Archive for March 2011

Russian Ground Troop Says Chinese Arms Better Than Russian Arms

The Russian defense industry manufactures poor quality arms for ground forces. NATO and China produce better quality hardware, the commander of Russian ground troops Alexander Postnikov said.

"The combat vehicle arsenal, artillery systems and small arms produced by the domestic defense industry fall behind NATO and even Chinese arms," the official stated.

Postnikov particularly cracked down on the Russian T-90 tank, which, as he said, "was a 17th modification of the Soviet T-72 tank produced since 1973. According to the official, a tank like that currently costs 118 million rubles ($4 million). "It would be easier for us to purchase three Leopards from Germany for this money," he said.

He did not explain, though, why India prefers to buy one Russian T-90 tank instead of three German Leopards. India plans to use T-90s to replace its outdated T-72 and T-55 tanks. Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan also signed contracts with Russia for the delivery of such machines, but Mr. Postnikov disregarded that too.

There are other interesting aspects to the story. According to media reports, in 2010, one T-90 tank was valued at 70 million rubles ($2.3 million). Therefore, it is not clear how the cost increased more than 1.7 times in less than a year.

Here is another aspect. Cheapest and oldest Leopards cost not less than 70 million rubles as of 2009. As for Leopard 2A6, the cost of this machine is 172.2 million rubles ($5.7 million).

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US Air Force Set To Flight-Test Hypersonic Missile, X-51 WaveRider

The US Air Force (USAF) is all set to flight-test a hypersonic missile, X-51 WaveRider, with tests scheduled to take place on 22 March 2011.

The 14ft-long X-51 Waverider will be launched from a B-52 bomber flying over the Pacific Ocean Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range, and will be rocket-boosted to speeds up to Mach 6.

The flight test is the second of four test flights under the $246.5m Waverider programme, which began in December 2003.

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Chinese Military Buildup Could Push USA Out of Asia

Chinese government announced an increase of nearly 13 percent in its defense budget over the previous year. Officially, the defense budget stands at slightly more than $91 billion--a sum now second in the world only to what the United States spends on its military.

This is only the "official," declared budget. China's real expenditures for military affairs are far greater, with jets and ships it buys from Russia, its research and development programs, and its strategic weapons all "off the books."

Moreover, if one factors in the vast difference in what it costs to field and pay for the average member of the Chinese military versus those same costs for an American serviceman or woman, the "price-adjusted" Chinese military budget may approach $300 billion.

While this figure is at best an estimate and still clearly smaller than what the United States spends on defense, America's edge in spending does not necessarily translate into clear military pre-eminence in Asia.

The U.S. military has global tasks and responsibilities, while the vast majority of China's defense expenditures goes toward building up a capability in this one specific but vital region of the word.

So what has China gotten for its money after two decades of double-digit increases in military spending? The short answer is a change in the East Asian military balance.

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Chairman Joint Cheif Of Staff Committee In Turkey

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Kahlid Shameem Wynne, who is on an official visit to Turkey called on HE Mr Abdullan Gul President of Turkey. Chairman apprised the President about the ongoing efforts of Pakistan in fighting the menace of terrorism. He also conveyed gratitude for support rendered to flood affectees. Turkey shares convergent perception about the emerging global and regional geo-strategic environment and desires to further strengthen the relationship through bilateral exchanges.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee called on Turkish General Staff Headquarters where he was received by Commander of Turkish Armed Forces General Isik Kosaner. A smartly turned out Tri Service guard of honour presented salute. Chairman and Turkish counter part discussed matters of mutual interest and reiterated strengthening of military cooperation between the two countries. Later, he met with Mr Vecdi Gonul Turkish Minister of Defence and discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest.

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Iranian Cargo Plane Ordered To Land In Turkey

An Iranian cargo plane passing through Turkish airspace en route to Syria was ordered to land at an airport in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır Tuesday night, Anatolia news agency reported.

The plane, reportedly carrying military equipment, was ordered to land after the authorities received a tip that it carried nuclear weapons, Doğan news agency, or DHA, reported.

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Pakistan Successfully Test Fired Surface To Surface (STS) Hataf-2 Abdali Ballistic Missile

Pakistan successfully fired the short range Surface to Surface (STS) Hataf-2 Abdali ballistic missile. The test was a part of the process of validation and technical improvements for the Land Based Ballistic Missile Systems which are deployed by the Pakistan Army. The Hataf-2 Abdali missiles have a range of 180 kilometers and can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads. This specific missile characterizes with amazing accuracy which, however, influences the range.

The test was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General (Retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Commander Army Strategic Force Command Lieutenant General Jamil Haider, Chairman SUPARCO Major General Ahmed Bilal, Senior officers from the Armed Forces and Scientists and Engineers of Strategic Organizations.

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Pakistan Air Force 5th Squadron. Gets New F-16s Block 52+

One of Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) historical squadrons which was until now equipped with Mirage aircraft has gone through a big change as new F-16 C/D Block 52+ aircraft were inducted. A ceremony for the 5th Squadron was held at the PAF’s base Shahbaz in Jacobadad. Many important guests attended like Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman.

The Squadron color was presented to the commander of the squadron during the ceremony and later on a formation of F-16 Block 52 and Mirage aircraft presented a fly-past. Gen Kayani praised the PAF for its efforts in the war against terrorism. Pakistan’s army has been battling terrorism since 2004 and since then a lot of operations have been conducted thanks to the support of the PAF.

Air Chief Marshal Suleman held a speech about the future development of the Air Force and how the first decade of the 21st century has seen PAF transform into a modern and fierce force. The focus of PAF is to back off form the traditional threat-based development and instead try to develop the enhancement of their capabilities. PAF has done a lot to cover all air-warfare areas and be able to overcome any challenges.

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Pakistan Planning To Get six Submarines In Joint Development with China

Pakistan is planning of buying six more submarines with options for joint development of future submarines with China. The reason for that is, because Pakistan is seeking for ways to strengthen its under-sea warfare capabilities.

For now it is unknown what the class of the submarines is, but according to anonymous information Islamabad required an advanced under-sea vessel with air independent propulsion (AIP) system. This system will give the submarine the capability of staying submerged for longer and operating noiselessly.

The federal Cabinet of China was asked by the Defence Ministry to approve the purchase of the submarines in order to counter the “rising threats” for Pakistan. At the moment the Pakistan Navy has five active diesel electric submarines and 3 midget submarines. The submarines include Agosta-90b which are going to be equipped with MESMA AIP system, and Agosta-70.

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USA Confirms Plans For Missile Defense Base in Poland

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed Washington's plans to deploy missile defenses and Air Force units in Poland.

"As was announced by our two presidents in December, we plan to establish a new permanent U.S. air detachment in Poland, build missile defenses in Poland, and as agreed at the NATO summit, develop a contingency plan in the region," Clinton told journalists ahead of talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in Washington.

Wikileaks published U.S. cables in late 2010 showing that NATO was drawing up a plan on the protection of Estonia, Lithuania and Poland from external threats on a request from the United States and Germany.

 The Guardian reported that under the plan, reportedly approved by Clinton, the United States, Britain, Germany and Poland would deploy troops in the region in case of a military aggression against the Baltic States or Poland itself.

According to the British newspaper, NATO members approved the draft plan during the alliance's summit in Lisbon in November 2010.

In 2009, the United States decided to deploy several F-16 fighter jets and Hercules transport aircraft in Poland. Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich has said the United States was also planning to deploy Patriot missile defense systems in Poland at a base just 100 kilometers from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

"We have a full agenda that will concentrate on three essential areas: building our mutual security, expanding prosperity and promoting democracy," Clinton said on Thursday, adding "as we grow our military partnership, we continue to expand economic ties between the Polish and American people."

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S. missile defenses near its borders, arguing they would be a security threat and could destroy the strategic balance of forces in Europe.

The United States scrapped earlier plans in September last year for an anti-ballistic-missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so called Euro missile defense system at the Lisbon summit. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

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Chinese PLA Tank Production Line

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Air-launch BrahMos Cruise Missile Ready for Tests

A modified version of the supersonic BrahMos missile for use by aircraft is ready for tests.
Once the tests are completed, the missile will be inducted in the Indian Air Force. The missile has been already inducted in the Army and Navy.

Speaking to reporters at Kalasalingam University here, BrahMos Aerospace CEO and MD A. Sivathanu Pillai said the missile has been successfully modified for launch from fighter aircraft and fighter-bombers.

"The weight of the missile has been reduced by 500 kg to 2,500 kg for the air-launch variant," he said.

The land and sea launch versions weigh 3,000 kg.


Though the weight has been reduced, the air-launch version remains as deadly as its land- and sea-launched counterparts, Mr Pillai said, adding that trials for the air launch version of BrahMos would be conducted in 2012 and it is expected to be inducted in the Indian Air Force by 2013.

Noting that Sukhoi-30 is currently India’s main strike fighter and the ideal platform for the air-launched missile, he said this version of the BrahMos had been made to be fitted on the aircraft.

Mr Pillai said modifications will have to be made to be made to the Sukhoi-30s too to integrate the air launch version of BrahMos on the fighter.

"The Sukhoi-30 is currently being modified in Russia to allow it to carry the BrahMos,” he said.

Mr Pillai exuded confidence that like the air-launch version of BrahMos, modifications in the Sukhoi-30, the interface and firing controls will also be developed successfully. If all goes well, the missile will be inducted in the IAF by 2013.

On the trials, which are scheduled in 2012, Mr Pillai said that first the missile would be fired without any explosives and then with a bomb load.

Asked about the unique 90º manoeuvrability of the BrahMos after takeoff, he said much effort had been taken to achieve the technique so the missile’s trajectory would be unpredictable. 

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Construction Of Chinese Type 022 Fast Attack Craft For Pakistani Navy Started

China formally started the manufacturing of two state-of-the-art fast attack missile crafts for the Pakistan Navy. These crafts are an addition to a couple of naval frigates which are being built for the strategic partner.
The ceremony of the Fast Attack Craft FAC(M) of Pakistan Navy was held at Xinggang Shipyard. The Pakistan navy has signed a contract with Offshore International Company Limited (CSOC) & China Shipbuilding for the construction of the two modern missile crafts which will be geared with the latest sensors and weapons.

The Vice Admiral Tanveer Faiz Ahmed of the Pakistan Navy attended the ceremony. The arrangement states that one of the crafts will be built in Tianjin while the other one will be manufactured in Pakistan’s Karachi docks. The first craft was expected to be inducted in the force last October. At the moment there is no information about the financial agreements on this deal.

China is a major weapons system supplier to Pakistan and it is deeply involved in a series of defence projects with its ally. This includes the joint development of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet which will be manufactured by both countries with engines supplied by Russia.
A couple of naval frigates for the Pakistan Navy are also being constructed in china and at the moment three of them have been inducted into service. The fourth one is still being manufactured in the Karachi Shipyard.

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Pakistan Air Force Chief Outlines Modernization Plans

Pakistan is negotiating with the U.S to purchase more Lockheed Martin F-16s in addition to the ones which they already have. In the same time Pakistan is developing its defense manufacturing capabilities in order to reduce its dependency on U.S.

Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman announced the purchase while attending an air chiefs’ conference. Rao was asked how many aircraft does Pakistan want and he declined to specify a number, but said that all purchases are still in the negotiating stage and nothing is sure.
During 2006 the U.S. Congress agreed on giving Pakistan 28 F-16C/Ds under an excess defence articles scheme. Recently, Pakistan received the first 14 of 28 and according to Rao there is no information when these aircraft will arrive.

At the moment Pakistan’s Air force has a total of 63 F-16/S (45 A/Bs and 18 C/Ds). All of the A/Bs are scheduled to go through a midlife upgrade in order to become C/D aircraft. At the moment the first three of all A/Bs are undergoing the upgrade at Turkish Aero Space Industries (TAI). Rao expects that all of the aircraft will be upgraded by 2013/14. Rao added that four other F-16s were sent to the U.S for technical verification in order to develop the upgrade kits for TAI.

Pakistan is allied not only with the U.S, but also with China which allows them to produce JF-17 fighters at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra. The fighters are jointly developed by Pakistan and China.

Rao stated that since he became chief of air staff, he has put a lot of efforts in increasing Pakistan’s manufacturing capability of defensive installations. This is very important for the country’s future, because it will allow it to become independent of the sanctions and embargoes which U.S has set on it.

The 2nd squadron of JF-17s will become flyable by the end of the March and will simultaneously phase out all Nanchang A-5s ground attack aircraft which Pakistan bought from China.
According to Rao, The Chengdu F-7s and Dassault Mirages will also be replaced by the JF-17s due to the fact that these planes have aged way too much to be safe to fly and in the same time usable in modern warfare. Rao was also asked about the datalinks which will connect F-16s and JF-17s. He responded that Pakistan is working on developing its own solution for this problem. The datalink will be able to send information from the JF-17 to a ground station and from there via special interface the information will be transferred to the F-16s.

Pakistan doesn’t only have various fighter types, but also different models of early warning and control aircraft. At the moment the country has three Saab Erieye aircraft and is expected to receive a fourth one by the mid of 2011. The first Shaanxi ZDK-03 is expected to arrive in the same time. Pakistan has ordered a total of four of these aircraft. Pakistan also has major requirements for its UAVs. The Italian Selex Galileo Falco UAV are currently being used in Pakistan and the government has agreed with the company to manufacture some UAVs in Pakistan which will allow them to export them through the local market. The production of these aircraft is expected to being in 2011.

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Indian Su-30mKI To Get AESA Radar Under Super- 30 Modernization project

HAL will start modernization of last batch of 40 Sukhoi Su 30MKI under “Super -30” Project from 2012. Russian and Indian Specialist are still working on technical performance, under this Project Indian government will be allocating close to US$2.4 billion for Deep Modernization for all the Sukhoi Su30 MKI fleet currently but these upgrades will be carried out only on newly built Su-30, which will be last batch of Su-30 to join IAF.  

This first 40 aircrafts will also get, strengthening of air frame to enable them to carry near 2.5 tonne, Air launched version of Brahmos , Indian air force have already provided two Su-30MKI aircrafts in 2010 to carry out such modification to the airframe and Air launch variant is also ready only integration with airframe is left . Under “Super -30” Project, Su 30MKI will get Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE Active Electronically Scanned Array AESA radars along with new onboard mission computers, electronic warfare systems and new Russian BVR Missiles rumored to be Novator K-100 missile also known has “AWCS Killer ” and also India’s own Astra BVR Missile. 

Current batches of Su -30 which HAL has been manufacturing are from MKI-3 variants which are further improvement over earlier batches, and “Super -30” upgrades will be carried out in batch wise and older lot of MKI-1 will be covered first. After initial 40 plus aircrafts, older aircrafts will not be receiving any airframe modification to carry Air launched variant of Brahmos, so Brahmos air variant will limited to certain number airframes of MKI fleet only and not all, but all other aircraft fleet of Sukhoi 30 in Indian air force will be able to carry DRDO developed Sub-sonic Cruise Missile “Nirbhay” and other newly developed BVR missiles.

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Indian Navy Has Shown Interest In Advanced MCA Project

Indian navy has asked for a briefing on the AMCA project which ADE is heading and they were briefed on AMCA project by the ADE which was attended by Navy’s high ranked officers. Navy earlier had shown interest in American made F-35 for their 5th gen platform requirements but it seems that Navy has decided to stick with Indigenous program.
Navy will join the program once AMCA begins its Technological demonstration phase after its first flight somewhere near end of this decade.

Navy is keen that N-LCA program is successful so that they can move to N- AMCA project soon after its completion. N-LCA had some issues with its landing gear which needed to be redesigned to operate on an aircraft carrier and survive hard deck landing .N-LCA NP-1 is almost ready for its first flight and will have its first flight in mid or end or March if Ground and taxi trials are conducted in time. 

Our sources have confirmed that Navy has received a Briefing and also a copy of ASR (Air Staff Requirements) issued by Indian air force on AMCA aircraft , Navy is also working out how N-AMCA will fit its doctrine and into its plans of operating larger aircraft carrier from IAC-2 onwards .

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WZ-10 Attack Helicopter Production Line

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Nuclear Experts Say Pakistan May Be Building 4th Plutonium Nuclear Reactor

Pakistan has begun work on what independent experts say appears to be a fourth plutonium-producing reactor at the country's Khushab nuclear complex, a move that could signal a further escalation in Pakistan's arms race with arch-rival India.

Commercial satellite photographs taken last month show major new construction at Khushab, a key nuclear installation southwest of Islamabad that generates plutonium for Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

The new structure is roughly the same size and shape as two plutonium-producing heavy-water reactors located a few hundreds yards away in the heavily guarded compound, according to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington organization that studies nuclear proliferation.

The building "appears to be a fourth reactor" for producing weapons-grade plutonium, according to the ISIS analysis, a copy of which was provided to The Washington Post. ISIS said the facility would substantially expand Islamabad's nuclear capacity by allowing it to produce "more plutonium for nuclear bombs."

Pakistani officials in Washington, asked about a fourth reactor at Khushab, declined to comment. A U.S. counterproliferation official who reviewed the images declined to comment on the ISIS analysis but said that U.S. intelligence agencies have been monitoring Khushab for years and are "aware of this facility."

The new reactor, if verified, would signal yet another step forward in Pakistan's ambitious effort to modernize and expand its nuclear arsenal. A Washington Post article last month reported that Pakistan's stockpile was estimated to have grown to more than 100 deployed weapons and to have surpassed that of India.

The rapid growth of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal has fueled fears of an escalating arms race in one of the world's most troubled regions. India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars in 60 years, have launched initiatives in recent years to modernize their nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

"Another reactor just hammers the point that Pakistan is determined to make a lot of plutonium for nuclear weapons, frankly far more than they need or is healthy for the region and the world," said ISIS President David Albright, who co-authored the report with researcher Paul Brannan.

The first heavy-water reactor at Khushab became operational in 1996, and a second reactor was inaugurated about a year ago. The two together can generate an estimated 22 kilograms of plutonium a year, enough for up to four bombs. A third reactor is under construction near the second one.

Satellite images provided by ISIS and the commercial imagery firm DigitalGlobe show work underway on a 16,000-square-foot structure that bears a striking resemblance to the second and third reactors. There was no construction at the site when a satellite took photographs of the area in November, Albright said.

Olli Heinonen, former director of safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the new reactor was "worrying, given the unstable situation there."

"Commissioning of additional plutonium-production reactors and further construction of reprocessing capabilities signify that Pakistan may even be developing second-strike capabilities," said Heinonen, now a senior fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

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