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Reports indicate Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to buy Airbus A400M

France says Indonesia signs tentative deal to buy A400M

Wed Mar 29, 2017 | 10:09am EDT

Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to buy Airbus A400M military aircraft, the office of French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday.

The provisional agreement was signed during a visit by Hollande to Indonesia and covers an unspecified number of aircraft, according to a list of deals issued by his office.

If completed, it would provide the troubled European military programme with a second export customer after Malaysia.

A previous deal to export A400M airplanes to South Africa was cancelled in 2009. Chile was also at one time seen as an export partner for the aircraft, which has run into billions of euros of cost overruns and years of development delays. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer, Tim Hepher; editing by Alexander Smith)

Original post reuters.com

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I’d rather go for Japanese C2 or Russian Ilyushin IL-76MD-90A and save the difference to put it into advance jet fighters than into transport planes……Earlier reports suggest the package is $2 billion for 5 A400M costing $400 million each…….However, the decision may be political…….or Indonesia gets TOT……..

Related post:

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Indonesia to spend $2 billion to buy 5 A400M

UK signs contract for upgrades, maintenance, and repair services on A400m

Airbus Looks To the US in Search of A400M Buyers

OPINION: Can Airbus bear weight of A400M Atlas?

Looming capability gap in Germany’s military transport fleet may result in the MoD to urge A400M partner nations to procure & jointly operate C-130 Hercules

GERMANY SEEKS COMPENSATION OVER AIRBUS A400M – Airheadsfly.com

German Air Force may look to acquire additional transport aircraft

Airbus to swap out parts & components of its troubled A400M aircraft after cracks were found

Airbus Reports A400M Engine Gearbox Problems Will Cause Delays

New issues surrounding the propeller gear boxes on the Airbus A400M will not affect delivery

Airbus A400M military transport plane hits more trouble

German Air Force may look to acquire additional transport aircraft

A400M Military Transport: Details

Trump pursue $5 billion sale of F-16 to Bahrain

Trump administration pursues sale of F-16’s to Bahrain: source

Wed Mar 29, 2017 | 6:55pm EDT

By Patricia Zengerle | WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump’s administration has informed Congress of its plan to pursue the $5 billion sale to Bahrain of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft and related equipment, which was held up last year by concerns about human rights, a congressional source said on Wednesday.

The State Department originally notified Congress of the sale last September during President Barack Obama’s administration. It was pulled back because of concerns that Bahrain had not made promised improvements to its human rights record.

The Trump administration has separated the human rights issues from the transfer, the source said.

Members of Congress were not immediately available to comment on whether they would object to the sale over human rights concerns this time.

The $4.867 billion sale includes the aircraft, 23 engines, radars and other avionics, air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance and related equipment.

The latest notice sent to Congress provides for 40 days of additional congressional review, then a formal notice to Congress as required by the Arms Export Control Act, after which the licenses for the sale would be approved.

Lockheed Martin declined comment.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Original post reuters.com

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From earlier reports it indicates $4 billion for 19 new F-16s Block 70 valued at $2.8 billion and include upgrades costing as much as $1 billion to Bahrain’s existing F-16 fleet…….So either it’s a typo error or the price just went up……..

Related post:

Lockheed Martin in talks with Bahrain over the sale of F-16V fighter jets

Lockheed Martin in talks with Arabian Gulf countries to sell F-16 as well as upgrades to existing fleets

Trump likely to approve F-16V fighter jet sales to Bahrain that were blocked by the Obama administration

Bahrain’s Lockheed F-16 purchase said to come with US strings

Why the U.S. Is About to Sell Billions in Boeing Fighter Jets to Qatar

8-Billion dollar US fighter jet deal with Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar before Obama’s departure

F-16C/D: Details

F-16V Fighter– Upgrade: Details

f-16v-cockpit

Heritage Foundation Calls for Cuts to Air Force’s F-35 Acquisitions

Heritage Foundation Defense Budget Proposal Calls for Cuts to Air Force’s F-35 Acquisitions

Conservative group recommends $632 billion NDAA

BY:

March 29, 2017 4:00 pm

The conservative Heritage Foundation is proposing an $86 billion increase in defense spending, recommending that lawmakers partially offset the cost through a sharp cut to the Air Force’s planned purchase of more than 1,700 F-35A fighter jets.

In a policy proposal released Wednesday, the D.C.-based think tank called on Congress to “substantially” increase military spending in fiscal year 2018 to $632 billion, a five percent expansion to President Donald Trump’s budget request submitted earlier this month.

This increase would be counteracted in part by a 30 percent reduction in the Air Force’s F-35 purchase plan—from 1,763 F-35 fighter jets to 1,260 jets—under the National Defense Authorization Act, according to Heritage.

John Venable, a senior research fellow for defense policy at the Heritage Foundation who helped craft the proposal, told reporters during a private breakfast Tuesday morning that the decrease in the Air Force’s purchase plan for F-35As would free up money for different acquisition programs within the service.

Heritage is pressing Congress to fund the expedited acquisition of F-35As over the next four years, but the report noted that even with accelerated production, the Air Force would still not complete its purchase of the 1,040 combat-ready F-35As recommended by the think tank for the active duty force until the early 2030s. That projection does not include the additional 60 combat-ready fighter jets Heritage recommended the service maintain in its National Guard and Reserve fleets with another 100 to be used in active duty training and operational test and evaluation requirements.

Venable, a former Air Force pilot, said the slow acquisition rate of F-35s will force the service to continue to use a mix of fourth and fifth generation aircraft for the “foreseeable future,” meaning the branch will need a sharp increase in federal funding to continue operating its dual-capable F-16s and F-15s.

“Even if we ramp [production] up to 100 aircraft a year, it’s going to take 12 years to bring all of those fighters onboard that we’ve got planned for the F-35A, so throughout that time, if we were able to do that, we would need to have F16s, F-15Es, and F-15Cs,” he said.

Air Force officials told lawmakers last week they were considering plans to retire the F-15Cs as early as the mid-2020s to cut costs, proposing to replace the aircraft with modernized F-16s. Venable advised against the retirement of any of the service’s platforms for at least the next seven years given existing deficits in the service’s capacity.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein testified last month that less than 50 percent of the service meets readiness requirements for full-spectrum combat operations. Goldfein warned that if Congress again fails to pass a budget that fully funds the military, the Air Force would be unable to hire the number of maintainers, air traffic controllers, and pilots needed to engage successfully in current missions and rebuild readiness.

The Heritage Foundation said that while Trump’s budget proposal challenges caps on defense spending implemented by the Budget Control Act under former President Barack Obama, it is ultimately “insufficient” to begin to rebuilding the military.

Beyond budget increases to sustain the Air Force’s F-35A acquisition program along with its F-16 and F-15 platforms, Heritage has recommended a 4 percent increase to the service’s operation and maintenance funding in 2018, with a total increase of 20 percent over the next five years. Defense experts said this is necessary for the service to recover from its 4,000-aircraft maintainer deficit and a training shortfall that has left pilots with fewer flight hours due to depressed federal funding.

Heritage is also calling on the Air Force to increase its manpower by 33,000 airmen, cultivating the force to 326,000 airmen in 2018 with incremental increases that will ultimately grow the branch to 350,000 airmen by 2025.

Lawmakers have until April 28 to pass a new budget before the current spending package expires, with the NDAA likely to hit the floor for a vote in late summer or early fall.

Original post freebeacon.com

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This increase would be counteracted in part by a 30 percent reduction in the Air Force’s F-35 purchase plan—from 1,763 F-35 fighter jets to 1,260 jets—under the National Defense Authorization Act, according to Heritage.

Air Force officials told lawmakers last week they were considering plans to retire the F-15Cs as early as the mid-2020s to cut costs, proposing to replace the aircraft with modernized F-16s. Venable advised against the retirement of any of the service’s platforms for at least the next seven years given existing deficits in the service’s capacity.

Related post:

Are the F-15 Eagle’s days numbered?

Flying heap of crap watch: a local update on the F-35

To be honest, this F-35 fighter jet High-AOA testing video has nothing to be impressed of – theaviationist.com

US Secretary of Defense orders review of F-35 fighter program

F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) test delayed until at least 2018

F-35 latest report card finds 276 deficiencies in combat performance – Office of Operational Testing and Evaluation

Air Force Will Oppose Trump If He Tries To Kick Out F-35 In Favor Of F-18

F-35 Lightning: Details

f-35aa

Norway to Receive First P-8 Poseidon in 2022

NORWAY: FIRST P-8 POSEIDON TO ARRIVE IN 2022, CONTRACT SIGNED

Argentina on a $2 Billion Weapons Acquisition spree for US weapons

Argentina Set to Drop $2 Billion for Largest Weapons Acquisition Since Malvinas War

Published 28 March 2017

Macri hopes to cut a deal with the U.S. to buy Argentina’s largest batch of military equipment in the last 40 years.

Argentina President Mauricio Macri is poised to dole out US$2 billion in large military equipment from the United States in what will be the biggest weapons aquisition since the country’s Malvinas War in the 1980s, according to a report by local outlet El Destape.

The government has tried to justify the largest arms acquisition of the last 40 years by saying the arsenal would help Argentina “fight terrorism.”

The report reveals that the Argentine government ordered the equipment from the United States on June 16, 2016 through the Argentine ambassador in Washington, Martin Lousteau. A letter was sent to Congressman Pete Visclosky, since the U.S. Congress must approve any arms sales abroad.

The purchase had been arranged in an earlier meeting between Visclosky and lawmakers Eduardo Amadeo and Luciano Laspina, of Macri’s governing party, the Cambiemos coalition.

The the list of military supplies requested includes fighter jets, war tanks, medium and long-range missiles and helicopters. The cost, according to the report, exceeds US$2 billion over the next two years.

Also, according to the investigation, almost half of the budget for the Ministry of Defense was cut to allocate funds for the acquisition. The purchase had been approved by Macri after taking office in December 2015.

Currently, Macri and his government face harsh criticism and nationwide protests after alleging that the state didn’t have enough money to raise wages for teachers.

The announcement comes less than a week before the 35th anniversary of the beginning of Malvinas Islands war, on April 2, 1982.

Argentina has claimed sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands since 1833, when the U.K. first occupied the territory. In 1982, Argentina tried to recover the land but was met by a British armed force that defeated the military.

The 10-week battle claimed the lives of 649 Argentine soldiers, more than twice the death toll suffered by British forces, who lost 255.

A U.N. ruling said the Malvinas Islands, known to the British as the Falklands, are in fact in Argentine waters, but they continue to be a self-governed British overseas territory.

Original post telesurtv.net

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The report reveals that the Argentine government ordered the equipment from the United States on June 16, 2016 through the Argentine ambassador in Washington, Martin Lousteau. A letter was sent to Congressman Pete Visclosky, since the U.S. Congress must approve any arms sales abroad.

The the list of military supplies requested includes fighter jets, war tanks, medium and long-range missiles and helicopters. The cost, according to the report, exceeds US$2 billion over the next two years.

Contradicting news……..See below………

Argentina has ‘very small’ budget to buy defense aircraft: minister

Tue Mar 28, 2017 | 3:33pm EDT

By Caroline Stauffer | BUENOS AIRES

Argentina has few funds available to replace an outdated military fleet beyond buying 12 Beechraft Texan aircraft to train pilots, Defense Minister Julio Martinez told Reuters on Tuesday.

Martinez said actual plans were more modest than those reported by media in Argentina and Brazil in recent months, which said the government was interested in buying war planes from abroad, including from Brazil’s Embraer or Mig fighters from Russia.

“For now, we do not have much budget capacity,” Martinez said after an event commemorating the end of Argentina’s latest Antarctica mission. “We are only buying training aircraft, and just a few, 12.”

Argentina’s center-right President Mauricio Macri has set an ambitious goal to trim spending and narrow a budget deficit after two terms of free-spending populism under leftist leader Cristina Fernandez.

Martinez did not say how much Argentina was spending on the training planes, only acknowledging that the budget was “very small.”

The Beechcraft Texan planes will help replace 24 Embraer EMB-312 Tucanos that have been used in the air force training school for decades. Beechcraft is a subsidiary of Textron Inc making Beechcraft T -6C Texan II planes that are used for training pilots in several countries.

“We will need 12 more, and then we need a lot of other aircraft, medium-sized transport and other kinds of planes,” Martinez said.

A navy spokesman said in December Argentina was also in talks to buy four C-205 aircraft manufactured by Europe’s Airbus Group SA.

Asked if Argentina would need new aircraft to achieve Macri’s goal of better patrolling borders with Paraguay and Brazil to stop drug flights, Martinez said the training aircraft could potentially also be used for that purpose.

Macri’s government is also looking to restart manufacturing at cash-strapped state-run aircraft producer Fadea, which was previously operated by Lockheed Martin and nationalized under Fernandez. Martinez confirmed a report by state-run news agency Telam last week that said Fadea would manufacture three Pampa training planes this year.

Martinez also said Argentina did not have any immediate plans to purchase arms from abroad, denying statements on Twitter from former President Fernandez who said on Monday that Argentina sought to buy $2 billion of “sophisticated weapons of war” from the United States.

“For now no, no arms,” Martinez said.

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; editing by Grant McCool)

Source reuters.com

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China to deploy anti-THAAD cruise missiles

Where China plans to deploy anti-THAAD cruise missiles

March 28, 2017 VASILY KASHINSPECIAL TO RBTH

In January 2017 the Xinhua news agency reported that China and Russia agreed on certain joint military measures in response to the expected deployment of the American THAAD missile system on the Korean Peninsula. Now that this deployment has already begun, the question arises as to what these measures will look like.

First of all, one should note that the deployment of THAAD in South Korea has different implications for the security of Russia and China. The impact is minimal in Russia’s case, because THAAD is designed to intercept medium-range ballistic missiles. Russia does not have such missiles, since in 1987 the Soviet Union and the United States signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Even if we assume that the THAAD system is upgraded with more powerful missiles, it would still not pose any threat to Russian strategic nuclear forces. Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear missile submarines are far away from the Korean Peninsula and the flight path of Russian missiles flying to targets in the United States pass through the North Pole.

Thus, the Russian opposition to the deployment of THAAD is caused not so much by threats to security but by fundamental strategic considerations. Russia opposes placing elements of the U.S. missile defense system near its borders in principle. If THAAD complexes in South Korea were managed by the Korean military, not the U.S., there would most likely be no objection to the deployment of the complex.  China’s position on the matter is much softer.

Why the U.S. might need THAAD in South Korea

The U.S. has already signed contracts for the delivery of THAAD to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The fact that this was not done in the case of South Korea indicates that the true motives of deployment on the Korean Peninsula are far from declared.

Apparently, the U.S. wants to have extra capacity for radar monitoring of airspace over the Northeastern China, where China’s bases containing ballistic missiles, including medium-range, are stationed. In addition, there comes possible trajectory of Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles being launched in the direction of the United States.

Accordingly, it is possible to assume that it will be China, and not Russia, which offers the most serious response to the deployment of THAAD from the military-technical point of view.

Russia will limit its actions to some acceleration of previously planned measures related to the modernization of the armed forces in the Russian Far East.

China’s response

The most likely response to the deployment of THAAD would be the creation of specialized groupings intended for the destruction of the missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula.

The likely tool for this kind of preliminary strike would be cruise missiles: THAAD is not able to intercept them, especially in the case of a massive strike at known coordinates.

The obvious option for China may be deploying DF-10 missiles on the Shandong Peninsula. In addition, China can use technical means to strengthen its intelligence about the place of deployment of the THAAD.

Syria-tested Club missiles

Russia, unlike China, is not able to openly deploy ground-based medium-ranged cruise missiles, although the U.S. has been accusing Russia of doing so.

But the new Russian warships, as a rule, are equipped with Club (Kalibr) cruise missiles with a range over 2000 km. These complexes have been successfully tested in the course of the war in Syria. The construction of such ships for the Russian Pacific fleet was planned long before the plans to deploy THAAD in Korea.

In January 2016, Russia revealed plans to construct six project 636.3 diesel-electric submarines to be based in Vladivostok. These boats are able to carry Club missiles as well and were also tested during the Syria campaign.

The fleet is expected to adopt other ships able to carry Clubs including the Karakurt-class corvette, the construction of which has already begun.

Perhaps this will be the Russian answer to THAAD, although all of these measures would have been undertaken anyway.

Apart from told above, Russia and China will also carry out additional joint exercises and, possibly, coordinate in the field of technical intelligence to more effectively track the current location and mode of operation of the THAAD complex.

Vasily Kashin is a senior research fellow in the Moscow Based Institute for Far Eastern Studies and in the Higher School of Economics. Views expressed are personal.

Original post rbth.com

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Russia opposes placing elements of the U.S. missile defense system near its borders in principle. If THAAD complexes in South Korea were managed by the Korean military, not the U.S., there would most likely be no objection to the deployment of the complex.  China’s position on the matter is much softer.

Apparently, the U.S. wants to have extra capacity for radar monitoring of airspace over the Northeastern China, where China’s bases containing ballistic missiles, including medium-range, are stationed. In addition, there comes possible trajectory of Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles being launched in the direction of the United States.

The likely tool for this kind of preliminary strike would be cruise missiles: THAAD is not able to intercept them, especially in the case of a massive strike at known coordinates.

The obvious option for China may be deploying DF-10 missiles on the Shandong Peninsula. In addition, China can use technical means to strengthen its intelligence about the place of deployment of the THAAD.

Shandong Peninsula

Current Chinese Location of Missile Bases and Types of Missiles

Image: asaninst.org

Current Chinese Interception Range of Missiles at 51st Base against Korean Peninsula (DF-15 and DF-21)

Image: asaninst.org

Related post:

China reiterates opposition to U.S. missile system in S. Korea

Deploying missile system in ROK will not defuse crisis

China Tests 10 DF-21 Missiles

THAAD missile defense: Details

Screen_Shot_2016_01_23_at_7_21_17_PM

DH-10 / CJ-10 / DF-10A land-attack cruise missile: Details

df-10a-4-e1462194438552

DF-21D Medium-range ballistic missile: Details

Najib tells France no decision yet on Rafale jets

Malaysia: PM Najib tells France no decision yet on buying Rafale jets

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Tuesday he discussed the possible purchase of Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter jets with French President Francois Hollande but remained undecided.

“We’re not ready yet to make a decision, but we take note of its success in other countries…,” Najib said at a joint news conference with Hollande in Kuala Lumpur.

Rafale is seen as a frontrunner as Malaysia looks to buy up to 18 jets in a deal potentially worth more than US$2 billion, sources have said.

Malaysia’s plan is to replace the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s squadron of Russian MiG-29 combat planes, nearly half of which are grounded.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was reported in the media as saying the race for new fighter jets has narrowed to the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by BAE Systems.

“I know you will be making a decision, and against that background, we want to provide the necessary support,” Hollande said in his speech after comments from Najib.

“Our ministers are already working to that effect. All I would like to say is that the Rafale jet is the best in its category, and then we propose to discuss the prices, and the specifications. I trust you will make the decision when the time comes,” he said.

Hollande held bilateral talks with Najib during his visit to Malaysia, which is part of a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia. Hollande was in Singapore earlier this week and is headed to Indonesia later on Tuesday. – Reuters

Original post asiancorrespondent.com

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Rafale is seen as a frontrunner as Malaysia looks to buy up to 18 jets in a deal potentially worth more than US$2 billion, sources have said.

Where did they get the $2 billion for 18 Rafale?……..It is more like $4.5 billion……..

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Typhoon one of two aircraft on wish list for RMAF’s multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) replacement programme

Malaysia to increase defense spending to modernise and upgrade their equipment

Malaysian defense: Budget hinders military asset procurement – defensenews.com

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Dassault Rafale: Details