Jan 31, 2013

Turkey completes Anka UAV test campaign

The last of more than 130 ground and air tests, performed last week by the unmanned aerial vehicle, were witnessed by representatives of Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Industries and the Turkish air force.

The final flight evaluation on Jan. 20 lasted 18 hours and demonstrated the aircraft's endurance, the effectiveness of its 124-mile data link range.

US Air Force aims to transfer C-130 planes to Afghanistan

The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday said it hoped to deliver two C-130 transport planes to Afghanistan by the end of 2013 and two more in 2014 after deciding to end a deal with Italy's Finmeccanica SpA for 20 G222 cargo planes.


IDF deploys Iron Domes in North amid Syria worries

The IDF confirmed the deployment of Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the North on Sunday, amid an escalation in the Syrian civil war and concerns over Syria’s sizeable chemical weapons falling into radical Islamic hands.

Jerusalem Post

German Patriot batteries in Turkish city of Kahramanmaras now operational

A German security official said on Tuesday that two German Patriot missile batteries deployed around the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras are now operational.


U.S. confirms Israel carried out air strike in Syria

U.S. officials on Wednesday confirmed that Israeli warplanes have struck an arms convoy carrying SA-17 missiles bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The convoy of trucks were hit at a site near the Lebanese border on Tuesday night.


RAF Squadron Takes Delivery of 100th Eurofighter Typhoon

The RAF’s most recently formed squadron has taken delivery of the latest state-of-the-art Typhoon jet.
The 100th Typhoon jet delivered to No 1 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Leuchars
The unit, No 1 (Fighter) Squadron, which was reformed just 4 months ago at RAF Leuchars in Scotland, is now home to the 100th Typhoon to enter service.
Officer Commanding No 1 (Fighter) Squadron, Wing Commander Mark Flewin, said:
There can be no better example of the strides we are taking with regard to growing the Typhoon Force than the stand-up of 1 (Fighter) Squadron – we reformed as a Typhoon unit in September last year – and it is fantastic to have taken delivery of this brand new, milestone aircraft.”
The RAF continues to move towards a combined fleet of Typhoon and Joint Strike Fighter jets, two of the world’s most modern and capable multi-role combat aircraft. The Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation stealth aircraft which represents a step-change in the UK’s combat air capability.
Typhoon is already delivering air defence for the UK and the Falkland Islands, and its ground attack capabilities were instrumental to allied operations over Libya.
There is a pleasing correlation for us in operating the RAF’s 100th operational Typhoon on 1 (Fighter) Squadron, during this our centenary year, the squadron having been originally formed back in 1912.”
The squadron has already begun autonomous operations, and is supporting the Quick Reaction Alert mission here at Leuchars.”
I have no doubt that this aircraft will be put to good use in supporting the standing task in addition to a busy exercise programme in 2013.”


IL-476 Airlifter Makes First Long Test Flight

A prototype Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A (also known as the Il-476) heavy-lift transport plane completed its first prolonged test flight on Tuesday, its manufacturer Aviastar said.
The flight, which lasted four hours and 25 minutes at altitudes of up to 10,000 meters (33,000 feet), was designed to assess the performance of its onboard avionics, engines, automated control system, and other characteristics, Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar said.
The prototype will soon be sent to the Zhukovsky flight test center near Moscow for further trials.

The Il-76MD-90A is an extensively modernized version of the forty-year-old Il-76 military transport aircraft, fitted with a new wing, fuel-efficient high-bypass Aviadvigatel PS-90A turbofans, and a modernized cockpit with so-called “glass cockpit” displays, allowing the flight crew to be reduced to three people.
Russia’s Defense Ministry signed a contract last October for delivery of 39 Il-76MD-90As, to be built before 2018.
Aviastar hopes to build up to 100 such aircraft by 2020 for Russian state customers, the company has previously said.


Peru; Spanish MoD offers used Typhoon fighters

Peruvian press reports indicate that the Spanish MoD has offered the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) the sale of used 20 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft Tranche 1 , with approximately 600 flight hours on their airframes.

In the unlikely event of a serious evaluation of the Eurofighter , high cost of maintenance and operation, is that the FAP has reconsidered the use of attack aircraft Su-25 , more appropriate for Army Aviation and / or Naval Aviation and analyze its replacement by means of air superiority to complement the other two types of fighter aircraft in PAF inventory, likely behind the delay in the overhaul of these means of attack.

Defence Market Intelligence

Fuerza Aérea del Perú, interesada en Eurofighter del Ejército del Aire

Reportes de la prensa peruana, señalan que el Gobierno de España habría ofrecido a la Fuerza Aérea del Perú (FAP) la transferencia en venta de 20 aviones de combate Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1, con aproximadamente 600 horas de vuelo en sus fuselajes. Fuentes del Ministerio de Defensa español niegan que se haya realizado ninguna oferta en firme por el momento, aunque sí las autoridades castrenses peruanas se han interesado por diverso material de las Fuerzas Armadas españolas en el marco de las buenas relaciones entre ambos países.

El diario La República indicó que España había incluso valorado la transacción en aproximadamente 900 millones de euros, con las entregas concluyendo en un plazo no mayor a un año calendario tras la firma del contrato respectivo. El diario indica que la intención del Comando de Operaciones (COMOP) de la FAP es el reemplazo progresivo de los medios de superioridad aérea de la institución (Mirage 2000 y Mig-29), a pesar de los trabajos en proceso de overhaul – en el caso de los delta franceses – y de overhaul y modernización en el escuadrón y cambio de los Fulcrum.

No obstante, lo más probable, en el supuesto caso de una evaluación seria de los Eurofighter, de elevado costo de mantenimiento y operación, es que la FAP haya reconsiderado la utilidad de los aviones de ataque Su-25, más apropiados para la Aviación del Ejército y/o la Aviación Naval y se analice su reemplazo por medios de superioridad aérea que complementen a los otros dos tipos de aviones caza en el inventario FAP, probabilidad que sustenta la demora en el overhaul de estos medios de ataque. Sin embargo, tal suposición no considera la capacidad de asimilación de los Su-25 por alguna rama de los otros dos institutos armados peruanos, aunque analistas consultados por Infodefensa no descartan la posibilidad de una eventual transferencia de los Frogfoot.

Cabe anotar que Mariano Rajoy, presidente de España, visitó muy recientemente el Perú, siendo recibido por el ministro de Defensa de Perú, Pedro Cateriano, quien, a su vez, realizó una visita oficial a España en el mes de noviembre 2012. Asimismo, delegaciones españolas han visitado el país suramericano para colaborar en la reforma del sector defensa peruano y, finalmente, reportes no oficiales indicaban el interés – hasta ahora no confirmado mediante gestión oficial de compra - del Ejército del Perú por adquirir tanques Leopard 2A4, almacenados por el Ejército de Tierra de España.

Los Eurofighter Typhoon que el Ejército del Aire Español habría considerado excedentes y disponibles para venta serían ejemplares del Tranche 1, orientados a misiones de defensa aérea y con limitada capacidad de ataque a tierra. El diario agrega que diversas corporaciones internacionales han remitido propuestas para la venta de aviones de combate a la FAP, la que estaría evaluando entre el Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB Gripen, Sukhoi Su-30 (Su-35) Flanker y Mig-29 (Mig-35) Fulcrum y el Boeing FA-18E/F Super Hornet.


Jan 29, 2013

Y-20 first flight commemorative stamps and souvenirs

Engineers discover culprit behind F-35B fueldraulic line failure

Engineers working on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) have identified the likely culprit behind a fueldraulic line failure on 16 January that led to the temporary grounding of the US Marine Corps' B-model aircraft.

"Government and industry engineering teams investigating the origins of a failed propulsion fueldraulic line on an F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant have identified the probable cause and are developing a return to flight plan to lift the suspension of flight operations," the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) says.

According to the JPO, engineers have ruled out any design or maintenance problems. "Evidence revealed a quality discrepancy from the company that produces the fueldraulics line," the JPO says. "The investigation determined the line was improperly crimped."

The investigating team found that six other aircraft had the same manufacturing defect. The faulty parts have been returned to F-35 propulsion system prime contractor Pratt & Whitney for replacement. The fueldraulic line is built by Stratoflex. The company, along with Rolls-Royce and Pratt &Whitney, has "instituted corrective actions to improve their quality control processes and ensure part integrity," the JPO says.

The fueldraulic line powers the actuator movement for the F-35B's STOVL vectoring exhaust system. Instead of traditional hydraulic fluid, the system uses fuel as the operating fluid to reduce weight.

NAVAIR and the JPO are currently "developing a return to flight plan which details the removal and inspection requirements of currently installed fueldraulic lines on the 25 F-35B variants affected by the flight suspension." The B-model has been grounded since 18 January, but the US Air Force's F-35A and US Navy F-35C were not affected


EL Ejército del Aire enviará más aviones a Dakar con material de apoyo a misión Mali

El Ejército del Aire tiene previsto enviar en los próximos días a Dakar, capital de Senegal, más aviones de transporte con personal y material logístico de apoyo para el Hércules desplegado en la operación de Mali, han señalado hoy a Efe fuentes militares.
El pasado sábado llegó a Dakar el Hércules que España ha enviado a la misión de Mali con los treinta primeros miembros del Ejército del Aire que colaborarán en el traslado de tropas y material de la Misión Internacional de Apoyo a Mali con Liderazgo Africano (AFISMA).
Este avión se desplazó con el personal y equipo básicos para el establecimiento del contingente español en Dakar.
Ahora se trata de trasladar en varios vuelos el material logístico y el personal necesario para cumplir los tres meses de misión, el tiempo en principio establecido por el Gobierno en su aportación a la intervención francesa en el país africano, según las mismas fuentes.
Para completar el contingente, se espera que se desplacen a Dakar otros 20 militares para alcanzar los 50 efectivos, la cifra que se considera necesaria para el despliegue autosuficiente del contingente español.
De esta forma los integrantes de la denominada "Operación Marfil", la mayoría del Ala 31 con sede en Zaragoza, apoyarán la operación francesa desde la capital de Senegal, desde donde establecerán un puente aéreo con Bamako, capital de Mali, para el transporte de tropas y material de la AFISMA.
Según el Ministerio de Defensa, el avión del Ejército del Aire no hará vuelos "intrateatro", es decir, entre aeropuertos dentro del propio territorio de Mali.

Second F-35A Reaches 500 Flight Hour Milestone

The second Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter, known as AF-1, joined the 500 flight hour club recently during its 272nd flight.
It joins AF-2 which passed the milestone June 26, 2012. The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) fighter began flight operations when it made its inaugural flight Nov. 14, 2009.


US military plans drone base near Mali

The US military plans to set up a base for drones in northwest Africa to bolster surveillance of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the region as well as allied Islamist extremists, a US official told AFP on Monday.
The base for the robotic, unmanned aircraft would likely be located in Niger, on the eastern border of Mali, where French forces are currently waging a campaign against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)


Russia to Buy 7 AW139 Helicopters

Russia’s Defense Ministry is planning to buy seven multirole AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters for 630 million rubles (about $20 million) this year, the Federal Agency for Arms Procurements said Monday.
“An open tender will be announced in February,” it said.
Russia started making AW139s at the HeliVert plant last year.
Italy’s AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters signed a preliminary agreement to manufacture AW139 helicopters in Russia at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2008. Final agreements on the establishment of the HeliVert joint venture were signed in summer 2011.
The joint venture is expected to build 15 to 20 helicopters annually.
The AW139 has a maximum cruise speed of 306 kilometers (190 miles) per hour, a maximum range of 927 kilometers (576 miles) and a maximum flight time of five hours. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turboshaft engines. The maximum take-off weight is 6,400 kilograms (14,110 pounds). The helicopter is configured for one or two pilots and can carry up to 15 passengers, or six to eight passengers in a VIP/corporate transport configuration.


El buque de aprovisionamiento de combate ‘Cantabria’ hace escala en la isla de Diego García

El buque de aprovisionamiento de combate (BAC) ‘Cantabria’ ha partido de la isla de Diego García (Territorio Británico del Océano Índico), segunda y última escala de la navegación que llevará al buque español a aguas australianas, donde estará desplegado en cooperación con la Marina Australiana hasta final de año.
Desde que partiera de su base el pasado 3 de enero, el buque ha hecho 25 días de mar con una parada logística en el puerto de Souda (Creta).
Durante su navegación por el Mediterráneo, el ‘Cantabria’ ha contribuido a la Operación ‘Active Endeavour’ de vigilancia en aguas internacionales del Mediterráneo. Una vez efectuado el cruce del canal de Suez, y durante el tránsito por el Golfo de Adén, ha colaborado con distintas unidades de la Operación ‘Atalanta’ de lucha contra la piratería, suministrando combustible y víveres.
El despliegue del ‘Cantabria’ permitirá a la Armada operar en un escenario de marcado interés estratégico, mejorar el adiestramiento del buque y su dotación a unos niveles muy superiores a los que permite el actual escenario de restricciones presupuestarias, y poner a prueba los mecanismos de apoyo a despliegues de larga duración.
Para esta misión, el Comandante del buque, capitán de fragata José Luis Nieto Fernández, cuenta con una dotación de 146 hombres y mujeres. Además, durante el tránsito a Sidney han embarcado doce miembros de la Marina Australiana, que se han integrado plenamente con la dotación del buque español.

Australia Set to Buy Super Hornets Over Cutting-Edge Fighter

Australia will almost certainly be forced to buy 24 new Super Hornet fighter planes at a cost of about $2 billion to plug a looming gap in its air defences amid delays in the purchase of the cutting-edge Joint Strike Fighter.

According to a leaked draft of the 2013 defence white paper, just two Lockheed Martin JSFs will be delivered to Australia by 2020.

This strongly indicates that the government will need to buy rival Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are cheaper but older and less stealthy than the JSF.

''By the end of this decade, the ADF will take delivery of three Air Warfare Destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships and the initial two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft,'' the white paper states.

While switching to the Super Hornets would not be a blow to the budget - each plane costs about $40 million less than each JSF - it may mean money is wasted because the government would lose economies of scale on training and maintenance by operating two different types of fighters. And experts say the Super Hornet would be challenged by the growing air combat capabilities of some of Australia's neighbours.

The white paper draft states that the government ''remains committed'' to acquiring the JSF but makes no mention of the next batch of 12 planes, expected about 2020. This appears to confirm what the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has hinted at and many experts have suspected: that Defence will replace some of the retiring Hornet aircraft with Super Hornets and end up with a mixed fighter fleet rather than the 100 Super Hornets originally proposed.

Mr Smith has already asked the US about the price and availability of more Super Hornets.

The opposition defence spokesman, David Johnston, said the government had broken its pledge in the 2009 white paper to buy 100 JSFs, which would have "provided regional domination out to 2030".

"The revelation in the 2013 defence white paper that this promise has been reduced to just two aircraft (by 2020) is a further testament to Minister Smith's incompetent handling of the defence portfolio," he said.

Analysts say the JSF is the best fighter on the market, although many say the Super Hornet will probably suffice. Andrew Davies, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the JSF was "far stealthier and has a much more powerful and integrated set of senses than the Super Hornet has".

He said Australia would benefit from "economies of scale on training and maintenance" by having a single type of airforce rather than a mixed fleet.

''Nonetheless, the Super Hornet is still frontline equipment with the US Navy and a powerful air combat capability,'' he said.

Sam Roggeveen, an analyst and editor of the Lowy Institute's Interpreter blog, said the Super Hornet would represent a compromise but added: "I would argue we don't need the JSF yet."

Former defence minister Brendan Nelson, who bought the existing 24 Super Hornets, said a mixed fleet should give Australia what it needed, given other governments were hit by budget constraints.

"If the government did choose to [buy Super Hornets], Australia would still have extraordinary air combat capability and would be well-placed in relation to our strategic competitors," he said.

But Peter Goon, a former RAAF engineer now with the independent think tank Air Power Australia, said Australia was "already outmatched in the region" on air combat. "If you send out Super Hornets against the Sukhoi Su-35s, few if any of them will come back," he said.

Mr Smith said last week the leaked draft was out of date. The final paper will be released by June.


Jan 28, 2013

Royal Navy Wildcat makes flight debut

The UK Ministry of Defence has released images showing the first flight of a production example of the Royal Navy's new AgustaWestland Wildcat HMA2 helicopter.

Performed from the airframer's Yeovil production site in Somerset, the milestone was reached by aircraft ZZ397, which was previously due to have been accepted by the navy in mid-December 2012.

AgustaWestland will produce 28 Wildcats for the RN and 34 for the British Army under a programme worth more than £1.6 billion ($2.5 billion), with the type to enter use with the services in 2015 and 2014, respectively. The manufacturer will also deliver training and support services under a £250 million agreement signed during 2012.

Also being marketed to potential international customers as the AW159, the Wildcat won its first export competition in January 2013, when the South Korean navy selected the type for an initial eight-aircraft requirement. A contract signature for the roughly $560 million deal is expected soon, with deliveries sought from 2015.

U.S. upgrades strike capabilities against Iran, stations 'stealth' fighters in Gulf

U.S. last April deployed six F-22 Raptors, its most advanced fighter currently in operational use and the only operational 'stealth' fighter in use around the world, on airbase in UAE. This temporary deployment has apparently become permanent.


Pentagon Expanding Cybersecurity Force to Protect Networks Against Attacks

The Pentagon is moving toward a major expansion of its cybersecurity force to counter increasing attacks on the nation’s computer networks, as well as to expand offensive computer operations on foreign adversaries, defense officials said Sunday.
The expansion would increase the Defense Department’s Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900,

India's Vikramaditya to undergo final trials in mid-2013

India's delayed aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is to undergo trials this summer prior to its delivery to the Indian navy.

Trials cannot commence before June as the port of Severodvinsk, at which the ship is moored, will be icebound until then, Russia's embassy in New Delhi said in a statement on its website.

An Indian navy source separately confirmed that "delivery acceptance trials" will take place this summer, setting the stage for final delivery to the Indian navy.

"On acceptance of the ship from the builder, it will be formally commissioned with the Indian tri-colour being hoisted on top of ship, after which it will start its journey towards India," said the embassy.

"The navy intends to commission the ship in Russia and sail it back to India by October-November 2013. It is expected to join active service by December."

The Vikrmaditya underwent 100 days of sea trials in 2012, culminating in successful flight trials involving RAC MiG-29K/KUB aircraft flown by Russian pilots in November.

The ship's delivery, originally planned for December 2012, was delayed by a problem with its propulsion system that emerged shortly after the successful flight trials. This forced the ship back to port for remediation work.

New Delhi ordered 12 single-seat MiG-29K and four twin-seat MiG-29KUB aircraft in 2004, the same year it ordered the warship, formerly the Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov. Disputes about costs delayed work on the vessel, but in March 2010, New Delhi and Moscow agreed on a $2.3 billion price tag for the ship. India also decided to obtain an additional 29 MiG-29Ks.


Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Topped Off with 555-Metric Ton Island

Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrated significant progress as the 555-metric ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. The island will serve as the command center for flight deck operations aboard the first of the next-generation class of aircraft carriers.


Repairs needed for Coast Guard HC-144A aircraft engine

The U.S. Coast Guard currently operates 13 HC-144A maritime patrol aircraft, each powered by two CT7-9C3 turboprop engine power units. The aircraft is manufactured by Airbus Military in Spain, and the CT7-9C3 turboprop engine power units are provided by General Electric Corp. (GE) in Lynn, Mass.

These aircraft are procured under the authority of the Coast Guard Aviation Program Management Office. While the base CASA CN-235-300M aircraft provides the foundation for the Coast Guard HC-144A, changes to base aircraft configuration and the addition of supplementary systems have been combined resulting in a CG01 version of the CN-235-300M.

“The end state for the fleet size is still under review but could include as many as 36 assets,” the Coast Guard said in contract documents released through the Federal Business Opportunities website on Thursday. “The projected number of Coast Guard assets over the next five years includes up to 20 operational HC-144A aircraft, with each averaging 1,200-flight hours annually.”

The HC-144A aircraft supports Coast Guard search and rescue missions, as well as surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

On April 14, 2012, during a night flight, the Coast Guard crew of aircraft 2310 reported their #1 engine chip light illuminated 5.3 hours into flight. The aircraft returned to its home station and the engines were secured.

The CT7-9C3 engine power units were inspected by Coast Guard personnel in accordance with the original equipment manufacturer periodic requirements and in conjunction with the Coast Guard specialized Asset Computerized Maintenance System. The #1 CT7-9C3 turboprop engine power unit chip detector had a small amount of carbon and one relatively large silver ferrous metal chip, approximately 5/32” in length by 1/16" in width. It was concluded that the #1 CT7-9C3 turboprop engine power unit has out of limits chip.

The Coast Guard intends to negotiate and award a contract to GE for the engine repairs. The anticipated award date is May 19, “however this is an estimate and not an exact date,” the Coast Guard said.


PHOTOS: India's ALH Rudra Armed Copter

Shiv Aroor-livefist

Jan 27, 2013

High resolution view of Y-20

Dutch Patriot missile battery in Turkey operational

The first of six Patriot missile batteries being deployed to Turkey to protect against attack from Syria was declared operational and placed under NATO command, the international organization said Saturday.
The battery, provided by the Netherlands, is meant to protect the city of Adana by shooting down missiles that could come over the Syrian border.


US to support French in Mali with aerial refueling

The United States has decided to provide additional support to the French military in its war against Islamic militants in Mali by conducting aerial refueling missions.

The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has told the French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, that U.S. Africa Command will provide the aerial refueling support. A Pentagon spokesman says the two defense officials discussed the refueling missions and other topics during a phone conversation Saturday.

U.S. aerial refueling planes would be a boost to air support for French ground forces as they enter areas of Mali that are controlled by al-Qaida-linked extremists.

The U.S. has already been helping France by transporting French troops and equipment to the West African nation.


First C-130H Being Readied for Indonesia

A97-006 is the first H-model to be prepared for transfer to Indonesia. (photo : Josh Williams)

The first former RAAF C-130H is being prepared for transfer to the Indonesian air force.

Photographed by H-model fan Joshua Williams at RAAF Base Richmond, A97-006 was seen departing the base on a test flight following deep-level maintenance. With evidence of significant work having been performed on the aircraft by Qantas Defence Services, it is believed -006 was the last aircraft to go through deep level maintenance under the existing contract between Defence and QDS. The aircraft was subsequently flown to Townsville for repainting.

A Defence spokesperson told Australian Aviation: “A97-006 is expected to be the first aircraft to be transferred to Indonesia, following completion of deeper level maintenance servicing and other activities, as well as finalisation of transfer arrangements between the governments of Australian and Indonesia.”


Russia not selling Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers to China

Despite rumors to the contrary, Russia has not sold 36 Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire supersonic bombers to China, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reports.

"There are no negotiations on this issue with China that have taken place," says Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Rosoboronexport. Another Russian source tells TASS, "The supply of Tu-22M3 to foreign countries is, in principle, impossible, because these aircraft are strategic weapons."

The Backfire was the bane of the US Navy's carrier fleet during the Cold War. It was expected that if World War III broke out, the Soviets would try to halt the flow of men and materiel from the US to Europe by attacking allied shipping across the Atlantic using surface ships, submarines and airpower. Carriers were a prime target, as one might expect.

Dave Majumdar-The Dew Line

Argentine destroyer ARA Trinidad that led war against Britain sinks, a symbol of decay for once-proud navy

Argentina’s defense chief expressed shame Wednesday after a Navy destroyer sank at its moorings, putting on display the declining fortunes of a once-proud fleet.

The ARA Trinidad led Argentina’s 1982 sea war against Britain, but has long been mothballed and used for spare parts to sustain what’s left of Argentina’s Navy.

A Navy statement said that a pipe burst, flooding the ship below decks. Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli denied that cuts to the fleet’s maintenance budget were to blame. He said negligence or “sabotage” were possible and demanded a complete investigation.


China may test Y-7 variant as carrier-based AEW aircraft

China is unlikely to use the KJ-2000 or KJ-200 as airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft on its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, due to weight, size, and other factors. The Liaoning needs a type of medium-sized AEW aircraft that do not occupy much space, military expert Du Wenlong said in an interview with China Central Television on Jan. 19.

Another military expert Li Li said that an AEW variant of the Xian Y-7 is probably being tested for use as AEW aircraft on the Liaoning, but it still faces problems concerning wing folding and hangar capacity.

Du said that the existing KJ-2000 or KJ-200 is not the suitable AEW aircraft for the Liaoning. Carrier-based AEW aircraft must features light weight and small size, while the two models of AEW aircraft are too heavy. The KJ-2000 weighs more than 100 tons. The KJ-200 weighs dozens of tons, and has a relatively big size. Carrier-based AEW aircraft should have a small size, and occupy small space because every inch of space on an aircraft carrier is extremely valuable. The Liaoning needs a type of medium-sized AEW aircraft which can combat in coordination with the J-15 or the next-generation carrier-based aircraft, so as to form a sound maritime attacking and defense system.


Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 NFH Helicopter first operational deployment for Somalia Mission

The newest helicopter of the Dutch Armed Forces, the NH90 is aboard HNLMS De Ruyter Frigate on its way to Somalia. It is the first overseas mission for the maritime helicopter. The NH90 will provide an important contribution to the EU anti-piracy mission Atalanta.

The board helicopter will be mainly used for intelligence, reconnaissance and patrol and thus will act as the 'eyes and ears' of the frigate. With advanced detection equipment such as EO/IR sensor, radar and gauge collected information can then be forwared quickly and automatically via a data link.

The helicopter crew consists of a pilot, a coordinator for the tactical execution of the mission and an operator who operates the sensors and analyzes if necessary onboard weapons deployment. For helicopter operations from HNLMS De Ruyter, a total of 13 men are onboard.


Germany to buy first armed drones

The German government has for the first time declared its intention to buy armed drones, it was reported Friday. Up until now, the German military has only used unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and spying.


Rolls-Royce installs world's most powerful marine gas turbine into new aircraft carrier

Rolls-Royce, has this week successfully completed the installation of the first MT30 gas turbine into the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, at Babcock’s Rosyth shipyard in Scotland.

The MT30, at 36 megawatts (around 50,000 horsepower), is the world’s most powerful marine gas turbine. Two MT30s will be installed in each ship and will provide two thirds of the 109 megawatts needed to power the 65,000 tonne ships – enough energy to power a town the size of Swindon.


Cambodia agrees deal to buy army choppers from China

Cambodia will use part of a $195 million loan from China to buy 12 of its military helicopters and boost its tiny fleet, its defense minister said on Jan. 23, the latest deal underlining Beijing's tight alliance with the Southeast Asian country.

Tea Banh said the 12 Chinese-built Zhi-9 army utility helicopters would be for use mainly in humanitarian missions. He did not disclose the cost of the helicopters.

China Successfully Tests 'Carrier Killer' Missile In The Gobi Desert

China's PLA "sunk" a U.S. aircraft carrier during a war game in remote China using its DF-21D "Carrier Killer" missile, reports Taiwan paper Want China Times.


Taiwan to receive first P-3C anti-submarine aircraft by year end

Taiwan will take delivery of the first batch of 12 submarine-hunting aircraft purchased from the United States.


Canada talking to 5 manufacturers about new fighter jets

Canada is reaching out to five aircraft manufacturers to replace the country's aging fleet of CF-18 jets, renewing an effort that has been drawn-out and troubled.

Canada announced in 2010 it would give a single source contract to Lockheed-Martin Corp for 65 F-35 jets but later reversed course as cost estimates soared.

Ottawa has set aside C$9 billion ($8.9 billion) to buy the new jets.

The public works ministry, confirming earlier leaks from senior government officials, said in a statement on Friday that Ottawa would talk to Lockheed Martin and four other companies:

- Boeing Co, which makes the F-18 Super Hornet

- EADS, which makes the Eurofighter

- Saab AB, which makes the Gripen

- Dassault Aviation, which makes the Rafale