivery to the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) later this year for the start of this phase of the DDG modernization program. In addition, Boeing recently received a separate contract from the Navy's Dahlgren Division to continue providing the network design and technical engineering services for GEDMS. "We are delighted to ramp up our production efforts on GEDMS with this six-shipset order," Nieto said. "As the design agent, we strive for continuous improvement in our services to our customer, and this additional work on the production side of the house will allow us to further strengthen that commitment." Boeing's Command, Control and Communications (C3) Networks division will perform design and production in Huntington Beach, Calif. Boeing field service representatives are based at manufacturing and modernization shipyards across the United States in order to provide the Navy with seamless hands-on support during GEDMS system installation and checkout. 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. Contact: Paula R. Shawa Boeing C3 Networks Communications Office: 714-372-1694 Mobile: 714-290-3975 paula.r.shawa@boeing.com Cheryl Sampson Boeing C3 Networks Communications Office: 714-934-9373 Mobile: 714-330-8021 cheryl.a.sampson@boeing.com

DTN News: Final Lockheed Martin-Built Modernized GPS IIR Spacecraft Launched Successfully For The U.S. Air Force

DTN News: Final Lockheed Martin-Built Modernized GPS IIR Spacecraft Launched Successfully For The U.S. Air Force
*Next-Generation GPS III System Progressing on-schedule in Critical Design Review Phase
*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., - August 18, 2009: A modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the U.S. Air Force was successfully launched yesterday Aug 17., from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket. This program will improve position, navigation, and timing services for the warfighter and civil users worldwide and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability. Under the Development and Production contract, the team of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, ITT Corporation, and General Dynamics, will produce the first two GPS IIIA satellites with the first launch projected for 2014. The contract also includes options for up to 10 additional spacecraft. Eight GPS IIIB and 16 GPS IIIC satellites are planned for later increments, with each increment including additional capabilities based on technical maturity. When fully deployed, the GPS III constellation will feature a cross-linked command and control architecture, allowing the entire GPS constellation to be updated simultaneously from a single ground station. Additionally, a new spot beam capability for enhanced military (M-Code) coverage and increased resistance to hostile jamming will be incorporated. These enhancements will contribute to improved accuracy and assured availability for military and civilian users worldwide. Designated GPS IIR-21(M), the satellite is the final in a line of eight GPS IIR-M spacecraft that the Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems team in Newtown, Pa., modernized for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. "The successful launch of this final satellite in the GPS IIR-M program is a true testament to the dedication, skill and operational excellence of our joint government-industry team," said Col. Dave Madden, the U.S. Air Force’s GPS Wing Commander. "We look forward to successfully executing a smooth and efficient on-orbit checkout and making this advanced satellite operational for the warfighter and civil users around the globe." The Block IIR-M series includes features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe – specifically a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities, and a second civil signal, providing users with an open access signal on a different frequency. Building on its success in providing progressively advanced spacecraft for the GPS constellation, Lockheed Martin is developing the next-generation GPS III spacecraft to improve position, navigation and timing services for users worldwide. The first block of the new generation satellites, known as GPS IIIA, will deliver significant enhancements over current GPS space vehicles, including a new international civil signal (L1C), and increased M-Code anti-jam power with full earth coverage for military users. “Lockheed Martin is incredibly proud of the success of this program and I applaud the joint team’s hard work and perseverance in reaching this major milestone,” said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Navigation Systems. “The successful launch of this final satellite in the GPS IIR program exemplifies not only our commitment to designing and building high-performance spacecraft, but also to delivering 100 percent mission success for our customer. We look forward to delivering even greater capabilities with the launch of the first GPS III satellite.” The satellite launched today will join six IIR-M satellites and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the current 30-spacecraft constellation. Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., is the prime contractor for the GPS IIR program. The company designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft. ITT, Clifton, N.J. supplied all 21 navigation payloads for both the IIR and IIR-M spacecraft. The Lockheed Martin-led GPS III team is progressing on schedule, with first launch of a GPS IIIA satellite on track for 2014. The program team recently completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) phase and is now in the midst of the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase. 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.