Monday, October 31, 2011

DTN News - ASIAN BOOMING ECONOMIES: The Web Of New Alignments In Asia

DTN News - ASIAN BOOMING ECONOMIES: The Web Of New Alignments In Asia DTN Canada Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Outlook

(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - October 31, 2011: On October 4, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai winged out of the darkness louring over

his country to land in India for a two-day visit. A week later, India hosted the Vietnamese President, Truong Tan Sang, and his Myanmarese counterpart Thein Sein in succession. In case you are wondering what prompted the heads of state of these three countries—not occupying much mindspace of ordinary Indians—to come calling on New Delhi, a rebalancing of regional power equations has escaped your notice. In a nutshell, key countries across Asia are currently engaged in the business of forging new alliances. Three crucial factors seem to have sparked off the diplomatic realignment. To begin with, Asia is home to some of the fastest growing economies of the world, and holds out hope of rejuvenating a global economy so palpably destitute of any vim. Yet, ironically, Asia is also the battleground where some of the bloodiest conflicts of the world are being fought. The third factor is the rise of China— economically galloping, occasionally flexing its muscles and generating consternation across the continent.

In this ongoing realignment, India has emerged as a player, a surety of sorts against the vagaries of the future. What has enabled India to carve a niche of its own is its impressive growth over the last 10 years, its inclusive democracy, its growing military might, and the faith the US has reposed in New Delhi’s ability to play a global role. As former ministry of external affairs secretary N. Ravi told Outlook, “It’s not only the familiarity and trust that all these countries have with India but also the fact that our development and growth provides a framework for many of them to use as a model.”

Hamid Karzai’s recent visit best illustrates the vantage position India occupies. With Pakistan-controlled terror groups killing top Afghan leaders and the atmosphere of acrimony enveloping US-Pak relations, a rattled Karzai signed a strategic partnership agreement with India. It was perceived as an attempt to register growing frustration with Islamabad’s reluctance to act against terror groups operating from Pakistani soil against the Karzai regime. It was Karzai’s way of telling Pakistan that it had better accede to his wishes or else run the risk of seeing India emerge as a major player in Afghanistan. To put it mildly, this is anathema to Pakistan, with its cult of ‘strategic depth’, which demands a friendly neighbour in the west so that it can focus on its eastern border with India.

Srinath Raghavan of the Centre for Policy Research provides another reason: “Unlike others, India worked on a stand-alone basis in Afghanistan by talking to the Afghans directly and not through the US or others. Through the agreement, Karzai has recognised India as a long-term and reliable partner.”

If Afghanistan and India have come closer, then so have China and Pakistan. What has prompted Islamabad to seek Beijing as never before is Washington’s refusal to accept Pakistan as the sole arbiter of Afghanistan’s future. Frustrated and angry, Pakistan has been talking tough with the US. Some in the Indian foreign policy establishment feel Pakistan’s bold stance has been at China’s behest. Others, however, feel this could be China’s method of merely testing America’s resolve. Their argument: it isn’t in Beijing’s interest to allow the Pak-US problems to fester beyond a point. It, therefore, might soon ask Pakistan to back off. Their reason? Instability and violence in Afghanistan could spill over into China and impact its growth. Nor would China want to substitute the Americans—and consequently commit its resources—in bolstering Pakistan’s creaking economy. In this game of bluff and bluster, Karzai sees in India an important card to play against Pakistan.

The emerging tapestry of alliances in Asia demands that nations strike a balance among the contending powers.
China’s rise may have emboldened Pakistan, but it’s perhaps just the reverse for Vietnam—it has long felt nervous and vulnerable about Beijing’s hegemonic tendencies in the South China Sea. Last month, Vietnam’s decision to enter into a joint oil exploration project with India in the South China Sea was contested by Beijing, which claims ownership of much of the resources there. No wonder, Vietnam and India have begun to increasingly view each other as strategic partners who are synchronising their steps across many domains—from economic cooperation and trade to capacity building, defence and security. With Vietnamese president Sang by his side, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh harped on the need for the two countries to keep the sea-lanes free and secure.

But the emerging tapestry of alliances demands that countries strike a fine balance among contending powers. It does not mean a “zero sum game”—gains for one country and losses for another. So even as Sang was in India, Vietnam thought it prudent to send the general secretary of its ruling Communist Party to Beijing to engage with leaders there.

The quest to cultivate India saw Myanmarese President Thein Sein land in New Delhi a day after Sang’s departure. From the time Sein was elected president early this year, he has taken some momentous decisions—from releasing dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi to granting greater freedom of operation to opposition parties. Perhaps the most surprising of his decisions was to stop work on the $3.6-billion, Chinese financed Myitsone hydro-electric power project recently. Over the past years, Myanmar has been reaching out to India to nurture options other than China, which enjoys a predominant influence over the leadership there. Again, Myanmar too sent its vice-president to Beijing to explain to its leadership why it has suspended work on the Myitsone project.

Is the inclination of these countries to woo India and yet not alienate China confusing? Raghavan provides the answer: “All the smaller neighbours are expanding their options so that they don’t end up being dominated by any single country. (But) the visit of the three presidents demonstrates that more countries in Asia are now keen to see India play a bigger role in the region, much beyond South Asia.” This strategy suits the Indian foreign policy establishment, which too believes that a growing web of engagement is the best answer to prevent a single power from dominating the region.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: India To Ink $1.2 Billion Deal With US For 6 More Military Transport Aircraft

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: India To Ink $1.2 Billion Deal With US For 6 More Military Transport Aircraft
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - October 30, 2011: India is going to soon ink yet another $1.2-billion deal with the US for six more C-130J " Super Hercules" military transport aircraft, even as the IAF gears up for intensive training on the first six of these aircraft for "special operations".
The Obama administration on Thursday notified the US Congress about the impending sale of the additional six C-130Js to India, along with spare engines, missile warning systems, advanced radar warning receivers, counter-measures dispensing systems and special operations suites.
*C-130J Hercules Tactical Transport Aircrafts
The Lockheed Martin C-130 is the US Air Force principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft. The C-130J Hercules is the latest model, featuring a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller.
The C-130 has been in continuous production since 1954 and more than 2,300 Hercules have been built for 67 countries.
The improvements built into the C-130J, which entered production in 1997, have enhanced the performance of the aircraft in terms of its range, cruise ceiling time to climb, speed and airfield requirements.
A stretched version, the C-130J-30 has been developed and designated the CC-130J by the USAF. The first C-130J-30 for the UK RAF (the launch customer) was delivered in November 1999.
The C-130J entered active service with the USAF at Little Rock Air Force Base in April 2004 and was first deployed in December 2004.
The first combat airdrop for the USAF was in July 2005. The US Air Mobility Command declared initial operating capability for the C-130J in October 2006.
C-130J international orders
1186 C-130J and C-130J-30 aircraft have been ordered and more than 150 delivered. Orders are: US Air Force, Air National Guard, Marine Corps and Coastguard (89 C-130J and C-130J-30 and 20 KC-130J tankers), UK (10 C-130J, 15 C-130J-30 all delivered), Italian Air Force (12 C-130J and 10 C-130J-30 all delivered), Royal Australian Air Force (12 C-130J, all delivered), Kuwaiti Air Force (four C-130J-30) and the Danish Air Force (four C-130J-30 all delivered).
In April 2004, the US Marine Corps formally accepted the first KC-130J tanker / transport into service. The aircraft was first deployed in combat in April 2005 in Iraq. By the end of 2006, 24 aircraft had been delivered.
In December 2006, an additional order was placed for three C-130J-30 for the USAF and one KC-130J for the USMC. The KC-130J was delivered to the USMC in October 2010.
In May 2007, India requested the foreign military sale (FMS) of six C-130J aircraft. The $1.2bn FMS contract was placed in February 2008.
The first C-130J was delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in December 2010 and entered into service in February 2011. The third and fourth C-130Js were delivered in June 2011. The fifth aircraft was delivered in September 2011. Deliveries are scheduled to conclude in October 2011 when the sixth C-130J will be handed over to the IAF.
In November 2007, Norway placed an order for the purchase of four C-130J Super Hercules aircraft under a $519m FMS agreement.
One aircraft was delivered in November 2008 and the second in April 2009. Deliveries concluded in May 2010 with the procurement of the fourth C-130J aircraft.
In January 2008, Canada placed a C$1.4bn order for 17 C-130J aircraft. The first delivery took place in June 2010 at the Canadian Forces Base Trenton. Deliveries are expected to be completed by April 2012.
In June 2008, the USAF ordered six HC/MC-130J special operations variants of the C-130J. The first MC-130J was delivered in March 2011.
In July 2008, the government of Israel ordered nine C-130J-30 aircraft. Under an undefinitized contract action (UCA) signed with the US Government in April 2011, Lockheed Martin will supply an additional C-130J to Israel.
Qatar ordered four C-130J-30 aircraft. The production of the first C-130J-30 aircraft was completed in May 2011 with deliveries scheduled to begin later in 2011. In August 2008, Iraq requested the sale of six C-130J-30 aircraft.
The Sultanate of Oman ordered one C-130J-30 long configuration aircraft in July 2009 for delivery in 2012. In August 2010, Oman ordered two additional C-130J aircraft. Deliveries are slated for 2013 and 2014.
Lockheed Martin signed a contract with Tunisia in March 2010 to supply two C-130J Super Hercules airlifters. These two aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2013 and 2014.
The US Government awarded a $245m FMS contract to Lockheed Martin on 27 May 2010 for supplying three KC-130J refuelling aircraft to Kuwait Air Force. The contract was managed by the US Navy. Deliveries will begin in 2013 and are scheduled for completion in 2014.
The Republic of Korean Air Force (ROKAF) ordered four C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in December 2010. Deliveries will commence in 2014. Lockheed Martin will also provide aircrew and maintenance training for two years.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a $270m contract by the USAF in February 2011 to supply C-130 Aircrew Training Systems (ATS). The contract includes provision of training and instruction services, site management, engineering support and operation and maintenance for aircrew training devices.
In September 2011, CAE was awarded a contract by the US Air Force to design, build and supply four additional full flight simulators for C-130J transport aircraft.
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DTN News - U.S. DRONES NEWS: White House Confirms US Drones In Ethiopia

DTN News - U.S. DRONES NEWS: White House Confirms US Drones In Ethiopia
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - October 30, 2011: The White House says the United States has drones in Ethiopia and that the unmanned aircraft are there to conduct reconnaissance missions, not airstrikes.
Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Friday that the operation is part of the U.S. government's partnership with Ethiopia to promote stability in the Horn of Africa and combat terrorism.
U.S. military officials have confirmed the drones are flying into Somalia, where the government is battling the al-Qaida-Linked militant group al-Shabab.
The drones can be armed with missiles and satellite-guided bombs, but a military spokesman told VOA on Friday the missions are strictly for surveillance purposes.
Authorities say the remote-controlled aircraft are flying from an airfield in the southern Ethiopian city of Arba Minch.
The spokesman also said the drone operation is unrelated to Kenya's ongoing military offensive inside Somalia.
Kenyan troops moved into Somalia two weeks ago in pursuit of al-Shabab militants, who are suspected of kidnapping several foreigners on Kenyan territory.
On Friday, Kenyan and Somali forces captured the town of Burgabo in the Lower Juba region.
Kenyan troops have now moved within 200 kilometers of the port city of Kismayo, the third largest city in Somalia and an economic hub for al-Shabab.

Endurance (Courtesy - Wikipedia)

RQ-4 Global Hawk, a high-altitude reconnaissance UAV capable of 36 hours continuous flight time

Because UAVs are not burdened with the physiological limitations of human pilots, they can be designed for maximized on-station times. The maximum flight duration of unmanned, aerial vehicles varies widely. Internal-combustion-engine aircraft endurance depends strongly on the percentage of fuel burned as a fraction of total weight (the Breguet endurance equation), and so is largely independent of aircraft size. Solar-electric UAVs hold potential for unlimited flight, a concept originally championed by the AstroFlight Sunrise in 1974[61][62][63][64] and the much later Aerovironment Helios Prototype, which was destroyed in a 2003 crash.

Electric UAVs kept aloft indefinitely by laser power-beaming[65] technology represent another proposed solution to the endurance challenge. This approach is advocated by Jordin Kare and Thomas Nugent.

One of the major problems with UAVs is the lack of inflight refueling capability. Currently the US Air Force is promoting research that should end in an inflight UAV refueling capability. The first UAV-UAV refueling flights are expected sometime during the first half of 2012.[66]

One of the uses for a high endurance UAV would be to "stare" at the battlefield for a long period of time to produce a record of events that could then be played backwards to track where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) came from. Air Force Chief of Staff John P. Jumper started a program to create these persistent UAVs, but this was stopped once he was replaced.[67]

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is to sign a contract on building an UAV which should have an enormous endurance capability of about 5 years. The project is entitled "Vulture" and a September 15, 2010 news release indicated DARPA’s Vulture Program Enters Phase II.[68] The developers are certain neither on the design of the UAV nor on what fuel it should run to be able to stay in air without any maintenance for such a long period of time.[69]

Notable high endurance flights
UAVFlight timeDateNotes
QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric336 hours 22 minutes9–23 July 2010[70]
QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric82 hours 37 minutes28–31 July 2008[71]
Boeing Condor58 hours 11 minutes1989The aircraft is currently in the Hiller Aviation Museum, CA.


QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric54 hoursSeptember 2007[73][74]
IAI Heron52 hours ?[75][76]
AC Propulsion Solar Electric48 hours 11 minutesJune 3, 2005[77]
MQ-1 Predator40 hours 5 minutes ?[78]
GNAT-75040 hours1992[79][80]
TAM-538 hours 52 minutesAugust 11, 2003Smallest UAV to cross the Atlantic


Aerosonde38 hours 48 minutesMay 3, 2006[83]
Vanguard Defense Industries2 hours 55 minutes11 February 2011VTOL platform carrying a 18 lb payload.[84]
TAI Anka24 hours30 December 2010[85]

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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News