Showing posts from August, 2017

Construction Has Started on This Deadly U.S. Navy Ship - Dave Majumdar

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding has started construction of the U.S. Navy’s third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, which will be called Enterprise (CVN-80). CVN-80 will be the ninth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Enterprise, a lineage that has included legendary vessels such as the World War II-era CV-6 and the nuclear-powered CVN-65.

To kickoff the start of construction, Newport News workers began by cutting the 35-ton steel plate, which will eventually form part of the new carrier. “With this ship, we will ‘boldly go where no one has gone before,’” HII Newport News Shipbuilding president Jennifer Boykin said. “She will be built using digital technology rather than traditional paper work packages and drawings. We will build more of this ship indoors, in new facilities so that our people have more opportunities to work under cover and out of the weather. CVN 80 will revolutionize how we build ships, just as her predecessor, CVN 65—the world’s first…

First Fully War-Capable US F-35s Slated For Delivery in September

The first fully war-capable F-35 jets are set to be delivered to two US Air Force squadrons next month.The Joint Strike Fighters will be delivered with the latest Block 3F software, which will enable pilots to use its full suite of warfighting capabilities.

The "Rude Rams" of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base will receive the aircraft in early September and become the first fully operational F-35 squadron. Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, which houses the Air Force’s chief F-35 training squadron, will also get a shipment of the war-ready jets, according to Aviation Weekly.

The 34th Fighter Squadron is expected to be stationed in the Pacific by the end of the year after receiving the fully functional F-35As. The range of weaponry unlocked in the Block 3F Joint Strike Fighters includes precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb 1s from Boeing and other air-to-ground weapons, along with short-range AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The aircraft’s data link …

Indian Army in Trouble Over $676Mln K-9 Howitzers Contract Amid Korean Mishap

India’s state own ordnance factory has questioned the reliability of the K-9 howitzer gun following reports of death of two South Korean soldiers in an explosion during an artillery training session in Gangwon province on Friday. The All India Defense Employees’ Federation (AIDEF) ordnance factory has written to the defense ministry seeking clarification on why the South Korean artillery gun K-9 howitzer was chosen by the Indian Army over the country-made Dhanush 155mm/45-caliber artillery. AIDEF represents thousands of workers & officials of state owned Ordnance Factory Board. “Recently, two South Korean soldiers were killed during the trial of the K-9 Thunder howitzer gun and South Korean media reports have questioned the trustworthiness of the gun while pointing out that a Parliamentary inquiry in 2016 has said that there were 1700 reports of malfunctioning of this gun over the last five year,” reads a letter written by C Srikumar, General Secretary, All India Defense Employee…

Russian MoD Decides to Buy 'Terminator' Combat Vehicles – Here's Why

With the Russian Defense Ministry having already announced its decision to purchase the first batch of the BMPT, an advanced tank support combat vehicle, WE looks into why they like this vehicle so much. Currently, there are two versions of the vehicle based on the T-72 battle tank chassis — "the Terminator 1" and "the Terminator 2." They're both earmarked for export and haven't been purchased by the Russian Defense Ministry. The BMPT-72 is fitted with a state-of-the-art guided weapons system and is capable of destroying enemy infantry vehicles, tanks and other armored objects, as well as helicopters. The vehicle is armed with two 30-mm 2A42 automatic cannons that can be loaded with 850 rounds of ammunition, four laser-guided Ataka-T anti-tank missile systems and one coaxial machine gun with a remote reloading mechanism. The BMPT also carries four launchers for 9M120-1 (or 9M120-1F/4) guided anti-tank missiles, which are capable of hitting their target at a …

Boeing to Provide Upgraded Helicopters to Saudi Arabia for $223 Mln

Boeing has received a Foreign Military Sales contract valued at nearly $223 million to provide Saudi Arabia with upgraded Chinook multipurpose CH-47F helicopters, the US Department of Defense announced in a press release.

"The Boeing Co.-Philadelphia, Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, has been awarded a $222,549,505 modification to a contract for eight CH-47F new build helicopters to support the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command (RSLFAC)," the release said.
The CH47F is designed to transport soldiers and their equipment to the battlefield, according to published Boeing information. It can also be put in service for humanitarian missions, disaster relief and heavy lift of equipment.

Russia, Peru in Talks on Modernization of MiG-29 Fighter Jets

The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG is discussing with the Peruvian Air Force the modernization of batch of MiG-29 multirole fighters to keep them in service for another 15 years, the corporation's press service said. "In the period between 2008 and 2015, the MiG corporation modernized eight MiG-29 aircraft of the Peruvian Air Force, upgrading them to the MiG-29SM version. There is a plan to eventually modernize another batch of aircraft so that these jets with sophisticated combat capabilities may be used by the Peruvian Air Force for at least another 15 years," the statement read. It also specified that a meeting between the MiG corporation's leadership and a Peruvian Air Force delegation took place earlier on Thursday during which a familiarization flight of MiG-29M2 multirole fighter was carried out. MiG-29SM multirole fighter has improved airborne avionics and enhanced an nomenclature of high precision weapons capable to destroy both air and ground targets.

Russian-Indian Brahmos-II Hypersonic Cruise Missile Expected in 7 Years

A Russian-Indian hypersonic cruise missile dubbed BrahMos-II, capable of reaching the speed of Mach 7, will be developed in seven years, a BrahMos Aerospace joint venture executive told us
on Friday.

General manager for market promotion Praveen Pathak said that an intermediate-range BrahMos-II capable of reaching the speed of Mach 4 is expected within four to five years.

Scientific research work has begun with the involvement of the Moscow Aviation Institute and an institute in Bangalore, he said.

It was earlier reported that the cruise missile would revolutionize arms industry, though its exact configuration has yet to be defined.

​Currently, the short-range BrahMos flies at the speed of Mach 2.8, Pathak said at the Army-2017 forum near Moscow.

The nine-meter BrahMos missile, which was developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture, is one the fastest missiles in the world, has a flight range of up to 290 km and carries a 200-300 kg conventional warhead.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Squadrons Will Encircle North Korea

As many as 100 more F-35 joint strike fighters could be summoned to the Korean Peninsula to support allies in South Korea and Japan against the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea, according to recent media reports.

F-35A jets forming the US Air Force’s 34th Fighter Squadron are slated to deploy to Iwakuni, Japan, and Osan Air Force Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, by the end of the year, UPI reports, citing South Korea’s Yonhap News. The F-35 force operating proximate to South Korean and Japanese airspace is poised to be strengthened by Seoul’s agreement to buy 40 of the multi-role joint strike fighters. The jets are slated for delivery by 2021, the UPI report added. Japan has already agreed to purchase 42 F-35s from Lockheed Martin. It should be noted, though, that there’s an ongoing investigation into top South Korean defense officials who worked for corrupt former President Park Geun-hye over the F-35 contract.  Lockheed Martin allegedly nudged top acquisition …

India to Put BrahMos Supersonic Missile Into Service After Tests in Indian Ocean

New Delhi will put the aviation modification of the Russian-Indian BrahMos cruise missile into service after tests in the Indian Ocean in September-October, Praveen Pathak, the BrahMos Aerospace joint venture executive, told us on Friday. "In the end of September — in the beginning of October, the tests of an aviation modification of BrahMos missile will take place in the Indian Ocean, where it should hit a target in the sea and, later, it will be put into service," Pathak said. The official added that the tests of BrahMos would be carried out with the use of Su-30MKI fighter jets. BrahMos, a word combining Brahmaputra and Moscow, is a name for a missile created within the framework of the joint efforts of both India and Russia. The missile can carry a conventional warhead of up to 660 pounds. BrahMos missiles can be launched from warships and submarines as well as from aircraft and land-based launchers.

Northrop Grumman Wants Global Hawk Drones to Fly With F-22s and F-35s

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman has proposed equipping its RQ-4 Global Hawk drone with a “Freedom 550 radio” in an effort to reconcile disparate communications and data platforms aboard the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. Under the proposal, the Global Hawk would fly alongside the F-35 and F-22 during missions. Both aircraft are heralded for their ability to fly undetected by enemy radar systems, but each jet uses different datalink systems, preventing pilots from transmitting information to one another, according to Northrop Grumman. The RQ-4 is proposed to fill this communications gap in anticipation of problems that may arise. In battle simulations held in Nevada in February, the F-35 was indispensable during missions even after firing its entire payload. The joint strike fighter’s sensor fusion system, for instance, gathers data from various sensors onboard the aircraft to “create a single integrated picture of the battlefield,” according to Lockheed Martin. With this technol…

Four Extra THAAD Launchers May Be Deployed in South Korea Soon

The deployment of four additional launchers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea might happen shortly, Chung Eui-yong, the head of the country's Presidential National Security Office, said on Thursday. "(We) anticipate that the deployment of four additional launchers will be completed in the near future," Chung said at a parliamentary budget committee session, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
In July 2016, Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea's Seongju County amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests. The THAAD system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage. On July 28, North Korea conducted its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in a month. South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that in response, South Korea would install additional THAAD launchers at a US military base i…

India-Russia 5th Gen Fighter project appears to be stuck : Def Min Report

A long-delayed programme for a fifth generation fighter aircraft that India and Russia were to develop together seems to have hit rough weather, as Defence Ministry feels it may turn out to be too expensive.

A committee was constituted by the Defence Ministry to look into the details of the programme between India and Russia, which has been in pipeline since 2007. 

The committee recently submitted a report on the programme to the ministry and as per it, the cost of developing four prototype fighter jets would cost around $6 billion, which is very high according to officials in the Defence Ministry.

India and Russia had inked an inter-governmental pact for the FGFA project in 2007. It was to be based on the Russian Sukhoi-57 or the PAK FA T-50 fighter jet.

India has earlier also told the Russian side that the project's cost was too high, and had also discussed buying the Su-57 fighters.

In December 2010, India had agreed to pay $295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter,…

Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on mission near South Korea, Japan

Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, prompting Japan and South Korea to scramble jets to escort them, Russia said on Thursday.

Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement the Tupolev-95MS bombers, code named "Bears" by NATO, flew over neutral waters and were accompanied by Russian Sukhoi-35S fighter jets and A-50 early warning and control aircraft.

It gave no details about the overall number of aircraft that had taken part in what it called a pre-arranged flight and did not say when or why the mission took place.

The TU-95MS bombers were refueled in mid-air during the mission, the ministry said.

During parts of the route, the bombers were escorted by South Korean and Japanese military jets, it added.

Russia, which shares a border with North Korea, has repeatedly voiced concerns about rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula caused by Pyongyang's nuclear missile program, …

Lockheed Martin Gets Hundreds of Millions to Supply More F-35 Fighter

Lockheed Martin won more than $427 million for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and foreign military sales (FMS), the Department of Defense said in a press release.

"Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded not-to-exceed $427,088,637 for… procurement of ancillary military equipment and pilot flight equipment for low rate initial production Lot 11 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft," the release said Monday.

The new aircraft will also be produced for sale to other countries under the foreign military sales (FMS), the Defense Department said.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has projected the total cost of the F-35 program to come to at least $1.4 trillion and has warned that it may rise further, making it the most expensive aircraft and military program of all time.

Chinese Weapons for Sale

Last week, China's dominant fighting vehicle manufacturer, China North Industries Corporation (Norinco), displayed a bevy of export armored vehicles as part of its Armor Day celebrations. These festivities, now in their second year, laud the power of Chinese military and offer an occasion to show off to senior foreign military officers, who were likely there as potential buyers.

The day began with a parade of armored fighting vehicles, led by the VT-4 main battle tank, which has already found a repeat buyer in the Royal Thai Army. Spotted: usual suspects like the VT-4 main battle tank, VT-5 light tank, and VN-12 IFV, as well as several new Chinese systems and fighting vehicles.

The star attraction was the GL-5 hard-kill active protection system (APS), which destroyed a guided missile attacking a tank in a live fire exercise. The GL-5 system consists of four radars and fixed projectile launchers, which are attached to a tank turret for 360 degree coverage (each launcher covers a q…

Two frigates of 11356 project to be finalized for Indian Navy

Two frigates of project 11356, which the Baltic shipyards Yantar began to build for the Black Sea Fleet will be finalized for the Indian Navy, the vice-president of the United Shipbuilding Corporation for naval shipbuilding, Igor Ponomaryov, told TASS.

"Two ships will be built for India and one, equipped with new gas turbine power plants, for the Russian Navy," he said, adding that the future of a second troika of project 11356 frigates being built at the Yantar shipyards was determined under a Russian-Indian inter-governmental agreement.

"We hope that when this work is over (three ships of project 11356 - TASS) the Russian Navy will order at least another two frigates of this project," Ponomaryov said.

Currently negotiations are underway on providing to India four project 11356 frigates. Earlier the director of the Rostec corporation for regional cooperation and regional policies, Viktor Kladov, said the yet-to-be concluded contracts would be based on the two plu…

Russia's MiG-21: The Fighter Jet That Could Fly for 100 Years?

Military aircraft can have notoriously short lifespans, especially during periods of technological ferment. The most elite aircraft of World War I could become obsolete in a matter of months. Things weren’t much different in World War II. And at the dawn of the jet age, entire fleets of aircraft became passé as technologies matured. The advanced fighters that fought in the skies over Korea became junk just a few years later.

But a few designs stand the test of the time. The B-52 Stratofortress first flew in 1952, yet remains in service today. New C-130s continue to roll off the production line, based on a design that became operational in 1954.

But those are bombers and transport aircraft; they don’t fight one another. Fighters face a special problem of longevity, because they must compete directly with newer models. Thus, very few fighters have had long lifespans, either in production or in service.

The MiG-21 “Fishbed” is an exception.


Initial suitability studies for the MiG-…

Controversy re-emerges over reliability of Korean K-9 Thunder Howitzer

The explosion of a self-propelled howitzer that killed South Korean soldiers last week has sparked controversy over the reliability of the weapon system designed to counter North Korea’s long-range artillery units across the border. 

Two South Korean soldiers were killed and five injured in an explosion inside a K-9 Thunder during artillery training Friday in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province. The training was designed to improve the accuracy of counter-artillery attacks in the event of a war with North Korea. 

Although the exact cause of the explosion is still under investigation, the blast appears to have been caused by the explosive that is used to propel artillery shells toward targets, said the South Korean Army on Monday, citing accounts by those injured. 

“For reasons unknown, there was smoke inside the howitzer’s breach block assembly,” an Army official said under the customary condition of anonymity. “According to our on-site investigation, three rounds of explosive were completely bur…

As Su-30MKI production nears end, HAL worries about future

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL’s) most lucrative cash cow, the Sukhoi-30MKI, is running dry. With only 35 Su-30MKI fighters left to deliver to the Indian Air Force (IAF) out of the 222 that HAL has been contracted to build, its Nashik production line, which builds 12 Su-30MKIs per year, would fall idle by March 31, 2020.

In better days, HAL has enjoyed order book backlogs of Rs 150,000 – 200,000 crore ($23.4 – 31.2 billion), with assured orders for Jaguar fighters, Hawk advanced jet trainers, Dhruv advanced light helicopters (ALHs), Tejas light combat aircraft and, most profitably, the Su-30MKI. Today, the company stares at a bleaker order book.

“I have just Rs 61,000 crore ($9.5 billion) of orders, including 35 Su-30MKIs and 73 Dhruv ALHs. That is just three years work, at our current turnover of Rs 20,000 crore ($3.1 billion per year). What lies ahead for HAL’s 20 manufacturing divisions built on 12,000 acres of land, and 30,000 skilled employees? Over the years, the government has …