Monday, April 29, 2013

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract To Boeing Co., For U.S. Navy P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircrafts Training System Support

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract To Boeing Co., For U.S. Navy P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircrafts Training System Support 
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith &  U.S. Department Of Defense No. 278-13 April 29, 2013
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 29, 2013: The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $21,459,925 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0022) for the upgrade of the Training System Support Center in support of the Low Rate Initial Production Lot III, P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime aircraft.  

This modification also includes the procurement for the tooling and data for the Weapons Tactics Trainer.  Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in August 2016.  

Fiscal 2011 Aircraft Procurement Navy and Fiscal 2013 Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy contract funds in the amount of $21,459,925 are being obligated on this award, of which $21,055,883 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  

The Naval Air System Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. 

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith & U.S. Department Of Defense No. 278-13 April 29, 2013 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 


*China is eyeing to become Hans empire on Soviet Union era set up by grabbing, annexing, claiming and bullying its neighbors and has territorial disputes with Bhutan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, India by showing off its newly acquired military might to secure its energy/oil supply in an unethical manner
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith also sourced from Deccan Herald
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 29, 2013: The area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China has 'shrunk' over a period of time and India has lost 'substantial' land in the last two decades, according to an official report.

At a recent meeting in Leh, attended by officials from the Jammu and Kashmir government, Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Army, it was agreed that there was difference in the maps of various agencies and that there was lack of proper mapping of the area.

Crossing the line
*Lack of institutional memory in various agencies
* China grabbing Indian land by inches in a slow process
* Chinese threaten the nomadic people in the Dokbug area
* LAC with China has “shrunk” over a period of time *
* Lack of proper mapping of the area

The meeting was chaired by Commissioner (Leh) A K Sahu and attended, among others, by the 14 Corps Brigadier General Staff Brig Sarat Chand and Colonel Inderjit Singh.

While the absence of proper maps was agreed upon, the meeting all the same felt: “However, it is clear and accepted that we are withdrawing from LAC and our area has shrunk over a period of time. This process is very slow but we have lost substantial amount of land in 20-25 years.”

According to the minutes of the meeting, it was also identified that “there is a lack of institutional memory in various agencies as well as clear policy on this issue which in the long run has resulted in loss of Indian territory in favour of China.”

The meeting was called to ensure proper protection to nomads who move with their cattle to the Dokbug area of Nyoma sector during the winter months every year. In December 2008, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had damaged their tents and threatened them to vacate the land.

“They (Chinese) have threatened the nomadic people, who had been using the Dokbug area (in Ladakh sector) area for grazing for decades, in a way to snatch our land in inches. A Chinese proverb is famous in the world — better do in inches than in yards,” a report filed by former sub divisional magistrate (Nyoma) Tsering Norboo had said.

Norboo was deputed by the state government to probe the complaints of incursion of the Chinese Army in the Dokbug area and threats to the local shepherds to leave the land as it belonged to them. 

The area has been used by the shepherds to graze their livestock as the area is warmer compared to other parts of Ladakh.

The SDM contended that it was another attempt by the Chinese to term, and claim, the territory disputed in the same fashion as they had taken Nag Tsang area opposite to Phuktse airfield in 1984, Nakung in 1991 and Lungma-Serding in 1992.

Last year, Chinese troops had entered nearly 1.5 km into the Indian territory on July 31 near Mount Gya, recognised as International border by India and China, and painted boulders and rocks with “China” in red spray paint.

The 22,420 feet Mount Gya, also known as “fair princess of snow” by the Army, is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and regarded as International border by the two countries.

Before this, Chinese helicopters had violated Indian air space on June 21 along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region and also dropped some expired food.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith also sourced from Deccan Herald 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract To BAE Systems For Procurement of M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Vehicles

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract To BAE Systems For Procurement of M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Vehicles
Source: DTN News - U.S. Department of Defense No. 263-13 April 23, 2013
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 24, 2013:  BAE Systems Land and Armaments L.P., York, Pa., was awarded a $28,744,284 modification (No. PZ0042), to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (W56HZV-09-c-0408), to procure M88A2 heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system vehicles.  

Work will be performed in York, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2014.  Fiscal 2012 procurement contract funds are being obligated on this award.  

The Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity. 

The M88A2 HERCULES (heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system) is a self-supportive armoured recovery vehicle used in battlefield rescue and recovery missions.

It is a variant of the M88 HERCULES, which was designed and manufactured by Bowen McLaughlin York (BMY).

BMY merged with FMC in 1964 to form United Defense Industries. In 2005, United Defense Industries was acquired by BAE Systems Land and Armaments. The M88A2 is now being manufactured by BAE Systems.

The M88A2 recovery vehicle meets the US Army's requirements for a well- equipped recovery vehicle, which safely performs towing, winching and recovery operations in war zones. The M88A2 vehicle can also winch inoperative heavyweight M1A1/2 Abrams tanks.

The vehicle is equipped to carry out repairs to other supported vehicles in the battlefield. The M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles were introduced into the US Army in 1997 and deployed in wars in the Gulf and Kosovo.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith - DTN News  & U.S. Department of Defense No. 263-13 April 23, 2013
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: China-India Border Talks Pivot On Tibet

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: China-India Border Talks Pivot On Tibet
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources  By Namrata Goswami and Jenee Sharon 
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 23, 2013: Throughout the protracted Sino-Indian border dispute, Tibet and its status has always been a predominant influence, whether implicitly or explicitly on the negotiating table. This has both historical and contemporary ramifications. 

India, much to China's chagrin, utilized the Tibet issue as a key point of departure in order to strike a grand bargain with Beijing after China occupied Tibet in 1949. Jawaharlal Nehru was of the firm conviction that China and India could encapsulate a grand cooperation in Tibet based on which India would recognize Tibet as part of China while China would recognize Tibetan autonomy. 

To Nehru, Tibetan autonomy meant safeguarding Tibet's cultural and social uniqueness. It also meant that China would not militarize Tibet with a massive People's Liberation Army (PLA) presence which could pose a security threat to India. 

Propelled by this belief, Nehru recognized Tibet as part of China in 1954. Mao Zedong, however, interpreted Nehru's insistence on Tibetan autonomy as a diabolical plan to turn Tibet into an Indian "protectorate or colony". In the several meetings that he conducted with his Politburo colleagues in the run-up to the 1962 war with India, he argued that the "Indian expansionist" had devious plans to occupy Tibet. 

In an essay titled "The Revolution in Tibet and Nehru's Philosophy", published in The People's Daily on May 6, 1959, at the behest of Mao, Nehru was faulted for his sympathy for the Tibetan people and accused of upholding the Tibetan upper-class structure to the detriment of what the essay termed as "Tibetan serfs". 

Nehru, the essay argued, wanted to turn Tibet into an "Indian colony". By extension, India's "forward policy" activated since November 1961 to establish forward posts in unoccupied territory that China and India each viewed as its own was also interpreted by Mao as an Indian design to create the logistical conditions to occupy Tibet in the long run. 

These differences and a "no-negotiation" posture by India on the border from 1961 onwards in the face of what Nehru interpreted as Chinese aggression on Aksai Chin led to the China-India border war in October 1962 in which India suffered defeat. 

While both countries have come a long way since then, having re-activated diplomatic relations in 1976 and border negotiations since 1981, the border talks were stalled at this stage due to increased Chinese territorial posture in 1985 especially with regard to Tawang. In 1988, a Joint Working Group (JWG) was institutionalized during the visit of Rajiv Gandhi to China. 

At present, there is talk of "progress" on the border issues and statements from high-level officials representing both parties on not letting the border dispute affect the bilateral working relationship. Yet, both China and India remain deeply entrenched in their rigid negotiating positions. 

The border dispute, especially in the eastern side, is becoming financially costly to both parties, particularly as resources are diverted to build up militarily at the border to deter the other while additional political resources are utilized to continue the negotiations in official diplomatic fora. 

India has planned to invest US$100 billion in military modernization in the next decade, with $15 billion already under negotiations for 126 French Rafale Multi Medium Role Combat Aircraft to be deployed in the eastern sector. China has also visibly demonstrated its military presence in Tibet with nearly 300,000 PLA troops and fighter aircraft like the J-10 deployed at the Gonggar airport in Lhasa. Military exercises by both China and India along the eastern frontier have also increased since 2012. 

The territorial dispute has lingered for decades, crippling the bilateral relationship and thus preventing the two countries from working as closely together as could have been possible had the border dispute been resolved. The bottom line: as China and India rise as global powers, now is the time to pursue real conflict resolution on the border dispute. 

The border dispute will only continue to divert resources and time from both countries which could better contribute to enhance China and India on their way to becoming stronger global actors on the world stage. 

Why is the border dispute so intractable and why has it continually resisted resolution in the past 60 years? The answer is threefold - the inflexibility of negotiation positions, the choice of conflict resolution mechanisms utilized, and the mistrust that perpetuates and further prevents progress from being made toward a lasting resolution. 

With regard to flexibility, at present, both parties seemingly remain firmly committed to their territorial claims and these claims are at times strategically utilized as leverage in the negotiations. China maintains its claim to Arunachal Pradesh, which India has administered since the British left India in 1947, while India seeks control of Aksai Chin, which is under Chinese control. 

Despite China's claims, India firmly maintains that Arunachal Pradesh is and will remain Indian territory, while implicitly utilizing the Tibet issue and India's spiritual connection to the Dalai Lama, a great insecurity for China, as leverage. 

The Tibet issue is distinctly intertwined with the greater Sino-Indian border dispute along the borders of Arunachal Pradesh because China maintains that Tibet is an integral part of Chinese sovereign territory and considers Arunachal Pradesh to be "Southern Tibet". 

Recently, a Chinese scholar from Huazhong University, Du Dacai, argued that "solving the problem of our territory of South Tibet [as China refers to Arunachal Pradesh]" should be China's fourth priority territorial unification issue after Taiwan, the Diaoyu (or Senkaku) Islands and the South China sea issue "to realize the Chinese dream and China's unification." 

This conceptualization of "Southern Tibet," whether legitimate in the minds of the Chinese or a negotiation tactic to try to gain control of Arunachal Pradesh from India, links the Tibet issue to the border dispute because if China and India's borders are to be delineated, Tibet's borders with India must also be determined. 

The fact that Tibet's status within China itself is not accepted by many Tibetans and that the Tibetan government-in-exile and Dalai Lama reside in India, threatens China. This also contributes to the intensity of mistrust among both parties and complicates the already complex process of negotiating the disputed borders. 

In order to resolve the dispute through negotiations, both China and India should seek to take another evaluation of their core interests and determine possible areas of flexibility on certain issues. 

The Tibet issue is also incredibly important to both China and India because the Tibetans' struggle for independence affects both countries greatly from a national security standpoint. China views the Tibetans' struggle for independence as a great source of instability because it directly threatens China's domestic social stability and territorial integrity. 

India's spiritual connection to the Dalai Lama and tenuous relationship with the Tibetan government in exile further exacerbates this insecurity. The Indian government has made public statements expressing India's "official" policy of not supporting the Tibetans or the Dalai Lama, such as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comments that "India will not allow Tibetans to conduct anti-China activities in the country [India]", but India may hesitate to make further statements regarding the status of Tibet while China is pressuring India to do so. Despite these official statements, the Dalai Lama holds spiritual significance in India, thus making China more dubious about India's intentions. 

In this respect, India isn't exactly helping to resolve that tension by refusing to make bolder statements on China's claim to Tibet, and from the Indian perspective, why should it? From a purely bargaining perspective, India retains more leverage to potentially use against China to gain concessions in the border negotiations. The real issue here is that ultimately, this play for leverage further breaks down trust and makes the process of negotiating more difficult. 

Another key issue at play, is that of Tawang, which is in Arunachal Pradesh, closely linked to the Tibet issue and considered to be a holy place for Tibetans. This further complicates the Tibet issue and thus the overall border negotiations because if Tibet is a part of China and Tibetans consider Tawang to be culturally linked to Tibet, then China has an incentive for why it should obtain Arunachal Pradesh from India in the negotiations. 

If Tibetans seek independence from China, this claim becomes less legitimate, but as the Tibetan government-in-exile and Dalai Lama currently reside in India, it again causes insecurity for China. India has likely recognized this concern and in response to China's aggressive posturing towards Arunachal Pradesh, India has increased the civilian and military presence in that area, similar to what China has done in increasing the Han Chinese and PLA presence in Tibet. 

Another key concern on the Tawang issue is whether the next Dalai Lama will come from Tawang, and if so, will that further complicate the Tibet issue and tensions between China and India if China does not approve of the new Dalai Lama? The Dalai Lama will always have spiritual connections with India, even if the current Dalai Lama has renounced former political ties, and given that it is a religious issue, it is not plausible that India would break these spiritual and cultural ties it has historically respected. 

As long as the Tibet issue remains unresolved and the questioning of Chinese legitimacy over Tibet continues, China remains fearful of India's intentions for Tibet, and as long as India does not make those intentions more clear, it will be increasingly more difficult to resolve the ongoing border dispute. 

Although China and India have made progress in developing economic and diplomatic relationships with an attempt to disregard the Tibet issue, the border issue is time and time again raised. The current pace of negotiations has not resulted in progress on the resolution of the border dispute. 

China and India have less to lose and more to gain by rethinking how to resolve this dispute. First off, the mechanisms for resolution should be expanded. On their own, the Special Representative talks set up since 2003 may not be enough to come to a mutually beneficial negotiated solution. 

There are other possibilities for creating a common border mechanism outside of the Special Representative talks to supplement conflict resolution efforts, such as talks on the Track I5 levels. Within the field of conflict resolution, one such conflict resolution method is known as the "Problem-Solving Workshop" (PSW). 

The PSW emerged from the field of social psychology and was pioneered by several scholars and practitioners including Herbert Kelman, John Burton, Benjamin Broome, Ronald Fisher, and Leonard Doob. This method of conflict resolution was designed to bring together influential people who have connections to high-level decision makers but the flexibility to more freely discuss the key issues, various parties' perspectives, and explore creative options for conflict resolution, all the while building trust among the participants. 

In the beginning, this could be conducted as unofficial sessions internally within India and China respectively to explore key issues and perspectives before meeting with their counterparts. Once the participants become comfortable with the process, Indian and Chinese influentials could be brought together to engage in a PSW on the border issue. 

In addition to PSW among influentials, a forum should be created between the think tanks and academic communities (Track II) in China and India to bring together the brightest minds working on these issues. While there are many within both China and India who work on these issues and related ones, there is little sharing or joint work among these individuals and groups together. 

A joint forum, roundtable discussion or partnership among think tanks working on these issues would act as a way in which to collective brainstorm with a problem-solving approach to determine options for resolution of the border dispute. 

At this point in time, it is clear that official negotiations alone may not resolve the border dispute. Additional mechanisms of conflict resolution like the Track II should be sought after, and if deemed appropriate by each party internally, Problem Solving Workshops and partnerships among those working on these issues may provide additional methods in which to unofficially explore options that could be proposed to the negotiators with an aim at resolving the border dispute. 

Dr Namrata Goswami is a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington, DC and research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. Jenee Sharon is a research assistant at the USIP. The views expressed in this article are solely that of the authors. 

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Namrata Goswami and Jenee Sharon 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: Two Men Arrested Over ‘al-Qaeda Inspired’ Plan To Attack A Via Rail Train In Toronto Area Says RCMP

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: Two Men Arrested Over ‘al-Qaeda Inspired’ Plan To Attack A Via Rail Train In Toronto Area Says RCMP
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Tom Blackwell - National Post
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 23, 2013: The RCMP arrested two men Monday in connection with an “al-Qaeda-inspired” plan to attack a Via Rail train in the Toronto area, which they said could have led to innocent people being killed or injured.

An international investigation disrupted the scheme before there was an “imminent threat” to the public, said James Malizia, an RCMP assistant commissioner, told a news conference.

The two accused, Chiheb Esseghaier, from Montreal, and Raed Jaser, from Toronto, were charged with conspiring to carry out an attack and commit murder at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group.

The men are not Canadian citizens but police refused to say how they came to be in this country or where they are from originally.

The plot was to derail the train somewhere in the Toronto area, and the two accused had allegedly been watching trains and railways in preparation.

The plan received “direction and guidance” from an element of al-Qaeda based in Iran, said the force, refusing to elaborate. That connection with the Islamic terrorist organization made the plot particiularly significant, said Asst. Supt. Malizia.

However, officers said there was no evidence the plan was in any way “state-sponsored.”

The RCMP generally released few details of the intended attack, including of exactly how the alleged terrorists intended to carry out the derailment, or what triggered the investigation.

“Each and every terrorist arrest the RCMP makes sends a message and illustrates our strong resolve to root out terrorist threats and keep Canadians and our allies safe,” stated Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, responsible for Federal Policing Operations. “A meaningful response to these threats begins on Canadian streets and in Canadians homes and the RCMP works with all their partners, including communities across Canada, in the fight against terrorism.”

A silver propeller plane carrying an alleged suspect touched down at Buttonville Municipal Airport at 3:20 p.m. on Monday. Two uniformed RCMP officers emerged, followed by two other men carrying laptop bags. The apparent accused appeared accompanied by another officer. He was in handcuffs and shackles, blue jeans and sneakers, and wearing a windbreaker. He did not respond to a reporter’s shouted questions.

One of the men carrying laptops also declined to talk, walking past without saying a word.

The suspect was bundled into a black Chevy Suburban with tinted windows and whisked from the tarmac.

The arrests come at a time of heightened public concern over terrorism following the bombings in Boston as well as recent revelations over the involvement of radicalized Canadian youths in overseas terrorist groups.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the investigation was an example of solid police work and co-operation among the RCMP, CSIS and other police.

“Our government will continue to be vigilant and take the steps necessary to protect Canadians and their families, and our allies who share our common values,” said Toews.

“Canadians can be assured that our government will stand firm in our commitment to protecting this country from terrorists and the fear they hope to generate.”

David Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, issued a statement congratulating the RCMP.

Tim Fraser for National PostTwo men have been arrested: Chibeb Esseghaier of Montreal and Raed Jaser of Toronto.

“These arrests were the result of extensive cross-border cooperation, which is the hallmark of our relationship. Dedicated professionals on both sides of the border brought these arrests to fruition, and I thank them for their service and hard work.”

“This is an example of the United States and Canada working together to protect our citizens. It underscores the fact that we face serious and real threats, and that security is a shared responsibility. We all need to remain vigilant in confronting threats and keeping North America safe and secure.”

An online resume for a man by the name of Chiheb Esseghaier – with no confirmation he is the accused – suggests the man is a Tunisian born engineer, earned a degree in Industrial biology from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées et de Technologie, also known as INSAT, run by the University of Quebec, in Tunisia in 2007.

Mr. Esseghaier then went on to pursue Masters studies in Industrial Biotechnology, earning that degree in 2008, according to what appears to be a blog-based biography.

Then he moved to Sherbrooke University to do a research project on something called “SPR biosensor and gallium arsenide semi-conductor bifunctionnalization,” before returning to the INRS to pursue a phD developing optical and electrochemical biosensors, according to the resume. His LinkedIn page said he is still a student, having started his phD studies in 2010.

With files from Joe O’Connor, Stewart Bell, Sarah Boesveld and The Canadian Press

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Tom Blackwell - National Post
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ~ UAE, Saudi Arms Deal An 'Advance For Israel'

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ~ UAE, Saudi Arms Deal An 'Advance For Israel' 
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Jerusalem Post & Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 20, 2013: A complex $10 billion arms deal in its final stages would strengthen two key Arab allies – the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia - while maintaining Israel's military edge, US defense officials said Friday.

"This not only sustains but augments Israel's qualitative military edge in the region," one of the officials said, ahead of a trip to the Middle East by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. "This package is a significant advance for Israel. ... This is about giving all three partners in the region added capacity to address key threats that they may face down the road."

The announcement comes amid mounting concerns over Iran's nuclear program, with little progress reported at talks this month between Iran and world powers. US officials concede that crippling sanctions have so far failed to force concessions from Tehran, which insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Israel has renewed warnings it reserves the right to resort to military action to stop what it says is Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Hagel is preparing for his first trip to Middle East since taking office in February, planning to visit Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE; he was expected to continue discussions about the arms sale at stops along the way.

The deal, more than a year in the making through a series of coordinated bilateral negotiations, would result in the sale of V-22 Osprey aircraft, advanced refueling tankers and anti-air defense missiles to Israel and 25 F-16 Desert Falcon jets worth nearly $5 billion to the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia also would be allowed to purchase weapons with "stand-off" capabilities - those that can be used to engage the enemy with precision at a greater distance, defense officials said.

The deal marks the first time the United States has offered to sell tilt-rotor Ospreys to another country, and the "stand-off" weapons would give Saudi Arabia and the UAE a more advanced capability than they have had in the past, said the defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"This is one of the most complex and carefully orchestrated arms sale packages in American history," one of the officials said. "That's not just because of the kinds of equipment that we're providing to Israel and Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. It's also a reflection of intensive defense shuttle diplomacy."

Defense officials touted the arms deals as the culmination of US President Barack Obama's effort to find a way to boost the military capabilities of key Arab allies in light of the threats in the region while still fulfilling the US policy of maintaining Israel's military superiority.

Officials said the Congress had not been formally notified of the arms sale as part of the approval process. That will come once the different countries finalize their purchase decisions and submit formal letters of request.

While the arms negotiations with the different countries were carried out bilaterally, defense officials said they had been transparent with all sides about the effort to boost the military capacities of all sides to address regional threats.

Sources familiar with the arms sales plans said Israel had asked to buy five or six V-22 Ospreys, built by Boeing Co and Textron Inc's Bell Helicopter unit, at an estimated price of about $70 million apiece.

The UAE also is interested in purchasing the tilt-rotor aircraft, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like a plane, the sources said. But that sale is likely to be included in a separate deal.

The United States sold Saudi Arabia 84 F-15 jets for $29 billion in 2010, planes that are now beginning to roll off the assembly line and undergo testing, officials said.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Jerusalem Post & Reuters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Monday, April 15, 2013

DTN News - BOSTON MARATHON EXPLOSIONS: Deadly Attack At Boston Marathon

DTN News - BOSTON MARATHON EXPLOSIONS: Deadly Attack At Boston Marathon 
*NEW: An 8-year-old boy was one of two killed
*The bombs were small, with no initial sign of high-grade explosive material, an official tells CNN
*The blasts at the marathon were 50 to 100 yards apart, officials say
*Obama vows those guilty "will feel the full weight of justice"
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources CNN
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 15, 2013: Doctors are "pulling ball-bearings out of people in the emergency room," the expert said, suggesting the bombs were designed to propel shrapnel.

"Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice," President Barack Obama vowed.

Boston "is a tough and resilient town," he said, adding that Americans will stand by Bostonians "every single step of the way."

'Like a huge cannon'

The terrorist attack, near the marathon's finish line, triggered widespread screaming and chaos, shattered windows and barricades and sent smoke billowing into the air at Copley Square.

The blasts were about 50 to 100 yards apart, officials said, on a stretch of the marathon course lined with spectators cheering runners through the final yards of a 26-mile, 385-yard endurance feat.

"It felt like a huge cannon," a witness told CNN about one of the blasts.

Photos from the scene showed people being carried away on stretchers. One man in a wheelchair had blood all over his face and legs.

The bombs shook buildings, sending people to seek shelter under tables, witnesses said.

Federal authorities are classifying the bombings as a terrorist attack, but it's not clear whether the origin was domestic or foreign, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said.

A federal law enforcement official told CNN that both bombs were small, and initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive material, suggesting that the packages used in the attack were crude explosive devices.

Running list of things we know

Another explosive device found
Authorities in Boston found at least one other explosive device that they were dismantling, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.

Rep. Bill Keating of Massachusetts, meanwhile, said there were two more found.

One unexploded device was found at a hotel on Boylston Street near the bomb site and another unexploded device was found at an undisclosed location, Keating, a Democrat and member of the House Homeland Security committee, said, calling the bombing a "sophisticated, coordinated, planned attack."

Davis said a third blast at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library was believed to be related to the marathon bombings, but police later said that incident was believed to be fire-related. The library said all staff and visitors are safe.

It was unclear who may have planted the marathon bombs. There were no credible threats before the race, a state government official said.

There is no suspect in custody, but many people are being questioned, Davis said.

As authorities searched the scene, numerous suspicious packages were found, possibly because people fled the area, leaving items behind. Investigators were checking them.

All off-duty Boston police were called in.

The Marriott hotel at Copley Place was evacuated as a precaution.

The Lenox Hotel was also evacuated as a precaution, the Boston Globe reported.

Flights banned over Boston Marathon blast site

'Horrific day'
Crowds were in the area watching the runners take part in the world's oldest annual marathon.

It was also Patriot's Day, commemorating the opening battle of the Revolutionary War.

Within seconds, the festive occasion turned into devastation.

"This is a horrific day in Boston," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement.

"My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the president, Mayor (Thomas) Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs."

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with FBI Director Robert Mueller and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, a Justice Department official said.

Holder has directed the full resources of the Justice Department to be deployed to ensure the matter is fully investigated, the official said.

The Federal Aviation Administration placed a flight restriction over the site of the blasts.

Other cities, including New York and Washington, tightened security as a result. Following standard protocol, the White House cleared out an area in front of the West Wing.

"If you see something, say something," Mark Boughton, mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, wrote on Twitter. "All cities will be on a heightened state of alertness per Homeland Security protocols."

Mike Baingon, who works at the Atlantic Fish Company in Boston, said an explosion took place in front of the restaurant and that he was right by the front door at the time.

The explosions occurred at about 2:45 p.m., more than two hours after the first of the race's nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line, CNN Producer Matt Frucci reported.

The race was halted as was subway service into the area.

Runners east of Massachusetts Avenue were directed to Boston Common; those west of Massachusetts Avenue were directed to Kenmore Square, the state's emergency management agency said.

Troops from the Massachusetts National Guard, already at the site as part of the marathon's security and crowd-management plan, were assisting police as well.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources CNN
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: Mountain Biking In Hong Kong By Robie Seth

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT:  Mountain Biking In Hong Kong By Robie Seth
Source: DTN News 
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 15, 2013: Biking is a great way to enjoy Hong Kong – you will become fit and healthy. As a bonus, you will get to see the natural beauty all around us. This article provides information on Biking in both the urban and rural areas of Hong Kong, organised Biking activities and competitive Biking if you are more keen than most to be on two wheels.

UK Mountain Bike Magazine Features Hong Kong's MTB Scene

After a glowing story in the April 2013 edition of Mountain Biking UK Hong Kongers can expect to see even more tourists arriving with mega oversized luggage ready to plunder the jewels of HK. But  dont expect these new visitors to be pushing and shoving their way through the streets of TST or Causeway Bay. No way! They will be  flooding ours santuaries - the MTB trails where we seek solace!

Back in November, the HKMBA was contacted by Enrico Guala who manages the Life Cycle Team and organises many super enduro MTB races in Europe. He was planning to bring a pair of top enduro riders, Manuel Ducci and Valentina Macheda, and photojournalist, Matt Wragg. They would be here in few days to do a story featuring HK's MTB scene.  Kenneth Lam, the HKMBA Vice Chairman, volunteered to guide them around HK and make them feel at home.
Seeing as they would only be here for three days, Kenneth assumed  that they would want to explore HK's most popular trails in Tai Lam CP, but instead they wanted to hit the tight single track of Lamma Island.  The timing was perfect. The guys had just finished the annual clearing the trails of  the thick vegetation that had grown like lightening over the summer.  The massive typhoon had brought down a few big trees at the bottom of  Snakes Tail and these too were cleared. Better yet, the giant golden orb spiders that spin webs cabable of felliing riders had retreated for the winter. Lamma's trails were ready for visitors.
And what did they think of Lamma? 
... Andrew and his friends have created one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced on a mountain bike --- an oasis of singletrack barely a stones throw from one of the busiest urban areas on our planet. A small, but perfect, santuary away from the chaos.
Nothing is better than reading the story for yourself. You can pick up a copy of Mountain Biking UK at some bike shops in HK or you can buy the magazine online via sites like Zinio
Volunteers Wanted - Trail Maintenance Day - Ho Pui Trail - April 7 ~ HKMBA
On April 7, 2013 HKMBA volunteers together with AFCD will perform trail maintenance work along the last section of Ho Pui Trail as it approached the reservoir. Work will involve trail armouring and clearing activities. In addition, we are looking for a few volunteers to act as trail steward to greet riders and tell them about the new Ho Pui entrance.
Here is the official rundown of the day from the AFCD:
1. Trail improvement works at the last section of Ho Pui Trail, near the Ho Pui Reservoir.  Since the works mainly involves rock armouring and minor clearance of bamboo, experienced volunteers are preferred.  However, new volunteers are also welcome.   

2. Some volunteers can work as trail stewards who will help us to promote the new Ho Pui Trailhead and the Trail Difficulty Grading System (i.e. green circle, blue square, black diamond).  The trail steward programme can last for around 1-2 hours in the morning and the volunteers who work as trail stewards can join the trail improvement works in late morning.  Tentatively, we shall set up pull-up banners at both Ho Pui Trailhead and the end of Ho Pui Trail, and trail stewards will help us to talk to peer mountain bikers about the new Trailhead and the Difficulty Grading System.   

On 7 April, we shall all meet at 9:15am at Twisk Management Centre (shuttle bus from Tsuen Wan MTR Station will be available at 8:45am), and there will be shuttle from Twisk Management Centre to the end of Ho Pui Section.  The whole programme on 7 April will end at around 3:00pm and there will be shuttle bus to go back to Tsuen Wan MTR.   

Please send me a list of HKMBA volunteers by 28 March (Thursday).  In the list, please indicate whether they will take the Shuttle Bus from Tsuen Wan or come by themselves, and whether they would work as trail stewards.   

For the volunteer group to work effectively, it would be much preferred to limit the number of volunteers from HKMBA to 20 people.  Volunteers shall bring their own water and food.   

If there is any Rainstorm Warning (Amber, Red or Black), Thunderstorm Warning or Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal no. 3 or above being hoisted by the Hong Kong Observation at 7:30am on 7 April 2013, the whole event will be cancelled without further notice. 
Please let us know whether you would like to volunteer by emailing
*Link for This article compiled by DTN News 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

DTN News - LATIN AMERICA AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE: Boeing to Highlight Advanced Technologies At Latin America Aerospace And Defense 2013

DTN News - LATIN AMERICA AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE: Boeing to Highlight Advanced Technologies At Latin America Aerospace And Defense 2013
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 4, 2013: An F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II simulator, cybersecurity demonstration, and unmanned airborne system models will anchor Boeing’s [NYSE: BA] display at the Latin America Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) trade show in Rio de Janeiro April 9-12.

“We look forward to expanding discussions on our portfolio of products and services with our customers in Brazil and Latin America,” said Roberto Valla, Boeing Defense, Space & Security regional director, International Business Development for the Americas. “There is growing demand for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities through unmanned aerial systems and cybersecurity solutions for protecting information throughout Latin America, especially in Brazil as they prepare to host major sporting events.”
The Super Hornet flight simulator will be open to potential customers as well as members of the general public who would like to experience the strike fighter. The simulator includes a front and rear cockpit and demonstrates the capabilities of the single-seat E model and the two-seat F model. The system is capable of demonstrating simulated aerial combat and air-to-ground targeting, navigation and mission systems operation. Operators also can practice landing on and taking off from runways or an aircraft carrier.
The Super Hornet is in service with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force and is currently one of the finalists in Brazil’s F-X2 fighter competition.
Boeing will hold a series of media briefings at the LAAD Press Center during the show, as listed here. Reporters may contact the media relations representative listed below to schedule interviews with Boeing executives at the show.
All times are local to Rio de Janeiro.
MONDAY, April 9
2 p.m.: Boeing in Brazil and Latin America
Boeing Brazil President Donna Hrinak and Jeff Kohler, vice president, International Business Development, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, discuss the company’s activities in Brazil and growing opportunities in the Latin American defense sector.
12 p.m.: NAVAIR V-22 Osprey Overview
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello, V-22 Joint Program Manager, U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), provides an overview of the world's most advanced production rotorcraft, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.
2 p.m.: The Information Advantage
Samir Sahgal, director of International Business Development for Boeing Electronic and Information Solutions, briefs media on Boeing’s Information Advantage concept, which explores cybersecurity solutions and how organizations can manage their own proprietary data to create a lasting and critical competitive advantage.
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 $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing
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*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News