Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spain to Order Five More BAM Ships

The Minister of Defence, Carme Chacon, today in Rota (Cadiz) attended the ceremonies marking the opening of the new pier at the Naval Base, and the delivery to the Navy, by the company Navantia, of the first Maritime Action Ship (BAM), “Meteor.” Chacon has also chaired the meeting of the Superior Council of the Navy which was held aboard the strategic projection ship 'Juan Carlos I'.

During the visit, the minister announced that the Cabinet tomorrow [July 29—Ed.] will authorize the award of a contract to build five new Maritime Action Ships. This new program, according to the minister, will secure jobs for 6,000 families in the Bay of Cadiz area for the next five years.

Chacon, who made the announcement during as the first Maritime Action Ship, the “Meteor,” was handed over the the Navy, said that three of the new ships will be configured for patrol missions, one for search and rescue, and the final one for oceanographic research.

DCNS’ Gowind OPV Begins First Sea Trials

The Gowind offshore patrol boat L'Adroit began its first sea trials on Wednesday 27 July for DCNS to validate the seakeeping and other nautical qualities of the vessel.

These initial sea trials mark the beginning of the next phase of the ambitious Gowind OPV programme, which spearheads DCNS's efforts to win a larger share of the markets for small- and medium-displacement surface ships. The sea trials are beginning in line with the contract schedule, just 14 months after construction started on the Gowind L’Adroit, an innovative offshore patrol boat designed for maritime safety & security missions.

“The start of these first sea trials is a symbolic milestone that testifies to the remarkable teamwork between DCNS, the project’s investors and co-contractors, and the trial crews,” said Gowind OPV programme manager Marc Maynard. “Everybody has brought their knowledge and expertise to the table, and their unflagging commitment has made it possible to consistently meet the programme’s ambitious industrial milestones.”

Canadian Paras Train with Ukraine Counterparts

As part of a multi-national Airborne Exercise Canadian Paratroopers from 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, parachute out of a Ukrainian IL-76 Ilyushin during Exercise Rapid Trident 2011.

Thirty-one Canadian Forces paratroopers have undergone Ukrainian paratrooper training from Ukrainian paratroopers of the 80th Airborne Regiment in Lviv, Ukraine, 2011. From July 19 to 23, Canadian soldiers prepared for Exercise Rapid Trident 2011 where they will use Ukrainian paratrooper equipment and aircraft, a first for any NATO country.

Rapid Trident 2011 is an exercise held from July 25 to August 5, 2011, that involves approximately 1,600 personnel from 13 NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations: Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, the UK, USA and Canada.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Second trial of Arjun Mark-II tanks begins at Pokharan

The second trial of Arjun–Mark II, the advance version of India’s main battle tank, has begun in Pokharan firing range. The trial is aimed at testing the range and strength of the tank and other weaknesses pointed out in the first trail.

Following the first trial, the Indian Army had highlighted the need of some more technical requirements.

Arjun’s new version boasts of an improved missile firing range apart from a latest laser system, which can detect explosives on the ground.

Poland Requests $200M Upgrade of FFG-7 Frigates

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland worth an estimated $200 million.

The Government of Poland has requested a possible sale to provide follow-on technical support and a Service Life Extension Program for the upgrade and conversion of MK15 PHALANX Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) aboard two ex-FFG-7 Class Frigates from the Block 0 to Block 1B, Baseline 2 configuration, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, system overhauls and upgrades, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical support, and other related elements of program support. The estimated cost is $200 million.

Poland is one of our important allies in Northern Europe, contributing to NATO activities and ongoing U.S. interests in the pursuit of peace and stability. Poland’s efforts in peacekeeping operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have served U.S. national security interests. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Poland to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.

IAI Unit Wins Far-East Radar Contract

ELTA Systems Ltd., an IAI group and subsidiary, has been awarded a $17 million contract to supply its successful Surveillance & Air Defense Radars of the STAR product line to a Far-Eastern customer.

The STAR radar family, designated ELM-22X8, comprise of 3D multi-purpose radars operated from ground and naval platforms and providing superior performance in air defense, air traffic control and also sea surface search as well as threat identification and alert.

The STAR radars are designed to support air defense mission including networked Anti-Air Missile (AAM) weapon systems and sea surface gunnery engagements.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Minuteman III Destroyed During Test Launch

An unarmed operational test Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was destroyed by Vandenberg's Western Range officials July 27 after launching from here.

Air Force controllers detected a flight anomaly and terminated the flight for safety reasons. When terminated, the vehicle was in the broad ocean area, northeast of Roi-Namur.

"At all times public safety is paramount. We plan for situations like this and everything was executed according to the plan," said Col. Matthew Carroll, the 30th Space Wing chief of safety. "Established parameters were exceeded, and controllers sent destruct commands."

BAE Delivers Guns for Aussie AWD Destroyers

The Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced in Adelaide today that the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer project has taken delivery of three main gun mounts of the Air Warfare Destroyers.

The gun mounts, manufactured by BAE Systems in the United States, are valued at $80 million and will be placed into a controlled storage facility in Adelaide until they are installed on HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney.

“The guns will be able to hit targets on land, air and at sea. They are capable of firing both Royal Australian Navy standard munitions and future extended range munitions,” Mr Clare said.

India’s Fighter Plans May Boost MMRCA Numbers

The "mother" could well become the "granny" of all defence deals in the years ahead. India is likely to go in for another 63 fighters after delivery of the first 126 MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) if the "timelines" for its other fighter development projects are not met, say top defence officials.

When the MMRCA selection process was initiated by the defence ministry in mid-2007, the overall project cost was pegged at Rs 42,000 crore, or $10.4 billion for 126 fighters. But it will zoom well beyond $20 billion, if India eventually decides to opt for 189 jets since inflation is also being factored in. Even with 126 jets, this is the biggest such fighter contract going around the world as of now.

This comes even as MoD is all set to open the commercial bids of the two jets left in the MMRCA fray -French Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon -"within a week or two". Eurofighter Typhoon is backed by the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy,

Boeing, BAE to Develop Directed Energy Weapon

Boeing today announced that its Directed Energy Systems (DES) division has signed a teaming agreement with BAE Systems to develop the Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System for defense of U.S. Navy ships.

The Navy awarded the BAE Systems team an initial contract in March to build a demonstrator unit of the system. Boeing is a subcontractor to BAE Systems under this contract.

"Boeing is committed to developing this directed energy system that will significantly enhance ship defense," said Michael Rinn, Boeing DES vice president. "Combining BAE's engineering expertise with the proven directed-energy proficiency of Boeing's DES division creates a team uniquely qualified to integrate directed-energy technology into the Navy's shipboard armaments."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JLENS Successfully Completes Endurance Test

Raytheon Company's aerostat system – Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensors (JLENS) – recently completed a successful endurance test.

"Providing long endurance surveillance for cruise missile defense is a very important capability of JLENS," said David Gulla, vice president for Global Integrated Sensors at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). "This recent test demonstrates JLENS' ability to stay aloft for extended periods performing its surveillance mission at lower costs than other systems and in a reliable manner. This test, along with others, is proving JLENS' value as an important component of the larger integrated air and missile defense mission."

Raytheon is conducting JLENS flight tests at the Utah Training and Test Range near Salt Lake City. The system is primarily designed to detect, track and support engagements of cruise missiles and other air breathing aircraft, but is fully capable of detecting air, missile and surface threats. Providing reliable persistent surveillance -- staying aloft and operational for up to 30 days at a time -- is another important feature of the system.

A JLENS "orbit" consists of two tethered 74-meter aerostats that can be elevated to 10,000 feet. One aerostat contains a surveillance radar that provides 360-degree coverage out for long distances depending on terrain. The other aerostat lifts a fire control radar. Also, each of the aerostat platforms can integrate other communications and sensor systems.

North Korea Supplies 40% of Developing World's Missiles

North Korea is the top supplier of ballistic missiles to developing nations. Forty percent of all ballistic missiles sold to these countries since 1987 have come from North Korea, according to a new study.

This means that roughly 1,200 ballistic missiles were sold between 1987 and 2009.

The recipients of these missiles include Iran, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Pakistan. Other major suppliers include Russia (400 missiles) and China (270 missiles).

Sales of North Korean missiles did decline rapidly in 1994, partly due to the end of the Iran-Iraq War and the development of production lines within customer nations.

After this date, North Korea began supplying missile components and materials.

Eurocopter, HAL Sign New Cooperation Agreements

Eurocopter, the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, and Asia’s leading company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), have reiterated their commitment to take their five-decade long relationship to the next level. The long-time partners are in the process of signing agreements to further strengthen their industrial cooperation and links. This association will focus on increasing existing collaboration and exploring new potential business areas to serve both Indian and international markets.

“HAL is fast developing into a major player in the aerospace sector. With this increasing pace of growth, HAL welcomes opportunities for joining hands with a global player like Eurocopter. We look forward to corroborating this partnership further in the coming years,” said Mr Ashok Nayak, HAL Chairman.

Since 1962, Eurocopter has partnered with HAL, through two co-operation agreements, enabling HAL to manufacture more than 600 helicopters based on the Alouette 3 and Lama, more popularly known in India as the Cheetah and Chetak. This fleet has been the backbone of the Indian Armed Forces over decades. India was the first nation with which Eurocopter signed a license agreement which included technology transfer. In 1984, HAL has been supported by Eurocopter in the development of the Advanced Light Helicopter, a 5-tonne twin-engine transport helicopter. This industrial partnership was strengthened in 2005 with the manufacturing of composite assemblies.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Euro Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System Touches Down in Germany

Euro Hawk, the first high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE), signals intelligence (SIGINT) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk produced by Northrop Grumman for the German Bundeswehr, successfully touched down in Manching, Germany, today.

The Euro Hawk took off on July 20 at 2:50 PDT (11:50 Central European Summer Time) from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and landed at 10:06 Central European Summer Time July 21 in Manching Air Base.

The Euro Hawk will carry a new SIGINT mission system developed by EADS Deutschland GmbH (Cassidian) and integrated in Manching, Germany.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

'Prahaar' missile successfully test-fired

A new surface-to-surface missile called “Prahaar” was successfully test-fired on Thursday for the first time from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Orissa.

The launch took place at 8.20 a.m. from a road mobile launcher, which is essentially a big truck. The missile traversed its entire range of 150 km in 250 seconds before impacting on the targeted area in the Bay of Bengal with an accuracy of few metres.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Prahaar (meaning “to strike”) in two years, to specifically bridge the gap in the range between the unguided Pinaka rocket, which has a range of 45 km, and the guided Prithvi missile variants, that can take out targets 250 km to 350 km away.

Short-List Due for New Indian Combat Vehicle

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), which had called for the request of proposal (RFP) for the Rs 1,00,000-crore futuristic infantry combat vehicle (FICV) project earlier this year, is likely to shortlist two of the contending firms by July-end.

About 10 private firms, including the Tata’s, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and the Mahindra & Mahindra-BAE Systems joint venture –– Defence Land Systems India (DLSI) –– are among the firms waiting to be shortlisted for a project that will see the Army procure at least 2,500 such vehicles.

The Centre, MoD sources said, is keen on firms with foreign collaborations/tie-ups and that they will have an edge over the others as the project will require high precision.

Cassidian Missile Warners for Korea’s Surion Helo

Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, will protect the "Surion" utility helicopter of the Korean Army against missile attacks. Following a multi-million euro contract from Korean Aircraft Industries, Cassidian will deliver a first batch of 24 of its proven AN/AAR-60 MILDS systems (MILDS = Missile Launch Detection System), until 2013. The order comprises about 100 sensors. Cassidian already supported the Korean company Lig Nex1 in the development of the helicopter's electronic warfare system and delivered 36 sensors during the development phase.

“With more than 7,000 MILDS sensors in service worldwide, MILDS has become the standard missile warner for helicopters and wide-body aircraft today”, explains Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Cassidian Electronics. "It has proven its value in protecting air vehicles, particularly against infrared-guided shoulder-fired missiles."

MILDS is a passive imaging sensor, detecting the UV radiation signature of approaching missiles. The extremely high resolution combined with rapid processing enables very reliable threat identification and virtually eliminates false alarms. 4 to 5 sensors provide optimized coverage and rapid reaction. MILDS is in service aboard a huge variety of rotary wing and wide body aircraft, including Tiger, NH90, CH-53, CH-47, MI-17 and C-130. A specific fighter version – MILDS F – is in service with the Royal Danish Airforce and Royal Norwegian Airforce F-16 fighters.

The "Surion" has been developed jointly by Korean Aerospace Industries and Eurocopter. It is planned to procure approx. 250 helicopters.

Fincantieri Launches First Italian FREMM Frigate

Riva Trigoso (Genoa) shipyard celebrated the launch of the frigate “Carlo Bergamini”, the first of a series of Fremm vessels - Multi Mission European Frigates - ordered from Fincantieri by the Italian Navy within the framework of an Italo-French program of cooperation.

Godmother to the ship was Mrs Maria Bergamini Loedler, granddaughter of Admiral Carlo Bergamini. The frigate was named in honour of Admiral of the Fleet, Carlo Bergamini, who was decorated for military valour after sinking with his battleship, the Roma, on 8th September 1943.

Present at the ceremony were, General Biagio Abrate, Chief of Defence, Admiral Bruno Branciforte, First Sea Lord and Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri and Corrado Antonini, Chairman of Fincantieri.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Russian Navy to receive new air defense system

The Russian Navy will soon receive a new ship-based gun/missile air defense system, KBP Instrument Design Bureau, the developer of the system, said on Monday.

The system, dubbed Pantsyr-M, has been developed on the basis of the land-based Pantsyr-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound).

"Pantsyr-M will replace the Kortik air defense systems and will be installed on all new classes of Russian combat ships, from corvettes to cruisers," said Alexander Zhukov, a senior KBP official.

Irkut to supply 40 Su-30 fighters to Russian Air Force

Russia's Irkut aircraft holding is in talks with the Defense Ministry on the delivery of up to 40 Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighters to the Russian Air Force, the company said on Monday.

"We will sign a contract with the Defense Ministry next year," Irkut President Alexei Fyodorov said.

The contract stipulates the initial delivery of 28 fighter jets and the supply of an additional 12 aircraft as an option.

Brazil launches construction of four Scorpene-class submarines

The construction of four Scorpene-class attack submarines for the Brazilian Navy was launched on Saturday at a plant near Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil and France signed a $4.25-billion contract on the construction of the four enlarged S-BR diesel-electric submarines, jointly designed by France and Spain, in 2008. The first submarine is expected to enter service in 2017.

Scorpene-class submarines are equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes for 18 torpedoes or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, or 30 mines in place of torpedoes.

Belarus to exhibit military electronics, drones at MAKS-2011

Several Belarusian firms will showcase over 40 types of military-purpose electronic equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at the MAKS-2011 air show near Moscow in August, a Belarusian defense industry official said.

"The Belarusian exhibit will be set up under the general sponsorship of BelTechExport, a Belarusian arms exporter," spokesman for the State Military and Industrial Committee Vladimir Lavrenyuk said on Thursday.

The exhibit will feature various types of flat-screen tactical displays and military tablet PCs, mock-up models of a command and a fire-control vehicle, and a sophisticated electronic surveillance system.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Public Appearance for New RAF Tanker

The RAF's largest ever aircraft has been officially named Voyager after being flown by an RAF pilot today at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford - its first public appearance.

Fourteen Voyager aircraft and a complete support package are being provided to the RAF under a 27-year £10.5bn Private Finance Initiative contract signed with the AirTanker consortium.

In addition to the aircraft, training, maintenance and brand new purpose-built buildings at RAF Brize Norton, the RAF's air transport hub, will be provided as part of the initiative.

Textron to Demo Unmanned Surface Vessel Capabilities

Textron Systems Advanced Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced today that it will demonstrate its Common Unmanned Surface Vessel (CUSV) during a portion of the Trident Warrior 2011 experiment that will take place from July 18-22. Sponsored by the Program Executive Officer Littoral Combat Ship and directed by the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Trident Warrior 2011 will include a media day hosted by the U.S. Navy on July 20.

The CUSV will complete its Trident Warrior 2011 demonstration in Norfolk, Va., in support of the Navy’s Autonomous Maritime Navigation (AMN) initiative. Textron Systems has successfully integrated AMN into its CUSV, allowing the team to demonstrate robotic naval warfare. Taking advantage of the CUSV’s reconfigurable payload bay and multi-mission flexibility, the addition of AMN’s obstacle avoidance technology delivers maritime “sliding autonomy,” a range of capability from fully autonomous operation to man-in-the-loop intervention.

Sliding autonomy enables local, over-the-horizon and operational control decisions to be made onboard the CUSV. AMN interfaces with the CUSV’s maritime command and control system, which is based upon AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ combat-proven One System® architecture, to support multi-mission/multi-warfare operations capable of being monitored by a single operator in the Universal Command and Control Station.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sensor network detects nuclear blasts worldwide

At any time of the day or night, on any day of the year, if a nuclear device explodes anywhere on Earth, a Defense Department network established in 1947 will know about it.

That was the year Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower directed the Army Air Corps to develop such a capability, and the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System has evolved over 64 years into a one-of-a-kind global web of sensors that see, feel, hear and sniff out nuclear explosions that occur under land or sea, in the atmosphere or in space.

The Air Force detection system and the job of monitoring three nuclear treaties -- the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the 1976 Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty -- in 1980 became a responsibility of the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center, called AFTAC, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Prahaar Missile to be test-fired on Sunday

Prahaar, a new quick-reaction, short-range tactical missile, which will fill the gap for a battlefield weapon system in India’s missile arsenal, is all set to be flight-tested on Sunday. It had been under development for the last four years.

It has greater accuracy as compared to other unguided missiles India has developed so far with a strike range of 150 km. Moreover, it can handle several targets at once and allow mixture of different kinds of missiles in just one launcher.

Terming ‘Prahaar’ as an excellent weapon, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director- General VK Saraswat said it would be equipped with omni-directional warheads and initially handled by the Indian Army.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Iran says fired missiles into Indian Ocean

Iran said it fired two medium range missile into the Indian Ocean six months ago under the eyes of "American spy planes," local media reported on Saturday, quoting a top military commander.

"In Bahman (Iranian month which runs from January 21 to February 19, two Revolutionary Guard missiles with the range of 1,900 kilometres (1,180 miles) were fired from Semnan (central Iran) to the designated targets in the Indian Ocean," said the unit's aerospace chief, Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.

"This took place with the Americans present in the area ... We allowed the American spy planes to be in the area but so far they have not said anything about it," he added, without elaborating on the missiles fired.

Greece mulls closer military ties with Israel

Greece is planning to expand military-technical cooperation with Israel, Defense Minister Panos Beglitis said.

"We will soon sign an agreement on military cooperation which will mainly involve defense industry and supply of armaments," Beglitis said at a session of the Greek parliament on Thursday.

The minister emphasized the importance of closer military ties with Israel, but said bilateral cooperation with Tel Aviv would not affect Greece's relations with Turkey and Arab countries.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pakistan threatens troop pull-back from Afghan border

Pakistan's defence minister has threatened to pull back troops from the Afghan border in response to US military aid cuts, according to exceprts of a television interview broadcast Tuesday.

"I think the next step is, the government or the armed forces will move the soldiers from the border areas," Ahmed Mukhtar told Express 24/7.

"If at all things become difficult, we will just get our armed forces back."

Indonesia-South Korea KFX Cooperation: The Second-Best Option?

Indonesia and South Korea are getting ready to sign an MoU on the joint-development of a KFX fighter jet program (dubbed Boramae) later this year, following a letter of intent in March 2009 on Indonesian participation in a KFX study. When enacted, the MOU will provide a breakthrough for both countries in terms of bilateral defense collaboration and aircraft technology indigenization.

The defense community and members of parliament believe that the cooperation will help the revitalization of the Indonesian defense industry. MPs urged the government to conduct a feasibility test before embarking on a US$2 billion venture that spans across an eight-year period. It is expected from the collaboration that five prototypes will be built before 2020.

Approximately 200+ aircraft will be manufactured for both the Indonesian and Korean Air Force. Surely there is a sense of pride creeping into every Indonesian’s minds knowing that the biggest Muslim country in the world is going to carry on an indigenize a fighter jet program, debunking the myth that only technologically advanced countries can achieve this.

German Eurofighters Deploy to Spain for TL

For a period of four weeks, Albacete Air Base in Spain has been the home to three Eurofighter from the Jagdgeschwader 74, based at Neuburg, Germany. The Luftwaffe’s Eurofighters were participating in the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) for the first time.

This programme is known to be one of the most demanding NATO exercises for flying combat units. Next to the Eurofighter jets were MiG-29s, F-16s, Mirage 2000s, F-4s, Hawks, Alpha-Jets, various helicopter types, transport planes, special units as well as one frigate from the Spanish Navy participating.

In the so called Composite Air Operation (COMAO), the special roles of each weapon system were harmonised in order to gain maximum effectiveness in a complex simulated war scenario. The Bavarian Eurofighters exploited their air dominance capabilities during the exercise to protect other assets from hostile air attacks.

Indo-Russia JV to service Talwar frigates

Rosoboronservice India Ltd (ROS(I)) has made a proposal to the Indian Navy to render the guarantee period after-sales service to the three new Talwar class stealth frigates currently under construction at the Yantar shipyard at Kaliningrad in Russia.

An agreement towards this is slated to be signed during Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma’s visit to that country this week. “A high-level delegation was in New Delhi to prepare the final agreement and logistics arrangements to ensure that this task can be accomplished effectively and efficiently,” sources told FE.

ROS(I) is a JV formed through a strategic alliance between eight world renowned original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of defence equipment from Russia and Krasny Marine Services Pvt Ltd as the sole Indian partner. It was created by a Russian presidential decree to render after-sales service to all Russian origin assets of the Indian Navy in 2005.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

UK Advances Rivet Joint Aircraft Acquisition

The British Ministry of Defence has signed a $1 billion support and update deal with the U.S. government regarding three RC-135W Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft.

[A spokeswoman for the MoD said that "The chief of defense materiel signed the MoU on June 23; his U.S. counterpart signed on June 6. The MoU establishes a cooperative agreement through to 2025 for the support of the U.K.'s Rivet Joint system. Valued at nearly $1 billion, the MoU enables the U.K. to access spares to support its in-service equipment, provides U.S. contractor assistance in-country and on deployment, and covers deep maintenance of the aircraft fleet that includes capability updates every four years."]

The program to replace the Royal Air Force's retired Nimrod R.1 ground-surveillance, electronic intelligence (ELINT)-gathering aircraft has been dubbed Project Helix by the British MoD.

US Suspends $800 Million in Military Aid to Pakistan

A top White House official says the United States is suspending some $800 million in military aid to Pakistan, a move some analysts say is being made to pressure the Pakistani military to step up cooperation. The decision comes as ties between the two countries are under intense strain in the wake of the U.S. raid on a compound in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

White House Chief of Staff William Daley says that while the U.S. relationship with Pakistan is difficult and complex, it must be made to work over time.

"They've been an important ally in the fight on terrorism. They've been the victim of enormous amounts of terrorism. But right now, they've taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we were giving to their military. And we're trying to work through that," he said.

Northrop ICBM Team in Test Launch of Minuteman III

The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Prime Team, led by Northrop Grumman Corporation participated in an Air Force Global Strike Command flight test of an operational Minuteman III ICBM launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on June 22, 2011.

Designated Glory Trip 204GM, the launch proceeded as planned with the missile traveling some 4,800 miles in about 30 minutes. The Minuteman III carried a single re-entry vehicle that was specially instrumented to measure various performance parameters.

The re-entry vehicle landed on target in a pre-designated area within the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site near Kwajalein Atoll in the western chain of the Marshall Islands. The launch was supported by personnel from the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., which removed the missile from the alert force.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Russia set to take part in new Indian submarine tender

Russia will participate in a new tender on the delivery of six diesel-electric submarines for the Indian Navy, the state-run exporter Rosoboronexport said.

Russia dropped out of the first Indian submarine tender in 2009.

"There is a new tender, with the new requirements, and together with [Russia's] Rubin design bureau we are making a proposal to India for Amur 650 class submarines," Azizov told reporters at IMDS-2011 naval show in St. Petersburg on Friday.

India commences work on 2nd N-submarine

Construction of India’s second nuclear submarine has begun at a classified facility in Visakhapatnam, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

This project was launched just 24 months after India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was commissioned.

The second programme took far lesser time than Arihant to reach the shipyard from the drawing board. This time we had a clear plan and we had learned a lot from our mistakes,” top sources told the daily.

Auto cos, L&T vie for Army’s $10-bn combat vehicle order

Ashok Leyland (ALL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Bharat Forge, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) are among those who have bid for a $10-billion (R44,000 core) defence ministry contract to supply combat vehicles for the Indian Army. The size of the tender is comparable to the one for combat aircraft being finalised by the ministry.

The ministry will shortlist two vendors for Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs) by July end, based on technical and commercial criteria under the ‘buy & make’ category. Under this category, only Indian companies with technical and financial capabilities are asked to submit bids.

Infantry combat vehicles are armoured vehicles carrying soldiers and supporting main battle tanks with firepower in war. Their armour is lighter than main tanks’ but heavier than armoured personnel carriers’.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Russia charges Chinese man with contraband of military equipment

Customs authorities in Russia's Far East have launched a criminal case against a Chinese citizen who attempted to smuggle spare parts for Russian MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters last year, a customs' spokesperson said on Friday.

The man, whose identity has not been revealed, was caught at one of the border checkpoints in Transbaikal region in July last year. Customs officials found six stepping motors, two piston pumps, 54 connectors, an elapsed-time meter and other parts in the trunk of his car.

"It took experts from the Defense Ministry almost a year to prove that the confiscated equipment is part of assembly kits for MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter jets," Yulia Philipova said.
"A criminal case has been opened," she said.

Egypt to Build 125 Additional M-1A1 Tanks in $1.3 Bn Deal

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Friday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt for 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits for co-production and associated weapons, equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.329 billion.

The Government of Egypt has requested a possible sale that includes 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits for co-production, 125 M256 Armament Systems, 125 M2 .50 caliber machine guns, 250 M240 7.62mm machine guns, 125 AGT-1500 M1A1 series tank engines and transmissions, 120mm test cartridges, spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, special tool and test equipment, personnel training and equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. Articles may be provided in furtherance of a co-production agreement.

The estimated cost is $1.329 billion.

Blohm + Voss Launch Production of the First Class 125 Frigate

With an official ceremony in Hamburg on 9 May 2011 Bloom + Voss initiated the production of the first Class 125 Frigate. Among the numerous guests were the Chief of Staff Navy, Vice Admiral Schimpf, members of the Naval Staff, representatives from politics, defense and industry, as well as representatives from the Naval Office, the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) and its agencies.

The German Navy procures four Class 125 Frigates, a completely new and innovative type of vessel that will usher in a new era of ship operation. In comparison to the preceding classes the new vessels require significantly less personnel for operation. They are designed for intensive use and long endurance periods at sea of up to 2 years without scheduled yard periods.

The F125 is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and effectors that support stabilization tasks and, at the same time, provide the capabilities to detect, identify and counter asymmetric threats. The equipment includes a TRS-3D/NR multi-functional radar by EADS/CASSIDIAN, as well as a powerful electrooptical component to ensure the continuous surveillance, detection and tracking of targets at short and very short range.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Iran Fires Anti-Ship Missiles Near Key Gulf Strait

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on July 6 launched several anti-ship missiles near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the country's Arabic-language television channel Al-Alam reported.

The Guards fired two Khalij Fars (Persian Gulf) anti-ship missiles, which Iran says are capable of Mach 3 speed and can hit targets at a distance of 186 miles.

According to Al-Alam, the missiles, which carry a 1,433-pound (650-kilogram) warhead, have been entirely designed and built by the Revolutionary Guards, who are in charge of Iran's missile program and ballistic arsenal.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Storm Over German Sale of 200 Battle Tanks to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is buying hundreds of tanks from Germany, a Saudi security source has said, in a multi-billion-euro deal that German opposition lawmakers have criticized as going against export guidelines.

A security source in Saudi Arabia said Monday that the oil-rich Gulf state would be buying 200 state-of-the-art Leopard tanks from Germany in a deal that has caused a political row in Germany.

"So far, Saudi has bought 44 tanks from Germany and in total wants to buy 200 tanks from Germany," a security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency.
The source declined to give a value for the purchase, saying it was a multi-billion euro deal involving the German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall.

Indian Army's Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) project likely to be delayed

Army's futuristic tank programme is likely to be delayed, with the military still procrastinating over its requirements, more than six months after it was scheduled to hand it over to the country's defence research establishment. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is yet to receive a critical document listing the Army's technological and combat wish list for its Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT).

The DRDO was keen on finalising the design for the ambitious project by 2013. No indications have been provided by the Army as to when it will hand over the Preliminary Specifications Qualitative Requirements (PSQR), which is seen as a sanction to kick-start development activities on the FMBT. "The draft PSQR finalised by a former DGM is now being refined by the newly-appointed DGM. Nothing has been finalised yet, and we have not even started any discussions on it," said P Sivakumar , director of Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment.

The document, which is expected to provide a clear technological roadmap of the country's much-vaunted next generation battle tank by broadly listing its main features, is the precursor to the General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) document, which in turn, details its exact features. Due to the delay, drafting the GSQR document would go beyond the year 2012-13.

India set to drop anchor off China

India has taken the first tentative steps towards establishing a “sustainable maritime presence” in the South China Sea, not far from the Chinese mainland.

With Indo-Vietnamese naval cooperation set to strengthen in the days to come, Vietnam has allowed Indian naval warships to drop anchor at its Nha Trang port in southern Vietnam during naval goodwill visits, well-placed government sources have confirmed.

Sources said the Indian Navy was perhaps the only foreign Navy in recent times to have been given this privilege by the Vietna-mese at a port other than Halong Bay, near Hanoi.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SELEX Galileo to Supply Further Grifo Radars to Brazillian Air Force

SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, and Israel’s Aeroeletronica International Ltd, an ELBIT Systems Ltd company, have signed a contract for the supply of 11 further Grifo F/BR radars to upgrade Brazilian F-5 planes.

The Grifo has been in service with the Força Aérea Brasiliera during the last 10 years, delivering unrivalled situational awareness and strike capability to its pilots.

The signing of the contract further strengthens the excellent reputation of the Grifo radar which, in all variants, has achieved sales in excess of 450 units, satisfying the most demanding end users such as the Air Forces of Singapore, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Pakistan and South Korea.

Third Skjold-class FPB Delivered to Norway

On the 30th of June 2011, DCNS delivered the third-of-class fast patrol boat, P963-Steil, to the Royal Norwegian Navy. The six-boat Skjold programme is led by a consortium comprising DCNS and two Norwegian contractors with DCNS acting as the combat system design authority and co-supplier.

The Norwegian authorities entrusted the Skjold programme to a consortium of three contractors with DCNS as the combat system design authority and co-supplier. DCNS is working with Norwegian contractors Umoe Mandal and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

Skjold FPBs are designed specifically for maritime security & safety missions in Norway’s littoral waters. The combat system is tailored to demanding environments and reduced crewing. The state-of-the-art communications and sensor suites are fully compatible with active participation in international and NATO-led operations. With a length of around 50 metres, Skjold-class FPBs are heavily armed for their size. The combat system features eight anti-ship missiles and a 76 mm gun that can engage several targets at once at ranges exceeding 12 kilometres.

Construction Begins on First Mobile Landing Platform

The Navy announced the start of construction of the first Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, Calif., June 30.

Following the successful production readiness review — an evaluation of the ship's design maturity, availability of materials, and the shipbuilder's ability to successfully start construction — the Secretary of the Navy certified the design and informed Congress that the design of MLP was more than 85 percent complete and ready to proceed with fabrication.

MLP 1 will be the first-of-class ship, delivering a flexible platform to support the Maritime Prepositioning Ship squadrons. The Navy's Strategic and Theater Sealift program in the Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships is procuring the vessels for the Navy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

NSM Demonstrates Precision Land Strike

Kongsberg has conducted the first ever live-fire with the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) against a land target. This demonstration is a milestone in Kongsberg’s missile business extending the portfolio of operational capabilities from the sea-target domain to include precision strike against land targets.

The missile was launched from a land-based mobile vehicle platform which is part of the Polish Navy Coastal Squadron. The missile performed a tactical flight in excess of 150 km, before precisely hitting the specified land target.

“This firing documents the versatility of and positions NSM as the first choice for long range precision strike against heavily defended targets,” says Harald Ånnestad, President of Kongsberg Defence Systems.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Reduction in UK Nuclear Warheads Begins

The programme for implementing the reductions in the number of UK nuclear warheads, as announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), has commenced, Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox announced today.

As part of his statement on the SDSR on 19 October 2010 Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Government had reviewed the UK's deterrence requirements and concluded that the requirement could be met for an effective and credible deterrent with a smaller nuclear weapons capability.

Mr Cameron said that over the next few years the current deployed capability would be reduced in scale and this reduction would be incorporated into plans for the successor submarine.

Active Defence System Tested on Fuchs Vehicle

The German Bundeswehr is currently testing the newly developed standoff Active Defence System (ADS), which has already undergone successful road tests at the WTD 41 test center in Trier. In order to thoroughly analyse how the system functions as well as its operational effectiveness, the ADS has been installed into a Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicle for testing purposes. The Active Defence System is designed to provide practically any standard military vehicle – not just Bundeswehr systems – with significantly improved protection from operational threats.

The ADS belongs to a new generation of active standoff protection technologies. It is the world's most advanced and effective system for protecting military vehicles in practically all weight classes from modern operational threats, especially rocket propelled grenades, guided missiles and certain improvised explosive devices.

Adhering to the hard-kill principle, ADS is the world's only system that is capable of preventing attacks launched in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle, i.e. in a radius of approximately 10-15 metres. Sensors detect an incoming threat such as a shaped charge warhead or antitank guided missile very close to the vehicle. Within microseconds, the system springs into action, instantly destroying the incoming threat just before it hits its intended target. The downward direction of the ADS makes it the only high-performance, close-range protective system that minimizes collateral damage in the area around the vehicle.