Sunday, November 7, 2010

DTN News: Middle East - Arab Gulf States On A Puzzling Arms-Buying Spree

Defense News: DTN News: Middle East - Arab Gulf States On A Puzzling Arms-Buying Spree
Source: By Brenda Sorensen in Stockholm, DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - November 7, 2010: Mystery shrouds high levels of military spending and arms procurement in the Gulf states among which Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates stand out, says a new document by the eminent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

A report in September 2010 reported that Saudi Arabia had sought the U.S. Government's permission to purchase large numbers of combat aircraft and helicopters from American companies.
"This was just the latest indication that Saudi Arabia is planning a new arms-purchasing spree similar to that in the 1990s, raising questions about the possible impacts of military build-ups in the Gulf region, which includes both Iran and Iraq alongside the Arab Gulf states," states a 'fact sheet' compiled by Carina Solmirano and Pieter D. Wezeman.

Since transparency is poor in most of the Gulf region, the SIPRI fact sheet combines data on known military spending and recent and planned arms imports in the Gulf states: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The importance of the SIPRI paper lies in the fact that assessments of military developments in the Gulf states are complicated by very low levels of public transparency. It brings together SIPRI data on the Gulf states' military expenditure and on arms transfers to the region, taken from the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database and the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database.

The paper notes that recent increases in military spending and arms procurement by the eight states bordering the Gulf -- Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE -- have revived widespread discussion about the possible impacts of military build-ups in the region.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE stand out for their high levels of spending and arms imports, yet almost all the Gulf states devote a larger share of their gross domestic product (GDP) to military spending than the global average.

However, the available data on the Gulf states' military expenditure is highly uncertain. In many cases, notably Bahrain and Iran, not all military expenditure appears in the official figures; while in others, particularly Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, states do not report their military spending separately from their broader spending on security, including internal security.

It is also unclear whether some arms imports are paid for directly from oil revenues and thus do not appear in government accounts. In the case of Iraq, only budget figures are available, and actual expenditure may vary significantly, notes the paper.

"The patchiness of the data makes it hard to describe regional trends in military spending. However, Saudi Arabia is clearly the biggest spender, followed by the UAE and Iran. Iraq's military budget shrank by almost 30 per cent between 2008 and 2009. Almost all the Gulf states consistently spend a greater share of their GDP on the military than the global average. Indeed, in the period 2000-2008, Oman and Saudi Arabia spent more of their GDP on the military than any other country for which data is available," authors of fact sheet, Solmirano and Wezeman say.

The Gulf states accounted for 10 per cent of imports of major conventional weapons in the years between 2005 and 2009. Since arms production capabilities in the region are limited, almost all procurements of major weapons were imports.

The weapons were supplied by at least 30 countries. The largest suppliers were the United States, France, Russia, the Britain and China. Russian and Chinese exports went mainly to Iran, which received no major arms from the USA or from most European states.

The report notes that the pattern of imports to the region has changed over time. While the UAE accounted for 57 per cent of the volume of imports of major conventional weapons over the period 2005-2009 and Saudi Arabia for only 10 per cent, over the longer period 1990-2009 Saudi Arabia was the largest importer in the Gulf region.

While advising caution, the fact sheet lists most significant transfers of major conventional weapons to the Gulf states since 2005.


The volume of arms imported by the UAE has increased significantly in the past decade and the country is likely to remain a major arms importer in the coming years. Contracts for the delivery of 62 Mirage-2000-9 combat aircraft from France and 80 F-16E combat aircraft from the USA were completed in 2005-2008. In 2008-2009, 30 AH-64D combat helicopters were delivered from the USA.

Contracts being implemented include the delivery from the USA of 4 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, 60 UH-60M armed transport helicopters, and 12 C-130J-30 and 6 C-17 transport aircraft; from France of 3 A-330 MRTT tanker/transport aircraft and 6 Baynunah corvettes; from Russia of up to 50 Pantsyr-S1 air defence systems; and from Italy of 2 Falaj-2 corvettes and 1 Abu Dhabi frigate.

The UAE's arms procurement plans include 3 Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile systems and 16 CH-47F transport helicopters from the USA; 60 combat aircraft from France or the USA; 48 M-346 advanced trainer aircraft and another 2 Falaj-2 corvettes and 1 Abu Dhabi frigate from Italy; and 3 airborne early warning aircraft, which several countries are competing to supply.


The volume of major arms imported by Saudi Arabia has been relatively low in the past decade compared with its imports in the 1990s. However, signed contracts and known procurement plans indicate that Saudi Arabia’s arms imports are set to increase significantly once again.

Contracts being implemented include the delivery of 72 Typhoon combat aircraft and probably Storm Shadow long-range air-to-surface missiles from the UK, as part of a major upgrade of Tornado combat aircraft; 12 AH-64D combat helicopters, 35 UH-60L transport helicopters, about 373 M-1A2S tanks, and new engines to upgrade 70 F-15S combat aircraft from the USA; 724 Piranha/LAV armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from Canada; and 6 A-330 MRTT tanker/transport aircraft from France. (End)

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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DTN News: 'Nervous China May Attack India By 2012'

Defense News: DTN News: 'Nervous China May Attack India By 2012'
Source: Bharat Verma is Editor, Indian Defence Review and the author of the book Faultlines.
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - November 7, 2010: China will launch an attack on India before 2012.

There are multiple reasons for a desperate Beijing to teach India the final lesson, thereby ensuring Chinese supremacy in Asia in this century.

The recession that shut the Chinese exports shop is creating an unprecedented internal social unrest. In turn, the vice-like grip of the communists' over the society stands severely threatened.

Unemployment is on the increase. The unofficial estimate stands at whopping 14 percent. Worldwide, the recession has put 30 million people out of their jobs. Economic slowdown is depleting the foreign exchange reserves. Foreign investors are slowly shifting out. To create a domestic market, the massive dole of loans to individuals is turning out to be a nightmare. There appears to be a flight of capital in billions of dollars in the shape of diamond and gold bought in Hong Kong and shipped out in end 2008.

The fear of losing control over the Chinese masses is forcing the communists to compulsorily install filtering software on new computers on sale, to crush dissent on the Internet, even though it is impossible to censor in entirety the flow of information as witnessed recently in Tibet, Xinjiang and Iran today.

The growing internal unrest is making Beijing jittery.

The external picture appears to be equally dismal. The unfolding Obama strategy seems to be scoring goals for democracy and freedom without firing a single shot.

While George Bush unwittingly united and arrayed against himself Islamic countries and radical Islam worldwide, Obama has put radical Islam in disarray by lowering the intra-societal temperature vis-a-vis America and the Muslim world. He deftly hints at democracy in his talk without directly threatening any group or country and the youth pick it up from there, as in Iran.

With more and more Chinese citizens beginning to demand political freedom, the future of the communists is also becoming uncertain. The technological means available in 21st century to spread democracy is definitely not conducive to the totalitarian regime in Beijing.

India's chaotic but successful democracy is an eyesore for the authoritarian regime in Beijing. Unlike India, China is handicapped as it lacks soft power- an essential ingredient to spread influence. This adds further fuel to the fire.

In addition, the growing irrelevance of Pakistan, their right hand that operates against India on their behest, is increasing the Chinese nervousness. Obama's AF- PAK policy has intelligently set the thief to catch the thief. The stated withdrawal from Iraq by Americans now allows them to concentrate its military surplus on the single front to successfully execute the mission. This surplus, in combination with other democratic forces, can enable the Americans to look deep in to resource rich Central Asia, besides containing China's expansionist ambitions.

To offset this adverse scenario, while overtly pretending to side with the West, the Chinese covertly ordered their other proxy, North Korea, to conduct underground nuclear tests and carry out trials of missiles that threaten Japan and South Korea.

The Chinese anxiety is understandable. Under Bush's declared policy of being 'a strategic competitor' alongside the 'axis of evil', they shared a large strategic maneuverability with others of similar hues. However, Obama's policies wisely denies Beijing such a luxury by reclaiming more and more of the international strategic space ceded by the previous administration.

The communists in China, therefore, need a military victory to unite the disillusioned citizenry behind them. This will also help market a psychological perception that the 21st century belongs to China and to underline their deep belief in the superiority of the Chinese race. To retain the communist party's hold on power, it is essential to divert attention from the brewing internal dissent.

In an autocratic system, normally the only fodder to unite the citizenry is by raising their nationalistic feelings. The easy method for Beijing to heighten the feeling of patriotism and thus national unity is to design a war with an adversary. They believe that this will help them to midwife the Chinese century too. That is the end game rooted in the firm belief of the Communists that Chinese race is far superior to Nazi Germany and is destined to 'Lord over the Earth'.

At present, there is no overall cost benefit ratio in integrating Taiwan by force with the mainland since under the new dispensation in Taipei, the island is 'behaving' itself. Also, the American presence around the region is too strong for comfort. There is also the factor of Japan to take into account. Though Beijing is increasing its naval presence in South China Sea to coerce into submission those opposing its claim on the Spratly Islands, at this point of time in history it will be unwise for the recession-hit China to move against the Western interests, including Japan.

Therefore, the most attractive option is to attack a soft target like India and forcibly occupy its territory in the Northeast.

Ideally, the Chinese believe that the east-wind should prevail over the west-wind. However, despite their imperial calculations of the past, they lag behind the West, particularly America, by many decades. Hence, they want the east-wind to at least prevail over the other east-wind, i.e., India, to ensure their dominance over Asia.

Beijing's cleverly raising the hackles on its fabricated dispute in Arunachal Pradesh to an alarming level is the preparatory groundwork for imposing such a conflict on India. A sinking Pakistan will team up with China to teach India 'the final lesson'.

The Chinese leadership wants to rally its population behind the communist rule. As it is, Beijing is already rattled, with its proxy Pakistan, now literally embroiled in a civil war, losing its sheen against India. Above all, it is worried over the growing alliance of India with the United States and the West, because the alliance has the potential to create a technologically superior counterpoise.

All these three concerns of Chinese Communists are best addressed by waging a war against pacifist India to achieve multiple strategic objectives. But India, otherwise the biggest challenge to the supremacy of China in Asia, is least prepared on ground to face the Chinese threat.

How will India face and respond vigorously to repulse the Chinese game plan? Will Indian leadership be able to take the heat of war? Have they laid the groundwork adequately to defend India? Is Indian military equipped to face the two-front wars by Beijing and Islamabad? Is the Indian civil administration geared to meet the internal security challenges that the external actors will sponsor simultaneously through their doctrine of unrestricted warfare?

The answers are an unequivocal 'no'. Pacifist India is not ready by a long shot either on the internal or the external front.

It is said that a long time back, a king with an excellent military machine at his disposal could not stomach the violence involved in winning wars. So he renounced war in victory. This led to the rise of the pacifist philosophies. The state either refused to defend itself or neglected the instruments that could defend it.

Any 'extreme' is dangerous, as it tends to create imbalance in statecraft. We saw that in the unjust unilateral aggression in Iraq. It diminished the American aura and recessed the economy.

China's despotic regime is another extreme, scared to permit political dissent. This will fuel an explosion worse than the Tiananmen Square. Despite use of disproportionate force and demographic invasion of Tibet, Beijing's hold remains tenuous. Pakistan's over-aggressive agenda in the name of jihad haunts it now to the point of fragmentation of the state.

Similarly, India's pacifism is the other extreme.

26/11s will occur on a regular basis as it infects policymaking. Such extreme postures on either side invariably generate wars. Armed with an aggressive Wahabi philosophy, Pakistan, in cohort with China, wants to destabilize a pacifist India.

India's instruments of state steeped in pacifism are unable to rise to its defence.

In the past 60 years, instead of offering good governance, the deep-rooted pacifism contributed to the Civil Administration ceding control of 40 per cent of the Union's territory to the Maoists and 10 percent to other insurgents, effecting a shrinking influence internally, as well as in the 'near abroad'.

India must rapidly shift out from its defeatist posture of pacifism to deter China.

New Delhi's stance should modify, not to aggression, but to a firm assertion in statecraft. The state must also exclusively retain the capability of intervention by use of force internally as well as externally. If it permits the non-state actors to develop this capability in competition, then the state will wither away. On the contrary, the state machinery should ensure a fast- paced development in the Red Corridor even it if has to hold Maoists' hostage at gunpoint. Only the state's firm and just intervention will dissolve the Maoist movement.

Keeping in view the imminent threat posed by China, the quickest way to swing out of pacifism to state of assertion is by injecting military thinking in the civil administration to build the sinews. That will enormously increase the deliverables on ground - from Lalgarh to Tawang.

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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DTN News: Northrop Grumman Christens Virginia-Class Submarine, California (SSN 781), Touting "Silence Is Golden"

Defense News: DTN News: Northrop Grumman Christens Virginia-Class Submarine, California (SSN 781), Touting "Silence Is Golden"
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) NEWPORT NEWS, Va., - November 7, 2010: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC -News) christened the eighth submarine of the Virginia class,
California (SSN 781), at the company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va.

Photos accompanying this release are available at

Mrs. Donna Willard, the ship's sponsor, performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the submarine's hull. She is the wife of Adm. Robert F. Willard, the current Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, served as the keynote speaker.

"To the men and women of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, General Dynamics Electric Boat and the Navy'sVirginiaclass program, congratulations on another world-class submarine," said Pfannenstiel. "With her nuclear power, this sub demonstrates some of our [nation's] finest technical capabilities."

"We know that the work we do is important," said Mike Petters, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "We know we are a critical part of the Navy/industry team that produces the most sophisticated and complex ships to keep our nation safe. We know we have to earn our place on that team with each and every weld with each and every pipe and with each and every test. We do this by never losing focus on what our founder, Collis P. Huntington, committed to 125 years ago, when he promised 'Always Good Ships'."

Other ceremony participants included U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.); U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.); Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, vice chief of Naval Operations; Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion; Rear Adm. David Johnson, program executive officer for Submarines; and John Casey, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.

"The shipbuilding team at Newport News and Electric Boat have done a great job constructing this powerful ship," said Donald. "Thank you for what you do."

Guests included Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat employees who are buildingCalifornia,and their families; family and friends of the California crew; U.S. Navy personnel; and government officials.

In conjunction with California's christening, Team Submarine launched an interactive learning event to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona, Calif. During the month-long event students, teachers and parents watched the christening, will learn about submarines through exhibits and participate in an interactive submarine simulation called Mission Ocean. These STEM events are being held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona today, at the Admiral Kidd Conference Center in San Diego on Nov. 15 and at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 18.

California, the eighth ship of the Virginia class, is named after the "Golden State." The ship's motto is, "Silence is Golden." Upon delivery to the Navy in 2011, it will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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DTN News: SpiceJet To Buy 30 Boeing Aircraft For $2.7 Billion

Defense News: DTN News: SpiceJet To Buy 30 Boeing Aircraft For $2.7 Billion
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - November 7, 2010: Budget airline SpiceJet will buy 30 B737 planes from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing in a deal worth $2.7 billion, which will form part of $10 billion pacts being sealed during US President Barack Obama's visit.

"The order of 30 aircraft, the second of such order by SpiceJet, will enhance it's penetration in India's low costmarket," said Bhulo Kansagra, Director and one of the promoters of SpiceJet at the US India Business Council meet.

Boeing India President Dinesh Keskar said the deal, announced today, was signed in late October after it received government approvals.

The deal is part of 20-odd pacts, worth USD about 10 billion, that are to be sealed during Obama's 3-day visit. The agreements are expected to create 50,000 jobs in the US.

The Gurgaon-based airline had said in July that it would order 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to expand its fleet and deliveries will begin by 2014. The airline is promoted by Sun TV chief Kalanithi Maran, who acquired a majority stake in the company in June.

Besides this deal, the SpiceJet Board has recently approved a plan to buy up to 30 small aircraft from Canada's Bombardier to enhance regional connectivity in the country.

The delivery of Bombardier jets is scheduled to commence in 2011.

The airline, with a fleet of 22 Boeing B737 aircraft, has a market share of 13 per cent. It operates 153 flights daily to 20 Indian cities and recently it had started its international operations with flights to Kathmandu and Colombo.

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:

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DTN News: Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News Dated November 6, 2010

Defense News: DTN News: Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News Dated November 6, 2010
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including latest updates Defense News, Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News & Yahoo
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - November 7, 2010: Comprehensive daily news related to Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.
*Comprehensive daily news related on Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.

Saturday November 6, 2010

Friday November 5, 2010

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