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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

India, France to jointly develop 'Maitri' Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SR-SAM)

VL MICA SAMThe indigenous surface-to-air missile Akash failing to inspire enough confidence for deployment on Indian Navy ships, the government has asked the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to engage with the French firm MBDA missile systems for development of short-range surface-to-air missile system (SRSAM).

"DRDO will engage for development of nine SRSAMs which have 40 missiles each," a Navy source said.

This comes as a result of the decision taken to revive the $5 billion SRSAM programme 'Maitri' at the latest defence acquisition council (DAC) meeting of the ministry of defence (MoD) held on Saturday, March 28.

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France to sell Mistral warships to EU

Vladivostok LHDFrance is to supply its Mistral warships to the EU foreign service instead of to Russia in a move designed to forge a “genuine European defence policy”.

The landmark deal comes after EU sanctions over Ukraine, last year, stopped France from transferring the first of the two vessels to Russia.

It also indicates deep EU scepticism on Moscow’s promises to make peace.

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US Air Force awards Raytheon $91.5 million for MALD-J

Raytheon Company received a $91.5 million U.S. Air Force contract modification award for the Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer (MALD-J) missile. The contract modification is for Lot 8.

Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be complete by June 2017. This award was booked in the first quarter 2015.

About MALD and MALD-J
MALD® is a state-of-the-art, low-cost expendable flight vehicle that is modular, air-launched and programmable. It weighs fewer than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles. MALD-J adds radar-jamming capability to the basic MALD platform.

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Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi delivered the first C-27J Spartan aircraft to the Peruvian Air Force

Peruvian C-27J SpartanThe official ceremony for the delivery of the first C-27J Spartan to Peru’s Air Force has taken place today, in Lima, at Las Palmas base.

The event has seen the participation of the Peruvian Defence Minister, Pedro Cateriano Bellido, the Commander in Chief of the Peruvian Air Force - General Dante ArĂ©valo Abate, the Italian Defence Minister, Roberta Pinotti, the Italian Ambassador in Lima, Mauro Marsili, and the Alenia Aermacchi’s Vice General Manager, Massimo Ghione.

This aircraft is part of the contract signed between Alenia Aermacchi and the FAP in December 2013.

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RAF Leuchars marches into the history books

Over a century of aviation history ended at Leuchars today when the base was formally handed over from the RAF to the army.

A poignant and militarily precise ceremony marked the end of 95 years of the RAF at the base.

A flight of RAF and army personnel was led on to parade by the RAF Leuchars Pipes and Drums, led by Pipe Major Ian Hughes and Drum Major Alastair Pether.

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Taiwan’s largest missile ship goes into service

Tuo Chiang FSTaiwan’s largest-ever missile ship went into service yesterday after a ceremony presided over by President Ma Ying-jeou as the island strives to modernise its military in response to a perceived threat from China.

Ma praised the corvette’s “stealth and speed” at the ceremony involving hundreds of naval officers and said it “reflects the determination by the military to defend national security”.

Armed with 16 missiles, the ship will strengthen Taiwan’s defence capabilities.

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Marine Corps Identifies $2.1B in Unfunded Priorities, Mostly in Aviation

AV-8B HarrierThe Marine Corps would purchase 10 new aircraft, improve the digital interoperability of existing aircraft and boost connectivity through additional communications systems and unmanned aerial vehicles if Congress provided additional funding.

Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford wrote to the four defense-related congressional committees to explain his Fiscal Year 2016 Unfunded Priorities List, with items he said would “further enhance our combat readiness and effectiveness should additional funds above those already requested … be made available.”

Dunford requested six Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), two Lockheed Martin KC-130J tankers, one Bell Helicopter H-1 attack helo and one Hawker Beechcraft UC-12W Huron transit plane.

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Obama Administration Releases Military Aid to Egypt

F-16 Fighting FalconPresident Barack Obama agreed to release to Egypt a dozen F-16 attack aircraft and other military equipment which his administration froze in response to a 2013 military coup, seeking to shore up a longtime alliance with Cairo at a time of growing regional turmoil.

The move by Mr. Obama comes as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi appears to be seeking to play a more hands-on role in responding to instability in the Middle East.

He intervened against militants in neighboring Libya and is now providing military support to a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

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Russia May Slow T-50 Production for Economic Reasons

Su T-50 PAK-FARussian deputy defense minister General Yuri Borisov told Russian media that production of the Sukhoi PAKFA fifth generation fighter aircraft (manufacturer’s designation T-50) might be slowed, compared with previous plans.

Since the PAKFA first flew in January 2010, six prototypes have been built and flown. Another four prototypes are due to be completed this year.

During a visit to Sukhoi’s KnAAPO plant at Irkut, where PAKFA production is being set up, Borisov suggested that the Russian Government’s Armament Program 2020 (GPV2020) might be revised to reflect the difficult economic situation in the country.

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US To Get Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, Signs $529M Deal With Raytheon

AIM-120 AMRAAMThe U.S. Air Force has signed a $529 million deal with Raytheon, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based defense contractor, for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), the company announced Tuesday.

The AMRAAM is a guided missile, which can hit targets that are out of sight of firing aircraft or ground-based launchers, Sputnik reported.

The missile is currently used by 36 countries on many fighter jets, including the F-16, F-15, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado, Harrier, F-4 and the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

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DARPA wants an army of drones to overwhelm the enemy

US air warfare superiority has always been a constant, but the nation's pricey, complex new fighter jets can't dominate the air if they can't get there.

Even the military's science arm, DARPA, said that "US military systems today are often too expensive... (and) are obsolete by the time they become operational." Ouch.

But DARPA is at least doing something about the problem. It's developed a project called the System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE) with the aim of nothing less than completely overhauling US military air power.

To do that, it wants to build open systems that help drones, missiles, "mission truck" planes and fighter jets work together.

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NATO aircraft fly into Moray

RAF Lossiemouth is preparing to host aircraft for the tri-service NATO exercise Joint Warrior.

The operation will take place from Monday, April 13 until Friday 24.

Joint Warrior will involve more than 22 warships and submarines, 52 fixed wing aircraft and around 3,500 personnel from Canada, Germany, French and the USA.

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A-10 Thunderbolt Warplane Deployed To Romania As Congressional Supporters Attempt To Save It For Years To Come

A-10 Thunderbolt IIAfter surviving numerous attempts to scrap it from the U.S. defense budget over the last few years, the 40-year-old A-10, a warplane built during the Cold War to destroy Soviet tanks, is back on the front lines of what could become a confrontation between NATO and the Russian army.

The plane is about to take part in long-term exercises in Romania designed to counter Russian moves in the region.

The exercise is just one of many over the last five months in which the plane, popular with airmen but not with top generals focused on saving money, has been involved on Russia's doorstep.

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DCNS offers modified Mistral Helicopter Carrier to India

Mistral class LPHWe have offered the Mistral-class. But because of the very specific requirements of the Indian Navy we have been obliged to propose significant changes to the Mistral-class design – original design.

And initially, very frankly, we thought that the best value for money for India would be to acquire the Mistral as it is – maybe with some modifications, as we did for the Russians, for instance. But it appears that they wanted to have very big modifications in order to comply with the depth and standard which are applicable to this particular ship.

So most of it is going to be more or less similar to the Mistral and same from the outside. You will still see it – more or less similar.

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First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific Ocean

J-15 Flying SharkChina's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach.

Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) yesterday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said.

"This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines ..

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Iranian aircraft buzzed Navy helicopter in Persian Gulf

MH-60R SeahawkAn Iranian military observation aircraft flew within 50 yards of an armed U.S. Navy helicopter over the Persian Gulf this month, sparking concern that top Iranian commanders might not be in full control of local forces, CNN has learned.

The incident, which has not been publicly disclosed, troubled U.S. military officials because the unsafe maneuver could have triggered a serious incident.

It also surprised U.S. commanders because in recent months Iranian forces have conducted exercises and operations in the region in a professional manner, one U.S. military official told CNN.

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Navy Builds New Radar for Carriers, Amphibs

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79)The Navy plans to put a new ship radar system on both next-generation carriers and amphibious assault ships as a way to reduce costs and increase commonality, service officials said.

The new radar, called the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, or EASR, is slated to go on the Navy’s second Ford-class aircraft carrier, the USS Kennedy, as well as the services’ third big-deck America-class amphib, called LHA 8.

Engineering the new EASR for the USS Kennedy, or CVN 79, will save the Navy $180 million in the cost of the ship, said Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, Program Executive Officer, Carriers.

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Editorial: 'Challenging' NH90 helicopters sorry look for Govt

NZAF NH90Nine years ago, the decision to buy eight NH90 helicopters for the air force was accompanied by considerable fanfare.

The French-made multi-purpose choppers would, said the Defence Minister, Phil Goff, be bigger, faster, more versatile and have a far greater lift capability than the ageing Iroquois they were replacing.

Such acclaim was only to be expected given that they represented the biggest single defence purchase since the navy's two Anzac frigates in the 1980s. The NH90s cost $771 million, a sum which demanded everything should be done to ensure they met Defence Force requirements for military deployment and disaster relief.

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Russia Again Flight Tests New ICBM to Treaty-Violating Range

RS-26 Rubezh ICBMRussia conducted a flight test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this month that some U.S. officials and security analysts say is a new violation of Moscow’s arms control treaty commitments.

The March 18 flight test of a new RS-26 missile is part of a large-scale nuclear arms buildup by Russia and is raising concerns about treaty compliance, said U.S. officials familiar with details of the missile test.

The RS-26 missile carried a dummy warhead from Russia’s Kapustin Yar missile facility, located about 80 miles south of Volgograd in southern Russia, to an impact range at Sary Shagan in Kazakhstan.

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Borey-Class Nuclear Submarines to Serve Russian Fleet Until 2050

Borey-Class SSBNEight Borey-class nuclear submarines will join the Russian Navy by 2020 and will be the backbone of Russia’s marine nuclear forces.

"The Borey can serve up to 30 years with planned upkeep and modernization," Igor Vilnit told RIA Novosti in an interview.

The submarines are equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles, which can carry a nuclear warhead with an operational range of up to 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles).

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Govt approves purchase of 8 Chinese submarines, six ATRs aircraft for Pakistan Navy

Type 039B SSKNational Assembly Standing Committee on Defence was told on Tuesday that the army would follow the policy of the government relating to Saudi–Yemen conflict.

The meeting was also told that the government has approved the purchase of eight submarines from China while negotiations are also being held with different countries including Germany, Britain and France for the purchase of second hand submarines.

Meeting of the standing committee was held here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Shaikh Rohail Asghar. It was attended by the secretary defence, the additional secretary defence, the director general military land and other senior officials.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ST Marine Celebrates the Naming for Royal Navy of Oman Second Al Ofouq Class Patrol Vessel

RNOV ShinasSingapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), held the Naming Ceremony today for the second Patrol Vessel (PV), RNOV Shinas cum the interim delivery for the first vessel RNOV Al Seeb, built for Royal Navy of Oman (RNO).

The Guest-of-Honour was the Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman, Rear Admiral (RADM) Abdullah bin Khamis bin Abdullah al-Raisi.

ST Marine won the contract to design and build four PVs for the RNO in 2012.

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Future USS John Finn (DDG 113) Launched

The future USS John Finn (DDG 113) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard March 28.

During launch the drydock was flooded allowing the 637-foot floating dock to slowly submerge until the ship was afloat.

Once the drydock was fully submerged, the ship was pulled by tugs to HII's south berth where the ship will continue outfitting in preparation for test and activation and eventual delivery to the Navy.

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TOW 2A RF missiles successfully fired from helicopter

BGM-71 TOW FamilyIn the first of its kind launch, Raytheon Company fired tube-launched, optically-tracked, wireless-guided (TOW®) 2A radio frequency (RF) practice missiles from an AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter during a December exercise.

Raytheon, working with the Naval Air Systems Command, fired two TOW 2A RF practice missiles at ranges exceeding 2600 meters. The two tests verified the missile's capability to be fired from a hovering aircraft and from an aircraft maneuvering to a threat. Both missiles hit their targets within inches of the aimpoints.

"Wire-guided TOW missiles have been fired from helicopters for years," said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon's Land Warfare Systems. "These shots demonstrate RF capability to be fired off platforms used with wired TOWs without modifications."

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Peleliu to Decommission After More Than 34 Years of Service

USS Peleliu (LHA-5)The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) is scheduled to be decommissioned after more than 34 years of service in a ceremony on Naval Base San Diego, March 31.

The last general-purpose amphibious assault ship of the Tarawa class, Peleliu's decommissioning marks the end of a career comprising multiple deployments to U.S. 7th and 5th fleets, humanitarian efforts and peacekeeping missions.

Capable of launching a coordinated air and sea attack from one platform, Peleliu has conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 flight operations, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946 nautical miles since being commissioned on May 3, 1980, in Pascagoula, Miss.

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