July 24, 2009 -- The IDF and the United States Military's European Command conducted a joint exercise this week of the X-Band radar that is deployed in the Negev to check its interoperability with Israeli early-warning systems, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The drill was conducted at EUCOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. A similar drill took place last week, also in Germany.
Israel received the advanced X-Band radar in October as a farewell gift from the Bush administration to beef up Israeli defenses in face of Iran's nuclear program and growing ballistic missile capability.
The radar is deployed in southern Israel near the Nevatim Air Force Base and is reportedly capable of tracking small targets from thousands of kilometers away.
According to a defense official involved in the drill, when operated in coordination with additional Israeli warning systems the X-Band radar enables the IDF Home Front Command to issue an alert about an incoming missile between five and seven minutes before impact.
The total flight time of a missile from Iran to Israel would be approximately 10 minutes. In comparison, the residents of Sderot usually have up to 15 seconds to seek shelter from when they hear a siren and before a Kassam rocket strikes the city.
The drill was held in Germany since the X-Band radar deployed in southern Israel is under EUCOM's command and is controlled by US soldiers.
In October, the IDF and the US will hold a joint missile defense exercise called Juniper Cobra, during which the American-made Aegis and THAAD defense systems will deploy in Israel for the first time.
The purpose of the exercise is to create interoperability between the American systems and Israel's Arrow missile defense system.
THE JERUSALEM POST
July 21, 2009, Edwards Air Force Base, California -- Two of the KC-767 aerial refueling tankers that Boeing [NYSE: BA] is building for the Italian Air Force recently performed a series of airborne boom contacts and fuel offloads in observation test flights with the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The flights included KC-767 fuel transfers with a U.S. Air Force F-16 aircraft as well as from one KC-767 to the other.
The KC-767 tankers achieved the milestone contacts in late June during a successful Military Utility Observation (MUO) that demonstrated the tankers' operational capabilities to refuel both a large receiver aircraft and a fighter aircraft using the KC-767 advanced aerial refueling boom and Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO) station.
The MUO is contractually obligated by the Italian Air Force as part of the process required for delivery of the KC-767 tanker to Italy.
During the MUO, the two tankers performed familiarization flights for military personnel, including integrated U.S. and Italian Air Force pilots and boom operators, and also offloaded more than 100,000 pounds of fuel during 65 tanker-to-tanker contacts. Additionally, the tankers performed more than 100 day and night airborne boom contacts with the F-16 aircraft and transferred about 5,000 pounds of fuel.
"This is a key milestone for our International Tanker Program and our Italian customer as we near the end of development of the KC-767 tanker for the Italian Air Force," said Dave Bowman, vice president and general manager of Boeing Tanker Programs. "The successful boom contacts and fuel offloads by both U.S. Air Force and Italian Air Force crews are additional examples of the outstanding capabilities of Boeing tankers."
Boeing has three KC-767s in flight test for the Italian Air Force while building one additional tanker for this customer. In addition to the advanced aerial refueling boom and RARO station, the tankers feature wing pod and centerline hose-and-drogue systems. They are wide-body airlifters in a "combi" configuration, meaning the aircraft can be configured to carry all passengers, all cargo or a combination of both.
July 20, 2009, New Delhi -- Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament July 20 that he expected a delay in the scheduled delivery of six Franco-Spanish Scorpene submarines for the Indian navy.
Antony's statement came as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh readied to flag off sea trials of India's first nuclear-powered submarine off Vishakapatnam port in southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Antony, replying to questions, blamed the expected delay on "problems in the absorption of technology" by a domestic shipyard assembling the attack submarines in western India.
The first Scorpene was originally scheduled to be delivered in 2012, with one ship per year from 2013 through 2017.
Antony did not provide a fresh timetable.
In October 2005, India signed contracts worth 2.4 billion euros ($3 billion) with Armaris, which is owned by France's Thales, and European defense firm MBDA to buy the six submarines.
The deal is a technology transfer agreement. French naval group Direction des Compagnies Navales (DCN) is producing key equipment unavailable at Indian shipyards.
India's first nuclear-powered submarine, to be named INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies), is part of planned fleet of five such submarines which will offer India an underwater nuclear launch capability.
The 7,000-ton Arihant will put India alongside Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States in the club of nations with such vessels.