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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 16:40

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March 30, 2012 defpro.com


New Delhi | DCNS signed, through DCNS Research, a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, one of the top academic institutions in India, dedicated to engineering and technology research. It has been signed by Dr Alain Bovis, Executive Director of DCNS Research and Prof. Shiva Prasad, Dean of Academic Programmes in IIT Bombay.


This MOU opens new cooperation avenues to DCNS in India for education and research programs in naval defence and energy. Considering their respective domains of expertise, DCNS and IIT Bombay expect a rapid deployment of several projects. These will include:


• sponsoring research and development programs to be carried out cooperatively by IIT Bombay and DCNS Research teams,

• sponsoring Indian student projects and fellowships at IIT Bombay,

• training DCNS personnel through “Continuing Education Programmes” conducted by IIT Bombay.


The research projects will be run at IIT Bombay premises with support of DCNS Research teams or in dedicated common facilities.


Thermo hydraulics, electrical engineering, material sciences are the most promising areas of scientific interaction between the two organizations.


Prof. Shiva Prasad, Dean of Academic Programmes in IIT Bombay said: “There is a huge potential for cooperation in educational programs and R&D programs in the maritime and energy domains between IIT Bombay and DCNS”.


Dr Alain Bovis, Executive Director of DCNS Research, added: “This new development emphasises our investments in long term in India. It also aims to accelerate technology progress in mutually beneficial areas by tying up with one of the top Indian research centres”.


IIT Bombay's vision is to be fountainhead of new ideas and of innovations in science and technology. There has been an increasing emphasis on research . This emphasis is reflected in the increasing number of postgraduates, publications, patents at the Institute. In 2011, of the 1846 degrees awarded at the Convocation, 1341 were postgraduate degrees.


DCNS Research is the corporate Research Centre of DCNS, dedicated to major scientific and technology areas relevant in naval systems and systems for energy production design such as computational fluid dynamics, computational structure dynamics, material science, information technology, acoustics and electromagnetism.


This agreement is strongly supported by the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy in India.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 16:30



March 30, 2012 Spacewar.com (AFP)


Seoul - North Korea is pushing ahead with a planned long-range rocket launch despite international condemnation, satellite images show, as Japan vowed Friday to shoot the projectile down if it poses a threat.


The images taken Thursday show work to prepare the launch pad appears under way, according to the 38 North website (38north.org) which published several images taken by private US firm DigitalGlobe.


The nuclear-armed North insists it will go ahead in mid-April with what it calls the peaceful launch of a scientific satellite from its Tongchang-ri site in the far northwest.


The United States and other nations say the exercise is a disguised long-range missile test, calling the plan a provocative breach of UN resolutions and of a US-North Korean deal reached last month.


The website, a project of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said the detailed images show the mobile launch pad on tracks next to a gantry tower.


It said a crane appeared to have been loading equipment onto the gantry, and numerous small objects and people could be sighted on the pad.


A work crew seemed to be cutting away brush, possibly to prevent the spread of any fire started by the launch.


At the two largest propellant storage buildings to the right of the pad, containing tanks to supply the Unha-3 rocket's first stage, trucks could be seen delivering fuel and oxidiser, it said.


38 North said preparation "seems to be progressing on schedule" and the next step would be moving the first stage to the pad, probably on March 30 or 31.


This would be followed by the second stage a day or two later, with the third stage and payload likely following by April 2 or 3.


"Unless some major setback occurs, the North Koreans will be able to launch during the declared launch window starting April 12," it said.


The North has said it will launch the satellite some time in the morning between April 12-16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung.


It says the satellite will estimate crop yields and collect weather data, among other tasks, and rejects strong criticism from leaders including US President Barack Obama.


Pyongyang said the first stage would fall about 140 kilometres (87 miles) off South Korea's west coast, and the second stage 190 kilometres east of the northern Philippines.


Japan fears the rocket may pass over its southern island chain of Okinawa. Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka said Friday he had ordered troops to shoot it down if it threatens Japanese territory.


Amid international alarm at the upcoming long-range launch, South Korean newspapers said the North test-fired two short-range missiles off its west coast this week.


The North frequently conducts such short-range tests but their timing sometimes coincides with periods of tension.


Irked as what it sees as bad faith, the US has suspended plans to start sending 240,000 tonnes of food aid to the North. The food was part of a deal under which Pyongyang promised a partial nuclear freeze and a missile test moratorium.


Pyongyang insists a satellite launch is not a missile test, a stance rejected by other countries who say the rocket technology is dual-use.


South Korea, which has icy relations with its neighbour, says the launch aims to test technology which could one day deliver a nuclear warhead.


The North is estimated to have enough plutonium for six to eight weapons, but it is unclear whether it has the technology to create an atomic warhead.


The North fired off long-range missiles in 1998, 2006 and 2009. After the two most recent launches it swiftly followed up with an underground nuclear test, and some analysts see a similar scenario unfolding this time.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 12:53



Mar 29, 2012 Spacewar.com (UPI)


Canberra, Australia - Australia will spend more than $15.5 million with Thales for the manufacture of Bushmaster vehicle components as part of a conditional program to buy more units.


The components have long lead times for manufacturing and include hulls, axle and suspension systems, fire suppression systems, radiators, gun rings, insulation and hydraulics parts.


Thales Australia, formerly ADI, makes the 4x4 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle and components at its factory in Bendigo in the state of Victoria.


A statement by Minister for Defense Stephen Smith and Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said the Thales manufacturing capability and the skills of the workforce are an important national security capability that the government wants to ensure remains viable.


The army acquired its first batch of 300 Bushmasters starting in August 2004 and delivery of the latest variants started in 2008.


Australia has around 700 Bushmasters, many of which are in Afghanistan and are credited with saving numerous Australian soldiers' lives, Smith said.


The Bushmaster is available in a range of variants including troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command for application in combat and combat support roles.


Powered by Caterpillar 3126E ATAAC turbocharged engine, the vehicle is capable of carrying up to nine soldiers along with their equipment, fuel and supplies for three days, depending on the type of variant.


The potential order for more Bushmasters through the $15.5 million injection into Thales Australia is in addition to 101 units the government ordered in May.


In December the government announced that to retain the critical manufacturing skills in Bendigo it would explore the purchase of additional Bushmaster vehicles.


The $15.5 million "is the next step in that process," the statement by Smith and Clare said.


"Full approval to acquire additional Bushmasters will be dependent on Thales demonstrating an efficient, effective and innovative program to maintain core protected vehicle manufacturing skills at Bendigo and in successfully meeting technical performance, cost and schedule commitments in the development of the new Hawkei vehicle."


The 4x4, 6-crew, 7-ton Hawkei is Thales Australia's next-generation protected vehicle based on the Bushmaster.


The government announced in December that the Hawkei vehicle had been selected as the preferred vehicle for development and testing in Australia's search for an improved protected mobility vehicle.


Work on the Hawkei is being done under Stage 2 of the Manufactured and Supported in Australia option under LAND 121 Phase 4.


LAND 121 Phase 4 is a $1.5 billion project that seeks to provide up to 1,300 protected and unprotected light vehicles for the military.


But final government approval and orders for the Hawkei aren't expected before 2015 with production starting in early 2016, a Thales statement said.


Thales Australia has worked with Boeing, PAC Group and Plasan, as well as many Australian small and medium-sized businesses to develop the Hawkei, a report on the Thales Web site says.


The name Hawkei comes from the Latin name for the deadly adder -- Acanthophis hawkei -- which is native to Australia, Thales said.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 12:50

Industries Militaires Israéliennes IMI


March 30, 2012 by Saurabh Joshi - stratpost.com


In a statement issued on Thursday, the company said, "In all of its R&D and supply programs in India IMI has always acted legally, ethically, and in full compliance with its established corporate policy which mandates ethical business dealings."


Israel Military Industries (IMI) is planning to go to court to challenge its blacklisting by the Indian Ministry of Defense. In a statement issued on Thursday, the company said, “In all of its R&D and supply programs in India IMI has always acted legally, ethically, and in full compliance with its established corporate policy which mandates ethical business dealings.”


IMI was blacklisted along with Rheinmetall Air Defense and Singapore Technologies, besides three other companies, earlier this month by the defense ministry, as a result of allegations of involvement in charges of corruption against the former chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Sudipta Ghosh.


“Several years ago, allegations of an ethical nature were raised against the former chairman of the Indian Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). IMI was asked to respond to certain assertions of impropriety in that regard. From the outset, IMI denied the allegations, showed them to be factually unbased and illogical, and offered to cooperate as due with the inquiry,” says IMI’s statement.


IMI was to cooperate with the OFB to build an ammunition factory at Nalanda, something to which Defense Minister A.K. Antony referred to in press conference at DefExpo 2012 in New Delhi, when he admitted that blacklisting was a problem as it restricted the options of the government.


“For reasons that IMI cannot understand, its offers to cooperate with the investigation were not taken, and proof of its alleged involvement in any wrongdoing was never supplied, despite repeated requests,” said IMI, adding, “IMI therefore cannot understand, and deeply regrets, that a decision, based on mere unproven allegations, was taken in its regard, and is confident that such decision would not stand legal scrutiny.”


The last line of IMI’s statement is unambiguous, saying, “Consequently, IMI was left with no alternative but to vigorously seek court relief regarding the issue.”


News report on Thursday also reported that Tatra had asked for permission from the defense ministry to file a lawsuit against the army chief

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 12:40



NEW DELHI, March 30 (RIA Novosti)


India will carry out the first test-firing of the air-launched variant of the BrahMos Russian-Indian supersonic cruise missile by the end of this year


Russia and India are in talks to jointly develop a hypersonic cruise missile and will soon agree on a general outline of the design, the head of the BrahMos Indian-Russian cruise missile program, Praveen Pathak, said on Friday at the Defexpo defense show in Delhi.


"In the near future, we will set up a joint working group which will work out the parameters of the missile in cooperation with developers, and also decide how much each side will contribue to the project," Pathak said.


The weapon will be capable of flying at Mach 5-Mach 7 speeds, he said.


"We want to create a weapon which would not differ much from the existing BrahMos missile in weight and dimensions, so that it could be used in existing launchers on ships or mobile launchers. In this case it would not take too much work to convert such systems to hypersonic," he said.


"Russia has a longstanding interest in high-speed weaponry and scramjet propulsion, which an Indo-Russian programme could draw on," said Douglas Barrie, air warfare analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. "The design of a genuine hypersonic missile, given the performance requirements, would likely be 'new' rather than using the present 3M55 Onyx/Brahmos design which uses a ramjet for sustained supersonic flight," he added.


India will also carry out the first test-firing of the air-launched variant of the BrahMos Russian-Indian supersonic cruise missile by the end of this year, Pathak said.


"We hope by the end of the year we'll carry out the first launch from an aircraft. It will be an air-launch," he said.


Work on adapting the air-launched variant of BrahMos to arm India's Su-30MKI aircraft is being undertaken for the Indian air force, he said. Several aircraft have already been modified to carry the weapon, he added.


The Indian air force has already taken delivery of enough of the ground-launched variant to equip  two battalions. The missiles will be based near India's borders to strike at enemy airfields, air defense sites and radar stations, said Pathak.


India tested a ground-launched BrahMos earlier this month. "The missile flew its maximum range, 290 km. The terminal phase of the flight was a steep diving trajectory. This is one of the requirements for the ground forces," he said, adding that a steep diving attack profile was necessary for hitting targets in mountainous terrain.


BrahMos, a derivative of the Russian NPO Mashinostroeniye 3M55 Yakhont naval cruise missile, is one of the most capable weapons of its class, combining long-range (up to 290 km), high speed (up to Mach 2.8) a heavy warhead of up to 250 kg, a low radar profile and a variable attack profile, including low level flight down to 10 meters and up to 14,000 meters. The weapon operates on a fire-and-forget principle.


The ground-launched variant weighs around three tons at launch.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 12:25

RQ-4 Global Hawk U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka

Un drone américain RQ-4 global Hawks - photo USAF


30/03/2012 Michel Colomès - Le Point.fr


La militarisation fulgurante des Chinois inquiète aujourd'hui les États-Unis.


Dans quelques mois, un archipel corallien sur lequel flotte le drapeau australien, composé de 27 îles, d'une superficie de 14 kilomètres carrés, et situé dans l'océan Indien au milieu de nulle part va voir la vie de ses 650 habitants totalement bouleversée : il va en effet devenir un maillon essentiel du dispositif militaire américain en Asie. Une organisation destinée à contenir une expansion chinoise qui préoccupe grandement Obama.


L'un des atolls de l'archipel des Cocos, qu'on a aussi appelé Keeling Islands quand il appartenait à la couronne britannique, va devenir une base militaire américaine d'où décolleront des dizaines de drones d'observation de type Global Hawks. Des avions sans pilote ayant la particularité de pouvoir voler à haute altitude, avec des caméras de haute précision, et de tenir l'air très longtemps. Ce qui permettra à des opérateurs qui pourraient éventuellement se trouver aux États-Unis de surveiller le trafic et les mouvements militaires des uns et des autres, jusqu'en mer de Chine.


Revendications chinoises


Car, sous le prétexte de conditions indispensables à leur croissance économique, et notamment à la protection de leurs voies d'approvisionnement en matières premières, dans l'océan Indien et le Pacifique sud, les Chinois avancent de plus en plus des revendications qu'en d'autres temps on aurait appelées "coloniales". Pékin ne cache pas en effet sa volonté de sécuriser les routes maritimes qui sont les artères du système sanguin de l'expansion chinoise en installant des points d'appui militaires dans des endroits que la Chine juge stratégiques.


Depuis l'automne dernier, l'inquiétude s'est encore accrue devant l'effort de modernisation à marche forcée de la marine de guerre chinoise qui s'est récemment dotée d'un porte-avions, de nouveaux sous-marins et de batteries de missiles modernisés. C'est Obama en personne qui s'est chargé de manifester la volonté américaine de riposter en dopant ses capacités militaires en Asie du Sud-Est. Pour ce faire, tout comme Washington s'appuyait sur le Japon en Asie du Nord face à l'URSS du temps de la guerre froide, c'est sur un allié de toujours, l'Australie, que les Américains ont aujourd'hui décidé de se reposer pour contrer les visées expansionnistes de la Chine.


Partie délicate


En novembre 2010, Obama, lors de son premier voyage officiel à Canberra, avait annoncé un accord pour déployer 2 500 marines à Darwin sur la côte est de l'Australie. Dans quelques jours, le secrétaire d'État à la marine américain, Ray Mabius, doit se rendre à Perth sur la côte ouest de la grande île pour examiner les capacités de développement de la base navale de Stirling, qui pourrait accueillir des bateaux de guerre américains, et sans doute finaliser l'accord sur l'utilisation par la US Navy de l'île Cocos comme centre névralgique de ses drones d'observation.


L'Australie, qui était restée hors jeu pour cause d'éloignement géographique lors de la guerre froide avec les Soviétiques, a, maintenant qu'elle est directement concernée, une partie délicate à jouer. Ses minerais de charbon et de fer sont en effet essentiels au développement de la Chine, devenue l'un de ses premiers partenaires commerciaux. Et les Chinois ont déjà averti les Australiens par le biais d'articles dans Le Quotidien du peuple qu'"ils risquaient d'être pris entre deux feux s'ils permettaient aux militaires américains de porter atteinte aux intérêts vitaux de la Chine". On croirait relire un article de la Pravda pendant la guerre froide.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 11:55



March 29, 2012: STRATEGY PAGE


A Russian UAV manufacturer is helping Vietnam design and build a new, 100 kg (220 pound) UAV for civilian (and later military) use. This UAV will probably be a smaller version of the Irkut 200, which is itself still in development. The Irkut 200 is a 200 kg (440 pound) aircraft with a 50 kg (110 pound) payload and 12 hours endurance. The radio link can control the UAV up to 200 kilometers from the operator. Cruising speed is 140 kilometers an hour. The 200 can fly up to 5,000 meters (15,500 feet) but it normally operates at 500 meters (1,550 feet). The Irkut 200 has a wingspan of 5.34 meters (16.5 feet) and is 4.53 meters (14 feet long). It lands and takes off like an aircraft and can do so on 250 meters (775 feet) of straight road.


The technology transfer and assistance deal will cost Vietnam $10 million. Irkut already has a similar deal with Belarus, where the Irkut 10 (an 8.5 kg/18.7 pound) is built.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 07:55

Republic of China.svg


Mar. 29, 2012 Defensenews (AFP)


TAIPEI — Taiwan may build its own submarines, a top military officer said March 29, in a sign that patience is wearing thin after a U.S. offer to sell the island eight submarines has been stalled for a decade.


Chao Shih-chang, a deputy defense minister, told parliament the ministry has continued pushing for the sale since the United States promised eight conventional submarines in 2001.


But while waiting for the U.S. to follow through on the deal, the ministry has also been evaluating calls for the construction of the submarines by the island’s leading shipyard CSBC Corporation, Taiwan.


“If it can reach the necessary technological level and obtain support from abroad, the defense ministry would certainly be pleased to see CSBC Corporation, Taiwan build the subs,” Chao said.


In April 2001, then U.S. president George W. Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive arms package to the island since 1992.


Since then, however, there has been little progress as the United States has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years and Germany and Spain had reportedly declined to offer their designs for fear of offending China.


The Taiwanese navy currently operates a fleet of four submarines, but only two of them, Dutch-built, could be deployed in the event of war. The other two were built by the United States in the 1940s.


Tensions between Taiwan and China have eased markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou came to power on a platform of beefing up trade links and allowing more Chinese tourists to visit. Ma was re-elected in January.


But Taiwan, which has governed itself since 1949, still sees a need to modernize its armed forces because China regards the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 07:45



29/03/2012 vietnamplus.vn


Les leaders des forces armées du Cambodge et de Thaïlande se sont engagés à mettre de côté le passé pour développer les relations dans la défense ainsi que la coopération entre les deux forces armées.


Cet engagement est le fruit d'une rencontre de 30 minutes entre le général Pol Saroeun, commandant de l'Armée royale du Cambodge, et le général Thanasak Patimaprakorn, commandant de l'Armée royale de Thaïlande.


Le général Pol Saroeun a demandé de mettre de côté les litiges frontaliers pour s'orienter vers l'édification d'une frontière de paix, de développement et de coopération pour le bénéfice des deux peuples.


Thanasak Patimaprakorn a partagé le même point de vue que son homologue cambodgien, tout en demandant une bonne coopération de la partie cambodgienne.


Thanasak Patimaprakorn est arrivé le 28 mars au Cambodge pour participer à la 9e conférence informelle des commandants de la défense de l'ASEAN du 29 mars.


Le principal conflit frontalier entre le Cambodge et la Thaïlande concerne la région du temple de Preah Vihear, qui a débuté après l'introduction de ce temple dans la liste des Patrimoines mondiaux par l'UNESCO en juillet 2008.


Suite à la demande du Cambodge, le 18 juillet 2011, la Cour internationale de justice (CIJ) a ordonné au Cambodge et à la Thaïlande de retirer leurs forces armées de la région litigieuse et d'autoriser les observateurs de l'ASEAN de superviser le respect de l'accord de cessez-le-feu. -AVI

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 07:40

Arms of Lithuania.svg



2012-03-29 (China Military News cited from Xinhua)


Senior Chinese and Lithuanian military officials pledged to strengthen bilateral military ties on Wednesday.


The pledge came during a meeting between Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Xu Caihou and Lithuanian Defense Minister Rasa Jukneviciene.


Xu hailed the smooth development of the two countries' bilateral relations since their diplomatic relations were forged 21 years ago.


He said China is willing to work with Lithuania to bring the two countries' cooperation to a higher lever under the principles of mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit.


Xu pointed out that China is open to the idea of developing military relations with Lithuania and hopes to further expand and deepen military-to-military pragmatic and friendly cooperation so as to add new content to overall bilateral relations.


Jukneviciene said China is playing a bigger role on the international stage.


She said Lithuania attaches great importance to developing military relations with China and is willing to work with China to achieve new progress in military communication and cooperation.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 07:35



Mar 29, 2012 ASDNews Source : Raytheon Corporation


Raytheon Company has started procuring components required to build the Munitions Control Units for 126 of the Indian Air Force's Jaguar Darin II attack aircraft.


The MCU enables integration of modern weapons on legacy aircraft with minimal to no modifications to aircraft wiring and the flight or stores management software. The MCU's compact size enables it to be located in a weapons pylon or avionics bay of a legacy aircraft. From there, it interfaces between "smart" weapons and the existing software of a legacy aircraft.


"Providing the IAF the capability to enhance their Jaguar fleet is the latest chapter in Raytheon's six-decade history of trusted partnership in India," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "MCU will give the Jaguar the capability to employ 'smart' or 'advanced' weapons like the Joint Standoff Weapon, Maverick missile, Paveway™ precision-guided munition and AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missile."


Raytheon was awarded a contract to build the MCU in 2011, and funding was authorized for the system in 2012. In anticipation of the contract, Raytheon began preliminary work to integrate MCU on Jaguar in 2008.


About the Munitions Control Unit


    Dimensions: approximately 13 by 6 by 3 inches and weighs roughly 6 pounds.

    Enables integration of modern weapons on legacy aircraft.

    Requires minimal modifications to aircraft wiring and no changes to the flight or stores management software.

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30 mars 2012 5 30 /03 /mars /2012 07:35



2012-03-29(China Military News cited from Xinhua)


China and Russia will carry out a joint navy exercise between April and May, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.


The military drill will take place based on a consensus reached between Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and Russian military leaders, spokesman Yang Yujun said at a monthly press briefing.


The two sides are preparing for the joint exercise, which is aimed at deepening the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation, Yang said.


"It's also designed to improve both countries' abilities to cope with challenges and safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large," Yang said.


Since 2005, China and Russia have conducted several joint military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 21:31

Indian Army.svg


Mar 28, 2012 By Jay Menon - AviationWeek.com


NEW DELHI - India’s “air defense is 97% obsolete,” the country’s soon-to-retire army chief Gen. V.K. Singh wrote in a recent letter to the Indian premier that discusses a number of major issues plaguing the Indian military.


The content of the letter, dated March 12, was leaked to the media March 28.


The army’s entire tank fleet is “devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks,” the infantry is crippled with “deficiencies” and lacks night-vision equipment, and the elite special forces are “woefully short of essential weapons,” putting India’s internal security at risk, the army chief says in his letter, which has caused a serious dent to the image of the Indian government and military.


Singh also raises doubts about the quality of work at ordnance factories, and he states that the shortcomings severely erode the army’s preparedness in the event of a war.


Defense Minister A.K. Antony has been quick to respond, saying the government is committed to strengthening its forces and that the defense procurement process is under strict monitoring.


“These issues cannot be an issue of public debate . . . . Publishing the contents of secret communication cannot serve our national security,” Antony said in parliament, which has witnessed a huge uproar over the issue.


Antony says successive governments have put priority on defense preparedness, and the government is committed to providing the best equipment to its forces. “I can assure this nation it is our intention to keep [the armed forces] strong,” he says. “The government will do everything necessary to ensure that our defense forces are provided and trained to make them the best fighting forces in the world.” Antony says the government will take “appropriate action” on the letter.


Singh is scheduled to retire at the end of May and will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh.


On March 26, the army chief again irked the government by telling an Indian newspaper that he had informed the defense minister of a nearly $2.7 million bribe offered to him in 2010 by a defense lobbyist to approve the purchase of substandard military vehicles. The government ordered a federal probe into the matter (Aerospace DAILY, March 26).


Meanwhile, Pallam Raju, the junior defense minister, says efforts are being made to fulfill the requirements of the armed forces. “In the last three years, we have utilized the entire capital budget and there was no surrender of budget. Nevertheless, there are gaps in capabilities which we are trying to bridge as quickly as possible,” Raju says.


India’s armed forces have been on a modernization drive in recent years. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India has emerged as the leading arms importer in the world, followed by Pakistan and China.


New Delhi also plans to boost its defense spending by almost 13% to 1.93 trillion rupees ($38 billion) in the coming fiscal year, which will be slightly higher than the 11% increase in the previous budget for the fiscal year ending March 31.


Meanwhile, India also is negotiating to acquire a slew of new equipment, from combat aircraft to submarines and artillery. It is close to signing the $12 billion contract for 126 Rafale fighters, as well as a $400 million deal for 75 Pilatus PC-7 basic trainers.


However, the country’s defense procurements have been hampered by delays and a lack of planning. In a report introduced in parliament late last year, India’s comptroller and auditor general slammed the country’s armed forces and defense ministry for causing “inordinate delays” in procuring artillery guns for more than a decade, leaving troops using obsolete varieties of 1970s vintage.


Earlier this month, India banned six defense firms that were involved in a bribery scandal—including four international vendors—from doing business in the country for the next 10 years. This has interrupted the army’s plans to acquire ultra-light howitzers for its artillery units (Aerospace DAILY, March 6).

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 20:38

North Korea.svg


29-03-2012 nouvelobs.com


La Corée du Nord a commencé à injecter du carburant dans les réservoirs de sa fusée qu'elle veut lancer à la mi-avril malgré les appels de la communauté internationale à renoncer à ce projet, qui a conduit les Etats-Unis à suspendre leur aide alimentaire.


"Le lancement se rapproche. Il est probable que la date soit fixée au 12 ou au 13 avril", a déclaré une source proche du gouvernement nord-coréen au quotidien japonais Tokyo Shimbun paru jeudi.


A Séoul, le ministère sud-coréen de la Défense n'a voulu faire aucun commentaire.


Pyongyang avait semé la consternation en annonçant le 16 mars le lancement d'une fusée longue portée transportant un satellite à usage civil, entre le 12 et le 16 avril, pour commémorer le centième anniversaire du fondateur de la Corée du Nord, Kim Il-Sung. Le sujet a dominé les discussions en coulisse du sommet consacré au nucléaire, qui vient de se tenir à Séoul, en présence de Barack Obama.


Les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés dénoncent un tir déguisé de missile, en infraction aux résolutions de l'ONU, qui interdisent à la Corée du Nord de procéder à des essais nucléaires ou balistiques.


L'annonce nord-coréenne intervenait quelques jours après que Pyongyang se fut engagé auprès de Washington sur un moratoire de ses lancements de missiles, essais nucléaires et activités d'enrichissement d'uranium, en échange d'une aide alimentaire américaine.


Un accord qui semble désormais caduc. Washington a indiqué mercredi soir avoir suspendu les livraisons d'aide.


"Nous avons été forcés de suspendre notre assistance alimentaire à la Corée du Nord" en raison de la décision du Nord de lancer une fusée, a déclaré Peter Lavoy, adjoint au secrétaire à la Défense chargé des affaires asiatiques, devant des élus du Congrès.


"L'accord interdisait explicitement aux Nord-Coréens de lancer des missiles et nous leur avions indiqué que le lancement d'un satellite serait interprété comme un lancement de missile car il utilise la même technologie", a expliqué Peter Lavoy aux parlementaires.


Les Etats-Unis s'étaient engagés à livrer 240.000 tonnes d'aide alimentaire (huile végétale, légumes secs et repas préparés), destinés aux enfants et aux femmes enceintes, sous de strictes conditions de surveillance afin que l'aide ne soit pas détournée au profit de l'armée.


Le haut responsable du Pentagone n'a pas précisé si les livraisons avaient effectivement débuté mais il a jugé que la suspension du programme était notamment due "au manque de confiance dans les mécanismes de contrôle destinés à s'assurer que l'aide alimentaire va aux personnes qui meurent de faim et non à l'élite du régime".


La Corée du Nord souffre de pénuries alimentaires chroniques et a connu une famine meurtrière lors de la deuxième moitié des années 90, qui a tué des centaines de milliers de personnes selon les ONG.


A Pyongyang, l'agence officielle du régime stalinien KCNA a affirmé que le satellite devait lui permettre de mieux évaluer l'état des cultures et de relever des données météorologiques.


Cet engin de fabrication nord-coréenne, un satellite de 100 kg, suivra "une orbite héliosynchrone" à 500 km d'altitude et dispose d'une autonomie prévue de deux ans, a expliqué un haut responsable du Comité coréen pour la technologie spatiale, cité par KCNA.


La Corée du Nord a invité des experts spatiaux et des journalistes étrangers à assister au tir, afin de "prouver la nature pacifique de ce lancement d'un satellite scientifique et technologique d'une manière transparente".


La Corée du Sud et le Japon ont prévenu qu'ils pourraient détruire en vol le lanceur nord-coréen s'il menaçait leur territoire.

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 19:03


Beechcraft T-6C Military Trainer

(photo : Hawker Beechcraft)



SHANGHAI – Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC) today announced it has kicked off a two-week demonstration tour in New Zealand with its T-6C Texan II military trainer. The tour began this week at the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) 75th Anniversary Air Show at RNZAF Base Ohakea, near Palmerston North.


“This is a great opportunity for us to show the world’s most versatile and capable integrated pilot training system to a broad range of interested prospects from New Zealand and the Pacific Region,” said Russ Bartlett, HBDC vice president, Business Development. “Our presence at the 75th Anniversary Air Show is excellent exposure of the robust capability, affordability and sustainability of the T-6C, which has already completed more than 15,700 miles on its journey to New Zealand.”


The T-6C was flown from HBDC’s headquarters in Wichita, Kan., to RNZAF Base Ohakea – a distance of 15,733 miles – in a total elapsed time of nearly 65 flight hours. The trip included stops in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, England, Italy, Greece, Egypt, UAE, India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.


During the RNZAF 75th Anniversary Air Show, HBDC’s aerobatic demonstration team will perform single-ship, low-altitude aerobatics in a standard equipped T-6C military trainer. The team will also participate in the Warbirds Over Wanaka Air Show on the South Island the following week.


The T-6C aerobatic team debuted in 2011 at the Avalon Air Show in Victoria, Australia. The team’s 2012 tour schedule will include performances at air shows such as Farnborough International Air Show, the Royal International Air Tattoo, the Atlantic Canada International Air Show and the Canada International Air Show. Its tour will also include U.S. demonstrations at Andrews (Md.) and McConnell (Kan.) Air Force Bases; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (Calif.); Naval Air Station Pensacola (Fla.); as well as air shows in Oshkosh, Wis.; Columbia, Mo.; Fort Worth, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; and Houston, Texas.


“Performing aerobatics in the T-6C is something that flows naturally from the typical training syllabus for the airplane because it is such a capable and versatile aircraft,” Bartlett said. “It allows us to demonstrate the aircraft’s handling and superior performance in a dramatic fashion.”


In addition to the hard-point wings, the T-6C features an integrated glass cockpit and the advanced Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite that greatly expands advanced training opportunities.


The systems are integrated with a Hands-On Throttle and Stick, providing the student pilot and instructor with a simpler interface to the digital cockpit. The CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is the first in its class to incorporate a fully integrated and FAA-certified dual FMS/GPS navigation suite that meets the navigation performance standards required for current worldwide airspace equipment. The open architecture design of the Cockpit 4000 provides the flexibility to expand capabilities and continuously meet current and future training needs.


Deliveries of the T-6 began in 2000 after the aircraft was initially selected to fill the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military programs worldwide, including NATO Flying Training Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, the Royal Moroccan Air Force and our newest customer, the Mexican Air Force, have chosen the T-6 as their primary trainer. To date, the company has delivered more than 740 T-6 aircraft.


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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 18:15



Desert Owl on display at the Puckapunyal Army training facility (photo : DSTO)


Computerised vision technology, designed to enhance ADF vehicle situation awareness has been demonstrated at the Puckapunyal Army training facility in Victoria.


Desert Owl is being developed by computer vision and software firm Sentient, as part of the Defence Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program (CTD), managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.


The system analyses Full Motion Video imagery from EO/IR sensors to perform Mobile Target Indication from mobile ground vehicles to identify potential targets and threats.


Alan Hinge, CTD Program director, says that Desert Owl is designed with two distinct technology components, ‘to provide advanced vehicle awareness.’


“A component known as Panoptes provides automated target detection from a stationary, sweeping camera. In Greek mythology, Panoptes was a giant with 100 eyes,” Hinge says.


Vinod Puri, DSTO’s Chief Technology Officer, Land Operations Division, said, "This technology can detect and track moving targets down to a few pixels in size – cueing operators to small or slow moving and hard to see targets, in difficult terrain. It can also detect stationary objects that may have moved since the camera was first directed at that location.”


A separate Ground Change Detection component can identify variations in a landscape, between successive camera transits through an area.


“With this component,” explains Hinge, “Desert Owl records imagery of the environment. On subsequent transits, the system compares live imagery of the road ahead with this recorded imagery and identifies visual changes, including disturbances to the ground surface, additional, moved or removed objects.”


Desert Owl, currently in the sixth of nine Technology Readiness Levels, could be applied to any ADF land vehicle.


The CTD Program was established to improve priority Defence capabilities. It provides Australian and New Zealand industry and research organisations an opportunity to demonstrate technology and allows Defence to assess its potential and associated risks.


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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 17:50



March 29, 2012 by Shiv Aroor LIVEFIST


Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony confirmed today that an inquiry was still on into the selection of the Rafale as L1 in the MMRCA competition (following a recent complaint by an MP), and that forward movement -- at least six more stages of scrutiny and process until contract signature -- would be held off until the inquiry is complete. Meanwhile, HAL seems pretty set on license building the Rafale :) That's their production vision up there I scoped at their pavillion at DefExpo 2012. More photos and stuff later tonight.

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 17:40

Missile supersonique russo-indien BrahMos


28 Mars 2012 atlasinfo.fr Avec agences


L'Inde a procédé mercredi avec succès à un tir d'essai de son nouveau missile de croisière supersonique, le "BrahMos", au large des côtes de l'Etat d'Orissa, dans l'est du pays, a-t-on annoncé de sources officielles indiennes.


"Le missile a été tiré depuis un lanceur mobile terrestre à Chandipur, au large des côtes d'Odisha à 11H22, dans le cadre d'un test effectué par l'armée indienne", ont indiqué les autorités militaires indiennes.


"BrahMos" est le missile de croisière opérationnel le plus rapide au monde. Il peut atteindre une vitesse de 3000 kilomètres à l'heure (Mach 2,8 à 3,0). En comparaison au missile subsonique américain Harpoon le plus connu, il le surclasse de trois fois et demie en terme de vitesse. Il peut transporter une tête conventionnelle pesant jusqu'à 300 kg et être lancé de n'importe quelle embarcation.


Ce missile a été développé conjointement par l'Organisation indienne de recherche et de développement pour la défense et la compagnie russe NPO Mashinostroeyenia qui se sont unies en une joint-venture baptisée "Brahmos Aerospace Private Limited".

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 17:35



29/03/2012 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Alors que s'ouvre jeudi le salon de défense Defexpo à New Delhi, le ministère de la défense a pris de nouvelles mesures pour lutter contre les accidents trop fréquents de ces avions de combat. L'Indian Air Force a perdu 50 appareils, dont 33 avions de combat en un peu plus de trois ans.


Le nombre d'accidents d'avions de combat en Inde... est hors normes. Depuis un peu plus de trois ans (2008-mars 2012), l'armée de l'air indienne (Indian Air Force ou IAF), quatrième puissance aérienne mondiale, a perdu plus de 33 appareils sur une flotte d'environ 630 avions de combat, composée notamment d'appareils russes. Ainsi, 27 MiG (dont 16 MiG-21), 3 Sukhoi 30, 2 Mirage et 1 Jaguar se sont crashés durant cette période, selon un décompte effectué par le ministère de la défense indien. En outre, l'IAF a perdu 10 hélicoptères ainsi que 17 avions autres avions militaires. Au total, ces accidents ont coûté la vie à 32 militaires, dont 19 pilotes, ainsi qu'à six civils.


Erreurs humaines et problèmes techniques


"La majorité des accidents est due à l'erreur humaine ou à un problème technique, explique le ministère de la Défense indien, qui précise que chaque accident fait l'objet d'une enquête pour en déterminer la cause. Selon un expert interrogé par "latribune.fr", "l'IAF attribue à de jeunes pilotes des MiG-21, qui sont des avions de combat très difficiles à piloter, car très instables".


En outre, il apparaît que l'entretien des MiG-21 n'est pas toujours satisfaisant en raison du manque de pièces de rechanges venus de Russie. Enfin, l'Inde forme ses pilotes aux normes occidentales...mais utilisent des avions russes. Ces avions encore en service devraient être remplacés progressivement par les 126 Rafale de Dassault Aviation et ses parternaires (Thales et Safran), entrés en négociations exclusives pour cette commande avec New Delhi en janvier dernier.


D'une façon générale, le taux d'attrition de l'IAF est relativement élevé. On dénombre de 1970 à 2010 un milliers d'avions perdus accidentellement dont la moitié des 900 Mig-21 (achetés à partir de 1973), dont 5 en 2011, et un tiers des 158 Jaguar (entrés en service en 1979). Le nombre d'accidents est cependant en réduction : 30 avions perdus par an en 1980, 23 en 1990, 18 en 2000, 10 en 2010. Dans toutes les grandes forces aériennes, les pertes d'avion sont aujourd'hui de l'ordre de 1,5 pour 100.000 heures de vol.




Le ministère de la Défense indien rappelle que "l'amélioration des compétences des pilotes est un processus continu". A ce titre, plusieurs décisions ont été prises par le ministère, qui a recommandé "l'utilisation accrue de simulateurs pour former les pilotes aux procédures et opérations de secours". En outre, l'IAFa introduit dans la formation des cours de psychologie et des cours de gestion des risques opérationnels.


Enfin, l'IAF est en train d'éliminer progressivement des avions dangereux. Au cours de ces dernières années, tous les MiG-23 ont été retirés de la flotte en raison de problèmes de fiabilité et de sécurité. Des décisions prises en fonction de nombreux paramètres incluant la vie résiduelle des appareils et des retours opérationnels. "Cette revue des matériels est régulièrement réalisée par le gouvernement. Ceci est un processus continu", a rappelé le ministère de la Défense.

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 17:15
Un second Shadow 200 pour l’Australie

AAI Shadow 200

photo Australian Governement Departement of Defence


29.03.2012 par Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com


Le ministère australien de la Défense annonce ce jeudi 29 mars la livraison prochaine d’un second drone tactique Shadow 200, avec un an d’avance sur le planning initial.

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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 17:00



March 28, 2012, Army Recognition


Nexter Systems has inherited the centuries old experience of French land defence experts and is a European leader in Defence Industry. Nexter Systems been designing and supplying Land Defence systems for the French army for several decades. Nexter also provides highly advanced combat systems, AFVs, Artillery systems, modern weapons systems, communication systems, ammunitions and Logistics services to many armed forces around the world.


In addition to weapon systems for Land Forces, Nexter Systems addresses the requirements of air and naval forces, and these advanced systems supplied by Nexter Systems are combat proven and are currently deployed in operational theatres overseas, such as Afghanistan and Lebanon.


Since 2004, Nexter is participating in DEFEXPO in India, exhibiting its equipment and showing its know how in advanced-combat systems.


Besides, providing the most advanced Artillery Systems, ammunitions and AFVs to the Indian Army, Nexter plans to open up new areas of co-operation in the Indian and Global Defence market by developing partnerships with the Indian industry (Transfer of Technology, Joint Ventures, Sale of Components etc.),

- To support and provide the local industry with the latest technology for the "Make India" projects and any new requirement of the Ministry of Defence of India;

- To collaborate with the DRDO for modern and high technology research and development projects.


TRAJAN 155 mm 52 cal Towed Gun System (TGS) source ArmyReco

On September 2nd, 2011, Nexter Systems of France and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) of India signed a second Agreement for TRAJAN® 155 mm/ 52 cal Towed Gun System (TGS) for the Indian Army. The new towed howitzer, the Trajan, is based on the Caesar 155/52 mm barrel.


Nexter Systems has established cooperations in India to collaborate in the Artillery programs for the Indian


- Nexter Systems and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) of India signed an Agreement on June18th, 2010, for 155 mm Mounted Gun System (MGS) for the Indian Army.

- On September 2nd, 2011, Nexter Systems of France and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) of India signed a second Agreement for TRAJAN® 155 mm/ 52 cal Towed Gun System (TGS) for the Indian Army.


Both Agreements announce the formation of a Nexter Systems led consortium for the 155mm/ 52 cal Mounted Gun Program and the 155 mm / 52 cal Towed Gun Program and the upgunning of the M46 for the Indian Army.


Due to the importance of Indian Artillery and other programs and the willingness of Nexter Systems to become a leading partner of the Indian Defence Industry, Nexter Systems has decided to establish a wholly owned subsidiary - Nexter India in 2012.

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28 mars 2012 3 28 /03 /mars /2012 12:00



Mar 28, 2012 ASDNews Source : Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) today began assembly of a full-scale structural-testing model of an Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD). The ATD, which MHI is building under the contract with the Japan Ministry of Defense, will be used to prove the airworthiness of advanced technologies, including stealth capabilities and high maneuverability, for future Japanese fighters. With the commencement of assembly, the ATD project has now moved into the production phase.


To mark the beginning of assembly work, the "first rivet" ceremony was held earlier today at the Tobishima Plant of MHI's Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works in Aichi Prefecture. Among those attendees were Yoshitaka Akiyama, Director General of the Technical Research & Development Institute, the Japan Ministry of Defense; Haruhiko Kataoka, Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff; and Takashi Kobayashi, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and Head of MHI's Aerospace Systems.


During the ceremony, an equipment mounting bracket was riveted to the bulkhead separating the fuel tank from the forward equipment bay in the mid fuselage, which houses electronic equipments. It marks the first step in the assembly of the ATD aircraft. This riveting was conducted for the full-scale static structural test model to be used to obtain strength data of the aircraft’s basic structural elements and to verify the design of the ATD.


The ATD prototype project was launched in Japanese fiscal year 2009 (April 2009-March 2010) in the situation of next-generation fighter development programs in neighboring countries. Through flight tests of advanced technologies relating to stealth and high maneuverability, the project aims at the empirical research of the advanced fighter technologies and air defense systems that are capable of coping with the stealth fighters that may soon be deployed around Japan.


With the assembly of the full-scale static structural test model as the first step, the ATD project is on track to produce a flight test model that is expected to make its first flight in 2014. The project is slated for completion by the end of March 2017.


MHI is committed to playing a major role in Japanese defense industry going forward and will make every effort to see the ATD project through to a successful completion.

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28 mars 2012 3 28 /03 /mars /2012 11:55

Cruise missile BrahMos shown on IMDS-2007 – photo One hal


Mar 28, 2012 The Times of India


BALASORE (Odisha): India today successfully test fired Brahmos supersonic cruise missile as part of a user trial by the Army from the test range at Chandipur off Odisha coast.


"The missile was test fired from a ground mobile launcher from the launch complex-3 at about 1122 hours and the trial was successful," said a defence official.


The missile, which has a flight range of up to 290 km, is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 200 to 300 kg.


The cruise missile, a surface-to-surface Army version, was test fired as part of user trial by the Army, he said.


The two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, he said.


While induction of the first version of Brahmos missile system in the Indian Navy commenced from 2005 with INS Rajput, it is now fully operational with two regiments of the Army.


The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress, said the official.


The Army has so far placed orders for the Brahmos missile to be deployed by three regiments of the Army and two of them have already been inducted operationally.


The Defence Ministry has also given a go-ahead to the Army to induct a third regiment equipped with the missile system to be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh along the China border.


'Brahmos Aerospace', an Indo-Russian joint venture company headed by a distinguished Indian defence scientist, is also working to develop the air as well as the submarine launch version of the misile system and work on the project is in progress.

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28 mars 2012 3 28 /03 /mars /2012 07:00


The swing wing aircraft Su-22M4 fires rocket to destroy

the target. (photo : BaoDatViet)




Recently, at the shooting range TB3, the fighter unit - Su-22M4 striker/bomber, UH-1/Mi-8 transport/armed helicopter of 370 Division conducted live-fire exercises.

In two days 23-24/3, shot at the National School Region 3 (TB3), 370th Air Division held a practice test used missile, rocket and bomb from fighter and helicopter.

The exercise is an opportunity to evaluate the possibility of training for combat readiness of the 370th Division and represent experience and additional training options in next time as well as training organizations to participate in sea shooting practice as planned in 2012.

Su-22MK4 of the Vietnam People's Air Force (photo : Jetphotos)

On behalf of the General Staff to participate in directing the training and testing is Major General Nguyen Duc Kidney, Director General Military Training. Representatives of the Air Defense Command - Air Force Major General Nguyen Van Tho, Deputy Commander, Chief of Staff.

In the dazzling sunshine of the Southwest, Division commanding officers and 370 officers and soldiers of the two pilots of the 917th Helicopter Regiment and the 937th Fighter Group at headquarters, on the icy ground and flight the air was working hard, serious, highly effective training.

Before 7am, the Mi-8 crew and UH-1 (917th Regiment) and the fighter squadrons - Su-22M4 bomber (Regiment 937) was waiting in the ready command.

Mi-8 Hip of the Vietnam (photo : Jetphotos)


After about 20 minutes from the airport to the south, the border sorties team practice all tactical air forces, such as coil, low flying mountainous terrain advantage then suddenly plummeted increase the height of the target than fire rocket, missiles and bombs. Just about 5 minutes there is another round of air strikes on ground targets.

Through the vision system and listen to the commanding officer on the bridge reported, people are glad to see young pilots to shoot, very accurate throw. Naked eye, after a series of thundering explosions beams, we also recognize the right column of smoke up a red flag area, the white flag of the target.

In particular, during a practice flight shot, bombed on this land, boldly division first assigned to some young pilots (the youngest born in 1984) and use the UH-1 helicopter improved weapon control system.

UH-1 Huey of the Vietnam (photo : Jetphotos)

The fighter pilot - a bomb made Su-22M4 aircraft fire when all of the complicated and difficult than a normal shot.

After two days of training, Colonel Tran Ngoc Dong, Division Chief Division 370 Air Force, said the units involved in fire tests are reached or excellent. There are many young pilots (pilots born in 1984) shows good bravery and technical level.

After the training tests, even though faculty comments sum up the results, but the comrades Military Training Director General Command and Deputy Commander, Chief of Air Defense - Air Force are satisfied and that the pilots were required to complete a good strategy and techniques to ensure absolute safety.


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27 mars 2012 2 27 /03 /mars /2012 18:05



2012-03-27 (China Military News cited from The Australian and by Ben Packham)


AUSTRALIA'S Cocos Islands territory could be used as a staging point for spy flights by United States military drones over the South China Sea, according to an US newspaper report.


Citing US and Australian sources, The Washington Post said the Pentagon was eyeing the Indian Ocean territory's coral atolls as an ideal site to launch Global Hawk surveillance drones, as well as manned surveillance flights.


Defence Minister Stephen Smith has previously revealed Australia's Cocos Islands territory could be used “down the track” for a jointly-operated Australian-US air base.


But it is the first time the territory has been suggested as a base for unmanned spy flights.


“Aircraft based in the Cocos would be well-positioned to launch spy flights over the South China Sea,” The Washington Post notes.


According to the newspaper, US officals are also “intrigued” by the potential offered by Australia's HMAS Stirling naval base, at Perth, and a possible new fleet base at Brisbane.


It says HMAS Stirling “could service US aircraft carriers, other large surface warships and attack submarines”.


The US is anxious to expand its reach in the Indian Ocean amid a strategic pivot towards South-East Asia.


The apparently well-sourced report will further arouse the suspicions of China, where military planners are already concerned about the growing US military presence on Australian soil.


The report comes as Australia prepares for the arrival of the first of 2500 US Marines for deployment in Darwin.


Under the plan announced by US President Barack Obama and Julia Gillard, the troops from the Hawaii-based Third Marine Regiment are expected to be based at Darwin's Robertson Barracks.


They will spend months training at the Australian Defence Force's Bradshaw and Mount Bundy training areas in the Northern Territory.


A US Marines air-ground taskforce is designed to fight at short notice as a powerful, self-contained force with its own protective air power, able to land on a hostile shore or carry out non-combat operations such as disaster relief.


It will give Washington the ability to intervene in the region quickly in the event of a crisis.


The Marines will eventually bring considerable equipment with them, including amphibious assault ships similar to the two giant landing helicopter docks being built for the Royal Australian Navy, along with Harrier Jump Jets and troop-carrying helicopters.

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