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.
These space systems comprise the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF)communications satellite, the first Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSC) satellite, thefirst new-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite and the first OperationallyResponsive Space (ORS) satellite.DoD Satellite LaunchesIn a presentation to a Senate committee, Payton said that this year would seeinvestments in military space systems from previous years bear fruit with theselaunches.ORS-1 is scheduled to launch at the end of 2010 and is being built for United StatesCentral Command to monitor denied areas. Payton explained that ORS was focused on"meeting the urgent needs of the joint force commanders using a combination ofexisting, ready to field, and emergent systems.""This program builds on the back to basics approach we have cultivated over the pastseveral years by providing enhanced mission capability through incremental blocks ofsmall satellites and integration of other responsive space capabilities," he added.The key aims for the ORS program are to keep costs low, react swiftly to urgentwarfighter needs and reconstitute capability in contested environments, with the ORS-1being a "clear example" of these goals.Meanwhile, the AEHF is expected to be introduced in the third quarter of the year. TheAir Force for Space Programs department has made budget requests to assist the launchand on-orbit support of AEHF1, assembly integration and test of AEHF 2-3 and theproduction of AEHF 4.Following the launch of the first GPS IIF satellite this year, twelve more space systems ofthe same design will be added to sustain the constellation for the next six years. Paytonsaid that GPS IIF would "continue to populate the GPS constellation with militarycapability."UK Space SystemsOver in the UK, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a new £400 million contract touse a new space system with the aim of enhancing military communications onoperations.The deal is the latest development in the MoDs private finance initiative programmewith European Aeronautic Defence and Space-owned Paradigm Secure Communicationsto provide Skynet satellite services. The contract is now worth about £3.5 billion over itsplanned duration, which will be at least until 2022.
The Skynet 5D space system is the fourth satellite of its kind to be used by the MoD andis roughly three times the length of a double-decker bus. It will be launched in 2013 andwill play a key role in gathering intelligence on operations.In addition, the space system will be used to provide telephone and internet welfaresupport facilities for service personnel."Future operations require that our Armed Forces are given access to the best possiblecommunications and this new satellite will go a long way to ensuring this," commentedminister for defence equipment and support Quentin Davies.Darrell Midgley, head of MoD defence equipment and support, information systems andservices networks, added that the demand for satellite communications and associatedspace systems was growing faster than originally predicted."To ensure that future operations will continue to have access to the vitalcommunications they may need, the MoD has decided to make arrangements to takeadvantage of the services that a fourth satellite in the Paradigms Skynet constellationwould provide," he added.7) US Air Force Seeks Cyber Security in a CloudThe effects of the global economic downturn, including shrinking tax revenues andbudget constraints, are causing governments everywhere to tighten their belts and lookfor ways to operate more efficientlyAmong the possible technology solutions, cloud computing is capturing a lot of attentionfor its cost-savings potential especially in the United States, where the ObamaAdministration has called for more extensive adoption of cloud computing in federalagencies to improve information technology efficiency, reduce costs, and provide astandard platform for delivering government services.In a cloud computing model, IT resources are shared and delivered as services over theInternet. Similar to web shopping, organizations can go online to provision theapplications, servers, storage devices, systems or entire infrastructures they need, andpay only for what they use. Because IT resources are pooled, cloud users have a virtuallyunlimited supply of computing power available for their use.However, the big stumbling block to widespread cloud adoption in government issecurity. How do you protect sensitive, often classified government data from the ever-growing threats of cyber attack if the data resides in cloud somewhere? How can youcontrol your network if you cant see and touch the physical infrastructure?The U.S. Department of Defenses Air Force has decided to tackle this security issue
head-on. During the next 10 months, military personnel will work alongside IBMresearchers, software architects, cyber security experts and analytics specialists, as wellas with representatives from other U.S. federal agencies, to figure out how to make acloud computing environment–whether it is a private, public or hybrid “community”cloud–more secure so that it conforms to the governments very high security andnetwork resiliency requirements.This project will test the ability of advanced technologies such as analytics and streamcomputing to impart new intelligence into a cloud environment so that it can protectitself–by automatically shutting down a vulnerable system or moving an applicationfrom one system to another, for example–if there a cyber attack or system failureoccurs.Theres no question that cloud computing, which has evolved from technologies like gridcomputing, utility computing, and Software as a Service, represents a new, efficient, andhighly flexible supply chain for IT. But can a cloud also be made self-protective and"smart"? Can stream computing, which analyzes massive data flows in real time, beused to sense anomalies in the U.S. Air Forces huge network?The truth is, this is uncharted territory. U.S. Air Force Chief Information OfficerLieutenant General William Lord noted that the goal is to demonstrate how cloudcomputing can be a tool that enables the Air Force to manage, monitor and secure theinformation flowing through its network. That network manages the operations of ninemajor commands, nearly 100 bases and 700,000 active military personnel around theworld.I applaud the U.S. Air Force for recognizing that new thinking, new technologies, andnew levels of collaboration between government and industry will be required to findviable solutions to the global security issue. Theres no question that both the public andprivate sectors stand to benefit from the results.8) Massive combing operations in naxal areasMangalore May 5: The district police and the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) have launched amassive combing operation in the four naxal affected districts of Dakshina Kannada,Udupi, Chikmagalore and Shimoga, IGP (Western Range) Gopal B Hosur said today.Talking to newsmen here he said the joint operation was launched last Monday asprecautionary measure in view of Gram Panchyat elections later this month. The ANFwas well equipped with arms, ambulance, bomb disposal squad and sniffer squad, hesaid. He said during the combing operation, the personnel from both police and the ANFwill meet tribal people and conduct meetings to assure them of police protection duringpolling. They were also appealing the people to come to the polling booths without fearto cast their votes, he added.
Mr Hosur said the combing operations will continue till the elections were over. Thepolice and the ANF personnel had covered the forest areas of naxal affected areasduring the combing operation. In Udupi District About 500 personnel, including somepolicemen took part in the operations mainly centered on Mutlupady, Tingale,Kabbinale and Siddapur regions around Hebri, which are known to be frequented bynaxals.Top officials like Deputy Inspector General of ANF, Amrit Paul, IGP Gopal Hosur, districtSuperintendent of Police, Praveen Madhukar Pawar, Karkala Dy.SP, Santosh KumarShetty camped in Hebri to guide the operations.9) Maoist held in city reveals the new strategy of theultrasDate: 2010-05-06, DelhiThose who claim to be the saviours of the poorest ofthe poor in the country are themselves at theforefront ofa massive scam that involves fleecing money out ofthem to fight for their rights and liberty.Sustained interrogation of Gopal Mishra, a close aideof Naxal ideologue Kobad Ghandy who was arrested Target practice: Anu, wife offrom east Delhi on April 25, has told the police that he Naxal leader Gopal Mishra inwas receiving funds from one Banarsi Subramanium police custody. She activelywho is based in Sitamarhi, Bihar, to raise sleeper Naxal recruited poor labourers intocells in Delhi. Maoist foldHighly-placed sources in the Bihar police told MiD DAY that most of this money comesthrough extortion. "They threaten the poor and rich alike. They act in the garb ofcarrying on a mission for the poor," a senior Bihar police officer told MiD DAY fromSitamarhi over phone.Even in Delhi, the Naxal sympathisers were targeting the poor only."Their primary target was usually the displaced labourers," a Delhi Police Special Cellpolice officer pointed out.He added that Mishras wife Kanchan alias Anu, who was arrested along with him, wasacting as his manager. "She used to search poor labourers and fix a meeting with hishusband so that they can be brainwashed and recruited to carry out Naxal designs in thecity," the officer said.Sources said Anu came in touch with Maoist leaders in 1999. "She was given somemoney and pamphlets to recruit new members and was specifically told to target poorlabourers in Delhi," they said.
Apart from Rs 72,500 in cash, a laptop and a diary that were seized from Mishras housein east Delhis Shahdra, the police is on the lookout for the pamphlets that were beingused as publicity material by the couple and which would help the cops to establishtheir link with the Maoists.Labour lostGopal is a postgraduate from Bengal, his wife Anjali is a graduate from Varanasi. Boththe accused had joined the party five years ago and were tasked with organising theurban unit. According to the police, the most probable recruits were the displacedlabourers. This is the reason why Gopal initially chose to stay near the industrialsectors of Noida before shifting base to northeast Delhi which has a huge floatingpopulation of labourers. During his two-and-a-half-year stay in Delhi and adjoiningNoida with his wife and only son, Gopal had recruited more than 25 people into theMaoist fold with the active support of his wife, police said.10) Naxal group leader, 17 others held at MapusaPANJIM, MAY 6Sambu Beck, leader of a well-known Naxalite group Maobadi Trishul Manch (MTM) wasarrested today by Goa Police alongwith 17 of his supporters from Mapusa.Goa Police officials said that Sambu was wanted in several cases including murders,rapes and cases under the Arms Act.While Sambu was arrested from Mapusa, the others were arrested from Bhoma and OldGoa.Disclosing this at a press conference, Goa Anti Terrorist Squad Chief AtmaramDeshpande said that Sambu, the 25 year old MTM leader was arrested after specificinformation received from the Orissa Police a week ago.“The Orissa Police (Sundargarh) informed us a week ago that Sambu, who is involved inmany dreaded crimes, was taking shelter in Goa,” Deshpande said adding “Uponreceiving the info the Goa Police launched a joint operation involving two agencies theCrime Branch as well as the Anti Terrorist Squad.”After almost a week of launching the operation the Goa Police teams today arrestedSambu from Mapusa alongwith 17 of his supporters from Old Goa, Mapusa and Bhoma(Ponda), he said.Deshpande informed that 17 supporters arrested have been working in differentindustrial estates in Goa at Kundaim, Karaswada etcWhen asked whether the accused was only taking shelter or was planning anything in
Goa, Deshpande replied, “This will be known only during the course of interrogation.”“We have informed the Sundargarh police and they will be Goa to take the custody ofthe accused,” he said.On whether the supporters too were involved in the crime, he said, “As of now we haveno knowledge but things would be clear in a few days time.”Asked whether the nakabandis all over the State was due to this information, he repliedin negative.“There is no link between the nakanbandis and this operation,” he said.Interestingly, the police did not find any weapons from the accused or any of hissupporters.Asked whether he retaliated or tried to escape during the operation, Deshpande said,“he did make an arrest but was not successful.”11) UK Space Agency Cleared for LaunchThe UK has inaugurated its official Space Agency (UKSA) to replace the British NationalSpace Centre at an annual budget of £230million.At the public launch in London, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson and ScienceMinister Lord Drayson revealed the remit of the new agency, which will take overmanagement of UK interests in the European Union’s Satellite Centre Earth observationimagery analysis provider from the Ministry of Defence, declaring the UKSA as the cleardecision-maker when it comes to space policy.The nation currently spends £230 million per year on space projects, compared toNASA’s £12 billion budget. In Europe, France still leads the charge with £2 billion ofinvestment, followed by Germany’s £1.3 billion and Italy on £1 billion.Despite this, the development of miniature satellites has encouraged the growth of theUK’s space industry, even during the recession. Since 2000, it has grown by 9 percentannually, more than three times as fast as the UK economy as a whole, and is now worth£6.5 billion a year. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years on top ofproviding employment for more than 100,000 people.Aside from the establishment of the UKSA, the government plans to funnel £24m into anInternational Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell in Oxfordshire, with a further£16million provided by industry. Among the areas that ISIC will spearhead is researchand advice on the security and resilience of space systems and services, includingmilitary satellites.
However, the opinion of the British public, notoriously skeptical when it comes togovernment programmes, needs to be convinced if it is to voice its support to the newinitiative. It may be encouraged by the Agency’s proposals to employ its space researchto benefit environmental issues in practical ways, such as developing low-carbonemitting telephone, Internet and television services.
1) Maoists damage railway track in ChhattisgarhBatkanta (Chhattisgarh), Apr 20: Suspected Maoist rebels damaged a portion of arailway track near Chhattisgarhs Jagdalpur District on Monday.This sabotage led to the to the derailment of a goods train ferrying iron ore with acouple of box wagons turned turtle at Batkanta village, around 39 kilometres offJagdalpur.The train was carrying iron ore to Visakhapatnam from the Kirandul iron ore mines inBastar district.The Central Government owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC),which is the countrys largest public sector iron ore producer and exporter managesthese mines.The Maoists had reportedly removed around 32 pendel clips from the track, leading toderailment of the train.Railway authorities say that an investigation into the matter would be conducted."The pendel clips were removed and kept in a heap at a particular place that showssomebody has tampered with it but then we have to investigate into the entire thing indetail and find out how it has happened," said T Kamila, Railway Traffic Manager,Jagdalpur.The rebels have damaged railway tracks on the same route in the past to protest thesupply of iron ores to other cities and for industries sans proper compensation or jobopportunities for the local youth, mostly from the tribal communities.In the biggest attack of its kind, Maoists in Chhattisgarh ambushed at least 76 personnelof the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on April 6.The Maoist rebels have ignored calls from the Government to renounce violence andnegotiate. Instead, they have stepped up their attacks in recent months, prompting thegovernment to go after them in a concerted strike.Maoist rebels, had on February 22, offered a conditional 72-day ceasefire through themedia, and said they were willing to talk to the government if it aborts Operation GreenHunt.The Maoists contend they are fighting for the rights of the poor, marginal farmers andthe landless labourers. (ANI)
2) Naxal hits to pull NMDC net down by Rs 1,000 crWhen the country’s largest iron ore producer, NMDC, declares its financial results for2009-2010, it will report a Rs 1,000-crore drop in net profit. Not on account of last year’sslowdown, but Naxalite attacks.NMDC has been operating for the past 43 years in what has now become the Naxalheartland of Chhattisgarh. The 267-km Essar pipeline, which carried iron ore slurry froma beneficiation plant at Bailadila to its pellet plant at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)was blown up by Naxalites in June 2009 near Chitragonda (Orissa), close to theChhattisgarh border. Essar sources its entire iron ore requirements for the pellet plantfrom NMDC.NMDC sources said the blasting of the Essar pipeline resulted in lower despatches offour million tonnes, which would affect its net profit adversely for 2009-2010. NMDC’sproduction in the previous year was 28 million tonnes.“We will still maintain an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation(ebitda) margin of 75 per cent,” said NMDC sources. In 2008-09, NMDC had revenues ofRs 7,564 crore and returned a net profit of Rs 4,372 crore.Of the three fully-mechanised mines of NMDC, two are in the Bailadila pockets ofDantewads district, accounting for 71 per cent of the government-owned miningcompany’s production.Despite various, repair on the pipeline has been hampered. NMDC officials are hoping itwould be done in the next six months. If that happens, NMDC would post record profitsin the current financial year.NMDC has been affected off and on by Naxal attacks. The rebels grouse being allegedlyindiscriminate mining activities and displacement of tribals.In October 2009, four Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel were killed andtwo critically injured in a landmine blast at an NMDC facility. Early this year, 19 trucks ofa private contractor were set afire by more than 100 Naxals, who stormed into NMDC’smining complex.Not just NMDC, though; all companies operating in the ‘red corridor’ have suffered. Thetargets range from mobile communication towers, Essar’s pipeline to solar plates inBihar
3) Unspent funds with states put question mark on NREGANew Delhi April 20, 2010 The world’s largest employment programme is considered tobe the jewel in the crown of the United Progressive Alliance government. But the ironyis that most states are left with huge unspent funds under the National RuralEmployment Guarantee Programme (NREGP).Quite a few states have clocked much less than half of the 100 days of work envisagedunder the programme. In Bihar, workers got 27 days of work, which is of course betterthan 21 days last year. West Bengal workers got 36 days and Jharkhand, 34 days.States like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan fared better at 63 and 68 days, respectively.Experts say the poor average rate of working days per person either indicates that fewwant to work or few get to work.Jharkhand, which is in conflict with Naxalites, had Rs 1,020 crore when it started theyear in April 2009. This year it was left with Rs 529 crore of unspent funds. InChhattisgarh, another Naxalite-hit state, the total available fund was Rs 1,601 crore, ofwhich Rs 545 crore has been unspent.With Orissa, which has been criticised by the rural development ministry for non-implementation of the scheme, funds available was Rs 925 crore. In January this year, itwas left with Rs 350 crore unspent.Uttar Pradesh had Rs 6,455 crore. It was still to spend Rs 1,339 crore in January 2010. InBihar, where people are getting on an average 27 days of work a year, the unspentamount last year was Rs 1,040 crore. Out of the total available fund of Rs 2,042 crore, ithad an unspent balance of Rs 2,033 crore this year.Assam, Bihar, Haryana and Gujarat could spend less than six per cent of the moneyavailable with them. Over 34 per cent of the funds available with the states remainedunspent last year. Of course, these states do not have to surrender the unspent amountas that goes into the next year’s programme as their opening balance.The rural development ministry says the unspent amount is good in a way as it helps thestates to continue with their work without waiting for fresh funds from the Centre in thenew financial year.The ministry says the unspent amount actually means nothing as work under thescheme is seasonal and happens mostly between September and June. This means it
straddles two financial years and, hence, it is but natural for money to remain partiallyspent at the end of March each year.Trade unions are not impressed by this argument. Pawan Kumar, secretary, BharatiyaMazdoor Sangh, which is now actively working among NREGA workers in Jharkhand,says the unspent money indicates denial of work and wages. “NREGA earnings go belowthe lowest limit set for poverty by the government and the issue should be revisited,” headds.4) Dantewada offers another opportunity20 Apr 2010 11:25:00Within days of the horrific killing of 76 policemen by Maoists in Dantewada, a group ofstudents in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) held a ‘cultural meet’, ostensibly tocommiserate with the Maoists and to ‘celebrate’ their victory over the security forces.This is what happens when some intellectuals become obsessed with the human rightsof persons who promote armed insurrection against democratically electedgovernments, while those in government treat this merely as a law and order problem.While the Dantewada massacre is a challenge to the security forces, the JNU incidentposes a challenge to the entire political class, because it mocks at the democraticprocess and the rule of law.In fact, the response of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Partyof India(Marxist) to Dantewada offers a ray of hope for the survival of our Constitutionand the democratic way of life. Both the parties have risen to the occasion by displayingextraordinary restraint and statesmanship. In a most unusual but welcome response tothe security failure, the BJP declared that it did not want Union home minister PChidambaram to resign, because if he quit, it would mean a victory for the Maoists. TheBJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said as home minister “he can’t whimper like aninjured soldier on the backfoot”. Although the government had failed on all fronts, “thisis not the time for a senapati to step down”. The response of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,the chief minister of West Bengal, was also statesmanlike. Just a week beforeDantewada, Chidambaram had provoked the chief minister when he told mediapersonsafter a visit to Maoist-affected areas in West Bengal that “the buck stops with the chiefminister”. However, after Dantewada, Bhattacharjee chose not to rub it in. Significantly,he did not pin the blame on Chidambaram. He said it was “collective responsibility” and“unless we work together, it is difficult to tackle Maoist violence.” Both the BJP and theCPI(M) have decided not to score petty political points but to speak responsibly.Such display of unity within the political class is critical to get the better of those whowish to overthrow the state through armed rebellion and to win the argument againstintellectuals like Arundhati Roy who describe the government offensive against theMaoists as ‘genocidal’. While there is merit in the argument that enough has not beendone to bring about the amelioration of poor tribals in many states, there can be nojustification of grievance redress via methods which are inimical to the democratic
process. The government and the political establishment need to send out a strongsignal that the democratic way of life is non-negotiable.The response of the opposition parties is in line with the recommendations of theSecond Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by Veerappa Moily, whichexamined the entire gamut of issues pertaining to Naxalism in its reports on ‘PublicOrder’ and ‘Combating Terrorism’. It said ‘democratic maturity needs time, patience,and genuine efforts to find rational answers to complex problems and willingness toreconcile conflicting views’. Therefore, it hoped the country’s political leadership ‘wouldcome together to evolve a consensus on political conduct which would enableresolution of conflicts for overall maintenance of public order’.After a detailed discussion of the terrorist acts indulged in by Maoists, the commissionsaid all these incidents only reinforce ‘the urgent need for considerable capacity-building among the police and other security forces (state and central) in the areas oftraining, leadership planning of counter-terrorism operations as a part of acomprehensive policy, including reform and development’. Since the Second ARC wasappointed by the UPA coalition, it is up to the government to give due weightage to thecommission’s views.Interestingly, while Chidambaram has got timely support from unexpected quarters,there can be no doubt that he has many critics within the Congress. Although even hisworst critics do not question his competence, many in his party and outside are put offby what senior Congressman Digvijay Singh describes as his ‘intellectual arrogance’. Thistrait often comes to the fore, especially when he addresses the media and at times,even Parliament. He has a tendency to talk down people. Recently, he was seen advisingjournalists to do a crash course in law — something which is certainly not his business. Ifpoliticians who have no formal education can head Union ministries like finance,commerce or home, surely it is no big deal for reporters attending media briefings tounderstand some basic provisions in the Constitution or the IPC. Be it politics or themedia, the truth is that everyone with drive, ambition and talent retains the aptitude toeducate oneself and upgrade his/her skills. Among them, those who remain in thestudent mode, retain their relevance and humility. Those who begin to see themselvesas masters, dissipate their advantages and build a horde of enemies.The country had the opportunity to achieve some level of political consensus on thegrowing menace of terrorism after 26/11, but after some initial restraint, thegovernment got into a slanging match with the opposition on policies that it ought toadopt to prevent future terrorist strikes. The Dantewada massacre offers yet anotheropportunity for the government to adopt a consensual approach to deal with theproblem of terrorism and armed insurrection. The government must grab thisopportunity to arrive at a political consensus and, as the Second ARC has said, display awillingness ‘to reconcile conflicting views’. It should neither worry about vote banks norstand on false prestige, and it must adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards violence.Should the government display such grace, it will restore public faith in democraticpolitics and raise the hope for political consensus on major national issues.
5) In a first, CRPF gives appointment letters to minors of martyrs’ familiesSaturday , Apr 24, 2010Lucknow : For the first time in its history, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) hasissued advance appointment letters to 20 minors, all relatives of the CRPF men from thestate who died in the Naxal ambush at Dantewada on April 6. With nobody in thefamilies of these 20 martyred men currently eligible to avail of the jobs, the CRPF hasissued letters offering appointment to these minors when they turn 18.Among them is Savitri Devi, wife of slain constable Vinod Kumar Yadav of Sangrampur,Sultanpur district, who has been given the appointment letter for her son, Abhishek,who was born on February 18, 2007.The letters of appointment for one person from the families of each of the 75 martyredCRPF men are being distributed and the process is likely to be completed by April 28,said an official, adding this is the first time such letters are being issued and financialpackages being disbursed so promptly.CRPF Deputy Commandant, Central Sector headquarters, Satbir Singh said, “An amountof Rs 26.60 lakh has been released for the next of the kin of each of the 75 personnelacross the country. The CRPF group centres in all states concerned, including UP, havebeen asked to issue the appointment letters to the families living in nearby districts.”Singh said the group centres at Bijnore, Rampur, Allahabad and the Central sector aremaking arrangements to hand over letters to the families of all 43 martyrs from UttarPradesh.In a first, a 35-year-old man was offered a job even as the prescribed age forrecruitment in the force is between 18 and 23 years. The other 35-year-old to be giventhe offer is from Ernakulam in Kerala.“They were considered for the job because both the slain jawans were unmarried, andthe only other eligible person in their families, were their mothers,” Singh said.Dharmendra Kumar (35), brother of slain constable Arendra Kumar of Etah district,completed the formalities at the Rampur group centre on Friday.Fifteen relatives of the matyred CRPF men from the state have, meanwhile, consentedto join the force on April 28. Among them is 20-year-old Cheena of Gunnaur, Budaundistrict, who is the daughter of slain sub-inspector Zamir-ul Hasan, and 18-year-oldDevendra Tiwari of Ahirauli, Ambedkar Nagar district, son of slain S-I Brijesh KumarTiwari.CRPF Inspector General of Central Sector B K Sharma handed over the appointment
letter to Devendra at the Bijnore group centre in Lucknow on Friday.Also, the pregnant wives of four CRPF jawans have given their consent to join theorganisation after a year.The entire work is being handled by the headquarters of the Central Sector of the CRPFat Lucknow, which controls the 62 battalion that suffered heavy losses in the ambush.6) Government quarters razed as Maoist bandh begins in OrissaPTI Saturday, April 24, 2010 16:33 ISTBhubaneswar: Maoists destroyed government quarters in Koraput district today asnormal life was affected in southern Orissa on the first day of the week-long bandhcalled by them in the state and Andhra Pradesh against anti-naxal operations, policesources said.Armed Maoists stormed into Podapadar in Narayanpatna area and razed two newly-constructed quarters for government employees, they said.The ultras disappeared into the forest after the attack.Meanwile, normal life was hit in the southern region of the state, particularly Koraputand Malkangiri districts due to blockade of roads.Traffic on the Jeypore-Malkangiri road and the Narayanpatna-Bandhugaon road wasdisrupted as Maoists had felled trees at several places, the sources said.Road blockades were also reported from Tanginiguda and Gobindpalli areas onMalkangiri-Koraput border.The ultras put up posters and banners at several places opposing Operation GreenHunt.Yesterday, the Maoists had set ablaze a mobile phone tower and ransacked a liquorshop in Malkangiri district.7) Three Maoists surrender in ChhattisgarhSat, Apr 24 Bijapur (Chhattisgarh): Three Maoists surrendered to police in ChhattisgarhsBijapur District on Friday.
Police said one of the surrendered rebels, Dileep, is an area commander.The other two are Dileeps wife and an accomplice, they added."He was involved in various incidents, from firing at the security forces to burning policevehicles. He was wanted in many cases," said Avinash Mohanty, Superintendent ofPolice, Bijapur District.Mohanty said the prized rebel was unwell and unable to get medical aid due to thesecurity operations."He was the area commander and the member of the area committee. He has a bountyof 150,000 rupees on him," he added.On Friday, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said the government would continueto follow a two-pronged approach on Naxal problem."Government will continue to follow its two-pronged approach of development andcalibrated police action to deal with the Naxal problem," Chidambaram said.He said the debate on what should take place first- development or police action- ismisplaced."The decision will vary from situation to situation and from State to State and no fixedprescription is possible. In some areas, it may be possible to undertake somedevelopmental activities, to be followed immediately by steps to strengthen securityand in other areas, it may be necessary to first launch police action to regain control ofthe territory, followed by vigorous developmental activities," Chidambaram said.(ANI)
1) F-35 Program on Schedule to Enhance US Combat PowerThe US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has emphasised the importance of the jointstrike fighter (JSF) 35 program, both for enhancing military logistics and improvingglobal security.Gates spoke at a visit to Lockheed Martins Fort Worth plant, where the final assemblyoperation for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter is taking place. The company securedthe $41 billion contract to develop the craft back in October 2001 and is now closing inon the completion date for the project."We cannot afford as a nation not to have this airplane," said Gates following a tour ofthe factory."I was very impressed by what I saw this morning—by the investments that have beenmade in the production line, the robotics and automation," he added.Gates commended the efforts of the technicians at the plant, saying he was "heartened"by what he had seen.International PartnershipUnder the current schedule, the government will start training pilots to fly the new craftin 2011. The aim is for the Marine Corps to be fully equipped for initial operationalcapability in 2012.The United States and eight international partners are planning to buy more than 3,000F-35 aircraft as part of a global effort to improve military logistics. The UK is the onlylevel one associate in the system development and demonstration phase of theprogram, with the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Australia and Turkeymaking up the remaining level two and three partners.In March this year, the UKs Defence Secretary, John Hutton, announced that the UKwould be buying three JSF test aircraft, a sign of the countrys commitment to themilitary logistics project. It is contributing £2 billion to the £41 billion developmentprogram.Military logistics and Industry BoostHutton said that the JSF is a vital part of the UKs military logistics strategy, forming anessential element of future combat air capability.
"By purchasing three aircraft for testing, we will secure access to the development ofthe program. Working alongside their US colleagues, our pilots will gain an unrivalledunderstanding of this awesome aircraft and its capabilities," he insisted.Hutton also highlighted the economic benefits of the project, as well as the militarylogistics boost, as over 100 UK companies are involved in it. According to the Ministry ofDefence, the potential return on investment is "substantial".The F-35 program features a range of craft with a fifth-generation tactical air system,designed with stealth characteristics and advanced sensors. These include theconventional take-off and landing, the short take-off and vertical landing and the Cmodel to be used on Navy JL2 aircraft carriers.F-18 Phase-Out from Military LogisticsIt is a step forward from the F-18 aircraft, the USs first strike fighter, which wasdesigned to combine fleet air defense capabilities with force projection, interdiction,plus close and deep air support. The F/A 18 Hornet is currently operating in 37 tacticalsquadrons around the world, from 12 aircraft carriers.Canada, Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland also use the Hornetas part of their aviation strike forces and military logistics operations.The newest craft in the fleet is the Super Hornet, which comprises the E and F models.The Super Hornet is built upon the success of the A to D models, with a longer range, anaerial refuelling capability, increased survivability and lethality, plus improved carriersuitability, all boosting its military logistics capabilities.According to the US Navy, the F/A18 E/F acquisition program was an "unparalleledsuccess" for military logistics, with craft emerging on schedule and 400 pounds underweight. The first operational cruise of the Super Hornet F/A18 E was on board the USSAbraham Lincoln in July 2002 and it entered combat in November of that year.The Hornets will eventually be phased out with the introduction of the new F-35 militarylogistics program.2) Israel Says Can Help West Bengal Deal With MaoistsKOLKATA | APR 12, 2010Israel would discuss the issue of homeland security with West Bengal which is reelingunder the brunt of Maoist extremism."Homeland security is becoming important and affecting each of us. In this field we
feel there is something which we can augment for the state of West Bengal,"Ambassador of Israel to India Mark Sofer said while addressing the Bengal NationalChamber of Commerce and Industry here today.He would meet Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Governor M K Narayanantomorrow to deliberate on the matter.He said Israel would be able to provide sophisticated equipment like night vision deviceswhich were not necessarily meant for the defence sector.Besides homeland security, Sofer would also discuss issues like water management,dairy farming and drip irrigation with West Bengal.3) Shocking details on the Plight of CRPF SoldiersIndian Army chief VK Singh blamed the recent massacre of the CRPF officials on internaldeficiencies, stating that the soldiers were not trained properly."This is a matter of concern... in what has happened, there were some internaldeficiencies, which may be in their training or some other things and they (paramilitaryforces) are thinking over it," he said. "The 62nd Battalion of the CRPF that was attackedwas not trained by the Army. Our role is till now limited to training the personnel andgiving advice to the government. Beyond that, our involvement is bound to have someimplications…but that will be decided by the Home Ministry. The political leadershipof the country has to decide whether the army is to be deployed for anti-Maoistoperations. They will take a decision after considering so many aspects. It is difficultfor me to say whether the army would be deployed or not."The Indian Army has trained around 40,000 troops to tackle the Naxal menace.However, according to Singh, unlike in the Army, complete units of personnel do notcome in for training and as a result not all troopers are trained fully. "At times, we dontget homogeneous entities for training. It means that if it is a Company (for training), itdoes not come to us as a Company (together), which happens in the Army," he said.The other shocker is that the soldiers that are deployed to counter the Maoists are onan empty stomach, without adequate drinking water and medical facilities. The CRPFmen can defend themselves against Maoist attacks but not against malaria andpoisonous reptiles. "We are also fighting in the anti-insurgency mode. Army soldiers getdry fruits and other eatables in sufficient quantity during operations. We have to fighton empty stomach and dry throats. Our jawans need food that matches the task athand," said a CRPF jawan. "Malaria is one of the biggest challenges of living here.People frequently fall sick. Some of us have to proceed on sick leave. What has madematters worse is the non-availability of medical facilities."
"Forget qualified doctors, there are not even decent medicine shops. The local doctorswould prescribe the same regular medicines for disease. The nearest hospitals aresome distance away. This is not only our plight but of everyone posted or deployed inremote jungle camps. At night, you are not sure of what may bite or sting you. Forgetpatrolling, one is not safe even in camps. If a snake or something as poisonous bites avictim, there may not be a chance to save him. Water is a big problem here. We haveno clue how to manage in this place where we have to work under constant threatand high daytime temperatures." he added."There is no surety we would get drinking water. Sometimes we have to drink waterfrom the same pond that animals use to quench their thirst. The unhygienic livingconditions are leading to diseases and many personnel are falling sick," a constable said,"There is no pat on the back for a good job done but always some kind of harassment inthe name of discipline."On Tuesday as many as 76 CRPF security personnel were massacred as the Leftwingguerrillas attacked in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh in the dense forests ofChhattisgarh, about 450 km away from Raipur. Only seven men survived the brutal andwell-planned attack and one helicopter which was sent to rescue the men came underfire. The attack was the worst ever since March 2007 when the rebels slaughtered 55policemen. More than 5,000 policemen, militants and poor villagers have died onaccount of Maoist attacks in India over the past few years. A crackdown is under wayand 70,000 paramilitary troopers and policemen have been deployed.Chhattisgarhs former security advisor K.P.S. Gill ridiculed the anti-Maoist operation inChhattisgarh and dubbed it as flawed. All the CRPF personnel reportedly violated thebasic principles of anti-insurgency drive by moving in large numbers, providing an easytarget for the attackers. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules Chhattisgarh, called foran "all-out offensive" against the Maoists.4) Tata Steel undertake social audit of Kalinganagar project news13 April 2010Tata Steel will form a committee to undertake a social audit of its Kalinganagar projectin Orissa, to address issues related to negative social impact of industrialisaion.H M Nerurkar, managing director of Tata Steel said, "We will form a committeecomprising eminent persons to undertake a social audit. I am willing to do this audit forthe next five years. Financial impact of the project on the livelihood of the people andmedical help will be monitored."Nerurkars announcement came in the context of media queries on allegations ofhuman rights exploitation in the project. Tata Steel conducts a voluntary social audit of
its Jamshedpur operations every 10 years.The company signed an MoU with the Orissa government under which for theKalinganagar project in November 2004, but more than five years on, 300 families havenot been moved from the site.The land acquisition process for the project in 2006 sparked a violent agitation by tribalsand the police firing that followed left 14 agitators dead.Human rights activists have blamed industrial projects for displacement of tribals, andtheir cause that has eagerly taken up by Naxalities, literally on a war footing.According to a recent Citigroup report, tribals stand most to lose given that theycomprise 9 per cent of the population and their land makes up around 40 per cent ofthe land acquired till date.Accepting that Naxalite movements enjoyed good local support, he said there was adissatisfied lot that was involved in agitations against projects.He added that Tata Steel would address the issue by working with the communities. Headded that the group had been doing that for 100 years and would continue with thepractice.Tata Steel will also go ahead with its Rs 20,000-crore steel plant. Chhattisgarh project asper its memorandum of understanding with the state government in 2005.The 5.5 million-tonne Chhattisgarh project was planned in the Lohandigunda block,20km from Jagdalpur. The project requires 5,050 acres which the state government is inthe process of acquiring. The company has already deposited the Rs75 crore neededtowards compensation, with the majority of 1,505 land-owners having receivedpayment.Meanwhile, the emergence of quarterly contracts in place of the earlier annualcontracts has led to a sharp increase in raw material prices in international markets andhas forced the company to re-negotiate prices of coal and iron ore with some of theinternational suppliers.In the current fiscal, well need two million tonnes (mt) of imported coal for Indiaoperation and another eight mt for Tata Steel Europe and the entire quantity is to beobtained from the single source, Tata Steel managing director, Nerurkar, said today.An estimated 19-20 mt of iron ore, all imported, will be needed for Tata Steel Europe.Tata Steels India operations at Jamshedpur (7 million tonnes) met 55 per cent of coal
requirement by way of imports while it was self-sufficient in iron ore.He added that Tata Steel Europe (17 mt) was entirely dependent on imports for bothcoal and iron ore.He said that raw material prices had jumped 80-90 per cent with coking coal rising from$125 to $220 a tonne while iron ore prices increased from $65 to $110 a tonne.Responding to a question as to whether the company would also re-negotiate priceswith its customers such as automobile companies, construction and infrastructure firms,he said any advantage to be obtained on raw material prices would be passed on tocustomers.5) PUNE: Cell to track Naxal footprints in cityFriday , Apr 16, 2010Pune : The Pune police have decided to start a special Naxal cell for gatheringintelligence on Naxalite movements in the city in the wake of intelligence inputs that theMaoist groups are focusing on urban areas of the state.Sources said intelligence and police agencies have been instructed, after the DantewadaNaxal attack that killed 76 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, to gatherinformation about the Naxalite network, which is believed to be growing in the urbanareas of the state.Deputy Commissioner of Police (special branch) Lakhmi Gautam said they had alsosought a dossier on Naxalite movements from the anti-Naxal operations wing of thestate police.The Naxal links of the city had emerged in April 2008, when the Andhra police arrested awanted Naxal leader Amar alias Kuru Devender along with his two contacts — MaheshTirupal Lingaiyaa and wife Padma — from Mane Wasti in Wanavdi. A revolver, adetonator and a box of .303 rifle cartridges were seized from them, besides documentspertaining to the Naxal outfit.Amar, a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)Janashakti, had 30 offences registered against him, including those of murder and arson.The Pune police were, however, unaware of his arrest. It was only after a report in TheIndian Express that the special branch of city police had sent a constable to AndhraPradesh to get information about Amar.The intelligence teams in the city were till recently focusing on jehadi ourfits and theHindu radical network. Now that Naxalism has emerged as a bigger threat to thecountry, intelligence is being gathered about individuals and organisations supporting
the Maoist philosophy and help in raising funds for the Naxalite groups.Sources said though the Naxal movement is strong in the forests, there are inputs thatmembers of various Naxalite groups are engaged in spreading the Maoist philosophy inthe urban belt.In January this year, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested Naxalite Surya DevraPrabhakar, a former member of the banned People’s War Group (PWG), fromKanjurmarg in the Mumbai suburbs. Prabhakar, who was workng as an English andMaths tutor, was arrested on charges of trying to spread Maoist philosophy in the city.Investigations revealed that Prabhakar had about nine aliases. Criminal cases had beenregistered against him at Nagpur and Gadhchiroli.6) Chhattisgarh to invest Rs.2,000 crore on infrastructure2010-04-14Chhattisgarhs ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will invest Rs.2,000 crore oninfrastructure in Maoist-infested Bastar region, Chief Minister Raman Singh saidWednesday.The government will invest Rs.2,000 crore during the next three years to boostinfrastructure in Naxal-hit Bastar region, Singh told reporters.He said the government has formed a committee headed by chief secretary P. JoyOommen to look into development work in Bastar, mainly related to infrastructure, suchas the construction of roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.The governments announcement to invest Rs.2,000 crore on infrastructuredevelopment in violence-hit Bastar has come about a week after Maoists carried out thebiggest ever attack on policemen in Dantewada district April 6 in which 76 para-militaryCentral Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were massacred.The 40,000 sq km forested Bastar region is made up of five districts - Narayanpur,Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada.Describing the insurgency-hit Bastar as the toughest area, Singh said: The fight againstMaoists in the region will be long drawn and the state government will be able to assertits authority in Maoist-controlled pockets and also succeed in restoring peace in Bastarin the coming three years.I have spent a lot of my energy trying to spell out the gravity of the Naxal problem butits only in the past one year that they (central government) have realized the threatposed by Naxals, the chief minister remarked.
The Naxal issue should be kept aside from politics. It should be viewed in the context ofthe country and democracy, he observed.The minister slammed human rights groups for being silent on the Dantewadamassacre.Human rights groups and so called intellectuals in the country are saying the policeoffensive against Maoists should be suspended but not a single word of criticism hascome in so far from them regarding the killing of 76 policemen in Dantewada, Singhlamented.7) DRDO developing laser-based bomb disposal kitApril 14, 2010, 18:13 ISTNew Delhi: DRDO is developing a laser-based system which can neutralise land minesand improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a distance of 250 metres without riskingthe lives of troops."We are in the process of developing the Laser Ordnance Disposal System (LORDS)which can be used for neutralizing mines, IEDs and other forms of explosives, planted byterrorists, from a distance of up to 250 meters," DRDOs Laser Science and TechnologyCentre (LASTEC) Director A K Maini said here.The system directs a high-energy invisible infrared beam on the target, which can beanything from land mines, IEDs or old bombs in the forces inventory, and burns theexplosive material inside them and renders them useless, he added.LASTEC, working on directed energy laser systems and technologies, has alreadydeveloped a prototype of the system, which has been extensively tested on varioustypes of explosives.Once developed, the system could be used by Army and paramilitary personnel ininsurgency-infested states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and the Naxal-affected areas, Maini said."Neutralization of ordnance is a hazardous process that is prone to accidents andcasualties. LORDS can help in safe disposal of ordnances," Maini said while referring tothe huge stockpiles of ammunition that have outlived their shelf lives.LASTEC is also working on the concept of developing another high power laser systemthat can be used to set terrorists hideouts on fire from a safe distance of over 300meters without exposing personnel to the firing from terrorists.
Post 26/11, DRDO has increased its focus on urban warfare and has opened a LowIntensity Conflict (LIC) Division that would cater to weapons, equipment and life supportsystems for the paramilitary and police forces.8) Naxals backing NREGA?Apr 14, 2010, 02.47am ISTNEW DELHI: Maoists may be opposed to various development projects in their pocketsof influence but they are not opposed to the National Rural Employment Guarantee(NREGA) scheme — the government’s flagship programme of providing jobs to ruralpoor — leading to its better implementation in Red zone.This came to light on Tuesday when cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar reviewed theprogress of the government’s ongoing development programmes in 33 most Naxal-affected districts across states at the 11th meeting of the task force comprising Unionhome secretary G K Pillai and secretaries of other ministries.The finding that the Maoists are not opposing NREGA is a testimony to the pull of thescheme which played a key role in UPA’s win in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. It offers avaluable insight to the government just when it is looking for a police-plus approach todeal with the menace of extremism. The meeting, coming close on the heels of thekilling of 76 security personnel in the worst ever Naxal attack in Dantewada, took stockof the progress made in the implementation of Forest Rights Act which will benefitScheduled Tribe and other traditional forest dwellers, NREGA, National Rural HeathMission (NRHM), Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Pradhan MatriGram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) among others.It was found that the overall percentage of expenditure (disbursal of fund tobeneficiaries) under NREGA was 72.76% in these 33 districts as compared to 41.04%under PMGSY, 57.44% under NRHM and 37.60% for programmes under the ForestRights Act in the April 2009-January 2010 period.Chief secretaries of seven states presented their reports to the task force and discussedissues through video conferencing during the meeting. They are learnt to have told thetask force that the implementation of NREGA was found to be quite successful in theNaxal-affected districts as Maoists are not opposed to the scheme which provides jobsto local people mainly poor tribals in the affected districts.Jharkhand has the maximum 10 districts in the category followed by seven inChhattisgarh, six in Bihar, five in Orissa and two in Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have one district each.
9) CRPF job mart to win tribal heartsJamshedpur, March 17: The mainstay of ongoing operations against Maoists, the CRPFhas simultaneously initiated efforts to win over hearts and minds of local tribals byoffering them jobs.Always in need of bugle players, cooks, barbers, tailors and water carriers, the CRPF helda recruitment camp at Sumant Moolgaonkar Stadium at Telco on Sunday and as many as300 aspirants trooped in.The idea was to keep it simple, said CRPF commanding officer Sanjay Kumar Singh.Interested tribals — they should have cleared matriculation — did not have to put in anapplication. All they needed to do was appear for a written test, the results of whichwould be declared next month.As many as 100 people are expected to be hired in the first phase.To encourage local tribals to participate, Singh said the CRPF’s VIIth battalion initiated apublic campaign in targeted areas in the twin districts of Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan.“Beside publishing advertisements in vernacular dailies, our jawans spoke to villagerswhile carrying out community policing initiatives. We tried to convince villagers that ourdoors were open for those who wanted to serve the force,” Singh said.A majority of those who attended Sunday’s recruitment drive were from Ghurabandha,Dumaria, Ghatshila and Musaboni blocks of Ghatshila sub-division in East Singhbhumwhere security forces, including the CRPF, and Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), hadstepped up their anti-rebel offensive.If the idea was to woo tribal youths in Naxalite-infested areas of Singhbhum, then thenumbers indicated the mission was successful. CRPF officers were now thinking ofholding more such job marts throughout April, but were yet to be decided where.In the Jhumra hills of Bokaro, along with Nawadih and Uparghat areas where operationswere in progress, the CRPF initiated various initiatives to win over local villagers. At thehillock, which houses around 80 villages with a total population of over 20,000 people,the CRPF has been helping out with water supply, medicines and even telephonefacilities.CRPF Special DG and commander of the anti-Naxalite task force Vijay Raman reachedthe state capital this evening to review the progress of Operation Greenhunt which DGPNeyaz Ahmed confirmed had been extended to four more districts.
Ahmed, who refused to name the districts, however said patrolling had been stepped upin the Jhantijharna and adjoining areas of East Singhbhum’s Ghatshila sub-division.About 8-10 companies of Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) and the CRPF have beendeployed in these areas.10) Maoists continue to kill dogs to stop detectionTuesday 16th March, 2010Maoist guerrillas continue to kill dogs in rural Bihar, ignoring the appeal of animal rightsorganisation People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), police said Tuesday.We have received reports that Maoists continue to kill dogs at different places acrossthe state. It appears that Maoists have simply ignored PETAs appeal, a police officertold IANS.The officer said the dogs were killed because they barked and alerted villagers andsecurity forces of Maoists movement from one place to another.Stray dogs are the best watchdogs for the police. They help alet us, said another policeofficer in Gaya district, a Maoist stronghold.Earlier this month, the Indian chapter of US-based organisation PETA appealed to theMaoist guerrillas in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal not to kill dogs.In a signed appeal, PETA India senior campaign coordinator Nikunj Sharma said: Animalshave no part in your battle and should not be made to suffer in the crossfire.A few years ago, Maoists in Bihar issued a diktat to the villagers directing them to poisonthe dogs as they bark when the ultras visit the region, especially at night, alerting thesecurity forces.11) Naxalites stop work on 300 roads2010-03-13Naxalites have stopped work of 300 roads which were to be constructed under thePradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in the restive Bastar region ofChhattisgarh. This was informed by the state’s panchayat minister Ramvichar Netam inthe Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly today. He was replying to a question during theQuestion Hour."Some 300 road projects under PMGSY have been held up due to Naxalites terror,"Netam said. He said the government had taken initiative to start the projects.
12) South Asia emerging as focal point for all terrorist organisations : Antony2010-04-17Defence Minister A K Antony on Friday said the South Asian region is emerging as thefocal point for all terrorist organisations.The situation is very critical and sensitive," he claimed, while speaking on the sidelinesof a Unified Commanders Conference here.Antony said the Central Government would take a final call on the use of armed forcesagainst the Maoists only after considering all aspects."Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has decided that the Home Ministry would be thenodal point on the Naxal problem," said Antony."The armed forces have to be ever ready to meet the challenges," he added.Stating that Naxalites want to overthrow the established authority of the Governmentthrough armed liberation struggle, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had onThursday said the country needs a strong head, a stronger heart and enormous stayingpower to counter the Maoist menace.Making a detailed statement in the Rajya Sabha on the Dantewada massacre, in whichat least 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a policeman were killed bythe Maoists, Chidambaram reiterated the Centres readiness to assist StateGovernments in tackling the problem at hand."To counter the menace of Naxalism we need a strong head, a stronger heart andenormous staying power, I believe that the Government has all three qualities,"Chidambaram said."The Central Government stands ready and willing to assist the State Governments andto coordinate inter-State operations," he added.Brushing aside reports that 62nd CRPF battalion was ill trained, Chidambaramemphatically said all personnel of the battalion were well trained to handle anti Maoistsoperation.hidambaram strongly defended Governments right to deploy security forces in conflictzones to bring back normalcy and kick start development works."The State has a legitimate right to deploy its security forces to resist, apprehend and, ifnecessary, neutralize militants who are determined to strike at the very roots of our
nation," he said.Chidambaram said the Government has adopted two strategies to counter Maoistsmenace-police action and development work."Anti-Naxal operations are being conducted in accordance with the policy deliberatedand agreed upon at several meetings with Chief Ministers of the affected States. Thetwo pillars of the policy are calibrated police action and development," he said."Central para military forces have been provided to the affected States, includingChhattisgarh, to help the State Governments carry out counter-insurgency operations,regain control of areas dominated by the Naxalites, restore the civil administration, andre-start development work," Chidambaram added.He said its the primary responsibility of the State Governments to conduct anti Naxaloperations.Chidambaram acknowledged that forces are experiencing problem at some places tocarry out operation due to more civilian presence.Chidambaram informed the House that the Home Ministry has constituted a committeeheaded by retired Border Security Force (BSF) chief E.N. Ram Mohan to investigate thematter and urged members to wait till committee submits its report before reaching anyfinal conclusions.13) Military to decide on war on Maoists: Antony2010-04-16 16:20:00The involvement of armed forces in the war against Maoist guerrillas will be taken afterconsidering all aspects, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Friday.The government will take an appropriate decision after considering all aspects, he toldreporters on the sidelines of the Unified Commanders conference here.The minister was asked about the possibility of involving the armed forces to fight theincreasingly aggressive Maoists.Antonys comments follow those of Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, who said this week thatusing the air force to target Maoists was risky because innocent civilians could get hit.
1) Arrested Maoist had hatched plan to flee to BangladeshSaturday, March 6, 2010Kolkata: The CPI (Maoist) in West Bengal has successfully developed a coordinationsystem with the ultra-red forces in Bangladesh, arrested Maoist leader VenkateshwarReddy alias Telugu Dipak has confessed.Home minister P Chidambaram had warned a few weeks ago about Indian Maoistguerillas having established links with similar groups in neighbouring countries.Before his arrest, Dipak was coordinating with Bangladeshi rebel group Lal Pataka (RedFlag), a wing of the Purba Banglar (East Bengal’s) Communist Party (Marxist - Leninist).According to West Bengal director general of policeBhupinder Singh, Maoists had triedto establish many such networks with terror outfits in India and abroad.The main purpose behind establishing links with Lal Pataka was to set up subsidiaryMaoist bases at the bordering districts of Maldah, Murshidabad and Nadia. “Setting upbases at these bordering districts would have helped them escape to Bangladesh as andwhen necessary,” a CID official said.Interrogating Dipak, the CID sleuths came to know that during the third week ofFebruary, he had a meeting with two top leaders of Lal Pataka at a secret location atTehatta in Nadia.2) Bengal: Maoists kidnap teacher, give 48-hour ultimatumSaturday March 6, 2010Just days after Maoist leader Kishanjis right hand man Telugu Deepak is arrested by theWest Bengal police, the Maoists fight back. In a late night development, Kishanji hasnow laid down conditions for the release of a school teacher who was kidnapped by theinsurgents on Friday.Kishanji has called a reporter in Jhargram and served a 48-hour ultimatum for the schoolmasters release.He has demanded the release of six villagers of Saluka village in Bankura district inexchange for the school teacher.The call to the reporter came from Kishanjis much advertised number.
After Kishanji spoke, the phone was taken by a leader of the PCPA, a man called SidhuSoren, who made the same demand.Soren said the kidnapping was done by an outfit called Sidhu Kanu Grnamilitia whichappears to be a Maoist front organisation.The school teacher was kidnapped in Sarenga in Bankura and was picked up fromschool. Maoists reportedly, came riding on a bike which was seen heading towardsGoyalbhorer Amlachutir jungle.3) Maoists behind Buddha assassination bid: Telugu DeepakSougata Mukhopadhyay / CNN-IBNKolkata: With the arrest Maoist leader Telugu Deepak the West Bengal CID seems to beclose to solving the mystery behind the attack on West Bengal Chief MinisterBuddhadeb Bhattacharjees. Telugu Deepak claims that the Communist Party of India –Maoist was behind the blast.The decision to launch the landmine attack on Chief Ministers convoy was taken by CPI-Maoist politburo. West Bengal CID sources say that the politburo entrusted Kishenji tocarry out the task who in turn passed it on to Deepak.Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy is being brought to Kolkata for cross-examination. CIDsources in Kolkata say Deepak and Kobad may be jointly interrogated. Ghandy was theonly politburo member who was arrested after the blast on the Chief Ministers convoyin November 2008 in Salboni, in West Midnapore.Police now feel that Deepaks arrest may now deal a blow to preparations of anotherNandigarm-like resistance in Haripur in West Bengal where the government plans toacquire land to set up a nuclear power plant.4) Naxals could be getting help from ex-servicemen: PillaiExpress news service Posted online: Saturday , Mar 06, 2010 at 0321 hrsNew Delhi : In a first of its kind statement, the government on Friday suggested thatNaxalite groups might be getting help from some ex-servicemen for training andplanning of operations.“The precision and the manner in which Naxalites carry out their operations and theway they carry out a post- mortem of their operations gives the impression that theymight be getting support from some ex-servicemen,” Home Secretary G K Pillai saidhere.
“The references to words like targets and positions in their literature are typical of thelanguage that is used in military vocabulary,” he said, but told The Indian Express laterthat it was only a “surmise” and there was no evidence to show that any ex-servicemenwere helping the Naxalite groups.Speaking almost simultaneously at a different venue, a group of activists led byArundhati Roy, slammed the government for initiating military action against theNaxalite groups and said it was aimed primarily at driving out tribals from the mineral-rich areas which they inhabit. Contending that 99 per cent of the Naxalites werehelpless tribals, who have been completely neglected by the government so far, theseactivists said the military action was leading to a genocide-like situation with thegovernment “engaged in a war against its own people”.“There cannot be a military solution. The government must respond positively to theMaoists’ offer of talks,” Arundhati Roy said.Meanwhile, PM Manmohan Singh reiterated his government’s offer of talk to Naxalitesbut only if they laid down their arms. “While we are determined to take firm action, weare ready to talk to any group that abjures violence unconditionally and agrees toabide by the due constitutional process,” he told Parliament .
1) ORISSA: Social security gets top priority05 Mar 2010 09:14:06 AM ISTBHUBANESWAR: Despite the recessionary impact on the economy, the StateGovernment has decided to go ahead with its flagship schemes catering to the keyconstituency, the rural poor.An amount of Rs 910 crore has been allotted for Rs 2 per kg rice scheme in the vote-on-account for the first four months of the financial year to be placed by the StateGovernment in the Assembly on March 15. The monthly stipend of physically challengedand orphan students will also be hiked from Rs 500 to Rs 750. The vote-on-account wasapproved at the meeting of the Council of Ministers presided over by Chief MinisterNaveen Patnaik here on Thursday.The State Government has also made provisions for two new schemes to be launchedfrom April. While Rs 18 crore has been provided for Biju Saharanchal BidyutikaranYojana, Rs 75 crore has been earmarked for making the village roads concrete. Sourcessaid 40 per cent of the funds required for the project has been made available nowwhile the rest will be provided in the full budget later.It was decided that Rs 20 crore will be spent during the first four months for deploymentof 5,600 police personnel in the Naxalite-affected areas. While Gopabandhu GrameenYojana will get Rs 165 crore, the Biju KBK Yojana has been provided Rs 120 crore. TheBiju Kandhamal Yojana, another new scheme, has been provided Rs 28 crore while BijuGram Jyoti Yojana will get Rs 50 crore.The MLA Local Area Development (MLALAD) fund has been provided with full provisionof Rs 110.25 crore. Other provisions include Rs 60 crore for `Mo Kudia’ and Rs 120 crorefor Madhubabu Pension Yojana. A provision of Rs 20 crore has been made for theEmployment Mission.The vote-on-account will be of Rs 17,050 crore which includes Rs 12,360.75 crore non-plan, Rs 3,686.1 crore State plan, Rs 380.36 crore Central plan and Rs 619 croreCentrally- sponsored plan. The budget has been projected at Rs 38,441 crore. However,changes are likely to be brought in the full budget on the basis of recommendationsmade by the Thirteenth Finance Commission (TFC).Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei told mediapersons after the meeting thatagriculture, irrigation and communication have been accorded priority in the voteon-account. He said that all welfare measures started by the State Government willcontinue and there is no chance of these being affected.
2) Govt to send 2000 more paramilitary men to Bihar, JkhandThursday , Mar 04, 2010New Delhi : The Union Home Ministry has decided to send around 2,000 additionalparamilitary force personnel to Bihar and Jharkhand to assist the state police forces tocounter the Maoists violence.The two battalions (1,000 personnel in each battalion) of security men, havingspecialised training in jungle warfare, will reach the two states by March 10.Both Bihar and Jharkhand will get one battalion each, Home Ministry officials said.The central government will send 6,000 more paramilitary personnel to Bihar,Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal in the next 40 days after completion of theirtraining.The four eastern states had together asked for 14,000 additional forces from the centralgovernment at the February 9 meeting of the states held in Kolkata. The meeting waschaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram.Around 60,000 central security personnel are currently deployed in Naxal-affectedstates to assist the state governments to counter the Naxals.Security forces are now engaged in an offensive against the Maoists in the three inter-state junctions which are considered to be the hotbed of the extremists. They areChhattisgarh-Maharashtra-Orissa, Chhattisgarh-Orissa and West Bengal-Jharkhand.3) Maoist leader reveals evil design, confirms TMC linkFri, Mar 05, 2010THE CAT is out of the bag once again. After Kishenji, a Maoist politburo member, it isnow the turn of Venkatesh Reddy, alias Dipak, alias Gauranga, to expose the red rebels’close links with the Trinamool Congress, the major partner of the Congress in the UPA.Dipak, a member of the Maoist military commission, was arrested this week fromSarsuna area of Kolkata by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). It is a bigsuccess for the West Bengal Police. But Dipak’s revelation during interrogation is anominous sign for the state’s future, intelligence officials feel.“It is clear from Dipak’s disclosure that the Trinamool Congress and the Maoists workedtogether in Nandigram, Khejuri and Haripur in East Midnapore district and the forestareas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts as a part of a bigger evil design
to dislodge the Left Front Government in West Bengal,” a senior investigating officersaid.What was an even more dangerous disclosure was that the Maoists had killedNishikanta Mondal, a Trinamool leader of Nandigram and a member of the BhumiUchched Committee, on charges of not returning ten sophisticated firearms and largefunds, which the Maoists had left with him before moving to Khejuri and Haripur.The Centre has decided to set up a nuclear power plant at Haripur in East Midnaporedistrict. Both Trinamool congress and the Maoists are opposing the Centre’s decision toset up the nuclear power plant there.“We are worried about the misuse of these firearms and we have to recover theseweapons. We are also looking for those, who have received Arms training from theMaoists,” the officer said. “It is now clear that the Maoists had run several arms trainingcamps in both Nandigram and Khejuri in active connivance with the TrinamoolCongress,” he observed.The officer said the State and City police are also trying to find out the contacts of bothKishenji and Dipak in the city and the suburbs. Despite claims by both Kishenji andDipak, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee continues to blame the CPI (M) forthe killing of Mondal last year for the reasons best known her.Political observers and intelligence officials, however, described as “rubbish” the claimof Trinamool Congress MP and UPA Minister Sisir Adhikari that the CPI (M) had used theMaoists against the opposition in Keshpur and Panskura and Dipak and his gang wastaken to Nandigram in a Government vehicle.They said it was good news that the Centre had decided to send 6,000 moreparamilitary personnel to Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal in the next 40 daysafter completion of their training.The four eastern states had together asked for 14,000additional personnel from the Centre during last month’s meeting in Kolkata. Around60,000 central security personnel are currently deployed in the Maoist-affected states.“It’s high time that the Centre and the States start joint operations against the Maoistsand restore confidence among the poor people. Most of the poor people are forced tojoin and help the Maoists at gun points,” they observed.“Truly speaking the Maoists today are nothing but groups of mercenaries, who areplagued with corruption and bloody rivalry among their own hit squads,” they pointedout.They said the Centre and the state should not give any opportunity to the Maoists toregroup and reorganize under any pretext and launch the joint operation without anyfurther delay. “In our state the Maoists are trying to expand their bases in other districts
like North and South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Bardhaman, Birbhum, Nadia, Murshidabad,Malda and Darjeeling districts,” they added.4) Deepak finger on trade union pulseCalcutta, March 4: Whether in the forests of Lalgarh or in urban Calcutta, TeluguDeepak, police believe, had cast the Maoist web wide across the state.The police claimed that besides training youths in guerrilla tactics in the Maoist-infesteddistricts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, Deepak was involved in setting upultra-Left trade unions in Calcutta as well as North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah andHooghly.Sleuths questioning Deepak, a member of the CPI (Maoist) state committee, said he hadfrequented Calcutta and nearby areas in the past couple of years. His task was to set upunions, especially in the unorganised sector, but also where trade unions were existing.“He was arrested en route to Haripur, the site of the proposed nuclear reactor in EastMidnapore. Deepak had for sometime been engaged in setting up Maoist-backed unitsamong jute workers, tailors, barbers and other daily wage earners,” an officer said. “Healso set up a union for Group D bank employees.”The police said that he used to do this with the help of frontal organisations of theMaoists to avoid prosecution.“For instance, he had set up the Mazdoor Kisan Shramik Sangathan in many of the jutemills along the Hooghly and also Naba Parjay, an outfit of state government employeessympathetic towards the Maoists,” the officer said. “This (the work for the unions) iswhat brought him often to Calcutta.”Deepak was also the architect behind the Maoist bases in Nadia, Murshidabad andBirbhum. “He organised the farmers and poor villagers who reside on the banks of theJalangi in south Bengal and also helped organise a violent movement against rationdealers in Birbhum,” the officer added. “But last year, after a police crackdown andarrest of key operatives recruited by Deepak, the Maoist base in Murshidabad andNadia suffered a setback.”The officer also said that Deepak was in touch with “some political” leaders as well asintellectuals but refused to elaborate. “Deepak is a big catch and we are relieved he hasbeen arrested.”“The central intelligence bureau had submitted a report that the Maoists should beneutralised in Haripur to set up the nuclear reactor there. There was pressure on thestate government to do so and Deepak’s arrest will go a long way in achieving that.”
P. Nirajnayan, inspector-general, CID, said: “We have enough proof to show that hewent there (Haripur) a number of times and appointed his point men there,” said.5) Naxals must talk with Center: Telugu DeepakNew Delhi, Mar 4The detained Maoist, who is a close aide of the CPI(Maoist) polit bureau memberKishanji, is believed to be the mastermind behind the attack on Eastern Frontier Rifles(EFR) camp at Silda camp attacks in which 24 EFR personnel were killed.Deepak was reportedly planning a Nandigram like attack in Haripur, when he wasarrested by the West Bengal police on Tuesday, Mar 2.A dictaphone and propaganda tapes were found with Deepak at the time of arrets.6) Comrades wary of Kishenji’s sound bytes GS VasuFirst Published : 05 Mar 201005:49:00 AM IST HYDERABAD: It is not just Union Home Minister P Chidamba05 Mar 2010HYDERABAD: It is not just Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is finding topMaoist leader Kishenji’s statements, the latest one on the 72-day ceasefire, bizarre.The CPI-Maoist top leadership also seems to be perturbed over some of the statementsmade by its politburo member in the recent past and more particularly, the form he hasbeen adopting -- speaking over phone to television channels on a regular basis, a strictNO-NO for an underground leader.The discomfort among the Maoist leadership was revealed to anti-Naxal Intelligenceagencies during the course of interrogation of some ultras arrested in the past fewmonths.The prize catch was, of course, the one managed by the Bengal Police on Tuesday whenthey arrested Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak, a close aide of Kishenji.There are quite a few aspects which appear baffling.Kishenji is currently heading the East Regional Bureau of the CPI_Maoist (West Bengal,Jharkhand and NE states) but he is acting as if he is the official spokesman, a jobentrusted to another senior who goes by the name of Azad.Any policy decision of the Maoist party, whether on ceasefire or the Telangana issue, isexpected from the official spokesman.On ceasefire, Kishenji gave a telephone number on which he could be contacted forgovernment response but the mobile turned out to be that of a constable. On the T
statehood demand, Kishenji went to the extent of giving phone-ins to some localchannels on more than one occasion and even answered questions from viewers.This has caused consternation among the protagonists of Telangana, irrespective oftheir political ideology as they feel it has unnecessarily lent a Maoist tag to thestatehood movement which is mainly led by mainstream political parties and massorganizations.They are not wrong.The TV interviews of Kishenji have been used by the AP government before theSupreme Court to prove its point that Maoists have infiltrated the statehoodmovement, though there is little evidence to suggest the same.While Intelligence agencies are said to be more than happy with the “loose cannon”Kishenji, Maoist sympathizers are puzzled.For, Kishenji, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, is no novice, having joined the movementalmost three decades ago and is more than aware of the nuances that governunderground life.7) Home Minister stresses need to ensure complete coverage while preparing NationalPopulation RegisterThe Union Home Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram has stressed the need to ensurecomplete coverage of population without duplication while preparing the NationalPopulation Register (NPR). He was addressing here today an All India Conference ofState Coordinators/ District Magistrates/ Collectors/ Deputy Commissioners on thesubject of “Census of India 2011 & National Population Register”. The Home Ministercautioned that special efforts would be required to ensure coverage of vulnerablesections of the society like the elderly, handicapped, weak and marginalised. He askedthe Collectors of Districts that are facing special threats and border districts to be extravigilant.The exercise will be taken up from 1st April this year. Nowhere in the world has aGovernment tried to count, identify and issue identity cards to more than a billionpeople. This is, perhaps, the biggest exercise of its type since humankind came intoexistence. The Home Minister said that the task is not easy given the vastness andcomplexities of our country. While India has considerable experience in conductingCensuses, this is the first time a National Population Register is being prepared. Thereare no existing models that the country can emulate. This is a path breaking initiative forothers to follow.The Home Minister clarified that local officials are not required to seek proof ofnationality or citizenship from each and everyone, as NPR is a register of Usual
Residents and the nationality being canvassed in the form is only as per the declarationof the respondent. This will not confer any rights of citizenship on anybody. Theemphasis at this stage of data collection is on inclusion rather than exclusion.Shri Chidambaram said that there had been occasions when State Governments cameup with the plea that the Census had not been conducted properly in their States. Hepointed out that it was the State’s own officers who conducted the Census and certifiedthat the exercise had been conducted without omission or duplication.In his address, the Minister of State for Home, Shri Ajay Maken expressed satisfactionthat before the exercise of creation of NPR begins, the country will have the benefit ofexperience of preparation of NPR in 3,331 villages in coastal areas of nine States andfour Union Territories. He said that implementation of the project would not only helpthe country become more secure, but also bring about a paradigm shift in the basicgovernance, service delivery mechanism to the poor and monitoring of welfareschemes.The exercise will involve 35 States, 640 districts, 5767 tehsils, 7742 towns, 6,08,786villages, 24 crore households and 1.2 billion population. Over 2.5 million fieldfunctionaries will be involved with the exercise. The Census exercise is likely to costRs.2,200 crore and the NPR exercise Rs. 3,756 crore.8) Maoist objective is to overthrow Indian state: Home SecretaryFriday March 5, 2010, New DelhiUnion Home Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai said on Friday that the Maoist objective wasto overthrow the Indian state by 2050, possibly with the help of ex-armymen.Speaking at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis in New Delhi, he said adetailed analysis of Naxal operations showed that they may be helped by ex-Armymen.Also, documents found showed that the Maoist agenda was to overthrow the Indianstate by 2050.The home secretary said the Maoists were not serious about talks because they werentunder enough pressure to do so. The estimated annual income of Maoists is Rs 1,400crore.Right now, they were looking to regroup and build their own army towards their plans.And, Mr Pillai said, they were using administrative vacuum and underdevelopment to dothis.The home secy has also warned that Maoists may move into Bihar as the state haselections coming up and perhaps want to go soft on Maoists.
Analysis of Naxal attacks has revealed detailed and precise planning. Some aspectsthat point to possible involvement of ex-army and ex-para military personnel: • Lethal use of improvised explosive device (IED) • Precise, pin-pointed intelligence-based attacks on vulnerable posts/camps • Practice of swift retreat/melting away after attacks with arms looted from security forcesReacting to the Home Secretarys statment, writer activist Arundhati Roy said Naxalstoday are a guirella force, not an army, she also said that she does not justify Maoistviolence.
1) Centre sets up combined SOGs in Naxal-affected statesMar 4, 2010, 02.59am ISTNEW DELHI: As part of its plan to take on Red ultras more effectively, the Centre has setup combined Special Operation Groups (SOGs) of state police forces and CRPF in eachnaxal-affected state, which will coordinate among themselves for joint operations.Sources in the home ministry said that the SOGs, comprising 40-50 selected personnelfrom the paramilitary and concerned state police force, were being provided requiredlogistic and other support for the coordinated action."Local police are part of the SOGs due to their knowledge of terrain and regionallanguage", said an official.The SOGs will commence operations in seven most naxal infested states -- Jharkhand,Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh -- in duecourse as part of the ongoing offensive against the ultras.2) Rebelling against rebels; bonhomie against bulletsMar 4, 2010, 06.11am ISTLAHERI (Gadchiroli): ‘Re Re Rela Rela ...’ goes the joyous tribal tune as the steps of thedancers in their traditional outfits and colourful headgears matches the rhythm of thedrums they themselves are playing. It creates a festive mood at the government ashramschool at Laheri, around 200-km from Gadchiroli, on Wednesday.The songs, dances, mass marriages, gifts and cash rewards and benefits make the revivalof the interactive and cultural programme, locally called the ‘Jan Jagran Melawa’ orpublic awareness congregation, a lively affair. The lush forested hills of the enchantingBeenagonda provide the perfect backdrop.The cops seemed to have thrown a challenge before the Naxals by organizing the meetat a place which is not very far from their stronghold of Abujhmarh situated on theMaharashtra-Chhattisgarh border. The event took place around 30 km from the venue.No wonder, around 90-km stretch between Aheri and Laheri was lined with policevehicles, commandos and patrolling parties in bullet-proof and anti-mine vehicles toensure that this renewed effort of the district administration and police does not faceany hurdle.Less than a kilometre away from the village is the spot where the Naxals brutally gunneddown 17 state cops — the highest loss for the securitymen — before the state elections
last year.After a tumultuous 2009 when the cops lost more than 51 of their colleagues in Naxalviolence, the practice of organizing such gatherings in the remote villages of Gadchiroli,to highlight government schemes and facilities to the tribals, took a break. After threesuch gatherings in January last year, Laheri on Wednesday brought about a welcomechange."We don’t expect you to give us information about the Naxals and their movements.But, at least give us a place in your heart," Sandeep Bhajibhakde, subdivisional officer ofGadchiroli, told the villagers."You be with us and we will take care of the Naxals." Like him, memories of the fatefulday (8/10) are still fresh in the minds of many cops, especially those who were amongthe 42-man squad that took on the Naxals."Our muscles and mind had almost given up. After night-long patrolling, the Naxals hadambushed us in the morning and the fight continued for hours before help came," saidconstable Suresh Atram of Laheri sub-police station.In the fun-filled ambience, there was ample scope for the local population to interactwith officials of health, agriculture, veterinary, education and rural employmentdepartments."Education is the most important aspect of the tribal development. Government hasopened several ashram schoolsin remote places. Please send your children to such places," said project officer AshokKumar of Integrated Tribal Development Projects while stressing that education canhelp tribals fight for their rights.The officials of the government’s Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan scheme also spoke to thevillagers who thronged their stalls. "Send your children to schools and ensure that theydo not drop out," said an official.A huge crowd was spotted at the health department’s stall where Dr VV Dharmadhikariand his team remainedbusy distributing free-of-cost medicines and conducting check-ups of the children andadults who had lined up. "This is a malaria-prone area and we need to be cautious aboutthe health of the villagers. We also have special programmes for post and prenatal careunder National Rural Health Mission," said Dr Dharmadhikari, adding that nearly 400villagers had taken advantage of the stalls.To fight the malnutrition prevalent among tribals, the team of SD Thool, supervisor ofthe Integrated Child Development Scheme, remained busy with the villagers who visited
her stall. She also ensured that her team members speak to the villagers who had comewith their children at the gathering.Several youths were found queuing up at the stall of the tribal development projectenquiring about their caste andbirth certificates. "I need certain documents made for further education andemployment," said a youth who wasamong few to return disheartened.3) Jharkhand to set up human rights commissionMarch 4th, 2010 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS -Ranchi, March 4 (IANS) Jharkhand will set up a human rights commission to ensure thatvillagers in the state are not harassed and tortured in the name of anti-Maoistoperations, an official said Thursday.“The formation of a human rights commission was necessitated as there are scores ofexamples of violation of human rights in anti-Maoist operations. Villagers areunnecessarily harassed and tortured in the name of anti-Maoist operations,” a seniorgovernment official told IANS.“Under Human Rights Commission Act of 1993, each state has to constitute a humanrights commission. Even nine years after creation of Jharkhand no such commission hasbeen constituted,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.The Jharkhand cabinet Wednesday evening cleared the government proposal to set upthe commission. The state government will soon work out details about the functioningof the commission and who will head it.Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren had last month asked the district police chiefs toreview cases of villagers lodged in different jails on charges of being Maoists.At present Jharkhand police has a human rights cell, which, however, does not have themanpower to take up many cases.4) Hard core Maoist surrendered before Orissa PoliceParalakhemundi : Hard core Maoist Jayadeb Majhi has surrendered here on Wednesdaybefore the Superintendent of Police Sanjib Arora. He is a resident of Raiganta area ofAdaba . The red rebel, identified as Jayadev Majhi (22), alias Bulu was an active memberof the Ghumusar Division of the Maoists.
Notably, he is also said to be a close aide of dreaded Maoist leader Azad. Bulu partedways with the Maoist outfit after facing lot of humiliation and problems, Sanjeev Arora,Gajapati Superintendent of Police told.According to Arora, the ultra was involved in a series of violent Maoist offensives,including the attack upon the Banigandi forest beat house in 2009, landmine blast atMandari Ghati. Bulu has also confessed to his crime.5) 2258 naxal violence incidents, 908 deaths, 1981 arrested in 200903-Mar-2010 16:51:17New Delhi: As many as 2,258 incidents of naxal violence had occurred in 2009 resultingin 908 deaths while 1,981 naxalites were arrested and the government has adopted anintegrated approach in dealing with leftwing extremists activities in areas of security,development and public perception, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken said in written replies to various questions thatthe total number of naxal violence incidents were 2,258 with 908 being killed in 2009.Jharkhand ranked first with maximum 742 incidents, followed by 529 in Chhattisgarh,266 in Orissa, 255 in West Bengal, 232 in Bihar and 154 in Maharashtra.Of the 908 deaths in naxal violence in 2009, 290 died in Chhattisgarh, 208 in Jharkhand,158 in West Bengal, 93 in Maharashtra, 72 in Bihar, 67 in Orissa and 18 in AndhraPradesh, he informed.Of the 1981 naxalites arrested last year, 421 were in Chhattisgarh, followed by 367 inJharkhand, 358 in Andhra Pradesh and 341 in Bihar. In Orissa, 176 naxalites werearrested while in West Bengal their number was 143.This year till February 23, total 408 naxalites were arrested of which 114 naxalites inChhattisgarh, 69 in Bihar, 60 in West Bengal, 56 in Uttar Pradesh, 39 in Jharkhand, 34 inAndhra Pradesh, 28 in Orissa and 13 in Maharashtra, he pointed out.Mr Maken said the registration of criminal cases, their investigation and persecution area continuous process. The CPI(Maoist) has an organisational structure with a politburoand Central Committee at its apex level. General Secretary of CPI (Maoists) MuppallaLaxman Rao, alias, Ganapati is underground, he informed.According to intelligence inputs, CPI(Maoists) extorts large sums from contractors andothers in the naxal-affected areas, he said in reply to another question regarding leftistcomrades minting money to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore through weekly extortions apartfrom providing every facilities to the Maoists through Bangladesh and Nepal borders.
However, Mr Maken said there was no inputs about naxalites running regular publicwarfare schools in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.6) Maoist couple surrenders in OrissaTuesday 02 Mar 2010 17:47 - by IANSBhubaneswar, March 2 : A Maoist couple surrendered to police in Orissa’s Keonjhardistrict Tuesday, citing physical and mental exploitation by the ultras, officials said.“Two people surrendered before us today (Tuesday). They were members of the KalingaNagar division (of the Maoists),” said Superintendent of Police Ashis Singh.The two have been identified as Mamina Munda, 18, and Mataram Munda, 20.According to police, they surrendered due to mental and physical exploitation by theMaoist cadre.“The woman Maoist rebel said that they were physical and mentally exploited bysenior members in the cadre,” Singh added.They had joined the Leftwing ultras two years back and got married one year ago. Butafter marriage they were forcibly taken back into the Maoist cadre and deployed indifferent divisions of the outfit.“After marriage they were deployed in separate divisions,” Singh added, saying thatthe couple will be rehabilitated according to the surrender policy of the stategovernment.
1) India-Myanmar to jointly fight northeast rebelsImphal: India and Myanmar will conduct a coordinated operation against northeastseparatist outfits taking shelter and setting up base camps in the neighbouring country,Union Home Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai said here."A coordinated operation by the joint forces of India and Myanmar would be conductedin the jungles of the neighbouring country to flush out northeast militants camps," Pillaitold reporters here Saturday night after holding a meeting with top Manipurgovernment officials.The strategy for the joint operation was discussed with Myanmar officials during Pillaisvisit to Yangon Jan 19-21."All camps (in Myanmar) which are acting against the interest of India would betargeted," the home secretary said refusing to divulge details about the proposed jointoperation.According to Pillai, quite a large number of separatist outfits belonging to northeastIndia have their camps across the border.Pillai was here to review the law-and-order situation in Manipur and the developmentwork being undertaken in the state.Three northeastern states -- Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram -- share a 1,643-kmunfenced border with Myanmar."We have given detailed information about the insurgent camps with specific locationsto the Myanmar authorities," the union home secretary stated."If any extremist outfit abjures violence, it would be a great potential for talks," hepointed out.Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in his speech during the internalsecurity meeting in New Delhi earlier this month pointed out that the almost uncheckedtrans-border movement of Indian insurgent groups and the continued existence of theircamps in Myanmar posed threats to the internal security of Manipur and othernortheastern states."It is no secret that most arms and ammunition used against our security forces aresmuggled in from Myanmar. It is also known that whenever our army, Assam Rifles andthe state police launch operations, the militant groups take shelter in neighbouringareas of Myanmar," Singh told the meeting.Highlighting the positive outcome of the home secretary-level talks Jan 19-21 at Yangon,the Manipur chief minister asked the central government to consult authorities inMyanmar for ascertaining the dates convenient for the first meeting of the proposedseries of meetings between the border liaison officers
2) Maoists blow up liquor shops in West BengalPurulia (West Bengal), Feb 27(ANI): Maoists launched a series of attacks and blew upliquor shops in West Bengal’s Purulia district on Saturday.The rebels attacked liquor shops in Kotshila police station area.Abheesh Prasad, owner of one of the liquor shops, said: “Some of the Maoists werewearing civilian dress while others were in military uniform. They were carryingweapons also and they told us to leave this profession and do something else. Theydid not harm us but told us to leave.”The Maoist revolt started in 1967 as a peasant-based uprising in West Bengal’sNaxalbari town, but has now spread to large swathes of countryside in more than 20 outof 28 states.In response to the ceasefire call proposed by the Maoists, the government said that inthe absence of an authentic statement, it was unable to respond immediately, raisingdoubts about the truce and peace talks.Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had earlier said in a statement that talks could bepossible if the rebels gave up violence, a demand the Maoists have so far refused.The rebels have ignored repeated calls to renounce violence and negotiate, and havestepped up their attacks in recent months, prompting the government to go after themin a concerted strike.3) Maoists attack police station, combined force camp in LalgarhLalgarh: Maoist ultras today attacked Lalgarh police station and a combined forces campat Katapahari simultaneously in West Midnapore district.District Magistrate N S Nigam said about 30 to 40 Maoist ultras attacked the Lalgarhpolice station and the combined forces camp at Katapahari, about 1.5 km from here, atabout 1900 hrs.Policemen from the station and personnel of combined forces retaliated by firing on theMaoists, he said adding after brief gunbattles the ultras fled the places.All the police stations of Lalgarh and Belpahari were put on high alert in an anticipationthat the Maoists would attack the stations in protest against the killing of PeoplesCommittee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) president Lalmohan Tudu, he added.Tudu was killed in a gunbattle with combined forces few days ago.
4) Civil right groups listed on Ghandys chargesheetNew Delhi: Its an open war between the Home Ministry and its police establishment onthe one hand and Left-leaning intelligentsia on the other.A chargesheet against alleged Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy states top civil rights groupsare engaged in unlawful activities.The chargesheet also includes top human rights groups, saying that they are helping theMaoists.Among those named in the chargesheet are: • Gautam Navlakha, Peoples Union for Democratic Rights. • Secretary of the committee for the release of Political Prisoners, Rona Wilson. • Delhi University professor, GN Saibaba. • The Democratic Students Union. • Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights. • Revolutionary Democratic Front. • Anti-Displacement Forum.Activists and writers insist they have been targeted simply because of their criticism ofthe governments action against Naxals."There is a war going on, there are human rights violations going on ... these are thepeople who are bringing them out and now there is an attempt to throw a cordon ofsilence around the theater of war," said author Arundhati Roy.Human rights activists strongly refute the charge that they engage in unlawful activityand spread CPI Maoist thought. They are asking if this is not a clear attempt tocriminalise thought and silence dissent.The Supreme Court had recently said that those who support the Naxals cannot chargedfor being Naxals sympathisers. The forum of concerned citizens is also emphasizing theneed for talks to find a solution as against an all-out war."The only way you can create an atmosphere for talks is by halting OperationGreenhunt, " said Arundhati Roy.But as operations are on, people ask whether human rights and civil liberties are fastbecoming the casualties.5) Poor response to 24-hr rebel bandhRanchi/ Jamshedpur, Feb. 27: The 24-hour Maoist-sponsored bandh passed offpeacefully today.No untoward incident was reported from across the state, though vehicles remained off
the highways. Train services remained normal, barring one cancellation in theChakradharpur division.The bandh failed to make an impact even in Palamau division. The village haatsremained busy with crowds indulging in last-minute holi shopping. It was as if thevillagers were not even aware of the bandh.Director-general of police Neyaz Ahmed maintained that no major untoward had beenreported from any part of the state. He added that necessary precautions had beentaken to meet any eventuality.This was the third time bandh call by the rebels in less than two months. The Maoistshad called a 24-hour bandh on January 2 and then a 72-hour bandh on February 7. Railproperty became soft targets during these bandhs.The failure of today’s bandh gave rise to speculation that the rebel outfits may havestarted losing mass support and that the police were also achieving strategic success.The DGP, however, did not dwell at length on the success of his men. “We are using ouravailable resources. We have also learnt lessons from our past mistakes. Let us hope forthe best,” was all he said.The Tata-Badampahar passenger was the only train to be cancelled today in view of thebandh. Tatanagar railway authorities said the train was cancelled as it runs throughseveral Naxalite pockets on its way to Badampahar. Elaborate security arrangementshad been made in Chakradharpur rail division to prevent the rebels from destroyingrailway property.One person was arrested by the Gumla police today with a large haul of explosives. Theexplosives were reportedly meant for rebel leaders and had been smuggled out ofHindalco’s bauxite mines.According to Gumla police superintendent Narendra Kumar Singh, 60 detonators, 150boxes of explosives and over 1,000 metres of safety fuse wire were recovered from ahouse during raids in Bhains Bathan village, under Ghaghra police station, about 105kmfrom the state capital. One Etwa Oraon (25) was arrested in this connection.Singh maintained that Oraon was closely associated with Maoist sub-zonal commanderNakul Yadav. The explosives were likely to be used for disruptive activities during thebandh.The role of a mining official was also under the scanner. Senior officials, however,refused to divulge more details, arguing that it would affect investigations.
6) Robot to detect and decontaminate landminesFeb 26, 2010ALLAHABAD: For war ravaged third world countries like Afghanistan and Iraq battlingwith casualties and serious injuries to civilians on account of undetected landmines andfor security personnel taking on the naxals in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh andJharkhand, the news would certainly be a welcome one.The scientists from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIIT-A) are oncourse to developing a robot which can detect landmines and decontaminate themeasily. Moreover, what is heartening to note is that the prototype of the robot is alreadyon the verge of completion which means that once tested successfully it would makeway for the production of the said robot on a large-scale.The project entitled `Designing an Intelligent Robot for Explosive Detection andDecontamination funded by MHRD, government of India, taken up by a student, AshishKumar Agarwal under the guidance of Prof G C Nandi, explores the design anddevelopment of classifier based on statistical methods and soft-computing basedapproaches, which is capable of identifying the mines and non-mines using variousclustering, classification and rules establishment algorithms as to compare the algorithmon the basis of complexity and accuracy.Talking to TOI, Ashish said, "If we already know about the upcoming hazards, it is veryeasy to find the way to abolish it. My objective is to predict whether at a particularpoint of working area is occupied by mines or not, with some confidence parameter.The robot is being designed to move toward these predicted areas to decontaminatethe mines. These mines occupied area can be known before initiation of robotmovements or can be predicted dynamically, so to design an obstacle-free path forrobot is another aspect beyond the domain of this module."He added, "Designing such a classifier is a big challenge because data is not linearlyseparable and since it has overlapping features, it is not possible to design a classifierwith 100 per cent accuracy. This project deals with PVC tubes, wood piece and coppercylinders as non-mine data in addition to data of various mines. The basic idea of theclassification is based on a fact that it is safe if the non-mines data is predicted asmine, but it is not the case when we predict mines data as non-mines. So theunsupervised learning based ART algorithm divides the data into several clusterswhich are merged on the basis of above fact. The data may be given in image form orsome tabular form having all numeric or categorised attributes.Exuding confidence that the robot would go a long way in reducing incidents of deathsdue to hidden and undetected landmines, the research coordinator, Prof G C Nandi said,"Anti-personnel landmines are a significant barrier to economic and social development
in a number of countries, so we need a classification system that can differentiate amine from metallic debris on the basis of given data. This data is generated by somehighly accurate sensors."He added, "All the eight different algorithms have been implemented to compare theresults. This classifier is giving result with 80 per cent accuracy. The best result is beinggiven by ART and genetic algorithm. Fuzzy C-mean and Gustavson Kessel is also goodbecause of membership values for each class. This module can differentiate betweenthe PVC tube, wood piece, brass tube, copper cylinder (non-mine data) and the minedata obtained from various sources. On the basis of this prediction, path designersdevelop an obstacle-free path to decontaminate these mines.7) F-35 Program on Schedule to Enhance US Combat PowerThe US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has emphasised the importance of the jointstrike fighter (JSF) 35 program, both for enhancing military logistics and improvingglobal security.Gates spoke at a visit to Lockheed Martins Fort Worth plant, where the final assemblyoperation for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter is taking place. The company securedthe $41 billion contract to develop the craft back in October 2001 and is now closing inon the completion date for the project."We cannot afford as a nation not to have this airplane," said Gates following a tour ofthe factory."I was very impressed by what I saw this morning—by the investments that have beenmade in the production line, the robotics and automation," he added.Gates commended the efforts of the technicians at the plant, saying he was "heartened"by what he had seen. International PartnershipUnder the current schedule, the government will start training pilots to fly the new craftin 2011. The aim is for the Marine Corps to be fully equipped for initial operationalcapability in 2012.The United States and eight international partners are planning to buy more than 3,000F-35 aircraft as part of a global effort to improve military logistics. The UK is the onlylevel one associate in the system development and demonstration phase of theprogram, with the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Australia and Turkeymaking up the remaining level two and three partners.In March this year, the UKs Defence Secretary, John Hutton, announced that the UKwould be buying three JSF test aircraft, a sign of the countrys commitment to themilitary logistics project. It is contributing £2 billion to the £41 billion developmentprogram.Military logistics and Industry BoostHutton said that the JSF is a vital part of the UKs military logistics strategy, forming anessential element of future combat air capability.
"By purchasing three aircraft for testing, we will secure access to the development ofthe program. Working alongside their US colleagues, our pilots will gain an unrivalledunderstanding of this awesome aircraft and its capabilities," he insisted.Hutton also highlighted the economic benefits of the project, as well as the militarylogistics boost, as over 100 UK companies are involved in it. According to the Ministry ofDefence, the potential return on investment is "substantial".The F-35 program features a range of craft with a fifth-generation tactical air system,designed with stealth characteristics and advanced sensors. These include theconventional take-off and landing, the short take-off and vertical landing and the Cmodel to be used on Navy JL2 aircraft carriers. F-18 Phase-Out from Military LogisticsIt is a step forward from the F-18 aircraft, the USs first strike fighter, which wasdesigned to combine fleet air defense capabilities with force projection, interdiction,plus close and deep air support. The F/A 18 Hornet is currently operating in 37 tacticalsquadrons around the world, from 12 aircraft carriers.Canada, Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland also use the Hornetas part of their aviation strike forces and military logistics operations.The newest craft in the fleet is the Super Hornet, which comprises the E and F models.The Super Hornet is built upon the success of the A to D models, with a longer range, anaerial refuelling capability, increased survivability and lethality, plus improved carriersuitability, all boosting its military logistics capabilities.According to the US Navy, the F/A18 E/F acquisition program was an "unparalleledsuccess" for military logistics, with craft emerging on schedule and 400 pounds underweight. The first operational cruise of the Super Hornet F/A18 E was on board the USSAbraham Lincoln in July 2002 and it entered combat in November of that year.The Hornets will eventually be phased out with the introduction of the new F-35 militarylogistics program.8) US Demand for UAVs Rising Due to Unprecedented CapabilityUnmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are bringing "unprecedented" intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, director of the Army Unmanned AerialSystem Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Army Colonel Christopher Carlile, said thismonth.His comments are the latest of many recommending the technology, which is one of thefastest-growing fields in the Army."Theres an old saying that science and science fiction is only separated by timing, andthat timing is now. We have it," Carlile stressed.Although UAVs met with some scepticism when they first emerged in the mid-1990s,
they are seen as proven force multipliers that save lives on the battlefield.Carlile said that Army UAVs have clocked up almost one million flight hours in Iraq andAfganistan and the force is now committed to expanding its programme in order to keeppace with demand for unmanned systems.UAV FleetThe Army plans to train more than 2,000 operators of UAVs who will eventually bedeployed along with the ground troops they will support, Colonel Carlile revealed.There are three main forms of UAV used by the Army—the Raven, the Shadow and theExtended Range Multi-Purpose system.The Raven supports battalions down to platoon level, the 11-foot-long Shadow isdesigned for use at brigade level and the Extended Range Multi-Purpose, with its 56-foot wingspan, supports division-level operations.Carlile said that these UAVs help soldiers to track down enemy targets. In the past,troops were forced to find out what was behind a building or around a corner whengunfire or a rocket-propelled grenade came at them. Now, the Raven can be used toconduct this reconnaissance work."They can take that and fly it and put it above and see if there is an ambush on the otherside of the street, in real time," the colonel said."Troops also can determine what the enemy is up to—such as hiding behind civilianshields—to reduce the risk of collateral damage during operations."Asymmetrical ChallengesDeputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III has also highlighted the potential of UAVs inmodern warfare."Our dominance in conventional warfare has led adversaries to seek new avenues tochallenge us," he said.Improvised Explosive Devices are one of the main tools that the Taliban are usingagainst troops in Afghanistan. However, the US military has been developing newtechnology to meet these asymmetrical challenges.UAVs can track and identify insurgent activities, including the placing of roadside bombs."Because of a significant investment in intelligence surveillance, surveillance and
reconnaissance [capabilities], commanders receive actionable intelligence in minutesrather than in hours," Lynn said."Unmanned aircraft now combine surveillance with attack abilities," he added.It is not just the US Army which is investing in UAVs. The National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration in partnership with BAE Systems has completed the firstsuccessful test flight of the small, electric-powered Coyote, which is being developed formilitary use.The project was initially funded by the US Navy and the 14-pound Coyote, with a 58-inchwingspan, can perform ISR missions as well as having the potential to be used inweather research.9) MARJAH (in Afghanistan) offensive clearing the way for the futureOperation Moshtarak in Marjah, Afghanistan is strategic to the overall long term victoryin Afghanistan. Within the clearing operations in killing and removing the Taliban fromthe 80,000 citizen town, will be safeguarding the very civilians the insurgents are hidingbetween. According to the Afghan Brigade Commander who is teamed up with theAmerican Marines he says “Especially in the south of Marjah, the enemy is fighting fromcompounds where soldiers can very clearly see women or children on the roof or in asecond-floor or third-floor window,” Ghori said. “They are trying to get us to fire onthem and kill the civilians.”The difficulty in killing an enemy who is completely integrated with a civilian populationwill be the largest challenge in ISAF’s fight. In addition, NATO forces are posed toimmediately fill the void in infrastructure that the Taliban has provided and begin torebuild the city. This counterinsurgency methodology is key to long term stability inHelmand Province and is working across Afghanistan.The direct contact that the Marines are engaged in is challenging enough without theadded challenge of civilian shields. And yet civilians have been killed by rogue rocketsthis weekend which were intended for Taliban targets. General McChrystal immediatelyapologized and reiterated his stance on protecting the civilian populace stating thataccidents do occur.Local Afghans are also quickly learning the value in aiding ISAF, Marine Lt Col. Jeff Ruleserves as an operations Officer and stated that “most of the people know where theyare already” referring to buried IEDs. “We’ve seen people come to the Marines and the(Afghan Security Forces) and tell them where the IEDs are.” This is a sure sign that theTaliban’s time in Helmand is short.
Like all operations in Afghanistan, time will only tell if the Marine/ISAF offensive canactually stabilize the region however, given the progress across the nation things arelooking up for the people of Marjah despite the fierce fighting that’s occurring.10) Operation Moshtarak: the largest operation since the conflict in Afghanistanbegan in 2001Operation Moshtarak has commenced in Afghanistan. With about 15,000 soldiers takingpart, including 4,000 from Britain, it is the largest operation since the conflict inAfghanistan began in 2001. The plan is to regain control of Central Helmand province.U.S. Marines moved in on the Taliban-held town of Marjah, while British forces arrivedin the Char-e-Anjir triangle, an insurgent stronghold to the northeast.The feeling in the US intelligence community is that Moshtarak is about convincingAfghans that the Taliban are not invincible and impressing Americans who are skepticalof their troops achievements. By highlighting the importance of Marjah, the U.S.commander hopes to announce a decisive victory, achieved with a display of firepowercapable of convincing Taliban foot soldiers to change sides.However, the real test of Marjah is what subsequently happens to the town. Specialpolice have been trained and an Afghan governor has been imported from Germany.U.S. and British advisers are also standing by to assist. The United States has millions ofdollars to transform Marjah, which has no paved roads and few public amenities. Evenofficers of low-rank are carrying cash to use at their discretion to pay for battle damageto houses or mosques or to fund “quick impact projects,” that immediately improveconditions for local people.NATO officers say they have sealed off Taliban escape routes, but the Taliban havenever taken coalition forces head-on in Helmand, preferring to use insurgent tactics.A few days into the operation, it became clear to commanders that the Taliban’s leadershad either been killed in targeted raids launched ahead of the main air attack or had fledin the face of overwhelming British force. But, as the week progressed, soldiers from theBrigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) met isolated pockets of resistance. British forcesare operating under a series of strict rules of engagement which dictate when soldierscan fire at the Taliban. Where there is a risk of killing civilians or damaging compounds,the order cannot normally be given by commanders on the ground.Commanders are fully aware that improving security in Helmand cannot be achieved bymilitary means alone, of course. Corruption and poor governance have often driven thepopulation into the hands of the Taliban. Everybody realizes that it is what comes nextthat matters. The U.S. Marines appear to be in control of the centre of Marjah, whichhas a population of 75,000 people, but the IED threat remains very real.
US Demand for UAVs Rising Due to Unprecedented CapabilityUnmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are bringing "unprecedented" intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, director of the Army Unmanned AerialSystem Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Army Colonel Christopher Carlile, said thismonth.His comments are the latest of many recommending the technology, which is one of thefastest-growing fields in the Army."Theres an old saying that science and science fiction is only separated by timing, andthat timing is now. We have it," Carlile stressed.Although UAVs met with some scepticism when they first emerged in the mid-1990s,they are seen as proven force multipliers that save lives on the battlefield.Carlile said that Army UAVs have clocked up almost one million flight hours in Iraq andAfganistan and the force is now committed to expanding its programme in order to keeppace with demand for unmanned systems.UAV FleetThe Army plans to train more than 2,000 operators of UAVs who will eventually bedeployed along with the ground troops they will support, Colonel Carlile revealed.There are three main forms of UAV used by the Army—the Raven, the Shadow and theExtended Range Multi-Purpose system.The Raven supports battalions down to platoon level, the 11-foot-long Shadow isdesigned for use at brigade level and the Extended Range Multi-Purpose, with its 56-foot wingspan, supports division-level operations.Carlile said that these UAVs help soldiers to track down enemy targets. In the past,troops were forced to find out what was behind a building or around a corner whengunfire or a rocket-propelled grenade came at them. Now, the Raven can be used toconduct this reconnaissance work."They can take that and fly it and put it above and see if there is an ambush on the otherside of the street, in real time," the colonel said."Troops also can determine what the enemy is up to—such as hiding behind civilianshields—to reduce the risk of collateral damage during operations."
Asymmetrical ChallengesDeputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III has also highlighted the potential of UAVs inmodern warfare."Our dominance in conventional warfare has led adversaries to seek new avenues tochallenge us," he said.Improvised Explosive Devices are one of the main tools that the Taliban are usingagainst troops in Afghanistan. However, the US military has been developing newtechnology to meet these asymmetrical challenges.UAVs can track and identify insurgent activities, including the placing of roadside bombs."Because of a significant investment in intelligence surveillance, surveillance andreconnaissance [capabilities], commanders receive actionable intelligence in minutesrather than in hours," Lynn said."Unmanned aircraft now combine surveillance with attack abilities," he added.It is not just the US Army which is investing in UAVs. The National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration in partnership with BAE Systems has completed the firstsuccessful test flight of the small, electric-powered Coyote, which is being developed formilitary use.The project was initially funded by the US Navy and the 14-pound Coyote, with a 58-inchwingspan, can perform ISR missions as well as having the potential to be used inweather research.2) Army seeks new ways to find hostile shooters in complex urban terrainFORT MONMOUTH, N.J., 27 Dec. 2009. U.S. Army sensors experts are pursuing aresearch initiative called the Complex & Urban Terrain Sensing (CUTS) program that usesradar and other sensors to detect, track, and locate enemy mortar, cannon, and rocketfiring positions automatically within the difficult confines of cities and towns.CUTS involves the OmniDirectional Weapons Location (OWL) radar, which the Armywants to develop to detect and pinpoint the locations of mortars, cannons, and rocketlaunchers -- including conventional indirect weapons fire, as well as weapons fired withnon-standard trajectories -- when fired in a variety of situations.The OWL radar also should have the ability to provide the location of weapons fired inmountainous terrain from elevations above and below the radar. The idea for the OWLradar is to produce track data of sufficient quality to hand off to fire control systems for
quick counter-battery fire. OWL also should be able to protect itself from jamming andelectronic deception.Sponsoring the CUTS program (solicitation number W15P7T09RS152) is the ArmyResearch, Development and Engineering Commands Intelligence and InformationWarfare Directorate (I2WD) at Fort Monmouth, N.J.Those interested in participating in the CUTS program must submit white papers by 11Jan. 2010 that provide information on proven sensor technologies appropriate for theCUTS program.Companies that have expressed interest in the program are Northrop Grumman Corp. inBaltimore; SRC Inc. in North Syracuse, N.Y.; Thales-Raytheon Systems Co. LLC inFullerton, Calif.; Micro Systems Inc. in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; and Mark Resources Inc.in Torrance, Calif.3) We were sexually exploited by comrades: Maoist womenBhubaneswar/Patna, Feb 12Maoists who shout from the roof-top for taking up the cause of the poor are reported tohave sexually exploited their women cadres.The startling revelation was made by a local TV news channel in Orissa and also bysurrendered women cadres in Bihar. Quoting Sabita Munda who surrendered with ayoung male cadre Rahul Juang, OTV news report said Maoist women cadres who raisetheir voice against were instructed by senior leaders to remain silent.“Whenever the exploited female Maoists raised these matters with their senior malecadres they were immediately told to shut their mouth,” the 20-year-old tribal girl whowas holding the rank of an “area commander” told the news channel.Sabita had joined the naxal movement in 2007. She admitted that she had taken part ina number of major Maoists operations in the state during the last three years.Sabita and Rahul will be rehabilitated as per the government’s schemes for thesurrendered naxal cadres.Abuse rampantMeanwhile, two arrested hardcore naxalites, Geeta Murmu and Anju Murmu, said theywere also sexually exploited in the rebel camps.The sisters were apprehended by the Banka police in Bihar and produced before theCRPF Commandant Rakesh Ranjan and Banka DSP Sanjay Kumar where they narratedtheir story.
“Twice I had to undergo abortion. On protest, I was told to keep shut or else I would beshot dead,” said Geeta, who was the “mistress” of sub-zonal naxal commander ChiragDa for the last two years.Geeta gave graphic details of how they (a group of 200 woman naxalites) were exploitedin the dense forest areas of Belhar, which is considered to be a citadel of Maoists.“Some time back, my sister Anju Murmu too joined the naxal group. One night, shewas on duty manning the borders of Banka and Jamui forest, when another naxaliteBattu gagged and raped her.” On the basis of their statement, two cases have beenlodged at Munger and Banka police station, while the Murmu sisters were sent to jail fortheir involvement in several naxal attacks in the state.4) Kobad Gandhy tried to spread network in PunjabFebruary 27, 2010Chandigarh: Top Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy had been frequenting Punjab to mobilisecadres and one of his most-visited places was the Punjabi University in Patiala.Ghandy disclosed this to Punjab Police during interrogation in the last 2-3 days.Punjab had registered a case against him under the Unlawful Activities PreventionAmendment Act, 2008, in January last year after he was arrested in Delhi.Lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, Ghandy has been brought to Patiala on a transitremand.Police said in the last four years, he visited Punjab thrice to explore how the Maoistmovement could be revived. He denied hand in any of the violent activities in the statein the recent past, but reaffirmed he had been in touch with more than 20 people inPunjab, they said.Police investigations have been focused on finding out whether Ghandy’s visits toPunjab were aimed at sowing seeds of insurgency.Police said after receiving information from intelligence agencies that Ghandy stayed onthe Punjabi University campus a few months before his arrest, they registered a caseagainst the Maoist leader and his accomplice, Manoj aka Rajesh.“We have been trying to find out the motive behind his stay and any links he might haveestablished in Punjab,” RS Khatra, senior superintendent of police, Patiala, said.
“We are also trying to ascertain the exact duration of his stay in Patiala and aregathering details of his companion, Manoj.”Ghandy is a politburo member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) andworked for the group in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.Punjabi University authorities said they had no knowledge of the matter, but PatialaPolice are sure Ghandy stayed in the universityunder the fake identity of professor Kishore.They are trying to ascertain whether he was alone or accompanied by someone duringhis movement in Punjab.5) Money for soldiers to fight MaoistsFebruary 27, 2010New Delhi: In the face of growing challenges to internal security, particularly from left-wing insurgency, budgetary allocation for the home ministry has almost been doubledfor the financial year 2010-11.It has been increased from Rs1,810.63 crore in 2009-10to Rs3,283.39 crore for the next financial year.Even as modernisation, training and increasing strength of the central paramilitaryforces remain the key areas of investment, some new security-related aspects such asformulating a national register of citizens and distribution of a Unique Identity Numberto the citizens also received the attention of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.In order to complete this exercise through the length and breadth of the country,financial allocation for census surveys and statistics has been significantly increased.From Rs303.40 crore in 2009-10, it has been increased to Rs911.71 crore for 2010-11.The Unique ID project is all set to enter its operational phase. A separate allocation ofRs1,900 crore has been made for the purpose.The government has decided to back the home ministry’s plan to speedily fill thevacancies in the central paramilitary forces (CPMFs), particularly at the lower levels.Accordingly, budgetary sanction has been provided for recruitment of 2,000 constablesduring 2009-10.While preparing to take the Maoist insurgents head-on, the government has not lostsight of the socio-economic aspect of the problem. Mukherjee’s budgetary proposalsalso included an integrated action plan for development of Maoist-affected areas. ThePlanning Commission will give shape to it, financial allocation will follow.
Though training of the CPMFs received the largest chunk of the budget for internalsecurity, it also witnessed a marginal decline in allocation. From Rs21,035.46 during the2009-10 period it came down to Rs18,714.95 crore in 2010-11.Among the paramilitary forces, the National Security Guards led the allocation tablewith Rs5,745.87 crore followed by the CRPF with Rs5,560.86 crore. The BSF ranked thirdwith an allocation of Rs5,273.08 crore.Plan outlay for disaster management saw an increase over last year’s allocation. It wasincreased to Rs545.86 crore from Rs 384.30 crore given in last year’s budget. The sum isdismally low, compared to the size of the country.6) 300 boxes of explosives recovered in GumlaGumla (Jharkhand), Feb 27 (PTI) A huge cache of explosives, including 6000 detonators,were today seized from a house in Gumla district and a man detained in this connection.Acting on a tip-off, security personnel comprising CRPF and Jharkhand Armed Policecarried out raids at Bhainsbathan village and seized explosives hidden in about 300boxes, Superintendent of Police M K Singh said here.The boxes were packed with detonators, plastic explosives and safety fuse with eachbox having space for 100 detonators and safety fuse, he said.Police detained a man identified as Etwa Oraon for questioning in connection with thecase, he said, adding raids were still continuing based on his confessions.The SP said the explosives were to be supplied to Sanjay Yadav, who broke away fromCPI(Maoist) to float Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand Simanta Committee7) Officer killed in Maoist trapSarenga (Bankura), Feb. 25: Ten minutes after the guns had fallen silent and theMaoists had stopped firing from the Kusumbani forest, Rabi Lochan Mitra, the inspectorin-charge of Sarenga police station, turned back with his men and had barely walkedhalf a kilometre in the dead of night when firing started from a half-constructed market.Mitra had walked into a Maoist trap.After a 20-minute gun-battle, Mitra took a bullet in his chest and a few minutes later, helay dead. Police later said that had Mitra been wearing the bullet-proof jacket kept inthe station, he would have been alive now.
According to the police, the Maoist attack in Sarenga, a town on the border of Bankuraand West Midnapore, began a little past midnight, when a group of 20 rebels came in aminibus and walked in a single file to the house of a local CPM leader, TarashankarPatra, near the Gobindapur market.Seeing some of the lights on in the house, the Maoists, who had entered from the back,shot at the bulbs and plunged the house into darkness. Then they started shouting forPatra to come out of the house, all the while calling him a “CPM harmad”. When no oneresponded, they kicked open the door and pulled Patra out.The Maoists tied his hands and feet and made him squat on the steps leading to thebackdoor. As he struggled and screamed, the Maoists shot him in his left leg.Patra’s wife Mita had by then quietly called up the Sarenga police station and by 1am,40 personnel of the special trained company (Straco) of the police, led by Mitra, arrivedat Patra’s house.The police personnel, who had taken up defences behind the boundary wall, shone twopowerful searchlights at the house. With the backdoor lit up, they saw Patra sittingcrouched on the doorstep with a Maoist holding a revolver to his head. One of thepolicemen shot the Maoist in the chest. As he fell to the ground, the other Maoistsretaliated. The exchange of fire went on for about half an hour, after which the Maoiststook to their heels.The Maoists then broke up into two groups and while one went towards the Kusumbaniforest, the other headed to the Gobindapur market.In the confusion and the darkness, the police did not notice the group bound for themarket. Instead, they followed the group of Maoists who went into the forest thatbegan almost from the back of Patra’s house.Misled into thinking that all the Maoists had gone into the forest, the police engagedthem till the rebels’ guns fell silent. The police then fell into the Maoist trap whilereturning to the market.“Just like the Straco men, the Maoists also appeared to be armed with Insas and AK-47rifles,” said DIG, Midnapore range, Piyush Pandey. Both Mitra and Patra were rushed tohospital. Mitra was declared dead, while Patra is recovering.At Writers’ Buildings, director-general of police Bhupinder Singh said: “The police stationwas equipped with both night-vision equipment as well as bullet-proof jackets. Thepolice should always use them. We are recommending his name for gallantry award.”
In the Sarenga encounter, while one Maoist was shot dead, another who suffered bulletinjuries is admitted to hospital. He will be arrested soon, police said.Shilda arrestsThree persons have been arrested from near the Jharkhand border and Kharagpur inconnection with the Shilda camp attack. Police said Suklal Soren was a Maoist actionsquad member who took part in the attack while Ashis Mahato and Manas Mahato hadhelped the rebels buy two vehicles used during the strike. A Bolero and a pick-up vanwere used to ferry the Maoists.8) Gujarat Police file FIR against banned CPI (Maoist)Press Trust of IndiaSaturday , Feb 27, 2010 at 0144 hrsSurat : The Gujarat Police on Friday filed a comprehensive FIR against the banned CPI(Maoist) to investigate the organisation’s activities and identify the persons involved inits spread in the state.Though Gujarat has a very large tribal belt, it has so far remained unaffected byNaxalism.The complaint filed by the police, however, indicates that the banned CPI (Maoist) istrying to spread its network in the state, especially in tribal regions of south Gujarat.“We have been compiling various interrogation reports of CPI (Maoists) activistsarrested in other states and also examining various documents being distributed bythem in the tribal belt of south Gujarat, and intelligence reports suggesting theiractivities,” Surat Range Inspector General or Police A K Singh said.He added: “We have analysed the source materials and believe that their activities insouth Gujarat are in continuation with their activities in the other Naxal-affected statesof the country.“This is the first comprehensive FIR registered against them that will give legal powerto the police to investigate and find out the spread of CPI (Maoist) in south Gujarat.Earlier, only minor complaints were filed against them. It is a banned organisation andwe need to track their every movement.”The FIR by the police states: “Based on the variety of the source material available,certain dimension of the organisational activities of CPI (Maoists) has come to noticein south Gujarat. An offence has been registered under the various provisions of theIndian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), to enable
full investigation into the matter in terms of their plans, activities and the personsinvolved.”9) Ghandy case: Civil rights organisations claim Delhi police is targeting themPTI Saturday, February 27, 2010 20:22 ISTNew Delhi: The civil rights organisations, which were named by the Delhi Police in itschargesheet against top Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy, today claimed that they werebeing targeted for protesting against "undemocratic practices" and threatened to movecourt.Asking the Delhi Police to withdraw the names from the charge sheet running into over800 pages, right activists argued that no evidence has been provided whatsoever tosubstantiate the allegations.Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Peoples Union of Democratic Rights (PUDR),Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) are among the organisationswhich were mentioned in the charge sheet accusing them of helping Maoists."We will take the matter to the court unless the Delhi police withdraws the name of thePUCL from the charge sheet. What is the evidence? Just because you are fighting forhuman rights does not mean that you can be targeted," retired justice Rajindar Sachartold reporters here.Arundhati Roy, writer and activist, said, "An attempt is being made to tame the activistswho openly protested Operation Green Hunt. Its a logical step for the government toexpand the theatre of war.""In a democracy one should have the freedom to express views. But the government isattempting to quell all dissident voices by increasingly targeting human right activists,"noted supreme court lawyer Prasant Bhushan said.The charge sheet against Ghandy, a Politburo member of the banned CPI (Maoist)arrested in September last year from Delhi, was filed on February 19.Bhushan referred to yesterdays Supreme Court decision when the apex court slammedAndhra Pradesh government for its claim that elite anti-Naxalite police forceGreyhounds was deployed in Osmania University campus as intelligence inputs hadrevealed some of the students were naxal sympathisers."The apex court had said that merely being a sympathiser does not make one a criminal.Are people not entitled to speak their views," he asked.
When asked whether he was justifying the Maoists actions, the noted lawyer said, "Ifyou are going to deprive tribals lands, the only means of their livelihood, by forcefullyevicting them, then some of them may take up arms with the Maoists."The activists asked both the government and Maoists to observe a ceasefire and start adialogue. "Both the government and the ultras have expressed willingness to engage intalks. Then why the delay and the blame game?," Sachar asked."The government should also ensure that all MOUs, if entered, for projects on areasinhibited by tribals should be frozen and no compulsory acquisition of tribal lands andhabitats be undertaken. Tribals should not be displaced," he said.The right activists also asked the government to stop operations like Operation GreenHunt and Salwa JUDUM.10) Kobad aide held, plan to strike Delhi foundTNN, Feb 21, 2010, 01.47am ISTNEW DELHI: Arvind Joshi, an MCom student and alleged accomplice of top Maoistideologue Kobad Ghandy, has been arrested along with seven others by Uttar PradeshSTF at Kanpur. Delhi Police will now seek remand of Joshi who they believe holds vitalinformation regarding Naxalite activities in Delhi and NCR. The UP police also claimed tohave seized two hard disks and Maoist literature from Joshi and his accomplices.Joshi, police said, is a member of the central committee of CPI (Maoist) and alsosecretary of northern regional committee. He is alleged to have fled from Badarpur inDelhi, along with hard disks and other documents, after the arrest of Ghandy inSeptember last year.Sources also claimed the hard disks contain the plan to carry out strikes in Delhi andNCR, and also substantial information about Naxalite contacts of Ghandy. The emailssent and received by Kobad and Joshi to their contacts is of vital importance, police said.The Andhra police, which is assisting Delhi Police with the investigations, says it hasinformation that Naxalites want to make a ‘‘big impression’’ by carrying out a strike inDelhi or NCR. ‘‘They are desperate to strike and this can also be gauged from the recentstrikes they have carried out in Bihar and West Bengal,’’ said an Andhra Pradesh policeofficer.Additional director general (Law and Order) Brij Lal said, ‘‘We have nabbed a mannamed Arvind. He is believed to be an accomplice of Kobad Ghandy. We have alsoseized literature from him, which was written by Ghandy. Two hard disks were seized,which are being examined. Arvind was arrested along with seven others and all of
them are in police custody.’’ Delhi Police also said Ghandy is not suffering from prostatecancer, a claim made by the Maoist ideologue at the time of his arrest. ‘‘We have puthim through various medical tests. The reports have revealed that he was notsuffering from cancer. However, due to his age, doctors say he is suffering from a mildheart ailment and prostate problems,’’ said a senior police officer.Ghandy’s counsel Vishal Gohain too said, ‘‘He was not diagnosed with cancer. He isonly suffering from a prostate problem, which we thought could be serious.’’ Becauseof his old age and ill health, Delhi HC turned down cop’s plea to conduct a narco test onGhandy. In their 700-page chargesheet filed in a Delhi court, police said that afterGhandy’s arrest, state-wise bandhs were announced by Maoists in Chhattisgarh andAndhra on October 1 and 3 last year, and that they were in possession of the pamphletsdistributed by Maoists regarding the bandhs. Police claimed Ghandy was in the know ofthe Naxalites’ plot to abduct and behead police inspector Francis Induwar in Jharkhandlast year.Following the threat of urban terrorism, Delhi Police officers are also being made toundergo a training programme in Naxalite strategy and urban terrorism at the NationalPolice Academy in Hyderabad. ‘‘The decision was taken by home ministry. Seniorpolice officers from Naxalite infested areas are sensitized about the ultras’ modusoperandi. The training was started last year and Delhi cops are also being made part ofthe module due to increasing movement of Naxalites in the capital,’’ said an officialfrom the ministry.
DONE 1) Maoist network busted in U.P.In a top-secret operation, eight activists of the banned Communist Party of India(Maoist), including two members of its central committee and polit bureau, werearrested by the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police in Kanpur on Monday.A half-truckload of printed material, a number of CDs, a pen drive, Rs. 8.16 lakh in cashand a fake driving licence were seized from them, Director-General of Police KaramveerSingh, told journalists here.Among the arrested is Balraj alias B.R. alias Arvind, head of the northern regional bureauof the CPI (Maoist) and Central Committee member and associate of Maoist ideologueKobad Ghandy. Mr. Singh said Balraj’s name surfaced in Kobad Ghandy’s disclosurestatement following his arrest in Maharashtra in September 2009. He was involved innaxal violence in other States.The others arrested are Banshidhar alias Chintan Da, another polit bureau member;Naveen Prasad Singh, Ambrish, Deepak Ram, Shivraj Singh alias Arjun, Rajendra KumarPhulara alias Arvind and Kripa Shankar alias Manoj. A Ph.D and M.Phil. holder fromJawaharlal Nehru University, Chintan had spent three years in jail, the DGP said. Both heand Balraj, a B.Sc. graduate, belong to Bihar.On Sunday, three other suspected activists, Vishwa Vijay, Seema Srivastava and AshaMunda were arrested in Allahabad and Gorakhpur.The DGP said the CPI (Maoist) had been spreading its network in Uttar Pradesh and hadobtained feedback about the activities of its members a couple of months ago. Askedhow the arrests were made in Kanpur considering that naxalites were generally active inrural areas, Mr. Singh said the eight had come there to attend a meeting and collect theprinted material.According to the DGP, the Maoists divided the country into regional bureaus for theiractivities. The northern bureau comprised northern (uttar) Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,Uttarakhand (called the “3Us”), Haryana, Punjab and the Jammu region. He said UttarPradesh was divided into two parts — the southeast comprising Mirzapur, Chandauliand Sonebhadra; and the rest of the State.Mr. Singh said the banned literature seized from the arrested persons had evidence,including detailed maps, of the violence and raids on police lines in Bihar. “Had theirnetwork not been smashed, violence would have been replicated in Uttar Pradesh.”K. Srinivas Reddy reports from Hyderabad
Coinciding with the coordinated operations launched against the Maoists in all the LeftWing Extremist affected States in the country, Police forces dealt yet another blow tothe rebels, when they raided Maoist dens at different places in Uttar Pradesh andarrested 11 Maoist leaders including two Central Committee members two days ago.The top-secret operation, still sought to be kept under the wraps, comes close on heelsof the Maoist party expressing concern over the continuing arrests or killings of top rungMaoist leaders. The arrests are extremely significant, as the interrogation of the Maoistleaders has thrown much light on the rebel activity across all the States. More importantwas the revelation of the strengthening of the Maoist activity in Uttar Pradesh, whichwas hitherto believed to be ‘not much affected by the Left Wing Extremism.Sources were disinclined to disclose how the raids were organised but indicated that thesimultaneous raids took place on the information forwarded by their colleagues inAndhra Pradesh.The arrested include Balraj alias Arvind, a member of the Central Committee (CC), thePolit Bureau (PB) and in-charge of the North Regional Bureau (NRB) and Banshidhar aliasChintan Da, another member of the Central Committee and in charge of the 3UCommittee (Uttar Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand).The North Regional Bureau (NRB) of the Maoists oversees the revolutionary movementin Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and 3U areas.Banshidhar, who has a doctorate in social sciences from the Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) was released from a jail in Bihar some three months ago and had goneunderground again. He was earlier arrested in 2006. Banshidar, who goes by the partyname of Chintan Da, is such an important leader of the CPI (Maoist) that the party haddecided to waive the rule of not taking any arrested leader into the party fold againwithout keeping him under observation for at least one year. Apart from being inductedinto the all powerful CC, he was also made incharge of the 3U committee.Sources disclosed that the other arrested naxal leaders were: three members of theUttar Pradesh State Organising Committee (UP-SOC), three Zonal Committee membersof Uttar Pradesh and the remaining four were very important couriers for the party.Police managed to seize many documents which could reveal the strategies of theMaoist party in the wake of the all-out offensive launched by different states under thecode name - Operation Green Hunt. The interrogation of the arrested Maoists iscontinuing and police officials were too stunned to realise that though the Maoists werenot resorting to violence in Uttar Pradesh, their organisational activity had spread widein towns like Allahabad, Varnasi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Gorakhpur.Balraj alias Arvind hails from Bihar and was a top leader of the CPI-ML (Second CC)
which merged with the Maoist Communist Centre of India in 2003. He is stated to haveplayed a crucial role in re-unification of the revolutionaries which saw the merger of theMCCI with CPI-ML Peoples War (PW) in 2004. Though not known to be a militarystrategist, Balraj was popular for his strong ideological base, while Banshidhar wasbelieved to be involved in planning out major strikes against security forces.2) Maoists carve out sanctuary exit routeCuttack, Feb. 8: The failure of an 11-hour combing operation in Narsinghpur forests ofCuttack district, following reports of Naxalite presence in a nearby village on Sunday,has exposed the vulnerability of the Satkosia wildlife sanctuary that’s being used as anescape route by the Maoists.That the armed rebels went across the tribal village for a meal is symbolic of anexpanding red corridor and shows that the dense forests in this route are being usedmore frequently.Deployment of armed police force had to be intensified twice within a fortnight inNarsinghpur area in August last year after Maoist posters first threatened to blow up apolice station in the area as “innocent and poor were being harassed” and later declareddeath sentence for “corrupt politicians and government employees”.On Saturday, intelligence reports had indicated that the rebels, after a reconnaissancemission, had entered Satkosia from Nayagarh and were moving under dense forestcover to Angul region via Narsinghpur. “Yesterday’s combing operation in theNarsinghpur forests contiguous to Munda Sahi was launched after four persons withsophisticated firearms were reported to have entered the tribal hamlet in a car andoffered money for supply of cooked food for 30 persons,” Cuttack (rural)superintendent of police R.K. Mishra said today.“But the combing operation — involving six platoons of armed police from 7am to 6pm— proved to be inconsequential,” he conceded.A police officer said Satkosia via Narsinghpur forest has been a matter of concern inrecent years as it “provides a safe corridor” from Nayagarh forests to Rairakhol andDeogarh forests (en route Angul) and further north to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand andvice versa.The Sidhanala bridge connecting Kantilo in Nayagarh district with Narsinghpurapparently provides a “gateway to the Satkosia”, he said.The Satkosia sanctuary, through which the Mahanadi meanders, spread over 800sq kmof overlapping forests and hills and encompasses Nayagarh, Cuttack, Angul and Boudh.It is home to the Gond tribals, who reside in and around the sanctuary.
3) On the cards: A helipad in Naxal denTuesday , Feb 09, 2010 at 0248 hrsKolkata : To intensify their anti-Maoist operations in the Naxal-affected areas, the stategovernment and the Central forces are planning to set up a helipad at a strategiclocation for carrying out aerial surveillance in the area. The Central forces alsoconducted an aerial survey at Bandowan and Balarampur in Purulia — the two worstaffected areas — on Sunday.According to sources, the CRPF has taken the initiative to set up the helipad atBandowan, which is considered to be a stronghold of the Maoists.The aerial survey was conducted by Vijay Raman, Additional Director General of CRPFand Aloke Raj, IG, CRPF. According to Raj, they conducted an aerial survey for a fewhours along the Bengal-Jharkhand border. The CRPF team also visited Balarampur,where they have been deployed for a long time now.A day before Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is scheduled to hold a meeting withchief ministers of the Naxal-affected states in Kolkata, the CRPF has already begun itsgroundwork at Purulia to launch an offensive.It is expected that the CRPF camp would also be reinforced at Bandowan andBalarampur after Chidambaram’s review meeting. In the past, Maoists have carried outseveral operations from Bandowan that shares a border with Jharkhand. A senior policeofficer of Purulia district said the geographical location of Bandowan is very importantfrom the counter-terrorism point of view. It will be easy for the Central and state policeforces to maintain vigil on Jharkhand, Belpahari in West Midnapore and Ranibandh areaof Bankura from Bandowan.It will also turn out to be convenient for the forces to carry out operations in the Dalmahills of Jharkhand from Balarampur, said the officer.
1) US Army needs radar fire control to help defend against rockets, artillery, andmortar rounds7 Feb. 2010. U.S. Army researchers plan to ask industry to develop a radar sensing andfire-control system to help protect forces on the battlefield by aiming specially designed50-millimeter bullets accurately enough to destroy incoming rockets, artillery, andmortar rounds. The Medium and Cannon-Caliber Munitions Division of the ArmysMunitions Engineering Technology Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., issued apresolicitation Friday (solicitation number W15QKN-10-R-0204) for this kind of fire-control system as part of the Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS)Integrated Demonstration (ID) Army Technology Objective (ATO) Program.The idea is to develop technologies that support a ground-mounted gun system thatdefends against incoming rockets, artillery, and mortar rounds in a 360 degreehemispherical extended area to provide wide-area force protection and to protect highvalue assets on the battlefield.Army officials want industry to demonstrate a mature, sophisticated radar sensor andfire-control system to detect incoming rockets, artillery, and mortar rounds, as well asaim, track, and control 50-millimeter interceptors fired to destroy the incoming threats.These 50-millimeter interceptors are 2-inch-diameter bullets (1.97 caliber) withdirectional thrusters that can correct their courses to hit incoming rockets and mortarrounds. These special bullets will be controlled via RF communications links to the radarsensing and fire-control system.Army officials are particularly interested in developing command functions andcommunication data-links between the fire-control sensor system and the outgoinginterceptors, as well as fire-control software algorithms.A formal request for proposals for this enhanced tracking radar suite will be issuedonline on or around 22 March at http://procnet.pica.army.mil. This site only supportsMicrosoft Internet Explorer version 5.5 or above.2) Green Hunt: the anatomy of an operationAway from the gaze of the media and the judiciary, the adivasis of Bastar are paying aheavy price … for just being there.An operation is underway in Central India, but no one really knows what it is. Variouslydescribed as a media myth, a comprehensive hearts and minds strategy, and an all-outoffensive by paramilitary forces and the state forces along the borders of Chhattisgarh,Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Operation Green Hunt has become a
shoebox of news clippings, police reports, public demonstrations and armedencounters.Depending on the definition, Green Hunt either began in July 2009, September 2009 orNovember 2009. Speaking off record, senior policemen confirmed that theintensification of “search and comb” operations in Chhattisgarh began as early as Julylast year. In September 2009 the press reported on the progress of “Operation GreenHunt”: a massive 3 day joint operation in which the central CoBRA force and state policebattled Naxal forces in Dantewada.By November, the press was regularly reporting on the planning and progress of GreenHunt, prompting Home Minister, P. Chidambaram to term the operation a “mediainvention.” Since then, the security apparatus has scrupulously avoided all mention ofGreen Hunt. The week-long joint operation, launched on December 25 2009 inCHANGE IN NOMENCLATUREChhattisgarh and Maharashtra for instance, was termed “Police Week.” The change innomenclature could be prompted by a realisation that the battle between the state andthe Naxals is unlikely to end anytime soon. Speaking on background, police sourcesconfirm that the conflict shall take the form of “a prolonged, open-ended engagement”rather than a short, fierce “operation.”There is also little clarity on the extent of troop deployment, the composition of theforces and the chain of command between central paramilitary forces and the statepolice. Privately, sources in the security apparatus admit that part of the confusion is bydesign rather than by default to control the information available to Naxal commanders.At present, the only information independently confirmed by The Hindu relates to theBastar Zone, a 40,000 square kilometre area in Chhattisgarh that lies at heart of thebattle. Sources state that 7 additional battalions of central forces have been moved inthe area, bringing the strength of central forces in Bastar to a total 20 battalionsincluding troops from the CRPF, ITBP, BSF and SSB. Taken alongside the 6,000 policemendeployed in Bastar, the size of the total fighting force in the zone is about 20,000 troops.“The first step was to secure the roads. Ninety to ninety five per cent of casualties ofsecurity forces occur on the roads.” said T.J. Longkumer, Inspector General of Police,Bastar in an interview to this reporter. “We have started road security operations andidentified ambush prone areas.” It is the next step that is proving controversial. “Forcesshall actively enter villages and nab naxal elements,” he added. Longkumer insists thatsearch operations are conducted only on the basis of concrete intelligence and that allpossible care is taken to minimize the death of innocents. However, informationemerging from villages in the interior suggests otherwise.
Figures provided by the police suggest that a majority of police operations have targeted“Sanghams” with 499 sangham members arrested in 2009 – up from 214 in 2007.Sanghams refer to village level bodies installed by the Naxals in areas under theircontrol. Sangham members are considered to be sympathetic to the Naxal cause, but itis important to note that sangham members are not necessarily armed. While thenumber of Naxals killed has also increased to 113 in 2009, as compared to 66 in 2008,and the number of civilian deaths attributed to Naxal violence has reduced from 143 in2008 to 116 in 2009, Chhattisgarh does not keep any record of civilians killed by thesecurity forces. Police sources cite this as validation of the state’s efforts to minimizecivilian casualties, but sceptics see this as tautology where all those killed by the policeare retrospectively termed Naxals.Two PILs pending in the Supreme Court since 2007 have highlighted precisely thisproblem, asking for an inquiry into killings, rapes and murders since 2005. They haveprovided an initial list of over 500 people killed, and subsequently pointed todiscrepancies in the police version and the FIRs filed. Initially, the bodies were not evencounted; now they are recorded as Naxalites killed in encounters. The NHRC, whichinvestigated a small sample of the killings on the orders of the Court, noted with respectto the sangham members: “These villagers were specifically targeted when Salwa Judumwas on the rise. The enquiry team has come across instances where some of thesevillagers were even killed (no criminal cases were, however, either reported orregistered). Though the State has taken action against SPOs in some cases for violationslike murder and attempt to murder, but these cases do not pertain to the violence letloose on innocent villagers during operations against Naxalites.”Despite the gravity and urgency of the situation, there has been no hearing of this casefor over a year now, because a suitable ‘non-miscellaneous’ day has not been available.Not surprisingly, allegations of unlawful killing continue to dog the state authorities. Awrit petition filed in the Supreme Court last year implicates the Chhattisgarh police inthe deaths of a total of 12 villagers in Gachanpalli and Gompad villages as part of“sanitisation” operations in September last year. As reported previously in The Hindu,the Chhattisgarh police have assumed control over at least four of the 13 petitioners,and have actively prevented them from meeting their lawyer. Witnesses to the Gompadincident have accused the police of killing innocents at random.FLUID IDENTITIESOn the other side, on January 21 2010 local newspapers reported the killing of two“police informers”, one a 16 to 18 year old tribal youth, in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpurdistrict. Police sources cited in the story attributed the killing to the Eastern BastarDivision Committee of the Naxals. At a press conference in Raipur, Union Home MinisterP. Chidambaram stated that the two youth were killed as they wanted to join the IndianArmy.
As the battle-lines between the Naxals and the State shift with every jungle encounter,adivasis across the zone of operations are forced to assume a series of fluid identitiescontingent on the force in power on a given day.In a police operation with no clear name, timeline or goal, fought against a guerrillaforce that rarely wears uniforms, the adivasis are learning that each side extracts aheavy price for supporting the other.3) Chavan seeks UAV, satellite phones to tackle NaxalsNew Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Maharahstra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan today sought theCentres help in acquiring the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and satellite phones for thestate police to tackle Naxalites in remote and dense forests areas.Chavan, speaking at the Chief Ministers Conference on Internal Security, sought theCentres support "in acquiring latest equipment like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)and satellite phones which would be of immense use in the remote and dense forestareas frequented by naxal dalams (groups).""Permit us to buy the Iridium satellite phones, which are very handy and have a verygood range as against InmarSat phone which are not user friendly at all in difficultforest conditions," he said.UAVs have been used by American forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan to locate andlaunch an air assault on the militants4) Karnataka mulling surrender & rehab package for naxals: CMPTI Sunday, February 7, 2010 16:18 ISTBangalore: Karnataka government is actively considering offering a surrender andrehabilitation package to naxalites, chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said today.Addressing the chief ministers conference on internal security in New Delhi, he said dueto the governments concerted and determined efforts, the naxal menace has been keptvery much under control in Karnataka."Though there were a few incidents of threats and an incident of attack on police bynaxals, for the first time in three years no policeman or civilian was killed by naxals",he said in his speech, copy of which was made available here.Yeddyurappa also said Government was actively considering a proposal to raise a StateIndustrial Security Force.
The chief minister offered to the Centre appropriate land to set up a national-levelpolice IT research and development centre to use technology more effectively at thecutting edge level in policing for better service delivery.Yeddyurappa urged the Centre to depute officers to help the state in setting up a full-fledged commando training centre in Karnataka for training and build up capability totackle the twin threats of naxalism and terrorism."In the last few years, it is seen that the enemy forces are concentrating on cities likeBangalore which reflect the growth centres of the country", he said.Stating that his government has set up a state security commission, Yeddyurappa saidthe Karnataka high court has been requested to nominate a judge on it.The chief minister suggested that the government of India scheme for modernisation ofpolice force, which came to an end last year, be continued for another five years withenhanced funds and with identification of more focused areas."Training could be one such area", he said.
1) Tories will limit number of foreign IT workers in the UK The Conservatives would introduce a limit on the number of overseas IT workers allowed into the UK on intra company transfers. Is this just electioneering or could it work. With an election looming it is no surprise that the Tories have a stance on the practice of UK companies replacing UK staff with lower cost foreign workers. The Tories describes its policy as one of "controlling legal migration." Basically depending on the availability of UK workers the limits will be changed. "We will introduce an explicit annual limit on the numbers of non- EU economic migrants. We support the points based system, but believe that it can only be fully effective when a limit is implemented," said the Conservative party. If they won the election the Conservatives said it would introduce an "explicit annual limit on the numbers of non- EU economic migrants taking into consideration the effects a rising population has on our public services, transport infrastructure and local communities. The ability to move the limit up and down would be a visible sign that the immigration system is sensitive to the needs of British workers in a recession. This would enable us to react directly to fluctuations in the labour market." "The one big gap in the points-based system is that there is no overall limit on how many permits can be issued in any one year," said shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green. "This is why the public has a lack of confidence in the immigration system, which people regard as being out of control. This is why a Conservative government would introduce an annual limit, so that Britain can continue to attract those who will help our economy without putting too much pressure on our essential public services." Seven Indian companies accounted for 43% of the IT workers entering the UK on ICTs. The total number of IT workers coming in on ICTs was 29,240 with 12,573 working for the Indian firms. Regarding Indian companies using ICTs to bring over IT workers, he said: "It seems extraordinary that when British workers cant find jobs we are bringing foreign workers from halfway round the world. This is another sign that Gordon Browns British jobs for British workers was a meaningless sound bite."
2) Top brass of 4 Naxal-hit states hold strategy sessionKolkata, Feb 5 (PTI) Ahead of Union Home Minister P Chidambarams meeting withchief ministers of four Naxal- affected states next week, top bureaucrats of these statestoday held a strategy session here on the roadmap for dealing with the menace.While Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal were represented by their chief secretaries,Jharkhand was represented by its home secretary, officials sources said.West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen also attended the meeting held to discussinternal security, flood control, tribal development and disaster management.Thoughthere was no official briefing, the main agenda of the February 9 meeting -- strategies totackle the Maoist menace in the region -- was believed to have been discussed.The union home minister has called a meeting of chief ministers of the four states hereon February 9 primarily to finalise strategies for tackling the Maoists in the region.3) 5 Naxals arrested for Jharkhand cops beheadingRanchi: Five Naxals have been arrested in Jharkhand in connection with the brutalbeheading of Jharkhand Police officer Francis InduwarThe Naxals, including two women, were arrested by the Jharkhand Police from theKhunti district on Thursday evening.Reports say one of them, Gobardhan Munda, confessed to being part of the plot to killInduwar.All those arrested are reported to be CPI(Maoist) cadres. All of them were arrested fromMundas house at Surakocha under Arki police station of Khunti district.However, one Naxal leader managed to escape.Induwar, a Special Branch Inspector, was abducted and beheaded on September 30,2009 and his mutilated body was found October 5 on a highway.Naxal leader Kundan Pahan was allegedly involved in the abduction and beheading ofInduwar.4) Iran opens two new missile plantsTEHRAN, Feb 6, 2010 (AFP) - Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi opened two new missileproduction plants on Saturday, just three days after Iran fired a rocket carrying liveanimals into space, state television reported.
The plants will produce a ground-to-air missile dubbed the Qaem (Rising) and a surface-to-surface missile dubbed Toofan 5 (Storm), the broadcaster said.The Qaem is designed to target helicopters at low and medium altitudes, it added."Toofan 5 is one of the most advanced missiles. It has two warheads which can destroytanks and other armoured vehicles," Vahidi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.He said the Qaem was a "missile which can destroy targets in the air travelling at lowspeed and at low altitude, especially assault helicopters."Iran unveiled the new plants as part of its celebrations for the 31st anniversary of theIslamic revolution later this month.On Wednesday, it launched a capsule carrying turtles, rats and worms aboard aKavoshgar 3 (Explorer) rocket in its first experiment in sending living creatures intospace.Irans missile and space programmes have sparked mounting alarm in the West amidfears that a command of advanced ballistics technologies combined with the nuclearknow-how acquired from its declared civilian programme may enable it to produce anatomic weapon.Iran has also regularly boasted of having missiles that can target arch-foe Israel.In December it tested the Sejil 2 (Lethal Stone) missile, describing it as a faster version ofa medium-range missile that could allow it to strike arch-foe Israel.The United States and its regional ally Israel have not ruled out a military option to stopTehrans controversial nuclear drive.Tehran has in the past threatened to target US bases in the region and to block thestrategic Gulf Strait of Hormuz waterway for oil tankers if its nuclear sites are attacked.Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment.5) Germany supports European army: foreign ministerMUNICH, Germany, Feb 6, 2010 (AFP) - Germany supports the creation of a Europeanarmy in the long term so that the EU can be a "global player," Foreign Minister GuidoWesterwelle told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday."The long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary
control. The European Union must live up to its political role as a global player. It mustbe able to manage crises independently. It must be able to respond quickly, flexibly andto take a united stand," he said."We want strong European crisis management. This is not intended to replace othersecurity structures. More Europe is not a strategy directed against anyone. No one hasany reason to fear Europe, but everyone should be able to depend on Europe," headded.He said however that this would require a pooling of resources and distribution ofresponsibility "even in times of ever scarcer means."The concept of a European army was set out in the 27-nation EUs reforming LisbonTreaty," he said."United Europe will only be secure if my generation, which has never experienced war,suffering or hunger, is strongly committed to European integration," Westerwelle said."And my generation has a chance to extend this cooperation model far beyond WesternEurope, perhaps even to the whole of the European continent."6) US shuttle to bring Tranquility to space stationWASHINGTON, Feb 6, 2010 (AFP) - The US space shuttle Endeavour and its crew of sixastronauts are preparing for a weekend mission to deliver a space module dubbedTranquility to the International Space Station (ISS).The mission comes as NASA begins to reevaluate its future after President BarackObama effectively abandoned the US space agencys plan to send astronauts back to themoon by 2020.The Constellation program was intended to develop a successor spacecraft to theshuttle, which could be used to carry astronauts to the moon where they would use alunar base to launch manned missions to Mars.Constrained by soaring budget deficits, Obama submitted a budget to Congress thatencourages the agency to instead focus on developing commercial transportalternatives to ferry astronauts to the ISS after the shuttle program ends.There are just five missions scheduled for NASAs three shuttles before the program isscheduled to wind down later this year. The first shuttle launch was in 1981.The Endeavour missions main goal is the delivery of the Tranquility module, also knownas Node 3, which comes with a multi-window cupola attached.
The cupola, built for NASA by the European group Thales Alenia Space in their Turinfactory, will allow for panoramic views of Earth, space objects and spacecraft arriving atthe ISS, the US space agency said.Endeavour is scheduled to takeoff early Sunday at 4:39 am (0939 GMT) from theKennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida."Everything thus far is going exceeding well. Were right on schedule where weresupposed to be and well continue to work through the day on our preparations," NASAtest director Jeff Spauling told journalists during a press conference.Countdown began as scheduled at 0700 GMT on Thursday and by Friday the weatherforecast had improved to an 80 percent "go" for launch.Mike Leinbach, the shuttle launch director, reported that his team had not encounteredany technical problems and everything was on track for loading of the external fuel tankwith propellants at around 7:15 pm Saturday (0015 GMT Sunday)."The team is energized and excited about the countdown... looking forward to gettingEndeavour off the ground Sunday morning," said Leinbach.With Endeavours delivery of Tranquility and its attached cupola, the International SpaceStation will be 90 percent complete, NASA said.Tranquility, which weighs in at 18 tonnes, is seven meters long and has a 4.5 meterdiameter, while the cupola dome weighs 1.9 tonnes, and measures 1.5 meters with a2.9 meter diameter.Installing the module is expected to require a team of two astronauts to undertakethree spacewalks lasting 6.5 hours each.Tranquility, named after the lunar sea where Apollo 11 landed, has the mostsophisticated life support system ever flown into space.It has air revitalization, oxygen generation and water recycling systems and also containsa waste and hygiene compartment for the crew.The cupola attached to Tranquility boasts six windows arrayed along its sides as well asa central window -- all built with protection against the impact of tiny meteorites -- thatwill offer an unprecedented panoramic view for those onboard.But the cupola will also serve an important work function, accommodating two crewmembers at a time, and is equipped with portable workstations that can control station
and robotic activities.The view will allow the crew to monitor spacewalks and docking operations, NASA said.The ISS, a joint project involving 16 countries, has cost around 100 billion dollars, mostlyprovided by the United States.Under Obamas new budget, the floating research station could see its life extended byfive years until 2020.Meanwhile, NASA will work on sponsoring commercial development of new USspacecraft that can ferry astronauts to the ISS after the shuttle program ends.Astronauts will have access to Russias Soyuz craft for transport to the station, but theUS space agency will be called upon to help a US private sector alternative.7) WB Finance ministry sanctions money for special forceKolkata, Feb 4 (PTI) The State Finance ministry has sanctioned funds for the creation of aspecial force capable of handling anti-Maoist operation, West Bengal Home SecretaryArdhendu Sen said here today."The state finance ministry has sanctioned money needed for the creation of a specialforce like that of Greyhounds which will be mainly responsible for handling anti-Maoistoperation", Sen told reporters."The total cost of the project will be Rs 25 crores of which Rs Two crores has beensanctioned initially and the rest will be sanctioned according to requirement," he said.The state government would look for land in and around Salboni-Goaltore area to housethe force and the recruitment would start soon, he said."Initially, it will be a 600 strong force of commandos and it will be headed by an IG levelofficer.8) CRPF top cop reviews proposed anti-Maoist operationsFebruary 4th, 2010 - 7:14 pm
Ranchi, Feb 4 (IANS) Ahead of meeting of chief ministers of the Maoist-affected stateswith union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Central Reserve Police Force specialDirector General Vijay Raman reviewed the preparation of the paramilitary force inJharkhand.Raman held meeting with Jharkhand Director General of Police Neyaz Ahmad, specialbranch officers in police headquarters Thursday. The meeting discussed the proposedanti-Maoist offensive.“The meeting discussed the deployment of forces, setting up of control rooms and otherthings,” Jharkhand police chief told reporters.West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Orissa Chief Minister NavinPatnaik, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumarwould meet Chidambaram Feb 9 to discuss anti-Maoist operations in these four states.“The four chief ministers would decide how to start operation against the Maoists.There will be joint operations in the border areas coordinated by Vijay Raman,” a policesource told IANS.A fortnight ago, the Jharkhand police chief had said that 70-75 percent preparationswere complete for an offensive against the Maoists. Two helicopters of the Indian Airforce are stationed in Jharkhand for the operations.9) Now, IAF to flush out Maoists from stateManohar Lal, TNN, 4 February 2010, 10:17pm ISTRANCHI: Indian Air Force (IAF) will be used for the first time, albeit indirectly, in a majoranti-Maoist offensive that is to be launched in thestate soon. Jharkhand Police is gearing up to deploy the IAF contingent for the purpose.These facts came to light after a high-level meeting of senior police officers of the statechaired by Vijay Raman, special director-general of CRPF and nodal officer for OperationGreen Hunt. He discussed various arrangements done by the state police for the
deployment of IAF in the state. Among those present at the meeting were IG(operations) D K Pandey, IG (special branch) S N Pradhan and CRPF DIG Alok Raj."Raman wanted to know whether police could accommodate the IAF contingent ifdeployed in the state for anti-Naxalite operations to which, we have replied in theaffirmative," said DGP Neyaz Ahmed.He, however, clarified that IAF will not take be directly involved in the operation againstthe Maoists but form part of the back-up team. "Some dedicated special control roomsand other infrastructure will soon be set up for the anti-Maoist operation in the state,"said Ahmed.The DGP added that the final decision on the major anti-Maoist offensive will be takenat the crucial meeting of chief ministers of some Maoist-affected states to be chaired byUnion home minister P Chidambaram in Kolkata on February 9. "A meeting with thedirectors-general of police of other states will also be held on the sidelines of the CMsmeeting in which these issues will be discussed," said Ahmed.According to sources, two IAF pilots have already arrived in the state and are activelytaking part in the recce. A total of 11 points have been shortlisted where the majoroperations have been planned to be launched in the state once the Kolkata meetinggives the green signal.More paramilitary forces are likely to come to the state for the anti-Maoist operation.Later in the day, Raman left for Delhi. He will also be there for the high-level meeting inKolkata next week.10 Bengal to raise own ‘Greyhounds’Kolkata : Four days ahead of the crucial meeting at the Writers’ Building to chalk out astrategy to combat the Naxalite menace that will be chaired by Union Home Minister PChidambaram and attended by chief ministers of four states, the state government hasdecided to raise a special force on the lines of Greyhounds of Andhra Predesh to fightthe leftist ultras.Sources in the government said though a name for the proposed force has not been
decided yet, it will be exclusively used to fight the Maoists in the three Naxal-hit districtsof Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore.The recruitment process will start soon and the first contingent will be operationalwithin a year, according to Home department officials.While the initial cost for setting up the force will be around Rs 2 crore, the recurring costfor maintaining the unit will be Rs 25 crore, which will be borne by the stategovernment. “We will ask for more money and central assistance at the February 9meeting with Chidambaram,” Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said today.What prompted the government to raise a special force was the paucity of trainedpersonnel to fight the Maoists. “Once we have our own force, our dependence on thecentral paramilitary forces, for which we have been entreating the central government,will be reduced,” the home secretary said.The state government had 17 companies of Central paramilitary forces at in the Naxal-hit areas of which six companies were taken away for election duty in Jharkhand. Buteven though the elections were over, the forces had not been sent back.“In principle, they have agreed to send back the six companies but the contingent is yetto arrive,” an official said. The state government has asked for another 10 companies ofCentral forces and the demand will be raised again at the February 9 meet.To be set up at Salboni in West Midnapopre, the new anti-Naxal force, with a strengthof 600-700 people, will be headed by an IG-level officer. “At present, there is no plan toinduct women but we can do it in the future,” Sen said.The training of the force will be done by CRPF, BSF and the Army. The entire force willcomprise fresh recruits and for this a stringent physical standard has been laid out ascriteria. “Their training will be basically in anti-insurgency operations and it will be a verytough one,” Sen said.PCAPA wants to meet Guv NarayananThe Maoists-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) now wantsnew Governor M K Narayanan to intervene to break the deadlock between the outfitand the state government as far as dialogue is concerned.“Former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi had a sympathetic approach to the Lalgarhtribal movement. But, Narayanan has started chalking out strategies to flush out theMaoists from the Jhargram-Lalgarh belt. But he has no idea how the joint forces and thepolice torture innocent villagers and term them as Maoists. We want to meet theGovernor and hold talks if we are called,” said Asit Mahato, convener of the PCAPA.
Meanwhile, the PCAPA called off the indefinite blockade it had started after two tribalwomen died in police firing at Barikul in Bankura a few days ago.“We have withdrawn our bandh from the area as we don’t want our people to sufferbecause of the indefinite bandh. But we supported the Maoists in their bandh becausewe always get support from them,” added Mahato.11) Maoist landmine expert nabbedRAYAGADA: A hardcore Maoist was arrested in Rayagada district and five landmines andan equal number of guns besides a large quantity of explosives were recovered fromhim. On a tip-off, Purna, an explosives expert and a master in making landmines, wasnabbed from Tubuni village in Gudari police station area last night.Ammunition, including gelatines and 15 kg of splinters used in the making of landmines,were seized. Purna was coordinating ultras’ movement in Rayagada district and criminalcases were pending against him at different police stations. Purna also confessed tohave been involved in the attack on Nayagarh armoury in 2008. Rayagada SP AnupKrishna told mediapersons that Purna, a militia member, was involved in a number ofcases, including the murder of a goldsmith in 2004, blasting a landmine targeting apolice party at Dhepaguda ME School in 2007 and another landmine attack on police.Meanwhile, A Ravikrishna, ASP from neighbouring Parvatipuram in Andhra Pradesh,who was present at the Press meet, asked Maoists to respond to the call to join themainstream.Under the Amma Pilupu programme, women cadres who surrender would berehabilitated, he said.The Andhra Pradesh Government has adopted a five-point programme to welcome theMaoists who shun violence.12) Eight Maoists shot dead in ChhattisgarhIndo-Asian News ServiceRaipur, February 04, 2010Eight Maoist guerrillas were on Wednesday shot dead by the police in two gun-battles inChhattisgarhs violence-hit Bastar region, an official said.The gun fights broke out in thickly forested areas in Bijapur district, some 450 km southof state capital Raipur."Seven Maoists were killed in a forested stretch under Bhairamgarh police station whena contingent of District Force and Special Police Officers (SPOs) raided a hideout ofrebels and exchanged fire for more than an hour. Another guerrilla was gunned downunder Bijapur police station area," Superintendent of Police (Bijapur) Avinash Mohanty
said over phone.He said that the bodies of all the ultras gunned down were recovered. Police foundsome weapons and explosives at both the gun battle sites, the official added.Police search teams were combing nearby areas to recover more bodies of guerrillas, ifany.Chhattisgarhs mineral-rich Bastar region, spread out over 40,000 sq km area andcomprising five districts including Bijapur, is known as a nerve-centre of Maoistmilitancy in India where rebels have carried out a string of deadly attacks on police andcivilians in recent years.
1) EU-US Agree On Joint Aviation SecurityThe European Union and the U.S. have agreed to pursue ways to strengtheninternational aviation security and plan a meeting in April to address ongoing efforts.Their objectives were outlined in a Jan. 21 joint declaration issued shortly after ameeting in Toledo, Spain, of ministers of EU member states, the President of theEuropean Commission and U.S. Homeland Security Dept. Secretary Janet Napolitano.Their objectives in thwarting terrorist attempts include working toward earlieridentification of adversaries through use of enhanced passenger screening, more securetravel documents and biometrics. In addition, they aim to use enhanced technologies todetect and prevent prohibited materials from getting onboard aircraft. They also agreedto work with partners worldwide to adjust aviation security regimes where necessary,including enhancing security capacity.The participants, who agreed to continue their cooperation under the EU-US airtransport agreement, scheduled a high-level meeting in April (specific date to bedetermined) to explore ways of working with other international partners in bolsteringsecurity.Exploring ways to improve information-sharing will be a top priority at the Aprilmeeting. This includes looking at data information exchange mechanisms that will at thesame time protect passenger privacy.The meeting’s goals include supporting the use of pre-departure information to aid inscreening, improving onboard flight protection measures, and sharing best practicessearch techniques, which include behavioral-detection training. The participants alsoaim to explore ways to support counter-terrorism work in areas where terrorist groupsare known to operate.2) MoD Boosts Military Helicopter Fleet by 40 PercentLast months announcement from the British government that it would be adding to itsmilitary helicopter fleet with 22 new Chinooks was one that many had been waiting for.The issue of air support is one which has remained a major topic of debate surroundingthe war in Afghanistan. Many senior military figures have stressed the importance of themilitary helicopter for transportation in an environment where improvised explosivedevices are rife on the ground.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Defence responded in December with the decision toincrease the Chinook fleet from 58 to 70 airframes. The first 10 Chinooks will come offthe production line in 2012 and will be completed in 2013.Future Helicopter StrategyThe announcement is part of the governments Future Helicopter Strategy, which willlead to a 40 percent increase in the number of lift helicopters that can be used onmilitary operations in extreme conditions, such as those experienced by troops inAfghanistan."Our forces on the frontline in Afghanistan repeatedly tell me that Chinook areindispensable on operations," said UK Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth."Helicopter capability has already doubled in the last three years and this futurestrategy builds on this, ensuring that our armed forces have the very best resources attheir disposal," he added.Commander of the Joint Helicopter Command, Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, saidthat the superior lift performance of the Chinook military helicopter has "provedinvaluable.""This new strategy will dramatically increase our military capability on the battlefield formany years to come," he added.£6bn Military Helicopter InvestmentThe government is spending £6 billion over the next decade on the military helicopterfleet, with the December announcement on Chinook additions building upon substantialprogress throughout 2009 to improve helicopter capability.This has included an upgrade to Lynx engines, a £408 million refit to the existingChinook military helicopter fleet with new engines and part-digitised cockpits and a£300 million upgrade to the Puma fleet to extend its service life until at least 2022.In addition, the first of eight converted Chinook Mk3 aircraft have been introduced intoservice and the first Merlin Helicopters also arrived in Afghanistan in November.Since the governments December announcement, two new Mk3 Chinooks arrived atRAF Odiham on January 13, 2010, the first of eight that will be delivered to the base thisyear. This will take the fleet to 46 military helicopters.They are part of the modification work being done by Boeing to install more powerfulengines enabling the Chinooks to be deployed to Afghanistan and boost air support on
the front line.Merlin DeploymentThe Merlin helicopters, meanwhile, passed pre-flight checks in November, which meantthat they were able to be deployed in Afghanistan one month ahead of schedule.These military helicopters are being used to transport troops to and from the forwardoperation bases and resupplying them with ammunition, food and equipment."The delivery of this capability is one month ahead of schedule and it is an outstandingeffort, achieved through the ongoing determination and sheer hard work applied by allthose involved," said Bob Ainsworth."We have pulled out all the stops to get the aircraft into Afghanistan as soon as possibleand are now ready to provide significant helicopter lift to the troops in Helmand," saidGroup Captain Jonathan Burr, Station Commander at RAF Benson, where the MerlinForce is based. 3) 1) The US Army plans to train more than 2,000 operators of UAVs in Afghanistan Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are bringing "unprecedented" intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, director of the Army Unmanned Aerial System Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Army Colonel Christopher Carlile, said this month. His comments are the latest of many recommending the technology, which is one of the fastest-growing fields in the Army. "Theres an old saying that science and science fiction is only separated by timing, and that timing is now. We have it," Carlile stressed. Although UAVs met with some scepticism when they first emerged in the mid-1990s, they are seen as proven force multipliers that save lives on the battlefield. Carlile said that Army UAVs have clocked up almost one million flight hours in Iraq and Afganistan and the force is now committed to expanding its programme in order to keep pace with demand for unmanned systems. UAV Fleet The Army plans to train more than 2,000 operators of UAVs who will eventually
be deployed along with the ground troops they will support, Colonel Carlilerevealed.There are three main forms of UAV used by the Army—the Raven, the Shadowand the Extended Range Multi-Purpose system.The Raven supports battalions down to platoon level, the 11-foot-long Shadow isdesigned for use at brigade level and the Extended Range Multi-Purpose, with its56-foot wingspan, supports division-level operations.Carlile said that these UAVs help soldiers to track down enemy targets. In thepast, troops were forced to find out what was behind a building or around acorner when gunfire or a rocket-propelled grenade came at them. Now, theRaven can be used to conduct this reconnaissance work."They can take that and fly it and put it above and see if there is an ambush onthe other side of the street, in real time," the colonel said."Troops also can determine what the enemy is up to—such as hiding behindcivilian shields—to reduce the risk of collateral damage during operations."Asymmetrical ChallengesDeputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III has also highlighted the potential ofUAVs in modern warfare."Our dominance in conventional warfare has led adversaries to seek newavenues to challenge us," he said.Improvised Explosive Devices are one of the main tools that the Taliban are usingagainst troops in Afghanistan. However, the US military has been developingnew technology to meet these asymmetrical challenges.UAVs can track and identify insurgent activities, including the placing of roadsidebombs."Because of a significant investment in intelligence surveillance, surveillance andreconnaissance [capabilities], commanders receive actionable intelligence inminutes rather than in hours," Lynn said."Unmanned aircraft now combine surveillance with attack abilities," he added.It is not just the US Army which is investing in UAVs. The National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration in partnership with BAE Systems has completed the
first successful test flight of the small, electric-powered Coyote, which is beingdeveloped for military use.The project was initially funded by the US Navy and the 14-pound Coyote, with a58-inch wingspan, can perform ISR missions as well as having the potential to beused in weather research.Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are bringing "unprecedented" intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, director of the Army UnmannedAerial System Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Army Colonel ChristopherCarlile, said this month.His comments are the latest of many recommending the technology, which isone of the fastest-growing fields in the Army."Theres an old saying that science and science fiction is only separated bytiming, and that timing is now. We have it," Carlile stressed.Although UAVs met with some scepticism when they first emerged in themid-1990s, they are seen as proven force multipliers that save lives on thebattlefield.Carlile said that Army UAVs have clocked up almost one million flight hours inIraq and Afganistan and the force is now committed to expanding its programmein order to keep pace with demand for unmanned systems.UAV FleetThe Army plans to train more than 2,000 operators of UAVs who will eventuallybe deployed along with the ground troops they will support, Colonel Carlilerevealed.There are three main forms of UAV used by the Army—the Raven, the Shadowand the Extended Range Multi-Purpose system.The Raven supports battalions down to platoon level, the 11-foot-long Shadow isdesigned for use at brigade level and the Extended Range Multi-Purpose, with its56-foot wingspan, supports division-level operations.Carlile said that these UAVs help soldiers to track down enemy targets. In thepast, troops were forced to find out what was behind a building or around acorner when gunfire or a rocket-propelled grenade came at them. Now, theRaven can be used to conduct this reconnaissance work.
"They can take that and fly it and put it above and see if there is an ambush on the other side of the street, in real time," the colonel said. "Troops also can determine what the enemy is up to—such as hiding behind civilian shields—to reduce the risk of collateral damage during operations." Asymmetrical Challenges Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III has also highlighted the potential of UAVs in modern warfare. "Our dominance in conventional warfare has led adversaries to seek new avenues to challenge us," he said. Improvised Explosive Devices are one of the main tools that the Taliban are using against troops in Afghanistan. However, the US military has been developing new technology to meet these asymmetrical challenges. UAVs can track and identify insurgent activities, including the placing of roadside bombs. "Because of a significant investment in intelligence surveillance, surveillance and reconnaissance [capabilities], commanders receive actionable intelligence in minutes rather than in hours," Lynn said. "Unmanned aircraft now combine surveillance with attack abilities," he added. It is not just the US Army which is investing in UAVs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with BAE Systems has completed the first successful test flight of the small, electric-powered Coyote, which is being developed for military use. The project was initially funded by the US Navy and the 14-pound Coyote, with a 58-inch wingspan, can perform ISR missions as well as having the potential to be used in weather research.4) Raytheon gets $170M contract for missiles to UAERaytheon Co. was awarded a $170 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to supply twovariations of its Maverick air-to-ground missiles to the United Arab Emirates.Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), which has its Missile Systems division based in Tucson andemploys 11,500 people in the region, will provide more than 500 of the Mavericks andsupport to the UAE.
The missile has been used for more than 25 years and is deployed to more than 33countries.
1) UK and US Outline Strategy for Counter-IED Military OperationsPrime Minister Gordon Brown announced this month that the UK government would beinvesting an extra £150 million in countering the improvised explosive device (IED)threat to military operations in Afghanistan.This will include an additional £10 million being put towards buying 400 hand-held minedetectors on top of the £12 million allocated earlier this year for new explosive disposalrobots. There are now 30 of these in operation in Afghanistan.Brown also outlined a package of longer-term investment in counter-IED capability,which will include setting up a new base in the UK for training and military operationsintelligence in this area.The prime minister added that he had agreed with President Karzai that Afghanistanwould help troops on military operations to detect and dismantle IEDs.This will include Afghan Armed Forces being trained to detect and disable IEDs, morelocal police on the ground and better intelligence from local people about the source ofIED attacks.Afghans will be encouraged not to harbour those planning explosive attacks on Britishsoldiers, President Karzai assured the British prime minister.Military Operations To Take OffensiveIEDs remain a huge threat to military operations as well as the lives of troops inAfghanistan. Explosives were responsible for the deaths of 124 of the 239 UK personnelkilled in the conflict since it began in October 2001. Most of these were IEDs.Senior figures from the British military, coalition countries and the UKs Ministry ofDefence scientists and engineers met in July this year for a conference to discussstrategy and tactics in countering the IED threat during military operations."There has been an operational switch by the Taliban who are using IEDs to try toundermine international willingness to stay the distance to achieve our long-termobjectives," noted vice-chief of the British defence staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton,at the briefing in July.Military strategists said the tactic was to adopt an offensive stance in dealing with thesethreats. This means attacking the networks that produce and plant IEDs as well asdeveloping protection against them.Linking technology, training, tactics and procedures and intelligence will be key to
undertaking military operations to unearth those who finance, create and conceal thebombs.Furthermore, armed forces will analyse data gathered from recovered IED material andinformation from captured insurgents.This, combined with surveillance records, will be used to build up an understanding ofthe process behind IEDs. It was agreed that the strategy for military operations mustalso be coordinated and integrated between coalition countries, whose communicationsnetworks must be able to talk to each other.JIEDDO Specialist TeamsMore recently, the US Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO)has provided battalion-level units deployed in Afghanistan with specialised counter-IEDteams through its Tidal Sun pilot training initiative.This involves training select groups of warfighters in IED forensics and technicalintelligence, with the initial phase of the pilot involving 40 soldiers and Marines groupedin two teams of five or six specialists."Our goal is to create teams of counter-IED experts, where the IED is their dedicatedfocus and not a peripheral task. They wont be pulling gate guard duty on the side," saidMarine Corps Colonel CJ Mahoney, JIEDDO Joint Center of Excellence chief of staff.The pilot has involved experts from the UK Canada and Australia as well as explosiveinvestigation experts from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the NationalGround Intelligence Center."What is unique about Tidal Sun is that its a deliberate operation to bring together whatwe think are key analytical capabilities," added Command Sergeant Major Todd Burnett,JIEDDOs senior enlisted advisor."These teams will be able to pick up the pieces, find traces of explosive elements, findfingerprints and put their findings in a detailed analytical document," he continued.They will examine "explosive signatures,” chemical traces and blast patterns to developand overview of how an IED attack has unfolded. This information will then be analysedby the team and passed on to the relevant agencies for external study ahead of futuremilitary operations."We need to exploit all the information we can from an IED attack. Tidal Sun and thecounter-IED teams enable us do that in a very robust, coherent and comprehensive
way," Burnett concluded. 1) UK and US Outline Strategy for Counter-IED Military OperationsPrime Minister Gordon Brown announced this month that the UK government would beinvesting an extra £150 million in countering the improvised explosive device (IED)threat to military operations in Afghanistan.This will include an additional £10 million being put towards buying 400 hand-held minedetectors on top of the £12 million allocated earlier this year for new explosive disposalrobots. There are now 30 of these in operation in Afghanistan.Brown also outlined a package of longer-term investment in counter-IED capability,which will include setting up a new base in the UK for training and military operationsintelligence in this area.The prime minister added that he had agreed with President Karzai that Afghanistanwould help troops on military operations to detect and dismantle IEDs.This will include Afghan Armed Forces being trained to detect and disable IEDs, morelocal police on the ground and better intelligence from local people about the source ofIED attacks.Afghans will be encouraged not to harbour those planning explosive attacks on Britishsoldiers, President Karzai assured the British prime minister.Military Operations To Take OffensiveIEDs remain a huge threat to military operations as well as the lives of troops inAfghanistan. Explosives were responsible for the deaths of 124 of the 239 UK personnelkilled in the conflict since it began in October 2001. Most of these were IEDs.Senior figures from the British military, coalition countries and the UKs Ministry ofDefence scientists and engineers met in July this year for a conference to discussstrategy and tactics in countering the IED threat during military operations."There has been an operational switch by the Taliban who are using IEDs to try toundermine international willingness to stay the distance to achieve our long-termobjectives," noted vice-chief of the British defence staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton,at the briefing in July.Military strategists said the tactic was to adopt an offensive stance in dealing with thesethreats. This means attacking the networks that produce and plant IEDs as well asdeveloping protection against them.
Linking technology, training, tactics and procedures and intelligence will be key toundertaking military operations to unearth those who finance, create and conceal thebombs.Furthermore, armed forces will analyse data gathered from recovered IED material andinformation from captured insurgents.This, combined with surveillance records, will be used to build up an understanding ofthe process behind IEDs. It was agreed that the strategy for military operations mustalso be coordinated and integrated between coalition countries, whose communicationsnetworks must be able to talk to each other.JIEDDO Specialist TeamsMore recently, the US Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO)has provided battalion-level units deployed in Afghanistan with specialised counter-IEDteams through its Tidal Sun pilot training initiative.This involves training select groups of warfighters in IED forensics and technicalintelligence, with the initial phase of the pilot involving 40 soldiers and Marines groupedin two teams of five or six specialists."Our goal is to create teams of counter-IED experts, where the IED is their dedicatedfocus and not a peripheral task. They wont be pulling gate guard duty on the side," saidMarine Corps Colonel CJ Mahoney, JIEDDO Joint Center of Excellence chief of staff.The pilot has involved experts from the UK Canada and Australia as well as explosiveinvestigation experts from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the NationalGround Intelligence Center."What is unique about Tidal Sun is that its a deliberate operation to bring together whatwe think are key analytical capabilities," added Command Sergeant Major Todd Burnett,JIEDDOs senior enlisted advisor."These teams will be able to pick up the pieces, find traces of explosive elements, findfingerprints and put their findings in a detailed analytical document," he continued.They will examine "explosive signatures,” chemical traces and blast patterns to developand overview of how an IED attack has unfolded. This information will then be analysedby the team and passed on to the relevant agencies for external study ahead of futuremilitary operations.
"We need to exploit all the information we can from an IED attack. Tidal Sun and thecounter-IED teams enable us do that in a very robust, coherent and comprehensiveway," Burnett concluded. 2) Australia to Order First Batch of Joint Strike FightersAustralia is to buy an initial batch of 14 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35ALightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) at an estimated cost of AUD3.2 billion (US$2.94billion). A second batch of JSFs and all necessary support and enabling capabilities,sufficient to establish three operational squadrons and a training squadron, will beconsidered in 2012 when much firmer cost estimates are available.The government’s Defence White Paper published in May committed to acquire threeoperational squadrons of JSFs comprising not less than 72 aircraft. Purchase of a fourthoperational squadron, bringing the total number of JSFs in service with the RoyalAustralian Air Force (RAAF) to around 100, will be considered at a later date.This will be considered in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal date of 24F/A-18/F Super Hornets, the first of which will enter service in late 2010 to provide aninterim capability between the retirement of the RAAF’s General Dynamics F-111 strikeaircraft at the end of 2010 and the arrival of the JSFs.The first two F-35As are scheduled for delivery to the RAAF, in the US, in 2014, for testand evaluation. The other 12 will not arrive in Australia until 2017. Initial operatingcapability (IOC) for the first operational squadron is planned in 2018, coinciding with thedate on which the last of the RAAF’s 71 F/A-18A/B Hornet fighters is scheduled to bewithdrawn from service. Full operating capability (FOC) for the three JSF operationalsquadrons is scheduled for 2021.Up to now, 25 Australian companies have won work worth approximately US$200million in the development and early production phase of the JSF programme. 3) Saab Markets Sea Gripen to India and BrazilSaab has answered an Indian Navy (IN) request for information (RfI) regarding futurecarrier-capable fighters with a new development of the Gripen NG, named the SeaGripen. India’s RfI was released to bidders in recent weeks and sought detailedinformation on a common aircraft design for conventional aircraft carrier operationsand short take-off but arrested recovery (STO-BAR) operations.The INS Vikramaditya (the rebuilt former Russian Navy vessel Admiral Gorshkov), hasbeen delayed entering service, but India also has plans to build three indigenous aircraftcarriers (IACs). The MiG-29K is planned to equip Vikramaditya and IAC 1, but. the IN’s RfIis looking for a follow-on type to operate from IAC 2 and 3. The RfI has also been sent to
Boeing, Dassault, Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin, Sukhoi and Saab. India’s troubled TejasLight Combat Aircraft is not seen as an option at this stage.Saab has already completed detailed design pre-studies for the Sea Gripen in responseto earlier interest from Brazil and other countries. For Saab the Indian requirement isparticularly important because of its potential links with Brazil’s F-X2 fightercompetition.The Sea Gripen would form part of a long-term industrial development package for Indiaand Brazil, should either country select the Gripen NG. The Indian RfI also makes aspecific request that India’s chosen aircraft should be exportable. Gripen has a built-incarrier capability that was part of the original design. It is also designed to be capable ofprecision landings on short strips.The performance characteristics of the basic Gripen, together with the structuralimprovements of the Gripen NG should allow the Sea Gripen to fit the Indianrequirement. It is capable of operating from carriers at a maximum take-off weight of16,500 kg and a landing weight (with weapons and fuel) of 3,500 kg. For carrieroperations the aircraft is designed to have a service life of 8,000 flight hours, equallysplit between shipborne and land-based operations.The Sea Gripen is scheduled to be presented to the IN in January 2010 and an RfIresponse should be submitted by Saab the following month.5) USAF Wants New Helicopters to Replace 62 Bell UH-1NsThe US Air Force wants to start replacing 62 Vietnam-era Bell UH-1Ns with up to 93 newhelicopters after 2015. A “sources sought” notice issued on the 17th December 2009 forthe potential multi-billion dollar common vertical lift support programme (CVLSP)reveals both the quantity and the USAF’s desired attributes for the new fleet. Theservice wants to replace its UH-1Ns with a type that can lift 1,450kg (3,200lb), includingfour crew members, nine passengers and mission equipment, the notice says.It should also be able to fly up to three hours without refuelling, and at speeds of up to135kt (250km/h). Aircraft survivability is a key area that the USAF wants to upgrade withits new helicopters. The new CVLSP helicopter should also be armed with the ability tosuppress an “eight-man enemy element in the open out to 800m (2,620ft) duringdaylight with 3 seconds of detection time.<eventpdf>The USAF has also made it clear that the contract is expected to be awarded to an off-the-shelf design. Once fielded, the CVLSP fleet is expected to provide escort for nuclearconvoys, respond in any weather to emergencies at launch silos for intercontinental
ballistic missiles, and also transport passengers in the Washington DC area. The typecould also support NASA and homeland security missions. The USAF’s requirements callfor an aircraft that is only marginally larger than the UH-1N.6) RAF Selects Rivet Joint (Joint electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft) to ReplaceNimrod R.1sThe Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft has beenselected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to replace the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s)current fleet of 3 BAE Systems Nimrod R.1 aircraft.MoD approval was given during December 2009 for the US solution to Project Helix, asthe Nimrod R.1 replacement is called by the RAF. A formal announcement is expected inJanuary.In early 2008 the UK entered into talks with the US Air Force (USAF) to secure surplusBoeing KC-135 Stratotanker airframes for conversion into RC-135s. The RC-135 is theUSAF’s primary electronic intelligence-gathering platform. L3 Communications isresponsible for the current upgrade programme on the USAF’s RC-135s and it isenvisaged that the UK aircraft would be modified with mission equipment at L3’sGreenville plant in Texas.The RAF hopes to be able to secure logistic support and maintenance synergies with theUK’s Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) fleet at RAFWaddington, where the Rivet Joints will be based.It is expected that the UK RC-135s will be fitted with CFM International CFM-56 enginesto achieve commonality with the E-3Ds. It appeared that the RAF might lose the R.1capability altogether as a result of spending cuts but was considered essential tomaintain this capability.7) Military to Spend $1.1bn on Unmanned Systems in Next 10 YearsIt seems that unmanned systems are increasingly being sought after for militaryoperations, with estimates suggesting that just under half of expenditure onautonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) coming from defence organisations.Research from Douglas-Westwood suggests that the underwater unmanned systemsmarket will total $2.3 billion (£688 million) between 2010 and 2019, with $1.1 billion ofthat coming from the military sector."Although 629 AUVs have been produced to date, they are still regarded as a relativelynew technology," said Paul Newman, lead analyst at Douglas-Westwood.
He added that the use of unmanned systems for a number of key tasks as increasedsignificantly as they have been shown to be more cost-effective than previoustechnology."For example, they are now one of the militarys primary mine countermeasure devicesand well established within the oil and gas community as deep water survey platforms,"Newman added.Supporting War on TerrorThe Douglas-Westwood report estimates that around 1,400 AUVs will be needed overthe next 10 years, the majority of which will be small unmanned systems, weighing in ata minimum 10kg. The military, oil and gas and research sectors will be the key driversfor the AUV market as the three principal purchasers.Supporting the war on terror and associated campaigns will be one of the main reasonsfor increased demand for these unmanned systems, according to the research."AUV technology is primed for dynamic growth as technological capability and marketneed are now building on each other," Newman concluded.This trend is one that intelligence company Janes Defence has identified, with CharlesHollosi and Cliff Funnell writing for the firms Web site that unmanned systems are nowbecoming available on military operations.The changing role of navies is also prompting the move, according to the experts. Theysaid that submarines are mainly involved in intelligence, surveillance andreconnaissance (ISR), special forces insertion and launch of land-attack missiles.UK Investment in Unmanned SystemsUnmanned systems offer a cost-effective way of undertaking ISR. Two years ago, the UKMinistry of Defence ordered a new unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) to enhance theRoyal Navys ability to detect underwater mines and other obstructions.The contract was worth £5.5 million and saw the Navy acquire the Remus 600, a UUVdesigned to enhance the mine countermeasures capability of the forces fleet."Remus is an advanced new capability that will not only reduce the risk to ships anddivers during mine countermeasures operations, but will help to undertake a wide rangeof other important tasks, from supporting marine search and salvage operations todefending our ports and harbours against potential terrorist attacks," said Nick Johnson,leader of the Defence Equipment and Support Underwater Defence Systems andCountermeasures Integrated Project Team, at the time.
The Remus 600 has a mine detection and classification capability in the 30m to 200mdepth range. It is fitted with a range of sensors and runs on re-chargeable batterieswhich power it for over 70 hours.More recently, the President Obama announced that $100 billion will be added to thePentagons 2011-15 base budget plan, Defense News reported.A percentage of this budget is expected to be spent on new unmanned systems,including a Navy attack submarine and the new Carrier Long-Range Strike system,sources told the news provider.
Germany Opts Out of Tranche 3b EurofightersGermany’s new ruling coalition has decided against procuring the 37 aircraftoutstanding under the Eurofighter Tranche 3b contract. Berlin decided in June to splitTranche 3 into two parts because the allotted financial resources of nearly EUR15 billion(US$22 billion) only allowed for the 31 aircraft of Tranche 3a to be procured. This wouldput Germany’s total number of Eurofighters at 143, even though 180 had originally beenplanned. However, the outstanding 37 aircraft are now to be covered by future exports.Germany is the Eurofighter programme export partner for Austria and possibly India,depending on the outcome of that country’s next-generation fighter contest. 4) EU Reaches Agreement on Maritime SecurityConcrete planning is now underway between the European Commission and the 27 EUnations to collectively boost maritime security through increased surveillance ofEurope’s maritime domain–a goal that will require fusing military and civil operationaldata within and between the member states. With its new policy document unveiled onthe 15th October–“Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A commoninformation sharing environment for the EU maritime domain”– the EuropeanCommission is setting in motion a hugely ambitious plan to knit together numerousnational and regional maritime players and their incompatible databases.A strong consensus has finally emerged among national naval and civil maritimeauthorities regarding maritime security. Specifics include tackling the sea-based threatsfacing the EU, such as terrorism, piracy, illegal immigration, smuggling and at-seapolluters. The concord flows from two years’ discrete effort–led by the commission, theEuropean Defence Agency (EDA) and Frontex, the EU’s external borders managementagency in Warsaw–to prepare Europe’s military and civil maritime authorities for thesteps ahead. The ultimate goal of the commission’s plans is to produce a commonoperational picture available to all naval and civil maritime user groups across the EU.Noting that data gathered and analysed by the military from high-resolution satelliteimagery, air patrolling, unmanned ISTAR platforms and other intelligence sources “areincreasingly perceived as valuable for civilian use,” the 12-page document says that theinformation exchange “must be two-directional between civilian authorities anddefence forces.” The countries’ navies do have a common operational picture thanks totheir membership of NATO, but even that needs to be improved for integrated civil-military operations at sea.The new policy document sets in motion two large plans of attack for improvingmaritime security. The first falls to the 27 member states and the obligation of each todefine which users across its territory will have access to the EU’s future integratedmaritime operational picture. This could take 12 to 18 months to complete after thepolicy’s release. The second task falls to the commission to define, with national
governments, a non-hierarchical technical framework for linking all the players;separate monitoring and surveillance systems to produce a “common information-sharing environment.” The main idea here is not to put all information into a singledatabase, but to structure the system so that each user community makes its dataavailable to other communities authorised to receive it on a need-to-know basis. Forcertain categories of information, such as classified security-sensitive data related todomestic and military intelligence, a sectoral approach “needs to be pursued tosafeguard the security interest of the concerned user communities,” the document said.Ultimately, the commission thinks a “permanent and structured co-operation” betweendifferent EU actors in military and civil domains across the 27 member states should beset up to find innovative maritime security solutions. Industry will be involved as well insome of the capability-enhancing activities, but only to a limited extent–at least duringthe initial phases. 5) Sweden Moves Ahead with Multirole Combat Support ShipSweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) expects to begin the project definitionphase for a purpose-built combat support ship next year, intended to enter service in2015 to meet a range of afloat replenishment, logistics, sealift and amphibious supportmissions.Following an initial analysis phase, “the decision was taken that the requirements wereto be stated for a single type of vessel for fleet logistic support and replenishment aswell as providing the amphibious lift and sea lift role.” A year-long feasibility study wascompleted by the FMV in mid-2008, but progress on the project subsequently stalledpending the outcome of the government’s Defence Reform process.Passed by parliament in June 2009, this has endorsed the requirement for a combatsupport ship to aid elements of the Swedish armed forces engaged on internationalmissions. FMV is now looking to start a 15-month project definition phased in thesecond quarter of 2010. “On completion we plan to issue a request for quotations toindustry in mid-2011, with a view to get a contract in the first half of 2012,” according toFMV. “Acquisition of a modified military off-the-shelf auxiliary oiler replenishmentvessel or landing platform dock (LPD)-type ship provided by a naval shipyard is onealternative for the realisation of the combat support ship project.”A series of RoPax concept designs were developed by FMV as part of the feasibilityphase. The baseline RoPax concept is between 145 m and 160 m in length overall, anddisplaces up to 15,000 tonnes at full load. Capacities include a ro-ro deck ofapproximately 1,250 m2, space for up to 900 m2 cargo on the weather deck, a vehicledeck of 400 linear metres, internal space for 10 Combat Boat 90 craft, and davits portand starboard for two fast supply vessels. Accommodation on board would provide for acrew of 55-60, plus an embarked force of around 400 at full load.
4) New U.K. Military Helicopter Plan to be AnnouncedIn early December, government ministers are set to announce a radical re-structuring ofthe UK’s helicopter procurement, organisation and basing plans in a new militaryhelicopter roadmap called “Vision 2020,” which might result in the termination ofEH101 Merlin development in the UK (although export orders are still being received).The core of the plan is the dropping of the GBP2.5 billion (US$4.1 billion) FutureMedium Support Helicopter (FMSH) programme, which had been expected to see thelaunch of a competition to procure up to 60 new NH90- or Merlin-class helicopters.Instead, “up to 30” more Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters will be bought bythe middle of the next decade, to bring the UK Chinook fleet to “around 70.”Government ministers are reportedly keen to fast-track the Chinook order, expected tobe worth some GBP600 million, because of continuing criticism regarding a lack ofhelicopters in Afghanistan. The Chinook purchase will be funded by scrapping aproposed life extension to the Westland Sea King HC.4 Commando helicopters andsavings generated from closing bases.Under “Vision 2020” a major change in the basing of all the UK’s military helicopterswould occur and the RAF’s Merlin HC.3/3A transport helicopters would be transferredto the Royal Navy. This would release RAF crews to provide personnel to operate thenew Chinooks. The ex-RAF Merlins would be used to replace the soon-to-be-retired SeaKing HC.4s and to be moved to Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose in Cornwall,where they would be integrated into a common logistics organisation with the navy’smaritime Merlin HM.1s.It is not clear at this stage whether the UK will buy new CH-47s or convert surplus ex-USArmy CH-47D helicopters to the current UK configuration. Under the new plan, all UKhelicopters would be concentrated at single main operating bases (MOBs). The Army AirCorps (AAC) and Royal Navy AgustaWestland Wildcat light utility and maritime attackhelicopters would be based at RNAS Yeovilton when the helicopter enters service from2014. AAC bases at Dishforth in Yorkshire and Gutersloh in Germany would also close.RAF Odiham would stay as the MOB for the Chinooks, although some helicopters mightalso have to be based at nearby RAF Benson. RAF Benson is likely to remain the PumaH,C.1/2 MOB until the type goes out of service in 2022. The retirement of most of theRAF and Royal Navy’s Sea King force is expected to commence in 2012 when a new civil-contracted search-and-rescue service starts. The Royal Navy’s force of Sea King ASaCmk.7s, is planned to stay in service until 2022. 5) USAF Forges Ahead with Light Combat Aircraft ProgrammeThe initial funding instalment, of an eventual $2 billion to purchase 100 Light AttackArmed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft, has been received by the US Air Force, for
asymmetric operations like those being carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan. LAAR isrequired to become operational in 2013, one year after initial deliveries start. Thechosen type may be a propeller-driven aircraft, but whichever type is selected will befitted with hardpoints for light support weapons and will carry a targeting pod, making itcapable of independently engaging targets.Possible contenders include the AirTractor AT802U (a modified crop duster), AleniaAermacchi M-346, Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano, Hawker Beechcraft AT-6L andPilatus PC-6 Porter. Boeing’s OV-10(X) Bronco proposal, based on the twin-engine, twin-boom forward air controller of the Vietnam era—for which no production facility haseven been chosen—now appears an unlikely candidate. The aircraft will be required tohave a rapid engagement capability, in order to reduce the sensor-to-shooter timeline.The LAAR aircraft will also operate as a forward air controller (FAC), with voice, videoand data-links. LAAR is being procured under the OA-X programme and should havesignificantly reduced operating costs—required to be around $1,000 per flying hour. Forcomparison, an F-16C fighter costs $7,750 per flying hour while the F-15E costs $44,000.Air-to-ground weapons will include one or two podded 7.62mm mini-guns, two 500lb(227kg) guided-munitions, 2x 3/4in rocket projectiles and the AGM-114N Hellfire air-to-ground missile. An as yet, informal requirements document, calls for operating fromaustere airfields on five-hour missions over distances of 900nm (1,667km) up to a ceilingof 30,000ft (9,144m). Air Combat Command (ACC), rather than Air Force SpecialOperations Command (SOC) has responsibility for the programme. ACC requires the first24-aircraft squadron to be ready for combat within two years and will then decidewhether to equip an entire wing. The 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is thelikely first operator of the aircraft. LAAR funding in the FY2010 budget is expected to be$90 million. 6) Middle East Collaborating With West in Army Defence LogisticsArmy services in the Middle East are working with various western organisations fortheir military defence operations. Companies from the west are heading over to getinvolved with the Middle East defence market, as they recognise the regions potential.From West to EastThis was recently highlighted by Thales’ announcement that it is looking to enter theIraq defence market. Speaking at the Dubai Airshow, Olivier Badard, president of ThalesMiddle East, commented: "We are interested in contributing to the reconstructioneffort in Iraq."He said that the region has "tremendous potential for growth" and the company isplanning to expand its position in the Middle East and Persian Gulf region, whichaccounted for 10 percent of global revenue last year.
Earlier this month, the French defence and aerospace electronics organisation andBaynuna Aviation Technology announced the official formation of Thalbat AdvancedTechnologies. The newly-formed organisation will supply onboard electronics technicaland technological support to the United Emirates Air Force. It will focus in particular onsensors and avionics systems.General Khaled Al Bu-Ainain, former Air Force Air defence Commander of UAE ArmedForces and chief executive officer of Baynuna Aviation Technology, said Thalbat "aims toextend its services and product lines throughout the region, as well as contributing tobuilding the UAEs own industrial defence capabilities in advanced avionics systems."To begin with, Thalbat will contribute to the delivery of logistics support and services forall electronic equipment onboard the existing Mirage 2000-9. In the future, it is hopedthat systems and projects could be developed and manufactured locally.Defence Support SolutionsMuch technology is being brought from the West to the Middle East for defence use.Northrop Grumman was recently awarded a $58 million delivery order from the USArmy to install additional systems and continue maintenance of current installations forthe Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortars (C-RAM) system in support of Operation IraqiFreedom.As part of the deal, the organisation will provide systems engineering, production,deployment and logistics support for the C-RAM system."We are committed to continue delivering on the Armys confidence in NorthropGrummans ability to provide this critical capability to our warfighters," said MikeTwyman, vice president of integrated command, control, communications andintelligence systems for Northrop Grummans information systems sector.Another firm involved in defence, Alliant Techsystems recently announced that it haddelivered a third AC-208B Combat Caravan aircraft to the Iraq Training and AdvisoryMission in Kirkuk, Iraq. So far, the company has sent over three reconnaissance aircraft,five trainer aircraft and three AC-208B aircraft for the rebuilding of the Iraqi Air Force.The Combat Caravan models have many different features, including an electro-opticaltargeting system with integrated laser designator, an air-to-ground and air-to-air datalink as well as aircraft self-protection equipment."ATKs Combat Caravan builds upon our successful reconnaissance version of the C-208aircraft, by providing a robust and versatile light-attack capability," said Bill Kasting, vicepresident and general manager of the defence companys Integrated Systems Division.
Army Training CollaborationThe US Department of Defence recently picked up on another East-West collaborationeffort. Afghan National Army soldiers received Humvee egress assistance training atForward Operating Base Thunder earlier this month. The Army students carried out avariety of rollover drills covering different scenarios and familiarised themselves withprocedures. The training also highlighted the importance of seat positioning andwearing seatbelts."This training is going to benefit the [Afghan army] by helping save lives in the eventthese soldiers encounter dangerous rollovers or dangerous vehicle turnovers as they doin field operations," commented Army Lieutenant Colonel Jack Parker. 7) Australia to Order First Batch of Joint Strike FightersAustralia is to buy an initial batch of 14 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35ALightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) at an estimated cost of AUD3.2 billion (US$2.94billion). A second batch of JSFs and all necessary support and enabling capabilities,sufficient to establish three operational squadrons and a training squadron, will beconsidered in 2012 when much firmer cost estimates are available.The government’s Defence White Paper published in May committed to acquire threeoperational squadrons of JSFs comprising not less than 72 aircraft. Purchase of a fourthoperational squadron, bringing the total number of JSFs in service with the RoyalAustralian Air Force (RAAF) to around 100, will be considered at a later date.This will be considered in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal date of 24F/A-18/F Super Hornets, the first of which will enter service in late 2010 to provide aninterim capability between the retirement of the RAAF’s General Dynamics F-111 strikeaircraft at the end of 2010 and the arrival of the JSFs.The first two F-35As are scheduled for delivery to the RAAF, in the US, in 2014, for testand evaluation. The other 12 will not arrive in Australia until 2017. Initial operatingcapability (IOC) for the first operational squadron is planned in 2018, coinciding with thedate on which the last of the RAAF’s 71 F/A-18A/B Hornet fighters is scheduled to bewithdrawn from service. Full operating capability (FOC) for the three JSF operationalsquadrons is scheduled for 2021.Up to now, 25 Australian companies have won work worth approximately US$200million in the development and early production phase of the JSF programme. 8) HMS Astute Submarine to Start Sea Trials
HMS Astute, the first of class of a new generation of nuclear-powered attack submarine(SSN) for the Royal Navy (RN), will soon start her initial voyage up the coast from primecontractor BAE Systems’ submarine production facility at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria,to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde at Faslane in Scotland, where the boat will be basedthroughout its operational life.On arrival at Faslane, HMS Astute will embark on a two-phase series of sea trials. Thefirst phase will concentrate on testing the boat’s handling while at sea; the secondphase will prove the SSN’s warfighting capabilities. The HMS Astute submarine willofficially commission in the spring of 2010. It is the first new R.N. Submarine in 17 years.Described as a “quantum leap” over the RN’s preceding Trafalgar class, the Astute-classSSN introduces a number of innovations. A bigger boat than the receding Trafalgars,HMS Astute class displaces 7,400 tons dived compared with just under 5,000 tons forthe Trafalgar class.The Astute submarines will put to sea with a larger magazine of primary weapons (a mixof up to 36 Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk TLAMs compared with 24 for theTrafalgar class boats, firing out of six tubes instead of the previous class’ five) and will bethe first RN SSNs with a “core for life”: a Rolls-Royce-designed nuclear powerplant thatwill last for the boat’s service life, obviating the need for a costly mid-life refuellingprocess. The Astute submarines will also be the first class designed from the outset witha fibre-optic visual system, rather than a traditional periscope.The submarines will also be fitted for the “Chalfont” special forces delivery systemallowing clandestine operations in the littorals. For the first time on a RN submarine, all98 crew members on Astute-class submarines will have their own berths. BAE SystemsSubmarine Solutions has a contract for three Astute-class boats, “limit of liability”funding for a fourth boat (for which the go-ahead is anticipated in the summer of 2010)and has ordered long-lead items for boat five. The company is eventually hoping to becontracted for seven boats to replace the seven-strong Trafalgar-class SSN fleet on aboat-for-boat basis.The second Astute submarine, HMS Ambush, is now fully welded together at Barrow-in-Furness, while the third, HMS Artful, is having its modules fitted out.9) Maoists call five-state bandh on January 2Midnapore (WB), Dec 26 (PTI) Maoists have given a 24-hour bandh call in five states onJanuary 2 alleging that CPIM cadre today fired at a Christmas tribal fair near Lalgarh inWest Midnapore district."Maoists has called the bandh on January 2 in West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh,Jharkhand and Bihar to protest the unprovoked firing on villagers at Binpur," Maoist
leader Kishenji told PTI.He claimed that two persons were killed and four others were injured in the firing at thefair.District Magistrate, Narayan Swarup Nigam confirmed the firing, but it was yet to beascertained, if there was any casualty.He said that four hardcore Maoists were arrested in this connection.10) People should wage militant struggle for Telangana: MaoistsPress Trust Of IndiaHyderabad, December 26, 2009The Naxalites today came out in support of a separate Telangana, asking the people ofthe region to "wage a united militant mass struggle" to achieve the statehood.Azad, the spokesperson of the Central Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), said in astatement that a separatestate of Telangana is an "inalienable right" of the four crore people of the region.He called for a "united militant mass struggle" against the "fascist Congress regime" andthe "betrayers" in variouspolitical garbs to "achieve" a separate Telangana.Azad lashed out at the Congress, BJP, TDP, CPI and CPI(M) saying "they supportTelangana only with the ulteriormotive of gaining some mass base and converting it into their vote banks."The Naxalite leader also slammed the TRS, saying it wasted more than five years"begging Sonia (Gandhi) and lobbying in the corridors of the Parliament.""The TRS and its leader KCR are opposed from the very beginning to peoples agitationfor achieving Telangana state.Their sole fear was that any mass agitation would become militant and slip out of theirhands," Azad alleged.Even the indefinite fast by KCR was a move aimed at keeping the movement under hiscontrol, he claimed.
11) Maoists hike protection levyInflation forces increase from 2-5% to 5-10% depending on projectWhile it is well known that rising inflation has hit Governments and industry, it has alsoimpacted Maoists. Since costs of procuring arms and ammunition have skyrocketed dueto inflation, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has doubled its ‘protectionmoney’ from two to five per of project costs to five to 10 per cent.The Maoists operating in the mineral-rich belt of the affected States illegally levy anamount on contractors, traders and even Government servants to allow them functionwithout hassles. These funds are used to finance the anti-national activities of theNaxals.“The ultra-Left extortion business is estimated to be worth around Rs 2,000 crore andalmost every business house or contractor pays protection money to the Naxals,” asenior Government official told The Pioneer.The diversion of Government funds to the Naxals has been a major challenge to theCentre that has been pressing with the States for police action to be supplemented withdevelopment works in order to contain the menace. Following the assessment, theUnion Home Ministry has advised the affected States to first carry out police actionagainst the Naxals and then pursue the development agenda.While the extortion rate charged for construction/ maintenance works of pakka roadshas been doubled from five to ten per cent, the rate charged for kutcha road under theblock development schemes has been marginally hiked from five to seven per cent,according to a rate chart of the Naxals seized recently by the Central security forces.Charges for construction of bridges (both small and big) and dams (including checkdams) has been increased from three per cent to five per cent.However, the latest rate chart of the Maoists notes that need-based “flexibility” can beobserved while extracting ‘levy’ from irrigation projects.Likewise, the ultras have increased the rate charged for construction of Governmentbuildings like community centres, anganwadi bhavans and link roads from five to sevenper cent.The increased rates for laying railway tracks and repair works stands at five per cent butthe auction of railway scrap has been fixed at 10 per cent in terms of value.The amount extracted from a manual stone crusher has almost been doubled from Rs5,000 to Rs 8,000 and for mechanised crushers the ultras will now charge Rs 16,000
annually as against the previous rate of Rs 8,000. Brick kiln owners will have to shell outRs 15,000 per chimney per year instead of Rs 8,000 charged earlier but the documentsuggests the same has to be “flexible” depending upon the financial condition of anindividual owner.Rate for sand-mining will depend on the amount paid for obtaining the lease but a fixedamount of Rs 1,00,000 will be charged annually from those having lease for rockmountain. Petrol pump owners will now be charged Rs 25,000 annually.Bauxite mine owned by big industrial houses will be required to shell out Rs 10 pertonne but medium-sized mining firms will pay Rs 8 per tonne and Rs 8 per tonne will beextorted from small-time companies.The chart adds that rates for coal and iron ore mines would remain unchanged till thesame is revised by the banned terror group.Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) will continue to remain the basic unit for collecting‘levy’ and will be responsible for printing of cash receipts for the purpose besidessending the share to outfit’s politburo. The Central Committee of the terror group isresponsible for fixing the share between its various committees.12) US Army seeks new ways to find hostile shooters in complex urban terrainFORT MONMOUTH, N.J., 27 Dec. 2009. U.S. Army sensors experts are pursuing aresearch initiative called the Complex & Urban Terrain Sensing (CUTS) program that usesradar and other sensors to detect, track, and locate enemy mortar, cannon, and rocketfiring positions automatically within the difficult confines of cities and towns.CUTS involves the OmniDirectional Weapons Location (OWL) radar, which the Armywants to develop to detect and pinpoint the locations of mortars, cannons, and rocketlaunchers -- including conventional indirect weapons fire, as well as weapons fired withnon-standard trajectories -- when fired in a variety of situations.The OWL radar also should have the ability to provide the location of weapons fired inmountainous terrain from elevations above and below the radar. The idea for the OWLradar is to produce track data of sufficient quality to hand off to fire control systems forquick counter-battery fire. OWL also should be able to protect itself from jamming andelectronic deception.Sponsoring the CUTS program (solicitation number W15P7T09RS152) is the ArmyResearch, Development and Engineering Commands Intelligence and InformationWarfare Directorate (I2WD) at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Those interested in participating in the CUTS program must submit white papers by 11Jan. 2010 that provide information on proven sensor technologies appropriate for theCUTS program.Companies that have expressed interest in the program are Northrop Grumman Corp. inBaltimore; SRC Inc. in North Syracuse, N.Y.; Thales-Raytheon Systems Co. LLC inFullerton, Calif.; Micro Systems Inc. in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; and Mark Resources Inc.in Torrance, Calif.13) Lockheed Martin moves ahead with B-52 bomber target identification and videodownlink projectORLANDO, Fla., 27 Dec. 2009. The U.S. Air Force B-52 heavy bomber has taken anotherstep toward becoming a surveillance and reconnaissance platform with the integrationof the Lockheed Martin Corp. Sniper advanced targeting pod (ATP).The Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., hascompleted the second phase of its Sniper B-52 integration program at Barksdale AirForce Base, La. Sniper will give B-52 air crews with long-range target identification andvideo downlink capability to forward-deployed forces for non-traditional intelligence,surveillance, and reconnaissance.In the latest series of flights, Sniper ATP demonstrated its ability to operate on the B-52,proving its extended laser range capability, precision long range target tracking, andmoving multi-target track, Lockheed Martin officials say."The picture quality was just unreal," says Air Force Maj. Chris Chandler, Operationsflight commander with the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron. at Barksdale Air ForceBase.In August, the U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a Sniper ATP B-52 integrationcontract for full integration on the B-52, with a new multi-function color display anddigital-integrated hand controller."Sniper ATP deployed on the B-1 bomber in 2008, enabling the aircraft to extend itstraditional close-air support mission to include non-traditional intelligence, surveillanceand reconnaissance," says Ken Fuhr, director of fixed-wing targeting programs atLockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We look forward to providing the samemulti-mission capability to the B-52."Sniper is on Air Force, Air National Guard, and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1, F-18,Harrier, A-10 and Tornado combat aircraft.