December 31, 2010

                           HAPPY NEW YEAR 

  May God Bless You All with Peace and Prosperity

December 30, 2010

N Korea builds up special forces, tanks: S Korea

SEOUL (AFP), brahmand : North Korea has added 20,000 soldiers to its feared special forces over the past two years and deployed an unspecified number of new battle tanks, South Korea's defence ministry said Thursday.

In a two-yearly defence white paper, the ministry said the size of the Special Forces had risen by 20,000 to 200,000 over the past two years.

But the total size of the North's military remained unchanged at about 1.19 million, the paper said.

It also confirmed the communist state deployed its new battle tank, "Pokpung-ho" ("Storm Tiger"), which reportedly made its debut in 2002.
North Korea claims the Pokpung-ho is comparable or superior to the Russian T-90 developed in the 1990s.

The paper did not say how many of the new tanks the North has deployed for operational use.

The overall number of North Korean tanks rose to some 4,100 as of last month from 3,900 in 2008, the paper said.

But most of the newly added tanks were old-style equipment deployed in the rear, a military intelligence official told a briefing on the policy paper.

Cross-border tensions are high after the North last month shelled a South Korean border island, killing four people including civilians.

China deploying carrier killer missile: US commander

(Washington (PTI),  brahmand)  : China is developing a new anti-ship ballistic missile that can sink US aircrafts, a top Pentagon naval commander has claimed.He also said China's other military developments are part of the Chinese ambition to extend its area of influence beyond the region and become a global military power.

As such, in an interview to Asahi Simbhun, the popular Japanese newspaper, Admiral Robert Williard, Commander of the US Pacific Command, has warned of an arms race in the region and shift of balance of power in Asia, which he noted is not good for stability in Asia.

"I would say that the military balance is undoubtedly shifting as China's military expands faster than other regional nations, but the strategic balance remains in flux," Willard told the popular Japanese newspaper in an interview given in Honolulu, headquarter of the Pacific Command.
"The anti-ship ballistic missile system in China has undergone extensive testing. An analogy using a Western term would be initial operational capability, whereby it has--I think China would perceive that it has an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it.

"It will continue to undergo testing, I would imagine, for several more years," he told the newspaper.

"I think that the component parts of the anti-ship ballistic missile have been developed and tested," he said.

"The anti-access/area denial capabilities, fully employed, will present a challenge to military operations in the region. That will have to be overcome," he said.

The PACOM Commander said the anti-access/area denial systems being developed by China, more or less, range countries, archipelagos such as Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, so there are many countries in the region that are falling within the envelope of this, of an A2/AD capability of China.

"That should be concerning--and we know is concerning--to those countries," he said.

"While it may be largely designed to assure China of its ability to affect military operations within its regional waters, it is an expanded capability that ranges beyond the first island chain and overlaps countries in the region. For that reason, it is concerning to Southeast Asia, (and) it remains concerning to the United States" he said.

"This kind of capability should be a concern to the region, and it poses a challenge to any naval or air operations that would be conducted in that area were it to be employed," he said in response to a question, but added that this is not affecting US operations capabilities as of now.

Willard said the tremendous advancement in China's military itself is shifting the overall balance of military powers in the region.

It has been rare in history that any country underpinned by the kind of economic power that China possesses has developed its military so rapidly, he said.

"But at the same time, the other countries in the Asia-Pacific region that are troubled by and uncertain of China's intentions are also advancing their own military capabilities, and this is particularly true in the acquisition of submarines and advanced aircraft.

"We are seeing not only China advance, but (also) the other militaries in the region that can afford it seek to advance alongside," Willard said.

"I think that the nations in the region have a responsibility to be able to maintain security within their territory, and not all of the nations in the Asia-Pacific are self-sufficient militarily.

To an extent, the acquisition of systems (and) the advancement of our regional militaries will assist all of us in sharing the responsibility to maintain security across Asia-Pacific," he said.

"To the extent the acquisitions are specifically to counter China or any other nation's growing military, it would raise the question whether or not those acquisitions are properly balanced to achieve self-sufficiency or whether it's targeted against counter-balancing other military powers," Willard said.

India to test a submarine-based ballistic missile

(Rusnavy): India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) started preparations for test launch of a submarine-based ballistic missile (SLBM), reports Express Buzz. The missile will be launched from underwater position off the Andhra Pradesh state. Expectedly, the trials will be held in Jan 2011.

DRDO does not specify which missile is to be tested. At present, India develops two missiles of this class – K-4 (Agni-III SLBM) and K-15 (Sagarika). As for directors of test range Chandipur, the new SLBM will be launched by underwater stand which is almost identical to submarine.

Tests of K-type ballistic missiles will be carried out by abovementioned stand for next several years, since the country does not have a missile-tubed submarine so far. In prospect, trials will be held by Indian nuclear sub Arihant launched in 2009; the sub is to be commissioned in 2011.

According to DRDO, both K-4 and K-15 SLBMs are absolutely ready for tests. K-15 Sagarika will be armed with a 1-ton warhead capable to destroy targets at 700 km. The missile has a weight of 17 tons; its length is 10 meters and diameter is 0.74 meters. It is known that ground-based variant of the missile (Shaurya) is being developed on the basis of K-15.

Being a naval version of ground-based Agni-III SLBM, K-4 will be armed with 2.5-ton warhead capable to destroy targets at the distance up to 3,500 km. Other specifications of this missile are undisclosed so far. Reportedly, it will be smaller than Agni-III and armed with nuclear warheads (yield of 200-250 kiloton).

Russian missile maker to build two plants, expand exports

(RIA Novosti):  Russia's Almaz-Antei conglomerate will receive a government loan to build two new production facilities to expand the export of missile defense systems, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Wednesday.
The conglomerate's core products are the S-300 and S-400 missile defense systems, most of which are procured by the Russian military, he said, adding that exports were limited.
"However, these goods, to so speak, are in great demand on the international market," he noted.
The S-300PS Grumble model entered service with the Russian Armed Forces in 1985. It has an effective range of 90 kilometers (56 miles).
The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) is designed to engage airborne targets at distances of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), double the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot.
Russia currently has three S-400 battalions.

December 29, 2010

Russia chooses Mistral

(Rusnavy) : An international consortium consisting of French company DCNS and Russian JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation won the Russian defense ministry's tender for assault landing ships. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said that to his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy in the phone talk on Friday, Dec 24, reports press service of Russian president's administration.

The consortium offers joint construction of two ships at initial stage, and further building of two additional vessels of this type. Presumably, Russia will be represented by JSC Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard, and France will participate with a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.

Both presidents complimented on talks finishing; as for them, this is an unprecedented cooperative project. According to Medvedev and Sarkozy, joint construction of helicopter carriers for Russian Navy will promote development of industry, help to resolve employment problem in both countries, and demonstrate "will and ability of Russia and France to develop large-scale partnership in all areas, including defense and security".

Chinese and Japanese fighter aircraft Intercept each other

(Aasahi.com) : Japanese officials, already concerned about China’s growing naval presence in the region, say Chinese military aircraft have started harassing Japanese Self-Defense Forces’ aircraft over the East China Sea.
Ever since the September collision between a Chinese trawler and two Japan Coast Guard vessels near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Chinese military aircraft have started to approach SDF aircraft close enough to identify with the naked eye, sources said.
Along with this new behavior since October, China’s air activities against Japan have been substantially stepped up since  earlier this year. The number of scrambles that the Air SDF has launched against Chinese aircraft since the beginning of this fiscal year had already reached 44 as of Dec. 22, according to the Defense Ministry.
The figure is the highest in the past five years.
The Maritime SDF has been deploying EP-3 signal intelligence reconnaissance aircraft on top of P-3C patrol aircraft to the airspace northwest of the Nansei island chain on an almost daily basis to monitor Chinese air and naval activities in the area.
The Air SDF routinely intercepts electronic signals with its signal intelligence aircraft.
These reconnaissance aircraft fly within Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and around the median line between Japan and China. Because the ADIZ is not the same as territorial airspace,foreign aircraft flying into the zone are not considered to be violating airspace. But failure to notify authorities beforehand about a flight into the zone inevitably leads to aircraft being scrambled.
Until recently, Chinese fighter jets and fighter-bombers had tended to avoid entering Japan’s ADIZ. But that changed in October, a month after the Senkaku Islands incident that triggered a major diplomatic row between the two countries.
In October, a JH-7 fighter-bomber of the Chinese Navy not only entered Japan’s ADIZ, but also flew past the median line and approached close enough to make a visual identification of the SDF aircraft. Japan considers the median line as marking the boundary of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
When SDF aircraft were scrambled, the Chinese aircraft turned around and went back. The two nations are scrambling their aircraft in response to what the other side is doing.
One military insider pointed out that this could lead to a dangerous situation.
“Chinese military pilots are less skilled than Japanese and American pilots and they fly erratically at times,” said one official.
There is concern that frequent scrambles could escalate into a major incident like the one in 2001 when a U.S. Navy EP-3 collided in midair with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea, leading to the death of the Chinese pilot.
Chinese aircraft have also become much more bold in their surveillance of Japan’s aircraft.
On Dec. 7, during the “Keen Sword” joint military exercise between Japan and the United States, F-15 fighter jets scrambled out of Naha Air Base because an unidentified aircraft was approaching the ADIZ. It eventually entered the ADIZ and flew along the Japan-China median line.
The ASDF fighter pilots visually confirmed that it was a Chinese Navy Y-8X maritime patrol aircraft and returned to the base.
On March 12, a Y-8 airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft for the first time flew past the median line and approached near Japan.
There is speculation that the range of land-based radars along China’s coast line facing the East China Sea extends only as far as the median line. However, if an AEW aircraft with a powerful radar system aboard should approach Japan by flying past the median line, Chinese military aircraft theoretically could expand their range of operations to the entire Nansei island chain, including the main Okinawa island.
As of Dec. 22, SDF aircraft had been scrambled 44 times against Chinese aircraft this fiscal year, according to Defense Ministry officials. The figure is already double that for all of fiscal 2006.
One reason for the change in China’s policy is evident from a report in a military organ, which said that “Beijing did not consider its EEZ to be part of international waters.”
Based on that logic, the report criticized the activity of U.S. military aircraft in the skies over China’s EEZ, a sign that the Chinese military is eager to limit such activities.

December 28, 2010

Russian Air Force receives new Su-34 fighter-bombers

(RIA Novosti) Russia's Air Force received four new Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers on Tuesday as part of its current modernization program, an Air Force spokesman said.
Russia started full-scale production of Su-34s in 2008 at a Novosibirsk-based aircraft-manufacturing plant, a subsidiary of the Sukhoi Aircraft Holding.
A total of 70 aircraft will be delivered by 2015 to replace outdated Su-24 Fencer fighter bombers, which are currently undergoing modernization to prolong their service life.
Designed by Sukhoi, the $36-million Su-34 fighter-bomber is a two-seat strike aircraft fitted with twin AL-31MF afterburning turbofan engines.
It is designed to deliver high-precision strikes on heavily-defended targets under any weather conditions, day or night, and is equipped with a 30-mm GSh-301 cannon, up to 12 Alamo or Archer AAMs, ASMs, and bombs.

US Congress notified of possible sale of 22 APACHE Helicopters to India

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on December 22 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of various engines, equipment, weapons, training, parts and logistical support for a possible Direct Commercial Sale of 22 AH-64D Block III Apache helicopters. The complete package is worth approximately $1.4 billion.
The Government of India has requested proposals from several foreign suppliers, including the United States, to provide the next generation attack helicopter for the Indian Air Force. In this competition, the Government of India has yet to select the Boeing-United States Army proposal. This notification is being made in advance so that, in the event that the Boeing- U.S. Army proposal is selected, the United States might move as quickly as possible to implement the sale. If the Government of India selects the Boeing-U.S. Army proposal, the Government of India will request a possible sale of 50 T700-GE-701D engines, 12 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars, 12 AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometers, 812 AGM-114L-3 HELLFIRE LONGBOW missiles, 542 AGM-114R-3 HELLFIRE II missiles, 245 STINGER Block I-92H missiles, and 23 Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, rockets, training and dummy missiles, 30mm ammunition, transponders, simulators, global positioning system/inertial navigation systems, communication equipment, spare and repair parts; tools and test equipment, support equipment, repair and return support, personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support to be provided in conjunction with a proposed direct commercial sale of 22 AH-64D Block III APACHE Helicopters. The estimated cost is $1.4 billion.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia.
The proposed sale in support of AH-64D helicopters will improve India’s capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. This support for the AH-64D will provide an incremental increase in India’s defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernize its armed forces. India will have no difficulty absorbing this helicopter support into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

December 27, 2010

China deployed Su-30 MKK & J-11 B Fighter in Tibet to Threaten India

                                                             photo source : asiadefense

China deployed Su-30 MKK and J-11B Advanced Heavy Fighter in Tibet to Threaten India   

DRDO develops Aerostat radar to strengthen air defence

NEW DELHI (PTI), brahmand  Premier defence research organisation DRDO has indigenously developed an Aerostat radar which will help to strengthen the air defence network of the armed forces and boost the country's surveillance capabilities.

Developed by DRDO's Agra-based Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) laboratory, the Aerostat is undergoing final trials with full payload and is expected to be delivered to the armed forces in the near future, DRDO officials told PTI here.

The Aerostat radars, which basically include sensors mounted on blimp-like large balloons tethered to the ground with long cables, are a long-standing requirement of the Air Force.

The DRDO-made aerostat radar has been designed to rise one km above the ground and its payload includes electro-optical sensors and equipment for communication intelligence, they said.

The armed forces have till now relied on Israeli aerostat radar systems, which have been deployed along the western frontiers and allow the defence forces to keep a watch on flying objects well outside its territory.

The radars on Aerostats can be operated either in a 360 degree search mode and can stay afloat round-the-clock for four to five weeks at one go. They are much cheaper and easier to operate than AWACS.

India has recently acquired three AWACS systems from Israel and has plans of acquiring two more similar systems in the near future.

Both AWACS and Aerostat radars act as 'eyes in the sky' and help in enhancing the situational awareness of the theatre commanders to detect hostile aircraft and can be decisive in aerial combat operations by effectively positioning air defence fighters against them.

Russian Ground Forces' Air Defense Force to become part of united aerospace defense system

(RIA Novosti):  The Russian Ground Forces' Air Defense Force will become part of a united aerospace defense system, the Air Defense Force's chief has said.
"In the course of the creation of a united aerospace defense system, the Russian Ground Forces' Air Defense Force will become one of its most important parts which together with other aerospace defense elements will be responsible for air defense and non-strategic missile defense at infrastructure and military facilities and troop deployment sites," Major General Alexander Leonov told journalists in Moscow on Saturday.
The Russian Ground Forces' Air Defense Force includes such air defense systems as S-300, Buk (SA-11 Gadfly), Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound), Top (SA-15 Gauntlet), Tunguska ( SA-19 Grison), Strela-10 (SA-13 Gopher), and Shilka (Awl).

December 25, 2010

Submarine St. Petersburg to continue trials in 2011

(Rusnavy) : Being commissioned into Russian Navy early May, diesel electric submarine St. Petersburg will continue trial operations in 2011, said director general of Rubin design bureau Andrei Diachkov at the press conference.

He reminded that in 2010 the sub had taken part in a naval parade and an exercise.

Answering the question about batch production of such submarines, A. Diachkov said that "the talks on new contracts with Russian Navy are in progress". "It will be possible to talk on further construction of Lada class subs only after completion of trials program in 2011", he said.

Diachkov said that the Navy ordered three Project 636 Varshavyanka submarines to be built at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard, which "does not mean that Russian Navy gives up the Lada project", he underlined.

According to him, Rosoboronexport conducts marketing work on Amur project which is the export variant of Lada. "Now we have two requests from potential orderers", added A. Diachkov.

Diesel submarine St. Petersburg was laid down in Dec 1997 at Admiralteyskie Verfi. This is a lead sub of Project 677 Lada (export variant – Amur-1650) developed by Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering. The launching ceremony was held in Oct 2004.

The sub's displacement is 1,765 tons; length is 67 meters; beam is 7.1 meters; submerged speed is 21 knots; surface speed is 10 knots; test depth is 300 meters; endurance is 45 days.

The submarine is armed with six 533-mm torpedo tubes (combat load is 18 torpedoes), and covered with new hydro-acoustic coating which provides higher silence. Power of main motor is 4,100 kW.

According to experts, the sub's features are high combat power, improved silence, long endurance and fuel range. Comparing to the previous projects, the sub's noise level has been significantly decreased. St. Petersburg is the world's first submarine equipped with environmental security systems making her ecologically safe.

France wins tender to build warships for Russia

(RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy over the phone that France has won a tender to build amphibious assault ships for Russia.
The winner is a consortium comprised of French DCNS and Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), the Kremlin press service said.
At the initial stage, two Mistral-class helicopter carriers will be built jointly by France and Russia with another two to be constructed later in Russia.
Russia will perform 20% of the construction work at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, USC spokesman Igor Ryabov said.
"Subsequently the share of the project's localization in Russia will increase," he said.
Russia has been in talks with France on the purchase of Mistral-class warships on a 2+2 scheme whereby Russia will buy one or two French-built Mistrals and build another two under license at home.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.
The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.
Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.

December 24, 2010

Congress Wants Ship Missile Defense Plan

(Avaition Week ) : Congress(US) wants the U.S. Navy to submit a report by March 31 to show how the service plans to incorporate its ship-based ballistic missile defense requirements with its force structure needs, according to the recently passed defense authorization legislation.
The report should include :
• An analysis of whether the requirement for sea-based missile defense can be accommodated by upgrading Aegis ships that exist as of the date of the report or by procuring additional combatant surface vessels.
• A discussion of whether such sea-based missile defense will require increasing the overall number of combatant surface vessels beyond the requirement of 88 cruisers and destroyers in the Navy’s 313-ship fleet plan.
• A discussion of the process for determining the number of Aegis ships needed by each commander of the combatant commands to fulfill ballistic missile defense requirements, including the number of such ships required to support the “phased, adaptive approach” to ballistic missile defense in Europe.
• A discussion of the impact of Aegis Ashore missile defense deployments, as well as deployment of other elements of the ballistic missile defense system, on Aegis ballistic missile defense ship force structure requirements.
• A discussion of the potential effect of ballistic missile defense operations on the ability of the Navy to meet surface fleet demands in each geographic area and for each mission set.
• An evaluation of how the Aegis ballistic missile defense program can succeed as part of a balanced fleet of adequate size and strength to meet the security needs of the U.S.
• A description of both the shortfalls and the benefits of expected technological advancements in the sea-based missile defense program.
• A description of the anticipated plan for deployment of Aegis ballistic missile defense ships within the context of the fleet-response plan.

India to Receive AGM-84L HARPOON Block II Missiles Worth $200 Million

(Defpro News): The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified U.S. Congress on 21 December of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of India of 21 AGM-84L HARPOON Block II Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $200 million.

The Government of India has requested a possible sale of 21 AGM-84L HARPOON Block II Missiles, 5 ATM-84L HARPOON Block II Training Missiles, Captive Air Training Missiles, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $200 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia.

India intends to use the missiles on its Indian Navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft which will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defense of critical sea lines of communication. India has already purchased HARPOON Block II missiles for integration on the Indian Air Force Jaguar aircraft and will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and Delex Systems Incorporated in Vienna, Virginia. Details of a potential offset agreement in connection with the proposed sale are not known as of the date of this transmittal.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require annual trips to India involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support, and oversight on for approximately five years.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Medvedev assured India the carrier would be delivered in time

(Rusnavy) : Delay in delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to Indian Navy is not related with India's military cooperation with other countries; construction is on schedule and all commitments will be met, said Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

"Everything is good. As for now, the construction goes in accordance with the schedule; all agreements concluded with Indian government will be implemented in time", said the president answering questions of Indian students whether delay of Admiral Gorshkov's delivery is related with India's cooperation with the U.S.

"Admiral Gorshkov will join Indian Navy under another name and will protect your national interests", promised Medvedev.

He admitted that the carrier's building had been delayed due to different reasons, including commercial and technological issues. Russian leader emphasized, however, that the timeouts are "by no means associated with India's cooperation with other countries".

"We're not jealous at all and take it easy", Medvedev said.

"It is our belief that Russia and India are preferred partners in the area of security and military technical cooperation", pointed out Medvedev.

Russia able to up nuclear arms potential after new START treaty — senator

(RIA Novosti):  Russia will be able to increase its nuclear arms potential after a new arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia is ratified, a top Russian senator said on Friday.
"If one reads the text of the document carefully then it becomes clear that Americans will really have to reduce the number of [nuclear] warheads, while if we [Russia] want to reach the levels defined by the document, will actually have to increase the amount of warheads," Mikhail Margelov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, said in an interview with TVTc television channel.
The U.S. Senate passed the new START treaty by a 71-26 vote on Wednesday in what is seen as a major foreign policy victory for U.S. President Barack Obama, who is eager to "reset" relations with Russia.
The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, begins first reading debates on the ratification of the new treaty on Friday.
The new treaty, which has won the backing of the world's top figures, including NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, trims the Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 nuclear warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

December 23, 2010

Boeing to pitch ‘diet’ P-8 to Indian Navy

( StratPost ) : US defense major Boeing will be pitching a ‘diet’ version of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft in response to the Request for Information (RFI) issued by the Indian Navy for Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) Aircraft, due by the end of the year, next week.
Boeing has already begun work on the first of eight P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft to be supplied to the Indian Navy, in a deal concluded in the beginning of 2009 at a cost of US $ 2.1 billion.
Company sources told StratPost that even though the derivative proposed for the MRMR RFI will look the same as the P-8I and be based on the 737 platform, it will have smaller tanks and a shorter range and will only have surface warfare capability. The P-8I is capable of both surface as well as sub-surface warfare.
The RFI also asks vendors if the aircraft can carry out electronic intelligence gathering and counter-measures, besides maritime patrol and search and rescue within an operational envelope of 350 nautical miles or almost 650 kilometers, as well as a patrol endurance of at least three and a half hours. It also specifies a requirement that the aircraft be capable of carrying at least two anti-ship missiles and a jamming pod.
As with the P-8I, the navy has specified in the RFI that certain pieces of equipment must be indigenous, like, IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) Interrogator with Secure Mode, MSS Terminal – BFE, Datalink and Speech Secrecy Equipment and vendors must indicate their commitment to integrate this equipment into the aircraft.

South Korea set for new drill as North raps 'warmongers'

(Zeenews) :  Seoul: South Korea's military prepared on Thursday for a new show of force involving artillery fire, missiles and fighter planes, with backing from Washington but criticism from North Korea of "warmonger" tactics.

The one-hour live-fire exercise at Pocheon, 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the tense land border with North Korea, would be the largest ground-air joint fire drill this year, an Army spokesman said.

It was to begin at 2:00 pm (0500 GMT), he said.

Military officials said 105 types of weaponry -- including tanks, anti-tank missiles, attack helicopters, self-propelled guns, multiple launch rockets and six fighter jets -- would be mobilised at Pocheon.

The Army spokesman said it would be the first time multiple launch rockets had been mobilised in such a joint fire drill.
The Navy is also conducting a firing exercise off the east coast.

The South says its drills are defensive, but tensions have been high on the peninsula since the North shelled a South Korean island near the contested western sea border one month ago.

The North said its shelling was in response to a live-fire drill on Yeonpyeong island. The South said it had been staging such artillery exercises for 37 years and the North was seeking a pretext to attack.
 Seoul staged a repeat drill on the same island on Monday, backed up by jet fighters and warships, but the North did not follow through with threats to hit back.

Some analysts said Seoul's show of force deterred the North. Others said the hardline regime had been told by close ally China to exercise restraint before a visit to Washington by President Hu Jintao on January 19.

The North's official news agency on Thursday branded the South's military as "warmongers".

It described the four-day naval exercise as "fanatical drills for invasion of North Korea" and accused Seoul of trying to disguise the "aggressive characteristics" of the drills.

By North Korea's standards, the wording was relatively mild. In another sign that tensions are easing, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it had lowered a military alert issued for frontline areas before and during Monday's drill.

The United States, which has 28,500 troops based in the South, warned North Korea there was no reason for it to respond to the latest drills.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the manoeuvres had been announced well in advance and were transparent and defensive, and "should in no way engender a response from the North Koreans".

The Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper said that while the North failed to respond to Monday's drill, the two militaries were jockeying for position behind the scenes.

The paper, quoting Seoul military sources, said the North had made preparations to fire anti-aircraft missiles.

Light beams to guide them were detected at an anti-aircraft base in the North's Hwanghae province but no missiles were launched, it said.

A Defence Ministry spokesman declined comment.

December 22, 2010

1971. The War of Nerves in Bengal Bay

RUSSIA  SAVED INDIA FROM  US / UK  - Vladimir Kruglyakov

 Video Link :     
But some days ago, in December 3, was 38 years anniversary of the Indo-Pakistan conflict, 1971. Then the Russian (Soviet) involvement has played an important role in prevention the Anglo-Saxon pressure on India which was directed to save face of their Pakistani ally and not to allow Bangladesh secession. This video is a part from the Russian TV program 'Strike Forces' and it's involved the witnesses of those events. The translation from Russian is mine.
In 1971, December, 3 the World has become an attestor  to a new war between India and Pakistan. At afternoon the Pakistani aviation has strike the Indian cities and airstrips. The Indian PM Indira Gandhi put the country in emergency state and gave the order to nip the aggression. Hard clashes were started on the ground in the air, and at the sea.   

Historic document: "Confident. December, 10, 1971. Moscow. For the DM Marshal Andrey Grechko. According to the  information from our attaché in Delhi in the first day of conflict the Indian destroyer 'Rajput' has sunk a Pakistani submarine by depth charges. In December, 4 and 9, the Indian fast boats have destroyed and damaged 10 Pakistani battle ships and vessels by the P-15 missiles. In addition  12 oil storages was burned in flame. The Commander of the Military Intelligence Service Gen. Pyotr Ivashutin".

In the same day the Soviet Intelligence has reported that the British Naval group with the leadership of 'Eagle' carrier went closer to the territorial waters of India.   The Soviet Government immediately sent a unit of battle ships under the leadership of counter-admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov for helping to the fraternal country.

Vladimir Kruglyakov, the former (1970-1975) Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) remembes:

"I received the order from the Chief Commander 'To not allow access of the American Navy to the Indian military objects'.

- On the way of American Navy stood the Soviet cruisers, destroyers and atomic submarines equipped with anti-ship missiles.

Vladimir Kruglyakov, the former (1970-1975) Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) remembers:

"We encircled them and I have targeted the 'Enterprise' by missiles. I have blocked them and didn’t allow enclosing to Karachi, nor to Chittagong or Dhaka".

On the Soviet ships then were only the missiles with limited to 300 km range. Thus, to be sure the rival is under the hindsight the Russian commanders have had to take the risk of maximal enclosing to the American fleet.

Vladimir Kruglyakov, the former (1970-1975) Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) remembers:

"The Chief Commander has order me: 'Lift the subs when they (the Americans) appear!' – It was done to demonstrate,  there are all the  needed in Indian Ocean, including the nuclear submarines. I have lifted them, and they recognized it. Then, we intercepted the American communication. The commander of the Carrier Battle Group was then the counter-admiral Dimon Gordon.  He sent the report to the 7th American Fleet Commander: 'Sir, we are too late. There are the Russian atomic submarines here, and a big collection of the battleships'.

The war was then two weeks long, and it has finished by Pakistani forces surrendering.  

The Russian original text:

Океанский атлант

3 Декабря 1971 года мир потрясла очередная война. После полудня авиация Пакистана нанесла разрушительный удар по аэродромам и городам Индии. Премьер-министр Индии Индира Ганди ввела в стране чрезвычайное положение и отдала приказ вооружённым силам об отражении агрессии. Ожесточённые военные действия развернулись в воздухе, на суше и на море.

Совершенно секретно. 10 декабря 1971 года. Москва. Министру обороны СССР. Маршалу Советского Союза Андрею Гречко. "По докладу военного атташе в первый день военного конфликта индийский эсминец "Раджпут" уничтожил глубинными бомбами подлодку ВМС Пакистана. 4 и 9 декабря отряд катеров Индии потопил и повредил противокорабельными ракетами П-15 советского производства 10 пакистанских боевых кораблей и судов, а также сжёг на берегу 12 нефтехранилищ. Начальник ГРУ ГШ ВС СССР генерал армии Пётр Ивашутин.

В тот же день советская разведка получила сведения о том, что к территориальным водам Индии приблизилось английское военное соединение во главе с авианосцем "Игл". На помощь дружественной стране советское правительство направило отряд кораблей под командованием контр-адмирала Владимира Круглякова.

Владимир Кругляков, командующий 10-й оперативной эскадрой ТОФ (1970-1975): "Мне было приказано организовать слежение. Лодки я расставил в Бенгальском заливе и Арависйском море на позиции, а с кораблями пошел на слежение за "Иглом".

Но советским кораблям нечем было бороться с такой защищённой целью, как авианосец "Игл", кроме торпед и артиллерии. Поэтому им на помошь с Владивостока вышли ещё три ракетных корабля и 6 подлодок. Вскоре англичане ушли на юг, к Мадагаскару. А к побережью Индии направилось американское ударное соединение во главе с вертолётоносцем "Триполи" и атомным авианосцем "Энтерпрайз". Под предлогом эвакуации своих граждан из района боевых действий корабли попытались вмешаться в военный конфликт на стороне Пакистана.  

Владимир Кругляков, командующий 10-й оперативной эскадрой ТОФ (1970-1975): "Я получил от главнокомандующего: "Не допустить подхода американского военно-морского флота к военым базам Индии".

На их пути стали советские ракетные крейсеры, эсминцы и подлодки, вооружённые кралатыми ракетами.

Владимир Кругляков, командующий 10-й оперативной эскадрой ТОФ (1970-1975): "Я полукругом сзади окружил, и ракеты П-35 нацелили на "Энтерпрайз". Блокировал, но не пропускал их, ни к Карачи, ни к Читтагонгу, ни к Дакке".

На советских кораблях стояли противокорабельные ракеты с небольшой дальностью  300 км. Поэтому, чтобы держать противника под прицелом, командиры шли на риск, максимально к нему приближаясь.

Владимир Кругляков, командующий 10-й оперативной эскадрой ТОФ (1970-1975): "И главком сказал: "Когда они появятся, подними лодки!" Чтобы они увидели, что в Индийском океане всё есть, в том числе и атомные ракетные лодки. Я поднял, и они зафиксировали это дело. Потом я перехватил телеграмму. Командовал этим авианосным соединением контр-адмирал Дэмон Гордон. Он дал телеграмму коммандующему 7-м флотом: "Сэр, мы опоздали. В океане – атомные подводные лодки русских и большая эскадра".

Война продолжалась 2 недели и закончилась 17 декабря поражением Пакистана. 

( Source : http://igorrgroup.blogspot.com )

DRDO Hands Over NBC Recce Vehicle To Indian Army

(Chindits) : Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) threat is a global concern in the wake of terrorism and several nations having acquired the capability to build these weapons of Mass destruction. Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) has already delivered more than 35 state-of-the-art products and systems for NBC Defence, to the Armed Forces, of the production value of Rs. 500 crores. Four NBC Recce Vehicles were handed over by Dr. W Selvamurthy, Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller Research & Development (Life Sciences), DRDO HQrs to Lt Gen MC Badhani, VSM, Engineer-in-Chief, Indian Army during a flagging-off ceremony held today, the 21st December 2010 at 1500 hrs at Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), Pune. Shri Ashwani Kumar Datt, Chairman and Managing Director, BEL and Shri RK Jain, Addl. Director General Ordnance Factory Board also flagged off the vehicle.

These vehicles based on BMP-II are equipped to monitor radiologically and chemically contaminated areas. Various sensors such as Roentgenometer, Gas Chromatograph, Dosimeter, Solid State Anemometer and Chemical Sensor are integrated on to this vehicle. Vehicle provides protection to the crew while monitoring for NBC contaminants and also allows to fix flag marks without the need for crew to come out from the protected vehicles. NBC Recce Vehicles have been designed and developed by DRDO with its Defence Lab, Jodhpur as nodal agency and Vehicle Research & Development Establishment (VRDE), Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE(E), Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE) and Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) (all DRDO labs) as the other major work centers. These BMP IIK have been manufactured at Ordnance Factory, Medak and NBC instruments are integrated by BEL, Pune. As four vehicles along with the training module and 2 Nos of NBC Control Centre were already supplied to the Army earlier, this marks the completion of Limited Series Production (LSP) order of eight recce vehicles. Army has also placed order for sixteen more NBC Recce vehicles.


Low Altitude Digital Lakshya-2 Successfully Flight Tested

(Chindits) : Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bangalore belonging to Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successfully on December 20, 2010 the flight test of Lakshya-2 the Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA) built to meet the anticipated users requirements for such a vehicle for testing out their guns and missiles.

The users have indicated their requirement of flying the pilotless target aircraft at very low altitudes (15 to 25 metres above sea level) to simulating trajectory of low-level cruise missiles. Accordingly ADE prepared Lakshya-2 with necessary hardware and software for meeting the user requirements. The flight test was of 32 minutes duration controlled by Ground Control Station and the low altitude flight was proved over 10km range. The flight was stable and well controlled. Mobile launcher to launch the PTA from anywhere and GPS to locate for recovery were used successfully.

The pilotless aircraft also demonstrated its manoeuvring capability simultaneously simulating manoeuvring attacking aircrafts. The system has been designed so that two Lakshya targets can be flown and controlled by the Common Ground Control Station.

Pakistan Expands Fighter Force

(AviationWeek) : The Pakistani air force is gearing up for a major expansion of its JF-17 single-engine fighter force.

The service just began taking delivery of the first batch of Chengdu FC-1/JF-17s (now produced in Pakistan) this year, with about half of the 42 ordered now in place. With one squadron operational, service officials now plan to set up a second unit.
What’s more, the Pakistani government hopes to order a second batch of 50 fighters next year, says Air Commo.Junaid, who is involved in the JF-17 project. Pakistan is looking for enhanced features on the second batch, although the exact requirements have not been spelled out.
Both South African and French companies have shown interest in updating the JF-17’s avionics and weapons package. After looking at new candidates, the preferred option appears to be staying with Chinese suppliers, Pakistani officials suggest.
Despite the interest in enhancement, Junaid notes that the avionics package fielded on the baseline JF-17 has been one of the positive surprises. They have performed “better than expected,” he says, and pilot transition to the new aircraft has proceeded smoothly. And operations in the high mountain regions have not posed a problem, he asserts.
Fleet development is still at a relatively early stage, though. The focus so far has been on familiarizing pilots and maintenance crew with the new equipment. Preparations are underway to fully qualify crews for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Full operational capability is not far off, Junaid notes, adding that progress is much better than when the air force introduced its F-16A/B Block 15s in the early 1980s.
In parallel, the service has been taking delivery of the newest batch of Lockheed Martin F-16s in the Block 52 configuration. The last of these aircraft were delivered to the Shahbaz Air Base on Dec. 13. The air force has fielded 12 F-16Cs and six F-16Ds under the so-called Peace Drive I program.
The Pakistani air force argues that the precision strike features of the latest F-16s is bolstering operations in the contested border region with Afghanistan, such as South Waziristan, and the federally administered tribal areas.
The service also is awaiting completion of the ZDK-03 airborne early warning aircraft, which was rolled out last month at Hanzhong, China. The 2008 contract calls for delivery of four systems.
Meanwhile, fielding all the equipment is forcing the service to rethink its operational concepts, particularly regarding how to employ the various new tools in an integrated fashion, Junaid says.
Pakistan also continues to work on enhancing its unmanned aircraft inventory. It is already operating the Italian Selex Galileo Falco, but Italy has apparently been reluctant to allow the arming of that UAV. As a result, Pakistan is now acquiring armed CH-3s from China, which are still in development.

December 21, 2010

Armoured underwear for British Frontline Troops

(Defenseworld) : Pelvic protection for troops in Afghanistan has been introduced to help mitigate the effects of IED blasts, the U.K. MOD has announced on December 17.

The three-tiered system of clothing and armour consists of special protective underwear, and detachable armoured modular trousers. It has been designed to integrate with current kit being used by troops on operations.

      Using cutting-edge science and technology developed by the MOD and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the underwear is manufactured from scientifically-tested ballistic silk material that provides an initial level of protection to mitigate against the effects of blasts, including shrapnel.

      The MOD has spent £10M on the new armour system to date. It balances protection with the necessary comfort and manoeuvrability for troops to undertake operations, enabling them to wear one or more of the protective layers depending on the task. They are already being worn by troops on operations, with 45,000 pairs delivered to Afghanistan and another 15,000 ready to be issued to deploying troops. A further 60,000 are to be manufactured and delivered to troops early next year.

Fearful of China, Japan plans $276 billon defense spending

(Defenseworld) : A new 10-year defense plan approved by the Japanese Cabinet on Friday describes China's burgeoning military power as a "matter of concern" for other countries in East Asia, and calls for more mobile and flexible Self-Defense Forces to respond to the new threats facing Japan.

       The National Defense Program Guidelines document calls the military emergence of China as a "matter of concern both for the region and the international community".

      The Kan Cabinet also approved the Mid-Term Defense Program, a projection of defense spending over the next five years, on December 17. In that period, total defense spending is estimated at 23.49 trillion yen ($276 billion). Average annual defense spending is expected to increase by about 0.1 percent. In comparison, the 2005-2009 Mid-Term Defense Program saw cuts in annual defense spending.

      The new strategy emphasizes "dynamic defense capabilities" that stress mobility and rapid response by the Self-Defense Forces. It also calls for strengthening of the defense of the Nansei island chain that lies off the south of Kyushu and extends to close to Taiwan. Both are clear reflections of concerns about China's emerging military presence in the region. The disputed Senkaku Islands, which were the focus of a spat with China in September, are in the Nansei region.

Russia to develop new heavy ICBM by 2020

 (RIA Novosti)  Russia's state arms procurement program through 2020 provides for the development of a new heavy ballistic missile, a leading missile designer said on Monday.
The final decision should be made in 2012-13 by the expert community, not solely the Defense Ministry, said Yury Solomonov of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT), the developer of the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile.

"This matter is beyond the Defense Ministry's competence. It is a matter of state importance," he said.
"Heavy ICBM" refers to a class of missiles with a heavy throw weight between five and nine metric tons and a length of over 35 meters, capable of delivering a large number of warheads in a single MIRV missile.
Russia's Strategic Missile Forces are still armed with Soviet-era SS-18 Satan and SS-20 Saber ICBMs with an extended service life and are expected to remain in service until 2026.
The SS-18 Satan is deployed with up to 10 warheads with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each and an operational range of up to 11,000 km (6,800 miles).

Indian company to build ships for Rosoboronexport

( Rusnavy) : Indian private Pipavav Shipyard will be engaged in construction of ships under the order of Rosoboronexport, reports The Economic Times. Volume of first orders which would be possibly placed at the shipyard is evaluated as INR 80 bln ($1.8 bln). Presumably, the yard will start building of new ships in 2011.

Pipavav Shipyard signed a letter of understanding with Rosoboronexport on Dec 9, 2010 providing that the company will construct Russian-designed ships for third countries, reports India Infoline. Besides, the document also implies mid-term upgrade, overhaul, and remanufacturing of Indian Navy's ships and submarines.

As reported by MoneyControl, the document provides license transfer for construction of four stealth frigates to Pipavav Shipyard. Three similar ships have been already built by Russia under India's order. It was not specified what kind of frigates are meant. Russia's Baltiysky Zavod shipyard built three Project 11356 frigates for India and has already delivered them to the orderer. Two analogous frigates are being completed by Yantar shipyard; the third ship was recently launched.

According to the World Arms Trade Analytic Center, cost of one stealth frigate built by Pipavav will make INR 80-90 bln, and the company will be workloaded for further ten years.

December 20, 2010

The Game Changers

(Forceindia ) : Like the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, especially after 26/11 has an important peacetime role which requires, to say the least, capability for round the clock surveillance over a huge Oceanic space of 73.6 million kilometres. In addition, the navy, after the launch of the S-2 vessel (indigenous nuclear powered submarine) has the additional deterrence role, which given India’s declared no-first-use nuclear weapons policy is critical, as the undersea vector is more survivable than aircraft and ballistic missile vectors. Given the PLA Navy’s SSN and SSBN capabilities, and now with reports coming in that the Pakistan Navy is acquiring Chinese 5,500ton type 091 Hans class nuclear powered attack submarine, the Indian Navy’s deterrent, at its present level, does not amount to much. Since the government and the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma are silent on the progress of the S-2 and the follow-on vessels, one is compelled to pick up rumours which suggest that technological, materials and management challenges have hamstrung desired results.Given this situation, one would have hoped that like his two predecessors, the CNS, through the dedicated media, would periodically inform the nation on how taxpayers’ money was being spent to build conventional naval capabilities. The annual traditional media interaction before the Navy Day on December 4 is woefully inadequate. As the top operational commander in the full knowledge of existing capabilities, he is best placed to explain challenges facing his service for peacetime and possible wartime roles. Considering that India’s land borders are disputed, and it can only seek a strategic role beyond its geographical confines in the Indian Ocean Region, for which major friendly powers including the US have sought maritime cooperation with us, the CNS’ silence is counter-productive as speculations abound. It could be argued that talking to the media may create unnecessary controversy. But is it not a risk that a navy chief, in the larger interest of his service, should be prepared to take? Except for the CNS, no naval officer has the wholesome knowledge or authority to speak on the service. So the update that FORCE is giving here has been collated from various (informed) sources and a visit to the biggest naval station, INS Hansa in Goa.

The Revolution in Military Affairs for the navy, which refers to speed in the tempo of operations, implies three technological competencies: battle-space awareness (Maritime Domain Awareness) to include Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Interoperability (C4I); and precision force use (precision guided munitions). In war, the navy will be required to both fight battles at sea as well as contribute to land battles. With the arrival of MiG-29K multi-role carrier aircraft at INS Hansa, the choices for the navy to contribute to land battles have increased. Once the whole MiG-29K complement is in place atop the 44,570 ton INS Vikramaditya (erstwhile Admiral Gorshkov), and on the 37,500ton Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (new INS Vikrant) expected to join service by 2015, the navy will be in a position to complement the Indian Air Force, especially in a two-front hostilities situation. The MiG-29K, built specifically for the Indian Navy, is unlike the MiG-29 air superiority aircraft with the Indian Air Force. It is two-and-half times heavier, with full automation, digital fly-by-wire, common Mil Bus to integrate non-Russian weapons of western origin, four weapon stations under each wing, and can do air-to-air and buddy refuelling. “Mig-29K has the capability to be pitched back into the battle,” is how an admiral put it, implying its multi-role capability to switch between air-to-air, air-to-sea, and air-to-land missions. This clearly gives three earlier unavailable operational advantages to navy planners. One, the MiG-29K can undertake deep penetration strikes on land while ensuring that the carrier stays beyond the radius of the enemy’s shore-based strikes. Two, the MiG-29K weapon load carrying capacity equals that of Su-30MKI. And three, it has excellent endurance being able to spend two-and-half times more on task than any other aircraft (Sea Harrier) with the Indian Navy. Given these benefits, the MiG-29K unit at INS Hansa is the envy of the station.  ( by  Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab)

China's New Submarines and Deployment Patte

(Asian Defense) : Images and media reports about new types of submarines appearing in recent months have generated a lot of interest in China's evolving submarine force. While the magnitude of such developments remains to be seen, since much depends on the submarines' tested capabilities, these rare glimpses provide important clues about the development of China's subsurface force structure and its orientation.

The reports include the recent deployment of a new Type 093 submarine to Hainan Island in the South China Sea (The Mainichi Daily News [Japan], October 20). Whereas the development and deployment of the Chinese navy's surface fleet have been prominently displayed in unprecedented scale in recent naval exercises both in the South and East China Sea, the expansion of China's subsurface fleet appears to have been slowed in recent years. In fact, overall People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarine totals remained almost flat from 2007-2010 (rising from 62 to 63 boats) (The Diplomat, September 29). In this context, these reports raise interesting questions about what is known regarding the pace of investments that China has undertaken to increase stealth, missile capacity, survivability and the capability to project its submarine force both regionally and globally.

In early October, a Hong Kong-media ran a story covering a photo image of a new type of Chinese submarine that has been circulating on the web for several weeks. The submarine was developed by the state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), which is the country's largest shipbuilder. The company reportedly had double-digit growth in output, revenue and profit in 2009 despite the global recession (People's Daily Online, February 23). The image of the SSK submarine surfaced several weeks before a CSIC statement, which indicated that the company had successfully launched a 'new' conventionally powered attack submarine in early September from its shipyard in Wuhan, central China. While the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has not officially acknowledged that the 'new' ship was a stealth submarine, many military analysts believe that the submarine is such a vessel (South China Morning Post, October 3).

The South China Morning Post noted a September 1 PLA Daily article covering an award ceremony hosted by the PLAN Deputy Political Commissar Xu Jianzhong for Da Lianglong, a professor at the PLA Navy's Submarine Academy. Professor Da received an award from the Central Military Commission for his successful research on submarine stealth technology (PLA Daily, September 1; South China Morning Post, October 3).

Tejas LSP-3 Jettisoned 1200-litre Drop Tank at Chitradurga ATR

Jettison-able drop tanks are carried by a combat aircraft, after completing the mission are required to be dropped from the mother aircraft for a quick get away from the enemy territory and other emergency situations. To ensure safety of flight, clean separation of the tank with adequate clearances from the mother aircraft or neighboring stores need to be established from flight test.

This extremely safety critical flight test requires thorough planning and preparation supported by theoretical analysis and a level of verification of the predictions through ground tests on specialized test rigs set up for this purpose. The theoretical predictions were further verified through what is called 'Pit drop tests' conducted on a test specimen using specially designed test rig with part of the aircraft system and high speed photography system integrated with it. The test cases covered a member of conditions such as empty, partial and full drop tanks as well as different Ejector Release Unit (ERU) settings.

The flight test were planned by the National Flight Test Center (NFTC), ADA at certain representative critical release condition. Considering the safety critical nature of this test, a safety review was conducted at NFTC to ensure all foreseeable safety issues were taken care of before embarking on this important test. To capture the flight data, a dedicated and specialized Airborne Separation Video System (ASVS) is installed on the Test aircraft.

The system comprised of very high speed digital cameras installed in a specially designed camera pod and linked to a Multi System Controller (MSC) installed on-board the aircraft. The MSC gets a pulse from trigger to jettison the tank where upon the cameras are switched on in a pre-determined sequence to capture this critical event.

Mr PS Subramanyam, Programme Director (CA) and Director, ADA told "the 1200 Ltr drop tank jettison trial was conducted on 17 December 2010 at a critical point in the jettison envelope on Tejas LSP-3 aircraft piloted by Gp Capt Suneet Krishna. The trial was conducted over the recently commissioned NFTC Air to ground range at Chitradurga. The trial aircraft was escorted by another Tejas PV-2 which captured the external video picture of the drop tank trajectory after release".

Dr Prahlada, CC-R&D (Ae-SI) -- DRDO opined "with such test experiments made by the team, the aeronautical test range facility at Challakere has paved the smooth way for subsequent trials of different natures. He also said that if this facility were not to be commissioned at Challakere, all such flight tests would have to be carried on either at Hyderabad or Pokran. In view of the close proximity to Challakere to Bangalore it was more comfortable in conducting the test flights by the dedicated team the process of which could be monitored from Bangalore".

The successful trial is the result of orchestrated team effort on the part of different organizations and specialists involved in this prestigious national programme -- yet another feather on the decorated cap of the Team Tejas.

(DRDO Press Release, indiadefense)

Australia Approves New Equipment Projects

(Aviation Week) : Australia is pressing ahead with the acquisition of an air traffic management (ATM) and control system and Anzac frigate communications upgrade, but the government also restructured an F/A-18C/D upgrade project to reduce costs.
The work to refurbish the Boeing F/A-18s is expected to cost A$250-300 million ($246-296 million). The goal is to keep them flying until the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter arrives. The defense ministry says the deal saves A$500 million over an earlier approach that saw the program broken into parts.
The F-35 is due to reach initial operational capability in the 2017-18 or 2020-21 timeframe, says the government’s latest defense capability plan (the first Australian F-35s are due for delivery in 2014). A decision is due between 2015 and 2018 on whether to buy aircraft for a fourth squadron.
The cost for AIR 5431, the ATM effort, is estimated at A$650-900 million, with the initial phase to cost A$100-150 million. Further program reviews are expected in 2012-13 and 2014-15.
The frigate program, called SEA 1442 Phase 4, should increase the communications speed available to the ships and cost A$300-500 million.
The latest update to the capability plan, which charts project goals for the next 10 years, also highlights a Wedgetail fleet upgrade, with a go-ahead decision due in 2020-21 and fielding around 2026-27. The plan also states that the long-range maritime surveillance unmanned aircraft program is now due for approval around 2017-18, with fielding envisioned during 2024.
The document also reveals Australian plans to acquire a maritime strike missile for the F-35, with the weapon to become operational early in the next decade.

December 18, 2010

Russia to keep Satan ballistic missiles in service until 2026

(RIA Novosti)  Russia will continue to deploy SS-18 Satan heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) as part of the country's nuclear arsenal until at least 2026, the commander of Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said Friday.
"The extension of the service life of the systems equipped with RS-20V [SS-18 Satan] missiles will allow us to keep these most powerful missiles in the world until 2026," Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said.
Introduced almost 33 years ago, the missile is routinely tested and has proved to be a very reliable weapon.
"At this point, there are no serious technical restrictions to continue extending the missile's service life," the general said.
The missile is armed with a warhead containing 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each. It has a maximum range of 11,000 km (6,800 miles) with a launch mass of over 210 tons and a payload of 8.8 tons.
According to publicly available sources, Russia currently has 88 SS-18 missile silo launchers, most of them deployed at the Dombarovsky missile base in the Orenburg Region.