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Northrop Grumman’s T-X Jet Trainer Contender Emerges at Mojave Air and Space Port

4:18:00 PM Add Comment
WASHINGTON, -- Prime aerospace defense contractors are throwing everything they have into the competition to replace the venerable T-38 Talon as the United States Air Force’s next jet trainer. Dubbed the T-X program, this new jet is supposed to bridge the gap between primary training on the T-6 Texan II and the advanced fighters that student pilots will one day fly, such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

About 350 jets are envisioned to be initially ordered by the USAF, but that number could grow substantially as export customers emerge—and if the aircraft ends up providing additional duties for the Pentagon. Namely, a version of the T-X, which will be far more maneuverable than the already-nimble T-38, could find a serious niche in the adversary support mission.

This unique Scaled Composites-Northrop Grumman heritage was clearly evident when the company’s T-X broke cover on Friday.

Dubbed the Model 400, the aircraft looks like a modernized, composite hybrid of the T-38 Talon and the F-20 Tigershark. It packs a single F404-GE-102D engine, a derivative of the same engine used in the F/A-18A/D, the JAS-39A/D (Volvo RM12), the F-117A, and India’s Tejas light fighter—as well as Lockheed's T-X competitor, the T-50A.

Revealed Monday on Twitter, Northrop Grumman’s T-X contender looks like a redesigned, single-engined T-38 of the 1960s with some similarities to the ill-fated F-20 Tigershark of the 1970s, both of which were also originally developed by Northrop.

Lockheed Martin may shift F-16 production to India

8:08:00 PM Add Comment
NEW DELHI, -- With production winding down after 40 years in Fort Worth, Lockheed Martin is considering a plan to move assembly of future F-16 fighter jets to India — if that country places a big order for the planes.

The defense giant has offered India exclusive rights to produce and export F-16s, said Ken Ross, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth.

“We are in discussions with the U.S. government, the government of India and our Indian industry partners about this opportunity,” Ross said. “Details about this potential partnership will be determined in conjunction with the respective governments, Lockheed Martin and Indian industry.”

Lockheed acknowledged in February that the company had offered to build F-16s in India last year at a meeting between Lockheed’s CEO Marillyn Hewson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is looking to replace many of its air force’s 650 planes and wants to become a hub for defense manufacturing.

Work on the F-16, which has been built since the 1970s, has been winding down in Fort Worth as the program matured and attention turned to building the next-generation F-35. Several hundred workers continue to build about one F-16 a month for Iraq at the Fort Worth plant, with orders in place to last through October 2017. Over the life of the program, Lockheed has delivered more than 4,500 F-16s.

Ross said that as F-16 manufacturing is completed in Fort Worth, “we anticipate F-16 mechanics transitioning from the F-16 production line to the F-35 production line to support increased F-35 production rates. Other F-16 personnel will have opportunities to transition to one of the F-16 modification programs.”

Lockheed is beginning to ramp up production of the F-35 fighter jet. The company is on track to deliver 53 F-35s this year and expects to more than double output to 120 aircraft by 2019. It’s in the midst of a $1.2 billion expansion and reworking of its Fort Worth manufacturing complex to prepare for more work.

About 8,800 people work on the F-35 program, and the company has said it expects to add 1,000 assembly-line jobs as it increases production.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Indonesia lays plan to acquire 20 units of M109 self-propelled howitzers

7:58:00 PM Add Comment
JAKARTA, -- The Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Darat, or TNI-AD) has requested for funding allocation from Jakarta to acquire up to 20 units of the M109 Series of 155 mm self-propelled howitzers to augment the service's indirect-fire support capabilities.

The request was disclosed in a transcript of a meeting on the country's defence budget for 2017, and reviewed by IHS Jane's on 18 August.

"The objective of the acquisition is to meet the TNI-AD's current requirement for such a platform", said the transcript, which has however given no details on where the TNI-AD plans to acquire the artillery systems from.

The US Army M109A6 'Paladin' 155mm self-propelled howitzer.

Japan confirms missile development plans

7:48:00 PM Add Comment
TOKYO, -- The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has outlined its plans to collaborate with local industry to develop new surface-to-ship missiles (SSMs) that will strengthen the sovereignty of its remote islands.

An MoD spokesperson confirmed to IHS Markit on 19 August that the development project will feature a programme to develop Japan's existing SSM system, the Type 12, which is produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Additionally, the spokesperson said the MoD was in discussions with local governments about the deployment of the Type 12 to the islands of Miyako, Ishigaki, and Amami, which are all located in the disputed East China Sea.

The Japanese Army Type 88 Surface-to-Ship Missile is a truck-mounted anti-ship missile system.

Japan to build more ships to patrol disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands

7:26:00 PM Add Comment
TOKYO, -- Japan is planning to build three more patrol ships for the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) to better protect the waters around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands from Chinese intrusions, Kyodo news agency reported on 22 August.

Quoting a government source, the report said the funds for the new vessels will be included in a draft supplementary budget for fiscal year 2016, which the government is aiming to pass during the upcoming session of the Diet.

The news comes as four China Coast Guard vessels entered Japanese territorial waters close to Kuba Island on 21 August, the 26th day on which Chinese ships have entered Japan's waters this year, Kyodo quoted the JCG as saying.

The Japan Coast Guard (PL-71) Patrol Patrol Large.

Thailand Navy M58 Patrol Gun Boat Sea Acceptance Trial

5:48:00 PM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- The Royal Thai Navy HTMS 561 Leamsing began the Sea Acceptance Trial (SAT). 58 meter ship design is a collaboration between the Royal Thai Navy and the shipyards Marsun.

HTMS Leamsing has a length of 58 meters and a width of 9:30 meters, and a maximum weight of 520 tons. Ships can reach a maximum speed of 23 knots and can travel up to 2500 nautical miles.

Serie M58 type vessel is armed with a 76mm Oto Melara main gun and 30mm cannon MSI Defence secondary and two .50 cal machine guns.

The Royal Thai Navy HTMS Leamsing (561) M58 Patrol Gun Boat.

Vietnam Purchase T-90 Training System

8:17:00 PM Add Comment
HANOI, -- According to sources from the company Almaty, Vietnam and Kazakhstan signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of training simulation system tanks - armored.

Representatives of Almaty, said Alexander Klimenko said: "The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding and will have a longer record of exports, this is only the beginning of our work will provide the equipment been to Vietnam ".

In addition, the Almaty also introduced its achievements for Vietnam counterparts. Specifically, simulation training systems with a full range of features of the helicopter Mi-17, special features of the Mi-17 aerobatics.

In particular, the Almaty to Vietnam also introduced simulation training systems with full features for T-72 tanks. But Kazakhstan is not yet confirmed the information.

But if the deal is to be authentic, this is good news next to the armored forces of Vietnam, by Russian producers previously published information also said Vietnam has ordered the number of tanks T- 90 MS more than speculation.

Manufacturer uralvagonzavod said, to meet the needs of today's modern and straight up, Vietnam has conducted meetings and ordering buy new T-90MS tanks from Russia to gradually replace outdated tubers blow.

Russian representatives have confirmed that Vietnam will buy in large quantities more than the initial figure of only 28 units.

According to the manufacturer introduced uralvagonzavod, T-90MS tanks are equipped with engines capacity of 1130 hp with automatic transmission 7 and 1 reverse amount, Sosna-U PNM viewfinder, automatically controlled turret UDP T05BV-1 RWS mounted 7.62 mm caliber Dalian, inertial navigation systems GLONASS and in particular with explosive reactive armor new enhanced protection capabilities.

Earlier it was reported that Vietnam has agreed to acquire T-90 or T-90A. They are earlier versions of T-90MS. Comparison of physical characteristics and their ability to fight is clearly superior to T-90MS.

The Russian Army T-90MS Main battle tank offers an upgrade path for the Russian T-90 tank New modernized (M) version of the export offering a balanced improvement in firepower, mobility and protection.