Daily Archives: December 14, 2016

F-35 still an option – Canada

Canada, cool on the F-35, says Lockheed jet still an option

Mon Dec 12, 2016 | 6:07pm EST

By David Ljunggren and Leah Schnurr | OTTAWA

Canada will still consider Lockheed Martin Inc’s (LMT.N) F-35 in an open competition for fighter jets, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday, despite domestic and foreign criticism about the program’s cost.

Earlier on Monday, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the cost of Lockheed’s F-35 program was “out of control.”

A source familiar with the fighter jet replacement effort said Canadian officials found Trump’s remark interesting but were not drawing too many conclusions.

“Because the president-elect sends a tweet, is the price a couple of years from now of an F-35 really going to be dramatically different?” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Canada’s ruling Liberals won an election last year on a promise not to buy F-35s because the planes were too expensive. Trudeau told Parliament that the former Conservative government had “clung to a plane that does not work and is far from being able to work.”

But the Liberal government has since softened its position and said this year that all suppliers could bid to replace its aging fighter CF-18 jet fleet.

Still, Canada snubbed Lockheed last month when it unveiled plans to buy 18 Boeing Corp (BA.N) Super Hornets as a stop-gap measure while it started the fighter jet competition over again. Officials said the contest could take five years.

“It’s an open and transparent competition we’re going to be engaged in and the various aircraft and aircraft producers will have an opportunity to make their best case,” Trudeau told a news conference when asked whether Canada might be more likely to opt for the F-35 if the costs fell.

Pressed as to how vindicated he felt by Trump’s comments, Trudeau declined to answer directly.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, asked about the potential impact of the F-35 becoming cheaper, told reporters on Monday that “we are going to be making sure that we get the right aircraft and making sure it’s the right price.”

The previous Conservative government announced in 2010 it would buy 65 F-35s but reversed itself after an official probe savaged the way the decision had been made.

Kim Richard Nossal, a Queen’s University political studies professor and author of a 2016 book on Canadian defense procurement, said it was likely Ottawa would still buy the F-35 in five years’ time because of concerns around future production of the Super Hornet.

Lockheed Martin said it understood concerns about affordability, noting its goal was to reduce the price of the F-35 by 60 percent from original estimates.

Canada is staying in the nine-nation consortium that helped fund development of the F-35. Lockheed Martin said in June it was studying whether to shift work on the plane away from Canadian firms amid uncertainty over Ottawa’s intentions.

Canadian firms will account for development and production work on the F-35 program worth about US$1 billion by the end of 2016, the company said.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Grant McCool)

Original post reuters.com

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Related post:

Liberals changed fighter jet requirement, says air force commander

Current Canada’s CF-18fighter jets can still fly past 2025

Liberals’ fighter jet plan ‘worst possible option,’ ex-procurement head says – thestar.com

Boeing met federal officials 7 times as often as Lockheed Martin in lead-up to fighter deal – cbc.ca

Liberals issue gag order to 235 military personnel, bureaucrats in fighter jet details

First it was Trudeau, now it is Trump – Lockheed Martin has its hands full on the F-35 front

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F18 Super Hornetce2bbdda137191b2e9408d7c913e9c29

F-35 Lightning0ace8a87e427e9ec69c45bcd2d653e8e

Bulgaria issues RFP for new fighter

14 DECEMBER, 2016  SOFIA

The Bulgarian ministry of defence has issued a request for proposals to the potential suppliers of a new fighter for the air force.

The RFP was presented to four countries on 9 December, namely Italy, Portugal, the USA and Sweden, which have until March 2017 to submit their bids.

Bulgaria will purchase its fighter through a government-to-government agreement with one of the countries, and the proposals will be prepared by the governments together with the respective manufacturers.

A selection is expected in mid-2017, at which point the selection will have to be put before parliament for approval. This process could be undertaken within 2017, but it is more likely that it will not happen before 2018.

Portugal and the USA are expected to submit a combined proposal for used Lockheed Martin F-16A/B fighters upgraded to the mid-life upgrade (MLU) Block 15 standard. This will use F-16s held in storage, which could be supplied from the USA, with upgrade and refurbishment to be undertaken at Portugal’s OGMA.

The logistics and weapons package would be supplied from the USA through its foreign military sales channels, in the same way it was done when the type was sold to Romania.

Italy’s proposal will comprise used Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoons taken from the existing Italian air force inventory.

The only new-build aircraft being pitched is from Sweden, in the form of the Saab Gripen C/D.

Israel Aerospace Industries was offering surplus F-16C/D Block 30s to Sofia, but this was overlooked ahead of the release of the RFP, because Bulgaria wanted a NATO or EU system.

Bulgaria has allocated a budget of €767 million ($815 million) for the procurement of a minimum of eight multi-role fighters, together with logistics and weapons.

The Bulgarian ministry of defence’s eventual plans call for the purchase of 16 fighters, but due to budget shortages, the programme has been divided into two phases, the first of which is underway.

The second phase, set to be undertaken between 2022 and 2023, will include the purchase of eight more fighters, for which the budget is yet to be approved.

Meanwhile, a long-delayed investment in the maintenance of the air force’s MiG-29 fleet has resulted in the award of two support contracts.

Sofia-based company Aviostart, acting as a representative of the aircraft’s OEM, RSK MiG, was awarded a contract to deliver four new and six second-hand Klimov RD-33 series 2 engines at a total price of €21 million. The first two overhauled engines are set for delivery in April 2017.

The same company was also selected to deliver seven brand-new KSA-2 accessory gearboxes under a €11 million deal, with a contract expected to be inked by year-end.

by Alexander Mladenov and Krassimir Grozev

Original post flightglobal.com

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Related post:

Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry may change criteria for jet fighter acquisition favoring F-16

Bulgaria Is Ready with Tender Requirements for New Type of Fighter for Its Air Force

Bulgaria requests surplus F-16s from Portugal

Bulgarian Parliament Approves Plan to Buy Fighter Jets, Warships

Bulgaria Launches Public Tender for Purchase of Ten MiG-29 Engines

List of active Bulgarian military aircraft

Bulgarian Air Force

Current inventory

Type Origin Role Introduced In service Notes
MiG-29  Soviet Union Multirole   9[1][2]  
Sukhoi Su-25K  Soviet Union Attack   12[1]  
Airbus A319  Germany Transport   1[3] VIP transport
Dassault Falcon 2000  France Transport   1[3] VIP transport
Pilatus PC-12   Switzerland Transport / utility   1[1]  
Alenia C-27J Spartan  Italy Transport   3[1]  
Antonov An-30  Soviet Union Patrol   1[1]  
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar  France Transport   12[1] Helicopter. 2 on order[1]
Mil Mi-24  Soviet Union Attack   1[4] Helicopter.
Mil Mi-17  Soviet Union Transport   4[1] Helicopter.
Bell 206 JetRanger  United States Utility   2[1] Helicopter.
Aero L-39ZA Albatros  Czechoslovakia Trainer   3[1] Jet.
Pilatus PC-9   Switzerland Trainer   5[1]
Bell 206 JetRanger  United States Trainer   4[1] 2 on order[1]

Bulgarian Navy

Type Origin Role Introduced In service Notes
AS565  France utility / SAR   3[1] Helicopter

Source wikiwand.com

F-16C/DDutchF16Edw2006

Gripen C/D291211_Swedish_Saab_Gripen

Eurofighter Typhoonorig_Eurofighter_Typhoon_Flight

Turkish Leopard blown up in Syria by ATGM (Pics)

There goes the so called “Worlds Best Tank” Kaput!

There are 2 tanks in the picture the one hit is the tank at the top

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Indonesian Leopard 2RI

The Leopard 2RI (Republic Indonesia) is a version of the Leopard 2A4 MBT upgraded by Rheinmetall with parts of their Revolution package. The first prototype of the Leopard 2RI was presented at Eurosatory 2014, but the final configuration has still changed after.

4fkxcapImage: Armored Warfare

It seems that the ROSY smoke screen system has not been adopted and a different types of headlights and driver night vision camera have been chosen for the final configuration. Another change comapred to the older configuration might be made to the hull – the current Leopard 2RI appears to lack any sort of specialized mine protection kit, which according to older sources was part of the Leopard 2RI at Eurosatory 2014.

leo2RI-1-e1448255359284.jpgLeopard 2RI inside Rheinmetall’s facilities –  Image: below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com
Aside of the addition of AMAP composite armor designed by the German company IBD, the Leopard 2RI also features electric turret drives instead of the previous hydraulic ones and an air-conditioning unit. The gun brakes have been improved, allowing the tank to fire the current generation of high-pressure APFSDS ammunition. The fire control system has been improved to allow firing programmable HE ammunition. Overall the Leopard 2RI should weigh slightly less than sixty metric tons, based on lacking a few features of the sixty tons Leopard 2 Evolution (IBD’s armor testbed, on which Rheinmetall based it’s Revolution tank).
Except for the additional armor modules, all changes have also been made to the Leopard 2A4+, the Indonesian version of the Leopard 2A4.
mbt-demo-and-indo-mbt-croppedMBT Technologieträger and Leopard 2RI – Image: below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com
The Leopard 2RI was also presented at the Rheinmetall Land Forces Symposium 2016 in Germany. It was located next to the current version of the MBT Technologieträger, a testbed based on Rheinmetall’s Leopard 2 Revolution.
The MBT Technologieträger is showing what Rheinmetall currently can offer for a tank upgrade and is also used for testing new parts. At the Land Forces Symposium 2016 the tank was shown for the first time with a thermal camouflage/cover – it is not exactly known if this is SAAB’s Barracuda MCS, the current market leading product, or based on the AMAP-S thermal cover manufactured by Rheinmetall. An interesting change compared to the previous version of the Technologieträger is the missing remote weapon station.
ckxm8hjImage: Armored Warfare

The MBT Technologieträger can show future upgrade options for the Leopard 2RI. Compared to it, Rheinmetall’s demonstrator includes the longer-barreled L55 tank gun, superior optics with third general thermal imagers, the ROSY smoke screen system, the ADS active hardkill protection system, an APP and a 360° surveillance system with day and night sights.

*Note some images differ from actual post

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I tried to search for Leopard 2A4+ and found out that it is actually the LEOPARD 2 RI (Republic of Indonesia) model. Source monch.com

Seems the LEOPARD 2 RI is lacking many features but may be upgraded in future.

Not included on LEOPARD 2 RI (Republic of Indonesia)

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1. ROSY smoke screen system (not included)

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The unique 40mm Rosy_L smoke protection system offers light military and civilian vehicles protection from unexpected attacks, e.g. during patrols or when travelling in convoys. Unlike the conventional smoke protection systems in use, Rosy_L is able to generate dynamic smoke screens as well as spontaneous, large-area and multispectral interruption of the line of sight (LOS). Moreover, its multimission capability represents a sure defence against stream and wave attacks. Due to its integrated IR jamming and decoying capabilities, Rosy_L effectively counters all TV-, EO-, IR-, IIR-, laser- and SACLOS-guided weapons. Rosy_L comprises a basic system with a control device and one to four ROSY launchers per vehicle. By means of a one-click adapter, the system can be quickly mounted to the vehicle without tools, and just as quickly removed and stowed.

The latest version of Rosy is the modular Rosy_Mod. It is designed for small weapon stations and light vehicles of the kind used by special operations forces. Rosy_Mod is integrated directly into the vehicle without a surface-mounted launcher, thus making it undetectable. Source rheinmetall-defence.com

2. Specialized mine protection kit

3. L55 tank gun

4. Modern optics with third general thermal imagers

5. ADS active hardkill protection system

6. APP 

7.360° surveillance system with day and night sights

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Stridsvagn 121 and 122 – Swedish version: Here

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Indonesia’s Armor

Indonesia’s order covers 103 Leopard 2 tanks, 42 Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles, and 11 engineering vehicles divided roughly evenly between Armored Recovery Vehicles to tow tanks out of trouble, Mobile bridge-layers, and AEV armored engineering vehicles. The IFVs are from German Army stocks, and reports suggest that the tanks will be second hand as well. This may be why reports have mentioned or shown the Leopard 2A4 variant for Indonesia, even though recent sales to Qatar and Saudi Arabia have involved the 2A7 variant. Rheinmetall’s Leopard MBT Revolution kit has also been mentioned, with extra armor, 360 degree visibility from mounted sensors, and other changes designed to adapt the tanks for urban warfare and counter-insurgency. The ARVs, AEVs, and bridge-layers are expected to be based on the Leopard 2 chassis, and the used Marders are likely to see a few upgrades before shipment.

The new vehicles will represent a big upgrade in both firepower and defensive protection. Indonesia currently fields about 100 British FV101 Scorpion 90 light tanks, and 70 or so related Stormer APCs and specialty vehicles. 300 aged French AMX-13 light tanks accompany the Scorpions as high-caliber firepower, and they’re accompanied by 200 AMX-VTT armed personnel carrier derivatives. The AMX-13 tanks are a 1950s era design, but they’re also uniquely light at just 14.5t, which improves waterborne carriage options and helps in soft terrain. Indonesia is the tank’s largest user, and its neighbor Singapore remains the 2nd largest. By comparison, the Marder infantry carriers Indonesia is receiving are double the AMX-13’s weight, and Leopard 2A4s are almost 4x heavier at over 55t.

geo_indonesia_army_commands_kodam_davidelit_gfd1-2_lgIndonesia Army Command – Image: defenseindustrydaily.com

Beyond its tracked vehicle fleet, a range of about 200 lighter armored cars round out Indonesia’s mechanized forces, plus over 150 locally made Pindad “Anoa” wheeled APCs that are used at home. A smaller set of French VAB wheeled APCs are used for foreign deployments.

There are some concerns within Indonesia that the new heavy armor will be too heavy for Indonesian roads and infrastructure, and questionably suited to its terrain. Indonesia’s fragmented geography is a challenging place to use tanks in any event, and the TNI-AD is forced to scatter its armored battalions across multiple islands. The Leopards and Marders don’t have to be suited to all of them, as long as they can find useful employment in a couple of places.

It’s worth noting that Singapore, the world’s 2nd largest user of AMX-13 tanks, bought Leopard 2A4 tanks in 2006.

Contracts

Nov 13/13: Contract valid. A Rheinmetall release offers key details of the actual deal, which “now comes into full force following the successful completion of all legal formalities.” The EUR 216 million deal involves:

“103 thoroughly overhauled and modernized Leopard 2 main battle tanks… 42 upgraded Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles and 11 various armoured recovery and engineering vehicles, plus [support and]…. an initial supply of practice and service ammunition.”

At least some vehicles have already been delivered to Indonesia, as Leopard 2A4s and Marder 1A3s have already appeared in a Jakarta military parade on Oct 5/13, as envisaged. Remaining deliveries will take place from 2014 – 2016. Sources: Rheinmetall Defence , “Indonesia orders tracked armoured vehicles from Rheinmetall worth around €216 million”.

Original post defenseindustrydaily.com

 

Pakistan now Operates 70 JF-17 Fighter Jets

Confirmed: Pakistan Air Force now Operates 70 JF-17 Fighter Jets

The new number was released by Pakistan’s National Assembly in early December.

By Franz-Stefan Gady

December 13, 2016

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) operates a total of 70 Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense Production revealed in Islamabad on December 7, according to local media reports.

The PAF now fields about an equal number of JF-17 and U.S.-made F-16 multirole fighter aircraft of all variants. (After U.S. lawmakers stalled financing for an additional eight F-16C/D Block-52 fighter aircraft, Pakistan is now mulling the purchase of eight used F-16s from the Royal Jordanian Air Force.)

The JF-17, first inducted into the PAF in 2011, is a lightweight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft, powered by a Russian-designed-but-Chinese-built Klimov RD-93 (a RD-33 derivative) turbofan, capable of reaching a top speed of Mach 1.6. The aircraft allegedly has an operational range of around 1,200 kilometers (745 miles).

In total, the PAF plans to acquire 150 JF-17s over the next years divided into three production blocks: Block-I, Block II, and Block-III. So far, the PAF has only received Block-I and Block-II variants of the aircraft.  50 out of the 70 JF-17 in service are of the Block-I variant. The PAF last inducted 16 Block-II JF-17s in April.

As I noted elsewhere, according to the chief of air staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Pakistan achieved its goal of producing 16 JF-17 Thunder aircraft in 2015 and wants to produce a total number of 24 Block-II JF-17 aircraft by the end of 2016. Next to carrying a heavier weapons payload, Block-II variants feature a new air-to-air refueling probe, an enhanced oxygen system, and an improved electronic countermeasures system, among other things.

Pakistan produces 58 percent of the airframe and China 42 percent respectively. Islamabad has the capacity to assemble up to 25 JF-17s per year without Beijing’s technical assistance. However, as I noted in April 2015, according to Chinese and Pakistani media reports, China agreed to deliver 110 JF-17s to Pakistan in fly-away condition due to Pakistan’s still limited aircraft manufacturing capacity.

The JF-17 was originally developed to to replace the PAF’s aging fleet of Dassault Mirage III/5 fighter jets by 2o20. “Pakistan is looking to replace 190 aircraft—primarily Chengdu F-7 and Dassault Mirage III/5 fighter jets—by 2020 presumably with a mixture of F-16 and JF-17 aircraft. Pakistan, however, is also allegedly in talks with Russia over the purchase of Su-35 multi-role fighters,” I reported in April (See: “China and Pakistan Air Forces Launch Joint Training Exercise”).

China and Pakistan are also developing a combat-capable two-seat trainer variant of the JF-17, which likely will make its maiden flight in the coming weeks.

Original post thediplomat.com

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“In total, the PAF plans to acquire 150 JF-17s over the next years divided into three production blocks: Block-I, Block II, and Block-III. So far, the PAF has only received Block-I and Block-II variants of the aircraft.  50 out of the 70 JF-17 in service are of the Block-I variant. The PAF last inducted 16 Block-II JF-17s in April.”

Related post:

Russia Not in Talks With Pakistan for Su-35

Pakistan has shown interest in acquiring J-20 stealth fighter

AZERBAIJAN REKINDLES INTEREST IN THE JF-17 THUNDER

Will Kuwait PurchasePakistan’s New Fighter Jet?

Pakistan Seeks Greater Indigenization for Next Air Force Fighter

Azerbaijan Wants in on JF-17s

Nigeria To Buy JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets From Pakistan For $25M

Following Myanmar, Pakistan is Eager to Sell More JF-17s

Pakistan, China in pact to keep JF-17 tech away from US, India: report

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