Tuesday, November 30, 2010

China Pitches Engine Deal to Russia

Chinese aerospace officials have grown so confident of their manufacturing ability that they have offered to help Russia boost the power of its fighter jet engines to increase sales.

Discussing the Russian-built RD-93 engine at the Farnborough Air Show, Ma Zhiping, president of the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp. (CATIC), said Chinese know-how could help add some needed thrust.

"I hope to get to 9,000 kilograms with our help," he said. "If we can do that, we will help sales."

Ma was speaking as two Chinese-designed JF-17s made their first-ever appearance at the air show here. Flown by the Pakistan Air Force and built with the help of Pakistani industry, the jet is powered by the RD-93 engine, sold to China by Russia's Chernyshyov Machine-building Enterprise.

Russia's missile forces to replace Topol-M with multiple-warhead RS-24

Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) will be rearmed with multiple-warhead RS-24 missiles instead of the RS-12M Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle) mobile intercontinental ballistic missile systems, SMF Commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said on Tuesday.

"The mobile missile system with the RS-24 ballistic missile is an improved version of the Topol-M, and during production experience with fifth generation mobile missile systems was taken into account," Karakayev said, adding that the missile proved itself a reliable weapon. "Therefore it was decided to rearm the SMF with this type of missile system," he continued. "At the same the Topol-M mobile missile system will not be supplied to the Strategic Missile Forces in the future."

Rosoboronexport Offers Amur-1650 Class Submarines to India

The Indian Navy, which is planning to acquire six non-nuclear submarines in a deal expected to be in the range of USD 10-12 billion, has been offer the fourth generation Amur-1650 class submarines by Russia. The proposal from Russia may include transfer-of-technology and localized production in Indian shipyards.

Facing mounting challenges posed by the modernization of Chinese and Pakistani naval capabilities, the Indian Navy is keen to boost up its undersea warfare capability.

Project 751, Indian Navy proposes an undersea force of 24 submarines by 2015. India already has 10 Kilo-class submarines and has set up a line to manufacture French Scorpene Submarines at Mazagoan docks in Mumbai, the first of these submarines are expected to roll out by 2012.

Electronic warfare suite developed for MiG-27

India has successfully tested the electronic warfare (EW) suite for MiG-27 fighter aircraft, to thwart any kind of enemy threats, said a senior official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday.

The sophisticated version of MiG-27 fighters will be operational by 2011.

Announcing the latest achievement in the country’s defence warfare capabilities, Dr Prahlada, chief controller, R&D (Ae&SI) of DRDO, speaking on the sidelines of the India National Electronic Warfare Workshop (EWWI-2010) in the city, said the technical know-how would bring India on par with the rest of the world.

Brazil Retires Macchi 326 Light Fighters

After 39 years of service, the Brazilian air force is retiring its AT-26 Xavante light fighters from operational service. In a farewell gesture, on December 2 the Xavantes will make a final flypast over Natal, where they have operated since 1974.

The Xavante is the first jet produced in Brazil, and served with combat units throughout the country. Among their main missions was the training of air force pilots between 1974 and 2004.

Altogether, Embraer manufactured 182 Xavante aircraft, 166 of them for Brazil, ten for Paraguay and six for Togo. The Brazilian air force also donated eleven of its own aircraft to the Argentine navy.

DCNS Exhibits at Chile Exponaval Exhibition

DCNS is a major player in the European and world markets for value-added naval defence systems. As a naval prime contractor, shipbuilder and systems integrator, DCNS combines resources and expertise spanning the naval defence value chain and entire system lifecycles. DCNS delivers innovative solutions from integrated warships to strategic systems, equipment, services and new energy solutions.

Chile was the first country to retain Scorpene at the very end of 1997. Less than 10 years later, the navy was equipped with two customised ships boasting the very latest technological breakthroughs as well as outstanding safety features. This project is a testimony of the DCNS commitment for long-term cooperation with local contractors, in Chile and throughout South America.

The DCNS stand showcases:

-- DCNS expertise in submarine design and construction, through the Scorpene medium-size submarines. Already chosen by the Chilean Navy and other first rank navies, Scorpene submarines represents the state-of-the-art in submarine design and construction and benefits from the latest technologies developed for nuclear-powered classes operated by the French Navy, particularly as regards acoustic discretion and combat system performance. Excellent endurance makes the Scorpene one of the few medium-displacement designs suitable for extended ocean patrol duties. The modular design can also be readily tailored to each customer’s specific mission profiles and other requirements.

Singapore Army to Receive Skyblade Mini-UAVs

By end-2010, six Army units will get the Skyblade III mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system which improves situational awareness and the flow of information during operations. Designed to be lightweight and portable, it will provide the units with enhanced reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.

"With the Skyblade III mini-UAV, scout teams can now better assist commanders in decision-making by providing more timely information.For example, they can report terrain conditions and the presence of opposition forces in real-time," said Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) Ong Chee Boon, Deputy Group Head, General Staff, on 25 Nov at the Murai Urban Training Facility.

The system comprises a Mini Operating Console (MOC) and the mini-UAV itself, which are packed into two backpacks. These packs - which weigh roughly 20kg each - will be carried by two soldiers into the field. Requiring only 20 minutes to set up and launch, each mini-UAV sortie can last up to an hour, after which it will require fresh batteries.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Iran Pledges to Support Lebanon's Army

Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi on Nov. 28 told Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that Tehran was prepared to help the Lebanese Army, state television's website reported.

"We have stated on several occasions, and we say it again today, that we stand alongside the Lebanese army and are prepared to cooperate" with it, Vahidi said during a meeting with the visiting premier, the report said.

In a symbolic move, Vahidi offered Hariri an Iranian-made sub-machine gun Tondar (Thunder), used in urban warfare. Iranian television showed pictures of the gilded weapon which was placed in a wooden box.

S. Korea, U.S. start naval drills near N. Korean border

South Korea and the United States began on Sunday large-scale joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea just days after North Korea's artillery attack on a South Korean island that killed four people, the Yonhap news agency said.

A U.S. naval task force led by nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS George Washington has joined several South Korean destroyers, frigates, support ships and anti-submarine aircraft for four days of military drills in waters about 125 km (77 miles) south of the border between the two Koreas.

"Participating units will conduct live-fire shooting and bombing drills," Yonhap quoted a South Korean military official as saying.

Washington and Seoul claim these are defensive drills aimed at deterring North Korea from launching further attacks across its disputed maritime border with South Korea, while Pyongyang has condemned the exercises as a provocation and threatened they could lead to a war.

Eurosam Achieves Europe’s First-Ever Intercept of a Theater Ballistic Missile

Alain Juppé, Minister of Defence and of Veteran Affairs, commended the successful first qualification firing of the Sol-Air de Moyenne Portée Terrestre (SAMP/T) ground-based medium-range air-defence system against a Theatre Ballistic Missile (TBM) representative threat.

The French armaments agency, Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), carried out the firing on Oct. 18 from the DGA Essais de Missiles test range at Biscarosse, in the Landes district in south-western France.

The SAMP/T is the first European weapon system to have such a capability. It is suitable for inclusion in the ALTBMD (Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence) project, with which the Alliance plans to implement an Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile defense system for Europe.

Mirage 2000N Test-Fires ASMPA Nuke Missile

The first evaluation firing of the new weapon system formed by the Mirage 2000N and the ASMPA enhanced stand-off missile took place on Tuesday, Nov. 23. This test was code-named Topaze.

The aircraft’s crew, comprising a pilot and a navigator from the 3/4 “Limousin” fighter squadron, flew a long mission (about 5 hours) during which it flew at different flight profiles: high altitude, several in-flight refuellings from a C135 tanker belonging to the 2/91 “Bretagne” In-Flight Refuelling Group, low-level penetration, terrain following etc.

At the end of these five hours, the crew fired the ASMPA missile (without its nuclear warhead) which followed its intended flight trajectory. Mission accomplished for this initial trial!

Russia to Allow NATO Armored Vehicles Through to Afghanistan

Russia will let NATO take armored vehicles to Afghanistan and return supplies through its territory under an expanded transit deal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the announcement at a joint meeting in Moscow with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul.

"An agreement has been reached in which the terms of transit Russia provides for NATO into Afghanistan will be broadened to include return transit from Afghanistan to NATO countries," Lavrov said, according to Reuters. "In addition to that, this easing of transit applies to armored vehicles with anti-mine protection."

Moscow and NATO struck a deal last weekend to boost the flow of Western military supply shipments through Russia to Afghanistan.

But NATO officials have not disclosed details of the new agreement or whether it changes Russia's previous limiting of transit to only noncombat equipment.

Pyongyang's New Nuclear Facility Tests World Resolve

North Korea's recent revelations about its new, modern uranium-enrichment facility stunned scientists. Asia analysts see it as Pyongyang's latest attempt to force the world to accept it as a nuclear state. With international talks about the North's nuclear program broken off, and uncertainty about whether sanctions can halt North Korea's nuclear advances, analysts say the international community has few good options to deal with the problem.

North Korea's revelation that it now has two nuclear programs - one to enrich uranium and another to create plutonium - presents the United States and its allies in the region with a new challenge, one that Asian experts say will not be easy to resolve - especially since North Korea seems increasingly unwilling to give up its nuclear programs.

Victor Cha, a former Bush administration White House director for Asia affairs, says North Korea sees its nuclear programs as its ultimate security blanket, a way to gain acceptance in the world.

India Delays Delivery of Russian Aircraft Carrier

The induction of the aircraft carrier Gorshkov/Vikramaditya has been delayed due to requirement of additional works and change in the scope of trials.

The additional works will increase the service life of the aircraft carrier significantly. The delivery of the aircraft carrier has been rescheduled for December 2012.

The procurement of modern weapon systems is undertaken as per the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought and time frame prescribed, from various indigenous as well as foreign sources, including Russia, in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Shyamal Chakraborty in Rajya Sabha today.

France Orders More Saab AT4 Missiles

Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the French Defence Forces through DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement) for additional Light Anti-Tank Weapon AT4CS. The order value is approximately MSEK150 (approximately 15 Million euros).

The contracted product 84 mm light anti tank weapon AT4CS can be fired from confined spaces, which often is the requirement when fighting in built up areas. The new French contract will be delivered during three years starting end 2011.

This contract is the fourth AT4CS contract from France. In total Saab has received orders from France for AT4CS totaling more than SEK 1000 Million (100 Million euros).

Thailand Orders Second Gripen Batch

Sweden and Thailand today signed an agreement for the delivery of a further six Gripen fighter aircraft together with one Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning surveillance system and the Swedish RB 15F missile system.

At a ceremony in Stockholm today, the Director General of Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, Gunnar Holmgren and Itthaporn Subhawong, Air Chief Marshal, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, signed an agreement for the delivery of a further six Gripen fighter aircraft together with one Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning surveillance system and the Swedish RB 15F missile system.

This is the second phase of the co-operation between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Kingdom of Thailand, the first phase started with the agreement in February 2008. Today’s agreement consists of six Gripen fighter aircraft of the latest C version together with one Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning surveillance system and the Swedish RB 15F missile system.

Controversy Over Dutch Arms Sales to Venezuela

Four Italian-made frigates set out from the Venezuelan port city of Puerto Cabello in the middle of the night. They lead a fleet including amphibious landing craft and service ships, on their way to invade Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, three Caribbean islands forming part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A Dutch 'Falklands war' has begun.

This is a nightmare scenario that Dutch military planners must nonetheless take into account, given Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez's repeated threats over the last two years. Political leaders on the three islands downplay the threat, but Venezuela looms large, literally and figuratively, on the three islands. The closest, Aruba, lies just 27 kilometres off Venezuela's coast.

But at the same time, a Dutch company is equipping the Venezuelan navy with combat management systems and other guidance systems.

Cassidian Radar for German F125 Frigates

Cassidian, the recently renamed defence and security division of EADS, is equipping the German Navy’s new F125 stabilisation frigates with their newly developed TRS-4D/NR radar, which detects movements on the sea and in the air with previously unattainable precision.

Cassidian has received an order for four naval radars and one land-based system from Blohm & Voss Naval GmbH, in Hamburg, Germany.

“Maintaining safety at sea and the protection of our ships requires high-performance sensors which can always guarantee an ideal overview of the situation,” explains Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Cassidian Electronics. “Our radars have shown in operational service that they represent the right answer to these complex requirements.” 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indian Navy displays its awesome power

Displaying its ke-en intent to protect the economic coastline and willingness to take up tasks that call for a clarity in deterrence and an unwillingness to compromise on what is national, the Indian Navy conducted a string of impr-essive exercises on Tuesday and Wednesday that proved its ability to hold mast in turbulent waters.

A fleet of ships including INS Jalashwa, a launching platform dock (LPD) and India’s second largest ship which provides the amphibious thrust to the Eastern Fleet, conducted a whole lot of exercises to prove the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Eastern Fleet. INS Ranvir, INS Rana, INS Savitri, INS Karmuk and INS Jyothi were the other participants.

The exercise was not just a mere display of the enormous firepower that the fleet commands but also an insight into the complicated procedures and manoeuvres that have to be made in a multiple threat environment. The series of exercises taken up by the Eastern Naval Command proved the efficacy of the ships involved and the ability of the crew to shift gears when called for.

LCA Tejas Falls Short of Earlier Expectations

As India’s homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Tejas) nears critical initial operational clearance next month, Indian air force officials say the aircraft will fail to meet performance requirements laid down by the service for the limited-profile Mk.1 platform.

According to an Indian air force source associated with the long-delayed indigenous fighter program, when the Tejas passes this milestone in December, it still will not be the fighter the air force had agreed to accept for limited squadron service. Performance specifications that the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has not been able to attain include sustained turn rate, speed at low altitude, angle of attack and certain weapon delivery profiles. Exactly how far off the performance is from the specification remains classified.

India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-I missile

India on Thursday test-fired an upgraded version of the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-I from a defence base off the east coast.

The missile with better re-entry technology and manoeuvrability was fired by the armed forces from a mobile launcher at the launching complex - IV of the Integrated Test Range in Wheeler's Island at about 10.10am.

"The result of the test-firing was not immediately known. However, the flight was made for user's trail and it has met all the mission objectives. The test was to reconfirm the technical parameters set for the user associated launch," a defence official said.

India Conducts Field Trials for Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow Helicopters

Boeing has responded to an Air Force / Ministry of Defence Request for Proposal (RFP) for 22 attack helicopters and has offered the Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter platform for this requirement. The Indian Air Force has conducted field trials for the Apache Longbow helicopters, which offer a range of capabilities including lethal attack, peacekeeping, reconnaissance over land and sea.

"We responded to the RFP for 22 attack helicopters for the Indian Air Force with our Apache Longbow helicopters and completed field trials this year. The Apache Longbow is the only available combat helicopter with a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement. We believe it is uniquely suited to meet the commander’s needs – including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack -- in both land and littoral environments -- all without reconfiguration. The Apache is a versatile aircraft capable of meeting the needs of operators in both military and paramilitary markets."
-- Dr. Vivek Lall, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, India

Friday, November 26, 2010

U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier to Korean Waters

The U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington set off for the volatile waters west of the Korean peninsula Nov. 24 to join a naval readiness exercise with South Korean forces, the Combined Forces Command (CFC) here announced, in an apparent show of strength against North Korea, which shelled an island of the South, killing two marines and two other civilians a day ago.
The U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier George Washington set off for the Korean peninsula Nov. 24 to join a naval readiness exercise with South Korean forces. (MCSN Adam K. Thomas / U.S. Navy)

Fifteen other troops and four civilians were wounded during the attack, one of the most serious provocations by the communist regime since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The participation of the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group, which includes 75 aircraft and 6,000 sailors, was agreed upon by U.S. and South Korean leaders, according to the presidential offices in both countries.

India's Tata Buys Majority Stake in HBL Elta Avionics

The $72-billion Tata Group has made its first acquisition in the defence business . Tata Advanced Systems (TAS), a company set up in 2006 to tap the enormous opportunities in India’s defence sector, has bought a 74% stake in Hyderabad-based HBL Elta Avionics for an undisclosed amount.

The remaining 26% continues to be held by its foreign partner ELTA Systems, a unit of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). TAS has bought controlling interest in HBL Elta from HBL Power Systems , a company listed on the BSE, and the transaction was sealed a few weeks ago, said a Tata group source. The South-based outfit manufactures parts and accessories for defence-related aerospace applications. Mape Advisory , a boutique investment banking firm, advised Tatas on the transaction.

This will be the group’s second JV with IAI. It already has a 74:26 partnership to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, missiles, radars and homeland security systems. IAI chief executive Itzhak Nissan and Tata Sons chairman Rata Tata have ambitious plans to build a multibillion dollar enterprise in the defence sector.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Slovenia Gets New Russian-Built Patrol Boat

Russia has delivered a Project 10410 Svetlyak-class multipurpose patrol boat to Slovenia as a partial payment of Russia's debt to the Balkan country.

Built at the St. Petersburg-based Almaz shipyard, the ship, called Triglav, reached the Slovenian port of Koper on Nov. 21. There, Slovenian Defense Minister Ljubica Jelusic called it "one of the most state-of-the-art and certainly one of the youngest ships in the Adriatic Sea," Slovenia's STA news agency reported.

The Triglav left the shipyard in the Baltic Sea on Nov. 9, according to the Almaz website.

Russian defense experts estimate that the Triglav is worth $35 million.

Russia's $129 million debt to Slovenia dates back to the Soviet era. Slovenia, once part of Yugoslavia, inherited part of Moscow's debt to Yugoslavia after that country's disintegration.

The 49.5-meter-long Svetlyaks, with crews of 28, are capable of speeds of 30 knots and a range of 2,200 miles. Twenty-six have entered service with the Russian Navy since the first one was commissioned in 1988.

On Nov. 12, the second Svetlyak boat contracted by a foreign client, Vietnam, was floated out of the Almaz shipyard.

India to built two test ranges of electronic warfare systems

India would build two ranges for testing radar-based electronic warfare systems as it seeks to strengthen its capability in the field, seen to be vital in war scenarios.

One range would come up in Chitradurga in Karnataka and another in Tandur in Andhra Pradesh, which would test "non-communication" and "communication" EW systems, respectively, a key defence official said today.

These two would be part of the 4,000-acre aeronautical test range in Chitradurga, some 200 km from here, and the 8,000-acre one in Tandur, some 135 km from Hyderabad. At present, EW systems are tested in the IAF range in Gwalior in a limited way.

Boeing Offers F/A 18 Naval Variant for Indian Navy Fighter Jet Requirement

Boeing India has offered a naval variant of the F/A 18 E/F Super Hornets multi role fighter jet platform to the Indian Navy. The Navy currently has one aircraft carrier (INS Viraat) in service and Russia is expected to deliver INS Vikramaditya by 2012.

India is developing indigenous aircraft carriers and the aim is to have a total of three Aircraft carriers resulting in two fully operational Carrier battle groups and an additional Aircraft carrier eventually in refit making India an operating Blue-water navy.

China Developing Armed/Recon UAVs

China is making inroads in the development of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as was evident at last week's 8th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (2010 Zhuhai Airshow).

The biennial air show and defense exhibition coincided with the release of a critical report on China's military to the U.S. Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The annual report indicates China is developing a "variety of medium- and high-altitude long-endurance" UAVs that will include "options for long-range reconnaissance and strike" missions.

The Zhuhai Airshow provided plenty of examples of China's efforts in developing combat UAVs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pakistan buys Chinese missiles, eager to purchase more

Pakistan has bought Chinese missiles and avionics for its 250 JF- 17 Thunder jet fighters, Air Force chief Rao Qamar Suleman said on Thursday.

In an interview with the Global Times, Air Chief Marshal Suleman said pre-purchase evaluations on several other Chinese air defense systems were also underway.

The advanced active radar medium-range missile developed by China, the SD-10 missile, will become the standard Beyond Visual Range (BVR) weapon for the JF-17, he said.

First Turkish MILGEM begins sea trials

The first of a new class of up to 12 MILGEM (Milli Gemi/National Ship) corvettes for the Turkish Naval Forces began platform sea trials from Istanbul Naval Shipyard on 2 November.

Combat system setting to work on board TCG Heybeliada is scheduled to take place in early 2011. Following trials, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) expects the vessel to be ready for preliminary acceptance in the third quarter of 2011.

At 99 m in length and displacing about 2,000 tons, the MILGEM design is intended to meet the naval forces' requirement for an offshore patrol combatant able to conduct patrol, surveillance, interdiction and anti-submarine warfare missions. The programme is also seen as a keystone in Turkey's efforts to grow its indigenous capability in the design, build and integration of complex naval vessels.

Ukraine halts funding of An-70 transport aircraft program

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry will not fund the joint Russia-Ukraine Antonov An-70 transport aircraft project, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily said on Thursday.

The An-70 is a medium-range turboprop military transport plane developed by Ukraine's Antonov design bureau. The Antonov company first tested a prototype of the An-70 in 1994, but a lack of Ukrainian state funds, and political disputes between Moscow and Kiev have prevented large-scale production of the aircraft.

Several international military-technical projects with Russia were suspended in the new Ukrainian draft military budget.

Iran's domestic air defense system is upgraded version of S-200

Iran's domestic air defense system reported to be an analogue of the Russian S-300 is a mere upgraded version of the obsolete Soviet-made S-200, Iran's Press TV website said referring to top military officials.

The S-200 was officially accepted into service in 1967. Iran acquired several systems from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Today, the S-200 is considered obsolete in comparison with the S-300.

"We have developed the system by upgrading systems like the S-200 and we have tested it successfully using all our potential and experience in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Army and the Defense Ministry," Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian told Press TV on Wednesday.

U.S. Delta IV rocket with secret satellite blasts off

A Delta IV rocket carrying a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) blasted off on Monday from Cape Canaveral, the launch company said on its website.

The launch took place at 1:58 am Moscow time [22:58 Sunday GMT]. The blastoff, initially scheduled for November 18, had been delayed several times.

Commercial launch company United Launch Services (ULA) said the mission was "in support of national defense," without giving any further details.

Fox News earlier said the payload, known only as NROL-32, is widely assumed to be "the largest satellite in the world," with a mission "to bolster U.S. eavesdropping abilities."

Delta IV is the biggest unmanned rocket currently in service in the United States.

Russia ready to sell Su-35 fighter jets to China

Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Tuesday it was ready to hold talks with China on the delivery of advanced Su-35 fighter aircraft to the Chinese air force.

"We are ready to work with our Chinese partners to this end [Su-35 deliveries]," Deputy General Director of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev said at the Airshow China 2010, which is being held on November 16-21 in Zhuhai.

The Su-35 Flanker-E, powered by two 117S engines with thrust vectoring, combines high maneuverability and the capability to effectively engage several air targets simultaneously using both guided and unguided missiles and weapon systems.

Russia's Sukhoi aircraft maker earlier said it planned to start deliveries of the new aircraft, billed as "4++ generation using fifth-generation technology," to foreign clients in 2011 and produce Su-35s over a period of 10 years up to 2020.

China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) is the only international aerospace trade show in China that is endorsed by the Chinese central government. The biannual arms exhibition has been held in Zhuhai since 1996.

Japan To Send Troops To Remote Isle Over China Fears

Tokyo will send around 100 soldiers to a remote Japanese island in the East China Sea, a report said Thursday, amid growing anxiety over China's naval activities.

The ground troops will be deployed on Yonaguni island, Japan's westernmost point, to carry out coastal patrols and surveillance of Chinese naval vessels, Jiji news agency quoted defense officials as saying.

Tokyo eventually plans to double the number of troops stationed on Yonaguni, which is roughly 60 miles east of Taiwan, the report said.

Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa Nov. 11 stressed the importance of boosting defense in island areas, including Yonaguni, to a security committee meeting at the House of Representatives, Jiji reported.

S. Korea Considers Redeploying U.S. Nukes

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said Monday that his government would seek the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in the country amid the lingering threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program.

Kim’s remarks came on the heels of the communist regime’s revelation of its new uranium enrichment plant with some 2,000 centrifuges.

U.S. nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, who toured North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear complex last week, said he had been shown an experimental light-water nuclear reactor that was still under construction and a new facility that contained “more than 1,000 centrifuges” that the North Koreans said were processing low-enriched uranium to fuel the new reactor.

Poland To Host U.S. F-16 Fighter Jets From 2013

U.S. F-16 fighter jets and Hercules transport aircraft will be deployed in Poland on a rotating basis as of 2013, Poland's Defence Minister Bogdan Klich said Nov. 18.

"Poland has decided to accept the U.S. proposal of hosting rotations of F-16 and Hercules aircraft and their crews" on its territory, Klich told Poland's TOK FM commercial radio station. "I hope this will begin in 2013," he added.

"The Americans will come, conduct exercises with Poles and return home.

Then, they will return periodically to Polish soil," the minister said.

S. Korea Warns of Retaliation After N. Korea Shells Island

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak vowed "enormous retaliation" if North Korea launches another attack like the hundred artillery shells that rained down on a South Korean island on Nov. 23.

"Given that North Korea maintains an offensive posture, we can expect an additional provocation," the president said. "We should keep in mind that we must retaliate with much more firepower should the North launch an attack."

The communist regime fired the shells at Yeonpyeong Island, across the disputed sea border in the western waters of the peninsula, and just 11 kilometers from the North Korean mainland. The attack killed two marines, wounding 16 other soldiers and injuring three civilians.

India's ADA seeks $2 bn for advanced medium combat aircraft

he Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), an autonomous body under the department of defence research and development, Ministry of Defence, is seeking a $2-billion (approximately Rs 9,060 crore) fund for the development of the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).

“We have just started working on this fifth-generation aircraft, for which we had already received sanctions to the tune of Rs 100 crore. The way the government is cooperating, I am able to say that we will receive the funding ($2 billion) in the next 18 months,” PS Subramanyam, programme director (combat aircraft) and director of ADA, told Business Standard.

The AMCA will be designed with a small radar cross-section and will feature internal weapons and advanced electronic systems. The twin-engined, stealth-multirole fighter will be equipped with missiles like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Astra, besides stand-off and precision weapons.

“The $2-billion fund will initially be utilised to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes. The first flight test is expected to take place by 2017,” he said on the sidelines of the Aviation Conclave 2010, which concluded here on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia Requests Javelin Missiles

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of 150 JAVELIN Guided Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for a complete package worth $71 million.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of 150 JAVELIN Guided Missiles, 12 Fly-to-Buy Missiles, 20 JAVELIN Command Launch Units (CLUs) with Integrated Day/Thermal Sight, containers, missile simulation rounds, Enhanced Producibility Basic Skills Trainer (EPBST), rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, battery dischargers, chargers, and coolant units, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The estimated cost is $71 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

Phantom Ray UAV Completes Low-Speed Taxi Tests

The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system successfully completed low-speed taxi tests on Nov. 18 at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

"Phantom Ray did exactly what it was supposed to do," said Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing. "It communicated with the ground control station, received its orders and made its way down the runway multiple times, allowing us to assess its performance and monitor the advanced systems on board."

The tests were the first for the Phantom Ray following its rollout ceremony in May. Boeing now will prepare Phantom Ray to travel to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on top of one of NASA’s modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. At Edwards, Phantom Ray will undergo high-speed taxi tests before making its first flight. The flight-test program will last approximately six months.

Russia Proposes Two-Part Anti-Missile System

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed to NATO leaders a joint missile defense system that divides military protection of Europe between the former Cold War rivals.

Russian newspapers quote officials as saying the plan entails equally dividing anti-missile defense responsibilities and territories between Russia and NATO.

Mr. Medvedev said Saturday that a so-called "sectoral" missile defense system would be the most acceptable option for Russia.

Russian NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said on his Twitter page that such an arrangement would likely prevent any future confrontation and promote cooperation between NATO and Russia.

British Minister Pitches for Typhoon to India

If the US can be aggressive in cornering a major chunk of the lucrative Indian defence market, why should Europeans be behind? British secretary of state for defence Liam Fox is in town to push, among other things, the Eurofighter Typhoon for India's gigantic $10.4 billion project to acquire 126 fighters.

While Fox is slated to meet his Indian counterpart A K Antony on Tuesday, he did not miss the opportunity provided by a lecture on "UK defence and strategic review'' on Monday to extol the virtues of Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Typhoon, he said, had performed excellently in the field trials held by IAF for its medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) project, under which 18 jets will be bought off-the-shelf, while 108 will be manufactured in India after transfer of technology.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Isreal Rafael Offer's Iron Dome & David's Sling to Indian Armed Forces

Mr. Lova Drori, Executive Vice President of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has confirmed in an interview to India Defence that the Israeli defense major has offered two of its most advanced defensive weapon systems -- Iron Dome and David's Sling -- to the Indian Armed Forces.

"We have lot of products that would interest Indian armed forces and we are talking to them about that, but we can't share more specific details about those products or programs. All I can share is that we are offering Iron Dome and David's Sling to the Indian armed forces."
-- Mr. Lova Drori, Executive Vice President, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems

Iron Dome is a mobile air defense system in development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells. The system is being created as a defensive countermeasure to the rocket threat against Israel's civilian population on its northern and southern border, and is expected to be deployed by the first quarter of 2011. It is designed to intercept very short-range threats up to 40 kilometers in all-weather situations.

Swiss Sell Surplus Tanks to Rheinmetall

Switzerland sells 42 surplus Leopard 2 Battle Tanks (Pz 87 Leo) to the manufacturer. The battle tanks supplied without armament and further components will be converted to protected special vehicles.

Following the reduction of military strengths in connection with Armed Forces 95 and Armed Forces XXI, various weapon systems were decommissioned, mothballed, sold, or disposed of. The Leopard 2 Battle Tank (Pz 87 Leo) is one of many systems which are no longer needed in the originally procured quantity. Part of the Pz 87 Leo fleet was therefore mothballed at various storage sites.

Since in its Armed Forces Report the Federal council defined the basic data for a smaller defence force, the way was cleared for the sale of the Pz 87 Leo no longer needed, or parts thereof.

From the units of the Pz 87 Leo fleet of the Swiss Armed Forces, which are not foreseen for the quality maintenance program and not among the vehicles designated as spare material, 42 vehicles are now sold to the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which will use these vehicles as basis (chassis) for support vehicles.

Thales Australia Unveils Prototype of Hawkei Vehicle

Thales Australia has unveiled its ground-breaking Hawkei prototype at the Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane. With over 20,000km of testing complete, the Hawkei’s rapid development from drawing board to working prototype is now a reality.

Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia’s CEO, said the company’s investment in the Hawkei and its close cooperation with world-leading partners had produced impressive results in a short timeframe.

“We’ve demonstrated that we can move quickly to develop a vehicle that is progressing very well in testing, thanks to the significant protected vehicles expertise we have gained from the highly successful Bushmaster program and the capabilities of our partners,” he said.

Swedish Anti-Tank Weapon Used By Iraqi Military

Swedish weapons are being used by the Iraqi military, according to Swedish Radio News. It is the anti-tank weapon AT 4, which has been passed on by the American military to the Iraqis.

This violates the export agreement that Sweden has with the US. According to this agreement, the Americans will have to keep control over their own equipment and not give it to any other country.

American soldiers have confirmed to Swedish Radio News that Iraqi military is using the Swedish anti-tank weapon. Swedish Radio has also come across articles and photos from the American armed forces showing US special forces training their Iraqi counterpart with the Swedish weapon.

Valanx Unveiled In Australia

The ‘Valanx,’ BAE Systems’ solution to meet the Australian Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) and the US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program requirements was publicly unveiled for the first time in Australia today.

The Valanx, being offered to the Australian Defence Force under Project Land 121-Phase 4, is the centrepiece of the BAE Systems stand at the 2010 Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane.

Valanx is the result of four successive generations of demonstrator and prototype vehicles developed by BAE Systems.

The JLTV and PMV-L programs will replace much of the Humvee fleet in the US and the Land Rover Perentie vehicle in Australia respectively.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Indian Minister Hints at Major Policy Changes

Indian Defence Industry is poised to witness major policy changes. Disclosing this at a function after presenting the Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence for the Year 2008-09 to Ordinance Factories (OFs) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), here today the Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony said the first ever Defence Production Policy would be unveiled soon and major changes incorporated in the Defence Procurement Policy.

"2011 January onwards we hope to introduce the new Defence Production Policy as well as the Defence Procurement Policy. So now we are going to take some more drastic steps to achieve our goal of speedy indigenization," Shri Antony said.

"Our aim is to have a strong defence industrial base in India, because a country like India cannot indefinitely depend on foreign suppliers for majority of our equipments. At the moment 65-70 percent of the equipments are imported, we have to reverse this trend. So we will continue to support the PSUs, but at the same time PSUs alone will not be able to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces. So now we are formulating a new policy.

Iran Launches Air Defense Exercises

The Iranian armed forces on Nov. 16 launched exercises to test Iran's air-defense systems, said a senior commander, according to the Fars news agency.

"Air-defense systems which use short, medium and long-range missiles in addition to the newer version of aerial defense systems will be tested" during the five-day exercises across Iran, Hamid Arjangi said, without giving details. Iran is at odds with the West over its nuclear program.

The website of Iran's English-language Press TV said the drills were also being held near "nuclear and vital landmarks, and include tests of long-range anti-air missiles."

Airforce's Gained Good Experience from CRUZEX Multinational Exercise

The CRUZEX Multinational exercise involved the air forces of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France and Uruguay and includes more than 82 aircraft and almost 3,000 Airmen. Observers from several other countries also are there.

To support the exercise, Air Guardsmen from the 140th Wing at Buckley Field, Colo., deployed to maintain, plan and fly sorties of six F-16 Fighting Falcons alongside their multi-national counterparts.

"It has been terrific working with the other forces," said Brig. Gen. Trulan A. Eyre, the 140th Wg commander and exercise co-director. "We are all working together and we have enjoyed every minute of it."

China kick's off Zhuhai Airshow

The Zhuhai airshow promotes worldwide aerospace technology exchanges and plays a positive role in pushing forward aeronautics development throughout the world, Guo Boxiong, Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, said Tuesday.

Guo was speaking to delegations of military officials from 15 countries at the opening of the eighth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, in Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province.

Guo said China was willing to expand exchanges and cooperation in the fields of aviation and aerospace with other countries to safeguard world peace and development.

China Great Wall in $2.3 bln satellite, rocket deal

China Great Wall would buy 20 Long March 3A rockets from the rocket technology research institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASTC) and eight Dongfanghong communication satellites from another CASTC institute, Xinhua said.

CASTC is also the state parent of China Great Wall Industry.

China Great Wall planned to handle three commercial satellite launches in 2011, it added.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the on-going Zhuhai air show in southern China.

The Long March rockets are the workhorses of China's satellite programme. One launched China's lunar exploration probe last month, the Chang'e-2.

Russia's Rosoboronexport exhibits at Zhuhai Air Show

Rosoboronexport State Corporation took part in the eighth International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition Airshow China 2010. The Corporation regards the exhibition as a step towards strengthening military-technical cooperation with China. This year about 40 models of armaments and military equipment for the Air Force and Air Defense and 10 civilian and dual-use products are on display at its stand.

China remains one of the most important Russian partners, despite some decrease in China’s share of Russian exports. Active cooperation in the field of aircraft and air defense equipment is going on.

"We hope to hold talks during the exhibition, which will give new impetus to the rapid development of military-technical cooperation between the two countries. The Chinese Army has been successfully operating Russian equipment, the foundation for our cooperation is strong, so we need to find ways that would accommodate the interests of both parties," – said Sergey Kornev, head of the Rosoboronexport delegation and chief of the Air Force special equipment and services export department.

Indonesia Buys Super Tucano Light Attack Aircraft

Embraer has won a competition held by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense to supply eight Super Tucano light attack turboprops for the Indonesian Air Force.

The deal includes ground support stations and an integrated logistics package, and represents the debut of the Super Tucano in the Asia Pacific region. Deliveries will begin in 2012.

“We are very pleased to have the Indonesian Air Force as the newest customer of Embraer Defense Systems,” said Orlando José Ferreira Neto, Embraer Executive Vice President, Defense Market. “The Super Tucano is a proven light attack and advanced trainer turboprop, flying currently in five air forces, and we are certain it will perfectly suit Indonesia’s needs.”

French Army Deploys New MRAP in Afghanistan

The highly protected armored vehicle (VBHP) was deployed for the first time in Afghanistan. This vehicle is designed to carry, under armour protection, teams working to disable improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The 11 vehicles arrived in Kabul by chartered jumbo jet at the end of September, and were taken over by a team of experts from the Technical Section of the Army (STAT) to convert them to fully-capable operational configuration. In three weeks, they were fitted with jammers, perimeter high-definition cameras, weapons, and communications and navigation system.

The vehicles have now entered operational service with the counter-IED mine disposal teams deployed in Kapisa and Surobi, and with the special section tasked with route opening in mined areas.

Italian Navy Tests New Point-Defense Gun

The test activities of the DAVIDE system have now reached the fifth firing campaign of this revolutionary system which uses the 76/62SR naval gun to fire guided munitions. These trials are held at the joint firing range at Solto di Quirra; where the offshore patrol vessel Comandante Foscari (P493), commanded by Cdr. Vitaliano Carboni, evaluated the system’s functionality.

The DAVIDE system will revolutionize the concept of naval artillery by transforming a standard 76mm gun turret into a weapon system able to shake off previously-accepted ballistic limitations to guide an intelligence projectile to its target.

The major innovation of this fifth test campaign is the sphere activity, necessary to test the guidance capabilities of the DART (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of Flight) against surface targets.

Sukhoi Conducts Flight Tests of Su-34 Fighter Bombers

Sukhoi Company conducts flight tests of serial Su-34 fighter bombers at the Chkalov Aviation Production Association (NAPO) flight testing station in Novosibirsk. Serial production of the Su-34 has been set up at the NAPO plant, which is a part of the Sukhoi holding company.

The Russian Air Force already has in service several Su-34s. Another consignment of such planes is due by the end of the year.

In 2008 a state contract was signed with the government to supply the Russian Defense Ministry with Su-34 serial-production aircraft.

Venezuela gets Spanish patrol boat

The Navantia shipyard in San Fernando on 8 November handed over the patrol boat "Yavire,” second of four coastal patrol ships that Venezuela has commissioned from our company.

The ceremony was attended by the Venezuelan Defense Minister, the Commander of Naval Logistics in that country, its Defense Attache, the mayors of San Fernando and Puerto Real and the President of Navantia, among others.

The "Yavir", launched on March 11 last year, is 79.90 meters long and displaces 1,453 tons; it has a top speed of 22 knots.

This ship and her sister-ships can perform a variety of missions, including surveillance and coastal zone protection, protection of maritime traffic, medical care for other vessels, fire fighting, control and clean-up of marine pollution, transportation of personnel and supplies, search and rescue operations, rapid intervention, diver support, surface protection and passive electronic warfare.

In addition to the BVL-type vessels, Venezuela also ordered four ocean-going offshore patrol vessels from Navantia. These vessels, suited to patrol the Exclusive Economic Zone, are 98.90 meters long, have a displacement of 2,170 tons and a top speed of 25 knots.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Russia Delivers More Helicopters to China

The Russian multi-role heavy transport helicopter Mi-26TС manufactured by Rostvertol JSC, a subsidiary of the Russian Helicopters holding company, was officially delivered to its customer and arrived in China not long before Airshow China 2010 opening tomorrow in Zhuhai.

The contract for the delivery of the heavy Mi-26TС to the People’s Republic of China was signed between Rostvertol JSC and Lectern Aviation Supplies Co., Ltd. (China) in March 2010. This is the third Mi-26TC sold by Rostvertol in the PRC. The Mi-26TC was completed three months before the due date set in the contract pursuant to the request from the Chinese side. The new heavy Mi-26TC is scheduled to serve in one of the fire-hazardous regions of China and put out forest fires.

Besides, a new contract is in the works with Lectern Aviation for the purchase of another Mi-26TC. According to experts, the Chinese market sees high demand for the type of tasks the heavy Russian Mi-26TC can handle.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Europe tests amphibious military capacity in Senegal

Three European countries and Senegal on Monday began a military exercise testing Europe's amphibious warfare capacity to resolve various crises in the world, military officials said.

"This exercise is the first organised by the European Amphibious Initiative (IAE). Its objective is to ensure interoperability between ground troops and naval forces," said Dutch Admiral Peter Lenselink during a press conference.

France, Italy, the Netherlands and Senegal are taking part in the manoeuvres aimed at demonstrating the IAE's capacity to plan and carry out joint amphibious operations over a long distance for a long period.

The IAE was founded in 2000 by Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain to boost European amphibious capacity which can be used by the European Union or within the NATO framework.

Mercedes-Benz LAPV 5.4 ENOK Handed Over to the Military

Daimler AG has handed over the first series-production example of the Mercedes-Benz LAPV 5.4, military designation ENOK, to the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) and the army on the premises of the company-owned Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlet in Koblenz.

Procurement of these vehicles is part of the BWB project "Protected command and functional vehicle, Class 1". Their operational purpose is personnel transport and use as a carrier for a wide variety of military equipment. The compact exterior dimensions of the vehicle are a decisive advantage in this regard.

With the ENOK/LAPV 5.4, Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating its expertise in highly manoeuvrable, highly protected all-terrain vehicles at a new level. The three parameters of agility, protection and payload define the magic triangle that Mercedes-Benz has realised to perfection with this vehicle

Iran To Test S-300 Missiles Despite Russia

Iran is to test its own homemade S-300 ground-to-air missiles, built in defiance of ally Russia, which backed out of a deal to supply the device, a top Iranian military commander said on Nov. 10.

"Very soon we will test long-range aerial defense missiles, including Iranian S-300s," Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hassan Mansourian told the state news agency IRNA.

In September, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning supplies of S-300 missiles and other arms to Iran.

Russia came under strong U.S. and Israeli pressure not to go ahead with the sale of the weapons system, which was seen as complicating any military action against Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Japan To Send Troops To Remote Isle Over China Fears

Tokyo will send around 100 soldiers to a remote Japanese island in the East China Sea, a report said Thursday, amid growing anxiety over China's naval activities.

The ground troops will be deployed on Yonaguni island, Japan's westernmost point, to carry out coastal patrols and surveillance of Chinese naval vessels, Jiji news agency quoted defense officials as saying.

Tokyo eventually plans to double the number of troops stationed on Yonaguni, which is roughly 60 miles east of Taiwan, the report said.

Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa Nov. 11 stressed the importance of boosting defense in island areas, including Yonaguni, to a security committee meeting at the House of Representatives, Jiji reported.

Indian Army trains in Alaska

Indian Army personnel are taking part in a joint military exercise with their American counterparts involving airborne specialist operations in sub-zero temperatures in Alaska.

The fortnight-long exercise, which began on November 1, has 200 Indian infantrymen carrying out joint operations training, Yudh Abhyas (War Drill), at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richarson with airborne forces of the US Army.

US Army Sgt David Noffsinger ensures an Indian soldier follows proper firing technique during small arms training as part of the bilateral training exercise Yudh Abhyas on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Noffsinger is assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

India will no longer import warships say's Defence minster

In a significant announcement, Defence Minister A K Antony has indicated that the Indian Navy will no longer rely on imports when it comes to warships as all future procurements will be made in India. The minister also announced that private shipbuilders in the country will be given a level playing field and will have to compete with public sector shipyards for defence contracts.

Antony said that in January, the Defence Ministry will come up with a new procurement policy that will contain ‘drastic steps’ to speed up the goal of decreasing dependence of imports for defence platforms. Antony said that at the moment, almost 70 per cent of defence equipment is imported.

Conceding that the public sector undertakings alone will not be able to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces, Antony said that the ministry is formulating a new policy to give the private sector more opportunities. Antony hinted that the Navy would be the first force to get rid of dependence on foreign suppliers for major platforms.

India world's largest combat aircraft buyer

India is the largest buyer of combat aircraft in the world , with the US topping the list of sellers, a leading international think tank has said.

According to a report released Wednesday by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a total of 50 countries bought 995 warplanes during 2005-09, Xinhua reported.

India purchased 115 combat planes, the largest buyer in the world during the period, the Swedish institute said in the report.

"India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel are by far the largest recipients of combat aircraft. Together, these three countries accounted for almost one-third of all imports of combat aircraft between 2005 and 2009," the report said.

India Aims High With Satellite Technology

India is becoming a power in satellite development and a significant player in the use of space for military as well as civil needs.

A number of Indian-built military satellites with surveillance, imaging and navigation capabilities are planned for launch in the next few years, to both keep “a watch on the neighborhood and help guide cruise missiles” should the need emerge, says V. K. Saraswat, scientific adviser to the defense minister. “[The satellites] will have tremendous applications.”

Saraswat’s statement confirms that India is becoming a space power. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), however, refuses to comment about military satellites, saying its space program is for civilian purposes only. This position has its origins in the fact that some of its programs were stymied when the U.S. imposed trade sanctions against India in 1992 for missile proliferation. Some sanctions remain, and the U.S and India, despite talk of trust and confidence, have yet to sign the Joint Space Cooperation pact.

India, Saudi Arabia to Hold Military Exercises in March 2011; India to Construct Mountain Warfare School in Saudi Arabi

It is reported that the Indian Army is expected to hold joint military exercises in Saudi Arabia with the Royal Saudi Land Force in March 2011. India will also construct a mountain warfare training school to help Riyadh improve their offensive and defensive capabilities.

In recent years India and Saudi Arabia have deepened their relationship with bilateral high-level visits, intelligence sharing and counter-terror efforts. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud is expected to visit India in March 2011 and interact with the Indian leadership. Prince Turki, nephew of King Abdullah who heads an influential think tank in Riyadh, is regarded as one of the architects behind the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation in the late 1980s.

Growing India-Saudi Arabia ties are said to be a result of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by the United States.

Dutch Weapons Exports Continue to Rise

The Netherlands exported weapons worth 1.41 billion euros last year, up 12 percent from 2008, according to the annual report of the Dutch Campaign against Arms Trade (CTW) published yesterday.

"Contrary to the spirit of the (export) policy, large quantities of weapons are still going to dictators, conflict areas and developing countries," the anti-defence lobby organisation says. "Although Dutch arms export policy demands a critical view of the human rights situation and internal and regional efforts in the destination country, this is no obstacle to sales to clearly problematic destinations such as Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia," CTW says.

The organisation says that among other things, six second-hand F-16 fighter aircraft were sold to Jordan. Further, Pakistan is said to have ordered and received ICT systems for navy vessels and surveillance aircraft for nearly 9 million euros, and Yemen has at its disposal components received for military vehicles worth over 2 million.

According to CTW, Morocco, which bought three warships for 555 million euros, was the top destination.

The W-3A Sokół Performs Its Maiden Flight in Chile

PZL-Swidnik is pleased to announce that the W-3A Sokół medium twin helicopter has recently performed its maiden flight in Chile.

This aircraft will be operated by CONAF to perform fire fighting missions and it will be permanently based at Carriel Sur de Concepción Airport.

The W-3A Sokół first flew at Rodelillo Airport, close to Viña del Mar city, performing various trials concerning vertical lift and hovering capability as well as tests for a variety of on board systems.

Fitted with Bambi Bucket or Expandable Belly Tank the W-3A is the perfect helicopter to perform fire suppression, containment and clearance operations. The Belly Tank has been designed to ensure flying speed continues to be fast, at up to 115 kts with the Belly tank fitted, and to enable very accurate and effective drops.

US Delivers 3 New F-16s to Pakistan

U.S. and Pakistani officials marked the latest chapter in the growth of the Pakistan Air Force with the delivery of three additional new F-16 aircraft to the Government of Pakistan from the United States during an induction ceremony today at Shahbaz Air Base near Jacobabad, Pakistan.

“These aircraft represent a significant increase in Air Force technology and capability for our strategic allies here in Pakistan,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, Deputy Commander of the Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan. “These deliveries are the culmination of many, many years of hard work, a great deal of patience, a great deal of labor and commitment that many people have contributed to make a day like this a reality.”

U.S. and Pakistani officials attending the ceremony included Air Marshal Mohammad Hassan, PAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, deputy commander of the Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan.

Approximately 150 Pakistani and U.S. officials attended the event.

Hassan deemed the planes, “…a dream machine for the entire Pakistani nation.” In describing the impact that the aircraft will have, he remarked, “all these efforts…contribute directly toward maintaining peace in the region and also making our anti-terrorist efforts more meaningful and successful.”

Russia Exhibits at Indo Defence 2010

The 4th Indonesia’s Official Tri-Service Defense Exhibition INDO DEFENCE 2010 EXPO & FORUM, which is being held in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, (Java Island, HALIM PERDANAKUSUMA Air Force Base, 10-13 Nov.), is viewed by the Rosoboronexport State Corporation, the sole enterprise in Russia authorized to export the whole range of defense and dual-use products, technologies and services, as the most important forum to discuss all aspects of military technical cooperation with its regional partners.

The exhibition in Jakarta is conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Indonesia. According to forecasts, this year it will host 700 companies from over 40 countries.

Rosoboronexport’s participation in INDO DEFENCE 2010 is another step towards strengthening the long-term mutually beneficial cooperation with partners in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). The vast experience of successful interaction provides all the necessary opportunities.

Dutch Military Readiness Going Downhill Fast

The Dutch armed forces are facing drastic budget cuts which will not only seriously limit the country’s ability to take part in international missions, but which also threaten the army’s traditional role of providing assistance in case of a national disaster. Can the Dutch army still be relied upon in times of crisis?

The army is facing a serious shortage of spare parts and ammunition. Out of a total of 87 Dutch F-16s, only 25 are still operational. Live firing and training exercises are being scrapped. The navy can no longer afford to buy uniforms for its cadets.

This is the state of the Dutch armed forces in the year 2010. And the defence ministry has to cut another 200 million euros from its budget next year. A first step toward a structural cut of 635 million euros in 2018.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Northrop Pitches G/ATOR Radar to U.S. Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is buying 69 of Northrop Grumman's new multimission AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radars (GATOR) to replace five types of single mission radars, Jeffery C. Palombo, sector vice president for electronic systems with Northrop Grumman's Land and Self Protection Systems Division, told reporters at AUSA. The GATOR, an active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, will replace air defense, air traffic control, counterfire, general acquisition and short-range air defense radars the Corps now uses.

The company has delivered two GATOR antennas under a program that began in 2007 and is to run through 2013. The antennas can be transported in a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter or a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The full system requires additional vehicles for power and communications, but can be carried by a single C-130.

Palombo says GATOR is also a candidate for the Air Force's Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar, a program created to replace the service's aging AN/TPS-75 air defense radar, and could meet nearly all Army requirements for a new air defense radar as well.

First production C-5M arrives at Dover AFB

The first production C-5M Super Galaxy arrived for duty at Dover Air Force Base Nov. 5. Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., commander of Air Mobility Command, flew the Super Galaxy from Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., to its operational home at Dover AFB.

"The creativity and hard work demonstrated here have set conditions for success of next generation of mobility Airmen," General Johns said during a ceremony at Stewart ANGB marking the occasion.

The first production C-5M arrived at Stewart ANGB Oct. 4 and underwent the final stages of its modernization.

Maintainers at the 105th Airlift Wing worked around the clock transforming the C-5M interior and giving the aircraft a new look in just 26 calendar days. Not only did they recondition and refurbish the first production C-5M, they also redefined how active duty, Reserve, Air Guard and industry partners go about solving Air Force-wide, large-scale complex problems. The end result is a more effective warfighting machine at a significant cost savings, officials said.

Turkey Orders Extra Attack Helicopters

AgustaWestland has awarded an order for nine T129 attack helicopters for 150 million euros ($208.6 million) from Turkey , the company announced Nov. 8.

The contract, which includes spare parts, calls for assembly of the helicopters by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and delivery in basic configuration by mid-2012.

Turkey previously ordered 51 T129s for the Turkish Land Forces Command, which will be delivered beginning in 2013. The new order is to fill an urgent operational requirement.
The contract, which includes spare parts, calls for assembly of the helicopters by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and delivery in basic configuration by mid-2012, the company said.

The batch of 51 helicopters will be armed with the Turkish-designed UMTAS missile. Prototypes of the missile are being assembled in Italy and Turkey, and they will start their flight test program in January.

India may purchase 6 more C-17 aircraft

The biggest Indo-US defence deal in the pipeline, the $4.1-billion for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft, could get even bigger. India may well order another six C-17s after the first 10.

The impending final contract for 10 C-17s is in tune with India's aim to have swift power projection capabilities, with the region spanning from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait being seen as the country's ''primary area of geo-strategic interest''.

The gigantic C-17s, after all, are capable of carrying a payload of 164,900 pounds after taking off from a mere 7,000-feet airstrip. These four-engine aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, can transport tanks and combat-ready troops over 2,400 nautical miles. ''After we have evaluated the performance of the 10 C-17s, we will take a decision on whether to order another six,'' IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told TOI on Monday.

Deals with US not to hit Indo-Russia ties

India’s military ties with Russia are not likely to be affected by recent spurt in the purchase of equipment from the US. For, the wide range of military equipment being sourced from Russia, or being co-developed with Moscow, is far too huge for the US to match, sources told The Tribune.

Notably, the US has recently entered the Indian military market via the government-to-government sales route and is at best “setting its foot on the soil”. Russia, however, is so well ensconced that frontline fighters the Sukhoi-30 and T-90 tanks are now being produced in India itself. And co-development projects include a cruise missile, next generation of fighter and transport planes, an official said.

Among the recent acquisition from the US have been the six C-130-J medium haul transport planes the first batch arrives in February next. The Navy will also be soon getting the first batch of the eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the P-8I. India has already selected the General Electric’s GE 414 engine to power the next lot of light combat aircraft — the Tejas.

Arianespace to Launch Azerbaijan's First Satellite

The International Relations and Accounting Center of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan has chosen Arianespace to launch the country’s first communications satellite.

Arianespace announced today that it has signed a launch Service & Solutions contract with IR&AC for Azerbaijan’s satellite to be launched by the end of 2012.

Weighing approximately 3,000 kg. at launch, the satellite will be boosted into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

US Lifts Restrictions On Space and Defence Trade with India

India and the United States have taken far reaching decisions to forge strategic cooperation including US lifting restrictions on hi-tech trade in space and defence areas. US have also decided to support India's membership in the multilateral control regimes such as nuclear Suppliers Group-NSG. They will also step up civil nuclear cooperation.

To counter terrorism, the US Homeland security and the Ministry of Home Affairs will start a dialogue on securing ports, airports and borders in the country. The US has firmly ruled out any third party mediation in resolving the Kashmir.

Highlighting the decisions of the Summit Talks with the US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh told a joint press conference that India is committed to resolve all problems with Pakistan but simultaneously Pakistan should ensure that it moves away from terror induced coercion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Russia to showcase advanced weaponry at arms show in Indonesia

Nine Russian defense companies will exhibit various types of sophisticated weaponry at an upcoming biennial arms exhibition in Indonesia, the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said.

Indo Defense 2010 Expo & Forum will be opened on November 10 in Jakarta to host over 400 exhibitors from 38 countries until November 13.

"Russia will exhibit various types of advanced equipment for the Ground Forces, the Air Force, air defense, the Navy, special forces, electronic warfare, military medicine and combat training," the service said in a statement on Wednesday.

Russia exports weaponry to over 100 countries.

Its main arms customers are India, Indonesia, Algeria, China, Venezuela, Malaysia and Syria. Vietnam also emerged as a key importer after it signed a deal to buy submarines, aircraft and other military hardware from Russia late last year.

Russia's arms exports are expected to hit an all-time high of over $10 billion in 2010.

Russia sends 3rd AWACS plane to India

Russia has completed its part of a contract on the delivery of A-50 Mainstay AWACS aircraft to India, a Russian aircraft industry official said.

India ordered three A-50EI variants, developed on the basis of the Russian Il-76MD military transport plane and fitted with the Israeli-made Phalcon radar system, in 2004. The first two aircraft are already in service with the Indian air force (IAF).

"We have finished retrofitting a [third] transport plane for special tasks, and sent it to Israel in October to be fitted with electronic equipment for future delivery to India," a spokesman for the Taganrog-based Beriyev aircraft center said on Wednesday.

U.S. Envoy Say's No Signs Of N. Korea Nuclear Processing

There are no signs North Korea has resumed nuclear activity at the site where it previously produced weapons-grade plutonium, a former U.S. envoy was quoted as saying Nov. 6 after a trip to the country.

Charles Pritchard, former top negotiator with North Korea, was quoted as saying that the Yongbyon complex - where the isolated state processed plutonium for past nuclear tests - did not appear to be in operation.

"My reaction is that the reactor, the 5-megawatt reactor, remains shut down, the cooling tower is still destroyed," Pritchard told reporters after a five-day trip to North Korea, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.

Friday, November 5, 2010

India's FMBT to replace T-72 tanks beyond 2020

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on India's future main battle tank (FMBT) with a 1,500-horsepower (HP) indigenous engine. This tank will replace beyond 2020 the imported T-72 tanks, renamed Ajeya, with the Army. Various specifications for the FMBT have been finalised.

“For engine development, we have formed a national team comprising members from the academia, the user, industry and the DRDO. We have also gone in for an international consultant,” said S. Sundaresh, Chief Controller (Armaments and Combat Engineering), DRDO. The first prototype of the indigenous engine would be ready in four to five years.

The DRDO is launching a project to develop the transmission for the tank; the indigenous engine and transmission will together be called Bharat Power Pack and it will meet the FMBT's mobility requirements.

India to Launch Rockets with Russian, Singapore Payloads

India is getting ready for two rocket launches next month with Russian and Singaporean payloads for strengthening space-based communication and remote sensing services back home.

First to go up would be Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), carrying GSAT-5 Prime with 24 normal C-band transponders and 12 Extended C-band transponders to augment communication services vis--vis television, broadcasting and telecommunications.

Sources in the Indian Space Research Organisation here indicated that this GSLV-5P, an exclusive C-band communication satellite with a 12 year mission life, is slated to be launched in the second week of December.

Korea Aerospace to Build F-15SE Weapons Bay

Boeing today announced that the company has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) for KAI to design, develop and manufacture the Conformal Weapons Bay (CWB) for the F-15 Silent Eagle.

"KAI is a leading aerospace company with world-class core technical capabilities that complement Boeing's," said Roger Besancenez, Boeing F-15 program vice president. "We are excited about KAI's growing role on the development and production of key technologies for Boeing aircraft."

The CWB is an innovative internal carriage that will minimize the F-15SE's radar signature and significantly increase its tactical options. The F-15SE is equipped with two internal bays -- one on each side -- and is designed for multiple carriage configurations, including advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.

Dutch F-16s Intercept Russian Aircraft

On 19 October, two Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s from Leeuwarden Air Base intercepted two Russian “Bear” Tu-95 bombers. The Russians penetrated Dutch airspace without making their identities known.

Air combat controllers of the Nieuw Milligen Air Operations Control Station subsequently ordered the Dutch F-16s to fly towards the Bears. Prior to their entry into Dutch airspace, Danish and British fighter aircraft had kept an eye on the Russian aircraft.

The F-16s intercepted the Russians at the edge of the airspace that the Netherlands is responsible for within NATO. The fighter aircraft continued to shadow the Bears until the Russian aircraft left the area by heading off towards British airspace north-west of Leeuwarden.

There, they were once again met by the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) of the British Royal Air Force who monitored the rest of their journey.

Quick Reaction Alert

For the defence of the airspace over the Netherlands, F-16s are on standby for the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) task 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. If an unidentified aircraft is reported in Dutch airspace, the F-16s are in the air within a few minutes to intercept the intruder.

Orders for intercepting an aircraft are issued by NATO and sent to the Nieuw Milligen Air Operations Control Station. This military air traffic control and air combat control centre alerts the F-16s on permanent standby and “talks” them to their objective.

Dutch Air Force Begins F-16 Deliveries to Chile

The first F-16s that the Netherlands have sold to Chile took off from Leeuwarden Air Base this morning on their way to their new home in Antofagasta. 

In total, the South American country is buying 18 aircraft from the Netherlands. 

The fighters’ first stop will be in Gran Canaria, after which they cross over into Brazil. They will then fly to their final destination in Antofagasta, where the aircraft will be transferred to the Chilean air force. 

The sale of 18 fighter aircraft is one of the measures in the 'Wereldwijd dienstbaar' polcy adopted in 2007. It states that Defense has chosen to reduce expenditure by selling equipment, including artillery and main battle tanks as well as combat aircraft. 

Fewer fighters 

With this sale, the number of combat aircraft in the Royal Netherlands Air Force is reduced from 105 to 87 aircraft, of which 14 are earmarked for training. 

Chile already purchased an initial batch of 18 Dutch air force F-16s in 2006.