Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nishant UAV Crashlanded during a Test Flight

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Nishant, which was on a test flight, crashlanded in an agricultural land at Chikkatumutagiri in Bangarpet taluk on Friday following technical problem. The UAV was scheduled to land at Defence Research and Development and Development (DRDO) premises at Muduwadi Hosahalli in Kolar taluk. The vehicle was launched at 11 am and was scheduled to return at 4 pm after flying over Hosur in Tamil Nadu. However, it developed problems around 2.45 and crashlanded with a loud sound. Wings were damaged in the accident. No one was injured in the accident.

On hearing the thud, a teacher and students in a nearby school rushed out and saw the damaged vehicle. In Bangalore, a DRDO spokesperson denied that the UAV had crashlanded. However, he confirmed that the UAV was the advanced version of Nishant.

Spokesperson Jayaprakash maintained that the wings of the UAV were slightly damaged when the aircraft landed on an uneven ground. "The area where the UAV landed was earmarked for emergency landings and it landed using a parachute. The villagers assumed it was a crash," he claimed.He also said that there was no significant damage and that the aircraft was going to be used again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Israel Turns to Germany for Naval Stealth Ships

Israel is interested in acquiring two corvette size ships to extend its naval operational capabilities. After analyzing the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Israel decided these vessels would be too costly. While each LCS would have cost $480, Israel was prepared to spend up to $300 per ship, which roughly corresponds with what the Malaysian Navy spent on a similar design (MEKO A-100 Kedah class). Yet, an obstacle that could hinder the potential sale is the recent acquisition of Blohm + Voss Shipyards - the shipbuilder of the MEKO Class vessels - by the Abu Dhabi MAR Group of the United Arab Emirates.

Israel already deploys three medium size Saar V Eilat class corvettes, slated for an upgrade by 2011. The modernization will include the introduction of a new phased-array radar system and the replacement of current point defense missile systems with the Barak 8 extended air defense system. Fielding such new networked air defense capability will provide the Israeli surface fleet independence of air-cover for the first time, enabling the Israeli vessels to deploy further away from their shores......................................Defense-Update

Kazakhstan Navy looks to buy South Korean "Yoon Young-ha class" Missile Patrol Ship

By Kim Ji-hyun

The Kazakh Navy Capt. Zhanzakov Zhandarbek is expected to discuss possible plans for importing more patrol ships from South Korea during his visit here this week, according to military sources. Seoul has yet to describe the exact nature of the ships, as negotiations are ongoing, but officials close to the matter said they would be "high-speed" patrol ships similar to the new Yoon Young-ha class. The official agreement is likely to be signed when Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visits Seoul in April.

This is not the first time that South Korea has exported ships to the Central Asian country. In March 2006, Seoul sold three retired patrol ships of the Chamsuri class to Kazakhstan. The ships were decommissioned in December 2004 after operating in South Korean waters for over two decades. This time, the Kazakh government is reportedly seeking to acquire the latest Yoon Young-ha class. The ships were commissioned in December as the Navy's first high-speed patrol vessel equipped with an integrated combat system.

The 440-ton Yoon Young-ha class, officially called the Guided-missile Patrol Boat Killer, is the first patrol ship of over 400 tons equipped with guided missiles. The ship's combat system is an indigenous one capable of simultaneously detecting up to 100 aerial and surface targets. It can also engage multiple targets simultaneously, according to the Agency for Defense Development, Yoon Young-ha's developer.

The latest patrol boats are to gradually replace the current Chamsuri ships. They were named after Lt. Commander Yoon Young-ha who was killed along with five others in a 2002 naval clash with North Korea in the West Sea. Zhandarbek, who is here for a five-day visit, will be meeting with his South Korean counterpart Adm. Chung Ok-keun and a number of other military officials.

USA to Sell 145 M777 Howitzers to India

Asserting that its sale to India will "improve interoperability with US Soldiers and Marines," the US defense agency tasked with transfer of military hardware and promoting military-to-military ties has notified the US Congress of the Obama administration's intention to sell 145 M777 Howitzers to India in a deal worth $ 647 million.The mandatory notification follows a request from India for the light-weight towed Howitzer with Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems (LINAPS), the first major artillery purchase by New Delhi after the star-crossed Bofors deal going back to the 1980s.

The $647 million deal will include warranty, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, US government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its January 22 notification."This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia," DSCA said.

The Agency said the howitzers will assist the Indian Army to develop and enhance standardization and surprisingly asserted it will also "improve interoperability with US Soldiers and Marines who use the M777 as their primary means of indirect fire." India will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces, it added.In its standard caveat, the Agency also assured the Congress that the "proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," and "there will be no adverse impact on US defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale."

The M777 purchase, seen in some quarters as a political decision favoring US, was not without the usual controversy that has come to dog almost every major defense acquisition in India.The gun trailed the front-runner, the Pegasus lightweight howitzer developed jointly by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Singapore Technology Kinetics, for several months, But Pegasus was knocked out of the race following reports of corruption and bribery that necessitated a CBI investigation.

While that inquiry is continuing, the government decided to go in for the US artillery given the Army's urgent requirement.The M777 howitzer was originally developed by the British Vickers group, but is now produced by BAE Systems Land Systems in the US. It has largely replaced the M198 howitzer 155mm towed howitzers in the US Marine Corps and US Army and has seen action since March 2008 in Afghanistan. US allies Canada and Australia are the only two countries the US has sold the guns to.

PAK FA T-50: A Preliminary Analysis

Bill Sweetman

Well, this brings back the old days when Flug Revue would pop out some over-the-fence shots obtained from the Military Missions in East Germany, and the assembled reptiles at Flight would adjourn to our secret analysis facility to figure out what it all meant. First of all, for anyone contemplating the use of the word "Raptorski": don't. While this is an airplane that could have been the answer to the Advanced Tactical Fighter requirement, way back when, it's not an F-22 in many important ways.

In a lot of ways, the T-50 reflects the heritage of the T-10 Flanker series - it's much more like them than Sukhoi's last fighter prototype, the forward-swept-wing Su-47 Berkut, ever was. From the Flanker family, the T-50 gets the massive "centroplane" - a wide central body that blends the fuselage and inner wing - three-surface aerodynamic control and true three-dimensional thrust vectoring. The main weapons bay has been seen on a Flanker model, too. ........................Ares

Flight Test of PAK FA Advanced Tactical Frontline Fighter

January 29, 2010 – Today Komsomolsk-on-Amur witnessed the debut flight of a prototype of advanced fighter of the 5th generation. The aircraft piloted by Sukhoi test-pilot Sergey Bogdan spent 47 minutes in the air and successfully landed on the factory runway. The flight went successfully meeting all task assigned. “In the course of the flight we’ve conducted initial evaluation of the aircraft controllability, engine performance and primary systems operation, the aircraft had retracted and extracted the landing gear. The aircraft performed excellently at all flight-test points scheduled for today. It is easy and comfortable to pilot”, - said Sergey Bogdan.
Compared to the previous generation fighters PAK FA possesses a number of unique features combining the functionality of both attack aircraft and fighter plane.The 5th generation fighter is equipped with brand-new avionics suite integrating “electronic pilot” functionality, as well as advanced phased-array antenna radar. This significantly decreases pilot load and allows him to focus upon completion of tactical missions. New aircraft on-board equipment allows real-time data exchange not only with ground based control systems, but also within the flight group.

Composites application and innovative technologies, aerodynamics of the aircraft, measures applied to decrease the engine signature provide for the unprecedented small radar cross section in radar, optical and infrared range. This significantly improves combat effectiveness against air and ground targets at any time of the day in both visible and instrument meteorological conditions.

“Today we’ve embarked on an extensive flight test programme of the 5th generation fighter. This is a great success of both Russian science and design school. This achievement rests upon a cooperation team comprised of more than a hundred of our suppliers and strategic partners. PAK FA programme advances Russian aeronautics together with allied industries to an entirely new technological level. These aircraft, together with upgraded 4th generation fighters will define Russian Air Force potential for the next decades. Sukhoi plans to further elaborate on the PAK FA programme which will involve our Indian partners. I am strongly convinced that our joint project will excel its Western rivals in cost-effectiveness and will not only allow strengthening the defense power of Russian and Indian Air Forces, but also gain a significant share of the world market”, - said Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi Company Director General commenting on the launch of the flight test programme.

China Suspends Military Ties With USA

China halted planned military exchanges with the U.S. and said it will punish companies involved in a Pentagon plan to sell weapons worth $6.4 billion to Taiwan.Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei said he had lodged a protest with Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Beijing, over the U.S. Defense Department proposal to sell missiles, helicopters and ships to Taiwan.............Business Week

Indian Army to Procure Quick Reaction SAM

To secure its skies from enemy fighter aircraft and cruise missiles, the Indian Army is planning to procure more quick reaction surface to air missiles (QR-SAMs) from global vendors. In a Request for Information (RFI) issued yesterday, without mentioning the number of systems to be procured, the Army has asked the vendors to provide missile systems which have a range of over nine kilometres and are capable of taking on aircraft or missiles at an altitude of up to six kilometres.

The Army is seeking a QR-SAM capable of being launched within six seconds and taking on hovering helicopters also. It wants the new systems to have the ability of firing two missiles at a time and simultaneously guide them to the desired targets. The Army has reportedly placed orders for four squadrons of SPYDER QR-SAMs from Israel. The DRDO is also working on the development of a home grown QR-SAM system and planning to co-develop it with a foreign partner.

The RFI states the missile system should be capable of operating in the electronic warfare environment and should be provided with Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare protection system. The Army wants its new systems to be highly mobile and capable of being moved on rail-based platforms besides being mobile in desert and semi-desert terrain. It also wants the vendors to do a transfer of technology to Indian firms so that the missile system can be later on produced in India also. Global missile manufacturers including MBDA of France and Israeli Rafale are expected to offer their systems to the Army.


Russia tests 5th-generation fighter - PAK FA

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Russia Free to Sell Weapons to Iran :Russia's State Arms Exporter

There is nothing to stop Russia from selling military equipment to Iran, the head of Russia's state-run arms exporter said on Thursday.'Nothing prevents the continuation of military cooperation in those directions of interest to Russia and Iran," Rosoboronexport's Anatoly Isaikin told a RIA Novosti news conference."Iran has never violated a single commitment it has undertaken with regard to military contracts," he said.

Russia signed a contract with Iran on the supply of S-300 air defense systems to Tehran in December 2005. However, there have been no official reports on the start of the contract's implementation.Western powers are angered by Iran's failure to give a constructive response to proposals made by a group of international mediators on its controversial nuclear program. Washington and Tel Aviv have refused to rule out military action over the issue, and on Wednesday U.S. President Barack Obama warned the Islamic Republic's leaders that they would face "growing consequences" over their refusal to fulfill their "obligations".

Both the U.S. and Israel have expressed concern over the possibility of S-300 deliveries to Iran, which would significantly strengthen the country's air defenses.Although Russia has traditionally had close ties to Iran, including in nuclear energy through the construction of the Bushehr power plant, it is seen as having moved closer to the U.S. position on imposing new sanctions.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Iran on Wednesday that "it is impossible to wait forever" and that Russia's partners "are already talking about the need to discuss further steps at the UN Security Council."

Russian 5th-Gen Fighter to Make Maiden Flight on Friday

Russia is set to hold the first test of its futuristic fifth-generation fighter jet on Friday, a source at the country's largest aircraft producer said on Thursday."The [test] flight was initially scheduled for Thursday, but has been postponed," the source at the Gagarin KNAAPO company, a subsidiary of aircraft holding Sukhoi, said.Russia's only known fifth-generation project is Sukhoi's PAK FA and the current prototype is the T-50. It is designed to compete with the U.S. F-22 Raptor, so far the world's only fifth-generation fighter, and the F-35 Lightning II, but has yet to take to the skies.

Speaking at a news conference later on Thursday, the chief of the Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport said India remained Russia's sole partner in the project."We [Russia and India] are working to build the fifth-generation aircraft," Anatoly Isaikin said.Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The country's top military officials earlier said the stealth fighter jet with a range of up to 5,500 km would enter service with the Air Force in 2015.

India, which has a long history of defense relations with Russia, joined the project after signing an agreement in October 2007. But the two nations are still in talks to finalize the contract.India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was reported to be seeking a 25% share in design and development in the project. It has also sought to modify Sukhoi's single-seat prototype into the twin-seat fighter India's Air Force wants.

Russia accounts for around 70% of India's weapons inventory. HAL has license-produced Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters, cooperated in the development of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, and plans to work on a joint multirole transport aircraft.Defense ties have strained, however, over the fifth-generation fighter program and the rising cost of refurbishing the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian navy.

The PAK FA is to be armed with next-generation air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles, and has two 30-mm cannons.The first prototype of the jet was already tested on the runway of the aircraft plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's Far East. The test pilot made two runs on the airstrip, during which the brakes were applied several times.

RIA Novosti

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

UAE Reopens Talks To Buy South Korean Built T-50 Jet Trainer

By tom kington

The United Arab Emirates has reopened talks to acquire the South Korean built T-50 jet trainer after discussions to buy its rival, Italy's M-346 trainer, stalled, an Arabian Gulf defense source said Jan. 27. The United Arab Emirates selected the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 in February 2009 to fill a 48-aircraft order, including 20 in the light fighter version. Alenia Aermacchi is a unit of Finmeccanica. The M-346 beat out the T-50, which is built by Korean Aerospace Industry (KAI), teamed with Lockheed Martin. .................Defense News

Saudi In-Country Final Assembly Of Eurofighter Typhoon Delays

By Douglas Barrie

Saudi Arabia faces deferring in-country Eurofighter Typhoon final assembly or having to delay in-service targets for the fighter.The Saudi regime, the British government and BAE Systems are discussing alternatives to the original plan as a result of the effect of repeated hold-ups by Saudi Arabia regarding the choice of a build site. These options include reassigning back to the U.K. some of the aircraft originally slated for final assembly in Saudi Arabia.

The two countries concluded a deal for 72 Typhoons in September 2007. The intent was for the first 24 aircraft to be built at BAE Systems’ Warton site in England, with the remainder to undergo final assembly in the kingdom.A preferred location is understood to have been decided upon, but the extent of the interruption and the work required to prepare the facility means the final assembly schedule almost certainly cannot be met. Under the original plan, the first Typhoons were expected to roll off the Saudi line in 2011.“Discussions continue between the Saudi and U.K. governments on the arrangements for the assembly of Typhoon aircraft in the kingdom. The details are presently confidential,” says a British Defense Ministry

Pakistan Approaches Turkey for Armed drones

Finding the US not overly helpful on arming it with drones and drone technology, Pakistan has now made overtures to the Turkish army for technology and attack capability, which India is now monitoring closely. During his recent visit to Islamabad, US defence secretary Robert Gates promised the gift of 12 drones for surveillance. But the 12 RQ-7 Shadow drones cannot send in Reaper or Hellfire missiles which would make them truly lethal and would have provoked an immediate outcry from India. However, experts believe this is dangerous stuff anyway, and it will not take much for Pakistan to reverse engineer them or tailor them for needs other than spying on the Taliban, in other words, to target India.........Times of India

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Royal Thai Air Force's Request to Purchase six JAS-39 Gripen fighter jet Approved

Thailand's Cabinet yesterday approved in principal the Royal Thai Air Force's request to purchase six Sweden-made JAS 39 Gripen jet fighters.A Bt16.2-billion budget, which include maintenance, logistical support and pilot training, will be approved through a tie-over allocation over a four-year period beginning in 2012.The Cabinet also approved Bt6.9 billion for the advanced modification of six US-made F-16B two-seaters as part of a three-year tie-over allocation, also starting in 2012.

Kawasaki XC-2's Maiden Flight

A prototype of the Air Self-Defense Force's next-generation transport aircraft performed its first test flight Tuesday in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, more than two years behind schedule due to structural integrity problems.Code-named XC2, the two-engine jet is being developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

KHI started work on the plane in 2001 as part of a ¥340 billion government project.The project also covers costs to develop the Maritime Self-Defense Force's next-generation antisubmarine patrol plane, which shares many parts with the XC2.The plane is 44 meters long, or 15 meters longer than the current ASDF C-1 transport jet.

Iran to Unveil Several Missile and Weapons Projects Next Month

A top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Tuesday that the country's armed forces will unveil several missiles and weapons at the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution next month.Mehr news agency quoted commander Massud Jazayeri as saying: "Several missile and weapons projects will be unveiled during the 10 days of dawn (February 1 to 11) by armed forces."

Jazayeri's announcement comes less than a week after Tehran said it will reveal three new satellites in February.Communications Minister Reza Taghipour said the three home-built communications satellites were Toloo (Dawn), Ya Mahdi and Mesbah-2. He did not give a specific date for the launching.Iran had launched its first home-built satellite, the Omid (Hope), last February to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The launch sent alarm bells ringing in the international community, which voiced concern over Iran's development of technology that could be used for military purposes.The West suspects Iran of secretly trying to build an atomic bomb and fears the technology used to launch space rockets could be diverted into developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Tehran denies having military goals for its space programme or its nuclear drive.But it has aggressively pursued a missile programme and repeatedly threatened to target US bases in the region and to block the strategic Gulf Strait of Hormuz waterway for oil tankers if its nuclear sites are attacked.Washington and its ally Israel have not ruled out striking Iran's nuclear sites in a bid to stop its galloping atomic drive which they suspect is aimed at making weapons.

Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment and risks a further round after rejecting a UN-brokered deal to send its low enriched uranium abroad to be further refined into fuel for a research reactor in Tehran.

Libya to buy fighter planes,S-300PMU-2 and T-90S tanks from Russia

Libya's defense minister arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for talks that Russian media said could result in a $2 billion defense contract including 20 jets.Officials in the Libyan Embassy in Moscow confirmed that Major General Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr was making the trip but declined to discuss the likelihood of a deal, saying only that a news conference might be scheduled for Wednesday.

"Libya is ready to buy around 20 fighter planes, not less than two divisions of S-300PMU-2 air defense systems, several dozen T-90S tanks from Russia, and also to modernize more than 140 T-72 tanks and other weapons," Interfax reported, citing what it called "a military-diplomatic source."Vedomosti reported that the package could be worth up to $2 billion, citing sources who said the sale of the S-300 systems was "practically agreed."

A spokesman for state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport could not be contacted for comment. Interfax reported that $1 billion of the deal was for 12 to 15 multifunction fighter jets such as the Su-35 and the Su-30, as well as Yak-130 trainer planes.


India's Anti-Ballistic Missile Program Shifting to Accommodate Anti-Satellite Weapons

The goals for India's anti-ballistic missile (ABM) and ballistic missile defense (BMD) programs may be shifting to accommodate an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon more quickly than previously planned, and this could radically alter the agenda of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is currently in the middle of a three-day visit to India. "Memories in New Delhi run deep about how India's relative tardiness in developing strategic offensive systems [nuclear weapons] redounded in its relegation on 'judgment day' [when the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed in 1968] to the formal category of non-nuclear weapons state," said Sourabh Gupta, senior research associate at Samuels International Associates in Washington, DC.

"With its early support of the former US president George W Bush's ballistic missile defense program and its current drive toMdevelop anti-ballistic missile/anti-satellite capability, New Delhi is determined not to make the same mistake twice," added Gupta. "If and when globally negotiated restraints are placed on such strategic defensive systems or technologies - perhaps restraints of some sort of ASAT testing/hit-to-kill technologies - India will already have crossed the technical threshold in that regard, and acknowledgement of such status [will be] grand-fathered into any such future agreement."

After watching China's moves since the highly controversial satellite shootdown which China undertook in January 2007, India has now openly declared its desire to match China.  ...........................India targets China's satellites

Monday, January 25, 2010

India to Test Agni-III Ballistic Missile in February-March 2010

India might conduct another test of 3,500-km-range Agni-III ballistic missile in February-March. The first test of the Agni-III ballistic missile was conducted in July 2006 resulted in failure. But the following two tests, in April 2007 and May 2008, were successful. According to DRDO, Agni-III will be ready by 2012-2013.

Indian Army to procure all-terrain vehicles for special operations

To provide high mobility to its commandos for special operations, the Army is procuring a large number of all-terrain vehicles that could ply in snow-bound areas, marshes, creeks, beaches and deserts.The Defence Ministry has issued a request for information (RFI) to manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, for such high utility vehicles with a capacity to carry 10 fully-armed men.

These vehicles can also be used by troops for patrol duties in difficult terrains.However, the RFI does not specify the exact number of vehicles required, but has asked the manufacturers to state their ability to supply them and also transfer technology for manufacturing within India in future.Army expects to procure both wheeled and tracked all-terrain vehicles, but these should have convertible rack and seat system.

The vehicles should be able to operate in high-altitude areas and have the capability to cross crevasses.A Global Positioning System powered by its own electrical systems, wind and temperature tachymeter, fire extinguisher, external storage facility for rappelling ropes, ice aces, pick axes and shovels, along with two 20-litre warming fuel jerricans would be additional features of the vehicle.Among other attachments to the vehicle include all-way blade, rotary snow blower, snow cutter and tilt trailer.


Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) Successfully Demonstrated Aboard F-16

Northrop Grumman Corporation in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, has successfully completed a series of demonstration flights of its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) installed in an F-16 fighter aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The demonstration was in support of a U.S. Air Force F-16 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) feasibility study.

"Almost two years ago Northrop Grumman said that air forces of the future will necessarily gravitate toward using AESA technology – especially through scalable retrofit technology. Our team has worked diligently to make that possible and today we've made it a reality. This officially marks the first time a retrofit AESA has ever flown in a legacy F-16," said Arlene Camp, director of Advanced F-16 Radar Programs at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector.

"This demonstration validated our goal of developing an AESA that can be easily installed on the flight line and integrated with existing power and cooling provisions of currently fielded F-16s," Camp added. "With regard to installed performance, SABR's air-to-air and air-to-ground detection and tracking and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mapping performance met or exceeded our predictions."

SABR is an affordable and scalable AESA radar designed for retrofit in current F-16s and other legacy fighter, attack, and training aircraft. Compared to mechanically-scanned array radars, SABR will provide the increased performance, multi-functionality, and greater reliability inherent in AESA radars. In terms of combat capability, SABR provides improved situational awareness, greater detection, high-resolution SAR maps, interleaved air-to-air and air-to-surface mode operations, and an all-environment precision strike capability.

Northrop Grumman has been the sole provider of radars for the F-16 and for over 30 years has continually improved the F-16 radar's performance and reliability. More than 5,000 F-16 radars have been produced for the U.S. Air Force and 24 nations worldwide.

Because of this extensive foundation and rich F-16 heritage and platform intimacy, Northrop Grumman is the first to design, develop, integrate, test and successfully demonstrate retrofit AESA capability in flight on a legacy F-16. SABR is part of Northrop Grumman's robust product family of multi-function sensors and capabilities.

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Indonesian Air Force to purchase 16 Super Tucano fighters

Dicky Christanto

The Indonesian Air Force plans to purchase a squadron of 16 warplanes widely known as Super Tucanoes to replace the OV-10 Bronco aircraft, which have been in service for more than three decades, says Air Force Chief Marshal Imam Sufaat. "The purchase is part of our effort to improve the Air Force's weaponry system. We have proposed the purchase to the government with the hope that they will grant the funds," he said in Yogyakarta on Saturday. Imam was in Yogyakarta to witness the job transfer of the Air Force Academy governor from Rear Marshal BS Silaen to his successor Air Commodore Sru Artjarjo................... THE JAKARTA POST

Turkey to provide spare parts of AH-1 Cobra Helicopter to Pakistan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has assured President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari that Turkey would soon provide Pakistan with the spare parts of Cobra helicopters free of cost. President Zardari is visiting is in Turkey to attend the Trilateral Summit being between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey.

A suspected US drone crashed in North Waziristan

Aaj News (A private Pakistani TV channel) has reported that a suspected US drone crashed in North Waziristan. It is being reported thatcrash occurred in North Waziristan, some 2.5 miles northwest of the main town of Miranshah.. So far, local administration has not confirmed the claims made by the local residents regarding bringing down American UAV. A local resident, Saudur Rehman says he heard gunfire just before he saw the drone crash.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Indian Army to induct BrahMos Block-II land-attack cruise missiles

Army is going in for a major induction of BrahMos Block-II land-attack cruise missiles (LACM), which have been designed as "precision strike weapons" capable of hitting small targets in cluttered urban environments. Sources say the defence ministry will ``soon'' approach the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, for the green signal to arm the Army with two regiments of the BrahMos Block-II land-attack cruise missiles (LACM).

Swift induction of BrahMos Block-II is necessary because Pakistan Army is inducting its nuclear-capable Babur LACM, developed with China's help to have a 500-km strike range(Range has been increased to 750km), in large numbers. BrahMos-II can potentially be used for ``surgical strikes'' at terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage.

One regiment of the 290-km range BrahMos-I variant, which consists of 67 missiles, five mobile autonomous launchers on 12x12 Tatra vehicles and two mobile command posts, among other equipment, is already operational in the Army. It had earlier ordered two BrahMos regiments in the first phase at a cost of Rs 8,352 crore..................... Times of India

Russia Purposes Additional Phalcon AWACS For IAF

Rosoboronehksport is holding discussions with India about a new contract for the delivery of long-range IL-76 Phalcon AWACS, a source in the defense industrial complex reported to AviaPort."The official negotiations may emerge in approximately half a year," he noted.According to him, the new contract may provide for the delivery of three airplanes of this type, plus an option for six aircraft.

The first contract for the delivery to India of threeIL-76 Phalcon AWACS equipped with PS-90A-76 engines and the Israeli ELTA firm's EL/M-2075 radar was signed in Delhi in 2003 by the three parties: India, Israel and Russia. The Taganrog Beriev Scientific and Engineering Complex, the Il'yushin Aviation Complex and the Vega scientific Production Association are taking part in realization of the contract from the Russian side.

The ELTA is the lead executor of the order. The total contract price is estimated at 1.1 billion dollars, Russia's share is 150 - 200 million dollars. The first contract under this contract was supposed to be delivered in 2006 and the contract's closeout was intended for 2009. However, the first A-50 (side number KW-3551) was delayed in delivery to Israel, in May 2009: The Tashkent V.P. Chkalov Aviation and Production Association was unable to build the Il-76MD, which serve as the basis for the IL-76 Phalcon AWACS, on time.


Offer of Outdated RQ-7 Shadow UAVs “Too little, too late”

By Mariana Baabar

Pakistan military sources say they are not impressed by the offer of the United States to supply RQ-7 Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), as they already have superior quality UAVs, which they have upgraded, and which are in use.The disappointment is understandable since unlike the drones that fly and take out targets inside Pakistan’s Fata region, the ones being offered to Pakistan are unarmed, and commonly used for intelligence gathering.Later, when DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas was asked about the overall weapons being provided to Pakistan for counterinsurgency and other military supplies, he remarked, “Too little, too late”.It was US Defence Secretary Robert Gates who, in a meeting with the media at the residence of the US ambassador, said the US was enhancing Pakistan’s intelligence capabilities. He said the offer comes because Islamabad had requested for them. “We have a lot of information on the Afghan side that we share ... we also help Pakistan build its own capacity. We will be providing them with UAVs (Shadow) together with equipment and training,” he said.

To a question whether the US was attaching any conditions to these UAVs, he replied, “I do not know”. In the past, the US was wary of passing on the drone technology to Pakistan as Islamabad could use it in areas other than it had specifically been given for.One American journalist accompanying him asked about the possibility of stopping arms sale to India and Pakistan altogether. “We have to judge each country’s requirement on its own. We sell Pakistan F-16s and we sell India transport aircraft. We make a decision judiciously,” Gates replied.Gates appeared relaxed with the questions being thrown at him by the local and US media but it was the ‘D’ word that he refused to entertain. Though several questions relating to US drones were asked, he shrugged them off and would not even give an answer as to whom in the US this question could be put.When he said that there were no US bases inside Pakistan. he refused a reply when asked from where these US drones flew. Amongst the defence secretary’s aides in uniform that greeted the media before he arrived were those who offered their greetings in chaste Urdu and one of them also spoke excellent Pashto!..............................The News

Second F-22 P Frigate arrives in Pakistan: ISPR

The second F-22 P Frigate of Pakistan Navy- the PNS Shamsheer arrived in Pakistan on Saturday after being commissioned in December last year at Shanghai, China.According to an announcement in a press release of the ISPR (Navy), the ship traveled through Karachi and visited Singapore and Colombo.An outstanding reception ceremony was held at the PN Dockyard where the ship was welcomed by PN officials.Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Tanveer Faiz, a large number of PN officers and men and families of ship’s crew were present on the occasion.Being constructed in collaboration with the China Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, the PNS Shamsheer is the second of the four ships being manufactured.The third ship is in the pipe line and expected to be delivered in the third quarter of this year while the construction of the fourth one is likely to be completed by 2013. ......... APP

Euro Tech to Revamp Lebanese Gazelle and Puma Gelicopters

Lebanon has signed an agreement with the French company Euro Tech --specialized in revamping and equipping planes -- to revamp 13 Gazelle-type helicopters owned by Lebanon and equip the Puma helicopters granted by the UAE to Lebanon, according to the Central News Agency.The agreement implies revamping the helicopters and training Lebanese pilots on flying the French-manufactured Puma helicopters.

The Puma helicopters are expected to start arriving within the first half of 2010 in two batches, the first includes four helicopters and the second includes six.Earlier media reports said that France was worried that providing the Lebanese army with weapons, including missiles for the Gazelle helicopters, could end up in Hizbullah hands.France's stance was conveyed during a visit by Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Paris.

It came in response to Hariri's request to provide Lebanon with Gazelle missiles since the Lebanese Air Force used up all the rockets against Fatah al-Islam militants during the battle of Nahr el-Bared in 2007.Pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Friday cited well-informed sources as saying that French officials and while expressing willingness in principle to provide Lebanon with weapons, French military commanders, however, voiced fear that such missiles could end up in Hizbullah hands and used in war against Israel.

As-Safir newspaper, for its part, said French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said that talks tackled "specific issues on the process of modernization of the Lebanese army," without being committed to steps toward arming the Lebanese army, particularly to provide helicopters with missiles.The French position matched the U.S.' stance which was not enthusiastic about the issue of providing the Lebanese Air Force with weapons that could be used against Israel. The ten Puma helicopters that were part of UAE grant to Lebanon were also to be used for light transport and liaison roles and not for combat.

Al-Markaziya news agency

Myanmar Air Force F-7 jet crashes

A Myanmar Air Force fighter plane crashed on Friday morning while attempting to land at Yangon airport, killing its pilot, an airport official said.An official at Yangon International Airport said the Chinese-made F-7 jet crashed while on a training flight. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The Air Force base is adjacent to the civilian airport and uses the same runways.According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Swedish think tank, Myanmar purchased at least 36 F-7 jets from China in the 1990s......The Hindu

India is Scrambling to Sign Deal to Purchase AW-101 VVIP Helicopter

Huma Siddiqui

Indian Defence ministry is scrambling to sign a deal to purchase Italian Augusta Westland VVIP helicopter before the Budget is presented. According to sources, “It is keen to utilise the Budget allocation rather than surrender it.”

The defence ministry short listed Finmeccanica’s helicopter division, Augusta Westland, as it emerged the frontrunner in a multi-million contract to supply 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopter for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Worth Rs 3, 726 crore (Rs 310 crore each), the helicopter would be used by the President and the Prime Minister. Cabinet Committee on Security, too, gave its clearance early December after finance ministry gave the purchase a go ahead.

The Indian contract, which is expected to be signed soon for the flying offices equipped with advanced communication aids and self-protection devices, is likely to be the greatest Italian export to India since 1960s. While the IAF would buy 12 helicopter, the US has placed an order for 20 machines.

Talking to FE on conditions of anonymity sources said, “A high-level team of IAF test pilots and engineers have evaluated the deal.” According to industry sources, “The IAF deal is very prestigious for the company, especially when one is looking at an aircraft of this nature. Safety is important.” In 2009, the finance ministry had declined its approval for the deal on the grounds that the machines were too expensive at Rs 310 crore each.

Reportedly, the ministry had objected to the IAF narrowing their selection to a single vendor for seeking price bid. It had pointed out that what AgustaWestland quoted for 12 AW-101 had overrun the estimated outlay of Rs 1,400 crore approved in 2006. AgustaWestland was the sole firm that qualified the technical norms set by the IAF.

The new machines are to replace the Mi-17 machines in the Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, as the VVIP transport squadron is called, will be equipped with flare dispensers and special self-defence systems. With two deals already signed— one for 5 mid-sized Embraer 135 BJ Legacy jets in 2003 and the other for 3 Boeing Business Jets in 2005—this will be the third deal.

The EH-101 will have self-defense systems like missile warners, flare dispensers and directed infrared electronic counter measures for protection. The existing Russian Mi-8s and Mi-17s would be replaced with these newer versions of advanced jets. These helicopter would have a high tail boom, which would allow the VVIP cars to come near the rear exit staircase.

According to company executives, the helicopter can even be ferried in transport plane, if the PM or President wants to travel abroad. The 30-seater helicopter also has a cushy special lounge and will have a full-fledged communication suite. Westland and Sikorsky were the two companies short-listed for the Indian VVIP fleet. Sikorsky’s S-92 is used by nine heads of states in the world, but the IAF has zeroed in on Westland recently.
The Anglo-Italian company is also in talks with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) as a partner for the various helicopter bids, to meet the offset condition. The two companies have worked together on maintenance of the Indian Navy’s Sea King helicopter fleet.

India to get 12 EH/AW-101 helicopters

Financial Express

Typhoon is "Leading the Race" to Win Indian MMRCA Contract

By Valentina Rusconi

ROME, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Eurofighter Typhoon is "leading the race" to win a contract from the Indian government for 126 fighter jets, valued at around $10.4 billion, India's ambassador to Italy said on Friday."We have shortlisted four to five countries, then the trial process and evaluation will follow. Eurofighter is one of them, in which Italy is involved, and it's leading the race," ambassador Arif Shahid Khan told Reuters after a meeting with a senior aid to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Boeing's (BA.N) F/A-18 Super Hornet, France's Dassault (AVMD.PA) Rafale, Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) F-16, Russia's MiG-35, Sweden's Saab (SAABb.ST) JAS-39 Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon, produced by a consortium of European companies (EAD.PA)(BAES.L)(SIFI.MI), are competing for the order.Defence industry experts do not expect an immediate decision.A Eurofighter source said the test flights were expected to finish by April, and a decision would follow.

He also said German President Horst Koehler would visit India in early February to sign an agreement on defence, security and technology.India is one of the world's biggest arms importers, and the government plans to spend more than $30 billion on defence upgrades over the next five years to counter potential threats from Pakistan and China. The ambassador said India would order from Italy's Finmeccanica a refuelling ship, following the purchase of a similar vessel worth around $200 million. "We are really satisfied," he said.

The ambassador said Berlusconi would visit India this year and the two countries were discussing economic cooperation in other fields, such as agriculture. He said discussions were also underway for Alitalia to start flights between the two countries.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Indian Navy gets $1.5 bn to boost air fleet, counter China

The Indian Navy has started a $1.5 billion overhaul of its ageing Soviet-era fleet of aircraft, seeking to boost its air power in an Indian Ocean region where a growing China is threatening its traditional dominance.The investment is one of the biggest the Indian Navy has made in recent years and reflects New Delhi's urgency to modernise its military, a move that rival Pakistan says could spark an arms build-up and destabilise an already roiled South Asia.

India plans to buy 16 new MIG-29 fighter jets, half a dozen light combat aircraft, unmanned patrol planes and multi-role helicopters. Tenders for these will be floated soon, Indian officials said.The Indian navy is also upgrading its Sea Harrier fighter jets, IL-38 maritime anti-submarine warfare planes and acquiring five Kamov KA-31 patrol helicopters."We are acquiring new fighters and helicopters to...supplement a new aircraft carrier we are getting soon," said Commander P V S Satish, the Navy spokesman, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Analysts said the upgrade of the Navy was long due."It is almost a matter of time before ships from China arrive in India's backyard," said Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at New Delhi's Centre for Policy Research.India and China are locked in a battle to lead Asia. New Delhi fears China is creating an arc of influence in the Indian Ocean region, bolstering claims over what has traditionally been seen as India's backyard.

Indian officials said Pakistan, too, was modernising its navy.Pakistan's National Command Authority (NCA), which oversees the country's nuclear weapons, said last week India's arms modernisation plans could destabilise the regional balance.


Plans to Locally Develop KF-X fighter and KAH Helicopter will Begin Next Year: South Korea

Eurofighter’s Typhoon: Eurofighter is offering to transfer technology to South Korea for its KF-X fighter development plan.
By Jung Sung-ki

(KoreaTimes)-Plans to locally develop a fighter aircraft and an attack helicopter will start next year.The plan is part of comprehensive projects to develop the nation’s aerospace industry over the next decade, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. It was approved by an ad hoc committee of the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy. To develop the military aircraft industry, the government will begin exploratory development of the KF-X fighter and the Korea Attack Helicopter (KAH) next year. The defense ministry plans to submit an outline of costs for the project to the National Assembly later this year.Both programs have been stalled for several years due to questions about their economic and technical feasibility. The government will develop an aircraft on par with the F-16 Block 50 in cooperation with foreign defense firms, according to officials at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The KF-X will be armed with up-to-date radar and avionics systems, they said.

DAPA spokesman Kim Young-san said preliminary development for the KF-X will be conducted between 2011 and 2012 with an investment of 4.4 billion won, and full-scale workwill continue until 2021 at a cost of 5 trillion won.Korea will foot 60 percent of KF-X development costs and will rely on foreign firms to cover the remainder, Kim said. Among potential foreign bidders for the KF-X effort are Boeing and Eurofighter. Boeing is offering to transfer F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft technology to help build the KF-X, while Eurofighter wants Korea to join its Eurofighter Typhoon program. The KF-X had originally aimed to produce and market about 120 aircraft stealthier than Dassault’s Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon but not as covert as Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightening II.

Facing technical and budgetary difficulties, the required operational capability for the KF-X has been lowered to that similar to the F-16. The KAH will be a 5 ton light attack helicopter with a seating capacity of six to eight crew members, the spokesman said. Exploratory development will start next year with an estimated budget of 23.2 billion won, he said. Full-scale development will continue over the next six years with investment of 600 billion won.Either Korean Air or Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will develop the KAH with technical assistance from a foreign helicopter maker, the spokesman said. The selection of a main Korean developer will be made in August. Sources said Korean Air, a national flag carrier, has the upper hand in the competition, especially since KAI unsuccessfully pushed to develop a medium-heavy attack helicopter based on its Korea Utility Helicopter (KUH), the Surion.

Potential foreign partners for the KAH include AgustaWestland, the U.K.-Italy helicopter maker; Eurocopter, a subsidiary of the European aerospace group EADS; Sikorsky Aircraft; and Boeing.DAPA plans to purchase foreign heavy attack helicopter under the AH-X program separate from the KAH.The AH-X effort calls for buying 36 foreign heavy attack helicopters while the KAH program will build about 270 homegrown aircraft.Both the AH-X and KAH programs are aimed at replacing the Korean Army's aging 500MD TOWs and AH-1Ss. About half of the 500MD TOWs will reach their lifespan of 30 years by 2013, while the AH-1S helicopters have been in operation for more than 16 years.

Indian Navy to Get First Project 17 Frigate "INS Shivalik" in April 2010

NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy will induct its first indigenously-built Shivalik class stealth frigate in April, an official said. Christened INS Shivalik, the multi-role stealth frigate has been built at Mumbai's Mazagaon Docks Limited under Project 17. Two more such vessels are under construction. "The first of the frigates will be inducted in April. The ship has been provided with structural, thermal and acoustic stealth features to augment its potent capability," an official said, requesting anonymity. Shivalik is equipped with state-of-the-art defence against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks.

"The Atmospheric Control System filters and controls the temperature and humidity of the air coming into the ship at all times, including the air being used by the engines. It removes any radioactive, chemical or biological impurities, thereby protecting the crew and the systems even during a nuclear, biological or chemical attack," the official said. Conceived and designed by the Indian Navy design bureau, the ship will also have indigenous sensors and weapons.

"The sensors and weapons of the ship are controlled through a Combat Management System designed and developed by an Indian Navy establishment and manufactured by Bharat Electronics," the official added. The Shivalik class vessels will be the mainstay frigates of the Indian Navy in the first half of the 21st century. Their sophisticated weaponry includes the Klub surface-to-surface missiles and the Shtil and Barak air defence missiles.

The ships also have the indigenous Kavach chaff-dispensing system to counter incoming missiles, as also indigenous sonars and anti-submarine warfare systems. The ship's domestic requirements of fresh water will be met through two reverse osmosis plants, while a fully automated galley will "enable the crew to be fed Indian, Continental and Asian gourmet meals, including freshly baked bread and home-made ice-cream," the official added.

The accommodation arrangements for the 35 officers and over 250 crew have been provided by Indian conglomerate Godrej and meets the laid down criteria for crew comfort and space management.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

India Conducts Successful Flight Trials of LGBs

India on Thursday carried out two successful flight trials of laser-guided bombs (LGBs) for the Indian Air Force to test the effectiveness of the guidance and control systems at the Chandipur integrated test range in Orissa. "Two flight trials were conducted at Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, to test the effectiveness of the guidance and control systems of the LGBs," a Defence Ministry release said in New Delhi. IAF officers flew their aircraft and released the LGBs as per prescribed standard operating procedures. "On-board systems in both the trials worked satisfactorily and the mission objectives have been met," the release added.

Bangalore-based Aeronautics Development Establishment (ADE) has developed the guidance kit for 1000-pound LGBs and these are designed to improve accuracy of air-to-ground bombing by IAF.The ADE has already carried out a number of tests on the LGBs both through simulation and flight tests over the last few years to reach the required performance levels.

"The bomb, once released, by the mother aircraft at appropriate range, will seek the target and home on to it very accurately and with high reliability. All the necessary on-board components are sourced from Indian industry," it said.Instruments Research and Development Establishment, another DRDO lab in Dehradun, has partnered ADE in the project.

US to Provide RQ-7 Shadow Tactical UAVs to Pakistan

The United States will provide a dozen unarmed aerial spy drones to Pakistan for the first time as part of an effort to encourage Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting militancy on the Afghanistan border, American defense officials said Thursday.The unmanned Shadow drones, which are smaller than armed Predator drones, would be a significant upgrade in the Pakistanis’ reconnaissance and surveillance capability and would supply video to help cue ground or air strikes.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is in Pakistan on a two-day visit, made the initial disclosure about the drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, in an interview Thursday with a Pakistani television reporter.Asked if the United States planned to provide the Pakistani military with drones, something it has long requested, Mr. Gates replied, “There are some tactical U.A.V.s that we are considering, yes.”

American defense officials said that the drones would be for use in Pakistan’s tribal areas and would be restricted to defensive rather than offensive operations. One major concern for the American military is the possibility that Pakistan could use the drones against India, its archrival in the region.The latest version of the Shadow is used by the United States Army and the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has a wing span of 14 feet, is about 12 feet long, is launched from a trailer by ground units and can fly about 70 miles.

Mr. Gates, who is on his first trip to Pakistan in three years, met Thursday with the Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, as well as with, Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the director of the country’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence. He attended a dinner in his honor given by the Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, and is to deliver a speech on American policy on Friday before a military audience.

American officials said that Mr. Gates urged the Pakistanis in the meetings to do more against the militants, a constant American theme that the defense secretary also sounded in an opinion article published on Thursday in the News, Pakistan’s largest English-language daily newspaper.In the same article, and in his public comments in Pakistan, Mr. Gates lavishly praised the Pakistani Army for its efforts so far against the militants in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan, and noted that the Army had suffered nearly 2,000 casualties in the last three years.

He also sought to reassure Pakistani citizens that Americans had a long-term interest in their country, not just in a short-term strategic gain across the border in Afghanistan.Mr. Gates said in the article that he regretted past injustices in the American-Pakistan relationship that he himself has been part of since the late 1980s, when he was No. 2 at the C.I.A. At that time, he helped funnel covert Reagan administration aid and weapons through Pakistan’s spy agency to the Islamic fundamentalists who ousted the Russians from Afghanistan. Some of those fundamentalists are now part of the Taliban and fighting against the United States.

Mr. Gates said that the United States largely abandoned Afghanistan and cut military ties with Pakistan once the Russians left Kabul, which he called “a grave mistake driven by some well-intentioned but short-sighted U.S. legislative and policy decisions.”He also repeated an assessment that the militant groups on Pakistan’s border were an inter-connected syndicate, a view that General Abbas rejected as not as “black and white” as Mr. Gates described.

Hellenic Aerospace Industry to Repair and Maintain Saudi Arabian C-130 Engines

Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) has signed a three-year contract with Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry to repair and maintain C-130 aircraft engines in a deal worth 43 million dollars (29.8 million euros).As part of efforts to strike up business abroad, state-owned HAI took part in the international tender in cooperation with Saudi Arabian company Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC).

HAI managing director Tassos Philippakos said that “the contract lays the foundation for an important strategic cooperation with MEPC and Saudi Arabia’s armed forces, while at the same time it is an example of HAI’s successful efforts to expand abroad.”The deal is seen as an important step for the Greek company in its bid to secure a market share in Saudi Arabia and the broader region.

Airbus to Showcase Latest Products at Singapore Airshow

Airbus will have a major presence at this year's Singapore Airshow, showcasing both its commercial and military transport products. The highlight will be the first public presentation of the new A330-200F Freighter. The aircraft, which is currently undergoing its certification programme, will be on static display throughout the show, taking place 2nd - 7th February at Changi Exhibition Centre.

The new freighter is the latest addition to the highly successful A330 Family and will enter service later this year. Offering the lowest operating costs ever in the medium sized freighter category, the A330-200F can carry more than 69 tonnes of cargo on non-stop flights of 3,200 nautical miles. The aircraft features a versatile main-deck cargo loading system, which can accommodate both pallets and containers, enabling operators to serve the freight lift needs of varying markets.

The company's indoor exhibit, located at the stand of its parent company EADS (H23), will feature a life-size mock-up of the upper forward fuselage of the all-new A350 XWB. Scheduled to enter service in 2013, the A350 XWB will shape new levels of efficiency in the mid-size long range passenger market, burning 25% less fuel than similar sized aircraft in-service today. Also on display will be a 1/20-scale cutaway model of the flagship A380, providing a view of a typical interior layout on the world's largest passenger aircraft.

A section of the stand will be dedicated to the latest products from Airbus Military, where visitors will be able to view a cross-section of the new A400M military transporter, as well as a 1/20 scale model of the A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport.

Reflecting its commitment to the environment, Airbus will also be present at the Green Pavilion set up by the show organiser in association with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Here visitors will be able to get the latest information on the company's initiatives to ensure an eco-efficient future for the industry, including its latest work on alternative fuels and air traffic management.

Airbus comes to the Singapore Airshow as it celebrates 40 Years of Innovation since the launch of its first aircraft programme. Since that time the company has grown to become the world's leading manufacturer of civil aircraft, as well as offering a range of military transport aircraft through its Airbus Military division.

Indian Army is Procuring Additional Accessories for TAR-21 assault rifles

The Army is marching ahead to boost firepower and enhance mobility of its special forces and select infantry outfits. It is procuring carbines for close-quarter battle, additional accessories for its recently acquired TAR-21 assault rifles and all-terrain vehicles.Recently, the Army was in the market to procure special assault rifles that can shoot around corners without the soldier having to expose himself for a direct line-of-sight shot.

Since carbines are smaller and more compact than rifles and capable of a high rate of automatic fire, they are preferred for combat at short ranges and in confined spaces, though their effectiveness is negligible at longer ranges. Special forces world over are heavy users of carbines.The Army wants carbines to be fully operable by troops wearing NBC protective clothing, besides having the capability to mount additional gadgets like laser rangers and night vision sights.

The list of accessories for the modular Israeli Tavor TAR-21 rifle, which is now the standard personal weapon for special forces personnel and paratroopers includes telescopic sights and night vision sights, accessory rails for mounting additional gadgets, high-intensity flashlights, dual magazine clips and luminous sights for under-barrel grenade launchers.

Also being sought for the TAR-21 are single eye night vision goggles with headband. Providing high-resolution imagery and image intensification troops would be able to use them in conjugation with the rifle’s day sights or as an independent gadget by being worn on the forehead.Specifications for the all-terrain vehicles (ATV) include seating capacity for 10 persons and the ability to operate across a wide spectrum terrain and climatic conditions, including snowbound areas, deserts and marshes.Inbuilt GPS and navigation system, air-conditioning, fire-fighting aids, internal and external storage capacity for military equipment, cold starting system and provisions for attaching engineering support equipment like snow cutter, blades and trailers would be added features of the ATV.

India Offers Upgrade Bangladeshi MiG-29 Jet and Mi-17 helicopters

The Indian Air Force is offering the Bangladesh Biman Bahini (Bangladesh air force) the use of its facilities to modernise and maintain fighter aircraft and helicopters, a senior defence source told. In reaching out to Dhaka with an offer to help upgrade its air fleet, New Delhi is stepping into an area in which Bangladesh has been dependent mainly on China and, to a limited extent, on Pakistan, Russia and the US.

Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, currently in Dhaka on a week’s visit that began on Saturday, offered the use of Indian Air Force facilities in meetings with the chief of the Bangladesh Biman Bahini, Air Marshal S.M. Ziaur Rehman. The IAF is understood to have offered to liaise with defence public sector company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore, to help modernise Bangladesh’s MiG-29 aircraft and Mi-17 helicopters. The IAF flies and has upgraded the two aircraft for its own fleet. HAL is engaged in upgrading India’s own MiG-29s.

This is the first visit by an Indian Air Force chief to Bangladesh in more than five years. The last such visit was in 2004. But the Bangla air chief was here in April 2009. Military-to-military relations with Bangladesh have been resuscitated since the visit by the Bangladesh army chief in February 2008. An IAF source pointed out that while Bangladesh had mostly Chinese and some American-origin aircraft, it also had a squadron of MiG-29aircraft.

Nearly 70 per cent of Bangladesh’s flying fleet is aged, with the fighter aircraft being 20 years old or even more than that. Bangladesh has taken help from China and Pakistan for its A-5 and A-7 Chinese-origin aircraft.But the Indian Air Force has said that the facilities for its Mi-17 helicopters (the IAF flies the transport helicopter in large numbers), the MiG-29 and the Antonov 32 could be spared for Bangladesh’s limited air force. Bangladesh flies three AN 32s and 14 Mi-17s.

In Dhaka, Air Chief Marshal Naik has met President Zillur Rahman and was scheduled to meet Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday. He has also met the three chiefs of the armed forces. “The main focus of the visit will be on improving bilateral relations, promoting defence ties, outlining further areas of defence co-operation between the two countries and resolving pending issues through dialogue and understanding,” the air force source said.

Poland to Station Patriot missiles near Russian Border

U.S. Patriot missiles will be stationed in northern Poland about 60 miles (100 km) from the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad rather than near Warsaw, the Polish defense minister said on Wednesday.Polish Radio cited Bogdan Klich as saying the decision to set up a Patriot site in the outskirts of the town of Morag, which is much closer to the Russian border than Warsaw, does not bear any considerations of a strategic nature.

"In Morag we could offer the best conditions for American soldiers and the best technical base for the equipment," Klich said.Poland and the United States signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) last December laying out the conditions for the deployment of U.S. troops on Polish soil.According to the SOFA, U.S. troops will service Patriot missiles that are to be integrated into Poland's national security system.

The Patriot unit will be manned by some 100 U.S. soldiers, and will comprise up to eight missile launchers.The first U.S. troop rotation is expected to arrive in Poland by the end of March.Russia has strongly opposed the previous U.S. administration's plans to place 10 long-range ground-based interceptor missiles in Poland and a fixed-site radar station in the Czech Republic. When agreeing to host the missile site, Warsaw demanded the Patriots' deployment to improve its defensive capabilities.

Moscow's opposition to the missile defense system went as far as a threat to deploy Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave, but last September U.S. President Barack Obama shelved the proposed Central European missile shield and Russia said it would not place its missiles near the Polish border.However, Warsaw has insisted that the Patriot systems be placed in Poland under a bilateral security pact regardless of whether plans for a U.S. interceptor missile base in the country go ahead or not.

Russia has not yet commented on the Polish decision to move the location of the Patriot site closer to its borders.Patriot (MIM-104) is a theater air-defense system designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.As well as the U.S., the Patriot is in service in Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. Patriot missile systems were successfully deployed by U.S. forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

RIA Novosti

Russia Air Force will Receive Ten Pantsir-S1 in 2010

Russian Air Force in 2010 to take on arms to ten antiaircraft missile-gun complexes "Pantsir-S1". It is reported RIA Novosti with reference to the words of spokesman for the Press and Information Ministry of Defense of Russia's Air Force Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik. As expected, several of these complexes participate in the Victory Parade in Red Square May 9, 2010. In late December last year, several professional anti-aircraft missile troops (ZRV) Air Force of Russia took a course on managing complex Pantsir. In the future, these specialists will training officers ZRV use new ZRPK.

ZRPK Pantsir-S1 was developed in the mid 1990's the Tula Instrument Engineering Design Bureau. It is assumed that in the future Pantsir substitute for standing in the arms ZRPK "Tunguska". Pantsir-S1 is designed to protect small and point objects from the means of air attack. In addition, ZRPK can be used to protect objects from the ground and surface threats.

Pantsir Three-equipped dual-band radar system capable of capturing up to ten goals in a minute. Armament "shell" consists of two twin anti-aircraft machine-caliber 30 millimeters, as well as rocket launchers, 76 caliber and 90 mm. Ammo ZRPK of 12 missiles and 1,4 thousands of shells.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kaman is Struggling to Resell 11 SH-2G Super Seasprites


Hungry for helicopters, governments worldwide have flooded aircraft makers with orders worth a king's ransom.Demand from the United States military alone has put Connecticut's Sikorsky Aircraft in contention to become the world's biggest helicopter maker, generating related work for its suppliers — among them, Kaman Corp. of Bloomfield, which makes cockpits for the famed Black Hawk and Seahawk lines.

Even as Kaman churns out parts for Sikorsky and anticipates other big projects, however, the company is struggling to resell a batch of its own helicopters, 11 sophisticated, just-barely secondhand SH-2G Super Seasprites. Today, ten of the submarine-hunting aircraft rest side by side in a warehouse on Kaman's 200-acre Bloomfield campus, their 44-foot main rotors stowed in airtight canisters and other parts packed and neatly stacked beside them. (The 11th, a demonstration aircraft, is kept elsewhere on the campus.)

"They're available now," Neal Keating, Kaman's chief executive, said last week.It's a rare case in which a global aerospace supplier is marketing the same military equipment a second time — after the government of Australia backed out of a long-sealed deal — and can offer it almost immediately.Sal Bordonaro, president of Kaman's helicopters division, put the price at "one-third the cost of a comparable aircraft." Industry analysts estimate a resale price in a range of $8 million to $15 million.

The Australians paid about $600 million for the aircraft, including spare parts, a flight simulator, service support and other materials. But after a long dispute, Australia reached a settlement in early 2008 to return all 11 aircraft — without recouping much of its investment.The aircraft themselves were originally valued at $40 million each, including software development costs, according to Kaman."Fifteen million would be a heck of a bargain, " said Mark Bobbi, an aerospace analyst in Florida.

Intended to operate from ships, the twin-engine Super Seasprites can be equipped with missiles, torpedoes, depth charges and machine guns, and can carry up to six passengers. Designed for maritime surveillance, submarine warfare, search-and-rescue missions and other naval operations, they fly at a top speed of 173 mph. Advanced touch-screen controls enable two people to operate the aircraft, down from three for a traditional Seasprite.

One full-motion flight simulator is also available.In all, Kaman says it lost — and has already written off — about $100 million on the program.The company remains solidly profitable, and its financial health does not depend on a resale. (For its fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 2, the company reported operating earnings of $14.7 million.) But reselling the Super Seasprites could help the company save some face after the failed Australia deal, one that Teal Group, a Virgina-based aerospace consultant, called "disastrous."

"Any time you have a program that is terminated, there's still some stigma associated with it," said Keating, the Kaman CEO.So Kaman, which remanufactures but has not lately made and sold new helicopters, continues to scour the earth for a nation eager to buy its souped-up Seasprites. The aircraft are descendants of a helicopter first manufactured in the 1960s that Teal Group has called "a legendary rotorcraft."

Reselling them hasn't proved easy, and it could take several more years. Navies haven't been burning through helicopters as fast as land-based forces. And 11 helicopters is a small lot for buyers looking for decades of use."Somebody who already has an existing fleet — that's exactly what you want," Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said of Kaman's best option.

There are three current users — Egypt, New Zealand and Poland, which together operate 18. Kaman executives said they're focused on them and three other unnamed potential buyers, but also marketing to a broader group that includes NATO and undisclosed nations in South Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. Kaman is now overhauling Egypt's fleet of nine.Australia complained that Kaman failed to deliver the aircraft's advanced software systems on schedule. Kaman acknowledges this, attributing the delay to a subcontractor, and says the work has since been completed.

The company denies that the aircraft were ever unsafe, as some in Australia alleged, and Kaman said the U.S. military operated an earlier version for decades without any serious problems. The company also pointed out that Australia never acquired the type of naval ships that were to serve as the Seasprites' platform.As part of the 2008 settlement, Kaman forgave more than $30 million that Australia still owed, and promised to pay the nation about $25 million regardless of whether Kaman is able to resell the aircraft.

Kaman took a Seasprite to the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace Exhibition and Conference in Bucharest, Romania, in the fall of 2008 to advertise its availability, and has since entertained potential buyers in Bloomfield for test flights.There's no binding deal yet, but Bordonaro said he's years away from selling them for scrap."We have always believed that re-marketing the SH-2G(I)s as a cost-effective, highly capable solution to foreign militaries would be a multiyear effort," he said.

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