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Newscast: November 5, 2007

Events / Calendar / News / Analysis / Defense Markets / Jobs


Recent News Analysis:

  • Annapolis 2007: Roadmap into a Dangerous Dead-End
    Despite the happy faces portrayed in official photo opportunities on Condoleezza Rice's last visit, the Bush sponsored Annapolis summit is doomed to failure. Marc Otte, the European Union's (EU) Special Representative to the Middle East Process warns that failure to advance the peace process at next month's conference in Annapolis could trigger worse violence than the second intifada that followed the failed Camp David talks in 2000.
  • What is really behind Putin's unprecedented hop to Tehran? New!
    Is it only a coincidence that Israel's Prime minister Ehud Olmert rushed to Moscow two days after the Russian president meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is it only an attempt to ease Israel's growing concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions? The Russian should be concerned, after the alleged failure of their top notch air defenses in Syria.

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November 2007 - planned events:

DARPA Urban Grand Challenge, Nov. 3, 2007 - Victorville, CA USA
UV North America 2007, Nov. 6-7, 2007 - San Diego, CA, USA
Heli-Power 2007, Nov. 7-8, 2007 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Defense Security 2007, Nov. 7-10, 2007 - Bangkok, Thailand
Aviation Nation 2007, Nov. 7-10, 2007 - Las vegas, NV, USA
Dubai Air Show 2007, Nov. 11-15, 2007- Dubai
Light Armored Vehicles Summit, Nov. 13-15, 2007 -Adelphi, MD. USA
Expomil 2007, Nov. 20-23, 2007 - Bucharest, Romania
IDGA's Helicon 07, Nov. 26-28, 2007 - Huntsville, AL, USA
I/ITSEC (Training & simulation), Nov 26-29, 2007 - Orlando, FL, USA
Central European Aerospace, Nov. 28 - Dec 1, 2007 - Budapest, Hungary

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SCAR Move into Full Rate Production

FN Herstal is expected to move the Special Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) weapon into full rate production in preparation for serial orders from the US Special Operations Command under a 10-year contract awarded in 2004. To date the company produced the rifles in low rate production, fulfilling preliminary orders worth a total US$11 million for initial operational test and evaluation of the new rifles.



Metal Storm, iRobot Pursue Scalable Force Response for Robots

Australian based Metal Storm (NASDAQ: MTSX) (ASX: MST) and US based iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT). have signed Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in joint pursuit of opportunities within the global defense and security sectors. At the AUSA exhibition last month, the two companies unveiled a model of the Warrior heavy robot from iRobot, carrying a Redback weapon station with four MetalStrom electrically initiated high speed projectile launchers. Peter D. Faulkner, senior vice president and general manager for Metal Storm's U.S. Operations. "Together, we stand to shape a revolution by combining robot platforms with a scalable force response and increased mission capability including the defeat of IEDs."


Carnegie Mellon University team Wins DARPA's Urban Challenge

The Tatran Racing Team from the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) won the Urban Challenge competition and grabbed the $2 million first prize this weekend. The race was organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Stanford University took second place, followed by Virginia Tech which came third. The six hour race tested driverless vehicles driving autonomously on terrain representing suburban roads at the former George Air Force Base in Oro Grande, California. The autonomous vehicles had to obey traffic laws, avoiding obstacles and collisions with other robots while fulfill their tasks. Six of 11 finalists crossed the finish line including teams from MIT, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania.



Russia, Saudi Arabia Finalize a Multi-Billion Arms Deal

Saudi Arabia and Russia have finalized an agreement to supply more than 150 Russian-made Mi-35 Hind and Mi-17 Hip helicopters to Saudi Arabia. The deal, expected to be worth over $2.2 billion. Riyad favored the Russian offer over French proposals to supply 148 helicopters to the kingdom - reports the French based Defense Aerospace publication. According to the magazine, the deal signed last month in Riyad, reflects the shift of power from Saudi Arabia’s decision to retain Russia as a major arms supplier is the result of recent policy decisions made by King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, particularly his decision to take direct control of major arms purchases, which were previously largely the domain of the defense and aviation ministry headed by Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Crown Prince and deputy prime minister who is also Abdallah’s half-brother. (read the full article at Defense Aerospace)



Iran Expects to Receive 24 Chinese J-10 Fighters by 2010

Iran is buying two squadrons of J-10, China's most advanced strike fighter. The deal worth over US$1 billion will include 24 aircraft. The J-10 follows the design of the Lavi developed at Israel Aerospace Industries in the late 1980s. The development was aborted under US pressure and according to press reports the plans may have leaked to China and provided the foundation for the J-1 design. The J-10 is powered by a single AL-31FN engine, an upgraded version of the Russian Saturn AL-31F turbofan (two such engines power the Su-27 Flanker). Integration of an indigenous engine (known as WS-10A Taihang) is currently underway to equip three squadrons (36 aircraft) of J-10 aircraft destined to Pakistan. The maximum range of the J-10, when equipped with maximum internal and external fuel is 2,940 km., some 800 km beyond the reach of Iran's current MiG-29s. Theoretically, Iranian J-10s will have the range to attack targets in Israel.


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