Friday, May 31, 2013

Chinese navy seaplane crashes off port of Qingdao

China’s Defense Ministry says a navy seaplane has crashed into waters near the eastern port city of Qingdao.
A notice posted on the ministry’s website said the plane went down Thursday morning while conducting a training mission in Jiaozhou Bay. It said a search and rescue mission was launched by the navy but gave no word on casualties.
Reports of crashes and other military mishaps were relatively rare in the past, but the traditionally secretive People’s Liberation Army has been making greater efforts at transparency as it seeks to transition into a modern military.
The North Sea Fleet operates four Shuihong 5 seaplanes dating from the 1980s that are used primarily for low-altitude maritime patrol and surveillance missions. Each carries five crew members.

Japan mulls export to India of SDF search-and-rescue aircraft

Japan and India have agreed to establish a joint working group to explore prospects of exporting to India a costly search-and-rescue aircraft developed by the Defense Ministry.
The agreement was reached in May 29 talks between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Indian Navy officials began expressing interest in the US-2 short takeoff and landing, search-and-rescue amphibian aircraft a few years ago.
If future discussions proceed as Japanese officials hope, it would be the first instance of an export of defense equipment used by the Self-Defense Forces that had been converted for civilian use.
The US-2 is produced by ShinMaywa Industries Ltd., which is based in Hyogo Prefecture. The aircraft has a range of about 4,500 kilometers and its amphibious landing capabilities make it suited for search-and-rescue operations.
Government officials are seeking to export the aircraft to reduce the procurement costs for each aircraft. Mass production could dramatically lower production costs for each aircraft.
Indian government officials have begun discussions on whether to purchase the aircraft.
However, because the US-2 carries sensitive communications equipment and other equipment, there were concerns that exporting the aircraft would violate Japan's three principles banning the export of weapons.
Government officials have concluded that if the equipment in question were removed beforehand, the aircraft itself would not constitute a weapon and the three principles would not be violated.

SM-3 missile marks golden anniversary

Raytheon celebrates standard missile production with local delivery
Raytheon’s Redstone Missile Integration Facility reached another milestone Thursday, just in time for the company’s 60th anniversary celebration of the Standard Missile defense program.
The facility, located near Gate 3 on Redstone Arsenal, delivered the first Redstone Arsenal-built Standard Missile-3 interceptor with the symbolic presentation of an oversized DD250 delivery form by Randy Stevenson, director of Raytheon’s Weapon Integration Center, and Rawn Pearcey, a quality representative for the Defense Contract Management Agency.
“We worked very hard to pull this in to today’s date,” Stephenson said of the SM-3 delivery, which was originally slated for delivery at the end of June.
“This is a very big day for us. It represents the first delivery from this new facility of the Standard Missile-3.”
Raytheon, which began operations at its $75 million, 70,000-square-foot facility in late 2012, provides final assembly and testing for Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6 interceptors, two ballistic missiles associated with the nation’s worldwide missile defense strategy.
Raytheon delivered its first Standard Missile-6 at the end of February. The SM-6 represents the latest technology in extended range anti-air warfare missiles fired from Navy ships against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.
The SM-3, which is part of the Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, represents time-tested technology that is deployed on Navy cruisers and destroyers, and on Japanese destroyers to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the ascent and midcourse phase of flight, and at land-based sites in Europe. It was produced at Raytheon’s Tucson, Ariz., facility before the need for more production capability required its move to Raytheon’s new Redstone facility.
“SM-6 represents the latest technology for Standard Missile with faster speeds, better reach and better discretion. Those are the kinds of things we need to defend against the threat over the next several years,” Stevenson said.

Canadian navy announces designs for new ships, says the military has placed its future in industry’s hands

The head of the Royal Canadian Navy delivered a poignant reminder Wednesday that the fate of Canada’s military is in industry’s hands as he announced that a design for new resupply ships has been chosen.
The relationship between National Defence and defence companies has been turbulent recently following problems with a number of high-profile procurement projects, including the F-35 stealth fighter, armoured vehicles for the army and search-and-rescue aircraft.
Some of these issues have originated within National Defence and other federal departments, others have been industry’s fault. The result, however, has been the same: delays, cost overruns, and project cancellations or resets.
Speaking to a room full of defence company representatives during a major arms-trade show in Ottawa, Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison noted that the huge opportunity inherent in the Conservative government’s promise to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in Canadian military equipment over the next two decades.
“If we are to collectively succeed, it will be because we enter into this great enterprise in a genuine spirit of strategic trust and co-operation, of frank and honest dialogue and respect,” he said.
Maddison appealed to industry representatives to look beyond their own interests and do the right thing for the country and Canada’s men and women in uniform.
“The Royal Canadian Navy has placed its future in a very real way into your hands,” he said. “The same applies to the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.”We have done so with great optimism and confidence in your ingenuity, your creativity, and your shared determination to succeed. We’ve done so knowing that you have that sense of mission and purpose, which surpasses the fates and fortunes of the firms that employ you.”
He said this is particularly true for the government’s $35-billion national shipbuilding plan, which is emerging as one of the most complex military procurements in Canadian military history.
Maddison, who retires in just over three weeks, said the three major naval projects — new armed Arctic patrol ships; replacements for the navy’s aging destroyers and frigates; and new resupply vessels — are proceeding.
In particular, he revealed that a design had been chosen for the resupply vessels, also called joint support ships, in late April following an in-depth comparison between two options “based on capability, cost and risk.”

Bangladesh gets its first Hamilton class cutter

Bangladesh received it first decommissioned Hamilton class cutter from the U.S. Coast Guard at a ceremony on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif.

The Coast Guard transferred the 3,300-ton cutter, formerly the USCGC Jarvis, to a 20-member team from the Bangladeshi navy.

The Jarvis -- decommissioned in October and renamed BNS Somudro Joy -- was sold to Bangladesh as an excess defense article through a foreign military sales program, the Bangladeshi news website bdnews24.com reported.

At the ceremony were U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Cmdr. Coast Guard Pacific Area and Chief of Naval Staff for the Bangladeshi navy Vice Adm. Muhammad Farid Habib, a report by the Bangladesh military website bdmilitary.com said.

The ship's commanding officer Capt. Mohammad Nazmul Karim arrived in Alameda in March to begin preparations to accept the Jarvis. Another 70 crew members arrived this month.

Around 26 former Jarvis crew members will advise the Bangladeshi crew until Somudro Joy sails for Bangladesh this year.

The 378-foot Somudro Joy, which has a helicopter landing deck and hangar, is powered by two Pratt and Whitney gas turbines and two Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines.

INS Arihant reactor to be made critical next week

Moving towards completing its nuclear triad, India will activate the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant next week paving way for its operational deployment by the Navy soon.
"We are gearing up for the sea trials of Arihant," DRDO chief V K Saraswat said today at an award function here.The nuclear reactor on-board the INS Arihant would be made critical (activated) in first week of June," sources said on the development of the nuclear submarine.
Nuclear triad is the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea. After the nuclear reactor is activated, the agencies concerned can work towards readying the warship for operational deployments soon.
INS Arihant has been undergoing trials at Navy's key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam and would be launched for sea trials after the nuclear reactor goes critical.
The DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.
The nuclear submarine will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long durations.

Indian Light Combat Fighter jet Tejas hopes for final clearance next year

The Defence Minister AK Antony today expressed hope that the country’s indigenously developed fighter aircraft, LCA TEJAS, will get Final Operational Clearance of the Indian Air Force by the end of next year.

Speaking at the Annual Awards Functions of DRDO here, Antony said, all stakeholders including the DRDO, IAF and HAL must put their energy together in a focused manner to achieve the objective of getting final operational clearance for this Light Combat Aircraft.

Mr. Antony said countries that depend on imported arsenals cannot become great nation. We continue to be the largest importer of Defence equipment and the share of indigenous content in Defence procurement is low, he said. “Our experience has been that foreign vendors are reluctant to part with critical technologies. There are delays in the supply of essential spares. There are exorbitant price increases. The Services too realize that we cannot be eternally dependent on foreign equipment and platforms”, he said.

A400M and C295W to be pitched to NZ

The eventual retirement of the RNZAF’s C-130Hs will see Airbus Military pitch the A400M and newly-launched C295W to the New Zealand government.
Announced at its annual briefing to trade media, Airbus Military said while it views New Zealand as a longer-term proposition, it is confident the two aircraft could fill the gap to be left by the ultimate retirement of the RNZAF’s five C-130Hs and indeed enhance the nation’s airlift capabilities.
Airbus Military was upbeat about the potential its new products could offer, and will embark on initial discussions within an undisclosed period, believed to be in the nearer-term to seed the products as potential candidates.
One observer at the briefing noted the C295 could also provide a pragmatic solution to New Zealand’s future maritime patrol needs when the Orions fall due for replacement. Airbus Military is offering the C295W as both a tactical airlifter and maritime patrol aircraft.
The last of the RNZAF C-130Hs to undergo a 15-year life-extension was re-delivered only in February this year, five years later than expected, under a program that was originally approved in 2003.

Chinese army to conduct 'digital' war games for first time

The people's Liberation Army is planning to conduct its first “digital” technology military war games next month, part of its efforts to adjust to “informationalised war”, the Xinhua news agency has reported.
The drill of China's digital army capability comes amid growing concern in Washington and elsewhere about Chinese hacking attacks, especially on military networks. President Barack Obama will discuss cyber security with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting in California next week.
“It will be the first time a PLA exercise has focused on combat forces including digitalised units, special operations forces, army aviation and electronic counter forces,” the report said, citing the military's general staff department.
The PLA is the largest military force in the world, with 2.3 million personnel. It has made introducing information technology with military applications a priority as it tries to modernise and catch up with Western militaries.
Xinhua said the drill would be carried out in late June at the Zhurihe training base in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China's largest military training field.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hawkei Vehicles Delivered on Schedule

Thales Australia has delivered a further two Hawkei vehicles to the Defence Materiel Organisation on schedule.
The handover of the two Reconnaissance variants under Stage 2 of the Manufactured and Supported in Australia option of Land 121 Phase 4 means that all six vehicles are now with the Department of Defence for testing. All vehicle delivery milestones have been met on schedule.
The six vehicles comprise two Command variants, two Utility variants and two Reconnaissance variants, plus a trailer.
The majority of the evaluation process is being undertaken by the Commonwealth at Monegeetta in Victoria, and includes survivability testing, communications system integration testing, electro-magnetic interference/compatibility testing, reliability growth trials and user assessments.
Vehicles already delivered have so far completed almost half of the planned 100,000km of testing scheduled for the evaluation period. Subject to successful testing of the vehicles, final approval of the project is expected circa 2015, as detailed in the 2012 Defence Capability Plan.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: “We are very pleased to deliver these final two vehicles to Defence on schedule. They are backed by the expertise of our protected mobility engineering teams, and we are working closely with Defence to support the testing and evaluation process.”

Chinese Hackers Have Gained Access To Dozens Of Major US Weapons Systems

Chinese hackers have gained access to designs of more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems, a U.S. report said on Monday, as Australian media said Chinese hackers had stolen the blueprints for Australia's new spy headquarters.
Citing a report prepared for the Defense Department by the Defense Science Board, the Washington Post said the compromised U.S. designs included those for combat aircraft and ships, as well as missile defenses vital for EuropeAsia and the Gulf.
Among the weapons listed in the report were the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy's Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The report did not specify the extent or time of the cyber-thefts or indicate if they involved computer networks of theU.S. government, contractors or subcontractors.
But the espionage would give China knowledge that could be exploited in a conflict, such as the ability to knock out communications and corrupting data, the Post said. It also could speed China's development of its defense technology.
In a report to Congress this month, the Pentagon said China was using espionage to modernize its military and its hacking was a serious concern. It said the U.S. government had been the target of hacking that appeared to be "attributable directly to the Chinese government and military."
China dismissed the report as groundless.
China also dismissed as without foundation a February report by the U.S. computer security company Mandiant, which said a secretive Chinese military unit was probably behind a series of hacking attacks targeting the United States that had stolen data from 100 companies.
AUSTRALIAN "SECURITY BLUNDER"

BRP Ramon Alcaraz outfitted with ASW capabilities BRP Ramon Alcaraz outfitted with ASW capabilities

The Philippine Navy's (PN) second Hamilton Class cutter, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), will be fitted with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, a military spokesman said.
Alcaraz, now undergoing sea trial off the waters off South Carolina, is  expected to leave the US and sail to the Philippines first week June. The ship is scheduled to arrive in the country by August.

Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, the PN spokesman, said the ASW capability will be installed on the Alcaraz and a helicopter that will be assigned to her. ASW or Anti-submarine warfare capability refers to the capability to detect, track and destroy submarines.

"As an additional asset it will greatly improve our maritime domain/situational awareness (capability) because of its capable of long range deployment," said Fabic.

At present, the Filipino warship is believed to be carrying an 76mm Oto Melara automatic cannon, two 25 Bushmaster guns and assorted machine guns.

It is also reported to be carrying a Harpoon anti-ship missile system.

Also, since the ship is fitted with hangar facilities, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz can embark a naval helicopter that can further extend its monitoring and detection capability.

Goose' of Vietnam Navy Took off on the Water



Seaplane DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 C-GVTU of the Vietnamese Navy (photo : Phunu Today)

After a period of testing and factory installed storage systems support / landing on water surface and Twin Otter seaplanes second Navy Vietnam continues to undergo the test phase important.

Seaplane DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 HQVN second system was installed pontoon construction support / landing on water.

According to the Canadian media, after the flight test phase of the test at the factory and go through the process of system integration support life take / landing on water. At the beginning of last May, seaplane DCH-6 Twin Otter Series 400 Second Vietnam Navy began testing process capability "amphibian" takeoff and landing runway on water and on land .

Earlier, the company Viking Air of Canada has held the ceremony carefully seaplane DHC-6 Series 400 of the first Navy Vietnam at Victoria International Airport. Both Twin Otter seaplane were first painted and numbered as required performance of Vietnam Navy. The first Twin Otter brought a number MSN 867 and MSN 872 second. All of the Hovercraft DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 Navy Vietnam are painted red flag with yellow star (national flag) in the tail fin steering and anchor forces combined effect characteristic of naval forces in the nose of the aircraft.

Seaplane DCH-6 Twin Otter Series 400 second Vietnam Navy began conducting flight trials from the plant earlier this month 1/2013 the last stepping stone to prepare for the next test phase, before upon delivery to the customer.

Kratos Receives $4.1 Million in Electronic Attack Platform Related Contract Awards

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its Electronic Products Division has received an award valued at $4.1 million for the production of specialty electronic products for a certain critical U.S. electronic attack platform. The award, from an existing customer, is related to a continuing long term electronic attack and electronic warfare program. No additional details are being provided due to customer and other sensitivities.
Richard F. Poirier, President of Kratos' Electronic Products Division, commented, "This award is the latest significant award received from this prime contractor for Integrated Microwave Assemblies (IMA). Kratos has participated on this program for many years and continues to be a valued supplier with the expertise capable of providing these sophisticated subsystems for this U.S. Navy aircraft. Production of these specialized products will take place at Kratos' Herley-CTI operation in Whippany, NJ."
Kratos' Electronic Products Division is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of microwave technology solutions for the defense, aerospace and medical industries worldwide. Based in Woburn MA, Kratos Electronic Products Division has six manufacturing locations and approximately 900 employees.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DND to Change the Bid System Through Negotiated Procurement

DND set to acquire 21 Huey helicopters
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) will acquire 21 UH-1 helicopters through a negotiated procurement after the two public biddings for the air assets failed.
Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said they need to fast-track the acquisition of the helicopters to beef up the Air Force’s security and disaster response capabilities.
“We cannot afford not to have additional helicopters for a long time. The rainy season is approaching. We need the helicopters for disaster response,” Manalo told The STAR over the weekend. “We also need them for our existing internal security operations.”
The government has allotted P1.2649 billion for 21 helicopters, which were originally intended to support election-related duties. However, the procurement of the air assets has been delayed due to failed biddings.
“The decision is to proceed with the procurement. Since there are two failed biddings, it will be through negotiated bid,” he said.
Manalo explained that under a negotiated bid, companies that signified interest to supply the equipment would be invited to submit a proposal. Other firms could also submit offers.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

PLA Navy's three fleets meet in South China Sea for rare show of force

China's navy has carried out a rare joint exercise, involving its three fleets, in the South China Sea as regional tensions over territorial disputes mount.
The combined drill was carried out in southern waters by warships, submarines and the naval air force from the People's Liberation Army's North Sea, East Sea and South Sea fleets, national broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday.
Meanwhile, three Chinese marine surveillance ships had monitored and obtained evidence before "expelling" boats manned by Japanese right-wing activists from waters near Diaoyu islands, or Senkakus as they are known in Japan, China's State Oceanic Administration said yesterday.
Japan's Foreign Ministry protested to China over the five-hour sailing by three Chinese official ships in the waters, the Kyodo news agency said yesterday. The Kyodo report denied the activists' ships had been driven away.
Chinese analysts said the South China Sea drill by the three fleets, which finished on Friday, was the first since 2010 when Beijing staged a similar exercise to protest against the involvement of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in a joint anti-submarine drill with the South Korean navy in the Yellow Sea.
Last week's PLA Navy drill was intended to send a signal to the US and the Philippines, at a time when the carrier USS Nimitz was in the South China Sea, and amid a standoff between China and the Philippines over the Second Thomas Shoal, or Ayungin as it called in the Philippines, in the disputed Spratly islands.

Israel dismisses report on nixed Russia-Syria arms deal

טילי S-300. אסד לא יקבל אותם (צילום: AFP)Sunday Times reports Netanyahu explained to Putin that if S-300 anti-aircraft missiles reached anti-Israel rebel groups, planes taking off from Ben Gurion Airport or landing there would be at risk. Israeli officials dismiss report
A senior Russian official told The Sunday Times that Russia will not fulfill a deal to sell advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria for fear they could fall into the wrong hands and be used to attack civilian aircraft at Israel's main airport.
  In return, he told the British newspaper, the Russians expected Israel to refrain from further airstrikes on Syria.

Israeli government officials dismissed the report. "This story is detached from reality. A fairytale. There was no agreement or understanding achieved between Putin and Netanyahu. That's another piece of fantasizing," one of the officials told Ynet.

"It's likely there would be a great deal of foot-dragging by the Russians, who would use it as a bargaining chip without following through with the deal. Only time will tell," he said.
  The Russian official told The Sunday Times, “We are very much concerned about this; the large Russian community in Israel is a major factor in our attitude to Israel, and we will not let this happen."

According to the report, the deal was apparently struck at a "tense" meeting this month between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Netanyahu, with his national security adviser, Ya’akov Amidror, is said to have explained that if the missiles fell into the hands of rebel groups opposed to Israel, planes taking off or landing from Ben Gurion Airport would be within their 125-mile range, The Sunday Times reported.



The Sunday Times said that after the alleged Israeli raid on targets near Damascus earlier this month, the Russians were furious, and Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister, said the contract would go ahead.

The Russians are now said to be convinced that Israel plans no further attacks, according to the report.

נתניהו הסביר לפוטין שהטילים יסכנו את נתב"ג אם יפלו לידיים לא נכונות (צילום: EPA)
Netanyahu (L) and Putin during meeting in Sochi (Photo: EPA)

“It will take months to manufacture the missiles and to assemble them into an integrated operating system,” Ruslan Aliev, a Russian weapons researcher, told the newspaper.

In addition, Syrian troops would have to fly to Russia to train on the missiles because it would be impractical to send experts into the Syrian conflict zone, he said.

According to the report, there are also doubts whether Syria, battered by more than two years of conflict, still has the means to pay.
Russia had previously cancelled the shipment of high-altitude Mig-31E interceptor jets to Syria and the supply of the Iskander-E tactical ballistic missiles.
The Russian official told The Sunday Times his country’s primary aim was to keep Syria as a single entity. Damascus has agreed in principle to attend an international peace conference scheduled to be held in Geneva next month.
“The Syrians are willing to arrive without preconditions, but so far the rebels are insisting that President Bashar Assad must step down as a precondition. This is unacceptable, and we’re waiting for the US to solve this problem with the rebels,” said the official.

The official said that Russia had no plans to provide refuge for Assad in Moscow. “We are telling the West: if Assad agrees to go we’ll accept it, of course. But we’re not going to suggest this to him. We’ll not give him asylum in Russia, as he will be wanted for sure for a trial at the Hague.”
The official further told The Sunday Times that although Assad had made some progress against the rebels in recent months, it would be “an illusion to think that Assad will be able to put down the uprising.”

Syria signed a contract to buy four S-300 systems in 2010. The deal is worth a reported $800 million. At the request of Israel, Russia postponed delivery of the first batch last year.

Seoul plans to purchase US weapons worth $1b

Seoul has notified Washington of its intention to purchase weapons systems worth US$800 million (S$1 billion) to be mounted on its new fleet of warplanes should a US fighter be picked for its 8.3-trillion-won ($7.4 billion) acquisition project.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which handles Washington's foreign military sales, revealed Seoul's request to buy high-tech arms such as Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and GBU-39 bunker busters.
Last month, Seoul made a separate request to purchase Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter or Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle.
The Eurofighter Typhoon of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company is another candidate in the competition, through which Seoul seeks to purchase 60 jets to replace its aging F-4 and F-5 jets. The winner is expected to be announced next month.
Observers said the US products would be at an advantage in the contest given Seoul considers

US ready to provide Patriot missiles to Jordan for self-protection - McCain

Washington is ready to provide Jordan with Patriot missiles, a senior US senator said on Saturday, as one of a series of steps to prevent the Syrian conflict from spilling over into the country.
According to US Senator John McCain, his country is set to fulfil a request by Jordan for Patriot missile batteries to place along its shared border with Syria.
“We are prepared to take every step to protect the Jordanian regime’s stability, its people and its territory; the provision of Patriot missiles comes under this protection,” McCain told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum which opened on the shores of the Dead Sea on Saturday.
McCain, who serves on the influential US senate armed services and foreign relations committees, said the missiles’ dispatch may serve as the “first step” to the establishment of proposed safe zones within Syria.
“With the use of patriot missiles we can enforce and sustain a no-fly zone to allow the opposition an opportunity to organise and change the tide of the conflict as we did in Libya,” McCain said.
The senator refused to confirm whether Jordan’s shared border with Syria would serve as one of the potential locations for the proposed buffer zones allegedly being considered by Washington.
In an interview last week, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour acknowledged that Amman has recently requested Washington to provide Jordan with Patriot missile batteries to install along the country’s 370-kilometre border with Syria in order to prevent a spillover of encroaching violence.
The statement came as Damascus continued with a month-long sweeping military offensive across the southern region that has seen Syrian regime forces retake several key rebel strongholds and the firing of dozens of errant missiles into Jordanian territory.

Iran Readying to Fly Own Model of US RQ-170 Drone

A senior Iranian legislator underlined the Iranian Armed Forces' capabilities to hunt down alien Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and said the Iranian type of the US drone which was tracked and hunted down in Iran late in 2011 will have its first flight in the near future.


Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that its defense forces had downed a US RQ-170 aircraft through a sophisticated cyber attack. The drone was the first such loss by the US. US officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to the stealth drone program.

"The brave personnel of the Armed Forces hunted down the drone with their knowledge and science and the Americans protested immediately and called for the return of the UAV," Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said in the Northern city of Rasht on Saturday night.

Iran has downed several US drones so far and Boroujerdi did not mention which one he meant, but explained, "The reverse engineering started immediately (by the Iranian experts after hunting down the US UAV) and the Iranian type of the US drone will fly in Iran's Aerospace Organization soon which shows the Islamic Republic's might and power."

S. Korea to buy 20 maritime patrol aircraft

The South Korean military has approved a plan to buy 20 maritime patrol aircraft to improve the Navy's surveillance capabilities of North Korea, a military source
   The Joint Chiefs of Staff has recently approved the Navy's request to add 20 maritime patrol aircraft to supplement the aging squadron of 16 Lockheed Martin P-3C Orions.

   "The Defense Acquisition Program Administration is currently working on a plan, which is likely to be an overseas purchase program," the source said, asking for anonymity as it is not yet open to the public. The budget for the project is estimated at 1 trillion won (US$889 million).

   Among the potential candidates are Airbus Military's C-295 MPA, Boeing's P-8 Poseidon, Lockheed Martin's SC-130J Sea Hercules, according to officials.

   The U.S. Navy has recently received the seventh production of Boeing's P-8 Poseidon to replace its P-3Cs.

   Separately, a naval modernization program has been underway to upgrade P-3C's radar and censor system by 2016.

   Deployed in 1995, the maritime aircraft is capable of conducting various operations in anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare. It is armed with Harpoon Block II air-to-ground missiles and a tactical information system interoperable with the KF-16 fighter jet.

Indian Naval manpower to be doubled in 15 years

Expanding its combat assets by inducting several new platforms including nuclear submarines, fighter planes and aircraft carriers, the Navy has decided to almost double the size of its manpower in next 15 years.

The Navy has also decided to give B.Tech degrees to its officers to handle the high end technology being inducted into the force and the first batch of its officers with these degrees will pass out from the Indian Naval Academy (INA) in Kerala tomorrow.

"The present strength of Navy today is over one lakh personnel including 8,700 officers, 50,000 sailors and 43,000 civilians. In next 15 years, we plan to increase the numbers to 1.80 lakh with 10,600 officers, 85,000 sailors and 75,000 civilian work force," Navy's Human Resources in-charge Rear Admiral Sachin Ghormade said.

He was briefing the media on Navy's plans to upgrade the educational standards of its young officers at the INA in Ezhimalla in Kerala.

Asked if the size of the fleet would also be doubled, he said, "The manpower perspective plan and the maritime capabilities perspective plan have been gelled together for the purpose."

$15M Air Warfare Destroyer ‘Fit Out’ Contract

Australian engineering company Taylor Bros has been awarded a $15 million contract for the installation and fit-out of the living spaces for the three Air Warfare Destroyers that are under construction at Techport Australia, SA.
Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance CEO Rod Equid said the contract demonstrates how the project is continuing to offer economic benefits by providing valuable work for businesses in the supply chain.
“The awarding of work to fit-out the living spaces within the ships shows progress on the project as the Alliance moves into the consolidation and integration phase.  Consolidation of the first destroyer is well advanced and fabrication work is also underway on ships two and three,” Mr Equid said.
“Taylor Bros is an icon in Tasmania’s shipbuilding industry and are delivering a range of accommodation products to the project including cabin modules, on-board furniture and galley, pantry, refrigerated spaces and laundry equipment for all three ships.
“This latest contract will put Taylor Bros’ to work within the interior compartments of the ship to fit and install the accommodation equipment in order to create comfortable spaces for our future sailors to live and work.”
The contract will create jobs for up to 20 new fit-out specialists in South Australia with assistance provided by Taylor Bros Hobart facility.  This adds to more than 2500 people working directly on the project including engineers, naval architects, project managers, welders, electricians, designers and support staff. 

DND to Procure 2 Naval Vessels

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) is now rushing the procurement of big-ticket items, including the acquisition of two naval vessels to improve the country’s territorial defense.
In line with this, DND planners held a pre-procurement conference yesterday for the acquisition of two service support vessels (SSVs) worth P2 billion each for an outlay of P4 billion.
“We are rushing our procurement of big-ticket items for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” said Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, whose office is directly in charge of the acquisition of military hardware.
Defense sources said that Japan, Singapore, South Korea, France, and Italy have expressed interest in supplying the country with two SSVs that are multi-role vessels which could serve as a Navy platform for search and rescue operations during disasters since the ships could be fitted with hospital facilities and a helipad, aside from its primary role as a transport vessel capable of transporting one battalion of troops with armored vehicles.

Monday, May 27, 2013

U.S. Shift Poses Risk To Pakistan

From multibillion-dollar military aid to stealthy and secretive drone strikes, Pakistan, perhaps even more than Afghanistan, has been the central focus of America’s 12-year war on Islamist militancy.
Now, as President Obama’s landmark policy speech on Thursday made clear, all of that is changing. Drone strikes are dwindling, the war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close and the battle against Al Qaeda is receding.
Pakistani leaders who have long demanded an American exit from their region may get their wish, but a broader disengagement is also likely to diminish the financing, prestige and political importance Pakistan held as a crucial player in global counterterrorism efforts, and could upset its internal stability.
The diminution of the drone campaign may ease a major point of friction between Pakistan and the West, but the tribal belt in northwestern Pakistan, where about 360 drone strikes have landed in the past decade, remains a hotbed of Islamist militancy, largely outside government control. Although many senior leaders of Al Qaeda sheltering there have been felled by C.I.A. missiles, they have been largely replaced by committed Pakistani jihadists with ties that span the border with Afghanistan.
With American combat troops leaving Afghanistan in 2014, and the drone campaign already winding down in Pakistan, analysts fear that unless the Pakistani Army can assert itself conclusively, the tribal region could be plunged into deeper chaos.
“It’s going to be a lot of trouble,” said Hasan Askari-Rizvi, a Pakistani academic and defense analyst. “If the insurgency increases in Afghanistan, it will spill into Pakistan’s tribal areas, where the Taliban will become very confident.”
For 12 years, the United States’ security-driven policy has shaped power, politics and militancy in Pakistan.
After 2001, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in a military coup, established himself as a steadfast ally of the West; it underwrote his authoritarian rule, which lasted until 2008. The military received almost $17 billion in American military aid, and transfers of American military hardware, solidifying its position as the dominant arm of the state.
That relationship has also fostered resentment, and some Pakistani leaders welcome an American disengagement.

EADS Sweetens KF-X Offering

Netherlands (UPI) -- With South Korea edging closer to deciding on a contractor for its $7.3 billion KF-X fighter program, a European competitor is dangling a new carrot to its bid.
EADS, based in the Netherlands and part of the consortium that builds the Eurofighter Typhoon, says if the aircraft is chosen to replace South Korea's antiquated F-4 and F-5 fleets, it will invest $2 billion "and its technology in the KF-X to help Korea to become a fighter jet producer."
The announcement follows that of Eurofighter, which promised to assemble 53 of 60 aircraft to be produced in South Korea. It's estimated the local assembly would lead to creation of 50,000 jobs.
EADS has also said it would build a maintenance repair and overhaul facility for the aircraft in South Korea and an aerospace software center.
"If Korea chooses Eurofighter as its next generation fighter jet and EADS invests more than 2 trillion KRW [$2 billion] in the KF-X program, it will bring bigger economic effect than the SURION and Korea will be the fifth country [that] produces Eurofighter, high-level fighter jets," EADS said.
"It will also create strong political and military ties with Europe."
SURION is a Korean utility helicopter developed by Korea Aerospace Industries with technology obtained from Eurocopter, an EADS subsidiary headquartered in France.
"The SURION raised Korea to the 11th helicopter manufacturer in the world," EADS said, and created 25,000 jobs.
In its news release, EADS emphasized its business ties to the country. KAI, it noted, has supplied parts for Airbus aircraft since 1998.
Airbus, located in France, is another EADS subsidiary.
Other competitors for the KF-X contract are U.S. companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Lockheed is offering its F-35 Lightning II fighter while Boeing is offering its F-15 Silent Eagle.

First Thales IFF interrogator certified in the United States


After a certification process lasting several months, the
TSA 3522 interrogator from Thales has been certified by AIMS1. The TSA 3522 is a newgeneration
IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) interrogator from

Thales's BlueGate family of
products. For Thales customers, AIMS certification is an assurance of full interoperability with
US systems both at box level and for integration on US and other platforms.
Thales develops and manufactures IFF products for aircraft, air defence systems and radars,
surface vessels and submarines. The TSA 3522 is generally associated with a radar and
provides optimal security, reliability and integrity in both civil air traffic control with Mode S
capability and military Mode 5 IFF identification. The interrogator is also qualified to use both
European and US sourced cryptographic computers.
AIMS certification is an official endorsement of the outstanding performance of this product
and will positively influence the certification process for the entire Thales product family.
"Thales is very proud to have achieved certification by this independent body. The
certification process was completed in record time and offers firm assurances to customers
that our products will be fully interoperable on all types of civil and military missions," said
Hervé Derrey, VP for Thales's Radio Communications Products business. "Certification of
the TSA 3522, and the excellent relationship we have built with the AIMS Program Office, are
very positive signs for the success of further certifications of the BlueGate product line, which
Thales has already scheduled."
The TSA 3522 will be deployed in June during Bold Quest 2013, a NATO exercise in the
United States that will provide an opportunity to verify the interoperability of this IFF
interrogator with large numbers of US and other platforms under operational conditions.
Thales: a major player in tactical communications

Navy Takes Delivery of 3 Patrol Boats



Three patrol boats with hull number 228, 229 and 230 equipped with Denel GI-2 20mm naval gun (all photos : Marsun)

The Royal Thai Navy took delivery of three new patrol boats to guard the coastline and provide security for the royal family.


Navy commander Adm. Surasak Runroengrom accepted the vessels from shipbuilder Marsun Co. May 16 at the Sattahip Naval Base’s Laem Thien Pier. The boats then were handed over to Coast Guard Squadron commander Rear Adm. Surapol Khuptaphan.


The patrol boats replace three older vessels operating in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, guarding against drug traders, smugglers and illegal fishing fleets. They are also tasked with providing security for the royal family.

Second Warship Armed with Anti-Ship Missile System : DND Official




Missile container consist of eight SSM (all photos : Philippine Embassy for USA)

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), the country’s second Hamilton-class cutter due to arrive this August, is a far more potent weapon platform than her sister ship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15), a Department of National Defense (DND) official who asked not to be named bared yesterday.

“Her weapons system is heavier and sophisticated than those of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar,” he said.



However, the DND officer declined to specify these weapon systems and stressed that such items cannot be divulged due to matters of national security.

He made this announcement when asked if there is truth to reports that a Harpoon anti-ship missile system was installed as part of BRP Ramon Alcaraz’s armament fit.

The First Australians have Complete Initial MH-60R Qualifications

Another DMO MH-60R milestone
A milestone has been achieved by the AIR 9000 Phase 8 Project Office, with members of the Integrated Test Team (ITT) being the first Australians to complete their initial MH-60R (Romeo) qualifications.
LCDR Simon Lam (Aerosystems Qualified AvWO and MH-60R T&E Manager), LCDR Joshua Carey (USNTPS Qualified Test Pilot and MH-60R Test Pilot) and LEUT Timothy Clerke (Flight Test Engineer) form the MH-60R test team embedded into the DMO to support the introduction of the MH-60R. LCDR Lam and LCDR Carey recently completed their MH-60R NATOPS Evaluations with HSM 40 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Mayport, Florida.
The pair commenced their training with other aircrew from NUSQN 725 in early March. After a significantly compressed 9 weeks of accelerated study, computer based learning, simulators and flights they completed their final NATOPS Evaluation on 15 May 2013. The NATOPS check consisted of an open and closed book examination, oral examination, a simulator evaluation and a flight evaluation. The examinations and evaluations focused on ensuring LCDR Lam and LCDR Carey had a comprehensive understanding of the aircraft systems, HSM-40 SOP’s, United States (US) Airways and all Emergency actions in event of an aircraft malfunction. The process was designed to ensure they met the standards required to safely operate the MH-60R and also operate within US airspace. This now means they are the first Australians qualified on MH-60R as part of AIR 9000 Phase 8.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

China’s nuclear program still shrouded in secrecy

China’s program to expand and modernize its conventional armed forces is well-documented and closely watched by nearby Asia-Pacific states, as well as the United States and other more distant countries with interests in the region. However, China’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and delivery systems (missiles and aircraft) is shrouded in secrecy — and controversy.
Japan and other Asian countries worry that the Obama administration, anxious to reduce the $80 billion cost of maintaining and refurbishing America’s aging nuclear arms infrastructure, may be overlooking evidence that China’s atomic arsenal is much bigger than officially estimated.
They also worry that Beijing may be seeking nuclear parity and eventual superiority over both the U.S. and Russia, a development that could undermine U.S. pledges of extended deterrence to protect its nonnuclear Asian allies, including Japan and South Korea, from nuclear attack or blackmail. The upshot would be increased pressure on vulnerable Asian nations to develop their own nuclear weapons.
Most U.S. arms control officials and analysts continue to say that China has between 240 to 400 nuclear warheads, nearly all of them on ballistic missiles in underground silos or on mobile launchers that are hard to find and destroy. These include long-range missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Such a force is less than a third of the arsenals kept by the U.S. and Russia, which between them still have far more long-range nuclear weapons than any other states with nuclear arms, despite big negotiated cuts in their inventories.

Friday, May 24, 2013

L-3 Awarded $38.5 Million Contract to Supply SATCOM Terminals to the ADF

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL) announced today that it has been awarded a $38.5 million contract from the Commonwealth of Australia to supply 51 Hawkeye™ III Lite 1.2-meter Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), as well as training and long-term sustainment services. This program is one of a number of coordinated projects that will enable the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to deploy an integrated wideband satellite communications capability. Specifically, the contract will deliver one type of a family of transportable land terminals that will optimize the early use of Australia’s SATCOM system and provide communication services where commercial satellite resources are limited. The capability is scheduled for delivery in 2014.
“This is L-3’s first entry into the Australian SATCOM market and this immediate success recognizes the quality of our products and solutions,” said John Mega, president of L-3’s Microwave Group. “Australia is an emerging market for WGS-qualified terminals and we look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with the ADF and other local suppliers.”
This contract is a significant win for L-3 in Australia and demonstrates the cross-business synergy that exists between L-3 divisions, specifically L-3 Oceania and L-3 GCS. For this program, L-3 GCS developed and will supply the Hawkeye III systems, which will provide ARSTRAT-certified Ka- and X-Band, as well as

BRP Ramon Alcaraz to Cross Panama Canal

The Philippines' second Hamilton cutter, BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), will sail through the Panama Canal during its voyage home in the first week of June.
This was confirmed by Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Lt. Cmdr Gregory Fabic.
"She will cross the Panama Canal before making port calls in the US West Coast. After those stops, BRP Ramon Alcaraz (ex-USGC Dallas) will then proceed to Guam before resuming her journey to the Philippines," he said.
All in all, he said the voyage will take between 45 to 60 days.
The ship is presently docked at North Charleston, South Carolina.
Fabic said that BRP Ramon Alcaraz is the first ship of the PN to cross the historic waterway.
South Carolina is located on the US Atlantic seaboard making it practical for BRP Ramon Alcaraz to transit through the Panama Canal to get to the Pacific on her home to the Philippines.
The 82-kilometer Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean.
It cuts across the isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade.
Fabic also said that the ship is "fully mission capable" on her arrival.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Philippine Navy choppers to be delivered December

The Navy is expected to receive this December three new helicopters that are seen to boost its maritime security capabilities.
Navy chief Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano said the three helicopters would constitute the first batch of air assets to be delivered by the supplier AugustaWestland S.P.A.
The government is acquiring a total five AW 109 Power helicopters from the Anglo-Italian firm for P1.3 billion.
“We are looking at the acquisition of naval helicopters. The initial batch will be arriving by December this year,” Alano said on the sidelines of the Navy’s anniversary celebration here.
“The helicopters (were acquired through) the proper procurement process,” he added.
In its website, AugustaWestland described the AW 109 as “a versatile aircraft that offers the highest level of benefits for government and military markets, combining optimum performance with cost-effectiveness.”

The helicopters can be used for maritime security, search and rescue and surface surveillance, among other operations.

Libya receives 30 French patrol boats, expects 25 more from South Korea

The Libyan Navy has taken delivery of 30 new semi-rigid-hulled inflatable fast patrol boats from French military boat maker Sillinger, the first batch of 50 ordered in January this year.

According to the Libya Herald, the Libyan Special Naval Forces showcased seven of the new boats during a high-speed display at the naval harbour in Tripoli on Monday.

Naval Special Forces spokesman Colonel Ayoub Qassem said the high-powered boats, which range between 3.5 metres and 12 metres in length, will be used for the navy’s maritime border patrols.

He said they will be deployed to various naval bases including one at the port of Ras Ijdar in the west and Al-Burdi in the restive east where they will also be used on coastguard duties, protecting vital installations as well as monitoring illegal sea-borne intrusions and landings within the country’s territorial waters.

The order for the 50 rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBS) includes the 1200 RIB UM Inboard, designed for the high seas. Libya is the second customer for this new model.

The 1200 RIB UM is one of the largest and most advanced of Sillinger's military offerings and is able to carry up to 25 people. Weapons options include a 7.62 or 5.56 mm gun on each side and a 12.7 mm machinegun on the front. Armour can be retrofitted to the sides of the boat. According to information from Sillinger, the 1200 RIB carries radar and infra-red cameras which make it easier for the boat to navigate rough seas in all types of weather. Powered by two 370 horsepower engines, the 1200 RIB UM Inboard weighs 3 900 kg.

Sillinger boats are widely used by French Navy commandos and the French Customs, particularly the 580 RIB UM, a boat designed for open sea surveillance or insertion operations.

Production of Tarantula 6x6 has been Completed


Localization of heavy armored wheeled vehicle Doosan DST exports to Indonesia


A heavy armored wheeled vehicle (6X6) built with our own technology will be exported to Indonesia.
Doosan DST signed a heavy armored wheeled vehicle contract in 2009 with the Indonesian army and commenced production of these vehicles in November 2011. After carrying out operational tests along with firing and field maneuvering tests starting in early 2012, Doosan DST announced on 5 May that the production of its 6X6 heavy armored wheeled vehicle has been completed in early May 2013.
Prior to this announcement, DAPA officials, Indonesian inspectors, and affiliated companies held a roll-out ceremony on 2 May for the heavy armored wheeled vehicle (name for the Indonesian army:  Tarantula 6X6) that will be delivered to the Indonesian army.
The number of heavy armored wheeled vehicles that will be delivered to the Indonesian army. Doosan DST is responsible for manufacturing the armored vehicle and assembling the turret. Also, an Indonesian arms factory will assemble SKD-type armored vehicles on site in Indonesia.

Philippines Interested in the 'Principe de Asturias'

Indonesia has ruled out the purchase of the ship after the visit that turned several representatives of his government to the arsenal of Ferrol.
The aircraft carrier 'Principe de Asturias' has several suitors since the Spanish Armada gave low fleet in February. At the moment it is docked in the arsenal of Ferrol, which is handling the liquidation proceedings and at the same time, it continues with the tasks of withdrawal of their useful material. The plans that were originally planned for that has been the jewel in the crown of the Spanish Armada was being scrapped, but the Ministry of Defence has opened out to the possibility of its sale. This option has become stronger in recent weeks, as LA VOZ announced last April, to the interest shown by the purchase of the vessel by Asian and Arab countries. The Spanish Navy has confirmed that there are potential buyers, but so far has not materialized any sales transaction.
A delegation from the Indonesian Navy moved to late March to Ferrol to visit the ship and learn about their capabilities. However, the government has ruled out the purchase. The auction is now in the hands of Philippines. If definitely take the step to purchase, enter into the select club of countries with these characteristics boats among its fleet. Only nine governments have aircraft carriers. So, the closest to Indonesia is China and Thailand. The latter state has a nearly identical aircraft carrier 'Principe de Asturias'. Ferrol was built between 1994 and 1996 and gave the Thai government in 1997.

Russia to train crew of 2nd submarine bought by Vietnam

This July Russia will start training the future crew of the second Kilo-class submarine Vietnam has agreed to buy from the country, Russian news agency Interfax reported Monday.
The submarine named “Ho Chi Minh City” set off for sea trials April 28, four months after being launched.
Interfax reported that the submarine embarked Monday for a two-week sea trial.
It will arrive at the seaport town of Baltiysk early next month and return to Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard in St. Petersburg by mid-June.
In July, the training will get underway for Vietnamese crew, according to Interfax.
It is expected that the submarine will be delivered to Vietnam in late October.
During the visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Moscow in December 2009, Vietnam signed a US$2 billion deal to buy six diesel-electric submarines from Russia.
Russia has promised to deliver them all by 2016. 
In another Russia visit on May 13, Dung called on the factory "Ship Repair-West" in the Russian seaport city of Kaliningrad and watched the first submarine built for the Vietnam Navy undergoing sea trials.
The submarine named “Hanoi” has undergone 23 successful dives.
The Voice of Russia reported that the third submarine, named “Hai Phong,” will be launched this August.
Kilo-class submarines, nicknamed "Black Holes" for their ability to avoid detection, are considered to be among the quietest diesel-electric submarines in the world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ukraine destroys Soviet-era missiles

A rocket engine airframe disposal facility was opened in Ukraine Tuesday to destroy RS-22 (SS-24) missile components under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
The newly opened facility is in Dnipropetrovsk.
RS-22 missiles were developed in the 1980s by the then Soviet Union. The nuclear missiles had a range of more than 6,200 miles
"Over three years ago, the U.S. had agreed to contribute to the destruction of Ukraine's intercontinental ballistic missiles and its components," Ukraine said in a news release. "Currently, [the] USA's contribution to the project approaches $20 million -- 90 percent of the total project cost."
It said the funding helped create an industrial research center at a Ukrainian chemical plant for the environmentally safe melting of missile airframes and disposal of solid fuel. The facility also destroys landmines.
Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, which was dissolved in 1991.

World's biggest Russian nuke-submarines to be scrapped

Russia will decommission and scrap two of the world's largest submarines by 2018, a defence industry source has said.

The Severstal and the Arkhangelsk, both Project 841 (Typhoon-class) ballistic-missile submarines, are based at Severodvinsk on the White Sea. They will be withdrawn from the Navy by this year-end and will begin to be dismantled.

"This process is to be completed before 2018-2020 at the latest," the source said, adding the boats are outdated and it is too costly to modernise them.

A third submarine of this class, the Dmitry Donskoy, has been modernised as a test platform for Russia's new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile It will remain in service in that capacity for some time yet, the source said.

BrahMos supersonic missile successfully test fired off Goa coast

India today successfully test fired the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Navy's latest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the coast of Goa.

The missile performed the high-level 'C' manoeuvre in the pre-determined flight path and successfully hit the target.

The missile was launched from the Russian-built warship at 11:00 am, BrahMos Aerospace chief A Sivathanu Pillai said."The launch was carried out by the Navy as part of Acceptance Test Firing (ATF) of the ship," he said.

INS Tarkash, which is an advanced Talwar Class frigate, was commissioned on November 9, last year.

The warship, along with two other frigates of the class INS Teg and INS Trikand, have been built as part of an over Rs. 8,000-crore contract signed between India and Russia in July 2006.

INS Teg was commissioned on April 27, 2012 and the commissioning of INS Trikand is expected soon.

The weapons suite of INS Tarkash includes surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems, 100 mm medium-range gun, close-in weapon system, torpedo tubes and anti-submarine rockets.

Coast Guard inducts warship INS Vaibhav in operational service

The Coast Guard on Tuesday inducted its latest warship INS Vaibhav, which was involved in a mishap in which more than four fishermen were killed off the coast of Goa, in operational service.

ICGS Vaibhav is the third in the series of 90 metres class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) to be inducted by the force.

Taiwan to buy two U.S. frigates

The Republic of China Navy Command confirmed Monday that it is seeking to purchase two active Perry-class frigates from the United States.

The Navy Command said in a press release that the price and date of delivery will not be decided until after the U.S. Congress passes legislation allowing the transfer.

It denied a news report saying that the proposed acquisition includes a "mini-Aegis" fire control system and a vertical launch surface-to-air Standard I missile system.

Neither system was ever requested, the Navy Command said.

It was responding to a report in the Liberty Times Monday saying that the ships will be delivered to Taiwan's Navy next year at a total price of NT$600 million (US$20 million).

The paper said that Taiwan wants to replace its fleet of eight U.S.-made Knox-class frigates built in the 1960s.

Caretakers of Sukhoi jet fighters in Vietnam

For the ‘caretakers’ of the Russian-made Su-30MK2 fighter jets at an air base in the southern province of Dong Nai, work starts at 3:30am every day, before the sun is even up.
They are engineers and technicians of Air Regiment 935, tasked with the job of ensuring the fighters are flight-ready by 6:00am. The Su-30MK2 is a state-of-the-art supersonic fighter aircraft which is compared to a master cobra in the air thanks to its improved avionics, all-weather capability, and long-range endurance.

US Air Force selects Raytheon's transportable air traffic radar system

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a contract to build rapidly deployable air traffic control (ATC) systems that can be delivered anywhere in the world and then be fully operational controlling flights within six hours.
The contract, with a potential full value of $260 million, calls for one Engineering and Manufacturing Development unit plus production options for up to 18 Deployable Radar Approach Control (D-RAPCON) systems. The Air Force has authorized Raytheon $50.6 million for the early development stage. Ten of the units will be delivered to the Air National Guard, seven to the active-duty Air Force Space Command, one to the Air Force ATC school and one to the Air Force depot.
D-RAPCON provides sequencing, separation of aircraft, navigation assistance and airspace control services, all with the latest digital sensors, communications equipment and advanced surveillance data processing systems. The Raytheon solution shares many common elements with existing U.S. Department of Defense ATC infrastructure.

Saab upgrading bid for Brazil FX-2 contest

Sweden's Saab is upgrading its bid for Brazil's FX-2 jet fighter purchase plan, even as it weighs challenges from rivals Boeing and France's Dassault.
Swedish manufacturer Saab is upgrading its bid for Brazil's long-delayed FX-2 jet fighter purchase plan, even as it weighs challenges from formidable rivals Boeing and France's Dassault. Saab is one of the three leading contenders for Brazil's jet fighter replacement program, said to be worth $6 billion-8 billion but wants to make sure its jet will compete successfully for roles in both the Brazilian air force and navy.
Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and Dassault's Rafale-M have already demonstrated their multirole fighter capabilities extend from air force to naval operations. Saab ran tests on a naval version of its Gripen NG with the aim to show that its jet, if successful in the FX-2 competition, will be equal to the tasks demanded of an all-rounder combat aircraft.
The three companies have invested millions in positioning themselves for a Brazilian decision on the FX-2 acquisition program, which is no nearer the crunch time than it was at when Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff put off consideration of the project last year.

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