Monday, February 28, 2011

Russian Army To Receive Advanced Weaponry

The Russian Ground Forces will start receiving a number of advanced weapons in 2011, including modernized S-300V4 air defense missile systems, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"Starting in 2011, the Ground Forces will receive modernized S-300V4 and Buk-M2 medium-range air defense systems, Tor-M2 short-range air defense systems, and portable air defense systems," the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian military plans to buy only advanced and highly-effective weaponry in the future to meet the challenges of modern warfare, the ministry says.

Hawkei Prototypes Delivered to Australia

Thales Australia has delivered two prototypes of its ground-breaking Hawkei vehicle to Australia’s Department of Defence.

The vehicles are being submitted for verification and validation under the Department’s LAND 121 Phase 4 program, which will replace part of the Army’s fleet of Land Rovers with light protected mobility vehicles.

Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia’s CEO, said the delivery marked a significant chapter in a rapid development program that had made full use of the company’s protected mobility expertise.

Russia launches Glonass satellite, a boost for India

Russia has successfully launched a next-generation navigation satellite for its Glonass global communication system.

The Glonass-K satellite was hauled into orbit on Saturday morning from the northern Plesetsk space centre by the upgraded Soyuz 2-1b launcher, featuring advanced digital avionics and a more powerful Fregat upper stage. The new satellite has a longer design life, more navigation channels and is smaller than previous Glonass-M spacecraft.

Saturday's launch will increase the deployed Glonass grouping to 23 satellites, one short of the minimum needed to provide 100-per cent global coverage.

Construction Begins on Second Gerald Ford-class Carrier

Advance construction started on the nation's newest aircraft carrier Feb. 25 with a "first cut of steel" ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News, Va.

The steel plate cut will be used in the construction of the carrier, which has yet to be named, but will be designated CVN 79.

The carrier represents the second in a new class of ships designed to replace Enterprise and Nimitz-class carriers and save more than $5 billion in total ownership costs during its planned 50-year service life when compared to Nimitz-class carriers.

Northrop Exhibits at Australian Air Show

Northrop Grumman Corporation will highlight a wide range of its key capabilities and programmes at the Australian International Air Show, including unmanned aircraft systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), airborne early warning and control systems, fire control radars and infrared countermeasures.

The air show takes place at Avalon near Geelong, Victoria from 1-6 March. Northrop Grumman's exhibit in the U.S. pavilion is at 3C 12 in Hall C and the company's business centre is located at N11. In addition, a full-scale, reconfigurable Global Hawk can be seen in the outside display area at EN-E3.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Global Hawk's first non-stop international flight from Edwards Air Force Base in California to RAAF Edinburgh near Adelaide.

UK Rules Out Reduction in Nuclear Sub Fleet

A cut in the number of Trident submarines is not possible if the UK's nuclear deterrent is to be maintained, the defence secretary has said.

Dr Liam Fox told BBC Scotland that the current technology required the retention of all four submarines.

The Royal Navy currently operates 58 nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and about 200 nuclear warheads on four Vanguard-class submarines at Faslane.

Unmanned K-MAX Achieves Numerous “Firsts” in Demo

Kaman Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) recently made aviation history with the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter by successfully completing multiple guided airdrops via sling load at 10,000 ft above sea level.

In four separate flights conducted January 24-25, 2011, at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground near Yuma, Arizona, the K-MAX successfully airdropped 16 payloads; 10 GPS guided Joint Precision Aerial Delivery Systems (JPADS), two of which were triggered remotely from the Unmanned K-MAX ground control station. Payloads included medical equipment, food, simulated leaflets and bulk cargo.

Among the “firsts” achieved by the optionally piloted aircraft:

-- Largest payload, 4,400lbs, airdropped via sling load from a helicopter (four 1,100 lb payloads).
-- The highest altitude for payloads airdropped from a sling load (10,000 ft above sea level).
-- The first airdrop of four guided JPADS systems from a sling load
-- The first airdrop for the High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute system from a helicopter sling load (prototype HALO Leaflet Delivery System)
-- First demonstrated non-line-of-sight (NLOS) ability to dynamically re-task sling-load JPADS ground target points.

Oshkosh Demos Light Vehicle Advances at AUSA Winter

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, will have its Light Combat Tactical Vehicle (LCTV) at AUSA Winter 2011 being held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Oshkosh LCTV successfully completed the 43rd annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road course in November. Oshkosh developed the LCTV with the latest advanced technologies to demonstrate the future of light tactical vehicles – including improved mobility, exportable power capabilities and optimal crew protection.

“Oshkosh conducted extensive independent testing of the LCTV and its technologies, but nothing compared to putting this vehicle through the paces and seeing it finish the 1,061-mile Baja race,” said Ken Juergens, vice president and general manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “The race allowed us to push these technologies in a very grueling, uncontrolled environment. The LCTV was the first military truck and the first diesel-electric vehicle to finish the Baja race. It was a thrilling venture for us, and we came away with new data to further refine our advanced technologies to support those who serve.”

Among the technologies used on the LCTV is the next-generation of the Oshkosh-patented TAK-4 independent suspension system. Building on the proven existing TAK-4 system, it provides 20 inches of independent wheel travel, resulting in increased mobility and improved ride quality across harsh or rocky terrain. The suspension is adjustable to reduce vehicle height for easier transportability. The LCTV also uses the Oshkosh ProPulse diesel-electric powertrain, which can deliver 70 kW of available military-grade power and up to 20 percent improved fuel economy.

Nordic Nations Increasingly Interested in NAMSA

Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO) Capabilities Group held a meeting at NAMSA to discuss cooperation in the support for the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) that Finland has recently acquired.

NAMSA provides support for the NASAMS through the Ground-Based Defence (GBD) Weapon System Partnership (WSP) and the NORDEFCO Group meeting took place immediately after the GBD Partnership meeting. The possibility of entering into a formal relationship with the GBD WSP was also discussed.

NORDEFCO is a cooperation framework for policy, capabilities and operations, which was established by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 2009.

The GBD WSP is a NAMSO Partnership formed by Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, and with Finland as an Associate State, for the support of several artillery locating radar systems, including that used by NASAMS. This support is provided by the NAMSA Air Defence Programme (LE).

Israel Military Industries’ Products at AUSA Winter

Various weapon systems developed by Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) will be represented by several U.S. defense industries at the upcoming Association of the United States Army's Institute of Land Warfare Winter Symposium & Exposition, February 23-25, at Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) will present at their booth three of IMI's systems: two Active Protection kits - the IRON FIST Active Protection System for armored vehicles and SHOCK ABSORBER – man portable Active Protection System, aimed at protecting land forces from Anti-Tank missiles as well as the MPRS-Multi-Purpose Rifle System-designed to improve infantry performance on the modern battlefield.

IRON FIST is an advanced active protection system aimed at enhancing self defense capabilities of armored platforms, from light vehicles to heavy AFVs against modern battlefield threats. The system uses two layers of protection, including both passive and active sensors for threat detection, situational awareness and fire control. The first layer comprises an electro-optical 'soft kill' countermeasure, including both radar and IR sensors and the second layer employs a 'hard kill' interceptor that is launched against incoming threats. The system effectively defeats RPGs and guided missiles, as well as tank rounds, including KE rounds. In addition to the combined hard and soft kill protection, IRON FIST identifies the enemy firing positions, enabling rapid counterstrike and eliminating repeated attacks.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thales Unveils New Long Range Ground Surveillance Radar

Thales, pioneer and world market leader in ground surveillance radars– presents its new long range Thales Ground Observer 80 (GO80) for the first time to international customers. The Ground Observer 80 is the world’s highest performing ground surveillance radar made in Germany. It is the high-end follow-on to highly successful BOR-A series - suitable for army, border/coast guard and security applications - providing reliable service in large numbers to 20 customers around the globe.

The Ground Observer 80 with cutting edge radio frequency and processing technology is specifically designed for border surveillance, target acquisition for indirect fire adjustment and the integration to surveillance/ recce vehicles. The GO 80 ensure high levels of operational efficiency and precision in any operational and climatic environment. Easily deployed, it provides excellent performance levels in a sandy hot desert, cold tundra, or any foggy coastal environment.

“Our engineers have outdone themselves with the GO 80 giving us the best long range ground surveillance radars on the market. Not only does the GO 80 reach further, but it is also more efficient and much lighter than any product of its category on the market today. It only uses half of the prime power and provides higher reliability along with significantly higher mean-time-between-failure (MTBF)”, says Hans Jochen Soelter, in charge of Thales group’s Surface Radar activities in Germany, where the GO 80 has been developed and is produced.

UAE, Russia sign $74-million contract on modernization of amphibious vehicles

The United Arab Emirates and Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport signed a $74-million contract on the modernization of 135 Russian BMP-3 (amphibious infantry fighting vehicle), UAE Armed Forces official spokesman Major-General Obaid Al Hairi Salem Al Ketbi said on Thursday.

Russia sent its delegation to IDEX 2011, an international defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on February 20-24.

Thirty-three Russian defense industry enterprises took part in IDEX 2011, including Rosoboronexport and the state corporation Russian Technologies.

According to the exhibition website, IDEX is the largest defense and security event in the Middle East and North African region.

Russia in talks with France on 'future soldier' gear

Russia is holding talks with France on the purchase of Felin advanced "future soldier" equipment, which includes new combat clothing with body armor and a new ballistic helmet, weapons, and a portable computer.

"We will take several Felin sets, we are currently in talks with our French partners," First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said on Thursday.

Felin, produced by France's Sagem Defense & Security, is currently entering service with the French Army. The system includes a vest containing an integrated radio and GPS system, a hardened laptop computer and advanced optronics.

New Armored Vehicle Technology From Africa To Shake Up Market

European defense manufacturers are facing strong competition in the form of new ground breaking vehicle technology developed in Africa.

Paramount Group, Africa's largest privately owned defense company, is at the forefront of this trend and is showcasing its latest vehicles at International Armored Vehicles 2011.

The African defense giant, which is at IAV at the request of its customers, is showcasing its range of 'new breed' infantry fighting vehicles following the successful launch of its latest vehicle, Mbombe, in Johannesburg in late 2010. Since then Paramount Group has experienced healthy levels of interest in the vehicle from armed forces across the world.

Delivery of Gripen Fighter Aircraft to Thailand

At a ceremony in Thailand on February 22, FMV handed over six Gripen fighter aircraft of the latest C- and D-version to the Royal Thai Air Force.

Just before Christmas, FMV delivered the first parts of the air defense systems that Sweden and Thailand agreed on in 2008. And today FMV completed its commitment by delivering the six Gripen aircraft. They arrived in Thailand after having flown from Sweden via Hungary, Crete, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and India.

“We have now successfully delivered a complete air defense system. Swedish pilots and technicians will now help Thailand to start using the system”, said Arne Héden, head of Gripen Thailand at FMV.

Russia to buy 1,000 helicopters by 2020

Russia's Defense Ministry announced plans on Thursday to buy 100 ships, over 600 aircraft and 1,000 helicopters under a 2011-2020 arms procurement program.

Russia will buy 10 new generation S-500 air defense systems, which will replace the S-400 systems currently entering service with the Russian forces, said First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin, who is in charge of arms procurement.

Russia plans to purchase more than 100 helicopters this year, including Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopters, Mi-28 Night Hunter and Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters.

RAF May Retire Tornados Early to Save Money

The U.K. Ministry of Defence is scrambling to find GBP1 billion ($1.62 billion) in cost savings prior to the end of the current fiscal year on March 31. Adding to the challenge, the cost-cutting options presented represent politically difficult choices that may see Britain transition from Tier 1 military status to Tier 2.

The options include cutting 20,000 troops from the Army from 2015 onward (this would shrink the British Army to its smallest size since the 1820s due to a downsizing at the end of the Napoleonic Wars) and withdrawing more ships from an overextended, under-strength Royal Navy.

But the option being considered most carefully seems to center on the Royal Air Force's fleet of Tornado ground attack aircraft. With the release of the U.K. Strategic Defense and Security Review last fall, the Tornado emerged as a big winner in a MoD review that pitted the aircraft against the Harrier GR7/GR9 fleet in what evolved into a battle royal for which platform remained in service. Due to its continued use in the Afghan theater, the Tornado made the cut and the last Harriers were withdrawn from service earlier this year.

Italian Report Details Arms Sales to Libya

Italy has sold Libya explosives, gun targeting equipment and other military hardware worth tens of millions of euros (dollars) in the past two years, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on Feb. 26.

The newspaper quoted an official report from the Italian interior ministry that listed signed contracts as well as ongoing negotiations between Libya and several major Italian defense companies including industry giant Finmeccanica.

Missile systems maker Mbda Italia signed a deal worth 2.5 million euros in May 2009 to supply Libya with "material for bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles," the interior ministry report was quoted as saying.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Russia Vows to Sell Missiles to Syria

Russia announced Feb. 26 that it intended to fulfill its contract to supply Syria with cruise missiles despite the turmoil shaking the Arab world and Israel's furious condemnation of the deal.

"The contract is in the implementation stage," news agencies quoted Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying.

Russia initially agreed to send a large shipment of anti-ship Yakhont cruise missiles to Syria in 2007 under the terms of a controversial deal that was only disclosed by Serdyukov in September 2010.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Russia to Unveil New Combat Vehicle at IDEX 2011

At the 10th anniversary IDEX 2011, to be held in Abu Dhabi (UAE) from 20 to 24 February, Rosoboronexport is presenting the BMPT, a unique tank support combat vehicle. To this end, the ample capabilities of an interactive exhibition complex, based on modern visualization and 3D modelling technologies, will be used for the first time.

The BMPT is virtually unrivalled in the world: it is truly a new dawn in the world of armored vehicles. Experts note that the new Russian vehicle can operate both independently and jointly with tanks.

When tanks and BMPT are used together, the efficiency is achieved through allocation of targets: fortifications and heavily armored vehicles are destroyed by tanks, while manpower, antitank weapons and lightly armored vehicles are engaged by the BMPT.

Peru to receive Russian Mi-35 helicopters to fight rebels

Peru will receive two Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters next month to fight drug traffickers and Shining Path guerrillas, Air Force chief Carlos Samame said Sunday.

Samame told state news agency Andina that the helicopters "are intended to bolster our fight in the Apurimac River Valley" in southeastern Peru.

Last year, the Peruvian government bought six Mi-17 transport helicopters and two Mi-35s for military operations in the country's major cocoa-producing valleys.

Embraer Unveils the New EMB 145 AEW&C Platform Developed for the Indian Government

Embraer presented the first of three EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platforms today to representatives of the Indian government at a ceremony held at its headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

Based on the proven Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet, the aircraft features an in-flight refueling system, SATCOM capability, a significant increase in electrical and cooling capacities, and a comprehensive set of aerodynamic and structural changes. These improvements will allow the installation of the advanced electronic systems currently being developed by India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) under CABS (Centre for Airborne Systems) coordination.

Following its official presentation, the aircraft will start intensive ground and flight tests. The ferry flight to India is scheduled for the second semester of this year, where it will receive the equipment being developed by the DRDO.

Arrow Interceptor Shoots Down Ballistic Missile Target

The joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System successfully intercepted a ballistic target missile during a flight test conducted today. This test is part of the Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP) and was conducted jointly by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division-Pt. Mugu Sea Range.

At 10:30 p.m. local time (Pacific Standard Time), the target missile was launched from a Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) off the coast of California, within the Pt. Mugu test range. The target was representative of potential ballistic missile threats facing Israel.

The Arrow Weapon System’s Green Pine radar successfully detected and tracked the target and transferred information to the Citron Tree battle management control system. The Arrow Weapon System launched an interceptor missile which performed its planned trajectory and destroyed the target missile. The test represented a realistic scenario and all the elements of the weapon system performed in their operational configuration.

UAE Exhibits Growing Capabilities at IDEX

The 10th International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and inaugural Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX) are proving a prime forum for the UAE’s growing defence industry to highlight new technology. The 169 UAE companies exhibiting are central examples of advanced research, development and manufacturing capabilities from across the emirates.

UAE companies occupy more than 12,000sqm of space at IDEX 2011 with 169 exhibitors including Tawazun Holding, Mubadala Development Company, and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. A number of UAE companies are also exhibiting in the First Time Exhibitors Zone, benefiting from the exclusive location and visibility the zone offers.

“IDEX has historically been a major forum for UAE companies to exhibit their advancements and technological prowess,” says Mohamed Al Mashgouni, IDEX 2011 Show Director. “Each year, the UAE contribution to IDEX grows and the evolving nature of our country’s defence and security industry becomes more apparent. This year, with a more than 50 percent increase in the number of UAE participants compared to ’09, the technologies we see exhibited are becoming a major force in the local and global defence industry.”

MBDA Receives A First Export Order for MPCV

Four years after launching its self-funded development of MPCV (Multi Purpose Combat Vehicle), MBDA has signed a contract with an export customer, for whom MBDA will be integrating this air defence system’s turrets, missile launchers and firing controls onto the high mobility armoured vehicles chosen by the military user.

The new MPCVs will be integrated within the customer’s existing air defence architecture which is based on already in-service systems deploying MBDA’s Mistral missile. MPCV will add a number of inherent qualities such as its fire power, reactivity, its protection of personnel as well as its operational coverage.

Final qualification of the MPCV system was pronounced in 2010 after a series of test firings. These tests culminated with a firing demonstration against a number of targets representing a saturating air attack. Various overseas delegations witnessed this demonstration which took place at the DGA’s (France's Direction Générale de l’Armement) missile test firing centre at Biscarosse in the Landes region of France. The first series production MPCV vehicle should be delivered as of 2013.

France Orders New-Gen Sagem Sperwer Drones

French defense procurement agency DGA has awarded Sagem (Safran group) a contract for the modernization and expansion of the French army’s fleet of Sperwer tactical drones and associated equipment.

The contract covers the following:
Three Sperwer drones, to be equipped with Sagem’s new Euroflir 350+ optronic observation system.
An option on five more Sperwer drones.
Sagem’s Remote Video Terminals (RVT), along with the modernization of the RVTs already delivered under a previous contract signed in 2009.

Developed and produced by Sagem, the RVT comprises a touch screen and portable transmitter-receiver, either a manpack version or installed in a vehicle. The RVT is used by forward observers or front-line troops. It provides a high-resolution, real-time display of geo-referenced images sent by the drone, against a digital map background. The RVT features a modular, open and scalable design, and can operate at different frequencies and with different waveforms.

Fincantieri Launches Abu Dhabi ASW Corvette

On February 15 at Fincantieri's Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard, three separate ceremonies sealed the ongoing cooperation with the Navy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The shipbuilding program for the Navy of the United Arab Emirates provides for an at Abu Dhabi-class corvette (the lead ship), and two Falaj2 class patrol ships, plus other vessels on option.

The most significant event was the launch of the first corvette, the Abu Dhabi, which was built at Riva Trigoso (GE) shipyard and transferred to the Muggiano facility for fitting out. This ship is derived from the design of the “Comandanti”-class ships of the Italian navy and is fitted with on-board systems produced by Italian and European industry.

New South African Vehicle Débuts at IDEX

Innovative armoured vehicle technology from South Africa’s largest independent defence business makes an impact in the Middle East

South Africa’s Paramount Group is using IDEX, the Middle East’s largest defence technology exhibition, to announce a major new joint venture to bolster its presence in the Gulf.

The joint venture, with the UAE’s International Golden Group (IGG), has been signed in response to increasing interest in Paramount’s IED and mine protected armoured vehicles from Gulf State countries.

DCNS Exhibits at IDEX Show

Andrasta, a compact submarine designed to operate in coastal waters, a theatre of growing importance to all maritime nations. Being also a fearsome adversary in deep water, Andrasta combines a state-of-the-art design with stealth, agility and power. A direct descendant of the Scorpene, Andrasta is remarkably effective in any underwater role that a client navy may wish to assign to it.

DCNS expertise in submarine design and construction, through the Scorpene medium-size submarines. Already chosen by the Brazilian, Chilean, Indian and Malaysian Navies, Scorpene submarine 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 regard 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.

 The F21, next-generation heavyweight torpedo for the French Navy. DCNS has signed a contract for the development and production of an hundred of F21. The F21, taking advantage of the most advanced innovative technologies in development for heavy-weight torpedoes, is able to reach a maximum speed superior to 50 kts and has got a range of more than 50 km. Moreover, this torpedo is compliant with the most demanding norms of safety imposed by the nuclear submarines.

Oshkosh Exhibits at IDEX

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is showcasing its broad portfolio of military vehicles at IDEX 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Oshkosh Defense designs, manufactures and supports its vehicles for operations such as cargo hauling, vehicle recovery, surveillance and reconnaissance, troop transportation, and weapon-system support.

“Oshkosh Defense was founded on off-road vehicle technologies more than 90 years ago, and today our team remains focused on continuous, mission-driven advancements to serve our customers,” said Serge Buchakjian, vice president and general manager of International Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “In addition to designing and manufacturing tactical vehicles, we support our vehicles with full life-cycle sustainment services. We have operations around the world, including the Middle East region, to provide parts and supplies, operator and maintenance training, in-country co-production, and vehicle remanufacturing.”

The Oshkosh vehicles on display at IDEX include the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Special Forces Vehicle (SFV), Global Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET), Medium Tactical Truck (MTT) 6x6 and SandCat. These vehicles reflect Oshkosh’s wide range of fleet solutions, from light to heavy, for a variety of military functions. The vehicles also utilize mobility and survivability solutions that have been proven on the modern battlefield.

Rosoboronexport Details IDEX Exhibit

Russia has been a regular participant at the show, starting from its first edition in 1993, and its products invariably attracted attention of visitors from different countries.

"This is one of the most interesting and large-scale arms exhibitions in the world. Particularly, IDEX has fostered military-technical cooperation between our country and the United Arab Emirates and some other countries in the region. Here we have always displayed our best new products. This time again IDEX will mark a new milestone for us – for the first time we will present the Russian military equipment in a format that fully meets the needs of the time - using modern 3D modeling and visualization technologies. This is truly a qualitative leap in our work at exhibitions," said Nikolai Dimidyuk, Rosoboronexport’s special programs director and head of delegation at the exhibition.

The new concept involves the use of an interactive exhibition complex. For spectacular and dynamic show of Russian military equipment’s capabilities, a wide panoramic screen and interactive 3D models are used. The presentation will be accompanied by brief specifications of the equipment. Five to six screenings are planned to be held at IDEX 2011 daily.

Textron Exhibits HMMWV Recap at AUSA Winter

Textron Marine & Land Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, and Granite Tactical Vehicles Inc. announced today that its Survivable Combat Tactical Vehicle (SCTV) system will be shown in outdoor Booth 3328 at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Winter Symposium.

The SCTV system is being offered by the Textron/Granite team as the solution to the U.S. Army’s proposed High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) recapitalization program. SCTV is a complete vehicle system designed for seamless integration with the HMMWV chassis to handle the asymmetric battlefield with advanced technologies and features that provide increased mobility, survivability and performance for all HMMWV variants. The Textron/Granite team has incorporated rugged, durable, tested components, including a blast protected crew compartment, or capsule, with total system integration.

“The SCTV is more than a modernization of the HMMWV, it is revolutionizing the HMMWV,” said Granite Tactical Vehicles President Chris Berman. “The protection upgrades hung on the HMMWV through the years have seriously compromised the performance of the vehicle. It was never intended to handle the weight it is being required to carry or provide protection levels required on today’s battlefield. Our SCTV gives soldiers and Marines the performance and protection they need in the near-term.”

BAE Focuses on Two Programs at AUSA Winter


BAE Systems will showcase a full range of affordable and adaptive solutions at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) ILW (Institute of Land Warfare) Winter Symposium and Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from February 23 – 25.

In addition, BAE Systems will conduct press briefings on two of its significant programs during the AUSA event. BAE Systems briefings currently scheduled during the show are as follows:

--Armored Multi Purpose-Vehicle (AMP-V) Program:
The president’s fiscal 2012 budget includes provisions for a new program - AMP-V – which will serve as a replacement for the M113 fleet. The M113 has a long history of protecting troops in various combat situations, and as the Army replaces this aging fleet, BAE Systems plans to offer the proven Bradley family of vehicles as the new AMP-V. BAE Systems representatives will brief reporters on how the Bradley variants can directly fulfill and enhance the combat mission role of the M113.

--IMX-101 Insensitive Munitions:
This new explosive technology is one of TIME Magazine’s "50 Best Inventions of 2010." IMX-101 is significantly more stable than TNT and Composition B, making it safer to transport and handle. An Army team at Picatinny Arsenal has approved IMX-101 as an effective replacement for TNT in artillery, a decision that will revolutionize the way military ordnance is stored and transported. Representatives from BAE Systems and the U.S. Army will brief reporters on how IMX-101 Insensitive Munitions will save lives on and off the battlefield, and on efforts to develop other munitions.

MBDA Shows New Air Defence Capability At IDEX

At the IDEX 2011 exhibition in Abu Dhabi, MBDA is revealing an addition to its air defence range by presenting for the first time a new combination of systems to coordinate the firing of Mistral and VL MICA missiles.

IMCP (Improved Missile Control Post) is the first element of this set up. It integrates, within a shelter mounted on an all-terrain vehicle, a command and control unit and latest generation 3D radar capable of detecting and identifying aerial targets at ranges of 80 km. IMCP is an evolved version of the Mistral Coordination Post of which more than 40 have already been sold. It comprises an operator console very carefully ergonomically designed to provide a work space within which the unit commander can carry out his mission under optimum conditions.

The second new system presented by MBDA is the PCP (Platoon Command Post). This modular command system is a direct derivative of the VL MICA Tactical Operations Centre (TOC) which has been developed in close cooperation with the French Air Force. PCP allows the commander to control multi-layer surface-to-air defence units, linking Mistral and VL MICA missile launchers. The system carries out the interface role between the various units responsible for coordinating the air space and, if necessary, its self-coordination with the PCP units deployed in neighbouring zones. The detection, identification and tracking functions are carried out via a link to the IMCP which, in this case, is completely remote-controlled by one of the three operators manning the PCP.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Russia sends delegation to intl. defense expo in UAE

Russia is sending its delegation to IDEX 2011, an international defense exhibition that will be held in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on February 20-24.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday the delegation, led by First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin, will be in Abu Dhabi until Monday.

"On February 20, Popovkin will attend the solemn ceremony of the exhibition opening and will get familiarized with new specimens of weapons and military hardware," the Russian ministry said.

Russia to start building new S-500 air defense missiles by 2014

Russia will start serial production of its next-generation S-500 missile system in 2014, an aerospace defense chief said on Thursday.

The S-500 air defense system will be able to track and destroy ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 3,500 kilometers.

"[The S-500] is currently in development. By 2014, it should enter into serial production," aerospace defense strategic commander Lt. Gen. Valery Ivanov said.

"This system will be able to defend territories at heights of up to 50 kilometers," he added.
Russia's aerospace defense troops currently use S-300 and S-400 systems.

New S-400 air defense missiles will be deployed at Dmitrov just outside Moscow in March, Ivanov said.

Russia to deploy modern missile defense systems on disputed Kuril Islands

Moscow will deploy reinforcements to include short- and long-range air defense missile systems including the latest S-400 Triumf system to the southern Kuril Islands to protect Russia's sovereignty in the Far East, a high-ranking official in the General Staff of the armed forces said on Tuesday.

Military support with modern weaponry is a must for the security of the islands, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a meeting last week with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Regional Development Minister Viktor Basagrin.

Four sparsely populated islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) in the Kuril chain between Japan's northern island of Hokkaido and Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula were annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II but are still claimed by Japan.

Russia may deliver first upgraded MiG to India in 2011

Russia could deliver the first modernized MiG-29 fighter jet to India as early as in 2011, the head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on Wednesday.

India signed a $960 million contract with Russia in 2008 to upgrade its five squadrons of 69 MiG-29 fighters, which have been in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF) since mid-1980s.

"The first upgraded plane, I think, will be delivered in 2011," Mikhail Pogosyan said on the sidelines of the Aero India 2011 air show, which opened on Wednesday in Bangalore.

"The whole upgrade program will be carried out on schedule agreed with the Indian side, and it will take several years to implement it," Pogosyan said.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Germany Drops Out of MEADS, Looks to Future SAM Program

Germany is following the U.S. out of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program. Berlin said it will not pursue a multibillion-dollar project without the U.S. as a partner.

MEADS is a mobile air defense system capable of engaging aircraft and missile threats. The latter threats include shorter-range ballistic and low-flying cruise missiles. Rising costs doomed the program.

Although the partners will complete the development phase, procurement will not take place.

Over 1,000 Exhibitors at 10th IDEX Show

Abu Dhabi is set to host a record-breaking IDEX edition when the show’s 10th anniversary takes place 20 – 24 February 2011 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

Addressing the official pre-event press conference in the UAE capital today, His Excellency Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Head of Committees & Spokesman for IDEX 2011 said: “For the first time since IDEX’s inception in 1993, exhibitor numbers have gone past the 1000-mark recording 18.2 percent growth over IDEX in 2009, to reach 1060 exhibitors”.

IDEX (International Defence Exhibition & Conference) is organised by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) in association with the UAE Armed Forces. Tawazun Holding is the headline sponsor for the event.

Taiwan leader says US jets critical

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday renewed his call for the United States to sell fighter jets to the island, arguing its survival was at stake despite his outreach to China.

Taiwan "is a sovereign state; we must have our national defense," Ma, who often plays down suggestions of the island's separate identity, said in an interview with The Washington Post.
"While we negotiate with the mainland, we hope to carry out such talks with sufficient self-defense capabilities and not negotiate out of fear," Ma said.

Relations between the China and Taiwan have improved markedly since Ma took office in 2008. But Taiwan fears that the military balance is shifting toward a rapidly growing China, which recently rolled out a stealth fighter jet.

U.S. read to transfer significant technology if Brazil buys F/A-18

Brazil would receive a "significant technology transfer" if it buys U.S.-made fighter jets, a U.S. Defense Department official said Feb. 17, seeking to ease concerns before Brazil selects a winning bidder.

The transfer of military technology is a key factor for Brazil as it considers Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale by France's Dassault, and the Gripen NG made by Saab of Sweden for a contract worth between $4 billion and $7 billion.

"I would argue that the technology transfer that we are offering of this magnitude would put Brazil at par with our close partners," Frank Mora, deputy assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, told a legislative committee.

Australia's first LHD ship Launched

The hull of the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s two new amphibious ships has been launched in Spain, heralding a new era for Australia’s amphibious capability.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane, led the launch and said the event was enormously significant.

“These ships are officially known as Landing Helicopter Docks or LHDs and are the largest the Australian Navy has ever owned,” Vice Admiral Crane said.

Egypt OKs Iranian Ships' Passage Through Suez

Egypt on Feb. 18 gave permission for Iranian Navy ships to transit the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, state media reported, after Israel described the move as a "provocation."

"Egypt agreed to allow two Iranian warships to transit the Suez Canal," the official MENA news agency reported.

Canal officials say it would be the first time Iranian warships have made the passage since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MBDA Exhibits Air Defense Solutions at IDEX Show

At IDEX-NAVDEX MBDA is presenting its comprehensive range of ground and naval based air defences extending from short range to the longer range and antiballistic missiles as the Aster 30 Block 1 missile which, on 18th October last year, registered the first successful ballistic intercept to have ever been achieved by a European missile.

As a recognition of the ever growing importance of the Gulf countries in the Defence market, MBDA has chosen for the first time IDEX exhibition to launch a brand new addition to its range of Air Defence systems. IMCP (Improved Missile Control Post) is being revealed for the first time as a new, integrated C2 solution for Mistral or VL MICA firing units, featuring a new state of the art radar assembly. In addition, PCP (Platoon Command Post) will be seen for the first time. This easily operated new system, working in conjunction with IMCP, optimises the dual layer command, control, coordination and information of short and medium range air defence units.

As part of its maritime superiority display, MBDA, with its CWSP or Combat Warfare System Package for either patrol boats or logistics vessels, will be presenting another first for an export exhibition. For patrol boats, CWSP features the integrated combination of an air and surveillance radar, Mistral missile equipped Simbad-RC air defence turrets with Marte Mk2/N anti-ship missile launchers as well as the vessel’s guns all remotely controlled and system managed from a console within the control room. For logistics vessels, CWSP focuses on the self-defence elements.

IDEX and NAVDEX 2011 set to open on Sunday

The International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX) 2011 will be held in parallel at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from February 20-24, under the patronage of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

IDEX is the largest tri-service defence exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa region. The 2011 event marks the 10th edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ, IDEX 2011 is expected to welcome over 900 exhibitors, and international visitors in excess of 50,000 people.

The UAE is set to mount a strong presence with prominent national companies such as Tawazun, Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi Ship Building, Abu Dhabi Mar, Advanced Integrated systems, Bin Jabr Group, International Golden Group, Emirates Advanced Investment, OPB and TRA planning to showcase the latest innovative defence technology and equipment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chicago Auto Show spotlights Army technology

This week the Army is exhibiting prototype vehicles and other technologies at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Army exhibit covers 12,000 square feet and is showcasing green and stealth technology, unmatched in the civilian sector, at the show which runs through Feb. 20.

The Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle, or CERV, is one of the future concept vehicles on display by the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. This hybrid vehicle combines an all-wheel-drive diesel power train with a light-weight chassis aimed at reducing fuel consumption by up to 25 percent compared to conventional vehicles.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may force US aircraft upon the IAF

Intense dogfights were witnessed last week at Aero India 2011 in Bangalore between eight countries representing six fighter aircraft for clinching India’s biggest defence contract: The 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft worth $10 billion. The aircraft are Boeings F/A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martins’ F-16 IN Super Viper, MiG Corporation’s MiG-35, Saab’s Gripen NG, Dassault’s Raphael and a four-nation European consortium’s Eurofighter, Typhoon.

For the United States, which in the last five years has sold more defence equipment to India than it has in the last 50, bagging the deal has become both a prestige issue as well as a return for its critical investment in the India-US strategic partnership epitomised by the 123 civil nuclear agreement.

Lobbying for the contract is picking up as the sealed envelope containing the short list will be opened in the Ministry of Defence in April or May this year and the contract signed either in September 2011 or March 2012. The commercial bids by the six contestants are also sealed and kept with the Ministry of Defence.

India to develop indigenous Aerostat 'Nakshatra'

If you thought the white surveillance flight balloon at Aero India 2011 was huge, there's something bigger on the cards. The initial success of 'Akashdeep' has shown the way for a bigger and better indigenous 'Nakshatra'. This new aerostat system will be built to track a 450km radius -- that's approximately four times the present 110km radius surveillance track of Akashdeep!

The surveillance system to be developed by Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment ( ADRDE), Agra, can be tested up to 4.5km altitude, with a payload capacity of 800kg to 1 tonne and 17,000 cubic metre volume. "The project is now on the drawing board stage. Once finalized, it will take us five years to complete the Nakshatra for service," Wing Commander A Marwah, mission coordinator for Aerostat, said.

Elaborating plans for the medium-range Akashdeep, he said the technology is ready and has been successfully tested at Agra for a height of 1km with a 300kg payload capacity. "We have now achieved the technology. It's perfect for use along borders, coastal areas and in areas of low-intensity conflicts. US and Russia have also shown interest in exchanging technical know-how," Marwah added. There are also plans to modify the existing model before replicating it in other areas.

India, Japan, U.S. Navies to Hold Military Exercises

The Indian Navy, Japanese Navy and the U.S. Navy will hold joint military exercises off the Okinawa Coast, Japan. The Malabar Exercises which originally included the Indian and the U.S. Navies will be conducted between April 2nd and 10th. The exercises will include Japanese ships for the second time after the execises in the Bay of Bengal in 2007 which featured a Japanese Naval presence as well.

The Hindu quotes sources who said that the Indian Navy following the acquisition of marine heavy-lift capabilities is keen to engage with the U.S. Marines and the Pentagon has agreed to have one such exercise off Okinawa.

Japanese interest in developing a robust defence cooperative arrangement with India comes even as a National Defence Programme Guidelines, released recently, mentions three countries as rising powers - China, Russia and India. Japan has a tense relationship with China and is still negotiating a peace treaty with Russia. India is the only country with which it does not have security issues.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Navy planning to induct four Landing Platform Docks

In order to add more teeth to its amphibious warfare capabilities, the navy is planning to induct four Landing Platform Docks (LPD) to join the fleet alongside INS Jalashwa.

"We are looking to add four more LPDs in our fleet to operate alongside INS Jalashwa, the only LPD currently in service," navy officials told PTI.

The procurement procedure has already begun with the release of the Request for Information (RFI) by the defence ministry, they said.

Tejas to be fitted with Israeli Derby missile

Israel’s Derby missile is the weapon of choice for India’s Tejas fighter. A contract will be signed by March with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd to supply the air-to-air missile system to be fitted on some 200 jets, said P.S. Subramanya, director of India’s Aeronautical Development Agency, which is developing the light combat aircraft.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered 40 Tejas planes. The aircraft recently obtained restricted initial operational clearance, with a full clearance targeted for December 2012. While the IAF has expressed an interest for 100 of the Mk-II version of the fighter, the navy is looking for 60 of the naval versions, Subramanya said.

A key criterion for the full clearance is the integration of a so-called beyond-visual-range missile. Delivery of the missiles is, thus, expected in the second half of 2012.

BAE ultra light Howitzer M777 failed during test in India, trial report leaked.

More than 20 years after Bofors, which gave India an edge during Kargil war, the Indian Army continues to struggle to modernise its artillery.

After four failed attempts in the last five years, it looks as if Bofors could be a jinx once again.

BAE Systems, the company that now owns Bofors, makes the ultra light Howitzer M777, which is likely to be procured through a Foreign Military Sales route.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Barak 8 to be test fired this year.

Test firing of the Barak 8 missile is expected this year. “Testing will be conducted in India and is part of the responsibilities of our strategic partner in this program, India’s Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO)” IAI officials told Defense-Update. The missile is on schedule to complete development and be integrated on board the first combat vessels by 2012.

After being inducted into service, the system will continue development and phased improvement, toward its full operational capability phase. Barak 8 is designed to be fielded on both Israel and Indian Navy vessels.

In 2006 Israel and India embarked on a strategic cooperation in developing a new naval air defense system that will address the specific, common requirements of both Israel and Indian navies. The system, known as Barak-8 introduces a revolutionary concept of ‘network-centric air defense’, incorporating the best technologies India and Israel could offer.

Rolls-Royce out of Jaguar re-engining?, the website of the Defense News Media Group, reports that Rolls-Royce has pulled out of the contest to re-engine the Indian Air Force's Jaguar strike aircraft.

Quoting industry sources at the Aero India show, the publication said the British engine maker had decided not to respond after seeing the terms of a recently released request for proposals from the IAF.

Considering the size of the Rolls-Royce exhibition stall at Aero India, and especially compared to that of its competitor in the contract Honeywell, the information sounds credible. DefenseNews also noted that Honeywell's stand was dominated by the F-125 engine and a model of the Indian Jaguar, while the Rolls-Royce exhibit "failed to find room for a single mention of the aircraft program".

Arjun tank to get more Indian muscle

he Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will roll out a more potent and indigenised variant of the Arjun tank in three years. DRDO chief VK Saraswat said the German engine on the current version of the tank would be replaced by an Indian power plant and the new variant (Arjun Mk-II) would have 90% indigenous component. The existing tank may be hailed as an indigenous project but imported items such as power pack, gunner's main sight and track account for 58% of the cost per tank.

Saraswat, also the scientific adviser to the defence minister, told HT at Aero India-2011, "The new variant will have high indigenous quotient, except for some hydraulic and electronic systems. The tank should be ready in early 2014. It will feature several modifications including superior missile firing capabilities. "

The army raised its maiden armoured regiment equipped with Arjun tanks in May 2009, more than 35 years after the project was conceived. The army has so far placed an order for 248 tanks, each costing R16.8 crore. The Arjun was earlier plagued with problems concerning its fire control system, suspension and poor mobility due to its weight.

Technical snag hits LCH display at Aero India 2011

The indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH) was forced to cut short its flying display, owing to a technical snag on Thursday.

The pilot reported a technical snag in the chopper’s rotors and was asked to land immediately, official sources said.

However, the aircraft is expected to fly on Friday. The LCH pilot, who is said to have complained of some unusual noise in the aircraft, was asked to land keeping in mind the safety of the people. The noise could have been from the Su-30 fighter jet taking off from a nearby runway, sources said. The data recorders of the helicopters have already been sent for a replay to HAL

Friday, February 11, 2011

Azerbaijan, Armenia May Go To War Over Territory

Azerbaijan is seriously preparing for war with Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, the country's defense minister told international peace mediators Feb. 11.

"Azerbaijan is seriously preparing to liberate its territories," Defense Minister Safar Abiyev said in comments published by the ministry's news service.

This is not the first occasion that a top Azerbaijani official has used tough rhetoric over a possible conflict.

India to have satellite navigation system by 2015

India will launch seven satellites in the next four to six years to develop its own version of the Global Positioning System (GPS) for enhancing surveillance capabilities and improving accuracy of its weapon systems.

The Indian Navigation System (INS) satellites would provide coverage over India's areas of interest for military purposes along with its civilian uses, IAF sources told PTI here.

Till now, India is dependent on the American GPS and has signed a deal with Russia for using their GLONAS system but having an indigenous system would guarantee the availability of system during crisis or conflicts.

Increased Capability for New Malaysian Frigates

The second batch of MEKO-A100 class ships being built for the Malaysian Navy will have greatly increased combat capabilities compared with the first group of six ships. They will be equipped with improved command and control systems, advanced electronic warfare capabilities, a three-dimensional radar, surface and air warfare missiles, and a torpedo defense system. As a result of this added capability, the ships will be classed as Littoral Combat Ships rather than offshore patrol vessels.

News of the added capabilities was released in response to accusations by Malaysian Member of Parliament Tony Pua that the six new ships would cost 870 percent more than equivalents purchased by other countries. He arrived at that figure by comparing the MYR6 billion ($1,975 million) cost of the six new ships with the MYR211 million ($69.5 million) per ship paid by New Zealand for its OPVs. However, his figures do not add up. The Malaysian Navy will be paying roughly $330 million per ship for its new acquisitions. While this is a bit less than five times the cost paid by New Zealand, the ships are dramatically different in power and capability.

The six new Malaysian Littoral Combat Ships will be built by Boustead Naval Shipyard and funded under the 10th and 11th five-year Malaysian plans.

Textron Wins $257M FMS Order for Sensor-Fuzed Weapons for India

Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced today that it has received a contract from the U.S. Air Force to produce 512 CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) units for the Government of India under a Foreign Military Sale agreement. The total value of the contract is $257 million with $126 million funded immediately.

"We believe that SFW is truly the best area attack weapon in the world. Through a process of rigorous research, testing and analysis, we have created a weapon that is reliable, safe and meets current clean battlefield standards," said Ellen Lord, senior vice president and general manager of Textron Defense Systems.

The Textron Defense Systems' combat-proven SFW is unique among munitions systems because of its redundant technologies for clean battlefield operation. SFW has been engineered to eliminate the risk of unacceptable harm to civilians or non-combatants. As a result, it is the only air-delivered weapon that meets the strict unexploded ordnance (UXO) criteria for cluster munitions — requiring less than one percent UXO in intended operational environments — set forth by the U.S. Secretary of Defense in June 2008.

Swiss Sell Surplus Leo 2 Tanks to Canada

Switzerland sells 12 surplus Leopard 2 Battle Tanks (Pz 87 Leo) to Canada. 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.

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, 12 vehicles were now sold to Canada, which is already operating Leopard 2 Battle Tanks.

Raytheon Conducts Free-Flight Demonstration of JSOW-C from F-16IN

Raytheon Company completed a series of free-flight demonstrations of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) AGM-154-C from an F-16IN fighter aircraft. The tests were part of the Indian Air Force's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition.

JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS- inertial navigation system and terminal infrared seeker that guide the weapon to the target. The system has a maximum range of 130 kilometers (80.5 statute miles) from high altitude and can penetrate more than 1.5 meters (approximately 5 feet) of reinforced concrete.

"We conducted the demonstration to show that JSOW-C, which is currently integrated on various F-16 international aircraft, could be easily, affordably and rapidly integrated on the F-16IN," said Phyllis McEnroe, Raytheon's JSOW program director. "JSOW is already integrated on the F/A-18 Super Hornet and has been employed from that platform numerous times, so this test proves that JSOW can now be employed from both U.S. MMRCA offerings."

The MMRCA program is a competition to procure 126 new aircraft for Indian air warriors.

IAF Hoping to Sign Mirage Upgrade Deal by March

The Indian Air Force today said it was hoping to sign the long-stuck USD 2.1 billion deal to upgrade around 50 Mirage 2000s with France by March this year. The deal has been awaiting clearance from the government after differences emerged between the two sides over price and legal issues.

"It was subject to negotiations and many elements were discussed in detail. The negotiations have been concluded and report has been submitted to the Defence Ministry. We are trying to conclude this deal by end of this fiscal," Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told a press conference here.

The deal was earlier expected to be signed during French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit last year but was postponed as the issues had remained unresolved then.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

India's Tejas dazzle participants at Aero India

India's own first supersonic multi-role combat aircraft Tejas and light combat helicopter (LCH) dazzled participants at the Aero India 2011 on Wednesday with their breathtaking aerobatic manouveres at Air Force Station Yelhanka.

It was for the first time that India's indigenously developed fighter, including a trainer variant and a naval variant, were on display in a combat-related role on the outskirts of Bangalore.

The Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) has been on view at two previous editions of the biennial international trade exhibition, but either on the ground or as part of a fly-past.

Roadmap revealed for Medium Combat Aircraft at Aero India 2011

The head of India's Aeronautical Development Agency yesterday revealed key details of the roadmap for development of the proposed indigenous medium combat aircraft (MCA) in an interview with Flight Daily News.

ADA will complete a feasibility study on the MCA by the end of 2011. The study will be submitted to the Indian government and air force, and discuss key aspects of the programme, says PS Subramanyam, programme director at the ADA.

The study will consider several areas: the number of MCA prototypes, prototype timelines, funding, and production schedules for the final aircraft.

Indian Army to get first batch of Advance Light Helicopters at Aero India 2011

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will hand over a Cheetah helicopter to the Namibian Air Force and five Shakti engine-powered Advance Light Helicopters (ALHs) — Dhruv (Mk III) — to the Indian Army during the upcoming Aero India 2011.

The five ALHs are the first batch of helicopters to be handed over to the Army as part of the 159 ALH programme. Chairman of the Bangalore-headquartered defence manufacturing major, Ashok Nayak, will hand over the helicopters on February 9.

HAL will also showcase its wide range of capabilities, which include the mock up of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a Fixed Base Full Mission Simulator (FBMS) of Intermediate Jet Trainer and a model of the Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA).

Russian-Indian joint development of 5G fighter jet to cost $6 billion - HAL

The Russian-Indian joint development of a fifth generation fighter jet will cost some $6 billion, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Financial director D. Shivamurti said

Russia and India signed in December last year a contract to jointly develop a design for a new 5G multirole fighter. Russia's Sukhoi holding and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet based on the T-50 design.

"A detailed design phase, including the cost of the project, is likely to cost more than $6 billion," Shivamurti said. "The work between us and them [India and Russia] will be distributed in a 35/65 proportion."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eurofighter reveals offer to produce navalised Typhoon for Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

The Eurofighter consortium is offering India the opportunity to acquire a new version of its Typhoon for use from a future indigenous aircraft carrier, with the first firm details of the proposal having emerged at the show.

One of six contenders battling for the Indian air force's 126-aircraft medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, Eurofighter is here touting the potential of a navalised development which has already been studied in detail in the UK.

"If Typhoon wins MMRCA then India will have the indigenous skills to develop a navalised version," says Paul Hopkins, BAE Systems' vice-president business development (air) India. "This is a perfect opportunity for the nation to add aircraft with both land and sea capabilities."

"Aero India 2011", reveals advanced options for Boeing F-18 E/F Super Hornet

Boeing unveiled the advanced options, currently in "Concept definition phase" that customers can order for the F-18 E/F Super Hornet, that is one of the six airplanes in the bid for the supply 126 fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force (see AVIONEWS).

New options for the Super Hornet, available from 2015, include, as the website reports, new tanks, capable of carrying up to 3,000 pounds more fuel, a pod for the transport of weapons, for a total of 2000 lbs of munitions, IRST, Infrared search and track system and, with regard to the two General Electric F414 engines of which the aircraft is provided, a 15-20% higher performance.

Another option available is the single cockpit display of 11x19 inches, with improved graphics and a touch-screen interface.

HAL show's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) at Aero India

Aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) showed the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) at the Aero India International Air Show

The Chairman of HAL, Mr. Ashok Nayak informed SP Guide Publications, which is the official media partner of Aero India, that HAL highlighted its various strengths at the show, while focusing on the LCH, which has gone through various certification tests. Presently, the LCH is undergoing a weaponisation programme. The attack helicopter is due for induction into the armed forces in 2012-13.

Mr. Ashok Nayak said that the LCH programme would be a much smoother one for HAL from its learning from the earlier Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) programme. The LCH is a derivative of the ALH Dhruv.

The LCH had its second and third flights in April and May 2010 with the programme having commenced in 2006. The armed forces have ordered 165 units.

India hopes to seal fighter jet deal by March 2012

India's contract process to buy 126 fighter jets valued at about $11 billion is "going smoothly" and is expected to be completed in the fiscal year ending March 2012, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Wednesday.

Saab's JAS-39 Gripen is competing with Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault's Rafale, Lockheed Martin Corp's F-16 and Russia's MiG-35 to win a contract from India for the fighter jets.

Cassidian, the recently renamed defence arm of EADS and a partner in the Eurofighter Typhoon, is also vying for the Indian fighter award. Eurofighter is a four-nation consortium of EADS, representing Germany and Spain, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica .

Aero India Kick's off today

Air shows in this country have traditionally been more Russian than Indian, the skies crowded with the Indian Air Force’s fleet of Sukhoi and MiG fighters, Mil helicopters, and Antonov and Ilyushin transport aircraft. But that is changing. Aero India 2011, which will be inaugurated in Bangalore on Wednesday, will showcase a major Indian and American aeronautical presence.

As the first generation of Indian-designed and built fighters, trainers and helicopters nears the end of tortuous development processes, the country’s premier air show will include air displays from the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA); the hitherto unnamed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH); the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) flown by the IAF’s renowned Sarang heli-batics team; and — a surprise inclusion — an aerobatics display by the Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT).

America’s growing share of India’s aircraft market will be evident from the presence of the IAF’s recently delivered C-130J Super Hercules, the first of a billion-dollar order of six of these transport aircraft. Also participating will be the KC-135 Stratotanker refueller, and the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter. New Delhi is processing a $4-billion purchase of 10 Globemasters with the US government. Rounding off the US presence will be the F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-16IN Super Viper, both of which are competing for India’s $10-billion tender for medium fighters.

One of the interest points of the show could be the IJT Sitara, designed and developed by Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, to plug a major IAF shortfall of trainer jets. Four years ago, at Aero India 2007, the Sitara had careened off the runway as its canopy burst opened during its take off run, fortunately without injuring anyone. Today, the Sitara is a front-runner — given its all-Indian flavour — for selection for the IAF’s reputed Surya Kiran aerobatics team, to replace the vintage Kiran trainers that they currently fly.

Russia proposes equipping Indian SU-30MKI with AESA Radar

Russia has offered to equip the Indian Su-30MKI aircraft with the electronically scanned array radar to bring them on par with the most modern fighter aircraft in the world. Currently the technical configuration of the upgraded aircraft with onboard AESA radar is being discussed by Russian and Indian experts.

 The upgraded aircraft could be equipped with perspective Russian or foreign-made weapon, including Indo-Russian “BrahMos” anti-ship missiles, an Irkut statement said at Aero India 2011 A multirole Su-30MKI aircraft which became a sort of symbol of the IRKUT Corporation deserves an honourable place in the exposition of the company (stand 24, hall A). Fighter developed by JSC “Sukhoi Design Bureau” on demand of the Indian Air Force are mass-manufactured at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. The IRKUT Corporation delivers to India ready-made Su-30MKI fighters as well as Su-30MKI technical kits for license production by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Corporation.

Program production of Su-30MKI for the Indian Air Force and its modifications for other countries is being developed successfully. For a number of parameters it has no equal in the entire history of Russian military-technical cooperation with foreign states. The total value of contracts approaches $9 billion. Under agreements more than 150 fighter aircraft were delivered to the Air Forces of India, Malaysia and Algeria.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Russia to unveil new air defense system at Indian air show

A Russian firm will disclose information about a new mobile short-range air defense system based on the Strelets launcher at the upcoming Aero India 2011 air show.

"The [Kolomna-based] Engineering Design Bureau will present for the first time details of a new ultra short-range air defense system based on the Strelets launcher for the portable Igla missiles," Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said in a statement on Friday.

The Strelets multiple launcher unit was developed for use with the 9M39 Igla (NATO SA-18 "Grouse") and Igla-1 (NATO SA-16 "Gimlet") missiles. It provides an automatic remote launch capability in either single-round or salvo modes when mounted on various launch platforms.

Aero India-2011, which will be held in the southern city of Bangalore on February 9-13, will attract the record number of over 600 manufacturers, vendors and suppliers from 63 countries.
Russia will be represented by 35 companies, including MiG, Sukhoi, Almaz-Antei and Engineering Design Bureau.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bulgaria looking For Fighter Jets

Bulgaria's defense ministry said Feb. 2 it had requested information from France, Germany, Sweden and the U.S. on the potential supply of new or used fighter jets for its air force.

The letters, sent in January, requested from the four countries "information on their capabilities for logistical support, equipment, training, financial schemes, exploitation period, etc," the ministry said in a statement.

"The request concerns the purchase of eight new or used multifunctional fighters," it added.

Iran Mass Producing New Anti-Ship Missiles

Iran is mass producing a new ballistic missile that can travel at more than three times the speed of sound and hit targets on the high seas, top commanders said on Feb. 7.

Cmdr. Mohammad Ali Jafari, who heads the elite military force, the Revolutionary Guards, said the missile - named "Persian Gulf" - had a range of 300 kilometers.

"Iran is mass producing a smart ballistic missile for sea targets with a speed three times more than the speed of sound," state news agency IRNA quoted Jafari as saying about the new missile.

U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft Completes First Flight

the Northrop Grumman Corporation built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft successfully completed its historic first flight at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), Calif.

Conducted by a U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman test team, the flight took off at 2:09 p.m. PST and lasted 29 minutes. This event marks a critical step in the program, moving the team forward to meet the demonstration objectives of a tailless fighter-sized unmanned aircraft to safely take off from and land on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.

"First flight represents the compilation of numerous tests to validate the airworthiness of the aircraft, and the robustness and reliability of the software that allows it to operate as an autonomous system and eventually have the ability to take-off and land aboard an aircraft carrier," said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the Navy's UCAS-D program manager.

DSNS Launches Second Moroccan Frigate

At Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen, on February 2, the second Multi-Mission Frigate under construction for the Royal Moroccan Navy, was rolled out of the assembly hall.

The 98 metre-long ship has been constructed entirely on land at the DSNS yard at Vlissingen-East and is now ready, on schedule, to be completed at the Vlissingen-City shipyard.

Heavy Lifting and Transport company Mammoet Europe B.V., moved the 1700 ton vessel from the assembly hall to the pontoon after which the ship was launched.

US Navy Delivers 2 Patrol Boats to Iraq

The U.S. Navy delivered two 35-meter patrol boats to the Iraqi navy's Umm Qasr naval facility Jan. 26.

The vessels are the second and third such craft to be delivered to the Iraqi Navy as part of planned 15-ship foreign military sales case managed by the Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program Office in the U.S. Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. Procurement of these ships represents a continued cooperation commitment between the United States and Iraqi governments.

"We are excited to deliver the second and third patrol boats of this class to the Iraqi navy," said Program Manager Frank McCarthey. "This addition to their fleet will help reinforce Iraq's maritime strength in the littorals."

Israel Military Industries at Aero India

Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) will participate in the 8th International Exhibition on Aerospace, Defense and Civil Aviation, February 9-13, 2011 at the Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India.

During the exhibition, IMI will display the DELILAH Ground Launched (GL), loitering guided missile, the MPR500, Multi-Purpose Rigid Bomb, the IFB500, Improved Fragmentation Bomb and IMI’s new SPECTRAL IR FLARES.

In addition, IMI will also present the RED SKY 2, Very Short Range Air Defense System, offered as an upgrade to existing Man Portable Air Defense Systems, as well as, the Multi-Purpose Rifle System (MPRS) designed to provide infantry troops increased lethality and enhanced target incapacitation capabilities.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

IAF MiG-29 Upgraded; Flight Test Conducted

Russia's MiG corporation on Friday carried out the first test fight of a MiG-29 fighter modernized under a contract with the Indian Air Force (IAF). "On February 4, 2010, a MiG-29UPG fighter carried out its first test flight. The flight lasted for an hour and was flawless," MiG said in a statement.

The IAF has awarded the MiG corporation a $900 million contract to upgrade all of its 69 operational MiG-29s. These upgrades include a new avionics kit, with the N-109 radar being replaced by a Phazatron Zhuk-M radar. The aircraft is also being equipped to enhance beyond-visual-range combat ability and for air-to-air refueling to increase flying time.

In 2007, Russia also gave India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) a license to manufacture 120 RD-33 series 3 turbojet engines for the upgrade. The first six aircraft are being upgraded in Russia while the remaining 63 will be refitted at the HAL facility in India.

Rosoboronexport to Promote Advanced Defense Systems at Aero India 2011

The 8th International Exhibition on Aerospace, Defence and Civil Aviation Aero India 2011, which is one of the biggest among such events in Asia, is hosted at the Air Force Station Yelahanka in the suburbs of Bangaluru from 9th to 13th February 2011. The Federal State Unitary Enterprise Rosoboronexport, a regular participant in the air show, is promoting more than 80 items of weapons and military equipment.

Aerospace systems have always been a centrepiece in the defence cooperation between Russia and India. It was in 1964 when the first batch of the MiG-21 aircraft was delivered to India and our countries started then their modern-era military cooperation. The mutually advantageous collaboration has been maintained for decades, and is now raised to a strategic partnership level. Last visit to India of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev testifies to the high status of our relations. A number of important agreements were signed, including a feasibility study contract for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) development programme. That was a start of the joint programme implementation. Similar developments are also carried out by USA and China. Thanks to the cooperation with Russia, India can be justly classed now in their number.

Just as prospective is a development programme for the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA) which is planned to enter service with Air Forces of both countries in future. The aircraft is intended for active operation by both military services and commercial air lifting companies.