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Monday, July 28, 2014

NATO warned about presence of missiles in 'rebel-held' Eastern Ukraine

SA-11 GadflyA report has recently revealed that NATO had announced publically that the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are in possession of missile systems more than two weeks before flight MH17 was shot in the rebel-held region of Donetsk.

The warning however, was not heeded by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), whose duty is to warn domestic aviation authorities of danger in the skies, reported the Daily Express.

The report revealed that General Philip M Breedlove, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, had said in an announcement in Washington on June 30 that NATO had seen tanks, APCs, anti-aircraft capability, vehicle-borne capability on both the east and the west side of the Russian border.

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Islamic Jihad Said to Have Iranian 'Judgement Day' Missile

Zelzal 3 missileIslamic Jihad has “many more surprises up its sleeve,” said Abdullah Shalah, head of the terror group said Sunday.

In an interview on an Arab satellite station, Shalah said that “We have a store of strategic weapons that we have never used,” but was prepared to bring out against Israel if the war in Gaza continued.

With that, he did not specify what those weapons were.

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2nd Mistral Warship Looks Set For Mediterranean Role

Vladivostok LHDThe Russian navy said during Sunday’s Navy Day celebrations that a French-made Mistral-class carrier will become the flagship of its budding Mediterranean Fleet, while Western leaders continue to pressure Paris into withholding the delivery of the warships.

Russia ordered two Mistral ships from France in 2011 in a deal worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion), but events in Ukraine have elicited Western calls for the contract to be torn up amid fears that Moscow has designs on reforging its lost empire.

The calls intensified following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, which several Western leaders have pinned on Russian-backed separatists in the region.

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Russian Navy to take delivery of armament support ship Akademik Kovalev by the end of 2014

RFS Akademik KovalevSeverodvinsk, Russia based Zvezdochka Shipyard has launched new generation armament support ship "Akademik Kovalev" of Project 20180, the Ministry of Defense PR office said.

The seagoing armament support ship "Akademik Kovalev" is scheduled to enter service with the Pacific Fleet until the end of 2014.

Ship's displacement is about 6,000 tonnes, complement - about 100 people.

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Scam-wary govt defers decision on naval copters

AW101 VVIP helicopterThe Navy's wait for desperately-needed anti-submarine warfare helicopters to operate from its warships has just got longer.

The Modi government has deferred the decision on acquisition of 16 naval multi-role helicopters (MRH) since one of the two companies in the fray is linked to Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, which is under the scanner in the infamous VVIP helicopter case.

The long-pending naval MRH procurement project has been "kept on hold" till the CBI completes its probe into the kickbacks in the 556 million euro contract inked between India and AgustaWestland, the UK-based subsidiary of Finmeccanica, in February 2010, said sources.

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Warships parade across Russia on Navy Day

Part 2

People across Russia gathered for Navy Day festivities on Sunday, showing their support to naval soldiers. Ships, submarines, aircraft, troops, and even robots were paraded at harbors in Vladivostok, Sevoromorsk, St. Petersburg, and Sevastopol.

Navy Day, which commemorates the victories of Russian sailors, is celebrated each year on the last Sunday in July.

The Pacific Fleet’s large landing ship, Nikolay Vilkov, appeared before the crowd in Vladivostok. Also present were the large anti-submarine ship Marshal Shaposhnikov, fleet destroyer Bystry, and the parade's flagship – guard missile cruiser Varyag. Alagez, a unique ship designed to rescue submarine crews, also took part in the festivities.

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Australia cracks opens door to foreign submarine build

Soryu class SSKAustralia should discuss building its next-generation fleet of submarines overseas, the Department of Defence said on Monday, a shift that could open the door to a partnership deal with Japan that carries political risk at home and abroad.

Australia is looking for partners to help it build about a dozen diesel-electric submarines to replace its aging Collins Class fleet and help to extend its maritime surveillance deep into the Indian Ocean.

The proposed A$40 billion fleet of submarines is at the core of the nation's maritime defence strategy over the next two decades. Successive governments have pledged to build the vessels in Australia, creating much-needed manufacturing jobs.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

MiG-29 fighter crashes in Astrakhan region, killing pilot

MiG-29 FulcrumA MiG-29 fighter of the Russian Air Force crashed near Astrakhan on Sunday. The fighter’s pilot was killed in the crash, Air Force Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev told reporters.

“A pilot has been killed in a fighter crash,” the commander said. “We are investigating this incident and, according to preliminary data, the crash was caused by air equipment failure,” General Bondarev added.

There has been no destruction on the ground as a result of Sunday morning crash of a MiG-29 fighter near Astrakhan, spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov told Itar-Tass.

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China Announces Live Fire Drills in the East China Sea

China today announced that it will conduct a series of live fire training drills next week in the contested waters of the East China Sea, where it is locked in a bitter maritime dispute with Japan.

The five-day exercise from July 29-August 2 comes even as air traffic at various Chinese airports went haywire due to the ongoing air-exercises, the Maritime Safety Administration said.

It warned ships to stay away from the region and asked authorities to ensure safety during the training, which is scheduled to last from midnight to 6 pm each day, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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Russia’s Sevmash shipyard lays down 5th Borei-class nuclear sub

Borei class SSBNRussia’s major defence shipyard Sevmash on Navy Day has laid down another Borei class strategic nuclear-powered submarine - Knyaz Oleg, shipyard sources told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

This strategic underwater missile cruiser is the fifth submarine to be built under the Borei project and the first series sub of the modernised 955A project.

Modernised Borei-class submarines have state-of-the-art equipment and considerably improved stealth and other characteristics.


Retiring frigates may leave some missions unfilled

USS TaylorThe Navy may be shedding all its frigates by the end of next year, but the ships are still busy and in high demand — creating a dilemma for the Navy over which ships will pick up their missions.

Defense experts say that it’s an open question of when the littoral combat ships joining the fleet will be ready to take on challenging missions like counterdrug operations and sub-hunting — frigate mainstays that have pushed their deployment pace. Some anticipate that Military Sealift Command ships and other auxiliaries may pick up some of the slack.

“There is a big unknown in regard to LCS when the three types of [mission] modules will come online and will test sat[isfactory],” said retired Capt. Jan van Tol, who’s now a defense expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

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More Russian naval ships observed near Latvian waters

RFS SoobrazitelnyRussian naval ships observed near Latvian waters recently is an attempt to test Latvia's reaction capabilities, The Latvian Defense Ministry has said.

A Russian naval ship was observed near Latvian territorial waters earlier this week, LETA reports.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kaspars Galkins explained that Russia had been regularly attempting to show its military might' over the past several months with flights of military aircraft near Latvian borders, and obviously wants to show its naval might as well.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

IAF chopper crashes in Uttar Pradesh; 7 killed, probe ordered

In yet another blow to the Indian Air Force (IAF), one of its advanced helicopters on Friday crashed in the Ataria area of Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh, killing all seven persons onboard.

As per initial reports, the ALH Dhruv chopper had taken off from Bareilly.

The pilot of the chopper had given a 'May Day call' (emergency call) before the crash and lost radio and radar contact after that, IAF spokesperson said in Delhi.

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Finland Detains Vietnamese Missile Parts

Missile partsFinland has detained a shipment of Vietnamese-owned air-to-air missile parts bound for Ukraine after raising concerns the consignment of military hardware violated arms-export regulations.

Finland's customs service discovered the missile parts last month in a shipment that lacked proper approvals for military equipment to transit through its country, Sami Rakshit, head of the enforcement department at Finnish customs, told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

"Vietnamese authorities have confirmed to us today that the shipment was Vietnamese government property en route for maintenance work in Ukraine as a part of routine military cooperation," Mr. Rakshit said.

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KAI selected to develop new South Korean helicopters

South Korean KAI LCH-LAH development HelicopterLight armed helicopters and light civil helicopters are to be developed for South Korea by Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.

The government selection of KAI for the projects was announced by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

KAI will now establish an LCH/LAH development plan that will include the selection of overseas system developers and local and foreign vendors.

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Over half of China military airfields threatened by high-rises

J-31A GyrfalconMore than half of China's military airfields have flight paths that are obstructed by tall buildings, causing accidents and airport closures, Chinese state media reported on Friday.

Nearly 100 accidents have occurred at military air bases due to high-rise buildings and development in the past 20 years, the website of the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily said.

The problem has become so great that more than 10 military airfields have been forced to close or move.

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Unmanned cargo-carrying helo returns to U.S. from Afghanistan

K-MaxK-MAX, the unmanned cargo aircraft of Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace, has returned to the United States following extended deployment to Afghanistan.

The unmanned helicopter lifted more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo for the U.S. Marine Corps during nearly three years in Afghanistan in thousands of missions, reducing the number of truck resupply convoys, which would have been vulnerable to improvised explosive devices.

"We are proud to welcome home the unmanned K-MAX Team from their successful deployment in theater," said Dan Spoor, vice president of Aviation and Unmanned Systems at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business.

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‘$1 Billion-Plus Short’: Amphib Add Isn’t Enough, So Navy Wants To Repurpose It

USS New YorkCongress really, really wants the Navy to buy a 12th San Antonio­-class amphibious warship.

The Marine Corps really, really wants the ship, which would be designated LPD-28.

And of course shipbuilder Huntington-Ingalls really, really wants the contract, which would help fill a multi-year gap in amphib construction.

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Carrier-based drone offers way forward for US navy – subject to squabbling

X-47B UCLASSBarely a year after the world's most sophisticated drone proved it could take off and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, the project is at a crossroads, with huge implications for the future not only of drone warfare but US seapower writ large.

The US navy will soon release a request for proposals from a handful of defense companies for the development of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike vehicle, or UCLASS.

That highly bureaucratic document will formalize the navy's vision for what it wants the highly advanced drone to do.

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Naval Experts Call for ‘Offensive Sea Control,’ More Tomahawks, Improved Air and Missile Defenses

USS San JacintoThree authorities on naval warfare argued July 25 that the Navy needs to dramatically revise its operational concepts and acquisition policies to make the surface fleet more capable and relevant to the rapidly changing and increasingly dangerous global security environment.

One urged the Navy and Congress to reverse decisions to stop buying new Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles or risk losing the ability to project force ashore from long range.

Another argued for a return to the “offensive sea control” strategy the Navy embraced during the Cold War and to take the burden of low-order naval missions, such as anti-piracy, from the large surface combatants so they can concentrate on the offensive duties.

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First female Commander of naval warship hauled up for 'HAVING AN AFFAIR' with one of her sailors

Commander Sarah WestThe first woman to command a frontline Royal Navy warship has been removed from her vessel after claims of an affair with a male crewmate.

Divorced Cdr West, 41, took over Type 23 Frigate HMS Portland and her mostly male crew in May 2012.

The claims, thought to have been made by another member of the crew, surfaced in the middle of this month.

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Tight-fitting bearing on Canadian warship costs taxpayers $685,000

Halifax class FFGA tight-fitting bearing on one of Canada’s warships ended up costing taxpayers $685,000.

In October 2012, Royal Canadian Navy officers trying to deal with excessive noise generated by HMCS Toronto at first thought the source was a device called a stern flap, the Citizen reported earlier this week.

But the Department of National Defence now confirms the noise was generated by a tightly fitted bearing that had recently been installed on the ship.

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Apache Guardians perform first deck landing qualifications

AH-64E ApacheAH-64E Apache Guardians from 1st Armed Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducted deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) off the coast of Hawaii, July 19, as part of the Navy’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014.

The deck landing qualifications, a first for the E model of the Apache, are one of several maritime training events the Apache unit participated in to take advantage of terrain not available to them in their home station at Fort Carson, Colorado.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Gottschling, a company instructor pilot with 1-25 ARB, before the deck landing qualifications and other maritime training could take place for the pilots, instructors were trained and certified through the U.S. Army Evaluations and Standards Department.

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Extra care delays Nuclear submarine’s sea trials

INS ArihantThe Indian Navy is being extra-careful with India's first indigenously built nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant, which is now at the naval base in Vizag.

The nuclear sub is likely to go to sea trials by this year end and is expected to be commissioned by 2017.

The sea trials and the commissioning of the submarine, capable of carrying nuclear missiles, has already been delayed by more than two years.

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India asks Russia to upgrade two submarines

Kilo class SSKIndia has asked Russia to upgrade two its submarines, director-general of the Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau Igor Vilnit said on Friday.

“The Indian governments filed a request to the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation to extend the life of two Russian Kilo Class submarines (Type 877EKM),” he said.

Specialists of the Zvyozdochka ship repair centre and the Rubin design bureau are expected to leave for India to inspect the first submarine.

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