Friday, 31 August 2012

Eurocopter brings modern and combat proven EC725 helicopter to Poland's MSPO International Defense Industry Exhibition

Eurocopter’s solution for the Polish Armed Forces will be the theme of its participation at next week’s MSPO International Defense Industry Exhibition at Kielce, Poland, which is to include the display of a combat proven multi-role EC725

As the latest and most advanced member of Eurocopter’s 11-ton military product line, the EC725 has become a rotorcraft of choice in the modernization of military forces’ helicopter fleets worldwide. Customers include France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan– with negotiations underway for acquisitions by additional countries.
The EC725’s capabilities in challenging operating conditions are demonstrated by the rotorcraft’s current Afghanistan deployment by France, as well as its performance during France’s role in NATO-led operations during the Libyan military campaign.
A joint Eurocopter/French Air Force briefing on the EC725’s operational experience in Afghanistan is planned at MSPO on the exhibition’s opening day, September 3. Designed to fly under the most extreme weather conditions, its avionics includes highly advanced four-axis autopilot with full flight envelope protection. The helicopter’s large cabin enables to transport up to 28 soldiers and carry a wide variety of weapons and sensors. Mission applications for the EC725 range from tactical transport and special operations to combat search & rescue and maritime patrol.
“The EC725 offers the full benefits of Eurocopter technology and innovation in a highly versatile helicopter,” said Olivier Michalon, the Vice President of Sales & Customer Relations for Europe and Central Asia. “This is combined with Eurocopter’s capability to develop and implement longstanding industrial cooperation with local companies, and is backed by the resources of our EADS parent company – which has been present in Poland, through PZL-Okecie since 2001.”
Establishing successful industrial partnerships with customer countries is a key element of Eurocopter’s strategy, as demonstrated by the assembly of 50 x EC725s in Brazil for its armed forces, the establishment of a United States production line for the 346 x UH-72A Lakotas– a version of the EC145, which has become the U.S. Army’s new Light Utility Helicopter.
With a total of 54 EC120, EC130, EC135 and EC145 helicopters Eurocopter has an established significant market leading presence in Poland. The delivery of 23 life saving EC135s to Poland’s LPR (Lotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe) , modernized the country’s nationwide emergency medical services (EMS) network.
By offering a full value proposition and tailored solution, Eurocopter has demonstrated its ability to support a governmental operator in its transition from a soviet-era fleet to a modern, state-of-the-art helicopters.

RG33 SOCOM Armored Utility Variant AUV

RG-33 SOCOM Armored Utility Variant (AUV) The BAE Systems RG-33 Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Armored Utility Variant (AUV) MRAP is a modified Commercial Off-The-Shelf vehicle designed from the ground up to reduce casualties and increase survivability for personnel subjected to mine explosions, improvised explosive device (IED) detonations and small arms fire.
The RG-33 SOCOM AUV provides 12,000 pound cargo payload and 36,000 pound towing capability  to enhance SOCOM operations. Large ballistic windows provide excellent situational  awareness and multiple access points allow for rapid entry and egress of the crew. In addition, the vehicle features an Automatic Fire Suppression System (AFSS) and a combat-proven, V-shaped hull  that provides superior blast protection against symmetrical, asymmetrical and unconventional explosive hazards.
The highly survivable RG-33 platform is backed by our world-class flexible manufacturing network and by our full spectrum of engineering and logistics services.


Adaptable to multiple missions.


Protection against Anti-Tank mines, IEDs, overhead blasts and ballistic threats.


Transportable by land, rail, sea and air.


Gross vehicle weight: 74,000 lbs
Payload (GVWR-CW): 15,637 lbs
Configuration type: 6x6
Personnel capacity: 4
Engine: 600 hp
Speed: 64 mph
Turning diameter (curb to curb): 93 ft
Slope: 60%
Overall length: 348 inches
Width: 109 inches
Height: 112 inches
Ground clearance: 14 inches

Boeing: Libya Has Interest in Used U.S. Army Chinooks

The Libyan government is interested in acquiring used U.S. Army Chinook helicopters, according to Boeing officials.Boeing — the maker of the Chinook — is in discussions with the State Department about “opportunities to provide” used Army CH-47E helicopters to Tripoli, Raymond Haddad, Boeing’s head of Chinook sustainment, said Aug. 28 during a briefing at a company helicopter facility here.
The State Department and U.S. Congress must sign off on foreign weapons sales.
Libya has legacy CH-47C helicopters that were acquired in the 1970s; however, it is unclear how many remain in the inventory and are flyable, especially following the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s government by opposition forces in 2011.

The United Arab Emirates purchased 12 CH-47C Chinooks from Libya in 2003, according to a report in the state-run newspaper The National.
“Libya is anxious for some additional capability,” Haddad said.

South African Company IAD and Saudi Groups will unveil Nyoka Mk2 armoured vehicle at defence exhibition AAD 2012

South Africa's Industrial and Automotive Design (IAD) and Saudi Groups joint venture will launch the mine-protected armoured personnel carrier (APC) Nyoka Mk2 at the African Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show to be held from the 19 -23 September 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The vehicle is essentially the same as the Masmak APC unveiled by Saudi Groups last year, but will be marketed in Africa as the Nyoka Mk 2.

The Masmak/Nyoka Mk 2 is a 4x4 vehicle designed to offer a unique mix of mobility, protection and affordability.

The Masmak was unveiled in 2011 by the SAUDI GROUPS, a private Saudi Arabian company specialized on military armoured vehicles and security systems.

According to IAD, the 15-tonne APC can carry 2 tonnes and is powered by a 450 hp six-cylinder diesel that provides a 30 hp/tonne power-to-weight ratio, which translates into acceleration (10.5 seconds to 60 km/h) and high top (150 km/h) and cruising (120 km/h) speeds. A more powerful 530 hp diesel engine can also be supplied. 

Giraffes replace Piranhas

Piranhas are being replaced by Giraffes in Tarin Kot Afghanistan – not as in a variety of fauna but in the form of serious life-saving hardware.
Leased from Sweden, the Piranha 740 is the name given to the distinctive Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (CRAM) system radar and vehicle that has been providing a reliable indirect fire warning to Multi National Base – Tarin Kot since December 2010.
The incoming Swedish-designed, Australian-owned radar system and transporter that landed this week, is designated as the Giraffe Full Operational Capability System.
With two Giraffes replacing the old system, Senior CRAM Watch Keeper, Captain David Petersen, said the safety on the base will be further improved.
“The system will provide far greater airspace management, sense, warn and locate capabilities,” Captain Petersen said.

The arrival of the Giraffe radars is the last stage of the LAND 19 phase 7A acquisition project. The Giraffe radars are a Swedish made system that is considered one of the best radars in the world for the detection of rocket artillery and mortars.
Bombardier Jordan Haskins who managed the every day functioning of the old system will now oversee its redeployment.
“It was very reliable considering it was radar designed for the arctic environment now operating in desert conditions – preventative maintenance and TLC was the key to its dependability,” Bombardier Haskins said.
“With two systems in place we will have complimentary coverage – it adds to increased safety for all personnel on the ground.”

U.S. commander: F-22 planes "100 percent" safe

The deployment of a dozen F-22 stealth fighters to Japan has so far gone off without a hitch as the aircraft are being brought back into the skies in their first overseas mission since restrictions were imposed over incidents involving pilots getting dizzy and disoriented, a senior U.S. Air Force commander told the Associated Press on Thursday.
The six-month mission is a key test for the fighters, which have been the focus of intensive investigations over potentially deadly breathing problems in the cockpit.
Following more than a dozen incidents in which pilots said they were having symptoms suggesting they were not getting enough oxygen, and a fatal crash in 2010 that has since been ruled primarily a case of pilot error, the F-22 fleet was grounded for several months last year. It was put under restrictions again in May after two pilots came forward with claims that the aircraft weren't safe to fly.

Major Jeremy Gordon and Captain Josh Wilson with the Virginia Air National Guard, based at Langley Air Force Base near Norfolk, told "60 Minutes" then that they sometimes felt extremely disorientated while in the air, and complained of coughing and feeling dizzy - "vertigo kind of stuff" - after flying.
"The onset of this is insidious," Gordon said. "Some pilots will go the entire mission, land, and not know anything went wrong. There was a publicly announced incident of a jet in Alaska hitting a tree and the pilot was not aware that he ran into a tree."
Brig. Gen. Matthew Molloy, commander of the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base on the island of Okinawa, said there have been no incidents with the F-22s since they arrived in Japan late last month, just days after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced he was easing the restrictions. The planes have been flying almost daily since then, weather permitting.
"We won't ever bury anything if there are issues, but so far, none," Molloy, who is also an F-22 pilot, told The AP in a telephone interview. "It's delivering safely."
In giving the green light to send the stealth fighters to Okinawa, the Air Force said it had identified the main problem as a faulty valve in its "Combat Edge" flight vest and said it was taking a series of measures to ensure pilot safety. The measures should be complete by the end of the year.
In the meantime, the pilots in Japan are operating under altitude ceilings so they do not need to use flight vests. They are also on a "tether," meaning they must remain close to an emergency landing site.
"The Air Force has been aggressively looking at this very complex issue," Molloy said. "I'm glad that we are getting back on the road."
Some critics have questioned the Air Force's decision to deploy the F-22s to Japan before all of the life support fixes have been finished.
The choice of Okinawa is also sensitive because of an uproar over plans by the Marines to deploy their MV-22 Osprey at another base there as early as next month. Despite reassurances from Washington, opposition to the Osprey, which can take off and land like a helicopter but fly like an airplane, is strong on Okinawa because of two recent crashes elsewhere.
Molloy said he is "100 percent" confident that the F-22s are safe to fly. He said sending them to Japan was justified because they boost U.S. capabilities in a key region and reassure U.S. allies of Washington's commitment to them.
"I think this is very much appreciated by Japan," Molloy said. "It strengthens our alliance, it shows that we are very committed."
The problems with the F-22 have been particularly troubling for the Air Force because the fighter is in many ways its showcase aircraft — and possibly its most controversial.
The F-22 can evade radar and fly at faster-than-sound speeds without using afterburners, capabilities unmatched by any other nation. But at $190 million apiece, not counting development costs, it was lambasted in Congress as an overpriced luxury item not suited to current conflicts. Its production was halted last spring and the aircraft has never been used in combat.
Nevertheless, Molloy said the Japan deployment shows that the F-22 remains an important part of the U.S. air arsenal because it gives the Air Force the capability to get into contested areas against adversaries that have better air defenses than countries like Iraq or Afghanistan.
"It's a game-changer. It does air superiority on steroids," he said. "It's a strategic gem, a national treasure."

Dutch Navy's final Holland-Class OPV arrives at future homeport

The Royal Netherlands Navy's fourth and final Holland-Class oceangoing patrol vessel (OPV), Hr. Ms. Groningen (P843) has arrived at its future homeport of Den Helder, Netherlands.

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) had received a contract in December 2007 to build four patrol vessels for an estimated cost of $687.9m for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Christened on 21 April 2012, Groningen has already completed its sea acceptance trials in the same month and was scheduled for the final outfitting of certain systems and components at the shipyard.

Equipped with radars, communication and optical sensors, remote-control systems and weapons, the patrol ships can accommodate a crew of 50 and will replace the four M-frigates currently in service with the Dutch Navy.

The 108m-long flexibly deployable patrol ship has been designed to support international law enforcement and security missions, including combating piracy and counter-drugs operations.

Powered by a combined electric or diesel (CODELOD) propulsion system, the patrol vessel also comprises of two MAN 12V28/33 diesel engines rated at 5,400kW and automated systems, such as a shore support and management system, calamity system, warning system and monitoring system.

The 16m-wide patrol ships have a draught of 4.55m, a displacement capacity of 3,750t and a range of 5,000nm while cruising at a top speed of 21.5kt.

Capable of carrying NH-90 helicopters, the OPVs are equipped with a 76mm Oto-Melara gun, a rapid-fire 30mm gun and two 12.7mm Hitrole machine guns.

Additional features of the OPVs include Thales integrated sensor and communication systems (ISCS) which are comprised of communication and optical sensors, RF systems and radars.

The ships' sensor suites involve a Sea Master 400 air warning radar, a Watcher 100 active phased-array surface detection and tracking radar, identification friend or foe (IFF) system and electro-optic or infra-red panoramic surveillance system.

The navy has already received three Holland-Class vessels, the Holland, Zeeland and Friesland.

Boeing Winged Joint Direct Attack Munition Completes 1st Round of Tests

A winged version of the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) that will triple the weapon's glide range to more than 40 miles is a step closer to production after completing wind tunnel tests at a U.S. facility in June.
Developed in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia, the 500-pound JDAM Extended Range (JDAM-ER) features a modular add-on wing kit that will unfold in flight. The kit can also be coupled with other modular enhancements, such as laser sensors. The wings were first integrated with the Boeing JDAM during the Commonwealth's Capability and Technology Demonstration program, which successfully completed flight tests in 2008.
Boeing will produce and integrate the JDAM-ER wing kits for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) under a contract awarded in 2011. The kits will be built in Australia, with initial deliveries expected to begin in early 2015.
"Boeing and our Australian partners have worked closely together to employ affordable technology and the leanest manufacturing processes to cost-effectively enhance JDAM’s capabilities," said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager for Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems. "The JDAM-ER effectively meets the needs of the Commonwealth by providing a greater stand-off capability and making it safer for pilots to prosecute their missions on today’s ever-changing battlefields."

"By successfully transitioning this technology from prototype to production, the Australian Defence Force will be able to further reduce the risk to its personnel on operations, allowing RAAF aircrew to engage their targets from beyond the range of enemy air defences," said Jason Clare, Australia’s Minister for Defence Materiel. "These enhancements will increase the ability of the RAAF to strike more targets in fewer sorties."
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided bombs into near- precision weapons. Boeing intentionally designed its JDAM kit to be modular so the product could mature with a variety of technological upgrades such as a laser sensor, improved immunity to GPS jamming, and an all-weather radar sensor.
Boeing has built more than 238,000 JDAM tail kits in its St. Charles, Mo., facility since production started in 1998. JDAM is used by 26 international militaries.

German air force calls on Berlin to buy missile-armed drones for future conflicts

The country's post-war pacifist movement opposes such acquisitions; Germany is currently operating three Israeli-made Heron 1 drones in Afghanistan for reconnaissance missions.

The head of Germany's air force called Thursday for Berlin to buy controversial missile-armed Predator drones for future conflicts.
Germany lags behind such nations as the U.S. and Israel in adopting the new technology. The country's influential post-war pacifist movement has opposed any acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fearing they might kill civilians.
Lieutenant-General Karl Muellner said strict rules of engagement would meet those objections.
"There is not a single case where we haven't stuck to the rules," he said.
Germany's armed-forces contingent in Afghanistan, which is set to withdraw by late 2014, is currently operating three Heron 1 drones leased from Israel, but they are only usable for reconnaissance missions and are not armed.

The U.S.-made Predator, introduce in 1995, is fitted with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles and has been used extensively by the U.S. in eastern Afghanistan and adjoining areas of Pakistan.
Muellner criticized ground deployments of German forces abroad, saying the cost was out of proportion to the returns, and praised air interventions, saying, "Given the option, it's to be preferred."
No immediate comment was available from the opposition Left Party, which opposes military expansion.
The Green Party referred to a July statement by its disarmament spokeswoman, Agnieszka Brugger, who called purchase of drones without a review of their legality and public debate "irresponsible."
"There's no reason for haste about this," said Rainer Arnold, a Social Democratic defense spokesman, calling for the issue to wait until after next year's general election.


Budget impasse clouds F-35's future

Plans to deliver the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Nellis Air Force Base early next year hinge on uncertain defense budget cuts and potential layoffs at the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.
Three dozen of the stealthy warplanes are supposed to be based in Southern Nevada.
Automatic defense budget cuts of $492 billion will take effect in January under a measure known as "sequestration" if Congress can't agree on another deficit-reduction plan or doesn't delay the current plan, as Republican senators suggested after a recent trip to the Nellis base during a cross-country tour of military installations.
The cuts set for January would be the first round of 10 annual reductions to follow a split between national security and nonsecurity programs that are aimed at reducing the $16 trillion national debt.
"We don't know how sequestration will affect any individual program or facility but, as we've consistently said, we will follow the law with respect to sequestration and the WARN Act," Lockheed Martin corporate spokesman Christopher Williams said Friday .

He was referring to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires most employers with 100 or more employees to notify workers 60 days before mass layoffs.
If nothing changes, Lockheed Martin will be required to issue layoff notices at the end of October to many in its 120,000 workforce, including those involved with manufacturing, testing and delivering F-35 aircraft.
Williams said before Lockheed Martin makes any decisions about layoffs, the company "will carefully consider forthcoming clarifying guidance" from the Office of Management and Budget as stipulated by the Sequestration Transparency Act, which President Barack Obama signed Aug. 7. That act requires the Obama administration to reveal details about the $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and defense programs under sequestration.
Williams said Lockheed Martin Corp. hopes to know some of those details by Sept. 8.
In March, Nellis officials said they expected the first test-and-evaluation F-35 to arrive at the base this fall, with 36 of the versatile fighter jets slated for what is called "beddown" at Nellis through 2020.
But Nellis' public affairs director, Maj. Mae-Li Allison, released a carefully worded response to a Review-Journal query, saying four F-35s are expected to arrive in the first three months of next year.
"We expect to have up to 36 F-35s assigned here between 2013 and 2022," she wrote in an email.
Her opening paragraph said: "It would be inappropriate and premature to speculate on the effects of potential sequestration cuts at Nellis at this time since details about how such cuts would be implemented across defense and domestic programs have not been decided yet."
Earlier this month, U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., met with Air Force leaders at the Nellis base to discuss potential effects of sequestration. They suggested a plan that would postpone the automatic cuts for four months while the Obama administration works out a deficit reduction plan.
After the Aug. 13 meeting, they said the generals told them the Air Force's top fighter pilot training program would be devastated if such deep military cuts take effect.
"Obviously, they are brave, strong people, and they can do anything; but there's no doubt that cuts would have a draconian effect on their ability to do their jobs," McCain, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said before a town hall meeting at the Cheyenne campus of the College of Southern Nevada.
Graham said the future of Nellis Air Force Base will be "very dismal" if sequestration happens.
"The F-35 that they want to use for future training will not be produced in enough numbers that they'll never get the plane," Graham said, adding, "You would not be buying F-35s. You'd be keeping F-16s and F-15s on line for years longer, and you'd have less of them. ... If this happens, Nellis Air Force Base will no longer be what it is today. And that is true for all the major defense installations."
Graham, a Senate Armed Services Committee member, offered an explanation for why F-35 production matters to national security.
"The Russians and the Chinese are selling air defense capabilities to almost anybody who wants to buy them, including the North Koreans. So, if you're a pilot flying an F-16 or an F-15 five or six years from now, the chances of you being at risk multiply greatly. That's why the F-35s and F-22s (Raptors) are so important."
He noted that the radar-evading, stealth technology used in the Persian Gulf War in 1991 was developed in 1980. "So, the threats of tomorrow have to be planned for today."
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the Lightning II, is a single-seat fighter designed to replace aging F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt attack jets.
The single-engine F-35, being flown by test pilots at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., can fly at 1½ times the speed of sound and evade detection with stealth technology that reduces its radar signature.
Advanced electronics allow pilots to detect enemy threats at greater distances and strike targets on the ground and in the air using precision-guided munitions launched from a weapons bay on the belly of the aircraft. It is equipped with a 25 mm cannon for attacking enemy aircraft and armored vehicles.
Versions of the F-35 developed for the Navy and Marine Corps are designed to take off from short runways and aircraft carriers and land vertically.
The Pentagon has anticipated spending $69 billion by the time F-35 flight testing ends in 2017, buying 365 aircraft, about 15 percent of the targeted total of 2,443. The first 63, however, exceeded their target cost by $1 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The National Defense Authorization Act that Obama signed at the end of 2011 included $35 million in military construction funds for Nellis to build an F-35 communications network control center, ground equipment facility and engine shop.
Allison, the Nellis spokeswoman, said the base has broken ground on a simulator complex that includes four F-35 simulators, renovated two hangars as part of an F-35 operations and maintenance complex and added F-35 accommodations to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron building.
Nellis F-35 operations are expected to increase flights by roughly 20 percent and add more than 400 personnel to the base, which employs about 9,000 military personnel.


THERE was fresh anger over taxpayer aid to India last night as it emerged the country is spending £1billion on three warships.
Britain is still handing over £280million a year despite India admitting it doesn’t need the help and regards the amount as “peanuts”.
As the Royal Navy suffers severe budget cuts, India has splashed out on Russian-built frigates, including one said to carry the world’s fastest Cruise missile. The news follows this month’s announcement that India is planning a £50million unmanned spacecraft mission to Mars.
Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “It seems to me that a country that spends billions on defence is more than capable of looking after its own people without £280million a year from British taxpayers. They could just spend £280million less on defence. 
“Also, the money we give to India we have to borrow, so by the time we have repaid it, it’s a lot more.”
Overseas aid spending has escaped Coalition austerity cuts.
Ministers are committed to increasing it to 0.7 per cent of national output, up from £7.8billion this year to £11.5billion by 2015, to reach targets set by the United Nations.
India’s new Cruise missile-carrying frigate, INS Teg, is the first of three Talwar class warships ordered from the Yantar shipyard in Russia.
The International Development Department insists: “As we have made clear many times, British aid is not used to fund India’s defence programme.”
But Joseph Hosier, a retired merchant seaman who revealed the purchase of the warships, said: “We haven’t got a merchant navy to speak of and, with what’s happened to the Royal Navy too, it’s disgusting.
“I’d like to know, if we’re so friendly with India, whether we were offered the contract for these ships, and if not, why not?”
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Just a couple of weeks after learning how they are effect­ively subsidising India’s mission to Mars, British taxpayers will be dismayed to discover that the Indian government is splashing the cash on these new warships.
“India can afford to spend billions on ventures and equipment that the British Government goes without. This only goes to emphasise the absurdity of British aid going to India.”
Yorkshire MEP Godfrey Bloom, UK Independence Party defence spokesman, said: “India now has a far superior navy to ours – new frigates, aircraft carriers with aircraft. And what do we have?”
Despite India’s booming economy, millions of its citizens still live in poverty.
And yet India is said to be the world’s largest importer of arms.
Last year it also came seventh in a world league table of military spending after the US, China, Russia, the UK, France and Japan.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute put India joint fourth with Britain in terms of spending as a percentage of GDP, at 2.6 per cent. India spent £30.9billion against the UK’s £39.6billion.
India’s military expansion has been driven by rivalries with neighbours Pakistan and China.
In January it chose French company Dassault for a £13billion order for 126 fighter aircraft instead of buying Eurofighter Typhoons offered by a consortium in which BAE Systems has a 33 per cent stake.
Britain has been without an aircraft carrier strike force since Sea Harriers were axed in 2010.

Chinese Missile tests targeted at no specific country

China's Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed on Thursday that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had conducted missile tests within national territory and clarified that they were not targeted at any one country.
"We conducted some normal weapons tests within the territory recently," spokesman Geng Yansheng told a regular press conference arranged by the ministry.
"These tests have no specific targets and were not targeted at any specific countries," Geng said, reiterating that the weaponry buildup is to answer the need to safeguard national security.
Domestic and foreign media reports said that the PLA's Second Artillery Force had successfully test-launched several missiles, including DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Others claimed the PLA's tests of JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles had all failed, and that China's development of ballistic missiles was at a comparatively slow pace.
The spokesman neither revealed what kinds of missiles the PLA had tested, nor confirmed the truth of the reports.
According to the reports, China's latest ballistic missiles launched from its mainland have a range allowing them to hit any point of the United States and could penetrate its missile defense system.
"China will always pursue a national defense policy which is defensive in nature and a military strategy of active defense," Geng said.

South Korean Navy takes delivery of third KDX-III class Aegis destroyer

ROK (Republic of Korea) Navy took delivery of its third Aegis-equipped destroyer from the country's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on August 30 2012. South Korea launched the KDX-III program in 2004 to bolster its defense against North Korea. The first ship of the Sejong the Great ship class, was commissioned in December 2008 and the second ship of the class (Yulgok Yi I) was commissioned in August 2010.

The KDX-III destroyers measure 544 feet (165.9 meters) long, with a standard displacement of 8,500 tons, making them the largest ships using Aegis.

The Aegis Combat System is an advanced naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. Aegis can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines, and surface ships while

automatically implementing defenses to protect the fleet against aircraft and missiles by simultaneously tracking a thousand targets within a 500-kilomter radius.
In addition to the Aegis system, the KDX-III destroyers also feature Lockheed Martin’s SPY-1 radar and MK 41 Vertical Launching System. They can carry up to 120 missiles and torpedoes.

The Ryu Seong-ryong will be deployed for combat around mid-2013 after a nine-month trial period. 

Delay in Construction of Six Submarines

The original delivery schedule of the first submarine was December 2012 and remaining submarines were to be delivered with a gap of one year each. Consequent to the approval of Government for revision in cost and delivery schedule in 2010, the delivery of the first submarine has been revised to June, 2015 and that of the last (6th) submarine to September, 2018. The delay in construction of the submarines is attributable to initial teething problems in absorption of new technology, delay in augmentation of Industrial Infrastructure at M/s Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and delay in procurement of some items by MDL due to their high cost as compared to the earlier indicated cost. Complexities of the issues involved have resulted in cost escalation.

Government constantly reviews the security environment and accordingly decides about induction of appropriate defence equipment / platforms including submarines and surface / air assets to ensure India's naval capabilities. The thrust areas for modernization include induction of Frigates, Destroyers, Fast Attack Craft, Submarines, Surveillance aircraft, Aircraft Carrier, etc.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri N. K. Singh in Rajya Sabha today.

The Last Breath Of Osama Bin Laden

NO EASY DAY: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden. By Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer. Dutton, 316 pp., $26.95

Even before the book went on sale, the announcement by the publisher Dutton that the pseudonymous Mark Owen, one of the SEALs on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, would be publishing an account of his role in the raid quickly propelled “No Easy Day” to the No. 1 slot on Amazon, displacing “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

It was inevitable that one of the men on the bin Laden mission would eventually write a book about it. After all, we live in an open society. Anyone involved in this history-making mission would want to set the record straight about what exactly happened — given some of the nonsense that has been written about it — and also make a little money on the side. (To his credit, Owen — whose real name has been revealed to be Matt Bissonnette — is donating most of the proceeds of his book to charities that help the families of fallen SEALs.)

Owen’s account of the raid fits almost exactly with my own understanding of the operation, based on being the only outside observer allowed inside the bin Laden compound before it was demolished and interviewing dozens of American officials familiar with the details of the operation, as well as interviews with Pakistani officials who investigated the aftermath of the raid.

The only surprising thing, perhaps, given the code of silence that exists among the men of SEAL Team 6 — a small, tightknit covert unit that prides itself on being the “quiet professionals” — is how soon this tell-all book was published. After all, it’s been only a little over a year since bin Laden’s body was dumped from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson as it cruised off the coast of Pakistan.

The title of Owen’s book comes from a piece of Navy SEAL lore that “the only easy day was yesterday.” “No Easy Day” joins a growing shelf of best-selling SEAL memoirs that detail just how true that piece of lore is. Last year in “The Heart and the Fist,” Eric Greitens, a Rhodes scholar and SEAL, eloquently outlined the notoriously tough training regime that every SEAL must go through.

Marcus Luttrell’s 2007 book, “Lone Survivor,” gave a visceral account of how he barely escaped the debacle of Operation Redwing in Afghanistan two years earlier, when he was the only one of four SEALs to survive a brutal firefight with the Taliban. The ensuing rescue operation cost the lives of 16 other servicemen.

How does “No Easy Day” stack up with these other SEAL memoirs? Owen and his co-author, Kevin Maurer — who has written extensively on special operations — ably navigate the reader through the secretive world of the SEALs, as well as Owen’s graduation into SEAL Team 6, an elite group within the SEAL elite that, along with the Army’s Delta Force, is arguably the most effective fighting unit in the world.

Owen describes his life growing up in the Alaskan outback, where he learned to handle guns and hunt from a young age — valuable skills for his future line of work. And he does a nice job of detailing the grueling deployments and uncertainties of warfare in the streets of Baghdad and the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, where it is luck as much as skill that keeps you alive.

Sometimes the metaphors in “No Easy Day” get too down-home and obscure — heavy weapons strafing an Afghan ridge­line that looks like a “Bloomin’ Onion at Outback Steakhouse” will no doubt puzzle many readers. But generally the writing is fast-paced, and Owen and Maurer tell some good yarns in a conversational style. They also neatly capture the camaraderie, the pranks, the constant training and the evident love that the men of SEAL Team 6 have for their jobs.

Of course, the readers who are lining up to buy “No Easy Day” are not doing so to read just another SEAL memoir. They want to know exactly what happened the night bin Laden was killed and what it felt like to be on that mission.

Owen and Maurer do not disappoint. They take the reader on a roller-coaster ride, opening the book with Owen on the Black Hawk helicopter that crashed within the first seconds of the SEAL team’s arrival at bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The heart of the book is the four weeks or so leading up to that moment and the 40 minutes that followed it as the SEALs recovered from what could have been a crippling blow to the mission.
Owen says that the plan was for one Black Hawk to hover over bin Laden’s third-floor bedroom at the compound. Some SEALs would then fast-rope onto the roof of the bedroom and surprise al-Qaeda’s leader while he slept. The SEALs practiced this on a replica of bin Laden’s residence made from plywood, shipping containers and chain-link fencing that was assembled in the pine forests of North Carolina, but they had no intelligence about what the interiors of the compound would look like.

At one point, the SEALs asked a lawyer who was attending the rehearsals if the bin Laden operation was an assassination mission. The lawyer replied that “if he is naked with his hands up, you’re not going to engage him. . . . You will detain him.”

Owen has, of course, only a grunt’s-eye view of the bin Laden operation. There is little in the book about the decision making at the White House as the president considered the multiple courses of action at bin Laden’s presumed hideout. Nor is there much about how the intelligence picture that indicated bin Laden might be living at the Abbottabad compound developed. But there is an intriguing cameo appearance by a CIA analyst, “Jen,” who had been recruited out of college and had been on the bin Laden “account” for the past five years. Despite the circumstantial nature of the intelligence case that bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, Jen told Owen she was “one hundred percent” certain that al-Qaeda’s leader was hiding there.

The kill shot

After landing in the compound in the controlled helicopter crash, the SEALs were 15 minutes into the mission and hadn’t yet found bin Laden. Then the “point man” spotted a man poking his head out a room on the third floor. He shot at him. The SEALs moved slowly toward this room and inside found a man lying on the floor in his death throes. Owen and another SEAL finished him off with a few more rounds.
This contradicts previous accounts that bin Laden was shot by the SEALs inside his bedroom. This version of events indicates that there was little real effort to capture bin Laden, despite the admonition of the lawyer to the SEALs that detaining bin Laden was definitely an option.

The raid commander “Jay” called his boss, Adm. William McRaven, on satellite radio, saying, “For God and country. I pass Geronimo. . . . Geronimo EKIA.”

“Geronimo” was the code name for bin Laden, and “EKIA” stands for “enemy killed in action.”

Owen found bin Laden’s guns in his bedroom, an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol. The chambers of both guns were empty. “He hadn’t even prepared a defense,” Owen reflects.

Finally, the SEAL team arrived back in Afghanistan, and Owen and some of his fellow SEALs who didn’t seem to be big fans of President Obama watched his news conference about the successful mission.

“We’d expected him to give away details,” he writes. “If he had, we could have talked some smack. But I didn’t think his speech was bad at all. If anything, it was kind of anticlimactic.”

Owen’s account, however, is devastating to that of Chuck Pfarrer, a SEAL who retired more than two decades ago and who published “SEAL Target Geronimo,” a New York Times bestseller, in November. In Pfarrer’s account of the raid, which he says was based on talking to the SEAL team members on the operation, they did fast-rope successfully onto the roof of bin Laden’s bedroom and within two minutes of the raid beginning they had killed him. The helicopter crash came much later in the raid in Pfarrer’s telling.

Special Operations Command, which almost never comments on operations, issued an unusual on-the-record statement that Pfarrer’s account was a “fabrication” and that he had never spoken to the SEALs on the raid.

Pfarrer’s book is being reissued on Sept. 11 in paperback. Don’t waste your money on it. Buy Owen’s book to find out what really happened that night in Abbottabad.

Bergen is the author of “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad.”

Air Defense Unit Monitoring Enemies' Movements beyond Iran's Borders

A senior Iranian air defense commander said the Iranian armed forces are monitoring enemies' moves beyond the country's borders, underlining that no one will dare to make the slightest aggression against Iran.

"Today the air defense is so strong and is able to monitor moves and flights even beyond borders," Commander of the Air Defense Unit in Eastern Iran Malek Ali Asadi-Fard told reporters on Thursday.

He stressed high security in Iran's Eastern airspace, and noted, "The air defense unit of the Eastern region will confront enemies with full power and high insight and will not allow aggression against the Islamic country."

In similar remark on Wednesday, a senior Iranian air defense commander underlined that the country's Armed Forces are fully capable of repelling enemy threats, adding that Iranian air defense units are closely monitoring US bases in the region round the clock.

"At present, we are monitoring all military bases around Iran 24 hours a day. Also, any flying object which enters Iranian airspace is monitored by Air Defense forces," Commander of the Air Defense Unit in Northeastern Iran General Abdollah Reshadi told reporters on Wednesday.

"We even have the statistical data of the enemies' aircraft in their bases across region," Reshadi stated.

Earlier, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the IRGC has detailed contingency plans to hit 35 US bases in the region in the early minutes of a possible conflict.

"We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack," Hajizadeh said at the time, referring to Iran's contingency plans for any potential confrontation with the US.

He said that the US has 35 bases around Iran, and stated, "All these bases are within the reach of our missiles. Meantime, the occupied (Palestinian) lands (Israel) are good targets for us as well."

The Islamic Republic's top military officials have repeatedly warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, the country would target all American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 Missile Successfully Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile Target During Test

Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] PAC-3 Missile successfully destroyed a tactical ballistic missile (TBM) target today at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in an Operational Test conducted by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. 
The test involved three incoming targets; two Patriot-As-A-Target TBMs and one MQM-107 drone. A ripple launch of two PAC-3 Missiles successfully engaged the second TBM. Preliminary data indicate all test objectives were achieved.

“The PAC-3 Missile continues to perform as expected under very stressing conditions,” said Richard McDaniel, vice president of PAC-3 Missile programs in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business. “This was our third consecutive successful PAC-3 Missile flight test this year. With each successful test, the PAC-3 Missile adds to its legacy of proven performance.”
Three additional PAC-3 tests are scheduled for the second half of 2012, including flight tests that will demonstrate the Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) capability in both the Patriot and MEADS systems.
Lockheed Martin’s Dallas facility is the prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system. The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the highly agile, combat-proven PAC-3 Missile, the PAC-3 Missile canisters, the Fire Solution Computers and the Enhanced Launcher Electronics System.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

Bumar will present its new modern complex anti-aircraft defence system at MSPO 2012.

At the upcoming 20th anniversary International Defence Industry Exhibition (Miedzynarodowy Salon Przemysly Obronnego) in Kielce, Bumar Group, the largest Polish group operating in defence industry in Central Europe, will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

During the upcoming exhibition, Bumar Group, to meet the declaration recently announced by the President, will present the design of a modern complex anti-aircraft defence system with elements to combat tactical ballistic missiles, called “THE SHIELD OF POLAND”. 5.56 MSBS, a new rifle for the Polish Army, developed in Fabryka Broni in Radom, will also have its premiere. Guests will be acquainted with solutions supplied in TYTAN Soldier of the Future equipment. In the innovative area of innovation the visitors will see the system that monitors vital functions of a soldier on the modern battlefield.

On the outside, one will be able to try their hand at a container shooting range and get acquainted with anti-aircraft system.

On the first day, the President of Poland, Mr. Bronislaw Komorowski, Head of Armed Forces will get familiar with Bumar Group products, as well as the details of future anti-aircraft defence system developed by Bumar Group companies in cooperation with foreign partners.

On the second day of the fair, 4 September, at 12.15, in Bumar’s Hall C, a press conference with the Management Board of Bumar will be held, during which President Krzysztof Krystowski will present new strategic objectives of Bumar Group as national defence holding, as well as plans of development for Bumar Group’s new Strategy for the years 2013-2018.

METRAVIB launches its new system PEARL

METRAVIB has developed his new « jewel » : PEARL (Personal Equipment Add-on for Reactive Localization) ;
PEARL is a dedicated and low cost gunshot detection and localization system to be considered as an add-on equipment for : assault rifle, sniper gun, vehicle-mounted machine gun/crew served weapon station, GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) and AGL (Automatic and grenades launcher).

PEARL can be used for multiple missions and applications : situational awareness, FOB and Forces Protection, reconnaissance, border surveillance, counter sniping operations, convoy protection and classical maneuvers.
With PEARL mounted on weapon, the reaction time is dramatically reduced and survivability is increased.

TNI AL Klewang Completion Quick Ship Missile Launch Antiradar

                                       quick ship missiles trimarans Klewang 625

Fast ship missile manufacturing process (KCR) TNI AL owned trimarans already finished. Sophisticated vessels produced PT. Lundin Industry Invest, Klatak villages, districts Kalipuro, Banyuwangi Friday will be launched
 In the launch of a new fleet of TNI AL Klewang named KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG will present a number of high officers of Headquarter TNI AL. KCR ship trimarans is ordering the Ministry of Defence (Kemenhan) RI to strengthen the fleet TNI AL.

 President Director of PT. Lundin Industry Invest, Mr. John Lundin explained, KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG have made ​​based on the updated design model amortising three trimarans or ship. The base material used is a composite material and have a length of 63 meters.

KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG , obviously Lundin, belong to one of the largest ship amortising many made ​​in Southeast Asia. To form a radical lunasnya, the ship can be moved forward with the maximum speed of over 30 knots. "The ship can pass up the ocean waves as high as six meters," said Lundin.
 Our ability Klewang one idealized and proud is stealth. This ship was designed specifically so that are not detected by any radar. Reason, Klewang Our unique design and material is essentially carbon fiber.

Carbon fiber has unique characteristics, that do not induce heat and stronger than steel but much lighter. "Our worthy Klewang be truly proud of Indonesia as one of the highlights of the defense equipment produced national defense industry," said Lundin proud.
Base commander TNI AL Banyuwangi, Letkol Muhammad Nazif added, KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG is the only speedster TNI AL combatan using composite materials. The main task will diemban ship is as quick ship missiles capable of performing peacekeeping operations and combat marine sea. "The job enhancement, marine security patrols, security of natural resources and vital objects in the sea," he said.

KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG  can perform security patrols sea with economical speed and continuous operation in the area for 10 days. In addition, KLEWANG/KCR TRIMARAN KLEWANG also has high speed and is capable of performing marine operations combined with various other ship type. "The ship was also meiliki modern equipment in order to target your target classification, observation, and identification," he said.

Sri Lankan President Meets with Chinese Minister of National Defense

Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, met with Liang Guanglie, state councilor and minister of national defense of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), on August 29, 2012 in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Rajapaksa expressed that the traditional friendship between Sri Lanka and China enjoys a time-honored history. The Sri Lankan people are sincerely grateful to the Chinese side for its long-term firm support to Sri Lanka in politics, economy and culture, etc. The two sides have been understanding and supporting each other and constantly deepening mutually beneficial cooperation for years, have achieved fruitful results in various fields and made positive contributions to regional peace, stability and development.

Rajapaksa also noted that in the new historical period, the Sri Lankan side will continue to unswervingly adhere to the one-China policy, and is willing to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to further promote the pragmatic cooperation, including the cooperation in military field, and constantly promote the bilateral relations to a new high.

Liang Guanglie expressed that the Chinese side is grateful to the Sri Lankan side for its long-term strong support to China on issues concerning the core interests of China, such as the issues of Taiwan and Tibet. The Chinese side will also continue to support the efforts that the Sri Lankan side has made to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and provide necessary assistance for the economic and social development of Sri Lanka.

Liang Guanglie also said that the Chinese side will further strengthen the friendly exchanges between the two militaries and constantly broaden new cooperation fields.

Before the meeting, Gamini Lakshman Peiris, minister of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka, held a grand welcome ceremony for Liang Guanglie.

Liang Guanglie arrived in Colombo on August 29, 2012 for an official goodwill visit at the invitation of the Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka

V-22 Osprey supports Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier flight deck certification

When a V-22 Osprey from Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 22 landed for the first time on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on July 19, it highlighted another in a series of firsts for the unique tilt-rotor aircraft that has become an integral part of the U.S. naval forces.

And although the July 19 landing was a first for a V-22 on Truman, it wasn’t the first time for an aircraft carrier, nor, according to Cmdr. Sean McDermott, the V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) Navy integrated production team lead, will it be the last.

“The Marine Corps has committed to providing V-22s to support CVN flight deck certifications,” McDermott said, adding that one of the goals of Navy leadership is to incorporate V-22s into the aircraft-carrier flight-deck certification process as often as possible.

“It won’t be long before each carrier has had V-22s on board,” he said. 

In March, Ospreys supported flight-deck certification with USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and returned to the ship two months later to perform dynamic interface testing to gather data to expand the V-22’s current flight envelope, McDermott said.

In addition to this past spring’s CVN integration operations, McDermott said a V-22 recently played a role in a deployed aircraft carrier’s logistics mission.

“In July, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) was operating in the Arabian Sea and had about 3,000 pounds of perishable goods needing to be delivered to USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7),” McDermott said. “(Iwo Jima) was about 250 nautical miles away from the Lincoln and helicopters couldn’t travel to Iwo in the appropriate amount of time, so they requested a V-22 from the Marines on the Iwo Jima.”

The Osprey, from Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 (VMM-261), landed on Lincoln, loaded the cargo and six passengers and was airborne in less than 25 minutes. A fairly routine mission, but noteworthy because it involved a carrier, McDermott said.

“V-22s provide support for the MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) and amphibious warships all of the time, this logistics mission only scratches the surface of the aircraft’s potential for the U.S. Navy.”

In addition to this logistics support function, the V-22 is also uniquely suited for the medevac mission, McDermott said. This was shown in June, when an Air Force V-22 successfully demonstrated an evacuation from an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine off the southeast coast of the United States.

The V-22 traveled from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., to the surfaced submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), a distance of more than 1,300 miles.

While hovering above the submarine, the aircraft lowered a hoist line and simulated evacuating a submarine crewman strapped into a Stokes rescue stretcher. The Osprey then returned to its base in New Mexico.

"It was a pretty awesome experience," said Air Force Capt. William Thompson, the V-22 pilot who flew the mission. "It really is a great aircraft, versatile, flexible and a blast to fly." Thompson is a member of the 20th Special Operations Squadron, part of the 27th Special Operations Group at Cannon.

“This medevac demonstration was just one example of the myriad missions the V-22 is capable of completing,” said Marine Col. Greg Masiello, head of the V-22 Joint Program Office at Naval Air Systems Command.

"[June 6th’s evolution] demonstrated one of the unique capabilities the Osprey brings to a commander's playbook -- the ability to go farther, faster and safer than any other medevac vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft,” Masiello said. “These capabilities can and will be instrumental in saving lives.”

A fact not lost on Wyoming’s commanding officer.

“It’s nice to know the U.S. Navy, working with our joint partners, has the capability to rapidly evacuate critically injured Sailors without negatively impacting the strategic mission,” said Cmdr. Chris Nash, USS Wyoming’s commanding officer.

While some of the details and location of the June 6 demonstration are classified, Nash said he was impressed that in spite of wind gusts of 30 knots and heavy seas, the Osprey remained stable above the submarine, without so much as a shiver from the wind.

“This was excellent training for my Sailors,” Nash said. “[This evolution] highlighted the unique capabilities of this transformational aircraft and proved synergy possible when leveraging two of the most capable platforms in the Joint Forces.”

From: Naval Air Systems Command

Philippines Eyeing Joint Sea Patrol With Neighbors

The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia are considering joint patrols of their sea borders to combat piracy, smuggling and the movement of al-Qaida-linked militants, a top defense official said Thursday.
The proposal was discussed when Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin met earlier this week with his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts, who traveled to the Philippines to visit their troops involved in efforts to strengthen a cease-fire between Filipino forces and Muslim guerrillas in the south.
The Philippines has considered joint naval patrols with either Indonesia or Malaysia in the past but a
three-way effort would vastly improve security in the volatile region, Gazmin said.
The Southeast Asian nations share sea borders where human and arms smuggling, piracy and the movement of militants from al-Qaida-linked have long been a concern.
In 2000, Abu Sayyaf gunmen crossed the border in speedboats and snatched 21 European tourists and Malaysian and Filipino workers from Malaysia's Sipadan diving resort and brought them to jungle strongholds in the southern Philippines, where the captives were later ransomed off.
Indonesia has also been concerned with the smuggling of firearms from the southern Philippines to Indonesia, where they could fall in the hands of Islamic militants.
Gazmin said authorities from the three countries would study the proposed joint naval patrols, along with real-time information exchanges and rapid-response arrangements to deal with emergencies at sea and cross-border crimes.

Indian Helicopters Crash Caught On Camera

Asian Defence News

NATO Official: Most Insider Attacks In Afghanistan 'Personal'

Despite a recent spate of insider attacks, most U.S. and Afghan deaths at the hands Afghan security forces have not been organized by the Taliban as part of a larger insurgency, and coalition forces are continuing to make progress in the country, a senior NATO official said Aug. 29.

Thus far in 2012, more than 40 coalition deaths have been attributed to insider attacks, compared with 35 for all of 2011.

“There are a variety of reasons that these attacks have occurred over the last few years,” said Alexander Vershbow, deputy secretary-general of NATO. “The majority still are viewed as having been the result of personal grievances or clashes between Afghan personnel and coalition personnel, and only a small percentage may have been engineered by the Taliban.”

Vershbow acknowledged there has been increased activity by the Taliban in recent weeks but said that NATO has implemented background checks and cultural sensitivity training for troops that will help combat insurgent efforts.

Speaking to reporters about the larger security situation in Afghanistan, Vershbow expressed optimism that the country is headed in the right direction.

“In the broader scheme of things, our strategy is working, and the coalition is solid,” he said.
Vershbow also said that even if Pakistan remains a haven for insurgents after NATO forces draw down, a critical issue that commanders have pointed to as greatly harming progress in the country, he believes that Afghanistan can survive.

Much of NATO’s current approach will shift at the end of 2014 when the coalition force known as the International Security Assistance Force is disbanded, ending major combat operations in Afghanistan. However, ongoing training and support will still be provided to Afghan forces.

Details of how that transition will happen have yet to be hashed out, Vershbow said.

“Planning is underway, but it’s still at an early stage,” he said.

Kiwi, Australian and Japanese Navies Work Together

The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has successfully completed a short tri-lateral exercise with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Royal Australian Navy.

In what is believed to be a first for the RNZN, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) ship JS SHIMAKAZE has been refuelled at sea from HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.

HMNZS TE KAHA and ENDEAVOUR conducted a number of training manoeuvres with HMAS DARWIN and PERTH and JMSDF JS SHIMAKAZE enroute to Darwin, Australia. Exercise Pacific Bridge, was conducted on passage between Guam and Darwin from 22-28 August.

It has been an unique opportunity for the three nations to operate jointly and further enhance the tactical level of working together conducting ship manoeuvring and warfare training scenarios, says Commanding Officer of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, Commander Keith Robb.

"Pacific Bridge was an excellent opportunity for the RNZN to work closely with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force and Royal Australian Navy. This was amplified by the signing of the agreement allowing the NZ Defence Force to refuel the JMSDF at sea for the first time.

"It was a natural extension of the partnership fostered by the three nations in Exercise RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) which took place in the Hawaiian waters last month."

ThalesRaytheonSystems Awarded $44.9M Contract by US Army to Upgrade Firefinder Radars

ThalesRaytheonSystems has been awarded a $44.9 million contract by the U.S. Army to upgrade the Receiver Exciter (REX) in the Improved AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder radar.

The enhanced REX is part of the U.S. Army’s program to further improve the AN/TPQ-37’s performance, maintainability and reliability, while extending the service life of these long-range counter-battery systems.

REX Modification Kits and spares are scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Army mid-2013. The REX unit performs two critical radar functions: It produces the signal transmitted from the radar antenna and conditions the received signal for processing within the radar’s computer system.

“The REX upgrade represents the latest enhancement to the Improved Firefinder radar,” said Kim Kerry, chief executive officer, ThalesRaytheonSystems, U.S. Operations. “The extensive improvements and enhancements, including the REX, make the Improved AN/TPQ-37 an essentially new system, while retaining its vast history and combat proven credentials. There is no other weapon locating radar that can match the AN/TPQ-37 in terms of performance, reliability and readiness.”

The REX upgrade for the Improved AN/TPQ-37 is available as a field or depot retrofit, or in new production radars. The Improved AN/TPQ-37 is one of the few U.S. designed and built radars currently available for export to nations around the world. The Enhanced REX will contribute to the Improved AN/TPQ-37’s reduced total cost of ownership and unsurpassed weapon locating performance.

The Improved AN/TPQ-37 is the world’s premier long-range weapon locating radar. Improved Firefinders have been deployed in Iraq and continue to be deployed with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In total, more than 380 Firefinder radars (AN/TPQ-37 and AN/TPQ-36) have been delivered to the U.S. Army and 11 international customers. Firefinder radars locate the position of hostile artillery, rockets and mortars with unsurpassed accuracy so that friendly forces can quickly and decisively return precision fire.

MiG-29M2 Takes Part in in Serbia and Slovakia Airshow

A MiG-29M2 multirole fighter of RAC MiG flew from Russia to the Batajnica air base, Serbia.

The aircraft piloted by RAC MiG test pilots Stanislav Gorbunov and Alexander Pelikh, will take part in the air show dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Serbian Air Force.

TNI expects stronger navy fleet by 2024

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Wednesday that the government was expecting to procure a dozen submarines to augment Indonesia’s existing fleet by 2024.

Purnomo said that a deal to purchase three of these submarines was signed in December 2011. The submarines are being built in cooperation with South Korea.

He said that the joint-production program will transfer South Korea’s technological knowledge of submarines to Indonesia.

The first submarine will be entirely the product of South Korea while the second will be built together with Indonesian workers. Purnomo expressed hope that Indonesia would have learned enough about submarines to be able to build the third independently.

“By the third, we hope to be able to build our own submarines. They will be built in Indonesia, by Indonesians.” Purnomo said at a press conference, after a meeting of the Defense Industry Policy Committee (KKIP).

The Indonesian Defense Ministry and Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME) signed a contract in December last year to build the three submarines.

The contract was signed by the ministry’s Defense Facilities Agency chief, Maj. Gen. Ediwan Prabowo, and DSME president and CEO Nam Tae-sang.

Under the contract, two submarines will be built in South Korea in cooperation with state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL, while the third submarine will be built at PT PAL’s facility in Surabaya.

The submarines will weigh 1,400 tons and be 61.3 meters long. Each will carry up to 40 crew members and have eight tubes for torpedoes and other weapons.

The KKIP had its seventh meeting on Wednesday since it was established in 2010 based on Presidential Regulation No.42/2010 regarding technological research and development in defense and industry.

The meeting mapped out the government’s plan to coordinate various sectors of the economy so the country can build the third submarine by itself.

Under the plan, the Education and Culture Ministry will facilitate the nation’s arms independence by training and providing human resources in weapons manufacturing.

More importantly, the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry will be playing a key role in Indonesia’s submarine-building project.

The ministry controls state-owned shipyard company PT PAL which will acquire knowledge on South Korea’s submarine technology. The knowledge will allow Indonesia to create a maintenance and overhaul center for submarines.

PT PAL has dispatched technician to observe construction of the first ship, and will have gained sufficient knowledge by the end to be able to build the third in Indonesia.

Purnomo said that the strengthened fleet would better protect Indonesia.

“Based on our calculations, two-thirds of our country is water. We need at least 10 submarines to protect it,” Purnomo said.

“We hope to be able to achieve this goal by 2024,” Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Adm. Agus Suhartono added.

In 2024, Indonesia expects to have reached the country’s minimum essential force requirement. Some Rp 150 trillion (US$15.8 billion) will have been spent to pay for the modernization of the nation’s weapons-defense system between 2010 and 2014.

China continues to increase defensive potential

Conflicting information regarding weapons is heard from China. According to some data, missiles "Dongfeng-41", capable of hitting targets in the United States, were successfully tested in China. According to other data, Beijing is just developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that will be able to overcome the U.S. missile defense system in the region.

Information on the development of China's intercontinental ballistic missile capable of overcoming U.S. missile defense system in the region came in response to other news. The world's media spread the news that China has successfully tested missiles "Dongfeng-41" that can hit targets at any point in the United States. But denial does not change the picture as a whole: for many countries it is obvious that China is becoming not only an economic superpower, but also a powerful military state whose interests have to be considered.
According to the Pentagon report released in mid-May of 2012, China's military budget for this year is between $120 and $180 billion dollars, while the official Beijing previously reported the amount of $106 billion. Increased allocations to the military allowed the rearmament of China, so the Chinese army is now capable to carry out military operations abroad. The armed forces there are involved in operations against Somali pirates attacking Chinese ships.

China now has many of the latest weapons systems, which makes the country a pretty powerful military state in the Asia-Pacific region. China is also developing new systems that can compete with the arms of the United States. For example, a Pentagon report says that China is developing anti-ship ballistic missile capable of overcoming the distance of over 1.5 thousand km. In the next couple of years China will create a submarine capable of carrying ballistic missiles. In addition, the country's navy has two nuclear-powered submarines of the third generation, and in the coming years five more such submarines will be put into operation. The Chinese Navy also has 48 diesel submarines. As for the surface fleet, the fleet composition of China has 79 warships, 51 transport ships and 86 patrol boats equipped with missiles.

In the air, China fleet consists of over five hundred attack aircraft and bombers, over hundreds of reconnaissance aircraft, 300 transport aircraft, as well as over a thousand fighters. In addition, China has developed a high-tech fighter Invisible J-20 that will not be detected by potential enemy radars. However, the date of deployment of J-20 is not yet specified.
In the framework of military cooperation with Russia, China bought Russian missile systems S-300 and plans to buy more S-400. Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of Russia Konstantin Biryulin said in May of 2012 that the Chinese have a few S-300 units, and with the acquisition of S-400 China they have a considerable number of these units. The expert did not report the exact number of missile systems purchased from Russia.
China is also producing its own armored vehicles. At the exhibition DSA-2012, Chinese company NORINCO introduced battle tank VT-2, based on the Chinese-Pakistani tank MBT-2000. Only a model of the tank was exhibited, and it has not been announced whether other countries are interested in purchasing these vehicles.
Despite the increase of the military budget and purchase and development of new weapons, the power of the Chinese army and its technical equipment are still far from the armed forces of NATO and the United States. For example, the quality of diesel submarines does not allow a military watch in full. The Chinese Communist Party, aware of this, each year allocates more budget funds to upgrade the military equipment and develop their own military technology.
In total, according to a German resource Welt Online, since 1995 the military budget of China has increased 500 -fold. According to a report by the Stockholm Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI), while most of the countries reduce budget spending on defense, China is increasing it, and now occupies the second place - 8.2% of global arms spending (the U.S. is in the first place with 41%), the third place is taken by Russia - 4.1%. The share of military spending in the budget of China is approximately 2% (in the U.S. - 4.7%, in Russia - 3.9%). What caused such a huge upgrade of one of the most populated countries in the world? Why does China allocate these impressive funds for the national defense?
The "White Paper" issued by the Chinese Ministry of Defense said in March of 2011 reported that the growing Chinese economy needs to protect their economic interests, including with military means. The money is needed not only for the purchase of new weapons and technology, but also for the production of its own. It is also necessary to increase the pay for the Chinese army that employs 2.3 million people. Who will Chinese military fight against? The Chinese leadership is concerned about the recent increased presence of the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular the deployment of a missile defense system in Asia. U.S. missile defense radar in the region uses GPS, as well as air defense systems Patriot PAC-3, and information detection system.

China hopes that the Chinese missile development would negate the efforts of the Americans to dominate Asia. An expert on military affairs Yin Zhuo suggested that the U.S. missile defense system in Asia cannot resist the Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of over five thousand miles. At the same time, The Wall Street Journal wrote on August 22 that the U.S. plans to deploy new early warning radar systems in the region, and one of the complexes will be located in Japan and another one, apparently, in the Philippines.
The U.S. military bases on the island of Guam also concern the Chinese leaders. In addition, China has its old geopolitical interests in the region: the island of Taiwan that China considers its own. For decades, China has been trying to land on the rebellious island, but so far China's plans do not go further than speculations. Recently, China has begun to aggressively defend its territorial interests in disputes with the neighbors. In the South China Sea, the country is trying to defend its right to a few islands in the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam. China also has territorial claims against Japan - namely, the island Dyaoyudao. It is also in a dispute with India over Arunachal Pradesh - the territory that belongs to the Southern Tibet.
Experts believe that by 2015, China's military spending will rise to $220 billion, which exceeds the military spending of all the 12 countries neighboring China. The official Beijing calls such numbers a speculation and one more reason for the U.S. to increase its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Will China get involved in a big war? Tom Doctoroff in Huffington Post said that China's militarily aggressive behavior is no more than a myth. Yes, China is increasing its arsenal, but it will never enter into a serious military conflict with the neighboring countries and will not challenge the United States without a valid reason. After all, China's militarily is far behind the U.S. In addition, the culture of China rejects war and residents are trying in every way to protect themeselves from all kinds of dangers.
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