Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Indian cold start nuked by Pakistan?

IN THE beginning of May, Just about the time when Indian Army’s major war game in Thar Desert, testing and refining its new concept of war against Pakistan ‘The Cold Start’, watched by top Indian political dignitaries was concluding, Pakistan announced that it has developed a short range tactical nuclear missile NASER basically to deal with this Indian Cold Start Concept.

Pakistan has developed two short range (60km) nuclear capable missiles Hataf-9 and NASER. They are easy to transport and are capable of launching small yield plutonium tipped nuclear warheads. These missiles are basically called tactical nuclear missiles. They are meant to be used in close ranges in actual battlefield against attacking enemy armoured columns and ground troops. Actually these have been supplied to Pakistan by China. In other words, China is also accepting the fact that it is part of this game of tactical nuclearisation of battle field.

Cold Start concept has been developed after the lessons learned during the mobilization of Indian Army in 2001 against Pakistan, following the Pakistan sponsored Jehadi attack on Indian Parliament. Indian Army took three weeks to fully get mobilized. When it was finally ready to get into Pakistan from its launching pads, the Indian political hierarchy chickened out.

Syrian troops close in on Lebanon border

Syrian troops pushed towards the Lebanese border as they pressed a deadly crackdown in central towns ahead of Monday's opposition meeting in Damascus on the country's unrest, activists said.

The latest violence in Kseir, near the flashpoint city of Homs, forced "hundreds" of people to flee over the border into Lebanon, the activists said.

The exodus came as Turkey, where about 12,000 Syrians have already taken refuge in recent weeks, scrambled to erect a border tent city to accommodate a possible new influx of refugees.

Iran unveils new underground missile silo

Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Monday unveiled an "underground missile silo" which the elite force said will allow them to launch the country's long-range ballistic missiles, state television reported.

The broadcaster showed footage of a facility at an unknown location, with an "underground missile silo" holding a projectile described as a Shahab-3.

The unveiling came as the Guards on Monday began a military exercise, codenamed Great Prophet-6, which was to include the launching of different range ballistic missiles.

Morocco Wants Sentinel Radars, Sincgars Radios

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Thursday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Morocco of eight AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radars, and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $67 million.

The Government of Morocco has requested a possible sale 8 AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radars, 8 AN/VRC-92E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) Vehicular Dual Long-Range System Radios, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), Sentinel Software, 8 Sentinel M1152 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)s, HMMWV support equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. The estimated cost is $67 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by supporting Morocco’s legitimate need for its own self-defense. Morocco is one of the most stable and pro-Western of the Arab states, and the U.S. remains committed to a long-term relationship with Morocco.

India Wants US Mk 54 Torpedoes for P-8I Neptune Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Friday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India for 32 MK-54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $86 million.

The Government of India has requested a possible sale of 32 MK-54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes, 3 recoverable exercise torpedoes, 1 training shape, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, transportation, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The estimated cost is $86 million.

Elbit Selects Gabbiano Radars for Hermes UAVs

SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, been selected by Elbit Systems to supply its Gabbiano radar family for installation aboard Elbit Systems’ Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The Gabbiano T20 radar will be installed aboard the Hermes 450 while the most powerful version of the Gabbiano family, the T200, has been chosen for the Hermes 900.

The Gabbiano radar family was chosen by Elbit Systems thanks to its light weight, ease of installation, advanced surveillance performance and growth potential. The radars will improve the Hermes systems’ long range surveillance capabilities over sea and ground via Air to Surface operational modes and high resolution imaging features such as SAR and ISAR. The radars are already fully operative and can perform in all light and weather conditions.

SELEX Galileo is planning to deliver the first Gabbiano T20 radar to Elbit Systems by the end of this year.

India Short-lists MBDA’s PARS 3 Missile

MBDA's PARS 3 LR guided missile system has been short listed for the Indian Army helicopter future air-to-ground requirement. MBDA Deutschland has delivered proposals for its PARS 3 LR multi-target, long range weapon system for HAL's Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH DHRUV) and for two attack helicopters, the KAMOV KA-52 and the MIL MI-28.

Within the framework of MBDA Deutschland's export campaign for India, three PARS 3 LR firings were carried out from a German Tiger helicopter at the Vidsel test range in Sweden in April 2011. All three missiles were equipped with live warheads and all three struck their intended targets at the optimal hit points. Two firings were carried out within one minute of each other, the first against a static target at a range of 7,000 m and the second against a moving target at a range of 700 m. The third firing was carried out with the helicopter in fast forward flight against a static target at a range of 7,000 m.

Werner Kaltenegger, Managing Director of MBDA Deutschland, said: "I am delighted that the Indian Army has short listed PARS 3 LR for its procurement project. This represents a further confirmation of the close partnership MBDA has developed with India over the years. The successful industrial trials confirm the high level of reliability of the PARS 3 LR guided missile system. We are proud to offer the Indian Army such a powerful fire-and-forget system that can deploy precision attacks against a wide range of targets".

India Discounts US Pressure, Will Not Consider F-35 Offer

India has officially put a full stop to the frantic US pressure to enter the $10.4-billion race for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

Reacting to media reports that the US may offer F-35 fighter jets to re-enter the MMRCA race, the official spokesperson in the ministry of defence (MoD), Sitanshu Kar, told FE that, “We have progressed a lot in the MMRCA programme, we have crossed a lot of stages that have become part of history.”

“It is too late in the day for any new entrant,” said a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officer on condition of anonymity.

Elbit to Supply DIRCM Systems to Italian Air Force

Elbit Systems Ltd., announced today, at the Paris Air Show, that it was awarded a contract valued in excess of $15 million by Elettronica S.p.A to participate in a program to supply the ELT/572 DIRCM (Directed Infra-Red Countermeasures) system for installation on various platforms of the Italian Air Force, including the C130J, C27J and AW101. The contract will be performed over the next three years.

Based on Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop Ltd. MUSIC system, ELT/572 was jointly funded by Elettronica and Elop under a cooperation agreement between the companies.

MUSIC is based on advanced fiber laser technology and counters MANPADS (man portable air defense systems) by emitting a laser beam towards an approaching missile causing the missile to veer off course.

Northrop, Selex Galileo Team for DIRCM Market

Northrop Grumman Corporation and SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at jointly pursuing the international directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) market.

Capitalizing on their unique experience and capability in the development and production of laser-based DIRCM systems, the document further strengthens the existing industry-leading DIRCM strategic alliance and enables the two companies to aggressively target the “rest-of-the-world” DIRCM marketplace.

“There are few collaborations in the defense industry that are as successful and long lived as the Northrop Grumman – SELEX Galileo alliance,” said Jeff Palombo, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “We have been hugely successful protecting aircraft, and this document will further strengthen our collaboration and allow us to focus on our international customers as we launch a fully exportable DIRCM system.”

Raytheon Offers New Ground-Based Evolved SeaSparrow Missile

Raytheon Company and its international partners will introduce a new ground-based Evolved SeaSparrow Missile at the Paris Air Show. The ground-based ESSM features multi-use capabilities for both naval and land-based applications.

"Raytheon Missile Systems and its global industrial partners are working to expand ESSM into the ground-based air defense (GBAD) mission area," said Royal Netherlands Navy Capt. Paul Rouffaer, deputy project manager of the NATO SeaSparrow project office. "The flexibility and versatility of ESSM is demonstrated by its ability to provide ship self defense and GBAD."

ESSM represents more than four decades of technology and design improvements by an international cooperative partnership composed of 12 nations, 10 of which employ ESSM.

Next-Gen Eurofighter Radar to Enter Service in 2015

After one year of industry funding, the Eurofighter and Euroradar consortia have received renewed strong support from the Partner Nations and have agreed to continue the full scale development programme of the next generation E-Scan radar, confirming the 2015 entry into service date.

Supported by the Eurofighter partner nations, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Spain, Eurofighter GmbH and Euroradar began full scale development of the new CAPTOR-E radar in July 2010.

The new radar will have AESA capability that far exceeds any other radar available today and in the foreseeable future and will be developed to satisfy the requirements of the Partner Nations and customers across the globe.

MBDA Unveils Concept of Hypersonic Strike Missile

MBDA today unveils the output of the Concept Visions process for 2011: CVS 401 Perseus concept missile system, which represents the group’s vision of a multi-role strike weapon system for 2030 and beyond.

To replace the current generation of heavy anti-ship and cruise missiles, a new system will be required that is capable of launching anti-ship strikes, land attacks and engaging time-sensitive targets such as relocatable missile launchers in an ever more complex tactical environment and with the minimum risk of collateral damage. This new system will also have to be modular and deliverable from a maritime environment, namely from surface vessel, a submarine, a carrier-based platform or a maritime patrol aircraft.

Perseus features multiple operating modes against a wide land and maritime target set with the added capability of being able to overcome the most effective of enemy missile defences. It is designed to be a tactical weapon system operated through an advanced Operations & Mission Planning System at the crossroads of naval, land and air warfare.

DCNS Ready to Ship Second AIP Plug to Pakistan

DCNS is ready to ship the second of three Mesma air-independent propulsion modules ordered by the Pakistan Navy for its DCNS-designed Agosta 90B submarines. This module will be installed as part of a scheduled major refit for one of two Agosta 90Bs in active service.

The self-contained hull module will be integrated with the host submarine over the next few months with DCNS technical assistance. A ‘cut-and-plug’ operation will see the 8.7-metre-long ‘plug’ inserted into the boat’s hull. The first Mesma module was integrated directly during the construction of third-of-class Agosta 90B submarine PNS Hamza which entered active service in 2008.

Following the ‘cut-and-plug’, the boat will have a length of 76.2 metres for a submerged displacement of 1980 tonnes. The Mesma module will enable the submarine to remain submerged for weeks at a time.

Selex Portable Radar Sees Through Walls

During the Le Bourget exhibition which is taking place in Paris from 20th to 26th June, Selex Sistemi Integrati, a Finmeccanica company, presented for the very first time the TWR – S (Through the Wall) radar, an innovative hand-portable radar system able to see through the walls.

The new system, suitable for civil protection and military armed forces during on-fields emergency operations, provides immediate detection of humans behind concrete walls and their continuous tracking, as well as building layout and life signs detection.
Based on the new “Through-the-wall radar” technology, it allows to see through obstacles such as walls, doors and other visually opaque materials, covering a broad range of applications in both civilian and military contexts.

The radar can in fact be used in rescue missions to detect and locate survivors trapped inside a burning building or in areas which have been plagued by natural disasters like earthquakes or avalanches. It can also be employed in security missions to get an accurate overview of the inside of a building, for instance in the case of a hostage crisis. People and objects within the building can be detected and located.

Falco EVO On Display for the First Time

At Le Bourget 2011, Selex Galileo, a Finmeccanica company, will be putting its Falco EVO Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) on display for the first time. Without changing the airframe of the current Falco high end Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV), Falco EVO features extended wings to ensure longer endurance and an increased payload capacity. This expands the spectrum of tactical missions the UAS can carry out, offering greater flexibility to customers.

The product on display features the actual Falco airframe, with extended wings and ‘visible’ payloads (specially glass-encased for viewing) such as the PicoSAR AESA radar, EOST 46 multi-sensor turret and the new, compact ESM/ELINT SAGE, all part of the Selex Galileo product portfolio. The current EVO configuration allows for additional payloads without requiring modification of the airframe or engine.

Falco EVO, which will be available as an upgrade package for the current baseline Falco, features a 12.5m wing span and a MTOW of 650 kg. The benefits of this enhancement are equally shared between the payload capability, now increased to 100kg, and the maximum endurance, which is in excess of 18 hours. Offline target data evaluation and processing have been further enhanced in order to allow data diffusion through the C4I net in STANAG 4609 format. Real Time data can also be received by small front line units via portable or fixed Remote Video Terminals (RVT).

MBDA Announces First Submarine Launch of SCALP Naval

The first submarine launch of the SCALP Naval / MdCN (Missile de Croisière Naval) programme was carried out successfully by the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) at its Ile du Levant missile test centre in the Mediterranean on 8th June 2011.

Using an underwater platform simulating the launch conditions prevailing on the future Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine, this firing permitted all the intended test objectives to be demonstrated: the validation of the launch phase with the subsequent change of environment from water to air as well as the missile’s flight.

The positive outcome of this trial helps validate the definition of SCALP Naval / MdCN in its submarine configuration as well as validate the missile’s commonality concept for the two types of launch platform. It also adds to the success of the first vertical launch achieved in a frigate configuration last year. These two achievements constitute a major step in the SCALP Naval / MdCN development programme by removing the risk associated with the launch phases from the two types of launch platform, namely frigates and submarines.

India's 1st P-8I Aircraft Enters Final Assembly

Boeing began final assembly of the Indian navy's first P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft this month at the company's Renton factory.

The P-8I, based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Navy.

The start of assembly work follows delivery of the plane's fuselage from teammate Spirit AeroSystems on May 29. Boeing workers have begun installing systems, wires and other small parts onto the fuselage. The P-8I's engines and wings will be installed later this summer.

US Military: Large and Weak Or Small and Strong?

The question of how to squeeze $400 billion out of national-security spending has taken on greater intensity in recent weeks. Senior defense officials, both outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the incoming Leon Panetta have spoken out against “salami-slicing” defense programs (that is, taking a little bit from everything). Both they and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, have warned that hard decisions will need to be made and that force structure cuts will result in a military that is less capable.

In an era of uncertainty, increasing technology proliferation, the rise of new regional powers and the emergence of new types of threats it cannot be said that the U.S. does not need a capable military. Only on the political fringes, marked by the coinciding views of Ron Paul and Barney Frank regarding U.S. security policy and military requirements, is there anyone arguing for U.S. isolationism. Since the end of the Cold War, administrations of all stripes have found the U.S. military to be an extremely useful instrument and they have employed it frequently in peace and war.

The choice that confronts U.S. leaders is simple. One choice is to maintain a large military with lots of people but that must skimp on investments and, hence, increasingly will be obsolescing and weaker. This is a military that will be able to deploy large numbers of forces for protracted periods of time to conduct irregular warfare, stability and nation-building activities and humanitarian operations. Against less capable adversaries, such as Libya and even Iraq, it should continue to do rather well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Indian Air Force Seeks Direct Control of HAL

With an eye on the future and fed up with the "bureaucratic culture" pervading Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the country's only aircraft manufacturer, IAF now wants the control of the navratna defence PSU.

IAF has asked the defence ministry (MoD) to appoint one of its three-star officers, instead of a bureaucrat, as the chairman and managing director of HAL once the present incumbent Ashok Nayak retires on October 31.

MoD sources confirmed IAF had even proposed the name of present assistant chief of air staff (operations & space), Air Vice Marshal M Matheswaran, a top-notch fighter pilot now approved for the air marshal rank, for the HAL post.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

US may re-enter MMRCA race, offer F-35 to IAF

US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin may re-enter the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) race. The powerful Senate Armed Services Committee of the US is pushing the Defense Department to offer India the high-tech F-35 stealth fighter aircraft, the world’s only fifth generation multi-role fighter, built by Lockheed Martin.

The move comes after Lockheed's F-16IN Super Viper and Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet were eliminated from the MMRCA race two months ago.

The US Senate intervention comes at a time when the F-35 project has been dogged by delays and rising costs. There are also reports of the US Air Force cutting orders for the fifth generation fighter.

France transfers sensitive warship technology to Russia

France has transferred to Russia all the technology it asked for under a $1.7-billion deal for two French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy, a Russian arms exporter said on Monday.

Under the deal signed on Friday, the first warship will be delivered in 2014 and the second in 2015.

"The French side has transferred all technologies, including the SENIT 9 [command and control] system, as well as two other systems," said Anatoly Isaikin, head of the Rosoboronexport state-controlled arms exporter.

Russian parliament to review the use of military base in Armenia

The Russian parliament will review on Friday a protocol extending Russia's use of a military base in Armenia.

Russia and Armenia signed amendments to a 1995 bilateral treaty extending Russia's use of the 102nd Military Base in Gyumri near Armenia's border with Turkey through 2044.

The amendments stipulate that the term will be automatically extended every five years unless one of the sides notifies the other about the annulment of the treaty six months in advance.

SCO slams U.S. missile defense plans

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) opposes Western missile defense plans that could jeopardize international stability, the regional security group said in a declaration on Wednesday.

"The member states believe that the unilateral and unrestricted buildup of a missile defense capability by one state or a group of countries can hurt strategic stability and international security," the six-nation summit declaration said.

The leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met in Kazakhstan's capital of Astana to discuss regional stability and security, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Moscow has been critical of U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Europe in 2015-2020 in close proximity to its national borders.

U.S. scraps missile defense plan for Czech Republic

The United States has abandoned plans to deploy a missile early warning center as part of a European missile defense system in the Czech Republic, Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra was quoted by CTK news agency as saying on Wednesday.

"The Czech Republic will look for other options to participate in the project," Vondra said after a meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Linn.

The center was to replace a radar facility planned by the former U.S. administration under President George Bush.

Ukraine to sell over 200 tanks to Ethiopia

Ukrainian state company Ukrspetsexport signed a $100-million contract with the Ethiopian Defense Ministry on the delivery of over 200 T-72 tanks, UNIAN news agency reported on Thursday.

The deal is one of the largest contracts Ukrspetsexport has signed in the last 15 years.

Ukraine also expects to receive further orders for the repair and upkeep of the tanks.

The T-72, first produced in the USSR in the 1970's, was widely exported to many African, Asian and Middle Eastern states.

China’s 5th Gen fighter ‘a showoff’

China's fifth-generation fighter program is more for effect than substance, Russia's leading aircraft maker said on Monday.

China carried out its first test-flight of a fifth-generation stealth fighter in January.
"It was more a demonstration than a real program," Mikhail Pogosyan, head of United Aircraft Corporation, said.

The Chinese aircraft industry is developing successfully but it lacks what is required for a breakthrough, he said.

Italian Air Force Eurofighters in Iceland Exercise

Another challenging, long distance deployment for the Typhoon: Four aircraft in service with the Italian Air Force recently participated in the "Northern Viking" exercise held in Iceland from the 2nd to 10th of June.

The four fighters, with the support of a KC-130J air tanker and together with other Italian Armed Force assets, flew for the first time to Keflavik Air Base, in western Iceland.

The “Northern Viking 2011” is a joint exercise based on a bilateral treaty between the Government of Iceland and the USEUCOM - US European Command - to train and operate seamlessly with other multinational assets.

Syrian tanks enter Turkey border village

Army tanks on Saturday entered a village bordering Turkey, where 10,000 Syrians have sought refuge, an activist said, as Washington warned Damascus over its "continued brutality" against protesters.

With the deadly revolt now in its fourth month, Britain urged its nationals to leave Syria "now," warning that its embassy in Damascus was unlikely to be able to help if the situation gets worse.

As many as 19 people were killed in protests on Friday, the Local Coordination Committee of anti-government activists said, although it added that it had only 12 names so far.

Sikorsky Shows S-70i Black Hawk Helicopter at Paris Air Show

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will display an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter outside the UTC Chalet during the Paris Air Show. The international event marks the first time the new variant of Sikorsky’s proven multi-mission utility helicopter will be displayed to the world market.

“There is strong worldwide demand for a medium-lift helicopter that can perform multiple missions, such as humanitarian relief, VIP transport, search and rescue, medical evacuation,
command and control, and armed patrol,” said Mick Maurer, president, Sikorsky Military Systems.

“As a member of the proven ‘Hawk’ family, the S-70i helicopter provides excellent value for international operators who want a reliable airframe, powerful engines and digital avionics for today’s missions.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Indian Coast Guard to procure six maritime aircraft

The Indian Coast Guard is planning to procure six Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft for enhancing surveillance in coastal areas and country's Exclusive Economic Zone.

The sea guarding force has expressed its intent to procure these aircraft soon after it suspended its over two-year-long tender process for acquiring an equal number of Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft.

"We are looking to procure six multi-mission aircraft for our aviation wing," a Coast Guard official said here.

India issues RFI for multi-role naval helicopters

India has issued a request for information for a naval multi-role helicopter (NMRH) to complement its existing fleet of Westland Sea King 42 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.
The RFI calls for helicopters with a maximum all-up weight of between 9t and 12.5t. The NMRH, which will be expected to serve for 30 years, should have the capacity for 10% weight growth throughout its service life without hurting performance.

The navy foresees three primary roles: ASW, anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and special operations. Secondary roles include electronic intelligence, search and rescue (SAR), external cargo carrying, casualty evacuation and combat SAR.

Candidate helicopters must be able to operate from ships as small as the navy's Godavari-class frigates. They also need to be able to fit in shipboard hangars with a length of 15.5m (50.8ft), a width of 5.5m and a height of 5.3m.

Two more Super Hercules planes on way to India

Donning Indian Air Force colours, the third and fourth of six C-130J Super Hercules planes acquired by India in a $950 million deal have left for their new home, Air Force Station Hindon, outside New Delhi.

The remaining two C-130Js on order will be delivered later this summer, the plane's manufacturers Lockheed Martin said announcing the departure of the aircraft from its facility in Marietta, Georgia, Wednesday.

Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set, the aircraft can perform precision low-level flying, airdrops and landing in blackout conditions, Lockheed said.

India not worried about China's aircraft carrier

China's declaration that its first-ever aircraft carrier will begin sea trials towards the year-end has caused tremors around the world. But even as it jostles for the same strategic space in the Indian Ocean region, India is not too unnerved by all the brouhaha.

For one, even if the carrier becomes ocean-worthy by 2012-2013, it will take China a few years to master the complex art of operating fighters from a moving airfield on the high seas and then converting the entire package into a potent offensive weapons platform.

India, of course, has been in the business of operating "flattops" for five decades now, commissioning as it did its first carrier INS Vikrant with its Sea Hawk jets way back in 1961. As of now, the Navy operates the 28,000-tonne INS Viraat, even though it's left with only 11 of its Sea Harrier jump-jets.

IAF identifies lowest bidder for trainer aircraft tender

The Swiss-made Pilatus PC-7 has emerged as the lowest bidder for the Indian Air Force's basic trainer aircraft tender, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik announced on Wednesday.

"We had shortlisted three companies – the Americans, Swiss and the Koreans. Now we have shortlisted down to the lowest bidder, which is the Swiss vendor, Pilatus. Commercial negotiations are going on. Hopefully, within the next one and a half to two years, we will be able to start the supply of the aircraft," Air Marshal Naik said at a press briefing held at the IAF's Headquarters Training Command.

Other contenders in the running for the globally-issued tender included the American Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texas-II, Korean Aerospace's KT-1 and the Pilatus PC-21.

An insight into “Darin-II” and “Project Tiger” fighter aircraft upgrade programmes in India

The Darin-II upgrade programme on Jaguar aircraft and the Project Tiger upgrade programme on Sea Harrier aircraft have been successfully accomplished and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) has been issued for service use. Also on the anvil are the Jaguar Darin III upgrade, Jaguar re-engine and Mirage mid-life upgrade programmes. India has been operating these aircraft since 1980s and after years of service these aircraft are well understood. The strengths and weaknesses of these aircrafts are known and appropriate doctrines formed around them. The upgrades are being defined to target the deficiencies and bring these platforms to contemporary standards.

Jaguar DARIN-II Upgrade

A major avionics upgrade on the Jaguar direct supply aircraft, christened DARIN II, was undertaken in early 2000. The upgrade concentrated around improving the navigational capabilities, reducing pilot work-load, improving the attack capabilities and survivability in the electronic warfare. Introduction of core avionic systems like Ring-Laser Gyro-based (RLG) inertial navigation system along with an embedded GPS have improved the accuracy of navigation. The addition of an advanced mission computer, smart multi- function displays (MFDs), a digital map generator, a superior head-up display along with an improved pilot’s stick top, hand controller, instrument landing system and navigational aids (ILS/VOR/TACAN), autopilot have helped reduce pilot work-load. Advanced accessory systems like a secure communication system, electronic warfare suite with ECCM capability, laser designator system have improved the survivability and effectiveness of the Jaguar in a dense EM environment. Additions like a solid-state flight data recorder, etc have improved the reliability and ease of maintenance of the Jaguar. The upgrade programme has allowed the pilots to focus on their primary task of attacking. The twin Mil-Std-1553 bus architecture with a dual redundant mission computer and hot standby features are some of the other major highlights of the system.

Indian Developments in Materials for Military Aero Engines

The Indian aircraft industry is still in its nascent stages of growth. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the only significant player, manufacturing aircraft and engines, albeit under license production. Even so, most of the materials and material technologies have been sourced from the original manufacturers (OEMs) of the engines and aircraft.

In the recent past, a number of new material technologies have been recently introduced which are required in the production of Sukhoi aircraft (Su-30) and its engine (AL31FP). Kaveri, the proposed engine for LCA Tejas is the only programme which aims to design and develop indigenous engine and also to develop indigenous capabilities in the areas of materials and manufacturing technologies. In a sense, the development of indigenous material technologies in India is linked to Kaveri programme. Assessment of materials and manufacturing technologies presented here is largely based on the Kaveri experience in which many industries and research laboratories are participating. GTRE is also developing a smaller engine called “laghu Shakti.”

Primary mill products

Most of the primary alloys used in gas turbines are being manufactured at Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI), Hyderabad. MIDHANI has been successful in indigenous development and manufacture of various mill products of several grades of super-alloys, Titanium alloys and steels. In addition MIDHANI also produces several Russian grades of steels, Titanium alloys and super-alloys. Some of the most important alloys produced at MIDHANI are:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Australia Buys Amphibious Ship, Bushmasters

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today provided an update on a number of Defence capability projects and activities.

-- Largs Bay Sales Agreement Signed
Mr Smith and Mr Clare announced finalisation of the acquisition process for the United Kingdom Bay-Class amphibious ship Largs Bay.

The Government announced on 6 April that Australia had been successful in its bid to acquire the United Kingdom’s Bay Class amphibious ship Largs Bay at a cost of £65 million (approximately $100 million).

US Sends Guardian Maritime UAV to Paris Air Show

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be displaying the world's only fully operational maritime variant MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), the Guardian, next week at the world's largest aviation trade show in Paris.

The Department of Defense U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and the U.S. Embassy in Paris requested that the Guardian attend the air show. EUCOM is providing strategic airlift of the Guardian from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to Le Bourget, France, onboard a U.S. Air Force C-17.

On June 19, the air show will open to Congressional delegations. The trade show will be open to military and trade officials June 20. The show is open to the general public June 24 where more than 140 aircraft will be on display and 2,000 international exhibitors and 88 countries will be represented.

Taiwan Rejects Further Price Hikes for Radars

Taiwan will no longer tolerate continuing price increases for two advanced long-range early warning radar systems being purchased from the United States, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Tuesday.

"The Air Force has protested the price increases many times, and the Defense Ministry has chosen not to be taken for a ride," said MND spokesman Lo Shao-ho.

Lo said the defense ministry has repeatedly protested to Raytheon, the systems' supplier, over the price increases.

Israel to Test Magic Wand Anti-Missile System

The Magic Wand mid-range anti-missile system could be operational in the next few years

The Magic Wand mid-range anti-missile system will soon undergo a full test and could become operational within the next few years, Pini Yungman of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said at the 2011 Military and Aviation Conference.

The Magic Wand system "successfully deals with threats that no other system in the world is capable of neutralizing," Yungman said.

Northrop’s Firebird Demos Three Eyes, Four Sensors

The Northrop Grumman Corporation Firebird intelligence-gathering air system successfully used three different high-definition video sensors and an electronics support payload all at the same time – a future capability sought by the U.S. military that's available today.

The flight marks the first time three electro-optical, infrared sensors have been used simultaneously with a fourth payload on an aircraft. This capability was proven on May 20 at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., with additional missions through June 3 as part of the U.S. Joint Forces Command's Empire Challenge 2011 exercise.

"Firebird's universal interface is what makes this all possible," said Rick Crooks, director of special projects and Firebird program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "It's very similar to plugging a memory stick into a computer – it's automatically recognized without needing to load new software. With this 'plug-and-play' technology we can place many different sensors on Firebird and operate them in a matter of minutes."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Russia protests arrival of US Navy cruiser in Black Sea

Russia on Sunday protested the arrival of a US Navy cruiser equipped with a ballistic missile defence system in the Black Sea to take part in naval exercises with neighbouring Ukraine, saying it was a threat to its national security.

"We have a number of questions regarding the arrival in the Black Sea of the US Navy cruiser Monterey equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system to participate in the Ukrainian-US Sea Breeze 2011 exercises," the Russian foreign ministry said.

"The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not let pass unnoticed the appearance of elements of US strategic infrastructure in the immediate proximity to our borders and will see such steps as a threat to our security," it said in a statement.

China upgrading air force rapidly, says IAF chief

The Indian Air Force could lose its combat edge over rivals in the neighbourhood in the next 10 years if it fails to keep pace with its modernisation targets, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik has warned. He said China had embarked on a "modernisation spree" and there had been "considerable development" of infrastructure and "induction of assets across India's northern and eastern borders".

"If the IAF has to maintain technological superiority, our plans for critical acquisitions for the next 10 years must stay on track. If not, others will catch up," Naik told HT in an exclusive interview.

Asked to assess the modernisation of the Chinese air force, Naik said it was consolidating "quantitatively and qualitatively" at a rapid pace.

"IAF is also in the process of upgrading its assets and developing new facilities," said Naik, who is credited with speeding up India's biggest military contracts such as the $10.2 billion (Rs 45,900 crore) deal for 126 fighter jets and the $4.1 billion (Rs 18,450 crore) tender for 10 C-17 military transport planes.

India developing indigenous artillery guns

With the army failing in its attempts to induct new artillery guns in the last 25 years, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started developing an indigenous 155mm 52 calibre howitzer for the armed forces.

Armament Research and Development Establishment, the DRDO's lab in Pune, has already started working on developing indigenous artillery guns for the armed forces, senior DRDO officials said.

Other DRDO laboratories will also be involved in the programme but ARDE will be the lead agency for it, they said.

Trials begin of upgraded Indian main battle tank Arjun Mark-II

The trials began Thursday of an upgraded version of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank (MBT) that is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Army's armoured fighting units from 2014, a defence ministry official said.

The trials come just a year after the government had accorded the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) the go ahead for developing the Mark-II version of the Arjun tank, a project that has taken the country over three decades to complete.

"The trials of the Arjun Mark-II tanks have begun at the Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan from today. The development programme is right on track and on schedule," a senior defence ministry official told IANS. The Arjun Mark-II is also expected to go through its winter trials later this year.

Indian Air Force inducts upgraded Antonov-32 airlift aircraft

Augmenting its airlift capabilities, the Indian Air Force on Wednesday inducted four upgraded Antonov-32 aircraft, which underwent overhauling and technical life extension programme in Ukraine.

"Four of the first batch of five AN-32s that recently underwent 'Total Technical Life Extension', overhaul and re-equipment at Ukraine were inducted with a new nomenclature AN-32RE into the service," a senior IAF official said.

The upgrades would help in extending the life of the aircraft up to and beyond 2025, Air Officer-in-charge Maintenance Air Marshal Joseph Neri said.

Indian Navy all set to welcome INS Vikramaditya

The Indian Navy is all set to welcome the INS Vikramaditya. The navy set the ball rolling to integrate the aircraft carrier (earlier known as the Admiral Gorshkov) with its fleet as the warship, being redone at a Russian shipyard, readies to sail home in early 2013.

The integration plan was discussed at a recent meeting of naval commanders in New Delhi as some key "firsts" are associated with the ship. More than double the size of existing aircraft carrier INS Viraat, it will be the biggest warship ever to be operated by the Indian Navy. The second crucial aspect is that for the first time, the navy would be operating supersonic combat jets from the flight deck. Once it arrives, the naval fleet will have to be arranged around it, as the Vikramaditya would become the central platform.

The fleet rearrangement is also necessitated by the fact that the navy is in the middle of a modernisation drive as many warships are under construction. It is estimated that by the time the Vikramaditya joins the fleet, the navy would have added the remaining two of the state-of-the-art multirole Shivalik-class stealth frigates, the first of which has already been delivered. It would also have at least two new antisubmarine warfare corvettes. The navy will also get three new potent Talwar-class frigates, being built in Russia. In fact, close to 40 new warships are under construction at various shipyards in the country. This means that the fleet will not only grow in numbers but will also have modern warships.

Saudi Arabia to Buy Light Armored Vehicle

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Friday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of a variety of light armored vehicles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $350 million.

The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of 25 LAV-25 series Light Armored Vehicles, 8 LAV Assault Guns, 8 LAV Anti-Tank Vehicles, 6 LAV Mortars, 2 LAV Recovery Vehicles, 24 LAV Command and Control Vehicles, 3 LAV Personnel Carriers, 3 LAV Ammo Carriers, 1 LAV Engineer Vehicle, 2 LAV Ambulances, AN/VRC 90E and AN/VRC-92E Export Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS), battery chargers, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The estimated cost is $350 million.

US to Sell CBU-105 Cluster Bombs to Saudi Arabia

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Friday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of 404 CBU-105D/B Sensor Fuzed Weapons and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $355 million.

The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of 404 CBU-105D/B Sensor Fuzed Weapons, 28 CBU-105 Integration test assets, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The estimated cost is $355 million.

India Plans to Re-engine Jaguars In $2Bn Deal

IAF Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told India Strategic defence magazine in an interview that the Jaguars needed urgent upgrades. Since there was still considerable life left in the airframes and systems, it was necessary to go ahead with the process as fast as possible.

IAF had actually issued a Request for Proposals (RfP), or tender, in November 2010 to Rolls-Royce, which had provided the Adour 102 engines when the aircraft were acquired beginning 1978 from the then British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), and the US Honeywell, which says it has offered to supply "more powerful engines at competitive rates."

Rolls-Royce however opted out recently, and faced with the single vendor situation, the Ministry of Defence cancelled the RFP.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dutch Claim Russia Involved in F-16 Espionage

Russia is involved in the alleged espionage via a former F-16 pilot in the Dutch army. The defence attaché at the embassy has been replaced, public broadcaster NOS has reported.

In April, it became known that a former F-16 pilot had been arrested for espionage. The 37 year old man from Enschede, Chris V., is said to have tried to sell secret information to Belarus.

According to NOS, Russia is also involved in the matter. Chris V. was allegedly arrested during a meeting with the defence attaché of the Russian embassy. The diplomat is said to have been recalled to Moscow under pressure from the Netherlands. The Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) wants to interrogate the embassy on the case, but the Russians have refused that for now.

Former President Kalam for A Hypersonic Version of BrahMos Missile

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam has asked the BrahMos aerospace company to develop an advanced version of the cruise missile to maintain India's leadership in this field.

"You should develop a hypersonic version of BrahMos which can be reused...meaning that the missile should be able to deliver its payload and return to base. This will help in maintaining our leadership in this arena," he said.

The former President was addressing a function on the 10th anniversary of the launch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. India is the only country to have a supersonic cruise missile developed in a joint venture with Russia.

IAI to Unveil Low-Collateral Damage LGB

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will unveil the MLGB, a new advanced Medium-weight Laser Guided Bomb at the upcoming Le Bourget Airshow opens June 20th near Paris. MLGB is a dual mode Laser Guided/ GPS guided weapon optimized for Light Attack aircraft.

MLGB is 170 cm long and weighs just 115 kg, of which the bulk is the capable warhead.
Precise homing of the MLGB is achieved against both stationary and moving targets, taking advantage of its laser homing capability.

Its fixed wings are in a cruciform configuration and spans 82 cm. and it is carried by standard 14" lugs.

Second Horizon-class Frigate Joins French Fleet

Admission to active duty is an essential step in the life of any ship. ‘Chevalier Paul’ will now be able to conduct operational missions and, in the coming days, she will take part in ‘Operation Harmattan,’ France’s share of the U.N. mission in Libya.

The frigate Chevalier Paul is the result of the Franco-Italian naval HORIZON program, which included the construction of two new-generation frigates for each country, and thus initiated the renewal of the two navies’ air defense components.

In French service, ‘Le Forbin’ and ‘Chevalier Paul’ replaced the missile frigates ‘Suffren,’ decommissioned in 2001, and Duquesne, decommissioned in 2007.

Armenia Wants Russian Rocket Artillery

A senior Russian defense industry executive says Armenia wants to acquire Russian rocket artillery systems that have a firing range of up to 90 kilometers.

Nikolay Dimidyuk of the state-run Rosoboronexport company was quoted this week by the Moscow-based magazine "Voenno-Promyshlenny Kurier" as saying that Armenian officials showed an interest in the BM-30 Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems during a recent international arms exhibition in Minsk.

Dimidyuk said that Armenian authorities as well as military officials from Kazakhstan held "interesting negotiations" with Rosoboronexport representatives in the Belarusian capital. "These were not mere courtesy visits, we discussed concrete issues," he said.

UK Designing PW3 Reactors for Next-Gen SSBNs

Following the recent announcement that the next generation of submarines to carry the UK's nuclear deterrent will be powered by a new nuclear propulsion system, the MOD's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Mark Welland, here discusses the safety of the Navy's nuclear reactors.

Through the Royal Navy's nearly fifty years of operating nuclear submarines it has maintained an excellent nuclear safety record.

Today, the Royal Navy's fleet of 11 nuclear-powered submarines play a vital role in our Nation's defences. Four of these, the Vanguard Class, carry the UK's nuclear weapon strategic deterrent. A further seven attack submarines fulfil a wide range of defence roles, including protection of the deterrent and UK forces, precision land attack utilising Tomahawk cruise missiles, anti-ship and submarine war-fighting, and special forces, intelligence and surveillance operations.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prithvi Accuracy Better Than 10 Meters, India Says

The surface to surface Prithvi (P-II) Missile was successfully flight tested this morning at 9 am from Launch Complex-III at the Interim Test Range (ITR), Chandipur in Balasore District of Orissa. The Launch was carried out as part of the regular training exercise of the Armed Forces.

Prithvi-II, the first indigenous surface to surface strategic missile, capable of attacking targets at ranges of 350 kms, reached the predefined target in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy of better than 10 meters. All the radars, electro-optical systems located along the coast have tracked and monitored the missile throughout the flight path. An Indian Naval ship located near the target witnessed the final event.

The entire launch operations of the missile were carried out by the Armed Forces, monitored by the Scientists of DRDO. The flight test of the Prithvi-II met all the mission objectives and was like a text book launch.

China Admits Aircraft Carrier Nears Launch

China has moved a step closer to launching its first aircraft carrier with senior generals in the People's Liberation Army finally confirming one of the world's worst kept military secrets.

Officers from the general staff acknowledged the existence of a carrier, which one of them described as a "symbol of a great nation", amid reports that it could set sail within weeks.

The vessel in question is a defunct Soviet-era carrier formerly named the Varyag that was bought in 1998 from Ukraine by a Hong Kong company on the pretext that it would be used as a floating casino off the shores of Macau.

DCNS Awards Subcontract for Indian Scorpene SSK

The production by the shipyard Mazagon Dock Ltd. (MDL) of six SSK Scorpene submarines (P75) under the DCNS transfer of technology (ToT) is ongoing. Simultaneously, DCNS India is working at the selection and qualification of Indian companies as partners for local production of the Scorpenes’ equipment.

In adherence with the Indian authorities systematic pursue of local manufacturing of systems, DCNS is continuously striving to go beyond the contractual ToT with MDL so that vital equipment could be locally manufactured. The aim is to enhance local expertises with the Indian industries.

“We are in India to establish partnerships with the Indian industry to develop local capability and to perform genuine transfers of technologies. We are providing our Indian partners with know-how and technical assistance to manufacture equipments which will be installed onboard the Scorpene submarines. MDL, our main contractor, is also to sub-contract work to these local players. Together, we are qualifying the suitable companies which are meeting the rigorous specifications needed for the submarines” explains Bernard Buisson, Managing Director of DCNS India.

Indian Army Test-Fires Prithvi II Missile

India on Thursday test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa as part of the user trial by the Army.

"The missile mounted on a mobile launcher was test-fired from the launch complex-3 in the ITR at around 0905 hours", defence officials said on Thursday.

With a maximum striking range of 350 km, the missile is capable of carrying a pay-load of 500-1000 kg warhead.

US Army Deploys Firefinder Radar in Iraq

ThalesRaytheonSystems today announced that advanced Firefinder radars have been fielded in theater supporting and protecting U.S. troops and allies. Reliability and maintainability improvements have been added to the AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder Weapon Locating Radar system that support an extended service life with reduced life-cycle costs. Currently fielded in Iraq, upgraded Firefinders are scheduled to be deployed into Afghanistan in the coming months.

ThalesRaytheonSystems, in conjunction with Tobyhanna Army Depot, is delivering modernized radars that include a new modular, air-cooled transmitter; a new Operations Control shelter; and a new, common radar processor applied across the U.S. Army's entire fleet of AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder systems. It is known as the Reliability Maintainability Improvement (RMI) program. Forty percent of deliveries are complete with final delivery scheduled in early 2013.

"These RMI systems can be deployed with confidence for effective operations in challenging environmental conditions," said Kim Kerry, chief executive officer, ThalesRaytheonSystems, U.S. Operations. "The Firefinder modernization provides the U.S. Army and allies around the world with the capabilities needed for detection and troop protection."

NATO Agrees to Extend Libya Operation

NATO defense ministers have endorsed the decision to extend Operation Unified Protector by 90 days, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said here today.

The extension authorizes NATO to continue operations through the end of September, the secretary general said during a news conference at the alliance’s headquarters in conjunction with a meeting of NATO defense ministers in which Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is participating.

The NATO effort in Libya has made progress, Rasmussen said.

BAE, Dassault Re-launch Joint UAV Project

BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation have further strengthened their relationship by announcing Telemos as the name of the programme that will deliver their joint response to meet the United Kingdom and French Governments requirement for a next generation Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

In Greek mythology, Telemos was the prophetic son of Eurymos, known for having the vision and foresight to warn Polyphemus about an attack by Odysseus.

The two companies will jointly present the capabilities that underpin the Telemos programme at the Paris Air Show from June 20th – 26th.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Russia, U.S. to set up Mi-17 repairs center in Afghanistan

Russia and the United States will set up a maintenance center for Mil Mi-17 helicopters bought by Washington for the Afghan armed forces, Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Vyacheslav Dzirkaln said on Thursday.

The United States signed a contract on the purchase of 21 Mi-17V5 military transport helicopters from Russia for $367.5 million on May 26.

"We have agreed that this [Mi-17] joint project with the U.S. will encompass this kind of facility on the territory of Afghanistan because the transportation of helicopters to Europe for repairs would be too expensive," Dzirkaln said.

Rosvertol seeks Algeria Mi-28 export deal

Russia's Rosvertol attack helicopter producer said on Monday it is in talks with Algeria over exports of its Mi-28NE for delivery from 2012-2017.

"A commercial proposal has already been sent [to Algiers] and discussions will begin this year," Rosvertol General Director Boris Slyusar said. "We hope to sign a contract for delivery in 2012-2017."

Rosvertol is the attack helicopter arm of the state-owned Russian Helicopters holding company.
If successful, the deal will be the second export sale of the night-capable Mi-28NE, which is currently being introduced to the Russian armed forces. Venezuela ordered ten Mi-28s in 2010, but they have not yet been delivered.

India Approves $4.1 Billion Purchase of Ten C-17 Transport Aircraft

The Cabinet Committee on Security, CCS, has cleared the 18,000 crore rupees mega deal to purchase ten C-17 heavy lift military aircraft. This is the biggest-ever defence deal to be entered between the two countries.

AIR correspondent reports the CCS meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh cleared the proposal for purchase of the planes from the US through the Foreign Military Sales route.

The government has formally approved the National Intelligence Grid, NATGRID project and asked the Home Ministry to proceed accordingly. The project will facilitate robust information sharing by security agencies and law enforcement agencies to combat terror threat at home and abroad.

India regrets cancellation of naval drills with Russia - admiral

The Indian Navy is disappointed with Russia's last- minute cancellation of joint naval drills in the Pacific Ocean in April, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma said.

The Indian Navy task force consisting of three destroyers - INS Delhi, INS Ranvir, and INS Ranvijay, corvette INS Kirch, and tanker INS Jyoti called at Pacific Fleet's main base in Vladivostok on April 18-23.

Russia reported the arrival of Indian warships as a friendly visit, but the Indian side claims the program of the visit originally included joint drills, which were cancelled by the Russians at the last moment.

HELINA missile’s two-way RF command-video data link realised

A two-way RF command-video data link has been realised for HELINA missile which is intended to be fired from Advanced light helicopter (ALH). The missile-to-helicopter down-link used to pass the IR seeker video is stated to work in the S band and the helicopter-to-missile up-link to pass steering commands is stated to work in the C band. In addition, a DS-SS modulation scheme is expected to be used for the command up link while a conventional FM technique is said to have been used for video down-link respectively. The range of operation is in the region of 10 kms. Both the missile – and helicopter – borne trans-receiver units have been realised and their link performance evaluated by carrying out field tests and ground- based missile flight trials.

Helina is a fast track project spanning just 33 months to establish its full functionality with ALH. The 4 to 6 months time frame was given for realization of both the helicopter and the missile data link units.

The data link consists of helicopter-and missile-borne trans-receiver modules. The helicopter borne module is supposed to consist of a two-way C band command transmitter with antenna switching and an S band video receiver with input antenna switching mechanism.

Hindustan Aeronautics sees spike in light combat helicopter orders

Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) expects the order book for its light combat helicopter (LCH) to swell to about 250, even as the country's armed forces look to desperately add teeth to its largely-obsolete attack chopper fleet.

"We are looking at around at an order book of 200 to 250 helicopters overall for the LCH, including orders from the Army and the Air Force," said P Soundara Rajan, managing director of HAL's Helicopter complex.

Already being compared to China's under-wraps Z-10 gunship, the 5.5-tonne LCH will have the Shakti engine, co-developed with French engine-maker Turbomeca, and will be equipped with guns, rockets and missiles for anti-tank and counter-insurgency attacks. It is expected to enter service by 2015-16.

Monday, June 6, 2011

India To Test Long-Range Agni-V This Year

India will test a 5,000-km-range (3,100-mi.) intercontinental ballistic missile by the end of this year, according to the chief of the country’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

“[The] Agni-V missile [should] be ready for a test, probably in December,” says V.K. Saraswat.

The Agni-V system is being designed by adding a third composite stage to the two-stage, 3,500-km Agni-III. It will be able to carry multiple warheads and will have countermeasures against anti-ballistic missile systems. The completely indigenous system can reach most targets in northern China, including Beijing.

Hindustan Aeronautics Light Combat Helicopter to come out with its third prototype

Hindustan Aeronautics' Light Combat Helicopter programme will soon come out with its third prototype after incorporating a host of design and production improvements. This is less than a year after the much-anticipated chopper had to abort its flying display at the country's premier air show, Aero India 2011.

The first two prototypes of the helicopter gunship, which has been designed, developed and manufactured by state-owned defence undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, will be undergoing their sea-level trials by the end of the year, and an improved version is expected to take to the skies early next year.

"The third prototype will be made after some more flying of the first two, which are currently undergoing improvements and are expected to fly shortly. The prototype we flew during Aero India did show some deviation from the intended parameters, so that is why we had to take it out and do a re-study " P. Soundara Rajan, managing director of HAL's Helicopter Complex said.

SAAB to bid for Indian Navy MRMR tender

Swedish defense and aerospace company SAAB is planning to offer its SAAB 2000 aircraft to the Indian Navy when it issues a Request For Proposal (RFP) for Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft in the next few months.

The Indian Navy currently operates the Russian Tu-142 Bear and IL-38 aircraft, in addition to Dornier aircraft. It has also ordered eight P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft and is expected to buy an additional four.

The aircraft is built by US aviation company Boeing, which is planning to pitch a medium range ‘diet’ P-8 for the Indian Navy’s MRMR tender.

HAL to look elsewhere for chopper engine

A dispute over fees may hamper French firm Turbomeca's chances of participating in the development of Shakti engines for Light Utility Helicopter programme.

Turbomeca has asked for a higher fee to fit the LUH, with Shakti engine, jointly developed with Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), prompting the state-owned defence undertaking to look elsewhere. "We have been in dialogue with other engine manufacturers," P Soundara Rajan, managing director of HAL's helicopter complex, told The Economic Times in an interview.

The LUH, which will have both civil and military variants, will replace the obsolete Chetak and Cheetah helicopter fleets of the forces. The Shakti engine currently powers the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter-Mark-III as well as HAL's Light Combat Helicopter.

Indian Navy's new stealth frigate launched

The INS Trikand is powered by four gas turbines and is fitted with state -of -the -art navigation, communication and electronic warfare equipment.

It is also equipped with a very advanced radar and sonar systems for early detection and warning.

Deputy Head of the Defence Committee of the State Duma, Savenko, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Baltic Fleet Vice Admiral V P Kravchuk and top officials from ROSOBORONEXPORT state arms exporters, United Shipbuilding Corporation, Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, Russian industry and public representatives also attended the ceremony.

British Apache Helicopters Attack Targets in Libya

The Libyan capital Tripoli has been rocked by a series of large explosions overnight. It follows the use of British Army Apache helicopters, which went into action against Colonel Gadaffi’s forces for the first time at the weekend.

NATO says it was mainly targeting surface to air missile sites and command and control facilities. It claims there were several hits on armoured vehicles near Misrata and Brega.

Major General Nick Pope, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, said intelligence on the whereabouts of Gaddafi's forces was "improving in a very satisfactory manner, despite their efforts to conceal themselves."

MBDA Qualifies New Naval Version of Marte Mk2

A naval configured Marte missile was launched at the Poligono Interforze di Salto di Quirra on 26 May. The purpose of the launch was to qualify the new munition by checking canister behaviour during missile launch and ensuring that the missile and canister separated correctly.

The firing exercise progressed as planned with the missile executing a trajectory which included a number of different way points to check its dynamic capabilities.

Analysis of the missile's flight parameters, which were sent in real time to the ground station, are still ongoing and will provide an accurate final assessment of the launch.

BAE Systems to Provide AV-8 Vehicles for the Malaysian Armed Forces

FNSS of Turkey, a joint venture between BAE Systems, Inc. and Nurol Holding of Turkey, has received and signed a $559 million letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) from DEFTECH of Malaysia for the design, development and manufacture of 257 DEFTECH AV-8 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles and Integrated Logistics Support for the Malaysian Armed Forces.

The vehicle, to be manufactured by DEFTECH in Malaysia, is based on the FNSS-designed PARS 8x8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armored vehicle. The vehicle will be redesigned by FNSS and DEFTECH engineers specifically to meet the requirements of the Malaysian customer.

“This effort will not only benefit the Malaysian Army, but will also further develop the indigenous capability in Malaysia,” said John Kelly, vice president of exports and international business for BAE Systems’ Land & Armaments sector. “BAE Systems, Inc. actively looks to support FNSS in its ambition to market its land vehicle expertise globally.”

India, Pakistan Glacier Talks Yield No Progress

India and Pakistan on May 31 concluded a 12th round of talks over a disputed Himalayan glacier where troops have clashed intermittently since 1984 without reporting any progress.

The estranged South Asian neighbors in a joint statement said talks, which began May 30, "enhanced understanding of each other's position" on the Siachen glacier, the world's highest battlefield.

"Both sides presented their positions and suggestions towards the resolution of Siachen," it said following the two-day talks between Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar with his Pakistani counterpart Syed Athar Ali. It added that they had agreed "to meet again at a mutually-convenient date in Islamabad," without giving any further details.

Pakistan Raises Annual Defense Spending 11 Percent

Pakistan's government jacked up defense spending and government employees' pensions in a new budget June 3 that set a deficit of 4 percent of GDP.

The budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012 starting July 1 came as pressure mounts on Pakistan to launch a military offensive in the restive North Waziristan region, known as the hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants.

It earmarked 495 billion rupees ($5.7 billion) for defense, an 11 percent increase on the current year.

Russia: France, U.K. Could Send Troops Into Libya

Russia's top diplomat warned June 4 that the NATO operation in Libya was "sliding towards" a land campaign, a prospect he said Moscow viewed as "deplorable," the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"We know that France and Britain intend to use military helicopters. We have given our view of NATO's actions," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.

"We consider that what is going on is either consciously or unconsciously sliding towards a land operation. That would be very deplorable," he added.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Boeing Delivers 2 F-15K Slam Eagles to South Korea

The Boeing Company delivered two F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft -- designated F-15K49 and F-15K50 -- to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) at Daegu Air Base on May 30.

The aircraft departed the Boeing St. Louis facility on May 25 and made stops in Palmdale, Calif., Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, before arriving in Korea.

"Boeing has now delivered 10 F-15Ks to the Republic of Korea under the Next Fighter II contract," said Roger Besancenez, Boeing F-15 Program vice president. "We remain laser focused on providing first time quality on every F-15K we deliver to this important customer. We are proud that the F-15K is a cost-certain, schedule-certain solution for the Republic of Korea."

India to Deploy New Radar Along Pakistan Border

To further enhance its air defence capabilities, the Indian Air Force is inducting indigenous medium-power radar at Naliya air base in Gujarat near Pakistan border.

Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the 'Arudhra' medium-power radar would be commissioned by IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik on Friday on the sidelines of three day-long Commander's Conference of South Western Air Command.

According to defence officials in New Delhi, this state-of-the-art radar is being inducted to strengthen air defence capabilities in the Surashtara-Kutch region as part of radar upgradation, and forms an important component in IAF's plan to achieve network centric operations.

Cassidian to Protect Canadian Ships from Laser Attacks

Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, will develop innovative solutions to protect ships of the Canadian Navy against new types of asymmetric threats. Under the designation LOCATES (= Laser Optical Countermeasures and Surveilllance Against Threat Environment Scenarios), the Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), Valcartier, Québec, awarded Cassidian a contract to apply new technologies to detect and counter laser-based threats in harbors and littoral waters.

The program is the answer to increasing threats by laser designators and laser-guided weapons which are widely distributed and easy to operate. Navy ships are particularly vulnerable in a littoral environment where attacks are difficult to be detected without sufficient pre-warning time.

Therefore, LOCATES aims at the development of a detection and tracking capability together with a reliable laser countermeasure system. A prototype system shall be developed and field tested by 2013. In a close cooperation between Cassidian and DRDC, the programme will include technologies currently under development with the Canadian research and development agency.

Oshkosh Exhibits at CANSEC Show

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, will present a wide range of world-class vehicle platforms and capabilities at CANSEC 2011, hosted June 1-2 in Ottawa, Ontario.

As the only defense contractor actively manufacturing heavy, medium and light tactical vehicles for the U.S. military and international customers, Oshkosh Defense is applying its mission-proven expertise and capabilities to serve the Canadian Forces. Multiple Oshkosh vehicles have been qualified for the Canadian Department of National Defence’s (DND) Standard Military Portion (SMP) of the Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) and the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) programs.

“We’ve been working with the DND for many years now to fully understand the capabilities the soldiers and the Canadian government require from the MSVS and TAPV programs,” said Serge Buchakjian, Oshkosh Defense senior vice president and general manager of International Programs.