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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brazil Hopes to Ink Pantsir-S1 Air Defense Deal With Russia by Mid-2015

Pantsir-S1Brazil and Russia could sign a contract on the delivery of Russian Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to the Latin American country as early as in the first half of 2015, Brazilian Ambassador to Russia Antonio José Vallim Guerreiro said on Wednesday.

“We hope very much that the contract will be signed this semester because the discussions are very advanced… Signing the contract is going to be a very important achievement,” Guerreiro said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

The potential arms purchase by Brazil, which includes three Pantsir-S1 batteries of up to 18 units, is estimated at $1 billion, according to Russia's Kommersant business daily.

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Ghostrider’s Big Gun: AC-130J Gets 105 ASAP; Laser Later

An AC-130U’s 105 mm cannonSometimes smart bombs aren’t the smart choice. Sometimes you just need a big bad flying gun. That’s why the aging AC-130 gunship is still revered by ground troops for its ability to fire a 105mm cannon — a weapon normally mounted on light tanks.

That’s why the head of Air Force Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, decided the new model, the AC-130J Ghostrider, had to have the 105 instead of relying on missiles.

And that’s why Heithold will fight to slow the rate at which older AC-130s are retiring.

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Military parade tradition stretches back to founding of PRC


While China’s military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be the first of its kind, the country has held 14 military parades since the founding of the People' s Republic of China, to celebrate National Day.

From 1949 to 1959, China staged a military parade every National Day. They featured soldiers in marching formations and military hardware, such as tanks, missiles and fighter jets flying overhead.

But the tradition changed in 1960, when the government decided to only hold the ceremony every 10 years, in an effort to scale down the military. No parades were held during the Cultural Revolution, between 1966 and 1976.

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Boeing awarded Indonesian Apache contract

AH-64E ApacheThe US government has formally awarded Boeing a contract to build eight AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for Indonesia.

The Department of Defense says in a statement that the “firm-fixed-price” foreign military sales (FMS) contract is valued at $296 million. The helicopters will be built in Mesa, Arizona, and are expected to be completed by February 2018.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel announced the sale of eight Apaches to Indonesia in August 2013.

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Fighter jet falls on biker in Rajasthan

Crashed MiG-27A MiG-27 fighter jet crashed in Rajasthan's Barmer on Tuesday and a part of it fell on a passing motorcyclist.

Twenty-six-year-old Loon Singh was on his way to a village to distribute invitation cards of his wedding when the jet crashed around 3 pm.

Singh had a miraculous escape though he suffered burns and injuries on his hand. His bike was completely burnt.

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Leidos Prototype Maritime System Completes First Self-Guided Voyage

ACTUVLeidos, a national security, health, and engineering solutions company, announced today that its prototype maritime autonomy system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program recently completed its first self-guided voyage between Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The prototype maritime autonomy system was installed on a 42-foot work boat that served as a surrogate vessel to test sensor, maneuvering, and mission functions of the prototype ACTUV vessel.

ACTUV seeks to develop an independently deployed, unmanned naval vessel that would operate under sparse remote supervisory control and safely follow the collision avoidance "rules of the sea" known as COLREGS.

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Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

F-35C Lightning IIThe first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line here, Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations.

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander and F-35 pilot, delivered the new F-35C to Strike Fighter Squadron 101, the Navy's only F-35 fleet replacement squadron. This aircraft is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101 on Eglin.

Marine F-35 pilots primarily fly F-35Bs - a short take-off vertical landing variant designed to deploy to austere locations and operate aboard amphibious ships.

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South Korean Aegis destroyers could be object of defense by Japanese navy

KDX-III destroyerThe Japanese government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are currently discussing the idea of including a provision about protecting South Korean Aegis destroyers in a revised version of the Self-Defense Forces Law, which will be submitted to the regular session of the Japanese Diet, newspaper reports indicate.

South Korea uses the Aegis destroyers to monitor ballistic missile launches by North Korea.

“The Japanese government notified the ruling party of its plan to include a clause that would allow the Japan Self-Defense Forces to defend the warships of countries other than the US in a revision to legislation pertaining to national security, including the Self-Defense Forces Act, which it plans to submit to the Diet during the current session,” the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said in a Jan. 27 report.

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The Taiwanese Navy's Newest Ship: The Panshih

Panshih AOREager to moderate the threat it faces from an increasingly sophisticated China, Taiwan has been investing heavily in modernizing its naval capabilities.

As part of that effort, Taipei recently welcomed a U.S. Senate decision to approve the sale of four Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates for its navy.

While Taiwan purchases a considerable amount of military hardware from the United States, it also has a vibrant indigenous defense industry.

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Ukraine Arms Embargo Could Delay Delivery of Russian Frigates

Admiral Gorshkov (Project 22350)The Ukrainian military equipment embargo to Russia could cause delays in the construction of the Russian Navy’s new class of frigates and slow a planned modernization effort of Russia’s northern fleet, according to a Monday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Russia’s 4,500 ton Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates (Project 22350) is powered – in part – by two M90FR gas turbines built by with Ukrainian manufacturer Zorya-Mashproekt.

With the embargo in place the task has shifted to Russian manufacturer NPO Saturn without the aid of the Ukrainians.

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Pentagon wants $350b nuclear upgrade to deter aggressive Russia, China

Pentagon wants $350b for upgradesThe Pentagon is asking for $350 billion to upgrade its nuclear deterrent capability to handle growing aggression from Russia.

“Russia and U.S. cooperation has ground to a halt,” retired Navy Admiral William Fallon told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Updating aged nuclear deterrent capabilities, he said, “should be a top consideration.”

Fallon, who retired in 2008 after commanding U.S. Central Command, is part of a week-long visit by defense leaders to Congress to push funding for the Pentagon before the federal budget is released next week. With both wars winding down, defense officials are seeking funding for initiatives that have been pushed back.

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Malaysia Eyes Submarine Base Expansion Near South China Sea


RMN Kota Kinabalu
On January 25, Malaysian defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced that Malaysia would look to equip its naval base close to the South China Sea with an air defense system.

Hishammuddin made the announcement during a visit to the base, known as the RMN Kota Kinabalu, as part of a three-day working trip to the country’s east to examine its military preparedness. He said that the base required an advanced air defense system to ensure its protection.

The need to enhance the base’s defenses is understandable. The RMN Kota Kinabalu is the only base with the facilities to host the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN’s) two prized Scorpene-class submarines.

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Vietnam’s 5th Russian-built submarine to begin trial run this May

HQ-186 Khanh HoaThe fifth of the six Kilo-class submarines that Vietnam has agreed to buy from Russia is scheduled for a trial run this May, according to the manufacturer, the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg.

The submarine codenamed HQ-186 Khanh Hoa is a Project 636.1 diesel-electric submarines. It was launched at the Admiralty Shipyards on December 28, 2014.

The first two subs, HQ-182 Hanoi and HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City, arrived in Vietnam in January and March of 2014.

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US navy looks at next generation SSNX submarines and 200 mile range torpedoes

USS North Carolina (SSN-777)The U.S. Navy is starting early preparation work to design a new nuclear attack submarine to replace the Virginia-class boats (SSN-774) in the 2030s. The new attack boat would become operational in 2044 after the last Block VII Virginias are built.

Nine years to identify, design and demonstrate the new technologies the new attack boat will need.

Johnson said that he has formed a small team to work on a five-year plan to begin to do some of that work. The team will consult with industry and will identify the threat environment and technologies the submarine will need to operate against in the 2050 plus timeframe, Johnson said.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Airbus' A321neo LR Could Be A Perfect Platform For A Future European Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Airbus A321neo LROur colleagues from the French strategic and defense newsletter "TTU" published an interesting analysis of a possible military application for Airbus' latest airliner project.

During a press conference held in Toulouse on January 13, Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, announced the imminent launch of a new "Long Range" version of the A321 airliner.

Scheduled for entry into service in late 2018 and named "A321neo LR", this aircraft will be developed from the cell of the new A321neo and will have transatlantic range.

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AN−70 adopted by Armed Forces of Ukraine

An-70On January 22, 2015, handing of the Order of Ministry of Defense of Ukraine about adoption of the AN−70 military STOL transport by Armed Forces of Ukraine took place at ANTONOV Company.

In the enclosure to the order the AN−70 is noted as a transport aircraft of Armed Forces of Ukraine.

It is intended for aerial delivery, air transportation of troops and tangible assets, provision of maneuvers and troop’s activity and decisions of special tasks.

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U.S. 'Cannot Stop' Russian Nuclear Missiles — Deputy Prime Minister

Aegis ashoreU.S. missile defense “cannot stop” Russia's nuclear weapons, a top minister said, in an apparent reversal of Moscow's policy of slamming U.S. anti-ballistic missile capability as a dire threat to Russian security.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who overseas Russia's military-industrial complex, boasted of unspecified breakthroughs in Russian military technology during a talk show on the state-run Rossiya 1 television channel on Sunday night.

“We will not disclose those technical details to anybody,” Rogozin said, according to comments quoted by Interfax news agency. “But I can tell you one thing: The work conducted today on combat missile technologies … shows that neither the current, nor even the projected American missile defense system could stop or cast doubt on Russia's strategic missile potential.”

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Spanish Patriot missiles deployed and working in Turkey’s south, says battery commander

Patriot systemSpainish Patriot air defense missiles have been deployed in the southern Turkish province of Adana, as part of Turkey’s request for NATO assistance on the country’s border with Syria, the head of the Spanish unit in Turkey said on Jan. 26.

The battery commander of the Spanish Patriot air defense missile system, Captain Luis Burgos Sanchez, said they have deployed Patriot missiles at the General Recai Engin barracks in Adana.

“Five of our launchers are now active. All the launchers are equipped with four missiles,” said Sanchez, adding the missiles are specifically designed for any ballistic missile threats and have been deployed to destroy such missiles, if any are fired.

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Exelis wins interim redesign contract for US Navy’s tactical jammer

ALQ-99 jamming podExelis has received a U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center contract valued at $15.3 million to perform essential sustainment work on the ALQ-99 tactical jamming system.

The ALQ-99 is used on the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.

The technology will also be provided to the Australian government through a Foreign Military Sales program, the first time the ALQ-99 has been made available to an international ally.

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Pakistan Air Force inducts indigenously-built JF-17 Thunder fighter jets


Pakistan's Air Force yesterday formally inducted indigenously-built JF-17 Thunder fighter jets into its combat school.

The PAF said that a special ceremony was held at the Combat Commanders' School at PAF Base Mushaf to include the fighter in the country's defence force.

The jets carried out a display that was met with applause by a jubilant crowd that had gathered for the ceremony.

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10 dead after Greek fighter jet crashes in Spain during NATO exercise

F-16 crash AlbaceteTen people are dead and another 19 people are injured after a Greek fighter plane crashed during a NATO exercise in Spain on Monday, Spain's Defense Ministry said.

The F-16 jet plummeted just after takeoff at Los Llanos air base in Albacete — about 165 miles southeast of Madrid — before colliding with other planes on the ground, a Defense Ministry official said.

The day’s fatalities, which included the jet's two pilots, were made up of eight French citizens and two Greek, the ministry announced.

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Two-color sensors eyed for P-8A missile defense

AN/AAQ-24(V) DIRCMElectro-optics experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. will begin upgrading the sensors in the airborne missile-defense system aboard the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol jet under terms of an order announced Friday.

Officials of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., awarded a $7 million delivery order to the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems segment in Rolling Meadows, Ill., to start installing two-color infrared sensors in the P-8's AN/AAQ-24 Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system.

The order calls for engineers from the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Land and Self Protection Systems Division to provide supplies and services to develop software to upgrade the current P-8A AN/AAQ-24 DIRCM electro-optical subsystem with two-color infrared missile warning sensors.

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Multi-million pound contract announced for A&P Falmouth to fit-out and maintain four new RFA ships

Tide class AORFalmouth ship repair firm A&P has been awarded a multi-million pound Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract to complete the fit-out of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s four new tankers.

The announcement was made by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne during a visit to A&P Falmouth at the port's docks this morning.

The new Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (Mars) tankers will maintain the Royal Navy’s ability to refuel at sea and provide fuel to warships and task groups. The tankers will support deployed amphibious, land and air forces close to the shore and have the ability to operate helicopters.

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U.S. to Aid India in Building Aircraft Carriers

INS VikrantTucked away in a new defense deal with India was an agreement for the U.S. to aid India in fielding aircraft carriers that China views as a threat.

As part of a Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) signed by President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, the U.S. agreed to “form a working group to explore aircraft carrier technology sharing and design.”

Under the agreement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that “we will begin to realize the enormous potential of the U.S.-India defense industrial partnership.

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USS Green Bay moves to Japan

USS Green Bay (LPD-20)San Diego said goodbye to the amphibious ship Green Bay on Monday, as another local warship transfers to Japan.

Earlier this month, the Navy announced that the San Diego cruiser Chancellorsville will leave this summer as part of what’s being called a long-range plan to send the most advanced and capable units to the Asia-Pacific region.

Destroyers Milius and Benfold are also scheduled to leave San Diego for Japan in the next two years.

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