Friday, April 29, 2011

Second Sub in 2011 Ordered By U.S. Navy

Using money from the newly-passed 2011 defense budget, the U.S. Navy on April 28 was finally able to do something it hasn't done for 20 years - order the construction of more than one submarine in a single year.
The Virginia-class attack submarine Hawaii enters Apra Harbor, Guam, for a scheduled port visit. The U.S. Navy has ordered two submarines to be built this year, a first in 20 years. (MC2 Corwin Colbert / Navy)
About $1.2 billion was awarded to General Dynamics Electric Boat to build the yet-to-be-named SSN 787, the 14th unit of the SSN 774 Virginia class of nuclear-powered attack submarines. The money comes after earlier contracts for long-lead items for the boat, such as the nuclear reactor.
Ordering the second sub was the Navy's top priority among items threatened by the continuing resolutions that kept the government running at 2010 levels for the first six months of fiscal 2011. A defense budget that included the second submarine was finally approved by Congress in early April and signed into law April 15.
The Navy and its submarine shipbuilding team of Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries have been working for years to bring down costs on the submarines to be able to afford two subs in a single year. The two-per-year threshold of $2 billion per sub - figured in 2005 dollars - was reached beginning with the 2012 submarine, but Congress last year added a second sub to the 2011 budget.
The $2 billion figure is somewhat mythical; factored for inflation, that amount in 2005 dollars equals about $2.6 billion in current monies.
Nevertheless, prime contractor Electric Boat claims the per-unit cost of a new Virginia-class submarine has come down about 20 percent since the first boat was ordered in 1998.
"Reducing the cost of Virginia Class ships to the point where the Navy can afford to acquire two ships per year has demanded an intense process of continuous improvement," John Holmander, Electric Boat's Virginia program manager, said in a press release. "Our task now is to ensure that we demonstrate additional improvement on each ship so taxpayers get the best possible return on the nation's investment in submarines."
Construction of Virginia-class submarines is shared equally between Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls. EB builds its hull sections at Quonset Point, R.I., and assembles the submarines at Groton, Conn. HI's submarines are built and assembled at Newport News, Va. The shipbuilders alternate on completing each boat.
Newport News will complete the SSN 787, with delivery expected around 2016.

Afghan Forces Still a Work In Progress: Pentagon

WASHINGTON - A shortage of trainers and problems plaguing the Afghan army and police could jeopardize NATO's goal to hand over security to the Kabul government by 2015, a Pentagon report said April 29.
Building up the Afghan security forces is at the heart of the NATO-led strategy to gradually withdraw foreign troops from a war that has dragged on for more than nine years.
Seeing the project as their ticket out, NATO countries are investing heavily in the effort, with the United States planning to spend $12.8 billion in 2012.
With 159,000 Afghan troops and 126,000 police trained as of March 31, the Pentagon said in a report to Congress it was satisfied at the pace of the growth of the force despite troubling rates of desertion.
For about every 10 new recruits, six soldiers quit, according to the report.
And while the number of soldiers in uniform has swelled and basic literacy courses have been launched, the capabilities of the Afghan forces remain limited.
"ANA (Afghan National Army) units are still too dependent on coalition forces for operations, and specifically logistical support," said the progress report on the Afghan war.
About three-quarters of army units are judged "effective" when backed by advisers or assistance from coalition troops, but not one army battalion or police unit is deemed able to operate independently, according to the report.
A senior administration official insisted the transfer of security duties to the Afghans was on track and that the Afghan troops were steadily making progress.
"They are more and more capable of operating and they'll need less and less support. It's a gradual process," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
"This is not something that can happen in one day."
For the Pentagon, the most serious problem facing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is a chronic shortage of foreign trainers.
The report described "a significant shortfall of ANSF trainers and mentors, which, if not adequately addressed, poses a strategic risk to ANSF growth and an increased risk to transition."
The nearly 1,400 trainers currently on the ground represent less than half of the instructors needed. Coalition members have pledged to contribute 667 trainers, but another 740 are still lacking, the report said.
In the past two years, training focused on basic courses for the infantry but now the coalition requires more specialized instruction for medical, logistical and transport units, the official said.

India Rejects Russia's Fighter Jet Bid: Official

MOSCOW - Russia confirmed April 29 that India had rejected its bid to supply its traditional ally with 126 multi-role combat aircraft in a deal worth about $12 billion.
A spokesman for the Rosoboronexport agency responsible for foreign military contracts said India had informed Russia of the decision earlier in the week.
The official added that no formal explanation was given for the decision and that the choice "was the exclusive right of India".
The U.S. ambassador to New Delhi on April 28 said Washington was "deeply disappointed" that Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet had also been rejected.
India has made no official announcement but the U.S. and Russian confirmations indicate that only the Dassault Rafale fighter of France and the joint Eurofighter Typhoon project are still in the running.
Russia hoped its Soviet-era ally would settle on the MiG-35 - an updated version of the MiG-29 jet that is already being purchased by India.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) identified India as the world's biggest arms purchaser between 2006 and 2010 and Russia had remained its main supplier throughout.
The two sides agreed in December on the joint production of a fifth-generation fighter with stealth capabilities in deal potentially worth up to $30 billion.
India is Russia's second largest military client behind China.

Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott

After five years on the job as leader of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott will leave his post at the end of April to become Wellington's defense attaché in Washington.
Chief of the Air Force Graham Lintott speaks to the media in Palmerston North, New Zealand. (Marty Melville / Getty Images)
Lintott joined the RNZAF in 1973 and became a pilot. He flew Sioux and Iroquois helicopters in New Zealand and served in Singapore before becoming a member of the Air Force's Red Checkers formation aerobatics team.
He attended several courses overseas, including the Australian Defence Force Joint Services Staff College and the Royal College of Defence Studies in the U.K., from which he graduated in 2001.
Promoted to air commodore, he spent the next few years at HQ Joint Forces New Zealand, and in late 2004 was appointed assistant chief, Strategic Commitments and Intelligence, HQ New Zealand Defence Force, in Wellington. He was promoted to his current rank and appointed the chief of Air Force in 2006.
Q. The RNZAF is receiving new A109 and NH90 helicopters and improved C-130 and P-3 aircraft over the next 12 months. What does this involve?
A. Both the C-130 and the P-3 projects are much more than just minor upgrades; they really are new aircraft with regard to systems, and we have a complex introduction into service (IIS) task ahead of us.
On top of the four additional fleets - "additional" because we have to fly the legacy aircraft concurrent with the new ones - are a range of simulation devices that we have not had before.
Q. How will these new platforms and systems affect deployments?
A. The economic crisis continues to challenge us. I never underestimate the resources it is going to take, and we have been preparing for [the new platforms] for some years now. We know where the stress points are.
Over the next three to four years, we will not really be in a position to deploy our [new aircraft] without compromising the IIS task. If we do have to deploy, and the IIS program is delayed by weeks or months, then so be it.
Q. The New Zealand government's 2010 defense white paper forecast that the next 25 years will be more challenging than the past quarter-century. What does that mean for the RNZAF?
A. [It] means continuing those key roles that all air forces have - carrying things, sensing things and engaging targets.
We have limited capabilities in the engagement role, but we certainly are very well-equipped for ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and transport. By the 2020s, we may be looking at additional ISR platforms.
Additional capabilities may not be able to be delivered in an earlier time frame because of the economic situation, but that is a temporary thing. I think the next decade is going to be a period of holding the line. After that, the economy will grow and we can grow with it.
Q. What future is there for remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) in the RNZAF?
A. The RNZAF has imagery analysts deployed in Afghanistan with the Royal Australian Air Force RPV operation, so we are gaining experience right at the front end of that operation.
Because of our geography and climate, we should be looking at RPVs of at least Predator size and capability that, for example, can get down to the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic to conduct surveillance.
It is going to be around 2025-2030 [before] we are thinking of augmenting the P-3 with RPVs and integrating them into a full spectrum ISR or ISTAR [intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance] capability for New Zealand.
I am not sure New Zealand will ever be able to afford a [national] Global Hawk-style RPV, but perhaps we could share such a capability with another nation.
Q. What practical regional cooperation exists between the RNZAF and its allies?
A. We share the duties of surveillance in the South Pacific with the Australians, the French and the Americans. We engage in a broad range of exercises and activities throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and the Five Power Defence Arrangements are particularly important to us.
We have cooperative airlift agreements in place with Australia, and now with the U.K. and NATO, where we contribute and offset each other's air transport,making better use of the global capability to our mutual benefit.
Q. How are the RNZAF's Antarctic operations?
A. The RNZAF has been operating in the Antarctic since the 1950s in support of the U.S. and NZ Antarctic research programs. None of our aircraft can get down there, miss the approach and [then] get back to New Zealand.
In the last couple of years, we were launching P-3s from Invercargill, flying 11- to 12-hour sorties with only about an hour on station in the Ross Sea. It was a grossly inefficient way of doing business. Now we refuel our P-3s at the U.S. McMurdo base, which enables us to spend more time on station. We have just cleared our B757 for Antarctica operations; they carry passengers and [thus] free up the U.S. [Antarctic-bound] C-17s to carry more freight. In the future, you'll see bothC-130s and B757s supporting our Antarctic program.
Q. What air power trends and capabilities have caught your eye?
A. I think it comes back to the RPVs and the flexibility and utility of those platforms and their growth in the future. You have already seen a multirole Predator in terms of surveillance and carrying missiles; it can truly do the whole ISTAR mission. I think the extensions and applications of that sort of capability is another exciting dimension for air power.
Cyberwarfare is going to affect us all in the future. It's a national issue. Air forces, armies, navies and other government agencies have to focus on that threat in the future. I think that environment might become more challenging than it is currently.
Q. Do you envisage new roles for the RNZAF?
A. I don't think so. If you take it back to what air power is all about - seeing, transporting and engaging, I think that is what we will continue to do.
How we deliver those capabilities, what hardware, what software, what mix of piloted and remotely piloted aircraft, how we command and control them, how we better integrate into the joint operations arena at all levels - those are the things that will change, other than cyberspace operations, which could overarch everything.
Q. What can the RNZAF usefully demonstrate to other Air Forces?
A. Perhaps people can learn lessons around the multirole, multiskill approach necessary in a small air force, including how we train and employ our people.
New Zealanders just have a natural way of engaging constructively with different cultures. Take our operations in Timor Leste, in the Solomons, in Afghanistan. There is an element of force protection, there is an element of war fighting, but there is also an element of constructive engagement. And whether that is engaging with the coalition or the host nation, we are damn good at it.
Q. What experience of the U.S. military will you take with you to Washington?
A. More than a decade of engagement with the U.S. defense industry, especially with the P-3, C-130 and Seasprite. My practical experience includes flying [U.S. Navy] helicopters in Antarctica, managing the F-16 acquisition project, education with the [U.S. Naval] Postgraduate School and, recently, a very close relationship with the Pacific Air Force HQ in Hawaii. I have worked with U.S. forces in Rwanda, Sinai, Afghanistan and in Kyrgyzstan and have been involved with the intelligence community during my time as head of [RNZAF] Strategic Commitments and Intelligence.
I am very much looking forward to being at the forefront of our relationship development with the U.S. defense and military organization. While we are at different ends of the size spectrum, we share common values, common standards, and our people always engage and operate well together.
By Nick Lee-Frampton in Wellington.
Service profile
Personnel: 3,185, including 2,592 active-duty troops, 185 reservists and 408 civilians.
Aircraft: Six P-3K Orions, five C-130H Hercules, two Boeing 757-200s
Helicopters: 13 UH-1H Iroquois, five Bell-47G Sioux helicopters, five SH-2G Seasprites that deploy with the Royal New Zealand Navy. The Iroquois and Sioux are to be replaced by eight NH90 and eight A109 helicopters over the next couple of years.

Putin Sacks Russia's Space Chief

MOSCOW - Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Roskosmos, was fired from his post by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on April 29 and replaced by Army Gen. Vladimir Popovkin, the former first deputy defense minister. Popovkin had overseen weapon procurement.
The official reason for relieving Perminov, cited in Putin's order, was that he reached the maximum age of 65 for a state servant in Russia. In the meantime, analysts and industry insiders quoted in the Russian media have predicted Perminov's ouster since December. On Dec. 5, three GLONASS-M satellites failed to reach orbit and fell into the Pacific Ocean after the faulty launch of a Proton-M rocket that carried them.
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Office of the Prosecutor General to investigate Roskosmos and other space industry companies involved into the Glonass project.
A former chief commander of the Space Forces, Perminov headed Roskosmos since 2004.
Popovkin, 53, headed the Space Forces between 2004 and 2008, when he was appointed as deputy defense minister in charge of weapon procuremen

Finmeccanica: Libyan Rebels Will Honor Contracts

Representatives of Libyan rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi have told Finmeccanica that they will honor the Italian firm's Libyan contracts should they take over the country, a Finmeccanica official said.
Before civil conflict erupted in Libya in February, Finmeccanica was expecting to see between 250 million and 350 million euros in revenue this year from contracts signed with Gadhafi's government, mainly covering border control systems, government service helicopters and civil transport.
The firm's current backlog of orders from Libya stands at 800 million euros, 80 percent of which is related to transportation contracts, Finmeccanica has said.
"We have met with the interim government, and they have told us all present contracts would be confirmed," said Finmeccanica CFO Alessandro Pansa, referring to the Benghazi-based rebels.
"They are interested in border control and railway systems," he told analysts in a conference call April 28 to coincide with the release of Finmeccanica's first-quarter results.
In the first three months of 2011, Finmeccanica reported a 92 percent decline in net profit to 7 million euros, a fall it attributed to higher finance charges. Revenues dropped 5 percent to 3.86 billion euros.
Pansa said the conflict in Libya would not change Finmeccanica's revenue prediction for 2011 of between 18.3 billion and 19 billion euros.
"We don't expect to suffer much from the defense cuts of the U.S.," he added.

IAF losing edge over PAF

Shiv Aroor and Durga Nandini

The Pakistan Air Force is stronger than ever. Since the last Indo-Pak air war of 1971, the Pakistan Air Force has with steely determination built up numbers, lethal capabilities and a combat force now counted as one of the most disciplined and well-trained air forces in the world. Headlines Today has a disturbing proof that all this has made India worried. A recent presentation by the defence intelligence establishment paints a morbid picture of how the numbers and capability advantage that the Indian Air Force has always found comfort in is rapidly slipping away. Headlines Today has accessed the recent presentation made to the Ministry of Defence. The document makes singularly ominous projections. The most glaring warning is about combat force ratio. The presentation says that the ratio of 1:1.7 is likely to progressively dip to 1:1.2 by the end of 2012. It describes this as a "historic low". It also says that the traditional hi-tech advantage is almost equal now with 9.5:11 squadron ratio.

With Pakistan rapidly acquiring early warning aircraft, mid-air refuellers and long-range missiles, the technology gap is at a historic low. It is a wake-up call to India's military planners. The decisions taken now could forever doom the crucial advantage that the Indian Air Force has always enjoyed against an adversary that can never be underestimated.

A formidable adversary

The last time the air forces of India and Pakistan fought a full-blown war was 40 years ago. But if the Pakistan Air Force of 1971 was an enemy to be reckoned with, circumstances have made it an even more formidable adversary today. The internal assessment by the Indian defence establishment makes some grimly practical projections in the light of an adversary emboldened by an unfettered modernisation spree. The government has been warned that with the Indian Air Force's edge slipping fast, the Pakistan Air Force's assertiveness is likely to increase. Once seen as a primarily defensive force, the Pakistan Air Force will use its new strength to employ offensive and defensive operations in equal measure. With new precision weapons, the Pakistan Air Force will conduct limited strikes to achieve strategic effects. The one thing that won't change - high-value targets in the Indian held Jammu and Kashmir will be high-priority targets for the PAF. There's a deeper threat at play than just fighter numbers. Consider these newly inducted force multipliers that all but kill the Indian air advantage. Pakistan is inducting four Swedish Saab Erieye and four Chinese Y-8 airborne early warning aircraft, while India, currently, has three. India no longer has the mid-air refueller advantage. Pakistan is inducting four identical IL-78M aircraft. The Indian Air Force's UAV advantage is also disappearing. Pakistan is acquiring 25 European UAVs, with more in the pipeline. Despite the ominous projections of the presentation, there are those who believe the Indian Air Force will always remain on top. Among them, Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, one half of the legendary Keelor brothers, who scored independent India's first air-to-air kill against Pakistan in 1965. But for the IAF to remain ahead, and stem the swiftly dwindling capability advantage over Pakistan, it needs to make some hard decisions across-the-board.

Pakistan Successfully tested Cruise Missile, Hatf-VIII ( Hatf 8 )

Rawalpindi - April 29, 2011: Pakistan, today conducted a successful Flight Test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile, Hatf-VIII (Ra’ad). The missile test was conducted as part of the continuous process of improving the technical parameters of the weapon system. The Ra’ad Missile, with a range of over 350 km, has been developed exclusively for launch from Aerial Platforms. This missile system has enabled Pakistan to achieve a greater strategic stand off capability on land and at sea. ‘Cruise Technology’ is extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world. The state of the art Ra’ad Cruise Missile with Stealth Capabilities is a Low Altitude, Terrain Hugging Missile with high maneuverability, and can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with great pin point accuracy.

The successful launch has been appreciated by the President, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee who have congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding achievement.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

India Shortlists Rafale, Eurofighter for Jet Deal

NEW DELHI - India has shortlisted Dassault's Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon for a $12 billion dollar fighter jet deal, cutting out U.S. bidders from one of the largest military contracts of recent years.
A Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft (top) and a Dassault military jet Rafale are seen. India shortlisted the Rafale and the Typhoon for a $12 billion fighter jet deal on April 28, cutting out U.S. giants Boeing and Lockheed, sources said. (AFP FILE PHOTOS / PIERRE VERDY / PAUL ELLIS)
The U.S. embassy in New Delhi confirmed April 28 that Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet had both been ruled out of the running for India's planned purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft.
Ambassador Timothy Roemer, who announced separately April 28 that he was resigning his post for personal reasons, said the U.S. government was "deeply disappointed" by the decision.
The long-delayed fighter jet deal has seen fierce competition between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Sweden's Saab AB, France's Dassault Aviation, a European consortium with its Eurofighter Typhoon and the Russian makers of the MiG 35.
It was also the object of intense lobbying during visits to India last year by U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
"It is confirmed Eurofighter and Rafale have been selected and the remaining four are off," a senior Indian defence ministry official told AFP.
"The grounds for their rejection have been individually conveyed,: said the official, who declined to be identified.
He added that the government hoped to sign the final fighter deal by March 2012.
Saab AB confirmed April 27 that it had been notified its JAS-39 Gripen fighter was no longer in contention.
The Eurofighter is made by the four-nation EADS, representing Germany and Spain, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica.
The contract includes the outright purchase of 18 combat aircraft by 2012 with another 108 to be built in India.
India, the biggest importer of military hardware among emerging nations, issued the request for proposals to the six firms in 2007 and trials of the aircraft competing for the deal began a year later.
In his statement, Roemer said he had been "personally assured" at the highest levels of the Indian government that the procurement process for the multirole fighter "has been and will be transparent and fair."
The procurement of the fighter jets is a key part of India's military modernization program, aimed at securing its borders against its traditional and emerging rivals Pakistan and China.
International consultancy firm KPMG estimates New Delhi will hand out military contracts worth $112 billion by 2016.

France Using 'Training Bombs' in Libya: Military

PARIS - French jet are dropping inert bombs packed with concrete instead of explosives to destroy Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi's tanks without killing civilians, the military said April 28.
Military spokesman Thierry Burkhard denied rumors the use of the 300-kilogram (660-pound) training devices was prompted by a shortage of real bombs. He said the first such strike crushed an armored vehicle .
"The aim of this munition ... is to use the effect of the impact while limiting the risk of collateral damage," Burkhard said. "It is a very precise strike. There is no, or very little, shrapnel thrown out."
The military said French warplanes have made 216 sorties in Libya over the past week and destroyed targets including 15 armored vehicles and big guns, as well as a munitions depot.
Burkhard said French forces were also continuing to use real bombs against other Gadhafi targets in the NATO-led assault, which aims to frustrate Gadhafi's forces and protect civilians in his assault on rebels

Italian Jets Fly First Libyan Strike Mission

ROME - Italian aircraft launched their first strikes on Libyan targets April 28, two days after the Italian government said it would participate in NATO air raids on forces led by Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
Defence Ministry sources said "at least a couple" of Tornado aircraft took off from Trapani air base in Sicily to take part in raids.
The Italian government has hitherto refrained from launching strikes on Libya, citing sensitivities over its colonial role in the country. Italian Air Force jets have instead participated in no-fly zone patrols. Italian Tornado ECR aircraft have also monitored the status of Libyan air defense radars.
Italy has made its air bases available to air forces from other nations now flying over Libya.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reportedly switched policy on strike missions after speaking to U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this week.

Australia to Boost Military Ties With China

SYDNEY - Australia will host more Chinese warships and increase live-firing and other defense exercises with the Asian powerhouse in a bid to boost ties, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said April 28.
Speaking to Australian media as she wrapped up a North Asia tour, including her first visit to Beijing as leader, Gillard said she discussed greater military cooperation during "friendly" talks with President Hu Jintao.
"(We) indicated a preparedness to keep discussing defense cooperation," she said. "We have indicated we are open to ships visiting Australian ports (and) there's some prospect that there will be some visiting before the end of the year. It's a few small steps on a journey to better understanding each other's military perspectives."
The U.S. and its allies have expressed concern over the motivation behind the Chinese military buildup and called for greater transparency.
Australia's 20-year defense plan, released in 2009, saw China on track to become Asia's dominant military power "by a considerable margin," but warned that the "pace, scope and structure" of its expansion could create tensions.
Beijing was troubled by the assessment, which was echoed in a foreign policy poll in Australia this week that found 44 percent of respondents believed China would become a military threat in the next two decades.
Of those, 87 percent said this would be because Australia would be drawn into any conflict with China as a U.S. ally.
Gillard said increased military transparency was key to combating tensions by helping to "build understanding about people's military methods and military protocols."
Defense cooperation was already being boosted, she added, "taking the form of discussions between counterparts. It is also taking the form of some shared exercises, including live firing exercises."
"The best way of working through these issues is to, at a step at a time, engage in increased cooperation and links," Gillard said in separate remarks to The Australian newspaper.
China is Australia's largest trading partner, buying mostly raw materials such as coal and iron ore crucial to the Asian giant's rapid industrialization.

UAE F-16 Crashes While Landing In Italy: Report

ROME - A fighter jet taking part in military operations over Libya crashed April 27 on landing at an air base in Italy, a NATO official told AFP.
"An F-16 crashed on landing at Sigonella Air Base. The pilot ejected and his further condition is being assessed," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The plane was not on a combat operation and was being transferred from Decimomannu Air Base in Sardinia to Sigonella, the official said.
The official declined to give further details on the condition of the pilot.
Italy's ANSA news agency reported that the fighter jet belonged to the United Arab Emirates and said the base had been temporarily shut down.
The UAE, which is not a member of NATO, last month deployed 12 fighter jets at Decimomannu, including six F-16s and six Mirages, for the enforcement of a no-fly zone on Libya mandated by the U.N. Security Council.

China Army Chief to Visit U.S. in May

BEIJING - China's army chief of staff will visit the United States in mid-May, the defense ministry said April 27, as the two countries try to bolster military relations despite their growing rivalry.
"Chen Bingde will pay an official, friendly visit to the United States from May 15 to 22," spokesman Geng Yansheng told reporters at the ministry's first monthly briefing, held in what it said was a move toward greater openness.
Geng said Chen would hold talks with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; meet with military and political leaders; and visit military command centers, troops and academies.
"Chen's visit to the United States ... is one of the most important events in this year's Sino-U.S. military exchanges," Geng said, adding that it was the first in seven years by an officer of his rank. "It will play an important role in the healthy, stable development of Sino-U.S. military ties."
Tensions soared early last year when China suspended high-level defense contacts with the United States over Washington's sale of more than $6 billion in arms to Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its own territory.
Tentative plans for U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to visit were subsequently called off, but he finally came to China in January this year - his first trip to Beijing since 2007.
Geng's comments confirmed an earlier report by the official Xinhua news agency, which quoted Chen as saying that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan accounted for the "largest obstacle" in bilateral military relations.
But he added that ties between the two countries' armed forces "face good opportunities now," according to the report.
U.S. military leaders and China's neighbors are increasingly anxious about the pursuit by the People's Liberation Army of sophisticated missiles, satellites, cyber-weapons and fighter jets.
Amplifying these concerns, China last month announced a fresh double-digit hike in military spending in 2011 after funding slowed last year, saying the budget would rise 12.7 percent to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.7 billion).
But Beijing has repeatedly sought to alleviate these fears, stressing that the nation's defense policy is "defensive in nature."

Taiwan Missile Can Reach Beijing: Report

TAIPEI - Taiwan has developed a missile capable of reaching Beijing and tested it successfully three years ago, a report said April 27, citing a former defense minister.
Taiwan's military successfully fired the medium-range missile in early 2008 in a secret test attended by then President Chen Shui-bian, said former Defense Minister Michael Tsai in memoirs released this week.
Tsai did not specify the range of the missile but the United Daily News said April 27 it was capable of reaching major Chinese cities including Beijing, Chengdu and Shenyang with a 2,000-kilometer (1,250-mile) range.
The newspaper said Tsai is the first official to confirm the island has developed the technology, though local media have previously reported that Taiwan possessed mid-range missile capabilities.
Stephen Young, Washington's then-de facto envoy to Taipei, had expressed concerns over the test, but Tsai assured him that Taiwan would not initiate any attack, the former minister said in the book.
The Chinese military was prepared to go to war should the Beijing-friendly candidate Ma Ying-jeou lose the 2008 president election, Tsai wrote, citing Taiwan and U.S. intelligence.
Tensions with China mounted during Chen's 2000-08 rule over policies promoting Taiwan's independence from the mainland but have eased significantly since Ma became president in May 2008.
But China still refuses to renounce the use of force against Taiwan should it declare formal independence, prompting the island to seek more defensive weapons.
The island has governed itself since it split from the mainland in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brazil's Global Player

LONDON - Take a regional flight from an airport in the U.S., Europe or Asia and there's a good chance you will be flying on a jet developed and built by Embraer.
In little more than a decade, the Brazilian company has grown from a state-owned aerospace also-ran into a privatized global player in the regional and business jet markets.
Now Embraer is turning its attention to defense and security. It has high hopes for growth in the business unit it created last year to pursue its ambitions in the sector, Luiz Carlos Aguiar, the first president of the new Embraer Defense and Security operation, said at the recent Latin American Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) show in Rio de Janeiro.
"By the end of the decade, we want to grow business in the sector to represent 20 percent of total Embraer revenues, taking into account our other businesses are going to also grow," Aguiar said.
In 2010, defense accounted for revenues of $670 million, 12.5 percent of the company's $5.5 billion in annual sales.
On top of sales, Embraer reckons its aviation support services business last year earned military revenues of $150 million. Much of that came in Embraer's traditional military markets involving the Super Tucano trainer and light attack aircraft and various adaptations of civil jet airliners into specialist platforms for airborne early warning and other tasks.
The company also is heavily involved in modernizing Brazilian military aircraft, including A-4 fighter jets for the Navy and AMX and F-5 fighters for the Air Force.
Still, company officials said, the traditional airframe business will continue to provide the core of Embraer's defense and security business for the foreseeable future.
The company is developing the KC-390, a jet-powered rival to Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules airlifter, and will also assemble a new fighter jet if the Brazilian government ever gets around to picking a winner.
The KC-390 is being built for the Brazilian and other air forces; first flight is scheduled for 2014.
The company also is expecting a decision from the U.S. Air Force (USAF), which is choosing between the Super Tucano and Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 for a light attack requirement.
That could mark Embraer's long-sought foothold in the U.S. defense market. Company officials thought they had one when the U.S. ordered the ERJ-145 in 2006 as a surveillance aircraft, but that deal was canceled through no fault of the Brazilian company.
Now its U.S. priority is the light attack requirement.
"It's very important to win this campaign," Aguiar said. "We did a great job in the U.S. when we demonstrated our capability, and it's very well rated by the USAF. Better relations following [U.S. President] Barack Obama's visit here will help the process a lot."
If it wins, Embraer has a deal with contractor Sierra Nevada, an aerospace company based in Sparks, Nev., to build the aircraft.
Embraer also is transforming more generally under the government's 2008 national defense strategy to bolster local industries.
The first four months of operation at Embraer Defense and Security has seen the business already signal the intended direction of travel with moves to acquire radar, unmanned air systems and C4I and systems integration capabilities.
Much of that change became evident at the LAAD show, where in the space of two days, Aguiar announced the he had struck a deal with Elbit Systems' local subsidiary AEL Sistemas to jointly develop tactical UAVs, and then acquired 50 percent of local systems integration and C4I provider Atech Negocious em Tecnologias.
Part of the deal with Elbit, an Israeli company, involves Embraer becoming a minority stakeholder in AEL itself.
A few weeks earlier, Aguiar, who had previously been Embraer's chief financial officer, made the new business unit's first acquisition when it took a 64.7 percent stake in the radar division of Orbisat.
The UAVs, radar and particularly Atech's capabilities all reinforce a key Embraer objective to secure the lead position on a pair of massive Brazilian land border and maritime surveillance programs.
Together worth around $10 billion, the first of those programs could kick off next year and run for the next decade.
Uncertainties There are some uncertainties about the timing of these and other defense programs with the new government of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reviewing major requirements here, including the long-running scrap between Boeing, Dassault Aviation and Saab for the fighter deal.
This year's defense budget has taken a big hit, and although the cut is said not to be directed at programs, executives at LAAD were nervous about the collateral damage the cutback could cause.
Rebecca Barrett, Forecast International's Latin American military markets analyst, said that Brazil needs to protect its strategic interests.
"This should be reflected in the defense budget and government's spending pattern during the Rousseff administration," Barrett said. "In that regard, programs that will be used for surveillance and the protection of Brazil's borders and off-shore oil assets will be top priority."
The analyst said the Brazilian defense budget for next year is set at 60.2 billion real ($38.4 billion). Forecast International says that figure will rise moderately to 64 billion real by 2015.
Aguiar told reporters at LAAD that, for the short term at least, Embraer's main focus would be on building the business at home rather than buying foreign assets.
"Acquisition has not traditionally been how Embraer has grown," Aguiar said. "Acquisition in country is a good way of learning as it is easier to do something close to us. We have a small team looking [at M&A opportunities], and not only in Brazil, but there is nothing in the short term."
Headquarters: São Paulo, Brazil
Employees: 17,000
2010 revenue: $5.5 billion total; $670 million in defense revenue, including $150 million from military aviation support services.

Team Players Sensors, Data Links Will Tie Latest Apache into Net, Data Links Will Tie Latest Apache into Net

The U.S. Army is set to field the fastest, most maneuverable AH-64D Apache Longbows in its history, but it might be the sensors inside the attack helicopter's black boxes that end up defining it.
Pilots will have a window into each perspective on the battlefield - from the soldiers on the ground, the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flying nearby, or a Kiowa scout helicopter already on station. It is part of the larger Manned Unmanned Teaming Level 2 project the Army is pursuing to integrate the influx of sensors populating Army aircraft underbellies.
Block III Apaches feature performance upgrades to help the aircraft fly and hover in mountainous terrains found in Afghanistan, and improve maneuverability bled off the aircraft by adding weight to the D-model Longbows.
Engineers added a 701D engine, composite rotor blades and an Improved Drive System of the 21st Century Face Gear Transmission, which provides the aircraft more power. These upgrades will give pilots 6K/95 hover performance: the helicopter can hover at 6,000 feet even when the temperature hits 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
What some in the aviation community find more exciting are the upgraded antennas and computing power added to the Block III. Feeds from UAS and nearby helicopters will be fed into the Apache's digital cockpit. Apache pilots can also record feeds and send them to other Apache, Kiowa and UAS pilots as well as troops with the One System Remote Video Terminal.
The first Block III Apache will roll off Boeing's production line in October, said Col. Shane Openshaw, the Apache program's project manager. Five combat aviation brigades - the 1st, 10th, 101st, 3rd and 229th - will fly Block IIIs by 2013.
The first Block III Apaches will be sent to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. The addition of the Block III will allow the service to retire the A model by 2013.
The 101st will become the first full-spectrum combat aviation brigade in the Army, adding a Grey Eagle UAS company and two Shadow platoons. Incorporating the Block III Apaches will help fast-track that process, Openshaw said.
"The 101st will effectively be writing all the tactics, techniques and procedures to be utilized through the system. We've learned a lot through VUIT-2, but this has even more capability," said Lt. Col. John Vannoy, product manager for Apache Sensor Systems.
VUIT stands for video from unmanned aircraft systems for interoperability teaming.
Aviation leaders want soldiers on the ground to walk Apache pilots onto targets, as both look at the same video that is broadcast from an RQ-7B Shadow UAV. And if the Apache is called to a different target, the pilots can send that same video to another Apache or Kiowa, replacing them in the fight.
Security of that data has been an additional concern the past couple years. Block III Apaches will have Tx/Rx encryption that will allow them to protect the signals being sent via the Ku-band digital antennas. Encrypting the data has added to the challenge of making sure everyone is on the same page, said Col. Gregory Gonzalez, head of the Army's UAS Project Office.
"Encryption of all these data links just changes things to an enormous degree, because then you have to make sure all the data links work but make sure you have the right crypto for it," Gonzalez said.
The Apache's new Ku-band antennas have a longer range - 15 versus 12 kilometers - than the VUIT that preceded the newer Apaches. The system also takes half the time to boot up. It took up to five minutes; now pilots can start it in less than three.
Block III Apache's additional computing also comes with a bonus: Its total system weight is 49 pounds lighter than VUIT.
The Army will test the Block III Apaches and how effectively the service has advanced in integrating UAS with manned aircraft this September at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Shadows, Grey Eagles, Kiowas and Apaches will fly in the Manned/Unmanned Systems Integration Capability exercise running through different battlefield scenarios with troops on the ground.
"This gives us a chance to show the maturation of the TTPs [tactics, training and procedures] we've developed over the past few years and test out a few new ones to make this work even better," said Tim Owings, Army UAS deputy program manager.
Getting helicopter pilots on board for the manned-unmanned teaming concept and an exercise like this has allowed the Army to turn the corner towards integrating each aviation asset more seamlessly on the battlefield, Gonzalez said.
"The manned aviation community started off not caring about unmanned systems, then they were pretty agnostic about it, now they are not only hopeful but they want what we can provide them," Gonzalez said.

New Wrinkle for Gates' Successor

The job facing the next U.S. defense secretary just became a little more daunting.
In addition to overseeing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, the successor to Defense Secretary Robert Gates will likely walk into the job at the end of the summer just as the Pentagon wraps up a "fundamental" review of its missions and capabilities to help identify $400 billion in savings in security spending over the next 10 years.
If the Defense Department wants the review to influence its 2013 budget submission, it will have to complete it this summer, defense analysts say. This means the next secretary will have to implement a plan in which he or she had little input.
The Pentagon maintains that a schedule for the review has not yet been established.
"It is going to take some time for it to be done thoughtfully and properly," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters after President Obama's April 13 speech on his deficit reduction plan.
In an April 18 email, Morrell said, "We haven't yet determined who is going to head up this effort and what its mandate will be, let alone how long it will take."
And Gates said during an April 21 press briefing that he has had only one meeting to discuss how to structure the review.
The administration has said that while the review will have no effect on the 2012 budget, it should be completed in time for the 2013 budget submission.
Defense experts said that if the White House truly wants to shape spending choices for 2013, the review needs to be completed before August, when the budget is already largely built by the services.
"If this is really going to influence the FY 13 budget, then they're going to need to finish the review by June or July," said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Under this schedule, the review's conclusion would coincide with Gates' departure, which many believe is only a few months away.
"It's a little hard to understand why an outgoing defense secretary would be doing a strategic review for the next several years at this point in his tenure," the Lexington Institute's Loren Thompson said.
It looks as if the new defense secretary will not only pick up the strategic review right away, but will also take over the job just as DoD analyzes the services' multiyear spending plans and crafts its guidance.
"The new defense secretary is going to have a steep learning curve," and that probably means Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn will end up doing a lot of the heavy lifting, Harrison said. "He would ideally provide a lot of the continuity between Gates and whoever follows him."
To meet Obama's call to cut $400 billion in security spending over 10 years, Gates has said the country will have to accept risk in certain mission areas and capabilities.
Yet the White House and analysts note that the reduction in planned spending means only keeping the defense budget roughly flat in real terms.
Still, there are large parts of the defense budget that are growing much faster than inflation.
During his April 21 press briefing, Gates named two: military health care and fuel costs.
With or without the $400 billion in cuts, these costs will begin to crowd out the Pentagon's investment accounts, which in turn will force the Pentagon to make tougher choices, Harrison said.
QDR As Guide To help make these choices, DoD will turn to the last Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), released inFebruary 2010, as the jumping-off point for the new review, Gates said April 21.
"It will start, probably, with the QDR and in the terms of the scenarios, and then try to translate that into what are the programmatic implications as you begin to reduce the mission sets," Gates said.
When the QDR was published, it was criticized for not prioritizing future missions and capabilities and making none of the difficult trades the Pentagon is now being asked to consider.
But the Pentagon will have to rely on this previously established baseline, especially if it wants to turn the review around quickly, Thompson said.
Even so, it's not an encouraging sign that the QDR might be used as the framework for the new review, Harrison said. "They may be better off just starting with a clean sheet of paper because what they fundamentally need to get out of this is different than what the QDR produced," Harrison said.
This time around, the Pentagon needs to lay out all of the roles and missions it currently is responsible for or has some role in; prioritize that list; and then start trimming from the bottom, he said.
Gates is overseeing the early stages of the review, but he is also signaling that his departure is near.
Asked if he was worried that the Libyan war would be a stalemate when he left office and if NATO should be doing more, Gates said, "Well, the worry will be my successor's."

'Military Compound' Downed in Tripoli: NATO

BRUSSELS - The building in Tripoli destroyed April 25 by NATO was a "military compound" where "there were various houses and residences, as well as administrative and technical command and control nodes," said Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO military mission in Libya, in a video link to NATO Headquarters on April 26.
The Canadian Air Force general said all targets NATO engages "are legal, authorized targets" and assured reporters that "the intent is to engage command-and-control nodes."
Asked if NATO was hunting Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Bouchard said the mission was "to bring an end to violence against the [Libyan] population. It's about command-and-control nodes, not individuals."
After another question, he said "it was not about regime change."
Of the three core areas of the alliance's mission - the maritime embargo, enforcing a no-fly zone, and protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas - Bouchard indicated the latter was "probably the toughest." The mission's commander expressed concern that pro-Gadhafi forces were shielding themselves with men, women and children. He also reiterated that NATO's mission was to create an environment where dialogue can take place and where Libyans can decide on their own future. He insisted that efforts to bring about peace were not just military but political and diplomatic.
Asked for an update on progress because NATO said about 30 percent of the pro-Gadhafi regime's firepower had been destroyed, Bouchard said, "This is not a number game" and "is not about the number of tanks destroyed" but is "about bringing effects, reducing the capacity and will of pro-Gadhafi forces to engage civilians."
Bouchard hailed pro-Gadhafi troops who had switched to the anti-Gadhafi side, had sought refuge in neighboring countries or had not reported for duty.
He also said NATO was working on stopping the movement of weapons.
Asked about the introduction of U.S. Predator drones, Bouchard said he welcomed any assistance.
"These weapon systems can engage at close quarters and more will follow," he said.

USAF To Hold Separate Contests for 2 Helos

The U.S. Air Force said April 25 that it will hold separate competitions for its Common Vertical Lift Support Platform (CVLSP) and HH-60 recapitalization programs.
The CVLSP program is designed to replace the service's geriatric fleet of Bell UH-1N Huey helicopters, which provide transportation to security forces at nuclear missile bases and help to evacuate lawmakers during emergencies. The HH-60 recapitalization program is the Air Force's effort to replace 112 increasingly decrepit HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search-and-rescue helicopters.
Service officials anticipate that both programs will draw industry bids based on aircraft derived from helicopters in production.
Maj. Gen. Randal D. Fullhart, the Air Force's global reach programs capability director, said that the service anticipates releasing a draft Request for Proposal in the summer, with the final RfP in the fall. The CVLSP fleet will consist of 93 aircraft spread among Air Force Global Strike Command, the Air Force District of Washington and other major commands.
"We're proceeding toward an initial operating capability for common vertical lift support platform program in 2015." Fullhart said.
For the HH-60 replacement program, Fullhart anticipates a request for proposals will be released in 2012. The Air Force did not say how many aircraft it would buy.
Industry welcomed the announcement.
"Sikorsky welcomes a competition to offer the proven H-60M Black Hawk aircraft for both the HH-60 Recap and CVLSP missions," said Tim Healy, Sikorsky's director for Air Force programs.
Healy said that the Air Force would derive significant savings from "Sikorsky's mature H-60M multi-year production line for the U.S. Army, and an established logistics support and aircrew/maintainer training effort."
If the company was selected for both missions, Sikorsky estimates a "conservative savings of $3 billion … over the 25-year operational life of 205 HH-60 Recap/CVLSP aircraft."
AgustaWestland also plans to compete for both tenders. It plans to bid its AW-139M helicopter for the CVLSP, and the larger AW101 for the HH60 replacement program.
"We're enthusiastic and look forward to working with the Air Force as they develop their specs for the CVLSP program and HH-60 recap, and we anticipate being very competitive," AgustaWestland vice-president for strategy Dan Hill said.
"We're ready."
Said John Williamson of The Boeing Co.: "Boeing looks forward to fully supporting the recently announced acquisition strategy to recapitalize the U.S. Air Force helicopter fleet."

Raytheon Wins Army Deal for Excalibur Ia-2 Shells

PHOENIX - Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has been awarded a $172.6 million contract to manufacture thousands of artillery shells for the U.S. Army.
The money will allow the company to start full-rate production of the Excalibur Ia-2, a longer-range shell than previous versions of the projectile.
According to the contract, Raytheon will provide the shells by the end of January 2013. Raytheon has been building the projectiles since 2007.
Excalibur is a 155-millimeter precision-guided artillery round that is in use with the Army and U.S. Marine Corps. It uses GPS precision guidance to come within about 30 feet of its target to limit collateral damage, Raytheon said.
Excalibur Ia-2 has a range of nearly 26 miles when fired from U.S. howitzers. The previous version, the Ia-1 has a range of 14 miles.
The projectiles give soldiers lifesaving options when close air support is unavailable, the company said, adding that more than 300 rounds have been fired in battle in the past year.
"War fighters need Excalibur because it provides a level of precision they simply cannot get with other artillery rounds," said Col. Michael Hartig, of the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence, in a statement.
He said the weapon's GPS precision is ideal for all types of terrain, including urban settings and areas where soldiers and Marines are close to the target.
In August 2010, the Army awarded Raytheon a contract to complete the design of the next generation: Excalibur Ib.
It is expected to leverage current technology but reduce costs by an estimated 50 percent.
Work for the contract will be performed in Tucson, 10 other U.S. cities, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

DoD Axes Joint Strike Fighter's Alt Engine

The U.S. Defense Department has formally terminated the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternative engine for the tri-service Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
General Electric says the F136 program has completed 80 percent of its developmental phase. (GE Aviation)
According to a Defense Department news release, the companies, along with Congress, were notified of the decision April 25.
Pentagon procurement czar Ashton Carter issued a stop-work order March 24 to the companies to halt their work on the alternative engine, which the Defense Department had determined is "unneeded and wasteful."
That action, which saved the Defense Department $1 million per day, was put in place prior to a final resolution of the F136's disposition in the FY2011 budget.
After Congress voted earlier this month to enact a full-year continuing resolution in which there were no funds allocated to the F136, Carter ordered the engine to be terminated.
General Electric spokesman Rick Kennedy said in a written statement that the company was disappointed but would comply with the termination notice. However, the company is not backing down from continuing the fight to save the engine.
"[General Electric] and Rolls-Royce will work closely with our Congressional supporters during the 2012 budget process in pursuit of incorporating the engine into the program, and preserving competition," Kennedy said, echoing earlier comments by General Electric CEO and chairman Jeffrey Immelt.
In a letter to GE Aviation employees, Immelt vowed to continue to fight to save the engine program.
"I can assure you we are not giving up. We will fight to bring competition to the 2012 budget debate," he said.
Immelt said that the government would forgo billions in long-term savings by canceling the F136, which he said has completed 80 percent of its developmental phase.
"We will keep the core technical team together as we continue the fight, and reassign the other highly skilled employees of the F136 team to other Aviation programs," Immelt said.

Americans Left Behind Hitler, Hilaku and Genghis Khan...

The member of KILL TEAM, Sergeant Kalvin Gas, posing with the corpse of underage Afghan in a victorious way, while the finger of the Afghan has been already removed.

In today’s civilized which country has such laws allowing massacre of persons, group or tribe merely under the doubt that they may be planning to attack that country. They are attacking thousands of miles away from one’s boundaries. In the way USA is using drone technology in massacre of innocent Pakistanis, has USA any ground to justify these murders? Where are the human rights activists of Europe? Why UNO and its influential members do not take any notice of such murders of innocent women, children, and innocent tribal people who are even ignorant of conspiracies and interests of international imperialistic forces?
                According to the news published on Saturday 16 April, 2011, USA has rejected protest of Pakistani people and concerns of Pakistani govt. over drone attacks. Not only this USA has repeated that she will not stop these attacks and end CIA operations within Pakistan as well. In order to justify these murders she harped on the same string which were used in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq and Afghanistan, “it is the duty of US govt. and CIA to protect Americans in the whole world”.

                Now the question is that how undeveloped tribal people can be threat to America thousands of miles away? The answer we get from Americans is that the US forces in Afghanistan are at stake. Would the western media and civilized world like to clarify that why US forces and their western allies are present in Afghanistan? Moreover, what these wild beasts are doing for welfare of humanity in Afghanistan? Americans are of the view that they are here to free afghan people from Taliban and give them their basic human rights, than Afghan are protesting against these bastards. Leaving others aside now even American puppet and slave Afghan President Hamid Qarzai is also protesting against war crimes of US forces in Afghanistan.

Afghan killed by Kill Team near Kandahar...

                You might have seen the videos by ROLLING STONE.COM, these videos were uploaded three weeks ago show that how American soldiers are murdering innocent Afghans as a game just for entertainment. They are made to run for their lives, than bullets are fired around them. Afghan youth try to take shelter behind trees or rocks but at last are killed by American terrorists.

                Afghan youth are made to run for their life in open fields/plans, during this a US helicopter shows its skills to target these innocent people by firing rockets. As soon as the rocket hits the running poor soul his/her body is torn apart into pieces. Such scenes are recorded to commemorate the violations of human rights by Hilaku and Changez Khan. When alive humans were targeted by arrows in the big gatherings, as the arrow hit the running man and he fall down, spectators used to clap and raised slogans for the arrow man. These movies were published under the title of
by rolling

                2 days before this German weekly SPIEGEL  published 18 pictures of Afghan people corpses in a post US SOLDIERS MURDERING AFGHAN CIVILIANS FOR FUN. In these pictures it has been showed that how US soldiers thirsty of human blood enjoy slaying innocent Afghans, these American beasts have been given the name of KILL TEAM by Spiegel International. After watching the pictures Afghan President first time condemned the war crimes of US army saying, “US soldiers deployed in Afghanistan use opium and marijuana whole night and in the day when they get out of effect of drugs, they set out for hunt of innocent Afghans”. He also said, “I am shocked after watching these photos, all these scenes should awake world that what US forces are doing in Afghanistan. They killed our youth for fun”.
Scanning birthmarks of a dead Afghan through Portable Biometric Scanner

                According to John Goetz and Marc Hujer, representatives of Spiegel, US govt. got worried after the photos were published. Because this might become another scandal like Abu Ghraib jail scandal in Iraq 6 years ago. In order to tackle this situation Vice US President Joe Biden at once visited Kabul to restrain Hamid Qarzai from a harsh reaction. But the photos are so much dreadful and heart rendering that if Hamid Qarzai had not condemned them, his govt. would have been at stake. According to the report, the kill team belongs to fifth Stryker Brigade.

                In order to suppress these reports, US govt. has sentenced one American soldier 24 years imprisonment for murdering innocent Afghans. Although he has been put behind the bars but after a plea in the civil court he will be freed. However, can this punishment redress the massacre of Afghans? Like Vietnam US soldiers are busy in raping Afghan women besides murdering them.
An ill fated Afghan who became target of a rocket fired by American Kill Team...

                On 14th January 2011 different news websites published a reportDAUGHTER OF AN AFGHAN POLITICIAN DIED FROM RAPE INJURIES CAUSED BY US SOLDIERS. According to the report, many Afghan women and girls were kidnapped and shifted to an American army base in southwestern province FARAH of Afghanistan to fulfill sexual lust of US soldiers. Here three underage girls got critical situation and were shifted to hospital. A 14 year old girl lost her life due to over bleeding of blood.  Americans wanted to take the dead body along with them so that it can be safely disposed off. However, an employee of the hospital identified the girl as the daughter of a famous politician from the Farah province. She had disappeared a few days ago. On the interference by the hospital staff, Americans left the dead body into the hospital and took the other two girls along with them.

                 These news got published on different news websites by an Iranian news agency, in spite of all the efforts to suppress the report by Americans. After this the report about the KILL TEAM unveiled the American terrorism in Afghanistan. According to German weekly Spiegel, “Americans after murdering innocent Afghans as a game, create war like environment by throwing grenades and firing countless bullets, they try to feel like they have murdered these innocents after a fierce fighting. Afterwards in order to fulfill the legal requirements they make photos with the dead bodies as victorious. Dead bodies are ripped of the clothes and fingerprints, other birthmarks are recorded through the portable biometric scanners and this recorded information is than sent to higher command. The finger of the dead is cut and preserved so that when these soldiers return back home they can put it as a trophy in their drawing room”. These bastards in Vietnam and Iraq did same actions.

                Although Americans have assured Afghan officials that they will punish other soldiers seen in the pictures (this has been done just to avoid protests), an American envoy also visited Kabul in this regard. But will America fulfill it promises? The answer is, “the murderer of two Pakistanis Raymond Davis has been appointed as in Afghanistan to supervise anti-Pakistan activities”. According to the media reports, he is given free hand to conduct terrorist activities through his agents in Pakistan from Afghanistan.

                Keep in mind that American officials, Hilary Clinton and Senator John Kerry had assured Pakistan that a case would be filed against Davis in American court to punish Davis for murdering two Pakistanis. But alas! In spite of all their boastful and barbaric practices Hilaku and Genghis Khan always fulfilled their promises…

Monday, April 25, 2011

US Navy issues BAA for carrier-borne UAS

The US Navy (USN) has taken the next step towards its ambitious goal of fielding a stealthy carrier-borne unmanned combat aircraft system by the end of this decade with the release of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for its projected Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system.
The BAA, issued by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 28 March, is to support pre-Milestone A programme activities, including crafting an analysis of alternatives, developing the concept of operations and system requirements documents, and analysing potential material solutions to meet a goal for operational capability in the 2018 timeframe. Proposals are required no later than 29 April.
Plans for UCLASS were first revealed in March 2010 when the USN issued an initial request for information (RfI) for a carrier-based system providing persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike capabilities. This move came in response to a need identified by Vice Admiral David Dorsett, the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance (N2/N6), to give carrier-based aviation a new degree of versatility in long-range combat operations.
Last year's RfI described a notional system that would include four to six air vehicles, each capable of flying for 11 to 14 hours from a nuclear-powered carrier (CVN) without refuelling, plus mission control interfaces (afloat and ashore), sensor payloads, weapon interfaces and personnel.

Iran to open new cruise missile production line

Iran plans to inaugurate a new production line for cruise missiles in the near future, defence minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced on 7 April.
During a visit to Kermanshah in western Iran, Vahidi said: "Iran's Defence Ministry will unveil important arms, marine, aerospace and electro-optic achievements in the new Iranian calendar year." The new Iranian year started on 21 March.
According to Iran's FARS news agency, the Iranian Navy has successfully test-fired missiles "mounted with laser technology" with ranges from 45 km to 300 km.
The latter figure probably refers to the new Khalij Fars antiship variant of the Fatah A-110 tactical ballistic missile, which was revealed in February 2011.
The FARS report did not elaborate on the role played by laser technology in these missiles, which could be a reference to inertial navigations systems based on laser-gyroscope technology.

After Gates: Asymmetric Threats

When Robert Gates began his service as U.S. secretary of defense, his priorities were clear: "Iraq, Iraq and Iraq," as he said at his Senate confirmation hearing.
The priority was not misplaced; the situation in Iraq was dire in late 2006. But a new counterinsurgency strategy implemented by a new commander given increased resources led to a dramatically different situation by the end of 2008.
Under President Obama, Gates switched his focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, overseeing a dramatic increase in resources devoted to that conflict. And over the past two years, he focused on implementing a culture of accountability and on reforming the defense budget to prepare the Pentagon for the leaner years ahead.
Yet the business of defending the United States never stops, and much remains to be done by whoever replaces Gates later this year. His successor's overarching objective will be to maximize U.S. national security in an era of increased budget constraints and decreased certainty about the shape of future conflict. In other words, he or she will need to spend less money to prepare for a wider range of threats.
The most serious of these threats will be asymmetric in nature - that is, they will target American weaknesses to circumvent its conventional superiority. Asymmetric threats come in two basic forms. The low-end version, which the U.S. military has spent the past decade combating, is terrorism and insurgency.
The asymmetric attacks of Sept. 11, followed in short order by virulent insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, demonstrated that conventional military force was insufficient to protect the interests of the nation. Gates led a remarkable rebalancing of American military power that improved U.S. irregular warfare capability.
He was particularly insistent on the procurement of armored vehicles that resisted improvised explosive devices and the development of UAVs to provide intelli-gence on and strikes against insurgent cells.
Unfortunately, these changes have not yet become part of the DNA of America's fighting forces, which still struggle to build the capacity of foreign military forces - a task that Gates has said is "arguably the most important military component in the war on terror." Building our allies' capacity to fight is an effective, affordable but often overlooked way to ensure the future security of the United States. Despite its rhetorical emphasis on building partner capacity, the Pentagon has not yet demonstrated an effective approach to execute this mission.
The next secretary of defense will have to fight hard to institutionalize advising foreign forces and ensure that the many lessons learned about countering insurgencies and terrorists are not once again forgotten.
High-Tech Challenge The second, equally troubling variant of asymmetric warfare involves the use of high-technology capabilities to negate traditional American military strengths. The most prominent looming asymmetric challenge is in the Asia-Pacific region. China has the potential to present a significant military threat but not in a strictly conventional sense.
Although China is rapidly developing its conventional military capabilities, including an aircraft carrier and a fifth-generation fighter plane, more worrisome is its improving ability to threaten America's allies and interests in this region with missile, cyber and other asymmetric capabilities. As a result, the world's greatest Navy is at increasing risk of being checkmated by very precise and relatively cheap guided munitions.
China's growing anti-access and area-denial capabilities are likely not only to prevent ships and manned aircraft from approaching its shores but to prevent current-generation UAVs and ISR platforms from providing intelligence or filling a strike role.
Adapting to the development and proliferation of high-end asymmetric capabilities will require embracing a more rapid evolution of our own traditional capabilities and operating concepts. This will be a major task for the next secretary. Gates had to take extraordinary measures to procure sufficient numbers of UAVs to meet the demands of commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, but those systems faced almost no air-to-air threat. The next secretary of defense should oversee major investments in unmanned vehicles - aerial, ground, water and underwater - that can survive and succeed in contested spaces against a capable enemy. With costs that compare favorably to manned platforms, these unmanned systems present affordable long-range strike options that impose defensive costs on China or other adversaries using Chinese weapons.
Deterring the use of military power in the western Pacific will depend in no small part on how wisely those investments are made, and how soon.
Gates faced the huge challenge of turning around a war that was rapidly being lost when he assumed leadership of the Department of Defense. Gates' successor will also face challenges: institutionalizing progress in irregular warfare and deterring high-end asymmetric challengers, while continuing to whittle down defense expenditures.
"Asymmetry, advisers and UAVs" doesn't roll off the tongue any more trippingly than did "Iraq, Iraq and Iraq," but it will be just as important for the next secretary of defense to get his or her priorities straight.
John Nagl is president of the Center for a New American Security and the author of "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam."