Archive for the ‘aircraft’ Category

Russia sells 12 fighter jets to Sudan

November 15, 2008

Russia has sold 12 MiG-29 fighter jets to Sudan, Sudanese Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein said during a visit to Moscow on Friday, Russian news agencies reported.

“Yes, it’s all done. The planes have been bought,” the defence minister was quoted as saying to reporters at a briefing in Moscow, in response to a question about a contract for the purchase of the 12 planes.

“We are very satisfied with our military relations with Russia,” he said.

Hussein also said he hoped Russia would take a more active role in Sudan’s oil industry, adding that this would be at the heart of discussions during an upcoming visit to Moscow by Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

He did not say when the visit could take place.

“Based on our successful experience of economic development cooperation with China, we want Russia to be another pillar in the economic development of Sudan,” Hussein said.

A MIG-29 warplane is pictured at the International Aerospace ... 
A MIG-29 warplane is pictured at the International Aerospace Exhibition at Berlin’s Schoenefeld airport in May 2008. Sudanese Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein has confirmed the purchase of 12 MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia.(AFP/DDP/File/Axel Schmidt)

Read the rest from AFP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081114/wl_africa_afp/russia
sudanmilitaryarmsindustry_081114173122

Russia’s Defense Industry Hit by Credit Crunch, Ivanov Says

November 11, 2008

Russia’s defense industry is facing difficulties in meeting orders from the state because of the global credit crunch, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Ivanov

Many companies are suffering from cash-flow problems, Ivanov said in remarks carried on state television. The financial crisis is “hitting some defense companies quite hard,” and the situation could prove “troublesome” for the industry, he said.

This video grab from Russian NTV channel shows the Russian nuclear ... 
AFP/Ntv
Above: This Russian submarine had an on board non nuclear accident that killed 20 this week.  She was on sea trials and scheduled to be tranferred to India.  She is now emblematic of Russia’s failing defense industry.


By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg

Banks in which the state holds a large stake, including OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, VTB Group, the second largest, and state development bank Vnesheconombank, should consider lending to defense contractors, he said.

Ivanov was speaking today at a meeting in Moscow of a government commission on strategic enterprises and the defense industry.

“We’re talking about an industry with a lot of expenses and not too much revenue,” said Masha Lipman, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center. She noted that Russia has recently made major arms sales to countries like Venezuela on credit with no repayments due for years.

Lipman said Russia’s Defense Ministry has been sending out mixed signals, for example by announcing cuts in military staffing numbers. This will produce tens of thousands of unemployed officers and the cost of retraining them for civilian jobs will be high, she said.

“Probably we will see that no such cuts will be made, because if you cut expenses in one place, you create them in another place,” she said.

Georgia War

Russia approved 344 billion rubles ($13 billion) in new defense spending last month following its five-day war with Georgia in August, Ivanov said on Oct. 16.

“Additional funds will be spent on purchases of modern weaponry, especially aircraft,” Ivanov, a former defense minister, said during a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.

At the same time, Russian state revenue may slump as the price of oil, its biggest export, plunges and capital flight accelerates on concern the global economy is entering a recession.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/new
s?pid=20601095&sid=adH6D0VFaSVY

Icon Of World War II To Present Refurbished, Returns to Historic Mission

November 8, 2008

The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid is an icon hero of World War II.  She suffered five attacks by suicide pilots —   — and over 200 sailors were killed on her decks.

Intrepid participated in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Later she recovered spacecraft of the Mercury and Gemini programs and served in the Vietnam War. Since 1982, Intrepid has been part of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed “the Fighting I.”

Read about USS Intrepid on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Intrepid_(CV-11)


Above: USS Intrepid in the World War II time frame

Intrepid Returns to New York WaterfrontFrom Fox News, NY

 

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is reopening to the public with a two-day celebration.

A Saturday ribbon cutting aboard the World War II aircraft carrier will be followed by musical performances and fireworks.  Members of the Fire Department, the Police Department and the military also will gather for a game of tug-of-war.

The museum on the Hudson River underwent a 22-month, $120 million restoration at a New Jersey drydock. It returned home last month.

After WWII, the ship saw service in the Korean and Vietnam wars and was twice a recovery ship for NASA astronauts. Since 1982 it has become one of the city’s most popular tourist sites, drawing some 750,000 visitors yearly over the past decade.
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USS Intrepid’s Reopening, New Dedication Features Honors, Praises, HistoryBy Bill Blayer, Newsday

 

After a two-year, $120-million restoration project for ship and pier, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum reopens to the public Saturday with a day of special events.

The official grand reopening event will be held Tuesday on Veterans Day, when President George W. Bush is scheduled to be onboard to be honored by the museum.

After extensive work at a Bayonne drydock and a Staten Island pier, the historic aircraft carrier berthed at Pier 86 at West 46th Street and 12th Avenue offers new exhibits including areas of the ship never before accessible, four new aircraft and the rest of the planes repainted, a new public park-like pier and new handicapped accessibility. It also will charging higher admission fees: $3 more for adults to $19.50.

The first visitors begin touring the new displays and renovated ... 
The first visitors begin touring the new displays and renovated aircraft in the hangar bay on board the USS Intrepid, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in New York. The ship reopened to the public today after a two year renovation. (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)

On Saturday, the museum will open at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the Chaminade High School band will perform; at 1 there will be a tug-of-war between the FDNY, NYPD, Navy and Marine Corps; at 5:30 there will be a performance by the USO and Liberty Belles; at 6 a performance by Annapolis Men’s Glee Club and Barbershop Quartet; and fireworks at 7 p.m. Sunday hours are 10 to 6.

On Tuesday, the ship commissioned in 1943 will be closed to the public until 2 p.m. while the president attends Veterans Day ceremonies and is presented with the 2008 Intrepid Freedom Award. The award recognizes world leaders who embody the ideals of world freedom and democracy. Prior honorees include presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Margaret Thatcher and Silvio Berlusconi, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

“This is only the second time a sitting president has visited us,” museum president Bill White said.

Gov. David A. Paterson also is scheduled to attend along with 2,500 veterans.

The museum expects 1 million visitors in the next year to see the new exhibits aboard the 29,000-ton ship, including the newly opened fo’c’sle area where the anchor chains are stored in the bow, officers’ quarters and crew’s mess.

Ben Kalsman, 5, reaches skyward, as he sits on the shoulders ... 
Ben Kalsman, 5, reaches skyward, as he sits on the shoulders of his Father, Arden, waiting to board the USS Intrepid, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in New York. The ship reopened to the public today, after a two year renovation. (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)

China flexes military hardware muscle

November 6, 2008

China‘s unprecedented display of military hardware at the country’s primary airshow was a warning to industry rivals of its global ambitions as a defence manufacturer, analysts said.

By Guy Newey, AFP

A visitor passes advertising for a Chinese-made attack aircraft ... 
A visitor passes advertising for a Chinese-made attack aircraft at the China Airshow 2008 in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai on November 5. The country’s unprecedented display of military hardware at its key airshow has served as a warning to industry rivals of its global ambitions as a defence manufacturer, analysts have said.(AFP/File/Mike Clarke)

As a pair of its fourth-generation J-10 fighter planes made a first public appearance, buzzing past eager crowds at Airshow China 2008, the trade stands hummed with talk of the new missile systems and other equipment on display.

Some analysts believe China’s ability to copy overseas technology, witnessed in countless industries over the past 20 years, could soon be powering its defence complex.

“Ten years ago they did not have any modern aircraft industry at all, now they have started to produce copies of our plane,” said one Russian defence official, who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

“They will do exactly the same they have done with textiles and toys — learn how to make it, make it cheaper and then undercut the market.”

He said China was possibly 10 years away from developing its own military aircraft engine — it currently uses engines made by Russian defence giant Sukhoi — but once it had, it would stop purchasing overseas technology.

“They will stop buying anything from abroad and push cheap Chinese fighters to the third world countries,” the official added.

While the European Union and the United States continue to have sanctions on the export of military equipment to many of the world’s countries — including China — Chinese manufacturers face few such restrictions.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081106/bs_afp/china
russiaasiaaerospacemilitary_081106065648

China Planning To Aquire Western Aircraft Manufacturer

November 4, 2008

State-owned China Aviation Industry Corp. is preparing to acquire a foreign general aircraft manufacturer, with the deal expected by the end of the year, reports said Tuesday.

AVIC also is planning to list shares in the “near future,” the state-run newspaper China Daily and other reports cited the company’s president, Tan Weidong, as saying.

Tan, who spoke on the sidelines of China‘s International Aviation & Aeospace Forum in the southern city of Zhuhai, did not identify the target of AVIC’s acquisition plan, but the company has been mulling an overseas acquisition for years.

Five Kiran MK 2 from Indian Air Force Suryakiran Aerobatic Team ... 
Five Kiran MK 2 from Indian Air Force Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) aircrafts fly over two J-10 aircrafts from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army air force a day before the opening of the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, southern China’s Guangdong province, Monday, Nov. 3, 2008.(AP Photo/EyePress)
By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach, Ap Business Writer

Last year, the company reportedly approached Dutch industrial engineering company Stork NV, whose aerospace unit was acquired in 1996 from longtime aircraft manufacturer Fokker, about buying its aerospace division.

In the end, U.K.-based private equity group Candover Investments PLC acquired Stork.

Staff at AVIC’s headquarters in Beijing said officials authorized to speak to media about the report were not immediately available for comment.

AVIC plans to develop 10-, 20- and 30-seat business jets and hydroplanes, as well as large passenger jets, Tan told reporters in Zhuhai. Zhuhai, site of the country’s annual international air show, would become AVIC’s base for research and development, final assembly and test flights, according to the report.

China recently merged its two major aircraft makers, AVIC I and AVIC II, to help consolidate aviation manufacturing. China Aviation Industry Corp. is parent to six new companies set up to manage the various businesses run by AVIC I and AVIC II, which include airplane engines, helicopters, transporters, general aviation, airborne systems and aviation trade, the report said.

AVIC I and AVIC II, both originally units of China’s military aviation manufacturer, had been split into separate companies in 1999.

Meanwhile, reports cited Miao Wei, vice minister of industry and information technology, as saying that China’s first domestically produced large jet will hit the market between 2015 and 2020.

“We will finish the concept design and research on key technologies before 2010 and have the first plane roll off the production line before 2014,” state-run media quoted Miao as saying.

Miao said the aircraft would have at least 150 seats.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081104/ap_
on_bi_ge/as_china_aviation_4

Pentagon Expects Cuts in Military Spending

November 3, 2008

After years of unfettered growth in military budgets, Defense Department planners, top commanders and weapons manufacturers now say they are almost certain that the financial meltdown will have a serious impact on future Pentagon spending.

By Thom Shanker and Christopher Drew
The New York Times
.
Across the military services, deep apprehension has led to closed-door meetings and detailed calculations in anticipation of potential cuts. Civilian and military budget planners concede that they are already analyzing worst-case contingency spending plans that would freeze or slash their overall budgets.

The obvious targets for savings would be expensive new arms programs, which have racked up cost overruns of at least $300 billion for the top 75 weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office. Congressional budget experts say likely targets for reductions are the Army’s plans for fielding advanced combat systems, the Air Force’s Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy’s new destroyer and the ground-based missile defense system.

Even before the crisis on Wall Street, senior Pentagon officials were anticipating little appetite for growth in military spending after seven years of war. But the question of how to pay for national security now looms as a significant challenge for the next president, at a time when the Pentagon’s annual base budget for standard operations has reached more than $500 billion, the highest level since World War II when adjusted for inflation.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Afghanistan's ...
Above: U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates. AFP/Pool/File/Haraz N. Ghanbari

On top of that figure, supplemental spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has topped $100 billion each year, frustrating Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress. In all, the Defense Department now accounts for half of the government’s total discretionary spending, and Pentagon and military officials fear it could be the choice for major cuts to pay the rest of the government’s bills.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/03/washington/
03military.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Celebrating Flight and Aircraft In the Temple of the Wild Blue Yonder

November 1, 2008

THE first thing visitors encounter in the main display area of the Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles airport in the Virginia countryside, is a huge black spy plane.

By Henry Fountain
The New York Times
.
It’s an SR-71A Blackbird, the ultimate hot-rod aircraft, one of about 30 built at the Lockheed Skunk Works in California in the 1960s. This one last flew in 1990, traveling the 2,300 miles between Los Angeles and Washington in 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds — a transcontinental blur.

But now it’s at a standstill, giving visitors the chance to appreciate its outrageousness. There are the two massive engines on short, stubby wings; the tiny cockpit where the two-man crew was shoehorned in wearing bulky pressure suits; and the sweeping titanium fuselage that was built so loosely, to allow for expansion in the heat of supersonic flight, that the fuel tanks that made up the bulk of the plane routinely leaked, losing as much as 600 pounds of fuel taxiing to the runway.

 
Planes, including a Boeing 307, above, are ready for inspection.  Photo by Andrew Councill for The New York Times

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., is about air and space, yes, but as the Blackbird shows, it’s also about frozen time. More than 150 aircraft and spacecraft that in their day were among the swiftest or slowest, most graceful or ungainly, most useful or useless, sit on the floor and hang among the catwalks of this giant hangar of a museum as if plucked from the sky.

For Washington visitors whose encounters with the Air and Space Museum have been limited to the original 1976 building some 30 miles away on the National Mall, the Udvar-Hazy Center, which opened in 2003 and is named for a major donor, an aviation industry executive, can be quite a different experience. There are fewer “name” aircraft like the Spirit of St. Louis to gawk at, no moon rocks to touch, and while as in the Mall building there can be hordes of schoolchildren, their noise tends to dissipate in the cavernous arched structure. Over all, with more than twice the exhibition space and about one-fifth the visitors, the Virginia museum has a quieter, more worshipful feel.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/travel/escapes/31air.html

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.jpg

World’s largest jet arrives from Australia to the U.S.

October 21, 2008
By Peter Pae
Los Angeles Times
October 21, 2008
The world’s largest airliner landed at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday with about 450 people aboard, kicking off Southern California’s first A380 passenger service and providing a welcome economic boost for the slumping airport.

Qantas Flight 93 from Melbourne, Australia, landed at 7:26 a.m. and was greeted by public officials and Hollywood celebrities including actor John Travolta and singer Olivia Newton-John. The jetliner was scheduled to make its return flight to Australia late Monday.

A380

Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times
Qantas’ new A380 lands at LAX from Melbourne. The carrier is the first to operate commercial A380 flights between Australia and the U.S. West Coast

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-
fi-jumbojet21-2008oct21,0,3083612.story

V-22 Osprey: Unsung Hero Aircraft of Iraq

October 20, 2008

After a troubled history, the V-22 Osprey — half-helicopter, half-plane — has been ferrying troops and equipment across Iraq for just over a year without a major incident.

By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, Associated Press Writer

A  V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft taxies after a mission at ... 
A V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft taxies after a mission at Asad air base in western Iraqi desert Monday, Oct. 13, 2008. With its revolutionary design and to date near perfect record in Iraq, the V-22 Osprey looks very much the part of America’s next great advance in military aviation.(AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Critics say the Osprey, which was designed to replace transport helicopters, lacks firepower for defense in heavy combat.

But pilots say the Osprey makes up for that in speed, which one of them says can take the plane “like a bat out of hell” to altitudes safe from small-arms fire.

Since arriving at this sprawling desert base in western Iraq, a dozen Ospreys have been ferrying troops and equipment at forward operating bases. One even took around Barack Obama during his tour of Iraq earlier this year.

But on only a handful of occasions has the aircraft faced any serious enemy fire.

Military officials say this is partly a result of the changing nature of the war in Iraq as well as the advantages the high-flying Osprey has over the Vietnam-era Sea Knight helicopters they will eventually replace. The Osprey also avoids day flights into Baghdad or other tasks that entail excessive risk.

“It’s not the same World War II tactics that we used to deal with, or even Vietnam tactics,” said Maj. Paul Kopacz, who led two Ospreys on a recent mission to Fallujah. “We have not been battle-tested because we aren’t going guns blazing into hot zones. Our nation is now too sensitive to the loss of soldiers to let that happen.”

The military calls the Osprey a “tilt-rotor” aircraft, because it takes off with its rotors set vertically like a helicopter and glides in the air with them thrust forward as on an airplane. The shift requires only a pull of the lever by the pilot.

The aircraft, which took over two decades to develop, has been plagued by a series of technical failures and deadly crashes — including a pair in quick succession in 2000 that killed 23 Marines and nearly scuttled the entire project.

Some skeptics have attacked the design of the plane because they feel it is too slow in descent, lacks maneuverability, kicks up too much dust and should have been delayed until designers mastered the idea of “autorotation” — which would keep the rotors spinning even if both engines are taken out.

Another issue has been the lack of firepower on the Osprey, which does not include a mounted gun on the front as once envisaged — although the Marines have placed a machine gun at the rear.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_
on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq_bats_from_hell

China and Pakistan’s Strategic Importance: Background

October 15, 2008

China has realized for years that Pakistan is a neighbor of strategic importance.  India is China’s number one regional revial and pakistan is India’s traditional foe.  China has supported Pakistan in its nuclear ambitions and probably assisted Pakistan in nlang range missile development — often using North Korea as a proxy.  China and akistan are also completing the largest seaport in the world at Gwadar, Pakistan….

Tarique Niazi, The Jamestown Foundation, China Brief

Four months after the U.S. ordered its troops into Afghanistan to remove the Taliban regime, China and Pakistan joined hands to break ground in building a Deep Sea Port on the Arabian Sea. The project was sited in an obscure fishing village of Gwadar in Pakistan’s western province of Baluchistan, bordering Afghanistan to the northwest and Iran to the southwest. Gwadar is nautically bounded by the Persian Gulf in the west and the Gulf of Oman in the southwest.Although the Gwadar Port project has been under study since May 2001, the U.S. entrée into Kabul provided an added impetus for its speedy execution. Having set up its bases in Central, South, and West Asian countries, the U.S. virtually brought its military forces at the doorstep of China. Beijing was already wary of the strong U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf, which supplies 60% of its energy needs. It was now alarmed to see the U.S. extend its reach into Asian nations that ring western China. Having no blue water navy to speak of, China feels defenseless in the Persian Gulf against any hostile action to choke off its energy supplies. This vulnerability set Beijing scrambling for alternative safe supply routes for its energy shipments.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) and his Pakistani counterpart ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari stand near their respective country’s flags during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 15, 2008. Zardari arrived on Tuesday for his first visit to China as president, and has said he wants his four-day trip “to remind the leadership of the world how close our relationship is”. Pakistan is set to usher in a series of agreements with China during the trip, highlighting Islamabad’s hopes that Beijing will help it through economic and diplomatic troubles.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA)
Read the rest:
http://www.asianresearch.org/articles/2528.html
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JF-17 testing.jpg
Above: JF-17 Thunder jet is a product of Pakistani and Chinese cooperation.  It is now in service in the Pakistani Air Force.

The Chinese do not easily forget old friends and do pardon some indiscretions on the part of the friend. Beijing gratefully remembers that it was Pakistan which facilitated the secret talks between China and the USA leading to establishment of diplomatic relations. Pakistan is also a security frontier for China in more ways than one.   
GhauriMissile.jpg
Pakistan’s Ghauri missile can strike into India and other neighboring nations….

The China-Pak special relations were built by the leaders of the two countries, especially the anti- India disposition of the Pakistani leaders and army, which filted eminently with China’s South Asia strategy with a common cause. 

The periodic Pak-US alliance has been both useful to Beijing and, at times, an irritant. During the Cold War the three formed an anti-Soviet axis. After the demise of the Soviet Union, China saw the US interest in Pakistan detrimental to its security. During his visit to Pakistan in 1996, Chinese President Jiang Zemin clearly indicated that USA should not meddle in South Asia. The message was clear to Pakistan also. 

Even after removing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharrif, Gen. Musharraf maintained excellent relationship with China. Following the US attack on Taliban in Afghanistan Musharraf is reported to have made a secret visit to Beijing only for a few hours to consult with the Chinese leaders. 

In a rather surprising, but understandable reaction, the China Radio International (CRI)….

 Shaheen 01.jpg
Pakistan’s Shaheen missile

By Bhasker Roy 

Although the Chinese leaders and policymakers have been forced by India’s economic development and vibrant international relations to acknowledge New Delhi’s position in regional and international platforms, Pakistan continues to remain its main centre in South Asia. 

Beijing has invested its most in Pakistan for very pertinent reasons. China is to refer to North Korea relations as “lips to teeth”. Pakistan was its “time tested ally and friend” and an example of relations between two countries. While these expressions have changed along with new post cold war global alliances and dynamics, the importance of Pakistan to China has not diminished. If fact, it has increased in terms of China’s security calculations including energy security. 

In the last decade, China helped Pakistan as a stand alone nuclear power, invested $ 2.2 billion in the Gwadar Deep Sea Port (GDSP), and helped it in trying to maintain military parity with India. Traditionally, the Chinese military sales have been at “friendship prices” and out right assistance. The Gwader Port is a gift. The F-17 Thunder advanced fighter aircraft being jointly built and produced at Kamra is basically Chinese mode.

Read the rest:
http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers26%5Cpaper2575.html