Thursday, June 18, 2009

DTN News: Germany To Deploy Israeli-Built Drones In Afghanistan

DTN News: Germany To Deploy Israeli-Built Drones In Afghanistan *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 18, 2009: Germany plans to buy Israeli unmanned spotter aircraft for deployment in Afghan airspace from the beginning of next year, the German Defense Ministry said. The Heron or Machatz-1 is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle developed by the Malat (UAV) division of Israel Aerospace Industries. It is capable of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) operations of up to 52 hours' duration at up to 35,000 feet. It has demonstrated 52 hours of continuous flight, but the effective operational maximal flight duration is less, due to payload and flight profile. There is a new version, Heron TP, also known as Eitan (UCAV). On September 11, 2005 it was announced that the Israel Defence Forces purchased US$50 million worth of Heron systems. The IDF's designation of the Heron is Machatz-1.
Heron can carry an array of sensors, including infra-red and visible-light surveillance, intelligence systems (COMINT and ELINT) and various radar systems, totaling up to 250 kg. Heron is also capable of target acquisition and artillery adjustment. The payload sensors communicate with the ground control station in real-time, using either direct line of sight data link, or via an airborne/satellite relay. Like the navigation system, the payload can also be used in either a fully pre-programmed autonomous mode, or manual real-time remote operation, or a combination of both. Negotiations will start with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., the state-owned maker of the drones, and Rheinmetall AG, the Dusseldorf-based company that would adapt them for use in the German armed forces, the Berlin-based ministry said today in an e-mailed statement. “Being up to date is of decisive importance for our mission,” Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said in the statement. “It improves our ability to decide and act and most of all we’re improving the protection for our soldiers.” Germany opted for Israeli technology over that of the U.S. or Europe. Boeing Co., the second-largest U.S. defense contractor, is the maker of ScanEagle drones, while European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. is still developing its Barracuda drone. Germany, in choosing IAI’s Heron 1 system, decided to use “a readily available unmanned aerial vehicle” for Afghanistan, the ministry said. IAI, which also makes satellites, may sell shares to the public to pay for expansion abroad if the company can overcome government reluctance, Chairman Yair Shamir said in an interview at the Paris Air Show. IAI wants to invest more in Latin America, where it has a joint venture with Brazil’s Synergy Group, and Asia, where it’s working with Tata Advanced Systems of India, Shamir said today. Germany has about 3,380 troops in Afghanistan, the third biggest military contribution after the U.S. and U.K. to NATO’s efforts to combat Taliban insurgents. Predator drones, the most widely used drones by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, are made by closely held General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of San Diego.

DTN News: Lockheed's F-16 Remains Popular Even As Company Focuses On F-35

DTN News: Lockheed's F-16 Remains Popular Even As Company Focuses On F-35
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media / By Bob Cox Star Telegram (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 18, 2009: Lockheed Martin executives ventured to the Paris Air Show prepared to extol the virtues of the F-35 joint strike fighter that the company is developing, and they have. But the venerable F-16 still commands a large share of the limelight after more than 30 years in production. The F-16 is the largest Western jet fighter program with over 4,400 aircraft built since production was approved in 1976. Though no longer being bought by the U.S. Air Force, advanced versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.* And even as Lockheed officials pitched the F-35 and F-16 in Paris, some members of Congress were trying to keep yet another Lockheed plane flying. At the beginning of what will be a lengthy budget process, the House Armed Services Committee voted to require the Air Force to buy 12 more F-22 Raptor jets.
In a video conference interview Wednesday from the Lockheed chalet at Le Bourget Field in Paris, Ralph Heath, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, said he was surprised by "the profound interest in the F-16" at the international air show. Not too long ago, Lockheed officials had projected that F-16 production at the company’s Fort Worth factory would likely end around 2010. New orders trickled in until the projection was for 2013. Now, given the level of interest worldwide, Heath says F-16 production could extend through the next decade. During the interview Heath was drowned out several times by the roar of the daily F-16 flight demonstration, which is a typical breathtaking display of aerobatic maneuvers. In addition to orders already on Lockheed’s books, Heath said, three or four nations are studying buying F-16s. The biggest potential order pending is a long-developing plan by India to buy 126 aircraft. The F-16, the Boeing F-18 and several foreign jets are in competition. "Should we win that, plus a few additional orders, we could be looking at another 10 years of production of the F-16," Heath said. Questions about the F-16 in Paris this week "are not about when F-16 production will end, but what new technology can be introduced into the airplane," Heath said. There is even a chance, albeit a long shot, that the U.S. could buy more F-16s. Although the Pentagon has resisted all such suggestions, some members of Congress are pushing the Air Force and Navy to buy some new models of existing jets to augment perceived aircraft shortfalls. Heath said he doesn’t favor and wouldn’t recommend such a move, because it would divert government financial resources and industry attention from the F-35. "If it were my decision, which it is not, that is the trade-off," Heath said. Still, even with changes Lockheed has made at its plant to prepare for escalating rates of F-35 production in the next few years, Heath said the Fort Worth facility could handle a surge in new F-16 orders as it builds F-35s. Heath said Lockheed is well-prepared to ramp up F-35 production as U.S. purchases begin to accelerate over the next several years. "The biggest thing will be making sure our supply chain is taking steps to add their capacity," he said. Lockheed received an additional $75 million contract Wednesday to continue development work on F-35 components. Production in Fort Worth of the midfuselage of Lockheed’s F-22, which carries a $180 million price tag, is supposed to wind down next year. But the armed services panel voted 31-30 Wednesday to spend $369 million to continue F-22 production. That money, if appropriated by Congress in the fiscal 2010 defense budget, would buy parts for 12 additional planes. If F-22 production does tail off next year, as envisioned in the Obama administration’s proposed defense budget, Heath said Lockheed will be challenged to hang onto many skilled workers because two or more years will pass before they are needed to build F-35s. "This is one of our biggest management challenges, managing the work force. We have some unique talents and skills that would be lost. We’re trying to minimize that."

DTN News: Singapore Firm Vows Cooperation With India Probe

DTN News: Singapore Firm Vows Cooperation With India Probe
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - June 18, 2009: A Singapore firm banned by India along with six other armaments companies said June 17 it was willing to cooperate in an ongoing probe into allegations of corruption in defense deals. Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd., which had been in the race for an artillery contract, also said it had not been informed of its blacklisting by the Indian defence ministry earlier this month. The firm "has not received any official advisory from the Indian authority on the said matter," United News of India (UNI) quoted company spokesman Gaius Ho as saying. The spokesman said the company "has offered all cooperation to assist with any investigation as appropriate." "And it hopes that the ministry will quickly clear the matter," UNI quoted Ho as saying. "Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd. is a responsible company bound by stringent corporate governance. It has not in any way contravened regulations imposed by governments where it operates," he said. India froze deals worth $1.5 billion with seven companies, including Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd., earlier this month after police arrested a top defence ministry bureaucrat on charges he accepted bribes allegedly from the now blacklisted units. India in 2007 also scrapped a $600 million deal with Eurocopter for 197 helicopters after allegations of corruption in the bidding process. The helicopter unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company denied media allegations about the involvement of middlemen in the project. Another deal for 22 attack helicopters was scrapped in March on similar charges. India plans to spend $30 billion on arms purchases until 2012.

DTN News: Global Zero Commission to Make Recommendations Before President Barack Obama/President Dmitry Medvedev Nuclear Weapons Summit

DTN News: Global Zero Commission to Make Recommendations Before President Barack Obama/President Dmitry Medvedev Nuclear Weapons Summit
Commission Meeting in Washington, D.C. June 28-29
*Source: Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 18, 2008: The Global Zero Commission, a group of political and military leaders from the U.S., Russia and other key countries, will outline a step-by-step process to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons -- a goal called for by Presidents Obama and Medvedev at their first meeting on April 1. The outline will include specific recommendations for the Obama and Medvedev administrations in advance of the July 6-8 Moscow Summit.The press briefing will take place Monday, June 29 at 1:30 pm EDT at the St. Regis Hotel, 923 16th St. NW, Washington, DC, in the Astor Ballroom on the first floor.
The Commission is part of the Global Zero initiative ( -- an international, non-partisan effort formed in response to the growing threats of proliferation and nuclear terrorism and dedicated to achieving the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons. Global Zero is spearheaded by a group of more than 100 leaders worldwide, including many who have worked at senior levels with issues of national security such as former heads of state, former foreign ministers, former defense ministers, former national security advisors, and more than 20 former top military commanders.
Global Zero Commissioners
Dr. Jacques Attali, Honorary Member, Council of State, and Fmr. Advisor to the President, Republic of France
Amb. K. Shankar Bajpai, Chairman, National Security Advisory Board, Fmr. Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, India
Amb. Alexander Bessmertnykh, Fmr. Foreign Minister, the Soviet Union
Amb. Richard Burt, Fmr. United States Chief Negotiator, Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START)
P.M. Yasuo Fukuda, Fmr. Prime Minister, Japan
Sen. Chuck Hagel, Fmr. United States Senator
Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger, Fmr. Ambassador of Germany to the United Kingdom and the United States
Gen. (Ret.) Jehangir Karamat, Fmr. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Fmr. Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States
Amb. Shaharyar Khan, Fmr. Foreign Secretary and Ambassador of Pakistan to Jordan, the United Kingdom and France
Anthony Lake, Fmr. National Security Advisor, the United States
Sen. Mikhail Margelov, Senator and Chairman, Committee for Foreign Affairs, Council of Federation, Federal Assembly of the Russian FederationCol. Gen. (Ret.)
Evgeny Maslin, Fmr. Chief of the Main Directorate, Ministry of Defense, Russian Federation
Amb. Brajesh Mishra, Fmr. National Security Advisor, India
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Guangqian Peng, Strategist, Academy of Military Science, the People's Republic of China
Amb. Thomas Pickering, Fmr. Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations, Russia and India
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Fmr. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and Fmr. Secretary of Defense, the United Kingdom
Amb. Yukio Satoh, Fmr. Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations
Gen. (Ret.) Jack Sheehan, Fmr. Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Command
Air Chf. Mshl. (Ret.) SP Tyagi, Fmr. Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force
Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, President, Kurchatov Institute
Amb. Jianmin Wu, Fmr. Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, and Ambassador to France and the Netherlands
Dr. Jiemian Yang, Senior Fellow and President, Shanghai Institute for International Studies, the People's Republic of China
Mr. Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Management Board, Institute of Contemporary Development

DTN News: Indian Air Force To Acquire 15 Light Transport Aircraft

DTN News: Indian Air Force To Acquire 15 Light Transport Aircraft *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - June 18, 2009: The Indian Air Force has ordered 15 indigenous Saras Light Transport Aircraft despite a March 6 accident that killed three persons on board. Saras-PT1 of the aircraft will be modified and converted to a Saras-PT3 by fitting the higher thrust Pratt and Whitney engines. An extended version of Saras is planned. Commercial production of the aircraft is now expected by 2010. A senior Air Force official said the 14-seat aircraft, designed by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore, costs about $8 million. A structural redesign reduced the weight of the second prototype by more than 500 kilograms from the first prototype, which weighed 5,118 kilograms, said an NAL scientist. The plane is powered by a high-thrust engine from Pratt and Whitney, the scientist claimed. Saras, named after the Indian crane, is a multirole aircraft that can be used for aerial search, border patrol and airlifting troops. It can take off from and land on short, semi-prepared, runways. Saras will get its relevant certifications by 2010, the NAL

DTN News: Turkey TODAY June 18, 2009 - Turkish Military During Mock Search Exercise Of Coast Off Cyprus

DTN News: Turkey TODAY June 18, 2009 - Turkish Military During Mock Search Exercise Of Coast Off Cyprus
*Source: DTN News
(NSI News Source Info) ANKARA, Turkey - June 18, 2009: A Turkish military Cougar helicopter searches for survivors of sea accident as crew members of the Turkish frigate, TCG Gemlik, rushes to the aid of some of them during a mock search and rescue exercise by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 off Cyprus, where tensions run high over Greek Cypriot plans to expand search for oil and gas despite strong objections by Turkey.
A Turkish military Cougar helicopter evacuates a frogman from sea during a mock search and rescue exercise by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 off Cyprus, where tensions run high over Greek Cypriot plans to expand search for oil and gas despite strong objections by Turkey.

DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 18, 2009 - South Korean Marines During Military Exercise On Yeonpyeong Island

DTN News: South Korea TODAY June 18, 2009 - South Korean Marines During Military Exercise On Yeonpyeong Island *Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 18, 2009: South Korean marines check their equipment before a military drill to prepare against possible attack by North Korea, on Yeonpyeong Island near the western maritime border between the two Koreas, 11 km (7 miles) from the North and about 115 km (71 miles) northwest of Seoul June 17, 2009. The two Koreas are technically still at war and station about 1 million troops near their respective sides of the Demilitarised Zone that has divided the peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War which ended in a ceasefire, but not a peace treaty.

DTN News: South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak Says North Korea Must Give Up Nukes

DTN News: South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak Says North Korea Must Give Up Nukes *Sources: Int'l Media / AP (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 18, 2009: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday that his nation and its allies will not be intimidated by nuclear threats from neighboring North Korea. US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in the Rose Garden on June 16, 2009 at the White House in Washington, DC. Lee arrived for the talks after indicating that he wants the United States to offer fresh guarantees that South Korea is under the US security umbrella, days after the United Nations slapped new nuclear sanctions on Pyongyang. Lee and President Barack Obama have used the South Korean leader's three-day visit to Washington to display a unified front in the face of North Korea's threats of nuclear war and its vow to expand its nuclear programs. Tensions in Northeast Asia have risen sharply since the United Nations slapped the North with sanctions as punishment for its nuclear test last month. The North responded to Lee's visit with a statement vowing "a one hundred- or one thousand-fold retaliation with merciless military strikes" for infringements on its sovereignty. Lee told an audience at George Washington University, where he received an honorary degree, that South Korea would not allow nuclear weapons in North Korea under any circumstances. "North Korea continues to engage in belligerent activities, ... threatening peace and stability in Northeast Asia and beyond," Lee said. But Lee also held out the possibility that a nuclear-free North Korea could gain peace and prosperity and normal relations with the outside world. "North Korea must understand that it is in their best interests to fully give up their nuclear weapons ambitions," Lee said through an interpreter. "When North Korea takes meaningful steps toward peace and dialogue, Korea, as well as the rest of the international community, stands ready to extend a helping hand." South Korean President Lee Myung-bak speaks after receiving an honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree in the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, on June 17, 2009. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Wednesday that the United States is now aggressively implementing U.N. sanctions. He urged the North to return to nuclear disarmament negotiations. Asked about the possibility that the North was preparing for more missile tests, Crowley said, "I don't think anyone in the United States government has a crystal ball on why North Korea does what it does. Its behavior is provocative. It represents a threat to the region. We have grave concerns about the behavior of North Korea." Crowley suggested that more North Korean entities could be added to a U.N. sanctions list. At their White House meeting on Tuesday, Lee and Obama said they were united in their efforts to stop the North from using nuclear brinkmanship to squeeze concessions from a frightened world. North Korea already has tested two underground nuclear devices and is believed by U.S. intelligence to possess enough material to make several nuclear bombs. North Korea is furious over U.N. sanctions that toughen an arms embargo and authorize ship searches in an attempt to thwart the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The United Nations, however, did not authorize military force to compel the measures. Obama said the leaders agreed that the new U.N. resolution must be fully enforced, something the North has said it would consider an act of war. The North has responded to the U.N. sanctions by promising to weaponize all its plutonium and step up its nuclear bomb-making by enriching uranium. Both plutonium and uranium can be used to make atomic bombs. U.S. officials have said the North Koreans also appear to be making preparations for a third nuclear test. On Wednesday, the government-run Minju Joson newspaper published a commentary saying, "If the U.S. and its followers infringe upon our republic's sovereignty even a bit, our military and people will launch a one hundred- or one thousand-fold retaliation with merciless military strikes." Lee also pressed during his visit for quick ratification of a stalled U.S.-South Korean free trade agreement. At a Tuesday dinner sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Lee urged representatives of top American companies to push for approval of a deal that he said would dramatically boost trade and strengthen the countries' alliance. Obama, however, suggested that work still had to be done on the deal, which was signed in 2007 after painstaking negotiations but has since faced complications over disputes over autos and U.S. beef imports to Korea. The agreement has been promoted as a potential $10 billion boon to the U.S. economy. Failure, supporters say, would threaten U.S. standing in an important region.

DTN News: Boeing Sees Lease On Life For C-17 Line From New Orders

DTN News: Boeing Sees Lease On Life For C-17 Line From New Orders
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 18, 2009: Boeing's C-17 production line will stave off closure until the summer of 2011 if new funding for U.S. purchases of the aircraft are signed off, an official said June 17. Members of the media, right, view a US Air Force Boeing-made Globe Master III, on the eve of the opening of the Paris Air Show, Sunday June 14, 2009. The Paris Air Show will take place here, at the Bourget airport, north of Paris from June 15 to June 21. Visible in background is an Ariane V rocket mock up. The U.S. House of Representatives voted through $2.2 billion of funding for C-17 purchases June 16 as part of the fiscal 2009 supplemental bill, money that would purchase eight aircraft, said Jean Chamberlain, vice president for Global Mobility Systems at Boeing IDS. "The Senate now votes on the funding, then the White House must sign off, but if it passes, the order will give the line work until the summer of 2011," Chamberlain said. The line, which produces about 15 aircraft a year, has work until the start of 2011. A Boeing spokesman said Tuesday that by helping keep the Long Beach, Calif., line open, the new U.S. orders were "extending international opportunities" to sell the C-17.
A US Air Force Boeing-made C-17 Globemaster III is shown in the foreground as an Airbus A380 is taxied before its demonstration flight, at Le Bourget, north of Paris, during the 48th Paris Air Show, Wednesday June 17, 2009. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Chamberlain said that Boeing had had "multiple" informal inquiries from potential A400M customers concerned about delays to the European transport aircraft program. "But there have been no discussions, no RFIs or RFPs," she said. Chamberlain said that the A400M would cost 38 percent more to purchase than a C-17 and would be 45 percent more expensive to operate. The delivery of the first of three C-17s ordered by a pool of NATO nations would take place July 27, she said, with the second and third aircraft to be delivered in September and October. "We are also in negotiations with the UAE," she said. "They need four aircraft and we hope to conclude talks this year with all aircraft delivered by the end of 2010."

DTN News: Lockheed: C-130J Could Fill Gap Before A400M Delivery

DTN News: Lockheed: C-130J Could Fill Gap Before A400M Delivery
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 18, 2009: Lockheed Martin sees potential acquisition of the C-130J between the low single figures to 20 units from countries looking for a stopgap solution for the A400M, James Grant, vice president for customer engagement air mobility and special forces programs, said at the Paris Air Show.
U.S Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules is seen during its exhibition flight at the 48th Paris Air Show in Le Bourget airport , north of Paris. Wednesday June 17, 2009. With Airbus' new A400M airlifter bogged down in delivery delays, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing are hoping their proven C-130J and C-17 models will lure European air force buyers in urgent need of a new transport. Lockheed Martin sees potential acquisition of the C-130J between the low single figures to 20 units from countries looking for a stopgap solution for the A400M, a Lockheed official says. ( ALAN LESSIG / STAFF) The prospective acquisition likely would be leases from customer nations while they await delivery of the A400M airlifter, he said June 16. Britain and France are among the seven European A400M customers actively looking at the C-130J as an interim solution. "France is evaluating its options," Grant said. "We are ready to support them with whatever they need." He added, "They have to do their own analysis on how to meet their aircraft requirements both near and long term." A key part of the assessment process is availability of the C-130J. Deliveries of the C-130J would take 30 to 36 months, depending on the configuration, and numbers of orders placed by other countries, said Ross Reynolds, vice president of C-130J programs. Lockheed wants to ramp up production in an orderly way, to avoid disruptions in the supply chain or creation of a fleet of "white-tail" aircraft on the tarmac. One of the possibilities of speeding delivery to France or other foreign customers would be for the U.S. government to re-allocate aircraft on order. "If the U.S. government wants to, it can prioritize French acquisition, so a delivery could take months rather than years," said Robbin Laird, head of the ICSA consultancy based here and Washington. An acquisition of the C-130J would allow France to obtain a gap filler but also a long-term capability to complement the A400M in areas such as special operations, he said. If the French forces operated the C-130J in Afghanistan, it is likely they would look at how the U.S. Marine Corps has used its aircraft, and develop their own operations from that model. Grant said in any European acquisition, the primary mission is airlift in the lease period. If any aircraft are bought at the end of the lease, it probably would be in that latter period, and the planes would be used for ISR or other multimission operations. Lockheed is marketing conversion of the airframe into multimission applications with a system of roll-on roll-off pallets. As part of the U.S. marketing effort, French Air Force officers were due to fly on the C-130J on June 17 at the air show. Lockheed also planned to take journalists up on a morning flight June 18.

DTN News: U.S. Army Considers More Stryker Armored Vehicle

DTN News: U.S. Army Considers More Stryker Armored Vehicle
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 18, 2009: U.S. Army leaders told lawmakers the service may add more Stryker brigades to the inventory during a June 16 Senate Subcommittee on Airland hearing. The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled all-wheel-drive armored combat vehicles produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. Based on the Canadian LAV III light-armored vehicle, which in turn is based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha III 8x8, the Stryker is the U.S. Army's first new armored vehicle since the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle in the 1980s. "There are about 3,600 Stryker vehicles, and over 2,700 have been fielded to-date. There are seven Stryker brigades. One of the things the Army is looking at in terms of force structure is, do we need more Stryker brigades to provide a balanced force with different capabilities across the spectrum?" said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ross Thompson, military deputy to the Asst. Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. At the same time, Thompson said even if new Stryker brigades are added to the service's fleet of vehicles, there will still be a strong need for new vehicles and technologies to be developed. "There are 16,000 combat vehicles in the Army inventory. We will need to replace some of these existing systems at some point in time, such as Bradleys, Strykers, M113s and tanks," he said. This picture provided by the Washington State Patrol shows an Army Stryker vehicle after a collision with a pickup truck on a public road near Spanaway, Wash. , near Fort Lewis, Wash. The pickup truck driver was killed.
As part of this effort, Army leaders told lawmakers of their plans to build a new series of Ground Combat Vehicles to follow the recent cancellation of the 27-ton Manned Ground Vehicles. "We are working very hard on the Ground Combat Vehicle. I would not be surprised if we see a family of vehicles," said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army Vice Chief of Staff.

DTN News: In Tough Times, Grandeur Endures At Air Show

DTN News: In Tough Times, Grandeur Endures At Air Show *Sources: Int'l Media / By Pierre Tran (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - June 18, 2009: A battered aerospace industry must draw on reserves of stoical determination as the Paris Air Show opens today, marking its centenary against a backdrop of commercial downturn and mortality. The Dassault Rafale performs June 16 at the Paris Air Show. ( PIERRE VERDY / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) The aviation sector is second to none in its competitive drive but a catastrophe such as the loss the 228 lives onboard Air France flight 447 tends to bring out a sense of community that underlies an industry bound together by a passion for all things that fly. "We could have hoped for more favorable circumstances to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the air show, which is still the foremost and finest showcase of the world's aerospace industry," said Charles Edelstenne, chief executive of Dassault Aviation. So, despite the economic crisis and the fatalities of flight 447, the air show must go on, with vendors and official delegations gathering at Le Bourget airport, where Charles Lindberg landed the Spirit of Louis in 1927. As the air show organizers acidly point out, Lindberg did not choose to land at Farnborough. "Everybody will be at the air show," EADS chief executive Louis Gallois said at an international media seminar a couple of days before the air show opening. Given the global nature of the industry, the event underscored the importance of personal contact, he said. The show also holds a place in international diplomacy. "It is in the national security interest of the United States to participate in this event," the Department of Defense said in a public statement. "Participation highlights the strength of the U.S. commitment to the security of Europe and demonstrates that U.S. industry is producing equipment that will be critical to the success of current and future military operations." The F-22, pinnacle of U.S. efforts to field the best fighter in the world, was withdrawn from its air show debut, not counting last year's Farnborough mini demo, where it was expected to be the star draw of the 70 or so American aircraft to be deployed at the show. The U.S. Air Force cited "air expeditionary deployments and operational requirements," for the decision, which disappointed the show organizers. It is also a year of anniversaries. * The French Air Force also proudly marks its 75th anniversary, following the July 2, 1943, law that founded the service. The French Air Force's Patrouille de France aerobatic team is due to perform at the show for the first time since 1975. * It is also the 100th anniversary of that daring flight across the English Channel by French pioneer, Louis Blériot. The show organizers have planned a flight of the Blériot XI aircraft along with the SEAa, Fokker Triplane, and Morane H on the public days, June 19, 20 and 21. * The 40th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing. * The 40th anniversary of the first Airbus A300 The industry has shown resilience in the past and an ability to weather economic and industrial storms. Amid the downturn, United Airlines is looking to buy 150 new airliners. And perceptions of threat and regional jealousies in Asia and the Middle East fuel demand for military equipment. The aerospace industry is reinventing itself as a Green environmentally friendly business, and seeking to draw on engineering talent from around the globe. The Ecole Centrale engineering school developed a 3-D model of the Blériot XI using Dassault Systèmes' Catia software, working with a French high school and sites in Brazil and India. EADS ran a competition with universities around the world for innovative flight designs. Chinese students sent in the highest number of serious projects, Gallois said. So although the quotient of air show razzamatazz may be lower this time round, the aerospace industry.continues forward on a path it began more than a century ago.

DTN News: Kazakhstan Defense Minister Danial Akhmetov Fired By President Nursultan Nazarbayev

DTN News: Kazakhstan Defense Minister Danial Akhmetov Fired By President Nursultan Nazarbayev *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ASTANA, Kazakhstan - June 18, 2009: Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has fired his defense minister, the president's office said June 17, some two months after the arrest of another ministry official. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak walk past an honour guard in Astana on May 13, 2009. Lee Myung-bak is on a working visit expected to touch on oil and gas issues. A brief statement gave no reason for the dismissal and said only Danial Akhmetov had been "relieved of his duties" by order of the president. Akhmetov is a veteran politician in Kazakhstan and was prime minister from 2003-07 before taking up the post of defense minister. The development comes two months after the arrest of a deputy defense minister in Kazakhstan. The politician was accused of "abuse of power" over handing out contracts for the delivery of Israeli weapons to Kazakhstan. Dismissals and arrests of senior officials have increased recently in Kazakhstan, leading observers to suggest a power struggle has erupted in the ex-Soviet Central Asian country. The most high-profile case was the arrest of Mukhtar Jakishev, former head of state nuclear firm Kazatomprom, accused of illegally taking over 60 percent of the country's uranium mines.