Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DTN News: Boeing Wins $5.4 Million U.S. Air Force Contract

DTN News: Boeing Wins $5.4 Million U.S. Air Force Contract *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE, USA - September 30, 2009: The Boeing Co. said Tuesday it received a $5.4 million contract to integrate a new satellite communication system into the U.S. Air Force B-52 fleet. The system will enable communication with the B-52 from ground, air and space platforms. The first of three contract phases has been authorized to begin and includes planning, risk mitigation and development of system requirements. Phase two will cover the design and installation of the communication hardware. Phase three will integrate the new system into the global information grid, Boeing said. Total contract value is expected to be more than $100 million. Chicago-based Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) Integrated Defense Systems unit in St. Louis is the second-largest employer in the region with 16,000 workers.

DTN News: Russia Concerned Over Revised U.S. Missile Defense Plan

DTN News: Russia Concerned Over Revised U.S. Missile Defense Plan Plan *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - September 30, 2009: Russia's envoy to NATO is calling for guarantees from Washington that a revised U.S. missile defense plan won't threaten Moscow. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, center, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, examine a Belarusian drone while visiting a military base during the West 2009 joint military exercises near Brest in western Belarus on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. Russia and Belarus on Tuesday completed two days of massive joint military exercises on bases that are close to borders with NATO members. Dmitry Rogozin says that the prospective U.S. system involving missiles on navy ships could potentially cause Russia concern. He said Tuesday that Russia wants assurances that the prospective U.S. system would be only aimed to counter short- and medium-range missiles. President Barack Obama earlier this month dumped a plan for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, which Moscow fervently opposed. Obama said that a shield involving a network of sensors and missiles at sea or on land would be deployed instead. Rogozin demanded guarantees that the planned U.S. missile defenses won't move close to Russia's borders.

DTN News: BAE Wins U.K. Deal For 24 Viking Vehicles

DTN News: BAE Wins U.K. Deal For 24 Viking Vehicles *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 30, 2009: BAE Systems has secured its first order for an upgraded Viking all-terrain vehicle with a deal to supply 24 to the British military. The Sept. 29 announcement comes 24 hours after rival all-terrain vehicle contractor ST Kinetics rolled out the first of the similar Warthog machines also ordered for the military here. Viking (BvS10) is a fully amphibious armoured all-terrain vehicle, which consists of two tracked vehicle units linked by a steering mechanism. The UK Ministry of Defence ordered 108 Vikings from BAE Systems, Land Systems Hagglunds (formerly Alvis Hagglunds), in three variants – Troop Carrier (TCV), Command Vehicle (CV) and repair Recovery Vehicle (RCV). The 24 million pound ($38.2 million) deal to supply the Viking Mk II will see the vehicle delivered to the Ministry of Defence in early 2010 and deployed to British forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan by spring. The vehicles are primarily an attrition buy to replace Viking Mk1s damaged in theater, including a number lost to roadside bombs. Twenty two of the BvS10 Mk II vehicles, developed and built in BAE's Swedish factory at Ornskoldsvik, will be the troop-carrying variant and two will be in command vehicle configuration. The upgraded vehicles have better protection, a more powerful engine, more electrical power and other improvements compared with the Mk1. A spokeswoman for the MoD said the entire Viking fleet, including the new vehicles, will be returned to the Royal Marines for operations outside Afghanistan once ST Kinetics' Warthog machines are available in theater in sufficient numbers. The spokeswoman declined to say how many Vikings had been damaged beyond repair or when they would be entirely withdrawn from the country. The Vikings were originally operated only by the Royal Marines, but the vehicles' all-terrain capabilities have seen them adopted by Army units fighting in Afghanistan. In a statement, BAE said the MoD has acquired 166 Vikings, of which around 50 have been used in Afghanistan by the Royal Marines and other units. But when the MoD started looking for an urgent operational requirement procurement of a vehicle with greater protection and higher payload than the Viking Mk1, it turned to Singapore-based ST Kinetics for its Warthog rather than acquire the up-rated BAE machine. ST Kinetics secured a 150 million pound contract from the United Kingdom late last year to purchase slightly more than 100 vehicles. The first production standard Warthog, a version of the Bronco vehicle, rolled out from the Singapore production line Sept 28. The British will take delivery of the first Warthog before the end of the year and the first vehicle is expected to be deployed in Afghanistan by mid-2010. As part of the deal, Thales UK will be integrating communications, electronic warfare and other equipment on the Warthog at a factory in the United Kingdom. Earlier in September, the government committed to speeding up delivery of Warthogs. Details of how that will be achieved have yet to be made public. One of the methods expected to be adopted is flying the vehicles to the U.K. for fitting out rather than transporting them by sea. The Viking Mk II and its Singaporean rival are now head-to-head in a competition to meet a French requirement for 129 vehicles. An announcement on a winner is expected by the end of the year.

DTN News: Israel Takes Delivery Of 2 German-Built U212 Submarines

DTN News: Israel Takes Delivery Of 2 German-Built U212 Submarines *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - September 30, 2009: Israel has taken delivery of two German-built submarines, a military spokesman said Sept. 29. "We have received two Dolphin-class submarines," he said on condition of anonymity. The U212 submarine is capable of long-distance submerged passage to the area of operation. The German Navy has ordered four of the submarines. The Type 212 is being constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) of Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) of Enden. HDW is responsible for the bow sections and TNSW for the stern section. HDW is assembling the first and third vessels, TNSW the second and fourth. U31, the first of class, was launched in March 2002 and commissioned in October 2005. The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. Delivery was initially expected in 2010. Including the new subs, Israel has five German submarines - the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal. Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the Holocaust, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War. It split the cost of the third. According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 2,810 miles and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be key in any attack on Iran's controversial nuclear sites. An Israeli submarine recently used the Suez Canal for the first time in June, escorted by Egyptian navy vessels, in what Israeli media said was intended as a message to Iran. Widely considered the Middle East's sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, Israel suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, a charge Tehran denies.

DTN News: British Forces Upgrading Puma Helicopters Fleet For Deployment in Afghanistan

DTN News: British Forces Upgrading Puma Helicopters Fleet For Deployment in Afghanistan *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - September 30, 2009: Britain's Ministry of Defence has signed a deal with Eurocopter UK to extend the life of up to 30 Pumas operated by the Joint Helicopter Command. The contract is valued at around 300 million pounds ($476 million) and includes new engines, avionics and communications equipment. A RAF Puma HC1 painted in desert colours. Whilst UKSF are often supported by specialized flights of the RAF/Army Air Corps and Navy, sometimes they are flown by other units. It is believed that RAF Pumas have been supporting SAS 'Task Force Black' in Iraq. In April 2007, two Pumas from No 230 Squadron, RAF, collided north of Baghdad during a covert operation in support of the SAS. Pumas assigned to SAS support reportedly carry extra communications gear to enable them to carry out their missions. Defensive countermeasures such as radio/infrared jammers and decoy flare launchers help protect against incoming missiles. Pumas can also be fitted with GPMGs on pintle-mounts at the cabin doorways to provide covering fire. The announcement comes days after the MoD announced a 408 million-pound program to upgrade its entire fleet of Boeing-built Chinook medium-lift helicopters with more powerful engines and avionics. The Labour administration here has come under sustained criticism for providing insufficient helicopter resources for British troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the last couple of years its response has included the purchase of more AgustaWestland Merlin helicopters and the update of Lynx and Sea King rotorcraft destined for operations in Afghanistan. The deal with Eurocopter will see 28 Pumas updated with an option for a further two airframes to be included in the program. The work will extend the out of service date of the modified rotorcraft from 2012 to 2022. By that time it is hoped the proposed Future Medium Helicopter program will have started feeding new machines into service with the Joint Helicopter Command. Some 34 Pumas are currently capable of being deployed, although they are not at theatre entry standards for use in Afghanistan. Aircraft from the 34 not modified will eventually be used for spares. The remainder of the fleet's 43 helicopters are being scrapped, said a ministry spokesman. Deliveries are due to start in 2011 with the first 14 helicopters due to enter service by the end of 2012. Aircraft modification is being undertaken in Romania. The MoD spokesman said the upgrade work being done by Eurocopter's Romanian subsidiary represented 10 percent of the contract value. The largest single slice of the work, about 60 percent by value, goes to France. Much of that results from a 45 million-pound deal with Turbomeca for new engines. Defence procurement minister Quentin Davis said the upgrades would allow the Puma "to meet the requirements of battlefield commanders to transport troops in the hottest and most demanding conditions that we encounter in Afghanistan. The upgrades amount to a significant capability enhancement for the aircraft."

DTN News: Venezuela Gives Ecuador Six Mirage 50 Jets

DTN News: Venezuela Gives Ecuador Six Mirage 50 Jets *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) QUITO, Ecuador - September 30, 2009: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced September 28 he will receive six Mirage 50 jets "in good condition" donated by Venezuela, amid concerns of a South American arms race. "Venezuela wants to give us six Mirage jets ... we are going to accept them," Correa said in the northern town of Ibarra. The Venezuelan Mirage 5-fleet was in the process of being upgraded to 50EV-standard at the time of the coup, and only two modified aircraft were in country. It remains unknown if these, or some of the – then – unmodified Mirage IIIEVs were used for strike against Baraquisimento AB, during which five FAV VF/NF-5s were destroyed on the ground, mainly by 30mm cannon fire. Correa added that the country was discussing the purchase of a further 12 jets from South Africa and 24 Super Tucano fighters from Brazil, as well as radar systems and helicopters. It is just the latest sign of a military build up in South America and what the United States has warned could become an arms race. Venezuela, led by leftist President Hugo Chavez, recently announced a $2.2 billion from Russia to buy weapons. The purchases have come as tensions have grown between Ecuador, its Venezuelan ally and Colombia over support of leftist Colombian rebels and Bogota's agreement to allow the United States to use Colombian military bases.

DTN News: Taiwan Military Delegation In US, Seeking F-16s

DTN News: Taiwan Military Delegation In US, Seeking F-16s *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - September 30, 2009: Taiwan wants to buy more F-16 fighter jets and will press the issue at an annual defence meeting with US officials, a military officer said Monday. The plea for new jets comes amid growing concern in Taiwan that the balance of power with China is shifting in favour of the mainland. "We'll utilise the opportunity to again express the hope of buying F-16s," the Taiwan defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The US-Taiwan Defence Industry Conference 2009 in the US state of Virginia, which runs from Sunday until Tuesday, will include speeches by state and defence department officials. The Taiwanese side is headed by Deputy Defence Minister Chaou Shih-chang, the military official said. Taiwan applied to the US government to buy 66 F-16 fighters in early 2007, but observers said Washington held up the deal for fear of angering Beijing. Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council which organised the conference, urged the Obama administration to approve the purchase, citing China's growing military might. The new planes are meant to beef up the air force's combat strength until Taiwan can buy so-called "third generation" fighters from the United States, military officers said. The United States agreed in 1992 to sell Taiwan 150 less sophisticated F-16 fighters, but refused to supply the F-16 C/Ds that the island now wants. The F-16 C/Ds have a longer range and more powerful ground attack capability. Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command, warned earlier this month that Sino-US ties could face at least temporary strain if the US administration agrees to sell Taiwan the advanced F-16 jets. The United States has remained Taiwan's leading arms supplier even though it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. China opposes any arms sales to Taiwan, which it regards as part of its territory.

DTN News: Rheinmetall And KMW Hand Over First Serially Produced Boxer Vehicle

DTN News: Rheinmetall And KMW Hand Over First Serially Produced Boxer Vehicle *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) MUNICH, Germany - September 30, 2009: The armed forces of Germany and the Netherlands have taken delivery of an optimally protected, highly mobile transport vehicle with massive useful load carrying capacity. At a ceremony in Munich, Rheinmetall Defence and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) transferred the first serially produced Boxer to the Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matiere d'Armement (OCCAR), which is administering the Boxer project, and Germany's Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB). (Image: Rheinmetall has acquired Dutch armored vehicle company Stork PWV, a move that gives the German armor company control of Artec, the company created to develop the Boxer armored vehicle for the Dutch and German armies). The transfer took place in the presence of German defence minister Dr. Franz-Josef Jung, and Dutch defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop. The series order for the Boxer includes a total of 272 vehicles for the German Bundeswehr and 200 for the Dutch armed forces. The Dutch Army will take delivery of the Boxer from 2011 through to the end of 2016. "The Boxer project underscores the cutting edge position of the German defence industry, and not just in Europe", declares Klaus Eberhardt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall Defence, noting that "no other vehicle is so systematically oriented to the current and future needs of the armed forces. We thus see strong potential for additional international sales." In the words of Frank Haun, Chief Executive Officer of KMW, "the Boxer is an impressive example of European defence cooperation. The German and Dutch armed forces are getting a highly protected, highly mobile transport vehicle that's specifically designed to meet the needs of the modern military. I'm especially pleased that the defence ministers of both Germany and the Netherlands are on hand for the official transfer, which indicates the importance which both countries attach to the Boxer project." The Boxer armoured transport vehicle is a pioneering, highly mobile 8x8 wheeled vehicle. Thanks to its modular design, it can be quickly modified for a wide variety of missions, going from a medivac role, for instance, to a command and control configuration. To do this, all that is necessary is to exchange the mission modules on the vehicle chassis. When configured as a section (squad) transport vehicle, the Boxer can carry up to ten men, who benefit from excellent protection against landmines and ballistic threats: the fully armoured fighting compartment assures maximum crew survivability. Superb mobility, excellent self-defence weaponry and a heavy payload are further key features of this versatile, highly flexible transport vehicle. Rheinmetall and KMW have joined forces with other national and international partners in the ARTEC consortium to make the Boxer a reality.