Newscast: April 17th, 2007

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Analysis:

  • Hormuz Straits come into Focus as Gulf Tension Mounts
    The waters in the Arabian Gulf (or Persian Gulf), are highly turbulent these days. The increasing presence of US naval presence, and continued Iranian defiance of UN pressure led Iran to raise the level of alert among its armed forces, in anticipation of a possible attack. While potential nuclear threat in the future is certainly a serious consideration, Iran's domination of the strategic straits of Hurmoz is the imminent threat.

  • The EFP Killer Strikes again in Basra
    The deadly device known as Explosively Formed Projectile (EFP), an offspring of the equally deadly shaped charge IED, used already widely in Iraq and Lebanon claimed the lives of four British soldiers. It seems, that the top killer named "routine patrolling" has reared its ugly head once more in Iraq and at probably the worst possible timing.

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Upcoming Events (April 2007):

MRO Military

17 - 19

Atlanta, GA USA

LAAD 2007 / Aviation Expo

17 - 20

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

SOF Week

23 - 27

Tampa, FL. USA

EXPOLTECH 2007

27 - 29

Poland

Performance Based Logistics

23 - 26

Alexandria, VA, USA

ITEC 2007 Simulation & Training

24 - 26

Cologne, Germany

Black Sea Defense & Aerospace

24 - 27

Bucharest, Romania

Armed UAV Conference

26 - 27

Las Vegas, NV. USA

 


India Tests Agni III Long Range Missile

Last week India tested its Agni III long range missile, capable of delivering a 1.5 tons of payload including a nuclear device. The missile was developed in India as a two-stage, solid fuelled missile. The 16 meter long missile weighs 48 tons and can strike targets at a range over 3,000 km. Agni III is offers India a deterrent capability addressing potential threats from China, which also possesses long-range nuclear attack capability. Agni III can strike targets in mainland China, as far as the cities of Shanghai and Beijing. During the recent test the missile flew for 15 minutes, and validated the operation of new systems, including the new composite solid propellant and flex nozzle control system which failed in previous test flight. Other advanced systems tested include the fault-tolerant guidance and control with fault tolerant avionics. Agni III made its first test flight on July 9, 2006.

V-22 Ospreys to Deploy to Iraq by September 2007

The US Marine Corps will soon deploy the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to Iraq, its first combat assignment. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway announced last week at the Pentagon that Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, with 10 aircraft and 171 personnel will be deployed to Al Asad Air Base in Western Iraq, by September 2007.



Canada Acquires 120 Surplus Leopard 2 Tanks

The Canadian Army is acquiring 100 Leopard II tanks, to be delivered from Dutch and Dutch army surplus. The purchase is a change of direction for the army and in particular for Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier, who only a few years ago described the Leopard tanks as "millstone around the neck" of the Canadian forces. The Canadians realized the importance of main battle tanks in recent months, as tanks were rushed in to Afghanistan to support the Canadian contingent stationed at Kandahar. As the new tanks are inducted by the Army, the Leopard 1C2 tanks currently deployed in Afghanistan are expected to be retired from service.


DoD Acquires More CREWs to Combat RSIEDs

Impact Science & Technology (IST), of Nashua, N.H., will produce 1,100 vehicle mounted Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare devices (CREW) under a $57 million contract awarded by the U.S. Navy. ($56,900,893 firm-fixed-price, time and material (cost) contract for production and. These devices are part of the DoD’s Joint Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare program. Spiral 2.1 CREW systems, designed to prevent the initiation of RCIED by radio command. The Navy manages the joint CREW program for Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Joint IED Defeat Organization. All systems are expected to be completed by May 2008. Last week EDO also announced receipt of a similar order worth $88 million for the supply of 1,100 CREW 2.1 systems.

Picosatellite Experiment to Demonstrate New Space Tether

An experiment designed to study the dynamics of tethered spacecraft formation, will help maturing space tether technology that promises supporting formations of many pico-satellites forming large synthetic aperture radar systems for high resolution earth observation. These same tethers can also establish 'space elevators', lifting payloads from low-earth-orbits to higher orbits as well as de-orbiting expired spacecraft to minimize 'space junk'.

British Royal Artillery to Deploy GMLRS to Afghanistan

The British ground forces in Afghanistan will soon get the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) offering significant improvement in range and accuracy over standard MLRS rocket systems. The system recently completed successful trials and has been declared fit for deployment with troops in Afghanistan later this year. The US are already using another version of GMLRS in Iraq. The rocket has an effective range of over 60 kilometres with pinpoint accuracy provided by GPS navigation system. The rocket is loaded with a unitary warhead weighing 200lb (90 kg). The delivery is the first element in an incremental procurement of several thousands of rockets under a program worth over £250 million, spanning over four years.


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