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Saturday, September 05, 2015

MSPO 2015: TKMS Unveiled a New Variant of MEKO A-100 PL With Energy Saving Hull Design

MEKO A-100 corvette designAt MSPO 2015, the International Defence Industry Exhibition in Poland which took place in Kielce from the 1 to 4 September 2015, German naval vessels designer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) unveiled a new variant of the MEKO A-100 PL with a unique "Energy Saving Hull Design".

Poland has expressed a future need for six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) in two configurations: a mine warfare configuration and a coastal defence variant (three vessels in each variant) with significant combat capabilities in all four domains (anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare).

The new MEKO variant shown by TKMS' Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) represented an example of the mine warfare configuration to answer the Polish Navy need. (This hull design is available for all variants however).

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DCNS is Showcasing the Scorpene Submarine with Cruise Missile and AIP technology at MSPO 2015

DCNS is featuring the Scorpene diesel-electric submarine (SSK) at MSPO 2015, the International Defence Industry Exhibition in Poland which takes place in Kielce, Poland, from the 1 to 4 September 2015.

DCNS proposes to the Polish Navy the sea proven Scorpene class submarine for the Orka program. Featuring a highly performing acoustic discretion, an increased submerged autonomy thanks to the latest-generation air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology, the Scorpene has the capacity to deploy MBDA's Naval Cruise Missile (NCM).

The specific conditions of the Baltic Sea are favourable for the use of submarines and make them very difficult to detect, unlike land and air platforms for launching deterrent weapons.

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Estonia To Receive First Javelin Anti-Tank Missile System This Week

FGM-148 JavelinEstonia will be receiving its first Javelin anti-tank missile system at the end of this week.

“More systems and missiles will arrive in the coming weeks, which can be used for live fire exercises after the training is complete,” Lieutenant Toomas Pärnpuu, who is leading the operation to bring the systems to Estonia was quoted as saying by Estonian Public Broadcasting Thursday.

The training set will also begin in the next week. The first weapons will be delivered to the Viru Infantry Battalion in Jõhvi with the Defense Forces set to be fully equipped and trained by 2018. Some Defense League units will also be equipped with Javelin systems.

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Navy seeks maritime radar for Northrop MQ-8C Fire Scout

MQ-8C Fire ScoutThe US Navy’s beefed-up unmanned surveillance helicopter, the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout, is on the hunt for a new maritime radar and perhaps even miniaturised missiles, rockets and torpedoes further down the road.

Naval Air Systems Command expects to post a request for proposals for the maritime radar in the week of September 14, and the programme manager for navy and marine corps multi-mission tactical unmanned air systems, Capt Jeff Dodge, expects a strong response from radar providers judging from an industry day held in July.

The radar will enable the Bell 407-based MQ-8C to search and track potential threats across a wide expanse at sea with far greater range and precision than possible through the current sensor suite.

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RAF Spy Plane Set To Join Fight Against IS

RAF AirseekerThe RAF has unveiled its latest weapon in the fight against Islamic State - a spy plane ready to gather intelligence on the extremists in Iraq and Syria.

The second of three Airseekers - bought from the US at a cost of £650m - was handed over at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk and could be deployed within weeks.

Converted from a Boeing KC-135 tanker in Texas, the plane can carry out analysis on data gathered in the air and send the results to troops on the ground.

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On The Move: Largest Section From HMS Prince Of Wales - Timelapse

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance welcomed the largest section of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier to Rosyth Dockyard last week, following its voyage from BAE Systems in Glasgow where it was built.

Lower Block 04 is the largest hull section of HMS Prince Of Wales, the second of two new aircraft carriers being constructed by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, and contains the hangar, machinery space, mission systems compartments and accommodation.

The 11,200 tonne section of hull was transported by a sea-going barge and travelled around the north coast to reach the assembly site, a journey of more than 600 miles over five days.

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France Russia Mistral Ships Update: UAE Wants To Buy Aircraft Carrier

Vladivostok LHDThe United Arab Emirates is eyeing a French Mistral warship, a government official told Defense News Friday. At least two other Arab countries have publicly expressed their interest in the aircraft carriers, of which there are two.

"Our interest in purchasing the ship is real, it fullfils the capability requirements for our forces," the official from the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, said. "The Mistral ships are in line with our equipment and capabilities."

French originally sold the two ships to Russia in 2011, but canceled the deal over Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. In August, the countries reached a deal for France to pay Russia more than $1 billion, because Moscow had made advance payments before the deal fell through.

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China's New Video About Kicking America's Ass Is More Than Meets the Eye

Yesterday, China held a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of World War II, and swore high and low that it wasn't flexing its military muscles in the process.

Zhang Ming, vice minister of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a press conference last month that "if someone says this is flexing anything, it is a flexing of the spirit of peace by the Chinese people."

These sentiments made the recent release of a fairly polished CG video, almost six minutes in length and produced by an unidentified entity, showing how totally and comprehensively they'd kick US ass in a shooting war, seem a bit puzzling.

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Lockheed Martin just landed a $428 million deal to keep modernizing US Navy ships

Arleigh Burke class DDGLockheed Martin beat out Raytheon to win a contract worth up to $428 million to continue modernizing Aegis combat systems on U.S. Navy ships, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Defense said the Navy awarded Lockheed an initial contract worth $26.5 million, which includes options that would bring the total value to $428 million.

Lockheed said the 10-year contract expands its 40-year legacy integrating the Aegis combat system on Navy warships.

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Raytheon Anschütz Completes Radar Test & Delivery for Canada's Modernized Halifax class Frigates

Halifax class FFGThe German navigation system manufacturer Raytheon Anschütz has completed the factory acceptance tests and the delivery of twelve sets of navigation radars for the Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates.

The scope of on-board systems covers X-/ and S-Band radars with high-performance detection capabilities. The radars have been enhanced with advanced features in accordance with the Canadian customer requirements, including:
  • new radiation control and pulse blanker interfaces
  • interfaces with the ship’s new command and control system,
  • the navigation distribution system,
  • and the Canadian Navy’s electronic chart system
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Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Crimea Receives SU-30SM Fighters

Su-30SM Flanker-CThe Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea has received several 4+ generation SU-30SM (NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) multirole fighters, a spokesman for the fleet said Friday.

"The aircraft have arrived at the area of permanent deployment and are being readied for flights under the program for mastering new technology," Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev told reporters.

The SU-30SM is a two-seat derivative of the earlier Su-27UB (NATO reporting name: Flanker) capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with a wide variety of precision-guided munitions. The aircraft features thrust-vectoring engines to enhance maneuverability.

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Friday, September 04, 2015

China Building Two Aircraft Carriers, According to Taiwanese Intelligence

Liaoning CVChina is building two aircraft carriers, according to a new report by the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, as Beijing nears what some experts say is its goal of deploying domestic-built carriers by 2020.

The report on the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, says the two new carriers will be the same size as China's only carrier, the Liaoning. China purchased the 60,000-ton Soviet-era vessel from Ukraine in 1998.

China has since refitted the Liaoning, which has participated in military drills, including in the disputed South China Sea, but it is not fully operational. Some military experts believe having an operational Liaoning is the first step to deploying Chinese-built carriers by 2020.

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US Navy approves full-rate production for Raytheon AIM-9X Block II

AIM-9X Block II SidewinderThe U.S. Navy cleared Raytheon Company to begin full-rate production on the AIM-9X® Sidewinder Block II infrared air-to-air missile. The program completed operational test and evaluation earlier this year and Raytheon is now approved to produce missiles at full factory capacity.

"We've proven the increased capabilities of the AIM-9X Block II, and are confident Raytheon can produce missiles at full rate," said U.S. Navy Program Manager Captain Jim Stoneman, PMA-259. "We look forward to getting them into the hands of our warfighters as quickly as possible."

The U.S. Navy and Air Force, along with several international partners who have purchased the AIM-9X Block II, are receiving Sidewinder deliveries.

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Taiwan to test-fire PAC-3 missiles in US

Patriot PAC-3MSEThe Ministry of National Defense is to go ahead with its plan to test-fire its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles at a US base in New Mexico in July next year.

The plan calls for the ministry to send units from the Air Defense Missile Command to the US for operating, launching, flight surveillance, target interception and other tests of the PAC-3 system.

Under the current planning, about 40 military personnel from the Air Defense Missile Command will go to the US White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico for training and to carry out the tests, a high-level defense ministry official said.

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Bell offers AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters to Poland

AH-1Z CobraBell Helicopter is planning to offer its AH-1Z attack helicopter to Poland for a forthcoming requirement to replace the Mil M-24s operated by the country’s land forces.

"We can provide the most cost-effective solution and state-of the-art helicopter with unmatched capability for Poland,” says Joel Best, regional director, military business development at the US manufacturer.

"We are very interested in co-operation with Poland and in next few months we want to create Zulu Team with companies in the Polish defence sector,” he says.

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Sukhoi Su-35 To Replace Indonesian F-5 Tiger Aircraft

Su-35 Flanker-EIndonesia has selected Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft to replace 16 F-5 Tiger aircraft.

"We (Armed Forces Commander and Air Force Chief) agreed to buy a squadron of Sukhoi SU-35 from Russia to replace F-5 Tiger fighter aircraft,” Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was quoted as saying by Tempo website.

The decision was made by Ryacudu after a surprise Army weaponry inspection in three units, namely Kopassus, Yonkav 1/1 Kostrad and Mechanised Infantry Battalion 201 Yudha Jaya, in Jakarta, on September 2.

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INS Dega to play wider role in maritime security

INS Dega
The naval air station INS Dega falling under the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy is all set play a wider role in providing international maritime security.

In the run up to the International Fleet Review to be held in February next year, the naval officials briefed the media on the expansion of the INS Dega.

Regarding expansion at eastern naval command, the Commanding Officer D Bhattacharya said that the Bobbili air field in Vizianagaram district will be developed as an alternative and diversionary airfield to shift some of the aircrafts in case of any emergency.

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India’s nuclear outlook focused towards China: Report

Agni IVAfter nearly two decades of nuclear competition with Pakistan, India with the several long-range ballistic missiles in development is seemingly now paying attention to its future strategic relationship with China, a think-tank report has said.

“Now, with several long-range ballistic missiles in development, the Indian nuclear posture is entering an important and dynamic new phase.

After nearly two decades of concentrating on competition with Pakistan, India’s nuclear outlook now seems to be focused more toward its future strategic relationship with China,” authors Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris said in a report for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Wednesday.

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Aircraft providers hold sway in USAF’s JSTARS recap competition

E-8C Joint STARSThe US Air Force’s $6 billion programme to replace the Boeing 707-based Northrop Grumman E-8C “JSTARS” is shaping up as a battle between platform providers rather than the primes, with Boeing, Bombardier and Gulfstream locked in a three-way contest for the 17-aircraft order.

The prime motivation for radar-carrying aircraft competition is to drastically cut the operating and maintenance cost of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) by migrating to a modern “business jet” – specifically an aircraft with 80% less fuel consumption than the 707-300 and a 12-person crew, down from 21.

The E-8 made its combat debut in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and has provided critical capability in every major US combat operation since – using its 7.3m (24ft) side-looking phased array radar to detect enemy ground and maritime movements and low-flying aircraft over a 50,000km2 area.

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IAF keen on US Scorpion aircraft offer

Scorpion tactical jetAfter asking state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to stop work on the intermediate jet trainers (IJT), the Indian Air Force (IAF) is now keen on the US offer of Textron’s AirLand Scorpion light-attack and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.

The IAF badly needs an IJT due to delays by HAL, which has been working on an IJT since 1997. Senior IAF officials believe that the twin-seat platform of the Textron’s ISR aircraft can also be used as an intermediate jet trainer.

Sources have indicated during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US from September 22 to 28, besides a likely visit to the Boeing headquarters, military trade between the two countries will be high on the agenda, including the ISR aircraft, 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache and 15 Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters, armoured vehicles and other platforms.

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BAE completes anti-ship missile defence upgrade of HMAS Ballarat

Anzac class FFGBAE Systems has completed on-dock production activities associated with the anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) fifth Anzac-class frigate, HMAS Ballarat.

The vessel returned to the Material Control of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and will start work systems and sea trials with the newly installed equipment.

The ASMD upgrade and vital maintenance work involved approximately 600,000 hours by 250 employees and 30 local subcontractors.

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Russian spy ship spotted near US sub base

A Russian intelligence ship, capable of cutting undersea communications cables and other sensors, has been spotted by the U.S. military off the coast of Kings Bay, Ga., home to the U.S. Navy’s East Coast ballistic missile submarine fleet.

U.S. military satellites have been tracking the Russian spy ship since it was spotted in the north Atlantic last month and slowly began transiting toward its next destination -- Cuba. A senior military official said the ship is now about 300 miles off the coast of the U.S., as it heads toward the island.

Another senior defense official told Fox News that while the Pentagon is tracking the Russian intel ship, the Russian ship “remains in international waters.”

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Taiwan earmarks $130m for submarines

Hai Lung (Zwaardvis) class SSKTaiwan has allocated NT$3 billion (S$130.2 million) over four years, beginning next year, to launch a long-awaited programme for the island to build its own diesel-electric submarines.

It is the first in a plan that has been talked about since the early 2000s, when a deal with the US for eight diesel-electric submarines fell through because of technical and political constraints.

The spending was set out in the defence ministry's budget for 2016. The plan comes as other navies in the region expand their submarine fleets, in part to create a strategic deterrent against China's growing naval assertiveness in Asian waters.

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Russia’s Deadliest Sub Is Heading to the Pacific

RFS Aleksandr NevskyThe Borei-class (aka Dolgorukiy-class), Project 955, fourth generation nuclear-powered ballistic submarine (SSBN), Alexander Nevsky, will join Russia’s Pacific fleet in early September based on information obtained from the Russian Joint Staff, according to TASS.

“In mid-August, the Alexander Nevsky started subglacial passage from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet for the permanent combat duty. It is expected to arrive in Kamchatka in the first week of September,” a source within the Russian Joint Staff told TASS.

The Alexander Nevsky is the second Borei-class vessel built and was commissioned in December 2013.

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Thursday, September 03, 2015

DCNS Floats Sixth FREMM Frigate

FREMM multi-mission frigate floatingDCNS has floated the French Navy’s FREMM multi-mission frigate Auvergne in Lorient. The achievement took place on 2 September and marks an important step in the construction of the most modern front-line ship of the 21st century.

The FREMM Auvergne is the sixth frigate in the programme and fourth of the series ordered by OCCAr on behalf of the DGA (the French defence procurement agency) for the French Navy.

With three FREMMs currently under construction in DCNS’ Lorient site, DCNS is accelerating the production speed in order to deliver six FREMMs to the French Navy before mid-2019.

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