Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DTN News: Iran's Intelligence Ministry Urges Moving Away From Russia

DTN News: Iran's Intelligence Ministry Urges Moving Away From Russia
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 30, 2010: Iran's Intelligence Ministry has called for a "decrease" in ties with Russia, according to Hossein Ebrahimi, a parliament deputy and a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.
Ebrahimi told the semiofficial ILNA news agency that the demand was discussed during a meeting between committee members and officials of the Intelligence Ministry.
He said lawmakers favor reducing ties with Russia as well as China because of their support for the June 9 UN resolution that imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its sensitive nuclear activities. Ebrahimi added, however, that because representatives from all decision-making bodies were not present at the meeting, a common decision on the issue was not reached.
"China and Russia gave priority to their own interests over their relations with us. Therefore, ties with these countries will definitely change, but we need a comprehensive study on how to proceed," Ebrahimi was quoted as saying.
Tehran is also angry at Russia's decision to freeze a deal to send the S-300 air-defense missile system to the Islamic Republic. The head of the Iran-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Committee, Mehdi Sanae'i, was quoted as saying on June 24 that "Moscow's failure to deliver the air-defense missile system to Tehran would not only hinder cooperation between the two states, but also damage the country's status in finding new partners in the region."
Defense Minister Saeed Vahidi has also called on Russia to adhere to a 2007 agreement between the two countries on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Tehran. Earlier this week, U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs William Burns said that the Russians have given their assurances that they would not deliver the system in accordance with UN sanctions.
Tensions between Russia and Iran came to public attention last month after Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad criticized Russia for supporting a new round of UN sanctions and said that interpreting Russia's behavior "has become more and more difficult for us."
"Our people don't know if [the Russians] are our friends, on our side, or after something different," Ahmadinejad said.Despite the tensions, Russia has said that the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which it is building in southwestern Iran, will begin operating in August.
The launch of the plant has been delayed several times in recent years.Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asfghar Soltanieh, said on June 15 that Iran has reached the conclusion that Russia’s delay in launching Bushehr is "also politically motivated," pointing to Russia’s vote in favor of new sanctions against Iran."
Of course, there may exist some technical complications, but it is hard to believe that these technical issues have continued to postpone the completion of the plant over the past 15 years," Soltanieh said, adding that the Bushehr plant was originally scheduled to be completed in no more than five years.
More delays in the launch of the Bushehr plant are likely to increase tensions between the two countries.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com 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: Indian Navy Commissioned Two Warships Into Navy Fleet

DTN News: Indian Navy Commissioned Two Warships Into Navy Fleet
Source: DTN News - compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) VISAKHAPATNAM, India - June 30, 2010: Giving a boost to Navy's defence capabilities, two state-of-the-art high-speed warships, INS Cankarso and INS Kondul, were commissioned here today in the naval fleet.
Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan commissioned the ships in the presence of Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral Anup Singh and other senior Naval officials.
The indigenously-built ships use water jet propulsion technology and can achieve speeds in excess of 35 knots. They will be based in Goa and tasked with the role of detecting, locating and destroying small, fast-moving enemy surface craft engaged in covert operations, a Navy spokesman said.
INS Cankarso and INS Kondul are fitted with 30-mm CRN-91 gun built by Ordnance Factory, Medak, and Igla missiles and set of machine guns ranging from light to heavy. "These features are an improvement over the previous fast attack craft (FAC) ships," the spokesman said.
These two ships are the first lot of the ten similar ships that the Navy proposed to induct in its fleet. They belong to the Car Nicobar class V and VI in the FAC series.
"In addition to their primary role, the ships will be tasked with the role of policing, anti-smuggling and fisheries protection in India's coastal waters. In the long run, these ships could help in ensuring stability in India's maritime zones of responsibility," the spokesman said.
These vessels are an improved version of the Fast Attack Craft (FAC) earlier constructed by GRSE (Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers) with a more efficient hull-form design and has been proven after extensive model testing to achieve speed in excess of 35 knots.
These ships will stay close to the coastline and be used mainly for patrolling and rescue operations. Rear Admiral T S Ganeshan (Retd) - the Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE - stated, "The ships have submarine warfare capability and are not vulnerable themselves."
This would indicate a sonar fit and anti-submarine warfare weaponry, such as torpedoes and anti-submarine rockets.
The first vessel - Car Nicobar - has been named after the northernmost of the Nicobar Islands. The second vessel - Chetlat - has been named after the northernmost of the Lakshwadeep Islands and was launched by Mrs Beena Suthan, the wife of Vice Admiral Raman Prem Suthan - the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command. These are the first warships to be built at the built at the Rajabagan Dockyards purchased by GRSE in July 2006.
In a unique event, on 16 Feb 09, the Indian Navy will commission two ships, INS Carnicobar & INS Chetlat on the same day. These would be the first two in a series of ten Water Jet fast attack ships being built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. The ships are being commissioned at Chennai by the Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri Surjit Singh Barnala and are the first ever water jet propelled ships of the Indian Navy. The commissioning marks another step in the direction of indigenisation of the Navy’s ship building efforts. These fast attack crafts are named after pristine islands located in the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep respectively and will be based at Chennai thereby strengthening coastal security of the region. These fast attack crafts are most suited for interception of fast moving surface crafts apart from performing anti smuggling, fisheries protection, as well as search and rescue operations where time is of paramount importance.
These are the two ships of a new generation of ten Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts, designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. They are an improvement upon the earlier version of the Fast Attack Crafts, with a more efficient hull form developed indigenously. The Fast Attack Crafts can achieve speeds in excess of 35 knots.

DTN News: BAE Systems Participates In RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Centre Barrel Replacement Program

DTN News: BAE Systems Participates In RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Centre Barrel Replacement Program
Source: DTN News / BAE Systems
(NSI News Source Info) NEWCASTLE, Australia - June 30, 2010: BAE Systems participated as the primary subcontractor to L-3 MAS (Canada) in the successful completion of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet Centre Barrel Replacement (CBR) Program. The tenth and final F/A-18 Hornet to be modified as part of this program was handed to the Commonwealth this month during an official ceremony held at the BAE Systems facility in Williamtown, NSW. The CBR Program, an integral part of the Structural Refurbishment Program Phase 2 (SRP2) for the F/A-18 Hornet fighter, involved the complete replacement of the aircraft’s centre fuselage (Centre Barrel section) near the wing root. L-3 MAS, the world leader in F/A-18 Centre Barrel Replacement, selected BAE Systems Australia as the teaming partner in Australia to conduct the in-country scope of work. The CBR Program, which commenced in 2006, is a complex engineering and maintenance undertaking which has substantially extended the service life of the ten upgraded aircraft. BAE Systems Australia provided the structural “Tear Down” and “Rebuild” elements of the CBR Program from its facility in Williamtown, NSW. “Tear Down” involved the dismantling of the aircraft and preparation for airlift via Antonov AN-124 aircraft to the L-3 MAS facility in Mirabel, Canada. “Rebuild” comprised re-assembly of the aircraft, flight testing and delivery to the RAAF, all carried out to the most stringent military standards. At Williamtown, approximately 180 BAE Systems Australia personnel and nine L-3 MAS personnel provide a range of technical and engineering support to the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet maintenance and modification program as well as the CBR program activities. Todd Bardell, BAE Systems F/A-18 Project Manager, said today, “The completion of this program represents a major milestone towards assuring the critical RAAF Hornet air combat capability is sustained now and into the future”. “We are proud to be part of one of the most complex structural refurbishment programs in the history of the RAAF,” he said. Graeme Jones, L-3 MAS Operations Manager in Williamtown said, “This program has demonstrated the excellent collaboration between two complementary teams to perform a strategically important project for the Defence Materiel Organisation. We are delighted with the outcome of this successful program.” BAE Systems Australia’s Fast Jet Support (FJS) line of business at Williamtown comprises over 350 personnel. These highly skilled personnel currently provide readiness and sustainment support including repairs, modifications and upgrades, to the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet and Hawk Lead-In Fighter (LIF) fleets. About BAE Systems BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers 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. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).
For further information contact: Simon Latimer,
BAE Systems
Tel: +61 (0) 8 8480 8759,
Mob: +61 (0) 401 674 110
BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384795
john.neilson@baesystems.com Issued by: BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384710 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739

DTN News: F-16s Can Be Used Against Any Adversary: PAF Chief

DTN News: F-16s Can Be Used Against Any Adversary: PAF Chief
(NSI News Source Info) SHAHBAZ AIR BASE (Jacobabad), Pakistan - June 30, 2010: The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, has said there is no restriction on the use of newly-acquired F-16 combat aircraft against any adversary.
“Our mission is to maintain peace in the region with honour, but if the primary effort fails we will use all our assets, including these aircraft, to defend our country against any internal or external threats,” he said. The air chief was talking to reporters at the newly upgraded Shahbaz Air Base on Sunday after a ceremony held to mark the formal induction of the first three of 18 advanced F-16 fighter jets into the PAF fleet. The aircraft have been purchased from the United States for $1.4 billion. The ceremony was attended by Chief of Staff of US Air Force Gen Norton A. Schwartz, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson, US Air Forces’ Central Command chief Gen Mike Hostage and US Defence Representative to Pakistan Vice Admiral Michael A. LeFever. Answering a question, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar said the acquisition of the hi-tech falcons would neither spark an arms race nor disturb the balance of power in the region. It would be the other way round, he said, adding that the induction would restore the balance of power as the neighbours already had hi-tech aircraft in their inventory.
Earlier addressing the ceremony, he said the PAF had decided to induct the state-of-the-art aircraft with night precision attack capability in 2006 but the contract became controversial in both the countries from the very beginning, with critics (in the United States) questioning the decision and saying that F-16s would have no role in the fight against terrorism and cynics (at home) also challenged the wisdom of a contract with the US, because of past experience.
He said that Pakistan and the US were allies in the war against terror and trust between the two countries was an essential element required to achieve success in the war. He noted that delivery of the aircraft was the beginning of a process to develop the trust.
“The issue of trust between the two countries would take some time to be established fully, but the ceremony was an important step in that direction,” he said.
He said the new F-16s would provide the PAF all-weather day and night precision attack capability, adding a new dimension to the PAF potential. He said that operationalising capabilities of the new aircraft and mastering their technology was a challenge for the PAF, but expressed the confidence that it would be done in weeks and months.
He said that Shahbaz Airbase had been developed into a modern base capable of handling the most modern fighter aircraft in the world in less than one year. Completion of this task in a record time, he said, reflected the spirit of PAF.
US Air Chief General Norton Schawrtz said the event was symbolic and a tangible demonstration of the US commitment to stand by Pakistan in the long run as an important ally.
“Pakistan’s new F-16s will give PAF pilots and Pakistan’s military an unprecedented advantage against extremist groups who threaten Pakistan and the region by enabling precision targeting in all-weather conditions, during both day and night, while reducing potential for collateral damage,” Gen Schawrtz said.
“The aircraft will also enable increased tactical inter-operability between the PAF, the US Air Force and Isaf coalition air forces – greatly bolstering our ability to jointly communicate, coordinate and work together to achieve common goals while boosting the PAF’s status as a world-class air force.”
US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson said the ceremony was a manifestation of deep and broad strategic partnership between the two countries.
She referred to the useful discussion in a number of areas during the strategic dialogue and said the US was committed to a long-term partnership with an old ally.
She said both the countries were working together to make the region and the world peaceful and secure.
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DTN News: Turkey Bars Israeli Military Planes Amid Deepening Rift

DTN News: Turkey Bars Israeli Military Planes Amid Deepening Rift
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) ISTANBUL, Turkey- June 30, 2010: Turkey has twice denied Israeli military planes access to its airspace in retaliation for the deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships, a diplomat said Tuesday, in a sign of the deepening rift between the one-time allies.
"There have been two flights in request and we refused both," a diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said while denying the refusals constituted a blanket ban. "This does not mean that we will refuse them in the future but we are taking them one by one," he stressed, adding that civilian flights remained unaffected as they were an "international obligation." The May 31 raid on the aid flotilla, which left eights Turks and a dual US-Turkish citizen dead, shattered Turkey's already strained ties with the Jewish state, with Ankara recalling its ambassador and cancelling three planned joint military exercises. The two countries had been close allies since a 1996 military cooperation deal before their ties nosedived amid sharp Turkish criticism of Israel's devastating war on Gaza begun in December 2008. Turkish officials gave no details of the flights which were refused, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that an Israeli military plane heading to Poland was barred from flying over Turkey immediately after the raid. Turkish media quoted the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot as saying that the military plane had been taking an army delegation of 100 officers to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. Turkey's English-language Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday that a second flight had been barred, but gave no details. Israel's Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said in a statement Monday the country had not been informed of any procedural changes for entering Turkish airspace. The refusal of the overflight permissions "is a result of the indignation the Israeli assault caused in Turkey," foreign ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin told a press conference in Ankara. "We have already announced that we would take some measures if our demands were not met." Turkey has said it wants Israel to apologize for the deaths and injuries, compensate the victims' families, agree to an international inquiry, release three Turkish vessels seized in the operation and lift the blockade on Gaza. Ankara has also urged Washington, a close ally of Israel, to intervene in the crisis, with Erdogan discussing the issue with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Canada ahead of a July trip by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington. A Turkish diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity that Ankara believed the United States could persuade Israel to meet the Turkish demands for an apology, compensation and return of the ships. But it is unlikely that there will be any progress on the demand for an international inquiry, he said. Israel has set up its own commission to investigate the raid, but Turkey has dismissed it as insufficient, insisting on a UN-led international probe. The activists abroad the aid ships say Israeli soldiers opened fire as soon as they landed. Israel denies the charge and argues that troops used force only after coming under attack from the activists. Forensic reports made available to AFP Tuesday by lawyers' representing the victims' families showed that all but two of the nine victims were shot more than once, and five died from bullet wounds to the head. The nine volunteers were shot a total of 31 times, according to the documents. "The findings make it clear the Israeli forces shot to kill the activists and not to overpower them," one of the lawyers, Yasin Divrak, told AFP. The youngest victim, a 19-year-old who held both Turkish and US citizenship, was shot five times, including twice in the head, his autopsy report said. Another victim was shot six times, including once in the abdomen, while a third was hit by five bullets, among them a fatal one in the chest, according to the documents.
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DTN News: Israel FM Says No Chance Of Palestinian State By 2012

DTN News: Israel FM Says No Chance Of Palestinian State By 2012
Source: DTN News / AFP By Steve Weizman
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - June 30, 2010: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his Russian counterpart on Tuesday that he saw no chance of meeting international aspirations for Palestinian statehood within 18 months.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian president said he had made proposals regarding final borders and security arrangements and received no Israeli response, adding that he was committed to reaching a peace deal "as soon as possible." Speaking ahead of a July 6 meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, Lieberman told reporters he did "not see any chance of a Palestinian state arising by 2012."
"The reality is that we are still far from reaching understandings and agreements on the founding of an independent Palestinian state," he said at a press conference with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Middle East Quartet (Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union) called during a March meeting in Moscow for a peace agreement within 24 months, leading to a two-state solution Lavrov later insisted the Quartet still had that timetable in mind, speaking after talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the occupied West Bank. "In Moscow the Quartet affirmed that it would exert every effort to resolve the Palestinian issue within two years, and we still hold that position," he said. Israel and the Palestinians entered into indirect US-mediated talks in May after Washington struggled for months to relaunch the peace process, which was suspended during the devastating 2008-2009 Gaza war. Abbas said he had passed on Palestinian demands regarding borders and security to Israel through US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who has been engaged in months of shuttle diplomacy and returned to the region on Tuesday. "The Palestinian side is ready to go into direct negotiations as soon as there is any progress on the issues of security and borders," Abbas said. "We have given our ideas and opinions regarding both questions to the American side," he said, adding that Israel had yet to respond. "We believe in the peace process and in the necessity of achieving peace as soon as possible ... We will exert every effort to arrive at this solution, because time is not on anyone's side." At both press conferences Lavrov said he hoped the indirect talks would soon be ungraded to direct negotiations and called on Israel to completely lift its four-year blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Alone among the Quartet members, Russia openly holds political contacts with the Islamist Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union.
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DTN News: Israel Aerospace Industries To Present A Variety of Systems For Homeland Security Missions At Security Israel, Opening Today

DTN News: Israel Aerospace Industries To Present A Variety of Systems For Homeland Security Missions At Security Israel, Opening Today
Source: DTN News / Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
(NSI News Source Info) TEL-AVIV, Israel - June 29, 2010: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is exhibiting a wide variety of products and solutions to address the challenges of homeland security (HLS) at "Security Israel", the 24th international homeland security exhibition, taking place this year at the Tel Aviv Convention Center (June 29th – July 1st). The show will display IAI's proven technological capabilities with systems such as situation rooms and command and control stations, sensors, a real time image intelligence center, observation systems, and more.
This year's exhibition will focus on the topics of Safe City, Homeland Security (HLS),and safety and defense technologies. These topics will include challenges such as preventing violence and urban crime, the fight against terror, city policing, critical assets protection, crisis and large-scale disaster management, periphery defense systems, and more.IAI's extensive experience in projects of national and international scale makes it a key player in the HLS and Safe City markets worldwide. Command and control systems and situation rooms such as the Unified Information Center (UIC), and the Routine and Emergency Management Operational System (REMOS) are in successful operational use in Israel and abroad. These systems allow for the transfer of data in real time, thus ensuring rapid solutions for the effective management of complex events in a dense, dynamic environment.
IAI develops, manufactures, and markets systems that provide total solutions to complete HLS missions. Some of these systems will be exhibited at the show, including:
EL/S 8994, Real Time Intelligence Center, which collects and organizes multi-layered image intelligence, using sensors such electro-optic, infra red and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). After the data has been collected, the system places it on a geographical map, allowing for the targets to be located using advanced technologies and computerized tools. The intelligence reports produced by the system are sent to decision-makers in the field or at headquarters.
Multi-Sensor Intelligence and Surveillance System (MSISS) is used to create a ground battlefield picture using intelligence gathered from a variety of sensors: motion detection radars, day/night ground electro-optic observation systems, aerostats, unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and phased array and acoustic sensors. MSISS processes all the data fed into the system and sends intelligence reports to commanders. The reports play a key role in helping to make informed, effective decisions about conducting missions in the relevant arena.
Combo pole (EL/I 3385) static ground observation system is used primarily to protect facilities. The system combines remote control sensors such short and medium range motion detection radar, electro-optic observation systems for night vision, video cameras,and communication systems. Data gathered by those sensors is sent to the command and control station. The system helps locate threats in the field, informs law enforcement officials, and ensures neutralization of the threat. In the photos:
HLS Scenario illustration as seen on a REMOS screen For further information, please contact:
Doron Suslik
Deputy Corporate VP for Communications
Tel: 03-935-8509
Fax: 03-935-8512

DTN News: China Denies Military Exercise Aimed At U.S.

DTN News: China Denies Military Exercise Aimed At U.S. Source: DTN News - compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Reuters & Ria Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - June 29, 2010: China denied on Tuesday media reports that an artillery drill in the East China Sea was in response to a planned military exercise between South Korea and the United States.
The 6-day, live ammunition exercise starting on Wednesday in the East China Sea off China's coast was seen by some analysts as a "response to a (planned) joint exercise between the United States and Republic of Korea navies in the Yellow Sea," said the China Daily, the country's official English-language newspaper. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, said there was no such link and a Chinese military officer said the timing was coincidental. "This is a regular military exercise," the spokesman Qin told a regular news conference. "This is not related to the situation on the Korean Peninsula." Li Daguang, a professor at China's National Defence University and a People's Liberation Army (PLA) officer, said the exercise was "not aimed at the U.S.-South Korea joint exercise." "The PLA artillery exercise in the East China Sea and the joint U.S.-South Korea exercise in the Yellow Sea are a complete coincidence," Li told the Wen Wei Po, a Hong Kong newspaper under mainland control. "The outside world shouldn't read anything into this." The Yellow Sea lies to the north of the East China Sea and the areas of the two exercises would not overlap. China's Foreign Ministry said last week it was concerned about reports a U.S. aircraft carrier may join the anti-submarine exercise with South Korea following a standoff with North Korea over the sinking of a warship from the South. "Though the Chinese government did not say anything about the drill, anybody with common sense on military strategy will bet that they are related," one expert on China-U.S. relations, Shi Yinhong of Renmin University in Beijing, told the China Daily. The joint exercise that had been expected this month will most likely take place in July, although a date has yet to be set, the Pentagon said on Monday. Washington has not said officially whether an aircraft carrier would participate, as some news reports citing Pentagon sources have suggested. Beijing has been angered by U.S. navy ships engaging in surveillance in waters close to China's southern coast. Earlier this year, Beijing curtailed contacts with the Pentagon over continued U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China claims as its own territory. U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said this month China's decision to break off military-to-military contacts could undercut regional stability. Gates said the PLA was the main obstruction in the way of improved relations and suggested its position was at odds with that of the country's political leadership. **NOTICE; To connect to this article Media source, click on the aforementioned respective links accordingly

DTN News: Lockheed To Offer F-35 Fighters To Indian Navy

DTN News: Lockheed To Offer F-35 Fighters To Indian Navy
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - June 29, 2010: US defence major Lockheed Martin Monday said it will offer its latest fifth generation F-35 fighters to meet Indian Navy's requirements for carrier-based combat aircraft. "We have received the Request for Information (RFI) from the Navy seeking information about the F-35 aircraft, which are capable of taking off from aircraft carriers. We are going to offer our aircraft to them," Lockheed Martin vice president Orville Prins said here. He said presentations had been given to the Indian Navy about both the 'B' and 'C' versions of the aircraft in the recent past. The B version of the F-35 is a short take-off and vertical landing aircraft and the C version is an aircraft carrier-based version. The Navy, which will acquire the under-construction Indigenous Aircraft Carrier around 2015, is likely to build another larger-size carrier and is looking to procure fighter aircraft for it. American Boeing, Swedish Saab, European EADS and the French Dassault Aviation are also likely to offer their aircraft to the Navy. Commenting on other projects of the company in India, Prins said the C-130 J Hercules aircraft are likely to be delivered to the IAF by February next year, two months ahead of the original schedule. He said IAF is also planning to order six more aircraft as the construction of ground infrastructure is also going on schedule at the Hindan air base near here. Prins said the IAF has also shown interest in the air to air refuelling tanker-version of the C-130J, which can be offered to it by the company. The Lockheed official said that talks are on with agencies such as the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for supplying another C-130J variant known as the 'weather-bird' WC-130J, which can be used to study cyclones and other weather phenomenon. He said the aircraft might be brought to India for the next edition of Aero India show in February 2011.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine stealth multirole fighter that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air defense missions. The F-35 has three different models; one is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.
The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Its development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as major partners. Demonstrator aircraft flew in 2000, with the first flight on 15 December 2006. The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated US$323 billion, making it the most expensive defense program ever. The USAF's budget data in 2010 projects the F-35 to have a US$89 million flyaway cost based its planned production of 1,753 F-35As. Lockheed Martin expects to reduce government cost estimates by 20%.
The F-35C carrier variant's maiden flight took place on 7 June 2010, also at NAS Fort Worth JRB. The 57 minute flight was executed by Lockheed test pilot Jeff "Slim" Knowles, who was the chief test pilot for the F-117 program.
A total of 11 U.S. Air Force F-35s are to arrive in Fiscal Year 2011.
According to DTN News sources, Lockheed Martin formally expressed its interest to sell F-35s to India. It is also known that the Indian Navy has shown interest in buying the F-35B. Lockheed Martin has offered ‘B’and ‘C’ versions of the F-35 fighters aircraft to meet Indian Navy’s requirements for carrier-based combat aircraft.