Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Pakistani pilot participated in the flight test of JF-17B for the first time

dafeng cao

A Pakistani pilot participated in the flight test of JF-17B #01 on 7 December for the first time. … Source: dafeng cao

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JF-17 “Thunder” fighter: Details

Qatar to negotiate with Nexter for armored vehicles, add-ons

Nexter's eight-wheel drive VBCI infantry fighting vehicle. (Nexter)

By: Pierre Tran  

PARIS — A letter of intent from Qatar for exclusive negotiations with Nexter has opened talks for various versions of the VBCI armored vehicle and an exploration of onboard systems, weaponry and services, according to three French defense executives.

The Gulf state has chosen the VBCI in a vehicle tender and signed the letter for talks with Nexter, the French Armed Forces Ministry said Dec. 9.

A lengthy Qatari competition led to a last round fought between the French state-owned land systems company and Patria’s armored modular vehicle, an executive said.

The three defense executives, one of whom works for a defense company and the others as consultants, spoke to Defense News on condition of anonymity.

Qatar has picked the VBCI chassis and will now seek to decide which of the 490 units will be fitted for missions including infantry fighting vehicle, troop carrier, reconnaissance, command post, mortar, and ambulance, a second executive said. Weapons and ammunition will require large budgets on top of the planned vehicle purchase.

Discussions on weapons will likely include a CTA International 40mm and Kongsberg 30mm cannon. Nexter and BAE Systems are joint venture partners on the former.

Other weapons to be pitched include remotely operated 7.62mm and 12.7mm machine guns, the second executive said. The MBDA MMP anti-tank missile could compete with the Lockheed Martin Javelin.

Lockheed has a strong presence in Qatar, and the U.K. unit will likely pitch its 40mm gun turret against the Nexter model, the executive added.

CMI, a Belgian firm, could also pitch its gun turrets, a third executive said.

There could be offers of mortar versions armed with TDA 81mm and 120mm weapons, according to the second executive.

Onboard digital systems will be offered for a battle management system and communications, such as those developed for the French Army’s Scorpion program, the second executive said.

Thales gave a Nov. 24 demonstration to armed forces of SYNAPS, the export version of its Contact software-defined radio.

A vehicle service contract will also need to be negotiated, which could lead to an “enormous Nexter service workshop,” the executive said. Service offers a steady income for decades.

Qatar has been keen for local assembly of the vehicle rather than receiving all the vehicles “built up,” the third executive said. One of the possibilities considered is a first batch of 100-150 built-up units, with the rest assembled in Qatar.

The 30-ton, eight-wheel drive VBCI will replace Qatari fleets of wheeled and tracked vehicles, including the French AMX-30 and AMX-10. Qatar has also ordered the Leopard 2 heavy tank from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall.

Nexter has completed delivery of 630 VBCI to the French Army and has been actively seeking export orders amid concern in the workforce that work was drying up at its site at Roanne, central France.

The French company presented the VBCI 2 export model at the DSEI trade show in London two years ago.

Qatar announced the pick of the VBCI along with exercising an option for a further 12 Rafale fighter jets, bringing the total order to 36.

Original post:

62 Leopard 2A7+ series main battle tanks (MBTs) and 24 PzH 2000 155mm/52 self-propelled (SP) artillery systems, which were ordered under a €1.89 billion contract placed early in 2013 by Qatar. Source:

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VBCI-2 in IFV with CTAI 40 mm CTAS: Details

VBCI Nexter: Details

Mi-8AMTSh possible EW or SIGINT variant spotted

December 2017 img of Mi-8AMTSh (poss.#EW or #SIGINT variant) at Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in Lyubertsy Dist.,Moscow Oblast. 7362 Yellow, no reg. Note the lack of:side door due to enlarged fuel tank & canopy armour plates.LHS tank appears significantly enlarged too. ©Oleg Podkladov.  Source:

Mi-8AMTSh v. @ #Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant,Lyubertsy Dist.,Moscow Oblast. Poss.#EW or #SIGINT ; 7362 Yellow,no reg. Oct 2017©Oleg Podkladov.  Source:

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Turkey's ROKETSAN missiles to use domestic turbojet engine

Turkish F-4 armed with SOM missiles

Turkish defense contractor Roketsan has said its future missile systems will use fully domestic turbojet engines created for Turkey's stand-off-munition cruise missile, SOM, as of next year.

The turbojet engines will add to Turkey's growing list of domestic defense products. SOM cruise missiles were developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey's (TÜBİTAK) Defense Industry Research and Development Institute (SAGE) and produced by Roketsan.

Recently the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry and Kale Aviation Industry Inc. signed a contract that included the design, production, testing, technology demonstration, training, maintenance and technical data package of the turbojet engine and related subsystems to be used in the mass production of SOM missiles, as required by the Turkish Air Force Command.

Kale Aviation is getting ready to finalize its efforts for turbojet engines supplied from abroad. Turbojet engines will be used in SOM missiles as of the middle of next year. So, a critical part of the missiles will have been procured more economically and possible export restrictions will have been prevented.

The finished system could also be used in SOM-like systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and small-class aircraft with minor modifications.

The project has allowed making significant gains in the reduction of external dependency on engine technologies.

The first gain is the development of sub-systems such as alternators, fuel pumps, fuel control systems, electronic control units and pyrotechnic igniters, which could also be used in other engines. In addition, the project also saw the development of compressors, core engines, combustion chambers and turbines. The second major gain is national and original development of all development testing mechanisms, considered a must to develop a new jet engine. The SOM missile family, designed for use against ground and sea targets, comes in different variants including the SOM-A, SOM-B1, SOM-B2, and SOM-J.

The missiles have an operational range of more than 250 kilometers and offer low visibility, high precision, resistance/endurance against mixing measures, network-based movement suitability, engagement with opportunity targets and selection between pre-planned tasks during flight, target definition during flight, selectable stroke parameters and universal weapon interface compatibility.

Original post:

SOM Air-to-Surface Cruise Missile: Details

Airbus completes delivery of Panther helicopters to Mexican Navy

11 DECEMBER 2017

Airbus Helicopters has completed the deliveries of the final two AS565 MBe Panther helicopters to the Mexican Navy.

The Mexican Navy is the first naval force to launch the new version of the Airbus aircraft and the delivery follows an order for a total of ten AS565 MBe Panther helicopters, which was originally placed in 2014.

The first four helicopters were delivered last year, while the remaining six were supplied earlier this year.

“It is a modern, multi-mission helicopter that we can use in both maritime and land environments for a wide range of missions.”

AS565 MBe Panther helicopters are capable of conducting an average of 300 flight hours for reconnaissance, patrol missions and training flights.

The aircraft are currently stationed at three naval bases in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Sonora and Michoacan respectively.

Mexican Navy Naval Aviation general director admiral Jose Maria Garcia Macedo said: “The arrival of the MBe Panther has enhanced the Navy Aviation’s operational capabilities.

“It is a modern, multi-mission helicopter that we can use in both maritime and land environments for a wide range of missions, including maritime search and rescue (SAR), disaster relief, external load operations and even air ambulance.”

AS565 MBe Panther aircraft use a variety of advanced mission equipment such as a cargo hooks, rescue hoists and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) for night-time rescue missions to allow them to conduct a wide range of operations effectively and easily.

They also comprise a total of four stretchers each for medical evacuation purposes.

In addition, the new Panther helicopter features two Safran Arriel 2N engines in order to improve the aircraft’s performance in hot and high conditions, as well as allow it to attain a top speed of 278km/h and a maximum range of 780km.

MBe Panther aircraft are also equipped with a new main gearbox, advanced tail rotor and four-axis autopilot that minimises the crew’s workload and improves performance during demanding missions such as SAR.

Original post:

AS565 Panther: Details

056 Corvette launches HQ-10 CIWS to intercept the sea skimming anti-ship target missile

056 Corvette launches HQ-10 CIWS to intercept the sea skimming anti-ship target missile. Source: dafeng cao

056 Corvette launches HQ-10 CIWS to intercept the sea skimming anti-ship target missile. Source: dafeng cao

See short clip in Type 056 link

Jiangdao Class (Type 056): Details

Monday, 11 December 2017

Type 45 engine will be fixed by the time HMS Queen Elizabeth takes on her first mission

HMS Daring (D32)

‘Destroyers’ engine woes will be fixed for carrier’s first mission’

Published: 14:10 Sunday 10 December 2017

Officer in charge of Britain’s carrier strike group is confident propulsion problems with the Type 45s will soon be a thing of the past

ENGINE woes plaguing the Royal Navy’s £6bn destroyer fleet will be fixed before Britain’s new aircraft carrier comes into service, a top naval officer has said.

Commodore Andrew Betton is confident problems with the propulsion system of the Type 45 fleet will be history by the time HMS Queen Elizabeth takes on her first mission in 2021.

The £1bn-a-piece air defence destroyers will form a ‘critical part’ of the nation’s new carrier strike battlegroup.

Made up of frigates, destroyers, submarines and a host of aircraft, the group will operate alongside the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

Cdre Betton – who is in charge of the carrier strike team – said there is no need to worry about the abilities of the destroyers, which have previously broken down while on deployment.

Earlier this month, HMS Diamond was forced to cut her deployment in the Gulf short following issues with her engine.

Cdre Betton said: ‘The carrier strike capability is a critical part of our future navy.

‘Type 45 offers us a world-beating capability. The propulsion challenges we are facing with them are understood. Plans are in place to rectify them.

‘I am confident these issues will be fixed before the carrier’s first deployment.’

The Type 45s are touted by the navy as one of the world’s most advanced warships.

But problems have blighted the fleet of six vessels, which are all based in Portsmouth.

Issues stem from the vessels’ advanced design, which uses two Rolls-Royce engines and two diesel generators.

The tech sees the ships’ shafts and the rest of its systems powered by the same gas turbines but it has struggled with blackouts.

Issues with overheating in the hotter climates of the Gulf have created power issues.

A multi-million pound refit programme has already been agreed by the Ministry of Defence to rectify the problem.

As previously reported, defence minister Harriet Baldwin said the refit plan was expected to begin in 2018.

Original post:

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Type 45 Daring Class: Details