Daily Archives: April 2, 2016

How fighter jet sales fit into America’s China-containment strategy


March 31, 2016 12:00 pm JST

TETSURO KOSAKA, Nikkei senior staff writer

SINGAPORE — As China was busy deploying radar systems and surface-to-air missiles on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea in February, a pair of U.S. fighter jets soared over the sea en route to Singapore. They were F-22s — widely regarded as the world’s most powerful fighter aircraft, thanks to their stealth capabilities and high maneuverability.

     The jets, normally deployed in Alaska, were headed to the Singapore Airshow, Asia’s largest aerospace and defense exhibition. Yet the U.S. government does not export the F-22, preferring to keep the jet solely in the hands of its own Air Force. Why bother sending the planes to the show with no intention of selling them? U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joe Rixey, who was representing the Department of Defense, said the presence of the F-22s was meant to show America’s “technological progress and the strength of its partnership with Singapore.”

     Reading between the lines, the display of muscle was aimed, at least in part, at Beijing. And while the U.S. may not be marketing the F-22, it is keen to increase its regional clout by selling other weaponry to Asian countries.

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-22, also exhibited a full-scale model of its F-35, another stealth fighter developed with several other countries. The new plane, which is to be used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, offers advanced ground attack and anti-ship capabilities. The model was placed in a conspicuous spot at the exhibition site.

     China’s island-building efforts are intended to create “unsinkable aircraft carriers” and “offshore fortresses” — and make the South China Sea off-limits to U.S. forces. By flaunting the F-22 and F-35, the U.S. sent a message not only to the Beijing brass but also military personnel from other countries: China may build islands, but we’re capable of shooting down whatever planes take off from those bases, and destroying the bases themselves.


Lockheed Martin also unveiled a new version of an old standby at the Singapore Airshow: the F-16V. This plane is integral to America’s arms export strategy.

     It has been 42 years since the original F-16 was deployed. More than 4,500 of the jets have been produced for supply to the U.S. Air Force as well as European and Asian countries. The F-16V features new radar and information systems, the latest cockpit display technology and other upgrades. It is considered a fourth-generation fighter — as opposed to the F-22 and F-35, which are fifth-generation planes.

     “For many Southeast Asian countries, the F-35 is too expensive,” said Chuck Jones, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Japan. “The F-16 is not so expensive. They don’t need [the F-35’s] capability, but they need a very capable tactical fighter, and the F-16 is certainly that.”

     Jones also emphasized the F-16’s “proven combat record.” If you can count on bringing your plane and pilot home, he suggested, the jet is a much better value than cheaper, less reliable options.

Malaysia and Indonesia are now seen as promising potential buyers. Currently, the two countries use both Russian Sukhoi Su-30s and U.S.-made fighters. But mixing and matching aircraft is not the most cost-effective way to build a fleet. The U.S. hopes to persuade these Southeast Asian states to use only American fighters.

     Success could bring considerable benefits. Deals for large defense equipment, like fighters, usually include long-term arrangements concerning parts and maintenance. Generally, the seller sends teams of advisers to provide training. Various kinds of military information are exchanged. Getting Southeast Asian countries to use American fighters exclusively would give the U.S. extra influence in the region and an edge over China.

Buyer reliability

The U.S., meanwhile, is also pushing to sell Boeing F/A-18 fighters to India. The South Asian country has long procured defense equipment from Russia; a deal would help pull India deeper into the U.S. orbit.

     The U.S. sees selling arms as a way of winning more friends and strengthening alliances in Asia, an American defense source acknowledged on condition of anonymity.

     To summarize the American strategy: The U.S. keeps the F-22 to itself, provides the not-quite-as-advanced F-35 to close allies such as Australia, Japan and South Korea, and markets improved versions of older fighters like the F-16 and F/A-18 to countries with which it hopes to enhance relations.

     Put another way, the perceived reliability of the buyer correlates with the class of jet the U.S. is willing to supply. If a country that buys, say, F-16s later becomes an enemy, the damage would be lighter than if the U.S. had shared more advanced jets with stealth technology.

     Given China’s drive to augment its aerial firepower, some in Japan are urging the U.S. to share the F-22, which has better interception capabilities than the F-35. So far, Washington has refused. As an alternative, the U.S. wants Japan to join in an ongoing program to soup up the F-15, another fourth-generation fighter. “Upgraded F-15s will be viable against threats in 2020-2040,” said James Armington, vice president of East Asia & Pacific international business development at Boeing, the F-15’s manufacturer.

Access denial

The U.S. appears to have carefully devised its strategy of securing allies by exporting weapons. The policy may also be the only viable option for checking China in the long run.

     Over the past 20 years, the Chinese military has been steadily implementing what is known as an anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD, strategy. It has deployed large numbers of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, fourth-generation fighter aircraft and other weapons as buffers against U.S. forces. If the U.S. and China were to clash in the South China Sea tomorrow, the former would still have the advantage. But over time, it will become increasingly difficult to predict the outcome of a conflict between the two.

     U.S. government and military officials have proposed several ideas for winning a hypothetical war with China. One, known as the Air-Sea Battle Concept, involves dispersing air and naval forces so that they would be able to counterattack following a Chinese onslaught. Another strategy, referred to as Offshore Control, involves blocking sea lanes used by Chinese merchant ships, undermining the country’s ability to continue fighting.

     U.S. officials, however, have yet to agree on any one strategy for countering China. The ever-shifting tides of domestic politics make it difficult to do so. For now, the U.S. military is likely to focus on encircling China by exporting weapons to its neighbors, maintaining its presence in contentious areas like the South China Sea, and making it clear that American power is as strong as ever.

Original post asia.nikkei.com


The diagram in the article is not up-to-date as Su-35s will be exported to China, soon Indonesia will sign the contract and latest is Vietnam interest in the jet fighter.  Doubt Malaysia will buy the F-16V they had very bad experience with the F-18 in regards to source code I heard.  The F-16V isn’t cheap as the F-16C/D Block 50/52 is already over $80 million that puts in very near the Su-35 which is superior to the F-16V.

The US foreign policy has a bad habit of arms embargoes and bullying tactics which has resulted in many countries in ASEAN turning to Russia since the cold war ended as now buyers can source from Russia, China or Europe.  

F-35s are just stop gap for Japan and S.Korea until they roll out their own stealth fighters doubt there would be any new orders.  Japan may upgrade the F-15J and F-2 (F-16).

The US face some stiff competition especially Saab Gripen and now that the MiG-35 is already being rolled out as it is another option for countries in Asia.

The US might get the F-18 deal with India but that is still doubtful due to mistrust from the India’s point of view.  However, it maybe beneficial to India as the Tejas is using the F-18 engine. – Nonothai.

See detail of F-16V: HERE

See detail of F-18E/F: HERE

See details of Su-35: HEREs4_vcut

See details of F-35: HERE

See details of F-22: HERE

See details of MiG-35: HERE

See details of Gripen C/D: HERE

See details of F-15E: HEREF-15E-Mach-Loop

Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin: HEREjapanese f3 (1)

See related post:

Royal Thai Air Force, Slovakia, Croatia and Bulgaria are to acquire Gripen

Indonesian defense minister confirms plans to purchase Su-35 fighters from Russia

Algeria request to test the Su-35

Slow Sales Could Kill America’s Deadly F-16 and F/A-18 Jets

Pakistan in two minds on buying F-16 jets from US

Moscow, Caracas Complete Negotiations on 12 Su-30 Fighter Jets Deal

Russia Eyes New Weapons Sales Of $6B As Part Of Syria ‘Marketing Effect’

India keen to buy F/A 18 Super Hornet fighter jets for IAF


Falklands ‘left with no Royal Navy protection’



The Falkland Islands have been left without the protection of a major British warship for the first time since the conflict broke out in 1982, it has been reported.

The Royal Navy is committed to providing a permanent presence in the South Atlantic to “reassure islanders and maintain a sovereign presence” in the area.

But according to the Independent, the islands have been left without the protection of a British frigate or destroyer for the first time since the war in 1982.

The newspaper reports that a manpower crisis, engine problems with the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers, and the deployment of ships to monitor Russian naval movements elsewhere, has left the territory without the same protection.

No vessel has been sent to the South Atlantic since a frigate left the region in November 2015, according to the newspaper.

It comes as relations in the region faced fresh strains after a UN commission ruled to expand Argentina’s maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by more than a third to include the Falklands.

Shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry told the Independent the situation is “unacceptable” and the Ministry of Defence should “immediately” dispatch a warship to the region.

She said: “In one area after another we have seen the impact of the savage cuts made to our armed forces since David Cameron came to office but, even by those low standards, it is unacceptable that the Government is failing to provide the protection for the Falkland Islands that has been promised, and that the islanders have a right to expect as British citizens.

“The Ministry of Defence must rectify the situation immediately.”

Several warships have been forced to be stationed at ports because of manpower shortages and technical problems with the latest advanced destroyers, the newspaper claimed.

These include the destroyer HMS Dauntless, which now serves as a training ship, and the frigate HMS Lancaster, which are both docked in Portsmouth, the newspaper said.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “HMS Dauntless and HMS Lancaster are not mothballed and remain very much part of the fleet.

Original post portsmouth.co.uk


See related post:

The £6bn gamble on risky engines for navy’s fleet of destroyers backfired admits defence chief

HMS Lancaster

The Type 23 class frigates feature stealth design with reduced radar cross section. They can perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW), embargo operations, disaster relief, and surveillance missions. They are armed with VLS Sea Wolf missiles for self-defense against airborne threats such as aircraft and anti-ship missiles, a 114mm MK 8 naval gun, 8 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, two Mk 44 30mm close-in weapons, torpedo tubes and one Lynx or Merlin helicopter.

Crew: 185
Number of Weapons: 40
Beam: 16.1 meter
Length: 133 meter
Main Gun Caliber: 114 millimeter
Max Range: 12,500 kilometer (6,749 nautical mile)

Total Combined Power: 34,000 shp (25,364 kW)
Cruise Speed: 7.80 mps (15.2 knot)
Top Speed: 14.4 mps (28.0 knot)
Full Displacement: 4,500 ton
Standard Displacement: 3,500 ton

Source deagel.com

HMS Dauntless

Type 45  Destroyer: HERE

US Navy Approves $644Mln for New Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer

20:29 31.03.2016(updated 21:50 31.03.2016)

According to General Dynamics, US Navy has awarded funding for another destroyer in the $3.4 billion five-ship contract capable of carrying the Aegis missile defense system.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) The US Navy has awarded funding for another destroyer in the $3.4 billion five-ship contract capable of carrying the Aegis missile defense system, General Dynamics said in a press release on Thursday.

“The $644.3 million contract modification fully funds this ship, which was awarded as part of a multi-year competition for DDG 51 class destroyers,” press release stated. “The total value of the five-ship contract is approximately $3.4 billion.”

There are currently four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in production — Rafael Peralta, Thomas Hudner, Daniel Inouye and Carl Levin, the release noted.

The release described the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer as “a multi-mission combatant that offers defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles.”

The destroyers carry a complete array of anti-submarine capabilities; the AEGIS combat system that tracks and destroys enemy targets; a vertical launching system; two SH-60 helicopters; advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles, the release noted.

Destroyers operate in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups and amphibious groups, according to General Dynamics.

Original post sputniknews.com


Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer

Video-USS-Ralph-Johnson-Moves-to-Dry-DockUSS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) – Image public domain


Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW). The destroyer’s armament has greatly expanded the role of the ship in strike warfare utilizing the MK-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) of the DDG 51 class, and the Advanced Vertical Launch System (AVLS) the DDG 1000 class. Source navy.mil

DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class: Details

Guided missile destroyers are multi-mission Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW)] surface combatants. The destroyer’s armament has greatly expanded the role of the ship in strike warfare utilizing the MK-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).

Technological advances have improved the capability of modern destroyers culminating in the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class replacing the older Charles F. Adams and Farragut class guided missile destroyers. Like the larger Ticonderoga-class cruisers, DDG 51’s combat capability centers around the Aegis Weapon System (AWS). AWS is composed of the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar, advanced AAW and ASW systems, VLS, and the Tomahawk Weapon System. These advances allow the Arleigh Burke-class to continue the revolution at sea.

The Arleigh Burke class employs all-steel construction and is comprised of three separate variants or “Flights”: DDG 51-71 represent the original design and are designated Flight I ships; DDG 72-78 are Flight II ships; DDG 79 and Follow ships are built or are being built to the Flight IIA design. The Flight III baseline is planned for the second ship in FY16. Source military.com

31CHINASEAS-SS-slide-RRVB-superJumboImage public domain

There are four main Burke variants, or Flights: Flight I (DDG-51 to DDG-71), Flight II (DDG-72 to DDG-78), Flight IIA (DDG-79 to DDG-123), and Flight III (DDG-124+). Differences between the flights will be explained throughout the article. Also, note that the first Flight III ships have not yet been commissioned and thus the body of open source information on Flight III is small relative to the other flights. As of 7/30/2017, DDG-115 is the newest Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned.

A subset of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have been upgraded with ballistic missile defense capabilities, a modification known as Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD). All Flight I and Flight II ships have been retrofitted with Aegis BMD, in addition to Flight IIA ships DDG-113 and onward, which are built with Aegis BMD as standard. The remainder of the Flight IIA ships will receive Aegis BMD in the future. Read this WhiteFleet.net article for an in-depth look at American ballistic missile defenses, including Aegis BMD. Source whitefleet.net

t3_30j40jImage public domain

Arleigh Burke (DDG 51 – Flight I)


Arleigh Burke (Flight IIA)


Flight III


DDG 51 Class Features

  • AEGIS Weapons System (AWS) including SPY-1 Radar, 96 cell MK 41 VLS, MK 99 Fire Control System
  • AN/SQQ-89 Sonar
  • MK 45 5″ Gun for ASuW, AAW), and land attack (NSFS) targets
  • 25mm CIWS and MK 38 self-defense guns
  • SLQ-32 or SEWIP Electronics warfare system
  • Helo landing capability (DDG 51-78); Dual Hangars for organic Helo support (DDG 79 and follow)
  • Four Gas Turbine Engines driving twin controllable propellers
  • Three SSGTG (Ship Service Gas Turbine Generators)
  • Robust, redundant, and survivable design with low signature requirements


Main material source navy.mil

Ships in class: Here

Russia deployed 2,950 main battle tanks in four military districts


Published: Friday, 01 April 2016 08:34

Russia`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has deployed 2,950 main battle tanks (MBT) in four military districts, according to the report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Russia deployed 2950 main battle tanks in four military districts 640 001T-72B3 main battle tank

Russian Army incorporates most of the aforementioned MBTs. According to the IISS` report, the service has deployed 2,700 tanks by March 2016. This number includes 1,300 T-72B/BA, 600 T-72B3, 450 T-80BV/UMs 350 T-90A main battle tanks. Hence, T-72B still remains the most popular main battle tank in the armour brigades of Russian Army. The Naval Infantry units have deployed 250 MBTs, including 50 T-72B and 200 T-72B3 tanks.

Russia`s MoD disposes the biggest MBT store in the world. According to the data provided by IISS, Russian Armed Forces have stored 17,500 MBTs, including 2,800 T-55, 2,500 T-62, 2000 T-64B, 7000 T-72A/B, 3000 T-80BV/U, 200 T-90 tanks.

Original post armyrecognition.com



1,300 T-72B/BA

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 (See below)
Engine power 780 hp (See below)
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

T-72B2 Rogatka. Upgraded version of the T-72B tanks. It is fitted with Relikt third generation explosive reactive armor, that is much more effective than the previous Kontakt-5. Upgraded tanks also have new main gun with muzzle reference system, upgraded fire control system and gunners thermal sight. It is powered by a V-92S2 engine, developing 1 000 hp. This tank was first revealed in 2006. Russian Army operates about 300 tanks upgraded to this standard. @military-today.com

600 T-72B3


One 125mm gun, one 7.62 PKTM machine gun and one 12.7mm NSV machine gun.
Country users
Designer Company
Uralvagonzavod Russia
NBC protection system, night vision equipment, satellite navigation system GLONASS, laser warning system,laser range finder and automatized fire control system
Standard armour with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor
46,000 kg
70 km/h
500 kma
Lenght: 9.53 m; Width: 3.59 m; Height: 2.22 m

450 T-80BV/UMs

T-80BV @armedforcesmuseum.com

T-80BV (Ob’yekt 219RV) (1985) – T-80B with Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armour. The smoke grenade launchers were moved from either side of the main armament back to the either side of the turret and positioned between the turret side and the ERA panels. On the turret of the T-80BV, the panels are joined to form a shallow chevron shape. ERA is also fitted to the forward part of the turret roof to provide protection against attacks from above. While the ERA provides a high degree of protection against ATGM of its time which relied on a HEAT warhead to penetrate armor over the frontal arc. It does not provide any added protection against APDS or APFSDS. Vehicles which were built first for sometime lacked the ERA because of supply problems. Some T-80BV tanks have been equipped with dust flap under glacis plate and some of them were equipped with single line of ERA along top of hull side. A late production version had a new turret similar to the T-80U but with Kontakt-1 ERA.


The T-80U main battle tank is a further development of the T-80. It entered service with the Soviet Army in 1985. Currently this main battle tank is in service with Russia, China (50), Cyprus (27) and South Korea (33). Production of T-80 series main battle tanks ceased in Russia in 1992, however its development and production continued in Ukraine. Due to expensive maintenance Russian Army plans to retire all T-80 series tanks by 2015.

Entered service 1985
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 46 t
Length (gun forward) 9.56 m
Hull length 7 m
Width 3.6 m
Height 2.2 m
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore
ATGW AT-11 Sniper
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 45 rounds
Machine guns ?
Engine GTD-1250 gas turbine engine
Engine power 1 250 hp
Maximum road speed 65 – 70 km/h
Range 400 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.85 m
Fording 1.8 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

350 T-90A

See details of T-90A: HERE

See related post:

New upgraded T-72B3M MBT also called T-72B4 will enter in service with Russian army

Saudis made $100 million US buy to upgrade its air force

PRI’s The World

The F-15SA first flew at St. Louis on February 20. The USAF said the flight-test program will include three instrumented F-15As flying from Boeing’s St. Louis and Palmdale, Calif., facilities.

Improvements on the F-15SA include fly-by-wire flight controls, a digital electronic warfare suite, Lockheed Martin AN/AAS-42 infrared search and track system and Raytheon APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The forward and aft cockpits are equipped for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System enabling the crew to aim sensors and weapons through their helmet visors. The aircraft has two additional wing stations for increased weapons payload capacity.

Saudi Arabia’s F-15SAs and 25 new Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 fighters sought by the UAE will be equipped with unspecified advanced “standoff weapons” that have not previously been made available to those countries, according to a senior U.S. defense official. In addition, the U.S. has agreed to supply Israel with advanced weaponry that includes the Bell-Boeing V-22 tiltrotor, KC-135 tankers and AESA radar retrofits.

The Pentagon revealed the weapons packages during a briefing for reporters on April 19 in advance of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s first trip to the Middle East in his new capacity. They represent “one of the most complex and carefully orchestrated arms sale packages in American history,” and resulted from intensive negotiations begun under previous defense secretary Leon Panetta, the defense official said. Israel’s consent was critical. “A key part of the agreement is [that] we believe and the Israelis believe that the provision of these capabilities [will] in no way diminish Israel’s qualitative military edge,” the official said.

Original post “Boeing Presents First F-15SA of Saudi Arms Package” by Bill Carey  – May 3, 2013, 11:50 AM by AIN Publications

Source ainonline.com


F-15SA (Saudi Advanced): Details

See details of F-15E: HERE

See details of F-15K: HERE

Lockheed Martin AN/AAS-42 infrared search and track systemInfrared Search And Track Systems And The Future Of The US Fighter ForceInfrared Search And Track Systems And The Future Of The US Fighter Force