Monthly Archives: July 2016

Arms dealer connection holds up the Rafale deal


Published: 31st Jul 2016 07:49:42 AM

NEW DELHI: Having learnt from UPA’s follies in defence deals, which marred its image due to bribery scandals, the BJP-led NDA government is taking care before inking its first major acquisition deal to procure 36 Rafale warplanes with France.

A highly-placed source said  that the Ministry of Defence before going ahead with the much-awaited deal, is seeking a ‘no-objection’ from the investigating agencies probing arms lobbyist Sanjay Bhandari, whose name had figured in various defence deals during UPA government.

A top official claimed that during a series of raids at Bhandari’s office and residential premises in May, Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate investigators had seized several documents related to defence deals, including Mirage-2000 upgrade with French companies Dassault and Thales.

Dassault Aviation is the manufacturer of Rafale fighter jets. Leads generated from raids at Sanjay Bhandari’s premises gave key inputs on other lobbyists, who are now being scanned for swinging defence deals.

“We are simply verifying with the investigating agencies whether they have found any linkages of Bhandari with French firm manufacturing Rafale jets,” said a top source. Defence sources are apprehensive about Bhandari’s deep-rooted links with French defence firms.

It is learnt that investigating agencies are looking into Bhandari role in the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Rs 10,947 crore project, finalised in 2011-12 for an upgrade of 51 Mirage-2000s with the help of French companies Dassault Aviation and Thales (weapons systems integrator). The CAG has criticised the high cost of upgrade the project.

Ministry officials involved in the acquisition process are also wary on going ahead with the deal until clearance from the all sections is availed. For now, price is not the only issue, which is delaying the much -hyped fighter jet deal.

“We have more or less agreed to the price. Such due diligence is required before finalising such a project,” said an MoD official.

Earlier, both sides were working on the price as India is targeting between `65,000-68,000 crore  (8 billion Euros) for 36 Rafale fighter jets. However, on the other side, Dassault has quoted a whopping figure of nearly `90,000 crore (12 billion euros) for aircraft fitted with high-end weapons and radar systems.

In the absence of a mutually agreed price, the deal could not be inked during French President Francois Hollande’s  visit to New Delhi for Republic Day. It only dashed hopes of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is struggling to cope with its depleting fleet strength, and also caused embarrassment for New Delhi as no major announcement was made during meeting of the top political leadership of both countries.

While visiting France in April 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets citing “operational necessity” of the IAF. Thirty-six nuclear-capable Rafale jets will come to India in fly-away condition fitted with weapon systems such as active electronically scanned phased array radar, high-end beyond-visual-range missiles and defensive weapon systems.

The depleting combat strength of the IAF has been a cause of concern as it is down to 34 fighter squadrons against its authorised strength of 42, based on certain projections in the next couple of years. IAF is getting four squadrons of Su-30, and subsequently indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is expected to fill its critical requirement. However, Tejas is still a long way to go.

Original post


More scandals?

Related post:

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India seeks further discount on Rafale, deal in final stages

Rafale deal to figure in crucial defence acquisition council today

Deadlock over India’s Rafale purchase continues

France agreed to provide 50 percent offsets to India for Rafale fighter sale

Rafale fighter deal: Manohar Parrikar to meet French counterpart in Singapore

Rafale jet deal: More delays likely as France rejects bank guarantee

Sagem, OIS-AT create AASM Hammer joint venture

India to select fighter jet under ‘Make in India’ by March: Manohar Parikkar 




Samuel Beckett Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), Ireland

Babcock Marine’s Samuel Beckett Class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) are being built for the Irish Naval Service as a part of a fleet replacement programme. The OPVs will be primarily deployed in fishery protection, search-and-rescue (SAR) and maritime patrol missions across the 200-mile Irish Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) in the North Atlantic Ocean.


The Department of Defence (An Roinn Cosanta) signed a contract with Babcock Marine in October 2010, for the construction of two new OPVs for the Irish Naval Service at an estimated cost of €108m. The contract also includes an option for third vessel, which was exercised in June 2014.

The keel for the first OPV, LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) was laid down at Babcock’s Appledore shipyard in May 2012. The vessel was floated out of the drydock in November 2013, arrived at the Naval Base, Haulbowline in April 2014 and was commissioned into service in May 2014. LÉ Samuel Beckett replaced the decommissioned offshore patrol vessel LÉ Emer.

beckettLÉ Samuel Beckett (P61)

The second OPV in class, LÉ James Joyce (P62), was floated out in November 2014 and was commissioned in September 2015. It replaced LÉ Aoife OPV.

wby24LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) – Image @coastmonkey.iewby34LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) – Image

The third OPV in class, LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63), was floated out in March 2016. It is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2016. LÉ William Butler Yeats will replace the LE Aisling OPV.

PICTURES: Naval ship handed over as work begins on next project: Here

image (2).jpg(P63) LE William Butler Yeats sets sail. Pictures by Norman Hardaker

Samuel Beckett OPV design and features

14265705885_7234209115_o.jpgLÉ Samuel Beckett14285832753_2f78d0574b_o.jpg14265521065_ee5bc25e12_o.jpg


The Samuel Beckett OPV features an extended monohull design based on the PV80 design of STX Canada Marine. The OPVs incorporate fin stabilisers and anti-heel tanks for roll and pitch reduction.


Vard Marine Inc. (formerly STX Marine) designed the vessels, which have features in common with an earlier design, the Róisín class, in service with the Irish Naval Service since 1999.

The 90-metre (300 ft) OPV vessels are designated PV90 by Babock Marine and approximately 10 metres (33 ft) longer with an additional 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in) in depth to the existing Róisín-class PV80 vessels. This is intended to increase both its capabilities and abilities in the rough waters of the North Atlantic. The PV90 ship is designed carry a crew of 44 and have space for up to 10 trainees. The ships’ published cruising speed is 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph), with a top speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph). Source

The vessel can carry two 8m rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) at either side of the hull, while the third RHIB is housed in a cradle over the stern deck. The boats are launched and recovered by single point davits and can be operated at a maximum speed of 30kt up to Sea State 4.

The OPV has a length of 89.5m, beam of 14m, draft of 3.8m and displacement of 1,900t. It can complement of 54 personnel, including 44 Ships Company and ten trainees and the carriage of containers. Accommodation is provided in single berths and four berth cabins.

Weapon systems fitted to the Irish OPV

The main gun of the vessel is a 76mm OTO Melara compact naval gun equipped with an electro-optical fire control system. Two 20mm RH 202 Rheinmetall cannons fitted port and starboard abaft the bridge serve as secondary weapons.

76mm OTO Melara compact naval gun


Technical data:
Caliber: 3 inches / 76,2 mm
Barrel lenght: 186 inches / 4,72 meters (= 62 caliber)
Weight: 7900kg, empty (Super Rapid)
Shell: 76 x 900 mm / 12,34 kilograms
Elevation: – 15° to + 85°
Traverse: 360°
Rate of fire: Compact: 85 rpm / Super Rapid: selectable from single shot up to 120 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 925 m/s (1100 m/s – DART)
Magazine: Compact: 80 rounds / SR: 85 rounds
16 kilometers with standard ammunition
20 km with extended range ammunition
up to 40 km with VULCANO ammunition



SEA EAGLE controls the main Oto Melara Gun

sea-eagle-fceo-1.jpgThe Chess Dynamics Sea Eagle FCEO (Fire Control Electro Optical) – Image


  • 24 hour target identification
  • Automatic slewing to search radar contact indications
  • Automatic target acquisition and tracking
  • Anti-air, anti-surface, naval gunfire support and indirect engagement modes
  • 24 hour passive surveillance
  • Automated capture of target ‘snap-shot’ images
  • Designed as a stand alone system or part of ‘multi-function’ console based combat system


SEA EAGLE controls the main Oto Melara, now Leonardo-Finmeccanica, 76mm gun mounting and is optimised for naval fire control against airborne, surface or shore-based targets. It is capable of controlling all in-service naval guns, using a long range thermal imager and daylight TV camera to provide 24 hour automatic target detection, acquisition, identification and tracking. It uses a mid-wave (3-5µ) thermal imager with zoom optics, a colour TV camera which also has zoom optics and an eye-safe, high repetition rate laser range finder and has been designed to operate through a dedicated standalone console or as a fully integrated element of a multi-function console based combat system. It can be fully integrated with the ship’s radar displays, so that it can slew to search radar contact indications.

As well as the Irish Naval Service, SEA EAGLE is in service with the British, Thai, Omani, and Iraqi Navies and is on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy. Source

2 x 20mm RH 202 Rheinmetall cannons

rh202_20mm_by_aerodog-d5ccgp4Rheinmetall RH 202 20mm canon – Image

Gun Characteristics

Designation Gun:  20 mm/65 (0.8″) MK 20 DM 5
Ship Class Used On Present-day German warships
Date Of Design 1962 (1973 Naval Version)
Date In Service 1974 (Naval Version)
Gun Weight 167.5 lbs. (76 kg)
Gun Length oa 120.9 in (3.070 m)
Bore Length N/A
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 1,000 rounds per minute cyclic


Type Fixed
Weight of Complete Round N/A
Projectile Types and Weights HE-T:  0.3 lbs. (0.134 kg)

AP-T:  0.3 lbs. (0.134 kg)

APDS-T:  0.3 lbs. (0.134 kg)

Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length N/A

Length of Complete Round:  8.4 in (21.3 cm)

Propellant Charge 0.092 lbs. (0.42 kg)
Cartridge 20 x 139 mm NATO
Muzzle Velocity HE-T:  3,440 fps (1,050 mps)

AP-T:  3,600 fps (1,100 mps)

APDS-T:  3,770 fps (1,150 mps)

Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun Ammunition in 200 round belts


Elevation With 0.3 lbs. (0.134 kg) HE Shell
Range @ 45 degrees 2,200 yards (2,000 m) effective

Mount / Turret Data

Designation Rheinmetall single pintle fork mounting:  S 20 and SV 20

Norwegian Single Mounts:  KV-Sk/20

Weight Rheinmetall S 20

  Without gun or ammunition:  617 lbs. (280 kg)

  With gun and 200 rounds ammunition:  948 lbs. (430 kg)

Rheinmetall SV 20



  Without ammunition:  880 lbs. (400 kg)

Elevation Rheinmetall:  -10 / +55 (or +60) degrees

Norwegian:  -15 / +70 degrees

Elevation Rate Manually operated, only
Train 360 degrees
Train Rate Manually operated, only
Gun recoil N/A
Note:  The Norwegian version is based upon the FK20-2 field-gun mounting.  Norway also uses this gun in their coastal defense units to provide protection to larger guns from land and air attacks.


The vessel is also provided with mountings on the main deck and 01 deck for two 12.7mm heavy machine guns (HMGs), and four 7.62mm general purpose machine guns (GPMGs).

2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns (HMGs)

4066327034.jpgImage of HMG is for illustration purpose as no info on actual model

4 x 7.62mm general purpose machine guns (GPMGs)

84b7f7f66eImage of GPMG is for illustration purpose as no info on actual model

Flight deck

14024045029_2c1d9f03e0_b.jpgLÉ Samuel Beckett (P61 | by Debs Alanna Simon Alan – Image

The aft flight deck allows for the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the vessel. The deck area can also accommodate three 20ft containers and is provided with a large 5t crane at a 9.56m radius.


The diesel electric propulsion integrates two 5,440kW Wartsila medium speed diesel engines driving two five-bladed controllable pitch propellers via reduction gearboxes. The power take in (PTI) motor powered by the electrical alternators ensures low speed operation at speeds up to 8kt.

2 x 5,440kW Wartsila medium speed diesel engine




  • for ships


  • medium-speed, propulsion

Power source:

  • diesel


  • turbocharged


  • 4-stroke


  • 3000-4000 hp


  • Min.: 2040 kW (2735.69 hp)
  • Max.: 5440 kW (7295.16 hp)


wby35LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) – Image

The offshore patrol vessel also integrates a 450kW bow thruster and rudders for high manoeuvrability in close quarter positions. The dynamic positioning (DP) system aboard the vessels maintains position and heading. The shipboard electricity is generated by three 630kW alternators, while emergency power is provided by a 320kW generator.

wby26Bow thrusters on LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) – Image

The propulsion system ensures a maximum speed of 23kt. The vessels have a range of 6,000nmi at a cruising speed of 15kt and are capable of conducting autonomous mission for up to 21 days.

Type: Offshore patrol vessel
Displacement: 1,900 tonnes
Length: 90 m (300 ft)
Beam: 14 m (46 ft)
Draught: 3.8 m (12 ft)
Propulsion: Two Wärtsilä medium speed diesel engines (5,440 kW (7,300 hp) each)

450 kW bow thruster

  • Baseline speed 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
  • Economical speed 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Endurance: 21 days
Boats & landing
craft carried:
3 x 8 m (26 ft) RHIB
Capacity: 3 x 6.1 m (20 ft) sea container, 1 x 5 ton, 9.56 m (31.4 ft) crane aft
Complement: 44 + up to 10 trainees
Sensors and
processing systems:
Fire control: Electro Optical
Aviation facilities: UAV only

Table source

Main material source

China Will Hold its Fire in the South China Sea — Until September

logo (7)

July 30, 2016

Over at the Washington Post, acclaimed columnist David Ignatius takes on the always tumultuous tides roiling the South China Sea. Ignatius points out the scope of Beijing’s defeat in the recent international court case brought by Manila, noting that while most that follow professionally this important part of the world were of the collective mind China would lose in some fashion, but no one (myself included) thought Beijing would lose so badly. Score one for the “rules-based international order.”

But it’s what happens next that is key. And to be clear, China will respond — and respond with a vengeance.

However, as Ignatius points out, at least for now, while Beijing has only stepped up the rhetoric and seems content to take selfies of its bombers over what could be its next island reclamation project in the South China Sea, the hotly contested Scarborough Shoal, China is not exactly in a position to respond — at least not right now. But come September, the timing could not be any better for what could be a big reaction that the world might not even notice.

G-20 Summit + A Presidential Election = A Time of Troubles for Asia:

Why the delayed response you ask? The timing for a forceful reaction, at least in a strategic sense, is far from ideal.

Remember, Beijing is set to host the G-20 Summit for the first time on September 4-5 in the city of Hangzhou. Always looking to enhance its status as a rising superpower as well as play the part that China is the ultimate partner nation and never one to start trouble, Beijing will follow a carefully well scripted playbook in the South China Sea — lots of fiery talk and signaling, but no escalatory steps for the time being. China would not want to risk having any drama at this prestigious gathering — beyond what could occur already when it comes to tensions in Asia. Why rock the boat and lose face? Now is simply not the time for a squabble. I would argue Beijing has every incentive to hold its fire until after the summit.

But the plot thickens from there, adding more reason to the argument that Beijing is holding back for the right time to respond. Why not take advantage of the daily media drama show that is the US Presidential election cycle and save any escalatory moves in the South China Sea so they simply get buried in the news cycle?

There could not be a better time to start trouble in the South China Sea, at a time when the United States—truly the only nation that could really deter Beijing from troublemaking — will be very much distracted in the business of selecting its next Commander-in-Chief. American as well as global media will be very much focused on the battles to come between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, whether it’s the upcoming presidential debates or the latest scandal of the day.

Even if China were to declare a South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) or start reclamation work at Scarborough Shoal, there is a good chance it would get much less coverage when the world is following the every tweet, speech and controversy over the race for the White House. So for China, that might just be the best time to pounce, when the world’s collective gaze is simply somewhere else.

We must also consider this: with a change of power looming in America and uncertainty over who will win as well as additional uncertainty over what their positions will be when it comes to Asia, Beijing might gamble now is the time to move. It might also feel it could get away with a little more drama now against an Obama administration that wants to leave its time in office not embroiled in a crisis in Asia. As they say, timing is everything.

A Time to Prepare:

For China, there might not be a better time to raise tensions and cement their claims in the South China Sea. Oh what Beijing will you do? Or maybe a better question: are the nations around the South China Sea and in the greater Indo-Pacific region preparing? It seems they should.

Harry J. Kazianis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Center for the National Interest and Senior Editor at The National Interest Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter: @Grecianformula.

This first appeared in AsiaTimes here.

Original post


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Will Japan Become The Next Big Military Superpower?

America’s rising danger of imperial overstretch

How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History

Expanding Chinese Naval Power

By Lt Col Avinash Chandra
Issue Net Edition | Date : 06 Aug , 2015


After American withdrawal from Philippines a void was created in South-China sea region which gave opportunity to China to seize it and slowly increase and strengthen its naval presence. China is world’s second largest importer of oil and oil constitutes 70% mainstay of Chinese industries, home produced coal accounts for other 30%. Chinese oil passes through Africa and Gulf region and their sea line of communication extends from Chinese mainland to Port of Sudan.

Chinese naval vessels heavily patrol South-China Sea. The choke points along this long sea route are Strait of Mended, Strait of Malacca, Strait of Hermuz and Lambok Strait. Chinese ambitious Geo political strategically plans are gaining access and controlling ports and air fields, modernize and increase People’s Liberation Army and Navy [PLAN], increase number of partners and strengthen diplomatic and bilateral ties with them, increase naval presence in South- China sea and Indian ocean. The ..

Read rest of article


HAL flies upgraded Mirage-2000 successfully

According to The Times of India

TNN | Jul 31, 2016, 03.17 AM IST

Bengaluru: Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) flew the upgraded final operational configuration (FOC) Mirage-2000 on Thursday, a day ahead of schedule.

 The first flight of 45 minutes was piloted by Group Captain (retd) C Subramaniam, Chief Test Pilot, HAL, and Wing Commander Haldikar of ASTE, IAF. Group Captain Mishra of IAF was the test director. “It proves HAL’s capability of mid-life upgrade of platforms to overcome obsolescence issues, enhance the reliability and maintainability of these aircraft. The introduction of state-of-the-art facility created for this project ensures timely upgradation of the Mirage fleet,” HAL CMD T Suvarna Raju said.

The FOC design was implemented on an Initial Operational Configured aircraft which was received at HAL eight months ago. The IOC was designed by Dassault and Thales of France. “The FOC configuration covers integration of Indian specific weapons and electronic warfare system,”a statement said.

Original post


MIRAGE 2000 upgrade infographicImage

Mirage 2000: Details

Meet Russia’s Tank 2.0, Machine Able to Defend Itself Against Anti-Tank Missiles


15:04 30.07.2016(updated 15:07 30.07.2016)

Russia could be reviewing the possibility of ditching the traditional tank in favor of a machine “that is much more capable of defending itself against missile-equipped infantry and engaging other vehicles at stand-off ranges with anti-tank missiles,” according to Russian expert on defense policy Ruslan Pukhov.

“We discovered that no matter how skillful the crew, the tank would get up to ten hits,” Pukhov, the Director of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) told the Washington-based Center for the National Interest, US foreign policy think tank, on Tuesday.

“Even if you have perfect armor — active, passive. In one case it will save you from one hit, in another case from two hits, but you’ll still get five hits and you’re done. That’s why now you’re supposed to have some kind of Tank 2.0,” said the Russian expert.

Russia’s Tank 2.0 is not the state-of-the-art T-14 Armata, as some might think, but, as Pukhov put it, “what Russians call among themselves — Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov [Tank Support Fighting Machine].”

In fact it’s not a tank support machine but an entirely new type of tank in its own right, a machine which can protect itself.

“So there is a serious debate about it,” the expert explained.

Pukhov further explained to the defense editor of The National Interest magazine, published by the think tank, that in previous eras tanks were more or less protected against weapons like rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles, the latest generation of those weapons however can punch through even the toughest armor.

“That’s why we have the concept of the Tank 2.0,” the magazine quotes the Russian expert as saying.

“We have a prototype of this machine that’s called the fighting vehicle to support tank attack — Terminator.”

Appropriately nicknamed “the Terminator,” these fearsome vehicles sport a turret with two 30-millimeter 2A42 automatic cannons and four Ataka missile launchers. Further, the BMPT has a 7.62-millimeter machine gun next to the main guns and two AG-17D automatic grenade launchers in the hull.

There have been two versions of the Terminator concept that have been developed thus far  on the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank.

However earlier in April, Oleg Sienko, a senior manager with the manufacturer,  Uralvagonzavod Corporation, told RIA Novosti that Russia also plans to develop its tank support fighting vehicle dubbed the Terminator-3 based on the country’s latest Armata tanks.

The vehicle was designed based on combat experience gained during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the First Chechen War.

he Russian military then realized that  its earlier-model BMP fighting vehicles suffered from thin armor and too few weapons.

During those wars, Russia’s foes hid in mountains or in the upper floors of buildings. As the armored vehicles passed, rebels would shoot down and blow them up  – and the vehicles couldn’t aim high enough to shoot back.

In 2005, the Russian military began testing out a small number of Terminators. They could shoot at high angles. Plus, the vehicles had heavier armored derived from the T-72 tank.

As of late 2013, the only operator of the BMPT was Kazakhstan.

Reports suggested that Russia appears to have foregone procurement of the BMPT in favor of the T-15 IFV based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform to fill the role.

If and when the Terminator is ultimately fielded, the vehicle would be able to engage large groups of massed infantry in built-up areas with a combination of missiles and automatic cannon fire.

“We need it badly. Believe it or not, we’re not going to project force, we need to protect our territory,” Pukhov stated.

Original post


BMPT-72 Terminator 2 Tank: Details


Rafael “SPICE 1000” New Ammunition for the IAF


Tuesday Jul 26, 2016 – 00:58 UTC

Rafael’s SPICE 1000 EO/GPS-guided munitions are to be adopted by the Israeli Air Force as the weapon enters into its final development stage. Integration will take place on all fighter squadrons with F-16C/D “Barak” aircraft first in line. Features of Spice include being camera operated with real time maneuver and response abilities when facing fixed and mobile targets.


New SPICE: New Ammunition for the IAF

Release date 17.07.2016

The IAF operates various munitions adapted to its different missions and aircraft. It is now permitted to publicize that the force is expected to soon receive a new bomb manufactured by “Rafael” Systems, which is expected to bring new technological and operational tidings

Shachar Zorani | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida

“SPICE 1000”, a new munition manufactured by “Rafael” is currently in the final stages of development and is expected to enter operational use in the IAF soon. It is expected to be integrated in all of the fighter squadrons in the force and the first to operate it will be the “Barak” (F-16C/D) aircraft.

Spice 1000, is an advanced electro-optic munition which will bring new abilities and technological progress to the IAF. “The munition is a quantum leap in our operational ability, a fact that is reflected in its deep penetration abilities, its immunity from threats and it precision”, said Capt. Tomer from the Guided Munitions Department in the Air Staff. “It has improved software and algorithmic and advanced identification and processing abilities”.

As stated, the Spice 1000 bomb is camera operated and has real time maneuver and response abilities when facing fixed and mobile targets. “The munition adjusts itself to the new battlefield, to the various threats and the changing theatre”, stated Avi Danon, the project and development manager in “Rafael”, and Capt. Tomer confirms: “It has a range that we haven’t seen in the IAF in munition of this magnitude”.

Operational and Economical Advantage

Authorities in the IAF and in “Rafael” testify that the development process that lasted three years, succeeded by means of cooperation and discussion between the sides. Along the way, many tests were performed and different considerations were made in accordance with the operational requirements and needs.

“The development was escorted by a wide observation of all of the users”, testified Maj. Farhan Tarif, who is responsible for the integration of the munition in the Material Directorate. Maj. Farhan also shared that the munition is built to shorten the work time and quicken the “rotation process” – the time it takes from the moment the aircraft lands until it is armed and takes off again. “Much consideration was performed in order to fit the munition to the work in the cockpit and make the operating interface comfortable and flexible”, Capt. Tomer added.

Alongside the operational advantage the munition holds, it also creates an economical advantage based on the Israeli industry and accumulation of economic capital and knowledge. “The development project alongside ‘Rafael’ was challenging and interesting”, concluded Maj. Farhan. “It was very important to us to stay on schedule and still maintain high quality and uncompromising performance”.

Original  post


Spice 1000 Guided Weapon

521Rafael’s Spice 1000 guided weapon carries a 500 kg (1,000 pound) Mk 83 warhead. It is capable of attacking targets at ranges extended beyond 60 km. Photo: Rafael

Spice has been adapted to a number of standard warheads, from Mk-84/BLU-109 (900 kg, 2000 lbs), Mk-83/BLU-110 (450 kg, 1000 lbs) general purpose bombs. The weapon has recently been adapted now to 113 kg (250 lbs) pound small smart bombs (SSB) that are increasingly preferred by airforces due to their lower collateral damage.

The kit uses an imaging seeker for navigation and terminal homing. The system uses image matching techniques giving the weapon a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of less than three meters. Spice can be loaded with 100 optional targets in a given area. In addition to the passive image-based navigation the kit also includes Global Positioning Satellite / Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) navigation for reference and backup. But the main sensor of the Spice is the CCD/IIR dual seeker that provides pinpoint accuracy and positive target identification and according to Rafael , overcomes target location error and GPS jamming. 

scene_match650This scene matching example shows the correlation between the target pointed by the reference image (left) and the target picked by the weapon’s computer during a flight test. Photo: RAFAEL

The Kit’s automatic target acquisition capability is based on a unique scene-matching technology that can handle scenery changes, counter-measures, navigation errors and target location errors. The technology is based on the continuous comparison of  a real-time image received from the dual CCD/IIR seeker with a reference image stored in the weapon’s computer.

The basic kit includes a strap-on forward guidance section and fixed, stubby wings and tail fins aft of the main charge, heaviest Spice uses the MK-84 (2000 pounds) general purpose bomb, with a flatter trajectory the Spice kit extends the weapon’s range beyond 60 km. This version is operational in the israeli airforce and was used in combat. Another kit has been adapted to Mk-83 (1000 pounds) bombs, featuring a wing-set that further extends the weapon range beyond 100 km. The Spice’s deployable wings allow an aircraft to carry more bombs. The latest addition of the SSB type weapon enables a single F-16 to carry up to 16 small smart bombs. Source


All Royal Navy’s Advanced Destroyers In Port


A source tells Sky News the six Type 45 Destroyers are “just back from operations, about to go, or being maintained”.

Saturday 30 July 2016

The entire fleet of the Royal Navy’s most advanced warships are currently in port and not on operations, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

A photograph showing the vessels docked in Portsmouth was published by the website UK Defence Journal.

A source told Sky News that the ships had either “just got back from operations, are about to go on operations, or are having planned maintenance done”.

But another senior figure said it was “almost unprecedented” that all the ships should be in port and “it either showed a gross lack of planning or was indicative of something more serious”.

The Type 45 Destroyers are primarily designed for an air defence role.

Their advanced radars are capable of scanning the skies around to detect and engage enemy aircraft. But recently the fleet has experienced serious engineering issues.

This is the latest embarrassment to beset the fleet.

All six ships, worth £1bn each, need to be refitted with new engines after some of them broke down.

This work is due to being in 2019 and the MoD has guaranteed it will not affect operational capabilities.

It will put a further strain on the Royal Navy, which has been considerably cut in size in recent years, and it will put into doubt the safety of the new aircraft carriers which will rely on the Type 45s for security.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “This week the Royal Navy had over 8,500 personnel deployed on operations around the world and 34 ships at sea.

“All Type 45 Destroyers are currently in port as they have either just returned from operations, or are about to be deployed, are conducting training or carrying out maintenance or are home for crew to take summer leave.”

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