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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Electronic Order of Battle?
No, this is the End Of this Blog.
Nearly 10 years have past since I started it, 28.000 posts later it's time to retire.
I enjoyed every day of it, but new challenges lay ahead.
I'm off shortly to meet a lot of weirdo's like me, all Google Top Contributors, in San Francisco. And being a TC is time consuming, so I won't get bored.

I wish all of my readers and informants all the best in the future.
I'm sure you can manage without me.
If not, give it a try ... it isn't that hard ;)

I'm signing of,

24 of 30 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 Helicopters Have Reached Full Operational Capability

Merlin Mk2 HelicopterThe first 24 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopters have achieved full operational capability. 6 Merlin Mk1 are still to be delivered as part of the 25-year Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme (MCSP), awarded in January 2006 to Lockheed Martin UK.

The MCSP’s objective is to provide a long-term sustainment and improvement of the ASW capability of the helicopters and gradually transform them into multi-role platforms.

The cost of the programme is at USD750 million.

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Italy blocking India's entry into elite missile tech group MTCR, bargaining over marines issue: Sources

In a big setback for India, Italy is becoming a major roadblock in the nation's entry into an elite missile technology group called Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Sources said Italy has stated marines issue as the reason behind blocking India's entry into MTCR.

Italian marines Latorre and Salvatore Girone are facing trial of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012.

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Russia fires successfully high-precision tactical missile

Iskander-M SRBMA high-precision Iskander-M tactical missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, destroyed a target located 300 kilometers away in southern Russia, confirmed today a source of the Ministry of Defense.

The spokesman of the Eastern Military District, Alexander Gordeyev, told reporters that a unit of that command test-fired the missile against a target that simulated an enemy command center, in the southern Astrakhan region.

Gordeyev noted that after the success in the trial, the mobilized Army unit returned with the missile system to its permanent base of deployment, in the republic of Buryatia, in Siberia.

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India to buy 22 Apache: Watch the multi-role combat helicopter in action

With the signing of Apache attack helicopters deal with US' Boeing, Indian Air Force is all set to get the much needed boost to its firepower. A part of the Apache deal was signed with Boeing for the helicopter and the other with the US government, under Foreign Military Sales route, for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.

The AH-64 Apache is a multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US Army among other international defence forces.

TThe Apache is said to boast of laser, infrared, and other systems (including target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor) to locate, track, and attack targets.

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MD-530 “Jengi” helicopters depart Kabul for first expeditionary operations in Helmand province

MD-530 JengiAfghan Air Force MD-530s and Mi-17 helicopters departed Hamid Karzai International Airport to participate in operations in Helmand province Sept. 27.

The MD-530 Warrior, or “Jengi” in Dari, is the newest in the Afghan Air Force’s arsenal to support convoy escort, aerial reconnaissance, armed over-watch, and close air support to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

The Afghan Air Force leaders decided, with the coordination of the Ministry of Defense, to deploy the helicopters to participate in combat missions in the southwest zone, said Col. Bahadur, AAF public affairs officer through an interpreter.

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Despite Flaws, India to Induct Tejas Mark 1-A Fighter Aircraft

Tejas LCAThe government has decided to induct at least seven squadrons of the made-in-India Tejas Mark 1-A Light Combat Aircraft or LCA into the Indian Air Force, to make up for a shortage of fighters.

The Tejas Mark 1-A is slightly more proficient than the first-cut home-made LCA, the Tejas, but the aircraft still has some flaws. For one, there are doubts about its ability to carry the required payload of weapons. Also, its Indian-made radar needs to be replaced with an Israeli radar.

The IAF has agreed to induct the Tejas Mark 1-A as it urgently needs more than 120 lightweight fighters to be used for air defence and to intercept enemy aircraft. A squadron has about 16 to 18 aircraft each.

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SCO states in Central Asia likely export targets for JF-17

Jf-17 ThunderChina and Pakistan may target the Central Asian members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as potential buyers of their jointly developed JF-17 Thunder (FC-1 Xiaolong) multi-role combat aircraft, according to the Kanwa Defense Review, a Canada-based Chinese-language military magazine.

At this year's Paris Air Show in June, it was reported that the first export order for the fighter jet — developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China — had been signed, with deliveries likely to begin in 2017.

While industry experts note that manufacturers remain secretive as to the buyer, there are unconfirmed claims that deal was signed with either Myanmar or Sri Lanka.

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Air National Guard Wants To Fly Reaper Drones From Syracuse Airport

MQ-9 ReaperThe Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircrafts out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircrafts to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

Speaking at at an unmanned aircraft system conference at the Turning Stone Resort last week, Col. Mike Smith, assistant vice commander of the Hancock Field Air National Guard, said they want to start flying MQ-9 Reapers out of the Syracuse International Airport for flight training.

The Air National Guard cannot launch these aircrafts from Hancock Field right now, because the planes would have to go through civilian airspace. But they are in talks with the F.A.A. to get that changed. Smith said they currently have to send flight and maintenance crews on a daily basis from Syracuse to Fort Drum to launch aircrafts.

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Chinese naval expert denies PLA joining fight against ISIS

Liaoning CVA Chinese naval expert has denied reports that the People's Liberation Army is sending a team of "military advisers" to Syria to assist in the fight against the the Islamic State jihadist terror group.

Over the weekend, several media outlets have picked up a report from the Lebanon-based news website Al-Masdar, which cited a Syrian army official as stating that a Chinese naval vessel is on its way to Syria with dozens of military advisers on board.

"The Chinese will be arriving in the coming weeks," the unnamed official is quoted as saying, adding that the military advisers will later be followed by troops.

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House, Senate Armed Services Committees Agree to Support UCLASS, Additional Aircraft Procurement

X-47B UCLASS AARThe House and Senate armed services committees came to an agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2016, releasing a $604.2-billion authorization plan after months of hashing out nearly 900 discrepancies between the bills.

The bill maintained the support that both committees had for six additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps, to give them 15 total in FY 2016; funding for 12 additional F/A-18E-F Super Hornets for the Navy, though at a lower cost than first predicted due to contract savings; and 49 additional Tomahawk missiles, for 149 total, to bring manufacturer Raytheon up to the minimum sustaining production rate.

The Senate Armed Services Committee agreed to the House Armed Services Committee’s plan to add a fourth MQ-4C Triton for $65 million.

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INS Kochi, largest India-made warship, commissioned

Naval warship INS Kochi, the largest-ever warship to be built in India, was commissioned by defence minister Manohar Parrikar at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

Finish of the INS Kochi is good as any foreign ship, Manohar Parrikar said.

"Jahi Shatrun Mahabaho" loosely means "Armed to conquer the enemy" in Sanskrit. It's an apt motto for guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi, packed with weapons and sensors as well as advanced stealth features.

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Shipyard converting USS Michigan for enlisted women

USS Michigan (SSGN-727)The USS Michigan entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard last month for modifications to allow it to become the first submarine to carry enlisted women.

The $2.8 million reconfiguration will provide living space for 29 women. Two chief petty officers will share a living space and washroom. Twenty-seven from lower ranks will split into nine-person bunk rooms and all share a head, said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura, Submarine Group Nine spokesman.

The work is part of a major maintenance period that is scheduled to be completed next summer.

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Japan says they're ready to build all submarines for Canberra in Australia

Soryu class SSKJapan is ready to match European rivals and build a fleet of submarines for Canberra entirely at Australian shipyards, a senior Japanese official said on Tuesday, after stumbling in its effort to win the A$50 billion ($34.76 billion) contract.

Tokyo was willing to train hundreds of Australian engineers in Japan's submarine-manufacturing hub of Kobe as well as in Australia as part of its offer for one of the world's biggest defense contracts, Masaaki Ishikawa, director general for Acquisition Reform at the Ministry of Defense, told Reuters.

His comments are the first from an official directly involved in the bid that Japan is willing to build the stealth submarines entirely in Australia, where jobs are a hot button political issue. Canberra is expected to order between eight to 12 vessels.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Inside India's New and Deadliest Warship

The Kochi's RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launcher, Barak missile silos and main gunOn a dark moonlit night, an Indian warship pierced the waters of the South China Sea at a brisk 25 knots. The only sound to be heard was of waves slapping the sides of her sleek hull.

To the untrained eye, she was all but invisible. Her sleek silhouette and her grey paint scheme ensured she blended in with the sea around her. And her distinct, angular lines were meant to make it difficult, if not impossible, for enemy radars to track her - she was, after all, a stealth warship.

But tonight would be different. Tonight, INS Kochi, a state-of-the-art Indian Navy destroyer, built in India over a decade, would be challenged by a worthy adversary. Another stealth ship - a Type 052D destroyer of the Chinese Navy, the Changsha.

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RAAF tanker jet refuel F-35A Joint Strike Fighter in mid-air

RAAF MRTT and F-35A Lightning IIThe RAAF has hit a crucial milestone in the development of its new $16 billion fighter jet fleet, with the successful mid-air refuelling of a US Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

One of the Air Force’s five KC-30A multi-role tanker transport planes conducted 59 successful hook-ups with the F-35A at Edwards air force Base in California, including five where about 20,000 kgs of fuel was transferred during the four-hour-long mission.

The refuelling operation used the KC-30A’s controversial tail mounted boom system that generated major headaches during the development phase.

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Did China Just Hit Mach 5?

Hypersonic glide vehicleA news report describes a landmark event: the flight of an airplane that can go twice as fast as the Concorde. Then, just as quick, the report vanishes. What just happened?

On a night apparently in early September, at a flight test center somewhere in China, a dark-painted airplane reportedly took off on a momentous mission—to fly faster than five times the speed of sound then return safely to Earth.

The airborne experiment, allegedly involving a manned aircraft with a human pilot aboard, marked a huge leap forward for China as it competes with the United States to develop warplanes and missiles capable of so-called “hypersonic” flight—so fast that they’re almost impossible to shoot down or dodge.

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India seeking technology to build MCMVs

INS Kozhikode (M 71)Indian state-owned company Goa Shipyards Limited is looking for other companies to supply the technology to build 12 mine countermeasure vessels.

GSL was awarded a $5 billion noncompetitive contract to build the vessels in 2014, and has now floated a global expression of interest from companies who are wiling to transfer the technology to build the vessels. Analysts warn this could raise the cost of building the ships, saying it would be cheaper to have them built overseas, according to Defense News.

To acquire the technology, GSL has sent the EOI to Lockheed Martin from the U.S., Kangnam from South Korea, Intermarine from Italy, Navantia from Spain, Thyssenkrupp from Germany, and two Russian shipyards.

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Navy to test F-35C Lighting II aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

F-35C Lightning IIThe Navy will test the next generation of fighter jets aboard a Norfolk-based aircraft carrier next month.

The second developmental test phase of the F-35C Lightning II aircraft will begin aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on Monday, October 5, 2015.

Two F-35Cs are scheduled to conduct the training on the Eisenhower through October 15.

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Russian shipyard launches last 'Black Hole' sub built for Vietnam Navy

HQ187 SSK launchRussian shipbuilders on Monday launched the last of the six Kilo-class submarines ordered by the Vietnamese Navy.

Admiral Viktor Chirkov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, and Rear Admiral Pham Hoai Nam, Commander of the People's Navy of Vietnam, were present at the launching ceremony for the submarine, codenamed HQ-187 Ba Ria Vung Tau, at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

It is part of a deal reached between Vietnam and Russia for six Project 636 Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines for $2 billion back in 2009.

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Russian Threat Drives Lockheed’s JASSM Sales

AGM-158 JASSMLockheed Martin doesn’t like to say it, but their best salesman isn’t getting a bonus this year. That’s because his name is Vladimir Putin.

An increasingly aggressive and well-armed Russia is clearly driving its neighbors to build up their own arsenals, and in highly specific ways.

Thus the international success of Lockheed’s Strike Systems division, which builds long-range, radar-evading missiles capable of penetrating a Russian or Chinese-style defense-in-depth.

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Trident is useless. That’s why we must debate its renewal

Vanguard class SSBNIt might be perfectly understandable why Labour party delegates decided to bottle out of a conference debate on Trident, Britain’s most powerful, most expensive, most irrelevant and most useless weapon.

Yet the attempt to suppress debate on the utility of Britain’s nuclear arsenal is undemocratic. And a discussion is needed, desperately.

“The question of Trident renewal becomes a symbol for Britain in the world, for patriotism, or for enlightened foreign policy,” says Michael Clarke, director general of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) thinktank.

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Defence white paper: bin it and start again

Defence Minister Marise PayneThe defence portfolio is a tough assignment and Marise Payne takes it on at an especially difficult time.

Marise Payne is as well qualified for the job of defence minister as any who have taken it on for a very long time, and far better qualified than either of her most recent predecessors.

Her appointment has sent the clearest possible signal that Malcolm Turnbull intends his government to fix the mess in defence created by previous governments over many years, by doing things differently.

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Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence Program Completes Critical Design Review

Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence SystemLockheed Martin’s Space Fence System, including the large-scale digital radar and turn-key facility were deemed technically mature and provided evidence that all requirements will be met through the program’s Critical Design Review (CDR) conducted by the U.S. Air Force.

Government representatives met with Lockheed Martin engineers in Moorestown to review the Space Fence S-band radar system design, which will detect, track, and catalog orbital objects in space more than 1.5 million times a day to predict and prevent space-based collisions.

The three-day CDR was preceded by the delivery of 21,000 pages of design documents, and an eight-day Design Walkthrough, to ensure the system will meet performance requirements.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Firing Missiles on the Go: Russia’s Famous Air Defender Does It Again!

Tor-M2U Air Defense SystemRussia has successfully conducted live fire tests of its advanced Tor-M2U surface-to-air missile system. What made the test so special is that the missiles were fired on the move!

The Tor-M2U system was designed by the Almaz-Antei Concern to engage planes, helicopters, cruise missiles, precision guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles and short-range ballistic threats.

Tor was also the first air defense system in the world designed from the start to shoot down precision guided weapons day and night, in bad weather and jamming situations.

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