Tuesday, August 31, 2010

EC-130H Compass Call Departs After 23,300 Flight Hours in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom

The last EC-130H Compass Call assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing departed here Aug. 29 for deployment to another U.S. Central Command base, capping a 6.5 year tour of duty in which Compass Call crews flew some 23,300 combat hours in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 43rd Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron is home to the EC-130H aircraft and about 30 Airmen.
The move is another sign of the times for the U.S. military, which continues its responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq in order to meet a presidential mandate of only 50,000 troops in country by Aug. 31, said Lt. Col. J.D. Rye, the commander of the 43rd EECS. 

E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Flies Final Operation Iraqi Freedom Mission

Airmen from the 7th Expeditionary Air Command and Control Squadron here flew their final mission in support Operation Iraqi Freedom Aug. 31 before the Department of Defense officially transitions to Operation New Dawn Sept. 1.The 7th EACCS has flown E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System operations in support of OIF since its inception in 2003, providing airborne battle management, command and control, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance throughout the entire area of responsibility.

The E-8C's primary mission is to provide theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces.The transition from OIF to OND signals the change in mission for U.S. forces in Iraq from combat operations, to training and equipping Iraqi forces.

Taiwan to deploy Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles : Taiwan

Taiwan plans to deploy its own cruise missiles by the end of this year, a lawmaker and military pundit said Tuesday, reflecting continued tension with China despite warming ties.Taiwan began mass producing the Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles after it acquired "key components" needed to manufacture the missiles, and will start deploying them this year, lawmaker Lin Yu-fang told.President Ma Ying-jeou gave an order in 2008 for the production of 300 Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles, according to the Taipei-based China Times.

The paper said Hsiungfeng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 800 kilometres (500 miles).The institute has spent 2.2 billion Taiwan dollars (68 million US) each year since 2000 on developing the missiles, whose name means Brave Wind, and managed to expand its range from 600 to 800 kilometres, it said.

Antony's South Korea Visit to Boost Defence Ties

Chinese Naval Fleet will Hold 4-Day Naval Exercise in September

Chinese Naval Fleet will hold live-ammunition naval exercise in the Yellow Sea in the beginning of September, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced in a statement.The drill will be staged this week from September 1 to September 4 in the sea between China and the Korean peninsula and will come ahead of a parallel U.S.-South Korean joint naval exercise.

Russia to send over 1,000 troops to anti-terror drills in Kazakhstan

More than 1,000 Russian troops will take part in a series of anti-terror drills in Kazakhstan on September 9-25, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.In all, 5,000 troops from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will take part in the exercises, codenamed Peace Mission 2010."Over 1,000 troops, some 130 armored vehicles (tanks, self-propelled artillery systems and infantry fighting vehicles), more than 100 trucks, and over 10 airplanes and helicopters will take part on the Russian side," the ministry said.

Azerbaijan to buy four Ka-32 helicopters from Russia

Russian Helicopters company will supply four Kamov Ka-32 helicopters to Azerbaijan in the near future, the Azerbaijani APA news agency said on Monday.It is not known which of the country's state departments or institutions ordered the helicopters, the report said.In May, the Azerbaijan Emergencies Ministry bought two Ka-32 helicopters from Russia

Futenma report presents 2 runway options

The government on Tuesday released the report of a Japan-U.S. expert panel on a planned alternative facility for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.The report features two conflicting plans for runway layouts. One layout option is a plan agreed upon between Japan and the United States in 2006 to build two runways in a V-shaped formation, a plan that Washington still favors. The other option is a plan more recently advanced by Japan to build a single I-shaped runway.The report also states the facility will be built by reclaiming land from waters off the Henoko district of Nago in the prefecture.
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BAE Systems bids for Indian Army's artillery gun order

BAE Systems has submitted a fresh bid for an Indian Army order for 155mm towed howitzers, the company said Tuesday, adding that it was offering an advanced version of the gun that had performed extremely creditably during the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan. The BAE offer is 'based on the FH77 B05 155mm howitzer, and a significant proportion will be manufactured in India to meet the specific needs of the Indian Army', a company statement said. 'The FH77 B05 is a more powerful, updated and computerised version of the howitzer that performed so well in the Kargil conflict. FH77B05 has significantly greater range than its predecessor, but retains many of the features that endeared the system to its users in the Indian Army,' the statement added.

RAAF's F/A-18F Began Testing Air-to-Ground Weapons

AUSTRALIA'S new combat aircraft, the $6 billion Super Hornet fleet, is in South Australia to begin its first live weapons trials at the Woomera Test Range.Five F/A-18F and about 100 aircrew and maintenance personnel from No. 1 Squadron at RAAF Amberley, Queensland, began testing air-to-ground weapons firing in the middle of the South Australian desert on Monday.Wing Commander Glen Braz told The Advertiser yesterday the warbirds were performing above expectations."It's amazing. It's got incredible performance," he said. "You can be on the runway here at Edinburgh and, two minutes later, it's supersonic at 40,000 feet."In terms of capability, it has 11 weapons stations - a 2000 pound bomb. We can carry four of those, each the size of a small car.

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RAAF operated Heron crashed at Kandahar airfield

DEFENCE covered up the crash of an unmanned spy plane in Afghanistan that left taxpayers with a $1.2 million repair bill.On June 4 this year, a Canadian-built remotely-piloted Heron aircraft operated by the RAAF crashed short of the airfield at Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. There were no injuries.Defence also chose to hide the details of a second Heron crash, this time by an Australian undergoing training in Alberta, Canada, in July. The aircraft was a write-off.Defence admitted that the Kandahar crash had occurred but refused to provide details of the repair bill for "commercial in confidence" reasons.
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China on Agenda as Antony Meets Service Chief

US ends Iraq combat mission

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told Iraqis today their own soldiers and police are up to the job as US forces ended a combat role after seven years of fighting that has cost thousands of lives.

A major troop pullout over past months has left less than 50,000 US soldiers in Iraq while a simultaneous surge in car bombings and shootings, many targeting local security forces, has raised security concerns. US President Barack Obama was to mark the symbolic end of combat operations in a speech from the Oval Office at 0000 GMT (3 am on Wednesday for Baghdadis), after visiting a base in Texas where he was to meet returned Iraq veterans.

He was also expected to speak by telephone with former President George W. Bush who, backed by key ally Britain, took the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003, ousting dictator Saddam Hussein within weeks. In advance of Obama's speech, Maliki said on state television that Iraq was a "sovereign and independent" state and he was confident the last US forces would leave the country as planned at the end of 2011. — AFP

Russian submarines are hunting down British Vanguard submarine

Russian submarines are hunting down British Vanguard boats in a return to Cold War tactics not seen for 25 years, Navy chiefs have warned.A specially upgraded Russian Akula class submarine has been caught trying to record the acoustic signature made by the Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles, according to senior Navy officers.British submariners have also reported that they are experiencing the highest number of "contacts" with Russian submarines since 1987.If the Russians are able to obtain a recording of the unique noise of the boat's propellers it would have serious implications for Britain's nuclear deterrent. Using its sophisticated sonar, the Akula would be able to track Vanguards and potentially sink them before they could launch their Trident D4 missiles.

Coming Nuclear Flashpoint : India, Afghanistan and Pakistan

If the West has had any success in Afghanistan, it has been in encouraging India to make a massive investment there of economic aid, infrastructure projects and national prestige. New Delhi is the largest regional investor in the country, and ranks second among all donors. With the West’s looming defeat in Afghanistan, however, India’s success will prove Pyrrhic, and may well set the stage for another, perhaps nuclear, confrontation between Pakistan and India.

The seriousness with which Islamabad views this issue is seen in the fact that, per the media, up to 30 percent of Pakistan’s ground forces are now stationed on the country’s western border. This redeployment degrades the country’s strength on its border with India and has been made to fight what Islamabad believes are rebellious, India-supported militants in its tribal agencies and Balochistan Province.

Indian officials also have talked of their intention to use Afghanistan as a springboard for exploiting economic opportunities and accessing energy resources in Central Asia. Military-oriented Indian publications like the Indian Defense Review, moreover, haven’t been shy about crowing over how the growing Indian presence in Afghanistan is making the Pakistan Army more ‘worried with each passing day [that] its so-called strategic depth is becoming shallower by the minute.’ 

Michael Scheuer is the author of ‘Imperial Hubris’ and former chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station. He writes regularly for

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Indian Navy Officer Dies in Operation to Rescue Sailors

An Indian Navy officer died due to head injuries while saving other sailors who had fallen into the sea from a submarine off the coast of Mumbai this morning."Lieutenant Commander Firdaus D Moghal, Executive Officer of Indian Naval Submarine 'Shankush', died in an accident off Mumbai while saving the lives of fellow personnel who had fallen in the sea," Navy officials said here.The Shankush, a German-origin HDW 'Shishumar'-class diesel-electric submarine, was on a planned exercise in sea when it developed a defect which necessitated the maintenance crew to come out on the casing and attempt repairs, they said. 

Sikorsky makes commercial offer to Indian Navy

In a bid to counter bad press that they are receiving, the US helicopter company Sikorsky has made a commercial offer to the Indian Navy. The offer includes servicing and spares for six obsolete Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King helicopters that came onboard the USS Trenton renamed as INS Jalashva which have received a lot of flak for their sub standard quality.The comptroller and auditor general has strongly criticised the quality of the machines on the aircraft carrier that came through US government foreign military sales.According to the CAG the ($39 million) machines did not come equipped with any type of weather or surface surveillance radar and the defence ministry failed to secure any “guarantee for the replacement of defective rotables due to obsolescence”. 

Israel set to build 800 wings F-35 stealth fighter aircraft

Israel is in talks to build the wings for about a quarter of the United States's new F-35 stealth fighter aircraft, an Israeli official said on Monday.An Israeli official who declined to be named said state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries would build the wings."We are in advanced talks for the IAI to produce around 800 sets of wings," he told Reuters.Earlier this month Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved in principle the purchase of 20 of the radar-evading fighters, in a deal worth $2.75 billion.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Upgraded ASW aircraft Tu-142ME was delivered to Indian Navy

Long-range ASW aircraft Tu-142ME was handed over to India after overhaul and modernization by JSC TAVIA. In 2010 another Tu-142ME will be also capitally repaired, upgraded, and delivered to Indian Navy, reported ITAR-TASS referring to the company's press service.All of those aircrafts are in need of capital repairs and to be upgraded with new onboard equipment, modernized jet-prop engines, and new weapons. According to initial plan, all 8 planes were supposed to pass modernization within 6 years and be ready in 2010-2011. After capital repairs the service life of each aircraft becomes 16 years longer.Max flight range of Tu-142ME is 12,000 km, max flight speed (weight of 138 tons, altitude of 7,000 meters) is 855 kph, cruising speed is 735 kph, flight duration is 9 hours. Max combat load (6 BrahMos cruise missiles, as was proposed to Indian Navy) makes 9.6 tons, standard combat load (8 Kh-35 antiship missiles) is 4.4 tons.

Pilots being made air-ready for INS Vikramaditya

The defence ministry has begun the process of getting Indian fighter pilots ready to operate from aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, which is expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy in the next two years, an official said Monday."This unique test facility is being set up with technology and specialised equipment from Russia. This facility will enable future pilots to be trained ashore before they fly the war planes from aircraft carrier Vikramaditya," Bakshi, a former rear admiral said.He said pilots flying the MIG-29 fighters would also be trained at the facility being built at the naval base INS Hansa in Goa.

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First Two Project 75I Scorpene Submarines will be Built at a Foreign Shipyard

Top sources in the ministry have told Business Standard that its apex defence acquisition council has decided to exclude Indian private shipyards from the construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy under Project 75I. Instead, the first two submarines will be built at a foreign shipyard.Project 75I initially envisaged all six submarines to be built in India. The MoD-owned Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai, was to build three; Hindustan Shipyard Ltd — recently acquired by the MoD from the Ministry of Shipping — would build one; while Indian private sector shipyards L&T and Pipavav would compete to build two. But the navy’s insistence on having the first two submarines built abroad has torpedoed the private sector shipbuilders out of the picture.

United States Donates Equipment to Sri Lanka Air Force

The United States has donated equipment worth 674 million rupees ($6 million) to Sri Lanka Air Force to enhance maritime security.Ms. Valerie Fowler, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy and Major General Darryll Wong, and Commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard presented the donation to Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke, at a ceremony held in Ratmalana Air Base today. 

Singapore Armed Forces Deploys UAVTask Group to Afghanistan

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed a 52-man Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Task Group to Tarin Kowt, the provincial capital of Uruzgan, and a team of four institutional trainers to Kabul as part of Singapore's overall contribution to the multinational stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

The UAV Task Group, which commences operations today, will be deployed for three months, from August to November 2010. The four institutional trainers, who started their operations a week earlier, will be deployed till December 2010. They will then hand over to a second rotation of institutional trainers who will be deployed for four months till April 2011.

Flaws in K21 infantry fighting vehicle design confirmed

By Jung Sung-ki

Critical flaws in the design of the K21 amphibious infantry fighting vehicle have been found following an investigation of the up-to-date vehicle, one of which sank during a river-crossing exercise July 29, an official at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Wednesday.A soldier died when the 25-ton vehicle sank. This was the second time that a K21 has sunk since the vehicle entered service last November after 10 years of development.

According to investigators, a pump in the vehicle doesn’t work at its maximum river crossing speed of 7.8 kilometers per hour. The pump is supposed to displace 175 liters of water.The K21 has often been referred to as a key export item in the coming years. Doosan DST and DAPA have said the vehicle offers better firepower, mobility and survivability than the U.S. Army's M2A3 and Russia's BMP-3.

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Purchase of C-130J Super Hercules Planes Hits Snag: South Korea

By Jung Sung-ki

Negotiations between South Korea’s arms procurement agency and a U.S. aerospace company over the sale of up-to-date military transport planes have ruptured due to a disagreement on the price of the product, industry sources said Sunday.The failure in the projected contract of the C-130J Super Hercules built by Lockheed Martin was largely due to a “miscalculation” by Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) of the program costs, according to sources.“By May, the negotiations over the purchase of C-130J planes were actually broken off,” a Seoul source privy to the negotiations told The Korea Times. “The problem was that the DAPA estimated the costs for the aircraft program too low. There was a 20-percent gap between the DAPA-estimated costs and those presented by Lockheed Martin.” 

Japan has Decided to Postpone FX fighter jet for Air Self-Defense Force

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Government efforts to select the next generation of mainstay FX fighter jet for the Air Self-Defense Force, a decision likely to have a profound effect on the future of the nation's air defense, have come to a standstill.The deadline to choose the successor to the ASDF's aging F-4 fighters is said to be 2016. But the Defense Ministry is likely to demand only research expenses for the FX fighter in its fiscal 2011 budget request to be submitted Tuesday. The ministry has unofficially decided to postpone the budget request to procure next-generation mainstay FX fighter jets.The strain in the Japan-U.S. relationship caused by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's handling of the relocation of the U.S. Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture has hampered Japan's ability to select FX fighters, observers said.

One of Japan's 4 spy satellites hits snag

One of Japan's four spy satellites orbiting Earth in part to monitor activities in North Korea has hit a snag, having been unable to operate since Monday, the government said Saturday.According to the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center, the No. 2 radar satellite, put into orbit in February 2007, appears to have run into trouble related to electrical power supply, and restoration work is under way.

Taliban Planned to Shoot Down David Cameron's Helicopter During His Visit to Afghanistan

David Cameron Afghanistan 'attack' base is revealed. David Cameron met troops at the British Camp Bastion during his visit to Afghanistan in June.The Taliban have revealed the base from which they planned to shoot down the prime minister's helicopter during his first visit to Afghanistan in June.A Taliban spokesman told the BBC the attack would have been launched from a base in Washir, north-west Helmand.David Cameron's plans were changed at the last minute when intercepts of Taliban radio messages showed that they knew which helicopter he was flying in.But, when contacted by the BBC, the Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi added one piece of information to what was already known - the location of the team planning to shoot the helicopter down.

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China’s unfriendly acts India needs to take a tougher stand

MUCH though India and China may feign that all’s well between them, every now and then the lack of understanding and trust in the relationship comes to the fore, locked as they are in a battle for high stakes as emerging powers. The latest spark lit by the Chinese by denial of visa to Lt-General B.S. Jaswal, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Northern Area Command, to visit China as part of high-level defence exchanges marks a new setback to relations between the two neighbours. Considering that the refusal of visa had to do with the fact that the General had Jammu and Kashmir under his charge, the Indian Government cannot but be outraged by Beijing’s challenge to the northern state being an integral part of India.

Chinese Navy to Hold Training in Yellow Sea

3 BSF men among 5 killed by Naxals

BSF men fell victims for the first time in a Naxal attack in Chattisgarh when three of them were among five security personnel killed today after armed Maoists ambushed security forces in Kanker district. At least three Naxals are believed to have been killed in the exchange of fire when security forces were conducting search operation, ADGP Ramniwas said. One security personnel was injured.

Ramniwas said the incident occured when 77 security personnel comprising officers and jawans from Border Security Force, district police and special police officers (SPO) set out in the jungles in Kanker district for "area domination" exercise. Naxals opened fire as soon as the security personnel reached the forests near Bhuski village killing five of them, he said.

This is the first time that BSF jawans have been killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh where the victims among the security forces have been mainly men from CRPF, state police and SPOs. — PTI

Israel 'planning strike on Hezbollah sites in Syria'

Israel is planning to strike Hezbollah weapons storage and production facilities in Syria, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported Saturday.The report in the daily Alrai quoted unnamed Western sources as saying that Israel has bolstered its troop presence in the Golan Heights and the Galilee panhandle. It also quoted European sources who said Israel had sent unmanned aerial vehicles over Syria and Lebanon, which they called a sign that Israel is planning a military operation in one or both of its northern neighbors. The paper said Israel is particularly focused on facilities where Hezbollah stores long-range rockets, some of which are deep in Syrian territory. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Agni-V will be test-fired soon, says Antony

India is getting ready to test Agni-V, its longest range surface-to-surface ballistic missile of 5,000 km, according to Defence Minister A.K. Antony.Laying the foundation stone for a Rs.700-crore expansion of Midhani (Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd), a Government of India enterprise, he urged scientists and technocrats to treat any denial of technology as a “godsend” as such discrimination led to the development of the 5,000 km range missile.

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BrahMos Aerospace Ltd. to Produce Engines for Brahmos Missiles in India

The Indian-Russian venture BrahMos Aerospace Ltd. plans to produce engines for Brahmos missiles in India, CEO Sivathanu Pillai said on Friday.

The engines will be produced at the Brahmos plant in the state of Kerala in southeastern India, Pillai said. In two years its production volumes will exceed the manufacturing capabilities of the plant in Russia's Orenburg which currently produces the engines.

Friday, August 27, 2010

China's anti-ship ballistic missile is nearly operational

A ballistic missile under development in China for the purpose of deterring and attacking U.S. aircraft carriers in the western Pacific is close to becoming operational, according to Adm. Robert Willard, commander of U.S. Pacific Command.The Pentagon, in its annual report on China's military, which was released last week, states, "China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) based on a variant of the CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile (alternative name is DF-21)."It also said, "The missile has a range in excess of 1,500 kilometers, is armed with a maneuverable warhead, and when integrated with appropriate command and control systems, is intended to provide the PLA (People's Liberation Army) with the capability to attack ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean."

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Elbit scaling back UAV division

Elbit Systems is moving workers from its unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturing division due to a decline in its backlog of orders. About 100 employees are leaving the division for other positions within the company. Elbit Systems explains that nobody is being fired.Elbit Systems makes small- and medium-sized remotely piloted vehicles. The company lost a $350 million Brazilian contract to Israel Aerospace Industries late last year. Also, negotiations to supply UAVs to a certain "eastern" state have dragged on.

India Developing Laser-Based Anti-Missile Systems

By Vivek Raghuvanshi

Indian scientists are developing laser-based anti-ballistic missile systems called Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs).Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), DEW weapons can kill incoming ballistic missiles by bombarding them with subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves. The weapons could intercept missiles soon after they were launched toward India.A DRDO scientist said laser-based weapons have been tested. One of these weapons is the air defense dazzler, which can engage enemy aircraft and helicopters at a range of 10 kilometers. This weapon will be ready for induction in two years.

U.S. Releases Radar Upgrades for Taiwan's F-CK-1C/D Fighters

The U.S. has announced the sale of new radar upgrades for Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF). The announcement came during a two-day tri-service military exercise in southern Taiwan from Aug. 24-25.The IDF F-CK-1A/B "Ching-kuo" fighter was developed during the late 1980s to replace aging Lockheed F-104 Starfighters. The state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. built 130 aircraft, which began entering service in 1994.The U.S. has held Taiwan's request for 66 new F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighters since 2006, but is expecting to release a midlife upgrade package for its F-16A/B Block 20s in early 2011. Taiwan is anxious to replace aging F-5 fighters and high-maintenance Mirage-2000 fighters now slated for retirement.

In a separate deal, on Aug. 13, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced a $393,538 contract award to New Jersey-based ITT Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems for the sale of an upgrade and maintenance package for Taiwan's AN/ALQ-165 Airborne Self Protection Jammer and AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasure systems. The U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting agency. Work is expected to be completed in August 2015.

China Denies Visa to Indian Army's General in J&K

India has cancelled defence exchanges with China after Beijing refused to allow the visit of the Indian army's General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Area Command, because he was responsible for Jammu & Kashmir, a state that China maintained was disputed. In keeping with a practice for the past few years, the Indian defence establishment in June had began preparations for a regular high-level exchange visit to China this August by one of the top commanders of the Indian army — the northern area commander, Lt-Gen B S Jaswal. However, Delhi was stunned when Beijing responded to his nomination by saying that it was unwilling to "welcome" Gen Jaswal because he "controlled" a disputed area, Jammu and Kashmir.

Army brass inability in '62 war revealed

Chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah on Wednesday said the Henderson-Brooks report -- the operation review of the 1962 Sino-India war -- revealed the incompetence of the Indian military top brass. Habibullah, who read the report before rejecting journalist Kuldip Nayar's request to disclose the contents under the Right to Information Act, said, "The report reveals the incompetence of the military top brass. But that was not why we rejected the plea for its disclosure. The Commission felt that the the report hinged on the question, which are still items of negotiation between India and China." While the government has been persistent in keeping the document under wraps through the years, there have been reports published-- notably by Neville Maxwell in 2001 -- that have divulged details of how things went wrong in 1962.

India Ruled Out Integration BrahMos Missile on MMRCA

The high-profile “medium multi-role combat aircraft” (MMRCA), 126 of which are being purchased by the IAF at a mind-boggling price tag of Rs 42,000 crore, has been ruled out for integration with the supersonic BrahMos missile. BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian joint venture, has successfully developed the low-altitude supersonic BrahMos cruise missile that is quicker than any other missile in the world.

Having a speed of 2.8 mach, BrahMos, with a range of 290 km, is four times faster than American Tomahawk cruise missile, widely used by the USA during its offensive against Iraq. BrahMos Aerospace is now working to develop a hypersonic missile having a speed of over 6 mach.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Agni-II to be Deployed Close to China Border

India, Brazil and South Africa to Hold Joint Naval Drill “IBSAMAR”

The navies of India, Brazil and South Africa are set to embark on their biannual naval exercise “IBSAMAR”. A spokesperson of the Navy said the exercises were meant to promote greater interoperability and foster synergy among the Indian Navy and other participating navies. Having initially involved only basic operations, the current interaction would feature advanced aspects of the naval warfare, including anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine operations.

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India's Military Plans to Tackle China

The Pentagon has recently reported that China has moved lethal medium-range Ballistic Missiles closer to the Indian border.The potential Chinese military threat has been anticipated by India, which has now deployed a couple of strategic missile units in the East. These units under the Strategic Forces Command that control India's nuclear arsenal have been moved under the Eastern Command recently. An infantry brigade has been moved back here after a long gap. India is also concentrating on quickly building 75 tactically and strategically important roads . They will eventually cost over Rs. 5,000 crore.

Saudi Pilot Killed as Eurofighter Crashes in Spain

By Niall O’Keeffe

A Eurofighter aircraft has crashed at Spain's Morón air base with one fatality, the Spanish ministry of defence has confirmed.It was being piloted under dual control by a lieutenant colonel from the Saudi Arabian air force, who was killed, and a Spanish air force commander, who ejected before the crash.The Saudi lieutenant colonel was at the Spanish base after the two nations signed a Eurofighter training contract.

Israeli Finance Minister Contests Purchase of F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has thrown a spoke in the wheel of Israel's planned purchase of 20 American F-35 Stealth aircraft at a cost of $2.7 billion: At Sunday's cabinet meeting, he got Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to promise that acquisition of the planes will be considered by a forum of senior ministers - either the security cabinet, the "septet" of top ministers or some other group.The finance minister said consideration also had to be given to Washington's opposition to the installation of Israeli systems and missiles on the plane. This American dictate would bar the plane from being outfitted with radar built by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta division or missiles produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Turkey Continues Heron UAV Programme with Israel

Turkey has decided to maintain its military unmanned aerial vehicle programme with Israel despite what government officials have described as the worst crisis with Israel in 20 years."Nobody should expect us to declare war on Israel because of this incident," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said, adding the Turkish Defense Ministry would not block the delivery of Israeli UAVs to Ankara's military. Turkey has already paid most of the $190 million for the procurement of 10 Heron UAVs from the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul IAI has already delivered six Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs for his forces. He said the Herons, with an endurance of up to 50 hours, have been deemed operational.

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Only 7 out of 16 Submarines in Indian Navy are Operational

By Saurabh Joshi

The CAG said in its report that not only were many of the 16 Indian submarines at the end of three-fourths of their life, but that only seven of them were actually operational, with nine undergoing repairs and refit. Two of the submarines, INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vela and INS Vagli, both Foxtrot-class, are due to be decommissioned this year and next year.The report reads, “75 per cent submarines in the IN fleet have already completed three fourths of their estimated operational life. It is pertinent to mention that only 7 out of 16 submarines in IN are operational and 9 submarines are under refit/repair as of October 2009.

 As of November 2009, Padeyes fitment has been completed in 11 out of 16 submarines out of which only 4 SSK (Diesel Electric Attack) submarines have been certified by USN for mating with US DSRV for a period of three years effective from 20 December 2007 and of which at least 2 are presently under refit. Two of the serving Foxtrot submarines, on which Padeyes were fitted, INS Vela and INS Vagli, would be de-commissioned in 2010 and 2011 respectively”.The CAG report has also pointed out that any actual submarine rescue would depend on the presence of a USN DSRV, which would take at least 72 hours to get to station from its nearest base, and for the services of which, an agreement was not even in place. “The DSRV is to perform rescue operations on submerged or disabled submarines.

Kaveri Jet Engine of Indian LCA Fighter Jet

Monday, August 23, 2010

Iran Unveils "Karrar" Drone

Indian Army’s Procurement of 155-Millimetre Towed Artillery Guns

With the Indian Army’s procurement of 155-millimetre towed artillery guns stymied again by CBI strictures against five international artillery vendors, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has pointed out that developing an Indian gun will bypass the problematic selection of a gun from the global arms market. Business Standard has reported (July 29, “155 mm gun purchase: DRDO enters the fray”) that DRDO is joining hands with a private sector company to develop and manufacture an Indian gun.

India Steps Up Army Deployment Along China Border

Following persistent demands from the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, the Centre has finally initiated steps for augmenting security measures along the international border with China and additional troops are being moved into the bordering areas, while, a battalion of the Arunachal Scouts has also been sanctioned. He said that the Government of India has sanctioned two additional divisions of the Army to be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh for improving vigil along the international border with China. One division of the Army consists of around 10,000 to 12,000 personnel.
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Indian Navy Eyes Vertical Takeoff UAVs

The Navy is looking to buy a new type of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that operates and functions like a chopper. It can be operated from ship decks for real time surveillance and intelligence gathering at sea to spot militants, pirates and enemies, besides aiding in rescue operations and scanning oil rigs. So far the armed forces have the conventional UAVs that take-off like small planes and hover over specified targets to gather information.
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Israel to Get $4 billion Offset for F-35 Fighter Aircrafts Purchase

Israeli Ministry of Defense issued an official statement about "agreements reached for the inclusion of defense companies in the production of the plane for other customers, and reciprocal procurements of at least $4 billion," from the talks that have been going on for some time between some Israeli companies and Lockheed Martin, there has emerged no certainty about their participation in producing all F-35s of Lockheed Martin, or at least in several hundred or thousand built by the company, even though there is full willingness about procurement in Israel for the 20 F-35s that the Israel Air Force will buy in the coming years.

V-22 Ospreys May Aid Pakistan Relief

Pakistanis have only asked for 15 helicopters and three or four C-130s. Given that the head of the United Nations has called this the greatest disaster he had ever seen, this seems a fairly paltry response. Gen. Berger indicated that some of the Pakistani airfields are at or near capacity already, pointing to Ghazi air base. Also, Berger said the Osprey was considered for the relief effort. “We looked at is there a need for them right now. The answer is no,” he said yesterday. But Berger was careful to say they may be used sometime in a month or so. The Marines have targeted the Osprey for just such missions, as this article makes clear.Another fact that may indicate the Pakistanis are wary of an increased U.S. presence is that every helo and C-130 flight has Pakistani soldiers aboard.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Iran test fires surface-to-surface Qiam missile

Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on Friday that Iran has test fired a surface-to-surface missile, Qiam, a day before it is due to launch its Russian-built first nuclear power plant.Fars news agency had in a report earlier this week quoted the minister as saying that Qiam was a short-range missile.On Tuesday, Vahidi had said that Qiam was to be test fired during the annual government week, the period when Tehran touts its achievements in various fields. This year government week begins on Monday.The third generation Fateh 110 (Conqueror) missile was also to be test fired during this period. Iran has previously paraded a version of Fateh 110 which has a travel range of 150 to 200 kilometres (90 to 125 miles).
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Bahrain says it will not be used as launch pad to attack Iran

"The presence of a US naval base in Bahrain does not mean that Manama will allow its use to launch an attack on any country," Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said in an interview with the London-based Asharq Al Awsat.

Manama: Bahrain's foreign minister has ruled out allowing the US to use his country to launch attacks on any country, in an apparent reference to Iran.The presence of a US naval base in Bahrain does not mean that Manama will allow its use to launch an attack on any country," Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said in an interview with the London-based Asharq Al Awsat. "The agreements signed by Manama with Washington are exclusively defence-based and we cannot allow the use of our lands to attack other territories. In fact, there are no attack weapons on the base."The minister said that the defence agreements were meant to preserve safety and security in the Gulf as a highly significant water way and vital area for global economy."Without the presence of international forces in the region, we would have become like the Gulf Aden which lacks the minimum criterion for security and stability," he said.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Afghan Mi-35 Hind E Attack Helicopter Begins Operations with NATO forces

The Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopter is the Afghan Air Force’s main gunship whose Afghan aircrews have been expertly trained by NATO forces from various countries including Hungary and the Czech Republic. The adage – crawl, walk, run – is a useful and universal way to describe military training and the Afghan Mi-35 crews are thoroughly in the walking phase as they build their capabilities and confidence to begin taking control of their skies. U.S. Army Apache helicopter personnel from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade have begun to assist in combat operations with the Afghan aircrews in order to flesh out the Mi-35’s capabilities.

Russian Nuclear Submarine K-152 Nerpa Handed Over to India

Friday, August 20, 2010

Indian MPs worried over threat from China

Concern was voiced in Parliament today over the growing military threat from China in the wake of reports that it has moved longer range missiles close to Indian borders. While a BJP member spoke in the Lok Sabha about Pentagon report on Chinese threat to India, a Congress member in the Rajya Sabha talked about the growing disparity in defence preparedness between the two countries. Raman Deka (BJP) said during the Zero Hour that China has moved new advanced longer range CSS-5 missiles close to the borders with India. Seeking a response from defence minister, he wanted better preparedness by India as there was not much infrastructure on the borders with China. "We have not forgotten the 1962 war", he said adding there were no proper roads for the army to immediately move in case of any eventuality.
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Decision on Russian Mi-17 Deliveries to Afghanistan to be Made Soon

A decision will be made within two months on the possible delivery of 27 Russian Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday."We are talking about a couple of dozen helicopters with the relevant equipment. I hope that in a month or month and a half there will be more clarity on the issue," Lavrov said.

India to order another 59 Russian Mi-17 helicopters

The Indian Air Force will soon order an additional 59 Russian Mil Mi-17 helicopters on top of the 80 ordered earlier, the IAF chief said on Thursday.The first deliveries of the 80 Mi-17 helicopters, ordered in 2008, will begin later this year, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik said in an interview with India Strategic.The IAF's recent request for 42 Su-30MKI fighters had been cleared by the Defense Ministry, "taking the total number of these air superiority combat jets order to a sizeable 272," he added.

Seven MRH-90 Helicopters on the way for Australian Defence Force

AUSTRALIAN Aerospace says it is on schedule to deliver seven MRH-90 helicopters to the Australian Defence Force before the end of the year.The delivery will bring to 16 the total number of new choppers the army will have in its inventory.The ADF has resumed flying the MRH-90 choppers after one of the new aircraft suffered an engine failure in one of its two engines.The incident in May, north of Adelaide, forced a temporary grounding of the $4 billion fleet.Initially the cause of the problem was attributed to an “improper engine start procedure”.But this was later rejected by the defence department, which blamed the fault on a “compressor blade fracture”.

Taiwan's President Asks US to Sell F16 C/D fighter jets to Taiwan

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday renewed calls to Washington to sell the island an upgraded version of the F16 fighter, following a Pentagon report warning of China's growing military might."We hope the US will consider selling Taiwan F16 C/D fighter jets to balance the military edge leaning towards China," Ma was quoted by state-funded Central News Agency as saying.Ma told visiting US Congressman Roland Burris that Taiwan wished to acquire the jets not to prepare itself to start a war but to defend itself and ensure the island's safety, the report said.His comments came after the Pentagon said in an annual report to Congress on Monday that China's military build-up against Taiwan has "continued unabated" despite improving political relations.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

China has Moved CCS-5 Ballistic Missiles Closer to Indian Border

The fleet-footed Dragon may be rapidly spreading its wings across the globe but remains a wee bit wary of the flat-footed Elephant next door.People's Liberation Army has moved "more advanced and survivable" solid-fuelled CCS-5 nuclear-capable ballistic missiles closer to the borders with India. " China may also be developing contingency plans to move airborne troops into the region," says the Pentagon report on 'military and security developments involving the People's Republic of China'.

Satellite pictures, for instance, have long disclosed that a large area in central China, near Delingha and Da Qaidam in Qinghai province, has close to 60 launch pads for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which can easily target north India. India plans to test its most ambitious ballistic missile, the 5,000-km Agni-V, by early 2011 to add to its military deterrence posture. Moreover, apart from the almost ready-to-be-inducted 3,500-km Agni-III, IAF has already begun to base Sukhoi-30MKI fighters in north-east as well as upgrade several airstrips and helipads in the region.
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A Colonel and Two Majors killed in Indian Army Cheetah Helicopter Crash

A colonel and two majors were killed when the Army helicopter, a four-seater Cheetah, they were in crashed near Viswema, about 16 km from Nagaland’s capital Kohima, at around 8-25 a.m. today. “The chopper was badly damaged as it hit a hillock, but there was no fire after the crash. The bodies were intact, even the name plates of Army officials were in shape. They were identified as Colonel P Pal (passenger), Major Rakesh Sharma (pilot) and Major Nikhil (co-pilot),” the police said.

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Three Indian soldiers killed in Congo

Three Indian soldiers, who were part of the UN peacekeeping force in Congo, were killed and seven others injured when rebel forces attacked their base in the Kirumba province of the central African nation today. The soldiers were from the 19 Kumaon Regiment of the Army and were deployed in Congo as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, Army officials said here.

Third UAV Crash in Afghanistan in One Month

An unmanned plane of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) crashed in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Wednesday, a statement of the alliance released here said. "An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed in the Sharan district of Paktika province today," the statement added. The cause of the crash was mechanical failure, it emphasized. A recovery force was immediately sent to retrieve the UAV. The wreckage was recovered, the statement added. It is the third pilotless plane has crashed over the past one month in Afghanistan. Previously two such unmanned planes were crashed in the northern Kunduz province.

Gripen and Saab 340 Erieye AEW for Royal Thai Air Force

At a ceremony at Saab’s factory in Linköping today, Saab unveiled the Thai integrated air defence system for its Thai customer. The ceremony was held to celebrate the contract between Sweden and Thailand.

Many prominent guests attended the event including Commander in Chief, ACM Itthaporn Subhawong from the Royal Thai Air Force, Gunnar Holmgen, General Director for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), Sten Tolgfors, Swedish Minister for Defence and Åke Svensson CEO for Saab.

China Defense Ministry refutes Pentagon's China report

China on Wednesday voiced its firm opposition to a recent Pentagon report on China's military development, saying it "ignored objective facts".The Pentagon report is "not beneficial to the improvement and development of Sino-U.S. military ties," said Geng Yansheng, a newly appointed spokesman of China's Defense Ministry.According to Geng, the U.S. report ignored the facts while "criticizing China's normal national defense and military build-up, exaggerating the so-called Chinese mainland's 'military threats' to Taiwan, and condemning China for suspending Sino-U.S. military exchanges thus compromising the two countries' military cooperation."

HAL proposes upgrade for IAF's Su-30 MKI fighters

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has proposed over Rs 10,900 crore upgrade for the Su-30 MKI fighters of the Indian Air Force with Russian help, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. "There is a proposal to upgrade the Su-30 MKI of the IAF with the support of Russian original equipment manufacturer," Defence Minister A K Antony said in a written reply. The current estimated cost of the upgrades is Rs 10,920 crores and the aircrafts are likely to be upgraded in a phased manner from 2012, he added.

Indian Navy Seeks Info on Light Utility Helicopters

The Indian Navy has entered the global market to buy 50 light utility helicopters to replace aging Chetak helos, which have outlived their life.A request for information (RFI) has been sent to Eurocopter of Europe, AgustaWestland of Italy, Bell Helicopters of United States and Kamov of Russia. After the receipt of the RFI, formal requests for proposals will be sent to global vendors in three months, said a senior Indian Defence Ministry official.

Iranian fighter jet crashes in Bushehr

An Iranian air force jet crashed Tuesday in the southern province of Bushehr which houses a nuclear power plant, said a Mehr news agency report that added the two airmen on board ejected and survived.The aircraft, a US-made F4 jet fighter that requires a two-person crew, went down about five kilometres (more than three miles) from the Bushehr Special Economy Zone, the report said.The English-language Press TV channel's website said the jet crashed near Shif island, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr which the Islamic republic plans to activate on Saturday.

'North Korean fighter jet crash'

Intelligence experts are analysing reports that a North Korean fighter jet crash-landed in northern-eastern China on Tuesday afternoon, leading to speculation of a failed defection attempt by the plane’s pilot. Photographs of the crash site posted on a microblog on China’s, one of the country’s leading web portals, appeared to show the remains of a MiG-21 fighter with distinctive North Korean air force markings on its fuselage. China’s official news agency, Xinhua, partially confirmed the incident in a one-sentence report but stated only that an aircraft of “unidentified nationality” had crashed in Lagu county, Liaoning Province on August 17, and “the case was under investigation”.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scorpene Submarines Delivery Delay to Affect Indian Navy's Force Levels

The delay in delivery of Scorpene submarines is likely to have an impact on the envisaged under-water force levels of the Indian Navy, Government told the Lok Sabha on Monday. The gaps in the submarine capacity were being addressed by modernising and upgrading the weapon and sensor systems on theexisting fleet, Defence Minister AK Antony said in a written reply.

These steps have significantly increased the combat worthiness, he said.In 2004, India had signed a contract with France for supply of six Scorpene submarines, which were to be built in Mumbai’s Mazagon Dockyards.

Turkish Aerospace Industries Delivers First Large F-35 Composite Structure

urkish Aerospace Industries, a major international F-35 Lightning II supplier to Northrop Grumman Corporation, has delivered a prototype of its first major structural element for the jet's center fuselage, which Northrop Grumman produces for F-35 industry team leader Lockheed Martin.

Known as a destructive test article, the prototype all-composite air inlet duct reflects the growing maturity of TAI's composite fiber-placed manufacturing processes, and the steady evolution of its role as a second source supplier of center fuselages for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

TAI produced the air inlet duct at its composites manufacturing facility in Ankara, Turkey as part of a five-year, $28.4 million contract awarded to the company in Sept. 2009 by Northrop Grumman.

India Lost 39 Aircraft Since 2007-08

39 aircraft including the latest Sukhoi 30 MKI and MiG series fighter jets and helicopters have been lost in crashes which claimed 16 lives during the last 40 months, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

"39 aircraft including MiG series, Sukhoi aircraft and helicopters have been lost in air crashes during the last three financial years from 2007-08 to August 11 this year," Defence Minster A K Antony said in a written reply.

Of the 16 people killed in these crashes, 13 were from the armed forces. 14 civilians were also injured in these mishaps. The MiG 21s have suffered the highest casualty as 12 of these were lost in the last three years whereas six MiG 27s were also lost during the same period.

The Navy also lost eight of its aircraft including four Sea Harriers, two Kamov choppers and two Kiran Mk II trainer aircraft, which crashed over an airshow early this year. To another question, Antony said India has signed a contract with Russia for procuring 29 more MiG 29K maritime combat jets of which 24 would be fighters and five trainers.PTI

Monday, August 16, 2010

CBI for blacklisting of six defence companies

The CBI has recommended the blacklisting of six defence companies in a corruption case and the matter has been forwarded to the Central Vigilance Commission for its advice, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. "CBI has recommended blacklisting of six firms involved in the payment of illegal gratification.Antony said a contract for procuring of 12 AW-101 helicopters was signed with European chopper manufacturers Agusta Westland Limited February this year. "The cost of the project is Rs 3,546.17 crore and out of these 12 helicopters, eight would be configured for VVIP transportation and four helicopters would be the non-VVIP version," Antony said.

India to Buy Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile

Russia Hikes Price of Su-30MKI Fighter jets for India by Two and Half Times

BAE to Establish Eurofighter Typhoon Assembling Plant in Saudi Arabia

BAE Systems intends to establish a military aircraft assembling plant in Saudi Arabia, according to Guy Griffiths, managing director international and a member of the company’s executive council.Speaking to Arab News, Griffiths highlighted his company’s efforts in supplying Saudi Arabia the most modern air defense systems.“We provided these systems through agreements signed between the Saudi and British governments,” he said, stressing the good cooperation between his company and Saudi Arabia during the past three decades.“We have started training Saudis on Typhoon aircraft assembling at our plant in Warton in order to establish an assembling plant in the Kingdom shortly,” he said.
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Israel: no plans to upgrade F-16s

The Israeli defence ministry has decided, pending formal government approval, to purchase an initial 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters. The $2.75 billion deal has been the subject of US-Israeli discussions over Israeli industrial co-operation and the extent to which the country will be allowed to install its own electronic warfare systems in the stealth fighter.A defence ministry source says: "We have the needed understanding with the Americans that allowed us to make the decision."
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U.S.-China Conflict: From War Of Words To Talk Of War Part I

by Rick Rozoff

Relations between the U.S. and China have been steadily deteriorating since the beginning of the year when Washington confirmed the completion of a $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan and China suspended military-to-military ties with the U.S. in response.  The Chinese official lambasted the U.S. over more than $12 billion in proposed arms transactions with Taiwan in the past two years, stating they were designed to prevent the reunification of China. The preceding week China had rebuffed Gates' request to visit Beijing after the Singapore summit. At that conference Gates spoke of "our collective responsibility to protect the peace and reinforce stability in Asia" in reference to the sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan in late March.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

US to Include 60 Apache Helicopters in Arms Package for Saudi Arabia


The Obama administration plans to include attack helicopters in an expanded arms package for Saudi Arabia, swelling the size of the proposed deal to as much as $60 billion over 10 years, according to officials familiar with the matter.New details about the deal include plans to sell the Saudis about 70 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and up to 60 Longbow Apache attack helicopters together worth about $30 billion. That comes on top of a previously disclosed $30 billion tranche that includes 84 Boeing Co. F-15s and upgrades to older fighters in the Saudis fleet.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Russian air force completing MiG-31BM modernization program

The Russian air force is completing a modification program for its MiG-31 interceptor aircraft to the MiG-31BM standard, the force's commander Col.Gen. Alexander Zelin said on Friday."The air force is currently carrying out the vital task of deep modification of the MiG-31 aircraft to MiG-31BM standard. This task is being successfully carried out," he said.The air force is also accepting other new aircraft, including the Su-34 strike aircraft, the forthcoming Su-35, the Yak-130 advanced trainer, and Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters, he said.

Indonesian Air Force is Expecting 3 Su-27 SKM Fighters in September

The Air Force is expecting the arrival of three new Russian fighter jets Sukhoi SU-27SKM on early September.Air Force chief of staff Vice Marshall Imam Sufaat told Antara news agency that two of the jets would arrive in early September and another in the third week of the month.Imam said that the jets would arrive in Hasanuddin Air Force Base in Makassar, South Sulawesi to be assembled and tested there.

IAF Boosting Air Power

IAF gets green signal to fire back at Naxals

Helicopter crew will only use sideward-mounted machine guns New Delhi, August 12 The IAF has got the government's permission to fire back at Naxals in extremist-hit areas in self-defence, highly placed Air Force sources said today. The government's nod to the IAF's request made in September last comes at a time when a debate is raging on whether India should use its armed forces against Left-wing extremists, whom Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as the gravest internal security threat. The IAF currently deploys two of its Mi-17s and two Dhruv helicopters in anti-Naxal operations.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Australian Aerospace Accuses Australian Government of Bias over Helicopter Tender

THE battle for a billion-dollar contract to supply navy helicopters has turned nasty, with one of the two bidders accusing Defence of giving the rival company preferential treatment.Australian Aerospace, a subsidiary of Eurocopter, has pitched its NH90 helicopter against a United States joint venture between Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin and the US Navy.Australian Aerospace chief executive Dr Jens Goennemann told journalists yesterday that his company had one hand tied behind its back because the US Navy could not be constrained by rigid Australian Government tender guidelines.

Pakistan Air Force Refuses to Attend Planned Dinner Party

Air Chief Marshall, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Rao Qamar Suleman has refused to attend the dinner party hosted by Hussain Haqqani in which more than 300 dignitaries were expected to attend the party. According to details, Air Chief Rao Qamar has reached US on Sunday on a two-day official visit to Washington and Pakistan 's Ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani was to host a dinner in his honor. The sources said that a catering firm was given contract for US $ 15000 for this party, however, the Air Chief refused to attend this party, while saying that the country is facing the worst form of devastation by floods, therefore, he could not attend this party.

20th FW and Pakistani airmen reunite at Red Flag

In a symbolic and historical event, Pakistan airmen flew six F-16Bs and 100 aircrew, maintenance and support members more than 7,700 miles from Pakistan to participate in their first Red Flag and Green Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. in mid-July."During Red Flag 10-4, the 77th FS received the opportunity to fly again with the 9th FS from Pakistan, the same squadron they flew with in 2006, continuing the relationship."Captain Johnson said he was surprised at the lack of the cultural barrier between them."Originally, some of us were expecting a language barrier working with (the Pakistani airmen)," the pilot said. "But, they all knew English very well. We were able to joke around with them and understand each other's jokes."

Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait of 209 MIM-104E PATRIOT GEM-T Missiles

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Aug. 10 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait of 209 MIM-104E PATRIOT Guidance Enhanced Missile-T (GEM-T) Missiles for an estimated cost of $900 million.The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of 209 MIM-104E PATRIOT Guidance Enhanced Missile-T (GEM-T) Missiles. The estimated cost is $900 million.

Two more RAF Tornado jets to be sent to Afghanistan

The UK is to send two extra RAF Tornado jets to support soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said while visiting troops.Dr Fox insisted real progress was being made in the country, with Afghans taking the lead in more operations.The commander of US and Nato forces, Gen David Petraeus, had asked for additional air support to provide greater protection to ground forces.The two Tornado GR4 aircraft will join the eight already in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv is 90 per cent imported: CAG report

India’s flagship defence export Dhruv, an Advanced Light Helicopter which the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) claims as indigenous, is 90 per cent imported, states a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).The report says 90 per cent of the material used to build the 5.5-tonne chopper is imported. It adds that HAL should make concerted efforts to achieve the desired 50 per cent level of indigenisation.

JF-17 Fighter Jet & KJ-200 AEW&C to Make Debut at Airshow China 2010

Various models of homemade aircraft that represent self-owned intellectual property right and state-of-the-art technology will make their debut at Airshow China 2010 and perform demo. flight, such as the ARJ-21 a homemade regional jet made by COMAC, the Seagull 300 a new style amphibious plane assembled in Zhuhai; the helicopter AC-313 which makes its successful first flight on March 18, 2010, the JF-17, a fighter jointly developed by China and Pakistan, the KJ-200 early warning aircraft and the MA600 regional jet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Iran's Navy Gets Four New Iranian-Built Submarines

Private Indian Companies to Compete for Development of Future Infantry Combat Vehicle for Indian Army

Three Indian private companies with ambitions in the defence sector won a major battle when they were invited to compete, on level terms with the public sector, in developing a Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) for the Indian Army. In the FICV project, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has conceded almost everything that the private sector has demanded since it was allowed into defence production in 2001. The MoD will fund 80 per cent of the development cost of the FICV. And, with the army looking to buy in quantity, economies of scale are guaranteed during production.

For those who did not read yesterday’s Business Standard, four Indian companies — Tata Motors, the Mahindra Group, L&T and the MoD-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) — will submit proposals on August 25 for designing and building 2,600 new-generation FICVs. Two vendors with the best proposals will be invited to develop a prototype each, contributing just 20 per cent of the expense. Then, after the army chooses the better design, the winner will build 65-70 per cent of the army’s requirement of FICVs; the runner-up will build the rest.

DRDO to Develop Indian Army's Next-Generation Tank

With most of our armour unfit to fight at night, the project is crucial. In March this year, during trials in the Rajasthan desert, the Defence R&D Organisation’s Arjun tank conclusively outperformed the Russian T-90, the army’s showpiece. Buoyed by that success and by the army’s consequent order for 124 additional Arjuns, the DRDO is now readying to develop India’s next-generation tank, currently termed the Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT). While costs are still being evaluated, the projections are mind-boggling. The development cost alone could be Rs 5,000 crore. Then, the replacement cost of the Indian Army’s 4,000 tanks — at a conservative Rs 25 crore per FMBT — adds to Rs 1,00,000 crore.

The bulk of this would flow, over years of production, to Tier-I and Tier-II suppliers from small and medium industries. For the first time, the DRDO has outlined the FMBT project’s contours. Talking exclusively to Business Standard, DRDO chief and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, V K Saraswat, revealed, “While the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) has been handed over to private industry, the DRDO will develop the FMBT. We need about seven-eight years from the time the project is formally sanctioned. The army and the DRDO have already identified the major features of the FMBT, which are quite different from the Arjun. While the Arjun is a 60-tonne tank, the FMBT will be lighter… about 50 tonnes. It will be a highly mobile tank.” Vital project The FMBT project, says the military, is crucial for India’s future battle readiness.

Canadian Soldiers Near a Burning Canadian Forces CH-147 Chinook Helicopter

A Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter was struck by small arms fire, forcing it to make an emergency landing Thursday in dangerous Panjwaii district, west of Kandahar City, Canadian Forces confirmed on Saturday.The helicopter was carrying five crew members and 16 passengers. It caught fire after making what military officials termed a "hard landing," 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City.Eight people aboard sustained minor injuries, but the exact nature of the injuries has still not been disclosed.The Chinook caught fire and was destroyed after it landed."Although a helicopter has been lost, this incident highlights the skills of Canadian aircrews deployed in Afghanistan," Brig.-Gen. Jon Vance, Commander of Task Force Kandahar, said in a statement. "The fact that no one was seriously harmed during the emergency landing speaks to the ability of our aircrews to perform under pressure."
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Former B-2 Stealth Bomber Engineer Convicted of Selling Secrets to China

A federal jury in Hawaii on Monday convicted a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer of selling military secrets to China.Noshir Gowadia was convicted on 14 counts, including conspiracy, violating the arms export control act and money laundering. He was found not guilty on three counts of communicating national defense information.Gowadia, who has been in federal custody since October 2005, faces life in prison when he is sentenced in November.The decision came after six days of deliberations at a federal court in Honolulu.Prosecutors accused Gowadia of helping China design a stealth cruise missile. They alleged he pocketed $110,000 over two years for his exhaust nozzle design."This verdict sends a very clear message," Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson said. "We need it to be known that we can litigate these cases in an American courtroom even with a great deal of classified information."

Russia's MiG-35 Multirole Fighter Aircraft has Failed to Make Short-List for MMRCA

Russia's MiG-35 multirole fighter aircraft has failed to make the short-list in a $10 billion international tender for 126 combat aircraft for the Indian air force, according to Indian media reports quoted by Kommersant daily.The favorites to win the tender are the French Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, Indian media say.Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the holding company for most of the Russian aircraft industry, and its fighter subsidiary MiG, have not officially confirmed the reports."The official results of the tender have not yet been announced," said UAC's Press Secretary Konstantin Lantratov."The MiG-35 is not leaving the tender, and I have no official information about this," said UAC First Vice-President Mikhail Pogosyan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Iraqi Pilots to Begin F-16 Prerequisite Pilot Training

The Government of Iraq has signed an agreement with the U.S. for 10 Iraqi Air Force pilots to begin prerequisite F-16 training. This agreement follows the request submitted by the GoI to purchase 18 new Block 52 F-16 airplanes...

The program will include all necessary components of T-6A Texan II and T-38 Talon training including a course called Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals. The intensive flight training will be complemented with specialized English language training for aviation. The training for each student will last from 12 to 17 months depending on the pilot’s level of experience.

U.S. Plans to Sell 84 F-15 Fighter Jets to Saudi Arabia

The Obama administration plans to sell advanced F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia but won't equip them with long-range weapons systems and other arms whose inclusion was strongly opposed by Israel, diplomats and officials said.The proposed $30 billion, 10-year arms package, which would be one of the biggest single deals of its kind, has been a source of behind-the-scenes tension during months of negotiations. Israeli officials have repeatedly conveyed their concerns in private that the U.S. risks undermining its military advantage by equipping regional rivals with top-flight technologies.Under the proposed sale, the 84 Boeing Co. F-15s for Saudi Arabia will have onboard targeting systems similar to those offered to other foreign governments, officials say.

More critically for Israel, an official in the region said, was the Obama administration's decision to not offer Saudi Arabia certain weapons components. Top among them: so-called standoff systems, which are advanced long-range weapons that can be attached to F-15s for use in offensive operations against land- and sea-based targets.U.S. officials say the F-15s in the package will be "very capable" aircraft, comparable to the F-15s flown by South Korea and Singapore, which are among Asia's most advanced militaries, said a senior U.S. defense official.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

MiG-21 Fighter Jet of Indian Air Force Crashes

A MiG-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in the eastern Indian state of Assam, local media reported.The pilot lost control and the aircraft fell on a paddy field some 25 km from the city of Tezpur on Saturday.

The fate of the pilot is unknown.India's fighter fleet consists mainly of obsolete Soviet MiG-21 models. The Defense Ministry plans to phase them out by 2017.Accidents involving Soviet-designed MiG-21 fighter jets, known as the Bahadhur (Brave) in the IAF, which were produced in India under license and have been in operation for several decades, are frequent in the country.

Israel Air Force Send Two F-16I Sufa to Participate in Air Force Day in Hungary

A week after an Israel Air Force helicopter crashed in Romania, the IAF again deployed overseas on Thursday, this time to Hungary where it flew two fighter jets and a transport aircraft.The deployment in Hungary was at the request of the Hungarian Air Force, which asked the IAF to send aircraft to Hungary to participate in an expo marking Air Force Day in Hungary. The planes will remain in Hungary for a few days and then return to Israel.

In line with IAF policy to cooperate with foreign air forces, the IAF decided earlier this week to send two F-16Is – called Sufa (Storm) – and a Hercules C-130 transport aircraft. The delegation was led by an F16I squadron commander. The F-16I is Israel’s most advanced and newest fighter jet.

Russian Smerch rockets, Milan missiles defective: CAG

The Defence Ministry told CAG that it had ordered for the Milan-2T missiles, despite its low range, as a stopgap till selection and induction of a third generation missile. "The fact remains that the low capability missiles were procured by compromising the Army's requirements though better missiles were available in the global market as DBL could not produce them.

33 Indian Soldiers Feared Swept Away to Pakistan Side of Kashmir

The eyeball-to-eyeball deployment of well armed forces of India and Pakistan along the Line of Control notwithstanding, the Indian Army has sounded its arch rival for some “help”. This one is for concern over 33 of Indian soldiers who have been washed away in the mudslide and floods in Leh and it is feared that they may end up in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). These soldiers - 3 JCO’s and 30 jawans - of the 15 Bihar infantry were posted near Turtok. Their posts were on the banks of the river Shyok. The river meanders into PoK and the area where the incident occurred is close to the LoC.

Pakistan Air Force Trains at Nellis AFB

It took six days and four stops for six Pakistan Air Force pilots to fly six F-16Bs over 7,700 miles from Mushaf Air Base in northern Pakistan to Las Vegas to fly and train in Red Flag 10-4 and Green Flag 10-9 exercises at Nellis AFB.

Approximately 100 maintenance, support and aircrew personnel arrived here in mid-July and have already completed the intense two-week Red Flag exercise, which concentrates on large force combat employment.

"Red Flag has given the PAF the opportunity to deploy its assets and personnel around the world," said Group Captain Javad Saeed, the Pakistan Detachment commander. "It has also provided a contemporary air combat training environment for our less experienced aircrew members."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

China and Pakistan Push Chengdu JF-17 Fighter for Export‎

Military Aircraft, DefenseIn the same week that the Chengdu JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft made its international debut at the Farnborough airshow, the product of this co-development between China and Pakistan was offered to Indonesia. The Pakistan Defence Minister signed a defense cooperation agreement with his Indonesian counterpart in Jakarta.The list of countries that the Sino-Pakistan joint venture is targeting for sales is expanding fast: it reportedly also includes Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Congo, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Azerbaijan to Buy Turna UAVs from Turkey

Azerbaijan will buy Turna unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for training and target practice from Turkey, the Baku based ARA news agency reported. "Negotiations on a deal are underway with Turkey," Turkish military sources were quoted as saying. They also said a group of Azerbaijani servicemen had been trained in Turkey in how to use, operate and service the aircraft. Turna aircraft are manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI).

Japan Eyes Further Mitsubishi F-2 Procurement

Japan is examining the possibility of continuing production of the Mitsubishi F-2 to bolster its fighter fleet in the face of growing Chinese capability, adding some 20 aircraft to the 94 (plus four prototypes) currently procured. The Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) is looking for a new fighter and has stated a desire for the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, but U.S. export restrictions have ruled that out.

Lead competitors for the JASDF requirement are now the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F. If Japan cannot acquire F-22s, then the F-35 would be a logical choice, but Japan reportedly has concerns about the JSF’s timescale and growing costs. Procurement of additional F-2s would be an interim step to give Japan a longer period in which to make a decision.

Serbia delivers first military planes to Iraq

Serbia has delivered the first three of 20 military training aircraft to Iraq as part of a 100-million-dollar weapons deal between two former allies, the defence ministry said Friday.Iraq was the largest economic partner of Serbia's defence industry in 2009, the ministry said in a statement after Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac visited Baghdad earlier this week.The 17 remaining Lasta 95 planes will be delivered by the end of the year, it said.Serbia and Iraq in 2009 agreed to export weapons worth 100 million dollars (75.8 million euros) to Baghdad.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

China Builds First Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Base?

China's new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) will be deployed at the Second Artillery Corps' new missile base in Guangdong Province in southeastern China, if a new report issued by Washington-based Project 2049 Institute is correct.On July 28, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported the visit of local government officials to a new missile base in the northern Guangdong municipality of Shaoguan. The media report is the first to acknowledge the existence of the new missile base.

The new 96166 Unit will be outfitted with Dong Feng 21C medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) and possibly the DF-21D ASBM, said Mark Stokes and Tiffany Ma in a new report "Second Artillery Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Brigade Facilities Under Construction in Guangdong?" posted on Project 2049's website.

Canadian CH-147 Chinook Helicopter Makes ‘Hard Landing’ in Afghanistan

A Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter with five crew members and 15 passengers on board caught fire after making what military officials have termed a “hard landing” in dangerous Panjwaii district, west of Kandahar city.The CH-147 medium-lift helicopter came down hard at 2 p.m. local time near Armarah village, about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city.

Reasons for the abrupt landing and the fire were not immediately known and an investigation is underway, according to Canadian military spokesman Maj. Daryl Morrell. Eight people aboard sustained minor injuries, according to an ISAF statement released several hours after the incident. The exact nature of the injuries were not disclosed.Afghan security forces along with ISAF members have secured the area around the Canadian Chinook.

U.S. Dilutes Defence Technology to India

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has managed to contract six aircraft from the US at a price of $1 billion and it will be used by the Special Forces in the IAF. However, India’s refusal to sign the Communications Inter-Operability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) will mean that the aircraft will be delivered sans military grade secure equipment.In addition, the IAF is also contracting another ten heavy strategic airlifters for an estimated $3 billion from US and the airlifters will not have the military grade security equipment since the CISMOA is not signed by India.

As for the six C-130 J Super Hercules that India has already contracted for in 2007, the first of the C-130 J will be delivered by January 2011. The six C-130 J Super Hercules are being contracted through Lockheed Martin under the foreign military route (FMS) with the US.

Modernization of AN-32 Fleet of Indian Air Force

India and Ukraine have signed a contract on Modernisation of one hundred and five AN-32 fleet of Indian Air Force (IAF). This contract was signed on June 15, 2009 for Total Life Extension, Overhaul and Re-equipment of AN-32 fleet of Indian Air Force.

The up-to-date equipment which will be fitted on the aircraft during modernization include avionics and hydraulic systems, etc. The life of AN-32 aircraft will be increased by 15 years up to 40 years. First batch of aircraft has already been positioned in Ukraine. This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Shri Nand Kumar Sai in Rajya Sabha .PTI

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