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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Netherlands MoD resumes deliveries of NH90 helicopters

NH90 NFHThe Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has resumed deliveries of the final seven NH90 helicopters, following a new agreement with the manufacturer, Netherlands Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has said.

NHIndustries has agreed to fix issues with wear and corrosion, which had caused the suspension of deliveries in June.

As part of the deal, the aircraft manufacturer will pay for expenses involved in the development of modifications, patch ups for corrosion damage and scheming preventative measures, according to the Netherlands MoD.

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European multirole tanker transport fleet takes shape

A330 MRTT aircraftThe Netherlands, Poland and Norway have decided to prepare negotiations with Airbus Defence & Space for the acquisition of a fleet of A330 MRTT multirole transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. The participating nations would welcome other nations to join the initiative either before an actual procurement or subsequently.

This initiative, facilitated by the European Defence Agency, consists of the pooled acquisition and operation of a common fleet of aircraft by the three nations. Other nations will also be able to contribute to the overall programme through joining the acquisition phase and/or in-service phase.

An initial operating capability is expected for 2019.

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Russian stealth jet technology surpassed by China: Global Times

J-20 Mighty DragonChina's stealth fighter technology has overtaken Russia based on newly-released photos of China's J-20 stealth fighter, reports the Global Times, a tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily.

Photos of the latest version of the J-20 — a stealth, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter jet being developed by the Chengdu Aerospace Corporation — bearing the serial number 2015, reveal that the aircraft has commenced ground testing and may be conducting its first flight soon. This appears to be another step in the right direction after an earlier J-20 model with a serial number of 2013 was unveiled in September, the Global Times said.

Experts speculate that the J-20 may have already entered a rapid prototype production phase.

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LCA naval version achieves milestone

The first prototype of the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas' Naval version — LCA NP-1 — completed its maiden flight as part of the carrier compatibility tests at the shore-based test facility INS Hansa in Goa at 12.34pm on Saturday.

LCA-Navy is the second Ski Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR ) carrier-borne aircraft in the world, after a Russian deck based aircraft. And, this will be the only Carrier borne Fighter aircraft in the Light category.

The flight in Goa comes more than two years after the aircraft completed its maiden flight on April 27, 2012.

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Defense spending will grow despite economic problems

Russia’s defense sector gets guarantees that expenses are confirmed despite economic meltdown. On Friday, yet another brand new strategic missile submarine joined the Northern fleet.

“The nuclear shield of our homeland is updated with this modern, worthy, beautiful, powerful vessel.”

With these words, Russia’s Deputy chief of the Navy, Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vedotenkov honored the crew lined up on top of “Vladimir Monomakh” during the solemn ceremony in Severodvinsk on Friday, the portal of the Sevmash yard reports.

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First Stan Patrol 3007 for Bahamas at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem

Damen Stan Patrol 3007The first Damen Stan Patrol 3007 has arrived at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands for outfitting. The vessel is one of nine that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has ordered from Damen Shipyards.

The order features four Stan Patrol 4207 vessels, one RoRo 5612 and a further three Stan Patrol 3007 vessels. Damen has designed the Stan Patrol 3007 with the client’s requirements in mind.

Robin van der Zon, Project Manager at Damen Shipyards Group explains: “These patrol vessels will prevent smuggling and people trafficking, so it’s vital they can quickly reach places other vessels cannot. For that reason we have developed the Stan Patrol 3007 to reach up to 24 knots with shallow draught.”

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

GDEB Awarded $36 Million for Development of Advanced Submarine Technologies

USS MinnesotaGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $36.5 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy to develop advanced submarine technologies for current and future undersea platforms.

Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

Under the terms of the modification, Electric Boat will perform advanced submarine research and development studies in support of a wide range of technology areas including manufacturability, maintainability, survivability, hydrodynamics, acoustics and materials.

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Navy to take delivery of new stealth missile corvette next week

The Navy is set to take delivery of its first locally designed stealth missile corvette from a Taiwanese shipbuilder during a ceremony slated for Dec. 23, the Ministry of National Defense said Friday.

During the ceremony in a commercial harbor in Suao, the 500-ton corvette -- the Tuo Jiang ("Tuo River") -- will be officially transferred from Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. to the Navy.

After receiving the corvette, the Navy will begin training personnel to familiarize them with the craft, and Navy officials did not think it would take long before the vessel is put into service.

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Canister Launch of Agni-V Next Month

Agni V ICBMPreparations are afoot at the defence base off Odisha coast for the first canister launch of India’s longest range nuclear capable missile Agni-V. The test is likely to be conducted on January 7 or 8 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to witness the launch.

The motor, body and other sub-systems of the indigenously developed missile having a strike range of 5,000-km have been brought to the Wheeler Island test facility and DRDO scientists are busy assembling the weapon system.

Sources told this paper that the schedule of the missile test depends on the programme of the Prime Minister.

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Pilots Died Because of Lack of Trainer Aircraft and Training Aid, Says Government Auditor

HJT-36 SitaraAccidents involving fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force in 2012-13 were caused due to "technical defects" and "human error", according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The number of such mishaps were considerably higher than in the past, says the government auditor.

The CAG report says there were as many as 33 accidents in which 27 pilots lost their lives in the period that was audited.

These accidents happened, the report says, because the Air Force could no longer train its pilots properly - it didn't have the full complement of basic trainer's aircraft, intermediate and advanced jet trainers and even simulators.

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US Grants $3B Sale Of Tanks, Armored Vehicles To Iraq; Will Send 1,300 Troops To Assist Iraqi Forces

M1A1 Abrams MBTThe U.S. State Department has approved sales of tanks and other armored vehicles to Iraq as part of a deal worth about $3 billion.

The latest development coincided with a statement from the Department of Defence announcing the deployment of more than 1,000 U.S. troops in Iraq next year.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for M1A1 Abrams tanks and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion,” the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on Friday.

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Insitu lands $41M Navy drone order

RQ-21A BlackjackInsitu, the Bingen-based manufacturer of drones, has landed a $41.07 million Navy contract to supply three RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft systems.

The company, a subsidiary of aerospace giant Boeing, will perform the contract work in Bingen and is expected to complete it in January 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense said Thursday.

The $41.07 million will pay for "the air vehicles, ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, initial spares, and system engineering and program management," according to the Defense Department. Following federal acquisition rules, the contract wasn't competitively bid, the Defense Department said.

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Canada commits $200 million to development of next generation of Seasparrow missile

Evolved Seasparrow MissileThe Department of National Defence has announced that it is joining efforts to improve missile systems for naval vessels.

The upgrade process includes the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Evolved Seasparrow Missile Block 2 – the next generation of that missile.

Canada’s contribution to participate in the development memorandum of understanding is approximately $200 million, according to DND.

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Canada sending HMCS Fredericton to Mediterranean Sea over Ukraine crisis

HMCS FrederictonCanada is sending another one of its frigates to help a NATO maritime force aiming to provide reassurance to eastern European allies that are jittery over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Defence Department says HMCS Fredericton will deploy in the coming weeks to replace HMCS Toronto in the Mediterranean Sea.

HMCS Toronto has been in the area since August.

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Sale of US Warships to Taiwan Violates China-US Agreements: Beijing

USS HalyburtonThe sale of four Perry-class guided missile frigates by the United States to Taiwan violates joint communiques signed by China and the United States, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday.

"The Chinese side is firmly opposed to the arms sales by the US to Taiwan. This position is steadfast, clear and consistent.

The aforementioned act constitutes a grave breach of the spirit of the three joint communiqués between China and the US, especially that of the August 17 Communiqué," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Friday.

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Russian Nuclear Bombers Again Buzz Guam

Tu-95 Bear D & F-15 EagleRussian strategic bombers conducted a third circumnavigation of the U.S. Pacific island of Guam last week as other bombers flew close to Alaska and Europe, defense officials said.

Two Tu-95 Bear H bombers made the flight around Guam, a key U.S. military hub in the western Pacific, on Dec. 13. No U.S. interceptor jets were dispatched to shadow the bombers.

Separately, two Canadian F-18s intercepted two Bear bombers that intruded into the Alaska air defense identification zone on Dec. 8 that a military spokesman called “unwanted, provocative, and potentially destabilizing.”

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Russian military received 38 intercontinental missiles in 2014 — defense minister

Yuri Dolgoruky SSBNRussia's Strategic Nuclear Forces added 38 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to their tables of equipment this year, including 22 submarine-based missiles, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday at an expanded session of the Defense Ministry's Board.

The percentage of upgraded armaments in the Armed Forces has thus reached 56%, he said. The Strategic Missile Troops now have three new regiments operating Yars missile complexes.

By the end of December, the Navy will have three strategic nuclear-powered submarines of the Borei class. The first of them, the Yuri Dolgoruky, has already come on full-scale combat duty.

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Repair of nuclear-powered submarine Yekaterinburg completed at Zvezdochka shipyard

Yekaterinburg SSBNZvezdochka shipyard has completed repair and extension of the lifetime of the strategic nuclear-powered submarine Yekaterinburg (project 667BDRM), the shipyard says in its press release. The ship has been officially delivered to Russian Navy on December 19, 2014.

In June 2012, the ship was delivered to Zvezdochka (Severodvinsk) for repair and extension of the ship’s lifetime by 3 years.

In early June 2014, the Yekaterinburg left the slip dock of Ship Repair Center ‘Zvezdochka’, the outfitting work was completed in the first half of November 2014 and the ship started shipbuilder’s sea trials.

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CAG says submarines hit by delay in buying spares

INS SindhurakshakThe comptroller and auditor general (CAG) on Friday slammed the government for unreasonable delays in projects that compromised the navy's ability to fully exploit its Russian-origin Kilo-class submarines and also hit the training of air force pilots.

In a report tabled in Parliament, the national auditor condemned the defence ministry over its failure to indigenise heavy-duty Tatra trucks used for carrying missiles, a target that should have should have achieved in 1991.

The trucks were at the centre of a controversy in 2012 when former army chief General VK Singh had alleged that he was offered Rs. 14 crore for clearing sub-standard Tatra vehicles.

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NSM Coastal Defence contract valued at NOK 1,3 Billions with Poland

NSM (Naval Strike Missile) Coastal Defence SystemKongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) has signed a contract with the Polish Ministry of National Defence for an NSM (Naval Strike Missile) Coastal Defence System valued at NOK 1.3 Billion. The scope of delivery is a Squadron-size unit similar to the contract won with Poland in 2008.

After a successful delivery and acceptance of the first Squadron, this second Squadron will increase the cooperation with the Polish Government and industry and further enhance security of supply by establishing the capability to maintain the system in Poland in an alliance with WZE (Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne S.A).

The system uses NSM in conjunction with a command and weapon control system similar to the renowned NASAMS air defence system in use by four NATO countries, including the US.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Germany takes delivery of its first Airbus A400M

Airbus Defence and Space has formally delivered the first Airbus A400M military transport ordered by Germany.

A total of nine aircraft have now been delivered and the aircraft is in service with four nations.

The Bundeswehr accepted the aircraft at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain on 18 December.

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PLA's JH-7 fighter bomber modified for S China Sea conflict

JH-7A Flying LeopardFacing a potential conflict with Vietnam in the South China Sea, China is continuing the modification of Xian Aircraft Industry Corporation's two-seat JH-7 fighter bomber for the PLA Navy, according to the Sina Military Network based in Beijing.

Photos released on the website indicate that a new version of the JH-7 attacker is under development, constructed with composite materials. Internet users believe that the avionics and engine of the aircraft, referred to as the JH-7B, have been upgraded as well, while the Communist Party paper Global Times said the plane is equipped with an LM6 turbofan engine.

Once the JH-7B enters service, it may also be fitted with the more advanced WS-10 Taihang engine designed by Shenyang Liming Aircraft Engine Company.

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No C-17 delivered to Algeria, Boeing confirms

C-17 Globemaster IIIAlgeria has not received into service a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter, the manufacturer confirmed to IHS Jane's on 17 December.

A C-17 in Algerian Air Force (al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Jaza'eriya) markings was reported to have landed at Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport on 10 December, the Secret Difa3 blog reported eyewitnesses as saying.

However, it has since emerged that this may have in fact been an aircraft belonging to the Qatar Emiri Air Force, though it is unclear how the roundels could have been confused.

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AFM receives second twin-engine helicopter

AFM AW139The Armed Forces of Malta’s second AW139 twin-engine helicopter landed at Luqa a few minutes ago.

The helicopter, which is to be registered AS1429, will be used to perform border control tasks and SAR missions.

Together with the AFM’s first twin-engine helicopter, it will help strengthen the AFM’s capabilities through the External Borders Fund 2007-2013.

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Europe to begin testing of UAV-based maritime surveillance system

Tekever AR5 EvolutionTekever’s AR5 Life Ray Evolution unmanned air vehicle has been selected to participate in the testing of Europe’s first UAV maritime surveillance system, following a contract award from the European Space Agency and European Maritime Safety Agency.

Through the Rapsody programme, the UAV will be involved in two years of testing in two different scenarios – search and rescue and pollution and oil spill monitoring – over the Atlantic and the North and Mediterranean seas.

This is the first time UAVs will be introduced into maritime surveillance missions in Europe, Tekever says.

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