Saturday, October 23, 2010

DTN News: Force Protection Selects Manufacturing Base For Ocelot In Australia

Defense News: DTN News: Force Protection Selects Manufacturing Base For Ocelot In Australia
Source: DTN News / Force Protection
(NSI News Source Info) LADSON, SC- October 24, 2010: Force Protection Australasia, a Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) group company, today announced it had reached agreement with the South Australian Government to manufacture and support its Ocelot vehicle in Adelaide, if it is successful in securing the contract to manufacture up to 1,300 next-generation protected mobility vehicles under the ‘Land 121 Phase 4’ program.

Chief Executive Officer, Michael Moody, said that following discussions with the State Government and potential suppliers, South Australia offered the most suitable manufacturing base for the Ocelot.

“Since we first met with the Government and potential suppliers in 2009, it has become clear that South Australia can provide the essential ingredients we need to successfully manufacture and support the Ocelot,” Mr Moody said. “This view was confirmed during my recent discussions with Premier Mike Rann.

“The South Australian Government has been very supportive and highly professional in its discussions with us. South Australia’s reputation as Australia’s ‘Defence State’ is well-founded. I certainly believe that with our Ocelot, the strength and capability of Force Protection and our collaboration with South Australia, we will have a compelling offering for the Commonwealth of Australia.”

Force Protection has identified a site within the Edinburgh Parks precinct, in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, as a suitable location for its proposed vehicle manufacturing base.

He said today’s announcement strengthened Force Protection’s commitment to operating in Australia, and looked forward to making further announcements about the company’s plans.

This is a significant step forward in the potential development of the Ocelot in Australia.

It also follows an announcement last month that the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) had selected Force Protection Europe as preferred bidder to supply its Ocelot for the MoD’s urgent operational requirement for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle program (LPPV).

Mr. Moody concluded, “The Ocelot now has a first class endorsement from the United Kingdom and is ideally suited to the Australian requirement.”

About Force Protection, Inc.

Force Protection, Inc. is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of survivability solutions, including blast- and ballistic-protected wheeled vehicles currently deployed by the U.S. military and its allies to support armed forces and security personnel in conflict zones. Force Protection’s specialty vehicles, including the Buffalo, Cougar and related variants, are designed specifically for reconnaissance and urban operations and to protect their occupants from landmines, hostile fire, and improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”, commonly referred to as roadside bombs). Complementing these efforts, Force Protection is designing, developing and marketing new vehicle platforms (including the Ocelot and JAMMA) that provide increased modularity, speed, mobility and concealment with enhanced levels of blast- and ballistic-protection. Force Protection also develops, manufactures, tests, delivers and supports products and services aimed at further enhancing the survivability of users against additional threats. In addition, Force Protection provides long-term life cycle support services of its vehicles that involve development of technical data packages, supply of spares, field and depot maintenance activities, assignment of highly-skilled field service representatives, and advanced on and off-road driver and maintenance training programs. For more information on Force Protection and its products and services, visit www.forceprotection.net.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations. These statements are based on beliefs and assumptions of Force Protection’s management, and on information currently available to management. These forward looking statements include, among other things: the growth, demand and interest for Force Protection’s services and vehicles, including the Ocelot; expectations for future contracts for the Ocelot; the benefits and suitability of the Ocelot, including its survivability; the ability to meet current and future requirements, including expected work commencement and completion dates; and, the expectation that there could be significant demand for the Ocelot in the future. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any of them publicly in light of new information or future events. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, ability to effectively manage the risks in the Company’s business; the ability to develop new technologies and products and the acceptance of these technologies and products; and, the other risk factors and cautionary statements listed in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and as updated in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense Displays New Tactical Wheeled Vehicles And Technologies At U.S. Army Annual Meeting

Defense News: DTN News: Oshkosh Defense Displays New Tactical Wheeled Vehicles And Technologies At U.S. Army Annual Meeting
Source: DTN News / Oshkosh Corporation
(NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. - October 24, 2010: Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), will showcase new technologies and vehicles at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Washington Convention Center October 25 – 27 in booth 2639.

The displays illustrate Oshkosh’s commitment to innovation and providing the U.S. Army with leaner, more mobile and modern fleets. “As the sole manufacturer of the both the Army’s medium and heavy tactical truck fleets, we listen to our customers to better understand their needs,” said Mike Ivy, Oshkosh Defense vice president and general manager, Army Programs. “At AUSA, we have the opportunity to expand that dialog and display next-generation technologies designed with their input. Our ProPulse® drive technology, for example, addresses concerns about fleet fuel consumption and exportable power, and aims to expand functionality in theater.”

The Oshkosh® TAK-4® independent suspension system integration on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) is displayed in response to the Army’s request to industry for solutions to recapitalize its fleet. Oshkosh has been helping militaries recapitalize and retrofit vehicles for more than 50 years. In addition to its advanced suspension, Oshkosh incorporates a V-shaped hull and engine and powertrain upgrades to improve soldier survivability as well as off-road mobility and payload capacity.

A Reconnaissance vehicle – the latest variant in the Oshkosh M-ATV family of vehicles – offers its crew of six plus a gunner battle-proven MRAP-level protection with unmatched mobility, and applies patented technologies to help forces perform route, zone and area reconnaissance. The M-ATV family of vehicles also includes SOCOM, Utility and Ambulance variants.

The Oshkosh TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technology is another solution for increasing soldier safety by reducing exposure to battlefield threats, such as improvised explosive devices (IED), and increasing situational awareness while on the move. The technology will be featured on a Load Handling System (LHS) variant of the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV).

Additional technologies, such as Command Zone™ integrated diagnostics system – a computer-controlled, multiplexed electronics system – will be on display using an interactive touch table. A light combat tactical vehicle will serve as a technology demonstrator for the ProPulse diesel-electric platform, advanced capsule design and the next-generation TAK-4 independent suspension system.

About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com.

About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, visit www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this presentation, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include the impact on revenues and margins of the projected decrease in M-ATV production rates; the cost of any warranty campaigns related to the Company’s products; the Company’s ability to start production under the FMTV contract at targeted margins; the cyclical nature of the Company’s access equipment, commercial and fire & emergency markets, especially during periods of global economic weakness and tight credit markets; the duration of the ongoing global economic weakness, which could lead to additional impairment charges related to many of the Company’s intangible assets and/or a slower recovery in the Company’s cyclical businesses than equity market expectations; the expected level and timing of U.S. DoD procurement of products and services and funding thereof; risks related to reductions in government expenditures in light of U.S. defense budget pressures and an uncertain DoD tactical wheeled vehicle strategy; the potential for the U.S. government to competitively bid the Company’s Army and Marine Corps contracts; the consequences of financial leverage associated with the JLG acquisition, which could limit the Company’s ability to pursue various opportunities; risks related to the collectability of receivables, particularly for those businesses with exposure to construction markets; risks related to production delays as a result of the economy’s impact on the Company’s suppliers; the potential for commodity costs to rise sharply, particularly in a future economic recovery; risks related to costs and charges as a result of facilities consolidation and alignment; risks associated with international operations and sales, including foreign currency fluctuations and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; risks related to disruptions in the Company’s distribution networks; and the potential for increased costs relating to compliance with changes in laws and regulations. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any obligation to update such forward-looking statements.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY October 24, 2010 - U.S. Warns Pakistan: Fight Taliban Or Lose Funding

Defense News: DTN News: Pakistan TODAY October 24, 2010 - U.S. Warns Pakistan: Fight Taliban Or Lose Funding
Source: By ADAM ENTOUS and JULIAN E. BARNES in Washington and TOM WRIGHT in New Delhi - The Wall Street Journal
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - October 24, 2010: Obama administration officials have privately warned Pakistani leaders that continued inaction against Taliban and al Qaeda havens bordering Afghanistan could jeopardize some of the large U.S. cash payouts on which Islamabad depends.

The warnings raise the stakes for talks this week in Washington between U.S. and Pakistani officials, after months of growing tensions in which the administration has delivered a steady drumbeat of criticism of Islamabad's perceived unwillingness to take stronger action against the Afghan Taliban and its allies.

U.S. officials also have periodically offered optimism and increased help, including proposing added military aid earlier this week.

The U.S. is under pressure to show gains in the war in advance of the planned drawdown of U.S. troops, due to begin in July. It has ramped up military operations in Afghanistan's south and east, facilitated Afghan-led talks with the Taliban, and stepped up a campaign of drone strikes against militant groups that stage cross-border attacks from Pakistan.

Those efforts have heightened the need for support from Pakistan, which says it has stepped up its own efforts but doesn't have the resources to go into the regions where the militants are based because of other needs.

The White House also has decided not to provide equipment or training to Pakistani Army units that have been accused of killing prisoners or civilians, according to a military official. That move follows a U.S. investigation into a recent video that showed Pakistani military personnel killing a prisoner. About a half dozen units will be affected by the new policy, reported first by The New York Times.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama dropped by a meeting of his top advisers and Pakistani officials, including the military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. A White House statement issued afterwards highlighted the need to "increase pressure on extremist safe-havens" but didn't repeat previous White House praise of Islamabad fighting militants.

Funding represents the greatest U.S. leverage over Islamabad. U.S. military and civilian funding for Pakistan totaled more than $3.5 billion over the last year, according to congressional estimates. But concerns have risen in Congress about how that money is spent and whether Pakistan is obstructing U.S. goals in Afghanistan.

The administration said this week it intends to increase annual grants for Pakistan to buy U.S. defense equipment, but officials warned that Congress could pare that back.

Administration and congressional officials also said hundreds of millions of dollars a year in so-called Coalition Support Fund payments, which reimburse Pakistan for its military operations against militants, could face future cuts.

The U.S. hasn't made any reimbursement to Pakistan since May 27; the Pentagon is reviewing the requests. The U.S. reimbursed Pakistan $1.3 billion between January and May for Pakistani operations conducted in 2008 and 2009, but has not paid for operations in 2010.

On Thursday, an official with the Pakistani military spy agency said Islamabad wants to take part in the peace contacts between Kabul and Taliban officials, warning that excluding Pakistan could jeopardize them.

Obama administration officials say they want to include Pakistani representatives, in part to help ensure that Islamabad doesn't try to scuttle the talks.

Some Western and Afghan officials say they believe Pakistan's spy agency arrested Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Feburary to halt talks that excluded Islamabad. Pakistan denies this.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

DTN News: BAE Systems Improving Soldier Protection Through U.S. Army Vehicle Armor Contract

Defense News: DTN News: BAE Systems Improving Soldier Protection Through U.S. Army Vehicle Armor Contract
Source: DTN News / BAE Systems
(NSI News Source Info) AUSTIN, Texas, - October 24, 2010: BAE Systems has received an $11 million U.S. Army contract to produce bar armor kits that protect soldiers in ground vehicles from rocket-propelled grenade attacks. The company will continue to produce L-ROD(R) bar armor kits for the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command's RG-31 Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles.

Last November, BAE Systems received a $42 million contract for the bar armor kits. This latest award is for 390 kits and field service support outside the U.S.

Developed to provide RPG protection for Hummers and MRAP mine-resistant vehicles, L-ROD bar armor is a lightweight, modular bar-armor system made of an aluminum alloy. L-ROD provides protection against rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs, with minimum impact to operational capabilities.

L-ROD has become standard equipment on the Army's MRAP Class III Buffalo explosive ordnance disposal vehicles.

"We've delivered more than 2,500 total kits to date, and now, more are on the way," said Neil Piscitelli, L-ROD director for BAE Systems in Austin, Texas. "The L-Rod kits have demonstrated value by helping to protect troops on the battlefield and save lives."

Weighing less than half of comparable steel designs, the low-cost L-ROD system bolts onto the vehicle without welding or cutting and can be repaired easily in the field due to its modular design. BAE Systems manufactures the L-ROD bar armor kits on an automated production line in Austin that opened last year.

L-ROD can also be found on Marine Corps Buffalo vehicles, MRAP Category I and II Cougar MRAPs, as well as the MRAP Category I RG-31. BAE Systems is also working on L-ROD variants for other MRAP-type vehicles as requested, and has provided the kits to NATO allies for use on their vehicles in theater.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems is a global defense, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of GBP 22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

DTN News: Boeing To Highlight Innovative Capabilities For Army At AUSA Boeing To Highlight Innovative Capabilities For Army At AUSA Annual Meeting & E

Defense News: DTN News: Boeing To Highlight Innovative Capabilities For Army At AUSA Boeing To Highlight Innovative Capabilities For Army At AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition
Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - October 24, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will showcase a wide array of solutions for the U.S. Army at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition, Oct. 25-27 in Washington. Army modernization initiatives, unmanned systems, airlift and attack/reconnaissance platforms, network-centric technologies, cybersecurity solutions, logistics support, and logistics command and control will be highlighted at the company’s exhibit and in presentations by company leaders.

"We are in an era where the defense industry and its customers are accelerating change initiatives to become more affordable, agile and innovative," said Leo Brooks, Boeing vice president, National Security & Space Group. "The Boeing Company looks forward to providing innovative technology and capability solutions to our U.S. Army customers. Our bottom line is that we must urgently, effectively and affordably meet warfighter needs -- they deserve it and we will do it."

"Our commitment is to the men and women serving both at home and deployed abroad,” said Jamey Moran, Boeing vice president of Army Systems. “We will provide integrated solutions and capabilities to help them accomplish the mission and return home safely."

As part of that commitment, Boeing is proud to be the first corporate member of the National Museum of the United States Army’s elite Commander-in-Chief’s Circle of Distinction. Boeing encourages all AUSA attendees to visit the museum’s booth (#2625) during the show to learn more about the museum’s development.

This year, Boeing will unveil a more interactive booth design that features a number of hands-on demonstrations and models. Some of the solutions include Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization; the AH-64D Apache, CH-47F Chinook and AH-6 helicopters; C4ISR and cybersecurity solutions; the A160T and ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems; Wideband Global SATCOM; Joint Tactical Radio System -- Ground Mobile Radios; the Joint Recovery and Distribution System, the Common Integrated Crew Station, a fully immersive ground forces training demo, and energy solutions for Army programs. The booth also will feature a new vehicle-mounted Avenger multi-mission turret.

Boeing's online press kit at www.boeing.com/bds/mediakit/2010/ausa will be updated throughout the show with briefing presentations and schedule changes, if any. The site also contains program backgrounders, executive biographies and a link to high-resolution photos. Reporters may contact the media relations representatives listed below to schedule interviews with Boeing executives at the show.

All briefings will be held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center’s 9th Street Mezzanine Room unless otherwise noted. All times listed below are Eastern time.

Monday, Oct. 25
1130-1200: Avenger Derivatives -- Boeing Booth #803
Boeing Avenger senior leaders discuss expanded capabilities that provide adaptive force protection solutions that enable integration of a variety of weapons (missiles, rockets, guns, future weapons) providing multi-mission capability on a single platform. This concept allows for rapid conversion, a robust weapons mix that complements other weapon systems, and the flexibility to match the weapon with the threat. A prototype will be on display at the Boeing booth.

1330-1430: AH-64D Apache
Apache Programs senior leaders, joined by U.S. Army Col. Shane Openshaw, discuss the recent progress of the AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter program in anticipation of the beginning of Low Rate Initial Production.

1540-1630: CH-47 Chinook
Chinook Programs Vice President Leanne Caret and U.S. Army Col. Bob Marion provide an update on the Chinook program's status, including recent contracts.

Tuesday, Oct. 26
0930-1030: Logistics Command & Control Demonstration -- Boeing Booth #803
Sam DeFord, chief operating officer for Boeing’s Tapestry Solutions subsidiary, and Ron Isom, Tapestry’s vice president of Operations, provide an overview and demonstration of innovative technologies used for military Logistics Command & Control, an emerging growth area for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The briefing includes a demonstration of Tapestry’s Dashtop product, which provides the next generation in high entity/high fidelity data integration, segregation and visualization, using a services-oriented architecture to support U.S. military personnel and headquarters operations worldwide.

1030-1130: Joint Tactical Radio System -- Ground Mobile Radios

Boeing JTRS-GMR Program Manager Ralph Moslener provides an update on recent accomplishments, including completion of System Integration Testing, and describes how JTRS GMR capabilities provide a secure terrestrial backbone for Army modernization.

1130-1200: Avenger Derivatives (additional capabilities) -- Boeing Booth #803
Boeing Avenger senior leaders discuss expanded capabilities that provide adaptive force protection solutions that enable integration of a variety of weapons (missiles, rockets, guns, future weapons) providing multi-mission capability on a single platform. This concept allows for rapid conversion, a robust weapons mix that complements other weapon systems, and the flexibility to match the weapon with the threat. A prototype will be on display at the Boeing booth.

1315-1400: Army Support & Sustainment
Army Integrated Logistics Director Peri Widener presents an update on Boeing’s rotorcraft support activities to the U.S. Army and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, as well as an overview of recent testing and demonstrations of the Joint Recovery and Distribution System.

1400-1500: Ground Forces Training Demo -- Boeing Booth #803
David Irwin, Boeing director for Ground Forces Training, hosts a demonstration of Boeing’s new Virtual Mission Board, which was part of the company’s recent live demonstration of the Integrated Immersive Training Environment (I2TE), a best-of-industry approach to bringing fully immersive training to ground forces. Virtual unmanned systems, a 3-D holographic map and the Army’s Virtual Battle Space 2, serious gaming components that were part of the live demonstration, also are on display at the booth.

1430-1530: Joint Air-to-Ground Missile -- Raytheon Booth #2603
Boeing Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems Vice President Debra Rub represents Boeing in a discussion of JAGM's benefits to the warfighter and the expertise Boeing and Raytheon have in integrating weapons systems to optimize platform and warfighter capabilities.

1515-1600: Cyber & Information Solutions
Barbara Fast, Boeing Cyber and Information Solutions vice president, hosts a media roundtable with other Boeing Cyber and Energy executives to explain Boeing’s expertise in cyber, its opportunities for growth and the importance of cybersecurity across the Boeing enterprise.

Wednesday, Oct. 27
1000-1100: AH-6 Light Attack/Reconnaissance Helicopter
Boeing executives Tommy Filler and Mike Burke provide an update on the AH-6 program as efforts continue to secure a contractual agreement and begin production of the unmanned platform at the Boeing facility in Mesa, Ariz.

1100-1200: Joint Recovery and Distribution System Demo -- Boeing Booth #803
Ground Forces Support Systems Director Dan Afflick presents information and contract status for the JRaDS trailers, which recently completed a series of demonstrations and tests highlighting their ability to expedite cargo handling, logistics and distribution, as well as recover and evacuate vehicles and aircraft.

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. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

DTN News: Iraq War Logs - British Blunder May Have Let al-Qaida Kingpin Zarqawi Go Free

Defense News: DTN News: Iraq War Logs - British Blunder May Have Let al-Qaida Kingpin Zarqawi Go Free
*Helicopter ran out of fuel, allowing Bin Laden's Iraq chief to evade capture for further 15 months, secret military logs suggest
Source: Jonathan Steele - guardian.co.uk, Saturday 23 October 2010 23.46 BST
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, U.K. - October 24, 2010: British troops came close to capturing al-Qaida's top commander and the occupation forces' most wanted target in Iraq – but the operation collapsed after the only surveillance helicopter ordered to monitor him ran out of fuel and had to return to base, secret military intelligence logs suggest.

The astonishing blunder in March 2005 allowed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – a Jordanian associate of Osama bin Laden with a $25m reward on his head – an extra 15 months to expand al-Qaida's operations throughout Iraq, bringing the country close to civil war. His fundamentalist Sunni supporters were behind some of the worst atrocities aimed at Iraq's Shia majority population as well as countless attacks on US and Iraqi government forces. Their bombing of a sacred golden-domed Shia shrine in Samarra in February 2006 led to a wave of revenge killings that lasted for a year and a half.

He was eventually located by the Americans in a house north of Baghdad in June 2006 and killed with his family by a US air strike.

His narrow escape from British troops and a unit of British special forces emerges from the secret military intelligence logs examined by the Guardian. They report that on 17 March 2005 the G3 cell of army intelligence at British brigade headquarters in Basra heard that Zarqawi was travelling south on route 6 from Amarah to Basra. They informed Danish forces at 2.15pm. The Danes played a junior role in the coalition under overall British command in south-eastern Iraq.

Half an hour later, the report says, a Lynx helicopter spotted a suspicious car that had stopped 7.5 miles (12km) south of al-Qurna and about 60 miles north of Basra. Al-Qurna is a dusty flyblown Mesopotamian town that is claimed, inappropriately in view of its present condition, as the site of the biblical Garden of Eden.

US forces in Iraq invariably sent helicopters in pairs. The report says the helicopter maintained "top cover" for 15minutes but then had to return to the UK-run Shaiba logistics base to refuel.

"As a result the area of interest was unobserved for between 20 and 30 min," the report adds. By then British troops from Corunna company of 1st Battalion the Duke of Wellington's Regiment had rushed in and set up an inner and outer cordon around the area. British special forces and an American "arresting officer" were brought in.

Having lost their helicopter cover the forces were reduced to random searching. A Shia mosque was raided but Iraqi civilians were the only people in it. A second building was searched but also only contained civilians. The report ends with: "At 22.14 the search was concluded."

Unlike many other reports in the logs, this one makes no comment on the source of the intelligence and its reliability. The British may have doubted it since Amara is in an overwhelmingly Shia area and perhaps an unlikely place for Zarqawi to be. Perhaps they suspected the Americans were inflating his importance. Regardless, the British did take the report seriously enough to send dozens of troops to capture the suspect.

The near-miss was hugely expensive, if Zarqawi was indeed in the suspicious car. He had first come to international attention when his gunmen kidnapped Ken Bigley, a British contractor working on reconstruction projects, and two American colleagues in Baghdad in September 2004. They were shown on their knees in videos and beheaded two days later after the authorities refused to negotiate their release.

This was a minor atrocity compared to what al-Qaida was to do in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. Led by Osama bin Laden, the movement was not active in Iraq before the US-led invasion in March 2003, even though the Bush administration rejected CIA intelligence to that effect and publicly insisted Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida were linked.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of Britain's MI5 at the time, told the Iraq inquiry last month that by toppling Saddam, George Bush and Tony Blair opened the door to al-Qaida. "Arguably we gave Osama bin Laden his Iraqi jihad so that he was able to move into Iraq in a way that he wasn't before," she said.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi became friends with Bin Laden when they were both resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the late 1980s . Arrested in his native Jordan in 1992, Zarqawi was convicted of trying to overhrew the monarchy and establish an Islamic caliphate. On release from a five-year prison term he went back to political insurgency, setting up his own movement called al-Tawhid wal Jihad. After the US-led invasion of Iraq he aligned himself with al-Qaida and was recognised as its leader in Iraq with the title "emir of al-Qaida in the country of two rivers".

The war logs suggest he made a slow start. Secular Iraqi Sunni nationalists had started their resistance to the Americans within weeks of Saddam Hussein being toppled, and Zarqawi moved in several months afterwards.

In February 2004 the logs report the Italians as having information about plans for a suicide attack in Nasiriya by "possibly an al-Qaida cell" of two men, one Saudi and the other Lebanese wuth false documents. In August 2004 there is a report of a possible al-Qaida safe house in Ramadi , and in December in Baghdad the Americans mounted an unsuccessful raid to capture a "suspected Wahhabi supporter of al-Qaida".

In July 2005 the logs contain a chilling letter of warning to all Iraqis working for the Americans. Addressed to "the traitors", it says: "The tawheed and jehad movement is warning you, if you do not stop your work with the American forces you will be dead and this is a final warning to you from the leader of al-Qaida in Mesopotamia. If you will ever enter an American base or work with them any more, you and all with you will be killed. God is the Greatest, signed by Abo Mosa'ab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Mesopotamia."

After the British fiasco in al-Qurnah the first menton of Zarqawi's potential whereabouts in the logs comes on 22 September 2005 when he is reported to be moving between two Sunni villages in the al-Jazira area north of Ramadi. An intelligence report claims there are 600 foreign fighters loyal to al-Qaida in the area with plans to attack the US base in Ramadi, known as Camp Blue Diamond.

In February 2006 Zarqawi mounted his biggest coup. Armed men blew up the golden dome of the al-Askari mosque, sacred to Shias, in the largely Sunni town of Samarra. The attacks enraged Shias across Iraq, set off a wave of reprisal attacks on Sunnis and Sunni buidings. Sectarian killings that lasted almost a year and a half forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to abandon their homes, with many fleeing abroad.

No group took responsibility but the Americans accused al-Qaida and Zarqawi. They redoubled their efforts to find him and on June 7 located him in a house near Baquba. Air strikes were called in and the house was flattened.

The logs are full of "threat reports" about possible attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad and other US targets to avenge his death. In the event, though, the assassination passed off without a major response.

*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: Wikileaks - Iraq War Logs 'Reveal Truth About Conflict'

Defense News: DTN News: Wikileaks - Iraq War Logs 'Reveal Truth About Conflict'

ANALYSIS

The documents number in the hundreds of thousands. They take the form of reports written by soldiers after vicious firefights with insurgents, or after a roadside bomb has gone off, or the bodies of a family have been found murdered in an abandoned factory. Their language is military - hard and attenuated.

We found, with relative ease, reports of horrible abuse committed by Iraqi security forces on detainees - beatings, electrocution, the use of an electric drill on a man's legs. The Americans were aware the abuse had taken place. On some, not all, of these reports was marked "no further investigation", suggesting that American forces took no action on learning of the abuse.

The true lessons contained in these documents will take months or years to emerge. But an early question they pose is: why do Iraqi security forces appear to be continuing practices that might have died with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime? And what has the United States done to end them?

Source: DTN News / BBC News
(NSI News Source Info)
KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India
- October 23, 2010: The founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks has defended the release of almost 400,000 classified US documents about the war in Iraq.

Julian Assange said the "intimate details" of the conflict were made public in an effort to reveal the truth about the conflict.

The "war logs" suggest evidence of torture was ignored, and detail the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

The US and UK have criticised the leak, the largest in US military history.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she condemned the disclosure and suggested the leaks put lives at risk.

A Pentagon spokesman dismissed the documents as raw observations by tactical units, which were only snapshots of tragic, mundane events. He called their release a "tragedy" which aided enemies of the West.

The UK also condemned the unauthorised release of classified material.

"This can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of the Armed Forces in all theatres of operation more difficult and more dangerous," said a Ministry of Defence statement.

Casualty of war?

Speaking at a news conference in London, though, Mr Assange defended the release of the documents, saying there were no reports of anyone coming to harm following the release of similar documents on Afghanistan earlier this year.

He said that the snapshots of everyday events offered a glimpse at the "human scale" of the conflict.

The deaths of one or two individuals made up the "overwhelming number" of people killed in Iraq, Mr Assange said.

Citing a famous refrain that "the first casualty of war is truth", Mr Assange added: "We hope to correct some of the attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded."

The new documents and new deaths contained within them showed the range and frequency of the "small, relentless tragedies of this war" added Prof John Sloboda of Iraq Body Count, which worked with Wikileaks to analyse the material.

The logs showed there were more than 109,000 violent deaths between 2004 and the end of 2009.

They included 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as "enemy", 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces, and 3,771 coalition troops.

The figures appear to contradict earlier claims that the US did not keep records of civilians killed.

Click to play


Hillary Clinton: "We should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure"

Iraq Body Count, which collates civilian deaths using cross-checked media reports and other figures such as morgue records, said thatbased on an analysis of a sample of 860 logs, it estimated that around 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths would be identified.

Prof Sloboda said the level of detail in the Iraq logs offered new insights into day-to-day events at the height of the conflict.

"Targeted assassinations, drive-by shootings, executions, checkpoint killings; these are the small but relentless tragedies of this war that these logs reveal in unprecedented detail," he said.

Wikileaks - which earlier this year released more than 90,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan - said it was confident that the documents, published in a heavily censored form, contained "no information that could be harmful to any individual".

'Nothing new'

The 391,831 US army Sigacts (Significant Actions) reports published by Wikileaks on Friday describe the apparent torture of Iraqi detainees by the Iraqi authorities, sometimes using electrocution, electric drills and in some cases even executing detainees, says the BBC's Adam Brookes.

The US military knew of the abuses, the documents suggest, but reports were sent up the chain of command marked "no further investigation", our correspondent adds.

Under a "frago" - or fragmentary order, which changes an existing order - discovery by US staff of "Iraqi on Iraqi abuse" required no further investigation.

THE REPORT OF ONE SUCH INCIDENT IN 2005 - OF WHICH THE BBC HAS SEEN A REDACTED VERSION - REFERS TO A "FRAGO" THAT "NOW REQUIRES REPORTS OF IRAQI ON IRAQI ABUSE BE REPORTED THROUGH OPERATIONAL CHANNELS".

It continues: "Provided the initial report confirms US forces were not involved in the detainee abuse, no further investigation... (redacted) unless directed by... (redacted)."

One document shows the US military was given a video apparently showing Iraqi Army (IA) officers executing a prisoner in the northern town of Talafar.

"The footage shows the IA soldiers moving the detainee into the street, pushing him to the ground, punching him and shooting him," states the log, which also names at least one of the perpetrators.

In another case, US soldiers suspected army officers of cutting off a detainee's fingers and burning him with acid.

A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC that if abuse by the Iraqi security forces was witnessed, or reports of it were received, US military personnel were instructed to inform their commanders.

The documents also reveal many previously unreported instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints and during operations

In one incident in July 2007, as many as 26 Iraqis were killed by a helicopter, about half of them civilians, according to the log.

Another record shows an Apache helicopter gunship fired on two men believed to have fired mortars at a military base in Baghdad in February 2007, even though they were attempting to surrender. The crew asked a lawyer whether they could accept the surrender, but were told they could not, "and are still valid targets". So they shot them.

Click to play


Iraq Body Count estimates the logs will reveal more than 15,000 previously unreported civilian deaths

A helicopter using the same callsign - Crazyhorse 18 - was also involved in another incident that July, in which two journalists were killed and two children wounded. It is not possible to establish whether the helicopter crew was the same in both incidents.

There are also new indications of Iran's involvement in Iraq, with reports of insurgents being trained and using weapons provided by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Wikileaks has been asked to remove the documents from the web and return them to the Department of Defense, and Mr Assange said that media organisations in the US and elsewhere were coming under pressure from the Obama administration not to report on or publish them.

The investigation into July's Afghan leak has focused on Bradley Manning, a US army intelligence analyst who is in custody and has been charged with providing Wikileaks with a video of the July 2007 attack by a helicopter with the callsign Crazyhorse 18.

The release of the documents comes as the US military prepares to withdraw its 50,000 remaining troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Violence in the country has declined sharply over the past two years, but near-daily bombings and shootings continue.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

RELATED STORIES

DTN News: Russian, Kazakh Pilots To Hone Live-Firing Skills Prior To CSTO Drills

Defense News: DTN News: Russian, Kazakh Pilots To Hone Live-Firing Skills Prior To CSTO Drills
Source: DTN News / Ria Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - October 23, 2010: Russian and Kazakh combat pilots will take part on Friday in live-firing exercises in preparation for the upcoming large-scale exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force drills will take place on October 25-29 at the Chebarkul training ground in Russia's Urals region of Chelyabinsk.

"On October 22, pilots of the Russian Su-24 and Su-27 aircraft and Mi-24 helicopters together with Kazakh Su-25 pilots will conduct drills with live firing at the Chebarkul training grounds in the Central military district," a spokesman for the ministry said on Thursday.

The upcoming CSTO drills will involve 1,700 servicemen, 250 armored vehicles and over 30 combat aircraft and helicopters.

The CSTO is a security grouping comprising the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

Five of the seven members signed an agreement on the creation of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force in February 2009. Belarus, which initially refrained from signing the deal because of a trade dispute with Russia, joined later last year.

The CSTO members say the rapid reaction force is designed to improve the security of the CSTO members against existing and potential threats, including terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and natural disasters, and to enhance the organization's role in ensuring international security.

However, many observers see the creation of a powerful military contingent in former Soviet Central Asia by members of the Russian-dominated security grouping as a bid to counterbalance NATO.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM

DTN News: Russia To Produce 150 Bulava Missiles Before 2020 - Expert

Defense News: DTN News: Russia To Produce 150 Bulava Missiles Before 2020 - Expert
Source: DTN News / Ria Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - October 23, 2010: Russia will need to build more than 150 Bulava ballistic missiles in the next decade, an expert on the Russian arms industry said on Friday.

Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, told RIA Novosti that at least 124 missiles would be required for the eight Borey class nuclear-powered submarines that will enter service over the next decade, and a further 30 or 40 will have to be set aside for test launches.

In order to reach that goal, the capacities of the only plant producing Bulava missiles, near the town of Votkinsk in the Urals, will have to be increased, he said.

The development of the Bulava has been beset by problems, but the latest test launch was successful.

The missile, which was fired from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the White Sea on October 7, hit its designated target in the Kura test range in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka region.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered seven failures in 13 tests.

Test launches were put on hold after a failed launch on December 9, 2009, which was caused by a defective engine nozzle.

Two more test launches are planned before the end of the year: one from the Dmitry Donskoy sub, and the other from Russia's newest strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky.

*THIS ARTICLE IS BEING POSTED FROM TORONTO, CANADA BY DTN NEWS ~ DEFENSE-TECHNOLOGY NEWS, CONTACT:DTNNEWS@YMAIL.COM