1) LMs New Multi-Purpose HELLFIRE II Missile(Orlando, FL., August 30, 2010) -- Lockheed Martins [NYSE: LMT] multi-purposeAGM 114R HELLFIRE II missile struck and destroyed a stationary tank target in its thirdproof-of-principle flight test, a ground-launch test configured to simulate launch from anunmanned aerial system (UAS). The R model, or "Romeo" missile, features a multi-purpose warhead that enables a single HELLFIRE missile to cover all of the target sets ofthe currently fielded laser-guided variants.A team consisting of personnel from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army Joint AttackMunitions Systems program office located in Huntsville, AL, conducted the test at EglinAir Force Base, FL. The missile, armed with a live warhead, was fired at a stationaryM60 tank located 6.4 kilometers downrange. Immediately before launch, test equipmentemulating an airborne UAS launch platform sent targeting data and warhead delayselection commands for an armored target to the missile.The missile was launched in lock-on-after-launch mode with a high trajectory to simulatelaunch from a UAS. It used its inertial measurement unit and targeting data to fly to theapproximate location of the target before beginning its search for the laser signalgenerated by the ground-based targeting laser. The missile acquired the laser spot andstruck the target within inches of the laser aimpoint."One of the most noticeable operational enhancements in the AGM-114R missile is thatthe pilot can now select the type of lethality effects while on the move and withouthaving to have a pre-set mission load prior to departure, " said U.S. Army Lt. Col. MikeBrown, HELLFIRE Systems product manager. "This is a big deal in insurgency warfare,as witnessed in Afghanistan where the Taliban are fighting in the open andsimultaneously planning their next attacks in amongst the local populace using fixedstructure facilities to screen their presence. The AGM-114R is currently that one missilethat can service all targets.""The success of this flight test demonstrates that the HELLFIRE Romeo can defeatHELLFIREs toughest target; a heavily armored vehicle," said Ken Musculus, director ofAir-to-Ground Missile System programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control."It can fly to an area before acquiring a target, which enables a high-altitude platform tostrike targets behind it without additional maneuvering, and defeat a tank when it getsthere. Weve worked closely with our customer to develop a next-generation all-in-oneHELLFIRE, and were pleased that were that much closer to getting it into the hands ofthe Warfighter."
1) Inmarsat Announces $1.2bn Investment in Next Generation Ka-band SatelliteNetworkLondon: 6th August 2010 --[ASDWire]-- Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT), the leading provider ofglobal mobile satellite communications services, today announced that it has agreed acontract with The Boeing Company ("Boeing") (NYSE: BA) for the delivery of three state-of-the-art 702HP Ka-band satellites. The Inmarsat-5 constellation will enable Inmarsat toprovide a unique global high speed mobile broadband service offering.With operations expected to start in 2014, Inmarsat-5 will support a next generationglobal service, Global Xpress, which will target a $1.4bn incremental market opportunityin VSAT services. Global Xpress will address the established, growing markets for VSATservices in the Maritime, Energy and Government sectors, with further growth potentialin developing markets such as the Aeronautical sector. Global Xpress will deliverseamless global coverage and unprecedented mobile broadband with speeds up to50MB/s, to customer terminals from 20-60cm in size.Inmarsat will target $500m of annual Ka-band revenues 5 years after global servicelaunch. Under a separate arrangement, Boeing has agreed to become a distributionpartner for both Inmarsats Ka- and L-band services and has pre-committed to capacitypurchases representing more than 10% of Inmarsats target Ka-band revenues in the firstfive years after global service launch.Inmarsat estimates that the total cost of Inmarsat-5 and Global Xpress will be $1.2bnover 4.5 years, incorporating the fixed cost of the satellites, as well as the cost ofadditional ground network infrastructure, product development, launch services andinsurance.Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO of Inmarsat, said: "This is a new investment fornew growth. With the Global Xpress network, we will be the first operator to offer globalmobile broadband coverage, offering unparalleled speeds and bandwidth to customersin remote locations around the world. Global Xpress will be faster and less expensivethan current Ku-band market offerings, delivered to smaller and cheaper terminals andbe the first offered on a seamless, global, end to end basis with high quality of service.Picture 50MB/s services to a ship or aircraft and 10MB/s to an antenna the size of aniPad (20cm).Inmarsat-5 will also complement our existing global L-band services, allowing us to offerunique hybrid packages using both networks, giving users unprecedented levels ofresilience and reliability in remote and harsh environments."Rick Medlock, Inmarsats Chief Financial Officer commented: "We expect the Inmarsat-5programme to be largely funded from our internally generated cash flows and, withsignificant available liquidity today, we see no immediate financing needs. In connection
with the Boeing contract, we are seeking Export Credit Agency financing support fromthe US Ex-Im Bank, which could provide an attractive source of long-term debt. Giventhe multi-year build phase and the strong free cash flow from our existing business, webelieve the peak impact on our ratio of net debt to EBITDA will be less than 0.5.Furthermore, as a result of our investment in Inmarsat-5, we will move to a moregradual replacement of our L-band network, resulting in a deferment of more than$500m of our previously planned replacement expenditure over the next 11 years."2) BAE To Support Special Operations MRAP Vehicle Program(York Pennsylvania, August 2, 2010) -- BAE Systems has received delivery orders from theU.S. Marine Corps Systems Command worth $170 million to produce 32 U.S. SpecialOperations Command (SOCOM) Armored Utility Vehicles (AUV) and provide majorupgrades to existing vehicles. The U.S. SOCOM AUV is one of several Mine ResistantAmbush Protected (MRAP) variants based on the RG33 family of vehicles.To date, BAE Systems has produced nearly 350 SOCOM MRAP vehicles. In total, BAESystems has produced more than 6,400 MRAP vehicles to support urgent needs in Iraqand Afghanistan and through nearly $5 billion in contract awards for the production andservice of MRAP vehicles to date.Upgrades will be performed on nearly 250 SOCOM vehicles to incorporate newindependent suspension systems and other design improvements to ensure superiormobility and performance over rocky and steep terrain. This work demonstrates howBAE Systems support and service capabilities are meeting the current and futurerequirements to protect troops during combat missions."Upgrading the vehicles will provide our forces with the latest vehicle enhancements,"said Ann Hoholick, vice president and general manager of New Vehicles and AmphibiousSystems for BAE Systems. "We will produce 32 new vehicles with the improvementsalready built-in, so the entire fleet of SOCOM vehicles will be fully modernized andupgraded."The MRAP SOCOM vehicles are comprised of several unique features designed to meetthe robust requirements of the Special Operations Command, including a remoteweapon station, swing arm mount and a rear door assist.Production preparations for the new vehicles is beginning at BAE Systems facilities inYork, Pennsylvania; Fairfield, Ohio; and Aiken, South Carolina, and at Spartan MotorsChassis facility in Charlotte, Michigan. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in March 2011and run through July 2011.BAE Systems has built more than 2,200 RG33 MRAP vehicles to date that incorporate
eight different variants, all of which have been successfully fielded in combat zonesacross the globe. The unique adaptability of the base vehicles design has allowed forvariants to include a Heavy Armored Ground Ambulance and an Armored Utility Vehicle.3) US Army Developing “Nanomissile” for Launching Swarms of Smaller SatellitesSmall is the new big. At least according to the U.S. Army who is developing aMultipurpose Nanomissile system — the smallest orbital launch vehicle — for the solepurpose of launching swarms of tiny satellites for various tactical missions. According toFox News, it stands at just a little taller than a basketball hoop, and the rocket’smodularity could make it useful not only as a launch vehicle but potentially a missiledefense target, sounding rocket and hypersonic test vehicle as well. This movereinforces the Army’s mission of developing cheap constellations of spacecraft that canbe easily replaced, as opposed to the Air Force’s MO of building a small number of veryexpensive satellites. So, it’s a small world after all — well at least it is when it comes tothe U.S. Army. Welcome all thoughts and feedback.4) No risk from Irans Russian-built nuclear plant: USWASHINGTON, Aug 21, 2010 (AFP) - The United States sees no "proliferation risk" fromIrans Russian-built first nuclear power plant at Bushehr that was loaded with fuelSaturday, the State Department said.The Russian involvement in the reactor, intended for civilian purposes, "underscores thatIran does not need an indigenous enrichment capability if its intentions are purelypeaceful," State Department spokesman Darby Holladay told AFP."We recognize that the Bushehr reactor is designed to provide civilian nuclear powerand do not view it as a proliferation risk," he said.The reactor, said Holladay, is "under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)safeguards and Russia is providing the needed fuel and taking back the spent nuclearfuel, which would be the principal source of proliferation concerns."A White House official stressed, however, that US views on the Bushehr reactor "shouldnot be confused with the worlds fundamental concerns with Irans overall nuclearintentions, particularly its pursuit of uranium enrichment."After more than three decades of construction delays, engineers on Saturday finallybegan loading the Russia-supplied atomic fuel in the nuclear power plant in thepresence of UN inspectors.Western nations led by Washington suspect that Irans nuclear program masks a
weapons drive, a charge strongly denied by Tehran.Russias supply of fuel to Iran is the "model" that Washington and its P5-plus-onepartners -- permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia andthe United States, plus Germany -- have endorsed, Holladay said.But he added: "It is important to remember that the IAEAs access to Bushehr is separatefrom and should not be confused with Irans broader obligations to the IAEA on thisscore, as the IAEA has consistently reported Iran remains in serious violation of itsobligations."In June, Russia backed a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran over its uraniumenrichment program, the most controversial part of its atomic drive.Iran says it is enriching uranium to power nuclear reactors so they can eventuallygenerate around 20,000 megawatts of electricity.5) Galactic Super-Volcano in Action(August 19, 2010) -- A galactic "super-volcano" in the massive galaxy M87 is erupting andblasting gas outwards, as witnessed by NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory and NRAOsVery Large Array. The cosmic volcano is being driven by a giant black hole in the galaxyscenter and preventing hundreds of millions of new stars from forming.Astronomers studying this black hole and its effects have been struck by the remarkablesimilarities between it and a volcano in Iceland that made headlines early this year.At a distance of about 50 million light years, M87 is relatively close to Earth and lies atthe center of the Virgo cluster, which contains thousands of galaxies. M87s location,coupled with long observations over Chandras lifetime, has made it an excellent subjectfor investigations of how a massive black hole impacts its environment."Our results show in great detail that supermassive black holes have a surprisingly goodcontrol over the evolution of the galaxies in which they live," said Norbert Werner of theKavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at SLAC Linear Accelerator Center,who led one of two papers describing the study. "And it doesnt stop there. The blackholes reach extends ever farther into the entire cluster, similar to how one smallvolcano can affect practically an entire hemisphere on Earth."The cluster surrounding M87 is filled with hot gas glowing in X-ray light, which isdetected by Chandra. As this gas cools, it can fall toward the galaxys center where itshould continue to cool even faster and form new stars.However, radio observations with the Very Large Array suggest that in M87 jets of veryenergetic particles produced by the black hole interrupt this process. These jets lift up
the relatively cool gas near the center of the galaxy and produce shock waves in thegalaxys atmosphere because of their supersonic speed.The scientists involved in this research have found the interaction of this cosmic"eruption" with the galaxys environment to be very similar to that of the Eyjafjallajokullvolcano, which forced much of Europe to close its airports earlier this year.With Eyjafjallajokull, pockets of hot gas blast through the surface of the lava, generatingshock waves that can be seen passing through the grey smoke of the volcano. The hotgas then rises up in the atmosphere, dragging the dark ash with it. This process can beseen in a movie of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano where the shock waves propagating in thesmoke are followed by the rise of dark ash clouds into the atmosphere.In the analogy with Eyjafjallajokull, the energetic particles produced in the vicinity of theblack hole rise through the X-ray emitting atmosphere of the cluster, lifting up thecoolest gas near the center of M87 in their wake, much like the hot volcanic gases dragup the clouds of dark ash. And just like the volcano here on Earth, shockwaves can beseen when the black hole pumps energetic particles into the cluster gas."This analogy shows that even though astronomical phenomena can occur in exoticsettings and over vast scales, the physics can be very similar to events on Earth," said co-author Aurora Simionescu, also of the Kavli Institute. In M87, the plumes of cooler gasbeing lifted upwards contain as much mass as all of the gas contained within 12,000 lightyears of the center of the galaxy cluster. This shows the black hole-powered volcano isvery efficient at blasting the galaxy free of the gas that would otherwise cool and formstars."This gas could have formed hundred of millions stars as massive as our own Sun, if theblack hole had not removed it from the center of the galaxy. That seems like a muchworse disruption than what the airline companies on Earth had to put up with earlierthis year," said Evan Million, a graduate student at Stanford University and lead-authorof the second paper to be published about this deep study of M87.The eruption in M87 that lifted up the cooler gas must have occurred about 150 millionyears earlier, but a smaller eruption only about 11 million years earlier produced theshock wave. The Chandra image was based on an observation lasting almost 7 days. X-ray data from ESAs XMM-Newton was also used in this study.The two papers describing these results appeared in the journal of the Monthly Noticesof the Royal Astronomical Society. NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville,Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASAs Science Mission Directorate inWashington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandras science andflight operations from Cambridge, Mass.
6) Upgraded Surveillance Aircraft Arrive in Afghanistan(August 23, 2010) -- Upgraded Desert Hawks - hand-launched, remote-controlledsurveillance aircraft which can record video footage day and night, sending it directly totroops on the ground - arrived in Afghanistan this weekend.The latest version of the Desert Hawk has been bought as part of a GBP3m UrgentOperational Requirement to provide a further boost to the surveillance capability on thefront line.The Desert Hawks cameras have been upgraded, giving a huge improvement to imageclarity and stability. It also has a new wing design which improves its performance in thehot and high conditions of Afghanistan.The aircraft is just 91cm long, with a wingspan of 137cm, but it can fly for 90 minuteswith a range of nine miles (14km).Desert Hawk is operated in Afghanistan by 47 Regiment Royal Artillery. It is light andeasily transportable by patrols, weighing about 3.7kg. It can be dispatched in tenminutes and is virtually undetectable once it is in the air.Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said:"Continuing to support this capability demonstrates our commitment to ensuring thattroops on the front line get the cutting-edge equipment to help them in the fight againstthe insurgents."The improved Desert Hawk is a remarkable piece of kit. It provides a detailed picture ofwhat is happening on the ground for our troops, giving them an operational advantageand keeping them safer."Staff Sergeant Dan Gardner from 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, who recently used DesertHawk on operations in Afghanistan, said:"Desert Hawk provides an eye in the sky that has become indispensable to troops on theground in Afghanistan."The fact that it is hand-launched and lightweight means we get a very quick andthorough appraisal of the tactical situations faced on operations."It is used in a variety of roles, including reconnaissance and surveillance of troops andpatrols, and it provides valuable situational awareness to commanders of troops incontact with the enemy."
Duncan Robbins, programme manager for mini-unmanned air vehicle systems at theMODs Defence Equipment & Support organisation, said:"Recent technology advances have resulted in front line troops getting crystal-clearimagery from the cameras now being introduced."General improvements in Desert Hawk 3 introduced by Lockheed Martin allow it tooperate more effectively in difficult conditions and provide our soldiers with greatersituational awareness in a timely manner."These air vehicles are essential in delivering highly flexible and responsive intelligence,surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance [ISTAR] to soldiers on the front line."Desert Hawk is one part of the range of ISTAR assets that are operated by the RoyalNavy, Royal Air Force and Army to support our forces in Afghanistan. The ISTAR aircraftsystems supporting troops in Afghanistan include:--Sentinel aircraft and radar system which provides wide area detailed surveillance ofground movements.--Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado GR4, RAPTOR, which can read the time onBig Ben in London from the Isle of Wight.--Reaper, Desert Hawk and Hermes 450 remotely-piloted aircraft which provide tacticallevels of surveillance direct to troops on the ground.The RAFs combat ISTAR assets like Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft and Tornado GR4can provide detailed surveillance for ground forces but can also deliver an armedresponse should it be required.7) UK Awards LM $5 M for Desert Hawk III UAS (Denver, August 24, 2010) -- The United Kingdoms Ministry of Defence awardedLockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $5.1 million contract for additional Desert Hawk IIIunmanned aircraft vehicles.Desert Hawk IIIs improved payloads maximize target detection and recognition byproviding 360-degree -- daytime and nighttime -- coverage in a common turret package.These latest generation payloads also include a Lockheed Martin-developed navigationsystem that delivers more refined target position information and superior imagestability to the troops.Awarded by the MoDs Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organization, the latestcontract calls for Lockheed Martin to deliver the Desert Hawk III air vehicles -- which as aresult of ongoing obsolescence management and technology advancements in this area
feature enhanced 360-degree infrared and 360-degree, 10-times zoom electro optics --by Fall 2010."We are extremely pleased with the enhanced capability that these new payloads bringto Desert Hawk III and the British Army," said Duncan Robbins, program manager formini-UAV systems, UK MOD DE&S. "Desert Hawks latest enhancements allow it tooperate more effectively in difficult conditions and provide our soldiers with greatersituational awareness in a very timely manner.""The battle-proven Desert Hawk III can operate in high winds, extended altitude andextreme temperatures, making it very effective in areas such as Afghanistan," said MarkSwymeler, a vice president for Lockheed Martins Ship and Aviation Systems line ofbusiness. "Unlike some other UAVs, it is extremely quiet and virtually undetectablebeyond 150 meters."Equipped with steerable, plug-and-play imaging payloads, the Desert Hawk has providedthe British Army with greater situational awareness capabilities in Afghanistan since2006.The eight-pound Desert Hawk III features an open architecture environment and consistsof a light weight, hand-launched, ruggedized air vehicle with snap-on Plug andPlayloadsTM, a portable ground station and a remote video terminal. The snap-onpayload capability allows a single operator to swap sensors on the air vehicle in less thanone minute to meet immediate and rapidly changing mission requirements.8) Embraer Reveals Discussions on Partnership With Chilean Aeronautics Industry forKC-390 (Sao Jose dos Campos, August 24, 2010) -- Embraer took part in a ceremony, today, inSantiago, Chile, where the Brazilian and Chilean Defense Ministers signed a Declarationof Intention for that countrys participation in the program of the KC-390 militarytransport jet. Based on this agreement, Chiles National Aeronautical Enterprise(Empresa Nacional de Aeronautica - ENAER) becomes engaged in the discussions aboutthe development of the airplane and in supplying part of its structure. The declarationalso marks the beginning of negotiations regarding the future acquisition of six KC-390aircraft to equip the Chilean Air Force (FACH)."We recently received an unmistakable show of support for the KC-390 from theBrazilian government, with the declaration of intention for an initial acquisition of 28 ofthe aircraft by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). We are very pleased to have Chile join is inthis program," said Orlando Jose Ferreira Neto, Embraer Executive Vice President,Defense Market. "We have an excellent relationship with ENAER, and we hope to see itgrow even more via this partnership that not only reveals the high regard of the Chileangovernment for the KC-390, which we consider to be a winning product, but also shows
our mutual interest in integrating the defense industrial bases of both countries."The successful partnership between Brazil and Chile dates back to the 90s, when ENAERbegan to stand out as a supplier of structures for the 50-seat ERJ 145 regional jet,manufactured by Embraer. In 2008, the FACH ordered 12 Super Tucano airplanes byEmbraer for pilot tactical training missions, all of which have been delivered and are inoperation."We are very pleased and proud to see that the quality of the work done by ourpersonnel is being recognized, thus allowing use to participate in this new and relevantprogram for producing an aircraft like the KC-390," satated ENAERs CEO, General PedroBascunan. "Participating in the project brings benefits not only to Embraer and ENAER,but also to both nations, by generating jobs and boosting industrial development. Thepossibility of working together on the KC-390 program comes as an importantalternative for stimulating the manufacture of aeronautical structures in our facilities.We are grateful for the interest show by Embraer in working with us, every time theybegin developing new aircraft, whether civilian, commercial, or military."9) Sochi Summit Marks the Start of Russias Return to Dominance in the Northern Tierand the US Withdrawal.The recently concluded Sochi Summit has highlighted the return of Russia to aprominent, even strategically dominant, position in the Northern Tier, as the USAdministration of President Barack Obama accepts the change.On August 18, 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted in Sochi a summit onthe long-term posture in South Asia with the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, andTajikistan. This was the second meeting of the four leaders. The previous meeting washeld in Dushanbe in the Autumn of 2009. The declared focus of the Sochi summit wason efforts to stabilize the region in the long-term and jointly confront the spread ofnarco-terrorism.[Originally, the summit was to include also the acting President of Kyrgyzstan given thecentrality of the Fergana Valley to the crisis. However, with the growing instability inBishkek and the Kremlins fury over the August 13, 2010, decision by the interimGovernment to deprive former President Askar Akaev of his immunity status in violationof signed agreements to the contrary and immediately after the same interimgovernment had invited Akaev to return and help stabilize Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was notinvited to participate in the Sochi summit.]Medvedev also held bilateral talks with each of the presidents. Medvedev toldPakistans Asif Ali Zardari that Russia was going to increase its assistance to Pakistan tohelp deal with the floods.
"This is a severe disaster which caused many deaths and unfortunately brought greatdamage. We mourn with you and are ready to provide assistance to the Pakistanipeople. You can count on us," Medvedev said. A second Russian Il-76 cargo aircraft withemergency relief was dispatched to Islamabad.In the meeting with Afghanistans Hamid Karzai, Medvedev hailed the markedimprovement in the bilateral relations. "There are all grounds to state major progress inrelations between the two countries," Medvedev noted. "Russia is ready to developeconomic ties with Afghan partners." (The key issues regarding Afghanistan werediscussed by all four presidents.) Medvedevs bilateral meeting with TajikistansEmomali Rakhmon was pro forma only because Rakhmon was to stay in Russia for athree-day official visit.The summit plenary session focused on fighting terrorism and drugs spreading fromAfghanistan. Special focus was put on Russias willingness to assume a greater role inthe dynamics of this volatile region. Medvedev emphasized that this was the secondsummit of the four. "This is very good, this is a normal, working regional format, and themore consultations we have the better it is," he said.Medvedev articulated Russias approach to the regional challenge. "We would like tocontinue cooperating in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking and international crime.Thats why everything we discussed earlier could be continued, even though there is agood political dialogue, it is very important to develop economic ties," Medvedev said. "Ihope that we will be able to continue discussing this issue now in terms of bilateraleconomic cooperation and four-party cooperation in a number of projects."Toward this end, Medvedev proposed to rejuvenate and modernize numerous bilateraland multilateral social and economic projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistanlaunched during the Soviet era. "Resolution of a number of social issues depends on theextent to which we will be able to restart these [social and economic] processes,"Medvedev explained. The Kremlin would like to focus first on a number of Soviet-eraprojects in energy and social development that proved successful at the time. "I believeit would be a good idea to revisit them so as to add momentum to economicdevelopment and tackle a number of pressing issues," Medvedev argued.In Afghanistan alone, Kremlin officials note, Russia is already involved in efforts torefurbish more than 140 Soviet-era installations, such as hydroelectric stations, bridges,wells, and irrigation systems. These deals are worth more than $1-billion. The summitagreed that Russia would also spearhead the World Bank-sponsored program to vastlyexpand the hydro-electric dams in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in order to supply surpluselectricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The summit also announced plans to build ahighway and a railroad from Pakistan to Tajikistan, thus connecting into the all-CISrailway system.
In the plenary meeting, Karzai sought anew Medvedevs long-term help. "Afghanistanwill need the support of friends and from great countries like Russia," Karzai said.In response, Medvedev noted that the Kremlin was interested in bolstering Karzaisability to sustain power after the US withdrawal in the context of the Afghan-Pakistanipeace plan. Addressing the problems of Afghanistan amounted to "discussing allregional problems, including domestic ones", Medvedev noted.The key to resolving the precarious domestic political situation in Afghanistan lay inbolstering "the Kabul process" - the transfer of all responsibility for both the securitysituation in the country and the international assistance to "the Afghan authorities"."Russia fully supports Afghan efforts to restore civil peace in the country," Medvedevsaid. Russia "naturally supports the Afghan governments fight against terrorism, and [is]ready to provide any help needed to tackle the problem."Medvedev stressed Moscows apprehension that a Taliban return to power woulddestabilize Central Asia entirely and threaten Russias own security. Medvedevreiterated that resolving Afghanistans narco-terrorism problem required stronginternational cooperation. "Its our common problem, a problem for all countries of theregion, and we must take consistent and coordinated actions," he said.In response to specific requests from the other three presidents, Medvedev promised toaccelerate and expand helicopter -- especially Mi-17 and Mi-35 -- production in Russia inorder to make more helicopters available for export to the region. In a subsequentmeeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the possible delivery of 27Russian Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan."We are talking about a couple of dozen helicopters with the relevant equipment. Ihope that in a month or month and a half there will be more clarity on the issue," Lavrovsaid.Lavrov explained that Russia was ready to deliver the first three helicopters for free inorder to address Afghanistans urgent problems. The other 24 helicopters would be partof the Russian dialog with NATO over cooperation in Afghanistan. "We handed ourproposals about how we would carry out the initiative to Brussels a few months ago. Weare now waiting for a definite answer from our partners," Lavrov said.The summit also included expanded meetings with senior officials from the fourcountries. These were Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian presidential aideSergei Prikhodko, director of the Second Asian department of the Russian ForeignMinistry Zamir Kabulov and his deputy Alexei Dedov; Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifiand the State Adviser on Foreign Policy to the President Erkin Rakhmatullaev formTajikistan; Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, the presidential national security adviser
Rangin Dadfar Spanta, the charge daffaires ad interim in Russia Hafizullah Ebadi fromAfghanistan; and Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, First Deputy ForeignMinister Salman Bashir, Deputy Foreign Minister Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, and theAmbassador to Moscow Mohammad Khalid Khattak from Pakistan.More than anything, the Sochi summit signified the return of Russia to South Asia as amajor power.This was the beginning of implementation of the Kremlins decision earlier this (2010)summer to commit to long-term active involvement in the resolution of regionalproblems and challenges. The Kremlin was concerned by the spread of drugs and narco-funded terrorism, insurgency, violence and instability from Afghanistan via Central Asiainto the heart of Russia.The Kremlin concluded that only a comprehensive plan which not only recognized theimperative to resolve Afghanistans security and governance problems, but alsoaddressed the issue of drugs-funded separatism, secessionism, and narco-terrorism atthe Heart of Asia and the Greater Black Sea Basin as a major policy issue, had a chanceof evolving into a tangible success.Toward this end, the Kremlin embarked on a major initiative to secure long-terminternational commitment to resolving Afghanistans endemic narcotics problem, whichmeant consolidating a stable form of governance and thus eliminating the consequencesof the region-wide narco-funded terrorism and destabilization.On June 9-10, 2010, the Kremlin convened in Moscow the international Afghan DrugProduction: a Challenge to the International Community forum as the launch of theinternational drive to resolve Afghanistans long-term challenges. Senior officials fromall Central and South Asian states announced in the forum their governments wholehearted support for the Russian initiative. Thus, the Sochi summit should therefore beconsidered the beginning of Russias return to the region, significantly as a welcomedmajor power leading the implementation of long-term policies.In the aftermath of the summit, Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko summed upits outcome. The Kremlins original objective was for the four presidents "to discuss theissues in the political, trade, economic and other fields that are pressing for theparticipants".This objective was achieved, given that the presidents discussed and committed to "thestepping up of regional cooperation in the efforts to assist the stabilization of thesituation in Afghanistan and on the Afghan-Pakistani border, with the participation ofauthoritative organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization andCollective Security Treaty Organization".
Prikhodkos description of the summit outcome amounts to announcing anew Russiasreturn to the region as a dominant power while virtually ignoring - but not challengingor confronting - the United States.Overnight on August 18-19, 2010, the United States reacted to the Sochi summit. PhilipJ. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said that the US Barack ObamaAdministration welcomed Russias cooperation with Afghanistan and Pakistan in view ofthe US own limited capabilities."Afghanistan and Pakistan are both countries with profound needs," Crowley said. "Andthe United States cannot meet these needs by itself."At the same time, Crowley explained, the Obama Administration has "a regionalstrategy for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Russia can play an important role alongwith other countries in the region. So we welcome this kind of interaction and wewelcome the international commitment by Russia and other countries that isrepresented by this meeting," Crowley said.The Obama Administrations reluctant and conditional welcome of the Russian return toSouth Asia nevertheless constitutes a major shift in US policy.As late as the early June forum in Moscow, US senior officials acknowledgedWashingtons reluctance to commit to the eradication of Afghanistans poppy cultivationand narco-economy, as well as objection to Russia or anybody else assuming this rolefor fear of engendering popular hostility and alienating the Kabul leadership.However, with the US preparing to disengage from the region, and a Kabul-Islamabad-Taliban arrangement on the future of Afghanistan all but inevitable, the presence ofRussia, given its commitment to fighting narco-terrorism and jihadism, no longer seemsso threatening.Hence, while Crowley formally welcomed a Russian participation in implementingObamas regional strategy, both Moscow and Washington seem cognizant that no suchstrategy exists.Committed to disengaging from South Asia, the Obama Administration is suddenlydiscovering that a long-term Russian commitment to cooperation with the regionsstates might, after all, ameliorate the profound consequences of the US hastydeparture, and consequently even contribute to the Obama Administrations ownpolitical interests.
1) ICBM Test Launches Showcase Global Strike Capabilities of USA(Barksdale AFB, La., July 29, 2010) -- Two Global Strike Command missile crews launchedMinuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test vehicles June 16 and 30, respectively,at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.Missile maintenance and operational task forces from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., andMalmstrom AFB, Mont., combined with the 576th Flight Test Squadron at VandenbergAFB to launch the missiles.The launches give the crews a unique training opportunity to turn the launch keys thatsend an actual missile rocketing into the sky, said Capt. Isaac Earnhart, the 341stOperations Support Squadron missile combat crew commander..The process is careful and deliberate, officials said."You dont get a second chance with an ICBM test launch," said Mr. Richard Serrano, the576th FLTS instrumentation laboratory team chief. "You have to do it right the first time."A successful launch is also a moment of pride for the missile maintenance team, saidTech. Sgt. Robert Houck, the 341st MMXS missile handling team chief."It shows what we work on is still a vital weapons system," he said. "Theres a certainpride in ownership in knowing they put it together and watched it take off.""Every flight test provides valuable experience to the crews and an evaluation of themissiles accuracy and reliability in its intended operational environment," said Col. CarlDeKemper, the 576th FLTS commander. "These launches are part of a continuous self-assessment of our proficiency."The final launch sequence begins years earlier, as pre-determined criteria are used tocarefully select a missile from the field and then transport it hundreds of miles toVandenberg AFB for processing by the 576 FLTS, said Capt. Douglas Carmean, the 576FLTS chief of ICBM test operations."The process requires deposturing a missile on alert after months of detailed monitoringand shipping the 60,000-lb. missile nearly half the length of the country," said Capt.Earnhart, Malmstrom AFBs missile combat crew commander.Once it has been transported, all missile components are individually inspected, testequipment is installed and all components are reunited at the launch facility to onceagain take the shape of a flight-ready missile, said 1st Lt. Jared Hostetler, the 341stMissile Maintenance Squadron mechanical flight commander.
Teams from the operational missile bases come to Vandenberg and assemble the missileas they would at their home bases, he said. The test launches validate maintenancetechnicians skills from the operational wings, he said.Prior to the launch, members of the missile crew are certified by undertaking intensivesimulated test launches, Mr. Serrano said.Launch day is like the Super Bowl to the missile community -- a rare opportunity to seethe pay-off all of the preparation, Captain Earnhart said.Another Minuteman III launch is scheduled from Vandenberg Sept. 15, by a missile taskforce from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D.2) USA to Sell MK-48 Torpedo Conversion Kits for Netherlands(Washington, July 29, 2010) -- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notifiedCongress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to The Netherlands of 40 MK- 48 Mod7 Advanced Technology (AT) Torpedo Conversion Kits and associated equipment, parts,training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $150 million.The Government of The Netherlands has requested a possible sale of 40 MK- 48 Mod 7Advanced Technology (AT) Torpedo Conversion Kits, 40 containers, support and testequipment, spare and repair parts, weapon system support and integration, publicationsand technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S.Government and contractor engineering and technical, and logistics support services,and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $150 million.This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of theUnited States by helping to improve security of a NATO ally which has been, andcontinues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress inNorthern Europe.The sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in theregion.The Netherlands desire to upgrade its current stock of MK 48 Mod 4 torpedoes to theMK 48 Mod 7 AT model. The Netherlands intend to use the MK 48 Mod 7AT Torpedo onits Walrus Class submarines. The Netherlands has significant experience in maintainingand supporting advanced torpedoes, such as the MK 48 Mod 4/4M and MK 46 5A(S)Wmodels, and the current infrastructure will require minimal updates. The Netherlandswill have no difficulty absorbing the MK 48 Mod 7 AT into its inventory.Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional
U.S. Government or contractor representatives to The Netherlands. ContractorEngineering and Technical Services (CETS) may be required on an interim basis forinstallations.3) THAAD Radar Performs Successfully in Missile Defense Test(Tewksbury, Mass., July 26, 2010) -- The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)radar built by Raytheon Company performed successfully in the latest integrated THAADflight test. The test, conducted by the Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin,(NYSE: LMT) THAAD prime contractor and system integrator, occurred at the PacificMissile Range Facility in Hawaii June 29, 2010.The test marks the seventh successful intercept of a threat-representative target. TheTHAAD radar, also known as the AN/TPY-2 mobile X-band radar, achieved all testobjectives: acquiring the target, discriminating the lethal object, providing track anddiscrimination data to the fire control, and communicating with the in-flight THAADinterceptor.The fire control software, jointly developed by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, alsoperformed successfully, engaging the target and initializing the launch sequence."This test again demonstrates the exceptional performance of Raytheons AN/TPY-2radar as the critical sensor for the THAAD Weapon System," said Karen Kalil-Brown, vicepresident, National & Theater Security Programs for Raytheon Integrated DefenseSystems.The THAAD radar played a critical role in acquiring, tracking and discriminating the lethalobject in support of the low endo-atmospheric (inside the earths atmosphere)intercept. The test represents another successful demonstration of the performance ofthe fully integrated THAAD systems radar, launcher, interceptor and fire control in itstactical configuration.The AN/TPY-2 is a phased array, capable of search, threat detection, classification,discrimination and precision tracking at extremely long ranges.THAAD is a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, providing deployableground-based missile defense components that deepen, extend and complement thesystem to defeat ballistic missiles of short to intermediate range. THAADs combinationof high-altitude, long-range capability and hit-to-kill lethality enables it to effectivelynegate the effects of weapons of mass destruction over a wide area.4) Boeing Delivers 1st Super Hornet Featuring HAL Gun Bay Door
(St. Louis, July 26, 2010) -- Boeing on July 20 delivered to the U.S. Navy the first F/A-18Super Hornet featuring a gun bay door manufactured by India-based HindustanAeronautics Limited (HAL).HAL manufactures the doors at its facility in Bangalore, India.The gun bay door contract is the first military contract between Boeing and HAL. It is adirect result of Boeings industrial participation commitment to India, which includescreating jobs with indigenous companies. The two companies also work together onprojects for the P-8I multi-mission maritime aircraft and for the commercial Boeing 777airplane.The Boeing F/A-18IN Super Hornet is a competitor in Indias Medium Multi-Role CombatAircraft Competition. Thoughts5) Germany Considers Defence CutsThe German government is taking measures to cut costs where possible in order toreduce its federal debt and consolidate the budget, with potentially severeconsequences for defence. A letter from the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry ofFinance has indicated the sums to be saved in the budgetary cycle of 2011 to 2014amount to a total of EUR 4.3 billion (US $5.28 billion).Programmes which may be affected include the EC655 Tiger (UHT variant) multi-role firesupport helicopter as well as the NH90 tactical transport helicopter, both produced byEADS Eurocopter division. The A400M Military Heavy Airlifter, the Eurofighter Typhoon,and the Tornado Interdictor Strike Aircraft (IDS) are other Luftwaffe platforms that willlikely be impacted.The A400M programme has been criticised by many high level officials, includingDefence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. This project, in conjunction withthe NH90 transport helicopter programme and the Tiger attack helicopter programme,has proved to be a source of growing frustration on account of excessive delays andspiralling costs. Luftwaffe observers predict that the A400M order may be furtherreduced on cost grounds, possibly resulting in one of the two planned wings beingclosed.The Eurofighter Typhoon fleet is unlikely to be extended beyond the 137 aircraftcontracted up to and including the Tranche 3A variant. As of March 2010, the Luftwaffehad accepted only 48 into service.A total of 85 Luftwaffe Tornados in both ECR (Electronic Combat andReconnaissance) and IDS variants are undergoing an upgrade in the latest phase of theEADS Avionics System Software Tornado Ada (ASSTA) programme. However, this number
may now be reduced at a date sooner than previously expected.The acquisition of the Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS) and the HerkulesInformation Technology modernisation and outsourcing project are also consideredvulnerable in this current climate.Of the 42 NH90s on order for the Luftwaffe, deliveries of the CSAR (Combat Search andRescue) variant were progressively cut back from 23 to just 12 helicopters. German CSARcapability now rests with the Army’s upgraded Sikorsky CH-53GS heavy-lift helicopter.The Luftwaffe hoped to field a CSAR capability by 2014, but with the specifics of theLuftwaffe CSAR requirement now uncertain, it is possible the mission will remain withthe Army, leaving the Luftwaffe NH90s to operate in the conventional search and rescue(SAR) and utility roles.It has been decided to phase out the fleet of six Type 206A submarines, which wouldfocus the Navy’s submarine service on four Type 212A boats. The operation of 10 143Afast attack craft is also under review.6) France and Italy to Cut Defence BudgetsFrench media reports that a three-year cut of perhaps $5 billion is under considerationfor the defence budget. That is on top of the long-anticipated progamme review.The French Defence Ministry is preparing for a reduction of 2 billion euros to 3 billioneuros in the best case and 4.8 billion euros in the worst over the next three years. Theactual figures will only be known in mid-June, when the prime minister’s office sendsout budget letters that set spending caps for each government department.The Defence Ministry has experienced two years of budgetary buoyancy, withequipment spending in 2010 set at 17 billion euros out of a total budget of 32.2 billioneuros, excluding pensions. The 33 billion euro budget for 2009 included 18 billion forequipment.In Italy, a 10 percent cut is additional to defence budget reductions executed in 2009 and2010 and those planned for 2011. Maintenance and operations spending was alreadyplanned to decline by 20 percent in 2011.The Italian cuts package could threaten the Industry Ministry top-up funds long used toprotect defence procurement from dwindling budgets. The 10 percent cuts would affectthe Industry Ministry from 2011, which is when a number of funding streams from theministry for defence programmes terminate and require renewal if the procurementsare to be completed.Funding for the Frecia (armoured vehicle) expires in 2011, yet funds are required
through to 2014. FREMM (frigates) funding from the ministry also expires in 2011 yet isneeded until 2016 or 2017. Eurofighter funds from the Industry Ministry expire in 2012but are required until 2017.
1) 6 New Boeing Super Hornets Join RAAF Fleet(RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, July 7, 2010) -- Six new Boeing [NYSE: BA] F/A-18FSuper Hornets arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 6,expanding the RAAFs fleet to 11 next-generation, multi-role air combat aircraft.The RAAFs first five Super Hornets arrived in Australia on March 26."With the arrival of these six new Super Hornets, we will continue to broaden ourtraining as we prepare to achieve Initial Operational Capability later this year," saidGroup Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing, which includes the SuperHornet and F-111 aircraft. "Our aircrews and support teams continue to be veryimpressed with the Super Hornets remarkable capabilities, performance and reliability."Australia announced in March 2007 that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block IIversions of the Super Hornet, all of which are equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. Boeing will deliver Australias 24thSuper Hornet in 2011. The first 11 were delivered ahead of schedule and on budget."The Super Hornets proven technologies -- including its fully integrated AESA radar,advanced sensors, two-engine design and network-centric data-sharing environment --are providing the RAAF with a broad spectrum of new capabilities," said Carolyn Nichols,Australian Super Hornet program manager for Boeing. "The RAAF Super Hornets enablethe two crew members to conduct simultaneous air and ground operations withunprecedented situational awareness."The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every missionin the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guidedweapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritimestrike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has deliveredmore than 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has beendelivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget.2) GBP189 M for New Equipment in Afghanistan Announced(July 7, 2010) -- The Government is providing GBP189M from the Treasury Reserve fornew equipment for UK troops in support of operations in Afghanistan, Defence SecretaryDr Liam Fox has announced today.This additional funding will be used to buy a range of base protection equipment,including surveillance equipment, communications equipment and logistics equipment.It will enable UK forces to continue to increase the number of bases in theatre as theforce thickens in central Helmand, and to partner the Afghan security forces more
effectively.Together with the GBP67M for the counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED)campaign announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2010, this totals GBP256M(GBP189M and GBP67M) of Reserve funding allocated to equipment since the beginningof June 2010.This extra funding will allow the Ministry of Defence to equip an increase in the numberof specialist C-IED teams and reflects the continuing move towards partnering theAfghan National Army and Police and the thickening of our force across the area ofoperations.As the Secretary of State for Defence has made clear, countering the IED threat faced byour forces in Afghanistan is a top priority for the new Government. He said:"There are real challenges; the threat does not stand still and nor does our response."I will make sure that everything possible is done to ensure that our forces have whatthey need to deal with this indiscriminate threat."They deserve nothing less. As I have seen during my visits they are doing fantastic workin Afghanistan in support of the UKs national security."The Secretary of State has also made it clear when looking to the future that when theAfghan security forces have been sufficiently trained to take control, our troops canwithdraw:"...our forces are making progress. In Helmand, the heartland of the insurgency, sixdistricts were under government control in 2008 - now 11 out of 14 are."We are also ahead of target in training the Afghan National Security Forces. As soon asthey are able to keep their country secure our forces can come home."The equipment package for operations and pre-deployment training includes thefollowing:-- Base equipment (GBP158M) including:- secure communications systems;- ground-based ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance)systems to protect bases.-- Dismounted Close Combat equipment (GBP19M) including:
- Osprey body armour and helmets;- weapons systems including light and heavy machine guns and combat shotguns;- weapon sights and night vision equipment.-- Other (GBP12M) including:- additional MAN logistics support vehicles modified for use in Afghanistan (equippingexisting vehicles to Theatre Entry Standard to allow them to deploy).The C-IED equipment package announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2010(GBP67M) includes:-- Mastiff protected mobility vehicles;-- remote-controlled vehicles;-- specialist IED disruptive and exploitation equipment;-- highly trained military working dogs.These additional resources are aimed at dealing both with the IED threat of today whilstlooking to the future by partnering with the Afghans, to whom responsibility for securitywill be transferred.3) USAF Awards Raytheon $12.6 M HMIT Contract(Farnborough, England, July 19, 2010) -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded RaytheonCompany (NYSE: RTN) a $12.6 million contract for Phase 1 integration and qualificationof the Helmet Mounted Integrated Targeting (HMIT) system for Air Force and AirNational Guard A-10C and F-16C Block 30/32 aircraft.HMIT will be a "heads-up" system that displays crucial information in high-resolutioncolor imagery directly in the pilots field of vision. Information displayed will includeweapons-cueing, targeting and situational awareness information, including data fromon-board and remote sensors. The system will track helmet movement to displayaccurate imagery regardless of the direction the pilots head is turned, and it will be fullycompatible with U.S. military-standard airborne night vision systems.Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC (RTSC), the prime contractor, is teamed withGentex Corp. to produce the system, based on Gentexs Visionix Scorpion(tm) HelmetMounted Cueing System. The program includes five one-year production options, with apotential total value up to $50 million."The HMIT contract is a natural extension of our work designing and integratingadvanced electronic display systems into fixed- and rotary-wing military aircraft," saidRTSC Customized Engineering and Depot Support Vice President Wayne Iurillo. "Thepurpose of these new display systems is to give pilots the information they need, when
and where they need it, so they can accomplish their missions. Weve proven we can dothat quickly, reliably and cost-effectively, with minimum downtime and minimalmodification to the aircraft."4) Raytheon Awarded $55 M to Deliver TOW Missiles to Saudi Arabia(Farnborough, England, July 18, 2010) -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) received a $55million contract to deliver TOW (Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wireless-Guided) 2ARadio Frequency missiles to the U.S. government as part of a foreign military sale toSaudi Arabias National Guard."TOW RF missiles are tremendous weapons because of their high mobility, rapidresponse and close-fire support capabilities," said Jim Riley, Raytheons vice president ofLand Combat. "This missile can give soldiers at the lowest tactical echelon immediate,precision firepower."TOW RF missiles include an RF transmitter added to the missile case and an RF receiverlocated inside the missile. Since no launcher modifications were required for thetransition to wireless, this growth in capability is transparent to TOW customers."On todays battlefield, potential targets are hiding in caves, behind boulders or in themountains," said Shawn Ball, Raytheons TOW international business developmentmanager. "TOW RF missiles are more than capable of taking out these kinds of targets.The RF link enhances operations in urban environments by providing greater reliabilityand precision performance."TOW missiles are the most used precision heavy assault weapons in war today. Availableon more than 10,000 airborne and ground platforms, the missiles are used by 40countries in combat operations around the world.5) Committee Approves Hutchison Cosponsored Bill to Preserve Americas HumanSpaceflight CapabilitiesWASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committeetoday unanimously approved legislation cosponsored by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison(R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Committee, to safeguard Americas humanspaceflight capabilities while balancing commercial space investment with a robustmission for NASA. The bill was sponsored by Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller(D-W.Va.) and cosponsored by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), David Vitter (R-La.) andGeorge LeMieux (R-Fla.)."I am extremely pleased that we have been able to work out a bipartisan compromiseon the NASA Authorization legislation. It has been a long and very hard road to gethere," said Senator Hutchison. "We began more than four months ago with a new
proposal for NASA introduced by the President which I believe would have ended the eraof U.S. dominance in space exploration, threatened the use of the International SpaceStation, and jeopardized manned space flight. This legislation approved today representsa strong balance between the need for investment in new technology and the continuedevolution of the commercial market to take an increasing role in supporting our effortsin low Earth orbit. This will allow for greater emphasis on funding the next generation oflaunch technology needed to allow us to resume our role as explorers."The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 addresses the following areas:International Space Station (ISS)The bill would extend full utilization of the space station through at least 2020. It wouldensure safe and effective operation, maintenance and maximum utilization of the spacestation through a comprehensive report to Congress of essential systems, components,elements, etc., on board or planned for delivery and installation, including replacementparts needed through 2020.Space Shuttle Retirement and TransitionThe bill would authorize and direct NASA to fly the space shuttle Launch on Need (LON)flight pending results of a required assessment of safe means of return for astronauts ifthe shuttle is damaged or unable to return. The bill also would preserve space shuttlecapabilities through 2011 to complete the current manifest. It would also prohibittermination of any contracts that would inhibit launching of the space shuttle.Commercial Crew and Cargo Transportation CapabilitiesThe bill would direct NASA to continue the Commercial Orbital Transportation ServicesProgram (COTS) in support of providing cargo services to the space station and wouldestablish a requirement for the definition of milestones and minimum performanceobjectives to be achieved before procurement authority is granted for crewdevelopment capability.Expansion of Human Space Flight Beyond the International Space Station and Low-EarthOrbitThe bill would direct NASA to initiate development of a government-owned, NASA-designed and operated " Space Launch System" (SLS) - a heavy lift launch capability - assoon as practicable and would establish the end of 2016 as the goal for full operationalcapability while allowing for modification and/or extension of existing contracts. The billwould also require NASA to develop a multi-purpose crew transportation vehicle for usewith the Space Launch System.
Rescoping and Revitalizing Institutional CapabilitiesThe bill would require a study to identify an approach for the most efficient use andmaintenance of NASA facilities and infrastructure, paying specific attention toeliminating unneeded duplication or infrastructure. It would also prohibit NASA frommaking any movement or termination of contractors or civil servants or anyreorganization or reduction in force for reasons other than cause, until Congress receivesthe required reports and legislative authority to make such changes.
1) The Royal Air Force of Oman takes delivery of its 1st NH90(June 28, 2010) -- NHIndustries is pleased to announce the delivery on time of the firstbatch of two NH90.multipurpose helicopters ordered by the Royal Air Force of Oman(RAFO). The Certificate of Transfer of both helicopters occurred on June 23 on the RoyalAir Force of Oman base of MUSANA after a very demanding 2 months evaluation periodin severe operational conditions.This initial delivery which marks the first delivery of an NH90 in the middle east will befollowed ahead of schedule, in July, by the acceptance process of the second batch ofNH90. These helicopters are supported by an integrated NHI/ RAFO maintenance teamwho will operate for the 1st time in the NH90 world a specific maintenance tool: GLIMS(Ground Logistic Information Management System).The RAFO have up to now ordered 20 NH90 TTH in order to replace its fleet of ageingAB205A/206/212/214.The NH90 TTH chosen by Oman is to date one of the most advanced and versatileversion of the NH90. This NH90 fleet will cover a wide spectrum of missions from theVIP transport, to troop transport and Search and Rescue missions round the clock in themost demanding conditions.This new generation helicopter combines a full composite airframe, an outstanding flyby wire control system, with two powerful engines and an integrated mission system inorder to offer its customers the best level of performance of its class.In addition, NHIndustries and its partner companies ensure the training of the crews andthe support of the Omani fleet in order to guarantee the highest level of availability.The introduction of such an advanced transport helicopter in the middle east attractsthe attention of several countries in the region.2) Malaysia Signs New Defence ContractsThe Malaysian government signed defence contracts valued at MYR341.79 million(US$D106.77 million) at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2010 Exhibition and Conferencein Kuala Lumpur on the 20th April. It also issued several letters of acceptance andletters of intent at the event.A total of eight contracts were signed, the largest being an MYR128.5 million deal withDCNS of France for the supply of Scorpene submarine navigation safety systems, combatsystems, sensors and periscope simulators.The next largest contract was awarded to Russia’s Sukhoi for MYR100 million over threeyears for spare parts, components and support items along with services and technical
assistance for the Su30MKM multi-role combat aircraft of the Royal Malaysian Air Force(RMAF).France’s TDA Armements SAS was awarded a MYR60 million contract for eight 2R2M120 mm mortars and Malaysian company Difense Konsult won a MYR6.9 millioncontract for the supply of 180 HK416 assault rifles for the Royal Malaysian Navy specialforces unit.The other four contracts–totalling MYR46.3 million–were awarded to Malaysia’s SMEOrdnance (SMEO) for the supply of various ammunition rounds for the Malaysian Army.The largest LoA for MYR1.6 billion was awarded to Eurocopter for 12 EC 725 Cougarhelicopters for the RMAF.Malaysia’s DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies (Deftech) was awarded a MYR8 billion LoIto develop, manufacture and supply 8x8 armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) for theMalaysian Army. Deftech’s subsidiary company Defence Services was awarded a MYR97million LOI for the supply of spares for the maintenance of the army’s 48 PT-91M tanksand its 14 variant vehicles for a period of three years.SMEO was awarded a RM213 million LOI for the five-year supply of small-armsammunition to the armed forces, police and other government agencies. The lastMYR12.4 million LOI went to Malaysian company System Enhancement Resources &Technologies (SERT) for the supply of 18 105 mm gun towed vehicles.3) THAAD Weapon System Achieves Lowest Endo Intercept to Date(Dallas, TX., June 29, 2010) -- The Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin[NYSE:LMT] conducted a successful flight test of the Terminal High Altitude AreaDefense (THAAD) Weapon System today at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai,HI. This flight test was THAADs seventh intercept to date and proved the systemsability to intercept a unitary target in the low endo-atmosphere.There were many THAAD flight test program "firsts" accomplished during FTT-14,including the lowest endo-atmospheric intercept to date; use of fielded THAAD groundsegment hardware and software from the THAAD production program; and the first livemission to demonstrate automatic engagement coordination between THAAD andPatriot.In addition to Patriot, the flight test included participation by the C2BMC element. TheC2BMC reported situational awareness to combatant commander displays monitoringthe test.
Flight test objectives included demonstrating the integration of the THAAD WeaponSystem; intercepting the target at a highly stressing angle due to the high pressureenvironment of the endo-atmosphere; completing target acquisition and aimpointselection by the interceptors seeker avionics flight software; and operating the radar,fire control and launcher by U.S. Army soldiers during the mission."Todays successful low endo intercept further proves THAADs mission flexibility andcapability," said Tom McGrath, vice president and program manager for THAAD atLockheed Martin. "The weapon systems success is much to the credit of the U.S. Armysoldiers superior performance in executing this mission and their dedication to 100percent Mission Success."Since 2005, the program has completed 11 flight tests, with seven-for-seven intercepts.THAAD is the only missile defense system with the operational flexibility to intercept inboth the endo- and exo-atmospheres to provide versatile capability to the Warfighter.Two THAAD batteries have been activated at Ft. Bliss, TX. The first THAAD Battery (A-4ADA Battery) was activated in May 2008. Soldiers from the battery recently completedthe Force Development Exercise and began Limited User Testing in May in preparationfor material release expected late this year. In October 2009, the U.S. Army activatedthe second THAAD Battery (A-2 ADA Battery). Unit training for this Battery began earlierthis year.A key element of the nations Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), THAAD is aMissile Defense Agency program, with the program office located in Huntsville, AL. TheAgency is developing the BMDS to defend the United States, its deployed forces, friendsand allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges and in all phases of flight.4) GD Awarded $14 M by US Army for 25mm and 30mm Ammunition(St. Petersburg, Fla., June 29, 2010) -- General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systemshas been awarded two contracts from the Project Manager for Maneuver AmmunitionSystems (PM MAS) at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., for production of 30mm M789 HighExplosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) ammunition and Phase III development of 25mmscalable fuze technology. The total value of the two contracts is more than $14 million.The 30mm M789 HEDP is the primary tactical round of the Apache AH-64 helicopter,widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The Apaches ability to provide accurateair support with minimal collateral damage has led to increased use and volumedemands for M789 ammunition. In response to the increased demand, the U.S. Armyhas contracted General Dynamics to establish a full-production capability for the M789
cartridge."Establishing a second, independent production line for the M789 eliminates potentialsingle-point production failure and gives the Army more resources to meet the growingammunition needs of the warfighter, quickly and efficiently," said Tim McAuliffe, vicepresident and general manager of medium caliber ammunition for General Dynamics.In addition, General Dynamics was awarded the Phase III development effort of theScalable Medium Cannon Caliber Airburst Fuze Development Study. General Dynamicshas successfully completed Phase I and II of the study. An essential overall objective ofthis development effort is to create scalable fuze technology that provides a plug-and-play capability for munitions ranging from 25mm to 50mm calibers.The successful development of the 25mm fuze technology will provide the U.S. ArmyBradley Fighting Vehicle and U.S. Marine Corps LAV-25 with the capability to reachtargets in defilade via an airburst projectile. The technology also provides the ability todetonate a projectile within a hard target by using a selectable or delayed pointdetonation feature. The scalable technology has already been successfullydemonstrated across a variety of weapon platforms from 25mm to 40mm and has theability to be inserted in future platforms such as the Armys Ground Combat Vehicle."The advancement of scalable technology will allow the military to upgrade thecapability of their legacy systems while easily integrating onto future weaponplatforms," said Mr. McAuliffe.
United States – Russia Considering Joint Production of AN_124 Condor Heavy-liftTransport AircraftThe United States is considering a Russian proposal on the joint production of An-124Condor heavy-lift transport aircraft, a Russian deputy prime minister said.The An-124 was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in 1982, and was produced inUkraines Kiev and Russias Ulyanovsk plants until 1995. Although there are no An-124sbeing built at present, Russia and Ukraine have reportedly agreed to resume productionin the future."We have discussed a full-scale project, which includes the joint production of the plane,setting up a joint venture, shared rights, sales to Russian and American customers - bothcivilian and military - and the creation of a scheme for post-production servicing," SergeiIvanov told reporters in Washington.The An-124 is similar to the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, but has a 25% largerpayload.The aircraft has a maximum payload of 150 metric tons with a flight range of around3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).An-124s have been used extensively by several U.S. companies. Russian cargo companyVolga-Dnepr has contracts with Boeing to ship outsize aircraft components to its Everettplant.United Launch Alliance contracts the An-124 to transport the Atlas V launch vehiclefrom its facilities near Denver to Cape Canaveral.Space Systems Loral contracts the An-124 to transport satellites from Palo Alto inCalifornia to the Arianespace spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.According to Ivanov, the Pentagon has contracted An-124 planes for military transportpurposes until 2016."The An-124 planes, made during the Soviet era, have been used extensively in theinterests of U.S. customers. We are offering a full-scale project, rather than a simplelease," Ivanov said.Russia plans to manufacture a total of 20 An-124 aircraft by 2020 in accordance with thestate arms procurement program.2) NGC Announces $184 M Advance Procurement Contract
(Pascagoula, Miss., April 30, 2010) -- The U.S. Navy awarded a $184 million cost plusfixed-fee advance procurement contract modification to Northrop GrummanCorporation (NYSE:NOC) that will provide long lead materials for LPD 26, the tenthamphibious transport dock ship of the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) class.The funds will be used to purchase long lead time materials and major equipment insupport of the new ship, such as main engines and diesel generators and otherequipment including electrical switchboards, deck equipment and fire extinguishingsystems.The work will be performed at the companys Gulf Coast facilities. This is the secondadvance procurement contract for LPD 26."Northrop Grumman Shipbuilders are committed to building a high quality ship -- the10th in this strong class of amphibs for the U.S. Navy," said Tim Farrell, vice presidentand program manager of the LPD program for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-GulfCoast. "This procurement contract enables us to continue our focus on effective andefficient supply chain management through the advanced purchase of essential materialthat will help us meet our schedule commitments with our Navy customer."The ten ships of the LPD 17 class are a key element of the Navys ability to project powerashore. Collectively, these ships functionally replace over 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA113, and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the Navy and Marine Corpswith modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operatewith 21st Century platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey and the Expeditionary FightingVehicle (EFV).The LPD 17-class ships are 684 feet long, 105 feet wide and displace approximately25,000 tons. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements ofMarine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. The ship can carry up to 800 troops and havethe capability of transporting and debarking air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landingcraft and EFVs, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft such asthe MV-22. These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations, orexpeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st Century.3) India and China’s water sector get $ 472 million from World BankTuesday, 22 June 2010 22:07The World Bank will lend India $372 million and China $100 million to help bothcountries’ manage their water sector.India will use $222 million for its coastal zone management project and $150 million forthe current Karnataka rural water supply project.
With the World Bank support, China will address the deteriorating water condition inthe Turpan Basin in easternmost Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.India’s marine resource is said to be suffering from rapid urban industrialization, riskingthe health of about 63 million residents in low-elevation coastal areas.India’s coastal management program includes pilot investments such as mangroveplantation, coral reef regeneration and sewerage and solid waste management in thecoastal states of Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal.The Karnataka project is part of the bank’s longterm program to support localgovernment projects to build water supply systems in 4,166 villages. The project beganin 1993. The funding will enable the Karnataka project to include 1,650 more villages,allowing four million people to access reliable water supply.The Xinjiang Turpan water conservation project is expected to reduce groundwateroverdraft in the Turpan Basin while raising industrial and domestic water supply andfarmers’ income from irrigated agriculture.Around 600,000 people inhabit the Turpan Prefecture, where farmers traditionally relyon mountain rivers, or from the ancient Karez water systems for irrigation.The area has been experiencing groundwater overexploitation caused by increasedwater consumption brought about by rapid economic growth in recent years.The bank and the local government will execute water-saving approaches, such asevapotranspiration-based integrated water management system to assess, plan andallocate water for consumptive use.The project also includes construction of three reservoirs to upgrade flood control inthree main watersheds while increasing water supplies downstream and maintainingminimum ecological river flows.The project will also employ other water saving methods such as construction andrehabilitation of the main canals, a switch from furrow to drip irrigation, land leveling,canal lining and improved drainage systems.Also, a 2,000-year-old Karez water supply system will be restored to continue providingrunning water to the Turpan Basin.Of the 1,237 ancient Karez systems that existed in 1957, only 300 still have runningwater. The disappearance of these water systems has led to the degradation of the oasisecosystems in the Turpan Basin.
4) As tiny U.A.E.s water tab grows, resources run dryTuesday, 22 June 2010 21:09By ReutersDUBAI, June 21 (Reuters) - Driving along brand new highways with medians of lush treesand manicured grass, one could easily forget the United Arab Emirates sits on asweltering desert coast with rapidly diminishing freshwater resources.The Gulf Arab nations oil income has allowed it to subsidize extravagant water use forEmiratis, either those in gated communities sporting pristine pools and evergreen golfcourses or for farmers clinging to ancient irrigation practices.Environmentalists warn the country, already reliant on costly desalination plantspowered by its lucrative fossil fuels, must cut consumption by its 8.2 million people orrisk depleting groundwater resources in 50 years."We need to convince them that water here isnt a free resource. Its not even a naturalresource, its manmade. It is costly, and it has a big environmental impact," saidMohamed Daoud of the state-run Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi.But that is not an easy task in a country where billboards encouraging conservationcompete for space and attention with promotions for water parks, an indoor ski slopeand a famous dancing fountain.Abu Dhabi, seat of the seven-member U.A.E. federation and the wealthiest of itsemirates, consumes 550 liters of water per person per day, Mr. Daoud said – two timesto three times the world average of 180 liters to 200 liters. Analysts say per capita wateruse in the U.A.E. overall is roughly four times that of Europe.To ease groundwater use, about 60 percent of consumption in the desert country, theU.A.E. has invested heavily in desalination, producing 9 million cubic meters of waterdaily at $18 million a day.Desalination dependence is a luxury only oil-rich Gulf countries can afford. It requireshuge amounts of fuel and sea water. Dubai is completely reliant, while Abu Dhabis usemore than tripled by 2007, the Emirates Wildlife Society said."The U.A.E. was a net gas exporter before 2008, but now it has become a net gasimporter," Ayesha Sabavala, of Londons Economic Intelligence Unit said, citingincreased desalination and electricity production as the main cause.Energy drain
Desalination is powered mostly by gas and, more rarely, oil – resources thattransformed the U.A.E. from a small pearl diving and fishing center into a financial hubin half a century.Alternatives like nuclear energy will take another 10 years at least, said Ms. Sabavala ofthe Economist Intelligence Unit. Without alternatives, she expected desalination wouldincrease domestic demand for oil and gas, thereby decreasing exports.Economist Eckert Woertz of the Gulf Research Center stressed the importance of findingalternatives to future oil use quickly."That is such a high opportunity cost, because it (oil) is exported at $70 to $80 a barrel.Why dump it into local plants for subsidized prices? Thats crazy," he said.More than six desalination projects are now being planned and are expected to addover 4 million cubic meters a day. Yet storage problems mean much desalinated water isnever even used."Desalination plants continue producing the same amount per hour, 24 hours a day. Sowhat do we do with the excess water right now? We dump it in the Gulf," Mr. Daoudsaid, adding that the state will develop a system to transport surplus to aquifers.Beyond economic concerns, desalination dependence could also make the U.A.E. morevulnerable in the event of regional strife, such as any United States-Iran militaryescalation or Al-Qaeda strike."A desalination plant is a large factory sitting on the coast, something that you couldeasily blow up with a bomb or a missile," Hady Amr of the Brookings Institute said. "Youcould bring the country to its knees."Costly customsGlitzy skyscrapers and luxury villas are not the only culprits of water waste, which is alsoa problem in agricultural areas including those relying on traditional practices.Hours from Dubai, the U.A.E.s hot desert sands stretch into the lush Hili oasis, whereMohammed al-Thahri, 22, inspects canals that snake through his father date palm fieldand watches workers in nearby fields open chutes to flood their orchards.Like the 100 other date farmers in Hili, the Thahris wells are drying up, forcing them todrill new wells to maintain a 1,000-year-old irrigation method of inundating fields bywater canals. They do not export or sell their dates, as they consume the entire yieldthemselves.
"It wastes water," Mr. Thahri said, shrugging. "But these palms are from our ancestors,its our heritage. If we stopped raising them, it would be like abandoning our ownchildren."Two-thirds of water consumption in the largest emirate of Abu Dhabi – home to the al-Ain oases that include Hili – comes from agriculture. Farmers whose wells run dry aregiven desalinated water at subsidized rates from the government.These statistics rattle technocrats like Mr. Daoud trying to decrease wastefulconsumption among a citizenry accustomed to the government footing up to 60 percentof their utilities bill.But reducing subsidies to spur individual conservation efforts is not an option for theU.A.E.s ruling families."U.A.E. nationals have always been used to having these subsidies," the EconomicIntelligence Units Ms. Sabavala said. "Getting rid of them would be political suicide."5) ITT Receives $53 M Order from the UK for Night Vision GogglesJun 21, 2010(Roanoke, Va., June, 18, 2010) -- ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) has received a $53 millionorder from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) for head-mounted nightvision systems (HMNVS) that provide ground-based soldiers with superior performanceduring nighttime operations. To date, this is ITTs largest order from the United Kingdomfor night vision systems. The deliveries of the HMNVS will take place over thecustomers next five fiscal years."This recent order from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence shows the high degreeof confidence the customer has in ITT and our ability to deliver Generation 3 night visiontechnology," said Bruce A. Wald, vice president and general manager of ITTs NightVision & Imaging business. "Our Generation 3 solution is the first night vision technologychoice of our international allies to operate in challenging environments."ITT has supported the UK MoDs HMNVS program since 2003 by providing these battle-ready systems. In addition to the new systems produced at ITTs facility in Roanoke,Virginia, ITT Defence Ltd. in Basingstoke, U.K. has also provided in-country, logisticssupport to the growing fleet of HMNVS since 2005. They have converted nearly 2,000HMNVS from dual-battery to single-battery configuration and provide expedited repairto any systems requiring maintenance before, during or after deployment.In addition to the faster repairs, ITT has increased its manufacturing capacity to meetthe requirements of the international market. The expanded capacity has enabled ITT todeliver night vision technology to U.S. allies and coalition forces within 120 days after
receiving an approved export license from the U.S. Department of State.The HMNVS is the MoDs variant of the AN/PVS-14, the ITT supplied night vision gogglesthat are commonly used by the U.S. military and homeland security agencies. TheAN/PVS-14 is a lightweight, single-battery monocular goggle equipped with ITTsGeneration (Gen) 3 night vision technology, the most advanced night vision in the fieldtoday. ITTs Gen 3 goggles provide the clearest, sharpest image available for soldiersperforming nighttime operations, giving them the advantage on the battlefield. ITT Gen3 goggles last in excess of 10,000 hours, compared to the Gen 2 tubes that lastapproximately 2,000 to 4,000 hours.
1) Watchkeeper UAV Nears Service-Entry with British ArmyThe Watchkeeper Tactical UAV for the British Army will start UK trials after Easter thisyear and is due to enter service with the British Army later in the year. It will then bedeployed to Afghanistan in early 2011 and will fully replace the Hermes 450 by April2012.The Watchkeeper system is very mobile and not restricted by icing conditions. It hasautomatic take-off and landing capability and its GMTI/SAR and EO/IR payloads willprovide all weather sensing. In addition, changed conditions software will enableWatchkeeper to detect IEDs. Force Protection is now seen as a key UAV role in-theatre.The Hermes 450 UAV that will be replaced by Watchkeeper, is currently operatedon four task lines in Afghanistan and this will soon increase to six. Over 25,000 flighthours have so far been flown by the UAV in-theatre. It has a range of 150 kilometres andan endurance of 14-16 hours. It can reach an altitude of 16,000, but normally operatesat around 10,000.As well as the Hermes 450, the British Army also operates the Desert Hawk 3 mini-UAVin-theatre, in 12 detatchments. This UAV has a range of 15 kilometres, an endurance of60 minutes and is also proving to be a valuable tactical asset.2) UK Agrees on Defence Contracts Before Election Campaign StartsPrior to the announcement of the general election on the 6th April, the BritishGovernment has reportedly signed or agreed to at least nine key defence contracts,valued at more than $3.8 billion.The British Army gets the ASCOD2 vehicle to meet the FRES-SV light armoured scoutvehicle requirement and the Fire Shadow loitering munition, which is due to beoperational in-theatre in 2012.The Royal Air Force will receive three Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft to replaceits Nimrod R.1s and long-lead items for the purchase of additional Chinook helicopters,but the A400M airlifter fleet will be reduced to 22 aircraft (down from 25).In addition, a Hawk advanced jet trainer support deal, valued at around £120 millionwas announced, as was the upgrading of the Brimstone air-to-surface precision effectsweapon.The Royal Navy will start development of the new Type 26 frigate (formerly known asthe future surface combatant, or FSC) and will receive the fifth and sixth Astute-class
nuclear-powered attack submarines.Also, a 15-year partnering agreement with Babcock International to support Royal Navysubmarines and surface warships has been agreed.The UK Parliament has now been dissolved, pending the general election on the 6thMay. With a strategic defence review promised by whichever party wins the election, itmay be some time before any other UK defence projects get approval.3) New Plan Revealed for Advanced European Jet Pilot Training ProgrammeSpeaking at the 9th Annual Defence IQ Military Flight Training (MFT) Conference,Colonel Kris Dewilde, Chairman of the Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT)Programme Group from the Belgian Armed Forces, informed a large audience of thelatest plans for the future military pilot training system of the Consortium of EuropeanNations.The Pre-contract MOU was signed in 2008, with a planned duration of four years until adevelopment contract was to be let. However, under a recently agreed strategy, an RFI(Request for Information) has been issued with answers to be received by the 15thMarch 2010. Following this, a meeting with industry is planned for the 14th April and ananalysis of the RFI replies will be carried out from April to July.An RFP (Request for Proposals) could be issued by October 2011 and a developmentcontract by January 2014. IOC would then follow in 2017, with FOC in 2020. A newmanagement structure is being developed and the participating nations would berequired to make a decision, when the RFP is released, on whether they stay in theprogramme or leave. No observer status (as is now the case), would be permitted. Itwas thought that OCCAR might act as the contracting agency.The currently participating nations are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy,Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Germany and the Netherlands currently have observerstatus and Switzerland also has a possible interest.The cost share will depend on the numbers of students trained per nation. A maximumof 167 student pilots, plus 10 WSOs (Weapon Systems Operators) are planned to betrained per year and aircraft will be based at 1Northern and 1 Southern European baseunder current plans, but no decision has yet been made on their locations.The new management group will develop a business model, consider competitive issuesand establish a legal framework. A medium to high level of outsourcing is consideredlikely, but budget approval will be crucial to the future of AEJPT. Many military flight
training experts at the MFT conference were sceptical that a consensus, backed by firmfunding, would ever be achieved by the European nations.4) Companies Make Major Steps Forward in UAV InnovationThe market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continues to grow, with militaryleaders recognising their huge potential in modern warfare.Teal Group recently predicted that the value of the UAV market will reach over $80million (£53 million) in the next 10 years. Annual expenditure will go up from $4.9 billioncurrently to $11.5 billion over the coming decade."With striking examples in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the most significant catalyst to thismarket has been the enormous growth of interest in UAVs by the US military, tied to thegeneral trend toward information warfare and net-centric systems," said Teal senioranalyst Steve Zaloga, one of the authors of the new 400-page study by the company."UAVs are a key element in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)portion of this revolution and they are expanding into other missions as well with theadvent of hunter-killer UAVs," he added.The report predicted that the US would account for over three-quarters of theworldwide research, development, testing and evaluation spending on UAV technologyover the next 10 years. The country will also contribute 58 percent to procurementexpenditure, it forecasted."We expect that the sales of UAVs will follow recent patterns of high-tech armsprocurement worldwide, with Europe representing the second largest market, againfollowed very closely by Asia-Pacific," Zaloga continued.$1bn UAV InvestmentThere have been some major innovations coming from UAV developers of late.Helicopter-maker Sikorsky is working on creating a Black Hawk pilotless aircraft that cancarry troops. It could be the next great aerial innovation for the US armed forces afterthe unmanned drone.Sikorsky is investing $1 billion in the project to develop the Black Hawk UAVs, whichwould be operated by two, one or no pilots. This would increase the number of journeysit would be able to undertake and reduce the risk to US personnel.The company launched a new technology development organisation, SikorskyInnovations, at the beginning of February, which will oversee the progress of the UAVproject, among others. It intends to have a model of an unmanned Black Hawk ready
this year, with the aim of introducing it by 2015.However, Chris Van Buiten, director of Sikorsky Innovations, stressed that the challengesin developing the aircraft would not only be technical, but also cultural. "Pilots are notgoing to give up that seat easily," he explained.Lockheed Martin and Kaman DevelopmentsAnother company that has been working hard on introducing an unmanned militaryhelicopter is Lockheed Martin. The firm has teamed up with Kaman AerospaceCorporation and they have demonstrated the capability of their UAV, the Unmanned K-Max, to resupply troops at forward operating bases in Afghanistan.This month, the companies conducted a series of test flights in subfreezingtemperatures at the US Armys Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Testers were able topilot the aircraft by remote control over both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyondline-of-sight data links."We met or exceeded the requirements within the scheduled three-day timeframe ofthe demonstration," said Dan Spoor, aviation systems vice president at LockheedMartins Mission Systems and Sensors facility in Owego, New York."The system performed a rigorous set of cargo resupply scenarios as programmed,allowing the ground-based operator to monitor progress, and make adjustments toaircraft positioning only when requested by the Marine Corps for demonstrationpurposes," he added.5) British Naval Chief Demands Investment for Future DefenceThe most senior serving officer in the British Royal Navy has insisted that Maritimedefence forces should be considered a priority in any future spending plans.Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope spoke at the International Institute of Strategic Studiesduring which a debate emerged regarding Britains upcoming strategic defence review,which is expected to follow the nation’s general election.After both the chiefs of the army and air force outlined their respective visions,Stanhope countered inferences that less focus should be paid to the procurement ofaircraft, vessels and aircraft carriers.“[The Navy has] a vital role to play in delivering this countrys defence and security intothe future, in delivering choices for the government, as much as in delivering firepowerwhen required.”
He added: "Its not about tanks versus jet fighters. It is about deciding where thebalance of investment should lie, judged against this countrys vital national interests,and the ambition this nation sets, both for itself and for defence.""We can get land forces where they need to be, and then support them: combat airsupport, helicopters, logistics, medical, you name it. And we are there to recover thoseforces too."Aside from standard protection for expeditionary land forces, Stanhope cited severalrecent and vital operations that had been achieved primarily through the efforts of theNavy, including the suppression of rebel forces in Sierra Leone and reconnaissancemissions in Afghanistan to chase Taliban fighters. He said it had also been instrumentalin intercepting a total of £70million worth of illegal drugs making its way to Britishshores last year, and that the current threat of piracy in African waters warranted afocus on the fleet.Days earlier, former army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt stated that each of thethree defence chiefs agreed on "80 to 85 percent" on the future of Britain’s armedforces."If you want agile forces, able to be tailored for a special mission, if you want them to besustained and supported from a position of security, then maritime forces can make animportant contribution."The admiral also pointed to the possibilities of conventional wars being fought betweenstates in the quest for resource ownership."Competition between powerful states is already a feature of our post-Cold War world,as we shift from the uni-polar dominance of the United States to multi-polar influenceand power. Competition for resources can only exacerbate the situation. We would bewrong to assume that states will no longer wage war."In the past week, UK oil firms began drilling near the Falkland Islands, raising freshtensions with Argentina.6) US and UK Move Forward with Military Space SystemsBoth the United States and the UK have been working to improve communications andintelligence capability using space systems.This year will see four "first of" Department of Defense (Dod) satellites launched, deputyundersecretary of the Air Force for Space Programs Gary Payton announced last month.