Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Russian submarine to join NATO exercise

A Russian submarine will take part in the world's biggest submarine rescue exercise with its former Cold War foe NATO next week, the Western military alliance said Friday.

The Russian submarine, the first to participate in any NATO exercise, will drop to the bottom of the Mediterranean along with Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish submarines and will await listless for a rescue mission off the coast of Cartagena, Spain.

Around 2,000 military and non-military personnel as well as ships and aircraft from more than 20 nations will take part in the exercise, dubbed Bold Monarch 11, that will run from May 30 to June 10.

C-130 Aircraft Deploys Miniature Air Launched Decoys

Raytheon Company launched two Miniature Air Launched Decoy instrumented shapes from the ramp of a C-130 Hercules equipped with the new Raytheon-funded MALD Cargo Air Launched System (MCALS). This test marked the first deployment of a MALD airframe from a cargo aircraft.

MALD is a state-of-the-art, low-cost flight vehicle that is modular, air-launched and programmable. It weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (about 575 statute miles). The current MALD family includes both the baseline MALD and a stand-in jammer variant called the MALD-J.

"Dispensing the MALD family of weapons from cargo aircraft gives warfighters an important new capability they currently don't have in today's high-threat environment," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems product line. "MCALS opens the door for the non-traditional use of a high-capacity aircraft to deliver hundreds of MALDs during a single combat sortie."

US cutting back troops in Pakistan: Pentagon

The US military said Wednesday it has begun pulling some American troops out of Pakistan after Islamabad requested a smaller presence, amid tensions over a US raid against Osama bin Laden.

"We were recently (within past 2 weeks) notified in writing that the government of Pakistan wished for the US to reduce its footprint in Pakistan. Accordingly, we have begun those reductions," spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said in an email to reporters.

There are more than 200 US military personnel in Pakistan serving mostly as trainers as part of a long-running effort to counter Al-Qaeda and Islamist militants.

Russia Snubs India; Cancels Navy, Army War Games

Russia has snubbed India in the recent months by cancelling two important bilateral war games, usually held under a well-established arrangement, a senior official said on Monday. The move has raised eyebrows in the Indian defence establishment.

The Russians have called off the Indra series of navy and army war games in the recent weeks, baffling the Indian defence ministry, the official said.

Russia had late last month called off the Indra series of exercises with the Indian Navy, despite the latter's warships -- including guided missile destroyers INS Delhi, INS Ranvir and INS Ranvijay -- reaching Vladivostok, an eastern Russian port town on the Pacific Ocean.

Indian Navy Gets Five More MiG-29K Fighters, Forms Carrier Squadron

Indian naval aviation has acquired new teeth with induction of nine MiG-29K carrier-borne fighter jets from Russia with an extended range of 3,000 kms and capable of firing air-to-air and air-to-sea missiles.

The Russian MiG Aircraft Corporation has delivered the second batch of five MiG-29K fighter jets to the navy, to add to its four, for which it has raised the new "Black Panthers" squadron.

India along with Russia, the manufacturer of the naval fighter, are the only countries to have acquired these fighters, which will be deployed on the INS Vikramaditya (former Gorshkov) aircraft carrier, under re-fit in Russia.

Indonesia Orders 16 T-50 Jet Trainers

An official with the Indonesian Defense Ministry signed a contract for the purchase of 16 of Korea's T-50 supersonic trainer jets with his Korean counterpart in Jakarta on Wednesday, a spokesman for Korea Aerospace Industries said. The jets, worth US$400 million, will be delivered by 2013.

It is the first sale of the trainer jets overseas. Korea is the sixth country to export supersonic aircraft after the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, and Sweden.

The contract was signed some 50 days after Indonesia selected Korea as the priority negotiation partner in April, an unusually swift deal in the international arms market, where negotiations normally take at least several months.

UK Apaches Prepare for Libya

Ministers agreed in principle yesterday to make UK Apache Attack Helicopters available to NATO as part of Operation Unified Protector which aims to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack.

Four helicopters operating from HMS Ocean will allow operational commanders to target Gaddafi's forces in line with United Security Council Resolution 1973 where they continue to pose a threat to the civilian population.

Apache will provide additional flexibility to NATO commanders who will decide when and how the aircraft are to be used.

Czech Gripens Attend Tiger Meet in France

In May four Gripen fighters from the 211th tactical squadron, Čáslav Air Force Base in the Czech Republic participated in the NATO Tiger Meet 2011.

The exercise took place in Cambrai, France and is one of the largest air exercises in Europe. The Gripen squadron defended its triumph from last year when they won the Silver Tiger Award and also this year they belonged to one of the best squadrons.

NATO Tiger Meet is not just about the aircraft or the pilot. It stands for a sophisticated system of modern supersonic fighters controlled by a pilot trained at the best level, with the support of qualified and competent technical staff. The Czech Gripen pilot, Lieutenant Milan Nykodym, was one of the participants in NATO Tiger Meet 2011.

RAF Deploys Enhanced Paveway III for Libya Ops

Royal Air Force capabilities for missions over Libya have been increased with the arrival of ‘bunker busting’ 2000lb bombs.

Enhanced Paveway III (EPWIII) bombs, designed to punch through the roof or wall of a hardened building, have arrived at Gioia Del Colle in Southern Italy.

The first set has been prepared for use and could be loaded onto an aircraft and flown to attack a Qadhafi regime target in Libya in just a few hours.

First Moroccan Frigate Passes Sea Acceptance Trials

The 105 mtrs long SIGMA class frigate, built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding for the Royal Moroccan Navy, left Vlissingen on the 6th of May for her sea acceptance trials (SAT) in the North Sea, right on schedule as agreed in the contract.

During the SAT, a very intensive program was carried out in which the platform as well as the sensor weapons and communications suite was extensively tested. The tests were performed by representatives of the yard in close cooperation with representatives of the subcontractors, the Royal Moroccan navy and the Royal Netherlands navy.

The commanding officer, Captain RNLN Jilles Goedknegt, was very satisfied with the results of the sea trials. The sea keeping capabilities and the maneuverability of the ship proved to be very good and the performances of the combat system were excellent. A result where everybody involved in the preparation and the execution of the sea trials could be proud of.

BAE Begins Production of Second UK Carrier


Construction of HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the two new Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, started today at BAE Systems' Govan shipyard on the Clyde.

Employees and guests gathered at the shipyard as Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, was invited to press the button on the company's plasma machine to cut the first steel for the vessel, marking a pivotal stage in the programme to deliver the nation's flagships.

Dr Fox said: "We are committed to delivering this next generation of powerful British aircraft carriers that will mark a step change in our carrier strike capability and form the cornerstone of the Royal Navy's Future Force 2020. This major construction project is creating and sustaining thousands of jobs in shipyards around the country."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Italian Carrier Fires Two Aster Missiles in Test

MBDA announces two successful launches made on May 18th and 19th to demonstrate the effectiveness of its Aster missiles. Both launches were from the Italian Navy's Cavour carrier in the Poligono Interforze di Salto di Quirra (PISQ) and were made with the assistance of MBDA.

The launches to test the effectiveness of the SAAM/IT system were carried out: one in “autonomous” (self-controlled) mode and the other in “integrated” mode, controlled by the combat system. The autonomous mode launch was intended to test the SAAM/IT system's ability to search, identify and intercept an attacking sea-skimmer missile as a direct threat to the ship herself.

The purpose of the integrated trial was to demonstrate the combat management system's ability to target threats and to designate the SAAM/IT system to neutralise a threat similar to a sea-skimmer missile.

Germany Orders Heavy Protected Recovery Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks in Germany has signed a contract with the German Armed Forces for delivery of protected Actros Heavy Recovery Vehicles for immediate use by the German troops in Afghanistan. The supply of these vehicles will substantially enlarge the capabilities of the ‘Bundeswehr’ and continue the successful relationship with Mercedes-Benz. Only in the last three years over 2.000 trucks and 650 Unimogs have been supplied by Mercedes-Benz.

The Actros vehicles to be delivered will be of the same configuration and with the same high level of protection as those successfully operated by the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan since March 2008. The vehicles will ensure the best available protection in wheeled logistics vehicles for the German soldiers in operation.

With a lead time of seven months between contract award and delivery, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will once more demonstrate its ability to react quickly to customer needs while ensuring at the same time the high level of quality, performance as well as protection uncompromised to ist principle trucks you can trust.

Eurocopter Shows EC135 with Russian Avionics at HeliRussia

The participation of Eurocopter Vostok at this month's HeliRussia 2011 exposition included an initial presentation of Gazpromavia's EC135 equipped with Russian avionics produced by Transas Aviation, along with the presence of an AS350 B3 operated by UTair Aviation.

This fourth edition of the HeliRussia event, which was held May 19-21 in Moscow, enabled Eurocopter Vostok to underscore Eurocopter’s leadership position, with than 70 percent share of the Russian and CIS gas turbine market – which makes it no. 1 among Western turbine-engine helicopter manufacturers in this market.

Gazpromavia’s EC135 exhibited at HeliRussia 2011 is among eight helicopters ordered by the Russian helicopter operator, and marks the first time a Eurocopter rotary-wing aircraft is equipped with Russian-built mission avionics – which were supplied by St. Petersburg-based Transas Aviation.

Swedish Gripen surveillance flights over Libya

Swedish surveillance planes taking part in the NATO-led operation in Libya are still discovering Libyan anti-aircraft defences.

Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Wilson of the Swedish Air force told Swedish Radio News that the planes' work in Libya is far from over.

"There is a great deal to do and I'm surprised on almost a daily basis by just how much remains to be done. Just a couple of days ago, we surveyed a target and found a great deal of anti-aircraft defences."

Oshkosh to Begin Production of New Vehicles for Marines

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, will deliver more than 200 Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) tractors and nearly 70 LVSR wreckers following an order from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM). These will be the first full-rate production tractor and wrecker variants, complementing the LVSR cargo variants that have been supporting Marines in Afghanistan since September 2009.

“The LVSR tractors and wreckers allow Marines to navigate some of their heaviest equipment through the most challenging off-road terrain,” said John Bryant, vice president and general manager of Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “In addition to optimizing mobility, the LVSR incorporates technology that provides sophisticated on-board diagnostics information and integrated armor for superior protection. Oshkosh is pleased to support Marine Corps missions with these innovative and highly protected tractors and wreckers.”

The LVSR tractor is designed to haul combat vehicles, semi-trailers and other equipment. It has a fifth-wheel vertical-loading capacity of 25.3 tons and a recovery winch with a 30-ton capacity. The LVSR wrecker supports vehicle recovery in a wide range of terrain – from deserts to mountains – including sand, mud, water and snow. The heavy-payload vehicle can flat tow vehicles weighing as much as 55 tons as well as lift and tow vehicles weighing as much as 48 tons.

Saab to Design Gripen Carrier Variant in UK

Global defence and security company, Saab AB will open new UK headquarters and draw on British engineering expertise in a new Saab Design Centre in London.

With 200 employees already based throughout the UK, Saab is preparing to expand its reach into the British defence industry by opening a central London office to co-ordinate all in-country operations.

The opening of the company’s new UK headquarters will be followed by the opening of an engineering design centre. The facility will capitalise on the UK’s maritime jet engineering expertise and is scheduled to open in the late Summer.

The IAF dilemma: To upgrade its Mirage fleet or buy new jets

The Indian Air Force has a dilemma: should it go ahead and upgrade it’s 51-strong Mirage fleet or purchase new fighters for Mirages’ specific role? Talks between the Ministry of Defence and Mirage’s French manufacturer Dassault are in the final stage and a decision is expected soon.

Upgrade of the French Dassault M2000 fighter aircraft would cost a whopping Rs 14,400 crore but it does not include the cost of procuring new weaponry worth Rs 80 crore.

If the Defence Ministry and the manufacturer sign the agreement, Dassault will supply four upgraded aircraft and kits to upgrade the remaining 47 aircraft to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Roughly Rs 4,500 crore is to be spent by HAL on the upgrade. It will also charge nearly Rs 900 crore for the furnished items.

India to boost 'blue-water' warfare punch with two new stealth frigates

The Navy continues to hone its war-fighting capabilities despite being stretched in coastal security and anti-piracy operations. The force is now on course to soon induct two more deadly stealth frigates to bolster its growing "blue-water" warfare capabilities.

Sources say the 6,200-tonne indigenous stealth frigate INS Satpura is likely to be commissioned in June-July, while the Russian-built 4,900-tonne INS Teg should finally be ready for induction by September-October.

These long-awaited warships will come at a time when Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma has stressed that "maintenance of war-fighting abilities" remains the "top-most priority" for his force despite the "large number of peacetime commitments (anti-piracy, coastal security and the like) at hand".

India to receive 15 Russian Mi-17B-5 copters this year

India will receive 15 Mi-17B-5 helicopters this year from Russia as part of the contract for 80 choppers.

Russia is to supply the helicopters to India within the framework of a contract India's Defense Ministry signed with Russia's arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

The contract is likely to be complemented with an extra order for 59 such helicopters, the general director of the Helicopters of Russia holding company, Dmitry Petrov, told Itar-Tass.

Russia is participating in the Indian Defence Ministry's tenders for the upgrade of 108 helicopters Mi-17 for the Indian army and 17 Ka-28 helicopters for the Indian Navy, Petrov said.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Indian Air Chief watches demonstration flight of FGFA

Indian Air Chief PV Naik on Monday watched the demonstration flight of the prototype of fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) at a Russian airbase near Moscow, which will be jointly developed and produced by the two countries under an inter-governmental agreement signed in October 2007.

Besides the flight demonstration of one of the two prototypes of PAK-FA T-50 (FGFA) fighter, the Indian Air Chief also watched the flight of modernised MiG-29UPG of the Indian Air Force at the airfield of M M Gromov Flight Research Institute in Zhukovsky town near Moscow.
Under a multi-million dollar contract signed in 2008, Russia's MiG Aircraft Corporation is upgrading six of the IAF's fighter MiG-29 fleet, while rest will be modernised in India for which the Russian aircraft maker will supply kits.

In the course of upgradation the MiG-29 fighters in service with IAF their avionics will be unified with the MiG-29K deck based fighters for the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (former Gorshkov), including systems developed by HAL and Bharat Dynamics and French companies, according to a United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) release, the umbrella organisation of Sukhoi and MiG Corporations.

BSF calls 'Dhruv' choppers useless

The Border Security Force (BSF) has written to the Government for replacing indigenous 'Dhruv' helicopters saying they did not fulfil its operational requirement.

"The Advanced Light Helicopters- Dhruv-- are not helpful in our operations like casualty evacuation and troop reinforcements. They are useless for us. Most of the times these helicopters are under servicing and there are issues about its capabilities to fly beyond a certain height," BSF sources said.

"We have informed the Home Ministry in this regard.

Flight-test of Astra fails

A flight-test of air-to-air missile Astra failed on Friday after it developed a snag during a manoeuvre after being launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

DRDO's Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander said the mission could not be completed as the missile developed a “control-related fault” when a manoeuvre was attempted. “A snag developed during a manoeuvre. The missile lost control after it reached a certain height. A team is analysing the data.”

Astra, a single-stage missile, is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in a head-on mode at a range of 80 km.

Indian Navy likely to induct 'Kawach' rockets in 2013

State of the art 'Kawach' rockets being developed by Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) is likely to be inducted into Indian Navy sometime in 2013.

"We have made two prototype and first trial has been successfully conducted while the second trial will be conducted sometime this year before its final induction into the Indian Navy in 2013," OFB Director General and Chairman D M Gupta told a press conference here on Saturday.

Kawach, to be launched from Navy submarines, will have a range of 40 km.

India withdraws tender for newer Jaguar combat jet engine

The defence ministry has withdrawn its tender for re-engining the Indian Air Force's Jaguar combat jets after one of the two contenders opted out, a leading defence journal says.

The Request for Proposal (RfP), as the tender is known in technical parlance, was issued to Honeywell, which had offered its F-125IN engine and Rolls Royce, whose Adour-811 has powered the Jaguar's since their induction in the IAF in the late 1970s, India Strategic defence magazine (www.indiastrategic.in) reports in its current edition.

The IAF would now have to submit a fresh proposal to the defence ministry, which will then issue another tender. This process is expected to take about a year.

Elbit Sells Training System to Indian Army

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that it was awarded a contract valued at $32.7 million to supply an Asian army with advanced training systems for its armor and infantry forces. The project will be performed over the next three years.

The project comprises driving simulators for various armored vehicles (tracked and wheeled), and an advanced gunnery and tactical simulator. The flexibility of the solution allows training from the individual soldier's level to tactical teams and even higher hierarchies. The trainees also can configure the training session to match any combat scenario.

To maximize its cost effectiveness, the system is designed to reuse as much of the components as possible by applying a "roll in roll out" concept to both the gunnery as well as the driving simulators. The users are therefore able to reconfigure the systems with any combination of turrets they desire.

Iraq says ready to buy Czech-made combat fighter jets

Iraq is ready to buy light attack aircraft, offered for sale by the Czech republic earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said after talks with his Czech counterpart in Baghdad.

The visit to Baghdad by Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, which began on Monday, focused on bilateral economic and political cooperation.

In mid-April, the Czech Republic announced its plans to offer Iraq 24 L-159 combat aircraft and help in modernizing the Iraqi helicopter fleet.

Israeli Air Force Had “Flawed Strategy” During Lebanon War

Israel's disappointing performance in its war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 did not reflect a "failure of air power," but rather a failure of Israel's political and military leaders to properly assess the enemy, set achievable goals, apply an effective strategy and adequately manage public expectations, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Researchers found that Israel learned from its mistakes and conducted a more successful campaign when battling Hamas in the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009.

"What ultimately failed in the planning and conduct of the campaign against Hezbollah was not Israeli air power or any other instrument of warfare," said Benjamin Lambeth, author of the study and a senior defense analyst at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "It was a consequential blend of ill-advised civilian and military leadership decisions about the nature of the adversary, the campaign's initial goals and the desire to avoid a military occupation in southern Lebanon."

France, UK to Deploy Attack Helicopters in Libya

The French Defence Minister says Britain and France are to deploy attack helicopters to protect civilians in Libya.

While the Ministry of Defence is yet to confirm the announcement it has said it is constantly reviewing the ways it can support the NATO operation in Libya.

If the UK does adopt the same strategy as France, it would probably use attack helicopters such as the RAF's Apaches, which can hit small targets in built-up areas. Such a move would represent a significant stepping-up of international military operations.

Rosoboronexport At Milex 2011

The Rosoboronexport Corporation takes part in the MILEX 2011 International Exhibition of Arms and Materiel in Minsk, Belarus, on 24-27 May, 2011.

The exhibition, sponsored by the BelExpo National Exhibition Centre of the Belarusian Presidential Administration, will see participation of over 130 companies and enterprises from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Armenia that will display their products and services. Minsk is expected to host in excess of 20 official delegations from 15 foreign states.
The exhibition will also host the Fifth International Scientific Conference on military engineering, defence and security issues, and dual-use technologies.

Defence cooperation with the Republic of Belarus has actively developed in the past few years and gradually reaches a fundamentally new level. Further cooperation development rates much depend on improving the legal basis, especially in terms of implementing the agreement on basic principles of military-technical cooperation among Collective Security Treaty Organisation member-states dated 15 May, 1992. The treaty on developing military-technical cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus dated 10 December, 2009 may give a substantial impetus to the process.

China to Provide 50 Fighters to Pakistan

China has agreed to provide Pakistan with 50 more fighter jets in a deal clinched during Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's trip to Beijing, Pakistani defense officials said Friday.

Gilani's four-day visit highlighted Pakistan's warm ties with China at a time of heightened tensions with Washington over the killing of Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani town by American special forces.

Pakistan is seen as eager to show a demanding Washington that it has a strong diplomatic alternative in uncritical ally China.

India to Sign $10 Bn MMRCA Contract by December

Rejecting the carping by those ejected out of the hotly-contested $10.4 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) race, most notably the US, India is going full throttle to ink the "mother of all defence deals'' by December.

The aim is to ensure that deliveries of the 126 fighters begin from December 2014 onwards to stem IAF's fast-eroding combat edge. Top defence sources, in fact, said plans were afoot to base the first MMRCA squadron in the western sector, most probably at Ambala, by end-2015.

The first 18 jets will come in "fly-away condition" from the aviation major -- only Eurofighter Typhoon (EADS) and French Rafale (Dassault) are now left in contention -- finally selected for the project.

RAF Strikes Libyan Navy, NATO Defends Attacks

RAF jets participated in a major NATO strike against Colonel Gaddafi's Navy last night as part of the UK's ongoing support to the NATO-led Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, protecting Libyan civilians under threat of attack.

Yesterday's RAF strikes were mounted against the naval base at Al Khums, the nearest concentration of regime warships to the port of Misurata, which Colonel Gaddafi has repeatedly attempted to close to humanitarian shipping.

Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, said:

German Tiger Fires MBDA’s PARS 3 LR Anti-Tank Missile

Three firings, three hits! This is the impressive score of the test firing exercise conducted with the PARS 3 LR guided antitank missile system. For the first time, the test firings with warheads were carried out using a Tiger support helicopter of the German Army. All guided missiles hit their targets at the optimum point of impact.

The first two test firings from the Tiger were carried out within one minute of each other. Flying just 10 m above the treetops, the helicopter first fired at a stationary target around 7,000 m away. The second missile was fired just a few moments later at a target travelling at approximately 40 km/h. To make this shot, the Tiger turned 180° and assumed a firing position at an altitude of approx. 100 m. The moving target was approx 700 m distant. Both PARS 3 LR missiles hit the targets precisely at their centres.

The third missile was fired the next day while the Tiger was flying forward at high speed. The Tiger fired on a stationary target around 7,000 m away while travelling at a speed of 180 km/. This guided missile also hit its target at the optimum point of impact.

India Performs Ballistic Flight Test of Astra Missile

India conducted a ballistic flight test of its Astra Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur on May 20. Additional tests will follow. India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing this missile.

The Astra is a supersonic missile with a range of 80 km in its head-on mode and 20 km in tail-chase mode. The missile uses a solid-propellant motor and carries a 15 kg conventional warhead. The Astra is 3.8-meters long and has a diameter of 178 mm. The missile's overall launch weight is 160 kg.

The Astra can travel 110 kilometers when launched from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when fired from an altitude of 8 kilometers, and 21 kilometers when launched at sea-level. 

Netherlands First in Europe to Give Up Tanks

With four shots at Track 6 on the Bergen-Hohne gunnery range, Dutch Defence yesterday (May 18) said goodbye to the Leopard-2A6 main battle tank. The Netherlands’ history with the German-designed tank ends at the same shooting range where the first shots were fired by Dutch Leopard tanks when they entered service.

At the farewell ceremony, many tankers were present with heavy hearts. Captain Johnny Roman, commander of the squadron staff, said "This feels like a funeral. The tank is a part of our lives.”

The cavalry regiment’s senior commander, retired Major General Harm de Jonge, praised in his speech the deployment of the tank during the peacekeeping operation in the former Yugoslavia, and the deployment of cavalry personnel during the recent missions Iraq and Afghanistan.

Raytheon Achieves Major Production Milestone for Air and Missile Defense Radar

Raytheon Company has produced the first group of S-band transmit/receive (T/R) modules for the U.S. Navy's Air & Missile Defense Radar program.

The modules have been thoroughly tested and have proved to meet or exceed all AMDR performance and reliability requirements. This success marks a major milestone for the program, for which Raytheon is currently developing a technology demonstrator for the system's S-band radar and radar suite controller.

"Our AMDR T/R modules are demonstrating significant capability and performance reliability," said Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' (IDS) Kevin Peppe, vice president of Seapower Capability Systems. "Leveraging our established manufacturing expertise, experience and capacity, we will deliver a low-risk, high-performance system on schedule and on budget."

Monday, May 23, 2011

India Set to Sign $2.4bn Mirage Deal with France

Faced with a dual threat from China and Pakistan, which have even come together to manufacture fighter jets, India is really cranking up military aviation contracts. Even as the $4.1 billion deal for 10 American C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft awaits the final nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), another major contract is now headed that way.

Defence ministry sources on Wednesday said the long-awaited deal with France for the upgrade of 52 Mirage-2000 multi-role fighters in IAF's combat fleet is "finally ready" at a cost of almost Rs 11,000 crore ($2.4 billion).

"This is also now going to CCS for approval. Another big contract, which was being progressed simultaneously, for around 450 MICA (interception and aerial combat missiles) systems to arm the upgraded Mirages is also in the final stages now," said a source.

Starstreak II Showcased in Peru

Thales’s Starstreak high-velocity missile (HVM) is on display at SITDEF, Peru, for the first time. Successfully proven in the UK and South Africa, Starstreak II is an evolution of the inservice Starstreak HVM.

Thales has addressed the needs of military users around the world and introduced major improvements to provide increased range beyond 7km, increased coverage and altitude and improved guidance precision against small targets.

Starstreak II offers the latest technology in very short-range air-defence systems. Its laser-guidance technology encompasses a greater ability to deal with emerging targets, providing increased coverage, but with less manpower required to operate the systems.

Next-Generation Air Defense: No Hits and All Misses (excerpt)

For anyone curious about the dark side of weapon procurement programs, look no further than MEADS.

The Medium Extended Air Defense System — in development since 1999 by Germany, Italy and the United States — was conceived as a mobile air defense system designed to replace the aging Patriot. The United States has been responsible for funding 58 percent of the development costs, with Germany covering 25 percent and Italy 17 percent.

More than a decade and $3 billion later, MEADS International, the prime contractor, says it needs more time and money to complete the development. But the Pentagon decided to pull the plug.

India May Double C-17 Order, Advance M777 Buy to Mollify US

The government is moving swiftly to mollify the American establishment that is deeply upset over rejection of both their fighter aircraft from the $10 billion MMRCA (medium multirole combat aircraft) contract for the Indian Air Force.

Among the steps being taken is a decision to significantly increase the order for C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft from Boeing from the present projection of 10. TOI had first reported about the C-17 deal on May 13.

Besides, the Army is moving quickly to conclude a $1 billion purchase of [M-777] ultra light howitzer guns in a couple of months. An Army quality assurance team is in the US for final leg of assessments.

HMS Daring Fires First Venom Anti-Air Missile

The Royal Navy’s flagship Type 45 destroyer, HMS Daring, has successfully fired her groundbreaking new air defence missile for the first time, the MoD announced today.

HMS Daring, the first of the formidable next generation warships to be built, fired her world-leading air defence missile system, Sea Viper, during a rigorous training exercise at the MOD’s target range in the Hebrides.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said:

IAI Delivers Sights for Czech Army’s Pandurs

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced that it has delivered the new MiniPOP lightweight EO/IR sights for Rafael's Samson 30 RCWS (Remote Controlled Weapons Station) in a deal worth several millions of dollars.

The new systems are installed on the GDELS-Steyr KBVP PANDUR 8x8 CZ infantry fighting vehicles, which are currently operated by the Czech Army in Afghanistan.

The MiniPOP features a thermal imager, a CCD camera, a laser rangefinder and a laser pointer. Two MiniPOP systems are installed on each turret; one is used as the commander sight, and the other as the gunner sight.

New Combat Vehicle Family Launched

Critical Solutions International (CSI) of Dallas, TX, in partnership with RSD, a division of DCD-DORBYL (Pty) Ltd. of Boksburg, South Africa, launched the Mountain Lion family of high mobility armored vehicles at the NDIA Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC). On exhibit is the first prototype, an 8-seat medium-weight class vehicle.

"All Mountain Lion variants will combine and improve upon generations of combat-proven designs from our VMMD Husky currently deployed with US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq," said CSI President, Shon Craig. "The end result is a mobile, protective and versatile next-generation line of vehicles capable of operating in mountainous and rough terrain."

The Mountain Lion family of vehicles span the weight, protection and performance range from JLTV to MRAP, creating:

Australian Shipyard Ready for AA Destroyers

ASC is pleased to invite the public to its shipyard today to reveal progress on the construction of Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) in an event jointly hosted with the AWD Alliance.

ASC is the Shipbuilder for the AWD Alliance. The Alliance is responsible for delivering three AWDs to the Royal Australian Navy.

The inaugural Community Open Day will give the public the opportunity to walk through the shipyard from 12-noon to 3pm and see the large steel blocks that are being outfitted with equipment - including pipes, ventilation ducts and cabling - in readiness for building the warships at the neighbouring Government of South Australia’s Common User Facility at Techport Australia.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pakistan Asks China to Build Naval Base in Nation

Pakistan wants China to build a naval base at a deep-sea port in southwestern Baluchistan province, its defense minister said May 22, while also inferring that Washington was a fair-weather friend.

"However, we would be more grateful to the Chinese government if a naval base was being constructed at the site of Gwader for Pakistan," Mukhtar said in a statement.

The deep-sea port was around 75 percent financed by China, which Pakistan has been trying to draw in as a strategic partner, especially since the discovery and U.S. killing on May 2 of Osama bin Laden north of Islamabad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nuclear scientist says bomb saved Pakistan

The father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb has vigorously defended the program as sparing his country the fate of Iraq or Libya, amid signs that Islamabad is ramping up its weapons capacities.

Writing in Newsweek magazine, Abdul Qadeer Khan said that Pakistan's nuclear weapons had prevented war with historic rival India, which he accused of pursuing a "massive program" due to ambitions of superpower status.

"Don't overlook the fact that no nuclear-capable country has been subjected to aggression or occupied, or had its borders redrawn. Had Iraq and Libya been nuclear powers, they wouldn't have been destroyed in the way we have seen recently," Khan said.

Thales’s Lightweight Multirole Missile to Enter Production

Following three years of development, Thales UK's Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) will now move forward into full development, qualification and initial production following contract award by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Qualification testing will take place during 2012 with production starting at the end of the year, and deliveries scheduled to commence in 2013. LMM will first enter service with the UK Armed Forces aboard the new Wildcat Lynx helicopter.

Specific activities covered under the MoD contract include the design, development and qualification of the laser beam rider version of LMM, together with production of an initial quantity of 1,000 missiles.

India eyes mega-Navy spend - $50 bn

India is to invest USD 46.96 billion as part of moves to boost up its naval forces over the next 20 years adding 101 new warships, ranging from sophisticated destroyers to nuclear submarines.

"Going by the investment value, India is expected to build sophisticated destroyers, new generation and new radar vessels, nuclear submarines, and amphibious ships," Naval analyst Bob Nugent and vice president of the United States-based AMI International, said here today.

Speaking at a pre-event press conference for the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference to be held here for May 18 to 20, the international expert said that Indian investments in surface and under sea platforms would be double that of China, which was spending USD 23.99 billion to build 113 war vessels.

India's PM takes stock of country's nuclear arsenal

India on Monday took stock of its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems like long-range ballistic missiles, fighter-bombers and warships towards its quest to have an operational nuclear triad -- the capability to fire nukes from land, sea and air -- in the near future.

Sources said the top-level meet held by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "not just a general security review'' but in fact a full-fledged Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) conference to assess the steps being taken to consolidate and strengthen India's "minimum but credible nuclear deterrence".

The status of two crucial but delayed "strategic programmes", the 5,000-km-range Agni-V missile and indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant, is said to have figured in the discussion apart from "overarching strategic issues".

INS Delhi and INS Kirch pay three day visit to Ho Chi Minh City

Two Indian naval ships INS Delhi and INS Kirch are on a visit to Ho Chi Minh City from May 10 – 13. Indian Rear Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet of Indian Navy has also arrived in the Vietnamese city.

On May 11, the Indian delegation met with the Deputy Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Le Minh Tri. The visiting crew also called on the Command of the Military Zone no 7 and the Vietnam People’s Navy. They are expected to see Cu Chi underground tunnels and other historical and cultural places in the city.

The guests are also scheduled to have friendly interactions and games with students from the Vietnam’s Navy Technical School.

Indian Army practises blitzkrieg to strike hard at enemy

In keeping with the "transformation" underway in the 1.13-million strong Army to make it leaner and meaner, the force is conducting a major exercise to practice blitzkrieg-style operations to hit the enemy hard at short-notice.

The exercise " Vijayee Bhava" (Be Victorious), being held in the Thar desert, basically revolves around the armour-intensive 2 Corps, considered to be the most crucial of the Army's three principal "strike" formations tasked with virtually cutting Pakistan into two during a full-fledged war, as was first reported by TOI last month.

"The manoeuvres are being conducted in north Rajasthan (in the Suratgarh region) to test the operational and transformational effectiveness of the Ambala-based Kharga Corps (2 Corps) as also validate new concepts which have emerged during the transformational studies undertaken by the Army," said an officer on Monday.

India's Tejas fighter to get Derby missiles

A contract to integrate Rafael's Derby medium-range air-air missile with India's Tejas light combat aircraft will be signed soon, according to industry sources.

Delivery of the missiles is expected from the second half of 2012, following the final phase of integration tests that are planned for early next year.

The active radar- and infrared-guided Derby, which provides an all-weather, beyond visual-range capability, has previously been acquired for the Indian navy's British Aerospace-built Sea Harrier FRS51 fighters. Fourteen aircraft have been modified to use the weapon, said Indian sources.

The Derby missile can be fired in lock-on before launch mode for short-range engagements, or in lock-on after launch mode for use against medium-range targets.

India's air force has so far signed for 40 production examples of the single-engined Tejas, but the service could eventually acquire up to 100 more in an improved Mk II configuration. The service is now evaluating more Israeli-made systems for the fighter, including additional weapons.

The Indian navy also could buy 60 of the Aeronautical Development Agency-designed Tejas.
The Derby contract is an example of the huge potential market that Rafael is trying to exploit in India. Company sources have described the nation as its current first priority, due to the size and diversity of its requirements.
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Russia Wants US Guarantees on Missile Shield

Russia says it wants legal guarantees from the United States that a proposed missile defense shield for Europe will not threaten Russian security.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday that Moscow has been disappointed by Washington's reluctance to provide such assurances, saying it cannot agree to missile defense cooperation with the U.S. and NATO without it.

Russia demanded defense safeguards from Washington earlier this month, after the U.S. reached an agreement to deploy anti-missile interceptors in Romania as part of the new defense shield. Moscow says the prospective missile defense system may pose a risk to Russian strategic nuclear forces in the future.

Experts Worry About Libya's 20,000 SAMs

Experts are worried that at least part of Libya's massive inventory of man-portable surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) might fall into the hands of terrorists. Fighting between Muammar al-Qadhafi loyalists and rebels make it difficult to determine who is in control of this inventory.

Libya has more than 20,000 missile launchers in inventory. There are unconfirmed reports that some anti-aircraft weapons have already been funneled to North African militants. Chad claims a cache of Libya SAMs already have reached al-Qaeda's North African affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Similar accounts have come from Algerian officials. These reports are unconfirmed.

Russian sources say Libya has between 600 and 1,500 1980s-vintage Russian-made portable SAMs. Some pictures from the frontlines show advanced Strelets vehicle-mounted launchers capable of firing new SA-24 Grinch missiles

Azerbaijan Extends Production of South African MRAPs

The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industries (MDI) has extended the Joint Production Agreement with Paramount Group, Africa's largest privately owned defence company, to produce 60 new mine protected vehicles in Baku. This expansion of the current production facility was announced at IDEF, Turkey’s international defence exhibition, and will comprise 30 Marauder and 30 Matador IED and mine-protected vehicles, with deliveries running through to late 2012.

The announcement follows Paramount Group’s recent successful establishment of a joint production facility and the production of an initial 30 vehicles (15 Matadors and 15 Marauders) to the Azerbaijan MDI, under a joint production agreement set up in 2009.

Commenting on the new order, the Honourable Minister of Defence Industry of Azerbaijan, Mr Yaver Jamalov, said: “Both Matador and Marauder are highly flexible and advanced IED-protected vehicles that ideally meet the requirements of our armed forces. We chose Paramount Group’s vehicles because they are the most technologically advanced on the market and are flexible enough to deal with a variety of situations.

DCNS Exhibits at IMDEX Show in Singapore

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.

At IMDEX, the DCNS stand showcases:

-- The SMX-25 known as “the lightning prowler”, and the ADVANSEA, an all-electric surface ship (propulsion and weapons). Introduced for the first time in Asia, these concepts demonstrate the Group’s capacity for innovation and anticipation: key element to bring Customer value and to conquer tomorrow’s markets.

-- The innovative Gowind vessels, a new family of ocean-capable vessels designed by DCNS for all littoral and sea operations, are exceptional tools able to fulfil missions ranging from anti-piracy up to sea control and denial.

US to Supply Aircraft Spares to Pakistan

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale Order to the Government of Pakistan for spare parts for existing aircraft at an estimated cost of $62 million.

The Government of Pakistan requests a Foreign Military Sale Order (FMSO) to provide funds for blanket order requisitions FMSO II, under the Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Agreement (CLSSA) for spare parts in support of F-16, C-130, T-37 and T-33 aircraft and other aircraft or systems/subsystems of U.S. origin in the inventory of the Pakistan Air Force. The estimated cost is $62 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 that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in Central Asia.

IAI to Show Naval Jumper Missile at IMDEX

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)/MLM Division of Systems, Missiles and Space Group will present a new maritime application for its autonomous artillery system – Jumper at the Singapore International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference – IMDEX Asia 2011. IAI's exhibit will be located in booth M-1 from May 18th to May 20th, 2011.

Designed and manufactured by MLM Division, the Jumper is an innovative concept for precise tactical weapon system, supporting the maneuvering echelon. The Jumper missiles are launched from a Vertical Launcher Hive (VLH) to precisely and effectively strike targets at ranges of up to 50 Km (fragmentation or penetration).

The VLH can be deployed on a truck or on the ground for Army /Marine operations or on a vessel deck for sea-to-land fire support. The VLH is composed of eight or more canistered wooden round missiles and one integrated command and control unit. Each Jumper missile is GPS/INS and optional Laser seeker guided for optimal operation in the battlefield.

US Clears Sale of Saudi C-130Es to Turkey

The United States has approved the sale to Turkey by Saudi Arabia of six U.S.-made C-130E military cargo planes, senior Turkish and U.S. officials said late Monday. Turkey struck a deal last summer with Saudi Arabia to purchase the six older cargo planes.

The U.S. approval in late April comes at a time when two transport aircraft programs Turkey is involved in are faltering or facing major delays.

One procurement official told the Hürriyet Daily News that the planes were being purchased at a very reasonable price, but declined to specify a figure. An industry source suggested the unit price was less than $10 million.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Italy Touts Eurofighter As Turkey's “Only Alternative” to US Options

The Italian Defense Ministry continues pushing Turkey to join the Eurofighter aircraft project as an alternative to its present fleet of US-made jets. “Turkey wants part of its fighter aircraft fleet to remain outside the technological and other influence of the United States,” says a Turkish defense analyst

The pan-European Eurofighter fighter aircraft is the only viable alternative to U.S. planes in its category for the Turkish military, Italy’s deputy defense minister said late Tuesday, urging Turkey to join the ambitious European-led defense program.

“The Eurofighter is the only alternative to U.S. aircraft, and provides a great relief to world countries,” Guido Crosetto told a small group of international reporters through an interpreter on the sidelines of the 2011 International Defense Industry Fair, or IDEF, being held in Istanbul. “If Turkey joins this program, the program would gain a larger importance,” Crosetto said.

Rosoboronexport's at Istanbul Defense Show

The Rosoboronexport federal state unitary enterprise will present more than a hundred samples of weapons and military equipment at the IDEF 2011 International Defence Industry Fair to be held for the second time in Istanbul in the period from 10th to 13th May 2011, paying special attention to needs of the Mediterranean states.

"We take into account the fact that some states in the region are NATO members. We also know from practice that all our systems can finely integrate with NATO standards. Moreover, some of them vastly outperform their competitors, or are totally unique. There are areas where we can establish much closer cooperation with many states in the region. This is why we consider the IDEF as a good venue for demonstration of our real achievements and advantages", - pointed out Anatoly Aksyonov, chief advisor to the director general of the Rosoboronexport, who heads the delegation of the company at the IDEF 2011.

At the Rosoboronexport stand specialists will be able to familiarise themselves with major helicopter systems such as the Mi-171Sh military transport helicopter which is in great demand worldwide, as well as the newest Ka-52 and Mi-28NE combat helicopters, and Mi-35M combat transport helicopter.

Selex Galileo Sees Opportunities in Turkish Market

Selex Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, has been working with Turkey for decades, establishing strong industrial links with a number of local industries.

Selex Galileo is primarily working with foundation companies to develop joint cooperation programmes and establish a vehicle to transfer its latest technologies, with the main objective to support and promote the domestic growth of Turkish industry. This allows the Company to actively promote capabilities, products and logistic/operational services within Turkey that are modular, scaleable and exportable.

The emergence of small and medium-sized companies within the Turkish defence market is providing excellent opportunities for local collaboration, allowing Selex Galileo to match its strong commercial base in its three domestic markets (Italy, UK and US) with innovative Turkish SMEs in domains such as UAS, electro-optics, radars and electronic warfare technologies.

Northrop Unveils New Intel-Gathering Aircraft

Military users will be able to get real-time high-definition video, view infrared imagery, use radar and even listen in on communications signals -- all at the same time -- using a new intelligence-gathering aircraft system unveiled today by Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Firebird offers a large internal payload bay and an ability to operate multiple intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and communications payloads simultaneously through a universal interface. The system is designed to be flown as a manned or unmanned aircraft.

As lead for the Firebird program, Northrop Grumman developed the unmanned systems architecture, control and mission systems. The company chose Scaled Composites to design, build and test the aircraft -- with first flight occurring just 12 months after the initial concept discussions.

Boeing Delivers Super Hornet Trainers to RAAF

Boeing today announced it has completed delivery of six F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircrew and maintenance trainers to the Royal Australian Air Force at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland.

"These are the first Super Hornet training devices for a Foreign Military Sale customer and are part of the acquisition and establishment of 24 Australian F/A-18F Block II aircraft, initial spares, support equipment, trainers and training," said Mark McGraw, Training Systems & Services vice president for Boeing.

The suite of aircrew devices includes two Tactical Operation Flight Trainers (TOFT) and two Low Cost Trainers (LCT).

Finnish Forces Unhappy with Sisu Vehicles

The Finnish Army’s equipment department would like to cease co-operation with truck manufacturer Sisu Auto. According to an equipment department memorandum, there have been complaints about the quality of the all-terrain vehicles provided by Sisu Defense Oy, the company’s defence arm.

Finnish carmaker Sisu Auto has been the Finnish Defence Forces’ most important all-terrain vehicle supplier since the 1930s. Now the relationship looks to be drifting into crisis.

According to the memo, the performance and quality of all-terrain vehicles has been seriously lacking for some time. According to the Equipment Department’s memo there are specific deficiencies in the vehicles’ safety, their ignition, their batteries and in visibility from the cabs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

BAE Systems Launches New Mine Protected Vehicle

The BAE Systems business in South Africa has developed a purpose built RG35 RPU vehicle that delivers the crucial balance between firepower, proven survivability and tactical mobility troops currently need and will require in the future.

The RG35 RPU is a modern, yet ruggedly dependable tactical 4X4 wheeled vehicle that is truly purpose built for multiple missions. Not only can the reconnaissance variant be equipped with light and medium turrets, as well as direct and indirect-fire weapons, it can power its way through the toughest terrain, taking troops to wherever the mission is. The vehicle can easily be modified a number of ways to transport cargo, conduct routine patrols, or be outfitted with cameras and other electronics for surveillance missions.

“No matter the mission, ensuring that troops make it to and from their home base safely is paramount,” said Chris Chambers, Vice President and General Manager of BAE Systems’ Tactical Wheeled Vehicles business. “With the RG35 RPU, we’ve developed a unique armour protected capsule, integrating decades of expertise and experience that we call the ‘crew citadel.’ It is designed to shield troops inside the vehicle from mine blasts, road side bombs and gunfire while ensuring they can fulfill their missions effectively.”

India looks elsewhere to beat Russian defence spares crunch

Russia may remain India's biggest defence supplier for the next two decades but its tardy supply of spares and after-sales service is forcing New Delhi to increasingly tap other countries to maintain Russian-origin aircraft, helicopters and other weapon systems.

Over the last couple of months, IAF has floated a slew of global tenders for spares and special tools for MiG-23 and MiG-29 fighters, IL-76 and AN-32 transport aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters and OSA-AK surface-to-air missile systems.

Now, the Army too has jumped on to the bandwagon for different equipment, which includes a global RFI (request for information) for acquiring "active protection and counter-measure systems" for its T-90S main-battle tanks, which have faced several technical problems since their induction began over the last decade.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Exercise “Vijayee Bhava” begins today

A six-day long joint exercise ‘Vijayee Bhava’, the inter-services exercise, of the Army and the Air Force will begin on today in the deserts of Bikaner and Suratgarh near Pakistan border. Scheduled between 9th to 14th May, personnel from both the services will practise for 15 days. Army officials say that the excercise will involve tank to tank wars, helicopter operations and others.

Army official has stated that it has conducted 10 major exercises near the Pakistan border in the last six years and exercise ‘Vijayee Bhava’ will boost synergy between the Indian defence forces.

“Battlefield tactics for warfare are being practised in the exercise which also aims at fine-tuning the concept of Cold Start doctrine,” said the official.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Russia flexes nuclear muscle on Victory Day

Some 20,000 soldiers and Russia's most advanced missiles rumbled across Red Square on Monday in a parade marking victory in World War II and reinforcing the country's belief in its Soviet-era might.

But the lustre of the annual show of force was somewhat dimmed by renewed doubts about the wisdom of staging the costly exhibition and reports that Islamists were planning to undermine the celebration by staging new attacks.

A well-rehearsed 1,500-piece orchestra set the tone to the procession by booming out festive marches as President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin watched from a podium in front of Lenin's mausoleum.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Russia offers NATO 5-year cooperation deal

Russia has offered NATO a mid-term military cooperation plan for a period of three to five years, chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov said on Wednesday.

"This approach will help define exactly what we want to achieve as a result of our cooperation," he told reporters in Brussels.

"This will enable us to look beyond the horizon," Gen. Makarov said, adding that "corresponding instructions have already been issued to military representatives of the NATO-Russia Council."
Russian-NATO cooperation needs to be geared more toward practical results, he said.

Royal Navy Commissions Third Type 45 Destroyer

The latest of the Royal Navy's new Type 45 air defence destroyers has been formally commissioned into the fleet today.

HMS Diamond is one of six multi-role vessels being built to provide air defence using the Sea Viper missile system.

She can embark 60 troops and their equipment, supported by a modern medical facility that can deliver a surgical capability. She could also carry up to 700 people to support a civilian evacuation.

The Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

Turkish Company Upgrades Leopard 2, Plans New Tanks

Aselsan has modernized a Leopard 2A4, a German-manufactured tank. Aselsan is Turkey's largest defense company. The modernized Leopard 2 will serve partly as a testbed for Turkey's planned local tank design program. This program is the Altay. Aselsan calls the modernized tank the Leopard 2 Next Generation. Aselsan has replaced the tank's electronic, electro-optical, electro-mechanical, and electro-hydraulic systems.

Previously, Aselsan upgraded 171 Leopard 1 tanks for the Turkish Army. This contract was worth $160 million.

Otokar has a $500 million contract from the Turkish military to design and develop the Altay. The production of four Altay prototypes will take place by the end of 2015.

Many of the subsystems Aselsan used to modernize the Leopard 2A4 will be included in the Altay.

India Begins War Games Along Pakistan Border

Army and the IAF will begin Monday in the deserts of Bikaner and Suratgarh near Pakistan border. "Vihayee Bhav" the exercise, will involve tank-to-tank wars, helicopter operations and others, Army officials said.

According to the Army, it has conducted 10 major exercise near the Pakistan border in the past six years and this exercise will boost synergy between the Indian defence forces.

"Battlefield tactics for warfare are being practiced in the exercise which also aims at fine-tuning the concept of Cold Start doctrine," an official said. Cold Start was a military doctrine developed by the armed forces in 2004 and involves joint operations between the three main services Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Gibraltar slams new ‘incursion’ by Spanish navy

The Gibraltar government condemned as "provocative and unlawful" an incident on Tuesday in which it said a Spanish naval vessel incurred into its territorial waters and then called on commercial ships to leave the area.

Tensions in the disputed waters off the tiny British territory were already high since an incident on April 23 involving Spanish and Gibraltar police vessels.

A British military spokesman in the rocky promontory off southern Spain said the Royal Navy issued two radio warnings to the Spanish patrol boat "Atalaya" to leave after it entered the area on Tuesday morning.

Boeing Phantom Ray Completes First Flight

The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS) successfully completed its first flight April 27 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The 17-minute flight took place following a series of high-speed taxi tests in March that validated ground guidance, navigation and control and verified mission planning, pilot interface and operational procedures. Phantom Ray flew to 7,500 feet and reached a speed of 178 knots.

"This day has been two-and-a-half years in the making," said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works.

TCG Multi-Link Ground Support System to Pakistan Air Force

Tactical Communications Group (TCG) has received its fourth consecutive order from the US Air Forces' Electronic Systems Center (ESC) for a Ground Support System (GSS) for use by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

TCG's GSS solution for the (PAF) will provide their pilots a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) capability to support Link 16 simulation training and operations situational awareness on Pakistani F-16 aircraft.

By using the GSS, PAF will now be able to connect to airborne networks at a low cost and conduct efficient and effective training of network operators and aviation personnel.

US Army Tranfers High Speed Vessels to Navy

The Department of the Navy signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) May 2 with the Department of the Army transferring all five of the Army’s Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) to the Navy.

The intent of this MOA is to clarify relationships, identify the roles and responsibilities, and provide an implementation plan. In addition, this MOA formalizes and delineates the management, leadership, and requirements sponsorship roles required to deliver the capability encompassed by the JHSV to the combatant commanders.

“This agreement with the Army demonstrates our commitment to reducing redundancies and saving money for the taxpayer,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “This is a responsible step that will ensure our military remains the most formidable fighting force the world has ever known.”