Thursday, September 24, 2009

DTN News: Britain To Upgrade Chinooks in Afghanistan

DTN News: Britain To Upgrade Chinooks in Afghanistan *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) ODIHAM AIRBASE, England - September 24, 2009: Britain announced September 24 a 408-million-pound upgrade for its Chinook helicopters in Afghanistan, following criticism of a shortage of air power there. The Chinook is a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter. Its primary mission is to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Its secondary missions include medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development. The 38 aircraft will be fitted with more powerful Honeywell engines and more advanced digitized cockpits, to enable them to work more effectively in high altitudes and extreme temperatures in Afghanistan, officials said. The $660 million (445-million-euro) upgrade to the twin-rotor heavy lift choppers will notably allow them to fly longer without refueling, and to spend longer on the frontline without needing to be serviced. "The Chinook is the cornerstone of our helicopter support effort in Afghanistan," said junior defence minister Quentin Davies. "These improvements will increase its capability and ensure it can play an even more valuable role in supporting our forces and NATO coalition allies in tackling insurgency in Afghanistan," he added. Claims of a shortage of helicopters were at the center of a political row over inadequate equipment for the armed forces amid a surge in the British death toll in Afghanistan earlier this year. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has defended the government's strategy in Afghanistan, after British forces have in recent months suffered their highest casualty rate since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2001. The surge in deaths to more than 200 has been in particular due to an increase in roadside bombs planted by Taliban insurgents - critics claim such casualties could be lowered by using helicopters more to move troops. Last month two British Chinooks were lost within days of each other, when one crash landed and had to be destroyed to prevent it falling into enemy hands, while another was hit by enemy fire and exploded.

DTN News: Taiwan Secures MAWS for P-3s

DTN News: Taiwan Secures MAWS for P-3s *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK, USA - September 24, 2009: U.S. company Alliant Techsystems' Integrated Systems Division will supply Taiwan with the AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) under a $1.7 million contract awarded by the Pentagon. The systems will be installed on 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft now on order from Lockheed Martin for Taiwan. The aircraft can carry weapons in the bomb bay and on ten underwing pylons. The bomb bay is in the underside of the fuselage forward of the wing. It is capable of carrying a 2,000lb mine such as the mk25, mk39, mk55 or mk56. Alternative ordnance includes 1,000lb mines, depth bombs, torpedoes, or nuclear depth bombs. The underwing pylons can carry 2,000lb mines, torpedoes, rockets, rocket pods and 500lb mines. The US Navy P-3C aircraft are equipped to carry the Harpoon AGM-84 anti-ship and stand-off land attack missile. During the late 1990s the US Navy P-3C Orions armed with the Harpoon were deployed in Yugoslavia. US Navy P-3Cs are also being upgraded with the WESCAM 20 multi-sensor system, which includes thermal imager and CCD sensors. In February 2004, the Boeing SLAM-ER standoff land attack missile completed integration on the US Navy P-3C Orion. 59 aircraft are to be modified to carry the missile by the end of 2004. The deal, announced Sept. 22, will include 60 AAR-47 A(V)2 optical sensor converters, 15 AAR-47 A(V)2 control indicators and 15 AAR-47A(V)2 computer processors. Work is expected to be completed by March 2012. MAWS is a passive missile approach warning system."

DTN News: Israel To Supply Radar Systems to South Korea

DTN News: Israel To Supply Radar Systems to South Korea *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - September 24, 2009: Israel Aerospace Industries announced September 23 it has been awarded two contracts to sell radar systems worth $280 million to South Korea. The T-50 Golden Eagle, formerly known as the KTX-2, jet trainer and light attack aircraft is being built for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF). The aircraft is being developed in the T-50A advanced trainer and T-50B lead in fighter trainer versions. The T-50 LIFT is called the A-50 by RoKAF. The T-50 is designed to provide pilot training for current and next-generation fighters like advanced F-16s, F-22s and the joint strike fighter. The first flight of the T-50 took place in August 2002. The RoK Air Force has a requirement for 50 T-50 trainers and 44 T-50 LIFT. RoKAF placed a production contract for the first 25 T-50 in December 2003 and the first production aircraft was rolled out in August 2005. Under the terms of one contract, IAI subsidiary ELTA Systems will develop and supply an advanced radar system specifically for the FA/TA jets South Korea is developing. The radar enhances a fighter jet's air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-sea capabilities, enabling long-range target detection and high-resolution mapping, the company said. The second contract is for the supply of an advanced air defense system, also ELTA Systems Ltd. Officials in Seoul announced earlier this month South Korea will buy the Green Pine Block-B radar system from Israel to detect and track North Korean ballistic missiles. The radars would be capable of monitoring ballistic missiles in flight at ranges of up to 500 kilometers (312 miles), covering nearly all North Korean soil if deployed in South Korea by 2012, the officials said. North Korea has about 600 Scud missiles capable of hitting targets in South Korea, and possibly Japanese territory in some cases. There are another 200 Rodong-1 missiles, which could reach Tokyo"

DTN News: Singapore Seeks More F-16 Training In U.S.

DTN News: Singapore Seeks More F-16 Training In U.S. *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - September 24, 2009: The Singapore Air Force plans to continue F-16 pilot training in the United States. RSAF four-ship of the original Peace Carvin I program over the Singapore skyline. Alpha's #881 and #882 and Bravo's #885 and #887. [Photo by Peter Steineman] On Sept. 9, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the U.S. Congress of two F-16 pilot training programs - a $250 million deal with Singapore to continue the Continental United States (CONUS) pilot proficiency training program for the Singapore Peace Carvin program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and a $75 million CONUS program at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, where the Singapore Air Force will lease U.S. Air Force F-16s. The deal will include 35,000 20mm cartridges, aircraft modification kits, maintenance, participation in joint training exercises, flight training and logistical support. "Singapore is a firm supporter of U.S. overseas contingency operations," a DSCA press release said. "This program will enable Singapore to develop mission-ready and experienced pilots through its CONUS training program to support Singapore's current and future F-16 aircraft inventory." Singapore's 425th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed the Black Widows, has about a dozen F-16C/D Block 52 fighters assigned to Luke. Singaporean F-16 pilots have undergone training under Peace Carvin at Luke since the 1990s.

DTN News: Iranian Military Planes Crashes In Annual Parade

DTN News: Iranian Military Planes Crashes In Annual Parade *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) - TEHRAN, Iran: September 24, 2009: Iran's sole Simorgh AWACS aircraft was lost during a military parade Sept. 22, one of two Iranian military aircraft that crashed in Tehran while participating in a display to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. Iranian fighter jets fly over the mausoleum of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, during a military parade ceremony marking the 29th anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war, just outside Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. An Iranian military plane crashed into fields just south of Tehran early Tuesday, according to the state IRNA news agency, saying the plane flew in the air force show that was part of the parade, but there is no immediate word of casualties or details about the plane. The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force operated a single Simorgh, a former Iraqi Air Force Adnan. The Adnan AWACS was in turn a modification of a Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-76 transport. The Simorgh collided with one of the Air Force's Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighters over the area of the Imam Khomeyni Shrine, southern Tehran. According to eyewitnesses, the crash occurred immediately after the parade. Apparently, no mayday call was issued. Both aircraft crashed in flames. Initial reports indicate that seven crewmembers were killed in the crash. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2nd L), President of Iran, is greeted by officials after speaking during the United Nations General Assembly September 23, 2009 at UN headquarters in New York. In total, Iraq built three AWACS aircraft, one Baghdad, and two Baghdad-2s, the latter later renamed Adnans. One Adnan and the Baghdad were evacuated to Iran during the 1991 Gulf War, while the second Adnan was destroyed on the ground by a coalition air strike in January 1991. The exact status of the Iranian Simorgh and its onboard systems was long uncertain. However, photographs suggest that the aircraft was equipped with a newly fitted functioning radar suite.