Tuesday, February 02, 2010

DTN News: Fiscal 2011 Request Improves Terror Fight

DTN News: Fiscal 2011 Request Improves Terror Fight *Source: U.S. Department Of Defense By Jim Garamone ~ American Forces Press Service February 2, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - February 2, 2010: The President’s Fiscal 2011 Defense Budget request grows a department fighting two wars and attacking an amorphous terror network, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, center, responds to questions during testimony with Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller Robert Hale and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C., Feb. 2, 2010. DoD photo by Cherie Cullen Reforming the department’s acquisitions system and related processes also is important, Gates said. The secretary bluntly told senators today that he will recommend President Barack Obama veto the 2011 budget if it contains continued C-17 airlifter production and a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The base budget – the budget without the money funding actions in Iraq and Afghanistan – is $549 billion, 3.4 percent increase over the current budget and a 1.8 percent real increase after adjusting for inflation. The budget request reflects the administration’s commitment to modest, steady and sustainable real growth in defense spending, the secretary said. But overall, the budget request is $708 billion. “We are also requesting $159 billion in FY 2011 to support overseas contingency operations, primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus $33 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year to support the added financial costs of the president’s new approach in Afghanistan,” Gates said. DoD officials asked that Congress pass the $33 billion fiscal 2010 supplemental before Memorial Day, as delays would mean that other parts of the military would be starved for funds. “The commitments made and the programs funded in the overseas contingency operations and supplemental requests demonstrate the administration’s determination to support our troops and commanders in combat so they can accomplish their critical missions and come home safely,” Gates said. The base budget reflects the major continuing priorities of the defense department. The base budget is what department officials think is a continuing and real need for the department. Gates has been shifting monies from supplemental requests to the base budget since he’s been in office. Having a place in the base budget means that “you are at the table” when monetary decisions are being made, the secretary said. Today’s wars were being funded via supplemental funding. Gates has said that prevailing in today’s wars must be front and center in the department and that the funding needs to be institutionalized within the base budget. People lead the list of priorities for the base budget, which the secretary said reaffirms and strengthens “the nation’s commitment to care for the all-volunteer force, our greatest strategic asset.” The second priority addressed within the budget, Gates said, involves “rebalancing America’s defense posture by emphasizing capabilities needed to prevail in current conflicts, while enhancing capabilities that may be needed in the future.” A third budget priority, he said, focuses on “continuing the department’s commitment to reform how DoD does business, especially in the area of acquisitions.” The Quadrennial Defense Review informs the base budget request, Gates said. “The 2010 QDR and fiscal 2011 budget build upon the substantial changes that the president made in the fiscal 2010 budget request to allocate defense dollars more wisely and reform the department’s processes,” he told the senators. The fiscal 2011 budget builds on changes the secretary recommended last year, including ending the following programs: the Navy EP(X) intelligence aircraft; the Third Generation Infrared Surveillance program; the next generation CG(X) cruiser; the Net Enabled Command and Control program; and the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System due to cost overruns and performance concerns. Gates also said he wants to complete the C-17 program and close the production line, saying studies in recent years show that the Air Force already has more of the aircraft than it needs. Gates also wants to end the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. “I am fully aware of the political pressure to continue building the C-17 and proceed with an alternate engine for the F-35,” he said. “So let me be very clear: I will strongly recommend that the president veto any legislation that sustains the unnecessary continuation of these two programs.” The Defense Department is making tough choices and changing, Gates said, noting force sizing constructs as one example. “For years, U.S. defense planning and requirements were based on preparing to fight two major conventional wars at the same time – a force-sizing construct that persisted long after it was overtaken by events,” he told the committee. “The department’s leadership now recognizes that we must prepare for a much broader range of security challenges on the horizon.” These threats range from the use of sophisticated new technologies to deny U.S. forces access to the global commons of sea, air, space and cyberspace to the threat posed by non-state groups delivering more cunning and destructive means to attack and terrorize – scenarios that transcend the familiar contingencies that dominated U.S. planning after the Cold War, Gates said. “We have learned through painful experience that the wars we fight are seldom the wars that we plan,” Gates said. “As a result, the United States needs a broad portfolio of military capabilities with maximum versatility across the widest possible spectrum of conflict.” This strategic reality has shaped the fiscal 2011 budget request, he said.

DTN News: Garuda Indonesia Showcases Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 At Singapore Airshow

DTN News: Garuda Indonesia Showcases Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 At Singapore Airshow *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE, - February 2, 2010: Garuda Indonesia is leveraging the 2010 Singapore Airshow this week to spotlight its new livery and interior decor, using a Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 with blended winglets as the platform. Boeing has delivered five 737-800s to Garuda Indonesia, which has 20 more on order. "Garuda's presence at the Singapore Airshow is a statement of its commitment to leadership, reinforcing its position as a major carrier in Asia," said Rob Laird, vice president of Sales for East & Southeast Asia, Commercial Airplanes. "Garuda's 737 on display also reinforces Garuda's focus on efficiency and reliability and is a proud symbol of the close partnership between Boeing and Garuda." Garuda Indonesia President and CEO Emirsyah Satar added, "Garuda Indonesia has an aggressive fleet expansion plan which is part of the airline's 'quantum leap' transformation strategy. This includes a near doubling of the fleet from 67 airplanes to 116. The 737-800 will support these expansion plans as we add new domestic routes and increase frequencies on regional services." Nearly 120 customers around the world have ordered more than 5,000 Next-Generation 737s.

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated February 2, 2010

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated February 2, 2010
*Source: DoD issued February 2, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - February 2, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued February 2, 2010 are undermentioned;
NAVY ~The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., is being awarded a $131,107,546 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Trident II (D5) MK6 life extension guidance system. This effort is to procure long lead materials and circuit card assemblies to support the delivery of 20 MK6LE guidance systems. Work will be performed in Bloomington, Minn. (59 percent); Clearwater, Fla. (22 percent); Cambridge, Mass. (15 percent); and Pittsfield, Mass. (4 percent). Work is expected to be completed June 30, 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a sole source acquisition. Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-10-C-0015). ~Truston Technologies, Inc.*, Annapolis, Md. (N62583-10-D-0341); GPA Technologies, Inc.*, Ventura, Calif. (N62583-10-D-0342); Harbor Offshore, Inc.*, Ventura, Calif. (N62583-10-D-0343); Great Eastern Group, Inc.*, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (N62583-10-D-0344); and Hardline-Resolute, JV, LLC*, Brasstown, N.C. (N62583-10-D-0345), are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract in support of the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NAVFAC ESC), Port Hueneme, for installation, inspection, repair, maintenance, and field supervision/operation of waterfront barriers, associated moorings, waterfront security systems and marine facilities throughout the world. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all five contracts combined is $80,000,000. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities worldwide, and is expected to be completed February 2015. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts were competitively procured as a 100 percent small business 8(a) set-aside via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with six proposals received. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity. ~PKL Services, Inc.*, Poway, Calif., is being awarded a $17,837,496 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00421-09-C-0023) to exercise an option for additional selected organizational level maintenance (reset) for U.S. Marine Corps AH-1W, UH-1N, CH-53D/E and CH-46E helicopters. Work will be performed in Camp Pendleton, Calif. (30 percent); New River, N.C. (25 percent); Iraq/Afghanistan (22 percent); Miramar, Calif. (18 percent); and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in August 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $17,837,496 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

DTN News: U.S. Steps Up Missions Targeting Taliban Leaders

DTN News: U.S. Steps Up Missions Targeting Taliban Leaders *Source: DTN News / WSJ By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS (NSI News Source Info) BARGHANTU, Afghanistan- February 2, 2010: The tunnel entrance was no more than 18 inches high. Matt, a U.S. Special Forces soldier, stripped off his body armor, dropped his rifle and wriggled through the gap, pistol and flashlight leading the way. Some 150 feet in, his beam caught a shape: a bearded man hiding behind a pile of rocks. Cornered, the man stood and greeted Matt with a smile, as if their underground rendezvous were a scheduled appointment between friends. Instead, he was frisked, handcuffed, bundled into a helicopter and taken away for questioning. The U.S. military is deploying tens of thousands of fresh troops in a much-publicized strategy to woo the Afghan people through good government, economic growth and security. Yet behind the battle lines, the U.S. is quietly escalating a more forcible campaign. In recent months, small teams of Army commandos, Navy Seals and Central Intelligence Agency operatives have intensified the pace of what the military often calls "kill-capture missions"—hunting down just one or two insurgents at a time who are deemed too recalcitrant to be won over by any goodwill campaign. The Pentagon's fiscal 2011 budget, released Monday, called for increasing the number of elite Special Operations troops, buying larger numbers of aerial drones and expanding the amount of military and financial assistance to Yemen, the home base of the al Qaeda offshoot that claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day bombing of a crowded U.S. airliner. Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to determine whether a U.S. drone strike in mid-January killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, though that group said Monday he is still alive. "You've got to kill or capture those bad guys that are not reconcilable," Gen. David Petraeus, chief of U.S. forces in the region, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in December. He said coalition commanders plan to escalate counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan even more in the coming months. The CIA plans to increase its presence by 25%, though it won't provide exact numbers. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top allied commander in Kabul, made his name commanding similar special-operations forces in Iraq and sending them after hundreds of key insurgent and al Qaeda figures. His success was considered crucial to salvaging the Iraq war. He recently told his staff in Kabul, "It's not the number of people you kill—it's the number of people you convince." But the stick remains as integral to his strategy as the carrot. Typical of this approach is the December Special Forces raid on Barghantu in Zabul Province, a popular transit route for insurgents. During a six-month combat tour, which just ended, the soldiers stationed there conducted more than 100 operations to target Taliban commanders and facilitators, seize their weapons, disrupt their bases and destroy their sense of security. Barghantu is a village of perhaps 300 people living in a few dozen mud-walled compounds spread out along 1,000 yards of orchards and dry river bed. Intelligence reports suggest the village serves as a bedroom community for passing insurgents. The raid has two targets: "Objective Albany," a compound thought to be used to manufacture roadside bombs; and "Objective Syracuse," a man thought to be the local coordinator for bomb makers. Two Blackhawk helicopters insert teams in and around the village. The first teams hit the eastern and western sections of the village at about 8 a.m., beginning the search for fighters and weapons. Another team is dropped off along the parched riverbed, or wadi, to block anyone trying to escape in that direction, while another team, headed by company commander Maj. Mike, sets up a command post on a rocky spur a few hundred yards above the village. The ridge is so narrow that the pilots have to balance the helicopter on its front wheels while the soldiers leap out. The Special Forces allowed a reporter to go along on the operation on condition that the soldiers' last names not be published and that certain tactical details be omitted. The command team sets up machine-gun positions at opposite ends of the spur. They spot two boys on the barren mountainside collecting dry plants for kitchen fires. The soldiers escort the boys down to the command post so they won't tip off the Taliban. Soon, two more boys join them, huddling in thin shawls against the morning cold. The major gives them a Snickers bar and some trail mix. One boy accepts with a smile; another does so sullenly. A half-hour into the operation, the soldiers scouring the village have already rounded up nine fighting-age males for questioning in the village's eastern section. But villagers tell them the bomb facilitator they're seeking left two days earlier. The troops, with help from Afghan army soldiers, search a small compound at the base of the spur. They lead two men in turbans out of the house, bind their hands with plastic cuffs and walk them away through the bare orchards. A woman in blue and green robes stands outside the door, a baby in her arms, and wails in a voice that pierces the valley. Soldiers in the western part of the village meet a man who offers to identify the local Taliban fighters. They show him photos of the men they've rounded up and he points to two of them; the names match those on a list of suspects the soldiers brought with them. Before loading the suspects onto a helicopter, the soldiers give them a final pat-down and discover a hand-grenade fuse on one. It's a small explosive, not the whole grenade. But it has enough force to blow off fingers, and could create chaos inside the Blackhawk. Elsewhere, soldiers are still looking for the bomb facilitator, in hopes that he hasn't actually left town. The man found hiding in the tunnel turns out to be his father. He says he hid because he's scared of helicopters, but the soldiers find a mortar round hidden inside a wall in his compound. The explosive material has been removed, and the soldiers suspect it has been used for a roadside booby trap. "That guy is coming with us," says the company sergeant major. At 11 a.m., soldiers are still searching for the bomb-making compound. A villager tells them it's the one kitty-corner from a small mud mosque. Sgt. First Class Clayton, a 26-year-old Texan, takes four Afghan soldiers to have a look. They don't find any bomb-making materials, but they do discover something else, hidden under a pile of hay: a pair of U.S. Army fatigue pants. It's an alarming find—there have been intelligence reports that foreign insurgents plan to dress in American uniforms during attacks on coalition troops. Meantime, two armed men are spotted running on a ridge a couple of thousand feet above the village. The deep tattoo of cannon fire echoes through the hills as two Apache attack helicopters strafe the men, apparently killing them, then return to the base to refuel. After they're gone, an unmanned surveillance plane sees a dozen more men emerge from the rocks and make their escape. Just after noon the Blackhawks begin returning in waves, collecting the troops and the suspects they're taking for further questioning. When his Blackhawk sets down, Capt. Josh, an assault-team leader, climbs in and connects to the helicopter's intercom. The pilots tell him that on the way in they saw two more armed men trying to hide in the hills. "Can y'all put me down on that target?" asks Josh, a 36-year-old from Mississippi. The helicopter circles the trackless hills and flies over a herd of grazing sheep. In a sloping valley below, the pilots point out an oblong ring of crumbling rock wall, perhaps 30-feet across at its widest. A red motorcycle leans against the enclosure wall. Nearby, a man holds his hands up in surrender. While one Blackhawk circles above, Josh's helicopter touches down. Afghan and American soldiers pour out and shout at the man to stop. Moments later, a second man appears about 100 yards uphill. He wears a light gray turban and a threadbare pinstriped vest over a mustard-colored tunic. The Afghan soldiers yell at him to halt. Instead, he bolts up the gradual incline, the barrel of an AK-47 poking out of his loose-fitting clothes. From his pocket emerges the antenna of a two-way radio commonly used by insurgents. Josh tells Lance, a 32-year-old, red-bearded fellow Mississippian, to fire a warning shot. Lance fires two. In the helicopter above, Marc, a 32-year-old Coloradan, sees small fountains of earth erupt as the warning shots hit dirt. He leans and fires four more shots into the ground behind the man. Instead of stopping, however, the man runs faster, dropping his rifle and radio in the rocky crevasses. He's 200 or 300 yards away when Josh gives the order: "Burn him down." Josh, Lance and an Afghan soldier with a sniper rifle open fire. One shot hits the man in the right shoulder, but he keeps running. A second slams through the bone in his upper right arm. His arm flinches, and he spins around before regaining his balance and taking off again. "I can't believe that son of a bitch ain't going down," Lance tells Josh. Josh's next shot hits the man's thigh, knocking him to the ground. When Josh reaches him, the man is lying on his side. "Come here," Josh yells in Pashtu, the local language. Josh knows the man can't stand, but doesn't know how to say, "Hands up." The team medic quickly bandages the man's arm and leg to stanch the bleeding. Four soldiers use the man's blanket as a makeshift stretcher to carry him to the landing zone. An hour after he was shot, the suspected insurgent is in the trauma ward of the 758th Forward Surgical Team at a coalition base in Qalat, capital of Zabul Province and about 25 miles from Barghantu. Maj. Lisa Coviello, a general surgeon in a black "Operation Enduring Freedom 2009-10" T-shirt, cuts away his clothes, searching for additional injuries. The 40-year-old Chicagoan is on call 24 hours a day. She says most nights she gets into bed around 2 a.m. and lies awake until dawn, her mind zigzagging with thoughts of broken bodies. "Please, God, let me sleep," she says to herself. Dr. Coviello discovers a bullet hole on the right side of the man's abdomen. As she works on him, the man lifts his head and looks down his bloody torso to see a bulbous pink section of his own small intestine, about the size of a tennis ball, protruding from the wound. He moans and drops his head back to the stretcher. His blood pressure falls dangerously low and his eyes assume a glaze of indifference. He's circling the drain, thinks Dr. Coviello. The trauma team struggles to locate a vein plump enough for an IV. Nurses and medics hold him down while the doctor inserts one into the femoral vein near his groin. They pump in six units of blood, from a supply collected beforehand from U.S. troops. His blood pressure recovers. In the operating room, Dr. Coviello opens his abdomen and discovers that the bullet has torn 15 holes in his intestinal tract. She removes a damaged section of bowel, reconnects the ends and stitches up the remaining holes. The man regains consciousness in the recovery room. Soldiers scan his irises and take finger prints. They ask him questions. He is, he says, a Taliban fighter. —Siobhan Gorman, Peter Spiegel and Yochi J. Dreazen contributed to this article. Write to Michael M. Phillips at michael.phillips@wsj.com View Slideshow Michael M. Phillips for The Wall Street Journal More photos and interactive graphics

DTN News: U.S., Russia Close In On Nuclear Treaty

DTN News: U.S., Russia Close In On Nuclear Treaty *Source: DTN News / WSJ By JONATHAN WEISMAN (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - February 2, 2010: U.S. and Russian arms-control negotiators have reached an "agreement in principle" on the first nuclear arms reduction treaty in nearly two decades, administration and arms control officials said Tuesday. The deal would bring down deployed nuclear warheads and sharply limit the number of missiles and bombers that can deliver them. 'RESET' IN THE RELATIONSHIP? U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev talk during their meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. Rose Gottemoeller, the Obama administration's lead negotiator, flew to Geneva Monday to help draft the final text and begin what could still be an arduous process of translating the agreement into treaty language, an administration official said. "There may be finessing and fine-tuning, but the issues, from our perspective, are all addressed," he added. The deal would bring the ceiling for deployed nuclear weapons from the 2,200 agreed to in 1991 down to between 1,500 and 1,675, but nuclear delivery systems would fall more sharply, to between 700 and 800 a side. The breakthrough in the talks came two weeks ago when National Security Adviser James Jones and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went to Moscow to work through two issues on verification, the sharing of data on missile flight tests and inspections at missile production facilities. The deal was approved in principle last week during a phone conversation between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Under the agreement, the Russians will share flight test data, something they had resisted as they develop more modern ballistic missiles. But monitoring of a key ballistic missile site in Russia, which ended in 2008, will not resume, according to officials familiar with the accord. The administration official cautioned that the final drafting could take a week to two months, depending on snags that could arise. When the U.S. and Russian presidents announced the arms control talks in April of last year, they set a deadline of Dec. 5 to complete them. That deadline slipped, and White House aides are hesitant to declare victory now. But Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the deal will clear the way for the broader Obama nuclear agenda. When the accord is formally unveiled, both sides are expected to announce "consultations" on more ambitious arms talks that would further bring down strategic nuclear forces and limit the deployment of smaller, battlefield nuclear weapons. In April, Mr. Obama will convene an international summit in Washington on controlling nuclear proliferation. The administration is also pushing for the ratification of an international nuclear test ban treaty, negotiated during the Clinton administration, ahead of a United Nations conference to review the fraying nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty later this year. Mr. Obama hopes the efforts made with Russia and on the test ban will strengthen his hand as he tries to further isolate the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons programs. The nuclear deal comes as U.S. officials are increasingly optimistic that Russia is also getting behind a new economic sanctions package on Iran. The Obama administration has coordinated closely with Moscow on the issue and jointly presented a nuclear fuel-swap agreement to Tehran in October in a bid to reduce tensions. Iran's rejection of the deal, however, has angered Russia and pushed the Kremlin closer to the U.S. position, said American and Russian officials. Write to Jonathan Weisman at jonathan.weisman@wsj.com

DTN News: China Vows Sanctions Over U.S. Defense Sales To Taiwan

DTN News: China Vows Sanctions Over U.S. Defense Sales To Taiwan *Source: DTN News / WSJ By AARON BACK IN BEIJING And TING-I TSAI IN TAIPEI (NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - February 2, 2010: China on Tuesday renewed its pledge to punish U.S. companies that are involved in Washington's plan to sell weapons to Taiwan, in another sign of Beijing's increasingly assertive foreign policy. Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Yu Sy-tue welcomes the U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan during a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010. China has not said what sanctions it might impose to penalize the companies involved in building the arms for democratic-ruled Taiwan. But the roster of potential targets is an A-list of U.S. defense contractors, including Boeing Co. , Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. At its semiweekly media briefing, China's foreign ministry criticized the Obama administration's decision to sell antimissile systems, helicopters and other arms to Taiwan in a package valued at a total of $6.4 billion. Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu didn't give details of the sanctions, but pledged to retaliate against companies involved in the sale. The self-governing, democratically ruled island of Taiwan split with mainland China in 1949. Beijing claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has long protested U.S. weapons sales there, but in past disputes, it has focused its ire on the U.S. government. The companies involved in the sale belong to the U.S. Foreign Military Sales Program, which obligate participating companies to provide arms and weapons system to U.S. allies. Even though this means the companies—Raytheon Co., Boeing Co., United Technologies Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp.—have no choice, some have been steadily targeted by China for years. "The Chinese started taking punitive actions against Raytheon several years ago for selling arms to Taiwan, and Raytheon shut down its office in Beijing," said Bonnie Glaser, senior fellow at Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. According to Raytheon's Web site, it has delivered radar and air-traffic-management systems to 16 Chinese airports, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Kunming. It also signed a contract with the Northeast Regional Air Traffic management Bureau of the Civil Aviation Administration of China to supply an air-traffic-control system for Shenyang Airport. Raytheon officials couldn't be reached for comment. Boeing and United Technologies, which have been actively operating in China, are the most likely to suffer from Beijing's sanctions, analysts said. "Boeing is obviously the most concerned as it has a huge stake in commercial aircraft sales to China," Ms. Glaser said. United Technologies couldn't be reached for comment. United Technologies will provide Taiwan with 60 Black Hawk helicopters valued at $3.1 billion. But the company is a broadly based conglomerate, with 16,000 employees in China. It was a major supplier to Olympic projects, having won 69% of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning contracts awarded for the Beijing Games, including contracts for the "Water Cube" National Aquatics Center. UTC's unit Sikorsky, which makes the Blackhawk helicopter, is building multi-purpose S-76 helicopter airframes in China under a contract with AVIC II, the state-owned aviation conglomerate. The package also includes 114 advanced Patriot antimissile systems, valued at $2.8 billion and made by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Lockheed couldn't be reached for comment. A relatively small part of the package are 10 Harpoon antiship missiles made by Boeing. Boeing stands much to lose from any sanctions as it has extensive commercial interests in China's civil aviation market. Speaking at the Singapore Air Show, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said, "It's a government-to-government issue and it's premature to speculate the impact on our industry or business." China's threatened sanctions come as the country has been increasingly belligerent in its tone toward foreign governments. In a long article Tuesday, the state-run Xinhua news agency criticized U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke for accusing China of protecting domestic firms and creating barriers for foreign investment. The article said Mr. Locke's accusations were "misleading and ran totally contrary to the facts," accusing the U.S. of protectionism. "While China is striding ahead on its road to openness, the United States, however, is opening its arms to protectionism," according to Xinhua. China also on Tuesday blasted the Obama administration for a planned meeting between the president and the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, a province of China plagued with unrest for decades.

DTN News: Airbus Close To Agreement On Delayed A400m Military Transport Plane

DTN News: Airbus Close To Agreement On Delayed A400m Military Transport Plane *Airbus may reach agreement with European governments over funding for its delayed A400M military transport plane by the end of this week.
*Source: DTN News / Telegraph.co.uk By Amy Wilson (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - February 2, 2010: Ministers are expected to meet again in Berlin on Thursday, after talks between the countries and the company broke down last week. Airbus had set a deadline of January 31 to reach a resolution. Airbus close to agreement on delayed A400m military transport plane Photo: AFP Herve Morin, the French defence minister, said yesterday: "the nations and EADS are moving closer together rather than further apart," and UK defence sources also said a resolution looked increasingly likely. The A400M is estimated to be around €11bn (£9.6bn) over its original cost of €20bn for 170 planes. Germany is the biggest customer, with an order for 60 aircraft, and is understood to be resisting the company's demands for the countries to take on more of the financial burden. The governments have reportedly offered to put around an extra €2bn into the project, less than the €4.4bn requested by Airbus. That sum was already lowered from the $5bn the company initially asked for. Airbus's parent company, EADS, has already set aside €2.4bn in its accounts to cover development risks on the plane. Airbus has admitted making mistakes in the original terms of the contract but wants the countries to take on more of the financial burden because of political interference in the way some of the work was divided up. The engine, for example, was built from scratch by a consortium of European companies, instead of buying off-the-shelf from the US. Negotiations between Airbus and its customers, which include Germany, France, the UK and Spain, have been at a standstill for almost a year. Last month, the company threatened to cancel the A400M programme if it could not agree extra funding, saying it could not be allowed to jeopardise the civil aircraft business.