Friday, 19 February 2016

Singapore Airshow 2016: Saab to provide weapon, battle system for Indonesia's 'tank boat'

*• The Indonesian government has ordered a prototype of the X18 fire support vessel
• Vessel will be used to evaluate platform's suitability ahead of a proper acquisition programme
Swedish defence company Saab will be providing a remote-controlled weapon system and a battle management system for a prototype of the X18 fire support vessel (FSV) being acquired by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, the company told IHS Jane's on 18 February at the Singapore Airshow 2016.
The X18 FSV, more commonly referred to as the 'tank boat', is an 18 m platform concept that has been developed by Indonesian shipbuilder PT Lundin. A model of the platform was unveiled at the IndoDefence 2014 exhibition in Jakarta.
"The prototype will be collaboration among Indonesian defence industries and some foreign suppliers", said Peter Carlqvist, Saab's vice-president and head of the company's Indonesia office. "Saab will be supplying the Trackfire remote weapon station and a variant of our company's battle system", he said, adding that the product will be similar to the company's 9LV combat management system.
The platform has an overall beam of 6.1 m, a draught of 0.9 m and a top speed of 30 kt. With a fuel capacity of 6,000 litres, the X18 has a standard range of 350 n miles at 25 kt and 900 n miles at 9 kt. The FSV's primary weapon will be a Cockerill 105 mm high-pressure gun provided by Belgian company CMI Defence.
Although a contract for the prototype has not been formalised, the Ministry of Defence has given approval for the vessel's construction to commence. "We should expect a formal contract very soon", said Carlqvist who added that the completed prototype is scheduled to be tested in about 24 months' time.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

SINGAPORE: Saab introduces GlobalEye AEW aircraft

* Minsera.blogspot.comSaab has officially launched a new airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft called GlobalEye, combining its new Erieye ER active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with Bombardier's Global 6000 business jet.
It means the wider market will now be offered the same configuration as ordered by the United Arab Emirates under a $1.27 billion two-aircraft deal signed during Dubai air show in November.
“We have a completely new platform but also a completely new radar. The radar has an extremely high capacity compared to the old one, so the performance is enhanced,” says Erik Winberg, director of business development at Saab.
Erieye has previously been offered on the Embraer 145, Saab 2000 and Saab 340, but the new Global 6000 configuration will provide the highest altitude and longest endurance of them all: it is able to fly at up to 30,000ft for 11h.
“This is a swing-role capability that can work in the air, land and maritime domain. We can do any sort of surveillance in those three domains,” Winberg says.
GlobalEye offers a 70% increase in radar performance, and is being offered with three layers of capability: the baseline AESA and C2 system, which can be used for air, land and sea surveillance, and includes electronic intelligence and electronic support measures; an additional infrared and sea search layer; and a further signals intelligence (SIGINT) system.
“We think that no other system available has so many sensors on-board the one aircraft,” Winberg says.
“The reason for the different combinations is that different customers have different needs depending on the assets of that country. If they already have a lot of other assets in maritime or ground capabilities, for example, then they might prefer SIGINT because it better suits their concept of operations.”
In addition to the launch customer, Saab is seeing interest in other areas of the Middle East, plus Asia and Europe, Winberg says.

Monday, 12 October 2015

LCA Tejas vs JF-17 Thunder

* Minsera.Blogspot.comThe nuclear armed south Asian rivals have been at the state of pseudo war throughout the entire time of their existence. They have fought 3 major wars and 1 limited intensity conflict and peace between them is still far away. Interestingly both of them wanted a jet for replacing variants of the MiG-21. It had to be cheap to operate, easy to produce while being a capable fighting machine. Interestingly one nation took the tougher way of developing it alone whereas the other partnered with another country to develop it. In this article we will compare the Tejas and JF-17.
Design & Development
MiG-21 formed the backbone of the Indian air force after its introduction is the early 1960s. It was successfully used in combat and was now being built in India to reduce procurement and operational costs. By the early 1980s, the MiG-21 fleet was nearing the end of its service life and a big shortfall of combat aircraft was forecasted due to its retirement. Thus a replacement fighter was needed to fullfill the combat requirements of the air force. The jet had to be small so that it couldn’t be spotted easily while being nimble in the air. This requirement was put up after combat experience in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. In these wars, the notorious Gnat had earned the title of “Saber Slayer” for its exceptional record against the F-86. Its small size allowed easy maneuvering while making it a difficult target to spot visually.
The MiG-21 Bison is the latest variant of the Fishbed in Indian service
India had already developed a jet fighter named HAL Marut in the late 1950s. This fighter was relegated to ground attack role as it was underpowered and had an inferior aerodynamic design. It was thus decided that the replacement for the MiG-21 would have an indigenous engine designed specifically for it. With all this in mind, the Indians started the Light Combat Aircraft programme in 1983, followed by the programme for the engine named Kaveri under the Gas Turbine Research Establishment few years later.

The HAL Marut was designed by legendary designer Kurt Tank who is also known for designing the FW-190.
Thus the fighter was supposed to small while it was supposed to carry advanced munitions to take out a wide variety of targets. The proposed design dictated the use of a single 90kN thrust engine. Several configurations were studied before zeroing on tail-less delta wing design. The advantages of delta wing are listed below.
Larger wing area at small wing spans,
Increased internal fuel capacity,
Delayed shockwave, thus low drag,
Lower wing loading,
Easier to make.
It also has some disadvantages

Increased stall speed,
Chances of aircraft entering deep stall if used with T-tail.
Thus the tail less design is justified while the first limitation it solved by changing the shape of the delta wing as done in Tejas. This allowed the jet to have good performance even though its size was pretty small.

The 1980s were tough times for the Indian economy. Just like the Arjun, INSAS and several other projects, the rate of development went southward. The primary customer also changed its requirements time and again thus adding to the existing complications. The Kaveri project wasn’t going anywhere either. They were facing a lot of problems in developing a world class jet engine for this fighter. The Indian airforce procured several fighter types in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This included the MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and the heavy class Su-30MKI. The arrival of these fighters diminished the role of this light fighter under development and reduced its priority.
Su-30MKI is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force and one of the most capable fighters in service today
The Indian defense ministry claimed that the jet would enter service before the turn of the millennium, but a long list of delays made sure that this didn’t happen. The first prototype was rolled out in November 1995 and was supposed to be powered by an uprated variant of the GE F404 engine as the Kaveri was still in its infancy and was not ready to power the LCA, now known as Tejas. India conducted a series of nuclear tests in 1998 and the deals associated with the engine were embargoed by the United States. This delayed the programme even further. The type made its first flight 6 years after being rolled out, ie in 2001.
Tejas TD-1 seen during its first flight on 4th of January 2001. (Credits-Bharat Rakshak)
The actual story of JF-17 neither began in Pakistan or China. Its story began in the erstwhile Soviet Union, Mikoyan design bureau to be precise. It started off as a proposed design designated MiG-33 which was essentially a single engine MiG-29. This design was rightfully rejected by the Soviets as they had much more capable MiG-29 and Su-27 entering service in large numbers and a single engine fighter was not desired. This design was sold to the Chengdu design bureau in China in 1995 to support the indigenous fighter programme started by them.
MiG-33 conceptThe proposed single engine Fulcrum, designated MiG-33.
Pakistan and China had started the Project Saber II followed by Super 7, both of which were cancelled after sanctions were placed on China. Both of these programmes aimed at developing a new variant of the F-7, the Chinese copy of MiG-21F-13 in collaboration with Grumman in the US. The Chinese were looking to replace their massive fleet of J-7 (local designation of F-7) while the Pakistanis wanted a new fighter to replace aging Mirages, F-7, Q-5 etc. Thus the Pakistanis joined the Chinese programme in the year 1999 and the fighter was designated FC-1/JF-17. Thanks to relatively developed design Chengdu got from Mikoyan, they were able to complete it quickly, modify it to suite their needs and perform the first flight of the type in 2003. The Chinese are the primary manufacturers as the Pakistanis assemble knock down kits for their airforce. They are moving ahead towards full domestic production. Unlike its Indian counterpart, JF-17 entered service in 2007 and around 50 of these jets now serve the PAF.
4Just like the IAF, PAF also has several squadrons worth of F-7s in service.
Just like the Indians, the priority for this fighter went down over time for the Chinese. They started domestic production of Su-27 family of jets which led to the reverse engineered J-11B family. Su-30MKKs were procured from Russia as well while J-10, a domestically developed jet was under development in the same time frame as well. This is seen as the primary reason for the Chinese not buying the JF-17 for themselves. Again just like the Indians, the Chinese were also lacking in their own engine development programmes thus they decided to use Klimov RD-93 to power the JF-17.
4First JF-17 prototype gearing up for flight tests.
The JF-17 thus ended up with a cropped delta wing with blended LERX. A conventional horizontal tail was provided for controlling the pitch of the aircraft. As the design was supposed to be single engined from the onset, it is powered by a single RD-93 engine a variant of the RD-33 which powers the MiG-29. Its avionics suite will be discussed in the capabilities section below.
Capabilities & Performance
The airframe of this light fighter is made up of advanced composites which allows the airframe to be lighter thus adding to the total weight of fuel and ordnance that can be carried. It weighs only 6.5 tonnes when empty while loaded weight is more than double ie around 14 tonnes. It houses the Israeli EL.M-2032 radar in the nose. This pulse Doppler radar also finds usage on a variety of other platforms and can be optimised for a platform specifically. It has been successfully deployed on several platforms including old Mirages and MiG-21s. It is capable of tracking targets both on the surface and in the air with the detection range for a 5m2 airborne target being 150km.
4Tejas loaded with a single R-73, 2 fuel tanks and 3 practice sub-munition carriers with dummy bombs. A Litening pod can be seen just below the intake.
The jet can carry any combination of fuel tanks and weapons on its 7 hardpoints, 6 off which are placed on the wings and 1 on the fuselage. Its maximum payload is 3.5 tonnes which is larger than the MiG-21, the jet it is supposed to replace. It also sports an additional hardpoint dedicated to targeting pods. This jet has been designed to carry western, eastern and Indian weapons. It can carry Russian missiles like the R-73, Israeli missiles like the Python and the Indian Astra. There are chances of Meteor and R-77 being synced with the jet as well. It can also carry a wide variety of air to ground munitions including the domestic Sudarshan which is under development. The Gsh-23, a 23mm aircraft gun is presently being synced with the aircraft and is one of the requirements for the Final Operational Clearance.
Unlike the Tejas, JF-17 doesnt have a composite fuselage but sports an all metal construction. It was done to make production easy and cheap. The empty weight is slightly higher than the Tejas ie around 6.6 tonnes and the maximum takeoff weight is lower ie around 12.5 tonnes. Its primary sensor is the KLJ-7 multimode radar fitted in the nose. Its performance parameters are slightly inferior to that of its Israeli counterpart on Tejas but it is a capable system.
44th JF-17 prototype with 2 PL-09s, 4 AGMs and 3 drop tanks.
Just like the Tejas, it has 7 hardpoints, 2 wingtip, 4 wing mounted and 1 centerline and the payload is near about same as well. It carries weapons of Chinese origin along with some American weapons like the famed AIM-9. It can deploy the CM-400 AShM which has been claimed as the primary threat to Indian carrier battle groups. Chinese AAMs like PL-12, PL-10, PL-9 etc for taking out aerial targets.
Both the Tejas and JF-17 are similarly capable aircraft with widely different fates and roles. Both of them have a similar maximum takeoff weight, similar payload, similarly capable weapons, similar range etc. The role they played for their countries is what sets them apart. Tejas will just be the third line of defense for the Indian skies while the JF-17 will form the backbone of the PAF. The secondary roles they play for their nations are actually more important. The JF-17 started the aviation industry in Pakistan just like the Tejas did in India but then the nature of the 2 industries is very different as well. Tejas helped in developing advanced technology which is migrating to other Indian platforms for eg domestic HUD, Tarang RWR, cockpit design, this cannot be said for the JF-17, most of which was developed in China. It must be noted that the Tejas is yet to enter service while around 50 production JF-17s patrol the skies of its operator. The reduction in complexity helped it enter service quickly while Tejas is yet to receive Final Operational Clearance from the IAF. Thus 2 jets with nearly the same capabilities ended up serving different roles for their nations while essentially countering each other.

UK Army To Extend Life of Challenger 2; New Tank Too Costly

* Minsera.Blogspot.comLONDON — Deciding that purchasing a new main battle tank would be too expensive, the British Army will likely stick with what has long been its plan A and proceed with a Challenger 2 life extension project (LEP) starting early next year, the Ministry of Defence said.
“During the concept phase of CR2 Life Extension Project (LEP) all options, from do nothing to buying a new tank, have been considered. As it stands, the manufacture and costs of a new main battle tank make it unlikely that the Army would seek this option. CR2 will be taken forward and the LEP is scheduled to enter the assessment phase in early 2016,” an MoD spokesman said.
Challenger 2 was essentially sidelined in the 2010 strategic defense and security review (SDSR), with the number of operational tanks slashed and capabilities allowed to atrophy. The question of how to keep Challenger 2 viable was given new impetus by the re-emergence of Russia as a strategic threat and the appearance of the new T-14 Armata main battle tank at a Moscow military parade in April.
The admission that a new tank was probably beyond the reach of the Army follows a recent media report that said the Army was considering such a move.
Industry responded to an LEP request for information from the MoD last year and later followed that up with a rough order of magnitude on pricing.
Lockheed Martin UK, one of the contractors that responded to the request, said it expects a prequalification questionnaire to emerge next month.
Other contractors that responded to the information request last year included BAE Systems, General Dynamics UK and Kraus-Maffei Wegmann
British Army boss Gen. Sir Nick Carter, speaking at September's DSEI show, admitted the Challenger 2 is showing its age.
“We certainly have issues with the tank we have at the moment and we should be in no doubt that if we don’t do something about it some of the obsolescence built into it will be challenging. How we deal with it is still in discussion,” he said.
The MoD has insisted the LEP would only resolve aging issues and not be a capability upgrade, but analysts wonder whether more now needs to be done.
Ben Barry, the senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank in London, said conditions have changed since the SDSR of 2010.
“In the light of world circumstances now, rather than 2010, the need for an upgrade of Challenger 2 becomes more important,” he said.
Challenger 2 is just one of a number of programs the British are looking to modernize armored vehicle capabilities.
Except for new vehicles rushed to British forces in Afghanistan to combat Taliban bombs, the past decade has largely failed to deliver what the British Army would have hoped for to build armored vehicle capabilities with several key programs falling by the wayside.
Many of those urgent operational requirement purchases have now been taken into the core equipment program.
But new programs are coming through, including the Multi Role Vehicle — Protected (MRV-P), the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) and a Royal Marines replacement for their BV206 all-terrain vehicles.
The eight-wheel-drive MIV is the Army's priority and Carter said the program would be launched shortly.
Barry said it was an important program to give the British the sort of balanced force of tracked and wheeled armored vehicles the US, France and other respectable armies have.
The MoD briefed industry on the program in May.
“The MIV project is still in pre-concept and initial work is taking place scoping the approach to the project. Initial Gate [the concept phase] is anticipated in 2016," said the MoD spokesman.
The British have already tested Nexter’s VBCI and the Army visited the US for a look at the Stryker.
Other likely contenders include ST Kinetics, Patria and General Dynamics. Companies like Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, which are vying for the US Marine amphibious combat vehicle program, may also throw their hat into the ring.
“Lockheed Martin is considering a number of possible options for the MIV program which could include offering our own 8x8 platform,” a spokeswoman said Sept 30.
Affordability of the armored vehicle programs remains a big concern, though.
“I am not convinced the MoD can fund its future armored vehicle aspirations. The SDSR will need to make some very hard decisions [on programs],” said one leading industrialist.
The MoD is set to spend £15.4 billion (US $23.4 billion) on land equipment up to 2024, although not all of that is on armored vehicles.
Data released recently under the Freedom of Information Act regarding land forces equipment spending to 2024 showed seven of the 18 programs covered in the largest A and B spending categories were armored vehicles.
Category A is for deals above £400 million and category B is for programs costing £100 million to £250 million.
Barry, though, said the issue with armored vehicle requirements isn’t just money but the changing strategic situation the SDSR will have to address.
“The latest edition of the UK defense equipment plan was written to allow the armed services to implement the 2010 SDSR. The strategic situation has changed since then. Particularly relevant to the British Army is the French operation in Mali as a model of intervention that involved some armor, including wheeled vehicles, and more importantly the events around Russia and the Ukraine,” he said.
“NATO’s readiness action plan and the UK’s commitment to send forces to train in Eastern Europe is all about deterrence. If you are going to deter Russian conventional forces you need credible land forces,” Barry said.
The Army has been working to achieve some of its priority capability improvements.
Last September, General Dynamics UK signed a £3.5 billion deal with the MoD to deliver 589 Scout Specialist Vehicles between 2017 and 2024. The first of the most important version, a reconnaissance vehicle recently named Ajax by the Army, is scheduled for delivery starting in 2020.
Lockheed Martin UK is in a £642 million development phase of a program to update the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle with a new turret, 40mm cannon and other improvements.
The Lockheed spokeswoman said the production element of the contract is “currently scheduled to be awarded in December 2017.”
The MoD was less clear about the timing for a production contract, suggesting there are still issues to be resolved.
“A decision to proceed to contract for manufacture will be made once the MoD is clear that the proposed solution provides confidence and value for money for this phase. It is anticipated that trials will commence in 2016 and an initial operating capability will be delivered in 2019,” said the MoD spokesman.

India May Buy 12 Russian Next Generation S-400 Air Defense Systems

* Minsera.Blogspot.comIndia may purchase the next-generation Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems, an Indian Defense Ministry source said Sunday.
NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The purchase of 12 S-400 systems was initiated by the Indian Air Forces and would be discussed at the next summit of the Indian Defense Acquisition Council chaired by Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, the source said, as quoted by Times of India.
"The project is at an initial stage at present. But it will be a government-to-government contract when it is finalized, with the S-400 systems being inducted over several years."
Russia’s Air Defenders Give Insight on S-400 Missile System
Since the Soviet era, Russia and India have enjoyed mutually beneficial strategic relations, especially in the field of defense and military cooperation.
In 2014, the total value of weapons and military hardware delivered by Russia to India reached $4.7 billion, according to Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation estimates.
The S-400 Triumph is an air defense missile system, which integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control center. It is capable of firing different three types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at short-to-extremely long range.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sepuluh Tank Marder Perkuat Batalyon Infanteri 413/Bremoro * SUKOHARJO, – Batalyon Infanteri 413/Bremoro kembali mendapatkan tambahan alat utama sistem persenjataan (alutsista) sebanyak sepuluh tank Marder buatan Jerman, Jumat (9/10).

Kedatangan tank seberat 33 ton itu, menyita perhatian ratusan pengendara dan warga yang melintasi di Jalan Solo-Tawangmangu, Bremoro Desa Palur, Kecamatan Mojolaban, Kabupaten Sukoharjo.
Tidak sedikit warga yang mengabadikan tank lewat kamera ponsel. “Kebetulan lewat, sekalian foto-foto,” celetuk warga, Haris (34).
Komandan Batalyon 413/Bremoro Kostrad Letkol Inf Hendriawan Sanjaya melalui Perwira Pelaksana Harian (Palahar), Letnan Inf Jajang Sutisna menjelaskan, kedatangan 10 tank tersebut berasal dari TNI Angkatan Darat (AD).
Sebelumnya, tank buatan Jerman itu digunakan di Batalyon Infanteri 412/Raider, Kabupaten Purworejo. “Kemudian dibawa ke Sukoharjo,” jelasnya.
Dengan penambahan itu, maka jumlah tank Marder yang berada di markas Batalyon Infanteri 413/Bremoro, menjadi 23 armada. “Mungkin saja tahun depannya lagi bisa bertambah. Memang markas kami sangat luas. Pasukan kami juga siap,” kata dia.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Semakin Frontal - Pangdam Cenderawasih Benarkan Dua Anggota TNI Disandera

* Minsera.Blogspot.comPangdam XVII Cenderawasih Mayjen TNI Fransen Siahaan membenarkan dua anggotanya disandera kelompok bersenjata dini hari tadi. Dua anggotanya merupakan itu bertugas di Enarotali, Papua sejak semalam.
"Saya sudah mendapat laporan tentang dua anggota TNI yang disandera kelompok bersenjata di Enarotali," ujarnya, Rabu (27/5/2015).
Fransen menambahkan, saat ini pihaknya berusaha membebaskan dua anggota TNI tersebut. Ia juga sudah berkoordinasi dengan Polda Papua, Pemda Paniai, tokoh agama, dan tokoh masyarakat Papua.
Sebelumnya, penculikan dua anggota TNI bermula saat mereka dan sejumlah warga bepergian untuk belanja. Mereka yang saat itu menumpangi perahu motor tiba-tiba didatangi kelompok bersenjata.
Awalnya ada satu warga sipil yang ikut disandera bersama anggota TNI, yakni Elda Sanadi yang bekerja sebagai guru di SD Inpres Kamopa. Namun, saat ini sudah dibebaskan.
"Informasi dilepasnya guru SD itu dari keluarganya yang mendapat telepon berasal dari kelompok bersenjata," ucap Fransen.