(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - May 26, 2009: The first of three Indian Air Force AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platform aircraft touched down at the Jamnagar air base in Gujarat on Monday afternoon, flying in from Israel. Indian Air Force’s AWACS platform aircraft touches down at the Jamnagar air base on Monday. The giant Il-76 configured in its new version was escorted by three MiG-29 and Jaguar aircraft each. The fighter formation took off from an advance fighter airbase of the South Western Air Command (SWAC). They caught up with the AWACS mid-air and escorted it as it entered the Indian Flight Information Region, till it made it home safely, IAF spokesman Wing Commander Tarun Kumar Singha said here. Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, SWAC, Air Marshal K.D. Singh, Air Defence Commander Air Vice Marshal P. Singh and the AOC Jamnagar, Air Commodore C. Hari Kumar and air warriors of the air base welcomed the crew of the aircraft. The crew included the Commanding Officer of the first AWACS squadron, Group Captain B. Saju. Their maiden touchdown on Indian soil marked the first landing of AWACS aircraft at an IAF air base. “It was a great feeling to be escorted by our fighters and it feels really good to be back,” Group Captain Saju said here on arrival. It was flown by a full complement of IAF pilots belonging to a newly formed squadron from the Ovda International airport in southern Israel. The eight-and-a-half hour flight skirted several countries. It flew over the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea before landing at Jamnagar. The aircraft is expected to reach Palam airport on Tuesday. A formal induction ceremony is scheduled on May 28. The aircraft will operate from the Agra air base under the Central Air Command as part of the extended fleet of the Il-76 family.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
DTN News: Indian Air Force’s First AWACS Aircraft Lands At Jamnagar Air Base In Gujarat
DTN News: US President Barack Obama Day To Day Activities On May 26, 2009
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - May 26, 2009: Judge Sonia Sotomayor makes brief remarks after U.S. President Barack Obama announced that she is his choice to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court during an announcement with Vice President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House May 26, 2009 in Washington, DC.
If approved by the U.S. Senate, Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic and the thrid woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Sotomayor currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York.
DTN News: Netherlands To Sell 18 F-16s To Chile
(NSI News Source Info) May 26, 2009: An agreement in principle has been reached with Chile concerning the sale of eighteen redundant F-16 Midlife Update (MLU) fighters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, as well as a limited support package.The Netherlands Air Force wants to replace their current F-16 fleet in the next decade. In the beginning the candidates for the replacement were the Dassault Rafale, Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 52/60, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Saab Gripen and Lockheed Martin's F-35. In 2002 The Netherlands signed a contract to develop the F-35 as a '2nd Level' Partner. That contract is worth around 800 million US Dollars. After the first comparison the F-35 seemed to be the best replacer of the existing F-16 fleet. Saab is now offering their latest aircraft, the Saab Gripen NG (Next Generation) to The Netherlands. The Netherlands was comparing the Saab Gripen NG and the F-35 in early 2009, however many sources and signs indicate that the F-35 will be the next fighter of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, with already an order for 2 test aircrafts to be delivered in 2010, the contract for 85 of these fighters is likely to be made in late 2009.
It is intended that the contract be signed shortly. The delivery of the first aircraft to Chile is foreseen for 2010.
The Netherlands have promised Chile their assistance for the training of approximately 75 Chilean technicians and instructors. Dutch industry will be involved in this contract. Related costs are to be paid by Chile.
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DTN News: Indian Army Gets Its First Armoured Regiment Of MBT Arjun
(NSI News Source Info) May 26 2009: History of sorts was made today as the Indian Army proudly equipped itself with the first Armoured Regiment of indigenously built Main Battle Tank, Arjun. The development marks the fruition of 35 years of research in self-reliance by dedicated Indian scientists against all odds.After 35 years of troubled development, India’s indigenously-designed Arjun tank has finally entered regimental service with the Indian Army.
16 tanks (cumulative 45 Arjun tanks) were handed over to Lt. Gen. D. Bhardwaj, DGMF, towards formation of the 1st Arjun regiment by Shri S. Chandrasekar, Addl. DGOF (AV) and flagged-off by Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Controller, Research & Development & Distinguished Scientist, DRDO, at a function in Avadi today.
MBT Arjun is the state-of-art main battle tank designed and developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi along with other DRDO and industrial partners.
MBT Arjun is provided with excellent mobility, superior fire power and protection and the features are quite comparable to contemporary world tanks. The Kanchan armour, hydro-pneumatic suspension, armament system, Integrated Fire Detection & Suppression System, system engineering and system integration of complex weapon platforms are some of the significant indigenous technologies of Arjun, developed by DRDO labs.
Initially, 12 prototypes were developed during 1983 to 1990 and they were subjected to field trials of more than 20,000 kms and 1100 rounds. Based on user feedback 15 pre-production vehicles were developed during 1990 to 1995 and they were subjected to field trials of more than 70,000 kms and 8,000 rounds.
After the satisfactory trials, Army placed an indent initially for 15 limited series production in Nov 1997 and cumulatively 124 in Mar 2000. The development of Arjun was carried out in a number of stages and evaluation through extensive field trials. After satisfactory performance, Army placed an indent for the full complement of 124 MBT Arjun in Mar 2000.
As there was a long gap from the R&D phase to production phase from 1993 to 2000, problems related to re-establishing production lines and vendor sources and resolving overseas issues like technology denial in view of Pokhran testing, change over and mergers of OEMS for the critical items, delayed initial commencement of production.
In order to meet the production requirement, additional infrastructure facilities and machine tools were established at HVF, Avadi and Ordnance Factory, Medak. However, the first pilot batch of production tanks was handed over to Army on 7th August 2004 in the presence of the then Defence Minister Shri. Pranab Mukherjee.
During subsequent production, Army insisted upon the demonstration of medium fording capabilities of MBT Arjun. Both CVRDE and HVF continuously worked on war footing, to meet the stringent requirement of medium fording to a height of 2.1m in water with preparation time of 30 minutes as retro-fitment solution and demonstrated successfully to Defence Minister Shri A. K. Antony and other dignitaries on 2nd July 2007. Subsequently, the production tanks were incorporated with all medium fording modifications and the next batch of nine tanks were handed over by Sep 2007.
Meanwhile, Army carried out the Accelerated Usage Cum Reliability Trials (AUCRT) in 5 phases on two tanks from Nov 2007 to Aug 2008 covering more than 8000 km and 800 rounds of firing in each tank. AUCRT is required for assessing the spares requirement for the entire life of the tank besides evaluation of reliability of tank.
Each phase consists of 1000kms run and 100EFC (Approx. 160 rounds of APFSDS and HESH – primary and secondary rounds) over a temperature range of -5° to 50° C. One of the main issues during AUCRT trials was the failure of the bearings of transmission of M/s RENK, Germany, due to rise in lube oil temperature.
However, this was immediately solved by modifying the software during AUCRT itself and the efficacy of the software was proved for more than 4000kms. However a comprehensive solution of modifying the bearing assembly by providing a special coating was carried out to take care of the temperature problem and the retrofit of bearing assembly being carried out in all the tanks. The outcome of AUCRT trials raised the confidence levels of the users over the reliability and endurance of MBT Arjun and they confirmed that the overall performance of the MBT Arjun during the stringent AUCRT trials was satisfactory and cleared the production tanks with minor modifications suggested during AUCRT, for induction. Both CVRDE and HVF along with DGQA agencies worked out methodologies to introduce all AUCRT modifications within shortest time frame and the next batch of 17 tanks were handed over to Army by 3rd March 2009.
As suggested by Army after AUCRT trials, Arjun tanks were subjected to rigorous trials and assessment by a third party audit (an internationally reputed tank manufacturer). After the extensive evaluation, the reputed tank manufacturer confirmed that the MBT Arjun is an excellent tank with very good mobility and fire power characteristics suitable for Indian desert. They also added inputs such as quality auditing, production procedures and refined calibration procedures for further enhancing the performance of MBT Arjun.
DRDO will be incorporating all these inputs in the next regiment of 62 tanks for handing over to Army before March 2010 as desired by the Army. The regiment of 45 tanks will be subjected to a conversion training and field practice for a period of 3 months.
Thereafter, the Army is planning to conduct a comparative trial with T-90 tanks in Oct/Nov 2009 to assess the operational deployment role of the tanks. The present batch of 124 tanks will be delivered by Mar 2010.
DTN News: China Air Force To Show Off New Equipment On National Day / China To Show Off New Gear
(NSI News Source Info) BEIJING - May 26 2009: The Chinese air force will show off new high-tech equipment at a grand military parade planned for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Communist state, local media said Tuesday. There has been much speculation on the development of China's J-10 fighter. Many suggested the aircraft's design was based on the Lavi- the unsuccessful attempt by Israel to develop an indigenous F-16 fighter. Only in December 2006 did China officially acknowledged the fielding of the J-10, when the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) released videos and photos of the aircraft via China Central Television (CCTV) and Xinhua News Agency. By then, it was apparent that the J-10 has the potential of becoming one of the most significant fighters in the next few decades.
The production of the J-10 has forced China to quickly adapt to current developmental trends; in addition to utilizing other technologies (Russia, Israel) for the benefit of its final product. The results are promising. Not only does the J-10 pose a risk to the Russian fighter export market, but it considerably boosts the Chinese air force's tactical offensive capabilities, especially vis-a-vis Taiwan. The People's Liberation Army Air Force will put on display new airplanes and surface-to-air missiles, the Beijing News reported, citing Wei Gang, the head of the air force armament department. Among the aircraft to be showcased in the military parade planned for the center of Beijing on October 1 will be the fourth-generation J-10 fighter plane, which has rarely been seen in public. China's air force has benefited immensely from increased military budgets in recent years and has been in the process of replacing its outdated planes with more sophisticated aircraft. As in the past, soldiers, tanks and missiles will parade down Beijing's Avenue of Heavenly Peace on October 1 before gathering in front of the huge portrait of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square. The display of force is largely modeled on the former Soviet Union's military parades in Moscow's Red Square. The 1989 parade for the 40th anniversary was canceled after the military crushed democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in June that year.
DTN News: India To Buy Airbus MRTT Tanker In A $1 Billion Deal / IAF Drops Russia From $1 Billion Deal
DTN News: India To Buy Airbus MRTT Tanker In A $1 Billion Deal / IAF Drops Russia From $1 Billion Deal
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - May 26 2009: Russia is set to lose a billion dollar (Rs 48,000 crore) defence deal for midair refuellers, signalling a break in its over 50-year-old monopoly as India’s preferred military supplier. The former communist giant has clearly lost favour with the Indian military, as the air force has decided not to field any more Russian Ilyushin-78 refuellers to keep fighter jets airborne for considerably longer periods by tanking them up during flight. The Il-78 and Airbus 330 MRTT were competing for the $1 billion global tender floated in 2006 by the Indian defence ministry for six midair refuellers to extend the operating radius of Indian fighter jets. After operating Il-78 tankers for almost six years, the Indian Air Force has said the Russian platform does not meet its requirements and it wants to deploy the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) offered by European aerospace corporation EADS. After operating Il-78 tankers for almost six years, the Indian Air Force has said the Russian platform does not meet its requirements and it wants to deploy the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) offered by European aerospace corporation EADS. The Il-78 and Airbus 330 MRTT were competing for the $1 billion global tender floated three years ago by the defence ministry for six midair refuellers to extend the operating radiuses of Indian fighter jets. In an exclusive interview to HT, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said, “We have finished all evaluations and selected the A330 MRTT. The deal will come up for final approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) very soon. The Russian platform did not meet certain requirements.” The A330 MRTT is a military derivative of the Airbus A330 airliner. Cracks in the India-Russia defence relationship have existed for some time now. Some of the irritants include Russia seeking mid-course price revisions in contracts for Sukhoi-30 fighters and aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, a problem of steady supply of spares, poor vendor support after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and transfer of technology issues. The air chief, who retires on May 31 on turning 62, said, “After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia has changed the whole pattern of doing defence business. Now we are faced with issues concerning spares, vendor support and built-in delays in the structure of their centralised military corporations.” Two years ago, Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta had publicly said that India needed to take a relook at its military relationship with Russia, much to the government’s discomfort. The armed forces maintain that Russian equipment comes cheap but entails huge maintenance costs. The A330 MRTT has won several tanker competitions with contracts signed by the governments of United Kingdom, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The first A330 MRTT would be delivered to the IAF within three years of signing of the deal while the remaining five would be inducted 15 months after that.
DTN News: U.S. Air Force Plane Landing A New York Air National Guard Base At Stewart Airport
(NSI News Source Info) NEWBURGH, NY - May 26 2009: A U.S. Air Force plane comes in for a landing a the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport, which was one of the alleged targets in a foiled terrorist plot to shoot down planes and bomb synagogues May 21, 2009 in Newburgh, New York.
Four suspects were arrested Wednesday night on charges of plotting to detonate explosives near a synagogue and Jewish center in the Bronx borough of New York City and to shoot down military planes located at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York, after a year long police and FBI sting supplied the suspects with inactive explosives and missile.
DTN News: Ukraine, Russia To Discuss Black Sea Fleet Facilities In June
(NSI News Source Info) KIEV - May 26 2009: Russia and Ukraine have agreed to hold their next round of talks on the future of Russia's naval facilities in the Crimea on June 10, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The countries held a subcommittee meeting on the Black Sea Fleet in Moscow on May 20-21. "During the meeting, the working group coordinated the agenda and several documents that may be signed at the seventh session of the subcommittee, scheduled to be held on June 10 in Kiev," said Vasyl Kyrylych, head of the ministry's press service. Russia's Black Sea Fleet uses a range of naval facilities in Ukraine's Crimea, including the main base in Sevastopol, as part of a 1997 agreement, under which Ukraine agreed to lease the bases to Russia until 2017. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced last summer that Ukraine would not extend the lease of the Sevastopol base beyond 2017, and urged the Russian fleet to start preparations for a withdrawal. Although the agreement on Russia's use of the base foresees a possible extension of the lease, and Moscow has repeatedly said it wants negotiations on the issue, Ukraine's leadership insists that it will not permit an extension of Russia's naval presence in the country after 2017. Kiev believes that the $98 million which Russia pays annually for the lease of the facilities in the Crimea is insufficient. The sum is subtracted from Ukraine's debt to Russia for supplies of natural gas to the ex-Soviet republic. Russia is considering opening a base at Ochamchira, a seaside town in the former Georgian region of Abkhazia, which has been recently recognized by Russia as an independent state, as a possible replacement for the Sevastopol base.
DTN News: North Korea TODAY May 26, 2009 - North Korea Soldier Having R&R On Patrol Boat
(NSI News Source Info) BEIJING - May 26 2009: A North Korea soldier naps onboard his patrol boat along the Yalu river near Hekou, northeastern China's Liaoning province, Tuesday, May 26 , 2009.
North Korea claimed it carried out a powerful underground nuclear test Monday "much larger than one conducted in 2006" in a major provocation in the escalating international standoff over its rogue nuclear and missile programs.
DTN News: Darfur Fighters Take Sudan Army Base - Peacekeepers / Sudan Army Base Attack 'Kills 63'
(NSI News Source Info) KHARTOUM - May 26 2009: Twenty Sudanese soldiers and 43 Darfur rebels have been killed in clashes at a Sudanese army base close to the Chadian border, the army said. Rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) attacked the base in Umm Baru on Sunday, its second raid on a military camp in just over a week. File pictures dated October 17, 2007 shows fighters of the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) driving their armoured battle wagon at an unknown location on the Sudan-Chad border in northwest Darfur. A Sudanese court sentenced another 11 Darfur rebels to death on April 26, 2009 for an attack on Khartoum last year, raising to 82 the number of Justice and Equality Movement fighters ordered hanged for the raid. Judge Hafez Ahmed found the JEM fighters guilty of terrorism and illegal possession of weapons during the unprecedented attack on the capital's twin city of Omdurman in May 2008. The joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force, Unamid, earlier said the rebels had overrun the army base. But a spokesman later said the army had control of the town. "They did make a push for it, but they did not overrun the post. Put it down to the fog of war," Unamid Information Director Kemal Saiki said on Monday, without explaining the conflicting reports. He said around 350 civilians and 100 unarmed Sudanese soldiers had sought refuge in a nearby Unamid camp during the clashes. 'Martyrs' An army spokesman said Sudanese forces had "counted 20 martyrs and 31 injured" in Sunday's clashes. He also said 43 Jem rebels were killed and 54 wounded. Rebel spokesman Suleiman Sandal confirmed the killings, without giving an exact toll: "We have some people who died, I cannot say the opposite," he told AFP news agency. Last week, Jem seized Sudan's army base at Kornoi, about 50km (30 miles) from Chad's border. The governments in Khartoum and N'Djamena accuse each other of backing rebel forces inside their respective territories. Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Khalil Ibrahim speaks at a news conference following peace talks in Doha February 17, 2009. Sudan's government and JEM agreed on Tuesday to meet for peace talks, signing a deal with concessions from both sides, and the Qatari mediator urged all other rebels and Chad to come to the table. The attack on the base at Umm Baru, some 100km (60 miles) from the frontier with Chad, comes as a fresh round of peace talks between Sudan and Jem is due to begin on Wednesday in Doha, Qatar. The United Nations estimates that 300,000 people have died in a six-year conflict in Sudan's Darfur region and more than two million more have been displaced.