Saturday, May 29, 2010

US considers options for strike in Pakistan: report

Defense News: US military planners are looking at options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan, for use if a successful attack on US soil is traced to Pakistani tribal areas, The Washington Post reported late Friday.

US retaliation would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, unnamed senior military officials said.

These circumstances might include a catastrophic attack that convinced President Barack Obama that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes was insufficient.

"Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one official told the newspaper.

The report comes in the wake of the failed May 1 attack on New York's crowded Times Square, which is in the city's busy theatre district.

Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-born naturalised US citizen, was arrested apparently trying to flee the country on a flight to Dubai 53 hours after street vendors alerted police to smoke coming out of a vehicle there.

The van was found to contain a bomb consisting of timers, wires, fireworks, gasoline, propane tanks and fertilizer.

Shahzad is due for a federal court hearing in New York on June 1.

US officials say Shahzad is connected to Pakistani Taliban insurgents and Obama has sent two senior national security aides to Islamabad to join the investigation into the May 1 car bombing attempt.

According to The Post, the US administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups.

The two countries recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and were in talks to set up another one near Quetta, the paper said.

DTN News: General Dynamics Awarded FAA SE2020 Systems Engineering Contract to Support NextGen Modernization

Defense News: DTN News: General Dynamics Awarded FAA SE2020 Systems Engineering Contract to Support NextGen Modernization
Source: DTN News / General Dynamics
(NSI News Source Info) FAIRFAX, Va. - May 29, 2010: General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) has been selected as one of three large-business contractors for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) System Engineering 2020 Research and Development/Mission Analysis Support program. The ten-year contract awarded to General Dynamics has a maximum potential value of $1.2 billion if all options are exercised. Funding will be awarded through individual task orders.
Through this program, General Dynamics will support the FAA’s NextGen modernization program to improve safety and bring greater efficiencies to the U.S. airspace system by providing research and development and systems engineering services. The work will focus on achieving or improving a series of operational capabilities, including trajectory-based operations; increased arrivals and departures at high-density airports; increased flexibility in the terminal environment; improved collaborative air-traffic management; advanced flight-deck technologies; reduced weather impact; improved safety, security and environmental performance; and facility transformations.
Marcus Collier, senior vice president of General Dynamics Information Technology, said, “The General Dynamics team – which includes Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, who are among the aerospace industry’s leading aircraft manufacturing and business-aviation service support organizations – is uniquely qualified to deliver innovative and timely solutions to help the FAA quickly achieve NextGen objectives to modernize and upgrade IT infrastructure, systems and equipment for 21st century requirements.”
The General Dynamics team will perform mission-analysis support in such areas as air traffic management automation, airplane design and analysis, avionic systems operations and maintenance, cost-benefit analysis, National Airspace System (NAS) security, large-scale demonstrations and NAS air-traffic facility certification. The company will provide systems integration, development and operations expertise, modeling and simulation, and ground and air-based information and communications systems upgrades.
The FAA’s Air Traffic Control and Next Generation (NextGen) modernization program will require major updates and modernization for aircraft, air traffic control facilities and airport technologies to improve the safety, capacity and efficiency of the country’s airspace.
The General Dynamics team includes General Dynamics Information Technology, General Dynamics C4 Systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and Jet Aviation. In addition, General Dynamics has assembled a strong team of 24 other companies that represent the most skilled experts in air traffic control, aviation and information technology.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 91,200 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at

DTN News: The Guards, An Elite Combatant With Smashing Stalwart Bush Basher - The Light Strike Vehicle LSV From Singapore Armed Forces

Defense News: DTN News: The Guards, An Elite Combatant With Smashing Stalwart Bush Basher - The Light Strike Vehicle LSV From Singapore Armed Forces
Source: DTN News By Roger Smith
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 30, 2010: In the Singapore Armed Forces, the Guards are an elite infantry formation specializing in rapid deployment. Guards are known as elite heliborne troopers. They are well trained in heliborne operations and specialist combat skills that give them an added combat edge. They are proficient in heli-rappelling, heli-landing, and other specialised skills that allow them to carry out heliborne operations in various terrain, day and night. They are specially trained thus earning them the respect and status in the Singapore Armed Forces. The formation traces its roots back to the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade and has been actively involved in several National and Army Day events since the establishment of the modern Guards unit.
As an elite formation, the brigade is called to fight in certain areas, such as urban locations with FIBUA (Fighting in Built Up Areas) and FOFO (Fighting On Fortified Objectives) tactics. Trained in amphibious warfare, Guards units may also be tasked to seize important objectives such as airfields, beach heads, depots as well as enemy strongholds, thereby establishing a foothold for the rest of the army.
In the continually evolving 3rd Generation SAF, the spectrum of Operations that the Guards formation are involved in has been extended to include non-war related operations (OOTW - Operations Other Than War) such as HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response) Operations as well as PSOs (Peace Support Operations). As evident in the recent disasters such as the Asian Tsunami Disaster of 2004, the Guards formation has been at the forefront of providing a quick response platform to humanitarian operations. This is entrenched and complementary to the Guards Formation's role as a quick reactionary force. However it must be noted that the Guards Formation's role is integral and complimentary to the role of the other formations in such peace-time theatres of operations.
The Guards formation is also called upon to react to counter-terrorism operations such as the recent Mas Salamat escape in which the active Guards Battalion was activated to cordon and assist in the search for the fugitive suspect.
The Guards utilize all small arms known to be in use with the Singaporean army, such as the SAR-21 assault rifle family, the Ultimax 100 Mark 3 LMG, FN MAG, M203, and the Matador anti-tank rocket launcher.
Apart from the helicopters, the Guards also utilize The Light Strike Vehicle (LSV), a lightweight vehicle that is extremely mobile and agile procured by the Army to replace the jeeps which formerly carried their 106 mm recoilless guns. Manufactured in Australia based on an American design, the vehicle is able to access difficult terrain, and provide greater mobility and added firepower to the Guardsmen and Infantry soldiers. Weighing 1,500 kg, the LSV can be rapidly deployed by slinging it underneath a helicopter and inserting it into enemy territory.

The LSV, which functions with an automatic gear, can go to more places than normal wheeled vehicles; for example, cross-country, going into closed terrain, capable of pushing down small brush and trees. Even in muddy areas the LSV is able to negotiate the conditions better than other vehicles like Jeeps and Land Rovers.
In 2008, the Guards formation began to utilize the PLUV (Protected Light Utility Vehicle) which is an armoured version of the Ford Everest, the Ford Everest is also a replacement vehicle for the aging Land Rovers.
The LSV actually allows for different weapon configurations. It can be mounted with other weapon systems such as the 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) or the advanced Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM). The latest addition to the LSV armament is the Israeli SPIKE ATGM, giving the Guards the capability to destroy tanks at a 4 km range. Fitting the LSV with an Infra-Red adaptor gives it night vision capabilities as well.
The LSV, which can move at a maximum speed of 110 km/h, significantly enhances the mobility of the foot soldiers. The soldiers can now bring heavier and better firepower systems into operations. With the help of the Light Strike Vehicle, the Guardsmen are able to move faster than ever before, and with more potent firepower.