Saturday, December 12, 2009
DTN News: Russia's Latest Bulava Missile Test Unsuccessful *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - December 13, 2009: The December 9, 2009 test of the RSM-56 Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile has failed, said the Russian Defense Ministry. There have been 12 other test flights since December 2003. The Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on new Borey class nuclear-powered strategic submarines.
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY December 13, 2009 ~ Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Hints At Military Operation In Orakzai
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY December 13, 2009 ~ Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Hints At Military Operation In Orakzai
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LAHORE/KARACHI, Pakistan - December 13, 2009: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that the government was ready for launch of a military operation in Orakzai Agency if efforts for a ‘peaceful resolution’ failed.
According to intelligence officials, paramilitary forces have been carrying out crackdowns on militants in Orakzai, said to be the base of Hakimullah Mehsud and a global hub for militant groups, for several weeks. ‘We will first try to convince elements in Orakzai to accept a peaceful resolution,’ he said, referring to proposals for a negotiated settlement made by some politicians, including Imran Khan, of the Tehrik-i-Insaaf. (According to Reuters, the prime minister said the army had ended its offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan and was shifting focus to Orakzai. ‘The operation has finished in South Waziristan. Now there is talk of Orakzai,’ Mr Gilani said). A spokesman later said, Mr Gilani’s remark on Waziristan were taken out of context. The prime minister made the remarks at functions in Karachi and Lahore. Talking to journalists after presiding over a convocation of the Government College University Lahore, Mr Gilani also said the federal government was considering offering a general amnesty in Balochistan. He said his close aides were in touch with Brahmdagh Bugti in furtherance of the government’s policy of holding talks with dissenters. He said that 89 arrested people who were not involved in ‘heinous’ crimes in Balochistan would be released soon.
Pakistan paramilitary soldiers stand beside weapons and ammunitions confiscated from militants during an operation in the Bara area, while displaying them for media in Bara, the main town of Pakistan's troubled tribal region Khyber along the Afghan border, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009. Pakistani security forces are battling Taliban fighters and other militants group in rugged northwest regions bordering with Afghanistan. The prime minister said the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NCTA) had been set up to curb militancy. The authority, he added, would gather intelligence and share it with federal and provincial governments. He said the strategy was aimed at uniting all intelligence and law-enforcement agencies and the interior ministry had already submitted a summary to the PM’s Secretariat in this regard. ‘We want to strengthen capacity of the provinces and the federal government,’ the prime minister said, adding that authorities like NCTA were working in several developed countries, including the United States, Britain and France. Mr Gilani said he had raised the issue of Indian involvement in Balochistan with New Delhi, adding that the question of an Indian hand in terrorist acts elsewhere in the country would be taken up at appropriate forums after thorough investigations.
This frame grab image taken from a video issued by al-Sahab, al-Qaida's media branch and provided by IntelCenter shows a video statement from Adam Gadahn the new English-language video Saturday Dec. 12, 2009 denied it was behind a series of bombings in Pakistan that have killed hundreds of civilians, calling such attacks un-Islamic. In reply to a question about the accord on the National Finance Commission award, Mr Gilani said: ‘Difficult tasks can be accomplished only by democratic forces, and not by dictators.’ He said the committee on constitutional reforms would soon take a decision about repeal of the 17th Amendment. ‘We are committed to doing away with this controversial amendment and implementing the Charter of Democracy.’ Mr Gilani stressed that parliament should be made so powerful that nobody dare play with or deface the Constitution. ‘There is a dire need to strengthen institutions, not the prime minister.’ 'Nobody is above the law,' Mr Gilani said in reply to a question about alleged violation of Pakistani law by foreign diplomats. The prime minister said terrorists were trying to stall development, but the government was determined to maintain peace and harmony. The government, he added, could achieve this goal with the support of the academia and youth. ‘Stand by the government and safeguard Pakistan’ was his message to them. BOOK LAUNCH Mr Gilani praised the armed forces for undertaking rehabilitation of millions of people in Malakand division after the military operation. Talking to journalists after the launch of Khushbakht Shujaat’s book, Farozan Chehray, at the Governor’s House in Karachi, the premier said: ‘The security forces have set an example by organizing resettlement of millions of people in 10 weeks.’ About an expected cabinet reshuffle, he said it was a routine matter. He said a counter-terror mechanism would be set up to provide ‘actionable information’ to provinces and other government agencies. In reply to a question about NFC award, he said it was ‘a big achievement of the political government and will go a long way in ameliorating the lot of the people’. He also maintained that elections in Gilgit-Baltistan were a big step forward while the Balochistan package would banish the sense of deprivation. Earlier the prime minister paid tributes to Khushbakht Shujaat for her book and announced Rs 10 million for Anjuman-i-Taraqi-i-Urdu. The Sindh governor, the chief minister, Jamiluddin Ali, Dr Farooq Sattar, Pirzada Qasim, Hasan Zaheer and Aftab Ahmad Khan also spoke on the occasion.
DTN News: Bombardier Enhanced Vision System For Challenger 605 Jet Receives FAA Certification *Source: DTN News / Aviation News (NSI News Source Info) MONTREAL, Canada - December 13, 2009: Bombardier Aerospace today announced that the Bombardier Enhanced Vision System (BEVS) and Head-up Display (HUD) for the Challenger 605 jet has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification. BEVS provides pilots with significantly improved situational awareness and the ability to observe runway lights and the runway environment in difficult operating conditions, such as low visibility and or darkness. BEVS also enhances safety by helping to identify runway incursions. “This certification is great news for Challenger 605 aircraft operators in North America. Safety is a priority in our industry and the new BEVS will provide flight crews and passengers with a significantly increased level of safety in their operations,” said Michel Ouellette, vice-president and general manager, Challenger, Bombardier Business Aircraft. Operators selecting BEVS benefit from several advantages over other systems. The SureSight® CMA-2600i InfraRed camera provides superior sensitivity and advanced processing of real-time images in darkness or low-visibility conditions. The camera’s positioning on the upper portion of the aircraft nose places the BEVS directly in line with the pilot's visual reference point and makes cockpit views more natural. It provides images of the approach, runway lighting and of terrain scenery that are displayed on the pilot’s head up display (HUD) and on the co-pilot’s Multi Function Display, a head-down display that provides the same level of situational awareness for better communication during critical phases of flight. The BEVS HUD display features a wide field-of-view digital head-up display with a liquid crystal display image source. The system provides pilots with the same comprehensive flight-guidance symbology whether the EVS image is displayed or not, offering improved situational awareness, stable visual approaches, improved touchdown precision and greater safety through eyes-out-of-the-flight-deck operation. BEVS is being developed in cooperation with Rockwell Collins, the overall HUD and Enhanced Vision System integrator, and Esterline CMC Electronics, the supplier of the SureSight CMA-2600i Integrated Sensor System, a new development of the currently certified CMA-2600. The Challenger 605 jet features the widest stand-up cabin of any large category business jet available today. It is equipped with the Pro Line 21 avionics suite and an all new cabin electronic system. This jet can whisk five-passengers from Montreal - Moscow non-stop*, in superior comfort. The Bombardier Enhanced Vision System (BEVS) is offered as optional equipement on the Challenger 605 jet. About Bombardier
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.
DTN News: Army, Marines Adjust ‘Reset’ For Afghan Buildup *Source: DTN News / By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden ~ American Forces Press Service (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - December 13, 2009: As the U.S. military answers President Barack Obama’s order to reinforce efforts in Afghanistan, the Army and Marine Corps are adjusting their plans to redeploy working and serviceable equipment, top military officers told Congress on Dec. 10, 2009. US soldiers unload humanitarian aid for distribution to the town of Rajan Kala, Afghanistan December 5th. The team used the Striker armored vehicles to move the humanitarian aid from the Joint District Community Center to the town of Rajan Kala. The soldiers are assigned to Company C, First Battalion, 17th Regiment. Photo/info courtesy of DoD* Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, and Gen. James F. Amos, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, testified on their services’ “reset” requirements before subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee.
The proceedings were a continuation of a July hearing that was interrupted because of a prolonged series of House votes. The initial hearing focused on Iraq drawdown plans and attempted to outline the method in which the services determined what equipment would redeploy and what would be left for Iraqi security forces.
However, much has changed in the past five months. On Dec. 1, Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, , so some of the equipment in Iraq that was scheduled to return to the United States has been re-directed to outfit units headed to Afghanistan.
Roughly 22,000 soldiers are part of the plus-up in Afghanistan, “and quite a bit of the equipment coming out of Iraq [will] be used to support those soldiers,” Chiarelli said.
“That will mean as we begin the Iraq drawdown in earnest, that there will be less equipment coming back to the states for reset,” the general said.
Amos described the Marine Corps adjustment since July, noting 15,000 Marines were on the ground in Iraq then. Only about one-third of those Marines remain, and about 97 percent of their combat equipment was returned home or is being refurbished in Kuwait, Amos said.
When Marine Corps leaders heard of the possibility of an Afghan buildup, a “big chunk” of their equipment in Kuwait was made ready for Afghanistan, he added.
“When we first heard an inkling of a plus-up in Afghanistan, we took the equipment that we knew was furbishable and in good condition and set it aside in anticipation of the president’s directive,” Amos explained.
The Marine Corps buildup is roughly 9,000 Marines, and is the service’s No. 1 priority, he said. Amos added that those Marines will be equipped either in Kuwait or at their home stations. “Our greatest focus right now is getting equipment to our forces in Afghanistan,” he continued.
“We will have 100 percent of every piece of equipment they need, with all the capabilities.” Another change Amos noted since the July hearing was the Marine Corps’ reset bill.
When he last testified, he estimated that the Marine Corps would need about $20 billion to completely replace war-torn and unusable equipment.
The estimate has increased an additional $15 billion to accommodate the Afghanistan mission and lessons learned in the past five months, he said. Chiarelli didn’t have an opportunity to elaborate on the Army’s reset costs, but considering the Army is a much larger force, the costs are likely higher.
He did note that the Army is set to establish Red River Army Depot in Texas as its maintenance hub for mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, better known as MRAPs. The initiative is now a pilot program, but should be fully up and running in fiscal 2011, he said.
The Army has integrated about 37,000 MRAP vehicles into its force, because of the added protection its V-shaped hull provides troops. “I think we’re embracing the MRAP, and doing everything we can to ensure when those vehicles start flowing back out of theater, we’re ready to accept them, sustain them and reset them,” Chiarelli said.
The Marine Corps also has determined that the MRAP is going to be part of its total ground tactical vehicle strategy after success in Iraq and Afghanistan, Amos said. He anticipates more than 2,300 MRAP vehicles to soon become part of the regular Marine inventory.
In July, both generals expressed concern over the degrading readiness of their forces after nearly eight years of high tempo counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The generals conceded that the ground forces must maintain capabilities to respond to future contingencies around the world.
Amos said the current security environments in Iraq and Afghanistan justify the readiness tradeoff, but the military must remain balanced and have the support of the American people and Congress to seek modernization.
DTN News: Indian Navy New Maritime Reconnaissance Boeing P-8I Planes Would Be Based At INS Rajali *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) MUMBAI, India - December 13, 2009: The INS Rajali in Arakkonam would soon be the hub for the long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft Boeing P-8I.India is the first international customer for the P-8. Boeing will deliver the first P-8I within 48 months of the contract signing, and the remaining seven by 2015.
These planes would be replacing the eight Russian origin Tuolev-142Ms, which India currently uses for maritime reconnaissance, said the Rear Admiral, Mr S.M. Vadgaokar, NM, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air), on Saturday Dec. 12 2009.
Speaking to reporters after the passing out parade of the 73rd batch of helicopter conversion course at the INS Rajali in Arakkonam, the rear admiral said that the government had signed an agreement with the company this year.
“The deal is finally through and we will receive the first P-8I in 2013 while the remaining seven will be procured in a phased manner over the next three or four years,” he said.
The P-8I aircraft are likely to be armed with Harpoon missiles, torpedoes and depth bombs to give them potent anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability.
The Boeing P-8I multi-mission aircraft is a variant of the US Navy's P-8A maritime warplane. The system uses a Boeing 737-800 platform.
DTN News: Sikorsky Aircraft Delivers UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopter to Bahrain Defense Forces *Source: DTN News / Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (NSI News Source Info) HORSEHEADS, New York - December 13, 2009: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Dec. 1., celebrated the formal delivery of a UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter to the Defense Forces of Bahrain. It is the first of nine aircraft that will ultimately be delivered. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). The delivery also marks the beginning of the first squadron of UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters that will be operated by an international military organization. The Royal Bahrain Air Force will fly the aircraft for military operations that include protection of sovereign borders as well as protection and defense of U.S. and coalition strategic facilities. “The Bahrain Air Force is getting a powerful tool in the UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter,” said Doug Shidler, Sikorsky Vice President, U.S. Government Programs. “The sophistication and capabilities of this aircraft will greatly enhance the Bahrain military’s ability, and will serve their country well for years to come.” Bahrain officials signed the U.S. Army Letter of Offer and Acceptance on May 7, 2007, to purchase nine UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS), the first such sale for the UH-60M aircraft. The aircraft are being completed at Sikorsky’s Military Derivatives Completion Center in Horseheads, N.Y. Deliveries are scheduled to continue into 2010. The UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter is a twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter designed to a U.S. Army requirement to carry an 11-man squad and four-man crew under combat conditions. Sikorsky Aircraft has been manufacturing the BLACK HAWK helicopter for the U.S. Army since 1978. The UH-60M helicopter is the latest and the most advanced model to be fielded to the U.S. Army. The UH-60M helicopter provides additional payload and range, improved handling qualities, lower operating costs, and greater survivability than earlier generation BLACK HAWK helicopters. These improvements are achieved with improved engines, revolutionary rotor blade design, improved durability transmission system, advanced digital avionics and an integrated “glass” cockpit. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.