June 30, 2012

Russia Nears Tank Ammo Deal With India

Russia is nearing a deal with India on manufacture and delivery of advanced tank ammunition, Rosoboronexport, a state-run arms exporter, said on Friday.
“The first round of negotiations on the delivery of 3UBK20 (Mango) tank ammunition has been completed and the second round - on its licensed manufacture in India - will start on Monday,” company deputy head Igor Sevastyanov said.
He did not specify the volume of deliveries, only saying it was “big.”
Russia has already started building a joint venture in India to manufacture rockets for Smerch multiple rocket launch systems, he said.
Another Rosoboronexport official, Viktor Komardin, earlier said Russian arms sales to India could be worth an estimated $3 billion a year.

RIA Novosti

June 28, 2012

Hypersonic Brahmos Missile to be Ready by 2017

The first prototype of a hypersonic cruise missile being jointly developed by Russia and India will be ready for flight testing in 2017, CEO of the Russian-Indian joint venture Brahmos Aerospace, Sivathanu Pillai, said on Wednesday.
Russia and India have recently agreed to develop hypersonic BrahMos 2 missile capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5-Mach 7.
“I think we will need about five years to develop the first fully-functional prototype [of the hypersonic missile],” Pillai said at an engineering technology forum near Moscow.
“We have already carried out a series of lab tests [of the missile] at the speed of 6.5 Mach,” he said.
Pillai said that the new missile will be made in three variants – ground-launched, airborne, and sea-launched.
The official said the new missiles will be supplied only to India and Russia, without exports to third countries.
Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, a Russian-Indian joint venture currently manufactures BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles based on the Russian-designed NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26).
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs). It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
Sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.
The flight tests of the airborne version will be completed by the end of 2012.
The Indian Air Force is planning to arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles.

RIA Novosti

Russian Destroyer Shot Down Turkish Airplane, Turkey's Politician Says

Northern Fleet (NF) destroyer Admiral Chabanenko allegedly shot down Turkish reconnaissance airplane RF-4E taken off airbase Erhach on June 22 and disappeared fr om radars over the Mediterranean Sea next to Syria 1.5 hours later, says Masum Turker, leader of Turkey's Democratic Left Party. That was reported by Latest UK News referring to the politician's statement in the interview to TV8 Channel. However, Central Navy Portal asked Russia's Northern Fleet Press Service to comment the situation; the Navy says Admiral Chabanenko was not deployed off Syria at all.

"There are currently two Russian war ships and a Russian frigate in Latakia harbor", Turker said. "One of them, Admiral Chabanenko, has the technology to detect the slightest action in the air. The vessel that shot down our plane is Chabanenko, it is the most equipped vessel of the three", he concluded.

In his statement, Turker referred to Turkish foreign ministry and intelligence service.

As was told Central Navy Portal by NF Press Service, destroyer (large ASW ship) Admiral Chabanenko is currently "far from Syria. Our ship does not have a fantastic capability of hitting targets in Eastern Mediterranean being stationed in the homebase", the Russian Navy spokesman said.

According to information available to Central Navy Portal, destroyer Admiral Chabanenko is currently moored at NF main base Severomorsk. Somewhat a month ago, the ship took part in the Pomor-2012 Russo-Norwegian naval exercise. As was earlier reported, Syrian authorities declared that its forces shot down a Turkish intruder airplane over Syrian territorial waters. However, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the airplane had been destroyed in international airspace and only its wrecks fell down into Syrian waters.

According to recent Turkish media reports, Russia allegedly deployed warships to Syrian port Tartus wh ere Russian Navy has maintenance support base. However, Russian defense ministry has not confirmed that information.

Recall that in 2012 Russian warships called at Tartus port many times. To replenish supplies, destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, frigate Ladny, and tanker Lena, being deployed with the Russian Navy's carrier group in the Mediterranean, visited the port in Jan 2012. Aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov and rescue tug Nikolai Chiker were anchored off the Tartus port then.

However, as is known, Admiral Chabanenko set a homeward course and returned to Severomorsk on Feb 20, 2012.

The latest Russian warship visiting Tartus was destroyer Smetlivy patrolled Syrian coast in the spring 2012.

Later on today, Turkish defense minister Ismet Yilmaz confuted media reports that the Turkish fighter Phantom was allegedly shot down near Syrian coast by Russian forces.

Answering request of Turkish parliament, Yilmaz said that according to his knowledge Russians were not involved in the incident and the airplane being on peaceful mission was downed by Syrians without any notification.

Masum Turker said he was not satisfied with the Turkish defense minister's statement and did not believe him.


Govt clears procurement effort of QR-SAMs for 8 Army air defence regiments

The MoD's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared a Rs. 12,000-crore acquisition of quick-reaction surface-to-air missiles for the Army. The missiles will arm eight air defence regiments of the Army. Competitors from US, Israel, France and Russia are expected to compete for the massive order that could take more than a year to finalise.
 Former Army Chief General V.K. Singh, in his letter to the Prime Minister, had highlighted the obsolete state of Indian Army's air defence arsenal. The decision today is a big boost for air defence cover of the country. The missiles are to replace the Army's obsolete Russian Kvadrat surface-to-air missile batteries. The IAF is awaiting the supply of Rafael SpyDer QR-SAM systems—a product that will compete for the Army competition as well. The huge order will include mostly license production by Bharat Dynamics Ltd.

- SP's MAI

BlueBird to soar with Piramal investment

Indian pharmaceutical giant Piramal Healthcare is to invest in Israeli unmanned air systems manufacturer BlueBird.
BlueBird was reluctant to comment on the deal, which was reached in principle following a number of meetings in Israel, but sources say Piramal has agreed to make an investment worth around $20 million through its US subsidiary. The firm held earlier talks with several Israeli manufacturers that are planning to bid for a deal to equip the Indian armed forces with mini UAS.
Piramal plans to establish a new defence subsidiary, and its initial investment could potentially lead to it signing deals with other Israeli companies, sources say. Its agreement with BlueBird follows the Israeli manufacturer's previous pact with India's Dynamatic Technologies.
Several major Israeli manufacturers are making preparations to team with Indian companies as New Delhi works towards releasing requests for quotations for mini and micro UAS to equip the Indian army. These include Aeronautics, Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries.
Sources suggest that India could acquire 500 unmanned systems, with the selected air vehicles to offer an endurance of at least 30min.

Flight Global

June 27, 2012

India to build second aircraft carrier

India plans to build its second indigenous aircraft carrier after the first one becomes operational by 2015 -16.

The first one – 40,000 tonnes Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) – is being constructed at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) since 2009 and is expected to be inducted by 2017.

Subsequently, CSL will undertake construction of the second carrier, which will be bigger than the first one.

“The indigenous aircraft carrier programme is planned to be a continuing process over the next decade as Indian Navy aims to have at least two fully operational and combat worthy carriers available at any given time,” Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said in his talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London on Monday.

With India’s lone carrier INS Viraat at the fag end of its career, Navy is set to receive Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya in December to boost its capability.

The IAC-1 will be launched in water by 2013 and may start sea-trials by 2016. The programme is almost two and half years behind schedule as the target launch date was 2010. As the Navy’s long-term perspective plan envisages having three carrier battle groups, the CSL will start building IAC-2 once the work on the first one is over. A must to have in the repository to be projected as a powerful maritime nation, a carrier battle group is a small flotilla of warships at the core of which lie an aircraft carrier.

Verma said Navy’s induction programme was structured in such a way that every year over the next 5 years, as many as five ships and submarines would be inducted if shipyards deliver the platforms on contract schedule.

Deccan Herald

Indian Air Force take delivery of Global 5000

The Indian Air Force have taken delivery of a Global 5000 from Bombardier, from an order originally destined for a Maltese customer.
Arriving at Shannon on Sunday night from St. Louis Downtown, msn 9424 / C-GHVB stayed the night before departing to Tel Aviv the next morning.It’s unclear if the aircraft is destined for some work with Israel Aerospace Industries in Tel Aviv before final delivery, but it is understood that the Indians have been shopping for a system similar to the Raytheon developed Global Express based Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) system deployed by the UK’s Royal Air Force recently in Afghanistan.
BIZJET Blogger

June 26, 2012

India Tests Upgraded Arjun Tank

India has started testing a deeply modernized version of its domestically-developed Arjun main battle tank, The Times of India newspaper reported.
The trials of the Arjun Mark II main battle tank (MBT) began at the Pokhran field firing range in northwestern India on June 22 and will continue until the end of July.
The testing focuses on 19 major modifications to improve the features that came under heavy criticism in its earlier version, the Arjun Mark I MBT, The Times of India cited on Monday India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) spokesperson Ravi Gupta as saying.
The major upgrades include missile-firing capability against long-range targets, panoramic sight with night vision, additional ammunition types, explosive reactive armor, advanced air-defense gun to engage helicopters, an advanced land navigation system and improved running gear.
The new version, if approved, will supplement 124 Arjun Mark I MBTs already in service. The Indian Defense Ministry has ordered a total of 124 modernized Arjun MBTs to be built at the DRDO's heavy vehicles factory in Avadi, near Chennay.
According to the Indian military experts, the 66-ton Arjun “moves like a 'Ferrari' in the desert” even compared with a lighter 40-ton Russian T-90S MBT, which is also in service with the Indian army.

RIA Novosti

June 25, 2012

Arjun Mark II' tank trial begins in Rajasthan

The trial of 'Arjun Mark II' tanks has started at Rajasthan's Pokhran field firing range, the Defence Reasearch and Development Organisation said on Sunday.
“The trials started on Friday last and will continue for the next two months. The ongoing trials will mainly focus on 19 parametres,” DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta said in a release in Jaipur.
“Indian Army accepted 124 Arjuns into service but the Army has made a follow-on order conditional upon 93 improvements to the Arjun, including 19 major modifications,” defence spokesperson S D Goswami said.
The major upgrades would be missile-firing capability against long-range targets, panoramic sight with night vision to engage targets effectively at night, containerisation of the ammunition, enhanced main weapon penetration; additional
ammunition types, explosive reactive armour, an advanced air-defence gun to engage helicopters.
“Other upgrades are an enhanced Auxiliary power unit providing 8.5 KW (from 4.5 KW) and an improved gun barrel, changes in the commander's panoramic sight with eye safe LRF, night vision capability including for driver, digital control harness,”he said.
This tank is the successor to Arjun Mark 1 Tank.
An Arjun tank is operated by a four-member crew comprising a commander-cum navigator, gunner, loader and driver.

The Indian Express

Delhi, Mumbai to get missile defence shield

(The Tribune) : Delhi and Mumbai, the two most vital metros of India, have been chosen for DRDO's Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system that can be put in place at short notice. The detailed proposal is being prepared for final clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
The strategic planning has already begun to install the BMD system in the two cities and the final proposal will be put before the government after detailed analysis of the entire project, sources told PTI here.
The sites for installing radars to track enemy missiles and storing counter-attack projectiles will be determined during the planning stage, they said, adding that these locations must have adequate stealth feature and protection against enemy sabotage.
To ensure maximum protection against air-borne threats, DRDO will put a mix of counter-attack missiles which will be able to shoot down enemy missiles both within earth's atmosphere (endo-atmospheric) and outside it (exo-atmospheric).
The BMD system will require minimum human intervention due to the complete automation of tracking devices and counter-measures. Human intervention will be required only to abort the mission, the sources said.
After successful implementation in Delhi and Mumbai, the system will be used to cover other major cities in the country, they added.
The shield, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, has undergone a series of successful tests. It can destroy an incoming ballistic missile with the range of up to 2,000 km. During the test stage, DRDO used variants of Prithvi missiles as simulated targets and successfully intercepted them in mid-air.
All the necessary elements such as long-range radars and tracking devices, real-time datalink and mission control system required for installing the BMD missile system have been also been successfully tested by the DRDO.
The system is all set to be upgraded to the range of 5,000 km by 2016.

  The plan
  • A detailed proposal is being prepared for final clearance from the CCS
  • To ensure maximum protection against air-borne threats, DRDO will put a mix of counter-attack missiles
  • The BMD system will require minimum human intervention
  • The shield has undergone a series of successful tests
  • It can destroy an incoming ballistic missile with the range of up to 2,000 km 

June 21, 2012

Germany lobbies hard for Eurofighter

With the Defence Ministry not being able to freeze the commercial contract to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets from French major Dassault Aviation, arch rival Germany is still lobbying hard to bring back Eurofighter typhoon in the competition.

In her bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of G20 summit at Los Cabos in Mexico, German chancellor Angela Merkel raised this issue and asked why Eurofighter Typhoon could not be considered for India´s biggest defence deal.

India intends to buy 126 combat jets at a price of $10.4 billion. After a two year long trial process Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon were shortlisted. Subsequently, Rafale emerged as the lowest bidder.

With the Indian Air Force almost certain to place a follow on order of 63 more aircraft after the initial 126 planes, the deal value is all set to surpass the 20 billion mark and come as a major boost to struggling European economy.

However, the price negotiation committee in the Defence Ministry yet to complete the final contract, Eurofighter is not leaving any stone unturned to lobby at the highest level of the government to oust Rafale from the fray.

Eyebrows were raised recently when EADS was allowed to make a presentation in the front of the top brass of the government on Typhoon causing a ripple at the diplomatic circle. The Typhoon was designed by a consortium of three companies, EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems working through a holding company Eurofighter GmbH.

Sources said Prime Minister Singh made it absolutely clear to French president Francois Hollande that there was no question of reconsideration as Rafale was selected through a fair and transparent process. President Hollande thanked the Prime Minister for having faith on Rafale. However, there is still not any clarity on when the agreement would be signed though sources did not rule out the formal inking during the first India visit of the new French president.

Deccan Herald

June 19, 2012

Artillery Btn moved to LoC as Pak shells Poonch posts again

Pakistani troops today violated ceasefire for the fourth time in the last five days and pounded Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) with mortar shells in Poonch district, promoting the Army to move an artillery battalion to forward posts in Krishna Ghati (KG) sector.

Reliable sources told The Tribune that an artillery battalion has been moved from Mendhar to effectively check possible infiltration attempts by militants from across the border besides dealing with frequent “misadventures of a hostile neighbour.”
The fresh violation, 16th this year, resulted in injuries to Sepoy Kundan Singh of 3 Grenadiers.
“Last night, around 10.15 pm, Pakistani troops opened heavy fire on our posts in KG sector using mortars and automatic weapons. Initially, the intensity was low but from 11.15 onwards, they started firing mortars, forcing us to give them an effective response,” said an Army spokesperson. The exchange of fire continued till 12.30 am.
At least 12 Indian posts were targeted by 653 Mujahid Regiment of the Pak Rangers, who used rocket launchers, heavy machine gun and UBGL grenades, said official sources. “Pak Rangers opened fire from Daku, Battal, Roza and Pimple posts opposite KG sector,” they added. The Pakistani troops have so far violated the truce four times since June 13 resulting in killing of two soldiers Lance Naik Harvinder Singh and BSF jawan PK Mishra. Three soldiers have been injured.
“In the last five days, Pakistani troops have been continuously targeted our forward posts. Therefore, the Army, which exercised maximum restraint to de-escalate the situation, has now moved an artillery battalion from Mendhar to forward posts in KG sector,” revealed sources.
Yesterday, the Pak Rangers had refused to attend a crucial flag meeting at Chakan-da-Bagh trade point.
According to sources, the Pakistan Army and the ISI have moved militants very close to the LoC with an aim to help them cross over to the Indian side. However, they have not succeeded and were targeting forward Indian posts in sheer frustration.
Heavy firing from across the border created panic among the residents of Sagra, Balnoi, Gani and Dabraj villages close to the LoC in KG sector. These villages have a population of over 10,000.

The Tribune

India to launch AWACS project to counter China, Pak

With Pakistan stealing a swift march in the "eyes in the sky" arena and China already way ahead, India is now going to launch its own full-blown futuristic AWACS (airborne warning and control system) programme.

"Clearances are underway" to initially develop two AWACS aircraft, with four more to follow at a later stage, under the new `AWACS-India' project to be executed by DRDO and its Bangalore-based Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS).

"Under it, 360-degree AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars will be mounted on large aircraft like IL-76, Boeing or Airbus," said a DRDO source.

Potent force-multipliers like AWACS or AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) systems have changed the entire nature of air warfare because they can detect incoming aerial threats, ranging from fighters to cruise missiles, much before ground-based radars.

They also serve to direct air defence fighters during combat operations with enemy jets and also help in tracking troop build-ups.

Pakistan already has four Swedish Saab-2000 AEW&C aircraft, with four more Chinese ZDK-03 AWACS in the pipeline. China has around 20 AWACS, a mix of new and old systems, say sources.

But IAF has only three Phalcon AWACS mounted on IL-76 aircraft, under the $1.1 billion tripartite agreement among India, Israel and Russia finalized in 2004, despite being confronted with two potentially hostile fronts.

The case for two additional "follow-on" Phalcon AWACS, with a range of over 400-km and 360-degree coverage like the first three, has run into some rough weather due to sharp cost escalation.

Moreover, DRDO's ongoing mini-AWACS project, under which indigenous AEW&C systems are to be mounted on three Embraer-145 jets obtained from Brazil for $210-million, has also slipped after being approved in October, 2004, at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore.

DRDO, however, contends the project is now on track. "CABS will get the first Embraer, modified with antenna units and other structures mounted on its fuselage, in July," said an official.

"All electronic systems, with a normal radar range of 250-km and a 240-degree coverage, will then be integrated. The first flight should take place in early-2013. The project completion date is April 2014," said an official.

IAF is awaiting the completion of the mini-AWACS project as well as the launch of the larger 'AWACS-India' programme with crossed fingers. AWACS also constitute a crucial constituent of its IACCS (integrated air command and control system) programme, the fully-automated network being set up to integrate the wide array of military radars with each other as well as with civilian radars to plug surveillance gaps in Indian airspace. 
Times of India

Tejas jets display firepower in pokhran

Pokhran, which witnessed the celebration of India’s nuclear might, is now witnessing a different scene: Made-in-India Tejas fighter jets are demonstrating their fire power here.
Three of these military jets have been taking off from forward Air Force bases to pound the area with a variety of armaments-from precision guided bombs to conventional bombs weighing up to 500 kg.
These exercises constitute the most important phase ahead of their formal induction by the Indian Air Force and are intended to ensure that the bombs are released and hit targets on the ground with accuracy. The IAF will acquire 40 of these fighters with the first squadron set to be positioned in Tamil Nadu.

Deccan Chronicle

June 14, 2012

Diesel Sub INS Sindhurakshak Leaves Workshop on June 23

Being repaired and modernized by JSC Zvezdochka shipyard, Indian diesel electric submarine INS Sindhurakshak will be withdrawn from covered slipway on June 23.

The contract for repairs and modernization of the submarine was tied between Zvezdochka shipyard and Indian defense ministry on June 4, 2010.

The sub was brought to Severodvinsk by a transport dock ship on Aug 12, 2010.

As a result, INS Sindhurakshak will be armed with Club-S missile system and Ushus sonar. The sub's cooling and ventilation systems will be upgraded; new radio facilities CCS-MK-II, radar Porpoise and other equipment are being installed.

In the coming fall, INS Sindhurakshak will take sea for shipyard's trials and missile flight development tests. The sub will be handed over to the client in 4-th quarter of 2012.


June 13, 2012

Indian aircraft carrier enters sea trials as navy eyes Rafale

Russia has commenced sea trials involving the Indian navy's refurbished aircraft carrier the INS Vikramaditya, as sources suggest the service could consider a future acquisition of the Dassault Rafale.
Originally built for Russia as the Admiral Gorshkov, with a maximum displacement of 43,500t, the refitted and modernised vessel left Severodvinsk in the north of the country on 8 June for open-sea trials, preceeding its delivery to India in December. Once operational, the Vikramaditya will be capable of carrying 30 to 34 aircraft, including RSK MiG-29K deck-based fighters.Sources say the Indian navy is considering the carrier-capable Rafale M as a possible acquisition, with a potential cost benefit to come from the air force's pending deal for 126 of the type to meet its medium multi-role combat aircraft requirement.

Already operational with the French navy and similar in size to the MiG-29K, the Rafale M could potentially be operated from India's future ski-jump-equipped domestic aircraft carriers and offer a greater operational capability than current Russian aircraft and India's Aeronautical Development Agency Tejas naval fighter.
India's interest in new naval fighters stems partly from China's ongoing test work with the aircraft carrier Shi Lang, which will be capable of deploying locally-built versions of the Sukhoi Su-30

Flight Global

June 12, 2012

INS Vikramaditya Took White Sea for Trials

Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya being repaired and modernized under Indian Navy's order by Sevmash shipyard in the night of June 8 headed for the White Sea to hold sea trials. It is the first time in Russia's contemporary history when Russian shipyard sent a new aircraft carrier for trials in high seas; the ship is edgily awaited by Indian naval mariners, reports the yard's press service.

Russian crew, a trial team from Sevmash and contracting companies, and Indian Navy's observers will work together at the White and the Barents seas.

Except for Indian officials, the ship's farewell ceremony was attended by representatives of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russian Government's military industrial committee, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, Rosoboronexport, administration of Arkhangelsk region and city of Severodvinsk.

"This is important event not only for Sevmash but for the whole Russian industry", pointed out Andrei Diachkov, Director General of JSC Sevmash. "To tell the truth, we did have many doubts, but our effective joint work with Indian observers, design bureau, and contracting organizations helped to prepare the ship for her first sortie", Diachkov said.

"Indeed, it is a sort of a holiday. For the first time in Russia's contemporary history and in the 21-st century, an aircraft carrier starts sea trials", said Anatoly Tiukov, vice president of JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation. "This ship comprises intellect, experience, and endeavor of thousands of people – designers, shipbuilders, equipment suppliers, and control organizations. We all have proved that Russian industry is able to built such ships", Tiukov said. According to initial plans, the ship was supposed to take sea on May 25, but due to technical and organizational reasons the date was postponed for June 8.

The carrier's trials will last 124 days. After first phase in the White Sea, the ship will enter the Barents Sea to begin tests of aircraft-related systems and perform training flights.

Project 11430 aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (stands for "Almighty") is retrofitted Soviet Project 11434 aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov. According to the package intergovernmental agreement tied in Jan 2004, the ship's hull was handed over to India for free, given that the ship would be modernized at Sevmash shipyard and equipped with Russian-made air wing.

It is one of the largest Russo-Indian defense contracts. Since 2004 Nevskoye Design Bureau, Sevmash shipyard and numerous contracting companies have done a huge volume of works. The ship is equipped with deck and takeoff ski-ramp for MiG-29K fighters; repaired and converted for new tasks hull is equipped with up-to-date facilities, systems and mechanisms; new 2,000-km long cable lines have been laid; the ship received new navigation and radar systems, communication aids and aircraft control equipment. So, in fact an absolutely new ship was built. According to Indian experts, this carrier will bring Indian Navy to a crucially new level outclassing any naval force in the region.

Upon termination of repair and upgrading, the ship's displacement will exceed 45,000 tons. Length is 283 meters, beam is 59.8 meters, overall number of aircraft is 30, crew strength is 1,924 men.

The ship is expected to join Indian Navy in Dec 2012.


June 11, 2012

Eurofighter’s price cut down to win Indian deal?

London: Britain's BAE Systems is reported to be preparing a fresh bid which may include cutting down the prices for the world's biggest fighter jet order despite India's rejection of its Eurofighter Typhoon in favour of France's Dassault Rafale.

India chose the French fighter in January in a deal worth nearly 13 billion pounds, for 126 aircraft.

 India's decision had disappointed many in Britain, including Prime Minister David Cameron. In a report without mentioning the source of information, The Mail today said: "BAE believes that when India scrutinises the Rafale and assesses the French submission, it will realise the Eurofighter is a superior aircraft that will be cheaper overall".

"If the Indians are willing to look again at the Eurofighter and there are indications that is happening, a revised bid will be ready for them," it added.

"BAE has even come up with designs for a marine version of the Eurofighter in case the Indians want to fly it from aircraft carriers," the report said.

The report said that Ian King, BAE chief executive, had not ruled out reducing the price of the Typhoon.

"The Eurofighter, which is built in partnership with the German and Spanish arms of defence giant EADS and Italy's Finmeccanica, lost out because it was about 3.5 million pounds a plane more expensive than the Rafale", the report said.

"And the French, according to the Indians, offered better after-deals, including technology upgrades and the latest weaponry," it added.

There were earlier suggestions that Britain's aid to India was partly designed to help win the major contract, which has since been denied.

PTI / Zeenews

June 8, 2012

US Frightens China with Stealth Destroyer

The US builds "the most advanced" warship, Zumwalt-class destroyer DDG-1000 dubbed by Pentagon as "super-stealth silver bullet". The ship will be capable to move along the coast including shallow waters, hit enemy targets by electromagnetic rail guns and deceive enemy radars.

Such "sci-fi" ships are to be stationed primarily in Asian-Pacific region. It is shores of China frightening with its growing military power where Pentagon intends to redeploy 60% of its naval forces by 2020 under America's new military strategy.

New destroyers are built in Maine; the first one is to be launched in 2014, reports Associated Press. When visiting the shipyard in April, US Chief of Naval Operations ADM Jonathan Greenert praised up those ships saying they would be the Navy's hope in the future. Among main advantages of the project, Greenert named 'invisibility', incredible striking power, advanced sonar system, and halved crew strength.

Announcing changes in US military strategy at security conference in Singapore, American defense minister Leon Panetta said that new high-tech ships would make the core of US Navy's Pacific Fleet.

Although the new destroyers could be useful in other regions too, for instance, in the Persian Gulf, the military say they would be most advantageous in Asia. The point is that the new vessels will be capable to operate both in exterritorial waters and along seashores. There are plenty of island states in Asia, and China also has long coastline in the Pacific.

Washington concerns over China actively modernizing its naval force. In particular, China works on reliable aircraft carriers, missiles and submarines which could deny access of American ships into strategic sea lanes next to Chinese territory. Pentagon believes that Beijing will hinder Americans to interfere in conflicts over disputable zone in the South China Sea or to cooperate with Taiwan that China considers own territory.

Currently, the US enjoys great advantage in high seas, but after modernization of its fleet China will be stronger in shallow green waters. New American stealth destroyers are meant to cope with this problem.

However, the Chinese are by no means afraid of fantastic "silver bullets". Although they have not officially commented the America's plans, one of Chinese admirals appeared on local TV with derisive tone saying that all rumors about invincibility of the new destroyers were nothing but flackery, and any hi-tech American warship can be easily scuppered by a simple fishing boat loaded with explosives.

There are lots of criticism and skepticism in the US too, even though they are mostly nervous of the budget spending size. Construction of one DDG-1000 destroyer costs the country about $3.1 bln which is almost twice as much as one present-day destroyer costs. If one considers research and development costs, the price of one destroyer grows up to $7 bln.

According to critics, this project simply sucks out budget money while it would be better to finance modernization of available naval assets. Many security experts suspect that designers are too hung up on fictional "technologies of the future".

These destroyers bring back the story of notorious fifth-generation stealth fighter F-22 Raptor. It was zealously trumped up as the most advanced airplane ever designed, but as was recently found out, it is a kind of dangerous even to pilots. But the reason for the project shutting-up was too high price. Its successor, F-22 fighter was recognized the most expensive project in the Pentagon history.


Russia to Showcase T-90S Tank at Paris Arms Show

Russia will exhibit for the first time its modernized T-90S main battle tank along with a score of other new weapons at the EUROSATORY 2012 arms exhibition in Paris, Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Thursday.
The EUROSATORY 2012 defense expo will take place at the Parc d’Expositions north of Paris on June 11-15. It will host over 400 defense companies from 47 countries, including 14 Russian companies.
Russia will showcase a record number of models of armored vehicles, including the fully upgraded T-90S main battle tank, BMPT tank support fighting vehicle, Kornet-EM anti-tank missile system mounted on a Tigr armored vehicle and a new Ural armored truck.
“It is the first time that we are exhibiting such a wide range of real life models at this show,” Rosoboronexport deputy general director Igor Sevastyanov said.
The T-90S tank will be the star of the Russian exhibit, he added.
T-90S redesigned turret features a modernized 125-mm gun, new fire control, navigation and communications systems, and a remote controlled mounted 7.62-mm machine gun.
The modified T-90S is fitted with an increased power multi-fuel 1,130-h.p. diesel engine with gas turbine injection, which allows the vehicle to attain a top speed of over 60 km/h on the road and up to 45 km/h on rough terrain.
Driving is simplified with a steering wheel and automatic transmission.
In addition to armored vehicles and air defense systems, Russia will also exhibit a variety of combat and military transport helicopters.

RIA Novosti

June 6, 2012

INS Vikramaditya all set for crucial, pre-induction trials

INS Vikramaditya will take to the sea for crucial pre-induction trials on June 8, Russian shipbuilding sources said.
Last month, the trials were put off by two weeks due to bad weather alerts.
However, the delay will not affect the scheduled delivery of the aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy in December, according to the Sevmash shipyard, where the Soviet-era Admiral Gorshkov carrier has undergone modernisation and repairs.
“We are confident that we will hand over the vessel to India on December 4, Navy Day,” said Sevmash Director-General Andrei Dyachkov.
The towering 45,300-tonne, 284 metre-long Vikramaditya stood moored at Sevmash when this writer, first foreign correspondent allowed on board, visited the vessel last week. The ship, rich with the smell of freshly painted walls and equipment, was bustling with pre-trial activity as workers took advantage of the postponement to put finishing touches to the 2,700 compartments of the 60-metre tall carrier.
The Sevmash chief was visibly proud of the work his shipyard did in converting the Gorshkov heavy carrier/cruiser into a full-fledged aircraft carrier.
‘As good as modern vessel'
“Vikramaditya is as good as any new modern-day aircraft carrier,” Mr Dyachkov told The Hindu in his first interview to a foreign newspaper. “Given proper maintenance, it will stay in service for up to 40 years.”
Mr. Dyachkov is aware of bad blood in India over the huge cost escalation but says the price review was inevitable.
“When we opened up the equipment we realised that the scope of work would be far bigger than [what] the original contract envisaged. Most equipment had to be replaced and the ship was completely rewired with 2,400 kilometres of new cables,” he said. “Never before has an aircraft carrier undergone such massive modernisation.”
The Sevmash chief would not discuss the refurbishment cost, but the media usually give $615 million as the initial contract price and $2.2 billion as the final price. However, Russian sources have pointed out that 25 per cent of that sum was the cost of training Indian personnel and building onshore infrastructure in India, and another 10 per cent was for additional systems New Delhi wanted installed when the contract was being renegotiated.
Mr. Dyachkov said Sevmash could have cut the cost by using cheaper materials and equipment but it rejected the option.
“Our top priority was to ensure irreproachable quality, reliability and long service life for the vessel. In fact, the shipyard did not make much profit on this contract, as most of the contract cost went to the suppliers of equipment and systems.”
More than 400 subcontractors were involved in the project, including 10 Indian companies which supplied communication systems, protective coating, a telephone exchange, life rafts, pumps, hygiene and galley equipment, and many more.
Extensive remodelling
Designed to operate only vertical takeoff aircraft, the ship has been extensively remodelled. It has had its flight deck extended and turned into a full runway with a ski jump and arrestor wires. The vessel has new engines, new boilers, new generators, electrical machinery, communication systems and distillation plants.
With INS Vikramaditya overhaul practically over, Sevmash is now focussed on carrying forward cooperation with India in the sphere of aircraft carriers.
“We are in talks with several Indian companies for setting up a joint venture to provide the full range of post-guarantee maintenance and repair services to INS Vikramaditya, including the supply of spares,” said Mr. Dyachkov.
Sevmash, which has built more than 200 submarines and surface ships over its 70-odd years' history, is also keen on taking part in the construction of India's indigenous aircraft carriers.
“We have amassed invaluable experience in decades-long collaboration with Indian shipbuilders, which has been further enriched during the retrofitting of Gorshkov and modernisation of Kilo-class INS submarines,” said Mr. Dyachkov. 

The Hindu

June 4, 2012

India Plans To Launch First Military Satellite

Indian forces are ready to launch the nation’s first military satellite, the Times of India reported on Monday.
The satellite is designed for naval intelligence and communications, according to the newspaper, which added that the device is ready and its launch is expected in about a month, quoting an unnamed government source.
The satellite, which will be on orbit over the Indian Ocean, will transfer high speed data, and link all Indian naval ships, submarines, airplanes and control centers on the shore into a single information network.