May 18, 2010 Assortment



Pakistan aerobatic team “Sherdils” to fly at Airshow China 2010

Airshow China 2010 is glad to announce that the “Sherdils” aerobatic team of the Pakistan Airforce Academy will perform formation and maneuvers at the show.

Officially formed on 17 August 1972, Sherdils is the aerobatics display team of the Pakistan Air Force Academy, based at PAF Academy Risalpur, Pakistan. The team used to fly the T-37 “Tweety Bird”, and is composed of instructors of the Academy.

Pakistan to get Chinese AEW&C aircraft this year

Pakistan has received its second Erieye radar-equipped Saab 2000, and will also accept its first Shaanxi ZDK-03 airborne early warning and control system aircraft before year-end.

Islamabad has four ZDK-03s on order, with deliveries due to start later this year, say air force sources. The type is a new variant of the Shaanxi Y8 AEW&C aircraft designed specifically for Pakistan.

The Chinese aircraft is powered by four turboprop engines and has a greater range than offered by the Saab Microwave Systems Erieye, the sources say.

The air force recently received its second Saab 2000 surveillance aircraft, and anticipates that it will receive its remaining two in the second and third quarters of this year.

Pakistan’s move to source AEW&C aircraft from both China and the West is indicative of its strategy to refrain from being overly reliant on any one ally. The USA imposed military sanctions against Pakistan from 1990 to 2005 in response to its testing nuclear weapons.

The air force’s current fleet includes Lockheed Martin F-16s, Dassault Mirage III and 5 fighters, Chengdu F-7s and JF-17s; a new type developed jointly by China and Pakistan.

In terms of military transports, Pakistan flies Lockheed C-130s, but also operates Ilyushin Il-78 tankers.

Private US spy network still on in Pakistan, Afghanistan: report

Despite official denials, a secret network of private spies set up by a US Defense Department official continues to operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, The New York Times reported late Saturday.

Citing unnamed US officials and businessmen, the newspaper said the network was still operating, the paper reported.

The contractors were still being paid under a 22-million-dollar contract managed by defense corporation Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy, the paper said.

The US military is largely prohibited from operating inside Pakistan, The Times noted. And under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying.

GAO Report on the 1965 NUMEC Affair Declassified
Pakistan is continuously harassed about nuclear issues. The US role in the proliferation of nukes in the middle east (or rather israel to be specific) remains under the wraps.

In 1965, over 200 pounds of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium went missing from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania. Circumstantial evidence and popular lore suggested that the material had been clandestinely diverted to Israel for use in its nuclear weapons program, either with or without the acquiescence of the U.S. Government.

The Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission cooperated fully with the GAO, but the CIA and the FBI did not.

“The circumstantial evidence supports the conclusion that the HEU ended up in Israel,” said former NRC Commissioner Gilinsky. “Our conclusion, which was based on a lot more information and analysis than was available to the GAO in 1978, thus goes well beyond that of the just released report. Moreover when we talk about the HEU we include not only the unexplained losses found in the famous 1965 inventory, but also unexplained losses for the subsequent few years, which are even larger.”

“The bottom line of the article,” said Dr. Mattson, “is that it is time to end FBI and CIA secrecy on the now 40+ year old Apollo/NUMEC affair.”

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