Monthly Archives: April 2016

Type 26 Frigate Production Approval Date Revealed in Letters Release


, Defense News9:51 a.m. EDT April 27, 2016

LONDON — The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has inadvertently published the target date by which it hopes to achieve sufficient maturity on the program to take forward the delayed Type 26 manufacturing phase.

The MoD on April 21 published a series of appointment letters to officers taking up the role of senior responsible owner (SRO) for major defense procurement projects being pursued by the British.

SROs are usually high-ranking officers who are personally accountable to the MoD and Parliament for delivering and the realization of expected benefits from major programs.

Included in the letters was one from the then-First Sea Lord Adm. Sir George Zambellas to Rear Adm. Chris Gardner.

The letter set April 2017 as the milestone for Gardner to secure “approval to proceed to manufacture phase 1” on the program to build a fleet of anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Navy.

A spokeswoman for the MoD confirmed the approval date but cautioned the date would not necessarily tally with production start.

“This letter sets a target for securing approval to proceed to manufacture; this is not necessarily the date when manufacture phase 1 will start, but it is a milestone which demonstrates momentum on the program,” she said.

The approval target date surfaced 24 hours ahead of a warning by the GMB union that there could be as many as 800 redundancies at BAE Systems Scotstoun and Govan yards, Scotland, if the government reneges on its commitment to build all of the warship fleet on the Clyde.

The warning by the shipyards’ biggest union followed a briefing of officials early Friday on potential proposals for building the warships by BAE.

“We are working with the MoD to agree [to] a revised baseline for the Type 26 ships and a production schedule for the two additional offshore patrol vessels in Glasgow. We are engaging our trades unions as we work through this process. Our focus is to deliver the capability the Royal Navy needs, while ensuring the best value for UK tax payers,” BAE said in a statement.

The discussions are taking place against a background of the government developing a new, national shipbuilding strategy that it hopes to roll out later this year.

Industry executives have previously said the government has been looking at how to include English yards like Cammell Laird in the strategy.

Babcock is the only English yard currently capable of building frigates, and then only small ones, but several companies south of the border were involved in constructing parts of the two Royal Navy 65,000 ton aircraft carriers now nearing completion in Scotland.

The original target was to start building the Type 26 warships at BAE later this year. Design maturity, cost and other issues have slowed the program down to the extent the government is having to build a fleet of new offshore patrol boats at the yard to maintain skills and capabilities ahead of the start of a frigate program.

The Type 26, also known as the Global Combat Ship, received a boost earlier this week when it was shortlisted, along with two other European designs, to provide Australia with a new fleet of frigates.

Last month, the MoD announced it was extending the current demonstration phase on the program with a £472 million (US $686 million) contract award to BAE and companies in the supply chain for long-lead items for the first three Type 26s, but industry and MoD officials were coy about providing a production date to get underway.

The extended demonstration/manufacturing phase is set to run until June 2017, at which point it seems the MoD now expects to be in a position to approve a manufacturing decision for phase 1 — the first three warships — of what will now be an eight-strong fleet.

The intended fleet strength was cut from 13 to eight in November’s strategic defence and security review (SDSR) with the MoD opting to build at least 5 smaller and cheaper general-purpose frigates to fill the number gap.

The MoD is now re-baselining the program in the wake of the SDSR decision, and the work will define a program timetable, including the start of Manufacture Phase 1.

“The re-baselining work will define a program timetable, including the start of manufacture phase 1. In common with all equipment procurement projects, we will announce the award of the T26 build contract when the relevant approval has been secured, and contract negotiations successfully completed,” the spokeswoman said.

The appointment letters — nearly 30 of them in total — also detailed milestone dates for other major programs, not all of which have necessarily been in the public domain.

Some of the letters cover appointments made as recently as last month, while others relate back to 2014 and 2015, so some of the milestone dates may have changed since publication.

Milestones for the Successor nuclear submarine program, F-35 strike jet and Complex Weapons have all been heavily redacted, but other programs haven’t.

For example, as of August 2015, Airbus A400M airlifter milestones included initial tactical support capability in September 2017 and a full deployment capability by March 2019.

Delivery of the third Airseeker signals intelligence aircraft from L-3 and full operating capability is targeted for December 2017.

Initial business case approval for the Future Beyond Line of Sight communications program is slated for June this year.

Delivery of the first of four fleet oil tankers built in South Korea using a British design from BMT Defence is due to enter service in September, with all four vessels in service by December next year.


See related post:

Fears for 800 shipyard jobs if Tories cut back Navy frigates order

Australia’s Future ASW Frigates: Warfare Down Under

UK MOD Allocates Further Funding for Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme

See details of Type 26 Global Combat Ship: HEREunited_kingdom_flag


Islamic State destroyed 3 Turkish Army tanks near Karkamis town of Gaziantep

Asian Defence News

Friday, April 29, 2016

One snake bites another snake.

Turks really thought Islamic State could be “controlled”.

Turkish Army T-155 Firtina howitzer turret blown away after ISIS ATGW strike in Karkamış


There goes your Samsung made tank!

Looks like the Turks are getting a beating!

Submerged Russian nuclear sub fires Kalibr cruise missile in Arctic drills (VIDEO)


Published time: 30 Apr, 2016

A Russian nuclear submarine, Severodvinsk, has carried out firing drills in the Barents Sea, successfully striking a coastal target in the Arctic with the latest Kalibr cruise missile from a submerged position.

The crew of the latest multipurpose nuclear submarine of the Northern Fleet, Project 885 Severodvinsk, successfully launched the missile from the Barents Sea, the Russian military said in a statement.

The missile hit its target in the Arkhangelsk region “with high accuracy”, the statement added. The strike was conducted as part of wider navy combat drills in the area.

The ministry also noted that Severodvinsk, which sailed to sea earlier this week, has carried out a number of other drills within the winter framework training exercises of Russia’s Northern Fleet.

Russian Kalibr missiles were also tested on the Caspian Flotilla during week-long drills that involved some 20 vessels and concluded on Friday.

“A strike group of the flotilla has conducted firing drills using naval practice targets and hit them successfully,” the press service said.

Ships with the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired off 3M-14 submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM) for the first time on Islamic State targets in Syria on October 7 and November 20.

Ever since the debut, the Kalibr became one of the main perceived threats to US security. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) said in December that it“is profoundly changing [Russia’s] ability to deter, threaten or destroy adversary targets.”

With a range of roughly of 2,000 km, the supersonic 3M-54 Kalibr missile is small enough to be carried by submarines and small warships. Furthermore the missile is capable of carrying both a conventional or nuclear warhead and is able to penetrate the enemy’s missile defense systems thus changing the calculus of the reach and effectiveness of smaller navy ships.


Yasen-class submarine

The Severodvinsk-class submarine (Russian: Проект 885 “Ясень”, “ash tree”; NATO reporting name: “Severodvinsk”, also known erroneously as the Graney class) is the newest Russian nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine. Based on the Akula-class submarine and the Alfa-class submarine it is projected to replace Russia’s Soviet-era attack submarines, both Akula and Oscar-class submarine.

Name: Severodvinsk
Builders: SevMash , designer Malahit Lazurit Rubin
Operators:  Russian Navy
Preceded by: Akula class
Cost: Equivalent of US$1.6 billion
Building: 4
Planned: 12 (7 on order)
Completed: 2 (Severodvinsk)
Active: 1
General characteristics
Displacement: ·Surfaced: 7,700–8,600 tons

·Submerged: 13,800 tons 

Length: 120 m (390 ft)
Beam: 15 m (49 ft)
Propulsion: 1 x KPM type pressurized water reactor
Speed: ·Surfaced: 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)

·Submerged (silent): 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)

·Submerged (max): 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)

Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 600 m (2,000 ft)
Complement: 90 (32 officers)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Rim Hat ESM/ECM Snoop Pair Surface Search Radar
Armament: ·8 x VLS equipped silos for either: 

o               32 (8 x 4) with Oniks

o               or

o               40 (8 x 5) with Kalibr-PL anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack submarine launched weapon.

o               Kh-101 cruise missiles.

·10 × torpedo tubes (8x650mm and 2x533mm).

South China Sea: China Denies U.S. Aircraft Carrier Permission to Visit Hong Kong

by JOHN HAYWARD29 Apr 2016

Tensions in the South China Sea continue slowly mounting, as China has denied the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis permission to make a port call in Hong Kong.

The snub was clearly an expression of Chinese anger with America’s posture in the region, as John C. Stennis was the ship visited by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in mid-April.

The South China Morning Post inquired with China’s Foreign Ministry after a U.S. official announced Beijing had “said ‘no’ to the carrier.”

The Foreign Ministry sent a written reply that offered no explanation for the denial, merely explaining that port call requests are considered on a “case-by-case basis, in accordance with sovereignty principles and specific circumstances.”

In addition to Carter’s time aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier, the SCMP suspects China is also particularly annoyed by the U.S. Pacific Command moving “six powerful A-10 Thunderbolt fighter jets near the Scarborough Shoal, which China occupies but Manila also claims.”

The SCMP notes that China previously denied access to Hong Kong’s port to the USS Kitty Hawk in 2007, because Beijing was angry about an American missile deal with Taiwan, and President George W. Bush meeting with the Dalai Lama. Five months later, when relations between China and the U.S. stabilized, the Kitty Hawk was permitted to dock in Hong Kong.

The John C. Stennis visit was intended to be a significant event, with the U.S. consulate sending out invitations for public tours, which must now be canceled.

Reuters reports the Pentagon confirmed China’s denial soon Friday morning, with a spokesman saying the denial was “recent” and was issued by Beijing despite “a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong.”

The Pentagon also noted that the warship USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, is currently in Hong Kong on a port visit, which is expected to continue as scheduled.


See related post to SC Sea:

Set red line for US to avoid military clash in S.China Sea

China’s PLAN Received about 200 Kh-59MK Anti-Ship Missiles for Su-30MK2 by end-2015

Pentagon trying to stop Chinese air defense zone in disputed sea: Gertz

China Developing New State-of-the-art Warship to Outperform the U.S. Navy’s Best Destroyers

China Deploys YJ-62 Subsonic Anti-Ship Cruise Missile To South China Sea’s Woody Island

China’s Troops in Pakistan May Be an Attempt to Bypass US at Sea

India Rejects Joint Naval Patrols with US in South China Sea

China plans aircraft carrier battlegroups to protect offshore interests

China sends surface-to-air missiles to contested island in provocative move

Chinese Carrier-Based Aircraft Fighter J-15 Flying Shark – Video

Conflicting parties in the SC Sea and Naval power comparison – Non US – UPDATED

CG of New Chinese Air Craft Carrier CV03 design

Naval Power: China Building Second Aircraft Carrier

Inside the Ring: Pentagon Confirms China Begins Missile Submarine Patrols

Why US, China Could Reach Point of No Return – Sputnik

China eyeing air supremacy with Su-35 deal: military expert


Quad A 2016: Lakota FMS efforts stepped up


28th April 2016 – 17:30by Grant Turnbull in Atlanta

With end of production on the horizon for the US Army’s UH-72A Lakota, Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) is redoubling efforts to find international customers for its Mississippi-built helicopter through all-important foreign military sales (FMS).

Lakota production is currently planned to continue into 2018, with the US Army and Congress both expressing a desire to procure more aircraft. Though once the company fulfils all its US Army orders there are currently no international customers that can sustain Lakota production at the Columbus, Mississippi, plant.

So far, the US arm of Airbus Helicopters has only been able to secure six FMS orders from the Royal Thai Army, all of which have now been delivered. The only other aircraft built at the Columbus facility is the commercial H125 Écureuil, or AStar as it’s known in the US.

Thailand’s navy and army is buying additional H145s from Airbus Helicopters, which is good news for the company, but not for sustaining Columbus production as they will be military variants coming off the Donauworth line in Germany.

Asked by Shephard what markets AHI is pursuing for the Lakota, Ryan Denton, a senior manager for business development at AHI, said that the focus is worldwide. The US Army and the US Government is supporting the company and its efforts ‘to market and push the aircraft to all four corners of the world.’

Denton told Shephard that despite Thailand opting for the German-built H145M, AHI remained in discussions with the country for additional Lakotas. ‘That’s a customer preference, we are here to support whichever channel they want to go through. If they want to deal with the US Government that’s why we are here.’

As the US Army only operates the light utility ‘Lakota’ version of the H145, AHI does not offer an armed variant of the helicopter through FMS sales.

South America, Asia, Southwest Asia and the Middle East are all in the sights of AHI for FMS. Not mentioning specific countries, Denton said the UH-72 would be ideal for militaries that have ageing fleets of utility helicopters, particularly the legacy UH-1 and BK 117 family.

Several challenges remain, however, not least the US FMS process itself, which is often cited as slow and in need of reform in order to speed up deliveries to allies. Denton told Shephard the he believes the FMS process is well understood by AHI.

‘I think the FMS process is something that is well defined,’ he explained. ‘We understand how it works as a company and that’s why AHI is based out of Grand Prairie [Texas] and we also have a support office in Washington D.C. If a foreign nation elects to go through the FMS process we are supportive every step of the way.’

Another potential headwind for AHI and FMS sales is the recent swell in helicopters that are being sold as excess defence articles (EDA) by the US Army. These include the Bell Helicopter OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and TH-67 Creek, that are both being divested by the service. The latter, ironically, being replaced by the Lakota in US Army service.

Older helicopters, such as 30-year-old UH-60A Black Hawks, are also entering the after market, with several companies now offering refurbished and upgraded ‘A’ variants to foreign governments, as was seen a few months ago at the HAI Heli Expo rotorcraft show in Louisville, Kentucky.

‘It’s something that we may have to address with customers, however, EDAs come at a cost,’ said Denton. ‘They are not free machines, they have a cost that needs to be placed back into them to get them into airworthy status. They also have a higher cost compared to the Lakota to operate.’

‘It is potentially another source of competition but I think there are still differentiators where you can look and say “you know the Lakota makes more sense for this customer and here’s why”, as opposed to an excess defence article.’

Questions remain on what AHI’s plans are for the Columbus facility if no more Lakotas can be sold through FMS or direct commercial sales. One option could be to use the existing workforce in Columbus to manufacture H145s for the commercial market.

That would make sense as the Lakota is for all intents and purposes a H145, and the US remains a key commercial market for the company in areas such as law enforcement and EMS.

‘Looking out that far is tough, especially with all the activity that is going on right now,’ said Denton, adding that current efforts are focused firmly on supplying the US Army. ‘The business decisions as far as the [Columbus] factory is concerned and what happens ten years from now is hard to predict.’

Lakota production was destined to finish several years ago, but had a reprieve when the US Army chose the platform as its basic helicopter trainer in the 2014 Aviation Restructure Initiative. That has meant additional orders from the Pentagon to bolster fleet numbers, both at Fort Rucker and in the US National Guard.


See details of UH-72A Lakota: HERE1-lg-american-flag

Russia Ships 20 Tanks to Nicaragua in $80M Military Deal


Published 29 April 2016

The tank purchase is part of an effort to modernize the country’s military.

Russia has shipped the first 20 of 50 tanks to Nicaragua in a move that has confounded certain analysts.

The $80 million purchase of the 50 T-72B tanks marks an dramatic uptick in Nicaragua’s military expenditures. In spite of the increased military expenditures, Nicaragua still pales in comparison to its neighbors. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic outspent the rest of the isthmus by nearly $100 million in 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Nicaraguan military spokesman Colonel Manuel Guevara Rocha said it was part of efforts to modernize the nation’s fighting force, much of which had become outdated, Spanish news source El Pais reported.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti said that its government had already given Nicaragua 12 anti-aircraft missile defense systems, two helicopters, and a “lot” of armored vehicles.

Original post


So it comes to about $1.6 million per tank……


 Map Map


The T-72 Ural main battle tank was developed as a cheaper and more reliable, however less capable alternative to the T-64. It entered service with Soviet army in 1973. A total of 30 000 tanks of this type were produced in the Soviet Union, China, Czechoslovakia, India, Romania and Yugoslavia. It was exported to about 30 countries. At the end of 1990s Russia operated around 9 000 of these main battle tanks.

   The T-72 is protected by composite armor. Some sources claim that front armor of the T-72 is equivalent to 500-600 mm of Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA). In the 1970s it was adequate, however it is not much by modern standard. Side armor provides protection against IFV and helicopter cannons. Later production models were fitted with side skirts. The T-72 is completed with NBC protection system and automatic fire extinguishing equipment.

   This main battle tank is completed with a 125-mm smoothbore gun, fitted with new carousel-type autoloader. Previous autoloader on the T-64 was unreliable and had a number of other drawbacks. However autoloader of the T-72 was slower than that, used on the T-64. Maximum rate of fire is up to 8 rounds per minute, or 1-2 rounds per minute, when loaded manually. A total of 39 rounds for the main gun are carried. Effective range of fire with APFSDS round is about 2 000 – 3 000 day and 850-1 300 m at night. Armor penetration is about 590-630 mm of RHA at 2 000 m range.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and 12.7-mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof in the opened mount.

   Vehicle has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

Entered service 1973
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 41 t
Length (gun forward) 9.53 m
Hull length 6.86 m
Width 3.46 m
Height 2.19 m
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range – 5 to + 14 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 39 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62, 300 x 12.7
Engine V-46 diesel
Engine power 780 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.85 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m



Lavrov Warns Russia Would Take ‘Measures’ If Sweden Joins NATO/Finnish Government: Joining NATO Would Cause Major Crisis with Russia



Moscow would respect any decision by Sweden to join NATO, but would take “measures”to respond to the military alliance’s approach to its borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned.

“If Sweden decides to join NATO, we won’t think that the Swedes decide to attack us,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published on April 28.

“However, as the Swedish military infrastructure in this situation would report to NATO supreme command, certainly we would have to take the necessary military-technical measures on our northern boundaries, bearing in mind that there is a military-political bloc on the other side of the border which sees Russia as a threat and wants to deter it in any way it can,” he said.

He said Moscow’s Defense Ministry would determine exactly what measures would be needed.

He added that Moscow is not interested in “stirring up any confrontational military activities” despite a turn toward “Russophobia” in NATO and Sweden, and Stockholm’s decision to join European sanctions against Russia. 

Moreover, he said Russia reaffirms each country’s right to decide on its own what forms it wants to choose to ensure its security.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS

Original post


Finnish Government: Joining NATO Would Cause Major Crisis with Russia


02:11 30.04.2016(updated 02:44 30.04.2016)

A new report issued by the Finnish government finds that joining NATO would not be in the country’s security interests following a public opinion poll showing only 22% of voters want Finland to accede to the Western military alliance.

On Friday, Finland released an official government report suggesting that, if the country were to join NATO, it would lead to a crisis with neighboring Russia.

According to the report prepared for Prime Minister Juha Sipila, NATO membership would incrementally strengthen Finland’s national security posture initially, but would likely trigger a harsh reaction from the Kremlin in light of the ongoing militarization along Russia’s border by the Western alliance. Militarily-neutral Finland shares an 833 mile-long (1340 km) border with Russia.

The report did not dash all prospects of the Nordic country joining the Western military alliance, suggesting that a joint Finnish-Swedish application for NATO membership may be a better strategic option than either country joining alone.

Popular opinion embraces Finland’s peaceful legacy of refusing to associate itself with military alliances. In a recent public opinion poll, over 55% of Finns opposed their country acceding to NATO, while 22% supported the idea.

In recent months, the Obama administration has expanded appropriations to the UN’s Nordic mission four-fold, with troops conducting aggressive military exercises dubbed ‘Cold Response’ on the border of Norway and Russia.

In response to Western saber-rattling, Russia has dispatched warplanes to fly simulated attack passes near US destroyers in the Baltic Sea. In addition to buzzing US destroyers in the Baltic Sea, on Friday a Russian Su-27 jet flew within 25 feet of a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

In what some are billing a ‘new Cold War,’ the Kremlin has begun to express its disdain for the American-led policy of encirclement. On Friday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that if Finland’s neighbor Sweden were to accede to NATO, Moscow would take “necessary military-technical measures” in response.

During the Cold War, Finland maintained positive diplomatic ties with Moscow, despite engaging heavily in economic relations with the United States, suggesting that the country could once again manage to navigate a path of peace between the two superpowers.


From another news source it seems if Sweden joins NATO Russia will deploy Iskander missiles to it’s northern border.  Iskander is just one of the many options of missiles Russia has in it’s arsenal.  It can deploy much more powerful weapons if it chooses to…..

Iskander (SS-26 Stone)

The Iskander (NATO designation SS-26 Stone) short-range ballistic missile is a successor to the Oka (SS-23 Spider), which was eliminated under the INF Treaty. It was first launched in 1996 and was initially designated by NATO as the SS-X-26. It is considered the most advanced missile of its kind. The Iskander-M missile system was officially adopted by the Russian Army in 2006. Currently Russian Army operates only about 20 of these missile systems. Its export variant, the Iskander-E, was sold to Syria (26 units).

   The Iskander road mobile missile system is equipped with two short-range ballistic missiles, which substantially increases firepower of missile units. Each missile can be targeted independently. These missiles are capable of hitting moving targets, as target coordination can be adjusted while the missile is in-flight. The Iskander has several different conventional warheads, including cluster, fuel-air explosive, bunker-busting and electro-magnetic pulse. It can also carry nuclear warheads despite the fact that this will violate INF treaty. Maximum range of fire is 280 km for the export version and 400 km for the Russian Army version. Minimum range is 50 km.

   The Iskander was designed to overcome air defense systems. Missile files at supersonic speed, excessively maneuvers in the terminal phase of the flight and releases decoys. In some cases this ballistic missile can be used as an alternative to precision bombing.

Entered service 2006
Crew 3 men
Launcher dimensions and weight
Number of missiles 2
Combat weight ~ 40 t
Length 7.2 m
Width ?
Height ?
Missile length 7.2 m
Missile diameter 950 mm
Missile launching weight ?
Warhead weight 480 kg
Warhead type conventional, nuclear
Range of fire 400 / 500 km
CEP 5 – 7 m
Chassis mobility
Engine YaMZ-846 diesel
Engine power 500 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 1 000 km
Chassis maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 2 m
Fording 1 m