Newscast: July 17, 2007

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Recent News Analysis:

  • The Zaidi Shi'a in Yemen - Iran's Next Objective to Reach the Horn of Africa?
    Recent terrorist suicide attack in Yemen, the first of its kind against Western tourists, demonstrated Al-Qaeda ever-present threat in this impoverished nation despite, sofar futile efforts to crush the terrorists. But there is much more in stake than Al Qaeda's build-up in Yemen. United States intelligence suspected that a Shi'ite 2004 rebellion in the remote mountains of northwest Yemen has created suspicions that Iran may be attempting to open a new anti-American front to weaken U.S. efforts in the region.
  • Former Mossad Agent Meets Mysterious Death in London
    Another mystery death occurred last Wednesday in downtown London, when Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian billionaire and son-in-law of the late President Nasser, was found dead outside his flat in the posh Carlton Terrace in Central London. According to Scotland Yard investigating, no suicide note has sofar been discovered and Police are thus treating his death as "unexplained".

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BAE Systems' LORD - an Aluminum Based Counter-RPG Bar-Armor

BAE Systems developed a lightweight, modular bar-armor system designed to protect armored vehicles from attack by RPGs. The US Army has already tested the armor and expressed interest in procuring armor kits for the entire RG31 and RG31A1 fleet. It also is a candidate for use on the DoD's mine-resistant, ambush-protected family of vehicles.

Pentagon Opts for Bigger RG-33s

BAE Systems Land & Armaments received US$22 million in addition to their recently awarded MRAP to change vehicle type from the basic Category I (4x4) originally ordered into larger and heavier Category II (6x6 versions). The order refers to 239 MRAP vehicles scheduled for delivery within 12 months (July 2008). The MRAP version produced by BAE Systems is designated RG-33.

US Navy Exercises Options for more CREW Counter IED Jammers

The US Navy is exercising options to buy 3,000 additional vehicle-mounted, Counter- Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (CREW) systems worth about US$210 million, to be produced by EDO Communications & Countermeasures Systems. Systems delivery is expected to complete by August 2008. In April this year EDO received the initial $88 million order for 1,100 Crew 2.1 systems. these Spiral 2.1 CREW systems are vehicle mounted electronic jammers designed to prevent the initiation of RCIED. The Vehicle Mounted CREW system us one element of the DoD's Joint Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare program.

IMI Introduces an "Urban Fighter" M-113

IMI is introducing a modernized M-113 called "Urban Fighter" designed specifically for low-intensity operations such as stability and sustainment in urban areas. The prototype vehicle designated "Urban Fighter" was delivered to the Israel Defense Forces where it will be tested to evaluate its suitability to support operations in the west bank area. IMI expects the IDF to decide on potential procurements after the tests completion. The modification transforms the M-113 (Gavin) from a troop carrier to more versatile patrol vehicle, far better equipped to meet modern threats including roadside improvised explosive devices (RSIED) of the latest types, including Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) and Explosively Formed Fragments (EFF) as well as from RPGs. Large, transparent armor windows enable effective observation, driving and situational awareness as well as counterfire from within the vehicle. According to IMI, an "Urban Fighter" could be rolled out of the upgrading line within few weeks and at tenth of the price currently paid for less protected MRAP.

Successful Trial for the Russian Triumf S-400 SAM

Last week the Russian Air Force successfully tested the new S-400 Triumpf air defense missile system. The long range anti-aircraft / anti-missile system is capable of intercepting targets considered 'difficult' for contemporary air defense systems, including 'stealth' aircraft and long-range, high flying targets such as the early warning and control (AWACS) platforms. Unlike its predecessor (the S-300), the Triumf is equipped with a homing warheads and therefore, can be employed beyond the range of its guidance radar (up to 400 km). The Triumf missile is capable of intercepting medium range (3,500km) ballistic missiles and is expected to be fielded by 2015 defending strategic locations in Russia, including Moscow.

India, Israel to Jointly Develop Medium-Range Surface/Air Missile

India and Israel agreed to jointly develop a new long range, land-based air defense system to replace the aging Pechora (SA-3 GOA) missiles currently in service with the Indian Air Force. Covering a range of 70 km, the new missile will almost double the range of the 60km vertically launched Barak 8 shipborne missile (also known as Barak NG) currently being developed for the Indian and Israeli Navies under a US$480 million five year program launched in early 2006. The new system is expected to streamline with the original Barak 8 schedule, adding about $300 million to the program development cost. In its decision last week the Indian Government earmarked a total funding of about Rs10,000 crore (about US$2.5 billion) for the medium range surface-to-air missiles (MR-SAM) project.

Russia Plans Six Carrier Battlegroups by 2025

By the year 2025 Russia plans to increase its ocean going fleet size to a total of 300 battleships, exceeding the level it maintained during the 'cold war'. The Russian Navy plans to maintain six battlegroups, each consisting of an aircraft carrier and various combat support and auxiliary ships. Three attack groups are to be based in the Northern Fleet with three others in the Pacific Fleet. This expansion will address Russia's strategic aspirations especially its territorial demands in the melting arctic zone.

Armor Holdings to Supply 1,170 'Caiman' FMTV based MRAPs

Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Systems, a subsidiary of BAE Systems' Armor Holdings Inc. will supply the US Marine Corps 1,170 'Caiman' FMTV based Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles under a second order worth over half a billion US$ ($518 million) firm-fixed-priced delivery order including 1,154 4x4 Category I vehicles and 16 Category II (6x6) vehicles to be delivered by February 2008. The Caiman vehicle is based on Stewart Stevenson's FMTV truck chasis, applied with bullet proof armor and IED protection to fulfil the MRAP mission.


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