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Friday, October 31, 2014

Мi-28 Russian helicopters join service in Iraq

Mi-28NE Night HunterThe Iraqi Ministry of Defense assured the entrance of the Russian helicopter (Night Hunter) to the service to support terrorism fighting and Iraqi infantry forces.

A statement by the MoD cited “Minister of Defense Khalid al-Obaidi accompanied by several military commanders observed on Wednesday the final stage of preparing and arming the first group of the Russian modern fighting helicopters (MI-28) in a step towards sending them to specified air bases.”

“These helicopters which are known as the Night Hunter will increase the efficiency of the Iraqi Army Air Force in its war against terrorism,” the statement added.

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Inside Russian nuclear sub as it fires missile that can level a city

A TV crew was on board a Borey-class nuclear submarine as it was test-firing a Bulava nuclear missile on Wednesday. A video from the sub shows people entrusted with one of the world's most powerful weapons in action.

The Yury Dolgoruky fired its deadly cargo from the Barents sea in Russia's north to the Far-Eastern test range of Kura.

Footage from the scene shows tense seamen and officers in blue uniforms going through the launch protocol, using the same language they would use in case of a real nuclear war.

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General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Lays Keel of DDG 115, Starts Fabrication on DDG 118

DDG-115 USS Rafael PeraltaThis week, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works celebrated two milestone events for the Arleigh Burke-class program. On October 30, Bath Iron Works held a keel laying ceremony for the Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), the company’s 35th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.

The ship is named for Sgt. Rafael Peralta, U.S. Marine Corps, who was deployed to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was killed November 15, 2004, during the Second Battle of Fallujah in house-to-house urban combat at the age of 25.

Sgt. Peralta’s mother, Rosa Peralta, and his sisters, Icela Peralta Donald and Karen Peralta, authenticated the keel at Bath Iron Works on October 30. Rosa Peralta is the ship’s sponsor.

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Ya'alon cancels purchase of 6 US V-22 planes

CV-22B OspreyDefense Minister Moshe Ya'alon decided to cancel a deal with the U.S. to purchase the advanced vertical-takeoff and landing V-22 Osprey aircraft. Ya'alon's decision was not in line with the Israeli military's stance, and in Israel there is concern the decision may rouse the ire of the U.S.

Israel had agreed to purchase six V-22s, but had not yet signed the contract. The purchase would have made Israel the first country outside the U.S. to obtain the advanced aircraft.

Israel was given the green light to purchase the planes in April 2013 during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's first visit to Israel.

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China Calls On Japan To End Jet Scrambles

Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ EagleChina called on Japan on Thursday to stop scrambling its jets against Chinese aircraft following a rise in the number of such operations, saying it was source of flying safety concerns.

Tension has been high between Asia's two largest economies in recent months, with each accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to its own jets in a long-running territorial dispute.

Both sides claim a string of Japanese-administered islets in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Beijing declared an air defense zone covering most of the East China Sea last year, sparking protests from Japan and the United States.

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Video: In the Cockpit of a U-2 Spy Plane, Up High and Down Low

We recently wrote how it looked like the storied U-2 spy plane would likely avert retirement yet again this year, as well as about how the plane is difficult to land and flies so very, very high.

Watch the video above to see what it looks like from the cockpit when the U-2 gets way, way up there, then check out the view from a chase car during the landing.

If you want to watch another U-2 landing as viewed from a chase car, here’s a taste.

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Airbus and Tata team-up for Indian Air Force’s Avro replacement contract

CASA C295Airbus Defence and Space has signed a cooperation agreement with Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) to submit a joint bid for a contract to replace the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Avro aircraft fleet.

The team is offering combat-proven Airbus C295 medium transport for the contract, which covers replacement of 56 Avro aircraft.

Under the terms of agreement, Airbus will supply the first 16 aircraft in 'fly-away' condition from its own final assembly line in the event of contract award.

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Beijing commands 400 patrol vessels: Thai military magazine

Type-056 class FSTo defend its exclusive economic zone in the disputed East and South China Seas, China's maritime law enforcement agencies have about 400 patrol vessels according to Asia Military Review, a magazine based in Bangkok.

China currently has the largest fleet of patrol vessels in the Asia-Pacific the magazine stated. The tonnages of the 400 vessels range between 1,150 and 3,400. The agencies are also set to receive 36 additional vessels.

The Japan Coast Guard currently has only 50 patrol vessels though they are better than the Chinese vessels in terms of quality.

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St Petersburg enterprise to supply arresting gear for INS Vikrant

INS VikrantSt. Petersburg’s Proletarski Zavod (Proletarian Factory) will supply arresting gears and breaking machines for the under construction INS Vikrant aircraft carrier.

The Russian enterprise has already supplied similar equipment for the INS Vikramaditya, Yury Skorikov, the factory’s general director told Tass.

“A contract has been signed with the Indian side. We are making arresting gears for the Vikrant aircraft carrier,” Skorikov said.

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China denies reports of explosion in its aircraft carrier

Liaoning CVChinese military today dismissed reports of an explosion on board its lone aircraft carrier, Liaoning which is currently undergoing advanced trials.

Reports in foreign media of an explosion on board the aircraft carrier "did not conform with the facts", Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in a press conference today.

According to unconfirmed reports, China's first aircraft carrier appeared to suffer a steam explosion during the recent trials that temporarily knocked out the carrier's electrical power system.

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French submarines to get new torpedoes

Le Triomphant-class SSBNThe French military procurement agency, DGA, says a next-generation heavy torpedo will be delivered to the French Navy in 2016.

The F21, developed as part of the government's Artemis weapons program, will be produced by DCNS, which designed the weapon.

The F21 is 19.6 feet long 21 inches in diameter and has two sets of propellers. It's speed -- due to the use of powerful electric battery -- is more than 50 knots over a distance of 50 nautical miles.

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Russia Begins Construction of 2 New Stealthy Kilo Submarines

Rostov-on-DonIn another step forward for the Russian navy's ambitious rearmament plans, the keels of two more "Improved Kilo-class" diesel-electric submarines were laid at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg on Thursday, Interfax reported.

The new submarines are destined to join Russia's Black Sea Fleet upon completion in 2016.

Kilo submarines are extremely quiet compared with nuclear submarines, the mainstay of many submarine fleets, because they use diesel engines rather than nuclear reactors for power. They also play a very different combat role. While nuclear attack submarines are designed for long-range deployments in the ocean depths, diesel-electric submarines are intended to sink surface vessels and other submarines in shallow waters closer to land.

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Government in a rush to make the wrong decision on submarines

Defence Minister David JohnstonIn the last week, Defence Minister David Johnston has flagged a “capability gap” if the next fleet of submarines is designed and built in Australia.

“We are under such time constraints to avoid a capability gap and I cannot afford to not have submarines in the water,” he told Sky News. “This country cannot afford that.”

It is the first time such urgency has been prioritised; it has hit the headlines with dramatic effect. In this case, however, the Coalition’s stance requires scrutiny, given what is at stake.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Raytheon awarded $205 million Phalanx upgrade contract

Phalanx CIWSRaytheon Company was awarded a multi-year bulk buy contract totaling over $200 million to provide Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) upgrade kits, support equipment and hardware spares to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The CIWS is an integral element of Japan's Ship Self-Defense Program.

"Phalanx provides the critical inner-layer of protection to sailors around the globe against threats that are continually evolving," said Rick Nelson, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Naval and Area Mission Defense product line.

"Thanks to its array of sensors, Phalanx brings a proven solution against threats launched from land, sea or air."

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Russia to Deliver Four S-300 Missile Complexes to Belarus by Year's End: Defense Minister

S-300 GiantRussia will deliver four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Belarus by the end of this year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

"If we speak about the summary for 2014, then this year we will finalize the delivery of four S-300 Zenit missile systems that will be handed over [to Belarus]. I think they'll enter into the Belarus military service in 2015," Shoigu said during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart in Minsk.

The contract for the supply of four S-300 systems to Belarus was signed in July.

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Taiwan to take delivery of first batch of Black Hawks in December

UH-60M Black HawkTaiwan will begin taking delivery of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the United States by the end of this year, with the first batch of six of the 60 aircraft set to arrive in mid-December, an Army official said Wednesday.

The helicopters will be shipped to Taiwan in seven batches, with the final batch scheduled to arrive in 2018, the official told reporters on the sidelines of a legislative committee hearing.

The U.S. government announced in early 2010 that it was selling Taiwan the 60 choppers, worth a total of US$3.1 billion.

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China Sees First Female Attack Helicopter Pilots

China’s first batch of five female attack helicopter pilotsChina's first five female attack helicopter pilots recently took part in a drill in the hinterland of north China's Yan Mountains.

The five pilots, who last year transferred to the People's Liberation Army Aviation from the People's Liberation Army Air Force, have been capable of performing combat tasks and have added to the aviation battle sequence.

"As women are meticulous and sensitive, female pilots have their advantages in flying attack helicopters, especially in operating precision instruments and distinguishing the terrains," said a senior aviation army officer.

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Park hails deployment of S. Korea's FA-50 aircraft

President Park Geun-hye called on the military Thursday to remain in full readiness as she hailed the operational deployment of South Korea's FA-50 aircraft.

"Now, our security situation is very grave," Park, wearing an Air Force jacket, said in a ceremony marking the deployment of the fighter jets built by Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea's sole aircraft manufacturer.

Park's comments came a day after North Korea rejected South Korea's offer of high-level talks in protest of anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

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North Korean leader oversees flying squads exercise — paper

Kim Jong-UnNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un has commanded a training exercise of flying squads of air defense and air force units, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday.

Pilots were practicing takeoffs and landings of military aircraft, interception of air targets and aerobatic maneuvers.

The supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army hailed the exercise and promoted some pilots right at the site “for high professionalism they have demonstrated,” the paper said.

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Pilot Killed in Crash of Fighter Jet During Training Mission Near Point Mugu

Federal aviation investigators were at the scene Wednesday night of the fiery crash of a fighter jet during a training mission near Point Mugu Naval Air Station that killed the pilot.

The jet came down around 5:13 p.m. in an agricultural field near Hueneme Road at Highway 1, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

“I just saw this jet going down really fast … and all I saw was a big cloud of smoke,” said witness Brian Rivera.

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Boeing, U.S. Air Force Demonstrate Minuteman III Readiness in Flight Test

Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s successful flight test of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which demonstrated the readiness of that system to deter nuclear threats.

The unarmed ICBM launched Sept. 23, 2014, from Vandenberg Air Force Base and reached a target in the Kwajalein Atoll during the test.

“Regular flight tests validate the accuracy, safety and reliability of the Minuteman system,” said Peggy Morse, vice president, Boeing Directed Energy & Strategic Systems.

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Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes following 'unusual level of air activity'

A Norwegian F-16 shadows a Russian air force Tupolev Tu-95Nato aircraft have been scrambled to shadow Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea and fighter planes over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity as tensions remain elevated because of the situation in Ukraine.

In all, Nato said, its jets intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since Tuesday and some were still on manoeuvres late on Wednesday afternoon.

“These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European air space,” the alliance said.

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NUSHIP Canberra on its way from Melbourne to Sydney

NUSHIP CanberraNUSHIP Canberra, the largest vessel to ever bear the name of our city, is on its way en route from Melbourne to Sydney, where she is due to be commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on November 28.

Work on her sister ship, the Adelaide, is still in progress at the BAE Systems Dockyard at Williamstown.

The two "landing helicopter docks" (LHDs), which have a combined cost well in excess of $2 billion, represent a major escalation in the amphibious lift capability of the Australian Defence Force.

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Project 11356 lead frigate Admiral Grigorovich to join Russian Navy in early November

Project 11356M class FFGThe lead frigate of Project 11356, the Admiral Grigorovich, is to be handed over to the Russian Navy on November 7, a delegation of the Baltic shipyard Yantar, manufacturing the ships of the series, told TASS at the Euronaval 2014 exhibition in Paris on Wednesday.

“On November 7, we will hand over the lead frigate to the Russian Fleet at a solemn ceremony to be attended by Commander-in-Chief (Viktor) Chirkov,” the representative of the Kaliningrad-based Yantar shipyard said.

The Admiral Grigorovich was laid down in mid-December 2010 and was set afloat in March this year. The frigate is part of the six ships being constructed in Kaliningrad: the Admiral Essen, the Admiral Makarov, the Admiral Butakov, the Admiral Istomin and the Admiral Kornikov.

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French DGA successfully completes final qualification firing of MdCN missile system

Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN)The French Direction Générale d'Armement (DGA) has successfully completed the final qualification firing of the Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN) system, also called the naval cruise missile (NCM), from the DGA Missile Test Centre in Biscarrosse, France.

The launch, which was executed from a frigate, was mainly aimed at determining the missile's range performance, while satisfying overall flight objectives.

Built by MBDA as part of the DGA contract in 2006, the MdCN missile system will be installed on the French Navy's Frégate Européen multimission (FREMM) vessels and its Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines by 2015 and 2018, respectively.

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