Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ariane 5 Orbits Two Commercial Satellites

On Thursday, October 28, Arianespace orbited two communications satellites: W3B for the European operator Eutelsat, and BSAT-3b for the American manufacturer Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), as part of a turnkey contract with Japanese operator Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT).

53rd Ariane 5 launch, 39th success in a row

This latest successful launch of Ariane 5, the fourth in 2010, once again proves the launcher’s operational capabilities. Ariane 5 is the only commercial satellite launcher now on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads and handling a complete range of missions, from commercial launches into geostationary orbit to scientific satellites boosted into special orbits.

The 53rd launch of an Ariane 5, and 39th successful mission in a row, clearly demonstrate the launcher’s reliability and availability. Arianespace’s launch service & solutions continue to set the global standard and guarantee independent access to space for all customers, including national and international space agencies, private firms and governments.

Russia carries out successful tests of two SLBMs

Russia successfully tested two ballistic missiles in separate launches from nuclear submarines in the Barents Sea and the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, a Defense Ministry source said.

The official said a Sineva ballistic missile was launched at 2:30 p.m. Moscow time (10:30 GMT) from the Bryansk (Delta IV class) strategic submarine in the Barents Sea and hit its designated target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region.

A SS-N-18 Stingray ballistic missile was launched at the same time from the Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets (Delta III class) strategic submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk and hit its designated target on the Chizha testing site in the White Sea.

Both submarines were under water at the time of the launches, the source said.
The test launches were carried out in line with a program to ensure the combat readiness of the naval component of Russia's nuclear triad.

France ready to build first Mistral warship for Russia in 2013

If Moscow and Paris sign a contract to build Mistral class helicopter carriers for Russia, the first warship may be built in 2013, a top manager of French STX Europe shipbuilder said on Friday.

The shipyards of Saint-Nazaire are seen as the most likely winner in a tender to build amphibious assault warships for the Russian Navy.

"If Russia and France sign the deal, the first Mistral-class vessel may be built in the shipyards of Saint-Nazaire in late 2013-early 2014," said Jacques Hardelay, STX Europe president for operations in France.

He said the shipyards of Saint-Nazaire are able to build two Mistral class warships simultaneously.

Russia may grant Ukraine access to Glonass for military use

Russia is ready to consider giving Ukraine access to high-precision targeting signals provided by the Glonass satellite navigation system, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Wednesday.

Glonass is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

"If the Ukrainian government shows interest in gaining access to a [Glonass] high-precision signal, we will readily consider this issue," Ivanov told reporters in Moscow.
Russia earlier proposed setting up a joint venture with Ukraine for the development and implementation of the Glonass system.

Russia floats out first of new class of frigate

Russia's first Project 22350 frigate was floated out at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg on Friday.

The Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be able to execute long-range strike, anti-submarine and escort missions in remote areas.

However, it will be some time yet before it enters service because the ship is only 40% complete, officials said.

The next Gorshkov-class frigate, the Admiral Kasatonov, is under construction and expected to be launched in 2012.

Indian Navy to acquire three aircraft carriers in 5-7 years: Defence Minister Antony

The Indian Navy has been acquiring sea-based assets for littoral warfare, including purchase of landing platform docks and long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, and plans to acquire at least three aircraft carriers in the next five to seven years, in addition to other assets.

An Indian Defence Ministry news release said quoting Defence Minister A.K. Antony who asked the Navy to increase Navy-to-Navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. This move comes five years after the service incorporated preparation for littoral warfare as part of the Navy’s long term doctrine.

Addressing top Indian military commanders at a meeting in Delhi on Oct. 27, Antony said, "The complex maritime security environment in our region requires the Navy to maintain a state of perpetual readiness operationally. You must factor in the need to be ready at all times prominently, while planning for the future. At the same time, we need to maintain, and even increase, the momentum of our Navy-to-Navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. Such contacts strengthen professional ties and mutual trust, and streamline interoperability issues." Antony said New Delhi is committed to the continued deployment of ships and aircraft to improve surveillance off the coast of Maldives and Seychelles to ensure maritime security from piracy.

Antony said, "We also need to engage like-minded African states in the Western Indian Ocean Region, such as Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, to enhance our strengths and contribute to peace and stability, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the entire Indian Ocean Region".

Turkey faces tough call on NATO missile shield

Turkey's Islamist-rooted government faces making a difficult decision that pits maintaining good relations with its neighbours against joining a NATO missile shield directed against Iran.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought in recent years to boost Turkey's ties in the region -- raising suspicions he is moving the country out of the West's orbit -- and will now have to make a decision that will be viewed as a test of its commitment to its NATO partners.

The US plan to build a network of ballistic missile interceptors in Europe has been taken up by NATO, partly in order to convince reluctant members of the alliance to join the project.

The Turkish government will have to stop fence-sitting soon as NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen wants a final decision on the missile shield to be made at a summit of the alliance's leaders on November 19 and 20 in Lisbon.

BAE to Extend Life of 552 Bradley Vehicles

BAE Systems will extend the lives of 552 Bradley Fighting Vehicles by replacing old and damaged components under a $91 million contract modification from the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

“Bradley Combat Systems continues to serve at the forefront of U.S. Army operations around the world,” said Joe McCarthy, vice president of the Heavy Brigade Combat Team at BAE Systems. “The Readiness and Sustainment support we provide to and for our customers through the vehicle reset process keeps this highly survivable combat system in the field helping soldiers successfully complete their missions.”

The reset process includes replacing obsolete equipment with updated components, restoring the vehicle to pre-combat condition. In addition, the reset of the Bradley vehicles will incorporate a variety of survivability enhancements.

Sagem’s Unveils Patroller UAV at the Euronaval 2010 Exhibition

Sagem will be exhibiting its long-endurance Patroller UAV at the entrance to the Euronaval 2010 exhibition. The Patroller was designed for a wide range of defense and homeland security applications. This is the occasion for Sagem to present its naval version.

The Patroller-M (Maritime) is designed for coastal surveillance and maritime approach missions. It can also be used in other naval operations, such as SAR and fighting against trafficking, piracy or illegal immigration. Furthermore, Patroller-M can support special operations at sea or on land over bodies of water. With payloads adapted to naval missions, Patroller-M will have a maritime surveillance radar for detection on the high seas, plus a Euroflir 410 day/night optronic pod and an AIS receptor to identify ships.

As an option it can be equipped with a satellite link that enables it to operate beyond the radio intervisibility range of 100Nm. Patroller-M will also be able to transmit in real time data from its sensors to a general staff onboard a vessel, for example, a “Tonnerre”-type projection and command ship, or a rapid intervention ship as part of an anti-piracy operation.
The control of its mission can also be transferred to a control/command station onboard a surface ship. NATO interoperability has been shown to be possible using the STANAG 4609 (1) standard, which allows the Patroller to transmit in real time a geo-referenced video stream to NATO command centers.

North Korea gets lowest grade on ‘nuclear arms report card’

North Korea got a failing grade, with Iran and Syria not far behind, in the first nuclear arms control report card released Wednesday by the independent US-based Arms Control Association (ACA).

"North Korea, which has violated nearly every non-proliferation and disarmament standard over the past two years, warrants an overall grade of 'F'," ACA executive director Daryl Kimball told reporters.

North Korea failed all but three of the 10 equally-weighted categories used to calculate the overall grade.

In the three areas that Pyongyang didn't fail -- reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, meeting multilateral nuclear security commitments, and honoring commitments to prevent nuclear terrorism and the trafficking of nuclear material -- it got a "D", one step up from failure.

Iran and Syria, which don't have nuclear arms but which are being investigated by international bodies for suspected nuclear weapons activities, failed to meet safeguard standards covering all nuclear activities, including peaceful ones, set by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Russia Denies Contract To Sell Mig-31s To Syria

Russia on Oct. 27 denied having signed a contract to deliver MiG-31 fighter jets to Syria, a deal that would provoke tensions with Israel and the United States.

"The contract for deliveries of MiG-31s to Syria exists only in the tall tales of journalists," said Anatoly Isaykin, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, in an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency.

Russian media have repeatedly reported on the alleged contract, despite frequent denials from Russian authorities."Rosoboronexport has not signed any such contract, and there are no negotiations on this subject," he told the agency during the Euronaval 2010 international aerospace exhibition at Le Bourget, near Paris.

According to newspaper Kommersant, a contract for the sale to Syria of eight MiG-31s for $400 million to $500 million was signed at the beginning of 2007.

Syria and Israel remain technically in a state of war, and Russia's arms sales and possible nuclear cooperation with Damascus, which has close ties to Iran, is unnerving for both Washington and the Jewish state.

Saudi Minister Visits Spain For Tank Deal

Saudi Arabia's assistant defence minister will visit Spain next week, officials said Friday, and he is reportedly considering the purchase of Leopard 2E tanks for up to three billion euros.
Prince Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi assistant minister of defence and aviation, will meet King Juan Carlos on Monday, according to the Royal Palace's diary.
He will also see Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Tuesday, said a government spokesman, without giving details of their agenda.
Spain's leading El Pais daily this week said the Saudi minister may conclude the purchase of 200 to 270 Leopard 2E tanks for up to three billion euros (4.1 billion dollars), which would be a record deal for the country's defence export industry.

Friday, October 29, 2010

U.S. Army to Host Indian Army in Alaska for Annual Military Exercises

U.S. Army elements in Alaska are preparing to host the Indian army for the next in a series of annual field engagements that aim to improve bilateral readiness and cooperation while demonstrating U.S. commitment to South Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. Army Pacific commander told American Forces Press Service. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon called the Yudh Abhyas exercise to be held next month on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson an example of the growing theater security cooperation program under way throughout the region that's extending far beyond historical alliances.

Last year alone, U.S. Army Pacific conducted 214 of these events in 29 countries -- ranging from the Army's largest multinational exercise, involving 12,000 participants, to small staff-officer exchanges. While reinforcing military-to-military relationships with longtime partners in the region such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia, Mixon said the command is increasingly engaging with other strategically significant nations. These include Indonesia and Malaysia, important moderate Muslim nations, as well as India.

During Yudh Abhyas 2010, the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team "Spartans" will join their Indian counterparts in airborne and weapons exchanges and a brigade-level command post exercise.
"It's going to be a great exercise," Mixon said.

Japanese Destroyer Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target with Standard Missile-3

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced the successful completion of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. 

The event marked the fourth time that a JMSDF ship has engaged a ballistic missile target, including three successful intercepts, with the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD. 

The JFTM-4 test event verified the newest engagement capability of the Japan Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS Kirishima. At approximately 5:06 p.m. (HST), 12:06 p.m. Tokyo time on Oct. 29, 2010, a separating 1,000 km class ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. 

JS Kirishima crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and launched a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA missile. Approximately three minutes later, the SM-3 successfully intercepted the target approximately 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean. JFTM-4 is a significant milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the area of missile defense. 

Russia Successfully Test Launches Bulava Missile

Russia on Friday morning successfully test launched a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, the 14th test launch and the seventh success, the country's Defense Ministry said. 

The missile was fired from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea at 05:10 am Moscow time (0110 GMT), and the warhead successfully hit its target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region, the RIA Novosti agency quoted the Defense Ministry as saying. 

According to a source from test flight commission, Russia was scheduled to conduct three Bulava tests in late 2010. Friday's test was the second successful one. 

The first test launch of these three submarine-launched ballistic missiles was also successfully conducted on Oct. 7. The warhead hit its target in the Kamchatka region. 

The Bulava missile, a three-stage, liquid and solid-propellant, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), was designated for the fourth generation submarines of Project 955 Borei. However, it has officially suffered seven failures in the last 13 test launches. 

The missile with a range of 8,000 km was designed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering and is capable of carrying up to ten supersonic maneuvering re-entry vehicles. 

AN-74 Multipurpose Aircraft is an Integral Solution of Many Tasks in Venezuela

On October 18, 2010 during the visit to Antonov Company, Hugo Chavez, President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela paid attention to the programme of further development of the family of AN-74 multipurpose aircraft. He surveyed transport version of the aircraft represented in the shop and had been interested with its new versions in particular, that for maritime patrol.

Dmytro Kiva, President – General Designer of Antonov Company noted that new versions of AN-74 were developed using the newest technologies according to wishes of the customers. “In particular they differ from their predecessors with a number of considerable improvements including installation of the newest means of piloting, navigation and communication.

“With that one of the typical peculiarities of these aircraft is their versatility. Different versions of AN-74 fly in all climatic zones with the temperature range from -60Cº to +45Cº, take-off from runways with length of 700 m, deliver people and cargoes to the regions difficult for access, perform dropping of paratroopers and vehicles, evacuate sick and wounded people, perform search operations and ice reconnaissance, patrol sea surface, transport passengers with high comfort”, - said D.Kiva.

Rosoboronexport Exhibits at Greek Defense Show

The Rosoboronexport Corporation will display cutting-edge Russian arms and materiel at the 1st International Defence & Security Exhibition, Defensys 2010, to be held in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 28-31 October, 2010. The Thessaloniki-based show will see participation of over 300 companies from 22 foreign countries.

Sponsors of the Thessaloniki fair point out that the official opening ceremony coincides with the Greek national holiday of Okhi Day (‘Okhi’ is Greek for ‘No’). On 28 October, 1940 the Greeks rejected Mussolini’s ultimatum, which demanded free passage for his troops to occupy unspecified ‘strategic points’ inside the Greek territory, ultimately dragging Greece into WWII.

The issues of ensuring security and preserving peace are still as urgent as they were 60 years ago. However, today’s agenda also includes the fight against terrorism and separatism and threats to regional stability. A number of effective countermeasures, including equipping uniformed services with advanced arms and hardware, are a must.

Boeing Exhibits Key Defense Systems at Inaugural DEFENSYS Trade Show in Greece

The Boeing Company will showcase key products -- including the CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopters, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter, the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system, and Harpoon and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weapons -- at the first Defensys trade show, Oct. 28-31 in Thessaloniki, Greece. 

"Boeing's commercial and defense products have been well represented in Greece for many years," said Joe McAndrew, vice president, BDS International Business Development, Europe, Israel and the Americas. "The Defensys trade show is an excellent opportunity for us to meet with our customer and highlight both products that are in service and those that meet the Hellenic Forces' future needs." 

Boeing products that are currently in service with the Hellenic military forces include the F-4 Phantom, AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook, JDAM, Harpoon, and shipboard Electronic Warfare systems. 

Eurocopter’s Participation at DEFENSYS 2010

Eurocopter – whose partnership with Greek authorities continues to strengthen in the military, public and parapublic sectors – will showcase a wide range of solutions that meet the country’s helicopter requirements at the Defensys 2010 exhibition, being held in Thessaloniki on 28-31 October. 

The company’s stand (Hall 13, Stand 49) will feature models from different Eurocopter helicopter families, including the NH90 tactical transport helicopter, which will be available next year to the Hellenic Army Aviation; the internationally-recognized multi-role EC225/725, which is the latest member of the Super Puma family; as well as the EC120, EC135 (which are the reference for basic/advanced training of operators worldwide) and ΕC145 helicopters. 

Throughout Greece, Eurocopter products – belonging primarily to the Ecureuil and Super Puma families – are used by Greek authorities in both the public and parapublic sectors, including search and rescue missions, fire fighting and fire prevention operations, law enforcement and surveillance missions. Eurocopter clients include the Hellenic Police Force, the Hellenic Fire Brigade, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic Port Authorities. With a total of 75 helicopters in Greece, Eurocopter products account for 70 percent of the Greek public and parapublic market. 

Eurocopter’s Participation at DEFENSYS 2010

Eurocopter – whose partnership with Greek authorities continues to strengthen in the military, public and parapublic sectors – will showcase a wide range of solutions that meet the country’s helicopter requirements at the Defensys 2010 exhibition, being held in Thessaloniki on 28-31 October. 

The company’s stand (Hall 13, Stand 49) will feature models from different Eurocopter helicopter families, including the NH90 tactical transport helicopter, which will be available next year to the Hellenic Army Aviation; the internationally-recognized multi-role EC225/725, which is the latest member of the Super Puma family; as well as the EC120, EC135 (which are the reference for basic/advanced training of operators worldwide) and ΕC145 helicopters. 

Throughout Greece, Eurocopter products – belonging primarily to the Ecureuil and Super Puma families – are used by Greek authorities in both the public and parapublic sectors, including search and rescue missions, fire fighting and fire prevention operations, law enforcement and surveillance missions. Eurocopter clients include the Hellenic Police Force, the Hellenic Fire Brigade, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic Port Authorities. With a total of 75 helicopters in Greece, Eurocopter products account for 70 percent of the Greek public and parapublic market. 

To face growing helicopter needs in the country to ensure services to the Greek citizens, Eurocopter offers the EC135 and EC145 light twin-engine aircraft which have been hugely successful in emergency medical and law enforcement sectors, as well as the EC225 – a truly multi-role rotary-wing aircraft that is perfectly tailored for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and fire-fighting missions. 

The EC725, which is the military version of the EC225, in its Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) version has been successfully deployed in the most difficult situations. The EC225 and EC725 have become the internationally-recognized helicopter platform for search and rescue missions. Some 65 EC225/EC725s were ordered in 2010 for SAR duties. 

In the military sector, Eurocopter helicopters are flown by the Hellenic Air Force and the Hellenic Navy. This inventory soon will increase with delivery of NH90 helicopters to the Hellenic Army Aviation (through a contract with the NHIndustries organisation, of which Eurocopter is a member company), and two Super Puma AS332 helicopters to the Hellenic Air Force. 

Eurocopter offers solutions that are based on the needs of each customer. With a wide range of support provision and services, a global network of client service, advanced training services and approximately 100 maintenance centers around the world, it guarantees maximum availability for clients.

DEFENSYS 2010 kick's off

Official Inauguration Ceremony Defensys 2010 in Thessaloniki.17 ministers and deputy ministers from European Union, NATO and Mediterranean countries lengthier, ambassadors and military leaders.
The report comprises 28 delegations will last until October 31, and during the conference to be held down, multilateral and bilateral meetings.

the 1st International Defense & Security Exhibition, was officially presented to members of the foreign Diplomatic Corps in Greece by the administration of TIF SA, in the presence of the Minister of National Defense, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos.

The representatives of the foreign Diplomatic Corps, ambassadors and military attaches from various countries, warmly welcomed the new exhibition event and expressed their willingness to contribute towards its success. Indeed, in the immediate future, they are going to invite enterprises active in the defense sector of their countries to participate in the event.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Russia, India to begin design of 5G-fighter in December

Russia is planning to sign in December an agreement with India on the preliminary design of a joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft, a senior Russian aircraft industry official said on Wednesday.

Russian Sukhoi holding and Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet, tentatively dubbed PAK FA.

"An agreement with India on the pre-design of the PAK FA will be signed in December," said Alexei Fyodorov, head of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation.

The sides agreed to develop both a single-seat and a two-seat version of the aircraft by 2016, focusing on the single-seat version in the initial stages of development.

Auditor Slams Canadian Helicopter Purchases

National Defence and Public Works and Government Services Canada did not fully comply with key government and departmental policies and rules in the purchase of the Chinook and the Cyclone military helicopters, says Sheila Fraser, the Auditor General of Canada, in her Report tabled today in the House of Commons. 

National Defence will spend more than C$11 billion to acquire two new types of helicopters, along with long-term in-service support, as it works to replace and upgrade its helicopter fleet. 

“We understand that acquiring complex military equipment like these helicopters presents unique challenges,” said Ms. Fraser. “Nonetheless, the results of this audit are troubling.” 

US Plans $2 Billion Military Package for Pakistan

The United States has no stronger partner when it comes to counterterrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both than Pakistan. We recognize and appreciate the sacrifice and service that the men and women, particularly the soldiers of the military in Pakistan, have made in order to restore order and go after those who threaten the very institutions of the state of Pakistan. 

The military working group has had productive discussions this week about our work together to combat terrorism and eliminate violent extremism and the organizations that promote it that are operating in Pakistan. These groups threaten the security, first and foremost, of the people of Pakistan, of neighbors of the United States and indeed of the world. 

In keeping with our enduring commitment to help Pakistan plan for its defense needs, I am pleased to announce our Multi-Year Security Assistance Commitment to Pakistan. We will request $2 billion in foreign military assistance from Congress for 2012 through 2016. 

This will complement the $7.5 billion in civilian projects that has already been approved in the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation. 

Later this morning, Secretary Gates will update you on other aspects of our bilateral military discussions.

Landing Catamaran for Third French BPC Ship

On 17 September in Saint-Nazaire the Dixmude, the French navy’s third Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement (BPC) ship, was set afloat. Decided in late 2008 as part of the government’s economic recovery plan, this vessel was contracted in just four months by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) to the DCNS-STX shipbuilding joint venture. 

"We incorporated minor changes requested by operational users to refine an already successful design,” says Patrick Le Garsmeur, BPC Program Director at DGA’s naval weapons management unit. “BPCs have widely proved their capabilities, with very positive feedback from the Navy on force projection, joint forces command and humanitarian assistance missions.” 

Their performance and design maturity have aroused the interest of many countries’ navies. 

To complement these operational capabilities, DGA in 2003 launched studies of a fast amphibious landing craft (EDA-R) to replace the old landing barges and craft. In 2009, the L-CAT (landing catamaran) concept developed on its own funds as a private venture by the French manufacturer CNIM was selected. 

BAE Offers Brazil 11-Warship Package with Tech Transfer, Partnership

BAE Systems has today submitted a detailed proposal to the Brazilian Navy to supply a package of naval vessels to meet its ambitious fleet renewal programme through a full technology transfer agreement, with the ships to be built in Brazil. 

The proposal comes on the back of the recent Defence Cooperation Agreement between the UK and Brazilian Governments and marks the latest step in a move towards greater bilateral trade between the two countries. Based on BAE Systems’ proven ship designs, it includes the provision of five ocean patrol vessels, one logistics support vessel and five escort vessels as well as a comprehensive logistics support service. 

Importantly, the proposal also sets out arrangements for the UK Government-endorsed opportunity of Brazilian partnership in the design and development of the new highly flexible, multi-role Global Combat Ship. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BAE Systems to Showcase Sentinel at AUSA

BAE Systems will debut several military vehicles at this year’s Association of United States Army (AUSA) meeting and exposition, including spotlighting a different kind of vehicle —one that’s designed to bridge the gap between heavy duty commercial vehicles and military patrol vehicles. 

Dubbed “Sentinel”, the off-road vehicle merges the best qualities of both light military and civilian commercial vehicles and offers multiple mission possibilities to a varied customer base. 

“Sentinel is a true multi-mission vehicle in every sense of the word,” said Chris Chambers, line lead for BAE Systems. “Sentinel can be armoured to provide varying levels of mission-specific protection to the vehicle’s occupants. While it can also be fitted with defensive technologies it is also extremely agile and can easily and cost-effectively maintained with off-the-shelf components because it is built on an enhanced commercial truck chassis,” added Chambers. 

Since Sentinel’s body design is both modular and adaptable, it can be customized to specific customers and their mission requirements. 

MBDA Launches Production of the First SIMBAD-RC Prototype

SIMBAD-RC is a weapon system comprising one or two twin-MISTRAL missile (very short range anti-air missile) turrets, remotely controlled from a small operating console sheltered from bad weather conditions. It is capable of ensuring the anti-air defence of all types of vessels, especially small patrol boats and large logistics ships, against a wide range of threats ranging from anti-ship missiles and combat aircraft to smaller surface threats such as fast inshore attack craft (FIAC).

Commenting on the rapid advances made by the SIMBAD-RC programme, Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, stated: “Navies throughout the world are witnessing a change in their operational scenarios and are having to take into consideration new asymmetric threats. With this new programme, MBDA is showing that it is fully in tune with a market that is changing more and more”.

With industrial facilities in four European countries and within the USA, MBDA has an annual turnover of EUR 2.6 billion and an order book of EUR 12 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.

MBDA is the only group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.

MBDA Unveils An Integrated Defence Solution at Euronaval 2010

Building on more than 40 years of experience in C2 Command and Control systems for anti-air (Roland, Aspide, Rapier, VL MICA) and anti-ship missile systems (Exocet, Otomat, Marte), MBDA is unveiling its new CWSP (Compact Warfare System Package) at the Euronaval 2010 exhibition. 

CWSP is intended as a response to the growing need for securing very sensitive coastal zones and for the self defence of support ships called upon to operate in these zones. With this new proposition, MBDA is offering its military customers and international shipyards a turnkey solution for a light weapon combat system that nonetheless provides the high fire power of missiles. 

From an industrial standpoint, MBDA is offering to carry out the complete weapons’ integration on low tonnage as well as logistics vessels in response to the growing demand from a number of countries in the world for a more direct control of their naval construction projects. In response to this growing market interest, MBDA has settled on a CWSP range that comprises two versions: CSWP-PB (Patrol Boat) to arm fast patrol boats and CWSP-SD (Self Defence) for the self defence of logistics ships. 

Russia to provide India with GLONASS military-grade navigation signals

The Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), already planned to be loaded with top-end combat features like advanced stealth and super-cruise capability, could also be plugged, uniquely, into a network of satellites. With Moscow willing to grant India unprecedented access to military signals from Russia’s constellation of GLONASS (GLObal NAvigation Satellite System) satellites, the FGFA could access real-time details of its own and enemy positions, terrain information, and have the ability to communicate with Indian forces anywhere on the globe.

A senior Russian diplomat, speaking anonymously to Business Standard, reveals that after extended negotiations with India, Moscow has okayed the provision of military data from GLONASS, in the form of digitised signals. So far, Russia had only agreed to provide India with civilian-grade navigation signals, which permitted an accuracy of 25-30 metres. Now, the military grade signals will allow a far higher accuracy, crucial for military operations.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the New Delhi-based Russian diplomat explained, “India is the only country that Moscow is willing to supply GLONASS military data to. Russia has recently okayed an agreement which officials from both sides have been negotiating for some time. From our side, we are ready to sign, even during (Russian president Dmitry) Medvedev’s visit to India this December.”

US to hand over first C-130J plane to India in December

US will hand over the first of the six C-130Js ordered by India to its Air Force in December and it is expected to reach its base near here by February next year. The C-130J made for India by American aerospace major Lockheed Martin at its Marietta facility had recently carried out its first flight successfully after it was painted in IAF colours. "The first of the six C-130Js ordered by India will be handed over in December this year in Georgia and it will reach its Indian base by February next year," American government officials told reporters here ahead of their President Barack Obama's visit here beginning November six.

India had bought the C-130Js from the US through an agreement signed in 2007 for USD 950 million. The officials said the US company had executed the deal "on time and on budget". On the USD 2.1-billion deal for eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft deal, the officials said it was interesting that both India and US navies would get the platform at the same time sometime next year, providing "an opportunity" to learn together." "It is a brand new platform for both US and India," they added.

The officials said India was keen on buying 145 M777 howitzers from the US for which the guns were put on trial in India last week. With India's artillery procurements getting delayed, New Delhi had expressed its interest to the US to buy the guns for which US Congress approval had been sought. "We are now moving towards more military sales," they added. The officials also noted that the Indo-US military relationship was "matured and well evolved," and not based on one transaction. "It is based on exchanges. This is not a relationship, it is partnership," they said, pointing out that US' military exercises with India was the "biggest" the Americans held. India's Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Forces hold frequent exercises with the US counterparts.

Indian Army Conducts Trials of BAE Systems M777 Howitzers

American government officials saying that India was keen on buying 145 M777 howitzers from the United States and the guns were put on trial in India last week. With India's artillery procurements getting delayed, New Delhi had expressed its interest to the US to buy the guns for which US Congress approval had been sought. 

"We are now moving towards more military sales" they added. The officials also noted that the Indo-U.S. military relationship was "matured and well evolved," and not based on one transaction. "It is based on exchanges. This is not a relationship, it is partnership," they said, pointing out that U.S. military exercises with India was the "biggest" the Americans held. India's Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Forces hold frequent exercises with the US counterparts.

The M777 howitzer is a towed artillery piece manufactured by BAE Systems' Global Combat Systems division. Prime contract management is based in Barrow-in-Furness in the UK as well as manufacture and assembly of the titanium structures and associated recoil components. Final integration and testing of the weapon is undertaken at BAE's facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Monday, October 25, 2010

U.S. Denying Aid To Abusive Pakistani Troops

The Obama administration will deny training and equipment to Pakistani army units believed to have killed unarmed prisoners or civilians during anti-Taliban offensives, The New York Times reported Oct. 22.

The aid cuts were just the latest in a series of developments highlighting the uneasy relationship between Washington and its vital ally, sometimes seen as hindering the fight against Al-Qaeda.

The White House has not yet informed Pakistan of its decision even though senior Pakistani officials are in Washington for a series of talks this week, the Times said, citing officials from both countries.

It comes just as the two nations seek to smooth over their latest crisis after NATO helicopters killed Pakistani troops along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and Islamabad responded by blocking the main transit point for US war supplies.

Underwater Test for MBDA's Scalp

During September 2010, a high depth ignition test of SCALP Naval's booster was organised by MBDA. The underwater test, which set the booster in operation for several seconds, was carried out at a significant depth in a Norwegian fjord using an instrumented model of a SCALP Naval rear section secured in a submerged structure.

First analysis of the test results show that the pressure profile of the booster, the ejection of the storage lid protecting the rear end of the missile and the model's water-tight properties all behaved nominally. This latest test adds to the underwater travel tests for which a special installation, replicating submarine launch conditions, has been constructed by MBDA in conjunction with the French Direction Generale de l'Armement Essais de Missiles (DGA EM) Ile du Levant.

These combined tests prepare the way for the first test firing of SCALP Naval from a submarine envisaged during the course of 2011.

On 28th May 2010, MBDA successfully carried out the first firing of SCALP NAVAL from a series production Sylver A70 vertical launcher. During this test flight, lasting several tens of minutes, all launch phases up to and including the missile's cruise flight phase were able to be tested.

Russia's Rosoboronexport to exhibit over 50 products at Euronaval 2010


The Rosoboronexport Corporation will display in excess of 50 top-notch pieces of Russian naval materiel and arms at the Euronaval 2010 International Naval Defence & Maritime Exhibition and Conference, to be held in Le Bourget outside Paris from 25 until 29 October, 2010. The exhibition, conducted since 1968, has won universal recognition as the show of global shipbuilding development trends.

Euronaval 2010 is expected to see participation of over 80 delegations from 60 foreign countries. Experts will be able to examine products, manufactured by more than 400 companies from 35 states.

Rosoboronexport’s exposition is traditionally one of the largest and the most comprehensive. Warships, naval aviation, control systems, navigation equipment, simulators, and other hardware represent segments of the international naval materiel market, offering foreign partners comprehensive solutions to strengthen defensive capabilities and security.

Priorities, currently facing the world navies, include the following: regional conflict prevention, sea lanes security, protection of territorial waters, maritime economic zones, offshore oil fields, and commercial shipping, and combating piracy.

Sagem at Euronaval Show

To meet the evolving needs of today’s navies, Sagem (Safran group) is showcasing its innovative offering of optronics systems at Euronaval 2010 exhibition. Sagem’s range of shipborne optronics systems covers all types of ships, from coast guard cutters to warships, and all at-sea missions – security, search & rescue, anti-piracy, intelligence, self-defense, high-intensity engagement, etc.

Vigy Observer. A stabilized panoramic naval surveillance system, Vigy Observer helps ensure safe navigation, observation and identification aid in policing actions, as well as detecting asymmetric attacks. It features a modular design, chosen by the user, with either a cooled or non-cooled thermal channel, color TV channel, rangefinder and laser pointer. Vigy Observer meets the needs of both merchant marines and security forces (coast guard, customs services, maritime police, etc.). In addition, it is compact and easy to install on any type of ship.

Sea Odin. A day-night sighting system for 12.7 mm machine guns and 20 mm canon, based on new infrared technologies with “around the corner” sighting. Sea Odin enables the port gunner to fire accurately, while still being protected when firing at depression angles from close quarters.

Sea WASP. A remotely-operated light naval cupola, Sea WASP is fitted with a 7.62 or 5.56 mm weapon, plus a TV camera and thermal imager. Developed in collaboration with Panhard, Sea WASP is designed for maritime policing applications. It can also be combined with the Vigy Observer in a self-defense system.

Northrop Grumman Highlights State-of-the-Art Maritime Systems at Euronaval 2010

Northrop Grumman Corporation will display a wide array of its state-of-the-art ship and marine navigation, airborne mine countermeasures, mission modularity systems and other capabilities and products at the international naval defence exhibition, Euronaval 2010 in Paris.

Euronaval 2010 will be held at the Paris-Le-Bourget exhibition centre from 25 to 29 October 2010 and includes the maritime sector and those industrial activities associated with state actions at sea.

"The challenges faced at sea demand solutions that increase awareness of the maritime domain," said Dave Perry, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Naval & Marine Systems Division. "With our expertise in design, development and production of navigation and control systems, radar systems, airborne surveillance, and mine countermeasures, Northrop Grumman is an industry leader at using innovative technology to counter increasingly sophisticated sea-based threats." 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

India develops first Laser Guided Bomb

India has developed its first Laser Guided Bomb (LGB), a weapon that can hit a target with greater accuracy, with technological support from city-based Instrument Research and Development Establishment (IRDE).

The development of technology for producing Laser Guided Bomb is part of ongoing research towards achieving self-dependency in the defence area being done in IRDE, a lab of DRDO, Scientist and Public Relation Officer of IRDE told PTI.

The LGB uses a laser designator to mark or illuminate a target. The reflected laser light from the target is then detected by the seeker which sends signals to the weapon's control surfaces to guide it towards the designated point, he said.

Bangalore-based Aeronautics Development Establishment (ADE) has developed the guidance-kit for 1000-pound LGBs and these are designed to improve the accuracy of air-to-ground bombing by IAF.

The guidance kit of LGB consists of a computer control group (CCG), guidance canards attached to the front of the warhead for providing steering commands and a wing assembly attached to the aft end to provide lift.

India had already carried out two successful flight trials of LGB for the IAF to test the effectiveness of the guidance and control systems at Chandipur integrated test range in Orissa early this year.

LGBs are manoeuvrable, free-fall weapons requiring no electronic interconnect to the aircraft and attack the target with higher accuracy and reliability.

The LGBs were first developed by USA in 1960s. Later, Russia, France and Britain also developed them.

India's DRDO chief says "No pressure to match China's military might"

There is no pressure on Defence Research and Development Organisation to match China's military might, its Director General V K Saraswat said here tonight. "There is no pressure. Neither in the past nor right now, there has been nothing of that kind. There is no pressure to have parity and rather the pressure is to excel in our own technologies," Saraswat, who is also Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, told a news conference.

Saraswat, who was responding to a question, said India has never been in any "number game" with anyone.

Addressing the conference at Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory here, the top scientist said that DRDO was developing technologies which would give the country a technological-edge.

"We need to have technologies that will improve our capability in terms of precision, load on target, mobility, in terms of taking on surprise attack, improve our surveillance capability...," he said.

Israeli company Eltics promises to render military vehicles invisible to thermal imaging

Thermal stealth technology being developed by the Israeli company Eltics promises to render military vehicles, combat helicopters and even entire naval surface ships invisible to thermal imaging surveillance sensors, targeting systems or missile seekers employing thermal sensors. The patented system, dubbed 'Black Fox' is designed to be applied as an add-on layer, on top of existing armor, or be embedded into the outer layer, comprising one layer in the 'onion ring' defensive concept of modern platforms.

'Black Fox' is an Active, Adaptive Multi-Spectral Stealth technology applicable to land, airborne and naval vessels. The concept has been in development since 2006 and was recently demonstrated in field experiments, demonstrating the ability to effectively blend parts of the platform into the background, while on the move.

The principle of ' Black Fox' operation is based, in part on patents claimed by the company. The system employs two panoramic cameras scanning the surroundings through a 360 degrees hemisphere around the protected vehicle. Image processing and control electronics are used to sense and match the background scene, creating a deceptive image for display, on multiple active-mounted panels, on the protected platform. The image mimics the background signature, creating a stealth illusion, by realistically representing the surrounding 'noise' clutter and distinctive texture, thus effectively blending into the background.

In addition to its capability to 'blend into the background', applying the signature of a nearby building, an orchard or a bush, 'Black Fox' can also mimic other shapes and signatures. For example, a system 'worn' by an M-1 tank can render the American tank to look like a Russian T-72, or 'downsize' the tank signature to clone as an M-113 APC, or even a non military pickup truck. The system can also enable the crew to manually 'copy and paste' background features and display them on their 'Black Fox' suite, to refine the stealth effect. The complete process is performed automatically and rapidly, enabling the crew to enter into a 'stealth mode' by the push of a single button. With such capabilities, the 'Black Fox' could become an important asset in the military's ability to deny enemy use of automatic target recognition systems, by eliminating distinguishable details of potential objectives. Such capabilities could also be utilized for training, employing the system on smaller surrogate vehicles, designed to perform as larger combat vehicles.

Concealing naval vessels could offer dramatic advantages for navies, particularly those operating in the littorals, where the maneuverability is limited in the off-shore area, but the proximity of coastal features enable concealment and stealth with the new system. For example, large military vessels can reduce their signature and assume the profile of non-combatant vessels, such as a supply ship, or merchant vessel. When employed with electro-magnetic (radar) stealth methods, the system can be activated, before an attacking anti-ship missile initiates its terminal guidance phase, utilizing thermal sensors. Eventually, the target can 'disappear' from the missile's sight, when entering a 'stealth' mode, with or without the use of flares.

Sikorsky Commits to Build X2 Technology Prototypes

Sikorsky Aircraft will design, build and fly two prototype light tactical helicopters as the follow-on advancement to the X2 Technology demonstrator aircraft that unofficially shattered the helicopter world speed record here in September with a flight speed of 250 knots (287 mph).

The decision to continue development of the next-generation rotary wing technology will enable Sikorsky and select suppliers to offer the high speed X2 prototype vehicles for flight test and evaluation by U.S. armed forces. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

“Having proved the X2 Technology design to ourselves, we have full confidence we can now mature the technology for the U.S. Army’s light armed reconnaissance helicopter size,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino. “Self funding the design of a brand new light tactical helicopter – the Sikorsky S-97 – and manufacturing two prototypes we have designated as the Raider™ X2 helicopter will help military aviation evaluate the viability of a fast and maneuverable next generation rotorcraft for a variety of combat missions.”

In March 2010, Sikorsky submitted an X2 aircraft design to the Army’s Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program in response to a request for information. The AAS program is currently conducting an analysis of alternatives for the Army’s next armed reconnaissance helicopter. Like the X2 Technology demonstrator that broke the helicopter speed record, the X2 Raider prototypes will feature twin coaxial counter-rotating main rotors (in place of one main rotor and a tail rotor) and a pusher propeller.

For the armed reconnaissance mission, the X2 Raider helicopter will have space aft of the two-pilot cockpit for armament and auxiliary fuel. In an assault configuration, the cabin affords space to accommodate up to six troops.

In addition to flying at nearly twice the speed of a conventional helicopter, the X2 Raider prototype aircraft will incorporate other key performance parameters critical to combat operations — increased maneuverability, greater endurance, and the ability to operate at high altitudes.

Compared to other light military helicopters, the X2 Raider prototypes are expected to significantly reduce turning radius and acoustic noise signature, while significantly increasing the aircraft’s payload, flight endurance and hot and high hover capability.

“These attributes will enable the X2 Raider aircraft to meet or exceed the potential U.S. Army requirements for its next armed reconnaissance helicopter,” said Doug Shidler, Sikorsky’s Light Tactical Helicopter director. “If selected by the Army, the X2 Raider aircraft design will enable high performance flight operations in high altitude regions that currently pose challenges to today’s light military helicopters.”

Sikorsky will conduct its X2 Raider aircraft development program utilizing military standards. The company expects to conduct its first major program milestone — a preliminary design review — in 2011. First flight, projected in four years, could depend in part on the pace of development and customer need.

Pak, China to Launch Joint Communications Satellite in 2011

Pakistan is closely collaborating with China to launch a joint space communications satellite next year in 2011 that will be a milestone in their friendship, the country's envoy in Beijing said Wednesday.

The new satellite called Paksat-1R will bring immense economic benefits to Pakistan, Pakistani Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, said.

He made the remarks while addressing an official function in Beijing to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC).

The agreement to launch the satellite and set up a joint communications project was reached during Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to China in 2008.

The CGWIC, established in 1980, is the sole commercial organisation authorised by the Chinese government to provide satellites, commercial launch services and carry out international space cooperation.

It is actively involved in the international marketing of products and services using space technology.

As China prepares to develop Mars exploration technologies for starting a joint mission with Russia in 2011, Ambassador Khan expressed the hope that a Pakistani astronaut will travel aboard a Chinese spacecraft one day.

First Gripen NG Production Drawing Released in Brazil

On the 20th of October, Akaer released to Saab the first 3D model and production drawing of the Gripen NG in Sao Jose de Campos.

One year ago an agreement was signed between Akaer and Saab regarding the participation in the Gripen NG development program. The purpose of the agreement was to lay the foundations for good cooperation between the two companies and to support Saab's development and production for the rear and intermediate fuselage sections, wings and landing gear doors for Gripen NG.

Immediately after the agreement signature, a team of Brazilian engineers from Akaer were stationed in Sweden to acquaint themselves with the NG project to participate in the development and to learn about Saab's requirements and methods in the form of technology transfer through 'on the job training'.

At the same time, facilities at Akaer in Brazil were prepared and certified for the work activities related to Gripen NG development, including special security controlled areas equipped with advanced network systems connected with Saab in Sweden.

During 2010 the Akaer team participated in the conception phase including design, stress, tooling and industrialization. The activity migrated to Akaer’s facilities in Brazil along the year.

The technical package including the 3D model and production drawings released today was sent to Saab’s data bank in Linkoping, Sweden through a secure datalink.

Akaer is leading the T1 Brazilian consortium that includes Inbra Aerospace, Friuli, Minoica and Winstall involved in the development of the Gripen NG intermediate and rear fuselages, wings and main landing gear doors.

If selected for the Brazilian F-X2 Program, the serial production of the Gripen NG segments for Brazil and export will be made, as a sole source, from a new facility to be established in São Bernardo do Campo.

Lennart Sindahl Saab Executive Vice President and Business Group Chairman Aeronautics says that “The release of this first drawing has proven the successful co-operation between our two companies proving Saab’s commitment and investment in Brazilian industry and as a future partner. We look forward to our further development together.”

Akaer CEO Cesar Augusto da Silva, Akaer CEO says: This is the first drawing release of a supersonic fighter aircraft ever developed in Brazil and demonstration of the successful technology transfer process conducted by Saab. Akaer is proud of its involvement and the capabilities demonstrated by its team to comply with such challenging task.