July 31, 2014

Final modernised P-3 Orion delivered to Brazil

Photos: Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence & Space has delivered the last of nine Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft it has upgraded for the Brazilian air force.The final modernized aircraft has been delivered to the airforce base in Salvador de Bahía, Brazil.

In addition, work was carried out on the airframes and Rolls-Royce T56 powerplants to prolong the P-3’s operational life “for many years to come”.Brazil will use the modernised aircraft to perform ASW, maritime patrol, search and rescue and economic exclusion zone enforcement missions.

Iran to Unveil New Missile, Radar Systems in September

File video of Qadir phased array radar system

During the parades last year, the Iranian armed forces displayed different weapons and military tools and equipment, including different kinds of fighters, choppers, drones, ground-to-ground missiles, air-to-ground missiles, surface-to-surface missiles, tactical and armed vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electronic and telecommunication equipment, light and mid-light weapons, different kinds of artillery and mortar-launchers, air defense systems and engineering and logistic equipment.

The Iranian armed forces also displayed the tactical troposcatter system which is an advanced home-made communications system unveiled by Farzad Esmayeeli in September.Also, Nebo tactical radar system, Kasta surveillance radars, Matla' al-Fajr local radar system, national radar, a model of Shahab (Meteor) cosmic radar, a model of Samen radar, optimized Sky Guard radar system, high-altitude S-200 missile system, home-made Mersad missile system armed with indigenous Shahin (Eagle) missiles, mobilized Hag missile system, home-made mid-altitude Ya Zahra 3 missile system, and the low-altitude Rapier missile system were among the other weapons and military equipment on display.

The Iranian Armed Forces also displayed Saafaat electro-optic tracking system, mobile 35 and 23 mm cannons, mobile tactical communications vehicle, vehicle equipped with chemical decontamination system, DZ vehicle and communication system, Kheybar tactical vehicle, Same' van built by the air defense base and central communication shelter manufactured by Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base in the parades.The Iranian Armed Forces have recently test-fired different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of home-made weapons, tools and equipments, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircrafts, UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills.

Defense analysts and military observers say that Iran's wargames and its advancements in weapons production have proved as a deterrent factor.The Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

Old footage of RAF Harrier Crashes At Kandahar Airfield

During a landing in 2009 at Kandahar Airfield, a RAF Harrier slams into the ground causing the aircraft to burst into flames. The pilot managed to control the aircraft until the very last minute before he had to eject.

The pilot survived with minor injuries.

Royal Australian Navy MH-60R 'Romeo' helicopter fires AGM-114 Hellfire missile for the 1st time

on 30-07-2014

The Royal Australian Navy’s newest maritime combat helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’, has successfully fired its first ‘Hellfire’ missile in the United States. The AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile was fired by Navy’s 725 Squadron from aircraft currently deployed to the United States Navy’s Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Centre off the Florida coast.

F-22 Raptor & P-51 Mustang Gravity-Defying Aerobatics

Beijing tests anti-satellite missile - Voice of Russia

Staff conducting a test at the China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General, the organization that directly controls and oversees all of the country's space missions and space launch centers. 

China has taken another step towards challenging US supremacy in the space race after successfully testing a "non-destructive" anti-satellite missile on July 23, reports the Chinese-language website of the Voice of Russia, the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service.

According to China's official Xinhua news agency, the country's Ministry of National Defense announced a successful missile intercept test that "achieved the preset goal," which sources from the US State Department confirmed with "high confidence" was an anti-satellite missile that aims to destroy targets through impact and does not cause an explosion.

"We call on China to refrain from destabilizing actions–such as the continued development and testing of destructive anti-satellite systems–that threaten the long term security and sustainability of the outer space environment, on which all nations depend," the US State Department said in a July 25 email to SpaceNews. "The United States continuously looks to ensure its space systems are safe and resilient against emerging space threats."

Since taking office last year, Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly asked his nation's air force to hasten its integration of air and space capabilities. During a visit to PLA Air Force headquarters in April, Xi promised the development of a "new-type combat force" that can deal with air and space emergencies "swiftly and effectively."Last week's anti-satellite missile test was the second in Xi's term, having already launched a Chinese rocket as part of a test of an anti-satellite system in May last year. In January 2007, China deliberately destroyed one of its defunct weather satellites using a ground-based, medium-range ballistic missile, an act that was widely condemned by the international community as it left a cloud of potentially hazardous debris in a heavily used belt of Earth's orbit.

Vladimir Evseev, director of the Centre for Social Political Studies in Moscow, said he has not ruled out the possibility that China's anti-satellite test used wireless electronics or lasers, which experts say is the most effective way to disable a satellite.China is developing various weapons that can destroy or blind satellites in a variety of ways, including micro-satellites, satellites that can surround enemy satellites, Evseev said, adding that Beijing appears to be preparing for a space war with multiple possibilities.

Vladimir Dvorki, principal researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, says the US's comments about China's testing reflect its fear of China making a breakthrough in the space sector, and in particular China developing an anti-satellite weapon that can destroy the US's ability to control its military with satellites.

Malabar 2014 - India-US-Japan joint naval exercises - Part 2

Javelin Joint Venture Demonstrates Vehicle-Mounted Missile Launch

Lockheed Martin press release

The Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture recently fired a Javelin missile from a remote weapon station integrated onto a wheeled vehicle at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

The test demonstrated Javelin’s vehicle-launch capability to an international customer that has expressed interest in purchasing vehicles integrated with Javelin.

The Javelin missile launched successfully and hit a T-62 tank target from a range of 1,000 meters. Immediately after missile launch, the remote weapon station engaged an alternate target with its ballistic weapon, demonstrating a seamless Javelin integration that supports the warfighter’s requirement to quickly transition between multiple weapon systems.

“This demonstration highlights the ability to mount Javelin on a vehicle,” said Richard Benton, Javelin Joint Venture vice president and Javelin senior manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The international customer already uses the combat-proven Javelin for dismounted troops, but this test demonstrated the Javelin’s versatility and how easily it can be integrated with the vehicle to enhance mission capability.”

“This effort demonstrates the Javelin Joint Venture’s commitment to  expand Javelin’s capability beyond the current man-portable role,” said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Land Warfare Systems product line. “We are working closely with end user customers and industry partners to provide the warfighter with an effective system for improving vehicle lethality and enhancing survivability.”

July 30, 2014

World's largest amphibious aircraft starts production in China

Trial production of the TA600 aircraft, intended to be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, has started in China following completion of the design process, a company executive said Sunday.The aircraft, with a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons and a maximum range of more than 5,000 kilometers, is larger than a Boeing 737 and could be used for firefighting and air-sea rescue, said Fu Junxu, general manager of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft's Zhuhai branch.China began developing the aircraft five years ago. Its maiden flight is expected to happen in late 2015, said Fu."After a period of trial flights, the aircraft will be put onto the market," he said.

Upon completion, it will replace Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 aircraft as the largest amphibious aircraft in the world.

US Air Force Launches Satellites To Spy On Other Countries’ Spacecraft

An unmanned Delta 4 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday with a pair of U.S. military satellites designed to keep watch on other countries’ spacecraft.

The 206-foot (63-meter) tall rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, lifted off at 7:28 p.m. EDT and blazed through partly cloudy skies as it headed into orbit.

Airbus Defence and Space ATV-5 “Georges Lemaître” set for launch on 30 July 2014

Airbus Defence and Space will launch the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) -5 “Georges Lemaître”. In the early hours of 30 July 2014, the ATV will take off on the European launcher Ariane 5 ES from the European spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana).It will set course for the International Space Station (ISS) to begin its mission, which will last about six months.

The ATV-5 is the last European space freighter to set off for the ISS. With a total weight of almost 20.3 tonnes, “Georges Lemaître” has surpassed its four predecessors by being the heaviest payload ever launched into orbit by an Ariane. “Georges Lemaître” is expected to reach the ISS mid August, where it will be received by an ESA astronaut.

Thanks to the success of the ATV missions, space European partners are in a position to provide system-critical elements for an American human mission. Airbus Defence and Space is developing, for example, the service module for the American human spacecraft “Orion-MPCV” for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Libyan militants overrun Benghazi special forces base

Fire at Libya oil depot

Militant fighters overran a Libyan special forces base in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday after a battle involving rockets and warplanes that killed at least 30 people.A special forces officer said they had to abandon their main camp in the southeast of Benghazi after coming under sustained attack from a coalition of Islamist fighters and former rebel militias in the city."We have withdrawn from the army base after heavy shelling," Saiqa Special Forces officer Fadel Al-Hassi said.

A separate special forces spokesman confirmed the militants had taken over the camp after the troops pulled out. Part of the area is Camp 36 in the Bu Attni district and the special forces school.Benghazi has been at the centre of fighting between special forces and ex-rebel fighters of the Benghazi Shura Council who have joined up with the Ansar al Sharia, a militant Islamist group, residents said.

The A-10 At Bagram, Afghanistan

It is really sad they are being mothballed/retired.

Malabar 2014 - India-US-Japan joint naval exercises - Part 1

India naval drill with Japan, U.S. seen as signal to China

The INS Shivalik and INS Ranvijay’s appearance at the port near Nagasaki shows Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s interest in developing ties with the India as Japan faces increasing tensions with China.

Stealth frigate INS Shivalik(F47)

North Korea has world’s largest submarine fleet: U.S. media

North Korea possesses the world’s largest number of submarines, followed by the U.S., according to a U.S. online media outlet.Business Insider said that the North has a total of 78 regular and midget submarines, while the U.S. has 72 submarines. Its analysis is based on data from the Global Firepower, a military power evaluation organization.China ranked third with 69 submarines, followed by Russia with 63 submarines and Iran with 31 submarines. South Korea has only 14 submarines while Japan has 16 submarines, according to the BI analysis.

Business Insider pointed out that the North’s lead is merely because of the “pure numbers,” not the quality of its submarine fleets.“But these submarines are almost entirely unusable. A third of North Korea’s subs are noisy diesel-powered Romeos, which have been obsolete since 1961,” said BI in the article. “These submarines have a weapons range of only four miles, whereas a modern U.S. submarine has a weapons range of 150 miles.” Pyongyang is known to think of its submarine fleets as part of its asymmetric military capabilities to fight against its more affluent, well-equipped adversaries such as South Korea and the U.S.

In 2010, a North Korean midget submarine torpedoed the South Korean corvette Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang denies its responsibility, calling Seoul’s argument an outright fabrication. Since the incident, the South has beefed up its antisubmarine capabilities through measures including enhancing its submarine detection systems.

Lockheed Martin Completes Successful Operational Flight Tests of GMLRS Alternative Warhead

Lockheed Martin press release

Lockheed Martin  successfully completed all Developmental Test/Operational Test (DT/OT) flight tests for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The DT/OT tests included rockets fired at both mid and long range. All rockets were fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher.

The DT/OT tests were the first tactically representative flight tests against simulated targets, and were also the first tests conducted with soldiers operating the fire control system. These missions were preparation for the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation exercise, which will be conducted in the fall of 2014.
“With actual soldiers at the controls in realistic battlefield conditions, the team achieved all of the mission objectives,” said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

In April 2012, Lockheed Martin received a $79.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop the Alternative Warhead Program (AWP). Under the terms of the contract, the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development phase of the program runs 36 months, focusing on system performance, warhead qualification and producibility.

July 29, 2014

World War 1 - British Army women contributions

Turkish Air Force -Türk Hava Kuvvetleri at Anatolian Eagle

Anatolian Eagle 2014-2 exercise has been conducted at the 3rd Main Jet Bases in Konya Airport between 2-20 June 2014 with the partecipation of United Kingdom, Spain, Quatar, Jordan and Turkish Air Forces and NATO AWACS unit. Turkish Air Force fighters component was composed by 40 F-16C/Ds, both the block 30/40 version and the new block 50+ equipped with CFT (Conformal Fuel Tanks) and 11 F-4E-2020s, which were on their last Anatolian Eagle as "red forces" (and they will be retired from duty on 2020). On the last day of the exercise it has been possible to see the first operative Turkish A-400M, who flew a transport mission in Konya air bases.

Air Forces:
Turkish Air Force - Türk Hava Kuvvetleri
RAF - Royal Air Force - United Kingdom
Ejército del Aire - Spanish Air Force
Qatar Emiri Air Force
Royal Jordanian Air Force 

Imminent changes in Pakistan Army top Brass

The Pakistan Army is poised for a major reshuffle at the top as at least five senior generals will retire in the next two months, officials said.

Those, who are set to retire in October this year, include Corps Commander Peshawar Lt General Khalid Rabbani, Corps Commander Mangla Lt General Tariq Khan, Corps Commander Karachi Lt General Sajjad Ghani and Corps Commander Gujranwala Lt General Salim Nawaz.

One security official dispelled speculation about any differences between the ISI chief and the government triggered by the absence of Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam from recent meetings with the political leadership.
He pointed out that Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam might have skipped the meetings in line with his strategy to keep a low profile due to the ongoing ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ military operation in North Waziristan Agency.
The retirement of the DG ISI would no doubt test the skills of the prime minister, who has the authority to appoint the spy chief, although it appears difficult to think the federal government will take a decision without the army chief’s consent.

Meanwhile, the retirement of four corps commanders will provide an opportunity to Gen Raheel to appoint generals of his own choice on key slots. All the four corps commanders who will retire in October were promoted and appointed by the then army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Another milestone for F/A-50 program reached – Phillipines Department of National Defense (DND)

Another milestone has been reached in the Philippine government efforts to acquire the South Korean made F/A-50 “Fighting Eagle” jet aircraft.This was after Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary for Finance, Modernization, Installation and Munitions Fernando Manalo disclosed on Monday that the Letter of Credit (LOC) for the aircraft has been finally opened by the supplier.“The LOC has been finally opened. We have also given the 15 percent payment requested by the contractor,” he said in Filipino.

The LOC is a document issued by a financial institution, or a similar party, assuring payment to a seller of goods and/or services provided certain documents have been presented to the bank.The contract for the 12 F/A-50s being acquired for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is worth P18.9 billion. It was signed last March 28.The F/A-50 is manufactured by the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI).Manalo did not give the specific date when the LOC was opened but he earlier said that it would be opened seven days starting July 8.Upon opening of the LOC, two F/A-50 jet aircraft are expected to be delivered 18 months after.

The next two aircraft will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes on staggered basis within eight months.The F/A-50 has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one-and-a-half times the speed of sound and is capable of being fitted with air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9 “Sidewinder” air-to-air and heat-seeking missiles aside from light automatic cannons.


Unmanned K-MAX Returns from Deployment

After a nearly three-year deployment, the K-MAX cargo UAS returned from deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps. K-MAX helped reduce the number of convoys on the ground and delivered more than 4.5 million pounds of supplies to troops.

Israeli troops arrange shell casings in Star of David pattern

Indian Air Force receives 6th C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

The Indian Air Force received its sixth C-17 Globemaster III on Monday. The arrival of the new addition to the IAF was recieved by the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley who visited the Palam Airbase in New Delhi.

The Indian government approved to buy 10 C-17 Globemaster III in June 2011. The first of the 10 aircraft touched down in India on June 18, 2013 and the delivery of all 10 is expected to be completed by December 2014. 

2nd Mistral Russian Warship Looks Set For Mediterranean Role

The Russian navy said during Sunday’s Navy Day celebrations that a French-made Mistral-class carrier will become the flagship of its budding Mediterranean Fleet, while Western leaders continue to pressure Paris into withholding the delivery of the warships.

Russia ordered two Mistral ships from France in 2011 in a deal worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion), but events in Ukraine have elicited Western calls for the contract to be torn up amid fears that Moscow has designs on reforging its lost empire. The calls intensified following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, which several Western leaders have pinned on Russian-backed separatists in the region.

France has so far stood its ground on the delivery of the first ship, the Sevastopol, which is set to be handed over by the end of 2014. However, Paris has said that the delivery of a second Mistral warship, the Vladivostok, in 2016 depends on Russia’s future behavior regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Mexican navy patrol-vessel ARM Revolution (P 164)

Mexican navy patrol-vessel ARM Revolution (P 164) prepares to move into an eight-ship formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014

Photo: https://www.facebook.com/RimofthePacific

Myanmar Navy 2014

PLA's Tibet conscription in full swing

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