Daily Archives: February 10, 2017

SAAB has offered to build the world’s most modern fighter aircraft factory in India

Saab pitches modern combat jet plant in India in two-horse race with Lockheed

Fri Feb 10, 2017 | 1:44pm GMT

By Sanjeev Miglani | NEW DELHI

Sweden’s SAAB (SAABb.ST) has offered to build the world’s most modern fighter aircraft factory in India, it said on Friday, as it goes head-to-head with U.S. rival Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) to supply hundreds of locally produced planes to India’s military.

Saab’s pitch for its Gripen E aircraft comes a day after Lockheed said it is pushing ahead with its proposal to transfer the production line of its F-16 fighter to India, even though it understands that President Donald Trump’s administration may want to take a fresh look at such plans.

The race to supply the Indian Air Force with an estimated 200 to 250 fighter planes over the next decade has narrowed to Saab and Lockheed after the Indian defense ministry floated an initial request for a single-engine combat plane in October.

“We are offering to set up the world’s most modern (aerospace) ecosystem and facility in India to manufacture the Gripen for India and the global market,” Kent-Ake Molin, Gripen’s product sales director, told reporters.

Saab was in talks with nearly 100 aerospace and defense firms in India to provide components for the production of the plane which would lay the industrial base for India to design, develop and build future fighters.

“What we are offering is a futuristic, new generation plane and not one that is the reaching the end of its life and is being replaced by air forces around the world,” Molin said, in a dig at the F-16.

Lockheed has offered to build the F-16 Block 70 in India which it said was the newest and most advanced version of the plane that is flying with the air forces of 25 countries around the world.

It said the proposed Indian facility for making the F-16s would be the only one in the world as the existing plant in Fort Worth, Texas switches to producing the fifth generation F-35 for the U.S. Air Force.

The Indian government is expected to decide between the two bidders some time this year to meet the urgent needs of the air force.

A defense ministry official said the process was at an early stage. Defence procurement almost always takes years in India, although Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has promised the military faster modernization.

Last September, India signed a deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France for around 7.8 billion euros ($8.30 billion), the country’s first major acquisition of fighter planes for two decades.

However, it trimmed back a planned larger order for Rafales after the two sides failed to agree on costs and local production terms, and India is now looking to other manufacturers to fill its remaining need for new fighters.

Trump’s criticism of U.S. auto and drug companies moving manufacturing overseas and then selling goods back to the United States has raised concern of a potential impact on Lockheed’s offer to India, although in this case the factory would supply the Indian military rather than export to the United States.

Both Saab and Lockheed are participating in India’s biggest air show opening in Bengaluru next week, hosted by the Indian defense ministry.

(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Adrian Croft)

Original post reuters.com

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Saab was in talks with nearly 100 aerospace and defense firms in India to provide components for the production of the plane which would lay the industrial base for India to design, develop and build future fighters.

“What we are offering is a futuristic, new generation plane and not one that is the reaching the end of its life and is being replaced by air forces around the world,” Molin said, in a dig at the F-16.

Related post:

Lockheed says U.S. may take “fresh look” at its India F-16 plan

Showdown Gripen vs F-16 fighters at Aero India show 2017

Focus will be on single engine aircrafts at Aero India 2017

India released detailed RFI for procurement of 57 Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF)

Indian navy shopping for new carrier-borne fighters

India considering an additional 36 Dassault Rafales

India wants firm commitment whether the agreement will allow commercial production and exports of FGFA Project

India and Russia in discussion to set up local manufacturing of spare parts

India start bids to select a foreign single-engine fighter

India needs 200 medium-weight fighters in the next 5 to 10 years

Saab will make India net exporter of fighter jet if it wins single-engined jet contract

Boeing wants to build Super Hornets in India. Should St. Louis worry?

Saab Gripen E: Details

F-16 E/F Block 60: Details

F-16V Fighter – Upgrade: Details

f-16-brimstone-mbdainc

Estonia will join Finland in purchasing used K9 Thunder

Estonia partners with Finland for K9 howitzer buy

By Ryan Maass   |      Feb. 9, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Feb. 9 (UPI) — Estonia will join Finland in purchasing used K9 Thunder howitzers from the government of South Korea, defense officials confirmed.

Finland has been in talks with South Korea for a couple of years to procure heavy artillery assets to replace its Soviet-era arsenal. The country’s army tested the K9 in late 2016, when Finnish defense minister Jussi Niinistö offered Estonia the opportunity to participate in the purchase.

According to Finnish news agency Yle Uutiset, Estonia plans to procure 12 of the weapons. Finland has not disclosed how many howitzers it plans to buy. A final decision on the deal is expected to take place in the middle of February.

Quwa reports Estonia is eyeing the purchase as a deterrent against heightened Russian aggression, and that South Korea is trying to expand its opportunities in the European defense market.

The K9 Thunder is a self-propelled 155mm howitzer developed by South Korea-based contractor Samsung Techwin. The weapon is designed to operate alongside the K10 automatic ammunition resupply vehicle, and can fire at a range 25 miles.

South Korea’s armed forces began operating the K9 in 1999. Additional operators include Poland and India. Norway and Denmark have also expressed interest in procuring the weapon.

Original post upi.com

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Related post:

Good as New! Finland to Buy Second-Hand Howitzers From South Korea

K-9 Thunder: Details

k9-thunder-002

Navy Misses the F-14 Tomcat Air-to-Air Fighter

Navy Misses the F-14 Tomcat Air-to-Air Fighter

DAVE MAJUMDAR

Wednesday at 11:30 PM

The service has not had a dedicated air-to-air combat aircraft since it retired the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in 2006. But even the Tomcat was adapted into a strike aircraft during its last years in service after the Soviet threat evaporated.

Dave Majumdar [2]

The F-35C was never designed to be an air superiority fighter. Indeed, naval planners in the mid-1990s wanted the JSF to be a strike-oriented aircraft with only a 6.5G airframe load limit with very limited air-to-air capability, according to one retired U.S. Navy official. Indeed, some naval planners at the time had discussed retiring the F-14 in favor of keeping the Grumman A-6 Intruder in service. During this period, many officials believed air combat to be a relic of the past in the post-Cold War era. They anticipated most future conflicts to be air-to-ground oriented in those years immediately following the Soviet collapse.

While the requirement for a carrier-based long-range strike capability is a frequent subject of discussion around Washington, the U.S. Navy’s need for improved air superiority capabilities is often neglected.

The service has not had a dedicated air-to-air combat aircraft since it retired the Grumman F-14 Tomcat [3] in 2006. But even the Tomcat was adapted into a strike aircraft during its last years in service after the Soviet threat evaporated. Now, as new threats to the carrier emerge and adversaries start to field new fighters that can challenge the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), attention is starting to shift back to this oft-neglected Navy mission—especially in the Western Pacific.

“Another type of new aircraft required is an air superiority fighter,” states a recent Hudson Institute report titled Sharpening the Spear: The Carrier, the Joint Force, and High-End Conflict [4], which is written by The National Interest contributors Seth Cropsey, Bryan McGrath and Timothy A. Walton. “Given the projection of the Joint Force’s increased demand for carrier-based fighter support, this capability is critical.”

—-This Story Originally Appeared in The National Interest—-

The report notes that both the Super Hornet and the F-35C are severely challenged by new enemy fifth-generation fighter aircraft such as the Russian-built Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA [5] and Chengdu J-20. Indeed, certain current adversary aircraft like the Russian Su-30SM, Su-35S [6] and the Chinese J-11D and J-15 [7] pose a serious threat to the Super Hornet fleet. It’s a view that shared by many industry officials, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and even U.S. Marine Corps aviators. “Both F/A-18E/Fs and F-35Cs will face significant deficiencies against supercruising, long-range, high-altitude, stealthy, large missile capacity adversary aircraft, such as the T-50, J-20, and follow-on aircraft [8],” the authors note. “These aircraft will be capable of effectively engaging current and projected U.S. carrier aircraft and penetrating defenses to engage high value units, such as AEW aircraft, ASW aircraft, and tankers. Already, the F/A-18E/F faces a severe speed disadvantage against Chinese J-11 aircraft, which can fire longer range missiles at a higher kinematic advantage outside of the range of U.S. AIM-120 missiles. [9]”

Nor does the F-35C—which suffers from severely reduced acceleration compared to even the less than stellar performance of other JSF variants—help matters. “Similarly, the F-35C is optimized as an attack fighter, resulting in a medium-altitude flight profile, and its current ability to only carry two AIM- 120 missiles internally [until Block 3] limits its capability under complex electromagnetic conditions,” the authors wrote. “As an interim measure, the Navy and Air Force should significantly accelerate the F-35C’s Block 5 upgrade to enable the aircraft to carry six AIM-120 missiles internally.”

The F-35C was never designed to be an air superiority fighter. Indeed, naval planners in the mid-1990s wanted the JSF to be a strike-oriented aircraft with only a 6.5G airframe load limit with very limited air-to-air capability, according to one retired U.S. Navy official. Indeed, some naval planners at the time had discussed retiring the F-14 in favor of keeping the Grumman A-6 Intruder [10] in service. During this period, many officials believed air combat to be a relic of the past in the post-Cold War era. They anticipated most future conflicts to be air-to-ground oriented in those years immediately following the Soviet collapse. Together with a lack of funding, that’s probably why the Navy never proceeded with its Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) [11] or A/F-X [12] follow-on program.

The Navy’s F/A-XX program could be used to fill the service’s air superiority gap—which has essentially been left open since the F-14’s retirement and the demise of the NATF and A/F-X programs. But the problem is that the Navy is pursuing the F/A-XX as a multirole Super Hornet replacement rather than an air superiority-oriented machine. “The danger in its development is that it suboptimizes the fighter role in the quest for a hybrid fighter/attack jet,” the Hudson Institute report notes. “This would leave the Joint Force without a carrier-based sixth generation air superiority fighter.”

As the Navy’s current director of air warfare, Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, has stated in the past [13], the authors also note that such “an aircraft could feature large passive and active sensor arrays, relatively high cruising speed (albeit not necessarily acceleration), could hold a large internal weapons bay capable of launching numerous missiles, and could have space to adopt future technologies, such as HPM [high-powered microwaves] and lasers. This air superiority asset would contribute to Outer Air Battle integrated air and missile defense requirements and would be capable of countering enemy weapons, aircraft, and sensor and targeting nodes at a distance.”

Outer Air Battle, of course, refers to a Navy concept from the 1980s to fend off a concerted attack by hordes of Soviet Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire bombers, Oscar-class (Project 949A Antey) nuclear-powered guided missile submarines and surface action groups lead by warships like the Kirov-class nuclear-powered battlecruisers—as now deputy defense secretary Bob Work [he was the CEO of the Center for a New American Security at the time] described to me in 2013. These Soviet assets would have launched their arsenals of anti-ship cruise missiles from multiple points of the compass.

As Work described it, the Navy was relatively confident it could sink the Oscars and surface ships before they could launch their missiles. They were far less confident about their ability to take out the Tu-22Ms before they could get into launch position. The Tomcats, under Outer Air Battle, would try to “kill the archers”—the Backfires—before they could shoot and attempt to eliminate any cruise missiles that they launched. But, Work notes, no one knows how well it would have worked during a shooting war with the Soviet Union—and it’s a good thing we never got to find out. But with China’s emerging anti-access/area denial strategy, the threat is back.

While the F/A-XX and the Air Force’s F-X are in their infancy, it has become clear that they will be different aircraft designs that will probably share common technologies. The Navy does seem to be focusing on a more defensive F-14 like concept while [14] the Air Force is looking for a more offensively oriented air superiority platform that could replace the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. “As you’ll see over the coming years, the differences between the primary mission and the likely threats will drive significant differences between the F/A-XX and F-X programs as well as legacy systems like the F-22 and F-35,” one senior defense official told me.

—-This Story Originally Appeared in The National Interest—-

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar [15].

This first appeared in October 2015 and is being reposted due to reader interest. 

Original post scout.com

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F-14 Tomcat

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During the late 1970s the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was widely regarded as the most important aircraft in the US Navy. Only the Tomcat was felt to be capable of defending the Carrier Battle Group from long-range cruise missile carriers, with its unmatched potential to fire off a salvo of up to six ultra long-range Phoenix air-to-air missiles against high- or low-flying targets, and then to deal with any leakers with AIM-9s or the internal 20-mm cannon. However, the credibility of the Phoenix has been dented by a poor showing in combat and trials, while the F-14 still cannot carry today’s leading air-to-air missile the AIM-120 AMRAAM. AIM-54s fired at long range by F-14Ds in two recent, separate engagements at Iraqi MiG-25s and MiG-23s missed their targets.

   The original F-14A (which outnumbers the re-engined F-14B and F-14D) remains severely constrained by the unreliability and limitations of its TF30 engines. The Tomcat’s tactical reconnaissance capability has been enhanced in recent years by the addition of a digital TARPS reconnaissance pod and by the ongoing development of real-time data-links. The US F-14 force began assuming a limited clear-weather attack capability in 1992. Since 1995 the LANTIRN laser designation pod has been integrated across the F-14 fleet, in combination with a basic bight vission compatible cockpit. Work is progressing on integrating GPS-guided munitions, including joint directed air munitions.

b-cockpit-920-131F-14D cockpitrio-cockpitF-14D WSO cockpit

  The F-14 has seen combat during operations over Bosnia and southern Iraq, usually mounting combat air patrols and also flying air-to-ground and reconnaissance sorties.

   All F-14As were replaced by F/A-18E/Fs in 2003, the F-14Bs followed in 2007, and the last F-14Ds in 2008. The sole export customer was Iran, and of 79 F-14As received in the late 1970s, the IRIAF has a reported 28-30 in active service. These are based at Bushehr to protect Iran’s vital oil installations. The Hawk surface-to-air missile has been integrated onto at least two aircraft, possibly as a Phoenix replacement, and there remain rumors that Iran is developing a major F-14 upgrade.

f14-detail-cutaway

2 x General Electric F110-GE-400 turbofans

f110-ge-129-1-s

Manufacturer: General Electric Co.
Thrust: F110-GE-129: 29,500 pounds; F110-GE-132: 32,000 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: F110-GE-129: 30.7; F110-GE-132: 33.3
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: F110-GE-129: 7.29; F110-GE-132: 7.90
Compressor: Two spool, axial flow, three-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-9
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 1-2
Combustor Type: Annular
Length: 182.3 in (4.63 m)
Diameter: 46.5 in (118 cm)
Dry Weight: F110-GE-129: 3,980 lbs (1,805 kg); F110-GE-132: 4,050 lbs (1,837 kg)
Platforms: F-16 Fighting Falcon; F-14 (retired); F-15K Slam Eagle; F-15SA; F-15SG; F-2
Price/Unit Cost: Unknown
First Run: 1992 (F110-GE-129)

Engine data fi-powerweb.com

8toiu0

Entered service 1972
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 19.10 m
Wing span 19.54 m
Height 4.88 m
Weight (empty) 18.95 t
Weight (maximum take off) 33.72 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x General Electric F110-GE-400 turbofans
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 71.56 / 120.1 kN
Maximum speed 1 997 km/h
Service ceiling 16.2 km
Ferry range 2 965 km
Combat radius 927 km
Armament
Cannon 1 x M61A1 Vulcan 20-mm cannon with 675 rounds
Missiles AIM-54C Phoenix, AIM-7M Sparrow, AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
Bombs GBU-10/12/16/24 laser guided bombs, Rockeye and CBU-59 cluster bombs, Gator mines
Other Tactical airborne reconnaissance podded system

Main material source military-today.com

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Lockheed says U.S. may take “fresh look” at its India F-16 plan

EXCLUSIVE-Lockheed says U.S. may take “fresh look” at its India F-16 plan

Thu Feb 9, 2017 | 3:55pm IST

* Obama Administration backed sale of F-16s to India

* Trump Admin may want to review the proposals – Lockheed

* No threat to U.S. jobs if F-16s made in India

By Sanjeev Miglani and Mike Stone

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON, Feb 9 U.S. defence firm Lockheed Martin wants to push ahead with plans to move production of its F-16 combat jets to India, but understands President Donald Trump’s administration may want to take a “fresh look” at the proposal.

With no more orders for the F-16 from the Pentagon, Lockheed plans to use its Fort Worth, Texas plant instead to produce the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the United States Air Force is transitioning to.

Lockheed would switch F-16 production to India, as long as the Indian government agrees to order hundreds of the planes that its air force desperately needs.

Trump has criticised U.S. companies that have moved manufacturing overseas and which then sell their products back to the U.S. In his first few weeks in office, he has pushed companies, from automakers to pharmaceutical firms, to produce more in the United States.

In Lockheed’s case, however, the plan is to build the F-16 to equip the Indian Air Force, and not sell them back into the United States.

Lockheed said it has been talking to Trump’s transition and governance teams as well as the U.S. Congress for several months on its plans, including the proposed sale of F-16 planes to India, a spokesman told Reuters in Washington.

“We’ve briefed the Administration on the current proposal, which was supported by the Obama Administration as part of a broader cooperative dialogue with the Government of India,” the spokesman said.

“We understand that the Trump Administration will want to take a fresh look at some of these programs, and we stand prepared to support that effort to ensure that any deal of this importance is properly aligned with U.S. policy priorities.”

India is expected to spend $250 billion on defence modernisation over the next decade, analysts say, and there is concern that a veto on making the F-16 in India would not only hit Lockheed, but also threaten other military contracts to come up in India for Boeing, Northrop and Raytheon .

The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the plan to build the plane in India.

NO THREAT TO U.S. JOBS

Lockheed has said that moving F-16 assembly to India would create 200 engineering jobs in the United States to help support the production line in India.

It has also said that about 800 workers in the United States making the non-Lockheed parts for the F-16 would keep their jobs if construction shifts to India.

“We are offering to make the F-16 Block-70 aircraft with a local partner in India. This is an offer exclusive to India,” Randall L. Howard, head of F-16 business development, told Reuters ahead of India’s biggest air show beginning in Bengaluru next week.

In India, the F-16 is up against SAAB’s Gripen combat aircraft, which the Swedish firm has also offered to make locally, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi drives a Make-in-India campaign to build a domestic aerospace industry and reduce costly imports.

The Indian government is expected to decide this year on which company will build a single-engine fighter plane, in collaboration with a local partner. A defence official said the process was at a very early stage.

The Indian air force alone needs 200-250 fighters over the next 10 years, its former chief Arup Raha said before he left office in December.

Defence ties between India and the United States have grown rapidly, with U.S. arms sales of more than $4 billion in 2012-15, mostly under government-to-government foreign military sales, upstaging long-term supplier Russia and even Israel.

Lockheed’s executive director for international business development, Abhay Paranjape, said his team has met with representatives from 40 defence and aviation firms in India to help build the ancillary network for the aircraft assembly programme.

“We want to be prepared, that’s why we started the ground work,” he said, adding Lockheed has also scouted possible factory sites in India.

Lockheed has a joint venture with India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd to make airframe components for the C-130J Super Hercules transport plane and the S-92 helicopter.

“The capability for building components exists here, it’s been proven with the C-130s. The challenge now is to pick the right partners,” Paranjape said. (Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani in NEW DELHI and Mike Stone in WASHINGTON; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Original post reuters.com

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“We are offering to make the F-16 Block-70 aircraft with a local partner in India. This is an offer exclusive to India,” Randall L. Howard, head of F-16 business development, told Reuters ahead of India’s biggest air show beginning in Bengaluru next week.

In India, the F-16 is up against SAAB’s Gripen combat aircraft, which the Swedish firm has also offered to make locally, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi drives a Make-in-India campaign to build a domestic aerospace industry and reduce costly imports.

The US can offer Block-80 but it does not take away the fact that the plane is an old platform and is no match for the Gripen E……

Related post:

Showdown Gripen vs F-16 fighters at Aero India show 2017

Focus will be on single engine aircrafts at Aero India 2017

India released detailed RFI for procurement of 57 Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF)

Indian navy shopping for new carrier-borne fighters

India considering an additional 36 Dassault Rafales

India wants firm commitment whether the agreement will allow commercial production and exports of FGFA Project

India and Russia in discussion to set up local manufacturing of spare parts

India start bids to select a foreign single-engine fighter

India needs 200 medium-weight fighters in the next 5 to 10 years

Saab will make India net exporter of fighter jet if it wins single-engined jet contract

Boeing wants to build Super Hornets in India. Should St. Louis worry?

F-16 E/F Block 60: Details

F-16V Fighter – Upgrade: Details

Saab Gripen E: Details

Foto1ArgentinaGripenNG.

Russia may test Zircon hypersonic missile in spring of 2017

Russia to test hypersonic Zircon missiles earlier than originally planned

09.02.2017

In the spring of 2017, Russia may test a Zircon hypersonic missile for the first time. The launch is said to be conducted within the scope of the global non-nuclear deterrence strategy.

A source familiar with the plan told Interfax that the launch would not be conducted from Plesetsk. The source did not specify the carrier, from which the missile was to be launched.

It was reported earlier that Zircon hypersonic missiles would be used on board Yasen-M nuclear submarines, as well as Husky prospective submarines and certain types of surface ships.

Also read: The Russians are coming, the Russians are bigger and stronger

“In 2017, Russia will continue the tests of Zircon missiles, when a missile would be launched from a sea-based platform,” the source told the news agency.

Hypersound is a speed faster than Mach 5. Mach 1 number corresponds to the speed of sound – about 300 meters per second, or 1,224 km/h.

The Zircon missile was designed for the Russian Navy at NPO Machine Building (Reutov, Moscow region). The missile technology for the new missile is based on the principle of the so-called hypersonic engine. The company also develops advanced warheads for intercontinental ballistic missiles known as “Object 4202.”

According to experts, the range of the Zircon missile will be comparable to that of the Onyx missile – about 500 km, whereas the speed of the new missile is said to reach Mach 5 or six.

Zircon missiles can be used as armament for surface warships and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as aircraft and coastal mobile missile systems. It is believed that Onyx and Zircon missiles are designed to implement elements of the concept of strategic non-nuclear deterrence.

Last year, it was reported that Zircon missiles would be used on board the Peter the Great heavy cruiser, as well as prospective fifth-generation multipurpose nuclear submarines known as Husky.

In 2017, Russia also plans to start flight tests of the state-of-the-art liquid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile RS-28 Sarmat.

According to experts’ estimates, ICBMs of such capacity will be able to contain USA’s plans for the deployment of the global missile defense system.

It is worthy of note that Zircon missile tests were originally scheduled for 2018. However, a source in the Russian defense industry told Interfax that the timing may change for 2017.

Pravda.Ru

Original post pravdareport.com

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Related post:

Russia’s hypersonic Zircon missile to go into serial production in 2018 — source

Russia Test-Fires Hypersonic Zircon Missiles

Russia’s new RS-28 Sarmat (ICBM) is capable of destroying an area the size of Texas or France

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