Sunday, 30 June 2019

Bulgaria’s F16-deal: Defence Minister rejects President’s claim of ‘hidden billion’ cost

F-16V - Lockheed Martin

Bulgaria’s F16-deal: Defence Minister rejects President’s claim of ‘hidden billion’ cost | The Sofia Globe

The price requested by the United States to sell Bulgaria F-16 fighter jets is 2.2 billion leva “and I do not know where (President Roumen) Radev gets 3.2 billion from,” Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov said on June 29, referring to the President’s claim of a “hidden billion” in the proposed deal.

Radev, a former Bulgarian Air Force commander before becoming head of state, made the claim of a “hidden cost of a billion” in a January 28 television interview. He said that the US was offering the fighter jets without adequate armaments and equipment.

Bulgarian National Radio reported that Karakachanov said that the US offer had been sent to Radev at the President’s request 10 days ago.

He said that there would be revisions to the contract, but the President had been informed at each stage when he had asked.

Karakachanov said that if the contract was signed, by the end of July, the process would be over: “We will report to the Cabinet, it will have to make a decision and table it in the National Assembly, and if Parliament approves the proposal, in July it can be concluded”.

“I do not know where this one billion leva came from, on principle the negotiation process itself, whatever the equipment, is not a simple matter. If it was easy, President Radev himself, when he was still commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, would have solved the problem. It has not been solved for 10 to 12 years now, and now we are on the verge of concluding a contract,” Karakachanov said.

He said that there were things about the contract that he did not like, and had said so.

“Given his rank, the President could have contacted his American counterpart and if there are any considerations, to state them and to help a bit in this process, because it is easy to criticise, but difficult to get the job done,” Karakachanov said.

The price was quoted by the USA

Bulgarian Air Force may switch to Typhoon or Gripen because of  F-16V’s high price

Bulgarian Prime Minister Considers the U.S. F-16 Offer “Significantly Better”, SAAB Optimizes its Bid Immediately

Morocco requests $250 million F-16 sustainment contract


Morocco requests $250 million F-16 sustainment contract - defenceWeb

Morocco has requested a $250.4 million support package from the United States for its F-16 fleet, which would include spares, training and logistics support.

The US State Department on 27 June said it had approved the possible Foreign Military Sale, with Congress notified of the possible deal.

The request covers F-16 support equipment, spares and repair parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; munitions support equipment (for AMRAAM, CMBRE, JDAM, PAVEWAY), and support and test equipment, amongst others. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin.

“The proposed sale will improve Morocco’s self-defense capability. Additionally, the continuation of sustainment for their F-16 fleet strengthens the interoperability with the United States and other regional allies,” the State Department said.

The request for F-16 sustainment comes after Morocco in March requested an additional batch of F-16s from the United States, and upgrades to its existing fleet. On 25 March the US State Department said it had made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.787 billion.

The Moroccan request included 29 Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines; 26 APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars; 26 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems; 40 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); 30 M61 Vulcan 20mm Guns; 40 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); three GBU-38/54 JDAM Tail Kits; 50 Paveway II guided bombs, and 60 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB I).

Morocco also requested 26 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Pods, 26 AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Systems, 26 Advanced Identification Friend/Foe systems, 26 AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS defensive aids systems and six DB-110 Advanced Reconnaissance Systems.

At the same time as the request for 25 new fighters, Morocco requested upgrades to its 23 existing F-16s, which would bring them to F-16V standard at a cost of $985.2 million. Congress was also notified of the possible sale on 22 March.

In December 2009 Morocco placed an $841.9 million contract with Lockheed Martin for 18 single-seat F-16Cs and six two-seat F-16Ds. These were delivered between August 2011 and August 2012. They have received some upgrades over the years, including AN/ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) systems from Harris Corporation.

Morocco’s F-16s are equipped with a variety of extra equipment, including Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, Goodrich DB-110 airborne reconnaissance pods and Raytheon’s Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System (ACES). Armament includes AIM-9X Block II Sidewinders with lock on after launch capability, AGM-65D Maverick air-to-surface missiles and Enhanced GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb kits.

Morocco’s F-16s are deployed at Ben Guerir Air Base north of Marrakech. Since entering service they have been used to strike Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria from late 2014 and have been used to strike Houthi targets in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition there. One was lost in a crash in Yemen in May 2015 due to apparent technical failure.

F-16C/D: Details

Friday, 28 June 2019

Russia’s top brass inks deal on delivery of missiles for Iskander-M launchers

Минобороны России

Russia’s top brass inks deal on delivery of missiles for Iskander-M launchers - Military & Defense - TASS

The top brass also signed a contract on the manufacture and delivery of remote-controlled mine-laying engineering vehicles

KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, June 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has concluded a state contract with the Novator Experimental Design Bureau on the manufacture and the delivery of 9M728 cruise missiles for Iskander-M launchers, according to the documents signed at a ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin at the Patriot Park on Thursday.

Russia’s top brass also signed a contract with Tecmash Scientific and Production Association on the manufacture and the delivery of remote-controlled mine-laying engineering vehicles. The Moscow-based Avangard Machine-Building Factory was awarded a contract on the delivery of 48N6P-01 surface-to-air missiles.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Sikorsky: S-97 Raider Is Safe At Any Speed

Lockheed Martin

Sikorsky: S-97 Raider Is Safe At Any Speed « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

The company is confident that there is no inherent flaw in the design. Instead, they say, there was a software error that would have hamstrung any aircraft -- and that error won't happen again.

JUPITER, FL: Sikorsky has solved the software glitch in their S-97 Raider that caused a 2017 accident, company officials told visiting reporters here, and the problem that totaled one of their two prototypes cannot reoccur. Their surviving test aircraft has flown at sustained speeds of 238 mph (207 knots), they added, which means it already meets the Army’s speed requirement for its new scout, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.

The S-97 can reach such speeds in large part because of its dual rotors, one rotating on top of the other on the same axis (coaxial) — but the 2017 accident occurred when those two rotors flexed too far and collided. So if Sikorsky couldn’t fix the problem, their whole dual-rotor design would have been in doubt. But the company is confident that there is no inherent flaw in the design: Instead, they say, there was a software error that would have hamstrung any aircraft, whatever its rotor arrangement — and that error won’t happen rest of article

S-97 Raider aircraft to be pushed to speeds of over 220kts
Sikorsky Resumes S-97 Flights
Sikorsky Raider prototype crash lands

S-97 Raider: Details

France celebrates end of construction of 6th FREMM frigate

FREMM Normandie - Florence Parly

France celebrates end of construction of 6th FREMM frigate | Naval Today

The French Navy celebrated the completion of the construction of its sixth multi-mission frigate, FREMM Normandie, in Lorient on June 25.

As explained, the celebration marked not only the end of work on the six FREMM frigates but also the beginning of the manufacturing of the FREMM frigates with reinforced air defense capabilities and of the defence and intervention frigate (FDI), the first fully digital warships.

Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, hosted Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, on board the Normandie frigate for a visit. This warship was delivered in a record time of 40 months, the shortest completion time of the whole multi-mission frigates program.

Florence Parly and Hervé Guillou had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing and future surface ships programs built in Lorient: FREMM, FDI and aircraft carriers.

“We are proud to meet the expectations set by the Military Programming Law. Today, with the completion of the FREMM Normandie, Naval Group has fulfilled its commitment,” Guillou commented.

The Normandie, which has a length of 142 meters and a width of 20 meters, will soon be delivered in Brest. With a displacement of 6,000 tons, the newbuild can reach a maximum speed of 27 knots. Equipped with environmentally-friendly technologies, it can accommodate 123 persons on board of which 14 are dedicated to the helicopter detachment.

The international Italian-French program is managed by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) on behalf of – in France – the French Navy and of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).

The French Navy has so far received five frigates in the class, Aquitaine, Provence, Languedoc, Auvergne and Bretagne, and will operate a total of eight units.

The shipbuilder revealed that the construction of two multi-mission frigates with renewed anti-air defence capacities – the Alsace and the Lorraine – will begin in Lorient. They will be respectively delivered in 2021 and 2022, Naval Group said.

Furthermore, Naval Group teams are already launching the program for defense and intervention frigates (FDI) that will be delivered from 2023 onward. This first “fully digital” warship is to benefit from the latest digital technologies, with the first cut of steel-sheets expected in October 2019.

FREMM Normandie - Florence Parly

Russian fleet get nuclear submarines

Borey-A Project 955A - Knyaz Vladimir

Floating: will the Russian fleet get nuclear submarines | Articles | News

Translated by google

According to TASS, during the Army 2019 forum, which opened in Kubinka near Moscow, it is planned to sign a contract to build four more nuclear submarines for the Russian Navy as part of the state armaments program for 2018–2027. Among the ordered submarines will be two "strategists" - the Borey-A Project 955A submarine-carrying submarines - and two Yelsen-M project 885M multi-purpose submarine cruisers with cruise missiles. Their construction should begin in the coming years, however, the delivery of these ships to the fleet is expected after 2027. Izvestia understood the consequences of this contract.

Fifteen buildings

It was just such a number of new nuclear submarines, excluding special purpose submarines, that the fleet was to receive in the framework of the previous IGS of 2011–2020, including eight Boreev and seven Ash trees. Some of them were laid back in the 2000s, and the head corps of projects 955 and 885, respectively K-535 “Yuri Dolgoruky” and K-560 “Severodvinsk”, did in the 1990s - they were not worked for a long time and were actually started in the middle - second half of 2000- s. Subsequently, the building intensified. Today, at the end of June 2019, the fleet includes three Borey Project 955 missile carriers, another representative of an already upgraded version of the Borey-A is undergoing tests and this year has to be handed over to the fleet, the four remaining contracted »Should be launched in the near future - one in 2019, two in 2020 and one in 2021 - and be part of the fleet in 2020-2022.

“Ash trees”, which are more saturated with complex equipment and did not have priority financing unlike “strategists”, go slower - while the headquarters Severodvinsk, the K-561 transfer of Kazan undergoing tests, is expected to be in the fleet, it is expected next this year, the third Yasen (and the second Yasen-M), K-573 Novosibirsk, should be launched, which will also be commissioned in 2020, and the remaining four ships should be launched 2020–2022 and join the fleet in 2021–2023.

In total, of the 15 expected new SSBNs and SSGNTs, the fleet will receive until the end of 2020, if the already adjusted plans are not disrupted again, at best eight submarines, including five Boreas and three Ash trees. The rest will “switch over” to the new HPO, while suspicions are being expressed that the deadline for putting the boats into service may be extended until 2023 in the case of the Boreas and until 2024-2025 with the Ash trees.

Four more

Ordering four more boats of existing projects is quite understandable. Judging by the rate of construction of serial submarines, the industry is not yet ready for the transition to the construction of a new project, known as the Husky, which envisages the construction of a strategic boat, carrier of cruise missiles, and a multi-purpose submarine with mainly torpedo weapons using unified general ship systems and aggregates , and also other equipment and case elements.

It can be assumed that four submarines contracted in 2019 will be laid in 2021–2022, which, given the characteristic construction dates, even with their acceleration taking into account the development of serial units, means putting them into operation, with an optimistic forecast, in 2028–2029, and when pessimistic - in the years 2030-2032. In fact, this means that under the GW 2018–2027 the fleet will not receive a single atomic submarine - those that will be commissioned in the coming years have been ordered as part of the previous program, and those that are planned to be laid will be completed after the new one.

Taking into account the rate of decommissioning of operating submarines built in 1970–1990s and completely insufficient amounts of modernization (in the part of multi-purpose boats first), this means that by the end of the next decade the fleet will most likely have up to 14 missile submarines strategic targets (ten “Boreyev” and four SSBNs of the 667BDRM project, whose service life is periodically extended) and about the same number of multipurpose nuclear submarines, including nine “Ash trees” and 5–6 (in total) units of the upgraded project boats 971 and 949A.

If the number of “strategists” can be considered normal, and even reducing it to 10 submarines will not entail major problems, taking into account the existing mass production of ground-based missile systems then a half dozen multipurpose nuclear submarines for the Russian Navy mean a catastrophe. It will be expressed in the inability to adequately perform any of the tasks facing the grouping of these submarines, whether it is covering their own "strategists", detecting and tracking aliens or fighting surface ships of a potential enemy.

Solution options

Taking into account the decree signed in July 2017 by Vladimir Putin approving the fundamentals of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities for the period up to 2030, which was already called by many “the decree on a large fleet”, which states that the significant strength of other states is unacceptable over the Navy RF, the above-described state of affairs is not normal. Some adjustments may follow in the part of the completion of boats under construction - in any case, I would like to hope that they will be introduced into the fleet, without increasing the already emerging delay. At the same time, the state of the domestic shipbuilding industry does not allow us to hope that the Navy will receive the first boats of the new generation (the Husky project mentioned above) by the end of 2030.

It should be noted that one of the requirements for this project is to accelerate the pace of boat construction - up to 4–5 years for multipurpose nuclear submarines, and its economy as a whole should provide 16–20 multipurpose boats for 10 years - from laying the head up to delivery last.

Previously it was assumed that the head “Husky” would be laid in 2020–2021, however, given the insufficient pace of improvement in the domestic shipbuilding industry, this is hardly possible before 2025, with the launch of the head boat at best in 2030.

Under these conditions, the only solution to keep the number of fleets of multi-purpose submarines at the minimum necessary level is to return to the previously announced plans for the mass modernization of nuclear submarines of previous projects . If the fleet receives four modernized SSGNs of the Project 949A, re-equipped for universal launchers using the cruise missiles of the Onyx and Caliber complexes, six multi-purpose submarines of the Project 971 and four of the 945 / 945A low-noise missiles, advanced equipment and torpedo armament, then in combination with the construction of nine “Ash trees” this will allow the fleet to have 23 multipurpose submarines unified for the most part of the armament and equipment used.

In addition to a larger number of boats in themselves, this will also mean maintaining the base of operation and combat use of submarines, including in terms of training. Otherwise, if a sharp failure in the number of boats in the fleet is allowed, by the time the industry can increase their numbers, it may well be that there is no one to serve on them.

The Russian Navy will receive nuclear submarines "Prince Vladimir" and "Kazan" in 2019

Russia’s advanced S-500 SAM ‘ready for series production’ – minister

S-500 - Tal Inbar  @Twitter

Russia’s advanced S-500 SAM ‘ready for series production’ – minister — RT Russia News

The S-500 Prometey, Russia’s next-generation surface-to-air long-range missile system, has completed most of its trials and is ready to go into series production, according to the Russian industry and trade minister.

The development of the system is in its “final phase” after each element of the system was tested individually, Denis Manturov told Interfax in an interview. The current work is focused on checking the S-500’s performance as an integrated system.

“All main specifications of the air defense system have been confirmed during the tests and it is now ready for series production,” he said, adding that the hardware will be delivered to the Defense Ministry on schedule.

The S-500 is the newest incarnation of long-range air defense systems produced by Almaz-Antey, a leading Russian defense contractor. The specifications of the system remain classified, but according to defense sources and interviews with company officials it will have greatly enhanced anti-missile capabilities compared to the current S-400 SAM, thanks to new phased array target acquisition radar.

The system is expected to engage intermediate-range cruise and ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles with speeds of up to Mach 5 and intercontinental ballistic missiles during terminal phase. With new interceptors reportedly capable of reaching low earth orbit, the system may double as an anti-satellite weapon and could intercept ICBMs mid-course, according to some reports.

Russia offers to sell new batch of Su-35 fighter jets to China

Russia offers to sell new batch of Su-35 fighter jets to China — government service - Military & Defense - TASS

China was the first country to purchase Russia's Su-35 fighter jets

KUBINKA, June 27. /TASS/. Russia has offered to sell another batch of Su-35 fighter jets to China, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation told TASS on the sidelines of the "Army-2019" forum.

"We are expecting a response from China on our offer to purchase modern weapons and military equipment manufactured in Russia, including additional batches of Su-35 fighter jets," the service said.

China was the first country to purchase Russia's Su-35 fighter jets. The contract on the purchase of 24 fighter jets worth around $2.5 bln was signed in 2015.

The service informed TASS in April that all fighter jets were delivered to China in the framework of the first contract.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

FC-31 fighter nets attention at Paris Air Show

Asia Times | FC-31 fighter nets attention at Paris Air Show | Article

Military observers and media say aircraft appears to have undergone major changes

China’s fifth-generation stealth fighter jet FC-31 showcased its latest upgrades at the ongoing Paris Air Show, and analysts noted that the displayed model shows noteworthy changes in design that could significantly improve its capabilities, Global Times reported.

A scaled model of the FC-31 is being displayed by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) at the company’s stand at the 53rd Paris Air Show, which ran this past week.

Chinese military observers and media said the model on display appears to have undergone many changes compared to the aircraft’s past designs.

The area behind the cockpit and the areas where the two engines are housed are now bulkier, Weihutang, a military column affiliated with China Central Television, reported. The optimized aerodynamic design further reduces wind resistance, the report said.

Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times that these changes could mean the aircraft has been made more agile and is capable of carrying more fuel, which will give it a larger operational range.

It might also carry additional electronic devices for communication or satellite links, Wang said.

The upgraded FC-31 might even feature a pair of new engines, reported Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi’an-based periodical on the national defense industry.

The nozzles of the engines on the FC-31 model displayed in Paris are very different in structure and shape than the ones previously used, the periodical said, noting that this means the warplane will become more competitive on the international market, giving it a better chance of joining the People’s Liberation Army if it gets new and more powerful engines.

For countries looking to buy an advanced stealth fighter jet, the FC-31 is similar to the US F-35 but much cheaper, and China does not attach political conditions to arms sales as the US does, Wang said.

Published on Jun 24, 2019

Images show the first British P-8 Poseidon painted and on the flight line undergoing pre-flight preparations for its first flight

Monday, 24 June 2019

Russian Military to Commission Cutting Edge 'Sosna' Air Defence System - Source

Mikhail Zherdev

Russian Military to Commission Cutting Edge 'Sosna' Air Defence System - Source - Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Defence Ministry will introduce the nation's newest anti-aircraft missile system "Sosna" into service, according to a source in the press service of the holding Vysokotochnye Kompleksy, part of the state corporation Rostec.

"Cross-branch tests of the Strela-10ML anti-aircraft missile system (called Sosna anti-aircraft missile system when made for export) were successfully completed in May 2019. The Russian Defence Ministry has decided to introduce the system into service. Machine delivery is planned for 2022", the source said.

The Sosna missile system was designed to protect troops from aircraft attacks and aerial reconnaissance.

This system is capable of operating at any time of the day or night and in conditions of reduced visibility. Targets can be identified both manually and in autonomous mode.

The system is armed with 12 Sosna-R anti-aircraft guided missiles that can hit targets at a distance of up to 6 miles and at an altitude of 3 miles.

A modernised version of the missile system will be presented at an upcoming edition of the Army Forum.

The 5th International Military-Technical Forum Army-2019 will be held from 25 June to 30 June at the Patriot Convention and Exhibition Centre, at the Kubinka air base just outside Moscow. Currently, 62 nations have confirmed their participation in the event.

The system was first presented at the 2018 edition of the annual Army International Military-Technical Forum.

Sosna tracked air defense system: Details

Saturday, 22 June 2019

New Zealand on course to receive first P-8A Poseidon in 2023

Royal New Zealand Air Force

New Zealand on course to receive first P-8A Poseidon in 2023

New Zealand Ministry of Defence has announced that it is on track to procure the first Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the US in April 2023.

In July last year, the New Zealand Government reached an NZD2.346bn ($1.6bn) deal to buy four P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft.

P-8A Poseidon aircraft will enter service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, replacing the existing P-3K2 Orion fleet. The Orion aircraft have been operational since the 1960s and are expected to reach the end of their operational life in 2025.

The country is procuring the P-8A aircraft to continue its airborne maritime surveillance, humanitarian aid, disaster response, and resource protection activities in the South Pacific region.

The total purchase price includes acquisition, training systems, infrastructure and service introduction costs.

According to a document released by the ministry detailing the project’s timeline, infrastructure works to facilitate the new patrol aircraft will begin in October.

Future instructor staff training will commence in Jacksonville in February, while aircrew transition personnel training is slated for the first quarter of 2022.

The P-8A fleet is likely to achieve final operational capability by 2025.

New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark said: “The P-8s are a once in a generation purchase, and will ensure that the airforce’s crucial maritime patrol capability is maintained for decades to come. The project is on schedule to replace the P-3K2 Orion fleet from 2023, and I am pleased to announce further details today, with the release of a project timeline.”

Furthermore, the government has approved an investment of NZD56.8m ($37.3m) for the Operational and Regulatory Aviation Compliance project. The programme aims to ensure military aircraft operate in compliance with civil and military air traffic management and identification systems.

The government is also working on a project to deliver an enhanced maritime awareness capability to improve maritime domain awareness. The project is underway and will support the P-8A programme.

Under this project, the ministry will consider the procurement of smaller manned aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or satellites.

These assets will be used to perform additional maritime surveillance tasks within the country’s exclusive economic zone and the wider region to free up the P-8s to fly more missions.

The government has released the Defence Capability Plan 2019 that envisages investments of NZD20bn ($13.15bn) in the defence force up to 2030.

Earlier this week, New Zealand selected Lockheed Martin’s C-130J-30 Super Hercules as the preferred option to replace its ageing Hercules fleet.

NZ to buy four Boeing P-8 aircraft in $1.6-B deal

AFV-420P mounted SARP automatic turret system RCWS - YouTube


รถเกราะ AFV-420P ติดระบบป้อมปืนอัตโนมัติ SARP RCWS ทดสอบยิงครั้งแรก - YouTube

SARP automatic turret system RCWS


HMV-150 / HMV-420 / AFV-420P Mosquito 4×4 APC: Details