September 30, 2010



NEW DELHI: India's biggest- ever defence deal inked with US till now is all set to get bigger. Plans are virtually final now to order another four P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft to add to the eight already contracted under the $2.1 billion deal inked last year. Defence ministry sources say the project to acquire four more Boeing P-8I aircraft will be taken up for approval in the meeting of the defence acquisitions council, headed by A K Antony, on October 8.

It will be held in the backdrop of the recent visits of Antony and Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma to US. ''The new P-8Is will cost the same as each of the eight ordered in January 2009, without any cost escalation. There will also be similar offsets requirements. In the original $2.1-billion contract, the offsets were valued over $600 million,'' said a source.

India is going in for the 12 P-8Is to plug huge gaps in its maritime snooping capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which has become heavily militarised with even China increasingly making strategic forays into the region.

At present, Navy has a woefully-inadequate maritime reconnaissance fleet of eight ageing Russian Tupolev-142M turboprops and five upgraded Ilyushin-38SD aircraft, a dozen Israeli Heron and Searcher-II spy drones, and a few Dornier-228 squadrons.

Based on the Boeing 737 commercial airliners with cruise speeds of 445 knots, the P-8Is will not undertake just surveillance missions. They will also be capable of deadly anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, armed as they will be with torpedoes, depth bombs and Harpoon missiles.

They will have ''a mission radius'' of 600 nautical miles, with 5.5 hours on-station loitering time, and 1,200 nautical miles, with 4 hours on station. With mid-air refuelling, their operational radius will further go up. The first of the eight original P-8Is is slated to be inducted by early-2013, with the others following by 2016. The US Navy, too, will begin inducting the first lot of its 117 P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft around the same time.

P-8Is are being customised to Indian naval requirements, with communication, electronic warfare and other systems being sourced from India. For instance, defence PSU Bharat Electronics is delivering Data Link-II, a communication system to enable rapid exchange of information among Indian warships, submarines aircraft and shore establishments, for the P-8Is to Boeing. There is, however, the question of India having not yet inked the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA) being pushed by the US as ''a sensitive technology-enabler'' for P-8I and other arms procurements.

But MoD and Navy are not too worried. Antony, in fact, told his American counterpart Robert Gates in Washington on Tuesday that while India appreciated the US government's view that pacts like CISMOA would ''facilitate access to high technologies'', there were still some concerns which needed to be addressed..
(By : Times of India)

French shipbuilding is open for international partnership and technology transfer

French shipbuilding is open for co-operation with foreign partners, establishment of joint ventures and transfer of advanced technologies. Such pragmatic approach will contribute to marketing of French hi-tech products in the world market, said experts of shipbuilding company DCNS.

As was explained to ARMS-TASS by DCNS officials, there have been numerous examples of such cooperation with foreign countries. In particular, DCNS has built and delivered 6 Delta class frigates to Singaporean Navy under the technology transfer agreement. Only the first ship was built at DCNS shipyards in Lorient; the rest five were constructed by Singaporean ST Marine under transferred technologies and supervision of French experts.

Possibility to obtain technology while procurement of ready-made products becomes the core requirement at present-day market of hi-tech products, emphasized DCNS experts.

Example, both export contracts for Scorpene class non-nuclear submarines to India (contract for 6 subs, signed in 2005) and Brazil (contract for 4 subs, signed in 2008) provide license grant for building and transfer of relative technologies. Scorpene subs are built in two countries by local shipyards under control of DCNS specialists.

In this connection, French shipbuilders are ready to modify Mistral class landing dock in accordance with Russian Navy's requirements and transfer Mistral construction technology to Russian shipyards, emphasized DCNS officials.

Construction terms of lead helicopter carrier will depend on changes introduced in the ship design, said the French partners. Speaking about building of other Mistrals by Russian shipyards, DCNS is ready to transfer technical documentation and relative technologies in an expeditious manner.

At present, DCNS has developed a family of Mistral class landing ships which can meet requirements of various navies depending of tasks assigned. In contrast to the base variant Mistral-210 with displacement of 21,000 tons and length of 199 meters, Mistral-140 has displacement of 14,000 tons and length of 169 meters.

Everything will depend on requirements of the Russian military; it is up to them to decide what kind of ship do they need, said DCNS director for business development. DCNS is ready to alter construction of Mistral and meet the customer's requirements to the full extent, he added.

United Shipbuilding Corporation holds the first industrial design contest

United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) conducts a contest of design concepts for Russian shipbuilding industry; the motto is "Navy for the strong country".

The contest is aimed to attract innovative ideas of civilian design agencies to be applied in interior and exterior ship design, shaping image of present-day Russian Navy, and promote the profession of industrial designer.

"There at sea, a couple of minutes spent at struggle with unhandy door pull could be fatal", said the USC president Roman Trotsenko. He expressed a wish that "young Russian designers would help to create new ships prestigious for service".

Participants of the contest are professional design, engineering, and architectural companies registered in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as individuals at the age of 18 and older. All of them can compete in 10 nominations of ship design, including "Ship's Futuristic Appearance", "Door Design" and "People's Choice Award".

Winner of the main nomination "Ship's Futuristic Appearance" will receive a RUR 2 mln money reward. In total, prize fund makes several millions.

Judges of the contest are representatives of USC leadership, the corporation's president Roman Trotsenko, Navy deputy commander Nikolai Borisov, director general of Severnoye Design Bureau Vladimir Sviridopulo, chief designer of Almaz Design Bureau Alexander Shlyakhtenko, head of Shipbuilding Industry and Marine Engineering Dept Leonid Strugov, and civilian designers.

Registration of participants and entries will last till Sec 10, 2010 on the contest's website flotdesign.ru. Finals, announcement, and awarding of winners will take place in Moscow on Dec 20, 2010.

Sponsors of the contest are international design festival Design Act, contemporary arts center Vinzavod, and design company MediaCreator.

As of today, 24 companies and individuals have been registered as contest participants.

However, most naval experts consider that appearance of a warship primarily depends on its purpose, arms, and other practical parameters other than aesthetics and design configuration. There is an anxiety that a ship's combat qualities could go to the detriment of good looking design.

Bharat Earth Movers Develops 155mm, 52 caliber Artillery Gun; Field Trials Begin

By India Defense : Bharat Earth Movers Ltd has reportedly developed an indigenous 155mm, 52-caliber state-of-the-art artillery gun. The Bangalore-based defence public sector undertaking is ready with the wheeled gun and field trials have already started at its testing tracks in the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), Karnataka.

This development comes in the backdrop of the fact that the artillery has not purchased a long-range gun in about 20 years following the Bofors gun controversy. The Government recently gave the nod to inviting global tenders for the 155mm guns and the proposed contract for over 1000 guns, besides other range of artillery guns including Howitzers, worth over Rs. 20,000 crore.

BEML chairman and managing director VRS Natarajan said they were the nodal processing agency for this gun, which would enhance the lethality of the defence forces. The gun is part of a technology transfer between a Slovakian company, DMD, and BEML to produce this high-precision gun for the Indian armed forces.

Natarajan said, "We have already been made a nodal processing agency for the 155mm, 52-calibre gun which is a state-of-the-art weapon to be inducted by India. We will produce and supply this to the defence forces. It’s a technology transfer; India wants to go for a very upgraded tank which is faster, lighter and able to have a greater fire power with lethality."

He also said, "For the wheeled gun project, we have tied up with a Slovakian company, DMD, for a defence offset and the vehicle has already been made available for trial. The time frame is about three years from the date of order by the defence forces. We expect it to commence in the current year or at most the next year."

According to the BEML chief, the company was also looking at the tracked version of the same gun, which will give better fire power. "We have already set up a state-of-the-art, world-class test track. We have a firing range too," Natarajan said, adding that the PSU was also in the process of setting up infrastructure for the overhauling of T72 and T90 tanks.

According to officials, the 155mm, 52-caliber gun -- which is already in use by NATO countries - would augment Indian capabilities. At present, BEML has set up a testing range at KGF and started the trial of Suzana guns. This wheeled gun would increase the artillery power of the Indian Army. The gun's trial evaluation is over and it is waiting for the request for proposal from the Indian Army, the officials added.

Germany Looks to Cut Defense Spending

By Aviation Week  :  Concerns are growing in Germany that adjustments in the size and scope of the country’s armed forces could threaten its defense industrial capabilities and jeopardize a multinational agreement on the A400M military transport.
The revised modernization plans aim to trim more than €8 billion ($10.5 billion) from the defense budget and reflect potentially much reduced military assets.
Labor groups are worried about the extent of the cuts. Germany’s metal workers union, IG Metall, warns of the “dramatic impact” on aerospace employment, particularly if the Eurofighter Tranche 3B and Talarion unmanned aircraft system project are scrapped.
EADS has been pushing Germany, France and Spain to launch the Talarion program for more than a year. But France has been exploring other options to meet its medium-altitude unmanned aircraft needs and the German air force has expressed a preference for an off-the-shelf system that could be fielded more quickly. Berlin has indicated it is keen to retain independent German technology skills in unmanned aircraft.
Thomas Pretzl, head of EADS Germany’s works council, says 15,000 industry jobs are at stake. He points out that without the Talarion, the country will be dependent on foreign products. Export chances for the Eurofighter would also be hit, as important product upgrades would only be incorporated in Tranche 3B.
A German defense ministry official says the proposals will have to be weighed against each other. A decision to keep more of one system would lead to deeper cuts in other areas so as not to threaten the reduction targets.
The report on revising the German defense structure is due by year-end. It will trigger a detailed review and decisions on future investment.
IG Metall warns the A400M procurement could be slashed to as few as 25 airlifters, although industry officials say that number does not reflect any known planning scenario. Since Germany is the largest customer for the transport, its actions will have considerable consequences on the program.
Even protracted decision-making on the German A400M buy could have consequences. Industry is paying €100 million in monthly A400M development costs, holding out for a contract that it had hoped would come this summer.
Under a March agreement among the seven A400M-buying governments—devised to deal with program delays and cost increases—states have committed to cut no more than 10 aircraft from the 180 planned joint procurement.
One industry official indicates that if Germany reduces its initial order to markedly fewer than 60 A400Ms, industry would strive to renegotiate the contract with Airbus.
The country’s liberal FDP party, one of the three parties in the coalition government, is arguing in favor of a much smaller buy. FDP defense spokesperson Elke Hoff suggests taking only 45-49 aircraft. Juergen Koppelin, an influential FDP budget specialist, advocates an order of just 40 aircraft.
Another German government official indicates the defense ministry might move the A400M decision forward, in spite of the pending overall review, to assuage uncertainty, but that is not guaranteed and the decision could slip into 2011.

September 29, 2010

SAAB optimistic of making it to MMRCA downlist of IAF

CAPE TOWN: As India's biggest defence contract of $ 10 billion to acquire 126 (MMRCA) nears final stages, the lone Swedish contender is optimistic of making it to the downlist.

Expressing optimism, SAAB executives said that their India campaign was enthusing them to enter the lucrative fighter market in the Asian region where many other nations are planning major acquisitions.

The Swedish company executives are hopeful that the Indian Government would shortlist the competitors by December to bring the number of contenders from six to two or three.

The Gripen is in contention with American F-16 and F-18/A Super Hornets, French Rafale, Russian MiG 35 and Eurofighter Typhoon.

The company executives claimed that the Gripen had come through well in Indian flight trials held at Leh and Jaisalmer.

"The trials were a complete success. We are very happy with the trials that went off early 2010. We are looking forward to the next steps and we are hopeful," Eddy de la Motte, Director, Gripen for India, told PTI on the sidelines of the Africa Aerospace and Defence expo 2010.

Gripen, like other five contenders, had undergone trials at Bangalore, Leh and Jaisalmer for performance assessment trials over varying terrain and weather conditions over six months that ended in March-April this year.

La Motte said the Indian Air Force pilots, who tested the 1,320 mile-per-hour jet, were a "really professional team" and the flight evaluation was "very demanding."

Gripen's Campaign Director and Test Pilot Magnus Lewis-Olsson said SAAB was looking forward to winning the Indian contract as it would mean a lot for the company.

"If you win India, that would be a strong signal for the world," he said.

The Gripen fighter aircraft, which is in service in the Swedish and South African Air Force, flew for 12 to 15 hours for eight days and also did single sorties during the trials.

Under the MMRCA deal, India will acquire 126 aircraft in 86 single-seater and 40 twin-engine seat configurations. It plans to procure 18 aircraft in flyaway conditions and produce 106 locally under license through technology transfer.

Fort Delhi, complete with missiles and Sukhois

By Indian Express - With just four days to go for the Games, the Indian Air Force has put in place a tight security cover against aerial threats. The Army, for its part, has deployed specialised teams to conduct night surveillance of all the venues, besides activating its anti-nuclear, chemical and biological contamination units.
On Monday, the Air Force activated a comprehensive air defence network over the city, covering a 60-km radius from India Gate, involving the deployment of mobile surface-to-air missile units, radars, anti-aircraft guns as well as armed choppers to take on aerial threats. Fighter aircraft, including SU 30 MKIs and MiG 21 Bisons, have also been kept ready at nearby air bases.
The Army has deployed specialised teams to deal with chemical, nuclear and biological threats and put a long-distance night surveillance network in place at all venues. An extensive network of L70 air defence guns that can be used to neutralise low flying targets has also been installed. In addition to this, bomb disposal teams and sniffer dogs have been kept ready. 

“We have taken all contingencies into consideration, including aircraft hijacking, low-speed aerial threats, balloons and microlights,” an official said.
Sources said armed choppers, including Mi 35 attack helicopters, will be airborne during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games. Two searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will also be put into action during both the ceremonies.
Specially-trained sniper units of the Delhi Police will be deployed at mobile observation posts to deal with sub-conventional threats such as aero-models and balloons. A network of Pechora, OSA AK and Igla surface-to-air missiles will be put in place by the Air Force while L70 anti-aircraft guns will be kept ready for use by the Army. Mi 17 and Mi 35 armed helicopters will patrol the skies, and smaller Cheetah/Chetak choppers will be deployed for emergency transport and casualty evacuation contingencies.

US Senate OKs transfer of two minehunters to India

Washington: The US Senate has approved the transfer of two Osprey-class minehunter coastal ships to India.

The two minehunter ships are Kingfisher (MHC-56) and Cormorant (MHC-57). Both were decommissioned in 2007 and now awaiting it’s to India.

Osprey-class coastal minehunters are designed to find, classify, and destroy moored and bottom naval mines from vital waterways. They use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control.Touted as world's second largest minehunters, they are constructed entirely of fibre-glass and are designed to survive the shock of underwater explosions.

Their primary mission is reconnaissance, classification, and neutralisation of all types of moored and bottom mines in littoral areas, harbours and coastal waterways. The ships are equipped with a high definition, variable-depth sonar, and a remotely-operated, robotic submarine used to neutralise mines.  (source : Zee News)

Russia's newest nuclear sub completes sea trials

Russia's newest  strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky, has completed sea trials in the White Sea and returned to its base in northern Russia, the Sevmash shipyard said.
The trials were part of the manufacturer Sevmash's tests and the boat is now ready for final inspection by a state commission before it enters service with the Russian Navy.
"All the submarine's systems performed well, and the problems revealed during previous tests have been resolved," Sevmash said.
The Yury Dolgoruky is 170 meters (580 feet) long, has a hull diameter of 13 meters (42 feet), a crew of 107, including 55 officers, a maximum depth of 450 meters (about 1,500 feet) and a submerged speed of about 29 knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles and torpedoes.
Construction costs totaled some $713 mln, including $280 mln for research and development.
Three other Borey class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky, the Vladimir Monomakh, and Svyatitel Nikolai (St. Nicholas) are in different stages of completion. Russia is planning to build eight of these subs by 2015.
Fourth-generation Borey class nuclear-powered submarines are expected to constitute the core of Russia's modern strategic submarine fleet.
The submarine's entry into service could be delayed however by a series of setbacks in the development of the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which has officially suffered seven failures in 12 tests.
The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry officials, who have suggested that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.
But the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put into service with the Navy.

MOSCOW, September  (RIA Novosti)

HAL Releases Details on MTA Joint Venture with United Aircraft Corporation, Rosoboronexport

By India Defense - A Joint Venture is being formed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Russian Partners namely United Aircraft Corporation & Rosoboronexport to Co-develop and Co-produce Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA). MTA is a 15-20 tonnes payload capacity Aircraft which would meet the requirement of the Indian Air Force and the Russian Air Force. The project has been approved by both the Government of India and the Government of Russian Federation.

The Aircraft will have two engines, state of the art features such as fly-by-wire, full authority digital engine control, modern avionics and glass cockpit. Total development cost is around USD 600.70 million (approx Rs. 2900 crores) to be equally shared by both the sides. It is planned to manufacture 205 aircraft with 50:50 work share between HAL and the Russian partners.

A Joint Venture Company (JVC) is being established with its headquarters at Bangalore, India for executing the MTA project in which HAL and Russian Participants will have equal shareholding.

Payload capacity 15-20 tonnes
Maximum takeoff weight 65 tonnes
Cruise speed 800 kilometers per hour
Range 2500-2700 kilometers
Service ceiling 12 kilometer

BAE Systems accepts System Integration Facility Clause enabling 74 per cent FDI in Defense

By India Defense - Global defence security and aerospace major BAE Systems is ready to accept Government's rider that 74 per cent FDI in defence sector be allowed only if a foreign bidder sets up its hi-tech system integration facility in India. In its recent discussion paper, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) suggested that foreign direct investment in the defence production be raised from 26 per cent to 74 per cent, subject to system integration facility (SIF) in India.

It had said that whenever the Ministry of Defence invites the "Requests for Proposals (RFP)" for its future weaponry requirements, it must be with the condition of SIF in the country. However, according to sources, doubts were raised in certain government quarters whether such terms would be acceptable to global defence vendors, which have remained reluctant to share technology.

"The imposition by the MoD of a condition in an RFP that the successful bidder set up a SIF (or use an already existing facility) in India with a certain minimum percentage of value addition in India would be consistent with encouraging OEMs to commit resource, capability and capital India's growing Defence industry," BAE Systems said in its response to the discussion paper to the DIPP.

Besides, BAE, a mega European aerospace is "in talk with the government on the SIF issue and seem to be ready to toe our line," a senior official said.

As one of the largest users and importers of conventional defence equipment, India's cumulative defence budget has been growing at 13.4 per cent since 2006-07 rising up to Rs 1,47,344 crore (USD 31.9 billion). Of this, about 40 per cent is the capital expenditure and 70 per cent of which is met through imports.. 

US, Israel ink deal on short-range missile defense

(Reuters) - The United States and Israel on Monday agreed to advance work on a weapons system that would help Israel defend against short-range ballistic missiles like those launched by Hezbollah during the Lebanon war of 2006.
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency announced the deal late on Monday evening, saying it underscored "the continued commitment of the United States to the defense of Israel."
News of the agreement about the so-called "David's Sling" missile defense project comes amid continued tensions between Israel and Iran, and Russia's decision last week to ban the export of high-precision missile systems and other weapons to Iran.
Army Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, signed the agreement with several top-ranking Israeli military officers, including Rear Admiral Ophir Shoham, who heads Israel's defense research agency.
The agreement continues efforts initiated under a U.S.-Israeli short-range missile defense agreement signed in 2008, the agency said.
The new weapons system will help Israel bolster its defenses against short-range and theater ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets, and cruise missiles, it said.
It includes continued development of the Stunner interceptor being developed by Israel's Rafael and Raytheon Co as part of Israel's layered missile defense system.
"David's Sling will also address the threat posed by the types of inexpensive and easily-produced short-range missiles and rockets used during the 2006 Lebanon War," the agency said in a statement.
It will also advance low-altitude intercept technology and provide that technology to benefit U.S. and Israeli industry, it said.

Sarkozy eyes defence deals in Dec. India visit

(Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit India in December, officials said on Tuesday, with an eye on increasing French firms' share of the country's 10-year $50-billion defence spending.
Indian Foreign Ministry officials said the visit will take place tentatively on Dec. 6-7, but the dates are to be confirmed.
French daily newspaper La Tribune reported the state visit, initially planned for spring, will take place from Dec. 4-7.
Sarkozy will plead the case for French defence firms to India, which at present prefers weapons from Russian, Israeli and U.S. contractors, the daily said, citing anonymous sources.
French ties with India hit a snag over commercial disputes and what India felt was a snub after a lightning visit by Sarkozy in 2008, the paper said.
While Russian, U.S. and Israeli firms have won contracts topping a billion dollars annually, France had just one major contract in 2005 to supply submarines worth $2.5 billion.
The one (contract) that is advanced enough to be signed during the visit is the modernisation of 51 Mirage 2000-H for 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), the paper said.
The contract could reassure Thales (TCFP.PA) and Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA), who are awaiting a decision from Brazil on the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.
India is set to decide on an $11-billion deal for 126 fighter jets where Dassault's Rafale is back as a contender after it was initially knocked out of the race for technical reasons last year.
Sarkozy's visit could also lead to the finalisation of a contract with nuclear group Areva (CEPFi.PA), which 18 months ago signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of two reactors at Jaitapur in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Indian Navy To Get Another Floating Dock By 2014

The Indian navy soon will add one more floating dock to repair and refit warships at sea.

by: AviationWeek, The request for information (RFI) for the second Floating Dock Navy (FDN) facility was issued to shipbuilders worldwide in March. The new facility will be smaller than the existing one and will be ready by 2014. It could lift up to 8,000 tons once fully operational and is expected to cost around Rs 250-300 crore ($55-66 million).

The FDN-1 comes under the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), headquartered at Port Blair. It is the only such facility in Asia, and the Indian navy sees it as strategically located due to its ability to refit a ship. The ANC also is known as India’s only triservice command. 
The FDN-1 is the second-largest vessel of the Indian navy, following its aircraft carrier, but falling short only by 2.2 meters. Built by IHHI of Japan in 1987 at a cost of Rs 20 crore, it can dock all Indian navy vessels except carriers and oil tankers.
“These are maintenance-intense docks and are supported on 12 anchors. It can lift up to 11,500 tons,” says Commander A.K. Sharma, officer-in-charge of FDN-1. 
It is 188.7 meters (619 ft.) long, 40 meters wide and 15 meters high. The navy is keen to have a world-class design for FDN-2 with the Maritime Classification Society and European Maritime Society’s approval.
FDN-1 sunk in November 2002 during heavy floods and was later repaired in Sri Lanka. The new RFI specifies that self-sufficient docks should be able to withstand severe tsunami waves without any major damage to docked ships, and its pontoon deck should be suitably strengthened to cater to off-center docking.
China recently built the world’s largest floating dock at its coastal city of Dalian. It went into production mode in 2006 and is a 300,000-ton floating dock that is 340 meters long, 76 meters wide and 27 meters deep.

September 28, 2010

Eurocopter’s X3 Hybrid Helicopter Starts Test Flights

Eurocopter has begun test flights of the X3 demonstrator for its innovative High-speed, long-range Hybrid Helicopter (H3) concept, which combines excellent vertical takeoff and landing capabilities with fast cruise speeds of more than 220 kts.
The X3 demonstrator is equipped with two turboshaft engines that power a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings. This creates an advanced transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter. The concept is tailored to applications where operational costs, flight duration and mission success depend directly on the maximum cruising speed.A wide range of utilizations are envisaged for the H3 configuration, including long-distance search and rescue (SAR) missions, coast guard duties, border patrol missions, passenger transport and inter-city shuttle services. It also may be well-suited for military missions in special forces operations, troop transport, combat SAR and medical evacuation – benefitting from the hybrid aircraft’s combination of higher cruise speeds with excellent vertical takeoff/landing performance. “Innovation is at the core of Eurocopter’s strategy to continue its leadership in the global helicopter sector, and the X3 demonstrator represents a key element of our innovation roadmap,” said Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter’s President & CEO. “The teams at Eurocopter took this hybrid helicopter from concept to first flight in less than three years, which demonstrates their skills, capabilities and dedication to defining the future of rotary-wing aircraft.”
The X3 demonstrator’s first flight occurred September 6 in southern France at the Istres Center of “DGA Flight Testing”, which is operated by the French DGA government agency and ensures a secure and controlled environment. Initial testing will continue through December with reduced power, progressively opening the flight envelope to speeds of approximately 180 kts. After a three-month upgrade, X3 flights will resume in March 2011 with the goal of reaching sustained cruise speeds in excess of 220 kts. (Source : EADS)

Russia to decrease order for Mistrals

Russia can afford procurement of only two Mistral class landing docks, said Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov.

According to him, the defense ministry plans to spend RUR 19 trillions for new arms in 2011-2020; this sum includes expenses for acquisition of not more than two helicopter carriers. Import of two such carriers is provided by state defense program for the nearest decade, but Russian Navy cannot afford to build other two ships at domestic shipyards, said the defense minister.

At present, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Development complete approval of 46% increase of arms procurement budget – from RUR 13 trillions to RUR 19 trillions. "This is minimal sum necessary to equip our armed forces with new weapons", underlined the minister.

Two Additional Phalcon AWACS for Indian Air Force: Press Trust of India

The Press Trust of India today reported that the Indian Air Force will look to purchase two more Phalcon AWACS. These are in addition to the three Phalcon AWACS procured earlier. The IAF currently operates the IAI EL/M-2075 Phalcon AWACS radar on an Ilyushin Il-76 platform. A total of 3 such systems have been ordered of which two have been delivered while the delivery of the third is expected by December 2010.

The IAI EL/M-2075 Phalcon is an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) radar system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elta Electronics Industries of Israel. Its primary objective is to provide intelligence to maintain air superiority and conduct surveillance. The Federation of American Scientists is quoted to have stated that the Phalcon was the most advanced AEW&C system. The system is currently in-service with four countries–Israel, India, Chile and Singapore.

The PTI report also mentions that in the long run, the Indian Air Force looks to operate ten additional AWAC systems. However it is not clear if these will be Phalcon AWACS or AWACS developed by the DRDO. DRDO is working on an AWAC system to be built upon Embraer-145 jets. Three Embraer-145 jets are being acquired for USD $210 million from Brazil.

Air Force MRCA Deal - Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Emerge Front Runners After Field Trials

After exhaustive trials of six fighter jets, reports indicate that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has made its choice clear to the Government on the fighter jets needed. Frontrunners for the force are French fighter Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon built by the European consortium.

Bernhard Gerwert, Chief, EADS, is quoted to have said "If you are taking into account the portfolio of EADS we can bring the bridge between civil aviation and military aviation." The Americans and Russians have lost out. Boeing's F18 no longer a frontrunner and Sweden's Gripen too falling off the Indian radar. Despite MiG 35s big thunder, its engine failing to impress while the F-16, according to the IAF has no future.

Another reason favoring Rafale and Eurofighter is political. Thomas Matussek, German Ambassador, "We regard India as a strategic security partner and this is why we do not insist on an end user monitoring agreement period." So when the mother of all defence deals is signed for the 126 Multi-Role Combat Aircraft chances are good that either Rafale or the Eurofighter will fly away with the Rs 42,000 crore deal.

Air Force Conducts Field Trials
Flight evaluation of the fighters started in August 2009 at Bangalore. The F/A-18E/F and F-16IN completed their field trials by mid-September 2009. The Rafale began trails in late September 2009. As of late October 2009, the IAF has completed the trials of F/A-18, F-16, Rafale, and MiG-35. According to Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, all the aircraft tested so far "are going neck and neck". On 23 January 2010, India's ambassador to Italy stated that the Eurofighter Typhoon was in the lead.

The Gripen was the last of the aircraft to be evaluated by the IAF. On the 22 March, two Gripens left Bangalore, one to Jaisalmer and the other to Leh, Ladakh. At Jaisalmer AFS, a Gripen would undertake the hot weather trials and also a dummy run and bomb drop at the Pokhran Firing Range. The other Gripen headed towards Leh, would perform high altitude tests involving landing, refueling and restarting engines.

Prior to the Gripen, 4 out of the 5 aircraft had issues restarting their engines during trials conducted in Leh. Updated bids have been requested by the MOD on 28 April 2010, according to an MOD official. Meanwhile GRIPEN NG DEMO aircraft has passed its high altitude tests in Leh and also other hot weather tests. Now the process of down selecting will begin. European fighters have become 25% cheaper. CEO of Eurofighter consortorium says that he now has more than 50% chance in the competition.
(source : india defense )

Indian Navy Leads Coastal Security Exercise Neptune-II off Lakshadweep Islands

The Coastal Security Exercise off Lakshadweep islands named Neptune-II was successfully held from 14th September to 16th September 10. The Exercise, second one in the series for the Islands, and scheduled by the Commander in Chief Coastal Defence also saw the participation of elements from the Indian Army and Indian Air Force this time in addition to all other agencies involved in Coastal Security.

In a special briefing conducted for the Media on the conduct of the exercise, by Commodore MR Ajaya Kumar, Naval Officer in Charge and DIG BK Loshali, Commander Coastguard District headquarters No 4; they expressed satisfaction at having achieved the objectives of the exercise. The officers praised the high level of security consciousness in the Lakshadweep Islands and emphasized the prominent role played by the Lakshadweep administration and the Police there in the success of the exercise.

The conduct of the Exercise Neptune –II, involved the security agencies being divided into playing the role of anti national elements and coastal defence force. All the attacking elements were successfully neutralized by the Coastal defence force during the exercise, signifying considerable progress in the crystallization of the coastal defence architecture. The village Dweep Panchayats and Island vigilance Committees played a robust role in successfully thwarting the attacking force. The commitment levels and involvement of all the participating agencies came for fulsome praise from the officials who said that the guard was not let down even for a moment in the 49 hour long exercise.

A slew of measures are on the anvil as a result of valuable lessons gleaned during the conduct of the exercise. Prominent among them are:- increasing surveillance of the uninhabited islands, positioning of air assets at Lakshadweep Islands, strict implementation of access control at the embarkation and disembarkation points, establishment of watchtowers and radar chains along the islands, acquisition and training on more boats for the Police and measures to further strengthen civil aviation security. Commodore Ajay Saxena, Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Headquarters Southern Naval Command and a host of officers from the participating agencies attended the briefing.
(India Defense)

Vizag to build torpedoes

Visakhapatnam, Sept. 27: The minister of state for defence, Dr M. Pallam Raju, on Monday laid the foundation stone for the new Bharat Dynamics Limited production facility for manufacture of underwater weapon systems in Visakhapatnam.

Talking to mediapersons at the site in Autonagar, he observed that BDL and DRDO were playing a crucial role in the development of India’s weapons capability.

“BDL is playing a key role in harnessing our capabilities to deter threats from outside,” he said.

Answering questions about the Chinese build up near Kashmir, Mr Raju made it clear that India was manning its borders well.

The Navy, Coast Guard and the marine police have been empowered to protect India’s coastline keeping in view the danger posed by terrorism, he said.

Regarding the setting up of the base near Rambilli, the minister said that the modalities were being worked out and it would soon become a reality.

The minister congratulated the BDL for the growth it had achieved in the last few years. He said he sincerely hoped that they would cross the `1,000 crore mark by next year and advance to become a full-fledged Navaratna in the years to come. He added that that the services of ancillary and subsidiary units would be necessary to meet the requirements of BDL.

The major general (retd), Mr Ravi Khetarpal, chairman and MD of BDL, observed that the company specialised in manufacturing anti-tank guided missiles, surface to air missiles and torpedoes.
(source : Deccan Chronicle)

Strategic Long Range Bombers : Mission Accomplished

The Long  range aerospace power of today’s airforce is a potent force deterrence of both conventional and nuclear conflict, long range bombers platforms are able to Conventionally destroy multiple target per sortie. Creating desired effects at the strategic operational and tactical levels simultaneously .

If we compare major super power’s  in world like  US and Russia has major role in it, for ex .,   B-52 , B-1 and B-2 is considered to be backbone of US airforce for Longer range strategic Operations , on other hand Russia the former Soviet union has large arsenal of long Range strategic bombers like Tu-95 bear , Tu-22 M3 Backfire ,Tu-160 Blackjack for its Nuclear and conventional role.

The Tu-160 is also significantly larger and faster than the B-1B and has a greater combat range with 7,300 km  along with   service ceiling   49,200 ft  and maximum speed of  Mach 2.05 .

As per report  Twenty  B-2s  are operated by the USAF . which is "low observable" stealth  technology designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses , B-2s were first used in combat to drop bombs on Serbia during the Kosovo War and  US also continued in Iraq and Afghanistan wars .

          As per  India which has many powerful  neighbors on boarder side ,which need decent volume of longer range bombers , but has only 4 nos Tu-22 M3 backfire for Land attack purpose , which has been rented from Russia in year 2004 from its instant stockpile . These bombers are totally different from normal fighter jets could be used for more longer range with better payload for guided /unguided weapons to strike deep inside enemy territory . Some official news also confirms china is already manufacturing massive nos of  Tu 22 m3 backfire version for its airforce / Naval purpose with 100 % Transfer of Technology from Russia .

India already ordered 8 nos of P8I Poseidon long range ship / Submarine attack Naval based Aircraft from Boeing  to replace its old Russian Naval bombers , As for  Airforce  we Still Need more Land attack bombers like Tu-160 Blackjack which is considered to be superior to other Strategic Bombers . India should
Realize the need of Strategic bombers  incase of  war (period) against Red Giant .

(My First Article is Published in ‘ SECURITY ’ Defense News  MAGAZINE .)