DTN News: F-22 In The Persian Gulf*Source: Strategy Page
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 15, 2009: For the first time, a U.S. F-22 fighter is going to the Middle East. Not to fight, but to be shown at the Dubai Air Show in November. The manufacturer, Lockheed, is bringing in its F-22, which it cannot export, to attract crowds and impress potential buyers of the aircraft it can export (the C-130, P-3 and F-16).The F-22 program is developing the next-generation air superiority fighter for the Air Force to counter emerging worldwide threats. It is designed to penetrate enemy airspace and achieve a first-look, first-kill capability against multiple targets. The F-22 is characterized by a low-observable, highly maneuverable airframe; advanced integrated avionics; and aerodynamic performance allowing supersonic cruise without afterburner. Stealth: Greatly increases survivability and lethality by denying the enemy critical information required to successfully attack the F-22 Integrated Avionics: Allows F-22 pilots unprecedented awareness of enemy forces through the fusion of on- and off-board information. Supercruise: Enhances weapons effectiveness; allows rapid transit through the battlespace; reduces the enemy’s time to counter attack. The F-22's engine is expected to be the first to provide the ability to fly faster than the speed of sound for an extended period of time without the high fuel consumption characteristic of aircraft that use afterburners to achieve supersonic speeds. It is expected to provide high performance and high fuel efficiency at slower speeds as well.
The F-22 has not been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan because it's not needed. While the F-22 is basically an air superiority fighter, it would be overkill for the only local threat (Iran, and it's collection of elderly and poorly maintained warplanes.) Moreover, Iraq and Afghanistan contains some nasty atmospheric conditions (especially lots of fine dust), which Lockheed would rather find out about gradually, by sending one over there, and examining it carefully when it gets back. The F-22 can also serve as a bomber, but, again, this job is being handled by cheaper, and just as capable, aircraft. Some F-22s will be used as bombers in future conflicts. To prepare for that, last year the air force reactivated an F-117 "Stealth Fighter" squadron (the 7th Fighter Squadron) and equipped it with F-22 fighters. Because of its extraordinary performance characteristics, and stealthiness, the F-22 can perform bombing missions previously taken care of by the F-117. The most dangerous of these involves attacks on enemy air defense systems. Once those defenses are damaged, less stealthy aircraft can go in with less risk of getting shot down. The F-22 is also the most effective air-to-air fighter available.
The 36 ton F-22 has internal bomb bays, to enhance stealthiness. Thus it can carry two, half ton, smart bombs, or eight 250 pound SDBs (ground penetrating Small Diameter Bombs) internally, in addition to a pair of air-to-air missiles. If fewer bombs are carried, six air-to-air missiles can go in the four internal bomb bays. Using the external hard points, which makes the aircraft more visible on radar, an F-22 can carry about four tons of bombs and missiles.
The F-22 has the most advanced radar and electronic warfare gear of any jet fighter. When you include the cost of research and development, each F-22 ends up costing nearly $400 million. But for pilots in combat, it's money well spent.
The F-117 was based on 1970s technology and entered service in 1983. It was actually a 24 ton light bomber. It had two internal bomb bays, and typically carried two laser guided bombs. The F-117 was not a fighter, and was not as stealthy as the F-22. Only 59 were built and, taking inflation into account, cost about as much as a F-22. The last F-117s were retired last year.
DTN News: Malaysia TODAY October 15, 2009 ~ UMNO Amends Constitution To Be More Open
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - October 15, 2009: In his maiden policy speech to Umno delegates today, party president Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak called on members to transform the party into an inclusive one that puts the rakyat above self-interest.
" If Umno is seen as a party which is arrogant and ignorant the rakyat will no longer look towards Umno for a solution but will consider it as a part of a problem," he said.
Excerpts from his speech:
> The Rakyat sent us a strong message in the 12th general election. With that we have realised our mistakes and are repentant. We know the rakyat loves Umno. All they want is for Umno to change. We have heard them. We will change.
> Surah Al Maidah asks us to be people who are fair and just to people of all races. If we look after the welfare of all races, then likewise the rakyat regardless of their race and ethnicity will throw their support behind us and support our party leadership.
> If anyone accuses Umno of being a racist party with no basis, they have to thoroughly scrutinise their own reflection in the mirror first. They have to wake up to the reality about the composition of races within their own parties. Does it really reflect the openness they are advocating?
> Umno leaders and members should be renown for their integrity when entrusted with duties. This is important in convincing the rakyat to remain with Umno. If the negative perceptions about the ethics and integrity of Umno leaders continues to grow then it in itself will be the main factor for the people distancing themselves from us.
> It is crazy to use the same method of doing something and then expect different results. In implementing a policy for instance we cannot be too dogmatic until the focus is more on the methods used rather than the result.
> Those who no longer need crutches (aid from the government) and say they can throw it away now need to think about other Malays who still need it. Is it fair to deny this group of a crutch just because those who have depended on it for a period of time now no longer need it?
Malaysia Related News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Taiwan Test-Fired Missiles Capable Of Hitting China*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan - October 15, 2009: Taiwan has test-fired three types of missiles capable of hitting major cities in China, local media reported on Wednesday. The test was conducted at the Chiupeng missile base in the southern coastal county of Pingtung on Tuesday with President Ma Ying-jeou observing the exercise, the reports said.
It came after China showcased its military might by parading advanced arms, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, during its National Day celebrations on October 1.
Quoting an unnamed source, the Liberty Times said the missiles included the Hsiungfeng 2E surface-to-surface cruise missile, which has a range of 600 km and is capable of striking Shanghai.
The two other types included Hsiungfeng 3 supersonic anti-ship missiles and Skybow 3 surface-to-air missiles, the newspaper said.
The military issued sea and air navigation bans to areas extending as far as the Taiwan-held Green Island and Orchid Island and as high as 25,000 km in altitude, the paper said.
The United Daily News, also quoting an unnamed military source, said the drill included the test-firing of a top secret, newly developed medium-range surface-to-surface missile with a range of 3,000 km, capable of striking major cities in central, northern and southern China.
Taiwan's Defence Ministry declined to comment on the reports.
Taiwan and China have been political rivals since they split at the end of a civil war in 1949. Relations between the two sides, however, have improved in the past year after Ma Ying-jeou of China-friendly Nationalist Party became President.
DTN News: Russia Eyes Brunei As Potential Arms Buyer
*Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - October 15, 2009: Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport expressed the hope on Wednesday that it could initiate military-technological cooperation with the sultanate of Brunei.
The sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, arrived on an official visit to Russia on Monday and met with Rosoboronexport officials for discussions on the possibility of future arms purchases from Moscow.
"We hope that our recent meeting will mark the beginning of mutually beneficial and constructive dialogue in the sphere of military-technological cooperation between our two states," Rosoboronexport general director Viktor Komardin said.
Bolkiah was given a multimedia presentation of Russian-made air defense systems and was shown a Ka-52 attack helicopter in action. He also visited a training center for special forces units, and watched a demonstration of spetsnaz tactics.
"Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah showed an active interest in Russian weaponry and expressed satisfaction with the talks and presentations," Rosoboronexport said in a press release.
Rosoboronexport has not yet received any orders for the delivery of military equipment to Brunei, a former British colony in southeast Asia, although the Russian company exhibited a variety of military export items during a special presentation in Brunei in 2005.
Brunei has a limited military contingent, comprising ground forces, air force and navy, to counter aggression, terrorism and insurgency. The most combat capable force is the Gurkha Reserve Unit, which serves to protect the sultan, the royal family, and oil installations.
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces use a wide range of foreign equipment, mostly from Britain, France and the United States.
Russian Arms Export Related News....for full stories click on the links below~ Russia has 5 arms deals with Libya - Rosoboronexport
~ Rosoboronexport, Thales sign cooperation memorandum
~ Rosoboronexport projects $7 bln in arms exports this year
~ Kremlin must decide on sales of S-300 to Iran - Rosoboronexport
~ Russia to present Mi, Ka helicopters at Malaysia
DTN News: Singapore's ST Engineering Wins $500 Million US Army Deal / ST Engineering Wins US$500m US Army Automatic Test Systems Contract
*Source: DTN News / ST Engineering
(NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE - October 15, 2009: ST Engineering's US subsidiary, VT Miltope, today announced that it has won a US$500m contract (about S$710m) to supply the At Platform Automatic Test Systems (APATS) Maintenance Support Device - Version 3 (MSD-V3) system, comprising rugged laptops, test equipment and instruments, to the US Army.
The five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded by the Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) Product Directorate of the US Army. This IDIQ contract allows the US Army the flexibility to acquire items defined in the contract, within stated limits, over the five-year period. Teamed with our subcontractor, Science and Engineering Services, Inc. (SESI), VT Miltope is expected to perform 70% of the programme and SESI the remaining 30%. VT Miltope will supply the MSD-V3, based on the TSC V3-GM45 Rugged Convertible Laptop Computer, the next generation of its TSC-750 computer. The TSC-750M is a militarised laptop designed and qualified to withstand the harshest tactical environment for computer systems and is being used in forward areas under extreme weather and handling conditions.
More than 40,000 of the TSC-750-based MSDs have previously been supplied to the US Army. Many of these systems are already successfully deployed with US troops in active missions. In the five production programme years (2010-2014) of MSD-V3, the US Army may order up to 39,460 MSD-V3 Kits, 12,500 ICE Test Adapter Kits, and peripheral accessory hardware such as PC cards and cables.
The MSD is used by the US Army for at-platform diagnostics and maintenance on its weapon systems, generators, aviation, missile, wheeled and tracked vehicles. It is the Army's standard TMDE for all tactical at-platform maintenance applications. MSD-V3 is a rugged, compact, lightweight, portable general-purpose automatic tester used to verify the operational status of systems, isolate failures and assist in the repair. Additionally, the MSD-V3 facilitates the uploading and verification of software to restore as well as provide new software to weapons.
"The MSD-V3 award affirms VT Miltope's commitment to providing US Army soldiers in the field with robust computing capabilities that work in the toughest tactical environments. MSD-V2 has proven its ability to perform its mission and survive the rigours of multiple deployments without degradation. This award demonstrates VT Miltope's continued support of the US Army in tactical computer systems and logistics as well as our constant commitment to the entire test and diagnostic community." ~ Brigadier General (US Army, Ret) Tom DICKINSON, President and CEO, VT Miltope
The contract is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.
VT Miltope, a company of VT Systems Inc, with ISO 9001:2000 certified facilities, is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and testing of rugged computers and computer peripheral equipment for military, industry and commercial applications where reliable operation of the equipment under demanding environmental conditions is of paramount importance. For more than 30 years, VT Miltope's broad range of computers, computer workstations, servers, disk cartridges, printers, mass storage systems and other related products have served defense, government and commercial customers. Please visit http://www.miltope.com/.
VT Systems and its subsidiaries are preferred providers of engineering solutions, products integrated systems, and services in the Americas across the core business areas of marine, aerospace, electronics and land systems. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, VT Systems operates around the globe and offers a broad range of proven innovative services to both the commercial and government sectors. VT Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. Please visit http://www.vt-systems.com/.
ST Engineering (Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd) is an integrated engineering group providing solutions and services in the aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine sectors. Headquartered in Singapore, the Group reported revenues of $5.34b in FY2008 and ranks among the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange. ST Engineering has more than 20,000 employees worldwide, and over 100 subsidiaries and associated companies in 24 countries and 42 cities. Please visit http://www.stengg.com/.
DTN News: Typhoon Availability Contract To Support Royal Saudi Air Force Operations*Source: DTN News / BAE Systems
(NSI News Source Info) RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - October 15, 2009: The Royal Saudi Air Force has commenced flying operations following the delivery of the first 4 of 72 Typhoon aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force. To support this, the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have reached agreement on detailed arrangements under the Salam Support Solution that will provide support for operations by the Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon fleet for a three year period. Typhoon Support Contract ~ To support delivery of the first 4 of 72 Typhoon aircraft to the Royal Saudi Airforce, the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UK have agreed to provide support for operations by the RSAF Typhoon fleet for three years.These arrangements will be operated through a full availability service contract with BAE Systems, the first of its kind for Typhoon. They are in accordance with the Understanding Document signed by both Governments on 21 December 2005.
The contract includes training in the United Kingdom for RSAF Typhoon pilots and Typhoon multi-skilled aircraft technicians.
David Rennison, vice president Salam for BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, said: “Congratulations to the Royal Saudi Air Force – it has joined an elite club and is now the 5th Air Force in the world to be flying Tranche 2 Typhoons. This agreement is ground breaking and will form an integral and vital part of the long term Salam programme. I am delighted to see the RSAF flying the aircraft in Saudi Arabia.”
Cliff Robson, Deputy Managing Director, Typhoon, added: “The Salam Support Solution builds on BAE Systems’ knowledge and experience gained working alongside the RAF in supporting the UK’s Typhoon fleet. This will provide the Royal Saudi Air Force with the necessary support as the Typhoon transitions from entry-into-service to full operation”
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier global defence, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.
DTN News: U.S. Denies 45,000 Troops On Way To Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - October 15, 2009: Hours after Washington thanked Britain for sending more soldiers to Afghanistan, the White House was denying a report that President Barack Obama will announce U.S. plans next week to send up to 45,000 additional troops to the war-torn country. KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - OCTOBER 13: Afghan soldiers are put through training exercises under the supervision of British troops at Ghar Ordoo military base, on October 13, 2009 in Herat, Herat province west of Kabul, Afghanistan. Foreign NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops across 42 countries are involved in training Afghan National Forces in the fight against the Taliban insurgency.The BBC's Newsnight reported Wednesday that the Obama administration has already told the British government it will soon announce a substantial increase to its military forces in Afghanistan.
The announcement could come next week, the report said, in time for a NATO defence ministers meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia.
However, the report was immediately dismissed by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who said Obama had not yet made a decision on troop numbers.
Obama has said he would make up his mind in the coming weeks.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, has submitted a still-secret troop request which outlines three options – from as many as 80,000 more troops to as few as 10,000 – but favours a compromise of 40,000 more forces, officials have told The Associated Press.
There now are 67,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and 1,000 more are headed there by the end of December.
Gibbs was talking following the latest three-hour meeting on the United States' next moves in Afghanistan, which dealt at length with strengthening the civilian mission and training of Afghan police and army.
The BBC report and denial comes on the heels of a pledge Wednesday by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to send more troops to Afghanistan but only if NATO and the Afghan government do more to help fight the Taliban.
Brown said his government would increase British troop levels to 9,500 – an increase of about 500 – on the condition that President Hamid Karzai reduce corruption and improve his government's performance.
Brown also pledged to send troops only if he can provide them with the proper equipment, and if NATO allies increase their contributions to the war effort.
Germany has about 4,200 troops, and Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure from legislators at home to set a timetable for a withdrawal. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged to pull out the bulk of Canada's 2,800 soldiers by 2011, and the Dutch parliament has called for bringing home their 2,200 troops.
Military experts said Brown wants to show British support for the war as the U.S. debates an increase in its Afghan troop levels and he is unlikely to call off the deployment. Brown did not specify what contributions he is seeking from NATO nations, or exactly what the Afghans must do to get the extra forces, an indication that the conditions are largely designed to put political pressure on Karzai and NATO, they said.
The increase in British troops is small and may be of mostly symbolic importance, but it will likely be welcomed by Obama as his administration ponders difficult options in Afghanistan. Britain is the second-largest force in the 42-nation NATO coalition in Afghanistan.
Gibbs said Brown informed Obama of his decision last week when the two leaders spoke by telephone.
"Obviously, the British people and those that serve there have borne an enormous price in casualties," Gibbs said Wednesday. "Obviously, we're thankful for a strengthening of the coalition, and our assessment continues. But again ... we're happy for their increase in contributions."
Retired Col. Christopher Langton, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said it is extremely unlikely that Brown will ultimately decide to cancel the deployment even if the conditions he demanded are not met, in part because Brown has said he is responding to requests from senior military advisers.
Brown appeared to dismiss an argument put forward that Western forces should limit their goals to eliminating Al Qaeda through precise strikes.
"Our objective is clear and focused: to prevent Al Qaeda launching attacks on our streets and threatening legitimate government in Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.
Additional Troops To Afghanistan Related Headline News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY October 15, 2009 ~ Gunmen, Bomber Hit 4 Sites In Pakistan, 37 Die
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LAHORE, Pakistan - October 15, 2009: Teams of gunmen attacked three security sites Thursday in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore while a suicide bomber hit a northwestern town, killing a total of 37 people. The strikes were part of an escalating a wave of terror aimed at scuttling a planned offensive into the militant heartland on the Afghan border. A Pakistani official removes a suicide jacket from a terrorist shot dead at a law enforcing building in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009. Teams of gunmen attacked three law enforcement facilities in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore on Thursday, a major escalation in an audacious wave of terror strikes as this U.S.-allied, nuclear-armed country prepares for an offensive in a Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold.
One of the attacks, on a commando training facility on Lahore's outskirts, lasted into Thursday afternoon, before security forces killed the five attackers and freed a family they were holding hostage, police said.
The assaults paralyzed the cultural capital of this nuclear-armed U.S. ally, showing the militants are highly organized and able to carry out sophisticated, coordinated strikes against heavily fortified facilities despite stepped up security across the country.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, though suspicion fell on the Taliban who have claimed other recent strikes. The attacks Thursday also were the latest to underscore the growing threat to Punjab, the province next to India where the Taliban are believed to have made inroads and linked up with local insurgent outfits.
President Asif Ali Zardari said the bloodshed that has engulfed the nation over the past 11 days would not deter the government from its mission to eliminate the violent extremists, according to a statement on the state-run news agency.
"The enemy has started a guerrilla war," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said. "The whole nation should be united against these handful of terrorists, and God willing we will defeat them."
The wave of violence halted activity in Lahore. All government offices were ordered shut, the roads were nearly empty, major markets did not open and stores that had been open pulled down their shutters.
The violence began just after 9 a.m. when a group of gunmen attacked a building housing the Federal Investigation Agency, a law enforcement branch that deals with matters ranging from immigration to terrorism.
"We are under attack," said Mohammad Riaz, an FIA employee reached inside the building via phone by The Associated Press during the assault. "I can see two people hit, but I do not know who they are."
The attack lasted about 1 1/2 hours and ended with the death of two attackers, four government employees and a bystander, senior government official Sajjad Bhutta said. Senior police official Chaudhry Shafiq said one of the dead wore a jacket bearing explosives. Pakistani policemen remove an injured colleague from a police training centre after gunmen attacked in Lahore on October 15, 2009. Militants unleashed coordinated attacks on Pakistan police on October 15, storming offices in Lahore and bombing a northwest station, killing 21 people and escalating 11 days of carnage. More than 20 attackers stormed a police commando academy in Bedian, a police school at Manawan, also on the outskirts of Lahore and attacked in March and offices of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that was bombed last year.
Soon after that assault began, a second band of gunman raided a police training school in Manawan on the outskirts of the city in a brief attack that killed nine police officers and four militants, according to police and hospital officials. One of the gunmen was killed by police at the compound and the other three blew themselves up.
The facility was hit earlier this year in an attack that sparked an eight-hour standoff with the army that left 12 people dead.
A third team of at least eight gunmen scaled the back wall of an elite police commando training center not far from the airport and attacked the facility, Lahore police chief Pervez Rathore said. Senior police official Malik Iqbal said at least one police constable was killed there. Pakistani paramilitary soldiers rush as they take position outside a police training centre after gunmen attacked in Lahore on October 15, 2009. Militants unleashed coordinated attacks on Pakistan police on October 15, storming offices in Lahore and bombing a northwest station, killing 21 people and escalating 11 days of carnage. More than 20 attackers stormed a police commando academy in Bedian, a police school at Manawan, also on the outskirts of Lahore and attacked in March and offices of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that was bombed last year.
Lt. Gen. Shafqat Ahmad said five attackers were slain in a gunbattle and suicide blasts in the facility, and Shafiq said security forces freed a family that was being held hostage at the compound.
Television footage showed helicopters in the air over one of the police facilities and paramilitary forces with rifles and bulletproof vests taking cover behind trees outside a wall surrounding the compound. Rana Sanaullah, provincial law minister of Punjab province, said police were trying to take some of the attackers alive so they could get information from them about their militant networks.
Officials have warned that Taliban fighters close to the border, Punjabi militants spread out across the country and foreign al-Qaida operatives were increasingly joining forces, dramatically increasing the dangers to Pakistan. Punjab is Pakistan's most populous and powerful province, and the Taliban claimed recently that they were activating cells there and elsewhere in the country for assaults.
In the Taliban-riddled northwest, meanwhile, a suicide car bomb exploded next to a police station in the Saddar area of Kohat, collapsing half the building and killing 11 people — three police officers and eight civilians — Kohat police chief Abdullah Khan said.
The U.S. has encouraged Pakistan to take strong action against insurgents who are using its soil as a base for attacks in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are bogged down in an increasingly difficult war. It has carried out a slew of its own missile strikes in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt over the past year, killing several top militants including Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.
One suspected U.S. missile strike killed four people overnight Thursday when it hit a compound in an area in North Waziristan tribal region where members of the militant network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani are believed to operate, two intelligence officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Pakistan formally protests the missile strikes as violations of its sovereignty, but many analysts believe it has a secret deal with the U.S. allowing them.
The militants have claimed credit for a wave of attacks that began with an Oct. 5 strike on the U.N. food agency in Islamabad and included a siege of the army's headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that left 23 people dead.
The Taliban have warned Pakistan to stop pursuing them in military operations.
The Pakistani army has given no time frame for its expected offensive in South Waziristan tribal region, but has reportedly already sent two divisions totaling 28,000 men and blockaded the area.
Fearing the looming offensive, about 200,000 people have fled South Waziristan since August, moving in with relatives or renting homes in the Tank and Dera Ismail Khan areas, a local government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Pakistan Related Headline News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Boeing's 3rd Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite Shipped To Cape Canaveral
*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - October 15, 2009: Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that the third Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite built for the U.S. Air Force was shipped on Sept. 28 to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where it will be tested and prepared for a November launch.
The U.S. Air Force received six Boeing Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites. Boeing is the building high capacity communications satellites for the U.S. Department of Defense to improve communications bandwidth for the warfighter. The satellite will be monitored and controlled by the Air Force's 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.
WGS-3 completes the initial constellation of three WGS satellites, which will provide high-capacity X-band and Ka-band communications to U.S. forces and allies across all current theaters of operation around the world. WGS-1 has been in operation over the Pacific since April 2008, and WGS-2 has been operating over the Middle East since August 2009. Both satellites have met or exceeded mission requirements throughout their testing and operational phases.
"With its extraordinary increase in satellite communications capacity and flexibility, WGS helps our warfighters more effectively execute their missions on land, at sea and in the air," said Brig. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Vice Commander of the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles. "This is another great milestone for the WGS team, which is performing superbly and setting the standards for getting these critical communications assets into space and into operational use."
"WGS addresses our military's ever-growing appetite for high-bandwidth satellite communications," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "We're now working with the Air Force to determine how future WGS satellites could be enhanced to handle missions involving airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and communications-on-the-move."
WGS-3 was flown on an Air Force C-5 transport from Boeing's Satellite Development Center in El Segundo to Cape Canaveral last month. Before being shipped, WGS-3 completed mission assurance reviews and challenging factory tests that simulated the stress of the satellite's mission. The satellite successfully completed vibration tests and thermal vacuum tests. The vibration tests replicated the stresses of launch. Thermal vacuum tests were conducted in an airless chamber, with the satellite operating at full power, and subjected to extremes of heat and cold to simulate the working conditions it will experience in space.
At Cape Canaveral, WGS-3 will undergo about six weeks of prelaunch testing and processing, including fueling, encapsulation inside the launch vehicle fairing, and integration with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV launch vehicle.
Boeing built two previous WGS satellites and is currently building three more for the Air Force. WGS-3 is the final satellite in the Block I series. Three Block II satellites are planned for launch in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
Boeing Related News....for full stories click on DATES links below
~ Oct. 14, 2009Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP and Government of Mexico Launch Research and Advocacy Collaboration to Drive Commercial Use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels
Unprecedented collaboration by government, private sector and academic leaders furthers development of sustainable aviation fuels
~ Oct. 14, 2009Boeing Conducts Advanced Manufacturing Workshop for Danish Machining Firm AlmexA
DTN News: Ocean Power Technologies And Lockheed Martin Developing Utility-Scale Wave Power System
*Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) MOORESTOWN, NJ AND PENNINGTON, NJ, - October 15, 2009: Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] and Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (OPT) [Nasdaq: OPTT and London Stock Exchange AIM: OPT] have signed a commercial engineering services agreement to develop OPT’s wave energy systems for use in future utility-scale power generation projects.
Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin will provide its expertise in systems integration, lean manufacturing, and test and optimization analysis to enhance OPT's innovative PowerBuoy® wave power generation technology to utility-scale. This critical step will allow the two companies to pursue future utility-scale power generation projects in North America. The companies agreed to collaborate on such projects in a letter of intent signed in January 2009.
“The breadth of Lockheed Martin’s expertise, innovation and execution skills will add significant value to OPT’s overall delivery capability and assist in pursuing utility-scale wave energy projects,” said Mark R. Draper, OPT’s chief executive officer. “Their know-how will enhance key aspects of our current product offering, and aid the successful roll-out of our core PowerBuoy technology on the west coast of the U.S.”
OPT’s proven PowerBuoy technology uses “smart” buoys, based on integrated patented hydrodynamics, electronics, energy conversion and computer control systems, to capture and convert energy from the natural rising and falling of waves into low-cost, clean electricity. The generated power is transferred ashore via an underwater power transmission cable. A future 10-Megawatt utility power station comprised of floating PowerBuoy systems would occupy approximately 30 acres (0.125 square kilometers) of ocean space. Such a plant would generate electricity for approximately 4,000 homes.
“Our work with OPT is another way in which Lockheed Martin is applying its expertise to help the nation achieve energy independence with alternative, renewable resources,” said Rich Lockwood, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s New Ventures business. “Lockheed Martin’s experience, combined with OPT’s impressive PowerBuoy technology, advances the efficient and cost-effective production of utility-scale wave power generation systems.”
In addition to its collaboration with OPT, Lockheed Martin is addressing the nation’s energy and climate challenges with work in areas including next-generation alternative energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and climate monitoring.
About Ocean Power Technologies
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTT and London Stock Exchange AIM: OPT) is a pioneer in wave-energy technology that harnesses ocean wave resources to generate reliable, clean and environmentally-beneficial electricity. OPT has a strong track record in the advancement of wave energy and participates in a $150 billion annual power generation equipment market. The Company's proprietary PowerBuoy® system is based on modular, ocean-going buoys that capture and convert predictable wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity. The Company is widely recognized as a leading developer of on-grid and autonomous wave-energy generation systems, benefiting from over a decade of in-ocean experience. OPT’s technology and systems are insured by Lloyds Underwriters of London. OPT is headquartered in Pennington, New Jersey with offices in Warwick, UK. More information can be found at www.oceanpowertechnologies.com.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
For additional information about Lockheed Martin, visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com
Lockheed Martin Related News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY October 15, 2009 ~ Britain Ready To Send 500 More Troops To Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - October 15, 2009: Britain is ready to raise troop numbers in Afghanistan by 500 to 9,500, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday, providing certain conditions are met. In this image made available by the Ministry of Defence in London, Monday June 8, 2009, British soldiers of the The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, deploy from a Chinook helicopter in the desert of Afghanistan's Upper Sangin Valley, Sunday May 31, 2009, at the start of a joint operation with the Afghan National Army, to search compounds and destroy drug caches and narcotic manufacturing facilities. The operation destroyed ten narcotic manufacturing facilities, and as well as the opium, it netted 220 kg of morphine, more than 100 kg of heroin and 148 kg of cannabis.
Worsening violence in the eight-year, U.S.-led war against the Taliban has led to calls for a change of strategy including the option of sending more troops to bolster security.
More than 100,000 Western troops are serving in Afghanistan, of whom 65,000 are American. The number of U.S. troops is already due to increase to 68,000 later this year.
U.S. President Barack Obama is considering a military recommendation to boost his force with a further 40,000 troops next year.
Brown said Britain would send the additional troops as long as three conditions were met, including Kabul agreeing to provide Afghan troops to be trained and fight alongside British forces.
"I've agreed in principle to a new British force level of 9,500 which will be put into effect once these conditions are met," Brown told parliament.
A government source said the deployment was not imminent but there was a will to send the extra forces as soon as possible.
The increase in British numbers also had to be part of an agreed approach with other military forces in Afghanistan, Brown said, with all countries bearing their fair share.
And he said the correct military equipment had to be available for every soldier and unit deployed in the country.
Brown said he had received assurances from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his election opponent Abdullah Abdullah that Afghan troops would be made available.
British forces have been engaged in heavy combat this year against Taliban insurgents in the southern province of Helmand.
More than 50 British soldiers have been killed in the past four months and Brown spent several minutes reading out to parliament the names of the 37 killed over the summer.
The fierce fighting has led to questioning of Britain's role and criticism of the equipment British forces are supplied with, creating a political headache for Brown before a national election expected next May.
Brown said British forces, the second largest contributor to the NATO mission, were in Afghanistan to prevent terror attacks on British streets.
But he said there also had to be tough action on tackling corruption in Afghanistan.
"No one can be satisfied with what happened during the elections in Afghanistan," he said. "Every one of us has questions that has got to be answered...about the amount of ballot-rigging that appears to have taken place."
A United Nations-backed election watchdog is still checking suspicious ballots to determine if Karzai is the outright winner of the August presidential election or must face a second vote against the runner-up.
Defense analyst Charles Heyman, editor of The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, said the British troop increase was merely a "drop in the ocean" and would have a limited effect.
"We need at least 2,000 if we are to hold the ring in Helmand and probably a lot more than that," he told Reuters.
Afghanistan Related Headline News....for full stories click on the links below
DTN News: Pakistan ~ The South Waziristan Migration
*Source: By Scott Stewart STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 15, 2009: Pakistan has been a busy place over the past few weeks. The Pakistani armed forces have been conducting raids and airstrikes against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other foreign Islamist fighters in Bajaur Agency, a district inside Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), while wrapping up their preparations for a major military offensive into South Waziristan. The United States has conducted several successful missile attacks targeting militants hiding in areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border using unmanned aerial vehicles.
Threatened by these developments — especially the actions of the Pakistani military — the TTP and its allies have struck back. They have used larger, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in attacks close to their bases in the Pakistani badlands to conduct mass-casualty attacks against soft targets in Peshawar and the Swat Valley. They have also used small arms and small suicide devices farther from their bases to attack targets in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the respective seats of Pakistan’s military and civilian power.
Initially, we considered devoting this week’s Security and Intelligence Report to discussing the tactical details of the Oct. 10 attack against the Pakistani army headquarters. But after taking a closer look at that attack, and the bigger mosaic it occurred within, we decided to focus instead on something that has not received much attention in the media — namely, how the coming Pakistani offensive in South Waziristan is going to have a heavy impact on the militants currently living and training there. In fact, we can expect the Pakistani offensive to cause a large displacement of militants. Of course, many of the militants who are forced to flee from South Waziristan, the epicenter of Pakistan’s insurgency, will likely land in areas not too far away — like Balochistan — but at least some of the militants who will be flushed out of South Waziristan will land in places far from Pakistan’s FATA and North-West Frontier Province.
The Coming Offensive
The Pakistani military has been preparing for the coming offensive into South Waziristan for months. They have positioned two divisions with some 28,000 troops for the attack, and this force will be augmented by paramilitary forces and local tribal militias loyal to Islamabad. As seen by the Pakistani offensives in Swat and Bajaur earlier this year, the TTP and its foreign allies are no match for the Pakistani military when it turns its full resources to address the problem.
The Pakistanis previously attempted a halfhearted offensive in South Waziristan in March of 2004 that only lasted 12 days before they fell back and reached a “negotiated peace settlement” with the militant leaders in the area. A negotiated peace settlement is a diplomatic way of saying that the Pakistanis attempted to pay off Pakistani Taliban leaders like Nek Mohammed to hand over the foreign militants in South Waziristan and stop behaving badly. The large cash settlements given to the militants did little to ensure peace and instead allowed the Taliban leaders to buy more weapons, pay their troops and essentially solidify their control in their areas of operation. The Taliban resumed their militant activities shortly after receiving their payments (though the most prominent leader, Nek Mohammed, was killed in a U.S. missile strike in June 2004).
This time, the South Waziristan offensive will be far different than it was in 2004. Not only do the Pakistanis have more than four times as many army troops committed to it, but the Pakistani military has learned that if it uses its huge airpower advantage and massed artillery, it can quickly rout any serious TTP resistance. In Bajaur, the Pakistanis used airstrikes and artillery to literally level positions (and even some towns) where the Taliban had tried to dig in and make a stand. Additionally, in January 2008, the Pakistani army conducted a successful offensive in South Waziristan called “Operation Zal Zala” (Earthquake) that made excellent progress and resulted in the loss of only eight soldiers in four days of intense fighting. This offensive was stopped only because Baitullah Mehsud and his confederates sued for peace — a truce that they quickly violated.
The lessons of past military operations and broken truces in South Waziristan, when combined with the recent TTP strikes against targets like the army headquarters, have served to steel the will of the government (and particularly the military). Pakistani government sources tell STRATFOR that they have the intent and the ability to “close the case for good.” This means that there should be no negotiated settlement with the TTP this time.
Of course, we are not the only people who can anticipate this happening. The TTP and others like the al Qaeda core leadership know all too well what happened in Bajaur and Swat. They have also been watching the Pakistani military prepare for the South Waziristan offensive for months now. The TTP leadership realizes that if they attempt to stand and fight the Pakistani military toe-to-toe they will be cut to shreds. Because of this, we believe that the TTP will adopt a strategy similar to that used by the Taliban in the face of overwhelming U.S. airpower following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, or that of the Iraqi military following the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Rather than fight in set-piece conventional battles to the bitter end and be destroyed, after some initial resistance the TTP’s fighters will seek to melt away into the population and then conduct insurgent and terrorist strikes against the Pakistani military, both in the tribal regions and in Pakistan’s core regions. This is also the approach the TTP leadership took to the Pakistani offensive in Swat and Bajaur. They made noises about standing and fighting in places like Mingora. In the end, however, they melted away in the face of the military’s offensive and most of the militants escaped.
Contrary to popular perception, the area along the Afghan-Pakistani border is fairly heavily populated. The terrain is extremely rugged, but there are millions of Pakistanis living in the FATA, and many of them are extremely conservative and hostile toward the Pakistani government. This hostile human terrain poses perhaps a more significant obstacle to the Pakistani military’s operations to root out jihadists than the physical terrain. Accurate and current population numbers are hard to obtain, but the government of Pakistan estimated the population of South Waziristan to be nearly 500,000 in 1998, although it is believed to be much larger than that today. There are also an estimated 1.7 million Afghan refugees living on the Pakistani side of the border. This human terrain should enable many of the TTP’s Pashtun fighters to melt into the landscape and live to fight another day. Indeed, the militants are already heavily embedded in the population of South Waziristan, and the TTP and its rivals have controlled much of the area for several years now.
We have seen reports that up to 200,000 people have already fled areas of South Waziristan in anticipation of the coming military operation, and it is highly likely that some TTP fighters and foreign militants have used this flow of displaced people as camouflage to leave the region just as they did in Swat and Bajaur. Whether the coming offensive is as successful in destroying the TTP as our sources assure us it will be, the military action will undoubtedly force even more militants to leave South Waziristan.
In the wake of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the many militant training camps run by al Qaeda and other organizations in Afghanistan were destroyed. Many of the foreign jihadists who were at these camps fled to Pakistan with the Taliban, though others fled to Iran, Iraq or elsewhere. This migration shifted the focus of jihadist training efforts to Pakistan, and South Waziristan in particular. Quite simply, there are thousands of foreign jihadists who have traveled to Pakistan to receive paramilitary training at these camps to fight in Afghanistan. A smaller number of the trainees have received advanced training in terrorist tradecraft, such as bombmaking, in the camps.
Due to the presence of these transplanted training installations, South Waziristan is “jihadist central,” with jihadists of all stripes based in the area. This confluence will complicate Islamabad’s attempts to distinguish between “good” and “bad” Taliban elements. Both the good Taliban aligned with Islamabad that carry out their operations in Afghanistan and the bad Taliban fighting against Islamabad are based in South Waziristan, and telling the difference between the two factions on the battlefield will be difficult — though undoubtedly elements of Pakistani intelligence will attempt to help their Taliban friends (like the Haqqani network and Mullah Omar’s network) avoid being caught up in the coming confrontation.
There are literally thousands of Arab, Uzbek, Uighur, Chechen, African and European militants currently located in the Pakistani badlands, and a good number of them are in South Waziristan. Many of these foreigners are either teaching at or enrolled in the jihadist training camps. These foreigners are going to find it far harder to hide from the Pakistani military by seeking refuge in Afghan refugee camps or small tribal villages than their Pashtun brethren.
Some of these foreigners will attempt to find shelter in North Waziristan, or perhaps in more heavily — and more heterogeneously — populated areas like Quetta (Mullah Omar’s refuge) or Peshawar. Others may try to duck into the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, but there is a good chance that many of these foreign militants will be forced to leave the Pakistan-Afghanistan area to return home or seek refuge elsewhere.
This exodus will have mixed results. On one hand it will serve to weaken the international jihadist movement by retarding its ability to train new jihadists until replacement camps can be established elsewhere, perhaps by expanding existing facilities in Yemen or Africa. On the other hand, it will force hundreds of people trained in terrorist tradecraft to find a new place to live — and operate. In some ways, this migration could mirror what happened after the number of foreign jihadist began to be dramatically reduced in Iraq — except then, many of the foreigners could be redirected to Pakistan for training and Afghanistan to fight. There is no comparable second theater now to attract these foreign fighters. This means that many of them may end up returning home to join insurgent movements in smaller theaters, such as Chechnya, Somalia, Algeria and Central Asia.
Those with the ability and means could travel to other countries where they can use their training to organize militant cells for terrorist attacks in much the same way the foreign fighters who fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and left after the fall of the Soviet-backed government there went on to fight in places like Bosnia and Chechnya and formed the nucleus of al Qaeda and the current international jihadist movement.
The Next Generation
There is a big qualitative difference between the current crop of international fighters in South Waziristan and those who fought with the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s. During the earlier conflict, the foreigners were tolerated, but in general they were not seen by their Afghan counterparts as being particularly valiant or effective (though the Afghans did appreciate the cash and logistical help they provided). In many engagements the foreigners were kept out of harm’s way and saw very little intense combat, while in some cases the foreign fighters were essentially used as cannon fodder.
The perception of the foreigners began to change during the 1990s, and units of foreigners acquitted themselves well as they fought alongside Taliban units against the Northern Alliance. Also, following the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the foreign jihadists have proved themselves to be very effective at conducting terrorist attacks and operating in hostile territory.
In fact, over the past several years, we have witnessed a marked change in the ways the Afghan Taliban fight. They have abandoned some of their traditional armed assault tactics and have begun to employ al Qaeda-influenced roadside IED attacks and suicide bombings — attacks the Afghan fighters had previously considered “unmanly.” It is no mere coincidence that the number of suicide attacks and roadside IED attacks in Afghanistan increased dramatically after al Qaeda began to withdraw its forces from Iraq. There is also a direct correlation between the IED technology developed and used in Iraq and that now being employed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
All this experience in designing and manufacturing IEDs in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan means that the jihadist bombmakers of today are more highly skilled than ever, and they have been sharing their experience with foreign students at training camps in places like South Waziristan. Furthermore, the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has provided a great laboratory in which jihadists can perfect their terrorist tradecraft. A form of “tactical Darwinism” has occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan as coalition firepower has weeded out most of the inept jihadist operatives. Only the strong and cunning have survived, leaving a core of hardened, competent militants. These survivors have created new tactics and have learned to manufacture new types of highly effective IEDs — technology that has already shown up in places like Algeria and Somalia. They have been permitted to impart the knowledge they have gained to another generation of young aspiring militants through training camps in places like South Waziristan.
As these foreign militants scatter to the four winds, they will be taking their skills with them. Judging from past waves of jihadist fighters, they will probably be found participating in future plots in many different parts of the world. And also judging from past cases, they will likely not participate in these plots alone.
As we have discussed in the past, the obvious weakness of the many grassroots jihadist cells that have been uncovered is their lack of terrorist tradecraft. They have the intent to do harm but not the ability, and many times the grassroots cells end up finding a government informant as they seek help acquiring weapons or constructing IEDs. When these inept “Kramer terrorists” manage to get linked up with a trained terrorist operative, they can cause considerable damage.
The possibility of these militants conducting attacks or bringing much-needed capability to grassroots cells means that the South Waziristan migration, which has almost certainly already begun, will give counterterrorism officials from Boston to Beijing something to worry about for the foreseeable future.
This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution towww.stratfor.com