Sunday, September 29, 2013

US to upgrade Japan's early warning radar aircraft

The Pentagon notified the US Congress on Thursday of a proposed contract with Japan worth nearly $1 billion to upgrade the country's early warning radar aircraft.
The planned $950 million deal would modernize Japan's fleet of four Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes, bolstering electronic systems used to identify other aircraft and providing new cryptographic computers, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.
"The proposed sale will provide Japan with an upgraded AWACS command and control capability" and "allow Japan's AWACS fleet to be more compatible with the US Air Force AWACS fleet baseline," according to an agency statement.
Manufactured by aerospace giant Boeing and flown by NATO countries and other US allies, AWACS carry a rotating radar antenna mounted on the back of the plane, using systems to track other aircraft or enemy air defenses at long distances.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Zubr-class landing craft would aid PLA invasion of Dioyutai

Should the PLA attempt an amphibious landing the disputed Japan-controlled Diaoyutai (Diaoyu or Senkaku) islands in the East China Sea, the Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft introduced from Russia will be very useful, according to the Moscow-based Voice of Russia on Sept. 26.
Vasily Kashin from the Moscow-based Centre for Strategic Technology Analysis said China has changed its previous passive attitude over the issue of the islands following their nationalization by Japan last year. Amid an outpouring of anti-Japanese sentiment in response, Beijing has begun to be more aggressive in sending maritime patrol vessels and aircraft to the islands, keeping the pressure on Japan and also pacifying nationalist sentiment among the public demanding a tough response.
Through introducing more advanced weapons systems such as the Su-35 fighter and S-400 air defense missile from Russia, the PLA has been showing Japan that it will not back down over its territorial claims. Kashin said the four Zubr-class landing craft purchased from Russia at a cost of US$315 million would allow a successful amphibious offensive to land PLA marines onto the islands and represent a very real threat to Japanese control of the islands.

Russia offers one-year guarantee for aircraft-carrier

INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov), the $2.33 billion Russia-built aircraft carrier which will be delivered to Indian Navy on November 15 after a delay of nearly five years, will only have a one-year guarantee.
Victor M. Komardin, Deputy Director-General of Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned arms exporter, told media persons here that during the guarantee period, a team of Russian engineers would be stationed in India to take care of “every single screw of the ship.”
Komardin said the warship which would be handed over at the Sevmash shipyard near Moscow, will arrive in Mumbai in February.
Asked about retrofitting the ship with LR-SAM (long-range surface to air missiles) being built jointly by India and Israel, he said Vikramaditya was already an Indian Navy’s asset and that the Navy was free to do whatever it wanted to. But it would have to conform to the Russian design parameters.

Arms supplies

Komardin said for Russia defence co-operation and arms supplies are a part of its politics of friendship. “For us, politics comes first, then comes economics,” he stressed. Though regimes had changed in Russia, politics had not. Indo-Russian exports and imports had been going up every year all along. Russia’s engagement with Indian industry was much stronger and wider than other countries,” he claimed.

Iran Unveils 2 Home-Made Air-Based Missiles

By designing and building these air-based missiles for the first time in Iran, the Air Forces' fighter jets will be equipped with advanced air-based Qader missiles with a range of over 200km and air-based Nasr missiles with a range of over 35km and their operational and deterrence power will increase powerfully," Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan told reporters at the unveiling ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday.
He said the missiles which enjoy a high precision capability, specially in targeting vessels, high destruction power and high resistance against radio jamming can be fired rapidly by the fighter jets at even low altitudes.
The Iranian Armed Forces displayed the country's latest home-made missile productions, including Fakour-90, Qadr F, Qadr H and Sejjil missile systems, during the annual military parades in Tehran and across the country on Sunday.
Fakour-90 missile is one of the latest state-of-the-art productions of the Iranian Armed Forces which is mounted on F14 fighter jets.
The Iranian forces also displayed various types of home-made ballistic and long-range missiles, including Sejjil, Qadr F and Qadr H missiles.
Also, the Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base exhibited its recently optimized long-range S-200 missile defense system as well as Ya Zahra 3, Rapier, Skyguard and Shahin (Eagle) missile systems.
The annual September 22 parades mark the start of the Week of Sacred Defense, commemorating Iranians' sacrifices during the 8 years of Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s.
During the parades, the Iranian armed forces displayed different weapons and military tools and equipment, including different kinds of fighters, choppers, drones, ground-to-ground missiles, air-to-ground missiles, surface-to-surface missiles, tactical and armed vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electronic and telecommunication equipment, light and mid-light weapons, different kinds of artillery and mortar-launchers, air defense systems and engineering and logistic equipment.
The Iranian armed forces also displayed the tactical troposcatter system which is an advanced home-made communications system unveiled by Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli earlier this month.

Lockheed focused on South Korean jet re-tender

Lockheed Martin said it will continue with its bid to land a major South Korean jet fighter contract when the deal is re-tendered.
The deal, in which Seoul required a contractor to deliver 60 jets over five years beginning in 2017, was a race between the Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle, Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and EADS' Eurofighter Typhoon.
Lockheed, ahead of EADS, was thought to have been nudged out of the deal by Boeing's Silent Eagle.
But South Korea's military defense procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, announced Tuesday it wasn't completely satisfied with Boeing's offer.
Boeing came close to grabbing the contract with the cheapest offer, but DAPA said it will review its budget for the jet fighter deal and re-tender later this year.
Lockheed's Stealth aircraft were offered through a government-to-government sales process, meaning there was less room to negotiate on price.
Boeing and EADS aircraft were offered through direct sales to South Korea.
A statement by Lockheed after DAPA's decision said the aircraft maker "will continue to support the U.S. government in its offer of the F-35A to Korea."
DAPA's decision caps an intense bidding campaign for all three manufacturers.
There were 55 bidding sessions in June and July, but DAPA suspended bidding in mid-July over concerns that manufacturers' bids were higher than the budgeted $7.2 billion.
DAPA restarted bidding in mid-August, reiterating that its budget limit is the most important requirement for a successful bid.

Friday, September 27, 2013

15 F16s Sold To Jordan

The ministry of Defense is intended to sell 15 F16 jet fighters and 52 Maverick rockets to Jordan. Both parties have agreed upon this, wrote minister Jeanine Hennis to the House.
The signing of the contract will probably done next month. Included in the sales will also be training of the maintenance and use of the jet fighters. The actual delivery will take place around the end of 2015.
The sale was judged on several criteria of the EU and passed the test. An important criterion is if it will have any consequences for the human rights in the receiving country.

India to renovate 4 Russian-built diesel submarines

India plans to repair and upgrade four diesel-electric submarines similar to the Sindhurakshak that sank in August, and two of these submarines will be overhauled in the Russian Federation. Eugene Shustikov, deputy general director of the Zvyozdochka shipyard told RIA Novosti on Tuesday at the first NAMEXPO 2013, a naval and maritime expo.
"Two weeks ago during negotiations, the Indians informed Zvyozdochka that Indian naval headquarters decided to perform its second mid-level repairs to extend the life of the four diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines. Two of them will be overhauled at the same time in Russia beginning in 2015, and when those are completed, two more Project 877 EKM submarines will be overhauled in India at Indian shipyards," he said.

F-15 SE's weak stealth function serves biggest hurdle in S. Korean deal

U.S. aerospace giant Boeing came close to grabbing South Korea's next generation fighter plane contract with the cheapest offer, but the F-15 Silent Eagle failed to overcome its inadequate stealth capabilities to win the 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) deal amid growing security concerns.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on Tuesday decided not to select Boeing's F-15 SE as the country's next fighter jet, as combat capabilities of the sole-remaining candidate within the budget were surpassed by its rival--Lockheed Martin's F-35.
The need to acquire the most advanced jet took on new urgency as North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February and continues to develop its missile program, military officials said.
"Considering the changing security situation on the Korean Peninsula and the development of the latest aerospace technology, committee members decided to reject the (F-15 SE) and restart the project," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. "There is a consensus that South Korea needs the fifth-generation fighter jet to deter the growing threat posed by North Korea."

   Boeing claimed survivability, not stealth, is the war fighter's objective to highlighting the dual-engine fighter's weapons carriage capacity and electronic warfare capability, but it failed to defeat its image as an "older generation jet."

BrahMos mini-rocket may be adopted in 2017

Work on a scaled-down version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile co-produced by Russia and India is in the initial stage and the rocket may be phased into service in 2017, Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and MD of the BrahMos Aerospace Company, told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
"In order to install a BrahMos rocket on board a fighter plane, it is essential to reduce the rocket's weight. A reduced version got the name of BrahMos-M (mini). After work on a detail design and an initial configuration of the rocket is completed, the development of the rocket proper will ensue," he pointed out.
According to Dr. Pillai, since the project "is in its initial stage, it is difficult to tell when the rocket may be phased into service". "Nevertheless, we expect that it will be adopted in the range of 2017," Dr. Pillai added.
The weight of a prospective rocket will be 1.5 tons and its length will be about six meters. It will be designed for Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighter planes. However, it will be also fit for other operational combat aircraft or those set to be adopted by the Air Force of India, including Rafale and Mirage-2000 aircraft.
The first launch of an aviation version of BrahMos rocket (BrahMos-A) is slated for June 2014. A Su-30MKI fighter plane armed with it should be ready in September 2015. Only one BrahMos rocket can be mounted on it. In case of the manufacture of reduced versions of the rocket, the Su-30MKI will be able to carry three rockets and it will be possible to put two BrahMos-M rockets on a MiG-29.

J-31 stealth fighter designed for export, says PLA admiral

The J-31, China's second prototype fifth-generation stealth fighter, designed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, will be produced for the export market instead of for China's air force and navy, according to Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong of the PLA Navy in a People's Daily report.
While the Washington-based Strategy Page said the J-31 has the potential to become a future carrier-based stealth fighter for the PLA Navy, Zhang said it is unlikely the plane will serve aboard Chinese aircraft carriers. Unlike the J-20 designed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, the J-31 was never a development program intended for the Chinese military, Zhang said.
Like the FC-1/JF-17 Xiaolong or Thunder multirole fighter designed jointly by China and Pakistan, the J-31 will be most likely be a model intended for export to China's allies and strategic partners, which may include countries like North Korea and Iran. Chinese fighters are a much cheaper alternative to US fighters for developing countries, even those which are able to buy military hardware from the United States.
A model of the J-31 was first displayed at the Zhuhai Air Show in Guangdong province last November, where it was described as a fighter to open China's overseas market. It was called the "Advanced Fighter Concept," according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The model was displayed again at the opening of the Beijing

Russia Starts Building 2 Frigates for Vietnamese Navy

A Russian shipyard on Tuesday started work on a second pair of frigates for the Vietnamese navy, the shipbuilding company said.
The Gepard (Cheetah) class frigates are designed to guard and patrol the state border and economic zone, fight smuggling, poaching and piracy at sea and aid vessels in distress. They are armed with modern missile and artillery systems.
The first contract was signed in 2005, and the first two frigates entered service with Vietnam’s navy in 2011, the Kazan-based Zelenodolsk shipyard said in a statement.
The second contract was signed in February 2013. Unlike the first two, the new frigates feature antisubmarine weapons and an advanced propulsion system.

China rebukes US military drone reports

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called reports that China is attempting to steal military drone technology from the United States "groundless" on Tuesday.

Competition between the two countries over the development of drone technology has been the focus of the media's attention in recent days. The New York Times said on Saturday that "hackers based in Shanghai went after one foreign defense contractor after another" for almost two years. A US cybersecurity company told the newspaper the Shanghai hackers were after "the technology behind the clear US lead in military drones".

On Sept 9, Japanese media reported that Tokyo sent fighter planes after an unidentified drone approaching Japan above the East China Sea. The drone, according to Japanese reports, was at one point in close proximity to China's Diaoyu Islands.

Unmanned aircraft have been put into widespread use around China for military reconnaissance, geological surveys and disaster relief. But Chinese analysts said the US is ramping up pressure on China to gain the upper hand in the development and trade of military drones.

Ding Hao, a senior researcher at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science, said it's common for Washington to tarnish China's image with accusations of technology theft.

Japan aims to purchase controversial Osprey aircrafts for troop transport amid China tensions

Japan’s Ministry of Defense is set to move forward with its purchases of the controversial MV-22 Osprey aircraft as it is widely seen as the best way of rapidly transporting troops to potential hot spots. With tensions involving China regarding disputed territory near the Okinawa prefecture, the Osprey aircraft – able to launch and land vertically – has enough speed in its fixed wing mode to get to troubled areas quicker and has enough payload capabilities to transport more personnel or equipment.
The Osprey is a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft that also operates like a normal plane during forward motion. For this reason, the US-built Osprey has a top speed of 530 km/h – almost double that of modern helicopters – has and a 3,900 kilometer range five times greater than the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter. As Japan moves to face the potential Chinese threat by having a more flexible transport for the country’s Ground Self Defense Forces that is able to rapidly deploy to counter threats to Japanese territory in the south, the Osprey looks to be the most viable option, despite of the controversies that surround the aircraft.
In budget requests for fiscal 2014 that were put forward this week, Japan’s defense ministry is asking 100 million yen (over US$1 million) just to study the purchase and capabilities of the Osprey. If this inquest goes well, the ministry will seek to purchase up to 20 Ospreys in 2015. The aircraft can operate from aircraft carriers – or the helicopter destroyers that Japan has – and also be refueled in-flight. The Osprey has been unpopular in Okinawa, where the bulk of US forces in Japan are hosted, even as it is currently being

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Raytheon quietly developing new cruise missile technology

As the Pentagon reportedly mulled in the past month a potential Tomahawk strike on Syria involving hundreds of targets, Raytheon Co. quietly won a $1 million contract to develop technologies for a potential new cruise missile -- one that could streak 300 miles in less than five minutes.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded the initial funding to Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) under the High Speed Strike Weapon program, with the U.S. Air Force envisioning new cruise missiles powered by scramjets.
The term scramjet is derived from the phrase "supersonic combustion ramjet"; scramjets are designed to achieve hypersonic speed by sucking air and compressing it into a combustion chamber even as those particles maintain their supersonic speed from entry to exit in the form of exhaust. In an air-breathing ramjet, by contrast, air goes through the combustion process below the speed of sound — a less-efficient design that slows the vehicle.
A scramjet cruise missile would be no mean feat. The weapon would require integrating multiple breakthrough technologies covering guidance; propulsion; high-temperature materials; compact booster technologies; and even new manufacturing techniques.
Tomahawk cruise missiles are made by the Tucson, Ariz.-based Raytheon Missile Systems division of Raytheon. The Tomahawk was originally developed by General Dynamics in the 1970s and passed to Raytheon in late 1997 via its $9.8 billion acquisition of Hughes Aircraft.

BAE submits UAE Typhoon bid

BAE Systems has formally submitted a bid to build 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jets for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stepping up its attempt to strike a deal that could support thousands of UK jobs and is vital for the company’s prospects.
The Typhoon programme, developed by BAE, Italy’s Finmeccanica and Airbus–maker EADS, suffered a major setback last year when it lost out to French company Dassault for a major contract to supply India with 126 fighter jets.
However, the aircraft has emerged as the favourite to win the UAE contract, which could be worth around £6bn and has been described as a “game-changer” by the chief executive of BAE, Ian King.
More than 5,000 people work on the Typhoon project in Britain for BAE, which is the country’s biggest defence contractor. Securing the UAE deal would be a major boost to the manufacturing sites in Lancashire where the fighter jet is constructed.
In a note, UBS, BAE’s house broker, said: “We estimate that this order could potentially be worth £6bn for the aircraft alone and multiples of that including training, support and weapons packages.”
The British company is leading negotiations with the UAE on behalf of the Typhoon consortium. The potential deal is also likely to include a technology-sharing agreement on unmanned aircraft.
It is thought that the process to decide which aircraft the UAE selects could take several months. Dassault is also in the running to supply the UAE with its Rafale jets.
Charles Armitage at UBS said that if a deal is agreed between BAE and the UAE, it could open the door for talks with India to be restarted. He said: “If UAE is signed, this could put pressure on India, which would be the only export customer for Rafale - nobody likes being the only export customer for a programme as it tends to reduce flexibility and increase the upgrade/maintenance costs – and could bring Typhoon back into the picture.”

Malaysia Has An Option Now To Consider Advanced Super Hornets, Says Boeing Official

Malaysia can now consider the Advanced Super Hornet for its multi-role combat aircraft needs, which offers significant retrofittable enhancements, including a 50 per cent increase in the capability to avoid radar detection, an enhanced engine and additional 260 nautical miles range.

Mike Gibbons, Boeing's Vice-President for F/A-18 & EA-18 Programmes, said the fighter aircraft's additional combat range has been made possible because of the conformal fuel tanks, which gives it a great advantage in being able to fly faster than with external tanks, making it more formidable against enemy aircraft and other threats.

This, along with other advanced features such as an upgraded electronic warfare system, integrated counter-measure system and enclosed weapons pod, has caught the eye of many of the Super Hornet's current and potential customers including the US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

Gibbons said the increase in price for the Advanced Super Hornet package would currently be nil because Malaysia can buy the Block II Super Hornet and then decide what it wants to do later in terms of retrofitting.

These advancements, which could be affordably retrofitted on an existing Block II Super Hornet aircraft or included on a new jet, were relayed to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and Defence Ministry officials during Gibbons recent visit to Malaysia.

RMAF reportedly has a requirement for 18 fighters to replace its MiG-29s as well as for three airborne early warning aircraft.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Iran manufactures new destroyers

Iranian Navy Training Commander Rear Admiral Touraj Hassani Moghaddam said that the country is manufacturing new classes of Jamaran destroyer, Fars news agency reported.

Currently, Jamaran-3 , 4 and 5 destroyers are being manufactured, he said adding that, Iran will launch one of the Jamaran destroyers till the end of the current solar year(ended on March 21, 2014).

Referring to the sending Iran's 27th Navy Fleet towards the Atlantic Ocean, Hassani Moghaddam said that, protecting Iran's interests in international waters is among the strategies of country's Navy force.

In mid-March Iranian media outlets quoted deputy head of the Industry and Research Institute of the Iranian Defense Ministry Mohammad Eslami as saying Jamaran-3 destroyer will become operational by the end of the current solar year (started on March 21).

Afghan Air Force Flourishing, ISAF Official Says

The mission: build an independent, self-sustaining air force from the inside out, from the ground up. The commander leading that effort calls it the most complex undertaking NATO and the U.S. Air Force have ever tackled.
Air Force Brig. Gen. John Michel leads NATO Air Training Command Afghanistan, the organization charged with training the Afghan air force. He is here this week attending an Air Force conference, and spoke to American Forces Press Service about the Afghan air capability that he maintains no longer is fledgling, but rather is flourishing.
Not only are Afghan pilots now carrying out combat, resupply and medevac missions, he said, the humanitarian capability they bring to their government is helping to legitimize their nation. In a country largely inaccessible by road, the general noted, air reach equals government reach. And Afghan aviation dates to 1919, he said.
“It’s a source of national pride,” Michel said. About a month ago, he said, the Afghan air force was called to respond to a flood that had left citizens stranded, “and they saved over 300 men, women and children.”
The force is critical to the Afghan army as well, he said. Close air support, evacuating the wounded, and in many cases, even basic resupply are only possible in Afghanistan with aircraft, Michel noted.
The Afghan air force, he said, “is really the foundational element for legitimacy locally, nationally and internationally.” For example, he said, the core of trained air traffic controllers that will grow up around the air force and ultimately transfer to the civilian world will form part of the infrastructure backbone Afghanistan will need to attract long-term foreign investment.

The air training command’s staff includes some 600 people from 14 coalition nations. They work with their Afghan counterparts on Afghan bases at six locations within the country, training and advising every member of the Afghan air force, from the highest-level leaders down to the newest junior recruits.
Michel pointed out the timeline that makes 2014 the handoff year for combat operations doesn’t apply to his command. The Afghan air force is on a separate timeline from the army and police forces, and is not set for full operational autonomy until 2017, he said. The NATO air training command is set to grow during that time to 1,114 military and defense contractors, plus 530 base support personnel.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Singapore to acquire European surface-to-air missile system

Singapore is acquiring an advanced European air defence system as a replacement for its ageing US-made Hawk surface-to-air batteries, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said Monday.
Ng said the ASTER-30 Surface-to-Air Missile System, manufactured by European defence firm MBDA, will allow the city-state to counter multiple threats from fighter jets, helicopters, drones and precision guided missiles.
"The ASTER-30's capabilities are many times more potent than our I-HAWK ground-based air defence system," he told parliament.
He did not reveal the cost of the system or when Singapore will make the acquisition.
The ASTER-30 system, used by countries like France and Italy, is expected to provide the city-state with an anti-missile and anti-aircraft range of up to 70km, Singapore's defence ministry said.
The current US-made I-Hawk system has a maximum effective range of 40km.
The tiny island-republic — which is about 42km in length and 23km in breadth — also has a shorter range "SPYDER" ground-based air defence system with a range of 15km.
Ng also said that Singapore is looking to upgrade its F-16 fighter jet fleet to "modernise their avionics and extend their lifespan".
He said the defence ministry was still evaluating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a possible replacement for its older warplanes.
Singapore also has a fleet of F-15 fighter jets.

U.S. Air Force Ready to Launch Third Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Air Force's third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite, designed and built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team, is ready to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Launch is set for Sept. 18 with a two-hour launch window opening at 3:04 a.m. EDT.
The AEHF system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Canada was the first of these nations to connect to AEHF during tests with multiple terminals, and Lockheed Martin announced last week that the Netherlands is now using the system.
 “Thanks to a focused government-industry team, the third AEHF satellite is ready to launch,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of Protected Communication Systems at Lockheed Martin. “We’ve increased affordability while maintaining a focus on mission success. Our AEHF-1 and -2 satellites are delivering improved capability during on-orbit testing, having already connected three allies and 10 terminal types. From suppliers to engineers to launch operators, we are committed to our customer and this mission.”
A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will increase five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF provides the critical survivable, protected and endurable communications links to national leaders, including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

US offers to co-develop new Javelin missile with India

US had proposed that her companies could join hands with Indian partners in setting up manufacturing facilities for five major systems in India
US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, who arrives in India on a two-day visit on Monday, has masterminded a proposal that could dramatically boost US-India defence relations. The US department of defense (Pentagon) has written to India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), proposing the two countries collaborate in jointly developing a next-generation version of the Javelin anti-tank missile.

India has been offered a specific share of the development programme and requested to respond by a specific date. If India chooses not to participate, the Pentagon would go ahead with the programme on its own.

Last year, Carter had proposed US companies join hands with Indian partners in setting up manufacturing facilities for five major systems in India. These include the MH-60 Romeo multi-role helicopter, built by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin; a delivery system for scatterable mines; and the M-45 127-mm rapid-fire naval gun. Later, the US proposed co-producing the Javelin missile, built by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

China develops new generation of high-speed aircraft

China is developing helicopters with the ability to fly at speeds twice the current average, according the country's major aircraft maker.
Lin Zuoming, chairman of Aviation Industry Corp of China, said the company is developing new-generation helicopters that can travel up to 500 kilometers an hour.
"We have been keeping pace with other countries in the research and development of ultrafast helicopters," he added.
Lin was speaking after models of several new-concept helicopters were presented at the Second China Helicopter Expo, which concluded in Tianjin on Sunday. His company produces a wide range of helicopters, from ultra-light models to heavy-lift helicopters.
The Blue Whale tilt rotor aircraft being developed by AVIC's Helicopter Research and Development Institute will have a maximum takeoff weight of 60 tons and a payload of up to 30 tons, an engineer at the institute told People's Daily.
He said the Blue Whale will be able to reach speeds of up to 700 km/h.
The aircraft will be able to perform vertical takeoffs and landings in areas with complex geographical conditions and conduct disaster relief supply airdrops and other heavy-lift duties.
It also can serve a wide range of military purposes such as battlefield reconnaissance, patrols and air-to-ground strikes.
The Jueying-8, an unmanned, high-speed helicopter with coaxial rotors, was also featured at the expo. The aircraft, with much of its airframe made of composite materials, was designed to test the feasibility of ultra-fast helicopters.
A prototype of the Jueying-8 is expected to make its maiden test flight in 2015, and designers hope it will achieve a maximum speed of 400 km an hour.

LIG Nex1 to develop anti-ship missile interceptor by 2015

South Korean defense company LIG Nex1 broke ground Monday for a factory to build an anti-ship missile with indigenous technology with the goal of completing it by 2015, the company said.
LIG Nex1 will work with the Agency for Defense Development to build the surface-to-air, anti-missile guided by an inertial navigation system, which will be deployed in the South Korean Navy's destroyers, the company said.
The missile, named Haegung (sea bow), is designed to launch from a vertical platform on a destroyer. Its radar system can detect several targets simultaneously with high-frequency radio waves and infrared rays image detectors, it said.
The guided missile can intercept an incoming enemy missile and strike aircraft and ships, it added.

China to Get Russian Su-35 Jets in 2014 – Rosoboronexport

Moscow and Beijing expect to seal the deal on the sale of Russian Su-35 fighter jets to China in 2014, a senior official at the Russian arms exports monopoly said Saturday.
“Talks are ongoing, but the deal is unlikely to be sealed before the year’s end. The signing will most likely take place next year,” said Viktor Komardin, deputy head of the state-run Rosoboronexport.
“Chinese negotiators are discussing the technical outlook of the plane,” Komardin told RIA Novosti.
He did not say how many multirole fighter jets China wants to buy, but added that Beijing is also interested in purchasing ordnance for them.
“There will definitely be integral weapons, but we’ll be discussing external weapons,” Komardin said.
“They want new types of weapons that we have, including from the [Moscow Region-based] Tactical Missiles Corporation. But that’ll be a separate deal,” he said.
Negotiations about China’s purchase of the Russian Su-35 – a deep modernization of the Su-27M, the current staple of the Russian Air Force – were opened in 2010, but frozen last year.

Military team sent to UK to evaluate helicopters 'other' than troubled Cyclones

The Harper government may be ready to throw in the towel on the purchase of long-delayed CH-148 Cyclone helicopters and has gone as far as sending a military team to Britain to evaluate other aircraft.
Defence sources say the team, which included an officer from the air force directorate of air requirements branch, visited a southern base in the United Kingdom recently to look at Royal Navy HM-1 Merlin helicopters.
A spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Diane Findley confirmed the government is looking at options "other" than the troubled Cyclones, which are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over-budget.
But Amber Irwin would not get into the details.
"We are conducting an analysis of price and availability of other aircrafts manufactured by other vendors," Irwin said Thursday. "The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that our armed forces have the equipment they need at the best value to the taxpayer."
But sources inside National Defence said the effort is "quite serious" and more than just a warning to Sikorsky, the maker the Cyclones, which has been publicly pressuring the Conservative government to accept four test helicopters currently at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, N.S.
It is under contract to deliver a total of 28 aircraft.

Navy awards another production contract to Lockheed Martin for electro-optical sensor suite on AH-1Z combat helicopter

U.S. Navy helicopter avionics experts have awarded another production contract to the Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., for a multi-sensor electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) fire-control system for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter as part of the H-1 upgrades program.
Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., have awarded a $34 million contract to Lockheed Martin to provide the AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems (TSS) for the AH-1Z combat helicopter.
The AN/AAQ-30 TSS comprises a large-aperture midwave forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, color TV camera, laser designator and rangefinder with eyesafe mode, and on-gimbal inertial measurement unit integrated into a stabilized turret. The turret mounts to the nose of the aircraft via the Lockheed Martin-developed aircraft interface structure. TSS provides the capability to identify and laser-designate targets at maximum weapon range.
The Navy's H-1 upgrades program remanufactures of legacy aircraft with state-of-the-art designs incorporated into the existing fleet of AH-1W’s, converting them to AH-1Zs, Navy officials say.
The TSS provides target identification and tracking, passive targeting for integrated weapons such as Hellfire missiles, and a laser designation capability supporting U.S. and allied laser-guided weapons.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syrian warplanes flee after testing defences at British air base in Cyprus

Bombers had refused to respond to repeated attempts by the control tower at the UK’s Akrotiri air base to make radio contact
RAF Typhoon fighters won a mid-air showdown with two Syrian warplanes heading towards Britain’s main base in Cyprus, the Sunday People can ­reveal.
The dramatic confrontation came after President Bashar al-Assad’s air chiefs sent two Russian-made Sukhoi Su-24s to probe our air defences.
The Syrian bombers refused to respond to repeated attempts by the control tower at the UK’s Akrotiri air base to contact them.
RAF pilots flying the world’s most advanced combat jet were scrambled before the Sukhois could enter our 14-mile air exclusion zone.
The Typhoons – which can scream from runway standstill to seven miles high in 90 seconds – soared into the sky to make visual contact with the Syrian pilots.
But the moment the Syrians ­spotted our planes on their radar they high-tailed for home.
If the bombers had pressed on into our exclusion zone they would have been shot down, military experts said last night.
And despite Parliament’s refusal to sanction military strikes against Syria, the RAF’s swift response is a warning to dictator Assad’s forces not to mess with Britain.
Defence analyst Edward Hunt told the Sunday People: “If they will not turn back then they have to be shot down.”
The showdown happened on Monday before David Cameron and US President Barack Obama went to the G20 summit in Russia to
press for strikes against Syria ­following a nerve gas attack in the capital Damascus that killed nearly 1,500 civilians.
Two Turkish F-16s were also scrambled from their Incirlik air base in Turkey.
But they arrived on the scene long after the British Typhoons.
And as the Syrian planes codenamed Fencer by Nato were still in international air space all the scrambled allied planes were recalled.
A military source said: “If there’s no communication between the guys on the ground and the aircraft then this is what we do.

Ceremony welcomes USS Minnesota into Navy's submarine fleet

The USS Minnesota joined the Navy's fleet of attack submarines on Saturday during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.
The Minnesota is the 10th Virginia class submarine, which was specifically designed for the post-Cold War era.
The 377-foot long ship is capable of submerged speeds of more than 29 mph and can stay submerged for up to three months at a time. Virginia class submarines such as the Minnesota are especially maneuverable in shallow waters, and were designed with plenty of room for special forces and their equipment to come aboard.
Like other classes of attack submarines, the Minnesota is designed to fight enemy submarines and surface ships and can also fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets on shore.
The U.S. is building two Virginia-class submarines a year, at a cost of about $2.6 billion each. So far, those submarines have been delivered ahead of schedule.
The Minnesota was delivered to the Navy in June, 11 months earlier than the original contract called for.
The ship will spend several months in Norfolk before moving to its designated home port of Groton, Conn.
The submarine is the third Navy ship to bear the name Minnesota, with the first being a steam frigate during the Civil War and the second a battleship that part of the "Great White Fleet" that President Theodore Roosevelt ordered to sail around the world.

Bid to ban documentary on sinking of South Korean navy ship Cheonan fails

A South Korean court yesterday rejected an attempt to ban a documentary film which questions Seoul's claim that North Korea was behind the 2010 sinking of the warship Cheonan.
The corvette sank with the loss of 46 lives on the night of March 26, 2010, near the South's disputed Yellow Sea border with the North.
An investigation by a South Korean-led international commission concluded it had been sunk by a torpedo from a North Korean submarine - a charge Pyongyang angrily denied.
The film highlights theories that cast doubt on the commission's findings. It cites experts who question the findings of the investigation, including one who suggested the warship probably sank after colliding with a submarine of unknown origin.
Project Cheonan angered the military, and three naval officials - together with two relatives of sailors who died on the Cheonan - filed an injunction last month to ban the documentary.
But the court at Uijeongbu near Seoul rejected the injunction, saying the movie had not distorted facts or tarnished the reputation of the victims as claimed by the complainants.

3 Chinese ships arrive in Hawaii for exercises with US Navy

PEARL HARBOUR, Hawaii (AP) - Three Chinese ships carrying hundreds of sailors arrived in Hawaii on Friday to join a search-and-rescue exercise with the United States Navy during a rare visit intended to foster familiarity.
The guided missile destroyer Qingdao, a frigate and a supply ship were welcomed with performances by lion dancers and a children's hula group. The ships carrying 680 officers and sailors will participate in the exercise on Monday with the USS Lake Erie in waters off Waikiki and Diamond Head.
The exercise is an important way for the two navies to share information about operations so they do not misinterpret movements and potentially start a conflict, said Mr Brad Glosserman, executive director of Pacific Forum at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Anti-Ship Missile Prototype Successfully Conducts First Solo Test Flight

Free-flight LRASM transition test verified flight characteristics and assessed key subsystems and sensors  
Adversaries’ sophisticated air defense systems can make it difficult for current air- and surface-launched anti-ship missiles to hit their targets at long range. To engage specific enemy warships from beyond the reach of counter-fire systems, warfighters may require launching multiple missiles or employing overhead targeting assets such as radar-equipped planes or Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites—resources that may not always be available. To help address these challenges, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) are collaborating on the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program, which successfully launched its first prototype on August 27.
Designed for both surface and air launch,LRASM seeks to develop an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) system. LRASM aims to incorporate sensors and systems to create a stealthy and survivable subsonic cruise missile with reduced dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. The program also focuses on precision lethality in the face of advanced countermeasures.

Chinese bombers prompt Japan to scramble fighter jets

Japan’s Defense Ministry said Sunday two Chinese H-6 bombers flew round trip from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean without violating Japanese airspace the same day after overflying waters between Okinawa islands.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter aircraft, the ministry said. It was the first time the ministry has made an announcement after confirming the passing of Chinese bombardment aircraft through a chain of islands off the southwest coast of Japan.

Japan has scrambled fighter jets to head off a number of Chinese military planes since Tokyo put a group of East China Sea islands at the center of a territorial row under state control on Sept. 11, 2012.

Agni-V gets ready for second test

Agni-V, India’s longest-range, nuclear-weapons-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile, will be tested from Wheeler Island in Odisha around September 15.
According to a top official at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), preparations were under way for the second developmental trial of the 5,000-km-range missile. The maiden flight test carried out on April 19 last was a stupendous success and injected India into a group of select nations that possessed the technology for developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
The September 15 exercise would be a repeat test to demonstrate the capabilities of the missile, said the official. Another three or four tests will be conducted before the system is inducted into the Armed Forces around 2015.
According to another official, DRDO missile technologists had moved to Wheeler Island and begun to conduct phase checks for the missile. Two ships have sailed into the Indian Ocean and will be positioned near a predesignated target point.
High accuracy
The strategic three-stage, solid-fuelled missile is equipped with advanced technologies — besides a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS) and a redundant micro-navigation system (MINS). It will also be carrying a multiple telemetry system. The RINS and MINS would enable the missile to cover a long distance with a high degree of accuracy, the official said.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

China's 052D destroyer equipped with new vertical launching system

Recently, a group of pictures appearing on the Internet show that the first 052D missile destroyer of Chinese Navy is having on sea trial in a certain sea area of the East China Sea.

052D destroyer is equipped with new vertical launching system. Compared with 052C destroyer, the new system is able to contain large-scale weapons, including “DH-10” cruise missile and “HQ-9” long-range air-defense missile. The number of missile launch devices also increases from 48 to 64, giving 052D stronger firepower than 052C.

As for the vertical launch function of 052D new-type missile destroyer, military expert Yin Zhuo said that the vertical launching technique has been used in many countries actually, such as the U.S. and Russia. Our vertical launching function has also been used on 052C and 054A vessels. The launching launch has the advantage of rapid response. For example, a vertically launched air defense missile can be instantly redirected to attack a sea-skimming missile. Second, the vessel body doesn’t need to change in the process of vertical launching. The anti-ship missile in the past used fixed launchers, so they needed to set rotation angle, or the vessel needed to maneuver to aim at target. By comparison, vertical launch does not need this process so it will enhance our abilities of rapid response.

All-Female Crew Makes Historic Flight

OKLAHOMA CITY - Several members of the 552nd Air Control Wing and 513th Air Control Group made history recently by fielding an all-female flight crew.

The crew, comprised every operational flying squadron within the wing, took to the air on Aug. 23, in what is believed to be the first sortie flown by an all-female crew from the wing.
Every crew position on the flight was filled by 19 female Airmen. Four men were added at the last minute because there was still room on the jet and an opportunity for valuable training.
The flight was an extension of an all-female crew the wing had hoped to fill back in March to coincide with Women's History Month. That flight wasn't able to be organized because there was not a female flight engineer within the wing.

This time around, however, the wing was able to fill every crew position, according to the mission crew commander, Maj. Heather Fleishauer, a member of the 552nd Operations Support Squadron.
"This time, the stars just happened to align," said Major Fleishauer, a native of Kettering, Ohio. "This has been a concerted effort because we had to 'rainbow' the crew to fill all the positions. We had women representing all air crew specialties on the flight."
According to Master Sgt. Sarah Moore, acting first sergeant for the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron, the purpose of this latest all-female flight was to recognize Women's Equality Day on Aug. 26.
"The observance of Women's Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women's continuing efforts toward full equality," Sergeant Moore said. "Particularly, in the Armed Forces, women weren't granted equal opportunity for promotion and certain skill sets until 1976.
 "Today, only 18.9 percent of the Air Force population is made up of women," Sergeant Moore continued.
Sergeant Moore went on to say the intent to observe Women's Equality Day was to fly a sortie flown by an all-female crew and launched by an all-female maintenance crew.
"To my knowledge, this has never occurred before in the 552nd ACW's history," Sergeant Moore said.
From 1978 to 1983, E-3 "Sentry" Airborne Warning and Control System aircrews were all male. In response to a new Air Force policy, aircrew positions onboard the E-3 were opened to female Airmen.
After completing training, the female Aircrew members began filling positions onboard the E-3 in 1983.
Since having a larger pool of Airmen to draw from, the wing has been able to expand its role and support a larger number and more diverse missions including control and battle management for combat operations, support for ongoing counterdrug operations, homeland defense, presidential support and national disaster recovery.
"It's definitely unusual because rather than being the 'lone' female onboard (which is normally the case), we're now filling every role from the front of the aircraft to the back and that's very atypical," Major Fleishauer said.

Vietnam establishes seaplane squadron

Vietnamese Navy held a ceremony to announce the decision of forming a DHC-6 seaplane squadron, which is supposed to manage all relevant combat-ready and training activities, local Tien Phong (Pioneer) news website reported on Friday.

At the ceremony held on Thursday in northern Vietnamese city of Hai Phong, Vice Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh, the Navy's chief of staff, said the establishment of the DHC-6 seaplane squadron, along with the EC-225 helicopter squadron, the Navy's first squadron formed on Dec. 25, 2011, are steps to building up the modern regular Navy and fulfilling the task of safeguarding Vietnam's sovereignty over territorial waters and islands.

Viking Air aircraft manufacturer and its subsidiary Pacific Aviation held a graduation ceremony for 8 Vietnamese pilots mastering DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400, also known as the Guardian 400, in Canada on July 10.

In May 2010, Vietnam's Navy signed with Viking Air a contract on buying six Guardian 400s. According to the Canadian manufacturer, the seaplanes is fully-equipped for transport, maritime patrol and surveillance, resupply, search and rescue purposes.

China's latest unmanned helicopter makes debut

China's latest-concept unmanned helicopter, JY-8, made its debut on Thursday at the Second China Helicopter Exposition in the northern city of Tianjin.
The helicopter, which does not feature a tail rotor, can reach a maximum speed of 400 km per hour. It is expected to be subjected to trials in 2015, said Zhu Yinchui, an engineer with the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute.
The coaxial double-oared JY-8 adopts similar high-speed technologies as the X2, an experimental helicopter developed by U.S. aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft.
China has mastered the core technologies of unmanned helicopters, and has started serialized production, said Fang Yonghong, who is in charge of the research of unmanned helicopter technologies with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
The company has developed unmanned helicopters with take-off weights up to one tonne. The one-tonne aircraft has a task load of 150 km and can reach a maximum altitude of 4,000 meters at a top speed of 220 km per hour, Fang said.
The range of low-cost and highly mobile helicopters is intended for uses ranging from communication

India backs Russia on Syria

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh echoed the Russian position on Syria
by saying that the global community should operate under the framework of the United Nations, sources told RIR.
At the official dinner on Thursday, the Indian prime minister was among a group of world leaders that agreed with Russia’s views that any action on Syria should be undertaken only after the UN investigations on the alleged use of chemical weapons were completed.
India’s position further isolated US President Barack Obama, who has called for punitive air strikes against Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons.  The US president is allegedly relying on American intelligence intercepts as evidence of the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.

Planned purchase of surveillance drones conflicts with Japan’s current aeronautics law

The Japanese Ministry of Defense’s
plan to purchase several Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by 2015 may be facing a problem, and it’s not a financial one. According to the country’s current Civil Aeronautics Law, it prohibits the deployment and flight of an unmanned aircraft and doesn’t consider planes like the Global Hawk as “fixed-wing planes”.
The ministry announced last month that it was increasing its budget request by 3% for the next fiscal year. One of the reasons they’re asking for their biggest increase in 22 years is to be able to do research on unmanned high-altitude surveillance planes like the Global Hawk, and plans to buy the aircraft the year after. The ministry said, “In order to respond effectively to attacks on islands, it is indispensable to securely maintain superiority in the air as well as on the sea.” They believe it will strengthen the country’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, especially in light of possible threats from North Korea and China.
But under the law, unmanned helicopters, those that are used for crop dusting, aerial photography and other purposes, are not allowed to fly over residential areas, airports and the surrounding areas near these places. So under the current aeronautics law, the drones can only fly over exercise areas. The Transport Ministry however said that if that kind of aircraft will be allowed to share airspace with regular planes, there needs to be some sort of stringent measures, including what is the procedure if wireless ground communication is

Monday, September 2, 2013

Indian Airpower Afloat

The first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, was launched on August 12, 2013. While still several years from being operational, the launch of the carrier, which has been designed to carry 36 fixed wing fighter aircrafts, comprising a mix of MiG-29K and the indigenous LCA (naval variants) in addition to Ka-31 AEW and ALH helicopters, will provide air cover to Indian Navy (IN) vessels. The
launching of the hull of INS Vikrant with the power plant and generators integrated is the first step in the further development of the ship, particularly the weapon systems. This work is likely to consume the better part of two years before the ship can join the operational fleet. Only the UK, the US, France, and Russia have demonstrated the ability to design and build such ships. Reportedly, the second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2) is under design already.
One particular feature of the aircraft carrier is that it does not plan to utilise steam catapults, like the US super carriers, for the launch of the fixed wing aircraft. Instead, the bow of the ship sports a ski-jump configuration, in which the aircraft rolling down the very short available runway on take off is lofted into the air like a skier.1 This will impose limitations on the type of aircraft operable. The IAC-2 is likely to have catapults for aircraft launch.
The importance of air power at sea can not be overstated especially since the Battle of Coral Sea (May 4–8, 1942), in which two opposing fleets fought a major sea battle through the use of aircrafts launched from their carriers. Replacement of the battleship of yore with aircraft carriers, as the new capital ship, has been a strategic choice for the navies of the world since then.
INS Viraat, currently the sole Indian aircraft carrier, operates British-made Sea Harrier2 fighters in addition to helicopters of various types. INS Vikrant’s MiG-29K fighters are modern fourth generation fighters that will provide the IN with state-of-the-art air defence capability through the use of advanced Beyond Visual Range (BVR) as well as Within Visual Range (WVR) missiles backed by advanced airborne radar and Infra-red search and Track (IRST) systems and excellent agility. The MiG-29K also has an anti-ship and anti-land target strike capability, which would help in vastly increasing the reach, safety and lethality of the fleets at sea.

China’s ‘Sharp Sword’ stealth UAV to make first flight one year later

Recently the video about the taxiing test of China’s “Sharp Sword” attack unmanned aerialvehicle (UAV) was exposed. Media said that China’s “Sharp Sword” stealth attack UAVproof test has already begun and the frequent land taxiing tests indicate the preparatorywork for the first flight is underway. In an interview with CCTV reporter, military expert Du Wenlong revealed that China’s first stealth UAV will make the first flight after one yearand it is in good technical conditions at the present time.
Du Wenlong said that the completion of a fighter shall undergo three stages, including themanufacture of the whole aircraft, the land taxiing, the first flight and subsequent flighttest.
Judging from the present situation,
“Sharp Sword” has entered into the second stage. It isstill one year left before the first flight.
If the UAV succeeds in the first flight and is used for the army, it makes the Chinese AirForce own a dedicated UAV, Du said. The previous fighter means a combination of aircraftand pilot, but the pilot will possibly stand apart from aircraft in the future, hence itscombat ability will have a new growth space in comparison with the manned aircraft.
For example, in many high-risk areas, the load for life support system can be cast off, andthe combat ability can be significantly heightened. China aviation industry has made greatprogress in the manufacture of stealth fighter. Besides the existing J-20, J-31, in the fieldof the stealth UAV, it is another tremendous space for improvement. In addition, the auto-control engineering has also developed rapidly. Without the BDS, an aircraft cannot fly fareven if it only has the GPS. Therefore, with the advanced manufacturing technology, auto-control technology and macroscopic physical environment, what we see now is not only”Sharp Sword”, but the improvement of the whole aviation industry environment.

AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters sign Heads of Agreement for a new helicopter

Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, are pleased to announce that they have signed a Heads of Agreement at the MAKS 2013 air show defining the  the joint design and development programme for a new 2.5-tonne class single-engine helicopter. The agreement was signed by Daniele Romiti, CEO of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov.
The preliminary assessment of the helicopter's technical design and commercial opportunities is expected to be completed in the next few months. The programme, first announced by the partners in summer 2012, is intended to be shared on a 50/50 basis, with the new helicopter being designed for the worldwide market and a wide range of applications.
Dmitry Petrov, CEO of Russian Helicopters, said: “This agreement is a new step in the mutually beneficial cooperation between our companies. Russian Helicopters as a global rotorcraft market player is actively involved in international projects on manufacturing localization and the development of new helicopter models. Our cooperation with AgustaWestland is moving forward successfully and has become one of our key priorities."

Iran to stage massive military drill in September

The Iranian army will stage a large- scale military maneuver in late September, a senior Iranian commander said Saturday.

Quoted by Press TV, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base, said the exercise, dubbed the Modafe'an-e Aseman-e Velayat 5 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 5), will be larger than the previous one held in the eastern part of Iran last year.

Various long-range radars and passive defense systems will be tested during the drill, he was quoted as saying without elaboration on the area and scope of the exercise.

Modafe'an-e Aseman-e Velayat 4 military drill was held jointly by the country's army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in November last year.

In the 2012 drill, an upgraded high-precision long-range S-200 ground-to-air defense system, and indigenous missile defense systems named Qader, Ya Zahra 3, Mersad 3 and Hog. were tested, according to Press TV.

Also, electronic and surveillance systems were used to detect manned and unmanned enemy aircraft flying at low altitude.

Iran Equips Warships with Drones

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the Islamic Republic's warships are now carrying pilotless planes for overseas operations.
"Many of the Navy's warships are equipped with drones and drone systems which are used whenever needed," Sayyari said in a press conference in Tehran on Sunday.
Asked if the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are used for oversea missions in the Gulf of Aden where the Iranian fleet of warships are deployed to fight the pirates, he reiterated his earlier remarks, saying the Iranian warships use their UAVs wherever and whenever need. "If needed, we will use such drones in different areas."
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems, including the UAVs.
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholam Reza Khadem Biqam announced earlier this month that the Iranian Navy is equipped with various types of long-range UAVs, including intelligence gathering and combat drones.
"At present, the Navy is in possession of drones in proper sizes and with good range that are used for our intelligence domination in the region," Khadem Biqam told FNA.
Noting that the Navy which also sends its fleet of warships to the oversea missions is equipped with different types of UAVs, he said his forces are equipped with various types of combat drones.
Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

U.S. Army Selects ViaSat to Supply Link 16 Small Tactical Terminals for Apache Helicopters

The U.S. Army is adding its AH-64E Apache helicopter fleet to the Link 16 network. Following successful flight tests, the Army has decided to pursue a sole source solicitation of ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) for the Small Tactical Terminal (STT) KOR-24A to satisfy its requirement for an Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station (AMF) Small Airborne Link 16 Terminal (SALT).
The STT is the latest generation of small, two-channel, Link 16 and VHF/UHF radio terminals. While in flight, the STT provides simultaneous communication, voice or data, on two key waveforms for the battlefield of the future: Link 16 and Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW).
"The STT satisfies the latest requirements for Apache helicopters, providing a significant advance in battlefield communications as Link 16 and SRW become essential capabilities in the future of Army aviation," said Dr. Jay Kaufman, general manager of ViaSat Tactical Data Links.


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