Monday, February 15, 2010

DTN News: Copycat Weapons A Threat To Russia's Economic Security

DTN News: Copycat Weapons A Threat To Russia's Economic Security *Source: DTN News / RT (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - February 16, 2010: Pirate production is among the key problems of the global weapons market. Superpowers that used to help their allies establish their own defense industries during the Cold War now face the consequences of that help.
Many countries have created successful copies of foreign weapons and do not need to import arms any more. Furthermore, weapon clones are offered for export, which poses an immediate economic threat for major players in the arms market. Copying weapons is a worldwide policy favored by countries whose scientific potential and defense industry are not up to the task of producing this or that type of weapons or lack a certain technology. As early as during World War II, combating countries did their best to get hold of the most successful weapon models. For example, Germany was trying to produce something similar to the USSR’s Katyusha MLRS, but their multiple-launch systems were still inferior to the Soviet original. Also, the Wehrmacht recognized the advantages of the T-34 tank, whose efficient sloped-armor design was used in Germany’s Panther tank. The USSR, too, copied Allied equipment. By the end of the war, the USSR began working on a strategic bomber project, and the Americans involuntarily assisted Soviet designers in that. In 1944, B-29 Superfortresses made numerous emergency landings on Soviet Far East airfields after bombing missions in Japan and Manchuria. According to the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, the aircraft and their crews were subject to internment. Aircraft designers carefully studied the bomber and created its copy: the Tu-4, which was hard to tell from its American original. Today, the main victim of weapons piracy is perhaps the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle. During Soviet times, licenses to produce the AK were granted to most Warsaw Pact countries, Cuba, China, Libya, Egypt, and Finland. In most cases, the deals were politics-driven, their goal being to ensure that all friendly armies field uniform weapons. Despite the expiration of the licenses, the Kalashnikov rifle is still manufactured in Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia, and even the US. Rosoboronexport is trying to change the situation by claiming royalties or seeking new license agreements. However, according to the company, only China has so far obtained a new license to manufacture the world’s most popular assault rifle. The pirate parade China is the world-recognized leader in arms copying. This is largely due to the fact that the entire Chinese economy is based on borrowing foreign technology. Besides this, the country has a well-developed defense industry, so its copycats are quite good. The scale of “reproductions” was obvious at the military parade commemorating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese leadership made a point of the fact that only Chinese-made vehicles and equipment took part in the parade. (Image/Photo Type 88 ~ PLZ-05, China). In reality, many models presented that day clearly had foreign origins. The FT-2000 surface-to-air missile system is a carbon copy of Russia’s S-300. China never obtained a Smerch multiple rocket launcher from Russia, but fields its own look-alike PHL-03 system. The People’s Liberation Army has a “carbon copy” of the Russian-made Msta self-propelled howitzer under the designation of Type 88. A clone of Russia’s BMP-3 is an infantry fighting vehicle with a Russian turret mounted on Chinese ZBD-05 chassis. Sometimes, Chinese designers create hardware blending two foreign origins at once. For example, the PGZ-04 self-propelled air defense system features 25-mm cannons taken from Italian SIDAM-25 AD system and four QW-2 missiles that copy Russia’s Igla-1. Quite often, Chinese copies, upon permission by China, are further reproduced in other countries. France’s Crotale short-range air defense system has become HQ-7 in China, but that same system, under the designation of Shahab Thaqeb, is now produced in Iran. According to experts, China has made great progress in copying missile technology. Having purchased the X-55 missile from Ukraine, the Chinese created their own DH-10 cruise missile. License with no guarantee Quite often, a license to manufacture military equipment is not protection from copying but quite the opposite: a rather legal way to obtain samples for the development of similar weapons. Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Strategy and Technology Analysis Center, says software codes are not transferred under military equipment supply agreements. Also, there are restrictions on essential and most complex components and systems of the armaments in question; such items are usually supplied assembled by the supplying country. However, sales of equipment without sales of technology are impossible, Mr. Pukhov says; some countries (e.g. India) flatly refuse to consider offers that do not provide for production technology handover. China uses production licenses to create helicopters and airplanes. France’s helicopter SA-365 Dauphin 2 has been upgraded to the WZ-09 combat chopper. However, the clearest example of “licensed copying” is the Chinese J-11 fighter jet, based on Russia’s Su-27. In 2006, Moscow and Beijing struck a deal on licensed production of the Su-27SK (Chinese designation J-11A). The agreement only provided for licensed assembly of components provided by Russia. The Chinese, though, studied the aircraft while assembling it and ended up producing a similar fighter, the J-11B, only with a Chinese-made engine and avionics. Tehran is keeping up Iran, spurred by its aspiration to become the leader of the Islamic world yet strangled by numerous sanctions, is forced to develop an independent defense industry of its own. Evidently, the easiest way to achieve such a goal is to upgrade and copy foreign armaments instead of developing weapons from scratch. However, Tehran, upon permission of friendly powers, often copies the already-copied weapons. Its Sayyad-1A missile is based on the Soviet S-75, supplied by China. Procured during the Iran-Iraq war, those missiles became the base for the development of Iran’s tactical ballistic missile Tondar-68. With the help of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iranian factories were able to launch production and assembly of SCUD-B missiles (Iranian designation Shahab-1). North Korea also supplied the longer-range version SCUD-C (Shahab-2), with a range of 500km. The North Korean missile Nodong-1 later became Iran’s Shahab-3, capable of hitting targets at ranges of up to 1000km. Such approaches to creating and upgrading missile armaments now prevail in the development of other missile classes. Iran currently produces anti-tank guided missiles based on American TOW (Toophan and Toophan 2) and Dragon (Saeghe and Saeghe-2) systems, and its I-RAAD-T missiles is nothing else than the Soviet Malyutka ATGM. Another sphere where Iran is attempting to copy is shipbuilding. Few countries today would sell Tehran warships for use in the Gulf without facing negative reaction from the US. Iranian shipyards are currently busy building small frigates (copies of Britain’s Alvand frigates) and missiles boats (copies of French La Combattante II). The originals were, of course, procured before the complication of relations between Iran and Western countries. Still unresolved is the issue of possible deliveries of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran. Such a system can significantly strengthen Iran’s air defense. The US and Israel are strongly against the sale of the S-300 to Iran. All “technical difficulties” hampering the sale of the missile system to Iran are purely diplomatic problems. In the meanwhile, General Heshmatollah Kasiri said recently that Iran is about to field an air defense complex that is superior to the S-300. According to the general, the new complex is the brainchild of Iran’s defense industry. The unit has yet to be shown to the public, yet experience shows that Iran’s military developments often have Chinese and North Korean roots. The solution “There is only one way we can prevent the copying of Russian armaments in other countries, and that is to sign intergovernmental intellectual property agreements,” Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin told reporters recently. But the results of that work are scarce so far. First, licensing and various agreements are complicated bureaucratic procedures that not all Russian companies can cope with. For example, for many years the Russian armored personnel carrier Tigr has had its Jordan-made clone Nimr (which means “tiger” in Arabic). Second, not all countries are willing to extend existing, or sign new, agreements regarding the production of Soviet military equipment, considering them to be past their expiration date. In the meanwhile, copying of Russian military technology means colossal economic losses for Russia. For example, the United Arab Emirates have purchased the Jordanian-made vehicles for their army, not the Russian “Tigers.” The Malaysian Armed Forces have bought Polish PT-91 tanks, which are a modification of the Russian T-72. In the future, China may be the key threat to Russia’s arms exports. It is China’s cheap yet quality clones of Russian military products that have aroused the interest of Pakistan and a number of states in Africa and Southeast Asia. Egor Sozaev-Guryev,

DTN News: Russia And India To Ink Atomic Deal

DTN News: Russia And India To Ink Atomic Deal *Source: DTN News / Russian News (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - February 16, 2010: Moscow and New Delhi will sign an agreement next month on civilian nuclear power cooperation, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Sobyanin, who is on official visit to India. “Currently, we are working on an agreement between our states on cooperation in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy. The agreement has already been initialed and I am sure it will be signed during Vladimir Putin’s visit to India," Sobyanin said following his meeting with India’s Premier Manmohan Singh, as quoted by RIA Novosti. The document is "a basic agreement which will make it possible to intensify cooperation in this perspective sphere." Also, according to Sobyanin, Russia's participation in the construction of two units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in southern India “is practically confirmed". The atomic station is being built to a Russian design and using Russian technology. According to the Russian official, the development of atomic energy is one of top priorities for India, and Russia “is ready to give it assistance in this". However, it is not the energy sector only that the two states are going to cooperate in. Military technology, telecommunications, hi-tech and pharmaceuticals are also in the spotlight. "The Russian-Indian partnership is developing actively," Sobyanin said. "The continuous high-level contacts and the common wish for mutually beneficial cooperation, which has developed into a series of projects, add a new quality to Russia-India relations," he said. "In this light, even the ambitious goal of bringing bilateral trade to $20 billion in 2015 looks attainable." Sobyanin is a co-chairman of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for trade, economic, scientific-technological and cultural cooperation. One of the main points of his three-day trip is the preparation for the Russian prime minister's visit to the republic, which is scheduled for mid-March. The Russian vice premier also took part in the opening of the DefExpo-2010, the land and naval systems exhibition held biannually in Delhi. Believed to be the largest-ever defense fair in South Asia, the event has gathered some 650 companies and delegations from more than 40 countries. The four-day event has sparked unprecedented interest, with India’s recent announcement that it is ready to spend $50 billion over the next five years on equipping its military. Amur 1650 Armament giants flocked to the republic keen to cash in on India’s spending spree, with fighter jets and armored tanks at the top of the wish-list. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said that the biggest challenge facing the world today is the security threats arising out of rapidly advancing technology. This, according to him, has added a new dimension to the overall security environment. “We have to be on guard. So we have to strengthen our armed forces to act as a deterrent. That is our policy. That is why we are modernizing all their equipment,” Antony said as quoted by The Hindu. The official noted that India is not a “war-mongering” country and has “not invaded even an inch of soil of any other country ever” but added that “we will defend every inch of our territory.” Russia is traditionally India's top defense supplier – with deals estimated at 1.5 billion dollars annually – but it faces tough competition from the US and Israel. However, Moscow is increasingly moving towards closer cooperation on new weapons systems, including a fifth-generation fighter jet. Russian companies will be displaying almost 500 items, and are expected to clinch at least one major deal to supply carrier-based MIG-29 planes – worth a total of $1.2 billion 16 Russian enterprises, including Rosoboronexport, “Splav”, the “Almaz-Antei” concern, and “IzhMash”, will showcase their latest achievements at the exhibition. "The requirements of the Indian market in the sphere of defense industry are huge, they are growing faster than Russia's export capabilities," Viktor Komardin, deputy general director of Rosoboronexport, told Itar-Tass agency. According to Komardin, "a niche, which is occupied by other countries – the United States, Israel, France – is emerging…But Russia remains the leader in this niche." This, in particular, concerns the field of high-technology. "From the point of view of high-technology, we are the first and most-experienced," Komardin said, adding that Russia and India have been cooperating in the defense industry field since the 1970s.

DTN News: Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial System Demonstrates Critical Resupply Capability

DTN News: Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial System Demonstrates Critical Resupply Capability *Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman (NSI News Source Info) SAN DIEGO, - February 16, 2010: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has successfully demonstrated that its MQ-8B Vertical Unmanned Aerial System (VUAS) can resupply U.S. or coalition troops deployed on a combat mission. The MQ-8B Class IV UAV, developed by Northrop Grumman, is based on the highly successful RQ-8A vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (VTUAV) system developed for the US Navy, which is currently in test and evaluation having successfully completed over 245 test flights since May 2002. The US Army selected the MQ-8B in August 2003 for the US Army's class IV UAV, which is part of the US Army's future combat systems (FCS) programme. The system provides the Army with real-time imagery, data collection and dissemination at brigade level. The company conducted the autonomous proof-of-principle resupply capability during the current Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, Ga. AEWE gives soldiers a first-hand look at emerging technologies and concepts. "Fire Scout's ability to deliver supplies autonomously demonstrates its readiness to support troops in the field," said Al Nikolaus, program director of land-based Fire Scout at Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "It also highlights one of the many advantages of a vertical unmanned aerial system. We have matured this capability and we're eager to support our warfighters in theater with the resupply of small-unit logistics that is so vitally needed." For the AEWE mission, Fire Scout had two ruggedized containers attached to external pylons. Fire Scout flew autonomously from take-off to the cargo drop to landing. The VUAS also used its electro-optical/infrared optical payload during the mission to practice reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) techniques. The ability to conduct simultaneous RSTA and logistics missions is another unique Fire Scout capability. Fire Scout is equipped with a payload interface unit, which allows it to release the cargo pod without the presence of a soldier. Fire Scout observed the landing area to confirm the area was free of obstacles and personnel prior to landing. Upon landing, Fire Scout's skid sensors detected contact with the ground. Upon touchdown, the autonomous mission was preplanned for release of the cargo pod and seconds later the aircraft took off again to continue its RSTA mission. "Fire Scout's ability to operate at low ground speeds and operate in remote, unprepared landing zones allows it to move with warfighters in the field and easily acquire and track targets in complex and urban terrain," said Nikolaus. "It's fully autonomous, and swiftly performs the dull, dirty and dangerous missions without putting soldiers in harm's way." Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

DTN News: Raytheon Joint Standoff Weapon C-1 Proves Networked Capability With JSTARS Aircraft

DTN News: Raytheon Joint Standoff Weapon C-1 Proves Networked Capability With JSTARS Aircraft *Source: DTN News / Raytheon (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - February 16, 2010: Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Joint Standoff Weapon C-1 completed a major milestone when the weapon's Strike Common Weapon Datalink (SCWDL) communicated via Link-16 nodes with a Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System aircraft. The test demonstrated the weapon's ability to function as a node on the network and moved the system one step closer to engaging moving maritime targets. Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) represents a new generation of advanced missiles developed by Raytheon Systems Company -- and now in production for the U.S. navy and U.S. Air Force. JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal infrared seeker, which guides the JSOW to the target. JSOW C-1 features the two-way Rockwell Collins SCWDL, which gives the combat-proven weapon a moving maritime target capability. "The SCWDL has already demonstrated the capability to communicate with an F/A-18 fighter aircraft and the Littoral Surveillance Radar System surveillance aircraft," said Phyllis McEnroe, Raytheon's JSOW program director. "Equipped with the SCWDL, the JSOW C-1 will provide unprecedented connectivity and interoperability between sensor platforms, shooting platforms and weapons." The test was part of the U.S. Navy's Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration. During the demonstration, the JSOW C-1's SCWDL received and replied to in-flight target updates from the JSTARS' Joint Tactical Information Distribution System. "The successful outcome of the JSTARS demonstration marks another important milestone achieved by the men and women who dedicate themselves to this JSOW program," said Robert Cornelius, Precision Strike Weapons program lead for the Joint Surface Warfare, Joint Capability Technology Demonstration team. "By confirming initial JSOW interoperability with both Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration targeting aircraft, we advance toward providing the warfighter with a capability imperative to the mission today and tomorrow." Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY February 16, 2010 ~ Taliban Resist Afghan Offensive

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY February 16, 2010 ~ Taliban Resist Afghan Offensive
* Coalition Met With Insurgent Attacks, Booby Traps and Civilian Shields *Source: DTN News / WSJ By MATTHEW ROSENBERG in Nad Ali District, Afghanistan and MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS in Marjah (NSI News Source Info) MARJAH, Afghanistan - February 16, 2010: U.S. and Afghan commanders braced for stiffer Taliban resistance and ramped up the public-relations effort as U.S.-led forces pushed ahead with a major offensive into the southern Afghan town of Marjah.
U.S. Army Task Force Pegasus medevac helicopter rescuing two Marine casualties, U.S. Marine armored vehicles and troopers are pictured in Marjah, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Monday Feb. 15, 2010. Thousands of US and Afghan troops are attempting to gain control over the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, encountering sniper fire, home-made bombs, booby traps, and minefields. The coalition said at least 15 Afghan civilians have been killed since the operation kicking off the U.S. surge began Saturday, but U.S. commanders said that toll hasn't cost them the ability to win local support.
At a briefing with field commanders Monday, top allied commander U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal stressed the importance of getting the word out that a rocket that killed 12 civilians on Sunday hadn't missed its target, as previously reported, but hit a house from which coalition soldiers were taking fire. Unknown to the men who called the strike, there were civilians inside, officials said "We know the truth in this room right now and we need to make sure it gets out," he said. It was the type of incident Gen. McChrystal has sought to avoid by tightening the rules of engagement, a move that has sharply reduced the overall level of civilian casualties. Adding to the challenge, insurgent fighters in at least one incident Monday used women and children to carry weapons and shield their attacks on coalition forces.U.S. Army Staff Sgt. and flight medic Robert B. Cowdrey, of La Junta, Colo. , with Task Force Pegasus, runs from his helicopter to evacuate two U.S. Marine casualties from the battlefield in Marjah, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Monday Feb. 15, 2010. Thousands of US and Afghan troops are attempting to gain control over the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, encountering sniper fire, home-made bombs, booby traps, and minefields. Marjah, with 75,000 residents, is the last Taliban bastion in the central Helmand River Valley. The alliance has committed some 15,000 Afghan, U.S. and British troops to an effort to oust the Taliban from Marjah and surrounding areas, with an eye to bringing the Afghan government back to the town. The strategy publicly puts protecting Afghans first and emphasizes the role of governance and effective civilian administration, while special forces work to pick off hard-core Taliban insurgents. The strategy also plays up the role of Afghanistan's fledgling armed forces and of the government in Kabul. In the battle for control of Marjah—the biggest coalition offensive since the Taliban government fell in2001—insurgents appeared to be making their fiercest stand at the central Koru Chareh bazaar and a dense residential area the Marines dubbed the Pork Chop, for its shape. While in much of the town insurgents used hidden explosives and hit-and-run attacks to try to slow the coalition's advance, in the Koru Chareh area the insurgents launched coordinated attacks that last several hours.Afghan soldiers carry a detained Taliban militant following a joint operation in Enjil district of Herat province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan. One Afghan police man and two of the Taliban militants were killed, as four Taliban militants were arrested during a joint operation of the NATO forces, Afghan security police men and Afghan soldiers in Enjil district, said Delawer Shah Delawer deputy chief police of Herat province. NATO forces move further into Helmand province, Afghanistan, in a bid to remove Taliban forces from the area. "We didn't know if they'd leave or stay and contest this a little bit," said Capt. Ryan Sparks, the company commander. "It looks like they want to contest this." Taliban fighters rained rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire onto the outpost. The fighters had at least one skilled sniper, who hit several Marines and used a rifle with muzzle suppressor to make his hiding place harder to detect. "He's bringing his A-game because this is his last stand," Lt. Col. Calvin Worth, commander of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines said of the Taliban insurgents. The coalition advance has been plodding, slowed by mines and hidden bombs. The infantrymen and engineers who moved in vehicles on Monday to support Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, took close to five hours to travel a little more than a mile, due to the threat of buried explosives. The tough slog was delaying plans to roll out a ready-made civilian administration that will start pouring in millions of dollars in aid to the area.An Afghan man with a gunshot wound is carried to a waiting helicopter to be evacuated by a U.S. Army Task Force Pegasus helicopter crew, in Marjah, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Monday Feb. 15, 2010. At left is U.S. Army Staff Sgt. and flight medic Robert B. Cowdrey, of La Junta, Colo. Pegasus aeromedical crews have faced rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun fire over the past days while supporting U.S. and Afghan troops taking part in an ongoing assault in the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. "They're going to start poking back at us to prove it won't work," said Gen. McChrystal on a visit to an outpost manned by British and Afghan soldiersnorth of where the heaviest fighting is taking place. How long the Taliban might be able to slow the offensive remained unclear. Intelligence reports indicate the few hundred insurgents who are still fighting the thousands of U.S, Afghan and British troops in and around Marjah are low on food and ammunition. Marines in the city also reported that a midlevel Taliban commander had arrived in recent days with orders from Taliban elders in Pakistan to evacuate fighters who could escape. To evade the allied cordon around the town, some insurgents were donning the head-to-toe burkhas worn by Afghan women, the reports said. Coalition and Afghan officials redoubled their efforts to win over the town's population. Allied forces set up radio towers on either side of Marjah so they can explain in broadcasts what they are doing, and decry the evils of the Taliban. The "Taliban are savages…their behavior is not based on any principles" began one broadcast, according to people in town. "Once the government reestablishes its institutions, people will realize there is a responsible administration," the broadcast continued. The conflict in Afghanistan "is not purely a military problem," Gen. McChrystal said between stops and briefings Monday. "It is about getting people to believe." The approach stands in stark contrast to the straightforward search-and-destroy mission that the war in Afghanistan often resembled in the past nine years. Instead of simply clearing out the Taliban and leaving, in Marjah and future operations, coalition forces are to stay in place and give Afghan authorities time to reassert their control. One of the most publicized initiatives to win over the local population has been the convening of a "shura"—a traditional Afghan council—of Marjah tribal elders since just before the shooting began. That effort appeared to be yielding a return Monday when 10 men offered up by the shura began working as guides to help allied forces find bombs planted by the insurgents and to find Taliban fighters who have melted back into the population. The insurgents appeared to be trying to take advantage of the allied rules of engagement. On Monday, Marines spotted 10 or so fighters approaching the Pork Chop area, with women and children carrying their weapons in bundles. Write to Matthew Rosenberg at and Michael M. Phillips at

DTN News: Ashok Leyland In Initial Pact With Paramount Group

DTN News: Ashok Leyland In Initial Pact With Paramount Group *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - February 16, 2010: Ashok Leyland Ltd., India's second-largest truck maker by sales, Monday said it has signed an initial pact with South Africa's Paramount Group to make mine protected vehicles in India and will invest 500 million rupees ($10 million) over the next 12 months in the project. "All the financial investment in manufacturing will be done by Ashok Leyland. Paramount will bring in the technical know-how," Chief Operating Officer, Vinod Dasari, told reporters on the sidelines of DefExpo 2010 in New Delhi. The investment will be made in an existing facility, which Mr. Dasari didn't identify. The mine protected vehicles will be based on Ashok Leyland's stallion platform, the company said. Mr. Dasari also said the company has received a query for information from the government of India on all-terrain multi-axle vehicles. "We will respond to an initial request for information from the government. They are yet to specify the order size," he added. Ashok Leyland, the Chennai-based flagship of the Hinduja group conglomerate, expects to raise vehicle prices by 10%-15% in April. "We will be incurring an expense on upgrading our vehicles to meet the new emission norms and (a part of) that we will pass on to the consumers," Mr. Dasari said. He also said the company expects to end the current fiscal year through March 31 with sales of 66,000 units, compared with 54,000 units last year. Truck and bus sales have been rising since last June, helped by the federal government's stimulus schemes, lower borrowing costs and a fall in diesel prices.

DTN News: Boeing-Led Team Submits Proposal For C-17 Training

DTN News: Boeing-Led Team Submits Proposal For C-17 Training *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, - February 15, 2010: A team led by Boeing [NYSE: BA] has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Air Force to provide aircrew and maintenance training support for the service's C-17 Globemaster III fleet under the new C-17 Training System contract. Boeing Training Systems & Services has delivered C-17 aircrew training to the Air Force for the past 18 years. The team draws on the experience and strengths of Boeing, FlightSafety Services Corp., FlightSafety International, Delaware Resource Group, Safety Training Systems, and CymSTAR. Boeing's five program leaders have more than 78 years of combined experience delivering C-17 training. "As the incumbent prime contractor for C-17 aircrew training, we have consistently delivered guaranteed students to the Air Force for nearly two decades," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president of Training Systems & Services. "And our Training System team has ensured that the service's C-17 training devices are available for training more than 99 percent of the time." The new C-17 Training System contract consolidates the contract for aircrew training systems with a contract for supporting the maintenance training devices. The Boeing team's experience with both training programs will ensure a seamless transition to a single, integrated support program. The Air Force will continue to provide maintenance instruction separately from the other activities. "FlightSafety Services is pleased to be participating with The Boeing Company as a teammate on the C-17 Training System follow-on contract," said Eric Hinson, executive vice president, FlightSafety International. "FlightSafety has a 20-year history of producing successful C-17 training simulators and a long-standing relationship with both Boeing and the Air Force. We stand ready to work with Boeing and the Air Force on this important program." The cornerstone of the Boeing team's ongoing success in C-17 training is its highly qualified instructors and support personnel. The same personnel will continue to instruct aircrews and support the training systems for the C-17 Training System contract. "The Boeing team has submitted an innovative proposal to the Air Force that will continue to provide the outstanding training the customer deserves while offering significantly lower costs through greater efficiency," said McGraw. "The Air Force can have complete confidence in our ability to meet their C-17 training needs." A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: Boeing Completes P-8A Weapons Ground Vibration Tests

DTN News: Boeing Completes P-8A Weapons Ground Vibration Tests *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE, - February 15, 2010: Feb. 15, Boeing [NYSE: BA] successfully completed stores (weapons) ground vibration testing on P-8A Poseidon test aircraft T1 on Feb. 5 in Seattle. The tests will provide data to validate predictions of aircraft performance prior to flight testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., later this year. During the monthlong series of tests, 18 different weapons configurations were loaded onto the test aircraft. For each test condition, external shakers induced vibration of the aircraft's wings, stabilizer and stores to verify the stores' effect on the P-8A's fuselage. The aircraft's response was measured with more than 100 accelerometers and other external devices. "T1 responded as predicted throughout the rigorous set of tests," said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. "This is a major milestone for the team and paves the way for in-flight testing and verification of the P-8A's weapons capabilities." The Boeing P-8 team completed a successful ground vibration test of the full aircraft, minus weapons, in May 2009. T1 is one of five test aircraft being assembled and tested as part of the System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: U.S. Delivers 48 Field Artillery Cannons To Pakistan Army

DTN News: U.S. Delivers 48 Field Artillery Cannons To Pakistan Army *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - February 15, 2010: The United States delivered 48 self-propelled field artillery cannons to the Pakistan Army on Saturday at the Malir Cantonment in the southern port city of Karachi, the U.S embassy said. The delivery marks the completion of a total purchase of 115 field artillery cannons by Pakistan through the U.S. foreign military sales/foreign military finance program, the embassy spokesman said. The FMS/FMF case was initiated by Pakistan in 2006 and enabled the government of Pakistan to obtain the cannons from the United States at a greatly discounted rate. The United States government officially delivered 48 self-propelled field artillery cannons to the Pakistan Army at the Malir Cantonment in Karachi. (U.S. Embassy) “These field artillery cannons are an important part of enhancing the capabilities of Pakistan’s Army as it continues to wage its courageous fight against terrorists who seek to destroy Pakistan’s people and way of life,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan. “It is our hope that these weapons are ultimately able to play an important role in ending extremist violence and bringing peace once again to this great nation,” he said. During the last three years, U.S. civilian and security assistance to Pakistan has totaled more than 4 billion dollars. Assistance provided and delivered has included support for medical aid, school refurbishment, bridge and well reconstruction, food distribution, agricultural and education projects, 14 F-16 fighter aircraft, 10 Mi-17 helicopters, more than 450 vehicles for Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, hundreds of night vision goggles, day/ night scopes, radios, and thousands of protective vests and first- aid items for Pakistan’s security forces. In addition, the U.S. funded and provided training for more than 370 Pakistani military officers in a wide range of leadership and development programs covering topics such as counterterrorism, intelligence, logistics, medical, flight safety, and military law. U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan deputy commander, officially handed over the M1095A5 Howitzer self-propelled cannons to Pakistan Army Brigadier Farrukh Saeed, 25th Mechanized Division Artillery Commander, during a ceremony in Karachi. The event was attended by Steve Fakan, U.S. Consul General to Karachi, and more than a dozen U.S. and Pakistani military representatives.

DTN News: Boeing Submits Proposal For US Army Ground-Vehicle Support‏

DTN News: Boeing Submits Proposal For US Army Ground-Vehicle Support‏ *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS,- February 15, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that it has submitted a proposal to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to provide supply chain services to the U.S. Army for ground vehicle support at Army depots in Anniston, Ala., and Red River, Texas. The eight-year, $193 million contract award is expected to be announced this summer. "Our proposal offers a best-value supply chain solution to the Defense Logistics Agency that will provide fast, reliable services at a consistently high quality," said Jason Frei, Boeing program manager of Land & Maritime DLA Support Programs. "Boeing has long been a leader in the aviation supply chain market, and we are committed to demonstrating our innovative capabilities to our land and maritime customers." Boeing submitted its proposal through DLA's Industrial Product-Support Vendor (IPV) program, which provides maintenance and reset for ground-vehicle fleets. The IPV program works to create partnerships between government and industry to capitalize on the strengths of the supply chain to increase both supply availability and parts reliability. Boeing is seeking to provide inventory management, requirements forecasting, parts and technical support for the Army IPV program. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: Indian Navy Fleet Tanker Launched In Italy

DTN News: Indian Navy Fleet Tanker Launched In Italy *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - February 15, 2010: The first of the two fleet tankers for the Indian Navy was launched at a colourful ceremony at Muggiano in Italy. The ship is in double hull configuration which provides greater safety against accidental oil spillage in accordance with latest MARPOL regulations. The trials of the ship will start in April this year and delivery of the ship and commissioning is scheduled in India in the later part of the year. Another refuelling tanker is under construction at the Fincantieri Yard of Sestri Ponente, Genoa, northern Italy, and is scheduled for delivery next year, an official statement said. Indian Ambassador to Rome Arif S Khan was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The ship, named 'Deepak' was launched by Ms Farida Khan, wife of the Ambassador.