Sunday, October 31, 2010

Iran builds unmanned reconnaissance hand-launched drone

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

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

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

Deadlines Loom as Afghans Struggle to Build Air Force

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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Swedish defence giant SAAB seeks more share in India

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Naval bases for Indian Navy to come up at Thoothukudi & Paradip

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

Indian Navy to Acquire Three Aircraft Carriers : Indian Defence Minister

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

Indian Navy To Boost Contact With Littoral Countries

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

GPS-guided Excalibur's Use Rises In Afghanistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egypt orders three Airbus Military C295 aircraft

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

Russia carries out another successful test launch of Bulava missile

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

Russia conducts routine test of Topol ballistic missile

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

Russia carries out successful tests of two SLBMs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lockheed Touts Engine Advantage In Indian MMRCA Bid

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Expansion of fleet to Safeguard China's Sea Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

Indian Air Force Presses HAL to Meet Timelines

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Tolga Ozbek


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

Eurocopter Signs Two Strategic Agreements with Kazakhstan

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

Russia Modernizes fleet of A-50M Mainstay AWACS Aaircraft

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boom of guns and business battle

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

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

When will India get the Admiral Gorshkov?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Two naval bases okayed in Orissa

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

China holds first live-fire joint drills in Tibet

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

Boeing to Sign Contract with Jordan for 18 to 24 AH-6 Light Attack Helicopter

By John Reed

Boeing officials revealed today that they expect to sign a contract with Jordan for 18 to 24 of its new AH-6 light attack choppers by the end of the year while another 36 of the birds are set to go to Saudi Arabia as apart of the $60 billion arms deal recently penned with the United States.

Jordan has been testing the new chopper for nearly a year now, both in the desert Kingdom and in the Southwestern U.S., and in May it signed a letter of intent to buy the aircraft,Mike Burke, Boeing’s chief of business development for Army rotorcraft said today at the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington. The company plans to have its Mesa, Ariz., production line ready to produce the choppers for Jordan soon after the new year with first deliveries expected about 24 months later, according to Burke.

The U.S. defense giant is pitching the revamped MH-6 Little Bird – which is itself based on the 1960s-vintage OH-6 Cayuse — to nations around the world who currently fly older versions of the AH-6, AH-1 Cobras and the like. Included in this list is Pakistan, which operates a fleet of about 20 TOW missile-equipped Cobras that it bought in the early 1980s.


Burke went on to say the new chopper, which he describes as a mini-AH-64 Apache, is ideal for the high-altitude and high temprature environments the Pakistani military finds itself fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in.

The new attack helo is perfect for that mission because it can “get close to and see and take out the enemy” using everything from laser-guided 70 mm rockets and Hellfire missiles to several miniguns, Burke said. He would not confirm whether the AH-6 will be included in an upcoming batch of military aid the U.S. may deliver to Pakistan soon. That deal includes a provision for attack helicopters.

Overall, Burke and fellow Boeing executives see a market of roughly 1,500 aging attack helos around the world that will need replacement in the coming decades. Interest is flowing from three European NATO members as well as countries throughout the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America, according to Burke.

While it is focused on the international market for now, Boeing can’t resist pitching the helicopter as an eventual replacement for the U.S. Army’s ancient OH-58 Kiowa Warrior scout helos. Burke described the AH-6 as providing “better capability at a lower cost and it’s quicker to field” than an a OH-58 modified to meet the requirements for a future armed scout would be.

The Army is already modifying its OH-58s, giving them improved sensors, cockpit displays and countermeasures, among other tweaks.

At the same time, the service is wrapping up its Analysis of Alternatives for its next generation armed aerial scout helicopter. Burke says the AH-6, with it’s ability to perform at more the 6,000 feet and in 95 degree temperatures, fly for three hours as well as integrate UAV controls, is already well qualified to do.

IAF Meet Analyses Readiness For War

China rebuffs India, says it policy on J&K visas unchanged

China has been issuing stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir since 2008. The policy had its biggest fall out when China recently declined to grant visa to Lt.Gen. B S Jaswal, the Chief of Indian Army's northern command for official talks here on the ground that he headed troops of a disputed area.The move prompted India to put on hold all defence exchanges with China, even though Beijing played down the move saying that defence ties are intact.Earlier China stapled visa policy coupled with references of Gilgit and Baltistan which are part of Pakistani Kashmir, as Northern Areas Pakistan by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson created an impression that China changed its neutral stand on the status of Kashmir.However, an official online map released by China to rival Google displayed the Line of Control, (LOC) in Kashmir region acknowledging the both sides of the areas respectively under the control of India and Pakistan. It also recognises the Northern Areas of Gligit and Baltistan as part of the "Pakistan controlled" Jammu and Kashmir.The stapled visa issue has emerged as an irritant in Sino-Indian ties at a time when bilateral trade is set to cross USD 60 billion target set for this year.PTI

Better relations with Russia Emerging global challenges as the catalyst

A few days back India and Russia finalised joint fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and multirole transport aircraft (MTA) projects to be completed over the next decade as part of which India will acquire about 250-300 FGFAs and 45 MTAs. The Indian Defence Minister underlined that these would be the flagship Indo-Russian joint projects as the joint development of Brahmos cruise missiles has been a positive experiment that would serve as a model for FGFA and MTA projects. India also raised the issue of inordinate delays in the delivery of Russian defence systems, resulting in considerable cost escalation. The delivery of the aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, has now been finalised for 2012-13 after India agreed to pay Russia $2.34 billion earlier this year as opposed to the original price of $974 million agreed to in 2004.

India, USA to sign key pacts

India and the USA are expected to ink at least seven agreements in defence, trade, climate change, education, clean energy, market access and hi-tech exports during President Barack Obama's visit to India early next month. Highly placed sources said the two sides were in constant touch finalising the pacts to be signed after talks between President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 8. It is learnt that trade-related issues and defence cooperation would top the agenda of the two countries during bilateral talks. Some of the key US officials are expected to remain in Delhi for a few more days after Obama leaves India to carry forward negotiations on the understandings reached between the American leader and the Indian Prime Minister. Indications are that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would not be coming to India along with the President since she will be in Australia for the annual Australia-US ministerial consultations.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Russia announces tender for purchase of helicopter carriers

he Russian Defense Ministry has announced a tender for the purchase of amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy, a deputy defense minister said on Tuesday."We have just announced a tender on the purchase of two vessels and on the transfer of technology for future deliveries," Vladimir Popovkin said at the Euronaval 2010 exhibition, which opened on Monday in Paris."But we have sent proposals to all countries capable of building ships of this class," he said, adding that the deal, based on the results of the tender, would be completed by the end of the year.The Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why is Indian Navy mum on use of junk US choppers?

Navy has refused to disclose any details about procurement of six phased-out helicopters from the US worth Rs 182 crore for which it recently received a rap from the Comptroller and Auditor General.The Navy had acquired six decommissioned UH3H helicopters under the Foreign Military Supply (FMS) programme of the United States in November 2006, along with training and support facilities at an approximate cost of Rs 182.14 crore.The 35-40 year-old helicopters "were on the verge of completing their air frame life and are on extended life", noted CAG in its recent report.
Read More

Indian Chopper Race

Taiwan outlines plans for indigenous UAV

By Greg Waldron

Taiwan will not seek to acquire the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk from the USA, but will instead develop its own indigenous unmanned air vehicle."We have no plans to buy the Global Hawk right now," says a source in Taiwan's military. "Taiwan still plans to develop its own UAV."The source says the Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology, whose focus is military research, will develop the new air vehicle.

Ration scam Lt Gen moves AFT for bail

Lt Gen SK Sahni, the first officer of the rank of lieutenant general to face court martial proceedings for alleged professional impropriety, has moved the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) challenging his trial and seeking release from close arrest on bail. Taking up his petition, the AFT's Chandigarh Bench, comprising of Justice Ghanshyam Prashad and Lt Gen HS Panag issued notices to the Union of India for November 1 to hear arguments on his application for bail. The Tribunal has fixed December 15 for hearing of the case challenging his court martial. General Sahni, who retired as Director General Supplies and Transport, has sought release from close arrest so that he can continue his medical treatment, besides contending that these were no cases for his absconding or tampering with the evidence. He has also claimed that his trial has come time-barred.

Indian Navy to shop for 6-8 Medium-Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and UAVs

With terror as well as conventional threats emanating from sea remaining a clear and present danger, India wants to keep hawk-eyed tabs on the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR). And, if required, "kill" any threat before it approaches Indian shores.

After finalizing the acquisition of 12 P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft for $3.1 billion, the Navy has now re-launched the hunt for six to eight new medium-range surveillance (MRMR) planes and additional spy drones. The defence ministry floated global RFIs (request for information) for the MRMR aircraft, with an operating range of over 350 nautical miles, and HALE (high-altitude, long-endurance) unmanned aerial vehicles, with a service ceiling above 40,000 feet and endurance over 25 hours, earlier this month.

The radar-packed LRMR and MRMR planes, both of which will also be equipped with anti-ship and submarine warfare capabilities in the shape of deadly missiles, as well as the UAVs form part of Navy`s plan for an effective three-tier aerial surveillance grid in the IOR.

In addition to the existing 24 Dorniers and 21 helicopters, the government has approved 42 new aircraft for the Coast Guard, which is also holding trials for six MRMR aircraft with Beriev-200 and Bombardier-Q400 being the contenders in the Rs 1,100 crore project. Then, Navy is all set to get its communication and surveillance satellite, with an around 1,000 nautical mile footprint over IOR, in what will be India`s first dedicated military satellite.

This is necessary since India has a vast 5,422-km coastline, 1,197 islands and 2.01 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone, which will increase to around 3 million sq km after the delineation of the continental shelf, apart from its primary area of strategic interest stretching from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait.

As was first reported by TOI, the defence ministry recently cleared the acquisition of four more P-8I Poseidon aircraft, which will add to the eight such LRMR planes already contracted from Boeing under the $2.1 billion deal inked in January 2009. The first P-8I is slated for induction in early-2013.

UK renews Hermes 450 contract for Afghanistan

By Arie Egozi


The British Army is to receive continued intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance services in Afghanistan using leased Hermes 450 unmanned air vehicles, while it moves closer to fielding its own Watchkeeper system.Elbit Systems/Thales UK joint venture UAS Tactical Systems (U-TacS) - prime contractor for the Watchkeeper deal - has been awarded a follow-on contract under an urgent operational requirement deal worth about £44.5 million ($70 million), Elbit says.The new deal will extend the company's current tactical UAV service in Afghanistan by a further 18 months. Implemented in 2007 and extended last year, this includes the provision of Hermes 450 air vehicles, plus in-theatre support.

Russia Defends Delays in Defence Projects with India

Russia today defended the delays in joint defence projects with India, including the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, saying it should be "excused" if sophisticated and modern weapons systems was what New Delhi wanted.Though time overruns were "unfortunate," Russian Federation Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin said it was the experience in both countries when it came to latest technology defence equipment projects.

"As far as Admiral Gorshkov is concerned, Indians asked us for a state-of-the-art warship and for such a warship, there is a cost. For a cheap price, you can only purchase a 3-carat diamond."Now it will be a modern aircraft carrier and if there is a delay of two or three months for delivery, what difference would it make. If you need a potent warship, these delays have to be excused," Kadakin told reporters on the sidelines of an Indo-Russian army exercise that ended here.

India had flagged the delays in critical defence projects such as Gorshkov during the recent bilateral Military Technical Commission meeting between the Defence Ministers of the two countries in New Delhi.Admiral Gorshkov, which India bought from Russia in 2004, is already behind schedule by two years, having been originally scheduled to be delivered after a refit at the Sevmash naval shipyard in Russia in 2008.Now the 45,000-tonne warship is rescheduled for delivery in end of 2012 or early 2013, though India coughed up USD 2.33 billion earlier this year after it had bought it for a price of USD 974 million under the original contract.

Kadakin said such experiences existed in both countries and that it should be excused when the project involved sophisticated systems."Both countries have this experience that without delays we will not get such sophisticated systems. That is why sometimes this kind of delays do happen. It is unfortunate," he said.He was replying to a query on delays in major defence projects between India and Russia such as the Admiral Gorshkov, which has been rechristened by Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya.

The Ambassador, however, refused to talk about India getting the Akula-II nuclear-powered submarine from Russia on a 10-year lease."Akula, I do not know anything about it. Lets talk about any other submarine, I do not know anything about this particular submarine. India, I know, is also constructing a (nuclear-powered) submarine. About this submarine (Akula), do not ask me anything, I do not know anything," he said.

Australia's CH-47 Chinooks Returning Home From Afghanistan

After 737 flying hours and having moved in excess of 691,000 kilograms of supplies and equipment over the last eight months, Australia's Rotary Wing Group rotation is returning home for a well-earned break and mandatory maintenance on their aircraft.

The task group and their two CH-47 Chinooks will return to Afghanistan early in the new year to recommence flight operations in support of ISAF efforts – a deployment they have undertaken since rotations began in 2006.The Chinooks are unable to fly during Afghanistan's harsh winter months.

The two Chinooks chalked up an impressive 860 sorties, transporting more than 4700 troops while assisting the efforts of the International Stabilisation Assistance Force (ISAF) on this current rotation.Task Group Commander, Lieutenant Colonel David Lynch said the effort of the team was highly commendable.

" On just about all the missions we flew this year supporting our coalition partners; our crews were fulfilling the role of Air Mission Commander, taking the lead and providing direction to the other Coalition aircraft involved in the missions," he said.

A major contribution to the Rotary Wing Group's sustained high performance was the role played by the maintenance crews who were responsible for keeping the 'Chooks' in the air."A key mission requirement for the Task Group was to ensure that the CH-47's were mission ready whenever they were required," Lieutenant Colonel Lynch said.

"This year, we did not fail on a single occasion to provide support when we were assigned to a mission."This magnificent effort by the maintainers to keep our aircraft reliable and available through out our deployment period has underpinned our success this year."

Maintenance crews have already stripped the Rotary Wing Groups double decker bus-sized helicopters and packed them into a pair of Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for the return trip to Australia.

India-Russia Joint Exercise Indra-2010 Underway

With terrorism spreading its tentacles globally, India and Russia are getting ready to wage battles as "allies" against future threats, even as their armies concluded a major joint military exercise in Uttarakhand's Chaubattia on Saturday. Exercise Indra-2010 - held in a counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency operations backdrop in a mountainous terrain - witnessed participation from 250-strong Russian infantry troops and an equal number from an Indian battalion, who practiced 'cordon, search and destroy' operations and elimination of terror groups and leadership.

"Yes, certainly," Russian Federation Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin, who witnessed the exercise, told reporters when asked if he envisaged future joint operations against terrorists around the globe. "The two countries have been fighting against global terrorism. We are not just friends, but allies too. India and Russia know well about it (terrorism), not from a bird's eye view, but as nations that have faced it practically on the ground. So we consider this exercise very significant," Kadakin said.

Emphasising the importance of the exercise, he said during the talks between Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his Indian counterpart A K Antony during his visit to New Delhi this joint army drill was highlighted as an example of growing military-to-military relations between the two countries. Kadakin was seconded by Major General Rajesh Arya, Commander of Indian Army's 6 Mountain Division, who said two or more countries coming together to fight terrorists when they threatened their common interests anywhere on the globe could not be ruled out. "As we have seen in the last 20 years, terrorism and insurgency have been emerging and spreading internationally.

 So is the magnitude of terrorist threats, which were earlier minor, but has taken large proportions in the last couple of years. "Therefore, in certain areas where there are common interests, couple of countries operating together cannot be ruled out. When terrorists try and disturb those interests, we cannot say we are not prepared to take on the threats jointly. Therefore, one has to train well in advance," he said. He was referring to the experience of international joint naval operations against piracy in the Indian Ocean in the recent years as an instance. To achieve interoperability in joint real life operations in the future, troops from the Russian 1st Cavalry of 34th Independent Motorised Brigade (Mountain) and Indian Army's 99 Mountain Brigade acquainted themselves with the arms and equipment, command and control system and operational tactics of each other.

Later, they went into cordon and search operations and later destroying the terrorist hideouts and capturing their leaders through a simulated counter-terrorism scenario using heliborne troops in the Kumaon hills around a 20-km radius here. The exercise, since October 15, was carried out in three phases - familiarisation, Exercises Prabhav and Talaash special search, and debriefing. Kadakin, who also interacted with the Indian and Russian troops over day, said the exercise was "significant" in the sense that this was the first time the two armies were training in joint counter-terrorism operations over a vast canvass of tactical manoeuvres, though there had been two earlier Indra series exercise in 2005 and 2007.

"What is significant in this exercise is the experience the two armies being shared and learning from each other on terrorist situations they (India and Russia) faced and operated in (such as Kashmir and northern Caucasus). When the two armies' personnel meet, it is a learning experience. "It is not to compare each other's drills, but to share lessons so that we are richer in this fight against terror," he said.

Noting that the two armies needed to be ready for any eventuality, Kadakin said, "I do not pray that a situation should arise when this experience andlessons comes in handy, but the situation we are in today warrants it, be it due to threats from your country's vicinity or our northern Caucasus. This exercise will be fruitful and beneficial." When asked about the three-year gap between the previous and this exercise in the Indra series, the Ambassador said apart from financial constraints of the Russian defence forces, it was also due to the reform process that they were going through in the recent years. "Very simple... our army is now in the process of reform.

That is why when reform is going on it is very difficult to distract oneself. It is better to complete the reform and start the exchanges. I am happy that this exercise has started. There were also financial constraints.
There were no other reasons at all," he added.

Indian Air Force could soon get Brahmos missile

Chief Executive and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace, has said that the development and induction of BrahMos, India''s supersonic cruise missile for the Indian Air Force will be completed soon. Talking toreporters here on Saturday, Pillai said: "Recently the missile was tested for ''steep dive attack'' capability, as demanded by the Army. "The recent attempt was to see that it gives higher performance. On that ground we thought that we should prove the attack mode as well. That is how we did steep-dive mission, which also went very successfully.

Selex Galileo's RWR for Royal Malaysian Air Force's Hawk advanced Jet Trainer Fleet

By Craig Hoyle

Selex Galileo expects to receive a contract to equip the Royal Malaysian Air Force's BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft with a new radar warning receiver (RWR) system.Named Seer, the self-protection equipment has been designed as a drop-in replacement for BAE's Sky Guardian 200 RWR system, previously installed on platforms including the Hawk.Selex supported recent flight trials of the new equipment with a Malaysian Hawk. "The RWR met all of the jointly agreed objectives, with Seer being able to detect radars at ranges that were an order of magnitude greater than those achieved by older-generation systems," it says.
Read More

Sunday, October 24, 2010

South Korea rules out joining U.S. regional missile defense

South Korea has no plan to join the U.S. regional missile defense system but it will continue to strengthen cooperation with Washington to counter North Korea's missile threat, the defense ministry said Saturday.The ministry issued a statement to clarify comments made by its minister, Kim Tae-young, during a parliamentary audit a day earlier that were interpreted by some as suggesting that South Korea was considering joining the U.S. regional missile defense system.South Korea and the United States "will discuss ways to share information and to use resources for the protection of the Korean Peninsula from the threat of North Korean weapons of mass destruction when their Extended Deterrence Policy Committee meets," the ministry said in the statement.

Understanding Asia-Pacific Sea Power

Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) boasts the world's largest fleet. For example, in August, The Economist published a story titled ‘Naval Gazing’, noting that the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies said China now has more warships than the United States. And sure enough, accompanying the story was a graphic showing that the PLAN has. For example, he noted that the US Navy ‘operates 11 large carriers…In terms of size and striking power, no other country has even one comparable ship.’ It ‘has 57 nuclear-powered attack and cruise missile submarine—again, more than the rest of the world combined.’ And ‘the displacement of the US battle fleet—a proxy for overall fleet capabilities—exceeds, by one recent estimate, at least the next 13 navies combined.’PLAN boasts 1,045 vessels of all types—more than double the number available to the United States. According to the Naval Vessel Register, the US Navy is currently comprised of 287 ships, of which 257 are in full commission and ready for service. Add in the 163 civilian-crewed non-combatant vessels of the Military Sealift Command (51 of which are laid up in reduced operating status) and the grand total is 450 ships at US policymakers' disposal.

None of this is lost on Beijing. In fact, Chinese commanders count on employing packs of small, nimble, hard-hitting fast attack boats to contest an adversary's attempts to impose sea control along the mainland seaboard. Stealthy Type 022 Houbei catamarans displacing about 220 tons are designed specifically to use hit-and-run tactics against larger warships. Armed with long-range anti-ship cruise missiles, they punch well above their weight. As long as the PLAN contents itself with fighting within range of shore-based aircraft, small surface and subsurface combatants and antiship missiles, that weaponry must be factored into the fleet's overall strength.  Nor do all the aircraft carriers and missile-toting destroyers in the world mean much if the US Pacific Fleet dare not venture within range of Chinese anti-ship ballistic missilesand so can’t bring its offensive firepower to bear.

Read More

Saturday, October 23, 2010

South Korea to Boost Naval Defenses

South Korea and the U.S. will stage joint anti-submarine exercises twice a year from next year, one each in the East and West Seas. The number of 214-class 1,800-ton subs will be increased from the current three to nine by 2018, and about nine 3,000-ton next-generation subs are to be procured after 2020. Some 20 2,300-ton future frigates will replace superannuated frigates and corvettes of the same type as the Cheonan, which was sunk by North Korea in March, after 2012.He added a 14,500-ton landing ship the same size as the Dokdo amphibious assault ship, which can be remodeled as a light aircraft carrier within six months, will be built by 2018.

Kockums launches second submarine for Singapore Navy

RSS Swordsman was launched today with pomp and circumstance. The submarine is the second in the Northern Light project under which two Västergötland class submarines, previously owned by the Swedish Navy, have been rebuilt, life-extended and modernised. The Singapore Navy is therefore receiving the very latest in submarine technology, including world-class stealth technology. Training of the crew is co-ordinated with the Swedish Navy at the naval base in Karlskrona.

"The importance of the submarine is increasing, not least due to its ability to conduct covert reconnaissance. With stealth technology, it can see and hear everything from great distances without being detected itself. This is important for a country’s own defence as well as for joint international security efforts. Today, threats arise not only from regular military forces but also from terrorism and piracy. A modern submarine force must therefore be flexible enough to meet both conventional and nonconventional types of threats," says Kockums CEO Ola Alfredsson.

Russia to produce 150 Bulava missiles before 2020

Russia will need to build more than 150 Bulava ballistic missiles in the next decade, an expert on the Russian arms industry said on Friday.Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, told RIA Novosti that at least 124 missiles would be required for the eight Borey class nuclear-powered submarines that will enter service over the next decade, and a further 30 or 40 will have to be set aside for test launches.The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered seven failures in 13 tests.

Indonesia set to continue buying arms from Russia

Indonesia will continue its military-technical cooperation with Russia, the country's defense minister said.Purnomo Yusgiantoro spoke after an official transfer of three Russian-made Mi-35P combat helicopters to Indonesia."We will continue our military-technical cooperation with Russia," the minister said, noting the high quality and reliability of Russian-made military equipment.With the addition of the three Mi-35s, the fleet of Russian-made helicopters in service with the Indonesian Armed Forces now comprises five Mi-35 attack helicopters and six Mi-17V5 multipurpose helicopters.Under a $300 million contract, signed in 2007, Russia recently completed the delivery of three Su-30MK2 and three Su-27SKM fighters to Jakarta in addition to two Su-27SK and two Su-30MK fighters purchased in 2003.

Russian, Indian troops complete military exercises in Himalayas

Russian and Indian troops completed a drill to kill a fictional terrorist leader in the Indian Himalayas as part of the Indra-2010 joint military exercises, which finished on Saturday."The experience we gained from the exercises is useful. We learned a lot from our Russian colleagues," Commander of the Indian contingent Brigadier-General Gopal said.The INDRA-2010 exercises were launched on October 16 at Chaubattia, in Uttarakhand, a mountainous area near India's border with China and Nepal.

Eurojet Agent Asked to Leave India

Noise: IAF planes on radar

In the first ever move of its kind in India to mitigate noise pollution around an airport, the aviation ministry and DGCA have asked the defence ministry to avoid flying their old and extremely noisy military aircraft in and out of Delhi airport. At the same time realising the security requirements, the aviation authorities have suggested a practical alternate also by suggesting the movement of such aircraft be limited to runway 27.Highly placed sources said this move is a direct fallout of residents living in colonies near IGI approaching the Delhi high court over the issue of noise from airport at night. The DGCA is already proposing to ban movement of noisy old aircraft that fall in chapter-II of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) like the Boeing 737-200 or the Russian IL-76 from IGI between 10pm and 6am from October 31. In India, Alliance Air and Blue Dart use the B 737-200 as cargo aircraft.

RAAF's F/A-18F Super Hornet first AGM-154C JSOW

Su-30MKI and Eurofighter Typhoons in Formation during Ex Indradhanush Exercise

Sukhoi SU-30MKI aircraft (2nd R and R) and British Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons fly in formation during the Ex Indradhanush military exercise after taking off from Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Midinapur district, India's West Bengal state. The Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force are taking part in the exercise which runs October 8 till November 3. AFP PHOTO
Source

$2 Billion Security Assistance Package For Pakistan but No AH-1Z Vipers or AH-64 Apaches

At last week's U.S-Pakistan strategic dialogue, officials discussed American military aid, counterinsurgency strategy and flood relief for Pakistan. It was, however, the mention of a $2 billion security assistance package that caught analysts' attention.Defense officials at the U.S. embassy have discounted the possibility of acquiring AH-1Z Vipers to replace Pakistan's well-worn AH-1F Cobras until the initial order for the U.S. Marine Corps is fulfilled in 2015. The U.S. State Department's "Pakistan Assistance Strategy Report," published last December, raised the possibility of some Vipers being diverted to Pakistan. Past efforts to obtain AH-64 Apaches have been rebuffed.
Read More



Friday, October 22, 2010

China strategist gets red carpet

Forgets visa denial to Army general China strategist gets red carpet. The UPA Government has dropped in less than two months the ban it had slapped on visits by the Chinese defence officials and strategists, after Beijing refused visa to one of India's top Army generals on account of his Kashmir connection as the northern army commander. Ignoring the strongly worded demarche ( protest letter) with threat of retaliation issued to Beijing on August 27 for heaping insult on Lt Gen. B S Jaswal, the National Defence College has extended a red carpet welcome to Shen Dingli, a top Chinese strategist.

Airbus Military looks to India for A400M Grizzly airlifter

European aerospace major EADS is on the verge of bringing into markets its new A400M Grizzly to compete in Indian military proposals for inducting giant airlifters to boost its strategic reach. Didier Vernet, Head of A400M Market Development, Airbus Military, said the European consortium is looking to increase sales of the multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft outside Europe, particularly to "the lucrative Indian defence market". Click here to visit SME Buzz Also Read Related Stories News Now - Letters: Craft of defence deals - India will need 1,000 aircraft over 20 yrs: Airbus CEO - American engine to power LCA - Eurojet pips GE in LCA engine bid - EADS relaunches brand to boost integration -

Russian naval aviation is in critical condition

Russian naval aviation is in critical condition, particularly the aviation units of the Black Sea Fleet, which may lose most of their fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in the next five to six years.There have been no public reports or official statements regarding the purchase of new aircraft for the navy citing specific figured or parameters, except for the announcement of the purchase of 26 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum carrier-borne fighters.Off-the-record comments and articles by experts indicate that Soviet-era Ilyushin Il-38 May and Tupolev Tu-142 Bear F/J maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft are currently being modernized.

Replacing ASW aircraft is even more critical. Russia now has an estimated 40 long-range aircraft, including 26-28 Il-38s and 15 Tu-142s in use in the Pacific and Northern fleets, while the Baltic fleet lacks any long-range aircraft.The Russian Navy also plans to overhaul its 40 ASW aircraft. But 40 aircraft are clearly not enough to police Russia's coast. Russia has the longest maritime border in the world, a problem compounded by the melting polar icecaps. Although the United States has 130 planes of this class, many U.S. analysts also believe their number should be increased.A good replacement would be the Tupolev Tu-204-P multi-mission maritime aircraft, which was developed on the basis of the Tu-204 medium-haul airliner. It resembles the state-of-the-art Boeing P-8 Poseidon, a converted B-737.

Iran has No Plans to Buy S-300 Air Defense from China, Venezuela

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi dismissed media reports that Tehran has tried to buy Russia's sophisticated anti-aircraft S-300 missile system from third parties."We don't have any plan to buy S-300 from other countries," Vahidi told reporters on the sidelines of a national congress here in Tehran on Wednesday. Also in response to reporters' repeated questions about Tehran's possible plans for purchasing the S-300 missile shield from China, he underlined, "We don't have any such plan at present." He also rejected media reports that the S-300 deal has been rechanneled through a third party, namely Venezuela, and stressed reports alleging that Iran plans to buy the S-300 missile defense system that Russia has sold to Venezuela are baseless rumors.

Dutch Apache helicopters refused to help Australian SAS in firefight in Afghanistan: Digger

AUSTRALIAN special forces were abandoned by Dutch allies during a firefight in Afghanistan, reports say.News Limited papers reported that Dutch pilots refused to drop below their "safe" height of 5000m to rescue Australian SAS and US forces caught in an ambush in September 2008.Former SAS sniper Rob Maylor, wounded during the battle, said the Australians had pleaded with the Dutch: "We're in an absolute doozy of a shitfight. We need your assistance as we're taking casualties."But the Dutch helicopter pilots refused to offer covering fire for the Australian, US and Afghan troops in the ambush. A US soldier was killed and seven SAS soldiers and two sappers were wounded. Trooper Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his role in the battle.He writes that during the battle the Australians saw two Dutch Apache helicopters escorting a Chinook and radioed the pilots to fire their Hellfire laser-guided missiles and 30mm cannons on the Taliban.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pakistan Army Wins in Cambrian Patrol Exercise

Exercise Cambrian Patrol is a prestigious British Army exercise which is organized annually in United Kingdom in Wales. Apart from teams from British Army, teams from military establishments all over the world are also invited to participate. It is a three days exercise in which the teams, comprising eight members, are required to infiltrate into simulated enemy lines and perform multiple tasks including obstacle crossing, close target reconnaissance and exfiltrate successfully in real time environments.

For Year - 2010, a total of 86 teams participated in the exercise, including 70 British and 16 teams from other countries of the world including USA, Canada, Germany, France and India etc. Rawalpindi Corps team represented Pakistan Army in Exercise Cambrian Patrol - 2010, held from 11-13 October 2010 and showed an excellent performance by winning a Gold Medal in the event.

Delhi-based Samtel Display Systems to Build MFD for Sukhoi-30MKI fighters

Delhi-based Samtel Display Systems has vaulted a giant hurdle on the way to its declared goal of becoming a major supplier to the armed forces. After a year of rigorous flight trials in the Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, Samtel’s home-built cockpit displays have been certified as suitable for introduction into frontline service.Multi-Function Displays (MFD), as these cockpit displays are termed, are ranged in front of the Su-30MKI pilots. They get digital signals from dozens of sensors on various aircraft systems and display these to the pilot on an easy-to-read screen. A quick glance across his MFDs tells the pilot how his aircraft is flying and fighting.So far, a French company, Thales, has provided the Sukhoi-30’s high-tech MFDs. But Samtel has aggressively targeted this market, even choosing to go it alone rather than work through its joint venture with Thales. With Samtel’s price significantly cheaper than Thales’, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which builds the Sukhoi-30 at its Nashik facility, has placed orders on Samtel.

Delhi-based Samtel Display Systems to Build Cockpit Displays for Sukhoi-30MKI fighters

Delhi-based Samtel Display Systems has vaulted a giant hurdle on the way to its declared goal of becoming a major supplier to the armed forces. After a year of rigorous flight trials in the Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, Samtel’s home-built cockpit displays have been certified as suitable for introduction into frontline service.Multi-Function Displays (MFD), as these cockpit displays are termed, are ranged in front of the Su-30MKI pilots. They get digital signals from dozens of sensors on various aircraft systems and display these to the pilot on an easy-to-read screen. A quick glance across his MFDs tells the pilot how his aircraft is flying and fighting.So far, a French company, Thales, has provided the Sukhoi-30’s high-tech MFDs. But Samtel has aggressively targeted this market, even choosing to go it alone rather than work through its joint venture with Thales. With Samtel’s price significantly cheaper than Thales’, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which builds the Sukhoi-30 at its Nashik facility, has placed orders on Samtel.

US to Unveil Security Assistance Package Totalling $2 billion Over Five Years

The United States hopes to mend its relations with Pakistan badly damaged by the American military’s tough new stance in the region during their high-level talks beginning Thursday at which it plans to unveil a security assistance package totalling $2 billion over five years.“Pakistan has taken aggressive action within its own borders. But clearly, this is an ongoing threat and more needs to be done,” the State Department spokesman, Philip Crowley, said Monday. “That will be among the issues talked about.”

Last week, Adm. Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that General Kayani had assured him that Pakistan’s army would tackle the North Waziristan haven, but on Pakistan’s timetable. In an interview, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said, “Our American partners understand that we have 34,000 troops in North Waziristan. Our soldiers have been engaged in flood relief after history’s worst floods. It is not a question of lack of will.”Qureshi blamed the United States for the situation, saying Washington signed a civilian nuclear accord with India that discriminated against Pakistan. “You have disturbed the nuclear balance,” he said in a recent interview in New York, “and we have been forced to develop a new strategy.”

India have Chalked out Combat Exercises with Foreign Forces for Coming Months

Indian armed forces have chalked out a stunning round of combat exercises with foreign forces in the coming several months to use "defence diplomacy" as a tool to bolster national security as well as promote strategic cooperation. Defence ministry officials say the 1.13-million Army alone has planned 14 to 18 exercises with countries ranging from the US, UK and Russia to Bangladesh, Mongolia, Thailand and Tajiskistan, both at home and abroad. For instance, the armies of Seychelles and Singapore will be in Belgaum and Deolali in January for joint combat exercises with Indian soldiers. Similar is the case with Navy and IAF. Indian warships will hold combat manoeuvres with French warships, including nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, during the "Varuna" wargames on the high seas in January. "Indian and French navies and air forces have build a high-level of interoperability through such exercises...We have a strategic partnership," said visiting French chief of defence staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More