Newscast: April 25, 2007

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  • Hezbollah is Rearming for another round with Israel
    Just over eight months since the Second Lebanon war ended, Hezbollah leaders are already renewing their sabre rattling rhetoric against Israel. Hezbollah has regained most of its strength since the last summer with Israel and that the rate of weapons smuggling has nearly doubled over the past few weeks.

  • 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.

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Upcoming Events (April 2007):

SOF Week

23 - 27

Tampa, FL. USA


27 - 29


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


ARABIAN SEA (April 12, 2007) - A French Rafale from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier French Navy Ship Charles de Gaulle (R 91) performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). Stennis, as part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, and Charles de Gaulle, the Flagship of Commander, Task Force 473, are operating in the North Arabian Sea. Stennis and Charles de Gaulle are conducting bilateral exercises and supporting multi-national ground forces in Afghanistan. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Denny Cantrell
Thales Prepares AESA RBE2 Radar to Fly on Rafale

Thales is integrating the AESA version of the RBE2 radar on the Rafale and is planning to start flight testing soon, following the conclusion of a series of flight tests on Mirage 2000 test-bed aircraft. Series production start-up is scheduled for late 2010. The plan addresses a roadmap recently outlined by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and the Rafale industry team, to equip the French Air Force and Navy with Rafale fighters upgraded with new sensors by 2012.

$109 Million to Complete Guns for the Zumwalt Destroyer

BAE Systems received an additional US$109 million award to complete the design, development and integration of the Advanced Gun System (AGS) weapon for the Zumwalt destroyer (DDG 1000). Two years ago (In May 2005) the company (then, United Defense) received $376 million to begin the development of the gun, a fully automated, single barrel, 155-mm gun that will be capable of firing guided, Long Range Land Attack Projectiles at land targets, over the horizon.

Force Protection to Produce 1,000 MRAP Vehicles for the USMC

Force Protection Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) received a third order from the Marine Corps Systems Command, worth $480 million for the delivery of 1,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. This is the largest order received by Force Protection to date, representing about 25% of the entire anticipated MRAP buy.

US Navy to Explore Ionatron to Demonstrate Laser Guided Energy

The US Navy awarded Ionatron (NASDAQ: IOTN) about $10 million cost-plus, fixed-fee contract for research, development and demonstration of a transportable laser equipped vehicle which will demonstrate Ionatron's laser guided energy effects, and advanced ultra short pulsed laser. Demonstrations will be completed by April 2009.

US Air Force Embarks on a Composite Transport X-Plane

The US Air Force is embarking on the development of a future transport aircraft to be manufactured from composite materials. By October 2009, the Air Force plans to test fly the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) - a new X-plane to be built primarily from composite materials, featuring advanced structural design and aerodynamics. The Air Force awarded two contracts to Lockheed Martin and Aurora Flight Sciences, The Air Force is expected for concept development (phase 1). Within 6 months, AFRL will downselect the contractor for the program, to develop and build the aircraft and conduct flight testing under a follow-on $46 million (Phase 2) contract.

US Army Sends XM110 Sniper Rifles to Afghanistan

The Army is deploying the XM110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) to Afghanistan, in thefirst combat deployment of the new weapon. The rifle has several new features, the most prominent being an improved rate of fire. Older rifles such as the M24 Sniper Weapon System are bolt-action weapons that require the user to manually feed another round into the chamber after each shot. The automatic firing capabilities of the SASS will decrease lag time in between shots. The rifle has an improved flash suppressor which significantly reduces blast signature and eliminates the small cloud of dust that rises off the ground from the gases emitted through the barrel, thus making locating snipers in the field, even after they have fired a shot, difficult for the enemy. (US Army Article)
Pfc. Joel D. Dulashanti, a sniper with 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, jots down notes as a spotter for another sniper during their training on the new XM110 Semi-automatic Sniper System held here at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan. The SASS will be an addition to the arsenal of weapons the Soldiers of Task Force Fury have at their disposal, such as the older style M24 Sniper Weapon System, seen here in the foreground. Photo by Spc. Matthew Leary

Boeing and iRobot Team to Offer COTS based Small UGVs

Boeing (NYSE:BA) and iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ:IRBT) are teaming to design, develop and market 'SUGV Early' - a small unmanned ground vehicle based on commercial subsystems designed for reconnaissance and intelligence capabilities for military and civil applications. Under the teaming agreement, Boeing will provide expertise in systems integration, large volume production and global marketing for the iRobot designed robots. Both companies will jointly offer these commercial robots to all U.S. Department of Defense, civil and international markets.

Foster-Miller Acquires Two Pittsburgh Robotics Companies

QinetiQ North America is strengthening its position n the unmanned systems market with two acquisitions of robotics specialist companies, acquired by the company's Foster-Miller, Inc. Both of the acquired businesses are located at Pittsburgh: Automatika, Inc., and Applied Perception, Inc. Boston based Foster-Miller is the largest provider of man- transportable robots to the Department of Defense and recently delivered its 1000th TALON robot to the U.S. military in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lightweight Ammunition Magazine for Future Combat Systems

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) will develop and demonstrate a lightweight ammunition magazine under a $14 million awarded by Meggitt Defense Systems. It will be compatible with existing and future ammunition for the Mounted Combat System, a variant of the Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicle family. The Mounted Combat System is one of eight manned vehicles being developed for the Army's Future Combat Systems program. Highly maneuverable, the MCS vehicle can deliver rapid, precision fire on multiple targets and can provide direct support to dismounted infantry in assaults, defeating bunkers and breaching walls.

More AIM-9Xs for Singapore, Finland and Switzerland

The US Air Force is exercising an option to acquire more AIM-9X missiles for export. Raytheon Missile Systems was awarded about $60 million modification to extend Lot 7 production with 230 additional advanced air/air AIM-9X missiles. These missiles will be delivered to the US air force, and the air forces of Finland, Singapore, and Switzerland.


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