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Friday, May 15, 2015

NOSInt on a break

Next update: Monday 25th of May.

Russian Navy Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov in Dry Dock for Unknown Reasons and Length of Time

Admiral Kuznetsov CVRussia’s sole aircraft carrier, The Admiral Kuznetsov, went into the dock of a shipyard in north Russia for repairs, the Northern Fleet’s press office reported on Thursday, giving no timeframe for the repairs.

"The repair workers will first make the ship’s inspection in the dock, after which a decision will be made on the scope of the repairs," the fleet’s press office said, adding the repairs would be carried out by specialists of the 82nd shipyard at Roslyakovo in the Murmansk Region.

The aircraft carrier performed its last long-distance voyage in May 2014, mostly sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.

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USAF nominates JASSM missile to host new computer-killing weapon

Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced MissileThe head of the Air Force Research Laboratory has nominated Lockheed Martin’s stealthy, long-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM-ER) as the optimal air vehicle to carry a new computer-killing electronic attack payload known as CHAMP, or Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project.

Major general Thomas Masiello says the technology, which fries electronic equipment with bursts of high-power microwave energy, is mature and will be miniaturised to suite the JASSM-ER.

“That’s an operational system already in our tactical air force, and that is really what will make us more operationally relevant,” Masiello says at a science and technology exposition at the Pentagon on 14 May.

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German defense ministry reportedly decides on 'Meads' missile defense system

MEADS Multifunction Fire Control RadarThe "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ), a leading German national daily, reported on Friday that Berlin's defense ministry had decided to purchase the Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) developed by US defense giant Lockheed Martin in cooperation with German MBDA and Italian companies.

The defense ministry has, however, so far declined to confirm the report, saying a decision would be announced before the end of June.

The project to develop the mobile, surface-to-air defense system began 10 years ago. But then the US government decided not to purchase it, claiming development was too far behind schedule.

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San Diego-Based Marine Helicopter Found After Vanishing on Disaster Mission in Nepal

UH-1 HueyThe wreckage of a U.S. military helicopter missing in Nepal has been found on the slopes of a mountain east of Kathmandu, a local army official said Friday.

The American chopper was spotted in the Gorthali area, at an altitude of 11,200 feet, according to Brig. Gen. Binoj Basnet. There was no immediate word on the fate of the crew.

The UH-1 Huey helicopter was carrying six U.S. Marines and two Nepali service members when it lost contact Tuesday evening, Pentagon officials said.

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Third French Reaper UAV deploys to Niger

MQ-9 ReaperThe French Air Force received its third Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), on 7 May, which was then deployed directly to Niamey in Niger with France’s Barkhane Force.

The French Air Force said the third Reaper supplements the existing French drone squadron, composed of two Harfang UAVs and two Reaper UAVs, operated by the 1/33 “Belfort” drone squadron stationed in Cognac.

Since their arrival in theatre, the Reapers have logged more than 4,000 flying hours.

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Australia Hoses Down U.S. B-1 Bomber Talk

B-1B LancerPrime Minister Tony Abbott said a senior Pentagon official misspoke about plans to place U.S. long-range strike bombers in Australia, adding that steps to boost America’s military presence there weren’t aimed at any particular country.

David Shear, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for Asian and pacific security affairs, told a U.S. Senate hearing this week that strategic bombers would be sent to Australia. “We will be placing additional air force assets in Australia... including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft,” he said.

The presence of B-1s—designed in the 1980s for long-range nuclear strikes—would represent a significant boost to the deterrent capability of U.S. forces in Australia, where ports and air bases are attractive because of their close access to Asia at a safe distance from potential aggressors.

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Sikorsky Progresses in Building Optionally Piloted Black Hawk

Optionally Piloted Black HawkSikorsky Aircraft is making parts for an autonomous flight kit arising from its “Matrix” research program.

The manufacturer plans to fly the kit on a UH-60A Black Hawk late next year to demonstrate its potential as an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV).

In July 2013, Sikorsky started flight tests of an autonomy system consisting of fly-by-wire flight controls and multiple situational awareness sensors on its Sikorsky Autonomous Research Aircraft (Sara), an S-76 helicopter.

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China to sell Jordan missile-firing drones after Obama says no to helping ally

MQ-1 PredatorChina is offering to sell Jordan missile-firing drones to fight the Islamic State terror army, according to a U.S. congressman.

“I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said in a letter on Thursday to President Obama.

Rep. Hunter has pressed the Obama administration — to no avail — to approve the sale of Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft to the kingdom.

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IDEF 2015: RMK Marine Unveiled Some New Fast Attack Craft and Corvette Designs

TTHB-1 / FMC 69During IDEF 2015 (the International Defence Industry Fair which was held last week in Istanbul, Turkey), local shipyard RMK Marine (member of the Koç Holding Group of Companies) unveiled several news design for both domestic and export market: A new Fast Attack Craft Missile (FACM), a new Multi Mission Corvette (MMC) and an update to an existing Corvette design.

RMK Marine's designation for this vessel is Fast Missile Craft TTHB-1 / FMC 69.

An RMK Marine representative explained to Navy Recognition that this vessel was entirely designed and developped to answer a future tender of the Turkish Navy.

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Russian Bombers Barrel Toward British Airspace, RAF Jets Take To Skies To Stage Intercept

Tu-95 Bear D and EF-2000 Eurofighter TyphoonA pair of Russian bombers capable of delivering nuclear bombs were spotted flying toward British airspace on Thursday, their intentions unknown — until the Royal Air Force scrambled Typhoon fighter jets from its air base in Lossiemouth, Scotland. The RAF jets cut off the Russian “Bear” bombers and escorted them out of the area.

The intercept comes just two days after British RAF Typhoons stationed with the NATO Baltic Policing contingent were forced to scramble over the Baltic Sea to make sure that a Russian spy plane kept clear of Estonia, a former Soviet republic that has been a NATO ally for the past 11 years.

The British defense ministry said that the seemingly ominous flights by Russian aircraft have been so frequent that they are almost routine, and that the two Tupolev Tu-95 bombers — a Soviet-era aircraft known informally as “The Russian Bear” — were never considered a serious threat to Britain.

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Japan arms fair confirms country’s status as weapons exporter

A visitor examines a scale model of Japan's P-1 maritime patrol aircraftIn a bustling exhibition hall crowded with scale-model aircraft carriers, full-sized naval cannons and displays bearing industrial euphemisms for war, Japan on Thursday celebrated its coming-out as an international weapons exporter.

The three-day Maritime Systems and Technology arms fair being staged in Yokohama is Japan’s first military trade show since the second world war and comes as defence budgets and tensions rise across the region.

The event represented a moment in Japanese history “dreaded by some, but welcomed by others”, one participant noted.

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USS George Washington completes fire suppression systems testing

General quarters drillThe US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) engineering, weapons and air departments have successfully conducted the testing of critical firefighting systems.

Crew members onboard carried out tests on the carrier's fire suppression systems (countermeasure wash-down systems), which form a significant part of damage control efforts aboard the vessel.

Maintained by George Washington's damage control division, the countermeasure wash-down system uses seawater and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to prevent fire by extinguishing flame's oxygen supply.

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Iran Patrol Boats Fire on Singapore-Flagged Commercial Oil Tanker in Gulf

MV Alpine EternityIranian patrol boats opened fire on a Singapore-flagged oil tanker as it moved through the Strait of Hormuz in a confrontation that raised new concerns about Iran’s attempts to exert more control of commerce in the Persian Gulf.

For the second time in two weeks, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Naval patrol boats confronted a commercial ship moving through the strait and ordered it into Iranian waters on Thursday, according to U.S. officials.

Three Iranian patrol boats opened fire on the 600-foot-long Alpine Eternity when the tanker crew refused to follow their direction, then chased the tanker after it issued a call for help, U.S. officials said.

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S. Korea stages military drill to defend Dokdo

Dokdo exerciseSouth Korea is conducting a military drill to defend its easternmost islets of Dokdo amid Japan's renewed claims to the territory, military officers said Friday.

The Navy, jointly with the Coast Guard, "are carrying out the two-day drill from yesterday on and around the rocky outcroppings in the East Sea," said a Navy officer, requesting anonymity. "It is designed to deter any trespassers on our territory via a sea or air route."

The exercise has been carried out twice a year since 1986, with the latest taking place in November last year despite protests from Japan.

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As Protecteur is retired, questions raised about naval weakness

HMCS ProtecteurAs HMCS Protecteur was officially decommissioned at CFB Esquimalt Thursday, a former commanding officer of the key Royal Canadian Navy supply ship worried about the implications of having no military replenishment ships on either coast.

“We as a nation should have been preparing for the loss of these ships years ago,” said Don McClean, who commanded Protecteur between 1990 and 1993, leading the ship into the Gulf War and humanitarian missions.

The Navy announced in September it would retire four warships: one guided-missile destroyer from each coast, HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Algonquin, and both supply vessels, HMCS Protecteur and CFB Halifax-based HMCS Preserver.

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Sonobuoy Tech Systems Wins $9.4M in Foreign Sales Contracts

Sparton Corporation and Ultra Electronics USSI, a subsidiary of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (ULE), announce the award of subcontracts valued at $9.4 million from their ERAPSCO/SonobuoyTech Systems joint venture.

Multiple foreign contracts are represented in these orders for the manufacture of Passive and Active Sonobuoys in support of multiple underwater missions.

ERAPSCO/SonobuoyTech Systems will provide manufacturing subcontracts in the amount of $5.4 million to Ultra Electronics USSI and $4.0 million to Sparton Deleon Springs LLC.

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Bergen wins Norwegian Armed Forces’ frigate maintenance extension contract

HNoMS Fridtjof NansenThe Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (FLO) has awarded a one-year extension contract to Bergen Group for the technical maintenance of the navy's frigate class vessels.

Valued at Nkr70m ($9.41m), the contract has validity until July 2016.

In June 2012, Bergen received a comprehensive contract from FLO for maintenance and repair of frigate class.

The initial contract carried an option for annual renewal of up to three additional years until summer 2017. This contract marks the second renewal ordered by the navy.

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Rivlin tours new IDF submarine during Germany visit

President Reuven Rivlin visited the Kiel shipyards in Germany on Wednesday, receiving a private tour aboard the INS Rahav – the fifth submarine expected to arrive in Israel.

You are our fortified wall on our maritime borders, and nowhere is too far for you when it comes to Israel’s safety," the president told the submarine commandos.

The tour of the submarine was held on the last day of Rivlin's visit to Germany to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lockheed Martin Receives $174 Million Contract for ATACMS Missile Production

Lockheed Martin received a $174 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract for Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) production for the U.S. Army and the United Arab Emirates.

ATACMS is the U.S. Army’s only tactical long-range precision-strike surface-to-surface weapon system.

“ATACMS has unsurpassed surface-to-surface capability,” said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “It is extremely reliable and proven in combat, which is why it continues to be our customers’ choice for long-range strike requirements.”

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Terma signs MOU with Aselsan of Turkey

F-16 with TRS MRPA Memorandum of Understanding on areas to be jointly explored for collaboration has been signed by Terma A/S of Denmark and Turkey's Aselsan defense company.

The MOU also covers the transfer of ownership and intellectual property rights of Terma's F-16 modular reconnaissance pod to the Turkish company.

"We see strong synergies between our companies," said Terma Senior Vice President Steen M. Lynenskjold. "Terma's aerospace experience within electronic warfare equipment, including 3D-Audio high-end technology, provides promising opportunities for collaboration.

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INS Vikrant launch on May 28

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, will be undocked on completion of structural work at the Cochin Shipyard on May 28.

“All major equipment has gone into the vessel, which has now acquired the shape of an aircraft carrier, with a finished hull. Barring a bit of ongoing work on the super structure, structural work is all over and the internal compartments have all been welded in,” said a yard official.

Outfitting is steadily progressing at the moment, but a major part of it — including piping, electrical cabling, control system wiring — will be carried out after the vessel is launched, marking the culmination of the third stage of work in the second phase of carrier construction for which a contract was signed between Cochin Shipyard and the Navy in December last year.

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Airbus Wins $1.9 Billion Indian Military Cargo Plane Order

Airbus A400MIndia agreed to buy 56 transport aircraft from Airbus Group NV for 119.3 billion rupees ($1.87 billion) to replace an aging fleet, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to modernize the country’s military.

The C-295 planes, which will replace Avro cargo planes in the Indian Air Force fleet, will be jointly built with India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd., an Indian government official said in New Delhi late Wednesday, asking not to be identified because of internal policy.

Sixteen of the aircraft will be built at Airbus plants in Europe, and the rest in India.

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Japan to approve security bills; voters wary, confused

Atago class DDGJapan's cabinet was set to approve on Thursday bills to implement a drastic shift in security policy allowing the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, although the public is divided and wary of the change.

The planned changes, reflected in new US-Japan defence guidelines unveiled last month, set the stage for Japan to play a bigger role in the bilateral alliance as Tokyo and Washington face challenges such as China's growing military assertiveness.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet adopted a resolution last July reinterpreting the pacifist constitution to drop a self-imposed ban on exercising the right of collective self-defence, or militarily aiding a friendly country under attack.

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All-Electric Destroyer May Carry Electromagnetic Railgun

Zumwalt (DDG 1000) class DDGThe U.S. Navy’s new Zumwalt class of stealth destroyers is seeking to redefine sea power. Quite literally.

In the past, ships used most of their installed power for propulsion, with the engines and propellers directly connected through large and complex gearboxes.

But the all-electric Zumwalt vessels will come equipped with so-called “integrated power systems (IPS),“ designed to route electricity around the ship in an instant, eliminating mechanical gearboxes and allowing the power to be used for both propulsion and other electrical systems – including powerful new weapons.

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