The Amerika Bomber Project of Nazi Germany

The Amerika Bomber project was an initiative of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, the Nazi Germany Air Ministry, to obtain a long-range bomber aircraft for the Luftwaffe that would be capable of striking the continental United States from Germany. Requests for designs were made to the major German aircraft manufacturers early in World War II, coinciding with the passage of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement.(Pravda.Ru)

The most promising proposals were based on conventional principles of aircraft design and would have yielded aircraft very similar in configuration and capability to the Allied heavy bombers of the day. These included the Messerschmitt Me 264 (an all-new design), the Focke-Wulf Fw 300 (based on the existing Fw 200), Focke Wulf Ta 400 and the Junkers Ju 390 (based on the Ju 290). Prototypes of the Me 264 were built, but it was the Ju 390 that was selected for production. Only two prototypes were constructed before the programme was abandoned. It is widely claimed (and widely disputed) that in early 1944 the second prototype made a trans-Atlantic flight to within 20 km (12 mi) of the U.S. coast. (

Other proposals were far more exotic jet- and rocket-powered designs, e.g. as a flying wing. The Horten brothers designed the Horten Ho XVIII, a flying wing powered by six turbojets based on experiences with their existing Ho X design. The Arado company also suggested a six-jet flying wing design, the Arado E.555.(Pravda.Ru)






Over 195 killed as Israel strikes Gaza, Palestinian militants respond

GAZA, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - At least 195 people were killed and about 300 wounded Saturday by Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, and one Israeli was killed and five injured when Palestinian militants fired rockets into southern Israel in response.

Israel's air force launched on Saturday a number of simultaneous airstrikes targeting the ruling radical Islamist movement Hamas's paramilitary units. Israel's military said the airstrikes would be continued and expanded if required.

Doctors said the number of victims was unprecedented. "I wouldn't even try to count the injured," local health authority spokesman Moawiya Hassanain said.

According to preliminary information, most of the injured in the airstrikes are members of Hamas or the Gaza police controlled by the Islamist movement, which runs the Palestinian enclave on the Mediterranean.

After the bombing, the streets of Gaza became flooded with schoolchildren trying to get home.

"There is complete chaos," said one resident, who was trying to find her daughter, a student. "No one can find anyone and the phone networks are not working."

Al Jazeera reported that Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip for Palestinians affected by Israeli airstrikes.

The foreign ministers of Arab countries will gather on Sunday in Cairo for an emergency meeting on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the secretary general of the Arab League said Saturday.

Russia called on Israel and the Palestinian National Authority to end the violence against each other and to resolve regional problems through dialogue.

"Moscow believes that large-scale military action against the Gaza Strip, which has already led to big losses and suffering for Palestinian civilians, should be stopped immediately," the Foreign Ministry said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued a personal "last-minute" appeal to Palestinians in Gaza on Thursday to stop rocket fire at Israel and promised to use "Israel's might" to strike Hamas.

"I say to you in a last-minute call, stop it," Olmert said in an interview with the Arab TV station Al Arabiya, adding: "I will not hesitate to use Israel's might to strike Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad."

On Wednesday, Palestinian militants fired over 40 rockets and 20 mortar shells at southern Israeli border towns in the largest daily attack since the end of a six-month ceasefire in Gaza six days ago.

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group in June 2007.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

Barak: The time has come for us to fight

17:22 27/12/2008 By Haaretz Service - Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a press conference on Saturday in which he defended Israel Defense Forces strikes that left dozens deadin the Gaza Strip Saturday, saying Israel had no choice and that "the time has come to fight.

" Barak said the IDF and Israel Air Force attacks had destroyed "terrorism infrastructure" and hit over 150 Hamas militants. He also said the current campaign would be widened and will continue for some time.

Barak said Israel cannot stand by while rockets strike the communities of the western Negev and "won't let terror hurt our citizens or soldiers."

Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired at least 25 Qassam and Grad rockets into southern Israel on Saturday after the IDF campaign began. One of the rockets directly struck a home in the town of Netivot, leaving one Israel dead and four with moderate to serious injuries.


155 people killed in Israel''s wide scale strikes on Gaza

Palestinian medics carry the body of a man killed Saturday in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. (Mahmud Hams / AFP/Getty Images / December 27, 2008) @Chicago Tribune

GAZA, Dec 27 (KUNA) - Israeli warplanes staged wide scale strikes on Saturday targeting Hamas-occupied buildings and strongholds in Gaza Strip killing at least 155 people and wounding some 200 others, according to medical officials.
Dr. Muawiah Hassanain, in charge of the emergency ward of the Palestinian Health Ministry, said in a statement that many women and children were among the scores of people who were wounded in the multiple air strikes on Gaza city and several of the strip towns.

"Many bloodied corpses of martyrs still lay on ground of of corridors of the hospitals for the morgues have become overloaded with the human bodies," said the doctor, illustrating the extent of the dramatic situation at the hospitals, where victims were hurriedly admitted.

Some of the deadliest strikes was the one that targeted the police headquarters, where the local Hamas-controlled security authority was holding a graduation ceremony for police cadets. Witnesses said the courtyard of the building was littered with disfigured bodies of policemen while survivors scrambled to whisk the alive ones to the nearest hospitals aboard civil cars.

Successive thunderous explosions echoed throughout the city and the strip when the roaring aircraft bombed the Hamas-occupied buildings and strongholds today.


Russia testing new missile for S-400 air defense system

Targets medium-range theater ballistic missiles, which travel at about 3 km/s (6,700 mph) or less. In this context the term "theater" means the entire localized region for military operations, typically a radius of several hundred kilometers. Defense range of theater defensive systems is usually on this order. Examples of deployed or soon-to-be deployed theater missile defenses: THAAD, Airborne laser and Russian S-400. (

CHKALOVSKY (Moscow Region), December 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Air Force is testing a new missile for the S-400 Triumf air defense system, the Air Force commander said on Friday.

The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

The system is expected to form the cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses up to 2020 or even 2025.

"The S-400 system is being successfully deployed with air defense units. At present, we are testing a new missile for this system," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

Russia successfully conducted last year live firing tests of the S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and deployed a battalion of the first missile regiment equipped with the new system to protect the airspace surrounding Moscow.

The system is believed to be able to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

S-400 Triumph (

A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources. The new state arms procurement program until 2015 stipulates the purchase of enough S-400 air defense systems to arm 18 battalions during this period.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

Hibah Kapal Jerman Terealisasi Bulan Depan

HIBAH kapal multifungsi dari Jerman kepada Badan Koordinasi Keamanan Laut (Bakorkamla) diperkirakan terealisasi Januari 2009.

"Pembicaraan sudah mengkristal ke arah itu," kata Kepala Pelaksana Harian Bakorkamla Laksdya Budhi Hardjo kepada Jurnal Nasional di kantor Bakorkamla, Rabu (24/12).

Dia menjelaskan, kapasitas kapal yang diberikan cukup besar, yakni 2.000 gross ton. Kemampuan kapal ini tidak sekadar patroli dan pengawasan tapi juga penyelamatan. Bakorkamla tengah mempelajari detail bagaimana nantinya kapal digunakan dalam mendukung operasi keamanan laut di wilayah perairan Indonesia. Akan dilihat kembali spesifikasi kapal, untuk disesuaikan dengan operasi yang akan dilakukan.

"Jangan sampai kapal malah membebani negara saat operasionalnya," katanya.

Pasalnya, kapal sebesar itu konsumsi bahan bakarnya sangat boros. Dengan keadaan ini, Budhi melihat kemungkinan besar kapal dijadkan sebagai kapal markas.

Tak hanya itu, Bakorkamla akan kembali membahas rencana hibah tiga kapal patroli dari Coast Guard Jepang. Budhi mengungkapkan, Februari tahun depan, dirinya diundang Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) ke Negeri Sakura.

"Momentum itu akan digunakan untuk pembicaraan kembali hibah kapal," katanya.

Budhi mengakui, ketersediaan kapal untuk mendukung keamanan laut masih sangat terbatas. Kapal-kapal yang dioperasikan masih di bawah kepemilikan beberapa instansi yang terkoordinasi dalam Bakorkamla. Kondisi ini berdampak pada kecepatan dan ketepatan pengamanan laut yang dilakukan.

Hibah kapal jadi salah satu poin kesepakatan bantuan yang dijanjikan Jepang. Totalnya bantuan mencapai US$300 juta (sekitar Rp3,3 triliun). Kucuran akan disalurkan secara bertahap selama tiga tahun ke depan. Selain kapal, Jepang berjanji akan memberikan pelbagai bantuan lain seperti penguatan kapasitas, tukar-menukar personel, dan asistensi.

Selain Jepang dan Jerman, Bakorkamla juga tengah menjajaki kerja sama serupa dengan Amerika Serikat (AS), China, Norwegia, dan Prancis. Meski mencari bantuan asing, Bakorkamla tetap memiliki peta jalan peningkatan kapasitasnya. Antara lain, pembangunan akademi pendidikan keamanan laut, pembangunan perwakilan Bakorkamla di enam kota, dan pengembangan teknologi informasi seperti satelit pengintai.(Adhitya Cahya Utama)


Russia has 12 firm export orders for Mi-28N helicopter gunships

CHKALOVSKY (Moscow Region), December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has received 12 orders from abroad for Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters and is ready to fulfill any contracts, the head of manufacturer Russian Helicopters said on Friday.

Andrei Shibitov added that some of the orders received were from Venezuela.

"We have 12 export orders for Mi-28N helicopters, including from Venezuela, and are ready to fulfill any contracts," he said.

He also said the Turkish government had also shown an interest in the helicopters, although no formal contracts had been signed yet.

A national Turkish daily reported on Monday that Ankara was planning to buy 32 used Mi-28 (Havoc) helicopters from Russia in a deal worth a total of $1 billion.

Vatan said the decision to buy helicopters from Russia was made after talks for purchases of Cobra and Super Cobra helicopter gunships failed with the United States.

The Russian helicopters will tide Turkey over until Agusta A-129 Mangusta helicopters, co-produced with Italy's Agusta Westland, have been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces. The Italian company won a tender for the production of 52 helicopters in 2007.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has yet to officially confirm the report by Vatan.

The Mi-28 is an all-weather day-night attack helicopter manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia.

The Russian Air Force said earlier on Friday it had started modernization of the Mi-28N helicopter and the development of a new helicopter, the Mi-28NM.
The Air Force is designing a fifth-generation helicopter, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin told journalists.

"We are working on the design of a fifth-generation helicopter. Russia's military-industrial complex has solved the task of bringing into service the Mi-28H and Ka-52 helicopters. Now we're working on a fifth-generation helicopter," the Air Force commander said.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

Russia to start production of Ka-52 combat helicopters

A Ka-52 Alligator combat helicopter during a demonstration flight at the MAKS-2007 international air show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow.
(RIA Novosti, Anton Denisov)

CHKALOVSKY (Moscow Region), December 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government has approved the production of Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters at a plant in the Far East, the Air Force chief said on Friday.

The Ka-52 is a twin-seat derivative of the Ka-50 Hokum-A attack helicopter, and is designed primarily for reconnaissance and target designation purposes. It is similar to the U.S. AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

"The Russian government has decided to approve the production of the first batch of Ka-52 helicopters at the Arsenyevsk plant," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin.

Deliveries of the Ka-52 Hokum-B to the Russian Air Force will start in 2009. (RIA Novosti, Yuri Maltsev)

Deliveries of the first 12 Ka-52 Hokum-Bs to the Russian Air Force will start in 2009.

Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (aviastar)

According to Zelin, the Russian Air Force will receive more than 100 new helicopters, including the Ka-52 and the Mi-28N Night Hunter, over the next four years.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

30 Prajurit BRIGIF-1 Marinir Lulus Latihan Dalam Dinas Intelijen

Pelepasan tanda peserta LDD saat penutupan

Komandan Brigif-1 Marinir Kolonel Marinir Yuniar Ludfi secara resmi menutup Latihan Dalam Dinas (LDD) Intelijen Brigif-1 Marinir TA. 2008 dalam upacara resmi, Rabu (24/12) di Markas Komando Brigif-1 Marinir Gedangan Sidoarjo, Jawa Timur.

LDD Intel Brigif-1 Marinir 2008 dilaksanakan selama 15 hari dan diikuti 30 prajurit yang merupakan perwakilan dari Batalyon di jajaran Brigif-1 Marinir diutamakan dari anggota Tidur Luar Kota. Dengan maksud apabila ada kejadian-kejadian di luar Surabaya yang berhubungan dengan prajurit Korps Marinir, bisa langsung menginformasikan ke kesatuan di Surabaya.

Dalam amanatnya Komandan mengatakan bahwa LDD Intelijen Brigif-1 Mar dilaksanakan dengan tujuan membekali dan memberikan pengetahuan serta ketrampilan Intelijen agar dapat melaksanakan tugas secara profesional, baik dan berhasil. Selain itu, sesuai tuntutan tugas Intelijen sebagai fungsi komando, keberadaan dan peran yang diemban sangatlah menentukan dalam pengambilan keputusan Komandan, untuk itu diperlukan adanya personel Intelijen yang memiliki kemampuan yang baik dan dapat diandalkan oleh setiap satuan.

“ Latihan yang dilaksanakan ini tentunya tidak terlepas dari kekurangan dan keterbatasan, namun hendaknya kekurangan dan keterbatasan itu kita jadikan tantangan dan evaluasi untuk perbaikan pada penyelenggaraan LDD yang akan datang” lanjut Danbrigif-1 Marinir.

Komandan juga memberikan penekanan agar terus meningkatkan kemampuan dan keterampilan sebagai personel Intelijen yang nantinya akan digunakan untuk mengabdikan diri kepada Korps Marinir, TNI AL, TNI, bangsa dan Negara.

Hadir dalam kegiatan tersebut Paspers Brigif-1 Mar Mayor Marinir Tommy, Danyonif-1 Marinir Mayor Marinir Guslin, Danyonif-3 Marinir Letkol Marinir Hardimo, Danyonif-5 Marinir Letkol Marinir Firman Johan, Dankima Brigif-1 Marinir Mayor Marinir Agus Gunawan dan Perwira di jajaran Brigif-1 Marinir.


Chinese warships set sail for anti-piracy mission off Somalia

A ceremony is held before a Chinese naval fleet sets sail from a port in Sanya city of China's southernmost island province of Hainan on Dec. 26, 2008. The Chinese naval fleet including two destroyers and a supply ship from the South China Sea Fleet set off on Friday for waters off Somalia for an escort mission against piracy.(Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

TOKYO, Dec 26 (KUNA) - Chinese warships set sail on Friday from a port on the southern island Hainan for Somalian to take part in an escort mission against piracy, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Two destroyers and the supply ship will cruise for about 10 days to arrive in the Gulf of Aden, joining the multinational patrol in one of the world's busiest sea lanes where surging piracy endangers international shipping, Xinhua said.

This marks the first time Chinese warships have patrolled outside of Chinese waters since the formation of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

The fleet will carry about 800 crew members, including 70 soldiers from the Navy's special force. It's equipped with missiles, cannons and light weapons.

"All crew members have full confidence in their ability to fulfill the escort mission," the commander, Rear-Admiral Du Jingchen, told Xinhua at a send-off ceremony before the fleet departed.

The escort fleet will protect Chinese vessels and crews, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, that seek protection when passing through the area, as well as foreign ships upon request.

The first phase of the mission will last for three months and the navy will send new ships to relieve the fleet at an appropriate time, depending on the situation and the UN Security Council decision, according to the report.

It will also help ships carrying humanitarian relief for international organizations such as the UN World Food Program.

The Defense Ministry officially announced the deployment on Tuesday, saying that China will observe UN resolutions and international laws in fulfilling its obligations.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said 1,265 Chinese commercial vessels had passed through the Gulf of Aden so far this year and seven had been attacked. One fishing ship and 18 crew members were still being held by pirates.

Britain, France, Germany and Russia have already deployed destroyers and other naval vessels off Somalia to counter rampant piracy.(mk.ema)


Russia delivers two Su-30 fighters to Indonesia under contract

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Sukhoi holding, the manufacturer of the famed family of Su fighter planes, said on Friday it had delivered two Su-30MK2 Flanker multi-role fighters to Indonesia.

Under a $300 million contract, signed in 2007, Russia will supply three Su-30MK2 and three Su-27SKM fighters to Jakarta in addition to two Su-27SK and two Su-30MK that are already in service with the Indonesian air force.

"Indonesia has prepared all the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the Russian-made fighters, including a separate hangar. Pilots and technicians are also available for the servicing of the aircraft," the company said in a statement.

According to an official from Russia's state-run arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, the official transfer ceremony will be held in mid-January.

"The aircraft have been delivered to an airbase in Makassar and received by the Indonesian side. After assembly by Russian specialists and a series of test flights, the aircraft will be officially transferred to Indonesia," Vadim Varaksin said.

Russia is scheduled to deliver the third Su-30MK2 fighter in the beginning of 2009 and three Su-27SKM planes in 2009-2010.

The aircraft will become part of the 11th Squadron and will be based at the Sultan Hasanuddin airbase on the island of Sulawesi.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

Dua Sukhoi SU-30MK2 Flanker TNI AU Tiba di Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin

SU-30MK2 Flanker (KNAAPO)

Sesuai rencana dua Sukhoi SU-30MK2 Flanker tiba di Pangkalan Udara (Lanud) Sultan Hasanuddin, Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan, Jumat (26/12). Kedua pesawat tersebut diterbangkan dari Rusia pada Kamis (25/12) menggunakan pesawat angkut Antonov AH-124-100 dan tiba di Lanud Sultan Hassanudin Makassar pada Jumat (26/12), sekitar pukul 10.30 Wita.

Kedatangan dua Sukhoi jenis SU-30MK2 dengan tempat duduk tandem itu, disaksikan Kepala Proyek Sukhoi TNI AU Kolonel Mahandono, Komandan Lanud Sultan Hassanudin Marsekal Pertama I Putu Dunia, Komandan Skadron Udara 11 Letkol Pnb Iko Putro, dan Komandan Wing 5 Lanud Sultan Hassanudin Kolonel Pnb Arif Mustofa.

Kedua pesawat tersebut dikirim dalam keadaan terurai dan memerlukan waktu selama 10 hari untuk merakitnya kembali. Perakitan dilakukan 14 orang teknisi Sukhoi dibantu 15 teknisi TNI AU.

Ke-14 teknisi Rusia itu terdiri dari teknisi perakit dan teknisi warranty. Teknisi warranty akan tinggal di Makassar selama sebulan memantau kinerja mesin hingga siap pada penerbangan perdana pada tengah Januari 2009.

Kedatangan dua unit jet tempur itu melengkapi empat jet tempur yang sebelumnya telah dimiliki oleh Skadron 11, yang terdiri dari tiga jenis SU-30MK2 dan satu jenis SU-27SKM. Rencananya, satu unit jenis SU-30MK2 akan dipesan lagi pada akhir Januari 2009, sehingga total Sukhoi yang didatangkan sejak tahun 2005 hingga awal 2009 sebanyak tujuh unit.

Menurut Widyargo, armada jet tempur Skadron 11 akan dilengkapi menjadi 10 unit hingga akhir tahun 2009. Namun, pengadaan tiga unit Sukhoi berikutnya yang berjenis SU-27SKM tersebut, belum mendapat kepastian waktu dari pemerintah. "Tergantung dananya. Kalau ada, ya kita segera pesan lagi. Tetapi yang pasti hingga akhir tahun 2009 semuanya sudah lengkap. Cuma pemesanannya itu belum tahu bulan berapa," katanya.

Diolah @MIO

India successfully test fires anti-tank missile

NAG (Cobra) ATG @The Hindu

NEW DELHI, Dec 26 - India successfully tested the third generation of the hit-to-kill anti-tank missile "Nag (Cobra)" at the Air Force ranges near Pokhran in the northeastern state of Rajasthan on Friday.

"The trial was 100 percent success," Nag's Progra Director and Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) Director P. Venugopalan said in remarks broadcast by the official national radio station.

The test was conducted as part of the final user trials, that the army conduct in different conditions. The main objective of the Nag missile has been hit-to-kill the stationary target with 100 percent accuracy, he added.

He also said that the Nag missile, which was tested near Pokhran in Rajasthan, India's largest state, carried a live warhead and destryed the stationary target after being unleashed from its carrier, Namica (Nag Missile Carrier), covering a range of 3.3 kilometers.

He added, "The successful test marked the first in a series of winter trials being conducted by the army till this month-end." The missile is expected to be inducted into the Army shortly after the summer trials.


Move to stop submarine disasters with Navy safety reforms

December 26, 2008, The Australian - THE Royal Australian Navy has ordered sweeping new emergency procedures to avoid a Kursk-style submarine disaster, following the near-loss of the HMAS Dechaineux and its 55 crew.

The moves, which include revamped command procedures and hi-tech sensors, valves and emergency buttons, are aimed at stemming an on-board flood within seconds, before it overwhelms the crew.

They are the culmination of detailed studies into the Dechaineux accident off Perth in February 12, 2003, revealed in The Weekend Australian three years ago, during which more than 12,000 litres of water flooded into the submarine in seconds, almost causing it to sink to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

The accident nearly drowned a submariner, Geordie Bunting, and forced commanders to permanently restrict the diving depth of its Collins Class fleet, undermining its operational effectiveness.

The loss of the Dechaineux would have been the worst submarine disaster since Russian submarine the Kursk sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000 with the loss of all 118 crew members.

Collins Class Submarine, HMAS Dechainuex coming into Fleet Base West, HMAS Stirling, Perth, Western Australia. HMAS Sheean in the background. @RAN

For the first time, the navy has revealed the full package of measures it is taking to prevent a repeat of the Dechaineux flood.

"Following the HMAS Dechaineux flooding incident, investigations have focused on shortening the reaction time to a flood and improving resistance to flooding," a defence spokesman told The Australian.

"These improvements include revised emergency procedures, the fitting of additional sensors to warn of potential flooding, the development of a system that can simultaneously shut all critical hull valves, and replacing the original flexible hoses.

"The submarines are being modified progressively as their operational and maintenance availabilities allow."

The new safety procedures are a rare piece of good news for the submarine fleet, whose operations have been severely undermined this year by a 36per cent shortfall in crew numbers.

The Dechaineux accident occurred when a flexible seawater hose broke in the lower motor room while the submarine was at its deepest diving depth, causing seawater to flood in.

The alarm was passed on to the control room via shouts of "flooding" over the intercom and then the captain's order was given to shut all the hull's external valves.

Naval investigators concluded this procedure was too cumbersome and could prove fatal in another major flood, where seconds could make the difference between life and death.

New sensors are being installed for early flood detection, while flood-alert push-buttons are being placed in bilge areas so crew do not have to run to broadcast stations.

When a flood is detected, a new automated system can instantly and automatically shut all external valves.

"This automation removes valuable seconds required for the crew to detect and react to floods," a spokesman said.
New rules have also been introduced to allow console operators in the control room to enact emergency procedures instantly in case of a flood without waiting for the captain's orders.

Despite these safety improvements, the navy will have to wait 18 months until it gets flexible hoses to replace the type that failed on the Dechaineux.
The hoses were ordered early last year but are still being put through laboratory tests by their manufacturer, Oil State Industries in Texas.

If the new hoses prove successful, the navy is expected to revisit the limitations of diving depth it imposed on the fleet after the Dechaineux incident. The submarines' deep diving depth is classified.(Cameron Stewart)


Bakorkamla Godok Payung Hukum Coast Guard

Jum'at, 26 Des 2008,Jurnal Nasional - BADAN Koordinasi Keamanan Laut (Bakorkamla) berharap draf awal rancangan peraturan pemerintah tentang penjaga pantai (coast guard) digodok olehnya. "Kami kan dianggap embrio lembaga terintegrasi keamanan laut," kata Kepala Pelaksana Harian Bakorkamla Laksdya Budhi Hardjo usai donor darah menyambut hari ulang tahun kedua Bakorkamla di Jakarta, Rabu (24/12).

Dia menjelaskan, Undang-Undang No 17 Tahun 2008 tentang Pelayaran yang mengamanatkan pembentukan Sea and Coast Guard harus menjadi momentum mewujudkan lembaga yang memiliki kewenangan penuh menjaga keamanan laut dan pantai. Dalam UU Pelayaran, diamanatkan lembaga itu harus sudah berdiri paling lambat tiga tahun dari pemgesahan UU 17.

Walaupun fungsinya akan lebih luas daripada pelayaran, UU tersebut bisa dijadikan sebagai landasan pembentukan melalui Peraturan Pemerintah sebagaimana yang diamanatkan. "Jangan hanya hadir, tapi tidak ada implementasinya," katanya.

Budhi mengakui, masih ada kendala ego sektoral dengan banyaknya instansi yang memiliki kewenangan di laut. Ego ini, kata dia, selama dua tahun pembentukan Bakorkamla telah dicoba dieliminasi.

Salah satunya, melalui pertemuan bulanan yang dihadiri seluruh otoritas keamanan laut, antara lain TNI AL, Polisi Air, Ditjen Bea Cukai, Ditjen Imigrasi, Kesatuan Penjaga Laut dan Pantai (KPLP), serta instansi terkait lainnya. Operasi terpadu bersandi "Gurita" juga menjadi cara menyamakan visi dan misi. "(Koordinasi) ini tantangan terberat kita," katanya.

Dia menambahkan, untuk menghindari kesan pembentukan lembaga baru, disarankan hanya merevitalisasi lembaga yang telah ada. Artinya, lebih pemberdayaan Bakorkamla dan penguatan KPLP.

Payung hukum lewat Peraturan Pemerintah pun dianggap cukup, asalkan semua instansi terkait sepakat. Penjurunya pun tetap, yaitu menteri perhubungan. "Kalau tak ada aral melintang, 2009 lembaga ini dapat terwujud," kata Budhi.

Sebelumnya, Direktur Jenderal Perhubungan Laut, Departemen Perhubungan Sunaryo mengatakan, coast guard akan menjadi lembaga pemerintah nondepartemen yang bertanggung jawab langsung ke presiden.

Dia yakin, pembentukan lembaga satu pintu ini akan mendorong keyakinan dunia internasional terkait keamanan di laut Indonesia. Dephub sendiri sebagai koordinator pembentukan lembaga tersebut menargetkan operasional akhir 2009.

Sedangkan peraturan pemerintah sebagai payung hukum lembaga tersebut diperkirakan kelar pertengahan 2009. Saat ini, rancangan peraturan sedang proses pembuatan.

"Dalam penggodokan kami tidak ingin menghilangkan salah satu sektor dan mementingkan sektor lainnya," katanya.(Adhitya Cahya Utama)


Iran Stresses Efforts to Boost Defensive Systems

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran said it spares no effort to boost its defense system whether by buying or building new systems.

Iran's Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said on Wednesday that safeguarding the country's borders and independence is deemed a responsibility that Iran will do everything to bolster defensive abilities through buying or producing weapons, the Iranian students news agency reported.

Russia's state arms exporter announced on Monday that it is to send defensive weapons to Iran, including surface-to-air missiles. Also a Russian military source, unnamed, claimed sophisticated S-300 and S-300PMU1 systems will be delivered to Iran.

Washington urged Russia on Monday to clarify whether it has provided Iran with the weapons.

"We have repeatedly made clear at senior levels of the Russian government that we would strongly oppose the sale of the S-300," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.

Najjar in this regard refused to give a clear yes or no answer whether Iran has bought Russia's S-300 missiles saying, "If necessary, we will comment in regard with certain cases."

However, he said, "We spare no efforts in buying or building these weapons."

Iran has many interactions with all friend and neighbor countries including Russia, he added, Tehran has bought Tor M-1 air defense missile systems.

The Tor-M1 all-weather surface-to-air missile system is designed to protect military and civilian facilities against sudden attacks by cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial and remotely controlled assault vehicles. The system is capable of performing combat missions in any climatic conditions.Iran has successfully tested the TOR-M1 air defense missile system recently supplied by Russia. RIA Novosti

He then referred to the enemy chantage in this regard asserting neither Tehran nor Moscow would be influenced by the chantage since enemies want to deprive Iran from the right of employing defensive weapons.


IAI and Elbit Systems Awarded $141 Million Contract to Supply Combined Airborne Imagery Intelligence Systems to the Turkish Air Force

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) and Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) announced today that their respective subsidiaries, ELTA Systems Ltd. (ELTA) and Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop Ltd. (Elbit Systems Electro-Optics) have been awarded a $141 million contract ($54 million awarded to ELTA and $87 million awarded to Elbit Systems Electro-Optics) to supply the Turkish Air Force with combined airborne IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) systems.

The contract will become effective upon Elbit Systems Electro-Optics and ELTA completing the process for providing performance bonds for the project, which is anticipated to occur in the coming weeks.

Deliveries under the contract will be made over a four-year period.


Production may be to blame for failed Bulava test

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) - The chief of the Russian General Staff said Thursday that production flaws could be to blame for Tuesday's unsuccessful test launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile.

"Either the military-industrial complex or production itself or design shortcomings could be to blame for the failure," General of the Army Nikolai Makarov said.
Makarov said the Defense Ministry would thoroughly investigate the reasons for the failure.

The submerged launch of the Bulava ICBM took place from the Dmitry Donskoi strategic nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea, off Russia's northwest coast, targeting the Kura firing ground in Kamchatka, the Far East.

"The launch was a failure," an official at the Belomorsk naval base said. "The crew performed well. The missile left the tube, but went off course due to a malfunction after the first stage separation."

A Navy commission will investigate the cause of the unsuccessful launch, Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, a Navy spokesman, said earlier.

The latest test launch was Bulava's 10th and the fifth failure.

@ RIA Novosti

The previous test of the Bulava missile took place on November 28. It was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea, effectively engaging its designated target on the Kamchatka Peninsula about 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) east of Moscow.

Russia earlier planned for the Bulava to enter service with the Navy in 2009. But a senior Russian Navy official said earlier this month that several more test launches would be conducted next year before a final decision to adopt it for service was made.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30), carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads and having a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier said the missile would be a key component of Russia's nuclear forces.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

German gunboats abort bid to seize Egyptian cargo ship off Somalia

CAIRO, Dec 25 (KUNA) -- A German warship cruising off the shores of Somalia scrambled into action at sea when Somali pirates made a futile bid to commandeer an Egyptian vessel in the sea waters early on Thursday.

Ambassador Ahmad Rezek, the assistant foreign minister, said in a statement that the cargo ship, "Wadi Al-Arab," was targeted with an RPG but several German gunboats cruising nearby, including the warship, "Carlsruhe," confronted the pirates and foiled their bid to take over the Egyptian ship.

The ship, with 30 Egyptian sailors and crew members on board, is now being escorted by some German ships while sailing toward South Korea, he said.

The ship is carrying wheat loaded in the Ukraine. It will unloaded at a South Korean port.


Dua Sukhoi segera tiba di Makassar

Panglima Komando Operasi TNI AU (Pangkoopsau) II Marsekal Muda (Marsda) TNI Yushan Sayuti dalam obrolan santai akhir tahun dengan redaksi koran Ujungpandang Ekspress, di Makoopsau II, Rabu (24/12). Mengemukakan pada 26 Desember 2008, dua unit pesawat Sukhoi Su-27/30 akan datang dari Rusia ke Lanud Sultan Hasanudin, Makassar.

Kedatangan dua persawat yang menggunakan pesawat Antonov itu, masih dalam bentuk terpisah, selanjutnya pesawat akan mengalami proses perakitan di Lanud Sultan Hasanudin oleh para teknisi Lanud Sultan Hasanudin yang didampingi tim Sukhoi dari Rusia.

Diolah @TNI-AU

UAE to buy 'hit-to-kill' PAC-3 missiles

Wed, 24 Dec 2008 17:49:40 GMT, PRESS TV - The United Arab Emirates is to acquire Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles as well as associated equipment and services.

The delivery of the missile system would make the UAE the first Middle Eastern country to possess the PAC-3, manufactured by the Lockheed Martin Corp.

The UAE purchase is part of a USD 774 million Pentagon contract, in which Lockheed will supply PAC-3 missiles to the US Army as well as the first sale to the UAE. Deliveries are to be completed by July 2011.

Lockheed Martin expects more than USD 1.8 billion in PAC-3 missile-related business by the time the delivery is completed.

"The PAC-3 missile offers the UAE combat-proven hit-to-kill lethality to protect critical capabilities and national assets," Lockheed Martin's vice president Dennis Cavin said.

He noted, "PAC-3 Missile Segment performance and lethality are the premier technologies available to provide defense against the threats facing our forces and allies today and well into the future."

The PAC-3 in defense jargon is a 'hit-to-kill' weapon - meaning it actually strikes its target, rather than just exploding nearby. The missiles use rocket motors to steer - as opposed to little wings. The PAC-3 has its own built-in radar to determine the location of a mobile target.

Each PAC-3 battery comes with up to eight launchers, holding 16 missiles each, as well as a control station, a radar set, a power plant, a maintenance center and an antenna array - all of which are carried on a separate trailer.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the PAC-3 missile, while Raytheon supplies the Patriot launcher and radar.

The PAC-3 system was used in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.The missile system is also sold to the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. MP/MMN


Russian deputy foreign minister denies S-300 supplies to Iran

S-300PMU2 Favorit surface-to-air missile system (RIA Novosti)

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's deputy foreign minister on Thursday denied claims that Russia had supplied S-300 air defense systems to Iran.

Iran's official news agency IRNA, quoting a senior Iranian MP, reported on Sunday that Russia had started supplying components for S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. The United States, also citing intelligence reports, demanded an explanation from Russia.

"I am very surprised by the fuss this story has caused recently. I think this is due to a lack of interesting international news in the run-up to the holidays that many of our Western neighbors are celebrating. This causes an influx of interest in information, which has nothing to do with anything that is going on or will happen," Sergei Ryabkov told a news conference in Moscow.

He said military and technical cooperation that Russia is developing with Iran was transparent, and complied fully with international and Russian laws.

The statement echoes a similar denial by the Russian federal service for military cooperation. "Reports on deliveries of S-300 systems are untrue," the service said on Monday.

Esmaeil Kosari, deputy chairman of the parliamentary commission on national security and foreign policy told IRNA last week that Iran and Russia had held negotiations for several years on the purchase of S-300 systems and had finalized the deal. He said the Islamic Republic would deploy the surface-to-air missile systems to strengthen national defense on border areas.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has neither denied nor confirmed the report.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tel Aviv, worried by occasional anti-Israeli rhetoric from Iran, had received assurances from Russia that it had not started S-300 deliveries to Tehran.

The U.S. and Israel, which have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military action against Iran, were earlier alarmed by media reports, which started circulating as early as 2005, on the possible delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, as these systems could greatly improve Iranian defenses against any air strike targeted at strategically important sites, including nuclear facilities.

The advanced version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1 (SA-20 Gargoyle), has a range of over 150 kilometers (over 100 miles) and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes, making the system an effective tool for warding off possible air strikes.

Iran recently took delivery of 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems under a $700-million contract signed in late 2005. Russia has also trained Iranian Tor-M1 specialists, including radar operators and crew commanders.

The Islamic Republic has conducted several high-profile war games this year, including a three-day series of Air Force and missile defense exercises on September 15-18, while promising swift retaliation in the event of any act of aggression against the country.

Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite Western accusations that the program is geared toward weapon production.

NEWS @RIA Novosti

Leopard tanks to join Lebanon's fleet

Wed, 24 Dec 2008 14:55:12 GMT, PRESS TV - Germany is to supply Lebanon with Leopard tanks and military equipment as part of an assistance agreement, which would irk Israel.

A german military delegation is expected to visit Beirut next month to discuss a military assistance package to the Lebanese army, Lebanon's al-Markaziyeh News Agency reported Wednesday.

The German officials will also hold talks with their Lebanese counterparts on ways to enhance the country's military capabilities.

The early 2009 visit aims to complete an initiative Lebanese President Michel Suleiman had launched during his visit to Germany in early December.

During Suleiman's visit to Berlin, Germany agreed to provide Lebanon with 50 Leopard tanks and other military equipment in a bid to help the country secure its border with Syria.

The deal, however, is expected to face criticism from Israel, has already lost a war to Lebanon.

Israel occupied Sheeba Farms following the 1967 Six-Day War, and Lebanon has repeatedly called for the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the area.

Israeli fighter jets frequently violate Lebanese airspace, conducting overflights in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for an end to the 33-day Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.

Last week, Russia also announced that it would supply Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 fighter jets in a bid to boost the country's defense.

Lebanese military sources then said the Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters would be provided free to Lebanon under an agreement on military-technical assistance.

The United States - since 2006 - has provided Lebanon with USD 410 million in military aid limited to light weapons and vehicles. This is while Washington's annual military aid to Israel stands at USD 2.4 billion.

The Lebanese army has never been well-equipped as the Lebanese air force is currently consisted of five Hawker Hunter jets belonging to 1950s and 1960s and a dozen of helicopters.MP/MMN


Iran, Bahrain to sign security pact

Thu, 25 Dec 2008 02:35:53 GMT, PRESS TV - Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa will visit Tehran in the near future to sign a security agreement. He will also convey a message from Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mehr news agency reported. Bahrain's top diplomat will also meet his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki to discuss bilateral ties. The visit will come amid efforts by the region's countries to play a more active role in establishing security in the Persian Gulf. MGH/RE


Australia's defense advisor told to leave Fiji

WELLINGTON, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Australia has been dragged into Fiji's latest diplomatic impasse, after the Fiji interim government rejected a pending visa request for a regional military attache.

The attache was to have been based at the Australian High Commission in Suva and has been waiting for visa approval for several weeks, Fiji Daily Post online reported on Thursday.

The interim government informed the Australian government of the decision to reject their request on the day it expelled acting NZ High Commissioner to Fiji Caroline McDonald on Tuesday.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith branded the decision "unhelpful and destructive" in a joint statement with Australian Minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon.

Fiji Department of Information deputy secretary Neumi Leweni said the request was refused, saying the Australian government breached protocol.

Leweni said the procedure for such request was that the sending state (Australia) had to receive endorsement of the receiving state (Fiji).

This person got himself a 14-day visa and arrived in the country on tourist visa and this is breaching protocol."

He suggested that the Australian government recall its defence advisor and reapply by way of a diplomatic note to the Foreign Ministry for its request to be re-considered.


Bomb P 100 - 120 (Practice and Live)

Manufacture: CV. Sari Bahari
Address: Jl. Bendungan Sempor Kav. 16 Malang 65145, Jawa Timur - Indonesia
User: Indonesia Airforce

PHOTO @CV. Sari Bahari

Topol-M ICBMs enter service with new missile regiment in Russia

The land-based mobile strategic missile system Topol-M (Vladimir Rodionov)

MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - A complex of Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin) ICBMs entered service on Wednesday with another missile regiment in central Russia, a Strategic Missile Forces spokesman said.

The SMF spokesman said the sophisticated Topol-M road-mobile missile system, which "has no match in the world," had been "put on combat duty" at the Teikovo missile unit in the Ivanovo region.

The first two missile battalions were armed with six Topol-M systems at the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Moscow.

Topol-M missiles are the mainstay of the ground-based component of Russia's nuclear triad. As of 2008, the SMF operated 48 silo-based and six road-mobile Topol-M missile systems.

The missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is reportedly impervious to any current or future U.S. missile defenses.

It is also shielded against radiation, electromagnetic attack, and nuclear blast, and is designed to survive an impact from any known weaponized laser system.


Northrop Grumman contracted for Iraqi C-130 upgrades

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Lear Siegler Services Inc. has contracted Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) to upgrade the Iraqi air force's C-130 cargo aircraft.

U.S. company Northrop Grumman's Sperry Marine business unit was awarded a Foreign Military Sales contract to provide radar upgrades for the Iraqi air force C-130 cargo aircraft.

Under the $5.1 million deal, officials say Sperry Marine will replace obsolete radar technologies on the C-130 with new AN/APN-242 weather and navigation radars among other upgrades.

The AN/APN-242 is designed to provide "weather detection and avoidance, terrain mapping and navigation, aircraft detection, precision air drop capability and beacon/IFF (identification, friend or foe) interrogation capabilities," the release said.

Latihan Gladi Tugas Tempur Tingkatkan Kemampuan Unsur KRI

Dalam rangka meningkatkan kemampuan dan kesiapan unsur KRI, Satuan Lintas Laut Militer (Sanlitlamil) Surabaya dengan melibatkan tiga unsur sejenis melaksanakan kegiatan Gladi Tugas Tempur (Glasgaspur) tingkat III, belum lama ini di perairan Tanjung Jangkar, Jawa Timur.

Latihan Gladi tugas tempur merupakan salah satu bentuk latihan bertingkat unsur kapal sejenis dalam rangka mendukung kegiatan angkutan laut militer dalam bentuk pergeseran pasukan, logistik dan material strategis Mabes TNI dan TNI AL. Latihan tersebut diperlukan dalam rangka meningkatkan kesiapan unsur-unsur dan kesiapan personel yang mengawaki secara optimal dan melaksanakan berbagai latihan untuk meningkatkan profesionalisme prajurit.

Gladi tugas tempur tingkat III yang diikuti oleh unsur-unsur KRI Satlinlamil di Surabaya dua diantaranya jenis Landing Ship Tank (LST) yaitu KRI Teluk Bayur-502 dan KRITeluk Ratai-509 serta jenis Frosh KRI Teluk Lampung-540. Latihan tersebut disimulasikan dalam rangka melaksanakan latihan aksi-aksi tempur bersama di laut sesuai dengan standar yang dipersyaratkan. Latihan yang dilaksanakan oleh unsur-unsur KRI dibawah pembinaan Satuan Lintas Laut Militer (Satlinlamil) Surabaya tersebut, dilaksanakan dalam upaya meningkatkan kesiapan unsur dalam mendukung tugas pokok Komando Lintas Laut Militer (Kolinlamil) diantaranya melaksanakan pembinaan kemampuan sistem angkutan laut militer dalam rangka mendukung pergeseran pasukan diantaranya ke daerah operasi yang saat ini dilaksanakan seperti didaerah wilayah perbatasan Indonesia.

Dengan dilaksanakan latihan secara terprogram dan terencana dalam bentuk latihan peran-peran operatif, administrasif darurat maupun khusus sampai dengan latihan parsial diharapkan dapat meningkatkan kemampuan unsur kapal perang TNI AL dibawah jajaran Komando Lintas Laut Militer.

Satlinlamil Surabaya merupakan salah satu Komando pelaksana pembinaan Komando Lintas Laut Militer dan pada saat ini dibawah Komandan Kolonel Laut (P) Wuspo Lukito. Satlinlamil Surabaya membina 7 unsur KRI terdiri dari jenis Landing Ship Tank ( LST) dan kapal Bantu Angkut Personel (BAP).

Angkut Peralatan ke Wilayah Timur

Sementara itu KRI Teluk Ratai-509 dalam rangka mendukung pengamanan perbatasan di wilayah timur Indonesia, mengangkut sejumlah unsur patroli pengamanan laut diantaranya Sea Reader dan Sea Hunter dan kendaraan khusus (ransus) dan kendaraan ransus tangki air dan dukungan logistik ke wilayah timur Indonesia diantaranya ke Biak ,Sorong, Kendari, Bitung dan Kupang tolak kemarin dari dermaga Kolinlamil Jakarta.

KRI Teluk Ratai-509 dengan komandan Mayor Laut (P) Hari Wijayanto adalah jenis Landing Ship Tank (LST) memiliki kemampuan angkut tank sebanyak 17 dan beberapa kendaraan serta mampu mengangkut personel dengan fasilitas 800 personel .

KRI tersebut dibawah komando pelaksana pembinaan Satuan Lintas Laut Militer (Satlinlamil) Surabaya, buatan tahun 1944 dan sampai saat ini memiliki kemampuan berlayar sampai dengan 12 knots.
Selama melaksanakan kegiatan operasi pergeseran peralatan strategis dan dukungan logistik di daerah perairan wilayah timur , KRI dengan nomor lambung 509 selama kegiatan lintas laut menuju daerah sasaran tetap melakukan pendeteksian dan penegakkan hukum di sepanjang perairan yang menjadi route kegiatan operasi dalam rangka mendukung pergeseran peralatan strategis.

NEWS @Dispen Kolinlamil

Russian Navy missile cruiser to visit South Africa Jan. 9-12

The Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) Kirov Class Project 1144.2 Heavy Missile Cruiser

MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Northern Fleet's Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser will become the first Russian warship to dock in Cape Town when it visits South Africa on January 9-12, Russia's Navy said.

The Navy said in a press release that the Pyotr Veliky will sail down Africa's west coast and pass the southern tip of the continent to join up with warships from the Pacific Fleet for the INDRA-2009 joint exercises with the Indian Navy. The Admiral Vinogradov, an Udaloy class destroyer, a tugboat and two fuel tankers have almost reached the Indian Ocean, having left Russia's Far East two weeks ago.

Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, a spokesman for the Russian Navy, said earlier that Russia currently has three naval task groups on tours of duty in the world's oceans.

Another naval task force from the Northern Fleet, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and including the Admiral Levchenko destroyer, recently left the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, and is heading to the Strait of Gibraltar.

Russia announced last year that its Navy had resumed and would build up a constant presence in different regions of the world's oceans.


Brazil to build military submarines, helicopters with French technology

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on Tuesday (Dec 23) an agreement for the building in Brazil of 4 diesel-electric Scorpène Class submarines, plus assistance in developing and fielding the non-nuclear parts of 1 nuclear submarine and 50 EC725 Cougar helicopters for the Brazilian Armed Forces with French technology.

As part of the French-Brazilian Strategic Partnership's Action Plan, the two countries also signed agreements in the aerospace, educational and biodiversity areas. The two countries also agreed to stimulate the integration between Brazil and neighboring French Guyana, which includes the construction of a bridge over the Oiapoque River, an old project.

"The only possibility of French Guyana developing itself is by connecting itself to this powerful nation that Brazil is," said President Sarkozy at a press conference that followed the agreements' signing.

A consortium of Brazilian Helibras and French Eurocopter will build the 50 helicopters in Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states. The first batch of helicopters will be delivered to the Brazilian military in 2010.

The agreement for the construction of the four conventional Scorpene submarines and the nuclear-propelled one includes the construction of a shipyard and a naval military base in Brazil.

"The agreement will allow our navy to have top-notch equipment to better patrol our extensive coast," said President Lula, adding that the agreement's main goal is the protection of Brazil's deep-water offshore oil fields.

Scorpène Class submarine
Key Data
Crew: 32
Overall Length: 63.5m
Draught: 5.4m
Submerged Displacement: 1,590t
Surface Displacement: 1,450t
Pressure Hull Weldable
and High-Tensile Steel:
80HLES, more than 700Mpa
Maximum Operating Depth: 350m
Submerged Speed Over: 20 kt
Range(at 8kt): 6,400nm
Endurance: 50 days
Weapon Systems:
Torpedoes / Missiles: 6x 21in torpedo tubes for 18 torpedoes / missiles

EC 725 Cougar Medium Multi-Mission Helicopter

Main Rotor Diameter: 16.2m
Tail Rotor Diameter: 3.15m
Overall Length With Rotors Turning: 19.5m
Height to Top of Main Rotor Head: 4.6m
Maximum Height to Top Turning Tail Rotor: 4.97m
Width Fuselage: 2.1m
Cabin Dimensions
Length x Width x Height: 8.22m x 2.05m x 1.8m
Volume: 20m³
Maximum Take-Off Weight, Internal Load: 11,000kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight, External Load:11,200kg
Maximum Internal Payload: 5,700kg
Maximum External Payload: 5,000kg
Fast Cruise Speed: 150kt
Never Exceed Speed, VNE: 170kt
Service Ceiling: 6,000m
Hover Ceiling, Out of Ground Effect (OGE): 525m
Hover Ceiling, In Ground Effect (IGE): 2,210m
Range: 800nm at 5,000ft


Russia to upgrade strategic bombers in 2009

Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack A launching a Kh-55SM (RuMoD)

MOSCOW, December 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers and Tu-22M3 Backfire long-range bombers will undergo major modernization in 2009, a strategic aviation commander said on Tuesday.

"Our aircraft have been in service for about 15 years, which is only a fraction of their lifespan. So next year we plan to conduct a deep modernization of our aircraft," said Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov, commander of the 37th Air Army.

He said the bombers would be provided with new targeting and navigation systems, which would enable them, in particular, to use unguided bombs with a very high degree of accuracy - effectively engaging any target within 20 meters.

He added that the strategic bombers would have their operational range increased and their onboard defense systems significantly upgraded.

The general said that more than 60 strategic and long-range bombers, as well as 15 fuel tankers, had flown patrol missions in 2008.

He said they had carried out more than 60 sorties, launching over 100 tactical missiles and clocking a total of 660 flight hours.

He added that, for the first time in the history of Russia's strategic aviation, Tu-160 bombers had made two 15-hour flights with midair refueling of up to 25 tons of fuel on each mission.

The commander said that in 2008, Russian warplanes had accomplished successful patrol missions in various parts of the world, including over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, as well as the Black Sea.


Spokesman: Iran denies agreement with Russia over missile delivery


TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Iran denied on Monday that there was an agreement with Russia over missile delivery, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

No final agreement had yet reached with Russia over the delivery of a new air defense system to Iran, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told reporters.

"The Foreign Ministry has not yet received anything final in this regard, therefore, I can neither confirm nor deny this agreement," Qashqavi was quoted as saying.

According to Fars, the Iranian lawmaker Ismael Kowsari on Sunday claimed that "the deal had already been finalized with Moscow."

Moreover, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Sunday that Iran would receive the S-300 air defense systems from Russia soon.

Russia's RIA news agency, on the other hand, quoted confidential sources as saying on Wednesday that Russia was currently fulfilling a contract to deliver S-300 air defense systems to Iran.

In a counter position, Israeli Defense Ministry envoy Amos Gilad, who was visiting Moscow on Friday, said that Israel expected Russia to respect his country's interests.

"The deliveries of dangerous armaments to our enemies won't serve the interests of peace and, for instance, can help Iran wipe Israel off the face of the earth," Gilad said.

The S-300 is a series of Russia's longer range surface-to-air missile systems. It was developed as a system against aircraft and cruise missiles for Soviet Union's anti-air defense branch of the military, but later variations were also developed to intercept ballistic missiles.

It is more powerful than the Tor-M1 missile defense system which Russia has delivered to Iran.


Russian Pacific Fleet ships near Indian Ocean for drills in 2009

Admiral Vinogradov (554)

MOSCOW, December 23 (RIA Novosti) - A group of Russian Pacific Fleet vessels will reach the Indian Ocean in two days, where joint Russian-Indian naval exercises are to be held next year, a fleet spokesman said Tuesday.

"The Pacific Fleet task force is in the area of the Singapore and Malacca straits. After negotiating their waters in the next two days, it will reach the Indian Ocean," Captain 1st Rank Roman Martov said.

The group, comprising the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer, the Fotiy Krylov salvage tug, and the tankers Pechenga and Boris Butoma, has been running training drills during the two-week voyage.

The task force is scheduled to make a visit to the Indian port of Marmagao in late January jointly with the Northern Fleet's Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser.


Sukhoi Baru Tak Tambah Dana Operasional

SU-30 MK

KEDATANGAN secara bertahap enam pesawat tempur Sukhoi dari Rusia tak menambah anggaran operasional TNI AU. Menurut Kepala Staf TNI AU Marsekal Subandrio, layaknya mobil baru, pesawat tersebut tidak membutuhkan perawatan ekstra maupun pergantiaan komponen dalam beberapa waktu ke depan.

"Paling hanya permintaan penambahan 'bensin' (bahan bakar) saja," katanya kepada Jurnal Nasional di sela-sela penutupan latihan gabungan antiteror TNI-Polri di Pangkalan TNI AU (Lanud) Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta, Senin (22/12).

Dua Sukhoi dipastikan tiba di Tanah Air pekan ini. Direktur Jenderal Sarana Pertahanan Departemen Pertahanan Marsda Eris Herryanto mengatakan, rentang waktu perkiraan tiba pesawat antara 26-28 Desember. Toh sejauh itu, Subandrio mengakui belum mengetahui rencana kedatangan pesawat berjuluk flanker tersebut.

"Tentu kami sangat senang kalau benar-benar datang," katanya. Indonesia memesan enam elang tempur dari Rosoboronexport itu saat pembukaan Pameran Kedirgantaraan Moskwa, 21 Agustus 2007. Dalam nota kesepahaman disebutkan nilai penjualan mencapai US$355 juta (sekitar Rp3,6 triliun).

Satu pesawat tambahan direncanakan menyusul Januari 2009. Ketiga pesawat yang pertama datang bertipe Sukhoi SU-30MK2 (kursi ganda). Tiga pesawat sisanya jenis SU-27SKM (berkursi tunggal) dijadwalkan hadir medio 2009.

Subandrio mengatakan, dari Rusia pesawat baru itu akan langsung mendarat ke markasnya di Skadron Udara 11, Pangkalan TNI AU, Sultan Hasanuddin, Makassar. Jet tempur tersebut akan bergabung dengan empat pesawat yang sudah dimiliki matra udara sejak September 2003.

"Otomatis kekuatan tempur dan kesiapan kita bertambah," kata lulusan Akademi Angkatan Udara tahun 1975 itu. Dia menjelaskan, seluruh sarana dan prasarana Sukhoi telah siap. Pembangunan hangar dan taxiway telah mencukupi untuk menampung enam pesawat baru. "Tiga penerbang baru juga sudah selesai sekolah di Rusia," katanya.


U.S. Navy Awards General Dynamics $14 Billion Contract for Eight Virginia-Class Submarines

USS Virginia (SSN 774)

GROTON, Conn. (December 22, 2008) – GROTON, Conn. - The U.S. Navy today reaffirmed the strategic need for a robust, adaptable submarine force by awarding General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract valued at $14 billion for the construction of eight Virginia-class submarines. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

The multi-year contract allows Electric Boat and its teammate, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, to proceed with the construction of one ship per year in 2009 and 2010, and two ships per year from 2011 through 2013. The eighth ship to be procured under this contract is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

The Virginia-class submarine is the first U.S. Navy warship designed from the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War era, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; delivering special operation forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare.

The contract immediately provides $2.4 billion to fund construction of SSN-784, which has been named the "North Dakota"; advanced procurement for SSN-785; funding to purchase materials, parts and components for multiple ships at one time (SSN-785 through SSN-791, as yet unnamed), achieving significant economies of scale; and funding for additional cost-reduction design changes (known as Design For Affordability).

Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding already have delivered five Virginia-class submarines to the Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas (SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777) and USS New Hampshire (SSN-778). Five additional submarines are under construction.

The contract comes on the heels of the shipbuilding team’s delivery of USS New Hampshire in August eight months ahead of schedule and more than $60 million under target cost, performance that demonstrates the commitment to reduce the cost and shrink construction schedules during the term of the contract.

Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.

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PAF flexes its muscles

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Monday scrambled fighter jets over several major cities in a sign of increased “vigilance”, following last month’s deadly attacks on India’s financial centre Mumbai.

“In the current environment, PAF has enhanced its vigilance,” PAF spokesman Air Commodore Humayun Viqar told AFP. Residents in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore made panicked telephone calls to the media outlets to ask about the low-flying fighter jets.

The air force declined to comment on the flights but issued a statement saying that “in view of the current environment, the Pakistan Air Force has enhanced its vigilance.” The apparent exercises briefly delayed two PIA flights, said a spokesman for the airline.

“Two of our flights were delayed for some time because the PAF was conducting some exercises but now everything is back on normal,” said Muhammad Latif, a spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines.

The flights were delayed at the airport in the eastern city of Lahore, near the Indian border, Latif said, while dismissing television news channel reports of a high alert at Pakistani airports.

Our Lahore correspondent adds: Flights of low-lying PAF fighter jets created panic among the people here who made frantic calls to newspapers and television channels to learn more about the unexpected movement of warplanes. Flights of fighter jets sparked rumours and debate among people. Some believed that the planes were IAF jets that had intruded into Pakistan’s airspace while others were of the view that the PAF had scrambled these planes to defend Pakistan’s airspace. People kept glued to their television screens following the flights to get themselves updated.


Sukhoi TNI AU Uji Coba Bom P-100

JAKARTA--MI: Dua pesawat jet tempur Sukhoi TNI Angkatan Udara (AU) berhasil melakukan seluruh uji coba bom latih P-100 di Kabupaten, Takalar, Sulawesi Selatan, Selasa.

Dalam uji coba yang berlangsung sejak Senin (22/12) itu, pesawat tempur Sukhoi 27/30 melaksanakan latihan uji coba penembakan air to ground (penembakan dari udara ke darat) di Air Weapon Range/AWR Takalar itu menggunakan jenis bom latih P-100, yang merupakan produk dalam negeri.

"Saat ini pihak produsen telah memproduksi sepuluh bom latih P-100. Dari sepuluh itu, enam kita uji coba dalam dua hari ini. Sedangkan empat bom akan dijadikan protipe untuk diajukan ke Mabes TNI AU, Mabes TNI dan Dephan," kata Komandan Skadron Udara 11 Pangkalan Udara (Lanud) Sultan Hasanuddin, Letkol Pnb Iko Putra di Jakarta.

Ia mengatakan, dari uji coba tersebut bom latih P-100 sangat layak digunakan atau dipasangkan di Sukhoi SU-27SK dan SU-30MK. "Mungkin setelah dievaluasi lebih lanjut bom jenis ini akan kami gunakan terutama untuk latihan," ujarnya.

Bom latih P-100 merupakan hasil kerja sama Dinas Penelitian dan Pengembangan TNI AU dengan CV Sari Bahari Malang, Jawa Timur.

Bom tersebut memiliki panjang 1.130 milimeter, berat 100-125 kilogram dan diameter 273 milimeter. Bom itu dibuat dari bahan besi nodular untuk bodi, baja VCN 15 untuk suslug (cantelan untuk dipasang di pesawat) dan ST-37 untuk bagian ekor, dengan panjang 410 milimeter.

Latihan uji coba senjata yang dilaksanakan selama dua hari tersebut, disaksikan langsung oleh Pangkoopsau II Marsekal Muda TNI Yushan Sayuti dan Komandan Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin Marsekal Pertama TNI IB.Putu Dunia, para pejabat Staf Koopsau II, Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin serta beberapa pejabat Staf dari Mabes TNI Angkatan Udara di lokasi penembakan AWR Takalar.

Adapun para penerbang Sukhoi yang terlibat dalam kegiatan latihan antara lain Komandan Wing 5 Kolonel Pnb Arief Mustofa, Komandan Skadron Udara 11 Letkol Pnb W Iko Putra, Mayor Pnb Yosta Riza, Mayor Pnb Untung S dan Mayor Pnb David Tamboto.


China to "seriously consider" building aircraft carrier

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Tuesday that aircraft carriers are "a reflection of a nation's comprehensive power" and are needed to meet the demands of a country's navy.

The Chinese government would seriously consider "relevant issues" with "factors in every aspects" on building its first ever aircraft carrier, said the spokesman Huang Xueping when responding to a question on whether it was a good opportunity at present to build China's aircraft carrier, at a press conference.

"China has a long coastline and the sacred duty of China's armed forces is to safeguard the country's marine safety and sovereignty over coastal areas and territorial seas," he said.

The ministry was explaining to reporters the deployment of the Chinese Navy as a convoy task force against pirates off Somalia. Three Chinese ships would head for the Somali region on Friday.

"The deployment of the Chinese navy off the Somali coast was inline with UN resolutions," said Huang, adding it would "play a positive role in safeguarding peace and security in that area."


Russia to test-launch at least 5 Bulava ICBMs in 2009

MOSCOW, December 23 (RIA Novosti) - The number of test launches for Russia's Bulava ICBM will be increased from three or four to at least five next year, a senior Navy official said on Tuesday.

The intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of breaching anti-missile defense systems, failed a test launch from a submarine earlier on Tuesday.

"In connection with today's less than successful test launch, the overall number of Bulava test-launches in 2009 will be increased from three to four to a minimum of five," the official said adding that telemetry and trajectory measurements of the latest launch would be analyzed before the end of this year.

A source at the Belomorsk naval base said earlier in the day that the submerged launch from the Dmitry Donskoi strategic nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea, off Russia's northwest coast, had been unsuccessful. The missile had been targeting the Kura firing range in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka region.

"The launch was a failure," the official said. "The crew performed well. The missile left the tube, but went off course due to a malfunction after the first stage separation."

A naval commission will investigate the cause of the failure, Navy spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

The latest test launch was Bulava's 10th, five of which have ended in failure.
The previous test of the Bulava missile took place on November 28. It was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea, effectively engaging its designated target on the Kamchatka Peninsula about 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) east of Moscow.

Russia earlier planned to adopt the new Bulava for service with the Navy in 2009. But a senior Navy official said earlier this month that several more test launches would be conducted next year before there was a final decision on the missile entering service.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30), carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads and having a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said while he was president that the missile would be a key component of Russia's nuclear forces.

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