Friday, August 31, 2012

RG33 SOCOM Armored Utility Variant AUV

RG-33 SOCOM Armored Utility Variant (AUV) The BAE Systems RG-33 Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Armored Utility Variant (AUV) MRAP is a modified Commercial Off-The-Shelf vehicle designed from the ground up to reduce casualties and increase survivability for personnel subjected to mine explosions, improvised explosive device (IED) detonations and small arms fire.
The RG-33 SOCOM AUV provides 12,000 pound cargo payload and 36,000 pound towing capability  to enhance SOCOM operations. Large ballistic windows provide excellent situational  awareness and multiple access points allow for rapid entry and egress of the crew. In addition, the vehicle features an Automatic Fire Suppression System (AFSS) and a combat-proven, V-shaped hull  that provides superior blast protection against symmetrical, asymmetrical and unconventional explosive hazards.
The highly survivable RG-33 platform is backed by our world-class flexible manufacturing network and by our full spectrum of engineering and logistics services.

Boeing: Libya Has Interest in Used U.S. Army Chinooks

The Libyan government is interested in acquiring used U.S. Army Chinook helicopters, according to Boeing officials.Boeing — the maker of the Chinook — is in discussions with the State Department about “opportunities to provide” used Army CH-47E helicopters to Tripoli, Raymond Haddad, Boeing’s head of Chinook sustainment, said Aug. 28 during a briefing at a company helicopter facility here.
The State Department and U.S. Congress must sign off on foreign weapons sales.
Libya has legacy CH-47C helicopters that were acquired in the 1970s; however, it is unclear how many remain in the inventory and are flyable, especially following the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s government by opposition forces in 2011.

South African Company IAD and Saudi Groups will unveil Nyoka Mk2 armoured vehicle at defence exhibition AAD 2012

South Africa's Industrial and Automotive Design (IAD) and Saudi Groups joint venture will launch the mine-protected armoured personnel carrier (APC) Nyoka Mk2 at the African Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show to be held from the 19 -23 September 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa.
   

The vehicle is essentially the same as the Masmak APC unveiled by Saudi Groups last year, but will be marketed in Africa as the Nyoka Mk 2.

Giraffes replace Piranhas

Piranhas are being replaced by Giraffes in Tarin Kot Afghanistan – not as in a variety of fauna but in the form of serious life-saving hardware.
Leased from Sweden, the Piranha 740 is the name given to the distinctive Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (CRAM) system radar and vehicle that has been providing a reliable indirect fire warning to Multi National Base – Tarin Kot since December 2010.
The incoming Swedish-designed, Australian-owned radar system and transporter that landed this week, is designated as the Giraffe Full Operational Capability System.
With two Giraffes replacing the old system, Senior CRAM Watch Keeper, Captain David Petersen, said the safety on the base will be further improved.
“The system will provide far greater airspace management, sense, warn and locate capabilities,” Captain Petersen said.

U.S. commander: F-22 planes "100 percent" safe

The deployment of a dozen F-22 stealth fighters to Japan has so far gone off without a hitch as the aircraft are being brought back into the skies in their first overseas mission since restrictions were imposed over incidents involving pilots getting dizzy and disoriented, a senior U.S. Air Force commander told the Associated Press on Thursday.
The six-month mission is a key test for the fighters, which have been the focus of intensive investigations over potentially deadly breathing problems in the cockpit.
Following more than a dozen incidents in which pilots said they were having symptoms suggesting they were not getting enough oxygen, and a fatal crash in 2010 that has since been ruled primarily a case of pilot error, the F-22 fleet was grounded for several months last year. It was put under restrictions again in May after two pilots came forward with claims that the aircraft weren't safe to fly.

Dutch Navy's final Holland-Class OPV arrives at future homeport

The Royal Netherlands Navy's fourth and final Holland-Class oceangoing patrol vessel (OPV), Hr. Ms. Groningen (P843) has arrived at its future homeport of Den Helder, Netherlands.


Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) had received a contract in December 2007 to build four patrol vessels for an estimated cost of $687.9m for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Christened on 21 April 2012, Groningen has already completed its sea acceptance trials in the same month and was scheduled for the final outfitting of certain systems and components at the shipyard.

Equipped with radars, communication and optical sensors, remote-control systems and weapons, the patrol ships can accommodate a crew of 50 and will replace the four M-frigates currently in service with the Dutch Navy.

The 108m-long flexibly deployable patrol ship has been designed to support international law enforcement and security missions, including combating piracy and counter-drugs operations.

Boeing Winged Joint Direct Attack Munition Completes 1st Round of Tests

A winged version of the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) that will triple the weapon's glide range to more than 40 miles is a step closer to production after completing wind tunnel tests at a U.S. facility in June.
Developed in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia, the 500-pound JDAM Extended Range (JDAM-ER) features a modular add-on wing kit that will unfold in flight. The kit can also be coupled with other modular enhancements, such as laser sensors. The wings were first integrated with the Boeing JDAM during the Commonwealth's Capability and Technology Demonstration program, which successfully completed flight tests in 2008.
Boeing will produce and integrate the JDAM-ER wing kits for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) under a contract awarded in 2011. The kits will be built in Australia, with initial deliveries expected to begin in early 2015.
"Boeing and our Australian partners have worked closely together to employ affordable technology and the leanest manufacturing processes to cost-effectively enhance JDAM’s capabilities," said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager for Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems. "The JDAM-ER effectively meets the needs of the Commonwealth by providing a greater stand-off capability and making it safer for pilots to prosecute their missions on today’s ever-changing battlefields."

German air force calls on Berlin to buy missile-armed drones for future conflicts

The country's post-war pacifist movement opposes such acquisitions; Germany is currently operating three Israeli-made Heron 1 drones in Afghanistan for reconnaissance missions.

The head of Germany's air force called Thursday for Berlin to buy controversial missile-armed Predator drones for future conflicts.
Germany lags behind such nations as the U.S. and Israel in adopting the new technology. The country's influential post-war pacifist movement has opposed any acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fearing they might kill civilians.
Lieutenant-General Karl Muellner said strict rules of engagement would meet those objections.
"There is not a single case where we haven't stuck to the rules," he said.
Germany's armed-forces contingent in Afghanistan, which is set to withdraw by late 2014, is currently operating three Heron 1 drones leased from Israel, but they are only usable for reconnaissance missions and are not armed.

Budget impasse clouds F-35's future

Plans to deliver the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Nellis Air Force Base early next year hinge on uncertain defense budget cuts and potential layoffs at the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.
Three dozen of the stealthy warplanes are supposed to be based in Southern Nevada.
Automatic defense budget cuts of $492 billion will take effect in January under a measure known as "sequestration" if Congress can't agree on another deficit-reduction plan or doesn't delay the current plan, as Republican senators suggested after a recent trip to the Nellis base during a cross-country tour of military installations.
The cuts set for January would be the first round of 10 annual reductions to follow a split between national security and nonsecurity programs that are aimed at reducing the $16 trillion national debt.
"We don't know how sequestration will affect any individual program or facility but, as we've consistently said, we will follow the law with respect to sequestration and the WARN Act," Lockheed Martin corporate spokesman Christopher Williams said Friday .

WE'RE NOW PAYING FOR INDIA'S NAVY AS IT SPENDS OUR £280M AID ON WARSHIPS

THERE was fresh anger over taxpayer aid to India last night as it emerged the country is spending £1billion on three warships.
Britain is still handing over £280million a year despite India admitting it doesn’t need the help and regards the amount as “peanuts”.
As the Royal Navy suffers severe budget cuts, India has splashed out on Russian-built frigates, including one said to carry the world’s fastest Cruise missile. The news follows this month’s announcement that India is planning a £50million unmanned spacecraft mission to Mars.
Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “It seems to me that a country that spends billions on defence is more than capable of looking after its own people without £280million a year from British taxpayers. They could just spend £280million less on defence. 
“Also, the money we give to India we have to borrow, so by the time we have repaid it, it’s a lot more.”
Overseas aid spending has escaped Coalition austerity cuts.
Ministers are committed to increasing it to 0.7 per cent of national output, up from £7.8billion this year to £11.5billion by 2015, to reach targets set by the United Nations.
India’s new Cruise missile-carrying frigate, INS Teg, is the first of three Talwar class warships ordered from the Yantar shipyard in Russia.

Chinese Missile tests targeted at no specific country

China's Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed on Thursday that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had conducted missile tests within national territory and clarified that they were not targeted at any one country.
"We conducted some normal weapons tests within the territory recently," spokesman Geng Yansheng told a regular press conference arranged by the ministry.
"These tests have no specific targets and were not targeted at any specific countries," Geng said, reiterating that the weaponry buildup is to answer the need to safeguard national security.
Domestic and foreign media reports said that the PLA's Second Artillery Force had successfully test-launched several missiles, including DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korean Navy takes delivery of third KDX-III class Aegis destroyer

ROK (Republic of Korea) Navy took delivery of its third Aegis-equipped destroyer from the country's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on August 30 2012. South Korea launched the KDX-III program in 2004 to bolster its defense against North Korea. The first ship of the Sejong the Great ship class, was commissioned in December 2008 and the second ship of the class (Yulgok Yi I) was commissioned in August 2010.

The KDX-III destroyers measure 544 feet (165.9 meters) long, with a standard displacement of 8,500 tons, making them the largest ships using Aegis.

The Aegis Combat System is an advanced naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. Aegis can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines, and surface ships while

Delay in Construction of Six Submarines

The original delivery schedule of the first submarine was December 2012 and remaining submarines were to be delivered with a gap of one year each. Consequent to the approval of Government for revision in cost and delivery schedule in 2010, the delivery of the first submarine has been revised to June, 2015 and that of the last (6th) submarine to September, 2018. The delay in construction of the submarines is attributable to initial teething problems in absorption of new technology, delay in augmentation of Industrial Infrastructure at M/s Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and delay in procurement of some items by MDL due to their high cost as compared to the earlier indicated cost. Complexities of the issues involved have resulted in cost escalation.

The Last Breath Of Osama Bin Laden

NO EASY DAY: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden. By Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer. Dutton, 316 pp., $26.95

Even before the book went on sale, the announcement by the publisher Dutton that the pseudonymous Mark Owen, one of the SEALs on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, would be publishing an account of his role in the raid quickly propelled “No Easy Day” to the No. 1 slot on Amazon, displacing “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

It was inevitable that one of the men on the bin Laden mission would eventually write a book about it. After all, we live in an open society. Anyone involved in this history-making mission would want to set the record straight about what exactly happened — given some of the nonsense that has been written about it — and also make a little money on the side. (To his credit, Owen — whose real name has been revealed to be Matt Bissonnette — is donating most of the proceeds of his book to charities that help the families of fallen SEALs.)

Owen’s account of the raid fits almost exactly with my own understanding of the operation, based on being the only outside observer allowed inside the bin Laden compound before it was demolished and interviewing dozens of American officials familiar with the details of the operation, as well as interviews with Pakistani officials who investigated the aftermath of the raid.

Air Defense Unit Monitoring Enemies' Movements beyond Iran's Borders

A senior Iranian air defense commander said the Iranian armed forces are monitoring enemies' moves beyond the country's borders, underlining that no one will dare to make the slightest aggression against Iran.


"Today the air defense is so strong and is able to monitor moves and flights even beyond borders," Commander of the Air Defense Unit in Eastern Iran Malek Ali Asadi-Fard told reporters on Thursday.

He stressed high security in Iran's Eastern airspace, and noted, "The air defense unit of the Eastern region will confront enemies with full power and high insight and will not allow aggression against the Islamic country."

In similar remark on Wednesday, a senior Iranian air defense commander underlined that the country's Armed Forces are fully capable of repelling enemy threats, adding that Iranian air defense units are closely monitoring US bases in the region round the clock.

Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 Missile Successfully Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile Target During Test

Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] PAC-3 Missile successfully destroyed a tactical ballistic missile (TBM) target today at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in an Operational Test conducted by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. 
The test involved three incoming targets; two Patriot-As-A-Target TBMs and one MQM-107 drone. A ripple launch of two PAC-3 Missiles successfully engaged the second TBM. Preliminary data indicate all test objectives were achieved.

Bumar will present its new modern complex anti-aircraft defence system at MSPO 2012.

At the upcoming 20th anniversary International Defence Industry Exhibition (Miedzynarodowy Salon Przemysly Obronnego) in Kielce, Bumar Group, the largest Polish group operating in defence industry in Central Europe, will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

During the upcoming exhibition, Bumar Group, to meet the declaration recently announced by the President, will present the design of a modern complex anti-aircraft defence system with elements to combat tactical ballistic missiles, called “THE SHIELD OF POLAND”. 5.56 MSBS, a new rifle for the Polish Army, developed in Fabryka Broni in Radom, will also have its premiere. Guests will be acquainted with solutions supplied in TYTAN Soldier of the Future equipment. In the innovative area of innovation the visitors will see the system that monitors vital functions of a soldier on the modern battlefield.

METRAVIB launches its new system PEARL

METRAVIB has developed his new « jewel » : PEARL (Personal Equipment Add-on for Reactive Localization) ;
PEARL is a dedicated and low cost gunshot detection and localization system to be considered as an add-on equipment for : assault rifle, sniper gun, vehicle-mounted machine gun/crew served weapon station, GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) and AGL (Automatic and grenades launcher).

TNI AL Klewang Completion Quick Ship Missile Launch Antiradar

                                       quick ship missiles trimarans Klewang 625

Fast ship missile manufacturing process (KCR) TNI AL owned trimarans already finished. Sophisticated vessels produced PT. Lundin Industry Invest, Klatak villages, districts Kalipuro, Banyuwangi Friday will be launched
 In the launch of a new fleet of TNI AL Klewang named KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG will present a number of high officers of Headquarter TNI AL. KCR ship trimarans is ordering the Ministry of Defence (Kemenhan) RI to strengthen the fleet TNI AL.

Sri Lankan President Meets with Chinese Minister of National Defense

Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, met with Liang Guanglie, state councilor and minister of national defense of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), on August 29, 2012 in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Rajapaksa expressed that the traditional friendship between Sri Lanka and China enjoys a time-honored history. The Sri Lankan people are sincerely grateful to the Chinese side for its long-term firm support to Sri Lanka in politics, economy and culture, etc. The two sides have been understanding and supporting each other and constantly deepening mutually beneficial cooperation for years, have achieved fruitful results in various fields and made positive contributions to regional peace, stability and development.

Rajapaksa also noted that in the new historical period, the Sri Lankan side will continue to unswervingly adhere to the one-China policy, and is willing to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to further promote the pragmatic cooperation, including the cooperation in military field, and constantly promote the bilateral relations to a new high.

V-22 Osprey supports Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier flight deck certification

When a V-22 Osprey from Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 22 landed for the first time on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on July 19, it highlighted another in a series of firsts for the unique tilt-rotor aircraft that has become an integral part of the U.S. naval forces.

And although the July 19 landing was a first for a V-22 on Truman, it wasn’t the first time for an aircraft carrier, nor, according to Cmdr. Sean McDermott, the V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) Navy integrated production team lead, will it be the last.

“The Marine Corps has committed to providing V-22s to support CVN flight deck certifications,” McDermott said, adding that one of the goals of Navy leadership is to incorporate V-22s into the aircraft-carrier flight-deck certification process as often as possible.

“It won’t be long before each carrier has had V-22s on board,” he said. 

In March, Ospreys supported flight-deck certification with USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and returned to the ship two months later to perform dynamic interface testing to gather data to expand the V-22’s current flight envelope, McDermott said.

In addition to this past spring’s CVN integration operations, McDermott said a V-22 recently played a role in a deployed aircraft carrier’s logistics mission.

“In July, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) was operating in the Arabian Sea and had about 3,000 pounds of perishable goods needing to be delivered to USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7),” McDermott said. “(Iwo Jima) was about 250 nautical miles away from the Lincoln and helicopters couldn’t travel to Iwo in the appropriate amount of time, so they requested a V-22 from the Marines on the Iwo Jima.”

The Osprey, from Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 (VMM-261), landed on Lincoln, loaded the cargo and six passengers and was airborne in less than 25 minutes. A fairly routine mission, but noteworthy because it involved a carrier, McDermott said.

“V-22s provide support for the MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) and amphibious warships all of the time, this logistics mission only scratches the surface of the aircraft’s potential for the U.S. Navy.”


In addition to this logistics support function, the V-22 is also uniquely suited for the medevac mission, McDermott said. This was shown in June, when an Air Force V-22 successfully demonstrated an evacuation from an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine off the southeast coast of the United States.

The V-22 traveled from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., to the surfaced submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), a distance of more than 1,300 miles.

While hovering above the submarine, the aircraft lowered a hoist line and simulated evacuating a submarine crewman strapped into a Stokes rescue stretcher. The Osprey then returned to its base in New Mexico.

"It was a pretty awesome experience," said Air Force Capt. William Thompson, the V-22 pilot who flew the mission. "It really is a great aircraft, versatile, flexible and a blast to fly." Thompson is a member of the 20th Special Operations Squadron, part of the 27th Special Operations Group at Cannon.

“This medevac demonstration was just one example of the myriad missions the V-22 is capable of completing,” said Marine Col. Greg Masiello, head of the V-22 Joint Program Office at Naval Air Systems Command.

Philippines Eyeing Joint Sea Patrol With Neighbors

The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia are considering joint patrols of their sea borders to combat piracy, smuggling and the movement of al-Qaida-linked militants, a top defense official said Thursday.
The proposal was discussed when Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin met earlier this week with his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts, who traveled to the Philippines to visit their troops involved in efforts to strengthen a cease-fire between Filipino forces and Muslim guerrillas in the south.
The Philippines has considered joint naval patrols with either Indonesia or Malaysia in the past but a

Indian Helicopters Crash Caught On Camera


NATO Official: Most Insider Attacks In Afghanistan 'Personal'

Despite a recent spate of insider attacks, most U.S. and Afghan deaths at the hands Afghan security forces have not been organized by the Taliban as part of a larger insurgency, and coalition forces are continuing to make progress in the country, a senior NATO official said Aug. 29.

Thus far in 2012, more than 40 coalition deaths have been attributed to insider attacks, compared with 35 for all of 2011.

“There are a variety of reasons that these attacks have occurred over the last few years,” said Alexander Vershbow, deputy secretary-general of NATO. “The majority still are viewed as having been the result of personal grievances or clashes between Afghan personnel and coalition personnel, and only a small percentage may have been engineered by the Taliban.”

Kiwi, Australian and Japanese Navies Work Together

The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has successfully completed a short tri-lateral exercise with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Royal Australian Navy.

In what is believed to be a first for the RNZN, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) ship JS SHIMAKAZE has been refuelled at sea from HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.

HMNZS TE KAHA and ENDEAVOUR conducted a number of training manoeuvres with HMAS DARWIN and PERTH and JMSDF JS SHIMAKAZE enroute to Darwin, Australia. Exercise Pacific Bridge, was conducted on passage between Guam and Darwin from 22-28 August.

It has been an unique opportunity for the three nations to operate jointly and further enhance the tactical level of working together conducting ship manoeuvring and warfare training scenarios, says Commanding Officer of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, Commander Keith Robb.

ThalesRaytheonSystems Awarded $44.9M Contract by US Army to Upgrade Firefinder Radars

ThalesRaytheonSystems has been awarded a $44.9 million contract by the U.S. Army to upgrade the Receiver Exciter (REX) in the Improved AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder radar.

The enhanced REX is part of the U.S. Army’s program to further improve the AN/TPQ-37’s performance, maintainability and reliability, while extending the service life of these long-range counter-battery systems.

REX Modification Kits and spares are scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Army mid-2013. The REX unit performs two critical radar functions: It produces the signal transmitted from the radar antenna and conditions the received signal for processing within the radar’s computer system.

MiG-29M2 Takes Part in in Serbia and Slovakia Airshow

A MiG-29M2 multirole fighter of RAC MiG flew from Russia to the Batajnica air base, Serbia.

The aircraft piloted by RAC MiG test pilots Stanislav Gorbunov and Alexander Pelikh, will take part in the air show dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Serbian Air Force.

TNI expects stronger navy fleet by 2024

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Wednesday that the government was expecting to procure a dozen submarines to augment Indonesia’s existing fleet by 2024.

Purnomo said that a deal to purchase three of these submarines was signed in December 2011. The submarines are being built in cooperation with South Korea.

He said that the joint-production program will transfer South Korea’s technological knowledge of submarines to Indonesia.

The first submarine will be entirely the product of South Korea while the second will be built together with Indonesian workers. Purnomo expressed hope that Indonesia would have learned enough about submarines to be able to build the third independently.

China continues to increase defensive potential

Conflicting information regarding weapons is heard from China. According to some data, missiles "Dongfeng-41", capable of hitting targets in the United States, were successfully tested in China. According to other data, Beijing is just developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that will be able to overcome the U.S. missile defense system in the region.

Information on the development of China's intercontinental ballistic missile capable of overcoming U.S. missile defense system in the region came in response to other news. The world's media spread the news that China has successfully tested missiles "Dongfeng-41" that can hit targets at any point in the United States. But denial does not change the picture as a whole: for many countries it is obvious that China is becoming not only an economic superpower, but also a powerful military state whose interests have to be considered.
According to the Pentagon report released in mid-May of 2012, China's military budget for this year is between $120 and $180 billion dollars, while the official Beijing previously reported the amount of $106 billion. Increased allocations to the military allowed the rearmament of China, so the Chinese army is now capable to carry out military operations abroad. The armed forces there are involved in operations against Somali pirates attacking Chinese ships.

USAF details F-16 life extension programme

The US Air Force is hoping to upgrade some 300 Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds as a stopgap measure until the Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter comes online.
The aircraft, which are drawn from the USAF's fleet of Block 40, 42, 50 and 52 machines, will undergo a structural service life extension programme (SLEP) and a combat avionics programmed extension suite (CAPES) upgrade. The modifications will greatly boost the venerable warplane's capabilities.
"It provides a very significant capability to the F-16 platform that puts it on par, I do believe, with some of the other platforms that have AESA [active electronically scanned array radars] today," says Col Mark Mol, programme manager at the USAF's F-16 System Programme Office at Hill AFB, Utah.
The CAPES programme involves both hardware and software modifications, Mol says. The F-16 will receive a new AESA radar, a new Terma ALQ-213 electronic warfare system, an integrated broadcast system (IBS) and a center display unit (CDU). There will also be a new operational flight programme to tie those new systems together with the aircraft's existing avionics. The software will be one of the biggest challenges, Mol says.
The USAF will buy 300 new AESA radars as part of the upgrade, but the service has not yet determined if it will buy the Northrop Grumman Scalable Agile Beam Radar or Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar. The

Navy Approves Full Rate Production for New Anti-Radiation Missile

The Department of the Navy is investing in a weapon that will transform the effectiveness of military firepower on the battlefield.
The service recently authorized Full-Rate Production (FRP) of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM), a medium range, supersonic air-launched tactical missile.
This system will truly enhance our warfighting capability,” said Cmdr. Chad Reed, Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) deputy program manager for the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office (PMA-242) here. “AARGM will help keep our warfighter safe and reduce the time we spend in conflict.” The Navy demonstrated AARGM’s capability during Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in spring 2012. PMA-242 team members, in conjunction with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 and VX-31 at China Lake, flew a total of 633 flight hours on F/A-18C/D/E/F/G platforms and conducted 12 live fires.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Got A Laser Weapon? The Navy Would Like To Have It

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) continues to seek industry proposals to develop an affordable solid-state laser weapon prototype for Navy ships, part of a broad agency announcement published Aug. 14.

“We are in the process of developing a laser weapon prototype for the naval surface fleet to counter small unmanned aerial vehicles and small boat threats,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder.

ONR hosted an industry day in May to provide the research and development community with information about its Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) program. Managers incorporated feedback into the announcement, which solicits industry’s investment in the program on a number of levels, from subcomponents to systems design.

“We’re looking for an open systems solution to this warfighting capability because we believe it’s cost effective and can provide the best value to the government,” said Peter Morrison, ONR program officer.

Two India - IAF - helicopters crash midair in Gujarat, 9 killed

Nine Indian Air Force personnel were killed on Thursday as two Mi-17 helicopters collided midair and crashed during a practice for a bombing mission at Sarmat range in Jamnagar at 12.05pm.

Two others on board the two helicopters were injured in the crash.

The Mi-17 helicopters are multi-role helicopters.

They are used for transportation of troops and also for bombing mission.

The villagers, who witnessed the accident, said the two choppers collided soon after take off and crashed near the village.

An IAF spokesperson in New Delhi said that a court of inquiry has been ordered to determine the reasons behind the crash.

Pakistan army kills 18 militants as fighting rages

Pakistani security forces killed 18 Taliban militants on Thursday in Bajaur region, a military official said, in the fourth straight day of fighting which has cast doubt on the effectiveness of crackdowns on militant groups.
Pakistan’s military, one of the largest in the world, has launched a series of offensives against the Taliban over the past few years in Bajaur and other parts of the ethnic Pashtun tribal belt in the northwest near the Afghan border.
On Wednesday, Taliban militants attacked an army post and killed eight soldiers in the South Waziristan tribal region.
Military sources said four soldiers have been killed in the Bajaur fighting and several went missing.
Pakistan has said military operations have severely weakened the militants, and their fighters have been cleared out of Bajaur and other regions along the porous border.

Australian Military Suffers Worst Day Since Vietnam

Five Australian troops were killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan in what Prime Minister Julia Gillard Thursday described as the nation's deadliest day in combat since the Vietnam War.
The deaths, which included three killings in an "insider attack" by an Afghan solider, brought to 38 the number of Australian lives lost in the conflict.

"This is a very big toll... this is our single worst day in Afghanistan," said Gillard, who cut short a trip to the Pacific Islands Forum to return home and deal with the fallout.

"Indeed this is the most lost in combat since the days of the Vietnam War."

Australia's acting defence chief Air Marshal Mark Binskin said the first incident occurred inside a patrol base near Tirin Kot in the restive southern Uruzgan province where about 1,500 Australian troops are deployed.

In the second, two Australian special forces soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed in Helmand province.

"Three Australian soldiers from the 3RAR task group were shot and killed when an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire with an automatic weapon from close range," he told reporters.

The dead soldiers were aged 40, 23, and 21 and were relaxing at the end of the day when the Afghan opened fire, he added.

General Abdul Hamid Hamid, an Afghan army commander in the south of the country, suggested it may have been a case of mistaken identity.

"Last night at around 10:30 pm an Australian forces patrol on foot wanted to enter an Afghan army camp in Chora district of Uruzgan province," Hamid told AFP in Afghanistan.

"An Afghan army soldier who was on duty at the gate of the camp thought they were enemy forces so he opened fire at them killing three Australian soldiers.

"He has probably mistakenly fired on foreign soldiers thinking they were militants," he added, saying the soldier, named Hekmat, had been serving in the army in Uruzgan for around five months. He fled after the shooting.

NATO has struggled to counter the so-called "green-on-blue" attacks in which uniformed Afghans turn their weapons against their international allies.

The assaults have spiked this year, with more than 30 attacks claiming the lives of 45 coalition troops, comprising about 14 percent of the overall death toll in the war for 2012, according to ISAF.

$43 Million Workshop Opens at New Zealand Air Base

Another milestone in the upgrade of the Ohakea air base of the New Zealand Defence Force was reached today with the Defence Minister opening the new $43 million aircraft maintenance workshop.

The Air Force Maintenance Support Squadron workshops will house 140 staff in two main buildings and three small ancillary buildings, with a foot print of nearly 13 thousand square metres.

The facility will provide all the aviation engineering for the new NH-90 and A109 helicopters as well as providing engineering support for other Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft for work such as structural maintenance and hydraulic component overhauls.

“The new workshop is an excellent facility which will serve the RNZAF well. It is further evidence of the government’s commitment to providing the infrastructure to support the new and upgraded aircraft coming into service,” said Dr Coleman.

Afghan refugees ordered to leave Pakistan by year-end

The Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has ordered all unregistered and illegal Afghan refugees to leave the country by Friday, August 31 or face legal action.
The Home and Travel Department of KP issued a directive instructing those foreign nationals, including Afghan refugees, who do not hold Proof of Registration (POR) cards or valid visa documents to leave the country by August 31. The provincial government has warned all foreign nationals of legal action and possible arrests if they fail to follow the directives.
Pakistan is currently home to over three million Afghan refugees, according to some statistics, while around 2.5 million refugees were believed to have returned to Afghanistan following the deployment of US-led Nato forces in the country.
While majority of the Afghan refugees are based in KP and the adjoining Federally Administered Tribal Areas, several thousand have also spread out to the Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan provinces in the years since the Afghan War. Provincial governments have reportedly been cracking down on refugee camps and send hoards of illegal refugees and deporting them via the Torkham Pass close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Airbus Military Ferries First C212 to Vietnam Marine Police

Airbus Military has delivered to Vietnam the first of three C212-400 maritime patrol aircraft ordered by the Vietnam Marine Police.
The aircraft, manufactured in Seville, Spain was handed over at Gia Lam (Hanoi) at the end of a 10-day ferry flight from Skavsta, Sweden following installation of its mission system. It was formally delivered last year prior to the conversion work in Sweden.
The flight, commanded by ferry pilot Capt Alejandro Grande supported by two co-pilots, two flight engineers and a technical representative, staged through: Kosice, Slovakia; Sitia, Greece; Luxor, Egypt; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Kolkata, India;and Chiang Mai, Thailand; en route to Hanoi.

Lockheed Martin delivers final F-16s to Morocco

The final three of 24 F-16s for the Royal Moroccan Air Force have departed Lockheed Martin’s facility in Texas on their way to their new home in Morocco.

The final F-16 destined for Morocco performed its first flight on March 15 from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and the final the three Block 52 single-seat aircraft left the base on August 22.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force on August 4, 2011, took delivery of the first four F-16s at a ceremony at Ben Guerir Air Base north of Marrakech.

Major General Margaret Woodward of the US Air Force at the time told reporters in Marrakech that another seven aircraft would be delivered at the beginning of this year and the remaining 13 in the following months.

No Plans to Suspend Mistral Deal over Syria – France

France will not use a $1.2 billion contract to build Mistral class amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy to put pressure on Moscow over the Syrian issue, the country’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
The West is pushing for President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed. Russia and China have blocked three UN resolutions on Syria.
In an interview with the France Inter radio station, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country “is putting pressure on Russia only in the diplomatic dimension.”
"We continue negotiations with Russians, we must find a solution [on Syria]. To achieve some progress, we discuss it in parallel with the Arab states, with our neighbors and the Russians,” he said.
He also said that French military equipment must not be sold to third states.

Army anger as troops strip naked in support of Prince Harry

Scores of soldiers and their wives are risking Army anger by stripping off and saluting to show support for Prince Harry. 

 

Scores of soldiers and their wives are risking Army anger by stripping off and saluting to show support for Prince Harry, and posting the pictures on Facebook.
As our troops get naked to copy Army comrade Prince Harry's nude Vegas party pose, their wives and girlfriends are getting in on the act too.
They are borrowing their boys' uniforms and performing 'naked salutes' either totally nude or in varying states of undress.
They are among over 13,000 who have joined a military Facebook group called 'Support Prince Harry With A Naked Salute'.
Several declared themselves terrified about baring themselves in public - but determined to send their message of support for Harry.
The Prince is expected to be reprimanded when he returns to the Army Air Cops in a few weeks time. 
But although none of the troops are likely to be disciplined for the stunt, top brass are not amused.
A source told the Daily Mail: "Everyone sees the funny side but there are people at senior levels in the Army who do not consider this to be appropriate.

China to deploy drones to conduct maritime surveillance

Amid increasing maritime disputes with a host of its neighbours, China today said it plans to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along its coast line to conduct "remote-sensing marine surveillance."



"The plan also includes the construction of 11 UAV bases run by provincial maritime authorities," Yu Qingsong, a division chief of the State Oceanic Administration, said.



No further details on the scale or the schedule of the project were provided, but Yu noted that at least one drone would be stationed at each base, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.



The announcement came in the midst of maritime tensions between China and host of its neighbours over the disputed islands in the South and North China Sea.

Bharat Electronics and Thales to form a Joint Venture in India for Civilian and select defence radars

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on November 17, 2009, Navratna1 Public Sector Company, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Thales are delighted to announce that the Boards of both companies have approved the formation of a Joint Venture Company subject to statutory approvals of the Government of India and the French Government. The JVC will be dedicated to the design, development, marketing, supply and support of civilian and select defence radars for Indian and Global markets.

South Korea Rejects Japan Island Proposal

South Korea rejected on Thursday morning Japan’s proposal to take the two countries’ territorial dispute over the Takeshima Islands to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), according to Japan's Kyodo news agency.
South Korea said “no territorial dispute exists over Dokdo,” using the islands’ Korean name, noting that the territories have been historically, geographically and legally South Korean, the Yonhap news agency reported, quoting Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba described the South Korean refusal as “unfortunate,” adding the government intends to take “appropriate measures” to resolve the dispute, possibly including a unilateral submission of the case to the ICJ in The Hague.

Uzbekistan Bans Foreign Military Bases

Uzbekistan has said it will not host any foreign military bases or other military objects on its soil, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said on Thursday before the Senate.
"There will be no foreign military bases or [military] objects in Uzbekistan," Kamilov said, adding that there would be no "operative groups" allowed either in the Central Asian country.
Uzbekistan’s lower house of Parliament in September passed President Islam Karimov's new foreign policy strategy, which rules out Tashkent’s membership in any military alliances and bans foreign military bases on Uzbek territory, Central Asian Fergana News Agency reported.
Uzbekistan, which did not have a specific foreign policy document until recently, rejects any membership in military alliances and “reserves its right to quit an interstate coalition if it turns into a military alliance,” Fergana quoted the foreign policy strategy as saying.

ManTech Awarded $30 Million to Support U.S. Marine Corps’ Cougar Family of MRAP Vehicles

ManTech International Corporation was awarded a new contract by the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command to provide maintenance and on-the-job training for the Cougar family of mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles. The award is valued at $30.3 million with a four month base period and two option years for a total twenty-eight month period of performance.

ManTech will provide field service representatives to conduct initial inspections and perform vehicle repairs, sustainment maintenance, retrofits, instruction, and modifications to all Marine Corps Cougar MRAP vehicles in Afghanistan and the continental United States. ManTech will also provide field-level maintainer instructors and certified instructors teaching all courses at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Camp Johnson, N.C., and the U.S. military’s MRAP operator and maintenance training facility at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas. Additional work will be performed at overseas locations including Japan and Jordan, as requested.

Military Advisors Reflect on Vietnam War Experiences

Two former military advisors who served with Vietnamese units during the Vietnam War spoke about their experiences in the Pentagon on Tuesday, Aug. 28, and shared their thoughts on advisory programs and counterinsurgency operations.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni and retired Army Lt. Col. James Willbanks took part in a panel discussion on “Advisors in the Vietnam War,” along with Andrew Birtle, chief of the Military Operations Branch at the Army Center of Military History. The panel was part of the Historical Speakers Series sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office.

Birtle opened the program with an overview of the U.S. advisory effort in Vietnam. An expert on counterinsurgency operations doctrine who authored books on the subject, Birtle outlined the development of the military advisor program from the first U.S. advisors in 1950 until end of the war in the early 1970s.

“Perhaps the most common emotion advisors experienced in Vietnam was the frustration of being held responsible for something they could not control,” Birtle said. “Nothing was more frustrating than the feelings that one’s efforts were falling on fallow ground.”

Indian Small Arms System

Indian INSAS Rifle (5.56 mm) with Fixed and Foldable Butt

INSAS Excalibur Mark-I rifle (5.56 mm)

Three Australians killed in Afghan attack: defence

A number of Australian troops have been killed in an incident in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday without confirming how many, in what is thought to be an “insider attack”.
 
The news came after the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said three soldiers in the Nato-led force in Afghanistan had been killed by a member of the Afghan security forces.
The attack occurred Wednesday evening in southern Uruzgan province where about 1,500 Australian troops are deployed.
“Defence can confirm that Australian Defence Force personnel have been killed in Afghanistan,” the ADF said in a statement.
“Defence is currently in the process of informing the next of kin of the ADF personnel involved. The acting chief of the defence force will make a statement once this process is complete.”
Earlier, Isaf said the latest killings were an “insider attack” that has caused growing dismay among coalition commanders.

Saab Participates at the Slovak International Air Fest 2012

Defence and security company Saab AB will participate as the general partner at the Slovak International Air Fest 2012 on September 1st and 2nd at the Sliac Airport in Sliac, Slovakia.

Saab will be present at SIAF 2012 in Sliac. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the Gripen fighter in flight and on static display during the event. Saab will also present the Gripen Cockpit Simulator on its stand, which will be located in the public area. Invited guests will also get a chance to test their flight skills in the simulator.

“We are pleased to support SIAF as one of the general partners for the second year running, and we look forward to showcasing the Swedish Air Force Gripen on both static and fly-by displays,” says Daniel Boestad, Saab’s Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe. “Visitors to our stand will be able to learn much about our Central European activities and gain an insight into our global business and wide portfolio of products and services,” he adds.

Cabinet Approved the Procurement of Four EC-725 Helicopters for RTAF

It has reported that the Cabinet approved the procurement of Air Force helicopters from Eurocopter 4 aircraft worth U.S. $ 4 billion, although the report did not specify the version that will be provided. But it is quite certain that the EC725 Super Cougar Search and Rescue.
Air Force plans to supply helicopters to replace UH-1H, Air Force will be supplied with 16 aircraft by dividing the project into three phases: Phase 1 acquisition of four aircraft, phase two : supply 8 aircraft, and phase 3 : 4 supply 4 aircraft.
The EC725 is a versatile long-range development from Super Puma or Cougar-2 family, pilot carrying troops or the weight of 28 tons, 2 Turbomeca Makila 2A1 engine, operating range 857 mile range, fly 1325 miles with a top speed of 175 knots. In service in France, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico, total orders to date (not counting the orders of the United States) are 131 aircraft.

Documentary About Dutch Commandos Working In Southern Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan



Root Cause Analyses of Nunn-McCurdy Breaches

Excalibur Artillery Projectile and the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning Program, with an Approach to Analyzing Complexity and Risk

 Congressional concern with cost overruns, or breaches, in several major U.S. defense acquisition programs led the authors, in a partnership with the Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analysis Office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, to investigate root causes by examining program reviews, analyzing data, participating in contractor briefings, and holding meetings with diverse stakeholders.

In a companion study, the authors investigated cost overruns in four programs. The current study analyzes cost overruns in the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program and Excalibur (a 155mm extended-range guided artillery projectile). In addition, it develops some exploratory concepts of program risk and complexity as factors in the management of program acquisition. In spite of the cost growth associated with the ERP program, it can be considered a qualified success. The program was re-baselined in 2006 and, since then, costs have stabilized and production delays have been limited. The authors determined that the primary driver of cost increases in the Excalibur program was the change in procurement quantities, specifically, a 79 percent reduction in rounds ordered. Inaccurate cost estimates, changes in concepts and technology, and urgent operational needs also contributed to the overruns.

KEY FINDINGS

Although the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning program suffered from cost growth and significant schedule slippage, the program can be considered a qualified success.

• The use of pilot projects contributed to the program's success.
• Cost-plus contracting also had a positive effect.
• Also contributing to program success was a willingness to rely on the managerial and technical expertise of civilian cadres.

Implant Sciences Sells QS-B220 Explosives and Drugs Trace Detector to Major European Airport

Implant Sciences Corporation, a high technology supplier of systems and sensors for homeland security and defense markets, today announced the sale of its Quantum Sniffer QS-B220 desktop explosives and drugs trace detector to a major European airport. The QS-B220, which was introduced last year, has been purchased by a growing number of corporations and governments. The QS-B220 is currently undergoing U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) qualification testing for air cargo screening.

"Radiation concerns weigh heavily in the decision processes of European customers. Because our Quantum Sniffers do not use a radioactive source, they become a natural choice for European security equipment purchasers. Our desktop model's intuitive and easy-to-use interface is a strong competitive advantage for our product and proved to be a key factor in the purchase decision," stated Implant Sciences' Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing Darryl Jones.

The Politics of Pentagon Profiteers and the Truth about Jobs

The big Pentagon contractors have been trying to scare lawmakers, the public, and the troops with dramatic claims that there will be massive job losses. For nearly a year, these contractors and their lobbyists have likened potential cuts in the Pentagon budget to the sky falling.

Their threats to send layoff notices—right in time for the November elections—have been admonished from many corners—and are among the more desperate political stunts of recent memory. But just to be sure they’ve got the attention of all candidates, they’ve cooked up hyperbolic job loss numbers based on convenient, if completely faulty assumptions—these are available by state or congressional district, don’t you know.

Some are taking the bait. Certain members of Congress have been parroting these scaremongering talking points during town halls and other events this month during the congressional recess. In their very scary “sequestration roadshow” they are talking about jobs, but fail to mention some essential information about how exactly these contractors have been living large on the largess of taxpayer dollars.

What you won’t hear in these the Pentagon’s base budget will still be larger than it was in 2006, fact-free events is that even under the deepest proposed cuts—the unlikely budget sequestration—according to the Congressional Budget Office—and all military personnel would be exempt. Lest we forget, in 2006 we were at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon was spending more than at any time during the Vietnam War and nearly as much as it spent during the height of the Cold War.

POGO’s Ben Freeman took a closer look at the jobs picture, and found that back in 2006, the nation’s top defense contractors employed thousands more than they do now. That’s right, together the top five defense contractors have been cutting jobs while getting more and more taxpayer dollars. In 2011, the top 5 Pentagon contractors received 10 percent more from taxpayers than they did in 2006, but employed fewer people.

Take the behemoth Pentagon contractor Lockheed Martin, which threatened to send layoff notices to its employees because of sequestration, but has led the way in cutting jobs while its government contracts soared. Lockheed Martin received $10 billion more taxpayer dollars in 2011 than it did in 2006. Yet, Lockheed Martin employed 17,000 fewer people in 2011 than it did in 2006.

So why haven’t the big Pentagon contractors employed more Americans as they have taken in more taxpayer dollars and made record profits? It looks like more money does not mean more jobs. There is other analysis that shows defense contractors shouldn’t be our go-to job creators.

If Pentagon contractors really will need to tighten their belts, they should start at the top. Contractor executive pay is out of sight, on par with Wall Street execs. Again, we did some digging and found that the average compensation package of a CEO at the top five defense contracting firms was about $21.5 million last year. The typical CEO of an S&P 500 company received less than half of that last year—$9.6 million in total compensation.

Contrast that with the $45, 230 that the average worker in the U.S. earned last year. That means CEOs at top Pentagon contracting companies were paid more in a single day than the average American worker was paid all of last year. In fact, the Pentagon could pay the salary of 335 soldiers with the money from just one contractor CEO or perhaps save 268 defense and aerospace industry jobs. Fat chance, said the fat cat.

Of course, all of this noise about jobs is generated through millions of dollars funneled to campaigns and lobbying to protect the record profits of these big Pentagon contractors—supplied primarily by taxpayer dollars.

Shouldn’t we instead be talking about how to make America safer and stronger? National security begins with economic security, and we aren’t going to get there by continuing to throw taxpayer dollars at outdated defense strategies and profit-hoarding by the Pentagon contractor lobby. Most Americans and organizations with diverse ideologies and agendas agree that to get there we must rein in the runaway spending at the Pentagon.

Few think sequestration is the right policy, but it’s time to end the hype and scare tactics. It’s time for members of Congress to stop catering to the Pentagon profiteers and instead work for sensible solutions for more economic and national security.

(For notes and references, please visit the original site of this article at http://goo.gl/PZQjs.)


----
Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RAF Surveillance Aircraft Clock up 20,000 Flying Hours

Surveillance aircraft based at RAF Waddington have notched up a collective total of 20,000 flying hours protecting British and other ISAF forces in Afghanistan.

The high-tech, state-of-the-art Sentinel R1 aircraft of No 5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron and Shadow R1 aircraft of 14 Squadron have each clocked up 10,000 hours on Operation HERRICK.

While based in Britain aircraft from both units have been permanently patrolling the skies above Afghanistan since 2009 gathering vital intelligence on insurgent activities.

RAF Waddington Station Commander Group Captain Al Gillespie said: "The search capabilities of Sentinel and Shadow have provided UK and coalition partners with an unprecedented insight into the unique operating environment of Afghanistan. The ability to search vast areas and provide real-time information to others has led to more efficient and effective application of other military capabilities such as remotely-piloted air vehicles, coalition helicopter-borne forces, light-armed reconnaissance vehicles and combat aircraft.

"Its superb capabilities, with its ground-mapping radar and ability to detect personnel and vehicle movements from many miles away, have led to some ground forces describing it as a 'go/no-go' asset for their operations - meaning that without Sentinel they would not continue."

Chinese Defense Chief to Visit Sri Lanka, India and Laos

At the invitation of the defense department leaders of Sri Lanka, India and Laos, Liang Guanglie, state councilor and minister of national defense of the People’s Republic of China?departed from Beijing today to pay an official goodwill visit to these three countries.

The main members of Liang Guanglie's entourage include Zhou Laiqiang, deputy commander of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), Huang Hanbiao, deputy commander of the PLA Beijing Military Area Command, Song Puxuan, deputy commander of the PLA Nanjing Military Area Command, Wang Dengping, deputy political

Japan will boost its Self Defense Forces capabilities with U.S. amphibious vehicle AAV-7 / LVTP-7.

Japan has announced a series of initiatives to bolster the Self Defense Forces’ ability to respond to new and potential threats. The initiatives span from cyber to amphibious warfare and fill gaps in existing capability. TV Asahi has broken the news that the Self Defense Forces plan on buying four U.S.-made AAV-7 or LVTP-7 amphibious assault vehicles for the Ground Self Defense Forces. The vehicles will cost a total of ¥3,000,000,000, or roughly $37.5 million USD.
Built by FMC Corporation in the 1980s, the AAV-7 can carry up to 21 combat-equipped troops over land or water. Armament is either a Mk.19 automatic grenade launcher or M2 .50 caliber machine gun. The AAVs would be used to carry troops of the Western Army Infantry Regiment, the GSDF’s amphibious-trained unit. The AAVs would be embarked on the MSDF’s Oosumi-class amphibious landing vessels and then depart for the shore via the ship’s well deck.

Air and Missile Defense Could be the U.S. Army’s Role in the Asia-Pacific Theater

The U.S. Army is searching for ways of contributing more to joint operations in an increasingly complex security environment. Air dominance, precision strike and global reach belong, more or less, to the Air Force. Command of the Sea and everything that stems from it is the Navy's domain. Forcible entry must be the Marines raison d'être. On what roles, missions and capabilities should the Army focus? Boots on the ground is not good enough. Neither are engagement, shaping or capacity building, all of which are missions the Army has proposed. In truth, the fundamental role of an Army is to control terrain and the people on it, whether to enforce a desired order (regime change) or to manage disorder (stability operations). The problem with this formulation is that it appears to be out of synch with the sensibilities of the American people, worn down by a decade of conflicts in Southwest Asia and unsure of the need to change regimes anywhere, even in Washington.

The Army’s public relations problem with the American people is compounded by a perception on the part of many defense analysts and policy makers that the Army will not have much of a role to play in future U.S. defense strategies. The current administration’s defense guidance rejected the idea of doing large scale, long-term stability operations. Its so-called Asia-Pacific pivot doesn’t seem to have left a lot of space for significant operations on land with the sole, time worn exception of war on the Korean peninsula. No one gives any credence to a 21st century Anabasis to Beijing even if there is a conflict with China. In places like the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific the emerging anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) threat appears to make it increasingly unlikely that the U.S. will be able to project and sustain large land forces.

Valanx Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), United States of America

Valanx is a Family of Vehicles (FoV) being developed by the BAE Systems-led team for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programme of the US Army, USSOCOM and Marine Corps. The JLTV programme will replace the ageing fleet of Humvees, with a family of new vehicles offering more survivability and high performance.
In October 2008, the team of BAE Systems, Navistar Defence and Meritor Defence was awarded one of three contracts by US Army TACOM LCMC to participate in the 27-month Technology Demonstration phase of the JLTV programme.
In May 2010, the BAE Systems-led team handed over seven JLTV prototype vehicles and four companion trailers to the US Army and Marine Corps. Northrop Grumman joined the BAE Systems-led JLTV team in April 2011. Northrop Grumman is responsible for the C4ISR systems of the vehicle.
The US Army issued a Request for Proposal for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the JLTV programme in January 2012. In March 2012, the BAE Systems-led team submitted a proposal for the EMD phase of the JLTV programme. The EMD phase of the JLTV programme calls for the delivery of 22 prototypes and associated equipment for the testing.
The EMD phase of the programme had also received five bidding proposals from other competitors by March 2012. The vehicles being proposed are the Lockheed Martin JLTV, General Tactical Vehicles' JLTV Eagle, Oshkosh's L-ATV, Navistar's Saratoga and AM General's BRV-O.
Valanx is also being offered for the Protected Mobility Vehicle - Light (PMV-L) programme. PMV-L is a part of Project Land 121-Phase 4 of the Australian Defence Force. BAE Systems delivered three right-hand drive configured Valanx vehicles to the Australian Army in June 2010.

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