Tuesday, 30 October 2012

MiG and Sukhoi have signed a cooperation agreement in the network of development of UAVs

Russian aircraft corporations MiG and Sukhoi have signed a cooperation agreement in the network of development of UAVs, reports.
According to CEO of RAC MiG, Sergey Korotkov, the corporation will take part in the project launched by Sukhoi after winning the corresponding tender. Russian Ministry of Defense selected Sukhoi as the developer of heavy attack UAV in July 2012. The possible specifications of this UAV have not been unveiled yet.
Sokol and Transas have also started co-development of an attack UAV. However, this refers to medium UAV with a takeoff weight of about 5 tons. Some sources believe that the UAV developed by Sokol and Transas is a surveillance one. In addition, Sokol and Transas are also developing a UAV with a takeoff weight of 1 ton. The total amount of financing for these projects is assessed at 3 billion rubles.
As reported by a source close to RAC MiG, the company told about significant increase of share of composites in the fuselage structure of MiG-29 fighters (from 2-3% to 10-12%). In particular, half of the jet’s external surface area is made of composites. The composites help decrease the aircraft’s weight and increase the airframe’s corrosion resistance and stiffness.

Iran dispatches warships to Sudan after Israeli airstrike on missile base

Iran risked Israeli military retaliation Monday with the dispatch of a naval task force to Sudan just days after a widely reported airstrike by the Jewish state against a missile base run by Tehran in Khartoum.

Sudanese state media said that a docking ceremony was staged in Port Sudan to receive the convoy led by an Iranian naval frigate and corvette warship.
Commanders of the Iranian flotilla reportedly met Sudanese navy chiefs as a gesture of "peace and friendship".
But Israel sees the increasingly close military links between Iran and Sudan as a credible threat. It fears Iran is building missiles to supply Hizbollah and the Syrian regime.
Israeli media has said that a long-range bombing run by eight F15 bombers hit a missile base staffed by Iranian engineers at the Yarmouk military plant.
Sudan has complained to the United Nations that Israel bombed the factory.
Iran claims to have harvested images of "sensitive" Israeli military sites and other potential missile targets form a drone shot down after it was launched from Lebanon by Hizbollah

Ismael Kowsari, a Iranian MP, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that images from the drone were broadcast back to Hizbollah operators before the Israeli military shot it out of the sky earlier this month.
"These drones transmit the pictures online," Mr Kowsari said. "The pictures of forbidden sites taken and transmitted by this drone are now in our possession."
Mehr has close links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is in overall charge of Iran's relationship with Hizbollah, the Shiite group whose militant terror arm is equipped with missiles, rockets and other arms by Tehran.
An Israeli investigation into the mystery craft, which was reported to have crossed deep into its territory, has not yet reached any conclusions. However military officials have briefed that they did not believe it was equipped with a camera. "I don't think there was a camera," a senior officers in the northern command said.
The Hizbollah leadership has boasted that it assembled the drone in southern Lebanon from components produced by its Iranian paymasters. It has warned that it is prepared to send more drones into its southern neighbour despite a warning from Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, that it is risking Lebanese security by doing so.
Ahmed Vahid, the Iranian defence minister, has taken credit for the Hizbollah drone in recent days. Mr Vahid said while the Ayub drone was not the "latest Iranian technology," its sophistication had "amazed" Israeli defence strategists.
Mr Kowsari, who is a former commander of the IRGC, also claimed that the images would allow Iran to respond to any act of aggression by Iran or its Western allies against the Islamic Republic. "That's why we say we will respond to Israel inside (its) territory, should it take any action against us," he said.
Iran claimed last month it had started manufacturing a long-range missile-carrying drone with a range of 1,250 miles.
The Shahed-129, or Witness-129, covers much of the Middle East including Israel and nearly doubles the range of previous drones produced by Iranian technicians, who have often relied on reverse engineering military hardware with the country under Western embargo.
Last year Tehran said it recovered the carcass of a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone that had landed in its territory after going off course in Afghanistan. The regime claimed it was using the data recovered from unmanned aircraft to build its own version of one of the most sophisticated survelliance drones made by the US.

First Ka-52K Choppers for Mistral Ships to be Built in 2013

The Russian Navy will receive the first batch of Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters for Mistral class amphibious assault ships in 2013, Kamov General Designer Sergei Mikheyev said.
“The first serial Ka-52K will be assembled in 2013,” Mikheyev said on Monday. “By the time the first Mistral enters service in 2014, we are ready to make as many helicopters as the Defense Ministry will order.”
Prototypes of the naval version of the Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter are under construction at the Progress plant in Russia’s Far East, he said.
The naval variant will feature a modified version of Zhuk-A phased array radar, folding rotor blades and anti-corrosion treatment to fuselage and on-board systems, which is necessary for any helicopter designed to operate from a ship.
The Ka-52K will reportedly be capable of launching anti-ship missiles.

Russia and France signed a $1.2-billion contract for two French-built Mistral class ships, including the transfer of sensitive technology, in June 2011. Two more ships are expected to be 80% built in Russia, 20% in France.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.
An air wing aboard a Mistral warship is expected to comprise eight Ka-52Ks and eight Ka-29/31 Helix assault transport helicopters.
The latter has been originally designed for the Soviet Navy and does not require design changes or modernization, making its adaptation for Mistrals less time-consuming and costly, Mikheyev said.
The French-built ‘Vladivostok’ and ‘Sevastopol’ Mistral class ships are expected to be put in service with Russia’s Pacific Fleet in 2014-2015

Monday, 29 October 2012

S. Korea moves to upgrade Patriot defense system

The South Korean military's Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) system has a success rate of less than 40 percent in intercepting ballistic missiles, government sources said Sunday.

   Due to the noticeable inefficiency in deterring North Korean missiles, the PAC-2 system can only be useful in intercepting airplanes, prompting the South's military to rush to introduce the more advanced PAC-3 system, said the sources.

   PAC-2 has been deployed to counter increasing threats from the North's low-flying, short- and medium-range missiles, as part of Seoul's plan to build an independent theater missile defense shield, dubbed the Korean Air and Missile defense (KAMD) network system.

   "The Korea Institute for Defense Analyses and the Missile Defense Agency of the U.S. have just concluded a joint study on the KAMD and found that the PAC-2 system has an interception success rate of below 40 percent," said a ranking government official.

   "A variety of simulations have concluded that in order to raise the interception rate to above 70 percent, the (South Korean) military has to move to the PAC-3 system."

   South Korea has bought 48 PAC-2 systems, including launchers, from Germany at a cost of 1 trillion won (US$909 million) but the PAC-2 launchers can't be used for the PAC-3 system.

   Another government source said, "The core computer system in PAC-2 is superannuated. The system has to be diverted for interception of fighters."

   At the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in Washington last week, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said that his government will push to build the PAC-3 system. In order to strengthen the total missile system, Kim also stressed South Korea would establish a "kill chain" to detect, target and destroy North Korean ballistic missiles, which are capable of hitting South Korea, Japan and Guam.

   Military officials said the PAC-3 and kill chain systems will be pushed in close coordination, forecasting that the PAC-3 system will be introduced starting in 2014.
In a related development, Seoul's defense ministry has strongly denied that South Korea could participate in the U.S. missile defense system, saying that building the KAMD never means participating in U.S. efforts to build a multi-layer defense system.

   U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday after the SCM talks with Kim that Washington is still in consultations with Seoul over its future role in a regional missile defense system, raising speculations Seoul could take part in the U.S. missile defense system.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Q-53 Radar Finds Enemy Firing Positions Before Their Mortars Find Us

Fighting wars would be a hell of a lot easier if everybody still just lined up on the field of battle where we can see them. But with the advent of guerilla tactics and asymmetric warfare, you now need to keep your head on a swivel in a vicious cockfight—or just let Lockheed Martin's new mobile radar system watch your back.
Officially known as the AN/TPQ-53 Quick Reaction Capability Radar, this truck-mounted mobile radar system is designed to spot and track incoming mortar, artillery, and rocket fire, then backtrace the enemy's firing position and the round's estimated impact location based on its trajectory thanks to a suite of purpose-built ballistics algorithms. This allows our forces to respond to incoming threats faster while severely limiting the number of rounds an attacker can get off before being engaged.
The Q-53 is actually composed of two FMTV trucks; the Mission Essential Group totes the radar itself and the primary 60Kw generator while the Sustainment Group transports the radar's four operators and a backup power supply. An encrypted radio channel allows the operators to remain a safe 1km distance from the radar itself, either in the climate-controlled comfort of the SG truck or in the field using ruggedized Linux-based laptops. This may seem like a lot of resources for a simple radar setup, but the Q-53 system is actually quite svelte compared to its predecessor, the Q-36, which needed three trucks and a crew of six.
"We improved the software and improved the overall hardware of the system, incorporating lessons learned from the earlier systems," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McDonald, Training and Doctrine Command capability developer and requirements staff officer. "We developed more robust gears, a rotating platform, an automated leveling system and an improved air cooled system."
With a selectable 90 or 360-degree field of view and lightning-fast five-minute setup/two-minute teardown time, the Q-53 is already being utilized for the defense of counter insurgency operations. It can also be incorporated into a forward operating base's existing Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) systems, which use the Q-53's ballistics information to shoot down incoming threats before they hit. The military is also considering upgrading the Q-53's tracking capabilities, which would allow it to identify and track larger targets like UAVs.
"These radars systems give a lot of capability to commanders in the field, especially since we are not fighting a linear fight anymore," McDonald explained. "This system is easier to emplace, especially in a high-optempo environment. Now it is all automated, so it reduces wear and tear on the crew and system. Also, the Q-53 enhances force protection. It uses an encrypted wireless network able to reach up to 1,000 meters away, so I can put myself in a tactical operations center, or TOC, or nearby shelter."
And any of those places should offer a terrific view of hyper-accurate return fire.

Patriot, SM-2 engage ballistic and cruise missile targets in sophisticated test scenario

Raytheon Company's radars, missiles and integrated systems played key roles in the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Flight Test Integrated-01, the largest combined developmental and operational integrated live fire missile defense exercise ever conducted.

"This is the most sophisticated test of our ballistic missile defense capabilities ever attempted," said Tom Kennedy, Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems president. "Raytheon's radars, missiles and integrated systems are an indispensable part of our nation's missile defense architecture."

During the test, Raytheon's AN/TPY-2 X-band radar detected a medium range ballistic missile target and provided cues to the THAAD weapon, enabling a successful intercept. Raytheon's Patriot system detected, tracked and successfully intercepted a short range ballistic missile target with a PAC-3 interceptor and a low-flying cruise missile target over water. The company's Standard Missile-2 was fired from the USS FITZGERALD and engaged a low-flying cruise missile. While the Aegis combat weapon system tracked a short range ballistic missile threat and launched an SM-3 Block 1A, there was no indication of an intercept; program officials are assessing test data.

About Patriot
Patriot is the world's most capable air and missile defense system, protecting against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

    Patriot is owned and operated by 12 nations around the globe.
    Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems.
    Raytheon is the system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.

About AN/TPY-2
Playing a vital role in missile defense, AN/TPY-2 is a mobile X-band phased-array radar. The radar searches, acquires and tracks threat ballistic missiles, and is sophisticated enough to discriminate between threats and non-threats such as decoys.

    In forward based mode, AN/TPY-2 detects and tracks an enemy ballistic missile starting at boost (ascent) phase of flight, which is shortly after the missile is launched.
    In terminal mode, AN/TPY-2 serves as the search, track, discrimination and fire control radar for the THAAD weapon system. Forward-based AN/TPY-2's in Japan, Israel and Turkey are currently enabling the protection of the U.S., deployed troops, and the U.S.'s friends and allies from the growing threat of short-, medium- and long-range missiles.

About the Standard Missile-2
The missile is a primary medium-range area air defense weapon that provides high- and low-altitude intercept capabilities and performance against advanced anti-ship missile threats.

    The SM-2 is the primary air defense weapon for the U.S. and eight allied navies around the world.

About the Standard Missile-3
The SM-3 destroys incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them, a concept sometimes described as "hitting a bullet with a bullet." The impact is the equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.

    More than 135 SM-3s have been delivered ahead of schedule and under cost.
    During the test, the U.S. Navy launched an SM-3 Block IA missile, which is deployed today.
    Raytheon is on track to deliver the next-generation SM-3 Block IB in 2015.

DCNS innovates with a new weapons system for submarines: self-defense anti-aircraft

Currently, submarines have no alternative but to flee to defend against torpedoes dropped by helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft. Systems with air defense developed by DCNS in cooperation with MBDA, they will require aircraft now questioning their mode of action, forcing them to stay away.

In fact, to meet the needs of marine protect their submarines from air threats, DCNS offers a weapons system comes in two versions.

The self-defense anti-aerial mast

It is designed to integrate into the massive submarine. It consists of a mast which carries a hoistable turret containing several short-range missiles (Mistral).

The self-defense with a underwater vehicle

It implements from a torpedo tube, underwater vehicle (VSM) within which is a medium-range missile Mica.

These weapons systems are integrated combat system SUBTICS ®, ensuring the overall performance of the submarine, since target designation and the launch of the missile to achieve the target.

Life Extension Programs Modernize Minuteman III ICBMs

BARKSDALE AFB, La. | Fifty years ago, officials deployed the first Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles to the missile fields in support of the strategic deterrence mission. Five decades later, these missiles are still in place, providing safe, secure and effective strategic nuclear deterrence.

Since it first deployed, a number of state-of-the-art improvements and modernization programs have helped the Minuteman system continue its deterrence mission with improved reliability that supports the missile's remarkable 99 percent alert rate. Air Force Global Strike Command officials continue to modernize the weapon system through a series of extensive Minuteman III Life Extension Programs.

Nearly the entire missile has been refurbished, including the flight controls and propellant in all three stages, the guidance system and the Propulsion System Rocket Engine.

"We are checking and balancing everything, but they are basically new missiles except for the shell," said Michael Knipp, ICBM program analyst. "Over the last decade we've done more than $7 billion worth of upgrades to 450 missiles."

In addition to the missile itself, a number of upgrades to the Minuteman III ground systems have been made. Those include upgrade to various electronic, cryptographic and security systems, Knipp said.

The last of the Life Extension Programs that will take the platform through the year 2020 are scheduled to be completed in 2015.

DARPA contracts Cubic for next-generation One Shot sniper development

Cubic Defense Applications has received a contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for development of the next-generation (XG) of One Shot crosswind and range measurement systems.

The field-deployable system has been designed to provide ballistic aim point offsets in the shooter's riflescope sight, and has a compact architecture that supports installation either on rifle or the spotter-scope to allow for accurate shooting of targets at maximum effective ranges in crosswind conditions.

As prime contractor of the agency's One Shot XG programme, Cubic had teamed up with Trex Enterprises to manufacture and validate a prototype system, which if proven successful, may lead to the supply of ten additional systems within 15 months.
"If military snipers could neutralise enemy targets with a single round, they could potentially save many lives."

Cubic Defense Applications Advanced Programs vice president Steve Sampson said the One Shot XG would enable rapid measure of downrange crosswind, direction and range to target, to offer ballistic corrections, a characteristic previously missing in the military snipers.

"Using a unique two-way measurement system operated from existing sniper rifles or spotter scopes on current and future weapons, One Shot XG is designed to provide greatly improved first-round accuracy," Sampson added.

"If military snipers could neutralise enemy targets with a single round, they could potentially save many lives."

Both companies have been working on the concept for the past six months, which will now undergo demonstrations as part of the DARPA contract, according to Sampson.

Trex is tasked with production of the crosswind measurement algorithm, which is expected to serve as the key to the programme's success.

Cubic One Shot XG product development programme manager and principal investigator Tony Maryfield said the company had used a wide range of products, from fibre lasers and quantum well modulators to smart cards, to manufacture both systems and components.

"One Shot XG will directly benefit from at least a decade of development geared towards state-of-the-art field-proven MILES combat training products," Maryfield said.

ITT Exelis to supply AN/AVS-6 aviator goggles to US Army

ITT Exelis has received an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for providing its enhanced third-generation aviation night-vision systems and associated spare parts to the US Army.

Valued at nearly $217.5m, the five year IDIQ deal allows the company to compete for supply of AN/AVS-6 aviator night-vision imaging systems (ANVIS), as well as spare aviation image intensifiers.
"Generation 3 image intensification technology provides aviators the world's most advanced night vision capability."

Exelis Night-Vision business area vice president and general manager Nick Bobay said the AN/AVS 6 offers unprecedented resolution, reliability and performance required by the aviators during night time operations.

"Generation 3 image intensification technology provides aviators the world's most advanced night vision capability," Bobay added.

The delivered ANVIS systems are expected to be installed in the HGU-56/P helmets of the military rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft pilots.

Powered by standard AA batteries, the AN/AVS-6 aviator is an advanced image intensification system designed to help rotary-wing aircraft pilots to efficiently conduct and complete operations during night or low-visibility conditions.

The system is equipped with an auto-gated Gen 3 Pinnacle image intensifier to provide enhanced low-light-level performance and significantly lowered halo, eventually extending the pilots' ability to fly in changing light conditions.

An optional clip-on power source helps facilitate hand-held operation of the binocular in escape and evasion missions, as well as an improved positive objective lens to maximise clarity under all conditions of the flight.

Additional features include an independent eye-span adjustment and 25mm eye relief eyepiece, as well as a 'Minus-blue' objective lens to filter screen glares resulting from cockpit instrument lighting.

In addition to HGU-56/P, the binoculars are also installed aboard a wide range of the SPH-4B and Alpha rotary-winged helmets.

Rolls-Royce to build water jet for US Navy’s X-class MUSCL USV

Rolls-Royce will design and develop a mini and efficient water jet propulsion system to power the US Navy's X-class unmanned surface vessel (USV), modular unmanned surface craft littoral (MUSCL).

As part of the Candent Technologies-led innovative small propulsion system project, Rolls-Royce will develop a water jet with a diameter of just 100mm that will be capable of quietly propelling the craft in support of remotely controlled operations.

"We are developing and adapting our world-leading water jet technologies as part of a highly efficient propulsion system, which will enable these advanced craft to go about their duties criss-crossing waterways and oceans, often for months at a time."

Candent Technologies has been selected by the US Navy for the award of an SBIR Phase I contract to develop a high-efficiency heavy fuel propulsion system for small surface unmanned craft.

The technology applications include remotely piloted air vehicles, as well as other small manned and unmanned craft, both military and commercial.

Rolls-Royce Naval Marine Advanced Programs director Dennis Duke said: "We are developing and adapting our world-leading water jet technologies as part of a highly efficient propulsion system, which will enable these advanced craft to go about their duties criss-crossing waterways and oceans, often for months at a time."

Capable of providing thrust to move the craft at speeds in excess of 25k, the water jets can sustain a cruise speed of 15k while providing high levels of manoeuvrability and efficiency for navies worldwide.

Ideally suited to vessels operating in shallow waters, the new water jets will be the smallest design of Rolls-Royce to date.

The X-class unmanned surface vessel has been developed to reduce risk to manned forces and conduct repetitive surveillance tasks.

The MUSCL two-man portable craft will support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions to provide real-time monitoring of suspicious vessels, personnel, and activity along waterways, shorelines, and under bridges and piers for users.

More Time Needed for German Military Reform

Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière and Chancellor Angela Merkel have told soldiers that reform of the military is going well. Many soldiers do not share their optimism.

"The repositioning of the military is now picking up speed," said German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière, expressing his satisfaction at the progress of reform. At the annual conference of the German military - the Bundeswehr - in Strausberg near Berlin on Monday (22.10.2012), he admitted that the improvements could not yet be felt everywhere, but said that things were going in the right direction.

Chancellor Angela Merkel even described the Bundeswehr as a model for reforms in other areas of German society. But she and de Maizière failed to present their expected comprehensive interim report on the reorientation of the German army.

Reform is inevitable

The international security landscape has changed dramatically in the past 15 years. Conflicts have become more varied and require a corresponding response from Germany's armed forces. De Maizière said that in the future the armed forces will have to take on more responsibilities around the world. Merkel hinted that Mali in West Africa could possibly be a future deployment. It was unacceptable, she said, that terrorists had found a safe haven there and that the civilian population continued to suffer.

Already, German soldiers are involved in stabilization operations in the Balkans, in armed conflicts such as in Afghanistan and in securing the sea lanes off Somalia. According to the defense ministry plans, about 10,000 soldiers will continue to be able to respond quickly, flexibly and for lengthy periods in multiple areas of crisis and conflict. Since 2010, the ministry has merged the relevant competencies in the armed forces and eliminated duplication. The number of command authorities alone has been reduced from 42 to 25.

Extensive savings program

In view of the lack of funds in the budget, the new tasks make a drastic austerity program necessary. The decision was made to close 31 military sites by 2017 and reduce the size of a further 90. Military projects will be cut by billions of euros. There will be 140 new fighter jets, not 177. The number of combat helicopters on order will be cut by half to 40. But the biggest savings will be made in personnel.

From a high of 500,000 soldiers during the Cold War, there will now be no more than 185,000. This does not necessarily mean soldiers will be dismissed. Since Germany suspended conscription in July 2011, the armed forces have been made up only of volunteers. That was widely recognized as a sensible move for the times, because only one in five eligible young men was actually recruited each year and because the pool of available recruits is shrinking with the decline in population.

Dissatisfaction and criticism of the reforms

But the downsizing and restructuring of the Bundeswehr have also led to frustration and sometimes chaos. That's something the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Hellmut Königshaus, has noticed. His task is to document the morale among the ranks and to be the contact person for criticism and concern.

Königshaus complains that soldiers have been given little information about the reforms and sometimes did not know where they would be serving the following week. The troops felt that the "top down" orders they received didn't take account of their views.

At the same time, it has become increasingly difficult to attract recruits for the army, he said. The minimum annual intake of 5,000 recruits will indeed be achieved. But not long ago, the desired number was 15,000. At the moment, a military career seems an uncertain and unattractive choice for many young people.

Most soldiers agree that the Bundeswehr does need reform, but they do not understand the way that the reform is being implemented - sometimes it seems to go too quickly, sometimes too slowly. According to a survey by the Bundeswehr Association, 88 percent of officers believe the reform process requires immediate correction, otherwise it will not last long. Some 53 percent of all soldiers even think the reform has been a failure. A study on change management conducted by the Military Institute of Social Sciences for the Ministry of Defense came to similar conclusions.

At the conference on Monday, de Maizière asked for patience and understanding for the sometimes painful cuts - and to see the opportunities, not just the risks. The conference will spend all of Tuesday (23.10.2012) discussing military reform. In 2013 and 2014, soldiers will be asked again. Then the members of the armed forces will have another chance to say how far they've come round to their defense minister's point of view.

GA-ASI Successfully Tests ADS-B Surveillance System Aboard Guardian

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) today announced the successful demonstration of an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)-based surveillance system that provides pilots with enhanced situational awareness and supports GA-ASI’s overall airborne sense-and-avoid architecture for its Predator B RPA.

The purpose of the test was to demonstrate that the Predator/Gray Eagle-series aircraft can fly cooperatively and safely in the National Airspace System (NAS), allowing Air Traffic Control (ATC) to know their location and flight profiles precisely. BAE Systems provided a prototype of its Reduced Size Transponder, which has recently received the designation AN/DPX-7. The AN/DPX-7 is a military grade Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder that interoperates with both military and civilian ATC surveillance systems and is ADS-B-capable.

“We are working closely with the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration], other governmental agencies, and industry partners to advance the safety of RPA”, said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. “We believe ADS-B will play a key role in a future sense-and-avoid system and will support the FAA’s ‘Next Gen’ initiative, so this is a step in the right direction.”

Installed on a Guardian RPA, a Predator B configured for maritime operations, the prototype’s first successful flight test occurred on August 10 off the Florida coast. During the test, held in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and the FAA, Guardian’s ADS-B IN-capable transponder detected other ADS-B-equipped aircraft in the vicinity and displayed the aircraft on a display within the Ground Control Station (GCS). Concurrently, Guardian’s ADS-B OUT transponder notified other aircraft and ATC of its location and velocity.

ADS-B is the GPS-based surveillance system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s “Next Gen” Air Traffic Management (ATM) system, which aims to convert America’s ATC system from a ground-based system to a satellite-based system, resulting in simplified air traffic logistics and enhanced aircraft safety margins. The FAA has mandated that all aircraft flying above 10,000 feet or around major U.S. airports must be ADS-B equipped by 2020.

The results of the demonstration follows GA-ASI’s successful 2011 test of a prototype airborne Due Regard Radar aboard a manned aircraft. Based upon an X-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, the capability will work in tandem with ADS-B to improve Predator B’s capacity to participate safely in domestic and international airspace, thus ensuring its interoperability with civilian air traffic and airspace rules and regulations.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Gray Eagle, and the new Predator C Avenger.

Lockheed to start work on USAF's GEO 4 and 5 satellites

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to start initial work on the US Air Force's (USAF) fifth and sixth space-based infrared system (SBIRS) geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) satellites.

Valued at $82m, the initial contract represents the first of three GEO-5 and 6 satellite acquisition phases, and covers completion of non-recurring engineering activities and purchase of select long lead spacecraft parts by the company to help supplier production lines offer the lowest possible price for each component.

Procurement of the remaining long lead parts, as well as satellite production, is scheduled to be subsequently funded by the second and third acquisition phases under a fixed-price contract scheme.

Lockheed Martin Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) mission area vice president Jeff Smith said the contract will support a steady production rate and will significantly reduce the programme costs as the air force is procuring satellites in bulk, as opposed to one at a time.

''We understand both the importance of the SBIRS mission and the weight of the current fiscal environment - and we are committed to delivering mission success affordably and efficiently for the Air Force,'' Smith said.

The SBIRS satellites are designed to provide timely and accurate warning for missile launches to the US government, using a combination of four GEO satellites, two highly elliptical earth (HEO) payloads, as well as related ground hardware and software.

To date, Lockheed has received contracts for production of four HEO payloads, four GEO satellites, as well as ground assets for acquisition, processing and dissemination of the infrared mission data.

The SBIRS GEO-1 was launched by USAF from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station onboard an Atlas V rocket on 7 May 2011, and the GEO-2 is scheduled for launch in March 2013, while the GEO-3 and GEO-4 are currently under various stages of development.

Distinguish Molniya and Tarantul : Guided Missile Corvettes of Vietnam Navy

The Molniya and Tarantul belong Project 1241 (NATO List collectively Tarantul) under high-speed missile boats, are designed for combat duty in the shallow coastal waters, high speed, firepower are the advantages of this type of rocket ships.

Project 1241 was initiated at the end of the Soviet Union in 1970, to replace the high-speed missile boats obsolete Osa.
In 1978, the first project was completed and transferred to the Soviet Navy evaluation.

This variant is equipped with 4 anti-ship missile P-15 Termit range of 40km, 1 gunboat AK-176 76.2 mm at the front and two fast firing AK-630 cannon in the back.
The identified variants of Project 1241 is quite complex. Russia, every time with small improvements to be set for a different identifier while the external appearance does not change much. This is the reason why many people difficult to distinguish Molniya and Tarantul.

Other variants were developed of Project 1241 include 1241.1M/MR (NATO identification is Tarantul III) equipped with search radar target Monolith, this radar targets 120km search range in active mode, up to 500 km with a passive mode.
New variant to replace the P-15 missile with supersonic anti-ship missiles P-270 Moskit, 120km range, replace engine CODOG (combined diesel gas turbine) by engine CODAG (combined diesel gas)
Project 1241 RE is the export variant of Project 1241, (NATO identifier is Tarantul-II), with different variations for the Soviet Navy is removing search radar target Monolith installed above command chamber, instead search radar target Garpun-Bal (NATO identification Plank Shave) at the top of the mast.

Radar radar installation location Monolith is replaced with fire-control radar MR-123 Vympel for gunboat AK-176 and rapid firing AK-630 guns.

On Project 1241 RE weapons equipped with 4 anti-ship missiles P-15 Termit less than capacity layout structure clusters the similar anti-ship missile launcher as the Russian, 1 gunboat AK-176 76.2 mm, 2 artillery Quick shot AK-630, low-to-air missiles, Igla.
In the photo, Project 1241.8 Molniya export to India, gunboat AK-176 front replaced by OTO 76mm SRGM French.

Vietnam People's Navy ordered ships since 1999, four vessels were delivered in the early 2000s. Currently, Vietnam will close the vessel with the help of technology transfer from Russia. At least 6 units cruise missiles Tarantul are served in the Vietnam People's Navy personnel.

Russian Molniya is the name for this variation, it is also called the Lightning. This variant is also known as Project 1241.1 Molniya, 1241.1/1241.8 actually the same project, the reason which had a different name due to be exported to various countries.

Project 1241.1 is a variant for the Russian Navy only has one aircraft were put into use.
Project 1241.8 is reserved for export variants. In particular, variations export for gunboat India AK-176 is replaced by the gunboats OTO 76mm SRGM French, search radar targets are placed in the dome above the top of the mast. Vietnamese also Project 1241.8 exports to the use of fully electronic and weapons systems from Russia.
Molniya guided missile corvettes with 4x4 SSM Uran E range 130km (all photos : giaoduc, ttvnol)

Between Molniya and Tarantul there are many differences easy to see with the naked eye, the superstructure the Molniya is divided into 3 levels, 3 different types of radar installation.

First, the upper chamber commander installed fire-control radar for anti-ship missile Garpun-Bal-E (in Project 1241 RE Tarantul, radar is located on the top of the mast), followed by the fire control radar MR-123 Vympel for gunboat AK-176 and rapid firing AK-630 guns, on top of the mast to install the target search radar MR 352 positiv-E (note ship missiles Project 1241 RE Tarantul not have this type of radar ).
Masts of Project 1241 RE Tarantul circle at an angle to the rear also mast vertical box Molniya and lower, 2 the sad column installed 2 electronic warfare systems.

Weapons of Molniya more powerful than Tarantul, Molniya fitted to 16 subsonic anti-ship missile Kh-35 Uran-E (NATO name SS-N-25 Switchblade range of 130 km, is arranged into four launched two sides clusters with 4 missiles each cluster.
Project 1241.8 Molniya gunboat equipped with AK-176M 76.2 mm, two rapid fire guns AK-630M, low-to-air missiles, Igla-1M, (with Russian weapons, M is used for the variation undergoing modernization).
Power source system of the two ships are the same are used engine CODOG (combined diesel gas turbines). The amount of water stretching of Molniya little more than a little than Tarantul due carry more missiles (550 tonnes compared with 490 tonnes).

Overall, the combat capability of the Molniya higher than with Tarantul. Vietnam People's Navy is 2 Molniya missile boat on the payroll, in addition to the 10 aircraft being built under contract for the transfer of technology from Russia in Vietnam.

For Vietnam called Tarantul only for RE Project 1241, also with the Russian Project 1241.8 own set identifier is Molniya, the use of the name for each variant is very important to help readers recognize the This difference between the two types of warships.
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