Thursday, May 17, 2012

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: China Flies New Stealth Fighter As Problems Plague U.S. Jets

Defense News: DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: China Flies New Stealth Fighter As Problems Plague U.S. Jets
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By David Axe - Wired
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 17, 2012: The second copy of China’s stealth fighter prototype has just flown at a research facility in the city of Chengdu. The first flight of the J-20 Mighty Dragon with the nose number 2002 doubles Beijing’s stealth test fleet at a time when America’s latest jet fighters are hobbled by cost overruns, labor disputes and lethal design flaws. But it’s far from certain how much, and how fast, the new Chinese jet will alter the military balance.

The challenges for American stealth developers are clear. It has come to light that Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor — the first of the current generation of stealth fighters — is steadily poisoning its pilots owing to a faulty oxygen system. Meanwhile, the F-35 has been delayed by several years and the overall cost to design and build thousands of the new jets has risen by hundreds of billions of dollars. To make matters worse, workers at Lockheed’s F-35 factory have gone on strike, with no end in sight.

At first glance, China appears to be making huge progress where the U.S. falters. The twin-engine Mighty Dragon 2002, painted black like its predecessor, made its first appearance in April in photos snapped by Chinese bloggers (who may or may not be on Beijing’s payroll). The second J-20 spent a month or so performing ground tests before launching on its inaugural test sortie sometime in the past few days. If the initial flight of the first Mighty Dragon (nose number 2001) in December 2010 is any indication, 2002′s debut mission amounted to little more than a lap around the Chengdu airfield to test the aircraft’s basic functions and show off for the aforementioned bloggers.
With two airframes to work with, the Chengdu engineers can now double the roughly five-flights-a-month development program apparently aimed at producing a front-line stealth warplane. Before the first Mighty Dragon ever flew, General He Weirong of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force said the J-20 would enter service between 2017 and 2019. Then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates countered, saying it would be 2020 or later before China possessed a combat-ready stealth fighter. It’s unclear who’s right — or even what definition of front-line service either man was using.
Certainly, the Mighty Dragon’s engineers have a lot of work ahead of them. For comparison, the development program for the U.S. military’s latest F-35 Joint Strike Fighter includes more than 10,000 test flights spread over 15 years. If China duplicated the American testing profile, it could take decadesfor the J-20 to complete development.
But China traditionally does not take the same approach to warplane testing that America does. Instead, China follows the Russian model: some basic tests after which small numbers of new jets with rudimentary combat capabilities are handed over to a regular fighter squadron. After a few years of real-world use, engineers build a second batch with improved capabilities, and so on.
In that way China usually builds its aerial arsenal in small increments in parallel with testing. On the upside, new designs can enter service faster than they do in America. The downside is that the new fighters often fly with undetected flaws. The U.S. initially tried that “concurrent” approach with the Lockheed Martin-built F-35, only to scale back early production after testers discovered design flaws costing billions of dollars to fix. The J-20 could encounter the same problem.
Moreover, it seems both J-20s are still flying with Russian-made AL-31 engines rather than motors specifically designed for the J-20′s huge size and apparent weight. China has had so many problems inventing its own jet engines that it has revived imports of Russian models. Finalizing advanced avionics, sensors and weapons could prove equally difficult for the Chengdu developers.
All the same, Mighty Dragon 2002 does appear to be a step towards an early combat capability. It features several apparent improvements over its sister Mighty Dragon 2001, including stockier landing gear and a redesigned nose that could house an ultra-modern electronically scanned radar. If Beijing chooses to build a squadron of J-20s for early front-line use, they could look a lot like jet number 2002.
That said, there are signs China is cooling its stealth-fighter ambitions. Until recently, analysts had predicted the J-20 would be joined by several other brand-new Chinese stealth fighter designs, including one code-named J-16. But this spring reporters got their first look at the J-16. Turns out it’s a bolt-for-bolt copy of the Russian Su-30, a decidedly non-stealthy design.
That should prove comforting to American warplane developers who are in the throes of parallel crises involving the F-22 and F-35. Which is to say, China’s stealth fighter development is faring no better and no worse than America’s. For every big step forward there are little steps back.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By David Axe - Wired
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - ISRAELI DEFENSE NEWS: Stealth Yansh - The Israeli Top Secret Radar-Evading Chopper Used To Drop Spies In Iran

Defense News: DTN News - ISRAELI DEFENSE NEWS: Stealth Yansh - The Israeli Top Secret Radar-Evading Chopper Used To Drop Spies In Iran
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Posted by David Cenciotti in Stealth Black Hawk
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 17, 2012: According to F. Michael Maloof, a former Pentagon senior policy analyst the Israeli Air Force is equipped with the same Stealth Black Hawk helicopter used by the U.S. Navy SEALs to kill Osama Bin Laden last year.

Believed to be an exclusive U.S. “black project”, the radar-evading chopper (most probably a quiet one, rather than an actual helicopter invisible to radars), such helos would be used by the IAF to drop Iranian dissidents into Iran to gather intelligence on the Tehran’s nuclear program, according to a report written by Maloof for G2 bulletin, a global intelligence newsletter.
This is the first time someone reports about radar-evading choppers in the hands of Israel.
Even if it’s quite unlikely that the Washington shared the secrets of its most advanced helicopter with Jerusalem, considered that the American Stealth Hawk is probably based on 1978 study freely available on the Internet, we can’t rule out the possibility that the Israeli industry has found a way to modify the IAF Black Hawks (nicknamed “Yanshuf”, English for “Owl”) to make them stealthy.
Provided a Stealth Yanshuf really exists, this is what it would look like in two updated versions of the renderings I conceived with‘s Ugo Crisponi: above, the famous highly modified version with retractable landing gear MH-X (please remember this is not the actual designation), whose shape reminds the one of an S-76; below, the more likely slightly-modified Stealth Black Hawk (described here).

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Posted by David Cenciotti in Stealth Black Hawk
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - TECHNOLOGY NEWS: How Facebook Took Over The Web

Defense News:  DTN News - TECHNOLOGY NEWS: How Facebook Took Over The Web
*New data from Nielsen reveals how Facebook grew to become the dominant social network it is today.
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Lance Whitney - Cnet News
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 17, 2012: Facebook is on its way to 1 billion users with an IPO around the corner. Not bad for a company with its roots in a Harvard dorm room.

But how did it achieve its grip on the global market? New findings from Nielsen offer a peek into some key milestones for the social network.

Facebook's user base currently numbers more than 900 million. But it's also one of the most visited Web sites in the world, according to Nielsen.
The site received around 152 million unique visits from people in the U.S. in March, which means that more than two out of three online Americans checked out Facebook that month. In such countries as Brazil, Italy, and New Zealand, the rate is even higher.
Facebook first grabbed 10 million unique U.S. visitors in November 2006 and 10 million unique U.K. visitors in April 2008. The site captured 10 million unique visitors in France, Germany, and Spain in 2009, Nielsen said.
In August of last year, Facebook surpassed Orkut as the top social network in Brazil and has continued to grab more users in the country since then. MySpace was also once a hot social network. But in January 2009, Facebook officially surpassed MySpace at the top social network and has held that title since.
Facebook is currently ranked top among all social networking and blog sites in 11 of 12 major countries around the world. The following table from Nielsen shows Facebook's reach in those 12 countries.
(Credit: Nielsen)
Of course, not everyone is a fan of the giant social network.
Half of the 1,000 Americans recently polled by the AP and CNBC believe Facebook is a fad. General Motors revealed this week that it was yanking its advertising on the network because it didn't think the ads were effective.
Concerns have also been raised about the company's move to go public. Half of the people in the AP-CNBC poll think the initial offering price is too high. Many also question whether CEO Mark Zuckerberg has the skills to manage and expand a large publicly-traded company.
And the company has consistently gotten into deep water over privacy issues, angering users and advocacy groups.
Only 13 percent of the people polled by AP and CNBC trust Facebook "completely" or "a lot" to keep their personal information private. More than half (59 percent) said they have little or no faith in the company to protect their privacy.
Facebook has made tremendous strides since its birth in 2004. But the company will face more challenges ahead as it strives to grow both as a social network and a public corporation.



*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Lance Whitney - Cnet News
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - NATO NEWS: NATO Invites Pakistan To Chicago Summit

Defense News: DTN News - NATO NEWS: NATO Invites Pakistan To Chicago Summit
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 16, 2012: NATO said on Tuesday it had invited Pakistan to a summit in Chicago next week, lifting a veiled threat that it might exclude the country from the talks on the future of Afghanistan.

"Allies decided to invite President (Asif Ali) Zardari of Pakistan to Chicago to the meeting on Afghanistan," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement.

"This meeting will underline the strong commitment of the international community to the people of Afghanistan and to its future. Pakistan has an important role to play in that future."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen suggested on Friday that Pakistan could be excluded from the May 20-21 summit if it failed to reopen the supply routes to Afghanistan that it closed after 24 of its soldiers were killed by a NATO cross-border air attack last November.

Rasmussen noted that other countries providing supply routes to NATO had been invited to the summit, which will map out a future for Afghanistan after most foreign combat troops are withdrawn at the end of 2014.

President Zardari's spokesman said he was considering whether to attend the Chicago summit and that the invitation was "unconditional and not linked to the opening of ground lines of communication for NATO or to any other issue."

Pakistan has demanded a formal apology from the United States for the attack before it reopens the supply routes, and has also called for an end to U.S. drone strikes on its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Pakistan boycotted an international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn in December in protest against the NATO air strikes.

(Reporting By Sebastian Moffett; Additional reporting by Sheree Sardar in Islamabad; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Reuters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - TECHNOLOGY NEWS: Facebook IPO Triggers Retail Investor Craze

Defense News: DTN News - TECHNOLOGY NEWS: Facebook IPO Triggers Retail Investor Craze
*Facebook Value Up To $104 Billion - Company Hikes IPO Price Range
*Already expected to be the largest initial public offering for an Internet company, Facebook is making its IPO even bigger.
The world’s largest online social network on Tuesday increased the planned price range for its stock to $34 to $38 per share in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s up from its previous range of $28 to $35. At the upper limit of $38, the sale would raise about $12.8 billion.
The move, which values
Facebook as high as $104 billion, comes amid growing investor excitement about the offering. Analysts are comparing the frenzy surrounding
Facebook’s IPO to Google Inc.’s in 2004, though in sheer size the latter pales in comparison.
At the same time, half of Americans think the expected value for Facebook Inc. is too high, according to a new Associated Press-CNBC poll conducted before the company raised its expected stock price on Tuesday. Only one-third of those surveyed said they think Facebook’s expected value is appropriate.
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Alistair Bar and Olivia Oran - Reuters 
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 16, 2012: If "Facebook For Dummies" helped you find friends and post pictures on the world's No. 1 online social network, then consider "Facebook IPO Confidential" which purports to teach you "How To Get Rich With The IPO Of The Century."

The e-book is one of about eight self-help manuals that appear to have sprung up overnight to try to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding Silicon Valley's biggest initial public offering.
With other titles such as "The Facebook IPO Pitch: Are You In?" and "How To Invest In Facebook", these books are far from bestsellers. But, along with countless online forums and news articles about the IPO, they underscore the desire of ordinary people - many of whom have never invested in stocks before - to get in on the $15.2 billion share sale.
"If you can't invent Facebook, the next best bragging rights would be to say that you had invested in the social media phenom when it was a dorm room project. If not then, perhaps the IPO," Nancy Miller wrote in a guide titled "The Facebook IPO Primer."
Many wealth managers are advising their clients to avoid Facebook, pointing to a sky-high valuation of up to $104 billion set by the IPO, and potentially much higher once it starts trading. The company also shows signs of slowing growth, has yet to figure out how to make money on mobile, and new shareholders will have little influence as nearly 56 percent of voting shares will be in the hands of one person: Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.
But such warnings are falling on deaf ears as many people are drawn in by Facebook's brand name and the fact that one in seven people around the globe are on the social network. Facebook Inc on Tuesday increased the size of its IPO by nearly 25 percent and raised the target price range.
"I can't remember another IPO that got this much attention," said Max Wolff, a senior analyst at GreenCrest Capital. "Half the people talking about the Facebook IPO probably don't know what IPO stands for."
The strong demand means that most retail investors will have to wait until Facebook begins to trade on the Nasdaq on Friday to get hold of the shares - and risk getting trampled. If the stock skyrockets, the average person might end up getting orders filled at a price much higher than they wanted and then face the possibility of losses as funds steamroll in and then zip back out, taking the price off its highs.
"I don't know if buying on the day of the IPO is the best idea, but I like the novelty factor of it and being able to say that you bought on the first day," said Micah Stubbs, a first-time investor who works in the oil and gas industry and lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Facebook's share price could surge 30 percent on debut day, said Reena Aggarwal, a professor of business administration and finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business in Washington. She suggested retail investors may be better off holding off for a few weeks until the share price settles.
"The market will try to figure out the right price for the stock and it's going to open really high," Aggarwal said. "There are lots of risks - the company is high growth but also high risk, and there is a lot of uncertainty, so retail investors have to be careful."
Facebook is going public after accumulating almost a billion users, nearly $4 billion in annual revenue and a brand name augmented by the 2010 Oscar-winning film "The Social Network", which charted the rise of Zuckerberg who started Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room.
Most ordinary people have only the slimmest of chances of getting hold of IPO shares as Facebook's 33 underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, are expected to give priority to their most important clients, usually institutional investors.
Typically, only 5 to 30 percent of IPO shares are set aside for retail investors, underwriters say.
Discount broker E*Trade Financial, which was added to the list of IPO underwriters at the last minute, offers some help. Last week, its home page threw up a pop-up box explaining what investors need to do to get in on IPOs.
Would-be buyers have to answer about 25 questions about their financial status and investment habits. They are then prompted to place a conditional offer for at least 50 Facebook shares and a maximum price they are willing to pay per share.
Online prediction market Intrade, which lets investors bet on major events such as the U.S. presidential election, offers another alternative. It started a contract on Tuesday for bets on where shares of the social network will close on their first day of trading.
Facebook reported $205 million in first-quarter profit, down 12 percent from the same period a year ago. While sales leapt 45 percent year-on-year to $1.6 billion, that lagged the 55 percent growth of the fourth quarter.
On Tuesday, General Motors Co said it will stop advertising on Facebook, amid concerns that the ads have had little impact on consumer spending. The auto maker continues to use Facebook pages for marketing its vehicles, but the news underscored the risks Facebook faces as it tries to boost revenue from its huge user base.
RegentAtlantic Capital is among the wealth managers recommending clients stay away, without much success.
"Most clients or their children have some interaction with Facebook, so I believe the demand will be high," RegentAtlantic wealth advisor Chris Cordaro said, warning that there could be "a lot of pain" ahead for investors who buy at inflated prices on Friday.
Because of such concerns, some retail investors plan to get in and get out of the stock quickly. That may be fine if they get in at the IPO price but if they end up buying once the shares have started trading up, they may not be so lucky.
"Retail participation is associated with more speculation and noise, and because of that there is more volatility," said David Sraer, a professor of economics at Princeton University. "They tend to herd together and be on the same side of the market, which drives imbalance."
Retired chemical engineer Alvan Sweet ordered through Schwab 10,000 Facebook shares worth $380,000 at the high end of the indicative IPO price range. If he is lucky enough to get an allocation, he plans to dump the shares on day one or two.
Sweet, whose son is a senior managing partner of the IPO Boutique advisory firm, has invested in IPOs before but says this is the first time friends in his Florida condo community have pestered him about getting shares. "They were hoping that because my son is in the business I would have access," he said.
One of his friends, Lucky Bloch, admits to losing money on an IPO before. But he is confident this investment will pay off.
"Initially Over-Priced is what IPO should stand for," he complained. "If you can get in before the first day, then sell a couple of days later, there's money to be made," he told Reuters. "Can you help me get shares?"
(Additional reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Sarah McBride, editing by Edwin Chan, Tiffany Wu and Richard Chang)

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Alistair Bar and Olivia Oran - Reuters 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News