Wednesday, June 8, 2011

NATO Addresses Cyber Security at Tallinn Meeting

TALLINN, Estonia - Three hundred global cyber experts gathered in Tallinn on June 7 for a NATO Cyber Conflict conference focused on the legal and political aspects of national and global Internet security amid a rise in attacks.
"The special focus at the conference this year is on generating cyber forces (...) the technologies, people and organizations that nations require to mitigate cyber threats that have been increasing with rapid speed," Col. Ilmar Tamm, head of NATO's Tallinn-based Cyber Defence Centre told AFP as the forum got underway .
According to Tamm, the Symantec cyber security firm recently reported that "web-based attacks in 2010 were up 93 percent from 2009."
"This calls for frameworks in both legal and strategic aspects which would guide the decision makers on how to act on these cases," Tamm said.
The Tallinn conference will coincide with a NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels where a new cyber defense policy for NATO will be adopted.
Meanwhile, at the third annual Tallinn meeting, experts from 37 countries are to share cutting-edge cyber security research, Tamm explained.
Among others, Ralph Langner, the German computer scientist who conducted much of the ground-breaking research on the Stuxnet worm, will present an analysis of what has been called the world's first cyber weapon.
Keir Giles from the U.K. Conflict Studies Research Centre is to analyze global cyber attacks from Russia and whether they can be seen as acting under a so-called Russian Cyber Command.
Talks will also focus on the recent U.S. government decision to treat cyber attacks as military attacks and make relevant legislative changes.
"The support the U.S. initiative has got in many other states, including Estonia and the U.K., indicates nations' increasing willingness to discuss military responses to cyber attacks," Tamm told AFP.
"With cyber incidents becoming more and more intrusive, it is a logical step for militaries to develop capabilities to counter cyber attacks and be prepared to engage in proportional response to cyber attacks," he added.
Though in practice, "it will be challenging to tailor a cyber response that would respect the rules of combat related to civilian objects and collateral damage," he added.

Otokar Wins $63.2M Armored Vehicle Deal

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey's leading armored vehicles manufacturer, Otokar, announced it won a $63.2 million deal to sell its six-wheel-drive armored vehicle, the Arma, which it launched in 2010.
Otokar said in a press release that this is the second export contract the company secured after the launch of the Arma. The first contract came from an unnamed Middle East country and was worth $10 million. Otokar did not name the new buyer country for reasons of contractual confidentiality.
Otokar, based in Arifiye, near Istanbul, is owned by Turkish business conglomerate Koc Holding. The armored vehicles maker also is listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Otokar said it will complete deliveries for the new Arma deal in 2012. CEO Serdar Gorguc said that he saw strong prospective demand for the Arma from an increasing number of armies worldwide. Otokar's armored vehicles have been sold to more than 20 countries, he said.
The Arma is an amphibious tactical wheeled armored vehicle. Company officials say it has a high degree of ballistic and mine protection thanks to its high steel hull. But Otokar's signature product is the Cobra, a four-wheel-drive tactical armored vehicle, exported to nearly 10 countries in the Balkans, the Middle East and Southeast Asia since the mid-1990s.
Otokar also is the Turkish prime contractor for a multibillion-dollar program for the design, development and manufacturing of Turkey's first domestically produced main battle tank, the Altay.

PLA 20 Years Behind U.S. Military: Chinese DM

SINGAPORE - There is a 20-year gap between China and the U.S. military in equipment, weapons and systems, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie told the 10th Shangri-La Dialogue on June 5 in Singapore.
Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie speaks on international security cooperation during the annual Asia-Pacific forum in Singapore on June 5. (Roslan Rahman / AFP)
"I would call the gap big," he said. Liang acknowledged that China's military modernization has improved, but the "main battle equipment of our services ... is mainly second-generation weapons." China does not have a large arsenal of third-generation weapons, systems or platforms. "For example, the army is still being motorized, not mechanized," he said.
Liang conceded that China's military modernization has drawn the attention and concern of the international community and there have been questions over China's capability, but China does not "seek hegemony" and has a right to defend its "core interests," which include protecting its sovereignty.
After years of ignoring the Shangri-La Dialogue, China sent an unprecedented senior-level delegation. The annual conference is sponsored by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), officially known as the IISS Asia Security Summit, and includes the attendance of defense ministers from across the globe, including U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Liang said military-to-military relations with the U.S. were improving. The U.S. just concluded meetings in May with senior Chinese defense officials in Washington for the Security and Economic Dialogue, and the Pentagon hosted a separate visit by Gen. Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff, People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Gates visited China in January for high-level talks designed to get military-to-military exchanges back online after they were severed to protest U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in 2010.
There was some discussion at the summit over an incident May 26 in the South China Sea involving three Chinese vessels harassing a Vietnamese oil survey ship. Though both China and Vietnam downplayed tensions at the Shangri-La, there were obvious signs of Chinese anxiety.
A Chinese PLA officer showed up at a press conference held by Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vietnam's deputy minister of defense, and took notes. When a journalist asked if she was "spying on the Vietnamese" she refused to answer.
One of the prominent features of this dialogue was China's "big footprint," said Singapore-based Tim Huxley, executive director, IISS-Asia. Not only was this the first Shangri-La to include a Chinese defense minister, it was also the first time there were five Chinese speakers in three of the five closed-door special sessions, he said.
Other high-level Chinese delegates included Rear Adm. Guan Youfei, deputy chief, Foreign Affairs Office, Ministry of National Defense; Senior Col. Ou Yangwei, director, Center for Defense Mobilization Studies, National Defense University; Major Gen. Song Dan, deputy director general, General Office, Central Military Commission; Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe, deputy chief of general staff, PLA; and Xiao Jianguo, director, Department of Ocean Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

BAE, Dassault Aim for Quick Action on UAV Project

PARIS - BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation could deliver a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system in 2016 if Britain and France sign a joint development and production contract this year, company executives said June 8.
The two companies could design and build in five years a new 8-ton, twin-propeller surveillance air vehicle with 24-hour endurance, Dassault international director Eric Trappier told journalists.
BAE, the British aerospace giant, and Dassault, the French aircraft maker, unveiled the name of their joint UAV project, dubbed Telemos, for which a full-scale model will go on static display at the Paris Air Show, which opens June 20.
"We're ready," Trappier said. "If a contract were signed in 2011, we could deliver in 2016."
The planned drone also would be designed to carry a range of bombs, such as the GBU and armement air-sol modulaire (AASM) precision weapons.
The design teams would be staff members with combat aircraft experience at BAE and Dassault, and would vary between 50 to 100 personnel.
Peter Richardson, BAE's director of staff and technology, said that since money is tight, the UAV would be built under "a fully integrated program." There would be flexibility for national requirements for mission systems and sensors, but the aim would be to "eliminate duplication," he said.
London and Paris would need to each invest 500 million euros ($731.9 million) in the program, which would include design, development, build and support, Trappier said.
The companies hope for a quick launch decision by London and Paris, which identified cross-channel cooperation on a MALE UAV, and later a combat unmanned air system, in the bilateral defense treaty they signed last November.
Asked if there is room in the project for EADS, Trappier said if EADS has equipment and competences, it could take part, but the two companies leading the project are BAE and Dassault.
In a June 7 closed-door session, EADS Chief Executive Louis Gallois told members of the French parliament's defense committee that if Britain and France go ahead with the BAE-Dassault offer, the European defense company would be forced to pursue its own MALE UAV effort, an industry executive said. The EADS project would be based on the company's Talarion Advanced UAV, the executive said.
Rival UAV offers from BAE-Dassault and EADS would repeat the competition between the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale twin-engine combat jets, which should be avoided, Gallois said.
Trappier said, "It's better to have two competing offers than zero offers."
French Defense Minister GĂ©rard Longuet told the lawmakers he wanted to speed up the work with the British partners on defining the requirement for the MALE drone, newsweekly Le Point reported.
Asked about a possible role for Italian industry, Trappier said, "This is the locomotive." The program would be open to other partners. "We are not against Europe," he said.
For the UAV's engines, Rolls-Royce and Safran could collaborate, but there also is a Canadian option, while Thales and Selex UK could work jointly on the aircraft's radar, Trappier said.
Telemos is the name in Greek mythology of a Cyclops sentinel who warned of an attack by the warrior-wanderer Ulysses. That classical reference illustrates the drone's ability to anticipate events, Trappier said.
Notwithstanding that alert, Ulysses outwitted Polyphemus, put out his single eye with a red-hot pointed olive stake and escaped

NATO Pressures Allies To Boost Libya Mission

BRUSSELS - NATO's leadership pressed allies Wednesday to step up their contributions to the Libyan air war to finally dislodge Moammar Gadhafi and begin planning for the day after his downfall.
After three months of air strikes, defense ministers meeting in Brussels said time was working against Gadhafi and urged the defiant colonel to finally step down.
"All ministers agreed we will keep up the pressure for as long as it takes to bring this to an early conclusion," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference.
The ministers issued a joint statement pledging their determination to continue the mission "for as long as necessary."
They also said they were "committed to providing the necessary means and maximum operational flexibility within our mandate to sustain these efforts and welcome additional contributions to our common efforts."
With only half of 28 NATO allies taking part in the mission, Rasmussen and British Defence Secretary Liam Fox called on members to step up their participation.
"We want to see increased urgency in some quarters in terms of Libya," Fox said.
Only nine nations are conducting air strikes, with France and Britain carrying out the bulk of the attacks, including with helicopter gunships.
After NATO extended the mission by 90 days through September, Rasmussen said he had encouraged other allies "to broaden" their support of the mission to ensure the "sustainability" of the operation.
A senior U.S. official said this week he did not see any "danger" of the mission losing steam yet but that air crews were beginning to show signs of fatigue.
Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon, whose country is participating in the operation but not in air raids, said no other nations came forward with new contributions.
Sweden, a non-NATO nation taking part in the operation, decided to cut the number of fighter jets enforcing a no-fly zone from eight to five, although it lifted restrictions on what type of surveillance mission they can carry out.
Norway, among only eight NATO members conducting air strikes, has said that it would reduce its role if the mission goes past June.
As the ministers met, a wave of air strikes battered Tripoli again early June 8, piling pressure on Gadhafi, who in an audio broadcast said he was "near" the bombing but vowed never to surrender. The Libyan regime said 31 people were killed on Tuesday but NATO said it had no way to verify the claim.
"Time is working against Gadhafi, who has clearly lost all legitimacy and therefore needs to step down," the ministers said. "There is no future for a regime that has systematically threatened and attacked its own population."
NATO said it stood ready to play a role, if requested and necessary, once Gadhafi steps down but that such an effort should be initiated by the United Nations and the international contact group on Libya.
"The time has come to plan for the day after the conflict," Rasmussen said.
The alliance chief said he did not foresee "a leading role" for NATO and ruled out alliance ground forces in a post-Kadhafi Libya.
"We see the United Nations playing the lead role in the post-Kadhafi, post-conflict scenario," said Rasmussen, who has suggested that NATO could focus on helping reform Libya's defence and security institutions.
U.S. Adm. Samuel Locklear, a senior NATO commander, suggested last week that a small ground force might be necessary after Gadhafi leaves power. The troops, he added, could be provided by the U.N., the European Union or NATO.

North Korea Test-Fired Missile: Reports

SEOUL - North Korea test-fired a short-range missile off its west coast last week in the first such launch in 19 months, according to reports June 7.
North Korea fired the KN-06 missile into the Yellow Sea in the middle of last week, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted an intelligence source as saying.
The source said North Korea has apparently been trying to increase the range of the KN-06 since last year and last week's launch seemed to be a test.
The defense ministry in Seoul had no immediate comment.
JoongAng Ilbo newspaper also reported a test of the KN-06, which has a range of 62 miles to 68 miles.
It quoted a Seoul military official as saying the launch appeared to have been planned before a series of threats against South Korea last week from the hardline communist state.
The launch, if confirmed, would be the North's first known test of short-range missiles since October 2009, when it test-fired five KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles off its east coast.
Pyongyang in the past has often scheduled such launches for political effect.
Tensions on the peninsula are high following two deadly border incidents last year which Seoul blames on its neighbor.
On May 30, the North announced it would no longer deal with the South's conservative government. North Korea's military threatened retaliation June 3 unless Seoul punishes troops who used pictures of Pyongyang's ruling dynasty as rifle-range targets.

Working Towards Longer Life for Osprey Engines

The U.S. Marine Corps is working with contractor Rolls Royce to increase the durability of the V-22 Osprey's propulsion system, service officials said.
The U.S. Marine Corps wants Rolls Royce to increase the durability of the MV-22 Osprey propulsion system. (Lance Cpl. Santiago G. Colon Jr. / Marine Corps)
The service is working to increase the engines' "time on wing" by 45 percent, said Marine Col. Greg Masiello, who heads the V-22 Joint Program Office at Patuxent River, Md., speaking before reporters during a tour of Boeing's manufacturing facilities in Philadelphia on June 6.
However, that measure varies depending upon where the aircraft is deployed. In benign environments the propulsion system performs better while under harsher conditions it does not. Masiello declined to give specific numbers because the service's figures are an aggregate.
One solution the Marines are working on is a system to prevent dust from entering the engines in the first place, Masiello said. Conventional filters found on normal helicopters could rob critical engine power from the hybrid fix-wing/rotary wing design during normal flight in the cruise configuration.
As such, the V-22 team is looking at the propulsion system as a whole to mitigate any power loss incurred by the addition of dust filters, said Boeing's John Rader, program director for the Bell-Boeing team that builds the aircraft. A number of options are being considered, he added.
Rader said some of these improvements are already flying as a proof of concept on test aircraft.
"We actually have hardware that we have already flown through developmental testing at Pax River," Masiello added.
Those improvements could be fielded to the deployed Marine forces as soon as the end of the calendar year, he said.
The added filters could add 30 percent more "time on wing" to the aircraft's engines, Masiello said.
Additionally, the Marines are making a software change that could potentially increase the time on wing by a further 80 percent. "That will fly this summer, we have a target in August to have that airborne and flying," Masiello said. It will also increase the engines'- and the aircraft's- performance.
It would not be the first time software has been used to improve engine performance on the Osprey. An earlier software upgrade added to the engine's power output. The increased power enables the aircraft to cruise some 20 knots faster, said Lt. Col. Romin Dasmalchi, commander of the MV-22 squadron of that recently flew the pilot rescue mission over Libya in March.
The engine improvements are applicable to the Air Force's CV-22 fleet as well.
The service is also making progress more generally in reducing support costs, Masiello said. Some of those cost reductions come from repairing components that would otherwise have been thrown away, he said.

Lockheed, Raytheon Submit JAGM Proposals

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon submitted their proposals for the next phase of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) program June 6.
Built to replace AGM-114 Hellfire, BGM-71 TOW and AGM-65 Maverick missiles, the Government Accountability Office estimates the JAGM program will be worth more than $6 billion over 20 years.
The two defense industry giants are competing for a 48-month contract to continue development and begin low-rate initial production on the missile. Army officials said the Engineering and Manufacturing and Low-Rate Initial Production contract is worth $3.8 billion.
James Smith, a Raytheon executive, said his company expects the Army to make a decision on the contract in October. Army Aviation and Missile Command issued the request for proposal in April.
"Lockheed Martin's JAGM builds on Hellfire, Longbow and Javelin, three of the most trusted precision-guided weapons on the battlefield today," said Frank St. John, vice president of Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, in a statement.
Lockheed chose to outfit its entrant with a cooled seeker, while Raytheon used an uncooled seeker. Raytheon officials said a cooled seeker, while more capable than an uncooled seeker, isn't what soldiers and sailors want in combat.
"Rather than complicating matters by using a cooled seeker, we worked in close concert with our customers to determine smarter and simpler ways to arrive at a superior system solution," said Bob Francois, Raytheon vice president of Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems, in a statement.

NATO, Russian Jets Hold First Ever Joint Exercise

WARSAW - NATO and Russian fighter jets held their first ever joint exercise June 7, teaming up in a bid to prevent attacks such as the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes on the United States, a NATO official confirmed.
Col. Sylwester Bartoszewski, supervisor of Vigilant Skies 2011, explains the first of two planned exercises of Polish F-16s and Russian Sukhoi jets on June 7 in Warsaw. NATO and Russian fighter jets held their first ever joint exercise. (Janet Skarzynski / AFP via Getty Images)
"Today was an important step for NATO-Russia relations, and therefore in my opinion, also an important step for the world because the threat of terrorism is a common one," Georges D'hollander, general manager of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency told reporters in Warsaw on June 7 after the first of two planned exercises were completed.
"This is a confidence-building initiative which originated by the decision of the NATO-Russia Council," D'hollander added, at once stressing its "important political dimension."
The unprecedented exercise began the morning of June 7 with the departure of a Polish CASA 295M aircraft from Krakow simulating a hijacked civilian aircraft. Two Polish F-16s from the Krzesiny air base near Poznan, central Poland, later intercepted the "renegade" aircraft and then handed the mission over to two Russian Sukhoi jets that guided the plane to the northern Polish city of Malbork.
"This was the first time in history when there was co-operation between Russian and NATO fighters in this kind of a scenario," NATO exercise director Czech Colonel Petr Mikulenka told reporters in Warsaw.
The aircraft were taking part in the four-day NATO-Russia "Vigilant Skies 2011," event that began Monday involving flights over Poland and the Black Sea.
On June 8, three Turkish F-16s and two Russian Sukhois will intercept a rogue plane over the Black Sea.
"The aerial exercises are to test the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI), aimed at preventing a new 9/11 by "sharing information on movements in NATO airspace and Russian airspace, and by coordinating interceptions of renegade aircraft," according to a NATO statement.
The initiative hopes to "improve air safety for the thousands of passengers using international flights between NATO airspace and Russian airspace each day, and the millions of inhabitants on the ground."
The new airspace security system "provides a shared NATO-Russia radar picture of air traffic and allows early warning of suspicious air activities through commonly agreed procedures."
"In situations when an aircraft starts behaving erratically, the air traffic coordination system offers increased information sharing and communication to ensure rapid, joint responses to terrorist threats," a NATO statement said.
The system has two coordination centers, one in Warsaw and another in Moscow, with local coordination sites in Russian cities of Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don and Murmansk as well as Warsaw, Bodo in Norway and Ankara in Turkey.

NATO Nearing 'Decisive Blow' In Afghan War: Gates

KABUL - Defense Secretary Robert Gates, wrapping up a final visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief, said on June 7 that U.S.-led forces are on the verge of securing a "decisive blow" against the Taliban.
"I leave Afghanistan today with the belief that if we keep this momentum up, we will deliver a decisive blow to the enemy and turn the corner on this conflict," Gates told coalition officers in Kabul.
"And if we do, it will be because of the service and sacrifice of all of you," he said, before departing for Brussels.
During a four-day trip that took him to American bases in the south and east, Gates offered a cautiously optimistic forecast for the war effort, saying now was not the time to ease up on the Taliban-led insurgency.
Although the main purpose of his trip was to say goodbye to troops, Gates found himself sparring at a distance with White House aides who are pushing for a faster drawdown of the 100,000-strong U.S. force.
Gates' farewell remarks reflected his view that a troop surge in the nine-year war has begun to bear fruit and that a withdrawal, set to start in July, should proceed at a cautious pace.
His comments in recent days amounted to a rebuttal to some White House officials who believe the death of Osama bin Laden and a ballooning budget deficit demand a steep reduction in the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
Appointed by former President George W. Bush in December 2006, Gates has spent his time at the Pentagon consumed with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Brussels, Gates is due to attend a meeting of NATO defense ministers on June 8 and June 9, where the drawdown in Afghanistan and the alliance air campaign in Libya will top the agenda.

India-Boeing Deal Will Support 23,000 Jobs: U.S.

NEW DELHI - The United States on June 6 hailed India's decision to buy military transport planes worth more than $4 billion from U.S.-based aviation giant Boeing, saying it would sustain 23,000 American jobs.
The U.S. reaction came a day after the Indian cabinet approved a long-pending program to acquire 10 C-17 Globemaster III planes from Boeing.
"This comprehensive purchase will support an estimated 23,000 jobs in the United States," U.S. ambassador Timothy Roemer said in statement.
He said the deal would also provide India with maintenance infrastructure and aircrew training, and that more than 600 American firms would benefit indirectly.
The C-17 advanced airlifter can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid across international distances to small airfields, according to Boeing.
India is spending billions of dollars to upgrade its military with hardware imports from Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the United States.