Monday, November 1, 2010

DTN News: Norwegian Army Purchases DINGO 2

Defense News: DTN News: Norwegian Army Purchases DINGO 2
Source: DTN News / Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW)
(NSI News Source Info) MUNICH, Germany - November 1, 2010: The Norwegian Army has responded to the increased threat of attacks by commissioning Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) with the delivery of 20 DINGO 2 heavily armoured wheeled vehicles.

The troops operating at the Hindu Kush are in need of the vehicles more than ever; since the beginning of the year, soldiers have been confronted with an increasing number of assaults by insurgents. By the end of November, the first ten vehicles shall be delivered by KMW and transported to the operational area. The remaining vehicles will follow in February 2011.

Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and the Czech Republic also make use of the DINGO 2.

The DINGO 2 is operated as a patrol and protection vehicle. Additionally, KMW supports the Norwegian forces with its service teams in Afghanistan. These cover tasks such as maintenance and repairs. The contract includes the delivery of specialised tools, the training of the vehicle crews and the option to purchase further vehicles.


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DTN News: Boeing's Spectrolab Produces 3 Millionth Multi-Junction Space Solar Cell

Defense News: DTN News: Boeing's Spectrolab Produces 3 Millionth Multi-Junction Space Solar Cell
Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) SYLMAR, Calif., - November 1, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that Spectrolab Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, has produced its 3 millionth multi-junction, space-based solar cell.

Production records indicate that the gallium arsenide cell was delivered during the week of Oct. 25. Spectrolab has been manufacturing multi-junction solar cells for more than 15 years and other space products for more than 50.

"Congratulations to Spectrolab for this remarkable achievement," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "Our customers expect flawless satellites that can endure many years in space to enable national-security and Earth-observation missions, as well as consumer and business communications. Spectrolab's solar cells have powered more than 500 satellites and interplanetary missions."

Since its founding in 1956, Spectrolab has led the way in the development of high-efficiency solar cells for space missions. During the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, a Spectrolab product became the first solar panel to be placed on the moon. Today, Spectrolab solar panels are the only panels in operation on Mars, as part of a reconnaissance satellite and two land-exploration rovers.

Spectrolab recently delivered solar panels to the NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory JUNO mission, the first mission to Jupiter to be powered by photovoltaic cells. Spectrolab's cells and panels power approximately 60 percent of all satellites in Earth's orbit, as well as the International Space Station.

"Many years of continuous improvement in product design and high-volume manufacturing experience have allowed Spectrolab to develop mature, cost-effective and repeatable processes, resulting in the delivery of high-quality, reliable and affordable products to both space and terrestrial customers," said David Lillington, president of Spectrolab. "Our business continues to grow as we gain market share. We are increasing productivity and introducing higher levels of automation to meet this increased demand. We expect to announce the production start of our next-generation space cells early next year."

In 2001, Spectrolab embarked on a strategy to adapt its space solar cell technology for terrestrial renewable-energy applications. The terrestrial solar cells convert concentrated sunlight to electricity with an average efficiency of more than 38.5 percent and benefit from the same equipment, materials and processes used for space manufacturing. In 2009, Spectrolab set a new world record in terrestrial concentrator solar efficiency with a triple-junction, lattice-matched cell that converts 41.6 percent of sunlight into electricity. This year, Spectrolab will deliver approximately 50 megawatts of solar cells to its terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic customers and forecasts producing almost 150 megawatts in 2011. Spectrolab is the world’s leading solar cell manufacturer for space and terrestrial applications.

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.


Diana Ball
Space & Intelligence Systems
Office: 562-797-4303
Mobile: 714-319-1014


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DTN News: Sukhoi Completed General Units’ Assembly Of The First Production Su-35S

Defense News: DTN News: Sukhoi Completed General Units’ Assembly Of The First Production Su-35S
Source: DTN News / Sukhoi
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - November 1, 2010: Sukhoi Company completed general units’ assembly of the first production Su-35S fighter. The state contract with the Russian Defense Ministry on the delivery of 48 multifunctional super maneuverable Su-35 fighter jets was signed at the 2009 MAKS air show. The works on the contract started in autumn 2009 at the KnAAPO facility of the Sukhoi holding in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

At the present time the first production Su-35S is at the final assembly shop of the KnAAPO. The preparations are underway for its flight testing. The first production Su-35S will be delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defense by the end of the year.

Su-35 is also intended for export sales. Sukhoi is holding talks with customers in South-East Asia, the Middle East and South America anxious to re-arm their air forces on Su-35 sales.

The Su-35 is a thoroughly upgraded super-maneuverable fighter of the 4++ generation. It employs technologies of the fifth generation that assure its superiority over similar class fighters. The special features of the aircraft include a new avionics suite based on digital information control system integrating onboard systems, a new radar with a phased antenna array having a long aerial target detection range with an increased number of simultaneously tracked and engaged targets (30 aerial targets tracked and 8 engaged plus the tracking of 4 and engagement of 2 ground targets), and new enhanced vectored thrust engines. The Su-35 has a diverse suite of long-, medium- and short-range weapons. It can carry guided aerial munitions for anti-radar and anti-ship actions as well as general purpose munitions, and guided and unguided aerial bombs. The radar signature of the fighter has been reduced by several times as compared to that of the fourth-generation aircraft by coating the cockpit with electro-conducting compounds, applying radio absorption coats and reducing the number of protruding sensors. The service life of the aircraft is 6,000 hours flight hours; the life cycle is 30 years of operation. The assigned service life of vectored thrust engines is 4,000 hours.


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DTN News: India Welcoming But Wary Of Obama

Defense News: DTN News: India Welcoming But Wary Of Obama
* Some fear U.S. opportunities could bring expectations of acquiescence
Source: By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun October 31, 2010 9:03 PM
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - November 1, 2010: As India prepares to welcome U.S. President Barack Obama later this week, there is a lurking suspicion that the enormous opportunities presented by growing commercial and political ties with the United States may also be a trap.
Very many Indians brought up on the policies of Moscow-leaning non-alignment of the past century are apprehensive that increasing trade, investment and military ties with the U.S. carry the price of becoming an instrument of Washington’s foreign policy.

That is probably a demonstration of excessive sensitivity, but viewed from India there are good reasons not to be easily seduced by Washington’s clear desire for improving relations first mooted by former president George W. Bush in 2006.

Those overtures led to the 2008 agreement between Washington and New Delhi to regularize India’s nuclear program. India had been held at arm’s length by many countries, including Canada, because of its 1972 development of nuclear weapons, its bomb test in 1999 and its refusal to join the international nuclear regulation regime.

That has now been finessed with Washington’s help. India has been accepted into the club of countries with civilian nuclear programs, while eyes are carefully averted from its weapons program.

But there was much opposition to this deal within India. Opponents argued it might lead to India becoming an instrument of American foreign policy and even give Washington a veto over India’s nuclear weapons.

An outstanding issue is that India remains excluded from the Nuclear Suppliers Group because of its refusal on philosophical grounds to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

To try to get around that, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week gave the nod to his government’s signing the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage. This brings Indian domestic legislation governing the nuclear industry in line with international norms.

Indians will undoubtedly be looking for some words of support for this initiative from Obama, who is due to arrive on Saturday for a four-day visit to Mumbai and New Delhi.

In the same vein, Indian ears will be pricked for the nuances around whatever the president has to say about two other questions of special interest.

One is Pakistan, with which India has an antagonistic relationship that has three times spilled over into war. Both now have nuclear weapons.

The other is China. While many Indian leaders are just as concerned as the Obama administration is about Beijing’s increasingly militant insistence on the legitimacy of ancient territorial claims, they are not prepared to unconditionally join Washington in a policy of containing China.

Indian political leaders and opinion-makers don’t feel confident they understand American policy toward Pakistan, which is a haven for insurgents fighting NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.

There is a widespread belief in India that in providing military and other support for the Islamabad government of President Asif Ali Zardari, Washington is bolstering India’s potential enemy and not putting enough pressure on the Pakistan administration to confront its many Islamic militant organizations.

Obama plans to make a highly symbolic gesture which may go some way toward dispelling these concerns.

He is due to visit the restored Taj Hotel in Mumbai, which was at the centre of the 2008 attack on the city by terrorists based in Pakistan. He will undoubtedly say that the Mumbai attacks give India and the U.S. common cause in the struggle against terrorism.

Mumbai will also be the scene for a major business and investment drive involving the 200-or-so American corporate representatives taking advantage of the Obama visit.

But here, too, military matters are front and centre.

India is one of the world’s largest arms importers and has earmarked more than $30 billion, over the next five years, to replace aging equipment, mostly of Soviet vintage.

Boeing is lining up to try to persuade India to spend $4.5 billion for 10 new C-17 transport planes. In addition, both Boeing and Lockheed Martin are in the running against France, Russia, Sweden and producers of the Eurofighter to fill India’s $11-billion order for 126 fighter aircraft.

New Delhi is also hoping that its efforts to regularize its nuclear industry will convince Obama it’s time for Washington to drop the embargo on transferring technology with military uses that was imposed after India’s 1999 test of nuclear weapons.

After India, Obama is going to make his twice-postponed visit to Indonesia, where he lived for four years as a boy, and then it’s on to the G20 summit in South Korea before ending his Asia swing with a visit to Japan.


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DTN News: China’s Booming Bogus Business

Defense News: DTN News: China’s Booming Bogus Business
* Product fakery employs millions of people, but the government is starting to crack down
Source: By Doug Palmer and Melanie Lee, Reuters October 31, 2010 9:03 PM
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON/GUANGZHOU China - November 1, 2010: Anybody could tell right away that the Louis Vuitton shoulder bag was fake because it was delivered in a recycled box that once shipped batteries.

Warnings printed on the inside of the box read: “Danger Contains Sulfuric Acid” and “Poison — Causes Severe Burns” — not the sort of messages that would normally accompany a product from one of the world’s most iconic luxury brands.

But it sure looked real. It was dark brown, sported a braided strap with brass fittings and the Louis Vuitton monogram stamped all over the bag.

I had ordered the bag from a website called for this special report, which explores the growing problem of counterfeit merchandise sold over the Internet.

Reuters wanted to trace the problem from a consumer in Washington D.C. to the shadowy producers based in Guangzhou, China, where my colleague Melanie Lee found the illicit workshops and markets.

Ericwhy, based in Guangzhou, calls its stuff “designer-inspired alternative to actual Louis Vuitton” in a disclaimer on its website.

“We assume no civil or criminal liability for the actions of those who buy our products.”

Yet, U.S. law enforcement officials say this website and many others that offer a dazzling array of goods online — clothes, electronics, footwear, watches, medicines — are outlaws, and they plan to go after them hard.

Counterfeit commerce over the Internet has soared in the past couple of years, turning what had been an irritant to businesses into a serious competitive threat, the officials say.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates the amount of counterfeit goods and pirated copyrights in world trade grew from about $100 billion in 2001 to about $250 billion in 2007, the last year for which they have made an estimate. While there are no separate estimates for how much of that is sold on the Internet, authorities say it is considerable.

“The Internet has just completely changed the face of the problem, made it more complicated and more pervasive,” says John Morton, assistant secretary in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Whole industries now have been attacked, not from the street, but from the Internet.”

He works the detective gumshoe routine, spending hours trailing trucks carrying suspected cargo in and out of Shiling, conducting camera surveillance and interviews.

A former People’s Liberation Army intelligence officer, Zhou, who has been in the industry for 12 years, has the tanned, leathery skin and sharp crew cut of a military man.

His austere presence is betrayed only by a brown, expensive-looking leather purse, which he showed off proudly — a gift from an Italian client after he found a counterfeit workshop for them.

Luxury brands hire him to gather information on the location of warehouses and factories, who then use that evidence to persuade Chinese police to conduct a raid.

The workshops take real luxury handbags and reverse engineer them. Everything from the metal fittings to the monogrammed leather of a Louis Vuitton bag is produced in China.

After it is put together at one of the workshops in Shiling, the bag usually winds up in nearby Baiyun, by the old airport in northern Guangzhou.

Spilling out of stores

The Guangzhou Baiyun World Leather market is the epicentre of the world’s counterfeit trade when it comes to wholesaling fake leather goods and apparel, experts say.

Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, and Hermes handbags literally spill out of shops that occupy commercial space the size of five football fields. Smaller stores provide auxiliary products, such as counterfeit paper bags, receipts and catalogues for wholesalers.

Gina, who declined to give her surname, is one such wholesaler from Colonia, Uruguay. Tugging a large, grey Louis Vuitton suitcase through the narrow paths of the leather market with her 66-year-old mother in tow, she is looking for a shop that can make Louis Vuitton satchels out of “pleather” (synthetic leather).

“Don’t worry, she can manage, we are very used to this,” Gina says as her arthritic mother slowly shuffles forward, carrying bags laden with fake scarves and leather goods, before they stop at a bag shop.

“I don’t need real leather, just pleather. No need to be 5-As, just double A enough,” Gina told the shopkeeper in heavily accented English.

She has travelled halfway around the world to Baiyun to make a personal connection in the world’s largest market for counterfeit leather goods. “I used to buy online from China, but after one bad experience, I said never again!”

She said she wound up taking delivery of 800 bags in red instead of the black she ordered.

Gina was looking for a factory that can make 500 satchels, which she planned to ship to Argentina before bringing them into Uruguay where she has a beachfront store.

It’s less suspicious to bring it over the border than have it come directly from China. Clutching sheets of paper with information about the bags she wants made, Gina, with her streaked blond hair, tanned skin and branded accessories, looked more like a Hollywood fashionista than somebody’s idea of a pirate.

“I’ve been in this business for eight years now,” she said. “It’s a good business.”

Indeed, while criminal syndicates are getting increasingly involved in the counterfeit trade, both in the United States and China, authorities say, it is ordinary folks like Gina and the shopkeepers she deals with who are the face of the counterfeit business in China.

Half-hearted enforcement

Guangzhou authorities occasionally raid the Baiyun market, including the day Reuters journalists visited there. Shops, tipped to the impending raid, dutifully closed their doors, though customers only had to knock to be let in surreptitiously.

“They are raiding now. I don’t know when it will end. It’s because of the Asian Games,” said one shopkeeper. Guangzhou is hosting the games in November.

After a few minutes, the raid apparently ends with no arrests made. Shop owners slide off their stools, fling open their glass doors and stand outside beaming and beckoning at customers again. They don’t cater to tourists, but sell in bulk to wholesalers such as Gina. Each shop claimed to have a factory backing it. In the basement of the stores are the shippers, who expertly pack and label the items so they sail through customs.

“If you want to send to France, it is a bit hard, because they check thoroughly. But sending via UPS has an 80-per-cent success rate,” said one such shipper named Chen, who like the others interviewed in China for this story, declined to give his full name to avoid getting in trouble.

They will also route shipments through ports in the Middle East or Africa to avoid detection by customs in the European Union and the United States, he said.

Sitting on a small stool in a Baiyun shop, Gary, a 30-year-old Congolese, represents another branch of the industry — the intermediary. Speaking Mandarin to a shopkeeper and switching to French for his three African clients, he was trying to put together a deal on counterfeit Italian Miu Miu bags. He came to China two years ago to study, but has made helping European and African clients buy fakes a thriving side business.

“I buy a lot and pack them in boxes of 10. Then I ship them to England and then I drive (them) into France and they get picked up,” Gary whispered in Mandarin. “It’s a sensitive business,” he said with his baseball cap shoved low on his head.

Similarly, Nana, 30, a native of Moscow, has lived in Guangzhou for four years. She was buying fake Tommy Hilfiger and Gucci clothes in Baiyun, which she planned to supply to 20 websites in Russia.

Few if any foreigners are ever caught or prosecuted, and not many locals, either. China’s counterfeit industry employs millions of workers, distributors and shop clerks across the nation, one reason why authorities have often been half-hearted in their enforcement measures.

But last week, the government said it would soon launch a six-month crackdown on piracy and trademark infringement. The illicit traders “upset the market’s normal order, impair the competitive strength and innovation of businesses, and hurt China’s image abroad,” the State Council, or Cabinet, said in a statement.

In the second half of last year, China’s customs department seized 2.6 million counterfeit items from the country’s postal and express consignments, Meng Yang, a director general in the customs department, said in a speech in Shanghai last month.

That’s probably just a small fraction of the total trade in China, experts say, given the amount of fake merchandise from China seized abroad.

New weapons against pirates

Back in Washington, I handed over the fake Louis Vuitton bag to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.

Federal agents, standing in front of a display case of counterfeit shampoo, condoms, medicine and other products seized over the years, good-naturedly accept the bag.

They said it was much better quality than the ones they had brought in to show me.

The new centre is a partnership among a dozen federal law enforcement agencies and the Mexican government. Richard Halverson, its chief for outreach and training, said U.S. customs officials and postal inspectors have been on the lookout for counterfeit goods from China, but can’t catch every one.

The money to be made selling counterfeit goods is so good “we have seen organized crime groups, what you would consider drug trafficking groups, actually move away from some of those other crimes into the counterfeit goods trade because it is a high-profit, low-risk cash business — the prime things that criminals are looking for,” Halverson said.

It may seem harmless enough, but a consumer surfing the web looking for a good deal on prescription drugs, for example, needs to beware. “You may be looking at what you believe to be a Canadian pharmacy, when in fact the drugs are being manufactured in India, the site is being run out of China, and your payment is going to another group in Russia,” Halverson said.

In the 2009 budget year, U.S. Customs agents and other officials made 14,481 seizures valued at $260.7 million dollars.

When the final tally for the 2010 budget year is in, the figures will be much higher, Halverson said, noting that in just one operation U.S. agents in Baltimore working with London police seized eight containers of counterfeit shoes and handbags.


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DTN News: General Dynamics Selected For Merkava Armored Personnel Carriers For Israel

Defense News: DTN News: General Dynamics Selected For Merkava Armored Personnel Carriers For Israel
Source: DTN News / General Dynamics
(NSI News Source Info) STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. - November 1, 2010: General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been selected to negotiate a contract with the Israeli Ministry of Defense for Merkava Armored Personnel Carriers (APC).

The competitive procurement process was for the production of Merkava APC hulls, material kit sets and integration of the kits to the vehicle chassis. General Dynamics expects to complete contract negotiations by the end of this year.

Production will be performed at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. The base contract will be completed by March 2015 or extend to November 2019 if all options are exercised.

The Merkava series of tanks dates to the 1960s, when Israel drew up plans to remove its military-industrial complex from reliance on foreign factories. Israel's economy and national reserves, backed by U.S. military grant aid, allowed it to purchase nearly any land, sea, or air platform and weapon from friendly nations, but Israel's infrastructure was not capable of producing those items domestically.

In 1965, Israel's military establishment began research and development on a domestically-produced tank, the "Sabra" (Hebrew slang for a Jew born in Israel (not to be confused with the modern Sabra tank). Initially, Britain and Israel collaborated to develop the United Kingdom's Chieftain tank that had entered British Army service in 1966. However, in 1969, Britain decided not to sell the tank to Israel for political reasons.

Israel Tal, who was serving as brigade commander after the Suez Crisis, restarted plans to produce an Israeli-made tank, drawing on lessons from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Israeli forces were outnumbered by those of the Middle East's Arab nations. Realizing that they could not win wars of attrition, the Israelis set stringent requirements of crew survivability and safety for the new tank platform.

By 1974, initial designs were completed and prototypes were built. After a brief set of trials, work began to retool the American periodical Armed Forces Journal on May 14, 1977. The IDF did not officially adopt the tank until December 1978, when the first full battalion of 30 tanks was delivered for initial unit training.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 91,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online


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