DTN News: United Arab Emirates Navy Orders Two Fincantieri Stealth Vessels*Source: DTN News / Fincantieri(NSI News Source Info) TRIESTE, Italy - January 23, 2010: Fincantieri has gained a further important new order from the United Arab Emirates Navy for the construction of two stealth vessels, “Falaj 2”.
The contract includes an option for a further two sister ships for the UAE Navy and technology transfer from the Company to a local shipyard.
Two of the four vessels will be built at the Group’s Italian shipyards, with delivery scheduled in the second half of 2012. At 55 metres long and 8.60 metres wide the ships will be able to exceed 20 knots and accommodate a crew of 28.
They will feature advanced stealth characteristics to reduce their detectability. Highly flexible and versatile, the vessels will be suited to carrying out a range of missions – from patrol and surveillance operations to self-defence in case of threats from the air or surface and attack against both targets at sea and on land – in national and international scenarios, whilst affording high standards of accommodation and safety.
Today’s order follows the order announced in August 2009 for the construction of an “Abu Dhabi class” corvette for the UAE.
This further order is even more important for Italian industry since the combat system, as for the “Abu Dhabi class” ship, will be supplied by Selex Sistemi Integrati, a Finmeccanica Company. Commenting on the order Fincantieri’s Chief Executive officer Giuseppe Bono said: “We continue to reap what we have sown. Gaining this new order is further reassurance and confirms that we were far-sighted in choosing, in recent years, to explore new markets, besides the domestic market, also in the Defence sector.”
(NSI News Source Info) VERGIATE, Italy - January 23, 2010: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Finnish Border Guard has ordered a fourth AW119Ke single engine helicopter.
The Finnish Border Guard chose the AW119Ke in 2008 to sustain its fleet modernization and enhancement programme. All four helicopters will be used to perform various tasks including border patrol, special operations and fire fighting.
The first three helicopters ordered will enter service during the 3rd quarter of 2010 and will operate from Helsinki and Rovaniemi (Arctic Circle) bases, flying in the harshest environmental and weather conditions and covering the entire Finnish/Russian border.
The Finnish Border Guard will also be provided with a tailored training and support package as part of the contract. The original order for three aircraft marked the entrance of AgustaWestland's AW119Ke helicopter into the European law enforcement and homeland security helicopter market.
This purchase continues and strengthens the longstanding relationship between AgustaWestland and the Finnish Border Guard who has been supplied with AB206 JetRanger and AB412 helicopters.
The Finnish Border Guard’s AW119Ke helicopters will be fitted with dedicated tactical equipment and certified to perform missions using Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). The AW119Ke's law enforcement and homeland security variant has a patrol time of approximately 5 hours and also has the largest cabin in its class which can be quickly reconfigured for different missions. The AW119Ke also delivers outstanding performance whilst having low operating costs.
The Finnish Border Guard adds to a large number of leading customers who are operating or have chosen this helicopter type for homeland security and public service applications in several countries including the United States, Mexico, China, Republic of Korea, Spain and Uganda. Approximately 190 helicopters have been ordered to date by over 90 customers in 30 countries to perform roles such as law enforcement, EMS, VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport and fire fighting.
The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for Finland's internal security, reporting to the Ministry of the Interior. The main functions of the Border Guard are guarding Finland's land borders and territorial waters, carrying out passport control at border crossing points, ports and airports, as well as law enforcement, maritime safety and performing search and rescue operations, especially at sea.
DTN News: Swedish Navy Two Visby Class Corvettes Are Cruising North Seas
*Source: DTN News / Defense Current Updates
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - January 23, 2010: Two of the Visby corvettes, HMS Helsingborg and HMS Härnösand, are now operational with the Royal Swedish Navy, as part of the Third Naval Warfare Flotilla, based in Karlskrona.
The first two Visby-class stealth corvettes, HMS Helsingborg and HMS Härnösand, are now operational with the Swedish Navy.(Info/image: Defense-Aerospace)
Built by Kockums, they significantly enhance the Swedish Navy’s capability. “With their stealth technology, the Visby corvettes are the right concept for the future, given the environment in which we shall be operating, namely the littoral zone.
The ships will form the core of the Swedish Navy for years to come. And they have attracted considerable international interest,” states Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad, Inspector General of the Royal Swedish Navy.
The ships are built for service with Sweden’s rapid reaction force, designed primarily to operate in the Baltic, although also on international missions in the littoral zone. Featuring full stealth capabilities, these vessels are difficult to detect either with radar or other sophisticated detection technologies, offering numerous tactical advantages.
They are constructed of carbon fibre. It is also possible to exit the stealth mode, perhaps on an international mission where a temporary need to demonstrate some military muscle arises, after which the ship can ‘disappear’ again.
The Swedish Navy has always operated in the littoral zone, an area in which it is specialised. Similar coastal waters exist in all parts of the world, of course, precisely those areas where maritime traffic is most intense. The Visby concept has generated a lot of attention, and naval experts the world over are following developments with keen interest.Construction began in 1996 at Kockums' Kalrskrona yard. The Visby (K31) was launched in June 2000 and was delivered to the FMV (the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration) in June 2002 for fitting with weapons and combat systems. The second, HMS Helsingborg (K32), was launched in June 2003 and delivered in April 2006. Harnosand (K33) was launched in December 2004. HMS Visby and Harnosand were officially delivered to the FMV in June 2006.
The other hulls are: Nykoping (K34), launched in August 2005 and delivered in September 2006, and Karlstad (K35), launched in August 2006.
The vessels are undergoing operational sea trials before commissioning in 2009. The Swedish Navy has cancelled an option on a sixth vessel (Uddevalla K36).
"Visby is a class of stealth corvettes for the Swedish Navy."
The first four Visby corvettes for the Swedish Navy are for mine countermeasures (MCM) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The last vessel will be primarily for the attack and anti-surface warfare role.
A helicopter, such as the AgustaWestland A109M selected by Sweden, can land, take off, and refuel on the upper deck.
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated January 22, 2010
*Source: DoD issued January 22, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - January 22, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued January 22, 2010 are undermentioned;
~Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., was awarded a $323,945,933 contract which will provide the French airborne warning and control system mid-life upgrade. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 551 IA/PKA, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (F19628-01-D-0016/DO 0067).
~Vinnell Brown and Root, LLC, Herndon, Va., was awarded a $37,535,776 contract which will provide consolidated base operations and maintenance contract for base facilities located in Turkey and Spain. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 700 CONS, APO, AE, is the contracting activity (FA5613-10-C-5400).
~Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, was awarded a $27,537,127 contract which will provide 17 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems Model B production units. At this time, $4,444,490 has been obligated. 703’d ASG, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-06-G-4041).
~Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Ga., was awarded a $16,712,105 contract which will provide full complete funding of the non-recurring effort for delivery of an engineering change proposal for the replacement of the C-130J Star VII mission computer. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 657 AESS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-06-C-6456).
~Wright’s Engineering and Design, Portsmouth, Va.* (N50054-10-D-1007); LPI Technical Services, Chesapeake, Va.* (N50054-10-D-1008); and Virtual Technology Services, LLC, Midwest City, Okla.* (N50054-10-D-1009), are each being awarded a combined maximum value $24,330,000 time-and-material, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract to furnish the necessary firewatch in support of work performed by Norfolk Naval Shipyard on-board various Navy vessels. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by January 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $153,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site with six offers received. These three contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Norfolk Ship Support Activity, formerly the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, Portsmouth, Va., is the contracting activity.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
~Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, N.Y., is being awarded a maximum $15,899,702 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, undefinitized contract for audio management computer and inertial navigation units. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 2013. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPRPA1-09-G-002Y-5003).
~Agland, Inc., Lucerne, Colo.*, is being awarded a minimum $14,726,369 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuels. Other locations of performance are New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado. Using services are Army, Air Force and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 48 proposals solicited with 25 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2012. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-09-D-4526).
~Grove U.S., LLC, Shady Grove, Pa., is being awarded a maximum $6,355,346 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for material handling cranes. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There were originally seven proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-01-D-0101-0052).
DTN News: Myanmar TODAY January 22, 2010 ~ Myanmar Air Force Opts For Russian Instead Of Economical Chinese Fighter Jets
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - January 22, 2010: Russia will deliver 20 MiG-29 fighter jets to the Air Force of Myanmar (Burma). The deal is evaluated at nearly $600 million. Burma preferred Russia’s renowned jets to China, although its J-10 and FC-1 fighters are cheaper.
The deal became the largest contract to sell MiG-29 jets after Algeria terminated a similar contract with Russia in 2007. Russia has sold only six MiGs to Sri Lanka and gave away ten others to Lebanon since then.
As for Burma, China has been this nation’s major partner in commerce, including the defense industry, during the recent 20 years. The European Union and the United States have been practicing sanctions against Burma for decades. Burma is governed by a military junta, and nearly all opposition activists in the country are jailed.
It is China that eases the consequences of the political and economic blockade of Burma. It is worthy of note that the EU and the US are interested in Burma’s natural resources – its oil, natural gas and non-ferrous metals.
Why did Burma offend its long-term and close partner, China? How will the West react to Burma’s choice of Russian arms?
“In spite of the scandal, which occurred in 2007 during the shipment of MiG jets to Algeria, the MiG-29 jet is much more reliable and efficient than what China offered to Burma. It’s not Russia’s first deal with Burma – we delivered 12 MiG-29 fighters to this country in 2001,” Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis told Pravda.Ru.
“It goes without saying that China is not going to be happy with such a turn of events. China gradually ousts Russia from the countries with which Russia traditionally has relations in the field of defense cooperation. However, I do not think that Russia has a good reason to celebrate. The situation in the Russian defense industry becomes worse, which affects the export of arms.
“The deal with Burma will definitely trigger a harsh reaction from the West, which does not recognize the Burmese regime,” the expert added.
DTN News: Indian Navy Boosts Its Air Fleet In $1.5 Billion Deal*Source: DTN News / ToI
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - January 22, 2010: The Navy has started a $1.5 billion overhaul of its ageing Soviet-era fleet of aircraft, seeking to boost its air power in an Indian Ocean region where a growing China is threatening its traditional dominance.The MiG-29K is based on the 'basic' MiG-29K airframe, but is lighter in answer to the Indian Navy's requirements for the smallest possible dimensions to maximize use of space on the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov). The aircraft is based on the original MiG-29K airframe, but without the high-cost welded aluminum lithium fuel tanks and forward fuselage. The MiG-29K's fuel tanks are situated in the dorsal spine fairing and wing leading-edge root extensions. This reportedly gives the aircraft a 50% increase over the land-based MiG-29. Flight range can also be increased by in-flight refueling capability. With a 25-year design life, the MiG-29K features a larger wing area, incorporating a longer chord double-slotted flap and drooped elevons over the 'basic' MiG-29K. The wing root has a sharp leading edge. In addition, the central fuselage integral tank and a fuselage load-carrying section, to which the arrester hook and main struts are attached, were considerably strengthened.*
The investment is one of the biggest the Indian Navy has made in recent years and reflects New Delhi's urgency to modernise its military, a move that rival Pakistan says could spark an arms build-up and destabilise an already roiled South Asia.
India plans to buy 16 new MIG-29 fighter jets, half a dozen light combat aircraft, unmanned patrol planes and multi-role helicopters. The Indian Navy is also upgrading its Sea Harrier fighter jets, IL-38 maritime anti-submarine warfare planes and acquiring five Kamov KA-31 patrol helicopters.
"We are acquiring new fighters and helicopters to ... supplement a new aircraft carrier we are getting soon," Commander PVS Satish, the navy spokesman said in New Delhi on Thursday. Analysts said the upgrade of the Navy was long due.
"It is almost a matter of time before ships from China arrive in India's backyard," said Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at New Delhi's Centre for Policy Research. India and China are locked in a battle to lead Asia.
New Delhi fears China is creating an arc of influence in the Indian Ocean region, bolstering claims over what has traditionally been seen as India's backyard. Indian officials said Pakistan, too, was modernising its navy.
Pakistan's National Command Authority (NCA), which oversees the country's nuclear weapons, said last week India's arms modernisation plans could destabilise the regional balance.
DTN News: US To Engage India, China, Russia To Stabilise Pakistan, Afghanistan*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - January 22, 2010: The US proposes to engage Russia, China and India this year as it tries to bring stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan while it continues its mission to 'disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan'.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Yemen's Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi during a news conference after hosting a bilateral meeting at the Department of State in Washington January 21, 2010.
'In 2010, we will build on bilateral discussions with Russia, China, India, and Afghanistan's neighbours,' said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday, detailing US civilian strategy for the Af-Pak region.
The strategy is detailed in a 39-page report the report, prepared by Special Representative Richard Holbrooke and his staff and signed by Clinton. 'Our regional diplomacy is expanding, with a sharpened focus on shifting the calculus of Afghanistan's neighbours from competition in Afghanistan to cooperation and economic integration,' she said.
The US objectives, Clinton said, 'are shared by the people and governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan and by people around the world, from Europe to Australia, from Russia to China to India, and across the Middle East where Muslim countries face a common threat from Al Qaeda.'
Asserting that she had 'made it a top priority to elevate the role of diplomacy and development alongside defence in our national security strategy,' Clinton said: 'Nowhere is this more urgent than in our efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.'
Clinton also assured Pakistan and Afghanistan that while its military mission in Afghanistan to 'disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan' is not open-ended, it was committed to building lasting partnerships with the two countries.
'The challenges in both countries are immense. The Afghan government is under assault from the Taliban and struggling to provide security, jobs, and basic justice to a society devastated by 30 years of war,' Clinton said.
'Across the border, the Pakistani people are victim to regular suicide bombings despite their military's increasingly determined efforts against extremist elements.''
And while al-Qaeda's safe-haven in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area is increasingly disrupted, its senior leaders are still planning attacks against our homeland and our Allies,'she said.
Clinton said as President Barack Obama reiterated during his Dec 1 speech at West Point, 'the core US goal remains to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan, and to prevent their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan.
''While our combat mission in Afghanistan is not open-ended, we will remain politically, diplomatically, and economically engaged in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the long-term to protect our enduring interests in the region,' she said.
DTN News: Philippines TODAY January 22, 2010 ~ Top Filipino Terrorist Killed In US Drone Attack In Pakistan*Source: Mindanao Examiner / January 21, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) COTABATO CITY, Philippines - January 22, 2010: A senior commander of the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, who is wanted both by Manila and Washington for terrorism, was believed killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan, reports said on Thursday.
Reports said Abdul Basit Usman, who had links with the al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, was allegedly killed last week close to the Afghan border. There was no immediate confirmation from Filipino authorities on the reports of Usman's death.
The MILF, which is fighting for an independent Islamic state in Mindanao, repeatedly denied that Usman is a member of the rebel group and even ordered guerilla forces to hunt down the terrorist and bring him to justice. "We have no reports at this point that Abdul Basit Usman is killed in Pakistan. We are trying to verify that reports, but if it is true, then we are happy about it because this cleared all suspicions by the Philippine military that Abdul Basit Usman is an MILF commander."
"As far as we know, Usman had links with the Jemaah Islamiya and the Al-Qaeda and could be fighting alongside with the Taliban which has links with Al-Qaeda. It is not impossible for Usman to fight alongside with the Taliban because of his extensive links with the Al-Qaeda," Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader, told the independent regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.Just last year, the US Department of State offered up to $1 million for information leading to the location, arrest or conviction of Usman, a known bomb expert tagged by Filipino authorities as behind the spate of deadly attacks in Mindanao region, south of the Philippines.
The Philippine military also linked Usman to the Abu Sayyaf group in Mindanao and had been captured in 2002 in Sultan Kudarat province, but he escaped from jail. Usman was tagged as behind deadly in the Mindanao cities of General Santos, Kidapawan and Cotabato that killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians.
Western Mindanao military chief Lieutenant General Benjamin Dolorfino said they have to verify the reports to confirm whether Usman was killed in the US attack along with 11 other militants.
"If the reports are true then it is good news for us because the killing of (Abdul) Basit Usman means one less terrorist on the street. We still have to verify the reports. Usman was involved in many deadly bombings in Mindanao - in General Santos City, in Kidapawan City, in Koronadal in South Cotabato and parts of Mindanao," Dolorfino said in a separate interview. (Mindanao Examiner)