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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ Takes to the Skies

Legion podLockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Legion Pod was integrated onto the F-16 without making any hardware or software changes to the aircraft. Additional flight tests on the F-16 and F-15C will continue throughout the year.

“Legion Pod is a production-ready, multi-sensor system,” said Paul Lemmo, vice president of fire control at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “With our most advanced hardware and software, a hot production line and an established logistics depot, Legion Pod provides a high-performance, low-risk, affordable capability to warfighters today.”

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Russia's Satellite Nuclear Warning System Down Until November

United Space System or EKSRussia has delayed the launch of a new military satellite system by four months, news agency TASS reported Wednesday, leaving Moscow nearly blind in the event of a nuclear missile attack till at least November.

Russia's decaying constellation of Soviet-designed early warning satellites was left nearly blind last year, when one of the three remaining units malfunctioned. The remaining two satellites were taken offline in January, leaving Russian decision-makers reliant on land-based radar systems to detect incoming missiles.

Radar systems, however, give far less warning than the satellites of incoming strikes, as radar can only detect objects within a set range.

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Absolute Annihilator: Watch Russian Pantsir-S1 Smash Targets

The Russian Pantsir-S1 air defense system can detect and destroy any plane, helicopter, guided bomb or ballistic missile. It can even strike the Tomahawks Block-IV cruise missiles. It simply annihilates everything in the sky - no wonder why experts consider it the best in the world.

The Pantsir-S1 (NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound), is a short-to-medium range gun-missile system combining a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range missiles.

The system is designed to detect and hit a variety of targets flying at altitudes from five meters to 15 kilometers and at the range from 200 meters to 20 kilometers.

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Initial Training Begins for Israel’s David’s Sling Missile Defense System

David's Sling weapon systemThe Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) Air Defense Command has launched the first training course for soldiers who will be operating the new David’s Sling missile-interception system.

Training will be led by the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Homa Directorate, which oversees the missile defense program, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the lead contractor for the project.

The training course will be six months long. David’s Sling is designed to intercept medium-to-long-range missiles, fired at ranges of 25-186 miles. Once operational, it is expected to be an important tool in protecting Israel against the Hezbollah terror group.

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S. Korea selects Airbus for $1.33 bn military contract

A330 MRTTEuropean aerospace giant Airbus won a $1.33 billion deal on June 30 to supply air refuelling tankers to South Korea, beating US rival Boeing, Seoul's military procurement agency said.

Under the 1.488 trillion won deal, Airbus Defence and Space will supply four A330 MRTT aircraft by 2019 to South Korea's air force.

The A330 MRTT, a military derivative of the A330-200 airliner, was selected over Boeing's KC-46A, the state agency said.

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E-2D program successful critical design review moves Hawkeye closer to aerial refueling

E-2D Advanced HawkeyeAerial refueling of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is closer to reality after the Navy successfully conducted a critical design review of its AR capability Wednesday and Thursday.

The review paves the way for installing AR capabilities aboard the E-2D AHE for flight testing. The AR capability is expected to reach initial operational capability in FY2020.

During the review, Naval Air Systems Command and Northrop Grumman leaders presented various aspects of the AR system’s technical development to a technical review board for evaluation.

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Russia To Boost Military Presence On Western Border With Over 20 Attack Helicopters By End Of 2015

Mi-28NE HavocRussia is strengthening its forces on the country’s western border, and the Kremlin will further reinforce its army in the region with more than 20 attack helicopters by the end of 2015, Russia’s Western Military District announced Tuesday.

The move comes amid growing tensions between Moscow and the West as NATO forces step up military presence in areas close to Russia's borders in Eastern Europe.

“New army aircraft are equipped with cutting-edge electronics that allow them to perform training and combat tasks 24 hours a day in any weather conditions,” Russia’s Sputnik News quoted Col. Oleg Kochetkov, chief of Russia’s Western Military District’s press service, as saying.

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Air Force to evaluate all B-type Hercules

C-13B HerculesThe Indonesian Air Force has said it will evaluate all of its B-type Hercules airplanes following a Hercules C-130 crash in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday.

Air Force chief of staff Air Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna said the incident in Medan was a catalyst to evaluate the flight systems used by the Indonesian Military.

While admitting that the Hercules C-130 may have had some technical problems, he said the cause of the crash was still unknown.

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PLA's Type 055 destroyer to be bigger than US Arleigh Burke-class

Type 055 DDG conceptChina's Type 055 guided-missile destroyer currently under construction will be bigger and probably more powerful than the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers of the United States, according to Strategy Page, a US-based website covering global defense issues, on June 28.

With a displacement of 12,000 tonnes, the size of the Type 055 is much closer to a cruiser than a destroyer and the largest surface combat vessel China has ever built, excluding the Liaoning aircraft carrier which was refitted from a hulk purchased from Ukraine.

Beijing claims the Type 055 equipped with 128 vertical launch tubes would be the equivalent of a US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built around the Aegis Combat System. Compared to China's current Type 052D guided-missile destroyer, however, the Type 055 looks more like the real "Chinese Aegis," the report said.

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Baltic Shipbuilding Plant “Yantar” starts mooring trials of Admiral Essen, second ship of Project 11356

Project 11356 class FFGOn June 30, 2015, Baltic Shipbuilding Plant “Yantar” (United Shipbuilding Corporation, Kaliningrad) commenced mooring trials of Admiral Essen, second ship of Project 11356 being built for RF Navy, the shipyard says.

Upon completion of the mooring trials the ship will leave for the acceptance/delivery base in Baltijsk to undergo the sea trials. The delivery is scheduled for the end of the year.

The Admiral Essen was laid down on July 8, 2011 and launched on November 7, 2014. Under two contracts signed with the Russian Ministry of Defense, Yantar Shipyard is to build a series of six frigates of Project 11356 developed by the Northern Design Bureau.

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Indian Navy building 48 warships indigenously

INS VikrantHailing the country's indigenous shipbuilding capabilities, Vice Admiral P. Murugesan, vice chief of the navy, on Tuesday said that 48 warships are currently under construction in Indian shipyards.

These 48 ships being manufactured for the Indian Navy include aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers, submarines, corvettes and fast attack crafts.

"The greatest news is that all these 48 ships are being built in Indian shipyards," Murugesan said at the simultaneous launch of three Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts (WJFAC) at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) here.

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Tony Abbott defends purchase of F-35

RAAF F-35 Lightning IIPrime Minister Tony Abbott has defended Australia's decision to fork out $12.4 billion to buy the troubled F-35 joint strike fighter, with the first aircraft being introduced to limited roles by the United States Marine Corps next week.

Mr Abbott, who on Wednesday announced a $275 million upgrade to Williamtown RAAF Base near Newcastle to accommodate the new fighters, insisted Australia was "absolutely buying the right plane".

The first 10 F-35 armed joint strike fighters are to be handed over to the US Marines Corps on July 10.

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Stennis, SPAWAR Prepare for First Carrier Deployment with Next Generation CANES Network

John C. Stennis (CVN 74)Navy communications at sea will take a big leap forward in capability and capacity later this year. The service’s next-generation IT infrastructure, which promises faster connections and greater cyber security protections, will be tested and deployed for the first time on an aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).

Stennis is preparing for both a deployment in the fall and its five-year Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) examination in late July, and it will be the first aircraft carrier to do either with the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES).

Sailors aboard Stennis may notice faster and more reliable connections, but the real advantages of CANES are behind the scenes.

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Where Is the UK Government's Nuclear Weapons Policy Heading?

Successor class SSBNWhichever way you look at it, it seems that the fiscal hawks and disarmament doves have been blown out of the sky and have sunk into a deep blue ocean where the Trident Successor programme stares them head-on.

Since returning to power with an outright majority, the UK's new Conservative government is now full steam ahead to replace the Vanguard-class submarines with a new fleet of four Successor submarines, each armed with Trident II D-5 fleet ballistic missiles.

Each submarine will have 12 launch tubes of which 8 will be operational and capable of reaching targets and delivering within a range of 11,300 km, perhaps further and even more accurate with the next generation of nuclear-tipped Trident ballistic missiles due to be in service in the early 2030s.

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Saab Signs Contracts for A26 Submarines and Mid-life Upgrade for Gotland-class Submarines

Type A26 class SSKDefence and security company Saab has signed contracts with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the construction of two new Type A26 submarines and a mid-life upgrade for two Gotland-class submarines.

The orders, signed with FMV today, cover the period 2015-2024 and the total order value is SEK8.6 billion.

Saab will construct, verify and deliver two new Type A26 submarines for the Swedish Navy to a total order value of SEK7.6 billion. Deliveries will start in 2022 and be finalized in 2024.

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Amid Chinese Military Aggression, Russia Delivers Submarine To Vietnam For Defense Over South China Sea Dispute

Hanoi (Kilo) class SSKA Russian-made submarine arrived in Vietnam's Cam Ranh Port Tuesday, the fourth of six Kil0-class submarines that Russia is delivering as part of a $2.6 billion deal the two countries signed in 2009, Thanh Nien News reported.

The submarines are part of a Vietnamese effort to deter China's military amid an ongoing dispute over the South China Sea, a maritime expanse considered rich in resources that is highly valuable for commercial shipping.

In addition to the six Kilo-class submarines from Russia, Vietnam has bought accompanying Russian-made missiles, of the Klub variety, that can attack land and could potentially reach coastal cities in China, Reuters reported in April.

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Sink these submarines

Type 041 (Yuan) class SSKThe Royal Thai Navy (RTN) believes it is on the brink of achieving an objective set more than 20 years ago. Admirals say that only the formality of a cabinet decision stands between them and three submarines. The cabinet should object to this decision. The navy's actions on subs remain opaque, unexplained and quite possibly wrong.

The current situation is supposedly this. A navy-appointed, 17-member committee studied submarines on sale around the world. The navy has never discussed funding, but the government said the committee's operations cost 200 million baht.

A majority concluded that a Chinese diesel model is best suited for the country, with "superior weaponry and technology". The subs cost 12 billion baht each, meaning taxpayers are being told they must pay 36 billion baht to obtain the vessels. The government must approve the sale.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Saab Receives SEK270 Million Order for RBS 70 Missiles

RBS 70Defence and security company Saab has received an SEK270 million order for the delivery of RBS 70 missiles and additional equipment and training. Deliveries will occur between 2015 and 2016.

The Saab portfolio of short-range ground-based air defence missile systems includes the RBS 70 and the further enhanced RBS 70 NG. The RBS 70 system has an impressive track-record on the market with more than 1,600 launchers and over 17,000 missiles delivered to 19 countries.

“One of our customers of the RBS 70 system has placed an additional order to achieve added capacity of its forces. This order demonstrates the reliability of the RBS 70 system, as well as the high quality of our manufacturing and support capabilities,” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area Dynamics.

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Indonesian military plane crashes in northern city, killing at least 30

An Indonesian military transport plane crashed into a hotel and residential area in the northern Sumatra city of Medan on Tuesday, killing at least 30 people, a national search and rescue agency official said.

"That's the latest information, the number could go up," Hisar Turnip of the Basarnas agency told Reuters.

Military spokesman Fuad Basya said that 12 personnel, including the pilot, had been aboard the C-130 Hercules. The bodies of five of them had been found.

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Georgia to Buy Advanced Air Defense Missiles From France

CrotaleOn June 15 Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli signed an agreement with ThalesRaytheonSystems President Gerome Bedel for the purchase of “advanced” air defense systems that will “guarantee the country’s air defense,” Khidasheli said.

Even though many of its details remain shrouded in mystery, Tbilisi hailed the air defense deal as “a breakthrough” because the Western nations had previously refrained from selling even defensive weapons to the Georgian military.

The contract was inked on the sidelines of the Le Bourget 2015 International Air Show outside Paris.

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KAI and South Korean Government sign LAH / LCH development contracts

Dauphin based helicopterSouth Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) have signed contracts with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to develop light armed helicopter (LAH) and light civil helicopter (LCH).

The company was selected for system development of the LAH project and preferred bidder for the LCH core technology development in July 2014.

With a combined value of KRW1.6trn ($1.4bn), the contracts will see the company design and develop two 5t class LAH and LCH platforms using the Airbus Helicopters' H155 multi-purpose helicopter.

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Dassault's Deal With India Was Important

Dassault RafaleAmid some controversy, India took to the news with a June announcement of the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation. It was an important move for the nation, which counts China and Pakistan as border ‘mates’.

India, which plans to spend about $100 million on modernizing its defense resources in the next 10 years, has suffered a spate of air fatalities in the past months as a result of an ailing air force.

We spoke with KPMG Partner and India Head of Aerospace and Defence Amber Dubey who says India currently lags behind in defense technology, and it is imperative they keep up.

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Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can’t Dogfight

F-35B STOVL Lightning IIA test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

“The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled “for official use only.”

The test pilot’s report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history’s most expensive weapon.

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Coastguards find debris of Bangladesh Air Force’s F-7 fighter jet, pilot still missing

J-7 / F-7 SkyboltBangladesh Coast Guard has recovered two pieces of debris from the F-7 fighter jet of Bangladesh Air Force that crashed in the Bravo Anchorage of the Bay of Bengal in Chittagong early Monday.

The fighter’s pilot Flight Lieutenant Rumman Tahmid Chowdhury is still missing since the crash that occurred during a training run around noon.

The joint search and rescue operation, that includes Air Force, Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard personnel, did not find him until 7:30pm.

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SR-71 spy plane takes to the air at Aviation Museum

SR-71 BlackbirdThe famed SR-71 spy plane at the Virginia Aviation Museum got off the ground for the first time in decades to take a practice roll Monday.

Still looking futuristic even though it was designed more than 50 years ago, the plane is preparing to move indoors this fall to star in a new “Speed” exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia.

The SR-71 Blackbird reached a record speed of 2,193 mph and flew at altitudes over 85,000 feet, making it the world’s fastest and highest flying production aircraft, according to the science museum.

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