August 31, 2011

China ship with 22 labs spied on India

(NDTV) :   India detected a Chinese spy ship disguised as a fishing trawler in the Indian Ocean a few months ago. By the time ship figured in the Indian radars, it had operated already for about 22 days and was positioned off-the cost of Little Anadaman - an area which is considered sensitive and crucial in the ongoing battle for supremacy over the Indian Ocean region between India and China.

Immediately after detection an Indian Navy Ship was sent after it. However, since the Chinese ship was in international waters, no punitive action could be taken against it. The Indian Naval ship, instead, tailed the Chinese ship sending out a clear message that India was aware of its actual mission. In order to avoid the Indian Navy tail, the Chinese Ship moved towards Sri Lanka and docked at the Colombo. Inquiries by the Indian security agencies revealed that ship as many as 22 Laboratories on board.

A report sent up to government, which NDTV has access to, claims that the Chinese ship was mapping the Indian Ocean and picking up crucial Bathymetric data. Other Laboratories on board the ship were designed to collect data on the currents of the Indian Ocean, the temperature at various depths and also very crucially, underwater obstructions and obstacles. Bathymetric data is crucial for submarine and Carrier based operations. Information about ocean currents, on the other hand, is crucial if torpedoes are to be used.

Why does China need this data?

India's assessment is China will be able to carry out Aircraft carrier based operations by 2017. China doesn't have an operational aircraft carrier yet. The collection of data from the Indian Ocean is designed towards this. Once the Chinese Carrier Battle Group is ready for operations the Indian Ocean region will be one of the main focus areas of China. This will not help China secure the shipping lanes that carry its exports towards Europe and North America but protect oil and coal imports. However, the presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean region cannot be altogether benign for India. In fact the presence of a Carrier Battle Group in Indian Ocean region is a serious military threat for India. Chinese ground forces already have an edge over their Indian counterparts along the land borders. Chinese naval presence in Indian Ocean region is, therefore, a cause of serious concern for India.

China monitors Indian missile programme

What is also worrying Indian security agencies is the presence several Chinese fishing trawlers along Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast during test launches of missiles. All Indian missiles are tested from Wheeler Islands. Security agencies have told the government that fishing trawlers are most likely monitoring the Indian missile test launches and colleting telemetric data of the missile. Telemetric data is crucial to build effective counter measure against missiles. 

August 30, 2011

Post-protest, govt rethinks US gun deal

(Indian Express) : India's plans to urgently purchase M777 ultra-light howitzers from the US for deployment along the China border in the east have hit a roadblock as the Defence Ministry has developed second thoughts following an Army report that the gun may fall short of desired specifications.
While the Army, sources said, also took the line that these “deviations” were not that significant and could be waived, the Defence Ministry is taking no chances given the anti-corruption onslaught the government is under.
It is learnt to have asked the Army to further re-examine the deal as these specifications were drawn up by the Army itself.
The problem over this order of close to 150 guns, in fact, has to do with another global tender that the Army had issued for light howitzers. That tender process had run into a tangle after one of the key competitors — Singapore Technologies (ST) — had come under the CBI scanner in the ordnance factory scam. ST’s Pegasus gun at the time was the lead contender in the trials. 
The government had then decided to go for a direct government-to-government deal with the US, under the Foreign Military sales route.
The deal is important because India wants to significantly upgrade its presence and capabilities on the India-China border, particularly in the eastern sector. The light howitzer gun was assessed to be the most appropriate artillery equipment in the hilly terrain.
The US gun on offer, M777, was accordingly considered. At that point, sources said, the Defence Ministry had made it clear that the specifications ought to be the same as those issued while floating the earlier global tender. 
The Army, on its part, had pointed out that using the same yardstick could result in deviations.
As a result, the US gun, which is made of titanium and weighs about 4 tonnes, does fall short on some counts:
The angle of depression is not enough for it to fire at tanks.
There is no automatic loading facility as it does not have an auxiliary power unit, which would increase the weight.
It lacks a safety catch mechanism.
At the same time, sources pointed out, the gun has other positives like being simple to operate and proven in battle. The Army top brass is said to be of the view that this order should therefore be delinked from the original tender, and that the M777s be purchased to fill the gap now. The tender can be pursued as and when blacklisted firms are allowed to participate in trials, the Army feels. 
With some of these blacklisted companies obtaining a stay from the Delhi High Court, delinking the two deals may be the only way out, except that the same specifications have been used in both cases. The entire issue, sources said, will only get more complicated in the days ahead.

India to receive Russian SSN Nerpa in the nearest term

(Rusnavy) : In the nearest time India will receive Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Nerpa for a 10-year leasing; the Project 971I Schuka-B submarine is supposed to finish trials late in Aug, writes Jane's Defense Weekly referring to its Indian reporter.

Indian Navy named the sub Chakra. Leasing of the submarine will be conducted under a $650-700 mln secret agreement. Currently, Indian crew and Russian instructors are practicing in the Sea of Japan.

The sub will join Indian Navy late in 2011. She is expected to arrive at a special base being built at Rambilli, east coast India for nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

After commission of SSN Chakra, India will become the sixth country operating nuclear-powered submarines after China, France, Russia, Great Britain, and the US.

Although Indian Navy declined to comment its nuclear submarine program, news releases from Moscow confirm it is on schedule.

SSN Chakra will be used as a training platform for INS Arihant, the first SSBN designed and built in India. INS Arihant is expected to start full-fledged patrols late in 2012. In total, Indian Navy plans to build 3-5 nuclear-powered ballistic missile subs.

SSN Nerpa (K-152, Project 971I Schuka-B) is a 3-generation submarine designed in St. Petersburg by Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau and Avrora Scientific Production Association. The sub was laid down at Amur Shipyard (Komsomolsk-on-Amur) in 1991. However, financing of construction was frozen in mid-90's, and the sub was completed only with India's investment. In the falls of 2008, an accident occurred during the sub's sea trials in the Sea of Japan. Due to improper operation of firefighting system, carbon dichloride began to enter compartments instead of freon gas. Mixture of those gases formed a phosgene-type chemical warfare agent. Twenty persons died as a result of inhalation of toxic vapors, other 21 were hospitalized. After repair, SSN Nerpa was commissioned into Russian Navy in Dec 2009. The sub is armed with cruise missiles, torpedoes and rocket torpedoes. Crew is over 80 men.

Defence Minister Antony says Arjun Mk II will cost Rs 37 crore (US $8 million) per tank

(The Arjun Mark II, an upgraded version of the Mark I pictured here, will roll out by 2015, says Antony.
Answering a question in parliament today, Defence Minister AK Antony put the price of the Arjun Mk II at Rs 37 crore per tank. The Arjun Mk I had been produced by Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi for about Rs 16-18 crore per tank.
The official release about Antony's answer in parliament today to a question on the price of the Arjun is attached below
Limited technical trials with some major and minor improvements on Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun Mark-I, as part of MBT Arjun Mark-II, have been carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the deserts of Rajasthan.
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared the proposal for placement of indent for 124 Nos. of MBT Arjun Mark-II on Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), Avadi, Chennai. Placement of indent by the Army on Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is being further processed.
The likely estimated cost of each MBT Arjun Mark-II with ail major/minor improvements will be approximately Rs.37 crore.
The first batch of MBT Arjun Mark-II is likely to be productionised by 2015.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Naveen Jindal in Lok Sabha today.

Indian ambassador visited Sevmash shipyard

(Rusnavy) : Sevmash shipyard was recently visited by Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra. It was his first visit to Severodvinsk since appointment to that post in May 2011.

Having inspected the course of works on aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Ajai Malhotra said overhaul and upgrading of the ship were on schedule. He paid particular attention to high quality of works; that was also reported to the ambassador by Indian colleagues working in Severodvinsk.

Mr. Malhotra met with the shipyard's Director General Andrei Diachkov, Chief Engineer Alexei Alsufiev, director general's assistants Mikhail Budnichenko, Sergei Novoselov, and Andrei Monogarov. Mikhail Budnichenko presented a model of Project 971 submarine to the ambassador for a keepsake. Mr. Malhotra thanked administration of Severodvinsk, Sevmash and Zvezdochka shipyards for a warm welcome.

There was another important activity in the visit program – signing of cooperation memorandum between municipal formation Severodvinsk and Indian servicemen with their families living in the town. The Russian party was represented by Severodvinsk Mayor Mikhail Gmyrin, the Indian one – by observation group director Capt Rajaram Svaminatan. The memorandum implies development of cooperation in cultural, sport, and social areas. In addition, Mr. Malhotra said India would start to find a twin town for Severodvinsk; most probably, that would be a town with naval history and traditions.

August 29, 2011

Bulava missile: test-launch history

                                                                         RIA Novosti

After terrorists, Pak training Somali pirates?

New Delhi: India has found material evidence proving Pakistani link to Somali sea pirates. According to a report in an Indian newspaper, Somali sea pirates are receiving training in Pakistan to launch a proxy war against India. 
On August 14, the Indian Navy foiled a piracy attack after it rescued Iranian-flagged merchant vessel MV Nafis-1 off Mumbai. According to nine crew members, all foreigners, detained from the vessel, confirmed Indian security agencies’ assertion of ties between Pakistan and Somali pirates.
The crew members - five Yemenis, two Tanzanians, one Kenyan and one Somali national - were on August 15 handed over to Porbandar police.

Besides automatic weapons and arms, Gujarat customs officials also seized rice packets and juice pouches bearing names of Pakistani companies.

The newspaper quoted Dipen Bhadran, Porbandar superintendant of police, as saying, “We are taking help of foreign embassies to know if those arrested have a criminal record. We have three Arabic translators who are helping us. The arrested have confessed that they are smugglers and operate in Arabic countries, and were lost in waters before they were intercepted by Indian forces.” 


'Dragon' destroyer ready for UK's Royal Navy

(BNS) : ‘Dragon’ the fourth Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyer will be formally handed over to the Royal Navy at a ceremony on Wednesday.

BAE Systems is on track to deliver all six Type 45 destroyers to the Royal Navy by early 2013.

‘Defender’ is currently undergoing final stages of outfit and will head to sea for the first time in November, while outfit and commissioning continues on ‘Duncan’ the sixth and final vessel in the class, following her launch in October 2010. Duncan will commence her first stage sea trials in the first half of 2012.

According to BAE Systems, the destroyers are capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.

Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air.

The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations until 2040, it said in a statement.


Russia: JSC Tactical Missile Arms Presents New Target Seeker

(NavalToday) : JSC Tactical Missile Arms for the first time presented a new development at the MAKS-2011 International Aviation and Space Salon closed in the last week. The know-how is active/passive target seeker for the company’s most popular product – versatile antiship missile Kh-35UE (3M-24UE) of Uran-E/ME missile system.
Previous active radar homer ARGS-35E currently used for missile Kh-35E and its naval variant 3M-24E is serially produced by scientific and production enterprise Radar-MMS (St. Petersburg) and provides homing of antiship missiles on typical targets.
In order to improve competitiveness, acquire independence (JSC Radar-MMS is not affiliate company of JSC Tactical Missile Arms), and reduce risks of irregular exports of modernized system Uran-E, several years ago JSC Detal Design Bureau (member of JSC Tactical Missile Arms since 2002) which is specialized in radar altimeters for aircraft and spacecraft started to develop target seeker for modernized missile Kh-35U with possible adaptation for other ‘air-to-ship(land)’ and ‘ship-to-ship(land)’ class missiles.
Development of target seeker with new capabilities significantly increases combat effectiveness of Uran-E antiship missile system which has pretty good export prospects. Target detection range and target selection algorithm have been improved. Passive channel in the new target seeker increases the system’s concealment, improves logic of equipment operation under massive jamming, reduces weight and dimensions parameters.
Foreign “owners” of Uran-E system can replace target seeker ARGS-35E with new Gran-KE to increase combat effectiveness and prolong service life of missiles currently in service.
Early in summer, the new target seeker excellently passed inter-agency tests. Preparation for batch production has been already started. When the full cycle of trials is finished, Gran-KE target seeker will be offered to all operators of Uran-E antiship missile system, both foreign ones (India, Vietnam, Algeria, etc) and Russian Navy.

Russian AESA Radar for Future MiG 29s and Attack Helicopters

(Defenseworld) : Undaunted by missing the shortlist in India’s MMRCA competition, Phazotron-NIIR Corporation, the manufacturer of the ZHUK AE Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) radar is working on installing the radar in future MiG-29s besides the MiG-35 aircraft. A version will be developed for attack and seaborne helicopters of the Mi and KA series.

      Providing a rare insight into the AESA radar development, Phazotron-NIIR Corporation General Designer Yuri Guskov said during the MAKS 2011 exhibition recently that his company had continued development of the radar despite the Indian setback. “There was not a single criticism of our radar. Despite a certain bias on the part of the Indian evaluation pilots, their overall appraisal of the radar was very favourable. Everyone loved the extremely maintenance-friendly design, which allows for easy dismantling and reinstallation of the radar in the field”, he said during a media interaction during the show.

      The radar had a detection range of 250 km while the Indian tender specified only 130 km, he said adding that his was a true multimode radar, with assorted mapping and target recognition capabilities.

       It will be fitted into the MiG 35 fighter which the Russian MOD had decided to order. In addition, the radar would be offered as an upgrade for the newly built MIG 29 fighters, and for retrofitting those aircraft already in operation. No airframe changes are required, he added.

      Yuri Guskov said what made the AESA radar suitable for all types of aircraft and helicopters was that it operated on a low voltage and was light and easy to install which meant lower onboard power requirement. “Transmitters from previous generation radars operate from voltage of 18 kV to 30 KV. Such high voltages require specific materials, structural configuration and operational procedures. An AESA radar runs on a mere 30 V to 10 V. This low power requirement combined with a much lower weight than mechanically scanned radars, means it can be used in helicopters such as the KA 27 and KA 52K shipborne attack helicopters increasing detection range to 200 kms.

      Further development was on to make the AESA radar suitable for helicopters. “The challenge here is to reduce the weight to less than 50 KGs. We are doing this by reducing the thickness of the radar’s array from 170 mm to 50 MM.

      A phased array radar will allow helicopters to use medium range guided munitions such as anti-ship missiles”, he added.

New Delhi could have anti-missile shield by 2014

 (Business Standard) : According to a new Pentagon report on China’s military, Beijing has paid India a sort of compliment. The People’s Liberation Army now targets India with its best and latest nuclear-tipped missiles, the solid-fuel Dongfeng-21 (NATO designation: CSS-5) medium range ballistic missile (IRBM), tipped with a 250-kiloton nuclear warhead that would flatten a large part of Delhi. Until now, India had been considered deserving only of China’s oldest and most decrepit missile, the primitive, liquid-fuelled Dongfeng-3 (NATO designation CSS-2).
India’s defence establishment is taking this new threat seriously, as also that posed by Pakistan’s nuclear-tipped MRBMs — like the Ghauri-2 and the Shaheen-2 — which can strike targets 2300 kilometres away. In an exclusive interview with Business Standard, the Defence R&D Organisation’s chief missile scientist has announced that, within three years, India will have a fully deployed missile-defence shield to safeguard a city like New Delhi from missile-borne nuclear attack.
Termed an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) shield, this complex system has been in the making since 1996. The DRDO is satisfied with the system’s ability to detect and track an incoming missile, and then launch an interceptor missile to destroy it while it is still in space (exo-atmospheric interception). If that misses, there is a second interceptor that homes in on the enemy missile while it is in the upper atmosphere (endo-atmospheric interception). In internationally watched tests, these interceptors have been tested thrice each. But only now has the DRDO announced that a fully integrated ABM system is close to deployment. Says Dr Avinash Chander, the DRDO’s Chief Controller for Missiles and Strategic Systems; “We can deploy an effective ABM system for a single city within 3 years from now. We can definitely ensure the safety of one city in that time frame. After that, the [ABM shield for] other cities will follow.”
Chander will not confirm that Delhi will receive India’s first ABM shield but, given Delhi’s vulnerability to MRBMs from Pakistan and China, and its status as the capital city, experts predict that it will almost certainly be the first city to be safeguarded.
“We are planning more ABM trials in a month or two. Both exo and endo-atmospheric interceptors are doing well in development. We already have a demonstrated capability against enemy missiles that are fired from up to 2000 kilometres away. After some more trials we will be going into deployment mode. The ground systems and the missiles are going to be available… there is no issue,” says Chander.
The sophistication of an ABM system depends upon the range of the incoming enemy missile. The longer the range of the incoming missile, the faster it travels and the more difficult it is to it detect and shoot it down. The missiles that currently target India — the Shaheen; the Ghauri; and the Dongfeng-21 — can all be successfully intercepted, says the DRDO.
“Pakistan can only target India with missiles that have ranges of less than 3000 kilometers, otherwise the missile will overshoot India. Our ABM system will be capable of detecting and shooting down incoming missiles from those ranges,” says Chander.
However China, with its arsenal of longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and the geographical space to launch missiles from thousands of kilometres away, is capable of defeating India’s ABM system in its current form. The DRDO says that it will gradually enhance the ABM system to enable the interception of longer-range missiles.
For now, deployment is on track, says the DRDO’s missile chief. The radar network that is needed to detect an incoming enemy missile is already being sited. This includes a Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR), which Bangalore-based Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) has developed in collaboration with Israeli company, ELTA. The LRTR picks up incoming missiles at ranges out to 300 kilometres.
The ABM system also has a “guidance radar”, which tracks the incoming missile in its terminal phase and guides the interceptor missile onto the target. The DRDO developed the guidance radar in collaboration with French company, Thales. In addition, ABM systems also use satellite-based detection systems to detect enemy missile launches.
ABM systems are controversial; strategists argue that they destabilise a nuclear balance, incentivising the production of more nuclear weapons to defeat an enemy’s ABM shield. Indeed, Pakistan now has the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal after it aggressively expanded its Khushab reactor complex to produce more plutonium for bombs.

August 27, 2011

Delivery of Russian ships to India postponed again

(Rusnavy) : Russia delays delivery of the second trio of Talwar-class stealth frigates, said Indian defense minister A.K. Antony in the interview to Rajya Sabha.

Delivery date of three Russian frigates Tag ("Saber"), Tarkash ("Quiver"), and Trikand ("Bow") built for Indian Navy will be postponed for 12-14 months.

Construction of warships for Indian Navy has been carried out by Yantar Shipyard since 2006. Delivery lag of the second trio of Talwar-class frigates is attributed to lack of qualified staff to build several ships simultaneously, and problems with Russian suppliers.

According to Indian defense minister, Russian company Rosoboronexport indicated that delay period for the first frigate would be 12 months, for the second one – 11 months, and for the third one – 14 months.

Delivery term of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is also postponed till Dec 2012; the ship is being revamped by JSC Sevmash, reports Rajya Sabha.

The aircraft carrier would not be delivered on time due to the need to replace almost all onboard equipment and systems, hull structural elements, cables, use of new durable paintings, and drawing of detailed report of conducted mooring, sea, and flight development trials.

All issues regarding delivery protraction of Russian warships are controlled and considered by various bilateral organizations, such as Supervisory Council at the summit level and Indo-Russian Military Cooperation Intergovernmental Committee.

Recall that the first three frigates ordered by Indian Navy and built by JSC Baltiysky Zavod (St. Petersburg) since 1999 till 2004 were also delivered with a one-year delay due to technical problems.

The ships cost $1 bln. Frigate INS Talwar, INS Trishul, and INS Tabar proved themselves as quite effective and well-armed ships capable to perform wide range of tasks such as antisubmarine/antiaircraft defense and convoy escorting.


Talwar-class frigates are the first Indian Navy's ships built under stealth technology and equipped with missile vertical launch system. Having ascertained that the frigates have perfect combat and operational capabilities, Indian Navy command decided to reinforce the inventory with another 3-ship series. The $1.6-bln contract for three frigates was signed in summer 2005 and provided delivery in 2011-2012. The project was developed by Severnoye Design Bureau which is affiliate of JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation.

Second trio of frigates differs from the first one in armament. Antiship missile system Club-N was replaced with BrahMos system jointly designed by Russia and India; number of missiles remained the same. Also, hard-to-operate missile/gun air defense systems Kashtan were replaced with well-mastered gun mounts AK-630M.

Basic characteristics of Project 11356 frigates

Full displacement: 4,035 tons
Length: 124.8 meters
Beam: 15.2 meters
Draft: 4.2 meters
Full speed: 30 knots
Cruising range: 4,850 miles at 14 knots
Endurance: 30 knots
Main propulsion plant: 2 gas turbines M7H1, overall power 60,900 shp; 4 x 800 kW diesel generators
Armament: BrahMos antiship cruise missile launcher (8 missiles), one Shtil-1 SAM launcher (24 missiles), one 100-mm gun mount A-190E with Puma guided artillery system, two 30-mm gun mounts AK-630M with Vympel guided artillery system, eight Igla-1E SAM launchers, two coupled 533-mm torpedo tubes DTA-53-956, 1x12 depth-charge launcher RBU-6000 of RPK-8E Zapad system, one Ka-28 (or Ka-31) helicopter.
Radar facilities: general detection radar Fregat-M2EM, acquisition radar ZTSU-25E Kashtan, navigation radar MR-212/201-1, navigation radar Bridge-Master, navigation radar Nucleus-2-6000, electronic warfare system ASOR, sonar system Humsa and SSN-137
Crew is 200 including 18 officers.

Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear submarine successfully conducts Bulava missile launch

Russia's strategic nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgoruky, basing in the White Sea, has successfully conducted a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava to a maximum distance, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Saturday.
"The regular launch of the missile was conducted at 7:20 a.m. Moscow time from a submerged position from the regular carrier in line with the state flight development tests at a maximum flight range of the missile," the spokesman said.
He added that the missile had successfully reached its target in the Pacific Ocean in accordance with all the necessary shipping security measures.
This is the 16th launch of the Bulava missile. Only eight of the previous 15 test launches were successful.
The first test launch of the Bulava from the Yuri Dolgoruky was conducted on June 28, 2011. Before that the missiles were fired from the Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoy submarine.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage missile is specifically designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear submarines.
RIA Novosti

MiG denies stealth technology transfer to China for J-20 fighter

Russia has never transferred any stealth technology to China to assist it with its J-20 Black Eagle fifth-generation stealth fighter prototype, Russian plane maker MiG said on Friday.
"We are not delivering any equipment to China, and never have," MiG spokeswoman Yelena Fyodorova said.
MiG's statement follows claims in the Russian and foreign press last week that China's J-20, unveiled over six months ago, is based on technology and components from the Russian Mikoyan Article 1.44, a stealth technology demonstrator aircraft, development of which was suspended.
Some analysts say the aircraft have close similarities.
"The back end of the J-20 looks awfully like the 1.44, as does the overall layout with delta canards," said Douglas Barrie, an air warfare specialist at the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.
"If it's a coincidence, it's a striking one. Russia may have provided technical support, but there is nothing substantial to prove that. China has however relied on Russia for much of its defense procurement for a decade and a half," he added..
China's J-20 Black Eagle is thought to be conceptually similar to the U.S. F-22 Raptor and the Russian T-50 jets, but is likely to be just a technology demonstrator or prototype rather than a viable fighter.
China has been working on a future fighter program since the mid-1990s, but the J-20 is not expected to enter service before 2018-2020.
Earlier in the month, Mikhail Pogosyan, the head of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation said that China's fifth-generation fighter program is more for effect than substance and branded the maiden flight as a "show-off."
China relied on the Soviet Union for much of its aviation technology until the Sino-Soviet split after 1961. China then carried on developing copies of Soviet and Russian aircraft.
Beijing also relies on Russian engines, radars and electronic components for many of its other aircraft, such as the JF-17 fighter it developed jointly with Pakistan.

RIA Novosti

August 26, 2011

China’s J-20 to be effective capability by 2018 - Pentagon

(Flight Global) : A Pentagon report has highlighted major advances by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), with specific mention of the developmental Chengdu J-20 aircraft.
Washington believes the J-20 could achieve an "effective operational capability" by 2018, and suggests the aircraft's role is as not a fighter, but rather a long-range attack platform. It says engine technology is the main challenge China will face in developing the J-20.
The US Department of Defense's annual report to Congress, entitled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China," covers all aspects of China's defence modernisation.
       "The J-20 will eventually give the People's Liberation Army Air Force a platform capable of long-range, penetrating strikes into complex air defense environments," said the report.
There has been debate in defence circles as to the exact role of the J-20. Some have speculated that it is intended as a direct rival to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter. Another popular theory indicates that it is designed specially for long-range attacks against American aircraft carriers and other targets.
One table in the report underlined the speed and scale of PLAAF modernisation over the last decade.
In 2000, around 2% of its platforms were considered modern, whereas today the number is 25%, with the force being filled out with types such as the Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30, as well as the Chengdu J-10.
The report indicated that most of China's modernisation efforts are aimed squarely at being able to prevail in a conflict over Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province.
China has a total of 1,680 fighter aircraft, of which 330 are stationed within range of Taiwan, where they are opposed by Taiwan's fighter fleet of just 388 aircraft. As for bombers and attack aircraft, 160 are within range of Taiwan, out of a total of 620.
"Currently, 490 aircraft could conduct combat operations against Taiwan without refueling," said the report. "This number could be significantly increased through any combination of aircraft forward deployment, decreased ordnance loads or altered mission profiles."
A war over Taiwan could draw in the USA. Recognising this, China has developed new capabilities tailored for an "anti-access" strategy, aimed at delaying or preventing American intervention.

Pentagon warns India of Chinese build-up

NEW DELHI: The Red Dragon is spreading its wings and sharpening its claws at a rapid clip. From deadly long-range nuclear missiles and an expanding blue-water Navy to potent space and cyber warfare abilities, China will have a "modern" military capable of prolonged high-intensity combat operations by the end of this decade.

Pentagon's latest assessment of the expanding military might of China, released on Thursday, paints a scary picture of the frenetic pace at which the 2.25-million People's Liberation Army (PLA) is being modernized, in the backdrop of uncertainty over its long-term intentions.

Though the US report holds that thwarting any American intervention in Taiwan remains PLA's "main strategic direction", New Delhi can ill-afford to ignore China's increasing trans-border military capabilities, its assiduous strategic encircling of India and hardening posture in the border talks.

The report itself notes PLA has replaced its older liquid-fuelled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 intermediate range ballistic missiles with the "more advanced" solid-fuelled CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile systems along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to "strengthen its deterrent posture" against India.

"A high level of mistrust continues to strain the bilateral relationship...India remains concerned over China's close military relationship with Pakistan and Beijing's growing footprint in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and Africa," says the report.

All this might not startle the Indian defence establishment, which also keeps a close tab on PLA, but the fact remains that China can now move over 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) to the LAC within a month to outnumber Indian forces by at least three-is-to-one due to the huge military infrastructure build-up in Tibet.

India has taken some steps in recent years to counter China, which range from planning a new mountain strike corps (over 35,000 combat troops) in 2012-2017 after raising two new divisions (over 15,000 soldiers each) in Nagaland and Assam to deploying Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, missile batteries and spy drones in the North-East, as reported by TOI earlier.

But a lot more clearly needs to be done. China, after all, is fast steaming ahead with its projects to build its first stealth fighter, the J-20, and multiple aircraft carriers after its first, the 67,500-tonne Varyag acquired surreptitiously from Ukraine, began sea trials recently.

Moreover, China has a hyper-active ballistic and cruise missile programme to add to its already huge nuclear arsenal. They include missiles like the DF-21D ballistic missile to kill aircraft carriers or large ships over 1,500-km away, the road-mobile DF-31A capable of hitting targets 11,200-km away, and the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile with a reach beyond 7,200-km. "China's nuclear arsenal currently consists of 55-65 ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), apart from (5-20) IRBMs, (75-100) MRBMs and (1,000-1,200) SRBMs," says the Pentagon report.

China, of course, also helps Pakistan to boost its military capabilities, with the clear intention to bog down India in South Asia. Pakistan remains China's primary customer for weapons, with sales ranging from JF-17 and F-7 fighters, F-22P frigates and early warning and control aircraft, tanks and missiles, says the report.

Times of India

Agni-2 to be deployed close to China border

 (The Asian Age) : In the wake of a recent Pentagon report that China is moving advanced CSS-5 ballistic missiles to areas close to the Sino-Indian border, New Delhi is clearly taking no chances. The government is now ready to induct the nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile — with a range of 3,000-3,500 km and capable of hitting targets in China —
into the Indian armed forces. It is also in the process of acquiring 42 more Russian-origin Sukhoi-30 MKI frontline fighters to “populate” airbases at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam to bolster the eastern sector.
The government is also reportedly moving the strategic Agni-II missile inducted earlier to areas near the Chinese border. These have a range of around 2,000 km. Extra land is reportedly being procured in West Bengal and elsewhere to deploy these missiles. India is also developing the Agni-V missile (with a range of 5,000 km) that could hit targets deep within China.
When contacted, Army sources Tuesday denied that missile units had been moved to the Eastern Command due to the Chinese threat perception.
The government is also taking other steps, including raising two more Army mountain divisions (30,000 troops) that will probably be deployed on the China border.

China's military buildup potentially destabilising to region

WASHINGTON (PTI): China, buoyed by breakthroughs in development of stealth fighter, aircraft carrier and space and cruise missiles has stepped up the pace and scope of its military modernisation and this build-up is "potentially destabilising" for its neighbours, the Pentagon has warned.

The military advances portend that China will close the technological gap with the major world powers by 2020 and would be able to flex its muscle in the Pacific and beyond.

"The pace and scope of China's sustained military investment have allowed China to pursue capabilities that we believe are potentially destabilising to regional military balances, increase the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation, and may contribute to regional tensions and anxieties," Michael Schiffer, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia said while releasing the Pentagon's annual report on China's military capabilities.

The report said that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA)- with some 1.25 million ground troops, the largest in the world- was on track to achieve its goal of building a regionally focused force by 2020.

It said that China was developing its own aircraft carriers and plans where to have a four carrier task force by 2020. Beijing was also far advanced on work to develop a new generation stealth fighter, the J-20, whose first test had been undertaken in January.

Over the years, Pentagon said China had developed longer range missiles including anti-ship ballistic missiles, potentially capable of attacking American aircraft carriers, which would give Beijing capabilities to strike all regional air and military bases in Asia and Pacific.

Pentagon said that China had developed advanced capability for cyber warfare as it noted that numerous intrusions into computer system around the world in 2010 appeared to have originated in China.

The US report estimated that China's total military spending for 2010 was more than USD 160 billion, but still far short of US which spends USD 500 billion a year.

Schiffer, releasing the report said, "Such capabilities could increase Beijing's options for using military force to gain diplomatic advantage, advance its interests or resolve military disputes in its favour".

"China's expanding military capabilities have enabled it to contribute to the delivery of international public goods, from peacekeeping and counter-piracy to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," he said.

Responding to questions on the recent test by China of its aircraft carrier, Schiffer said this was a development that the Chinese have been working on for a number of years.

"Whether or not this proves to be a, a net plus for the region or for the globe or proves to be something that has destabilising effects and raises blood pressure in various regional capitals, I think that remains to be seen; and again, not to sound like a broken record, but underscores the importance of being able to have those dialogues that allow us to reach greater strategic understanding and aim for a degree of strategic trust, not just between the US and China, but China and its other neighbours as well," he said.


Russia ready to help Venezuela with weaponry purchases

(RIA Novosti) : Moscow is ready to loan Venezuela $4 billion on purchases of military equipment, Russia's Kommersant newspaper said on Friday citing a diplomatic source.
"Russia is ready to loan money to Venezuela," the source said. "Considering the current election campaign in the country, this loan would mean the opportunity to support our key ally in the region."
Venezuelan Minister of Finance and Planning Jorge Giordani is expected to visit Russia in the near future to discuss the conditions of the loan with Russian officials.
Earlier reports indicated that Caracas may ask Russia for an additional $6.5 billion on the development of infrastructure in the oil-rich Latin American country.
Between 2005 and 2007 Venezuela reached deals to buy $4-billion worth of arms from Russia, including Sukhoi fighter jets, combat helicopters, and guns. Chavez' government also secured a $2.2-billion loan in 2010 to purchase Russian T-72 tanks and S-300 air defense systems.

Defence Ministry Urged by Armed Forces to Speed up Helicopter Acquisitions

(Defense Now) : Indian Defence Ministry is currently in the process of finalizing helicopter gunships for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the winner will either be the US-made AH 64 D Apache Longbow or the Russian Mil Mi 28 (Havoc) from Russia. The deal, exclusive of weapons and ammunition, is to be to the tune of $ 550 million and a decision is expected this month.

The IAF intends to procure 22 attack helicopters and the trials have already been conducted in India as well in Russia and U.S for their respective helicopters. At present, the attack helicopter fleet comprises of ageing Soviet-origin Mi 25 and Mi 35 choppers with the IAF but is being used to support land operations of the Indian Army. As for the two contenders for the attack helicopter, the Russian’s have offered the twin-engine, twin-cockpit Mi 28 which has a single under-nose gun and rocket pods attached to short wings. On the other hand, U.S is offering the Boeing-made AH64 D Apache helicopter which is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter that fires Hellfire missiles and has a tandem cockpit for two. The Russian and the U.S helicopters are heavily armoured for close combat.

Besides the attack helicopters, the IAF will also be inking a contract this year for the acquisition of heavy-lift helicopters and the main contenders are Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter and the Russian Mil Mi 26 T2 helicopters. The IAF is looking to buy 15 heavy-lift helicopters chiefly to enable the transportation of the BAe Land Systems M777 ultra-light howitzers to high-altitude posts. A heavy lift chopper is of strategic value as it can lift up to 70 armed troops and even lift artillery guns like the ultra-light howitzers which are being procured for deployment in mountainous areas bordering China and Pakistan. Among its several other usages is the rapid deployment of missile launchers for Agni or Prithvi from one place to other. Mi-26 with 20-tonne carrying capacity, which is the biggest among choppers, have even lifted Bofors guns to higher reaches, placed bulldozers at a height of 16,500 feet and landed critical equipment for the IAF at places like Ladakh.

Besides the acquisition of attack and heavy-lift helicopters, the most crucial contract is for the 197 light-utility helicopters for both the IAF and Indian Army which may be expanded to over 300 helicopters. The Eurocopter AS 550 Fennec and the Russian Kamov Ka 226 helicopters are in the race for this contract for which trials have been completed. These light-utility helicopters are meant for surveillance but can be used for combat operations as they can be armed. They will replace the vintage Cheetahs and Chetaks with the Armed Forces. 
The IAF and the Indian Army have been urging the Defence Ministry to speed up these acquisitions as they were first initiated about seven years ago and are long overdue. The acquisition always gets dogged by some controversy or the other and the global tender for the choppers has even being cancelled earlier due to allegations of corruption or single-vendor situation.

Mahindra gears up for military march

 (Business Standard) : Taps into group synergies for bigger defence play with expertise in sectors as diverse as auto and infotech, the $12.5-billion Mahindra Group is tapping into group synergies to roll out its next big bet in the Indian defence space.
The Indian Army’s future infantry combat vehicles programme, a $12-billion order to supply 2,600 vehicles, may actually see this playing out on the ground. Mahindras are among the four shortlisted entities, and if selected will actually see group entities Mahindra Satyam and Mahindra Systech collaborating with the defence division. Mahindra Engineering Services, a part of Mahindra Systech, is working on the automotive design aspects, while Mahindra Satyam is creating the information technology backbone, or “battlefield management systems” in the defence parlance. Systech’s role as a key component vendor will increase, once the entire supply chain is put in place.
“We saw defence as an emerging mega trend over a decade back. And, today, Mahindra Defence System (MDS), an operating group under Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) itself, is poised to handle bigger and integrated solutions that are much in demand. We now have the necessary state of readiness to achieve scale and be commercially viable, and can exploit the group advantage,” said Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and managing director of M&M.
India is planning to spend $80-100 billion in defence capital purchases over the next decade. Currently, 70 per cent of this gets imported, though the political establishment has been trying to gradually open up to the Indian private sector.
But Mahindra was rather conservative while outlining the business prospects. “This is a sector where the opportunity is worth billions of dollars. But unlike retail, there is no predictability of orders or easy foreseeable demand patterns. I see this piece to be at least half a billion dollars for us alone in the near term,” he said.
The plans are not just on paper or restricted to prototypes. Already, 1,000 legacy armoured vehicles of MDS have been rolled out for various government services.
In fact, the Mahindras’ defence play is now becoming far more evolved. Defence Land Systems India (DLSI), Mahindra’s 74:26 joint venture with global defence and security company BAE Systems, has reached an inflection point, with the commercial roll-outs of its mine protection vehicles (MPVs), a first for the Indian private sector.
“It’s not about slapping steel. These MPVs are significantly different from our other auto platforms. We have altered the chassis, which has been supplied by Russian truck manufacturer Ural, and have indigenised the manufacturing to make it custom-made for Indian conditions,” said Mahindra.
The alliance with BAE has helped in technology and product capability transfer from BAE’s South African arm, OMC.
From its Faridabad facility, the first batch of six MPV-I vehicles will be headed for Jharkhand to assist armed forces in counter insurgency operations. Already, states like Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have shown interest. “We are also expecting follow-on orders from Jharkhand,” said Khutub Hai, managing director and chief executive officer of DLSI. “The ministry of home affairs has a requirement of around 300 MPVs, for which request for proposals will be issued shortly.”
“Our vehicles are the most powerful in the category. It seats more people (16+2), as opposed to 10+2 in others. It also has a much higher level of improvised explosive device protection,” explained Hai.
According to Mahindra, BAE is the partner for all initiatives in land systems and depending on demand dynamics, it may even extend to include light artillery weapons like howitzers. But company officials said over the next year, series of initiatives were being planned for a much bigger and diversified interest.
The naval systems piece will get hived off into a wholly owned subsidiary, after which other global joint venture partners are likely to come on board. These partnerships can either be for specific projects or be omnibus in nature. The concentration here will mainly be for niche products of under water weapon systems, but maritime patrol boats could also be looked into. Mahindra Odyssea is already into the powerboats business.
To bridge the gap in defence electronics, M&M is looking at acquiring specialised companies. These buyouts will help integrate the electronics piece with the land, naval and the aerospace verticals. This, in turn, will be the catalyst to develop capabilities for manufacturing complex weapons systems and sub-systems.
Even with BAE, the scope is much larger. The common objective is to leverage India’s low-cost manufacturing and emerge as a hub for a bigger global supply chain. India, however, will be the dominant market to cater to. In this game plan, if required, existing partners or global arms like Navistar and SsangYong can also come on board.

August 25, 2011

The happiest places in Europe

                                                                                       RIA Novosti

Next test of Russia's Bulava missile set for Aug. 27 - source

A state commission has scheduled the next test launch of the Bulava ballistic missile for August 27, a source in the commission told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
The launch from the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky strategic submarine was originally planned for August 20, but was postponed until the submarine was ready for the next round of missile tests.
"The members of the state commission have decided to resume the tests of the Bulava missile and set August 27 as the date for the next test launch for its maximum range from the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine," the source said.
Russia has carried out 15 test launches of the Bulava. Only eight of them were successful.
The first test launch of the Bulava from the Yuri Dolgoruky was conducted on June 28, 2011. Before that the missiles were fired from the Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoy submarine.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage missile is specifically designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear submarines.
The Russian military is planning to conduct four additional tests of the missile before putting it into service by the end of 2011.

RIA Novosti

China deploys N-capable CSS-5 MRBMs on Indian border: US

WASHINGTON (PTI): China has deployed more advanced and survivable solid-fuel nuclear capable CSS-5 MRBM missiles against India as a 'deterrent posture', Pentagon has said warning that a high degree of mistrust continues to strain their bilateral ties.

The PLA has replaced liquid-fueled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fueled CSS-5 MRBM systems to strengthen its deterrent posture relative to India, the Pentagon has said in its annual report on Chinese military build up to the Congress.

The report also says that Beijing is pumping in huge investments on border infrastructure developments laying more roads and rail network along the Sino-Indian border.

"Although this construction is primarily aimed at facilitating economic development in western China, improved roads could also support PLA border defense operations," it said.

Pentagon said that New Delhi remains concerned by China's close military ties with Pakistan and its growing footprints in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and Africa.


Agni-II ready for testing from Wheeler Island

(Time of India) : BALASORE: India is all set to test its 2,000-km range Agni-II missile from Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast next week. The test will be conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army.
Defence officials said preparations for the scheduled test are on at the launching complex since the past one week. A team of Army personnel and scores of DRDO scientists are camping here for the crucial test. "Agni-II's user training trial is likely to be conducted any time between August 29 and 30 to give the necessary confidence to the armed forces that the two-stage, solid-fuelled missile can be fired whenever required," said a defence scientist.
The indigenously built weapon is a two-stage solid propelled ballistic missile that weighs 17 tonne and is 20 metre long. It can carry a payload of 1 tonne over a distance of 2,000 km. Agni-II was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other DRDO laboratories. The missile is part of the Agni series, which included Agni-I with a 700-km range and Agni-III with a 3,500-km range. While Agni-I and Agni-II have been already inducted, Agni-III is in the process of induction.
Agni-II is a ready-to-fire missile with a launch time of about 15 minutes. The missile uses solid propulsion booster and liquid propulsion upper state. The strap-down inertial navigation system provides the necessary guidance, accuracy and uses an advanced composite structure for protecting the payload during the re-entry phase.
The missile technologists are leaving no stone unturned to make this trial of Agni-II missile successful as the fear of technological glitches haunts them. Agni-II, an already-proven missile, had developed snags twice consecutively during user training exercises in 2009, putting the entire DRDO fraternity in an embarrassing situation.
However, during a similar test on May 17 last year, the missile was claimed to be tested successfully.
The scientist said the DRDO was working on multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles technology for the Agni series of ballistic missiles, which would help the missiles carry a bunch of nuclear warheads in a single payload, each of which can hit different targets along separate trajectories.

Large Su-34 Fleet In Russian Aircraft Plan

(Aviationweek) : Money alone cannot reinvigorate an air force after years of neglect—that is the painful lesson the Russian military is learning as it and the domestic industry work to modernize the country’s air force.
The influx of funding in the past two years has undoubtedly benefited industry, triggering a reversal of fortunes. But it also has brought to the forefront a raft of new problems, including how to meet the timetable for replenishing the air force fleet.
The size of the appetite for fighters was underscored by Russian air force chief Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, who says the service is looking to field five squadrons of Su-34s, or around 120 aircraft. The fighter program languished in development for years; the first operational unit was only established recently, more than a decade late. Four of the aircraft were handed over last year and six are due to be delivered this year, with 12 to follow each year thereafter.
But Zelin is concerned about fielding plans for the Su-35, Russia’s latest fighter, which is seen as an important element in the fleet renewal plan and also as a capability gap-filler until the fifth-generation T-50 arrives. The Su-35 program has suffered development delays, in part because of a ground accident with the third prototype three years ago that destroyed the aircraft, but also due to concern in the service that the Su-35 will not meet the Russian air force’s specifications. The fighter was initially designed for the export market when Russia’s industry was unable to secure funding at home.
Pressure is mounting on the Su-35 program also because of the aggressive time line that has been set for the T-50, which Zelin describes as the service’s top fighter priority. Two aircraft are in flight trials and United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) President Mikhail Pogosyan promises two more will be delivered this year. Plans call for the first preproduction T-50 to be handed over in 2013, with the production standard aircraft to become available in 2014-15.
But behind the scenes, military officials worry that the T-50 development and production milestones cannot be met, and they feel the Su-35 needs to be fielded quickly to address immediate equipment concerns.
In many respects, the Su-35 also serves as a technology pathfinder for the T-50. Both use the same Article 117S engines and their radar technology shares a heritage. The Su-35’s Irbis-E has a 350-400-km (220-250-mi.) detection range for targets with a 3-sq.-meter (33-sq.-ft.) radar signature and is both electronically and mechanically scanned. It has the ability to track up to 30 targets simultaneously and engage eight at the same time.
The Su-35’s laser targeting pod in particular could act as a trailblazer for the T-50. Plans call for the stealth fighter to use the large Article 110KS pod developed by UOMZ, although it would compromise the aircraft’s low observability. The Su-35, on the other hand, will likely use an internally mounted system, with a low radar cross section, that could migrate to the T-50.
Also helping to bolster the arsenal in the near term is a pending order for additional Su-30s. The Russian air force is expected to buy 28 Su-30SMs, the Russian version of the Su-30MKI Irkut has sold to the Indian air force. The Su-30SM would retain Western equipment from companies such as Thales and Safran in a rare departure from Russia’s emphasis on using domestic suppliers, says an industry official. The yet-to-be-announced contract for Su-30SMs also is expected to include an option for 12 aircraft, potentially to meet a not fully defined requirement from Russia’s navy aviation arm.
The concerns about fielding time lines go beyond the combat aircraft realm. Zelin notes that the Il-476 transport is due to be in service in 2013 but says,“we would like to have it earlier.” The current development activity will not allow that.
The fleet replacement worries are further illustrated by the troubles with the Tu-22M bombers belonging to the Russian navy’s air arm, which now fall under control of the air force. Obsolescence of engine parts has created a maintenance nightmare for the fleet and prompted the military to restart parts production of critical powerplant components. Zelin sees progress on this front and says that once the situation is improved the aircraft may be reassigned to the navy.
But there are limits to Russia’s appetite for new equipment. Despite the hopes of industry players such as MiG that the Russian air force will buy into a light fifth-generation fighter program, that does not look promising. Zelin suggests that more likely would be the acquisition of MiG-35s, which were initially developed for India. However, he tempers the prospect by noting that the issue is secondary to the T-50.

Russia delays delivery of three stealth frigates: Antony

NEW DELHI (PTI): The acquisition of three Talwar class stealth frigates for Indian Navy from Russia has been delayed by one year to 14 months, government said Wednesday.

It also said the delivery of aircraft carrier "Gorshkov", which has been named 'INS Vikramaditya' is expected in December next year.

"Rosoboronexport (the Russian company) has intimated that the delivery of ships would be delayed by 12 months for the first ship, 11 months for the second ship and 14 months for the third one," Defence Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha.

On delivery of arms from Russia, Antony said, "A contract was signed with Rosoboronexport in 2006 for acquisition of three Talwar class follow-on ships and the delivery schedule for these three ships was April 2011, October 2011 and April 2012."

In a written reply, he said that two major cases of shipbuilding project with Rosoboronexport, 'Gorshkov' aircraft carrier and Talwar class warships, have been delayed.

"The induction of Gorshkov was rescheduled due to additional works such as renewal of almost all equipment and systems, hull structures, cabling and application of long-life paint to afford greater protection to its steel plating and formulation of detailed scope of harbour, sea and aircraft trials," he said.

On Talwar class ships, Antony said, "The delays are primarily on account of non-availability of adequate skilled manpower at the shipyard to undertake concurrent construction of these vessels and the delays in delivery of Russian-origin equipment."

The issues relating to delay of supply of defence equipment from Russia are taken up in various bilateral fora such as High Level Monitoring Committee (HLMC), Indo-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGCMTC) meetings and in the Project Review Meetings, he said.


August 24, 2011

S Korea receives 3 more F-15K Slam Eagles

(BNS): The South Korean Air Force received three F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft from Boeing at Daegu Air Base.

"We are pleased to receive the latest three F-15K Slam Eagles, F-15K 51, 52 and 53, from Boeing. The F-15K is one of our most important assets in defence of the peninsula. We are satisfied with the continued on-schedule, quality deliveries of our F-15K Slam Eagles from Boeing," Lt. Col. Tae Uk Kim, Commander of the 110th Squadron, 11th Fighter Wing, ROKAF, was quoted as saying in the company news release.

Boeing delivered the first six of 21 F-15Ks it is producing under the Next Fighter II contract in 2010, followed by two in April and two more in May. The remaining eight aircraft will be delivered through April 2012.

The F-15K is an advanced variant of the combat-proven F-15E. Equipped with the latest technological upgrades, it is extremely capable, survivable and maintainable.

The aircraft’s service life is planned through 2040, with technology insertions and upgrades throughout its life cycle. Boeing completed delivery of 40 Next Fighter I F-15K aircraft to the South Korean Air Force in October 2008.


Russia’s State Arms Program Provides Construction of Ten Yasen Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines

Russia’s State Arms Program 2011-2020 provides construction of ten Project 885 Yasen nuclear-powered attack submarines, reports ITAR-TASS referring to a source in Military Industrial Committee at Russian Government.
The mentioned submarines will be armed with supersonic cruise missiles, such as Onyx, rocket torpedoes, and torpedoes. “Use of different munitions is provided, both nuclear and conventional”, pointed out the source.
Initially, Russian Navy was supposed to receive 30 Yasen-class subs, but later purchase amount was reduced down to 6 subs due to lack of financing. As is expected, the first Project 885 submarine SSN Severodvinsk would be delivered to the Navy till the current year is over. That submarine was laid down in 1993. Presently, Sevmash shipyard (Severodvinsk) builds the second Yasen-class sub keel-laid in 2009 – SSN Kazan – under upgraded project Yasen-M.
Hull length of Yasen-class submarines is 119 meters; displacement is 13,800 tons; endurance is 100 days; max speed is 31 knots; armament includes ten 650-mm and 533-mm torpedo tubes and 24 launchers for “ship-to-ship” and “ship-to-land” missiles. In addition, submarines of this project will be armed with cruise missiles with operational range of hundreds km.

:  NavalToday

Iran Unveils New Marine Missile, Torpedo

(Defenseworld) : President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a short range marine missile and a torpedo system on Tuesday as Iran marked its annual "Defence Industry Day," state media reported.

 "Qader (Able) missile, built by the capable hands of Iranian experts, is a marine cruise missile with a 200 kilometre (120 mile) range, possessing high destructive ability which can be used against coastal targets and warships," the state television website reported.

      Ahmadinejad also unveiled a torpedo system called "Valfajr (The Dawn) to be used by submarines.

      It has a payload of 220 kilograms (485 pounds) and can be used in shallow and deep water, the website said, adding that the unveiling ceremony was held at Malek Ashtar University in Tehran which has close links to the Revolutionary Guards, the elite military force.

      Ahmadinejad said Iran's arsenal was not aimed at any nations and would only be used to fend off possible aggressions.

      "We do not want to use our military might to conquer lands and dominate humanity," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying in the unveiling ceremony.

      "The best deterrence is that enemy does not dare aggression and must be so certain of a decisive response that it does not contemplate" an attack, he added.

August 23, 2011

Israel to deploy third Iron Dome following more intercepts

(FlightGlobal) : The Israeli air force will deploy its third Rafael-produced Iron Dome mobile air defence system in September, the nation's government has announced.
Using a current two batteries, the air force has succeeded in intercepting 90% of the BM-21 Grad 122mm and Kassam rockets that have been launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
They have destroyed 20 rockets that had assumed a trajectory likely to come down on populated areas, while others judged as not posing a risk were ignored.
Israel fielded its first Iron Dome near Ashqelon in early April.
According to an emergency plan its air force will by the end of 2013 operate nine systems, to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells.
The US administration recently approved a special $205 million budget for the emergency procurement.
Each Iron Dome system features a tracking radar, battle management and weapons control unit and a missile firing unit armed with interceptors capable of tackling threats over a range of up to 70km (38nm).
These are intended to avoid collateral damage by detonating the target's warhead well away from the defended area.
According to foreign sources, Singapore has already purchased the Iron Dome system, with other countries also showing interest following its successful real-life intercepts.
Raytheon, on 16 August, announced that it has teamed with Rafael to offer the equipment for use by the US military.
"Iron Dome complements other Raytheon weapons that provide intercept capabilities to the US Army's counter rocket, artillery and mortar initiative at forward operating bases," said Mike Booen, vice president of Raytheon missile systems' advanced security and directed energy systems product line.

Army plans mountain strike corps to counter China

New Delhi: The Indian Army is planning to set up a mountain strike corps and is talking to various states against the backdrop of a Chinese build up of military infrastructure on its side of boundary.
“We are in talks with the governments of states including Assam, West Bengal and Bihar for setting up the Mountain Corps headquarters, which would require at least 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land,” senior army sources said here.
Around 10-12 locations in these states have been identified by the army to set up the formation, they said.
The Mountain Strike Corps is being planned by the army after it established two new Mountain Infantry Divisions for the northeastern region.
The two new divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, have their headquarters in Zakama in Nagaland and Missamari in Assam.
The army is also looking to deploy ultra-light howitzers and light tanks along the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
The IAF, on its part, has already based Sukhoi-30MKI fighters at airbases like Tezpur and Chabua. Eastern sector advanced landing grounds (ALGs) like Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro and Vijaynagar as well as several helipads in Arunachal Pradesh are also now being upgraded, much like western sector ALGs like Daulat Beg Oldi, Fukche and Nyama in eastern Ladakh.
All these developments come against the backdrop of a major build-up of military infrastructure by China all along the border, which includes five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads in Tibet Autonomous Region.
PTI / First post

“Fire and forget:” Engineers unveil new missile system

                                                                                  RIA Novosti

Mazagon sees opening in submersible drift

Offers to make more Scorpene submarines.
With India's submarine acquisition programme tangled in a decade-old logjam, defence shipyard Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) has staked claim for Project 75I, a line of six advanced submarines for the Indian Navy.
MDL is already building Project 75, for six Scorpene submarines, using technology from Armaris, the Franco-Spanish shipbuilder. It believes the decision-making paralysis that has stymied Project 75I will allow MDL to build at least three, and possibly six, more Scorpenes after completing Project 75. Project 75I is in the doldrums, after three Ministry of Defence (MoD) committees failed to zero on the Indian shipyards capable of participating in such a project. Besides MDL, already engaged in Project 75, Larsen & Toubro is competing fiercely for Project 75I, flaunting its role in building INS Arihant, the country’s first nuclear submarine. As time has passed without a decision, new contenders, particularly Pipavav Shipyard and the MoD's newly-acquired Hindustan Shipyard Ltd have also emerged as contenders.
Meanwhile, the MoD is more fuddled than ever after its third and latest high-power committee, headed by
V Krishnamurthy, chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, failed to agree on which shipyard(s) should be awarded Project 75I. The MoD is currently pondering the Krishnamurthy committee's divided recommendations. An earlier MoD decision to build three Project 75I submarines at MDL, one at HSL and two in the private sector or abroad now stands scrapped.
With tendering nowhere in sight, the chief of MDL, Vice Admiral (retd) H S Malhi, says their Project 75 Scorpene production line provides a handy springboard for Project 75I. MDL, as Malhi notes, has the facilities, the experience, the workmen and an ongoing workflow that make it easy to extend the six-Scorpene order of Project 75, improving the specifications if the navy so requires.
Malhi mobilises a powerful financial argument: India has already paid Rs 6,000 crore for Scorpene technology. Building additional Scorpenes would only require the payment of licence fees. Choosing another design would require paying for technology afresh.
“If the tender for Project 75I is going to be delayed by another two-three years, we can easily extend the current Scorpene order by another three submarines. Else, Project 75I could be a Scorpene-plus, a more potent submarine, with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) and the ability to launch missiles. The technology we have already paid for would be amortised over a larger number of submarines, making these cheaper,” he argues.
Sections of the Indian Navy would welcome more Scorpenes quickly, in the face of a worrisome submarine build-up by China and Pakistan. However, a powerful lobby within the navy, which favours Russian submarines, opposes extending the Scorpene order. They have a potent political argument against ordering more Scorpenes, that Project 75 was not competitively bid but was a controversial, single-vendor purchase. Enlarging the order would be fraught with political risk.
Further, going by the navy's 30-year Submarine Construction Plan, which the apex Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) okayed in 1999, Project 75I must build Russian submarines. The 30-year plan for constructing 24 conventional submarines in India envisages two simultaneous construction lines: one building six submarines from western technology and another building six submarines from eastern bloc (i.e. Russian) know-how. Based on the experience gathered, India would build another 12 submarines to an indigenous design.
Project 75, for six Scorpenes, is the western technology line. The next six must incorporate Russian technology, according to the 30-year plan. Indian Navy submarine folklore believes Russian designs feature greater endurance and firepower; while western designs are stealthier and harder to detect. Indian designers are to incorporate the best of both traditions into the 12 indigenous submarines.
MDL faces flak for a three-year delay in Project 75, but Malhi has strongly defended his shipyard's record. Admitting the first Scorpene would indeed be delivered three years late (in mid-2015, instead of 2012), Malhi says he will deliver the remaining five submarines at eight-month intervals instead of the 12-month interval originally planned. That means all six Scorpenes will be delivered by September 2018, just nine months later than the scheduled completion of Project 75.
MDL plans to achieve this by setting up a second Scorpene line at a recently acquired shipyard, the Alcock Yard, within its premises in Mumbai. After mid-2013, all six submarines will be outfitted simultaneously, the first three in the current workshop, and the next three in Alcock Yard.

Business Standard , Ajai Shukla

August 22, 2011

South Korea develops cruise missiles based on Russian ones – media

South Korean military conducts development of new supersonic antiship cruise missiles on the basis of Russian missile Yakhont, reports AFP on Aug 17 referring to local newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

The missile will fly low over the water 2.5 times faster than sound speed and have operational range of 300 km. Detection and tracking of such missile would be quite complicated.

"The Agency for Defense Development has been conducting the full-scale development work on supersonic antiship missiles for several years", reports the source referring to an undisclosed representative of South Korean government.

According to the source, the missiles "are designed to protect the country from sea threats proceeding from other regional states, not only North Korea".

Representatives of South Korea's Agency for Defense Development and Defense Procurement Agency refused to comment the information released by Chosun Ilbo.