Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DTN News: India To Pay $2.3 Billion For Admiral Gorshkov Renamed INS Vikramaditya

DTN News: India To Pay $2.3 Billion For Admiral Gorshkov Renamed INS Vikramaditya *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - December 23, 2009: Russia and India agreed in final cost of overhaul and upgrade of aircraft carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov which will be renamed into Vikramaditya while in Indian Navy, informs IANS. According to agreement, total cost of works will make $2.3 bln, including $722 mln already paid by India. According to IANS, Russia evaluated total cost of modernization as $2.9 bln; however, in the course of talks it was decided to reduce price down to $2.4 bln and then – to $2.3 bln. Along with price reduction Russian party agreed to install additional equipment without extra pay. Under the agreement reached, India will not lay a claim and penalty provisions upon Russia in connection with displacement of ship delivery date to 2012; it was initially planned that Indian Navy would receive Admiral Gorshkov in 2008. It was reported on Dec 7, 2009 that Russia and India had agreed in terms and cost of the carrier's modernization. The agreement was reached during visit of Manmohan Singh, Indian Prime Minister to Russia. The contract on modernization and delivery of Admiral Gorshkov to Indian Navy was signed in 2004, eight years after the carrier was decommissioned. According to preliminary transaction terms, total cost of cruiser refitting would be $1.5 bln. The half was planned for procurement of deck-based fighters MiG-29K/KUB. Transaction of Admiral Gorshkov is considered unprofitable both in Russia and in India. In particular, Indian authorities consider construction of domestic carrier would be cheaper and its lifetime would be twice longer. In February 2009 India launched construction of its first aircraft carrier which is to be delivered to the Navy in 2014. Late November 2009 Indian Navy issued tender for an air group for new Indian carrier. Indian authorities intend to purchase one more parcel of 29 MiG-29K deck-based fighters from Russia. Until India gets modernized Admiral Gorshkov, delivered fighters will be attached to naval base at Goa.

DTN News: Lockheed To Build 24 F-16 Fighter Jets For Morocco At $842 Millions

DTN News: Lockheed To Build 24 F-16 Fighter Jets For Morocco At $842 Millions *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - December 23, 2009: Lockheed Martin is being awarded an $841.9 million contract to produce 24 F-16 aircraft for Morocco, which ordered the jets in 2008, the Pentagon said Dec. 22. Lockheed also won contracts to supply the Pentagon with "advanced counter measure system electronic warfare system, along with associated support equipment, alternate mission equipment and support elements," the Pentagon said in a statement. The total value of the contract between the United States and Morocco is estimated about $2.4 billion, not all of which will be handled by Lockheed. Other firms that manufacture or supply parts and equipment or can train technicians will share in the contract. The Rafale jet produced by France's Dassault was among those that competed for the Moroccan contract. Dassault has yet to sell any of the aircraft abroad, but French Defense Minister Herve Morin said last week he remained "resolutely optimistic" about the possibilities of exporting Rafale, Dassault Aviation's "multirole" combat jet. "We are having advanced discussion with the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and also other partners," Morin told France's La Tribune newspaper.

DTN News: South Korea, Egypt Sign Deal on Arms Cooperation

DTN News: South Korea, Egypt Sign Deal on Arms Cooperation *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - December 23, 2009: South Korea and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding Dec. 18 on cooperation in the defense industry, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) here said. The agreement is the first of its kind between South Korea and an African nation, the agency said in a news release. Signed by DAPA Commissioner Byun Moo-keun and his Egyptian counterpart Sayed Meshaal, minister of state for military production, the agreement calls for boosting cooperation between defense manufacturers in both countries in production and acquisition, according to the release. Both sides will also establish a defense cooperation committee to explore ways of meeting each other's defense needs, it said. "This MoU with Egypt is expected to serve as a springboard for South Korean firms to export its defense products to African nations," one DAPA official said. A potential export item for South Korea is the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer built by Samsung Techwin, the official said. "Egypt plans to equip its army with advanced self-propelled howitzers. The K9 Thunder would compete for the acquisition plan," he said. Developed jointly with the state-funded Agency for Defense Development, the K9 carries a 155mm/.52 caliber gun with a maximum firing range of 40 kilometers. Up-to-date mobility systems include a 1,000-horsepower engine and a hydropneumatic suspension unit. Turkey built its own version of the K9, the T-155 Fırtına, under the license production agreement with Samsung Techwin. South Korea and Egypt posted bilateral trade of $2.8 billion last year, and the bilateral trade volume has increased 30 percent every year since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1995, the official said. Still, defense trade accounted for just $100 million last year, he noted.

DTN News: Burma To Buy Russian MiG-29 Fighter Planes

DTN News: Burma To Buy Russian MiG-29 Fighter Planes *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - December 23, 2009: Russia has signed a contract to deliver 20 MiG-29 fighter planes to Burma, Russian media reports say. The contract is worth 400m euros (£356m; $570m), sources close to the Russian arms firm Rosoboronexport say. Many countries in the West have imposed sanctions against Burma, in response to its poor human rights record. But the country's military rulers still receive many goods, including arms, from its neighbours China and India, as well as Russia. The Kommersant newspaper said Russia had already given 12 MiGs to Burma in 2001. In the 1990s, Burma bought Chinese military aircraft to the value of about $2bn, a source at Rosoboronexport told the Vedomosti business daily.

DTN News: Indonesia To Equip Navy With Chinese-Made Missiles

DTN News: Indonesia To Equip Navy With Chinese-Made Missiles *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) JAKARTA, Indonesia - December 23, 2009: Indonesia is going to equip its own navy's warships with missiles made in China so as to upgrade combat capabilities, Agus Suhartono, Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral said Monday. "We will continue to procure C-802 missiles from China after we test the weapon with good results,” he said adding that the Indonesian Navy was also negotiating with China to obtain C-705 missiles that were more slender in shape. "Both types of missile will be added to the armament of the navy’s fast patrol boats and Van Speijk warships," Agus said. "We are still unable to make missiles domestically. But fortunately, state shipbuilding firm PT PAL already has the technology to integrate weapon systems imported from abroad with those already in place on our warships," he said. Indonesian navy will continue making it a priority to procure weaponry systems, despite the limited military budget. "Our main priority now is security in sea border areas and the outer islands of Indonesia," Agus said. "Crimes at Sea are not the only problems we have in the western waters. In these areas we also have border disputes with India, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia."

DTN News: Sukhoi Delivers Two Su-34 Fullback Bombers To Russian Air Force

DTN News: Sukhoi Delivers Two Su-34 Fullback Bombers To Russian Air Force *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - December 23, 2009: After supplying modernised Su-24M2 bombers, the Sukhoi Company has delivered two Su-34 frontline fighter bombers to the Russian Air Force.The Su-34 fighter bomber is a derivative of the Su-27 fighter aircraft. The aircraft design retains the basic layout and construction of the Su-27 airframe, with a conventional high-wing configuration and a substantial part of the onboard equipment. The Su-34 has a changed contour of the nose section to accommodate an advanced multi-mode phased array radar with terrain following and terrain avoidance modes. It has a two-seat rather than single-seat cockpit. The capacity of the internal fuel tanks has been increased with a resulting increased take-off weight. Changes have been made to the central tail boom for a rear-facing radar.
The Su-34 is armed with a 30mm GSh-301 gun and 180 rounds of ammunition. The gun has a maximum rate of fire of 1,500 rounds a minute and the muzzle velocity is 860m/sec. The gun is supplied by the Instrument Design Bureau in Tula. The aircraft has ten hardpoints for weapon payloads and is able to carry a range of missiles including air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles, guided and unguided bombs, and rockets. The aircraft is fitted with a target designator. The R-73 (Nato codename AA-11 Archer) short-range air-to-air missile is supplied by the Vympel State Engineering design Bureau in Moscow. The R-73 is an all-aspect missile capable of engaging targets in tail-chase or head-on mode. The missile has cooled infrared homing. The R-73 attacks the target within target designation angles of ±45° and with angular rates up to 60° a second. The missile can intercept targets at altitudes between 0.02km and 20km, target g-load to 12g, and with target speeds to 2,500km/h. The RVV-AE long-range air-to-air missile, also known as the RR-77 or by the Nato designation AA-12, is manufactured by Vympel. The missile can intercept targets at speeds up to 3,600km/h and altitudes from 0.02km to 25km. The minimum range in the aft hemisphere is 300m and the maximum vertical separation between the host aircraft and the target is 10km. The RR-77 has inertial guidance with mid-course radio updates and terminal active guidance. A new, longer-range (150km) version of the R-77, with solid fuel ram-jet propulsion, is being tested by Vympel. The Su-34 carries a range of precision-guided and unguided bombs and rockets, including the KAB-500 laser-guided bomb developed by the Region State Research and Production Enterprise based in Moscow.*
The two planes have arrived at the Russian AF’s Lipetsk Center for Combat Use and Flight Training, Sukhoi said on Tuesday. As per a 5-year state contract, the company will produce 32 Su-34 bombers by 2013, it said.
The Su-34s are slated to replace the Su-24 attack aircraft. The two-seat Su-34 is designed to deliver high-precision strikes on heavily defended air, ground and naval targets (including small and mobile targets) on solo and group missions in all weather conditions, day or night, as well as for air reconnaissance.
The dedicated fighter bomber version of the Sukhoi Su-27 is equipped with active security systems and modern computers with artificial intelligence elements which enable the pilot/operator to deliver precise strikes on targets and make maneuvers under hostile fire.
The bomber is designed to be fitted with subsonic and supersonic homing missiles and glider bombs which can destroy hardened and well-camouflaged targets at a range of up to 250 km. With three refuelings, the Su-34 is capable of covering a distance of over 14,000 kms.

DTN News: Pakistan Nixes Going After Taliban

DTN News: Pakistan Nixes Going After Taliban *Source: (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - December 23, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has spared no effort to publicly laud the vital role of Pakistan for the success of its Afghanistan strategy, but what is happening behind the scene tells a different story. Pakistan, going by recent reports, is making no secret of its resentment of U.S. policy, which in essence wants its military to do more to crack down on the Taliban and other militants using its territory as sanctuaries to launch attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. That was in evidence last week when the Pakistani military refused to go along with a U.S. demand it go after Taliban commander Siraj Haqqani, who uses his North Waziristan hideout in Pakistan to plan attacks by his warriors across the border. The Pakistani military argued it is already heavily involved in a counterinsurgency campaign in South Waziristan and that its resources cannot be further extended into North Waziristan. But the criticism against Pakistan is that its two-month old South Waziristan campaign has only targeted domestic militants who threaten the country's security and not against the Afghan Taliban using its territory as sanctuaries. The offensive also has only helped many of the militant leaders to escape to North Waziristan and other areas. A senior Pakistani security official told The Times of London any confrontation with Haqqani could create more problems for the army and that "we cannot fight on so many fronts." The Obama administration wants Pakistan, set to receive $1.5 billion of U.S. civilian aid a year for five years, to dismantle the Taliban sanctuaries in return for a long-term strategic bilateral partnership. U.S. officials also say that besides Haqqani, top Taliban leaders including Mullah Mohammed Omar are using Quetta, capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan province, as their base, and that the United States may decide to go after these militants on its own through expanded Predator drone strikes if Pakistan doesn't cooperate. As for Haqqani, The Times of London reported, American intelligence officials suspect Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency uses him for its interests in Afghanistan. A New York Times report, quoting officials, said Pakistanis feel the U.S. demand would go against the need to position their country in Afghanistan in any regional rearrangement that might involve its main rival India as well as Russia, China and Iran once America begins to draw down its troops starting in July 2011 under the Obama strategy. In that scenario, the support of Haqqani and his fighters who control substantial regions of Afghanistan would be vital. "If America walks away, Pakistan is very worried that it will have India on its eastern border and India on its western border in Afghanistan," Tariq Fatemi, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, told The New York Times. The need to dismantle the Taliban and al-Qaida sanctuaries in Pakistan was stressed by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, during his recent visit to Afghanistan. Noting the insurgency in Afghanistan has grown "more violent, more pervasive and more sophisticated," Mullen told reporters in Kabul: "I remain deeply concerned by the growing level of collusion between the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida and other extremist groups taking refuge across the border in Pakistan. "Getting at this network, which is now more entrenched, will be a far more difficult task than it was just one year ago." Pakistan's resentment of U.S. AFPAK policy is also manifesting in other unlikely areas. In what is seen as harassment, U.S. officials told The New York Times the Pakistani military and intelligence services are yet to clear visas for more than 100 Americans and that they are subjecting U.S. diplomatic vehicles to constant searches in major Pakistani cities. These problems have impacted personnel including development experts, junior-level diplomats and others, thereby affecting aid and other programs. Pakistani officials did not deny the problems but blamed them on Americans taking photographs in sensitive areas or showing a lack of understanding of divisions within Pakistan about the United States. A U.S. Embassy official said the report on the photography incident was false. "Unfortunately, the Americans are arrogant," a Pakistani security official said. "They think of themselves as omnipotent. That's how they come across." CNN quoted U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood as saying that the delay in granting visas has raised enough official concern and been taken up at "very senior levels" in the Pakistani government. These developments come on top of other issues currently affecting U.S.-Pakistan relations. Among them are the recent arrests in Pakistan of five young Muslim Americans on suspicion of seeking to pursue jihadist training in that country and the cases of David C. Headley and Tahawwur Hussein Rana. Headley, a Pakistan-raised U.S. national, was arrested in Chicago in October and is accused of conspiring with an extremist Islamic group in Pakistan to plot attacks in Denmark and India. Rana, identified by U.S. authorities as a Pakistani native and a Canadian citizen, is now in jail in Chicago as a terrorism suspect.
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