Friday, May 28, 2010

DTN News: From Failed Bombings To Armed Jihadist Assaults

DTN News: From Failed Bombings To Armed Jihadist Assaults
Source: By Scott Stewart STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada- May 29, 2010: One of the things we like to do in our Global Security and Intelligence Report from time to time is examine the convergence of a number of separate and unrelated developments and then analyze that convergence and craft a forecast. In recent months we have seen such a convergence occur. The most recent development is the interview with the American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki that was released to jihadist Internet chat rooms May 23 by al-Malahim Media, the public relations arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In the interview, al-Awlaki encouraged strikes against American civilians. He also has been tied to Maj. Nidal Hasan, who was charged in the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the perpetrator of the failed Christmas Day 2009 airline bombing. And al-Awlaki reportedly helped inspire Faisal Shahzad, who was arrested in connection with the attempted Times Square attack in May. The second link in our chain is the failed Christmas Day and Times Square bombings themselves. They are the latest in a long string of failed or foiled bombing attacks directed against the United States that date back to before the 9/11 attacks and include the thwarted 1997 suicide bomb plot against a subway in New York, the thwarted December 1999 Millennium Bomb plot and numerous post-9/11 attacks such as Richard Reid’s December 2001 shoe-bomb attempt, the August 2004plot to bomb the New York subway system and the May 2009 plot to bomb two Jewish targets in the Bronx and shoot down a military aircraft. Indeed, jihadists have not conducted a successful bombing attack inside the United States since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Getting a trained bombmaker into the United States has proved to be increasingly difficult for jihadist groups, and training a novice to make bombs has also been problematic as seen in the Shahzad andNajibullah Zazi cases. The final link we’d like to consider are the calls in the past few months for jihadists to conduct simple attacks with readily available items. This call was first made by AQAP leader Nasir al-Wahayshi in October 2009 and then echoed by al Qaeda prime spokesman Adam Gadahn in March of 2010. In the Times Square case, Shahzad did use readily available items, but he lacked the ability to effectively fashion them into a viable explosive device. When we look at all these links together, there is a very high probability that jihadists linked to, or inspired by, AQAP and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — and perhaps even al Shabaab — will attempt to conduct simple attacks with firearms in the near future. Threats and Motives In the May 23 al-Malahim interview (his first with AQAP), al-Awlaki not only said he was proud of the actions of Hasan and Abdulmutallab, whom he referred to as his students, but also encouraged other Muslims to follow the examples they set by their actions. When asked about the religious permissibility of an operation like Abdulmutallab’s, which could have killed innocent civilians, al-Awlaki told the interviewer that the term “civilian” was not really applicable to Islamic jurisprudence and that he preferred to use the terms combatants and non-combatants. He then continued by noting that “non-combatants are people who do not take part in the war” but that, in his opinion, “the American people in its entirety takes part in the war, because they elected this administration, and they finance this war.” In his final assessment, al-Awlaki said, “If the heroic mujahid brother Umar Farouk could have targeted hundreds of soldiers, that would have been wonderful. But we are talking about the realities of war,” meaning that in his final analysis, attacks against civilians were permissible under Islamic law. Indeed, he later noted, “Our unsettled account with America, in women and children alone, has exceeded one million. Those who would have been killed in the plane are a drop in the ocean.” While this line of logic is nearly identical to that historically put forth by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the very significant difference is that al-Awlaki is a widely acknowledged Islamic scholar. He speaks with a religious authority that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri simply do not possess. On May 2, the TTP released a video statement by Hakeemullah Mehsud in which Mehsud claimed credit for the failed Times Square attack. In the recording, which reportedly was taped in early April, Mehsud said that the time was approaching “when our fedayeen [suicide operatives] will attack the American states in their major cities.” He also said, “Our fedayeen have penetrated the terrorist America. We will give extremely painful blows to the fanatic America.” While TTP leaders seem wont to brag and exaggerate (e.g., Baitullah Mehsud falsely claimed credit for the April 3, 2009, shooting at an immigration center in Binghamton, N.Y., which was actually committed by a mentally disturbed Vietnamese immigrant), there is ample reason to believe the claims made by the TTP regarding their contact with Shahzad. We can also deduce with some certainty that Mehsud and company have trained other men who have traveled (or returned) to the United States following that training. The same is likely true for AQAP, al Shabaab and other jihadist groups. In fact, the FBI is likely monitoring many such individuals inside the United States at this very moment — and in all likelihood is madly scrambling to find and investigate many others. Fight Like You Train There is an old military and law-enforcement training axiom that states, “You will fight like you train.” This concept has led to the development of training programs designed to help soldiers and agents not only learn skills but also practice and reinforce those skills until they become second nature. This way, when the student graduates and comes under incredible pressure in the real world — like during an armed ambush — their training will take over and they will react even before their mind can catch up to the rapidly unfolding situation. The behaviors needed to survive have been ingrained into them. This concept has been a problem for the jihadists when it comes to terrorist attacks. It is important to understand that most of the thousands of men who attend training camps set up by al Qaeda and other jihadist groups are taught the basic military skills required to fight in an insurgency. This means they are provided basic physical training to help condition them, given some hand-to-hand combat training and then taught how to operate basic military hardware like assault rifles, hand grenades and, in some cases, crew-served weapons like machine guns and mortars. Only a very few students are then selected to attend the more advanced training that will teach them the skills required to become a trained terrorist operative. In many ways, this process parallels the way that special operations forces operators are selected from the larger military population and then sent on for extensive training to transform them into elite warriors. Many people wash out during this type of intense training and only a few will make it all the way through to graduation. The problem for the jihadists is finding someone with the time and will to undergo the intensive training required to become a terrorist operative, the ability to complete the training and — critically — the ability to travel abroad to conduct terrorist attacks against the far enemy. Clearly the jihadist groups are able to train men to fight as insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they have shown the ability to train terrorist operatives who can operate in the fairly permissive environments of places like the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. They also have some excellent bombmakers and terrorist planners in Iraq and Pakistan. What the jihadists seem to be having a problem doing is finding people who can master the terrorist tradecraft and who have the ability to travel into hostile areas to ply their craft. There seems to be a clear division between the men who can travel and the men who can master the advanced training. The physical and intelligence onslaught launched against al Qaeda and other jihadist groups following the 9/11 attacks has also created operational security concerns that complicate the ability to find and train effective terrorist operatives. Of course, we’re not telling the jihadists anything they don’t already know. This phenomenon is exactly why you have major jihadist figures like al-Wahayshi and Gadahn telling the operatives who can travel to or are already in the West to stop trying to conduct attacks that are beyond their capabilities. Gadahn and al-Awlaki have heaped praise on Maj. Hasan as an example to follow — and this brings us back to armed assaults. In the United States it is very easy to obtain firearms and it is legal to go to a range or private property to train with them. Armed assaults are also clearly within the skill set of jihadists who have made it only through basic insurgent training. As we’ve mentioned several times in the past, thesegrassroots individuals are far more likely to strike the United States and Europe than professional terrorist operatives dispatched from the al Qaeda core group. Such attacks will also allow these grassroots operatives to fight like they have been trained. When you combine all these elements with the fact that the United States is an open society with a lot of very vulnerable soft targets, it is not difficult to forecast that we will see more armed jihadist assaults in the United States in the near future. Armed Assaults Armed assaults employing small arms are not a new concept in terrorism by any means. They have proved to be a tried-and-true tactic since the beginning of the modern era of terrorism and have been employed in many famous attacks conducted by a variety of actors. A few examples are the Black September operation against the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics; the December 1975 seizure of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries headquarters in Vienna, led by Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka “Carlos the Jackal”; the December 1985 simultaneous attacks against the airports in Rome and Vienna by the Abu Nidal Organization; and the September 2004 school seizure in Beslan, North Ossetia, by Chechen militants. More recently, the November 2008 armed assault in Mumbai demonstrated how deadly and spectacular such attacks can be. In some instances — such as the December 1996 seizure of the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Lima, Peru, by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement — the objective of the armed assault is to take and intentionally hold hostages for a long period of time. In other instances, such as the May 1972 assault on Lod Airport by members of the Japanese Red Army, the armed assault is planned as a suicide attack designed simply to kill as many people as possible before the assailants themselves are killed or incapacitated. Often attacks fall somewhere in the middle. For example, even though Mumbai became a protracted operation, its planning and execution indicated it was intended as an attack in which the attackers would inflict maximum damage and not be taken alive. It was only due to the good fortune of the attackers and the ineptitude of the Indian security forces that the operation lasted as long as it did. We discussed above the long string of failed and foiled bombing attacks directed against the United States. During that same time, there have been several armed assaults that have killed people, such as the attack against the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles International Airport by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet in July 2002, the shooting attacks by John Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo in the Washington area in September and October 2002 and the June 2009 attack in which Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad allegedly shot and killed a U.S. soldier and wounded another outside a Little Rock, Ark., recruiting center. The most successful of these attacks was the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, which resulted in 13 deaths. These attacks not only resulted in deaths but also received extensive media coverage. Armed assaults are effective and they can kill people. However, as we have noted before, due to the proficiency of U.S. police agencies and the training their officers have received in active shooter scenarios following school shootings and incidents of workplace violence, the impact of armed assaults will be mitigated in the United States, and Europe as well. In fact, it was an ordinary police officer responding to the scene and instituting an active shooter protocol who shot and wounded Maj. Hasan and brought an end to his attack in the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood. The number of people in the American public who are armed can also serve as a mitigating factor, though many past attacks have been planned at locations where personal weapons are prohibited, like the Los Angeles International Airport, Fort Hood and Fort Dix. Of course, a Mumbai-like situation involving multiple trained shooters who can operate like a fire team will cause problems for first responders, but the police communication system in the United States and the availability of trained SWAT teams will allow authorities to quickly vector in sufficient resources to handle the threat in most locations — especially where such large coordinated attacks are most likely to happen, such as New York, Washington and Los Angeles. Therefore, even a major assault in the United States is unlikely to drag out for days as did the incident in Mumbai. None of this is to say that the threats posed by suicide bombers against mass transit and aircraft will abruptly end. The jihadists have proven repeatedly that they have a fixation on both of these target sets and they will undoubtedly continue their attempts to attack them. Large bombings and airline attacks also carry with them a sense of drama that a shooting does not — especially in a country that has become somewhat accustomed to shooting incidents conducted by non-terrorist actors for other reasons. However, we believe we’re seeing a significant shift in the mindset of jihadist ideologues and that this shift will translate into a growing trend toward armed assaults.
This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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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: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated May 28, 2010

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated May 28, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued May 28, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - May 29, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued May 28, 2010 are undermentioned; CONTRACTS NAVY ~Metro Machine Corp., Norfolk, Va., is being awarded an $114,045,809 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-4416) for USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) modernization, upgrades, preservations and alterations in support of the multi-ship multi-option (MSMO) mid-life extension. The LSD MSMO was developed to provide extended dry docking, modernization, upgrades, repairs and alterations to several shipboard systems such as the engineering control systems, power management platform, and chilled water distribution system for the LSD 41- and LSD 51-class amphibious landing ships. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by May 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $68,736,651 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Norfolk Naval Ship Support Activity, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity. ~L-3 Communications, EOTech, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., is being awarded a $25,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for an optical sighting system for the M4A1 carbine in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command’s weapons accessories program. The optical sighting system will increase the operational effectiveness of the M4A1 carbine, M203 grenade launcher, and other special operations forces small arms. Work will be performed in Ann Arbor, Mich. and is expected to be completed by May 2015. Contract funds in the amount of $262,636 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not awarded on a competitive basis. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-JN68). ~Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $23,066,554 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0007) for the procurement of 53 fiscal 2010 Tomahawk composite capsule launching system capsules. Work will be performed in Lincoln, Neb. (31.5 percent); Camden, Ark. (28.8 percent); Tucson, Ariz. (7.2 percent); Joplin, Mo. (7 percent); Carpentersville, Ill. (4.9 percent); Rocket Center, W.V. (4.7 percent); Hopkinton, Mass. (3.9 percent); Huntsville, Ala. (2 percent); Torrance, Calif. (1.5 percent); Los Alamitos, Calif. (1 percent); and various locations throughout the U.S. (7.5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in February 2012. 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. ~Aviation Ground Equipment Corp.*, Freeport, N.Y., is being awarded a $16,986,180 fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 200 mobile load banks capable of providing electrical loads for the maintenance and testing of aviation ground power units, including: five pilot production units and associated testing; technical and logistics data; and training. Work will be performed in Freeport, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in August 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals as a 100-percent small business set-aside; five offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-D-0014). ~Raytheon Co., Network Centric Systems, Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded an $8,694,337 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide performance-based engineering services in support of the AN/ALQ-227 communication countermeasure systems for the EA-18G. Support services to be provided include systems engineering, test, product assurance, logistics, training and production. Work will be performed in Fort Wayne, Ind., and is expected to be completed in May 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0013). MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY ~John Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory (JPU/APL), Laurel, Md., is being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (HQ0006-07-D-0001) to task order #0016 with a total value of $10,000,000. Under this modification, JPU/APL will continue work on advanced technology initiatives by providing technical support to systems engineering and integration for assessments; studies and analyses of command and control; battles management and communications; fire control; missile engineering; combat systems; and space component and space systems. The work will be performed in Laurel, Md. The performance period for this work is from June 2010 through August 2010. Research, development, test and evaluation funding fiscal 2010 will be used to incrementally fund these efforts. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE ~Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $9,226,092 contract which will provide Air Force Materiel Command, 526th Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Systems Group technical analysis. At this time, $793,651 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380). ~Boeing Co., Seal Beach, Calif., was awarded a $7,085,000 contract for services to support pre-launch, launch and post-launch activities through completion of on-orbit checkout for Space-Based Space Surveillance satellite. At this time, $7,000,000 has been obligated. SMC SYSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity. (FA8819-08-C-0006) ~Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $5,986,457 contract which will sustain systems engineering support for the production and fielded systems of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range. At this time, $4,905,990 has been obligated. 308 ARSG/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contacting activity (FA8682-10-C-0016-P00004). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY ~Genesis Vision, Inc.*, Rochester, N.Y., is being awarded a maximum $9,000,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of various optical frames and accessories using the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia electronic catalog system. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with four responses. This contract has a base period with four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is June 2, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM2DE-10-D-7545). *Small business

DTN News: Israel Sold Billions In Arms To Apartheid South Africa

DTN News: Israel Sold Billions In Arms To Apartheid South Africa
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 29, 2010: In April 1976, Nazi sympathizer and South African Prime Minister John Voster visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem to lay a wreath to the victims of the German Reich he once saluted. They must have turned over in their graves. The real purpose behind Voster’s trip to Israel was to seal the deep partnership between it and the apartheid regime. The pact violated international law and illegally provided the white minority government with weaponry and technology to help Voster’s government keep its powerful grip on oppressing the black majority. To this cause, Israel sold some $10 billion in arms to South Africa over a period of two decades. This unholy marriage helped Israel became a major arms manufacturer and exporter, funding its high-tech economy on South African blood money. It supplied Pretoria with cutting-edge weapons and military high-tech when most of the world was turning its back on the apartheid regime. These painful facts come from a book released on May 25 by Pantheon: The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa by Sasha Polakow-Suransky, an editor at Foreign Affairs magazine, a Rhodes Scholar and an American Jew whose parents immigrated to the United States from South Africa. Polakow-Suransky unearthed more than 7,000 pages of “heretofore secret documents from the bowels of South Africa’s Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and Armscor, the state defense contractor, including the secret 1975 cooperation agreement signed by defense ministers Shimon Peres and P.W. Botha.” The review by Glenn Frankel Israel’s Most Illicit Affair came from Australia’s Frankel teaches journalism at Stanford University and was Southern Africa, Jerusalem and London bureau chief for the Washington Post and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Though this illicit affair was thrilling in some strange way to both parties, Frankel claims, it has obviously and will continue to seriously damage both nations’ reputations, hanging “like a toxic cloud” over them. Israel already has a wretched reputation for 43 years of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and what appears to be an effort at extinction of the people it landed amongst as innocent refugees, dropping in from England, Europe and later Russia. Yet the facts speak for themselves. Israel attempted to block the release of the South African documents, but the post-apartheid South African government turned its back on the protests. In all fairness, Polakow-Suransky writes that the African National Congress “is far less concerned with keeping old secrets than with protecting its own accumulated dirty laundry after 15 years in power.” What is the old saying? Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yet aphorisms don’t let apartheid, a nationalized South Africa or Israel off the hook. It was Israel’s founding father, Ben Gurion, who condemned apartheid and attempted to ally his government with the new black-governed nations of sub-Saharan Africa, emerging from colonial rule in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yet as the balance of forces changed post the 1967 Six-Day War, and Israel took control of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, Ben-Gurion’s next generation of leaders of the Labor Party, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Moshe Dayan, were already morphing Israel into “a mini super power” and had no qualms about helping South Africa to reach keep its racist goals. The 1973 Yom Kippur War sealed a shift in thought. Egypt framed the war as a Zionist invasion of the African continent. More than 20 African states cut diplomatic tie with Israel. Yet South Africa continued to supply Israel with spare parts for its Mirage jet fighters. At the same time, South Africa’s sizeable Jewish community, encouraged by its rulers, heaped money and support on the Zionist state. The two countries were on their way, as Polakow-Suransky notes, to being “brothers in arms,” an unholy brotherhood at that. And so, a synergy of self-interest grew, apartheid money aiding the oft called “peaceful” Israel become a major arms dealer as Pretoria amassed its literally “cutting edge” arms and technology. Yet, hypocritically, for two decades Israel went on publicly denouncing the apartheid regime while profiting enormously from it, propping up the white minority, helping to sustain racial supremacy. Is it any wonder Israel finds it so easy to slaughter its Palestinian neighbors? In fact, as Peres and Botha signed their security pact in April 1975, Israel sold tanks, fighter aircraft, and long-range missiles to Pretoria, and offered up nuclear warheads to boot. Israel as middleman bought arms, as well, from countries that nominally would not do business with Pretoria. And Israel passed them on to the racists. This went on even after the UN Security Council passed a mandatory arms embargo against South Africa in November 1977. Menachem Being’s right-wing Likud came to power that year, and the unholy ties grew even stronger. There were others who helped cement the marriage: Yitzah Unna, a skilled tough Israeli diplomat who became counsel general in Johannesburg in 1969 and later was bumped up to ambassador. He learned to speak Afrikaans, became buddies with the former Nazi sympathizer heading South Africa’s bureau of state and security, launching a number of deals bringing the two countries closer together. Then with Binyamin Telem, Israel’s former Navy commander, who handled Amscor defense contracts, the two managed to twist their consciences into seeing themselves as anti-racists. Telem insisted on equal pay for blacks as whites as they were training military men to quell anti-apartheid rioters. Nauseating! Still darker, South Africa delivered Israel a 500-ton stockpile of uranium for its nuclear program. As thanks, Israel sold South Africa 30 grams of tritium, a radioactive material that increases the explosive power of thermonuclear weapons. The level of Israel-South African barbarism was characterized in September 1979 by a double blast over the South Atlantic. Analysts believed it came from an Israeli nuclear bomb test, in partnership with South Africa. The details remain classified to this day, but the point is clear: these were desperate and violent regimes which would do anything to hold their racist states together. There is a more to tell, but I leave you in the able hands of reviewer Glenn Frankel and, if you would, in the hands of author Sasha Polakow-Suransky. It’s morning in America as I write from 6 to 8 a.m., clearing my conscience to report on this while not taking too much from the totality of Frankel’s amazing review. Read it all and most of all read the book. These are outstanding men reporting. I am a mere messenger here of these darker passages in our world’s history. Today, I’ll be on a 6 a.m. plane to the Midwest to visit my 86-year old, WW 11, D-Day veteran, Army Air Force navigator father-in-law, who flew in paratroopers to stop his generation’s Nazis. I always feel I owe this man so much, in addition to giving me the hand of his beautiful daughter. My mother-in-law, by the way, was a “Rosy the Riveter” throughout the war. Today she keeps us all together. I wish that blessing on a fractured world that continues to sadden me beyond the periphery of the woods I love to walk. Have a good Memorial Day weekend. Try to remember what it’s about. More than fireworks, barbecues, and family get-togethers, it’s about honoring the living and the Gone who gave their lives that we might have a better one. And that ain’t easy, though it’s worth giving our best to find that difficult path.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City. Reach him at His new book, “State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on” is available at, Amazon or
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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DTN News: NATO And Ukraine Discussed Defence Reform

DTN News: NATO And Ukraine Discussed Defence Reform
Source: DTN News / NATO
(NSI News Source Info) BRUSSELS, Belgium - May 29, 2010: On 26 May 2010, the eighth Senior Level meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR) was held in Kyiv under the co-chairmanship of the First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Mr. Stepan Havrysh and the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning, Ambassador Jiří Šedivý. The meeting addressed issues related to Ukraine-NATO cooperation in implementing defence and security sector reforms. The contribution of the JWGDR to the implementation of the Annual National Programme of Ukraine (ANP) was addressed. Among other issues the need to establish an effective inter-agency coordination system in implementing defence and security sector reforms in the context of the ANP was highlighted. Participants also discussed the key elements and the process of implementation of the Strategic Defence Review in Ukraine. The implementation of the JWGDR programmes and initiatives was reviewed and support was voiced for continued co-operation in this framework. Participants stressed the benefits of reform, both in terms of more efficient use of scarce resources and further improvement of the capabilities of the Ukrainian defence and security structures. The JWGDR was also briefed on the activities of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine in support of the work of the JWGDR, including priorities for its future work. Representatives of NATO nations also exchanged views with their Ukrainian partners on the preparations for the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Defence Ministers’ Session in June 2010. A roundtable under the NATO-Ukraine Partnership Network for Civil Society Expertise Development took place in the margins of the Senior Level meeting. It gathered representatives of non-governmental organizations, Ukrainian and Allied officials, as well as defence and security experts. Their debate focused on priorities for defence and security sector reform in Ukraine and NATO-Ukraine defence cooperation in general. Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Mr. Grygoriy Pedchenko and Deputy Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Porodko opened the roundtable together with NATO Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Šedivý.

DTN News: UAE Picks Rifles From South Korea

DTN News: UAE Picks Rifles From South Korea
Source: DTN News / UPI
(NSI News Source Info) ABU DHABI, UAE - May 29, 2010: The United Arab Emirates has placed an order for K11 airburst rifles, becoming South Korea's first export customer for the weapon, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said. The emirates placed the order for 40 K11 infantry rifles during the Special Operations Forces Exhibition Conference 2010 earlier this month in Jordan. "Once a final contract is signed, it will be the first export sale of the K11, possibly making it one of the country's major export items together with the T-50 supersonic trainer jet and K2 Black Panther main battle tank," said a statement from the defense acquisition program. A final signing of the contract is expected by July and the unit price per rifle is estimated at $14,000. South Korea unveiled its K11 development two years ago, countering the U.S. Army XM-29, classified as an objective individual combat weapon. "The South Korean version weighs 13.4 pounds and combines a 5.56mm rifle, with one firing 20mm computer- and laser-controlled shells," the Strategy Page Web site reported. "The 18-pound XM-29 was developed, in the 1990s, as a replacement for the 40mm grenade launcher. The 40mm rounds weigh 19 ounces each, the 20mm OICW round weighs half that," the report added. The rifle is developed by the Agency for Defense Development and S&T Daewoo. It has been in operational use by the South Korean army for more than a year. The weapon consists of a semiautomatic 20mm smart grenade launcher, an underslung assault carbine firing a 5.56mm NATO round, a top-mounted computer-assisted sighting system with integrated laser rangefinder and thermal infrared night vision capabilities, according to the developers. Operating in the same manner as the XM-29, the South Korean weapon has 20mm and 25mm "smart shells" that use a computer-controlled fuse. Under a self-detonation system, the 20mm round can track its target and explode several feet above it. It is also capable of puncturing concrete walls. The rifle has an effective range of 500-550 yards. An earlier U.S.-made model proved to have several flaws, including its weight of about 18 pounds and its inability to put enemy troops out of action. The U.S. rival rifle is also an estimated 25 percent more expensive than the South Korean make. The United Arab Emirates said the order was intended for trial purposes. Last year, South Korea's defense exports jumped 13 percent to a record $1.17 billion, a spike aided by government support and a growing trend of more companies breaking into overseas market.

DTN News: India Commissions Coast Guard Ship C-147 High Speed Aluminium Interceptor Vessel

DTN News: India Commissions Coast Guard Ship C-147 High Speed Aluminium Interceptor Vessel
Source: DTN News By Roger Smith
(NSI News Source Info) PANAJI, Goa - May 29, 2010: Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar on Friday commissioned the Indian Coast Guard ship C-147 at a ceremony in Goa. Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Director General of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was also present on the occasion. C-147 is the fifth boat of its class, designed and built indigenously by ABG Shipyard, Surat, and will be based at Goa, under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West). It is fitted with ultra modern navigational and communication equipment, and will be deployed for enhancing the close-coast surveillance capability of the ICG. The 28 metre long Interceptor Boat which displaces 90 tons, is commanded by Commandant S.R. Nagendran. It has an endurance of 500 nautical miles, at an economical speed of 25 knots and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots, for responding to urgent calls at sea.

DTN News: The A319 Ready To Fly Operationally To Ali, One Of The World’s Highest Airports

DTN News: The A319 Ready To Fly Operationally To Ali, One Of The World’s Highest Airports
Source: DTN News / EADS Dt. 28 May 2010
(NSI News Source Info) BLAGNAC - May 29, 2010: An Air China A319 today successfully completed a validation flight utilizing tailored Required Navigation Performance - Authorisation Required (RNP-AR) procedures at Ali Airport in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. The RNP validation flight is essential for the entry into service of Ali Airport, which is to be officially opened for operations soon. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has decided that the Airbus A319 will be the first aircraft to fly to and from Ali Airport in view of its proven performance on high altitude flights. Statistics indicate that over 80 percent of the commercial flights to and from Tibet are flown by Airbus aircraft, most of them being A319s.
Today’s RNP validation flight is a joint activity performed by the CAAC, Air China, Airbus and QUOVADIS, a 100 percent subsidiary of Airbus specialised in providing RNP services. RNP represents the most modern navigation technique, allowing aircraft to fly precisely along a predefined route using state-of-the-art onboard navigation systems and the Global Positioning System (GPS). The benefits of RNP include improved precision of flight operations, increased access to airports, particularly in low visibility conditions, whilst requiring fewer ground-based instrument landing aids, lower flight time and fuel consumption, and lower noise and emissions.
At an elevation of 4,274 metres (14,022 feet), Ali Airport is one of the highest airports in the world. Along the route to and from Ali spans a sparsely populated plateau at an altitude of up to 5,000 metres, and mountains over 7,000 metres high. The weather conditions in the area make it challenging for flight, the precision and reliability enabled by the RNP navigation technique allowing pilots to land the aircraft in conditions that would otherwise require them to hold, divert to another airport, or even to cancel the flight before departure.
“Building Ali Airport in Tibet is a major project of CAAC to boost the development of the Tibetan area. The success of the RNP test flight today helps further strengthen our confidence in the smooth operation of the airport,” said Wang Changshun, Vice Minister of CAAC.
“Airbus has been cooperating with CAAC and Chinese airlines on RNP projects for a long time and Airbus experts have worked together with CAAC and Chinese experts in Ali for the preparation of the airport. We are proud to see that the Airbus A319 has been selected to be the first aircraft to fly to and from Ali. As a leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus is committed to providing its customers with the most modern and comprehensive product line and the best services,” said Airbus China President Laurence Barron.
“QUOVADIS is pleased to work with CAAC and Air China, both leading actors in RNP implementation to provide Ali procedures. QUOVADIS’ mission is to provide safe and efficient RNP procedures that meet the operational needs. In this project we benefit from the high altitude operation experience of Air China and CAAC, together with our expertise in RNP procedure design and aircraft knowledge,” said Paul-franck Bijou, CEO of QUOVADIS. Contacts for the media: Robin Tao Tel.: +86(0)-80486161-5001 Martin Fendt Tel.: +33 561-932-434

DTN News: General Dynamics Awarded FAA SE2020 Systems Engineering Contract to Support NextGen Modernization

DTN News: General Dynamics Awarded FAA SE2020 Systems Engineering Contract to Support NextGen Modernization
Source: DTN News / General Dynamics
(NSI News Source Info) FAIRFAX, Va. - May 29, 2010: General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) has been selected as one of three large-business contractors for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) System Engineering 2020 Research and Development/Mission Analysis Support program. The ten-year contract awarded to General Dynamics has a maximum potential value of $1.2 billion if all options are exercised. Funding will be awarded through individual task orders.
Through this program, General Dynamics will support the FAA’s NextGen modernization program to improve safety and bring greater efficiencies to the U.S. airspace system by providing research and development and systems engineering services. The work will focus on achieving or improving a series of operational capabilities, including trajectory-based operations; increased arrivals and departures at high-density airports; increased flexibility in the terminal environment; improved collaborative air-traffic management; advanced flight-deck technologies; reduced weather impact; improved safety, security and environmental performance; and facility transformations.
Marcus Collier, senior vice president of General Dynamics Information Technology, said, “The General Dynamics team – which includes Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, who are among the aerospace industry’s leading aircraft manufacturing and business-aviation service support organizations – is uniquely qualified to deliver innovative and timely solutions to help the FAA quickly achieve NextGen objectives to modernize and upgrade IT infrastructure, systems and equipment for 21st century requirements.”
The General Dynamics team will perform mission-analysis support in such areas as air traffic management automation, airplane design and analysis, avionic systems operations and maintenance, cost-benefit analysis, National Airspace System (NAS) security, large-scale demonstrations and NAS air-traffic facility certification. The company will provide systems integration, development and operations expertise, modeling and simulation, and ground and air-based information and communications systems upgrades.
The FAA’s Air Traffic Control and Next Generation (NextGen) modernization program will require major updates and modernization for aircraft, air traffic control facilities and airport technologies to improve the safety, capacity and efficiency of the country’s airspace.
The General Dynamics team includes General Dynamics Information Technology, General Dynamics C4 Systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and Jet Aviation. In addition, General Dynamics has assembled a strong team of 24 other companies that represent the most skilled experts in air traffic control, aviation and information technology.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 91,200 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at

DTN News: Boeing GPS IIF-1 Satellite Sends 1st Signals From Space

DTN News: Boeing GPS IIF-1 Satellite Sends 1st Signals From Space Source: DTN News / Boeing Dt. May 28, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., - May 29, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] has acquired the first on-orbit signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-1 satellite, the inaugural spacecraft in a 12-satellite constellation that the company is building for the U.S. Air Force. The signals indicate that the spacecraft bus is functioning normally and ready to begin orbital maneuvers and operational testing. A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launched the GPS IIF-1 satellite at 11 p.m. Eastern time on May 27 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 2:33 a.m., the satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage, and a ground station on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean received the first signals from the newest member of the Air Force's GPS satellite constellation. The Air Force 19th Space Operations Squadron and Boeing's Mission Operations Support Center in El Segundo, Calif., confirmed that the satellite is healthy. GPS signals from the spacecraft payload will be turned on for test purposes in the coming weeks. GPS is the U.S. Department of Defense's largest satellite constellation, with 30 spacecraft on orbit. The GPS IIF satellites will provide more precise and powerful signals, a longer design life, and many other benefits to nearly 1 billion civilian and military users worldwide. "The inaugural launch of the GPS IIF-1 is a milestone in Boeing's 30 years of support to the Air Force that goes back to the first days of this program," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The new GPS IIF satellites bring key improvements, including a more jam-resistant military signal, a new civil signal to enhance commercial aviation and search-and-rescue operations, and significantly improved signal accuracy as more of these new satellites go into operation." The GPS IIF-1 satellite will undergo months of on-orbit tests, including functional testing of its payloads and end-to-end system testing to verify operability with older GPS satellites, ground receivers, and the ground control system. Boeing has production of the next 11 GPS IIF satellites well under way as it implements an innovative pulse-line manufacturing approach that will help deliver the satellite fleet on schedule. Adapted from Boeing aircraft and helicopter assembly lines, the Boeing GPS IIF pulse line efficiently moves satellites under development from one work area to the next in a steady, pulse-like rhythm. The second GPS IIF satellite is scheduled for launch later this year. Boeing's legacy with GPS includes development of the current GPS ground control infrastructure, the Operational Control Segment (OCS), which has supported an expanding set of GPS services and capabilities since 2007. Boeing also is a member of the Raytheon team that recently won a contract to build the next version of the ground segment, which will support current and future GPS satellites. 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. Contact: Bob Pickard Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems Office: 310-364-6125 Mobile: 310-343-1211 Angie Yoshimura Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems Office: 310-364-6708 Mobile: 310-227-6568

DTN News: Navistar Defense Receives $61 Million To Support Allied MRAP Needs Vehicles To Operate in Afghanistan

DTN News: Navistar Defense Receives $61 Million To Support Allied MRAP Needs Vehicles To Operate in Afghanistan
Source: DTN News / Navistar Defense, dated May 26, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WARRENVILLE, Ill. - May 28, 2010: Navistar Defense, LLC May 26, completed two foreign military sales worth a total of $61 million for 80 enhanced International® MaxxPro® Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles with DXM™ independent suspension.
The awards from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command include parts and service support. Vehicles will support coalition forces.
“U.S. and coalition forces share a common mission in Afghanistan and we are proud to provide vehicles to support that joint objective,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “We continue to focus on the quick delivery of MaxxPro vehicles to help our U.S. and allied forces complete their missions safely.”
The enhanced MaxxPro Dash with DXM suspension offers vehicle operators a turning radius of 54 inches, approximately 14.5 inches of wheel travel as well as a number of enhanced capabilities. Upgrades have been made to the windows and doors, which continue to utilize an air-hydraulic system to ensure doors function in the most extreme situations.
The company is currently delivering new Dash units with DXM suspension to U.S. Forces and will begin deliveries to several allies at the end of June. Navistar is the leading provider of Category I MRAPs with 7,589 MaxxPro units on contract.
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco® RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at
This opportunity was considered in the updated 2010 guidance given in the April 8, 2010 analyst presentation.
Media Contact: Elissa Koc, 630-753-2669
Investor contact: Heather Kos, 630-753-2406

DTN News: US House Votes Pro-Boeing In Tanker Contest

DTN News: US House Votes Pro-Boeing In Tanker Contest
* Bill would force Pentagon to weigh illegal subsidies
* Marks Boeing victory in race with EADS for tanker deal
* Measure is adopted by lopsided 410 to 8 vote
Source: DTN News / Reuters By Jim Wolf
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - May 28, 2010: The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Boeing Co (BA.N)-backed bill that would force consideration of illegal subsidies in the multibillion-dollar race between Boeing and Europe's EADS (EAD.PA) to sell refueling aircraft to the U.S. Air Force. The lopsided 410 to 8 vote marked a victory for Chicago-based Boeing in its drive for a deal to build an initial 179 tanker aircraft potentially worth up to $50 billion. Companion legislation must be passed by the Senate before it can be signed into law or vetoed by President Barack Obama. Boeing and EADS, the corporate parent of Boeing's commercial archrival, Airbus, are locked in an increasingly bitter race over the U.S. Air Force deal. Boeing earlier this week accused EADS of courting Iran and other countries at odds with the United States and said this should be taken into account in the tanker competition, too. The measure passed by the House would require the Defense Department to consider any "unfair competitive advantage that an offeror may possess" in evaluating bids on major weapons systems. The term "unfair competitive advantage" means a situation in which the cost of development, production, or manufacturing is not fully borne by the offeror for the contract, the amendment to a defense spending bill said. A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel, in a final ruling in March, faulted billions of dollars of European subsidies to Airbus, including, according to U.S. lawmakers briefed on the matter, almost $5 billion used to develop the A330, EADS' tanker frame. [ID:LDE62M2OE] A WTO panel is expected to make an interim ruling by the end of next month on a European Union counter-complaint that Boeing has unfairly benefited from U.S. federal, state and local subsidies. NINE-YEAR SAGA It was not immediately clear how the legislation adopted late Thursday would apply to any WTO finding that Boeing also unfairly gained from subsidies. But any such final ruling may not come soon enough to figure in the tanker saga, which has dragged on for nearly nine years. Bids are due July 9 and the Pentagon has told the bidders to be ready to start work by Nov. 12 if chosen for the deal. This round of competition is the third time the Air Force has sought to start replacing its KC-135 tankers, which average about 50 years old. The first, in 2004, would have been a lease-buy deal with Boeing, but it collapsed after two Boeing officials were convicted of conflict-of-interest violations, one of them the Air Force's former No. 2 arms buyer. A team of EADS and Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) won a 179-plane deal in 2008, but Boeing successfully protested the award, leading to the current round. Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington, one of the measure's sponsors, said Republicans and Democrats could be united in a "simple proposition" as lawmakers considered the measure. "We will never allow foreign competitors to steal American jobs by using illegal subsidies, then reward them by allowing the use of those illegal subsidies to win a contract worth tens of billions of dollars," said Inslee, whose state is home to the Boeing production line for the 767 wide body that would be converted into a tanker. The Defense Department has maintained that it is barred from unilateral retaliatory action for violations of international trade rules. "That is the purview of the WTO," Geoff Morrell, Defense Secretary Robert Gates chief spokesman, said May 13. "If we were to do so, we would then be in violation of WTO rules and subject to disciplinary action." Boeing cheered the vote, saying it was entirely appropriate for lawmakers to take steps to prevent the U.S. defense industrial base "from suffering the same fate as the commercial aircraft industry, where illegal subsidies have contributed to the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. aerospace jobs." "We fully support the efforts of all members of Congress who share our concern about the unfair competitive advantage that EADS/Airbus, a foreign company, gained from decades of illegal launch aid subsidies worth billions of dollars," a Boeing statement said. EADS North American arm, which would be the prime contractor for its Airbus-based tanker, said it believed the Defense Department should be allowed to run "the fair and open competition to which it is committed." "We leave it to the Department to comment on the extent to which this or any legislation impacts that objective," James Darcy, a company spokesman, said by email. The Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Defense Authorization bill, as approved by the House, also included a provision that would bar Pentagon fuel purchases from companies that have been sanctioned for doing business with Iran's energy industry.
(Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Valerie Lee and Lincoln Feast)

DTN News: US House Defies Veto Threat, Funds 2nd F-35 Engine

DTN News: US House Defies Veto Threat, Funds 2nd F-35 Engine
* US House votes to add $485 million next year
* Victory for General Electric, Rolls-Royce
* Senate panel adds no funds
* Presidential veto if necessary to prevent funding
Source: DTN News / Reuters By Jim Wolf
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - May 28, 2010: The U.S. House of Representatives, defying the Pentagon for a fourth straight year and a presidential veto threat, voted to preserve a second engine program for the multinational F-35 fighter jet. The House vote on Thursday contrasted with the Senate Armed Services Committee, which added no funds for the alternate, interchangeable engine in line with Pentagon wishes. The House would provide $485 million next year to continue work on the engine being built by a joint venture of General Electric Co (GE.N) and Rolls-Royce Group Plc (RR.L). Without competition, United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) would have a decades-long monopoly on the projected $100 billion engine market for the more than 3,000 F-35s due to be bought by the United States and partner countries. The issue was among the most contentious in the House's version of a defense spending bill authorizing $567 billion for core Defense Department and Energy Department national security programs in fiscal 2011, which starts Oct. 1. Just hours earlier, the Senate Armed Services Committee went the other way, adding no funds for the second engine in its version of the 2011 Defense authorization bill. Senator Joseph Lieberman, in a statement on the Senate committee's bill adopted on Thursday, said the decision not to fund the alternate engine was a victory for U.S. taxpayers. Sen. Carl Levin, the panel chairman and a second engine backer, is to hold a press conference on Friday to discuss the bill. Levin is on record as saying that he would not fight to preserve the second engine in committee, but would support it when a House-Senate conference meets to merge the companion bills. "I want to do whatever I can to advance it," Levin told Defense Daily, a trade publication, this week. "It may be better to leave it to conference if the House is going to (pass) it." The Defense Department, in response to the House vote, said this was but a step in the process and Defense Secretary Robert Gates would recommend a presidential veto if necessary to prevent funding the second engine. Earlier in the day, the White House budget office said President Barack Obama's senior advisors would recommend a presidential veto of any bill that funded what it called the "extra" engine. General Electric, in a statement, said the vote was a win for competition and a win for U.S. taxpayers. The competitive engine will save $20 billion over the 30-year span of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, it said, citing the non-partisan Government Accountability Office. Pratt & Whitney, the United Technologies unit whose engine is powering the early F-35 production models, said it was pleased with the action in the Senate Armed Services Committee. "We recognize that the legislative process has just begun, and that the issue will continue to be debated for many months," said Erin Dick, a company spokeswoman. The House Armed Services Committee, in its recommendation to the full House, cited a "significant" national-security risk in case of a single engine for the F-35, which is to make up 95 percent of the U.S. tactical fighter fleet. "The Committee believes it is unwarranted to risk grounding our entire fleet and incurring billions of dollars in unnecessary costs by cutting the second engine, particularly when there may be no additional cost over the life of the program," it said last week.
(Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Michael Perry)

DTN News: U.S. Plans For Middle East Missile Shield Take Shape

DTN News: U.S. Plans For Middle East Missile Shield Take Shape
* Middle East approach mirrors Obama's plan for Europe
* Two powerful radars in arc would coordinate defenses
Source: DTN News / Reuters By Adam Entous and Jim Wolf
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - May 28, 2010: The Obama administration is working toward a Middle East missile defense that envisions adding an advanced radar site in a Gulf state to one already in Israel to thwart any Iranian attack, U.S. officials said. The Obama administration has been quietly helping Arab states boost their missile defenses with the goal of tying them into one system. The process could take two or three more years, officials said. The emerging Middle East plan resembles the "phased adaptive approach" President Barack Obama rolled out with much fanfare last September to integrate sea- and land-based missile defenses in and around U.S. NATO allies in Europe. The Middle East buildup has been played down because of Arab sensitivities about U.S. military involvement and skittishness about any military cooperation with Israel, where the United States based a high-powered X-Band radar in 2008 to bolster Israel's missile defenses. U.S. military strategists believe a second high-powered AN/TPY-2 transportable radar in a Gulf state would boost the capabilities of the proposed regional missile umbrella. A candidate country to host it has not yet stepped forward. U.S. officials want the new radar in the Gulf to be positioned in a location that would allow it to work with the AN/TPY-2 radar in southern Israel, which is operated by U.S. personnel. Built by Raytheon Co (RTN.N), the system locks on to targets in their boost, midcourse and terminal phases. "The idea (of a regional security umbrella) has been out there for a while but the specific pieces are now starting to fall into place," a military official said. A diplomat from the region called the approach "plug and play" -- first the building blocks of the system are put in place, then they are linked together and turned on. The only other deployed AN/TPY-2 system was set up in 2006 in Shariki, Japan, as a hedge against missiles that could be fired by North Korea. ACCELERATED BUILDUP The missile defense buildup in Gulf states began under former President George W. Bush. It has accelerated under Obama, who is pushing for a new round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program. Iran says its program is to generate electricity. Officials said linking two X-Band radar sites in the Middle East with Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, anti-missile systems was more a political hurdle than a technical one. At issue, among other things, is cooperation among Arab states that have a long history of mistrust. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first proposed that Washington bring Middle Eastern nations under what she called a security "umbrella" to neutralize any Iranian missile launches. Some U.S. critics assailed her statement as an implicit admission that a nuclear-armed Iran was inevitable. Kenneth Katzman, an expert on regional security issues, said Gulf states had boosted their ability to operate jointly with the Pentagon on increasingly advanced systems. "This has improved the prospects for implementing a long-standing vision of a potential region-wide missile defense system," said Katzman of the Congressional Research Service. The deployments include expanded land-based Patriot defensive missile installations in Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, but the numbers are expected to grow, officials said. Officials said the AN/TPY-2 system worked best when the installations were arrayed along an arc around the perceived threat area. It is unclear which Gulf state might agree to host a second regional X-Band radar, although three or four are viewed as potential candidates. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress in September 2008 of a proposed sale of THAAD units worth up to $7 billion to the United Arab Emirates. The AN/TPY-2 may be configured as part of the THAAD system. The House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee approved last week $65 million as a kind of down-payment on more AN/TPY-2 radars. The provision was added to its version of a 2011 defense bill being debated by the full House. COOPERATION IMPROVES Since the X-Band radar site at Israel's Nevatim air base in the Negev desert is said to be staffed by U.S. forces, rather than Israelis, U.S. officials say a link-up may be acceptable to Arabs who might otherwise balk at cooperating with the Jewish state against Iran's Islamic authorities. The two main radar arrays would mesh other sensors and weapons systems like the Patriot PAC-3 anti-missile. That would let each country detect Iranian missiles at the same time and then choose which systems to go after them, officials said. The shared early warning system could be integrated with U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers equipped with the Aegis ballistic missile defense system in offshore waters. Iran's advances in missile technology and defiance of the United Nations have helped persuade Arab states to work more closely together on missile defenses, officials said. U.S. officials also pointed to signs the perceived Iranian threat has at least in private helped open doors to Israeli-Arab cooperation unimaginable even a few years ago. Israel is already on track to mesh more closely into the U.S. antimissile bulwark, military officials say. Obama's approach is seen as good news for Raytheon, the world's biggest missile maker, and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier. They build much of the hardware on which the new systems rely.
(Editing by Patricia Wilson and Peter Cooney)