Thursday, 30 November 2017

Indian Aerospace Behemoth Reveals Why Indo-Russia FGFA is Most Feasible

Image: by timmolntz

22:30 27.11.2017(updated 22:13 27.11.2017)

Any new fighter jet procurement deal by Indian Air Force would require the foreign vendor to set up a production line in India – a time taking process. In this backdrop, HAL’s claim that it can immediately start co-producing the FGFA with Russia from existing facility holds immense significance.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's state-owned defense aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has said that it would not take long for the Indo-Russia joint venture to roll out the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) should the Indian government decide to go ahead with the project anytime soon. HAL has said that the existing state-of-the-art production facility in the Indian town of Nasik that is currently being used to assemble and manufacture Indian Air Force's frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI can be used to start manufacturing the FGFA so that the aircraft are delivered in a timely manner to the intended buyers.

"Definitely, it (Nasik plant) can be used for the FGFA. It will need a little bit of augmentation. We will not need major investment," T Suvarna Raju, the chairman and managing director of HAL, told PTI.

Raju hopes India's Ministry of Defense would soon sanction the project while claiming that the first aircraft would be ready in three years from the date of approval as there would be much in common including structural similarities between the FGFA and the Sukhoi 30MKI jet.

The Indo-Russia FGFA project was initiated in 2007 when both countries signed an intergovernmental pact. The two sides completed the preliminary design in 2013. India has spent $240 million to date towards the project, which in India is called the "Perspective Multirole Fighter."

However, delays were caused with New Delhi and Moscow disagreeing over many fundamental aspects of the joint development project, including work and cost share, aircraft technology, as well as the number of aircraft to be ordered.

"I will not comment on the justification on expenditure on the project. But, as a country, if we are looking for fifth-generation technology and if somebody has offered it to us, then definitely I would like to go for it regardless of the expenditure," Raju said.

Indian Air Chief BS Dhanoa had said in October this year that the Varthaman committee — A high-powered panel appointed by India's defense ministry to examine different aspects of the multi-billion dollar FGFA project has already submitted its recommendations and that the final go-ahead should come from the government.

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Russia starts development of Borei-B nuclear-powered submarines

© Marina Lystseva/TASS

November 07, 15:33UTC+3

The Russian Navy currently has three Borei-class nuclear-powered submarines at its disposal

MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russia has started building Borei-B class strategic nuclear-powered submarines, chief of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.

"Work to create the advanced Borei-B nuclear-powered missile underwater cruiser has started," he said at a Defense Ministry Board meeting.

He reiterated that the country’s strategic nuclear forces already started receiving Borei-class boomers.

"It made it possible to increase the share of modern strategic submarines to 82%," the general specified.

In five years, 102 ballistic missiles were bought for these subs, Gerasimov specified.

"Battle capabilities of the group of strategic nuclear-powered submarines increased by 25%, and the stealth and sustainability of the nuclear strategic forces also increased," the chief of the General Staff noted.

Gerasimov also reiterated that five Borei-A class nuclear subs are being built now. The last ship in this series - the Knyaz Pozharsky (Prince Pozharsky) - was laid down in December last year.

Borei class subs

The Russian Navy currently has three Borei-class (Project 955) nuclear-powered submarines: the Yury Dolgoruky, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh.

Such submarines are capable of carrying up to 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Earlier, Director General of the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering Igor Vilnit told TASS that the project will continue developing after a series of advanced Borei-A submarines.

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Borei-class: Details

Last Fort Worth-built F-16 leaves Lockheed factory

Bobby Tamplin was 26 years old in 1977, when he went to work as a parts fabricator on the F-16 fighter jet. At the time, he was told his job would last “maybe five years.” Forty years later, the 66-year-old recently stood on a windy, cold flight line at Lockheed Martin — just a few weeks before his retirement — to bid goodbye to the last F-16 to be built in Fort Worth. Max Faulkner


Lockheed Martin’s last F-16 produced at its Fort Worth, Texas facility rolled out the door on 14 November, marking the end of a 40-year era for the single-engined fighter.

The last Texas-made F-16 will fly with the Iraqi air force, but over the last four decades the fourth-generation fighter has flown with 28 customers around the globe, from the US Air Force and NASA, to Israel, Venezuela and Poland.

“The Fighting Falcon Nest,” as it affectionately referred to by Lockheed employees, is dwarfed by a F-35 production line that already stretches the length of several football fields.

The fifth-generation fighter line will eventually cannibalise the smaller F-16 facility, as Lockheed makes room for the F-35 production ramp up.

Lockheed will transition F-16 production to an existing facility in Greenville, South Carolina, where it’s also planning to assemble T-50 trainer jets pending the outcome of the US Air Force's T-X trainer recapitalisation contract.

The Lockheed/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A is a close cousin to the F-16, sharing the same basic shape, flight controls and wing.

Initial activities supporting the move to South Carolina are already underway, a Lockheed spokesman says.

With several potential international sales brewing, including a $2.78 billion deal for 19 F-16Vs for Bahrain, Lockheed expects to extend F-16 production beyond 2022.

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Note: As I have noted many times before the F-16V cost US$146 million per unit!  This would include training and weapons package....

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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Norway rolls newly delivered AW101 helicopter

Первый поисково-спасательный вертолет AW-101 переданный неделю назад компанией AgustaWestland, Норвегии, потерпел аварию. … (c) LESERBILDE / #ВоенныйОсведомитель #aviation #AW101 #helicopters #crash . Source: АлексейКошин


Norway's effort to replace its aged search and rescue helicopter fleet has suffered a significant setback after its newly delivered Leonardo Helicopters AW101 – the first of an eventual 16 aircraft – overturned during a ground run on 24 October.

No injuries were reported to the two crew on board, but images posted on social media show the 15.6t helicopter resting on its right-hand side, minus its main rotor blades.

The AW101 (MSN 50268) had only been handed over to the Royal Norwegian Air Force on 17 November.

No detail on the extent of the damage is available, but the Norwegian defence ministry has described it as a "serious incident" in local media.

Leonardo was not immediately available to comment.

The AW101 was scheduled to enter service in Norway in 2018.

Original post:

Первый поисково-спасательный вертолет AW-101 переданный неделю назад компанией AgustaWestland, Норвегии, потерпел аварию. … (c) LESERBILDE / #ВоенныйОсведомитель #aviation #AW101 #helicopters #crash . Source: АлексейКошин
Первый поисково-спасательный вертолет AW-101 переданный неделю назад компанией AgustaWestland, Норвегии, потерпел аварию. … (c) LESERBILDE / #ВоенныйОсведомитель #aviation #AW101 #helicopters #crash . Source: АлексейКошин
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HH-101A Caesar: HERE

Turkey plans to deploy S-400 air-defense system in 2019

Image: From the net

‘It’s a done deal’: Turkey plans to deploy Russian air-defense system in 2019

ANKARA, Turkey — A top government official in Ankara has said the deployment of a long-range air and anti-missile defense system that Turkey plans to acquire from Russia will be deployed in the country in 2019.

Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said the Turkish contract with Russia for a single S-400 involves an option for the purchase of a second.

“This contract has been signed and a down payment has been made. It’s a done deal,” Canikli said.

Turkish procurement officials said that if the two countries agreed to opt for the option clause — for a second system — then Turkey will demand technological know-how. “This is a matter to be discussed at later stages,” one official said, refusing to comment on the level of technology transfer Turkey requests.

But he did say Turkey wants to have a customized identification, friend or foe, or IFF, system on the S-400s.

“We want to make it [the S-400] a standalone system we can operate with our own source codes, including the IFF,” the official said.

Turkey will have to operate the S-400 on a standalone basis because the system cannot be made interoperable with NATO and U.S. assets deployed in Turkish territory.

Turkey wants to procure a long-range air and missile defense shield. (Devan Feeney/Staff)

In 2013, Turkey selected China Precision Import-Export Corporation for its first long-range air and anti-missile program. In 2015, under pressure from its NATO allies, Ankara scrapped that program. Early this year Turkish officials said they were close to a deal with Russia for the procurement of the S-400 system.

In October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country is also interested in acquiring a future Russian air and anti-missile system, the S-500, which is under development.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s talks with the European Eurosam group have been progressing since 2016 for the co-production of the SAMP/T air-defense system and have matured recently. The two Turkish prime contractors for the co-production program will be state-controlled military electronics concern Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, and missile-maker Roketsan.

Chinese media reveal H-6K bomber airbases far inland

A People's Liberation Army Air Force H-6K strategic bomber is seen above the Taiwan Strait. Photo: Xinhua

Strategic bombers can fly long routes from secluded airbases in central China all the way to Taiwan and beyond the First Island Chain

By FRANK CHEN NOVEMBER 28, 2017 2:45 PM (UTC+8)

One of the reasons the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s flights through Taiwanese airspace have caused a backlash in the region is the fact that the Chinese warplanes involved, including H-6K bombers, took off from airbases far inland, well beyond the reach of Taiwanese radars.

The long routes plied by these planes, intruding into not just Taiwan’s air defense zone but also the Japanese air border along the Miyako Strait of the First Island Chain, are also evidence of the extended reach of the PLAAF at a time when the Chinese military is on an aggressive buildup campaign.

On Monday, state broadcaster China Central Television aired a feature program headlined “From Shaanxi to Western Pacific,” which hinted that two major PLAAF bases in Xian and Xianyang in the central province of Shaanxi would be where powerful bombers got airborne should there be any emergency in the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea, or the Western Pacific.

Xi Jinping is seen inside the cockpit of an H-6K bomber during a site inspection of an airbase in Xian in 2015. Photo: CCTV

Communist Party of China General Secretary Xi Jinping, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, the PLA’s command and control authority, inspected an airbase in Xian in early 2015 and even climbed into the cockpit of an H-6K and simulated a flyover while being briefed on the features of the modernized model of the strategic bomber.

Satellite images of the two neighboring airbases, in Xian’s Lintong district and Xianyang’s Wugong county, show legions of warplanes believed to be H-6Ks.

A satellite image of an airbase in Xianyang’s Wugong county.

Analysts believe that Shaanxi province, in the geographic center of China, is now a vital stronghold amid the PLAAF’s westward deployment to marshal warplanes and pilots away from the coastal areas susceptible to the prying of the radars of foreign militaries.

The distance from Xian to Taipei is around 1,600 kilometers, while an H-6K is said to have a combat radius of 3,500km thanks to a reinforced structure making use of composite materials and enlarged engine inlets for its turbofan engines. In 2015, about 15 H-6Ks were in service.

The distance from Xian to Taipei is around 1,600 kilometers, while an H-6K is said to have a combat radius of 3,500km.

China’s fifth-generation J-20 jet fighters are also reportedly based in central and western provinces within the PLA’s Western Theater Command.

Original post:

H-6K bomber: Details

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Spartan vs. C295: Winner of Turkish airlifter contest may secure $500M deal

The C295 airlifter, left, is an advanced version of the C235. The C-27J Spartan, right, has been deployed by U.S. Coast Guard. (Airbus Defence and Space; Courtesy of Leonardo)

ANKARA, Turkey — Italian Leonardo’s C-27J Spartan airlifter will soon face off against the Airbus’ C295 in a sizable Turkish contract, with Russian company Antonov potentially joining the race.

“We wish to see as large a competition as possible. We are certain about the European contenders joining the bidding, but the Russian side remains unclear,” a Turkish procurement official said of the program for the purchase of an initial batch of nine transport aircraft for the Turkish military.

Another Turkish official confirmed there would be follow-on orders.

Industry sources estimate the initial contract to be worth nearly $500 million. “With the follow-on orders, the program may double in size,” one source said.

The deadline for questions, answers and clarifications between the bidders and Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, or SSM, is Nov. 29. The contenders will submit their bids to the Turkish government by Dec. 29.

(Devan Feeney/Staff)

Leonardo officials who briefed a group of Turkish journalists at the 46th Air Brigade in Pisa, Italy, say the program is very important for their company.  Read rest of article: HERE

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US, Greek F-16 bids out as Croatia looks to Israel, Sweden for fighter jet deal

A Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet performs during the second weekend of the AIR14 air show on Sept. 6, 2014, in Payerne, western Switzerland. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

WARSAW, Poland — Croatia’s Ministry of Defence has shortlisted two offers in its tender to purchase 18 fighter jets for the country’s Air Force. These include Israel’s offer to supply the F-16D Barak aircraft and Sweden’s bid to deliver JAS 39 Gripen fighters, a senior government source told local broadcaster RTL Televizija.

The Croatian ministry said last month it received four offers, including bids submitted by the U.S., Israel, Sweden and Greece. The latest development means that the American and Greek offers to supply new or secondhand Lockheed Martin F-16s were discarded.

The Croatian government has been mulling plans to purchase new or secondhand Lockheed Martin F-16s, offered by the U.S., Israel and Greece, or buy Saab JAS 39 Gripens from Sweden. The ministry is expected to make a final decision this year.

The unnamed government official said that new F-16s, with a price tag of about $120 million per aircraft, were evaluated as too expensive by the Croatian government. The planned acquisition is estimated to be worth between €500 million (U.S. $596 million) and €1 billion.

Croatia plans to replace its outdated, Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 fighter jets with new aircraft. The first jets are to be delivered to the country’s Air Force by late 2020.

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U.S. Navy soliciting bids for small warships that pack a bigger punch

The Spanish Navy frigate Alvaro de Bazan (right) cruises alongside the destroyer USS Carney off Rota, Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea, on Oct. 5, 2016. Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, said in November 2017 it is partnering with the Spanish builder of the Alvaro de Bazan on a new design for up to 20 frigates for the U.S. Navy. | AP

NOV 27, 2017

BATH, MAINE – The U.S. Navy’s fast and maneuverable littoral combat ship was criticized for lacking enough firepower and armor to survive a maritime battle. It is addressing those concerns with a new class of small but powerful frigates that will pack a bigger punch.

The U.S. Navy asked this month for concept proposals for multimission warships that would be bigger and more heavily armed — and slower — than the littoral combat ships. They would be capable of shooting down airplanes, attacking other ships and countering submarines.

“The Navy has decided that speed is less important than having a warship with sufficient weapons to defend itself,” said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute.

The Navy, which wants to build 20 frigates, is seeking an affordable design, and its directive calls for shipbuilders to use an existing design to expedite the process. The aggressive timetable calls for conceptual proposals next month. The first two ships are to be procured in 2020 and 2021.

Large Navy shipbuilders like Maine’s Bath Iron Works and Mississippi’s Ingalls Shipbuilding are among a half-dozen defense contractors expected to bid on the work. Smaller shipyards like Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin and Austal USA in Alabama are also expected to compete.

The proposal marks a new direction for the Navy at a time when the Trump administration has vowed to increase the size of the fleet. The Navy has a goal of 355 ships.

It addresses lessons learned from the littoral combat ships, which were supposed to be an affordable way of countering post-Cold War threats including pirates and swarm boats.

The Navy envisioned speedy ships that could be transformed with mission modules to serve different roles. But the mission modules have been delayed and the ships’ cost grew. Then the Government Accountability Office questioned the ships’ survivability in battle.

There are two versions of the LCS, both capable of topping 50 mph (80 kph) and utilizing steerable water jets to operate in shallow water.

When all is said and done, the Navy is expected to take delivery of more than two dozen LCSs. A combination of LCSs and frigates would comprise more than half of the Navy’s deployed surface combatants by 2030, said Lt. Seth Clarke, a Navy spokesman.

The Congressional Research Service said the Navy wants to spend no more than $950 million per frigate, while Clarke put the target at $800 million per ship after the first ship.

Working in the ship’s favor in terms of affordability: The proposal calls for no new technologies. That’s a far cry from littoral combat ships and larger, stealthy Zumwalt-class destroyers that incorporated new designs and technologies that contributed to significant cost overruns.

At Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics subsidiary, officials examined U.S. and foreign designs to meet Navy requirements and partnered with a Spanish company, Navantia, to utilize an existing design from a Spanish navy frigate, said Dirk Lesko, the shipyard’s president.

Bath Iron Works helped to design the Navy’s Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, the last of which were retired from duty in 2015.

The shipyard’s 5,700 workers who currently build Arleigh Burke-class and Zumwalt-class destroyers are eager for the opportunity to build the frigates.

“We know how to build them. We’re ready to build more,” said Mike Keenan, president of the Machinists Union Local S6, the shipyard’s largest union.

Original post:

The Navy, which wants to build 20 frigates, is seeking an affordable design, and its directive calls for shipbuilders to use an existing design to expedite the process. The aggressive timetable calls for conceptual proposals next month. The first two ships are to be procured in 2020 and 2021.

At Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics subsidiary, officials examined U.S. and foreign designs to meet Navy requirements and partnered with a Spanish company, Navantia, to utilize an existing design from a Spanish navy frigate, said Dirk Lesko, the shipyard’s president.

Spanish Navy frigate Alvaro de Bazan 

Alvaro de Bazan 
Source: Armada Española

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Monday, 27 November 2017

Russian Navy expects to receive three new corvette Project 20386 in 2025

Russian internet images

The Navy expects to receive three new corvette project 20386 to 2025

24 November, 14:03 updating date: 24 November, 14:19UTC + 3

According to Viktor Bursuk, the first two ships of Project 22800 Karakurt (Hurricane and Typhoon) will be transferred to the fleet in 2018

ST PETERSBURG, November 24. / TASS /. The Navy expects to receive the three newest corvette project 20386 until 2025. This was stated by Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy for Armament, Vice Admiral Viktor Bursuk.

The new project 20386 is very different from the base project 20380, its seaworthiness and habitation are significantly improved. The main ship of the series ("Daring") was laid at the end of 2016 at the "Northern Shipyard". Its transfer to the fleet is scheduled for 2021.

Earlier, Bursuk reported that the Russian Navy plans to receive more than 10 corvettes of the project 20386.

According to him. the first two ships of project 22800 "Karakurt" ("Hurricane" and "Typhoon") will be transferred to the Russian Navy in 2018. "The main ship (Hurricane) will be surrendered in 2018. Since we are the most picky about the main ships, they have to undergo a large test cycle, but we are sure that in 2018 (the shipyard - TASS comment)" Pella "this the ship will give the fleet, and the Typhoon, too, "he said.

Bursuk specified that 18 ships of this type will be built in total, six of which will begin to be built in the Far East in 2018.

He also said that the construction of a second rescue vessel of the "Igor Belousov" type is included in the draft of the new state armament program (GWP) for 2018-2027, the fleet expects to receive it after 2023.

Project 20386 is designed to conduct combat operations in the near and far sea zones, protect communications and economic activities in the sea, artillery support troops. In particular, the ship of project 20386 must strike combat surface ships and vessels with cruise missiles of the ship missile complex, search for and destroy enemy submarines with torpedoes of a small anti-submarine complex, ensure the combat stability of ships and ships from air strikes against enemy air defense missile systems. The corvette will be equipped with an A-190-01 artillery installation of 100 mm caliber developed by the Central Research Institute "Burevestnik". The principle of modularity is based on the project developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau. This suggests that the corvette will be able to carry temporarily installed weapons, which will expand the range of tasks to be performed by the ship. The ship will have a displacement of 3,400 tons, and a length of 109 meters. The ship will be equipped with a combined gas turbine unit with partial electromotor, it will receive two gas turbine engines M90FR (27,500 horsepower each) and two electric motors (2,200 horsepower). The range of the voyage of the corvette will be 5000 nautical miles, the crew will consist of 80 people.

Original post:

PROJECT 20386 (CORVETTES): Details

The second ship project 22800 "Typhoon" launched in St. Petersburg

©  Alexander Demyanchuk / TASS

November 24, 13:38UTC + 3

It is noted that in 2018 the ship will be tested and will be handed over to the customer

ST PETERSBURG, November 24. / TASS /. The second small missile ship Typhoon of project 22800 (Karakurt) was launched on Friday at the Pella shipyard in St. Petersburg, Tass correspondent reports from the scene.

"The fleet of our country is waiting for this ship (" Typhoon "- TASS comment), and in 2018 we will test with high quality and give our handsome ship to the customer," said Sergey Kukhtik, deputy general director of the Pella plant.

At the same time, the deputy head of the Russian Navy for armament Viktor Bursuk noted that the fleet was waiting for the Typhoon. "We are pleased to note that he will touch the water in the terms established by the contract," he added.

Two small missile ships project 22800 ("Hurricane" and "Typhoon") were simultaneously laid in the enterprise "Pella" on December 24, 2015. The first ship of the series was launched in the summer of this year and is on the water at the outfitting embankment of the plant.

"Karakurts" are designed by the central marine design bureau "Almaz", have a displacement of about 800 tons, their speed can exceed 30 knots. They are equipped with a complex of high-precision missile weapons (the Caliber system), modern artillery systems and power plants of Russian production.

As previously reported by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov, the main ship "Uragan", being built in St. Petersburg, is planned to be handed over to the fleet by the end of 2017. According to him, the Pella plant must build seven such ships, five were contracted with the Zelenodolsk shipyard. Another six ships were supposed to be given to the Far Eastern shipyards. In August 2017, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation signed additional agreements with Pella and Zelenodolsk Plant for the supply of small missile ships of the Karakurt project.

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Small missile ship "Typhoon" project 22800 "Karakurt" ©  Anna Yudina / TASS
Small missile ship "Typhoon" project 22800 "Karakurt" ©  Anna Yudina / TASS

Karakurt-class (Project 22800): Details