Friday, June 4, 2010

DTN News: Indian Navy, Go For Gorshkov

Defense News: DTN News: Indian Navy, Go For Gorshkov
Source: Strategy Page
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: An Indian inspection team has concluded that Russian efforts to refurbish the carrier Admiral Gorshkov, for Indian service, is on schedule. Nearly all the structural work is completed, and all the major mechanical items are installed. About half the cable (electrical and other conduits) work is complete. The Indian inspectors concluded that the ship should be ready for harbor trails by early next year. After that, the completed ship would be handed over to India in late 2012.
Earlier this year, after five years of confusion, accusations, stonewalling and renegotiation, India agreed to pay Russia an additional $1.3 billion to have the Gorshkov refurbished to Indian specifications. The original deal was the for getting it done for about a billion dollars. But once the Russians got to work, things got complicated, and out of control,
Indian naval officers have admitted that they were partially to blame for the Gorshkov fiasco. The Indians admit that, when they signed the deal in 2004, they had not had engineers go over the Gorshkov, and agreed, after a cursory inspection, that many electrical and mechanical components, buried within the ship's hull, were serviceable. It turned out that many of those components were not good-to-go, especially the cabling, and had to be replaced, at great expense. Shortly after the contract was signed, the Russians discovered that the shipyard had misplaced the blueprints for the Gorshkov, and things went downhill from there.
After four years of haggling over Russian demands for more money, India agreed to pay about a billion dollars more, instead of the original (2004) agreed on one billion dollars, for a Russian shipyard to refurbish an old, damaged, aircraft carrier (the Admiral Gorshkov) for Indian use. Last year, Russia threatened to give the Gorshkov back to the Russian Navy if the Indians didn't, come up with even more money.
The 44,000 ton Gorshkov was supposed to have been delivered last year, and renamed the INS Vikramaditya. But now delivery has been delayed until 2012. The Russians admitted that this project suffered from inept planning, shoddy workmanship, and poor management, and they wanted India to pay for most of those mistakes. The Indians were not amused, and played hard ball, making much of the fact that India was now the biggest customer for Russian military exports. Russia was also aware that India was increasingly turning to more expensive (and more capable) Western arms suppliers.
Building a Gorshkov type carrier today would cost about $4 billion, and take eight years. India even looked into buying one of the new, 65,000 ton, British Queen Elizabeth class carriers (for about $6 billion). The Russians were willing to admit to mistakes and put things right, for a price. It took over a year of negotiations to determine what a mutually agreeable price would be. Meanwhile, the boss of Sevmash naval shipyard, when the Gorshkov deal was negotiated, was fired and under criminal investigation, on suspicion of financial mismanagement.
Back in 2005, the Indians were not happy with all this, and at first insisted that the Russian government (which owns many of the entities involved) make good on the original deal. India sent its own team of technical experts to Russia, and their report apparently confirmed what the Russians reported, about shipyard officials low-balling the cost of the work needed. This is a common tactic for firms building weapons for their own country. It gets more complicated when you try to pull that sort of thing on a foreign customer. The Russian government initially offered to cover some of the overrun cost. But then they insisted that India cover most of it, or lose the ship entirely. Nothing was said about whether or not the Indians would get any of their money refunded. As Indian anger rose, the Russians began to realize that they would have to eat most of the additional mistakes, or risk losing billions in future sales. There was also a battle within the Indian government, between factions that wanted to dump the deal and cut back on buying Russian weapons, and other factions that wanted to maintain the long ties with Russia, even if it cost India more money.
The Admiral Gorshkov entered service in 1987, but was inactivated in 1996 because it was too expensive to operate on a post Cold War budget. This attracted the attention of India, which was looking for a way to expand their carrier aviation capabilities. India is currently building another carrier, from scratch, but that 40,000 ton vessel won't be ready until 2015. India's sole current aircraft carrier, the 29,000 ton INS Viraat, just emerged from 18 months in a shipyard getting maintenance and upgrades. This work on the Viraat would have been avoided by the timely arrival (last year) of the refurbished Russian carrier. If that had happened, the INS Viraat would have been retired in 2012, after 53 years service (for Britain and India). But now the INS Viraat, with its engine and hull refurbished, and its electronics upgraded, will probably serve for another decade. Thus by 2015, India will have two large carriers in operation, and some bitter memories of their experience with the Russians over the Gorshkov.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com
Disclaimer statement
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.
Various Topics On Strategy Page

DTN News: Al Shabaab Threats Against The United States?

Defense News: DTN News: Al Shabaab Threats Against The United States?
Source: By Scott Stewart STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: On the afternoon of Sunday, May 30, an Aeromexico flight from Paris to Mexico City was forced to land in Montreal after authorities discovered that a man who was on the U.S. no-fly list was aboard. The aircraft was denied permission to enter U.S. airspace, and the aircraft was diverted to Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. The man, a Somali named Abdirahman Ali Gaall, was removed from the plane and arrested by Canadian authorities on an outstanding U.S. warrant. After a search of all the remaining passengers and their baggage, the flight was allowed to continue to its original destination.
Gaall reportedly has U.S. resident-alien status and is apparently married to an American or Canadian woman. Media reports also suggest that he is connected with the Somali jihadist groupal Shabaab. Gaall was reportedly deported from Canada to the United States on June 1, and we are unsure of the precise charges brought against him by the U.S. government, but more information should be forthcoming once he has his detention hearing. From the facts at hand, however, it appears likely that he has been charged for his connection with al Shabaab, perhaps with a crime such as material support to a designated terrorist organization.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a lookout to authorities in Texas, warning that another Somali purportedly linked to al Shabaab was believed to be in Mexico and was allegedly planning to attempt to cross the border into the United States. This lookout appears to be linked to a U.S. indictment in March charging another Somali man with running a large-scale smuggling ring bringing Somalis into the United States through Latin America.
Taken together, these incidents highlight the increased attention the U.S. government has given to al Shabaab and the concern that the Somali militant group could be planning to conduct attacks in the United States. Although many details pertaining to the Gaall case remain unknown at this time, these incidents involving Somalis, Mexico and possible militant connections — and the obvious U.S. concern — provide an opportunity to discuss the dynamics of Somali immigration as it relates to the U.S. border with Mexico, as well as the possibility that al Shabaab has decided to target the United States.
The Somali Diaspora
In any discussion of al Shabaab, it is very important to understand what is happening in Somalia — and more important, what is not happening there. Chaos has long reigned in the African country, chaos that became a full-blown humanitarian crisis in the early 1990s due to civil war. Somalia never fully recovered from that war, and has lacked a coherent government for decades now. While Somalia does have a government in name, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), it controls little apart from a few neighborhoods and outposts in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. In this vacuum of authority, warlords and pirates have thrived, along with a variety of militant Islamist groups, such as the jihadist group al Shabaab.
The decades of fighting and strife have also resulted in the displacement of millions of Somalis. Many of these people have moved into camps set up by humanitarian organizations inside the country to help the huge number of internally displaced people, but large numbers of Somalis have also sought refuge in neighboring countries. In fact, the situation in Somalia is so bad that many Somalis have even sought refuge in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world. Tens of thousands of Somalis have also been resettled abroad in places like the United States, Canada and Europe.
Unlike an earthquake, tsunami or other natural disaster, the man-made disaster in Somalia has continued for decades. As Somali refugees have been settled in places like the United States, they, like many other immigrants, frequently seek to have their relatives join them. Frequently, they are able to do this through legal means, but quite often, when the wait for legal immigration is deemed too long or an application is denied for some reason — such as the applicant’s having served in a militia — illegal means are sought to bring friends and relatives into the country. This is by no means a pattern exclusive to Somali immigrants; it is also seen by other immigrant groups from Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. For example, Christians from Iraq, Egypt and Sudan are frequently smuggled into the United States through Latin America.
In years past, a significant portion of this illegal traffic passed through Canada, but in the post-9/11 world, Canada has tightened its immigration laws, making it more difficult to use Canada as an entry point into the United States. This has driven even more immigrant traffic to Latin America, which haslong been a popular route for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.
Indeed, we have seen an expansion of Somali alien-smuggling rings in Latin America in recent years, and according to documents filed in court, some of these groups have been associated with militant groups in Somalia. In an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on March 3, 2010, a Somali named Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane was charged with operating a large-scale alien-smuggling ring out of Brazil responsible for smuggling several hundred Somalis and other East Africans into the United States. The indictment alleges that the persons Dhakane’s organization smuggled included several people associated with al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI), a militant group linked to al Qaeda that was folded into the Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) after the latter group’s formation. After Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia and toppled the SICC in late 2006, many of the more hardcore SICC militants then joined with the SICC youth wing, al Shabaab, to continue their armed struggle. The more nationalist-minded SICC members formed their own militant organization, called Hizbul Islam, which at various times either cooperates or competes with al Shabaab. The U.S. government officially designated AIAI a terrorist group in September 2001. The March indictment also alleged that Dhakane was associated with al-Barakat, a Somalia-based company that is involved in the transfer of money to Somalia. The U.S. government claims that al-Barakat is involved in funding terrorist groups and has designated the company a terrorist entity. Diaspora Somalis transfer a great deal of legitimate money to family members back in Somalia through organizations such as al-Barakat because there is no official banking system in the country, and militant groups like al Shabaab use this flow of money as camouflage for their own financial transactions.
Many other alien smugglers besides Dhakane are involved in moving Somalis through Latin America. Most of these smugglers are motivated by profit, but some like Dhakane who have ties to militant groups might not be opposed to moving people involved with militant groups — especially if they also happen to make more money in the process. Other smugglers might unknowingly move militants. Moreover, a number of front businesses, charities and mosques in the region more closely tied to militant groups of various stripes are used to raise funds, recruit and facilitate the travel of operatives through the region. Some of these entities have very close ties to people and organizations inside the United States, and those ties are often used to facilitate the transfer of funds and the travel of people.
Determining Intentions
Clearly, there are many Somalis traveling into the United States without documentation. According to the U.S. government, some of these Somalis have ties to jihadist groups such as AIAI and al Shabaab, like Dhakane and Gaall, respectively. Given the number of warlords and militias active in Somalia and the endemic lack of employment inside the country, it is not at all uncommon for young men there to seek employment as members of a militia. For many Somalis who are driven by the need merely to survive, ideology is a mere luxury. This means that unlike the hardcore jihadists encountered in Saudi Arabia or even Pakistan, many of the men fighting in the various Somali militias do not necessarily ascribe to a particular ideology other than survival (though there are certainly many highly radicalized individuals, too).
The critical question, then, is one of intent. Are these Somalis with militant ties traveling to the United States in pursuit of a better life (one hardly need be an Islamist bent on attacking the West to want to escape from Somalia), or are they seeking to travel to the United States to carry out terrorist attacks?
The situation becomes even more complex in the case of someone like Gaall, who came to the United States, reportedly married an American woman, received resident-alien status, but then chose to leave the comfort and security of the United States to return to Somalia. Clearly, he was not a true asylum seeker who feared for his life in Somalia, or he would not have returned to the African country. While some people become homesick and return home, or are drawn back to Somalia for some altruistic purpose, such as working with a non-governmental organization to deliver food aid to starving countrymen— or to work with the Somali government or a foreign government with interests in Somalia — some Somalis travel back to support and fight with al Shabaab. Since most of the previously mentioned activities are not illegal in the United States, the criminal charges Gaall faces likely stem from contact with al Shabaab.
Having contact with al Shabaab does not necessarily mean that someone like Gaall would automatically return to the United States intending to conduct attacks there. It is possible that he considered Somalia a legitimate theater for jihad but did not consider civilians in the United States legitimate targets. There is a great deal of disagreement in jihadist circles regarding such issues, as witnessed by the infighting inside al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb over target selection. There are also militant groups, like Hamas and Hezbollah, who consider the United States as a place to recruit and raise funds rather than a battlefield for jihad. U.S. authorities certainly would err on the side of caution regarding such people, and would charge them with any applicable criminal charges, such as material support of a terrorist group, rather than run the risk of missing an impending attack.
If it is determined that Gaall intended to conduct an attack inside the United States, the next question becomes whether he sought to conduct an attack of his own volition or was sent by al Shabaab or some other entity.
As we have previously discussed, we consider the current jihadist world to be composed of three different layers. These layers are the core al Qaeda group; the regional al Qaeda franchises (like al Shabaab); and grassroots jihadists — either individuals or small cells — inspired by al Qaeda and the regional franchises but who may have little if any actual connection to them. It will be important to determine what Gaall’s relationship was with al Shabaab.
To this point, the leadership of al Shabaab has shown little interest in conducting attacks outside Somalia. While they have issued threats against Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Ethiopia (which invaded Somalia and deposed the SICC), al Shabaab has yet to act on these threats (though AIAI did conduct a series of low-level bombing attacks in Ethiopia in 1996 and 1997 and al Shabaab has periodic border skirmishes with the Kenyan military). Somalis have also been involved with the al Qaeda core for many years, and al Shabaab has sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden — the reason we consider them an al Qaeda regional franchise group.
That said, we have been watching al Shabaab closely this year to see if they follow in the footsteps of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and become a transnational terrorist group by launching attacks against the West rather than just a group with a national or regional focus. While some al Shabaab members, like American-born Omar Hammami — who sings jihadi rap songs about bringing America to its knees — have threatened the West, it remains unclear whether this is rhetoric or if the group truly intends to attack targets farther afield. So far, we have seen little indication that al Shabaab possesses such intent.
Due to this lack of demonstrated intent, our assessment at the present time is that al Shabaab has not yet made the leap to becoming transnational. That assessment could change in the near future, however, as details from the Gaall case come out during court proceedings — especially if it is shown that al Shabaab sent Gaall to the United States to conduct an attack.
This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to http://www.stratfor.com/
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com
Disclaimer statement
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: U. S. Navy To Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Spruance

Defense News: DTN News: U. S. Navy To Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Spruance
Source: U.S. Department of Defense No. 457-10 June 03, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 4, 2010: The Navy will christen the newest guided-missile destroyer, Spruance, Saturday, June 5, 2010, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The new destroyer honors legendary Adm. Raymond Spruance, whose calm and decisive leadership at the Battle of Midway contributed to a pivotal American victory during World War II.
Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Ellen Spruance Holscher, granddaughter of the ship’s namesake, will serve as sponsor, and in accordance with Navy tradition, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.
Born in Baltimore, July 3, 1886, Spruance graduated from the Naval Academy in 1906. His Navy career was extensive, including command of five destroyers and the battleship Mississippi. Spruance led Task Force 16, with two aircraft carriers, during the 1942 Battle of Midway, where his disposition of forces and management of aircraft was crucial to a victory that is regarded as the turning point in the Pacific war with Japan. He later directed campaigns that captured the Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Iwo Jima and Okinawa and defeated the Japanese fleet in the 1944 Battle of Philippine Sea. After commanding the Pacific Fleet in 1945-46, Spruance served as president of the Naval War College until retiring in 1948. In 1952-55, he was ambassador to the Philippines. Spruance died at Pebble Beach, Calif., Dec. 13, 1969.
Designated DDG 111, Spruance is the 61st ship of the Arleigh Burke class, a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to operate in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface threat environments. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs.
The ship will be the second ship named for Spruance. The first USS Spruance (DD 963) was the lead ship of Spruance class destroyers serving from 1973 to 2005.
Cmdr. Tate Westbrook, a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Spruance is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342.
Additional information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4.

DTN News: Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) To Join Thai Cobra Gold Military Exercise

Defense News: DTN News: Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) To Join Thai Cobra Gold Military Exercise
Source: DTN News By Roger Smith
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: Malaysia will take part in the Cobra Gold joint military exercise by Thailand and the US armed forces from next year.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia’s participation in the bi-annual military exercise was agreed upon during his meeting with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in Pentagon last week.
“Following the agreement, Malaysia will join the exercise as a participant.
“We will benefit directly in terms of using the latest and most sophisticated military techniques and strategies available,” Zahid told reporters after the launch of his ministry’s transformation day here yesterday.
Other participating nations in the joint multi-lateral military exercise are Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia, while more than 20 countries would take part as observers.
He said Gates also agreed to work with Malaysia in the upgrading of the Royal Malaysian Air Force Nuri helicopter and the Hercules C-130 transport aircraft after 2014, as well as to intensify training for Malaysian armed forces personnel in the United States.
“The MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) programme of the aircraft are now being carried out by Airod and ATSC (Aerospace Technologies Systems Corpo-ration).
We will take over the programme by 2014.
“We will also acquire the Airbus A-400M transport aircraft by 2012,” he added.
Zahid said that 25 US defence industry companies had agreed in principle to invest in the Defence Industrial Park in Sungkai, Perak, following his meeting with captains of US defence industry.
He said it was anticipated that an estimated US$2.5bil (RM8.1bil) in investments would flow in for the park.
Malaysia's armed forces, which encompasses three major branches, originate from the formation of local military forces in the first half of the 20th century, during British colonial rule of Malaya and Singapore prior to Malaya's independence in 1957. The branches have undergone several restructuring, but fundamentally includes the army, navy and air force.
The role of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is to defend the sovereignty and strategic interests of Malaysia from all forms of threat.
It is responsible to assist the civilian authorities to overcome all international threats, preserve public order, assist in natural disasters and participate in national development programs.
It is also sustaining and upgrading its capabilities in the international sphere in order to uphold the national foreign policy of being involved under the guidance of the United Nations (UN).
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: U. S. Army Testing Green Laser Kits In Afghanistan

Defense News: DTN News: U. S. Army Testing Green Laser Kits In Afghanistan
Source: Army News Service - By By Debi Dawson, June 2, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.- June 4, 2010: The Army's Program Executive Office Soldier is fielding several Green Laser Escalation of Force, or GLEF, kits to units in Afghanistan for operational assessment.
The GLEF systems are mounted as an accessory to Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations or CROWS, the turret system that provides Soldiers the ability to employ cameras, sensors and weapons from inside the protection of an armored vehicle.
The non-lethal green-light laser gives Soldiers an interim step before escalating force while conducting daily operations.
"Protecting civilian populations is critical to our success in fighting insurgencies," said Col. Douglas Tamilio, project manager for Soldier Weapons. "Green lasers have proven safe and effective as a non-lethal tool that sends a strong message without the need to employ deadly force."
The GLEF system emits a wide band of green light that temporarily disrupts a person's vision so that driving a vehicle or aiming a weapon becomes difficult if not impossible. One application would be to warn civilians away from checkpoints and other areas where their safety is at risk. At closer distances, the lasers provide an immediate, nonlethal capability to deter aggressive actions.
"The human eye is four times more sensitive to green light than to red light during the day and far more sensitive at night," explained Maj. Michael Pottratz, program manager for Crew Served Weapons.
"The effect is the same as looking at the sun for a fraction of a second. The lasers send a warning signal across language and cultural barriers to keep innocent people from entering into harm's way."
While green lasers have been commercially available for a number of years, the system configuration for use as a CROWS accessory is a new development. By employing previously tested and approved technologies, engineers were able to design, assemble and field the new configuration for use in CROWS systems in less than 12 months.
Select units will test the systems for 90 days and report back to PEO Soldier on system performance and its impact on operations. Soldier input will be incorporated into the final designs.

DTN News: US Congress Approves C17 Globemaster III Transport Aircraft Sale To India

Defense News: DTN News: US Congress Approves C17 Globemaster III Transport Aircraft Sale To India
Source: DTN News By Roger Smith
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: The US Congress has cleared the sale of C-17 Globemaster III strategic aircraft for India, ahead of the crucial Cabinet-level Strategic Dialogue between the two countries according to DTN News.
The Obama Administration had in April notified the US Congress of the potential sale of 10 C-17 aircraft to India and sought approval in this regard. "We are pleased that India's intent to buy 10 C-17 Globemaster III has received U.S. congressional approval," Dr Vivek Lall, Vice President and Country Head, Boeing Defence, Space and Security, India, told the media in New Delhi.
With this, the Indian government is one step closer to acquiring the C-17 which we believe is ideally suited to meet India's airlift needs for military and humanitarian purposes, he said. "The submittal of the Letter of Acceptance to the Government of India will be the next step towards finalizing the Foreign Military Sale," Lall said. "The aircraft are being sold to India under the US Government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, with the maximum package value of USD 5.8 billion.
That includes the 3. 8 per cent administrative fee that the government charges to ensure timely delivery and guarantee the supplies," reported India Strategic in its latest issue. A senior Obama Administration official William Burns had yesterday defended arms sale to India by arguing that this commensurate with New Delhi's expanding role as well as America's own interest.
In June 2009, the Indian Air Force (IAF) selected the C-17 to fulfill its Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft requirement. If the deal is approved by the Indian Defense Ministry, the C-17 would replace the Ilyushin Il-76 as the largest heavy lift transport aircraft in-service with the IAF. According to the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P. V. Naik, the IAF plans to order ten C-17 aircraft. As of June 2009, the selection was being reviewed by the Indian Defense Ministry, but an order has not been placed.
According to DTN News, the Indian media reports in October 2009, the Defense Acquisition Council of India has "almost finalized" the deal with the United States for 10 C-17s. US Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, expressed optimism over the deal and said that the United States was committed to expanding the "strategic lift capability" of the Indian Air Force. In January 2010, the US Government received a request from India for 10 C-17s through a Foreign Military Sale. In June 2010, the US Congress approved the sale of 10 C-17s to India under the US's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated June 4, 2010

Defense News: DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated June 4, 2010
Source: U.S. DoD issued June 4, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 4, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued June 4, 2010 are undermentioned;<>
CONTRACTS
NAVY

~Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., is being awarded a $99,557,548 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2217) for long lead time material (LLTM) for ships four and five of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program. This contract provides LLTM for main propulsion engines, aluminum, waterjets, reduction gears, generators and other components to support construction of JHSV ships four and five, commencing in fall 2010. Work will be performed in Detroit, Mich. (38 percent); Chesapeake, Va. (18 percent); Henderson, Australia (13 percent); Gulfport, Miss. (10 percent); Ravenswood, W.Va. (9 percent); Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (4 percent); Mobile, Ala. (3 percent); Auburn, Ind. (2.6 percent); Winter Haven, Fla. (1 percent); Gardena, Calif. (1 percent); and Davenport, Iowa (0.4 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
~Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, S.C., is being awarded a $46,102,093 firm-fixed-priced modification under contract (M67854-07-D-5031) delivery order #0018 for the purchase of 2,451 automatic fire extinguisher system kits to be installed on the Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Work will be performed Sterling Heights, Mich., and is expected to be completed February 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $46,102,093 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
AIR FORCE
~Northrop Grumman Corp., Integrated Systems Sector, San Jose, Calif., was awarded a $23,706,450 contract which will manage the day-to-day engineering, manufacturing and design contract operations for the Global Hawk. At this time, $6,851,097 has been obligated. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (F33657-01-C-4600).
~L3 Communications Corp., Arlington, Texas, was awarded a $21,031,116.50 contract which acquires a fully immersive Block 40/50 F-16 mission training center and spares that will be delivered to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 677 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8621-09-C-6292).
~Sabreliner Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $7,460,790.28 contract which will provide engineering and analysis tasks supporting an assessment of the C/KC-135 fleet. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 10th Contracting Squadron, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., is the contracting activity (FA7000-10-D-0014).
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
~CFI International, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $7,557,400 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for aircraft turbine cases. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is January 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency (DSCR-ZBAB), Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8104-08-G-0002-UNY7).
~McRae Industries, Inc.*, Mt Gilead, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $6,543,446 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, total set-aside, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for men’s and women’s combat boots. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. The original proposal was Web-solicited with six responses. The date of performance completion is June 3, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-1080).
*Small business

DTN News: Boeing, Royal Australian Air Force Graduate 1st Locally Trained C-17 Pilots

Defense News: DTN News: Boeing, Royal Australian Air Force Graduate 1st Locally Trained C-17 Pilots
Source: DTN News / Boeing Dt. June 3, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) AMBERLEY, Queensland, - June 4, 2010: Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) today announced the graduation of the first RAAF C-17 Globemaster III pilots trained in Australia.
Since commencing Pilot Initial Qualification (PIQ) training on Feb. 1, Flight Lt. David Whyte and Pilot Officer Stephen Maunder have received more than 350 hours of programmed training from Boeing Defence Australia instructors at RAAF Base Amberley, including 120 simulated flight hours in the C-17 Globemaster III Aircrew Training System (ATS).
"Delivering Australia's first in-country C-17 pilot training program is a significant achievement for both Boeing and the RAAF," said Nigel Page, C-17 ATS site team lead for Boeing Defence Australia. "The graduation of Flight Lt. Whyte and Pilot Officer Maunder as qualified C-17 pilots demonstrates the success and value of the RAAF's new in-country pilot-training capability, assisted greatly by Boeing's training expertise and the Amberley-based C-17 ATS."
The Boeing-developed C-17 ATS consists of a Loadmaster Station, Learning Center, various support systems and a Weapons Systems Trainer (WST), which is a realistic, full-motion simulator used for pilot training.
"Training C-17 pilots at Amberley has saved the RAAF both money and time by removing substantial travel costs and the need for student pilots to spend longer periods of time training overseas," said Squadron Leader Brent Taylor, 36 Squadron Training Flight Commander. "We are pleased with the end result of the locally based training system, and congratulate Flight Lt. Whyte and Pilot Officer Maunder for passing with flying colors."
The students' training culminated in five flights at the controls of a real C-17 airlifter under the instruction of RAAF Qualified Flying Instructors, and acceptance by the RAAF's No. 36 Squadron.
"There is no doubt in my mind the Boeing-delivered PIQ training has equipped me with the tools and knowledge required for my career as a RAAF C-17 pilot," said Maunder. "I'm proud to have achieved my goal to become a C-17 pilot and look forward to supporting the C-17 strategic airlift capability for national and international operations."
The next two student pilots, Pilot Officers Luke Ridgway and Brett Hopewell, will graduate from the second PIQ training course this month. The third and fourth PIQ training courses will commence in July and August, respectively.
Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of more than 1,500 employees at 14 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.
Contact:
Sarah Wills
Boeing Defence Australia
+1 (61) 7 3306 3132
Boeing Training Systems & Services
+1 314-232-8187

DTN News: U. S. Navy To Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Spruance

Defense News: DTN News: U. S. Navy To Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Spruance
Source: U.S. Department of Defense No. 457-10 June 03, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 4, 2010: The Navy will christen the newest guided-missile destroyer, Spruance, Saturday, June 5, 2010, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The new destroyer honors legendary Adm. Raymond Spruance, whose calm and decisive leadership at the Battle of Midway contributed to a pivotal American victory during World War II.
Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Ellen Spruance Holscher, granddaughter of the ship’s namesake, will serve as sponsor, and in accordance with Navy tradition, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.
Born in Baltimore, July 3, 1886, Spruance graduated from the Naval Academy in 1906. His Navy career was extensive, including command of five destroyers and the battleship Mississippi. Spruance led Task Force 16, with two aircraft carriers, during the 1942 Battle of Midway, where his disposition of forces and management of aircraft was crucial to a victory that is regarded as the turning point in the Pacific war with Japan. He later directed campaigns that captured the Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Iwo Jima and Okinawa and defeated the Japanese fleet in the 1944 Battle of Philippine Sea. After commanding the Pacific Fleet in 1945-46, Spruance served as president of the Naval War College until retiring in 1948. In 1952-55, he was ambassador to the Philippines. Spruance died at Pebble Beach, Calif., Dec. 13, 1969.
Designated DDG 111, Spruance is the 61st ship of the Arleigh Burke class, a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to operate in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface threat environments. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs.
The ship will be the second ship named for Spruance. The first USS Spruance (DD 963) was the lead ship of Spruance class destroyers serving from 1973 to 2005.
Cmdr. Tate Westbrook, a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Spruance is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342.
Additional information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4.

DTN News: Indian Navy, Go For Gorshkov

Defense News: DTN News: Indian Navy, Go For Gorshkov
Source: Strategy Page
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: An Indian inspection team has concluded that Russian efforts to refurbish the carrier Admiral Gorshkov, for Indian service, is on schedule. Nearly all the structural work is completed, and all the major mechanical items are installed. About half the cable (electrical and other conduits) work is complete. The Indian inspectors concluded that the ship should be ready for harbor trails by early next year. After that, the completed ship would be handed over to India in late 2012.
Earlier this year, after five years of confusion, accusations, stonewalling and renegotiation, India agreed to pay Russia an additional $1.3 billion to have the Gorshkov refurbished to Indian specifications. The original deal was the for getting it done for about a billion dollars. But once the Russians got to work, things got complicated, and out of control,
Indian naval officers have admitted that they were partially to blame for the Gorshkov fiasco. The Indians admit that, when they signed the deal in 2004, they had not had engineers go over the Gorshkov, and agreed, after a cursory inspection, that many electrical and mechanical components, buried within the ship's hull, were serviceable. It turned out that many of those components were not good-to-go, especially the cabling, and had to be replaced, at great expense. Shortly after the contract was signed, the Russians discovered that the shipyard had misplaced the blueprints for the Gorshkov, and things went downhill from there.
After four years of haggling over Russian demands for more money, India agreed to pay about a billion dollars more, instead of the original (2004) agreed on one billion dollars, for a Russian shipyard to refurbish an old, damaged, aircraft carrier (the Admiral Gorshkov) for Indian use. Last year, Russia threatened to give the Gorshkov back to the Russian Navy if the Indians didn't, come up with even more money.
The 44,000 ton Gorshkov was supposed to have been delivered last year, and renamed the INS Vikramaditya. But now delivery has been delayed until 2012. The Russians admitted that this project suffered from inept planning, shoddy workmanship, and poor management, and they wanted India to pay for most of those mistakes. The Indians were not amused, and played hard ball, making much of the fact that India was now the biggest customer for Russian military exports. Russia was also aware that India was increasingly turning to more expensive (and more capable) Western arms suppliers.
Building a Gorshkov type carrier today would cost about $4 billion, and take eight years. India even looked into buying one of the new, 65,000 ton, British Queen Elizabeth class carriers (for about $6 billion). The Russians were willing to admit to mistakes and put things right, for a price. It took over a year of negotiations to determine what a mutually agreeable price would be. Meanwhile, the boss of Sevmash naval shipyard, when the Gorshkov deal was negotiated, was fired and under criminal investigation, on suspicion offinancial mismanagement.
Back in 2005, the Indians were not happy with all this, and at first insisted that the Russian government (which owns many of the entities involved) make good on the original deal. India sent its own team of technical experts to Russia, and their report apparently confirmed what the Russians reported, about shipyard officials low-balling the cost of the work needed. This is a common tactic for firms building weapons for their own country. It gets more complicated when you try to pull that sort of thing on a foreign customer. The Russian government initially offered to cover some of the overrun cost. But then they insisted that India cover most of it, or lose the ship entirely. Nothing was said about whether or not the Indians would get any of their money refunded. As Indian anger rose, the Russians began to realize that they would have to eat most of the additional mistakes, or risk losing billions in future sales. There was also a battle within the Indian government, between factions that wanted to dump the deal and cut back on buying Russian weapons, and other factions that wanted to maintain the long ties with Russia, even if it cost India more money.
The Admiral Gorshkov entered service in 1987, but was inactivated in 1996 because it was too expensive to operate on a post Cold War budget. This attracted the attention of India, which was looking for a way to expand their carrier aviation capabilities. India is currently building another carrier, from scratch, but that 40,000 ton vessel won't be ready until 2015. India's sole current aircraft carrier, the 29,000 ton INS Viraat, just emerged from 18 months in a shipyard getting maintenance and upgrades. This work on the Viraat would have been avoided by the timely arrival (last year) of the refurbished Russian carrier. If that had happened, the INS Viraat would have been retired in 2012, after 53 years service (for Britain and India). But now the INS Viraat, with its engine and hull refurbished, and its electronics upgraded, will probably serve for another decade. Thus by 2015, India will have two large carriers in operation, and some bitter memories of their experience with the Russians over the Gorshkov.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com
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DTN News: Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) To Join Thai Cobra Gold Military Exercise

Defense News: DTN News: Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) To Join Thai Cobra Gold Military Exercise
Source: DTN News By Roger Smith
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: Malaysia will take part in the Cobra Gold joint military exercise by Thailand and the US armed forces from next year.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia’s participation in the bi-annual military exercise was agreed upon during his meeting with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in Pentagon last week.
“Following the agreement, Malaysia will join the exercise as a participant.
“We will benefit directly in terms of using the latest and most sophisticated military techniques and strategies available,” Zahid told reporters after the launch of his ministry’s transformation day here yesterday.
Other participating nations in the joint multi-lateral military exercise are Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia, while more than 20 countries would take part as observers.
He said Gates also agreed to work with Malaysia in the upgrading of the Royal Malaysian Air Force Nuri helicopter and the Hercules C-130 transport aircraft after 2014, as well as to intensify training for Malaysian armed forces personnel in the United States.
“The MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) programme of the aircraft are now being carried out by Airod and ATSC (Aerospace Technologies Systems Corpo-ration).
We will take over the programme by 2014.
“We will also acquire the Airbus A-400M transport aircraft by 2012,” he added.
Zahid said that 25 US defence industry companies had agreed in principle to invest in the Defence Industrial Park in Sungkai, Perak, following his meeting with captains of US defence industry.
He said it was anticipated that an estimated US$2.5bil (RM8.1bil) in investments would flow in for the park.
Malaysia's armed forces, which encompasses three major branches, originate from the formation of local military forces in the first half of the 20th century, during British colonial rule of Malaya and Singapore prior to Malaya's independence in 1957. The branches have undergone several restructuring, but fundamentally includes the army, navy and air force.
The role of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is to defend the sovereignty and strategic interests of Malaysia from all forms of threat.
It is responsible to assist the civilian authorities to overcome all international threats, preserve public order, assist in natural disasters and participate in national development programs.
It is also sustaining and upgrading its capabilities in the international sphere in order to uphold the national foreign policy of being involved under the guidance of the United Nations (UN).
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: U. S. Army Testing Green Laser Kits In Afghanistan

Defense News: DTN News: U. S. Army Testing Green Laser Kits In Afghanistan
Source: Army News Service - By By Debi Dawson, June 2, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.- June 4, 2010: The Army's Program Executive Office Soldier is fielding several Green Laser Escalation of Force, or GLEF, kits to units in Afghanistan for operational assessment.
The GLEF systems are mounted as an accessory to Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations or CROWS, the turret system that provides Soldiers the ability to employ cameras, sensors and weapons from inside the protection of an armored vehicle.
The non-lethal green-light laser gives Soldiers an interim step before escalating force while conducting daily operations.
"Protecting civilian populations is critical to our success in fighting insurgencies," said Col. Douglas Tamilio, project manager for Soldier Weapons. "Green lasers have proven safe and effective as a non-lethal tool that sends a strong message without the need to employ deadly force."
The GLEF system emits a wide band of green light that temporarily disrupts a person's vision so that driving a vehicle or aiming a weapon becomes difficult if not impossible. One application would be to warn civilians away from checkpoints and other areas where their safety is at risk. At closer distances, the lasers provide an immediate, nonlethal capability to deter aggressive actions.
"The human eye is four times more sensitive to green light than to red light during the day and far more sensitive at night," explained Maj. Michael Pottratz, program manager for Crew Served Weapons.
"The effect is the same as looking at the sun for a fraction of a second. The lasers send a warning signal across language and cultural barriers to keep innocent people from entering into harm's way."
While green lasers have been commercially available for a number of years, the system configuration for use as a CROWS accessory is a new development. By employing previously tested and approved technologies, engineers were able to design, assemble and field the new configuration for use in CROWS systems in less than 12 months.
Select units will test the systems for 90 days and report back to PEO Soldier on system performance and its impact on operations. Soldier input will be incorporated into the final designs.

DTN News: US Congress Approves C17 Globemaster III Transport Aircraft Sale To India

Defense News: DTN News: US Congress Approves C17 Globemaster III Transport Aircraft Sale To India
Source: DTN News By Roger Smith
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 4, 2010: The US Congress has cleared the sale of C-17 Globemaster III strategic aircraft for India, ahead of the crucial Cabinet-level Strategic Dialogue between the two countries according to DTN News.
The Obama Administration had in April notified the US Congress of the potential sale of 10 C-17 aircraft to India and sought approval in this regard. "We are pleased that India's intent to buy 10 C-17 Globemaster III has received U.S. congressional approval," Dr Vivek Lall, Vice President and Country Head, Boeing Defence, Space and Security, India, told the media in New Delhi.
With this, the Indian government is one step closer to acquiring the C-17 which we believe is ideally suited to meet India's airlift needs for military and humanitarian purposes, he said. "The submittal of the Letter of Acceptance to the Government of India will be the next step towards finalizing the Foreign Military Sale," Lall said. "The aircraft are being sold to India under the US Government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, with the maximum package value of USD 5.8 billion.
That includes the 3. 8 per cent administrative fee that the government charges to ensure timely delivery and guarantee the supplies," reported India Strategic in its latest issue. A senior Obama Administration official William Burns had yesterday defended arms sale to India by arguing that this commensurate with New Delhi's expanding role as well as America's own interest.
In June 2009, the Indian Air Force (IAF) selected the C-17 to fulfill its Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft requirement. If the deal is approved by the Indian Defense Ministry, the C-17 would replace the Ilyushin Il-76 as the largest heavy lift transport aircraft in-service with the IAF. According to the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P. V. Naik, the IAF plans to order ten C-17 aircraft. As of June 2009, the selection was being reviewed by the Indian Defense Ministry, but an order has not been placed.
According to DTN News, the Indian media reports in October 2009, the Defense Acquisition Council of India has "almost finalized" the deal with the United States for 10 C-17s. US Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, expressed optimism over the deal and said that the United States was committed to expanding the "strategic lift capability" of the Indian Air Force. In January 2010, the US Government received a request from India for 10 C-17s through a Foreign Military Sale. In June 2010, the US Congress approved the sale of 10 C-17s to India under the US's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com