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Monday, March 02, 2015

Australia and Norway cooperate on Joint Strike Missile

Joint Strike MissileAustralian will cooperate with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence to develop Kongsberg’s Joint Strike Missile as a potential future weapon for Australia’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

The Kongsberg Defence Aerospace Joint Strike Missile (JSM) system is a fifth-generation, long range precision guided stand-off missile designed for both Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Naval Fire Support (NFS) missions over land, sea and the littoral.

At four metres long and weighing around 400kg, it can be carried externally or internally by the F-35A, but is too large for the F-35B’s smaller internal weapons bay.

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Mysuru firm develops critical technology for missiles

Nirbhay cruise missileOn March 13, 2013, India had to destroy its nuclear-ready cruise missile Nirbhay which was on its first flight trial. The reason: Nirbhay deviated from its intended course, sparking fears.

The kind of damage and loss such incidents can cause in the absence of a self-destruct mechanism is grave. Yet India doesn't completely posses the software and intellectual property for such technology.

As the Prime Minister's Make-in-India campaign gains pitch in the defence sector, the DRDO has found a reliable partner in Kaynes Technology, a Mysuru firm.

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Italian air force orders three Hammerhead UAS

P.1HH HammerHead UAVThe Italian air force has confirmed that it will be the launch customer for the Piaggio Aerospace P.1HH HammerHead unmanned air vehicle, as it commits to purchasing three systems.

This will consist of six air vehicles and three ground control stations, to be delivered in 2016. The order follows on from the first flight of a representative prototype that took place last December.

Italy's air force has publicly supported the development of the HammerHead since the UAV was unveiled at the Paris air show in 2013, but until now was hesitant to commit to a purchase.

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North Korea, angered by drills, fires short-range missiles

North Korea fired two short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday, South Korean officials said, a defiant response to annual military exercises between South Korea and the United States but one which drew a swift protest from Japan.

The firing came hours before the U.S.-South Korean military exercises were scheduled to begin, drills which the secretive North denounces as a preparation for war.

The missiles hit the sea early on Monday morning after traveling for about 490 km (305 miles), according to South Korea's defense ministry.

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Indian Navy seeks to buy ship-borne UAVs

ScanEagle UASSeeking to enhance its surveillance capabilities on its warships, the Indian Navy (IN) has now announced a global competition for procuring ‘Ship-Borne Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ (UAV) that can augment various patrolling and search-related tactics on its vessels.

The IN currently operates two squadrons of UAVs, but they are land-based platforms operating from naval air stations in Gujarat and Kerala.

The Request for Information (RFI), issued by the Directorate of Naval Air Staff (DNAS) last month seeks 50 Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial System (NSUAS) for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and monitoring of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC), Exclusive Economic Zone safety, anti-piracy and anti-terrorism functions along with Search and Rescue (S&R) roles, naval officials said.

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Pentagon's most expensive fighter ever won't even be able to carry the most advanced weapons because of design flaw

F-35 Lightning IIA design flaw has left a fighter jet that's part of the Pentagon's most expensive project ever incapable of carrying the military's most highly advanced bombs.

The F-35B's internal weapons bay is too small for a Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) load, according to an Inside Defense report.

Though it's mandated that an F-35B jet, designed by Lockheed Martin, hold eight SDB IIs in the bay, only four reportedly fit.

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Argentine technical mission to China to assess the purchase of jet fighters

J-10B Vigorous DragonIt's official: in the coming weeks a technical delegation from Argentina's Air Force will be travelling to China to assess the convenience of purchasing Chinese jet fighters to replace the obsolete French made Mirages. Only a month ago president Cristina Fernandez was in Beijing where she sealed an “integral strategic alliance” with China.

Negotiations remain secret but according to Argentine sources the purchase could range between 14 and 20 aircraft, basically the FC-1/F-17 'Thunder' which is manufactured by Chendu Aircraft Corporation in association with Pakistan.

The single engine fighter is considered modern, affordable for developing countries, and has been tested in combat.

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Shocking rise in safety incidents at Faslane

Reports in the Sunday Herald newspaper this morning that there has been a near doubling of nuclear safety incidents and HMNB Faslane and RNAD Coulport on the Clyde have been described by the SNP as ’totally shocking’.

The numbers of nuclear safety events involving nuclear propulsion, rose from a total of 57 in the year 2012-2013 to 99 in the last year available 2013-2014 .

Faslane is the base for the UK’s nuclear deterrent Trident submarine fleet on the Clyde, close to Scotland’s main centres of population.

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Britain is becoming a friend who can't be trusted, says top US general

General Raymond OdiernoEver since the Cold War ended more than two decades ago, America has never entertained any serious doubts about Britain’s ability to fulfil its commitment as a vital military ally when tackling threats to the Western alliance.

Until now. For the dramatic cuts to Britain’s defence budget implemented since the Coalition took power in 2010 have led to a number of senior US military officers and politicians openly questioning whether, when it comes to fighting the wars of the future, Britain has the capability to be an effective ally on the battlefield.

The Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have all suffered cutbacks to the extent that they are no longer able to undertake the kind of missions that Britain has historically supported.

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Japan sub talks well advanced before glitches ended deal

Soryu class SSKFor several months last year, the federal government single-mindedly pursued a plan, driven largely from Tony Abbott’s office­, to buy the navy’s new submarines from Japan.

The Australian has been told that process reached the point where media releases were prepared but were never sent out.

Senior Defence officials made a number of trips to Japan to discuss the possibility of Australia buying a fleet of submarines evolved from Japan’s successful Soryu-class boats.

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Chinese Submarines Not As Good As Ours, Says US Navy Official; Expresses Concerns Over South China Sea Activities

Ohio class SSBNChina’s aggressive expansion of its submarine fleet has been commented upon by a U.S defence expert. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee on sea power that China has been expanding the number and geographic areas of operation for its submarines. However, from a quality point of view they are not at par with the U.S submarines.

Mulloy said China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and has more diesel and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States. However, the Navy admiral played it down by saying that qualitatively they are inferior to the U.S submarines, reports Reuters.

The Navy official also told the panel about China’s recent deployment of the submarines. Mulloy said China carried out three deployments in the Indian Ocean and kept its vessels out in the sea for 95 days. “We know they are out experimenting and looking at operating and clearly want to be in this world of advanced submarines,” he added.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

S-76D™ Helicopter Enters into Service with Japan Coast Guard for Search and Rescue Operations

S-76D™ SAR helicopterSikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced today that the S-76D™ helicopter has entered into search and rescue (SAR) operations with the Japan Coast Guard. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

Sikorsky executives recently attended a ceremony with representatives from Mitsubishi Corporation and the Japan Coast Guard in which the aircraft entered into service.

The aircraft was delivered to Mitsubishi in July 2014 and became the first S-76D helicopter configured for search and rescue to be delivered as well as the first S-76D aircraft to enter service in Japan. Sikorsky and Mitsubishi have thus far contracted for 11 S-76D helicopters to be used for SAR missions by the Japan Coast Guard.

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Finmeccanica - Selex ES awarded two new Grifo radar contracts

Grifo radar systemFinmeccanica – Selex ES has been awarded two important new contracts for the company’s Grifo radar system. In each case, the Grifo radar system was selected for its proven high performance and flexible architecture. The radar can be installed in a large range of combat aircraft and integrates easily with modern avionics suites.

The Grifo family of airborne fire control radars are multimode and operate in the X-band. They offer a broad suite of field proven air-to-air, air-to-surface and navigation modes, high resolution SAR and ISAR.

Grifo represents an important commercial success for Finmeccanica - Selex ES at the international level. Over 450 of the radar systems have been sold so far and the radar equips six international Air Forces.

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Is Turkey withdrawing from NATO?

HQ-9/FD2000 missile defence systemLast week, the news fell like a bombshell. Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz declared at the Turkish parliament that Turkey’s new defense missile system, to be purchased most probably from China, would not be integrated with NATO’s system. This kicked off a hot discussion on whether Turkey is changing its strategic affiliation and might ultimately withdraw from NATO.

The long-range missiles have been on top of Turkey’s agenda for a long while. In September 2013, Ankara declared that it had awarded its missile defense system tender to a Chinese firm - after which NATO, and the U.S. in particular, raised concerns and gave a sharp reaction.

This was not only because this Chinese firm is included in the U.S.’s sanction list, but also because the Chinese missiles could not be integrated with NATO’s defense system.

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Thales, ASELSAN continue missile system development

A lightweight multirole missile on an unmanned aerial vehicle. Photo by MilborneOne/CCA new precision strike missile system will continue to be developed under a new cooperative contract between Thales and ASELSAN of Turkey.

The missile system under development incorporates Thales's lightweight multi-role missiles, or LMM, and a missile launcher system by ASELSAN.

"The cooperation between the two companies was initiated in 2010 and first stage firings of an integrated Missile Launcher System and LMM were demonstrated in 2014," Thales said in an announcement from a defense airshow in the United Arab Emirates.

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Lockheed, Sikorsky venture awarded $2.0 billion helicopter support deal

MH-60S Sea HawkThe U.S. Navy has awarded a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Sikorsky Helicopter a contract worth $2 billion to service the Navy's H-60 helicopters through Jan. 31, 2020, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

The fixed-price contract covers "performance-based logistics" on 1,710 assemblies and components, and covers the repair, modification, overhaul and replacement of hardware for the Navy's fleet of H-60 helicopters.

The contact was awarded to Marine Helicopter Support Co, a joint venture of Lockheed and Sikorsky, is a unit of United Technologies Corp.


Pentagon Launches Electronic Warfare Study: Growler Line At Stake

EA-18G GrowlerThe Pentagon has launched a wide-ranging study of electronic warfare, looking across the services at major platforms such as the EA-18G Growler and the F-35’s three versions.

“We are doing right now in the Department of Defense a study that looks at all electronic attack[:] what is the situation in electromagnetic warfare across the spectrum in our maneuver,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee yesterday.

That study that goes far beyond any individual weapons system to examine America’s entire capability to control the electromagnetic spectrum, on which our networks, sensors, and precision weapons all depend.

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Construction of new Italian Navy frigate begins

ITS Carlo The first steel sheeting for a new Italian Navy FREMM frigate has been conducted at a shipyard of Fincantieri near Genoa, the company reports.

The cutting marks the build phase of the multi-mission vessel, the eighth being constructed in the multinational FREMM program.

A total of 10 FREMM frigates are being built in Italy, with Orizzonte Sistemi Navali as the prime contractor.

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Lanka decides to consult China

Type 039 (Song) class SSKSri Lanka will not make any decision on Chinese projects it is reviewing until it consults China, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister said on Friday, pledging that his new government would welcome Chinese investors, the Reuters news agency reported.

President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that China has invested in, including a $1.5 billion “port city” project in Colombo.

India, which lost out to China in infrastructure development on the Indian Ocean island, was in particular worried about the security threat posed by Chinese ownership of land, aggravated by the docking of Chinese submarines in Colombo last year.

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Navy submarines: first time Canadian fleet is operational

Canada's Navy is marking what it calls a milestone for its controversy-plagued submarine program.

For the first time since Canada's four Victoria-class subs were purchased almost two decades ago, the navy says the fleet is now "operational", meaning three of the subs are able to conduct naval operations.

Two of the subs, HMCS Victoria and HMCS Chicoutimi will be in the water off Esquimalt, B.C. this week, while HMCS Windsor is currently operating out of Halifax.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

China’s Air Force Sets Up in High Schools to Train Teen Top Guns

China’s air force is offering pilot training to high school students in its latest attempt to attract young and qualified recruits needed to upgrade the People’s Liberation Army.

Flight training will be provided for about 1,000 successful applicants, age 14 to 16, in selected high schools, according to a statement jointly issued by the ministries of education, public security and the PLA general political department on Thursday. The training will start later this year.

The student pilot training program is the most recent in a slew of initiatives the Chinese air force has taken to induct young talent to build an “integrated air and space capability” and to forge greater balance among the PLA’s land, sea and air branches, as urged by President Xi Jinping.

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Exelis to develop and supply pneumatic missile eject launchers for Saab Aeronautics

Saab Gripen E/FExelis has signed a business agreement with Saab Aeronautics to develop, supply and support Pneumatic Missile Eject Launcher pylons (PMEL) for use on Saab’s next generation Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft.

The PMEL will enable powered ejection of Meteor and AMRAAM (AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) from the fuselage underside.

The agreement is long-term, covering the entire operational life of the Gripen E and includes follow-on and upgrades to the system.

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Pakistan Inducts China-Built Eagle AWACS Into Air Force

Karakoram Eagle AWACS aircraftPakistan air force on Thursday inducted the advanced China-built Karakoram Eagle AWACS aircraft, capable of detecting hostile aerial and sea surface targets far before ground-based radars regardless of their height.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said the new aircraft were inducted into its premier No 4 Squadron at ceremony held at an operational PAF base in Karachi.

"With the addition of AWACS, Pakistan air defence is now able to look deeper in enemy territory, be it land or sea," the air force said.

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US sends spy plane to patrol West Philippine Sea

P-8A PoseidonThe United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the US Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time.

The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea.

China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

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Russia’s Bear: The old-fashioned plane still thriving

The Tupolev Tu-95 first thundered over Soviet parades in the mid-1950s. Why does this giant, propeller-driven bomber still make headlines nearly 60 years later? Stephen Dowling investigates.

It first rumbled into the skies back in the early 1950s, an aerial giant that epitomised Soviet military might. Even its codename – ‘Bear’ – underlined its great size and strength.

When the Tupolev Tu-95 first appeared in front of Western observers in 1956, it did so amid a revolutionary surge in aviation design; the decade after the end of World War II saw jet technology become ascendant. Yet the Bear had propeller-driven engines, which even then seemed archaic.

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