Friday, 30 June 2017

Float-out of Project 20385 Gremyashchy corvette will take place on June 30

Russian Shipyard to Launch New Corvette on Friday

02:01 30.06.2017

The local Severnaya Verf shipyard said that a new stealth corvette for the Russian Navy will be launched in St. Petersburg on Friday.

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — A new stealth corvette for the Russian Navy will be launched in St. Petersburg on Friday, the local Severnaya Verf shipyard said in a statement.

"The float-out of the Project 20385 Gremyashchy corvette will take place on June 30," the shipyard said Thursday, adding Russian Defense Ministry officials were expected to attend.

The multipurpose corvette, which is a fast warship smaller than a destroyer, will be equipped with anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons and will be able to provide naval gunfire support for shore operations.

Gremyaschy class corvettes have a displacement of over 2,000 metric tons, a speed of up to 27 knots, an operating range of 4,000 nautical miles and a crew of 99.

Gremyashchy-class corvettes (Project 20385): Details

Saab: Bulgarian former defence minister’s claims about Gripen ceasing production and being in scant demand are misleading and factually wrong

Written by The Sofia Globe staff on June 28, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Saab: Bulgarian former defence minister’s claims about Gripen ceasing production and being in scant demand are misleading and factually wrong

Claims by Bulgarian former defence minister Boiko Noev in a June 28 television interview, including that there was scant demand for Gripens and that the fighter jet was going out of production, were misleading and factually incorrect, the Saab company said in a statement.

Noev, who was defence minister in 1994/95 and again in 1999/2001, said in a widely-reported interview with television station bTV that Gripens were ceasing to be produced, and there were only 250, indicating a lack of interest among other countries in acquiring them.

His comments came on the day that amid a complex political row, GERB, the majority partner in government, got sufficient support in Parliament for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to examine the jet fighter acquisition process so far.

The GERB move is directed in part against President Roumen Radev, former commander of the Air Force, with party parliamentary leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov alleging that Radev had meddled in the process that saw Gripen ranked as the best option for the Bulgarian Air Force.

Daniel Boestad, vice-president for Gripen in Central and Eastern Europe, said that the Saab Gripen C/D is the most modern fighter aircraft in operational service today.

“It is not true that the production of the Gripen C/D will cease. Saab has the production capacity to meet customer demands for both the Gripen C and E.”

Saab has in place a well-developed and well-funded Gripen production programme, the statement said.

“Saab is currently building new Gripen E aircraft for the air forces of Sweden and Brazil, and will build new Gripen C/D aircraft for the many countries that are actively considering the aircraft.

“Gripen C/D and E versions are currently being marketed to, and being considered by a number of European, Asian, Latin American and African countries. Indeed, there has never been so much interest in Gripen,” Saab said.

One reason why so many countries are interested in the Gripen is that many air forces are now in the process of replacing their fleets of 30-40 year-old aircraft, be they MiG 21s, MiG29s, or F-16s.

In Bulgaria, Gripen C/D was placed first by the independent expert committee that considered three proposals for aircraft, the statement said.

“Negotiations between Sweden and Bulgaria are expected to open in the near future. Saab will build new Gripen C/D aircraft for Bulgaria, and will deliver the first aircraft within 18 months of contract signature.”

Gripen is fully Nato-interoperable and is in operational service with Bulgaria’s Nato allies, the Czech Republic and Hungary, the statement said.

“Indeed, Czech and Hungarian Gripen C/Ds have fulfilled numerous Nato air policing roles to the Baltic States and Iceland. And earlier this month, Czech Air Force Gripen C/Ds participated with tremendous success in the prestigious Nato Tiger combat training exercise in France.”

The delivery of Gripen C/Ds to both the Czech Republic and Hungary were under government-to-government long-term lease and lease-to-buy contracts, Boestad said.


Related post

Gripen C/D: Details

Thursday, 29 June 2017

United States government has approved sale of Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand

From the net

US approves sale of Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand - army chief

Thu Jun 29, 2017 | 6:33am EDT

The United States plans to sell four Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand after initially suspending their sale following a 2014 military coup, Thailand's army chief said on Thursday.

"The United States government has approved our purchase order for the four helicopters," army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart told reporters, adding that the army already had 12 Black Hawk helicopters.

"The matter will now be forwarded to Congress for approval," he said.

The U.S. embassy in Bangkok declined to comment when asked about the four Black Hawk helicopters but said the United States and Thailand had a "long-standing security relationship".

Thailand's military, which has a long history of intervention in politics, ousted a democratically elected government in May 2014 saying it had to step in to end a period of political turmoil.

Several Western countries including the United States criticised the takeover.

In response, the United States downgraded military and diplomatic ties with Thailand, its oldest ally in Asia, suspending arms sales and scaling back military exercises and training.

Thailand, in turn, increasingly looked to other countries, in particular China, for its defence purchases. In April it approved a plan to purchase Chinese submarines worth $393 million.

That same month, Thailand's cabinet approved the purchase of 10 Chinese tanks worth $58 million to replace an old U.S. model.

But relations between the United States and Thailand appear to have improved under U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump last month spoke with the junta chief, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, by telephone and invited him to visit the White House.

Following the call, Prayuth said ties with the United States were "closer than ever".

A U.S. embassy spokeswoman, Melissa Sweeney, told Reuters by email that over the past decade the United States had sold Thailand military equipment worth more than $960 million, including Black Hawk helicopters, air-to-air missile systems and multiple naval missile and torpedo systems.

Since the coup, the approximate value of U.S. foreign military sales to Thailand was $380 million, she said.

"Equipping has always been and remains integral to that relationship," she said.

Army chief Chalermchai did not say how much the Black Hawk helicopters would cost but that the military's 2017 to 2019 budget would cover the cost.

The junta has tentatively set a general election for 2018. (Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Robert Birsel)


Lasa Engineering T-Bird


Bulgaria's Light Armed Surveillance Engineering (LASA) is promoting a weaponised version of the Thrush 510G agricultural, aimed at customers who are fighting insurgencies and face other security issues.

LASA has received one international order for the T-Bird, the prototype of which is on display in the static park.

Project manager Orlin Trifonov declined to name the aircraft's first customer, but says its target market is the developing world.

To develop T-Bird, LASA makes a number of changes to a green Thrush 510G. It adds ballistics protection with armour around the cockpit and engine, as well as an aluminium mesh liner in the fuel tanks. This last modification reduces the risk of an explosion in the event the aircraft suffers gunfire damage. Source:

Low-cost COIN - armed cropduster with Russian weapons on display at Paris Air Show News - Day 'Zero'

IOMAX S2R-660 Archangel light attack and reconnaissance aircraft (AT-802)-OA-8 Longsword: Details

IOMAX S2R-660 Archangel light attack and reconnaissance aircraft (AT-802)-OA-8 LongswordImage:

Thrush Aviation is the current company producing the 510G, which is a low-wing, single-engine turbo-prop intended for crop-dusting and other agricultural work. In that configuration, a pilot would generally fly between 90 to 150 miles per hour, per the firm’s website. It can fly as slow as 55 miles per hour and only needs 1,500 feet to take off when loaded to a gross weight of 10,500 pounds. With its four-blade, variable-pitch propeller in full reverse, it can land in just 350 feet.

The aircraft has six underwing pylons for weapons, plus a day and infrared night-vision camera turret mounted under the fuselage. Austrian company Airborne Technologies is responsible for this sensor suite. There is likely armor added to the certain parts of the fuselage and wings and bullet-proof windows around the main cabin.

Notably, at the 2017 Paris Air Show, LASA decided to display their offering with a variety of Soviet-era weapons strapped to the aircraft. The plane had two 16-round UB-16-57 and two 32-round UB-32 rocket pods, both able to fire the 57mm S-5 rocket, plus two UPK-23 gun pods, each with a twin-barrel 23mm cannon inside.

These armament options might be more appealing to certain countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and elsewhere that have large stockpiles of Soviet-style weapons and ammunition already on hand and are less concerned with collateral damage. And with other companies in Bulgaria still making many of these products, it would also be easier for LASA to offer a package deal with this armament. Source:

T-Bird Description


The T-Bird is a perfect combination of endurance, ISR sensors, data links and kinematic weapons.

It is able to loiter in an area of interest and has the time and sensors to identify and develop a target picture as well as has the ability to then apply kinematic effects to “finish” identified hostile targets.

ISR equipment and Airborne LINX package are provided by Airborne Technologies GmbH.

Airborne LINX

Real time communication between people, government and the Armed Forces is a significant part of modern battlespace and opens up new ways of staying connected with the operation. Modern communications technologies will increasingly make every location on the globe seem equidistant from every other location. Our open architecture enables us to provide you customized C2 ISR solutions in accordance with your infrastructure and requirements.

Due to our sophisticated experience we see ourselves as centre of excellence for modern Airborne Surveillance System Architecture in Special Mission Aircraft.

The field-proven knowledge of our employees, the availability of different aircraft, sensors, and the expertise in managing special projects allows us to fully customize our solutions and to enable immediate, worldwide operation. According to military standards we guarantee worldwide after sales support.

What makes us unique is that we have experts from all backgrounds under one roof covering the whole process from aircraft modification and certification right up to providing fielding aircraft operation with our own fleet of aircraft, crew, sensors and data processing capabilities.

As experienced professionals we know your mission and we make it our business to meet your needs.

Standardized Ethernet network interface -

The system architecture based on a standardized Ethernet network interface opens a new world of possibilities:

  • 3G/4G mobile networks enabling position data transmission and internet/tactical network access
  • Line of Sight and Beyond Line of Sight data downlink and uplink enabling remote control of mission equipment (no operator in the aircraft)
  • Ethernet link to other components (e.g. video recorder and mission laptops)
  • Tablets, Smart Phones or other staff devices to be connected with the mission systems via WIFI
  • Remote maintenance of all ISR components which are connected to the Ethernet network (e.g.: EO/IR Sensor, Downlink, MMU, Recorder, Moving Map Computer)
  • Remote staff training by using common remote desktop training software tools
Mission Management Unit (MMU) -

One key aspect of Airborne Technologies' System Architecture is the Mission Management Unit (MMU):

The Full-HD MMU supplies each video source (Video source from Camera, Augmented Reality System, Video Recorder in "Replay Mode") onto each screen or recorder or downlink. The MMU is able to manage up to 16 HD video inputs and 16 HD video outputs.

The MMU can be easily controlled by an integrated touch screen.


Lasa Engineering T-Bird - Image:

The T-Bird aircraft has been conceived as a rugged, long endurance ISR platform that allows operations from unimproved runways. Thanks to the fully armored cockpit, aggressive deployment and operation in hostile environments is possible.

Furthermore, the NVG compatible cockpit enables full day/night operations, which provides the ability to operate unobserved and untargeted by optically guided surface to air weapons at night.

TR-Pod Description

S.C.A.R. - Pod with FLIR Ultraforce 350 HD -

The TR-Pod, besides ISR capabilities, includes all the equipment required for rapid execution of the complete targeting cycle.

The pod constitutes an easy ISR and Targeting upgradefor your aircraft. It needs no airframe modifications and can be mounted on any aircraft equipped with NATO or Warshaw Pact hard points.

EO/IR gimbal
Integrated Sighting System
Precision Weapon Capabilities
HD up-/downlink
Moving Map and Mission Computer
Augmented Reality System


This Pod is completely self-sufficient and allows wireless operation. Data connection from pod to operator station is done via WIFI and needs no external cabling. The use of an internal - easy changeable - battery pack grants power supply for up to 10 hours.

The TR-Pod does not need any airframe modifications on the aircraft. The lug suspensions enable immediate use on every aircraft with hard points. The light weight carbon fibre pod carries a complete surveillance mission architecture which upgrades any aircraft to an ISR platform in less than 1 hour.

It offers room for an EO/IR Gimbal, Downlink, Uplink, Moving Map, Augmented Reality System and COMINT/SIGINT equipment. With this new TR-Pod every aircraft and helicopter equipped with hard points can be a surveillance aircraft instantly. Although the TR-Pod is an "out of the box solution" it turns out to be very flexible in fulfilling special customer needs. On the basis of "Plug & Fly" the customer is able to add ISR capability to his fleet.

Lasa Engineering T-Bird - Image:


2 x UPK-23 gun pods

The UPK-23 is a gun pod of a fairly simple design. The round aerodynamic pod houses a single fixed twin barrel GSh-23L autocannon at the front and associated ammunition at the rear. For operation the pod requires external power which is provided by the aircraft. Since the cannon is fixed it is aimed by pointing the aircraft in the direction of the target. Compared to the SPPU-22 pod with similar but flexible armament the UPK-23 is much lighter.

The UPK-23 features a single twin barrel GSh-23L autocannon and 250 rounds of 23x115mm ammunition. The cyclic rate of fire is 3.000 rpm and the maximum effective range is 2 km. The 23mm rounds are effective against infantry, soft skin vehicles and light armored vehicles.

UPK-23: The UPK-23 is a gun pod with the twin barrel GSh-23L with 250 rounds of ammunition as armament. The gun is fixed and the flight path must be adjusted to aim the UPK-23. There are no derivatives or variants.

Lasa Engineering T-Bird - Image:


Gun pod
Aircraft, helicopters
3.2 m
0.395 m
218 kg loaded
23mm GSh-23L autocannon with 250 rounds
250 mm lug spacing

2 x 16-round UB-16-57mm Rocket Pods

  • UB-16-57UMP
    • rockets: 16
    • length × diameter: 1,880 × 335 mm
    • weight, empty: 57 kg
    • weight, loaded: 138 kg
2 x 32-round UB-32-57mm Rocket Pods

  • UB-32
    • rockets: 32
    • length × diameter: 2,080 × 481 mm
    • weight, empty: 103 kg
    • weight, loaded: 264 kg
Lasa Engineering T-Bird - Image:

S-5 rocket


The S-5 (first designated ARS-57) is a rocket weapon developed by the Soviet Air Force and used by military aircraft against ground area targets. It is in service with the Russian Air Force and various export customers.


It is produced in a variety of subtypes with different warheads, including HEAT anti-armour (S-5K), high-explosive fragmentation (S-5M/MO), smoke, and incendiary rounds. Each rocket is about 1.4 meters (4 ft 6 in) long and weighs about 5 kg (11 lb), depending on warhead and fuze. Range is 3 to 4 kilometres (1.9 to 2.6 miles). Source

Royal Thai Army to buy four Black Hawk helicopters

Army to buy four Black Hawk helicopters from the US

June 29, 2017 15:40

By The Nation

The Army would procure four Black Hawk helicopters from the United States this year, to be added to its 16 corps squadron, which has 12 so far, General Chalermchai Sittisart said on Thursday.

It would also mark the first military transaction between Thailand and the US since the junta took power after toppling the elected government in 2014. The US has already acknowledged the sale, Chalermchai said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said earlier that the helicopter purchase might be on the agenda for the talks between PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and US President Donald Trump during Prayut’s visit to the White House.

With sixteen of them altogether, Chalermchai said they would form a complete squadron to help carry a company of soldiers to area of operations.

The Cabinet approved the helicopter procurement around last October-November, the Army chief said.

Thailand expects to buy six helicopters in total, which should be approved under the annual budgets for 2017 to 2019, he said.

The procurement follows the Foreign Military Sales programme between Thailand and the US, he added.

The US Department of Defence programme aims to facilitate sales of US arms, equipment, service and training to foreign governments.

UH-60M Black Hawk: Details

Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile and artillery system undergoes sea trials

Russia’s latest seaborne air defense missile system undergoes sea trials

Military & Defense June 28, 17:54 UTC+3

Pantsyr seaborne air defense system can destroy targets at 20km distance

ST. PETERSBURG, June 28. /TASS/. Russia’s latest Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile and artillery system has already been mounted on the Project 1241 (Molniya) missile boat and is undergoing trials in the Black Sea, Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau Head Alexander Shlyakhtenko told TASS on Wednesday.

"Now the seaborne Pantsyr will undergo the entire set of tests. We have actually already installed it on the experimental model, on the Molniya," he said at the 8th International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg, adding that the trials were being held in the Black Sea.

Shlyakhtenko earlier said that the seaborne Pantsyr would be mounted on Project 22800 Karakurt-class small missile ships. "The plans have not changed. It [the Pantsyr] will be installed on them," the design bureau chief said.

High Precision Weapons Group CEO Alexander Denisov earlier said that the trials of the Pantsyr-ME complex were planned to be completed in one or two years and the Russian Navy had already ordered this system.

Project 1241 missile boats are a series of large missile boats built at Soviet shipyards in 1979-1996. They are operational in the Russian Navy and the navies of other countries.

Pantsyr seaborne air defense system to destroy targets at 20km distance.

Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec has unveiled the most advanced Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile and artillery system at the St. Petersburg International Maritime Defense Show, the corporation’s press office reported.

The latest seaborne missile complex has been developed by the Tula design bureau of instrument-making, the press office said.

"The creation of actually each of the complex’s basic systems has prompted a principally new scientific and technical solution. As a result, the striking potential of the Pantsyr-ME complex increased three-four-fold compared to the Kashtan-M complex. Specifically, the range of the air defense missile’s strike has been increased from 10 to 20 kilometers and its altitude from 3 to 15 kilometers," Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov was quoted by the corporation’s press office as saying.

All the stages of combat performance, from the search for targets to firing, are implemented in motion, he said.

"The combined use of the radar and optical control system provides for the complex’s round-the-clock operation in any weather conditions. All of the complex’s processes are automated and the crew provides only surveillance and control," he said.

The use of the multi-functional radar with a phased antenna array and an antiaircraft missile with a 20km firing range in the Pantsyr-ME’s combat module allows engaging four targets at a time and destroying new types of modernized anti-ship missiles and small-size air attack weapons and surface targets. The complex can be mounted on warships displacing from 300 tonnes, the press office said.

The Pantsyr-ME air defense missile and artillery system mounted on warships allows providing secure protection against modern air attack weapons, including low-flying and small-sized remotely controlled aircraft, the press office said.

"The development of the new Pantsyr-ME complex ensures reliable protection of warships against air attack means with the unconditional probability practically equal to 1, including against low-flying anti-ship missiles and remotely-controlled aircraft," the corporation said.

"The main specific feature of the complexes developed by the instrument-making design bureau is that they can attack targets with missile armament first and then with an anti-ship missile in the antiaircraft missile’s dead zone, if the target has not been destroyed for some reasons or has been insufficiently destroyed," the corporation’s press office reported.

Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov earlier said that the development of the Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile/gun system had been completed and the complex had been launched into serial production.

The Pantsyr-ME is the shipborne version of the Pantsyr family of air defense missile/gun systems. The system’s version for the ground forces is called Pantsyr-S.


Russia’s latest Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile and artillery system has already been mounted on the Project 1241 (Molniya) missile boat and is undergoing trials in the Black Sea

Project 1241 (Molniya) missile boat (Project 1242.1/1241.8 'Molniya')

Project 1242.1

MOLNIYA Missile Boat is intended to engage hostile surface combatants, transports and landing ships in the littoral zones and open sea areas.


Displacement fully-loaded, t
Length overall, m
Beam overall, m
Midship depth, m
Draught fully-loaded, m
Top speed, kts
Cruising speed, kts
Cruising range, miles
Endurance, days
Crew, persons

Propulsion plant

2 x M15E OM5 gas turbine units, total power output of 17420 kW (23700 h.p.) at t=34ºC,
2 x MTU 20V1163NB93 diesel engines, total power output of 14800 kW (19850 h.p.).

Attack missiles (Project 12421) 

MOSKIT missile system is provided to engage surface targets.
The system comprises a fire control equipment suite and two twin (over-and-under) missile launchers accommodating a total of four low-altitude MOSKIT (3M80Е) supersonic cruise missiles with active guidance system.

  • Missile flight range – 120 km.
  • Flight altitude – 20 m.
  • Flight speed – 2-2,4 M.
Attack missiles (Project 12418)

URAN-E missile system is provided to engage surface targets (project 12418).
The system comprises four missile launchers accommodating a total of sixteen URAN (3M24Е) cruise missiles.

  • Missile flight range — 130 km.
  • Flight speed — 0,9 M.
Anti-aircraft missiles 

12 х IGLA-class guided anti-aircraft missile systems are provided to engage airborne targets.
  •   Missile flight range — up to 5200 m
  •  Target altitude — 10-3500 m


1x 76.2-mm AK-176M automatic gun mount is provided to engage airborne, surface and coastal targets.
  • Fire rate — up to 130 rds per minute.
  • Maximum firing range — up to 15.7 km.

2 x AK-630M 30-mm automatic gun mounts intended to engage airborne and small surface targets.
  • Fire rate — up to 5000 rds per minute.
  • Maximum firing range — up to 8 km.

Related post:

Pantsir-S1/S2 mobile air defense system: Details

Pantsir-SA Arctic air defense missile system: Details

Karakurt-class corvette (Project 22800): Details