Monday, February 27, 2012
RIANOVOSTI: The Russian Federal Protective Service (FSO) confirmed on Monday that it had received information about a “terrorist attack” plotted against “Russia’s leadership.”
State-run Channel One reported earlier on Monday that Ukrainian and Russian security services had gathered information about a plot to assassinate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is poised to be elected president on Sunday.
“The Federal Security Service has taken all necessary measures to ensure security of the country’s authorities,” FSO spokesman Sergei Devyatov told RIA Novosti, adding that the information about the “potential threat” was received in January.
“Members of a criminal gang preparing the terrorist attack have been detained,” he said.
The Channel One report said the plotters were on the international wanted list and were detained in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa in early January, following an explosion in their rented apartment.
Two men were arrested, while a third man, who was also in the apartment, died in the explosion, the TV channel said. They had reportedly been trying to produce home-made explosives.
According to the TV channel, after weeks of interrogation, the gang members confessed they were planning to assassinate Putin in Moscow, soon after the March 4 presidential elections.
One of the surviving militants, Ilya Pyanzin, said that the Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov, who is believed to be behind the deadliest terrorist attacks in Russia, hired him and the late Ruslan Madayev to kill Putin.
Pyanzin and Madayev came from the United Arab Emirates via Turkey to Ukraine. In Odessa, they were met by a local fixer, Adam Osmayev, who was supposed to brief the militants about the plan and send them to Moscow.
The TV report, featuring Osmayev 's interrogation, says that the militant, who had been on the international wanted list since 2007, is cooperating with investigators, as he hopes not to be extradited to Russia.
“The final task was to go to Moscow and carry out an assassination attempt on premier Putin,” Osmayev said during questioning, adding that the late Madayev was ready to be a suicide bomber.
According to the assassination plan that was found in the militants’ laptop, they had to learn the structure of Putin’s security team and how his bodyguards worked, the report said.
“The deadline was set up for the period after the presidential elections,” Osmayev said.
Osmayev confessed that he scrutinized the routes of government motorcades and that the preparation for the attack was in its final stage.
Osmayev was quoted as saying in an interview with Channel One that had learned how to produce explosives during his time at the University of Buckingham in Britain. According to the report, he also met “militants who had fled Russia” there.
The TV channel said the militants were going to use mines hidden near Moscow’s Kutuzovsky Avenue, which Putin passes every day on his way to the government building in downtown city.
An unknown security official told the TV channel that the mines were powerful enough to “tear apart a truck.”
Osmayev reportedly told the TV channel that part of the mines were produced in Moscow from “components that can be bought in the shop.”
Ukrainian Security Services confirmed the information released about the assassination plot.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was not available for comment.
Putin, who served as president from 2000 to 2008, is expected to return to the Kremlin for a third, non-consecutive term in office in elections on March 4.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 12:39 PM
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., February 24, 2012 – The first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the U.S. Navy, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
The MUOS constellation will replace the legacy Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UFO) system and provide significantly improved assured communications, including simultaneous voice, video and data, for mobile warfighters.
“MUOS is a revolutionary new satellite system that will provide unprecedented new communications capabilities for the armed forces,” said Kevin Bilger, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems. “We look forward to executing a smooth and efficient on-orbit checkout, paving the way for operational use.”
MUOS satellites feature a wideband code division multiple access payload that incorporates advanced technology to provide a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current UFO satellite system. A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of 10 satellites. The satellites also include a hosted legacy UHF payload that will be fully compatible with the current UFO system and legacy terminals.
The first MUOS satellite and associated ground system will provide initial on-orbit capability this year with the four-satellite global constellation achieving full operational capability in 2015, extending UHF narrowband communications availability well past 2025.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the MUOS prime contractor and system integrator. The Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems, Chantilly, Va., and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, Calif., are responsible for the MUOS program.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 7:38 AM
The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon has been around for over three decades and so far there have been nearly 4,500 delivered. The F-16 will continue for many years to come and Lockheed Martin has today unveiled a new version called F-16V. The new version of the fighter jet was unveiled at the Singapore Airshow and has new feature enhancements to make the aircraft more formidable.
The F-16 V gets new active electronically scanned array radar (AESA), an upgraded mission computer and architecture, along with improvements inside the cockpit. Lockheed Martin says that all of those new features are things that have been identified by the USAF and international buyers as needing improvement. The AESA radar promises significant capability improvements for the aircraft and Lockheed Martin has developed a solution to affordably retrofit the new radar to existing F-16s.
The new F-16V configuration is now an option for new production aircraft with most elements of the upgrade available for earlier F-16s. The V designation comes from Viper, which is the nickname pilots have given the F-16 since it entered service.
“We believe this F-16V will satisfy our customers’ emerging requirements and prepare them to better interoperate with the 5th generation fighters, the F-35 and F-22,” said George Standridge, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ vice president of business development.
Today 26 different countries fly the F-16 and it is hailed as the world's most successful fourth-generation fighter. The upgraded AESA radar will also help F-16V to be more interoperable with fifth-generation fighters like the F-35 and F-22. The USAF is reportedly interested in upgrading between 300 and 350 of its F-16s to the new version.
Lockheed Martin has an order from Iraq that is large enough to keep F-16 production line open until the end of 2015; after that it needs additional orders to keep F-16 production going into 2016.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 7:30 AM