Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Nov 27, 2016 Bilal Khan

As per aviation journalist and close Pakistan Air Force (PAF) watcher Alan Warnes, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defence Force (or Azeri Air Force) has rekindled its interest in the JF-17 Thunder. It is also interested in the prospect of using the MFI-395 Super Mushshak as a basic trainer.

The JF-17 notwithstanding, Azerbaijan and Pakistan have been working to enhance bilateral defence ties.
In October, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a three-day official visit to Baku, where he issued a statement with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to engage in co-production and training initiatives.

The two sides signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement at the beginning of November.
Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov attended the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), where he reiterated his government’s interest in building relations with Pakistan.

Notes & Comments:

Pakistan has marketed the JF-17 as a suitable fast jet replacement for legacy platforms. In Azerbaijan, the focus would be on offering the JF-17 as a potent successor to the MiG-21 and Su-25.
In terms of the Su-25, Aselsan’s recent confirmation that it is supplying its ASELPOD advanced targeting pod for the JF-17 should resonate favourably in terms of promoting the Thunder’s strike capabilities. In this respect, Azerbaijan has the option of procuring precision-guided air-to-surface munitions from China or Turkey. Stand-off range munitions (e.g. anti-ship missiles) are also available from China. Alternatively, Azerbaijan could also utilize its ties with South Africa to procure munitions from Denel Dynamics.

The JF-17 is a full multi-role platform capable of air-to-air missions using beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and all-aspect within-visual-range air-to-air missiles. Coupled with the platform’s compatibility with a tactical data-link and modern electronic warfare and electronic countermeasures suite, the JF-17 can be presented as a complete and potent solution.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) sought the Thunder to disseminate subsystems and capabilities found in costlier platforms to its mainstay fleet. Managing cost and guaranteeing accessible sources for complex technology are critical aspects to the JF-17, which the PAF is likely marketing in tandem with the actual fighter. For countries locked in long-term cross-border tensions or unable to readily access top-end technology from traditional industry leaders, this message could resonate strongly.
Furthermore, the availability of active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar options from the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) and Leonardo have made the JF-17 Block-III into a more tangible factor in terms of discussion, especially with prospective customers.
In fact, during IDEAS, the PAF leadership made it a point to convey their commitment to the JF-17 Thunder, noting that it is the fleet’s primary asset and that its continued improvement would be prioritized ahead of other needs. The question of another fighter platform was, at least during IDEAS, an ancillary issue, albeit one being exploredthrough Russia, China and “one or two” other countries.

Original post: quwa.org

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JF-17 “Thunder”

Singapore to exercise "full rights" in recovering armoured carriers: Defence Minister

·         By Justin Ong

·         Posted 29 Nov 2016 14:22

·         Updated 29 Nov 2016 14:30

SINGAPORE: Singapore will exercise its “full rights” in recovering the armoured vehicles that were seized by Hong Kong customs authorities, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Tuesday (Nov 29).
Shipping contractor APL will meet Hong Kong authorities later on Tuesday to discuss the matter, Dr Ng said. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are closely monitoring the outcome of the meeting and will decide on “an appropriate course of action” afterwards, he said.
“After this meeting, the reasons and legal basis for detention will be made clear. We have to wait for the outcome of the meeting.
“MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) and the Singapore Government will then commence proceedings to recover assets. We aim to comply with all regulations and then exercise our full rights in recovering our assets," Dr Ng said, speaking after a MINDEF event.
The nine SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) have been impounded in Hong Kong since last Wednesday, when they were being shipped back to Singapore from Taiwan after being deployed in overseas training exercises.
A Chinese spokesman on Monday stated China's opposition to countries having "any form of official exchanges with the Taiwan region, including military exchanges and cooperation".
Taiwan is viewed by China as a breakaway province outside of its One China policy.
Dr Ng said that Singapore fully respects, supports and adheres to the One China policy and will continue to do so.
He also pointed out that Singapore has played a positive role in improving cross-strait relations through hosting historic events like the 2015 meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou.
Asked how Singapore would respond to China stating it would "make representations" over the issue, Dr Ng said this would be left to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and diplomatic channels to take up.
He added that SAF's overseas training exercises have "never been secret".
"People know where we train openly ... and any training matters between us and other countries are bilateral," said Dr Ng. "We should not, until the facts come out, muddle the picture and impute various motives."
"SAF will continue to train overseas based on existing agreements between countries."
He also reiterated points made by Chief of Army Major-General Melvyn Ong earlier in the day - that commercial shipping of military equipment is not new. "Singapore has been doing it ever since we've had overseas training, over many decades and thousands of ships. There has been no loss or detention."
The Terrex vehicles, in particular, have been transported by commercial means ever since their introduction into service, said Dr Ng.
"We should not speculate on why Hong Kong customs offloaded and detained SAF assets," he concluded. "Until the facts are established, any speculation is premature; unwarranted and unfair to Hong Kong authorities or any other country. We will wait for the facts."
- CNA/cy
Original post: channelnewsasia.com

Maybe Singapore might want to invade China so at least once in the history of Singapore they can use their shiny toys and imaginary superior combat knowhow.

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Liberals changed fighter jet requirement, says air force commander

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 5:02PM EST
Last updated Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 5:02PM EST

Opposition critics accused the Liberal government of trying to manufacture a crisis Monday after the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force pulled back the curtain on Canada's apparent fighter-jet shortage.
Lt.-Gen. Michael Hood told the Senate defence committee the Liberals recently changed the number of jet fighters he is required to have ready at any given time for NATO missions and to defend North America.
The change was made after he testified in April that he was "comfortable" with the air force's current fleet of CF-18s, Hood said, which he affirmed are able to fly to 2025 and even beyond.
As a result, Hood said, the current number of CF-18s available is insufficient and Canada will also need to buy more new planes than originally expected.
The previous Conservative government had planned to purchase 65 F-35 stealth fighters.
"Certainly the policy of the government of Canada would mean that 65 is not sufficient," Hood said, later adding: "They've changed the policy of the number of aircraft I have to have."
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan had hinted at a change in policy when he announced last week that Canada planned to buy 18 Super Hornet jets as an "interim" solution to the air force's "capacity gap" until a competition to replace the CF-18s could be held.
But Hood's comments marked the first time an official had come out and clearly stated that the Liberal government had increased the number of jets the air force is required to have available at a moment's notice.
Sajjan's office did not immediately respond to questions about the change.
Critics immediately latched onto Hood's comments as proof the Liberal decision to buy Hornets now and punt a competition to replace the CF-18s for five years is part of a larger plan to avoid buying the F-35.
"He's confirmed the numbers required was a political decision," said Conservative defence critic James Bezan. "This is a hoax and completely politically driven."
Defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute questioned why the government would change the policy when it was still in the midst of a comprehensive defence review.
"The change in policy makes what they're doing on fighters seem a lot more rational," he said.
"But it's interesting that change happened outside of the defence policy review, which is looking at all of our defence policies."
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

Original post: theglobeandmail.com

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Israel to purchase 17 more stealth fighters at cost of $1.5b

By HERB KEINON \11/27/2016 21:56
The first two of the state-of-the-art fighters are scheduled to arrive on December 12.
day unanimously approved the purchase of an additional 17 F-35 aircraft from the US, bringing to 50 the number of stealth fighters purchased by Israel at a cost of about $85 million each.

The additional planes will be purchased from the military assistance Israel will get from the US as part of the $38 billion 10-year 
Memorandum of Understanding signed with the administration in September. 

Israel is expected to have two squadrons of F-35s by early next decade, with each squadron being made up of 25 planes. A third squadron of another 25 planes may be purchased a later date.

The first two of the state-of-the-art fighters are scheduled to arrive on December 12 at the Nevatim air force base near Beersheba.

In July, at a rollout ceremony of the first plane at a Lockheed-Martin plant in Fort Worth,Texas, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the fighter “is the most advanced in the world, and is the best selection by defense chiefs for safeguarding Israel’s aerial superiority.”

Starting in 2017, Israel is expected to receive the F-35's at the rate of six to seven each year. Israel will be the first country outside of the US to receive the plane.

Original post: jpost.com

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Norway acquires five new maritime patrol aircrafts for Arctic waters

P-8A Poseidon will fly on intelligence missions over areas where Russia’s submarine fleet is more and more active.

November 26, 2016
“The introduction of Poseidon aircrafts is crucial for Norway to maintin a leading position and expertise on strategic issues in northern areas,” says Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide in a statement posted on the Ministry’s portal.
For Norway, the top-modern Boeing aircrafts will cost nearly 10 billion kroner (€1,1 billion). That sum does not include the Intelligence equipment to be places onboard.
Deliveries are expected for 2021 and 2022.
Introduced in 2013, the P8-A Poseidon is a modified version of the Boeing 737-800 originally developed for the United States Navy. Australia and India have already the aircraft in operation, while the United Kingdom has ordered 9 planes.
Norway’s ageing fleet of six P-3 Orion with the 333 Squadron at Andøya airport north of the Arctic Circle is essential for intelligence gathering along the coast of Norway and in the Barents Sea where Norway borders Russia to the east. The aircrafts, however, are getting old. The two oldest were delivered in 1968 and 1969 while the four other were delivered in 1988 and 1989.
The Russian Northern fleet’s submarine bases are all situated along the ice-free coast of the Kola Peninsula and submarines on voyages to the North Atlantic have to sail north of mainland Norway.
Also, the aircrafts support civilian surveillance in cooperation with the Coast Guard, assist in search- and rescue operations and play a vital role in environmental monitoring of both the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea. 
All five new maritime surveillance aircrafts will all be based at Evenes airport in Troms, northern Norway.
Original post: thebarentsobserver.com

Related post:
U.K. Buys Boeing Patrol Planes, Attack Helicopters in More Than $6 Billion Deal

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Singapore Armed Forces faciltity at Oakey to have Au$50M upgrade

Image: straitstimes.com

21 Nov, 16, Source: Qld Government

A $50 million upgrade to the Singapore Armed Forces’ facilities at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre, has been awarded to Toowoomba-based construction company FKG Group.
The project will include refurbishment of helicopter training facilities and the construction of new logistics and maintenance facilities and airfield infrastructure for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), which bases its helicopter training at Oakey. The new work is being done to support an additional detachment of Boeing CH-47 airframes that is due to be deployed to the RSAF’s Helicopter Squadron.
The program of work is expected to commence in December and take 11 months to complete.
The RSAF’s helicopter squadron utilises the Oakey Army Aviation Centre following an agreement between the Australian and Singaporean governments.

Original post: helihub.com

I think Singapore better save the money as the little country spend more on defense than Thailand and Malaysia combined with very little to justify the $12 billion budget.  I hope they heed my advice as when Thailand start construction of the Kra canal I guess it will take a decade after completion of the Kra canal that we will witness the decline of the state city economically and socially and I imagine that will not bode well for the ruling family of Singapore. Guess why they need the new expensive submarine must be for emergencies.

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Friday, 25 November 2016

First Flight for the Airbus A350-1000

Posted on November 24, 2016

The first of three Airbus A350-1000 development aircraft to fly – MSN059 – successfully completed its first flight on November 24.

The round trip from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (IATA: TLS) lasted for four hours and 18 minutes.

The cockpit crew on board the flight comprised: Hugues Van Der Stichel, Experimental Test Pilot; Frank Chapman, Experimental Test Pilot and Gerard Maisonneuve, Test-Flight Engineer. Furthermore, monitoring all the test parameters at the Flight-Test-Instrumentation (FTI) station behind the cockpit were: Patrick du Ché, Head of Flight and Integration Tests; Emanuele Costanzo, Head of A350 Development Flight Tests; and Stéphane Vaux, Flight-Test Engineer.

Powered by Rolls-Royce’s new Trent XWB-97 engines, the aircraft traversed south-western France, during which the crew explored the aircraft’s handling and flight envelope. The airliner was accompanied by a chase aircraft to observe and film the various manoeuvres. Its progress was also monitored by experts on the ground in real-time via a direct telemetry link.

Benefitting from the experience of the original A350-900 test campaign (accomplished in 2014), Airbus says the A350-1000’s development programme will be shorter – under one year for the three aircraft. MSN059’s duties for performance testing will include exploration of the flight envelope, handling qualities, loads and braking. The second aircraft to fly, MSN071, will also be tasked with performance evaluation, which will encompass braking, powerplant, systems and autopilot. The third and final aircraft to fly – MSN065 – will be equipped with a cabin and will evaluate the cabin and air systems. MSN065 will also perform the “early long flights” and route-proving. The overall campaign will culminate in the type’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2017 with first operator Qatar Airways – the largest A350-1000 customer to date with 37 on order. To date 11 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 195 A350-1000s.

The Super Twin Battle: A350-1000 versus 777-9X

With the forthcoming launch of the 777-9 at the Dubai Air Show next month, the battle between the A350-1000 and 777-9 will be officially on, with two very different aircraft competing for the same market.  While there is discussion of another stretch to the A350 program to provide comparable capacity to the larger 777-9, we can compare today’s aircraft and examine their relative economics based on manufacturer projections and Piano models based on preliminary specifications.

The A350-1000
The A350-1000 is the largest of 3 models in the A350 family, with 350 seats in a typical three class configuration, with an 8,400 nautical mile range.  The A350 features carbon fiber composite structure and wings, and at 53% composites will have slightly more of the aircraft made of this material than the Boeing 787-9, which is 50% composites.  It features new technology Trent XWB engines from Rolls Royce with state-of-the art fuel efficiency, advanced aerodynamics, and state of the art systems.

The 777-9X
The 777-9 is a stretched version of the current 777-300ER with a new engine and new wing, along with other enhancements, to create an updated version of the 777, which delivered its 1,000th example earlier this year.  The 777-9X will feature an aluminum alloy fuselage with a carbon fiber composite wing, and new technology GE9X engines that are derived from the GE90 and GEnx families.  The wingspan for the 777-9 will be longer than any Boeing aircraft, and will include folding wingtips to enable the aircraft to utilize current gate positions at airports, as otherwise the new model would require gates typically used for A380 operations (which are currently quite limited at congested airports.)

Comparing the Aircraft
The following table compares the two aircraft on several key statistics, based on preliminary data prior to the 777-9X launch:
The A350 cabin width is larger than the 787 and smaller than the 777X.  The result is that a typical configuration in economy would be 9 abreast at 17 inch seat width for the 787, 9 abreast at 18 inch seat width for the A350, and 10 abreast using 17 inch seat width for the 777.  While the 777 is currently offered in 9 and 10 abreast seating, recent orders have trended to 10 abreast seating as airline seek to maximize seat-mile costs.

Both manufacturers are claiming class leading economics for their airplanes, but in reality, they are very, very close.  The 777-9 holds a 16% advantage in capacity, which directly impacts seat-mile costs, but the A350-1000 will have lower trip costs than its larger competitor.  Our estimates for a 6,000NM trip, based on preliminary specifications from airframe manufacturers, our own economic modeling, and data gleaned from airlines, are as follows:

With very comparable seat-mile costs, the A350-1000 and 777-9X will be competitive, and it will come down to how many seats an airline believes it can fill.  For those that can fill 400 seats, the 777-9 looks like a good alternative, for those that prefer a lower risk, the 350 seat A350-1000 is the right airplane.
The key question, as the OEMs continue to one up each other, is whether an A350-1100 stretch will be built. The A350-1100 would be an all new technology aircraft competing with a highly modified but derivative model, and should have both lower aircraft mile costs and lower seat mile costs than the 777-9.  A stretched A350 would also help to bridge the large gap in size between A350-1000 and A380-800.

We believe the A350-1100 will become a competitive necessity for Airbus.  With the A350-1000 due for EIS in 2017, and the 777-9X due in late 2019 or 2020, there is still time for Airbus to bring out an additional model in time to check the size advantage for Boeing.  As airlines are looking to larger twins to replace 747-400 with aircraft of similar capacity, the time is right for these “super-twins” in the marketplace.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Royal Danish Navy sets SM-2 buy as priority, mulls frigate BMD upgrade

Daniel Wasserbly, Baltimore, Maryland and Richard Scott, London - IHS Jane's Navy International
23 November 2016

Key Points
  • SM-2 purchase is the top priority for the service, but funding remains the challenge
  • The navy will also make a decision on a planned frigate BMD upgrade path in 2018
Funding to acquire a stock of Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA medium-range missiles for its Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates is the Royal Danish Navy's (RDN's) top priority, the service's most senior officer has told IHS Jane's .

Speaking on board the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362) during an 18 November port visit in Baltimore, Maryland, Chief of the Naval Staff Rear Admiral Frank Trojahn also indicated that a decision would be made on a planned frigate ballistic missile defence (BMD) upgrade path in 2018.

Original post: janes.com