Saturday, 30 November 2019

In Video: Houthis Shot Down Saudi Apache Attack Helicopter Over Northern Yemen

In Video: Houthis Shot Down Saudi Apache Attack Helicopter Over Northern Yemen

The Houthis shot down on November 29 an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter of the Saudi-led coalition near Yemen’s border with the Kingdom.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Yemeni group, said in an official statement that the helicopter was downed with an anti-aircraft missile “equipped with a new tech” that will be revealed soon. The spokesman added that a video of the operation will be released.

“The Armed Forces affirms that approaching Yemeni airspace is prohibited … and that it will confront all the enemies’ violations until it reaches full protection of Yemeni airspace,” Brig. Gen. Sair rest of article

Friday, 29 November 2019

LM continues to push F-35 to Germany

Martyn William's Aircraft @flickr

LM continues to push F-35 to Germany | Jane's 360

Lockheed Martin continues to promote its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to Germany, despite the country's government excluding the aircraft from the list of options for its Tornado replacement programme earlier in the year.

Speaking at the Berlin Security Conference (BSC) on 26 November, the company's Country Director for Germany International Business Development, Alexander Walford, said that the move to exclude the F-35A in January was "a political decision", and that Lockheed Martin continues to highlight the capabilities of its aircraft with a view to the Luftwaffe adopting it as a Tornado replacement platform.

"[The German government] hasn't said specifically what the reason was for the F-35's exclusion, [but] it was political. We respect their decision, but we still believe in the interoperability and survivability advantages that the F-35 brings," Walford said.

In excluding the F-35A as one of the potential replacement platforms for its fleet of Panavia Tornado aircraft, the Bundeswehr is now only looking at the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (the Super Hornet is being offered in conjunction with the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft).

With the Luftwaffe looking to retire its 90 Tornado Interdiction and Strike (IDS)/Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft with 85 new platforms from 2030, and needing the replacement to enter service in about 2025, a request for proposals (RFP) for an aircraft to perform 10 current Tornado missions and two additional but undisclosed missions was issued in early 2018.

F-35 Lightning II: Details

“With surcharge of palm oil”: In Malaysia, they are ready to exchange the Su-30MKM for the Su-35 and MiG-29 for the MiG-35

“With surcharge of palm oil”: In Malaysia, they are ready to exchange the Su-30MKM for the Su-35 and MiG-29 for the MiG-35:

Translated by google

The Minister of Defense of Malaysia confirmed the information about the proposal from Russia on the exchange of fighters available in the kingdom's air force for newer modifications.

According to the head of the military department of Malaysia, Mohammad Sabu, expressed before the parliament, it is extremely important for the country's air force to be provided with aviation for air surveillance, as well as maneuverable fighters. At the same time, Sabu noted that until 2030 Malaysia will not consider such a question as the acquisition of completely new combat aircraft (“from scratch”) - the Air Force will focus on upgrading the operating versions. The Minister of Defense also referred to the possibility of exchanging aircraft for modernization.

Currently, the Malaysian Air Force operates 18 Su-30MKM fighters, which have been supplied since 2007. Numerous French-made systems are implemented on these fighters, including HUD indicators, infrared sensors, etc.

Malaysia also has 10 MiG-29 fighters in its air force park. Earlier in Kuala Lumpur, it was stated that the life of these fighters had already expired and now a replacement is necessary.

Parliamentarians asked the minister if the defense department was going to change all 28 aircraft of Russian production for new modifications, also made in the Russian Federation? The Minister of Defense noted that everyone may not be talking about, but options are being considered with the exchange of several Su-30MKM for Su-35 and MiG-29 for MiG-35, if the surcharge will be made by palm oil of Malaysian production.

In addition, Sabu noted that the country needs a naval patrol aircraft, as well as flight simulators for training pilots.

About whether Russia is ready to go for an exchange with Malaysia with a surcharge of palm oil, not yet reported.

MiG-35/35D Fulcrum-F: Details
Su-35S Flanker-E Multirole Fighter: Details

Romania confirms plans to purchase five more F16 fighters

Petr @flickr Cropped

Romania confirms plans to purchase five more F16 fighters | Romania Insider

Romania’s new Government has endorsed a bill for the purchase of five more F16 fighters and will submit it to the Parliament for approval, president Klaus Iohannis announced after the Country’s Superior Defense Council (CSAT) meeting held on November 27, reported.

The procurement deals in excess of EUR 100 million must be endorsed by lawmakers, Iohannis explained.

The president also informed about the Government’s commitment to stick with the 2%-of-GDP budget earmarked for defense spending.

The number of military troops approved for missions abroad was also increased by 200 to 2,100, under a CSAT decision. Romania will buy another five F16 jet fighters with the same configuration as the 12 already purchased, former defense minister Gabriel Les announced on July 3.

Earlier in June, quoting government documents announced that the state earmarked EUR 250 million to buy another five F16 jet fighters from Portugal, which supplied the other 12 fighters Romania has already received.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Pratt & Whitney Awarded $762M Navy Contract Modification for Lot 14 F135 Propulsion Systems

US Air Force

Pratt & Whitney Awarded $762M Navy Contract Modification for Lot 14 F135 Propulsion Systems – GovCon Wire

The U.S. Navy has awarded United Technologies Corp.’s (NYSE: UTX) Pratt & Whitney subsidiary a potential $762.5M contract modification to produce and deliver lot 14 F135 propulsion systems.

The modification exercises an option in a previously awarded contract and includes the production of 48 F135-PW-100 engines for the U.S. Air Force and 10 F135-PW-600 units for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

The contractor will perform at least 85 percent of the work in Hartford, Conn., and the rest in Indianapolis and the U.K. through April 2022.

Naval Air Systems Command will obligate the full contract amount using Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft procurement funds for fiscal 2020 at the time of award.

The Pentagon plan to save the F-35’s logistics system hinges on whether Lockheed will relinquish data control
F-35 program on track to replace Turkey, say Pentagon officials

US will deploy F-35 fighter jets near Russian bases in Syria

The Avangard complex was first shown to American inspectors


The Avangard complex was first shown to American inspectors

Translated by google

Moscow. November 26th. INTERFAX.RU - The Russian military for the first time showed US inspectors a new Russian strategic weapon - the Avangard missile system, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

"The Russian side held a show to help ensure the viability and effectiveness of the START Treaty," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The Russian military said that the Avangard missile system with hypersonic glider winged block was shown to an American inspection team, which was in Russia from November 24 to 26.

The new Russian missile system was demonstrated to US inspectors as part of the implementation of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States on measures to further reduce and limit strategic offensive weapons, the Defense Ministry said.

At the end of June, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel General Sergei Karakaev, announced that at the end of 2019, new strategic missile systems Avangard would take up combat duty near Orenburg.

In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a message to the Federal Assembly, announced the start of Avangard serial production . "This year, as planned, the first regiment of the Strategic Missile Forces will be equipped with it," Putin said then.

The Strategic Missile Forces Military Academy previously reported that when moving towards a target, the Vanguard winged unit performs controlled maneuvers both lateral and in height, ensuring its flight is unpredictable for any missile defense system.

The START-3 Treaty will end in 2021. Russia and the United States may agree to extend it for another five years.

China Officially Promotes J-10C for Export

J-10C -

China Officially Promotes J-10C for Export

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) began promoting the Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) J-10C for export. Designated as the FC-20E, AVIC put a model of the fighter on display at its pavilion at the 2019 Dubai Air Show, which was held from 17-21 November 2019.

The J-10 is one of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF) mainstay multi-role fighters, serving as a light-to-medium weight complement to its large and varied Flanker fleet.

The J-10C is the latest production variant of the J-10, following the J-10B, which introduced multiple key improvements, such as a diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) and electronically scanning radar.

In April 2018, China’s Ministry of Defence announced that the PLAAF’s J-10Cs began taking on operational duties, indicating that the aircraft’s production and induction are both in full swing.

Marquee features of the J-10C reportedly include an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with 1,200 transmit/receive modules (TRM) with compatibility with long-range beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missiles (AAM). The J-10C was also reportedly photographed with the WS-10 turbofan engine, with at least one unit boasting a thrust-vector control (TVC)-equipped system.

Until recently, AVIC had been promoting the J-10A-based FC-20 for export, but with the FC-20E, it is clear that China’s aerospace giant is looking to market a solution that better matches its competitors’ offerings.

With the FC-20E, AVIC is taking direct aim at markets the Russians and Americans are looking to access with the MiG-35 and F-16 Block-70/72, respectively. These markets are generally looking for modern, but cost-effective multi-role fighters with contemporary sub-systems, such as AESA radars.

However, in most cases, AVIC’s main competition will be Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which is marketing the MiG-35 as a lower-cost alternative to Western fighters, especially in Africa.

According to an apparent promotional flyer of the FC-20E (previously termed as the J-10CE), the fighter’s specifications are as follows:

Length: 16.9 m
Wingspan: 9.7 m
Height: 5.7 m
Max Mach Number: 1.8
A/A Combat Radius 1,240 km/2,600 km (Air-to-Air Refueling)
Max. Ferry Range: 2,950 km
Notes & Comments:

Under its original plan for 2015, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had intended to procure 36 FC-20 (i.e., J-10A) to carry its “deep strike” objectives.[1] However, a shortage of funding and, apparently, greater confidence in the JF-17 program (or the J-10A not offering enough benefits for the added cost) shelved those plans.

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Chengdu J-10A/B & C: Details

Afghan Air Force receives more light attack helicopters from MD Helicopters

Wikimedia Commons

Afghan Air Force receives more light attack helicopters from MD Helicopters - The Khaama Press News Agency

According to a statement released by MD Helicopters, the helicopters, part of a 30-aircraft order arrived in Kandahar Airfield on 27th of October.

Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters said “The vigilant efforts of the Afghan Air Force to protect their country and their citizens from the expanse of terrorism are both noble and steadfast.”

Tilton further added “Our respect for the warfighter is unwavering, and we are honored that the growing MD 530F Cayuse Warrior fleet plays such an important role in the safe, effective and efficient execution of these efforts.”

With this shipment, MD Helicopters has successfully met all requirements of IDIQ Delivery Order 1, and the number of MD 530F training and combat aircraft delivered to the Afghan Air Force has reached 60, the MD Helicopters added in its statement.

The statement further added that MD Helicopters has an additional 24 aircraft contracted via the IDIQ contract vehicle. Future deliveries remain on schedule.

MD 530F Cayuse Warrior: Details

China’s Mighty Dragons are rightly feared

Sunson Guo

Asia Times | China’s Mighty Dragons are rightly feared | Article

Chengdu J-20 jet fighter might not be as advanced as the F-35, but its lethal missiles can shoot farther

Bang! — you’re dead. Shot down in flames.

That’s how fast it happens in the air. One small advantage, can translate to winning … or losing.

We all know how people at the Pentagon like to worry, especially when it comes to China’s military buildup. Now, they have something new to worry about.

Back in 2018, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force made waves at the Zhuhai Airshow with the latest showing of their flagship fifth-generation stealth fighter, the Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon.

As is common with airshow coverage, large swaths of the ensuing commentary focused on the J-20’s handling and maneuverability as it performed a series of rolls and a climb.

But sharp-eyed military watchers noted what is perhaps the most significant aspect of the J-20’s Zhuhai showing: its weapons system, reports Mark Episkopos of The National Interest.

During the performance, the J-20 brazenly opened its missile bay doors to reveal four PL-15 missiles accompanied by two PL-10 missiles on either side.

The PL-15 is a long range air-to-air missile which was slated to enter service in 2018. Outfitted with an active electronically scanned radar and featuring a reported maximum range of up to 300 km, the PL-15’s impressive specifications place it in the ranks of the top air-to-air missiles along with the European Meteor missile and Russian K-37M.

So here is the problem. America’s highly touted fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can’t shoot that far.

The PL-15’s effective range in actual aerial engagements is certain to be lower than the maximum range 300 km, but is nonetheless much higher than its American AIM-120 AMRAAM counterpart’s estimated 180 km or less. Like it or not, that represents a big missile gap.

American general Herbert Carlisle voiced serious concerns in 2015 when the development of the PL-15 entered the public knowledge: “Look at our adversaries and what they’re developing, things like the PL-15 and the range of that weapon.” General Carlisle raised the same issue in an interview with FlightGlobal: “The PL-15 and the range of that missile, we’ve got to be able to out-stick that missile.”

The American F-22 and F-35 fighters are now equipped with the latest AIM 120-D missiles, but a massive range deficit remains nonetheless. So much for US air superiority.

The challenge of the PL-15 comes on the heels of questions about the uncertain future of the aging AMRAAM system. As Captain James Stoneman put it to the National Interest: “Currently there is no program of record for a follow-on … we’ve probably close to maxing it out.” Development of the latest Block III iteration of the short range AIM-9X was cancelled, and Raytheon struggles with a necessary AMRAAM refresh.

The J-20’s two side-mounted PL-10 missiles, while less conspicuous than their long range counterpart, are a key factor in the J-20’s operational versatility. A short-range infrared air-to-air missile, the PL-10 can be fired at off boresight angles of 90 degrees using the J-20’s Helmet Mounted Display. In other words, the PL-10’s on the J-20 can be fired in the direction that the pilot points their head.

Off boresight targeting is by no means a new technology. In fact, the PL-10 is China’s response to the AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder short range missiles that the United States is selling to Taiwan.

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Russia hopes to agree new S-400 missile deal with Turkey next year


Russia hopes to agree new S-400 missile deal with Turkey next year - Reuters

Russia hopes to seal a deal to supply Turkey with more S-400 missile systems in the first half of next year, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport was cited on Tuesday as saying.

MOSCOW/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Russia hopes to seal a deal to supply Turkey with more S-400 missile systems in the first half of next year, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport was cited on Tuesday as saying.

Such a move could further sour ties between Turkey and the United States, which has suspended Ankara from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program, in which it was a producer and buyer, to punish it for buying S-400 batteries earlier this year.

Washington has also warned of possible U.S. sanctions, saying the missiles are not compatible with NATO defenses, but has not yet imposed them. A senior U.S. State Department official said last week that Turkey needed to get rid of the S-400s it had already bought to mend fences.

But Rosoboronexport’s Alexander Mikheev told RIA news agency Moscow and Ankara were actively discussing Ankara taking up an option in the original contract for it to receive more S-400 systems, with talks focused on financial questions.

“We hope that in the first half of 2020 we will sign the contract documents,” RIA cited Mikheev as saying. “But I want to stress that military technical cooperation with Turkey is not limited to the supply of the S-400s. We have big plans ahead.”

At a meeting in the White House earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to ask their respective ministers and national security advisers to work on resolving the S-400 issue.

“We need to see where we get with these efforts,” broadcaster NTV reported Erdogan as saying on Tuesday of the talks, which he said would continue between the two NATO allies until April.

After the delivery of S-400 parts to Turkey began in July, Erdogan said the system would be fully deployed by April 2020.

Turkish state media cited Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying the United States should agree to NATO experts being involved in its talks with Turkey on the S-400s.

Erdogan is set to attend a summit of NATO heads of state and government in London on Dec. 3-4.

Turkish media said on Monday F-16 warplanes would fly over the country’s capital Ankara to test the S-400 system, but Turkish officials have not confirmed that such tests took place.

Rosoboronexport’s Mikheev said the new S-400 deal option, if signed, would cover a new regiment of the defense systems and some of the components would be produced in Turkey but that it was premature to talk about which and how many.

U.S. efforts to stop other countries buying Russian military hardware had not been as effective as Washington hoped, Mikheev said.

“You can see how confident India, China, Turkey and other countries are on the international stage,” he said. “Many are openly outraged by U.S. sanctions policy, which is trying to prevent them from developing their own armed forces and technical military cooperation with Russia.”

Erdogan told members of his AK party in parliament that the country’s long-planned, locally made jet fighter should be ready for flight in 5-6 years. Ankara had previously aimed to hold the first flight by 2023.

He also said Turkey would invest in a facility to allow the charging and filling of the detonators produced for F-16 jets and drones to be manufactured locally.

While the United States has not yet imposed any sanctions on Turkey for its S-400 deal with Russia, possible limitations may threaten upgrades to Ankara’s existing fleet of F-16 jets.

Additional reporting by Alexander Marrow in Moscow and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Writing by Andrew Osborn and Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Philippa Fletcher

Turkish servicemen to start training to operate S-400 systems this month — source
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