Sunday, November 14, 2010

China Rolls out ZDK03 AEW&C Aircrafts for Pakistan Air Force

First of four Pak-Chinese ZDK-03 Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C)) for the Pakistan Air Force was displayed in a rollout ceremony was held at Hanzhong in China. Pakistan Air Force’s chief Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was the guest of honor for this ceremony at this ceremony. It was also attended by the Commander of the PLA Air Force and other military and civil officials from the China.

Pakistan Air Force signed an agreement for the joint development of four ZDK-03 AEW&C aircraft which were to be configured to meet Pakistan's specifications in 2008 with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.

IAI to adapt G550 for maritime surveillance role

Israel Aerospace Industries is offering a modified version of its Gulfstream G550-based conformal airborne early warning (CAEW) aircraft that has the capability to detect targets at sea and near shores.Currently used by the air forces of Israel and Singapore, the AEW-adapted G550 business jet carries a conformal dual-band active electronically scanned array radar. It also features an identification friend or foe system, electronic support measures and an integrated self-protection system, plus communications equipment designed to support network-centric operations.

Pakistan Navy gets third F-22P frigate PNS Saif

The third F-22P Frigate PNS Saif constructed at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, China was inducted in the fleet of Pakistan Navy in a ceremony held at the PN Dockyard here .Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Tanveer Faiz was the chief guest on the occasion. Senior naval officers and distinguished guests from Chinese Shipbuilding and Trading Corporation (CSTC) also attended the ceremony. Addressing the ceremony, Commander Pakistan Fleet said: “We are continuously monitoring the developments taking place in the maritime sector of littoral countries of the region.Although cognisant of the expansion beyond the defence needs taking place in neighbours, we do not want to engage in arms race with any country.” “Our developmental plans are purely aimed at meeting minimum credible defence,” said the PN fleet commander.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Japan To Send Troops To Remote Yonaguni Island 60 miles east of Taiwan

Tokyo will send around 100 soldiers to a remote Japanese island in the East China Sea, a report said Thursday, amid growing anxiety over China's naval activities.The ground troops will be deployed on Yonaguni island, Japan's westernmost point, to carry out coastal patrols and surveillance of Chinese naval vessels, Jiji news agency quoted defense officials as saying.Tokyo eventually plans to double the number of troops stationed on Yonaguni, which is roughly 60 miles east of Taiwan, the report said.The area is a frequent flashpoint for troubles between Japan and China.
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Chinese General Aviation Aircraft to Debut at Airshow China 2010

China's aircraft-making giant, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), said Friday it would showcase two types of China-made aircraft -- Seagull 300 and Little Eagle-500 -- at the upcoming Airshow China 2010 in Zhuhai city, Guangdong province, next month.

China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (AVICGA), an AVIC subsidiary company headquartered in Zhuhai, will also make its debut at the eighth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China 2010), according to AVIC.

Seagull 300 is the first indigenous amphibious plane developed by China. After successfully conducting its first test flight this month, the company is expected to begin mass production next year, according to Meng Xiangkai, general manager of AVICGA, the plane manufacturer.

Meng said China has a huge potential for development in general aviation, given its rapidly growing economy.

According to Meng, China currently has only 900 general aviation planes, compared with 220,000 in the United States and 430,000 globally.

To facilitate the growth of general aviation in China, AVICGA said it would launch a nationwide experimental flight promotion campaign and select 10 people to co-fly the four- or five-seat business jet Little Eagle-500 with the help of senior pilots and after necessary training.

Other than military planes, scheduled airlines and cargo planes, general aviation refers to all private and commercial flight activities, such as private flying, flight training, air ambulance, police aircraft, aerial firefighting, air charter, bush flying, gliding and skydiving.

Airshow China is the only international aerospace trade show endorsed by the Chinese central government. Since 1996, the show has been successfully held in Zhuhai every two years.

Airshow China 2010 will be held from Nov.16-21, 2010, in Zhuhai. It will feature actual aircraft, trade talks, technological exchanges and air shows.


Russia Completes Deliveries of 20,000 Kalashnikov Rifles to Afghanistan

Russia has completed deliveries of small arms and ammunition to Afghanistan under a military assistance program.Russia has delivered a total of 20,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and over 2.5 million rounds for these rifles. The weaponry will be distributed among police units in and around the capital, Kabul.Other Russian contributions to the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan include the supply of Mi-17 helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, possible Russian assistance in training Afghan national security forces, increased cooperation on counter-narcotics and border security, and improved transit and supply routes for NATO forces.
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Russia Rebuild Its 4 Project 1144 Nuclear-Powered Cruisers

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to overhaul its four Project 1144 nuclear-powered cruisers. Notably, the Admiral Nakhimov heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser will reenter service in 2012, after lengthy repairs (that will have lasted over a decade in total) are completed.The Project 1144 nuclear-powered missile cruisers were developed for attacking capital enemy warships. They were equipped with powerful air-defense systems and had substantial anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. In addition to these auxiliary weapons, they had missile systems designed for highly specialized objectives.These battle-worthy cruisers could only be used to shadow U.S. Navy carrier task forces.

This narrow specialization predetermined their future. A cash-strapped Russia was unable to complete all four cruisers, only commissioning the Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) warship ahead of the Russian Navy's 300th anniversary in 1996. The other three warships remained moored alongside shipyard piers.Russia's warship fleet is gradually being transformed into a more sophisticated formation. Corvettes and frigates, now under construction, are to be supplemented with destroyers and amphibious assault ships in the upcoming decade. Weapons and equipment will be standardized across these ships. Interchangeable components allow greater flexibility in servicing and repairing ships of different classes. This will make it possible to establish inexpensive but hard-hitting task forces.

Russian Air Force to Receive 6 Sukhoi Su-34 by December 2010

Sukhoi to the end of 2010 will deliver the Russian Air Force the second batch of the Su-34, reports RIA Novosti. It is about six such aircraft. Currently bombers undergoing flight tests at the flight-test station of the Novosibirsk Aviation Production Association named after Chkalov. Previously reported that in the first batch, to delivred to the air force in late 2009, there were two aircrafts.
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Indonesian Military Studying US Offer of 24 F-16 A/B Fighter Jets

Indonesian Military chief Adm. Agus Suhartono said he has been studying an offer of two squadrons of F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jets from the US.He said although it was a grant, he had to calculate the cost of maintaining the 24 aircraft. Indonesia-US ties were also a consideration, he said as quoted by Antara news agency.Budget concerns forced Indonesia to refuse an earlier US government offer of a newer model of Fighting Falcon, the F-16 C/D.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Iran to test-fire domestically manufactured S-300 missiles

Iran will soon test-fire its new domestically manufactured long-range anti-aircraft missiles, including a system similar to the Russian S-300 missile system, Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian said on Wednesday.

“In order to meet some of the country’s security needs, (Iran) planned to purchase the S-300 from Russia, but due to pressure by the United States and the Zionist regime, that country used (UN) Resolution 1929 as an excuse not to deliver the defensive weapon to our country,” Mansourian told the IRNA news agency. The S-300 system, which can track targets and fire at aircraft 120 kilometers (75 miles) away, features high jamming immunity and is able to simultaneously engage up to 100 targets.

Two Pilots Die in South Korean Air Force RF-4C Reconnaissance Aircraft Crash

Two pilots died after their surveillance plane crashed into a mountain in the southwest of the country during a routine training mission, the Air Force said Friday.The RF-4C reconnaissance plane went down during a "low-altitude" training flight at around 12:30 p.m. near the rural town of Imsil, North Jeolla Province, Air Force officials said. The town is located some 260 kilometers southwest of Seoul.Two airmen were aboard the plane, and rescuers found the remains of their bodies and uniforms at the crash site, an official said.Friday's accident was the second such case involving the RF-4C plane in recent years. In 2008, one of the aircraft crashed, but the two pilots aboard ejected safely.

North Korea is Exporting Nuclear and Missile Technology to Iran, Syria and Myanmar: UN

A report by U.N. experts saying North Korea is exporting banned nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria and Myanmar has been sent to the Security Council after China dropped its objections, U.N. diplomats said.The findings by the seven-member panel monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea were first reported by The Associated Press in May.The experts said North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology and using multiple intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent U.N. sanctions. It called for further study of these suspected activities and urged all countries to try to prevent them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eurofighter Consortium Offering to Turkey to Jointly Develop Eurofighter Typhoon 2020

A consortium based in Italy, from where Turkey already receives attack helicopters and military surveillance, wants to further boost its role in the Turkish defense market. Italy and Turkey should carry their commercial relations to the strategic level, says Italy's deputy defense minister.Eurofighter, a consortium of European aircraft makers, wants to sell 40 Eurofighter Typhoon 2020 jets to the Turkish Air Force, senior company officials said Thursday.

"We are offering to Turkey the opportunity to jointly develop the Eurofighter 2020, the next version of the Eurofighter," said Marco Valerio Bonelli, head of public relations and communications at Eurofighter. "It wouldn't be parts production, but joint development.""We would like to provide two squadrons of Eurofighters to Turkey," said Giorgio Zappa, director general of Finmeccanica, an Italian conglomerate, whose subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica is one of the makers of the Eurofighter. Two Eurofighter squadrons consist of nearly 40 aircraft.For its next-generation fighter requirements, Turkey has already chosen United States-led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II. It plans to buy about 100 F-35s, worth about $15 billion.

Decision on new fighter jets up in the air:Japan

The Defense Ministry will not specify which type of next-generation FX fighter jet it plans to purchase for the Air Self-Defense Force in a new midterm national defense program to be compiled next month, according to sources.The ministry will be unable to name the fighter because of insufficient information on the performance of the F-35, a leading candidate to become the ASDF's new mainstay fighter that is being jointly developed by Britain, the United States and seven other countries.Delays in development of the F-35 will likely force the U.S. military to postpone its own deployment of the jet until 2016 or later.Other candidate fighters are the Eurofighter jointly developed by Britain, Germany and two other European countries, and the F/A-18E/F manufactured by the United States.However, because of the delay with the F-35, the ministry will set up a committee in April or later that will select one of the three candidate fighters based on performance comparisons.

Russia signs $54-mln arms contract with Indonesia

Russia started the first day at an arms show in Jakarta with a contract on the delivery of munitions for Sukhoi-family fighters to Indonesia, worth $54 million, a senior defense official said on Wednesday.Russia recently completed a $300-million contract signed in 2007 on the delivery of three Su-30MK2 and three Su-27SKM fighters to Jakarta in addition to two Su-27SK and two Su-30MK fighters purchased in 2003.The Indo Defense 2010 Expo & Forum opened on November 10 in Jakarta to host over 400 exhibitors from 38 countries until November 13. Nine Russian defense companies are exhibiting various types of sophisticated weaponry at the biennial arms fair.

The flight crew of F-16I was able and experienced: Israel IAF Chief of Staff

In an interview on radio service Kol Israel IAF Chief of Staff described the sequence of events of last night flights and talked about the jet’s experienced crew

“The crew flying the Soufa jet which crashed last night was a veteran crew, able and experienced and which we fully trust,” said Air Force Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Nimrod Shefer, in an interview he gave Thursday morning (Nov. 11) on radio service Kol Israel.

“Around eight p.m. the jet hit the ground, a bit south of Mitzpe Ramon,” said Brig. Gen. Shefer, describing the events of the crash. “The jet was the leader of four F-16 planes, it’s crew experienced, veteran pilot and navigator.”

According to the IAF Chief of Staff, the training exercise, which took place on Wednesday, was “not too difficult” and was “a night exercise wherein the pilots were to attack planes acting as enemy planes.” Brig. Gen. Shefer explained that “during the flight it looked as though the plane hit the ground and from that moment we’ve been conducting searches.”

“The plane’s crew was made up of Maj. Amihai Itkis, a 28-year-old pilot from Sde Warburg. He was an experienced pilot very familiar with the Soufa jet. The navigator was Maj. Emanuel Levy, one of the first navigators to fly in the Soufa,” said IAF Chief of Staff who stressed that experience teaches, as in past crashes during exercises, “even experienced crews aren’t immune to accidents in the air.”

Chinese Missiles Could Close U.S. Bases in Attack, Report Says

The Chinese military’s non-nuclear missiles have “the capability to attack” and close down five of six major U.S. Air Force bases in South Korea and Japan, an unpublished government report says.China’s improved inventory of short- and medium-range missiles provides a “dramatic increase” in its ability to “inhibit” U.S. military operations in the western Pacific, according to excerpts from the draft of the 2010 annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission scheduled for release on Nov. 17.

China’s current force “may be sufficient” to destroy runways, parked aircraft, fuel and maintenance facilities at Osan and Kunsan air bases in South Korea, and Kadena, Misawa and Yokota bases in Japan, the report says. The facilities are within 1,100 kilometers (684 miles) of China.An upgraded missile arsenal, including a 30 percent increase in cruise missiles since last year, “poses a significant challenge to U.S. forces operating in the region,” the report says. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June called China’s improved missile arsenal “a real concern” that also threatens U.S. aircraft carriers.

Six types of Aircraft Added to Chinese Aviation Museum

Six types of precious relics became mew members of the Chinese Aviation Museum on the morning of Nov. 11, including the AN-26 transport plane, the F-7M fighter, the J-6 Supersonic fighter, the Shenyang JJ-5 aircraft, the Mi-6 helicopter and the Yak-18 aircraft, marking a milestone in the history of the Air Force.

The China Aviation Museum has collected 318 aircrafts representing 138 different types, other weaponry specimens and 15,000 pieces of cultural relics is the largest in Asia. Its collection is ranked fifth in the world out of professional aviation museums in the science and technology category.

By Zhang Qian, People's Daily Online

IAF's MiG-27 Fighter Jet Crashes Near Jodhpur, Pilot Safe

A MiG-27 fighter plane of the IAF on Wednesday crashed near Jodhpur in Rajasthan shortly after take off for a routine sortie, but the pilot bailed out safely.The crash occurred at 1320 hrs, 15 minutes after the aircraft took off from Jodhpur air base. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant A Patni, who is safe, had reported trouble in the aircraft, a defence official said, adding there is no damage on the ground.The MiG-27 crash comes just a couple of days after a Cheetah helicopter of the IAF crash landed near the Siachen Glacier base camp.
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JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft and ‘Sherdils’ Aerobatics Team Departed for China

A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) contingent comprising JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft and the ‘Sherdils’ formation aerobatics team, along with pilots and technicians, departed for China to participate in the forthcoming eight International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai from November 16 till November 21.The PAF Sherdils formation aerobatics team comprising nine K-8 aircraft will perform an aerial display during the air show. This is for the first time that a PAF Sherdil formation aerobatic team will perform in any international event of this stature.

Three indigenously manufactured JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft would also be on aerial/static display at the exhibition. World famous exhibitors like Boeing, Airbus, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce etc will also be participating in the exhibition. The Red Eagles Aerobatic team from the US and the ASB aerobatic team from the UK have also confirmed their participation in the exhibition.

Russia tests Kaveri engine for Indian LCA Tejas fighter jet

Russia has started in-flight tests of an Indian domestically-designed gas turbine engine for an indigenous light fighter, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.The engine, dubbed Kaveri, has been designed by India's Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for the Tejas light fighter developed under the Indian national program Light Combat Aircraft."The first flight of an Il-76LL test aircraft with a Kaveri engine set in place of one of the plane's engines continued for 45 minutes and confirmed the results of ground tests," Rosoboronexport said in a statement.The current version of the Tejas fighter is equipped with a single GE F404 afterburning turbofan engine developed by General Electric. India has recently ordered at least 99 advanced GE F414 engines for the next production batch of Tejas.

Indonesia Nears Decision on Lockheed F-16A/Bs, C-130B/H Upgrades

By Greg Waldron

Indonesia should make a decision on a mid-life upgrade for its Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs in 2011 or 2012, but could also buy an additional batch of six Block 50/52 fighters.If the upgrade takes place it will extend the service life of the Indonesian air force's current F-16s from 4,000 to 8,000 flight hours, and make them as capable as new-build models, says an industry source. An upgrade to all 10 aircraft is likely to cost around $150 million.In addition, Lockheed is pushing for Indonesia to purchase six more F-16s in the Block 50/52 configuration to give it a full squadron of 16 operational aircraft.Another option, albeit less likely, would be for the nation to replace its current F-16s with ex-US Air National Guard Block 50/52 airframes. However, these would have a remaining service life of only 1,500h each and be less compatible with the US Air Force's support system for the type.

Indonesian earmarks funds for utility helicopter deal

By Greg Waldron

Jakarta has earmarked $65 million for new medium utility helicopters, but the Indonesian defence ministry has yet to receive the funds.Previous reports have suggested that Indonesia's total requirement could be for 24 new utility helicopters; enough to be divided into two squadrons.Possible contenders for the requirement include AgustaWestland's AW139, the Eurocopter-promoted NH Industries NH90, and the Bell 412EP, put forward by the US manufacturer and IAe.

Embraer to sell Super Tucanos light attack turboprops to Indonesia

Brazilian aviation giant Embraer announced Wednesday that it has won an international competition to supply eight Super Tucano light attack turboprops to the Indonesian Air Force.Embraer did not say how much the deal was worth; it also includes ground support stations and an integrated logistics package. Deliveries to Indonesia start in 2012.

"We are very pleased to have the Indonesian Air Force as the newest customer of Embraer Defense Systems," said Orlando Jose Ferreira Neto, Embraer executive vice president."The Super Tucano is a proven light attack and advanced trainer turboprop, flying currently in five air forces, and we are certain it will perfectly suit Indonesia's needs."

The Super Tucano lists at around 10 million dollars, according to local media.Embraer, the world's third-largest aircraft maker, in the third quarter of 2010 had earnings of 128 million dollars.
By Agence France-Presse

Israel Air Force Two-Seater F-16I Crashes

Pilot, navigator missing after Air Force's most advanced plane crashes during routine training flight. No problems were reported before tragedy occurred. IDF, police rescue units search area An Israel Air Force two-seater F-16I airplane crashed late Wednesday evening during training in the south of Israel, near Mitzpe Ramon. The pilot and navigator have been described as missing, and many Israel Defense Forces troops were involved in searching for them. Pieces of the aircraft have been located.The two missing men were identified as Major Amichay Itkis, 28, of Sde Warburg, and Major Emanuel Levy, 30, of Maale Adumim. Their families have been notified.
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Beechcraft T-6 Military Trainer for Indian Air Force field evaluation trials

Hawker Beechcraft Corporation’s (HBC) T-6 military trainer will come to India later this month to take part in field evaluation trials with the Indian Air Force officials as part of its competition for a new basic trainer, a HBC release said.The Beechcraft T-6 offers military organizations worldwide the most proven and most cost-effective training system available today. The T-6 is a primary trainer aircraft that accommodates instruction in instrument flight procedures and basic aerial maneuvers. The aircraft delivers an outstanding training capability that is appropriate for the most basic introductory flight training through more challenging and complex advanced training missions. To date, it has been used to train pilots in approximately 20 different countries.

India world's largest combat aircraft buyer: SIPRI

India is the largest buyer of combat aircraft in the world , with the US topping the list of sellers, a leading international think tank has said. According to a report released Wednesday by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a total of 50 countries bought 995 warplanes during 2005-09, Xinhua reported. India purchased 115 combat planes, the largest buyer in the world during the period, the Swedish institute said in the report. "India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel are by far the largest recipients of combat aircraft. Together, these three countries accounted for almost one-third of all imports of combat aircraft between 2005 and 2009," the report said. The US and Russia are by far the largest suppliers of combat aircraft accounting for two-thirds of all warplanes delivered during the period. According to the report, between 2005 and 2009, the US sold 341 fighter jets, up from 286 planes sold during the previous five-year period, while Russia sold 219 planes, down from 331.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

China Fears Spark Indo-US Courting

When the US Navy and Indian forces held their annual bilateral amphibious training exercise in late September, it got little attention from the international media. It was, after all, a relatively small, joint tabletop exercise between the two nations.But the interesting thing about Exercise Habu Nag was not in the manoeuvres that were being executed, nor their size. It was all about the location—in the waters off Japan’s Okinawa, just as Sino-Japanese tensions were rising over a maritime territorial dispute.

Indeed, it’s fitting that the issue of China again loomed so large over the exercises, because it has been Chinese criticism that in the past couple of years has deterred India from engaging fully with the United States in this way.
Against this backdrop, the long border between the two countries remains unsettled and prone to misunderstandings, accidents and standoffs. Yet any confrontation between India and China isn’t likely to come on land—it is much more likely to occur in the Indian Ocean Region and South China Sea. For, while Beijing doesn’t even accept Indian pre-eminence in the Indian Ocean region, New Delhi is itself pushing its way into the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea—an area Beijing regards as a core interest.

The USS Trenton, a decrepit amphibious ship, was the first such platform bought by the Indian Navy, in 2007, for the ‘throwaway’ price of $50 million. India has placed orders for six heavy-lift military transport planes C-130J.India has also contracted Boeing to supply 12 P-8i Poseidon long range maritime patrol aircraft.  Washington has been pressing India to purchase US military hardware worth in excess of $13 billion. Who gets a piece of this Indian pie will largely depend on which fighter aircraft the Indian Air Force decides to buy to shore up its fast depleting combat jet strength—US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing are among six foreign companies that have bid for the $11 billion fighter jet deal.Another deal hanging in the balance is $3.5 billion worth 10 C-17 Globemaster planes for the Indian Air Force.

India's indigenously-developed AEW&C radar will be integrated on Embraer 145 jet by 2011-end

India's first indigenously-developed Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system is ready and is being sent to Brazil shortly to be integrated with an Embraer 145 jet .First Embraer is due to roll out in Jan 2011, and the Indian AEW&C radar will be integrated on it by 2011-end. The Embraer aircraft will be modified for mid-air refueling to extend their 3,000 km-plus range.The IAF is also looking at the Boeing 737-700 AEW&C equipped with Northrop Grumman's Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar, the type already sold to Australia. The AWACS and AEW&C systems are advanced radars, absolutely essential in contemporary defence requirements for long-range and precision engagement to neutralize hostile targets.Both the Indian Navy and the IAF should require at least 20 each of them, although on different platforms and different capabilities.

Japan Eyes Procuring F-35 fighters; Gives up on More F-2 jets

The Defense Ministry has set its sights on procuring the F-35 fighter as Japan’s main next-generation fighter aircraft for the Air Self-Defense Force, giving up on an earlier plan to buy more F-2 fighters, ministry and Self-Defense Forces sources said Sunday.The ministry plans to seek procurement costs for the F-35 in its budget request for fiscal 2012 and is slated to begin full-fledged arrangements for the procurement plan early next year through a selection committee to prepare for the budget request deadline next summer, the sources said.The ministry was planning to retool its current main F-15 fighters and buy more F-2 jets as a stopgap measure, given the delay in the development of the fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter capable of flying at supersonic speeds as well as its price increase.But the ministry has determined that procuring the less functional F-2 aircraft additionally would not be expedient from the standpoint of deterrence and cost, the sources said.

Monday, November 8, 2010

India May Order Another Six C-17 Globemaster-III

The biggest Indo-US defence deal in the pipeline, the $4.1-billion for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft, could get even bigger. India may well order another six C-17s after the first 10. The impending final contract for 10 C-17s is in tune with India's aim to have swift power projection capabilities, with the region spanning from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait being seen as the country's ''primary area of geo-strategic interest''.

The gigantic C-17s, after all, are capable of carrying a payload of 164,900 pounds after taking off from a mere 7,000-feet airstrip. These four-engine aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, can transport tanks and combat-ready troops over 2,400 nautical miles. ''After we have evaluated the performance of the 10 C-17s, we will take a decision on whether to order another six,'' IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told TOI on Monday.

US President to Push India to Buy More US Military Hardware

US President Barack Obama, on his visit to India, is aiming to seal deals worth billions of dollars. A day after announcing new business deals, now his focus is on the defence sector. NDTV has learnt that during his meeting with the Prime Minister, Obama plans to push India to buy more US military hardware. Let's take a look at the potential deals in the pipeline:

The Indian Army plans to buy 145 Howitzers, which is approximately US $8 billion deal. So far, BAE Systems has offered the M777 Lightweight Towed Howitzer for which the Indian Army has conducted field trials in recent weeks The Army also plans to buy sensor-fused weapons or Cluster bombs - a $880 million deal. Apart from this, Indian Air Force and Navy are looking for AWACS and mid-air refuelers which are going to cost $ 2 billion.

Leading US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing has offered the B737-700. Boeing is close to winning the 10 Air Force Heavy Lift Aircraft deal by offering the C-17 Globemaster III. This deal is valued at approximately US $4.5 billion. Also, there is the closely contested $11 billion Air Force Multi-role Fighter Aircraft deal and the winner is expected to be announced latest by mid-2011.

Boeing has offered the F/A-18 Super Hornets while Lockheed Martin has offered the less fancied F-16IN single engine fighters. What's already in the bag: The Navy has already ordered 12 Boeing P8I Poseidon Aircrafts worth US $$4.5-$5 billion for maritime patrolling. The Air Force has sealed the deal for C-130 transport aircraft. First delivery is expected in less than a month. However, all these weapons platforms will come bereft of latest technology since India has refused to sign the CISMOA (Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement) with the United States. NDTV

Deals with US not to hit Indo-Russia ties

India's military ties with Russia are not likely to be affected by recent spurt in the purchase of equipment from the US. For, the wide range of military equipment being sourced from Russia, or being co-developed with Moscow, is far too huge for the US to match, sources told.

Notably, the US has recently entered the Indian military market via the government-to-government sales route and is at best "setting its foot on the soil". Russia, however, is so well ensconced that frontline fighters the Sukhoi-30 and T-90 tanks are now being produced in India itself. And co-development projects include a cruise missile, next generation of fighter and transport planes, an official said. Among the recent acquisition from the US have been the six C-130-J medium haul transport planes -- the first batch arrives in February next.

The Navy will also be soon getting the first batch of the eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the P-8I. India has already selected the General Electric's GE 414 engine to power the next lot of light combat aircraft - the Tejas. Besides, the Army is in the final stages of trying out the ultra-light howitzer - the M777. The gun can be slung under a chopper and dropped at remote mountainous locations. The last on the list is the much talked about $5.8 billion deal for the purchase of 10 heavy lift transport aircraft, the C-17-A Globemaster.

United Arab Emirates Requests Sale of AH-64D Apache

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress November 3 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates of 30 AH-64D Block II lot 10 APACHE helicopters, remanufactured to AH-64D Block III configuration and 30 AH-64D Block III APACHE helicopters, as well as associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $5.0 billion.

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has requested a possible sale of 30 AH-64D Block II lot 10 APACHE helicopters, remanufactured to AH-64D Block III configuration, 30 AH-64D Block III APACHE helicopters, 120 T700-GE-701D engines, 76 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors, 70 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars with Radar Electronics Units, 70 AN/ALQ-144A(V)3 Infrared Jammers, 70 AN/APR-39A(V)4 Radar Signal Detecting Sets, 70 AN/ALQ-136(V)5 Radar Jammers, 70 AAR-57(V)3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems, 30mm automatic weapons, improved counter measure dispensers, communication and support equipment, improved helmet display sight systems, trainer upgrades, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $5.0 billion.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

UAE displays upgraded Apache AH-64D Block II

Boeing has completed work bringing the United Arab Emirates’ fleet of 30 Apache attack helicopters up to AH-64D Block II configuration, it has been announced. Speaking at the Dubai Helishow, Boeing director for rotorcraft business development, Mike Burke, said the company had remanufactured all 30 of the aircraft, which now feature the Longbow fire control radar and new fire control system. The UAE Army displayed one of its AH-64D Apaches at the static display here at the show. As well as the Longbow radar, the Apache fleet now incorporates the Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) electro-optical fire-control system and AGM-114L3 Hellfire II laser-guided missile. Burke said the upgrade to the fleet, carried out under a contract with Boeing that was signed in 2006, was made possible by the ‘plug and play’ nature of the Apache.Boeing was awarded a $247 million contract on 22 October for the initial production of eight Apache Block III aircraft, with the delivery of the first scheduled for October 2011.

Pakistan Navy Inducts Z9EC helicopters, EW Jet Aircraft

The second batch of four Z9EC Anti Submarine helicopters, and the first Information and Electronic Warfare Jet aircraft were formally inducted in Pakistan Navy Aviation fleet on Thursday.The induction ceremony was held at PN Aviation Base PNS Mehran. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral, Noman Bashir was the chief guest.The Z9EC helicopters have been acquired from China under the contract with China National Aero technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC). The first batch was inducted last year which has been successfully taking part in Naval Air Operations. These helicopters operate from F-22P Frigates which now make an important part of PN Fleet. The helicopters are equipped with advanced sensors and torpedoes for undertaking designed role of Anti Submarine Warfare.

The acquisition of IW/EW jet aircraft would add a new dimension to Pakistan Navy’s intelligence gathering capabilities. The aircraft, equipped with modern and sophisticated equipment, is capable of covering larger areas in short time span, and would significantly enhance maritime domain awareness of own area of operations.

30th anniversary of Taiwan's AT-3 jet trainer celebrated

Taiwan celebrated Friday the 30th anniversary of the maiden flight of its self-designed, self-manufactured jet trainer.In attendance at the Taichung complex of Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC), were Vice Minister of Economics Lin Sheng-chung, Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu, AIDC Chairman Shung Yeou-kuang and representatives from the Air Force.The event started with a film looking back at the difficulties encountered and overcome during three decades of the trainer's development."Without the AIDC, there would be no aerospace industry in Taiwan," Lin said.Due to the experience gained by developing the AT-3 trainers, Taiwan was later able to develop its first indigenous defense fighters: a supersonic, twin-engined plane similar to the F-16 but slightly smaller and with a slightly shorter range.
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Poor inspection blamed for damages to ROKAF's F-15K

By Jung Sung-ki

One of the three F-15K aircraft delivered by U.S. aerospace company Boeing to the South Korean Air Force (ROKAF) in September had severe defects allegedly due to the poor quality of work at a St. Louis manufacturing facility, industry sources said Thursday.On Sept. 9, Boeing delivered three of the second batch of 21 F-15Ks ordered under a 2008 contract, following the delivery of 40 F-15Ks under a previous deal in 2002.But one of the newly arrived aircraft had an engine damaged by foreign objects, and fuel transfer and avionics glitches, the sources said, citing testimony of Korean technicians based at the K2 Air Base in Daegu, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul. The Daegu base is home to the F-15K fleet.The broken engine built by Pratt & Whitney was immediately replaced with a new one and other problems were repaired, the sources said.

Typhoon closes in on $11bn fighter deal

The multi-role combat aircraft, manufactured by a joint venture between Britain's BAE Systems, Italy's Alenia Aeronautica and the German-Spanish giant EADS, has come top in the Indian Air Force's technical assessment of rival bids, beating the American F16 and F18s, the Russian MiG 35 and its closest rival, the French Dassault Rafale. President Barack Obama of the United States is in India this weekend and is expected to lobby on behalf of the US defence industry for the F16 and F18. "There are a number of cost and strategic considerations which still have to be looked at, but in purely technical terms, Eurofighter is ahead," the official said. The Typhoon's unique advantage, he said, is an integrated platform for its weapons, radar and intelligence- gathering systems. "It has this flexibility and adaptability at any one time," he said. Sir Stephen previously headed Britain's Typhoon development programme at the Ministry of Defence.

Indian Air Force to purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft

The Boeing Company and the Indian Air Force have reached preliminary agreement on the purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft, and are now in the process of finalizing the details of the sale. Once all have been delivered, the Indian Air Force will be the owner and operator of the largest fleet of C-17s outside of the United States. Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is the aircraft manufacturer. Boeing reports that each C-17 supports 650 suppliers across 44 U.S. states and that this order will support Boeing’s C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California, for an entire year. This transaction is valued at approximately $4.1 billion, all of which is U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 22,160 jobs.

Finmeccanica Sells Helicopters to Turkmenistan

Italian defense group Finmeccanica has sold helicopters, including the AgustaWestland AW101 and the AW139, to the government of Turkmenistan, the firm said Nov. 4.The sale was announced during a conference call with analysts. During the call, Chief Financial Officer Alessandro Pansa also said that a long-delayed deal to sell the M-346 jet trainer to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could be struck in 2011.

Russia sends 3rd AWACS plane to India

Russia has completed its part of a contract on the delivery of A-50 Mainstay AWACS aircraft to India, a Russian aircraft industry official said.India ordered three A-50EI variants, developed on the basis of the Russian Il-76MD military transport plane and fitted with the Israeli-made Phalcon radar system, in 2004. The first two aircraft are already in service with the Indian air force (IAF).

Indian air chief dismisses UK’s ‘iffy’ Harriers

Britain has hit an early obstacle in its bid to sell its fleet of Harrier jump jets after India, the most promising potential buyer, described the aircraft as “iffy” and obsolete.Air Chief Marshall PV Naik, the head of the Indian Air Force, said on Tuesday he would be looking to acquire modern aircraft of fourth-generation capabilities or better. “The Harrier doesn’t fit into that category,” the Air Chief Marshall said.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Iran builds unmanned reconnaissance hand-launched drone

Iranian researchers have built an unmanned reconnaissance drone which needs no runway and is able to be launched with hand."Parts of the light drone can be carried in a backpack by military and assembled in the minimum time, "said the Director General of the Iranian company which has built the aircraft, Saeed Shadravanan."The hand-launched drone can be assembled at most in two minutes, it is radar-evasive, composite and carries minimum metal."It is charged with batteries making it possible for the plane to fly for 45 minutes.

Indian Navy to buy depth charges for fixed-wing aircraft.

To strengthen its anti-submarine warfare capability, the Navy will soon buy bombs that can be air-dropped to hit enemy vessels lurking in the dark underwaters. The Defence Ministry has issued a request to original equipment manufacturers and vendors for information on such bombs, which could be USED by Navy's fixed-wing aircraft. The Navy is searching for bombs that are effective in sinking submarines in tropical conditions that prevail in the Indian Ocean region in depths up to 1,000 metres.
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Deadlines Loom as Afghans Struggle to Build Air Force

Building an air force almost from scratch would be tough for any country; for Afghanistan, where the clock is ticking on U.S. support, it's even more daunting.Many observers are focusing on 2011, the year when U.S. troops are expected to begin drawing down. But just as important is 2016, when the Afghan air force, a key part of the country's armed forces, is expected to operate independent of U.S. support and assistance.The Afghan air force operates a mix of Russian and Western aircraft that includes Russian-built Mi-17 troop transport aircraft, Mi-35 attack helicopters, Antonov transport aircraft and recently acquired Italian C-27 airlifters. Soon, the military will get Western-built light attack aircraft as well as a Western fixed-wing training aircraft.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Swedish defence giant SAAB seeks more share in India

Swedish defence equipment maker, SAAB, is looking to have a key role in supply of equipment for the three services - the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The company that is the one of the six contenders for the $11-billion deal for fighter aircrafts for the IAF, is already having tie-up for 'Carl Gustav' rocket launchers for the Indian Army and the stealth technology radars for the Navy. CEO of SAAB Håkan Buskhe told reporters that he was looking for further tie-ups and was in talks with Mahindra and Mahindra in the aviation sector.

Friday, October 29, 2010

U.S and Australian Military Participate in 'Land Down Under' Exercise

U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses supporting U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence in the Asia-Pacific region flew from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to the "Land Down Under' to demonstrate the capability and flexibility of the Stratofortress to Australian military partners, as part of Exercise Hamel Oct. 8 through 18.

Participation in Hamel and similar exercises provide an opportunity for Airmen to engage with allies and regional partners, and ultimately contribute toward interoperability, regional stability and security.

"It's a great opportunity to interact with our coalition partners and sister services throughout the Pacific AOR [during exercise Hamel] to train together, learn from each other, and remain proficient at our mission and show U.S. resolve within the region to protect and defend our allies from any potential adversary," said Maj. James Greenfield, bomber liaison officer, 613th Air Operations Center, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The long-duration flights, normally lasting between 11 and 13 hours, allowed the aircrews from the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, assigned to the 36th Wing at Andersen AFB, to team up with Australian joint terminal air controllers to conduct close air support training. During this year's exercise, 12 sorties were flown in direct support of the training.

"Such training provides a valuable opportunity for our forces to work together and hone their skills," said Wing Commander Ian Honey, Royal Australian Air Force, assigned to the 613th AOC's Strategic Guidance Team here.

This is the sixth time USPACOM bombers have participated in exercise Hamel. B-2 Spirit bombers completed the first Hamel exercise from Guam in July 2006, while the first group of B-52s completed their first exercise Hamel sorties with the Australian military in October 2006.

Thirteenth Air Force is one of four numbered air forces in Pacific Air Forces. It is located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and provides oversight of two Air force Wings, one air support operations group and 12 additional units in Japan, Alaska and California.

India's Look East policy shouldn't mean 'encircle China': People's Daily

Ahead of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao in Hanoi, state-run Peoples Daily on Thursday suggested that India was trying to "encircle China" with its "Look East" policy of befriending Japan and ASEAN countries. India's " Look East policy" should not mean a policy to "encircle China" and India should "listen" to Beijing's "expression" before joining any anti- China alliance with Japan, said a write-up in the newspaper.
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Naval bases for Indian Navy to come up at Thoothukudi & Paradip

n an apparent bid to counter China’s growing presence in the Bay of Bengal, especially its new forays in Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Indian Government has okayed two new naval bases on the Eastern sea board - Paradip and Tuticorin in Orissa and Tamil Nadu, respectively.These will be the first major naval bases other that Vizag on the eastern coast. The Navy has smaller stations but no big bases that typically provide all logistics support like supplies, replenishment, repair and maintenance.Paradip has a commercial port. Though the east coast as a host of Coast Guard stations, the decision was taken to ramp up Naval presence, sources said.China has announced its intention to build a deep sea port at Sonadia near Cox Bazar Bangladesh. It is also building ports in Myanmar. All these are in the Bay of Bengal and face India.

Indian Navy to Acquire Three Aircraft Carriers : Indian Defence Minister

The Indian Navy has been acquiring sea-based assets for littoral warfare, including purchase of landing platform docks and long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, and plans to acquire at least three aircraft carriers in the next five to seven years, in addition to other assets.An Indian Defence Ministry news release said quoting Defence Minister A.K. Antony who asked the Navy to increase Navy-to-Navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. This move comes five years after the service incorporated preparation for littoral warfare as part of the Navy’s long term doctrine.

Indian Navy To Boost Contact With Littoral Countries

Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony has asked the Navy to increase Navy-to-Navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. This move comes five years after the service incorporated preparation for littoral warfare as part of Navy doctrine.The Indian Navy has been acquiring sea-based assets for littoral warfare, including purchase of landing platform docks and long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, and plans to acquire at least three aircraft carriers in the next five to seven years, in addition to other assets.
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GPS-guided Excalibur's Use Rises In Afghanistan

By Colin Clark
Since the GPS-guided Excalibur artillery round first made it to Iraq and Afghanistan, roughly 200 rounds have been fired. In the last week or so, use of that round has pulsed. Army artillerymen have fired 20 rounds or 10 percent of the total in Afghanistan, according to James Riley, Raytheon Missile System’s vice president for land systems. We don’t have similar numbers for the Marines, who have been using the shell as well.

Excalibur has been at the center of debate in the Army as the service grapples with the tradeoffs of cost, capability and logistics. Army Vice Chief of Staff Chiarelli has singled out Excalibur as an example of a weapon that would be nice to have lots of if only it didn’t cost so much compared to alternatives such as PGK (Precision Guidance Kit), a GPS setup that can be put on a $600 shell.

Airmen Train Iraqi Pilots to become T-6 Texan II Instructor Pilots

For the past six months, Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission-Air Force air advisers with the 52nd Expeditionary Flying Training Squadron have been training Iraqi pilots to become T-6 Texan II instructor pilots to rebuild the Iraqi air force.

"The 52nd (EFTS) stood up this year for T-6 flight operations," said Brig. Gen. Scott Hanson, the ITAM-AF director and 321st Air Expeditionary Wing commander. "It's an expeditionary flying training squadron teaching the Iraqi instructor-pilot candidates who are going through pilot-instructor training. Our concept at that venue is to build their instructor-pilot corps first, before they incorporate that platform into their overall pilot training pipeline."

Air advisers here are responsible for training instructor pilot candidates and advising the Iraqi airmen on building the training program necessary to set their air force up for success in the years to come.

"Our job is to help the Iraqis start the foundation of their pilot training program," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Myer, the 52nd EFTS' first operations officer who recently redeployed. "Basically, we're advising and training them to start building their pilot training program back up as they rebuild their air force."

Colonel Myer arrived one year ago with two other instructor pilots and no aircraft to set up the training squadron. Now they have 11 aircraft and a squadron of pilot trainees.

"We have a great operating area here," Colonel Myer said. "We have airspace, pattern procedures; all those things that didn't exist when we got here and it's really satisfying as I look back to see we went from nothing to a great training program, and it's only going to get better."

As they move through T-6 training, air advisors will give them critical advice for when they become instructors, but ultimately the instructor training is the next phase, once they learn to fly the T-6.

"We essentially adapt what they already know to the T-6 and the high-performance, two-seat aspect of flying," said Capt. Ryan Smith, the 52nd EFTS student flight commander. "It's an initial learn how to fly, and the next stage is when they transition over to what we call a 'PIT' syllabus, which is pilot instructor training. That's where we actually teach them how to teach what they've learned, which is a different ball game."

As the advisors conduct training nearly 7,000 miles from home, pilot training in Iraq is strikingly comparable to that in America, but with key differences including the language barrier, cultural differences and the fact their mission is conducted in a combat zone.

"The training environment isn't nearly as stable as we'd like it to be," Captain Smith said. "In the U.S., we have a very structured program and eliminate many variables. However, when we train here in a combat zone, we don't control all those variables quite as well. We have to be a lot more flexible."

But as long as they are here they have a mission to complete before Dec. 31, 2011, when all U.S. forces are scheduled to leave Iraq. The goal is to develop, with the Iraqi air force, a successful flying T-6 training program.

"As long as we're here, our job is to set them up with the best pilot training program that we can offer," Captain Smith said. "So ideally, as we get closer and closer to end of mission, we're handing more and more of the pilot training over to the Iraqis, who we're training right now. Within the next year, we'll step back further and further to the point they will be running the briefings, making the schedules and training the new student pilots as it come in."

Training with the U.S. air advisors, combined with the chance to become an instructor pilot in the Iraqi air force excites current students.

"I'm happy I get this chance to be an instructor," said 2nd Lt. Issa Amen, a Iraqi Training Squadron No. 3 student pilot. "American pilots are the best pilots in the world, this is the truth. We get a chance to get our training from the best pilots."

"It's a very good opportunity for us to work with American advisors," said Lt. Col. Hamid Hussein, the Training Squadron No. 3 commander. "All of them are very experienced, very good people, very easy to work with and they are providing everything they can in helping to build the Iraqi air force."

The excitement the Iraqis have for their air force is shared by their air advisors. Colonel Myer said he is excited to see it being rebuilt.

"It's an awesome experience to take them through it and be with them from the beginning," he said. "To just see the smile on the Iraqi maintainers as they see this airplane is great. They see that it says 'Iraqi air force' on it. That's a symbol to them that their air force is being rebuilt. It's a great reward to see that and their enthusiasm."

Egypt orders three Airbus Military C295 aircraft

The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) signed a contract with Airbus Military for the acquisition of three C295 aircraft.The aircraft are to be delivered from 2011 and will be used to increase the Egyptian Air Force’s capacity in tactical and logistic transport. The Egyptian Air Force herewith becomes a new Airbus Military customer.The Egyptian Air Force selected the C295 because of its ease of maintenance and proven operational capabilities, especially in desert areas.

Russia carries out another successful test launch of Bulava missile

A test warhead from a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile successfully hit its target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.The missile was fired from underwater from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea at 5:10 Moscow time (1:10 GMT).The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear-powered submarines.

Russia conducts routine test of Topol ballistic missile

Russia successfully launched a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday to test its operational capability, a spokesman for Russia's Space Forces said.The RS-12M Topol missile was launched from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia and hit its designated target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region, Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.Zolotukhin said this test launch had allowed Russia to extend the service life of Topol missiles to 23 years (initially they were only projected to last for 10 years.)The missile has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,125 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of 550 kilotons.

Russia carries out successful tests of two SLBMs

Russia successfully tested two ballistic missiles in separate launches from nuclear submarines in the Barents Sea and the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, a Defense Ministry source said.The official said a Sineva ballistic missile was launched at 2:30 p.m. Moscow time (10:30 GMT) from the Bryansk (Delta IV class) strategic submarine in the Barents Sea and hit its designated target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region.A SS-N-18 Stingray ballistic missile was launched at the same time from the Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets (Delta III class) strategic submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk and hit its designated target on the Chizha testing site in the White Sea.

Joint Japan-U.S. Missile Defense Flight Test Successful

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced the successful completion of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

The event marked the fourth time that a JMSDF ship has engaged a ballistic missile target, including three successful intercepts, with the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD.

The JFTM-4 test event verified the newest engagement capability of the Japan Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS KIRISHIMA. At approximately 5:06 p.m. (HST), 12:06 p.m. Tokyo time on Oct. 29, 2010, a separating 1,000 km class ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.

JS KIRISHIMA crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and launched a Standard Missile -3 (SM-3) Block IA missile. Approximately three minutes later, the SM-3 successfully intercepted the target approximately 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean. JFTM-4 is a significant milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the area of missile defense.

Also participating in the test was USS LAKE ERIE and USS RUSSELL, Aegis ships which cooperated to detect, track and conduct a simulated intercept engagement against the same target.

Lockheed Touts Engine Advantage In Indian MMRCA Bid

As President Barack Obama’s visit to India draws closer, Lockheed Martin is talking up its offering for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition.Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN is powered by the GE F-110-132A engine. GE recently won a contract to provide F-414 engines for India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Michael Griswold, Lockheed’s director of advanced development programs, says the LCA win is a good sign that the U.S. can meet its export control requirements. “GE brought the best engine on the table at the lowest cost,” he says. “GE F-110-132A is the most powerful engine of all the contenders of the [126-aircraft] MMRCA bid,” Griswold says. “Technology insertions for the engine include blisk fan, radial augmentor and a low-drag nozzle.”Rival Boeing’s F/A-18 carries twin F-414 engines.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Expansion of fleet to Safeguard China's Sea Rights

The surveillance fleet will be expanded to better protect the country's maritime rights, China's ocean watchdog said on Wednesday.An inspection ship joined the fleet under the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Tuesday and 36 more will join it later, an official said.

The 36 are comprised of seven vessels at 1,500 tons, 15 1,000-ton vessels with the remainder in the 600-ton category.China Marine Surveillance 75 joined the fleet on Tuesday and will patrol the South China Sea.

Zhong Dusen, captain of the 77-meter-long, 10-meter-wide ship, reported to be the fleet's fastest, said it can carry a crew of 43 and has a maximum sailing range of 5,000 nautical miles.He said the vessel, with a displacement of 1,290 tons, is equipped with advanced satellite communication and navigation systems.

Chinese Marine Officers Arrive in Thailand for Joint Military Drill "Blue Strike 2010"

A Chinese special contingent made up of 115 marine officers arrived here Tuesday to join a joint military drill code-named "Blue Strike 2010" with Thai troops.It is the first time that Chinese marines go abroad to conduct joint exercises with foreign forces.Soldiers of the first division of the Thai Marines held a welcome ceremony for the visiting Chinese marines at the airport and presented them with traditional Thai floral garlands.

Gao Dong, a commanding officer of the Chinese side, said that the participating Chinese troops have brought with them light weapons, underwater combat equipment, plus amphibious reconnaissance and anti-terror apparatus.In the next two weeks, troops of the two countries will carry out various activities such as skill demonstrations, mixed training, comprehensive exercises, joint research and exchanges, said Gao.The military maneuver will formally kick off at Sattahip Naval Base on the eastern Thai coast on Thursday.

Russia to Sign Agreement with India in December on Design of Joint Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft

Russia is planning to sign in December an agreement with India on the preliminary design of a joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft, a senior Russian aircraft industry official said.Russian Sukhoi holding and Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet, tentatively dubbed PAK FA.Russia has been developing its fifth-generation fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype, known as the T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's Far East.

US to Build £8bn Super Base to Contain China's Military Build-Up

he expansion will include a dock for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, a missile defence system, live-fire training sites and the expansion of the island's airbase. It will be the largest investment in a military base in the western Pacific since the Second World War, and the biggest spend on naval infrastructure in decades.Estimates suggest that the island's population will rise by almost 50 per cent from its current 173,000 at the peak of construction. It will eventually house 19,000 Marines who will be relocated from the Japanese island of Okinawa, where the US force has become unpopular.

Beijing's naval build-up is also intended secure the sea lanes from the Middle East, from where China will import an estimated 70-80 per cent of its oil needs by 2035 supplies it fears US could choke in the event of a conflict.China has therefore invested in what are called its "string of pearls" a network of bases strung along the Indian Ocean rim, like Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Gwadar in Pakistan and in developing a navy which can operate far from home.

Indian Navy’s Air arm to highlight neglect at naval conference

The Indian navy’s air arm will make a presentation, a copy of which is with DNA, at the ongoing biannual four-day naval commanders’ conference in New Delhi, to draw the attention of the top brass to its neglect.It will seek midlife upgrades, computerisation, additional air stations and acquisitions for sustenance. The naval commanders will talk new acquisitions, better and upgraded infrastructure for aircraft maintenance, repair, new naval air stations and enclaves.The navy has also proposed an auto air traffic management system, much like Indian Air Force (IAF). It has a manual system for control of air traffic, but wants a computerised one to enable auto exchange of flight data, efficient communication interface and instant sharing of flight messages.

The Indian Air Force C-130J Stripped of key Advance Gadgets

In just over four weeks from now, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will take delivery of its first American-built C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft at a facility in Georgia, US. Part of a 2008 deal worth $ 964 million for six aircraft, the IAF C-130J will be the first US military aircraft India has procured in over four decades since it flew the American Douglas Dakota and Fairchild Packet in the 1960s.

But there is something amiss. The contract document, a copy of which is with Headlines Today, reveals five specific pieces of high-end equipment, that the US has stripped from the aircraft, being sold to India. This is a direct consequence of New Delhi's reluctance to enter into a contentious technology inter- operability agreement with Washington.

The equipment kept off the Indian aircraft includes its advanced communications equipment. The equipment includes the AN/ ARC- 222 SINCGARS combat net radio, the KV- 119 Identify Friend- Foe digital transponder, the TACTERM/ANDVT high frequency secure voice terminal, the VINSON KY- 58 secure voice module and parts of the Rockwell- Collins AN/ ARC-210(V) SATCOM transceiver.

The US has refused to fit these items on the Indian C-130J fleet unless India enters into a bilateral pact that the Indian military leadership is deeply suspicious about. It is called CISMOA - short for communications inter- operability and security memorandum of agreement.Strangely, even though the IAF had specifically asked for the high- technology items mentioned above, the C- 130J contract suggests that there is a chance the equipment won't be made available even if India signs the CISMOA. Referring to the stripped items, the contract says: " These items may be added when CISMOA is signed between" the US and India.
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Indian Air Force Presses HAL to Meet Timelines

The Air Force today pressed for public sector aerospace major HAL maintaining high quality standards of aircraft and helicopters it supplies to the IAF and to meet delivery timelines. On the second day of the IAF's Commanders Conference, the Air Force leadership met with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) top brass, when the two sides thrashed out issues of quality of products and projects' deadlines of Sukhoi fighter jets and Hawks trainer aircraft.

IAF sources told PTI here today that the IAF leadership, including Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, sought HAL's support in supply of spares and other equipment for the platforms it delivers to the Air Force. Among other issues flagged by the IAF with the HAL delegation led by its chairman Ashok Nayak included the performance of the MiG complex, where the aging variants of the Russian-origin fighter jets such as MiG-21 and MiG-27 are serviced within India.

The IAF also wanted HAL to speed up operationalisation of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas', of which Air Force has ordered two squadrons strength under the Mark I variant and another five squadrons would be ordered under the Mark II variant with a new engine to provide it more power. Apart from the 90-minute review of the HAL's performance, the IAF commanders also made presentation on their assessment of the security scenarios for their theatres and plans to counter these challenges.

"Except for the Eastern Air Command (EAC), for which a special presentation would be held later, all other Air Commands made their presentations today," the sources said. EAC's presentation gains significance in view of its areas of responsibility covering the borders with China. IAF has already planned induction of Sukhoi fighter jets at air bases under EAC, apart from strengthening its radar cover and creating new Advanced Landing Grounds for better access to troops.

The IAF Commanders also did some crystal-gazing on the future sea-based air operations and over mountainous terrains involving its entire fleet of fighter jets, transport aircraft and helicopters, thereby covering all sides of India's land and maritime borders with its neighbours, particularly Pakistan and China.

Among other issues discussed were new air battle concepts and utilisation of existing and future assets in view of the rapid modernisation efforts underway, including the purchase of 126 medium multirole combat aircraft, development of fifth generation fighter aircraft, acquisition of attack and transport helicopters, induction of airborne early warning and control systems and operationalisation of Air Force Net for net-centric operations.IBNlive 

By Tolga Ozbek

The Turkish air force will begin replacing its Cessna T-37 jet trainers with Korea Aerospace Industries' KT-1 next month, with the new type now undergoing flight testing.Ankara is to receive 40 KT-1s under a deal signed in June 2007, with the first five to be completed by KAI. The remainder will be produced under licence at Turkish Aerospace Industries' Akinci facility.Meanwhile, TAI will roll out its first flight test example of Turkey's indigenous "Hurkus" basic trainer in January. The turboprop-powered aircraft should make its flight debut late in 2011.Turkey's undersecretary of defence industries procurement agency is in talks with KAI to remove an option for a further 15 KT-1s from the programme.

Eurocopter Signs Two Strategic Agreements with Kazakhstan

The first accord is a framework agreement between Eurocopter and Kazakhstan Engineering to create a 50/50 joint venture to assemble and customise EC145s in Kazakhstan. The agreement also includes the development of local maintenance and training activities to support EC145 operations throughout the new customs union zone created this summer by Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus and the entire Central Asian region. The second accord is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) – signed with Eurocopter, its parent company EADS and the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defence to confirm its intention to purchase 45 EC145 helicopters in the next 6 years.

Russia Modernizes fleet of A-50M Mainstay AWACS Aaircraft

Russia has started official testing of its modernized A-50M Mainstay AWACS aircraft for the country's Air Force, a Russian electronics company said Wednesday.The A-50 Mainstay is a Russian airborne warning and control system aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane. Russia adopted the aircraft in 1984, and the Air Force currently has 16-20 A-50 planes, according to various reports."The A-50M is the most complex aircraft and we have successfully modernized it," said Vladimir Verba, general director of the Vega Radio Engineering Corp. "The aircraft is undergoing official tests at present and has shown excellent performance so far."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boom of guns and business battle

Somewhere in Sikkim this week, the hills are echoing with the thunder of American "flying cannons" firing volley after volley of Indian ammunition — not to start a war with China, but in the hope of winning a Rs 2,900-crore ($650 million) order. In the Indian Army's high-altitude firing range, artillery officers are supervising what they call "confirmatory trials" of the BAE Land Systems 155mm/39cal M777 ultra-light howitzers even as the foreign and defence ministries in New Delhi look for a big idea — such as a multi-million-dollar cheque — to add zing to Barack Obama's India visit.

The deal for the "flying cannons" — so-called because the ultra-light howitzers weighing just about 4.2 tonnes each can be underslung and flown by some helicopters — is already a minor victory for the Pentagon. The M777 uses titanium and aluminium alloys to keep its weight low. Whether the contract is signed during the presidential visit or not has become secondary. The Singaporean rival vying for the order has complained and cried foul but both the Indian defence ministry and the Pentagon have decided the deal will be pushed through. The army wants the guns to equip six new Indian artillery regiments — the initial order will be for 145 howitzers — being raised especially for the China border. Last week, a senior US government official confirmed, two of the BAE Land Systems-made M777 ultra-light howitzers landed in Delhi. They were then flown to Sikkim.

When will India get the Admiral Gorshkov?

India's buying spree has run into some serious hurdles. It had planned to  spending $2.5 Billion on an  bsolete Aircraft Career that even the mighty Russian Empire could not afford to operate. Moscow has jacked up the price several times and now it is around $3 Billion.

It would be worthwhile in this context to narrate Indo-Russian defence relations briefly. The relations dated back to the heydays of the cold war when the economic and defence capability of India, surrounded by hostile powers, was at a poor shape. The then Soviet assistance was timely. Its willingness to come closer as reflected in the friendship treaty of 1971 was noteworthy. Whether it was the establishment of heavy industries or the issue of securing national sovereignty and integrity, the Soviet assistance was phenomenal.

In fact, India's army would be unimaginable without the Soviet/Russian weapons. Intellibriefs $2.5 Billion or the $4 Billion spent on Aircraft Carriers will not make India a superpower, and any pretenses of this need to be nipped in the bud by the latest book on the subject by Paragh Khanna. "India has missed the boat" on that count.

Bharat is hemmed in towards the East by the Strats of Malacca by Chinese Naval bases in Burma and Hainan. Bharat cannot contol the Chinese, either from the East, the West or the South. India has only a few Boeing P-8 US-made Submarine Hunter planes and one decrepid and obsolete Aircraft Carrier. The declining Indo-Russian relationship leaves Delhi scrambling for new arms sources—but they come with strings. Delhi's deal with Russia about an Aircraft Carrier will probably never go through.

India: $3.2 for obsolete aircraft carrier while millions starve. The Indo-Russian relationship is not what it used to be. Russia elides India in Flanker Su-30 development. The race is on. Both China and Bharat have started indigenous production of Aircarft carriers.

In typical Indian fashion, the keel was laid  with much pomp and ceremony. In typical Chinese stoic demeanor, the Chinese Aircraft Carrier in production is the subject of much speculation in the West and in Delhi. Delhi will get the first glimpse of the Chinese fleet of Aircraft Carriers when they sail from Gwader to Hainan. As Bharat waves goodbye to its hallucinating dreams of superpower status, the writing on the wall for Delhi is clear–the oceans surrounding Delhi are fast becoming Chinese Lakes.

"Waving Goodbye to Hegemony" By Parag Khanna: Dawn of a multipolar world with China and Europe and maybe Russia. N C Bipindra Chaubattia (Uttarakhand), Oct 24 Russia today defended the delays in joint defence projects with India, including the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, saying it should be "excused" if sophisticated and modern weapons systems was what New Delhi wanted.Though time overruns were "unfortunate," Russian Federation Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin said it was the experience in both countries when it came to latest technology defence equipment projects."

As far as Admiral Gorshkov is concerned, Indians asked us for a state-of-the-art warship and for such a warship, there is a cost. For a cheap price, you can only purchase a 3-carat diamond. "Now it will be a modern aircraft carrier and if there is a delay of two or three months for delivery, what difference would it make. If you need a potent warship, these delays have to be excused," Kadakin told reporters on the sidelines of an Indo-Russian army exercise that ended here.India had flagged the delays in critical defence projects such as Gorshkov during the recent bilateral Military Technical Commission meeting between the Defence Ministers of the two countries in New Delhi.

Admiral Gorshkov, which India bought from Russia in 2004, is already behind schedule by two years, having been originally scheduled to be delivered after a refit at the Sevmash naval shipyard in Russia in 2008. Now the 45,000-tonne warship is rescheduled for delivery in end of 2012 or early 2013, though India coughed up USD 2.33 billion earlier this year after it had bought it for a price of USD 974 million under the original contract. Kadakin said such experiences existed in both countries and that it should be excused when the project involved sophisticated systems."Both countries have this experience that without delays we will not get such sophisticated systems.

That is why sometimes this kind of delays do happen. It is unfortunate," he said.He was replying to a query on delays in major defence projects between India and Russia such as the Admiral Gorshkov, which has been rechristened by Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya. (PTI) The Admiral Gorshkov entered service in 1987, but was inactivated in 1996 (too expensive to operate on a post Cold War budget). The Indian deal was made in 2004, and the carrier was to be ready by 2008.

But a year ago reports began coming out of Russia that the shipyard doing the work, Sevmash, had seriously miscalculated the cost of the project. The revised costs were more like $1.1 billion for the $700 million refurb. The situation proceeded to get worse, with Sevmash reporting ever increasing costs to refurbish the carrier. The Indians were not happy, and at first insisted that the Russian government (which owns many of the entities involved) make good on the original deal.

India sent its own team of technical experts to Russia, and their report apparently confirmed what the Russians reported, about shipyard officials low-balling the cost of the work needed. This is a common tactic for firms building weapons for their own country. It gets more complicated when you try to pull that sort of thing on a foreign customer. The Russian government will cover some of the overrun cost. The Sevmash managers who negotiated the low bid are being prosecuted. Once refurbished, the Gorshkov, renamed INS Vikramaditya, should be good for about 10 years of service–though the Bharatis may drag it out for thirty years–just to show that the Bharat has an Aircraft Carrier.

Two naval bases okayed in Orissa

In an apparent bid to counter China's growing presence in the Bay of Bengal, especially its new forays in Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Indian Government has okayed two new naval bases on the Eastern sea board - Paradip and Tuticorin in Orissa and Tamil Nadu, respectively. These will be the first major naval bases other that Vizag on the eastern coast. The Navy has smaller stations but no big bases that typically provide all logistics support like supplies, replenishment, repair and maintenance. Paradip has a commercial port. Though the east coast as a host of Coast Guard stations, the decision was taken to ramp up Naval presence, sources said. China has announced its intention to build a deep sea port at Sonadia near Cox Bazar Bangladesh. It is also building ports in Myanmar. All these are in the Bay of Bengal and face India.

China holds first live-fire joint drills in Tibet

China's military on Wednesday said it held its first live-fire joint ground and air drills on the Tibetan plateau, likely setting off alarm bells in nervous neighbor India.The exercises were held at an altitude above 15,420 feet (4,700 meters) and involved fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, artillery, tanks and electronic warfare units, the official People's Liberation Army Daily newspaper said.No exact locations for the exercises or other details such as numbers of troops involved were given in keeping with usual military secrecy. Almost all the vast Tibetan plateau lies at or above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).The exercises stand to add to concerns in India over a Chinese military buildup in Tibet. The countries fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962 and continue to argue over territorial claims. More recently, New Delhi has complained that Chinese troops along the frontier have grown more aggressive and expressed concern over China's increasingly close ties to the military of India's archrival, Pakistan.

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