Monday, 22 January 2018

Turkish Army Launches Operation in Syria's Azaz to the East of Afrin

Turkish Army Launches Operation in Syria's Azaz to the East of Afrin - Reports

14:21 22.01.2018 (updated 14:54 22.01.2018)

On Saturday, the Turkish leadership announced a military campaign in Syrian Kurdish-controlled Afrin, with the operation on the ground starting the following day.

According to Anadolu news agency citing a military source, the Turkish Armed Forces have started an operation in Azaz, located to the east of Afrin in northern Syria.

The Turkish "Olive Branch" operation conducted jointly with Free Syrian Army rebels against the Syrian Kurdish PKK and the YPG was launched on Saturday with airstrikes and continued the following day with the start of the campaign on the ground.

According to the Turkish authorities, the operation is set to end swiftly. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that his troops will destroy the Kurdish militia in Syria, that have been supported by the United States.

Earlier in the day, Anadolu reported that Turkish forces have established control over 11 positions taken from Kurdish forces.

However, according to a representative of the Syrian Kurdistan in Moscow, Rodi Osman, the Syrian Kurds forced Turkish troops and Ankara-backed rebels to retreat from their territory.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has condemned the operation calling it a "brutal attack," while Moscow has stated that US arms supplies to the Kurdish fighters have forced Ankara to launch the operation.

Ankara has been mulling the possibility of an offensive in Syria’s northern Kurdish-controlled Afrin following a reported US plan to train Kurdish forces in Syria to patrol the country's border with Turkey. The force is expected to be staffed partly by the SDF, affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey believes to have ties with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist group in Turkey.

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Turkey: Armoured vehicles head to Afrin as operation 'Olive Branch' continues

Published on Jan 21, 2018

The moment #Turkish tank was destroyed by YPG in #Afrin

Published on Jan 21, 2018

Moscow to deliver six Su-30 fighter aircraft to Myanmar

Su-30 fighter jets © Marina Lystseva/TASS

January 22, 12:42 UTC+3

Russia will supply six Su-30 fighter jets to Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW /Myanmar/, January 22. /TASS/. Russia will supply six Su-30 fighter jets to Myanmar, according to an agreement reached during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to the republic, Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Alexander Fomin said on Monday.

"During the Russian defense minister’s visit an agreement was reached under which Myanmar would purchase six Su-30 planes," Fomin said, adding that this plane "will become the main fighter aircraft of Myanmar’s air force to protect the country’s territorial integrity and repel any terror threats."

According to the deputy defense minister, Russian armaments proved their capability during their operation in Myanmar’s Armed Forces. "These are, in particular, the Mi-24, Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters, as well as the MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the Yak-130 combat-capable trainer aircraft, the Pechora-2 air defense system and other equipment," the lieutenant-general specified.

He also reported that more than 600 Burmese military are studying in Russia’s higher military educational institutions. "All of this helps tighten security in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim in general," Fomin concluded.

On January 20-22, Shoigu visited Myanmar on an official visit. An intergovernmental agreement on a streamlined entry for warships in Russia’s and Myanmar’s ports was signed during the visit, and talks with the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces Senior General Min Aung Hlaing were held.

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The RTAF have no choice now but to chose the Su-35 to replace the 36 ageing F-16A/Bs to stay ahead of Vietnam and Myanmar as 36 Su-35 would cost $3.6 billion.  Unless they can come up with a huge budget of $5.4 billion to purchase 36 Gripen E/F.

However, if operational cost were factored in for say 30 years the Gripen E/F may turn out cheaper.

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India begins final negotiations for S-400 Triumf air defence system: Missiles can reach Pakistan, Tibet air bases

S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems © Vitaly Nevar/TASS

FP Staff Jan 22, 2018 12:02:43 IST

The Centre has begun final negotiations to buy Russia-built S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for Rs 39,000 crore, The Times of India reported on Monday. According to the report, the government wants to operationalise the deal by the end of FY2018-19. If the deal is inked, it will be one of the biggest arms contract with Russia, added the report.

The deal was first approved the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in December 2015, just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Russia. If the deal goes through by the end of the financial year, India will be the second buyer of the missile system after China, which concluded the deal with Russia in 2014.

Once the deal is finalised, the first of the five air missile defence systems will be delivered to India immediately while the associated battle-management systems will be delivered after two years of the deal being inked, The Times of India report said.

All five missile systems will be in India’s possession in 54 months, the report quoted a source in the defence ministry as saying.

A major plug in India’s air defence

India has over eight lakh square nautical miles of airspace, of which nearly 35 percent is under military control. With two nuclear-armed neighbours, India faces the constant threat of air attacks.

An air defence system detects, tracks and destroys hostile strategic bombers, stealth fighters, spy planes, medium-range and cruise missiles as well as drones at a range of up to 400 kilometres and altitude of 30 kilometres.

According to a Business Today report, the S-400 missile systems has a tracking range of 600 kilometres, while it can engage up to 36 targets at one time. Compared with its predecessor, the S-300, the S-400 has a 2.5 times faster firing rate. Hence, reports consider it to be the most modern, air defence system in the Russian arsenal.

According to reports, the missile system can be used against Pakistan’s short-range nuclear missiles, Nasr. Nasr missiles are specifically designed to counter India’s “cold start” strategy against Pakistan. With S-400 missiles in India’s armoury, the air bases of Pakistan and China’s Tibetan bases come under striking distance.

Other missile shields for India

Akash, India’s indigenously-built air defence system, is a medium-range Surface-to-Air missile system. Built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), these missiles have a range of 25 kilometres. The first batch of the Akash missiles was inducted by the Indian Army in May 2015. The missile was formally inducted into the IAF in July 2015.

The two other major air defence systems with India are Spyder and Barak 8. While Spyder has a range of just 15 kilometres, Barak 8, a joint project of the DRDO and the IAI, has a longer range of at least 70 kilometres.

Missile defence systems in other countries

South Korea

Always facing a nuclear threat from its northern neighbour, South Korea has the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system to safeguard itself from a nuclear missile strike. The missile system consists of US Surface-to-Air patriot missiles and indigenous M-SAM (Cheolmae) medium-range missiles. The M-SAM missiles are expected to be deployed on a large scale from 2019.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Japan has the most sophisticated air-defence missile systems after the US. Japan has the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missile defence systems. These were acquired to destroy any ballistic missile that enters the Japanese air space. These missile systems compliment the sea-based standard missile 3 system.


In 2017, Pakistan inducted the Chinese-built LOMADS LY-80, which is a low-to-medium range air defence system. Ary News reported that the LY-80 can intercept very low-flying targets at a distance of up to about 40 kilometers. The Pakistan Army also inducted the short-range HQ-7B missile system in 2015, which is China’s copy of the French-made Cartole surface-to-air defence system.


Since the 1990s, China has been developing its air defence missile systems. Some of the major air defence systems under China’s control are HQ-9, which has a range of at least 200 kilometres and the 50-kilometre range HQ-12 missile system. In addition, China has had close defence ties with Russia which has helped it acquire several Russian models of air defence systems.

Published Date: Jan 22, 2018 12:02 PM | Updated Date: Jan 22, 2018 12:02 PM

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F-35B Lightning II Flying In Full Italian Navy Markings

The F-35B MM7451 during its test flight in full Marina Militare markings (Credit: Franco Gualdoni)

Here Is Italy’s First F-35B Lightning II Flying In Full Italian Navy Markings For The First Time Today

Jan 18 2018 

By David Cenciotti

The aircraft will be officially delivered to the Marina Militare next week. Today it flew for the first time in full Italian Navy markings.

On Jan. 18, the first Italian F-35B, the first short-take and vertical landing Lightning II aircraft assembled outside the US, designated BL-1, carried out a test flight in STOVL mode at Cameri airfield, home of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, in northwestern Italy, sporting full Italian Navy markings for the very first time.

Aviation photographer and friend Franco Gualdoni was there and took the photographs of the F-35B flying in the early afternoon sun.

The aircraft, serialled MM7451/4-01, will be taken on charge by the Marina Militare with a ceremony scheduled at the FACO on Jan. 25, 2018. After delivery, the aircraft will be transferred to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, to obtain the Electromagnetic Environmental Effects certification, before moving (most probably) to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina home of U.S. Marine Corps F-35B pilot training.

The aircraft, that had successfully completed its maiden flight on Oct. 24, 2017, sports a livery quite similar to the one of the Italian Navy’s AV-8B+ Harrier II of the Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati: it features the wolf’s head insignia on the tail, the wolf’s paw prints on the rudder, the Italian Navy roundel and the MARINA text.

Italy plans to procure 90 F-35s: 60 F-35As for the Air Force and 30 F-35Bs for both the ItAF and Italian Navy. The Navy’s STOVL aircraft will replace the ageing Harrier jump jets at Grottaglie airbase, in southeastern Italy, and aboard the Cavour aircraft carrier.

The F-35B MM7451 during its test flight in full Marina Militare markings (Credit: Franco Gualdoni)

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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Indian Navy Looking At More P-8i ‘Submarine Killers’

Boeing P-8I aircraft for surveillance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)

Indian Navy Looking At More P-8i ‘Submarine Killers’: Admiral Lanba

ON JANUARY 13, 2018

By:The Economic Times

The Indian Navy is considering the acquisition of more Boeing P-8I aircraft for surveillance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), according to Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

In an interview to the magazine ‘India Strategic’, Admiral Lanba said that air surveillance capability is an important subset of naval operations and that while the proposal was on the table, he could not disclose the required numbers.

His predecessors have spoken of a requirement of 30 Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft, under which the navy has already inducted eight aircraft and placed an order for four more.

Because of the overall tardy process of routine modernisation of the armed forces over the last 30 years, the Indian Navy has not been able to renew its inventory of submarines but the acquisition of the P-8I (I stands for India) has given it a very strong offensive capability to detect and hunt hostile submarines.

In fact, in terms of contemporary weapon technologies, the P-8I, often referred to as the “submarine killer”, is perhaps the most advanced system that any of the three Indian services have acquired in recent years. The aircraft was deployed in 2013 by the Indian Navy around the same time the US Navy did.

The Defence Ministry has officially stated that the P-8I is “capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest”.

Asked about the growing number of hostile submarines in the Indian Ocean, nearer home in fact, Admiral Lanba said: “As a professional military force, we constantly evaluate the maritime security environment in our areas of interest. We lay a lot of stress on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). Accordingly, we are fully seized of the presence and likely intentions of all extra-regional forces operating in the Indian Ocean. Our Navy is fully capable and ever ready to meet any challenges that may arise in the maritime domain.”

Significantly, the agreement for the P-8Is was signed on January 1, 2009, within a couple of months of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which exposed the vulnerability of the country’s maritime defences. The attack, in fact, triggered the government to clear quite a few proposals for the armed forces as well as to review what should be done to ensure security of Indian waters, particularly the coastal belts on the country’s eastern and western seaboards.

The Navy is now the nodal agency for coordinating surveillance through satellites and aircraft and a network of police and small boats has also been integrated into the system.

The Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) also operate a number of HAL-made Dornier 228 aircraft, while some proposals for more LRMR and Medium-Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) have been on the table for the last few years.

Observed Admiral Lanba: “Every endeavour is being made to collectively ensure that our maritime security, of which coastal security is an important subset, is adequately strengthened.”

“A number of measures have been taken since 26/11 to strengthen maritime, coastal and offshore security by the concerned agencies in the country. These measures broadly include increasing capacity and capabilities of maritime security forces, enhanced surveillance and domain awareness of the maritime zones, increased regulation of maritime activities, streamlining intelligence-sharing between different agencies and strengthening overall maritime governance. There have been significant improvements in the operational response to developing situations at and from the seas,” he added.

At the national level, coordination of coastal security-related activities is being carried out by the National Committee for Strengthening Coastal and Maritime Security (NCSCMS).

The Navy had ordered eight P-8I aircraft in 2009 for $2.1 billion along with a training package. Weapons and torpedoes were extra as needed, and then, under the Options Clause, four more aircraft were ordered in August 2016.

The standard delivery schedule begins within three years of signing a contract and making the first payment. Boeing has said that it delivered the first lot of eight aircraft “on time, on cost” and helped set up their base at the INS Rajali Naval Air Station at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.

Boeing had been awarded a three-year contract in June last year for engineering and logistics support for the P-8I fleet. In January 2018, the Navy has been given approximately Rs 2,000 crore (almost $315 million) for a Training Solution along with a 10-year package for comprehensive maintenance service.

The training facility at INS Rajali will be the third of its kind after those in the US and Australia, and will train pilots, observers and ordnance and technical personnel. Spread over 60,000 sq ft, the facility would be completed by 2021.

A Training Simulator to be set up at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT), Kochi, for ab-initio training of the technical personnel is part of the package.

Pratyush Kumar, Boeing’s India President and Vice President International, had observed after signing the three-year contract last year: “Our team remains focused on executing our commitments to customers on schedule and cost. With this contract, the Indian Navy can be assured of achieving exceptional operational capability and readiness of the P-8I fleet.”

Boeing’s earlier contract was due to expire in October 2017.

The Indian variant has certain Indian components, including communication software and IFF (Identify Friend or Foe), to align with Indian naval and Air Force aircraft and net-centric systems.

It has 360-degree radar view, thanks to Raytheon’s AN/APY-40 forward looking radar’s 240-degree coverage and the rest from Telefonics aft-looking radar.

Built on the Boeing 737 frame, the P8-I is capable of detecting and destroying hostile submarines deep under the water. It has 11 hard points for carrying Harpoon anti-shipping missiles and depth charges, and five stations in the weapons bay for Raytheon-supplied Mk-54 torpedoes. Two hard points upfront are for Search and Rescue equipment.

There are five operator stations, and windows for outside views. All the systems are integrated with the onboard Mission Computer and Display System for control and data distribution in high speeds with ultra-high resolution. The APY 10 radar is developed keeping in mind not just the land but waters of the vast oceans as well, be it day or night. It is capable of tracking even small vessels in littoral and high seas environments.

The Indian variant also has the Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) which measures minute variations and disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field caused by the underwater movement of steel-encased submarines.

India has already acquired a number of Harpoon Block II missiles for use both by the Navy and IAF, which also conducts maritime patrols.

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P-8 Poseidon: Details

Modernized MiG-31BM enters service with Central Military District

© Russian Ministry of Defence

Russian Aviaton » Thursday January 18, 2018 15:32 MSK

A flight of MiG-31BM fighter-interceptors have entered the service with the 14th Air Force and Defence Army, Central MD.

Aircraft were upgraded at the Aviation enterprise in Tver region, and entered the service with air regiment located in Krasnoyarsk Krai.

The MiG-31BM has tripled its efficiency due to advanced on-board radar equipment and armament comparing to its predecessor, MiG-31.

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Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation: Video

Mikoyan MiG-31: Details

Qatar military plane intercepts UAE civilian aircraft

Dassault Mirage 2000, Qatar's Fighter Jet. Photo by U.S. Navy Photo by Paul Farley.

Filed on January 15, 2018 | Last updated on January 15, 2018 at 01.55 pm

The UAE strongly condemned the move, and said it will take every step possible to ensure safety of its planes and passengers.

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority on Monday announced that Qatar's military aircraft intercepted a civilian UAE plane when it was on its way to Manama in Bahrain.

According to the authority, the aircraft was on a scheduled flight to a known destination, and this move by Qatar was a severe violation of international law, and an infringement of safety standards.

The UAE strongly condemned the move, and said it will take every step possible to ensure safety of its planes and passengers.

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Qatari action on jets harmful for civilians: UAE

ABU DHABI: The UAE will follow all official international channels, including contacting the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) about Qatar’s interception of two regular UAE aircraft en route to Bahrain, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has stated.

The statement came during a briefing organised by the ministry at its premises on Wednesday for the ambassadors of permanent members of the UN Security Council to the UAE and those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.

The briefing, attended by representatives of the UAE Armed Forces and the General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, refuted the Qatari allegations that a UAE military aircraft violated Qatar’s airspace. Radar footages documenting Qatari violations were presented by UAE Armed Forces and GCAA during the briefing.

Footages were shown, which evidenced that the UAE military aircraft accused by Doha of violating Qatari airspace was flying over the UAE air space over a training zone acknowledged by the two countries and that its mission did not last more than 30 seconds.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said at the briefing that the actions by the Qatari aircraft against the UAE aircraft and the international air safety showed clearly that the authorities in Qatar are determined to escalate the situation. What happened was not an accident, but rather part of a trend that placed civilian lives in jeopardy, he said.

“We are really talking here about facts and incident escalation. We ask our honoured ambassadors convening here to understand that this is not part of the rhetoric we hear in each incident. A disaster was about to happen. However, the UAE will not escalate and will follow legal channels and we have strong grounding for this.”

“The UAE response will be balanced, legal and in conformity with international laws and regulations,” he added, affirming that the Qatari actions are irresponsible escalation.

The Qatari actions prove that the Qatari authorities don’t respect international laws and conventions and endanger air safety and passengers’ lives, said the GCAA.

During the meeting, presentations and a short video by the GCAA and the UAE Armed Forces were shown that included radar footage documenting in real time two other separate incidents of interception of two military cargo aircraft that were flying over the Arabian Gulf by Qatari Mirage fighters. Though the two aircraft were well clear of the Qatari Air Space, the footages showed that they were followed by the Qatari fighters.

The footage also indicated that the UAE civilian aircraft intercepted by Qatar’s Air Force, which took off from the Al Odaid Air Base, were flying well clear of Qatari air space and that they were regular, scheduled, flights, following well-known routes, with the relevant approvals and internationally recognised permits. WAM.  Source:

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