Daily Archives: April 10, 2016

Krabi Class Offshore Patrol Vessels, Thailand

The HTMS Krabi offshore patrol vessel is built by Thai naval shipbuilder Bangkok Dock under a licensing agreement with BAE Systems, to meet the specific operational requirements of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

Image – @static.progressivemediagroup.com

The vessel is intended to conduct routine patrols, border control and fishery protection missions in Thailand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and can also be deployed to perform disaster relief operations and natural resources protection in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

Krabi-class vessels construction

BAE Systems signed a technology transfer agreement with Bangkok Dock to supply the 90m offshore patrol vessel design for the construction of HTMS Krabi in Thailand in June 2009.

Keel laying ceremony of HTMS Krabi (551), worth THB2.8bn (approximately $79.2m), was held in August 2010 and the vessel was launched at Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard in November 2011. It was inducted into the RTN’s service in August 2013 and has completed 1,000 days of operation at sea.

Image – @naval-technology.com

HTMS Krabi took part in the International Fleet Review 2013 organised by the Royal Australian Navy in Sydney Harbour, Australia, in October 2013.

In January 2016, BAE Systems received a contract from Bangkok Dock to provide design and engineering support for the second 90m offshore patrol vessel, which is estimated to cost THB5.5bn (approximately $155m).

Design and features of Krabi vessel

HTMS Krabi (551) @planobrazil.com

The design of HTMS Krabi vessel is based on 90m offshore patrol vessel, an evolution of the 80m River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), which is designed and built by BAE Systems for the UK Royal Navy.

HTMS Krabi is 90.5m-long, 13.5m-wide and 7.7m-high, and has a draft of 3.8m. With a displacement of 1,969t, the vessel can accommodate up to 39 crew members plus 50 embarked personnel.

HTMS Krabi (551)

The vessel is operated from the navigation bridge, located amidships. The marine radars and communications systems are attached at the top of the bridge.

A large 20m flight deck at the aft section supports the operation of a Super Lynx multi-purpose military helicopter. The vessel also carries a rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) on both sides to perform patrol and transportation tasks.

A4013207091734758RTN Super Lynx multi-purpose military helicopter

The OPV is installed with air-conditioning and electrical systems, storage and accommodation facilities, as well as a crane to lift equipment.

RTN Super Lynx landing on HTMS Krabi

Second OPV project 552 ร.ล.ตรัง “HTMS Trang”

ShipTech3-2016-19The second 90m offshore patrol vessel @aagth1.blogspot.com

The navy will build its second offshore patrol vessel, this one to be armed with guided missiles, at an estimated cost of 5.5 billion baht.

Vice Adm Jumpol Lumpiganon, deputy chief-of-staff and spokesman for the Royal Thai Navy, said on Monday the first OPV the navy built was HTMS Krabi.

The second offshore patrol vessel would be developed from the design of the first OPV, which was based on a design by BAE Systems Ships Co of England, he said.

The navy had signed a contract to buy the vessel’s design and materials from Bangkok Dock Co, a state enterprise under the Defence Ministry. The Mahidol Naval Dockyard of the Naval Dockyard Department would build the vessel and the Naval Ordnance Department will be responsible for its weapons systems. Source Bangkok Post

Aside from the BAE Systems’ enhanced design, the ship has helipad capable to accommodate the 11.5-ton helicopter or S-70B in RTN. RGM-84 Harpoon will be installed on board the ship and most of electronic systems are from Thales. Source TAF

AIR_S-70B_Seahawk_Thai_lgSecond OPV  can accommodate 11.5 ton helicopter like the  RTN S-70B

Armament to combat shore-based targets HTMS Krabi 

An Oto Melara 76mm lightweight naval gun, developed by Italian OTO Melara, is installed on the bow. With a rate of fire of 120 rounds a minute, it is designed to provide defence against shore-based targets.

The vessel is armed with 76mm lightweight naval gun. Image courtesy of Saberwyn. @naval-technology.com

Two dual-feed MSI 30mm guns, fitted on both port and starboard mounts, offer protection against light targets. The offshore patrol vessel is also armed with general-purpose machine guns.

The offshore patrol vessel is equipped with two MSI 30mm guns on port and starboard mounts. Image courtesy of Saberwyn. @naval-technology.com

The second patrol vessel in the class can be equipped with a RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile.

Thales reveals weapons configuration of the RTN’s second OPV 552 ร.ล.ตรัง “HTMS Trang”

Main gun will be Oto Melara 76/62 compact stealth shield and two MSI-DSL/ATK 30 mm DS30MR Mk.44. There are also an preparation for the anti-ship missile to be installed. RTN is looking at the RGM-84D Harpoon, but if there is any export ban RTN will shift to C-802A instead. But ThaiArmedForce.com believe that the Harpoon deal, if it is exist, will go through consider United States just approve the additional sale of RIM-162B ESSM to the RTN. The two Terma DL-12T will make this ship the first RTN ship that capable of avoiding the anti-ship attack.

Oto Melara 76/62 compact stealth shield

Oto Melara 76/62 compact stealth shield

Oto Melara 76/62 compact stealth shield . The gun’s high rate of fire and availability of specialised ammunition make it well-suited to varied roles such as short-range anti-missile point defence, anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and ground support. Specialised ammunition includes armour piercing, incendiary, directed fragmentation effects, and a guided round marketed as capable of destroying manoeuvring anti-ship missiles.

MSI-DSL/ATK 30 mm DS30MR Mk.44

Two MSI-DSL/ATK 30 mm DS30MR Mk.44.

RGM-84D Harpoon

2 x 4 Harpoon launchers096be7cca51cbfaff9d777a9b82412abRGM-84D Harpoon

The Harpoon is an all weather, subsonic, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launch from surface ships, submarines and aircraft. Its guidance system consists of a 3-axis integrated digital computer/ radar altimeter for midcourse guidance, and an active radar seeker for the terminal phase of the flight.

The Harpoon flies at subsonic speeds, with a sea-skimming flight trajectory for improved survivability through reduced probability of detection by enemy defenses. It was designed to strike enemy ships in an open ocean environment.

The ship launched RGM-84 Harpoon was introduced in 1977, as well as the encapsulated submarine launched UGM-84.

Dimensions
Diameter: 340 millimeter
Length: 4.63 meter (15.2 foot)
Wingspan: 910 millimeter
Performance
Max Range: 124 kilometer (67 nautical mile)

Speed
Top Speed: 237 mps (853 kph)
Weight
Thrust: 660 pound
Warhead: 224 kilogram (494 pound)
Weight: 691 kilogram

Source deagel.com

Safran’s Sigma 40 integrates with Harpoon missile system: Here

harpoon_2

Sigma 40: laser gyro technology inertial navigation system

The Sigma 40 inertial navigation system is making use on laser gyro technology. An advanced system designed by Sagem for maritime applications, the Sigma 40 meets the most demanding navigation and weapon system stabilization requirements. 

Both an inertial attitude and heading reference system, the Sigma 40 offers high performance and precision for all sizes of surface vessels. Both compact and robust, the Sigma 40 delivers all data needed for navigation: heading, roll and pitch, angular velocity, position and heave, vertical/horizontal speed and acceleration.

The Sigma 40 is suited to all types of platforms, including fast patrol boats, mine-hunters, corvettes, frigates, aircraft carriers, etc. It comprises an inertial navigation unit (INU), control and display unit (CDU) and an installation bracket, for fast removal and reassembly without recalibration. Both innovative and scalable, the Sigma 40 is easy to install, maintain and operate. Source safran-electronics-defense.com

The main features of RLG Sigma 40 are :

  • It has got high-level performance
  • It has very simple installation requirements
  • It has very convenient operation procedure.
  • It does not requires any preventive maintenance.
  • It consists both Synchro and digital interfaces. There is no need to provide any extra hardware interface.
  • It is IMO approved and military standards certified.
  • It is very reliable and rugged.

The core aim of RLG sigma 40 is :

  • To provide the target navigational data like heading, roll, itch etc in real time.
  • To regularly update the target navigational data like speed and velocity.
  • Interfacing of other navigational inputs from/to other Navigational equipments like EM Log, GPS, DGPS, Radar, Anemometer etc.

Sub-Units of RLG Sigma 40:

The RLG Sigma 40 system contains four basic sub-units. They are as follows:

Components of Ring Laser Gyro Sigma 40 – Image @electricalfundablog.com

Here,  INU stands for Inertial Navigation Unit

            CDU stands for Control and Display Unit

            DDU stands for Data distribution unit, and

            UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply

The Inertial Navigation Unit of basic RLG Sigma 40 unit consists of the following sub-units:

  • Inertial Sensor Block (referred as BSI)
  • Basic Synchro Module
  • EB Module
  • UTR-SP Module
  • Interface module (or RS 422 Module)
  • Power Supply Unit
  • HT/ THT Module
Composition of Inertial Navigation Unit – Image @electricalfundablog.com

The Inertial Sensor Block (BSI) consists of the various sensors. They are :

  1. Laser Gyros (Model GL S32) 03 in numbers : It senses Angle of Rotation and Speed of Rotation.
  2. Accelerometers (Model A-600)   : It senses the acceleration.
  3. EACC : It consists the circuitry for controlling the Pendulum of Accelerometer using servo elements. In addition to that, It also contains the EEPROMs which stores the sensor’s calibration data.

** EEPROM stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory.

Source electricalfundablog.com

50 cal General-purpose machine guns

browning_m2_greypage_by_abiator-d8d24m82 x 50 cal General-purpose machine guns.

HTMS Krabi navigation and communication

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HTMS Krabi is integrated with a variety of sensors developed by Thales, such as Lirod Mk2 fire control radar, Variant surveillance radar, FIT 10 Voice Terminal, Tacticos combat management system (CMS), FOCON IP communication system, MOC mk3 consoles, TSB 2520 IFF interrogator and combined interrogator transponder (CIT), and integrated communication system.

Lirod Mk2 fire control radar

Lirod Mk2 fire control radar HTMS Krabi

Variant surveillance radar

Variant surveillance radar

TACTICOS MOC Mk.3 console station

limnos tacticosTACTICOS MOC Mk.3 console station (example)

FIT 10  Voice Terminals

FIT 10 Voice Terminal @thalesgroup.com
  • 1- Multifunction terminal
  • 2 – focon ruggedized terminal
  • 3 – Receptacle extension unit

IP-based voice and data communication system

Integrating all communication subsystems into ONE solution
Multi-service communication network (voice and data)
Red / Black separation with multiple security levels
100% non-blocking transport of time-critical services
Full integration of IP and non-IP (legacy) equipment and subsystemsRadio and SATCOM integration and distribution
Crypto integration and distribution
Tactical Data Link integration and distribution (L11, LY, L22 …)
Conference and point-to-point connections in various modes
Modular design to fulfil all customer needs

Focon IP Naval LAN

No single point of failure

  • Survivability
  • High level of redundancy
  • Extremely fast automatic reconfiguration
  • Flexible allocation of communication assets
  • High data rate due to fibre optic interconnections
  • Low cost and efficient ship building installation
  • A high degree of future upgrading

TSA/TSB 2520 M-Scan IFF Interrogator/CIT

  • For aircraft and surface radar
  • Qualified on Mig 29, NH90, Gripen
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 157x193x332 mm
  • Weight: 8.8 kg
  • Available in a 19″ rack
  • 1500 W Antenna Amplifier Unit (AAU appliqué)

– Dimensions: 33x193x313 mm
– Weight: 2.7 kg

Source thalesgroup.com

HTMS Krabi

Thales reveals sensor configuration of the RTN’s second OPV 552 ร.ล.ตรัง “HTMS Trang”

Royal Thai Navy is on the preparation process of building its new OPV, the second of the Krabi class, and they still choosing Thales Nederland as lead system and combat system integrator. The second ship will have a higher capability.

RTN second OPV

TACTICOS still a combat suite for the yet-to-be name OPV. 4 MOC Mk.3 console station will be installed along with two large collaboration wall displaying the situation picture.

TACTICOS 4 MOC Mk.3 console station

TACTICOS still a combat suite for the yet-to-be name OPV. 4 MOC Mk.3 console station @thalesgroup

The air-surface surveillance radar will be the rotating 2D dual C/X-band TWT Variant radar along with rotating 2D X-band FMCW LPI solid-state Scout surface-helicopter control radar. Mk X(A) TSB2525 and STIR 1.2 EO Mk 2 is the main fire control. R-ESM capability rely on Vigile Mk 2. L3 Wescam MX-10MS optronic surveillance system and Terma SKWS C-Guard, X-Band and S-Band Sperry Marine Vision Master radar, Furuno ARPA radar will also be installed.

2D dual C/X-band TWT Variant radar

The 3-in-one Variant radar, offers surveillance and target indication. Its principal role is as an automatic, fast reaction time radar sensor, supplying targeting data to weapon systems. Automatic target detection and tracking in 2D plus radial speed is supplied for both air and surface targets simultaneously. For surface targets, it offers 3 gunfire channels.

Variant includes a dual-band radar, utilising both the I- and G-bands (X&C-band). Fully coherent, Variant provides pulse-doppler operation for optimal clutter suppression and air target detection without disturbance by multi-path (or lobbing) effects thanks to the dual-frequency. Outstanding ECM facilities are provided by the ability to operate over two frequency bands, an octave apart, and the third part of Variant, an integral Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) radar. This LPI radar (see also entry: Scout) can be used alone, thus providing Variant the unusual ability to operate in a mode that is almost undetectable to external ESM.

Variant’s low power consumption, lightweight construction and compact design, make the system well suited for use on fast patrol boats and OPVs. For larger ships that need helicopter/UAV guidance, it’s the radar of choice, due to it’s extreme short minimum range. Source thales7seas.com

Performance Data

Number of tracks
Air : 200
Surface : 200
FC Surface : 3

Instrumented ranges
Air targets : 120 km
Surface targets : 70 km

2D X-band FMCW LPI solid-state Scout surface-helicopter control radar

2D X-band FMCW LPI solid-state Scout surface-helicopter control radar

SCOUT Mk2 Thales Naval Nederland, a Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) short-to-medium range surface surveillance and tactical navigation radar. Scout can be operated as a stand-alone mobile system for flexible responsiveness. Additionally, the system can be operated remotely (radio or line connection). It is an all-weather fully solid-state system of high reliability operating in X-band radar featuring Frequency Modulation Continuous Wave (FMCW) and therefore has an extremely low output power which makes the system ideal for cover operations in hostile environments where radar silence is required and thus its transmissions cannot be detected by ESM systems or radar warning receivers. SCOUT Mk2 outstandingly detects targets in adverse sea clutter conditions, thanks to its very small range cell size. The system is also very suitable for coastal surveillance. The range of the radar exceeds the 44km. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com

STING-EO Mk2

STING-EO Mk2, Thales’s lightweight dual band (I and K) weapon control system, supports gun fire control, performs kill assessment and makes a valuable contribution to classification and identification of threats. In addition, the system can be used as a surveillance sensor, even under radar silence conditions.

The three data sources (I, K, EO) provide high redundancy, performance and ECCM resistance. STING EO Mk2 incorporates the latest solid-state I-band and K-band radars transmitters (low life cycle cost and high operational availability) and a new generation of electro-optical components (especially a third generation focal plane array infrared camera).

For operation in the littoral environment, STING EO Mk2 offers a list of benefits, such as: superior stealth target detection in strong (land) clutter, higher resistance against more stressing jamming scenarios and an extended EO capability for target identification and observation. Source THALES

Instrumented range
– I-band : 120 km
– K-band : 36 km

Thales Vigile

The Thales Vigile is a fourth generation electronic support measures (ESM) system tailored for naval applications (both surface and submarine).
The Vigile system provides wideband, high sensitivity reception (C to J bands) and pulse analysis with the ability to detect low probability of intercept (LPI) or invisible hostile radars using ultra sensitive search mode. The wide-open system architecture provides 360° coverage and 100% Probability of Intercept.
Furthermore, this ESM supports electronic intelligence (ELINT), precise de-interleaving, and specific emitter identification/platform identification using ESM tasked mode measuring signals frequency, phase and amplitude.

vigile_200_02

The system provides real, multiple, instantaneous radar acquisition and handling of up to 500 tracks. Also adaptable library generation by flexible programming and “on task” modification/updating capability to maximise the ability to cope with new tactical situations is provided.

When coupled with the Scorpion ECM system, this system provides a powerful EW suite capable of responding to any threat with very low latency.

The Vigile family consists of Vigile-400, Vigile-300, Vigile-200, Vigile-100 and Vigile-LW (Light Weight). Source thales7seas.com

USN, USAF, Royal Thai Navy select L3 WESCAM in $90 million order: Here

Terma SKWS C-Guard

c-guard-tubes_464Terma DL-12T.

Two Terma DL-12T. Terma’s C-Guard Soft-Kill Weapon System is a decoy system for naval platforms made to defeat stream attack with multiple missiles and torpedoes from multiple directions. The system will effectively counter advanced threats like small range gate Radio Frequency (RF) missiles, imaging Infra Red (IR) seekers missiles, and advanced next generation torpedoes. These threats require fast response and utilization of advanced tactics supporting the latest in decoy technologies available. 

Sperry Marine Vision Master radar

X-Band and S-Band Sperry Marine Vision Master radar

Scanner Features 

Scanner features include advanced clutter suppression, target acquisition, AIS targets, interswitching, compatibility, dual-channel options and personalisation.

Advanced Clutter Suppression

In the presence of sea or rain clutter, our VisionMaster FT Radar scanner features advanced clutter suppression technology that automatically detects small, weak targets without the need for adjusting controls.

Target Acquisition

Rather than manually acquiring targets, the ARPA scanners automatically and safely acquire and track targets at relative speeds up to 150 knots.

AIS Targets

The VisionMaster FT Radar can display AIS targets and supports processing and display of AIS ATONS, Search & Rescue Craft, AIS SARTS, AIS Base Stations, safety messaging and AIS MKD.

Interswitching

An optional digital Interswitch allows the operator to display radar video from any scanner at any desired display. For improved user operation and flexibility, interswitching gives up to six transceivers and up to six displays

Compatibility

To reduce cost and time required for retrofit, our VisionMaster FT Radars are compatible with the BridgeMaster-E product line by partial hardware and software replacement.

Personalisation

Settings can be customized for different watch officers, with voyage plans and operating systems that can be saved and moved to different vessels, offering flexibility, control and safety. 

Source sperrymarine.com

Furuno ARPA radar

1165Furuno ARPA radar console (example) – Image @Furuno

The ADS-B and AIS are also believed to be install on board.

Thales also providing the FICS integrated communication system and FOCON IP phone (see above)Network centric mission will go through Thales Link Y Mk.2 that enable the ship to share information with allied force. Thales also integrating the Link RTN developed by Avia Satcom/Rohde & Schwarz. SATCOM will be using Cobham Sailor and underwater communication will be using Ocean Technology Systems Aquacom to communicate with diver. The LRAD also be installed for law enforcement mission.

Thales Link Y Mk.2

Network centric mission Thales Link Y Mk.2 second OPV @thalesgroup.com

Naval version (“shipborne”)
Link Y Mk2 is built in a compact housing compliant to military standards that meet the requirements for equipment in a naval environment. The naval version is to be integrated into any
Combat Management System, e.g. TACTICOS, for surface vessels or submarines. Alternatively, the naval version can be delivered with a local control station to act as a standalone system on board. Source thalesgroup.com

Thales Network centric  @thalesgroup.comA01157625130914110001Thales Network centric to integrate with RTN developed by Avia Satcom/Rohde & Schwarz

Cobham Sailor

SATCOM will be using Cobham Sailor (example)

LRAD

LRAD also be installed for law enforcement mission  (example)@lradx.com

LRAD’s highly intelligible, long range voice and warning siren broadcasts establish large safety zones, determine intent, safely change behavior, resolve uncertain situations and save lives on both sides of the Long Range Acoustic Device®. Source lradx.com

Imtech Marine UniMACS 3000 series integrated bridge system will handle all bridge work. TACAN will be also installed.

Example of Imtech Marine integrated bridge system for Second OPV

Servowatch platform management system selected for second Royal Thai Navy Krabi-class OPV: Here

IPMS 

The IPMS provides integrated monitoring and control of ship propulsion, electrical and auxiliary plant management systems. Integrating these capabilities at the platform level can optimise operational effectiveness and contribute to crewing reductions.

Functions and Features

  • Multi-level Redundant Networking
  • Remote Terminal Units
  • Integrated Propulsion Control System
  • Integrated Power Management System
  • Integrated On Board Training System
  • Condition Based Monitoring System
  • Battle Damage Control System

Krabi propulsion and performance

A06149970130304125541

Two MAN 16v 28/33D diesel engines, each developing an installed power of roughly 9,700hp at 1,000rpm, allow the vessel to sail at a maximum speed of 23kt. The OPV can operate up to a range of 7,800nm, when sailing at 12kt.

Two controllable-pitch propellers are fitted aboard that provide better efficiency and high-manoeuvrability.

Main material source naval-technology.com

Updated Mar 19, 2017

HTMS Krabi documentary 

USAF wants on-time F-X, not more F-22s

 

09 March, 2016 BY: James Drew Washington DC

The US Air Force has no interest in restarting production of the Lockheed Martin F-22, partly because it’s too expensive and because it wants to move quickly on a next-generation fighter.

The service’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements said as much during a congressional hearing on 8 March, suggesting that fighter jet manufacturers like Boeing, Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin may decide to offer modifications to existing technologies and platforms in the next F-X competition.

“Because we want to do it faster and don’t want to do another 20-year development programme for a whole host of reasons, we’ll try and go with technology that are at a high readiness level now with manufacturing capabilities that are at a high readiness level now,” Lt Gen James Holmes tells a Senate Armed Services subcommittee panel in response to questions about restarting F-22 production.

“I think it’s completely possible as we get the requirements that there may be competitors that bid on modification of an existing technology or platform like the F-22 and the F-35.”

Industry sources tell Flightglobal that there has been a lot of interest within the Pentagon recently about the restarting F-22 assembly. However, air force leaders have repeatedly denied seeking rough-order-of-magnitude cost estimates for procuring more F-22s and instead point to future fighter concepts as the best way forward.

The 187th and last twin-engine Raptor rolled off the assembly line in Marietta, Georgia in December 2011, but the manufacturing equipment was stored for possible use later. A RAND study in 2010 placed the cost of resuming F-22 production at $17 billion in 2008 dollars for 75 more aircraft, or $267 million per jet.

Asset ImageUS Air Force

“There were some initial rough order of magnitude estimates of what it would cost,” USAF military deputy for acquisition Lt Gen Arnold Bunch tells the subcommittee. “[But] we have not estimated what it would be to re-open the line and populate it with more modern technology. We’ve not done that at this time.”

Holmes says pressing forward with the air force’s Next-Generation Air Dominance programme is the better way to make up for lower-than-planned fifth-generation fighter capacity, but cannot be a technologically exotic fighter jet that takes two or three decades to develop.

“They cost too much, they take too long, they make you drive for technology that’s so far into the future that it’s really hard to achieve and by the time you spend 30 years achieving it, it may not be exactly what you want,” he explains after the hearing. “We’re trying to move to a world where we go forward with new airplanes that take advantage of technology that’s ready to manufacture and we have the manufacturing skills to do it, and what could we produce in five years or 10 years instead of 30 years?

“It’s purely speculation on my part, but if I was going to ask a company to bid on what they could build for me in five years or 10 years, I’d expect that some of them would take advantage of work they’ve already done and base it on something they already have.”

Asset ImageLockheed-KAI T-50-based T-X proposal – KAI

Similar thinking has led Lockheed to propose an upgraded version of the KAI T-50 for the air force’s T-X trainer programme over a clean sheet design proposed by Skunk Works. Boeing and Northrop, though, do not have any in-service fifth-generation fighters upon which to base F-X proposals.

The US Navy is already moving forward with an analysis of alternatives (AOA) for its F/A-XX strike fighter platform that will eventually succeed the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. The air force will begin that acquisition process next year, says Holmes.

The Air Force Research Laboratory is already working with industry on new aircraft and engine designs. Boeing, Northrop and Lockheed have already started releasing artist’s impressions of conceptual “sixth-generation” fighter jets, but none are based on previous aircraft.

Asset ImageNorthrop Grumman

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See related post:

T-X advanced jet trainer program will be two years late as the USAF decided to delay the release of the request for proposals until late December

Skunk Works pushes investment in F-22 and F-35 over new aircraft

USAF Moves from F-22 to New F-X Program

As T-X Competition Looms, Air Force Expects Requirements To Hold Steady

Photos and videos from the KAI/LM T-50 T-X launch ceremony

See details of F-22: HERE

Pakistan reluctant to buy fifth generation warplanes: PAF

 

The News International

April 08, 2016

PARIS: Pakistan wants to upgrade its ageing fleet of fighter jets in anticipation of a prolonged battle against Islamist militants, although the purchase of fifth-generation planes would only be a last resort, a senior air force official said.

US ally Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people, is fighting a Taliban insurgency in its northwest, a separatist insurgency along its Iranian border in the west, and has a heavily militarised and disputed border with arch rival India in the east.

“Our concern is that we don’t know how long these anti-terrorist operations will continue,” Pakistan Air Force second-in-command Muhammad Ashfaque Arain told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday.

“We have weakened them (militants) to a great extent, but I don’t see an end in the very near future, so all the burden is being shared by the F-16s and its pilots. Sceptics suspect that Pakistan’s military is seeking an improved arsenal to counter the growing military might of India,” he said.

To fill the void, Islamabad has decided to bet on the JF-17 fighters, jointly developed by China and Pakistan, rather than spending billions on fifth-generation multi-role aircraft like Dassault’s Rafale, which rival India is buying, or the Russian Su-35.

That option, Arain said, had almost been ruled out for being too expensive and because Pakistan did not want to mix technologies and resources.It would only be reconsidered if “it was pushed against a wall”.

Instead, 16 JF-17s will be produced this year with a further 20 in 2017, but Arain acknowledged that the jets’ usefulness in current operations was limited because they lack precision targeting. “Operationally, the aircraft are working pretty well so if we had a targeting pod on the JF-17, the burden would be shared,” Arain said, adding that his visit to Paris was in part aimed at assessing from French officials the prospects of supplying the Thales-made Damocles, a third-generation targeting pod. He said that was Islamabad’s priority for now.

“We’re looking at the best option. The Damocles is a battle-proven system and the other options are not,” Arain said. “If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, we will need to look for alternative options that may not be proven. In the long run, the air force was thinking about its needs beyond 2030 when F-16s and JF-17s would start to be replaced.”

The United States in February approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets for the short term, but Arain said even that was proving complicated. “It’s a much cheaper fighter jet, but buying more F-16s is economically not feasible for us and then there is a lot of human outcry,” he said.

Arain countered any suggestion that Pakistan might want greater air power to target India by saying that New Delhi itself was expanding its fleet. “We get eight aircraft and there are people who start to say that it will tilt the balance of power in South Asia. But when somebody across the border buys 36 aircraft and has plans to buy 126, that doesn’t change the balance of power,” he said, referring to India.

@thenews.com.pk

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See related post:

US Navy orders nine AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters for Pakistan

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

Pakistan Air Force needs to replace 190 planes by 2020

Pakistan looks to buy another 10 F-16s

U.S. okays sale of eight Lockheed F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan – Pentagon

See details of F-16C/D: HERE

See details of JF-17: HERE

Military Defense Industry Technology – Russian armoured vehicles

 

Published: Sunday, 27 March 2016 08:43

Analysis about the Russian armoured vehicles and tanks in the global military market.

As of early 2016, three Russian defense industry companies were suppliers of various armoured vehicles to both domestic and international markets. Scientific-research corporation Uralvagonzavod (Russian acronym: UVZ) offers T-90S, T-90MS and upgraded T-72 main battle tanks, BMP-T / Terminator-2 fire support vehicles (FSV), BMR-3M mine clearance vehicles, BREM-1M armoured repairing vehicles (ARV).
As of early 2016, three Russian defense industry companies were suppliers of various armoured vehicles to both domestic and international markets. Scientific-research corporation Uralvagonzavod (Russian acronym: UVZ) offers T-90S, T-90MS and upgraded T-72 main battle tanks, Terminator/Terminator-2 fire support vehicles (FSV), BMR-3M mine clearance vehicles, BREM-1M armoured repairing vehicles (ARV). Russian-made T-90MS main battle tank at IDEX 2013 defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The military department of the Tractor Plants concern produces BMP-3 / BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), BREM-L ARVs, BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicles and BTR-MDM armoured personnel carriers (APC). Military-Industrial Company (Russian acronym: VPK, a subsidiary of Bazovy Element Group) manufactures BTR-80 / BTR-80A / BTR-82 / BTR-82A APCs, BREM-K ARVs and AMN-233114 Tigr-M multi-purpose 4×4 utility vehicles. The aforementioned companies are the core of Russian armoured vehicles production.

Since 2001, the interest of foreign customers to Russian MBTs has significantly increase. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute`s (SIPRI) arms transfers database, in 2001-2015, Russia exported 1,416 T-90S tanks (both ready-to-use and kits for local licensed assembly) of 2,316 ordered MBTs. The T-90S local production lines were established in India and Algeria. India still remains the most substantial foreign operator of Russian T-90S tanks. Within the prescribed period, this country received 947 MBTs (including 761 locally assembled from kits supplied by UVZ).

As of early 2016, Russia had to supply approximately 710 T-90S tanks to India. Algeria got about 315 T-90SA tanks (“A’ stands for Algerian) equipped with improved air conditioning unit. The North African country is to assemble about 190 MBTs. In early 2016, Russia almost finished the deliveries of 100 T-90S tanks equipped with Shtora-1 optical-electronic jamming system to Azerbaijan. Ten MBTs of such type were supplied to Turkmenistan in 2009-2012. Uganda received 44 T-90S tanks in 2011. 

Since 2001, the interest of foreign customers to Russian MBTs has significantly increase. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute`s (SIPRI) arms transfers database, in 2001-2015, Russia exported 1,416 T-90S tanks (both ready-to-use and kits for local licensed assembly) of 2,316 ordered MBTs.Russian-made T-90S main battle tank at RAE 2015 defense exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, Russia.

T-90S and its modification still remain in high demand by perspective foreign customers. During the Russia Arms Expo 2015 (RAE-2015) several Arabic states revealed their keen interest to the acquisition of T-90S and T-90MS tanks. When the coalition led by Saudi Arabia started intervention to Yemen to fight Housit rebels, Western-originated armoured vehicles were found to unreliable and not able to effectively fight in desert and desert-mountain regions. According to several reports, the chassis AMX-56 Leclerc MBTs deployed by United Arab Emirates faced with several technical difficulties during the intervention, while Leclerc revealed its high firepower performance. Saudi Arabia deployed at Yemen the US-originated M1A2 Abrams tanks. Houthis eliminated several M1A2s, using ageing Soviet 9M111 Fagot (NATO reporting name: AT-4 Spigot) and 9M113 Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).

In such conditions, the Arabic nations have shown their interest to the potential acquisition of T-90MS, the latest modification of T-90S. It retains the high serviceability and maintainability of its predecessor, while the tank`s firepower and protection have been significantly increased compared to basic T-90S. T-90MS has received Relict explosive reactive armour (ERA) system developed by NII Stali. It is installed on the frontal armour plate, the sides and the turret of the upgraded MBT, increasing its survivability on the modern battlefield. As the war in Syria demonstrated, the Relict`s predecessor, Kontakt-5 (basic ERA of T-90A/T-90S) armour could successfully resist to TOW-2A/B BGM-71E and BGM-71F ATGMs. Relict is reported to be 50% more effective, than Kontakt-5. T-90MS retains 2A46M-5 gun-launcher, which could fire both standard 125mm anti-tank/anti-personnel rounds and 9M119M/9M119M-1 Invar/Invar-M1 ATGMs.

Russian IFV are also highly demanded by potential foreign customers. During the RAE-2015 show, the Arabic states revealed their interest to the latest modification of world-known BMP-3, namely, BMP-3 Derivatsiya (Derivation).Russian BMP-3 armoured infantry fighting vehicle at military parade in Moscow (Source Wikimedia)

Russian IFV are also highly demanded by potential foreign customers. During the RAE-2015 show, the Arabic states revealed their interest to the latest modification of world-known BMP-3, namely, BMP-3 Derivatsiya (Derivation).

In 2001-2015, Russia delivered BMP-3 / BMP-3M armoured vehicles to the foreign customers. Azerbaijan got about 100 upgraded BMP-3M IFVs. Indonesia received 54 BMP-3Fs in naval configuration for the national Marine Corps. The deliveries of 70 upgraded BMP-3Ms to Kuwait had been finished by end-2015. South Korea received 37 BMP-3s in basic configuration in 2005-2006. Six BMP-3s were supplied to Turkmenistan. Venezuela had received 123 BMP-3Ms and BREM-L ARVs by end-2015.

Basic BMP-3 / BMP-3M has an outstanding firepower, estimated to be the best in its class. The vehicle is equipped with 100mm 2A70 gun-launcher, which could fire 3UOF17 and 3UOF19 high-explosive (HE) shells and 9M117 Bastion (AT-10 Stabber/AT-12 Swinger) ATGMs, and with 30mm 2A72 automatic gun. Such combination allows to effectively support dismounted troops on the modern battlefield. Basic BMP-3 lacks side armour (compared to Western analogues), but the installation of additional armour plates and Kaktus ERA provide sufficient protection from small-caliber automatic guns and ATGMs. BMP-3 could be upgraded with Arena-E active protection system (APS).

At the same time, NATO nations are developing new small-caliber (up to 40mm) guns, which could penetrate over 100 mm of steel armour, using kinetic projectile (not shape-charge warheads). In 2014, CTA International company developed 40mm 40 CTAS (CT cannon). It fires advanced armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot – tracer (APFSDS-T) rounds, being able to pierce more than 140mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) at 1,500 m. Such shell can penetrate the armour protection of light armoured vehicles, IFVs and even side armour plates of modern MBTs. The newest Western IFV (for instance, British Ajax and French VBCI) can be armed with CT cannon. At the Eurosatory-2014 defense show, French Nexter Group demonstrated T40 manned combat module armed with 40 CTAS. T40 module is intended for installation on VBCI IFV. It can also be adapted for other Western armoured fighting vehicles (both tracked and wheeled).

As a response to 40 CTAS cannon, Russian Tractor Plants concern developed BMP-3 Derivatsiya IFV. It is armed with 57mm naval cannon chambered for 57x348mm round. The APFSDS round fired from such cannon could easily penetrate 130-140mm of RHA at distances up to 1,800-2,000m. Hence, 40 CTAS is not the only available “small caliber-high power” IFV gun at the international arms market. Russian 57mm cannon is also effective against low-flying aerial targets and personnel (using HE round).

About 318 basic BTR-80 were supplied to Bangladesh. Russian-made BTR-80 8×8 APC Armoured Personnel Carrier at Defense Exhibition near Moscow, Russia.

The export of BTR-80 / BTR-80A / BTR-82 / BTR-82A APCs within the prescribed period was huge despite the weak armour and anti-mine protection of the vehicles. The BTR-80A/82A APCs were demanded due to high power (unlikely Western analogues, both carriers are armed with extremely effective 30mm 2A72 automatic cannon). In 2001-2015, Russia delivered to foreign customers 1,036 of APCs of 1,068 ordered. Azerbaijan received 70 BTR-80As. About 318 basic BTR-80 were supplied to Bangladesh. Belarus ordered 32 BTR-82A APCs. Colombia got eight BTR-80 in Caribe configuration. Eight BTR-80 carriers were supplied to Djibouti. Indonesia received 12 BTR-80A. About 93 BTR-80A, 44 BTR-82A and 18 BTR-80 APCs were delivered to Kazakhstan. Mongolia received 20 BTR-80s under Russian military aid program. North Korea got 32 BTR-80As in 2000-2001. Approximately 19 BTR-80As were delivered to Sri-Lanka. Sudan got 90 BTR-80A APCs designated as Shareef-1 in Sudanese service. Eight BTR-80As were supplied to Turkmenistan. Uganda received 32 BTR-80As. About 50 basic BTR-80s were sold to Uzbekistan. Venezuela got 114 BTR-80As. About 100 BTR-80A APCs were supplied to Yemen.

The interest of foreign customers to BTR-80A / BTR-82A will be stable in the years to come, as it is a relatively inexpensive, reliable and effective APC, being able to deliver sufficient firepower to dismounted soldiers. BTR-80A / BTR-82A has an IFV firepower in an APC form-factor. The installation of spall liner and anti-blast seats on BTR-82A increases its protection from small-caliber arms, heavy splinters and land mines. The deliveries of basic BTR-80 within the prescribed period were limited, as modern Western analogues have Level 4 STANAG 4569 protection, which can resist to 14.5mm armour-piercing bullet fired from BTR-80`s KPVT machinegun.

The interest of foreign customers to BTR-80A/82A will be stable in the years to come, as it is a relatively inexpensive, reliable and effective APC, being able to deliver sufficient firepower to dismounted soldiers. BTR-80A/82A has an IFV firepower in an APC form-factorRussian-made BTR-82A 8×8 APC Armoured Personnel Carrier at Defense Exhibition near Moscow, Russia.

Original post armyrecognition.com

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See related post:

Ajax Scout SV CT40 40mm cannon light tracked armoured vehicle

VBCI-2 in IFV configuration fitted with the Nexter Systems T40 turret armed with a CTAI 40 mm CTAS

Leclerc Main Battle Tank, France world’s most expensive MBT

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

Russian tank T-90 can defeat most of modern anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM)

What a T-90 Tank Looks Like After Being Hit With a TOW Missile

Royal Thai Army to procure new MBT with a budget of THB8.9 billion

Thai Army looking for New MBT

See details of T-72B3 and T-72B3M: HERE

See details of T-90A: HERE

See details of T-90MS: HERE

See details of BTR-82A: HERE

See details of BMP-3M-100 Dragun: HERE

See detail of Terminator-2: HERE

New BMP-3 IFV fitted with a gun mount system AU-220m armed with a 57mm automatic cannon: HERE

Air Force looking to replace A-10 Warthog

Updated 10:16 AM ET, Sat April 9, 2016

Washington (CNN)A top U.S. general says the Air Force is reviewing the future of its close air-support aircraft, a role currently filled by the A-10 Warthog, which first flew in 1975.

“My requirements guys are in the process of building a draft-requirements document for a follow-on (close air-support) airplane,” said Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements.
Holmes, who made the comments to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Air Force Association on Thursday, said the Air Force would use these combat requirements to determine what type of aircraft would best meet its needs. Potential options could include building an entirely new dedicated aircraft, using existing aircraft, or extending the life of the A-10 even further.
A spokesperson for the Air Force confirmed the ongoing requirements process to CNN.
The Air Force had originally planned for its version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the A-10 Thunderbolt, or Warthog, as it has been nicknamed. But the F-35 project has been beset by delays and cost overruns and the demands of the counter-ISIS mission have caused the Pentagon to reconsider its plans in the 2017 budget.
But Holmes’ announcement shows that the Air Force is now considering alternative replacement options.
Unlike the multi-role F-35, the A-10 is the only airplane in the Air Force specifically designed for close air support, a mission that has become urgent in the fight against ISIS.
The battle tested A-10 has seen combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently in Syria where it was able to target enemy forces up close without risking friendly fire casualties because the pilots are flying slow enough to visually distinguish between enemy and friendly forces.
Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican lauded the Air Force’s decision to reevaluate its plans, calling it “a big victory.”
McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and former A-10 pilot who flew missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, told CNN she was “glad to see the (Obama) administration recognize the flaws in seeking to eliminate the A-10 before we have a tested, proven replacement.”
“As a result of our advocacy, the Air Force will begin consideration of the follow-on platform to the A-10, including upgrading our current fleet to extend its service life. This is the exact approach for which I have advocated,” said McSally, a member of the Armed Services Committee.
The A-10 can carry up to 16,000 pounds of bombs and missiles and is armed with a powerful 30 mm, seven-barrel Gatling gun, which can fire depleted uranium bullets at 3,900 rounds per minute.
Holmes added that the Air Force was trying to define exactly what was needed and that affordability would be a key consideration in determining the future of the next generation of close air-support aircraft.
The previously proposed F-35 replacement is projected to cost approximately $135 million per plane, while the unit cost of an A-10 is $18.8 million, according to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet.
Retired naval aviator Cmdr. Chris Harmer told CNN in March that using an F-35 to fly close air support against insurgents would be akin to “buying a brand new Rolls Royce to take the garbage to the dump.”
Harmer estimated the cost of flying a jet like the F-35 to be about $45,000 per hour of flight, while the A-10 costs about one-third as much to operate.
Holmes said that one possible replacement for the A-10 could be a type of already-existing turbo-propeller aircraft. Examples of this category of aircraft include the A-29 Super Tucano and AT-6 Wolverine. The U.S provided four A-29s to the new Afghan air force in January to help fight the Taliban.
U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, recently deployed a pair of Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco turbo-propeller planes against ISIS as part of an experiment to see if these type of aircraft are more effective in conducting counterinsurgency operations than more modern jets like the F-35.
Because they consume less fuel and can cruise at slower speeds, these turbo prop planes can loiter over the battlefield for hours like drones, but unlike unmanned aircraft, the pilot has greater visibility of the battlefield and can see the location of enemy forces and attack them directly with machine guns and more bombs and missiles than a drone can carry.
Holmes cautioned that a final decision is still “a long way off” and that future budgets would determine what the future of the close air-support aircraft will look like.

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See details of AT-6: HEREAT6_1

See details of A-29 Super Tucano: HERE