Monthly Archives: January 2016

KJ2000 AWACS Aircraft – Chinese PLAAF

The KongJing-2000 (KJ-2000) is the first airborne warning and control system (AWACS) in service with the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), with four examples commissioned between 2006~07.

The aircraft was based on the airframe of the Russian-made A-50/IL-76MD, but outfitted with an Chinese indigenous electronically steered phased-array (ESA) radar developed by Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology (also known as 14 Institute). Xi’an Aircraft Corporation (XAC) was responsible for converting existing IL-76MD transport jets for the AWACS role.

A-50I Phalcon Programme

The KJ-2000 was a direct result of the failed A-50I Phalcon Programme. China started a three-way talk with Israel and Russia in 1994 for a possible purchase of advanced AWACS aircraft.

Beriev A-50/A-100 (AEW&C): Details

Under the proposal, Russia would provide four Beriev A-50 Mainstay airframes, which were to be fitted with the Phalcon airborne early warning (AEW) radar and other C3I system developed by Israeli Aircraft Industries Ltd (IAI). In May 1997, China, Israel, and Russia reached an agreement to supply one such AWACS aircraft under the designation A-50I for $250 million, with the option of three more for a total cost of $1 billion. In October 1999, Russia delivered the first A-50 aircraft to Israel for the installation of the Phalcon AEW radar system.

a-50i1China salvaged this A-50I prototype from Israel via Russia in 2002 the Phalcon system removed – Image:

By May 2000, Israel had nearly completed the system installation. However, the Phalcon deal became an increasingly controversial issue between the United States and Israel. In 2000, the Clinton Administration voiced stronger objections to the sale and urged Israel to cancel the sale of the Phalcon, saying it is a system comparable to the U.S. AWACS and could collect intelligence and guide aircraft from 250 miles away. After some intensive talks, the Israeli government finally cancelled the deal with China in July 2000.

Chen Xiangyu

The fallout of the Phalcon deal was a major blow for China’s military modernisation programme. China reacted to the setback by starting a domestic programme to develop its own airborne early warning radar and relevant C3I systems. The Israeli-made Phalcon radar and other onboard electronic systems were retrieved from the unfinished A-50I, and the airframe was handed to China via Russia in 2002. Modifications on the airframe began in late 2002 to install the Chinese-made airborne radar system at XAC. A total of four planes were produced, with one based on the A-50I airframe (which can be identified by its nose-mounted aerial refuelling probe), and other three being converted using existing IL-76MD transports in service with the PLAAF. The conversation work was carried out by the XAC.

The AWACS aircraft designated KJ-2000 made its first flight in November 2003. Following some extensive flight testing at China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) in Yanliang, Shaanxi Province and radar system testing at an airbase near Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, the aircraft entered operational service between 2006~07. A total of four examples (30071, 30072, 30073, and 30074) are being operated by the PLAAF 26th Air Division based in the eastern Zhejiang province near the Taiwan Strait.


The KJ-2000 has five flight crew and possibly 10~15 mission crew. The aircraft carries out patrol missions at an altitude of 5,000~10,000m. The maximum flight range of the aircraft is 5,000km and the flight endurance is 7 hours 40 minutes. At a range of 2,000km, the aircraft can remain on patrol for up to 1 hour 25 minutes.

Chen Xiangyu

The A-50 airframe, developed and manufactured by the Beriev Aircraft Research and Engineering Complex Joint Stock Company based at Taganrog in the Rostov Region of Russia, was derived from the Ilyushin IL-76 jet transport aircraft, distinguished by the large, non-rotate radome containing the phased-array radar antenna; the solid nose replacing the original ‘glass-in’ nose, and a large number of electronic system antennas on the front section of the fuselage.


The primary radar system housed in the radome is an three-sided electronically steered phased-array (ESA) developed by Nanjing-based 14 institute. Unlike the Russian A-50 or U.S. E-3, which rotate their rotodomes to give a 360 degree coverage, the KJ-2000’s radar antenna does not rotate. Instead, three ESA antenna modules are placed in a triangular configuration inside the round radome to provide a 360 degree coverage.

The Chinese-made radar system could be similar in design to the IAI Phalcon, but may not be as capable as the latter. The Phalcon system could track up to 60~100 targets at the same time and guide a dozen fighters in all-weather, day and night operations. Source


Assessing the Tikhomirov NIIP L-Band Active Electronically Steered Array | Air Power Australia: Here

“….Chinese KJ-2000 and KJ-200 AEW&C/AWACS radars, all operate in the L-band….

Why has the L-band been so popular? With operating wavelengths of the order of 6 to 12 inches, it permits good long range search performance with modestly sized antennas, while providing excellent weather penetration, and reasonably well behaved ground clutter environments compared to shorter wavelength bands. In airborne radar applications, L-band offers an additional economy, as a single L-band design can combine conventional primary radar functions with secondary IFF/SSR functions, thus saving considerable antenna and transmitter/receiver hardware weight, cooling and volume. The latter are alone sufficient reasons to employ this otherwise heavily congested band.

Another less frequently discussed consideration is that L-band frequencies typically sit below the design operating frequencies of stealth shaping features in many fighter aircraft and UAV designs. Shaping features such as engine inlet edges, exhaust nozzles, and other details become ineffective at controlled scattering once their size is comparable to that of the impinging radar waves. This problem is exacerbated by the skin effect in resistive and magnetic materials, which at these wavelengths often results in penetration depths incompatible with thin coatings or shallow structures.

It was therefore not surprising that during the 2000/2001 Australian media debate over the Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, US participants were quick to vocally argue the ‘counter-stealth’ capability of the Wedgetail’s L-band AESA radar design.” Source


Other data show radar range at 648km

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 30480 m
Range Max: 648.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.4 km Generation: Early 2000s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
Sensors / EW:
China Type 88 – (3-face AESA, KJ-2000, KJ-500) Radar
Role: Radar, Air & Surface Search, 3D Long-Range
Max Range: 648.2 km


E-7A Wedgetail: Details

Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan

4 × Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan, 117,68 kN (26,500 lbf) each


ENGINE D-30КU-154 D-30КU-2 D-30КP-2
Thrust at APR*, kgf  –
Take-off thrust, kgf 10 500 11 000 12 000
Specific fuel consumption at take-off, kg/(kgf∙hr) 0.498 0.498 0.510
Specific fuel consumption at cruise, kg/(kgf∙hr)** 0.715 0.685 0.705
Bypass ratio  2.50 2.31 2.24
Dimensions (L x D), m  5.698 x 1.560 5.698 x 1.560 5.448 x 1.560

* – automatic power reserve
** – (H=11 000 m, M=0.8)



Limited performance parameters of KJ-2000 have been published as follows:

  • Max speed (km/hr): 850
  • Max range (km): 5500
  • Max endurance (hr): 12
  • Take-off weight (t): 175
  • Range against fighter sized targets (km): 470
  • Range against ballistic missiles (km): 1200
  • Max # of target that can be tracked simultaneously: 100



Main image Ivan Vukadinov

Updated Nov 11, 2020

Taifun-M Armored reconnaissance vehicle – Russia

The Taifun-M is a new Russian armored reconnaissance vehicle. It was developed specially for the Russian strategic missile forces. Development commenced in 2007. In Russia the Taifun-M is designated as anti-diversion vehicle. It is a new class of vehicles. The Taifun-M is intended to escort mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles in order to prevent enemy ambushes. It can also protect silo-based ICBM launch sites. This reconnaissance vehicle can spot approaching enemy troops. It entered service with the Russian Army in 2013. First vehicle was delivered during the same year.


   The new vehicle is based on on BTR-82 armored personnel carrier. The original Taifun was under developed since late 1990s. It was planned to be based on the BTR-80 APC. However it never appeared due to prolonged development.

BTR-82A: Details

   This reconnaissance vehicle is armed only with remotely-controlled 7.62-mm machine gun. There are some firing ports with associated periscopes provided for the crew to fire their individual weapons.

Remotely-controlled 7.62-mm machine gun


   Vehicle is fitted with a mast-mounted radar, FLIR and optical sensors. Some sources report that it can spot enemy vehicles at a range of 6 km and enemy troops at a range of 3 km. Reconnaissance equipment can be controlled by commander or operator.


The Taifun-M also carries a small unmanned aerial vehicle. In traveling order unmanned aerial vehicle is stored inside the box on top of the roof. It is used to monitor large areas.

Unmanned aerial vehicle stored inside the box on top of the roof


Vehicle is also fitted with a portable mine detector. Furthermore the Taifun-M is equipped with a system, that suppresses radio-controlled explosive devices.

NR-900 EK designed for detection of mines and explosive device with electronic fuses (activation system) concealed on the ground surface, slightly in the ground (snow), under the road pavement and within various facilities.

NR-900 EK


NR-900 EK Detects:

  • communicational transmitters & receivers as well as alarm and remote control system facilities;
  • electronic and electromechanical timers;
  • acoustic, magnetic, optoelectronic sensors and midget TV cameras;
  • built-in metal-ware as well as hidden machinery and appliances;
  • domestic electronic units and alpine skiing in snow traps.


NR-900 EK application possibilities:

  • roads, terrain and objects inspection for mines, improvised explosive devices (IED) and other explosive appliances with electronic components;
  • searching for hidden caches with weapons, ammunition, explosive devices and communication facilities;
  • questioned items investigation, searching for subversive and terrorist devices and arrangements.

Main features:

  • extended detection range;
  • electronic facilities localization in any operational mode: active, ‘stand-by’ or even switched off installed behind walls, fences, etc.
  • equipment design allows its usage in tactical airborne missions;
  • efficient use in search/reconnaissance missions;
  • high searching rate;
  • safe to handle, user-friendly design;
  • extended continuous operational time without battery replacement;
  • long-term operation facility in field conditions. Source

Technical Specifications:

Probing signal type pulse
Receiver 2-channel (2nd and 3rd harmonics)
Output power 0,15 / 200 W (average / peak)
User interface LED display
Audio output headphones
Power supply Ni-Cad battery, 6V/7Ah
Start-up time no more than 5 min
Continous operation time
(normal enviroment condition)
not less than 8 h
Operation temperature -30ºC…+50ºC
Weight (ready for operation/in standard packing) 5.1kg/12.0kg

   This armored reconnaissance vehicle has a welded steel armor hull. Front arc provides protection against 12.7-mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 7.62-mm rounds. Interior is lined with Kevlar anti-spall liner. Vehicle has a double hull for improved protection against landmines. It is fitted with automatic fire suppression and NBC protection systems.


   Vehicle has a crew of about four men, including commander, driver, gunner and unmanned aerial vehicle operator. It seems that vehicle can carry three more scouts. Soldiers enter and leave the vehicle via side doors or roof hatches.


This reconnaissance vehicle is powered by KamAZ 740.14-300 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 300 hp. It is a commercially available truck engine. Engine is located at the rear.

KamAZ 740.14-300 turbocharged diesel engine

Vehicle also has auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems and charges the batteries, when the main engine is turned off. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. The Taifun-M is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by a waterjet.


Source: the net

Updated Dec 20, 2016

Brahmos Missile Small-Size Version can be Launched from Submarine Torpedo Tubes

A small version of the Russian-Indian cruise missile Brahmos can be launched from submarine torpedo tubes, CEO of the Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association Alexander Leonov said on Friday. The Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association is taking part in developing the Brahmos missile.

A small version of the Russian-Indian cruise missile Brahmos can be launched from submarine torpedo tubes, CEO of the Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association Alexander Leonov said on Friday. The Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association is taking part in developing the Brahmos missile. Scale model of Brahmos launched from a submarine VLS at INDODEFENCE 2012

“Unlike the Brahmos missile, its version is a little smaller and can be located in a torpedo tube,” the CEO said. According to Leonov, an aircraft version of the Brahmos missile is also being developed, which will allow Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets making up the mainstay of India’s Air Force to carry more cruise missiles.

As of today, a Su-30MKI fighter jet can be armed with only one Brahmos missile. Leonov confirmed the information that future Indian-made submarines would be armed with Brahmos cruise missiles. “The Indian Defense Ministry is planning to provide future submarines with Brahmos missiles,” the CEO said.

Read rest of article: HERE


March 2013

India on Wednesday became the first country in the world to fire a supersonic cruise missile vertically from an underwater platform. The submarine-launched version of BrahMos was successfully test-fired for first time from an underwater platform off the Visakhapatnam coast. Source

Maiden Launch Of Submarine-Launched BrahMos-1 Supersonic MRCM

BrahMos Aerospace, the India-Russia JV operational since February 1998, created history when the submarine-launched version of the BrahMos-1 vertically-launched supersonic multi-role cruise missile was successfully test-fired at 1410 hours on March 20, 2013  from a submerged, stabilised and stationary platform (the same that was used for test-firing the B-O5/K-15 SLBM on January 27, 2013) in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Visakhapatnam.

The missile took off vertically from its submerged cannister and attained its full range of 290km. Following a pre-programmed flight trajectory, the missile emerged from underwater and took a vectored turn towards the designated target. All the shore-based and shipborne telemetry and tracking stations confirmed the pin-point accuracy of the mission. This was reportedly the first time that any supersonic multi-role cruise missile had been launched vertically from a submerged, stabilised and stationary platform. When vertically installed in vertical cannisters within the pressure-hull of a nuclear-powered SSGN, the BrahMos-1 increases the ‘offensive power’ of the SSGN without compromising on the SSGN’s ‘defensive power’ as the torpedo tubes can be fully utilised for engaging in undersea warfare while operating in the self-seeking hunter-killer mode.


Air Force One

Air Force One is the designation of any airplane that serves the President of the United States government. The same planes are used by the vice-president but are called Air Force Two when he is aboard. The presidential fleet consists of two customized Boeing 747-200B aircraft (military designation VC-25A) called SAM 28000 and 29000.

The name Air Force One was established after an incident in 1953, when Eastern Airlines flight 8610 crossed paths with the president’s plane, then called Air Force 8610, although the Air Force One name was not made official until 1962.

Technical information from I Love Air Force One.

Special Air Mission 28000 and 29000

In 1990, the two Boeing 747 (VC-25A) aircraft used today were delivered (having been ordered by Ronald Reagan). The same livery was used, but the interiors were selected by Mrs. Reagan.

A new Air Force One is scheduled to go into service in 2017. The likely candidates are a Boeing 747-8 and a Boeing 787.

Air Force OneAir Force OneAir Force Oneair-force-one-28000-main1Air Force OneAir Force OneVC-25A staff room, looking back down corridor outside conference room (White House)Air Force OneVC-25A senior staff room (White House)Air Force OneVC-25A corridor outside conference room (White House)Air Force OneVC-25A president’s office (White House)



The tail cone of Air Force One bristles with defensive systems at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., in June 2012. Photo and annotations by John GourleyMulti-purpose conformal antennas are almost flush against the fuselage side of this VC-25A presidential aircraft at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., in June 2012. Photo and annotations by John Gourley

Not new to the VC-25A:

  • About five AN/ALQ-204 Matador infrared (IR) countermeasures devices are located at the tail and behind the four engines, Previously used on the VC-137C (Boeing 707-320B) presidential aircraft and on airliners and executive aircraft, the device emits pulsed IR signals to foil attacks by heat-seeking missiles.

AN/ALQ-204 Matador infrared (IR) countermeasure

af1-ircm-08.jpg1635e351cff0f0e301fecd4365fc3442 (1).jpg

Thought to be new or recent additions to the VC-25A:

  • An AN/AAR-54(V) missile launch warning receiver located at the tail is intended to report and track missile threats by zeroing in on their ultraviolet exhaust signature. The receiver is also in use on special-operations warplanes like the MC-130H Combat Talon II.

AN/AAR-54(V) missile launch warning receiver


  • The AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infra-Red Counter Measures (DIRCM) system, which can be directed by the AAR-54, fires pulsating flashes of IR energy that confuse a missile’s guidance system.

AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infra-Red Counter Measures (DIRCM) system


  • Conformal antennas: the VC-25As have been retrofitted with multi-purpose conformal antennas adaptable to satellite communications systems and other purposes. They resemble Band-Aids or patches but are, in fact, antennas that appear to have no effect on the aerodynamic performance of the 747.


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The New Air Force One – 747-800

The 747-8 will be the Air Force One replacement to carry around the U.S. President – Image: Jon Ostrower

Source Boeing

The 747-800 That May Become Air Force One: Here


The USAF has a deal in the works to turn a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline into the next presidential transport. Here’s what they look like.

Under pressure from President Donald Trump to cut the costof the next Air Force Ones, the U.S. Air Force is finalizing a deal with Boeing to purchase two undelivered 747s in storage in the Mojave desert.

White House cut in-flight refueling on next Air Force One: Here


It was a White House decision to cut in-flight refueling on the next Air Force One, a decision that might be challenged by Congress, according to an exchange Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The revelation came during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, who was nominated to serve another term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Air Force announced in August that it would purchase two existing Boeing 747s to replace the two aging VC-25A aircraft that serve as Air Force One now. The aircraft will be modified with military communications systems and self-defense capabilities.

At the time, the Air Force said it would not require that the aircraft have in-flight refueling capabilities. The modifications are expected to be completed around 2024.

Updated Sep 27, 2017

Turkey aircraft carrier specifications

The contract signing ceremony for the LPD was the highlight of the IDEF 2015 was from the maritime point of view the.

On 7 May 2015 the contract for the production of one landing platform dock, was signed between Under-secretariat for Defence Industries and Sedef Shipyard.

The design is based on Spanish shipyard Navantia’s Juan Carlos 1 LPD and will be very similar to the Spanish and Australian ships. According to Under-secretariat for Defence Industries press release the ship is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021. The ship will be able to operate 60 days on sea, without replenishment.

Juan Carlos LHD can carry and deploy 4 LCMs thanks to its well deck Picture: Spanish Navy

The preliminary specifications of the Turkish LPD shows that the ship will not much different from her Spanish and Australian versions:

Canberra Juan Carlos Levent
Displacement (tons) 27.500 27.500 27.460
Length (meters) 230 230 230
Speed (knots) 19 21 20,5
Range (n. miles) 9.000 9.000 9.000
Crew 240 295 240

The exact plane and helicopter load is not published but Juan Carlos design has capacity for 11 medium class helicopters and up to 7 Harrier type planes. Nobody is talking it openly yet, but it is highly possible that the S/VTOL version of F-35 may be acquired in the future to be used on this ship. Turkey is a member of the F-35 alliance and wants to buy at least 100 planes of the land based version.

For self-defence, the ship will have at least two MK-15 Phalanx CIWS and 3 or 4 remote-controlled weapon platforms  such as Aselsan’s STAMP or STOP.

MK-15 Phalanx CIWSAselsan’s STAMP remote-controlled weapon platforms

Aselsan’s STOP remote-controlled weapon platforms

ECM and ESM systems, IR signature measurement systems, electro-optic sensors, torpedo defence systems will be among many subsystems provided by Turkish companies. The combat management system will be also indigenous and will be based on GENESİS CMS.


With the signing of the contract for the LPD, Turkey Navy has entered to the Dreadnought Owners Club of the 21. Century. The large amphibious ships with docking and flight capability are the new Dreadnoughts of our era.

Large amphibious ships are the only real multi-purpose ships of any navy can posses and are the naval equivalent of Swiss army knives.

The potential uses for a large amphibious ships can be:
• force projection (the most obvious use)
• evacuation of combatants and non-combatants
• command ship for task force
• logistical supply platform during a humanitarian crisis or disaster
• mother-ship for small boat operations and helicopters
• mine warfare (as all large amphibious ships of Turkish Navy have mine laying capability)

In 2006 , The Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Yener Karahanoğlu, laid down the long terms amphibious ship acquisition goals for Turkish Navy:

• One LPD
• Two LST’s
• 8 fast LCT’s
• 27 AAV/AAAV’s

The first project to start according to this road map was procurement of 8 LCT’s. This project officially started in 2009 with the signing of the contract and ended in 2014 with the commissioning of 8 LCT’s into Turkish Navy.

The procurement of the LST’s was the second project. For the LST’s UDI submitted a Request for Proposal. on May 2008. On 6 January 2010 ADİK shipyard was declared as the winner of the bid. A contract for the construction of two new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADİK in 2011. The first ship was to be delivered in 48 months after the signing of the contract.

The tender process for LPD has started in 2011 when UDI submitted the RfP. In May 2011, three Turkish shipyards, Deasan, RMK Marine and Sedef submitted their bids for RfP to design and build a LPD type ship. RMK Marine submitted its own design, Sedef teamed with Navantia and submitted a redesigned Juan Carlos 1. The most secretive bid was Deasan’s. The shipyard teamed with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation which builds the Type 071 amphibious ships for PLA(N).

On 27 December 2013 the Defence Industry Executive Committee decided to start contract negotiation with the Sedef Ship Building Company, which was signed on 7 May 2015.

When commissioned she will be the capital ship of Turkish Navy. (Bosphorus Naval News)

Juan Carlos LHD


Read original article HERE

H.T.M.S. Chakra Naruebet aircraft carrier

Saab to Upgrade C2 System of the HTMS Chakri Naruebet

27 April 2012
The contract involve upgrading the aircraft carrier with the latest generation of command and control system, 9LV Mk4. Saab will also supply data-link equipment to the ship, which will allow communication between the ship and the Royal Thai Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft and the airborne radar system Erieye, carried by the Saab 340 AEW.
Saab is the main contractor to the Royal Thai Navy, and as well as supply of its own systems, its tasks will include procurement of third-party systems and responsibility for integration of all existing and new systems.
“This is the second 9LV Mk4 contract signed between the Royal Thai Navy and Saab. It further strengthens Saab’s position in the country, which we are proud of,” says Gunilla Fransson.
The contract mainly concerns the Security and Defence Solutions business area as
the supplier of the command and control system. The Electronic Defence Systems business area will supply the Sea Giraffe AMB surveillance radar system as well as data-link equipment for communication with Gripen and the Erieye airborne early warning systems.
The contract will run between 2012 and 2015.

Combining all the information from different sensors and UAV / UUV sources into a real time situational picture and helping the crew to react is the task of the combat management systems (CMS). Swedish company Saab’s 9LV CMS system for instance features a performance-based engagement-planning function for anti-air warfare, which is based on probability calculations and will optimise survivability by evaluating all possible threat-engagement combinations using all combinations of sensors and weapons, including ship manoeuvre.

One goal with designing today’s CMS is to fully integrate all sensors and effectors with a flexibility to allow every workstation in the operation room to perform every role. The system-architectures will become more and more fully distributed, with consoles connected via high-speed data networks, embodying commercial, off-the-shelf products. Open architecture and off-the-shelf products are also supposed to make updates easier in the future as naval vessels have life cycles of up to 30 years and today’s software and computing system up to one or two years.

SEA GIRAFFE AMB radar surveillance equipment designed to be capable of detecting both on the coast and in the air precisely. Designed to connect directly combat 9LV (CMS)

The radar is able to detect the angle of 0-70 degrees to 360 degrees, covering a 180 kilometer surveillance can detect targets with high accuracy. And detect even the target object invisible. Small as well as the 3D GIRAFFE AMB radar is versatile with the ability to cover all the needs. Featured in Add the time to meet and make decisions. Low radar footprint Can observe the motion of the target by land, sea and air radar highlights three critical limit.

  • Investigator in the air and can interfere with the radar track of the enemy.
  • Can observe and track the motion of the enemy on the side.
  • Be alert gunshot detection and neck where the bullet was fired.
  • Can distinguish between different types of goals Even the up and down motion of the helicopter.
  • Can pointing to fight missile defense land. Naval and air precisely.
  • To support gunnery ship.

TECHNICAL DATA Technical Radar Type Beam 3D Stacked Radar Antenna Type 3D phased array, Digital Beam Forming Frequency C (G / H)-band coverage Elevation > 70 Degrees Rotation rate 60 RPM Instrumented Range 180 km Capacity / ability to detect. – Air > 200 tracks – Surface > 400 tracks – Rocket / Artillery / Mortar > 100 tracks / minPower consumption 15 kW Stabilisation Electronic Data interface Ethernet Power SupplyMIL-STD 1,399 Type 1. 

Saab 9LV CMS system


Engineers station


General characteristics
Type: V/STOL carrier
Displacement: 11,486 tons full load
  • 182.65 m (599.2 ft) (overall)
  • 174.1 m (571 ft) (flight deck)
  • 164.1 metres (538 ft) (between perpendiculars)
  • 22.5 m (74 ft) (waterline)
  • 30.5 m (100 ft) maximum
Draught: 6.12 m (20.1 ft)
  • 2 × GE LM2500 gas turbines providing 22,125 shp (16,499 kW)
  • 2 × Bazán-MTU 16V1163 TB83 diesel engines providing 5,600 bhp (4,200 kW)
  • 2 × shafts with 5-bladed propellers
  • 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph) (maximum)
  • 17.2 knots (31.9 km/h; 19.8 mph) (cruising)
  • 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
  • 7,150 nautical miles (13,240 km; 8,230 mi) at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)
Troops: Up to 675
  • 62 officers
  • 393 sailors
  • 146 aircrew
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Hughes SPS-52C air search radar, E/F band
  • 2 × Kelvin-Hughes 1007 navigational radars
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Decoys:
  • 4 × SRBOC decoy launchers
  • SLQ-32 towed decoy
  • 2 × 0.5-inch machine guns
  • 3 × sextuple Sadral launchers for Mistral surface-to-air missiles
Aircraft carried:
Aviation facilities:
  • 174.6-by-27.5-metre (573 by 90 ft) flight deck
  • 12° ski-jump
  • Hangar space for 10 aircraft
Notes: Equipment fitted for but not with is listed in the article


USN, Royal Thai Navy conduct “most complex” anti-submarine exercise to date: Details

One of the many rescue missions 

Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile system features SS-27 “Sickle B” (RT-2PM2 Topol-M)

Classified as the fifth generation of the Soviet strategic missiles, the Topol-M program was expected to negate renewed US efforts in mid-1980s to develop missile defense shield. (72) The program also aimed to create a single design of the ICBM, which could be deployed without significant modifications in existing silos and on highly mobile tracks. As such, the Topol-M could replace RT-2P missiles.

Key facts about Russia’s Topol intercontinental ballistic missile


© Ladislav Karpov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Thirty-five years ago, the RT-2PM (15Zh58) intercontinental ballistic missile of the RS-12M Topol road mobile complex was successfully launched for the first time at the 53rd research and testing range of the USSR Defense Ministry in Plesetsk on February 8, 1983.

Project’s history

A new-generation solid-propellant missile had been under development at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology since 1975. This research institute specialized in mobile solid-propellant missiles: it was this firm that had earlier developed RT-2S Temp-2S and RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20) missile systems.

The Soviet military believed that it would be difficult to spot a mobile missile system, which would, therefore, significantly reduce its vulnerability compared to silo-based missiles. The United States and its allies had no mobile ICBMs as they limited their effort only to developing MGM-31C Pershing II medium-range missile complexes.


The first test launch of the Topol intercontinental ballistic missile was conducted on October 27, 1982 from the Kapustin Yar practice range and it proved to be a failure.

After that, the development tests were transferred to the 53rd research and test range of the USSR Defense Ministry (Plesetsk) where the second and successful launch was conducted on February 8, 1983.

The first three launches were conducted from a silo. The fourth trial was held on August 10, 1983 when the Topol ICBM was test-launched from a self-propelled launcher.

Overall, 17 test launches of Topol ICBMs were held and only four of them failed.

Topol ICBMs enter service with Strategic Missile Force

On December 1, 1988, the Soviet government issued a resolution on accepting the Topol ICMB for service.

In 1991, the Soviet Army operated 288 Topol missile systems. After the disintegration of the USSR, three divisions armed with these ICBMs stayed on territory of Belarus and were withdrawn into Russia. In 1993, RT-2PM missile complexes that were in operation reached their maximum number of 369 units. Since 2006, Russia has been replacing Topols with new Topol-M mobile missile systems.

Over 120 test and combat training launches of the RT-2PM Topol missiles were held from 1982 and an overwhelming majority of them were successful.

In the West, the RT-2PM Topol ICBM was dubbed the SS-25 Sickle.


The Topol-M is a solid-propellant missile of universal (silo and mobile) basing with a new control system, enhanced accuracy, larger payload, a new ABM-piercing system and other innovations.

The Topol-E is an experimental missile for conducting the trials of new types of ICBM armament.


The RT-2PM is a three-stage solid-propellant ICBM with the sequential arrangement of its stages.

Each of the three stages uses a solid-propellant engine with a fixed nozzle. The first stage is furnished with gas jet and aerodynamic vanes. The ICBM is also equipped with a separate stage for the warhead delivery.

The launcher is mounted on a MAZ-7912/7917 auto chassis. Source

The designation for the silo-based Topol-M missile is believed to be RS-12M2, while the mobile version is RS-12M1.

Current Strategic Rocket Forces Order of Battle lists the following sites with Topol-M missiles:

  • 27th Guards Missile Army (HQ: Vladimir)
    • 60th Missile Division at Tatishchevo with 60 silo-based Topol-M
    • 54th Guards Missile Division at Teykovo with 18 mobile Topol-M

The Topol-M missiles have a lifetime between 15 to 20 years.

July 23, 2015 marked the 30th anniversary since the RT-2PM2 Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile became operational in the Russian Armed Forces. The missile considered by the Russians as aamong the most lethal and reliable weapons in the world.

The single-warhead RT-2UTTH Topol-M is an advanced version of the silo-based and mobile Topol intercontinental ballistic missile. While the SS-25 Topol is generally similar to the American Minuteman-2, the more sophisticated SS-27 Topol-M is comparable to the American Minuteman-3. The Topol-M is 22.7 meters (75 feet) long and has a diameter of 1.95 meters (6 feet 3 inches). The missile weighs 47.2 metric tons and has a range of 11,000 kilometers (6,900 miles). The solid-propellant three-stage Topol-M missile complex, with a standardized (silo and mobile) missile, is to become the foundation of the Russian strategic nuclear forces in the 21st century. It is planned to accommodate Topol-M both on self-propelled launchers as well as in silos. High survivability of the mobile complex is achieved by the capability of off-road movement, comprising of continuous change in location and of a missile launch from any point along the movement route. Source

A new missile loosely based on Topol-M and equipped with multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRV) is called RS-24. In January 2009 Russian sources hinted that the production of the mobile Topol-M missile would be shutting down in 2009 and that the new MIRVed RS-24 version would replace it.

Yars mobile missile systems RS-24 multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRV) see below diagram

The Topol-M is a three-stage solid-propellant ICBM. It carries a single nuclear warhead under US-Russian arms control treaties. The design can support MIRV warheads. The missile can reach a range of 11,000km at a speed of 17,400km/h.

The missile is cold launched using a special booster called PAD which allows the first stage to fire into air by pushing out the missile from the storage container. The motors for the first stage were developed by the Soyuz Federal Centre for Dual-Use Technologies.

Topol-M is directed by autonomous digital inertial navigation system using an onboard GLONASS receiver. The burn time of the engine was minimised to avoid detection by the present and future missile-launch surveillance satellites during boost phase. The missile carries targeting countermeasures and decoys.

It can perform evasive manoeuvres in terminal phase to avoid the hit of interceptor missiles. The flat ballistic trajectory of the missile complicates the interception by the anti-ballistic missile (ABM).

The missile is shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and nuclear blasts, and can withstand a hit from laser technology.  Source

Mobile launch complex

The mobile version of the Topol-M would be deployed on a 16-wheel, computer-controlled MZKT-79221 transporter powered by a 710-horse power diesel engine.



The missiles were designed to require only minimum maintenance at the deployment site, except for the warhead, which could be serviced periodically along with systems of the launch complex.

During nominal maintenance the warhead can be replaced, the missile and its warhead can be transported separately in special tracks equipped with climate controlled containers. The missile with its container could be loaded into the silo without the assistance of a crane.

Major systems of the rocket can be diagnosed remotely, its avionics can be calibrated at the launch site and its flight control system switched between “permanent” and “high” levels of readiness.  Source

Russian/NATO Designation RS-12M Topol/SS-25 Sickle
Mobility and Role Road-Mobile Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Developer/Country Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, Russian Federation
Years in Development 1977-1985
Weight ~45,000 Kilograms
Length/Diameter 21.5m/1.8m
Warhead(s) 1 Nuclear Warhead
Stages/Propellant Three Stage, Solid Fuel
Range/Circular Error Probable 11,000km/~300m
Status 72 units deployed, currently being phased out and replaced by the RS-12M2 (NATO: SS-27 Sickle B)


MIRVing of Topol-M has long been somewhat of an obsession in Russia – there is a broad consensus among experts across the spectrum that this could compensate for the slow pace of the missile deployment, if only by artificially making the Russian forces look bigger. I think this belief is deeply misguided, but this is where the Russian debate stands.

The problem that has been holding back the a straightforward MIRVing of Topol-M was that it would violate one of the START Treaty provisions. The START Treaty prohibits “increasing the number of warheads attributed to an ICBM or SLBM of an existing or new type” (Article V.12d). Since for the purposes of the treaty Topol-M is just a “variant” of the Topol missile, Russia cannot simply declare that from a certain point Topol-M will be equipped with multiple warheads. To make MIRVing possible, Russia has to have a new missile, with multiple warheads attributed to it from the very beginning.

By saying that MIRVed Topol-M is a new missile, Russia has tried to avoid this conflict – RS-24 will apparently be declared as a new multiple-warhead missile. But there is a problem with that too – the treaty requires a “new type” missile to be substantially different from existing ones. This is how the treaty defines “new type”:

69. (59) The term “new type” means, for ICBMs or SLBMs, a type of ICBM or SLBM, the technical characteristics of which differ from those of an ICBM or SLBM, respectively, of each type declared previously in at least one of the following respects:(a) number of stages;

(b) type of propellant of any stage;

(c) launch weight, by ten percent or more;

(d) length of either the assembled missile without front section, or length of the first stage, by ten percent or more;

(e) diameter of the first stage, by five percent or more; or

(f) throw-weight, by an increase of 21 percent or more, in conjunction with a change in the length of the first stage by five percent or more.



Source: strategic nuclear forces

Taifun-M Armored reconnaissance vehicle: Details

Royal Thai Army DTI-2 MLRS system 122mm demonstration – Video


Source: Battlefield Defense/DTI/TAF

RQ-21A Blackjack Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS)

The RQ-21A Blackjack is a small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) designed and developed by Insitu, a Boeing company, to meet the requirements of the US Navy and the US Marine Corps (USMC).

The Blackjack can be deployed in persistent maritime and land-based tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, data collection, target acquisition and dissemination missions.

The multi-intelligence aircraft system constitutes five air vehicles with multi-mission payloads, two ground control stations and ancillary equipment.

The USMC has a requirement for 32 RQ-21A unmanned systems, while the US Navy requires 25 systems to be used for shipboard, special warfare and expeditionary operations.

Development of RQ-21A Blackjack

Insitu secured a $43.7m contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in July 2010 to design and develop the RQ-21A Blackjack.

The USMC received a system from Insitu in Integrator configuration in January 2012 to execute early operational capability (EOC) for the STUAS programme. The maiden flight of the same was performed in the same month and the new system was deployed with USMC’s unmanned aerial vehicle squadron (VMU) 2 and 3.

The RQ-21A Blackjack successfully performed its first flight in July 2012. The land-based testing of the aircraft system was concluded in December 2012.

Cpl. Jeremy Laboy

The Blackjack successfully performed first ship-borne flight from the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) in February 2013. The low-rate initial production was authorized in May 2013.

The first east coast flight trials were performed from the Webster Field Annex at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in June 2013.

Cpl. Jeremy Laboy

The unmanned aircraft system was launched at a test range in Boardman, Oregon, in December 2013 during the Navy and Marine Corps acceptance testing. The USMC accepted and commenced the operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in January 2014 at its Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. The system is expected to achieve initial operational capability in spring 2014.

RQ-21A STUAS features

The RQ-21A is a twin-tailed UAS based on the Integrator unmanned system. It is a successor to Insitu’s ScanEagle, and supports both land and maritime operations.

The length and wing span of the Blackjack are 8.2ft and 16ft respectively. The system has an empty structure weight of 81lb, maximum takeoff weight of 135lb, and maximum payload capacity of 39lb.

Pfc. Jake M.T. McClung

The roll-on, roll-off capability of the RQ-21A assists to perform ship-to-objective manoeuvres. The lower logistics footprint ensures deployment from small sites and ship decks. The UAS supports tactical operations on land and at sea as it doesn’t need a runway for landing.


The standard payload configuration of the RQ-21A includes electro-optic imager, mid-wave infrared imager, laser rangefinder, infrared (IR) marker, and automatic identification system (AIS) receivers. The sophisticated payload allows military units to quickly address the emerging threats. The system requires 350W of onboard power for the payload operation.

The configurable payload spaces of the Blackjack are interfaced with a communications relay package, including Ethernet (TCP/IP) protocol and data encryption device.

Z Microsystems received a contract from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center in February 2013 to provide intelligent display series (IDS) for RQ-21A. The IDS features flat panel displays that provide real-time enhanced video capabilities.

Alticam 09EO2  –

The UAS can carry sensor payloads weighing up to 25lb and can be reconfigured to accommodate new payloads to meet expanded mission requirements.


Insitu has unveiled a new unmanned aircraft system (UAS) payload with video imaging capability high enough in quality to positively identify people from the air.

Called the Alticam-14, Insitu Director of Defense Programs Keith Hirschman said Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual convention in Washington, D.C., that the enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) turret will be available for the Integrator, Integrator extended range and upcoming RQ-21A Blackjack members of the Boeing-owned company’s UAS family.

A short-wave infrared image captured at a distance of 27 nautical miles. Image courtesy of Insitu

No exact resolution was available, but Hirschman said that the Alticam-14 is better than a 9 on the national imagery interpretability rating scale (NIIRS). The improved resolution enables the ability to identify the contents of video footage.

“What the Alticam-14 also does now is give the ability to telescope in and out: to zero in, to identify [a target] and come back out to a bigger picture,” he said. “Compare that to the current state of the art, you flip to magnified view” and lose the frame of reference provided by zooming in and out.

The camera also allows the operator to monitor three video streams at once, simultaneously viewing electro-optical, infrared and short-wave infrared feeds. The fidelity and breadth of information the Alticam gathers will also be an enabler for artificial intelligence (AI) technology that sorts through such data, said Hirschman. Insitu is working with groups such as the  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to identify good options for that.

An optional upgrade for the Alticam-14 is a new laser designator that Insitu is developing. The company is ground testing it with Boeing Apaches and plans to move to flight testing as a potential supplement to Apache-ScanEagle manned-unmanned teaming, especially in the Pacific theatre. The laser designator-equipped Integrator could extend the effective range of an Apache without putting pilots in harm’s way.

“Keep (the Apache) at range, fly the UAS forward to snoop around and identify targets and pump that video back into the Apache helicopter, onto the screen that Apache pilots use, so they can laser designate their own targets” for asymmetric Hellfire missile attacks, Hirschman said. Source

Engine and performance of RQ-21A

Daniil Pozdnyakov

The RQ-21A unmanned aircraft system is powered by a reciprocating engine rated at 8hp. The engine integrates the electronic fuel injection (EFI), and burns JP-5 and JP-8 fuels.

The UAS can execute mission for more than 13 hours. It has a ceiling of over 19,500ft and a minimum operating range of 50nm. The maximum horizontal speed and the cruise speeds are 90kt and 60kt respectively.

Main material source

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image Daniil Pozdnyakov

Revised Nov 01, 2020

Stridsvagn 121 and 122 – Swedish version of the German Leopard II

Stridsvagn 121

strv121_1Stridsvagn 121 Leopard 2A4

Stridsvagn 121 is the Swedish designation for the Leopard II, of which Sweden received 160 as the first part of an agreement on purchasing the new Leopard Improved (Stridsvagn 122).

The vehicles arrived in Sweden in 1994. The tanks originate form different production series (losung) meaning that there were (and are) a number of external differences between specimen from each series. Among the vehicles shipped to Sweden there are vehicles from losung 1 manufactured in 1979 up to losung 5, which rolled off the assembly line in 1987. (


The Leopard 2A4 is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun which has been developed by Rheinmetall and fires two types of ammunition, APFSDS-T and HEAT-MP-T.

Rheinmetall smoothbore L44 gun

Image result for smoothbore L44 and L55 tank gun120-mm / L44 smoothbore gun

L44 – is a highly successful 120mm, 44 cal (length) smoothbore cannon. Designed and manufactured by the German Company, Rheinmetall, for the Leopard 2 up to and including the A5 variant. It is built under licence in Egypt for the M1 Abrams, in Israel for the Merkava III & IV (AKA MG251 & MG253 modified), Japan for the Type 90, South Korea for the K1 A1 (AKA KM256) and in the US for the M1 Abrams (AKA M256).

It can fire APFSDS, HEAT, MPAT, Canister and HE-FS. Source

The APFSDS-T has an effective range of over 2,000 m and the HEAT-MP-T has a high degree of effectiveness against both soft and hard targets. Both fin-stabilised rounds have a semi-combustible cartridge case with a metal base stub which is ejected into a box under the breech.


Rheinmetall developed its 120mm x 570 DM11 cartridge on behalf of the German MoD. From the technical standpoint, it is characterised first and foremost by the programmability of the chambered round and by its airburst capability. The necessary system modifications (programmability) can be retrofitted into any modern MBT with a 120mm smoothbore gun. Modular in design, the DM11 consists of warhead with a programmable fuse as well as a ballistic cowl, tailfin assembly, drive band, combustible casing with propelling charge, and a newly designed case base containing the primer and an integrated data cable for programming. The DM11 is designed for engaging lightly armoured targets such as vehicles, antitank positions (whether dug-in or in the open), field fortifications, double reinforced concrete walls as well as earth and timber bunkers . Furthermore, thanks to its high precision and maximum effective range of up to five kilometres, it can be used for penetrating barriers and engaging targets taking cover behind walls, etc., as well as for breeching enemy defences and creating avenues of approach for friendly forces in built-up areas. Source

While HEAT rounds rely on molten jet traveling at very high speed to defeat armor, APFSDS ammunition uses only Kinetic Energy to defeat armor.  The KEP (Kinetic Energy Penetrator) also designated LRP (Long-Rod Penetrator) is a type of ammunition designed to penetrate vehicle armour which, like a bullet, does not contain explosives and uses kinetic energy to penetrate the target. Modern KEP munitions are typically of the Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS) type. Source


The Leopard 2A4 carries a total of 42 rounds of ammunition with 27 stored to the left of the driver, 15 in the left side of the turret bustle and separated from the fighting compartment by an electrically driven door. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the left side of the main armament and one 7.62mm machine gun to the hatch of the loader.

7.62mm machine gun MG 3(

Two banks of four 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted to each side of the turret. The Leopard 2A4 is fitted with a computerize fire control which has maximum range of 10,000 m with a measuring accuracy to within 20 m at this range. The combined system allows the Leopard 2A4 to engage moving targets at ranges of up to 5,000 meters whilst itself being on the move over rough terrain with latest modern ammunitions.

Design and protection

The hull of the Leopard 2A4 has spaced multilayer armour and is divided into three compartments:


driver at the front, fighting in the centre and power pack at the rear. Some variants of the Leopard 2A4 are equipped with add-on armour to increase the protection of the crew against mines and improvised explosive devices. The driver is located at the front right side.

The turret is mounted at the centre of the hull with the commander and gunner on the right and the loader on the left. The commander is provided with a circular hatch cover that opens to the rear and periscopes for all-round observation. The loader is seated on the left side of the turret and has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear and a single day observation periscope.


The Leopard 2A4 is motorized with an MTU MB 873 diesel engine, which provides 1,103 kW of engine output. The MTU MB 873 diesel engine is a four-stroke, 47.6 liter, 12-cylinder multi-fuel, exhaust turbo-charged, liquid-cooled engine. The Leopard 2A can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km with a maximum cruising range of 550 km. The torsion bars suspension of Leopard 2A4 consists each side of seven dual rubber-tyred roadwheels with the idler at the front, the drive sprocket at the rear and four track-support rollers. The tank is able to negotiate slope up to 60% and side slope to 30%.

MTU MB 873 diesel engine

Standard equipment on the Leopard 2A4 includes a power pack preheating, crew compartment heater, a fire extinguishing system, electric bilge pumps and an escape hatch in the hull floor behind the driver. The Leopard 2A4 is also equipped with an NBC over pressurization system which provides up to 4 mbar (0.004 kp/cm2) over-pressure inside the vehicle. The Leopard 2A4 can ford a depth water of 4 meters maximum deep using a snorkel or 1.2 meters without any preparation and climb vertical obstacles over 1.1m.16778133-gHPB9Leopard 2A4 main battle tank technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence pictures photos images identification Germany German army KMW Krauss-Maffei Wegmanndefense industry military technology

Paint Scheme

Swedish Leos are sometimes painted in a single Dark Green shade but often finished in a standard Army three-color camouflage ofBlack, Dark Green and Light Green. The running gear is always painted overall Dark Green.

Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122)

2012-05-10 Ravlunda 519webStridsvagn 122 Leopard 2A5

Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122) (“Battle Tank 122”) is a Swedish main battle tank based on the German Leopard 2. As with the Leopard 2A5 it is based on the German Leopard 2 Improved variant, utilizing newer technology such as command, control, and fire control systems, as well as reinforced armour and long-term combat capacity. Externally, the vehicle can be distinguished from the Leopard 2A5 by the French GALIX smoke dispensers, different storage bins, and the thicker crew hatches. The Strv 122B, have been equipped with modular AMAP composite armour from IBD Deisenroth to give “360° protection” against threats such as EFPs, rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices.

As of 2013, 42 of these tanks remain in active service. Most of the 160 Leopard 2 A4s (local designation Strv 121) that were originally leased are being returned to Germany. The active tanks are divided between three companies, two at P4, Skövde and one at I 19, Boden.

The width of exactly 4 metres (13 ft) has been kept, while the weight increases by only 350 kilograms (770 lb).

The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) signed a contract with Krauss-Maffei for the manufacture and delivery of 120 Leopard 2-S officially designated as the Stridsvagn 122 by the Swedish Army. The contract also includes the supply of training, maintenance, spare parts, documentation, simulators, and an option to purchase 90 additional Strv 122, Bueffel ARV as well as interfaces for equipment already used by the Swedish Army. While Krauss-Maffei is the prime contractor, the chassis was sub-contracted to Hägglunds in Sweden. Wegmann, the prime contractor for the turret, sub-contracted the work to Bofors, and work for the fire control system was sub-contracted from STN Atlas Elektronik (formerly Krupp Atlas Elektronik, KAE) to Celsius Tech Systems AB in Sweden. Bofors will also manufacture 50 per cent of the 120 mm main guns, while Rheinmetall will produce the other half.

The Stridsvagn 122 was designed to fight in Swedish conditions including heavily forested areas as well as urban terrain. The designation derives from the 12 cm gun, on the second tank in Swedish service featuring this calibre (the first being Strv 121, Leopard 2A4s fitted with Swedish lights and radios and painted in Swedish camouflage). Strv 122 also had to overcome the perceived flaws of the original German tank, and features the following abilities:

  • Heavily reinforced armour to protect against man-portable anti-tank weapons.
  • An advanced CBRN defence system for protection against chemical, biological and radioactive weapons.
  • Wading capability to pass through water up to 1.4 m deep.
  • Quick ability to discover, identify and lock on a target with the assistance of a laser rangefinder, thermographic camera, and a speed/distance/accuracy calculator for maximum accuracy.
  • Ability to lock onto numerous targets at once, enabling the tank to fight numerous enemy vehicles without having to manually re-aim the gun after every shot.
  • Active communication for improved cooperation between units.
  • Tank Command & Control System TCCS by Celsius Tech Systems AB.

The Stridsvagn 122 is the most sophisticated version of the Leopard 2 in current service. The front hull and glacis are fitted with additional armor plates, and the inside of the tank is completely surrounded by liner, to reduce the effects of being hit by projectiles, hollow charges or fragments. For night driving the driver uses the same type of passive night sight used by the CV 90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Due to the heavier combat weight of 62,000 kg, compared to the 59,500 kg of the German Leopard 2 A5, stronger torsion bars (derived from the ones used with the Panzerhaubitze 2000) are installed and reinforced brake disks are provided. All fuel tanks have a special additional explosion-supressing filling liquid. The engine compartment is constantly cooled to reduce the IR signature, and heat sensors installed in the engine compartment would automatically cut off fan and air intake operation if the Strv 122 should come under attack by napalm. the roadwheels are fitted with armored wheel hubs.

The turret front and sides have the same wedge-shaped add-on armor as the Leopard 2 A5 but, unlike the latter, the turret roof and the commander’s and loader’s hatches are also up-armored.

Stridsvagn 122 walkaround


Due to the extra weight, both turret hatches were of the electrically-driven sliding type, but this was abandoned because of the problem of opening the hatches if there was a power out. Now the turret hatches are handcrancked with a gear, so its no problem to operate them even if the tank is in a bad angle.


The commander’s periscope has an manually operated protective flap, which would fold up to protect the optic when desired and rests in front of it when not in use. The digital fire control computer carries data for up to 12 different rounds, including APFSDS-T, HEAT-MP-T, HEAT-GP, smoke, anti-helicopter and training ammunition.


As part of a package for computer aided education for mechanics working on the Leopard Tank for the Swedish Army (Datorstцdd Utbildning (DSU) Stridsvagn 122), Calisto provided models, 3D-illustrations and animations of various fixtures and procedures.- Image

However, at the time this is being written (August, 2001), only five types of ammunition are being used: 120mm APFSDS-T, 120mm HE-T, 25mm APFSDS-T, 25mm HE, and 120 mm TPFSDS-T. The 25mm is for a barrel insert system, and used for basic training on closer fire ranges. Smoke, HEAT and helicopter rounds are not in use. The helicopter round is under development. The laser rangefinder integrated in the EMES-15 uses the eye-safe Raman-shifted laser. The Strv 122 is the first MBT in Europe equipped with the advanced tank command and control system (TCCS).

p1010004_galixGIAT Industries GALIX vehicle protection system with 80 mm calibre mortars is installed, able to launch smoke, decoy, flare and fragmentation rounds – Image

On the left and right sides of the turret the GIAT Industries GALIX vehicle protection system with 80 mm calibre mortars is installed, able to launch smoke, decoy, flare and fragmentation rounds. There are 36 grousers (snowgrips), 18 for each track, for use on soft ground instead of the same number of rubber track pads.There are 18 grousers stored on the back of the turret and 18 are stored inside the left turret. The Stridsvagn 122 is painted in a disruptive camouflage scheme of green, light green, and black colours. (


MBT 122 Evolution – Stridsvagn 122B (Battle Tank 122)

In a recent study program (late 2010) of the tank for the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) in Sweden, IBD Deisenroth Engineering succeeded in the development of a further improved protection dedicated to the tank. The concept is thereby designed to protect against the actual and future threats in theatre, especially in asymmetric and urban warfare. Despite the improved overall protection level of the MBT122 Evolution, the weight increase of about 350 kg is only minimal such maintaining the high mobility of the tank. IBD Deisenroth Engineering announced on 30.05.2012 that the MBT122 protection studies are still ongoing. (

Comparison of some modern main battle tanks
Strv 122
Leopard 2A5
Challenger 2
Unit cost US$5.74 million US$6.21 million US$4.25 million US$6.86 million US$6.53 million
Weight 56.7 t 63.0 t 43.1 t 54.30 t 62.5 t
Length 9.97 meters 9.77 meters 9.63 meters 9.97 meters 11.50 meters
Width 3.75 meters 3.7 meters 3.78 meters 3.75 meters 3.5 meters
Height 3 meters 2.4 meters 2.22 meters 3 meters 2.49 meters
Crew 4 4 3 4 4
Armour 3rd generation composite Depleted Uranium composite Composite/reactive 3rd generation composite Dorchester Level 2 (classified)
Main armament 1x 120 mm Rheinmetall L/44 smoothbore gun 1x M256 120 mmL/44 smoothbore gun 1x 125 mm L/48smoothbore gun 1x 120 mm RheinmetallL/55 smoothbore gun 1x 120 mm L30L/55 rifled gun
Main ammunition 42 rounds 42 rounds 42 rounds 42 rounds 52 rounds
Secondary armament 2x 7.62mm machine guns 1x 12.7mm heavy machine gun
2x 7.62mm machine guns
1x 12.7mm heavy machine gun
1x 7.62mm machine gun
2x 7.62mm machine guns Coaxial 7.62×51mm L94A1 EX-34 (chain gun),
7.62×51mm L37A2 Commander’s cupola machine gun
Secondary ammunition 4,750 rounds 900 rounds
10,000 rounds
7,000 rounds 4,750 rounds 4,000
Engine power 1,500 hp 1,500 hp 1,000 hp 1,500 hp 1,200 bhp
Power/weight 24.00 hp/t 24.15 hp/t 26.31 hp/t 25.06 hp/t 19.2 hp/t
Suspension Torsion-bar suspension Torsion-bar suspension Torsion-bar suspension Torsion-bar suspension Hydropneumatic
Fuel capacity 1,200 liters 1,900 liters 1,200 liters 1,592 liters
Operational range 550 km 425 km 700 km 550 km 550 km
Speed 68 km/h 68 km/h 60 km/h 72 km/h 59 km/h


Updated May 29, 2017