NEWS: @DRDO_India tested the Prospina anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) in top-attack mode earlier today. Prospina is the latest iteration of the Nag ATGM and sports an indigenous MWIR seeker. Here are file images of the Prospina/Nag being tested in top-attack mode. pic.twitter.com/SVnHEwKoJp— Delhi Defence Review (@delhidefence) February 28, 2018
February 28, 2018
Russia officially donated two An-26 transport aircraft to Nicaragua on Feb. 23. The Russian Navy commander for naval aviation, Maj. Gen. Igor Kozhin handed over the aircraft to Commander in Chief of the Army of Nicaragua, Gen. Julio César Avilés Castillo, at the ceremony.
February 27, 2018
27 февраля отмечается День Сил специальных операций ВС РФ. Подразделения #ССО предназначены для выполнения боевых задач особой важности по защите интересов России, прежде всего – за рубежом. Поздравляем военнослужащих с их профессиональным праздником! #ВИДЕО pic.twitter.com/dokXmiFlOY— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) February 27, 2018
Announcement of the movie "Zvezda" TRC on the performance by the MTR of combat missions
Marines, Vikings, and Drifting.— U.S. Marines (@USMC) February 27, 2018
Marines learn to handle the Viking Amphibious All-Terrain Vehicle (BvS10) in cold weather is a crucial skill that Marines need in order to operate it safely. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Raul Torres) pic.twitter.com/zlMeJZbCaM
Graduation ceremony of over 500 young officers from National Academy of Military University in Kabul
Proud moment to attend the graduation ceremony of over 500 young officers from National Academy of Military University in #Kabul. These officers lay the foundation of “generational transformation” in our national security and defense sectors. #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/STZCh1eESR— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) February 26, 2018
Japan may buy up to 40 vertical takeoff F-35B fighters
Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported in a scoop last week that the government may buy up to 40 F-35B vertical takeoff stealth fighters from the US that could operate from helicopter carriers, island bases and commercial airports.
“The government is considering operating F-35B fighter jets from about fiscal 2026, in an effort to utilize airports on remote islands and thereby improve the nation’s capability to defend the isles,” the newspaper said in a February 12 story.
The F-35B is the maritime version of the advanced US warplane that can perform vertical take-off and landings (VTOL) from the decks of warships.
The Yomiuri quoted government sources as saying that Tokyo is also weighing whether to deploy the F-35Bs aboard Izumo-class Maritime Self-Defense Force’s “destroyers” which carry helicopters and are built as de facto aircraft carriers.
The US military already operates F-35B squadrons in Japan. And the Japanese government is already buying 42 F-35A standard takeoff fighter jets to replace older-generation US fighters like the F-15 and F-4 Phantom.
“As for the F-35B, the government is planning to indicate the number of aircraft to be procured in the next Medium Term Defense Program, which is to be compiled at the end of this year. It is also mulling including related expenses in the fiscal 2019 budget plan, with a view to starting the delivery of F-35Bs from around fiscal 2024,” the Yomiuri cited its sources as saying.
MSDF helicopter flattop Izumo designed as aircraft carrier
Despite the Defense Ministry's denial that the helicopter carrier Izumo, launched in 2015, was planned to be refitted into an aircraft carrier, former Maritime Self-Defense Force executives confirmed that that is how the blueprints were drawn up.
“It is only reasonable to design (the Izumo) with the prospect of possible changes of the circumstances in the decades ahead,” a then MSDF executive told The Asahi Shimbun. “We viewed that whether the Izumo should be actually refitted could be decided by the government.”
The former executive said a consensus was reached privately among the MSDF that the Izumo should be considered for conversion into an aircraft carrier. But the MSDF couldn't explain the need publicly due to the government's view that aircraft carriers capable of launching large-scale attacks are equivalent to the military capability prohibited by the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.
Ever since the Izumo's construction, experts both in and outside Japan have pointed out the possibility of turning it into a full-fledged aircraft carrier.
However, the Defense Ministry publicly denied any plan to deploy fighter jets with strike capabilities on the Izumo and contended that it was not an aircraft carrier.
The ministry has since done an abrupt about-face and now is mulling the possibility of refitting the vessel into an aircraft carrier.
Such a reversal has inevitably raised suspicions that the ministry had this plan in mind from the beginning.
Refitting the Izumo, the Maritime Self-Defense Force's largest vessel, into an aircraft carrier had been considered since late 2000 to bolster the nation's defenses against China’s increasing maritime advances around Japan’s southwestern islands, according to the MSDF executives.
Equipped with a flat deck from bow to stern, helicopters can land on and take off off from the five spots of the flight deck at a time. The Izumo's basic design was formulated from 2006 through 2008.
In 2008, Chinese naval vessels and other warships passing through the waters between the main Okinawa island and Miyakojima island, which lies to the southwest, were spotted for the first time. At that time Chinese government vessels intruding on Japan’s territorial waters became common.
According to MSDF executives at that time, the MSDF saw the need to secure Japan’s competitive edge in the airspace to counter possible China’s maritime expansion in the East China Sea.
However, the runway at the Air Self-Defense Force Naha Base is the only one that allows ASDF aircraft to take off and land in and around Okinawa.
Therefore “the plan to construct the Izumo was settled with its future conversion in mind to prepare for any possible contingency of the unavailability of the ASDF Naha Base,” according to one of the executives.
In those days, the U.S. F-35B stealth fighters, which could take off and land vertically, were in development, leading to a design conception of the Izumo on the premise that it could be converted to handle landings and takeoffs of the F-35B and other aircraft, such as the Osprey transport aircraft.
The approximately 250-meter long Izumo’s elevator connecting the deck with the hangar was designed to accommodate the F-35B fighter, which measures about 15 meters in length and about 11 meters in width.
Paint that can withstand the exhaust heat generated from F-35 fighter jets during landings and takeoffs was selected for the deck of the Izumo. It has also been expected to retrofit the Izumo with a sloping deck for takeoffs, the former MSDF executives said.
If the Izumo is converted to enable landings and takeoffs of the F-35B, the vessel can be utilized to refuel U.S. stealth fighter jets anywhere in the world at any time, including during military emergencies under the new national security legislation.
Even if it is designated a “defensive” aircraft carrier or with some other terminology, the refitted Izumo would be a vessel capable of attacking enemy targets.
To fully protect the country's vast maritime domains and resources, the Philippines needs four more modern frigates aside from the two contracted with South Korean shipbuilder, Hyudai Heavy Industries (HHI).
This was the remark of Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad when asked how many more modern warships the Navy needs to fully secure the country’s maritime domains.
Empedrad issued this statement during the Frigate Acquisition Project hearing at the Senate last Feb. 19 where issues concerning the brand of combat management system (CMS) to be installed were discussed.
"Based on our Modernization Program, we will require six of the frigates until 2028 – that is our Third Horizon. Apat pa after we get these two ships," he said.
The frigates, presently being built by HHI, will be armed with weapons capable of neutralizing surface, sub-surface and air threats aside from its electronic warfare ability.
These ships have a contract of PHP18 billion, including their weapons systems and munitions.
In the same hearing, the Navy chief said there are also plans to install a CMS and upgrade the weapon systems of the three Hamilton-class cutters acquired from the US Coast Guard.
Indonesia has acquired four units of Wing Loong I UAVs with surface strike capabilities. Aircraft will be inducted with the country’s first composite UAV aviation squadron in West Kalimantan (photo : Sina)
The Indonesian government has acquired four strike-capable Wing Loong I medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (MALE UAVs) from Chinese state-owned aerospace and defence company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
A contract for the aircraft was signed in 2017, and the UAVs will be operated by the Indonesian Air Force’s (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara’s: TNI-AU’s) Aviation Squadron 51 (Skadron Udara 51), multiple sources from within the TNI headquarters in Cilangkap confirmed separately with Jane’s between 22 and 25 February.
Aviation Squadron 51 is based near the city of Pontianak in West Kalimantan, and the unit shares a runway with the Supadio International Airport. The squadron currently operates Israeli-made Aerostar tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS) equipped with stabilised, gimbal-mounted electro-optic and infrared (EO/IR) sensor for surveillance missions. With the induction of the Wing Loong I, the unit will be Indonesia’s first composite UAV squadron with two different aircraft types.
The Wing Loong I was developed and manufactured by AVIC’s Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute (CADI) subsidiary. It has a length of 8.7 m, a height of 2.8 m, and features a wingspan of 14 m. The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,150 kg and a payload capacity of 200 kg.
The UAV is powered by one piston engine, and has a service ceiling of 7,500 m (24,600 ft). It has a maximum range of approximately 108 n miles (200 km), and an endurance of about 20 hours. Payloads that can go on board the Wing Loong I include the DH-3010 search-and-rescue (SAR) radar, and the AVIC Luoyang LE380 EO/IR turret.
Fantastic footage from @PortsmouthProud of @HMS_Forth arriving in #Portsmouth this morning for the first time— Defence Equipment & Support (@DefenceES) February 26, 2018
She is the first of the five new Offshore Patrol Vessels being built to replace the @RoyalNavy's current River Class vessels#Defence pic.twitter.com/0axyIH7Mcp
February 26, 2018
Islamic State Releases Pictures Of 4 Suicide Bombers Who Carried Out Suicide Raid On Military Base In #AlArish In Sinai
This Yazidi boy was rescued from ISIS by Iraqi army. Says he hasn’t eaten adequate food for 20 days.— Khalaf Yazidi (@KhalafSmoqi) February 25, 2018
The abducted Yazidi children are used as human shields. They witness horror of battles and, if lucky enough, get rescued as orphans.#YazidiGenocide pic.twitter.com/XCc7UZ6oMe
Disaster ahead for Turkey and Turkish neighbors.
History keeps rhyming again and again.
School + Kinder garden kids brainwashed into blind nationalism
Türkische Kinder werden in den Schulen mit Nationalismus, Militarismus und Kriegspropaganda verseucht. Das ist der Grund, warum die dann als Erwachsene nationalistische und rechtsextreme Parteien wählen. #Türkei #Erdogan #Diktatur #Schule #Bildung #Nationalismus pic.twitter.com/I6IjoVmpAc— Türken gegen Erdogan (@TurkenGegenErdo) February 24, 2018
"This nation is hungry for martyrdom", declares Turkey's president Erdo-clown
"This nation is hungry for martyrdom", declares #Turkey's president #Erdogan as he recites Muslim Holy Book verses 2:154 to justify killings.— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) February 25, 2018
This CRAZY man glorifies death non-stop, brags about how many killed in #Afrin offensive EVERYDAY. pic.twitter.com/9gKoYEhVMj
February 25, 2018
NATO ships from SNMCMG1 working with the 🇳🇴Royal Norwegian Navy found 23 mines from previous conflicts on the seafloor of Oslo Fjord
February 24, 2018
February 23, 2018
Global terrorist money-laundering watchdog has decided to place Pakistan back on its terrorist financing watchlist
A global money-laundering watchdog has decided to place Pakistan back on its terrorist financing watchlist, a government official and a diplomat said https://t.co/O8jxpOPmS1 by @kayatrtrz @Draz_DJ #FATF pic.twitter.com/vqXueMtulO— Reuters Pakistan (@ReutersPakistan) February 23, 2018
A global money-laundering watchdog has decided to place Pakistan back on its terrorist financing watchlist, a government official and a diplomat said on Friday, in a likely blow to Pakistan’s economy and its strained relations with the United States.
The move is part of a broader U.S. strategy to pressure Pakistan to cut alleged links to Islamist militants unleashing chaos in neighboring Afghanistan and backing attacks in India.
It comes days after reports that Pakistan had been given a three-month reprieve before being placed on the list, which could hamper banking and hurt foreign investment.
The United States has spent the past week lobbying member countries of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan on a so-called grey list of nations that are not doing enough to combat terrorism financing.
Pakistan had launched last-minute efforts to avoid being placed on the list, such as taking over charities linked to a powerful Islamist figure.
But the campaign proved insufficient and the group decided late on Thursday that Pakistan would be put back on the watchlist, a senior Pakistani official and a diplomat with knowledge of the latest FATF discussions told Reuters.
“The decision was taken yesterday. The chair (of FATF) is expected to make a statement some time this afternoon in Paris,” the diplomat said.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman declined to confirm or deny the news at a regular news briefing on Friday, saying the FATF would make an announcement on its website.
“Let the things come out, and then we can comment on the U.S.-Pakistan relationship,” spokesman Mohammad Faisal said.
Pakistan was on the list for three years until 2015.
WATCH | Indian Army destroyed a Pakistani post opposite Balnoi sub sector in #Poonch district after observing movement of suspected militants, who had been camping there with a view to infiltrate into the Indian territory. #JAMMU #KASHMIR pic.twitter.com/vw91bJY5lg— JAMMU LINKS NEWS (@JAMMULINKS) February 23, 2018
#SaudiArabia joins #Turkey and #China to buy Pakistan three months delay in Western effort to put it on terror finance list. This issue will not go away as long as Pakistani support for terrorists continue. https://t.co/L8BQa4KKYO via @WSJ— Zalmay Khalilzad (@realZalmayMK) February 22, 2018
February 22, 2018
February 21, 2018
Fill ‘er up? Contact!— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) February 20, 2018
Check out the mission flexibility of this #Boeing-#USAF KC-46. First it refuels an F/A-18 on the centerline drogue system!
The tanker also refueled an #F16 on its boom during this certification test flight.
Game-changing #KC46 on its way! #TankerTuesday pic.twitter.com/ZxnyuaAQjN
( # Rafale 😍😍😍 ) @fionaantonella2 @hkawnja2 @louisavisser_vl @saki_tokyojapan @dunibear @gail13sa @Jennifer091906 @OrnellaOrni1 @Silvio_Did @Adrianchard72 @discodaz2 @FABIANOVELAR2 @Rafale_bot_img @Rafale_Display @MeMb90 @Tig0Tig @tinadorin / pic.twitter.com/4D6wv9Tl4m— Naseeb Ullah (@NaseebU59889887) February 19, 2018
A U.S Air Force F-16 assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing suffered an engine fire during take-off from Misawa Air Base, Japan on Feb. 20.
The Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) being developed by the U.S. Office of Naval Research has been selected as one of its finalists for the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy.
February 20, 2018
February 19, 2018
The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today announced that Australian industry has been collectively awarded over $1 billion in production for the F-35 program.
The strength of Australia’s defence industry has made it a significant and crucial contributor to the program which will support up to 5000 Australian jobs by 2023.
“More than 50 Australian companies directly shared in the production contracts to date, with many more indirectly benefiting through supply chain work,” Minister Pyne said.
“Australian industry continues to prove its global competitiveness by performing better than initial forecasts, with Australian industry involvement expected to exceed $2 billion by 2023.”
“The journey of Australian industry’s involvement in the global F-35 Program has been one of great success and long-term economic opportunity for Australia.
In 2016 the Joint Strike Fighter program supported more than 2400 jobs across Australia, which is set to grow to 5000 by 2023.
“Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase production contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates more than double.
“Australian industry is manufacturing parts that will be fitted to every F-35 aircraft in production across the globe.
“Australian success in the Joint Strike Fighter program isn’t limited to manufacturing parts. Australian industry has also been chosen as the maintenance hub for the engines, airframes and 64 of 65 components which have been assigned by the Joint Project Office.
“When I travel to the U.S. in April I will be arguing for more work for Australia, we have the capability and we deserve the work,” Minister Pyne said.
In a major milestone for the Australian F-35A Project, the first Australian-made Vertical Tail – produced by Victorian-based company Marand – was fitted to Australia’s third F-35A aircraft as it neared completion at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, in August 2017.
The stealthy, advanced F-35A represents a significant change in capabilities and will give Australia an edge against the emergence regionally of advanced capabilities.
The first two Australian F-35A aircraft are scheduled to arrive for permanent basing at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, in December.
By the time of Final Operating Capability, expected in December 2023, Australia will have a training squadron and three operational squadrons comprising 72 aircraft.
HMAS Hobart has achieved a number of firsts for her class and the Royal Australian Navy over the past several weeks off the east coast of Australia.
Hobart successfully tested her 20mm Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) against an inflatable surface target, marking the first ever time an Australian warship has fired a CIWS capable of striking air and surface targets.
The ship’s five-inch main gun was tested against a towed target from varying distances and directions in an early morning naval gunfire exercise.
Two practice delivery torpedoes were also fired from the port and starboard tubes with both torpedoes recovered for analysis by Navy’s Surface Forces branch.
Test Director Lieutenant Commander David Small of Surface Forces oversaw the program of firing serials and said they would help prove the true capabilities of Australia’s newest warships.
“First-of-class trials set a baseline for the performance of a new class of ship”, he said.