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Sunday, 25 January 2015

On 01:14 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Malaysia is to boost its ability to combat future militant incursions by arming its AgustaWestland AW109s and transferring upgraded Sikorsky S-61 “Nuri” utility helicopters to army aviation control.

Prompted by an incursion made by Sulu rebels in Sabah in 2013, Kuala Lumpur has already outfitted three of the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s S-61s with 12.7mm door guns, to provide armed support for ground troops.

“The army plans to arm the [AW109] helicopters with [7.62mm] gatling guns” to expand in this capability, says Dr Mohd Yazid Ahmad, director of the mechanical and aerospace technology division at Malaysia’s science and technology research institute for defence. The service’s “Hirundo” fleet is currently employed only in a light observation role.

Speaking at an IQPC Rotary Strike event in London on 20 January, Ahmad also reveals that the air force’s S-61 fleet is planned to undergo a major package of enhancements before some of the aircraft are transferred to the army air wing.

Malaysia had previously planned to remove its aged Nuri fleet from use by 2012, with Ahmad noting that 89 personnel have been killed in 15 crashes involving the type since it was introduced. However, with the nation having ordered only 12 of a planned 28 Airbus Helicopters EC725s as replacements, “this has forced the service to prolong the life of its Sikorskys”, he says.

A night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpit upgrade has already been performed on part of the fleet by Airod with a foreign partner, an enhancement Ahmad describes as “a modern, reliable and cost-effective product that will carry the Nuri well into the future”. A wider project to enhance the type’s performance and safety is also being studied, he adds.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database records the air force as having 31 S-61s still in operational use, built between 1967 and 1978.
If proven viable through a pilot project involving one aircraft, up to 26 S-61s will receive upgrades to their main and tail rotor blades and gearboxes, and be equipped with a digital datalink, self-protection equipment, armoured protection and a pintle-mounted machine gun at the cargo door.

Around half of the modified aircraft are expected to transfer to the army, Ahmad says. “Hopefully with this upgrade the army will have the capability with a live combat helicopter,” he adds. Roles will include utility transport, plus airborne command and control and search-and-rescue.

Malaysia’s interest in acquiring a dedicated attack helicopter capability has failed to advance due to budget pressures, Ahmad notes. Its army has previously evaluated types including the Airbus Helicopters Tiger, Bell AH-1Z, Boeing AH-64 Apache and Denel Rooivalk.
On 00:57 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
The Russian United Instrument Corporation (UIC) has constructed two prototype versions of reconnaissance and strike drones, code-named "Chirok," and is currently preparing them for tests, a source at UIC told RIA Novosti Friday.

The source explained that currently there are three models of reconnaissance and strike drones (RSD) "Chirok." One of these is a mock-up copy, two others are full-sized models with a payload weight limit of up to 300 kilograms. At the moment they are being prepared for flight tests, the source told RIA Novosti.

One of the full-size copies could be presented in summer 2015 during the International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS), in Zhukovsky city, in the Moscow Region, the source said.
RSD Chirok was developed by the Moscow Research Radio Engineering Institute. The maximum takeoff weight of the drone is 700 kilograms. The drone can rise to a height of 6,000 meters (approximately 19,600 feet), and has a range of up to 2,500 kilometers (approximately 1,550 miles). Chirok can carry weapons inside the fuselage, improving aerodynamics and stealth characteristics.
On 00:48 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
The ambitious Make in India program plans to attract financing to 25 sectors of the economy, with 100 percent direct foreign investments allowed in most areas. The program aims at transforming India into one of the world's industrial leaders.

India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar invited Russian defense enterprises to participate in a new initiative by the Indian government titled Make in India, the Indian Cabinet said in a statement Wednesday.

"Mr. Parrikar mentioned India's policy of 'Make in India' and sought Russian defence enterprises' participation in a big way," the statement issued after Parrikar's talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu read.

In September 2014, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented to the country's business community the ambitious Make in India project, a program designed to transform the country into one of the world's industrial leaders. Through this initiative, India plans to attract financing to 25 sectors of the economy, from tourism to mining, with 100 percent direct foreign investments allowed in most areas.
A source in India's Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti that Indian defense companies are currently searching for potential Russian partners to cooperate on the new initiative.
On Wednesday, Shoigu visited New Delhi, where he held talks with his Indian counterpart and participated in the 14th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation, which aims at boosting Russia's military and counterterrorism cooperation with its South Asian partner.

The defense minister also visited the joint defense enterprise BrahMos Aerospace Limited, where he became acquainted with missile weapons produced by the company.
On 00:39 by Luke iMan in ,    No comments
BAE Systems has been awarded a £112M contract by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) to extend the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) for the in-service support of the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Typhoon fleet by 15 months.

The contract extension means the Company will continue to work alongside the RAF in meeting Typhoon’s operational requirements until early 2016.

The extension will help to sustain around 650 jobs for BAE Systems’ personnel based at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth supporting the Typhoon fleet. Under the contract, BAE Systems is responsible for delivering Typhoon aircrew and ground crew training, maintenance of the aircraft, along with providing technical support and managing spares, repairs and logistics.

Nigel Davey, BAE Systems Director for Military Air Support said: “This agreement is a continuation of a strong partnership with the MoD and RAF to support its Typhoon fleet.

“Over the past six years we have worked hard to develop a service which ensures the RAF is able to meet its operational requirements while providing the best value for the UK’s taxpayers.

“BAE Systems is proud to support the fleet at RAF Coningsby, RAF Lossiemouth and in the Falkland Islands as it continues to perform its vital role in safeguarding our nation both at home and overseas.”
Defence Minister Philip Dunne added: “This contract will deliver vital aircraft maintenance to the RAF Typhoon Force, ensuring the availability of the Typhoon fleet to meet its operational commitments. The new contract incorporates best practice and lessons learnt during the first six years of service, improving the way the RAF is supported and making sure we can continue to keep the UK secure, both at home and abroad.

“Alongside recent announcements for weapon capability upgrades, this contract demonstrates our continuing commitment to maintain the aircraft’s status as a world class multi role combat aircraft of choice now and in the future.”

BAE Systems’ work on the TAS contract has delivered tangible savings for the MoD. For example, from 2013, through increased efficiencies and continued improvement in aircraft performance, the Company has been able to increase the amount of time between Typhoon’s maintenance intervals from 400 to 500 hours. 

This initiative followed a detailed analysis to ensure the changes could be implemented without compromising safety. The result of this change generated a saving to the MoD of more than £100M and has increased availability of the jets to the RAF.

On 00:29 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
India's decision to procure precision approach radars (PARs) only from domestic sources has encountered difficulties, as a majority of the invited companies opted not to participate and none of the remaining three bidders appear to be meeting the technical specifications of the tender, said a source in the Ministry of Defence.

No MoD official would comment on the fate of the tender. The poor response comes as the Indian government is trying to boost a still-developing domestic defense industry, the source added.

Before floating the tender to only domestic vendors under the Buy and Make (India) category, MoD considered a global tender under Buy and Make (Global), but changed its decision to favor domestic companies.

Only three domestic companies, Mahindra Defence Systems, Data Patterns India Private and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) submitted bids.

The tender issued early this year also was sent to domestic companies Tata Group, Nova Integrated Systems, Tata Power SED, Tata Advanced Systems, Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Electronics.

No executive from the three competing companies would comment on their bids.

A senior executive of the Tata Group company said, "We are staying out from the program because PAR radar systems become obsolete and it is not economically viable to service these radars for 11 long years, as required by the MoD.

"We need to import 70 percent subsystems for maintenance of PAR and currency fluctuations are not allowing us to give long-term maintenance support for the radars," the executive added.
A senior executive of an industry lobbying agency said, "The MoD should not draw over-ambitious technical requirements for a defense program in the Buy and Make (India) category, as it leads to poor participation by domestic vendors."

"The insistence of MoD to approach the domestic sector on every defense program will only lead to delays as the domestic sector is still in its infancy and cannot meet all the requirements of weapons and equipment," said Nitin Mehta, a defense analyst here.

Under the tender, the selected company must supply six of the ground-based radar systems to the Indian Air Force and three for the Navy.

The radar will be used to guide the aircraft during the final approach to touchdown and will also provide the positional information of the aircraft, namely the range and deviation from the desired approach azimuth and elevation. The PAR may be operated either independently or as part of a ground control approach system, which will include a surveillance radar. The ground control approach utilizing PAR is critical for safe recovery of aircraft in all weather conditions.
On 00:22 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
A Commando Helicopter Force Merlin Mk3 aircraft, flown by CHF Aircrew from 28 (AC) Sqn based in RAF Benson, supported 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery training from their Royal Citadel base in Plymouth.

With the weather conditions on the day poor at Plymouth and Dartmoor, cloud bases down to around 400 ft and visibility, at times, of less than 2km, the aircrafts first move was from the confined area of the Citadel with an eleven man team in patrol order with a simulated 500kg pallet of ammunition underslung on the cargo hook onto Dartmoor.

Returning to the Citadel, the second move took the 1900kg L118 105mm Light Gun, also underslung, from the Citadel up to Dartmoor.

Typically this training would be carried out with two or more helicopters simultaneously, however using a technique known as piggybacking, which allows multiple loads to be lifted at once it is possible to use a single aircraft, reducing the time spent in a potentially high risk environment.
This technique requires the highly talented pilots to remain perfectly still in the hover whilst the second load is attached close to the first.

The training is not only beneficial to the aircrew in practicing useful, operational Support Helicopter skills, but to also reassure that a pair of Merlin aircraft would be able to deploy a gun, gun team and ammunition quickly from a ship or other confined location to wherever needed in most operational contexts.

This provides invaluable integration between ground and aviation assets and demonstrates how the Merlin will provide an excellent Littoral / Maritime replacement for the venerable Sea King Mk4.
On 00:14 by Luke iMan in ,    No comments
Defense electronics company Thales said Friday it would take a €100 million (US $112 million) hit on 2014 operating profits due to an expected net loss of €300 million at naval shipbuilder DCNS.

Thales holds a 35 percent stake in DCNS, with the government owning 65 percent. DCNS contributed €40 million to Thales' operating profit in 2013.

Expected losses at DCNS stem from a sharp rise in "costs to complete" on the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine and other naval programs, and also civil nuclear energy programs, notably the Jules Horowitz research reactor, Thales said in a statement.

The expected €300 million net loss for 2014 at DCNS follows a comprehensive review of the company's programs, Thales said.

Excluding the negative impact from DCNS, Thales said its 2014 results would reflect "both stable order intake and sales," and growth of 5 to 7 percent in earnings before interest and taxes.

Thales expects a "break-even contribution" from DCNS in 2015 and a recovery after this year, Chief Financial Officer Pascal Bouchiat of the defense systems company said on a conference call, Reuters reported.

The review of costs and programs follows the appointment last year of Herve Guillou as chairman of the naval shipbuilder.

DCNS has launched a cost-cutting plan to find €100 million of savings this year and will complete in the first half a strategic development program, a DCNS spokesman said.

The high cost on the Barracuda was a cause for concern, and there is a potential for deeper losses on building the submarine, Sash Tusa, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said in a research note.
"We see this as far more worrying: The Barracuda programme (for up to 6 boats) has been stretched out, and deliveries look to stretch from later this decade to the end of the following one," the note said.

"Given BAE Systems' well publicized problems (and c.£1bn of charges) with the comparable Astute submarine programme for the UK, we think that the current c.€100-150m of charges that DCNS seems to have taken is likely only a starting point," the note said.

DCNS' difficulties seemed to stem from the "weak French defense budget," the note said. "With spending increases looking inconceivable short-term, the ripple effect could yet impact Thales' Land and Air activities too," the note said.

DCNS has appointed three directors in a bid to reorganize the company: Marie-Pierre de Baillencourt will oversee international business, Frank Le Rebeller finances, and Olivier de La Bourdonnaye industry. The company in October named Vincent Martineot-Lagarde as new program director for the Barracuda.

The industrial management team seeks to coordinate research, production and the supply chain, the DCNS spokesman said. The company aims for greater control of the industrial process, international growth and diversification. There are also ambitions for a simpler organization, development of skills and the financial culture.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

On 01:56 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
All three variants of the F-35 Lightning II continue on a path toward full weapons certification by successfully completing numerous milestones during the previous four months. Highlights included validating 2B weapons software and successfully executing several weapons separation and engagement tests. The most recent accomplishments are in support of the first military service Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration by the U.S. Marine Corps in July.

The program also surpassed 25,000 combined flight hours in December with F-35 military fleet aircraft (16,200 hours) nearly doubling the System Development and Demonstration (SDD)  test aircraft (8,950) hours.  Comprehensive flight test on the F-35A variant GAU-22 25mm gun system is scheduled to begin mid-year at Edwards AFB, Calif., and will include ground fire tests, muzzle calibration, flight test integration and in-flight operational tests. The 25mm missionized gun pod carried externally, centerline mounted on the F-35B and F-35C also begins testing this year to meet U.S. service’s desired schedule for full warfighting capability software known as 3F. The 3F software is currently planned for delivery with the Low Rate Initial Production nine (LRIP 9) U.S. aircraft in 2017.

“The weapons development program continues to track forward on the plan laid out by the Technical Baseline Review approved in 2010,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “All weapons tests needed for 2B software, the software the U.S. Marine Corps will use to declare IOC, is complete and will be ready to go for their combat capability certification.”
Specific F-35 Flight Test accomplishments during the past four months include:

First F-35 day and night Mission Effectiveness Close Air Support (CAS) flights completing 2B CAS testing (Oct. 21)

Completion of live fire testing on an F-35B ground test article.  (Sept. 9)

· Successful first (Sept. 9) and night flight (Sept. 18) with the Generation III helmet-mounted display with 3iR4 software

· Completion of final buffet, loads and high-angle-of-attack testing required for F-35A Block 2B software (Nov. 18)

· Successfully launched an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) from an F-35C, marking the last weapon separation test needed for Block 2B software (Sept. 30)

·F-35C set a record for 17 sorties in a day for a single F-35 aircraft (Nov.5) and a record 22 sorties with F-35C aircraft CF-3 and CF-5 combined aboard USS Nimitz for F-35C Sea Trials  off the coast of San Diego (Nov. 3-14)

· First separation test  of a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, a 250-lb. precision-guided glide weapon (Oct. 21) and multi-separation test (Nov. 20)

·First F-35 external flutter tests flown with the AIM-132 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) (Oct. 29) and Paveway IV missiles (Nov. 13)

· Three Weapon(s) Delivery Accuracy (WDA) live fire events completed in a week. The F-35 employed two AIM-120 AMRAAMs and one Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). These events included the first supersonic-guided missile launch and the first JDAM release on target coordinates generated from the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) (Nov. 18-25 )
On 01:38 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
There’s a twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 engine. A 10-speed transmission. Advanced LED lighting. And a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body to help save more than 500 pounds of weight for improved performance. The exact power specs aren’t known yet, but Ford says it certainly will deliver more horsepower and torque than the current Raptor’s 411-horsepower, 434-lb.-ft. 6.2-liter V8. 

Also noteworthy is the 2017 model being six inches wider than the standard model. There’s new, larger FOX Racing Shox, a Torsen differential up front, and the kicker, a four-wheel-drive system with Terrain Management settings for everything from normal driving to Baja mode. Prepare your wallets for fall 2016.

On 01:31 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
Digital day/night binoculars that penetrate fog, smoke, rain and sand for clear imaging have been introduced by Ricoh Americas Corporation.

Designed for military, law enforcement and commercial customers, the RICOH NV-10A clarifies, brightens and sharpens images with just a push of a button. The product's use of PENTAX Atmospheric Interference Reduction technology reintroduces color that would otherwise be obscured, the company said.

The binoculars are water resistant, dust proof, include GPS technology and a digital compass.
"This is a serious tool for the serious user," A Ricoh Americas official said. "Imagine you're on a merchant ship and see another vessel cruising into your vicinity. Is it friend or foe? How many crew members do you see on deck? What are they doing? You need to know before your options begin to dwindle."

Ricoh said the retail price for the NV-10A is $4,195.

On 01:19 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
Slovakia's Minister of Defense Martin Glvac has unveiled plans to acquire nine UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in a deal estimated to be worth up to €300 million (US $348 million), reports local daily Pravda.

"They will be supplied over the next six years, and paid for upon delivery," Glvac said.

The minister said he will inform the government, Security Council and the Parliamentary Defense Committee about the offer by the end of January.

Gen. Milan Maxim, Slovakia's chief of the General Staff, said the planned procurement will allow the country's military to replace its Soviet-designed Mil Mi-17 copters, increase interoperability with other NATO forces and cut operational costs.
Currently, the Slovak Armed Forces operate a fleet of 14 Mi-17 helos. The twin-turbine transport copter is manufactured by Kazan Helicopters and the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, both of which are subsidiaries of Russia's state-owned defense giant Rostec.

The planned purchase of the helicopters, which are manufactured by US Sikorsky, will be the first step of the Slovak government's plan to overhaul the military's helo fleet, according to Glvac. The copters are to be acquired through the Foreign Military Sales program.

In 2014, the Slovak Defense Ministry had a budget of €744.7 million, according to data from the ministry.
On 01:09 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Oto Melara has been short-listed to supply 127mm naval guns to the Indian Navy as India's new defense minister pushed the deal forward despite a fraud probe against the firm's parent company, Finmeccanica, an Indian Defence Ministry source said.

Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's stand against the blanket blacklisting of overseas defense companies was instrumental in the Defence Ministry's selection despite the probe against Finmeccanica and subsidiary AgustaWestland, an MoD source said.

The writing of the contract will take a few months after procedural clearances.

Oto Melara emerged as the sole bidder in the naval gun tender of 2013 because the UK's BAE Systems did not respond.

Parrikar sought to complete the tender to meet the Navy's needs, and decided not to debar the Finmeccanica group company, accepting the single-vendor bid of Oto Melara, said the MoD source.

Last July, the previous defense minister Arun Jaitley, now the finance minister, imposed a partial ban on Finmeccanica and its umbrella companies in the wake of a probe by India's anti-fraud investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, into the 2010 VVIP helicopter deal with AgustaWestland.

Parrikar took advantage of the July order on technical grounds to short-list Oto Melara, the source added.
The partial ban imposed in July said that if a Finmeccanica group company emerged as the lowest bidder, the tender cannot be awarded to that company if it can be negotiated with other bidders. Because there were no other bidders in this case, MoD took the position that the tender then could be given to Oto Melara, the source added.

According to the tender, two guns will be directly supplied by the original equipment manufacturer and the remaining 11 will be license-produced by state-owned Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. (BHEL).

"The clear cut stand against blacklisting of overseas defense companies on alleged corruption charges will enthuse overseas companies to participate keenly in Indian defense programs," said defense analyst Nitin Mehta. "There should be a clear cut policy on dealing with overseas companies found guilty of using kickbacks to swing deals and blanket blacklisting these companies is not the answer," Mehta said.

A Navy official said the 127mm gun made by Oto Melara is much needed and has a firing range of up to 100 kilometers. The Italian company also will transfer technology for the license production of the guns to BHEL, with which it is already manufacturing 76/62mm naval guns.
On 00:56 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
The press service of Russia's Western Military District has announced that it has received its first batch of new Mi-17V-5 transport helicopters, and is getting ready to receive more.

Russia's Western Military District has received a fresh batch of Mi-17V-5 transport helicopters and is set to receive more, the head of the district's press service Colonel Oleg Kochetkov told Russia's RIA Novosti on Friday.

"About ten of the new Mi-8MTV-5 [the domestic designation for the Mi-17V-5] military transport helicopters have entered into the army aviation brigade in the Western Military District, stationed in the Pskov region," Kochetkov told RIA Novosti. "It is expected that by the end of the month, the brigade will receive another [shipment]," he added.

The district's pilots and aircrew have been undergoing training in order to familiarize them with the new equipment, and regular flights will begin soon. Given that the helicopter is designed to operate in a wide variety of environmental and geographic conditions, pilots have been undergoing flight simulator training, including takeoff and landing on makeshift airfields, aircraft carriers and in mountainous terrain. The training is also said to have included preparation for emergency situations, and the use of weaponry.
The Mi-17V-5 is the latest modification to the successful, time-tested Mi-8 design, which was recently rated third among Flightglobal's 2015 'Top 10' most popular military aviation designs for 2015. The modification, presently in use by Afghan Security Forces, has been designed with multiple roles in mind, including troop and cargo transport, heavy duty cargo transport via an external sling, as well as search and rescue and fire support missions.

Last October, General Campbell of the US forces in Afghanistan praised the Mi-17V5, saying that it has "been a force multiplier for the special operating forces and for the conventional forces, the army and the police." He noted that he had "been really, really impressed" with the helicopter's performance, noting that its ability to provide cargo and troop transport support in difficult terrain and climatic conditions was "pretty incredible."
India's Hindustan Aeronautics plans to produce a licensed version of the Kazan Helicopter plant's Mi-17; 78 nations currently operate the craft. Over 17,000 different variations of the helicopter have been produced to date since the beginning of production in the early 1960s.

On 00:47 by Luke iMan in ,    No comments
The Czech Ministry of Defense aims to order 20 Pandur II 8x8 armored personnel carriers (APCs) from General Dynamics European Land Systems. The deal is expected to be awarded in July, Czech Deputy Defense Minister Jiri Borovec said.

The new APCs will improve the military's command and communication capability, Borovec told local news agency CTK.

"The [supplied] vehicle should not differ significantly from the rest [of the Czech APCs]. And not only visually, but also in terms of their tactical-technical specification," said Gen. Petr Pavel, the chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces.

The Pandurs will belong to the military's 4th Rapid Reaction Brigade.
The planned contract will expand the APC fleet operated by the Czech Army. In March 2009, the country's government approved the purchase of 107 Pandur II vehicles for 14.4 billion crowns (US $609 million). The APCs were designed to replace the Czech military's outdated OT-64 armored vehicles, which were jointly developed by then-communist Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1960s.

The Defense Ministry did not disclose amount of the planned deal.

Based in Madrid, General Dynamics European Land Systems is a subsidiary of US company General Dynamics, and operates units in Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.a

Thursday, 15 January 2015

On 17:45 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments

Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experts at BAE Systems are developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sensor payload able to look for submerged enemy submarines by detecting small variations in the Earth's magnetic field.

Officials of the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., announced an $8.9 million contract this week to the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Merrimack, N.H., for the High Altitude ASW (HAASW) Unmanned Targeting Air System (UTAS) program for the Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol jet.

HAASW UTAS seeks to integrate a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) and algorithms for use on an air-launched drone that the P-8A will use to detect and pinpoint enemy submarines.

A MAD instrument detects minute variations in the Earth's magnetic field. A submerged submarine represents a mass of ferromagnetic material that creates a detectable disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field.

The Navy's predecessor to the P-8A -- the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion four-engine turboprop aircraft -- has a MAD sensor attached to the back that looks like a large stinger that protrudes backward from the plane's tail.

Related: Boeing to equip Navy's new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for high-altitude ASW missions

The P-8A -- a maritime patrol version of the Boeing 737-800 single-aisle passenger jet -- was designed without the built-in MAD instrument largely because the P-8 is designed to operate primarily at high altitudes. The MAD sensor works best at low altitudes.
To compensate for the lack of a built-in MAD instrument, the P-8 will use an unmanned drone equipped with the HAASW UTAS MAD sensor and algorithms.

Although the P-8A is capable of low-altitude operations, it is designed primarily for use at relatively high altitudes to enable the aircraft to keep watch over large ocean areas and fly as fuel-efficiently as possible.

The plane is being designed not only with the HAASW UTAS to enable the aircraft to use a MAD instrument from high altitudes, but also with sonobuoys designed to launch from high altitudes and cover large areas of the ocean.

The P-8A also is being equipped with a flying torpedo called the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) Air Launch Accessory (ALA) that can be released from altitudes as high as 30,000 feet.

Related: Boeing to make flying torpedoes able to attack enemy submarines from 30,000 feet
These high-altitude torpedoes are Navy Mark 54 lightweight torpedoes with add-n kits that enable the weapons to glide through the air to attack enemy submarines from long ranges and high altitudes.

Fixed-wing aircraft like the P-3 normally release conventional torpedoes from very low altitudes or with small parachutes to ease the torpedoes into the water gently. The HAAWC ALA turns the Raytheon Mark 54 torpedo into a glide weapon. As the flying torpedo reaches the water, it jettisons wings and other air-control surfaces and takes on its original role as a smart torpedo that can detect, track, and attack enemy submarines autonomously.

The P-8A also is being designed to work together with the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) large UAV -- a maritime-patrol version of the Global Hawk long-range surveillance UAV.

One or more Triton UAVs can detect and track hostile submarines from high or low altitudes, and the P-8A can look for submerged submarines and launch torpedo attacks from high altitudes. The MAD instrument-equipped HAAWC ALA drone will add to the new P-8A's ASW capabilities.
On 17:20 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Missile force battalions of Russia's Central Military District will test launch Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles in the course of military drills after undergoing a command and control training course.

Two missile battalions of the Central Military District (CMD) will test launch a number of Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles during exercises in southern Russia in March, CMD spokesperson Col. Yaroslav Roshupkin said Thursday.

"In early March, after the completion of military training courses, the full-size unit will take part in combat launching exercises at the Kapustin Yar testing range," Roshupkin said.

The spokesperson added that two CMD missile force battalions have arrived at a testing range in Astrakhan Region to undergo an Iskander-M command and control training course ahead of the drills.

The units were fully equipped with Iskander-M theater ballistic missile complexes last November.
Following tactical drills, the missile forces are expected to return to their home base in Orenburg Region, which is fitted with the infrastructure needed to house the Iskander-M complexes, Roshupkin said.

Also known as SS-26 Stone, the Iskander is a powerful missile strike system with "quasi-ballistic" capability in use by the Russian Ground Forces. The missiles have a range of 400 km (250 miles) and can reportedly carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

Tests of the system were successfully carried out in 2007 and it is supplied by the Mashinostroyenia military-industrial corporation under a 2011 contract with the Russian Defense Ministry.
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