Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dhruv helicopter of Indian Air Force crash-lands

An advanced light helicopter Dhruv of the Indian Air Force crash-landed in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district while rehearsing for the ‘Vayu Shakti’ air power show to be held there on Sunday.The helicopter was part of the Sarang helicopter display team of the IAF and was rehearsing for Sunday’s air show, when the incident occurred, IAF officials said here.“Both pilots are safe after they had to make a controlled crash-landing due to loss of power in the chopper,” they added.  ......   ..................hindu

India, China pilots may train at Ukraine base

In a strange twist of fate, a former province of the then USSR — Ukraine — is emerging as the likely meeting point for naval aviators from India and China as the two countries try to rapidly acquire the capabilities to build and operate aircraft carriers of the future. A small aircraft carrier training base on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine is the most sought after training facility for both countries that are planning to induct modern aircraft carriers in the next five years.While India, which has been operating aircraft carriers for the past 50 years, wants to use the Nitka Research Test and Flying Centre to train its pilots during 2012-1013 in the run-up to the Gorshkov aircraft carrier induction, Beijing is already making overtures to Ukraine for using the facility to train its aviators for carrier-borne operations. China’s first aircraft carrier, according to US estimates, is set to roll out and get into service by 2015. India, on the other hand, expects to get its indigenous aircraft carrier by 2014-15, in addition to the Gorshkov in 2013.......................indianexpress

Israel Air Force expands training for rapid refueling

Long-range destinations like Iran would necessitate risky practice.In preparation for long-range missions and possible conflict with Iran, the Israel Air Force has expanded its training programs to include rapid refueling operations on runways.It’s a dangerous practice since the aircraft’s engines are running while the fuel nozzle is still connected to the jets. The training is for both pilots and ground crews and it is being done to enable the aircraft to carry as much fuel as possible for long-range missions.Fuel nozzles are traditionally disconnected from fighter aircraft while they are still parked in hangers and before they are rolled out to the runway, where they usually wait for several minutes before takeoff and while burning fuel. The new protocol includes keeping fuel trucks on the runway, having ground personnel reattach the nozzle and fuel the aircraft to the maximum fullness, disconnecting seconds before takeoff..................................jpost

Saturday, February 27, 2010

IAF to procure 181 basic trainer jets

The Indian Air Force has initiated the process to procure 181 basic trainer jets for training its rookie pilots, the Government said today."Request for Proposals have been floated for procuring 75 basic trainer aircraft on multi-vendor basis and 106 aircraft will be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)," Defence Minister A K Antony said in written reply to Rajya Sabha.The IAF is procuring these aircraft for replacing the fleet of HPT-32, which were grounded after a fatal air crash on July 31 last year..........................Full Story

Australia confirms order for seven CH-47F Chinooks

Australia has approved the purchase of seven Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters for A$755 million ($670 million).The first two helicopters will enter service in 2014 and all seven will be operational by 2017, says the Australian Government. The helicopters will replace the Australian army's six older CH-47D helicopters."These new helicopters will give the Australian Defence Force (ADF) a robust, deployable medium-lift helicopter capability out to 2040," says Australia's defence minister John Faulkner...............................Full Story

Russia to provide Lebanon with choppers

Al-Nahar reports Lebanese president signed military cooperation deal with Russian counterpart Lebanese President Michel Suleiman returned Friday from a two-day visit to Moscow and announced Russia had agreed to provide his country with Mi-24 helicopters, Al-Nahar reported. Russia announced in December of 2008 that it would provide Lebanon with 10 Mig-29 type planes, but Suleiman asked instead to receive the state of the art military choppers and the advanced missiles they carry. The first Lebanese president ever to visit Moscow, Suleiman signed a military cooperation deal with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday. The latter described the visit as a "milestone" in relations between the two countries. ......................Full Story

Thursday, February 25, 2010

UAE talks jeopardize Canada's Mideast base

The United Arab Emirates has increased pressure on Ottawa in its efforts to get additional landing rights for its commercial airlines by tying a direct link between a positive outcome to those talks and the continued operation of Canada's forward operating base in the Middle East.A senior government official has confirmed to the National Post that UAE officials have made it clear to their Canadian counterparts that if Emirates and Etihad Airways are not granted additional access to the Canadian market, the renewal of Canada's lease on its "Camp Mirage" in the Middle East could be in jeopardy when it comes up for renewal in June.............................Nationalpost

"First-cut Analysis" of Australia's Future Fighter Needs

Titled "A Preliminary Assessment of Inhabited Platforms for AIR6000" and written by the DSTO's Graeme Murray and David Carr, the study is significant because it is one of only a handful of studies that looked at alternatives to the JSF.The government plans to buy 100 JSFs for $16 billion in what will be the largest Australian defence purchase in history.The study favours the JSF over other options and is blunt about the shortcomings of Australia's other fighter options. It describes the US F-16 used by the US Air Force as having a weak airframe and poor stealth.
It said Europe's Typhoon fighter had limited strike capability and was unreliable.It said Sweden's Gripen fighter had poor stealth, an underdeveloped electronic warfare system and payload and range limitations.The DSTO found that the earlier version of the F/A-18E Super Hornet -- not the Block II version that has since been purchased by Australia -- was underpowered, lacked endurance and "risks being shot from behind with a radar-guided missile".The US F-15E lacked stealth while France's Rafale had an unreliable and weak engine."The F-15E is good now, but not likely to be defensible in the expected electronic warfare environment in the 2010 timeframe," the DSTO said. "Rafale has short-term shortfalls in engine and radar performance."....................TheAustralian

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IAF to hold first ever day-night fire power demo

For the first time ever, the Indian Air Force will showcase its prowess and capability of precision strikes during day, dusk and night at the fire power demonstration (FPD) at the Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan on February 28. To be witnessed by the President Pratibha Patil, the demonstration codenamed ‘Vayu Shakti – 2010’, will be a collective display of skills and accuracy in weapons delivery by pilots at the end of their training year. It also aids commanders and planners to gain better insight into the potential and development capabilities of aerial weapons. While the display that includes participation of 100 aircraft comes close on the heels of scheduled talks of Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan this week, the IAF Chief P.V. Naik said there is no link between the two event as the Air Force planned this demonstration much ahead of the talks...............................Hindu

Pakistan Army helicopter makes crash landing in Haripur

An Army helicopter made a crash landing due to technical fault during a routine flying near Tarbela last night. According to ISPR, one crewmember embraced Shahadat, while three others got injured. The injured were evacuated to CMH and their condition is stable.


Indian Air Force grounds 100 MiG-27s

After a fatal crash near Siliguri last week, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has grounded its fleet of nearly 100 Russian-origin MiG- 27 fighters on suspicions of a major engine snag. All five squadrons of the ground attack fighter, deployed primarily in the western and eastern sectors, have been confined to the ground since the February 16 crash in which a Squadron Leader was killed. Engine trouble is a known problem in the MiG-27 fleet with crashes in the past being attributed to defects in the R 29 engines of the aircraft. More worryingly, the initial probe has pointed to a major flaw in the engine that seems to have occurred during the overhauling of the aircraft by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The entire fleet had also completed an indigenous upgrade programme last year that was executed by HAL........................................Indianexpress

Ukraine to start modernization of India's An-32 planes in March

Ukraine will start upgrading military cargo planes for the Indian Air Force in March. The first Indian Antonov An-32 airplane is expected to arrive in Kyiv in early March to undergo modernization at the Antonov Design Bureau, an industry source told Interfax-Ukraine. Then a mass modernization program will be launched at Kyiv-based Civil Aviation Plant No. 410. The modernization program will include efforts to prolong the airplanes' service life to 40 years and to increase their commercial payload from 6.7 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes, the source said. Cockpit noise will also be reduced.In July 2009 the Indian Air Force and Spetstekhnoexport, a subsidiary of Ukrspetsexport state company, signed a $400-million contract to repair and modernize 105 An-32 airplanes owned by the Indian Air Force, following a Ukrainian victory in a December 2007 tender.


South Korean Navy to Receive New P-3CK Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The Navy will acquire the first three of the eight planned P-3CK maritime patrol aircraft from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) after a delay of nearly one and a half years due to systems integration and redesign problems.The last hurdle for their delivery was cleared earlier this month as the U.S. government approved export restrictions on key electronic warfare equipment for the P-3CK, according to KAI and Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) officials. The P-3CK is one of the new variants of the U.S. P-3 Orion maritime aircraft developed in the 1960s. KAI, South Korea's only aircraft developer, has been in charge of remodeling the older aircraft since 2005...........................................koreatimes

India, France to finalise upgrade of Mirage jets in Rs 10,000 cr project

India and France are now finally close to inking the around Rs 10,000 crore project to upgrade the Mirage-2000 fighter jets in the IAF combat fleet after protracted negotiations. The first four to six IAF Mirages will be upgraded in France, while the rest 50 will equipped with new avionics, weapon and sensor suites to enhance their combat edge by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in India under transfer of technology in the project. "It (the project finalisation) should happen shortly,'' IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told TOI on Monday. This will be the second such big programme with the upgrade of 63 MiG-29s already underway under a $964 million contract inked with Russia in March 2008.......................................Timesofindia

Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces Visits South Korea

Lt. Gen. Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, chief of staff of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces, arrived in Seoul on Feb. 22 for a four-day visit, the Ministry of National Defense said.The visit by the UAE military leader comes amid high expectations here that the two countries could resume talks on the sale of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet, jointly built by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin.Last month, it was revealed that the Emirates had reopened talks with KAI on the T-50 after failing to finalize an agreement on the purchase of Italy's M-346 trainer jet.......................................Full Story

U.S. says Taiwan Air Force Needs Help

Taiwan's fighter jets would fall short in combat against military rival China, the U.S. government said in a report on Monday that could lead to new weapons sales sure to anger Beijing.Many of Taiwan's roughly 400 combat aircraft would not work in action due to age and maintenance problems, while protection of the island's airfields little more than 160 km (100 miles) from China was a major issue, the U.S. government's Defense Intelligence Agency said in the report, released in Taiwan..........................Reuters

Malaysian Air Force's MiG-29N jet fighters will not be Grounded as Planned

The MiG-29N jet fighters will not be grounded as initially planned but will be used for at least another five years.Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the earlier plan was to decommission the aircraft and sell them to Third World countries.However, after taking into consideration the current economic situation, the Government decided to shelve that plan, he said.”We have decided to continue using 10 of the 16 MiG-29N jet fighters after sending them for repairs and upgrading,” he said.Six of the aircraft have already been decommissioned, Bernama reported.”We will call in experts from Aerospace Technology System Corp to do the necessary repairs and overhaul of the engines so that it would be safe for them to fly again,” he told reporters during a visit to the Royal Malaysian Air Force base here on Tuesday..................................Star Publications 

Iran to build two new uranium enrichment plants concealed inside mountains to avert air strikes

Iran said on Monday it is considering plans to build two new uranium enrichment plants concealed inside mountains to avert air strikes, drawing condemnation from the United States.The announcement from Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi came soon after top US General David Petraeus warned that Washington would now pursue a "pressure track" against Iran to thwart its galloping nuclear programme."Inshallah (God willing), in the next Iranian year (starting in March) as ordered by the president we may start the construction of two new enrichment sites," Salehi told ISNA news agency.Last November, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Iran would build 10 new uranium enrichment plants, after Tehran was strongly rebuked by world powers for building a second enrichment plant near the Shiite holy city of Qom.

Salehi said the enrichment capacities of the new sites would be similar to the existing facility in the central city of Natanz, where a defiant Tehran is refining uranium despite three sets of UN sanctions.According to the latest UN nuclear watchdog report, Iran has installed in Natanz 8,610 centrifuges, the device which rotates at supersonic speed to enrich uranium.Of these, 3,772 centrifuges are actively enriching uranium under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).Salehi said the new plants will be equipped with new generation centrifuges and the facilities would be hidden in mountains so as to protect them from "any attacks."The United States said the move showed Iran rejected diplomatic engagement with the international community.

"This is further evidence that Iran refuses to engage cooperatively and constructively with the IAEA," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.The top US military officer said that any military strike against Iran would not be "decisive" in countering its nuclear programme."No strike, however effective, will be in and of itself decisive," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference, adding that he supported using diplomatic and economic pressure against Iran.Elsewhere on the diplomatic front, European nations meeting in Brussels appeared divided over boosting sanctions against Iran.

"Unhappily all the actions by the Iranian side for weeks confirm that we must move to (more) sanctions," French European Affairs Minister Pierre Lellouche said.But several of his EU counterparts said diplomacy had not run its course and insisted on the need for a UN Security Council decision.On Sunday, Petraeus said the United States, which along with its ally Israel has not ruled out military strikes against Iran's nuclear sites, would increase pressure on Tehran."I think that no one at the end of this time can say that the United States and the rest of the world have not given Iran every opportunity to resolve the issues diplomatically," said Petraeus, head of US Central Command."That puts us in a solid foundation now to go on what is termed the pressure track. That's the course on which we are embarked now," he told NBC television.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday insisted "now" was the time for new sanctions on Iran's oil exports.World powers suspect Iran is enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.Enriched uranium can be used as fuel to power nuclear reactors or in highly refined form to produce the fissile core of an atom bomb.Iran is at loggerheads with world powers for not accepting an IAEA-drafted deal which would supply it with nuclear fuel for a Tehran research reactor in return for the transfer of the bulk of its low-enriched uranium.Tehran insists it wants a simultaneous exchange of the two materials, with the transfer taking place inside the country, a demand strongly opposed by world powers.Tensions rose further after Iran began work on enriching uranium to 20 percent purity from 3.5 percent, which according to experts brings it closer to the 93 percent level required for making a bomb.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, warned in a newspaper interview that a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would be a "disaster of unpredictable consequences.""We have to find a solution through diplomatic means," he told the leading Spanish daily El Pais. "We must not leave the negotiating table."

Monday, February 22, 2010

US to Purchase Sikorsky S-61T Helicopters for Use in Afghanistan

Sikorsky Aerospace Services announced today at Heli-Expo that the U.S. State Department has entered into an IDIQ (indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity) agreement to purchase up to 110 modernized S-61 aircraft for passenger and cargo transport missions in support of its worldwide operations. Delivery of the first four modernized S-61 aircraft will support missions for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) is the aftermarket division of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp..........................................Full Story

Poland grounds Hercules fleet after Afghan mishap

Poland has grounded its two Lockheed Martin C-130Es following an accident in Afghanistan on 5 February.Sources say aircraft "1506" suffered structural damage after its crew performed a 4g manoeuvre to avoid a collision with a mountain and struck tree tops. The incident is believed to have followed false indications from flight instruments, they claim.On loan to Poland since last November, the centre fuselage, wing root area and one underwing fuel tank of the US Air Force-owned aircraft were damaged, while almost its entire elevator was separated......................................Full Story

Two US Army Pilots Killed in Helicopter Crash in Iraq

Two American Army pilots were killed yesterday in a helicopter crash on a base in northern Iraq, the US military said.The military said there were no enemy forces present and no hostile fire reported. It said the accident was under investigation, and the pilots’ names were being withheld pending notification of relatives.The deaths raise to at least 4,378 the number of US military personnel who have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The United States is preparing to withdraw combat forces from Iraq this summer and all troops by the end of 2011, but officials are counting on a fair and credible election to smooth the way.........................................Boston Globe

Chinese have proposed a 2010 rebuff to Cobra Gold

In early February, 6,000 U.S. marines and sailors staged the planet’s largest war games in Thailand, which hosted two weeks of beach storming, mock hostage rescues and live-fire drills.This 29-years-running exercise, called “Cobra Gold,” is America’s largest display of military might in Asia. It is also the envy of Chinese generals, who now have their own plans to play war in U.S.-allied Thailand.The Chinese have proposed a 2010 rebuff to Cobra Gold: an all-expenses paid buffet of air, naval and land drills throughout Thailand’s jungles and coasts. The People’s Liberation Army even wants to replicate America’s centerpiece exercise, a full-on coastal assault led by amphibious vehicles, gunships and helicopters circling the Gulf of Thailand.China’s overtures arouse unpleasant questions for the U.S. military, which considers Thailand its oldest and truest Asian ally.“Why do the Chinese want to practice about amphibious landings?” said Ian Storey, Asian military specialist and researcher with Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. “It’s driven by Taiwan. And who’s treaty-bound to come to Taiwan’s defense?”...................................Read More


India-China aerial war games in 2012:Indian Air Force Chief

India-Chinaair forces  will stage their first joint war game in 2012, the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief said Monday.'The planning has commenced. We are expecting political approval soon. In all probability, the exercise will be conducted in 2012,' Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Naik told reporters here.With this, all three wings of the armed forces would have engaged in joint exercises with their Chinese counterparts.The Indian and Chinese navies had initiated the process in November 2003, holding their first joint exercise off Shanghai. Subsequently, two ships of the Indian Navy made port calls at Qingdao and participated in a joint exercise with the Chinese navy in 2007.The first bilateral army exercise between the two countries was organised in Kunming China late in 2007. The next joint army exercise was held in India in December 2008. The next round of these will be held in either country in 2011.......................Read More

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Germany to Deploy Heron 1 UAVs to Afghanistan


With the first German Air Force UAV crews trained in Israel, Germany is preparing to send the first of its Israeli-supplied Heron 1 to Afghanistan by March, Luftwaffe officials said.The German Air Force's first eight UAV operators completed training in January as aerial vehicle and payload operators. Luftwaffe personnel and German civilian maintainers have received training on the Heron 1 platform in Israel since late 2009.....................DefenseNews

South Korea Releases RFP For UCAV

By Bradley Perrett

South Korea’s technologically ambitious defense ministry aims to test a scaled demonstrator for a stealthy combat drone by 2013, extending the country’s expertise in unmanned aircraft and hedging against cancellation of the KF-X fighter program.With this project, South Korea will be within 10 years of Britain and Germany in flying substantial development hardware for unmanned combat aircraft. South Korea may be ahead of Japan, which has announced no such development effort.Korea Aerospace Industries is well placed to win the project, since it has already embarked on company-funded work to acquire technology in this field, going as far as designing a full-scale aircraft it calls the K-UCAV and flying a 20% scale model of it.........................aviation week 

Indian Airforce MiG-21 crashes in West Bengal

Indian Air Force MiG-21 Fighter jet crashed soon after take-off from Bagdora in West Bengal on Friday but the pilot ejected to safety, an IAF spokesman said. "The aircraft crashed around 3pm soon after take-off and the pilot, squadron leader Rahul Tiwari, ejected safely," the spokesman added. "The pilot was picked up by an SAR (search and rescue) helicopter and has been taken to hospital," the spokesman said. This is the second crash of an IAF fighter in three days. A MiG-27 had crashed near the Hashimara air base, also in West Bengal, on Tuesday. 

According to Indian defence minister Mr AK Antony, Indian Air Force (IAF) has lost 265 MiG fighter jets in crashes during the last two decades leaving 140 people dead. In the last two decades (since April 1989 and up to 26 November, 2009), 265 MiG fighter aircraft of the IAF have crashed. A total of 96 service personnel and 44 civilians were killed in these cases. Dubbed "flying coffins" for their frequent crashes, only 150-160 of the over 450 single-engine MiG-21s with the IAF are still in service. Last year IAF had lost 13 aircraft in different crashes during the year. The list includes an An-32 transport aircraft, three MIG 27s, three MiG 21s, two Su-30MKIs in Jaisalmer, one each Mi-17 and Mi-8 along with two trainer aircraft.

Saudi Arabia Buys MBDA Storm Shadow Cruise Missile for Tornado Strike Aircraft

By andrew chuter

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal to acquire the Storm Shadow cruise missile from European weapons builder MBDA as part of a Tornado strike aircraft update package, said industry sources here.The weapons package also includes the Brimstone anti-armor missile, they said. Saudi aircraft being modified at BAE's Warton aerospace complex in the U.K. was photographed taking off on a test flight carrying a Storm Shadow..........................Defense News

Friday, February 19, 2010

AgustaWestland and Tata Form a JV for Final Assembly of AW-119 Helicopters in India

The Italian based AgustaWestland and Tata have signed a Shareholders’ Agreement for the formation of an Indian joint venture (JV) company for the launch of a final assembly line for the AW-119 helicopters. The joint venture (JV) company will be responsible for final assembly, completion and delivery of AW-119 helicopters. The first AW-119 helicopter is scheduled to be delivered by this joint venture in 2011 with estimates to raise the production to 30 AW-119 helicopters per year to meet worldwide demand. The new (JV) company is to become a supplier forIndian Army’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) program, if AgustaWestland wins the bid, for which the locally manufactured AW-119 was proposed.

Namer ICV Expands Merkava into a Family of Combat Vehicles

The 13th Infantry Battalion of the Golani Brigade was the first Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit to convert from the T-55 based Achzarit armored infantry carrier to the new Infantry Combat Vehicle – the Namer. With the Merkava tank and new Namer ICV, the IDF is expanding the Merkava platform into a family of combat vehicles, to include a tactical support vehicle, armored MedEvac, an Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) and, potentially, future weapons carriers.Namer uses the basic design and components of the tank, but designed from baseline as an optimized infantry combat vehicle. Despite the basic similarities, At a fully loaded combat weight of 60 tons, this vehicle is almost as heavy as a Merkava Mk 4 tank. This fact underlines the most important factor in the Namer design – its superior protection and mobility.

The Namer program is a major element in the IDF US$60 billion 'Tefen 2012' five-year modernization plan currently underway. The new vehicle utilizes much of the advanced command and control systems developed for the IDF ground forces digitization program (Zayad), the vehicle will be supporting the new Battle Management System for the dismounted Infantry, designed by Elbit Systems to support the dismounted 'Integrated Advanced Soldier' (IAS) system.Beyond the Merkava tank and Namer ICV, the Merkava family of vehicles also includes a tactical support vehicle, providing maintenance and support for the combat team. An armored ambulance is also being configured, replacing the vulnerable M-113. Preparations for both missions are already configured in the Namer design................................................Read more @ Defense-Update

L&T, Raytheon join hands to upgrade T-72 tanks

Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) of India has teamed with Raytheon to upgrade Indian Army’s T-72M1 tanks. Raytheon will provide infrared imaging sights and electronics to improve target accuracy and increase overall system lethality of T-72 tank battalions. The Indian company will perform the final integration of fire control system and sensors on the T-72 tanks." Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) is the only Indian company in the private sector that is leading a team for the T-72 upgrade program." said M. V. Kotwal, senior executive vice president of the Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T). 

Iran's navy launches first domestically made light frigate

Iran's navy launched its first domestically made destroyer in the presence of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday, Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV reported.The Jamaran guided missile destroyer, a Mowdge Class vessel, has a displacement of around 1,420 tons and is equipped with modern radars and electronic warfare capabilities, Press TV said.The multi-mission destroyer, which has a top speed of 30 knots, can carry 120-140 personnel on board and is armed with a variety of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles.The destroyer has also been equipped with torpedoes and modern naval cannons, the report added.......................Xinhua

Advances in PLA C4ISR Capabilities

By: Carlo Kopp

C4ISR (Command Control Communication Computer and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) systems are a key measure of military capability, and an area in which the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is steadily advancing. Determining how strong PLA capabilities in this area are presents some analytical challenges, as unlike other areas of PLA military growth, C4ISR has received little public exposure. The Chinese military's ISR systems are more easily surveyed due to the wealth of published imagery, but technical detail on most is scarce and must often be dissected by engineering analysis of antennas or other visual features.

The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) has advanced the furthest in atmospheric ISR capabilities, with the development of the KJ-2000 and KJ-200 Airborne Early Warning and Control systems, which like their Western counterparts, fully integrate active radar and passive radiofrequency sensors, with a comprehensive digital and voice C4 system. These airborne systems employ phased array radar technology one full generation ahead of the U.S. E-3C AWACS and E-2C Hawkeye. The C4 fit on either system has not been disclosed. At least four KJ-2000 systems are claimed operational

New Australian Submarine Program Office will be established in March

A new Australian Submarine Program Office will be established in Adelaide in March, Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, has announced."The establishment of the joint Australian Submarine Program Office is a vital step towards achieving the submarine output Government expects," Combet said."The idea for a new project office follows discussions between the Navy, the Defence Material Organisation and ASC Pty Ltd on how better results can be achieved. "The Government has made clear to all parties involved in the maintenance of the Collins class submarines that we expect better results. "We understand this will take time but we are determined to see an improvement.............................................Australian Defence

Sky’s the limit

Beijing’s dismissal of the DRDO’s claims that its missile technology is superior to that of China might provoke knee-jerk patriotism in Delhi. But no one in the world disputes that China is way ahead of India in missilery and military uses of space. By transferring missiles and their production technology, China has also put Pakistan ahead of India. Instead of acknowledging the reality and redoubling the effort to catch up, the DRDO is making extravagant claims. Take, for example, its head V.K. Saraswat’s claim that the Agni-III, with its 3000 km range, is ready for “induction” by the services. A weapons system inducted after just four tests including one failure? This is the kind of sanctimonious self-congratulation that the DRDO has doled out for decades. Because they wrap themselves in the flag, we are not supposed to ask questions, only clap. Saraswat has claimed that “there is no need to produce and store missiles in today’s world”. Really? China has more than 1000 missiles pointed at Taiwan; and is producing and deploying missiles in scores every year............................................Indian Express

Akula-II class nuclear submarine to be delivered to India by May

Indian Navy will regain its underwater warfare nuclear capability in the next 60-days with the Russians assuring that the Akula-II class attack submarine the Nerpa would be delivered by mid-May.The assurance that the nuclear submarine would be delivered "strictly on schedule" was given by top Russian shipbuilding officials to the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is to visit New Delhi on a state visit next month. Nerpa has been handed over to the Russian Navy for its sea trials."The 518th project, the Nerpa submarine is currently completing trials in the Pacific basin. We believe that we will be able to deliver it on time, according to agreed schedule," Chief of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Roman Trotsenko told Putin at today's meeting.


China’s Arms Sales to Latin America

By: Cynthia Watson

Strengthening China’s military presence in Latin America is one of the many manifestations of Beijing’s increased activity on the international stage. Arms sales is a subset of the Chinese military's growing involvement in Latin America. Yet, Chinese arms sales represent a small portion of its military sales and Latin America's arms purchases from around the globe. In an arms buyer-seller relationship, the benefits of increased sales do not reside exclusively with the seller, which in this case is China. Latin American governments are also seeking to diversify their arms purchases to defend national interests, including achieving measures of autonomy beyond its relations with Washington—the predominant power in the region. While Beijing’s presence around the world is increasingly noteworthy, Latin America’s goal of establishing itself as a truly sovereign region is an equally important factor.  

India unveils 5-year military buildup plan against China

Taking the concept of a two front war with Pakistan and China a step further, India has launched an ambitious military buildup plan along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, reports Indian media. Indian response, spread over next five years, shall see raising of mountain infantry formations, building up IAF assets, deployment of anti-aircraft Akash missile batteries, besides deploying ballistic missiles capable of striking deep inside the Chinese hinterland.

Arunachal Pradesh, claimed by China as its territory, is witnessing enhanced Indian force levels where two specialized mountain infantry divisions and an artillery brigade are being raised and stationed by 2012. In addition two Sukhoi 30MKI squadrons have been placed each at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam.

Guarding these assets are eight Akash air defence squadrons which shall be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh by 2015; the first one becoming operational by 2011. India is also planning to extend its missile coverage of China by deploying 3500 KM Agni-III and the under development 5000 KM Agni-V as soon as possible; Agni III reaching operational status by 2011-2012.

According to analysts Indian force goals now envision a hostile posture against China in the backdrop of a disputed 4057 KM long LAC; without thinning out deployment against Pakistan. To this end, its military budget has undergone a massive rise.According to Military Balance 2012, compiled by Institute of Strategic studies, India has boosted defence spending by 21% in 2009, making it one of the leading military spenders in the world.


Sikorsky is eyeing defence deals worth $8-12 billion in India by 2018

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, an arm of United Technologies, is eyeing defence deals worth $8-12 billion in India by 2018 and plans to manufacture its Black Hawk helicopters locally, a top official said on Wednesday."We are committed to approach the Indian market with the same viewpoint as we approach the U.S. market," the firm's global vice president Steve Estill told Reuters."We are going to bring the Black Hawk here and also manufacture it in India.".............................Reuters

Thursday, February 18, 2010

South Korea Willing to Discuss Participation in U.S.-led Regional Ballistic Missile Defense System

South Korea is willing to discuss its participation in the U.S.-led regional ballistic missile defense system to deter a growing threat from North Korea, a senior defense official was quoted as saying.The U.S. Department of Defense said this month that South Korea is an important U.S. BMD partner and the two sides are discussing the missile defense cooperation in a bilateral framework.Yonhap News yesterday cited a Defense Ministry official as saying, "We are wiling to discuss our participation in a regional MD system in response to the North's missile threat..........................Korea Herald

RAAF's A330 MRTT on Government hit list

A PROJECT worth $2 billion to provide the RAAF with five Airbus multi-role tanker planes has been quietly added to the Government's feared "defence projects of concern" list. Despite fanfare that a $2.5 billion Collins Class submarine maintenance contract topped the list and a troubled $1.4 billion frigate upgrade was erased, junior Defence Minister Greg Combet refused to confirm European contractor Airbus Military was on the list of shame.Insiders told The Daily Telegraph the project was definitely the latest entrant but for commercial reasons the Government would not admit it.Mr Combet's spokesman refused to confirm or deny the project's status and said only that it had not been "declared" a project of concern."It is something that we are closely monitoring," the spokesman said................................The Daily Telegraph 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

JF-17 Thunder will be formally inducted in of Pakistan Air Force

JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jet jointly developed by Pakistan and China will be formally inducted in the Pakistan Air Force Today. Fourteen JF-17 Thunder jets will be inducted in the 26th squadron replacing old A-5 ground aircrafts. PAF has used some of these JF-17 Thunders in anti-terrorist missions in Waziristan in the testing and weapons qualification phases.

Initially 26th Squadron will be stationed in Kamra before moving to its operational base in Peshawar.  A-5s of 26th Squadron have been grounded and will be replaced by JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. The inaugural ceremony the new squadron will be held today in Kamra which will be attended by Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force, Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman and other dignitaries. Additional JF-17 Thunders will be added in this squadron in coming weeks as some aircrafts are in their finals phase of completion.

ISPR confirms Mullah Baradar’s arrest

Tanvir Siddiqi

Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that it has the Afghan Taliban’s No. 2 leader in custody, and officials said he was providing useful intelligence that was being shared with the United States.Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested around 10 days ago in a joint operation by CIA and Pakistani security forces in Karachi, US and Pakistani officials said on condition of anonymity Tuesday. The army on Wednesday gave the first public confirmation of the arrest.‘’At the conclusion of detailed identification procedures, it has been confirmed that one of the persons arrested happens to be Mullah Baradar,’’ chief army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said in a written message to reporters.

‘’The place of arrest and operational details cannot be released due to security reasons.’’Baradar was the second in command behind Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar and was said to be in charge of the day-to-day running of the organisation’s leadership council, which is believed based in Pakistan. He was a founding member of the Taliban and is the most important figure of the movement to be arrested since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001...............................................Pakistan Observe 

Rafael Plans to Start a Joint Venture with Bharat Electronics Ltd

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd plans to start a joint venture in India with state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) to develop advanced missile systems. Since the Kargil conflict in 1999, Israel has emerged as the second largest defence supplier to India, with annual sales estimated at $1 billion (Rs4,600 crore).The state-owned firm plans to use its India joint venture facility to source some locally made materials, mandatory for all overseas defence supplies and known as offsets.“This is will be our first joint venture. Part of the offsets that we have to provide in India will be in this joint venture,” said Lova Drori, executive vice-president, marketing, Rafael, on the sidelines of the sixth land and naval defence systems DefExpo 2010 show in the

U.S. arms sales to Taiwan improve relations with China: President Ma Ying-jeou

United States arms sales to Taiwan help to improve the island’s relations with China, President Ma Ying-jeou told a visiting Congressman Wednesday.He told Republican Jim Sensenbrenner that Washington’s recent approval of a US$6.4 billion arms package for Taiwan not only safeguarded the country’s security, but also promoted a peaceful dialogue with China because stable Taiwan-U.S. relations were closely linked to the harmony of the environment between Taiwan and China.Ma said his efforts to improve relations with China had also improved mutual trust between Washington and Taipei. He mentioned how his government had concluded more than 12 agreements with Beijing since taking office in May 2008 and reopening negotiations which had been interrupted for a decade.................................. Taiwan News

UAE want Rafales to be armed with SLAM ER instead of AM-39 missile

France's Dassault Aviation, desperate to find the first foreign customer for its multi-role Rafale fighter, is concentrating on a potential sale of 60 of the jets to the United Arab Emirates.But Abu Dhabi has thrown a wrench in the works by demanding that the Rafales be armed with Boeing's SLAM ER/2 missile instead of the European-made MBDA AM-39 they are fitted to carry.................... United Press International

US could attack Iran – Russia’s General Staff

The US could deliver a strike on Iran, Russia’s military command said on Wednesday, adding that it will be devastating for the whole world.“The aftermath of a strike against Iran will be terrible not only for Asia but for us and the whole global community also,” said Chief of Russia’s General Staff General Nikolay Makarov at a news conference.He said the US made its stance clear as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen recently spoke about plans to attack Iran.Makarov doubted that Washington could carry out the plan until the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are over.“The US is now conducting two military campaigns – Afghanistan and Iraq. A third one would be a collapse for them; they will not stand it,” Makarov said.“However, after these tasks are completed, the US could deliver a strike against Iran,” he added.The military chief also said, “Iran is our neighbor and we are closely monitoring the situation. The Russian leadership is taking necessary measures to prevent

US ready to supply UAV ScanEagle to Pakistan

By Sajjad Malik

ISLAMABAD: The US is ready to provide the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ScanEagle to Pakistan to improve its reconnaissance capacity, US Under Secretary of Defence Michele Flournoy said on Tuesday.Flournoy was talking to reporters at the end of her two-day visit to Pakistan.The under secretary’s comments came ahead of an offer by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who earlier announced to provide the UAV Shadow, drawing criticism from local media who said the technology was obsolete...............................Daily Times

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ISI and CIA Captures Taliban’s 2nd in Command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in a Joint operation

The Taliban’s 2nd in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a joint operation conducted by the Pakistani and US intelligence forces, according to US government officials. Only few details of the operation are released so far, but officials said that it had been carried out by Pakistan’s military spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and that CIA operative had accompanied the Pakistanis.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is described as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war against terrorism in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranked 2nd in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and current leader, and was a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the September 11 attacks.

According to the The New York Times and other media, Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested in Karachi “several days ago” by the US and Pakistani intelligence services and was being interrogated by both US and Pakistani intelligence officials.This disclosure of Baradar’s capture came as 15,000 US, Nato and Afghan forces have staged a major offensive in southern Afghanistan.

Pilot killed in Indian Airforce MiG-27 crash

In yet another crash in IAF, a MiG-27 fighter went down near Siliguri in West Bengal on Tuesday afternoon, killing the pilot, a squadron leader. IAF's MiG-27 combat fleet had hardly flown in 2005-2006 after it was found that their R-29 engines were causing a large number of accidents. From 1971-72 to 2003-04, IAF's consolidated average rate stood at 1.09 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, roughly translating into the loss of 23 aircraft and the death of 10-14 pilots every year. The crash rate did come down dramatically to around 0.27 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, with an over 50% reduction in crashes after 2003-04. Of the 793 single-engined MiG-21s inducted into IAF since 1963, well over 330 have been lost in accidents.....................Times of India

MBDA India chief says plans to upgrade India's fighters

European defence group MBDA on Tuesday said it plans to upgrade India's Jaguar and Mirage 2000 fighters and also develop missiles with an India research unit."India is the biggest market for us globally," Loic Piedevache, India country head, MBDA, told Reuters. "We are looking to consolidate our position."...................................Reuters

USA Concerned about Consequences of Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities

The chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said on Sunday he was concerned about the consequences of any attack on Iran's nuclear facilities."The outbreak of a conflict will be a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences of a strike," Admiral Mullen said.Apart from saying that "it's pretty hard to be specific about" the issue, the top-ranking US military official did not expand on his comments.

Mullen, who was speaking to journalists during a visit to Israel, went on to say however that US President Barack Obama had been "very clear that from a policy standpoint, Iran cannot have a nuclear weapons.""We haven't taken off any option from the table," the admiral said, using diplomatic language for keeping open the possibility of launching military strikes.Mullen is due to hold talks with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak along with other military officials during his visit to the Jewish state, as part of a tour of the Middle East.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also in the region on Sunday trying to drum up support in the Gulf for imposing tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.Tehrann, which rejects accusations of seeking to build a nuclear bomb, said on Tuesday it has started the process of producing 20 percent enriched uranium, defying Western threats of fresh sanctions.


Bangladesh Navy Orders Two AW109 Power Maritime Helicopters

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce the award of a contract by the Bangladesh Navy for two AW109 Power maritime helicopters. The helicopters will be used for a wide range of naval missions including search and rescue, economic zone protection, surface surveillance and maritime security. The aircraft will be delivered in 2011 and will be capable of being operated from the frigate BNS Bangabandhu.The contract also includes a comprehensive training package including VFR/IFR conversion for aircrew, initial operational maritime training using an AW109 Power Level-D flight simulator and training for maintenance engineers........................................VerticalMag

Indian Defence Spending to Hit $50bn

India’s defence spending is set to hit $50 billion over the coming five years as it retires its Soviet products in favour of new military technologies, it emerged on February 14th – the day before the opening of DefExpo-India 2010. The Indian Air Force’s well-documented combat jet requirement for 126 new fighters is set to figure prominently within this spending, but the military is set to revitalize its helicopter and transport forces, too.The Indian Army, meanwhile, has requirements for new armored vehicles, rocket launchers and guns, while the Indian Navy is in need of new aircraft carriers, submarines and other vessels..................................ArmedForces-Int

India to Deploy Akash Surface to Air Missiles to Deter China

India plans to progressively base six surface-to-air Akash missile squadrons in the North-East to Chinese fighters, helicopters and drones in the region. Sources say IAF will get eight Akash tactical air defence squadrons by 2015, with the first one becoming operational by 2011 itself, at a cost of over Rs 6,100 crore.  Moreover, the Army is now poised to order two Akash regiments, with six firing batteries each, for around Rs 4,000 crore. India is now raising two new specialised infantry mountain divisions and an artillery brigade for Arunachal Pradesh and basing of two Sukhoi-30MKI squadrons (36 fighters) each at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam.India is also looking to deploy the 3,500-km Agni-III and the under-development over 5,000-km Agni-V ballistic missiles as soon as possible....................................Times of India. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Russian PAK FA T-50 jet makes 2nd flight

No Reason to Stall S-300 Air defence system deal with Iran: Moscow

 Russia sees no reason to stall on the sale of its S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Iran, the Kremlin's powerful Security Council said Sunday, hours before the premier of Iran's adversary Israel was due to visit Moscow."There is a signed contract (to supply S-300 missiles) which we must implement, but deliveries have not started yet," Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council secretary, told Interfax news agency in an interview."This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because the talk is about deliveries of an exclusively defensive weapon," he said..........................Reuters

Israeli Heron UAV for Turkey Pass Critical Tests

A batch of Heron unmanned aerial vehicles produced for Turkey by Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems have passed critical performance tests in Israel.According to Turkey’s top procurement official, Ankara is ready to accept delivery of the drones.IAI and Elbit won the $183 million Turkish UAV contract – of which about $50 million would go to Turkish companies Turkish Aerospace Industries and Aselsan – in 2005 over U.S. rivals. The manufacturing team will pay compensation of nearly $18 million to Turkey for the delays and failure to meet some of the criteria in the program’s original specifications, Bayar said. ........................Hurriyet Daily News 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Indian Navy's New Fleet Tanker Launched in Italy

Reputation of Collins class subs takes a further dive

TWO of Australia's six trouble-wracked Collins class submarines will not return to sea until they have been of action for a total of at least nine years.The revelation is another blow to the reputation of Australia's multi-billion dollar submarine fleet, which has been dogged by problems since HMAS Collins was launched in 1996.It was also revealed yesterday that the federal government is demanding $5 million in compensation from the Australian Submarine Corporation over defects that have kept HMAS Collins incapacitated.Under the contract with the government, which is worth $170 million a year to the corporation, that is the maximum compensation payable, a senate estimates committee heard......................................................SMH

Defect found on Royal Malaysian Navy Scorpene Submarine

The country's sole submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, suffered a technical defect that prevented it from diving for three months. The problem was fixed last week.The defect forced the RM1 billion plus French-built Scorpene submarine to delay tropical water trials that were scheduled to be completed by the end of January.As a result, builder DCNS SA extended the warranty for the submarine, which was supposed to expire on Jan 25, until May so the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman could complete its trials — the first step to obtaining its Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

RMN chief Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told The Malay Mail on Monday that the trials started this week, after DCNS completed the repairs."We did not allow the submarine to dive due to safety reasons. Now the problem has been fixed, the trials can be conducted," he added when met at the Defence Ministry.The submarine was commissioned early last year after undergoing two years of trials in France.In an email to The Paper That Cares recently, Abdul Aziz said: "KD TAR had not obtained its IOC yet as she is experiencing a defect under warranty that would not permit her to dive."The contractual completion for all tropical trials was before Jan 25 but submarine builder, DCNS had agreed to extend it to May 2010 as they had to rectify all warranty defects.".....................................................Malay Mail

Details about Russian Arms Sale to Libya

Russia will supply combat planes, modernize tanks and launch a plant producing Kalashnikov rifles to Libya, a source told Interfax-AVN on Thursday.“The package of contracts signed in Moscow during the visit to Russia by Libyan Defense Minister Yunis Jaber envisages the supply of 12 multi-purpose Su-35 fighters, six Yak-130 combat and training planes, the modernization of 145 T-72 tanks, and also the launch of a plant producing firearms, primarily Kalashnikov rifles of the Ak-100 series,” the source said.

The total value of the signed contracts is 1.3 billion euros, or $1.8 billion, the source said.Aircraft equipment accounts for over $1 billion of the value of the signed contracts, the source said.A separate contract has been signed on the launch of a plant to produce Kalashnikov rifles, the source said. “The construction of that plant was envisioned by a contract signed in 2004. However, for reasons unrelated to Russia the plant has never been put in operation,” the source said.

“The modernization of T-72 tanks will be conducted by Uralvagonzavod. This contract will ensure workload for the plant for at least two years,” the source said.Practical work on the fulfillment of the signed contracts will begin in the nearest future, the source said. “The first deliveries will take place this year. As for Yak-130 planes, the contract on them was initialed back in 2007. The delivery of these planes is planned for 2011-2012,” the source said.

Negotiations with Libya are also being conducted on a different commodity nomenclature, specifically, the supply to Tripoli of naval equipment (Project 636 submarines, high-speed Molniya rocket boats), air defense systems (S-300PMU2 Favorit and Top-M2E, modernization of the surface-to-air S-125 Pechora systems into Pechora-2M), combat and transport helicopters (Ka-52 Alligator and Mi-17), reactive volley fire systems (Grad and Smerch).

According to earlier reports, the USSR supplied some 350 combat planes, including 130 MiG-23 fighters, 70 MiG-21 planes, six Su-24 bombers, and six Tu-22 bombers to Libya in 1981-1985. The Libyan Army currently has some 4,000 units of Soviet armored vehicles, a large number of surface-to-air systems, naval equipment, and other weapons.The Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation and Rosoboronexport have confirmed the signing of weapons contracts with Libya, but are not commenting on the details.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Netsol bids for Pakistan C2, army digitization project

NetSol Technologies, Inc. "NetSol" (NASDAQ: NTWK) (NASDAQ DUBAI: NTWK), today announced that NetSol Defense Division (NDD), a business unit of NetSol Technologies, Inc., is teaming with a top 5 U.S. defense contractor to jointly respond to Pakistan Ministry of Defense request for proposals. In line with this teaming agreement, NetSol has jointly submitted a bid for the digitization of the Pakistan military forces as well as an automated command and control system.The contract bid, which has been jointly developed and submitted, is estimated to be in excess of $350 million over an estimated five plus years..............................Defenseworld

Indian VVIP helicopter deal finally cleared

After several objections from the Finance Ministry on the price issue, the government on Wednesday cleared the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters that would be used by the Prime Minister, President and other senior government functionaries. The Rs 3,726 crore deal for the Agusta Westland AW 101 helicopters — at Rs 310 crore apiece — was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) after it was given a final push by the Defence Ministry last month........... Indian Express 

Indian Armed Forces’ Modernization program to have ‘make Indian, buy Indian’ Policy

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today said the private sector will be allowed to play an increasingly greater role in the modernisation of the Armed Forces. Speaking at a meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry on the subject ‘Ordnance Factories’, Shri Antony said Defence Public Sector Undertakings alone will not be able to meet all the requirements of the Armed Forces at the pace and time – frame envisaged by the Government. He however, ruled out corporatisation of the Defence arms industry saying “minus corporatisation, we will give more room to the private sector”.

The Defence Minister said now that revision of Defence Procurement Procedure has become an annual affair, the thrust this year would be to give more roles to the Indian private sector. There would be more room for ‘buy Indian, make Indian’.Appreciating the role of Ordnance Factories over the years, Shri Antony said these units have been by and large successful in establishing indigenous production facilities for a variety of defence equipment. These include production of T-72, T-90 and Arjun Tanks, armoured personnel carriers, mine – protected and bullet proof vehicles, artillery guns, naval guns, night vision devices and fire control systems for armoured vehicles, small arms and many varieties of ammunition. “Indigenisation of different products have been one of the main objectives of Ordnance Factory Board”, he said. 

Replying to the concerns expressed by several members about corruption in Defence procurement, Shri Antony said his Ministry has been taking strict action against all such aberrations and will continue to do so. However, he lamented that such actions are also criticised by certain sections who feel that it leads to delay in the procurement of armaments etc.

The Ordnance Factory Board comprises 39 ordnance factories. Two new factories are coming up at Nalanda in Bihar and Korwa in Uttar Pradesh for production of artillery ammunition and carbines respectively. In the year 2008-09, the total turnover of Ordnance Factories was Rs. 7229 crore. It is expected to increase to Rs. 8720 crore during the current financial year. During 2010 – 11, the turnover of Ordnance Factories is expected to go up to Rs. 9846 crores due to increase in the requirement of arms and ammunition and armoured vehicles. The non-defence sales are expected to be around Rs. 1360 crores.

The meeting witnessed enthusiastic participation in the discussion by the Members of Parliament. Some of them felt that the products of the Ordnance Factories are not of desired quality and that they are still producing many obsolete arms and ammunitions. One of the member wanted to know, whether the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is geared to match the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces because of the shift in their doctrines, recently. Some of the members suggested that OFB should only focus on cutting edge products and ‘not try to reinvent the wheel’. 


Saturday, February 13, 2010

DRDO Divided on Failures of Agni-II

USA Delivers Last Batch of M109A5 Howitzers to Pakistan Army

The United States delivered 48 self-propelled Howitzer to the Pakistan Army on Saturday at the Malir Cantonment in the southern port city of Karachi, the U.S embassy said. The delivery marks the completion of a total purchase of 115 field artillery cannons by Pakistan through the U.S. foreign military sales/foreign military finance program, the embassy spokesman said.The FMS/FMF case was initiated by Pakistan in 2006 and enabled the government of Pakistan to obtain the cannons from the United States at a greatly discounted rate.

"These field artillery cannons are an important part of enhancing the capabilities of Pakistan's Army as it continues to wage its courageous fight against terrorists who seek to destroy Pakistan's people and way of life," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan."It is our hope that these weapons are ultimately able to play an important role in ending extremist violence and bringing peace once again to this great nation," he said.

During the last three years, U.S. civilian and security assistance to Pakistan has totaled more than 4 billion dollars.Assistance provided and delivered has included support for medical aid, school refurbishment, bridge and well reconstruction, food distribution, agricultural and education projects, 14 F-16 fighter aircraft, 10 Mi-17 helicopters, more than 450 vehicles for Pakistan's Frontier Corps, hundreds of night vision goggles, day/ night scopes, radios, and thousands of protective vests and first- aid items for Pakistan's security forces.

In addition, the U.S. funded and provided training for more than 370 Pakistani military officers in a wide range of leadership and development programs covering topics such as counterterrorism, intelligence, logistics, medical, flight safety, and military law.U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan deputy commander, officially handed over the M1095A5 self-propelled Howitzer to Pakistan Army Brigadier Farrukh Saeed, 25th Mechanized Division Artillery Commander, during a ceremony in Karachi. The event was attended by Steve Fakan, U.S. Consul General to Karachi, and more than a dozen U.S. and Pakistani military representatives.

Pakistan Needs Its Own Nuclear Deal For Greater Pakistani Cooperation: WSJ


Pakistan terrifies the United States because it is a unique nexus of nuclear proliferation and Islamist militancy. But with success in Afghanistan elusive, Washington needs Islamabad more than ever, and vice versa. The two countries have never been able to achieve a durable relationship based on mutual trust. That could be fixed, however, if the U.S. were willing to consider a radical new approach: a policy centered on a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal.

Nuclear cooperation could deliver results where billions of dollars of American aid have failed. More so than conventional weapons or large sums of cash, a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of U.S. intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism. This deal would confer acceptance to Islamabad's nuclear weapon program and reward it for the improvements in nuclear security that it has made since 2002. In the long shadow of A.Q. Khan and continued uncertainty about the status of his networks, it is easy to forget that Pakistan has established a Strategic Plans Division that has done much to improve safety of the country's nuclear assets......................................WSJ

Lockheed Martin In Talks To Sell 6 More Super Hercules C-130J To India

Lockheed Martin  is in talks with the Indian Air Force to sell an additional six Super Hercules C-130J military transport planes, a senior executive at the company's India unit said Saturday."There was an option in the original request for additional six Super Hercules C-130J and we are in dialogue with the Indian Air Force for the addition of those six," Orville Prins, Lockheed's vice president, business development, in charge of India, told Dow Jones Newswires.The company will deliver the first Hercules plane to the Indian Air Force by the end of this year, Prins said."We are slightly ahead of the schedule to deliver these planes," Prins said. " Under our contract we had to deliver the first plane by first quarter of 2011. It'll probably be delivered by late this year, maybe by December.".........................Dow Jones Newswires

US, Israel Start Development of New Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle for Arrow-3

By David Eshel
The U.S. and Israel have started development of an upper-stage component to Israel’s Arrow-3 missile defense architecture. Arieh Herzog, director of Israel’s missile defense program, says the main element will be a highly maneuverable exoatmospheric interceptor that zeros in on an incoming missile.The decision to add the component, which will be jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, stems from a study conducted in 2006‑07 that identified a need for it in Israel’s ballistic missile defense system.

Meanwhile, given the urgent need to meet the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran, IAI is pressing ahead with the Arrow-3 antiballistic missile, the development of which is being funded partly by the U.S. IAI displayed a full-sized model of the two-stage Arrow-3 at the Paris air show last year. It is slightly smaller than the Arrow-2 missile in service, but is designed to engage and intercept clusters of hostile missiles at higher altitudes in the upper atmosphere. Uri Sinai, general manager of IAI’s missile division, says the Arrow-3 will be the world’s first multitiered, unified antimissile system, providing Israel’s Homa national missile-defense strategy with an effective exoatmospheric kill vehicle (KV)

US Donates Patrol Boats to Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency

The United States government donated five maritime interdiction patrol boats to Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) at the Karachi shipyard on Saturday, significantly enhancing the agency’s coastal interdiction and patrol capabilities. U.S. Anny Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, US. Office of the Defense Representative-plIcistan deputy commander, officially donated the 13-meter (42-foot) Fast Patrol Boats to Rekr Admiral Tahseen Ullah Khan, MSA Director General, during a hand-over ceremony in Karac);1i. The event was attended by Mr. Steve Fakan, U.S. Consul General to Karachi, and more than a dozen US. and Pakistani military representatives, says a press release. .

Each of the new vessels are equipped with two 565-horsepower Caterpillar diesel engines that enable them to operate in inclement weather up to 300 nautical miles offshore with a maximum speed of 72+ KPH (45+ MPH). Known as Fast Patrol Boats, they greatly increase the MSA’s ability to patrol Pakistan’s coastal waters and conduct a wide range of maritime operations.The US. government will donate four more Fast Patrol Boats to the MSA later this year. In total, the nine boats and spare parts are valued at approximately $10 million................................International News Network 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

US May Give Israel C-RAM which will be left in Iraq

Ahead of the United States’s planned withdrawal from Iraq, American military teams have visited Israel to consider the possibility of storing some of the equipment and ammunition that is pulled out in special storage centers at various locations here, according to senior defense officials.According to the officials, the Americans plan to leave a significant amount of equipment in Iraq to assist local security forces. Additional equipment, though, would be transferred to Afghanistan as well as possibly to Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

A security agreement between the United States and Iraq calls for withdrawal of all US forces by the end of 2011. The equipment that Israel might receive, one official said, is ammunition, vehicles, and a specially designed rapid cannon – called C-RAM – that can intercept small projectiles such as mortars.............The Jerusalem Post

India has Completed Propulsion Design of Cruise Missile 'Nirbhay

India has completed the propulsion system design of its new cruise missile 'Nirbhay' which will have a strike range of 800 kms, DRDO chief V K Saraswat has said."The development of the system is on. We have completed the propulsion system's design. But we have not integrated it.Once we reach the integration stage, we will show it you," he told reporters here last night.Saraswat said the missile is a technology demonstrator.India already has in its arsenal 'BrahMos', a 300-km range cruise missile developed in collaboration with Russia............... Expressbuzz

Russia and Sri Lanka Signed a $300 million Loan to buy Weapons

Russia and Sri Lanka signed a $300 million loan to buy armaments and dual-purpose technology for Sri Lanka's military, Russia's deputy finance minister said. Dmitry Pankin said it is a 10-year loan with LIBOR plus 3.5% interest.According to some sources, the arms deal will cover not only purchases but also extensive repairs of Russian military equipment previously delivered to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka remains highly militarized after almost 25 years of constant fighting against the Tamil Tiger militants.In May, the Sri Lankan military finally defeated the Tamil separatists, killing their leader in an operation that brought the civil war to an end. International rights groups accused the military of killing large numbers of civilians who were being used as human shields by shelling rebels in the war zone.

Russia's stance at the United Nations last year amid international criticism over Sri Lanka's military operations against the Tamil Tiger helped to quash a possible motion of censure.The president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is on a working visit to Russia - the first in the history of bilateral relations.
RIA Novosti

Russia Starts construction 4th Borey-class Nuclear-powered Submarine

Russia has started the construction of the fourth Borey-class strategic nuclear-powered submarine designed to carry the Bulava missile, a shipyard spokesman said on Monday."The work on the sub construction effectively started last year," he said.It was previously reported that construction of the Project 955 Svyatitel Nikolai (St. Nicholas) submarine at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk was delayed from December 2009 until the first quarter of 2010.

Russia's newest Borey-class strategic nuclear submarine, the Yury Dolgoruky, which is expected to be armed with the new Bulava sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), is currently undergoing sea trials.The vessel is 170 meters (580 feet) long, has a hull diameter of 13 meters (42 feet), a crew of 107, including 55 officers, a maximum depth of 450 meters (about 1,500 feet) and a submerged speed of about 29 knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles and torpedoes.

Construction costs totaled some $713 mln, including $280 mln for research and development.Two other Borey-class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are in different stages of completion. Russia is planning to build eight of these subs by 2015.

Fourth-generation Borey-class nuclear-powered submarines are expected to constitute the core of Russia's modern strategic submarine fleet.The submarine's entry into service could be delayed however by a series of setbacks in the development of the troubled Bulava missile, which has officially suffered seven failures in 12 tests.Some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures was considerably larger. For example, according to Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer, of the Bulava's 12 test launches, only one was entirely successful.

The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry officials, who have suggested that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.But the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put into service with the Navy.Borey-class submarines have been exclusively designed for the Bulava, and redesigning them for the Sineva would be a major setback for the Navy's plans.
RIA Novosti

French-Russian Warship Deal Making Waves Among NATO Allies

By Ahto Lobjakas

The French daily "Le Monde" broke the news on February 9: Paris had "agreed in principle" to negotiate the sale of one or more Mistral-class ships to Russia.If the sale goes through, it will be the first deal of its kind between a member of NATO and Russia.Prime Minister Vladimir Putin first voiced Russian interest in buying a Mistral-class ship during a trip to Paris in late November. As he spoke, a Mistral was docked in St Petersburg -- part of a carefully choreographed move -- playing host to Russian combat helicopters.

Feeling vulnerable, a number of Russia's former satellites have mounted a bid to derail the sale. Georgia is particularly bothered, as memories of its August 2008 war with Russia are still very fresh.NATO's new Eastern allies along the Baltic Sea are also unsettled, however, and have taken their concerns not only to Paris but to Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels. French officials expect the sale of the Mistrals to be officially announced during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Paris in early March.........................Radio Liberty

Iraq to Recover 895 million $ from France Paid for Mirage F1

Iraq is trying to recover a 651 million euro (895 million dollar) payment to France for a consignment of Mirage F1 fighter planes that were never delivered, the cabinet has said."(A ministerial) committee was recently formed to negotiate with the relevant French parties the recovery of 651 million euros paid in advance under the contract to buy Mirage F1 aircraft that the manufacturers never delivered," the cabinet said in a statement after meeting on Tuesday evening.

Iraq used to own 90 Mirage F1s, and signed a contract with France in September 1985 to buy 24 more of the combat aircraft. But they were not delivered before the UN Security Council imposed sweeping sanctions on Iraq over its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.A diplomat at the French embassy told AFP that he was looking into the matter, without elaborating.In December, France cancelled 80 percent of the debt it was owed by Iraq, which amounted to around 4.8 billion euros (6.6 billion dollars).


Bangladesh wants to buy fighters, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft

By Leithen Francis

Bangladesh has vowed to buy a squadron of new fighters and has resumed efforts to purchase two maritime patrol aircraft.Planning minister A K Khandker, a former chief of air staff at the Bangladesh air force, told the country's parliament that the government plans to buy a squadron of new fighters, plus an air-defence radar system..................................Flightglobal

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Indian Agni-III Ballistic Missile Launch Video

Tira Battle Rages as Ambush kill Pakistan Army's Brigadier, 20 others

Three Pakistan Army officials, including a brigadier and a major, were killed and two others sustained serious injuries in a military gunship chopper (Cobra) crash and an ambush on a rescue team that was proceeding towards the Tirah Valley in the troubled Khyber Agency to recover bodies and wreckage of the helicopter. Also, 18 people including Rangers and Khassadar officials were killed in a suicide attack at Wazir Dhand in Jamrud tehsil of the same tribal agency.

Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told The News by telephone that the chopper had crashed due to some technical fault.He said a rescue team headed by a Pakistan Army brigadier was dispatched to the area to recover bodies of the two slain officials — a pilot and a gunner — and wreckage of the chopper.The rescue team, he said, was ambushed by the militants killing the brigadier and injuring two other officers, including a major and a lieutenant.Athar Abbas said bodies of the pilot and gunner as well as wreckage of the chopper could not be recovered due to the attack on the rescue party..........TheNews

 Brigadier embraced martyrdom in a fierce battle that raged in Tirah valley here on Wednesday. According to sources, the battle erupted, when hidden extremists opened fire on a search party, led by Brigadier Hussain, to retrieve the wreckage of a destroyed Cobra Gunship helicopter, and its occupants, Major Mudassar and Captain Asim. Besides Brigadier Mudassar, one Major and a Lieutenant among the search party were wounded who were shifted to hospital. Among those martyred also included pilots Major Mudassar and Captain Asim...............Pakobserver

Pakistani army's Cobra Gunship Helicopter Crashed in the Teera Valley 

India Demands Compensation for “Unwanted Trouble” in Assembling Hawk (AJT)

India is asking British military firm BAE Systems to pay millions of dollars for the troubles it faced in assembling jet trainers bought from the firm. In its demand for compensation, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) cites the difficulties faced in assembling the Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJT) which were bought for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Under the original contract of 2004, 42 of these single-engine aircraft were to be assembled by HAL and 24 to be delivered directly by BAE..................DNA

Indian Navy Dismisses Chinese Anti-ship Ballistic Missile Programme as a Threat

Dismissing China's anti-ship missile programme as a threat to Indian warships, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma on Wednesday said it would be a difficult task to even spot the vessels in the vast expanse of high seas. "Targeting ships at high seas is not an easy task or as simple as land warfare," Admiral Verma told reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar on aircraft carriers organised by the National Maritime Foundation here. "There are hundreds and thousands of ships in the sea at any given time. 

It is extremely important to spot the ship before targeting it. There are limitations in terms of maritime reconnaissance and long-range searches," Verma said when asked about the threat posed by Chinese Anti-ship Ballistic Missile Programme. He said it was "a complex problem" to use a conventional missile against a moving target at high seas. Earlier, addressing the seminar, the Navy chief said aircraft carriers were expensive and there were questions on their affordability and survivability due to their large size while at sea..........................ExpressIndia

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