Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Russia sees good potential for MiG-35 for South America

Good Prospects for MIG-35 Fighters in Latin America

Moscow, Jan 28 (Prensa Latina) Russia forecasts today good prospects for the trade of the MIG-35 multifunctional fighter in Latin America, following the world launch of the new aircraft at the MIG Aircraft Construction Corporation on the outskirts of this capital city.

'Everything is fine for Latin America', Russian deputy prime minister for issues of the corporation and the special field Dmitri Rogozin told the news agency Prensa Latina at a press conference held at the test field of the new fighter aircraft.

Moments after the landing of the 4++ generation fighter plane, which made an exhibition flight, Rogozin said that the Russian air force is seeking to replace previous models by these modern and lighter ones, MIG-35.

Rogozin, who was accompanied by head of the Russian Aerospace Force Viktor Bonderev, said that because of its good quality and price, as well as its possibilities near a medium or heavy fighter aircraft, they expect it to have a good trade in the international market.

The construction company MIG plans to manufacture 24 planes a year, MIG 35 is able to follow up to 30 targets at the same time, at a distance of 160 kilometers and destroy six air targets and four land targets at the same time, both day and night.


Original post: plenglish.com

Related post:

MiG-35: Details

Norway to replace F-16 Fleet by 2021 with F-35s

As F-35 Comes Online, Norway to Scrap F-16 Fleet

By: Aaron Mehta, January 27, 2017

BODØ AIR STATION, NORWAY – As the Norwegian air force prepares to bring its first three F-35 joint strike fighters to Norwegian soil, the government is taking a simple approach to disposing of its aging F-16 fleet.

Rather than trying to deal with the complicated politics of reselling them or paying the cost of maintaining the older fighters as a reserve, the Ministry of Defense plans to scrap its collection fifty-plus Fighting Falcons, officials said during a visit here January 19.

Defense News visited Norway this month as part of a group organized by the Atlantic Council and funded by the Norwegian government. All participants accepted travel and accommodations during the tour.

The government plans to shut down the 56-plane fleet at the end of 2021, replacing it with a slightly smaller but more capable fleet of 52 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing variants. Norway will take possession of six F-35s in 2017, with three going to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, which is the US center for training international partners on the Lockheed Martin-designed plane (Norway already has four F-35s at Luke).

Three others are expected to arrive in Norway in early November. From 2018 onward, planes will be delivered directly to Norway, with six new planes arriving each year. Norway plans for the planes to be declared operational in 2019.

The F-16s will still be operated through the end of 2021, although the number of flight hours will drop as the newer jets arrive. Currently the F-16 fleet logs around 7,000 hours per year; that will drop to around 3,000 by 2021, officials here said. Pilots over the age of 40 have been barred from re-training on the F-35, in order to make sure the F-16 has a dedicated pilot core until it is fully retired.

There are a number of factors at work here that make a resale of the old planes unlikely. The first is the age of this particular fleet -- Norway’s fleet is among the oldest of the F-16 groups in the world, with an average plane having over 10,000 hours of flight time. 
Another is the political restrictions on re-selling US defense weapons. As one official put it, regulations make it easier to “turn them into nails” then try to resell the jets.

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group, says the age of the planes means they would likely be useful only as training aircraft or for spare parts. More broadly, he said the market for used F-16s hasn’t been very strong, despite some potential good fits around the world.

“One issue has been that many F-16 users have been waiting longer than expected for F-35s, so the supply of used F-16s has been constrained. But even then US F-16s that have been available weren’t purchased in significant numbers,” he wrote in an email. “One problem is that there are relatively few countries that are wealthy enough to operate F-16s but not wealthy enough to buy them new.  But even there, I’m surprised that more countries in Eastern Europe haven’t opted for used F-16s.”

The planes won’t be the only thing that is scrapped. The military facilities at Bodø, which have housed F-16s since they came into service, will no longer be home to fighter jets. The majority of the F-35 fleet will instead be hosted at Ørland Main Air Station, with a few kept at the more northern Evenes air base to protect the P-8 maritime surveillance fleet.

Bodø has a long history as a military facility, having served as a hub for both the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes operated by the US during the Cold War. (Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot who was famously shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was en route to Bodø when he was captured.)  It has also served as the hub of training for the Norwegian F-16 pilot corps. 

Original post: defensenews.com

The government plans to shut down the 56-plane fleet at the end of 2021, replacing it with a slightly smaller but more capable fleet of 52 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing variants. Norway will take possession of six F-35s in 2017, with three going to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, which is the US center for training international partners on the Lockheed Martin-designed plane (Norway already has four F-35s at Luke).

There are a number of factors at work here that make a resale of the old planes unlikely. The first is the age of this particular fleet -- Norway’s fleet is among the oldest of the F-16 groups in the world, with an average plane having over 10,000 hours of flight time. 
Another is the political restrictions on re-selling US defense weapons. As one official put it, regulations make it easier to “turn them into nails” then try to resell the jets.

Related post:

F-35 Lightning: Details

T-50 PAK FAs to be armed with BrahMos light cruise missiles

Russia to arm T-50 PAK FAs with BrahMos light cruise missiles

By Ryan Maass   |      Jan. 30, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A BrahMos light cruise missile is in development for future use on Russia's 5th-generation T-50 PAK FA fighter aircraft.

According to an announcement made by Machine-Building R&D Consortium CEO and general designer Alexander Leonov, Russia will collaborate with India to develop smaller variants of the BrahMos cruise missile to integrate with new air-based platforms.

"We are working on the missile's light version," Russia's Tass news agency quoted Leonov as saying. "It should fit the size of a torpedo tube and be almost 1.5 times smaller by its weight. It will be possible to mount our airborne missile on a wide range [of aircraft]."

The BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile designed to be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land-based platforms. The product is a result of a collaboration between Russia's NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India's Defense Research and Development Organization.

Russian state media has referred to the weapon as the fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.

While defense industry officials have confirmed a lighter variant will be developed for the T-50 PAK FA aircraft, they are also eyeing applications for existing platforms.

"Of course, we'll be developing it, first of all, for the fifth-generation plane but, possibly, it will be mounted on the MiG-35 fighter, although we have not carried out such developments," Leonov added.

Original post: upi.com

Related post:

Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA: Details

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Here are the world's largest weapons exporters

Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist

Visual Capitalist

The above visualization sums up the global weapons trade during the Obama era, minus data from 2016. It was created by data scientist Hai Nguyen Mau, and each relationship plots the value of the weapons trade between two countries based on data from SIPRI.

It’s important to note that while this data includes major weaponry transfers such as tanks, jets, missiles, and ships, it excludes guns and ammunition or military aid. Lastly, the thickness of each line represents the total value of each trade relationship, while the proximity of two linked countries shows how close each relationship is. (i.e. if a country only imports from Russia, they will be much closer to Russia than the U.S.)


The global weapons trade is dominated by a few major exporters, such as United States, EU, and Russia:

Visual Capitalist

Together, the United States, European Union, and Russia combine for over 80% of weapons exports, while the rest of the world fills out the “longtail” of the exporter distribution.

From the perspective of imports, the field is much more equal because almost every country aims to spend at least some money on defense. India is the largest importer of weapons in the world with a 14% share of the market.


The picture behind the global weapons trade gets much more interesting as it is broken up into relationships. It’s easy to see that there are two distinct blocs of trade:

The West: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, most of the EU, and other countries
The East: Russia, China, India, Nigeria, and other countries

As an example, Singapore imports 71% of its weapons from the United States along with significant amounts from Germany (10%) and Sweden (6%). As such, it is very close to the United States in these visualizations.

Meanwhile, India imports 70% of its arms from Russia, with the U.S. (12%) and Israel (7%) as other major partners.

Here’s another look from Hai Nguyen Mau that just focuses on U.S. and Russian relationships:

Visual Capitalist

An oversimplication, to be sure – but these visualizations hint at the broader tensions that have recently surfaced to the forefront of geopolitical discourse.

Read the original article on Visual Capitalist. Get rich, visual content on business and investing for free at the Visual Capitalist website, or follow Visual Capitalist on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn for the latest. Copyright 2017. Follow Visual Capitalist on Twitter.

Original post: businessinsider.com


US and Russia benefit as global arms race picks up

By Ben Aris in Moscow June 14, 2016

After two decades of relative peace, a new arms race is getting underway, fuelled by rising exports of weapons by Russia and the US headed largely for Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Countries bought a record breaking $65bn of arms in 2015 and will spend even more in 2016, according to the annual "Global Defence Trade Report" released on June 13 by IHS Jane's.

"The global defence trade market has never seen an increase as large as the one we saw between 2014 and 2015," said Ben Moores, senior analyst at IHS Jane's. "2015 was a record-breaking year." Markets rose $6.6bn, bringing the value of the global defence market in 2015 to $65bn.  Jane's forecasts that the market will increase further to $69bn in 2016.

Arms is big business and the trade is being fuelled by the Ukraine conflict in Europe, civil war and terrorism in the Middle East, and a feared conflict-to-come in the South China Sea of Asia. Spending in Southeast Asia soared, with several countries in the region ramping up their defence spending.

The US continues to be out on its own in the exporter ranking with $22.9bn worth of arms sold in 2015, followed by Russia in second place with $7.4bn in 2015. Both countries are expected to increase their exports to $24.4bn and $7.7bn in 2016, according to Jane's. Russian defence industry officials previously cited a sales figure twice as great, apparently citing some contracts still in progress.

Tensions behind the spike in sales are unlikely to subside in the near term. Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its use of Russian soldiers to destabilise the Donbas, Nato has responded with plans for a rapid reaction force along the EU border with Russia. Poland and the Baltic states also opened talks in June on building up better joint air defences to stymie a potential Russian attack; as recent studies have shown, Nato would be incapable of stopping a rapid Russian invasion of the Baltics if it came to war.

On the other side of border Russia has been beefing up its military presence in its European theatre, although a mooted Russian airbase in Belarus that would house Russia's most advanced fifth generation Sukhoi F35 fighters has just been put on ice.

Russian objections to Nato's expansion eastwards were stoked again in May when the first phase of the long discussed European missile shield went online with a new base in Romania. Another is due to open soon in Poland. While nominally there to protect Europe from missile attacks by rogue nations in the Middle East, the bases could also give the Western alliance the capability of shooting down Russian nuclear missiles, weakening Moscow's retaliatory capability and thus making a nuclear offensive more conceivable.  Russian worries about Nato's intentions go back to former US president George W. Bush's decision to unilaterally withdraw from the ABS missile treaty in 2002, scuppering a key element in the security arrangements to ensure a limit on arms in Europe.

If that were not enough to unsettle the Kremlin, both sides have been engaging in large-scale sabre rattling. Russia has run a series of massive military exercises over the last two years and Nato is responding this summer with its own. Poland is about to host the largest multinational military exercises on its territory in more than a decade. The Anakonda-16 exercises, involving 25,000 troops from more than 20 countries, are intended to showcase Nato unity a month ahead of the alliance's summit in Warsaw in July. The US Army recently drove tanks through the Moldovan capital Chisinau in a show of strength and will play a key role in the Anakonda-16 war games, sending tanks and soldiers from its bases in Germany in a simulated mission to rescue the Baltic states from a Russian attack.

Quite apart from the rising military tensions, the defence industry is a good business for many European countries. After the US and Russia, arms exports are also important for Germany ($4.8bn in 2015, $4.8bn in 2016), France ($4.8bn, $6bn) and the UK ($3.9bn, $4.3bn), with France showing the fastest growth and expected to knock Russia out of the number two biggest exporter slot in 2016. "France has doubled its backlog of orders from $36bn in 2014 to $55bn, meaning that $55bn worth of defence equipment has yet to be exported. This increase means that France will overtake Russia as the second-largest global defence equipment exporter,"  Jane's said in its report.

Arming the Middle East

All these weapons are not only destabilising Europe, but the effect is probably even worse in the Middle East, a traditional hub of Russian arms sales which is rising up the rankings of importers and will only be encouraged following Russia's short but effective campaign in Syria launched last autumn. Russia will sell $14bn worth of arms in 2016, the head of the Federal Service of Military and Technical Cooperation Alexander Fomin said on May 18, calling the military operations in Syria "good advertising" for the country's military hardware.

The ranking table of importers is led by Saudi Arabia ($9.3bn in 2015, $10.1bn in 2016) and India ($4.3bn, $3.9bn) but the United Arab Emirates is the fastest climber, moving up from eighth place in 2015 ($2.1bn) to an expected third place in 2016 ($3.1bn), and increasing its spending by a third.

The Middle East was the largest importing region, with $21.6bn in deliveries of defence equipment in 2015, Jane's reports. Saudi Arabia and the UAE imported $11.4bn (17.5% of the global total) worth of defence systems in 2015, up from $8.6bn in 2014.

"The combined value of Saudi Arabia and the UAE's defence imports is more than all of Western Europe's defence imports combined," Moores said. Saudi Arabia's imports grew from $6bn to $9.3bn, an increase that is three times that of the entire sub-Saharan Africa market. "The US, Canada, France and the UK are the main exporters of defence equipment to the Middle East and beneficiaries of this spending boom," Moores said.

All in all, Jane's estimates that the biggest opportunities for arms dealers in the decade will be found in Saudi Arabia, which it expects to spend $36bn on arms, followed by India ($25bn), UAE ($14bn), Indonesia ($13bn) and Vietnam ($10bn).

Perhaps even more worrying is the heavy spending by countries that could be drawn into a potential major future conflict in Asia. Total defence spending accelerated in the Asia-Pacific region bordering the South China Sea, up a huge 71% between 2009 and 2015, Jane's reports.

Tensions are already high between China and Japan thanks to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, as they are known in Japan, or the Diaoyu Islands as they are known in China. Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador after a Chinese navy ship sailed close to what Japan considers its territorial waters in the East China Sea for the first time on June 9, increasing tensions over the disputed area. And, unsurprisingly, Taiwan appears as a top 10 importer of arms in 2015 ($1.5bn) and is expected to increase its spending in 2016 to $2bn, making it the seventh heaviest spender on weapons in the world, according to Jane's.

Ten Largest Weapon Exporting Countries in the World

Posted by Amir

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is the organization that keeps record of total manufacturing of weapons worldwide and their total export and import figures. The data from worldwide is kept there from where the rankings in arms exporting countries are concluded annually. As per report, the volume of transfers of major weapons in 2011–15 was 14 per cent higher than in 2006–10. Moscow and Washington continue to lead the way in exporting the largest amount of weapons to the world. Russia and the U.S. remained the largest exporter of major weapons with highest share of global arms exports of 33 percent and 25 percent respectively.

USA is undoubtedly a dominant country in arms industry which surpassed all the others in its total exports worldwide. It is being reported that around 1.5 trillion US$ are spent every year on its manufacturing around the world with USA been on top in total manufacturing. The country outraced all other arms supplier by a significant margin and delivered major weapons to at least 96 states in the past five years while its largest recipients were Saudi Arabia, accounting for 9.7 percent of U.S. arms exports, and the UAE with 9.1 percent. Furthermore, this country has got significantly higher number of clients than any other supplier and its arms industry has large outstanding export orders, including for a total of 611 F-35 combat aircraft to 9 states. Its major weapons exports increased by 27 percent between 2006–10 and 2011–15.

With global export share of 25 percent, Russia remained the second largest arms exporting  country and got major client India received 39 percent while China and Vietnam each received 11 percent. It delivers weapons to 50 states and major weapons exports increased by 28 percent between 2006–10 and 2011–15.

Chinese exports of major arms were just above those of France in 2011–15, growing by 88 per cent compared to 2006–10. French exports decreased by 9.8 per cent and German exports halved over the same period.

From the recent rankings issued by SIPRI in feb 2016, the countries with top arms exports in the world are listed below along with their statistics. The ten largest exporters of major weapons with their main clients, 2011–15.

Saudi Arabia commissions new batch of F-15s

By Ryan Maass   |      Jan. 25, 2017 at 4:02 PM   
Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia commissioned a new batch of U.S.-made F-15SA fighters during a ceremony commending the anniversary of the King Faisal Air Academy.

The ceremony was attended by Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and high-ranking defense officials. Gulf News reports Saudi Arabia intends to use the aircraft to bolster its fleet as it continues its military intervention in Yemen.

"The Kingdom is keen to acquire this kind of modern aircraft, to protect their lands and the holy sites, its national interests, its economic capabilities and development, and the maintenance of security and stability to ensure peace in the region," Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

According to Al Arabiya, the F-15s delivered to the country are among the most advanced F-15 variants ever built.

The fighters are equipped with advanced warfighting technologies such as Active Electronically Scanned Array radars and ASM-135 missiles. The F-15SA has double the missile-carrying capacity of other variants such as the F-15C or the F-15E.

The kingdom purchased 84 of the planes from the United States in 2011 under a nearly $30 billion agreement that also included Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.

Original post: upi.com

F-15SA (Saudi Advanced): Details

New MiG-35 "Fulcrum Foxtrot" Demonstrated For Putin and Foreign Market

Jan 27 2017

By Tom Demerly

MiG-35 Demo is Both Product Debut and Contrast of Russian and Western Doctrine in the F-35 Era.

In a widely publicized event on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (MiG) parented by United Aircraft Corporation officially demonstrated the new MiG-35 to the Russian government. A subsequent demonstration for export customers was carried out today Jan. 27.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reported to have viewed the first demonstration via remote video due to poor weather in the region.

The new MiG-35 (NATO reporting name: “Fulcrum Foxtrot”) is a greatly upgraded aircraft based on the earlier MiG-29 airframe. Significant upgrades on the MiG-35 include a completely new fly-by-wire flight control system, vastly improved cockpit, substantially upgraded avionics and an overall design philosophy that provides an enhanced degree of operational autonomy on the MiG-35 compared to earlier Russian combat aircraft. The MiG-35 will also integrate precision-guided targeting capability for air-to-ground weapons, a rarity in previous Russian air-ground doctrine.

The MiG-35 unveiled on Jan. 27, 2017.

There is a significant engine upgrade on the new MiG-35. The aircraft uses two impressive Klimov RD-33OVT engines fitted with bi-directional thrust vectoring nozzles. This contrasts aircraft like the current Russian Su-35 and the U.S. F-22 Raptor that only use single-axis vertical thrust vectoring.

This marks a fascinating departure from previous Soviet-era combat aircraft capabilities while retaining the Russian penchant for lower unit cost in exchange for numerical superiority, a doctrine that has pervaded Russian military thinking for the entire century.
The Russians have always traded unit capability for numerical superiority, relying on the hope that quantity would beat quality in a major conflict. Interestingly, this doctrine has shifted moderately toward a centrist mix of quality and quantity apparently in search of the best solution for indigenous use as well as attracting export buyers.

The new MiG-35 is an example of this shift.

Russia has included significant sensor and capability upgrades on all recent combat aircraft, especially ones intended for the export market. Additionally, the reported domestic production for MiG-35 is only 37 aircraft, a very small acquisition by older Soviet and even modern Russian standards. A larger production capacity is earmarked for export sales, likely in the form of a 50-unit order from Egypt.

Reports indicate the Egyptian MiG-35s are to be fitted with a new advanced targeting pod, the PPK targeting pod from Precision Instrument Systems. The new PPK thermal imager/TV and laser rangefinder allows the MiG-35 to autonomously guide precision munitions similarly to how the current U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle prosecutes ground targets. Previous Russian doctrine relied heavily on ground vectors to attack targets.

Somewhat interestingly, the indigenous MiG-35 is fitted with a Russian NPK-SPP OLS-K electro-optical targeting system. The OLS-K targeting and surveillance system is mounted directly to the aircraft below the right (starboard) fuselage on the engine nacelle in front of the elevators. It is not a removable pod. The OLS-K sensor can track moving vehicles from 20 kilometers and surface contacts at sea for 40 kilometers. An integrated laser rangefinder computes target distance up to 20 kilometers for weapons employment. There is also laser designation for guided weapons built into the pod.

The OLS-K targeting and surveillance system is mounted on the engine nacelle in front of the elevators

The new MiG-35 provides Russia and export customers with a uniquely scaled precision strike capability that may be a better fit for countries with smaller defense budgets. The MiG-35 contrasts aircraft like the larger (and more expensive) Sukhois. If a client’s ground strike requirements involve shorter range in a tactical rather than strategic setting the MiG-35 may be the right size and cost aircraft.

Given recent problems throughout the Middle East and Africa with managing strike accuracy and reducing the exposure to collateral damage from air strikes this may be an important export asset for Russia and its defense industry clients.

Image credit: Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau

Original post: theaviationist.com

Related post:

MiG-35: Details

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Raytheon-Leonardo team withdraws from T-X competition

By Ryan Maass   |      Jan. 25, 2017 at 3:26 PM

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica will not jointly pursue a contract for the U.S. Air Force's T-X trainer aircraft program.

The T-X program is an Air Force effort to procure a new two-seat military jet trainer to replace its Northrop T-38 Talon, which has been in service with the branch for over four decades.

Prior to ending their joint involvement, Raytheon and Leonardo's partnership intended to submit a T-100 platform for the project.

"In February 2016, Raytheon and Leonardo announced their intent to team on the T-X pursuit. While we remain confident that the T-100 is a strong solution, our companies were unable to reach a business agreement that is in the best interest of the U.S. Air Force," Raytheon spokesperson B.J. Boling said in a press release. "Consequently, Raytheon and Leonardo will not jointly pursue the T-X competition."

Other competing partnerships included Boeing and Saab, Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries, and Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

U.S. defense officials initially planned to replace the T-38 in 2017, but budget cutbacks have pushed initial operating capability for the aircraft to around 2023. The Air Force plans to begin the program in 2017.

Original post: upi.com

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