Saturday, March 31, 2012

Silk Route

The Silk Road is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade in silk grew under the Han Dynasty ( 202 BC - AD 220) in the first and second centuries AD

Origins
Originally, the Chinese trade silk internally, within the empire. Caravans from the empire's interior would carry silk to the western edges of the region. Often small Central Asian tribes would attack these caravans hoping to capture the traders' valuable commodities. As a result, the Han Dynasty extended its military defenses further into Central Asia from 135 to 90 BC in order to protect these caravans.

Chan Ch'ien, the first known Chinese traveler to make contact with the Central Asian tribes, later came up with the idea to expand the silk trade to include these lesser tribes and therefore forge alliances with these Central Asian nomads. Because of this idea, the Silk Road was born.

The route grew with the rise of the Roman Empire because the Chinese initially gave silk to the Roman-Asian governments as gifts.

 

The 7000 mile route spanned China, Central Asia, Northern India, and the Parthian and Roman Empires. It connected the Yellow River Valley to the Mediterranean Sea and passed through places such as Chinese cities Kansu and Sinkiang and present-day countries Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Northwestern Indians who lived near the Ganges River played prominent roles as middlemen in the China-Mediterranean silk trade because as early as the third century AD, they understood that silk was a lucrative product of the Chinese Empire. The trading relationship between the Chinese and the Indians grew stronger with increased Han expansion into Central Asia. The Chinese would trade their silk with the Indians for precious stones and metals such as jade, gold, and silver, and the Indians would trade the silk with the Roman Empire. Silk proved to be an expensive import for the Roman Empire since its trade across Indian and Central Asia was heavily controlled by the Parthian Empire.

Great Silk Road

During the 6-14th century, there were thousands of large and small routes that crossed Asian Continent leading to the West. Caravans followed these routes and each was filled with exotic clothes, eastern goods and spices. These routes raised the Great Silk Road. Along Great Silk Road towns, cities and caravanserai were created. Hence the various centers for national crafts, art schools, madrasahs, palaces and mausoleums. Traders, missionaries and refuges were travelling together bringing along new religions, customs, products like glass, porcelain, soap and gunpowder and most important a different culture. They were the ones who created herbariums, collected methods of curing diseases and studied the stars. In many ways, for more than thousands of years Great Silk Road linked many countries and its people by means of peaceful activities such as trade, culture and spiritual exchanges that is unique to all mankind. The Great Silk Road routes started from a town called Lanchjou and stretched to cities of Tor and Sodom, both Mediterranean ports which acted as a junction between the East and West. This old East-West trading trail transplanted culture, customs and religious from one center to the next and vice-versa. Again, the Great Silk Road will be re-opened to tourists, magnificent architectural monuments, unique works of calligraphy, silks, rugs and pottery produced by ancient craftsmen in our fascinating tours.

Fascinating History of Silk Road

History of Silk Road is fascinating and full of military conquest, fearless explorers, religious pilgrims and great thinkers, along with the humble tradesmen who risked life and limb for profit as they led their loaded caravans across dangerous deserts, mountains and steppes. In the history of Great Silk Road there are such figures as Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane were all familiar with Silk Road which was established by 100DC. It lasted until 15th century when newly-discovered sea routes to Asia opened up.

Great Silk Road: Luxury Trade

The story of silk trade is very cognitive. Silk was, of course, why the great route was established in the first place. According to the Chinese, silk was discovered one day when a queen accidently dropped a silkworm cocoon into her hot cup of tea, and as she plucked it out, unravelled a shiny, silken thread. Woven into fabric and sent west, silk soon became the most demended and expensive textile in Rome. Some historians claim the Romans' profligated thier spendings on silk which played its rall in fall of their empire, while their rivals to the east grew rich on the silk trade. Many around the Mediterranean, priests and potentates, including Cleopatra, dressed themselves in silk, especially that kind which had been colored in purple made of mollusc shells.

More Than Silk

There are many other luxury goods besides silk that were transported along Silk Road. Heading west were porcelain, furs, spices, gems and other exotic products of Asia. Chinese inventions like gunpowder and paper first travelled to Europe along Silk Road with many other products. Being shipped east were cosmetics, silver, gold, amber, ivory, carpets, perfume and ceramics from Europe, Central Asia, Arabia and Africa.

A Road of Ideas

As merchants and other travellers traversed Silk Road, they also carried culture, art, philosophies and beliefs with them. Buddhism came to China on The Silk Road and Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Confucianism all had their itinerant proselytiser. Goods and ideas were exchanged in cities with exotic names like Antioch, Babylon, Erzerum, Hamadn, Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Kashgar and Xian, as well as in dozens of others whose names are now lost in time. However, many remain and travellers again have the chance to visit these sites, relive the legends and capture some of the magic.


Social Consequences of the Silk Road
While the Chinese silk trade played a minor role in the Chinese economy, it did increase the number of foreign merchants present in China under the Han Dynasty, exposing both the Chinese and visitors to their country to different cultures and religions. In fact, Buddhism spread from India to China because of trade along the Silk Route, similar to the way Islam spread along trans-Saharan routes in medieval West Africa. .

The Silk Road's Decline
By 760 AD, during the T'ang Dynasty, trade along the Silk Road had declined. It revived tremendously under the Sung Dynasty in the eleventh and twelfth centuries when China became largely dependent on its silk trade. In addition, trade to Central and Western Asia as well as Europe recovered for a period of time from 1276-1368 under the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols controlled China. The Chinese traded silk for medicines, perfumes, and slaves in addition to precious stones. As overland trade became increasingly dangerous, and overseas trade became more popular, trade along the Silk Road declined. While the Chinese did maintain a silk-fur trade with the Russians north of the original Silk Route, by the end of the fourteenth century, trade and travel along the road had decreased.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Egypt struggles for spy satellite program progress


Since Egyptian technicians lost touch two years ago with an observation satellite they hoped would help carry the country into the “space club,” the country has struggled to make progress in gaining intelligence satellite capabilities, but it remains committed to the program, a space security expert told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Tal Dekel, a research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, said few were aware of the extent of Egypt’s satellite program.

“People talk about the Iranians, but no one talks about Egypt’s program, which includes much more than a satellite,” he said.
Cairo has been busy with a complex space initiative made up of several components.
The program is disguised as scientific research, Dekel said.

As part of the scientific veneer, the satellite program is run under the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.
“They say the satellites are scientific. But usually, by this stage, most satellites are dual use,” Dekel explained. “As resolutions improve and technology progresses, satellites can become good enough for military use.”


In 2007, Egypt launched its first satellite capable of photographing sites on earth, called the EgyptSat-1. The launch came after Egypt awarded a tender to Ukraine to construct the satellite.
Under the agreement, 60 Egyptian scientists were trained by Ukraine, with the aim of Egypt developing the capability to operate the satellite independently. The Egyptians hoped to eventually construct another satellite on their own and launch it by 2017. The second satellite was supposed to be comprised of 60 percent Egyptian- made components.
But in 2010, the program took a turn for the worse, when all communications with EgyptSat-1 were lost.
Dozens of Egyptian scientists lost their jobs in the aftermath.
Egypt kept the setback secret for three months, before details leaked out, Dekel said.
Cairo has not given up its ambitions to join the space club. Today, Dekel said, “Egyptian students are being qualified to continue to program, both in Egypt and around the world.”
The technological know-how needed to reach this goal is vast, Dekel stressed.
“You need to be able to maneuver the satellite in space for missions, and to repair its course in orbit.
When the satellite passes over you, you have to download its images. The Egyptians still can’t do it alone,” he said.
Hence, Egypt has not set a date for the launch of its next satellite, EgyptSat-2.
EgyptSat-2 will be designed to snap photos with ground resolution of 5.4 meters per pixel, and would represent a milestone in Egypt’s path toward intelligence satellite capabilities.
“Many countries want to be members of the space club, but few have the real ability to join it,” Dekel said.
Currently, Dekel noted, Israel is one of only 10 countries capable of building their own satellites, launching them from their territory and maneuvering them in space.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

India's Unmanned Tracked Ground Vehicle – MUNTRA


Gamera radar leads defense of Japanese airspace


On a tiny island in the East China Sea, about 200 people work around a piece of equipment named after a movie monster. This is the Shimokoshikijima Sub Base of the Air Self-Defense Force, and it is increasingly being considered a crucial piece in defending the nation’s airspace.
As China continues to increase its military spending and North Korea remaining unpredictable under its new leader, Kim Jong Un, the warning and control radar operated by the ASDF at its various bases in Kyushu have become increasingly important.
The Shimokoshikijima Sub Base is located off the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture. The island has a population of about 2,800 and is about two hours by ferry from Kushikino Port.
The main piece of equipment at the sub base is the stationary three-dimensional radar, the J/FPS-5. It is commonly called the "Gamera radar" because the radar cover looks like the shell of the giant flying turtle of cinema fame.
On April 5, 2009, that radar tracked the Taepodong-2 ballistic missile fired by North Korea.
The radar system also plays a key role in Japan's ballistic missile defense system, which started to be put in place in 2003. It was first installed on Shimokoshikijima in fiscal 2008, with subsequent installations at Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture, Ominato in Aomori Prefecture and Yozadake in Okinawa Prefecture, which will be completed by the end of the current fiscal year.
The rotatable Gamera radar is a hexagonal structure as tall as a seven-story building.
The eight platoons at the base in charge of surveillance, communications, base operations and health and welfare work around the clock. Reporters are not allowed within the radar or the facility that operates it for national security reasons.
"We cannot have any interruption in the collection of data by the radar," the base commander, Lt. Col. Tomohiro Isozuka, 49, said.
The greatest threat to the sub base is an attack by special forces. For that reason, tensions around the sub base increased after reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had died in December.
In February 1997, an incident occurred on Shimokoshikijima that sent shockwaves through the ASDF. Twenty Chinese tried to illegally enter the island. Although they were not a military threat and ended up in custody, if they had damaged even part of the radar facility, that could have crippled Japan's air defense setup.
Staff Sgt. Taichi Hirozane, 26, who handles base security, said: "The geography and environment is not favorable. This is difficult work physically, but we are able to show the results of the difficult training that we have undertaken."
The average age of base members is 35.2 years, meaning many are under 30. Most share rooms in the living quarters.
One difficulty for the young members is not being able to do what others their age are enjoying, given the isolated location of the base.
Airman 1st Class Takefumi Yasuda, 28, of the surveillance platoon, recently broke up with his girlfriend. He feels one reason was that he was unable to get a day off for such important events as her birthday. Still, he is not discouraged.
"I am proud to be able to handle the most advanced radar," he said.
Staff Sgt. Naoki Matsumori, 24, has worked at the base since he was 18. He enjoys drinking shochu made from potatoes with his fellow members during his days off.
"I want to become an SDF member who can demonstrate skills under various environments," he said.
The radar systems are designed to not only keep watch for ballistic missiles, but also suspicious aircraft nearing Japanese airspace.
Situated on the northern edge of Tsushima island off Nagasaki Prefecture is the Unijima Sub Base, from where Busan in South Korea is visible to the naked eye. About 160 ASDF members work around the clock here as well, searching for aircraft around the area.
The base can only be approached by a special boat. Small bunker windows are visible around the base, remnants of the surveillance posts used by the former Imperial Navy to keep a watch on enemy ships that navigated through the Tsushima Strait. Behind those bunkers is the spherical J/FPS-3 radar system.
Information about aircraft that attempt to enter Japan's air-defense identification zone without prior notice is immediately transmitted to the direction center for the ASDF West Air Area in Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture. If the possibility exists of a violation of Japanese airspace, instructions are issued from the direction center to have fighter jets scrambled from the Tsuiki Base in Chikujo, Fukuoka Prefecture, or the Nyutabaru Base in Shintomi, Miyazaki Prefecture.
Such scrambles have sharply increased in number in recent years. In January, the Defense Ministry announced that in the third quarter of the current fiscal year, fighter jets were scrambled 335 times, 45 more than the same quarter of the previous year.
The number of times jets were scrambled against Chinese aircraft was 48, up about threefold and the most since such statistics started being compiled in fiscal 2002.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of jets scrambled from bases in Okinawa Prefecture that make up the Combined South Area.
"It will be important to spot enemy aircraft or aircraft of unknown national origin from farther away in order to prevent their approach into Japanese airspace," said Maj. Mitsuo Haruki, 48, deputy commander of the Unijima Sub Base.
A popular way to spend days off is fishing. Fish caught from lines dropped from the pier often end up on the dinner table. Some base members will go to fast food joints located in the center of the island about two hours away for hamburgers.
"Because there are no convenience stores on Tsushima, we cannot buy what we want when we want,” Airman 1st Class Kazuhei Nakakihara, 22, said. “However, one thing I enjoy is eating the fish together with my seniors who caught it."
Airman 1st Class Yuichiro Kuma, 24, said, "I am extremely proud to be able to handle part of the important duty of national defense."

Bulava Missile in for Two More Test Launches

At least two test launches for the Bulava intercontinental missile are planned for the fall, a source at Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation said on Thursday.
 launches will be conducted in October or November from aboard the Alexander Nevsky Project 955 nuclear powered submarine.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said earlier in March that the Bulava will enter service in October.
Russian experts have questioned how wise it is to adopt the troubled Bulava missile for service, suggesting it would cause more security problems than it would solve.
President Dmitry Medvedev said in late December that the Bulava SLBM flight tests were completed and it will now be adopted for service with the Russian Navy.
Russia successfully test launched two Bulava missiles on December 23.
Only 11 of 18 or 19 test launches of the troubled Bulava have been officially declared successful.
However, some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures is considerably higher. Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer said that of the Bulava's first 12 test launches, only one was entirely successful.
Despite several previous failures officially blamed on manufacturing faults, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM, developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (since 1998), carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines.

Delivery of Shadow 200 UAV speeds up

Australia, March 29 (UPI) -- Australia's Defense Ministry is speeding up delivery of a U.S.-made unmanned aerial vehicle system for use by troops in Afghanistan.
Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith and Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare, in an announcement Thursday, said AAI Corp.'s Shadow 200 will be in the hands of Australian troops nearly one year earlier than planned.
The Shadow 200 is 11.2 feet long, has a cruise speed of 103 miles per hour, a range of 68 miles and a ceiling of 15,000 feet. Launched from a catapult and carrying a variety of sensors, it is used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Each Shadow system is comprised of five vehicles, plus ground control stations, a launch and recovery element, and associated equipment.
Australia's second system was to be delivered next year but Australia asked the United States for earlier delivery so troops scheduled for deployment could train with it.
The cost of the two systems was more than $90 million.


Matrix Mama RuNet Gourmet Spirit of the Times Outsider’s Inside World Russia Touts Yak-130 Combat Trainer in S.America

South American air force chiefs have shown interest in Russia’s Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten trainer/light attack aircraft, the plane’s maker said on Thursday.
“We have conducted negotiations with the Air Force chiefs of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay,” Urkut Vice President for Marketing Vladimir Sautov said at the FIDAE-2012 International Air Show.
They showed interest not only in a two-seater but also one-seat version, he said, adding the latter could only be manufactured if there was a firm order from a large customer.

Irkut started exporting the planes in 2011. Foreign market capacity is estimated at 250 machines.
In December, Irkut and the Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract for the supply of 55 Yak-130 by 2015.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

India test-fires Brahmos supersonic cruise missile

India on Wednesday successfully test fired Brahmos supersonic cruise missile as part of a user trial by the Army from the test range at Chandipur off Odisha coast.

"The missile was test fired from a ground mobile launcher from the launch complex-3 at about 1122 hours and the trial was successful," said a defence official.

The missile, which has a flight range of up to 290 km, is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 200 to 300 kg. 

 The cruise missile, a surface-to-surface Army version, was test fired as part of user trial by the Army, he said.

The two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, he said.

While induction of the first version of Brahmos missile system in the Indian Navy commenced from 2005 with INS Rajput, it is now fully operational with two regiments of the Army.

The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress, said the official.

The Army has so far placed orders for the Brahmos missile to be deployed by three regiments of the Army and two of them have already been inducted operationally.

The Defence Ministry has also given a go-ahead to the Army to induct a third regiment equipped with the missile system to be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh along the China border.

Brahmos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint venture company headed by a distinguished Indian defence scientist, is also working to develop the air as well as the submarine launch version of the missile system and work on the project is in progress.

Oshkosh Light Combat Tactical All Terrain Vehicle ` picture





Monday, March 26, 2012

Hizb-ut-Tahrir's Lies and unIslamic Beliefs Exposed

Have you ever wondered how organizations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir operate?
Their activities are shrouded in secrecy and our all-powerful agencies say that they have had little success in dismantling the network. While agencies might be doing their best, it looks like they have not penetrated the actual methods of communications between the leaders, activists and low ranking associates of the group.
The history of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activities in Pakistan is relatively new. The UK based group surfaced in different varsities of Pakistan right after Musharraf agreed to join the war against terrorism. They targeted educated young Pakistanis in different colleges and universities and their method of attack was new and quite successful.
First encounter with Hizb ut-Tahrir
During the summer of 2001, I received a call from a friend of mine on my cell phone. These were the days when calls on cell phones were not cheap so it was pretty obvious that the matter was urgent. He said he wanted me to go to a function. I was told that ‘they’ had arranged for 200 people but only a few people turned up and now they desperately needed an audience.
My friend asked me to bring as many people as I could. He promised me that he would pay for their cab fares as well. I was hesitant about recommending something I had not experienced, so I went alone.
To my utter surprise, the gathering was a protest arranged by Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamabad Chapter to protest the American attack on Afghanistan. Being just 16-years-old and fed with what I had seen around me, I was eager to get the ‘real facts’ that the western media was keeping from us.
Before the commencement of the actual event, we were asked to detour to G-9 Markaz (commonly known as Karachi Company) to persuade people to come to the protest. As I was new to all this, I clung to my friend who along with other activists went to the main wagon stop and asked people to join them and listen to the real facts behind the attack on Afghanistan and plans of kafirs about Pakistan in particular, and Muslim ummah in general.
While most of the elders we approached looked unimpressed by the empty rhetoric, teenagers like me were greatly amused. Some people seemed to shy away until they were told that there was a lavish meal with qorma and biryani after the event. The lucrative offer attracted many people and we managed to convince at least 80 people to come to the protest with us.
During the protest, I interacted with students who were from different colleges and universities of Islamabad. Surprisingly, most of them were brought by their friends under the pretext of some function where attendees didn’t show up or where food was going to be served. The most astonishing fact was that a few kids had been told that there was a fight between two rival gangs and their friends were in dire need of help. I didn’t understand why the group needed to lie to people to bring in an audience!
Don’t you want to know the ‘real’ facts?
The protest started with recitation from the Holy Quran. The verse quoted was a famous one from Surah Ahzaab that deals with the friendship with Jews and Christians. The speaker explained that Jews and Christians (he explicitly said ‘West and Western sponsored NGOs’ after that) were afraid of the ‘rise of Islam in Afghanistan and wanted to wipeout the caliphate from there and it has been mentioned in a Hadith as well.’
He went on to recite a Hadith about the rise of an Islamic Army from Khurasan and told us that Khurasaan is the old name of Afghanistan. He said that the youth need to stand up and there is a need for Hazrat Mauz (RA) and Maaz (RA) to cater to the problem of Western imperialism.
There were three speeches with loads of what I now understand was liberal bashing; a speaker asked those present to take an oath that they will stand up to defend Islam. We were told that American agents are like the munafiqeen of Medina and they pronounced the decrees on the basis of hypocrisy. My mind was confused but I was excited. I really wanted to know about the ‘real history’ of events and verses that speakers were quoting (or misquoting) and interpreting (or misinterpreting).
The speakers said that Islam and Pakistan were in danger and that USA will destroy our nuclear bomb because they are afraid of the power of the caliphate. According to the men Islamic territories in Spain, Armenia, Russia and in other countries of Eastern Europe could be reclaimed if we just united on a one-point agenda of caliphate and supported the caliphate in Afghanistan.
Questioning the teacher
The next day I was in my college library going through several books of Islamic History and translations of the Holy Quran. I wrote a list of questions on a piece of paper and called my friend who told me that there was a dars at the residence of the mentor of Hizb ut-Tahrir in I-10/2.
We went there later in the evening. The dars included the usual stuff: mostly anti-America rhetoric, although notably the speaker didn’t mention the word Taliban or Taliban ideology. At the end of the dars, I raised my hand to ask the speaker about the questions that were in my mind.
Honestly, I had a blast.
After answering a few of my queries however, the speaker stopped me from asking further questions and quoted a hadith that said that there is a thin line between Islam and Kufar. I immediately knew that he was about to declare me Kafir. I didn’t lose hope, I attended many other sessions and tried to expunge my doubts, but to no avail.
My last experience with the Hizb ut-Tahrir was in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2005. During the usual dars and Caliphate rhetoric (that I was not satisfied with) the speaker said that the earthquake was occurred because we are not doing enough to bring shariah in Pakistan. I wanted to ask which Shariah? There are so many versions and everyone knows that.
It didn’t continue for long, I was already detached and unconvinced from the misinterpretation of Quran and Hadith and misuse of different verses of Quran in the pamphlets that HuT distributed after every Friday prayers outside mosques. This usually happened in Sector I-10, the whole operation of distribution of pamphlets and arrangements of lectures was done by a man who was working at a government department.
Cutting ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir
I still remember the day when I ceased all contact with everyone who was associated with HuT. It was the day they termed suicide bombings as a justifiable response to the situation by saying an eye for an eye.
The statement was just between people close to the patron of HuT I-10 and it was not said openly.
I had always suppressed my thoughts about my first encounter with Hizb ut-Tahrir.
I was unable to understand why they lied to people and told them about the lavish dinner after the meeting?
Why didn’t they offer some realistic plans about issues like electricity, gas and so many others?
Their answer to every question is Muslims should bring Caliphate and everything will be fine!

Pakistan Army's Pragmatic Approach leading Balochistan towards prosperity

ISLAMABAD: Whereas the steps being taken by the Pakistan Army for the establishment of peace in Balochistan and to remove the sense of deprivation among people of the province are yielding positive results, the growing Taliban threat has forced the Indian spymasters to shift from Afghanistan to the Gulf states where they are operating as businessmen.

“The steps being taken by the army under the guidance of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to establish peace in Balochistan and remove the sense of deprivation among the people of the province are yielding positive results, causing distress to the Indian intelligence agencies,” an official source said here on Wednesday, requesting anonymity. “A positive change is being witnessed in the thinking of common Baloch people because of the recruitment of Baloch youths in the army and other security institutions on priority basis,” he said.
The source said the worries of the Indian intelligence officials are, however, growing because of the change in thinking of the Baloch youths while the recruitment of the Baloch youths in the army and security institutions on priority basis has saved Pakistan from a battle front, which was more dangerous than Waziristan because lava was boiling there. He said the Indian spying network, which was targeting Balochistan since long, has almost been defeated now because the Balochistan policy of General Kayani has shattered the Indian policy of misleading the Baloch youths. “When he had taken over as the army chief, General Kayani faced the toughest and the biggest challenge of establishing peace in Balochistan and also defeating the Indian campaign of misleading the Baloch youths,” the source said. “General Kayani was extremely serious in addressing the Balochistan problem and he took pragmatic measures, which are now yielding positive results,” he remarked.
The source revealed that the country’s top security agency achieved highly important successes during the past three years but details of those successes could not be made public because of their sensitive nature. He said these successes also helped other security agencies of the country to achieve their goals. He said the powers that wanted to pit the Baloch people against other provinces and national institutions were behind the kidnapping and target killing incidents in the province during the past few years.
“The foreign elements have been involved in planning the killing of passengers of public transport in different cities and districts of Balochistan and the most prominent among these elements were the Indians. The term of Baloch Liberation Army was also introduced by the Indian intelligence agencies because India wanted to infuse into the Baloch youths the hatred against other provinces and the army,” the source said.
“Although the Indians had initially succeeded in their nefarious designs to a great extent and their operations were on their peak following the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti, the strategy devised by General Kayani and implemented by the army to bringing the Baloch people, particularly youths, into the national mainstream has now completely changed the scenario,” he added.
The source pointed out that because of the growing threat of the Taliban attacks, the senior Indian intelligence officers have shifted from Afghanistan to the Gulf states in the vicinity of Balochistan, where they are posing as businessmen and are providing jobs to Baloch youths so as to create afresh an atmosphere of hate in Balochistan. This is the reason that the Pakistani establishment is trying to provide maximum job and business opportunities to Baloch youths to save them from the economic blackmailing of Indians, he remarked.
When contacted by The News for comments, former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen (R) Hamid Gul said no doubt General Kayani is doing good work in Balochistan because the situation had worsened in that province during the Musharraf regime. He said that under a long-term policy, General Kayani recruited the Baloch youths in the army and also took other measures on priority basis to address the sense of deprivation among Baloch people.
“However, the president and prime minister too should give priority to Balochistan, as the government and civil institutions have yet much to do there and a short-term policy is also needed because India and the US do not want peace in Balochistan. Therefore, the elimination of the Indian and US influence there is utmost necessary,” he commented.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

280 Pakistani Soldiers leave for UN Mission

Lahore - A batch of 280 Pakistani troops left from Allama Iqbal International Airport here Saturday on a UN mission for war-ravaged Liberia.
Pakistan peacekeeping troops have been serving in Liberia for the last three years and have played a pivotal role in maintaining secure and stable environment in the most volatile regions of the country. They have largely contributed towards capacity building of the vital national infrastructure of the strife-stricken African country.
Liberia, a small country located at the tip of western coast of Africa next to Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, became a republic in 1847. The Liberian economy depends mainly on export of natural resources. The decades of genocide and civil strife between different ethnic groups for the control of these natural resources have virtually damaged the country’s infrastructure. Liberia’s stability is vital to its neighbouring countries, which have witnessed turbulence as a result of the fallout of continued violence.
It may be mentioned that Pakistan Army peacekeeping contingents have rendered dedicated services in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast by playing a major role in stabilising the volatile situation in these war ravaged-countries.
They ensured security, facilitated repatriation of refugees and restored writ of the democratically elected government through smooth transition.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir's Lies and unIslamic Beliefs Exposed

Have you ever wondered how organizations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir operate?
Their activities are shrouded in secrecy and our all-powerful agencies say that they have had little success in dismantling the network. While agencies might be doing their best, it looks like they have not penetrated the actual methods of communications between the leaders, activists and low ranking associates of the group.
The history of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activities in Pakistan is relatively new. The UK based group surfaced in different varsities of Pakistan right after Musharraf agreed to join the war against terrorism. They targeted educated young Pakistanis in different colleges and universities and their method of attack was new and quite successful.
First encounter with Hizb ut-Tahrir
During the summer of 2001, I received a call from a friend of mine on my cell phone. These were the days when calls on cell phones were not cheap so it was pretty obvious that the matter was urgent. He said he wanted me to go to a function. I was told that ‘they’ had arranged for 200 people but only a few people turned up and now they desperately needed an audience.
My friend asked me to bring as many people as I could. He promised me that he would pay for their cab fares as well. I was hesitant about recommending something I had not experienced, so I went alone.
To my utter surprise, the gathering was a protest arranged by Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamabad Chapter to protest the American attack on Afghanistan. Being just 16-years-old and fed with what I had seen around me, I was eager to get the ‘real facts’ that the western media was keeping from us.
Before the commencement of the actual event, we were asked to detour to G-9 Markaz (commonly known as Karachi Company) to persuade people to come to the protest. As I was new to all this, I clung to my friend who along with other activists went to the main wagon stop and asked people to join them and listen to the real facts behind the attack on Afghanistan and plans of kafirs about Pakistan in particular, and Muslim ummah in general.
While most of the elders we approached looked unimpressed by the empty rhetoric, teenagers like me were greatly amused. Some people seemed to shy away until they were told that there was a lavish meal with qorma and biryani after the event. The lucrative offer attracted many people and we managed to convince at least 80 people to come to the protest with us.
During the protest, I interacted with students who were from different colleges and universities of Islamabad. Surprisingly, most of them were brought by their friends under the pretext of some function where attendees didn’t show up or where food was going to be served. The most astonishing fact was that a few kids had been told that there was a fight between two rival gangs and their friends were in dire need of help. I didn’t understand why the group needed to lie to people to bring in an audience!
Don’t you want to know the ‘real’ facts?
The protest started with recitation from the Holy Quran. The verse quoted was a famous one from Surah Ahzaab that deals with the friendship with Jews and Christians. The speaker explained that Jews and Christians (he explicitly said ‘West and Western sponsored NGOs’ after that) were afraid of the ‘rise of Islam in Afghanistan and wanted to wipeout the caliphate from there and it has been mentioned in a Hadith as well.’
He went on to recite a Hadith about the rise of an Islamic Army from Khurasan and told us that Khurasaan is the old name of Afghanistan. He said that the youth need to stand up and there is a need for Hazrat Mauz (RA) and Maaz (RA) to cater to the problem of Western imperialism.
There were three speeches with loads of what I now understand was liberal bashing; a speaker asked those present to take an oath that they will stand up to defend Islam. We were told that American agents are like the munafiqeen of Medina and they pronounced the decrees on the basis of hypocrisy. My mind was confused but I was excited. I really wanted to know about the ‘real history’ of events and verses that speakers were quoting (or misquoting) and interpreting (or misinterpreting).
The speakers said that Islam and Pakistan were in danger and that USA will destroy our nuclear bomb because they are afraid of the power of the caliphate. According to the men Islamic territories in Spain, Armenia, Russia and in other countries of Eastern Europe could be reclaimed if we just united on a one-point agenda of caliphate and supported the caliphate in Afghanistan.
Questioning the teacher
The next day I was in my college library going through several books of Islamic History and translations of the Holy Quran. I wrote a list of questions on a piece of paper and called my friend who told me that there was a dars at the residence of the mentor of Hizb ut-Tahrir in I-10/2.
We went there later in the evening. The dars included the usual stuff: mostly anti-America rhetoric, although notably the speaker didn’t mention the word Taliban or Taliban ideology. At the end of the dars, I raised my hand to ask the speaker about the questions that were in my mind.
Honestly, I had a blast.
After answering a few of my queries however, the speaker stopped me from asking further questions and quoted a hadith that said that there is a thin line between Islam and Kufar. I immediately knew that he was about to declare me Kafir. I didn’t lose hope, I attended many other sessions and tried to expunge my doubts, but to no avail.
My last experience with the Hizb ut-Tahrir was in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2005. During the usual dars and Caliphate rhetoric (that I was not satisfied with) the speaker said that the earthquake was occurred because we are not doing enough to bring shariah in Pakistan. I wanted to ask which Shariah? There are so many versions and everyone knows that.
It didn’t continue for long, I was already detached and unconvinced from the misinterpretation of Quran and Hadith and misuse of different verses of Quran in the pamphlets that HuT distributed after every Friday prayers outside mosques. This usually happened in Sector I-10, the whole operation of distribution of pamphlets and arrangements of lectures was done by a man who was working at a government department.
Cutting ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir
I still remember the day when I ceased all contact with everyone who was associated with HuT. It was the day they termed suicide bombings as a justifiable response to the situation by saying an eye for an eye.
The statement was just between people close to the patron of HuT I-10 and it was not said openly.
I had always suppressed my thoughts about my first encounter with Hizb ut-Tahrir.
I was unable to understand why they lied to people and told them about the lavish dinner after the meeting?
Why didn’t they offer some realistic plans about issues like electricity, gas and so many others?
Their answer to every question is Muslims should bring Caliphate and everything will be fine!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lahore Resolution - 23 March 1940

The Pakistan Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal through the country on Friday.

The celebrations were initiated by 31 gun salutes in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad whereas, 21 gun salutes took place in the provincial capitals.
Special prayers for the prosperity of Pakistan were held all over the country after the Fajr prayers.

In Lahore, the Pakistan Air Force’s squad took charge at the Iqbal’s mausoleum.
The national flag hoisted at important public and private buildings across the country and all Pakistani missions abroad.

The Pakistan Television, Radio Pakistan and private television channels aired special programs to highlight the significance of the day and various aspects of the life and work of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other leading personalities of Pakistan Movement.

N.Korea Test-Fires Short-Range Missiles



North Korea apparently test-fired two KN-01 short-range surface-to-ship missiles on its west coast on Thursday. The KN-01 has a range of around 120 km.

A government source here said, "North Korea test-fired what is believed to be two KN-01 surface-to-ship missiles on its west coast in North Pyongan Province." The KN-01 is an upgraded version of China's Silkworm missile, which has a maximum range of around 95 km, and was developed in the late 1990s. It is designed to attack U.S. landing vessels and aircraft carrier groups if they attempt to land on North Korean territory.

A military source here said it seems that the North was testing the capacity of the KN-01 and that the test launch is not related to the regime's upcoming rocket launch. But military officers believe North Korea test-fired the KN-01 as a warning to the South Korean and U.S. military, which have deployed more ships in the West Sea recently.

When North Korea conducted its nuclear test on May 25, 2009, the North also fired two KN-01 missiles near Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province. In January this year, it fired three KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles along the east coast and two more short-range missiles toward the East Sea on Dec. 19 last year, when it announced the death of former leader Kim Jong-il.

Chinese spies target Taiwan's US-made defenses

When Taiwanese security personnel detained a suspected spy for China at a top secret military base last month, they may have had a sense of deja vu.

 Air force Capt. Chiang — he was identified only by his surname — was the fourth Taiwanese in only 14 months known to have been picked up on charges of spying for China, from which the island split amid civil war 63 years ago. While Taiwan's Defense Ministry did not disclose details of his alleged offense, his base in the northern part of the island hosts the air force's highly classified radar system and U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles, both vital to the island's aerial defense.


Chiang's arrest followed that of Maj. Gen. Lo Hsieh-che, who had access to crucial information on Taiwan's U.S.-designed command and control system, and civilian Lai Kun-chieh, who the Defense Ministry says tried without success to inveigle Patriot-related secrets from an unnamed military officer. A fourth alleged spy was detained on non-defense-related charges.
The cases show that China is seeking information about two systems that are integral to Taiwan's defenses and built with sensitive U.S. technology. A major breach could make Taiwan more vulnerable to Chinese attack.

Bangladesh Getting two used Chinese Type 053H2 Frigate

Even though they are obsolete, they can still be useful for coastal patrols.

China has recently sold used frigates to Myanmar and Bangladesh, two nations that have had naval disputes with each other in the past. Burma got two Type 53H1 frigates, built in the 1980s. The Burmese Type 53s are 2,000 ton ships armed with four anti-ship missiles, two 100mm guns, and lots of depth charges. Bangladesh is getting two Type 53H2, which were built in the early 1990s and are generally the same as the 53H1s but carry eight anti-ship missiles. Both nations paid very little for their Type 53s (probably free), but compared to what these two fleets already had, the used frigates were a step up.

China built 53 Type 53 frigates (that's a lot). Based on the older Soviet Riga class frigates, the Chinese expanded the original 1,400 ton design (armed with depth charges, three 100mm guns, and torpedoes) to a missile laden 2,000-2,500 ton vessel equipped with modern electronics. The latest version, called the F-22, is built only for export. The primary customer is Pakistan (four sold so far). The remaining Type 53s are mainly used for coastal patrol.

The F-22P is the newest version of the Chinese Jiangwei II (053H3). The 123 meter long F-22P displaces 2,500 tons and carries an eight cell short range (8.6 kilometers) FM-90N surface-to-air missile system. There are two, four cell anti-ship missile systems (180 kilometers range C-802s), two, three cell launchers for rocket launched ET-52C anti-submarine torpedoes, and two, six cell RDC-32 anti-submarine rocket launchers. There is also a 76.2mm gun, two 30mm anti-missiles auto-cannon, and a helicopter. Each ship has a crew of 202 and a top speed of 52 kilometers an hour. The F-22Ps are inexpensive, costing about $200 million each.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Top 3 Main Battle Tanks

Russian Federation
T-90S
 The T-90S represents one of the most advanced Russian tanks from the T-series. It features an improved firepower, mobility and protection. The tank was built at Uralvagonzavod, factory located in Nizhnyi Tagil, Russia. It is worth mentioning that the T-90S officially entered the service with the Russian armed forces in 1992.
The tank is developed for a crew of 3 people, its combat weight is 46.5 tons and it features a 4-stroke V-84ms diesel engine with 849hp. The fuel capacity of this battle machine is 1,600l. The range is 650km on paved roads and 500km on unpaved. The tank reaches a speed of 65 km/h.
The information provided by the American Foreign Policy Center says that Russia is currently working on upgrading its main battle tank to the new T-95 version. The features of the new generation battle tank are specified below:
  • -Diesel-electric propulsion
  • -125mm gun
  • -360° sensors and ECM and network-capability
  • -pro-active electric reactive armor
  • -Weight: over 55 tons
  • -ceramics-n-fiber armor, which would replace the usual steel armor
  • -virtual reality for the driver and gunner
  • -2 crew members will man the tank
  • -autoloader for 3 different types of ammo. 
2.
                                                           
Unites States
M1A2 Abrams
his MBT was developed by General Dynamics Land Systems, which produced the first M1 tank back in 1978, followed by the M1A1 tank, developed in 1985 and GDLS in 1986 by the M1A2. The latter is considered one of the best tanks in the world. However, it includes only a 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, which was manufactured by the German company Rheinmetall GmbH.
The tank is developed for a crew of 4 people, including driver, commander, gunner and loader. It weights 69.54 tons and its ground clearance is 430 meters. The tank reaches a speed of 67.72 km/h.


3.
                                                                   Type 99/ZTZ99

                                                                
This tank was developed by NORINCO and is currently the most advanced MBT in the People's Liberation Army. It entered the PLA service in 2001. The Chinese made a great improvement in the tank's firepower mobility, and protection. Due to the high unit price (about $1.9 million per tank in 1999) there were only about 200 ZTZ99 made.
The tank features a dual-axis stabilized 125mm/50-calibre ZPT98 smoothbore gun. It also carries Russian anti-tank missiles called 9M119 Refleks. These missiles are fired from a 125mm gun. ZTZ99 reaches a top speed of 80km/h and its weight is about 54 tons.

N.Korea 'Developing Kamikaze Drones

The North Korean military is developing unmanned "suicide" attack aircraft to target South Korean troops on the northwesternmost islands, a South Korean Army source claimed Sunday. The South Korean military in turn plans to procure all-weather unmanned tactical dirigibles capable of carrying out reconnaissance missions even in bad weather to deploy on the islands.

The source claimed the North is developing unmanned attack aircraft "using high-speed U.S. target drones imported from a Middle Eastern country." This is presumed to be Syria.

A high-speed target drone is used as a target for testing surface-to-air missiles. The target drones the North imported are believed to be MQM-107D Streakers.
The jet-powered Streakers can fly at up to 925 km/h with a fuselage 5.5 m long and a wingspan of 3 m. They are used by Egypt, Iran and Jordan, as well as Sweden, Turkey, Australia, and Taiwan. South Korea has also used them to test anti-aircraft missiles and conduct missile target training.

The drones the North is trying to develop would be equipped with a small bomb that can carry out a suicide attack on a target up to 250 km away. Intelligence agencies speculated the development is not complete.

They "are less sophisticated than up-to-date unmanned attack aircraft that the U.S. used in the Afghan and Iraq War," a military expert said. "But our military could suffer damage if development succeeds and the North launches kamikaze-style attacks."

The North is also suspected of remodeling the Pchela-1T, a propeller-powered drone it imported from Russia, into an unmanned attack aircraft and having deployed reconnaissance drones built based on the Chinese D-4 aircraft.

The kamikaze drones are likely to be deployed at the 4th Army Corps in Hwanghae Province, which shelled Yeonpyeong Island in 2010.

South Korea's unmanned dirigibles will have no attack function but will mainly monitor North Korean military movements.

The source said the dirigibles "will transmit radar and video data as they are connected with their ground control center via cables. They are capable of monitoring the North Korean military movements around the clock regardless of weather conditions."

A set of four dirigibles costs W7-8 billion (US$1=W1,118) and their operating expenses are not as high as those of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.

Each tactical dirigible is 39 m long and will monitor North Korea at an altitude of 1,500 m. A military officer said, "The distance between Yeonpyeong or Baeknyeong Island and the North is 11-18 km, which I believe the dirigibles can cover." 

Chinese J-10AS "Vigorous Dragon" looses its firebreath


Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan: Video Purportedly Shows AH-64 Apache Wreck


India - US joint military exercises 2012


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Laptop with India's Sensitive Nuclear Data Still not Found





Islamabad: An Indian nuclear scientist’s laptop with classified nuclear data was stolen from a passenger rail car and is still missing raising serious alarm all over India.

According to a report the Indian nuclear researcher raised an alarm when his laptop, reportedly filled with critical data, was stolen on March 15, 2012 and remained missing till date.

India Blooms News Service reported that the scientist, who is reportedly involved with the Kaiga atomic power plant in Karnataka, demanded that train officials find his laptop and other stolen personal effects that included identifying documents. It is believed that the laptop contained secret nuclear codes and possibly the blue-print of Kairga Atomic Plant.

The report added that Thiruvananthapuram-bound train was stopped and several passengers were searched and interviewed but the laptop could not be found. Rajdhani Express was forced to have emergency

halt at Ratnagiri Station (Maharashtra) when a nuclear scientist’s laptop containing vital information was stolen.

According to latest reports despite emergency search raids conducted on train it did not turn up any clues as to what happened to the stolen laptop.

Law enforcement officials have opened an investigation into the matter and began detaining potential perpetrators.

The scientist who was not named for secrecy and classified works told Police that he had also lost very important credential papers. Indian railway officials have confirmed that a report has been lodged but other senior police officials were trying to hide the scandal-like incident and advised journalists not to overplay the issue.

IT SEEMS PEOPLE WHO ACCUSE OTHERS THAT THEIR NUCLEAR ASSETS ARE NOT SAFE AND VULNERABLE TO TERRORIST ATTACKS ARE 'THEM SELF' CARELESS ENOUGH TO COMMIT SUCH BLUNDERS WHICH CAN COST OPEN THREAT TO THEIR OWN NUCLEAR ASSETS.

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields 2: War Crimes Unpunished


Chinese Soldiers Play Pass the Grenade - Army grenade training

Strange Chinese military training techniques which baffle the world  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Najam Sethi's Conspiracies against Pak Army and ISI exposed



In the TFT editorial "ISI has taken over GHQ" Najam Sethi in his immense wisdom says, "intelligence services must consciously be kept at arms length from GHQ because field commanders must not get contaminated or tainted by cloak and dagger operations in grey zones". And then goes on to name a few DGs ISI who were either not given command and 'side lined' to other unimportant staff appointments or were retired prematurely.

The man doesn't have the basic idea of the postings and placement of senior army officers and blurts out what comes to his mind randomly. When he says that the Intelligence Generals must be kept away from the GHQ so that Field Commanders are not contaminated, does he know that there are no field commanders in the GHQ except the COAS, who commands the entire army.

All others at the GHQ are Staff Officers and Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), who do not even command the peons (Naib Qasids) of their offices. Field commanders are in the field and for his easy understanding they are the Corps Commanders, Divisional Commanders, Brigade Commanders down to Battalion and Company and Platoon commanders.

Again, if we go by his analogy of keeping the DG ISI (Senior most Intelligence Officer) away from the field, then could he tell us where did Lt Gen Nadeem Taj go after his being posted out from the ISI? Well, he was appointed Corps Commander Gujranwala and he did not contaminate the command in any way. Similarly, there could be many other examples of the ISI officers being posted to the army Field Appointments.

Trouble with such pseudo intellectuals (mostly anchor persons) is that they are the Misters 'Know It All' and can wield their pen on any subject under the sun and that too authoritatively. Only, what they don't know is their own profession, where the tuppence of a Suhafi persistently shoves the mic most rudely and arrogantly into the face of a dignitary much elder and superior in status and stature to him.

Germany to supply Israel with its sixth nuclear-capable submarine



Germany will sell Israel a sixth nuclear capable Dolphin-class submarine, Germany’s defense minister confirmed on March 20 after talks in Berlin with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak.
“An additional submarine will be delivered to Israel,” Thomas de Maiziere told a joint press conference with Barak, adding that Germany would subsidize the cost although he did not say by how much.

A German government source in November said Germany would foot a third of the bill, amounting to a maximum of 135 million euros ($178 million).

Germany reconsidered the sale of the submarine to Israel in the wake of tensions over Jewish settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported in October.



But Berlin then agreed to sell Israel the vessel after the Jewish state released millions of dollars in customs duties to the Palestinian Authority, Israeli army radio reported two months later.
The Israeli navy currently has three German-made Dolphin-class submarines, two of which were bought after the 1991 Gulf War.

Two others are under construction at Kiel shipyard and are due for delivery in 2012. An option for a sixth was also included in the contract.

Media reports have said the submarines can carry nuclear warheads and have an operating range of 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).

cockpit of F 35


Monday, March 19, 2012

South China Sea Drives Regional Choices

The defense priority for Southeast Asian countries is monitoring and protecting their territories in the South China Sea in response to China's increased assertiveness and claims to this region.
Chinese submarines, ships and aircraft patrol the area now, and many Southeast Asian nations fear China will build military installations on the islands, atolls and reefs, paving the way for it to exploit the oil and gas reserves under the seabed. China already has a permanent fort on Mischief Reef in the South China Sea.
The fact that China has such a large military has led all the coastal Southeast Asian nations—with the exception of Singapore—to conclude that they are inadequately equipped to protect their interests in the South China Sea. Each is now racing to invest in new fighters that will remain their mainstays beyond 2020. The importance of airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft and networked fighters has also caught on.
Singapore, which has the largest defense budget of any Southeast Asian nation, has Gulfstream G550s equipped with ELTA Systems' AEW mission suite. Its fighters include Lockheed Martin F-16s and Boeing F-15s. It is planning to modernize the F-16s and is expected to choose the “V” upgrade Lockheed Martin unveiled at the Singapore Airshow last month. This includes active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar as well as data links allowing the F-16V to communicate with Lockheed Martin F-35s and F-22s. Singapore became a security cooperation participant on the F-35 program in 2003 and is expected to order the aircraft eventually.
No other Southeast Asian nation can afford all the equipment Singapore has, but some are seeking to develop similar capabilities. Thailand operates one Saab Erieye AEW aircraft and has one more on order. It has also received six Saab Gripen JAS 39C/Ds and ordered six more; first deliveries of the second tranche will start early next year. Equipment on its Gripens include Ericsson/GEC-Marconi PS-05/A pulse-doppler radar, RBS15 anti-ship missiles and the EWS 39 electronic warfare suite, the same suite used by the Swedish air force.
Thailand is widely expected to order another six Gripen fighters, bringing its fleet of the aircraft to 18. The country purchased Gripens to replace its Northrop F-5s based at Surat Thani air base because it is convinced of the merits of networked fighters. The Swedes argue that having better intelligence on your enemy's whereabouts—through the use of Saab AEW—allows you to place fighters more effectively, creating an opportunity to defeat a larger enemy.
The networked solution is also being taken to the next level. Saab owns 40% of Thai company Avia Satcom, which has been tasked with developing a national tactical data link that will cover the AEW aircraft, Gripens and F-16s as well as the navy's aircraft and ships. The Saab Erieye also works with Link 16, so it can feed data to U.S. platforms such as F-16s, but the advantage for Thailand in having a national data link is its control over the encryption.

Military humour - When Marines get bored series


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Harris Corporation Receives $15.2 Million Order from Australian DoD for Field Support of Falcon Tactical Radio

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, has received an AUD$14.7 million (approximately US$15.2 million) order to provide the Australia Department of Defence with customer field support for Harris radios procured under its tactical radio modernization program. The order highlights Harris' capabilities in providing service and support for its tactical radio systems worldwide and leverages the recent opening of its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Brisbane.

Australia has procured, and will install and deploy, mounted and dismounted Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-152(C) multiband, multi-mode radios in vehicular and handheld configurations for line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight voice and data communications and Falcon II® AN/PRC-150(C) manpack radios for high-frequency beyond-line-of-sight terrestrial communications. Both radios are being delivered to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under the Joint Project 2072 Battlespace Communications program. Harris will provide a broad range of support services to the ADF for these radios, including training, installation, maintenance, system integration and engineering.

"Harris is committed to delivering best-in-class products and systems as well first-rate support to our military and public safety customers around the world," said Brendan O'Connell, president, International Business, Harris RF Communications. "Our program management, engineering and customer service teams are the best in the business and they will ensure the smooth deployment and integration of our tactical radio systems."

The AN/PRC-152(C) is the most widely deployed JTRS Software Communications Architecture-certified and NSA Type-1 certified handheld radio, with more than 160,000 units shipped to U.S., NATO and other allied forces worldwide. The radio provides voice and data capabilities over the 30 MHz to 512 MHz frequency range and supports SINCGARS, Havequick II, VHF/UHF AM and FM, APCO P25 and both DAMA and the new Integrated Waveform for satellite communications. The Falcon II AN/PRC-150(C) is part of the most-widely deployed family of HF radios and the only one to offer NSA-certified Type-1 information security. The radio covers the 1.6 MHz to 60 MHz frequency range and comes with a removable keypad/display unit.

Stolen NATO Army Kits on Sale in Pakistan

London, March 18 (IANS) Stockpiles of NATO military equipment meant for use against the Taliban are being sold in Pakistan's black market, a British media report said.

Stolen military-issue knives, Kevlar bulletproof vests, tool kits, flares, first aid sets and even official stationery are on sale in Pakistan, the Daily Express reported.

According to the report, in Pakistan's Karkhano market in Peshawar city, near Afghan border, merchants display masses of camouflage clothing and military-grade insect repellent at very low prices.

A vendor confirmed, the kit came from NATO lorries plundered on the border and the US-run Baghram air base, where entire containers are illegally bought and auctioned off, One vendor confirmed .

Buyers "come from all over Pakistan, even foreigners, and are attracted because it is of good quality and is being sold very cheaply", he said.

"Much of this kit may have been stolen during hijacking of the convoys, but some is certainly being sold by Afghan National Army forces," said Patrick Mercer, a British MP.

China has announced it will increase defense spending by 11.2% in 2012



China had just announced that it will increase its defense budget by 11.2 per cent this year. According to Reuters, “The increase announced by parliament spokesman Li Zhaoxing will bring official outlays on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to 670.3 billion yuan ($110 billion U.S.) for 2012, after a 12.7 percent increase last year and a near-unbroken string of double-digit rises across two decades. Beijing’s public budget is widely thought by foreign experts to undercount its real spending on military modernization, which has unnerved Asian neighbors and drawn repeated calls from Washington for China to share more about its intentions.”

2 Killed in Russian Ka-52 Helo Crash



MOSCOW — One of Russia’s most modern military helicopters has crashed during a training exercise, killing its two-man crew, officials said March 13.

The Ka-52 Alligator two-seater, which entered serial production in 2008, went down in the central Tver region on Monday night, the local investigative committee said in a statement.
One pilot was killed at the crash site while the other died of his injuries in a regional hospital on March 13, the defense ministry said.
Although Russia’s underfunded military frequently loses aircraft during training, often with fatal consequences, it was the first time that a Ka-52 had crashed

Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin has promised to spend about 23 trillion rubles ($780 billion) by 2020 on the modernization of the country’s Soviet-era military force.

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