Wednesday, September 02, 2009

DTN News: Nigeria TODAY September 3, 2009 ~ Nigerian Police Claim Militants Trained In Afghanistan

DTN News: Nigeria TODAY September 3, 2009 ~ Nigerian Police Claim Militants Trained In Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LAGOS, Nigeria - September 3, 2009: Nigerian police reportedly claim that a gunman from the country's hotly-pursued militant sect has confessed to receiving training in Afghanistan.
Nigerian soldiers stand guard over weapons collected from Niger Delta militants as part of a government amnesty program, in Yenagoa, Nigeria Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009. A top militant commander and nearly 1,000 of his followers surrendered to the government Saturday, handing over rocket launchers, gunboats, guns and bullets in the biggest move since a government amnesty began two weeks ago.
The man, named Abdulrasheed Abubakar, was arrested in the northern city of Yola on Sunday during a police crackdown on the country's notorious Boko Haram gunmen, the local newspaper Next reported.
On Wednesday, the police said the 23-year-old had "confessed" that he had been paid USD 5,000 to do the training and promised USD 30,000 on his return, BBC reported.
The police has not clarified who has provided the funds to the man and whether his confession was volunteered.
"The bomb maker was trained outside the country and he is understood to possess extensive knowledge of how to handle, produce and detonate bombs of the most lethal magnitudes," the daily had quoted Altine Daniel, Police Public Relations Officer as saying.
Boko Haram, the man's alleged militant handlers, have been implicated in last July's violence in northern Nigeria which left around 700 killed. The Boko Haram was shaped in 2002 in the northeastern state capital of Maiduguri.
The group's continuous attacks against the police have made it the focus of Abuja's anti-terror efforts.

DTN News: Hong Kong TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Pilot Suspended As Severe Turbulence Hits Plane On Flight To India

DTN News: Hong Kong TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Pilot Suspended As Severe Turbulence Hits Plane On Flight To India
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) HONG KONG - September 2, 2009: A Hong Kong pilot has been removed from flying duties after the plane he was piloting hit severe turbulence on a flight to Bangalore, India, his airline said Wednesday.
Dragonair is the second largest airline of Hong Kong. It specialises in air services between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific now. Core of the fleet is a number of Airbus A330-300 aircraft. On the picture one of these is taking off from Beijing Capital Airport.
The Dragonair Airbus A330 carrying 231 passengers and 13 crew members was rocked violently for several seconds after hitting clear-air turbulence Aug 2 over the Indian Ocean on its way from Hong Kong.
No one was injured and the 'Fasten seat belt' sign was switched on as soon as the turbulence began. However, a spokeswoman for Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd said a number of passengers suffered air sickness.
The incident took place weeks after an Air France Airbus A330 crashed, killing 228 people, after running into a storm off the coast of Brazil, but the Dragonair spokeswoman insisted there were no similarities between the two incidents.
A report on the incident has been sent to the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, and the spokeswoman said in a statement: 'As is standard procedure in any such incident, the captain has stood down from duty while the investigation is conducted.
''The aircraft did not suffer a significant loss of altitude,' she said.
Passengers and cabin crew were briefed on the likelihood of turbulence before the plane took off for the over five-hour night-flight, the spokeswoman said.
Severe turbulence has been cited as a possible cause of the Air France crash June 2 after the Airbus A330 ran into an equatorial storm on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris although the reason for the tragedy remained unknown.
Clear-air turbulence is caused when bodies of air moving at greatly different speeds meet at high altitude. It is impossible to detect with the naked eye or with conventional aircraft equipment and has led to injuries and deaths in rare instances.

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Pakistani Minister Shot In Leg, Driver Killed

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Pakistani Minister Shot In Leg, Driver Killed *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - September 2, 2009: Gunmen opened fire at the vehicle of Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi near a market here Wednesday, injuring him and killing his driver, a media report said. Men carry Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi into the back of a vehicle moments after he was shot in the leg in Islamabad September 2, 2009. Unidentified gunmen shot and wounded the minister in an attack in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday that killed his driver, police said. Kazmi, a cleric and vocal opponent of Pakistan's hardline Taliban, belongs to the Barelvi sect, moderate adherents to Islamic sufi mysticism which venerates saints and their shrines. Online news agency said that motorcycle-borne assailants attacked Kazmi’s vehicle, killing driver Muhammad Younis and injuring the minister and two security guards. Kazmi was shot in his leg while Younis was hit four times. The incident took place in an area known as G-6 sector. A Pakistani police officer examines a car of Pakistan Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi after he was attacked by gunmen in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. Gunmen opened fire on the vehicle carrying Kazmi, wounding him and killing his driver, police said. The minister was immediately shifted to the Poly Clinic Hospital. Online said the assailants escaped. Hospital officials said Kazmi was out of danger after being operated upon.

DTN News: South Korea TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Korea National Police Agency Order An AgustaWestland AW119Ke

DTN News: South Korea TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Korea National Police Agency Order An AgustaWestland AW119Ke *Source: DTN News / AgustaWestland
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - September 2, 2009: AgustaWestland and UI International (UII) are pleased to announce they have been awarded a contract by the Korean Public Procurement Services to supply the Korea National Police Agency (KNPA) with one AW119Ke law enforcement helicopter as part of an on-going programme to modernise the Police helicopter fleet.
AugustaWestland will deliver a AW119Ke enforcement helicopter to the Korea National Police Agency (KNPA) as a part of the police force's modernisation plan. The AW119 Koala enhanced is an eight-seat single-engine helicopter that can be used for a variety of missions including utility, passenger transport, emergency medical services and law enforcement. To support law enforcement, the helicopter will be equipped with a powerful search light and a cargo hook will be fitted for utility operations. The AW119Ke is the first to be purchased by the Korean Government and the third law enforcement helicopter sold into the Korean market. The addition to the KNPA fleet of law enforcement helicopters will represent a step up in capability for the Korean law enforcement service in the country, according to a Augusta statement. UI Helicopter has established an approved AgustaWestland customer support facility in Korea to provide local support to the KNPA.
This is the first AW119Ke to be purchased by the Korean Government and the third law enforcement helicopter sold into the Korean market. It will join two KNPA AW109 helicopters that have been in service for a number of years.
The AW119 Koala enhanced is a spacious 8 seat single engine helicopter developed to enhance safety and provide high productivity and performance at a competitive price.
The large unobstructed cabin permits rapid re-configuration for a variety of missions such as utility, passenger transport, emergency medical services and the very popular law enforcement role. The high power margins deliver outstanding performance that makes the AW119Ke the most cost effective helicopter in its class.
AgustaWestland and United Industries International believe that this latest addition to the KNPA fleet of law enforcement helicopters will represent a step up in capability for the Korean Law Enforcement service in the country.
To support the role the helicopter will be equipped with a powerful search light and cargo hook for utility operations. UI Helicopter (UIH), a subsidiary of the UI Group has established a fully approved AgustaWestland Customer Support Facility in Korea to provide local support to the KNPA. Earlier this year the first AW139 helicopter was delivered to the Gangwon Fire Fighting Department marking the first delivery into Korea of this popular new generation medium twin engine helicopter.
Three more AW139 helicopters are scheduled to be delivered into Korea before the end of this year and AgustaWestland has high hopes that the Korean market will provide an excellent opportunity for the AW139 and other AgustaWestland products.

DTN News: China Puts Up A Fighter ~ J-XX The PLAAF’s Plans For A Stealthy Fifth Generation Fighter

DTN News: China Puts Up A Fighter ~ J-XX The PLAAF’s Plans For A Stealthy Fifth Generation Fighter
*Beijing's fifth-generation military challenge to the U.S.
*Source: DTN News / TheWall Street Journal By Richard D. Fisher Jr.
(NSI News Source Info) ZHUKOVSKY, Russia - September 2, 2009: With few exceptions, Beijing rarely says much of substance about its ongoing military build-up or its strategic thinking. But the overriding message from the recent Moscow Airshow and other airshows, plus occasional interviews with Chinese and Russian engineers, is that Beijing is not conceding next-generation air superiority to anyone, least of all the United States. There is very little information available about the J-XX. The existence of the program was first disclosed by US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in 1997 when J-XX was described as a 4th generation fighter to enter the service around 2015. China, however, tends to use Russian parlance, and in Russian parlance J-XX is a fifth generation fighter. Much of the information actually available is speculation - other information confuses the J-10, intended as the PLAAF answer to the latest variants of F-16, with J-XX. J-XX might be designated with J numbers between J-12 and J-14. The project has completed a stage equivalent to the USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program of the early 1980s. The fighter is thought to be in the early stages of what later led to the F/A-22 Raptor.* Exhibit A is Beijing's long-running effort to build a fifth-generation fighter plane equivalent to the U.S. F-22 and F-35. Such planes use extensive stealth and advanced radar and can usually "supercruise," or fly supersonically for extended periods without using fuel-guzzling afterburners.
In what may be the only public reference to the program by a Chinese official, the Commander of the People's Liberation Army Navy mentioned their requirement for a fighter capable of "supersonic cruise" during 60th anniversary celebrations in April. Today this can only be achieved by the U.S. F-22A Raptor, the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter. To be sure, China faces many technical obstacles. Development of advanced engines capable of 15-ton thrust levels is a particularly serious bottleneck. But China's fifth-generation efforts date back to the early 1990s and will start with two heavy fighters from China's two main fighter companies.
A Chinese source told me in early 2005 that the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, famous for developing the fourth-generation J-10 fighter, was considering the development of a medium-weight fifth-generation plane comparable to the F-35. This could mean that Chengdu's fighter will be built in vertical take-off and aircraft carrier versions. In 2006, the competing Shenyang Aircraft Corporation revealed a concept for a single-engine forward-swept-wing fighter that would be highly maneuverable and potentially stealthy. It seems the PLA envisions two levels to its program: a heavy fighter for maintaining air superiority, and a medium-weight plane that's cheaper and more versatile. Even before China's fifth-generation fighter flies, advances in electronics and engines will enable new "four-plus" generation fighters, like the J-10B that recently began flight testing. These fighters and eventual fifth-generation fighters will pose a more effective challenge to current and future U.S. air forces, and will make obsolete the fourth-generation fighter fleets of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The U.S. Navy currently has no program for a fifth-generation fighter as good as the F-22, but instead intends to rely on the slower F-35C, which is optimized for attack missions. The PLA aims to use these programs as a vehicle for beefing up its research and development capacity to reduce its reliance on Russian and other foreign technologies. A Ukrainian source here disclosed that his company is in discussions with Chengdu-associated institutes on the development of what could become a second fifth-generation engine program for China. But an official with the Sukhoi fighter company, which has sold many planes to China, stated pointedly that they are not helping China with its fifth-generation program. They're cooperating with India instead on New Delhi's own fifth-generation fighter development. Russia's main reason appears to be business; China has not signed a treaty protecting intellectual property. China could be motivated by technological nationalism. China's moves to go it alone could have several consequences. Beijing's current reliance on Russian technologies effectively gives Moscow a veto over China's sales of its planes to third parties. As Beijing gains expertise designing its own indigenous engines, it will free itself from this constraint, allowing greater latitude to sell advanced fighters for its own aims. The new J-10B may already be slated for Pakistan, advancing the arms race on the Indian subcontinent. There are worrying signs that the U.S. either does not fully appreciate the consequences of Chinese advanced fourth-generation and fifth-generation fighters entering the market, or is willfully ignoring them.
In July, Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly predicted that by 2020 "nearly 1,100 [combat aircraft in the U.S. Air Force] will be the most advanced fifth-generation F-35s and F-22s. China, by contrast, is projected to have no fifth-generation aircraft by 2020. And by 2025, the gap only widens." Armed with this apparent assessment by the U.S. intelligence community, by the end of July the Obama administration had overruled congressional objections and stopped production of the F-22A at 187 by 2012. This is a big gamble, and seems like a bad bet in light of China's apparent determination to push forward with its own fifth-generation program. If this bet does go south, it could cost America future air superiority in the Pacific. It could deny a key U.S. ally, Japan, a significant non-nuclear means for deterring Chinese aggression. It could also be bad for the U.S. companies like Lockheed-Martin and Boeing commercially. Washington's inability to offer a fifth-generation "champion" fighter could push South Korea and Japan to turn to French technologies to develop their own fifth-generation programs. Mr. Gates and the U.S. intelligence community could prove to be correct, but they have so far offered little public data to explain the prediction that has served to justify such a potentially fateful decision. Meanwhile, despite the PLA's lack of meaningful transparency Beijing's own goals are crystal clear. It would be far smarter for the U.S. to prepare for the likelihood that Beijing will develop and build far more than 187 fifth-generation air-superiority fighters. Mr. Fisher is a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center and is the author of "China's Military Modernization: Building for Regional and Global Reach" (Preager, 2008).

DTN News: Boeing Gets $88.8 Million Air Force Deal

DTN News: Boeing Gets $88.8 Million Air Force Deal
*Source: DTN News / AP (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - September 2, 2009: Aerospace company Boeing Co. received an $88.8 million contract from the Air Force to provide logistics support for the VC-25A aircraft, the Pentagon said late Tuesday. Shares of the Chicago-based company fell 90 cents to close at $48.77.The mission of the VC-25A aircraft -- Air Force One -- is to provide air transport for the president of the United States. The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B's -- tail numbers 28000 and 29000 -- with the Air Force designation VC-25A. When the president is aboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One". Principal differences between the VC-25A and the standard Boeing 747, other than the number of passengers carried, are the electronic and communications equipment aboard Air Force One, its interior configuration and furnishings, self-contained baggage loader, front and aft air-stairs, and the capability for inflight refueling. The VC-25A is capable of flying half way around the world without refueling and can accommodate more than 70 passengers. Accommodations for the president include an executive suite consisting of a stateroom (with dressing room, lavatory and shower) and the president's office. A conference/dining room is also available for the president, his family and staff. Other separate accommodations are provided for guests, senior staff, Secret Service and security personnel, and the news media. Two galleys provide up to 100 meals at one sitting. Six passenger lavatories, including disabled access facilities, are provided as well as a rest area and mini-galley for the aircrew. The VC-25A also has a compartment outfitted with medical equipment and supplies for minor medical emergencies. The first VC-25A -- tail number 28000 -- flew as "Air Force One" on Sept. 6, 1990, when it transported President George Bush to Kansas, Florida and back to Washington, D.C. A second VC-25A, tail number 29000 transported President Bill Clinton and former Presidents Carter and Bush to Israel for the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The VC-25A will usher presidential travel into the 21st century, upholding the proud tradition and distinction of being known as "Air Force One". VC-25 aircraft are extensively modified B-747-200s with the basic airframe technology of the 1960s. The aircraft incorporates state-of-the-art avionics and communications equipment with Stage III compliant engines. Boeing is currently delivering B-747s throughout the world, so the logistics support base appears secure for the foreseeable future. With the continuing march of technology and the prestige attached to the U.S. Presidential airlift fleet, Air Force plans recommend a system review date of 2010. At this point, the aircraft will have been in service 20 years, and commercial operators will have retired their B-747-200s counterparts from front-line service. * Air Force One is managed by Tinker Air Force Base personnel from the Contractor Logistics Support Management Directorate. Tinker has managed Air Force One since the airplanes were originally delivered back in 1990. The directorate manages Air Force One's day-to-day issues like supply and logistics support, while at the same time ensuring the aircraft are maintained to Federal Aviation Administration regulatory standards. This support also includes engineering and technical support, production management, modification management, budget management and contracting. Programmed Depot Maintenance [PDM] is also managed by this directorate, but the work is contracted out to Boeing's Wichita, Kan., facility. PDM is performed on one of the two Air Force One aircraft every year. To comply with a recent FAA mandate, one aircraft was updated with a new Fuel Quantity Indicating System. Heavy maintenance, completed on that aircraft in December 2000, included installation of the Global Positioning System and Flight Management Computer System. These systems were added as part of increasing FAA mandates to help make the aircraft more efficient. The second Air Force One aircraft was compliant with the FAA mandate when it rolled out of PDM later in 2001. In the wake of the TWA Flight 800 explosion, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board issued an Airworthiness Directive requiring anyone who maintains a 747 install a new FQIS with safety provisions that resulted from the TWA 800 investigation.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Flying In F-16s To Bangalore For Indian Air Force (IAF) Trials

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Flying In F-16s To Bangalore For Indian Air Force (IAF) Trials *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BANGALORE, India - September 2, 2009: Three F-16 advanced fighters of U.S. aerospace major Lockheed Martin will soar into the skies Monday for the flight evaluation trials (FET) of the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) the Indian Air Force (IAF) is seeking to replace its ageing Soviet-era MiG-21 fleet. The F-16IN Super Viper is a unique new fighter sharing a heritage with the world's only fifth generation fighters – the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor. Evolutionary integration of fifth generation technologies makes the F-16IN the most advanced fourth generation fighter in the world today. This ultimate fourth generation fighter is tailored exclusively to meet or exceed all of India’s Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirements. The F-16IN is the right choice for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and is ready for integration into India’s infrastructure and operations now. "We are flying in three F-16s from Dubai to Bangalore Aug 31 for the month-long field trials. The fourth-generation advanced fighters are currently with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force. They will be flown by our test pilots along with U.S. Air Force pilots," a senior Lockheed Martin official told IANS here.In the run-up to the trials, to be conducted in Bangalore, near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan desert and in high-altitude Leh in September, Lockheed Martin has flown-in an advance team, including a logistics group, for ground preparations.
"The F-16s, with fifth generation capabilities, will demonstrate to the IAF their strike power, speed, accuracy and its awesome 360-degree maneouvers, with its sophisticated active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar," Lockheed Martin director Michael R. Griswold said.
If Lockheed Martin bags the lucrative order, estimated to be about $10 billion at current prices for 126 aircraft, it will manufacture an Indian version, christened F-16IN Super Viper that will carry about 8,000kg of conventional weapons or nuclear warheads.The other five aircraft in the fray for the order are Boeing's F/A-181N Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale, the Saab Gripen, the Russian MiG-35 and the European consortium EADS Eurofighter Typhoon.
As per the global tender floated last year, the winning bidder will have to deliver 18 aircraft in fly-away condition, while the remaining 108 will be manufactured by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) under a technology transfer deal.
Though the tender is for 126 aircraft, there is an option for an additional 50 percent, or 63 more aircraft.The F-16 trials will take place a fortnight after Boeing flew in its two Super Hornets Aug 14 and conducted trials for about 10 days from Aug 17 in Bangalore before taking-off to Jaisalmer and Leh for a series of trials in hot and cold weather conditions.
During the second round of field trials, senior IAF test pilots will join Lockheed Martin test pilots to fly the tandem-seater fighters for a firsthand feel of its capabilities and technologies, especially its electronic warfare abilities.
"Initially, the IAF pilots will co-pilot the aircraft, taking controls mid-air after familiarising themselves with the systems and the advanced navigation aids. In the subsequent trials, the IAF pilots will take command of the aircraft for evaluating its various parameters, including use of weapons," a Lockheed Martin official said but declined to be named.
The IAF has formed two teams of two test pilots each for the flight trials, which will be conducted in three stages: pilot familiarisation, field trials and weapons systems trials. The third stage will be conducted in the country of manufacture.
The technical evaluation was completed early this year after the six manufacturers responded to the IAF's Request for Proposal (RFP) in August 2007.
"All the trials are on a no-cost-no-commitment basis. The IAF will buy only the aircraft that meets all the parameters in terms of capabilities and cost," a defence analyst told IANS here.

DTN News: Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser Defeats Ground Target In Flight Test

DTN News: Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser Defeats Ground Target In Flight Test *Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., - September 2, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 30 defeated a ground target from the air with the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) aircraft, demonstrating ATL's first air-to-ground, high-power laser engagement of a tactically representative target. During the test, the C-130H aircraft took off from Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and fired its high-power chemical laser through its beam control system while flying over White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The beam control system acquired the ground target -- an unoccupied stationary vehicle -- and guided the laser beam to the target, as directed by ATL's battle management system. The laser beam's energy defeated the vehicle. "This milestone demonstrates that directed energy weapon systems will transform the battlespace and save lives by giving warfighters a speed-of-light, ultra-precision engagement capability that will dramatically reduce collateral damage," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "By demonstrating this capability, the ATL team has earned a distinguished place in the history of weapon system development." The test occurred less than three months after a June 13 test in which ATL successfully fired its laser from the air for the first time, hitting a target board on the ground. The ATL team plans additional tests to further demonstrate the system's military utility. These demonstrations support the development of systems that will conduct missions on the battlefield and in urban operations. "The bottom line is that ATL works, and works very well," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit. "ATL's components -- the high-energy chemical laser, beam control system and battle manager -- are performing as one integrated weapon system, delivering effective laser beam energy to ground targets." The ATL industry team also includes L-3 Communications/Brashear, which built the laser turret; HYTEC Inc., which made a variety of the weapon system's structural elements; and J.B. Henderson, which provides mechanical integration support. Boeing leads the way in developing and integrating laser systems for a variety of customers, including the U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy. Besides ATL, these systems include the Airborne Laser, Free Electron Laser, High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator and Tactical Relay Mirror System. 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, Lockheed Martin, US Army Mark 10 Years Of PAC-3 Missile Seeker Production

DTN News: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, US Army Mark 10 Years Of PAC-3 Missile Seeker Production
*Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) HUNTSVILLE, Ala., - September 2, 2009: Boeing [NYSE: BA] yesterday September 1., marked the 10th anniversary of its production of the seeker for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile, as well as the upcoming delivery of the 1,000th seeker to prime contractor Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], with a ceremony at the Boeing production facility in Huntsville. The PAC-3 is the next-generation Patriot missile, employing hit-to-kill technology to intercept and destroy tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and air breathing threats through direct body-to-body contact using a Boeing-built millimeter wave seeker. The PAC-3 Missile, which has been in service with the U.S. Army since 2001, is a high-velocity, hit-to-kill missile and the newest addition to the Patriot family of missiles. The Boeing-built seeker detects and tracks the target during the terminal phase of an enemy engagement, providing data to the missile’s onboard guidance system. "The PAC-3 Missile, the most advanced air defense missile in the world, is battle-proven to defend with hit-to-kill precision against a range of threats, including ballistic and cruise missiles," said Debra Rub, vice president of Boeing Weapons Programs. "The Boeing seeker team is focused on quality above all else to ensure it will succeed every time the PAC-3 Missile is called on to protect U.S. and allied warfighters and civilians against hostile forces." The PAC-3 Missile intercepts and destroys tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hostile aircraft through direct body-to-body impact. The PAC-3 Missile seeker provides active target information that enables the missile to acquire the target, select the optimal aim point and initiate terminal guidance to ensure target kill. Boeing’s PAC-3 Missile seeker work includes production, assembly, integration and testing at the Huntsville facility; production and testing of circuit card assemblies in El Paso, Texas; and program management and design work in Huntington Beach, Calif. Since the first delivery in 1997, Boeing has produced more than 940 PAC-3 Missile seekers and is on schedule to deliver the 1,000th seeker before the end of this year. 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: Airbus Delivers First A318 To British Airways With 'Steep Approach' Capability

DTN News: Airbus Delivers First A318 To British Airways With 'Steep Approach' Capability *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 2, 2009: Airbus has delivered the first of two A318 aircraft equipped with 'steep approach' capability to British Airways. The A318 is the largest commercial aircraft certified to land at steeper than usual gradients and has the potential to transform long haul travel between city centres, saving time and cost to the business traveller.
British Airways (London) will launch a new business class-only Airbus A318 route next year from London’s downtown City Airport (Docklands) to New York! City Airport was recently certified for the A318 to operate on the short runway. The New York airport was not specified (BA currently serves JFK and Newark). BA will order two A318s for this niche route, a new type for the carrier. The A318s will be configured with only 32 seats. The new service will feature a 15-minute check-in at both airports. On the financial side, BA reported its net income for the past nine months through December 31 rose 22 percent to $1.2 billion. Copyright Photo: The A318 will be the last type in the A320 family to showcase BA markings. A319-131 G-EUPN (msn 1261) prepares fro departure from Heathrow Airport.
The delivery makes the carrier a new operator of all four members of the A320 Family, allowing British Airways to benefit from the fullest possible advantages of Airbus' unique operational and maintenance commonalities.
The A318's 'steep approach' capability makes it ideal for operations out of mountainous or otherwise constrained locations such as urban area airports where the aircraft also satisfies strict low noise regulations. British Airways A318s will each be equipped with two CFM 56-5B9/3 engines. Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive said: "The A318s were specially ordered for the twice-daily London City - JFK service because of their size, flexibility and 'steep approach' capability and will reinforce our unrivalled schedule between two of the world's greatest financial centres.
The A318 may be our smallest aircraft but it has a big role to play in bringing a new dimension of style and convenience to the London - New York route and shows our determination to invest in the future." "The A318 has the best capability and range of any commercial aircraft serving city centre airports. It enables operators to open new premium routes with enhanced cabin comfort standards thanks to the widest fuselage of any single-aisle aircraft," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
In British Airways' layout, the A318s' Club World cabin will feature a spacious layout with 32 seats that convert into full lie-flat beds, equipped with OnAir connectivity, allowing passengers to work during the flight with email, web surfing and mobile phone text messaging. The two A318s ordered will join a fleet of 11 A321s, 37 A320s and 33 A319s already in service. British Airways has a further nine A320s and 12 A380s on firm order from Airbus.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly-by-wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Around 6,350 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and 4,000 delivered to some 300 customers and operators worldwide. The A318 is also very popular in the Corporate Jet market as is the ACJ and the A320 Prestige, which have altogether sold well over 100 between them.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Leverages Sensor Capability Of Fighter Aircraft To Improve Battlespace Awareness

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Leverages Sensor Capability Of Fighter Aircraft To Improve Battlespace Awareness
*F-16 Provides Innovative Way to Increase Tactical ISR Persistence
*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) DENVER, Colo., - September 2, 2009: Existing on-board sensor capability of tactical fighter aircraft can be leveraged to provide near real-time intelligence and enhanced situational awareness, as demonstrated by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] during the recent U.S. Air Force Empire Challenge exercise. For the first time, the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) received and processed electronic warfare data from an F-16CJ aircraft, which relayed signals information from the air to a ground station and pushed report-level data out to the intelligence and operational communities. “In this era of irregular warfare, it’s imperative to get real-time intelligence to warfighters that are in theater,” said Jim Quinn, vice president with Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Services-Defense. “Taking advantage of the fact that fighters get to the tactical edge faster than conventional ISR platforms, we proved that we can enhance intelligence sharing across both the ISR and command and control communities by using the Air Force DCGS to process and relay sensor data from fighter aircraft.” Typically, fighter aircraft operate in the forward-edge of the battlespace with self-protection sensors. But those sensors could also provide increased intelligence collection over hostile areas by sending their data off board for analysis and integration. During the Empire Challenge exercise, the Lockheed Martin team used a modified F-16CJ aircraft equipped with a HARM Targeting System pod to send signals intelligence directly to the Air Force DCGS via a developmental Advanced Tactical Data Link. By leveraging the power of modern data links and Global Information Grid-like networks, the F-16CJ was able to down-link sensor data real-time to the DCGS at Langley AFB in Virginia for processing. In seconds, the resulting SIGINT report was posted to the DCGS Integration Backbone, which contributed to enhanced situational awareness and enabled tactical and strategic users to receive the reports. Lockheed Martin’s fighter-based ISR initiative proved both the technical ease and operational benefit of leveraging existing sensor systems to improve persistent surveillance of the battlespace. Empire Challenge 09 is an annual exercise hosted by U.S. Joint Forces Command to demonstrate enhanced ISR and C2 interoperability and capabilities. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 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: General Electric Co, Rolls-Royce Group PLC Offering Fixed-Price On F-35 Engines

DTN News: General Electric Co, Rolls-Royce Group PLC Offering Fixed-Price On F-35 Engines * GE, Rolls scramble to shore up support for 2nd engine
* Offer on about 100 engines in low-rate production run
* 2nd GE-Rolls test engine offline after sensor incident
*Source: DTN News / Reuters By Andrea Shalal-Esa
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - September 2, 2009: General Electric Co (GE.N) and Rolls-Royce Group PLC (RR.L) representatives met top Pentagon officials on Tuesday to offer a fixed-price deal on about 100 low-rate production engines for the F-35 fighter. GE and Rolls-Royce are scrambling to shore up support for the second F-35 engine program, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barack Obama have singled out as unnecessary in the tightening budget environment. "We have to demonstrate true savings on the Joint Strike Fighter program. We have to show that by financing a second engine that it will more than pay for itself over time," GE spokesman Rick Kennedy told Reuters. He said the deal would cover low-rate production engines to be built from 2012 to 2015. Without the F-35 business, GE would be out of the large fighter engine business, he said. Gates reiterated his opposition to the second engine on Monday in Fort Worth, Texas where Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) builds the F-35. He said Obama's advisers would recommend a veto if the fiscal 2010 budget had second engine funding. Lawmakers who back the program argue that continuing work on a second engine will provide competition and lower costs on the massive $300 billion fighter program in the long run. Kennedy called the unsolicited fixed-price offer a "huge commitment" for the companies given that the F136 engine is still in development. Under such a deal, GE and Rolls would pay for any unexpected problems that arose, unlike a cost-plus deal in which those costs would be shared with the government. That could be significant, given that Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), has seen the cost of development on its F135 engine soar by nearly $1.9 billion since 2002, according to the House Armed Services Committee. The F135 engine for the short takeoff vertical landing version of the fighter needed engineering changes after problems arose during testing several years ago. Pratt last week said it was investing a considerable amount in engineering changes and improved production processes to drive the engine's cost lower in the longer term. Marine Corps Brigadier General David Heinz last month cited significant cost growth on the 30-year estimate for the Pratt engine, saying it was slated to rise to $8.3 million per engine from $6.7 million, the biggest increase since 2001. Heinz has said he backs the president's drive to stop funding the second engine, but in June he said competition for the engine could lower costs and bring faster technology development, while averting the risk of fleet-wide grounding.

DTN News: Libya TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Libyan Leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi Marks 40 Years In Power

DTN News: Libya TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Libyan Leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi Marks 40 Years In Power
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TRIPOLI, Libya - September 2, 2009: Libya has begun several days of celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Moammar Gadhafi to power.
Horsemen perform during a ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary since Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya, at former U.S. base Matega in Tripoli August 31, 2009. Military bands, 400 dancers, aerobatic planes and fireworks are set to electrify a hot and drowsy Tripoli as Muammar Gaddafi throws Libya's biggest party to mark four decades since taking power.
Green flags and white lights lined the streets of Tripoli Tuesday, and portraits of Mr. Gadhafi appeared on billboards. Musicians performed in concerts, and fighter jets flew overhead.
Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi shakes hands with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez during the closing of the special summit on regional conflicts in Tripoli August 31, 2009.
Mr. Gadhafi invited many world leaders to attend, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and dignitaries already in Tripoli for an African Union meeting.
But many Western leaders invited to come stayed away.They are angry because former Libyan agent Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing, received a hero's welcome when he returned to Libya last month.
A Scottish court released al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds because he is dying of cancer. Mr. Gadhafi hugged the convicted man upon his return.
The Italian Frecce Tricolori (tricoloured arrows) air acrobatic team perform in Rome in this November 9, 2008 file photo. Italy's new friendship with former colony Libya hit a hitch on September 1, 2009 when its air force jets invited to celebrate Muammar Gaddafi's 40 years in power refused to trail green smoke instead of Italy's red, white and green.
On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he agreed with his defense minister that Italy's renowned Tri-Color Arrow jets will only fly over Tripoli for the celebrations if they emit Italy's flag colors of red, white and green.
Italian officials say Libya wants only green smoke coming from the jets. Green is the color of Libya's flag.

DTN News: Fiji TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Commonwealth Suspends Fiji After Failed Efforts To Restore Democracy

DTN News: Fiji TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Commonwealth Suspends Fiji After Failed Efforts To Restore Democracy
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) SUVA, Fiji - September 2, 2009: The Commonwealth says it has suspended Fiji after the Pacific Island nation failed to meet its demands to begin restoring democracy.
Fiji's military chief Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama (R) is sworn in as interim prime minister by President Josefa Iloilo (L) during a ceremony at Government House in Suva on April 11, 2009. Fiji has been plunged into a new political crisis since the Court of Appeal declared that Bainimarama's government had been illegally appointed by Iloilo following the December 2006 military coup.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma announced Fiji's suspension from the 53-nation group in a statement Tuesday.
The Commonwealth, comprised of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and many former British colonies, ruled in July that unless Fiji opened democracy talks, it would be cut off from all aid from the group. The Commonwealth had called for Fiji to start the political dialogue to pave the way for democratic elections by October 2010. Sharma said Tuesday that although Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama sent him a letter re-affirming his commitment to the Commonwealth, his response did not meet the group's full conditions.
The action also formally suspends the island nation from all Commonwealth sporting events. New Zealand's Prime Minister Murray McCully had said full suspension of the Pacific archipelago nation from the Commonwealth was imminent at some stage.
Fiji was already suspended from the Pacific Island Forum, a regional bloc of 16 nations and major trade partners, including the European Union, Australia and New Zealand.
Fiji's leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, took power in a 2006 coup.
He promised to restore democracy by 2009. But in May of this year, the government postponed the election until 2014.

DTN News: East Timor TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ UN Condemns East Timor Militia Leader's Release

DTN News: East Timor TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ UN Condemns East Timor Militia Leader's Release
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) DILI, East Timor - September 2, 2009: The United Nations condemned Tuesday the release of an Indonesian former militia leader accused of taking part in a massacre of civilians in East Timor in 1999. East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta inspects the troops in a ceremony marking 10 years since East Timor's vote for independence, in Dili August 30, 2009. A former Portuguese colony, East Timor was invaded in 1975 by Indonesia. An estimated 180,000 died during the occupation, and the U.N. estimates about 1,000 East Timorese died in the mayhem that surrounded the 1999 vote for independence. The UN said earlier this week that Martenus Bere had been released Sunday ahead of national celebrations commemorating 10 years since East Timor won independence from Indonesia in a UN-backed referendum. East Timor's government has refused to confirm Bere's release but Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told AFP on Tuesday that Bere had already been moved from detention to Indonesia's embassy in Dili. "He's still in Dili and we're now processing his return to Indonesia," Faizasyah said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokeswoman Marie Okabe said in a statement Tuesday that the UN position was clear. "If the reports are true, his release is contrary to the Security Council resolutions which set up the UN Mission in (East Timor) and seriously undermines the global principle of accountability for crimes against humanity," Okabe said. "The UN's firm position is that there can be no amnesty or impunity for serious crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. "In that context, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly opposes the release of someone for whom an arrest warrant of this nature has been established." Bere was detained in East Timor on August 8, five years after being indicted for his role in the 1999 Suai Church massacre, in which up to 200 people were killed. Timor's leadership has been criticised for opposing prosecution for those responsible for abuses during Indonesia's bloody 1975-1999 occupation of the half-island, which killed around 100,000 people. President Jose Ramos-Horta says restoring good relations with Indonesia is more important than "prosecutorial justice", and has said he will not let his country be used as an "experiment" in international justice. The opposition Fretilin party however says he is out of touch with the East Timorese people, many of whom continue to demand justice for gross human rights abuses committed during the Indonesian occupation.

DTN News: Indonesia TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Indonesian Publisher Declared Bomb Suspect Says Police

DTN News: Indonesia TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Indonesian Publisher Declared Bomb Suspect Says Police *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) JAKARTA, Indonesia - September 2, 2009: A radical Indonesian publisher said to be a former member of Al-Qaeda has been declared a suspect in July's deadly luxury hotel bombings in the capital Jakarta, national police said Tuesday. Publisher and blogger Mohammed Jibril Abdurahman, who went by the online moniker "Prince of Jihad", was officially declared a suspect following his arrest a week ago, police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told reporters. The move allows police to keep him in custody pending possible charges. "He is alleged to have been involved in terrorism, specifically financing and other offences, including using a false identity. The details of his involvement will all be explained at an appropriate time," Soekarna said. Mohammed Jibril, 24, could face charges of conspiracy and aiding terrorism as well as immigration violations and falsifying documents, he said. Police have said Mohammed Jibril channelled money from abroad to fund the two July 17 suicide bombings, which killed seven people and two bombers in Jakarta's JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels. Police have not said where the money has come from, but are investigating whether it came from Al-Qaeda money men in the Middle East or South Asia. The July 17 attacks, the first of their kind in Indonesia in nearly four years, are the suspected work of Malaysian terror mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top, 41, who leads a violent splinter group of the Jemaah Islamiyah network. Noordin was allegedly behind a 2003 attack on the Marriott that killed 12 people, as well as the bombing of the Australian embassy in 2004 and tourist restaurants on the holiday island of Bali in 2005. National police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri told parliament Monday police had spotted Noordin in a safehouse in Central Java but had narrowly missed him by the time they burst inside in dramatic televised raid. Noordin was initially reported dead at the end of the 17-hour siege but the body later turned out to be that of Ibrohim, a florist working in the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel complex who helped plot the attacks from the inside. Danuri also told parliament police had documents proving Noordin's group had planned another attack "bigger than the events in other places." Danuri did not elaborate, but appeared to link the plot to Mohammed Syarir, a fugitive Noordin acolyte who had worked as a technician for national airline Garuda Indonesia. Police have refused to speak further on the chief's comments, which could also be a reference to an alleged plot by a Noordin cell uncovered last month to use a truck bomb to attack the home of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Police say they have killed three members of Noordin's group, "Al-Qaeda in the Malaysia Archipelago", and arrested five since July 17, including a Saudi national who allegedly helped bring in foreign money for the attacks.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Elections Last Chance To Resolve Afghan Conflict Says Experts

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Elections Last Chance To Resolve Afghan Conflict Says Experts
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - September 2, 2009: The slow tally of Afghanistan's election returns and the mounting accusations of fraud are raising questions about credibility of the August 20 election.
Top challenger Abdullah Abdullah against President Hamid Karzai in presidential race gestures as he meets Pashtun supporters from Southern Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009. Pashtuns from Southern Afghanistan rallied behind Abdullah at the meeting saying that there was widespread fraud in many southern districts where the local population could not come out to vote for fear of Taliban reprisals. Analysts in Washington warn if the election is widely viewed as illegitimate, the Obama's administration's policy in Afghanistan would suffer a major setback. As the votes continue to be tallied in Afghanistan, it is still not known if incumbent President Hamid Karzai will win outright - or face a second round against the probable runner-up, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. But amidst the vote counting, the rising claims of fraud are clouding the election. The number of fraud claims have doubled since the August 20 vote - and resolving them could even delay the announcement of official results. Some Afghan experts in Washington say all this is raising questions about the credibility of election, which they consider crucial. The experts describe it as the last chance for the international community to put the country onto a democratic path. Bruce Riedel at the Brookings Institution advises the Obama administration on Afghanistan. He says, "This really is a last chance. We have had three chances to get it right in Afghanistan. We have blown the previous two, in the 1990s and after 2001." Riedel and others say if the Afghan government is considered illegitimate, there will be repercussions for NATO and on neighboring Pakistan. "That will reinforce their deeply held belief that we [the U.S.] are going to cut and run in Afghanistan sometime in two or three years and all they need to do is to wait us out and then their Taliban friends will take over at least half of the country," Riedel said.But for a long-term success in Afghanistan, the U.S. must focus on creating legitimate government institutions in that country, says Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War. She says the coalition forces can help with that. "The issue is that, as we saw in Iraq, that sometimes the coalition forces need to fill in when the indigenous government is not ready to perform all of the functions of building the state," she states.Restoring the Afghan people's faith in their government by defeating the insurgency is another key element, according to analysts. Kagan says one way to do this is to focus on small-scale economic projects to help alleviate poverty. "So we really need to think about how to use military resources in order to create the immediate conditions for defeating the insurgency," she adds.Bruce Riedel agrees. He says it is crucial because the Obama administration inherited an under-resourced war, and now faces the difficult task of convincing the American people that its counter-insurgency strategy is working. "This situation has deteriorated so far that there are really only two questions now," he says. "Can it be stabilized with any amount of resources or is it just too little too late?" Experts say the outcome of the elections will provide the answer to those questions. If the two leading candidates get less than 50 percent of the votes there are two scenarios: Either the two men will cut a deal to share power or there will be a second-round election. The experts say a runoff will provide credibility to the faltering democratic process in Afghanistan, and will also demonstrate that the counter-insurgency strategy of the Obama administration is working.

DTN News: Bombardier And BVG Sign A Contract For 99 FLEXITY Berlin Vehicles

DTN News: Bombardier And BVG Sign A Contract For 99 FLEXITY Berlin Vehicles *Source: DTN News / Bombardier
(NSI News Source Info) BERLIN, Germany - September 2, 2009: Following the approval of the supervisory board of Berlin’s transport operator, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) on 29th June 2009, a contract for 99 BOMBARDIER FLEXITY Berlin trams has now been signed between the BVG and Bombardier Transportation. The order is valued at around 300 million euros ($431 million US). The order follows a framework agreement in 2006 for a maximum of 210 vehicles and includes 40 long and 24 short one-way vehicles as well as 35 short bidirectional vehicles trams.
The first vehicles will be delivered in May 2011, with an expected completion date for all vehicles in 2017. This will coincide with the deployment of the GT6 series vehicles and the phasing-out of the Tatra high-floor vehicles. The FLEXITY Berlin trams will be well prepared for future applications and will be 100% barrier-free.
Andreas Sturmowski, Chairman of the Management Board of the BVG, commented: "The delivery of the vehicles will commence in May 2011 with the long vehicles intended for lines M4 and M8. All other new vehicles will predominantly be used on all tram lines and Line 50. A further anticipated 33 vehicles, whose structure type is still to be determined with the state of Berlin, will ensure the complete replacement of the 237 Tatra vehicles still currently in use. This will result in lower operating costs and will further enhance the attractiveness of trams as a form of transportation for our passengers. We would especially like to thank the state of Berlin for assuming the financing defined within the framework of the transportation agreement."
"Berliners can look forward to more attractive, environmentally-friendly, modern and new trams. All trams will be barrier-free by 2017 thanks to these vehicles. The BVG has succeeded in responding to customer requirements while making urban transit even more appealing. In times where we have to meet the challenges of demographic changes, improvements such as the absence of barriers in passenger transportation are an important element in increasing Berlin's attractiveness overall," said Ingeborg Junge-Reyer, Senator for Urban Development.
The new trams will be produced at the following Bombardier sites in Germany: Bautzen (body shell and final assembly), Hennigsdorf (final assembly and commissioning), Mannheim (electronics) and Siegen (bogies).
Grego Peters, Bombardier Transportation’s President of the Light Rail Vehicles Business Unit, commented: "The current call-off of 99 vehicles by the BVG is a further milestone in our long and successful collaboration with the operator. We're delighted that the pilot series operation of the FLEXITY Berlin tram has received such a positive response from the operator and its passengers, demonstrating that our advanced vehicle concept has made a good impression."
All Tatra vehicles that are not barrier-free will be successively replaced by the new FLEXITY Berlin generation of trams. 237 Tatra vehicles are still currently in service. These were modernised between 1994 and 1997 to be used for a further 16 years. However, it was not possible to make the vehicles fully accessible within the modernisation framework. The Tatra vehicles will reach the end of their permitted operation at the start of 2010. The Tatra trams will no longer be suitable for use without further, costly renovations.
The Tatra vehicles will be replaced by the 99 FLEXITY Berlin vehicles now ordered as well as an order planned by the BVG for 2010 comprising a further 33 anticipated vehicles. The structure type of this second order is still to be determined and depends on Berlin's urban transport plan. Operating together with the current type GT6 low-floor vehicles, the new trams will result in reduced operating costs for the BVG. They will also significantly increase the attractiveness for passengers and will establish a complete absence of barriers in Berlin's tram network in the medium-term.
The concept of the FLEXITY Berlin tram was developed together by BVG and Bombardier Transportation especially for the German capital. The result is a means of public transport in cities that are geared to the future, with step-less entrances and easier accessibility for passengers with limited mobility. The interior is characterised by its generous passenger space, as well as multifunction compartments and air conditioned passenger areas. The noise levels are lower than that of the trams used up until now. The vehicles have low electricity consumption and feed back electricity into the braking system.
Generally, two Tatra vehicles can be replaced by one new tram in up to four different versions of the FLEXITY Berlin.
The four different designs are: Total no. of places Seated places 40 m one-way vehicle 248 84 40 m bidirectional vehicle 245 72 30.8 m one-way vehicle 189 60 30.8 m bidirectional vehicle 184 52 The order for long bidirectional vehicles, which have not yet been included in the 99 vehicles, depends on decisions to be made by the state of Berlin regarding the development of the track network for the tram. A tram type conversion detailed in this order is still possible within certain time limits.
The first passenger surveys regarding the new vehicle type of the Berlin tram have revealed very positive responses overall. The following were singled out as particularly positive: *Significantly better passenger information, in particular in the passenger compartments, which are equipped with TFT dual monitors that can be viewed from every seat. In comparison to the existing vehicles, the space on offer is considerably better for standing and seated passengers. The new vehicles are 20 cm wider than the Tatra vehicles and 10 cm wider than the existing low-floor vehicles. *Two multifunctional areas each for wheelchair users, passengers with prams, luggage and bicycles. *Stops without platforms do not have any barriers either thanks to a patented mechanical folding ramp at every other door in the direction of travel. *Passenger compartment and cab air conditioning. *Impressive exterior and interior design.The design is inspired by the Bauhaus style and gives the trains an appearance unique to Berlin, which is combined with the BVG’s corporate design. The design is the result of an intensive, interdisciplinary work process between the BVG, Bombardier and the design studio commissioned by Bombardier, IFS from Adlershof, Berlin. The design is fit for its purpose, namely functional and timelessly elegant, matching the design characteristics of the BVG vehicle fleet. However, feedback with suggested improvements from passengers, especially the associations for passengers with disabilities, included for example, the arrangement of fixtures for holding onto, seating arrangements in bidirectional vehicles and parking positions for wheelchair users. These comments have all been taken into account as part of the call-off for the production vehicles.
About Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation, the global leader in rail technology, offers the broadest portfolio in the rail industry and delivers innovative products and services that set new standards in sustainable mobility. BOMBARDIER ECO4 technologies – built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy and ecology – conserve energy, protect the environment and help to improve total train performance. Bombardier Transportation is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and has a presence in over 60 countries. It has an installed base of over 100,000 vehicles worldwide.
About Bombardier
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at

DTN News: Singapore TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Faster Free Wireless@SG Service

DTN News: Singapore TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Faster Free Wireless@SG Service
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE - September 2, 2009: The speed for the free Wireless@SG service has been doubled to 1 Mbps from 512 kbps across all hotspots around the island. The speed upgrade from September 1 took place seamlessly across all three Wireless@SG operators’ network. Existing Wireless@SG users do not need to re—register or re—configure their devices or computers. New Wireless@SG subscribers will also get to enjoy the new speed upgrade as the free service continues until 31 March 2013. "This (speed) enhancement will enable Wireless@SG users to better access media—rich and interactive websites as well as make use of bandwidth—intensive services such as video streaming, video conferencing and multimedia applications," said a statement by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on Tuesday. By the end of the year, Wireless@SG operators will start to roll out consumer and enterprise services over the free service network, such as digital signage advertising, location—based services, cashless payments and facility monitoring. The free service will also see various other enhancements by January 2010. These include: The Seamless and Secure Access which will be introduced for secure automated logon into the network; The Wireless@SG Dashboard, a mobile portal that hosts a variety of Wireless@SG applications and services such as a hotspot finder. With the Dashboard, users can conveniently and instantly download and access these services; and The Centralised Location—Based Engine, which will integrate all Access Points information into a common database, allowing third—party application developers to develop location—based services applications that leverage on this information. Since the launch of the Wireless@SG service in 2006, the number of hotspots around the island has increased from 600 to 7,500. And the number of subscribers has risen to 1.3 million, exceeding the original target of 250,000.

DTN News: Iran TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Iran Ready To Hold Nuclear Talks

DTN News: Iran TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ Iran Ready To Hold Nuclear Talks
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - September 2, 2009: Iran's top nuclear negotiator says the country is ready to resume negotiations with world powers over its controversial nuclear program.Iranian state media reports Tuesday quote the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Said Jalili, as saying Iran has an "updated" set of proposals.
He said the new package is intended as a basis of talks with the five members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, which have met regularly to discuss Iran's nuclear program.
The group, known as the P-Five-Plus-One, which includes the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain has offered Iran trade incentives to stop its nuclear enrichment program.
Washington has given Iran until the opening of the U.N. General Assembly later this month to accept the offer to negotiate with the group.
The six world powers are scheduled to hold talks in the German city of Frankfurt this week to consider harsher sanctions against Iran if it does not cooperate.
Iran is already under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for its nuclear program.
Western nations accuse Iran of seeking to develop weapons, while Tehran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

DTN News: South Korea TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ North Korea, South Korea Normalize Cross-Border Traffic

DTN News: South Korea TODAY September 2, 2009 ~ North Korea, South Korea Normalize Cross-Border Traffic
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - September 2, 2009: South and North Korea have resumed traffic across their tense border to a jointly run industrial zone, renewing hopes for the project's viability.
South Korean cargo trucks heading to the inter-Korean industrial complex in Kaesong, North Korea, depart the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine office, just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, about 45 km (28 miles) north of Seoul, September 1, 2009. North Korea reopened its border with the South, ending a self-imposed 9-month blockade on a vital source of cash for its leaders as their ravaged economy is squeezed by tightening U.N. sanctions.
The move reflects a thaw in tensions after recent diplomatic moves between the two Koreas. South Korean Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said Tuesday that traffic across the North Korean border is set to resume at levels not seen for more than a year.
She says starting from Tuesday, up to 23 trips will be allowed back and forth across the North-South border to a joint industrial zone in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Up to four trips a day will be permitted between South Korea and a joint resort zone at the North's Kumgang mountain.
Traffic to both zones nearly ground to a halt soon after the inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak early last year. Mr. Lee ended the practice of his two predecessors of transferring hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and investment to the North, regardless of how it behaved. The Lee administration says economic help will be conditioned on the North's willingness to give up nuclear weapons.
However, the North has made diplomatic overtures to the South recently including a recent meeting between senior envoys and President Lee.
South Korean companies employ more than 30,000 low-wage North Korean workers in the Kaesong complex, producing goods like cosmetics and sportswear.
For those companies, the resumption of normal traffic is cause for celebration.
Park Young-man is the executive director of the Corporation of Kaesong Industrial Council.Park says the news made his fellow managers cheerful, and even boisterous.
He says this is the high season for manufacturing, and many clients have been phoning with positive expectations.
Yoo Chang-gun, vice-chairman of the Corporation of Kaesong Industrial Council, is approaching the news with caution.
Yoo says he thinks it will take considerable time to recover from the huge blow that the border closure has dealt to companies operating in Kaesong. He says even loyal clients had stopped ordering from his company because of the border uncertainty.
He hopes the South Korean government will get actively involved in assisting with a Kaesong zone recovery.Separately, North Korean media report a senior diplomatic team has gone to China.
Beijing hosts six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. Pyongyang abandoned those talks in April, shortly before it conducted its second nuclear weapons test.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management Automation System For Republic Of Kazakhstan Achieves Full Operation

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management Automation System For Republic Of Kazakhstan Achieves Full Operation *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) ROCKVILLE, Md., - September 2, 2009: A SkyLine automated air traffic management (ATM) system supplied by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has gone into full operation at the Aktobe Area Control Center (ACC) and three remote towers in Kazakhstan. The system, installed under contract with Kazaeronavigatsia, the air navigation authority for Kazakhstan, is part of a major modernization program using advanced technologies to achieve the highest standards of quality, safety and security in air traffic management for the region. The system achieved site acceptance ahead of schedule earlier this year and completed the transition in late June. A comprehensive commercial, off-the-shelf automation system, SkyLine ATM includes flight data processing and surveillance data processing capabilities that can function as a tower, terminal area, procedural or flow monitoring system service. It provides a flexible configuration of features and functions to fit user requirements. At Aktobe, the system provides en route and approach control at the Aktobe ACC, as well as tower control at Aktobe and the airfields at Uralsk, Atyrau, and Aktau. The contract also includes a Lockheed Martin Omnyx air sovereignty system at the Astana area control center that provides air surveillance across the country and is the foundation for an interagency coordination center in that city, which is the Kazakhstan capital. “We have been pleased to work with Lockheed Martin on this project, which enhances the safety, capacity and reliability of our national airspace,” said Sergey Kulnazarov, the director general of Kazaeronavigatsia. “It has significantly advanced our progress toward achieving an integrated, national ATM program.” “Thanks to the efforts of Director General Kulnazarov, Kazaeronavigatsia and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the international community recognizes the quality and safety of air navigation services provided by Kazaeronavigatsia,” said Jeff Oltchick, senior manager international aviation programs with Lockheed Martin. “We are proud to be a part of their vision and to help them advance air traffic management modernization in Central Asia.” Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 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.