Saturday, November 07, 2009

DTN News: Japan TODAY November 8, 2009 ~ Locals Want US Military Base On Japan's Okinawa Island To Close

DTN News: Japan TODAY November 8, 2009 ~ Locals Want US Military Base On Japan's Okinawa Island To Close *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TOKYO, Japan - November 8, 2009: U.S. Marine Corp's Futenma air base is seen behind a Japanese town in Ginowan, on the southwestern island of Okinawa, a subtropical island about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) south of Tokyo that hosts about half the 47,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan November 8, 2009. A mass anti-U.S. base rally will be held Sunday in Okinawa. A U.S. Marine bases in Okinawa, Japan, aims the machine gun near the AAV (Amphibious Assault Vehicles) after landing in the landing operation during a South Korea and U.S. joint military exercise at Pohang beach, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) southeast of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009. North Korea claimed Tuesday that it has successfully weaponized more plutonium for atomic bombs, a day after warning Washington to agree quickly to direct talks or face the prospect of a growing North Korean nuclear arsenal. People stage a rally against a US military base on Japan's Okinawa island, in Kadena on November 5, 2009. Some 2,500 people gathered the rally. Washington and Tokyo have been close security allies in the post-war era, and the US has about 47,000 troops based in Japan, more than half of them on Okinawa, where their presence has often rankled local residents. Japan's new government, which took power in mid-September, has promised to review a 2006 pact on rejigging the US troop presence, with the flashpoint being the Marine Corps Futenma Air Base located in an urban area of Okinawa.

DTN News: The War In Afghanistan Is Necessary, So Why Aren't We Trying Harder To Win?

DTN News: The War In Afghanistan Is Necessary, So Why Aren't We Trying Harder To Win? *The campaign in Afghanistan is being let down by weak leadership, on both sides of the Atlantic, says Charles Moore *Source: By Charles Moore (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - November 8, 2009: Forgive me for starting with a harsh point, but it needs to be said that the fact that 229 British servicemen have been killed in Afghanistan is not an argument for ending the war. There is a tendency at present to exploit people's admiration for the soldiers' courage as a means not of advancing the Allied campaign, but of trying to stop it. The campaign in Afghanistan is being let down by weak leadership, on both sides of the Atlantic, says Charles Moore Such arguments have much more force with a conscript army, but ours is a professional one. Men volunteer to fight and they know that when you fight, you may die. The death of 229 such professionals over the course of eight years is not, by the standard of most wars, a high number. Tomorrow, the nation remembers wars where that number of dead per day was commonplace. The recent losses are extremely sad, but not shocking or even surprising. In themselves, they tell you nothing about whether the war is right or wrong. It is, therefore, a bad idea for Gordon Brown's public interventions on the subject of Afghanistan to be responses to particular deaths. Yesterday, he spoke in the wake of the murder of five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman. One feels that his timing, though not his content, was tacitly rebuked by General Nick Parker, the new British commander in theatre, who said: "I hope we don't make strategic decisions on the basis of this low-level, terrible action." The actual words which Mr Brown used supported the Afghan campaign, but their psychological undertow was less encouraging: "Oh dear, oh dear. Don't panic! Don't panic!" Mr Brown is well known for being an intensely political politician, forever calculating electoral advantage, but he does not understand the political effect of wars. His original hope in Afghanistan seems to have been that people somehow would not notice it much. He was not exactly against it, but he has never, as people say nowadays, taken "ownership" of it. This is a war: why has he never set up a war cabinet? The Prime Minister constantly resisted generals' advice to reinforce. Even today, his increases are more apparent than real. When, for example, are the promised 500 extra men actually going to arrive? His sense is that British deaths are unacceptable to the British public, and therefore he must save the military from incurring more of them by pressing too fiercely forward. He is wrong on two counts. In the first place, deaths are more likely if our forces cannot act decisively than if they can. You do not win by holding back. In the second place, he is wrong about public attitudes. In well-run wars, people tend to see their side's deaths as arguments for victory, because they focus on what the fighting is for. I remember, during the Falklands Conflict how the BBC grotesquely miscalculated the public reaction to the sinking of HMS Sheffield, thinking that it would produce pressure for a peace deal. It did the opposite. If men were to die, people felt, their cause must prevail: men did not go to the bottom of the ocean so that diplomats could sleep soundly in their beds. The strongest argument against any war is this: if it is not necessary, then it is unnecessary, and unnecessary war is immoral. Mr Brown maintains that this war is necessary – "We cannot, we must not and we will not walk away." But if he is right, as he is, that the safety of the streets of Britain is at stake in this fight, why are we not pushing much harder for victory? Where is the urgency about trying to get this right? After all, the news is bad. The presidential election has been unhappy, to put it mildly, and no one really believes in President Karzai's government. It is, as Mr Brown boldly said, "a byword for corruption".The Afghan police, even without murdering its British allies, does not work. Nor does the UN mission. Nor does the military alliance which is supposed to sustain the whole thing. It is surprising that Mr Brown does not use the word "Nato" more. That alliance, which has secured the Western world since the end of the Second World War, agreed to take on the Afghan task five years ago. Some – the Americans, of course, ourselves, the Danes, Dutch, Canadians, Australians and plucky little Estonians – have done their duty. But others have been contemptible. It turned out that the Italians were bribing the Taliban not to attack them. As for the Germans, I gather that one of their forces' biggest problems is obesity, because they hardly dare leave their Afghan base. In Barack Obama, the continentals have at last got the US President of whom they dreamed, but they have almost completely failed to help him. He says the Afghan campaign is his foreign-policy priority, but where are the propaganda shots of gallant Jean and Fritz and Mario all assisting GI Joe's great task? Where are the common sacrifices and the common successes? The most testing military mission that Nato has undertaken is the one its members are least ready to support. "In the end," Mr Brown said, in a phrase which confirms his gloomy psychology, "we will succeed or fail together." It is almost as if some members would be happy with failure. As for President Obama, he has a general in the field whom he appointed. General Stanley McChrystal duly tells Mr Obama what he needs – 40,000 more troops and a surge in Kandahar – but the President's favourite response is to set up a professorial working group and argue the case round Washington for months. And Pakistan remains in chaos. Our leaders maintain the rhetoric, but not the aim, the momentum, the will. Because our leaders let the Afghan issue go to sleep politically, they are unnerved now that it has woken up. The critics sense this. The anti-war television coverage is emboldened; the families of those killed or wounded are pumped for condemnations of the fighting; the poll numbers for withdrawal creep higher. And politicians thinking of elections hedge their bets. If we truly want to win the war in Afghanistan, we need to challenge its opponents much more fiercely. Politicians such as Nick Clegg, who congratulate themselves on asking the necessary, awkward questions, need to be interrogated about what they actually want. Do they want the first defeat of the most powerful military alliance in history at the hands of a small band of fanatics armed with little more than rifles and IEDs? Do they have any conception of what such a defeat would mean for the world order, for the stability of countries in the region, or for civil peace in every European city? Do they not understand that this fight will be seen all over the world not as a battle for control of some jagged mountains, but between values, and that, if our values do not win, they will lose? Read full story and public comments & views....Click here for link
Disclaimer statement Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: UAVs At The Forefront Of Future Warfare

DTN News: UAVs At The Forefront Of Future Warfare *Source: DTN News / Air Force Technology (NSI News Source Info) - November 8, 2009: In the modern world, technology is the name of the game. Until recently, piloted aircraft were thought to be the core strength of any air force. Now, that concept is changing as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) enter the field.Heron is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV that has been developed by IAI. The pace of technological progress in the development of UAVs is astonishing, and they are already supporting ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the next few years, however, their use is likely to become even more widespread. It is estimated that that the UAV market could soar to $160bn over the next ten years. There are two countries that have made spectacular progress in the field of UAVs – the US and Israel. In the US, two companies, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics, dominate the production of the UAVs, while in Israel, the most prominent company for producing world-class pilotless machines is Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). There are two main UAVs in great demand – the Heron and the Reaper. Produced by Israel and the United States, respectively, these UAVs are able to be in one country with their control team in another, allowing the UAV to fly over Iraq and Afghanistan while being controlled by ground forces in the home nation. "There are two main unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in great demand – the Heron and the Reaper."The effectiveness of the UAV as a weapon was demonstrated when one fired two Hellfire missiles on the Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and killed him when he was in his relative's home in South Waziristan in August. Heron vs Reaper Heron is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV that has been developed by IAI. It has an endurance of up to 52 hours at an altitude of 35,000ft. It is used for land surveillance, maritime patrol missions and wide-area real-time intelligence and can carry a payload of 250kg. Heron TP is a new version of Heron, which is focused on reconnaissance and is a larger-than-traditional model. It is designed to fly at high altitude, on missions lasting for several days. It is a low-cost competitor to the more expensive Global Hawk UAV, which has far more range than required by most countries. Heron TP can operate at 45,000ft and carries sensors that can give a detailed view of the ground even from that high altitude. Long endurance of 36 hours makes Heron TP a competitor for the US MQ-9 Reaper. The Reaper MQ-9, also known as Predator B, was developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in the US and is the first hunter-killer type that has a long endurance of 30 hours. It can carry out surveillance at an altitude of 50,000ft and its strength lies in better intelligence, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities (ISTAR). In size, the Reaper is similar to a small business jet and can carry 14 Hellfire missiles. The cost of the craft and associated ground stations is $100m a system. Each Reaper drone is operated remotely by two people, a pilot and a sensor operator that are positioned at a ground control station. The pilot flies the plane, while the sensor operator monitors the performance of various sensor systems used by the Reaper. Extra competitors Also making its mark on the UAV field is the Predator (MQ-1), which is produced by General Atomics (GA) and comprises four sensored air vehicles, a ground control station and a satellite link. "Two countries have made spectacular progress in the field of UAVs – the US and Israel."Also from GA is the Avenger (Predator C), which is slightly bigger than the Reaper. The Avenger is jet-powered and can fly up to 460mph while the Reaper has a top speed of 230mph. It also uses stealth technology to rise to an altitude of more than 60,000ft. In short, it is designed to operate in the same hunter-killer role as Reaper but its response time is much faster. Global Hawk (RQ-4) is also used by the US Air Force as a surveillance aircraft for intelligence collection and is of a similar concept to the U-2 spy plane of the 1950s. Global Hawk has a range of 14,000nm with an endurance of 42 hours. Like the Avenger it also flies at 60,000ft and the RQ-4A variant has the distinction of being the first to fly non-stop from the US to Australia. Euro Hawk, a European Version of the US Global Hawk UAV, is being developed for Germany by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space company (EADS) and Northrop Grumman to replace its aging fleet of Atlantique ATL1 aircraft. It is equipped with an EADS-built SIGINT mission system that will be the heart of the Euro Hawk's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. It has an endurance of 30 hours. Around the world France has developed a competitor for the US Predator. Its EADS SIDM is actually a modified version of the Israeli Eagle. SIDM can stay in the air for up to 24 hours, at an altitude of up to 30,000ft and has a total payload capacity of 600lb. France-based Aeroart has unveiled a very-low-cost micro UAV known as Featherlite. The entire system, including control, visual systems and an on-board video camera, costs only $11,400. This model is powered by an electric engine, is 1.2m long with a wingspan of 1.9m, weighs just 1.5kg and can carry a 250g payload for an hour and a half. It is used for training UAV pilots and for conducting surveillance or taking photographs. Rather than going into the space alone Pakistan and Italy have teamed up to produce the Falco, an advanced tactical UAV. It is being produced by Selex Galileo with Pakistan manufacturing many parts of it and is due to roll out shortly. Meanwhile, back in the US, the innovation just keeps on coming, with the nation developing a bomber that will be flown by ground personnel. "UAVs are expected to change the total scenario of future warfare."Wherever in the world they are being produced, UAVs are expected to change the total scenario of future warfare. Predictions are that human pilots will soon be obsolete and with the introduction of UAVs, the risk to pilot life and costly air to air combats will be eliminated. UAVs are being used to monitor the border to check infiltration, identifying and attacking those who plant roadside IEDs and locating and killing the most wanted terrorists. It's a game of innovation in technology; with whoever possesses the state-of-the-art model, with better lethal power, likely to prove the eventual winner. As prior intelligence is a force multiplier in any warfare scenario, the UAVs will provide such intelligence to the theatre commander and enable him take action with confidence. Efforts are now in hand to build solar-powered UAVs which will bring a revolution in this field. In short, it could be said that the UAVs are the mainstay of the future warfare.

DTN News: GTV Completes Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Critical Design Review

DTN News: GTV Completes Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Critical Design Review *Source: DTN News / General Dynamics (NSI News Source Info) STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., - November 8, 2009: General Tactical Vehicles (GTV), a joint venture between AM General, LLC, and General Dynamics Land Systems, formed to compete to develop and produce the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps' Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) this week. GTV is the first JLTV contractor to complete the CDR, a major program milestone which entails a detailed review of the design solutions to the multi-tiered customer requirements for the JLTV family of vehicles. GTV is transitioning into the vehicle and trailer build and test phase for the JLTV units deliverable to the government in the spring of 2010 under its technology development contract awarded last October. Using mature system engineering processes, GTV successfully demonstrated a design approach that balances JLTV requirements and mission capabilities focused on supporting and protecting the Warfighter. These mature and proven processes ensure GTV's JLTV can meet government requirements with flexibility, agility and confidence. The GTV CDR follows the recent early delivery and successful government testing of GTV JLTV armor coupons. "GTV is committed to providing a highly reliable, survivable, mobile, supportable and transportable JLTV that balances the protection, performance and payload requirements for the Soldier and Marine customers," said Don Howe, GTV program director. "I am confident that the GTV Team will deliver a JLTV family of vehicles that provide our Warfighters more capability and protection." The GTV Team has more than 120 years of combined experience in the successful design, production and support of over one million combat and tactical wheeled vehicles. GTV offers the strength of a proven team. General Dynamics Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD - News). Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., General Dynamics employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, AM General operates multi-purpose military and civilian manufacturing facilities in Mishawaka, Indiana, and an Engineering and Product Development Center in Livonia, Michigan. AM General is the manufacturer of the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, pronounced HUMVEE) for U.S. and overseas military services. The company also provides spare parts, field service and training support for all its products, and its Engineering and Product Development Center provides integrated logistics support and systems technical support for a variety of military systems in addition to the HMMWV. The company has more than 3,000 employees, of whom 2,300 work in the South Bend/Mishawaka area.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY November 8, 2009 ~ Afghan Ministry Says NATO Strike Kills Afghan Forces

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY November 8, 2009 ~ Afghan Ministry Says NATO Strike Kills Afghan Forces *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - November 8, 2009: U.S. and Afghan authorities investigated Saturday whether a botched NATO airstrike was to blame for the death of Afghan soldiers and police during a search for two American paratroopers missing in a Taliban-infested area of the country's west.Afghan children run as a NATO helicopter takes off with a container in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. More than 25 ISAF and Afghan National Security Force personnel were killed or wounded during a joint operation that involved multiple engagements over several hours Nov. 6, 2009 in Western Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said. The probe into a possible friendly fire incident further aggravates already strained relations between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the international community, which holds his enfeebled government partly responsible for rising instability. After enduring a drumbeat of criticism from world leaders in recent days, the Afghan government struck back on Saturday, saying it viewed a U.N. official's prescription for ridding the country of corruption and warlords as an infringement on its national sovereignty. The airstrike occurred Friday during heavy fighting in Badghis province, a remote area that borders Turkmenistan. Two days earlier, two American paratroopers disappeared there while trying to recover airdropped supplies that had fallen into a river. Fighting broke out between members of a search team and Taliban insurgents, the U.S. military said. Eight Afghans — four soldiers, three policemen and an interpreter — were killed. Seventeen Afghan troops, including soldiers and police, five American soldiers and another Afghan interpreter were wounded, the U.S. said. Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said the deaths and injuries likely happened "during an air attack by NATO forces" on a joint U.S.-Afghan base. U.S. officials would not confirm the account, but said in a statement that a joint investigation was under way to determine whether any of the casualties were caused by NATO "close air support." The top U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has ordered commanders to use airpower sparingly to minimize civilian casualties, which threaten to undermine Afghan support for the war against the Taliban. However, commanders are free to call in airpower to defend themselves against Taliban attack. Although the U.N. says most civilian casualties have been at the hands of militants, deaths of men, women and children in NATO airstrikes have raised tensions between Karzai's government and the U.S.-led coalition — already running high because of widespread corruption and drug trafficking that have proliferated in the last four years. Since a presidential election marred by fraud returned Karzai to power, a host of international figures, including President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have called on the Afghan leader to take concrete steps to clean up his government. On Friday, Kai Eide, head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, lectured the Karzai government, saying "we can't afford any longer a situation where warlords and power brokers play their own games." "We have to have a political landscape here that draws the country in the same direction, which is in the direction of significant reform," Eide said. Eide said members of Karzai's new government should be vetted not just for ties to insurgent groups but also for links to criminal or drug activity. Karzai's running mate, a former Tajik warlord, has repeatedly denied allegations that he has been involved in drug smuggling. His remarks drew a sharp rebuke Saturday from the Afghan Foreign Ministry, which accused Eide and others of interfering in the makeup of the new Karzai government. "Over the last few days some political and diplomatic circles and propaganda agencies of certain foreign countries have intervened in Afghanistan's internal affairs by issuing instructions concerning the composition of Afghan government organs and political policy of Afghanistan," the ministry said. "Such instructions have violated respect for Afghanistan's national sovereignty." Karzai promised in his first speech after his victory that he would work to eliminate corruption, but did not give any specific proposals. During an interview with The Associated Press, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Zahir Faqiri called the U.N. official's comments "unfair." "The elected president of Afghanistan, after his re-election, made some remarks to say he is committed to combatting corruption, to expand the rule of law," Faqiri said. "These were very important points." He said details about the anti-corruption measures would be made public along with Cabinet appointments in about two or three weeks. Elsewhere, the deputy governor of the southern province of Zabul, Ali Khail, said NATO forces raided an office of the Afghan Red Crescent in the city of Qalat early Saturday, killing a security guard and arresting three local Red Crescent employees. NATO issued a statement saying coalition forces killed a militant and arrested a few other suspected militants, including someone who was helping insurgents transport weapons and bomb-making materials to the area. Also, in Zabul province, Afghan and U.S. troops killed 18 militants, said Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, regional corps commander for the Afghan army. There were no U.S. or Afghan casualties, he said, adding that they had recovered the bodies of all 18 dead militants. A roadside bomb, meanwhile, killed three Afghan soldiers and wounded one in the southern province of Helmand, scene of fierce fighting last summer, Zazai said.

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY November 8, 2009 ~ Twelve Militants Killed In South Waziristan Clashes

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY November 8, 2009 ~ Twelve Militants Killed In South Waziristan Clashes *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - November 8, 2009: The military said Saturday it had killed 12 Taliban militants as government troops pressed a major offensive in the South Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan.The South Waziristan offensive has displaced more than 250,000 people and the United Nations has urged Pakistan to ensure safety and security of civilians during the operation. Some 30,000 troops backed by fighter jets and helicopter gunships launched a fierce air and ground offensive into the northwest region three weeks ago and the military has since claimed a series of successes. It said troops on Friday penetrated into Makin, the hometown of slain Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud who was killed along with some of his family members in a missile strike fired by a US drone on August 5. Security forces were also consolidating their positions at Sararogha and its surrounding heights in the rugged mountainous region, the military's media wing said in a statement. ‘In last 24 hours, 12 terrorists have been killed, and five soldiers including two officers were injured,’ the statement said. The strategic town of Sararogha was a former operational base of Mehsud. Security forces also captured a 30-feet long tunnel and ‘plenty of ammunition has been discovered and destroyed’, the statement said. Pakistan, vowing to crush Tehrik-i-Taliban in the region, said so far 458 Taliban fighters and 42 troops had been killed in the offensive. The casualty figures cannot be verified because communication lines are down and journalists and aid workers are barred from the area. South Waziristan has been dubbed by Washington as the most dangerous place in the world because of an abundance of Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. The long-awaited assault on South Waziristan came after a spring offensive in the northwestern Swat valley. In July, the government declared the offensive a success but sporadic outbreaks of violence have continued in the valley. The South Waziristan offensive has displaced more than 250,000 people and the United Nations has urged Pakistan to ensure safety and security of civilians during the operation.

DTN News: Israel Says Seized weapons Bound For Hezbollah

DTN News: Israel Says Seized weapons Bound For Hezbollah *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TEL AVIV, Israel - November 8, 2009: Israeli Defense Forces have said a vessel intercepted on Wednesday by the country's naval commandos was carrying a huge shipment of arms from Iran to Lebanese Hezbollah militia. The Cyprus-owned and Antigua-flagged ship, the Francop, had been intercepted about 180 km (100 nautical miles) from Cyprus during a routine patrol by the navy on Tuesday evening and was towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. "Dozens of containers containing large amounts of weapons and ammunition disguised as a civil cargo were discovered on board [the ship] among hundreds of [other] containers," the Israel Defense Forces press service said in a statement. Israeli defense officials said the shipment was "unusually large", adding missiles and rockets were among the weapons discovered on board the ship. "Iran was the weapons' country of origin. The weapons were intended for the Hezbollah terrorist organization," the statement said. CBC News quoted Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying the interception of the Francop was "another success against the relentless attempts to smuggle weapons to bolster terrorist elements threatening Israel's security." The country's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quoted by the news network as saying the arms supply "was intended to hit Israeli cities." The Israeli authorities accused Iran of violating international law, including several resolutions of the UN Security Council, which stipulate restrictions on export of weapons to Lebanese paramilitary groups. Tehran has so far not commented on the claim. Cyprus government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said the country is not linked to the intercepted vessel. "The Republic of Cyprus has no connection to the vessel, as it does not sail under the Cypriot flag," Stefanou said in a statement, adding the vessel did "not pass through Cypriot ports, and the interception took place beyond the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus." The reported interception was the second major arms seizure Israel has claimed. In January 2002, Israeli naval forces said they stormed a freighter on the Red Sea and confiscated dozens of tons of weapons, intended for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

DTN News: Nuclear Strike - Russia's Only Way To Defend Itself?

DTN News: Nuclear Strike - Russia's Only Way To Defend Itself? *Source: Pravda.Ru (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - November 8, 2009: Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, dropped a bombshell in his recent interview. Russia has been working on a new military doctrine for a few years. The old one is outdated and unsuitable. The work is difficult because despite Russia’s strength and independence, it has to consider the ever-changing environment. Russia had to find a completely different approach to Bush and Obama, Shevardnadze and Saakashvili, Yushchenko and his successor. And the ways of defending against them are very different, too. Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile ~ The MKZT tractor is for the transport of ballistic missiles: It is the longest prime mover in the Russian army. The ability to deliver in the cold Siberian tundra up to 80 tons makes it the perfect launcher for Poplars. And despite the fact that the threat of nuclear war became much less than during the Cold War, it is still difficult to hide the excitement at the sight of this machine. Patrushev said that the Russian Security Council offered President Medvedev a universal option, the toughest one. In situations “critical for national security” Russia will deliver preventive nuclear strikes. According to an explanatory dictionary, “preventive” means “serving to prevent or hinder.” This means that Russia will be able to hinder its neighbors with a small nuclear bomb. This will serve to prevent them from thinking that they can impinge upon Russian interests. Unfortunately, Patrushev did not clarify whether the conflict in South Ossetia was critical for national security. That’s too bad, because if he did, it would be easier to evaluate future conflicts and decide if it’s time to press the red button yet. At first sight, the new doctrine doesn’t look good. Especially if we think that there is no mention of preventive strikes in a similar American document. Being the largest country in the world that borders with 12 other countries and has its own opinion on every issue, it’s natural that Russia has enemies. Defending the enormous border from smugglers alone is an extremely challenging task, let alone potential armed conflicts or wars. The current Russian army is weak. Although it has strong professionals, the majority of the Army is undertrained draft soldiers and contractors with six month contracts. It would be quite scary to imagine a real conflict between the Russian army and NATO or even the Chinese Army. That’s why Russia’s only chance under the circumstances is not to aim at military forces of a potential enemy, but influence civilian society. Russia would have to convince the entire world that if, say, German tanks cross Polish-Belarus border, they might not but Berlin will cease its existence in a couple of hours. It’s doubtful that there is a person among Russian officials who would have guts to push the button. However, a mere possibility of such outcome eliminates a possibility of aggression from a civilized enemy. Despite Russian military doctrine, real aggression against Russia is possible only from those who don’t normally count their losses. Russia is lucky to have Central Asia as a buffer between itself and Afghanistan and Pakistan. If the Taliban or other similar organization decided to show their might on Russian territory, who would Russia bomb in the Afghan desert? Russian nuclear plans would hardly change anything in the country where the rest of the world failed. Several thousand gunmen could be “critical for national security” only if they re-train as terrorists. Russia’s main enemy is still its old friend China that takes away Russian territories, populates Russian land and issues maps where the Russian Far East is indicated as a part of China. If this is not a threat to national security then does security exist at all? China doesn’t care about the Russian nuclear arsenal. They won’t mind if a couple million of their people are killed for the sake of the greater goal. They have a different mentality; they are indifferent to the issues of life and death sacred to the West and they treat pain differently. Europeans struggle for euthanasia and invent painless executions whereas Japanese perform hara-kiri and Chinese are the world leaders in sophisticated methods of torture. Taking into consideration that contemporary bombs are much “cleaner” than those that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that their main function is destruction and not contamination, Russian bombs would hardly prevent anything. If China chooses radical methods of solution of East Siberian issue, Russian military doctrine is at risk of shooting into an empty space. Disclaimer statement Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: Thales Australia`s Hawkei Vehicle On Display At Armoured Vehicles Australia

DTN News: Thales Australia`s Hawkei Vehicle On Display At Armoured Vehicles Australia *Source: DTN News / Thales Australia (NSI News Source Info) CANBERRA, Australia - November 7, 2009: Hawkei is Thales's contender for the Department of Defence's LAND 121 Phase 4 program to replace Army Landrovers. The sleek 7-tonne 4x4 can carry up to six soldiers, and incorporates high levels of blast and ballistic protection.Thales Australia`s innovative Hawkei vehicle is starring at this week`s Armoured Vehicles Australia event in Canberra. An engineering mock-up of the Hawkei will be on display at Armoured Vehicles Australia (AVA), highlighting its internal seating layout and ground-breaking design. The mock-up is a full scale representation of the vehicle which engineers use to experiment with different internal configurations and ergonomic (human factors) aspects, ensuring the end result is a vehicle designed to optimise operational effectiveness. "The Hawkei is the best solution to meet the Australian Defence Force's light protected vehicle requirements," said Ian Irving, Vice President in charge of Thales's Land & Joint Systems activities in Australia. "Together with Plasan, Boeing and PAC Group, we have formed an unrivalled team. And our exclusive relationship with Plasan for LAND 121-4's Australian option has been a real bonus. We're proud to be working with one of the most sought after composite armour and hull design specialists in the world. "The response to the Hawkei's launch has been overwhelmingly positive and the work done by Thales, along with our partners, is seen as a very compelling offer." Thales will also display its Single Cab and Dual Cab Utility Vehicles from the Bushmaster Family of Vehicles, which are designed to offer maximum logistics capability in the harshest environments while incorporating the same levels of protection as troop-carrying Bushmasters. "Our Protected Mobility Vehicle range continues to grow, with new vehicles and new capabilities creating increasingly flexible options for armed forces," Mr Irving continued. "Our extensive experience with the Bushmaster program, combined with our systems integration expertise, gives the Department of Defence and the ADF a strategic local capability unrivalled in Australia and specifically tailored to Australian requirements." Armoured Vehicles Australia takes place 5-6 November at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra.

DTN News: BAE Delivers Final Indian Hawk Aircraft

DTN News: BAE Delivers Final Indian Hawk Aircraft *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) WARTON, UK - November 7, 2009: After completing a flight development contract for the Indian Air Force (IAF), BAE Systems has delivered the 24th and final UK built Indian Hawk. BAE Systems has delivered the 24th and final UK-built Hawk jet trainer to the Indian Air Force. (BAE photo) Following a 3,000 mile journey across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the aircraft, flown by BAE Systems test pilots, arrived safely at Air Force Station Bidar to join the rest of the Hawk fleet in delivering fast jet training to the IAF. The aircraft, HT001, which was actually the first IAF Hawk to be built, has, for nearly three years served as a flight test platform and proving ground for the integration of new systems and capabilities onto the IAF Hawk fleet . As well as development and acceptance flights, HT001 was also a key component in the programme which saw Indian Air Force flying instructors training to teach student pilots on the Hawk. This programme took place prior to the delivery of Hawks to India allowing the Indian training programme to start at the earliest opportunity. Michael Christie, Senior Vice President, India for BAE Systems Military Air Solutions, said: “Hawk has brought a step change in pilot training capabilities for the IAF and this aircraft, which was the first India Hawk to be built, has been a key part of developing further capabilities for the Indian Air Force. “During its time here at BAE Systems, HT001 has proven to be extremely reliable, delivering excellent service from its time as a training platform for Indian Air Force instructors, through to the on-time and to budget completion of the recent flight development programme. “The first Hawk was delivered to the IAF in November 2007 and other than this final development aircraft, deliveries were completed in 2008. Whilst this marks the completion of aircraft deliveries by BAE Systems to the Indian Air Force, we continue to provide support services to the IAF, and work closely with our industrial partners, HAL, in meeting the fast jet training needs of the Indian Air Force.” In arriving at Air Force Station Bidar, the home of the Indian Hawk fleet, HT001 becomes the 860th Hawk delivered across the globe. BAE Systems is the premier global defence, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.