May 22, 2009, Sydney -- Next-generation air vehicles with the potential to dramatically reduce inter-continental travel times are now one step closer to reality with the successful completion of preliminary hypersonic flight trials at the Woomera Test Range.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today congratulated the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on the results of their recent joint hypersonic flight trial.
“Hypersonics is the study of flight exceeding approximately five times the speed of sound, and this trial has successfully tested the flight and mission control systems that will be used in future experiments,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Using nitrogen gas valves as thrusters to manoeuvre the test vehicle in space, the test vehicle was turned onto the correct heading and elevation for re-entry into the atmosphere as designed.
“This trial has given scientists a wealth of new data and demonstrated that hypersonic flight could become a reality in the not too distant future, offering immense economic and strategic benefits for Australia,” he said.
The Woomera flight was the first in a series of up to ten planned flight experiments under a joint research program between DSTO and the US Air Force. The program, called the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE), is investigating the fundamental science of hypersonics technology and its potential for next generation aeronautics.
“Hypersonic technology offers a quantum leap in speed and fuel efficiency for air vehicles of the future,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Thanks to the work of this dedicated team of DSTO scientists, Australia is at the forefront of this technology.”
Mr Snowdon said the HIFiRE collaboration had already achieved some significant milestones such as the design, assembly and pre-flight testing of hypersonic vehicles and the design of complex avionics and flight systems.
May 22, 2009, Jakarta -- Vice President Jusuf Kalla arrived here on Friday to inspect the making of military armored vehicles by PT Pindad.
On the occasion the vice president inspected 40 units of fighting armored vehicles APS 6X6 and 4x4 which were ordered by the Defense Ministry.
The 40 armored vehicles are being tried out by a special team and they are expected to be ready next month.
During the visit, Jusuf Kalla was accompanied by PT Pindad president director Adie Avianto who gave explanations about the specifications and the development of the armored vehicles.
"The vehicles are being tried out by a special team and they will be handed to the Defense Ministry next month," Adie Avianto said.
In his one-day visit to Bandung, the vice president is also scheduled to perform Friday prayers at West Java`s grand mosque in the city and then visit the Golkar Party`s West Java regional board in his capacity as the party chairman.
Kalla will conclude his visit by inspecting the Caringin central market on Soekarno-Hatta street and then hold a gathering with local figures before returning to Jakarta in the evening.
May 20, 2009, Moscow -- Russia has put on a hold a contract to deliver MiG-31E Foxhound interceptor-fighters to Syria, a Russian business daily reported on Wednesday, citing defense-industry sources.
According to Kommersant, the $400-500 million contract for the delivery of eight MiG-31E aircraft was signed in 2007. Since production of MiG-31E's had stopped in 1994, Syria was to receive retrofitted aircraft from Russia's Air Force reserves.
There has been no official comment on the decision to freeze the contract, but an industry source quoted by the daily said the contract was terminated due to Damascus's financial problems.
In the winter of 2005, Russia forgave 70% of Syria's debt, which at the time stood at $13.4 billion. After that Damascus still owed Moscow $3.6 billion.
Later in the year, Russia resumed military cooperation with Syria, delivering, in particular, Strelets surface-to-air missile systems.
Earlier this month, some Russian and foreign media reported Belarus was planning to sell S-300 surface-to-air missiles and Iskander tactical missile systems to Iran, and said that Tehran had arranged to transfer some of the systems to Syria. However, the Belarusian president denied the country had any plans to sell weapons to Syria or Iran.
May 21, 2009, Jakarta -- The number of the dead victims of the Air Force Hercules crash had now reached 98 Wednesday night, with most of them still being identified at the Madiun hospital.
"Right now there are 98 dead victims, while five others are still in a critical condition, and 10 others still under intensive treatment at hospitals," Air Force spokesman Commodore Bambang Soelistyo said in Jakarta.
He said the dead victims will be flown to Jakarta on Thursday monring and to be laid in state at the Halim Perdanakusuma air base, especially the crew.
Seven will be buried at the Bahagian Cementery, Ciledug, and the rest will be sent to their respective home towns.
May 14, 2009 -- According to RIA Novosti, the Israeli Air Force is currently using Soviet-designed MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters for pilot training.
"We have studied them and are using them to practice dog fights. It is a good opportunity to see how effective our Air Force can be in dealing with a possible adversary," an Israeli test pilot told the channel.
The MiG-29 is considered to be one of the best warplanes in service with Israel's potential adversaries, in particular Syria, Iran and Sudan.
Developed in the 1970s, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use in Russia and in at least 25 other nations.
The fighter was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the F/A-18 Hornet.