Showing posts from January, 2019

China touts capabilities of DF-26 as ASBM

Images broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) of the locally designed and developed Dong Feng-26 (DF-26) intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) during recent exercise firings show that the missile is highly manoeuvrable and "capable of targeting a moving aircraft carrier", according to a 27 January report by the state-owned Global Times newspaper.

The Global Times report, which showed images of the missile's guidance and warhead section, focuses on the scepticism that has been expressed by some Western analysts concerning the missile's capability to effectively function as an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) because no evidence has emerged of it being trialled against a moving target at sea.

Quoting "military experts", the report states that the recent exercise "demonstrated the missile's capability" and that the four control fins around the nose section "provide super manoeuvrability" so that "the missile can great…

American and Chinese navies in talks to reduce risk of South China Sea miscalculation

The US naval chief said on Monday that the US and Chinese navies are engaged in “continuous dialogues” to reduce the risk of a military miscalculation in the South China Sea. Admiral John Richardson told an audience at the Washington-based Brookings Institute that the interchanges between the two navies aim to build communication to avoid a potentially disastrous blunder. The discussions are a positive sign that China and the US are moving forward with a plan to reduce tensions in the disputed waters. Concerns about the chances of an incident at sea occurring grew in September after a PLA Navy ship nearly collided with an American destroyer, the Decatur, which sailed near an islet claimed by Beijing in the Spratly archipelago, known in China as the Nansha Islands.

The Chinese ship came within 41 metres (135 feet) of the US vessel, leading the Pentagon to accuse the PLA Navy of conducting an aggressively “unsafe and unprofessional manoeuvre”. “Let's not make it difficult for one an…

PHOTOZONE - Australia gifts three Stabicraft vessels to enhance Sri Lanka Coast Guard fleet


PHOTOZONE - Two F-16s, a KC-135 Stratotanker, and maintenance Airmen from Edwards assisted the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy with a test of a RAN ship’s combat system

An Edwards Air Force Base F-16 sits at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, along with an AQM-37D supersonic target, Nov. 28, 2018. Two F-16s and maintenance Airmen from Edwards assisted the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy with a test of a RAN ship’s combat system late last year.

Airman 1st Class Cierra-Mae Hanson, 412th Maintenance Group, inspects an AQM-37D supersonic target before it is loaded on to an Edwards Air Force Base F-16 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, Nov. 28, 2018. Two F-16s, a KC-135 Stratotanker, and maintenance Airmen from Edwards assisted the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy with a test of a Royal Australian Navy ship’s combat system late last year.

Airmen from the 412th Maintenance Group are assisted by members of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Threat/Targets Department at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California. They are loading an AQM-37D supersonic target, Nov. 28, 2018. Two F-16s, a KC-135 Stratotanker, and maintenan…

Exercise Sea Dragon 2019 Concludes

Three U.S. and one Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidons from three squadrons along with one Los Angeles-class attack submarine completed operations from 2019 Exercise Sea Dragon Jan. 22. Exercise Sea Dragon is an annual, multilateral exercise that stresses anti-submarine warfare (ASW) prosecution. This year’s exercise was conducted out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Participating U.S. units were Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, VP-16, both operating under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72, and Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15, operating under CTF-74. CTF-72 lead and oversaw the exercise. Squadron 11 from RAAF as well as servicemembers from the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) joined U.S. units throughout the exercise.

"Sea Dragon 2019 was a huge success” said Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Roberts, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72 Exercise Sea Dragon Officer in Charge. “The exercise allowed participants to refine their ASW skills while exposing them to unique differences between each squad…

US to tweak its aircraft carrier weapons to help Marines take South China Sea islands in a missile fight

The US Marine Corps is developing a new concept of naval warfare to allow Marines to take South China Sea islands from Beijing in the context of a massive missile fight in the Pacific. Marine Corps leaders at the Surface Navy Association's annual national symposium told USNI News that today's naval protocol wasn't what the force was looking for to take on China's Pacific fortress. China has spent years dredging up the sea floor to build artificial islands in the South China Sea, an international waterway. Despite promising never to militarize the islands and losing an international arbitration case concluding they did not own the islands, China has enforced de facto control over the vital shipping lane that sees trillions in annual trade. The US regularly contests China's claims to these waters by sailing US Navy destroyers through the area, but China has increasingly responded with militaristic rhetoric and one Chinese admiral even calling for the sinking of US ai…

Russia presents info on missile US says violates pact

The Russian military on Wednesday rolled out a new missile and released its specifications, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates a key nuclear arms pact. The military insisted that the 9M729 land-based cruise missile conforms to the limits of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, firmly rejecting the U.S. claim that it has broken the pact by testing and deploying it. The U.S. has announced its intention to abandon the INF, charging that the new Russian missile violates provisions of the pact that ban production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,410 miles). Washington said it will suspend its treaty obligations if Russian fails to come into compliance by destroying all of its 9M729 missiles by Feb. 2. Lt. Gen. Mikhail Matveevsky, the chief of the military's missile and artillery forces, said at a meeting with foreign military attaches that the new missile, which i…

China Reduces Army by Half; Increases Size of Navy, Air Force in Big Way

China's military, the world's largest force, has cut the size of its land-based army by about 50% and significantly boosted its navy and air force as part of an "unprecedented" strategic shift designed to transform the People's Liberation Army (PLA) into a comprehensive modern force.

The 2 million-strong Chinese military has significantly boosted its navy, air force and new strategic units and downsized its land-based army, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported quoting a state-run Xinhua report.

In a feature report highlighting the "transformational changes" made by the PLA, Xinhua on Sunday said "this new data is unprecedented in the history of the PLA the army now accounts for less than 50 per cent of the total number of PLA troops; almost half of our non-combatant units have been made redundant, and the number of officers in the PLA has been reduced by 30%."

In the last few years, the PLA has downsized its military by retrenchi…

U.S. calls on Russia to destroy new missile system

The United States called on Russia on Monday to destroy a new cruise missile system which it said was a “direct and continuing violation” of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and accused Moscow of destabilizing global security. Robert Wood, U.S. disarmament ambassador, said the system was capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads and represented a “potent and direct threat to Europe and Asia” as it had a range of 500 to 1,500 kilometers (310-620 miles).

The United States last week rejected a Russian offer to save the landmark INF treaty that keeps nuclear missiles out of Europe because it could not be properly verified, setting the stage for Washington to withdraw from the pact next month. “Unfortunately, the United States increasingly finds that Russia cannot be trusted to comply with its arms control obligations and that its coercive and malign actions around the globe have increased tensions,” Wood told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament…

China plans to take Taiwan by 2025, Okinawa by 2045 : Fmr Japan Air Force Commander

In a recent interview, former Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) Air Support Commander, Orita Kunio (織田邦男), offers a warning and a bleak outlook for the Indo-Pacific region over the coming decades.
Orita says that China’s national strategy is one of continued expansion, with an aim of establishing absolute regional hegemony, beginning with a plan to invade and annex Taiwan between 2020 and 2025, and eventually Okinawa as well.

But, according to Orita, China’s plans don’t stop there. Between 2025 and 2040, he says Beijing plans to consolidate its control over the South China Sea.

If Beijing can expel the U.S. from the region, then shipping lanes through all of East Asia will be under the control of Beijing allowing China to potentially cut off vital food and energy supply lines to Japan, says Orita.

The former JASDF officer says the first step in expelling the U.S. from the region will be to invade the Scarborough Shoal and establish a naval outpost there. Ships coming from the Wester…

US destroyer enters Black Sea ‘to support regional partners’, Russia sends ship to ‘monitor’

The destroyer USS Donald Cook has entered the Black Sea less than two weeks after another US Navy vessel was deployed there. Moscow says it will watch the actions of the US ship closely. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was sent to the Black Sea to “conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability,” the US 6th Fleet said in a statement on Saturday, adding that it would strengthen the “naval capability” of NATO allies and partners in the region.

"The United States and the US Navy continue to stand alongside our allies and partners in support of shared regional interests and maritime stability,” said Cmdr. Matthew J. Powel, commanding officer of the Donald Cook. “Our arrival into the Black Sea will showcase the Navy’s interoperability in pursuit of common security objectives in this region.” It is the second such deployment in less than two weeks. Earlier this month, the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry was deployed…

Russia conducted another successful test of an anti-satellite missile

Russia conducted another successful flight test of its new anti-satellite missile system last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of a classified U.S. intelligence report. The anti-satellite missile flew for 17 minutes and 1,864 miles before successfully splashing down in its target area. The latest revelation comes on the heels of the Pentagon’s 108-page missile defense review, which marks the first overhaul of America’s missile defense doctrine in nearly a decade. The unclassified review, which singles out emerging Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Iranian missile threats, also focuses on anti-satellite capabilities that “could threaten U.S. space-based assets.”

According to the missile review, “Russia is developing a diverse suite of anti-satellite capabilities, including ground-launched missiles and directed-energy weapons, and continues to launch ‘experimental’ satellites that conduct sophisticated on-orbit activities to advance counterspace capabilities.” Russi…

U.S. Navy to commission newest Zumwalt-class destroyer

The U.S. Navy has announced that the newest Zumwalt-class destroyer, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), will be commissioned at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Naval Air Station North Island.

California Congressman Scott Peters will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Sally Monsoor, Michael’s mother, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Monsoor will give the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Capt. Scott Smith is the commanding officer of the ship and leads the core crew of 148 officers and enlisted personnel. The nearly 16,000-ton Michael Monsoor was built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The ship is 610 feet in length, has a beam of 87 feet, and a navigational draft of 27 feet. The ship is powered by two Rolls-Royce main turbine generators, two Rolls-Royce auxiliary turbine generators, two 34.6 MW advanced induction motors to speeds up to…

Russia to Deploy Over 30 Nuclear-Capable ‘Poseidon’ Underwater Drones

The Russian Navy is expected to deploy over 30 ‘Poseidon’ nuclear-capable unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), a source told TASS news agency on January 12. Two Poseidon-carrying submarines are slated to enter service with the Russian Northern Fleet while the other two will join Russia’s Pacific Fleet. Each submarine will be capable of carrying up to eight UUVs. Consequently, a total of 32 Poseidon UUVs could enter service with the Russian Navy in the coming years.

“Two Poseidon-carrying submarines are expected to enter service with the Northern Fleet and the other two will join the Pacific Fleet,” the source told TASS news agency on January 12. “Each of the submarines will carry a maximum of eight drones and, therefore, the total number of Poseidons on combat duty may reach 32 vehicles.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has neither publicly commented nor confirmed the exact number of Poseidon UUVs to be inducted into service. The new UUV will likely be carried by Project 09852 s…

The F-15X Fighter

The U.S. Air Force has been secretly organizing a plan to replace its F-15 C/D fleet with brand spanking new F-15X Eagle air superiority fighters, the Drive  reported on Wednesday. This move could take the heat off of the service’s handful of F-22 Raptors or make up for F-35 shortcomings — and cushion the  expenses involved  in operating and maintaining two 5th-generation fighters. Originally commissioned in the mid-’70s to take on  Soviet hordes over the skies of Europe , the Eagle has become a staple in the warzones of the Middle East and Central Asia. The age of the Air Force’s  200-plus Eagle fighters  has been a cause for concern — especially as they age faster than F-35s are getting operational.

The F-35 is a Swiss army knife of an aircraft, laden with stealth features and air-to-ground missions, making it a  less capable dogfighter  than the F-15 in close quarters. And if the F-35 is used as a stand-off missile-hauler, carrying a full complement of 16 air-to-air missiles on ext…

China mobilises DF-26 ballistic missiles capable of sinking US warships in the South China Sea

Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-west region, saying the weapons have the capacity to destroy US ships entering disputed waters in the South China Sea. The DF-26 missiles — which have been previously dubbed the 'Guam Killer' or 'Guam Express' by Chinese media and defence experts — are capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads. They have a range of 4,500 kilometres, making them capable of reaching as far as Guam in the east and Indonesia in the south, providing Beijing with a powerful weapon as tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea. According to Chinese state media publication The Global Times, the DF-26 missiles are now stationed in north-west China's sparse plateau and desert areas, carried on the backs of trucks able to traverse the harsh terrain.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Beijing-based military expert told the Times that positioning the missiles deep in China's …

US makes an offer to Turkey for the sale of Patriot missiles

The United States has formally made an offer to Turkey for the sale of multibillion dollar Patriot air defense systems, the Anadolu Agency has reported, in a bid to increase its pressure on the latter’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 systems. The Agency, citing officials, informed that a U.S. delegation is holding talks with their counterparts at the Defense Industry, Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry. It said the U.S. delegation submitted the offer for the sale of Patriots to Turkey but did not give details on the offer.

The move comes after the U.S. State Department approved on Dec. 18 a possible foreign military sale of the Patriot air and missile defense system to Turkey for an estimated total of $3.5 billion.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the State Department approved the sale of 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles, 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and associated equipment.

It also had notified the U.S. Co…