Friday, February 28, 2014

The Koreas at Night

The Koreas at Night
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Flying over East Asia, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) took this night image of the Korean Peninsula. Unlike daylight images, city lights at night illustrate dramatically the relative economic importance of cities, as gauged by relative size. In this north-looking view, it is immediately obvious that greater Seoul is a major city and that the port of Gunsan is minor by comparison. There are 25.6 million people in the Seoul metropolitan area—more than half of South Korea’s citizens—while Gunsan’s population is 280,000.
North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China. The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. Its capital city, Pyongyang, appears like a small island, despite a population of 3.26 million (as of 2008). The light emission from Pyongyang is equivalent to the smaller towns in South Korea.
Coastlines are often very apparent in night imagery, as shown by South Korea’s eastern shoreline. But the coast of North Korea is difficult to detect. These differences are illustrated in per capita power consumption in the two countries, with South Korea at 10,162 kilowatt hours and North Korea at 739 kilowatt hours.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Third and Fourth Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Helicopters Complete Production, Begin Training

Owego NY February 25, 2014 - The third and fourth MH-60R "Romeo" helicopters take flight from the Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, N.Y., to join the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) first pair of helicopters training at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. 
On Jan. 24, the U.S. Navy officially delivered two Romeos to the RAN, marking a significant milestone for the international alliance between the U.S. and Australia. The advanced, proven helicopters are currently the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy's anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW) operations, and the RAN will benefit from the next-generation capabilities with a fleet of 24 Romeos.
"The first time we pack a punch now using the Hellfire missile that we've never had before," said RAN Commanding Officer of NUSQN 725, Commander David Frost, at the Jan. 24 delivery ceremony. "It's been a capability gap that we're now going to be able to fill with this aircraft. It's an aircraft that's jam-packed with sensors the likes of which we've never seen and the US Navy are still coming to grips with. It's an incredible aircraft."
The entire fleet of 24 aircraft will be delivered to the RAN by 2017.

Raytheon, U.S. Navy test Tomahawk Block IV's latest communications upgrades

The 3000th Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile was delivered to the U.S. Navy in October, 2013. (<a href=/rtnwcm/groups/gallery/documents/digitalasset/rtn_167807.jpg target=_blank>Download High Res Photo</a>)
Tucson February 27, 2014 - Raytheon Company and the U.S. Navy have successfully tested communications advancements to the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile.
During a Feb. 19 flight test, a Raytheon-built Tomahawk Block IV missile, launched from the USS Sterett, flew a preprogrammed route while receiving updates from a simulated maritime operations center and from advanced off-board sensors updating the missile's target location. Throughout the flight, the missile maintained communications with all the command and control assets and provided updates on its location before hitting the target.
"Working closely with our U.S. Navy partner, we continue to modernize Tomahawk to stay ahead of the escalating threat," said Roy Donelson, Raytheon Tomahawk program director. "By making key changes to the way the operators use sensors and communications assets, we can now provide the fleet with even more dynamic targeting capabilities for Tomahawk."
The flight test further highlighted the importance of Tomahawk's loitering capability. As targets change in the battlespace, the missile can be redirected to a new aim point.
"Tomahawk's long range gives our commanders increased flexibility in theatre," said Capt. Joe Mauser, U.S. Navy Tomahawk program manager. "When our ships and submarines are within 100 miles of a coastline, Tomahawks can fly deep inland and strike from a direction the enemy might not suspect."
This latest flight test once again validated the missile's capability to engage challenging targets. Raytheon and the Navy continue to modernize Tomahawk for service beyond the next two decades.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

India Becomes US’s Largest Defense Market – IHS Balance of Trade Study

London February 26, 2014 - India is currently the United States’ largest defense market jumping 23 places in just one year, according to the Balance of Trade study from IHS Inc., the leading global source of critical information and insight.
“ground vehicles, which account for a sixth of the world market, fell by seven percent in 2013. This fall is an ongoing trend as emerging countries seek to develop local vehicle assembly capability, compounded by the end of operational requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“In 2013, we are seeing trade patterns fundamentally change for the dominant players,” said Ben Moores, the study’s author, senior analyst with IHS Aerospace & Defense Forecasting. “The most notable change is the spectacular level of imports from India. China, Indonesia, Egypt and Taiwan all saw imports increase by around one billion. When we look at India, those figures in 2013 were $5.9 billion. By 2015, our forecasts show that number jumping to about $8.16 billion.”
Key highlights from the Balance of Trade study:
  • India becomes the US’s largest defense market
  • US tops the export table despite a dip in growth rate
  • The Middle East represents one-third of the global defense market
  • East Asian imports surge by over 25 percent to $12.2 billion
  • China becomes East Asia’s largest defense equipment importer, supplanting South Korea
  • South Korea breaks into the top 10 of global national exporters and is forecast to overtake China by 2015
  • Raytheon jumps over Lockheed Martin for second place in global export rankings
  • Thales leaps from 10th to seventh place in global export rankings
  • Global trade in military vehicles is forecast to drop by one-third over three years
  • Venezuela secures the largest number of defense imports in Latin America, with Russia dominating trade in the country and in the Latin America region
India becomes the US’s largest defense market
“India’s growth has been dramatic. In 2009, India imported $237 million in defense kit from the US,” Moores said. “That number skyrocketed to about $1.89 billion in 2013. With an additional $3.4 billion booked in 2015, India has become a major player for the US, and in 2013, the US’s largest defense market. This is against a backdrop of a huge expansion in Indian imports, cementing them as the world’s largest importer,” he continued.
US tops export table, despite dip
“The primary export strength of the United States is in its aerospace product offering, with C-17’s, AH-64’s, B737’s, H-47’s and F-16’s. This dominance is assured with the upcoming deliveries of the JSF fighter aircraft in coming years,” said Moores.
“In 2013, the United States continued to easily top the export table with $25.2 billion worth of exports compared to $24.9 billion in 2012. The growth rate between 2012 and 2013 has fallen significantly from the past couple of years when military aerospace exports were expanding rapidly,” he said.
Middle East imports rapidly accelerate, worth about one-third of global defense market
“In 2013, the Middle East defense market was worth about $18 billion, almost one-third of the global defense trade market total. What is notable is that American companies account for half of all defense exports to the region,” Moores said.
“Countries in the Middle East are importing more than they ever have, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down. Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE together imported more than Western Europe as a whole, ($9.3 billion compared to $8.7 billion, respectively),” Moores said. “When we look at Saudi Arabia on its own, it is clear that the market is booming. In 2009, the country imported $2.22 billion in defense equipment. In 2013, that number more than doubled to $5.39 billion and by 2015 that number will spike to $7.84 billion. The UAE’s import program is also expected to more than double. By 2015, imports are forecast to total about $3.13 billion, up from approximately $ 1.4 billion in 2009.”
East Asia’s imports soar; South Korea breaks into the top ten of global exporters
“East Asian Imports surged from 2012 to 2013 by nearly a quarter, from $9.8 billion to $12.2 billion,” said IHS Defence Content Director Paul Burton, now based out of Singapore. “Major regional importers such as Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand saw very significant increases in imports over 2012 to some $2.3 billion more. But, East Asia’s major player, China, saw its imports surge over 50 percent. China’s imports, bolstered by growing ties with Russia, increased from about $1.5 billion in 2012 to $2.29 billion in 2013, making it the region’s largest importer. While the US remains the primary exporter to East Asia, Russia increased its exports from roughly $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion, mostly due to increased engine and fighter jet trade with China,” he said.
Burton continued, “South Korea not only increased its exports regionally but also managed to export at a global level. We saw deals with Iraq, Indonesia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Azerbaijan and the Philippines to name a few. South Korea increased its exports from $0.3 billion to $0.6 billion this year and by 2015 it will be exporting $1.5 billion a year in defence equipment. This will likely supplant some of the major Western companies in the process.”
Ground vehicle shipments to drop by one-third in three years
According to the study, “ground vehicles, which account for a sixth of the world market, fell by seven percent in 2013. This fall is an ongoing trend as emerging countries seek to develop local vehicle assembly capability, compounded by the end of operational requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Middle East currently accounts for nearly half of all the global trade in ground vehicles but we expect this to fall based on booked orders. Orders for heavily armored vehicles are falling particularly fast. The scale of the fall of demand in the Middle East will cause a 10 percent annual fall in exports of military vehicles over the coming years. Radar and missile markets could well supplant military vehicles as the second largest market by 2015,” Moores forecast.
Top Global Company
Exporters 2013
(in Millions USD)
Top Country 
Exporters 2013
Top Country 
Exporters 2012
Boeing 5,0381 United States  United States
Raytheon 4,4522 Russian Federation  Russian Federation
Lockheed Martin 4,2683 France  France
Airbus Group 3,9634 Germany  United Kingdom
BAE Systems 2,5425 United Kingdom  Germany
Thales 2,0236 Italy  Israel
UAC 1,9267 Israel  China
United Tech Corp 1,8488 China  Spain
Russian Helicopters 1,6909 Canada  Italy
General Dynamics 1,68910 Sweden  Sweden
Total Global Defense
Trade (in Millions USD)
  Top Country 
Importers 2013
  Top Country 
Importers 2012
2009 55,9961 India  India
2010 56,3912 Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia
2011 62,5723 Turkey  United Arab Emirates
2012 65,6494 United Arab Emirates  China
2013 67,5935 South Korea  Egypt
 6 Australia  Taiwan
7 United States  Indonesia
8 Algeria  South Korea
9 Iraq  United Kingdom
10 China  Australia
Total Global Defense
Trade (in Millions USD)
Top East Asian Importers
2013 (in Millions USD)
Top East Asian Importers
2014 (in Millions USD)
2009 55,9961 China – $2,284  China – $2,622
2010 56,3912 Taiwan – $1,993  South Korea – $1,898
2011 62,5723 Indonesia – $1,667  Taiwan – $1,813
2012 65,6494 South Korea – $1,627  Indonesia – $1,585
2013 67,5935 Japan – $1,004  Vietnam – $1,308
 6 Vietnam – $928  Japan – $1,280
7 Thailand – $884  Thailand – $576
8 Singapore – $702  Singapore – $530
9 Malaysia – $610  Philippines – $324
10 Brunei – $177  Malaysia – $309
Top Middle East Importers 
(in Millions USD)
 2014  2013  2012
Saudi Arabia $7,059  $5,385  $3,700
United Arab Emirates $2,512  $3,124  $3,002
Iraq $2,172  $1,596  $1,992
Israel $1,951  $1,322  $851
Qatar $1,444  $354  $650
Algeria $1,386  $1,378  $1,894
Oman $931  $976  $505
Egypt $843  $2,124  $1,100
Kuwait $801  $579  $479
Morocco $263  $558  $1,385