Iran Warships Enter Mediterranean

jERUSALEM - Israel put its navy on high alert and said it would respond immediately to any "provocation" as two Iranian warships sailed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean on Feb. 22.
The Iranian vessels entered the southeastern Mediterranean after going up the canal for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, reportedly en route for Syria, in a move taking them past Israeli territorial waters.
Suez Canal officials confirmed the patrol frigate Alvand and support ship Kharg had completed the crossing after entering the narrow waterway at dawn.
A senior Israeli security source told AFP that Israel would "not initiate any action" against the Iranian vessels, but if the Iranians deviated in any way that could be considered "a provocation," there would be an "immediate Israeli response."
The Israeli navy immediately went on high alert and the troops were briefed on how to respond in such an event, he said.
The 1,500-ton Alvand is normally armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-ton Kharg has a crew of 250 and facilities for up to three helicopters, Iran's official Fars news agency has said.
Both ships were built in Britain during the 1970s for Iran, which ordered them before the Islamic revolution.
Neither ship is carrying chemical or nuclear material, Egypt's state-run MENA news agency has reported.
Their passage into the eastern Mediterranean comes as the Arab world and the Middle East grapples with a vast wave of unrest and protests that is radically changing the political landscape, and leaving Israel increasingly concerned about its security.
"We are talking about an unprecedented Iranian military presence in the Mediterranean, and that is a provocation to which the international community must react firmly," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP earlier Feb. 22.
On Feb. 20, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the ships' arrival in the region as an Iranian power play, just days after his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, branded their voyage "a provocation."
"Today we are witnessing the instability of the region in which we live and in which Iran is trying to profit by extending its influence by dispatching two warships to cross the Suez Canal," he said.
"Israel views with gravity this Iranian initiative," his office quoted him as saying.
Animosity between Iran and Israel has grown under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly spoken of the Jewish state's demise.
Israel also accuses Tehran of arming and funding Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
Israel, which has the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear program.
Tehran denies that charge and has in turn accused Israel of trying to sabotage its nuclear program and kill its nuclear scientists.
Israel has backed a U.S. policy of tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran while remaining open to dialogue.
But it has refused to rule out a resort to military action to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

KMW, Ashok Join to Produce Armored Vehicles

ABU DHABI - Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has struck a deal with Ashok Leyland Defence Systems to partner in the development of armored vehicles for Indian and other markets.
The two companies used the IDEX defense show here to announce they have signed a memorandum of understanding covering armored wheeled vehicles, recovery vehicles, artillery and combat systems, bridge layers, and other similar vehicles.
Ashok is India's largest military truck supplier, with more than 60,000 of its Stallion machines helping power India's military logistics effort.
The Chennai-based company recently formed a new company, Ashok Leyland Defence Systems, to spearhead its special military vehicles effort.
Germany's KMW said it would provide technology and technical assistance to develop products for the Indian market.
Ashok Leyland Defence Systems Chairman V. Sumantran, said the "strategic partnership seeks to harness the formidable skills of both companies, namely, the technological bandwidth of KMW and our approach to innovations aimed at cost advantage."
The German armored vehicle company follows European rival Bae Systems into the Indian market. It recently formed a joint venture with automotive maker Mahindra & Mahindra to develop artillery systems and armored vehicles for the Indian market.

U.S. Navy: Cost of Ohio Class Subs Down $1 Billion


    
The Navy has been able to reduce the expected cost of its Ohio Class submarine replacement by more than $1 billion with an overall goal of trimming more than $2 billion per vessel, according to the Pentagon's top weapons buyer.
Pentagon officials have generated the extra cost savings by examining the drivers of cost in the vessel's design, according to Pentagon acquisition executive Ashton Carter.
Originally, cost estimators projected the SSBN(X) price tag at about $7 billion per submarine. The submarine's cost is now down to $6 billion with a goal of getting the cost down to $4.9, Carter said during a Feb. 22 presentation at a Center for New American Security event in Washington.
If the Navy were forced to pay $7 billion per submarine, it would not be able to afford any other ships, Carter said.
This same approach of looking at the drivers of cost in a weapon's design will be used during upcoming acquisitions, including the Air Force's new bomber, a Marine Corps effort to field a new helicopter for presidential transport and the Army's Ground Combat Vehicle, Carter said.

Russia says S-300 deliveries to Venezuela delayed




Deliveries of S-300 missile defense systems to Venezuela have been delayed, but will go ahead, an official at Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-owned arms export monopoly, said on Tuesday.
In November, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Russia had agreed to lend his country over $4 billion to buy weapons.
"There is a contract with Venezuela but it's not yet being implemented," Rosoboronexport special programs director Nikolai Dimidyuk told reporters.
"Venezuela has rescheduled the dates several times, but now we have agreed on a timeframe for the deliveries," he added.
Venezuela is one of the biggest buyers of Russian arms.

Arrow Weapon System Intercepts Target During Missile Defense Test




The joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System successfully intercepted a ballistic target missile during a flight test conducted today. This test is part of the Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP) and was conducted jointly by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division-Pt. Mugu Sea Range.
At 10:30 p.m. local time (Pacific Standard Time), the target missile was launched from a Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) off the coast of California, within the Pt. Mugu test range. The target was representative of potential ballistic missile threats facing Israel.
The Arrow Weapon System’s Green Pine radar successfully detected and tracked the target and transferred information to the Citron Tree battle management control system. The Arrow Weapon System launched an interceptor missile which performed its planned trajectory and destroyed the target missile. The test represented a realistic scenario and all the elements of the weapon system performed in their operational configuration.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and U.S. Department of Defense officials conducted the flight test. The main contractor for the integration and the development of the Arrow Weapon System is the MLM division of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The “Green Pine” Radar is developed by ELTA Industries and the “Citron Tree” BMC is developed by Tadiran Electronic Systems, Ltd.
The success of the test is a major milestone in the development of the Arrow Weapon System and provides confidence in operational Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat.

Embraer Unveils EMB 145 AEW&C Platform for India



Embraer presented the first of three EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platforms today to representatives of the Indian government at a ceremony held at its headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.
Based on the proven Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet, the aircraft features an in-flight refueling system, SATCOM capability, a significant increase in electrical and cooling capacities, and a comprehensive set of aerodynamic and structural changes. These improvements will allow the installation of the advanced electronic systems currently being developed by India’s Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) under CABS (Center for Airborne Systems) coordination.
Following its official presentation, the aircraft will start intensive ground and flight tests. The ferry flight to India is scheduled for the second semester of this year, where it will receive the equipment being developed by the DRDO.
“The smooth progress of such a complex program is strongly based on the good will and the high level of professionalism that both the Indian and Brazilian teams have demonstrated over the last two-and-a-half years. Given Embraer’s experience in the field of ISR aircraft and equipment, we believe that this jointly developed product will offer outstanding operational capability, and we look forward to its entry into service,” said Eduardo Bonini, Senior Vice President Operations & COO – Embraer Defense and Security.
Today, four Embraer Legacy 600 jets are operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the transportation of Indian VIPs and foreign dignitaries, and a fifth Embraer Legacy 600 is in service with the Border Security Force (BSF), under India’s Home Ministry.
Embraer has a strong presence in the Indian market, and counts both the national government, and private organizations, as customers of a variety of its products. Besides the IAF and the BSF, the Company has successfully placed Executive Jets with private companies in India, such as Aviators Pvt. Ltd. – the first Phenom executive jet customer in the region – and Invision Pvt. Ltd., which holds the largest order for Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 jets in India, to date.
To support the operations of the growing number Embraer Executive Jet customers and operators in the country, Embraer has named Indamer Pvt. Ltd. and Air Works Pvt. Ltd. as authorized service providers in the country.

German Troops Admit Fears Over Partnering With Afghan Soldiers 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet) Loading ... Loading ... By German Radio on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 More Army News * 3rd ACR, Iraqi Army practice basic combat skills * France Orders New-Gen Sperwer Drones and Remote Video Terminals * Peru to receive Russian Mi-35 helicopters to fight rebels * Army Special Ops Continues to Grow, Increase Optempo * Russia to Unveil New Combat Vehicle at IDEX 2011 The bodies of three German soldiers killed in northern Afghanistan last week by an Afghan colleague have been flown home. The attack has led to fears over the safety of 'partnering' German and Afghan soldiers. The three soldiers were flown back to Germany on Monday. They had been part of a partnering protect set up by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in which the Bundeswehr works closely with Afghan army and police units. The soldier, from the Afghan National Army, opened fire on German troops inside a base in Baghlan province on Friday, killing the three soldiers and wounding six others. The shooting occurred as the soldiers were carrying out maintenance on a vehicle; the attacker had apparently been part of their group and entered the compound with the German soldiers. The ISAF established the "partnering" strategy last year in an effort to prepare Afghans to take charge of security in their country after 2014. It called for joint patrols and jointly conducted missions against the Taliban. It was the first time that German soldiers were targeted within the framework of ISAF's partnering project. But several British and American military instructors have also been killed in Southern Afghanistan by members of Afghan security forces while on partnering operations over the past two years. Worst attack on Bundeswehr in a year The incident has shocked German troops in Afghanistan. Several German soldiers have been quoted anonymously on the Spiegel Online website as saying they were wary of their Afghan colleagues and no longer wanted to work with them. "We are expected to train them, but they regard us as infidels who shouldn't be in their country in the first place," said one soldier. The German Army has begun an investigation into the shooting. But German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg warned against questioning the entire concept. "We believe this is the right way to achieve the goal of handing over responsibility," the minister said. Most security experts agree that there is no alternative. "It is an essential element in strengthening and reforming Afghan security forces," Cornelius Friesendorf, a researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt told Deutsche Welle. But Friesendorf conceded that the scheme could be problematic. "The Taliban and other armed opposition groups are very smart, they try to infiltrate the Afghan security forces, they also bribe people to work for them," he said, and pointed out that many Afghans don't really trust international forces so they hedge their bets. "This makes them be very cautious to work with international forces and then be described as traitors in their own communities." To minimize the obvious risk, Friesendorf said, prospective Afghan soldiers should be more carefully vetted before being given a uniform and, more importantly, a weapon. Diplomatic skills The German researcher pointed out that partnering also requires cultural sensitivity and understanding on the part of the international forces. He said it was different from simply being a combat soldier: "In Afghanistan, it is important to make sure that trainees do not lose face. That means if someone doesn't know how to handle a weapon, or acts inappropriately, the partner should take that person aside and tell him, face to face, without his colleagues being able to overhear the conversation." That might be asking too much. One German officer told Spiegel Online that he thought the partnership wouldn’t work. "The chemistry between them and us simply doesn't work," he said. Training the Afghans is necessary and possible, he added. But rather than using soldiers from the West and America, it would be preferable if they were from countries where the cultural differences aren’t as great. "I am certain that Turkish soldiers would be better equipped," he said. About 5,000 German troops serve in northern Afghanistan as part of the US-led NATO force of 140,000. Friday's attack brings the number of German soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of the mission in 2001 to 48. Read more: http://www.defencetalk.com/german-troops-admit-fears-over-partnering-with-afghan-soldiers-32302/#ixzz1Em1SkM6h




The bodies of three German soldiers killed in northern Afghanistan last week by an Afghan colleague have been flown home. The attack has led to fears over the safety of 'partnering' German and Afghan soldiers.
The three soldiers were flown back to Germany on Monday. They had been part of a partnering protect set up by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in which the Bundeswehr works closely with Afghan army and police units.
The soldier, from the Afghan National Army, opened fire on German troops inside a base in Baghlan province on Friday, killing the three soldiers and wounding six others. The shooting occurred as the soldiers were carrying out maintenance on a vehicle; the attacker had apparently been part of their group and entered the compound with the German soldiers.
The ISAF established the "partnering" strategy last year in an effort to prepare Afghans to take charge of security in their country after 2014. It called for joint patrols and jointly conducted missions against the Taliban.
It was the first time that German soldiers were targeted within the framework of ISAF's partnering project. But several British and American military instructors have also been killed in Southern Afghanistan by members of Afghan security forces while on partnering operations over the past two years.
Worst attack on Bundeswehr in a year
The incident has shocked German troops in Afghanistan. Several German soldiers have been quoted anonymously on the Spiegel Online website as saying they were wary of their Afghan colleagues and no longer wanted to work with them. "We are expected to train them, but they regard us as infidels who shouldn't be in their country in the first place," said one soldier.
The German Army has begun an investigation into the shooting. But German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg warned against questioning the entire concept.
"We believe this is the right way to achieve the goal of handing over responsibility," the minister said.
Most security experts agree that there is no alternative. "It is an essential element in strengthening and reforming Afghan security forces," Cornelius Friesendorf, a researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt told Deutsche Welle.
But Friesendorf conceded that the scheme could be problematic. "The Taliban and other armed opposition groups are very smart, they try to infiltrate the Afghan security forces, they also bribe people to work for them," he said, and pointed out that many Afghans don't really trust international forces so they hedge their bets.
"This makes them be very cautious to work with international forces and then be described as traitors in their own communities."
To minimize the obvious risk, Friesendorf said, prospective Afghan soldiers should be more carefully vetted before being given a uniform and, more importantly, a weapon.
Diplomatic skills
The German researcher pointed out that partnering also requires cultural sensitivity and understanding on the part of the international forces. He said it was different from simply being a combat soldier: "In Afghanistan, it is important to make sure that trainees do not lose face. That means if someone doesn't know how to handle a weapon, or acts inappropriately, the partner should take that person aside and tell him, face to face, without his colleagues being able to overhear the conversation."
That might be asking too much. One German officer told Spiegel Online that he thought the partnership wouldn’t work. "The chemistry between them and us simply doesn't work," he said.
Training the Afghans is necessary and possible, he added. But rather than using soldiers from the West and America, it would be preferable if they were from countries where the cultural differences aren’t as great. "I am certain that Turkish soldiers would be better equipped," he said.
About 5,000 German troops serve in northern Afghanistan as part of the US-led NATO force of 140,000. Friday's attack brings the number of German soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of the mission in 2001 to 48.

Air traffic advisers aim high for Iraq’s future





-Air, are tasked with ensuring their Iraqi air force partners are trained and equipped to gradually take over the ATC towers at bases throughout the country in the coming months.
"Our goal is to certify and license 24 controllers to conduct tower operations at five locations by the time we leave," Captain Trujillo said.
The ATC training program, which first started in 2006, mirrors the U.S. Air Force ATC training program developed by Air Education and Training Command officials at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. The Iraqi air force program currently has 55 officers in the training pipeline at Kirkuk, Ali and Taji airfields in Iraq. Of those officers, 15 have been certified and six have been licensed by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority -- the equivalent to the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S.
"The licensing of military controllers is the first ever in the country," said Major Kuehne, who recently returned from a site visit to Kirkuk and Ali airfields Feb. 11. "Under Saddam (Hussein), civilian air traffic controllers were the only licensed controllers, but now we're trying to get everyone on the same level so they all know and follow the same rules."
On the front lines of the training effort are four veteran U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers who serve as training program managers, as well as advisers to local Iraqi air force leaders at the three airfields.
The senior ATC advisers also expanded the pool of contracted instructors who provided English tutoring as well as on-the-job training throughout the program.
"We more than doubled the number of contractors, from six to 15, since last October," Major Kuehne said.
For trainees, the journey to become an air traffic control officer starts at the Defense Language Institutes at Taji or Tikrit, Iraq, where they study basic English for up to a year, depending on personal learning curves. The trainees advance to aviation English, which is the international aviation language, after scoring higher than a 60 on their basic English aptitude test.
After more than 150 hours of aviation English instruction, Iraqis move on to the nine-week long, 180-hour air traffic control fundamentals class, where they learn about principles of flight, airfield markings, basic meteorology and air traffic communication skills.
The Iraqi trainees then put their skills to the test with simulated airfield operations during a five-week-long, 120-hour aerodrome course. The students at Kirkuk took it upon themselves to build a model airfield to add a third dimension of realism while learning about departure clearances, aircraft separation distances and more in-depth air traffic control instructions during aerodrome training.
Trainees then take an English proficiency test before starting on-the-job training inside the tower. After another 90 hours or more of OJT, trainees take their certification exam and prepare to get their license through the ICAA.
The training process is by no means easy, officials said, especially considering language differences and cultural considerations, as well as personal security risks and the occasional mortar attack on an airfield.
"The trainee's duty schedule and learning English are the most significant challenges we face," said Tech. Sgt. David Lusher, an ATC adviser at Ali Air Base.
Sergeant Lusher explained that the Iraqi air force work schedule revolves around "mu-jas," or paid leave, which typically ranges from one to two weeks depending on the local Iraqi air force commander's policy. Sergeant Lusher and other advisers said the long break between technical training prolongs the learning curve for most students, and in limited cases, impacts their career progression.
"Just like in the ATC program in the United States, this job is not for everyone," Major Kuehne said. "There are people out here who are motivated to do the job, and there are some who are not. The ones who make it through can be proud because they did a lot of work and they did it by themselves."
Around bases like Kirkuk, ATC students are held in high regard by the Iraqi pilots who are learning to fly various fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
"With the success we've had here, Iraqi pilots like to hear our Iraqi students in the tower," said Master Sgt. Jenny Tibi, who serves as the ATC adviser for more than a dozen students at Kirkuk.
Master Sgt. Jerry McBride Jr., an ATC adviser at one of the program's busiest towers, Taji Airfield, said his students get plenty of training with a monthly average of 25,000 operations that includes arrivals, departures, over flights and training flights.
He said his Iraqi air force students also get a sample of joint operations working with U.S. Army Soldiers and Iraqi army aviation command officials.
At Ali Air Base, Airmen and contractors, along with Iraqi air traffic controllers, handle 2,500 operations, 400 cargo tons and 2,500 passengers per month on a single runway. Base officials also recently reopened the base's second runway after a $5 million reconstruction project to fix cracks and spalls, or divots created from mortar and rocket attacks.
"The operations here run very smooth because of the teamwork between ITAM-Air (officials), contractors and the Iraqi air force trainees," said Master Sgt. Bryan Herrington, Ali AB's chief air traffic controller. "As a collective team, we all strive for the same goal of ensuring Iraqi sovereignty while providing quality air traffic control services to our customers."

Afghan air force C-27 fleet halfway to goal



The Afghan air force received an addition to its forces with the arrival of the 10th C-27A Spartan at the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul Feb. 20, marking the half-way point in the AAF's C-27 fleet as it continues to build to 20.
Not only valuable for Afghanistan's burgeoning cargo capabilities, the addition of another C-27 provides a greater training platform for the AAF as it gains a greater proficiency in the aircraft.
The C-27A is a rugged, twin-engine turboprop aircraft with short take-off and landing capability. The Spartan is well suited for Afghanistan's mountainous terrain and limited road network. These obstacles make air power critical to the mobility of the Afghan National Security Forces. A C-27 can carry up to 20,000 pounds of cargo and fuel and operate on unimproved airfields as short as 3,000 feet, which allows access to airstrips unreachable by most fixed-wing aircraft.
"This increases the aircraft available and hours available for training, allowing Afghan pilots a greater opportunity to fly and become accustomed to the aircraft," said Maj. Todd Andrewson, a C-27 pilot adviser with the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron who flew the aircraft to Kabul from Naples, Italy.
This impact to the AAF is seen as an immediate one by Lt. Col. Christopher Smith, the 538th AEAS commander, who said the aircraft is scheduled to begin taking part in training operation within two days of its arrival.
"It just feels good to see growth on the flight line," said Major Andrewson, who had brought in C-27 number four nearly 10 months ago when he first arrived to Afghanistan.
Major Andrewson also believes that the training and operational benefits that the new C-27 provides is another step towards the ultimate goal of a fully independent Afghan air force.
"The quicker they can build up the C-27 squadron, the quicker they can completely handle their own operations and have less of a need for coalition support," he said.
The Afghan air force is expected to receive its 11th C-27A Spartan in early April. These new aircraft will provide increased support for the Afghan National Security Force.
Seen as a key contributor to the future of the Afghan air force, the C-27 is phasing out the Antonov-32 as the centerpiece of Afghanistan's cargo/transport mission. The Antonov-26 was discontinued from service in the AAF earlier in the year, and the AN-32 has a projected end-of-service date of June 2011.

3rd ACR, Iraqi Army practice basic combat






Iraqi Army soldiers in Wasit province are continuing to make progress toward being a capable security force for their nation. Regularly working with United States Forces, the IA is retaining vital skills that will serve them well in the future.
With guidance from the Soldiers of Battery L, "Lion," 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, local IA soldiers are currently conducting basic squad level drills on Contingency Operating Base Delta, Iraq, to hone their ability to operate in small groups.
"These guys really enjoy getting out here and training like this," said 1st Lt. Jason Yankee, officer in charge of the training.
Lion Battery Soldiers and their Iraqi counterparts spent a recent day covering basic movement techniques. This involved moving in a file, spreading out in a wedge formation, and stacking in a close-quarters security formation.
The IA soldiers split into three separate groups, each with two or three Lion Soldiers, and worked their way through the drills, repeating the processes several times.
"I like training with these guys and trying to get them proficient," said Spc. Matthew Christopher, a small group trainer with Battery L. "There are some obstacles with our language barrier, but the interpreters make sure it doesn't effect the training too much."
Between iterations, both Iraqi and American Soldiers took breaks together, drinking water, smoking cigarettes, and sharing some laughs too.
During each phase of the training, a Lion Soldier would take the lead, and his group would slowly go through the motions. After one dry run, an Iraqi Soldier would take over as squad leader and run through the exercise a few more times. This process was repeated throughout the day until all felt confident in a particular drill.
Soldiers finished their training with bounding forward and falling back from an objective, swiftly running from one point to another and diving deliberately into the gravel, just as they would during actual combat.
After observing the days work, Yankee said he believes the IA Soldiers will now have valuable techniques and skills to share with their peers, strengthening the army's role as a successful security force for Iraq.

3rd ACR, Iraqi Army practice basic combat



Iraqi Army soldiers in Wasit province are continuing to make progress toward being a capable security force for their nation. Regularly working with United States Forces, the IA is retaining vital skills that will serve them well in the future.
With guidance from the Soldiers of Battery L, "Lion," 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, local IA soldiers are currently conducting basic squad level drills on Contingency Operating Base Delta, Iraq, to hone their ability to operate in small groups.
"These guys really enjoy getting out here and training like this," said 1st Lt. Jason Yankee, officer in charge of the training.
Lion Battery Soldiers and their Iraqi counterparts spent a recent day covering basic movement techniques. This involved moving in a file, spreading out in a wedge formation, and stacking in a close-quarters security formation.
The IA soldiers split into three separate groups, each with two or three Lion Soldiers, and worked their way through the drills, repeating the processes several times.
"I like training with these guys and trying to get them proficient," said Spc. Matthew Christopher, a small group trainer with Battery L. "There are some obstacles with our language barrier, but the interpreters make sure it doesn't effect the training too much."
Between iterations, both Iraqi and American Soldiers took breaks together, drinking water, smoking cigarettes, and sharing some laughs too.
During each phase of the training, a Lion Soldier would take the lead, and his group would slowly go through the motions. After one dry run, an Iraqi Soldier would take over as squad leader and run through the exercise a few more times. This process was repeated throughout the day until all felt confident in a particular drill.
Soldiers finished their training with bounding forward and falling back from an objective, swiftly running from one point to another and diving deliberately into the gravel, just as they would during actual combat.
After observing the days work, Yankee said he believes the IA Soldiers will now have valuable techniques and skills to share with their peers, strengthening the army's role as a successful security force for Iraq.

Air Force has new weapon in fight against Spice



By Air Force News Agency on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Air Force officials began drug testing Airmen Feb. 22 to determine whether they are using Spice -- the street term for a range of designer synthetic-cannabinoid products.
With the implementation of testing, officials intend to send a very clear message: use Spice, and you may lose your career, end up in jail or both, officials said.
Spice, also commonly referred to as herbal incense, is mistakenly perceived by some Airmen as a legal or safe alternative to marijuana," said Dr. Aaron Jacobs, the Air Force Drug Testing program manager.
Side effects can include panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, increased agitation and dilated pupils, he said.
"Additional harmful effects are still unknown, so individuals are taking significant risks to their health when they use Spice," he said.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials recently took steps toward listing five chemicals used to make Spice as schedule I controlled substances, meaning they will be illegal to possess, distribute or manufacture in the U.S.
According to the DEA website, this action was taken as an emergency measure due to an increasing number of reports from poison control centers, hospitals and law enforcement agencies regarding these products.
Use of these substances is strictly prohibited for Airmen. The prohibition is contained both in AFI 44-120, Military Drug Demand Reduction Program and the AFGM to AFI 44-121, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program.
Airmen who use Spice are subject to prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Air Force officials have taken disciplinary action against Airmen identified as using Spice and continue to aggressively enforce the prohibition through courts-martial and nonjudicial punishment.
In 2010, 177 Airmen received nonjudicial punishment for using Spice and another 83 Airmen faced Spice charges at courts-martial.
Air Force Drug Testing Lab technicians will utilize the expertise of the Armed Forces Medical Examiners Systems to conduct the specialized testing.
Dr. Jacobs added that the Air Force is also mounting a robust education and awareness campaign to ensure all Airmen understand the risks of possessing and/or consuming these dangerous products.

e

Pakistans 45 F-16 Fighter Jets Being Upgraded in Turkey: Pakistan Air Force Chief


undefinedChief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has appreciated the role of police in war against terror, Geo News reported on Thursday.

Talking to media after a ceremony in police lines Islamabad,
Air Chief said that 45 F-16 fighter gets are being upgraded in Turkey. He added that new squadrons of F-16 and JF-17 thunder planes would be constituted in March.He informed that PAF have 21 JF-17 thunder jets in final stage while nine are being manufactured.

Earlier, addressing the passing out ceremony as chief guest, Air Chief Marshal stated that sacrifices of police for the country would not go waste, adding that police and armed forces are fighting against the war on terror hand-to-hand.

Chinese J-10 Fighter Aircraft Won’t Grace Bangalore Skies



China which had participated in the last show is not making its presence felt this time, confirmed Sujata. This is attributed to the growing trade rivalry between India and China.

“India is estimated to spend about $80 billion in the next five years on defence acquisitions, making it one of the most attractive markets for global defence firms,” the CII-Deloitte report on ‘Prospects for Global Defence Industry in Indian Defence Market’ said.


The show will therefore, witness a zealous scramble by the global defence aviation giants for a part of the big pie. Among them are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS). The flying displays will see some of the latest fighter planes in the world, sources said. Some of the latest technological marvels in communication, electronic warfare, cockpit display and aircraft manufacturing are expected to be on display. 

This show has an added importance since a contract for preliminary design of the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft was signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi in December last. Now the Indian aerospace industry is opened up for foreign participation up to 26% equity holding. HAL, Bharat Electronics and DRDO, among others will go in for partnerships and joint ventures. “One of the most exciting aero shows” is how Mary Ellen Jones, vice-president, Marketing of Pratt & Whitney said of the show in a SP Guide Publications, the official media partner of Aero India 2011.

Raytheon Eyes International Contract Award for its F-16 AESA Radar

EL SEGUNDO, Ca: Raytheon Company moved closer to its first international sale of RACR (Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar) following approval for the company to move forward with technical discussions with at least two potential customers.



Both countries are looking to upgrade their F-16 fleets within the next two years in order to keep their force structure at the cutting edge of today's complex battlespace. RACR is designed for all F-16s and is approved for export.
The program is on schedule to fly production hardware on an F-16 during the first half of 2010.
"RACR continues to exceed expectations in meeting key production and integration milestones and has just wrapped up a series of validation tests at Lockheed Martin's system integration laboratory," said Dr. Tom Kennedy, vice president of the Tactical Airborne Systems business division.
The program demonstrated various radar capabilities in both air-to-air and air-to-ground modes as well as integration with Raytheon's F-16 center pedestal display. The new color display allows pilots to conduct simultaneous operations and provides a clearer picture of the overall battlespace.
"RACR has 90 percent software and hardware commonality with our combat-proven AESA radar for the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Several U.S. Navy squadrons are already operational in theater with this technology today, while the Royal Australian Air Force is also in flight training with our AESA radar system. This active production line allows us to provide F-16 customers with a high-performing, affordable but low-risk solution while also addressing obsolescence challenges they currently face with mechanical scanned radars," added Kennedy.
Within the past year Raytheon has also installed the RACR radar twice on F-16s at both Lockheed Martin and Edwards Air Force Base. The seamless installation process demonstrated Raytheon's proven modular radar design resulting in an easy upgrade path for customers who need AESA radar capability.
"Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have worked together nearly six years to develop RACR for F-16s in order to meet our customer requirements," said Brian MacDonald, RACR program manager. "The F-16 is an outstanding tactical aircraft, and we recognize the need to support our customers, keeping them relevant in the changing battlespace of today and the future."
RACR is a program in Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems business. With 2008 revenues of $4.4 billion, 12,000 employees and headquarters in El Segundo, SAS is a leading supplier of sensor systems that provide actionable information for the network-centric battlefield.
Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.

Eurofighter and Euroradar to Develop Latest Generation AESA Radar



HALLBERGMOOS, Germany: An innovative cutting edge AESA radar system, reconfirms Eurofighter as the most advanced aircraft available on the market.

Eurofighter GmbH and Euroradar, together with their industrial partners, have begun full scale development of a latest generation Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The target in-service date for the new radar is 2015 to meet the requirements of Eurofighter Partner Nations and export customers.

Eurofighter CEO Enzo Casolini said of the decision “This is an important step in the Eurofighter programme and will ensure that Typhoon continues to lead the way as the world’s best new generation multi-role combat aircraft. In consultation with our Core Nation customers we can offer an AESA capability that far exceeds any other radar available. This capability will mean that Eurofighter is in the best possible position when offering Typhoon to the export market. The in-service date means we are perfectly positioned to respond to the complex and demanding requirements of the air forces”.
The decision means that Eurofighter will further develop the capability of the Typhoon aircraft to enhance its radar performance, building on preliminary development and flight testing undertaken since 2007. Although the current Mechanically Scanned (M-Scan) radar is considered to be best in class, AESA technology will see the Typhoon's radar capabilities developed even further. The planned AESA radar will offer a variety of benefits over M-Scan, including increased detection and tracking ranges, advanced air-to-surface capability and enhanced electronic protection measures.
The new radar will retain the key features of the existing Captor radar architecture in order to exploit the maturity of the current system and will use latest generation technology to provide a full complement of air-to-air and air-to-surface modes. The large array can be accommodated easily in the Typhoon’s radome and, being fitted on a repositioner, will provide an extremely wide field of regard. This will see Typhoon's combat effectiveness enhanced even further, allowing the Typhoon to outperform any other aircraft available on the market. The radar will offer customers the freedom to retrofit their existing Typhoons when required. The radar will have significant growth potential and both existing and new customers will be able to participate in tailoring the radar to meet their individual operational requirements.
Euroradar is a multi-national consortium lead by SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, alongside EADS Defence Electronics and Indra. Euroradar has delivered over 250 Captor mechanically scanned radars into the Typhoon programme to date and this experience will ensure a timely and smooth transition to AESA.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the world's most advanced new generation real multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft available on the market and has been ordered by six nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). With 707 aircraft under contract, it is Europe’s largest military collaborative programme and delivers leading-edge technology, strengthening Europe’s aerospace industry in the global competition.
More than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies are secured by the programme. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies: Alenia Aeronautica/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland, Europe’s foremost aerospace companies with a total turnover of approx. EUR 88 billion (2008).

Production Begins on New Radar for B-2 Bomber

undefined
PALMDALE, Calif: The nation's fleet of B-2 stealth bombers will all receive a new Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed radar system following the U.S. Air Force's decision to authorize full-rate production of the units by the company's Radar Modernization Program (RMP).
The decision, made Oct. 16 by the assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition (acting), allows Northrop Grumman to begin fabrication of the balance of radar units needed to outfit the entire fleet. Those units will be produced as the final installment of the $468 million RMP contract awarded to the company by the Air Force in Dec. 2008.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long range arsenal, and one of the most survivable aircraft in the world.
"Putting this new radar on America's flight line helps ensure that the B-2 fleet is ready day or night to protect the nation's interests worldwide," said Dave Mazur, vice president and B-2 program manager for Northrop Grumman. "The new radar also makes it easier for our modernization team to add additional mission capabilities to the jet in the future."
Northrop Grumman is currently producing radar units authorized under the RMP low rate initial production program, added Mazur. The company is also installing radar units in operational B-2s as part of the RMP system development and demonstration phase.
The B-2 radar modernization program replaces the aircraft's original radar system with one that incorporates technology improvements that have occurred since the B-2 was originally designed in the early 1980s.
Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif. developed the new radar hardware under contract to Northrop Grumman. The units include a new advanced electronically scanned array antenna, a power supply and a modified receiver/exciter.
The B-2 is the only U.S. aircraft that combines stealth, long range, large payload and precision weapons in a single platform. In concert with the Air Force's air superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.
The 20-aircraft fleet of B-2s is operated by the 509th Bomb Wing from its headquarters at Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Advanced Radar Improves Iraqi Air Surveillance

 undefined
KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq: The Iraqi air force significantly enhanced its air defense capabilities recently with the arrival of a digital air surveillance radar system.
The DASR system, which includes the radar and the radar control facility, allows Iraqi air traffic controllers to monitor aircraft up to 120 nautical miles away, permitting them to detect aircraft along their borders with Syria, Turkey and Iran.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ghani, Iraqi air force communications director, called the arrival of the system “another historical day” for the service. “Through that system, we will identify more … aircraft entering our sovereignty,” he said at an Oct. 26 ceremony.
The radar signal eventually will be remotely accessible from Baghdad International Airport so air traffic controllers can see all the airspace in Iraq.
The system also brings the Kirkuk airfield up to international civil aviation and surveillance standards, giving it the potential for future commercial airline use.
“We started this process by installing over $53 million of air traffic control and navigation capabilities for the Iraqi air force more than three years ago,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Kane, director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission Air Force, said.
“Beginning in August of 2006, our governments, air forces and civilian contractors cooperated to not only fund the purchase of this highly technical equipment, but to train the Iraqi air force personnel how to use it and maintain it,” Kane said. “I’m very proud to say that the Iraqi air force now possesses these capabilities.

20th Erieye Radar System Delivered


With 20 systems produced, Erieye is by far the most successful modern AEW radar on the market today.
From the Saab plant in Gothenburg, Sweden, the 20th Erieye radar system has rolled out, ready to proceed to the next phase, installation on aircraft and final testing.
“This is a milestone in the on-going production and we are proud that seven countries around the world now have selected Erieye. Although it may look the same for an unaccustomed eye on the outside, the inside is newly developed, using our spiral development process. Despite this, we have delivered on time again” says Erik Winberg, Director Product Management AirborneSurveillance.
The Erieye radar, an Airborne Early Warning radar, is the first of its kind using AESA technology. Designed for use together with regional aircraft, it is today operational on three platforms.
The multi-role radar detects and automatically tracks air and surface targets over a huge area, covering 900 km in range. It is designed to track the smallest object in the air as well on the sea surface.
The applications are both military and for national security, where the use of the system in Brazil and Mexico for anti-drug operations is one example.

USAF Officials Launch Digital Airport Surveillance Radar


ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE: Ellsworth Air Force Base officials recently completed the installation of a digital airport surveillance radar system to be used with the Dakota Air Traffic Control Facility here.
This modern, digital radar replaces traditional airport-surveillance radar used by air traffic controllers, eliminates ground distractions and displays multiple levels of precipitation.

The new system also helps address maintenance and parts challenges, while increasing Ellsworth AFB capabilities to control more airspace in Rapid City and other locations in South Dakota, said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Lavoie, the 28th Operations Support Squadron radar approach control facilities chief controller.
"This is the first Air Force DASR to be located outside of the military installation," Chief Lavoie said. "This location provides us with line of sight to the runways at both airports and provides us with a clearer digital presentation which reduces our maintenance team's workload on a daily basis."
The system does this by automatically transmitting digital radar to the standard terminal automation replacement system. This process eliminates the electronic conversion that was necessary when using traditional airport surveillance radar signals, and decreases the amount of time used to convert an electronic signal into a digital signal.
Along with these advantages, the new system allows Ellsworth AFB air traffic controllers to work more efficiently with Rapid City Regional Airport.
"The old radar wouldn't be able to see aircraft landing at Rapid City Regional Airport," said Airman 1st Class Ryan Anger, a 28th OSS air traffic controller. "The DASR provides a larger range of scope and can actually see airplanes landing at Rapid City Regional and picks-up echoes from aircraft farther away."
This two year project involved members from 28th OSS, 28th Communications Squadron, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron and contractors.
"The implementation of the DASR is landmark for us as controllers," Chief Lavoie said. "We have lived with 1960s technology until today and our controller force now has state-of-the-art equipment to provide the safest air traffic control service possible to our military and civilian flying communities."

India Is Now Major Market for U.S. Defence Products


  

The United States has finally decided to treat India, the world’s largest democracy, as an equal when it comes to defense trade. In a continuation of its efforts to forge closer ties with the subcontinent, the Obama Administration has ended the misguided efforts of both Democratic and Republican administrations to punish India for its decision to acquire a nuclear weapon. This decision recognizes the reality that such weapons in the hands of democratic states poses no threat to the United States. It also is an acknowledgement of India’s growing importance to a stable international system.India will now be invited to participate in all the major international arms and technology control groups. The administration’s decision also will end sanctions against prominent Indian science and technology entities such as the Indian Space Research Organization, and the Defense Research and Development Organization will now allow U.S. corporations and laboratories to collaborate with them.

It is a fact little known in this country that Indian universities conduct world-class collaborative efforts with U.S. defense research organizations such as the Naval Research Laboratory.

This step took place against a background of increasing U.S. competition for arms sales to India. Once exclusively an acquirer of European and Russian military technology, India is now a potential major market for U.S. defense goods. Recently, India agreed to purchase 10 C-17 jet transports for more than $4 billion and eight P-8 Poseidon ASW aircraft for $2.1 billion. Currently, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are both entrants in the $10 billion competition to provide India with 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. The U.S. competitors against aircraft from Europe and Russia are the F-16IN Super Viper and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.


In a potentially significant move, Under Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter declared this week that the United States would be open to India participating in the F-35 program. Which would be better for New Delhi: taking the chance that Russia’s decrepit aerospace industry will be able to design and build a passable fifth-generation fighter or acquiring the second fifth-generation fighter from a country that has nearly twenty years experience building stealth aircraft?

There are a number of other areas where U.S. defense systems could make inroads into the Indian market. As a rising naval power, India may be interested in acquiring a variant of the Littoral Combat Ship. Facing serious terrorist and insurgent threats in various parts of the country, the Indian Army could benefit from acquiring U.S. systems such as the Stryker wheeled combat vehicle or the M-ATV.

Sino-Turkish Strategic Partnership: Implications of Anatolian Eagle 2010



undefinedTurkey’s annual hosting of its "Anatolian Eagle" aerial military exercises at Konya air base in the central Anatolian region of Konya have been central to its efforts to preserve military preparedness and to enhance relations with the air forces of the United States and fellow NATO allies. "Anatolian Eagle" has also encouraged closer relations between Turkey and a range of regional partners—especially Israel—as well as Jordan, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Turkey’s guest of honor in the exercises staged from September 20 to October 4, 2010, however, was China. 

While China cooperates with NATO countries and other members of the international community in anti-piracy operations in the waters off the Horn of Africa, its participation in "Anatolian Eagle" marked the first time it engaged in joint air exercises with a NATO member (Hurriyet [Istanbul], October 29, 2010; Xinhua News Agency, January 19, 2009).

The exercises featured U.S.-origin Turkish fighters, namely U.S.-built F-4E Phantoms alongside Russian-built Sukhoi SU-27 Flankers operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) (Asia Sentinel [Hong Kong], October 7, 2010). Rumors circulated that Turkey deployed its advanced U.S.-made F-16 Fighting Falcons during the maneuvers, raising fears in Washington and Brussels that sensitive U.S. and NATO technology would slip into the hands of the Chinese. Turkish officials denied the allegations, however, stating that they took great care to protect sensitive technology, a point confirmed by officials in Washington (Today’s Zaman [Istanbul], October 11, 2010; Reuters, October 9, 2010). The exercises included mock dogfights and other air-based maneuvers. Yet key questions remain regarding the details of important aspects of the exercises. The precise number of Chinese fighters involved in the exercises, for example, is unclear (Aviation Week, September 30, 2010; Asia Sentinel, October 7, 2010).

For all of the attention the presence of the PLAAF in Turkey has received, the greatest implications of China’s participation in "Anatolian Eagle 2010" in the long-run may indeed be understood through the notable absence of two mainstays at "Anatolian Eagle" events: the United States and Israel. The progressive disintegration of Turkish-Israeli relations stemming from Israel’s December 2008 invasion of Gaza and ongoing occupation and siege against the territory—a relationship cultivated over decades and once touted as a strategic axis joining two of the region’s most powerful militaries—prompted Ankara to cancel the international component of "Anatolian Eagle 2009" due to the scheduled participation of Israeli, alongside Turkish, US, and NATO forces (Asia Times [Hong Kong], July 20, 2010; Today’s Zaman, June 8, 2009). Tensions between Turkey and Israel reached a fever pitch following Israel’s May 2010 attack against the MV Mari Marmara, a Turkish aid ship traveling as part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which left eight Turks and one Turkish-American dead (Asia Times, July 20, 2010). Not surprisingly, Turkey did not extend an invitation to Israel to participate in "Anatolian Eagle 2010" or other maneuvers. The United States, according to some Turkish sources, opted out of "Anatolian Eagle 2010" drills to protest Turkey’s exclusion of Israel (Hurriyet, September 1, 2010).

China’s involvement in "Anatolian Eagle 2010" occurred on the heels of its participation in "Peace Mission 2010." A 16-day drill aimed at combating what Beijing refers to as the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism, and extremism in the region, "Peace Mission 2010" included forces from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan held under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)—Uzbekistan opted out of the exercise. One of the highlights of the exercise for China was showcasing the PLA’s rapidly improving expeditionary combat capabilities (See "China’s Growing Clout in the SCO: Peace Mission 2010," China Brief, October 8, 2010). China’s participation in "Anatolian Eagle 2010" demonstrates the PLA’s increasing capability in launching and sustaining long-range combat missions outside of its immediate geographic periphery in East Asia. On their voyage to Turkey, for example, PLAAF planes reportedly made refueling stops in Pakistan and Iran (Hurriyet, October 29, 2010; Press TV [Tehran], October 3, 2010).

There are already signs that "Anatolian Eagle 2010" set a precedent for future joint military exercises, training, and other forms of cooperation between China and Turkey. Beginning on November 8, 2010, the PLA and Turkish special forces participated in a weeklong series of military drills focusing on assault tactics in hilly and mountainous terrain in Turkey (Xinhua News Agency, November 9, 2010). As the PLAAF’s participation in the high-profile "Anatolian Eagle 2010" event represented the first instance of joint air maneuvers between China and a NATO member country, the comparatively low-key ground-based military exercises marked the first time Chinese ground forces operated on NATO soil. According to a statement issued by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, a special operations unit conducted exercises with Turkish forces at an undisclosed location in Turkey. Although the exact nature and location of the maneuvers have not been disclosed, sources in China claim that the drills focused on joint counterterrorism missions. The same sources also report that the drill was staged in mountainous territory, essentially the type of terrain conducive to harboring insurgent and terrorist movements (South China Morning Post [Hong Kong], November 9, 2010).

The recent developments in Sino-Turkish relations are all the more significant given that it was not too long ago that both countries were embroiled in a spat over the crisis spawned by the violence in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwestern Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XAR), in July 2009 between ethnic Uighurs—a Turkic and Muslim minority that faces discrimination and repression by the state—and Han Chinese, China’s majority ethnic group. Sharing ethnic, religious, and linguistic ties with the Uighurs, Turkey assumed an advocacy role on behalf of Uighur causes after the fall of the Soviet Union. At one point during the crisis, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused China of committing a "near genocide" in Xinjiang (See "Xinjiang Crackdown and Changing Perceptions of China in the Islamic World?," China Brief, August 5, 2009). Ironically, China’s participation in ground maneuvers with Turkish forces in mountainous terrain in Turkey suggests that the PLA is keen to tap the Turkish army’s experience waging counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations against Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) guerillas to shore up its defense against the "three evil forces" it has identified as threats; Expressions of Uighur identity, activism, and grievances, as defined by China, embody the threats of terrorism, separatism, and extremism.

Trade and Business

If recent trends signal a watershed in relations between China and Turkey, the results of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s three-day official visit to Turkey on October 7-10, 2010, the final stop of Wen's European tour that included stops in Greece, Belgium, and Italy, demonstrate that the most serious tensions over Xinjiang in the aftermath of the Urumqi riots are a thing of the past (Xinhua News Agency, October 7, 2010).

The Chinese premier’s visit with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara proved to be a fruitful one for advancing bilateral commercial ties. Lauding the start of what he described as a new "strategic partnership," China and Turkey declared their goal to increase bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2015 and $100 billion by 2020; the existing volume of bilateral trade is around $17 billion. The current trade balance favors China heavily, however, Turkey is eager to level the playing field by attracting more Chinese investment and promoting itself as a gateway to markets in Europe and the Middle East. Both sides also inked eight agreements regarding investment in the infrastructure, transportation, and telecommunication sectors, and discussed future ventures in the energy, air transport, and tourism industries. The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRSS), for instance, is constructing a high-speed rail link between Ankara and Istanbul. Erdogan said Turkey also intended to build a railway connecting Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, and the Chinese capital, Beijing (Xinhua News Agency, October 8, 2010)

Chinese tourists are also flocking to Turkey in record numbers. While remaining competitors in the textile and electronics sectors, both sides also expressed their commitment to encourage Chinese and Turkish businesses to pursue joint ventures in emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia (Financial Times [London], October 8, 2010; People’s Daily, October 9, 2010 Xinhua News Agency, January 19, 2009).

Diplomacy

The talks between Beijing and Ankara also highlighted their shared historical legacies as the modern heirs of the ancient civilizations that intermingled on the Silk Road trade routes and proposed to jointly develop modern transportation links to facilitate contacts between Turkey and China, and the countries in between, in order to revive a new Silk Road (Hurriyet, November 2, 2010). 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between China and Turkey. To honor this milestone, Turkey has declared 2011 the "Year of China"; China was quick to show its gratitude to Turkey by designating 2012 the "Year of Turkey" (Hurriyet, September 2, 2010). The harsh diplomacy that typified Sino-Turkish relations amidst the Xinjiang crisis has given way to compliments, expressions of mutual friendship, and promises of closer and frequent contacts in the future. Wen’s visit to Ankara in October 2010 was the first visit by a Chinese premier to Turkey in eight years; Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit to China in 2009 was the first by a Turkish president in 14 years. Chinese President Hu Jintao has already made plans to visit Turkey in 2011; Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan also plans to make his way to China in 2011. The increased frequency of high-level visits committed to by both sides was cemented by the signing of a joint-working committee between the respective foreign ministries, which includes a goal of holding at least one high-level visit in either China or Turkey annually (Hurriyet, November 2, 2010).

The shift in Sino-Turkish diplomacy since the Xinjiang crisis was also on display during a six-day visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to China from October 28 to November 4, 2010. In a gesture of China’s importance to Turkey and its interest in forging closer links, Davutoglu announced that Turkey plans to expand its diplomatic presence across China by adding more consulates: "China is almost a continent for us. We want to increase the number of Turkish consulates," stated Davutoglu in Beijing (Hurriyet, November 2 2010). In addition to meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing, Davutoglu also toured Kashgar, an ancient center of Uighur culture—the first Turkish foreign minister to do so. Asked about the possibility that Turkey would build a consulate in Urumqi, the provincial capital of Xinjiang, Davutoglu declared, "We are determined to take every step that will bring the Turkish and Chinese peoples closer and open consulates all over China … Uighur Turks, with whom we have close historic and cultural bonds, live in Kashgar and Urumqi. It was important that an atmosphere of calm and peace was achieved in the region after the unrest last year" (Hurriyet, November 2, 2010).

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping conveyed Beijing’s satisfaction with Ankara’s support to combat "East Turkistan [sic] terrorist forces" in Xinjiang during talks with Davutoglu in Beijing and called for greater Sino-Turkish cooperation in counterterrorism. Davutoglu also reaffirmed Ankara’s support of the "one-China" principle that defines Taiwan as a sovereign part of China. In a veiled remark that likely alluded to the activities of ethnic Uighur activists in Turkey—Turkey is home to a sizeable Uighur diaspora—Davutoglu also reaffirmed Turkey’s commitment to target any activities occurring in Turkey that threaten China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (New China News Agency, November 1, 2010).

Mapping the Geopolitics

Understanding the backdrop underlying the latest trends in Sino-Turkish relations provides insight into the strategic implications of what appears to be the makings of a burgeoning partnership. China’s participation in "Anatolian Eagle" as a guest of a key NATO member comes amid increasingly vocal criticism of China’s economic policies out of Washington, specifically the manner in which China manages its currency, and heightened tensions between China and its neighbors, including U.S. allies in the region, stemming from territorial disputes in the South China Sea. U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, for instance, remain a major point of contention in Sino-U.S. ties.

The U.S. position on the Iranian nuclear program represents another major dispute clouding relations between the United States and China that may be driving Beijing closer to Ankara. China has demonstrated little serious interest in abandoning one of its most importance sources of oil and gas in the face of growing U.S.-led international pressure for additional sanctions and potentially a military response against Iran. On the question of Iran, Davutoglu declared in Beijing "We discussed Iran’s nuclear program in detail… Our views are very close" (Hurriyet, November 2, 2010). In this regard, Beijing’s efforts to court Ankara are part of a larger strategy to counter Washington’s moves in East Asia and other theaters it sees its interests threatened (See "Shifting Sands in the Gulf: The Iran Calculus in China-Saudi Arabia Relations," China Brief, May 13, 2010).

Finally, the emergence of a new Turkish foreign policy is also shaping the tenor of Sino-Turkish relations today. Although a close ally of the United States and West, Turkey’s ties with the United States, NATO, and Europe have come under increasing strain in recent years over disagreements ranging from the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East to the European Union’s (EU) refusal to allow Turkey to join its club. As a result, Turkey appears to have opted for a broader foreign policy that departs from its traditionally Western-oriented focus for a more expansive approach that includes courting forming rivals and new partners such as China (Asia Times, July 20, 2010).

Considering the troubled state of relations following the violence in Xinjiang in 2009, a number of factors bode well for Sino-Turkish relations in 2011 and beyond.

Russia's RSD-10 Ballistic Missile


undefined

undefined

Chinese Air Force New UAV Design


During the Airshow China here at Zhuhai, Avic Defense and one of the country's aeronautics academic institutions, launched a competition with the Chinese air force for new UAV designs. The prize is to be awarded next year and to spur some innovative thinking.

On one of the Chinese CD handouts were a couple of concept drawings. Where they are from or what they represent is unclear, but they are nonetheless entertaining.

And with China already working on its J-10 follow-on, here's some fodder for speculation (the airframe, below, actually looks very little like what China's 5th Gen Fighter is believed to look like, let's just call it the 6th Gen concept.

Indian Army Get 4 Indigenously Nishant Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAV's.

  

After completing successful flight trials in Rajasthan, Indian Army recently took delivery of four indigenously designed and developed 'Nishant' Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

"Nishant has successfully completed the series of confirmatory trials conducted by the Indian Army at Chandan Range in Pokharan recently before (the Army) taking delivery of a set of four UAVs together with ground systems," DRDO officials said here.


To be used for battle-field reconnaissance in day and night, surveillance, target tracking and correction of artillery fire, the DRDO-developed UAV can also be utilised for anti-insurgency operations.


The electro optical, electronic intelligence and communication intelligence payload on-board the UAV make it suitable for a range of operations both during wartime and counter insurgency operations, they said.


The Nishant is capable of being launched from a hydro pneumatic launcher, without the need of a runway. The UAV can be controlled by 'Ground Control Systems' mounted on Tatra vehicles, DRDO distinguished scientist Prahlada said.


With an endurance level of four and a half hours, Nishant is designed for safe recovery from a desired place with the help of parachutes.


Along with the regiments which would be operating the UAVs, the confirmatory flight of the UAV were witnessed by the Director General of artillery Lt General Vinod Nayanar and Director of Aeronautical Development Agency P S Krishnan.


Nishant has been designed and developed by DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), which specialises in developing UAVs, flight control systems and simulators in association with other labs.

India Will Get Harpoon Block II Missiles From US


undefined
BANGALORE: India has signed an agreement with the US government to purchase 24 Harpoon Block II missiles for its Jaguar strike aircraft.

Boeing country head, defence, space and security, Mr Vivek Lall told ET, “the deal was successfully concluded through the Foreign Military Sales route late last month, with Boeing as the prime contractor. The missiles are for the Indian Air Force’s maritime strike squadron.”

The deal, expected to be worth about $170 million, has been on the cards for over two years now, with the Bush administration having wheeled out a sales notification during defence minister A K Antony’s visit to Washington in 2008. The US had also sold the same missiles to Pakistan.

The Harpoon Block II is the latest version of the subsonic missile and is able to strike land-based targets and ships. It is an all-weather, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launched from surface ships, submarines and aircraft.

However, Lall said no agreement had been reached yet with regard to supplying the missile for P-8I, India’s long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The P-8I is scheduled for delivery in 2013.

“The final weapons package for the P-8I is yet to be decided, and will again be sold through the FMS route,” he said.

According to the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the attack capability of the Navy’s depleted fighter aircraft fleet has been significantly eroded, as they have not been kept in full combat readiness, with the bombs fitted having become obsolescent.

Mr Lall said the Phase II of the Apache and Chinook helicopter programmes for the IAF will be held in the US later in the year. Phase II will involve weapons integration field trials for both choppers.

US offers top of the shelf weapon systems to India


Washington, DC: The US today offered India top of the shelf and top of the line defence weapon systems and said three agreements were being negotiated which would allow the country to share key American technologies.

"Pentagon is working with India to put three foundational agreements in place with New Delhi that would allow American frontline technologies to be shared with the country," a top Pentagon official Michele Flournoy said.

"The cooperation with India is most developed in the maritime domain. But we are interested in talking about other areas as well. When you look at space, India has a lot to bring to the table, in terms of its own space technology and industry," she said.


Flournoy said the US is committed to providing India with top of the shelf or top of the line technology.

The Pentagon official said defence secretary Robert Gates had made export control reforms a key priority. "We see streamlining and modernising of export control system as a national security priority and one that directly affects our ability to build and sustain these key partnerships".

Flournoy, under secretary of defence for policy said US would continue to work with India on countering the spread of WMD, maritime cooperation and identifying new technologies to combat the threat.

She strongly made a pitch that India should opt for American fighter jets as it would pave the way for "more effective protection of mutual security interest in the future".

Advocating "US solutions for India's defence needs", the top Pentagon official said an overwhelming majority of arms licenses requested last year had been approved.

She said, India should opt for American fighter jets as it would pave the way for "more effective protection of mutual security interest in the future".

The American pitch for India opting for US system comes as New Delhi is in final stages of deciding on the mega $10 billion deal to purchase 126 fighter aircrafts.

American aviation majors Boeing with its F-18 super hornet and Lockheed Martin with its F-16 fighting Falcons are among the major bidders.

The Pentagon official who was speaking at a seminar 'Investing in the future of US-India defence relations', at the Washington Chapter of Asia Society said US arms sale to India were showing an upward graph and identified recent purchase by New Delhi of C-130J Hercules Transport Aircraft, just rolled out P-81 Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft and the proposed sale of heavy-lift C-17 Aircraft.

"I am and will continue to be a very strong advocate of US solutions for India's defence needs. US companies are eager to work with India as the Indian military continues to modernise," she said.

"Today, two American companies are among the leading competitors for the $10 billion sale of 126 advanced fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force, currently the world's biggest defence tender. And we are also looking at future defence sales of the C-17, as another example of near-term defence cooperation," Flournoy said.

"I want to underscore though that we in the department of defence


do not view defence sales as mere commercial transactions.

We understand that India is making a strategic as well as an economic choice when it makes defence acquisitions," she said.

"Obviously the commercial benefits of defence sales to the US economy can't be denied. But from a department of defence perspective, these sales are even more important in building a strategic partnership that will allow both countries to cooperate more effectively, to protect their mutual security interests in the future," Flournoy said in her speech.

"Whether the scenarios involve humanitarian assistance, counter terrorism cooperation, maritime security activities, having common equipment will allow more seamless cooperation.

Indian Navy Submarine strategy



undefined
India's emphasis on undersea warfare is growing, but too slowly for many experts. Today, the Indian navy's submarine fleet - India's "silent service" - is beset with numerous problems and delays. 

In China, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) shows no sign of backing off its plans to gradually increase its presence in the Indian Ocean. This influx of Chinese naval vessels does not pose an immediate threat to India's national security, but the situation could change. 
Russia, however, may wield considerable influence over the flow of events. While Russia continues to serve as a vital cog in the vastmachinery that is driving the PLAN's construction and development of a modern submarine fleet, American submarine historian and expert Norman Polmar sees ample evidence that Russia is selling India better undersea than those it is selling China.

"China, unlike India, is a natural enemy of Russia, and despite China's distrust of Russia, the Chinese deal with the Russians because the Russians possess submarine and antisubmarine technologies that the Chinese want," said Polmar. "This is solely an economic relationship involving China as a customer whereas the Russian's longstanding military assistance relationship with India is based on a need to sustain both its economic and geopolitical bonds that Russia deems very important to its overall security."

At the same time, the US decision to sell India sophisticated anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft known as P-8 India (P-8I) is significant as well in terms of countering any Chinese sub activities in the Indian Ocean. Although US Defense Secretary Robert Gates might have a submarine surprise up his sleeve for Indian Defense Minister A K Antony who is currently in Washington for talks, this seems unlikely given the current restrictions on high-tech exports to India.

"Keep in mind that in the P-8I aircraft, India is getting an ASW
paltfom from the US, not comprehensive and advanced ASW systems such as sonar, or magnetic anomaly detectors," said Polmar.

China is well aware that India has another option at its disposal. Polmar agrees that India could quickly adopt and update the naval aviation strategy that the Soviet Union devised in the 1950s. By adding several 21st-century refinements and technological advancements - the P-8I takes India in that direction - India's degree of control over the Indian Ocean could be reinforced considerably, far surpassing what the Soviets achieved in the Western Pacific and elsewhere.

The naval aviation model looms large because India has only 16 submarines today, including 10 Russian-built Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines; four German Shishukumar-class subs; and two Russian Foxtrot subs which are used primarily for training purposes.

In June, India signed a US$80 million contract with Russia's Zvezdochka shipyard for the fifth in a series of overhauls and upgrade
of its Kilo subs. This overhaul commenced in August. 

Then in July, the Indian government allocated US$11 billion (over 500 billion rupees) for the development of six next-generation diesel submarines under Project-75 India (P-75I). With their air independent propulsion systems, these new subs will offer major operational advantages, and much to Pakistan's chagrin in particular, they are envisioned as stealthy, land attack subs.

"India's submarine force has declined because a good number of older subs will be retiring very soon - the Kilos start retiring in 2013, for example - and an insufficient number of newer subs have been acquired to replace them," said Dr Rajeswari Rajagopalan, senior fellow in security studies at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

"India's submarine fleet remains a coastal fleet because of a lack of nuclear-powered subs, and its reach is limited because the missiles on these subs have limited range. Finally, the focus of the Indian navy's attention also appears to be on large surface ships rather than submarines, which is hindering development of the sub fleet."

In mid-2009, India launched a nuclear sub, the INS Arihant. It is currently designated as an Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), and it is undergoing sea trials. If all goes well, Arihant might be transferred to the Indian navy by the end of 2011. Plans call for two more ATVs with a goal of building five or six new nuclear subs. It is still unclear whether these ATVs are nuclear strategic missile subs (SSBNs) or simply nuclear - powered attack subs (SSNs).

"Some estimates suggest that if India is to maintain an effective nuclear triad [from air, land and sea], India would need at least a fleet of 24 subs, though this is likely out of India's reach,' said Rajagopalan. "Meanwhile, a Russian nuclear-powered Akula II SSN - the K-152 Nerpa - has departed Russia for India under a 10-year lease."

Absent any replacements or additions to its existing fleet, the most upbeat assessment is that India's sub fleet could be reduced to around nine by 2014 or 2015. In fact, the Indian navy has already notified the government that there is strong possibility that only nine subs might be in service by 2012, and just five in the coming years. No matter which projection proves to be accurate, the result is still a single digit total.

India is in the process of getting six Scorpene subs from the French - with an option of six additional subs - to be built at the Mazagon facility in Mumbai under the supervision of French technicians, but this procurement is experiencing a slowdown. Mazagon Docks in Mumbai will construct three of the six, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd in Visakhapatnam will construct one, and the other two may be procured from foreign sources or built by another private shipyard in India

"The delivery of the first of the French Scorpenes, which was supposed to enter service in December 2012, has been delayed. Antony addressed this situation in parliament only a few weeks back. This will clearly impact upon India's undersea force levels," said Rajagopalan. "India has about 35 private shipyards, of which L&T [Larsen & Toubro Ltd] and Pipavav are believed to be competing to build the two submarines, of the six planned."

Some doubt that these two will be built in India after all.

India must focus on meeting its planned timetable for new submarine deployments to avoid critical challenges in the next decade. Among those who argue for submarines, there have been disagreements over whether to pursue nuclear-powered or conventional submarines. In fact, under the original P-75I program, there was a 30-year Submarine Construction Plan approved in 1999.

"Internal disagreements within the navy, however, have substantially undermined that plan. The fact that last two naval chiefs were naval aviators who did not appear to have great interest in allocating limited available funding for sub programs did not help matters," said Rajagopalan.

According to some reports, once Antony became defense minister in 2006, all the decisions relating to the nuclear triad were put on hold. Antony reportedly was of the opinion that decisions involving India's strategic nuclear program should be taken by the Prime Minister's office
. In the process, there was little or no real progress concerning any additional SSNs and SSBNs.

"Dr VK Saraswat, director general of India's Defense Research and Development
Organization [DRDO] is of the view that SSNs can be developed easily once DRDO gets the go-ahead. He had noted that the essential difference is the weaponry and accordingly the size, but the  design and integration remains the same," said Rajagopalan. "Meanwhile, the Indian Atomic Energy Commission is continuing with its work on nuclear steam reactors for the ATVs which are powered by light-water reactors using enriched uranium as fuel."