January 31, 2013

Israeli hits Syrian convoy near Lebanon border

January 30, 2013

After the capture of Timbuktu airport France continued to strengthen its military power in Mali

After the capture of the airport of Timbuktu and the city Gao by French armed forces Sunday and Monday, January 28, 2013, the two strategic locations are now strengthened by units of the Malian army. French Special Forces continue to secure the area around the Timbuktu airport to restore air traffic and for the support of ground forces.

French troops are consolidating their position in the city of Timbuktu after seizing it from Islamist extremists. French Col. Thierry Burkhard, chief military spokesman in Paris, said that there had been no combat with the Islamists but that the French and Malian forces did not yet control the town.
French military commanders say soldiers are patrolling the streets of Timbuktu looking to flush out any remaining militants. Once Timbuktu is secured, troops are expected to focus on the last rebel stronghold, Kidal.

France said on Tuesday it had now deployed 3,500 troops and 2,900 African soldiers were on the ground in Mali and Niger, 1,400 Chadian, 500 Nigerien, 350 Togolese, 200 Nigerian, 150 Burkinabe, 100 Benin and 100 Senegalese.

French paratroopers of 2e REP Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment were para

January 29, 2013

DARPA putting laser turrets on fighter jets next year

US Air Force first foray into laser-equipped combat aircraft was the Airborne Laser Testbed, a Boeing 747 with a gigantic chemically-pumped megawatt laser turret in its nose. It was pretty awesome from a conceptual standpoint, but it didn't work very well, and was scrapped last year. This doesn't mean that the idea of high-powered lasers on aircraft doesn't make a lot of sense, and DARPA is still for ways to make it work. It's working on two at the moment: the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), and Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control (ABC).

HELLADS (pictured above) will be a 150-kilowatt system that's "ten times smaller and lighter" than current systems, suitable for use both on the ground and in the air in an air-to-ground attack role. The goal is to create a laser that weighs less that five kilos per kilowatt and fits into a total space of three cubic meters.

The other system, ABC, is intended as more of a defensive weapon. It'll be a small laser turret mounted on things like fighter aircraft that can shoot down incoming missiles. The reason that this is hard is because most missiles approach from behind, and the laser will have to be able to fire through the turbulence generated by the aircraft's engines without losing all of its beam energy.

Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 NFH Helicopter first operational deployment for Somalia Mission

The newest helicopter of the Dutch Armed Forces, the NH90 is aboard HNLMS De Ruyter Frigate on its way to Somalia. It is the first overseas mission for the maritime helicopter. The NH90 will provide an important contribution to the EU anti-piracy mission Atalanta.

The board helicopter will be mainly used for intelligence, reconnaissance and patrol and thus will act as the 'eyes and ears' of the frigate. With advanced detection equipment such as EO/IR sensor, radar and gauge collected information can then be forwared quickly and automatically via a data link.

The helicopter crew consists of a pilot, a coordinator for the tactical execution of the mission and an operator who operates the sensors and analyzes if necessary onboard weapons deployment. For helicopter operations from HNLMS De Ruyter, a total of 13 men are onboard.

The frigate HNLMS De Ruyter left her home port of Den Helder on January 20th 2013 for counterpiracy operations in the waters around Somalia. For this mission, the EU's Operation Atalanta, the ship is carrying the new NH-90 helicopter, which will see its first operational deployment.

The air defence and command frigate has extensive command & control, communications and data facilities. Her crew number 220 military personnel, including an enhanced boarding element of the Marine Corps, a heavily armed specialist team which can board suspect vessels. In addition, there is a medical team on board, as well as the crew of the helicopter.

January 28, 2013

F-35C Completes First In-Flight Dual Refueling

Jan , 2013 - For the first time, two Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II carrier variant test aircraft refueled together with a Lockheed Martin KC-130 Hercules in the sky above Patuxent River, Md. recently. The CV aircraft, known as CF-1 and CF-2, completed the milestone as part of an F-35 flight test program that will accomplish more than 1,000 flights in 2013.  Later this year, Eglin AFB, Fla., will receive its first CV aircraft joining the F-35 pilot and maintainer training program there.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

January 27, 2013

Tada...Chinese copied version of C-17 Globemaster is here

Successfully first test flight for the new Chinese large military transport aircraft Xian Y-20

Cnrl+C  = C-17 Globemaster
Cnrl+V  = Xian Y-20

Check the landing gear, tail and other aircraft fuselage design minus the nose

China on Saturday, January 26, 2013, conducted a successful test flight of its new domestically made large military transport aircraft Y-20. The plane took off at around 2:00pm from an airport in Yanliang, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, according to CCTV News.

As a large and multi-role transport aircraft, the Y-20 can carry out long-range transportation missions even under complicated weather conditions. The Y-20 was developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industry, a subsidiary of China’s leading military aircraft maker, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The successful test flight is a significant boost to China’s capabilities in national defense, rescue and relief work, and humanitarian aid. Reports say more tests are planned.

The Y-20 program is part of an effort to develop an indigenous long-range jet-powered heavy transport aircraft, a top priority in China's "Medium- and Long-Term National Science and Technology Development Program (2006-20)" (MLP).

Earlier reports said it's able to accommodate most large PLA combat and support vehicles, including the Type 99 series tanks, with a capacity to carry up to 66 tons of goods. 

Iran starts mass production of new home-made air defense missile system Ya Zahra

The Iranian Defense Ministry started mass production of an advanced home-made air defense missile system. The production line of Ya Zahra air defense missile system was officially inaugurated on Sunday, January 27, 2013, in a special ceremony attended by Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi.

India test fires missile from under sea, completes nuclear triad

Russia arms Indian 'Sea giant' sub with multi-role cruise missiles

Russia’s leading shipyard finished deep modernization of the Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak (Sea giant). Armed with latest multi-role missile system, radar and electronics, the sub promises to become the game-changing backbone of the Indian Navy.

The ceremony of signing the transfer and acceptance act of the diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhurakshak (Sea giant) SSK Kilo Class has been conducted on January 26 in Severodvinsk, when the sub was solemnly passed to the Indian Navy.

The submarine has been undergoing complete overhaul and upgrade in Russia’s leading Zvezdochka (Starlet) shipyard in the town of Severodvinsk in Russia’s north since August 2010.
According to open sources the works’ cost of US$80 million included overhaul of submarine’s hull structures, installation of upgraded electronic warfare and weapons control systems, mounting of Indian-made sonar USHUS and radio communication systems.

The most important upgrade made is incorporation of Russian state-of–the-art Club-S multi-role missile system capable of eliminating targets at the distance of over 250km (in export variant).

From now on the primary weapon of the INS Sindhurakshak submarine, besides traditional torpedoes, will be a range of multi-purpose cruise missiles of the Club-S family (SS-N-27 Sizzler NATO classification) designed by the Novator missile design bureau in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains.

Club-S cruise missile complex is capable of hitting sea surface targets, targets underwater, or eliminate objects on land. The complex has various missiles for different tasks, all of which can be fired from standard torpedo tubes submerged from the depth of maximum 40m.
Club-S missiles are not stealth, but on the terminal stage of the attack they all approach target on skimming altitude of a mere 5-10m, making their way below the level a modern warship’s radar. This feature makes them deadly for any existing target, for example 3M-54E1 version is allegedly capable of dealing an aircraft carrier.

Cassidian's new TRS-4D naval radar passes factory acceptance test for German F125 class Frigates

The German Navy's F125 class frigates will be equipped with Cassidian's newly developed TRS-4D naval radar, which will provide them with reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities that are unique worldwide. Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, has now successfully passed the first factory acceptance test for the radar system carried out by the customers, the German procurement authority BAAINBw and Blohm + Voss Naval. 
The first unit, which will equip a land-based system in Wilhelmshaven, is planned to be delivered next month. The first TRS-4D for the "Baden-Württemberg" lead ship is scheduled for delivery in August. 

HAL to hand over 2 Rudra helicopters to Indian Army during Aero India 2013

The Indian Army will be handed over the first two weapon system integrated (WSI) version of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-Mk-IV) Rudra, during Aero India 2013.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) chairman R K Tyagi told Express that Rudra will also be available for customer demonstration flights during the show. "Rudra will definitely add more teeth to Indian Army and we will roll out more production units to the squadron," he said.
Express had earlier reported that around 70 Rudras will fly out of HAL to meet Army's initial requirements.

"In addition to the redundant flight critical systems, IR suppressor, armour panels, crashworthy features and self-sealing fuel tanks enhance the survivability of the helicopter in the battlefield environment," Tyagi said.
Rudra can carry a mix of weapons providing it with capability to search and destroy any target. Systems like electro-optic pod, helmet-mounted sight and fixed sight facilitating firing of the onboard weapons (20 mm turret gun, 70mm rockets and Air-to-Air missiles), makes it an unforgiving machine.

He said Rudra's rigid rotors have extremely high agility and manoeuvrability. With its high-powered engine, the chopper can undertake missions up to altitudes of six km. "With such capabilities, Rudra is unmatched in the world, in its class," claims Tyagi.
He confirmed that HAL has plans to integrate additional new systems on Rudra, including infra-red jammer, data link, obstacle avoidance system (for Army), wire cutter (for IAF) and NBC (Nuclear Biological and Chemical) sensors.

When asked about ALH Dhruv's (earlier version of Rudra) export status, Tyagi said three more countries have shown interest in these choppers.
Over 130 Dhruv helicopters are in operation now, with Indian Army flying 110 and 12 with Indian civil operators.
Ecuador, Nepal, Mauritius and Maldives also operate Dhruv choppers.

Russia Sells Record $15 Bln of Arms in 2012

Russia sold a record $15.16 billion worth of weaponry in 2012 while expanding its foreign client list, the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service (FSMTC) reported on Monday.

“The volume of arms exports has reached $15.16 billion, according to preliminary calculations…which means that our plans have been fulfilled by 111.8 percent,” FSMTC chief Alexander Fomin told a government meeting on state defense contracts.
Russia reported arms sales of $13.2 billion in 2011, enough to maintain its position as the world’s second arms exporter after the United States.
"In the past ten years, we have seen a general increase in exports, which have tripled since 2003,” Fomin said.
“The portfolio of orders for defense-related products has also tripled. Its current value exceeds $46 billion,” he added.
India is the leading purchaser of Russian arms, with Myanmar,Vietnam, Venezuela and Middle East countries also among the Russian defense industry's main clients.
Fomin said Russia's expanded list of its clients in 2012 included Afghanistan, Ghana, Oman, and Tanzania.
The FSMTC also claimed the quality of exported Russian military products has improved, though problems still remain, especially with poor after-sales services.
“We have been issuing fewer licenses to replace or repair exported products, which is an encouraging trend,” Fomin said.
The controversy over the quality of Russia’s defense-related products has been widely-publicized.
Algeria refused delivery of a batch of MiG-29 fighters in 2007 claiming their “inferior quality.”
Russia’s traditionally strong position on the Indian arms market has been recently undermined by failures to fulfil or properly execute several contracts, including the long-delayed delivery of the overhauled aircraft carrier Vikramaditya to the Indian Navy.
Last year, India asked Russia to replace faulty parts on the leased Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine which had affected its operational readiness.
Fomin said his service was drafting new legislation that would allow Russian arms manufacturers to open their own service centers abroad and to import defense-related products to satisfy their own needs.

January 26, 2013

Raytheon, US Navy demonstrate new dual targeting capability for JSOW C-1

The U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated the dual targeting capability of Raytheon Company's Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1. Two recent tests during the program's integrated test phase prove the weapon can engage challenging stationary targets. Previous testing in the integrated test phase demonstrated JSOW C-1's capability against moving maritime targets.

The first stationary land target test was designed to assess JSOW's capability against operationally realistic infrared and radio frequency countermeasures. An F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft launched a JSOW C-1 from approximately 29,000 feet and 17.5 nautical miles from the target. The weapon flew a preplanned route at 0.83 mach airspeed, employed 3-D waypoints, and successfully impacted a cement wall on a simulated bunker.

The second stationary land target test was designed to demonstrate JSOW's performance at night against an operationally representative bunker target. An F/A-18F Super Hornet launched the JSOW C-1 from approximately 25,000 feet. The JSOW C-1 flew the preplanned route at 0.81 mach airspeed and successfully impacted the buried bunker. Both tests occurred at the U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, Calif.

"These tests demonstrate that JSOW C-1 provides the U.S. and allied warfighters with a new dual capability to engage both stationary land targets and moving ships at range," said Celeste Mohr, JSOW program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. "These tests help clear the way for the important operational test phase of the program scheduled to begin early next year."
The JSOW C-1 is designed to provide fleet forces with the capability and flexibility to engage moving maritime targets, while retaining its robust capability against stationary land targets. The weapon is a modification to the existing JSOW C, which adds a weapon datalink radio and modified seeker software to increase capability for the anti-surface warfare mission.

About the Joint Standoff Weapon  JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employ an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker. JSOW C-1 adds the two-way Strike Common Weapon Datalink to the combat-proven weapon, enabling a moving maritime target capability.
  • JSOW C-1 is the world's first network-enabled weapon with a range of more than 100 kilometers.
  • The U.S. Navy's first two JSOW C-1 free-flight tests also resulted in direct hits on their moving ship targets.
  • Raytheon is using company funding to develop a powered version of the JSOW that will have the potential to engage targets at more than 250 nautical miles.

FSA Firefight with RPGs

Source: Battalion of the Martyr Izz el-Din al-Qassam (Brigade 1453) The Brigades Brigade 1453 in conjunction with a number of battalions of rebels coast and Idlib edit rebels a new town in the countryside of Idlib, which is located on the outskirts of the city of Bridge vacancy within the standardization process and sincerity Abu Omar Brigade 1453 champion hit an armored vehicle with a shot RPG in violent clashes

January 25, 2013

Darpa mini satellite technology for battlefield surveillance

Iranian army will unveil further optimization of its home-made Zolfaqar main battle tank

Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said the Army plans to unveil an optimized version of the home-made Zolfaqar tank in the near future. "The tank's fire control system and stabilizer have been optimized and it will be unveiled by the next two weeks," Pourdastan told reporters in Tehran.

He said the new version of Zolfaqar has gone under comparison with one of the most advanced battle tanks manufactured by the Eastern powers and has shown increasingly higher capabilities.

Iran will start mass-production of the tank after the approval of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, the Army Ground Force Commander said.

Pourdastan had earlier said that Iran continued optimizing Zolfaqar tanks in a bid to upgrade its capabilities against modern threats.

"Each day we work on a newer version of Zolfaqar tanks so that the tank could maintain its efficiency in the battlefield and ground defense," Pourdastan told FNA in September.

"We certainly make changes in Zolfaqar tanks in accordance to threats and prepare it and make it an advanced tank in accordance with our battleground needs."

Zolfaqar is a second generation of Iran's main battle tank (MBT). The test prototypes of the tank were evaluated in 1993. Six semi-industrial prototypes of the tank were produced and tested in 1997. The tank has a distinctive box-shaped, steel-welded turret of local design. Zolfaqar combat weight is reported to be 36 tons and has a 780 hp diesel engine; the tank has a 21.7 hp per ton ratio.

Zolfaqar is operated by a crew of three personnel. The automatic loader is believed to be the same one from the T-72 tank.

The Zolfaqar-1 uses a fire control system which enjoys a 'fire-on-the-move' technology. The Zolfaqar mounts a laser-warning pod on the turret. Its design enables the tank to use an Iranian-made package of reactive armor.

Zolfaqar-2 is a prototype tank used as a test bed. The Zolfaqar-3 also features considerable upgrades to the fire control system, chassis, engine and main gun, with a 125mm autoloader.

Defense FSB Tenders for Micro-UAV Sensor Package

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Monday a tender for research on a potential sensor system for a micro-unmanned air vehicle (UAV) project, according to an order posted on the government’s state procurement portal.

Officials have allocated about 7 million rubles (about $230,000) for the project, aimed at developing a 200-gram (6.5 ounce) electro-optical surveillance sensor package for the mini-UAV, code-named “Fly Fisher,” with a take-off weight of no more than 1 kilogram.

The developer will be tasked with analyzing foreign and Russian scientific and technological research to assess the system’s stabilization, surveillance capabilities, and power supply needs.
The tender requires the developer to create a sketch design and a scale model for testing. It also requests definition of parameters for transmitting surveillance images in real time without any loss in quality at a range of up to five kilometers (three miles).
Applications for the tender will close on February 21, with the study slated for completion by November 2014.

January 24, 2013

Iran will unveil new defense equipment during ceremonies celebrating the Islamic Revolution

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced that his ministry would display several defense achievements in the next few days. Vahidi said new achievements will be unveiled during the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies from January 31 to February 10, celebrating the victory of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979.

The minister informed that a space observing base or space observatory, dubbed as 'Imam Sadeq', will be inaugurated during the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies, adding that the base will be tasked with monitoring the country's expeditionary space missions.
The Iranian minister further announced that Iran would unveil the latest home-made fighter jets in the coming days, and said, "The aircraft will be different from the other fighter jets Iran has already made."
Pointing to the other projects and achievements to be unveiled in mid February, Vahidi said Iran would launch mass-production of air-defense products. 

He added that important projects are underway in missile fields and will be announced later.
Iran has also taken wide strides in designing and manufacturing different types of light, semi-heavy and heavy weapons, military tools and equipment. Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

Pakistan Air Force F7 Crash caught on tape

Russia will loan to Bangladesh $1 billion to purchase Russian-made arms and military equipment

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday, January 15, 2013, his country will loan Bangladesh $1 billion to purchase Russian-made arms and military equipment. Bangladesh is likely to use the money to buy MiG-29SMT fighter jets, upgrade an earlier batch of MiG-29s and purchase BTR-80 armored vehicles and Mi-171 military helicopters, the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Announcement of the loan came during talks between Putin and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheik Hasina in Moscow.

In addition to the arms contract, Russia will also grant a loan worth USD 500 million to Bangladesh for the construction of a nuclear power plant in northwestern Ruppur.

"We will not only provide the most up-to-date technology. ...but also provide financial support for the construction of the nuclear power plant at the initial stage," Putin said.

The head of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said technical and environmental assessments would be carried out this year for the plant, which is to have two 1,000-megawatt reactors and will be completed in the early 2020s.

Energy-starved Bangladesh signed an initial deal with Russian state-owned nuclear agency Rosatom in November, 2011, to build a nuclear plant with two 1,000 megawatt reactors at a cost of upto USD 2 billion each against the backdrop of its dwindling reserve of natural gas.

January 23, 2013

Dutch and German Patriots arrive in Turkey

Dutch and German soldiers arrived at the southern port of İskenderun yesterday to unload Patriot missiles ahead of deployment along the Syrian border as Ankara and NATO neared a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would clarify details such as the share of costs, according to Brussels-based sources.

German soldiers unloaded trucks yesterday carrying the missile systems in İskenderun in the southern province of Hatay while another ship carrying the Dutch shipment waited its turn in the harbor.

“There are 300 vehicles, 100 containers and 400 soldiers on the ship. These will be sent to Kahramanmaraş and used in the event of a potential threat [from Syria]. We will not intervene in any clashes in the region. The Patriot defense systems are capable of hitting a target immediately in the air.

The target will explode at the exact moment that it is hit and pieces of it will fall on the ground. As it is the latest technology, the harm it causes will remain at a minimum,” said Col. Marcus Ellermann, the commander of the German Patriot Missile Defense System team, according to Anatolia news agency.

The systems will be deployed in Turkey as part of a NATO decision to support Turkey’s air defense against a missile threat from Syria. NATO said last week the system should be operational by early February, perhaps sooner.

Meanwhile, Brussels-based sources said they expected the MoU to be concluded “very soon,” adding that it needsedto be signed within the framework of the deployment of the Patriots.

Earlier this month, Turkish, Dutch, German and U.S. military officials conducted talks in Brussels on a MoU that would be signed in order to clarify details such as the share of costs.

Foreign soldiers assigned to operate the system in Turkey will be placed under the framework of a MoU in accordance with Turkey’s status of forces agreement (SOFA) with NATO.

Cheap for Turkey principle

A principle of “cheap for Turkey, expensive for supplier country” will be implemented to cover the costs, such as the transportation of the systems within Turkey, and logistics such as food, a NATO source earlier told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The cost for the deployment of the Patriot missiles and soldiers will be 42 million euros for the Netherlands and 25 million euros for Germany.

Italian Predator drone stays aloft for 24 hours in Afghanistan and completes four missions in one sortie

The Italian Air Force has set a new service record in December 2012, when one of its Predator drones deployed to Herat flew for 24 hours, supporting four different ground missions in Afghanistan.

The MQ-1, with the Task Group “Astore”, initially fllew over the Bakwa district to support a ground patrol of the Task Force “Victor” that was inspecting the route to be used by an arriving Italian Army convoy.
Then it moved to support from the above the important redeployment phase of the Task Force “South East” from Bakwa base, that was handed over to the Afghan Army.
Within the same district, the Predator then supported a strike mission by two Italian AMX jets that have attacked and destroyed with LGB (Laser Guided Bombs) the antennae of a group of insurgents.
During the same sortie the drone flew over a village near Shindand, where the Task Force “Center” is settled and where an army deport had been discovered, to collect imagery.
Flying for 24 hours in Remote Split Operations (meaning the aircraft is launched by a mobile ground control station and remotely taken on charge by another ground control station located at Amendola, in Italy, and controlled via satellite link) between Italy and Afghanistan, the Italian Predator beaten the previous Air Force record by 2 hours.

January 22, 2013

Russian Navy amphibious ships, frigates, destroyer hold large drills in Mediterranean Sea

Russia has started the largest naval exercises in the past few decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas as a civil war in Syria continues to gain momentum. The drills involve task forces from Russia’s Black Sea, Northern and Baltic fleets, strategic bombers, tactical aircraft, air defense units, paratroopers and naval infantry.
The Russian Navy keeps a naval re-supply and maintenance base in the Syrian port of Tartus to support its operations in the Mediterranean.

An official statement by the Defense Ministry, issued on Saturday, says the exercises “are held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan and focus on interoperability of task forces from several fleets while on a mission in a far-off maritime zone.”

The exercises will continue until January 29 and involve over 60 drills, including anti-submarine warfare missions, missile and artillery firing practices.

The training may also include simulated beach landing and convoy escort missions as the task forces have four large landing ships and a variety of auxiliary vessels in their composition.

Some of the exercises are expected to be carried out in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, and, possibly close to the territorial waters of Syria, where rebels have recently stepped up their attacks on army installations in their determined drive to oust President Bashar Al-Assad.

At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict since March 2011, according to latest UN data.

Russia has faced heavy international criticism over its refusal to back UN sanctions against Syria, its last ally in the Arab world, over what it called the pro-rebel bias of some resolutions proposed by Western nations.

Moscow denies it is backing President Bashar Assad and says it is concerned that the Syrian president’s forced departure would only worsen the conflict and lead to the repetition of the so-called ‘Libyan scenario.”

First Indian Air Force C-17A gets airbourne

January 21, 2013

China-Japan : The drums of war

Hallucinating Chinese arm chair generals high on the polluted air of Beijing openly talking of war on TV talk shows

WATCH Chinese television these days and you might conclude that the outbreak of war with Japan over what it calls the Senkaku and China the Diaoyu islands is only a matter of time. You might well be right. Since Japan in September announced it would “nationalise” three of the islands that had been privately owned, China, which has long contested Japan’s sovereignty over them, has also started challenging its resolve to keep control of them. So both countries are claiming to own the islands and both are pretending to administer them. China this week announced its intention to map them thoroughly. Something has to give.

Since then China, too, has become more assertive over the islands. Already, in his speech to the Communist Party’s five-yearly congress in November, Hu Jintao, its outgoing leader, had declared China’s ambition to “build itself into a maritime power”, the first time this had been stated so explicitly. Nor is it clear that his successor, the less wooden Xi Jinping, who will be named president in March, shares his predecessors’ habitual caution in dealings with America. He will surely see no benefit in compromising with Japan, which is despised by many Chinese. And, with little or no military experience, he will want to appear a strong commander-in-chief.

It is against this backdrop that televised military punditry is booming in China. On current-affairs programmes, armchair warriors pontificate about the Diaoyus. Newspapers propagate a uniformly jingoistic analysis of the increasing likelihood of armed conflict.

Russian fifth-generation Sukhoi-T-50 fighter aircraft completes first long range flight

Russia's prototype fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50 fighter jet has carried out its first long-range flight during the transfer from a manufacturing plant in Russia’s Far East to an assigned airfield near Moscow, deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday, January 17, 2013.

“It is a serious breakthrough! The plane flew 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles), making two landings, in Abakan and Chelyabinsk, on the way to the Russian capital,” Rogozin, who oversees the Russian defense industry, wrote in his Twitter blog.

The plane joined three other T-50 prototype models at the Zhukovsky airfield prior to state flight tests, which are scheduled to start in March 2013. The fifth prototype aircraft is being built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory in Siberia.

The T-50, also known as project PAK-FA, first flew in January 2010 and was presented to the public at the Moscow Air Show in 2011.

The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to finish the state flight tests of eight prototypes by 2015, so that they could go into standard production in 2016.

The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft featuring elements of ‘stealth’ technology, super-maneuverability, super-cruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar

Swedish government OKs purchase of 60 Saab Gripen jets

The Swedish government has given its armed forces the go-ahead to order 60 next-generation fighter jets from defence firm Saab, the defence ministry said.
The Swedish parliament last year agreed that the armed forces buy between 40 and 60 of the new JAS 39 E jets.

"It's a historic decision that will secure Swedish fighter capacity for a long time ahead," Defence Minister Karin Enstrom said in a statement.
Switzerland, with which Sweden is sharing some of the development costs for the new jet, plans to place an order but hasn't made a firm decision yet.

"There is in the government's decision a possibility to cancel (the order) if Switzerland or another country doesn't order," defence ministry spokesman Henrik Hedberg said.
The first planes are due to be delivered in 2018, he said.

January 19, 2013

Russian air force puts secret X-38 air-to-surface missile into service

 click on image to enlarge

The Russian Air Force has put the advanced X-38 air-to-surface missile into service. Although the short-range missile was developed for the T-50 fifth generation fighter jet, the existing bombers and fighter jets, including Su-34 and MiG-29 CMT will be equipped with these missiles.

The missile was tested in great secrecy in 2012, and was commissioned in late December. The delivery of missiles will be started shortly. The new missile will be equipped with independently guided warheads. This solves various tasks and increases the striking power of T-50 multipurpose fighter jets. The missiles will be placed inside the jet that is being developed using stealth technology, says editor-in-chief of the “Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie” magazine Victor Litovkin.

“A fighter jet may have special characteristics, including non-visibility to radar and other detecting equipment, but it is just an aircraft. But when it is equipped with high-precision guided missiles, this is a high-precision aviation complex. That can be considered a fifth generation fighter jet. The fact, that the missile on board the jet increases its low visibility,” Victor Litovkin said.
The missile will not reflect on the radar screen. It has another advanced feature. It can orient itself during the flight using the GLONASS space navigation system. The recent armed conflicts, including in Afghanistan and the Middle East have shown that it is difficult to discover targets from air even with the guidance from the ground because advanced camouflaging systems have been developed. These missiles will be guided to the target by a GLONASS satellite, says Victor Litovkin.

Syrian Army Tank vs. FSA Sniper

A Syrian Army tank works together with a spotter to engage an FSA sniper in Daraya. According to the source: The commander of the tank lost his brother, also tank crewman, two days ago there. The wreck of his brothers tank can be seen at the start of the video. 12/03/2012

Pakistan Army in action

January 18, 2013

Republic of Korea Navy commissions First of Class "Incheon" FFX I Frigate

Republic of Korea Navy commissioned on 17 January 2013 the first of its next next generation FFX I class Frigate. The ship was by Hyundai Heavy Industry and is expected to replace the aging fleet of Pohang class corvettes and Ulsan class frigates, and take over multi-role operations such as coast patrol or anti-submarine warfare.

The class will be built in several batches. Six vessels will be built as Batch I (similar to head of class Incheon), eight Frigates will be built as Batch II by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and Batch III is also planned for the future.

Batch I vessels are reported to displace 2,500 tons with a length of 114 meters and a beam of 14 meters. The main gun is 127mm similar type to those used by the US Navy. For defense, the Incheon is fitted with a RIM-116 RAM launcher as well as a Phalanx CIWS. The class is also fitted with four SSM-700K Hae Sung I anti-ship missiles.

It is expected that Batch II vessels will receive VLS cells for long range SAMs and the locally built Hyunmoo-3 land attack cruise missile. No design specifics have been released yet however, regarding Batch II vessels.

India may buy up to 189 French Rafale combat jets in $18 billion dollar deal

India could buy up to 189 of the Rafale fighter jets currently being used by France to bomb Islamist militants in Mali, sources close to negotiations on the multi-billion dollar deal have told AFP.
The possibility of an additional 63 jets being added to an expected order for 126 was raised during a visit by India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid to Paris last week, they said.
"There is an option for procurement of an additional 63 aircrafts subsequently for which a separate contract would need to be signed," a source said.

"Presently the contract under negotiation is for 126 aircraft but we are talking about the follow-up."

A 50 percent increase in the number of planes ordered would take it to around $18 billion, in a huge boost for the struggling French defence industry, although much of the economic benefit will be shared with India.
New Delhi selected France's Dassault Aviation as its preferred candidate to equip its air force with new fighter jets in January 2012.

Under the deal on the table, the first 18 Rafales will be built in France but the next 108 will be assembled in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in the southern city of Bangalore.
"The first aircraft will be delivered three years after signature of the contract," the source added.
An industry expert said the time lag reflected India's request for two-seater jets rather than the one-seater model that Dassault currently produces.

India has insisted that the deal involves significant technology transfer and that Indian suppliers secure work equivalent to around half of the value of the contract.
"The negotiations for off-sets are progressing well," the source added.
The conclusion of the deal has been repeatedly delayed, with India having initially set a target of the end of last year, which slipped to March 31, 2013, the end of the current fiscal year.

Chinese Wolf 4x4 light armoured vehicle personnel carrier Shaanxi Baoji Special Vehicles

How Boeing’s non-lethal CHAMP missiles could mark ‘a new era in modern-day warfare’

Q: Are there really microwave missiles?
Yes. A three-year, US$40-million project to launch Boeing Phantom Works’ Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) became reality in the Utah desert last October. The missile — launched from an aircraft before flying over its target — sends out electromagnetic pulses that are designed to disable any electronics in a wide area — destroying an enemy’s computers and communications without killing enemy soldiers or civilians. In the October test, the missile fired microwaves at a two-storey building causing all the electronics and computers inside to go dark. Even the cameras monitoring the test were knocked out.
Q: Wow. Is this new technology?

It’s been around for a while.The microwave pulse — similar to an electromagnetic pulse — can damage electrical equipment rather like what happens after a nuclear bomb explodes. Pulses were first detected in the 1940s, and even expected by scientists during nuclear detonation tests.
Q: What’s been the reaction to the test?

EAU, Rafale is too expensive for UAE

French President Francois Hollande discussed the possibility of the UAE buying Rafale fighter jets during his visit to the Gulf country and said a deal hinged on price.
"We think it's a very good plane ... We have said so to our Emirati friends and they don't disagree," Hollande told a news conference in Dubai during a day-long visit to the United Arab Emirates. "After that, it's a question of price."

A French diplomatic source said last week that France would discuss a long-running possibility for the purchase of 60 Rafale fighters during Hollande's visit but said no contract would be signed during the trip.

Negotiations between France and the UAE over the potential sale of 60 Rafale fighter jets to the Gulf country are ongoing and have a chance of succeeding, a French diplomatic source said last week.

Why not go for the "cheap" JF-17 then?
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