May 31, 2013

Russia, Norway to Hold Barents Sea Drills in June

Russian and Norwegian naval forces will conduct a joint exercise in the Barents Sea on June 4-7.
Russia’s Northern Fleet will contribute the tugboat SB-523, an Ilyushin Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft and an Mi-8 Hip helicopter to the Barents-2013 exercise.
The two nations' search and rescue services will test their interoperability in evacuation of crews and aircraft in distress at sea, and cleanup of oil spills.
The Barents exercise is conducted every year in accordance with a 1995 Russian-Norwegian intergovernmental agreement.
This year’s exercise, which has a rotating command system, will be under Russian control.

Open competition best way to find Canada’s next warplane, defence companies say

Defence companies whose fighter jets are competing against the F-35 stealth fighter have raised concerns about the new way bureaucrats are evaluating options for Canada’s next warplane.
There are worries F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin continues to enjoy a distinct advantage despite the Conservative government’s promise to push the reset button, with some saying the best solution is an open competition.

200.000 flight hours for the Italian AMX

Alenia Aermacchi and the Italian Air Force celebrate today the AMX 200,000 flight hours, a total of which includes both operational and test flight hours (2,200) since 1984, the date of the first flight of the prototype of the tactical support aircraft jointly developed by the then Aeritalia (46,5%), Aermacchi (23,8%) and the Brazilian Embraer (29,7%).
The AMX, nicknamed Ghibli in the Italian Air Force, is a light-attack and reconnaissance single-engine aircraft produced in Italy and Brazil according to specifications issued in 1981 by the Italian and Brazilian Air Forces to replace the G.91Y in Italy and provide the Brazilian FAB with a new tactical aircraft (which they call the A-1) to join the F-5s and the Mirage IIIEs operating at the time as interceptors in Brazil.

Italian lawmarkers want government to cancel F-35 order

Italian opposition parties and some lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party called on the government on Thursday to abandon its plans to buy 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.
Italy's total planned investment in the new Lightning II Joint Strike fighters (JSF) exceeds 10 billion euros ($12.97 billion) even though it cut its order last year to 90 aircraft from the 131 it had originally penciled in to buy more than a decade ago, a move it said would save 5 billion euros.
The opposition 5-Star Movement, the Left Ecology Liberty (SEL) and 13 members of Prime Minister Enrico Letta's Democratic Party (PD), one of two main components of the right-left coalition, now want to scrap the order completely.

France orders 34 NH90

France has signed a deal to buy 34 twin-engine, medium-sized NH90 military helicopters from the NHIndustries joint venture.

Indian Navy briefed on EMALS

Last week, an employee from General Atomics gave a briefing on the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) to thirty Indian Navy captains and admirals.
The Indian Navy is exploring the idea of using CATOBAR for its next aircraft carrier, INS Vishal. EMALS is one of methods being studied.

May 30, 2013

India's Tejas set for final clearance in 2014

India defence minister believes the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Tejas Mk I fighter can achieve final operational clearance (FOC) in the Indian air force by the end of 2014.

Syria: US mulls no-fly zone, Russia sends missiles

U.S. President Barack Obama has reportedly asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a Syrian no-fly zone to cut off the Damascus regime's arms supplies from Russia and Iran. But the window for such an option is getting smaller fast.
Moscow has said it will deliver several batteries of Russia's advanced S-300PMU air-defense missile system, purported to be one of the world's most powerful anti-aircraft weapons.
The Americans have repeatedly said that Syria has one of the most formidable air-defense networks in existence, largely consisting of Russian missile systems delivered over the last few years.


A400M and C295W to be pitched to NZ

The eventual retirement of the RNZAF’s C-130Hs will see Airbus Military pitch the A400M and newly-launched C295W to the New Zealand government.
Announced at its annual briefing to trade media, Airbus Military said while it views New Zealand as a longer-term proposition, it is confident the two aircraft could fill the gap to be left by the ultimate retirement of the RNZAF’s five C-130Hs and indeed enhance the nation’s airlift capabilities.

Syrian army seizes strategic air base

Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad seized an air base near the strategic town of Qusair on Wednesday and took more ground to the east of Damascus, state media said, dealing fresh setbacks to rebel fighters.
Assad's troops have been battling alongside Hezbollah fighters from neighboring Lebanon for the last 10 days to drive rebels from Qusair.
Taking the air base and neighboring Dabaa village puts Qusair under siege from all sides and cuts a main reinforcement line for rebel weapons and fighters.

Marine Corps Speeds Up F-35B IOC For 2015

The Marine Corps may join the Air Force in moving up its expected initial operating capability from 2016 to the latter part of 2015.
The announcement was made during a presentation May 29 at the Brookings Institution. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley last week said the service will issue a report detailing the operational start date to Congress in coming days.

Airbus Military unveils C295W

Airbus Military has unveiled the C295W, an enhanced version of the C295 with winglets that will boost performance.
The multi-role transport will also have enhanced engines that will boost payload performance.

Air Force grounds F-15s on Okinawa for inspections after crash

The U.S. Air Force grounded its F-15 fighters on the southern Japan island of Okinawa for a safety review Wednesday following a crash that forced a pilot to eject over the Pacific Ocean.
All F-15s attached to the 18th Wing on Okinawa's Kadena Air Base are to undergo inspections during the one-day stand down to ensure that they are safe to fly


Lab effort to cut costs for Navy's Triton UAS program

An engineer at Naval Air Station Patuxent River is leading an initiative that will save the Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System program several hundred thousand dollars.
Paul Weinstein, an electronics engineer supporting the Common Standards and Interoperability (CSI) program office, launched an image quality lab in 2012 that will help determine how to effectively employ Triton’s sensors and radars and potentially other manned and unmanned systems.

May 29, 2013

Chinese Hackers Have Gained Access To Dozens Of Major US Weapons Systems

Chinese hackers have gained access to designs of more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems, a U.S. report said on Monday
Among the weapons listed in the report were the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy's Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier section completed

The final section of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier was completed at BAE Systems in Scotstoun in Glasgow yesterday.
The Aft Island section of the carrier will be loaded onto a barge before being transported to Rosyth where the rest of the ship is being constructed.

UCAS Misses A Flight Due To GOES Failure

Carrier-based flight trials of the U.S. Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) aboard the USS George H.W. Bush were briefly brought to a halt last week due to an unlikely frequency-sharing issue between the air vehicle and officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is trying to fix a problem with a faulty weather satellite.

Amy Butler-aviationweek

Russia Grounds Mi-8 Helicopters after Deadly Crash

The Russian Defense Ministry has grounded its Mi-8 helicopters after one of them crashed in the Volga area at noon on Tuesday.

Japan set to sell US-2 plane to India

Japan is close to signing an agreement to supply amphibious planes to India, a report said yesterday, in what would be the first sale of hardware used by the military since a weapons export ban was imposed.

Iran Readying to Fly Own Model of US RQ-170 Drone

Tehran will soon fly a RQ-170 clone.


Jordan seeks to deploy Patriot missiles on its Syria borders

Jordan, which shares borders with war-torn Syria, said on Sunday it is in talks with “friendly countries” to deploy Patriot missiles on its territory after a similar move by Turkey.


Predator passes 20,000-hour mark in Afghanistan

An MQ-1 Predator assigned Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, recently became the first Predator to pass 20,000 flying hours over Afghanistan, a feat equivalent to flying 15 hours every other day, for 2,667 days.


NATO Drone Project Set to Continue

Pulling the plug on Germany’s Euro Hawk project won’t have consequences for NATO’s surveillance program using “Global Hawk” models. But critics argue a joint European drone project would have been better.
The canceled German Euro Hawk drone project will most likely not have consequences on a similar project by NATO. The alliance plans to use five drones of the Global Hawk Block 40 type for its “Alliance Ground Surveillance” (AGS) system.

C-27J Being Offered for Canada’s Fixed-Wing SAR

Alenia Aermacchi, General Dynamics Canada, and DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. (TCL) have signed a comprehensive teaming agreement to compete for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) upcoming Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Replacement Program.
The team will offer a market variant of the C-27J Spartan, Alenia Aermacchi’s best-selling medium tactical military aircraft. The offering will leverage Alenia Aermacchi’s international success with the C-27J, General Dynamics’ system integration experience, and DRS’ training expertise.

DHC-6 TWIN OTTER 'Goose' of Vietnam Navy Took off on the Water

After a period of testing and factory installed storage systems support / landing on water surface and Twin Otter seaplanes second Navy Vietnam continues to undergo the test phase important.
Seaplane DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 HQVN second system was installed pontoon construction support / landing on water.
According to the Canadian media, after the flight test phase of the test at the factory and go through the process of system integration support life take / landing on water. At the beginning of last May, seaplane DCH-6 Twin Otter Series 400 Second Vietnam Navy began testing process capability "amphibian" takeoff and landing runway on water and on land .

May 28, 2013

F-35B celebrates 1 year at Eglin

The Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 celebrated the one-year anniversary of flying the F-35B Lightning II here Wednesday, May 22, by continuing to train up the pilots and maintainers on the nation's newest fifth-generation fighter.

F-35 ITF works toward night, weather certification

The F-35 Integrated Test Force is wrapping up a series of night flights, which are testing the aircraft's capability when flying in instrument meteorological conditions.

China PLAAF J-10 with targeting pod

Patrulleros de la Armada interceptan a un buque cazatesoros operando en aguas de soberanía nacional

El patrullero de la Armada ‘Infanta Elena', apoyado por el 'Serviola', ha procedido en la tarde de ayer frente a la costa de Málaga a la identificación, visita y orden de interrupción de actividad del buque de investigación 'ENDEAVOUR', de bandera de TOGO, que se encontraba realizando, supuestamente, tareas relacionadas con el patrimonio arqueológico en aguas españolas del Mar del Alborán, en su plataforma continental.
El 'ENDEAVOUR', que venía siendo seguido desde el Centro de Operaciones y Vigilancia de Acción Marítima de Cartagena desde septiembre del año 2012, fue detectado dirigiéndose hacia el Estrecho de Gibraltar la pasada semana. Posteriormente, en la madrugada del día 26, tras analizar su movimientos y comprobar que se correspondían con los patrones clásicos de búsqueda de pecios, se ordenó a los patrulleros interceptarle y, tras la visita al buque para comprobar sus actividades, se le ordenó abandonar la zona.
El 'ENDEAVOUR' procedió hacia Algeciras acompañado por el patrullero 'Infanta Elena', donde fue transferido a la Guardia Civil con la que se coordinaron las actividades realizadas por los patrulleros de la Armada.
El 'ENDEAVOUR', al que se le detectó realizando tareas similares el pasado octubre, pertenece a la misma compañía que el 'SEAWAY INVINCIBLE', buque que también fue visitado y expulsado de la misma zona el pasado mes de diciembre por el patrullero 'Infanta Cristina' por la misma razón.


May 27, 2013

South Korea to buy 20 maritime patrol aircraft

The South Korean military has approved a plan to buy 20 maritime patrol aircraft to improve the Navy's surveillance capabilities. The Joint Chiefs of Staff has recently approved the Navy's request to add 20 maritime patrol aircraft to supplement the aging squadron of 16 Lockheed Martin P-3C Orions.
Among the potential candidates are Airbus Military's C-295 MPA, Boeing's P-8 Poseidon, Lockheed Martin's SC-130J Sea Hercules

Russian Military Orders 6 Be-200 Amphibious Planes

The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a contract with the Beriev Aircraft Company for the purchase of six Beriev Be-200 amphibious planes

Northrop Grumman to install LAIRCM on German A319CJ Head of State aircraft

Northrup Grumman has been given a $26 million contract to install Large Aircraft Infrared Counter-Measure system (LAIRCM) on two of Germany’s A319CJ Head of State aircraft.
Work will be performed at Rolling Meadows, Ill., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 31, 2016.

May 24, 2013

2 arrested on Diverted Pakistani Plane Made Threats They Called Jokes

British police arrested two men aboard a diverted Pakistani airliner on Friday after Britain’s Royal Air Force scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to escort the airplane flying from Lahore to Manchester, in the north of England, according to defense ministry officials and the police.
A spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines said the two men had threatened to blow the plane up, then said they were joking.
Airport authorities in Manchester said the Pakistan International Airlines plane, with more than 300 people on board, had been due to land there but had been diverted to Stansted, just north of London, where it landed and taxied to a remote area.
The police at Stansted said that officers then boarded the plane and arrested two men ages 30 and 41 “on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft.”

Netherlands requests F-16 pilot training and logistics support from US

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) for the continuation of Continental US (CONUS)-based F-16 formal training unit (FTU) and associated equipment to the Netherlands.
Under the estimated $191m sale, the Netherlands is seeking continuation of a CONUS-based Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16 FTU, along with 50,000 MJU-7B w/BBU-36B infrared decoy flares, 30,000 RR-188 w/BBU-35B training chaff, and 3,750 BDU-33D/B w/lugs/Mk4 spot low-drag training bombs.
Around 240 MK-82 inert low-drag general-purpose bombs, 90 GBU-12 inert laser-guided bombs, 60-GBU-38 inert GPS guided bombs, 120,000 PGU-27 inert training rounds, pilot training, JP-8 fuel, air refuelling support and airlift services also form part of the package.
Under the estimated $191m sale, the Netherlands is seeking continuation of a CONUS-based Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 FTU.
The US will also provide base operating support, facilities, training.


RAF Sentinel back from mission in Mali

An RAF surveillance aircraft has returned back to the UK after nearly four months on operations to return security and stability to Mali.
The Sentinel R1 touched down at its home base at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to be welcomed by senior officers who paid tribute to its role supporting French-led military operations against violent extremist groups in the north of the West African country.

RAF Typhoons scrambled after Pakistan Airline incident

A Pakistan International Airlines plane has been diverted from Manchester to Stansted London.
According to an Essex Police spokeswoman added: "An incident has occurred on an aircraft. Police and partners are responding."
Theplane has now landed in Stansted.

According to Aviation Security International"This is certainly a significant incident, however the fact that fighter jets were scrambled to intercept is not unusual".
"Fighter jets are scrambled when there is a bomb threat, when there is a hijack, when the wrong transponder code is used or if an aircraft cannot communicate with the ground. Often the result is when there is an unruly passenger on board.

"What is interesting in this case is that it would appear that the aircraft was only 10 minutes from landing, when they decided to divert to Stansted.
So to actually change a destination 10 minutes from landing would certainly imply that there was some serious incident taking place."

Turkey nears acceptance of delayed 737 AEW fleet

Turkey will receive its first Peace Eagle Boeing 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft before the end of 2013.

Israel to field lightweight Spice 250 bombs

The Israeli air force is equipping its fighter fleet with Rafael's new Spice 250 glide bomb.
Rafael is supplying a complete system, weighing 113kg.
the Spice 250 can be loaded with 100 optional targets in a given area, with scene-matching algorithms. As with previous Spice products, the weapon navigates to a target area using INS/GPS guidance, before its electro-optical/imaging infrared sensor is engaged.


Lockheed Martin Conducts First EMD Flight Test of New GMLRS Warhead

Lockheed Martin has conducted the first Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) flight of the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

EADS Offers to Invest $2Billion if Korea Buys Eurofighter

Following Eurofighter’s promise to assemble 53 Eurofighters in Korea if the aircraft is selected as Korea’s next generation fighter, global aerospace company EADS said that it will “invest $2 billion and its technology in the KF-X to help Korea to become a fighter jet producer.”


Hungary to Buy New Airlifters, Helicopters

“We must generate the national rotary-wing capability, which means the creation of an economically operated and modern fleet meeting the challenges of the 21st century” – Minister of Defence Csaba Hende said in Budapest on May 22.


Sukhoi Delivers the First Su-34 Frontline Bomber to the Russian Air Force

The first in a batch of Su-34 production frontline bombers to be delivered in 2013 to the Russian Air Force under the State Defense Order for the year was delivered by the Sukhoi Company.


May 23, 2013

Defensa rebaja la factura de programas de armamento en 3.850 millones recortando pedidos que afectan al A400M

El Ministerio de Defensa ha rebajado en 3.850 millones de euros la factura de los grandes programas de armamento, fruto de la renegociación de los contratos y la reducción de los pedidos, del avión de combate Eurofighter y el avión de transporte militar A400M. Con la renuncia a unidades y la disposición para la venta de otras, se ha conseguido disminuir el importe total desde los 33.345 millones hasta los 29.495 millones.

El nuevo techo de gasto para los programas de armamento, los 29.495 millones de euros que deberá autorizar el Consejo de Ministros, es de casi 3.000 millones más que el aprobado por el Gobierno en 2009, pero son 7.000 millones menos que lo que el anterior Ejecutivo previó.


Sólo los cambios en el contrato de Eurofighter suponen una disminución de 2.966 millones de euros. Para ello, Defensa renuncia a 14 de los 87 'cazas' comprometidos en un principio, los correspondientes a la última fase del programa, y, además, disminuirá el número de unidades de su flota que tendrá operativos, lo que permitirá ahorrar en gastos de sostenimiento.
Al mismo tiempo, se mantiene el aplazamiento de entregas de un total de 15 aviones de combate que el Ejército del Aire debería haber comenzado a recibir en 2012 y que no comenzarán a llegar hasta 2015. Con todas estas medidas, se logra pasar de los 13.596 millones de euros que suponía el programa a los 10.269 millones de euros.


España ha optado por que sólo 14 de los 27 comprometidos, a los que no puede renunciar, sean entregados plenamente operativos y con todos los equipamientos. Los 13 restantes se tratarán de vender a otros países.

El ahorro de esta decisión supone 800 millones de euros --de los 5.819 millones a 5.018--, aunque el abaratamiento podría ser de 2.360 millones de euros si además se consiguen vender los 13 aviones que se considera que el Ejército del Aire no necesita y para los que hay que encontrar compradores.


No se ha rebajado la cifra total comprometida de 24 aparatos, pero Defensa ha decidido poner a la venta los seis primeros que ya ha recibido y de los que tres están desplegados en Afganistán. A estos seis aparatos no se les reconfigurará como los de las siguientes fases


Se pasa de 45 a 22 unidades, pero se garantiza que las que se reciben tiene "todos los apoyos y equipos esenciales", además de sostenimiento durante cinco años, algo que, no se incluía en el importe fijado para 45 unidades, que estaba en 1.492 millones de euros.

En el programa de vehículos Pizarro se recorta de 190 a 117 el número de unidades que recibirá el Ejército de Tierra

Las renegociaciones se completan, sin incidencia en el número de unidades, con 20,4 millones menos en el programa de los buques de acción marítima (de 530,4 a 501 millones); 43,1 millones menos en el programa para el buque de proyección estratégica 'Juan Carlos I' (de 505,4 a 462,3) y 8,5 millones menos en la fragata F-105 (de los 836,2 a los 827,7).

Continúan sin ningún cambio el resto de programas: las fragatas F-100 (1.997,5 millones), el programa de los carros de combate Leopard (2.524,56 millones), el de los misiles Iris-T (282,43 millones), los misiles Taurus (59,64 millones), el obús 155/52 (195,99 millones), el helicóptero EC-135 (65,28 millones) y el submarino S80 (2.135,54 millones), un programa este último en proceso de aplazamiento por dificultades técnicas.



US Marine Corps studying Harrier enhancements

The US Marine Corps is studying potential enhancements for the Boeing AV-8B Harrier II jump-jet to keep the aircraft relevant to its planned 2030 retirement date.
Boeing and the USMC are contemplating adding upgrades such as a Link 16 enhancement and variable message format datalinks to the aircraft.
Later additions might include expanded weapons capability, such as adding the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile to the jet's arsenal and a helmet-mounted cueing system. Other possible upgrades include updated sensors, with particular emphasis on the aircraft's Raytheon APG-65 radar, Praiss says.
The USMC originally planned to keep the Harrier in service only until 2015, but in the past few years decided to keep the aircraft in use for far longer. The majority of the Harrier fleet will now remain in operation until 2027.
The decision was partly driven by delays in the Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter programme, but also the realisation that the venerable aircraft has far more life left on the 134-airframe fleet than the service's increasingly fatigued legacy Boeing F/A-18A/B/C/D inventory.

Barack Obama struggles to redefine the 'war on terror'

Barack Obama has conjured the prospect of an eventual end to the perpetual, largely covert, global "war on terror" launched by his predecessor, George W Bush, in response to the 9/11 attacks.
But while promising greater transparency on counter-terrorism, the closure of the Guantánamo gulag and restrictions on targeted assassinations by drones, Obama's heavily trailed and leaked policy speech on Thursday in Washington was expected to make clear that, on his watch at least, the US will continue to employ unapologetically unilateral, extra-judicial and lethal means to neutralise anybody it deems a threat to its national security.

USA reveals weapons loads for F-15SE, F-35 in S Korean F-X competition

The US Department of Defense has formally notified congress about the potential sale of weapons for the Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle and Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which are vying for South Korea's 60 aircraft F-X III requirement.
The weapons package for the F-15SE will cost $823 million, while that for the F-35 will cost $793 million.
Key elements of both packages include 274 Raytheon AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missiles, hundreds of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits, 542 Boeing GBU-39/B small diameter bombs and other weapons.

F/A-18F Confomal Fuel Tanks & Weapons Pod mockup in St Louis

While it has been known for sometime that Boeing and the US Navy intend to fly a modified F/A-18F Super Hornet equipped with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) and a weapons pod later this summer, some new details are emerging.

When the modified Rhino--as the Super Hornet is affectionately known--does fly in late August or early September over the Navy's Atlantic range with the new hardware, those CFTs and weapons pod will not be functional. The idea is to test the aerodynamic qualities of those representative shapes.
Dave Majumdar-The Dewline

Defense Acquisition Board approves Standard Missile-6 full-rate production

A Defense Acquisition Board approved full-rate production of Raytheon Company's Standard Missile-6. Once operational in 2013, the SM-6 will provide U.S. Navy vessels extended range protection against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Complete Triton Unmanned Aircraft's First Flight

The Northrop Grumman Corporation built MQ-4C Triton high-altitude unmanned aircraft successfully completed its first flight today from the company's manufacturing facility in Palmdale.

KC-46A training, operational bases, alternatives selected

Air Force officials announced today Altus Air Force Base, Okla., as the preferred alternative for the KC-46A formal training unit (FTU).
McConnell AFB, Kan., was selected as the preferred alternative for the first active duty led KC-46A main operating base (MOB 1) and Fairchild AFB, Wash., and Grand Forks AFB, N.D., are the reasonable alternatives