Newscast: July 20, 2007

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Recent News Analysis:

  • The Jordanian Badr Brigade - Can it Save Abu Mazen's West Bank?
    The Palestinian Fatah movement is eager to project a new image - no longer brutal terrorists - meet the new Fatah - ordinary cops with polished boots and well-pressed uniforms, assisting in the splendidly routine business of maintaining law and order among their own people. They May be able to sell this image abroad but can they hold against their own millitants, from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad?
  • Could Israel's Immunity Gestures Restore Terror in the West Bank?
    Israel would do well to announce it will no longer interfere in Palestinian life. Not in punishing Hamas nor in compensating Fatah; not in unnecessary targeted killings nor in delusional prisoner releases.

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International Receives Orders for 755 more MRAPs

International Military and Government LLC, of Warrenville, Illinois received a fourth production order for 755 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Category I vehicles. The current $414 million contract brings the total orders awarded to IMG to over $1.045 billion, placing it the first place among all MRAP suppliers. The Pentagon expects to receive all vehicles produced by IMG, including 1,971 Category I and 16 heavier (Category II), before February 2008. As the largest commercial truck and mid-range diesel engine manufacturer in North America has the capacity and experience to produce vehicles at a high rate. assures Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar International Corporation. He said the company is working with the U.S. military and its supply base to increase our production capacity at our facilities to meet the aggressive demand and expedite MRAPs to the troops as quickly as possible.

ScanEagle Deployment in Iraq Could Earn Boeing $381 Million

The Pentagon has awarded Boeing with a framework for UAV reconnaissance and surveillance services in support of the US Marine Corps' I and II Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs) deployed in Iraq . The framework order is worth $10 million for services provided till the year's end. This contract includes options for continued services until 2010, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative orders value up to $381.5million. Boeing is providing these services with the ScanEagle tactical UAV system.

FCS Team Gets Green Light To Prepare for Production

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and partner Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Lead Systems Integrator for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, today announced that the US Army has authorized planning for FCS low-rate initial production, including long-lead items for the first FCS capability Spin Out and Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) early production units which will carry the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) planned for fielding in 2010, according to a Congressional mandate.

PVI Introduces a New Armor Protecting Against EFPs

Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) cause 70 percent of the casualties in Iraqi and use of the weapon is spreading in Afghanistan. Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP) are among the most lethal types of IEDs and historically the most difficult to stop. PVI’s MRAP vehicle, the Golan, already stops many EFP threats and the new types of armor will soon offer additional capabilities to protect other military vehicles stand up to EFPs - a new armor type developed by RAFAEL, which is already operational, and the new ShieldAll, developed by PVI.

Predator Combat UAV Patrols to Nearly Double by 2010

The Air Force is seeking the acceleration in fielding of Combat Air Patrols (CAP) maintained by MQ-1 armed Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, from 12 orbits currently operating in Iraq and Southwest Asia to 21 Predator combat air patrols by December 2009. Three additional CAPs will be deployed soon to Iraq, boosting full motion video and rapid strike capability to the Joint Force Commander. Two of these CAPs are expected to be active this summer or by early fall.

US-German Cooperation Focus on Advanced Radar Killer

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) and German defense contractor MBDA LFK-Lenkflugkorpersysteme GmbH will jointly pursue potential international sales of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The cooperation focuses particularly on the interest of the German Ministry of Defense in product improvement of the AARGM and additional derivatives of the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). Italy has already partnered with ATK on the AARGM two years ago. The AARGM program plans a series of additional launches during the SD&D phase and expects to begin Low Rate Initial Production in FY08.

Industry Team Introduce an All-Composite HMMWV

An all-composite HMMWV vehicle was unveiled today by TPI Composites and Armor Holdings. The vehicle prototype was developed under the US Army’s All Composite Military Vehicle program demonstrating the weight saving and durability that can be achieved with tactical trucks built of composites. TPI's all-composite HMMWV saves approximately 900 pounds when compared to a current steel and aluminum up-armored HMMWV that is required to carry the same heavy armor.

US Navy Receives Short-Range Ballistic Missile Interceptor

Raytheon has delivered to the US Navy a Standard Missile 2 Block IV weapon modified to provide 'near term' sea-based terminal protection against short-range ballistic missile threats. The missile will be deployed on the Navy's Aegis-class warships.

Initial Combat Experience Yields Positive Feedback for Land Warrior

Initial Combat Experience Yields Positive Feedback for Land Warrior
Soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division's 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, were the first to take Land Warrior and Mounted Warrior systems into combat. During the training and evaluation at their home base, soldiers were critical about some of the system's performance but after using them in combat they indicated the system is working better in actual combat situations than it did in testing.

Marines to Operate Shadow TUAV

The U.S. Marine Corps will soon get the first shipments of RQ-7A Shadow tactical UAV systems (TUAS), replacing the Israeli Pioneer unmanned aircraft systems, which will be retired after serving the corps for more than 20 years. The Shadow produced by AAI is operating with the U.S. Army units in Iraq for more than four years. More recently in Shadows were also deployed to Afghanistan.

F/A-18 AESA Radar Enters Full Rate Production

The AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar is moving into full rate production following U.S. Navy approval. Following the completion of low rate initial production phase which included 84 radars, Raytheon is ramping up production in anticipation of delivering a total of 437 systems for the Navy in coming years. (Read more about AESA updates at the Paris AIrshow 2007 Coverage)

3,500 MRAPs will Protect US Forces in Iraq by Year's End

The Pentagon plans to deploy about 3,500 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles to Iraq by the year's end, to help protecting US troops battling improvised explosive devices. The armoured trucks, designed with raised chassis and a V-shaped undercarriage are built to withstand the devastating effects of buried IEDs, mines and roadside IEDs. Initially, MRAPs completed in the USA will be air transported to Iraq.

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 vehicle 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 armored 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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