Saturday, October 31, 2009
DTN News: Russia To Buy Navy Ship From France *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - November 1, 2009: Moscow plans to buy a French amphibious assault ship, the first such purchase from a NATO country, as the Kremlin seeks to reaffirm Russia's global reach, a Russian news agency reported Saturday. The first of the Mistral amphibious assault ship (LHD) was commissioned in 2006. Two of these ships are in service with the French Navy, named Mistral and Tonnerre. The third ship will be ordered in 2009 and forth is planned. Primary mission for these ships are amphibious landing operations. They also provide command and force projection capability. The Mistral class vessels are the largest combatants in the French Navy service after the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. They replaced the Ouragan class LSDs. The new vessel uses four mechanized landing craft (LCM) or two hovercraft (LCAC) in the stern deck to deliver troops and vehicles ashore. It can carry a full tank battalion with up to 40 Leclerc MBTs, or up to 70 lighter vehicles. Ship provides accommodation for 450 marines, however surge capacity is 900. The Mistral class LHD has six helicopter landing spots. Up to 16 medium (NH90, Tigre) or 35 light helicopters can be carried and stored in the hangar deck. It is worth mentioning that every helicopter, operated by the French military, can land on these ships. Currently this class can not operate V/STOVL aircraft, as it has got no ski-jump bow associated equipment. The Defense Ministry also plans to license the production of four more ships of the Mistral class in Russia under the guidance of French engineers, Navy Admiral Oleg Burtsev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. A Mistral ship is capable of carrying more than a dozen helicopters along with dozens of tanks and other armored vehicles and is fit for missions intended to project Russian naval power to distant areas. Burtsev said the ships will be part of Russia's Arctic and Pacific fleets. The Kremlin increasingly has sought in recent years to reaffirm Russia's global involvement and prestige in world affairs. It has sent its warships to patrol pirate-infested waters off Somalia, and in the fall of 2008 dispatched a navy squadron to the Caribbean where it took part in joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy and made several port calls. The Caribbean deployment, aimed at flexing muscles near the United States in a tense period after the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, was the most visible Russian navy deployment since Soviet times. But despite the Kremlin's ambitions, the post-Soviet economic meltdown has left the Russian navy with only a handful of big surface ships in seaworthy condition. Russia currently has only one Soviet-built aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, which is much smaller than the U.S. aircraft carriers and has been plagued by mechanical problems and accidents. The rumors of the purchase have fueled concern in Georgia and other ex-Soviet nations that Russia may use the French-built ship to strong-arm its neighbors.
DTN News: New Russian Combat Robot To Replace Soldiers (Watch Video) *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - November 1, 2009: A Russian-made robot that can simultaneously fire three types of weapons against enemy soldiers, fortifications and even tanks was displayed at the 13th INTERPOLITEX-2009 International Exhibition of State Security Technology. Watch Video No videos found for “New Russian Combat Robot To Replace Soldiers”
DTN News: Russian Tactical Missile Self-Destructs During Live-Fire Drills *Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - November 1, 2009: A Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile self-destructed on Thursday shortly after a practice launch at training grounds in northwestern Russia, the Defense Ministry said. The accident occurred during life-firing drills at the Luga training grounds in the Leningrad Region. No casualties or damage have been reported. "The missile self-destructed at the height of 1,000 meters [about 3,280 feet]," Col. Alexei Kuznetsov said. The official added that the missile was carrying a dummy warhead because its service life has expired and it was due for destruction. Nevertheless, an investigation into the accident will be launched, Kuznetsov said. According to the official, the second Tochka-U missile, which was launched during the same drills, hit the designated target. The Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) short-range tactical ballistic missile is a 1989 modification of the Tochka missile system that went into service with the Soviet military in 1976. It has an effective range of 120 km (70 miles). Tochka-U is a high-precision weapon that can be used for strikes on enemy tactical targets, such as control posts, bridges, storage facilities, troop concentrations and airfields. It can carry conventional and nuclear warheads. At least 15 Tochka missile systems were reportedly deployed by Russia during the five-day war with Georgia in August 2008.
DTN News: US President Barack Obama Still Undecided On Afghan War Strategies *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - November 1, 2009: US President Barack Obama remains undecided over the strategies for the war in Afghanistan as the conflict is taking increasing toll both on civilians and coalition forces. President Barack Obama remains in doubt about Afghan war strategies and seeks more delibrations with his armed forces chiefs. During a private meeting at the US president's office in Washington on October 30, Obama demanded more choices in order to manage the controversial war in Afghanistan with lower military expenditures and slighter consequences for American troops, an unnamed senior Obama administration official told journalists on Friday. The US president reportedly expressed his government's "very robust commitment in Afghanistan" during the seventh joint session with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the official added. However, after reviewing the existing state of affairs for troops under US command, Obama reportedly asked for additional deliberations with his national security team and heads of the US armed forces in order to come up with a decision on America's troop level in Afghanistan which has been ravaged by eight years of alleged war against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. Despite briefings by US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines chiefs, the president still harbors doubts regarding the recommendations of top military commander, General Stanley McChrystal, who has asked for an additional 40,000 troops in the war-torn country which has been suffering the dire consequences of Washington's 'war on terror' doctrine. Afghan civilians have been the main victims of the long-fought war and the government of the President Hamid Karzai has been at loggerheads with Washington over the increasing number of people killed in indiscriminate attacks by the US-led coalition forces in his country. McChrystal had earlier ruffled feathers in the US chain of command with his bleak predictions that his country's efforts against the guerrillas would end in failure unless his calls for additional troops are met. The US, along with its allies, invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to arrest or kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 events. Washington, the first military power in the world, says efforts to arrest or kill the leader of a the terrorist group and eradicate the militancy has been of no avail. The United States currently has around 68,000 boots-on-the-ground in Afghanistan, aided by an estimated 50,000 other soldiers from 28 NATO member-countries and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The United States military has also come under mounting pressure over the number of US troopers killed in action and thousands more wounded. The US Department of Defense has also been criticized for the rising number of suicides and cases of war trauma among US troops due to lengthy stays in the danger zones.
DTN News: Taliban, al-Qaeda Sling US, German Guns ~ Media Report *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PESHAWAR, Pakistan - November 1, 2009: Pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants have reportedly been outfitted with state-of-the-art American arms and other weaponry made in the US-allied states, including Israel, Germany and India. (Image/Photo: H&K MP-5) The pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan were equipped with expensive and expertly-crafted firearms made by the German arms manufacturer Blazer, Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday. The rifles are priced at USD 2,960 (EUR 2,000) a piece and are characterized with heavy-duty outer parts and 'lifelong' durability. The weapons are well suited for operational purposes in mountainous areas such as the tribal Pakistani region of South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. The northwestern militant-infested area has for long troubled the Pakistani military. Islamabad is currently engaged in full-scale military operations against the gunmen. The German broadcaster named the other armaments in militant possession as the German-made "Walther P1 handguns, automatic weapons made by another German defense manufacturer Heckler & Koch (H&K), handguns build at the Austrian weapon producer the Glock, the American M249 machine guns and the Israeli-made Uzi submachine guns." Some of the weapons are worth USD 2,072 (EUR 1,400). The report added that militant gangs were training with German G3 assault rifles. The latest version of the gun is valued for its durability and pinpoint precision. Questions remain as to how the al-Qaeda-linked terrorists acquired the weapons. Heckler & Koch (H&K) is rated as one of the defense industry's 'Big Five' and a mainstay trading partner to the German military. Last year, the company, the volume of whose exports are yet to be specified, sold USD 267 million ( EUR 181 million) worth of weapons. The company as well produces weapons for the United Kingdom, Norway and Greece and has been contracted to equip the French army. The company has survived the global economic crisis almost unharmed. Every 14 minutes a person reportedly dies by a H&K-made weapon.
DTN News: Indian Air Force Signed Contract For 5th Generation Fighter Jet With Russia *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PATHANKOT, India - October 31, 2009: In a bid to add more teeth to its existing armoury, Indian Air Force has signed a contract with Russia recently to procure the fifth generation fighter aircraft under its modernisation programme.MiG-35 is a new export variant that combines the modern systems of the MiG-29M2 with an AESA radar. The fighter plane has the thrust vectoring of the MiG-29OVT as an additional option. Improved avionics and weapon systems, notably the new AESA radar and the uniquely designed optical locator system (OLS), make the aircraft less dependent on ground-controlled interception (GCI) systems and enables the MiG-35 to conduct independent multirole missions. MiG-35 is compatible with Russian and foreign-origin weapons applications and an integrated variety of defensive systems to increase combat survivability. The fighter plane is being marketed globally under the designation MiG-35 (single seat) and MiG-35D (dual seat). MiG Corporation made their first official international MiG-35 presentation during Aero India 2007. "As a modernisation programme of the IAF, we have recently signed an official agreement with Russia for procurement of fifth generation attack aircrafts," air chief marshal PV Naik told reporters on the concluding day of his two-day visit to Air Force Station, Pathankot today. "This deal is a part of the modernisation plan under which 126 Medium Multi-role combat Aircrafts, which are coming will translate to 10 new squadrons," Naik said. He added that IAF is in the process of procuring MMRCAs, C-79 aircrafts, C001 aircrafts, new airborne early warning systems, attack helicopters, aerostat radars, VVIP helicopters, heavy load helicopters besides upgrading MIG-29, AN-32, Sukhois and Mirage fighter jets. Referring to the upgradation programme, the COAS said, "What you cannot get from elsewhere needs to be upgraded. If there is residual life left in any system, you cannot throw it out, but upgrade it." Planning is done on four basic pillars of modernisation, Naik said adding that first is to develop systems including satellites and radars to see enemy movements first and communicate fast. Second pillar is to have a "reach", he said adding,"When you see, you should reach the farthest place. So for this, we have fighter jets and air-to-air refuelling in place". The third is to "hit" at adversary and fourth is to save and safeguard the country, he said adding that this planning needs to be fool-proof and accurate. On a question about his recent statement that India has one-third of China's airpower, Air Chief Marshal Naik said, "Why should we compare with China. We have nothing to do with it.I will focus on building my own capability." To another question about Chinese air-power, he said, "There is nothing to worry. We are capable." "The Long-Term Perspective Planning will shape IAF in next 10 to 15 years. We have also focus on the space warfare, which is emerging as major sector of the defence security," he said. On Pakistan getting new aircrafts and other defence systems in their existing fleet, he said,"Nobody should undermine IAF's capabilities. If our neighbours are purchasing new aircrafts from the US, India is also procuring MMRCAs, attack helicopters, radars, AEWSs." "The IAF is constantly updating and evolving new techniques and training well. We should be well prepared to meet any external threat," he said and pointed out at IAF's special training exercises recently with the US and Oman. "Currently one more exercise is going on," he said adding that the IAF has performed very well.Indian Air Force will complete technical evaluation of the six foreign fighter jets by April next year before procurement. "The test trials and technical evaluation of the six fighter jets will be completed by April next year. They are being subjected to different terrain and weather conditions in Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh," Naik told reporters. Naik said that test trial of the F-16, F-18(USA), Rafael (France) and MIG-35(Russia) has been completed and for the rest it is going on. Besides these, other fighter aircrafts under process of technical evaluation are Gripen(Sweden) and Eurofighter(UK). "After test evaluation is completed, we will move further for procurement," he said.
DTN News: Russian Mi-17 Helicopters Are Common Denominator In NATO Outfit *Source: Strategy Page (NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 31, 2009: Nine NATO members (including Czech Republic, Albania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) will cooperate in upgrading their Russian Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 helicopters, so that will meet NATO requirements.
This will make it possible for these nations to use these helicopters in places like Afghanistan, where there is a growing need for that type of helicopter.
Helicopters are also in demand for all peacekeeping operations, and the Russian aircraft have proven themselves quite capable of meeting the demand. The Mi-17 is the export version of the Russian Mi-8, a twin-engine helicopter, roughly equivalent to the U.S. UH-1. But the Mi-8/17 is still in production and is the most widely exported (2,800 out of 12,000 made) helicopter on the planet.
The Mi-8 is about twice the size and weight of the UH-1, but only hauls about 50 percent more cargo. However, the Mi-8 had a larger interior, and can carry 24 troops, versus a dozen in the UH-1. The UH-1 was replaced by the UH-60 in the 1980s, while the Mi-8 just kept adding better engines and electronics to the basic Mi-8 frame.
But the UH-60, while weighing twice as much as the UH-1 (4.8 tons), could carry as much as the 12 ton Mi-8. But the Mi-8 costs about half as much as a UH-60, and the larger interior is popular with many users. Russia also offers lower rates for training pilots and mechanics. Disclaimer statement Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.
DTN News: M-ATV, First Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected All-Terrain Vehicles For U.S. Armed Forces Arrived In Afghanistan
DTN News: M-ATV, First Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected All-Terrain Vehicles For U.S. Armed Forces Arrived In Afghanistan *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - October 31, 2009: The first mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles designated for southern Afghanistan arrived here, Oct. 22 by air transport.A new mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle, built specifically for the mountainous Afghan terrain, parks next to a larger MRAP, MaxxPro Dash. The first M-ATVs designated for Southern Afghanistan arrived at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, by air transport, Oct. 22, 2009. After months of government testing, the Defense Department awarded a contract in June to Oshkosh Corp. to supply an initial order valued at $1.05 billion for more than 2,000 of the vehicles, known as M-ATVs. "This is a very different environment than Iraq, so as we came in and continued to fight the fight in Afghanistan, we realized it requires a little bit different equipment or modification than what we have," said Lt. Col. Richard Haggerty, the Regional Command South deputy director for acquisitions, logistics and technology. With an independent suspension system designed for off-road mobility, the M-ATV is built specifically to navigate Afghanistan's rugged landscape. "The M-ATV really answers some of the challenges of the terrain, high altitudes and the real unevenness of a lot of the terrain out there," Haggerty said. The M-ATV seats four passengers and one gunner, and features an armor system with a "V" shaped hull engineered to protect occupants from enemy attack. "It looks like a modified, huge, heavy-duty Jeep," said Anthony Deluca, the Kandahar site lead for the mine-resistant, ambush-protected, or MRAP, program. "It's got very good suspension systems, and everyone raves about how well it functions in the field." While some original MRAP vehicles may weigh nearly 60,000 pounds, the M-ATV weighs about 25,000 pounds, including standard equipment and fuel. "We're trying to get the soldier exactly what he needs to be successful in the battlefield," Haggerty said. The initial eight vehicles will be used to train drivers and mechanics with units selected to receive M-ATVs.
DTN News: Italian Air Force Deploying AMX Fighter-Bomber Aircrafts In Afghanistan By November 4, 2009
DTN News: Italian Air Force Deploying AMX Fighter-Bomber Aircrafts In Afghanistan By November 4, 2009 *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - October 31, 2009: The Italian Air Force will deploy four AMX fighter-bombers to Afghanistan on Nov. 4, the Air Force said Oct. 30. The aircraft will be based at Herat and take over reconnaissance duties from two Italian Tornado aircraft based at Mazar-e-Sharif.The AMX fighter-bomber aircraft is in service with the air forces of Brazil, Italy and Venezuela. The first AMX aircraft was delivered to the Italian Air Force in January 1989 and to the Brazilian Air Force in 1990. Production involved assembly lines in Italy and Brazil. In total, 192 aircraft, 155 single-seater and 37 AMX-T two-seater, have been delivered to Italy (110 AMX, 26 AMX-T) and Brazil (79 AMX, 15 AMX-T). The AMX programme originated from a requirement of the Italian Air Force for single-seater and two-seater combat aircraft for surface attack missions. In 1982 a memorandum of understanding was signed by Italy and Brazil and the joint development and production programme was subsequently conducted by AMX Consortium, based in Rome, through the Italian companies Alenia Aerospazio, now Alenia Aeronautica, (46.5%) and Aermacchi (23.8%) and the Brazilian company Embraer (29.7%). The main role of the AMX is ground attack in visual and marginal weather conditions, with primary roles in long range strike and air interdiction, close air support, reconnaissance and armed patrol. The aircraft is also highly effective in air defence missions and the lead-in fighter role. Italian Air Force AMX fighters were deployed as part of the Nato forces in Operation Allied Force against Serbia in 1999. In December 2002, the Venezuelan Air Force signed a contract with Embraer for 12 AMX-T. However, the USA blocked the transfer of US-built components and the order was cancelled.* The AMX aircraft, from the Italian Air Force's 51st Wing, will deploy from their base at Istrana in northern Italy. Italian AMX fighters participated this summer in the U.S. Green Flag and Red Flag exercises. "The mission is not changing," said Gen. Daniele Tei, chief of the Italian Air Force. "Pilots and technicians have been trained and are ready to undertake their mission, as they showed during Green Flag and Red Flag." The AMX will take about a month to reach full operational status in Afghanistan, at which time the Tornadoes will return to Italy, an Air Force official said. The AMX aircraft will use the same Rafael RecceLite pods on surveillance missions as used by the Tornadoes. Italian officials also have said they will have permission to fire their cannons if required, as with the Tornadoes. The Tornadoes have flown 350 missions in Afghanistan, surveying 800 objectives during 900 flight hours, the Air Force said.