November 10, 2009, At Sea -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) conducted the U.S Navy's first simulated replenishment-at-sea with a German warship during as part of a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) Nov. 3-24.
The Sachsen-class German frigate Hessen (F 221) participated in the simulation as part of a joint training exercise between the United States and German navies.
"The refueling simulation with the Hessen was a dry hook-up, so no fuel was transferred," said Ens. Heinz Moeller, an air defense officer in the operations department aboard the Hessen. "We participated in the training exercise because it was a good opportunity and also it was the first time a warship from the German Navy has done a refueling exercise with an American aircraft carrier."
Moeller stated that his role in the simulation was a supporting one, serving as a liaison between the two Navies and to help overcome any language barriers on the bridge-to-bridge radio channels.
"The procedure went so smoothly, there was really no need for me to serve as a translator," said Moeller. "The process was nearly perfectly run, and no language issues or otherwise arose during the training. We've had very good experiences with American ships within the standing NATO maritime groups, but not within a carrier strike group. It was an incredible and overwhelming experience."
Moeller also commented on his positive experience aboard Ike and the crew's impressive professionalism and support during his embark. "Everyone was very kind to me, and when I spoke with many of the crew members, they reflected the pride and legacy Ike carries," said Moeller. "It was my first time aboard an aircraft carrier, and I really felt like I was welcomed as a crew member on the Eisenhower."
Moeller stressed how few opportunities there are in the German Navy to perform a RAS with an American aircraft carrier, and that the crew of Hessen didn't want to pass up on an opportunity to gain a new experience. "The crew of the Hessen, and I suspect every Sailor in the U.S. Navy, has a drive to gain new experiences and do new things," said Moeller. "It was a perfect show of seamanship from the Eisenhower, and from the Hessen as well. I was happy to be a part of it."
Eisenhower is conducting a COMPTUEX in preparation for its upcoming 2010 deployment. COMPTUEX, scheduled by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and conducted by a training team led by Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic, is a joint/combined three-week exercise off the East Coast of the United States.
November 9, 2009, Seattle -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced today that it has successfully completed tests of the Counter Measures Dispenser System (CMDS) for Project Wedgetail, Australia's Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system. The tests were conducted in September and October off the Washington coast and over Puget Sound, Wash.
Completion of CMDS testing is a key step toward verification of the Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft's overall Electronic Warfare Self-Protection (EWSP) capability. EWSP is designed to warn aircrews about and protect against missiles targeting the aircraft. The CMDS responds to threats by releasing chaff and flares to decoy incoming missiles away from the aircraft. Boeing and its industry supplier, BAE Systems, developed and integrated the CMDS system.
Testing included 19 flights that dispensed more than 500 units of chaff and flares. The AEW&C team collected data via five high-speed video cameras mounted on the Wedgetail aircraft and an additional video camera attached to a T-33 chase plane.
"The testing program verified that the Boeing-installed self-protection system will effectively counter its intended threats reliably and safely," said Kermit Hollinger, Electronic Warfare manager for Boeing AEW&C Programs. "This milestone is the latest example of Boeing's ability to integrate military systems onto commercial aircraft and provide our customers with low-risk, cost-effective solutions to their operational requirements."
Project Wedgetail includes six 737 AEW&C aircraft plus ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance.
The 737 AEW&C aircraft, based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 commercial airplane, is designed to provide airborne battle-management capability with an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles. Able to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously, the mission crew can direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.
Final Indian Air Force Students graduate. (Photo: BAE Systems)
November 5, 2009, Warton, UK -- After completing a flight development contract for the Indian Air Force (IAF), BAE Systems has delivered the 24th and final UK built Indian Hawk.
Following a 3,000 mile journey across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the aircraft, flown by BAE Systems test pilots, arrived safely at Air Force Station Bidar to join the rest of the Hawk fleet in delivering fast jet training to the IAF.
The aircraft, HT001, which was actually the first IAF Hawk to be built, has, for nearly three years served as a flight test platform and proving ground for the integration of new systems and capabilities onto the IAF Hawk fleet .
As well as development and acceptance flights, HT001 was also a key component in the programme which saw Indian Air Force flying instructors training to teach student pilots on the Hawk. This programme took place prior to the delivery of Hawks to India allowing the Indian training programme to start at the earliest opportunity.
Michael Christie, Senior Vice President, India for BAE Systems Military Air Solutions, said: “Hawk has brought a step change in pilot training capabilities for the IAF and this aircraft, which was the first India Hawk to be built, has been a key part of developing further capabilities for the Indian Air Force.
“During its time here at BAE Systems, HT001 has proven to be extremely reliable, delivering excellent service from its time as a training platform for Indian Air Force instructors, through to the on-time and to budget completion of the recent flight development programme.
“The first Hawk was delivered to the IAF in November 2007 and other than this final development aircraft, deliveries were completed in 2008. Whilst this marks the completion of aircraft deliveries by BAE Systems to the Indian Air Force, we continue to provide support services to the IAF, and work closely with our industrial partners, HAL, in meeting the fast jet training needs of the Indian Air Force.”
In arriving at Air Force Station Bidar, the home of the Indian Hawk fleet, HT001 becomes the 860th Hawk delivered across the globe.
November 8, 2009 -- Amid Israeli efforts to bolster military ties and export military hardware, the Indian Chief of Staff Gen. Deepak Kapoor arrived in Israel on Saturday for talks with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
Kapoor will hold talks with Ashkenazi as well as other senior Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He will visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem during his four-day visit, as well as the IDF's Southern Command.
Israel and India enjoy close defense ties and Israel last year overtook Russia as the number-one supplier of military platforms to India after breaking the $1 billion mark in new contracts signed annually.
According to press reports, India is interested in working with Israel on submarine-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missile defense systems, laser-guided systems, satellites as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.
The visit to Israel comes just before the first anniversary of the attacks last November in Mumbai against a hotel as well as a Chabad House, during which over 170 people were killed, including the Chabad emissary to Mumbai and his pregnant wife.
Since the attack, Israel has assisted India in beefing up its security, particularly along its coast, where the terrorists allegedly infiltrated from nearby Pakistan.
Last Tuesday, Kapoor was quoted as saying that South Asia was infested with terror groups and there was a possibility that attacks of the sort that happened at Mumbai could happen again.
"We have to take all steps to prevent any Mumbai-type attacks. We cannot rule out apprehensions of such possibilities," Kapoor was quoted as saying by news sites.
"India cannot afford to witness a repeat of 26/11. May I therefore recommend that the nation needs to forge ahead towards acquiring a nationwide architecture for facilitating speedy flow of intelligence, an updated database for providing decision support based on geographical information system and a network of quick execution of plans by the nearest suitable security agency."
THE JERUSALEM POST