Russia-Thailand military ties a factor of stability in Asia

Russia-Thailand military ties a factor of stability in Asia – ambassador

March 21, 2017 AIZHAN KAZAK, RBTH

The Russian Ambassador to Thailand said military cooperation between Moscow and Bangkok was one of the keys to boosting bilateral ties.

Growing military ties between Moscow and Bangkok will help strengthen regional security and stability in the Asia-Pacific, Russian Ambassador to Thailand Kirill Barskiy said on March 20.

The recent visit to Thailand of Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, was a “part of the practical implementation of the agreement signed a year ago,” Barsky told RIA Novosti.

During Salyukov’s visit the Russian Navy was invited to participate in a parade that marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN.

Salyukov also met his counterparts in Thai Army and “visited Thai military units, becoming familiar with the daily life of Thai soldiers and assessing their [Thai army] capabilities”, Barsky said.

When asked about progress on military cooperation between the countries, Barsky stressed that there is “a long list of our joint projects.”

He explained that Thailand has plans to import modern weapons and military equipment. The kingdom is also looking at assembling Russian military equipment and servicing Russian military, civilian and dual use aircraft

He told RIA Novosti that military cooperation between Russia and Thailand is one of keys to boosting bilateral relations.

An agreement on military cooperation between Russia and Thailand was signed in May 2016 during Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in St. Petersburg.

In 2016 the exchange of visits between Russian and Thai military became more frequent. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Thailand, General Pravit Wongsuvan visited Russia twice.

Warships of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet called on Thai ports in 2015 and 2016, Barsky said.

During ASEAN military exercises in September 2016, Russia party “assisted in the establishment of the ASEAN Center for Military Medicine in Bangkok and still continues to provide assistance,” Barsky added.

Thailand has grown increasingly closer to Russia and China since a coup in May 2014 caused the cooling of relations between Bangkok and its traditional Western allies.

Original post rbth.com

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Indian Air Force to get 123 LCA Tejas by 2024-25

Air Force likely to get 123 LCA Tejas by 2024-25

Dinakar Peri

NEW DELHI MARCH 19, 2017 20:36 IST

If the present development and capacity enhancement plans go as per schedule, the Indian Air Force will have 123 indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter jets in its fleet by 2024-25.

To enable this Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is in the process of setting up a new assembly line and is also involving the private sector in a big way, said the Chief Managing Director (CMD) of the public sector aerospace major T. Suvarna Raju in a conversation with The Hindu.

The IAF has placed orders for 40 jets in two batches of which the first 20 are in the Initial Operational Configuration (IOC) while the remaining 20 are in the Final Operational Configuration (FOC). Last July the IAF for operationalised the first Tejas squadron ‘45 flying daggers’ with three aircraft. Two more aircraft will join the squadron shortly.

Last November the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had given initial clearance for 83 aircraft in the Mk-1A configuration with specific improvements sought by the IAF.

Mr. Raju said that about 45 improvements have been implemented in the 1A and HAL has already floated a tender for the Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Self-Protection Jammer (SPJ).

On the timeline for the development of the 1A, Mr. Raju said that the tender would be opened by March end after which technical evaluation and commercial negotiations would be held. “We will be able to prove it on the 1A by 2018 and start producing by 2019,” he observed.

Apart from the development, the induction is also delayed by the low production rate of eight aircraft per year. The government has recently given sanction for setting another assembly to increase production rate to 16 per year.

“The IAF will get Mk-1A in 2019 by that time our capacity will also go up to 16 aircraft per year,” Mr. Raju added.

To increase the production of the aircraft HAL has outsourced major parts of the jet. “We are trying to be an integrator rather than a manufacturer, he said.

The IAF is in urgent need of new fighters and the LCAs will replace the Mig fighters that are currently being phased out. IAF is scheduled to phase out all 11 squadrons of Mig-21 and Mig-27 fighters by 2024 on completion of their technical life.

On the issue of spares and supports which has been an area of constant concern from the services, Mr. Raju said they have now signed long term supply contracts with their vendors and stated that the availability of all platforms manufactured by HAL has now gone “above 65 percent.”

Original post thehindu.com

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Tejas fighter jet

lllsign

The Indian Tejas (Radiance) is a lightweight multi-role fighter, developed by Aeronautical Development Agency and manufactured by HAL. The Tejas made its maiden flight in 2001 and limited production of this aircraft commenced in 2007. Development was finally completed in 2013. The Tejas is expected to enter service with the Indian Air Force and gradually replace the ageing fleet of MiG-21sMiG-23sMiG-27sJaguars and Mirage 2000s. However currently its production status is uncertain. The first Indian Air Force unit was equipped with two Tejas fighters in 2016. However it is unknown when this aircraft will achieve full operational capability.

   The Light Combat Aircraft or LCA programme was launched back in 1983. It was intended to develop a completely indigenous fighter, which would replace the Soviet MiG-21. At that time the MiG-21 was a mainstay of the Indian Air Force. In 1984 the Aeronautical Development Agency was established to manage the LCA programme. The first technology demonstrator was completed in 1995, however it was grounded due to troubles with flight control system.

   It is a delta wing design, powered by a single engine. Composite materials are widely used in the airframe to keep the weight down. These aircraft will be powered by General Electric F404-GE-IN20 as an interim powerplant, until the GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri turbofan becomes available. Other engines might also be fitted. Both of these engines are fitted with afterburners. The Tejas is fitted with fly-by-wire control system and multi-mode radar.

   The HAL Tejas multi-role fighter can carry a wide range of weapons, mainly of Russian origin. Aircraft is fitted with eight under-wing and under-fuselage hardpoints. Maximum capacity is over 4 000 kg of external ordnance and fuel. It can carry Astra, R-77 (AA-12 Adder) beyond visual range and R-73 (AA-11 Archer) short-range air-to-air missiles. Air-to-surface missiles include the Kh-59 with TV or laser guidance, Kh-35 or Kh-31 anti-ship missiles. Aircraft can also carry various bombs, including cluster or precision-guided. It is fitted with a single twin-barrel 23-mm cannon.

   A two-seat conversion trainer is under development. It is reported that Indian Air Force has requirement for 200 single-seat fighters and 20 two-seat conversion trainers.

   The Light Combat Aircraft (Naval) or LCA(N) is a naval version of the Tejas. It a two-seat naval aircraft made its first flight in 2012. A single seat naval multi-role fighter is currently under development. Indian Navy might order 40 of these aircraft to replace the Sea Harriers.

Tejasdrawing-final-updated

Country of origin India
Entered service 2016
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 13.2 m
Wing span 8.2 m
Height 4.4 m
Weight (empty) 6.5 t
Weight (maximum take off) 14.5 t
Engines and performance
Engines 1 x General Electric F404-GE-IN20
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 53.9 /  85 kN
Maximum speed 1 990 – 2 376 km/h
Service ceiling ~ 16 km
Range 3 000 km
Combat radius ?
Armament
Cannon 1 x GSh-23 23-mm twin-barrel cannon (220 rounds)
Missiles Astra, R-77 (AA-12 Adder), R-73 (AA-11 Archer) air-to-air missiles; Kh-59, Kh-35, Kh-31 air-to-surface missiles
Bombs FAB-500T, OFAB-250-270, OFAB-100-120 free fall bombs; RBK-500 cluster bombs; KAB-1500L laser-guided bombs

Source military-today.com

Malaysia to increase defense spending to modernise and upgrade their equipment

Malaysia Emphasises On Defence Spending

LANGKAWI, March 21 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s defence spending will continue to grow as its armed forces had embarked on a long term plan to modernise and upgrade their equipment.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today said a total of RM26 billion had been allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan to bolster defence, public order and enforcement.

“Defence and security are of paramount importance to any nation as they are vital for maintaining territorial integrity and national sovereignty,” he said today.

Najib said this while officiating the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 (LIMA ’17) here.

According to him, Malaysia needed to equip its armed forces with the capabilities required to face modern warfare, both symmetrically and asymmetrically.

“And LIMA ’17 brought together major aerospace and maritime firms from around the world to demonstrate their state of the art static and aerial displays and cutting-edge technologies,” he said.

This, he said, augured well with the need to equip the Armed Forces with the capabilities to face modern warfare.

“We are very proud that LIMA continues to be an effective gateway to one of the world’s largest maritime and aerospace growth markets and it has become a mainstay of the global events calendar,” he said.

Najib said LIMA ’17, which is the 14th edition since its inaugural organisation in 1991, had gathered 520 companies from 35 countries representing more than 55 per cent of the world’s top 100 maritime and aerospace companies.

He said more than 300 defence and security delegations, 55 visiting warships and boats, 106 aircrafts and 467 journalists from around the world also attended the event.

“By the week’s end, we estimated that more than 40,000 trade visitors will have walked through the exhibition halls and that is a great testament to LIMA’s ability to generate business and public interest”.

He said the involvement of various ministries such as International Trade and Industry; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Higher Education and Transport had added more value to this year’s LIMA.

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Kedah Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai were among those present at the ceremony.

— BERNAMA

Original post bernama.com

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RM26 billion = USD6.7 billion….Don’t know spread over how many years…..

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LIMA 2017: Operations in Syria boosts interest in Russian weapons

Operation in Syria boosts interest in Russian arms — chief delegate to LIMA 2017

March 21, 12:00 UTC+3

“The weaponry demonstrated absolute effectiveness in extra-complicated combat conditions,” the chief Russian delegate to the LIMA 2017 arms show Mikhail Petukhov said

LANGKAWI, Malaya March 21. /TASS/. Potential customers’ interest in Russian military hardware has soared in the wake of the operation in Syria, the chief Russian delegate to the LIMA 2017 arms show, Mikhail Petukhov, told the media on Tuesday.

“After Russian naval ships coped with their tasks in the course of the counter-terrorist operation in Syria, interest in Russian military hardware soared. The weaponry demonstrated absolute effectiveness in extra-complicated combat conditions,” said Petukhov, the deputy CEO of Russia’s federal service for military-technical cooperation.

Some likely customers in Southeast Asian countries “displayed interest in acquiring Russian naval technologies and weapons, including missile-carrying submarines,” he remarked.

According to earlier reports, the operation in Syria fueled foreign clients’ interest in such military equipment as Sukhoi-34 planes and robots of the Uran family. Russia’s Navy participated in dealing strikes against militants. Cruise missiles Kalibr were launched from surface ships, including the frigate The Admiral Grigorovich, smaller missile-carrying ships of project 21631 and submarines of project 636.3. Russia’s aircraft carrier task force spent several months off Syria’s shores. MiG-29K fighters operated from the deck of the aircraft carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov.

Russia offers its foreign clients a variety of combat ships. Models of some of them, such as Gepard-3.9 class frigates based on escort ships and missile boats of project 12421 Molniya (Lightning) are on display at the LIMA show. The Vietnamese Navy already uses two Gepard-3.9 frigates and another two may be provided soon. Vietnam produces missile boats Molniya under license.

The patrol ship of project 22160 is another title on the list of Russia’s export items. A series of six such ships is being built for Russia’s Black Sea Navy. These ships are meant for protecting territorial waters and patrolling the exclusive economic zone, preventing smuggling and piracy and conducting search and rescue operations.

Original post tass.com

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Su-34 (Su-32): Details

Sukhoi-SU-34-Fighter-Plane-Jet-Blue-Sky-WallpapersByte-com-3840x2400

MiG-29K: Details

Project 11356 Admiral Grigorovich: Details

9rg8eriAdmiral Grigorovich (745)

Project 22160 Class Patrol Ships: Details

Image: bastion-opk.ru

Buyan Class Corvettes: Details

Russia’s Role as an Arms Exporter: The Strategic and Economic Importance of Arms Exports for Russia

20 March 2017

Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme

Cecilie SendstadResearch Manager, Cost Analysis Research Programme, Department of Analysis, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)
Russian arms producers must adapt to growing competition in the global arms market and address issues within its domestic arms industry, or it will see its role within the global arms market lessen.

Summary

  • Russia is the world’s second-largest arms exporter after the US, and is seeking to strengthen its position in new markets. Only the US possesses the same ability to be competitive across a wide range of weapons systems. Russia’s large portfolio of orders suggests that it will occupy an important market position in the years to come, and that it is likely to continue to be seen as a reliable source of weapons for countries that do not enjoy warm relations with the US.
  • Asia is the most important foreign market for Russian arms producers, accounting for 70 per cent of their exports since 2000. India, China and Vietnam are the principal sources of demand for Russian weapons in the region, and Russia is the dominant supplier in a large proportion of Asian countries. The Middle East and North Africa is the second-most important market, but competition from other suppliers is much more intense there. Latin America and Africa are of relatively modest importance.
  • Arms exports play an important role in Russia’s economy, accounting for a large proportion of manufactured and technology-intensive exports. This makes the armaments industry one of the leading sectors through which Russia is integrated with the global economy. Exports are not as important to the armaments industry as they were in the 1990s, but they help keep production lines in service and preserve a full spectrum of capabilities.
  • Russia’s arms industry has benefited from the rapid growth in domestic defence procurement since 2011. However, it is not clear whether the government’s import-substitution plan will offset the reduced access to components of weapons systems caused by the sanctions imposed in the aftermath of the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. This could lead to shortages that impede production and, hence, export prospects.
  • There are also broader weaknesses within the Russian defence industry that hamper innovation and could impair the ability of Russian firms to remain competitive in global markets. These include ageing physical capital, an ageing R&D workforce, and weak linkages between higher education and defence-industrial firms.

Entire research: Here

Original post chathamhouse.org

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Excerpt from the research

There are several reasons to expect that Russia’s leading position in the production and export of armaments will persist well into the future.

First, in addition to the healthy export revenues generated by arms-producing firms, Russia’s industry has benefited from the rapid growth in defence procurement since 2011. Along with a programme to upgrade the capital stock in use across the industry, this injection of funds has helped boost productive capabilities and laid the foundations for the development of new weapons systems.

Second, Russia’s willingness and ability to offer a full spectrum of defence-industrial goods facilitate the conclusion of large export deals, thus supporting the development of long-term relationships to equip the armed forces of key customers.

Third, the country’s arms manufacturers may well benefit from the success enjoyed by Russia’s armed forces in Syria. The fact that its weapon systems – such as the Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft and the Kalibr missile systems – have been proven to be operationally effective could boost the attractiveness of Russian weapons in other countries. This point should not be pushed too far, however; after all, airstrikes by Russian forces have taken place in a largely uncontested airspace. Whether these systems would perform as well against better-equipped forces is an open question.

Fourth, Russia is likely to continue to be seen as a reliable source of weapons for countries that do not enjoy warm relations with the US. This means that a wider range of countries are potential markets for Russian exporters, in contrast with the situation facing some of their Western competitors. Russian armaments producers have the opportunity to exploit the tensions that exist between the US and countries such as Iran, China or Syria, and also those that may emerge in countries that traditionally source their weapons from the US, such as Turkey, Egypt or the Philippines.

This is not to say that the outlook for Russia is entirely rosy. A number of internal and external challenges threaten to erode its competitive position as an arms exporter in the future.

First, in the past Russian firms have proven weak in the provision of after-sales support and guidance to their customers. This is a lucrative aspect of the arms trade, and one of immense practical importance to the customer. This is, though, an area in which Russia has taken steps to improve performance, with construction under way of a system to enhance after-sales services.

Second, developments outside Russia might also threaten its position in the global arms market. If efforts by China and India to develop indigenous production capabilities were to prove successful, their need to import Russian aircraft, missiles, submarines and engines may diminish. Both countries – especially India – remain behind Russia in key areas. However, if they are able to produce viable substitutes for Russian goods in the future, this will result in a decline in demand for Russian exports and the emergence of potential competitors in third-country markets. For example, China’s progress in the development of advanced fighter aircraft – notwithstanding the persistence of its weaknesses in engine production – offers the prospect of greater competition for Russia in markets not traditionally served by Western producers.

Third, changes in international relations might also adversely affect Russia’s prospects as a leading arms exporter. Although its producers might benefit from any shift in foreign policy allegiance from traditional US allies towards Russia, a shift in the opposite direction by traditional Russian clients such as India or Vietnam could knock a significant hole in arms revenues………

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The Role Russia Played in the Israel-Syria Missile Clash

Analysis: The Role Russia Played in the Israel-Syria Missile Clash

Syria’s missile fire at Israeli warplanes may indicate that Assad and his Russian protectors are not fully coordinated.

Anshel Pfeffer Mar 19, 2017 8:36 AM

Over the six years of the Syrian war, dozens of airstrikes carried out against Hezbollah targets there have been ascribed to Israel. Until now the government has refused to acknowledge or deny them. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have stated publicly that Israel does attack in Syria to defend its strategic interests – in other words, preventing Hezbollah obtaining “balance-breaking” weapons for its arsenal in Lebanon. The attacks that took place early Friday were the first to be confirmed officially by the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson. While it remains unclear what the target or targets were – was it a Hezbollah convoy, a weapons factory or storage, and whether a senior Hezbollah commander was killed in the airstrike as some reports in the Arab media have claimed – a series of important questions arise from the little information that has been published.

First, why has Israel changed its policy and suddenly acknowledged an attack? Syria’s air-defense forces launched a long-range missile  in an attempt to shoot down Israel’s fighter-jets. The missile was fired much too late to endanger the planes, but could have fallen on civilian areas within Israel and was therefore intercepted by an Arrow 2 missile. The loud explosion which was heard as far as Jerusalem and the missile parts that fell in Jordan meant that some explanation had to be given. But a statement on the missile intercept would have been sufficient. The decision to take responsibility for the attacks as well would have been made by the prime minister and may have been made for other reasons.

Exactly a week before the attacks, Netanyahu was in Moscow discussing Syria with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Few details have emerged regarding what was said in the meeting but Netanyahu said before and after that he made it clear that Israel would not agree to Iranian military presence in Syria, or that of Iran’s proxies, now that the civil war in the country seems to be winding down and President Bashar Assad’s rule has been preserved.

Whether or not this demand was met with a receptive audience, Netanyahu returned to Jerusalem with the impression that Putin takes Israel’s concerns seriously. An attack carried out by Israeli warplanes flying over Syria (and not using standoff missiles from afar as happened in other strikes recently) may be an indication that there is an understanding with Russia over Israeli operations within the area that Russia protects with its own air-defense systems.

Friday’s strikes resemble closely the pattern of the attack in December 2015 on a Damascus suburb in which nine operatives working for Iran were killed, including Samir Kuntar, the murderer of an Israeli family who had been released by Israel in a prisoner exchange in 2008 and was believed to be planning new cross-border raids. That strike took place just three days after Netanyahu and Putin had spoken by telephone and was the first to be carried out after Russia had placed an air-defense shield over large areas of Syria, including its capital.

It was unlikely then, back in December 2015 and on Friday, that Israel would have attacked in Syria, within Russia’s zone of operations, if it thought the Kremlin would react with anger. The fact that it was the Syrian army which launched a missile against Israel’s warplanes, while there are much more advanced Russian air-defense systems deployed nearby, ostensibly to protect the regime, could also indicate that Assad and his Russian protectors are not fully coordinated. Assad is aware that Putin is discussing his country’s future with other world leaders, including Netanyahu. His belated attempt to shoot down Israeli planes could be a sign of frustration at his impotence to control both his destiny and his airspace.

Original post haaretz.com

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Has Israel Actually Sent The F-35 Into Combat Already? Here

SA-5 Gammon S-200 Angara Vega Dubna Ground-to-air missile system

5b277736b9f0a9e0caeb9356fffe2da6

The S-200 SA-5 GAMMON is a medium to high -altitude surface-to-air missile system. The single-stage missile has four jettisonable, wraparound solid propellant boosters, each of which is is 4.9 m long and 0.48 m in diameter with a single fin spanning 0.35 m from the booster body. The missile is 10.72 m long overall with a wing span of 2.85 m. The main body is 0.85 m in diameter and has a solid fuel dual thrust sustainer rocket motor.

Each missile battalion has one 320 km range P-35M BARLOCK-B E/F-band target search and acquisition radar with an integral D-band IFF system, one 270 km range SQUARE PAIR H-band missile guidance radar, and six trainable semi-fixed single rail launchers.

The missile’s minimum range of 60 km is due to the booster burn time and jettison requirements, limiting the system to engagements against relatively large unmaneuverable targets at ranges up to 250 km. Guidance beyond the 60 km booster jettison point is by course correction command signals from the SQUARE PAIR radar with the S-200’s own active radar terminal homing seeker head activated near the projected intercept point for final guidance.

The large HE warhead is detonated either by a command signal or the onboard proximity fusing system. When fitted with a nuclear warhead only the command detonation option is used. Source fas.org

Surface to Air Missiles

 

5V28 Missile (Fakel via Vestnik PVO) – Image: ausairpower.net
Click to expand ....
Highly detailed Soviet era Fakel cutaway of the 5V28VE missile, marked “Sov. Secret” (Restored version via http://www.S-200.de – click diagram to expand). – Image: ausairpower.net
Image: ausairpower.net
Source ausairpower.net

P-35M BARLOCK-B E/F-band target search and acquisition radar

385803a1b2ab4434802db6664de319d3

AR LOCK P-35/37
Function EW
Range 200 km
Frequency E/F-bands
Associated weapon system SA-5
Comments
  • 1 mw/b power
  • PRF 375pps
  • 7 rpm Scan
  • BW .7deg
  • PW 1.5, 4.5 us
  • Accuracy range 350m AZ .14 deg

Source fas.org

SQUARE PAIR H-band missile guidance radar

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Technical data S-200 SA-5 GAMMON

Type of missile
single-stage, low- to high-altitude
Country users
Algeria, Azerbaidjan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Libya, Moldova, North Korea, Myanmar, Poland, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Russia.
Guidance
command and/or active radar terminal homing
seeker
Warhead
217 kg (97 kg explosive) HE fragmentation with proximity and command fuzing optional 25 kt nuclear for nuclear warhead variants
Launcher
static semi-fixed single rail trainable
Missile velocity range
700-2,500 m/s
Effective range and altitude
Range:
(S-200) 7- 150 km
(S-200V) 7 – 250 km
(S-200D) 7 – 300 km
Altitude:
((S-200) 300 – 20,000 m
(S-200V) 300 – 29,000 m
(S-200D) 300 – 40,000 m
Deployment time
24 min
Radar
Bar Lock-B (P-35M): search and acquisition radar
Square Pair (5N62): range missile guidance radar
Big Back (D-band): warning radar
Dimensions (Length)
(S-200) 10.5 m
(S-200V) 10.8 m
(S-200D) 10.8 m

Technical data armyrecognition.com

Syrian SA-5 Air Defense Coverage

Syria 6 Sites 4 Sites (Masyaf, Dar’a, Shinshar, Khalhale)

Source ausairpower.net

Russian S400 Air Defense Coverage 

US Army Wants a New Tank for 2030

After the M1A2 Abrams, the Army Wants a New Tank for 2030

This plan could make sense — and dollars, too.

Mar 18, 2017 at 12:13PM
The U.S. Army boasts a motorpool stacked to the rafters with 6,000 M1 Abrams main battle tanks — more tanks than some countries have soldiers. Yet for some crazy reason, Congress keeps buying more.Actually, the reason isn’t totally crazy. The U.S. only has one factory left that’s totally dedicated to the production of main battle tanks — General Dynamics(NYSE:GD) factory in Lima, Ohio. Sporadic demand from tank-buyers, however, keeps this factory always on the edge of having to shut down operations — at which point the U.S. wouldn’t be able to build tanks if it suddenly needed to. (A shutdown would also cost jobs in an important Congressional district.)

The politics of main battle tanks

Whenever the Lima factory is on the brink of closure, Congress rifles through the Congressional couch cushions and comes up with some loose change to buy a few more tanks, and keep Lima in business for a few more months. For example, in 2015 Congress appropriated $120 million to fund tank production.

But here’s the thing: There may be a better way to keep Lima in business — one that doesn’t involve stacking more 72-ton tanks atop the tottering column of surplus M1 Abramses the U.S. already has in inventory.

Simply put, the U.S. could build a new tank — and it just might.

A new, and better, tank

As reported on military tech website Scout.com earlier this month, the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, is currently hard at work designing a new tank to serve in the Army, and hoping to get it ready by 2030. Equipped with “advanced sensors and light-weight composite armor,” says Scout, this new tank would be “high-tech,” “lightweight,” and able to do things the Abrams can’t, like “destroy a wider range of targets from farther distances, cross bridges, incinerate drones with lasers and destroy incoming enemy artillery fire.” It would also incorporate advanced communications systems permitting it to network with other combatants on the battlefield, and even control its own drone detachments.

Specifics of the new tank design are still being worked out — for example, will it sport the new lightweight XM360 120mm cannon the Pentagon has been working on, or perhaps a futuristic XM813 rapid-fire 30mm auto-cannon capable of rattling off 200 rounds per minute? This all remains to be seen.

What does seem clear, though, is that if the Army decides to proceed with investment in a new 21st-century super-tank, then this would provide the funds to keep General Dynamics’ Lima plant busy building and testing prototypes. Thus, it wouldn’t be necessary to continue pouring money into the production of circa-20th-century Abrams tanks that no one seems to want anymore.

And that would be a win-win-win scenario — for the Army, taxpayers, and General Dynamics.

Original post fool.com

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Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, is currently hard at work designing a new tank to serve in the Army, and hoping to get it ready by 2030. Equipped with “advanced sensors and light-weight composite armor,” says Scout, this new tank would be “high-tech,” “lightweight,” and able to do things the Abrams can’t, like “destroy a wider range of targets from farther distances, cross bridges, incinerate drones with lasers and destroy incoming enemy artillery fire.”

Maybe they should go back and take a look at the Stingray light tank which is in service with the Royal Thai Army…….Which coincidentally was used in Cobra Gold 2017 for the live fire exerciser…..

Cobra Gold 17 Update – Video: Details

Stingray: Details

16903569_1325261140845904_812544296634471017_o

Seems the US have been working on 30mm and 50mm autocanons……..seen on the Stryker 8×8….

Stryker 8×8 Kongsberg’s MCT30 Remote Turret: Details

Medium [30mm XM814, 30mm Mk310, 50mm PABM] Caliber Weapon Systems (About $10 million in 2015 and 2016 and $16 million in 2017

This effort matures and demonstrates advanced medium caliber ammunition, weapon, fire control, and ammunition handling systems optimized for remote operation. This effort demonstrates cannon-super high elevation engagement, high performance stabilization, remote ammunition loading, weapon safety and reliability, improved lethality, accuracy, ability to fire a suite of ammunition from non-lethal to lethal, and escalation of force capability in one system.

In 2015, Optimized technologies from Weapon, Fire Control and Turret functional areas together in preparation of demonstrating a system level platform integration with an advanced medium caliber weapon system within a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) variant. In support of this effort, finalized and optimized a prototype turret and drive system to support the XM813 30mm weapon system; optimized and matured the advanced sensors (down range wind sensor, dynamic metrology sensor and improved laser range finder) and the scenario based fire control system supporting the XM813 30mm weapon system, 30mm armor piercing (AP) munition and the Mk310 30mm programmable air bursting munitions (PABM); performed the integration of these technologies within the BFV and demonstrated improved accuracy and lethality performance at a system level. Additionally, finalized 50mm fuze improvements and performed a fuze shoot off and demonstration to down select and optimize the burst point accuracy of the 50mm PABM munition.

Enhance Bushmaster III 50mm

XM813 features
• Semi-automatic; up to 200 rounds per minute
• Computer controlled and electrically driven
• Closed bolt operation
• First round select
• Dual feed
• Link-less
• Optimized barrel
• Integral Mount configuration
• Dual Recoil System
• Semi-closed Bolt firing mode
• Fires the complete family of 30mm x 173mm ammunition
• PABM-T, APFSDS-T, HEI-T, TP-T
• Provides a growth path to fire SuperShot 40mm ammunition

• Improve burst point accuracy and PD reliability of fuze technology for 50mm PABM
• Validate and refine existing 30mm Error Budget model for use in 50mm system projections
• Develop turret to demonstrate growth from 30mm XM813 to 50mm Enhanced Bushmaster III
• Perform platform integration of turret for 50mm system level test and evaluation

In 2016, Continue to mature and optimize weapon, ammunition, fire control, and turret technologies for 50mm cannon; refine the ammunition fuzing approach to improve accuracy and lethality; analyze data collected from integration, test and demonstration to apply to system level improvements; upgrade fire control to meet system level requirements and design turret for integration into a prototype platform.

In 2017, will validate PABM fuze technology and warhead lethality data, iterating and improving as necessary; using a commercially developed barrel, demonstrate PABM and AP effectiveness against personnel and materiel targets; design and fabricate 50mm weapon and ammunition handling system (AHS) prototypes; exploit advances in advanced Fire Control hardware to improve system performance; mature Fire Control software

Two other programs are for improving explosives (energetics) and active protection technology (like the Israeli trophy system).

Source nextbigfuture.com

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