Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: Russia, US Compete For Indian Defense Contracts

Defense News: DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: Russia, US Compete For Indian Defense Contracts
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Rajeev Sharma - Russia Beyond The Healines
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 30, 2013: While Russia and the United States are engaged in intense competition (often cut-throat, in many areas), they are increasingly locking horns on increasingly familiar turf: lucrative defense deals emanating from India.

Both Russia and the U.S. have had their share of successes and failures in winning Indian defense contracts. In 2012, the U.S. won a 1.4-billion-dollar contract from India for 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, while Russia received from India a 1.6-billion-dollar deal for 42 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and another deal worth $1.3 billion for 71 Mi-17 helicopters.

The Russian-American see-saw battle for eating into the Indian defense pie is likely to continue for many more years, as both arms exporters are unable to satisfy the Indians by 100 percent. While the U.S. is loath to sell some of its most advanced weapon systems to India and transfer technology, the Russians have been unable to keep their deadlines in supplying weaponry to India.
However, in this context, a big point in favor of the Russians is that they readily transfer technology on which India invariably insists.
The Tejas Engines Deal
Just a few days back, the U.S. finalized a 558-million-dollar deal with India for supplying 99 jet engines to be used in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK II, which is being developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
The deal may well be more than double its present value (or worth about $1.2 billion), as a clause of the contract stipulates that ,though the present order is only for 99 engines, India will have the option of ordering 100 more engines in the future.
The Tejas story, however, is not so much about the U.S.-Russia rivalry, because both the Western powers are engaged with the Indians in their own different ways. Two years ago, India selected the American company General Electric (GE) over its European rival Eurojet 2000 for the LCA Mark II program.
Ideally, India would like to have 42 squadrons of fighter aircraft; but it currently has only 34, which may dip to just 26 in 2017 if the Rafale aircraft are not inducted by then. This explains the strategic importance of the indigenously-developed Tejas for India. India plans to induct two squadrons of the LCA Mark I, to be followed by delivery of LCA Mark II aircraft.
The American involvement in the three-decades-old Tejas project (which has already cost the exchequer over $ 4.5 billion) began some years after India started the project in 1983. Then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi asked the U.S. for help in the project, as part of his bigger plan to improve ties with the country.
The Americans readily agreed and the U.S. Air Force was selected to help India in testing fly-by-wire technology for LCA. The U.S. also offered GE F-404 jet engines to power LCA prototypes – a proposal that India was prompt in accepting.
The Russian Involvement
Russia, too, is involved in a significant way with the Tejas project.
While the main structure and sub-systems of the aircraft are indigenized, the remaining parts are imported. The most crucial of the imported parts is the aircraft engine that is currently being made by GE. The DRDO has been working on developing a suitable engine called Kaveri, which is undergoing tests in Russia and will be brought back to India after certification.
India and Russia signed an agreement for loan of a TU-16 Russian twinjet on which the Kaveri engine will be mounted. The Indo-Russian agreement also stipulates a high-altitude test facility for testing Kaveri’s operations in hot-and-high conditions. However, the high-altitude test facility in Russia has not been able to give a flawless performance and has failed thus far to meet the envisaged parameters of the engine.
Long-range bomber Tu-16 at the Military planes museum on the Dyagilevo airfield. Source: RIA Novosti / Alexei Kudenko
Long-range bomber Tu-16 at the Military planes museum on the Dyagilevo airfield. Source: RIA Novosti / Alexei Kudenko
Confronted with persistent failures and delays, the Indian government decided in late 2008 to isolate the Kaveri engine project from the main LCA project. Until Kaveri gives 100 percent satisfactory results, Tejas will be powered by American engines.
About Tejas
“Tejas” (Sanskrit for “radiance”) is the world’s smallest fighter aircraft. This lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter is being designed and developed as a single-seat fighter aircraft by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA); it is being manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian air force to run on GE-F404 engines manufactured by the American company GE.
Tejas can fly at a maximum speed of 2,205 kilometers (1,370 miles) per hour and at a maximum altitude of 15,200 meters (just under 50,000 feet). Its range is 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) and it weighs about 5,450 kilograms, (12,000 pounds) with maximum take-off weight of 13,500 kilograms (about 30,000 pounds).
Tejas has already missed several deadlines, and the latest assessment is that it will become operational later this year, though its full combat-ready status is unlikely to be achieved before 2015.
The unique selling point of the Tejas is its indigenousness. Right now, Tejas is 65 percent Indian, but this figure will soon reach 75 percent. However, VK Saraswat, scientific advisor to the Indian defense minister, insists that no country opts for 100 percent indigenization, since it is not cost effective and requires huge infrastructure.
Future Scenario
The Russian-American rivalries for garnering Indian defense deals are bound to intensify. Currently, over 70 percent of India’s defense equipment is of Russian origin, but this is set to change substantively. In fact, the phenomenon has already started.
India is set to spend tens of billions of dollars within the next few years on modernizing its defense forces. The rules of the game have rapidly changed for the Russians. Any arms-exporting country that wants to increase its defense business ties with India can do so only when it ensures timely delivery of top-quality equipment at highly competitive prices.
Rajeev Sharma is a New Delhi-based journalist, author and strategic analyst who regularly writes for several leading international media outfits. He can be reached at
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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Rajeev Sharma - Russia Beyond The Healines
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: Boeing Delivers Indian Air Force's 1st C-17 To Flight Test

Defense News: DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: Boeing Delivers Indian Air Force's 1st C-17 To Flight Test
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 23, 2013: Boeing [NYSE: BA] on Jan. 22 delivered -- on schedule -- the first of 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). India's first C-17 will now enter a U.S. Air Force flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, Calif. Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014.

"The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010," said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attaché at the Embassy of India. "It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian Air Force markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on Jan. 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India."
"The C-17's ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India's airlift needs," said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager. "We value our continued partnership with India and the U.S. government and will provide dedicated support as India's first C-17 enters flight testing."
India's Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States. The governments finalized the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe on June 6, 2012.
Boeing has delivered 250 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 32 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
Boeing will support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP "virtual fleet" arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale. This brings spares and support closer to the point of use and makes the C-17 more affordable to own and operate.
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 $32 billion business with 60,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

Cindy Anderson
C-17 Globemaster III
Office:             +1 562-593-4477      
Mobile:             +1 562-253-5818
Amrita Dhindsa
India Communications
Office:             +91-96546-06067

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

DTN News - MALI UNREST (AFRICA): Nigerian Air Force Deploys Two Alpha Jets To Mali

Defense News: DTN News - MALI UNREST (AFRICA): Nigerian Air Force Deploys Two Alpha Jets To Mali
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources  By  Senator Iroegbu - All Africa
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 21, 2013: Abuja — Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in continuation of its forces deployment to Mali has sent two Alpha Jets to strengthen the ECOWAS intervention force battling extremist rebel forces in Mali's northern flank.

The fighter jets, which was authorized for combat operation by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, took off yesterday from the domestic wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Air Component Commander, Air Vice Marshal Tayo Oguntoyinbo, led the Alpha Jet team and flew to Niamey, in Niger Republic, where they will be based during the Mali operations.
Accordingly, the team of fighter pilots was seen off by the Chief of Training and Operations at Nigerian Air Force headquarters, AVM Dickson Dillimono, as they flew out of Abuja for Niamey.
Speaking to journalists before the take-off of the fighter jets, the Director of Information and Public Relations, NAF, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, disclosed that the next deployment of Nigerian Air Force Mi-35 Helicopters from Nigeria to Mali will take place later today.
Anas also revealed that the NAF C-130 aircraft have continued to airlift Nigerian Army personnel and equipment to Mali.
He said: "We went to drop our regiment personnel from Port Harcourt, Rivers state to Mali yesterday (Thursday). This afternoon (Friday), we are having our Alpha Jets which will start their movement down to Mali.
"Yesterday the CAS (Bade) went to Port Harcourt to be able to administer the movement of our own troops to Mali and today we are witnessing the Alpha Jets that will be moving to Mali this afternoon.
"You will see the briefing of the team of pilots (team of four pilots led by AVM Omotoyinbo), after that they will start their aircraft and deploy straight to Mali via Niamey, Niger Republic."
The two fighter jets, Alpha Jets NAF 455 and NAF 452 Dassault-Brguft Donnier 78 are said to be the game-changer that helped ECOMOG forces led by Nigeria contain Charles Taylor and his forces during the Liberian conflict.
Military sources said the jets also played a similar role in the Sierra Leonean civil war and ensured that peace was enforced at the West African sister country.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By  Senator Iroegbu - All Africa
*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 - AFGHAN WAR NEWS: Prince Harry Coming Home From Afghanistan ~ Recalls Killing Taliban

Defense News: DTN News - AFGHAN WAR NEWS: Prince Harry Coming Home From Afghanistan ~ Recalls Killing Taliban
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Jill Lawless - London — The Associated Press
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 21, 2013: Capt. Wales is coming home to be Prince Harry once again.

The British Ministry of Defence revealed Monday that the 28-year-old prince is returning from a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps. It did not immediately divulge his exact whereabouts.
In interviews conducted in Afghanistan, the third in line to the British throne described feeling boredom, frustration and satisfaction during a tour that saw him kill Taliban fighters on missions in support of ground troops. He also spoke of his struggle to balance his job as an army officer with his royal role – and his relief at the chance to be “one of the guys.”

“My father’s always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that,” said Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. “But it’s very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing.”
Stationed at Camp Bastion, a sprawling British base in the southern Afghan desert, the prince – known as Capt. Wales in the military – flew scores of missions as a co-pilot gunner, sometimes firing rockets and missiles at Taliban fighters.
“Take a life to save a life. That’s what we revolve around, I suppose,” he said. “If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game.”
Harry’s second tour in Afghanistan went more smoothly than the first, in 2007-2008, which was cut short after 10 weeks when a magazine and websites disclosed details of his whereabouts. British media had agreed to a news blackout on security grounds.
This time, the media were allowed limited access to the prince in return for not reporting operational details.
A member of the air corps’ 662 Squadron, the prince was part of a two-man crew whose duties ranged from supporting ground troops in firefights with the Taliban to accompanying British Chinook and U.S. Black Hawk helicopters as they evacuated wounded soldiers.
He said that while sometimes it was necessary to fire on insurgents, the formidable helicopter – equipped with wing-mounted rockets, Hellfire laser-guided missiles and a 30mm machine gun – was usually an effective deterrent.
“If guys get injured, we come straight into the overhead, box off any possibility of an insurgent attack because they look at us and just go, ‘Right, that’s an unfair fight, we’re not going to go near them,’” Harry said.
Harry shared a room with another pilot in a basic accommodation block made from shipping containers, and passed the time between callouts playing video games and watching movies with his fellow officers. His security detail accompanied him on base, but not when flying.
“It’s as normal as it’s going to get,” Harry said of the arrangement. “I’m one of the guys. I don’t get treated any differently.”
But he said he still received unwanted attention at Camp Bastion, which is home to thousands of troops.
“For me, it’s not that normal, because I go into the cookhouse and everyone has a good old gawp, and that’s one thing that I dislike about being here,” he said. “Because there’s plenty of guys in there that have never met me, therefore look at me as Prince Harry and not as Capt. Wales, which is frustrating.”
Ever since Harry graduated from the Sandhurst military academy in 2006, his desire for a military career has collided with his royal role. After his curtailed first Afghan deployment, he retrained as a helicopter pilot in order to have the chance of being sent back.
The speed and height at which Apaches fly make them hard for insurgents to shoot down, but Harry’s squadron commander, Maj. Ali Mack, said the prince had still faced real danger.
“There is nothing routine about deploying to an operational theatre – where there is absolutely an insurgency – and flying an attack helicopter in support of both ISAF and Afghan security forces,” Mack said.
The danger was underscored soon after Harry arrived at Camp Bastion in September, when insurgents attacked the adjacent U.S. base, Camp Leatherneck, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding several other troops.
Harry said he would have preferred to have been deployed on the ground with his old regiment, the Household Cavalry, rather than spending his tour of duty at Camp Bastion, a fortified mini-city replete with shops, gyms and a Pizza Hut restaurant.
Harry said it was “a pain the arse, being stuck in Bastion.”
“I’d much rather be out with the lads in a PB (patrol base),” he said. “The last job was, for me personally, better.”
Despite the frustrations of base life, Harry said he relished the flying: “As soon as we’re outside the fence, we’re in the thick of it.”
“Yes, OK, we’re supposedly safe, but anything can go wrong with this thing, but at the end of the day we’re out there to provide cover and protection for the guys on the ground,” he said.
Many of Harry’s family have also seen combat – most recently his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War. His grandfather, Prince Philip, served on Royal Navy battleships during World War II.
His older brother William, who is second in line to the throne, is a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot. He, too, has expressed a desire to serve on the front line, but officials consider it too dangerous.
Harry said he thought William should be allowed to serve in combat.
“Yes, you get shot at. But if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with us being shot at as well.
“People back home will have issues with that, but we’re not special. The guys out there are. Simple as that.”
He said that while William was envious of his Afghan experience, his elder brother’s job had its advantages.
“He gets to go home to his wife and his dog, whereas out here we don’t,” Harry said. “We’re stuck playing PlayStation in a tent full of men.”
After the respite from scrutiny, the prince is returning to a Harry-hungry media eager for images of the eligible bachelor, and stories of his off-duty escapades.
Just before he went to Afghanistan, Harry hit the headlines during a game of strip billiards at a Las Vegas hotel. He apologized for the incident. “It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince,” he said.
But the prince did not attempt to hide his frustration with the intense coverage he faces. “I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down,” Harry said. “But at the end of the day I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect.”
Later in the year, he hopes to join a group of injured servicemen on a charity race to the South Pole, and in July he is due to become an uncle when William’s wife Catherine gives birth to her first child.
Harry said that he “can’t wait” to be an uncle, but hoped that Kate would be given privacy during her pregnancy.
And he conceded that he felt more comfortable as Capt. Wales than as Prince Harry.
He said he tried to balance three facets of his life – “one in the army, one socially in my own private time, and then one with the family and stuff like that.”
“So there is a switch and I flick it when necessary,” he said. “Army comes first. It’s my work at the end of the day.”

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Jill Lawless - London — The Associated Press
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News