Newscast: February 12th, 2007

Armored vehicles
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  • Analysis:
    Deadly Scourge of the US Helicopter Pilots in Iraq
    The downing of six helicopters in the past three weeks shows that Iraqi insurgents are becoming more adept at attacking these aircraft, which the military relies on for a variety of critical functions, regarding them as central elements to counter insurgency warfare.

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Israel's Arrow Successful in 15th Ballistic Missile Intercept Test

Israel conducted yesterday the 15th test of the IAI/Arrow Missile System, intercepting a ballistic missile target with an Arrow-2 missile. The test took place at 9:18 p.m., the first time such test is conducted at night time. This intercept was designed to demonstrate the Arrow's capability and defeat threats farther and higher than before, hinting at its capabilities to defeat potential nuclear threats. It also tested the system's ability to operate as a network of interceptors units and sensors located at multiple and dispersed locations, contributing to the system's efficiency, probability of kill and survivability.

Four Unmanned Systems Removed from FCS, Saving US$3.4 Billion

In an attempt to balance between sustaining the current force, and equipping the future force, the U.S. Army is restructuring and stretching the "Future Combat Systems" (FCS) program, eliminating $3.4 billion from its budget over the next five fiscal years. These savings were achieved by stretching the fielding of the 15 brigades over five years, starting 2015 and eliminating or deferring four systems from the 18 planned, including the Class II and Class III UAVs, the Armed Robotic Vehicle (ARV) and Intelligent Munitions System (IMS). Total cost of the restructured program is expected to be $162 billion with another $2 billion slated for additional construction required.

Northrop to Bid for the USAF KC-135 Tanker replacement Program

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced today it will submit a bid for the U. S. Air Force's KC- 135 Tanker Replacement Program, KC-X. "After carefully studying the final language in the Air Force's KC-X request for proposals, we and our team members have determined that the Northrop Grumman KC-30 is a very competitive offering that fully supports the Air Force's tanker mission" Said Scott Seymour, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems sector.
Northrop Grumman decided to bid for the KC-X program, offering the Airbus built KC-30 platform.

Russia, Ukraine Plan to Export Uncompleted Missile Cruiser

Russia and Ukraine agreed to cooperate in an effort to export the missile cruiser Ukraina. Two potential clients are considered - India and China. 'Ukraina', a Project 1164 (Slava Class) cruiser was launched in 1984 at the Nikolayev shipyards during the time of the former Soviet Union. However, construction was stalled at the final stage in the late 1980s. Initially, the government of Ukraine planned to complete construction and induct the ship to its navy but this endeavor was never completed and the shuip was left to rust at the shipyard. According to the latest agreement, the two countries will jointly complete construction. Russia will be required to supply the mission systems and weaponry to the vessel, necessary to prepare the vessel for export.

The Ukraina is the Fourth Slava class ship built, THe ship in this picture is the lead ship of this class, Moskva,  deployed with the Russian Black Sea navy, seen at the port of Sevastopol.

Australians Conduct Sea Trials for Aqua Puma

AeroVironment, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVAV) completed sea trials of the Aqua Puma unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the Royal Australian Navy. The Australians are planning to deploy the UAS with the new Armidale class patrol boats. Aqua Puma is launched by hand, lands directly onto the sea surface and is recovered by hand from vessels. It is a next-generation FQM-151 Pointer, with the same form factor but increased endurance (1.5 hours) and enhanced sensor capability. AV has teamed with the Australian company XTEK For regional representation and support. The company's RQ-11 Raven UAS are operational with the Australian forces since 2005.

ScanEagle Demonstrates STANAG 4586 Interoperability

The ScanEagle UAV system has been qualified to comply with NATO mandated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) interoperability standard (known as STANAG 4586), establishing common specifications employed in ground station system operating all UAVs used by NATO military forces. STANAG compliance will enable existing and future deployed ScanEagles to be operated with operational ground control stations such as Army One as well as other STANAG qualified systems operated by NATO member nations.

Network Offers Real-Time Link to Imagery Resources Worldwide

The U.S. Air Force has deployed a new intelligence sharing capability offering commanders and analysts at different locations an immediate access to each other's intelligence imagery and services, utilizing the recently fielded Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) Integration Backbone (DIB) provided by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). By connecting three independent and autonomous intelligence databases, located at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Beale Air Force Base in California, and a forward location in Europe, DIB enabled qualified users operating DGCS an access to imagery and intelligence libraries in real-time, at other Air Force sites as well as other agencies.

Air National Guard Releases C-130J Operational Data

Completing the initial 20- month deployment to southwest Asia Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) C-130Js operated by the 143rd Airlift Wing, Rhode Island Air National Guard, the Maryland 135th Airlift Group based in Baltimore, Md. and the California 146th Airlift Wing based in Channel Islands, Calif. The four C-130Js aircraft conducted 5,444 sorties over 10,750 flight hours, delivered 12,681 tons of cargo and carried 70,350 passengers operating under demanding desert conditions.


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