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AEROSPACE
Pakistan orders additional AW139 helicopters
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017


Leonardo of Italy reports that Pakistan has signed a new order for additional AgustaWestland AW139 twin-engine helicopters.

The aircraft will be used for utility, search-and-rescue, and emergency medical operations.

The exact number of the medium-lift helicopters to be delivered beginning next year and the value of the contract was not disclosed.

AgustaWestland, maker of the helicopter, is now part of Leonardo

"The contract is a further step towards the completion of fleet renewal programs spread over several batches plus logistic support and training," the company said in a press release. "This event is a major achievement for Leonardo expanding the already successful presence of the AW139 model in the country.

"A fast growing fleet of AW139s is already in service in Pakistan, with several units operated by the Pakistan Government for relief and transport duties."

Pakistan extends secret military courts
Islamabad (AFP) March 28, 2017 - An expired Pakistani law allowing secret military courts to try civilians on terror charges was extended by the Senate for another two years Tuesday, despite stringent criticism from rights groups.

The law expired in January with the controversial tribunals having hanged 12 people and ordered the executions of 149 more.

The courts will now be revived as soon as Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain signs the amendment to extend them into law, a senior government official told AFP.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) slammed the move in a statement.

"The nationwide concern at a number of recent attacks in the country seems to have once again been misdirected toward a seriously flawed counter terrorism strategy that weakens the rule of law and the struggle for justice," said Sam Zarifi, ICJ's Asia director.

"Pakistan must reject this counter productive strategy and instead strengthen its judicial process and law enforcement in line with its domestic law and international obligations," he added.

The military courts were created by constitutional amendment after the country's deadliest ever extremist attack in December 2014.

The assault on a school in northwestern Peshawar, in which gunmen killed more than 150 people -- mostly children -- traumatised a country already grimly accustomed to atrocities.

The army intensified an operation against militants in the tribal areas and the government launched a National Action Plan, including the creation of the courts, against extremism.

The courts were seen as an "exceptional" short-term measure put in place to allow the government time to reform the criminal justice system.

Last month, a fresh wave of militant violence killed 130 people across Pakistan.

The attacks, most of which were claimed by the Islamic State group or the Pakistani Taliban, dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half long war on militancy.

AEROSPACE
South Korea looks to Southeast Asia to sell training aircraft
Washington (UPI) Mar 27, 2017
The capabilities of a South Korea-developed advanced training aircraft were demonstrated in Malaysia last week. The T-50B trainer was being promoted at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in an air show featuring the South Korea air force's aerobatic team, the Black Eagles, according to South Korea's air force and defense industries. The move is part of a ... read more

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