Search This Blog

Friday, February 25, 2011

Boeing wins tanker contract

State leaders say plane assembly will bring jobs to state

Jim Camden
The Boeing Co. will build the next generation of air refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force, winning a hotly contested bid to replace about a third of the KC-135s that have served as the military’s flying gas stations for nearly half a century.

The Air Force announced Thursday it was choosing a military version of the Boeing 767 over the Airbus A330 in the competition for a contract worth more than $30 billion.

Both aerospace giants get their parts from all over the world, but Boeing will build the planes in Everett and in Wichita, Kan. European Aerospace Defence and Space Inc., which builds Airbus, would have constructed its tanker in Alabama at a closed military base.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday the contract will mean about 11,000 aerospace jobs to Washington, and will urge the Legislature to make sure the training is available at community colleges so state residents can take advantage of that expansion. “If they don’t find the skilled work force in the state, they’ll bring them in from out of state.”

A Boeing spokeswoman said 11,000 is the estimated number of new and existing aerospace jobs tied to the tanker contract in some capacity. The contract is projected by congressional leaders to create 50,000 direct and indirect jobs nationally.

Both planes met the Air Force’s 372 mandatory requirements and “were awardable,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said in announcing the contract after the stock market’s close. The Boeing proposal offered “substantial savings” which he didn’t quantify, but the Airbus tanker was a larger plane projected to have higher costs to the military for extended runways and larger hangars.

The new plane, which Boeing has been marketing as the KC-X, will be designated the KC-46A. The Air Force will receive the first 18 planes in 2017, but won’t decide for several years which bases will get them.

The KC-135 is the plane flown by units at Fairchild Air Force Base. At one point, Fairchild was scheduled to be the first base to get replacement tankers, but that was when the Air Force had a different plan for retiring the Eisenhower-era planes.

The Washington and Kansas congressional delegations hailed the Pentagon’s decision. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has championed Boeing tanker replacement plans since the first one was proposed in 2001, and called the contract a “major victory” for America’s workers, its aerospace industry and military.

“It is consistent with the president’s own call to ‘out-innovate’ and ‘out-build’ the rest of the world,” Murray said in a prepared statement released just minutes after the announcement.

Members of the Washington delegation were bracing for bad news, as industry insiders had speculated in recent days that Airbus would win the contract. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said they were concerned EADS been given every advantage to submit a bid and that unfair trade subsidy rulings by the World Trade Organization weren’t being considered by the Pentagon. Boeing still won, apparently decisively, she said.

Even though bases for the KC-46A won’t be chosen for years, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said building a new tanker is a victory for Fairchild.

“Right now the men and women at Fairchild are flying air refueling tankers that are more than 50 years old,” she said. “Today’s decision allows us to move forward, and not a moment too soon.”

Spokane officials also said the contract could boost local jobs. Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said the Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium, which employs 8,100 people, believes more than 20 local companies could supply parts for the new plane.

But in Alabama, where the Airbus tankers would have been assembled, reactions ranged from disappointed to bitter.

“The U.S. Department of Defense, in not awarding the aerial refueling tanker contract to EADS North America today, has made a egregious error and America’s military men and women are ultimately the biggest losers,” the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce said in a prepared statement.

The Air Force has tried to upgrade the tanker fleet for nearly a decade, with a series of missteps. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, it began discussing a plan to lease some 100 tanker versions of Boeing’s 767 to allow it to retire some of the oldest KC-135s in the fleet. That idea had strong support in Washington and Kansas, where the company has assembly lines, but drew criticism from some budget hawks who noted that leasing didn’t save money in the long run, and the Air Force had to give the planes back when the lease was up.

Then Boeing got into trouble for offering a job to the Air Force official in charge of procurement, who was negotiating the tanker contract. The official, Darleen Druyun, and Boeing CFO Michael Sears were both fired, convicted of federal crimes and jailed.

When Congress eventually gave up on leasing and told the Air Force to buy tankers, EADS joined the competition. The Europe-based manufacturer was awarded a contract in 2008, but the Air Force later had to rescind the deal after government studies showed it was awarded on different specifications than the military said it wanted when the competition started.

Recently, the Pentagon had another snafu, admitting that it sent each manufacturer the competition’s proprietary information by mistake.

EADS will have five days after it gets an in-depth briefing on the contract decision to challenge the award, just as Boeing did when it lost the competition in 2008. Air Force officials tried to downplay the possibility that such a challenge would be successful, saying competition was open and transparent and “favored no one except the taxpayer,” Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said.

After praising both companies for waging a “splendid competition,” Donley suggested that both remember they have “a long-standing relationship with the Air Force that we expect would continue.”

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Army targeted senators with psyops

General sought to manipulate VIPs in order to elicit more funding, troops, according to Rolling Stone article

The U.S. army reportedly deployed a specialized "psychological operations" team to help convince American legislators to boost funding and troop numbers for the war in Afghanistan.

The operation was ordered by three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, Rolling Stone Magazine reported in a story published late on Wednesday.

An officer in charge of the unit objected when he was ordered to pressure the visiting senators and was harshly reprimanded by superiors, according to the magazine.

"My job in psyops is to play with people's heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave," the officer, Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, told Rolling Stone.

"I'm prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you're crossing a line," he added.

Among those targeted were senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin, as well as Representative Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee, the magazine said.

The team also targeted Admiral Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

.'Inside their heads'
According to Holmes, he and his four-man team arrived in Afghanistan at the end of 2009 in order to determine the effects of American propaganda on Afghans and the Taliban, the magazine reported.

Soon, though, Caldwell ordered the unit to gather profiles of visiting dignitaries, including their likes and dislikes and "hot-button issues," the magazine reported.

Holmes was asked how the general could secretly manipulate the lawmakers, Rolling Stone said.

"How do we get these guys to give us more people?" Caldwell asked, according to the magazine. "What do I have to plant inside their heads?"

U.S. law bars the military from using psyops on Americans, and every defense authorization bill explicitly prohibits the manipulation, the magazine reported.

"Everyone in the psyops, intel ... knows you're not supposed to target Americans," a veteran member of similar team told Rolling Stone. "It's what you learn on day one."

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

"psychological operations"

Army MOS 37F Psychological Operations Specialist

PSYOPs in Mosul

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Customs nabs military-grade night goggles

Customs agents in Cincinnati are trying to figure out why someone in Canada wanted 300 sets of military-grade night vision goggles that were seized here last month.

Agents grabbed several boxes of the goggles as they passed through the DHL hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in January.

Officials with Customs and Border Protection said the Russian company that was shipping the goggles to a customer in Canada did not have the necessary license from the U.S. State Department.

"The big question is, who needs 300 night vision goggles?" said Brian Bell, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman. "That's the question that really sparked a lot of concern."

He said investigators have tracked the shipment back to a Russian company and believe the goggles were headed to a business in Canada. He would not identify either company, but said the investigation continues.

The goggles are valued at about $300,000 - $1,000 each - and no attempt was made to conceal them as they passed through customs here.

The markings on the boxes were in English, but Bell said investigators do not believe the goggles were manufactured in the United States. He said agents have found no indication the shipment was tied to terrorists, but authorities are concerned about any unlicensed shipments of high-tech equipment.

"We want to make sure our technology doesn't fall into the hands of people who wish to do us harm," Bell said

Customs agents in Cincinnati are trying to figure out why someone in Canada wanted 300 sets of military-grade night vision goggles that were seized here last month.

Agents grabbed several boxes of the goggles as they passed through the DHL hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in January.

Officials with Customs and Border Protection said the Russian company that was shipping the goggles to a customer in Canada did not have the necessary license from the U.S. State Department.

"The big question is, who needs 300 night vision goggles?" said Brian Bell, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman. "That's the question that really sparked a lot of concern."

He said investigators have tracked the shipment back to a Russian company and believe the goggles were headed to a business in Canada. He would not identify either company, but said the investigation continues.

The goggles are valued at about $300,000 - $1,000 each - and no attempt was made to conceal them as they passed through customs here.

The markings on the boxes were in English, but Bell said investigators do not believe the goggles were manufactured in the United States. He said agents have found no indication the shipment was tied to terrorists, but authorities are concerned about any unlicensed shipments of high-tech equipment.

"We want to make sure our technology doesn't fall into the hands of people who wish to do us harm," Bell said

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

ENVG (Enhanced Night Vision Goggle) - PM Soldier Sensors and Lasers

Bell Helicopter Dedicates Assembly and Delivery Center to U.S. Army Kiowa Warrior

Bell Helicopter company officially dedicated their newest flight hangar at the Military Aircraft Assembly and Delivery Center in Amarillo, TX for work specifically supporting the U.S. Army's OH-58 Kiowa Warrior program.

"We, at Bell Helicopter, are honored by the confidence and trust the U.S. Army, the Program Executive
Officer of Army Aviation, and the Armed Scout Helicopter Program Management Office has placed in us." Said Jim Schultz, Program Manager, Army Programs and Fielded Systems. "The United States Army is the World's largest user of rotary wing aircraft and we are pleased to have them as a customer and partner as we move into the future of extending the useful life of this crucial platform."

The new facility is an 118,000 square foot assembly building with an adjacent flight ramp of over 500,000 sq feet. Bell Helicopter took possession ahead of schedule and began working in the building in October. With the addition of the new flight hangar, Bell Helicopter has grown to almost one and one-half million square feet under roof.

In December, Bell Helicopter received the first two cabins to begin work on the "A2D" conversion program. The program is an Army initiative to replace war time losses suffered by the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. This conversion program takes an existing "A" model OH-58 and upgrades them to "D" model. The agreement calls for an initial conversion of eight cabins with an option for a second group of ten.

Along with the "A2D" cabin conversion program, the new space will allow Bell Helicopter the option to offer additional services to meet the Army's needs. The "A2D" conversion will establish a "hot" production line putting Bell Helicopter in a position to respond to the Army's potential requirement with "new metal" cabins to reduce overall fleet age. The Army currently needs 39 OH-58D Kiowa Warriors to replace the wartime fleet losses.

LtCol Scott Rauer, 13th Product Manager for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, Armed Scout Helicopter Project Office said, "We are hoping for an opportunity to eventually use all brand new components at Bell Helicopter. That is what we see as the future of the program."

Bell Helicopter is also developing an OH-58 Block II fleet representative demonstrator to facilitate prototyping activities in anticipation of a U.S. Army future requirement of 6K95 performance. The Block II OH-58 provides an attractive, cost efficient alternative to the U.S. Army and U.S. taxpayer.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

warmachine in iraq

2/17th Cavalry OH-58D Kiowa Warriors in Iraq

OH-58 Stinger Missile Shoots down Helicopter

1-Brazil seeks better terms in Boeing jet bid-source

1-Brazil seeks better terms in Boeing jet bid-source

* Brazil seeks more guarantees on technology, better terms

* Rousseff sees deal as way of bolstering ties with U.S.

By Brian Winter

SAO PAULO,(Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has told visitors she believes Boeing's (BA.N) F-18 is the best jet among three finalists in a multi-billion dollar Air Force fighter tender, but she is still pressing for better terms on technology transfers that are critical to any deal.

Rousseff raised the issue of the jet tender during a meeting in Brasilia on Monday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, sources with knowledge of the conversation told Reuters. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

Rousseff told Geithner she considered the purchase of at least three dozen jets as a way to not only modernize Brazil's Air Force but also potentially to improve strategic and trade ties with the United States -- a major goal of her foreign policy since taking office on Jan. 1.

However, Rousseff said she remained concerned about the transfers of proprietary technology that Brazil wants as a way to help develop its own defense industry as part of any deal.

She is seeking both improved terms from Boeing and further guarantees from the U.S. government that it will allow sensitive military technology to change hands, the sources said.

The other finalists in the bidding process are the Rafale jet built by France's Dassault (AVMD.PA) and the Gripen NG produced by Sweden's Saab (SAABb.ST).

Rousseff's comments -- plus her previous decision to delay the tender instead of immediately awarding it to Dassault, as many of her defense chiefs wanted -- suggest that she is leaning toward the Boeing bid but is still pressing companies to come up with better terms in a deal that will shape Brazil's defense alliances for decades to come. [ID:nN18151639]

A spokesman for Rousseff's office declined comment.

Boeing spokeswoman Marcia Costley said the technology transfer guarantee was an issue that would be decided by the two governments.

The company is willing to provide Brazil with further technological know-how and other assistance in areas such as transport, satellites and weapons systems as part of the deal, she added.

"Boeing has the capability and resources to live up to its promises on ... technology transfer and the track record to prove it," Costley said via e-mail.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

F-18 SUPER HORNET in Action

Sonic Boom

MIT nanoparticle discovery aimed at new vaccines

By Michelle Lang
MIT researchers have discovered that new nanoparticles could lead to vaccines for HIV and malaria.

The discovery, announced today by MIT and earlier this week in the journal “Nature Materials,” could also lead to future development of vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases.

The new nanoparticles are made with fatty spheres that carry synthetic types of proteins that would have been produced by the virus and are designed to prompt an immune response. Darrell Irvine, MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering and biological engineering, said in a statement that the nanoparticles are much safer than using live virus vaccines.

Irvine and a research team at MIT and at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are currently testing the nanoparticles for a malaria vaccine in mice. Tests for an HIV vaccine are being worked on with the Ragon Institute of MIT, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

"Nanoparticles in items you use everydayare they safe, and why arent they better regulated?" Thom challenges

Gold Nanoparticles and Cancer Cell Detection

Nanotechnology's Role in Fighting Cancer

China Should Not be Allowed to Bid on Presidential Helicopter

From Mike Morosi:

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today urged the Department of Defense to reject a potential bid for the presidential helicopter program from China's state-run China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). The Wall Street Journal recently reported that AVIC may offer its AC-313 helicopter for use in the next Marine One fleet. In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Hinchey argued that accepting such a bid would be a slap in the face to American workers and would risk putting sensitive intelligence information into the wrong hands.

"The President of the United States of America should not be flying around in a helicopter that is made in China. It was a $4 billion mistake to cancel the presidential helicopter program in the first place, but putting a state-run Chinese company in the running for the new project would be a slap in the face to American workers," said Hinchey. "If the Chinese actually won the contract, our most sensitive national security information, the technology and systems we use to transport our president could be put directly into the hands of a foreign power. I cannot imagine a worse mistake. I've urged Secretary Gates to consider these implications, and I hope that upon looking into the matter he will make the right decision."

Hinchey vehemently opposed scrapping the entire presidential helicopter program. Instead, he successfully put forward and gained House approval for an alternative approach, which would have provided the White House with a full fleet of helicopters within the original budget requirements of the VH-71 program, while eliminating the second, more costly version of the helicopter. Instead, $4 billion spent on the original program has been wasted and the Department is now working toward awarding a new program that the Navy estimates will cost $10-17 billion.

Hinchey's letter to Gates follows.

February 8, 2011
The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Gates:

I am writing to strongly urge you to reject any bid by a state-owned Chinese firm for the upcoming presidential helicopter program. Not doing so could result in sensitive national security technology falling into the wrong hands and would be seen by American workers as a slap in the face.

As you may recall, I strongly argued against your decision to cancel the entire presidential helicopter program. The House voted to fund an alternative approach that would have provided the White House with a full fleet of helicopters within the original budget requirements of the program, while scrapping the second, more costly version of the helicopter. Instead, $4 billion spent on the original program has been wasted and the Department is now working toward awarding a new program that the Navy estimates will cost $10-17 billion.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that state-run China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) may offer its AC-313 helicopter for use in the next Marine One fleet. Helicopter transportation for the President of the United States is one of the nation's most sensitive national security requirements and the prospect that the Department of Defense may be considering a Chinese aviation solution raises serious concerns. In addition, it is unclear how the Department would comply with the Buy American Act (41 U.S.C. §§ 10a through 10d) and take into account the substantial government subsidies associated with a Chinese-built helicopter. I respectfully request that the Department promptly provide the Congress with answers to the following:

· Is the Department in receipt of information regarding the AC-313 from AVIC or U.S. Aerospace and is the AC-313 being considered in the ongoing Analysis of Alternatives for the VXX program?

· What is the likelihood that a Chinese-built helicopter would comply with the Buy American Act requirement that the cost of foreign components not exceed 50% of the cost of all components?

· What is the Department's position on contracting with a company from a country that is not party to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization?

· What systems does the Department have in place to ensure that sensitive U.S. technology would not fall into the hands of the Chinese military through collaboration on this program?

Please consider the impact on national security and American jobs before utilizing a state-owned Chinese solution for the presidential helicopter program. Thank you for your time and attention to this critical issue.

Maurice D. Hinchey

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

No President Needs 28 Helicopters

On Board Marine One


WASHINGTON - Five individuals and a Nashville, Tenn., firearms manufacturer have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to international firearms and trafficking violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin for the Middle District of Tennessee; Special Agent in Charge Glenn N. Anderson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Nashville Field Division; and Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. for Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) New Orleans Office.

The defendants named in the 21-count indictment unsealed today are Guy Savage, 42, a citizen of the United Kingdom; Sabre Defence Industries LLC (SDI-US), a Nashville-based arms manufacturer owned by Savage; Charles Shearon, 55, of Ashland City, Tenn., and president of SDI-US; Elmer Hill, 64, of Brentwood, Tenn., and chief financial officer of SDI-US; Michael Curlett, 44, of Hermitage, Tenn., and director of sales for SDI-US; and Arnold See Jr., 54, of Antioch, Tenn., who is the international shipping and purchasing manager of SDI-US. According to the indictment, the defendants were part of a conspiracy to illegally import and export regulated firearms and firearm components and technology to and from the United States. The indictment alleges that Savage directed the illegal activities from his personal residences in the United Kingdom, as well as from a related company owned by Savage, Sabre Defence Industries LTD (SDI-UK), which is a licensed manufacturer, distributor and importer of firearms and firearms headquartered in the United Kingdom.

“The indictment unsealed today alleges a nearly decade-long scheme to thwart U.S. import/export restrictions on firearms and their components,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The defendants allegedly went to great lengths to conceal their activities and evade U.S. laws – mislabeling packages, falsifying shipping records, and maintaining a fictitious set of books and records, among other things. The illegal trade of firearms and their components poses serious risks and, as this case shows, we cannot and will not tolerate it.”

“The investigation and indictment are an excellent example of how the United States Attorney’s Office, the Criminal Division, HSI, ATF and international law enforcement agencies are working together to prevent firearms and firearm components from being diverted to locations around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Martin. “We recognize the role that weapons play in a sometimes violent world and we will vigorously enforce the laws to prevent the illegal importation of firearms and firearm components.”

The indictment alleges that each of the defendants conspired to intentionally violate the AECA by causing firearms components, which are listed as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List (USML), to be exported from the United States to an international locationwithout first obtaining a license or written authorization for such export from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) of the U.S. Department of State. According to the indictment, the export of defense articles, such as firearms, firearms components or other military items on the USML are strictly controlled by the AECA and regulations, known as the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The indictment alleges that the defendants had been engaged in the illegal import and export activities since at least 2003. The indictment references specific shipping documents and internal e-mail communications in which the defendants and others, including SDI-US and SDI-UK employees, conspired to illegally avoid U.S. import and export laws and regulations in order to smuggle firearm components into and from the United States by falsifying shipping records, concealing unlicensed firearms components in false bottoms of shipping cartons, and mislabeling and undervaluing shipments of firearm components to avoid scrutiny by U.S. Customs and Border Control Officers.

The indictment also alleges that, to accomplish their illegal activities, the defendants, along with other conspirators,used e-mail accounts and other forms of communication to communicate with each other and with other individuals located in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. According to the indictment, Savage allegedly repeatedly urgedthe other defendants and SDI-US employees to ship firearms components located in the United States to SDI-UK, without first obtaining an export license or permission. In addition, Savage allegedly specifically directed the employees of SDI-USto mislabel and undervalue export shipments of firearms components from the United States to SDI-UK, in order to evade the prohibitions and licensing requirements of AECA and the ITAR.

In addition, according to the indictment, the defendants used international common carriers to ship restricted defense items to and from the United States, and sought to conceal their activities by maintainingtwo sets of business books to record the company’s accounts and balances, and its export and import activities. The indictment alleges that one set of books recorded the true transactions by SDI-US, and a second set recorded the undervalued amounts used on shipping manifests in an effort to circumvent U.S. export licensing requirements.

“HSI is committed to bringing to justice any person or organization willing to circumvent the laws of the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge Parmer of HSI in New Orleans. “The illegal import, export, and domestic sale or transfer of firearms, firearm parts, and technical data is controlled for good reason; in the wrong hands, these items could be used to harm America or its allies. Enforcing U.S. export laws is one of HSI’s top priorities and we will continue to work with our law enforcement and industry partners to ensure that those who put our country at risk face appropriate consequences.”

“The indictment and lengthy law enforcement activities in Tennessee, England and elsewhere send a clear message. ATF and our law enforcement partners will not stand for those accused of conspiring to violate the federal firearms laws and illegally importing/exporting weapons, components and other items of their choice,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson. “The risk is too great. Crime and the potential for violence around any corner knows no border or boundary. Today, two countries and countless neighborhoods, both foreign and domestic, are much better off.”

Savage was arrested today in the United Kingdom by the London Metropolitan Police Service, based on the United States’ request for his extradition. The remaining defendants will be issued a summons to appear in U.S. District Court in Nashville.

Each count of violating the AECA carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The conspiracy and making false statements charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty, if convicted of wire and mail fraud, is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. Finally, the smuggling goods from the United States charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment was the result of an investigation conducted by HSI and ATF, with assistance from the London Metropolitan Police Service, International Assistance Unit.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Webb of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. Additional assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and the National Security Division.

An indictment is merely an accusation and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless they are proven guilty.


Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

Homeland Security Tradeshow

New military strategy looks beyond Afghan war

By David Alexander
(Reuters) - The military on Tuesday issued its first new statement of strategy in seven years, moving beyond a focus on the war in Afghanistan to address the rise of China and other strategic challenges.

The 2011 national military strategy by the Joint Chiefs of Staff reaffirmed U.S. commitment to fighting violent extremism with allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan but said the military must broaden its horizons to address developing threats elsewhere.

"While we continue to refine how we counter violent extremism and deter aggression, this strategy also rightly emphasizes that our military power is most effective when employed in concert with other elements of power," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his "Chairman's Corner" blog.

The strategy is a broad statement on how the military intends to use its forces and prioritize aid and training to help achieve U.S. security goals.

Military officials say a "whole-of-nation" approach involving not only security forces but diplomacy and nongovernmental organizations will be necessary to address many future security challenges.

"This whole-of-nation approach to foreign policy, with civilian leadership appropriately at the helm, will be essential as we address the complex security challenges before us," Mullen said.

While the last national military strategy, produced in 2004, called for the military to protect the United States, prevent surprise attacks and prevail against adversaries, the current document goes beyond that.

In addition to countering violent extremism and deterring aggression, the 2011 strategy seeks to strengthen global security through regional and international partnerships and aims to reshape the military force to meet future challenges.

"We focus more toward the future and strengthening global and regional stability and shaping the future force," a senior military officer said on condition of anonymity.

The national military strategy addresses in broad general terms how the military forces will be used. By law it must be reviewed every two years, but it is not necessarily revised unless changes are needed.

The senior military officer said the security environment facing the United States had changed substantially in seven years since the 2004 strategy was issued.

The United States faces a broad range of challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, from the rise of India and China, to North Korea's nuclear program, the shifting global economic balance and a fierce competition for natural resources, he said.

The strategy calls for improving global security by forging deeper military-to-military relationships and cooperation with China and other Asia-Pacific countries.

The senior officer said the U.S. military had to "achieve our mission" in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also must look beyond those conflicts and "start recognizing that the strategic environment that's elsewhere needs to be dealt with."

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!


Wayne Madsen: Ballistic Missile was Fired by Chinese Submarine! - Alex Jones Tv 1/2

Chinese bid for defense work stirs protests

Firm seeks contracts on military aircraft

The Southern Tier's congressional representatives are balking at the prospect that a state-run Chinese aviation firm might submit bids for U.S. defense contracts -- including upgrades to the Marine One presidential helicopter fleet previously under contract with Lockheed Martin.

On Tuesday, Democrats U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., sent strongly-worded letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates after reports surfaced that China Aviation Industry Corp., a state-run aviation company, had partnered with a California firm with the intent to submit bids on American military aircraft.

"The president of the United States of America should not be flying around in a helicopter made in China," Hinchey said in a written statement.

The VH-71 presidential helicopter program was awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2005. By 2009, the cost of the project had ballooned from an original estimate of $6.5 billion to $13 billion and Congress cut the program from its fiscal 2010 budget, forcing Lockheed Martin to lay off hundreds of workers at the company's Systems Integration facility in Owego.

In his letter to Gates, Schumer said awarding defense contracts to a foreign firm would hurt national security and take jobs away from the state's workers.

"Allowing a Chinese state-run defense company to possibly provide major defense procurement services that could be adequately provided by a U.S defense company, like Lockheed Martin, would put American workers and particularly workers in the Southern Tier region of New York at a clear disadvantage," Schumer said.

This isn't the first time the prospect of manufacturing parts of the presidential helicopter abroad has raised eyebrows.

In 2005, Hinchey and Schumer defended Lockheed Martin against critics who complained that parts of the initially approved helicopter would be made in Italy and England.

"The relationship is vastly different," said Hinchey spokesman Mike Morosi, who said that while Italy and England are allies, China has a reputation for trying to gain access to critical defense-related technology.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Jeffrey Brown did not respond to requests for comment.

-- Digital Desk Editor Jeff Platsky contributed to this report.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

Charting China's Aviation Sector 2009

Aero India is jewel in Asian crown: US

By Hemanth CS
The United States (US) will be the largest participant at the Aero Show 2011, with more than 200 official and business delegates.

A high-level delegation led by secretary of commerce Gary Locke and US ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer, will be attending the air show where that country is exhibiting a broad cross-section of military aircraft and equipment through static displays and aerial demonstrations.

“The Aero India is one of the jewels of Asia. The US government’s high-level participation at the Aero India this year is an indication of the growing defence relationship between US and India and a sign of India’s growing prominence on the world stage. Aero India is the most recent manifestation of the increasing significant partnership that includes joint military exercise, regional security initiatives and a flourishing military sales relationship,” Roemer said.

He said that removing the nine Defence Research and Development Organisation and Indian Space Research Organisation laboratories and centres from the entities list following US president Barack Obama’s recent India visit, is further proof to the US’ commitment to be India’s strategic partner.

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refuelling aircraft, Lockheed Martin F-16 Super Viper and Boeing F/1 Super Hornet are among the aircraft which will be participating in the five-day air show starting on Wednesday.

Roemer also said that the US is keen to participate in India’s programmes by developing infrastructure at future and existing airports across the country.

He said that the US would like to participate with India in developing civilian aircraft, helicopters and corporate jets.
India and the US are also looking to sign the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) which will lead to mutual acceptance of aeronautical products and parts developed in either country.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

Lockheed Martin F-16IN Super Falcon

F-18 Super Hornet

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Karnataka acquires 800 acres for Aerospace Park

By Hemanth Kumar
The Karnataka government is set to hard sell its Aerospace Park coming up near Devanahalli during the biennial five-day Aero India show commencing on February 9.

The government, for the first time, will set up a stall to woo global aviation majors to the state.

It has already contacted aviation leaders with a request to consider Bangalore as their favourite destination while implementing their future plans.

“We have already fixed exclusive one-on-one meetings of delegations of nine most prestigious aerospace firms with chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and chief secretary SV Ranganath,” commissioner of Industries and commerce department Rajkumar Khatri said.

Rolls Royce India head Anil Sharkhande, Lockheed Martin country head Jagmohan Singh, a delegation from US-India Business Council led by its president Ron Somers were scheduled to hold separated meetings with the chief minister.

Representatives from Boeing, Raytheon and Honeywell would be in the delegation headed by Somers.

Khatri added that Alexey Fedorov, president of the United Aircraft Corporation from Russia, would also meeting Yeddyurappa to explore investment opportunities in Karnataka.

The government has already cleared the proposals of Mahindra group to set up aerospace components unit and a proposal from Wipro for aerospace designing unit. A project by Dynamatic Technologies would take off on February 11 at Devanahalli with a formal ground-breaking ceremony.

The state has earmarked 984 acres for the Devanahalli Aerospace Park, which included a special economic zone spread over 252 acres. It has also offered several incentives and tax concessions. Infrastructure works such laying roads, drains and drawing power lines was under way, Khatri said.

“Bangalore is one of the most ideal destinations for aerospace industry and industry majors participating in the show would be convinced about it,” added Khatri.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

Boeing Co. lost out on a $2.3 billion deal

Boeing Co. lost out on a $2.3 billion deal with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd., for 32 of its 737 jets which are priced between $56.9 million and $85.8 million, according to Bloomberg.

Dubai Aerospace, an aviation corporation that leases planes, already has a backlog of 35 737s and a demand drop, led them to scrap the order.

Boeing has gained 10 new orders for its 737 from unidentified customers and announced an order of eight Next-Generation 737-800s for Comair Limited's low-fare airline fleet,

Despite new deals signed, Boeing has run into a slew of problems in recent months. Its Dreamliner is roughly three years behind schedule after the company had struggled with serious bottlenecks that included a shortage of parts and manufacturing defects.

To add to their burden, the delays in production have cost the company in two big ways. Boeing had to pay penalties to airlines that expected the flights to open up new flight routes, but it also lost business to Airbus, according to Bloomberg. In fact, Boeing's shares gained a paltry 12% over the last 12 months, compared to 42% by Airbus' parent company, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co.

Though the company secured a few deals recently it's been tightening its budget. In January the company laid off 1000 workers in Southern California and another 200 in Georgia. In October last year, it announced that it would ask 90,000 of its non-union employees to pay more for healthcare in 2011.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

EPA to regulate toxins in drinking water, starting with SoCal’s chemical boogeyman perchlorate

The EPA has announced that it will start aggressively regulating dangerous chemicals found in our nation’s drinking water. The most striking shift in policy from the Bush Administration is the decision by the EPA to limit perchlorate, a chemical derived from rocket fuel that has seeped into ground water at over 400 sites across the country. Studies have shown that the nation’s municipal water systems contain hundreds of industrial and agricultural chemicals including some known carcinogens, that pose a significant health risk. The EPA’s announcement today is a step toward modernizing the nation’s clean water laws and dealing with the very controversial subject of perchlorate, which has been the source of debate between aerospace firms like Lockheed & Rocketdyne and environmentalists for decades. Here in Southern California, once the home of a booming aerospace industry, tons of perchlorate leached into ground water supplies from dozens of manufacturing plants across the region. To this day industry groups and environmentalists have been fighting over the long term health effects of perchlorate, which might be responsible for stunted growth of fetuses, infants and children. Will the new EPA rules make drinking water safer?

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!

Human spaceflight from UAE possible by 2015

Space, the final frontier of yore, now appears nearer and beckons the UAE. In what could spell the dawn of affordable commercial space tourism, the country is positioning itself to reap the benefits by 2015.

A recent partnership forged between the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) and US-based Bigelow Aerospace appears to be a precursor to more exciting times for humans in the orbit.

The agreement envisages a microgravity research and development programme with a potential focus on advanced biotechnology applications as a first step to larger collaboration.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the development, Michael N. Gold, Director of Operations and Business Growth at Bigelow Aerospace, said: “Human spaceflight carries with it tremendous scientific and educational benefits, but it’s vital, particularly for a country like the UAE, that any national investment in space lead to significant economic opportunities.”

Gold, however, was not specific on dates for the human spaceflight or the exact sum of the ‘lower costs’ involved. “Our launch date for placing international astronauts into the orbit will depend upon the availability of a new, safe, and affordable commercial human spaceflight system. Both Boeing and SpaceX are actively developing relevant capsules now, and we’re hopeful that launch activities can begin by 2014, 2015, or earlier.”

Bigelow Aerospace launched two pathfinder spacecraft, Genesis I and Genesis II, in 2006 and 2007, respectively. These spacecraft were designed to test and validate the company’s next-generation space habitat technology and were successfully flown and deployed on a Dnepr rocket, the same launch system that successfully deployed EIAST’s DubaiSat-1 in 2009.

Established by a Dubai Government decree in 2006, the EIAST is a strategic initiative intended to boost scientific innovation and thinking and put to use advanced technology in the UAE and the region.

“We will be able to provide essentially turnkey astronautics opportunities for a fraction of the costs that would be required to work with NASA and the International Space Station. The primary goal is to dramatically lower the expense of conducting orbital space activities and thereby create the opportunity to access space for nations such as the UAE,” Gold said.

Human spaceflight, for long, has been dominated by superpowers US and Russia. It all began when Yuri Gagarin of the erstwhile Soviet Union ventured to a place where no man had gone before way back in 1961. The ensuing race for space domination between the two continued for many decades until the advent of commercial space travel in the 2001 when investment manager Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist, paying Space Adventures $20 million for the trip.

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte was the seventh and latest space voyager who blasted off on a Russian Soyuz vehicle. He paid more than $35 million to spend nine days on the International Space Station in 2009, and said it was “worth every penny”.

Ahmed Al Mansoori, Director-General of the EIAST, said: “The partnership of EIAST with Bigelow Aerospace is a critical next step forward for the organisation in exploring the potential for human spaceflight programmes. The MoU will not only elevate Dubai to a stronger global platform as a facilitator of commercial human spaceflight but also create more opportunities for people anywhere in the world to take advantage of our initiatives to experience the marvels of space travel.”

The Bigelow Aerospace official said the UAE could sidestep the exorbitant costs, which hovered between $20million and $80 million per mission, according to conservative estimates, and could also leap over other nations in its quest to become a space-faring nation. Developing and deploying space hardware will also become cost effective. “By leveraging the lower costs provided by the commercial space revolution that is occurring here in the US, the UAE can not only catch up with other nations in terms of orbital space activities but could actually exceed them, The key to all of this is the lower pricing.

“The Genesis I and II missions demonstrated that orbital facilities could be constructed and deployed for a fraction of the cost of the International Space Station and we’re excited to pass this benefit along to our friends in Dubai and the UAE,” said Gold..

The module development will take place at the company’s Amer primary manufacturing facility in Nevada. “However, if the UAE is interested in taking on development or design opportunities, it’s an idea that is certainly open to discussion,” he said.

Bigelow is currently developing its first orbital space complex simply called the ‘Alpha Station’. The station will comprise habitats or modules for humans and an Emirati role in the project is likely.

“We have been very impressed by the EIAST officials’ vision and commitment to make Dubai and the UAE an unparalleled leader in space, science, and technology,” said Gold.

Your feedback is always welcome.
Thank you!