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Monday, October 31, 2011

P-8A successfully launches first MK 54 weapon test

P8-A torpedo dropThe P-8A Poseidon successfully launched the first MK 54 torpedo during a test event in the Atlantic Test Range Oct. 13.

“The P-8A is advancing along a rigorous test schedule,” said Tony Schmidt, P-8A assistant program manager for Test and Evaluation. “The success of the first separation test of the MK 54 moves us one step closer to delivering the P-8A to the fleet on time.”

By using the Mission Computing and Display System aboard the P-8A, allowed the launching of a single torpedo from P-8A test aircraft, T-3, at 500 feet above water.

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Lockheed Martin Team Lays Keel on Nation’s Fifth Littoral Combat Ship, The Future USS Milwaukee

USS Freedom (LCS-1)A Lockheed Martin-led industry team held a keel-laying ceremony at Marinette Marine’s shipyard for the future USS Milwaukee, the U.S. Navy’s fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The term, lay the keel, in shipbuilding language, means the beginning of a significant undertaking, which is the start of the module erection process that reflects the ship coming to life.

Modern warships are now largely built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than a single keel, so the actual start of the shipbuilding process is now considered to be when the first sheet of steel is cut. It is often marked with a ceremonial event.

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Turkey to rewrite software source codes of 204 F-16 fighters

F-16 Fighting FalconThe US administration agreed in principle almost two months ago for the transfer of information over software source codes of US Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters to Turkey.

Once the agreement is completed, and if approved by the US Congress, Turkey will have the capability to automatically modify the software source codes of the fighters’ weapons systems with national software source codes, said US sources who asked not to be named.

Turkey will become the first nation among 26 to have the F-16s in their inventories and have the ability to receive information on the F-16 fighters’ software source codes -- primarily their weapons systems -- thereby enabling it to replace them with national software source codes whenever necessary.

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Gazan missiles fly as Israel scrambles for a cease fire

Rockets from Gaza continued to hit southern Israel as a second cease fire in less than 24 hours was scheduled to go into effect.

Egypt reportedly continued to negotiate a cease fire for Sunday night in an effort to stem a weekend assault of rockets and mortars on southern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command on Sunday night announced that there were no more restrictions on public gatherings, meetings, schools, non-essential jobs or shopping centers.

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Next generation drones can stay in air for FOUR days and may eventually conduct dog fights at 65,000ft

Phantom EyeThe maiden flight of a revolutionary drone aircraft that can stay in the air for four days at 65,000 feet is just days away.

The Phantom Eye, made by Boeing's secretive Phantom Works division, is powered by hydrogen and is designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions while remaining at high altitude. It will produce only water as a by-product.

Its inaugural flight will take place at Edwards Air Force Base in California and is expected to last between four and eight hours.

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More than the Sum of Its Parts: Dutch SIGMA Ships for Vietnam?

Sigma corvetteVietnam’s growing economy, and China’s aggressive stance in the South China Sea, are pushing the country to begin a long-delayed military modernization program.

Most of the equipment comes from Vietnam’s traditional Russian sources, but a purchase of Next-Gen DHC-6 Twin Otter maritime patrol aircraft from Canada showed the country’s willingess to consider other suppliers.

Now comes word that Vietnam’s new Russian Gepard Class corvettes may be joined by another Western entry: 4 SIGMA ships from the Dutch Schelde shipyard.

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First sea trial goes according to plan for future USS Fort Worth

The future USS Fort Worth recently completed its first set of sea trials on Lake Michigan, the first time the fast-moving littoral combat ship went full power on the open water.

The $480 million ship, the first naval combatant ever named for Fort Worth and only the third in a new class of vessels, was christened in December at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyards in northern Wisconsin. Since then, it has been undergoing further work and testing, almost all of it dockside until this month, when the ship began its first round of operational testing from lead contractor Lockheed Martin.

And according to one of two men who will take command of the ship next year, the sea trials went swimmingly.

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Nuclear powers plan weapons spending spree, report finds

Ghaznavi (Hatf-III) missileThe world's nuclear powers are planning to spend hundreds of billions of pounds modernising and upgrading weapons warheads and delivery systems over the next decade, according to an authoritative report published on Monday.

Despite government budget pressures and international rhetoric about disarmament, evidence points to a new and dangerous "era of nuclear weapons", the report for the British American Security Information Council (Basic) warns.

It says the US will spend $700bn (£434bn) on the nuclear weapons industry over the next decade, while Russia will spend at least $70bn on delivery systems alone. Other countries including China, India, Israel, France and Pakistan are expected to devote formidable sums on tactical and strategic missile systems.

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Iran building new fighter jet, submarine

Brigadier General Ahmad VahidiIran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says Iranian military experts are manufacturing a new fighter jet as well as a new submarine.

“The program of building this aircraft is underway in collaboration with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF),” IRNA quoted Vahidi as saying Saturday.

He added that diversifying, maintaining, promoting and upgrading warplanes indicates the genius, knowledge, and progress of Iran's defense industry.

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Iran destroyer shows naval capability

Jamaran DestroyerAn Iranian Navy commander says the domestically-manufactured Jamaran destroyer's presence in international waters to fight piracy shows Iran's high naval competence.

“Jamaran destroyer … is now conducting missions in faraway seas, which signifies Iran's high capability in manufacturing destroyers,” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told IRNA on Saturday.

In early October, the Iranian Navy's 16th fleet, which includes the Jamaran destroyer, began its patrolling mission in international waters.

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Russia to Keep Topol Ballistic Missiles in Service until 2019

Topol-M (SS-27)Russia is going to keep on active duty its Topol strategic mobile ballistic missile systems until 2019, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said Friday.

According to Sergei Karakayev, commander of the SMF, the reliability and technical conditions of the missile systems allowed the SMF to consider a longer service life of the systems.

The Topol, which is Russia's principal missile complex, was originally designed to serve for ten years but has been functionally operative for 23 years.

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Government denies plan to torpedo subs

HMCS VictoriaThe government shot down reports Friday that it is looking to buy nuclear submarines to replace Canada's troubled diesel-powered sub fleet.

"There is no plan to replace the diesel-electric fleet purchased by the Liberals," Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan said.

The navy's four existing Victoria-class subs were purchased second-hand from the United Kingdom by the Chretien government, and have cost taxpayers an estimated $900 million. Plagued by maintenance problems, they have rarely been used.

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Some Chinese Missile Sales to Iran May Escape U.S. Sanctions Law

C-802U.S. sanctions don’t clearly prohibit China from selling to Iran short-range cruise missiles that might threaten Persian Gulf oil supplies, a congressionally created commission concludes in a draft report.

China, Iran’s largest arms supplier, has sold $312 million in weapons to Iran since 2006, mostly short-range anti-ship cruise missiles, according to the document.

“China’s provision of anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran could allow Iran to target, among other things, oil tankers transiting the Strait of Hormuz” on Iran’s south shore, according to the draft annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

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Pakistan military says it has test fired another nuclear-capable missile

Pakistan’s military says it has test-fired a medium-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

An army statement says the missile was fired on Friday.

It says the missile, named Hatf-7, has been developed in Pakistan and has a range of 440 miles (700 kilometers).

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Nuclear submarine dismantling at Devonport and Fife sites recommended

HMS Superb (Swiftsure-class)The Ministry of Defence has revealed it wants to dismantle nuclear submarines stored at Devonport in Plymouth and Rosyth in Fife at both sites.

Ten decommissioned submarines are currently stored at Devonport and seven at Rosyth - 10 remain in service.

The MoD said its preferred option was to "undertake initial dismantling at both Devonport and Rosyth".

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

No weekend updates

NOSInt will not be updated during weekends until January 2012 due to limited internet access.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Russia test fires Bulava missile

Russia has carried a successful test launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from the Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear submarine in the White Sea, defense ministry reports say.

The missile hit a training target at the Kura testing ground in Kamchatka.

Only nine of the previous Bulava test launches were acknowledged successful.

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Canada may buy nuclear submarines

HMCS VictoriaCBC News has learned the Harper government is considering buying nuclear submarines to replace its problem-plagued fleet of diesel-powered subs, all of which are currently awash in red ink and out of service for major repairs.

The four second-hand subs Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government bought from the British navy in 1998 for $750 million were portrayed at the time as the military bargain of the century.

Instead, they have spent almost all of their time in naval repair yards, submerging Canadian taxpayers in an ocean of bills now totalling more than $1 billion and counting.

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New subs made of old spare parts

RFS Yuri DolgorukiThe Russian navy’s two newest nuclear-powered strategic submarines that are sailing the White Sea this autumn are partly constructed from near 20 year old hulls of non-finished smaller submarines.

The two submarines of the Borey class are the first new strategic submarines in the Russian navy since the last Delta-IV class submarine was commissioned in 1992. But, “Yuri Dolgoruky” and “Aleksandr Nevsky” are not totally new, Rossiskaya Gazeta reports.

When the construction of “Yuri Dolgoruky” started at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk back in November 1996, the shipyard simply took the unfinished hull of an unfinished Akula-class attach submarine and started the welding to enlarge it. The construction work on the hull for what was supposed to be an Akula-class was started four years earlier, in 1992, according to the list of submarines posted on Wikipedia.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

IRGC Equips High-Speed Vessels with Home-Made Missiles

Zolfaqar FPB"The IRGC has mounted missiles on small vessels as well as high-speed vessels which enjoy high capabilities," Lieutenant Commander of the IRGC Naval Forces Alireza Tangsiri told FNA on Tuesday.

He underlined the home-grown nature of the missiles and speedboats used by the IRGC, and said, "The IRGC has the honor to produce all its needed vessels, equipment and missiles and at present we are witnessing production of various types of vessels by the force."

Iran has been pushing an arms development program in recent years in a bid to reach self-sufficiency.

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Shipbuilding plant "Vympel" provides assistance to Vietnam in the serial construction of missile boats "Molniya" Project 12418 under the Russian license

Shipbuilding plant "Vympel" provides assistance to Vietnam in the serial construction of missile boats "Molniya" Project 12418 under the Russian license.

According korr.ARMS-TASS on the 15th anniversary of the International exhibition "Interpolitech 2011", deputy factory director Dmitri Belyakov, Rybinsk shipbuilders are made ​​and sent to Vietnam in accordance with the approved schedule of component parts and components for the assembly of the first six missile boats "Molniya" project 12418.

Manufacture of boats, which have already begun Vietnamese shipbuilders, will be under the technical supervision of construction of the development company - Central Maritime Design Bureau "Almaz" in St. Petersburg, as well as the manufacturer - OJSC "Shipbuilding plant" Vympel ".

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Thales sonars key to Royal Navy minewarfare operations

HMS SandownA Royal Navy minehunter fitted with Thales sonar has located and destroyed a 2,000-pound mine and torpedo lying on the seabed off the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya.

HMS Bangor, a Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV), has been on NATO operations off the Libyan coast, tasked with searching for and disposing of any ordnance to clear a path for merchant shipping. The Sandown class operates with Sonar 2093, the most successful variable-depth multi-mode sonar in its field.

During this operation, Bangor's advanced sonar - described by the navy as ‘cutting edge’ - successfully detected both the heavily corroded 2,000-pound mine and the torpedo. Bangor was able to destroy both of the weapons using demolition charges dropped by her remotely controlled underwater submersible.

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IDF sets up Magic Wand Unit

The IDF is perparing to establish a new unit that will address missile threats on densely populated areas in central Israel.

After the deployment of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which has provided southern Israel with limited yet efficient protection from Qassam and Grad missiles, the defense establishment is forging ahead with developing the Magic Wand system, designed to thwart mid and long-rage missiles.

Over the past few weeks, the Air Force has completed laying the groundwork for the Magic Wand Unit, which will operate the new missile defense system.

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Germany to shut military bases in austerity drive

Eurofighter TyphoonGermany said on it will close 31 of its 328 military bases and shrink installations in another 90 locations over the next five years as part of the most sweeping cuts in the history its Bundeswehr army, navy and air force.

"The reforms are painful but unavoidable," Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a media conference.

"The Bundeswehr isn't there to have bases in as many places as possible but it's there to fulfill its mission well and as cost-effectively as possible."

Closing one base named after the Wehrmacht officer who tried to assassinate Hitler, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, was especially painful, said de Maiziere.

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Russia’s new Navy destroyer

Slava-class cruiser (Varyag)The new destroyer currently under development will become one of the most powerful surface forces of the Russian Navy.

A source associated with the Russian military industrial complex confirms that the new vessel will replace three classes of current Navy vessels – the destroyers, the anti-submarine ships and possibly also the missile cruisers of the 1164 project (Slava Class).

The construction of the new destroyers might start in 2012, newspaper Izvestia reports.

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Turkey denies losing deal for Indonesian Navy submarines

Preveze class (Type 209-1400)Turkish procurement officials have denied a South Korean claim that the Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine has defeated a joint bid by Germany and Turkey to sell submarines to the Indonesian Navy.

‘’We are constantly in touch with Indonesian authorities. Together with Germany, we will soon submit an offer outlining our final offer with very favorable conditions. Indonesia is waiting for that,’’ a procurement official told the Hürriyet Daily News recently on condition of anonymity.

’In addition, Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft [HDW] is our full partner and is the builder of the HDW-class 209 submarines that Indonesia wants to buy. We don’t know how the South Koreans may overcome this license problem, because HDW is working with us,’’ the official said. ‘’For us, the competition is continuing.’’

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Missile Defense: Germany Will Not Procure MEADS

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) took a hit when the German government decided to withdraw its support for the system. MEADS is a ground-based terminal ballistic missile defense (BMD) system developed jointly by the United States, Italy, and Germany. Germany’s step is not surprising.

In February, the U.S. Department of Defense decided to stop funding for the procurement of the system. At the time, The Heritage Foundation argued that this step would undermine allied cooperation in missile defense.

This appears to be correct, because Germany’s announcement questions its future stake in the missile defense program. Germany’s step proves wrong those who had argued that the Patriot system would replace MEADS, because Germany is also reducing its procurement of the Patriot systems (from 29 to 14).

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VTHM Holds Dedication Ceremony for Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft

 Ambassador Mark III - fast missile craftVT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT Halter Marine), a subsidiary of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), held a dedication ceremony for the first of four Fast Missile Craft (FMC)
built for the Egyptian Navy at its Pascagoula shipyard . The keel for this first FMC was authenticated on April 7, 2010.

The vessel, S. Ezzat, was named after Admiral Soliman Ezzat, Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy from 1953 to 1967. Admiral Soliman Ezzat is known as the founder of the modern Egyptian Navy.

Under his command, he expanded, modernized, and upgraded the Egyptian Navy with more capable destroyers, missile boats, submarines and mine warfare platforms. Under his leadership, the Egyptian Naval Forces officer and enlisted personnel underwent continuous training and joint operational missions with forces outside of Egypt to enhance their capabilities.

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Russian radar sniffers for ayatollahs

1L222 AvtobazaRussia has delivered to Iran a consignment of mobile radar radiation detectors and hopes to agree on a number of similar deals, a Russian arms trade official said on Tuesday.

“We’re not talking here about aircraft or submarines or even S-300 systems. It is about providing security for the Iranian state,” Konstantin Biryulin, deputy director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Co-operation, told RIA Novosti.

The detectors, called 1L222 Avtobaza, passively collect electromagnetic radiation from surrounding airspace and identify its sources. Those include side-looking airborne radars used in combat aircraft, targeting radars of air-to-surface weapons, and radars used to guide aircraft flying at extremely low altitudes.

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Israel may lose German sub deal

Dolphin classGermany is "reconsidering" its decision to sell Israel a sixth Dolphin class submarine, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the move was prompted by the tensions between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Merkel's frustration over the new housing plans approved in east Jerusalem.

Top political sources said that Merkel was irked with Netanyahu, who "gave her the impression that he would be willing to suspend settlement expansion in order to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks."

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Latest Virginia-class submarine to be commissioned Saturday

USS CaliforniaThe newest Virginia-class submarine joins the fleet Saturday in a ceremony at the naval station in Norfolk, Va.

The ceremony will celebrate the historic milestone in the life of the submarine and recognize the hard work of the crew and the shipbuilders, Cmdr. Dana Nelson, commanding officer of the California (SSN 781), said Tuesday.

Electric Boat in Groton and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia take turns delivering the Virginia-class submarines. Newport News was responsible for the California, the eighth member of the class.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ghana navy gets 4 ships; Minister threatens war against recalcitrant fishermen

46mtr patrol shipThe Minister for Food and Agriculture Kwesi Ahwoi says the Ghana Armed Forces may be forced to declare war on the country’s recalcitrant fishermen who have decided to fight naval personnel mandated to enforce fisheries regulations.

The Minister was speaking at a ceremony to receive four fast patrol boats from China at the Takoradi Port. The ships, which bring the total number of the Navy’s fleet to 12, were acquired by the Government through the ministries of Defence and Food and Agriculture.

The ships, namely GNS Garinga, GNS Blika, GNS Chemle and GNS Ewhor, were built in the Peoples Republic of China by the Poly Technologies Incorporated Group at Quianjin Shipyard. Construction started on June 17 2010, and was completed on September 20, 2011.

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Lockheed, Pentagon at odds over F-35 costs

F-35 Lightning IILockheed Martin Corp is pushing back against Pentagon efforts to make the company pay for problems that arise with the F-35 fighter jet during testing as a way to lower costs of major weapons programs, according to sources familiar with the emerging dispute.

Company executives will raise the issue in a quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, the sources said.

The Defense Department's push to change the terms of its next production contract for the F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter, could expose Lockheed to possible losses in coming years, said consultant Loren Thompson, who has close ties to the company.

"The government wants to radically change its approach to sharing risk on new weapons programs so that all of the exposure is shifted to industry," Thompson said.

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Russia loses $600 mln Indian attack helicopter tender

AH-64D Apache GunshipRussian Mi-28N Night Hunter has lost a tender on the delivery of 22 attack helicopters to the Indian military in strong competition with the American AH-64D Apache, an Indian Defense Ministry source said on Tuesday.

“We decided not to choose the Mi-28 for technical reasons. Our experts believe that the Mi-28N did not meet the requirements of the tender on 20 positions, while the Apache showed better performance,” the source said.

The future contract, worth at least $600 million, envisions an optional delivery of additional 22 helicopters.

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USS Wasp Concludes JSF Testing

Amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) returned to its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk Oct. 21 after spending three weeks at sea hosting the initial sea trials of the F-35B Lightning II, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The first F-35B landed on WASP's flight deck Oct. 3, beginning an 18-day test period for the aircraft. During the testing, two F-35B Marine Corps test jets (BF-2 and BF-4) accomplished vertical landings and short take-offs under various conditions.

While underway, the world's first supersonic short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) fighter logged more than 28 hours of flight time and completed 72 short take-offs and 72 vertical landings.

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F-22 fighters back in the air: US Air Force

F-22 RaptorThe US Air Force has allowed dozens of F-22 fighter jets back in the air after commanders briefly grounded the planes at two bases amid safety concerns, officials said Tuesday.

After a pilot suffered a lack of oxygen in the cockpit last week, senior officers at bases in Virginia and in Alaska ordered a "pause" in flights for the sophisticated F-22 Raptors, the world's most expensive combat aircraft.

At Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, the temporary ban was lifted on Monday and the commander at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia ended the grounding on Tuesday.

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Hackers Likely Have Japanese Warplane, Nuclear Data

Mitsubishi F-2AHackers targeting Japan's defense industry likely obtained sensitive information relating to military warplanes, missiles, as well as design and safety information for nuclear power plants.

On Monday, sources close to the Japanese defense ministry said that while data relating to confidential national security matters didn't appear to have been breached, sensitive information had been stolen, reported the Japan Times.

Notably, Mitsubishi Heavy--Japan's largest defense contractor, perhaps best known in the United States for manufacturing the surface-to-air Patriot missile--found that multiple PCs were infected with a Trojan application designed to send data to an outside server.

In addition, "an internal investigation found signs that the information had been transmitted outside the company's computer network, with the strong possibility that an outsider was involved," reported Asahi Shimbun.

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Pakistan obtains hi-tech warfare suite pod to upgrade F-16 fighter aircraft

AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS with antennasPakistan has bought the American ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) pod for their fighter aircraft, according to a media report.

Pakistan will receive the ALQ-211 (V) 9 (Version 9), which costs about 3.5 million dollars per pod, The News reports.

The ALQ-211 allows the aircraft to detect radar, jamming and laser signals hitting the aircraft, as well as the presence of chemical weapons.

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Shipyard will play role in disposing of first aircraft carrier reactors

USS Enterprise (CVN 65)Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility will swap aircraft carriers in a couple of months, and some groundbreaking work is planned on a third one.

The Navy announced Friday that it has prepared a draft environmental assessment on disposing defueled reactor plants from the USS Enterprise.

That's never been done. Enterprise, the Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its oldest operating ship, was commissioned in 1961. It's useful life will end in 2012.

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Ukraine says will let Russia modernize Black Sea Fleet

The fleet is expected to receive a total of 15 new frigates and diesel-electric submarines by 2020 within the limits of the 1997 agreement.Ukraine will allow Russia to modernize its Black Sea Fleet, Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhaylo Yezhel said on Tuesday.

Talks on the details of the deal are ongoing.

Under the current lease on the Russian Black Sea Fleet's base in Crimea's Sevastopol signed in 1997, Russia cannot increase the number of combat ships or modernize its weaponry at the base.

However, Ukraine agreed in 2010 to extend the lease until 2042 while most of the warships in service with the Black Sea Fleet are outdated.

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NATO official rejects Russia's joint missile defense proposal

Patriot PAC-3A NATO official said Tuesday a joint anti-missile system proposed by Russia was impossible but Moscow should connect its missile defense system to that of the Western alliance.

NATO rejected the Russian proposal because it could not entrust its security to third countries, said James Appathurai, the NATO secretary general's special representative to the Caucasus and Central Asia, in an interview with Interfax news agency.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of NATO missile defense facilities near its borders, saying they would be a security threat to the country and upset the strategic balance of force in Europe.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Almaz Shipyard Delivered Two Patrol Ships To Vietnam

Svetlyak (Project 10412)Acceptance certificates of two Project 10412 patrol ships (serial numbers 044 and 045) built for Vietnamese Navy were signed on Oct 20 at Almaz Shipbuilding Firm.

These are third and fourth hulls of Project 10410 Svetlyak export version. First two ships were delivered to Vietnam in 2002.

Both ships were laid down on one day – June 26, 2009.

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GRSE launches Anti Submarine Warfare

INS KadmattThe Indian Navy’s modernization quest under ‘Project-28’, to stealthily hunt and destroy lurking enemy submarines, got further bolstered with the launch of the second indigenous ‘Anti Submarine Warfare’ (ASW) corvette ‘Kadmatt’ – named after and island in the Lakshwadeep archipelago of India – built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd., at Kolkata, on Tuesday.

Conforming to the centruries-old maritime tradition of ship launches by a lady, Mamatha launched ‘Kadmatt’ from the GRSE main yard in the presence of her husband, Raksha Rajya Manteri M.M.Pallam Raju.

Others present included Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition (CWP&A) Vice Admiral N. N. Kumar, DG Naval Design Rear Admiral K. N. Sekhar and other GRSE workers and office bearers.

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Northrop Grumman to Supply AQS-24A Airborne Mine-Hunting System to Japan

MCH-101Northrop Grumman Corporation has been competitively selected to supply the AQS-24A airborne mine-hunting system to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Under the initial contract, Northrop Grumman's Undersea Systems business unit will deliver the airborne mine-hunting system to Kawasaki Heavy Industries for integration into Japan's new Airborne Mine Countermeasures MCH-101 helicopter.

"The combination of our proven high performance, low cost and ease of integration in the MCH-101 airframe makes the AQS-24A the ideal choice for Japan's helicopter-based mine-hunting needs," said Tom Jones, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Undersea Systems business unit. "As the only operational airborne mine-hunting search system in the U.S. Navy, the AQS-24A has demonstrated very high reliability in the field with the Navy's Helicopter Mine Countermeasures squadrons."

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Navy's Latest LCS Clears Critical Test

LCS-2The Navy is a step closer to getting another one of its next-generation warships into the service arsenal.

The USS Fort Worth, the third vessel in the Navy's new class of Littoral Combat Ships wrapped up sea trials this week, according to a statement issued by shipbuilder Lockheed Martin.

The sea trials, run jointly by the Navy and Lockheed, are the final step before Navy acceptance trials, where the service will determine whether the ship is ready to join the fleet.

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Bids for mega fighter deal to be opened on November 4

Eurofighter TyphoonThe final lap in the marathon to bag the $10.4 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for supplying 126 fighters for IAF will begin next week.

The defence ministry has issued letters to the two aviation majors left in the fray, the Eurofighter Typhoon (backed by UK, Germany, Spain and Italy) and the French Rafale, that their commercial bids will be opened on November 4.

The other contenders, the American, Russian and Swedish jets, were earlier ejected out of the race after long-drawn technical evaluation and field trials.

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US Air Force grounds F-22 fighters -- again

F-22 RaptorThe US Air Force has had to ground dozens of F-22 fighter jets for the second time this year after concerns a pilot suffered a lack of oxygen in the cockpit, officers said Monday.

Commanders at a base in Virginia and in Alaska ordered a "pause" in flights for the world's most expensive and advanced fighter aircraft as a safety precaution, an Air Force spokesman said.

The decision came after an incident last week in which a pilot at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia suffered "hypoxia-like" symptoms in mid-flight, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Johnson told AFP.

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China paper warns of "sound of cannons" in sea disputes

China, Taiwan and four Southeast Asian states, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have conflicting claims over the Spratly Islands and other atolls in the South China Sea, an area believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas. It is also a rich fishing ground.
One of China's most popular newspapers warned on Tuesday that nations involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea should "mentally prepare for the sounds of cannons" if they remain at loggerheads with Beijing.

The Global Times is published by Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily, but unlike that newspaper it is not a platform for official policy and tends to take a stridently nationalist tone which pleases it readers.

In a editorial published in its Chinese and English editions, the tabloid-sized Global Times accused countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines of taking advantage of China's "mild diplomatic stance" to push their own agendas.

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Boeing Deploys Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System on USS Spruance

USS Spruance (DDG 111)Boeing today announced that it has installed the first Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS) on the USS Spruance (DDG 111), a newly constructed Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer.

GEDMS is a data transfer network that provides a highly reliable, redundant, mission-critical network backbone to any ship in the U.S. Navy inventory.

The Spruance was commissioned Oct. 1 during a ceremony at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla.

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LCS Program Shies Away From Major Changes

USS Freedom (LCS-1)The top priority for the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program is to deliver ships that meet the current requirements at or under the contracted costs, says Rear Adm. James Murdoch, LCS program executive officer.

The best way to do that, Murdoch says, is to avoid any additional requirements that could change the ship and pump up the price. “We don’t introduce any changes we don’t absolutely have to,” Murdoch said during an Oct. 20 briefing with reporters.

The program, he says, “has to get better, better and better on cost. We have to get the shipbuilders to build the ships to the quantity and costs they are under contract to do.”

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Sub Force Competing for Shrinking Dollars

USS North Carolina, SSN 777The U.S. Navy's submarine force has long prided itself on operating out of sight, as the military's self-described "Silent Service."

But in the face of shrinking defense budgets, the Navy's submariners may need to learn how to make more noise in order to get noticed among the many competing priorities inside the Pentagon.

The submarine force, like much of the military, mostly still uses ships and equipment originally designed to fight the Cold War.

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Navy-focused businesses could face grim future as Mayport frigates decommissioned

USS Jarret (Oliver Hazard Perry class)If Bart Snow sounds OK about the ongoing decommissioning of Mayport Naval Station frigates, it’s because his small company is profiting from sending the warships into mothballs.

“That’s a good-sized job, and it’s going to keep us busy,” said Snow, founder and president of Sun Coast Environmental, which cleans, dries out and seals fuel tanks on combat vessels at the Jacksonville base.

But that’s right now. Push Snow to talk about the prospects for work in two or three years, and his predictions become a bit more negative — grim, in fact.

“Come 2015, we’re going to be out of business as far as we know,” he said.

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F-35: a game changer in modern warfare

F-35 Lightning IIOfficials of Lockheed Martin say that the F-35 Lightning II is a game changer in 21st century warfare where most nations are trying to reduce their defense budgets amid a volatile economic climate.

They claim that the F-35 is the only fighter jet available on the market with all-aspect stealth, first-look, first-shot, first-kill capabilities at an affordable price to purchase and sustain over the next few decades.

“The F-35’s very low observable (VLO) stealth feature revolutionizes the way pilots engage or fight adversaries,” said David Scott, director of the company’s F-35 international customer engagement office.

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Raytheon Awarded US Navy Missile Launcher Contract Valued up to $83 Million

FA-18F Super HornetThe U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Raytheon Company a contract valued up to $83 million to produce LAU-116B/A missile launchers.

The contract includes a $7.3 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for production through December 2013 and includes two one-year options.

The launchers are used on Navy F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft.

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New nuke-carrying Borey class submarine tested

Project 955 Borey nuclear-powered strategic submarineSea trials of the new Rusian Borey class submarine, the Aleksandr Nevsky, has started in the White Sea. The boat is the first series-produced vessel of its kind and is to become part of Russia’s nuclear deterrence.

The submarine was laid down in March 2004 and first launched in December 2010 reports Itar-Tass. The company trial of the Nevsky is done under the command of Captain 1st rank Vasily Tankovid. His crew come from the Pacific Fleet and have passed special training course to man the modern submarine.

The first vessel of this class, the Yury Dolgoruky, is currently involved in fire tests of the nuclear ballistic missile Bulava and its upgraded version the Liner. Producer of the submarines, Sevmash shipyards, are building another boat of the series, the Vladimir Monomakh, at the moment.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Iron Dome in Action: A Preliminary Evaluation

The “Iron Dome” anti-rocket active defense system was first used by Israel in April 2011 with great technical success.

This prompted defense officials to finally make public the strategic objectives and limitations of the system, which, until then, had not been divulged. It also expanded the public debate on missile defense from one that focused on the threat to Sderot and the Gaza envelope communities to a debate that included the threat of longer range rockets on larger cities deep within Israel.

It can reasonably be concluded that the Iron Dome system has succeeded in saving lives and reducing damages, thus providing more flexibility to the political leadership for containing the fighting with the Hamas government in Gaza.

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DCNS delivers a new generation Offshore Patrol Vessel to the French Navy

Gowind corvette L'AdroitFriday, October 21, 2011 at 11:30 am, during a ceremony in Lorient, DCNS has officially delivered the new generation offshore patrol vessel L’Adroit to the French Navy.

The Vice-Admiral Xavier Magne, commander of the Force d’Action Navale (Naval Action Force) representing the Chief of Staff of the Navy, then chaired the first ceremony of colors. He recognized Commander Guyot Loïc as captain of the ship.

Signed in October 2010 at the Euronaval naval show, the agreement on this new OPV is a “win-win” industrial partnership:

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Vietnam Negotiate Buying four Sigma Corvettes from the Netherlands

Sigma corvetteThe Dutch Schelde shipyard in Vlissingen, Netherlands will build four Sigma corvettes for the Vietnamese Navy. The first two ships will be built in Vlissingen, and the last two will be built in Vietnam, under Dutch supervision.

Sigma class corvettes are built to sizes ranging from 50 to 150m in length and 9 to 15m width, addressing the whole spectrum from Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), via corvette to frigate size vessels meeting a wide range of customer demands.

In fact, the class name Sigma stands for Ship Integrated Geometrical Modularity Approach. The lead ship of the SIGMA class was KRI Diponegoro, launched in 2004 for the Indonesian Navy.

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Canada's first F-35s won't have built-in ability to communicate in Arctic

F-35 Lightning IICanada's new multibillion-dollar stealth fighters are expected to arrive without the built-in capacity to communicate from the country's most northerly regions — a gap the air force is trying to close.

A series of briefings given to the country's top air force commander last year expressed concern that the F-35's radio and satellite communications gear may not be as capable as that of the current CF-18s, which recently went through an extensive modernization.

Military aircraft operating in the high Arctic rely almost exclusively on satellite communications, where a pilot's signal is beamed into space and bounced back down to a ground station.

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Iranian Experts Develop Electromagnetic Gun (Railgun)

railgunIranian experts announced that they have designed and developed an electromagnetic gun that fires steel bullets without explosive propellant.

According to FNA dispatches, the home-made advanced gun (Railgun) enjoys a capability to fire thirty 8mm steel bullets per minute at targets.

The gun needs 2 seconds to recharge after each shot and fires bullets at a velocity of 330 meters per second (about the speed of the sound).

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India and France to possibly develop SR-SAM

Akash SAMIndia and France on Thursday addressed military contracts and civil nuclear safety in a conference between External Affairs Minister S.M Krishan and visiting counterpart, Alain Juppe.

France has won a multi–billion contract for installing nuclear power plants in Western India, decided to fasten co-operation between the civil nuclear regulatory boards of the two countries.

Nuclear Safety has been on top of the Indian Agenda after the Fukushima radiation leak and fire in a French nuclear waste dump. There was a need for assurance concerning how reliable the patented technology France presses to use in installing the plants.

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