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Sunday, April 19, 2015

For building light fighters in India, Saab officials want government-to-government deal

Tejas LCAPrime Minister Narendra Modi had requested France for 36 Rafale fighters, built by Dassault Aviation, to meet the needs of Indian Air Force (IAF) for 126 fighters. Since then speculation is rising about a second global vendor that might fill the gap, building light fighters in India, alongside an Indian partner.

In interviews with state-run broadcaster Doordarshan and Hindustan Times, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had also explicitly stated the IAF urgently needs light fighters, a requirement the Rafale does not meet.

Likening light, medium and heavy fighters to a scooter, car and bus respectively, Parrikar told Hindustan Times it would be wasteful to deploy a big, heavy Rafale where a smaller fighter would do.

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Israel Mulls Arms Deal with Ukraine after Russia Sells Iran Advanced Missile System

Vladimir PutinRussian President Vladmir Putin warned Israel on Saturday that the government’s decision to sell weapons to Ukraine would be “counterproductive” and flame the fires of conflict.

Israel’s move to supply weapons to Ukraine come in response to the Kremlin’s decision to supply Iran with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system.

“It’s the Israeli leadership’s choice,” Putin told Russian state-run media. “It’s their right to do what they think is appropriate.”

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France provides first weapons to Lebanon to fight IS

AS532 CougarThe first French weapons from a $3 billion Saudi-funded program will arrive in Lebanon on Monday as allies seek to bolster the country’s defenses against the Islamic State group and other jihadists pressing along its Syrian border.

Anti-tank guided missiles are set to arrive at an air force base in Beirut, overseen by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Lebanese counterpart, Samir Mokbel.

France is expected to deliver 250 combat and transport vehicles, seven Cougar helicopters, three small corvette warships and a range of surveillance and communications equipment over four years as part of the $3 billion (2.8 billion-euro) modernization program.

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Park seeks to export S. Korea's attack aircraft to Peru

F/A-50 Golden EaglePresident Park Geun-hye will seek the export of South Korea's light attack aircraft to Peru during her four-day state visit to the South American country, an official said Sunday.

Park arrived in Lima on Saturday for talks with her Peruvian counterpart, Ollanta Humala, on how to further strengthen economic and other relations. The talks are set to be held on Monday.

South Korea said a planned rollout ceremony for the first basic trainer assembled in Peru in cooperation with the Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. could help Seoul's push to export FA-50 fighter jets to Peru.

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Greek and Turkish jets harass each other over international waters

HAF Block-52 F-16Two Greek F-16 jets intercepted two F-16 jets belonging to the Turkish Air Force on Saturday, according to a press release from the Turkish General Staff Headquarters. According to the report, the fighter jets were on a training flight in international air space over the Mediterranean Sea.

Turkish General Staff said that the Turkish military planes were intercepted by the Greek planes for a total of 2 minutes and 40 seconds, prompting the Turkish jets to respond in kind.

Additionally, three Greek F-16 jets intercepted a Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft over the Aegean Sea in international air space.

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Govan shipyard completes work on 700 tonne carrier control tower

HMS Prince of Wales forward islandWorkers at the BAE shipyard at Govan have completed another section of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales.

The forward island main control tower, which weighs almost 700 tonnes, inched out of the fabrication shed on 144 remote controlled wheels on Saturday.

It will be transferred onto a barge on the Clyde on Sunday, then start the five-day journey round the north coast of Scotland to Rosyth for assembly.

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273 Drone Aircraft Carriers? New DARPA Contract Could Be a Game Changer

Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN)The United States Navy boasts a "battle force" of 273 ships. Of these, only 10 are actual aircraft carriers. But what if every U.S. warship could become an "aircraft carrier" in a pinch?

Last month, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Products Agency, or DARPA, announced progress on an idea that promises to do just this -- after a fashion. Wrapping up phase 1 of its Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node, or TERN, program, DARPA said it is ready to proceed to phase 2.

Two companies have been tapped to do the work: megadefense contractor Northrop Grumman and tiny drone maker AeroVironment.

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Sweden raises defence budget amid Russia concerns

Il-20M CootSweden will raise defence spending by 10.2 billion kronor (1.09 billion euros, $1.18 billion) for the period 2016 to 2020, the government said Friday amid concerns over Russia's military resurgence, AFP reports.

"The agreement sends a signal, internationally, that Sweden is reacting to the security situation in the world, that Sweden is a guarantor for peace and stability in northern Europe and that the defence of Sweden's territory is in focus," Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told the TT news agency.

Sweden's left-wing minority government, made up of the Social Democrats and the Greens, had announced a 6.2 billion kronor increase over five years on March 12.

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RAF wants a new £2bn aircraft fleet to keep Britain safe from Russian submarines

P-8A PoseidonKeeping British waters safe requires a £2billion fleet of submarine hunter aircraft, defence chiefs will tell the next government.

The RAF is calling for 12 planes and surveillance drones to monitor our coast in the wake of the renewed threat from Russia.

Aircraft, ships and subs under orders from Russian leader Vladimir Putin have been probing British ­territory almost on a weekly basis for two years.

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US Navy Pursues High-Tech Submarine Upgrades

USS North Dakota (SSN 784)U.S. Navy leaders say the service is making progress developing new technologies to ensure the U.S. retains its technological edge in the undersea domain – as countries like China continue rapid military modernization and construction of new submarines.

When asked about the pace of Chinese undersea military construction and modernization, the Navy's Director of Undersea Warfare said the Navy is focused on sustaining the research and development, or R&D, sufficient to ensure the U.S. retains its technological superiority.

Some of the efforts are yielding near-term results in the form of the USS South Dakota, a prototype Virginia-class attack submarine engineered with a series of high-tech adjustments, Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo told Military.com.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Raytheon awarded more than $2 billion for an International Patriot Air and Missile Defense System

Patriot PAC-2Raytheon Company announced today it has been awarded a contract worth over $2.0 billion to deliver the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to an undisclosed international customer.

The contract, awarded on April 2, 2015 and booked in the second quarter as a direct commercial sale, includes fully digitized new-production Patriot fire units with the latest technology for improved threat detection, identification and engagement. The contract also includes a full training package and support equipment.

"In the past five months Qatar, Korea and now this international partner have all chosen Raytheon's Global Patriot solution because they have confidence in the world's most advanced air and missile defense system," said Daniel J. Crowley, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

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Russian Armed Forces receive 24 ballistic missiles in 2015

Topol ICBMThe Russian Armed Forces have received 24 ballistic missiles, 36 Tornado-G multiple-launch rocket systems, BMD-4M and BTR-MDM Rakushka armored vehicles, as well as several naval ships since the beginning of the year, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported.

"Sixty units of armored force armament and hardware, as well as 36 Tornado-G multiple-launch rocket systems have undergone maintenance and have been upgraded.

The Airborne Troops have been provided with 24 BMD-4M and BTR-MDM Rakushka armored vehicles and 483 different parachute systems," the ministry said in a press release, seen by Interfax-AVN on Friday.

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Russia to supply Su-30 Flankers to Kazakhstan

Su-30SM FlankerRussia is starting the shipment of the The Sukhoi Su-30, Flanker C fighter aircrafts to Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing RIA Novosti.

Kazakhstan announced acquiring the twin-engine and two-seat supermaneuverable Flanker Cs back in February to recapitalize the country’s air forces.

In Rio de Janeiro, during the International Defense and Security Exhibition the head of the Irkut Corporation delegation Viktor Lichaev talked about the shipment of four Su-30 SM fighters to Kazakhstan.

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Female ROC Air Force officer on way to fulfilling dream of being fighter pilot

1st Lieutenant Kao Tzu-yuAn ROC Air Force officer is on her way to realizing her dream of being a fighter pilot, as she is undergoing flight training at an air force base in Taiwan's eastern county of Taitung.

After three months of training at the base, 1st Lieutenant. Kao Tzu-yu completed a mission of flying an F-5E fighter solo that included mid-air drills such as rolls, on Wednesday.

"I made it," said Kao, who added that when she landed, she screamed to express her absolute excitement.

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Selex ES to provide search and rescue radar for Australia

Seaspray 5000E Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-mode surveillance radarSelex ES has been awarded a multi-million Euro contract from Cobham Aviation Services in Australia to supply a number of Seaspray 5000E Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) surveillance radars.

The radars will equip Cobham’s Challenger CL-604 Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft and be used to provide airborne search and rescue services for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Seaspray 5000E is a class-leading airborne surveillance radar ideally suited to search and rescue work.

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LAAD 2015: New engines delivered for Brazil C-1A modernisation

C-1A TraderThe first set of new engines and APUs for the Brazilian Navy’s fleet of ex-US Navy Grumman C-1A Traders have been delivered.

The navy’s C-1A Trader aircraft are currently being retrofitted with new turboprop engines and Auxiliary Power Units (APU) as part of modernisation efforts.

Upgrade work on four aircraft is being carried out by Texas-based M7 Aerospace, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America, and will last approximately five years.

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US Navy robot war-jet refuels in air: But Mav and Iceman are going down fighting

X-47B UCLASS AARA US Navy X-47B unmanned aircraft demonstrator has successfully carried out air-to-air refuelling from a tanker, the last of the feats the X-47B project was intended to accomplish. The two robot jets will now be retired, either to museums or the Pentagon's famous desert aircraft boneyard in Arizona.

The test took place yesterday off the coast of Maryland. X-47B "Salty Dog 502" successfully plugged into a contractor-operated tanker aircraft, demonstrating that an unmanned, tailless aeroplane with a stealthy shape can not only take off and land on an aircraft carrier but also refuel while airborne.

It had already been shown that un-piloted aircraft can refuel air-to-air but it wasn't known if a robotic combat-worthy carrier-based machine could do it too.

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USS Gary returns to San Diego from final voyage


The guided-missile frigate USS Gary returned home to San Diego Friday morning following a nearly seven-month deployment to Central America.

When the warship tied up at Naval Base San Diego at about 9:20 a.m., the crowd waiting to greet crew members let out a cheer.

The voyage is the final one for the Gary, which will be decommissioned. The Navy is phasing out frigates in favor of the new littoral combat ships — vessels designed for fighting in coastal waters.

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Russian Warships With Flagship Destroyer Enter Norwegian Sea To Begin Naval Drills

RFS Severomorsk (D619)A group of Russian warships from the Northern fleet, led by the flagship Udaloy class destroyer Severomorsk, has entered the Norwegian Sea to begin naval drills, including flight deck exercises, Sputnik reported Friday, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

The latest development comes after Britain’s Royal Navy escorted a Severomorsk destroyer, a tanker and a tug out of the English Channel earlier this week.

The three Russian ships were heading east before entering the North Atlantic to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine drills, the Telegraph reported.

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New Navy ship to be named after city of St. Louis

USS Freedom (LCS-1)Ray Mabus came here from his home in Mississippi as a young boy to watch the Cardinals play. He returned on Friday as the secretary of the Navy to name a new combat ship the St. Louis.

Mabus announced the name and plans to build the ship, formally known as a littoral combat ship, at a pomp-and-circumstance ceremony in front of the Soldiers Memorial.

“This is the coolest job in the world,” Mabus said. “I get to name every Navy ship.”

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More combat ships on way from European shipyards

ITS Carlo Margottini (F 592)Italian shipbuilder Orizzonte Sistemi Navali and DCNS of France have announced the construction of combat vessels for the navies of Italy and Egypt.

Orizzonte Sistemi Navali S.p.A. said that OCCAR, the European Union agency in charge of multinational weapons procurement projects, had notified them that the Italian Navy was exercising a contract option to obtain two FREMM frigates.

The frigates would be the ninth and tenth for Italy under the Italian-French FREMM, or Multi Mission European Frigates, program. The value of the option exercise carries a value of about $818.1 million.

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Batteries Stolen In Zaragoza Were Destined For S-80 Submarines In Cartagena

S-80 class SSKThe construction of the Spanish Navy's S-80 submarine at the Navantia shipyards in Cartagena has been hit over the last few years by a series of misfortunes, including lack of available funding from the Ministry of Defence and technical problems which necessitated a complete rethink of the proposed design, causing substantial delays in the anticipated delivery dates of the first units and leading to concerns that the Spanish submarine fleet could be seriously under strength within a couple of years as the old S-70 series is gradually withdrawn from service.

In this context the news that 70 huge batteries stolen from premises in Zaragoza were intended for use in the construction of the S-80 is little more than a minor setback, especially since the batteries have now been recovered by the Guardia Civil from recycling companies in Bilbao, Zaragoza and Soria.

Each of the batteries weighed 600 kilograms, but despite their size it was not until a lorry carrying nine of them got stuck in the mud on 25th March that the Guardia made any progress in their investigations.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Navy League 2015: Boeing developing kit to upgrade Harpoon missiles for extended range

Boeing Harpoon Block II missileBoeing is developing a kit to upgrade existing Harpoon Block II missiles for extended range, in the hope of attracting interest from the US Navy's (USN's) new frigate programme, officials announced on 14 April.

Called Harpoon Next Generation, the new version would include a more fuel-efficient engine, additional fuel, and a smaller 300-pound class warhead, company officials told reporters at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space symposium in National Harbor, Maryland.

"We're looking at doubling the range of Harpoon from 67 nm to 134 nm," said Jim Brooks, director of cruise missile systems weapons programmes for Boeing Global Strike Weapons and Missile Systems, a division of Boeing Defense, Space and Security.

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Ukraine's Antonov Bureau showcases its new transport aircraft


Ukrainian aircraft producer Antonov Bureau has unveiled its newly-constructed transport aircraft, designed for both military and civilian purposes.

Antonov Bureau made its name back in Soviet times - primarily for its cargo planes.

Antonovs are still used in 80 countries all over the globe and are valued for their reliability.

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Israel to get first F-35s in 2016

F-35A Lightning IITwo Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters will arrive in Israel in December 2016, making the Israeli Air Force (IAF) the first outside of the United States to receive the fifth-generation combat aircraft, a senior Lockheed Martin official said on 15 April.

The two jets are among 33 F-35s that Israel currently has on order. The defence establishment is keen to acquire another 17 in the coming years to form two full squadrons.

Five pilots and a squadron commander from Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel have been selected to become the country's first F-35 pilots and instructors, IAF sources added, describing them as the "core" of the first squadron.

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