Sunday, August 14, 2011

DTN News - TAIWAN DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters

Defense News: DTN News - TAIWAN DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters
**Offers AESA Radar in Upgrade for Older Jets
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada / TAIPEI, Taiwan - August 14, 2011: Bowing to Chinese pressure, the U.S. will deny Taiwan's request for 66 new F-16C/D fighter aircraft, a Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) official said.

"We are so disappointed in the United States," he said.

A U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) delegation arrived here last week to deliver the news and offer instead a retrofit package for older F-16A/Bs that includes an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

The visit coincided with the biennial Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE), held here Aug. 11-14.

"The U.S. Pentagon is here explaining what is in the upgrade package," a U.S. defense industry source said at TADTE. "They are going to split the baby: no C/Ds, but the A/B upgrade is going forward."

Sources said an official announcement of the decision is expected by month's end.

But an official at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. Embassy, said "no decisions have been made," while DoD officials declined to comment on their delegation's mission.

The proposed upgrade package would make the 146 Taiwanese F-16A/Bs among the most capable variants of the aircraft, perhaps second only to the APG-80 AESA-equipped F-16E/Fs flown by the United Arab Emirates.

Originally requested by Taipei in 2009, the package would cost $4.2 billion, sources at TADTE said.

The new gear would include an AESA radar, likely either Northrop Grumman's Scalable Agile Beam Radar or the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar, to replace the planes' current APG-66(V)3 radar.

Either one would be an improvement on the Northrop APG-68(V)9 mechanical radar once contemplated for Taiwan's upgrade package. The switch is meant to soften the blow of denying new planes to Taipei, a Lockheed Martin source said.

A decision between the two AESA candidates could foreshadow the U.S. Air Force's own choice as it prepares to upgrade its fleet of F-16s. The upgrade package will also improve the planes' Raytheon ALQ-184(V)7 electronic countermeasures pod by adding the capacity to intercept and save hostile radar transmissions, then use the same frequency to jam them.

However, ITT is offering the ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite pod as an alternative.

ITT is also offering the BRU-57/A Smart Twin Store Carrier, which doubles the number of bombs an F-16 can carry, an ITT source said.

The package would also replace the AIM-9P/M Sidewinder air-to-air missile with the new AIM-9X; fit the planes to carry enhanced GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs; and add a digital radar warning receiver, helmet-mounted cueing system and center pedestal display.

The package will not include new engines to better handle the additional weight and electrical draw, though there could be an upgrade to bring the existing Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 to the PW-220E standard. The upgrade would swap out obsolete parts for newer ones, but wouldn't offer any additional performance.

Lockheed Martin will be working with Taiwan's state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) to integrate the new gear on the jets.

"Changing a fighter's major sensor should not be taken lightly. It is more than electrical capacity. It is the integration of sensors, weapons, displays, etc., that make a fighter aircraft effective," Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert said.

Siebert said the failure to release F-16C/Ds will weaken Lockheed Martin's plans to extend the production line for the fighter.

"While Congress has been notified of Oman and Iraq's desire for F-16s, the Taiwan order for 66 aircraft is very important to the long-term viability of the F-16 production to include the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and the thousands of suppliers throughout the U.S.," she said.

More than a few TADTE attendees said the Obama administration might reverse the decision as the 2012 presidential election approaches and political pressure for new jobs builds.

A June report by the Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic and financial analysis firm, estimated that Taiwan's F-16C/D program would create more than 16,000 jobs and almost $768 million in U.S. federal tax revenue. Much of that tax revenue and new jobs would go to election battleground states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

But China holds about 8 percent of U.S. debt, the largest block in foreign hands.

As one TADTE attendee said, "Beijing's Kung Fu is better than Washington's."

The denial of the new jets will likely lead AIDC officials to ask the government to expand upgrade plans for Taiwan's 126 Indigenous Defense Fighters, of which 71 are currently slated for upgrades.

The company has also been pushing Taiwan's Air Force to allocate funds for full-rate production of the IDF C/D Goshawk, which features improved range and weapons payload.

In July, the U.S. State Department indicated a final decision on the F-16 issue would be made by Oct. 1. Since 2006, the U.S. has repeatedly denied Taiwan's request for 66 F-16C/D Block 50/52s, a prospective sale estimated at more than $8 billion.

The planes would replace 60 F-5 Tigers and 60 Mirage 2000-5s due for retirement within five to 10 years.

China has called the sale a "red line." A recent editorial in the state-controlled People's Daily called for the use of a "financial weapon" against the U.S. if new F-16s were released.

The U.S. decision comes as a blow to the self-ruled island's effort to counter China's growing military, whose first aircraft carrier began sea trials last week, and therefore to its independence.

There are fears that losing Taiwan could spell the end of U.S. power projection in the region. Losing Taiwan would "change everything from the operational arch perspective to the posture of Japan and the U.S." in the region, said Raytheon's Asia president, Walter Doran, a retired admiral who once commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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DTN News - MOROCCO DEFENSE NEWS: Falcons Graced The Royal Moroccan Air Force Insignia

Defense News: DTN News - MOROCCO DEFENSE NEWS: Falcons Graced The Royal Moroccan Air Force Insignia
**Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft, first 4 aircrafts another 3 aircarfts are in active duty of the 24 F-16 Fighting Falcons and is expected to receive the rest of the deliveries by 2013
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 14, 2011:
Morocco is the latest U.S. partner nation to receive the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a historic event marked by a ceremony here Aug. 4.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force had 95 combat aircraft and 24 armed helicopters in 2006. On December 18, 2007 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $2.4 billion. The Government of Morocco has requested a possible sale of 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft with either the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engines (IPE) and APG-68(V)9 radars. The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by enhancing Morocco's capacity to support U.S. efforts in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), as well as supporting Morocco's legitimate need for its own self-defense. Morocco is one of the most stable and pro-Western of the Arab states, and the U.S. remains committed to a long-term relationship with Morocco. The proposed sale will allow the Moroccan Air Force to modernize its aging fighter inventory, thereby enabling Morocco to support both its own air defense needs and coalition operations. Morocco is a Major Non-NATO ally. Delivery of this weapon system will greatly enhance Morocco's interoperability with the U.S. and other NATO nations, making it a more valuable partner in an increasingly important area of the world. The country will have no difficulty absorbing this new capability into its armed forces.

On June 6, 2008 the United States government awarded Lockheed Martin an Undefinitized Contract Authorization (UCA) for the production of 24 Advanced F-16 Block 52 aircraft for Morocco, making the Kingdom of Morocco the 25th nation to select the F-16. Morocco will acquire a Block 52 configuration of the F-16C/D aircraft tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF). The Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine was selected by the Royal Moroccan Air Force to power their new fleet of F-16 Block 52 aircraft. The engine program, sold through the U.S. Government's Foreign Military Sales program, is valued at approximately $170 million and is scheduled for delivery in 2010 and 2011.

On September 9, 2009 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Morocco of F-16 C/D Block 50/52 aircraft support equipment and weapons at an estimated cost of $187 million. The Government of Morocco has requested a possible sale of 40 LAU-129A Launchers; 20 AGM-65D MAVERICK Missiles; four AGM-65D MAVERICK Training Missiles; four AGM-65H MAVERICK Training Missiles; 60 Enhanced GBU-12 PAVEWAY II Kits; 28 M61 20mm Vulcan Cannons; 28 AN/ARC-238 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radios with HAVEQUICK I/II or SATURN I/II.

Lockheed Martin was awarded an $841.9 million contract 22 December 2009 to complete production of 24 new F-16 fighters for Morocco, as well as for electronic-warfare gear and support equipment. The contract builds on an initial $233 million award the company received in June 2008 to begin production of the aircraft. Morocco selected the F-16 in 2007, picking the U.S. aircraft over the Rafale. Morocco is the 25th nation to buy the F-16, the world's most widely flown jet fighter.

On October 13, 2009 Hawker Beechcraft sold 24 Beechcraft T-6C trainers to the Royal Moroccan Air Force. The $185.3 million contract includes the aircraft, technical and logistics support and other services. The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the launch customer for the T-6C aircraft, an improved version of the T-6A Texan II. The T-6C will replace Morocco's T-34 basic trainers and Cessna T-37 jet trainers.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force has operational bases in Rabat-Salé, Meknès, Kenitra, and Sidi Slimane and a training base in Marrakech. In the 1980s the main operating bases for fighters were at Meknes (F-5 unit) and Sidi Slimane (Mirage F-1 unit). Both bases were well maintained ; both had unused flightline and maintenance capacities. And Sidi Slimane had 24 hardened aircraft shelters that rival those of any air force in the world. The RMAF's command center at Sald, built by Westinghouse Corporation at a cost of about $240 million, is the hub of a very modern air defense system that blankets all of Morocco. Radar stations throughout the country feed into the Sal6 center where operators track air movements throughout the nation. All the equipment at the center is operated by Moroccans (but some Westinghouse technicians remain as advisors and troubleshooters).

Although Presidents Truman and Eisenhower supported the concept of Moroccan independence, they were both much more concerned with the emergence of the Cold War and the necessity for maintaining a good relationship with France which had reasserted its political control in the region. In 1951, the U.S. signed an agreement with the French to establish four U.S. Strategic Air Command bases in Morocco. The U.S. strongly supported Morocco's independence which came in 1956, but the bases agreement between the U.S. and France remained a sore point between the U.S. and Morocco until a 1959 agreement between the two countries led to the evacuation of the four bases in the early sixties and several smaller communications sites in the late seventies.

The Reagan administration, in need of secure air base facilities to support possible Mideast operations, courted King Hassan and has sent an ambassador to Rabat to assure the monarch that "he can count on us." In 1987 the Moroccan government agreed to the use of an old abandoned U.S.Strategic Air Command Base at Ben Guérir as a transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site for NASA's space shuttle during emergencies. On the military side, Morocco signed agreements with the U.S. government allowing U.S. forces access and transit rights at several Moroccan Air Force bases. This agreement included various military construction projects toupgrade and develop facilities for possible contingencies.

The new Block 52 aircraft will supplement the Royal Moroccan Air Force's existing fleet of fighter aircraft and will contribute to the upgrade and modernization of the country's military.

Senior U.S. military officials attended to mark the event and strengthen the relationship between the two countries' air forces, which includes a state partnership program with the Utah Air National Guard that began in 2003.

The relationship between the U.S. and Morocco can be traced back a few hundred years when Morocco became the first country to recognize the U.S. as an independent nation. Senior Moroccan officials, as well as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, reiterated the close partnership between the two nations during the ceremony.

"I'm here to salute our partnership which we so highly value," Schwartz said. "The friendship between the U.S. and Moroccan militaries is founded on mutual respect, and I am thrilled to be here as you accept the first F-16s into your aircraft inventory."

Officials from U.S. Africa Command and its air component, Air Forces Africa, were also in attendance for the occasion.

"It's an incredible honor for me to be here for the first delivery of the F-16s to the Royal Moroccan Air Force," said Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, the Air Forces Africa commander. "We have a wonderful relationship with the RMAF, but being able to fly the same airplane will just increase our opportunity to work together.

"For the United States and the Moroccans, this is a banner day and a great opportunity to increase both of our capacities and strategic partnership," she added.

The U.S. is helping to train Morocco's new F-16 pilots, teaching them not only how to fly the aircraft, but also how to teach others, explained Lt. Col. Charles Blank, the 152nd Fighter Squadron commander from the Arizona Air National Guard in Tucson, Ariz.

Blank worked with the Moroccans during pilot training in Tucson, and saw firsthand the dedication and commitment of the Moroccan pilots.

"The Moroccans are very professional," he said. "They are very positive, well-trained, and eager to get the job done. They will do well."

Training and delivery of the fighter aircraft took approximately two years as the U.S. and Moroccan air forces worked together, Blank said.

Woodward also commented on the achievements of the new F-16 pilots, one of whom received the distinguished graduate award at training and "stood out as one of the best in the class."

"These pilots are doing an exceptional job in training," she said. "I'm really excited about this progress and the opportunity to expand an already strong military-to-military partnership. Some of these pilots will come back to Morocco and set up a training program to train future pilots in the F-16, and they will receive the same training as our own in the U.S. Air Force."

The RMAF pilots chosen for the program have years of experience in other aircraft and are some of the air force's very best, according to Moroccan officials.

Morocco is the 25th nation to receive the F-16. More than 4,400 aircraft have been delivered worldwide from assembly lines in five countries, according to a Lockheed Martin press release.



The first Moroccan F-16C block 52 #08-8001, seen here on September 21st, 2010, is scheduled to fly in the fall of 2010. Morocco, the 25th nation to operate the F-16, ordered twenty-four block 52 aircraft in 2009. The two-tone light brown scheme with grey underside is unique to...

The first Moroccan F-16C block 52 #08-8001, seen here on September 21st, 2010, is scheduled to fly in the fall of 2010. Morocco, the 25th nation to operate the F-16, ordered twenty-four block 52 aircraft in 2009. The two-tone light brown scheme with grey underside is unique to...

The first Moroccan F-16C block 52 #08-8001, seen here on September 21st, 2010, is scheduled to fly in the fall of 2010. Morocco, the 25th nation to operate the F-16, ordered twenty-four block 52 aircraft in 2009. The two-tone light brown scheme with grey underside is unique to...

RMAF F-16D block 52 #08-8017 takes flight on November 10th, 2010. [Photo by Carl Richards]

RMAF F-16D block 52 #08-8018 comes into land at NAS Fort Worth on December 14th, 2010. [Photo by Scott Fischer]

RMAF F-16D block 52 #08-8019 is spotted during a test flight at Lockheed Martin from NAS Fort Worth on February 14th, 2011. [Photo by Zane Adams]

RMAF F-16C block 52 #08-8004 with callsign 'Viper 04' is spotted on short finals to runway 35 at NAS Fort Worth on February 28th, 2011. [Photo by Sebastiaan Does]

RMAF F-16C block 52 #08-8003 is touching down on the runway at NAS Fort Worth in February of 2011. [Photo by Scott Fischer]

RMAF F-16D block 52 #08-8020 is seen at NAS Fort Worth during a test flight on March 9th, 2011. The airframe is part of the order for 24 brandnew F-16 block 52s for the RMAF. [Photo by Piet Luijken]

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DTN News - BOLLYWOOD ICON: Shammi Kapoor Passed Away This Morning

Defense News: DTN News - BOLLYWOOD ICON: Shammi Kapoor Passed Away This Morning
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 14, 2011: DTN News is sad to learn of Shammi Kapoor's demise. He was an accomplished actor who entertained millions and millions of fans in India and abroad.

DTN News share his family's grief, the film industry has "lost a creative talent" in his demise. Shammi Kapoor was one of the veteran actors, who adorned Hindi cinema. He delighted Hindi cinema fans with his vivacious acting. He shall always be remembered by a generation of film watchers.

Asnooty, rich lad is stranded in a blizzard with a flawless beauty in the wilderness of Kashmir. The long night and an icy wind wheezing outside the log cabin bring them closer. Hours later, as they ran across the sunny, snow covered valley, he is a changed young man, having discovered what he missed in life - a typical concoction of the Bollywood dream factory where reality has no place. But what audiences in countless theatres could never know was the risk our man was taking in the unforgiving world of show business. He was about to create one of the most enduring images of Hindi movies.

In an age where heroes stood out for their gravitas, good looks, smouldering intensity and sartorial splendour, Shammi Kapoor emerged as the Yahoo man. 'Junglee' (1962) not only pulled Shammi out of the shadows of a formidable elder brother, it also marked the birth of India's first youth icon on the silver screen.

The Yahoo man (79) died of renal failure at 5.15 am on Sunday at Breach Candy hospital, leaving behind his wife Neeladevi, son Aditya Raj and daughter Kanchan Desai. It marks the end of a generation, the demise of a life style. "No youngster can ever step into his shoes," said Saira Banu, the lady in the log cabin. "The flamboyance and joi de verve of the industry (is) lost," tweeted Amitabh Bachchan.

Prithviraj Kapoor's second-born always wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, and when the 22-year-old made his debut in the film industry, it was far from a dream. Despite being paired with the leading ladies of the time, he admitted to having spent the first five years of his career crying, with every film failing at the box office.

The tide changed with Nasir Hussain's 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha' in 1957. Here too, destiny played its part: Dev Anand, the urbane, stylish hero was the natural choice for writer-director Hussain, having worked with him in movies like 'Munimji' and 'Paying Guest'. But since Anand, then a top star, was hesitant to act with a newcomer, the film landed on Shammi's lap. Indeed, working with newcomers - from Saira Banu to Sharmila Tagore - was to become one of Kapoor's most acknowledged and applauded traits.

With Tumsaand Junglee, there was no looking back. Kapoor had found his groove and a new kind of flamboyance was sweeping across the industry. The trade called him "Shimming Shammi', as the man took after his screen idols James Dean and Elvis Presley.

"The Hindi film industry will never see such an era again," said writer, poet Javed Akhtar, echoing a sentiment of the Hindi film industry.

"When he is on screen it is very difficult to look at anyone else. He had a great sense of humour and a sense of rhythm, so important to the Hindi film industry. His contribution to the industry is quite considerable," said Tagore, who acted with him in her debut Hindi film, Kashmir Ki Kali.

With the success of 'Junglee', Kapoor brought in the swinging sixties to Hindi film and along with it a host of hit songs numbers, which even today sells. "We had compiled a video of Shammiji's hit songs and called it Yahoo, Shammi Kapoor, which did even better than some of his individual films on the home video and we even got corporate orders for the same," says Hiren Gada.

*The link for this article edited, prepared & compiled by K. V. Seth - DTN News
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