(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - June 5, 2009: India and Russia could reach a final agreement by the end of July on the cost of overhauling the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to be delivered to the Indian navy, the Hindu newspaper said on Friday. The original $1.5 billion 2004 contract between Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the Indian Navy, which includes the delivery of MiG-29K Fulcrum carrier-based fighters, envisioned that work on the aircraft carrier would be completed in 2008. However, Russia later claimed it had underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernization, and demanded an additional $1.4 billion, which New Delhi said was "exorbitant." A joint Indian-Russian working group met last week in Moscow to start preparing a revised agreement on the Admiral Gorshkov (future INS Vikramaditya) by the end of July. The Hindu said that "although a final price tag is yet to be determined, Indian officials familiar with negotiations said on Thursday that the eventual figure would be closer to the $2.2 billion estimate." The aircraft carrier is currently docked at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia, with over 2,000 workers carrying out repairs. According to the paper, the Indian delegation led by Defense Secretary Vijay Singh has asked Russia to ensure delivery of the aircraft carrier by December 2012. The Admiral Gorshkov carrier is to replace India's INS Viraat carrier, which, although currently operational, is now 50 years old. After modernization, the carrier is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.
Friday, June 05, 2009
DTN News: India, Russia May Agree Admiral Gorshkov Cost By August, 2009: Media Report
DTN News: Iran Has Enough Uranium For Nuclear Bomb: UN / Iran 'Has Atomic Bomb Capability'
(NSI News Source Info) VIENNA - June 5, 2009: Iran has significantly expanded uranium enrichment with almost 5,000 centrifuges now operating and this has made it harder for U.N. inspectors to keep track of the disputed nuclear activity, an IAEA report said on Friday.
A United Nations report says Iran now has enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, says Iran has more than 1,300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, which is well over the amount needed to make a single nuclear bomb. The UN Security Council has ordered Iran to suspend its enrichment related activities until the IAEA can verify the exact nature of Tehran's controversial nuclear program. But Iran says it is enriching uranium solely for nuclear energy.
DTN News: Cost Of F-22 Fighter For Japan As Much As $250 Million
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 5, 2009: The U.S. Air Force estimates it would cost Japan as much as $250 million per plane to buy dozens of radar-evading F-22 fighter jets, a U.S. senator told Japan's ambassador in a letter, saying he hopes to reverse a current U.S. ban on such exports. The F-22's engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine, especially in military (non-afterburner) power. Called "super cruise," this characteristic allows the F-22 to efficiently cruise at supersonic airspeeds without using afterburners. This capability greatly expands the F-22's operating envelope in both speed and range over current fighters that must use afterburner to operate at supersonic speeds.
The F-22 has been extensively designed, tested and refined aerodynamically during the demonstration/validation (dem/val) phase and the current Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. The F-22's sophisticated aero-design and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all current and projected threat aircraft. To ensure the F-22 provides air dominance for deep-interdiction aircraft, it operates at medium and high altitude at ranges superior to current generation air dominance aircraft.
To ensure operational flexibility, the F-22 has better reliability and maintainability than any military fighter in history. Increased F-22 reliability and maintainability pays off in less manpower required to fix the aircraft and consequently less airlift required to support a deployed squadron. Additionally, reduced maintenance support provides the benefit of reduced life-cycle cost and the ability to operate more efficiently from prepared or dispersed operating locations.
The above characteristics provide a synergistic effect that ensures F-22 lethality against an advanced air threat. The combination of reduced observability and super cruise drastically shrinks surface-to-air engagement envelopes and minimizes threat capability to engage and shoot the F-22.
The F-22 has a secondary role to attack surface targets. The aircraft will be capable of carrying two 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) internally and will use on-board avionics for navigation and weapons delivery support. Senator Daniel Inouye, who heads the Senate Appropriations Committee, said this price included the cost of creating an export version of the most advanced U.S. fighter, built by Lockheed Martin Corp. This assumes production would begin in four to five years, with deliveries in seven to nine years, according to two sources familiar with the letter. Rob Blumenthal, a spokesman for Inouye, confirmed the senator had sent letters on the F-22 issue to the ambassador, Ichiro Fujisaki, and to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He declined to release the letters or discuss their content. The sources, who asked not to be named since the issue is still far from decided, said the U.S. Air Force had reversed its opposition to F-22 exports after studying the issue of F-22 exports again over the past four to six months. The estimated cost is far higher than the roughly $150 million paid by the Air Force for its last batch of fighters, but the price tag would come down considerably if Congress decides to add funding for more U.S. F-22s to the fiscal 2010 budget, the sources said. "That would help quite a bit because it would avert the cost of restarting the production line once it had stopped," said one of the sources. Gates in April said the Pentagon would halt production of the F-22 fighter at 187 airplanes, after ordering four more in fiscal 2009 that ends Sept. 30. Top Air Force officials say they support Gates' decision given budget constraints, but had pushed in the past for as many as 60 more, or a total of 243. Creating an export version of the F-22 fighter would also keep the door open to a possible resumption of F-22 production for the U.S. Air Force in the future. Japan for years has expressed interest in buying two squadrons of its own F-22s, which could translate into orders of 40 to 60 more airplanes for Lockheed. Foreign sales of the F-22 fighter are banned under an amendment by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey that was passed in 1998, but recent North Korean missile launches and continued interest by Japan in buying the F-22 may be softening congressional opposition, particularly since the F-22 production line is now nearing a shutdown. The sources cited growing support for dropping the export ban, noting that tens of thousands of jobs were at stake around the country. "There's decent support, but it's not a slam-dunk," one said.
The source said it might be easier now to drop the export ban, given recent missile development activity by North Korea, the U.S. recession and strong U.S. ties to Japan. Loren Thompson, analyst with the Lexington Institute, this week said Japan had expressed a willingness to pay the cost of modifying the sophisticated fighter jets for export. Analysts say the bill for removing highly classified equipment could be close to $1 billion, but the prestige of owning and operating the world's top fighter jet could make it a worthwhile investment for Tokyo. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
DTN News: Microsoft Introduces Window 7 At Computex Fair Taipei
(NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - June 5, 2009: A Microsoft staff member explains the latest Windows 7 operating system during the Computex fair in Taipei on June 2, 2009.
Asia's biggest information technology trade show opened in Taiwan, with the spotlight on low-priced notebook computers and advanced broadband Internet mobile technology.A model poses with a Microsoft Multi-Touch-enabled computer installed with Windows 7 during the 2009 Computex exhibition in Taipei June 2, 2009. Touchscreen technology is sweeping the consumer electronics market as technology brands hope to come up with the next iPhone, but these new toys could be little more than plenty of hype especially in the PC market. To match analysis
DTN News: Russian Hummer GAZ 2975 Tigr Is Rolling (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - June 5, 2009: The "Tigr" ("Tiger"), which is often referred to as the "Russian Hummer", was developed by the GAZ Automobile Works for special-purpose militia units. The GAZ-2975 Tigr was officially taken into service at the end of 2006 and manufactured in 2007. The vehicle is intended to carry and protect personnel. It can accommodate up to 10 officers armed and in full gear. The vehicle has been field- and combat-tested before being sent to serve with OMON. Its armor can defeat 7.62-calibre ammunition and can withstand shell fragments. The GAZ-2975 "Tigr" is a Russian high-mobility multipurpose military vehicle, manufactured by GAZ. It is the military version of the GAZ-2330 "Tigr" and has been referred to as "the Russian Humvee" (while the civilian GAZ-2330 has been referred to as "the Russian Hummer"). The GAZ 2975 as Tigr [which means Tiger] is equipped with a powerful diesel engine with the turbocharging and air cooling system and a five-level manual gearbox.The independent torsion suspension of all the wheels, telescopic shock-absorbers and regulated pressure tires ensure exceptional crosscountry ability, high speed of 80 km/hour over rough terrain and up to 140 km/hour on the road. «Tiger» is capable to force a crossing over water ways with the depth of 1.2 meter. Various types of bodies may be installed on the chassis: armored, passenger, cargo ones, etc. The solid design, exclusive flotation ability and reliability of the automobile GAZ-2975 Tigr allows anyone to use it, even under the harshest conditions. Everyone who could steer Tiger, retains the strong impression from power and a running characteristics of this - without exaggeration to tell - "brutal" machine. Tigr causes lively interest both in managers of the oil-and-gas companies, and to the same extent representatives of military departments. The automobile GAZ-2975 Tigr is a joint development of OA GAZ and its affiliated firm "industrial - computer technologies". It was submitted for the first time in March, 2001 at the IDEX exhibition in Abu-Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). New development met all operational requirements on reliability, safety, and ecology. On the automobile is a turbodiesel with intercooler - Cummins B-180 (USA) - with a manual gear box. Installation of more powerful engines up to a volume of 6 litres both Russian, and foreign manufacture is possible. Equipped with independent suspension of all wheels, Tigr is capable to move on roads and impassability with speed of 120-140 kms / h. Exclusive flotation ability is promoted by the increased ground clearance and automatic regulation of pressure in tires. The automobile is equipped with the steering booster. Carrying capacity of Tigr is 1.5 tons. On VII Moscow International auto show "MIMS-2002" the automobile GAZ-2975 Tigr was awarded with a lot of various awards, including a nomination for "Best special automobile". The vehicle was designed at the expense of United Arab Emirates. The pilot production of GAZ-2330 “Tigr” started in 2004. In 2005 only 96 vehicles were made, mostly for MVD. The vehicle is very expensive now (by the Russian standards, of course), 60-65.000 US$ a piece. The main problem is the lack of appropriate Russian-made diesel engine. Now all Tigrs use the US engines Cummins ?-180 or B-215. This partly explains the high cost and unwillingness of the army to purchase this version. Though specialists consider GAZ-2330 a very successful vehicle. It is of the same class and dimensions as HUMVEE, but differs from the technical point of view and has the higher cross-country ability. It uses many original decisions and its very reliable running gear is unified with BTR-80 (in particular, suspension is the same). The demand for Tigr, especially for armored GAZ-233036, has considerably increased in 2006 and GAZ extends the producing facilities to 1000 vehicles per year. In 2007 the organized export will begin. But the decisive turn can be expected only in summer of 2008 when the Yaroslavl motor plant will begin producing the new engine YaMZ-536. Technically it occupies the same niche as the Vodnik. The Vodnik has been chosen over the Tigr, though other Russian paramilitary units might like it. Basically the standard armoured patrol vehicle has for some time been the BRDM-2. This has been superseeded recently by the Vodnik which is a modular family of vehicles including armoured and unarmoured vehicles. Without a Russian engine there is no way the Army will adopt this vehicle. They don't even really need it, they already have a vast array of vehicle types available to them for a wide range of tasks. 2330 Tigr Solid construction, high passability and reliability of automobile GAZ-2330 Tigr make it possible to use it under any, even most complex conditions. All, to whom it had the occasion to govern “the Tigr”, remain under the strong impression from the power and the running qualities of this without the exaggeration to say “brutal” machines. “The Tigr” in the identical degree causes lively interest both in the managers of enterprises in the natural gas field and in the representatives of military departments. By the specialists of joint stock company “GAZ” is developed the special-purpose automobile, which satisfies very high demands in the rational design both of the exterior forms and interior for the automobiles of this class. New development answers all operating requirements on the reliability, safety, ecology. On the automobile is established [turbodizel] with cooling of super-charging air Cummins V -180 (USA) with the mechanical gearbox. The line-up of automobile provides for the installation of the more high-powered engines with a volume of 6,0 liters both Russian and foreign production. The GAZ-2330 “Tigris”, equipped with independent torsion bar suspension of all wheels, it is capable to be moved both along the roads of general use and on the complete impassable road. To the high passability of automobile contribute the complete drive of wheels, increased road clearance and automatic pressure adjustment in the tires. Automobile is equipped with the hydraulic amplifier of steering control. Load capacity of the Tigr is 1,5 tons. At the Moscow international automobile exhibition “MIMS-2002” the automobile GAZ-2330 Tigr was honored a whole series of different rewards, including in the nomination “best special automobile”.
DTN News: Humvee Still Made In America / Humvee Production Will Stay In America
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 5, 2009: The military's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, also known as a "HMMWV" or a "Humvee," will continue to be made in the United States, by an American-owned company.This Humvee prepares for a convoy mission inside the yard at Convoy Support Center Scania, Iraq, April 16. The military's Humvee is manufactured by AM General, an American company in South Bend, Ind. General Motor's decision to sell to a Chinese manufacturer their Hummer brand of vehicles, which shares a common background with the Humvee, will not affect where the Humvee is made.
The recent announcement that Detroit-based General Motors will sell their Hummer brand of vehicles to Chinese-based Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company, has no bearing on the U.S. military's Humvee.
"The Army's Humvee and the civilian Hummer look similar and share a common appearance," said spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Downie. "But the rights to produce those two different vehicles are no longer owned by the same company."
Humvee manufacturer AM General is an American company based in South Bend, Ind. The company produced the first 55,000 Humvees for the Army in 1985. The company continues today to produce the Humvee for the military.
In the early 1990s, AM General began producing a civilian version of the Humvee, calling it a "Hummer." But by the late 1990s, AM General had sold the Hummer name to General Motors. While GM will sell the Hummer nameplate to Sichuan Tengzhong, the military's Humvee, its designs, unique performance capabilities and technologies will continue to be owned by, and the vehicle produced by, AM General.
DTN News: Oshkosh Defense Global Aftermarket Capabilities Ready To Provide In-Theater M-ATV Support
*Source: Oshkosh Corporation (NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. - June 5, 2009: With a potential order of 2,080 to 10,000 MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV), U.S. Armed Forces will benefit from an extensive aftermarket program to support vehicle operations on Afghanistan’s rugged terrain. Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, boasts a full range of global aftermarket capabilities to meet these needs. The Oshkosh M-ATV offering is equipped with the TAK-4® independent suspension system, which has has undergone more than 400,000 miles of government testing and is used on the MTVR, LVSR and PLS A1. Oshkosh Defense has the ability to provide the complete spectrum of service and support to the M-ATV fleet in the Afghan theater. Fully trained Oshkosh personnel are available to conduct training, maintenance, repair or supply services for any of the Armed Forces utilizing the Oshkosh® M-ATV vehicle. Building on their experience from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Oshkosh personnel can even construct and operate service facilities on any of the forward operating bases that might require more support than internal assets can provide. “Our aftermarket parts and service support in the region means less vehicle downtime and reduced costs for our military customers,” said Andy Hove, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense. “Whether the demand is for replacement parts, remanufactured vehicles or technical support, our global team can help the soldiers and Marines in the field with a full range of aftermarket capabilities for the M-ATV to keep their missions on the move.” To support extended operations, major repair and refurbishment centers could be set up to rebuild severely damaged or worn vehicles. Oshkosh has already proven this concept in the Jahra Service Facility in Kuwait, where the company has been performing work on the Theater-Provided Equipment Refurbishment (TPER) program. The TPER program refurbishes the entire family of heavy and line-haul vehicles operating in Iraq, and returns them to fully mission-capable status. Partnering with the military, Oshkosh uses the facility to repair and refurbish vehicles that are highly worn due to battle damage, high mileage, extended usage and extreme temperatures. The Oshkosh M-ATV offering is equipped with TAK-4® independent suspension system, which also is used on the U.S. Marine Corps’ Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) and Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR), as well as the U.S. Army’s modernized Palletized Load System (PLSA1). The Oshkosh M-ATV’s TAK-4 system is the only proven and mission-ready independent suspension designed for off-road operations, and has undergone more than 400,000 miles of government testing. TAK-4 provides the Oshkosh M-ATV with a 70 percent off-road mission profile capability and allows it to thrive in Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain. Oshkosh recently received a contract to retrofit more than 1,500 existing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles with the TAK-4 independent suspension system. The upgrades will enable these MRAPs to be used off-road in the arduous environment of Afghanistan. Oshkosh also is working with the government and other original MRAP manufacturers to increase the off-road mobility of existing MRAP vehicles. Additionally, the Oshkosh M-ATV features commonality with existing vehicles, including the PLS, MTVR, LVSR, MRAP vehicles and the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), which ensures parts will be readily available within the logistics system. Oshkosh Defense delivers the M-ATV with the survivability, mobility, mission-proven and production-ready solutions required for Afghanistan. About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com. About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corp. manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, BAI®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, Geesink™, Norba™, Kiggen™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, log on to www.oshkoshcorporation.com.
DTN News: Nigeria’s Afrijet Airlines Inks Head Of Agreement For 4 ATR 72-500s
(NSI News Source Info) TOULOUSE - June 5, 2009: Nigerian carrier Afrijet Airlines and ATR today announced the signature of a HoA (Heads of Agreement) for the purchase of 4 ATR 72-500s, in a deal worth US $ 80 million.
Marketed as the -500 and certified in January 1997 with either PW127M or PW 127F engines the -212A is an upgraded version of the -210 using six-bladed propellers on otherwise identical PW127F engines. Other improvements include higher maximum weights and superior performance, as well as greater automation of power management to ease pilot workload.
The agreement was inked on the occasion of the official visit to Nigeria of the French Prime Minister, Mr. François Fillon, and in the presence of the Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Mr. Babatunde Omotoba. With the signature for these 68-seat aircraft, Afrijet becomes a new ATR customer and the third to operate ATRs in Nigeria. Almost 70 ATRs are operated today in Africa by 23 airlines.
These PW 127M powered ATR 72-500s will feature the ATR’s Elegance Cabin and In-Flight Entertainment. With its brand new fleet of ATR 72-500 aircraft, Afrijet Airlines will reinforce its domestic network and expand its regional operations to the surrounding area with aircraft well-reputed for their very high dispatch reliability, over 99.5%, and their flexibility to operate on short airfields.
With the ATR 72-500s, the airline will also benefit from the most modern technologies and the lowest fuel consumption and operating costs of the regional aircraft. Commenting on this order, Captain William Berry Noelle, Managing Director of Afrijet Airlines, stated: “These new ATR 72-500s will allow us to introduce the most modern regional aircraft into our fleet and to propose to our passengers state-of-the-art standards of comfort. We’ll be pleased to further develop our regional network with aircraft which have clearly proven their suitability for the operations in the hot and demanding African environment.
With their PW 127M engines, the ATR 72-500s, are in the right position to provide us great performance.” He added: “We need aircraft that can ensure the lowest operating costs given the current economic environment, and for ensuring our long term success in the future even in the face of expected future increases in fuel costs. We are convinced that the ATRs will strongly contribute to the growth of our airline”.
Stéphane Mayer, ATR Chief Executive Officer, underlined “the confidence shown by Afrijet Airlines in the ATR aircraft. For the first time they will be introducing turboprops into their fleet, and will benefit from the many advantages of our aircraft, both in operating costs and performance, and also in terms of environmental friendliness. Since 2005, we have sold almost 40 ATRs in the continent, while significantly expanding our list of ATR -500 series operators in Africa.” He added: “Afrijet Airlines is making a significant investment in its regional network during a particularly difficult economic context. This shows the confidence of the airline in the further development of the regional connectivity in Nigeria and the surrounding area. We are glad to be associated with their ambitious project.”
Since the beginning of the programme, ATR has sold 989 aircraft (422 ATR 42s and 567 ATR 72s).
DTN News: Airbus Military A330 MRTT Has Successfully Performed First Contacts Using A New Generation Of Under-Wing Hose And Drogue Refuelling Pods
DTN News: Airbus Military A330 MRTT Has Successfully Performed First Contacts Using A New Generation Of Under-Wing Hose And Drogue Refuelling Pods (NSI News Source Info) PARIS - June 5, 2009: The Airbus Military A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) has completed another major milestone performing successfully a series of dry contacts using the new generation Cobham 905E hose and drogue refuelling pods, located under the wings. The receiver aircraft was a Spanish Air Force F/A-18A+ fighter. The A330 MRTT has been selected by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (5 aircraft), as well as the UK under the RAF's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) project, to take the place of older tanker aircraft. In both cases the A330 MRTT competed against the Boeing 767 AAR derivative. The RAF will replace both the Vickers VC10 and Lockheed Tristar based tankers, while the RAAF is replacing its Boeing 707 tanker/transports. Further orders were announced in 2007 and confirmed in 2008 from the United Arab Emirates Air Force & Air Defense and Royal Saudi Air Force for three aircraft each. 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. These will be fitted with three refueling hoses and no boom. The system performed well in hose extension and retraction, and showed good hose response in the contact as well as stability during pre-contact and when connected. This new refuelling pod is a development of the 907E pod already in service with the Canadian and German air forces on their A310 MRTTs. The pods can each deliver up to 420 US gal/min (1600 litres/min) through a 90 ft (27.4 m) hose, and are controlled from a state-of-the-art Fuel Operator Console located in the cockpit. "The next steps in the flight test program involve more contacts with the new hose and drogue refuelling pod and the advanced Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), refuelling a variety of receivers that will include French, Portuguese and Spanish small and large receiver aircraft. This flight test phase will lead us to the completion of military certification, and final qualification with our customer” said Miguel Morell, Vice President Airbus Military Derivative Programmes. The A330 MRTT has been selected by the air forces of Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and was chosen last year by the U.S. Air Force for its recapitalization of the service’s aging tanker fleet.
DTN News: French Military Aircraft Searching Atlantic Ocean For Clues Of Air France Flight 447
(NSI News Source Info) DAKAR, Senegal - June 5, 2009: Members of the flight crew of a French military Atlantic Model 2 stand on the tarmac after returning from the site of the crash of an Air France flight, at the French military air base in Dakar, Senegal Thursday, June 4, 2009.
A Brazilian helicopter crew recovered the first wreckage from Air France Flight 447 on Thursday, pulling a cargo pallet from the sea.
DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 5, 2009 - South Korean Soldiers On Guard And Military Exercise Near Demilitarized Zone
DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 5, 2009 - South Korean Soldiers On Guard And Military Exercise Near Demilitarized Zone
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 5, 2009: South Korean soldiers take part in a military drill near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 45 km (28 miles) north of Seoul, June 5, 2009. North Korea has proposed working-level talks next week with the South over a joint-factory park that is the only major link between the rival states, the Unification Ministry in Seoul said on Friday.
DTN News: Somalia TODAY June 5, 2009 - Somalia Vowed To Uproot And Eliminate Islamic Militants From Its Territory
DTN News: Somalia TODAY June 5, 2009 - Somalia Vowed To Uproot And Eliminate Islamic Militants From Its Territory
(NSI News Source Info) MOGADISHU, Somalia - June 5, 2009: Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed sits with his Finance minister Sharif Hasan Sheik Adan during a news conference at the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu, June 4, 2009, where he vowed to continue fighting Islamists Insurgents until peace is assured in the Horn of African nation.
Addis Adaba acknowledged on Wednesday its military personnel had been carrying out "reconnaissance" missions into neighbouring Somalia where any incursions from Ethiopia always inflame passions.
DTN News: GAO Finds U.S. Military Hardware Easy To Buy, Ship
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 5, 2009: Military hardware that can be used in nuclear devices and ground fighting can be easily purchased In the United States and shipped overseas, a government investigation revealed Thursday. This inclinometer, which can be used in homemade bombs, was easily bought and shipped overseas. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) watchdog agency set up fake companies to obtain military and dual use items -- which have both military and commercial use -- in the United States and ship them overseas, according to a report made public at a House subcommittee hearing. The domestic purchases allow buyers to avoid U.S. restrictions on sales to foreign entities, it noted. Items purchased in the bogus transactions included parts for making nuclear devices and guiding missiles that could carry nuclear warheads, as well as night-vision devices, body armor and other hardware for ground combat, said the report provided to the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. "There appears to be a gigantic loophole within our laws that makes it easy for our enemies to get hold of our superior military technology and use it against us," said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan. Gregory Kutz, a GAO managing director who led the 13-month investigation, said it found "sensitive dual-use and military technology can be easily and legally purchased from manufacturers and distributors within the United States and illegally exported without detection." He stressed that no laws were broken by any of the companies that sold items to the undercover GAO operation, and that the magnitude of trying to check all overseas travelers and shipments made it impossible to halt illegal export of the items under current law. Committee members said the lack of regulation or export controls made the situation particularly troubling. "The scandal here may be what is legal, not what is illegal," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon. However, he warned against excessive regulations that could stifle necessary commerce in items used by law enforcement, medical and other industries. This F-16 computer was bought in a covert operation to expose the ease of sending military technology overseas. Kutz held up some of the items purchased by undercover investigators, including a small device that looked like a spark plug called a triggered spark gap. The item has medical applications and can also be used to detonate a nuclear weapon, he said. Kutz also displayed a small device called a gyro chip that can be used to steer guided missiles. Other items on display in the committee room included some used in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that target U.S. soldiers in Iraq, as well as sophisticated body armor and night-vision devices. Undercover investigators complied with all required checks in purchasing the equipment, Kutz said, including the submission of end-user agreements that forbid exporting the equipment or using it in any nuclear, biological and missile weapons. Such documents amount to an "honor system" pledge, rather than any enforcement mechanism, he said. The only further checks involved are confirming the validity of credit cards and the existence of Web sites, Kutz said. Most of the transactions took place by e-mail and telephone calls. "The kind of front company we used and the kind of scheme we used is the kind being used by terrorist organizations today," Kutz said. "This was not a hypothetical situation; this is being done." The investigation shipped some of the dual-use items to "a country that is a known trans-shipment point for terrorist governments and foreign governments attempting to acquire sensitive technology," Kutz said. He declined to name the country, but said it was in southeast Asia and that the shipments were simple packages labeled documents and sent by regular mail. "As GAO proves, a cardboard box and the U.S. Postal Service is all it takes to move dual-use items out of the country," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts. One of those duped by the investigation -- Nicholas Fitton, a technology dealer in Georgia -- told the committee he complied with all required checks in selling an F-16 engine computer to what he thought was a legitimate U.S. buyer. Asked by Stupak why anyone other than the military would need such a device, Fitton said his customers often are museums, collectors and film companies seeking authentic items. Fitton said existing regulations were counter-productive, with seemingly harmless items associated with military gear more tightly controlled than the dual-use items of the investigation. At the same time, he said, making the system too restrictive would harm the competitive ability of U.S. manufacturers. A triggered spark gap and an accelerometer, both bought and shipped, can be used in nuclear weapons. Export laws in the United States have remained virtually unchanged since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Anne-Marie Lasowski of the GAO told the committee. She called for a "holistic" approach involving all agencies charged with security and commerce for an issue involving billions of dollars in exports.
DTN News: US President Barack Obama With German Chancellor Angela Merkel In Germany
(NSI News Source Info) DRESDEN, Germnay - June 5, 2009: President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen prior to bilateral talks at the historical Green Vault in Dresden, Germany, Friday, June 5, 2009.
Obama, en route from Egypt to France, will visit Dresden, the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald and the US regional medical center in Landstuhl during his stopover in Germany.
DTN News: President Barack Obama Lays Out Path For Peace
(NSI News Source Info) June 5, 2009: That was the speech that may indeed change the world. No one speech can, as Barack Obama himself said. But in his 5,000 words yesterday in Cairo, he laid out a path for the West and the Muslim world to walk on together, perhaps even holding hands. An Indian Muslim family reacts as they watch U.S. President Barack Obama deliver a speech at Cairo University, on television at their home in Calcutta, India, Thursday, June 4, 2009. It was more of a landmark speech than the one he gave last year on race. That one saved his presidential campaign. This one might just spell the end of the post-9/11 "clash of civilizations." More than tackling the toughest geopolitical issues of the day – Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, anti-Semitism, etc. – Obama's greatest accomplishment was cultural. This son of a black Muslim father and a white Christian mother effectively announced the end of the culture war on Muslims that has underpinned the war on terrorism for the last eight years. Muslims – here in North America and Europe, and there in Muslim lands – will be relieved. Islamophobes, of whom we have our share, will not be pleased. Obama's was a Canadian message – of pluralism, of people of different faiths and cultures finding ways to live in harmony. In fact, some of his most ringing pronouncements echoed last year's report of the Quebec commission on reasonable accommodation. With his trademark ability to see both sides of every issue, Obama was, by turns, empathetic of both Arabs and Jews, and equally tough on Muslims and the West. He was a heralder of new beginnings, but only on conditions of reciprocity. Speaking "as clearly and plainly as I can," he said that while Afghanistan was a war of necessity, Iraq was indeed "a war of choice." The U.S. will get out of both, eventually, keeping no permanent bases. But Muslims must confront extremists, who've killed "people of different faiths – more than any other, they've killed Muslims." He went after intolerant Muslims. "Among some Muslims, there's a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of somebody else's faith. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld, whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt." Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear power, but not weapons. Denying the Holocaust (as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does) is "baseless, ignorant and hateful." America's bond with Israel is "unbreakable." He will pursue a two-state solution. "It is undeniable that the Palestinian people, Muslims and Christians, have suffered ... The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable." Yes, there is a "continued humanitarian crisis in Gaza." But "Palestinians must abandon violence." Hamas, especially. It was an intelligent, balanced speech, which allowed him to walk through several political minefields. But his biggest, most immediate achievement was to have shot down several staples of post-9/11 anti-Muslim rhetoric. Rejecting the clash of civilizations theory, he said "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace." Unlike those who equate the Muslim holy book to Mein Kampf or who invoke it selectively to fan hatred, Obama quoted from the "Holy Qur'an" five times. In sharp contrast to the populist tone of recent years, he was respectful of Islam and Muslims. He started by greeting the audience with the Islamic salutation, Assalam-o-alaikum, peace be with you. When mentioning Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, he followed the Muslim tradition of adding, "peace be upon them." He noted "civilization's debt to Islam," saying it was Muslims who "paved the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment," developed algebra, pens and printing, and the understanding of how disease spreads and how to heal it. "Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires, timeless poetry and cherished music, elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation." He invoked "Islam's proud tradition of tolerance," and especially racial equality, citing the cosmopolitan Muslim rule in Spain. He noted that the tensions between the West and the Muslim world precede 9/11. They are weighed down by a history of "religious wars" (the Crusades); by "colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims;" and the Cold War "in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies." He defended the hijab, but from the point of view of a liberal democracy. "Freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion ... That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it." Without naming France, which banned the hijab in schools, or those on both the right and the left, who mock the hijab, he said: "It is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit, for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We can't disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretense of liberalism." And, "I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal." He could've been quoting from Quebec's Taylor-Bouchard commission report.
DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 5, 2009 - South Korean Marines On Military Exercise And Patrolling Beach At Yeonpyong Island
DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 5, 2009 - South Korean Marines On Military Exercise And Patrolling Beach At Yeonpyong Island
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 5, 2009: South Korean marines patrol during a drill on June 4, 2009 on South Korea-controlled Yeonpyeong island near the waters of the Yellow Sea disputed with North Korea.
A North Korean navy patrol boat on June 4 crossed into South Korean waters and stayed almost one hour before retreating, further fuelling military tensions after Pyongyang's nuclear test last week.