Thursday, December 31, 2009

U.S.A to Consider Japanese Participation in F-35 Fighter-Jet Project

Tokyo and Washington are contemplating Japanese participation in a multinational project to develop the F-35 stealth fighter, sources in both governments said Tuesday.The move is intended to clear the way for Japan to adopt the F-35 as its mainstay fighter jet, because countries not participating in the project won't be allowed to acquire it at an early date.Tokyo's participation would be limited to developing components to be provided exclusively to the Air Self-Defense Force so as not to conflict with Japan's principles of banning exports of weapons and arms technology, the sources said.

The U.S. is considering allowing Japan to take part in the program even without assurances from Tokyo that it will procure the F-35, they said.The F-35 is being developed by the United States, Australia, Britain and other countries. It is due to be available for operational use in the mid-2010s. Countries involved in the joint project are expected to be able to acquire the fighter on a preferential basis.

Japan initially aimed to acquire the U.S. F-22 stealth fighter to replace its aging F-4EJ fighter fleet, but U.S. law currently prohibits exports of the F-22 and the U.S. has announced it will halt production of the fighter.Japan has also studied other planes, such as the F/A-18 and F-15FX produced by the U.S., and the Eurofighter, produced by a consortium of European manufacturers.The government is likely to incorporate the plan to acquire the F-35 in new defense policy guidelines and the medium-term defense buildup plan to be adopted next December.The government decided in October to delay its adoption by one year partly to reflect the policies of the Democratic Party of Japan and its coalition partners.

Kaveri project: DRDO gets nod for tie-up with French firm

Ravi Sharma

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been given the go-ahead by the government to take up an offer of French firm Snecma to ‘partner’ with the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for jointly developing the Kaveri aero engine. Senior GTRE officials told The Hindu that talks with Snecma “could start early next year.” The Kaveri’s eventual user, the Indian Air Force now appears to have softened its opposition to the tie-up, they said.

The Rs. 2,839-crore Kaveri engine programme was launched in 1989, specifically to power the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, now under development at the DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). In 2005, the GTRE indicated that it would not be able to develop the Kaveri engine on its own.

Interestingly, the government’s nod, which is expected to cost the exchequer at least Rs 1,000 crore, comes nine months after a team, headed by Air Vice-Marshal M. Matheswaran and comprising officials from the ADA, the IAF and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, submitted a report that stated that an engine developed jointly by Snecma and the GTRE would not meet the IAF’s performance requirements.The IAF also wanted the Kaveri project delinked from Tejas programme.

According to informed sources, members of the Matheswaran team were critical of the French passing off their existing and fully developed ‘Eco’ engine core. This, the team felt, would not give India the engine core design knowledge or even control over it. It also pointed out that the design technology being handed out would take years to come.Based on the report, the French offer was put on the backburner with even officials from Snecma stating that the “chapter was closed.” But the IAF for reasons not yet clear, appears to have reversed its stand.

Insurgency on Rise in Bajaur, Mohmand after Allied Forces Removed Security Posts

Military spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas has said that militants have been flushed out of South Waziristan while their hideouts have also been destroyed. In an exclusive interview with Geo correspondent Asim Ali Rana on Thursday, Maj Abbas said the militants are on the run. He rebuffed report about the presence of Quetta Shura, terming it baseless.

He said insurgency has started again in Mohmand and Bajaur Agenc after allied forces removed their security posts along border areas in Afghanistan.Security forces have killed some 650 militants in operation in South Waziristan tribal region in three months, he said.

The military spokesman said that remaining few terrorists were carrying out terrorist activities in the country. “We will overcome them soon,” said Abbas. To a question, he said that Pakistan had not accepted any foreign pressure or help for the launch of military offensive in Malakand region and South Waziristan.

Major General Abbas said that the terrorists could enter tribal areas because of the operation of allied forces along Afghan border. This move, he said, would increase pressure on Pakistan Army. In this regard, Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the US military leadership. He said security forces have defeated militants in Malakand and South Waziristan due to professional strategy and public support.


First US Air Force MC-12 Arrives at Bagram Airfield

Airmen welcomed the first Air Force MC-12 to be based in Afghanistan Dec. 27, 2009. The aircraft brings another capability to Operation Enduring Freedom, because the MC-12 is not just an aircraft, but a complete collection, processing, analysis and dissemination system of Airmen committed to securing Afghanistan and protecting Afghan and coalition lives. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Felicia Juenke)

by Tech. Sgt. John Jung

The newest aircraft to the Air Force's inventory arrived Dec. 27, 2009, to Bagram Airfield. The MC-12 aircraft, tail number 090623, was the first of an undisclosed number of aircraft for the new 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here.Following the MC-12's arrival, the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron was activated to carry out MC-12 operations in the Afghan theater of operations. Col. Patrick McKenzie, the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group commander, presided over the brief ceremony attended by approximately one hundred Airmen and Soldiers.

"The MC-12 is much more than just a fleet of aircraft, its pilots and maintainers. It also consists of equipment and personnel that collect and broadcast full-motion video and signals intelligence, as well as crews that process, exploit and disseminate the information," Colonel McKenzie said. "In addition, the MC-12 encompasses a host of communications experts that support and maintain the added capability that the aircraft brings to the warfighter."

Taking the reins of the 4th ERS was Lt. Col. Douglas Lee, deployed from Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., and a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. "As a boy growing up in the Air Force, I could only imagine this day and for this opportunity to come along - [serving] in combat is why we raise our right hand to begin with," he said. "Knowledge is power and that is what we provide. This knowledge will help protect Afghans, provide security and protect Coalition lives. All of these things directly contribute to the combined effort that secures the battlespace and helps the Afghan people to defeat the insurgency."

As the demand for Air Force ISR increases assets, the MC-12 is positioned to meet that demand.The first of its kind for the Air Force in Afghanistan, the MC-12 provides real-time ISR in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The aircraft bring another capability to Operation Enduring Freedom because the MC-12 is not just an aircraft, but a complete collection, processing, analysis and dissemination system of Airmen committed to securing Afghanistan and protecting Afghan and coalition lives.

Eighteen months ago, 'Project Liberty' was on the drawing board. Today, the aircraft and its crews and maintainers supporting the 4th ERS are operational and ready to go at Bagram Airfield."We are not the first to provide ISR, but we hope to enhance the joint effort through synergy with our sister services," Colonel Lee said.Overall, the MC-12 will augment information gathered by other ISR assets already operating in Afghanistan and complement existing capability. The platform will enhance how Air Force ISR complements the total intelligence 'picture' in the respective commander's scheme of maneuver in the battlespace. With a unique mission to execute, members of the 4th ERS are eager to "look for trouble," as their squadron motto states, but hope to see it first so U.S. and coalition ground forces can avoid it.

The MC-12W is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. The primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, support directly to ground forces. The MC-12W is a joint forces air component commander asset in support of the joint force commander.

The MC-12W is not just an aircraft, but a complete collection, processing, analysis and dissemination system. The aircraft are military versions of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350 and Super King 350ER. A fully operational system consists of a modified aircraft with sensors, a ground exploitation cell, line-of-sight and satellite communications datalinks, along with a robust voice communications suite.

The aircraft is equipped with an electro-optical infrared sensor and other sensors as the mission requires. The EO/IR sensor also includes a laser illuminator and designator in a single sensor package. The MC-12 system is capable of worldwide operations.

The "M" is the Department of Defense designation for a multi-role version of the well known C-12 series. In April 2008, the Secretary of Defense established a DOD-wide ISR Task Force to identify and recommend solutions for increased ISR in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. On July 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense tasked the Air Force to acquire 37 "C-12" class aircraft to augment unmanned systems. Of note, it was less than eight months from funding approval to delivery in the theater.

The MC-12 capability supports all aspects of the Air Force Irregular Warfare mission (counter insurgency, foreign internal defense and building partnership capacity). Medium- to low-altitude ISR is a core mission for the Air Force. The first MC-12 arrived at Key Field in Meridian, Miss., April 28, 2009. The first MC-12W flew its first combat support sortie on June 12, 2009.

General Characteristics
Primary function: Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
Contractor: L-3 Communications
Power plant: Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A
Wingspan: 57 feet, 11 inches ( 17.65 meters)
Length: 46 feet, 8 inches (14.22 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 4 inches (4.37 meters)
Weight: 12,500 pounds empty (5,669 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 350, 15,000 pounds; 350ER, 16,500 pounds
Fuel capacity: 350, 3,611 pounds (1,638 kilograms); 350ER, 5,192 pounds (2,355 kilograms)
Speed: 312 knots
Range: 350, 1,500 nautical miles; 350ER, approximately 2,400 nautical miles
Ceiling: 35,000 feet (10,668 meters)
Armament: none
Crew: Two pilots and two sensor operators
Initial operating capability: June 2009
Unit cost: $17 million (aircraft and all communications equipment modifications)
Inventory: Active force, 37 (planned); Reserve, 0; ANG, 0   MC-12

Indian Army Hunts for CornerShot Weapon

Having learnt lessons from the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Army has launched a global hunt for suitable weapon systems `for shooting around the corner' for its troops involved in counter-terrorism operations. These `cornershot' rifles and pistols, with detachable high-resolution video cameras and monitors mounted on them, will help Army special forces like the Para-SF units to effectively tackle terrorists in urban warfare scenarios.

"Such close-quarter combat weapons will help our commandos to observe and engage targets from behind a corner -- for instance, while storming a building or a room -- without exposing themselves to direct fire from terrorists,'' said an officer. "American, Israeli and a few other forces already use such weapons... The front parts of their barrels, mounted with video cameras, can swivel 60 to 70 degree on either side to scan and direct fire around corners,'' he added.

Floating the Request for Information (RFI), the Army's weapons and equipment directorate wants armament companies to submit their proposals by January 30. This comes soon after elite counter-terror force National Security Guards launched the process to acquire cornershot weapons as well as wall surveillance radars to monitor what is the situation inside a room without actually entering it.

"Such new-generation equipment is very effective in neutralising terrorists in situations like 26/11, where commandos had to clear the five-star hotels in room-to-room flushing out operations,'' said the officer. The Army's RFI specifies the cornershot weapons must be able to `engage targets effectively beyond 200 metres' and have day/night vision capability.

While the exact number of the weapons to be acquired is yet to be finalised, officers said transfer of technology to manufacture them indigenously was being sought since "a large quantity'' was required. "The weapon systems should also have image downloading and transmission capability so that the enemy can be located and information shared with other troops to enable the commandos to take the best positions to engage the targets,'' said an officer.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

V-22 Osprey Pilot is Teaching Private Pilot Ground School in Afghanistan

Capt. Gabriel Glinsky, a V-22 Osprey pilot currently deployed in Afghanistan, is teaching a private pilot ground school to a class of about 15 fellow Marines.

It’s been said that physical peril has a way of focusing the mind—and if that’s so, then Capt. Gabriel Glinsky’s U.S. Marines should make excellent students.Glinsky, a V-22 Osprey pilot currently deployed in Afghanistan, is teaching a private pilot ground school to a class of about 15 fellow Marines. The students, mostly enlisted Marines, are preparing for the FAA knowledge tests while they’re still in the war zone. That way, they’ll be prepared to start flying intensively once they return to the United States with a goal of obtaining civilian sport pilot and private pilot certificates.

Glinsky is a certificated flight instructor and volunteered to teach the ground school when it became apparent that more than a dozen members of his squadron wanted to learn to become pilots. Glinsky, a longtime AOPA member, asked the association to assist him with course materials, and AOPA happily started gathering them.

Aviation humorist and veteran instructor Rod Machado was the first to pitch in with 15 copies of his Private Pilot Handbook. Gleim Publications provided several Sport Pilot Kits that include books covering the FAA knowledge test, flight maneuvers, and a training syllabus. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation provided a 2010 FAR/AIM for every student, and AOPA staff members gave a variety of materials including plotters, flight computers, VFR sectionals, and flash cards.

“Ground school [is] never easy, especially when you’re being shot at,” Machado quipped. “I admire their commitment and am pleased to help.”Irvin Gleim said his company would come through for the deployed Marines and fill in any gaps in their training materials. “Whatever you need, we’ll provide,” he said.AOPA President Craig Fuller wrote a personal note to Glinsky and thanked him for his “service to the United States, his fellow Marines, and general aviation.”

“The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is very pleased to support your efforts to train future aviators and extremely impressed at your commitment to do so far from home, and in such austere conditions,” Fuller said. The Marines were careful to specify that they need printed course material—not online instruction—because they lack the required Internet connections. Glinsky plans to keep AOPA posted on the progress his students are making in Afghanistan, and when they return home.“The amount of support that we have received is way more than anything that we could have hoped for,” he said. “We will do our best to keep GA strong, even halfway around the world.”

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Pakistan Army to Purchase 20 SuperCobra Gunship Helicopters from US

By Amin Ahmed

The Pakistan Army is likely to seek US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to acquire 20 SuperCobra helicopters to reinforce its fleet of ageing Cobra attack helicopters, which are being extensively used in operations against terrorists in tribal regions.

According to the Pakistan Assistance Strategy Report published by the US State Department, the army envisions acquiring the SuperCobra helicopters. The helicopters alone, it said, would cost at least $500 million and the total acquisition would cost up to $1 billion.

The report says that SuperCobra attack helicopters will not be available for foreign customers till 2015. Equipping the army with such helicopters earlier than 2015 will require either increased production or their diversion from the US Marine Corps.

The report says that Pakistan is likely to maintain its current force of Cobra helicopters, supplemented by armed Bell 412 aircraft. Pakistan currently has 32 Cobra attack helicopters. The sustainability of the current fleet of the helicopters is difficult but possible through commercial channels.

However, the US government is currently spending $75 million from the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Funds to update a portion of the existing Cobra fleet. Pakistan army has received two squadrons of Cobras since 1983, later upgraded with the ‘C-NITE thermal imaging’ package.


Turkey to start production of Air Defense Radar

Turkish National Defense Ministry and ASELSAN struck a deal worth of $71 m on Air Defense Radar, KALKAN, purchase, state TV said. ASELSAN, introducing its 100% domestic production of Air Defense Radar, will begin the mass production of KALKAN, TRT said.

With its high quality specifications, ASELSAN's KALKAN -shield in English- has been designed, produced and tested by 100% domestic means, the report said. Following a series of laboratory and field tests the machine made it to the inventory of Turkish Armed Forces.

With its high-tech antenna, improved hardware and signal processing infrastructure the radar can make a 3-D search and detection of all kinds of air targets like helicopters, planes, drones, and missiles. KALKAN makes an automatic classification of the data it recieves and refers them to the command control systems. Thanks to the KALKAN project, ASELSAN earned the experience and infrastructure to develop land, air, and naval radars for all kinds of ranges and tasks.

Turkey's UAV Related Efforts have Suffered From Setbacks

Turkey is adding great importance to the development and use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for military purposes, but some of its related efforts in recent years have been facing setbacks, risking the country's planned capabilities for these aircrafts.Such pilotless aircrafts are cost-effective and extremely useful. Militaries operating them do not put the lives of their personnel at risk. Such aircrafts are mainly used for reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence purposes, and in some cases as offensive weapons. In Turkey, these systems are planned to be employed in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, terrorists.

Present problems faced by the Turkish military programs is the lack of medium-altitude, long-endurance, or MALE, drones, which usually operate at an altitude of up to 10,000 meters and at a range of more than 200 kilometers for 24 hours.In one of the most disappointing deals, Israel has been unable to deliver MALE drones, which should have been received by the Turkish Armed Forces more than two years ago.

In 2005, two Israeli companies, Israel Aerospace Industries, or IAI, and Elbit, won the $190 million contract for the aircraft order against U.S. rivals General Atomics for the production and delivery of 10 Heron systems.The program faced difficulties from the beginning, causing delays due to technical difficulties challenges and the failure to pass performance tests.

Paying a penalty

Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül warned in late November that unless IAI-Elbit delivered the Heron systems successfully within 50 days, the contract would be at risk of being canceled. That deadline expires in early January.Last week, Muharrem Dörtkaşlı, the director-general of Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, Turkey's aerospace powerhouse, said that Turkey and Israel had recently reached an accord to keep the program in place, but that the contractors, including the two Israeli companies, would have to pay a penalty.

One defense source said the Israeli counterparts would pay between $10 and $15 million. It was also unclear how the revised systems would operate in upcoming performance tests.In another hitch with Israel, Turkey had to return three smaller Aerostar tactical UAVs due to their poor performance.The Turkish military acquired the three Aerostars in 2008 as a stopgap solution until the delivery of the Herons was completed. The systems were returned due to their high noise levels emitted that ended in scaring off targets.

Deal efforts with the US

Early this year, Turkey requested from the United States the sale of MQ-9 Reaper armed drones, which would also be used in the fight against the PKK. The U.S. military uses these armed pilotless aircrafts in attacks against Taliban targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.The U.S. government has not responded to the Turkish request yet. But as the U.S. moves to reinforce troops in Afghanistan, increasing the need for the Reaper, some analysts suggest that the U.S. government might find it difficult accepting the Turkish request immediately.

Some of Turkey’s local UAV programs also are not progressing as scheduled. In one case, a program launched with TAI for the design, development and production of the country’s first MALE UAV has been facing major problems and delays.The TAI contract was signed in 2004 but so far not even a successful prototype flight has been recorded. Dörtkaşlı said last week that a first flight test is now planned for the first half of 2010, but again the system's performance level cannot be predicted at this point.

In another MALE UAV effort, Turkey wants to join the European defense giant EADS’s Advanced UAV program. EADS was formed by a merger of Germany’s DASA, France’s Matra-Aerospatiale and Spain’s Construcciones Aeronauticas SA in the year 2000.One key problem for Turkey is that the advanced UAV program already has started and passed the risk reduction study phase. So even if Turkey is accepted to join the European partnership it may not have a large say on the key characteristics of the drones. Still, analysts see Turkey’s participation in the EADS program as probable.The Turkish procurement and military are working on how to devise ways to eliminate the effects of the faltering UAV programs.

Turkey to Take Decisions Regarding ABM, F-35 and Transport Helicopter in 2010

Turkey is set to make crucial defense decisions in 2010 as the US offer to join a missile shield program and multibillion-dollar contracts are looming over the country's agenda. If a joint NATO missile shield is developed, such a move may force Ankara to join the mechanism despite the possible Iranian reaction, analysts say Turkey is preparing for critical decisions next year on joining a U.S.-led air defense program to counter ballistic missile threats from rogue states and issuing multibillion dollar contracts to meet its military's next-generation fighter aircraft and utility helicopter requirements.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has invited Ankara to join a Western missile shield system to protect the Middle East and Eastern Europe from potential Iranian ground-to-ground missile strikes."We discussed the continuing role that we can play as NATO allies in strengthening Turkey's profile within NATO and coordinating more effectively on critical issues like missile defense," Obama told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan at the White House on Dec. 7.

U.S. officials are also urging Turkey to choose the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) against Russian and Chinese rivals competing for a Turkish contract for the purchase of high-altitude and long-range antimissile defense systems. The White House said in September, under the latest intelligence assessments, the threat from Iran's short- and medium-range was developing more rapidly than previously projected and in the near-term, the greatest missile threats from Iran would be to U.S. allies and partners, as well as to U.S. personnel in the Middle East and Europe. Accordingly, a plan developed during former President George W. Bush's term to deploy radars and interceptors in the Czech Republic and Poland to hit Iran's potential long-range or intercontinental ballistic missiles was abandoned.

Instead, a new plan calls for the creation of a regional system in southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and part of the Middle East. In phase one of the new Obama plan, the U.S. will deploy SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar surveillance systems on sea-based Aegis weapons systems by 2011. In phase two and by 2015, a more capable version of the SM-3 interceptor and more advanced sensors will be used in both sea-and land-based configurations. In later phases three and four, intercepting and detecting capabilities further will be developed.

Turkish dilemma on Iran

Defense analysts said if Turkey decides to join a U.S. or NATO-led collective missile defense structure, radars or even interceptors may be deployed to its territory, which borders Iran. Turkish officials say they will consider the U.S. proposal. Presently U.S. and NATO officials are working to integrate their missile defense concepts.Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoðlu has hinted his government does not view Tehran as a potential missile threat for Turkey at this point. But analysts say if a joint NATO missile shield is developed, such a move could force Ankara to join the mechanism.

In a partly related matter, for Turkey's program to buy antimissile defense systems for the protection of critical targets, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are offering their PAC-3. Russia is proposing S400s, a more modern version of the S300, marketed by Rosoboronexport; and China is offering its HQ-9 systems made by China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp., or CPMIEC.

U.S. officials say the PAC-3's compatibility with all NATO systems would be a great advantage for Turkey. The Russian and Chinese options lack that capability. Turkey's Air Force exclusively has NATO weapons.Talks on the three options are continuing, and Turkey is expected to choose a winner in 2010. Turkish procurement officials say the first phase of the program is expected to cost between $1 and $2 billion.Next year, the United States also needs to decide whether or not to sell MQ-9 Reaper armed unmanned aerial vehicles to Turkey. The U.S. military extensively uses this armed drone against Taliban targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Fighters, copters and others

As part of the Turkish Air Force's strategic modernization plan to bolster its combat capabilities, Turkey already has selected the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II as its next-generation fighter aircraft.Ankara presently plans to buy 100 platforms worth around $11 billion, but procurement officials say the number may rise to 120. Turkish defense companies are taking part in the U.S.-led multinational program for the F-35's development and production, and deliveries to Turkey are expected to begin around 2015.

Next year, Turkey will need to decide on the exact number of aircraft it will buy, and remain committed to that goal throughout the 15-year program. Also in early 2010, Turkey is expected to select a helicopter type to become the military's main utility transport helicopter platform over the next 15 years.The U.S. Sikorsky Aircraft and the Italian-British AgustaWestland are vying for this multibillion-dollar contract under which hundreds of military and civilian utility helicopters should be jointly produced.

In 2009's largest defense contract for Turkey, Ankara signed in July a nearly 1.9 billion euro deal with Germany's HDW shipyards for the production of six modern diesel submarines for the Navy.In September, the first test flight of the T129, the Turkish Army's new attack helicopter, took place successfully in Italy. At least 50 helicopter gunships will be co-produced with AgustaWestland under a contract worth around $2.7 billion.

India is getting ready to fight China and Pakistan simultaneously: Indian Army chief

Shimla-based Indian Army Training Command, headed by Lt-General A S Lamba is getting ready for something Indian Military never was ready before. Indian Air Force, Navy, and Army is ready to face Pakistan and China at the same time.

India’s 1.13-million strong Military is now panning to handle two major war fronts at the same time. India considers Pakistan and China as part of the same camp. India knows the next war will be between India and “Pakistan +China.” India will get indirect support from America and Russia, but Indian Military will have to fight the two war at the same time.

Indian Military has been training for the mini giant war against two nuclear powered nations at the same time. China has used Pakistan for a long time to keep India busy. Now time has come for India to recognize a massive threat from China and Pakistan at the same time. Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor emphasizes that India is ready for a “the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly) in the multiple fronts against multiple different militias at the same time.”

The plan is a full thrust assault into multiple anomies at the same time with massive Air Force superiority. If attacked by Pakistan and china at the same time, India will launch self-contained and highly-mobile `battle groups'', with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by far superior air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours.

India plans to end the war decisively within the first 96 hours forcing the other sides into a fast submission of ceasefire.People’s Liberation Army is aware of the capacities of Indian Army and Air Force. It will be exactly opposite of 1962 war. That is why they are busy building massive infrastructure in the Indian border areas especially in Aksai Chin and Tibet.

he real war in that scenario will be between India and China while Pakistan will be used by China to create adequate disturbance for Indian Military.That is the reason why Lt-General A S Lamba of Indian Army is so keen a massive thrust into Rawalpindi to quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of assault.

India’s biggest advantage is the its software capabilities in integrating signal intelligence with ground intelligence. India will use algorithmic seek and scan technology to counter the Chinese threats in the North and possible Pakistani nuclear threat in the West.India is focused on integrating its Navy, Army and Air Force into an integrated command and Control system completely controlled and dominated by the superior software algorithms that can prove deadly in the war front.

India Daily

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Egypt agrees to buy up to 24 US F-16 fighters

By Jim Wolf; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

Egypt clinched a deal with the U.S government last week to buy 20 advanced Lockheed Martin Corp F-16C/D fighter aircraft valued at $1.6 billion, the U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday.The first of the new batch, known as block 50/52, are expected to be delivered in early 2012, a spokesman for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

The Pentagon told Congress in October that Egypt was seeking as many as 24 F-16C/D block 50/52 models. It said at the time the deal could be worth $3.2 billion, including base construction, support equipment and other hardware and services.The U.S.-Egyptian agreement was signed Dec. 23 and covered strictly the F-16s, associated equipment and logistical support, said Paul Ebner, the spokesman.

The rest of the possible arms package for Egypt was still subject to negotiations, he said.The Egyptian embassy did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the reason for buying 20 F-16s rather than the 24 Cairo originally had requested.George Standridge, Lockheed Aeronautics' vice president for business development, said in a telephone interview that Lockheed now awaits a U.S. government contract for the addition to Egypt's existing F-16 fleet.

Former President George W. Bush's administration is widely reported to have withheld updated F-16s and certain other advanced weapons because of Egypt's human rights record and democracy issues, as well as out of concern for maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge.

Egypt has been flying the F-16 since 1982. It has received 220 of them, after decades of chiefly using military hardware built by the former Soviet Union.The new agreement marks the 53rd time an F-16 customer has returned for a new batch, said Joe Stout, a Lockheed spokesman.

Last week, Lockheed was awarded an $841.8 million contract to continue building 24 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters for Morocco, the 25th nation to buy the F-16, the world's most widely flown fighter.The administration of President Barack Obama told Congress in October that the F-16 sale would greatly enhance Egypt's "interoperability" with U.S. forces.This would make it a more valuable partner in the Middle East as well as support Egypt's own self-defense needs, the security cooperation agency said.


Pilot son lost to MiG-21 crash, father turns to help school he saved

Flight Lieutenant Manu Akhouri’s greatest passion was flying. As a child, his only toys were planes and helicopters and he would rush out to see aircraft flying past. His father, Colonel Sanjay Akhouri, doesn’t know whether the students in a government school at Bhisiana village of Gidderbaha did the same when Manu’s plane went down nearby on September 10, reportedly as the 24-year-old made his best to ensure he didn’t crash into the building.

Three months later, he has decided to help students at the Government Senior Secondary School who may want to become pilots like Manu. He has announced monetary help for those wanting to join the defence services, provided three classes with desks and benches and will give Rs-10,000 scholarships to meritorious students of Classes X and XII.

“Eyewitnesses recount that my son took a left turn to save the school, which is when the incident happened. He chose to steer his MiG-21 aircraft away from habitation, depriving himself precious seconds in ejecting. Though a second Court of Enquiry by the Air Force has now been instituted to conclude the reasons for the crash, I would like to believe that my son sacrificed his life to save that of many others,” Akhouri says.

Manu was returning to the Bhatinda air base after a routine sortie when the accident happened. A first-year engineering student, he had left before the final exams to join the National Defence Academy (NDA). Born in Daltonganj in Jharkhand, he later underwent training on Advanced Jet Trainer Hawks in Britain and was posted to the Golden Arrows, Squadron 17 of Bhatinda, to fly MiG-21s.

The Punjab government also wants to name the Gidderbaha school after Manu. “We would like to believe that the young pilot saved the school. He lost his life in line of duty and the least we can do is honour the family’s wish to name the school after him. The Deputy Commissioner of Gidderbaha has been asked to move an application to the Education Department to change the school’s name,” says Gidderbaha MLA and Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal.

Akhouri will be visiting the school early next year to hand out the scholarship and awards. While the question marks over MiG-21 safety haunt him, he says he has no regrets. “Manu was born to fly. Most of his toys were aircraft or helicopters or other flying objects. He used to known even aircraft timings and could identify them by the signs on their tailboards,” he says.

With their son’s next birthday approaching on February 21, he fondly recalls his last one. “I was posted at Aizawl in Mizoram. Manu decided to celebrate his birthday with the tiny-tots of a school where his mother was teaching. Though he did not understand the Mizo language, they all had a ball of a time. He later told his mother that it was one of his most memorable birthdays.”

Indian Express

Yea-End Review – 2009 Indian Ministry of Defence

The country’s march towards indigenization and strengthening of the Armed Forces through modernization and state-of-the-art weapons acquisitions were the highlights of the Ministry of Defence during the year 2009. The Navy took a giant leap with the launching of the first indigenously built nuclear propelled strategic submarine named ‘Arihant’ in July. The Indian Navy is well on its way to acquire a lethal punch in the years ahead when it gets the first indigenous aircraft carrier. The keel for the carrier was laid in Kochi in February. The Navy also received the first batch of three MiG-29K fighter jets. The Air Force got a big boost when the first of the three AWACS, the IAF’s eye in the sky, joined its fleet in May. The Army’s focus during the year was on indigenization with the induction of locally built MBT Arjun and T-90 Bhishma tanks.

To facilitate the indigenous defence industry and fast track acquisitions by transfer of technology from foreign vendors, the Ministry of Defence issued an updated Defence Procurement Procedure-2009 in October. The year also fulfilled a longstanding aspiration of the Armed Forces personnel when the President inaugurated the Armed Forces Tribunal in August. The other significant events during the year include Rescue and Relief during cyclone Aila that hit West Bengal and humanitarian aid to war-ravaged Sri Lanka and the participation by a 400-member tri-service contingent in the French National Day Parade for the first time.


India’s first indigenously built nuclear propelled strategic submarine named ‘Arihant’, meaning ‘Destroyer of the Enemies’, was launched on July 26 at the Ship Building Center, Visakhapatnam. India thus joined a select group of nations which have the technological capability to build and operate nuclear propelled submarines. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, while congratulating the Director General of the ATV (Advanced Technology Vehicle) Programme, Vice Admiral (Retd) DSP Verma and all personnel associated with it for achieving this historic milestone in the country’s defence preparedness, noted that they overcame several hurdles and barriers to enable the country to acquire self-reliance in the most advanced areas of defence technology. The Prime Minister made a special mention of the cooperation extended by Russia.The 6,000 ton ‘Arihant’ is undergoing trials for two years before its commissioning.


In February the keel was laid in Kochi for the first indigenous aircraft carrier, making India the fourth nation to join a select club of designers and builders of over 40,000 tonne Aircraft Carriers. The ship that will carry 30 aircraft including Mig-29Klub, LCA Tejas and Kamov Ka-31 helicopters and include a complement of 1,600 crew, is expected to add punch to the Navy’s capability when it joins the fleet in 2014. The carrier is the largest vessel for which construction has been undertaken at any Indian shipyard.


INS Airavat, the third Landing Ship Tank (Large) of the Shardul class was commissioned in May. As a platform designed for amphibious operations the ship can carry 10 Main Battle Tanks, 11 Combat Trucks and 500 Troops and has a considerable range and endurance at sea. With its weapon package, control systems and habitability conditions significantly enhanced from the earlier Magar class, Airavat delivers considerable punch and amphibious capabilities to the fighting prowess of the Indian Navy.Four Fast Attack Craft namely INS Cora Divh, Cheriyam, Carnicobar and Chetlat were also commissioned over the year.


The first batch of three MiG-29K aircraft were received on December 04, 2009 at INS Hansa Goa. A total of 16 aircraft have been contracted from MiG RAC. These aircraft will be flown intensively after their acceptance.


A contract was signed in January with Boeing Industries for eight P-8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft worth $2.137 Billion. Delivery of aircraft is scheduled between 2013-15.


The Naval Academy at Ezhimala, Kerala was commissioned on January 08, 2009. This Academy named INS Zamorin will be the largest officer-training Naval Academy in Asia. The Academy, spread over an area of 2452 acres along the North Malabar coastline, would be conducting a four year 'B Tech' programme in 'Electronics and Communications' and 'Mechanical Engineering' for naval cadets.


Two lady officers were inducted as the first women Observers of the Indian Navy. Sub Lieutenant Seema Rani Sharma and Sub Lieutenant Ambica Hooda were awarded ‘Wings’ on November 20, 2009.


In June a meeting chaired by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony decided to set up a high level committee under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to review the measures taken for coastal security at regular intervals. The other members of the committee will include the Chief of Naval Staff, Secretaries of all concerned Ministries such as Defence, Home, Petroleum and Chief Secretaries of Coastal States.

One significant achievement of the year has been the integration of all maritime stakeholders, including the several State and Central agencies into the coastal security matrix. Intelligence and information sharing has undergone a transformational change. The Indian Navy has established four Joint Operation Centres in all Naval Commands. All coastal security operations are now coordinated from the Joint Operations Centre, which are manned round the clock by Naval and Coast Guard teams. In addition, the state Marine Police and other agencies such as Customs, Intelligence Bureau, Ports etc are also networked with these centers. Besides the four Joint Operation Centers at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair, each coastal district also has its own Operation Center for coordinating activity in their districts. The Coast Guard set up a station at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in December to strengthen maritime and coastal security in the northwestern region.

In a focused drive to enlist the support of fishermen for their role, awareness campaigns targeting coastal and fishing communities were conducted.

Recognizing that the Marine Police and CISF are not fully trained in maritime tasks, the Indian Navy has provided training assistance to all coastal states and CISF personnel. 263 CISF personnel have already undergone training at INS Chilka, the premier training establishment for sailors in the Indian Navy. Local Naval and Coast Guard elements in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Maharashtra have also taken up similar training for the Marine Police. Nearly 1600 marine police personnel have been trained. This effort continues during joint patrols, in which the Navy and Coast Guard participate along with the Marine Police, CISF and Customs.


The Indian Navy maintained one ship on anti-piracy patrol duties in the Gulf of Aden throughout the year. During the year the Indian Naval warships escorted over 700 merchant vessels through the treacherous Gulf of Aden. About 14 piracy attempts were successfully thwarted by the Indian Navy.

From early November an additional ship has been deployed to patrol the maritime areas of Seychelles and Mauritius to counter the increasing cases of piracy in these areas.


The first of the three Indian Air Force AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platform arrived in India from Israel in May. Three Mig-29 and Jaguar aircraft escorted the giant IL-76 configured in its new avatar, each that took off from an advanced fighter airbase of South Western Air Command (SWAC). Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, SWAC, Air Marshal KD Singh, Air Defence Commander Air Vice Marshal P Singh and the AOC Jamnagar, Air Commodore C Hari Kumar and air warriors of the airbase welcomed the crew of the AWACS aircraft that included the Commanding Officer of the first AWACS squadron, Group Captain B Saju. Their maiden touchdown on Indian soil also marked the first landing of the AWACS in an IAF airbase.


On September 18, 2009 an IAF AN-32 aircraft landed at Nyoma Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in eastern Ladakh. Though helicopters have been landing at this ALG, this was for the first time that a fixed-wing aircraft has landed at the compacted airstrip of Nyoma, located 23 kms from the Line of Actual Control at an altitude of 13,300 feet. It marked the culmination of joint effort by the IAF and Indian Army to enable the IAF to operate in the inhospitable terrain of Leh-Ladakh region in support of the Army.

The landing came 15 months after an AN-32 landed at Daulat-Beg-Oldie (DBO), the highest airfield in the world situated at an altitude of 16,200 feet.


The Su-30 aircraft was formally inducted at Air Force Station Tezpur on 15 June 15, following the upgrade of the airbase in the northeast.


President Pratibha Patil inducted the new state-of-the-art VVIP jet into the IAF on April 1, 2009. The President later undertook a flight to Assam aboard the new Boeing 747/700, christened as ‘Rajdoot’. The sparkling white 60-passenger-capacity aircraft, designed on the lines of the US President’s Air Force One and equipped with a wide range of security cover and latest communication devices, replaces the Boeing 737.


The President of India, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil became the first woman President anywhere across the world to fly a fighter jet. She undertook the historic half-hour sortie on the Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Lohegaon airbase, Pune on November 25. Next month the President boarded the INS Viraat, India’s only aircraft carrier, and witnessed the operation of Sea Harrier Vertical Take-Off and Landing fighter jets from its decks. The 50-year-old 28,000 tonnes aircraft carrier rejoined the Indian Navy in August after a year-long refit at the Cochin Shipyard.


The Indian Air Force began flight evaluation tests for the procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) in August. US' Boeing and Lockheed Martin, French d'Assault, Swedish SAAB, European consortium EADS and Russian MiG are vying for the deal worth around Rs. 48,000 crore ($10.2 billion). The IAF hopes to complete the tests by April, 2010.


The Indian Air Force successfully undertook sorties to help Indian scientists study the total solar eclipse that took place on July 23. Two separate missions from Agra and Gwalior were flown along the path of the moon’s shadow, a mission that was deemed hugely successful by scientists associated with the experiment. While one AN-32 transport aircraft carrying scientific equipment, cameras and scientists that took off from Agra landed back after a three-hour flight, a Mirage-2000 trainer from Gwalior took spectacular images of the celestial spectacle from 40,000 feet. With weather being clear at the altitudes and coordinates planned by the IAF pilots, both AN-32 and Mirage-2000 pilots were able to accomplish the mission successfully.


History of sorts was made on May 25 when the Indian Army proudly equipped itself with the first Armoured Regiment of the indigenously built Main Battle Tank, Arjun. The development marked the fruition of 35 years of research in self-reliance by dedicated Indian scientists against all odds. 16 tanks (cumulative 45 Arjun tanks) were handed over to Lt.Gen.D.Bhardwaj, DGMF, towards formation of the 1st Arjun regiment at a function in Avadi, Tamil Nadu. MBT Arjun is the state-of-art main battle tank designed and developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi along with other DRDO and industrial partners. MBT Arjun is provided with excellent mobility, superior firepower and protection and its features are comparable to contemporary tanks operated by cavalries around the world.


India rolled out its first batch of the indigenous, Russian-designed T-90 tanks in August, which will be the country’s main battle tank over the next three decades. The successor to the T-72 tanks, the T-90 - renamed Bhishma after the Mahabharat stalwart - is the one of the most advanced tanks in the world. It has night-fighting capability and can fire guided missiles from its turret. It is also designed to ensure protection of crew from radioactivity in the event of a nuclear attack. The Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi in Tamil Nadu will make 100 T-90 tanks annually over the next 10 years. The tank will be the spearhead of India's armoured corps and the mainstay of its offensive operations.


India inched closer towards its endeavour to put in place its own home-grown Ballistic Missile Defence System by successfully carrying out the third Interceptor test on March 06, 2009 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island in Orissa. The two-stage Interceptor Missile fitted with advanced systems hit the target enemy missile at 75 kms altitude. This third consecutive interception of Ballistic Missiles once again demonstrated the robustness of the Indian Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system.


Acting upon the request of the West Bengal government, the Ministry of Defence dispatched medical teams of the Armed Forces personnel to the devastating cyclone ‘Aila’ affected areas of North and South 24 Parganas districts of the state in June. Many columns of the Army and several divers from the Indian Navy were also engaged in providing relief and rescue. These teams provided medical aid to several thousand people in the Aila affected areas. 5,000 kgs of relief stores were also distributed in the flood affected areas, which include clothing, food items and tentage. Divers from Indian Navy and Army personnel rescued 450 marooned persons and evacuated them to safer areas. Armed Forces also pressed into service Gemini boats in cyclone affected areas to distribute relief materials. IAF also pressed the Mi-17 helicopters into service to provide aid to the affected people.

When parts of Andhra Pradesh and northern Karnataka were badly affected by floods in the first week of October, the Army, Navy and IAF carried out extensive operations, rescuing over 3,600 people. More than 4.5 tonnes of rations were distributed by the Army to the marooned people in the two flood affected states. The Air Force deployed 32 aircraft and helicopters, carrying out 340 sorties.. The Navy also deployed two Chetak helicopters and diving teams for flood rescue operations.

In February the IAF also launched Operation Humsafar to supply food and medicines to the snowbound remote areas of Doda district.


On the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, medical teams from Armed Forces were sent to war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka. Indian Air Force IL-76 transport aircraft airlifted several tones of medical aid to Colombo in March.

The Indian Army conducted the joint exercise ‘YUDH ABHYAS-09’ with the US Army at Babina near Jhansi in October, towards coordinated peacekeeping and disaster relief operation. A Mechanised Infantry Battalion of Indian Army and 2nd Squadron of 14 CAV of 254 Stryker Brigade Combat Team comprising 325 US troops participated in this exercise. The Indian and Maldivian troops conducted ‘EKUVERIN-09’ exercise in Belgaum.

Exercise COPE INDIA 2009 was held in October at Agra between IAF and US Air Force. Six IAF Jaguars participated in a joint Air Exercise with the Royal Air Force of Oman at Thumrait, Oman the same month. Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet Task Force comprising four warships carried out joint exercise ‘SIMBEX 09’ in March with the Singapore Navy. The Fleet also exercised with the US and Japanese Navies under the aegis of the MALABAR exercise. Additionally enroute, the fleet conducted exercises with the navies of Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia. On the other hand, a Western Fleet Task Force comprising four ships were deployed to Europe from May, 2009. The fleet ships touched over 15 ports and in addition to having dedicated joint operations with the Royal Navy and the French Navy under the codenames ‘Konkan’ and ‘Varuna’ the ships also conducted exercises enroute with 12 different navies viz. the Algerian Navy, Portugese Navy, German Navy, Turkish Navy, Israeli Navy, Russian Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy, Spanish Navy, Moroccon Navy, Hellenic Navy, Egyptian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman.

Indian Naval warships and aircraft also conducted joint surveillance of the extensive Exclusive Economic Zone in the waters of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. Our ships conducted coordinated patrols with the navies of Thailand and Indonesia.

Two Airmen were killed When Old Missiles Exploded :India

In yet another case of mishandling of ammunition, two airmen were killed and at least three others injured when old missiles exploded while being transported at the Pokhran firing ranges near Jaisalmer on Monday. The mishap apparently took place when the missile and their propellants, whose shelf-life had expired, were being off-loaded from a truck at the Chandan range.

''The old ammunition had been brought from Gujarat for disposal at the range. IAF has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident,'' said an official. This comes soon after a young Army officer was killed during a firing exercise at Deolali in Maharashtra after an artillery shell burst near him.

Times of India

Pakistan has now an eye in the sky (Saab-2000 ERIEYE AWE&C )

With the delivery of Sweden’s SAAB AWE&C aircraft Pakistan has gained the capability of having an eye in the sky and advance monitoring system. A formal ceremony on Tuesday will be held to be attended by PAF Chief Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman.

Early this month PAF received first of its four Saab 2000 Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft from Sweden. According to an official media release the aircraft landed at one of the PAF’s Main Operating Bases, marking achievement of a major milestone in the overall modernization plan of PAF.

With the induction of Swedish AEW&C system, PAF has become one of the few air forces in the world to have Airborne Early Warning capability. Saab 2000 Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft PAF has boosted its operational capability manifold by achieving requisite early warning for efficient & meaningful Air Defence of its airspace.

According to defence experts Saab 2000 AEW&C is an affordable Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and key element is the Erieye active phased array side looking surveillance radar which features a detection range of up to 300 km for fighter-sized airborne targets and maritime surveillance mode.

The government of Pakistan and Saab first announced the successful completion of negotiations on June 22, 2006, with the resulting contract, worth approximately SEK 6.9 billion, entering into effect in the second quarter of 2006.

Defence experts say that the ERIEYE AEW&C is the world’s only operational airborne Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar in service today. The Saab 2000 ERIEYE AEW&C utilises the latest generation ERIEYE radar, now capable of detecting small air targets, hovering helicopters, cruise missiles and small sea targets such as inflatable rubber boats, for a more complete surveillance picture.

ERIEYE is the first high-performance, long-range Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) system based on active phased-array pulse-Doppler radar.

This new-generation system can be installed in a variety of commercial and military aircraft, including regional jet or turboprop airliners. It meets full AEW&C requirements for detecting and tracking targets at ranges of up to 450 km over land or water. ERIEYE is part of a complete AEW&C system, including radar with integrated Secondary Surveillance Radar / Identification Friend or Foe (SSR/IFF), electronic support measures, communications and data links, comprehensive command-and-control facilities and self-protection system.

The ERIEYE radar, with its fixed electronically scanned antenna and use of adaptive radar control techniques, has superior resolution accuracy. When compared to traditional rotodome-based solutions, it provides enhanced detection and tracking performance, including the active simultaneous tracking of multiple targets. In addition, the radar offers significantly improved resistance to Electronic Counter Measures (ECM).

The state-of-the-art command-and-control system gives the on-board mission-system crew full capability for AEW&C roles as well as maximum flexibility for other peacetime and war missions. ERIEYE is fully interoperable with and easily integrated into NATO Air Defence Command Systems.

The Saab 2000 AEW&C airborne early warning and control aircraft is a variant of the Saab 2000 regional transport turboprop aircraft equipped with the spine-mounted Saab Systems Erieye PS-890 side-looking reconnaissance radar.

The first customer for the Saab 2000 AEW&C, the Pakistan Fiza’ya (the Pakistan Air Force), placed the order on Saab, based in Stockholm, in June 2006. The first of five aircraft was rolled out in April 2008 and is scheduled to enter service in 2009. Thailand announced the selection of the Saab 2000 AEW&C in June 2007.

The aircraft, fully equipped for airborne early warning and control, can also be used for national security missions, border control, airborne command and control, disaster management coordination and for emergency air traffic control.“The Saab 2000 airborne early warning and control aircraft is a variant of the Saab 2000 regional transport turboprop aircraft.”

The Erieye radar has an instrumental range of 450 km and detection range of 350 km against a fighter aircraft sized target in dense hostile electronic warfare environments and at low target altitudes. The system is capable of tracking multiple air and sea target over the horizon and provides above 20 km altitude coverage, 360° coverage and has sea surveillance capability.

The radar incorporates an identification friend or foe interrogator. The system comprises an active phased array pulse Doppler radar with a secondary surveillance radar.The fixed dual sided electronically scanned antenna array is installed in a rectangular housing, dorsally mounted above the fuselage.

The aircraft’s electronic warfare suite is based on the Saab Avitronics HES-21 electronic support measures (ESM) and self-protection suite. The HES-21 also provides a ground-based support system (EGSS), which provides mission data for the aircraft electronic warfare system and for analysis of recorded data.

Indian Navy to receive Nerpa Nuclear Submarine Next year

By Vinay Shukla

India would receive its first new generation Nerpa Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine by March next year on a 10-year lease with the vessel being inducted into the Russian Navy prior to its transfer. The Nerpa submarine was today formally inducted into the Russian Navy with the raising of St Andrews Flag, shipyard officials said.

The commissioning of the submarine coincided with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to the region, but it was not clear whether he was present at the ceremony.The submarine will be subsequently leased to the Indian Navy under the name INS Chakra in March under the $650 million for a 10-year lease.

The 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine belongs to the class of the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.The Nerpa was to be initially leased to the Indian Navy in mid-2009, but its delivery was delayed due to a fatal accident killing 21 crewmen and technical staff following the release of lethal Freon gas in the sleeping quarters, while on trial sailing in the Sea of Japan.

Built by the Amur Shipyards in Komsomolsk-on-Amur the submarine has 'successfully passed final trials', a Pacific Fleet spokesman said."A state commission has concluded that judging by the results of all trials, the Nerpa nuclear submarine is ready to enter service with the Russian Navy," a Pacific Fleet official was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

According to earlier media reports, an Indian crew is expected to arrive on Russia's Bolshoi Kamen (Big Rock) port on the Pacific Coast in January for joint pre-delivery sailing with the Russian naval crew to be followed by independent sailing under the supervision of Russian instructors.


Monday, December 28, 2009

South Korea to Build Nuclear Plants in U.A.E. Under a $20.4 billion Contract

By Ayesha Daya and Shinhye Kang

Korea Electric Power Corp. shares surged after it led a group of bidders that won a $20 billion contract for four nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates, beating General Electric Co. and Areva SA, the world’s biggest builder of atomic plants.The order announced yesterday is the first nuclear project awarded by a Gulf Arab nation and will be South Korea’s first export of atomic plants. Korea Electric’s winning group included Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., the nation’s biggest power-equipment maker, signaling Korean companies are contenders to win more nuclear orders.

“There’s strong growth potential for the industry in the next two decades,” said Lee Jin Woo, a fund manager at KTB Asset Management Co. in Seoul, which manages the equivalent of $8.5 billion in assets. “There are expectations Korean companies will win additional orders.”

The order is part of a “fleet of power plants” the U.A.E. wants to build, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mohammed al-Hammadi told reporters in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The U.A.E., the fourth-biggest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is turning to nuclear power as a growing infrastructure uses up domestic natural-gas supplies to generate electricity.Power demand will double to 40,000 megawatts by 2020, according to Anwar Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs.

Shares Rise

Korea Electric Power rose 5 percent to close at 34,400 won in Seoul trading, the most since June 5. Its partners also gained, with Doosan Heavy soaring 15 percent, its daily limit, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. climbing 4.6 percent and Samsung C&T Corp. increasing 3 percent. Toshiba added 0.4 percent in Tokyo.

Doosan Heavy, as a major supplier, stands to gain the most from the project, Paul Hah, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co., said in a report today. Korea Electric will reap long-term rewards, as the deal may lead to more orders from around the world.Korea Electric is in talks with Turkey to build two nuclear reactors near the Black Sea, it said in a statement. The state-run utility is competing for eight more orders, from countries including Jordan, India and China, it said.

The Korea Electric-led group will design, build and help operate four 1,400-megawatt nuclear power units in the U.A.E. that will be completed from 2017 to 2020.

Price Advantage

Emirates Nuclear Energy, known as ENEC, and Korea Electric plan to set up a joint venture to operate the plants and the two companies will explore other ventures such as sourcing fuel supply, al-Hammadi said. Korea Electric will supply fuel over the first three years, it said in a regulatory filing today.The group may earn another $20 billion over 60 years for operating the plant, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a statement late yesterday.

“The South Koreans were always frontrunners to win on price,” Ian Jackson, an independent nuclear consultant, said in a phone interview. “I can’t see an obvious political element to it. The next question is where the fuel will come from.”The U.A.E. is continuing talks with other bidders on “potential cooperation in areas outside the scope” of the current contract, ENEC said in a statement. The French companies “remain open to future discussions and cooperation” with ENEC, they said in a separate statement.

Nuclear Technology

France plans to sell civilian nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, as its own gas production falls short of domestic demand, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said in May.The U.A.E. government has an atomic-energy agreement with the U.S., a necessary step to awarding construction contracts, and will prohibit the enrichment of uranium on U.A.E. soil. The civil nuclear agreement may create more than 10,000 jobs, while commercial opportunities could exceed $40 billion, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

By foregoing the development of domestic uranium enrichment and spent-fuel reprocessing, the country “has made it impossible for any future U.A.E. nuclear sector to produce weapons-usable nuclear material,” according to a statement on the Web site of its embassy in Washington D.C.

Countering Iran

The U.A.E.’s nuclear program may propel other Arab Gulf states including Saudi Arabia to seek similar technology, Jackson, the nuclear consultant, wrote in a Chatham House report on Nov. 10. The Sunni Muslim-led Gulf monarchies may also seek to counter the nuclear program being developed by Iran’s Shiite clerical regime.

Iran has been under investigation by the UN since 2003 because it concealed nuclear work from the International Atomic Energy Agency for two decades. It is subject to three sets of United Nations economic sanctions for ignoring Security Council demands that it suspend uranium enrichment and related work and allow wider inspections.

The U.S. and several allies say Iran’s atomic work is cover for the development of a weapon, while the government in Tehran says the program is for civilian purposes, such as electricity generation.
--With assistance from Seonjin Cha, and Saeromi Shin in Seoul, Arif Sharif in Dubai and Alan Katz in Paris. Editors: Alex Devine, Jane Lee.

Business Week

Russia's Nerpa nuclear attack submarine passes final trials

Russia's Nerpa nuclear attack submarine, damaged in a fatal accident during tests in November last year, has successfully passed final trials, a Pacific Fleet spokesman said on Monday.On November 8, 2008, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials, its onboard fire suppression system activated, releasing a deadly gas into the sleeping quarters. Three crewmembers and 17 shipyard workers were killed. There were 208 people, 81 of them submariners, onboard the vessel at the time.

Following repairs, which cost an estimated 1.9 billion rubles ($65 million), the submarine has been cleared for final sea trials."A state commission has concluded that judging by the results of all trials, the Nerpa nuclear submarine is ready to enter service with the Russian Navy," the source said.The submarine will be officially commissioned with the Russian Navy later on Monday in the town of Bolshoy Kamen in the Primorye Territory, home to the Amur shipyard Vostok repair facility which carried out the repairs.

The submarine will be subsequently leased to the Indian Navy under the name INS Chakra. India reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine.Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.

RIA Novosti

Weapon installation of frigate "Tag" has begun

At the Baltic Shipyard yantar in Kaliningrad, the first of the three warship missile frigate "Tag" ( "Saber") is installed by weapons on Friday, a media report said." Experts have begun the installation of two torpedo tubes on the ship which was launched on November 27, Devices produced in Russia form the basis of an anti-missile weapons frigates of Project 11356, which also includes two jet bombometnyh installation RBU-6000 and anti-helicopter," Itar-Tass quoted secretary Sergei Mikhailov of the plant as saying.

"Installing the weapons on board the frigate is in accordance with the construction schedule of the ship," Mikhailov added.BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile has been installed in the frigate, the report said.An overall expenditure of 1.5 billion dollars is spent for the construction the three Indian frigates, which will be delivered by the end of year 2012.Three units of the frigate, INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar are already constructed by Russian shipyard for Indian Navy.

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