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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Indonesian Navy set to have domestically built frigate in 2016

Sigma 10514 corvetteThe Indonesian Navy will soon have its own domestically made frigate when the construction of the PKR 10514 guided-missile destroyer escort is completed in 2016.

Navy chief of staff Adm. Marsetio led a keel laying ceremony for the PKR, which the navy classifies as a frigate, at the state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia in Surabaya on Wednesday. The warship is being built under the supervision of Dutch shipbuilder Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).

“The PKR frigate will have the modern surface warfare capabilities being equipped with [anti-ship] Exocet missile, anti-submarine warfare with torpedoes, anti-aircraft warfare and electronic warfare,” Marsetio said after the ceremony.

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Lafayette scandal ruling finalized; Kuo to return NT$10.4 billion

Lafayette class frigateThe Supreme Court yesterday finalized former Navy Captain Kuo Li-heng's (郭力恆) verdict, ruling that Kuo should serve 15 years in prison, pay a fine of NT$200 million and return NT$10.4 billion in illegal income to the country over the procurement of Lafayette-class frigates from France in the 1990s.

The verdict can not be appealed.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) said, however, that unless Kuo commits another crime he likely will not need to serve his prison term in accordance with the Criminal Code.

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Lockheed to continue torpedo maintenance

Mk-48 torpedo maintenanceA $10 million contract has been given to Lockheed Martin by the U.S. Navy to continue supporting the readiness of MK-48 torpedoes.

The contract from Naval Sea Systems Command exercises the first option of a 2013 award, Lockheed said, and brings that award’s value to more than $18 million.

“The key to this program’s success is our strong partnership with the U.S. Navy," said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions.

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HMCS Chicoutimi One Step Closer to Returning to Operations, Navy Says – Dive Planned For Today

HMCS ChicoutimiHer Majesty’s Canadian Submarine (HMCS) Chicoutimi is under tow to Ogden Point, near Victoria Harbour today, where it is expected to conduct a camber dive.

This is a key moment in the submarine’s Extended Docking Work Period, begun in 2010 as the first ever performed by industry under the Victoria In-service Support Contract.

The camber dive is also a key early stepping stone in Chicoutimi’s return to the fleet, expected later this year, as it advances through an exhaustive test and trial program.

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Navy delays submarine commissioning, says more work needed

USS North DakotaThe Navy on Wednesday said it would delay the commissioning of the North Dakota, a new Virginia-class submarine that was due to enter active service on May 31, to carry out more design work and resolve quality problems with certain components.

The submarine, built jointly by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries, is returning to drydock for the additional work, according to the submarine's Facebook site. It said no new commissioning date had been set.

Colleen O'Rourke, spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command, said the Navy decided to delay the commissioning because the ship needed additional design and certification work on its redesigned bow, and because of "material issues" with certain vendor-assembled and delivered components.

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North Sea Boats (PT. Lundin) and SAAB working on an improved 63m FMPV Trimaran

SAAB booth during DSA 2014At DSA 2014, the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Indonesian shipyard North Sea Boats (PT. Lundin) and SAAB are showing an updated model of the 63m FMPV Trimaran design ordered by the Indonesian Navy.

Talking to Navy Recognition during DSA 2014, a SAAB representative explained that the Swedish company is planning to fit its new Sea Giraffe 1X 3D radar higher up in the mast for better radar coverage and less limitation because of the curvature of the Earth.

This is possible because the new radar is only 150 kilograms. This explains the quite unique shape of the newly designed mast onboard the FMPV (Fast Missile Patrol Vessel) Trimaran. The mast would integrate the radar, the ESM and the communication systems.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EU countries to boost defence budgets in light of Ukraine

European Union flagMilitary chiefs have said the Ukraine crisis is a “wake-up call” for EU countries’ defence spending, as the US backed Ukraine’s use of force in eastern regions.

Speaking to press after a regular meeting of EU defence ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday (15 April), the deputy chief of the EU’s external action service, Maciej Popowski, said: “We’ve had 70 years of peace now [in Europe], but we see that power politics is back with a vengeance, so it’s a wake-up call and now we need to get serious about defence.”

He noted that “this was the feeling around the table” at the Luxembourg event.

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Russian Air Force to Receive 16 New MiG Fighters

MiG-29SMT FulcrumThe Russian Defense Ministry has signed a $470 million contract with the MiG corporation for the delivery of 16 advanced MiG-29 SMT fighters, the ministry said Tuesday.

The company had earlier confirmed the deal in an interview with RIA Novosti, but did not specify its value.

"The value of the contract, including the ground support and test equipment, is more than 17 billion rubles. The contract is a strategic measure for maintaining the combat readiness of the lightweight fighter fleet," the Defense Ministry said in the statement.

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F-35 Fleet Surpasses 15,000 Flying Hours

F-35A Lightning IIThe Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.

“Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is even more impressive is the fact that operational F-35s accounted for more than half of those flight hours,” said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification.

“While the fleet continues to train, we are actively flight testing the software and mission systems that will enable the Marine Corps to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC) next year as planned.”

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U.S. Anti-Tank Rockets Show Up in Syrian Rebel Hands

Online videos show Syrian rebels using what appear to be U.S. anti-tank rockets, weapons experts say, the first significant American-built armaments in the country's civil war.

They would signal a further internationalization of the conflict, with new rockets suspected from Russia and drones from Iran also spotted in the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

None of that equipment, however, is seen as enough to turn the tide of battle in a now broadly stalemated war, with Assad dominant in Syria's central cities and along the Mediterranean coast and the rebels in the interior north and east.

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Lithuania plans to buy more jet trainer aircraft – Min of Defence

L-39 AlbatrosLithuania plans to buy more L-39 ZA light jet trainer aircraft over the next two years to boost readiness of the county’s Air Force, the Ministry of Defence confirmed on Tuesday.

Laimonas Brazaitis of the ministry’s Public Relations Department told BNS funds have already been earmarked for the purchase and consultations are being started with partners who might offer aircraft of this type. Lithuania plans to buy the aircraft in 2015-2016.

The ministry has refused to disclose the number of jets to be acquired or their prices as negotiations with potential sellers continue.

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Malaysia offered Saab fighter jets leasing deal

JAS-39 GripenSwedish aerospace and defence company Saab Group says it has packaged a “competitive and cost-effective” deal for the Malaysian government to lease its Gripen fighter aircraft.

Saab Asia-Pacific president and CEO Dan Enstedt said the company is fine-tuning the deal with the Malaysian government but said he could not disclose the numbers of aircraft or costs at present.

“The leasing deal between Saab and the Malaysian government will include the transfer of technology, which will be capable of adapting our open technology to integrate with the existing Malaysian legacy systems,” Enstedt said on the sidelines of the Defence Services Asia (DSA 2014) Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

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Fires reported on USS Hue City; no injuries reported

USS Hue CityThe Navy says a fire was reported aboard a guided-missile cruiser as it was transiting the Atlantic Ocean.

The fire aboard the USS Hue City broke out late Monday, according to U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

The Navy said in a statement Tuesday that no injuries were reported and that the ship is operating on its own power.

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Enemies beware: Royal Navy shows off its latest radar system which can knock missiles out of the sky

The Royal Navy has revealed its latest 3D radar system which can track missiles - before knocking them out of the sky.

The cutting-edge system, called 'Artisan', was tested by some 180 sailors on board HMS Iron Duke off the coast of Portland today.

It tracked a sea-skimming target, before launching a Seawolf missile - which crashed into the object seconds later.

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Indonesia equips frigates, corvette with stealth radars

Ahmad Yani (Van Speijk)-class FFGThe Indonesian Navy (Tentera Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) will equip a total of four Ahmad Yani (Van Speijk)-class guided missile frigates and one Kapitan Pattimura (Parchim I)-class corvette with low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) naval radars.

The radars will be built by Indonesian naval sensor manufacturer PT Infra RCS, company officials told IHS Jane's on 11 April.

The company describes its equipment, the IRCS LPI Radar, as a stealthy sea-based X-band (SBX) radar with frequency modulated continuous wave technology.

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Pentagon report finds sequestration cuts would reduce national security

Virginia class SSNMore than $1 trillion in sequestration-related defense cuts, slated for now through 2021, “would significantly increase risks both in the short- and long-term,” according to a report released Monday by the Pentagon.

“If sequestration-level cuts persist, our forces will assume substantial additional risks in certain missions and will continue to face significant readiness and modernization challenges,” the report said.

“Overall, sequester-level cuts would result in a military that is too small to fully meet the requirements of our strategy, thereby significantly increasing national security risks both in the short- and long-term,” according to a Pentagon statement that accompanied the report’s release.

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Russia to resume Bulava tests

Bulava missile test launchRussia plans to resume testing of the submarine-launched ballistic missile Bulava this summer. The country’s two newest strategic nuclear-powered submarines will start trials as soon as the ice conditions in the White Sea will allow.

The two strategic Borey class nuclear-powered submarines “Vladimir Monomakh” and “Alexander Nevsky” will conduct four single launches of the Bulava missiles this summer. The test will be conducted from the usual exercise area in the White Sea to the Kura test site in Russia’s far-eastern Kamchatka territory, ITAR-TASS reports.

“Alexander Nevsky” fired its first test missile in September 2013.

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French navy announces first women to serve on submarines

Le Triomphant class SSBNWomen are to be allowed to serve on nuclear submarines in the French Navy from 2017, the French Minister of Defence announced today.

The first three candidates will begin training next year, and if the experience is successful the job will be opened up to women, explained Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday.

Until now, women in the French Navy have been barred from submarine duty, which involves two and a half months without interruption under water, twice a year.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DSME unveils its Missile Surface Corvette (MSC) at DSA 2014

Missile Surface CorvetteAt DSA 2014, the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Korean shipbuilder DSME introduces for the first time its Missile Surface Corvette (MSC).

Navy Recognition learned during DSA 2014 that DSME teamed with a local partner to answer an RFI from the Royal Malaysian Navy for a small displacement corvette.

The MSC model shown at DSA 2014 is fitted with a 76mm Oto Melara main gun, 4x Kongsberg NSM anti-ship missiles, 2x MSI 30mm guns located aft, and several South Korean made sensors, most of them from Samsung Thales.

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Germany – P-3C Aircraft Upgrades and Related Support

P-3C OrionThe State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Germany for P-3C aircraft upgrades and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $250 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 11, 2014.

The Government of Germany has requested a possible sale for the procurement, integration, and installation of hardware and software to upgrade the aircraft mission computer and acoustic systems, and non-integrated simulator equipment on 8 P-3C aircraft.

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Russia Test-fires ICBM RS-24 Yars amid Ukraine Unrest

RS-24 Yars ICBMRussia has test-fired a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) amid the ongoing unrest in neighbouring Ukraine even as the west fears Moscow is gearing up for large-scale military intervention in the country.

Moscow's Strategic Missile Forces test-fired the RS-24 Yars equipped with re-entry warhead from Plesetsk, 800km northeast of Moscow.

The launch took place at about 10:40am local time.

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Thai success prompts SAAB To Focus on Integrated Air Defence System

JAS-39 GripenSuccess with the Gripen integrated air defence system (GIADS) in Thailand has prompted SAAB to offer an air, sea and ground networked air defence system for the Asian and world markets.

The JAS 39 Gripen fighter, the Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, and ship combat management systems (CMC) form the three principal elements of the system.

In an exclusive chat with Dan-Ake Endtedt, President and CEO of Saab Asia Pacific Co. Ltd. said that the GIADS had proved to be a huge success for the Thai military in the way they manage their air defence.

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Light Combat Aircraft Navy goes super sonic

Tejas LCAJust days before the second anniversary of its maiden flight the naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft-LCA Navy (NP-1) has successfully completed its first super sonic flight signaling that the aircraft is now able to fly faster than the speed of sound.

The Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) the nodal agency for the development of the LCA said that this feat was achieved in the month of March.

The NP-1 during the flight is said to have crossed the Mach 1 barrier.

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Pentagon: Russian attack aircraft made "provocative and unprofessional" passes near American destroyer in Black Sea

Su-24 FencerThe U.S. Department of Defense said Monday that a Russian attack aircraft made 12 passes near the USS Donald Cook while in international waters in the Black Sea on Saturday.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren called the incident "provocative and unprofessional," and added that "these continued acts of provocation and unprofessionalism do nothing to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, which we called on the Russians to do."

At the time of the incident on Saturday, two Russian aircraft were present, although only one repeatedly flew near the American destroyer.

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Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

Ticonderoga class CGA bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

The Navy fought hard against mothballing the giant ship. But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has warned that when the two-year reprieve Congress granted from sequester cuts expires in 2016, the George Washington will be back on the chopping block.

Moreover, the chief of naval operations said last month that the Navy plans to remove 11 of its 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers from active duty to save on operating costs, as well as removing from service early the last frigates in the fleet.

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