Monday, 11 March 2013

Taiwan receives upgraded E-2K early warning aircraft

Two upgraded E-2K airborne early warning aircraft which were sent to United States for upgrading were transported to Kaohsiung International Airport Station in southern Taiwan Saturday for follow-up tests and inspections.

In October 2008, the U.S. agreed to the first arms sales deal to Taiwan since President Ma Ying-jeou took office, which included the US$250 million upgrade of four E-2T aircraft to the Hawkeye 2000 standard.

To avoid its combat power being affected by the upgrade process, the Republic of China's military sent the four E-2T aircraft in two batches to the U.S. to be upgraded. The first batch of two E-2T sent in June 2010 returned to serve in Taiwan at the end of 2011, while the other two E-2T were sent to the U.S. in 2011. The upgrade of the four E-2T has all been completed.

In June 2010, two E-2Ts were sent to the US to undergo upgrades and were eventually redesigned as E-2Ks.

The Northrop Grumman-built E-2K is an all-weather early warning and control system platform equipped with eight-blade propellers, upgraded radar and surveillance systems, software and avionics.

The E-2K aircraft's performance is equivalent to that of the E-2C, which is in service with the U.S. Air Force.

MoD locked in BAE talks

The defence minister, Philip Dunne, has revealed that the Government is still locked in talks with BAE Systems over the future of British shipbuilding and issued a veiled threat about the implications of Scottish independence.

The minister for defence equipment, support and technology, said BAE had submitted plans for its shipyards but no decision had been taken on potential closures.
“The company has made some proposals and they’re being considered by the MoD but it is ultimately their decision and we’re right in the middle of discussion,” he said.
BAE has warned that it might have to stop shipbuilding at one of its sites, with the spotlight on Portsmouth and its two yards in Glasgow, at Govan and Scotstoun.
The decision hinges on future work available, with a gap in the British building programme expec­ted once the two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers are completed but be-fore the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme begins.
The assumption is that under current plans there will be insufficient work to sustain all three shipyards, and there has been speculation that the Type 26 work will go to the Glasgow yards, prompting the end of shipbuilding at Portsmouth and loss of up to 1,500 jobs.

Russian Satellite Hit by Debris from Chinese Anti-Satellite Test

A small Russian spacecraft in orbit appears to have been struck by Chinese space junk from a 2007 anti-satellite test, likely damaging the Russian craft, possibly severely, has learned.
The space collision appears to have occurred on Jan. 22, when a chunk of China's Fengyun 1C satellite, which was intentionally destroyed by that country in a 2007 anti-satellite demonstration, struck the Russian spacecraft, according to an analysis by the Center for Space Standards & Innovation (CSSI) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
CSSI technical program manager T.S. Kelso reported that the collision involved the Chinese space junk and Russia's small Ball Lens In The Space (BLITS) retroreflector satellite, a 17-pound (7.5 kilograms). The Fengyun 1C satellite debris was created during China's anti-satellite test on Jan. 11, 2007, and has posed a threat to satellites and crewed spacecraft ever since.
Evidence of the space junk collision was first reported on Feb. 4 by Russian scientists Vasiliy Yurasov and Andrey Nazarenko, both with the Institute for Precision Instrument Engineering (IPIE) in Moscow. They reported a "significant change" in the orbit of the BLITS satellite to the CSSI. [Watch the Animation: Russian Satellite Hit by Space Junk]
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