Sunday, March 31, 2013

China Once Again Tries To Get Its Boomer On

Once more China appears to have eliminated many, if not all, the flaws in its latest SSBN (ballistic missile carrying nuclear powered boat, also called "boomers") design. This is the Type 94 class sub, and one was seen recently undergoing what appears to be sea trials.
China is eager to actually send one of its SSBNs out on a combat patrol. That’s because, to date, China has never sent an SSBN on a combat patrol. America, Russia, Britain, and France have all done so and still do. The U.S. has had SSBNs going out with nuclear armed, and ready to fire, missiles for over half a century. What is going on with China? There appears to be a combination of technical and political problems.
China has already produced two generations of SSBNs. In the early 1980s, the Type 92 SSBN was launched but had a lot of problems and never made a patrol. It only went out for training in Chinese coastal waters. Only one was built. In the last decade the Type 94 showed up. This was believed, in the West, to be the Chinese SSBN that would go on patrol. Never happened. Turns out that the Type 94 also had technical problems, and Chinese workers have been seen working on Type 94s for years.
This all began with the Type 93 class SSN (nuclear powered attack sub), which looks a lot like the three decade old Russian Victor III class SSN design. The first Type 93 entered service in 2006. The Type 93 was the basis for the Type 94 SSBN, which looks like a Victor III with a missile compartment added. Taking a SSN design and adding extra compartments to hold the ballistic missiles is an old trick, pioneered by the United States in the 1950s to produce the first ever SSBNs. The Chinese appear to have done the same thing with their new Type 93 SSN, creating a larger Type 94 SSBN boat of 9,000 tons displacement. Priority was apparently given to construction of the 94, as having nuclear missiles able to reach the United States gives China more diplomatic clout than some new SSNs. The first 94 entered service two years ago. But it still has not gone to sea equipped with nuclear missiles.

ThalesRaytheonSystems equips Estonia with Ground Master air defense radar.

An official ceremony was held on March 26 on Muhu island in Estonia to mark the entry into service of the first Ground Master 400 (GM 400) long-range air defense radar system supplied by ThalesRaytheonSystems to the Estonian armed forces. The ceremony was
The system is the first of two radar systems ordered by the Estonian Air Force and is one of 14
radars of the same type ordered jointly by Finland and Estonia. The GM 400 is designed for both fixedsite
operation under a radome at the Muhu base and for rapid deployment in the field. In a tactical, truckmounted
configuration with an independent power supply, it can be deployed in the field in less than two
hours.
This GM 400 will be connected to the NATO network and can be interconnected with all the
other air defense radars deployed across Europe. It will bring Estonia superior detection performance at
low and high altitudes, higher availability and simplified maintenance.
“The entry into service of the Ground Master 400 is an important milestone in our air defense program.
We look forward to the operational benefits of this new radar,” said Ingvar Pärnamäe, Undersecretary for
Defence Investments of the Estonian Ministry of Defence.
“We are delighted that the GM400 radar is now supporting Estonia’s important role in the NATO air
defense infrastructure. The new radar system will bring the country an operational long-range air
surveillance capability and improved detection performance against a broad array of modern threats,”
said Philippe Duhamel, CEO of ThalesRaytheonSystems SAS.
presided by Estonia’s defense minister Urmas Reinsalu.

About ThalesRaytheonSystems


ThalesRaytheonSystems is an international company specializing in air defense systems, command and control systems, 3D air defense radars, battlefield and counterbattery radars. Since its inception in 2001,
ThalesRaytheonSystems has become one of the defense industry’s most successful transatlantic joint ventures. The company employs 1,600 people and is equally owned by Thales and Raytheon.

India to reject global arms trade treaty


New Delhi is set to reject a global arms trade treaty
(ATT) since the agreement is heavily loaded against weapons-importing countries like India, and let exporting nations like the US and China call the shots. The treaty, meant to regulate all transfers of conventional arms around the world, is likely to be passed by the UN General Assembly next week. India's inability to establish an indigenous defence production industry may now become a strategic vulnerability.

New Delhi had several concerns which Indian negotiators, led by Sujata Mehta, who heads the Indian mission at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, fought on, but virtually none of them have been incorporated by the treaty's co-authors, led by Peter Woolacott of Australia. The current round of negotiations in New York is the second and final round. The first round, held last July, didn't have an agreement largely because the US backed out.

India wanted the treaty to regulate arms transfers to non-state actors like terror groups. New Delhi's focus was on terror groups that target the nation or even internal insurgent groups like the Maoists but this was shot down. Countries like the US and the UK who supply arms to opposition groups such as in Syria and Libya wanted to retain the flexibility to continue to do so. Terror groups do find mention, but only in the non-binding preamble, and not in the main body. In her remarks, Mehta said, "Without such provisions, the

Sukhoi, Malaysia Sign $100 Mln Deal on Fighters' Maintenance

Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi and the Malaysian Defense Ministry have signed a $100-million contract for the technical maintenance of Malaysia’s fleet of Su-30MKM fighters, said a spokesman for the organizing committee of the LIMA-2013 aerospace exhibition.

The contract covers technical maintenance as well as supplies of spare parts for 18 Russian Su-30MKM fighters that were delivered to Malaysia between 2007 and 2009 under a $900-million contract signed in 2003.
In addition to its 18
Su-30MKM Flanker fighters, Malaysia also has 16 MiG-29N Fulcrum fighters in its combat aircraft fleet.The Su-30MKM is a multi-role Flanker based on the Su-30MKI model and features a customized

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thales showcased its new TRINITY Integrated Littoral Defence Solution at LIMA 2013

t the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition 2013, Thales showcased its new TRINITY system. Thales TRINITY is a complete and integrated solution for situational awarness, command and control and fire control, adapted and optimised for any mission in the littoral environment. These include:
» Riverine & Inland Waterway Patrol
» Land Forces Support
» Customs Operations Support
» Special Operations Support
» Visit Board Search and Seize (VBSS) Actions
» Coastal and In-shore Patrol and Interdiction
» Choke Point Control & Defence
» Picket Boat and Harbour Defence Duties
» Fishery Protection


TRINITY is based on standard maritime building blocks, combined with dedicated fire control solution(s), allowing the execution of any kind of Anti-Surface Warfare mission in the littoral environment.

The main building blocks of TRINITY are:
» Surveillance sensors, including GPS and AIS information
» Observation sensors, both TV and IR
» Up to 3x Fire Control subsystems, including tracking sensors and, as an option, a pan and tilt system for small calibre (e.g. 12.7mm) guns (considered as GFE)
» Communications (typicaly VHF/UHF radios)

Russia to Deliver First Kilo Class Sub to Vietnam in 2013

The first of six Varshavyanka class (Project 636M) diesel-electric submarines will be delivered to Vietnam in 2013 as scheduled, the submarine designer said on Friday.
The Varshavyanka class is an improved version of the Kilo class submarines, featuring advanced stealth technology, extended combat range and ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets.
“The first vessel is undergoing sea trials. It will be delivered to Vietnam this year,” Rubin design bureau general director Igor Vilnit told reporters at the LIMA-2013 arms show in Malaysia.
Vietnam ordered a fleet of six Russian-made submarines in 2009 in a step seen as an effort to counterbalance China’s expanding maritime influence in the region. The contract, which also stipulates the training of Vietnamese submarine crews in Russia, is reportedly worth $2 billion.
Vilnit says construction on the craft is going according to the schedule specified in the contract.
The submarines are being built at the Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard in St. Petersburg. All six boats are due for delivery by 2016.
The Project 636 class boats displace 3,100 tons, reach speeds of 20 knots, can dive to 300 meters and carry crews of 52 people.

Friday, March 29, 2013

India readies hi-tech naval base to keep eye on China


Slowly but steadily, India's new futuristic naval base is beginning to take concrete shape on the eastern seaboard. The strategic base, with an eye firmly on China, will eventually even have underground pens or bunkers to protect nuclear submarines both from spy satellites and enemy air attacks.


Sources said a flurry of discussions and meetings have been held in the PMO and defence ministry over the last couple of months to firm up "expansion plans'' for a base located near Rambilli called "Project Varsha" on the Andhra coast — just about 50 km from the Eastern Naval Command headquarters at Visakhapatnam — over the coming decade.

Though it's still very early days for Project Varsha, some bill it as an answer to China's massive underground nuclear submarine base at Yalong on the southernmost tip of Hainan Island, which houses its new Shang-class SSNs (nuclear-powered attack submarines) and the Jin-class SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines with long-range nuclear missiles).

Although land acquisitions and incremental development work on the base under the secretive project kicked off a few years ago, it is set to take off in a major way with the construction of tunnels, jetties, depots, workshops and accommodation. "Further land acquisitions for the sprawling base to be spread over 20 sq km are now underway, with long-term budget allocations also being planned,'' said a source.

The endeavour dovetails into the overall policy to bolster force-levels on the eastern seaboard, with new warships, aircraft and spy drones as well as forward-operating (FOBs) and operational turnaround (OTR) bases, to counter China's expanding footprint in the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Naval assets to protect India's long coastline and keep watch over the crucial trade corridors in the Indian Ocean are essential to Indian interests. The strategic value of force projection beyond the Andaman islands is seen in terms of deterrence as well given the aggressive military Chinese expansion.

India's own SSBN programme is also poised to turn the corner soon with sea trials of the 6,000-tonne INS Arihant slated to begin off Visakhapatnam. INS Arihant and its three "follow-on'' SSBNs, which will complete India's elusive nuclear weapon triad since they will be armed with the `K' series of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, as well as other frontline warships will be housed at the new base.

Lawmaker Lauds Iranian Experts' Achievements in Defense Sector

A senior Iranian legislator praised Iranian experts for their huge and unbelievable scientific advancements in defensive fields, specially in producing naval equipment. "The Iranian Armed Forces have made tactical and technological advances in recent years, and Iran's Navy is now a transregional maritime power," member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Mohammad Saleh Jokar said on Sunday.

The Iranian Armed Forces have recently test-fired different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of home-made weapons, tools and equipments, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircrafts, UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills.

Defense analysts and military observers say that Iran's wargames and its advancements in weapons production have proved as a deterrent factor, especially at a time of heightened threats by the US. On November 28, Iranian Navy launched the main structure Sina-7 missile launching frigate. Navy also started using two new home-made Qadir-class light submarines and two hovercrafts.

Antony feels ‘someone has taken money’ in copter deal

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Monday said he thought “someone has taken money” in the controversial deal worth Rs. 3,546 crore for purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.
“[The] CBI is vigorously pursuing its investigation. My commitment to Parliament [in this regard] stands. I have a feeling that someone has taken money. The inquiry is at a crucial stage… We will not show mercy to anyone, however big and powerful, who has gone against the integrity pact,” he said in response to a query from The Hindu.
Mr. Antony was at the Southern Naval Command here to receive sail training ship INS Sudarshini on its return from a six-month voyage to the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.
Asked if India would go ahead with the purchase of ‘Black Shark’ torpedoes from Italian firm WASS, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, he said a final call on the acquisition had not been taken. “Nothing has happened so far. We will proceed only as per the law. We are waiting for the inquiry [against Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland] to be over,” he told the media.
The return of the Italian marines charged with killing two Indian fishermen was the result of a bold stance taken by the Indian judiciary. “Our action has been internationally acclaimed and proved correct.”
Referring to the new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), he said the policy, due for release in a few months, would give a major fillip to indigenisation. His Ministry was particularly keen on indigenisation, especially after “our experiences with foreign countries.” A biannual affair so far, the DPP would henceforth be reviewed every year.

Military experts interpret main warships of high-sea training taskforce


The debut of the 4 main warships, namely the "Jinggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship, the "Lanzhou" guided missile destroyer, and the "Yulin" and "Hengshui" guided missile frigates, making up the joint mobile taskforce carrying out combat readiness patrol and high-sea training organized by the South China Sea Fleet under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), has recently caught wide attention. Military experts Du Wenlong and Li Li made a detailed analysis of these four main warships.

The combat readiness patrol and high-sea training of the joint mobile taskforce organized by the South China Sea Fleet is a routine military training. Among the taskforce, the "Jinggangshan" ship is currently the largest-tonnage amphibious dock landing ship in China with advanced weapon systems. The "Lanzhou" and "Yulin" warships used to perform the escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somalia coast, possess strong anti-aircraft, anti-missile and anti-submarine capabilities. The "Hengshui" warship is a new-type frigate commissioned to the Navy of the PLA not long ago.

The "Jinggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship is the first ship to combine the projection of military force and projection of equipment

According to Du Wenlong, the "Jiggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship serves primarily as a starting base for landing operations in the actual combat exercise. Specifically, it is used as the base for attacking operation and landing operation launched against islands and reefs and the landing troops.

RAF Marham base for Joint Strike Fighter

The RAF's newest stealth aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter, will be based in Norfolk, the defence secretary has revealed.
Philip Hammond announced the decision that RAF Marham would home the aircraft on a visit to the base.
The facility, where Tornado aircraft are stationed, had been threatened with closure under the government's defence review but won a reprieve in July 2011.
The fighter is built by Lockheed Martin and will be known as the Lightning II.
Mr Hammond said that the Lightning II squadron based at RAF Marham would be a joint RAF and Royal Navy force and the station would be responsible for support and maintenance of both land-based and aircraft carrier planes.
He said: "The decision is extremely good news for the station, for the RAF, the Royal Navy and the local community.
"I hope everyone now gets behind this project during the huge amount of planning work required over the next months and years on the investment and the infrastructure needed.
"The world's most advanced fighter aircraft is to be based in Norfolk at one of the UK's most operationally experienced bases."
Jobs secured Mr Hammond said the future of the base, where 5,000 people are employed, was secure and this was good news for the 15,000 other local jobs which relied on the station.
The aircraft had a multi-role capability with advance weaponry, the latest camera technology for intelligence gathering and short take off capability for aircraft carrier duties.
"The transition to Lightning II from the Tornado will take place over the remaining decade," Mr Hammond said.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

F-35 Parts From Rolls-Royce 160 Days Late, Pentagon Says

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (RR/) was an average of 160 days late last year in delivering equipment needed for the U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 fighter to hover and land like a helicopter, according to the Pentagon.
The delays for “lift fans” installed on the F-35B, the most complex model of the Joint Strike Fighter made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), stemmed from flaws in parts provided by subcontractors, the Defense Contract Management Agency said in an e-mailed statement.
Enlarge image
The estimated cost for a fleet of 2,443 F-35 fighters has climbed to $395.7 billion, a 70 percent increase since 2001. Photographer: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
“There have been issues such as corrosion on some of the gears and some undersized holes,” Jacqueline Noble, a spokeswoman for the defense agency, said in the statement. While London-based Rolls-Royce and its subcontractors have made progress, the need to fix fan parts that don’t meet specifications “is still a concern,” she said.
The estimated cost for a fleet of 2,443 F-35 fighters has climbed to $395.7 billion, a 70 percent increase since 2001. The F-35B, the model designed for the Marines and for purchase by countries including the U.K. and Italy, has been the most trouble-plagued version of the jet, which is being produced even as it’s still in development.
The F-35B is designed for short takeoffs and landings on carriers and amphibious-warfare vessels. The Marine Corps plans to buy about 340 of the fighters.
Rolls-Royce, Europe’s largest maker of commercial aircraft engines, provides major components for the F-35B’s propulsion system to United Technologies Corp. (UTX)’s Pratt and Whitney unit. Pentagon pressure on both companies to improve deliveries and subcontractor quality may increase in advance of planned funding increases after 2015.

Why Russia needs a global naval presence

In recent weeks, the Russian authorities have made repeated statements about restoring the country's global naval presence, which was lost following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was announced that a permanent task force fleet would be stationed in the Mediterranean, and Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov stated that similar formations could also appear in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Talks have been held with Vietnam on the use of the former Soviet navy logistics base at Kamran.
The new phase of Russia's naval expansion is nothing on the scale of the Soviet fleet that once patrolled the world's seas. The Mediterranean flotilla will consist of just 5-6 ships
, utterly incapable of confronting the U.S. Navy. At Kamran, the best case scenario will see the appearance of a logistical support point, whereas in Soviet times it was a fully-fledged naval base complete with a powerful defense system and permanently stationed troops Instead, it points to a different manifestation of globalization. Russia is just one of a long line of second- or even third-tier countries striving to establish an open-sea fleet. Besides China, which claims to be the world's second superpower, naval programmes are being developed by India, which is promoting the concept of an expeditionary fleet capable of operating anywhere in the world. South Korea plans to build an ocean fleet by 2020, Brazil’s National Defense Strategy 2008 contained a programme to build an open-sea fleet and Japan is quietly but effectively establishing a naval force. The desire to build an ocean fleet has also been expressed at various times by Iran and, somewhat earlier, Thailand (owner of the only aircraft carrier in South-East Asia).

Canada’s air force eyes drones for maritime and Arctic patrols

Air force general says despite delays, drone program is moving ahead with the goal of buying long-range drones to watch coastlines and Arctic regions. Canada’s air force remains committed to getting a squadron of drones to keep watch over vast tracts of the country’s coastlines and Arctic regions, be deployed on humanitarian missions, and even carry weapons in war zones, the head of the air force.
Lt.-Gen. Yvan Blondin says delays in purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles have had a silver lining as evolving technology has meant drones are becoming more capable.
“If you commit yourself too early with a very expensive program, there are new ones coming in that are not far behind that will give you different capabilities and could be much cheaper,” Blondin told the Star.
A military program to buy drones has been slow to take flight though Blondin said the Royal Canadian Air Force is now looking actively looking at the options.
“I’m not sad it’s taking its time. There are some great capabilities coming up,” he said in an interview Monday.
Speaking before the Senate defence committee Monday afternoon, Blondin said the air force needs a versatile platform able to fly long distances on maritime patrol — flying up 1,600 kilometres off the coast — and enforce northern sovereignty.
“I need to use the drones . . . to go on long patrol and be our eyes in the sky in the Arctic,” Blondin said.
He says the drones should also be available to be deployed abroad and says the technology could have proven invaluable during the response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
“I could have used some drones when we were in Haiti to be able to give us a picture of what roads are open, what is happening out there,” he said.
And he says he wants the drones to be able to carry weapons and equipment, such as aid kits that could be dropped to people on the ground during a search-and-rescue mission.
The air force used drones in Afghanistan and came away impressed by the “incredible” information they can provide,” Blondin said.

Boeing Assessing Effect Of Advanced Sensor On P-8 Life

Boeing is to receive a U.S. Navy contract to conduct additional fatigue testing on the P-8A Poseidon to determine the effects on airframe life of carrying the Raytheon Advanced Aerial Sensor (AAS) long-range, high-resolution surveillance radar.
The AAS is a dual-sided, active, electronically scanned array radar with a 40-ft.-long antenna housed in a pod mounted on a trapeze under the forward fuselage. The radar is designed to be carried on P-8As fitted with structural provisions for the pod.
Under a $138 million effort running through fiscal 2017, Boeing will conduct an engineering analysis of the AAS on the Poseidon airframe. This will include evaluating different mixes of AAS surveillance and P-8A maritime-patrol mission profiles to identify an optimum mix for future operations, according to Navy documentation.
The analysis will identify fatigue-critical areas specific to the AAS mission and compare them with those for the basic maritime-patrol mission. The S-2 full-scale fatigue-test article at Boeing will conduct two complete AAS mission lifetimes and a third P-8A mission lifetime, followed by a residual-strength test and a tear-down analysis.
Raytheon was awarded a contract in July 2009 to develop the AAS, a modernized evolution of the once-classified APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar Sensor carried by a small number of Navy Lockheed P-3C Orions.

South Korean Spy Steals Russian Missiles

The achievements of the Republic of Korea in the field of rockets and space are largely based on Russian technologies, including stolen ones. This conclusion is evident from sensational confessions of a South Korean businessman to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
“On the instructions of the intelligence service, I managed to bring back from Russia several intercontinental ballistic rockets and five engines passing them off as scrap metal. I managed to take them to South Korea and send them to secret service officers. I was awarded, but soon the authorities of my country abandoned me. I don’t know what to do now. I am not allowed entry back into Russia where I had several companies,” these sensational confessions of a South Korean businessman, who used to work in the Russian Federation for a long time, were published in the open press.
The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, which has published this story, has declared that its truthfulness was confirmed by representatives of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), who noted, however, that the rockets “were nothing more than scrap metal”. Russian journalists managed to find out that the Russian law enforcement bodies knew this story and confirmed it, noting that it was not the first case when some representatives of “peaceful occupations” from South Korea carried out “delicate orders” of the South Korean intelligence services.
As far as the South Korean businessman whom Chosun Ilbo identified only with the first letter of his name – “K” – is concerned, he started his business in Russia back in 1996. His company was based in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and specialized in exporting scrap metal to South Korea. In 1997, K. received from the Russian Ministry of Defense permission to use Russian Intercontinental ballistic rockets, which were located in Kamchatka and fell under the agreement with the USA on the reduction of strategic offensive arms. And it was then that the espionage detective story started.

Malaysia Not Getting Gripen Jets on Lease

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has rubbished a report that Malaysia plans to boost air power by getting Gripen fighter jets on lease.
"I want to emphasise that the report is not true as Malaysia is only interested in buying defence assets," he told a press conference at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition here today.
An international defence magazine published in March reported that Malaysia will get 24 to 32 Swedish-made Gripen aircraft on lease.
Gripen multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) is currently used by the air force of Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand.
Ahmad Zahid said as the buyer, Malaysia has the right to decide the best aircraft for the country and not decided by the defence industry company.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lockheed Martin’s EAPS Completes Successful Miniature Hit-To-Kill Interceptor Flight Test

Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program successfully conducted the first Guided Test Flight to characterize the seeker, guidance, navigation and control systems of its Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) interceptor. The very small and agile interceptor is designed to defeat Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (RAM) targets at ranges greatly exceeding those of current systems.

The test was conducted on March 22 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command/Aviation Missile Research Development & Engineering Center (RDECOM/AMRDEC). This test is another milestone in a series of technically challenging events completed under the EAPS Integrated Demonstration Science and Technology program.

The test closely replicated a tactical situation in which an enemy launches a mortar at an area protected by the MHTK intercept system. A radar successfully detected and tracked the threat in flight. The tactically configured MHTK interceptor launched vertically and flew a trajectory positioning it to detect energy from a ground illuminator reflected off the mortar target. Responding to the reflected energy, the MHTK interceptor maneuvered to fly very close to the target and gather data through its seeker as it passed the mortar in flight. Intercepting the target was not an objective of this flight test.

In addition to gathering data to characterize the interceptor’s performance, this test integrated and exercised the entire intercept system for the first time. The data collected will support an intercept flight test planned for later this year.

Northrop Grumman Introduces Advanced High-Resolution Sensors for Hawk Air Defense System

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has launched its Fourth Generation Tracking Adjunct Sensor (4G TAS), the latest upgrade to the company's range of high-resolution electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors for the Hawk air defense system.

Northrop Grumman's 4G TAS, the only approved EO/IR upgrade available to Hawk customers worldwide, detects and tracks low, fast targets both day and night and passes them to the Hawk's fire control radar.
"With the launch of 4G TAS, Northrop Grumman brings powerful and sustainable new capabilities to operators of the Hawk system," said Jim Mocarski, vice president of airborne tactical sensors at Northrop Grumman. "We continue to invest in sensors for the Hawk and will support our customers worldwide with these upgrades to help them maintain their national security."
Northrop Grumman's upgrades to the baseline configuration include a new 640 x 480 pixel infrared sensor that will more than double the resolution of the current system. The upgrade will also include a new charged-coupled device camera that will increase resolution and enhance operation in low-light environments. The upgrades also include more reliable and sustainable electronics to ensure continued logistics support for the system. All existing TAS, Improved TAS and Advanced Infrared TAS systems can be upgraded to the 4G TAS configuration.

Singapore Poised To Announce Purchase Of 12 F-35Bs

Singapore is expected to announce sometime in the next 10 days that it plans to buy its first squadron --12 planes -- of some 75 of Lockheed Martin's F-35Bs, further bolstering what had been the flagging fortunes of the world's most expensive conventional weapon system.
The fact that American allies in the Pacific are the ones committing to the controversial and over-budget aircraft is telling. If you want to understand the calculus driving these choices, first look at China, which to countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Australia is the primary long-term threat.
The Singaporeans are extremely shy about declaring their intentions in public, eager to offer few chances for China and Malaysia to react, but two sources familiar with the program confirmed the likely announcement. Given Singapore's tiny size its choice of which of the three F-35 versions to buy is not surprising. A plane that can take off almost vertically and can land vertically is able to operate from a much smaller footprint than, say the F-35A (the Air Force version) or F-16 Block 60s. And, given Singapore's geography, the F-35B makes great sense for its ability to operate closely with the US Marines -- as well as with F-35Cs operating from our aircraft carriers.

Saab and DRB-HICOM Signs MoU

Defence and security company Saab (STO:SAABB) has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysian company DRB-HICOM. The purpose is to broaden and deepen the relationship between the companies which began in 2011.
The agreement between Saab and DRB-HICOM outlines industrial cooperation which will look into areas of technology transfer and bringing expertise to Malaysia among others.
“For Saab, the agreement with DRB-HICOM is an important step in order to do further business in Malaysia and surrounding countries”, says Dan-Åke Enstedt, President and CEO of Saab Asia Pacific.
The signing of the MoU took place during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2013. Signing on behalf of DRB-HICOM was YBhg Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, Group Managing Director. Dan-Åke Enstedt, President and CEO of Saab Asia Pacific signed the agreement for Saab.
In 2011, DRB-HICOM and Saab signed an industrial cooperation teaming agreement to collaborate on an Airborne Early Warning and Control system (AEW&C). The MoU signed today is an added effort to broaden and deepen the existing relationship between both companies.
Both parties have agreed to explore the various areas of cooperation that include the design and manufacturing of advanced composite system and components for military and commercial aerospace applications, composite repair technology. In addition to this the agreement also covers UAV systems and technology, system integration of electronic warfare, avionics and other airborne systems.

Interest in 'Eye-in-Sky' Programmes

WHEN the curtains go up at this year's edition of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima '13) today, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will likely be reflecting on one thing in particular.

Events in Lahad Datu must surely underscore the value of having a show such as Lima, as well as the Defence Services Asia exhibition, in the region.
After Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, credited as the man whose brainchild was the Lima series of exhibitions, Najib is known as the biggest supporter of the biennial show. The prime minister values exhibitions such as Lima and DSA as a catalyst for dialogue between Malaysian and foreign companies.
On the back of the incursion by armed gunmen in Sabah, interest from the government in force multipliers, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, surveillance and command and control systems, has ramped up. There's a renewed interest in security systems and "eye-in-the-sky" programmes to ensure the safety and security of the East Malaysia Safe Zone.
Companies making such systems are here in force, as are those interested in bidding for Malaysia's multirole combat aircraft (MRCA) replacement programme. This programme, according to industry and ministry insiders, is a little further along the priority list.
Apart from this, the show is all set to dazzle as usual, with a small surprise for media members. At the very last minute, the Russian Knights aerobatic team confirmed participation for the air show segment of Lima '13, something that had not been publicised.

Royal Australian Navy and Royal Thai Navy Exercise Joint War-Fighting Skills

The Royal Australian Navy, supported by the Royal Australian Air Force, has conducted a highly successful maritime exercise with the Royal Thai Navy, demonstrating yet again how well the two nations can operate effectively together.
The Australian Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Parramatta travelled to Thailand in March to conduct Exercise AUSTHAI 2013 with the Royal Thai Navy’s HTM Ships Rattanakosin and Phutthayotfa Chulalok.
The three ships were joined by two maritime patrol aircraft: an AP3-C Orion from the Royal Australian Air Force, and a Royal Thai Navy Dornier‑228. The primary aim of the exercise, held in the Gulf of Thailand, was to practice maritime warfare skills and to strengthen naval interoperability, including through the application of maritime patrol aircraft.
During the exercise, Parramatta and her Thai counterparts practiced gunnery exercises collectively known as ‘maritime interdiction’, and the Australian crew also demonstrated the Royal Australian Navy’s fire fighting and damage control techniques.


HTMS Rattanakosin, HMAS Parramatta and HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok being overflown by a Thai S70B in the Gulf of Thailand during the photex serial of AUSTHAI 2013. (photo : Aus DoD)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bilawal Bhutto in Dubai after tiff with Zardari: Report

Islamabad/Lahore: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has left for Dubai after a tiff with his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, over the affairs of the PPP, leaving the party without its star campaigner for Pakistan's general election.

Bilawal, recently named patron-in-chief of the Pakistan People's Party, developed differences with Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, over the party's handling of key issues, including militant violence, sectarian attacks against Shias and the award of party tickets for the polls scheduled for May 11.

Two sources privy to the development told a news agency that Bilawal had made it clear to his father that he felt the PPP had not strongly taken up issues like the shooting of teenage rights activist Malala Yusufzai by Taliban fighters last year and three devastating bomb attacks on Shias in Quetta and Karachi that killed nearly 250 people.

Bilawal was also upset with the PPP's handling of issues that affect the youth, especially in the wake of efforts by other parties like Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf to woo the youth ahead of the polls, the sources said.

The 24-year-old nominal chief of the PPP was angered by Faryal Talpur's refusal to award tickets to certain candidates in Sindh province that he had recommended, a source said.

China to buy 4 submarines, 24 fighter jets from Russia

China has agreed to buy two dozen fighter jets and four submarines from Russia, state media reported on Monday, the country's first large-scale weapons technology purchases from Moscow in a decade.

The agreement to buy the 24 Su-35 fighters and four Lada-class submarines was signed just before President Xi Jinping's weekend visit to Russia, said the People's Daily, the Communist Party organ, citing state television.

The report, which did not give a value for the purchases, said it was the first time in 10 years China had bought "large military technological equipment" from Russia.
 
The deal comes as Beijing expands its military reach - it commissioned its first aircraft carrier last year - and is embroiled in a bitter territorial row with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Two of the submarines will be built in Russia, with the other two to be built in China.

"The Su-35 fighters can effectively reduce pressure on China's air defence before Chinese-made stealth fighters come online," the report said.

China and Russia are expected to co-operate further in developing military technology, the report said, including that for S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missiles, 117S large thrust engines, IL-476 large transport aircraft and IL-78 aerial tankers.

Rafale fighter aircraft to show off at LIMA

Rafale International, which is set to woo visitors with its jaw-dropping aerial maneuvers at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2013 (LIMA 2013), hopes to showcase its technical capabilities, innovative development and meet like-minded experts.

 
The fighter aircraft company said LIMA was a good platform for Rafale which anticipated to receive quality trade visitors during the five-day exhibition which begins tomorrow.
 
"We believe it will be a successful exhibition for Rafale at LIMA 2013," it said in a statement.
 
The company, a joint-venture of companies comprising aerospace leaders Dassault Aviation, Snecma (Safran Group) and Thales, has been in active
collaboration with Malaysian partners.
 
In line with its goal to create the Rafale Network of Excellence in Malaysia, several agreements and memorandum of understandings have been inked with local industry players, organisations and institutions.
 
Rafale does not only produce the most critical technologies but also invests into human capital development in high-value industries and remained committed
to the local market by supporting the development, especially, of small-and-medium entrepreneurs through technology transfer.

Monday, March 25, 2013

China Flexes Muscles With New Missile Tests

China has demonstrated its military might by testing new rockets capable of hitting aircraft carriers up to 1,250 miles from the shore, as the US announced it is stepping up its military presence in Asia.
Amidst increasingly belligerent language from Beijing, new satellite photos published in the Taiwan media show huge craters in a mock-up of an aircraft carrier deck in the Gobi desert, believed to be created in tests of the new DF-21D anti-ship missile.
Originating in Soviet technology shared with China in the 1950s, the two-part missiles contain satellite-guided warheads capable of striking moving targets, including ships miles from the shore.
Recently an opinion column in state mouthpiece the Liberation Army Daily declared the necessity of an "end to romantic pacifism" and "full preparation" for war.
As China began talks with Russia on closer military co-operation between the two states, defence official Ashton Carter announced that the US was deploying new Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter planes, U-2 spy planes, drones and missile defence systems to Asia.
The US has reportedly been forced to adopt a series of highly classified tactical counter-measures in response to the new Chinese missile technology.

Iran confirms secret nuclear 'Quds' site

Iran has inadvertently confirmed WND’s report that the Islamic regime is working on nuclear weapons at a secret facility known as “Quds,” a name synonymous with the Arabic word for “Jerusalem.”
A WND report on March 20 and a follow-up in the Washington Times the next day revealed that Iranian scientists are trying to perfect nuclear warheads at the underground site, which is unknown to the West. The coordinates to this vast site and detailed information about the regime’s secret operation were provided to WND by a high-ranking Iranian intelligence officer assigned to the Ministry of Defense.
Golpanews, which is associated with the Defense Ministry and is managed by Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani, who heads the office of the supreme leader, published an article on Saturday under the headline, “New claim by America about revelation of Quds secret nuclear facility in Iran.”
The article quotes the information that appeared on WND: Satellite images reveal the existence of the secret Quds site, indicating Iran, with North Korean help, clearly crossed the red line and is in the final stage of arming its missiles with nuclear warheads; and Iran not only has made great progress in enriching uranium to weapons grade, but also has succeeded in converting the highly enriched uranium to metal, a key step in making nuclear warheads.
Although Golpanews calls the revelation the “West’s imaginary stories on Iran’s nuclear activities,” the report verifies the site by stating, “It is clear that the claim by anti-revolutionaries about the existence of the secret nuclear site, Quds, if correct, is nothing more than the situation with the Parchin site and that the Islamic Republic, based on its international obligations, is only after the science of enrichment and the usage for peaceful nuclear energy.”

Air Force’s aging fleet gets no relief from budget cuts

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE —
In the era of stealth jets and smart phones, the average Air Force aircraft has been flying since the Reagan administration.
Some, like the B-52, have been around considerably longer. As a young Air Force lieutenant, Ovidio Pugnale of Beavercreek first flew aboard the nuclear-armed bomber in November 1960.
Today, the B-52 remains a primary leg of nuclear deterrence and conventional warfare, and it is hardly the only aircraft dating to Pugnale’s generation. KC-135 aerial refueling tankers date from the Eisenhower and Kennedy administration eras, and the glider-winged U-2 spy plane, still flying, was first built in the 1950s with later versions produced in the 1980s.
“The things were only designed for 10 years and they’re flying 20, 30, 40 years,” said Michael P. Bouchard, a University of Dayton Research Institute aerospace mechanics division leader who has worked on Air Force-paid projects at the university to manage aging planes. “It’s not trivial.”
Top Air Force officials fear that budget cuts — including the sequestration — will further delay modernization plans, forcing the service to patrol above global hot spots from the Korean peninsula to the Persian Gulf with antiquated aircraft.
“At a time when the Air Force is long-overdue for vital reconstitution following two decades of war, our inventory relies upon hundreds of aircraft as old as I am, and our force is at the smallest since its inception,” Air Force Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh said during an appearance before the House Armed Services Committee this month. “Sequestration forces us into the untenable table space of accepting further risk to our nation’s defense by sacrificing key elements of the effective provision of air power – people, readiness, modernization, and their foundational infrastructure.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, who voted against the sequestration, said he’s concerned budget cuts could reduce the pace of modernization and increase costs. The average Air Force aircraft is 25 years old.
“Obviously, the Air Force is very behind the other services in its modernization programs,” said Turner, chairman of the House Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee. “The budget pressures could compound their ability to respond to some very grave needs in their fleet.”
Ovidio Pugnale’s family proves the point. Years after he piloted B-52s out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, his son Mark flew the same aircraft.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

DRDO developing ultra lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

NEW DELHI: DRDO is developing an ultra light-weight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle which can be used by troops for reconnaissance of their area of operation.

"The Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) has a span of 300 millimetre (mm) and weighs 300 grammes. It has been equipped with day-light TV camera. Cruise speed is 20 knots (37 kmph) and operational altitude is 30-100 metres," DRDO said in Defence Ministry's annual report.

The MAV can be used for close-range situational awareness by troops within a radius of two kilometres and it is expected to be useful in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in North East and Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

Earlier, the Defence Research and Development Organisation had developed a 1.5 kg Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called 'Netra'. It was developed by Pune-based Aerial Research and Development Establishment (ARDE).

PLA navy to join US-led Rimpac exercise for first time

PLA participation in Rimpac drill is a first, but will be limited by American sensitivities.
The PLA has accepted an invitation to participate for the first time in a major US-hosted naval drill, but legal restrictions will limit its role to less sensitive exercises like disaster relief, US officials say.
Beijing's agreement to join the drills being held next year comes at a moment of heightened tensions between China and US ally Japan over the disputed Diaoyu - or Senkaku - Islands, and unease in the US about China's military build-up and its cyber capabilities.
The Rim of the Pacific exercise, known as Rimpac, is billed as the world's largest international maritime exercise, with 22 nations and more than 40 ships and submarines participating the last time it was held off Hawaii last year.
Not all the participants are treaty allies with the United States. Last year's participants included Russia and India.
But China has never participated in the event, although it did send observers to Rimpac in 1998, the Pentagon said.
US Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged China had agreed to participate in Rimpac during a little-noticed speech on Wednesday in Jakarta. Carter said he was "delighted that they have accepted" the American invitation, extended last year by then defence secretary Leon Panetta.
At the time, Panetta said he asked China to send a ship to the exercises. Beijing said later it would give the offer "positive consideration".
"We seek to strengthen and grow our military-to-military relationship with China, which matches and follows our growing political and economic relationship," Carter said on the Defence Department's website.
US law bars the Pentagon from military contacts with the PLA if they could "create a national security risk due to an inappropriate exposure" to activities like joint combat operations.

Boeing's Aussie Vigilare goes operational

Australia's air force gave final operational capability status to Boeing's Vigilare Command and Control System that provides air space surveillance information.
The system produces a comprehensive picture of air activity over Australia and throughout the near Pacific region, a statement by the air force said.
Vigilare operators pass surveillance information and instructions to aircraft operating across Australia.
Vigilare is designed for round-the-clock operation of the air force's two operational centers -- North Rock at Air Force Base Tindal near Darwin in the north the East Rock operations center at Air Force Base Williamtown near Sydney.
The air force statement said Vigilare "will significantly enhance the effectiveness of Australia's existing air surveillance and battle management capabilities."
Officer Commanding No. 41 Wing, Group Capt. Richard Pizzuto called the system "very much the eyes of the air force" because of the amount of data it can process and pass onto pilots.
"It draws in incredible amounts of information from more than 240 sources which is correlated to produce a comprehensive picture of the skies above and around Australia," he said.
Boeing-Australia's Vigilare already has changed air battle management by allowing the exchange of information from the Jindalee Operational Radar Network to Boeing E-7A Wedgetail aircraft, civil and military microwave radars, fighter and maritime patrol aircraft, navy air warfare-capable ships and intelligence sources.
Vigilare passed its last formal operational test at East Rock in April 2011.
The 2011 testing was incorporated into Exercise Aces South, a major combat exercise for pilots and air defense operators studying to become advanced fighter tactics instructors and controllers.
"Exercise Aces South was an excellent opportunity to put the newly installed Vigilare system through its paces," Pizzuto said at the time.
"We threw our best and brightest people into the exercise and they worked the new system extremely hard through some complex and intense air battle scenarios."

Newport News Shipbuilding Awarded $407 Million Extension to Construction Preparation Contract for Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., March 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries  announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has received a $407 million contract extension to a previously awarded John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) construction preparation contract. The award extends the period of performance, adds additional efforts for engineering, planning and material procurement through Oct. 31, and authorizes additional manufacturing efforts.
A photo accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/hii/mediagallery.html?pkgid=17756
NNS is performing work on CVN 79 under a construction preparation contract that allows for engineering, planning, long-lead time material procurement and initial manufacturing to begin before the full construction contract is awarded. The full contract is scheduled to be awarded later this year.
"This is a critical phase of construction on John F. Kennedy as key material procurement and production activities are taking place every day," said Mike Shawcross, NNS vice president, CVN 79 construction. "It is very important to get a good start on a ship of this magnitude and complexity, and this contract extension allows for those activities to continue and keep the ship on a path for success in meeting our customer's goals."
John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) will continue the Ford-class legacy of highly capable U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ship platforms. Ford-class enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie generation rates. It will also include new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power generation capacity, allowance for future technologies and reduced workload for the sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and reduced operating costs for the Navy.

Scorpene subs to have a Kerala touch

The Indian Navy's soon-to-be-inducted next generation Scorpene 'killer' submarines, currently being constructed at the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai, under a multi-billion dollar French deal will feature speciality rubber components from the state's latex county.

The Kottayam-based Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) has developed the special silicone rubber formulation which will be used to develop components for the submarines. The synthetic rubber formulation was developed by the RRII under a research and development project granted by the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (Nirdesh), the country's biggest research institute in defence shipbuilding, coming up at Chaliyam in Kozhikode.

Nirdesh project director Capt Ramesh Babu said that the indigenization of the rubber components in the six Scorpene submarines being built would alone help the country make cost savings to the tune of Rs 4 crore. It will be the first success in the fledgling institute's mandate for indigenization of defence production capabilities.

He said that RRII scientists recently visited the Mazagon dock where the Scorpene submarine project is underway

Dutch orders for F-35 likely to be scaled back


Netherlands eyes cutting planned order of 85 jets
* Sources say order may drop by 17 to 33 jets
* Rising costs, budget cuts may limit orders
By Sara Webb and Andrea Shalal-Esa
AMSTERDAM/WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) - Dutch orders for the Pentagon's F-35 warplane are likely to be cut back, sources close to the discussions told Reuters, citing cost overruns and delays in the program, uncertainty over the Netherlands' defense strategy and budget cuts across Europe.
The Netherlands may cut 17 to 33 F-35s from its initial plans to buy 85 of the new warplanes, according to people close to the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly since final decisions are not expected until later this year.
 
U.S. officials fear cuts in orders by the Dutch or other buyers could trigger a "death spiral" in the Pentagon's biggest arms program by driving up the price of remaining orders, leading to more cancellations. Washington alone has already delayed 410 of its 2,443 orders beyond 2017.
Built by Lockheed Martin Corp, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to be the next-generation fighter jet for decades to come for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines, as well as U.S. allies in Asia and Europe.
But the $400 billion weapons project, which is developing a replacement for the F-16 fighter jet and nearly a dozen other warplanes in use, has been hit by technical faults, is seven years behind schedule and 70 percent above early cost estimates.
The Netherlands is one of several allies, along with Britain and Italy, that are deeply invested in the program. So far it has spent a total of 1.233 billion euros ($1.59 billion) on its involvement, the General Auditor reported in October.

U.S. Navy Delivers two more 35-meter Swiftships Coastal Patrol Boats to Iraq

The U.S. Navy delivered two more 35-meter patrol boats (PB-310 and PB-311) to the Iraqi Navy at the Umm Qasr naval facility in Iraq, Feb. 17, after each craft successfully completed reactivation in Bahrain.

These are the 10th and 11th vessels in the 12-boat procurement which will assist in reconstituting Iraq's ability to enforce maritime sovereignty and security in the northern Arabian Gulf.
Our Navy shipbuilding team has again succeeded in working closely with their Iraqi counterparts to deliver these important assets to the Iraqi Navy," said Frank McCarthey, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships' program manager for Support Ships, Boats and Craft. "Together with the nine patrol boats previously delivered, these two new vessels are a significant step toward meeting Iraq's security requirements in the northern Arabian Gulf."

The U.S. Navy and Swiftships Shipbuilders, LLC, Morgan City, La., are supporting the Iraqi Navy in the procurement and construction of the patrol boats. The boat is armed with a 30mm gun weapon system, provides for a crew of 25 and is capable of reaching 30 knots.

The Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program Office in the U.S Navy's PEO Ships, is managing the acquisition of the patrol boats as a foreign military sales case, with the final patrol boat planned for delivery later this year. In addition, the program office delivered two 60-meter offshore support vessels to the Iraqi Navy in December 2012.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

BrahMos signifies lack of planning in Defence

The successful launch of a BrahMos missile from an underwater platform off the Visakhapatnam coast in the Bay of Bengal on March 20 is a feather in the cap of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). That it is the first time anywhere in the world that an underwater platform has been used to launch a missile makes the achievement all the more creditable. The underwater platform and the vertical lift-off give the missile 360-degree coverage and the ability to evade the radar. The missile hit the target — a decommissioned ship — at a distance of 290 km from the launch area. It could only be described as a textbook launch.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has congratulated all those who made the project a success. It is certainly a moment of pride for the whole country. However, amidst all the celebrations the launch warrants, there is one aspect that should not be overlooked. The underwater platform used for the test has its own limitations. It cannot be moved as and when it is needed in a war-like situation. The ideal platform for the missile is a submarine but, unfortunately, none of the vessels in India’s possession has the capability to launch such a weapon. Nor can they be adapted to meet the requirements of a vertical lift-off.

Second Borey-Class Sub to Join Russian Navy by Yearend

A second Project 955 Borey-class nuclear-powered strategic submarine will be handed over to the Russian Navy by the end of the year, a Navy official told RIA Novosti on Friday.
“The Navy is planning to adopt the Alexander Nevsky submarine before the end of this year. Everything is going according to plan,” the official said commenting on reports the submarine would only be commissioned in 2014.
The Alexander Nevsky has been undergoing trials at the Sevmash shipyard since 2012.
There will be three sea trials this year and a Bulava ballistic missile will be test-launched from the submarine in the summer, the official said.
A Sevmash official representative also confirmed to RIA Novosti that the submarine will be handed over to the Navy this year.
The Alexander Nevsky is the second Borey class submarine. The first, the Yury Dolgoruky, entered service with the Northern Fleet in January, and the third, the Vladimir Monomakh, was floated out last December and is due to enter into service in 2014.
The first three vessels in the Borey series are capable of carrying 16 Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Cochin Shipyard launches second Fast Patrol Vessel for Indian Coast Guard

Cochin Shipyard Limited has launched the second Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) being built for the Indian Coast Guard here.
The vessel, launched yesterday, is the second in a series of 20 numbers FPVs contracted by CSL for the Coast Guard, a release said.
The contract was signed in 2010 with delivery of the last vessel slated for 2017.
The 50 metre x 7.6 metre x 4.65 metre vessels have a designed speed of 33 knots. The primary role of the vessel include fisheries protection and monitoring, patrol within exclusive economic zone and coastal patrol, anti-smuggling, search and rescue operations and for anti-piracy operations.
Cochin Shipyard presently has 26 ships on order consisting of 20 FPVs, four Offshore Support ships for Indian and foreign owners, One Buoy Tender vessel for the Department of Lighthouses and Lightships and Aircraft Carrier for Indian Navy, a CSL release said.
India's only aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, is drydocked at Cochin Shipyard Ltd for extensive maintenance work and re-fit.
In 2011-12, CSL delivered five Platform Supply Vessels, for various international and domestic owners. This financial year CSL has delivered five Offshore Support Ships to Shipping Corporation of India.

Saab signs support contract for airborne surveillance system

Defence and security company Saab has today signed a support contract for airborne surveillance system. The contract amounts to MSEK1,100 over 2013-2017.
The contract concerns a comprehensive set of spares and support services for a previously delivered system, Saab 2000 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control). The Saab 2000 AEW&C comprises of Saab 2000 aircraft equipped with the advanced Erieye radar system and ground equipment.
The wide-area surveillance system in combination with ground equipment enables control over both land and sea, and can play an important role for border surveillance and rescue operations as well as in combating terrorism and organised crime.
"Our surveillance system provides the customer with improved solutions for defence and civil security. This contract is a result of our close cooperation with our customer and can be seen as a further confirmation of our strong capability to provide our customers with advanced service and support solutions”, says Gunilla Fransson, Head of Saab’s business area Security and Defence Solutions.
Saab offers airborne surveillance systems for a wide range of use. The systems can be based on different platforms and delivered as turn key solutions including a comprehensive set of advanced support, spare part services and training. Saab’s Erieye radar system has been provided on several platforms, for example Saab 2000, Saab 340 and Embraer 145, and sold to eight different customers around the world.
The industry’s nature is such that depending on circumstances concerning the product and customer, information regarding the customer will not be announced.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chinese Navy Liaoning Aircraft Carrier's H/PJ-14 (Type 1130) new generation CIWS

Recent pictures have emmerged on the Chinese internet showing the nation's Aircraft Carrier Liaoning new Close in Weapon System (CIWS) in action. The new generation CIWS, called H/PJ-14, is reported by Chinese media to be of the third generation.


Chinese CIWS of the first generation are the Russian AK-630 systems, that China first acquired from Russia. China subsequently produced a local version of the AK-630 at 713th Research Institute, a member of the CSIC shipbuilding corporation. What China considers to be the second generations of CIWS is the Type 730 (H/PJ12). While close in appearance to the Thales Goalkeeper CIWS, Type 730 is actually reported to be based on the French SAMOS design, which was tested but not selected by the French Navy. China ended-up acquiring the prototype. Consisting in a seven-barrelled 30 mm gatling gun with a firing rate of 4,200 rounds per minute, Type 730 is currently fitted on most front line Chinese Navy surface combatants: Type 052, Type 052B, Type 052C, Type 052D, Type 051C destroyers and Type 054A frigates.
The new H/PJ-14 (also called Type 1130) appears to be an evolution of Type 730. It is equipped with a new 11-barrelled gun with an increased rate of fire (local media have reported a 10,000 rounds per minute firing rate). Probably because of this very high rate of fire, H/PJ-14 is fitted with two ammunition drums, one on each side (as opposed to a single ammunition drum on Type 730). Exclusively fitted on the Liaoning aircraft carrier, H/PJ-14 is expected to be installed on the next generation of Chinese destroyers, the 12,000 tons Type 055. The latest generation of destroyer, the Type 052D currently

Indonesia to Buy More Russian Jet Fighters, Patrol Ships

Indonesia plans to buy more than a dozen Russian Sukhoi fighter jets and domestically made, missile-equipped patrol ships as part of a $15 billion five-year campaign to modernize its military, defense officials said on Wednesday.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy has sharply increased its defense budget since 2010 as the military looks to bolster its capacity to protect shipping lanes, ports and maritime boundaries.

Indonesia is also wary of being left behind as China, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asian nations ramp up defense spending.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia wanted to buy a full squadron of the Sukhoi fighter jets and the patrol boats.

He also warned delegates at a military conference that rapidly increasing military spending and stronger defense capabilities in the region could sow distrust and fuel rivalry.

“If this is not accompanied by enhanced transparency that improves trust and confidence, it could run the risk of an arms race that adversely impacts on peace and stability,” he said.

Another Indonesian military official said the plan was to buy as many as 16 more Russian Sukhoi fighter jets, 17 patrol vessels, three light frigates and an undisclosed number of tanks and missiles.

Taiwan concerned about China's DF-16 missile deployment

The National Security Bureau (NSB) has been keeping close tabs on China's Dongfeng (DF)-16 missile deployment, particularly as the weapon is known for its pinpoint accuracy, the bureau's chief said Wednesday.

NSB Director-General Tsai Teh-sheng made the remark in response to a comment by ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang, who drew attention to a recent Chinese media report that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had begun relocating its DF-16 missiles to China's southeastern coastal region opposite Taiwan.

Lin said that to the best of his knowledge, the DF-16 missile base is in Huangshan City's Qimen area in Anhui Province, central China.

But the PLA's Second Artillery Corps has deployed DF-16 missiles along China's southeastern coast, Lin said at a session of the Legislative Yuan's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, citing the February news report.

"Does the relocation (of the weaponry) carry special significance for a security threat to Taiwan, given the missile's 1,000-km range and its pinpoint precision?" Lin asked.

In response, Tsai said the DF-16 ballistic missile is designed mainly to prevent foreign intervention.

"We have been closely monitoring the missile's development and deployment," Tsai said.

The reported relocation of the DF-16 missiles most likely is for training purposes only, Tsai said. There is still no enough evidence to indicate that this type of missile will be deployed in China's southeastern coastal region indefinitely, he added.

The DF-16 has considerable destructive power and a longer range than the other types of missiles China has aimed at Taiwan, according to military sources. The deployment of the new weapon in coastal China areas could represent a severe threat to Taiwan's security, the sources said.

Asia's F-35 buyers forced to wait as China seeks edge


The Pentagon's F-35 warplane is giving U.S. allies in Asia a headache as they look to replace ageing jets with a cutting edge aircraft now likely to be at least seven years late in offering a strategic deterrent to China.
The $400 billion weapons project has suffered technical faults, delays, cost overruns and now U.S. budget cuts that could force Washington to scale back its own purchases.
 
At the same time, China's soaring defense spending is rapidly eroding the advantage in technology, particularly in air power, that Washington and some of its regional allies have had over the People's Liberation Army (PLA) since the 1950s.
China is also flight testing two stealth fighters, the J-20 and the J-31, although they are not expected to enter service until the end of the decade at the earliest, military aviation experts said.
"It's an open question as to how advanced and sophisticated they actually are," said Andrew Davies, a senior strategy analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, referring to the Chinese fighters.
"But having said that, they make life more difficult for existing types, so the F-35 becomes more important."
The F-35 is the costliest weapons program in history. Lockheed Martin Corp is the prime contractor. Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, makes the engine.
Australia has ordered 100 F-35s, although defense analysts say it might buy only 50 to 70 given Canberra is expected to decide in June to double its fleet of 24 Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornets. That would prevent a frontline gap until the F-35 is delivered later in the decade.
Japan said it was not changing its plan to buy 42 planes while South Korea is expected to choose the F-35 as the winner of a 60-jet competition to be decided this summer.
Singapore is likely to order more than a dozen F-35s in the coming weeks.

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