First Refuel for RAAF KC-30A refueller to the F-35A (JSF)

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CANBERRA, -- The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed the first fuel transfer with the air refueling boom from a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) to a US Air Force (USAF) F-35A Joint Strike Fighter at Edwards Air Force Base in California. A total of 59 contacts were conducted of the which five contacts transferred 43.200 pounds of fuel during the four hour sortie,

Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies AO CSC, Described the trial as a significant step in the development of the KC-30A's capability.

"Our KC-30A is an essential force multiplier. Mid-air refueling is critical to ensuring global reach for our aircraft, our people and our equipment, "Air Marshal Davies

said." Refueling between the KC-30A and F-35A is an important step towards the KC-30A's achievement of Final Operational Capability (FOC) and represents continued progress in the development of the F-35A.

"This achievement is significant Because The future of Australia's air combat capability is reliant on the successful partnership between Reviews These two aircraft and our ability to be interoperable with our international partners," Air Marshal Davies said.

The KC-30A has two refueling systems - the hose-and-drogue refueling Boom System and Advanced (ARBs). The two different refueling systems allow the RAAF to support a wide range of coalition aircraft on Operation Okra where a KC-30A is currently deployed to support combat operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The five KC-30As are based at RAAF Base Amberley (QLD ) and Air Force will receive an additional two in 2018. A single KC-30A can carry a fuel load of more than 100 tonnes and REMAIN 1800 kilometers from its home base with 50 tonnes of fuel available for offload, for four hours.

Australia has committed to 72 F-35As for Williamtown and Tindal RAAF Bases, with the first aircraft arriving in late 2018. The F-35A will replace the aging F / A-18A / B Hornet with a 5th-generation fighter aircraft networked.

The Royal Australian Air Force new KC-30A Tanker test fuel transfer to the F-35A Lightning II.

Last Oliver Hazard Perry Frigate USS Simpson Leaves Service, Marked for Foreign Sale

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MAYPORT Fla., -- After 30 years of service the last Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate — USS Simpson (FFG-56) — ceremonially left U.S. Navy service Tuesday at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., according to the service.

Simpson’s departure from the service marks the end of the Perrys in the service making way for the roles to be filled by the new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

Following the departure of the ship from the service, the ship is set to be put up for foreign military sale (FMS) after being towed to Philadelphia sometime next month, according to information from the service.

Simpson was best known as part of a three-ship surface action group (SAG) that was in turn part of Operation Praying Mantis — the retaliation mission following the near-sinking of frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) during the Iran-Iraq War in 1988.

Belknap-class cruiser USS Wainwright (CG-28), Knox-class frigate USS Bagley (FF-1069) and Simpson destroyed an oil-rig based surveillance post and sunk Iranian patrol boat Joshan, according to a May 1989 account of the operation in Proceedings.

The ship departed for its final deployment to U.S. Southern Command in November to Europe and the Middle East and returned to Mayport in June.

The US Navy ship USS Simpson (FFG-56) returns to Naval Station Mayport after completing a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

Russia Launched Last Kilo Submarines for Vietnam

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HANOI, -- The Admiralty Shipyards in the city of Saint Petersburg Verfi held launching ceremony of HQ-187 Ba Ria - Vung Tau submarine, the s ubmarines of Varshavyanka class Project 636 (Kilo -NATO) of the Vietnamese Navy.

HQ-187 Ba Ria - Vung Tau is the last Russia's Kilo submarines in the number six of Varshavyanka for Vietnam. Previously, Vietnam had received four Kilo submarines were: HQ-182 Hanoi, HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong HQ-184 HQ-185 and Danang. The 5th - HQ-186 Khanh Hoa is undergoing running tests in the Baltic Sea.

In 2009, Russia signed a contract manufacturing and supply of six modern diesel-electric submarines Varshavyanka class for $ 2 billion to the Vietnamese. The contract includes training process for submarine crews as well as provide the Necessary equipment.

The Russsian made Submarine Project 636  Varshavyanka  class of Vietnam has 3,100 tons displacement, maximum speed 20 knots / hour, can dive to 300m deep crew of 52 people. The submarine is equipped with six 533 mm torpedo tubes with club missile attack. The ability of the ship running smoothly led NATO experts call it "black holes" in the ocean.

The Vietnamese Navy HQ-187 Ba Ria - Vung Tau submarine.

ADF Tests Latest Amphibious Capability

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CANBERRA, -- The Australian Defence Force is testing its newest amphibious capability ahead of the upcoming cyclone season.

Exercise SEA RAIDER in Far North Queensland involves some 1400 troops embarked in HMAS Canberra with medium lift helicopters, landing craft and small boats, trucks, troop carriers and other vehicles.

Conducted by the Brisbane based Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, under command of Major General Stuart Smith, Exercise SEA RAIDER is supported by HMAS Stuart, Air Force assets and Commando forces as well as other Government agencies.

The ADF works closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as the lead agency for Australian Government responses to overseas emergencies.

MAJGEN Smith said inter-agency exercises were designed to help the ADF and DFAT work together efficiently and cooperatively in a crisis.

“This amphibious force has been tested in scenarios that reflect tasks the Australian Government may direct in response to local and regional emergencies,” he said.

Commander of the Amphibious Task Force, Captain Jay Bannister RAN, stressed the importance of Exercise SEA RAIDER.

“We have now come to the third and most testing phase of the Sea Series – Exercise SEA RAIDER. The exercise is a rehearsal for future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions as well as civilian evacuations across a broad landscape with support from colleagues from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,” CAPT Bannister said.

“I have every confidence that the team will rise to the complex challenges of the final exercise of Sea Series 15.”

The Sea Series of exercises will conclude in early October.

The Amphibious Ready Element on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra during Sea Series 2015.

Aselsan has exported the first weapon system to Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, -- Aselsan made its first arms system export to Southeast Asia. According to the company statement, under an agreement signed with a company resident in Malaysia, 30 mm MUHAFIZ/SMASH Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System will be integrated into the 44-meter boat belonging to the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Currently, the Turkish Naval Forces Command, Coast Guard Command, Land Forces and Police Headquarters is located ASELSAN Remote Controlled Weapon Systems in its inventory, it was preferred by Turkey as well as 10 country’s Armed Forces.

These agreements, its importance in terms of being the first weapon system exports to Southeast Asia which carried by ASELSAN.

The ASELSAN SMASH 30MM Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System.

Lockheed Martin Unveils New Amphibious Combat Vehicle for US Navy

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NEW YORK, -- A new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) produced for the US Navy was revealed at a trade show in the state of Virginia, defense contractor Lockheed Martin said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The armored , eight-wheel-drive vehicle is designed to transport up to 13 Marines, transition seamlessly between land and water, and provide high levels of blast protection, "Lockheed Martin stated.

Tests conducted on the vehicle have shown that in the event the ACV Traveled over an Improvised Explosive Devices and lost a wheel, it would still be Able to drive and escape the blast zone.

"It's going to be more lethal, it's going to be faster and our troops inside are going to be better protected," US Marine Corps Capabilities Development Directorate Director William Mullen said.

The US Marine Corps established the ACV program to replace its aging fleet of Amphibious Assault Vehicles, the which have been in service since the 1970s.

The Lockheed Martin’s new Amphibious Combat Vehicle candidate undergoes testing in Saginaw, Michigan. The heavily armored eight-wheel-drive vehicle transitions seamlessly between land and water, and carries up to 13 Marines.


Navy units conduct mock amphibious assault in Cavite

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MANILA, -- Philippine Navy and Marine units conducted a mock amphibious assault in Ternate, Cavite on Thursday, as part of the five-day Exercise "PAGSISIKAP" 2015 which started Monday, Navy public affairs office chief Cmdr. Lued Lincuna said.

"This mock amphibious raid was a combined special operations designed to put into test, evaluate and further enhance the capability of the Fleet-Marine personnel in the conduct of an integrated attack from its initiation from the sea through naval platforms, to the insertion of troops and infiltration into the hostile terrain, to demolition raid and close-quarter combats and finally to the extraction of the VIPs from the enemy-laden environment," he added.

Aside from war-fighting capabilities, it was also an avenue for the troops to run through the tactical combat casualty care by air and water that comprised of life-saving techniques and strategies for providing first aid and care on the battlefield for combat casualties.

Exercise “PAGSISIKAP” 2015 is the 12th iteration of the annual Fleet-Marine amphibious exercise conducted by the PN in order to develop and achieve an amphibious-capable and credible force and enable the Fleet-Marine forces to assert more efficiency in the conduct of its mandated task.

Philippine Marines from the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) storm the beach to simulate an "extraction" of a kidnapped victim as they kick off a five-day amphibious military exercise at the Philippine Marines training center in Ternate, Cavite province, about 50 miles (80kms) south of Manila, Philippines Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.

Official: France Announce Egypt Will Acquire the 2 Mistral Class LHDs Originally Intended for Russia

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PARIS, -- The French presidency just announced that Egypt will acquire the two Mistral LHDs originally intended for Russia. "President of the French Republic met with the President Abdel Fattah Al Sissi. They agreed on the principle and terms of the purchase by Egypt of two Mistral class amphibious vessels" according to the official statement of the French presidency.

In early August 2015, France and Russia Reached an Agreement for the Non Delivery of the 2 Mistral Class LHDs originally ordered in June 2011.

The Egyptian Navy just took delivery a FREMM Frigate from French shipyard DCNS. Moreover, a year ago, DCNS won a contract to supply the Egyptian Navy with four Gowind corvettes. Slated in 2017, the delivery of the first corvette, which is developed and realized at the DCNS Shipyard in Lorient, will occur less than four years after the signature of the contract. DCNS started cutting metal for the very first unit on April 16th 2015.

Mistral class vessels are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 soldiers, and are expected to be deployed with Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

The warship Vladivostok sets off in March from the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, western France, on a shakedown cruise. The Mistral class LHD amphibious vessel was ordered by Russia.

First bilateral exercise a success AUSINDEX15

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VISAKHAPATNAM, -- The inaugural bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia, AUSINDEX15, has concluded in Visakhapatnam, India.

The activity brought together ships and aircraft from both countries to strengthen defence co-operation under the Framework for Security Cooperation announced in 2014 by the Australian and Indian Prime Ministers, Abbott and Modi.

Head Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, was on location in India for part of the exercise and said the relationship between the two militaries was strategically significant.

“India remains one of Australia’s key security partners in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

“We have mutual interests in promoting peace and prosperity in the region.”

Three Royal Australian Navy vessels and a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C made the passage to India for the inaugural biennial exercise. HMA Ships Sirius and Arunta and Submarine Sheean successfully trained with Indian Navy Ships Shivalik, Ranvijayi and Shakti, along with P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft during the week-long activity.

The exercise started with briefings and practical demonstrations ashore, before progressing to sea for surface and anti-submarine warfare and coordinated anti-submarine exercises.

AUSINDEX15 is expected to be held every two years.

The Royal Australian Navy HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) Anzac class frigate off Vizag.

Philippine Army's Mechanized Infantry Division to Get Another 114 M-113s

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CAMP O 'Donnel, CAPAS, --- The Philippine Army (PA)' s Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) is scheduled to get another 114 M-113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) starting November this year.

"Hopefully, they will arrive by the middle of November this year," MID head Major Gen. Mayoralgo Dela Cruz said in an interview Monday.

All will be coming from the US as These are declared "Excess Defense Articles."

Dela Cruz said the Philippines did not pay any money for the acquisition of Reviews These M-113s except for the shipping and refurbishment costs.

The PA operates around 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles) and APCs.

Around 85 percent of Reviews These AFVs are on green status (fully mission capable) while another 10 percent are on yellow status (undergoing repair) and five percent are on red ( beyond repair).

One hundred and fifty of These are the United Kingdom-built GKN "Simba" with the remaining AFVs consisting of US designed V-150 and V-200 APCs, M-113s, Turkish made ACV-300s and British Scorpion CVRTs .

Reviews These vehicles give the PA its armor capability and are organized into a 14-vehicle mechanized infantry companion for deployment with regular units.

The U.S Army Sierra Nevada depot.

BHIC Associate Gets RM92.4 mln KD Pahang refit Contract

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KUALA LUMPUR, -- Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd has received a Letter of Work from the Ministry of Defence Malaysia for a scheduled refit maintenance of the Royal Malaysian Navy's patrol vessel, KD Pahang , worth RM92.4 million.

Boustead Naval is a subsidiary of Boustead Holdings Bhd (BHB) and an associate of Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC).

In a statement today, BHIC said the letter was dated Sept 2, 2015.

The KD Pahang work will have a material effect on the earnings of BHIC Group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015 and will Contribute positively to its earnings, it said.

Boustead Naval's Managing Director, Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, said after the successful delivery of the Ship Life Extension Programme contract in 2014, the group was delighted to be awarded with this refit project.

"We are Honoured to be entrusted once again with the task of managing and delivering an important exercise to Ensure the ongoing availability in optimal condition defense of a vital national asset, "he said.

The Royal Malaysian Navy KD Pahang Pahang (F172) Kedah Class offshore patrol vessel.

Royal Thai Navy Frigate has its Datalink Successfully Tested with RTAF Aircraft

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BANGKOK, -- On September 21, HTMS Naresuan FFG 421, a Royal Thai Navy's Chinese-made frigate successfully tested a datalink with the Saab Gripen fighter aircraft and Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning aircraft.

The Royal Thai Navy HTMS Naresuan-421 with RTAF Gripen and Saab 340 AEW aircraft.

(Royal Thai Navy)

Ukroboronprom to Ship Next Batch of Tanks to Thailand by Year's End

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KIEV, -- The next batch of Oplot tanks, the latest development of the Ukrainian armored industry, will be shipped to Thailand by December 31, 2015, First Deputy General Director of state-owned Ukroboronprom Concern Serhiy Pinkas told UNIAN.

"We have met the latest deadline for the delivery of five tanks under the contact with Thailand. The next deadline is set for December 31," Pinkas said in an exclusive interview with UNIAN.

Pinkas also pointed to some difficulties that the company had been facing while manufacturing these tanks.

"I can't say that the production of Oplot tanks is smooth and easy. It's far from being easy. I can only say that a personnel reshuffle at the Malyshev tank plant is a signal that not everything has been good there. Now we have bought metal for [manufacturing] a very large batch of tanks. The situation with the supply of components has improved. In short, the pace may not be the one we would like to achieve, but let us wait until the end of the year, and we'll make an official announcement then," Pinkas said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, in early 2015 Ukroboronprom's management announced plans to produce 40 Oplot tanks in 2015, and reach the production target of 100-120 tanks per year in 2016 and on.

In June 2015, the company's management dismissed the director of the Malyshev plant for the failure to fulfill the Oplot production plans. For this end, Ukroboronprom said private enterprises were engaged in the production of the tanks as the concern's own production capacities are insufficient.

In 2011 Ukraine signed a contract with Thailand for the shipment of 49 Oplot tanks worth about $250 million. The first batch of five tanks was delivered in late 2013. Another five tanks were shipped to Thailand in June 2015.

Ukroboronprom's management repeatedly noted that it was more economically feasible to export Oplot tanks rather than use them in the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine, while channeling proceeds from the export to upgrade mothballed military hardware.

UNIAN's memo. Ukroboronprom was established in 2010 to ensure effective operations and management of state-owned business entities that develop, manufacture, sell, repair, modernize and scrap weapons, military and special equipment and ammunition, and participate in the military-technical cooperation.

The Royal Thai Army T-84 Oplot-M main battle tank. The RTA  ordered for 49 T-84s  Oplot-M to replace its fleet of aging M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tanks.

Jakarta Looks to Moscow for Planned Submarine Purchase

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JAKARTA, -- Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu says the government will prioritize purchasing new submarines over fighters jets — and that it intends to buy them from Russia.

“The president has ordered the new purchase. Rather than buying 10 secondhand units [of submarines], it is better to purchase five new ones instead,” Ryamizard said in Jakarta on Monday after a closed-door meeting with legislators.

He added that Russian submarines would likely be chosen based on several considerations.

“Russian submarines can dive longer and deeper than any others. They can also shoot under the sea,” Ryamizard said. (All submarines can do this.)

As for fighter jets, the government will probably only purchase new ones next year, the minister said.

“We still have ... fighter jets. What is important is [to build more] runways,” the minister said.

He did not say how much the government planned to spend on the proposed submarines or whether they would be nuclear- or diesel-powered ones.

The Russian Navy Kilo-class Project 636 Starij Oskol (B-262)  diesel-electric submarine.

Philippine Army tests new M113A2 tracked armored personnel carrier with remote weapon station

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TARLAC, – On Monday, September 21, 2015, the Philippine Army showed and tested six of the 28 acquired M113A2 armored personnel carriers (APC) at Camp O'Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

The six refurbished APCs from Israel are equipped with remote controlled weapon station armed with 12.7mm heavy machine gun.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri personally observed the testing of the APCs.

According to Gazmin, the AFP modernization fund financed the procurement of the 28 APCs – which cost more than $17.3 million.

Gazmin said he is generally satisfied with the mobility and firefighting capabilities of the APCs. He added that this will boost the capability of the Philippine Army as it confronts internal and external security threats.

Mechanized infantry division commander Major Gen. Mayoralgo Dela Cruz said most of the 28 APCs acquired from Israel will be brought to Mindanao.

According to Dela Cruz, 114 more APCs—donated by the United States—are expected to arrive in the country before the end of the year.

The Philippine Army field demonstration of the newly acquired M113a2 APC with remote controlled weapon system at Camp O'donnell, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines.

USS Ronald Reagan Enters 7th Fleet Area of Operations

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PACIFIC OCEAN, -- The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) entered the 7th Fleet area of operations, Sept. 17.

“Ronald Reagan’s forward deployment to 7th Fleet demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the region and our allies,” said Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. “It reiterates the importance of the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force interoperability, and ensures we have the most capable platform forward when it matters, where it matters.”

The 7th Fleet area of operations includes 36 maritime countries and the world’s five largest foreign armed forces – the People’s Republic of China, Russia, India, North Korea and the Republic of Korea. Five of the seven U.S. Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area – Republic of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.

“It’s an important area for us to protect,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Albert Mendez. “Being forward deployed naval forces we’re first responders, so we have to be ready at all times.”

Ronald Reagan is one of the most modern aircraft carriers. The technology Ronald Regan is bringing to 7th Fleet is an example of the U.S.’s commitment to the region and the progress of bringing the newest equipment to operate with the forward deployed naval forces.

The crew has undergone multiple training evolutions and qualifications to include damage control and medical drills as well as flight deck certifications during the ship’s transit from San Diego to prepare for operations in 7th Fleet.

“We are here to defend our nation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Freddie Koonce, Ronald Reagan’s Aircraft Handling Officer. “In order to prepare for our mission, we have to train. That’s how we get better.”

Ronald Reagan and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (9/19/2015), -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transits the Western Pacific Ocean toward the 7th Fleet area of responsibility to serve as the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier.

US preparing for potential conflict in South China Sea

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WASHINGTON, -- During the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition held by the Air Force Association in National Harbor, Maryland on Sep. 16, the US secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, said Washington was already moving ahead to prepare for a potential conflict with China in the disputed South China Sea region, Russia's Tass news agency reports.

Carter noted that China is turning submerged reefs into airfields and military bases through land reclamation to bolster its sovereignty claims in the region, where territory is claimed by several different parties. At the same time, he also said that it is time for the US to demand China slow down its militarization of the Spratly islands while promoting new diplomacy to protects the rights and interests of all countries in the region.

Carter went on to say that the US Air Force was going to transfer "high-end assets" to the region as a means to counter Chinese expansion. It is a part of the Obama administration's "Asia pivot" strategy, he said. "After all, turning an underwater rock into an airfield simply does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit," he said.

Carter added that the United States will fly, sail,and operate wherever international law allows. While stating that Washington supports all claimants of the Spratly islands to settle their territorial disputes through peaceful negotiations, Carter also said that the US should and will do everything it can to defend freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

The Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG-9), is one of five U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Nexter brings out big guns

5:25:00 PM Add Comment
LONDON, -- French company Nexter has responded to this trend for platform growth with the introduction of a new and heavier variant of its Caesar self-propelled gun at this year's DSEI exhibition.

Nexter has swapped out the traditional 6x6 chassis, which was capable of being loaded on a C-130 Hercules, with a heavier 8x8 platform. The 155mm/52 cal. gun has remained the same as the original 6x6.

'The problem [with the 6x6 variant] is that if you want more ammunition, more crew or more protection, then you are limited by volume and mass,' said Didier Rampal, Nexter's sales manager for the Caesar system.

At this year's DSEI, the new 8x8 on display featured a chassis manufactured by Czech company Tatra.

Rampal told Shephard that a Rheinmetall MAN and Renault chassis could be used as well. Nexter are also in talks with Iveco to offer a chassis for the system.

The 8x8 weighs around 30 tons, dependent on configuration, while the 6x6 vehicle weighs in at less than 18 tons. The new variant is not capable of being loaded onto a C-130, but Nexter admits there are some customers who do not require it.

'Many customers are not interested in the C-130 air transportability,' said Rampal. 'Therefore the logical option was going to an 8x8, because your payload is increased and you can accommodate for equipment and armour.'

Rampal added that the new 8x8 was air transportable on the A400M, currently being introduced by several European nations.

The new Caesar comes with Level 2 protection as standard and with additional armour can achieve Level 3 standards. It is capable of 90km/h and a range of 600km on the road, while off-road it can achieve more than 50km/h.

As it shares the same gun, the firing characteristics are almost identical. Caesar can fire six rounds a minute and has a range of 42km, which can be extended to 55km with rocket assisted projectiles.

Thanks to its increased weight the 8x8 variant will be able to carry 30 rounds of ammunition, compared with 18 rounds for the 6x6. The gun is compatible with all 39/52 cal. NATO standard and Extended Range, Full Bore (ERFB) ammunition as well as smart ammunition such as BONUS.

Rampal explained to Shephard that the platform’s capability will be increased further with the development of an auto-loading system.

The Nexter official would not comment on any specific countries it is talking to about the 8x8 system, though it was mentioned that countries with specific mobility requirements are unlikely to be interested in such a heavy platform.

‘It’s really about the concept of operations for the individual armies,’ Rampal explained.

The 6x6 variant is in service with the French Army, among others, and has deployed to several theatres including Afghanistan, Lebanon and Mali. Deliveries are also underway with Indonesia and a possible contract with India is also being pursued.

The CAESAR 155mm SPH on the Tatra T815 (8x8) cross-country chassis.

Philippine Air Force to Get 2 New lifts Planes

7:18:00 AM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is awaiting delivery of two brand new light lift planes that the Department of National Defense has purchased from an Indonesian aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor.

This is apart from the three new medium-lift aircraft the government has already acquired.

Two CN-212S are now in the production line of PT Dirgantara Indonesia. They are expected to be delivered to the PAF either late this year or in the first quarter of next year.

The acquisition of the two new aircraft is in line with the DND's P814-million Acquisition of Light Fixed Wing Aircraft Project. This is part of the ongoing modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Once delivered, the two aircraft would be working alongside the PAF's Nomad and Islander planes in the conduct of airborne operations, medical evacuation, limited maritime patrol and search and rescue operations.

The planes can also be utilized by PAF to transport a limited number of troops and cargo, making them ideal for deployment for air operations of the Western Command (Wescom) based in P Alawan.

This is a task that is currently being performed by two aging Nomad and Islander planes.

For now, the Nomad and Islander are alternately being used by the Air Force and the Philippine Navy to conduct airborne sovereignty and maritime patrol over the country's regime of islands in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea , Aside from maritime patrol, the two planes are Also used in the conduct of an emergency evacuation of troops and civilian residents from Kalayaan town in Pag-asa Island in the Spratlys.

On Tuesday, a second new medium-lift aircraft, one of three C-295M military planes that the government has acquired for the Air Force worth P5.29 billion, touched down at Clark Air Field in Pampanga.

The plane is currently being subjected to inspection prior to its acceptance and commissioning into the service.

The first C295M, manufactured and supplied by Spain-based Airbus Defense and Space (ADS), had been delivered Earlier and has joined the PAF's flying assets.

Delivery of the three medium-lift aircraft is expected to be completed with the arrival of the third C295M before yearend, ahead of its original schedule in the first quarter of next year.

The military, meanwhile, received equipment that would Enhanced its capabilities to address chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

The package, the which included protective gear and detection equipment, was handed over by the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency in a ceremony held yesterday in Camp Aguinaldo,

the Armed Forces deputy chief Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina received the 501 pieces of CBRN response equipment in Behalf of the military. The equipment arrived last Sept. 6.

The dismounted reconnaissance set kits and outfits package consisted of CBRN equipment that can be used for site assessment missions.

The Philippine Air Force CN-212S light lift aircraft on progress.]

China and Malaysia hold naval exercise in Strait of Malacca

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BEIJING, -- A joint naval exercise has been launched by the China's PLA Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy in the Strait of Malacca for Sept. 17-22, according to the state-run China News Service.

The PLA has deployed the Lanzhou, a Type 052C guided-missile destroyer; the Yueyang, a Type 054A frigate and the Peace Ark, a Type 920 hospital ship, as well as seven aircraft and 1,160 military personnel to take part in the exercise, the largest it has ever held with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The exercise is also the first joint wargame between China and Malaysia, the report added.

The PLA Navy will carry out joint escorts, joint searches and joint rescue drills together with the RMN during the five-day exercise which looks to strengthen the military-to-military relationship between China and Malaysia. In addition to the warships and naval personnel, air and ground forces of the PLA will take part in the drills, said to be aimed at maintaining peace and security in the Strait of Malacca by combating piracy in the region, a vital shipping route for global trade.

Without a sufficient number of amphibious assault ships in its service, the PLA Navy cannot provide sufficient supplies to ground forces engaging pirates around the Strait of Malacca by the use of helicopters alone, according to Admiral Li Jie of the PLA Navy. Eventually, cargo planes from the PLA Air Force will be needed to airdrop the supplies. This exercise provides the PLA Air Force with a good opportunity to practice its force projection capability.

Because the Strait of Malacca is very close to the disputed South China Sea region, some neighboring countries suspect there is some political motivation behind the exercise. Liang Yang, spokesperson for the PLA Navy, rejected such claims.

The People's Liberation Army Navy Type 054A Yiyang (548) multi-role frigate.

ASDF to deploy next-generation U.S. refueling aircraft by 2018

8:26:00 PM Add Comment
TOKYO, -- The Defense Ministry has selected Boeing Co.'s KC-46A Pegasus aircraft as its new in-flight refueling vehicle, in line with a decision by the U.S. military to deploy the Boeing air tanker. It is set to be deployed by the end of fiscal 2018.

The KC-46A Pegasus was selected as the next Air Self-Defense Force refueling aircraft because it can refuel U.S. fighter planes heading to combat zones in the event of a Japan-U.S. joint military operation, which could be made possible by the new security legislation under deliberation in the Diet.

The highly contentious bills would remove Japan’s long-held ban on the exercise of the right to collective self-defense and greatly expand the overseas role of the SDF.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito plan to ram the package of bills through the Upper House on Sept. 17 at the earliest.

Boeing was the only aircraft manufacturer to make a pitch in the ministry’s public bidding for the next ASDF refueling aircraft. Airbus Group considered entering the bidding, which ended Sept. 8, but withdrew at the last minute.

The ministry will enter price negotiations with Boeing and determine the number of the planes to be delivered. It will earmark the cost for the aircraft purchase in its fiscal 2016 budget.

The ASDF currently operates four Boeing KC-767 air tankers. The KC-46A was developed from the KC-767 with a slightly longer length of 50.4 meters.

Based on the Medium Term Defense Program adopted in December 2013, the ministry plans to procure three new aerial refueling and transport aircraft by the end of fiscal 2018.

The U.S. Air Force's new KC-46A aerial refueling tanker made by Boeing Co. in flight.

New J-20 stealth fighter prototype undergoes taxiing tests

8:08:00 PM Add Comment
BEIJING, -- The latest prototype of the Chengdu J-20, China's fifth-generation stealth fighter, with the temporary tail number "2016" has begun taxiing tests recently, according to Sina's military news web portal.

There are at present seven prototypes of the aircraft, which had its maiden test flight in early 2011. The main mission of the prototype with the initial tail number "2001" was to undertake a maiden flight and to test the aircraft's aerodynamic structure and stealth capabilities. The prototype which originally had the tail number "2002" (now been repainted as "2004") was used mainly to test avionics, as well as the hydraulics and the pneumatics of the weapons bay. Later it was also used to test bomb drops.

Another two prototypes have not conducted test flights, including what is now the "2002" and the "2003," and have likely been used for static strength tests, ground-based radar cross-section tests, fatigue tests and the "iron bird" test platform. Six prototypes have previously carried out flight tests, the "2001," the "2002," (now the "2004") and the 2011, as well as three newer prototypes with the tail numbers "2012," "2013" and "2015."

The next batch of prototypes will halt use of simulated flight systems, fly-by-wire control systems, electronic warfare systems and pneumatics, which will all be actually installed within the craft, to allow for more comprehensive test flights, according to commentators.

The current J-20 prototypes are equipped with an electro-optical distributed aperture system (EODAS) similar to that of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. They are also equipped with the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar developed for the J-20 over a number of years by the Nanjing Electronic Technology Research Institute, also known as the No. 14 Institute. The AESA radar is similar in its specs to the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-77 low probability of intercept radar installed on the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the AN/APG-79 developed for the US Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Boeing EA-18G Growler.

The next batch of J-20 prototypes will reportedly be equipped with imported Russian AL-31FN series 3 engines. The engine's specs are similar to the AL-31F M1 and are equipped with a full authority digital electronics control (FADEC) system. As research and development on the domestically built Xian WS-15 engine has fallen well behind, with the engine not even having undergone high-altitude test flights, it is unlikely to be installed in the first production batch of the J-20.

The first batch of J-20s to enter into production will be handed over to the PLA Air Force test flight and training center in Cangzhou and will be handed over to frontline air force units in 2017. It is expected to achieve initial operational capable (IOC) status in 2019. This batch will likely be equipped with Russian-made AL31F-M2 or AL-41F1S engines until around 2020. The domestic WS-15 will likely mature in time to be installed in the second batch of J-20s to be manufactured, which will be called the J-20A.

There has been continuous bad news emerging about the T-50 prototype of the Russian fifth-generation Sukhoi PAK FA fighter. The T-50 is reportedly inferior to the J-20 in terms of its avionics, the material used to make the plane and its stealth capabilities, and it iss uncertain whether it will enter service at all. Production of the US F-22 has halted after 187 planes came off the line and many of the aircraft have been grounded due to a problem with its oxygen supply systems. The F-35 has faced interminable delays and its overall capabilities do not seem to match up to the T-50, never mind the J-20.

If China's air force were to be equipped with 500 J-20s, it would rank first among the world's air forces, according to the website. The J-20 does not currently have a carrier-based variant and China is yet to establish an overseas air base, so its primary objective will likely be to protect China's airspace and air defense capabilities.

The  Chengdu J-20 "2016" makes its first debut, with noticeable improvements, such as apparently changed DSI bumps on the intakes.

Korea to Sell Four T50 Trainer Jets to Thailand

5:31:00 PM Add Comment
SEOUL, -- South Korea on Thursday secured a contract to export four T-50 trainer jets to Thailand in another coup that marks the local defense industry's growing technological clout.

The $ 110 million agreement was clinched between the Korea Aerospace Industries and the Thai government in Seoul. The supersonic aircraft, built with technical assistance from the American defense giant Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to be delivered by March 2018.

The Thai Air Force has been pushing to replace its L39 jets manufactured in the former Czechoslovakia and used for more than 30 years. Its cabinet approved a 3.7 billion baht ($ 103 million) for the project late last year.

The country's sole aircraft maker vied with Reviews those from the US, Russia, China and Italy. The Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province-headquartered company and its Chinese competitor had been seen as the most likely winners.

"The decision by the Thai Air Force, the which has long purchased cutting-edge weapons systems made by aerospace powerhouses, will provide a chance for its long-term partnership with KAI, "the firm said in a press

statement." The T-50 is the best alternative for the force's drive to modernize its military and Cultivate fourth-generation combat pilots.

"The latest agreement may pave the way for additional sales of the T-50 as Thailand is reportedly seeking to bring in as many as 24 more trainers jets in the coming months. If KAI wins the contract, the sum is Likely to near $ 800 million, the Reviews largest package for the models' s exports.

KAI IS ALSO setting sights on the US Air Force's $ 10 billion program called TX to adopt new two-seat, faster jet trainers to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon. The winner is expected to be Announced in the second half of 2017, the company said Officials. On the industry front, the deal highlights South Korea's Efforts to shore up its charges into the global Warplane market.

KAI sealed a $ 420 million contract with the Philippines last year to sell 12 light attack FA-50 fighters, the T-50's armed version, a $ 1.1 billion deal with Iraq in 2013 to supply 24 FA-50s and a $ 400 million bid with Indonesia in 2011 to provide 16 T-50s.

In 2013, Thailand signed its Reviews largest-ever naval procurement agreement worth 14.6 billion baht to purchase a multipurpose frigate from South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, with its delivery slated for 2018.

The Republic of Korea Air Force KAI T-50 Golden Eagle's supersonic advanced trainer aircraft lined up.

Japan offers more patrol boats to Vietnam

5:21:00 AM Add Comment
HANOI, -- Japan has outlined a plan to provide Vietnam with defence equipment to strengthen regional maritime security. The pledge was made during Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's four-day visit to Hanoi, which concludes 18 September.

In a statement, the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Japan's offer to supply Vietnam includes second-hand patrol boats and maritime security-related equipment that will strengthen bilateral ties and Vietnam's capacity to enforce maritime security.

Vietnam's procurement of the equipment will be funded by Japan, as part of a wider aid project worth about JPY100 billion (USD827 million) to support the development of infrastructure and the construction of a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Japan Coast Guard Ki ta ka Mi (PM02) Teshio-class patrol boat.

Maiden tests of air-launched BrahMos from November

4:22:00 AM Add Comment
NEW DELHI, -- India will carry out maiden tests of its air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from specially-modified Sukhoi-30 fighter planes from November, BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sudhir Mishra told to media.

Four flight tests will be conducted over a period of six months before the missile is declared ready for deployment on the fighter planes towards mid-2016. The actual missile will be tested in April 2016 following three dummy tests.

The Nasik division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has modified two Su-30 fighters to carry the 2.5-tonne missile, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered to BrahMos Aerospace by September-end.

The BrahMos missile, an Indo-Russian joint venture, provides India the capability to hit targets 290km away at nearly three times the speed of sound. The missile’s land and naval variants — 500kg heavier than the air version — are already in service.

“The missile will give the IAF extended range capability. No other Air Force has such a powerful cruise missile in its inventory,” Mishra said. The BrahMos missile has three existing variants: Block-I (anti-ship), Block-II (land to land) and Block-III (with steep dive capabilities for mountain warfare).

The BrahMos missile is also expected to be deployed on six high-tech submarines to be built in India under the Rs 65,000-crore Project P-75I. Mishra said the joint venture was also pressing the accelerator on the BrahMos NG (next generation) missile project. Once ready, the NG missile, weighing only 1.4 tonnes, can be deployed on smaller warships and medium-weight fighter planes.

“We are in the process of freezing the design and specifications of BrahMos-NG. We are also talking to users to give us an indication of their requirements,” Mishra said.

BrahMos Aerospace is also developing India’s first hypersonic missile. Capable of travelling at a speed of 8,575 kmph, the missile could be ready in five to seven years. BrahMos-II (K) will be capable of taking out hardened targets such as underground bunkers and weapon storage facilities at seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7).

An Indian Air Force Su-30MKI with a Brahmos missile under its fuselage at Aero India.


Royal Thai Army places additional order for STARStreak Air Defence Missile Systems

11:46:00 PM 1 Comment
LONDON, -- Thales announced today at DSEI that it has signed a multi-million pound contract with DataGate in Thailand to supply the Royal Thai Army with the STARStreak air defence missile system.

This contract follows on from Thailand’s initial purchase of STARStreak in 2012.

The system comprises STARStreak missiles, the world’s fastest very short range air defence (VSHORAD) missile and Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML).  The LML tripod-based system allows swift deployment of STARStreak missile to deal with attacks from low-level fighter aircraft, Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and attack helicopters.  The system plays a key part in the air defence forces continued commitment to protecting the Kingdom of Thailand.

Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales in the UK, said: “STARStreak is the leading VSHORAD system in the world today, enabling nations to protect key assets against both emerging and established threats.  We are honored to continue to serve the Royal Thai Army as a key supplier for Thailand’s advanced air defence capability.”

The Royal Thai Army Starstreak air defence missile system.

PLA may use electric reactive armor on tanks: Global Times

9:13:00 PM Add Comment
BEIJING, -- The People's Liberation Army may eventually equip its main battle tanks with electric reactive armor to prevent damage from anti-tank weapons, reports China's Global Times.

Electric reactive armor is usually made of two electrical plates separated by an insulator to make a high-power capacitor. When a tank using the armor is hit by an incoming object such as a rocket or missile, it will discharge electricity from the capacitor to vaporize the object. The discharge is claimed to be powerful to turn the incoming object into plasma, said the report.

From the Chinese perspective, the electric reactive armor is the best available defensive technology for tanks in the world and China is now capable of developing it, the report said.

A People's Republic of China Type 99A2 Main Battle Tank.

Philippine Air Force's second C-295 medium transport aircraft now in PHL

8:11:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force's second Airbus C-295 medium transport aircraft arrived at Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga on Tuesday afternoon.

The aircraft arrived at the airfield exactly at 5:30 p.m., PAF spokesperson Col. Enrico Canaya said.

The second C-295 with tail number 140 departed from Spain last Sept. 8 and was flown in by pilots of Airbus Defense and Space.

The PAF technical inspection and acceptance committee shall undertake the necessary inspection and acceptance procedures before the aircraft will be flown to Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base (CJVAB) Grandstand, Pasay City for the turnover and blessing ceremony which will be scheduled later.

The medium lift fixed-wing aircraft acquisition is one of the projects nearing realization under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program to boost its capabilities for the medium tactical airlift requirement for humanitarian assistance and disaster response and transport of AFP personnel and logistics to any part of the country as needed.

The first and second C-295Ms were delivered in advance.

The first C-295M aircraft arrived at Clark Air Base last March 22 and was formally turned over and blessed on March 30 at CJVAB, Pasay City.

The third aircraft is expected to arrive before the year ends.

Based on a contract approved last March 26, 2014, the supply and delivery of the three aircraft are expected each in October 2015, February 2016 and June 2016.

Four pilots and 19 maintenance crew completed their training in Spain from January to March and another two from March to April, this year.

The second C295M Medium Lift Aircraft of 220th Airlift Wing, Philippine Air Force with tail number 140 touched down runway 02R of Clark Air Base, Pampanga at exactly 5:30 pm today, September 15, 2015 . The brand-new transport aircraft departed Spain last September 8, 2015.

Taranis stealth drone may see final test flights later this year

7:17:00 PM Add Comment
LONDON, -- Britain’s top secret stealth drone will complete its third and possibly final round of test flights later this year, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The £200 million Taranis programme, making the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers, will have achieved all its objectives if this year’s trials go well, officials said. No decision has been made on further tests.

The remotely-piloted drone, constructed by BAE Systems, is a “combat vehicle demonstrator” to test and develop technology for future generations of fighters and unmanned vehicles.

Though unarmed it is expected to provide the basis for future fleets of supersonic stealth drone bombers that can attack deep into enemy territory, while evading sophisticated defences.

Taranis has already completed two sets of test flights and officials have released film of it flying from but an unnamed location, believed to have been in Woomera, Australia.

Details of what it can do have been closely guarded. Officials say while it is controlled by a pilot in a distant base, it has “a degree of automated capability”.

Tests have looked at its stealth technology, its control systems and its sensors.

The Ministry of Defence declined to say where the next round of trials would be.

Once the tests are finished engineers will spend months going over the data which will be used to decide how drones could be used in the future RAF fleet.

Lessons learnt from the drone will one day help in producing a replacement for the Typhoon and F35 fighters, Philip Dunne, the minister for defence equipment, has said.

Britain is also collaborating with France to devise future combat drones.

The growing importance of unmanned military aircraft was highlighted last week when David Cameron acknowledged that an RAF Reaper drone had carried out a targeted killing of a British jihadist inside Syria.

Britain already has all its 10 Reaper aircraft in the region and Reyaad Khan was killed by a Hellfire missile after it was discovered he was plotting to carry out "outrageous and barbaric" plots on UK soil, Mr Cameron said.

A forecast last week predicted naval operations would be dominated by “networks of unmanned surface and underwater vessels” within 15 years.

Naval drones could be used to hunt for mines or submarines and distribute humanitarian aid to disaster zones, the forecast by defence firm Qinetiq.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The most technologically advanced demonstration aircraft ever built in the UK, Taranis took its maiden flight in 2013, with further flight trials planned to complete by the end of 2015. In addition to helping influence the next generation of military aircraft, the investment will benefit the wider UK economy and help achieve long-term growth”.

The BAE Systems Taranis is a British demonstrator programme for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle technology, under development primarily by the defence contractor BAE Systems Military Air & Information.