Thursday, September 30, 2010

China’s Naval Build-up Not Over

At a conference last summer, a respected China scholar stated flatly that the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) halted development of its submarine fleet after taking delivery of the last of its Russian-built Kilo-class diesel attack boats in 2006. From such leading indicators he concluded that Beijing can do little more than issue ‘hollow threats’ against US naval operations in Asia. And it’s ‘hyperbole’ to think the Chinese military can contest US Navy access to regional waters.Once the PLAN finishes shedding old assets, the submarine fleet will resume its upward trajectory. Estimates indicate that the navy will add 10 modern Song- and Yuan-class diesel subs by 2015 and an additional 10 by 2020. If such projections are accurate, the fleet will be 78 boats strong.

Between 2001 and 2005, the PLAN laid down six guided-missile destroyer (DDG) keels, namely two Type 051C Luzhous, two Type 052B Luyang Is, and two Type 052C Luyang IIs. DDGs represent the core of Chinese surface action groups and can screen major platforms — Russian-built Sovremenny destroyers or, eventually, aircraft carriers — against air and submarine attack.PLAN has been exploring a wide array of ship classes, combat systems, and weaponry, picking and choosing those best suited to Beijing's operational and strategic needs. China continues to lay down hulls for Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigates (FFGs), the most advanced ships of their type in the PLAN inventory. These FFGs are now entering service. projects that 12 Jiangkais will be in service by this year, 22 by 2015. 

James R. Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara are associate professors of strategy at the Naval War College and co-authors of Red Star over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to US Maritime Strategy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

India's Own Bofors Ready

India Trails China in Firepower

Indian Express

Indian Navy Plans to Acquire its Second Floating Dock

The Indian Navy plans to acquire its second floating dock, at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore, which will be stationed at the strategically significant Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Floating Dock Navy-1 (FDN1) is currently put into optimum use and with the number of warships stationed on the coast set to increase significantly in the next decade, the need was felt for the second one.

The Japanese-built FDN1, which is designed by the Indian Institute of Technology, is the only floating dock of Navy and has a lifting capacity of 11,500 tonnes. “The Navy has already floated expression of interest for the FDN-2 and plans for procurement are in an advanced stage,” a Navy official said.

India Issues Fresh Request for Multi-Role Tanker Transport Purchase

By Radhakrishna Rao

India's defence ministry has issued a fresh request for proposals to aerospace concerns in Europe, Russia and the USA for six inflight refuelling aircraft, reviving a contest worth an estimated $2 billion.New Delhi had previously selected Airbus Military's A330-200-based multi-role tanker transport to meet its air force requirement, but cancelled the programme before a contract could be signed. Its decision followed pressure from India's finance ministry regarding the proposed cost of the deal.
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Russia's newest nuclear sub Borey class Yury Dolgoruky completes sea trials

Russia's newest strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky, has completed sea trials in the White Sea and returned to its base in northern Russia, the Sevmash shipyard said.The Yury Dolgoruky 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.Three other Borey class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky, the Vladimir Monomakh, and Svyatitel Nikolai (St. Nicholas) are in different stages of completion. Russia is planning to build eight of these subs by 2015.

Sarkozy eyes defence deals in Dec India visit

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit India in December, officials said on Tuesday, with an eye on increasing French firms' share of the country's 10-year $50-billion defence spending. Indian Foreign Ministry officials said the visit will take place tentatively on December 6-7, but the dates are to be confirmed. French daily newspaper La Tribune reported the state visit, initially planned for spring, will take place from December 4-7. France had just one major contract in 2005 to supply submarines worth $2.5 billion. The one (contract) that is advanced enough to be signed during the visit is the modernisation of 51 Mirage 2000-H for 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), the paper said. 
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Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force vehicles to be tracked via satellite

Tasked with operating in remote mountainous areas amid inclement weather conditions, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) is turning towards satellite-based systems to track and control the movement of its vehicles. ITBP officers said plans had been drawn up to install GPS tracking and navigation systems in vehicles that would provide real-time information on their location besides other relevant data. “We have just finished trial runs of the pilot project to validate the concept,” an ITBP officer said. The pilot project involved installing such systems on 10 vehicles in specified battalions. An ITBP battalion is authorised 60 vehicles of different categories. 

Russia set to restore radar shield on western borders in 2010

Russia will restore the complete radar coverage of its western borders when a new radar facility in the southern town of Armavir becomes fully operational by mid-2010, the Space Forces commander said.The Armavir radar will be the second facility, after the Lekhtusi complex in the Leningrad Region, to close a gap in radar coverage on Russia's western borders after the closure of radar sites in Skrunda (Latvia) in late 1998 and recently in Mukachevo and Sevastopol, in western Ukraine.

Ukraine to close radar station used by Russia

Ukraine is to shut down a radar facility in the west of the country currently being used by Russia, a national space agency official said on Tuesday.Deputy General Director Eduard Kuznetsov said the agency will continue using an early-warning attack station based in Sevastopol, Crimea, but would close the Mukachevo facility following Moscow's decision to stop using it. 
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Russia to build new Voronezh-DM radar station

The Defense Ministry plans to put the Voronezh-DM radar station in south Russia’s Armavir into a state of operational readiness, as well as build several new radars to counter possible threats, the Space Forces commander said Tuesday.With an effective range of 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) the Voronezh class radar has capabilities similar to its predecessors, the Dnepr and Daryal, but uses less energy and is more environmentally friendly.
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Sukhoi Su-30M2 fighters complete test flights

Russia's Sukhoi aeronautical firm has completed its factory flight tests for its multi-role double seater Su-30M2 fighters.The tests occurred at the flight test station of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft production association named after Yuri Gagarin, Itar-Tass reported Tuesday.After receiving certification the Su-30M2 will be posted to units of the Russian air force.
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Jordanian F-16 crashes during exercise

Jordan says one of its air force planes has crashed during a military exercise, killing the pilot.Information Minister Ali Ayed says Tuesday's crash was caused by a technical malfunction and took place in a military zone. He did not have information on the type of plane.The state-run Petra news agency said it was an F-16.

Saudis, Gulf States Win U.S. Arms Without Record of Effect

The U.S. authorized as much as $37 billion of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations over five years without always documenting the potential effect on foreign policy and national security, government investigators found.The departments of Defense and State cleared the transfers of fighter planes, helicopters and missiles from fiscal 2005 through 2009 even as the six receiving countries rejected U.S. appeals to coordinate more as a group, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Israel Air Force ups air base drills due to threat of missile attack

Fearing unprecedented missile attacks directed at its bases, the Israel Air Force has doubled the number of emergency drills it has carried out since the beginning of the year to prepare pilots and ground crews for continuing to operate in a time of war, The Jerusalem Post has learned.At the Hatzor IAF base, for example, airmen have carried out 25 drills since the beginning of the year, compared to just 12 last year. The drills vary and include scenarios that involve missile attacks on the base’s runway, living quarters and plane storage facilities.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Babus bog down Army modernization

Modernisation of the 1.13-million strong Army, grappling with critical capability gaps in areas like artillery, air defence, aviation, night-fighting and the like, is yet to gather steam despite the deteriorating security scenario in India's neighbourhood. There are close to 100 Army procurement projects currently meandering their way through different stages amid bureaucratic bottle-necks, cumbersome procedures and general apathy, say defence ministry sources. In fact, given the "prevailing worrisome state of affairs'', it's estimated the Army will take over 15 years to achieve its optimum level of operational readiness to defend borders as well as battle militancy in the hinterland. This when Pakistan is gleefully receiving massive arms packages from the US in the name of the global war against terrorism and China is expanding its trans-border military capabilities at a staggering rate.

Incidentally, the ongoing revision of Army's war doctrine factors in the possibility of India even being forced to tackle "a two-front war'' in a worst-case scenario. But to achieve the military capabilities required for such an eventuality will take a lot of doing. The much-smaller Navy and IAF, of course, are much better placed on their modernisation paths. While the two are more technology-intensive, the Army has many more ongoing procurement projects at any given time. The need is increasingly being felt to revamp MoD's land systems acquisitions wing to fast-track inductions, as also ensure "much greater synergy'' within the Army HQ between its different "line directorates'' and the weapons and equipment directorate. 

India, Japan set to boost military ties

Amidst diplomatic tension between Tokyo and Beijing, China’s two neighbours Japan and India today signalled a significant boost in their military ties. The two nations will conduct their first ever Army-to-Army talks starting tomorrow in New Delhi. Separately, the Indian Air Force Chief will be visiting Japan. The four-day talks come at time when China is exerting pressure on Japan and the two countries are locked in a bitter dispute over the control of un-inhabited islands in the South East China Sea. India, early this month, upped its military relations with South Korea, another China’s neighbour. South Korea and China see each other with suspicion largely due to China’s “friendship” with North Korea - a major irritant for the South Korea. Apart from the Army-level talks that will plan joint exercises and military exchanges between India and Japan, the IAF Chief Air Chief Marshall P V Naik will embark on a four-day visit to Tokyo tomorrow. "Naik will be on a goodwill visit to Tokyo….. while a Japanese Army team will be in Delhi to chalk out programmes aimed at furthering army-to-army contact," 

Republic of Singapore Air Force to Get 12 M-346 Advanced Jet Trainer

The Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (ST Aerospace) to acquire 12 M-346 aircraft and a ground-based training system for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) replacement programme.

The aircraft will be provided by Alenia Aermacchi, while the training system will be supplied by Boeing. ST Aerospace will undertake the overall management of the AJT programme. The 12 M-346 aircraft and the ground-based training system are expected to be delivered from 2012.

The acquisitions of the M-346 aircraft and the ground-based training system mark a significant milestone in the RSAF’s force development, enhancing the capabilities and operational readiness of the Singapore Armed Forces.

Indonesia receives three Sukhoi SU 27 SKM in Makassar

Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Purnomo Yusgiantoro (right), flanked by Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Alexander Ivanov (middle) and Indonesian Ambassador to Russia Hamid Awaluddin, pose for journalists while sitting on the cockpit of the newly engineered Sukhoi SU 27 SKM at the Sultan Hasanuddin Air Base on Monday.Rosoboronexport of Russia officially handed over three Sukhoi warplanes to Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who delivered the airplanes to the Indonesian Air Force at that Sultan Hasanuddin airport in Makassar on Monday. 

Foreign Military Sale of C-17 GLOBEMASTER III to Kuwait

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait of one Boeing C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft and associated parts, equipment and logistics support for a complete package worth approximately $693 million.

The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of one Boeing C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft, four Turbofan F117-PW-100 engines installed on the aircraft, one spare Turbofan F117-PW-100 engine, one AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS), one AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System, aircraft ferry services, refueling support, precision navigation equipment, spare and repairs parts, support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $693 million.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Indo-US Wargames

Bell Helicopter and Agusta Westland have withdrawn their bids for 197 ALH

American ‘Bell Helicopter’ and Italian ‘ Agusta Westland’ have withdrawn their bids for the 197 Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) being acquired for the Army for search and rescue operations. The $600 million deal, they have complained, is being processed in favour of the French-German combine ‘Eurocopter’. It is unusual for such global firms to withdraw from the race after two years of the tender ‘process’, alleging ‘bias’.

Augusta Westland, ironically, won the bid in February this year for supplying 12 choppers at a cost of Rs 3,546.17 crore, eight of which would be customised for VVIP transportation. They will replace the ageing Russian made MI-8 helicopters, which are close to completing their technical life. A representative of a firm lobbying for ‘Eurocopter’, however, quipped, “ after having failed to meet tough standards, it looks like just a case of sour grapes for our competitors.” The ‘Eurocopter group was created in 1992 with the merger between the helicopter divisions of ‘Aerospatiale-Matra’ (France) and ‘DaimlerChrysler Aerospace’ (Germany). 

Iran test flies upgraded C-130 plane

On the fifth day of the Sacred Defense Week, Iran has successfully conducted the first test-flight of the domestically-upgraded C-130 aircraft.The aircraft, which is modeled after the Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules, joined the Iranian Air Force in the 1970s.Defense Ministry Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday that "the C-130 should have been upgraded earlier but due to international sanctions and losing contact with its manufacturer it (the upgrade) was postponed until now."

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Iraqi NavyTake First Ship In New Patrol Boat Fleet

Iraq inaugurated the first in a fleet of new U.S.-built patrol boats on Sept. 26, part of efforts to boost its naval capacity and secure key oil platforms ahead of an American withdrawal at the end of 2011.The rapid buildup of the Iraqi navy is seen as crucial to protecting the terminals through which the vast majority of the country's crude is exported, with oil accounting for around 95 percent of government income.In a ceremony at Umm Qasr Naval Base, around 310 miles south of Baghdad, sailors demonstrated the capabilities of the boat - named "PB 301" - by showing it chase down smaller vessels.
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Iraq Plans to Buy 24 Hawk Jet Training Aircraft

Iraq is moving forward with plans to buy 24 Hawk jet training aircraft from BAE Systems of Britain, a deal worth up to $1.6 billion, as it gradually rebuilds its air force amid the U.S. military withdrawal.Defense sources said an Iraqi air force team test-flew and evaluated the single-engine jet, which is used to train pilots for supersonic combat, in Britain in May and June.In 1989, while Saddam was still in power, Iraq negotiated to buy 50 Hawk trainers from BAE's predecessor, British Aerospace.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bangladesh Concludes Military Exercise with United States

Airmen and two C-130 Hercules aircraft traveled to the Asian nation to train with the Bangladesh air force to better respond to regional disasters. The exercise - which took place at Kurmitola Air Base - focused on tactical airlift operations with the Bangladesh AN-32 aircraft. Building up the relationship between the two countries was the theme of Cope South 10. Much of that relationship building happened during exchanges between subject-matter experts in operations, maintenance, navigation and rigging disciplines. "Their planes are older so we learned some things about the B-model C-130 while we told them about our H-model C-130," said Tech. Sgt. Doug Harper, of the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "They're very knowledgeable about the aircraft.

They're trying to figure out from us how to improve their aircraft. They're very well rounded. Our work is split up into different specialties in the Air Force. They have far less groups so their maintainers do a lot more." One of the exercise's objectives was to introduce Bangladesh navigators and pilots to flying missions using night-vision goggles. "The squadron commander approached me after the briefing and told me how great he thought this would cement the basics for his aircrew," said 1st Lt. Robert Carranza, a C-130 navigator with the 36th Airlift Squadron. 

India to Spend Rs 1,100 cr on Coastal Security Scheme

Aiming to strengthen country's security along the sealine, the government today approved a Rs 1,100 crore coastal security scheme to be implemented from April 1, 2011. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the Home Ministry's proposal for implementating the second phase of coastal security scheme. Under the scheme, the Centre, with the help of states having coastline, proposes to set up more coastal police stations, purchase high-speed boats, recruit security personnel and procure high-tech gadgets.

Boeing Completes Production of 1st RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet with Provisions for Future Electronic Attack Capability

Boeing announced today that it has completed production of the first Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet that has the capability to be converted into an electronic attack aircraft.

Boeing is pre-wiring the RAAF's second lot of 12 Super Hornets for potential electronic attack capability conversion during production at the company's facilities in St. Louis.

"Incorporating the ability to introduce an electronic attack capability on 12 RAAF Super Hornets as they are produced in St. Louis provides maximum flexibility for our Air Force in the future," said RAAF Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing, which includes Super Hornet and F-111 aircraft. "Ultimately, if a decision to incorporate an electronic attack option is pursued, it will further expand the broad capability of an already formidable Super Hornet weapon system."

Israel’s sale of UAVs to Russia in doubt after Syria deal

Israel is reconsidering a Russian request to buy advanced unmanned aerial vehicles in line with a military cooperation agreement the two countries signed earlier this month.Israel and Russia signed a military cooperation agreement – the first between the countries – on September 6 in Moscow during a visit by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Under the agreement, Israel is to sell Russia 36 UAVs for $100 million and is also in talks about the establishment of a joint venture to manufacture Israeli drones in Russia in a deal that could be worth $300m.

IAF wants radars for hilly terrain to bolster air defence coverage

IAF now wants a major induction of long-range surveillance radars (LRSRs) and high-power radars (HPRs) to bolster air defence coverage in ''hilly terrain'' in the hinterland as well as along the borders with China and Pakistan.This comes after IAF has already inked contracts for 19 LLTRs (low-level transportable radars), four MPRs (medium-power radars) and 30 indigenous medium-range Rohini radars, among others.Apart from lightweight mountain radars for high altitude areas, plans are also afoot to procure nine more Aerostat radars to add to the two EL/M-2083 Israeli Aerostats inducted earlier as well as two additional Awacs (airborne warning and control systems) to supplement the first three Israeli Phalcon Awacs bought under a $1.1-billion deal. 

Indian Air Force MiG-27 crashes, pilot safe

A MiG-27 crashed in the Narayangarh region of West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district on Friday – exactly two months after a similar fighter jet crashed into a human habitation in north Bengal, killing five persons.“The jet crashed at an uninhabited marshland at 8.30 a.m. - within 15 minutes of being airborne. The pilot managed to eject out on time. The crash took place near Duria village, located at about 40 km east of the Kalaikunda base,” a defence spokesperson said.
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Prithvi-II fails to take off during user trial

A user trial of the nuclear weapons-capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II ballistic missile from Chandipur in Orissa ended in an embarassing failure as the missile did not take off.The nine metre-long, single stage liquid propelled missile with a maximum range of 350 km was fired from a mobile launcher at 10:03 am from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Orissa coast.But the missile did not take off and a defeaning noise was heard following which the launching complex got enveloped in thick smoke.Fire engines rushed to the spot. The billowing smoke was visible even several kilometres away from the launch-pad. 

China hints missiles targeting Taiwan 'could be axed'

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has suggested that mainland missiles pointing at Taiwan could one day be removed, Taipei-based media reported Friday."I believe the issue you mention will eventually be realised," Wen said according to the United Daily News and other newspapers, when asked about withdrawing Chinese missiles targeting Taiwan.Wen made the remarks in New York while meeting Chinese-language media, the paper said.

Taiwanese experts estimate that the Chinese military has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.But recent reports in the island's media have said the People's Liberation Army may boost the number of short-range ballistic and cruise missiles facing Taiwan to 1,960 before the year's end.Wen was also quoted by the United Daily News as saying China and Taiwan had reached a consensus on how to approach their delicate relationship, addressing relatively easy issues such as economic matters first.

USA to Sell18 F-16IQ Block 52 Fighters to Iraq

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on September 13 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of 18 F-16IQ Aircraft as well as associated equipment and services.The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $4.2 billion.

The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of:

--18 F-16IQ aircraft,
--24 F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engines,
--36 LAU-129/A Common Rail Launchers,
--24 APG-68(V)9 radar sets,
--19 M61 20mm Vulcan Cannons,
--200 AIM-9L/M-8/9 Sidewinder Missiles,
--150 AIM-7M-F1/H SPARROW Missiles,
--50 AGM-65D/G/H/K MAVERICK Air to Ground Missiles,
--200 GBU-12 PAVEWAY II Laser Guided Bomb Units (500 pound),
--50 GBU-10 PAVEWAY II Laser Guided Bomb Units (2000 pound),
--50 GBU-24 PAVEWAY III Laser Guided Bomb Units (2000 pound),
--22 Advanced Countermeasures Electronic Systems (ACES) (ACES includes the ALQ-187 Electronic Warfare System and AN/ALR-93 Radar Warning Receiver),
--20 AN/APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) Systems (without Mode IV),
--20 Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems (INS), (Standard Positioning Service (SPS) commercial code only),
--20 AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER or AN/AAQ-28 LITENING Targeting Pods,
--4 F-9120 Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance Systems (AARS) or DB-110 Reconnaissance Pods (RECCE),
--22 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing Systems (CMDS);
--20 Conformal Fuel Tanks (pairs).

Also included: site survey, support equipment, tanker support, ferry services, Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD), repair and return, modification kits, spares and repair parts, construction, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, ground based flight simulator, and other related elements of logistics support.

The estimated cost is $4.2 billion.

Russia delivers three Mi-35M Hind helicopters to Indonesia

Russia has delivered three Mi-35M Hind assault helicopters to Indonesia, a military source said on Thursday.Russia signed an agreement with Indonesia in September 2007 to provide a $1 billion credit line to the Southeast Asian country for Russian weapons purchases. Indonesia planned to buy ten Mi-17 transport helicopters, five Mi-35Ms, six Sukhoi fighters and two Kilo-class submarines financed by the credit.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Indigenous anti-mine, snow footwear for Indian soldiers

Troops deployed in high-altitude and naxal-affected areas are set to get designer footwear to protect them from 'anti-personnel' mines and frost bite. Indigenous anti-mine and snow boots designed by Footwear Design and Development Institute are on user trial by the Indian Army. "The shoes made by FDDI along with other contenders are on user trial by the Army and a decision in this regard is expected to be taken soon," said an Army official requesting anonymity.

"The present anti-mine shoe used by the army comes from the Czech Republic. It weighs around 4 kilograms and is uncomfortable. The shoe made by us is lighter at 2.9 kgs and is on trial," says V B Parvatikar, Director (Technical) and the main architect of the shoes. "The pressure in a mine blast is 45000kg/cm square. The anti-mine shoe's shock absorption brings it down to 160kg/cm square. So, now, a soldier's bones will get fractured in the worst cases where as earlier, they used to get powdered," he says.

India clears joint amphibious exercise at US base near China

A year after the Defence Ministry backed out of a military exercise at a US base near China at the last minute, a go-ahead has been given for a joint amphibious exercise at the US Marines base in Okinawa, Japan. The war game, which will involve senior officers of the Indian Navy and Army is scheduled to start later this week and will continue till October. The same exercise, under the Habu Nag series of war games, was cancelled at the final stage in 2009 when 12 officers who had been earmarked were sent back to their formations days before they were scheduled to depart. While no reason was given for the last minute pull-out, regional sensitivities were thought to be behind the move. Okinawa is located close to China and has a significant US presence where several military bases are concentrated. The island has also been in the news recently for frequent spotting of Chinese naval vessels, including submarines by Japanese self-defence forces.

Raksha Rajya Mantri assures level playing field for Indian defence industry

"It will be my endeavor to create a level playing field to both the public and private sectors leading to an enhanced domestic capability and ensure that greater opportunities are given to Indian entrepreneurs "said Mr. M M Pallam Raju, Hon'ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, Government of India, in his address at the 3rd International seminar on Battlefield Management System (BMS), "The Power to the Edge". 'The offset policy in DPP is sure to provide a fair playing ground to both the public and private sectors leading to an enhanced domestic capability" said Mr. Pallam Raju. Speaking at the two day seminar organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) along with Directorate General Information Systems he added that BMS will be the precursor of similar systems for our Para Military forces.

Australian Aerospace MRH90 helicopters on track, on time

Australian Aerospace Limited, says it is on track to meet its 2010 schedule for deliveries of NH90 MRH multi-role helicopters to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).Australian Aerospace, which produces the MRH90s at its final assembly facility on Brisbane Airport, delivered its 13th MRH90 on 3 September 2010. Another three helicopters are scheduled to be delivered by the end of the year.A total of 46 MRH90s have been ordered by the Army and Navy to replace existing Black Hawk and Sea King helicopters.Dr Jens Goennemann, Chief Executive Officer Australian Aerospace said he was pleased to report that the delivery program is progressing well despite a temporary cessation of flying operations earlier this year when an MRH90 experienced a shutdown of one of its two engines. Australian Aerospace is on track to deliver all MRH90s during 2010 as contracted in the schedule.

Israel Reveals Panther Tiltrotor UAV

Israel’s new Panther vertical takeoff and landing unmanned tiltrotor aircraft is one of the latest products emerging from the classified projects section of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).The UAV was developed by IAI’s Malat division, which has been looking at new designs to fill some of the operational gaps between the company’s largest, longest-range Heron TP UAV — now in operation with the Israeli Air Force — and its smallest 0.5-kg. (1.1-lb.) Mosquito UAV with a 30-40 min. flight time.

The Panther’s wingspan can vary from 2-8 meters (4.5-17.5 ft.) depending on the required mission endurance and the number of motors used. The current six-meter version has two electric motors and fuel cells that provide a 60-km. range and a top speed of 70 kt. It can carry an 8-kg. payload at an altitude of 10,000 ft. for up to 6 hr. It has a two-man, ground-based flight crew and can be assembled and operated in the field.

Gorshkov Aircraft Carrier Cost India $2.33 Billion

Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier bought from Russia finally cost India $ 2.33 billion, out of which $ 29 million was paid toward services rendered by Indian specialists and another $ 85 million for repair technical documentation.India had early this year agreed to pay $ 2.33 billion, over three times the $ 974 million it had signed a contract for the 45,000-tonne warship in 2004, after a three-year negotiation."The $ 29 million was paid for stationing 40-odd Indian Navy personnel in Russia for over five years since 2004 to assist, monitor and work on the repair and re-equipping of Gorshkov," a Navy officer said here today."The $ 85 million for repair technical documentation was for buying all detailed charts, diagrams and instructions for the machinery and equipment that are on-board Gorshkov," the officer said.
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UAE and Brazil to sign defence agreement

Deal between UAE and Brazil likely to result in setting up of join task force.The UAE and Brazil are expected to enter a defence agreement in the coming months with the UAE's possible purchase of Brazilian military aircraft, the Brazilian defence minister said on Tuesday."When I go back to Brazil, I will send, in 15 days, a draft agreement between our countries which will serve as an umbrella agreement on cooperation in the military field," Nelson Jobim said through an interpreter on Tuesday.
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India's first C-130J completes first engine run

Lockheed Martin has released images showing India's first C-130J tactical transport performing engine runs for the first time.Pictured at the company's Marietta production facility in Georgia on 21 September, the aircraft is one of six on order for the nation's air force.
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Russia is working on a laser weapons system

Russia is working on a military laser system, the chief of Russia's Armed Forces General Staff said on Wednesday."Work on laser weapons is underway across the world, and that includes us," Gen. Nikolai Makarov said.It is "too soon yet" to speak about the specifications of the Russian laser system, he added.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fateh 110 missiles handed over to IRGC

In a ceremony on Tuesday the first batch of the third generation of Fateh 110 missiles were delivered to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps. The ceremony was attended by Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and the IRGC Aerospace and Navy commanders. Vahidi said the mass production of Fateh 110 has already started, adding the missiles will promote the operational capability of the IRGC air fleet.

Iron Dome could be deployed in North

IDF chief also tells FADC that failure in negotiations could lead to violence, though he says it wouldn't reach level of violence seen in October 2000; MK Eldad says Ashkenazi being "unnecessarily ambivalent."
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Strong Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopter Demand Boosts Prices

The popularity of the Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopter for operations in Afghanistan is driving up prices for used versions and has created an order surge for manufacturer Russian Helicopters.About 300 Mil Mi-8MTs (known as Mi-17s in the export market) are deployed in Afghanistan with international coalition forces, private contractors or under U.N. contracts, according to Russian experts. Some Russian companies, such as UTair Aviation, operate Mi-8MTs under U.N. contracts in many other regions.
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Russia Plans to Spend $613 Billion to Purchase New Weapons

Russia plans to spend 19 trillion rubles ($613 billion) to purchase new weapons over the next decade as it seeks to modernize its Soviet-era Army, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview released on Sept. 21.The government is in the process of approving a plan to ramp up the arms budget for 2011-2020 by 46 percent from the previous estimate of 13 trillion rubles, Serdyukov told Bloomberg news agency in an interview.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Singapore's Navy and Thai Navy Participate in Naval Exercise "Singsiam"

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) are participating in a bilateral naval exercise, code-named Singsiam from 20 to 29 Sep 2010. The opening ceremony was officiated by Colonel Giam Hock Koon, Commanding Officer of the RSN's 185 Squadron, and the Chief of Staff Frigate Squadron 2 of the RTN, Captain Kosit Cheamsuphakit, at Changi Naval Base yesterday.

Hosted by the RSN, this year's exercise started with a shore phase at Changi Naval Base and a sea phase that will be conducted in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The RSN is participating in the exercise with frigate RSS Steadfast, missile corvette RSS Valour and patrol vessel RSS Resilience. The RTN is represented by helicopter carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet for the first time, frigate HTMS Taksin and three S-70B naval helicopters.

Chinese Firm Aims to Build Giga-Watt Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan

Chinese Firm Aims to Build One Giga-Watt Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan

UK had offered one of Carrier Vessels Future (CVF) to New Delhi

Ajai Shukla

A cash-strapped UK defence ministry, unable to pay for the two aircraft carriers on order with BAE Systems, had offered one of them to New Delhi. In the circumstances, a few news reports in India on “high-quality British shipbuilding” could only be useful.Amongst the several multi-billion pound programmes that seem certain to be pared is the Carrier Vessels Future (CVF) programme: the £5 billion ($8 billion) construction, mainly in British shipyards, of two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers called the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales.

Given that the Indian Navy already has four aircraft carriers in the pipeline — the lame but functional INS Viraat; the infamous Gorshkov (renamed INS Vikramaditya), being constructed in Russia; a third (so far unnamed) carrier being built in Cochin Shipyard; and another to follow that — Britain’s offer of yet another carrier might be considered wildly optimistic. But desperate times demand desperate measures and the UK is conducting its greatest strategic downsizing since the 1968 retreat from the Suez. David Cameron’s new government has initiated a strategic defence and security review (SDSR), which involves defence spending cuts of 20-30 per cent to bring down military expenditure to below 2 per cent of GDP.

India’s Navy is transforming to become a C4ISR nuclear force in the Indian Ocean

INDIA’S MISSILE POWER AND THE INDIAN NAVY LOOKS AHEAD India’s home designed nuclear capable surface to surface ballistic missiles (SSMs) that are in operational service range from the 250 to 350 km liquid fuelled Prithvi and the ship launched Dhanush, to the 700 to 1500 km solid/liquid fuelled Agni I and 2 and the Shauraya. These missiles are all beneficiaries and off shoots of ISRO programmes, and were incubated when Dr Abdul Kalam shifted from ISRO in the 1980s to build missiles and later to head India’s defence research department (DRDO). The underwater launched nuclear capable, 700km Sagarika K-15 missile is awaiting a submarine platform, and the longer range ICBM Agni-3 missile is under trial. The joint Indo Russian supersonic 299km Brahmos cruise missile is in service with the Army and the Navy, and a lighter air launched version will be tested soon on a SU-30MKI. India’s civil led programmes in space and nuclear, are now contributing to India’s military preparedness.

Third US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue will be held on October 22

The third round of US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue will be held in Washington on October 22, special Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke [ Images ] said on Monday as he lauded international efforts, especially by India, in providing support to Pakistan flood victims. "Pakistan is the only country in the world in which Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton will have chaired three strategic dialogues in six months: in March in Washington, July co-chaired in Islamabad, and next month in Washington again," Holbrooke, Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, told reporters during a teleconference with the USAID Administrator Raj Shah. Holbrooke asserted that Pakistan is getting highest level of attention from Washington after Afghanistan. "So the amount of attention Pakistan's getting from the highest levels of the US government is unmatched by any other country in the world, with the obvious exception of Afghanistan."

NATO says 9 service members killed in crash

Nine service members with the international coalition in Afghanistan died Tuesday after their helicopter crashed in the volatile south where troops are ramping up pressure on Taliban insurgents.One other coalition service member, an Afghan National Army soldier and a U.S. civilian were injured in the crash and were transported to a military medical center for treatment, NATO said.Though helicopters more regularly crash because of mechanical issues in Afghanistan, some have been brought down by insurgent fire.However, NATO said in a statement, "There are no reports of enemy fire in the area."
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Russia’s Su-27UB fighter jet crashes

A Su-27UB fighter jet has crashed in Russia’s Far East while it was being tested after having just been repaired. Both pilots ejected in time and were not harmed in the incident.The Sukhoi aircraft crashed some 500 meters away from the Vozdvizhenka air base in Primorsky Region. It was its first flight after scheduled maintenance, Air Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Drik said.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sino-Pak Cooperation in Building Submarines, Bigger Ships Identified

After successful completion of construction of three F-22 P Frigates in China, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir said that Pakistan has identified to China the cooperation in the field of construction of submarine, bigger war ships, acquiring modern weapons and equipments.“ We will not stop here and this cooperation will continue”, said Admiral Noman Bashir while replying to a question.He said that during his meetings with Chinese side, he had identified areas including building of submarines, as so far we had not entered into joint construction of submarines.

This is one of areas Pakistan would now like to explore, he noted.He said that Pakistan also like to go for construction of bigger ships with cooperation of China.These ships would be bigger than the current F-22 P Frigates, he added.There is lot of discussion that are taking place, he said adding “obviously we will have the ships and submarines which will be according to our requirements and specifications”.Also, the CNS said that in the areas of weapons and sensors we are going beyond what we had.

US Charges Five Soldiers of murdering Afghans for Sport

India Will Not Rush Into Shortlisting Indian Air Force M-MRCA Deal Options

Defence Ministry Will Not Rush Into Shortlisting Indian Air Force M-MRCA Deal Options Daily News & Updates Dated 17/9/2010 Printer Friendly Subscribe Despite getting gentle nudges from the government, the defence establishment does not seem to be ready for an early down-listing of the $10-billion 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract in which companies from the US, France and Russia are in the race. Sources told FE, "The field trial report of the six contenders has been sent to the director-general acquisition's office, who is expected to make recommendations and send it to the defence acquisition council (DAC) of the ministry of defence (MoD)."
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Israel Failed to Block Russian P-800 Yakhont Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile Sale to Syria

Israel's prime minister said Sunday that he failed to block Russian plans to sell Syria anti-ship cruise missiles that his country fears could fall into the hands of Hezbollah guerrillas.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the deal to sell Syria P-800 missiles would be "very problematic" for the Jewish state.Russia's defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, announced in Washington last week that his government would go ahead with the deal, signed in 2007. Both Israel and the U.S. had voiced objections.The agency said the P-800s have a range of 200 miles (300 kilometers), carry a 440-pound (200-kilogram) warhead and cruise just yards above the surface, making them difficult to detect and intercept.

Eurojet Bid $666 Million for 99 EJ200 Engines for Tejas

Europe has an edge over the US in the tightly-fought contest to sell India a next-generation engine for the homegrown Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA). Informed sources have told Business Standard that when the bids were opened last week, European consortium Eurojet bid $666 million for 99 EJ200 engines, against US rival General Electric, which quoted $822 million.

Both engines had been earlier adjudged technically suitable to power the Tejas Mark-II. Eurofighter has twin EJ-200 engines, while GE F-414 engines power the US-built F/A-18 and Sweden’s Gripen NG fighters.Furthermore, the order for 99 engines for the Tejas Mark-II is just a foot in the door to the Indian market. Given that each fighter goes through two to three engines during its operational lifetime, the four to five planned squadrons (84-105 fighters) of the Tejas Mark-II would actually need 200-300 new engines.Sources in the Aeronautical Development Agency confirm that both GE and Eurojet engines fully met the technical requirements to power the Tejas Mark-II. The EJ200 — which IAF favours — is the more modern, lighter and flexible engine with greater potential for growth. The GE F-414 is heavier, but provides a little more power.

Helicopter Crash in Harbin

A helicopter crashed in Harbin, the capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province, on Saturday, causing two injuries and no fatalities, Beijing News reported on Sunday.The cause of the crash is currently still under investigation.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

China’s High Risk India Gamble

By Sujit Dutta

Chinaloves to keep the pot boiling with countries it perceives as potential rivals, a fact no more evident than it is with its dealings with India in recent years. China’s recent decision to deny a visa to Indian Lt. General B. S. Jaswal, head of the Northern Command, is therefore just another example of its determination to find new issues to further complicate the already complex web of India-China differences.

The game is being played at multiple levels with Jammu and Kashmir, which is seen by China as an area of ‘international dispute’ in the same way as Arunachal Pradesh. At first glance, it seems a relatively recent diplomatic gambit. But it’s one that was first introduced some years ago, when the planned visit to Ladakh by the People’s Liberation Army Commander of the Lanzhou Military Region that covers Xinjiang (which sits opposite Jammu and Kashmir) was cancelled at the last moment by China on the grounds that Pakistan had protested that the territory is disputed. This move was soon followed by a visa denial to an official from the state on similar grounds, while last year, the Chinese embassy followed up by inventing a new method of giving stapled visas.

Why China’s Navy is a Threat

By James R. Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara

Civilian academics who study military affairs like to hold forth on tactical matters. But this can lead to misguided advice. First of all, Loo deprecates 'an alleged aircraft carrier-killing cruise missile,' suggesting a sea-skimming anti-ship missile with a range of a few score miles. But the anti-ship missile that vexes China-watchers is an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), a weapon whose range, speed and hitting power dwarf that of any cruise missile. Estimates vary, but should the PLA perfect its ASBM, Chinese racketeers could pound away at ships underway up to 2,000 miles away.

Moreover, Loo seems to think the US Pacific Fleet can easily mass overwhelming strength in the South China Sea to beat back a Chinese naval offensive. At first glance this appears reasonable. But at 287 vessels, the US Navy is now smaller in raw numbers than before World War I, and it is dispersed across the globe discharging countless missions.This declining fleet must contend with a PLA Navy that has spent the last 15 years devising capabilities—of which the ASBM represents only one—aimed at exploiting US weaknesses in antisubmarine warfare, mine countermeasures and other niche areas. The result? Chinese mariners can now impose steep costs on the US Pacific Fleet, contesting its ability even to reach a theater of combat like the South China Sea—much less to wage war effectively once there.

Japan's Foreign Minister Voices Concern On China Defense Spending

Japan's new Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Sept. 17 voiced concern over the level of China's defense spending, speaking hours after he was appointed and amid a tense territorial fight with China."It is important to further promote strategic mutually beneficial Japan-China relations," Maehara, considered a security affairs specialist and a hawk on China, said at his first press conference in the post.Japan, along with the United States and Australia, has voiced concern over China's military spending, which has grown in double digits for many years and by 7.5 percent most recently, according to figures Beijing released in March.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

US Gives Go-Ahead for Australia to Buy the EA-18G "Growler"

WASHINGTON has given the go-ahead for Australia to buy the EA-18G "Growler" electronic warfare aircraft. It is the most advanced warplane of its type in the world, defence industry sources said yesterday.The Australian understands the decision was made about a fortnight ago by the US Technology, Transfer, Security Assistance, Review Board (TTSARB), a decision that could pave the way for the first foreign military sale of the Growler, defence sources said.

Russia will not Halt Delivery of P-800 Yakhont Anti-Ship Missiles to Syria

Anatoly Serdyukov, the Russian foreign minister, brushed aside pleas to halt the delivery of a consignment of P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles, arguing that Moscow had supplied Syria with an older version of the missile and had not encountered problems. With a range of nearly 200 miles, the Yakhont is known for its accuracy and its ability to avoid detection because of its speed and low trajectory. It is also far more sophisticated that any of the anti-ship missiles presently in Syria's arsenal. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, urged Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, to abandon the missile sale last month. Similar appeals have been made in recent weeks by the Israeli and US defence ministers.

Israeli cabinet approves $2.75b JSF deal

The Israeli cabinet has formally approved the purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the nation’s air force. The value of the deal will be around $2.75 billion.The decision was made after a series of talks between US and Israeli officials. These focused on issues including the extent to which Israel will be allowed to instal its own electronic warfare equipment, and the level of industrial involvement that its defence industry will be granted in return for the order.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Abu Dhabi Firm Gains Control of Greek Shipyard

Greece has finalized a deal to transfer a majority stake in the country's main shipyard from German to Arab control, the Greek defense ministry said Sept. 16.ThyssenKrupp will yield 75 percent of its stake in Skaramanga, also known as Hellenic Shipyards, to Abu Dhabi Mar. The deal had been delayed by wrangling over the delivery of a German-built submarine to the Greek navy.

Europe Remains Torn On Lifting China Arms Embargo

Europe remains divided on whether to lift an arms embargo clamped on China in 1989 following events in Tiananmen Square, EU foreign ministers said Sept. 11."We discussed delivering arms to China but did not advance at all towards a solution or joint position", French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said at the close of two days of informal talks with his 26 EU counterparts."France has long been favorable" to ending the embargo, he said. "But we need a joint stand."

Indian Navy Foils Piracy Bids

China to build Another Port in SriLanka

Indonesia to buy six more Sukhoi fighters from Russia

Indonesia's Air Force chief of staff Marshal Imam Sufaat said on Friday his country planned to buy six more Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia, the Jakarta Post reported.He said the purchase would be on the Defense Ministry's long-term agenda, but was not sure when the plan would be implemented."The existing squadron of Sukhois remains insufficient to give a deterrent effect given our vast territory," Imam told the Antara news agency.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

India's Kaveri Engine to be Installed in 2018

The Indian-built engine for the country’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) may be ready for installation in 2018, a senior official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has said.“The gas turbine engine Kaveri will replace the GE-404 engines which are now being put in the LCA,” DRDO’s chief controller of research and development Prahlada told reporters here.The Kaveri engine, a Rs.2,000 crore project, is being developed by one of the DRDO labs based in Bangalore, the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE).Test runs of the first complete prototype Kaveri began in 1996.

India World's Second Top Arms Buyer

Indian Naval Chief on US Visit

Sukhoi to send three new supervisors to Indonesia

The Russian Sukhoi fighter jet manufacturer will send more personnel to Makassar to replace the three warranty team technicians who allegedly died from alcohol poisoning.The Sukhoi warranty team will stay in Makassar for a year to ensure that the Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets are ready for operations.

China Delivers Third F-22P Sword Class Frigate "PNS SAIF"

China has delivered the third F-22P frigates class frigate to the Pakistan Navy on Wednesday. This ship which belongs to the Sword Class series is named PNS SAIF. These frigates were constructed at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard Shanghai. Pakistan Navy has also started the construction of the fourth F-22P at the Karachi Shipyard. Construction is so far progressing satisfactorily as per schedule as per sources in Pakistan Navy.Sword Class F-22P Frigates are equipped with medium to advance weapons and sensors. These ships will also carry Z9EC helicopters.
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Counterfeit Computer Microchips from China Sold to U.S. Navy

Federal prosecutors in Washington unsealed charges Tuesday accusing a Florida pair of selling more than 59,000 counterfeit computer microchips from China to the U.S. Navy and other clients for military use aboard American warships, fighter planes, missile and antimissile systems.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Indian soldier's body found in Skardu

An Indian soldier’s body was retrieved on Tuesday from a river in Skardu, the second such incident in a month.According to sources, the body was found in the Sheok River by residents of the Siari sector in Ghanche district. “Clad in the Indian army’s uniform, the body was floating in the river when some people spotted it and pulled it out of the water,” sources from Skardu told.

Indian Navy Allocates Kamov-25 Helicopter for Study to Amrita University

The Department of Aerospace Engineering at Amrita's Coimbatore campus recently acquired an anti-submarine, ship-board helicopter from the Indian Navy."We acquired this purely for educational purposes," stated Dr. V. Sivakumar, Associate Professor at the Department. With this, we will be able to demonstrate the role, function and working of various subsystems of an aircraft to students.""Students will gain first-hand experience by working on subsystems of a real aircraft. They will do this as part of their Aircraft Design Laboratory class."A Russian model named Kamov-25 aka KA-25, the helicopter can fly at a maximum speed of 220 km/hr and at an altitude of 3.5 km. It has a range of 450 km, which means that it can complete a flight of that distance without having to refuel.

Iraqi Air Force Academy opens its doors

More than 150 cadets from around Iraq began class at the newly re-built Iraqi Air Force College here Sept. 1. The inaugural class's arrival was marked by an Iraqi C-130 aircraft, flown by Iraqi pilots, picking up the students from New Al Muthana Air Base, Baghdad, and transporting them to Tikrit.

"This truly is a historic day for the Iraqi air force," said Brig. Gen. Scott Hanson, the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing commander and director of Iraq Training and Advisory Mission - Air Force. "This latest development represents yet another milestone for their program to develop airmen."

U.S. is Encouraging Saudi Arabia to Buy THAAD


The Obama administration is set to notify Congress of plans to offer advanced aircraft to Saudi Arabia worth up to $60 billion, the largest U.S. arms deal ever, and is in talks with the kingdom about potential naval and missile-defense upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more.In a notification to Congress, expected to be submitted this week or next, the administration will authorize the Saudis to buy as many as 84 new F-15 fighters, upgrade 70 more, and purchase three types of helicopters—70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds, officials said.Talks are also underway to expand Saudi Arabia's ballistic-missile defenses. The U.S. is encouraging the Saudis to buy systems known as THAAD—Terminal High Altitude Defense—and to upgrade its Patriot missiles to reduce the threat from Iranian rockets. U.S. officials said it was unclear how much this package would be worth.

Russian aircraft carrier readies for training mission

Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, has left a dry dock after scheduled repairs and is getting ready for a training mission in the Barents Sea, the Northern Fleet said in a statement."The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier will sail to the Barents Sea at the end of September on a training mission relevant to its main purpose," the statement said.The warship was assigned to the Northern Fleet in January 1991. It is capable of carrying 26 Su-33 Flanker-D and MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets, and 24 anti-submarine helicopters.
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Russia's Kazan Aircraft Plant to Build Next Generation Bomber

The Kazan aircraft maker will start manufacturing a new strategic bomber, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.The plant will continue upgrading Tu-160 and Tu-22 long-range bombers and will then "start assembling a new-generation strategic bomber," he said.He offered no indication of the new bomber's specifications or exactly when production would start.

Saudi-US Arms Deal Aimed at Establishing Air Superiority Over Iran

Analysts say US arms deal gives Saudis advantage over all regional states except Israel.Saudi Arabia's planned massive arms deal with the United States is aimed at establishing air superiority over rival Iran while also addressing weaknesses bared in border fighting with Yemeni rebels, experts said on Tuesday.Under the potential 60-billion-dollar (47-billion-euro), 10-year deal, the Saudis would be authorised to buy 84 new F-15 fighters and upgrade 70 more, as well as buy 178 attack helicopters and various missiles.

That should give the oil giant a clear advantage over Iran and any other of its neighbours save Israel, experts said.The deal, revealed by US defense officials on Monday, would represent a sweeping upgrade of Saudi Arabia's military that could also see an additional 24-27 billion dollars spent on naval vessels and missile defence systems, a Saudi defence expert said.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ukraine may deliver engines for Russian UAVs

Russia's Vega and Ukraine's Motor Sich are discussing the possible delivery of Ukrainian-made engines for Russia's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Vega CEO Vladimir Verba said on Saturday."We lagging behind on such vehicles," Verba said. "First of all, there is a shortfall in engines."Motor Sich CEO Vyacheslav Boguslayev confirmed the companies are in talks."We are discussing issues regarding this topic," he said.Motor Sich delivers engines to 11 countries around the world, Boguslayev said, adding that "we have nothing against Russia being the twelfth country."

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is "happy" with the quality of home-made UAVs, Verba said on Friday, while not ruling out that the Defense Ministry may buy UAVs abroad.He said Vega's UAVs would be able to compete with those produced abroad by 2013.According to various estimates, the Russian military needs up to 100 UAVs and at least 10 guidance and control systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.

Three Indian Air Force Personnel Killed in Helicopter Crash

Three Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel, including a pilot and a co-pilot, were killed on Saturday when a Chetak helicopter carrying them crashed in bad weather at a remote place in Jharkhand. The chopper was on its way to Baghdogra air base from air force station Kalaikunda in West Bengal when it encountered bad weather and crashed near Sinharsi air base along the border of Pakur and Godda districts of Jharkhand, Eastern Command spokesperson and a senior state police official said.
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India to Get Agni-V in 2011

IAF AWACS to be Tested Next Year

'Indian' Dhruv Helicopter Gets Italian Makeover

The Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) has been widely regarded as a triumph of indigenous military rotorcraft design and manufacturing. Scores of Dhruvs already flying in army colours will be joined by another 159, which the military ordered last year from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). And, Ecuador’s air force chose the Dhruv ALH in an international tender in 2008 for seven helicopters. But now it emerges that the Dhruv is struggling with a serious problem. The army, which was to be supplied 20 Dhruvs last year, refused to accept any until HAL fixed a problem that was restricting the Dhruv’s cruising speed to 250 kilometers per hour, significantly short of the 270 kmph that HAL specifications promise. Unable to find a cure, HAL has brought in a consultant: Italian aerospace propulsion major, Avio.

India’s military sets high store by the Dhruv’s engine power; the helicopter must operate from tiny landing grounds at 6,500 meters (about 21,000 feet), which is the altitude of Sonam Post, India’s highest helipad on the Siachen Glacier. But even after paying French engine-maker, Turbomeca, Rs 1,000 crore to design the Shakti engine —- a superb performer at high altitudes —- the Dhruv’s Integrated Dynamic System, or IDS, which transfers power from the Shakti engines to the helicopter rotors, is not performing optimally. The Italian consultants will now scrutinise the Dhruv’s IDS to diagnose the problem.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

India's Strategic Command to Acquire 40 Nuclear Capable Fighters Planes

With an aim of increasing its lethal power, India's tri-services strike force is planning to acquire 40 fighter planes capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has submitted a proposal to the Defence Ministry for setting up two dedicated squadrons of fighter aircraft which will act as "mini-Air Force", ministry sources said.

This will be the first time that SFC, which at present depends on the Indian Air Force for delivering nuclear weapons under its command, will have its own aerial assets, they said.The aircraft planned to be procured are part of efforts to strengthen the nuclear delivery system which right now is based on land-based ballistic missiles such as the Agni and Prithvi and nuclear-capable fighters such as the Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI and Jaguars.

Mega Defence Deals and Presidential Visits

There is nothing like mega arms deals to sweeten presidential visits. With Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev slated to visit India in quick succession in November-December; India is fast-tracking major defence contracts with US, France and Russia. So, if France is all set to get the over $2.1 billion Mirage-2000 fighter upgrade contract, India is likely to shell out over $6 billion to join the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter aircraft project. The Indian and US governments, in turn, are on course to finalize their biggest-ever defence contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft, which will come for upwards of $3 billion, under the American Foreign Military Sales programme.

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UAE Requests Technical Information on F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has requested technical information on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, a surprise move that turns an anticipated order of Dassault Rafales into a $10 billion competition.
"The UAE is asking the U.S. for information on the F/A-18 Super Hornet in the single- and twin-seater version," the source said. "It is in the very early stages; it's a preliminary contact. The UAE has opened the door to them." "This is worth about $10 billion, depending on the delivery dates` and specification."

The UAE is looking to replace the 63 Dassault Mirage 2000-9s it bought just over a decade ago.UAE authorities have been negotiating with the French government and industry a potential co-development of a more capable "fifth-generation" model of the Rafale.Abu Dhabi is being asked to pay to upgrade the Rafale, while the F-18 is already at the desired technological level. The Gulf source said, "The Super Hornet has everything we need. We don't need to co-develop or modify it."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

India and Russia Each Pledge $6 billion to Co-Develop PAK FA

Late on Thursday evening, in a triumph for the Russia-India defence relationship, the two countries signed off on a joint venture to co-develop a 15-20-tonne payload, 2,500-km range multi-role transport aircraft (MTA), which will replace the Indian Air Force’s venerable AN-32 at the end of the next decade.But this path-breaking $600-million co-development of the MTA is likely to be dwarfed soon, when India and Russia each pledge $6 billion to co-develop the world’s premier fighter. HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak had indicated that the deal was done. “It is in the system for approval,” said Nayak. “The respective work shares have been agreed to by both sides and once we sign the preliminary design contract, we will finish the design in about 18 months. Developing and building the fighter could take 8-10 years, and each side will pay $6 billion as its share.”The Russian and Indian Air Forces each plan to build around 250 fighters, at an estimated cost of $100 million each. That adds up to $25 billion, over and above the development cost.

Japanese P3 Orion's Engine Change at RAAF Base Darwin

After Exercise Kakadu, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force worked side by side with members of the Royal Australian Air Force, utilising the Joint Task Force 639 Air Component Coordination Element hangar for a required engine change to the Japanese P3 Orion.

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“Where’s the Nearest (U.S.) Carrier?”

China’s military planners covet the ability to prevent U.S. and allied forces from intervening effectively in the event of a future Taiwan Strait crisis and to constrain the latter’s influence on China’s maritime periphery, which contains several disputed zones of core strategic importance to Beijing. In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been pursuing a two-level approach to military modernization, with consistent focus on increasingly formidable high-end ‘anti-access/area denial’ (A2/AD) capabilities to support major combat operations in China’s ‘Near Seas’ (Yellow, East, and South) and their approaches, and relatively low-intensity but gradually growing capabilities to influence strategic conditions further afield (e.g., in the Indian Ocean) in China’s favor.

Of perhaps greatest concern, Beijing is pursuing an ASBM based on the DF-21D/CSS-5 solid propellant medium-range ballistic missile. A DF-21D ASBM would have two stages, and a reentry vehicle (RV) with a seeker, control fins and a warhead (unitary, submunitions, or conventional electro-magnetic pulse). In operation, some combination of land-, sea- and space-based sensors would first detect the relevant sea-surface target. While locating an aircraft carrier has been likened to finding a needle in a haystack, this particular ‘needle’ has a large radar cross section, emits radio waves and is surrounded by airplanes.

Simply looking for the biggest radar reflection to target will tend to locate the largest ship—and the largest ship will usually be an aircraft carrier. The ASBM would be launched from a transporter-erector-launcher on a ballistic trajectory aimed roughly at the target, most likely a CSG. After jettisoning its stages, the RV would use its seeker (possibly radar-homing or infrared) to locate and attack the CSG. This could be supplemented by targeting updates if necessary. The DF-21D’s 1,500 km+ range could result in denial of access to a large maritime area, far beyond Taiwan and the First Island Chain into the Western Pacific.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

HAL, UAC to Jointly Develop Multi-Role Transport Aircraft

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will co-develop a Multi-Role Transport Aircraft according to agency reports quoting India Strategic magazine. The governments of India and Russia have each sanctioned USD $300.35 million for this project. Initial orders from Russia and India are expected to be 105 and 45 respectively.The aircraft could be powered by Russian-made Aviadvigatel PD-14 turbofan engines attached to top mounted wings, and has a T-shaped tail. The cabin size will be the same as the Ilyushin Il-76 but will be half the length. The payload will be 18.5 tons of military or civilian cargo, with a range of 2500 km and a speed of 870 km/h.

India, US Discuss China's Growing Military Might

IAF Pilots Can Fly LCA Tejas on Dec. 27

Switzerland Gives Its 10 Alouette III Helicopters to Pakistan for Search and Rescue Assets

On Wednesday, the Federal Council decided to transfer for free to Pakistan the last ten Alouette III helicopters that are currently still in possession of the Air Force. These helicopters, which were due for decommissioning in late 2010, will instead be used for Search And Rescue operations. Pakistan has signed a binding agreement in this regard. After the decision of the Federal Council on 18 August 2010 to provide Pakistan with three Alouette IIIs which have already been retired from service, it has now been agreed that the seven other helicopters of that type that the Air Force no longer needs will be transferred to Pakistan by the end of the year. The first Alouette III will be flown to Pakistan in September aboard a Pakistan Air Force transport aircraft.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

No ‘Cold Start’ doctrine, India tells US

The US had taken up concerns by Pakistan on the perceived ‘Cold Start’ strategy of the Indian Army that envisages rapid deployment of troops on the western border to escalate to a full blown war within days but has been told that such a doctrine does not exist but is a term that has been fabricated by think tanks. The matter was repeatedly taken up by senior US Defence delegations after Pakistan voiced concerns that diverting more troops to the Afghan border would not be feasible given the Indian ‘Cold Start’ strategy that could bring offensive elements of the Indian Army to its eastern border within four days. While the US has been assured that no such doctrine exists, the Army has now come on record to say that ‘Cold Start’ is not part of its doctrine. Army Chief General V K Singh has told this newspaper that India’s basic military posture remains defensive. “There is nothing called ‘Cold Start’.

Indian Air Force afnet to be launched next week

The Indian Air Force, in a significant development, today announced that it was ready to launch its state-of-the-art digital information system that will provide real time data, voice and images to commanders on the ground as well as to pilots in the air. It will connect all IAF’s, fighters, choppers, transport planes, satellites and UAV’s with ground and command stations which will in turn have the position of the ground-based air defence guns deployed at airbases.
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Turkey could join Korea’s KF-X fighter program

Turkey has shown a strong interest in joining Korea’s KF-X fighter development plan, after having already won investment from Indonesia, a chief of the military's aircraft programs said.Maj. Gen. Choi Cha-kyu, director general of the aircraft program bureau at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), said during a forum here Tuesday that Ankara is seriously considering participating in the KF-X program to replace its 180 older F-16 aircraft by 2020.
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South Korean Air Force receives F-15K fighters

With the latest addition, the Air Force has a total of 42 F-15Ks. Under the first-phase program from 2002-2008, 40 F-15Ks were delivered, but one crashed in the waters off Pohang during a nighttime mission in June 2006. Under the second-phase project signed in May 2008, the U.S. aircraft giant is scheduled to provide a total of 21 F-15Ks by March 2012. The F-15K is capable of air-to-ground, air-to-air and air-to-sea missions day and night in any weather conditions. It can fly at a maximum speed of Mach 2.3 with an operational radius of 1,800 kilometers. A single aircraft costs about $100 million.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

China’s Enigmatic Military

Last month, the US Department of Defense released the latest version of its annual publication on the Chinese military. Previously known as ‘Military Power of the People’s Republic of China,’ the US Congress has decided to rename the document, ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China.’But while the title may have changed, the language in the report hasn’t. China is not only increasing the size of its military, but also the quality—with significant implications for the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.Meanwhile, China also wants to maintain a nuclear deterrent sufficient to survive a first strike by the United States or other nuclear power and still have sufficient forces to overcome any defences and retaliate effectively. For this reason, the PLA has been investing in mobile land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and ballistic missile submarines, both of which are harder to locate and destroy than fixed land-based missiles in silos.

But it’s the non-nuclear objectives that have garnered most attention. While the PLA has been trying to develop conventional forces capable of defeating Taiwan’s and other Asian countries’ militaries, it has also sought the capacity to deny the US military access to contested areas (at least long enough for it to defeat its local adversary). Although the PLA could arguably prevail in a straight-up fight with another Asian country, doing so would be much harder if the Pentagon decided to actively assist China’s opponent.Although the report expects that the PLAN might acquire one or more aircraft carriers later this decade, it notes that the Chinese Navy already has the largest number of submarines and principal surface combatants in Asia. The PLA is also seeking to develop a new anti-ship ballistic missile capable of hitting moving warships at a distance of 1,500 kilometres. Such a missile could destroy US aircraft carriers before they could move sufficiently close to attack the Chinese mainland with their planes.

In addition, there’s less detail here than in previous years on the implications of the PLA’s development of an increasing range of sophisticated ‘disruptive’ military technologies that Beijing could use asymmetrically to negate US military strengths. These capabilities include China’s improving anti-satellite, electronic warfare and cyber strike technologies, sometimes referred to as the PLA’s ‘Assassin’s Mace.’

BrahMos Cruise Missile Successfully Test-Fired

Adding a new feather to India's missile prowess, 290-km range BrahMos cruise missile was today successfully test-fired as part of trials by the Army from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off Orissa coast. “User's trial of the BrahMos conducted by the Indian Army was successful,” ITR Director SP Dash said after the missile blasted off from a mobile launcher at around 11:35 am from the launch complex-3 of the test range near here. The trial was conducted for achieving the maximum range of 290 km of the supersonic missile, he said. The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound carrying conventional warheads up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km. — PTI

Indian MoD, Services to Review Use of Digital Storage

Even as Chinese and Pakistani online espionage agents continue their attempts to hack into Indian computer systems, hostile intelligence agencies are also trying to steal defence secrets through use of computer storage media (CSM) devices like pen drives, removable hard disks, CDs, VCDs and the like. The Intelligence Bureau has sounded a red alert about "intelligence officers of a hostile country'' encouraging their "assets'' working in Indian defence establishments to use CSM devices to pilfer classified information from computer networks.

"There have been reports of increasing number of incidents of leakage of data/documents in defence establishments through the use of pen drives and other digital storage devices,'' says the security alert, issued to the defence ministry as well as the Army, Navy and IAF HQs. Consequently, MoD has ordered a thorough review of the entire policy on "the entitlement and usage of CSM devices'' in its different establishments, said sources. While acknowledging the functional necessity to allow some officers to use such devices, MoD has asked for a comprehensive directorate-wise list of pen drives, laptops and internet connections being used in its different offices.

Poland Keen to Sell Tank Recovery Vehicles

As Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk flies into New Delhi tomorrow, India is said to be mulling over Poland’s offer to supply to it tank recovery vehicles. The Indo-Polish defence cooperation will figure prominently during talks between the visiting dignitary and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here tomorrow. Defence Minister A K Antony will be part of the Indian delegation at the talks, signally the importance India attaches to burgeoning defence relationship with Poland.

The proposal for selling tank recovery vehicles was made by Poland during Antony’s visit to Warsaw in April for a meeting of the joint working group (JWG) on defence cooperation between the two countries. The two sides have also been discussing various other defence-related issues, particularly joint training programmes. Poland can help India upgrade Indian T-72 tanks, BMP II infantry combat vehicles and a variety of air defence systems purchased from the former Soviet Union. But more than defence ties, it is the prospect of a quantum jump in economic ties with Poland that excites New Delhi.

Russian Military Servicemen are being Trained to Operate Israeli UAVs

Some 50 Russian military servicemen are undergoing training in the use of Israeli-built unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said. Earlier on Monday, Russia and Israel signed a military cooperation agreement."We have bought 12 UAV systems from Israel, and 50 servicemen are currently being trained to operate them," Serdyukov said during a meeting with his visiting Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak.

Under the first contract, signed in April 2009, Israel delivered two Bird Eye 400 systems (worth $4 million), eight I View MK150 tactical UAVs ($37 million) and two Searcher Mk II multi-mission UAVs ($12 million).The second contract was for the purchase of 36 UAVs, worth a total of $100 million, to be delivered later this year.Russia and Israel are currently negotiating the establishment of a joint venture to produce UAVs, worth an estimated $300 million.Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said in April that Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($172 million) on the development of indigenous drones, which eventually failed their tests.
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