Newscast: May 16, 2007

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  • Myth and Realities of Turkey's Hidden Islamist Agenda
    Oriental experts are asking themselves whether there is a secret government agenda to impose Islamic law in Turkey. But are the secularists merely stirring up fears about political Islam to win more power? In a debate fueled by suspicion and acrimony, there are no clear-cut answers. But given Turkey's geographical location, it is hardly surprising that the nation is susceptible to the threat of radical Islam being imported across its south-eastern borders.

  • Self Victimizing Democracy?
    Israel's defeat in the Second Lebanon War came not at the hands of Hezbollah, but through the internal contradictions of being the region's sole functioning democracy in the Internet age - a Harvard University study has concluded. In this analysis feature, Defense Update examines how Hezbollah has won the war by using sophisticated, well executed psychological warfare campaign.

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Upcoming Events (May 2007):

IMDEX 2007



Military Satellites

21 - 23

Arlington, VA, USA

Military Armor Protection

21 - 23

Alexandria , VA, USA

IDEF 2007

22 - 25

Ankara, Turkey

Military Technologies


Airport City, Israel

Naval Force Transformation

30 - 1/6

Alexandria , VA, USA




Proposed Cuts Could Eliminate FCS' All Manned Ground Vehicles

The proposed cuts to the program would effectively prevent the development of Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles. This means Soldiers would operate Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles “indefinitely,”. The Army also intends to cancel the development of the infantry load carrier, or 'Mule' and one of the two remaining unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) if budgets are cut at the proposed level, said Lt. Gen. Stephen the U.S. Army director of force development and deputy chief of staff. Commenting on the possible cut of $876 million in the 2008 budget for the Future Combat Systems, proposes by the Congress. Gen. Speakes said the proposed cuts endanger a program that would improve military capabilities today and in the future. The total Future Combat System request for fiscal 2008 is $3.7 billion.

DARPA Demonstrates Control, Exploitation of Multiple UAVs

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) successfully demonstrated a low-cost system enabling ground forces elements to control, monitor and manage multiple airborne imagery sources sharing a common airspace. The system, known as HURT, for Heterogeneous Unmanned Reconnaissance Team, allows ground forces to receive video surveillance imagery of the surrounding area and request specific information about suspected enemy positions on user-friendly touch-screens. The system autonomously processes multiple requests and directs the most suitable aircraft to take a closer look.

New Digital Datalink is Optimized for Urban, Cluttered Environment

Rafael has fielded an advanced data communications system designed to support dismounted command and control and small unmanned systems. The new digital datalink called Lightlink provides robust communications of real-time video and data at high speed and in conditions that challenge other means of communications, such as forest, jungle or urban area, where buildings and other obstacles cause interference by multipath signals. Lightlink has been fielded and employed in combat missions with some of RAFAEL's unmanned systems.

Micro-Air Vehicles to Get Nav-Aids Based on Insects, Bats Senses

Aurora Flight Sciences has been awarded a contract to develop navigation and control technology that will allow micro air vehicles (MAVs) to avoid collisions as they fly through urban and other cluttered environments. Due to their small size, MAVs hold great potential for providing valuable military intelligence while avoiding detection and destruction. Vision-based techniques derived from insects and bats will be integrated with Aurora-developed navigation and maneuvering strategies to create a highly sensitive, robust, autonomous system in a package suitable for the low size, weight and power constraints that are inherent to MAVs.

Raytheon Seeking Partner to Challenge IED

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) announced its interest to partner with companies offering innovative solutions to defeat Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The company has been studying this issue for the past six months at its Texas-based Network Centric Systems division, which led a company-wide drive to rapidly develop and field solutions to defeat IEDs. To broaden the scope of the research, Raytheon is now inviting potential partners to join the effort.

Spartan to Produce Chassis for MRAPs for $100 Million

Spartan Chassis announced it has received a $60.0 million order from General Dynamics Land Systems and a $47.6 million order from Force Protection, Inc. Both companies were awarded last week a contract to produce 1,000 MRAP vehicles for the US Marine Corps and the Army. Both orders are scheduled to be completed in 2007

British MoD Commissions Skynet 5A Communications Satellite

Skynet 5A, the new British communications satellite has been commissioned into service following successful launch and deployment into orbit in April. The satellite, first of three to be launched under a £3 billion Private Finance Initiative (PFI) program supports military communications supporting deployed forces as well as maritime operations. Skynet 5 is designed to sustain about 2.5 times the capacity of the old system. The next satellite, Skynet 5B, is due to be launched towards the end of this year, and Skynet 5C in 2008.

Singapore to Replace Hawkeye With G550 AEW

Singapore will buy four Gulfstream G550 special mission business jets, configured for Airborne Early Warning missions. The aircraft will replace four Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye aircraft currently in service. According to the Singapore MOD, the G550 AEW will be capable of flying 9 hours missions at an altitude of 41,000ft (12,500m). Singapore will receive the first aircraft by 2008, and all four are expected to be operational by 2010. While Singapore has not released further details about the electronic and radar suite to be installed in the aircraft, the only system currently available for this platform is the Israeli PHALCON radar, developed for four Israel Air Force G550 AEW aircraft known as Eitam, currently being delivered by IAI/Elta. The first aircraft was handed over by Gulfstream on September 2006.

Sikorsky Selects CH-53K Fuselage Supplier Team

Sikorsky Aircraft announced today that it has selected four subcontractors to design and fabricate the major fuselage sections for its new CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter currently under development for the United States Marine Corps. Sikorsky's Fuselage Team will consist of Aurora Flight Sciences, EDO Corp., GKN Aerospace, and Spirit AeroSystems. Sikorsky will conduct the integration and test program on the complete fuselage structure. The major subcontracted sections include the cockpit and cabin (Spirit), aft transition (GKN), tail rotor pylon and sponsons (EDO), and main rotor pylon (Aurora).

Obstacle Avoidance radar for Military Helicopters

Prototype obstacle warning radar, developed at BAE Systems has completed flight testing on a helicopter. The system can operate under all-weather conditions, identifying cables and other obstacles, indicating the pilot the precise altimeter information necessary to negotiate the obstacle through combat flight maneuvering. The system detects cables and other obstacles using low-probability-of-intercept, low-probability-of-detection radar technology.

EADS Accelerates UH-72A Production

EADS North America is accelerating the deliveries of UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter to the US Army. To date, six helicopters have been delivered, ramping up to a production rate of two helicopters per month in September, the company's production target for the current program phase. At full-rate production, EADS NA plans to build five UH-72As per month. The Army has a requirement for up to 322 UH-72As in a 10 year program with a total life-cycle value of over $2 billion. These helicopters will be operated primarily within the U.S. for homeland security operations, medical evacuation, passenger/logistics transportation and drug interdiction missions.

APKWS - Three Steps Closer to Production

In the past week BAE Systems conducted three successful test flights of its 2.75-inch guided rocket, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS). In these tests, held in partnership with the U.S. Navy program office, production-ready rockets were used for the first time. As required, the rockets hit the target within the 2 meter of the laser spot that was designating the target. In 2006 BAE Systems was selected by the US Army as Prime contractor for the APKWS program, a joint-interest program with Army and Navy/Marine Corps participation. Sofar the program included ten successful ground launches.

UAV Wing Gets Predator Simulators

The US Air Force received five Predator Mission Aircrew Training System (PMATS). By June 2007 seven PMATS systems will be based at the Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, NV to support the newly established unmanned systems wing. L-3 Link is a division of L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL). The simulator enables Predator UAS pilots and sensor operators to undergo fully immersive, mission-based simulated training exercises.

Lockheed Selected to Develop a New Radar for Army UAVs

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) has been selected to provide a Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter- Concealment Enabled Radar (TRACER) capability to the United States Army. Under this contract, Lockheed Martin will work with the Army to incorporate low frequency synthetic aperture radar systems into Predator class unmanned aerial vehicles. The total value of the TRACER contract is approximately $40M.

Killer-Bee Tactical UAVs Extend Communications Over-the-Horizon

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research, demonstrated the ability to extend communications range and capability using the Killer Bee tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV), built by Swift Engineering, Inc. ACcording to John Featherston, chief engineer for Northrop Grumman's Beyond line-of-sight TUAV Communications Relay (BTCR) project, the UAV can extend communications over the long distances and across obstacles, such as mountainous or urban terrain, "We have successfully demonstrated that TUAVs can function as airborne communication relays and move information back and forth between tactical and command and control units."

New USAF UAV Wing Tasked With Global Recce & Strike

As unmanned aerial vehicles become more important to the global war on terrorism, the US Air Force has reactivated the 432nd Wing to become the first MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper wing in the Air Force. The new wing is located at Creech Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, Nev. Over the next three years, the Air Force plans on greatly increasing the number of UAVs in the service, which will also mean an increase in personnel to fulfill the Predator and Reaper missions. This will include Airmen across the Total Force to fill pilot, sensor operator and maintenance positions.
Wing commander is Col. Christopher Chambliss. The 432nd Wing was last active in 1994 at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Prior to that, it was a based out of Udorn, Thailand, and was responsible for reconnaissance and tactical missions over Southeast Asia.

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