Sabtu, Maret 20, 2010

Combatant Commanders Want C-130s for Afghanistan

Following a successful demonstration in Iraq, commanders in Afghanistan are going to request more C-130 aircraft to be used for time-sensitive, mission-critical cargo delivery, the U.S. Army's top logistician said.

"We're about to get a request for it," Lt. Gen. Mitchell Stevenson, deputy chief of staff for logistics, said .

After the 2010 budget decision transferred the Joint Cargo Aircraft and its mission to the Air Force, the Army and the Air Force wrote a new concept of employment for how the aircraft would be operated now that it would no longer be in the Army's inventory.

Last year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates pledged that the Army would not suffer in terms of support because of the decision, "and the Air Force would be just as responsive as if we owned the aircraft ourselves," Stevenson said.

That new concept of employment was tested in Iraq, using the C-130 as a surrogate for the Joint Cargo Aircraft, last October through December.

"It worked just like we wanted it to," Stevenson said.

After the demo, the Army told commanders in Afghanistan that it could relieve some of the burden being placed on CH-47 Chinook helicopters, which are seeing record use in theater, by providing more C-130s, Stevenson said.

"The last I checked, the Air Force has about 400 C-130s and we have less than 50 in Southwest Asia today," he added.

During a video teleconference about a week ago, commanders in Afghanistan said that the idea made sense to them and they are going to send a request through U.S. Central Command, Stevenson said.

Once a request is received, the approval could happen in a matter of weeks, he said.

"Then the question would be how quickly can the aircraft be called up," Stevenson said. "We're talking about probably reserve crews - Air Guard crews - because the Air Force doesn't have a lot of active-component C-130.

Thairung MUV4 : 4x4 Tactical Vehicle

Basic concepts of MUV4

Thai military needs to use 4-wheel drive patrol vehicle with characteristics similar to the Hummer or Jeep patrol vehicles to replace old resident of many decades. Thai Rung Union Car develops patrol car MUV4 up with the needs of the Thai military based. Is a type vehicle features a Rib, 50 light a 4x4 would be used by the Armed Forces.

The structure of Thai Rung 4-wheel drive is car Pikap 3.0-liter diesel engine to be produced for sale in the country. To build out a new body design to a car that was standard. It is important to have repair parts and replace each other as with car manufacturers from abroad. The current production is not yet standard in the country.

MUV4 Patrol car will be developed with metal roof version is version 3: Hard Top, canvas roof version: Soft Top model station wagon roof and steel. Seats 5-11, all models can carry troops. As well as driving force not less than 4 with baggage can install regular units armed infantry course. Installation of communications equipment not impede carrying troops. Moved with Chinook 47D has a loop fastening peg and can be carried on the train or sent by air.

Jumat, Maret 19, 2010

France offers to join forces with UK's nuclear submarine fleet

France has offered to create a joint UK-French nuclear deterrent by sharing submarine patrols, the Guardian has learned.

Officials from both countries have discussed how a deterrence-sharing scheme might work but Britain has so far opposed the idea on the grounds that such pooling of sovereignty would be politically unacceptable.

Britain and France each maintain "continuous at-sea deterrence", which involves running at least one nuclear-armed submarine submerged and undetected at any given time. It is a hugely expensive undertaking, and its usefulness in a post-cold war world has long been questioned by disarmament campaigners.

Britain's independent deterrent, based on Trident missiles carried by submarines, could cost the country up to £100bn, according to some estimates, once planned modernisation to the fleet has been completed.

France also maintains a four-submarine Strategic Oceanic Force, with each submarine armed with 16 missiles.

Last September the prime minister said Britain's submarine fleet could be reduced from four to three as a gesture towards disarmament, but the total financial savings were reported as relatively small.

"We have talked about the idea of sharing continuity at sea as part of a larger discussion about sharing defence burdens," a French official said.

A British official confirmed that the French government had raised the idea of shared "continuous at-sea deterrence", but added that any such scheme would cause "outrage" in the midst of an election campaign.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown discussed the idea when the French president visited London in March 2008. The joint declaration afterwards simply said the two countries would "foster our bilateral dialogue on nuclear deterrence".

The same month, Sarkozy hinted at the potential for shared deterrence in a speech at Cherbourg. "Together with the United Kingdom, we have taken a major decision: it is our assessment that there can be no situation in which the vital interests of either of our two nations could be threatened without the vital interests of the other also being threatened," he said.

Sarkozy and Brown met again in Downing Street last Friday and "discussed some issues on the nuclear agenda", according to Downing Street, but he would not say whether the idea of joint UK-French deterrence had been explored further.

Following an underwater collision between French and British nuclear-armed submarines last February, France's defence minister, Herve Morin, said the two navies would consider co-ordinating patrols. "Between France and Britain, there are things we can do together … one of the solutions would be to think about the patrol zones," he said.

It is unclear whether Morin's offer was taken up by the Royal Navy. The Sarkozy proposal would go much further – Britain and France would take turns to maintain an underwater vigil.

Proposals for closer UK-French defence co-operation have been driven by Paris, British defence officials emphasised yesterday, though Brown may raise the issue in remarks today to the Foreign Press Association in London.

Britain and France could synchronise nuclear deterrent patrols and co-operate in the deployment of surface fleet task forces, sources say. However, British officials played down the possibility of formal agreements on the nuclear deterrent – or on sharing each other's aircraft carriers.

"We could not make a full commitment," a defence source said, referring to the deployment of carriers. He referred to the British intervention in Sierra Leone 10 years ago and Iraq. France did not "want to have anything to do with" either operation, the source said.

However, both governments say they recognise the potential scope for much closer co-operation both in terms of strategy and in procuring new weapons systems.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, has spelled out the possibilities of closer co-operation on a number of occasions recently.

"Our most important bilateral relationship in Europe is with France," he said in a keynote speech. "Most importantly, we are Europe's only two nuclear powers and we contribute greatly to Nato's security because of this. A future Conservative government will continue and strengthen this relationship."

He added that if the Conservatives formed the next government, the Ministry of Defence would invite France to make a formal submission to the promised Strategic Defence and Security Review "stating what they expect from their relationship with the United Kingdom".

Fox told the Commons earlier this week: "We will need to be able to project power on a strategic level alongside the US and France."

He is expected today to point to the advantages of closer defence procurement co-operation with France – on a bilateral basis, he will emphasise.

Successive British governments have been committed to a policy of "continuous at-sea deterrence", with one nuclear-armed submarine on patrol at any time. Naval commanders in the past have argued that to ensure this would require four Trident submarines – one on patrol, one preparing to go out on patrol, with two others being refitted, perhaps one needing an unexpected and long period in dock.

Those in favour of maintaining four submarines also argue that producing three would be almost as expensive, because many of the costs go on initial research and development, building the infrastructure and training the workforce.

France has three nuclear-armed submarines plus a new sub yet to be deployed. Unlike Britain it also has aircraft capable of carrying nuclear bombs.

F-35B Completes First Hover Test

Lockheed Martin has registered two more key test points for the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Test pilot Graham Tomlinson first decelerated the BF-1 test aircraft to a hover about 150ft (50m) above the runway at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland on 17 March. Then, on a separate flight later the same day, the aircraft was rotated on take-off in less than 300m and a speed of 100kt (185km/h).

Both flights mark critical test points as the F-35 programme continues a long-delayed process to achieve a vertical landing. The first such test point was previously scheduled in mid-2009, but has been delayed because of engine malfunctions and slower than expected progress on flight tests.

Despite the delays, the F-35B is expected to enter service with the US Marine Corps in fiscal year 2012.

China Tests 1st Self-Developed Heavy-Lift Chopper

State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China staged a successful maiden test flight Thursday of its self-developed heavy-lift helicopter, the latest advance for the country's ambitious aerospace industry.

The 13.8-ton AC313 can carry 27 passengers or 15 injured on stretchers, and has a maximum range of 560 miles (900 kilometers), according to the Web site of the official People's Daily newspaper. It was successfully test flown Thursday morning in Jiangxi province, the paper said.

The aircraft appears to be larger version of the 7-ton Zhi-8 medium transport helicopter, itself a close copy of the French SA 321 Super Frelon. China bought 13 of the French helicopters in the 70s and at least one was reportedly disassembled for study and reverse-engineering.

China's aerospace spans military jets, commercial airliners, and even a manned space flight program.

The corporation is a central driver of that effort, having already built latest-generation fighter jets and midrange commercial airliners, and now working on a larger plane that would compete with Airbus and Boeing.

At 56 tons, the Russian Mi-26 is far and away the world's largest helicopter, twice as heavy as the American CH-47 Chinook.

Kamis, Maret 18, 2010

Northrop to Upgrade Swedish Submarine Navigation Systems

Northrop Grumman will upgrade the inertial navigation systems for Swedish Navy submarines under a new contract awarded by Kockums AB.

Under the contract, Northrop's Sperry Marine will supply five mk39 mod 3C ring laser gyro systems for installation on two Gotland Class and two Södermanland Class submarines, one of which will be used for spares and training.

The mk39 mod 3C is a high-performance, low-cost inertial navigation system that provides accurate positioning and precise attitude data to the vessels' SESUB combat management systems.

Northrop Grumman International Naval Systems vice-president Nolasco DaCunha said the mk39 mod 3C offered a combination of advanced performance, superior shock and vibration resistance and traditional Sperry Marine reliability.

The installation work of the navigation systems will be carried out by Kockums AB, and is scheduled to be complete by 2011.

Russia Floats Out Second Gepard Class Frigate for Vietnam

Shipbuilders in Russia's republic of Tatarstan floated out a second frigate for the Vietnamese Navy on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Zelenodolsk shipyard said.
Russia and Vietnam signed a contract on the construction of two Gepard 3.9 class frigates for the Vietnamese Navy in 2006. The first frigate was floated out in December 2009.

"A second Gepard 3.9 class frigate for the Vietnamese Navy was floated out on Tuesday. The first frigate will be delivered to Vietnam in October and the second by the end of this year," the spokesman said.

Both ships will undergo sea trials in the Baltic Sea.

Project 1166.1 Gepard 3.9 class frigate is designed to engage surface ships, submarines and air targets, both independently and as part of a task force, as well as to perform escort and patrol tasks.

The ship has a displacement of 2,000 tons, a length of 102 meters, a maximum speed of 23 knots, a crew of 103 personnel and a cruising range of 5,000 miles.

The frigate is armed with an Uran-E anti-ship missile system, a 76.2-mm gun mount AK-176M, a Palma air defense artillery system, two 30-mm gun mounts AK-630M and 533-mm torpedo tubes. It can carry a Ka-28 or a Ka-31 Helix naval helicopter.

Together with the country's recently ordered six Kilo class submarines and Su-30MK2 naval fighter-bombers, the Gepard deal is seen as part of Vietnam's current navy modernization drive.

Minggu, Maret 14, 2010

Super Hornet Acceptance Flight

The first group of Air Force's next-generation Super Hornets will arrive in Australia later this month.

The Super Hornets arrival will represent a major leap in Air Force capability. They are Australia's first new air combat aircraft in 25 years.

A detachment of aircrew and maintenance personnel from RAAF's No. 1 Squadron is currently at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, preparing the aircraft for the series of flights to Australia.

Sabtu, Maret 13, 2010

Korea's Hyangro Bong fills gap in Malaysian LST capability

The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) is to loan the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) with one of its four Alligator-class tank landing ships (LSTs), Hyangro Bong , this year as an interim measure to fill a gap in the latter's afloat logistics and amphibious capability.

The RMN's only large amphibious ship, the 8,450-ton Newport-class LST, KD Sri Inderapura , was gutted by a fire on 8 October 2009 creating an urgent requirement for new tactical sealift and logistic ships.

Hyangro Bong displaces 4,278 tons and has a military lift capacity of 200 troops, 15 main battle tanks, six 3-ton vehicles and four LCVPs. It has a platform for a helicopter the size of a UH-60A and is fitted with two 40 mm guns and two 20 mm guns.

Built by Korea Tacoma (now Hanjin Heavy Industries), four ships of the class entered service in the RoKN from 1993 to 1999.

The RMN's only other major transport assets are two 4,200-ton logistic support ships, KD Sri Indera Sakti and KD Mahawangsa . Approval for new construction to replace Sri Inderapura is unlikely to be initiated before 2011-12 due to funding pressures.

Australia Awards Raytheon Australia Super Hornet Training Support Services Contract

Australian Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, announced today that Raytheon Australia has been awarded the Training Support Services Contract to support Super Hornet training systems at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley.

"The signing of the Super Hornet Training Support Services Contract is worth approximately $21.5 million over three years, and secures about 25 jobs at RAAF Base Amberley for that period," Mr Combet said.

"The contract is vital for effective support of the Air Force's fleet of Super Hornets when they begin arriving at RAAF Base Amberley this year."

"Raytheon Australia will provide maintenance, logistics, and training services to support the Super Hornet flight simulators, visual environment maintenance trainers and electronic classrooms."

"Australia is acquiring 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets to aid the transition to a mature Joint Strike Fighter capability, and allow Air Force to retire the F-111 fleet in December 2010."

"The Super Hornet project is on budget and running ahead of schedule. The first Australian Super Hornets will arrive in late March 2010. The remaining aircraft will be progressively introduced throughout the remainder of 2010 and 2011," Mr Combet said.

Shayne Neumann, the Federal Member for Blair, said that the contract signing further strengthens the partnership between the RAAF, industry and the Ipswich area community.

"I am very pleased that this contract will support local jobs and help maintain our air combat capability." Mr Neumann said.

South Korea's Utility Helo Makes Maiden Flight

SEOUL - The first prototype of the Surion utility helicopter, co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Eurocopter, successfully completed its first flight March 10, about seven months after its rollout, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced.

The 30-minute flight took place at an air base in Sacheon, some 430 kilometers (about 265 miles) southeast of Seoul, before a crowd of about 160 guests, the agency said in a news release.

Two test pilots and an engineer maneuvered the 8.7-metric-ton aircraft through taxi, hover and hover turns. The helicopter performed a stationary hover at 30 feet, the release said.

"The Surion will be test-flying at an altitude of 2,000 feet and a cruising speed of 140 knots by April," a DAPA spokesman said. "A full-scale flight test will begin in May before initial production in late 2010."

Under the Korea Utility Helicopter (KUH) program that began in 2006, South Korea plans to produce 245 troop-carrying helicopters to replace aging UH-1H and MD 500 helicopters.

In June 2006, KAI and Eurocopter inked a 1.3 trillion-won ($1.1 billion) research-and-development contract, Seoul's biggest arms deal ever with a non-U.S. company. A production contract worth about 4.4 trillion won is expected to be signed around 2011.

The companies plan to set up a joint venture company to market the KUH globally.

The Surion has a top speed of 240 kilometers per hour and can carry two pilots and 11 troops, according to KAI. It can hover at 9,258 feet with a climbing speed of 500 feet per minute and stay in the air well over two hours.

The helicopter also features a four-axis digital automatic flight-control system and a cockpit with multifunctional liquid crystal displays.

Survivability gear includes laser warning receivers, a missile warning system, chaff and flare dispensers, and an electronic warfare system.

Kamis, Maret 11, 2010

UAV Could Be Battlefield Ambulance

The Israel Defense Forces medical corps is looking at procuring an innovative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that will evacuate critical casualties directly from the battlefield to the hospital. This would get more wounded to the hospital within the “golden hour,” the critical time in which a medical evacuation has the best chance of saving a wounded soldier’s life.

One of the candidates for the program is the AirMule, a vertical takeoff and landing UAV developed by Urban Aeronautics Ltd., an Israeli company specializing in Fancraft technology. Other aircraft being considered include helicopters converted to unmanned vehicles.

Lt. Col. Gil Hirschorn, a doctor and former flight medic who leads the medical corps’ trauma branch, says an important benefit of AirMule is its ability to land in areas of a fire-saturated battlefield that would be inaccessible to other vehicles. Hirschorn says the UAV, which is now being tested, will be equipped with stretchers, air conditioning and a communications system that establishes video contact between injured soldiers and the medical center. The wounded will be transported in a protected compartment and monitored throughout the flight. The current design holds two wounded soldiers lying prone. Future versions will include space for a medic.

The vehicle would add an important capability to the logistics of casualty evacuation, and be able to support amphibious operations as well as ground forces.

AirMule is a ducted-fan vehicle that uses Urban Aeronautics’ patented Fancraft lift system, based on internal rotors that provide lift and propulsion systems. The core of the technology is the Vane Control System (VCS), which consists of a cascade of vanes at the inlet and outlet ducts that can be deflected simultaneously (top and bottom) or differentially to generate side force or a rolling movement. Front and rear ducts are deflected differentially for yaw. “The VCS generates six degrees of freedom independent of one another. For the first time we have a vehicle that moves sideways without the need to roll,” says Rafi Yoeli, founder and CEO of Urban Aeronautics.

The company successfully completed the first phase of tethered flight trials, which consisted of autonomous hovers in which the vehicle maintained stable height and attitude. An onboard fly-by-wire system controls pitch, roll and yaw. The next series of tests will evaluate the AirMule’s position-keeping capability, and the vehicle will fly untethered for the first time.

The UAV is powered by a 730-shp. Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 turboshaft engine, which drives the fore and aft ducted rotors and aft thrusters through gearboxes and shafts. Its unique propulsion capabilities reportedly enable safe flight through areas of dense vegetation, in urban areas, over rough terrain and at high temperatures. The flight-control developed by Urban Aeronautics is a four-channel redundant system that relies almost entirely on inertial measurements and is augmented by GPS for translational position and velocity readings. Two laser altimeters indicate the vehicle’s height above ground. According to Yoeli, data show that the AirMule will hover with high precision even in gusty wind.

The vehicle carries a useful payload of 227 kg. (500 lb.). It has a maximum takeoff weight of 1 ton, and is designed to fly missions of 2-4 hr. at up to 100 kt. Its maximum ceiling is 12,000 ft. An operational version is expected to be available by 2012.

The concept of ducted-fan technology was popular among aircraft designers in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Piasecki Co. developed ducted-fan vehicles known as “flying jeeps” for the U.S. Army. The configuration was similar to the design used by Urban Aeronautics—two ducts, fore and aft, with a cabin in the middle. The concept, though, was ahead of the technology needed to develop a viable aircraft. The flying jeeps were difficult to control and had little endurance—only about 20 min. Because of this, vertical takeoff and landing remained a feature exclusive to helicopters. An array of technologies that have evolved since—efficient, lightweight engines, composite materials and flight-control computers—solved most of the problems associated with ducted-fan vehicles. What remained were aerodynamic challenges, notably in the areas of drag and controllability. Urban Aeronautics patented a package of innovations that reportedly resolves these problems.

The company is working on two other unmanned applications of the Fancraft technology—Panda, a small, electrically powered surveillance UAV, and Mule, a mid-sized UAV with a 500-lb. payload capacity.

In 2006 the company began working with Bell Helicopter to design the X-Hawk, a large, man-carrying ducted-fan vehicle for urban missions in the military and civilian sectors.

Mayport To Get First East Coast Littoral Ships

Florida's Mayport naval base got a boost when the U.S. Navy's top officer confirmed it as the future home and primary site of East Coast Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

The first LCS vessels are to be homeported at Mayport beginning in 2016, Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, said during a military construction hearing on Capitol Hill.

The Florida base is normally home to an aircraft carrier, a handful of cruisers and destroyers, and about a dozen frigates. But the base has been without a carrier for three years, and all the frigates are scheduled to decommission over the next few years. The Navy, supported by the recent Quadrennial Defense Review, is upgrading the base to take a nuclear aircraft carrier.

Roughead said the LCSs are seen as a replacement at Mayport for the frigates.

He also said the LCS is optimized for operations in Southern Command, which overseas Central and Latin America. Those missions include counterdrug operations and maritime cooperation work, similar to the deployment now being carried out by USS Freedom, the first LCS.

Indian Navy to Build New Floating Dock at Port Blair

The Indian Navy is to construct a floating dock at Port Blair to enable the repair and refit of warships at sea rather than at shore-based dry docks.

A request for information has been issued by the navy to global shipbuilders for construction of the dock, which will have a 8,000t lift capability at Port Blair, according to PTI.

According to navy officials, India already has a floating dock at Port Blair and the new facility, which will open from 2012-13, would increase naval capabilities.

In November 2002, a navy floating dock sunk off Port Blair after the ballast tanks flooded during a power failure.

Rabu, Maret 10, 2010

Raytheon to Provide US Patriot Missile Engineering

The US Army has awarded a contract to Raytheon Company to provide engineering services for the Patriot air and missile defence system.

Under the $152.4m contract, the company will continue to provide the latest upgrades and system capabilities through systems analysis, software and hardware engineering, and testing and logistics support for both US and international Patriot users.

Work will be carried out by Raytheon IDS at the Integrated Air Defense Center, Andover, Massachusetts, and at other facilities in Alabama and New Mexico.

The contract has been awarded by the US Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

U.N. Head Calls For Productive Nuclear Treaty Meeting

The secretary general of the United Nations on Friday said he hoped for a productive Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in May, Agence France-Presse reported.
"I would like to underscore the importance of a successful review conference," U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement observing the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the treaty intended to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.

The treaty now has 189 member states, including recognized nuclear powers China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It "has remained the cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, and a framework for promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," Ban said.

However, there are continuing questions about the nonproliferation regime as nations such as India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea conducted nuclear-weapon operations outside of the treaty.

Review conferences have been held at five year intervals over the decades.The last conference in 2005 ended in confusion and produced no final document on promoting the regime.
.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the Obama administration at the review conference would highlight its commitment "to reversing the spread of nuclear weapons and to building momentum for their eventual elimination."

"The international nuclear nonproliferation regime must be strengthened to confront the evolving threats from terrorists and other nonstate actors with nuclear ambitions as well as the ongoing challenge of governments that flaunt their nuclear nonproliferation obligations," Rice said.

In a statement released Friday, President Barack Obama said "the threat of global nuclear war has passed, but the danger of nuclear proliferation endures, making the basic bargain of the NPT more important than ever."

He touched on U.S. efforts to encourage nuclear disarmament by negotiating a replacement agreement with Russia to the expired-1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and his administration's pursuit of Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as well as its support of a fissile material cutoff treaty.

"Our forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review will move beyond outdated Cold War thinking and reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, even as we maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent," Obama said.

Obama also highlighted his decision to host a summit next month in Washington that will focus on international efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapon materials.
"At this spring’s [NPT] review conference and beyond, we will continue to work with allies and partners to strengthen the NPT and to enforce the rights and responsibilities of every nation, because the world cannot afford additional proliferation or regional arms races," he said.
"Finally, to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the United States seeks a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation among nations, including an international fuel bank and the necessary resources and authority to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency," Obama said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement Friday emphasized Washington's resolve to honor the requirements of the treaty, including movement toward nuclear disarmament, and to "guarantee access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes to all those abiding by their nonproliferation commitments."

The White House has dispatched envoys around the world to encourage greater support of the treaty, Clinton said (U.S. State Department release, March 5).
Others are taking a dim view on the efficacy of the 40-year-old treaty, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
"Forty years after the nonproliferation treaty came into force, nuclear weapons and the means to produce them are still spreading, and the promise of disarmament is unfulfilled," said International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons spokesman Tim Wright.
Nuclear-armed states India, Israel and Pakistan have refused to ratify the treaty and North Korea pulled out of the pact in 2003. The nuclear powers, meanwhile, maintain their strategic arsenals.

United States Institute of Peace Vice President Michael Lekson said there are over 23,000 nuclear bombs on the planet today, many on high alert. With nations such as North Korea striving to gain recognition as a nuclear-weapon state, confidence in the NPT agreement has never been lower, he said.

"We are in the worse shape than ever before," Lekson said at a conference recently in New York.
The May review conference will be "a moment of accountability," said Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Nonproliferation Program Deputy Director Deepti Choubey.
That Egypt is set to lead the conference is an indication that any new agreement on the treaty will not result in the kinds of marked advancements sought by supporters of global nuclear disarmament, said former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Gregory Schulte.

The Middle Eastern nation is part of a group of countries that are stymieing efforts to expand the Additional Protocol to cover all nations, according to Xinhua. The protocol to IAEA safeguards agreements permits more intrusive oversight of a nation's nuclear activities. Cairo and others object to expanding the protocol because they do not feel that the five nuclear powers have put in enough effort to assure a more equal nuclear world (Lucie-Claire Saunders, Xinhua News Agency.

Cylon Torpedoes Rule The Deep

The British Royal Navy has adopted a version of the U.S. Remus 600 UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) for underwater reconnaissance (including searching for mines). The U.S. Navy earlier used the similar, but smaller (80 pound), Remus 100s for this in Iraq, and the Remus design is highly regarded.

Remus 600 is an 240 kg (528 pound) pound vehicle that looks like a small torpedo. It is 3.25 meters (10 feet) long and 320mm in diameter. Carrying a side scanning sonar, and other sensors, a Remus 600 can stay under water for more than 24 hours, traveling at a cruising speed of 5.4 kilometers an our (top speed is nearly twice that.) The UUV can operate up to 100 kilometers from its operator, and dive to 600 meters (1900 feet). The UUV keeps costs down by using GPS, in addition to inertial guidance. The UUV surfaces every hour or two to get a GPS fix, and then goes back to doing what it was programmed to do.

Remus 100 was designed mainly for civilian applications (inspecting underwater facilities, pollution monitoring, underwater survey or search). But there were similar military and police applications, like searching for mines, or other terrorist activities. Australia and New Zealand also used Remus 100, and over a hundred are in use. This success led to the development of the larger Remus 600. Depending on sensors carried, each Remus 600 costs $500,000-1,000,000.

Selasa, Maret 09, 2010

First APC 8x8 from Ukraine to North Thai March

Thai purchase the 96 APC 8x8 vehicles from Ukraine by 3,898 million baht budget with ING V Engineering Company Limited manufacturer enterprise sector in Ukraine. Model BTR-3E 1 is an improvement model from BTR-70 Russia.

Nearly 3 years full unfinished issues in procurement APC 8x8 that the Army is also interested to purchase more or not because previously there was a problem on the procurement contract. The only problem on a prototype engine that Germany refused to sell engines.
Part of the law of Germany does not allow to trade weapon with non democratic countries or countries with a revolutionary coup d'etat. But when Germany still has no resolution to sell engines to Thailand making procurement project APC 8x8 to slow down out indefinitely.
The purchase of signed approval in the generation of former Prime Minister. As physician sweet Gen. Phong offers a time served as Minister of Defense by means of a government to government procurement.
Army continues to build upon the purchase again. The Director of Light Arms Military Ekachai Wanchr travels to Ukraine to monitor the project during the past 2-3 months with a view of engine performance with different types.
Gen. Sub Phong disclosed that procurement project APC 8x8 from Ukraine, purchasing a car is possible, weapons and equipment from Russia is cheaper and it should be good. The engine can also select by Army, choose to Germany's Deutz engine, select communication device from Israel, what we choose to bring the 2 types of installation and trials. But Minister of Germany announced that would not sell to us.
"German companies are trying this career. But last, ministers have refused to sell the Deutz engines to us, claim issues that we used guns in the southern hemisphere and he does not support the revolutionary government. We want to use Germany engine because the use of military weapons up to 30-40 years and the last time MTU used in majority of ship tank" said Gen. Sub Phong.
Gen. Sub Phong said previous agreement that Germany's Deutz engines but not enough, must solve each new contract reason would be the German market with parts in commercialized. We would like to Deutz engine because the general sales if the engine of the United States need to be purchased.
"Now they try to make fast early. The previous year the car will be mailing all rubber tires, I confirm that the APC 8x8 very interesting. While this unit will have a shed out successfully, "said Gen. Sub Phong.
Conclude that it must wait for another chance, APC 8x8 from Ukraine will be stationed in Philadelphia, and first 12 cars in March will be delivered to the Army and completed 96 units at the end of this year or not.

Navy gets assistance with submarine satellite connectivity

The Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a new $10.2 million task order through the Integrated Topside program to help develop advanced satellite communications systems for submarines.

The company will support the technology development phase of an initiative to develop a prototype of a satellite communications system suitable for integration into submarines, The contract has options that could raise its value to $32 million.
The mission of the Integrated Topside program is to develop a scalable family of electronic warfare and radar and communications equipment to support multiple classes of ships and other Navy platforms.
Lockheed Martin will perform the work in Moorestown, N.J. The Office of Naval Research is the contracting activity.

Senin, Maret 08, 2010

Military Reconnaissance Satellite Launched by China

China successfully launched another Earth observation satellite from the Jiuquan space base , according to state-run media outlets.

The Yaogan 9 spacecraft blasted off from Jiuquan on a Long March 4C rocket at 0455 GMT (11:55 p.m. EST Thursday), or 12:55 p.m. local time. The three-stage rocket successfully delivered the secret payload to orbit, the state-owned Xinhua news agency reported.

The Jiuquan launch site is located in the Gobi desert near the border between China's Gansu and Inner Mongolia provinces. Jiuquan has hosted the launches of all three Chinese human spaceflights to date.

Yaogan 9 is the newest member of a series of satellites believed to harbor optical and radar military reconnaissance capabilities.

The satellite "would be used to conduct scientific experiment[s], carry out surveys on land resources, forecast grain output and help with natural disaster-reduction and prevention endeavor[s]," state media reports said.

But most experts believe the Yaogan series includes two variants with high-resolution electro-optical cameras and cloud-piercing radars designed to see targets through inclement weather or darkness.

In the past, optical Yaogan satellites launched from Jiuquan and radar-equipped spacecraft were shot into orbit from the Taiyuan space center in northern China's Shanxi province.

Before Friday's mission, analysts believed China had orbited three electro-optical Yaogan satellites and five radar payloads.

Previous Yaogan launches from Jiuquan used the less powerful Long March 2D booster. The Long March 4C launched Friday includes a restartable third stage to increase payload performance. Chinese officials did not address the change in rocket, but the more powerful launcher could indicate the mission carried an upgraded Yaogan satellite.

Official Chinese media did not announce the launch until Thursday, a typical communications procedure for closely-guarded military space missions.
Friday's launch was the second orbital flight of Chinese rockets this year, and it marked the ninth space launch to reach orbit worldwide so far in 2010.

Putin Wants New Long-Range Bomber

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged his country's military industry to start working on a new strategic bomber after finishing the new fifth-generation fighter jet.

"We should not confine ourselves to developing just one new model," Putin said at an aviation industry event in Moscow this week, reports.

"After the fifth-generation fighter jet, we must think and get down to work on a next-generation, long-range aircraft, our new strategic missile carrier."

While Putin didn't mention details linked to such a new bomber, he said the Russian defense industry should focus on developing new aircraft engines, new electronics and new materials for constructing the planes.

A senior military commander responsible for the aviation sector earlier this year said that new long-range bomber must be commissioned by 2025-30.

Putin's remarks underline that Moscow is eager to update the country's aging fleet of military aircraft.

The Sukhoi cooperation at the end of January unveiled Russia's fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, the T-50, Moscow's first all-new war plane since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The T-50 is intended to compete with NATO's latest fighter planes -- the world's first generation 5 jet, the U.S. F-22 Raptor produced by Lockheed Martin and partner Boeing, and the not-yet-in-service F-35 Lightning II, developed by a consortium including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Britain's BAE Systems.

The Russian plane's maiden flight Jan. 29 was hailed as a major step for the Russian aviation sector but serial production of the plane isn't expected to start before 2015. The T-50 still has to log 2,000 hours worth of test flights, Putin said.
That didn't keep the prime minister from calling for the new bomber. It would replace a fleet of Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, both built during Soviet times.

Introduced in 1956, the Tu-95, is a large four-engine turboprop strategic bomber and missile platform. Codenamed Bear by NATO, the plane was far ahead of its time in the 1950s.

The Tu-160 is a supersonic heavy bomber designed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It still ranks as the largest jet-powered combat aircraft ever built. A friend of military muscle-flexing, Putin in 2007 reactivated long-range patrols by these nuclear-capable bombers after they had not been sent out over the world's oceans for 15 years.

A launch of a new bomber program would be a giant project for the Russian aviation industry, which has been helped by numerous orders and major financial aid packages over the past years. Yet it's only one step of many that will see a major overhaul of the Russian air fleet.

Moscow plans to commission 1,500 new planes and helicopters to modernize the air force by 80 percent, the government said in a statement.

Minggu, Maret 07, 2010

South Korea to Acquire GBU-28 Bunker Buster Bombs from United States

The United States has agreed to sell "bunker-buster" bombs to South Korea that are capable of destroying underground facilities in North Korea, a military official said.

Washington recently approved the sale of GBU-28 bombs, which were used during the 1990-91 Gulf War to destroy underground command centres in Iraq, a defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The laser-guided bombs, which could be used to hit North Korean missiles and aircraft stored underground, will be delivered to South Korea between 2010 and 2014, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

It said that in the event of war South Korean jet fighters would carry the bombs to attack underground targets such as North Korea's nuclear facilities and artillery hidden in caves. South Korea also plans to purchase other high-tech bombs such as JDAMs, JASSMs and GBU-24s, Yonhap said. GBU-24s perform better at low altitudes and under poor visibility conditions. JDAMs with global positioning systems would be effective against North Korean artillery while JASSMs are precision cruise missiles, Yonhap said.

"These high-tech bombs are some of the most urgently needed weapons for us to deal with North Korean missile sites and artillery guns," a source told the news agency. Military officials here say the North's artillery deployed in tunnels along the border poses a serious threat to South Korea. General Walter Sharp, the top US commander in the South said, that the North has the world's largest artillery force.

He said the North is believed to have some 13,000 artillery pieces deployed along the border. South Korea has generally favoured defence equipment from the United States, which has kept troops here since the 1950-53 Korean War to deter aggression by North Korea.

USAF 30-Year Plan Lays Out Aircraft Acquisition Through 2040

The U.S. Air Force is taking a long look down the road at buying and fielding new airplanes.

Mandated by Congress, the "Aircraft Investment Plan" maps out how many planes the Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy plan to buy through 2020 and sets goals for 2021-2040. It does not include helicopters.

The report calls for a joint approach to long-range strike and electronic warfare but does not drastically alter the Air Force's announced plans for its two main acquisitions this decade - the F-35 Lightning II and KC-X tanker

By aircraft, what the report foresees for the Air Force:


■ Bomber: The Air Force could spend $2 billion to $4 billion a year to develop a new long-range strike aircraft by 2020.

Whether the plane will have a pilot onboard or will fly at supersonic speeds is undecided. The report says: "A study is underway to identify the right mix of manned and unmanned technologies … and to determine the right balance between range, payload, speed, stealth, and onboard sensors."

Until the new bomber arrives, the Air Force will keep about 160 B-52 Stratofortresses, B-1B Lancers and B-2 Spirit bombers.

■ F-22 Raptor: The service will spend $1.9 billion to upgrade its 180 fighter jets with improved communications and avionics gear. Retirement of the Raptors could begin in 2025.

■ F-35: The Air Force is in line to buy 602 F-35s through 2020 at a cost of about $70 billion. Two-thirds arrive in 2016 or later. The Air Force fleet will eventually total 1,763 jets.

■ MQ-9 Reapers: Forecasts call for the service to buy 372 of the attack and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles from 2011 through 2018. The price tag: about $820 million. Later models will have an electronic warfare capability.

■ RQ-4 Global Hawks: Four to five remote-controlled jets will arrive each year through 2017. There is no projection for later years.

The report did not offer an overall cost for the RQ-4s; for 2011, the Air Force wants $737 million for four Global Hawks, their payloads and logistics support.


■ KC-X: The service is set to spend about $30 billion through 2020 to develop and buy 109 new tankers.

■ Intra-theater airlift: The Air Force should continue to buy C-130J Hercules to replace older C-130 E and H models. The study projects buying 63 C-130Js through 2020 for about $6 billion.

■ Strategic airlift: The service wants to maintain an fleet of 314 large cargo planes, a mix of 223 C-17s and 91 C-5s. The report recommends the Air Force begin development of a new cargo jet starting in 2015.

U.S. Army 'Moving Rapidly' To Add V-Hull to Strykers

A double V-shaped hull could be added to the U.S. Army's Stryker vehicle quickly, the service's top uniformed official told lawmakers who voiced concerns about its survivability.

"I can't tell you exactly how long it's going to take, because we're in the early design stages of that, but we are moving rapidly to get it built, tested and into the hands of the forces as quickly as we can," Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on March 3.

In January, Stryker manufacturer General Dynamics presented the Army a plan to accelerate the introduction of a double V-shaped hull to the flat-bottomed Stryker, increasing the vehicle's protection against improvised explosive devices.

One source said the Army currently plans to reduce monthly Stryker production from 35 to 20 by January, which could delay the improvements. The source said that if the vehicle's production rate is held steady, the company could deliver 130 vehicles in the infantry carrier configuration in time for the next Stryker brigade's deployment to Afghanistan in July 2011.

In late February, Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, deputy chief of staff for Army programs, said service officials intended to make a decision soon.

At the March 3 hearing, Army Secretary John McHugh said he's optimistic the Army will be able to field the V-shaped hull quickly.

"I think it's worth noting that the manufacturer recognized this early on and has been working on this and studying it for some time. That's a great compliment to them," said McHugh.

Casey said that the Strykers had received survivability improvements before they were deployed to Afghanistan.

"We are in the process of evaluating whether those are enough to operate in an IED environment," he told lawmakers.

Asked by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., whether deploying Strykers with a double V-shaped hull was "a probability more than a possibility," Casey responded, "Absolutely."

Subcommittee chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, asked the Army leaders whether the vehicle was too heavy for some operations.

"I'm less concerned about the weight and the decrease in mobility," said Casey.

He said the Strykers in Afghanistan have been shifted "to a mission of road security that actually takes advantage of the mobility they provide."

The hearing was cut short for a memorial for Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., but Inouye said he would submit further questions to the Army regarding brigade combat team modernization, the future role of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, the Aerial Scout Helicopter and the Joint Cargo Aircraft.

Sabtu, Maret 06, 2010

Russia carries out successful test of Sineva ICBM

Russia successfully test-launched a Sineva intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine in the Barents Sea on Thursday, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

He said the missile was launched at 7:50 a.m. Moscow time (04:50 GMT) from the Tula (Delta IV-class) submarine.

The RSM-54 Sineva (NATO designation SS-N-23 Skiff) is a liquid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) designed for Delta IV-class submarines that can carry up to 16 missiles each.

The Sineva, which is already in service, is seen as a rival to the troubled Bulava, which has been specifically designed for the new Borey-class submarines but whose future development has been called into question by some lawmakers and defense industry officials over a string of failed tests.

However, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put into service with the Navy.

The Bulava has officially suffered seven failures in 12 tests. Some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures was considerably larger, with Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer contending that of the Bulava's 12 test launches, only one was entirely successful.

GD and Austal Split Up To Bid on LCS

Shipbuilding partners Austal USA and General Dynamics have agreed to revoke their teaming arrangement on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program - a move that positions Austal to bid as a prime contractor on this year's bid for 10 LCS ships for the U.S. Navy, and allows GD to go after another five ships to be awarded in 2012.

"We are now acting as prime going forward on the LCS program," Austal president Joseph Rella told Defense News March 4.

The announcement was first made through the ASX Australian Securities Exchange Friday morning Australian time. Austal USA's parent company, Austal, is headquartered in Henderson, Western Australia.

The move - first reported in January to be in the works - is a direct response to a new acquisition strategy announced by Navy officials last September. Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley, in a bid to increase competitive elements in the LCS program, declared the Navy would choose between a steel-hull design offered by Lockheed Martin and an aluminum trimaran from the GD/Austal USA team. An initial award to one shipyard of two ships with options for eight more is to be followed in two years by a five-ship award to a second-source shipyard. The new hitch - the second shipyard could have no affiliation with the first.

That set the stage for the GD/Austal split, since GD all along has wanted to build LCS ships in its Bath, Maine, shipyard. Recently, the company has been considering LCS construction at its National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) yard in San Diego, which needs orders for new ships. But the Navy's new rules would prohibit GD's yards from building LCS ships should the service choose the trimaran design and the partnership continue.

The split positions either Bath Iron Works or NASSCO to bid on the five-ship offering in 2012.

General Dynamics has no intention of bidding on the 10-ship award to be issued this year, said spokesman Jim DeMartini.

Both companies will continue their original relationship with GD as prime contractor to complete the Coronado (LCS 4), the second LCS being produced by the partners. The team's first ship, Independence (LCS 2), was delivered to the Navy in December.

GD's Advanced Information Systems (AIS) division will continue as a team partner and become a subcontractor to Austal to handle systems integration.

Austal, Coming of Age

The split is seen as a further coming-of-age development for Austal USA, established in 1999 at Mobile, Ala. The company has built several aluminum ships for commercial customers and won a competition in 2008 to build the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) for both the U.S. Army and Navy. Those ships are being constructed in a new, state-of-the-art facility in Mobile that can be doubled in size should the company win further orders.

"We feel that being awarded the prime on the Joint High-Speed Vessel was a significant statement by the Navy that we are able to be prime on major acquisition programs," Rella said. "The fact that the Navy has stated that any member of the team on either bidder would be suitable as a prime contractor further affirms Austal's position as a mature and stable shipbuilder ready to take on a U.S. naval combatant."

The relationship between Austal, experienced at building high-speed aluminum ships for commercial customers, and GD's Bath Iron Works, one of the U.S. Navy's oldest and most experienced shipbuilders, has not always been comfortable, but both companies have stressed in recent months that those difference have largely been worked out.

"The reason this happened was not because of a falling-out," Rella said.

"The word 'revoke' has a negative connotation, but [the relationship] was anything but that," he said. "We had a very symbiotic relationship where we also learned from GD/BIW, and GD/AIS for that matter. And we feel that our commercial derivatives have shown BIW that there are efficiencies associated with commercial shipbuilding that can be applied to U.S. naval construction."

David Heebner, head of GD's three shipyards, did not reveal the new relationship while speaking with a reporter Wednesday evening after he appeared before Congress; he characterized the relationship between GD and Austal as "terrific."

"I think if you talk to them, you talk to us, you'd get either one of us to say we've had a terrific relationship," Heebner said. "We've learned from them, they've learned from us in the process. We've certainly helped them in the context of building warships, which is not really where they came from.

"I know we did something good together. So we'll have this marriage between us and Austal for a very long time because we did something good together," Heebner said.

As to whether Bath or NASSCO would build the LCS, Heebner said, "I have multiple shipyards within General Dynamics capable of building either one of those ships."

Appearing before Congress with Heebner, Mike Petters, Northrop Grumman's top shipbuilding executive, confirmed Wednesday that Northrop, which is not now involved as a shipbuilder in the LCS program, is considering bidding in the 2012 competition, regardless of which design is chosen.

"That demonstrates there is nothing exotic, nothing to prevent other shipyards from building our variant of the LCS," Rella said in reaction to that news. "It demonstrates that the industrial capability exists for a robust competition for a second-source shipbuilder."

Final bids in the LCS competition are expected to be delivered to the Navy by April 12. The service will announce its decision in late spring or early summer, Stackley said.

Ultimately the Navy plans to build a 55-ship LCS fleet, although the service projects to buy more than 60 of the ships over the next 30 years, including replacements for the earliest ships. ■

Full Text: General Dynamics Statement On Its LCS Team Realignment

The Navy's decision to modify its Littoral Combat Ship acquisition strategy prompted examination of the GD LCS Team's original business construct which established General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, as prime contractor, and Austal USA as the General Dynamics LCS Team's shipbuilder. Primary objectives were to determine how best to support the Navy's procurement plan while simultaneously maximizing the probability of a successful outcome for General Dynamics and Austal USA.

A mutual decision to terminate the original business arrangement between Bath Iron Works and Austal USA for the ships being procured under the Navy's current LCS solicitation was reached. This agreement enables Austal USA to respond to the Navy's current solicitation as the prime contractor for the high speed aluminum trimaran platform, with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems continuing its role as systems integrator, while preserving Bath Iron Works' opportunity to compete in FY 12 under the Navy's current acquisition plan, to become the second source for future Littoral Combat Ships.

Under its current contract for construction of Coronado (LCS 4), Bath Iron Works will continue its role as prime contractor through delivery of that ship in 2012.

General Dynamics remains fully confident in the capability of the trimaran platform and its highly flexible core mission systems. This decision fully supports the Navy's acquisition objectives, provides for effective competition for the FY 10 ships and is in the best interests of General Dynamics.

Full Text: Austal Announcment On Its LCS Team Realignment

Austal USA and Bath Iron Works (BIW) have agreed to revoke their current teaming arrangement. This strategic decision allows Austal USA to act as Prime Contractor in the upcoming bid for 10 US Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

The US Navy is expected to award the contract for two LCSs, including options for an additional eight vessels, by the end of US FY10. In the event that Austal USA is awarded the FY10 contract, potentially worth up to US$4.8 billion, it will continue to act as Prime Contractor for future LCS bids.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, which is currently the systems integrator in the program, will now subcontract to Austal USA, as it currently does in the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program, providing open architecture systems that deliver better, faster and more affordable capability.

In reaction to Austal's decision to act as prime contractor for its future in the LCS program, Joe Rella, Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, "Working with BIW, whom we hold in the highest regard as one of the best surface naval shipbuilders in the world, has enabled us to achieve a level of maturity and experience to be a Prime Shipbuilder of US Naval Combatants, and we are ready to take on this new leadership role in the LCS program."

The U.S. Navy has also determined that an additional five-ship contract, to be awarded in FY12, shall not be awarded to the same contractor as the 10-ship contract. Therefore, revoking the current agreement will allow BIW to bid as the second source LCS shipbuilder.

BIW will continue to act as Prime Contractor for Austal's second LCS, Coronado (LCS 4), which is currently under construction at Austal USA and due for completion in 2012.

The Austal-designed and built Littoral Combat Ship, USS Independence (LCS 2), officially joined the operating forces of the United States Navy at an historic commissioning ceremony held near Austal's Mobile, Alabama facility on January 18, 2010. The 127-meter all-aluminium vessel is capable of being outfitted with reconfigurable payloads (Mission Packages) which can be changed quickly to support mine countermeasure, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions. The lightweight and fuel efficient vessel has a maximum speed of more than 45 knots.

As Prime contractor, Austal was awarded the construction contract for the first 103-meter Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), the US Department of Defense's next generation multi-use platform, in November 2008, with options for nine additional vessels expected to be exercised between FY09 and FY13. Austal received authorization from the Navy to start construction on JHSV 1 in December 2009 after completing the rigorous design in a 12-month period. On January 28, 2010, Austal was instructed by the Navy to move forward with the construction contract for the second and third JHSVs, as part of a total 10-ship program potentially worth over US$1.6 billion.

Austal is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems who will design, integrate, and test the ship's electronic systems, including an Open Architecture Computing Infrastructure, internal and external communications, electronic navigation, aviation, and armament systems.

Jumat, Maret 05, 2010

China Announces 7.5 pct Jump in Defense Spending

BEIJING — China on Thursday announced its smallest increase in defense spending in more than two decades, a likely result of both financial constraints and growing concern over perceptions of Beijing as a regional military threat.

The planned 7.5 percent boost in defense spending in 2010 follows at least 20 years of double-digit increases in the budget for the People's Liberation Army — the world's largest standing military with more than 2.3 million members.

Rapid military modernization and the acquisition of cutting-edge jet fighters, warships and submarines have aroused suspicions in Washington, Tokyo, New Delhi and elsewhere over China's intentions, further fueled by Beijing's growing diplomatic assertiveness and booming economic might.

The increase will be used to enhance China's ability "to meet various threats," said Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for China's parliament, the National People's Congress, at a news conference held on the eve of the opening of its annual legislative session.

"China is committed to peaceful development and a military posture that is defensive in nature," Li said.

He said this year's defense budget of 532.11 billion yuan ($77.9 billion) remained relatively low, particularly in relation to the country's vast territory and population. Li said Chinese defense spending has accounted for about 1.4 percent of gross domestic product in recent years, as opposed to more than 4 percent in the United States and more than 2 percent in Britain, France and Russia.

The increase over actual military spending in 2009 was 37.12 billion yuan, Li said. Defense expenditures account for 6.3 percent of China's total budget, a decline from previous years, he said.

Officials say about one-third of China's spending goes to salaries and improving living conditions for soldiers, with the rest split between replacing equipment and military research and development.

However, many overseas analysts believe the official figure accounts for only a part of actual military spending, with estimates on the total amount ranging up to twice or more what Beijing claims.

Figures provided by China's Cabinet show the country's last single-digit percentage in defense spending was in the 1980s.

The smaller rise in spending is due in part to the hit China's economy, especially the crucial export sector, has taken from the global financial crisis, prompting the government to rein in some expenditures, said Ni Lexiong, a defense analyst at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

Meanwhile, the leadership has realized that large increases are generating concern and suspicion among China's neighbors, potentially sparking an arms race, he said.

"The decline shows that China does not want to be seen as an aggressive military power," Ni said.
Thursday's announcement follows repeated protests recently by Beijing over the U.S. sale of weaponry to Taiwan. Those sales are driven by threats from China to use force to bring the island under its control, backed up by an estimated 1,300 Chinese ballistic missiles positioned along the Taiwan Strait.

Communist-ruled China split with Taiwan amid civil war in 1949 and continues to regard the self-governing democracy as part of its territory. Beijing has warned of a disruption in ties with Washington if the sale goes ahead, but has not said what specific actions it would take.
Li, the congress spokesman, accused some foreign countries of backing Taiwan to thwart China, calling that unacceptable interference in China's internal affairs.

Washington's announcement in January that it intended to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion in helicopters, air defense missiles and other military hardware was especially unwelcome because it came amid a warming trend in Beijing's relations with the island, he said.

Taiwan relations are less a factor in Beijing's defense spending than economic stress and worries about appearing overly aggressive, said defense scholar Wang Kun-yi of Taipei's Tamkung University.

"China's defense budget is not specifically linked to cross-strait developments, but rather it is more related to the country's global positioning," Wang said.

Defense spending is among budget items to be approved at the end of the National People's Congress' session, which begins Friday and runs through March 14.

This year's session is expected to see a shift in spending priorities toward affordable housing, education, health care and other social programs.

Li said the full assembly this year would amend a law on how deputies are selected, correcting a disparity that gave urban Chinese greater representation than their more numerous rural neighbors.

Russia's New Aircraft Carrier will be Developed by the End of 2010

Technical design of Russia's aircraft carrier will be developed by the end of 2010. This RIA Novosti reported with reference to the statement made by Chief of the Navy Vladimir Vysotsky. According to him, after the will identify key tactical and technical characteristics of the spacecraft, will begin development of working documents.

Vladimir Vysotsky said that development work on the creation of Russia's aircraft carrier already started. "In favorable circumstances, I think that by 2020, the ship could be launched," - declared Commander of the Navy. He also stressed that to build an aircraft carrier in the financing of the state defense order will be very difficult. According to Vysotsky, to achieve this task requires federal target program.

In February 2009 the Head of the state defense order the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Anatoly helmets said that Russia's new-generation aircraft carrier will be atomic. He also clarified that the ship will have a displacement of up to 60 thousand tons. According Shlemova, with plans to build three to six aircraft carriers.

In June, Vladimir Vysotsky said that the establishment of standard ships of this type has become bleak. That is why Russia will not build conventional aircraft carriers and naval aviation systems. According to the Commander in Chief of the Navy, they would include "space component, air, sea and advanced technologies in other areas."

Kamis, Maret 04, 2010

UK Royal Navy Participate in Dimdex 2010 Warship Display

In a major announcement from the organizers of the 2nd Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX) 2010, the UK Royal Navy has confirmed plans for three ships to participate in the DIMDEX Warship Display being held at Doha Commercial Port from 29th March to 31st April 2010.

Setting course for DIMDEX 2010 at the invitation of Staff Brigadier (SEA) Mohammed Bin Nasser Al Mohannadi, Commander of the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) will be two Royal Navy Sandown Class Mine Countermeasure Vessel (MCMV) and one Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate, part of DIMDEX 2010's ship and submarine display.

Powerful and versatile with the capability to operate anywhere in the world, the 4,900 ton Type 23 frigate and 600 ton Sandown MCMV are mainstays of the Royal Navy's modern surface fleet.

Originally designed for the principal task of anti-submarine warfare, the Type 23 has evolved into a powerful and versatile multi purpose ship capable of conducting a wide range of tasks including embargo operations, disaster relief work and surveillance operations.

'DIMDEX 2010 is an opportunity to enhance Qatar's historic bilateral relations with the United Kingdom. I look forward to welcoming my counterparts from the Royal Navy for a visit that allows the representatives of both countries to review the latest information sharing to support both navies during their joint operations," said Staff Brigadier Al- Mohannadi, DIMDEX 2010 Chairman.

Enhancing the UK presence at DIMDEX 2010 will be the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) stand within the UK pavilion. The UK Government's international business development organization, UKTI ( supports businesses seeking to establish in the UK and helps UK companies grow internationally.

In less than one month His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar and Deputy Commander of the Qatar Emiri Armed Forces, will officially open the 3-day DIMDEX 2010.

Over 140 DIMDEX exhibitors including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, will join invited international VIP delegations and 7,000 visitors at the Doha Exhibition Center from 29th to 31st March 2010.