Friday, April 16, 2010
DTN News: Volcanic Dust Cloud Suspends RAF And NATO Military Training Source: DTN News / BBC World (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, U.K. - April 16, 2010: All routine military air training in UK airspace has been suspended as a plume of volcanic ash drifts across much of northern Europe. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said a decision on the resumption of training would be taken on Friday. A spokeswoman said the suspension took effect from midday. Disruption to flights caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland comes as UK and Nato air crews take part in Exercise Joint Warrior. Europe's largest military exercise involves 50 aircraft, including fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft flying from RAF stations at Kinloss and Lossiemouth in Moray. Live firing is also conducted at Cape Wrath on the far north coast of Scotland. Joint Warrior also features 16 Air Assault Brigade and the Royal Navy's Carrier Strike Group headed by HMS Ark Royal. LATEST NEWS Europe faces prolonged air chaos Hundreds flee Icelandic volcano Flights allowed over parts of UK Small businesses feel ash impact Airlines count volcano ash losses Kenya's flowers hit by ash cloud
DTN News: U.S. Army Chinook Helicopters Protected From IR Missile Threat Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NASHUA, N.H. - April 16, 2010: The effectiveness of a countermeasure system for the U.S. Army Chinook helicopter to defeat guided missiles was proven in battle, BAE Systems said. BAE said its Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system has proved its worth in defeating infrared-guided missiles on the battlefield. ATIRCM uses lasers to protect the Chinook from missile attacks. A common missile warning system tells the system to emit a high-energy laser beam to defeat the infrared system on the incoming missile. Jim Crouch, general manager for protection solutions at BAE Systems, said ATIRCM is the best countermeasure system available for combat helicopters. "ATIRCM was put to the test in a complex situation where Chinook aircraft were engaged by multiple infrared, man-portable air-defense missiles," he said. He didn't indicate in what combat theater the ATIRCM countered the threat. He added his company was dispatching the system to all Chinook fleets as soon as possible so all deployed helicopters are protected against infrared-guided missile threats.
DTN News: China’s PLA Opens Up To Show Off J10, Its First Indigenous Fighter Jet Source: DTN News / The Times, U.K. By Jane Macartney at Yangcun Air Base (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 16, 2010: Engines screaming, China’s most advanced fighter jets took off, soared into a vertical climb, spun into rolls and veered off into a clear blue sky leaving a trail of smoke and the acrid smell of aviation fuel in its wake. The 24th Fighter Division of the Chinese Air Force yesterday showed off a formation of its J10 — or Annihilator 10 — to a select group of international military attachés for the first time. Back on the ground after the demonstration of aerial acrobatics Senior Colonel Yan Feng, commander of the division, gave the 51 attachés their first glimpse of the cockpits and the home-made jet turbines of China’s only indigenous fighters. It was the second time that China has allowed foreign media onto the base — and the first such trip in eight years. Colonel Yan promised to host more tours as part of a campaign by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to cast off its reputation for secrecy and nurture a more transparent image. Four jets took part in the 15-minute show, completing a fly-by in diamond formation with their wingtips a mere 5m (16ft) apart and a series of multiple rolls and spins. Colonel Yan even flew his jet in front of the viewing stand with his wheels just 3m off the ground. Group Captain Stephen Wilson, the British Air Force Attaché, , described the show as impressive. “This is a highly manoeuvrable aircraft.They should not be compared with the Red Arrows, but the Chinese Air Force is very competent and that came through in this performance.” China first showed off the J-10 in public in 2008. Their finest moment to date was when 17 flew over Tiananamen Square to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Communist China on October 1 last year. However, although the PLA hails the accomplishment of developing China’s first indigenous fighter, the J10 is not entirely home-made. It is believed to be loosely based on the early-generation US F16. Israel helped at the start with aspects of avionics and aerodynamics until it was warned off by Washington. Earlier models were equipped with Russian jet turbines, complicating future sales potential. One military expert said: “For this type of third-generation aircraft it’s a serious plane. It’s very good. But it is still equivalent only to an early F16.” Another attaché said that the technology of its wheels, among other aspects, means that it could not be used on board any aircraft carrier that China may build, underscoring how far the PLA still lags behind Western militaries. The expert said: “The West is still far ahead. We have so many decades of technology and such a depth of research and capability that they just don’t have yet. They are about a generation behind. But they are catching up.” China could take a major leap forward when it finally unveils its fourth-generation J11, which Chinese generals have hinted could be shown off in public as early as 2017, well ahead of US forecasts. Colonel Yan was coy when asked about the J11, but said that he hoped to demonstrate the J10 at international air shows as early as next year. “I want to fly with the Thunderbirds,” he joked. Manufacturers will be hoping that international exposure could boost sales. Last year China sold 36 J10s to Pakistan for $1.4 billion (£910 million), well above the $25 million each that Pakistan had wanted to pay but cheaper than the $50 million per plane paid by India for a shipment of F16s. Iran, Thailand and Myanmar are all believed to have expressed interest in adding the J10 to their air force fleets. *This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org