Thursday, December 30, 2010

Indian Ocean Defence Scenario - Anti Piracy Operations

Shenyang j-16 to make first flight in 2011

A new stealthy 4.5+ generation heavy fighter, developed from the J-11B, is supposed to make its first flight in 2011.

It's named the J-16 by unconfirmed sources.

It was rumored in November 2010 that SAC is developing a 4.5th generation heavy multi-role fighter.With a conventional layout based on J-11B. First flight was rumored to be within 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Is Iran About to Test a Nuclear Bomb In North Korea?

On December 24, a research report from the South Korean Foreign Ministry Institute indicated that North Korea would carry out another nuclear bomb test after the beginning of the year. -- South Korean media reported earlier this month that the North was digging a tunnel in preparation for such a nuclear test.

At the same time, reports from inside Iran indicate that a team of Iranian nuclear scientists have been sent to North Korea and that the two governments have agreed on a joint nuclear test in North Korea with a substantial financial reward for the Kim Jong-Il government.

It is no secret that Iran and North Korea are collaborating in a ballistic missile program. The North Koreans provided Iran with the technology and know-how to build the Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, which is a copy of the Nodong-1 missile. The Shahb- 3 missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) covering all of the U.S. military bases in the Middle East and the entire country of Israel.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

N.Korea Boosts Special Forces, Conventional Arms

North Korea's special forces have grown by 20,000 over the past two years, reaching about 200,000 in total and increasing the so-called asymmetric threat the country poses to the South.

The numbers come from the defense white paper 2010 published on Thursday, which says the North has consistently boosted its special warfare capabilities, deploying a light infantry division under an Army corps stationed on the frontline and adding a light infantry regiment to an Army division there.

The 200,000-odd special troops are primed to carry out combined operations such as attacks on major facilities in South Korea, assassination of VIPs and harassment in the rear by infiltrating the South using underground tunnels and AN-2 aircraft capable of low-altitude infiltration, the white paper said.

The number of the North's special forces, reportedly the world's largest, was estimated at about 120,000 in the 2006 defense white paper and at about 180,000 in the 2008 white paper. They now account for 17 percent of the North's 1.19 million soldiers (1.02 million in the Army, 60,000 in the Navy and 110,000 in the Air Force).

According to the white paper the North Korean Army has about 4,100 tanks, up 200 from two years ago, and about 2,100 armored vehicles, showing no increase over the same period. It has deployed a new tank at the frontline dubbed "Pokpung" (Storm) patterned after the Soviet Union's old T-72 tank, while superannuated tanks are deployed at rear-area units.

The Pokpung tanks are reportedly equipped with stronger firepower and better maneuverability than the old "Chonma" (Flying Horse), an improved version of the T-62.

The white paper identifies a new antiaircraft missile with a vertical launch control system, which was unveiled during a massive parade in celebration of the Workers Party's anniversary in October, as the "KN-06," and a medium-range ballistic missile with a range of 3,000 km as the "Musudan."

It says the North continues to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles to secure strategic weapons. It has extracted an estimated 40 kg of plutonium by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods which it acquired by operating a 5 MW nuclear reactor since the 1980s. It also has 2,500 to 5,000 tons of various chemical weapons, according to the white paper.

The North Korean Army consists of 15 corps, 90 divisions, and 70 mobile brigades. Troop numbers are similar to 2008, but four more divisions and one more brigade were created.

Equipment includes about 8,500 field guns, 5,100 multiple rocket launchers, and some 100 surface-to-surface missiles, as well as 170 mm self-propelled guns and 240 mm multiple rocket launchers that can deliver blitzkrieg fire at the Seoul metropolitan area from their current positions.

The North Korean Navy has about 420 combat warships, 260 landing ships, 30 minesweepers, about 30 support vessels and some 70 submarines. The Air Force has some 820 combat aircraft, 30 surveillance and control aircraft, 330 aerial mobile planes and some 170 training aircraft. Compared to 2008, that is 20 fewer combat aircraft and 10 fewer training aircraft.

A ministry official said the figures "are the outcome of estimates by Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies of all North Korean Air Force aircraft capabilities, including aircraft that have been downed since 2008 and those that have long remained unused."

The North also has about 300 helicopters, 7.7 million reserve forces, and some 300 munition factories. The military is keeping most of the ordnance stored in caves and has two to three month's worth of supplies, the white paper estimates.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Russian Air Force receives 4 Su-34 fighter-bomber airplanes

As reported today by the Russian media, a spokesman would have declared that the Air Force of the Country has received four new Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers, NATO reporting name "Fullback".

70 new aircraft should be delivered to the Russian Air forces within 2015 to replace outdated tactical bombers at low altitude Sukhoi Su-24, NATO codename "Fencer" ("Swordsmen"), much used during the Cold War and currently subjected to a modernization process to extend its life's service.

The Sukhoi Su-34 (Су-34) is a Russian Sukhoi fighter-bomber aircraft, developed by the Russian industry Sukhoi, created in the 90s, for medium-haul attack and bombing.

Japan says Chinese military aircraft more aggressive since September

Chinese military aircraft have become more aggressive in confrontations with Japanese aircraft operating over the East China Sea, since a collision between a Chinese trawler and Japanese Coast Guard vessel in September.
Defence officials in Tokyo told the Asahi newspaper that in addition to the harassment of Japanese aircraft, China has stepped up its probing of air defences in the region and the monitoring of military exercises involving units from the United States and Japan.
In the last nine months, Japanese fighters have been scrambled to intercept Chinese intruders on 44 occasions, the highest figure in the last five years and more than double the number for the whole of fiscal 2006, the Telegraph quoted Japanese defence ministry officials, as saying.
Officials also claimed that Chinese reconnaissance aircraft are also increasingly entering Japan's Air Defence Identification Zone.
Although this is not a breach of territorial airspace, it does inevitably lead to interceptors being scrambled.
In October, a Chinese Navy JH-7 fighter-bomber reportedly breached the ADIZ and came close enough to a Japanese fighter to make a visual identification.
During the "Keen Sword" military exercises in early December, F-15 fighters based in Okinawa were scrambled to meet an unidentified aircraft approaching the ADIZ.
Japanese pilots confirmed that the aircraft was a Chinese Navy Y-8X maritime patrol aircraft.
Japan has already expressed concern over China's increased spending on its military, particularly its navy and air force. (ANI)

Friday, December 17, 2010

indian navy to get 4 more stealth Destroyers Project-15B

 The government has cleared another major programme, 'Project-15B', to indigenously construct four guided-missile stealth destroyers for around Rs 30,000-crore at Mazagon Docks. 
In its quest to become a powerful three-dimensional blue-water force and maintain a fleet of around 140 "surface and sub-surface combatants", the Navy already has 30 warships and six submarines on order in various Indian shipyards.

Moreover, it has an aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov or INS Vikramditya, three additional Talwar-class stealth frigates in Russia, as also two fleet tankers in Italy under construction.

Project-15B, which will be undertaken at MDL after the three Kolkata-class 6,700-tonne destroyers already being constructed there under a long-delayed Rs 11,662-crore project are finally delivered in 2012-2014, is understood to have been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security on Wednesday evening. It was earlier cleared by the Defence Acquisitions Council, chaired by defence minister A K Antony, in July.

Structural fault in mig-29 fighter

Russia has pointed out structural faults in MiG-29 aircraft. There was a MiG-29 accident in Russia in December 2008. RAC-MiG has intimated that corrosion on the fin root ribs has been identified as the cause of crack development.
There is no plan to decommission MiG-29 aircraft.
The repair scheme and preventive measures are in place and IAF has not encountered major problems concerning the issue. IAF has not entered into a new deal for procurement of MiG-29 aircraft.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Prabhat Jha & Balavant Alias Bal Apte in Rajya Sabha today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Denel Develops New Version Casspir APC

Denel's Mechem division has developed a new air-transportable variant of the Casspir mine-protected armoured personnel carrier (APC) to complement the Mk II variants, which were re-launched in May 2010.

The new vehicle, known as the Casspir Mk IV, is wider than the original vehicle, but at 2.73 m tall, it is slightly lower overall, enabling it to fit through the entrance to a C-130 Hercules transport. The vehicle's 40 cm ride-height remains the same to help manage blast, but the roof has been dropped by 20 cm.

Despite the change in dimensions, Denel claims the vehicle offers the same high levels of mine protection as the earlier vehicles and that add-on armour packages are available to increase protection still further.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Complete inside story of-"indigenous" Dhruv/ALH

From the design to the provision of components and ammunition the involvement of foreign companies in the development of the ALH is considerable. At least 29 companies in nine countries across four continents have been involved with the development, licensed production or supply of components or munitions for the ALH. Ten of these companies are based in six EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK). Other companies involved include a number based in Israel and the USA. Since its inception, the ALH has been a collaborative effort between the German company Messerschmitt-Bölkow Blohm (now Eurocopter Deutschland) and HAL:

"One thing should be clear. Though it is India's, if not Asia's, first de novodesigned helicopter, it is not ‘indigenous’ in the Indian sense of the term, but a collaborative effort of HAL and specialists from Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, who built the Eurocopter, which the Advanced Light Helicopter resembles."

It is not clear what configuration of armaments and components will be incorporated into the variants of any ALHs that might eventually be exported to Myanmar, but it is incumbent on governments to ensure that components produced or otherwise originating from within their jurisdiction are not incorporated into military helicopters transferred to Myanmar. The section below provides illustrative examples of key foreign involvement in the development of the ALH.

Core foreign components for the ALH include helicopter engines and rotor blades, as well as hydraulics, cockpit displays, vibration dampers and other "mission-critical parts". In addition, European firms have contributed to the offensive military capability of the attack helicopter version: variants of the ALH have incorporated rocket launchers of Belgian origin, and machine guns and missiles of French origin.

European and US firms have been involved in designing and developing the aircraft and its components. As a consequence — not least with major structural components like engines and rotors — it would be difficult, if not impossible, for HAL to source adequate alternative components from non-European or non-US suppliers. Similarly it may be difficult for HAL to manufacture such components itself without technical support from those firms.

Letters were faxed to each of the companies mentioned in this report, noting the reports that the Government of India was in negotiations with the Government of Myanmar to supply the ALH, and requesting information about their involvement in the development of the ALH through the manufacture and supply of components, technology and/or assistance. The letters also asked about the terms of the licences under which such transfers were made, including any restrictions applied to re-export.

Many of the companies’ responses summarised below specifically state that the contracts conform to their government’s requirements. Nevertheless, should such transfers of the ALH from India go ahead over the coming months, it is likely that military equipment, components and technology supplied from EU and US manufacturers incorporated into the ALH will end up in an embargoed destination. There is no suggestion that these companies will have broken current laws or regulations or deliberately violated the EU arms embargo on Myanmar. However, in almost all of these cases, the exports would not have been permitted from the country where the controlling company is based if they were supplied direct to Myanmar.


The following section illustrates the scale of involvement of non-Indian companies in the design.

The European Union


Forges de Zeebrugge FZ

Variants of the ALH have incorporated rocket launchers produced by the Belgiam company, Forges de Zeebrugge FZ.For example, the photo below shows the FZ nameplate on the rocket launcher mounted on ALH on display at Farnborough International, UK on 14 August 2006.


Forges de Zeebrugge FZ confirmed that they have contracts with both HAL and the Indian Army, which have been approved by the Belgian authorities and are subject to end-use agreements. Confidentiality clauses contained within the contract prevented fuller disclosure of any details surrounding the nature of the deal.



The French company Turbomeca (now part of the Safran Group) has undertaken both the direct export of engines from France to India but has also established licensed production and technology transfer arrangements with HAL to produce engines for the ALH. In February 2003, it was announced that Turbomeca and HAL had signed three major contracts. These included a contract for the supply of TM 333 2B2 engines for application on the HAL helicopter; and another contract for the repair and overhaul licence for the TM 333 2B2. The HAL website states that the ALH continues to use the "Turbomeca TM 333-2B2 Twin Turbo-shaft Engine 746 kw (1000 SHP)".

Turbomeca confirmed that it has three contracts with HAL, two of which cover the supply, repair, servicing and overhaul of the TM333-2B2 engines for the ALH. The company also stated that all its contracts were regulated by the appropriate French export licensing authorities. However in its response to our enquiries the French Government stated that the engines in question are not classified as war material by the French regulations and do not appear in the list of items subject to the Myanmar embargo. In our view, this interpretation is wrong because non-listed items in the EC Dual Use Regulation if incorporated into military items bound for embargoed destinations become licensable, that is subject to the embargo (for more on this see the section on EU export controls on re-exports over military equipmentbelow).

It would therefore appear that the French Government places no restrictions on the transfer of equipment fundamental to the operation of the ALH notwithstanding the fact that it is clearly also used as a military aircraft.

GIAT Industries (Nexter) and MBDA

In July 2006 defence news service Shepherd Rotorhub quoted Hindustan

Aeronautics' chairman Ashok Baweja describing a weaponisation programme was under way for the ALH. This was to include a 20mm gun from the French company GIAT and rockets from European missile manufacturer MBDA. In December 2006, GIAT (now renamed Nexter) announced that it had been awarded a contract by HAL for:

"the supply of 20 THL 20 turrets that will equip the Indian Armed Forces' Advanced Light Helicopter. The order covers the development phase of 20 turrets. The first deliveries will take place in 2008…."

In March 2007 Jane's Information Group reported that HAL signed a deal with MBDA in July 2006 for the supply of air-to-air Mistral missiles for armed versions of the ALH.

Nexter has confirmed that it does supply products to HAL for the ALH. This currently includes twenty ‘THL 20’ 20mm Helicopter turrets. The company also stated that all of its exports are regulated and approved by the appropriate French export licensing authorities and that any additional contracts to supply the ALH that were not stipulated in the original contract would require a further export licence.


Eurocopter Deutschland (formerly MBB) and now wholly owned by Eurocopter

Eurocopter has been involved (originally as MBB) with the development of the ALH since at least July 1984. In November 1995, it was reported that Eurocopter had submitted a proposal to the Indian Defence Ministry to "co-produce the ALH designed by HAL. It plans to set up production facilities in India to manufacture the ALH for both local and export markets."In 2006 both companies were advertising their mutual co-operation: Eurocopter noting that it was supplying rotor blades for the ALH, and HAL announcing that "Eurocopter, the helicopter manufacturer owned by EADS, has been cooperating with HAL for over four decades … India was the first nation with which Eurocopter signed a licence agreement for technology transfer." Amnesty International wrote to Eurocopter in March 2007 asking for clarification over its role in the development of the ALH. As of 25 June 2007, the company had not responded.

SITEC Aerospace

SITEC Aerospace manufactures a range of components and complete assemblies for flight/engine controls for various types of aircraft. According to company literature on display at Farnborough International 2006, SITEC provides components for the ALH.

SITEC Aerospace confirmed that they supply parts for the ALH, but that they do not export these directly to HAL, but supply them to another unnamed German manufacturer who subsequently incorporates these items into other systems for the ALH.


Elettronica Aster SpA

The Italian company Elettronica Aster SpA on its website describes HAL as a major customer. According to the "Company and Program Overview", Elettronica Aster SpA has produced and supplied the ALH with a brake system.

Amnesty International wrote to Elettronica Aster SpA in March 2007 to ask for clarifications as to its involvement in the development of the ALH. In its reply dated 15 March, the company had no comment on the specifics of its supply of components for the ALH, stating only that Elettronica Aster SpA’s "export activity is regulated by the rules called out in the Italian Law no.185/’90 (with amendment DDL 1927), establishing the regulation for weapons import/export/transit."


Saab AB

Saab Avitronics, the South African joint venture company owned by Saab AB (Sweden) and Saab Grintek (South Africa, itself part owned by Saab AB), has been awarded a multi-million dollar export contract from HAL for the supply of self-protection equipment for installation on the ALH for the Indian Armed Forces.

Amnesty International wrote to Saab AB on 1 June 2007 asking for clarification over its involvement with the ALH. Saab AB replied saying: "All export approvals from the concerned authorities are in place. The export licences are supported by an end-user certificate."

The United Kingdom

APPH Precision Hydraulics

At the 2004 Farnborough arms fair, the UK company APPH Precision Hydraulics Ltd displayed its Hydraulic Package as the following:

"HAL Advanced Light Helicopter Hydraulic Package designed and manufactured by APPH Ltd"

Amnesty International wrote to in March 2007 to ask for clarifications as its involvement in the development of the ALH. As of 25 June 2007, the company had not responded.

FPT Industries Ltd

In 1993 it was reported that FPT Industries Ltd had been awarded a contract to supply floatation equipment for the ALH under development by HAL. FTP Industries is part of GKN Aerospace Services Ltd. In 1997, it was reported that FPT Industries’ self-sealing fuel tank systems were being used in the ALH. In 2007, the FPT Industries website stated that: "FPT equipment is fitted to a range of helicopters including ALH".

In 1997, the then GKN Westland Aerospace Ltd (renamed GKN Aerospace Services Ltd in 2001) was awarded a contract to supply the internal gearbox BR715 for HAL’s ALH.

GKN Aerospace Services Ltd confirmed that they have supplied fuel tanks, floatation equipment and related gaskets and seals for the ALH, but that these are subject to end-use certificates stipulating that they would not be re-exported. The company stated that future supplies for the ALH would be for components and kits for fuel tanks that would be assembled locally in India, but would again be subject to similar end-use undertakings. However, while the UK Government normally requires the presentation of end-use documentation as part of the licensing process, it does not as a rule then include explicit end-use restrictions as a conditionon the export licence. If this is the case in this instance, what force those end-use undertakings have is unclear.

Other third-country involvement in the ALH:

The United States

It should be noted that the US embargo on Myanmar does not specifically mention indirect supplies, nor does it place controls on civilian components that are incorporated into military systems. However, indirect supplies of US military components or other controlled items are subject to re-export controls under the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) system which specifically states that re-export of US-controlled content can only take place with the express permission of the US Government. Section 123.9 "Country of ultimate destination" provides that:

"(a) The country designated as the country of ultimate destination on an application for an export licence, or on a shipper's export declaration where an exemption is claimed under this subchapter, must be the country of ultimate end-use. The written approval of the Department of State must be obtained before reselling, diverting, transferring, transshipping, or disposing of a defense article in any country other than the country of ultimate destination as stated on the export licence, or on the shipper's export declaration in cases where an exemption is claimed under this subchapter. Exporters must ascertain the specific end-use and end-user prior to submitting an application to the Office of Munitions Control or claiming an exemption under this subchapter. End-use must be confirmed and should not be assumed."

However, it is not clear whether components supplied by US companies for the ALH have been specifically designed or adapted for military use. If not, they may fall outside this specification.

Aitech Systems Ltd

In September 2005, it was reported that Aitech Systems Ltd, a US company, had announced it had "received the first production order from the Lahav Division of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) for Display & Mission Computers" for inclusion in the glass cockpit of the ALH. The Lahav Division of IAI is under contract to HAL to develop and provide the avionics system for the HAL.

Deliveries for the first production of Display and Mission Computers were due to be completed by May 2006:

"Aitech will build 400 Display & Mission Computers for the ALH program, to be delivered over the next several years. In addition, Aitech is under contract to IAI to provide the next generation of Display & Mission Computer."

Amnesty International wrote to the company in March 2007 asking for clarifications over its involvement with the ALH, but has yet to receive a reply (as of 25 June 2007).

Lord Corporation

In January 2004, it was reported that Lord Corporation had announced that it had been "awarded the first production contract for its active vibration control system" for the ALH. Lord Corporation had been supplying other parts (such as elastomeric bearings) for the main tail rotor and parts for various "isolators", which together formed part of an anti-resonance isolator system aimed at reducing vibrations in the aircraft." The report also stated that "Lord would supply the vibration dampers for these aircraft with user approvals."

Chinas new type 056-FFG


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