Daily Archives: December 8, 2015

Indian Navy set to negotiate purchase of multi-role helicopters

New Delhi, Dec 8 : The Indian Navy is finally set to open price negotiations with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for buying 24 Seahawk S-70B shipboard multi-role helicopters (MRHs) for its operational requirements.

Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources told India Strategic defence magazine that although the helicopters were selected in December 2014, there were some issues over cost escalations due to the delay in the procurement process, and the Connecticut, US-based company’s insistence that it could not hold the prices it had offered in 2008. Recently, however, Sikorsky had relented and its team is due to be invited soon for an early conclusion of the price negotiations.

The subject is also likely to be on the agenda during Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar’s visit to Washington on December 9-10.

Notably, the Indian Navy had invited bids in 2008 from Sikorsky for S-70B and European NH Industries (NHI) for NH 90. There was some hesitation in opening the latter’s bid, as Finmeccanina, which got embroiled in controversy over the acquisition of VVIP helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF), is a major partner in this European consortium.

Sikorsky accordingly had a walkover, but it asked for revision in prices as the selection process had taken more than twice the stipulated timeline and the delivery, in any case, has to be three years after the price negotiations conclude and a contract is signed. That is roughly 10 years after its offer was submitted.

Somehow, the MoD repeatedly sought extensions of Sikorsky’s bid, delaying the acquisition process timelines from less than three years to six. Nonetheless, it said there was no provision for cost escalation during the selection and negotiation process.

Meanwhile, in another development, Sikorsky has been acquired by Lockheed Martin (LM) from United Technologies Corporation (UTC). After the completion of the merger process in early November, Sikorsky was shown for the first time as a Lockheed Martin company at the Dubai Airshow on November 8.

As for the current status in negotiations with the Indian Navy, the chief of the naval staff, Admiral Robin Dhowan, when asked about the Seahawks, replied that the process was now in an “advanced stage”.

Notably, the tender, or Request for Proposals (RfP), had sought 16 helicopters with an option for eight more. But Admiral Dhowan had told India Strategic earlier that as the navy was short of these machines, the deal could be for all the 24 machines.

It may be recalled that the navy had originally planned to acquire 54 MRHs, and 16 of these should have come in 2007 as replacement for the first lot of quarter-century-old British Westland Sea Kings. More were to follow progressively. This has not happened, and the Sikorsky Seahawks are likely to start arriving only from 2019, more than a decade late.

The Sikorsky deal is estimated to be around USD1 billion-plus for 16 helicopters but there is no official word yet on prices from either side.

Weapons and sensors will be extra – possibly from other companies but Sikorsky will integrate them in accordance with the contract. The weapon suite will have the capability to deal with both underwater (ASUW or anti-submarine warfare) and ASW (anti- surface-ship warfare). Among the suppliers for radars and weapons should be the US Raytheon and Telephonics as well as French Thales. The power plants (two engines per machine) will be from GE.

It may be noted that the Indian Navy has substantial achievements to its credit for building ships indigenously, and with a three aircraft carrier policy, it will need several hundred helicopters for engaging threats and for ship to ship or ship to shore communications.

(Gulshan Luthra can be contacted at gulshan.luthra@indiastrategic.in)

© 2001-2015 NEWKERALA.COM All Rights Reserved

Original article: http://www.newkerala.com/news/2015/fullnews-160014.html?

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S-70B

Royal Thai Navy S-70B

Specifications (SH-60B)

Data from Brassey’s World Aircraft & Systems Directory, Navy fact file, and Sikorsky S-70B

SH-60 orthographical image.svg

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3–4
  • Capacity: 5 passengers in cabin, slung load of 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) or internal load of 4,100 lb (1,900 kg) for B, F and H models; and 11 passengers or slung load of 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) for S-model
  • Length: 64 ft 8 in (19.75 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 53 ft 8 in (16.35 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 2 in (5.2 m)
  • Disc area: 2,262 ft² (210 m²)
  • Empty weight: 15,200 lb (6,895 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 17,758 lb (8,055 kg) ; for ASW mission
  • Useful load: 6,684 lb (3,031 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 21,884 lb (9,927 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft, 1,890 shp (1,410 kW) take-off power each

Performance

Armament

Source wiki

Where are we going to get money for Jihadis for World Conquest?

Asian Defence News

DECEMBER 8, 2015

Where are we going to get money for Jihadis for World Conquest?

Oil prices are falling where are we going to get money for Jihadis 

Iranian oil will soon hit the market

Sad Saudi King

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Monday, December 7, 2015: NYMEX West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Price forJanuary delivery closed down $2.32 at $37.65 per barrel.

 

The Top 6 Reasons Oil Prices are Heading Lower

The Top 6 Reasons Oil Prices are Heading Lower

By STEVE AUSTIN for OIL-PRICE.NET, 2015/05/07

Investors and speculators can make money in any market no matter which way prices move. In a rising market, you buy and then sell later at a higher price to make profit; in a falling market, you commit to sell and then buy later at a lower price (shorting). The key element on deciding on an investment strategy in crude oil is to work out where prices are heading.

Despite the fact that falling prices can be an incentive to speculate, brokers and traders that live and breathe the oil market tend to prefer rising prices. Everyone loves to back a winner and rising numbers make those in the market feel like they have improved their status. Thus, no matter how clearly factors show prices are going lower, you will still read enthusiastic explanations that oil prices will rise soon.

Some buyers and their agents may have been caught out by long-term futures contracts that commit them to high prices despite the falling spot price. Thus, they will talk up the market to try to square their books and find a pool of gullible outsiders upon whom they can dump their over-priced stock. However, readers at oil-price.net should know by now that the simple rules of supply and demand mean that the crude oil price will continue to hang around or below the $60 mark for some time to come. Here are the top 6 reasons that savvy speculators should continue to short crude oil.

1. Iran Returns

Despite heavy fines by the US authorities against anyone trading in any way with Iran, that country has still managed to continue oil production over the past few years. Sanctions against Iran have existed in various forms since the eighties when religious fundamentalists overthrew the West-friendly Shah of Iran and committed a series of terrorist attacks against Western nationals. However, sanctions ramped up to the point of shutting Iran out of the oil markets in January 2012, when the US insisted that Iran cancel its program of tests of nuclear weapons.

At the beginning of April 2015 Iran signed an agreement to end its nuclear program and let in international inspectors to prove its commitment. Confirmation of Iran’s compliance will remove the biting sanctions of 2012 and bring Iranian oil to international markets. Despite being stymied by US and EU sanctions, Iran is still able to produce 2.7 million barrels per day, of which 1 million is exported. The un-exported 1.7 million barrels meet domestic demand, but a large proportion is sent to storage.

The world currently has excess crude oil production of roughly 2 million barrels per day, so a cash-strapped, and slightly embittered Iran could have immediate impact on crude oil prices by putting its estimate 35 million barrels of stored oil on the market the day sanctions are lifted.

The impact of Iran’s return to the market greatly depends on how quickly they can ramp up production. Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s oil minister, claims that the country could easily increase production by 1 million bpd within months of the lifting of sanctions. That worrying figure would increase the world’s excess production by 50 per cent, which some analysts claim would push crude oil prices down to $20 per barrel. However, other analysts are skeptical.

Iran’s production levels were at 4 million barrels per day in 2011 before the latest round of sanctions hit. Iran’s isolation and denial of technology and investment capital means its oil industry has become badly under-invested. Their ability to get back up to former production levels could also be blocked by OPEC, of which Iran is a member. Nevertheless, Iran’s return will prevent the world’s excess supply from being reduced and so prices will fall.

2. Fracking is Not Going Away

Many believe that the 2014 fall in oil prices was specifically engineered by Saudi Arabia to knock out US oil production through fracking. Industry analysts estimated that heavy start up costs and financing requirements placed the break-even point of a fracking rig at around a $70 per barrel price of crude oil. Many saw the slump in the price of crude down to $60 and then to the $50 mark as a significant factor.

Sure enough, the rig count in the USA plummeted from 1,608 in October 2014 to 747 in April 2015. Seemingly, the lower oil price had squeezed out US oil production in the higher-cost fracking sector. However, the advancement of technology and the agility of fracking producers resulted in higher output from fewer rigs. In October 2014, the USA produced just under 9 million barrels per day. In April 2015, that output had increased to just under 9.5 million barrels per day.

Chinese oil production through fracking has risen to the same extent as USA production, with companies in both countries adopting and improving the same technology. In a world with an excess production of 2 million barrels per day, America’s increased production means that oil prices are not about to rise. China’s increases compound that situation.

3. OPEC is Idle

Previous oil price falls have been keenly countered by OPEC, the cartel of oil producing nations, centered mainly on Middle Eastern producers. Whenever oil prices fall, OPEC cuts quotas to its members, limiting their production and causing the price to rise through reduced output.

Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest producer in the OPEC club and the opinion of its oil minister, pretty much rules the actions of OPEC. If OPEC members decide to cut their production, but Saudi Arabia refuses to play ball, the resolution to cut would have no impact on oil prices, and thus be a worthless exercise.

Fracking started to provide the USA with a means of achieving energy independence. The country has already become a net exporter of gas, and similar performance in oil production would remove the USA’s dependence on the Middle East for its oil supplies. Saudi Arabia’s dominance of American oil supply enables them to entice the USA to deploy its military in the Persian Gulf at the direction of Saudi foreign policy. The Saudis want to return to the days of US dependence on Arabian oil and so refuse to cut their production in the face of falling prices.

Despite the apparent failure of the Saudi production tactic, OPEC shows no signs of changing its policy. The Saudis seem to be determined to continue forcing the price of crude down to squeeze out US production, but as fracking gets cheaper, output will continue to expand and the price of crude oil will continue to fall.

4. Russia Produces More

Political analyst point out that oil prices fell dramatically around the time that Russia invaded the Ukraine and the EU dithered over imposing the sanctions that the USA demanded. Although Europe did eventually go along with the policy of punishing Russia through trade restrictions, their reluctance to really hit hard has undermined US strategy.

Eyeing the success of an embargo on oil sales in bringing Iran to the negotiating table, the US administration, the theory goes, decided to depress the price of oil in order to bankrupt Russia and force it to cancel plans to take over the Ukraine. The Russian economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil and gas exports, because it has little successful industry and is unable to match the West in the development of technology.

Saudi Arabia also has a cause to complain about Vladimir Putin’s behavior. The Saudis loathe Bashar Assad, the President of Syria and want to see him overthrown. American and European governments seemed willing to play along with this policy until the Russians threw their support behind Assad and European determination folded. Without any significant allies to share the burden, the USA cancelled their planned invasion of Syria. The infuriated Saudis decided to take matters into their own hands and collapsed the price of oil with the intention of punishing Russia, not US frackers.

Vladimir Putin and his administration have complained loudly and frequently that the oil price fall was deliberately aimed at attacking the Russian economy. However, the steadfast determination of unrealistic quotas haunts the Russian mentality as an overhang of the Communist era. Putin needs money to continue his glorious and domestically popular policy of reassembling the Russian Empire.The Russians refuse to bend to market forces and so have made up the shortfall in their budget caused by falling oil prices by pumping out more oil. The Russian need for income means they are unlikely to make a tactical cut in oil output. Increased production adds to the downward pressure on crude oil prices.

5. ISIL’s Days are Numbered

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are said to be causing havoc with oil production in the Middle East. ISIL, originally called “the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” first came to the world’s attention when they threatened takeover of northern Iraq and Syria in the autumn of 2014 – just after the USA declared they would not intervene in Syria to overthrow its president.

Oil analysts talk up the oil price by warnings over ISIL’s actions. However, the revolutionaries only managed to grab a small portion of Iraq’s oil wells and actually increased production of their new assets in order to fund their cause. The ISIL bogeyman delayed the fall in oil prices by about a month and the havoc they have wrought across the Middle East has since failed to block that overproduction of 2 million bpd.

ISIL’s greatest success in wrecking an oil producing country came in Libya, where they apply different tactics to the oil industry. Rather than profiting from Libya’s oil wells, ISIL has been destroying them, thus knocking out a major oil producing nation. Simultaneous increases in production in the USA, China and Russia, however, mean that the loss of Libyan output has had no impact on the glut of crude oil in the world. The panic pricing in the oil markets that the group’s initial appearance caused has withered away.

Europe’s willingness to turn a blind eye to ISIL’s activities in Libya came to an abrupt end in mid-April. Deciding to knock out oil production, rather than profit from it, ISIL turned to Libya’s other money maker – people smuggling. The short distance between the Libyan coastline and the Italian island of Lampedusa makes the former slave trading ports of Libya ideal routes for illegal immigrants to sneak into the EU. Unfortunately, the greed and carelessness of the smugglers has resulted in overloaded ships sinking in the middle of the Mediterranean.

The death toll through drowning of ISIL’s passengers has reached headline-grabbing levels and Europe’s major military powers have resolved to put an end to the organization’s activities. Although the smuggling gangs are the proposed targets of European airstrikes, the difficulty of identifying those activists means that Europe will have to restore a legitimate government to Libya in order to stop human trafficking.

It is significant that the proposed European strategy is to join Egyptian military efforts. The Egyptians have been routinely bombing ISIL in Libya since February. ISIL is easier to attack than other terrorist groups. With a standing army, rather than a terrorist cell structure, such as that of Al Qaeda, ISIL is more visible, and so can be engaged by a traditional military response. Its system of local governors and administrators require offices and infrastructure that are fixed and easy to bomb. The imminent defeat of ISIL in Libya means the oil industry there will be able to rebuild, the world’s oil production excess will increase and crude oil prices will fall further.

6. No Demand

The excess supply in the oil market could easily be mopped up by increased demand. However, there is no great leap in growth expected in the world for the next couple of years. Energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy, such as solar, has permanently reduced demand for oil in most of the developed world.

Both the Federal Reserve and the People’s Bank of China have announced they are ending their loose monetary policies. This free money pumped around the world inflated the prices of property, stocks, bonds and commodities. Part of the reason the oil price rose through 2013 and early 2014 was simply that the excessive amount of dollars in circulation had to be invested in something. Now that money has to be paid back, the asset price inflation of the past two years will be reversed.

The BRIC economies have failed to continue their stratospheric growth into 2015. In fact, some developing nations, like Brazil, are now in recession, with tumbling currencies cutting their populations’ spending power. World trade is falling and demand for oil will fall with it. With few prospects of increased demand for oil, the chance of its price rising is zero.

Conclusion

The major oil producers have done nothing to cut production since October 2014, and they are unlikely to consider cutting output any time soon. The USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia each have different reasons to continue high output, but all three are just stockpiling oil because they cannot find enough immediate buyers. Add on the inevitable return of Iran and Libya and the prospects of the 2 million bpd excess production in the world reducing can be seen to be impossible.

Monetary tightening will reduce world growth and remove asset price inflation. Lower growth, coupled with lower need for oil through efficiency and environmentalism, means demand for oil is not going to exceed supply for a long time to come. The oil price is not going to rise any time soon.

Original link: http://www.oil-price.net/en/articles/top-6-reasons-oil-price-are-headed-lower.php

Combattante BR71 MKII Corvette, France

The Combattante BR71 Mk II vessel is an advanced variant of the Baynunah class (BR 71 design) corvette developed by CMN, a part of Privinvest Shipbuilding Group. The vessel is designed for littoral warfare missions against airborne and surface threats, maritime patrol and surveillance, and law enforcement missions.

The BR71 Mk II corvette can be deployed in coastal and seaward patrolling, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), anti-surface and anti-air warfare (AAW), exclusive economic zone (EEZ) monitoring and surveillance, reconnaissance in tactical areas, deterrent strike missions, and amphibious missions with land forces.

The BR71 Mk II’s design was unveiled at NAVDEX 2015 defence exhibition held in Abu Dhabi in February 2015.

Combattante BR71 Mk II design

The mono-hull design integrates a steel hull and aluminium superstructure with an optimised wheelhouse layout, offering high field of view. The vessel features a sleek silhouette, which is intended to optimise the stealth characteristics. The modular design can adapt a range of subsystems to perform a range of maritime surveillance missions.

The vessel will incorporate a larger bridge compared to its predecessor. It will have an overall length of 70.3m, an overall beam of 11m, and maximum draught of 3m. It will complement a crew of 50, and can carry 100t of fuel oil and 8t of fresh water.

BR71MKII_news_2

Weapon systems

“The vessel is designed for littoral warfare missions against airborne and surface threats, maritime patrol and surveillance, and law enforcement missions.”

The forward bow deck will be mounted with a 76mm or 57mm main gun and secondary weapons including two 20mm guns along with an option for 30mm guns.

The vessel will be armed with eight Exocet Block III anti-ship missiles, a surface-to-air missile system with eight vertical launch missiles, and a short-range air defence missile system.

Exocet Block III anti-ship missiles

exocet-mm40-block-3

Exocet Block III anti-ship missiles

The Exocet MM40 Block 3 weapon system is the latest generation ship-borne version of the Exocet family and is in operational service with several navies.

Exocet MM40 Block 3 provides enhanced operational performance and technology upgrades, while minimising the impact on procurement and logistic support costs.

Exocet MM40 Block 3’s Mission Planning software module automatically computes engagement plans to support firing decisions.

The flexibility of the Exocet MM40 Block 3 weapon is further enhanced by the accuracy of the new navigation package, allowing optimised 3D approach trajectories and terminal attacks from different azimuths, at very low sea skimming altitude with simultaneous time on target. The terminal guidance relies on a sophisticated J-band active seeker to discriminate and select targets at sea and on the GPS accuracy for land targets.

Exocet MM40 Block 3 is compatible with most of the logistic support assets already in service. Its launching system is interoperable with all MM40 versions, thus enabling a smooth transition to Block 3. Source mbda-systems.com

Originated From: France
Possessed By: Numerous (see table below)
Class: Anti-ship Cruise Missile
Basing: Sea/Air/Ground/Submarine
Length: 4.69- 5.95 m
Diameter: 350 mm
Launch Weight: 655-870 kg
Payload: Single warhead
Warhead: 165 kg HE fragmentation or semi-armor piercing
Propulsion: Solid fueled (MM40 Block 3 uses a Microturbo TRI 40 turbojet)
Range: 40-180 km
Status: Operational
In Service: 1975

Source missilethreat.csis.org

The Combattante BR71 Mk II vessels can also integrate a range of weapon systems according to the customer requirements.

Mission systems aboard Combattante BR71 MKII

The combat management system (CMS) will be interfaced with onboard sensors and radars including a 3D combined surveillance radar, X-band radar, an identification friend or foe (IFF), a fire control radar, an electro-optical (EO) system, a radar electronic support measures (ESM) system, a decoy launching system and an electronic warfare suite. The CMS will enable the crew to find, track and engage multiple threats in combat environments.

The vessel will be equipped with an integrated bridge control system (IBCS), an integrated naval communications system, a global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS), and a tactical data link.

Helicopter support platform

The vessel features a larger Level-2 Class-2 helicopter platform. The landing pad can support the operations of a 5t class helicopter during day and night.

BR71MKII_mission_helico

The stern section of the corvette has been redesigned and helicopter hangar replaced with two dedicated spaces in the superstructure at starboard and port side for rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). Two 6.5m RIBs on the corvette will provide rapid response capabilities to the mother vessels engaged in anti-piracy, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.

Propulsion system for optimum speed

The BR71 Mk II will be powered by four MTU engines driving two steering and two booster water-jets. The vessel will also be equipped with three auxiliary generator sets. The propulsion system will ensure a maximum speed of 30kt and a range of 2,500nmi at 12kt speed.

Main Characteristics

Length Overall :70.30 m
> Beam Overall : 11.00 m
> Maximum draught : 3.00 m
> Maximum speed : 30 Knots
> Range at 12 Knots : 2500 NM
> Crew : 50
> Fuel oil : 100 t
> Fresh water : 8 t
> Hull : Steel
> Superstructure : Aluminium
> Classification : Bureau Veritas

Typical Mission Systems

One Combat Management System
> One 3D combined Surveillance Radar + IFF
> One Fire Control Radar
> One Electro-optical System
> One Primary Gun: 76MM or 57 mm
> One Surface to Surface Missile System with 8 Exocet missiles
> One Surface-to-Air Missile System with 8 vertical launch missiles
> One Short Range Air Defence Missile System
> Two Secondary Guns 20mm (30 mm as option)
> One Tactical Data Link System
> One Radar ESM System
> One Communication ESM System
> One Decoy Launching System
> Integrated Naval communications System
> One GMDSS System
> One Integrated Bridge Control System (IBCS)
> One 25 kW X-band radar

Main Equipment & Auxiliaries

Three generating sets
> Four diesel engines
> Four Waterjets : 2 steering & 2 booster
> Two 6.50 Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB)
> One Compact Mast (Cmact ©)

Source: naval-technology.com/cmn-group.com

South Korea to develop stealth UAV

Asian Defence News

DECEMBER 7, 2015

South Korea to develop stealth UAV

South Korea will develop a stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to counter North Korea’s long-range artillery and mobile missile systems, a South Korean defense official said Sunday.

The development is part of the 31 research projects to be conducted by the South Korean military by the end of next year, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Yonhap News Agency.

These stealth UAVs will stand by at higher altitudes than other aerial defense systems owned by North Korea and thwart the enemy’s long-range missiles and mobile missile systems. The targets include North Korea’s 240mm multiple rocket launcher and 170mm self-propelled guns, as well as SCUD, Rodong and Musudan missiles, according to the official.

“The stealth UAV will directly strike large objects, such as long-range missiles and mobile missile systems,” the official said. “To handle smaller targets, the UAV will deploy several submunition rounds that can independently identify and attack them.”

Once the initial research phase is over, applied research will be conducted from 2017 to 2019, the official said, adding the initial research phase is expected to cost 380 million won (US$327,000).

South Korea will also investigate the possibility of developing a drone that can detect unauthorized personnel in its military facilities as part of the research projects to be conducted by next year, the official added.

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K-UCAV

This project is a subscale aircraft, K-UCAV which was funded by Korea Aerospae Indeustries (KAI) to conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, including suppression of enemy air defenses. The plane is 20% scale-down model of the K-UCAV that it has built to validate the aerodynamic aspects of its design.The main wing is the type of low-wing with sweepback angle and taper and tail wing is the V-tail type.