As Janet Napolitano departs Washington for sunnier climes in California, some names have begun to surface on her replacement as Secretary of Homeland Security. One of those mentioned is Boston police commissioner Edward Davis.
American defense contractors are set to enjoy revenues of nearly $4.7 billion from Iraq, according to a series of arms sales notifications by the Pentagon to Congress in the past two weeks. The potential sales include an integrated air defense system worth $2.4 billion and 30 Bell 412EP helicopters worth $300 million. The deals include training and support.
Thales has been chosen by Romanian helicopter manufacturer IAR Brasov
Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 X-band mobile radar is one of the United States’ most powerful assets in the defense against ballistic missiles. That threat is an increasingly worrisome one: according to unclassified U.S. Missile Defense Agency data the number of such missiles outside the control of the U.S., NATO, Russia and China is around 6,300. That figure is forecast to grow to nearly 8,000 in the next decade.
ABC News reported June 9 that seven heavily armed Taliban fighters launched a pre-dawn raid on NATO’s Kabul Airport facilities, wounding two Afghan civilians. None of the seven guerrillas, all of whom were killed in the attack, managed to breach the airport perimeter.
Russia won export orders for weapons exceeding $15 billion and delivered weapons worth $14 billion in 2012, compared with $13.2 billion of weapons in 2011. “Surely, Russia will continue cooperation with her traditional partners in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Russian president Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the government’s committee for military-technical cooperation with foreign countries in December. “But it is of not less importance to us to enter new markets, expand the nomenclature of deliveries and services.”
Transport aircraft designer Antonov (Hall 1 H298) is presenting the An-70 short take off and landing (Stol) military freighter at the Paris Air Show. The company claims it is the world’s only aircraft that can take off from short unpaved runways of 600 to 700 meters with 20 tons of cargo over a 1,620-nm range.
The An-70 cabin “accommodates all types of CIS and NATO military equipment and armaments as well as construction machines and vehicles weighing up to 47 tons,” according to Antonov.
For the Dassault Rafale combat jet, the French intervention in Mali provided another chance to demonstrate its multirole capability. Starting with a 3,400-mile interdiction mission (AI) launched from France on the night of January 13, up to six aircraft subsequently flew daily from their deployed base at N’Djamena, Chad, also performing reconnaissance and close-air-support (CAS) missions. Six of them are still there.
In Afghanistan, soldiers still pull the trigger. Civilian contractors do almost everything else. While the U.S. and its allies may be preparing for a troop draw-down there next year, for the contractors flying an assortment of 50 helicopters in country, things have never been busier or better.
Pilots planning on overflying Kansas this summer, specifically through the Salina area and the nearby Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range, would do well to attend the pilot safety briefing about the range to be held on Thursday, June 6, at the Salina Airport Authority’s Hangar 600 at 4:30 p.m. Representatives from the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range are due to present an update on the range’s activities.