Sunday, January 31, 2010

DTN News: Experts ~ US Arms Deal Won't Hurt Taiwan-China Ties

DTN News: Experts ~ US Arms Deal Won't Hurt Taiwan-China Ties *Source: DTN News / AP By DEBBY WU (NSI News Source Info) TAIPEI, Taiwan- February 1, 2010: Despite a furious denunciation of U.S. plans to sell $6.4 billion of arms to Taiwan, Beijing is unlikely to lash out at the democratic island, because it fears undermining its China-friendly president, Taiwanese analysts say. The weapons deal, announced Friday, includes missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, information distribution systems and two Osprey Class Mine Hunting Ships. The package, however, dodged a touchy issue: F-16 fighter jets, which Taiwan covets, are not included. Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. The communist government in Beijing continues to regard the island as part of its territory and reserves the right to use force to bring it back under its control-Washington's main reason for continuing to sell it arms. On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the planned weapons sale was a "crude interference in China's internal affairs" and would hurt its national security. Beijing had already suspended military exchange visits with the United States and threatened unprecedented sanctions against U.S. defense companies over the deal. Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt, northeast Asia project director for the International Crisis Group, said it was the strongest such reaction from China in recent years. But Taiwanese analysts said the island's rapidly improving relations with the mainland were not likely to be a victim of the Chinese anger. "Beijing knows that if it tries to spoil cross-strait relations, it will hurt the standing of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou," said international relations specialist George Tsai of Taipei-based Chinese Culture University. "If Ma's domestic standing is weakened, it will only strain cross-strait relations further." Since Ma took office in May 2008, he has jettisoned his predecessor's pro-independence policies, reducing cross-strait tensions to their lowest level in 60 years. Besides agreeing to the launching of regular air and maritime services across the 100-mile- (160-kilometer-) wide Taiwan Strait, he is also pushing a partial free trade agreement that will allow the free flow of many goods, services and capital between the sides. Negotiations on the deal opened last week in Beijing. Wang Kao-cheng of Taipei-based Tamkang University said these talks are unlikely to be affected. "Despite the arms deal, Taiwan is continuing on the path of reconciliation with China," he said. "Beijing has also made it clear that it will push cross-strait relations forward as much as possible when Ma is still in power."
However, in Beijing, Yu Wanli, a professor from the Center for International and Strategic Studies of Peking University, said the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan could hurt cross-strait relations, because it gave impetus to supporters of formal independence for the island. "The arms sale to Taiwan by the U.S. sends the wrong signal to Taiwan, that is, that America supports the democratic system in Taiwan which may eventually lead to independence," Yu said. He added that he believed a big proportion of Taiwanese were independence supporters. Niu Jun, a Peking University international relations specialist, said the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan will have little effect on the military balance between the sides, which most analysts see as now trending strongly in China's favor. "Ultimately, the mainland will have advantages in terms of military strength" over Taiwan, Niu said. Tamkang University's Wang agreed. "The package will redress the imbalance but not in a significant way," Wang said. "Taiwan's air force will face a serious gap in the long term if they need to retire aging planes without F-16 fighter jet replacements." ___ Associated Press researcher Henry Hou contributed to this story from Beijing.

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Redelivers USS George H.W. Bush Following Successful Modernization And Maintenance Work

DTN News: Northrop Grumman Redelivers USS George H.W. Bush Following Successful Modernization And Maintenance Work *Source: DTN News / GLOBE NEWSWIRE (NSI News Source Info) NEWPORT NEWS, Va., - February 1, 2010: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) returned the nation's newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), to the U.S. Navy following the completion of modernization and maintenance work accomplished during the ship's post shakedown availability and selected restricted availability (PSA/SRA). Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding returned the nation's newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on Jan. 28, to the U.S. Navy following the completion of modernization and maintenance work accomplished during the ship's post shakedown availability and selected restricted availability (PSA/SRA). Photo by John Whalen The company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va., was the prime contractor for the work. A PSA/SRA is a typical availability in the early life of a carrier that allows the Navy and Northrop Grumman team to resolve any items that came up during trials and delivery and make fleet modernization upgrades. Work performed during the PSA/SRA included compartment reconfigurations, combat system and radar equipment upgrades, and minor repairs. "Bush is a testament to the teamwork between the Navy and Newport News," said Mike Shawcross, vice president for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's aircraft carrier construction programs. "We worked closely with one another during this availability to return the ship with high quality and within budget. This is a proud and historic moment for our shipbuilders as our 10th and final Nimitz-class carrier joins the Navy's fleet, where she will serve for the next 50 years." Named after America's 41st president, USS George H. W. Bush is the 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Its keel was laid Sept. 6, 2003; it was christened Oct. 7, 2006; commissioned Jan. 10, 2009; and delivered May 11, 2009. At 1,092 feet in length, USS George H. W. Bush is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. It weighs 97,000 tons, is powered with two nuclear reactors, and operates for more than 20 years without refueling. Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY January 31, 2010 ~ Army Investigates Reports Of Hakeemullah Mehsud's Death

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY January 31, 2010 ~ Army Investigates Reports Of Hakeemullah Mehsud's Death *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - January 31, 2010: The Pakistani Taliban on Sunday denied fresh rumours that their chief Hakeemullah Mehsud is dead, while the army said it was investigating as reports re-emerged that he was killed by US drone missiles. In this picture taken on November 26, 2008, Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud (L) poses and fires a weapon for a group of media representatives in the Mamouzai area of Orakzai Agency. Speculation about the warlord's death first surfaced after a January 14 bombing by unmanned US spy planes in Taliban stronghold North Waziristan, but within days Mehsud released two audio statements denying his demise. Security sources said at the time that he may have been wounded, and on Sunday local television stations carried a report that he had been buried. “I don't have the confirmation, my sources have not confirmed it, whether he is dead or alive,” chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP, adding that they were investigating the report. Taliban spokesmen had earlier this month admitted that Mehsud was in the Shaktoi area where the drones hit, but said he left about an hour before the strike. US officials said they had no information about his reported death. The chief Taliban spokesman again Sunday dismissed the reports. “Hakimullah is alive and safe. The purpose of stories regarding his death is to create differences among Taliban ranks, but such people will never succeed,” Azam Tariq told AFP by telephone from an unknown location. “People who are saying that Hakimullah has died should provide proof of it - we have already proved that he is alive and we have provided two audio tapes of him to all the media.” Mehsud assumed leadership of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), blamed for the deaths of thousands of people in attacks, after his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a US drone strike in August last year. The TTP denied Baitullah Mehsud's death for weeks, apparently amid fierce infighting over who would succeed him.

DTN News: Al-Qaeda's Growing Arc Of Terror

DTN News: Al-Qaeda's Growing Arc Of Terror *Source: By Richard Spencer Sunday January 31 2010 (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 31, 2010: BORED, depressed, and stuck in a dead-end job, Khaled al-Bawardi convinced himself that he wanted to die for militant Islam after spending just a few hours watching jihadi videos. It took another six years in Guantanamo Bay, plus a year in religious rehab in Saudi Arabia, to realise there might be better career options. "When I was young, I thought these people were angels and we had to follow them," said Mr Bawardi, formerly Inmate 68 at Guantanamo and one of hundreds of Saudi al-Qaeda suspects arrested after the US invasion of Afghanistan. "Now I can see between right and wrong." Quietly spoken and dressed in traditional Arab robe and keffiya, Mr Bawardi is an alumnus of the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Counselling and Care outside Riyadh, where for the past two years, batches of former Guantanamo inmates have undergone religious "deprogramming" in exchange for their liberty. With its swimming pool, games rooms and therapy courses such as '10 Steps Toward Positive Thinking', it resembles a jihadist's version of a posh rehab clinic. Yet like any rehab programme, it also has its recidivists -- and Batch 10, to which Mr Bawardi belonged, is a case in point. In the 10th group of Saudis to be flown back from Guantanamo Bay, no less than five of the original 14 who passed through the programme absconded to Yemen to re-embrace terrorism. To the embarrassment of their mentors, and the dismay of Washington, one Batch 10 member, Said al-Shihri, has since resurfaced as deputy leader of al-Qaeda in the movement's Yemen-based branch. The group last month claimed to have groomed the so-called Detroit 'Underpants Bomber". Such relapses show how, more than eight years since September 11, al-Qaeda has confounded its doomsayers. When Batch 10 first arrived at Riyadh airport two years ago, Western diplomats and intelligence officials were confident that the movement was on its back foot. Last week, though, as diplomats gathered in London for crisis meetings on the future of Afghanistan and Yemen, the mood was rather less upbeat. Like a global franchise, outlets of al-Qaeda have mushroomed across a giant arc through Africa and the Middle East. In the Sahara and north Africa, militants blooded in Iraq have kidnapped diplomats, aid workers and tourists. In pirate-infested Somalia, little government exists. And in Pakistan and Iraq, al-Qaeda continues to strike. And on the outer rims of the Muslim world, from war-ravaged Chechnya to mountainous Tajikistan and beyond, its operatives come and go. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden remains as free as ever, and Mr Obama has decided to halt the release of Guantanamo Bay inmates to Yemen. Of greatest immediate concern is Yemen. The ancestral home of the Bin Laden family before they moved north to Saudi Arabia, the rugged, poverty-stricken nation is a prime contender to become another Afghanistan. Its government is notoriously weak and corrupt, and its security forces exercise little control over a gun-loving population of 20 million that own some 60 million weapons. One of the reasons men like Mr Bawardi are persuaded to stay on the straight is the programme's generous perks: since leaving, he has been given a free car, a €600-a-month stipend, and a job with the Chamber of Commerce, giving him enough money to marry and settle down. Such generosity would be totally unaffordable in Yemen or Somalia -- and, most likely, politically unacceptable in Western countries. All the same, nobody is more aware than the programme's sponsors of the threat that al-Qaeda's latest Yemen venture poses, and the difficulty of identifying the genuinely contrite. Last August, the programme's chief patron was nearly killed when he granted a personal audience to a would-be repenter who then detonated a suicide bomb in his underwear. Four months later, passengers on a flight to Detroit had a similarly narrow escape. It may be only a matter of time before someone gets it right. And across the arc of terror there are still many more disaffected young men and women willing to give it a try. Disclaimer statement Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: US May Sell 145 M777 Howitzers To India For $647 Million

DTN News: US May Sell 145 M777 Howitzers To India For $647 Million *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - January 31, 2010: The Pentagon has notified the US Congress of a possible sale of 145 state-of-the-art M777 155mm light-weight towed Howitzers to India worth $647 million. Describing India as an important force for "political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia", the Defence Security Cooperation Agency told the Congress: "India intends to use the Howitzers to modernize its armed forces and enhance its ability to operate in hazardous conditions." "The Howitzers will assist the Indian Army to develop and enhance standardisation and to improve interoperability with US soldiers and marines who use the M777 as their primary means of indirect fire," it said. The sale of Howitzers will also contribute to the US's foreign policy and national security by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship, it said. India will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces, the agency said adding the sale will not alter basic military balance in the region. Besides the US Marine with 380 such systems and US National Guard with 273 of them, Australia (57 guns) and Canada (12) are the only other two foreign countries who have been supplied this state of the art military equipment by the US.

DTN News: Indian Air Force Plans To Acquire 75 Basic Trainer Aircraft

DTN News: Indian Air Force Plans To Acquire 75 Basic Trainer Aircraft *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) - January 31, 2010: Looking to acquire 75 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Ministry of Defence has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to a dozen global aircraft manufacturers. The manufacturers including such global names as Embraer (aircraft name in brackets) (Tucano), Pilatus (PC-7 or PC-/9), Raytheon (T-6 Texan), Finmeccanica (M-311), Grob Aircraft Company (G-120TP), EADS PZL (PZL-130-TC-11 Orik) and Korea Aerospace Industries (KT-1) are required to submit their proposals by March 17. Officials in the Ministry told The Hindu that a pre-bidders conference would be held on February 2 during which clarifications if any would be entertained. The IAF would technically evaluate the aircraft once the proposals were received. The move to acquire the trainers comes in the wake of the grounding by the IAF of their 125-strong Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) designed and manufactured ab initio Hindustan Piston Trainer-32 (HPT-32) fleet after one of these aircraft crashed killing two instructors during a flight from the Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal. As per the RFP the manufacturer will have to deliver the first 12 aircraft within 24 months of the contract. The remaining trainers will follow in batches. With the IAF looking to keep the chosen trainer in its inventory for at least 30 years the RFP specifies that the aircraft should have been “recently certified.” The 75 aircraft are part of the government’s go-ahead to the IAF for the acquisition of 181 basic trainers.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

DTN News: Financial News TODAY January 30, 2010 ~ FACTBOX - Five Political Risks To Watch In Japan

DTN News: Financial News TODAY January 30, 2010 ~ FACTBOX - Five Political Risks To Watch In Japan *Source: DTN News / Reuters By Linda Sieg (NSI News Source Info) TOKYO, Japan - January 30, 2010: Japan's ballooning public debt is stoking market concern as the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama struggles to give the economy the stimulus it needs without compromising the need for fiscal prudence. Standard and Poor's cut its outlook for Japan's sovereign credit rating to negative this week, and with some foreign hedge funds betting that the country's debt burden will cause more problems in years to come, spreads on sovereign credit default swaps JPGV5YUSAC=R widened to 90 basis points -- the most in 10 months -- before falling back a bit. Following is a summary of key political risks to watch: * FISCAL DILEMMA The government is trapped between the need to prevent the economy from slipping back into recession and Japan's huge public debt, already nearing 200 percent of GDP. Sliding tax revenues mean government income now covers less than half of spending. Efforts to cut budget waste to find funds for new programmes have so far fallen short of target despite the Democrats' pledge to boost growth without issuing much more debt. The appointment of Naoto Kan as finance minister this month raised doubts about government resolve to hold down spending given his concern about deflation and the recovery, but Kan has also said fiscal discipline is needed. Standard Poor's on Tuesday cut its outlook on Japan's AA long-term sovereign debt rating to negative, saying the policy bind could lead to a downgrade unless measures were taken to stem fiscal and deflationary pressure. The sovereign credit default swap spread widened on the news, but the impact on JGBs <0#jpbmk=> was limited because the vast majority are held by domestic investors. By making JGBs less attractive to foreigners, the downgrade will be a long-term drag on JGB prices, however, analysts said. What to watch: -- The government aims to release a mid-term fiscal reform plan by May or June and to unveil a growth strategy in June. -- Data showing a risk of persistent deflation could prompt calls for extra stimulus ahead of the upper house poll, although the government would be sensitive to any rises in bond yields. -- A political funding scandal embroiling Democratic Party Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa could also tempt the government to spend more to woo voters turned off by the affair. * PRESSURE ON CENTRAL BANK? The Bank of Japan said this week deflation would be milder than previously forecast but left the door open to further easing to support a fragile economic recovery. December data showed the biggest drop in consumer prices on record. Kan, a vocal BOJ critic, said this week the BOJ could do more to fight deflation. The central bank could face extra pressure if the economy falters ahead of the mid-year upper house poll. The government criticised the BOJ for being too rosy on the economy when the bank upgraded its assessment in November. The BOJ later caved in to pressure and last month adopted a new fund supply operation at which it offers 10 trillion yen ($111 billion) in three-months loans to banks at 0.1 percent. It then declared that it wouldn't tolerate deflation. The BOJ is independent by law but is required to work closely with the government to align policy. Tension over strategy raise the risks for markets, making policy harder to forecast. What to watch: -- Persistent deflation could pressure the BOJ to buy more government bonds or expand the new fund supply operation. Increased JGB purchases would push up bond prices and so bring down long-term interest rates. -- Government rhetoric on the role of the central bank will give clues on how much influence the Democrats will seek to have. * YEN INTERVENTION Finance Minister Kan's early comments have led some analysts to argue the government will be less tolerant of a rising yen, although others say intervention is highly unlikely for now. Kan jolted markets in his first news briefing as finance chief, saying he hoped the yen would weaken further and that many Japanese firms were in favour of dollar/yen around 95 yen JPY=. He later toned down those comments, saying currency levels should be determined by markets, but many market participants still see Kan as favouring a weaker yen in contrast with his predecessor. What to watch: -- Attention will be on comments by government officials regarding possible currency intervention. Picking a level that would trigger intervention is tricky. Intervening could also be difficult at a time when the Group of Seven is encouraging flexibility in foreign exchange rates, particularly in China. -- Another way of countering a surge in yen strength could be for the Bank of Japan to take more easing steps as it did in December after the yen hit a 14-year high on the dollar. Possible steps could be increasing the amount of a new fixed-rate funding operation or extending its maturity; or increasing JGB issuance. * FUNDING SCANDALS The funding scandal ensnaring Ozawa is threatening the Democratic Party's chances of a mid-year election win that would clear the way for smoother policymaking. [ID:nTOE60L015] Ozawa is credited by many with engineering the Democrats' big election win last August and his skills are thought vital to winning the mid-year poll, passing laws and deciding policies. The Democrats need to win an outright majority in the upper house election to reduce the clout of two small parties whose cooperation is currently needed to enact legislation smoothly. A ruling bloc loss would create a parliamentary deadlock. Hatoyama is beset by criticism over his own funding scandal, though fewer voters think he should resign, in contrast to the majority who want Ozawa to step down. [ID:nTOE60J03B] What to watch: -- Further falls in voter support for the Democrats could pressure Ozawa to resign; Hatoyama could also face calls to quit. -- The scandal could delay passage of a $1 trillion budget for the year from April 1, though opposition parties risk a public backlash if they stall amid the weak economy. * U.S. BASE DISPUTE Hatoyama is in an increasingly tight spot over a dispute with Washington over a plan to relocate a U.S. Marine base to a less crowded part of Okinawa after an anti-base candidate's win in a local mayoral election on Jan. 24. The dispute, which Hatoyama has vowed to settle by the end of May, has frayed ties with ally Washington and fanned doubts among voters about Hatoyama's leadership skills.
Some analysts say he may have to quit if he fails to resolve the row. What to watch: -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell is expected to raise the issue when he visits next week. -- Attention will be on comments by Hatoyama and other cabinet ministers in the run-up to May, when the prime minister may travel to Washington to meet U.S. President Barack Obama. (Additional reporting by Charlotte Cooper; Editing by Andrew Marshall)

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY January 30, 2010 ~ NATO Troops Clash With Afghan Allies

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY January 30, 2010 ~ NATO Troops Clash With Afghan Allies *Source: DTN News / Reuters Asif Andalib (NSI News Source Info) SALAR, Afghanistan - January 30, 2010: NATO troops clashed with their Afghan allies in a so-called "friendly fire" incident on Saturday, calling in air strikes that killed four Afghan soldiers and stoked anger among villagers. The clashes took place hours after an apparently disgruntled interpreter shot dead two U.S. soldiers at a nearby base. The incidents, although not apparently linked, highlighted the fraught relationship between Western forces and their Afghan hosts. NATO and Afghan officials tried to head off tension by announcing a joint investigation into how their troops ended up battling each other in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul. "Four army soldiers were killed and six wounded when a foreign forces air strike hit their post," said Shahedullah Shahed, spokesman for Wardak's governor. "We don't know why it happened, but it is deeply regrettable." He said the strike had targeted an Afghan Army outpost that had been newly established. Foreign forces and Afghan troops were both separately conducting overnight operations when they started shooting at each other, he said. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said its troops had come under fire and called in air strikes, without realizing they were engaging Afghan security forces. "Initial post-operational reports indicate the small arms fire originated from an Afghan National Army (ANA) combat outpost and the subsequent air support called in by the joint force likely killed at least four ANA soldiers," a statement said. "We work extremely hard to coordinate and synchronize our operations," said Canadian Brigadier-General Eric Tremblay, the force's main spokesman. "This is a regrettable incident and our thoughts go out to the families of those killed and wounded." Hours earlier, an interpreter opened fire at a base in the same province, shooting dead two U.S. soldiers before he was killed, two U.S. military officials said, under condition they not be named because details had yet to be officially released. "Initial indications are this was a case of a disgruntled employee" rather than an insurgent attack, one of the U.S. officials said. An Afghan provincial official confirmed the account, saying the interpreter had argued with troops over pay. In a separate incident in nearby Ghazni province, ISAF said on Saturday its troops had shot dead two Afghan civilians and wounded a third when they failed to heed warnings to stop the vehicle in which they were traveling. Similar shootings have led to demonstrations against Western troops in recent weeks. COURT MARTIAL "Friendly fire" incidents between Afghan and foreign forces and killing of Afghan civilians are among the biggest sources of tension between the Afghan government and the Western troops fighting to protect it. "As you can see, they dropped bombs on the outpost. It was the Americans of course. Who else can bomb us?" an angry village elder told Reuters television in the town of Salar, gesturing toward the sky above the site of the "friendly fire" incident. The NATO-led force, which is about two-thirds American, did not identify the nationality of the troops involved. The Afghan Defense Ministry called for a court martial for any troops found responsible for the clash. "The soldiers involved in the horrific incident must be dealt with according to martial law, without any hesitation, so that they receive punishment for their action," the ministry said. Western forces are also concerned about increasing numbers of attacks from the Afghans they work with. In November, an Afghan policeman killed five British soldiers at a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan. In December, an Afghan soldier killed a U.S. service member and wounded two Italian soldiers when he opened fire at an army base in the west. Later that month, a Jordanian double agent wearing a suicide vest killed five CIA staff, two CIA contractors and a Jordanian intelligence officer, the deadliest attack on the CIA in decades. The United Nations says ISAF has managed to reduce the number of civilians killed since its commander, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, issued guidelines last year to curb such deaths. (Additional reporting by Sher Ahmad in GHAZNI and Hamid Shalizi and Peter Graff in KABUL; writing by Peter Graff; editing by Janet Lawrence) (For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: here)

DTN News: China Angry At $6.4 Billion US-Taiwan Arms Deal

DTN News: China Angry At $6.4 Billion US-Taiwan Arms Deal *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - January 30, 2010: China has suspended military exchange visits with the United States in protest over $6.4 billion in planned US arms sales to Taiwan and warned the US ambassador that the sales would harm already strained ties. The state-run Xinhua News Agency cited the Defence Ministry as saying the suspension is because of the “bad impact” of the arms sales on the two countries’ military relations. Army soldiers demonstrate anti-air weaponry to Taiwan's Defence Minister Kao Hua-chu during a military exercise in Penghu in this handout picture taken January 29, 2010. The Obama administration notified Congress on Friday of its first proposed arms sales to Taiwan, a potential $6.4 billion package bound to add to rising U.S.-China strains over trade and cyber security. China warned on Saturday that Washington's announcement of arms sales to Taiwan would badly hurt ties between the two global powers, widening rifts in their far-reaching relationship. Picture taken January 29, 2010. China took a similar step in 2008 after the former Bush administration announced a multibillion-dollar arms sale to Taiwan. The latest arms sales could complicate the cooperation the US seeks on issues ranging from Iran’s nuclear program to the loosening of Internet controls, including a Google-China stand-off over censorship. Details of the arms sale were posted Friday on a Pentagon Web site. It would include 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, 114 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, mine-hunting ships and information technology. US lawmakers have 30 days to comment on the proposed sale. Without objections, it would proceed. Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in US-China relations. China claims the self-governing island as its own, while the United States is Taiwan’s most important ally and largest arms supplier. Although Taiwan’s ties with China have warmed considerably since the Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou took office 20 months ago, Beijing has threatened to invade if the island ever formalises its de facto independence. Both the US and China have previously said they want to improve military ties, which have been frosty. Earlier today, the vice foreign minister He Yafei warned the US Ambassador Jon Huntsman that the sale would “cause consequences that both sides are unwilling to see”. The vice minister urged that the sale be immediately cancelled, it said. The US is “obstinately making the wrong decision”, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

DTN News: U.S. Announces $6.4 Billion Arms Deal With Taiwan

DTN News: U.S. Announces $6.4 Billion Arms Deal With Taiwan STORY HIGHLIGHTS *Sale includes 60 Black Hawk helicopters, 114 air defense missiles, mine-hunting ships *China says it "is strongly dissatisfied" with arms sales to Taiwan by the United States *Deals do not include F-16 fighter jets, which China has vehemently opposed *State Department says arms sales guarantee security and stability "across Taiwan strait"
*Source: From Charley Keyes, CNN (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - January 30, 2010: Overriding objections from China, the Obama administration unveiled a $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan on Friday -- including about $2.85 billion in missiles. The sale includes 60 Black Hawk helicopters (totaling $3.1 billion), 114 advanced Patriot air defense missiles; a pair of Osprey mine-hunting ships; and dozens of advanced communications systems. China has complained to the United States about the sale of Patriot missiles and other weapons to Taiwan, which neither Beijing nor Washington recognize as a sovereign nation. The deals do not include F-16 fighter jets, which China has vehemently opposed. China's Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei issued a statement in response to Friday's announcement, saying the arms deal was a "rude interference in China's internal affairs, severely endangering China's national security." He added, "China expresses its strong indignation." The State Department described the latest round of arms sales to Taiwan as a way to guarantee security and stability, despite China's objections. "This is a clear demonstration of the commitment this administration has to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons it needs and as provided for in the Taiwan Relations Act," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said at his regular Friday briefing. "We think this action is consistent with the U.S. one-China policy ... and contributes to maintaining stability and security across the Taiwan Strait." He said the State Department had informed the U.S. Congress as well as China and Taiwan about the arms package. Crowley would not speak directly about the timing of the announcement of the sales, and about the fact that the arms package does not include F-16s. The arms sales come as the United States is hoping to persuade China to sign on to harsher sanctions against Iran and just after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized China for its policies relating to the Internet. A senior U.S. official said later that the United States expected Chinese criticism of the arms deal, but does not expect permanent damage. "We've worked through these issues before. We will do so again," the U.S. official said, seeking anonymity on such an important policy issue. "What is important here is the stability in the region. And we do think our ongoing sales of arms to Taiwan is fully consistent with everyone's long-term interest in stability in the region." The official said he believed Clinton had discussed the sale in London with her Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of Thursday's international conference on Afghanistan. "This relationship between the United States and China is broad, it's deep. There are a large number of issues. We don't see eye to eye with them and we have to have and do have the ability to speak honestly," the official said. The arms deal is the latest chapter in a decades-long uneasy standoff; China claims Taiwan is its own territory and has threatened to invade if Taiwan ever declares independence. The United States has said it will defend Taiwan if China ever attacks. The government in Taiwan began as the remnant of the government that ruled over mainland China until a Communist insurrection proved victorious in 1949. With the Communist takeover of mainland China, the losing faction fled to the island of Taiwan. Taiwan is formally known as the Republic of China, while Communist China's official name is People's Republic of China. Many Western nations and the United Nations recognized Taiwan as the legitimate Chinese government until the 1970s.

DTN News: Afghanistan In Pictures Of The Day January 30, 2010

DTN News: Afghanistan In Pictures Of The Day January 30, 2010 *Source: DTN News By Roger Smith (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 30, 2010: Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN.
The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005.
In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government. An injured Afghan National Army soldier is helped by his colleagues to safety during a fierce gunbattle in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. A fierce gunbattle broke out between security forces and a team of Taliban fighters targeting U.N. and government buildings on Friday in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah. The fighting came nearly two weeks after a similar assault in the Afghan capital of Kabul, once again showing the ability of insurgents to penetrate heavily secured areas.The body of a suspected Taliban fighter lies on the ground asurrounded by security forces soon at the end of a fierce gun battle in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. Afghan National Army soldiers stand in front a building damaged during a fierce gun battle in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. A British soldier stands by the shattered windows of a building damaged during a fierce gun battle in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. British soldiers take rest during a fierce gunbattle in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. A fierce gun battle broke out between security forces and a team of Taliban fighters targeting U.N. and government building in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah. The fighting came nearly two weeks after a similar assault in the Afghan capital of Kabul, once again showing the ability of insurgents to penetrate heavily secured areas.

DTN News: Somalia TODAY January 30, 2010 ~ Islamic Insurgents Attack Troops in the Somali Capital

DTN News: Somalia TODAY January 30, 2010 ~ Islamic Insurgents Attack Troops in the Somali Capital *Source: DTN News / NY Times By MOHAMMED IBRAHIM January 29, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) MOGADISHU, Somalia - January 30, 2010: Islamic insurgents who control much of rural Somalia launched an early-morning attack on international peacekeepers and government soldiers in this battered capital on Friday, trading fire for hours in a street battle. Militants from the Hizbul Islam patrol the streets of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 27, 2010. Fighting killed at least 18 people in two towns in central Somalia where rebels battled a pro-government militia and each other, according to witnesses. Reports that 14 people had been killed and 35 wounded could not be independently verified. Medical officials said most of the casualties had been civilians whose houses were hit by mortar fire. Some of the fire appeared to have come from African Union peacekeepers and government troops. Ali Musa, head of a volunteer ambulance service in the capital, said those victims included a mother and her two children who died in the shelling. The attack came as the transitional government prepared to mark its first anniversary with a parade, poetry readings and celebrations at Villa Somalia, the presidential palace. It was not clear whether the assault was timed to coincide with the anniversary festivities, but the attack offered another reminder of the government’s weakening grip on security. The militants began their attack about 2 a.m. Friday. Residents, jolted awake by mortar blasts, cowered in their homes or fled for sturdier concrete structures as explosions and gunshots echoed through the north and south ends of Mogadishu for hours. Residents described it as the most serious fighting in months. “I thought I was dreaming when I heard the sound of the artillery,” said Asha Abdulle, a mother of four. Militants from the rebel group Shabab and an allied group, Hizbul Islam, claimed responsibility in a statement, saying that they had assaulted “the strongholds of the enemies of Allah.” The Shabab, some branches of which have ties to Al Qaeda, have seized control of much of southern Somalia and have carried out suicide bombings and frontal attacks against Somali officials and peacekeeping troops as they seek to unseat the country’s fragile government. A police spokesman, Col. Abdullahi Barisse, said that government forces had pushed back the rebels. He declined to say whether any government troops had been hurt or killed. The Shabab said that two of their fighters had been killed. The United States and other Western countries are trying to support the moderate Islamic government of the president, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, fearful that Somalia could become the next haven for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. But Mr. Ahmed’s year-old government controls only a few city blocks in an impoverished nation plagued by drought, famine and years of fighting between warlords and rival Islamic factions. In addition to attacks on government forces, militants have launched mortar assaults on the country’s main airport and bombed a college graduation ceremony, and fighters lurk just a few hundred yards outside the walls of the presidential palace. Western powers have spent millions of dollars on weapons and training for the Somali defense forces, but rampant defections and military victories by Shabab rebels and their allies — who control some two-thirds of the country — have sharply limited the Somali government’s power, and displaced hundreds of thousands of Somali civilians.

DTN News: Boeing Helicopter Support Program To Provide Lift For Canadian Industry

DTN News: Boeing Helicopter Support Program To Provide Lift For Canadian Industry *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) OTTAWA, Canada - January 30, 2010: At a supplier conference today in Ottawa, Boeing [NYSE: BA] outlined its proposed subcontracting plan for in-service support (ISS) of 15 Boeing CH-47 Chinook Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopters (MHLH), designated CH-147 for the Canadian Forces. Through the performance-based ISS program for the CH-147 fleet, Boeing could provide industry benefits of approximately $2 billion over 20 years. The program provides work packages in areas including engineering support; logistics support analysis; supply chain support; aircraft maintenance training systems and services; technical publications; ground support equipment; and maintenance site operations. “Boeing has single-point accountability to manage the MHLH fleet’s overall performance while reducing overall life-cycle cost,” said Barry Wolff, MHLH ISS program manager for Boeing. “Ultimately, we are responsible for flawless execution of the MHLH ISS Program to meet or exceed the Canadian government’s Performance Based Accountability metrics and to ensure the level of readiness that Canadian Forces deserve.” At today’s conference, Boeing reviewed the initial ISS structure and the company’s transition plan for the 20-year ISS phase, including the schedule and process to competitively bid work packages. “Today’s conference is one of the first steps for the MHLH ISS Program,” said H.W. “Pete” Peterson, country director and vice president in Canada for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “This is a chance for us to meet with potential suppliers to explain our proposed approach to compete and award long-term support work for the Canadian Chinook, and to give them the opportunity to ask questions and provide input. Our final plan for the ISS competition will reflect improvements based on industry feedback.” Through Canada’s Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy, Boeing’s IRB commitments on the MHLH ISS Program will allow Boeing to continue its long-standing relationship with the aerospace and defense industry in Canada. “The Chinook fleet, operated or selected by nearly 20 international defense forces around the world, is in high demand,” Peterson said. “Canadian suppliers who offer the best value will have an opportunity to be part of the global support network that ensures these workhorses are ready to meet transport, humanitarian and supply needs in a variety of operational environments.” Boeing has been a major contributor to the Canadian economy since 1919, generating approximately $1 billion in business annually. The company employs highly skilled workers in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia in support of its commercial and defense business units. Canada also is home to one of Boeing’s largest international supplier bases, with more than 200 suppliers in every region of the country, providing a diverse mix of high-value goods and services to Boeing and its customers. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security 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 Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

Friday, January 29, 2010

DTN News: India Gets Naval Weapon System To Destroy Enemy Targets

DTN News: India Gets Naval Weapon System To Destroy Enemy Targets *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BANGALORE, India - January 30, 2010: India has developed a new generation multi-sensor, multi-weapon defence system against enemy targets on board naval ships. The Indian Navy displays a naval fleet exercise at the Bay of Bengal in Chennai on January 24, 2010. The state-of-the-art “Gun Fire Control System” (GFCS) developed by Bharat Electronics Limited will be installed on board the P-28 class of ships. “The GFCS is a quick reaction, multi-sensor, multi-weapon, short/medium/long range defence system against air, surface or shore targets on board naval ships”, a senior official of the Bangalore-based Navratna defence PSU told PTI. The GFCS is designed to provide air, surface or shore defence with 76 MM and 30 MM guns. Its purpose is to locate a hostile target using a radar or video tracker, acting on early warning search radars and to track its approach with high accuracy, in order to obtain reliable target data. The data is further processed and used to control the weapons by pointing it in an exact ballistic firing position for eventual destruction of the target. The GFCS continues to track the approaching target, simultaneously pointing the weapon on it, until it is completely destroyed. The GFCS comprises five functional sub-systems: tracker, weapon control, sight control, combat management system and support systems, each of which can be used as an independent system. The GFCS for the P-28 class of ships would be “handed over” to Defence Minister A.K. Antony at a ceremony in Bangalore in the presence of BEL Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Kumar Datt on February 2. A state-of-the-art facility, dedicated to manufacture of Digital Flight Control Computer (DFCC) for the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) at BEL’s Bangalore Complex will also come up. DFCC is a multiple redundant (improving its reliability, one channel will take over if another fails) digital fly-by-wire flight control system of Tejas, which controls manoeuvring of the aircraft. DFCC is a flight critical sub-system to be manufactured as per AS 9100 standards with stringent in-process and quality control processes, including environmental tests on each unit. To meet this requirement, BEL has set up this integrated manufacturing facility for assembly, inspection and testing of DFCC, all under one roof. The facility includes thermal cycling chamber, vibration machine, dehumidifying chambers for storing PCBs, high resolution inspection tools to identify process errors, automated test equipment for rigorous performance testing and engineering test station for testing the DFCC unit.

DTN News: Russia Successfully Tests Sukhoi T-50 Stealth Fighter Jet

DTN News: Russia Successfully Tests Sukhoi T-50 Stealth Fighter Jet *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - January 30, 2010: On December 29, 2010, a prototype Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter took off on its maiden flight at 11.19 a.m. in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia's Far East. This is the first warplane completely designed and built in Russia since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Only the United States currently operates Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor Stealth air-superiority fighters. In 1981, the Mikoyan Design Bureau started developing the I-90 aircraft, better known as the Multifunctional Fighter (MFI). The project was launched soon after the MiG-29 Fulcrum, MiG-31 Foxhound and Su-27 Flanker fourth-generation fighters performed their first flights. The I-90 which was to have been mass-produced in the 1990s overtook the U.S. Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program which later gave rise to the F-22 Raptor. Curtailed defense spending in the late 1980s and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union stopped the MFI program in its tracks. Flight tests planned for 1991 -1992 did not take place. Consequently, the MFI first took to the skies in 2000. A prototype Sukhoi S-37/Su-47 Berkut fifth-generation fighter had been developed by then. In 1998, the Russian Air Force issued a new request for proposal (RFP) for a fifth-generation fighter. As a concept it had remained unchanged since the MFI program got underway. The new fighter's basic specifications included: greater agility, sustained supersonic-flight capability in non-afterburning mode, low radar visibility, low heat signature, as well as enhanced take-off and landing performance. The old designs were scrapped, and it was decided to develop an entirely new warplane fully taking into account the F-22's capabilities, merits and drawbacks. In 2002, the Sukhoi Design Bureau won the pilot-project contest, after proposing a full-size and twin-engined fighter with a take-off weight of up to 35 metric tons under its Prospective/Promising Frontline Aviation System program (PAK FA program). Although the new aircraft was expected to take off in 2007, the maiden flight deadline was delayed until 2008, 2009 and January 2010. Given this new program's complexity and the scale of the scientific, engineering, organizational and financial problems that had to be tackled during the new plane's creation, this delay is quite understandable. All these problems are caused by Russia's crisis-ridden industry. The new aircraft is designated the T-50, Product 701 or the I-21. The Indian Air Force also displayed an interest in this program soon after it was launched. At first, New Delhi preferred the lighter and simpler Mikoyan-Gurevich MFI fighter. The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG proposed the twin-engined and bobtailed I-2000, an upgrade of the basic MiG-29 model, and a single-engined aircraft closely resembling the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a descendant of the F-35, which came out of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. India wanted to receive this sophisticated aircraft as soon as possible therefore had no choice but to join the PAK FA program. The Indian version will feature a two-seat cockpit, a number of electronic systems and other auxiliary equipment. These aircraft are expected to replace the Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters currently serving with the Indian Air Force, in the 2020s and the 2030s. Moreover, it is likely they will be mass-produced in India. The latest test flight reaffirms Russia's status as a leading aviation power. Only Russia and the United States currently have their own fifth-generation fighters, as well as aircraft industries capable of manufacturing all types of military and civilian aircraft ranging from light-weight aerobatic planes to strategic bombers. All other countries, including France, Sweden, the EU as a whole, China and Japan, lack these capabilities and are forced to implement various cooperation plans in order to develop new-generation aircraft. Despite their combined efforts the joint EU aircraft industry has failed to create a fifth-generation fighter in place of the Eurofighter Typhoon twin-engined multi-role aircraft. Most of the Eurofighter project participants intend to buy the U.S. F-35 fighter in future. The future for new Swedish and French aircraft remains bleak. Both the Saab JAS 39 Gripen and the Dassault Rafale rank among the generation four-plus-plus warplanes. Neither Stockholm, nor Paris can afford to implement multi-billion-dollar fifth-generation fighter programs. China's prospects also seem doubtful. Most analysts agree that Beijing can develop a fifth-generation warplane only if it utilizes foreign, notably Russian, experience. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

DTN News: Russia-India Fighter Makes Successful Maiden Test Flight

DTN News: Russia-India Fighter Makes Successful Maiden Test Flight *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media By Vladimir Radyuhin (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - January 30, 2010: Russia’s new fifth-generation stealth fighter (FGFA), a joint project with India which is set to form the backbone of the two nations’ air power till the mid-21st century, made a successful maiden test flight on Friday. Russian-made Sukhoi T-50 prototype fifth-generation fighter jet is seen at a test airfield near the Siberian city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia. Russia will set up joint venture company to build the aircraft. Photo: AP The plane performed “very well” during a 47-minute flight at an airfield in the far eastern city of Komsomoslk-on-Amur and met “all our expectations,” a spokesman for the Sukhoi Corporation, which designed the FGFA, said. The flight marked a breakthrough for Russia, making it the second country in the world after the U.S. to have built a fifth-generation fighter plane. The FGFA will also be a quantum jump for India as the first joint project with Russia where the Indian aviation industry will be a full-fledged partner. Under a 2007 inter-governmental agreement, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited took a 50 per cent investment stake in the $8-billion project and will contribute 25 per cent of design and development work. The two countries will shortly sign commercial contracts and set up a joint venture company to build the aircraft. India will be responsible for supplying the plane’s navigation systems, mission computer, cockpit displays and will provide composites for the airframe. While the Russian Air Force has opted for a single-seater, the IAF will get a modified two-seater derivative. The Russian Air Force is expected to begin inducting the new aircraft in 2015. The twin-seat version for the IAF may be ready two years later. Each side plans to acquire 250 planes. Sukhoi head Mikhail Pogosyan voiced confidence that the FGFA will beat the U.S. F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation fighters in cost-effectiveness. “The joint Russian-Indian aircraft will not only strengthen the defence might of the Russian and Indian air forces, but will take a worthy place in the world market,” said Pogosyan, whose company’s previous project, the Su-30 fighter jet, has become a world bestseller. India has purchased 140 Su-30MKI and will build as many under licence. Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said he expected the FGFA aircraft to be very competitive in international markets because its price would be significantly lower than that of the American rivals. “I think by definition this aircraft will be able to occupy up to one-third of the market,” the analyst said. According to designers, the FGFA will be a truly stealth plane almost invisible to enemy radars: it will be 40 times harder to detect than the Su-30MKI.

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated January 29, 2010

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated January 29, 2010
*Source: DoD issued January 29, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - January 29, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued January 29, 2010 are undermentioned;
CONTRACTS AIR FORCE ~Lockheed Martin Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded an $85,400,000 contract which will modify the spacecraft integration and test contract for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program to include tasks associated with revising the launch dates for Flight 19 and Flight 20 and rephrasing of the contract consistent with the revised launch dates. At this time, no money has been obligated. SMSC/DMSP, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-02-C-0003, P00157). ~Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Ga., was awarded a $78,727,830 contract which will exercise Option Periods 4 and 5 to purchase initial spares for new and existing base requirements; readiness spares packages; consumable readiness spares packages; support equipment for inventory control point; support equipment for existing bases; program and management data; technical and engineering data; engineering drawings; financial management data; logistics support data; technical manual contract requirement; reliability and maintenance program; engineering support services on and off-site; defensive system support service on-off-site; technical manual page development Category I illustrated parts books; and flight manual replacement page. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 657 SESS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-06-C-6456). ~Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., was awarded a $32,658,504 contract which will provide consoles for integration on the MC-130W aircraft. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 667AESS/SYKA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8629-09-C-2445). ~Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $23,684,516 contract which will replace obsolete parts within the guidance section data processor module and modify the supporting missile hardware and software architecture as required to continue production of the existing missile systems. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 695 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8675-09-C-0052, P00011). ~Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc., El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $21,000,000 contract which will provide a change order to the Wideband Global Satellite Communications to integrate, test, and store the 1.5 ship-sets of xenon-ion propulsion systems hardware procured. At this time, $14,000,000 has been obligated. MCSW/PKW, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8808-06-C-0001,P00070). ~JGB Enterprises, Inc., Liverpool, N.Y., was awarded a $10,357,818 contract which will provide for the basic expeditionary airfield resourceswater distribution system which draws water from a natural source, and purifies, stores and delivers the water while maintaining sufficient water pressure, quantity and quality for an entire forward-deployed base in austere locations. At this time, no money has been obligated. 642 CBSG/GBKBB, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8533-10-D-0006). ~Kachemak Research Development, Inc., Logan, Utah, was awarded a $9,774,048 contract which will provide for robotics research in support of AutoScan 31G for robotic perimeter security applications. At this time, $5,000 has been obligated. 325 CONS/LGCB, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA4819-10-C-0009). ~Thales-Raytheon Systems, Fullerton, Calif., was awarded an $8,013,209 contract which will provide interim contract support for the battle control system-fixed program. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 850 ELSG/PK, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8722-10-C-0001). ~General Dynamics System Development and Integration Services, Inc., Fairfax, Va., was awarded a $7,428,767 contract which will provide the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System program office with the following integration support: systems engineering, integrated scheduling, network infrastructure modernization, configuration management, site activation, baseline management support, and field integration support. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 950 ELSG/KG, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (F19628-01-C-0047, P00089). NAVY ~The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $75,979,777 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide sustaining engineering services, integrated logistics management services, configuration management services, and incidental materials in support of the T/AV-8B Harrier program. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in November 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $8,912,427 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-D-0002). ~Chugach World Services, Inc.*, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded a $23,542,485 modification under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N40192-09-D-9000) to exercise the first option period to perform housing operations and maintenance and change of occupancy maintenance services in the U.S Territory of Guam for the Commander, Naval Forces Marianas. The work to be performed provides for management and housing operations to maintain and repair family housing units, bachelor housing units, Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS); and provide any services, maintenance, and change of occupancy maintenance in both vacant and occupied family housing units, bachelor housing units, and NGIS units. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $130,657,546. Work will be performed at various naval housing areas on Guam, and work is expected to be completed Jan. 31, 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas, Guam, is the contracting activity. ~The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $16,523,267 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) to conduct studies and analyses for the acoustic processor technology refresh and capability analysis planning effort for the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft. Work will be performed in Anaheim, Calif. (83 percent), and Seattle, Wash. (17 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Md., is the contracting activity. ~Eastern GCR, LLC*, Pinehurst, N.C., is being awarded a $10,351,322 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N40080-05-D-3002) to exercise Option 4 for small business base operating support services at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Webster Outlying Field, and Solomons Recreation Center. The work to be performed provides for services including custodial services, pest control services, grounds maintenance, street sweeping, snow removal, and transportation. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $45,556,148. Work will be performed at Patuxent River, Md.; St. Inigoes, Md.; and Solomons, Md. Expect work to be completed by January 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. ~BMT Syntek Technologies, Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $9,924,836 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development activities associated with advanced power systems and analysis. BMT Syntek will support the research and development of various alternative technologies associated with advanced power system management and analysis as part of the development of the Next Generation Integrated Power System (NGIPS). BMT Syntek will also perform system-level performance analyses of NGIPS architectures and their associated components and shall analyze the impact of the projected performance on ship mission equipment and performance. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va. (60 percent), and Severna Park, Md. (40 percent), and is expected to be completed by January 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Broad Agency Announcement; 24 proposals were solicited and 22 awards have been made. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-4212). ARMY ~Rapiscan Systems Inc., Torrance, Calif., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $25,162,861 firm-fixed-price contract for the non-intrusive inspection systems-fixed, rail and mobile. Work is to be performed in Baghdad, Iraq, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. Joint Contracting Command- Iraq/Afghanistan, Baghdad, Iraq, is the contracting activity (W91GY0-10-C-0005). ~M.R. Pittman Group, LLC, Harahan, La., was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $19,565,240 construction firm-fixed-price contract for the Bayou Segnette Pumping Station Nos. 1 and 2, fronting protection and modifications, in Jefferson Parish, La. Work is to be performed in Jefferson Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of July 5, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0040). ~BAE Systems, Inc., York, Pa., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $15,696,037 firm-fixed-price contract for the quantity of 620 automatic fire extinguishing systems kits for the Bradley which is a component of the Bradley urban survivability kit. Work is to be performed in York, Pa., with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center CCTA-AHLA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-G-0005). ~Cajun Constructors, Inc., Baton Rouge, La., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $14,512,548 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a continuous line of hurricane flood protection across the discharge basin at Belle Chasse No. 2 Pumping Station on the east side of the Algiers Canal. Work is to be performed in Plaquemines Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of May 28, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0039). ~Walton Construction, Inc., Harahan, La., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $13,632,740 firm-fixed-price contract to construct a vehicle recovery course to include eight miles of paved tank rail, general instruction building and class rooms at 2,215 square feet, vehicle maintenance instructional building at 3,300 square foot, mire training stations, field training exercise training site, low water crossing, and organizational vehicle parking. Work is to be performed in Fort Benning, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 12, 2011. Four bids were solicited with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-08-D-0016). ~AI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $13,046,030 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of one SHADOW unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the U.S. Marine Corp. The SHADOW UAS provides flexible and responsive near real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition; battle damage assessment; and battle management support to Army ground maneuver commanders. Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, CCAM-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0023). ~Venegas Engineering Management and Construction, El Paso, Texas, was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $9,399,782 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of the Fort Bliss brigade staging area complex in El Paso, Texas. This project includes repairing War Road and intersections/curves/turning lanes at Dona Ana Base Camp and the repair/resurfacing of the roadway and shoulders. Work is to be performed in Fort Bliss, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 25, 2011. Bids were solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with eight bids received. U.S. Army Engineering District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-10-C-0002). ~Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc, Columbia, Md., was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $7,028,034 firm-fixed-price contract for the theater provided equipment refurbishment of 140 family of medium tactical vehicles. Work is to be performed in Kuwait with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2010. Bids were posted on the World Wide Web with four bids received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, CCTA-ATB-D, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-0136). ~Eagle Rock Underground, LLC, Phoenix, Ariz., was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $5,604,221 firm-fixed-price contract to expand ambulatory care at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cheyenne, Wyo. Work is to be performed in Cheyenne, Wyo., with an estimated completion date of July 28, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 16 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0008). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY ~Aloha Petroleum, Ltd.*, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded a minimum $7,505,293 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are throughout Hawaii. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The proposal was originally Web solicited with eight responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2012. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-1252). ~Woodward FST, Inc., Zeeland, Mich., is being awarded a maximum $5,864,700 firm-fixed-price contract for injector assembly. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There were originally two proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 30, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency, Oklahoma City, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (SPRSTA1-10-C-0032). *Small business

DTN News: Sri Lankan Police Raid Defeated Candidate's Office

DTN News: Sri Lankan Police Raid Defeated Candidate's Office *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media By FISNIK ABRASHI and KRISHAN FRANCIS, Associated Press Writers (NSI News Source Info) COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - January 29, 2010: Police raided the office of Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka and arrested 15 of his staff Friday, after officials accused the former army chief of plotting to overthrow the government and assassinate his victorious rival.Sri Lankan police commandos check vehicles in the area around the office of former military chief and presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. Fonseka called the allegations fabricated and vowed to push on with his political career by challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa's party in upcoming parliamentary elections. The two men were close allies when they crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, but fell out after the war ended in May. Fonseka joined the opposition to run against the president, with both sides campaigning on their record as heroes who ended the 25-year separatist rebellion. Rajapaksa swept to a resounding victory in Tuesday's vote, beating the former army chief by 17 percentage points. However, Fonseka rejected the results and accused the government of stealing more than a million of his votes during the tallying process.Special force soldiers of the Sri Lankan Army patrol outside the office of former military chief and defeated presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka during a raid in his office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. Police raided the office of Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate and arrested 15 of its workers Friday, his lawyer said, after he disputed this week's election result and the government alleged he was planning a coup. The government denied this, and in turn accused Fonseka of plotting to kill Rajapaksa and overthrow the government with the help of army deserters and former military officers. Dozens of policemen raided Fonseka's office in Colombo on Friday, taking away computers and detaining 15 ex-military personnel who worked there, said Shiral Laktilaka, Fonseka's lawyer. A government spokesman confirmed the raid, but did not give other details.Police Special Task Force (STF) commandos block a road outside the office of former military chief and defeated presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka during a raid in his office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. The former army chief was at his house elsewhere in the capital at the time of the operation, said Mano Ganeshan, an opposition official. Police said they were looking for explosives during their five-hour long search of the building, said an office worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from authorities. "This is the price we pay for democracy because he decided to contest the election," Laktilaka said. Following his defeat, Fonseka said the government was harassing his associates, and had recalled his 80-strong state-provided security force, a move he says put his life in danger. He also said authorities put his name on the list of people who cannot leave the country, a charge denied by the government. The acrimonious post-poll fallout between the one-time allies will likely continue until the general elections. Fonseka announced that he plans to run for a parliamentary seat. The president can dissolve parliament and call the general elections at any point between now and April, when its six-year mandate expires. Rajapaksa and his coalition partners hold a majority in parliament. Meanwhile, detectives questioned an editor of a pro-opposition newspaper, said opposition lawmaker Vijitha Herath. Chandana Sirimalwatte of the Lanka newspaper was asked to report to the Criminal Investigations Department on Friday, Herath said, adding that officials were preparing to obtain an order from the government that can allow for a 90-day detention under the country's wartime emergency laws. Herath said he did not know why the editor was summoned for questioning. The newspaper backed Fonseka in the election and has reported on alleged government corruption. Separately, authorities ordered a Swiss radio journalist to leave Sri Lanka by Monday, after she asked critical questions at a post-election news conference earlier in the week, said Andreas Notter, a spokesman for the national broadcaster. Notter said Friday that the government in Colombo gave no reason for the expulsion of their South Asia correspondent Karin Wenger. Officials at Sri Lanka's diplomatic missions in Geneva and Berlin couldn't be reached for comment. Sri Lanka has in the past expelled journalists, U.N. officials and aid workers who have spoken publicly about the plight of civilians during the country's civil war and political repression.

DTN News: Boeing Provides First Look At 787 Stall Tests

DTN News: Boeing Provides First Look At 787 Stall Tests *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EVERETT, Wash., - January 29, 2010: Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner pilots conducted the program's first stall tests - in which pilots intentionally reduce power to both engines and then recover normal flight speeds - as part of the initial airworthiness program for the airplane. The second Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ZA002, completed its first flight on Dec. 22, 2009. The all-new airplane, which features the livery of the Dreamliner's launch customer, ANA (All Nippon Airways) of Japan, took off from Paine Field in Everett, completed a two-hour flight and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle. “We are delighted that the second Dreamliner is in the livery of our launch customer, ANA,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We are honored by the airline’s support and look forward to delivering ANA the first production airplane next year.” Captain Randy Neville was at the controls for the flight, with Chief Pilot Mike Carriker operating as co-pilot. Neville and Carriker took the airplane to an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,962 m) and an airspeed of 200 knots, or about 230 miles (370 km) per hour. The airplane took off at 9:09 a.m. PST and landed at 11:10 a.m. PST. This is the second of six 787s being used in the airplane's flight-test program. Each of the airplanes will be used for a specific set of tests, with this airplane focusing on systems performance. Like its predecessor, ZA001, the airplane is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Additional stall tests will take place throughout the flight test period. The testing went "very well and there were no surprises," said 787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker. The purpose of the testing is to demonstrate that in the rare event a pilot encounters a stall during flight, the airplane reacts benignly and allows for a smooth recovery. A stall is defined as flying so slowly that the airplane is no longer generating lift. During stall maneuvers pilots use a disciplined process to slow the airplane down at precise increments to the point where it shakes dramatically, resulting in forces of 1.5 times the force of gravity. Video highlights and an interview with Carriker are featured in a three-minute video on a new 787 flight test Web site that is being launched today. The site can be accessed at either or

DTN News: First U.K. Service Pilot Flies The Lockheed Martin F-35

DTN News: First U.K. Service Pilot Flies The Lockheed Martin F-35 *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) PATUXENT RIVER, Md., - January 29, 2010: A Royal Air Force officer on Tuesday became the first active-duty service pilot from the United Kingdom to take to the skies in a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Steve Long takes off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., in an F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The flight marked the first time an active-duty service pilot from the United Kingdom had flown an F-35. RAF Squadron Leader Steve Long piloted BF-2, the second short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B, over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., logging the aircraft's 18th mission. Long departed at 9:55 a.m. EST and flew the aircraft to 20,000 feet, before landing 1.3 hours later. Both the RAF and the Royal Navy plan to operate the F-35B. "Flying the F-35 was exactly like the simulators that I've been flying for over 18 months now, which gives you a lot of confidence in all the modeling and simulation work that has been done in all the other areas of the flight envelope," Long said, adding that it was a "privilege" to fly the F-35. "What this aircraft really gives the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy is a quantum leap in airborne capability because of the sensor suite it carries. An F-35 pilot will have an unprecedented level of situational awareness about what's going on in the airspace around him or her, and also on the battlefield or ocean below. Not only that, but the F-35 will plug into coalition battlefield networks and be able to pass that picture on to all other players in the network." With the capability to operate from a variety of ships or austere runways, the F-35B can deploy closer to shore or near front lines, shrinking distance and time to the target, increasing sortie rates and greatly reducing the need for support assets. The Lightning II's sensor suite is the most powerful and comprehensive of any fighter in history, and will combine with an unprecedented networking capability to give unparalleled situational awareness. U.K. Joint Combat Aircraft Project Team Leader, Air Commodore Graham Farnell, has stated that the U.K. has been closely involved in JSF since its inception. "It is therefore an honour to witness an RAF pilot flying BF-2 during this important phase of the F-35B flight test, and further demonstrates the closeness and mutual trust between our respective nations and their armed forces," Farnell said. "Squadron Leader Long has been preparing for this opportunity since his arrival in the U.S. well over a year ago, and this occasion is a testament not only to the work undertaken in the Integrated Test Force, to which the U.K. provides considerable expertise, but also to the wider JSF community in both government and industry. “We look forward to the JSF flight test program meeting its targets in 2010, with today being one of many such occasions in the next year of JSF. The U.K. is now preparing pilots and maintainers for initial training at Eglin so that we can begin operating our aircraft in 2011 alongside our colleagues from the United States Marine Corps,” he said. Squadron Leader Long is the third active-duty service member to fly the F-35. (The jet also has been flown by U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps pilots.) Long has more than 2,200 hours of flight time and currently flies the F-18A-D with the U.S. Marines. He joined the RAF in 1995, and his operational experience has included more than 100 sorties over Kosovo and Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq, including three months of embarked time aboard H.M.S. Illustrious, and seven months on the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard. The U.K. has invested $2 billion in the F-35's development – the largest contribution among the program’s eight partner nations. The Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) program announced in December that the United Kingdom received financial approval to purchase its third F-35B operational test aircraft, reinforcing the U.K.’s continued commitment to the JSF program’s upcoming Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) phase. The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136. 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.

DTN News: Rolls-Royce Share Of Jetstar V2500 Order Worth Up To $1.2 Billion

DTN News: Rolls-Royce Share Of Jetstar V2500 Order Worth Up To $1.2 Billion *Source: DTN News / Rolls-Royce (NSI News Source Info) - January 29, 2010: Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has won a share of an order from Jetstar Airways for V2500 engines to power up to 90 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The order is worth up to $1.2bn to Rolls-Royce if all options are exercised. Jetstar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas Airways, has selected the engine for a new fleet of 50 additional aircraft, with options and purchase rights on up to 40 more. The aircraft will be distributed amongst the Jetstar Group fleet that includes investments by Qantas in low cost carriers Jetstar Asia and Valuair of Singapore and Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam’s second largest domestic carrier. The contract includes a long-term engine service agreement for these aircraft as well as engines installed on 40 aircraft already operated by the three Jetstar Group airline brand businesses. The V2500 is produced by the International Aero Engines consortium (IAE) in which Rolls-Royce is a senior shareholder. IAE’s other partners are Pratt & Whitney, the Japanese Aero Engines Corporation and MTU Aero Engines. The 22,000 - 33,000lb thrust V2500 powers the Airbus A319, A320 and A321 family of aircraft as well as the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. More than 5,500 V2500 engines are in service or on firm order worldwide. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. In 2008, Rolls-Royce and its partners invested £885 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions. Annual underlying revenues were £9.1 billion in 2008, of which 52 per cent came from services revenues. The firm and announced order book stood at £57.5 billion at 30 June 2009, providing visibility of future levels of activity.