27 February 2011

General Dynamics Delivers EAGLE Vehicles for Australian Army Verification and Validation

ADELAIDE, SA, Australia – General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia today delivered two EAGLE 4x4 Light Protected Vehicles to the Army Proving Ground at Monegeetta in Victoria in support of the Australian Army’s LAND 121 requirement for a deployable, light-protected vehicle fleet. The vehicles will be evaluated by Defence specialists in the coming weeks as part of a proposal to build and support a domestically manufactured armoured vehicle fleet, as an alternative to importing vehicles. Currently in service with several European armies, the EAGLE vehicle provides a combat-proven, low-risk system that delivers improved soldier protection, mobility and payload.

General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia has harnessed the innovation, skills, technology and facilities of General Dynamics’ global organization to propose a superior vehicle system and long term sustainment services that are a powerful match to the Commonwealth’s requirements for advanced technical performance and Australian content. The flexible design of the General Dynamics EAGLE vehicle provides soldiers with a platform that can be configured for a variety of additional roles such as the special forces and tactical training.

Gary Stewart, Managing Director of General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia, stated, “A locally manufactured and supported EAGLE vehicle represents a low-risk, high-capability option for the Australian Army. There is no substitute for operational experience when proving the credibility of an armoured vehicle system, and EAGLE vehicles are saving lives today for United Nations forces in Afghanistan.”

He added, “The other exciting element of this program is the real opportunity for Australian industry to participate in General Dynamics’ global supply chain. We look forward to engaging with Australian companies as part of our design, manufacturing and sustainment transfer initiatives for this program.”

Participation in Land 121 Phase 4 during the production and sustainment phases will create over 200 Australian vehicle-manufacturing jobs. It also will allow Australian suppliers to enter General Dynamics’ global supply chain, which has been responsible for the delivery of approximately 15,000 military vehicles, potentially creating export opportunities for Australian industry.

General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia has a proud heritage of delivering Australian manufactured turrets and weapon mounts for the Australian Defence Force and export markets, as well as supporting the Australian Defence Force’s fleet of ASLAV wheeled armoured vehicles and M1A1SA tanks. General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia is a business unit of General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada of London, Ontario, Canada. More information is available at http://www.gdlsaustralia.com/.

General Dynamics Australia

USA: Essex ARG Arrives in Cambodia for Maritime Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia - The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrive off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia for Maritime Exercise (MAREX) 11 Feb. 26.

MAREX 11 is a theater security cooperation visit designed to enhance interoperability and improve capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

“The U. S. Navy is always honored to have the opportunity to visit the Kingdom of Cambodia,” said Capt. Bradley Lee, commodore, Amphibious Squadron (CPR) 11. “Visits such as this help to further strengthen the relationship between our two governments.”

This port visit provides USS Essex (LHD 2) crew members a chance to serve as goodwill ambassadors for the U.S., promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. It also demonstrates commitment to regional partnerships and fosters growing relationships with the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The ARG will embark 60 RCAF personnel to introduce them to humanitarian assistance disaster relief procedures and Essex shipboard operations.

“Essex will conduct shipboard operations such as damage control, navigation and engineering operations with the Royal Cambodian Navy,” said Lt. Justin Jomoto, CPR 11 future operations officer. “By teaching and showing their navy what we do, we give them a perspective of how another navy operates.”

Beachmaster Unit 1 and Assault Craft Unit 1 will be conducting a beach survey to make sure the beach is suitable for landing craft to storm the beach.

ARG Sailors will conduct two community service projects, one at the Goodwill School and the other at Villiage d’enfant de Sihanoukville, an orphanage in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The Sailors will be able to read and play with the kids.

“Cambodia has also demonstrated a willingness to cooperate closely on counterterrorism, peacekeeping, disaster response, and medical and health related activities,” said Lee.

The 31st MEU medical team and Cambodian medical personnel will provide primary care services, dental care, optometry and ophthalmology for three days at the Al-Mujarharine Islamic Center in Kampong Som. They will be treating medical problems such as hypertension, skin infection, dental problems, vision problems, asthma and more.

Marines will also conduct jungle warfare training, aviation demonstrations, visit, board, search and seizure training while in Cambodia.

Towards the end of the exercise, Essex ARG and 31st MEU will participate in a sports day with local Cambodian citizens and play soccer and volleyball.

Essex ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9), amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) and guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106).

The Essex ARG reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

US Pacific Fleet

26 February 2011

USS Reuben James Hosts Reception in Jakarta

By Ensign Ben Dalton, USS Reuben James Public Affairs

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) hosted 119 distinguished visitors and dignitaries from Indonesia and the surrounding region during a reception on Feb. 23.

Guests included members of U.S. House of Representatives: David Dreier (R-CA 26), Lois Capps (D-CA 23), Sam Farr (D-CA 17), Jim McDermott (D-WA 7) and David Price (D-NC 4).

In addition to U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Affairs Scot Marciel; Indonesian Navy Western Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Hari Bowo; Commander, Main Naval Base III of Indonesia, Brig. Gen. Arief Suherman; and Indonesian Deputy Assistant to Naval Chief of Staff, Commodore Agus Heryana.

U.S. Navy flag officers Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73, Rear Adm. Ron Horton, the Attending Physician for the U.S. Congress and United States Supreme Court, Rear Adm. Brian P. Monahan; and Commander, Submarine Group 7 and Task Force (CTF) 74, Rear Adm. David M. Thomas Jr. also attended.

The reception took place on the ship’s flight deck, as guests met members of the crew and toured Reuben James’ spaces.

Marciel and Bowo addressed the attendees, expressing their gratitude to Reuben James’ Commanding Officer Cmdr. David E. Miller, for the ship’s visit to Jakarta and hospitality during the port visit. “It is very rare that the ship’s schedule aligns with a congressional delegation visit,” Miller said. “The unique opportunity of hosting such a broad range of both U. S. and Indonesian military and governmental figures strengthens our country’s ties with Indonesia and furthers our common goal of theater security cooperation in Southeast Asia.”

Reuben James’ four-day visit to Jakarta was filled with events designed to strengthen military-to-military relations with the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut (Indonesian Navy), and build bonds with Indonesian government officials and the local population.

During the port call, hundreds of distinguished guests, students, military cadets and local citizens toured the ship.

“Presenting our ship and its mission while in Jakarta was extremely rewarding,” Lt.j.g. Cole Smith, Reuben James’ damage control assistant said. “Everyone from congressmen to students were interested in our jobs, proving that our efforts in this area can provide hope and change to our volatile world.”

Sailors from Reuben James met with students from the Kenang-Kenan Secondary School during a community service project.

“It was a privilege to visit their school, interact with the students, and learn about their culture,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Justin Custer.

Reuben James is currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility on deployment to promote peace, stability in the region, strengthen interoperability with allied countries sharing common interests of maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian and disaster assistance cooperation.

US Pacific Fleet

Korea and Indonesia deepen military ties

Korean Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin received Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro on Feb. 15 and discussed ways to boost military exchanges, including arms industry cooperation.

Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, left, and his counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro walk toward
a meeting room in the Defense Ministry in Seoul on Feb. 15 to discuss military exchanges.

Yusgiantoro, as a leader of special envoy team for defense exchange, visited Korea on Feb. 14 to discuss strategic measures to deepen arms cooperation with Kim.

On Feb. 14, the head of Defense Acquisition Program Administration of Korea and Defense Vice Minister of Indonesia held talks for measures to reinforce long-term and comprehensive arms trade.

Korea and Indonesia have been working hard to deepen military ties by holding minister-level talks such as during the Shangri-La dialogue held in Singapore in June last year, former Minister Kim Tae-young's official visit to Indonesia in August last year and the Asean Defense Ministers Meeting Plus in Vietnam in October last year.

Yusgiantoro took office as the Defense Minister of Indonesia since 2009.

South Korea MoD

Lockheed Martin Flies First Production F-35 Stealth Fighter

FORT WORTH, Texas, February 25th, 2011 -- The first production model of the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II made its inaugural flight today in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Air Force this spring. The jet will head to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to support developmental testing shortly after the Air Force takes delivery.

“The aircraft was rock-solid from takeoff to landing, and successfully completed all the tests we put it through during the flight,” said Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Bill Gigliotti. “The Air Force is getting a great jet that represents a huge leap in capability, and we’re looking forward to getting it into the hands of the service pilots in just a few more weeks.”

During the flight, the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A variant, known as AF-6, underwent basic flight maneuvering and engine tests. Test Pilot Gigliotti took off from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at 3:05 p.m. CST and landed at 4:05 p.m. The jet will continue flight tests in Fort Worth for about a month before it is accepted by the Air Force.

The F-35A CTOL variant – designed to meet U.S. Air Force requirements – is also the primary export version of the Lightning II. The air forces of Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Israel will employ the F-35A.

Deliveries of the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant to the U.S. Marine Corps also begin this year, while deliveries of the F-35C carrier variant to the U.S. Navy start in 2012. Seventeen F-35s have entered testing since December 2006, and have logged more than 650 flights and numerous ground tests.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

Lockheed Martin

Northrop Grumman Showcases Key Capabilities at Australian International Air Show

CANBERRA, Australian Capital Territory – Feb. 25, 2011 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will highlight a wide range of its key capabilities and programmes at the Australian International Air Show, including unmanned aircraft systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), airborne early warning and control systems, fire control radars and infrared countermeasures.

The air show takes place at Avalon near Geelong, Victoria from 1-6 March. Northrop Grumman's exhibit in the U.S. pavilion is at 3C 12 in Hall C and the company's business centre is located at N11. In addition, a full-scale, reconfigurable Global Hawk can be seen in the outside display area at EN-E3.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Global Hawk's first non-stop international flight from Edwards Air Force Base in California to RAAF Edinburgh near Adelaide.

"The Australian Air Show provides an excellent opportunity for Northrop Grumman to meet with the Australian Defence Force, regional customers, and partners to discuss how best to respond to current and emerging needs," said John Brooks, president of Northrop Grumman International Inc. and vice president of business development for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Our ISR and security capabilities across the company are well matched to meeting the region's growing defence and security requirements."

Northrop Grumman's airborne surveillance capability will be highlighted with models of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS), the lighter than air Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) and Fire Scout, the vertical unmanned aircraft system (VUAS) multi-role UAV on display.

"BAMS, based on our proven Global Hawk platform, is ideal for Australia. It's a transformational capability that has the speed and endurance to watch over Australia's vast land and maritime jurisdictions. Global Hawk would also make an ideal national security asset, performing a wide array of civilian roles, such as response to natural disasters, bushfires, environmental monitoring and drug interdiction in addition to its very considerable military tasking," said Brooks.

The MQ-4C BAMS UAS, which recently completed its Critical Design Review, is based on a maritime derivative of the combat-proven RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft with sensors, and is a multi-mission maritime ISR system that will provide a continuous on-station presence while conducting open-ocean and littoral surveillance of targets. Construction of the first BAMS UAS aircraft began in September 2010.

The company will present scale models of the entire family of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fire control radars, including the AN/APG-81 radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. As the central combat sensor aboard the F-35, the AN/APG-81 represents the most advanced fighter AESA in the world, providing unprecedented air-to-air, air-to-ground and high-resolution synthetic aperture radar images for the war fighter.

Northrop Grumman is developing up to three LEMV long endurance, lighter than air hybrid airship systems for the U.S. Army. This system is designed to be optionally manned, providing the flexibility to operate with or without a crew on board and sustain altitudes of 20,000 feet for a three-week period, to provide persistent ISR capability. Since the contract award in June 2010, the LEMV programme recently completed the fourth major milestone – Critical Design Review. Final testing of the first LEMV is planned for the end of 2011.

The MQ-8B Fire Scout is designed to accommodate a variety of sensor payloads to provide unprecedented situational awareness and precision targeting support. The U.S. Navy deployed a two-aircraft system on board the USS Halyburton (FFG-40) in January – Fire Scout's second at-sea deployment. A three-aircraft, land-based system will also support U.S. Central Command in Afghanistan early this year. The first phase of testing was conducted on board the Navy's littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) in November, a critical step in integrating Fire Scout on both variants of the LCS.

Highlighted in the exhibit will be Northrop Grumman's role in the EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft, a derivative of the combat-proven, two-seat F/A-18 Hornet. Northrop Grumman is the principal subcontractor to Boeing and is responsible for design and production of the shipset – the centre/aft fuselage section, twin vertical tails and all associated subsystems – for the single-seat F/A-18E, the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet, as well as for the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft. To date, the company has delivered 500 Super Hornet and Growler shipsets.

Other programmes available for viewing will be large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) for transport and refueling aircraft. The LAIRCM system is an active countermeasure that defeats the threat missile guidance system by directing a high-intensity modulated laser beam into the missile seeker. In addition, the LAIRCM system automatically counters advanced IR missile systems with no action required by the crew. The pilot will simply be informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed.

Also present will be a full scale model and video of STARLite, a lightweight wide area surveillance radar used for supporting tactical operations. STARLite features synthetic aperture radar (SAR), ground moving target indicator (GMTI) and dismount moving target indicator (DMTI) capabilities for unmanned and manned aerial vehicle applications.

Also highlighted will be the international version of the Joint Mission Planning System (i-JMPS) software; the geospatial application Trinidad, a low-cost, low-risk approach to providing high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imaging for increased ISR capability; and the Expeditionary Tactical Automated Security System ExTASS, an integrated airfield and asset protection solution for force protection missions.

Northrop Grumman has well-established relationships with Australia and other countries in the region, where it has been supporting a variety of both defence and civil programmes for more than 20 years. Northrop Grumman is a key subcontractor for the Wedgetail AEW&C, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the FA/18 Super Hornet programmes.

Northrop Grumman has separate teaming arrangements with Australian companies CEA Technologies and Electro Optic Systems (EOS). CEA is providing logistics support for Northrop Grumman's MESA radar on Wedgetail, and in addition Northrop Grumman and CEA are collaborating to develop an advanced air traffic management system. Northrop Grumman is working with EOS to develop new technologies for space debris tracking.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

Northrop Grumman

25 February 2011

Force Protection Delivers Two Ocelot Vehicles to the Commonwealth of Australia

Author: Force Protection, Inc.
Publisher: Force Protection, Inc.
Date: 02/23/2011

Ladson, SC (February 23, 2010) -- Force Protection Australasia Pty Ltd., a Force Protection Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) group company, today announced the delivery of two variants of the Ocelot protected light mobility vehicle (PMV-L) to the Commonwealth of Australia for the next phase of evaluation as part of the Land 121 Phase 4 program. Force Protection has handed over one each of its utility and command variants at the Monegeetta Proving Grounds in Victoria.

Force Protection Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Moody, said the delivery of the first vehicles to the Commonwealth for verification and validation is a significant step in the bidding process. “We’re very confident our design and manufacturing team have produced the most highly protected and agile vehicle of its size and weight available on today’s market. Every Ocelot has a v-shaped spine running the length of the vehicle, which protects the occupants and also its critical components from mine and blast threats.”

Mr. Moody continued: “On top of the v-spine is an integrated pod which can be configured for a variety of mission roles, such as the utility and command variants we have delivered today, plus a protected patrol variant and even a special weapons variant. One of the most attractive aspects of the vehicle, on top of its survivability levels which protect the crew and mission systems, is its unique modular construction which means that pods can easily be changed in theatre to suit the requirements of each mission.”

“Local suppliers and South Australian Government representatives have been extremely positive about working with us to manufacture the Ocelot in Australia, and we know we can build a world class vehicle utilizing the best of Australian military and automotive manufacturing expertise and know-how.”

Mr Moody further commented that Force Protection is also exhibiting a third Ocelot vehicle at next week’s Avalon 2011 Australian International Air Show, as part of the Landef exhibition.

“A vehicle mobility test track will be set up as part of Landef at the Avalon Airshow, and we’re looking forward to showing the defence industry and the public the excellent capabilities and agility of the Ocelot,” Mr Moody concluded.

Force Protection is one of three companies selected for consideration to undertake the next phase of the Land 121 Phase 4 Manufactured and Supported in Australia (MSA) program, with the contract for the future production of up to 1300 vehicles valued at more than $A1 billion by the Australian Government. The Ocelot has already proven its worth when Force Protection was recently contracted by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply Ocelot for the MoD’s urgent operational requirement for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle program (LPPV).

In late 2010, Force Protection announced it had reached agreement with the South Australian Government to manufacture and support its Ocelot vehicle in Adelaide, if it is successful in securing the Land 121 Phase 4 production contract.

See Ocelot on display at the Avalon Arena mobility track at Avalon International Airshow, March 1-6, 2011, or visit Force Protection’s stand in Hall C.

About Force Protection, Inc.

Force Protection, Inc. is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of survivability solutions, including blast- and ballistic-protected wheeled vehicles currently deployed by the U.S. military and its allies to support armed forces and security personnel in conflict zones. The Company’s specialty vehicles, including the Buffalo, Cougar, Ocelot and related variants, are designed specifically for reconnaissance and urban operations and to protect their occupants from landmines, hostile fire, and improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”, commonly referred to as roadside bombs). Complementing these efforts, the Company is designing, developing and marketing the JAMMA, a new vehicle platform that provides increased modularity, transportability, speed, and mobility. The Company also develops, manufactures, tests, delivers and supports products and services aimed at further enhancing the survivability of users against additional threats. In addition, the Company provides long-term life cycle support services of its vehicles that involve development of technical data packages, supply of spares, field and depot maintenance activities, assignment of skilled field service representatives, and advanced on and off-road driver and maintenance training programs. For more information on Force Protection and its products and services, visit http://www.forceprotection.net/.

Hawkei prototypes delivered to Australia’s Department of Defence for testing

24 February 2011

Thales Australia has delivered two prototypes of its ground-breaking Hawkei vehicle to Australia’s Department of Defence.

The vehicles are being submitted for verification and validation under the Department’s LAND 121 Phase 4  program, which will replace part of the Army’s fleet of Land Rovers with light protected mobility vehicles.

Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia’s CEO, said the delivery marked a significant chapter in a rapid development program that had made full use of the company’s protected mobility expertise.

“The Hawkei is an impressive vehicle that has been developed to meet the specific operational requirements of the Australian Defence Force,” he said.

“We have leveraged the experience gained on the highly successful Bushmaster program, and teamed with world-class partners including Plasan, Boeing Defence Australia and the PAC Group, to deliver a unique, innovative, and high performance vehicle to the Commonwealth.

"The speed the Hawkei team has demonstrated to develop these prototypes shows that we have the capability to manufacture and deliver this cost-effective and versatile vehicle in response to urgent requirements, as Australia's only genuinely local manufacturer of protected mobility vehicles.”

The Hawkei is characterised by a large protected interior space for crew, equipment and stores; four doors for easy access; Bushmaster levels of blast and ballistic protection; advanced technology for rapid up-armouring in the field; and straightforward reconfiguration between variants.


EADS North America statement concerning U.S. Air Force Tanker selection

Arlington, Virginia24 February 2011

EADS North America officials today expressed disappointment and concern over the announcement by the U.S. Air Force that it had selected a high-risk, concept aircraft over the proven, more capable KC-45 for the nation’s next aerial refueling tanker.

“This is certainly a disappointing turn of events, and we look forward to discussing with the Air Force how it arrived at this conclusion,” said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “For seven years our goal has been to provide the greatest capability to our men and women in uniform, and to create American jobs by building the KC-45 here in the U.S. We remain committed to those objectives.”

If selected, EADS North America had committed to build the KC-45 at a new production facility in Mobile, Alabama, with a U.S. supplier base of nearly a thousand American companies.

“With a program of such complexity, our review of today’s decision will take some time,” Crosby said. “There are more than 48,000 Americans who are eager to build the KC-45 here in the U.S., and we owe it to them to conduct a thorough analysis.”

“Though we had hoped for a different outcome, it’s important to remember that this is one business opportunity among many for EADS in the United States,” said Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS North America. “We have exceptional technology and highly capable platforms that will be invaluable to U.S. military forces, now and in the future. We have learned much through this process, developed a world-class organization in the U.S. and have earned the respect of the Department of Defense. Our commitment to our U.S. customers is stronger than ever.”

To learn more about the KC-45 and the more than 48,000 American jobs it will create or support, visit www.kc-45now.com.

About EADS North America

EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

About EADS

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2009, the Group - comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.

Lockheed Martin Solicits for Australian Industry Partnership on MH-60R Helicopter

Canberra, Australia, February 25th, 2011 -- Lockheed Martin Corporation [NYSE: LMT] is expanding its base of potential suppliers for the MH-60R helicopter in Australia, issuing a request for information from potential suppliers of critical pieces of aircraft hardware.

Under the auspices of a recently signed Global Supply Chain (GSC) Deed, Lockheed Martin will establish long-term partnerships by offering Australian companies new opportunities to compete for subcontracts on a full range of Lockheed Martin products and services.

Manufacture of the MH-60R weapons pylons is one of the first opportunities for Australian industry to bid on a project under the GSC Deed. The pylons, which are located on either side of the aircraft, are designed to carry the missiles and torpedoes the MH-60R uses for Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare missions.

“Growth in orders for the MH-60R has resulted in an urgent need for an expanded supply base,  and Australian industry has a depth of capability that would be an ideal supplement to our dedicated supplier base,” said George Barton, Lockheed Martin’s director of Naval Helicopter Programs.

The request for information asks potential bidders for cost estimates on varying quantities of pylons, which would include Lockheed Martin’s forecasted domestic demand as well as supply for potential Foreign Military Sales customers through 2018. The Royal Australian Navy is one of those potential customers. The MH-60R is being offered for the country’s Air 9000 Phase 8 competition. Team Romeo—comprising Lockheed Martin and airframe manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., General Electric, Raytheon and CAE—is poised to provide 24 multi-mission MH-60R, or “Romeo,” aircraft to Australia.

The source selection process for the MH-60R pylons is expected to conclude by the end of 2011.   Lockheed Martin is also considering other prospective GSC and Australia Industrial Capability opportunities on the Air 9000 Phase 8 and other programs.

Lockheed Martin

Textron Marine & Land Systems Grants Cadillac Gage Support License to NAPCO International

NEW ORLEANS & HOPKINS, Minn., Feb 24, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Textron Marine & Land Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today announced that it has granted a license to NAPCO International to provide commercial parts and services in support of Textron Marine & Land Systems' legacy Cadillac Gage light and medium vehicle product line.

With this license in place, NAPCO will have Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technical data and support so that they can directly provide service to more than 5,000 Cadillac Gage vehicles in use throughout the world.

"NAPCO's core competency of supporting legacy military hardware internationally makes them a perfect fit for supporting the Cadillac Gage brand of military vehicles," said Textron Marine & Land Systems Vice President of Land Systems Program Management and Life Cycle Support, Mike Gelpi. "Their experience, rapid response time and low cost make this license a true win for all Cadillac Gage customers."

Textron acquired Cadillac Gage in 1986, and in 1994, Cadillac Cage became part of Textron Marine & Land Systems. The company has successfully produced highly mobile and survivable armored vehicle platforms such as the V-100, V-150 Commando, V-300, and Stingray(R) tank. Today, Textron Marine & Land Systems actively produces the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (ASV), which is currently used by the U.S. Army in operations including the Military Police, convoy protection, as well as Field Artillery Combat Observation and Lasing Teams (COLT) with the M-1200 ASV variant. ASV variants are also being operated by the military and police forces of Iraq, Colombia and Bulgaria.

"Providing new and aftermarket military vehicle components and services worldwide is our business," said NAPCO International President Theunis Botha. "We are confident in our ability to support and sustain the Cadillac Gage product line and we remain committed to providing comprehensive strategic business solutions to our customers, existing and new."

"This license further strengthens the outstanding and comprehensive aftermarket support our customers receive," said Textron Marine & Land Systems General Manager Tom Walmsley. "Cadillac Gage vehicles have successfully filled a wide range of military mission roles for countries around the globe, and will continue to do so with quality aftermarket support."

Posted because so many Asian countries use these vehicles.


Brunei Delegation Visits Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Tuesday 22 February 2011 - In an effort to strengthen bilateral ties between US and Brunei officials, United States Embassy's Charge d'Affaires, Mr Alexander L Barrasso invited a Brunei delegation yesterday aboard US aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, currently on deployment at the South China Sea.

US Embassy's Military Attaché Colonel, Inger M Nilsson along with Regional Security Officer Mr Francis Carroll led Brunei's Deputy Minister of Defence Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Dato Paduka Hj Shofry Hj Abd Ghafor and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pengiran Datin Paduka Hajah Masrainah bte Pengiran Haji Ahmad as well as senior officers from RBAF and local media representatives on the flight and a tour of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

In a press statement, Mr Barrasso said, "We are committed to strengthen bilateral ties and take every opportunity to engage in all areas, especially economic, defence and education. We are especially pleased to host Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa and other distinguished visitors and to provide them with this unique experience."

Upon arrival at the USS Abraham Lincoln, the delegation was welcomed by Rear Admiral Guadagnini. The group was then treated to an up-close view of flight operations and observing aircraft launches from the flight deck and the control centre.

During the tour, the visitors also had the opportunity to interact with sailors during the course of normal ship operations. The group also experienced the thrill of landing and launching from the aircraft carrier.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is in the US 7th Fleet's area of responsibility as part of a routine deployment to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) is America's fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship was named in honour of the 16th president of the US and is the second ship in the US Navy to bear his name.

USA: Air Force announces next tanker aircraft

by Capt. Chris Sukach
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

2/24/2011 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force and Defense Department officials announced the award of an engineering and manufacturing development contract valued at more than $3.5 billion for the KC-46A aerial refueler to The Boeing Company today.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said in the briefing that many factors were evaluated during the tanker selection process.

"This selection process determined whether or not the proposals demonstrated the ability of an offerer to deliver all 372 mandatory requirements and whether non-mandatory capabilities would be addressed," said Secretary Donley, emphasizing that both offerers met the mandatory requirements. "It also took into account fleet mission effectiveness in wartime, and life cycle costs as embodied in fuel efficiency and military construction costs."

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn noted the "competition favored no one except the taxpayer and the warfighter."

The Air Force-led selection effort included experts from the larger DOD community, including staff from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and independent review teams during each step of the process.

The thorough and transparent selection process was marked by continual dialogue with offerers to ensure the Air Force had a clear understanding of their proposals and the companies clearly understood the service's analysis of their offers, said Secretary Donley.

Secretary Donley also highlighted that the warfighter was in charge of stating the requirements for the tanker, and that meeting those requirements enables the aircraft to go to war on day one.

"General Schwartz and I are confident in the fact that when our young pilots, boom operators and maintainers receive this aircraft, they will have the tools they need to be successful at what we ask them to do," the secretary added.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz shared the secretary's sentiment.

"I'm pleased with how this has produced an outcome after an exhaustive effort by hundreds of the department's very best people, that we will get about delivering the capability that's long overdue," General Schwartz said.

While the focus of the briefing was on the award of the contract, Secretary Donley addressed basing considerations for the aircraft, stating that those decisions involve other organizations and will take place over the next couple of years.

Secretary Donley also reiterated the service's commitment to provide quality equipment to the warfighter.

"To the men and women of our Air Force, today's announcement represents a long-overdue start to a much-needed program," Secretary Donley said. "Your Air Force leadership, supported by Dr. (Ashton) Carter and others throughout the Department of Defense, is determined to see this through, and we will stand behind this work."

Air Force and DOD officials complemented both offerers and thanked congressional oversight committees and their staffs for working with the department during the contract process that served the warfighter and taxpayers well.

The program expects to deliver the first 18 aircraft by 2017.

US Air Force

Exercise Iron Fist with Japan underway

By Cpl. Elyssa Quesada, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

SAN DIEGO - Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and soldiers with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force embarked USS Makin Island to participate in the at sea portion of Exercise Iron Fist Feb. 23.

The troops are participating in the bilateral training exercise to strengthen the bond between U.S. and Japanese militaries.

“We have a lot of good training going on and I think each side is going to get something out of it,” said Gunnery Sgt. Bryant A. Berdugo, the unit’s logistics chief, from Bellport, Long Island, N.Y.

Throughout the week and a half at sea period, the Marines, sailors and soldiers will conduct ship-to-shore movements and perform command and control afloat in order to improve their amphibious capabilities.

“I’m so excited to be on ship,” said Sgt. Ken Ogata, an interpreter with the JGSDF. Although it is my second time on ship, it’s very different.”

More than 180 soldiers, with the JGSDF, Western Army Infantry Regiment are participating in the month-long training period.

“What we are looking forward to now, is the ship side and seeing all training elements come together,” Berdugo said. “With upcoming events, we’ll get to show what the Marine Corps forces are capable of.”

While aboard ship, Marines and soldiers will apply current tactics, techniques and procedures to meticulously plan each stage of training.

“I’m excited to take part in the training,” Ogata said. “And I hope the relationship between the Japan and the U.S. will last forever.”

US Pacific Fleet

USS Santa Fe Departs for Western Pacific Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge

PEARL HARBOR - Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Feb. 24 for a scheduled six-month deployment to the Western Pacific region.

Santa Fe's commanding officer, Cmdr. David Adams, commented that the crew is extremely excited and well prepared to get underway.

"Each and every Sailor has worked extraordinarily hard to prepare for this deployment," said Adams. "Each crewmember clearly owns their piece of the mission and we have spent the past year honing our submarine skills so that we can be ready for deployment."

This deployment will be the first for the majority of the crew, where according to Adams; they will be conducting many training exercises and qualifications as well being available for any tasking which comes their way.

"We will strive to be fully ready to answer the nation's call, no matter the mission," said Adams. "Santa Fe Sailors are ready to go forward and stand on the frontlines of freedom and above all else, bring the submarine and crew back safely from a successful deployment."

Santa Fe is the second ship to be named in honor of the capital city of New Mexico. As an improved Los Angeles-class, she features retractable bow planes and twelve vertical launch tubes for cruise missile strikes.

US Pacific Fleet

Pacific Partnership Team Prepares for Mission

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) R. David Valdez

SAN DIEGO - The command element of Pacific Partnership 2011 concluded a two-day mission rehearsal at Naval Base Point Loma Feb. 24.

The team disembarked the amphibious transport ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) at the beginning of the ship's latest round of certification exercises. The purpose of the rehearsal was demonstrating the ability for different parts of the Pacific Partnership team to carry out their mission objectives.

“As the mission commander for Pacific Partnership, I have responsibility for all of our different activities here,” said Capt. Jesse Wilson, commander of Destroyer Squadron 23.

Wilson and his team rehearsed the upcoming visit to Vanuatu, role-playing visits to medical, dental, veterinary and engineering sites and discussing their plans with local media.

“These events are very important to ensuring that we and our partner nations engage our hosts with dignity and respect,” Wilson said. “We’ve been invited to come to these countries, and it’s vital to continue building the positive relationships we have by working together efficiently and effectively.”

This is the sixth year the Pacific Partnership mission is getting underway. This year, the U.S. will be working in conjunction with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, and Japan, and the military teams will work with a variety of non-governmental organizations to provide cultural and professional exchanges with the people of Tonga, Timor-Leste, Papua-New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

US Pacific Fleet

Improved Training Facilities for South Australian Defence

Senator David Feeney, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, today toured Cultana Training Area in South Australia. 

The expansion of the Cultana Training Area is critical for Joint and Combined Arms training for Defence and for Army’s 1st Brigade.  An expanded Cultana Training Area also enables future air to ground, ground to air and ship to shore training activities.

A total commitment of $59.5 million in upgrade works will be particularly important to the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), which was established at Edinburgh earlier this year. 

Among Defence’s suite of training areas, the terrain at Cultana most closely resembles that of Afghanistan.  The Training Area consists of small arms ranges, a demolition range, field and driver training areas and a mock Afghan village. 

Senator David Feeney said: “The expansion at Cultana will bring additional defence jobs to South Australia and make sure we have the best training facilities available for the Australian Defence Force.”

“Cultana is a great example of tri-service training facilities.  It’s location close to the coastline and terrain which resembles Afghanistan makes it an important site for major joint military exercises,” Senator Feeney said.

Senator Feeney also met with a number of pastoralists about the expansion.

He said: “I acknowledge that there has been a long process for a range of affected groups.  I’ll be honest, I can’t promise that all the issues will be resolved tomorrow.  There are complex legal issues to be worked through.”

“But it is really important that we reach agreements with the pastoral leaseholders and finalise the training area expansion as soon as possible. I want to make sure that the ADF have the best training facilities available and more local defence jobs come to South Australia,” Senator Feeney said.

24 February 2011

Thailand receives first batch of Gripen fighters

23 February 2011, in News
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has now taken delivery of six Gripen C/D fighters. These aircraft belong to the first batch ordered in 2008. In total, Thailand has ordered 12 Gripen.
The Gripen fighters were flown from Sweden to Thailand and arrived to their new home base at Wing 7 in Surat Thani in southern Thailand on 22 February.

Hungarian Air Force Saab JAS39D Gripen

The six Gripen fighters are part of an intergovernmental business transaction where FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, representing the Government of Sweden, supplies an integrated air-defence system based on products manufactured by Saab. The new air-defence system consist of Gripen, the Airborne Early Warning system Saab 340 Erieye AEW and a command & control system.

In preparation for the delivery of the Gripen fighters, pilots and ground crew from the Royal Thai Air Force have been trained in Sweden during 2010.


Thales Australia and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems announce long-term strategic teaming agreement

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. -- Thales Australia and U.S.-based General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems have signed a long-term strategic teaming agreement to cooperate in the Australian ordnance market.

The agreement formalizes many years of close cooperation between Thales and General Dynamics, cements Thales's ability to deliver domestic munitions products to the Australian Department of Defence, and enables a refreshed approach to the munitions business in Australia, including the potential for greater exports.

Under the 10-year agreement, General Dynamics will deliver significant technology transfer to Thales in Australia, while Thales will leverage its U.S. partner’s expertise to focus on delivering maximum value to Australian Defence through its existing munitions contracts.

Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia’s CEO, said: "This teaming agreement reinforces both our commitment to modernizing the products on offer in Australia, and our dedication to delivering savings and greater value for money to the customer under Australia’s Strategic Reform Program, while bringing new benefits to the Australian Defence Force."

Michael Wilson, President of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, said: “Thales and General Dynamics already have a strong working history. This agreement will see increasingly close cooperation between the companies, and is a significant extension to our current arrangements for the Australian, European and U.S. markets.”

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2009, the company generated revenues of €12.9 billion (equivalent of AUD 23 billion) with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners. www.thalesgroup.com

Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management to security systems and services. Employing around 3,500 people in over 35 sites across the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues of more than AUD1 billion in 2009.

About General Dynamic Ordnance and Tactical Systems

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is a world leader in the manufacture of large-, medium- and small-caliber direct and indirect-fire munitions, shaped charge warheads and propellants. It also manufactures precision metal components, and aerostructures in support of the tactical missile industry. More information on General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical is available online at www.gd-ots.com.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 90,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at www.generaldynamics.com.

General Dynamics

Top-Level Talks Focus on U.S.-Pakistani Operations

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

MUSCAT, Oman, Feb. 23, 2011 – Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the top commanders responsible for carrying out the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy met here today with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss regional security issues and explore new ways to better coordinate military operations.

In addition to Mullen, Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command; Navy Adm. Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command; and Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, participated in the day-long session.

“I was very grateful for General Kayani's time and the opportunity to continue the dialog and the relationship at this very critical time in our shared efforts,” Mullen told reporters after the session.

A military officer familiar with the high-level proceedings –- the third of their kind to date -- called them “very candid and cordial, and very productive.”

Both delegations gave operational updates, discussing the need for more road-building and other infrastructure development and greater cross-border communication and information-sharing.

“The chairman believes this kind of dialog is vital to improving coordination and communications between our two militaries,” the official said.

Mullen believes the Pakistani military “continues to do a remarkable job battling extremists inside their borders,” he said.

Today’s meeting had been in the planning process for months and was not tied to recent developments or current events in the Middle East, the official emphasized. It occurred during Mullen’s week-long trip through the region, which although long-planned, has changed in nature in light of widespread unrest in the region.

Kayani, in a statement released by the Pakistani military, said he was “pleased to have the opportunity to discuss with American officers the progress we have made fighting extremists in our country and to offer them my thoughts about how our two sides might better cooperate.”

“Pakistan’s soldiers have fought bravely and accomplished much at great cost,” Kayani said. “We must honor those sacrifices by making sure our military operations are understood.”

Pakistani Maj. Gen. Javed Iqbal, director general of military operations, and Brigadier Muhammad Saeed accompanied Kayani to the session.


USA: Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group Departs for Deployment

By Lt. Chad A. Dulac, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 1 Public Affairss

SAN DIEGO (NNS) - The Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group (BOXARG) and 13TH Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed San Diego for a scheduled seven-month deployment, Feb. 22.

"The Boxer ARG/13th MEU team are fully integrated, fully certified and ready to carry out the Navy's maritime strategy abroad," said Commander, Amphibious Squadron 1, Capt. Curtis J. Shaub. "We are looking forward to this deployment to demonstrate those capabilities, both operationally as well as in partnerships, with allied countries and other U.S. forces in the global theater."

BOXARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45).

"Our Navy, Marine Corps team is deploying with a multi-mission capable force ready to perform and excel at any tasking required by our component fleet commanders," said Capt. Frank Michael, Boxer commanding officer.

BOXARG, with embarked 13th MEU, is deploying to the western Pacific and U.S. Central Command areas of operation with the ability to accomplish a variety of missions supporting the Navy's maritime strategy including combat missions, humanitarian assistance, counter piracy and promoting peace and stability in the region. The readiness group's forward presence is paramount to reassuring the United States' commitment to regional security and promoting global economic stability and local prosperity.

The more than 4,000 personnel include nearly 1,800 Sailors and 2,200 embarked Marines from 13th MEU. The 13th MEU is led by Col. David Coffman, U.S. Marine Corps. BOXARG/13th MEU can operate as a combined expeditionary strike group or deploy assets to provide support for multiple missions.

Other elements of the BOXARG include: Fleet Surgical Team 3; Tactical Air Control Squadron 11; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Det. 5; Assault Craft Unit 1, Det. C; Assault Craft Unit 5, Det. C and Beach Master Unit 1, Det. E.

BOXARG helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's maritime strategy when forward deployed.

US Pacific Fleet

23 February 2011

Pakistan, China to hold joint military exercises

The ChinaDaily website is reporting that Pakistan and China are to hold Army and Airforce exercises sometime in 2011 and a Navy exercise this March, read the full report HERE.


Eurofighter Naval Version makes debut at Aero India 2011

Monday, 21. February 2011

At Aero India 2011 Eurofighter and partner company BAE Systems unveiled for the first time more details about the studies carried out for the initial definition of the navalised version of the Typhoon.

These studies have included the assessment of required design changes, piloted simulations to refine the aircraft’s handling qualities and discussions with key suppliers. The studies indicate that these changes are feasible, and would lead to the development of a world-beating, carrier-based fighter aircraft.

The most important element of the navalised Typhoon is that its exceptional thrust-to-weight ratio allows the aircraft to take off from a carrier without using a catapult but with a simple and much cheaper “ski-jump”. Detailed simulations have shown that the aircraft will be able to take off and land in this way with a full weapon and fuel load – providing a truly potent and flexible naval aviation capability.

The basic design of Typhoon helps to minimise the modifications needed to allow a Typhoon to conduct naval operations from a carrier. The aircraft’s structure is exceptionally strong, having been designed from the outset for the high dynamic loads associated with extreme air combat manoeuvring. The modifications required are limited and include a new, stronger landing gear, a modified arrestor hook and localised strengthening on some fuselage sections near the landing gear, as well as updates the EJ200 engines.

To reduce the aircraft’s approach speed and the resulting landing loads the study envisages the introduction of a thrust-vectored variant of the Eurojet EJ200 engine. Thrust vectoring (Engines with TVN have already undergone factory testing in the Eurojet facility) could be fully integrated into Typhoon’s advanced Flight Control System (FCS), allowing the pilot to focus on flying the approach path while the FCS manages the engine nozzle position. The ability to change the angle of the engines’ thrust will allow for a further enhancement in Typhoon’s already outstanding manoeuvrability, supercruise performance, fuel consumption and the handling of asymmetric weapon configurations.

A key design driver for navalised Typhoon is the commonality at 95 per cent with the land variant. Design changes are minimised, allowing for most of the spare parts and test equipment to be shared across a customer’s air force and navy fleets. The sensors, systems and weapons available to both variants will be common, allowing for a reduction in the aircrew training requirements. And in addition, the two variants will benefit from a common upgrade path – new capabilities will be available to both the air force and navy in similar timescales.

A navalised Typhoon can deliver this commonality, without compromising on capability.


It is the first of three aircraft that will incorporate the DRDO-developed surveillance equipment


São José dos Campos, February 21, 2011 – Embraer presented the first of three EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platforms, today, to representatives of the Indian government at a ceremony held at its headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

Based on the proven Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet, the aircraft features an in-flight refueling system, SATCOM capability, a significant increase in electrical and cooling capacities, and a comprehensive set of aerodynamic and structural changes. These improvements will allow the installation of the advanced electronic systems currently being developed by India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) under CABS (Centre for Airborne Systems) coordination.

Following its official presentation, the aircraft will start intensive ground and flight tests. The ferry flight to India is scheduled for the second semester of this year, where it will receive the equipment being developed by the DRDO.

“The smooth progress of such a complex program is strongly based on the good will and the high level of professionalism that both the Indian and Brazilian teams have demonstrated over the last two-and-a-half years. Given Embraer’s experience in the field of ISR aircraft and equipment, we believe that this jointly developed product will offer outstanding operational capability, and we look forward to its entry into service,” said Eduardo Bonini, Senior Vice President Operations & COO – Embraer Defense and Security.

Today, four Embraer Legacy 600 jets are operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the transportation of Indian VIPs and foreign dignitaries, and a fifth Embraer Legacy 600 is in service with the Border Security Force (BSF), under India’s Home Ministry.

Embraer in India

Embraer has a strong presence in the Indian market, and counts both the national government, and private organizations, as customers of a variety of its products. Besides the IAF and the BSF, the Company has successfully placed Executive Jets with private companies in India, such as Aviators Pvt. Ltd. – the first Phenom executive jet customer in the region – and Invision Pvt. Ltd., which holds the largest order for Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 jets in India, to date. To support the operations of the growing number Embraer Executive Jet customers and operators in the country, Embraer has named Indamer Pvt. Ltd. and Air Works Pvt. Ltd. as authorized service providers in the country.



Premier Anna Bligh today backed a bid by Brisbane-based Australian Aerospace for a lucrative Australian Navy Contract that would create hundreds of Queensland jobs.

The Federal Government currently is considering two rival bids to provide Australia's new naval combat helicopter under the Air9000 Phase 8 tender - one from Brisbane-based Australian Aerospace who would assemble their helicopter in Queensland, the other an overseas firm.

"We don't want to see local jobs lost overseas," the Premier said.

"The choice of Australian Aerospace's NFH as the Navy's new combat helicopter would create more than 250 full-time, highly-skilled jobs in Queensland and another 250 across Australia.

"It will also deliver another 250 indirect jobs in the industry.

"That's why today I wrote to the Federal Defence Minister to ask him to consider what this contract would mean for Queensland.

Ms Bligh said the Queensland Government's support for the aerospace sector had not only seen the growth of a new industry in the State, but had seen the creation of new jobs and new investment.

"In the past 10 years we have created 16,500 aviation, aerospace and defence jobs across Queensland on projects from aircraft design, manufacture, maintenance, modification, repair and overhaul; to emerging technologies and defence.

"Through the strong commitment of this Government, Queensland already is the hub of the Australian aerospace industry.

"Queensland is now home to approximately 30 per cent of Australia's aviation and aerospace companies and these firms employ around 25 per cent of Australia's workforce.

"We want to make sure the momentum and jobs we have created is continued long into the future," the Premier sad.

Hosting the Premier's tour of the facility, Australian Aerospace Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jens Goennemann, paid tribute to the Queensland Government's vital role in developing the aerospace industry.

"Australian Aerospace is delighted to have such a successful and longstanding partnership with the Queensland Government," Dr Goennemann said.

"Over the decade our production plant has been in Brisbane, we have received outstanding support.

"The partnership the State Government offered was crucial in the decision to locate the production plant in Brisbane.

"Since then, we have been assembling two of the world's most advanced military helicopters for the Australian Defence Force - the ARH Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter and the MRH90 multi-role helicopter.

"Already, through these programs, Australian Aerospace has created close to 1100 jobs," he said.

"The highly-regarded economic analyst Access Economics estimates that assembling the NFH in Brisbane would increase Australia's Gross Domestic Product by about $661 million - again, mostly in Queensland - over the next 13 years.

"Australian Aerospace is the only local helicopter assembler. All other helicopters are built overseas," Dr Goennemann said.

"A decision to buy the NFH for the RAN can only mean one thing for Queensland - jobs, jobs and more jobs."

About Australian Aerospace: Australian Aerospace Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter - a part of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Group (EADS). Created in 2003 through the merger of Eurocopter International Pacific Limited and Australian Aerospace Pty Ltd, the company has evolved into a major defence supplier to the Australian Government. With more than 1000 staff in Australia and New Zealand and access to the financial strength and expertise of Eurocopter and the EADS Group, the company is well-positioned to manufacture and support civil and military helicopters in the Australia-Pacific region. In addition to its helicopter capabilities, Australian Aerospace has a long history of support to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Currently it is assembling and delivering 22 Tiger ARH armed reconnaissance helicopters to the Australian Army and 46 MRH90 multi-role helicopters to the Army and Navy. It also provides support for the RAAF AP3C Orion reconnaissance aircraft and, until recently, the now retired Caribou transport fleet. Last year it commenced a through-life-support role for C-130J Hercules transports. The company is also involved in supporting the RAAF’s new Airbus A330-based Multi-Role Tanker-Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

Australian Aerospace

Somali Pirates Kill 4 Americans on Hijacked Ship

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2011 – Somali pirates killed all four Americans they had held hostage aboard a sailing vessel in the Indian Ocean this morning, U.S. Central Command officials announced.

U.S. officials were negotiating with the pirates for the safe return of the captured Americans when the murders took place, officials said.

Centcom officials said that in the midst of negotiations, U.S. forces responded to gunfire aboard the S/V Quest. When the forces reached the boat, officials said, they discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds.

During the boarding, the Somali pirates fired on the U.S. forces, who killed two pirates and captured 13 others. U.S. forces already had captured two other pirates, and the servicemembers boarding the Quest found the remains of two other pirates.

“In total, it is believed 19 pirates were involved in the hijacking of the S/V Quest,” Centcom officials said.

“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, Centcom’s commander.

The pirates seized the boat Feb. 18 off the coast of Oman. Somali pirates -– often operating from mother ships far out to sea -- have captured scores of ships and generally have held the ships and crews for ransom. News reports indicate Somali pirates currently hold 29 ships with more than 660 hostages.

Piracy in the region occurred originally off of Somalia’s east coast for several years. In August 2009, the pirates extended their attacks to the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia’s north coast. The pirates since have ranged farther out to sea -– up to 600 miles –- and now affect more than a million square miles in the Gulf of Aden, the west Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.

The United States has worked closely with regional and international partners to attack the problem. In this case, American forces closely monitored and tailed the Quest. Four U.S. Navy warships made up a response force dedicated to recovering the S/V Quest: the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf, the guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett and USS Bulkeley.


Admiral Provides Details of Somali Piracy Killings

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2011 – Four pirates are dead and 15 are in custody, but not before they killed four Americans in the bloodiest piracy incident in recent history, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command told reporters in a conference call today.

Navy Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, who also commands the Navy’s 5th Fleet, said the pirates shot Scott and Jean Adams of California and Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle of Washington state. The surface vessel Quest was sailing around the world when the Somalis hijacked it off the coast of Oman.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that President Barack Obama authorized the use of force if there was an imminent threat to the hostages. He said the president was informed of their deaths at 4:42 this morning.

“The loss of our fellow Americans is a tragedy,” Fox said from his headquarters in Manama, Bahrain.

The admiral gave a timeline of the action. Pirates captured the vessel about 190 nautical miles southeast of Masirah Island, Oman, Feb. 18. Four U.S. Navy warships responded: the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and the guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett and USS Bulkeley.

The ships found the vessel and made contact with the pirates via bridge-to-bridge radio, and began a series of negotiations. Yesterday, two pirates boarded the USS Sterett to continue negotiations.

“At 8 a.m. this morning … a rocket-propelled grenade was fired by the pirates from the Quest toward the Sterett,” Fox said. “Immediately thereafter, gunfire erupted from inside the cabin of the Quest. Several pirates appeared on the deck of the Quest and moved up to the bow with their hands in the air in surrender.”

U.S. special operations forces closed in on the Quest in small boats and boarded the yacht. “They discovered that all four hostages had been shot by their captors,” Fox said. The service members took immediate steps to provide medical care, but the four Americans died of their wounds. The boarding party also found two dead pirates aboard the vessel.

The special operations forces did not fire weapons during the boarding, Fox said.

“While clearing the vessel, two additional pirates were killed,” the admiral said. “The remaining 15 suspected pirates are in U.S. custody.”

Fox said two additional pirates were killed as the special operators cleared the boat. One was killed with a pistol, the other in a knife fight, the admiral said. There were no casualties to service members or damage to Navy ships. The Navy and the FBI are investigating the incident.

Fox said the perpetrators will be brought to justice.