April 25, 2014

Royal Australian Navy's Collins subs performing better than ever

ONCE derided as "dud subs", the navy's six Collins submarines are now performing better than ever following a concerted effort to get more to sea rather than ashore undergoing maintenance.
Where once only one of the six submarines was available for operations, the submarine force can now deploy two and often three at a time.

In a progress review of efforts to improve the Collins fleet, UK submarine expert John Coles said this turnaround was remarkable.
The Collins boats were delivering a level of performance which would not have been viewed as possible two years ago, he said.
"It has been an enormous pleasure to observe the astonishing turnaround of a seriously failing project to one that should, within just two years, achieve or better International Benchmark performance," he said in the report.

The Australian-built Collins submarines have been controversial throughout their service. A succession of technical problems attracted scathing headlines, branding them "Dud subs".


April 24, 2014

Ukraine Army moves to retake Sloviansk

Commandos have moved on the separatist stronghold of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine days after a new "anti-terrorist" operation was announced.A number of casualties were reported among the separatists as the commandos, backed by armour, cleared barricades near the town.

Separatists are occupying key buildings in at least a dozen eastern towns.Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of "consequences" if Kiev used the army against its own people.

Speaking on Russian TV as news of the Sloviansk operation was coming in, Mr Putin said: "If the regime in Kiev has begun using the army against the population inside the country, then this is undoubtedly a very serious crime."It appears that pro-government forces have regained control of the city hall in another eastern town, Mariupol.
In another development, the funeral is taking place of a pro-Ukrainian politician, Volodymyr Rybak, who was abducted and killed in Donetsk region.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has accused Russia of flouting a deal on Ukraine reached in Geneva last week, under which illegal armed groups, including those who have seized public buildings, would return home.Mr Obama told a news conference in Japan that Moscow had failed to halt actions by militants in the region and warned that the US had further sanctions against Russia "teed up".

A contingent of US troops has begun landing in Poland for military exercises amid concerns among Nato's eastern members about Russian intentions.Moscow has said it will respond to any attack on its interests in Ukraine.Unrest began in Ukraine last November over whether the country should look towards Moscow or the West.


China waging a quiet three-front war against US: expert

China is waging three-front political warfare against the United States as part of a "Three Warfares" strategy to drive the US out of the Asia-Pacific region, according to US defense analyst Bill Gertz in an article for the Washington Times on Mar. 26.Citing a defense contractor report published for Pentagon think tank the Office of Net Assessment, Gertz said Beijing's "Three Warfares" consists of psychological, media and legal operations. "They represent an asymmetric 'military technology' that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons."

The unclassified 566-page report warned that the US government and military currently lacks effective tools to fight a political war with China, while suggesting greater efforts to understand the threat and adopt steps to counter it.

Gertz said that the People's Liberation Army has already adopted the "Three Warfares" in various disputes against the United States, which have included dangerous encounters between US and Chinese warships, the crisis over the 2001 mid-air collision between a US EP-3E surveillance plane and a Chinese jet, and China's growing aggressiveness in various maritime disputes in the South and East China seas."The Three Warfares is a dynamic three dimensional war-fighting process that constitutes war by other means," said Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, who directed the study. "It is China's weapon of choice in the South China Sea."

Psychological warfare, according to the report, includes diplomatic pressure, rumors, false narratives, and harassment to "express displeasure, assert hegemony, and convey threats." As for media warfare, its goal is to weaken an enemy's will to fight, alter its awareness, and assist psychological and legal warfare goals. Meanwhile, legal warfare helps the PLA to exploit laws to achieve political or commercial objectives.


Pakistan targets militant hideouts near Afghan border

Does this mean that the peace talks have failed ?

Pakistani fighter jets pounded suspected militant hideouts near the Afghan border on Thursday in response to a spate of attacks around the country, the army said, in the first aerial operation against Taliban insurgents in two months.The operation came despite efforts by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government to engage the Taliban in talks to end years of fighting with an insurgency seeking to topple the democratically elected government in the capital Islamabad.

"Terrorist hideouts were engaged by fighter jets in Khyber agency early (in the) morning today," the army's press wing said in a text message sent to media. It said it was a response to a number of recent attacks against police and civilians in Islamabad and Peshawar, a volatile Pakistani city near the Khyber tribal agency.A senior military official in Peshawar said the operation, which started early on Thursday, was still under way."After the jets, Pakistan army ground forces also launched operations in the area," he said.

Another military official said at least 15 militants were killed, but there was no official confirmation.Last week the Pakistani Taliban - a loose alliance of militant groups separate from but allied to the Afghan Taliban - formally ended a 40-day ceasefire but attempts to resume talks have continued nonetheless.Representatives of both sides met in Islamabad on Wednesday, agreeing to pave the way for the next round of negotiations aimed at finding a compromise that would convince the Taliban to lay down their weapons.

Mongolian Troops in Afghanistan

Horse, lance,bow and arrow technology was outdated 500-600 years ago.

But their forefathers taught humans the effective use of cavalry and were inspiration for German General Heinz Guderian blitzkrieg warfare.

Maritime Cooperation 2014 - Qingdao, China

Marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy, navies from eight Asian nations — Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Brunei — were invited to Qingdao in eastern China to take part in the Maritime Cooperation 2014 naval exercise on Apr. 23. Some 19 warships and seven helicopters took part in the exercise, aimed at testing the ability of the Chinese navy and its partners in rescue and anti-piracy operations.

See Below : Only Abu Bakar frigate of Bangladesh Navy (F15) and Singapore frigate
RSS Formidable (68) and the unnamed Chinese ship captured in the photo stream.

19 Warships stage War Games near Qingdao, China

Mothers of Syria Women take up arms to fight against terrorists

It is time for peace in Syria, fighting has achieve nothing.

US Navy Deploys Raytheon’s Second-Generation SM-3 Block IB

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon Company for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach.

In 2009, the administration announced the U.S. decision to adopt a new, more flexible approach to missile defense of both the U.S. and Europe. The Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) Phase 1 began in March 2011 when the USS Monterey deployed carrying SM-3 Block IAs.

In Oct. 2013, ground broke in Romania on the first operational Aegis Ashore site, which will be capable of launching SM-3 Block IAs, IBs and IIAs. The site continues on track for 2015 deployment as part of PAA Phase 2. Along with deployed Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships, Romania’s Aegis Ashore site will provide additional ballistic missile coverage of NATO countries. The first Aegis Ashore test with the SM-3 Block IB and upgraded Aegis BMD Weapons System will take place this year at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii.

UAE: New Aerostat Site to spy on Iran near Dhayah Fort/ Al Rams

Elbit Systems -Self Propelled Howitzer - Soltam ATMOS 155mm

Shoot 'Em If You Got 'Em

U.S. conducts spy flight over Russia


After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory on Monday, a State Department official said.The spy flight originally was scheduled for April 14 but was canceled by Russia after a U.S. team for the flight failed to arrive near Moscow on time and Moscow refused temporarily to reschedule it.A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman also expressed anger on Monday over U.S. delays in certifying a new high-tech Russian aircraft to be used for spying missions over the United States under the Open Skies Treaty that permits limited legal spying over U.S. and Russian territory.

The State Department official said, however, that last week’s delay was the result of bad weather – despite radar images showing mostly clear skies over of Russia during the period of last week’s planned flight.“The U.S. Open Skies mission dated April 14 was delayed due to weather conditions beyond the time permitted by the treaty,” the official said in a statement. “The flight was rescheduled and on April 21, the U.S. Open Skies Treaty aircraft began its mission in the Russian Federation.”The official said the treaty permits the country conducting the surveillance flight to postpone the flight for 24 hours, “after which the host country is permitted to cancel the mission.”

Earlier, the official did not mention that Russia had canceled the April 14 flight or the reasons for the cancelation.
In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Monday defended Moscow’s decision to cancel the flight and criticized the United States regarding the treaty, calling the U.S. position “highly non-constructive.”


Israel Army Bedouin Tracking Unit

Chinese replenishment ships after completion of Syrian chemical weapons maritime escort mission.

PLAN Huangshan ship commandos
 PLAN Huangshan ship commandos

Supply ships Chaohu take the form of lateral resupply ship, ship Changchun, Changzhou ship supplies of fuel 1

Supply ships Chaohu take the form of lateral resupply ship, ship Changchun, Changzhou ship supplies of fuel

April 23, 2014

Russia to build network of modern naval bases in Arctic – Putin

Russia will build a unified network of naval facilities on its Arctic territories to host advanced warships and submarines as part of a plan to boost protection of the country’s interests and borders in the region, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday, according to RIA Novosti.“We need to strengthen our military infrastructure. In particular, to create in our part of the Arctic a unified network of naval facilities for new-generation ships and submarines,” the president said at a meeting of Russia’s Security Council.

He said that Russia should boost security at its Arctic borders.Putin ordered the military in December to boost its presence in the Arctic and complete the development of military infrastructure in the region in 2014.The Defense Ministry has already announced plans to reopen airfields and ports on the New Siberian Islands and the Franz Josef Land archipelago, as well as at least seven airstrips on the continental part of the Arctic Circle that were mothballed in 1993.
The military is also planning to form a new strategic military command in the Arctic, dubbed the Northern Fleet-Unified Strategic Command, by the end of 2014.

Putin reiterated that Russia is actively developing this promising region and should have all means for protection of its security and economic interests there.“The oil and gas production facilities, loading stations and pipelines must be well protected from terrorists and other potential threats,” Putin said.

The Russian president called on experts to defend Russia’s territorial claims to the Arctic shelf, just like they did during this year’s successful claim to 52,000-square-kilometer area in the Sea of Okhotsk off Japan.“Our experts must act similarly, for bilateral as well as multilateral consultations with Arctic countries’ governments, and safeguard each parcel of the continental shelf in the Russian part of the Arctic, and marine areas,” Putin said.

Australia to Buy 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

Australian government to spend $12 billion on 58 more next-generation F-35s

PHOTO: Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the JSF will provide a "major boost" to the Australian Defence Force. (AAP: Alan Porritt)MAP: Australia
Australia will buy 58 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) at a cost of more than $12 billion after the Federal Government gave the go ahead for the purchase yesterday.The extra aircraft will bring Australia's total Joint Strike Fighter force to 72 aircraft, with the first of them to enter service in 2020.

The $12.4 billion price tag makes the Joint Strike Fighters Australia's most expensive Defence asset.The Government says it will also consider the option of buying another squadron of the next-generation fighter jets to eventually replace the RAAF'S F/A-18 Super Hornets.Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who formally announced the purchase today, says the JSF is the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and will make a vital contribution to Australia's national security.

"Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge," he said before the announcement."The F-35 will provide a major boost to the ADF's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities."The acquisition of F-35 aircraft will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including regional areas and local defence industry."


Danish F-16 jets bomb their own Go-Pro

Watch at 2.30

US navy frigate returns to the Black Sea

The US Navy frigate the USS Taylor has passed through the Dardanelles Strait, returning to the Black Sea after repairs and a few days after Nato said that it was increasing its presence on sea, air and land after Russia’s continuing interference in Ukraine.The Taylor was in the Black Sea area earlier, at the time of the Sochi Olympics in February 2014, when she ran aground in an incident that caused the captain his command.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of violating the Montreux Convention which limits the number of vessels in the Black Sea. Lavrov said that the Taylor had remained in Black Sea waters for more than the 21-day limit allowed by the convention.Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that his country would not allow the convention to be violated. He said that the Taylor had remained in the area past the time limit because of the accident.

Currently part of the US Sixth Fleet, the Taylor’s scheduled deployment includes supporting maritime security operations and theater security co-operation efforts, establishing and enhancing co-operation, and mutual training and interoperability with regional partner nations and Nato allies.The vessel, commissioned in 1984, is due for decommissioning in 2015 and has been named as one of four US frigates that were the subject of negotiations for sale to Taiwan.

Morocco Receives Three Fighter Jets from France

Boosting the military corporation between the two strategic partners, France put three Mirage F1- B jet fighters in the service of the Moroccan Royal Air Force after the French Air Force tested them.Moroccan pilots will deploy the old fighter aircrafts in Royal Air Force exercises, according to Almassa.

According to the same source, the distinctive single-engine fighters were handed to the Moroccan army after Dassault Aviation, the manufacturing company, improved the fighter’s traditional delta wing design in order to facilitate the ability to use rudimentary runways.
Last year, the Mirage F1- B was deployed to support the Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania and the French-led operation against extremists in Mali.Since 1966, this type of fighter jet has been exported by Dassault Aviation to the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and Northern Africa, particularly Libya and Morocco.

These three aircrafts will boost the Mirage F1- B collection of the Royal Air Force, which has already acquired 27 jet fighters of this kind.


USS Taylor Passed Through The Bosphorus


Photo: Yörük Işık.

Photo: Yörük Işık.

Norwegian Army tests drives M-113 with help of Oculus Rift Augmented Reality Goggles

The Norwegian Army is evaluating the use of commercial off the shelf (COTS) Virtual Reality (VR) goggles in an ‘Augmented Reality’ (AR) application, enabling troops to look through the armor walls protecting their vehicles. In a recent test troops were able to drive an M-113 armoured personnel carrier using the Oculus Rift gaming-goggles.

US Lifts Freeze, Will Deliver Apache Choppers to Egypt

Wikipedia photo

The United States will lift a suspension on the delivery of Apache helicopters to Egypt after concluding Cairo has upheld its peace treaty with Israel, US officials said Tuesday.

Despite concerns about Egypt's failure to embrace democratic reforms following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, the US government will provide Cairo with 10 Apache aircraft, officials said.Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel informed Egyptian Defense Minister General Sedki Sobhy of President Barack Obama's decision in a phone call Tuesday, his spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

The choppers are meant to bolster counterterrorism operations in the Sinai, he said."The secretary noted that we believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten US, Egyptian, and Israeli security," the statement said.
To signal its displeasure with Cairo's crackdown on dissent, the Obama administration had imposed a temporary freeze on the delivery of major weapons to Egypt, including the Apache helicopters as well as fighter jets and other hardware.

But the United States has struggled to balance its concerns over human rights abuses with a strategic interest in keeping up counter-terrorism ties with Cairo and maintaining the Egypt-Israel peace accord.As a result, Washington has chosen not to cut off all aid to Egypt's military-backed government and avoided officially labeling the ouster of Morsi a coup.Hagel told his counterpart that US Secretary of State John Kerry will "soon certify to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States and is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty," Kirby said.


NEZAJA commanders inspection of Iran Army units

Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Forces Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari inspects an Iranian Army mechanized infantry brigade (unit type per Iranian media source).

Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari salutes two lieutenant colonels, presumed battalion commanders of the mechanized infantry brigade

BG Kiumars Heidari addressing second warrant officers

BG Kiumars Heidari among troops outfitted in Iranian chemical defense ensembles

FV101 Scorpion armored reconnaissance vehicles and Chieftain type main battle tanks

M577 types employed as armored personnel carriers fitted with DShK heavy machine guns

M577 type armored personnel carriers alongside Chieftain type main battle tank

Brigade garrison facility for Chieftain type main battle tanks

Detail of Iranian Chieftain type main battle tank

Foreground: IRIAA Bell 214A Isfahan medevac helicopter, serial 6-4816 (cn 27169)

Foreground: IRIAA Bell 214A Isfahan, partial serial 6-471x

Detail of IRIAA Bell (Augsta) AB-206B JetRanger II

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