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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 17:55


photo by Bruno Cleries, Málaga


15 November 2011 naval-technology.com


The Vietnam Navy is negotiating with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) for the procurement of four Sigma-class corvettes, a US defence official has said.


The submarine procurement plan is a part of Vietnam's surface and submarine fleet modernisation programme in response to China's growing military strength.


The plan also includes the construction of two of the four ships in Vietnam under a technology transfer agreement.


Sigma-class corvettes are built to sizes ranging from 50-150m in length and 9-15m width, and are capable of performing the whole spectrum of offshore patrol vessel (OPV) operations.


The vessels are currently used by the Indonesian and Moroccan Navies.

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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 17:50



15/11/2011 Vietnam+


Le ministre de la Défense, le général Phung Quang Thanh, a reçu mardi à Hanoi Golovchenko Roman Alexandrovich, premier vice-président du Comité national de l'industrie militaire de la Biélorussie.


Ce dernier est également président du sous-comité biélorusse au sein du Comité intergouvernemental de coopération Biélorussie-Vietnam dans les technologies militaires.


Selon le général Phung Quang Thanh, la coopération entre les armées des deux pays a donné de bons résultats ces derniers temps, notamment en matière d'échanges de délégations, de coopération dans les technologies militaires... Le ministre de la Défense a souhaité que cette coopération amicale continue de se développer dans l'intérêt de chacun et dans le cadre plus vaste de la coopération au développement entre les Etats, les armées et les peuples des deux pays.


Golovchenko Roman Alexandrovich a informé le général Phung Quang Thanh des résultats de la discussion entre les sous-comités Vietnam et Biélorussie avant de souhaiter que les accords de la 12e session du Comité intergouvernemental des deux pays soient mis en oeuvre le plus tôt possible.


Auparavant, le général de division Truong Quang Khanh, vice-ministre de la Défense et président du sous-comité vietnamien du Comité intergouvernemental Biélorussie-Vietnam, et Golovchenko Roman Alexandrovich, ont signé le procès-verbal de la 12e session de ce comité.-AVI

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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 13:40



15 novembre 2011 par info-aviation


L’Inde entend acheter 59 hélicoptères russes Mi-17V5 pour le prix de près d’un milliard de dollars en supplément aux 80 déjà commandés, a annoncé le 13 novembre le quotidien The Times of India se référant à une source bien informée*.

« 59 hélicoptères Mi-17 pour le prix de près d’un milliard de dollars seront commandés en conformité à l’accord précédent », a indiqué la source, citée par le journal.


L’interlocuteur du journal a rappelé qu’en 2008, l’Inde avait commandé à la Russie 80 hélicoptères Mi-17V5 dont un premier lot a déjà été livré. Tous les 80 hélicoptères doivent être mis en exploitation d’ici 2014. Le prix de la transaction s’élève à 1,34 milliard de dollars, indique le journal.


De son côté, une source haut placée au ministère indien de la Défense a confirmé à l’agence de presse russe RIA Novosti cette information.


« Il est vrai que les négociations sont en cours. Il est possible que le contrat sur la livraison de ce lot supplémentaire d’hélicoptères Mi-17 soit signé avant la fin de cette année financière, c’est-à-dire, avant le 31 mars 2012″, a indiqué l’interlocuteur de l’agence.


* La même annonce avait déjà été faite en août 2010.

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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 13:25



November 15th, 2011 DEFENCETALK - AFP


India on Tuesday successfully test fired one of its longest range missiles capable of carrying a one-tonne nuclear warhead deep inside China, officials said.


A Defence Research and Development Organisation spokesman said the Agni-IV missile was launched at 9:00am (0330 GMT) from a test site in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.


"All the parameters have been met and it was a very successful test," DRDO spokesman Ravi Gupta told AFP.


He said the nuclear-capable, two-stage missile which is powered by solid fuel was fired beyond the Bay of Bengal into the Indian Ocean. Agni means fire in Sanskrit.


"Agni-IV has a maximum range of 3,500 kilometres (2,170 miles) but this time the launch parameter was 3,000 kilometres," the official spokesman said.


A previous test of the Agni-IV on December 10, 2010 failed after the missile went off its trajectory and plunged into the sea.


Defence ministry sources said military scientists were also giving the final shape to the 5,000-kilometre range Agni-V, scheduled to be test-fired for the first time early next year.


India has also said it may develop an intercontinental ballistic missile.


The Agni series is one of five missiles being developed by the DRDO under an Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme launched in 1983.


India is among the world's top 10 military spenders. It plans to splurge $50 billion by 2015 to upgrade its military.


It has fought three wars with rival Pakistan since their independence in 1947 and a brief but bloody border conflict with China in 1962.

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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 12:45



PZL W-3 Sokol helicopter (photo : Airfoto)



MANILA, Philippines - The first four of the eight brand new combat utility helicopters purchased by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) from Poland are expected to be delivered this month.


Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, confirmed to the delivery of the Polish-made Swienik helicopters but did not say the exact date.


The PAF ordered the helicopters from Poland’s PZL Swidnik after the Polish company won the public bidding in 2008. PZL Swidnik is Poland’s biggest manufacturer of helicopters.


The P3-billion order is part of the modernization program of the AFP that involves the acquisition of eight combat utility helicopters and their integrated logistics support package.


The Swidnik utility helicopters can operate in any combat environment and provide organic general support for internal security operations, counter-terrorism, and territorial defense.


The acquisition of the helicopters will boost the firepower of the Air Force in its counter-insurgency operations and in the all-out war on terror, particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group and some elements of the Jemaah Islamiyah which have links to the al-Qaeda terror group.


The acquisition of these helicopters is timely because the Air Force badly needs them to support government ground forces during combat operations.


The PAF’s main utility helicopters are the ageing UH1-H “Huey” which were acquired from the United States four decades ago.


The Air Force has also the MG-520 helicopter gunships acquired more than 20 years ago.
The PAF’s helicopter fleet has been depleted over the years due to crashes and lack of spare parts.

Aside from the choppers, the PAF also needs new fighter jets after its F-5 jetfighters were retired in 2004 because of old age.

The Swidnik helicopter can carry 14 persons, including the pilot and co-pilot, and has a maximum speed of 260 kilometers per hour and a range of 745 kilometers non-stop.

The Polish-made helicopter is armed with a variety of weapons, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground rockets, and .50 caliber machine guns. It is also equipped with radar and night vision devices.


It can climb to an altitude of 19,680 feet, more than twice that of the “Huey.”

The delivery of the remaining four Swidnik choppers will be made next year.


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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 08:10



MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti)


The Malaysian defense ministry plans to buy 18 Russian Su-30MKM fighters fit to carry Russian-Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, the Izvestia daily said on Tuesday.


The paper said, citing military sources, that Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi plans on Tuesday to visit the Irkut aviation plant, producing Su-30MKI fighters for India. According to Izvestia, one such aircraft would cost Malaysia about $50 million, future maintenance included.


During the visit, the minister "may sign a contract to buy 18 Su-30MKM multirole fighters," the paper said.


The defense minister also plans to discuss installing new missiles, including BrahMos, on the 18 Su-30MKM fighters that Malaysia received in August 2009 under the $900-million contract signed in 2003.


Malaysia's mixed fighter fleet also includes Russian MiG-29N Fulcrum and the U.S.-made F/A-18D Hornet and F-5 Tiger in service.


The Su-30MKM is a multi-role Flanker version based on the Su-30MKI model and features a customized avionics package built to Malaysian specifications. Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia's arms exports.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 18:25



November 14th, 2011 MDAA Source: Korea Times


The Air Force plans to improve key software for its Patriot missile system, a ground-based missile and air-defense platform, without outsourcing from the U.S. government, saving more than $10 million.


Lt. Col. Lim Jae-woon, an official of the air-defense bureau of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), said that the U.S. government offered in September to install advanced software that operates Korea’s Master Control and Report Center (MCRC) through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.


“The U.S. proposed that it would upgrade the software at 15 billion won ($13.4 million) through the FMS, but we declined,” Lim said. “Instead, the Air Force Information Operations Center will lead the software development with a budget of 500 million won, while receiving 1.6 billion-won worth of technology transfer.”


The DAPA official said the Air Force has accumulated sufficient technology in relevant areas to upgrade MCRC software without a third party and his agency estimates that the Air Force will save roughly 12.9 billion won.


The MCRC at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, monitors activities of North Korean aircraft and ballistic missiles and operates guided weapons to intercept them, including the Patriot Advanced Capability 2 system and Hawk missiles.


Lim said the software upgrade will significantly improve the MCRC’s capabilities to communicate and give instructions to lower air-defense units that operate the Integrated Command and Control (ICC) system via high speed Link 16 datalinks, a military tactical data exchange network.


Lim added this will also prevent a potential leak of Korea’s own technology and reduce the estimated duration of the revamping by about nine months.


The move came as Korea seeks to develop its own version of advanced Patriot missiles to counter North Korean ballistic missiles.


Seoul plans to outline the ambitious development plan early next year.


In 2007, the military purchased 48 secondhand PAC-2 systems from Germany but they are optimized primarily for engagements against aircraft with limited capability to deter missiles.


The PAC-2 missile detonates its explosive fragmentation warhead as it approaches near the target, knocking it off course with its blast fragmentation.


Lim said Korea will be able to upgrade the existing Patriot equipment to a PAC-3 Configuration 3 system capable of launching PAC-3 hit-to-kill missiles for around 200 billion won.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 17:50

IAF Crest


Nov. 14, 2011 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: the Calcutta Telegraph; published Nov. 13, 2011)


NEW DELHI --- The only military wing headquartered outside South Block in the capital’s Raisina Hill is the Indian Air Force. A squat multi-storeyed block, the Vayu Sena Bhavan is marked out by a scrapped fighter aircraft mounted on a pillar, its nose skywards as if it were soaring.


Visitors are allowed in only on invitation and after they are frisked, the irises of their eyes checked biometrically to confirm their identities.


Foreigners are rarely allowed into the building and even civilians must have their backgrounds investigated for permission to enter.


Last week, half-a-dozen Europeans were let into the building after going through security and escorted to the fifth floor where they were sat down at the end of a long table in a conference room adjacent to Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne’s office.


The Europeans were from two firms, EADS Cassidian and France’s Dassault Aviation. In one of the world’s largest defence contracts that is hotly contested, Cassidian’s Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault’s Rafale fighter jets have been shortlisted.


When their executives were invited last week, it was for the opening of the financial bids. The meeting was convened by joint secretary (air) R.K. Ghosh, the “acquisitions manager” for the IAF’s medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) programme, the exercise to procure 126 fighter jets, an order that may be expanded to 200.


For both EADS and Dassault — as it would be for any other firm — European giants struggling to keep their assembly lines (and thousands of jobs) intact — the IAF order will mean a guarantee for years.


For India and its air force, the MMRCA is the single largest defence contract it would sign. When the Request for Proposals (RFP) was sent out in 2007, the value of the contract was estimated to be Rs 42,000 crore or $10 billion.


The order could now well go up to $20 billion, or double the estimate, accounting for cost and forex fluctuations. The spotlight on A.K. Antony’s defence establishment in going through with the acquisition, therefore, is so much sharper.


Not only have Indian defence acquisitions been plagued by allegations of bribery and unaccounted commissions (or kickbacks), the last time a Congress government signed a comparable deal (for 410 Bofors howitzers in 1987), it cost Rajiv Gandhi his prime ministership.


Minutes after the Europeans were sat down at the end of the conference table, the acquisitions manager asked for a metal box containing the financial bids to be brought in. They were asked to confirm that the box was locked. They did. The box was then opened. It contained bundles of papers that the competitors had submitted, each trying to outdo the other to emerge as L1 – the lowest bidder.


The seals on the envelopes were broken after they confirmed that their bids were genuine.


“It was like nothing I had seen in India before,” one of the men present in the room told The Telegraph. He had attended bid-openings before.


“They were always like casual and regulation stuff. But here there were people seated around the long table, each was asked to identify himself, and there were placards with our names on the table and we had designated seats and everything was on the record,” he recalled.


The Typhoon and the Rafale, both twin-engine fighter jets – seen in action over Libya most recently -- that claim to be in the four-plus generation of aircraft, were shortlisted after 643-point technical and flight evaluation tests by the IAF through 2009 and 2010.


The aircraft were tested over the desert in Rajasthan, at Hindustan Aeronautics’ Bangalore establishment and at the high-altitude airfield in Leh, Ladakh. Then IAF test pilots flew the aircraft in their countries of origin to test their weapons’ capabilities in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.


The tests eliminated the F-16 Super Viper IN and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, made by US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing; the Gripen NG made by Swedish firm Saab and the Russian MiG-35.


In so doing, India was risking a growing defence relationship with the US. After months during which US envoys to India said there was “an expectation” of the contract being awarded to US firms as a thanksgiving for the civilian-nuclear deal, the Pentagon and the US government were bitterly disappointed.


A day before the bids were opened in that fifth-floor conference room in New Delhi, the Pentagon presented a report to the US Congress, expressing its regret over losing the deal yet again and also offering to “share information” with India on its F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter programme, an aircraft that is a generation ahead of the competitors for the MMRCA programme.


For the IAF, not only was that proposal “too late”, it was also seen as an effort to queer the pitch when it was two-thirds of the way through the acquisition process.


“It was the Pentagon talking to the US Congress. It wasn’t Vayu Sena Bhavan talking to South Block,” said one officer, underlining that the Pentagon’s offer had little relevance to the MMRCA programme at this stage.


The F-35 certainly did not figure around that long table where 13 officials from the defence ministry, the IAF, Hindustan Aeronautics and the Defence Research and Development Organisation who make up the contract negotiation committee for the MMRCA programme briefed the Europeans on the process to be followed.


The acquisitions manager read out in broad terms the financial terms offered by the two sides. As the executives took notes furiously, it dawned that the formulae for pricing the aircraft presented by each was so complicated that it would take weeks to determine the values.


“There is no such thing as a sticker price,” said one officer. “You don’t buy aircraft like oranges, by the kilo.” He explained why it could take up to six weeks – may be till the end of December -- to determine the lowest bidder. “It’s a price for the whole package,” he said.


For the first 10 to 12 days, Air Headquarters expects there will be much back-and-forth between the IAF and the companies as clarifications are sought. The meeting determined that the financial bids would be tied to the price of the dollar quoted by State Bank of India’s Parliament Street branch on November 4.


The IAF has sought financial quotes in eight categories, called M1 to M8.


M1 is the “unit flyaway cost”, the price of each of the first 18 aircraft to be purchased “off the shelf”.


M2 asks for the lifecycle costs – the price of running the equipment over their lifespan of 6,000 hours – of the different components that make up the aircraft (engines, airframe, weapons pods).


M3 is “operational cost”. M4 asks for the lifecycle costs of spares, fuel usage, a “mean time between failures” (MTBF), and lubricants.


M5 and M6 are the estimated costs of overhaul and mid-life upgrade.


M7 is the cost of the technology that the maker will transfer to Hindustan Aeronautics that will set up the assembly line were the Typhoon or the Rafale would be made under licence.


M8 is the computation of total costs.


The formula for computing the costs has an escalation cost, net present value and discounted cash flow built into it, a financial expert said.


Air force officers, however, worry that formulae have a way of getting disrupted in the acquisition process because they get complicated by the pressures of diplomacy and/or under-the-table processes. On the other hand, they also say that if India were to award such a huge deal to a country or a collection of countries, it would be foolish to not extract diplomatic and political mileage out of the deal. Compounding all of this is the IAF’s dire necessity for the aircraft as it stretches its assets – such as the outdated MiG 21 that make up a bulk of its inventory -- well beyond their prescribed lifespan.


Eurofighter’s chief executive officer Bernhardt Gerwert is on record as having said that the four countries that make up the EADS consortium – Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy – had “offered to make India a partner country” with an assurance of steady equation with the four top west European countries.


France’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy, pushing Dassault’s bid with the Rafale, has extended repeated invitations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – who was in Paris for the G20 last week -- and had hosted India as the chief guest at the Bastille Day celebrations, a signal moment for the Indian armed forces when they marched down the Champs-Elysees at the head of the parade.


France is also banking on traditional relations – it supplied the frontline Mirage 2000 aircraft – with the IAF.


In Vayu Sena Bhavan where the airforce wants to insulate itself from the politics of handing out an estimated $20 billion, the search for that precise formula is still on.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 17:45


photo DRDO - source LIVEFIST


November 14, 2011 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Press Information Bureau India; issued November 11, 2011)


Indigenously designed and developed RUSTOM-1 made 5th successful Flight this morning while flying at an altitude of 2300 ft AGL (above ground level) & at a speed 100 Knots during 25 minute of cruise near Hosur.


It may be noted that this Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MALE - UAV) is developed by DRDO with Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) Bangalore as the nodal laboratory. It had its maiden flight in 2010.


Mr. PS Krishnan, Director, ADE said that the flight was successful as all the modifications done worked well and all the parameters were achieved by the UAV which was weighing 661Kg and the total performance was good. In specific the objective of testing modified lift-off scheme, modified altitude and speed-hold logics worked excellently well.


Indian Army has shown keen interest in this programme. This UAV has the potential military missions like Reconnaissance & Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Target Designation, Communications Relay, Battle Damage Assessment and Signal Intelligence.


This UAV can attain a maximum speed of 150 Knots, 22,000 ft of altitude and endurance of 12-15 hours with an operating range of 250 km when fully developed.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 17:25



November 14, 2011 by Shiv Aroor - LIVEFIST


If the gloves weren't off all along, they are now. Just weeks ahead of a final decision on the MMRCA competition, Dassault, which doesn't usually bother with adaptive advertising, has a slew of brand new print ads that tell you a great deal about what they're seeing as the deciding factor in the Indian government's final decision. First off, it must be said, they've pinched the whole "independence" theme from Saab, which pitched its Gripen as the "independent choice" or "choice of independence" ever since it entered the multi-billion dollar competition (and after it was eliminated).

The advert above, appearing in show dailies at the ongoing Dubai Air Show, makes Dassault's so far implicit view of things, pretty plain. "When a single country makes your aircraft from nose to tail, you know what you're getting into. Rafale is not subject to multinational controls.", the copy begins -- a direct swipe at the Typhoon's four-nation heritage. It's the elegance of the business that EADS Cassidian trumpets this very multi-nation backing as a potential coup de grâce in the final stretch. With the commercial offers of both firms understood to be far less disparate than many expected, both firms clearly believe other considerations will come into play. And let's not miss the fact that both have made it utterly plain with their new adverts and statements that they believe, ultimately, in the political decision.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 13:30



14 novembre 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Le laboratoire indien Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL) a développé une combinaison de sauvetage pour sous-marinier qui doit répondre à toute éventualité en cas d’accident à bord d’un sous-marin. Il s’agit d’une percée significative pour le laboratoire de Bangalore.


Il a fallu 8 ans au laboratoire pour développer une combinaison de sauvetage permettant aux sous-mariniers bloqués au fond, jusqu’à 100 m de profondeur, de remonter jusqu’à la surface.


« Cette combinaison est très sûre et unique, »explique le directeur du laboratoire. « C’est un système qui peut sauver les sous-mariniers en l’absence de navire de secours. Elle les protège de la maladie de décompression, de la narcose à l’azote et de la toxicité de l’oxygène associé à l’évacuation du sous-marin. »


« La combinaison peut être utilisée pour des évacuations jusqu’à 100 m de profondeur. Elle est en tissu de nylon recouvert de néoprène. Il s’agit d’une combinaison étanche, sèche, qui garantit la remontée en position verticale. En atteignant la surface, le sous-marinier ouvre des réservoirs d’air qui gonfle des poches de flottabilité de la combinaison. En surface, le sous-marinier sera sur le dos, ce qui réduit les risques de noyade et les efforts pour nager par mer agitée. La combinaison est équipée de lunettes incassables, anti-buée. »


Basée sur une combinaison russe, elle sera probablement utilisée par la marine indienne dès 2012.


Référence : Daily Pionner (Inde)

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 13:25




The military's 23 new High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) ambulances as they were turned over Monday during the 72nd anniversary rites of the Department of National Defense in Camp Aguinaldo. The HMMWV, known as Humvee ambulance, is designed to for all types of roads, including cross-country terrains which are typical in conflict-affected development areas. (photo : Jepot-Timawa)




MANILA, Philippines – The military’s 23 newly-acquired units of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) ambulances were turned over Monday to the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps during the 72nd anniversary rites of the Department of National Defense at Camp Aguinaldo.

Nineteen of said units will be given to the Philippine Army, while four will go to the Marines, said Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Oban in an interview with reporters after the ceremony.

He added that that it will be to the discretion of the Army and Marines how to distribute the said units.

“The goal of the project is to enhance the AFP’s health service support system focusing on the survivability of our combat casualties in the frontlines, providing adequate and timely medical support,” Oban also said.

He added that the procurement of the units “will surely be of great help” to the soldiers on the field for their combat missions.

Meanwhile, public affairs chief Colonel Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. added that the ambulance units are part of the $10M worth of medical equipment and supplies procurement project under the Foreign Military Sales Case PI-MTB of the Philippine Defense Reform Program.

The HMMWV, known as Humvee ambulance, is designed to for all types of roads, including cross-country terrains which are typical in conflict-affected development areas.

Each ambulance is equipped with life-support systems to provide immediate medical response to life-threatening combat casualty personnel before they are transported to medical treatment facilities.


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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 13:20



SFR personnel conducting Room Clearance Procedure (photo : Brunei Mindef)


The Special Forces Regiment, Royal Brunei Armed Forces recently carried out a bilateral exercise, KILAT SAKTI 2011, with the Indonesian elite Special Forces Unit, Komando Pasukan Khusus (KOPASSUS) held in Indonesia.


A series of joint special operations training was conducted by both units which concentrated mainly on special operations tactics on Jungle and Guerilla Warfare. During the exercise, the Special Forces Regiment and KOPASSUS personnel also had the opportunity to share their skills, knowledge and exchange opinions and ideas on special operation tactics, techniques and procedures. A culmination exercise was conducted at an undisclosed location which involves a static and freefall insertion by troopers from both units and followed by a hostage rescue operation that was focused on a guerilla warfare situation.


To further increase the close relationship by both units, the Commanding Officer of the Special Forces Regiment, Colonel Dato Paduka Haji Harith bin Haji Abdul Karim had the opportunity to conduct a “Friendship Parachute Jump” with personnel from both units and was presented the Military Freefall Parachute Wing by the Commandant General of KOPASSUS, Major General TNI Wisnu Bawatenaya. The next exercise series will be held next year in Brunei Darussalam and will be hosted by the Special Forces Regiment.


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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 08:30



13 November 2011 - by Tony Osborne in Dubai, UAE- Flight Global


The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was forced to use Google Earth to plan its early missions against militants fighting in the border regions with Afghanistan.


Speaking on the eve of the Dubai Airshow, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleiman, chief of the Pakistan Air Force, told delegates that at the beginning of its counter insurgency operations in the Bajaur Agency region in August 2008, the air force did not have the intelligence-gathering capabilities it needed for detailed mission planning.


As a result, it had to resort to use Google Earth software to plan the missions.


'It was not very useful, but it did give us an aerial view of the villages so we could see their layout,' Suleiman told Shephard at the Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference (DIAC).


'We were able to use the 3D terrain view to allow our pilots to see their entry and escape routes from the target.'


Since then, the PAF has taken delivery of Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pods fitted to its fleet of F-16s and a handful of Star Safire III EO/IR turrets, which have been fitted to the noses of C-130 transport aircraft allowing them to be used as a long-endurance ISR platform.


The aircraft are flown by PAF crews but with the sensor operated by Pakistan Army personnel using a mission system fitted in the cargo hold, rather like that used on the US Marine Corps Harvest Hawk KC-130J.


Suleiman said that the PAF has flown around 650 missions using the Star Safire system on the C-130, adding that the system has been hugely appreciated by ground commanders. There had also been some 500 sorties using the DB-110.


Since the beginning of PAF operations against the militants in the region, the air arm has dropped some 10,600 weapons against 4,600 targets.


During operations in the Swat Valley, which began in May 2009, the PAF dropped 1,700 laser-guided bombs as they attacked militant positions in preparation for the movement of ground forces.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 08:20



South Korea and Singapore are driving some of the proposed

upgrades that Boeing has marketed as the Silent Eagle.


November 13, 2011 by  Chris Pocock - ainonline.com


Production of the Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle is currently due to end next year, after the last of 60 F-15K models for Korea and 24 F-15SG models for Singapore are completed. But the aircraft is a contender for South Korea’s FX-III requirement for 60 more fighters, and an order for 84 is pending from Saudi Arabia, although it remains unconfirmed more than one year after it was notified to the U.S. Congress.


These two customers are driving some of the proposed upgrades that Boeing has marketed as the Silent Eagle. They are headed by the Raytheon APG-63(v)3 AESA radar that is already on the F-15SGs for Singapore. Boeing has funded and test flown a conformal weapons bay for stealth, which replicates the outer mold line of the aircraft’s existing conformal fuel tanks. An IRST (infrared search and track sensors) that is being added to the front of centreline fuel tanks on U.S. Navy F/A-18E/Fs could also be carried by the Silent Eagle.


The other upgrades apparently depend on firm new orders from Korea and/or Saudi Arabia. They are the digital flight control system; next-generation cockpit; a digital electronic warfare system (DEWS); and two additional wing hardpoints for weapons. To further reduce the radar cross-section, Boeing has also proposed canting the vertical tails outward and adding radar-absorbing and reflecting materials. However, export of the latter treatments would depend on U.S. government release policy.


The Saudi package is worth a massive $29.5 billion, including the 84 new-builds and upgrading of the Kingdom’s 70 previously delivered F-15S Strike Eagles to the new F-15SA configuration.


The main elements of the package include 170 APG-63 AESA radars; 193 GE F110-GE-129 improved performance engines; 169 DEWS; 169 Lockheed Martin AAS-42 IRST; 100 Link 16 terminals; 193 third-generation LANTIRN navigation pods; 158 AAQ-33 Sniper targeting systems; 10 Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pods; and 338 joint helmet-mounted cueing system helmets plus 462 AN/AVS-9 night-vision goggles.


Accompanying weapons are 300 AIM-9X Sidewinder and 500 AIM-120C7 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 4,100 precision-guided bombs and 11,000 general-purpose and training bombs; 1,300 CBU-105 sensor-fused weapons; 400 AGM-84 Block II Harpoon anti-ship missiles; and 600 AGM-88B anti-radiation missiles.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 08:10



The consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon is continuing to promote the aircraft in Japan. Photo: PA


13 Nov 2011 By Julian Ryall, Tokyo – THE TELEGRAPH


The Eurofighter has fallen behind in the race to become Japan's next-generation air-defence fighter.


Defence analysts monitoring the three-way dogfight for the multi-billion contract say Tokyo has been impressed with the stealth technology of the Lockheed Martin F-35, which will enable it to carry out clandestine monitoring of Chinese, North Korean and Russian military assets in the region.


It also remains indebted to Washington for the assistance the US military provided in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake.


"Even before March 11 there were many factors in favour of the F-35, but since then that national security relationship between the two governments has become much closer," one analyst with knowledge of the bidding told The Daily Telegraph.


The third aircraft in the running for the contract is the Boeing F/A18 Super Hornet and representatives of Eurofighter and Boeing have scheduled a joint press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday to debate the merits of their aircraft.


The consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon is continuing to promote the aircraft, however, and remains confident in its product.


"We are in daily contact with the Japanese Ministry of Defence regarding their F-X evaluation," said Andy Latham, vice president of Typhoon exports.


"We maintain that our cost-effective proposal offers Eurofighter Typhoon, the world's most advanced multi-role combat aircraft, as Japan's best option to meet the requirement for its F-X programme and the most capable deterrent to regional threats," he said.


A decision is expected in December and opting for Typhoon would be particularly welcomed by BAE Systems, one of the three European companies building the plane, which in September announced nearly 3,000 potential job losses across Britain.


However BAE is also building part of the F-35 for Lockheed.


RAF Typhoons flew around 3,000 operational hours over Libya, reporting a 99pc success rate against fixed targets and 98pc against mobile targets. That combat experience is seen as vital to the bid.


Eurofighter has declined to reveal the price tag on the aircraft, but each jet is believed to cost around £65m.


The Typhoon is in service with the air forces of the four countries that collaborated on the project and has been sold to Austria and Saudi Arabia.


The governments of India, Greece, Qatar, Oman, South Korea, Denmark, Switzerland, Turkey, Romania, Malaysia and Bulgaria are all also reportedly considering acquiring the aircraft.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 07:10


source suasnews.com


Nov 14, 2011 By Arie Egozi – Flight Global


Tel Aviv - Innocon and its Thai partner, G-Force Composites, are offering a new training solution for the G-Star tactical unmanned air system (UAS) now being evaluated by the Royal Thai Air Force.


Based on Innocon's MiniFalcon-2 design, the G-Star has a maximum take-off weight of 220kg (485lb). Thailand has purchased one system and is evaluating it against other UAS, including the Aerostar produced by Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems.


Using simulation capabilities supplied by Simlat, the training system can be integrated with an operational UAS console to provide a realistic training setting for G-Star operators. Its purpose is to train them in mission aspects such as flight patterns, payload operation and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities.


"Customers can now prepare for emergencies and diverse mission scenarios in addition to basic operation training," said Innocon chief executive Michael Armon. "This reduces certification costs, increases safety and yields high customer satisfaction."


G-Force has so far specialised in manufacturing composite structures and supplied some for UAS developed by Innocon. The G-Star is the first result of a cooperation agreement signed by the companies earlier this year.

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13 novembre 2011 7 13 /11 /novembre /2011 20:15





This little riverine flies at 50 knots and can mount all sorts of crazy stuff -- a possible solution for Mekong patrol?

Here is the link to its manufacturer site (here)



To compare, here is US Navy's CB90 (here)

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13 novembre 2011 7 13 /11 /novembre /2011 13:35



13 Nov, 2011, economictimes.indiatimes.com


NEW DELHI: Looking to add more lethal firepower to its arsenal, India is planning to test fire its latest 1000-km range sub-sonic land attack cruise missile 'Nirbhay' early next year.

Nirbhay will be a terrain hugging, stealthy missile capable of delivering multiple warheads as per mission requirements.

"We are looking to test-fire the new sub-sonic cruise missile in the first quarter of 2012. The Nirbhay will be a new state-of-the-art missile," DRDO officials told PTI here.

With its range of 1,000 Km, the missile has longer reach than Pakistan's Hatf-7 Babur missile, which claims to have a range of 700 km.

The missile is being developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory under the DRDO.

Sources said the missile will be sleeker than other similar weapon systems that are operational with different countries.

The Nirbhay will be India's second cruise missile after the 300 km range BrahMos, which is a supersonic system. The missile can be launched from multiple launchers and will be inducted into all the three services.

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13 novembre 2011 7 13 /11 /novembre /2011 08:25



HMAS Tobruk LSH/Landing Ship Heavy departs Fleet Base East, Sydney, as the ship heads out to sea to undergo Certification Trials. (photo : RAN)



Following a programmed maintenance period, HMAS Tobruk sailed on Tuesday 8 November 2011 from Fleet Base East, headed to sea to undergo Certification Trials. HMAS Tobruk will conduct a series of evolutions to confirm the functionality of the many ship systems that were worked on during the maintenance period.

The ship will also commence a period of sea certification for the crew. The completion of the programme has resulted in a significant improvement in the ship's material state. The aim of this maintenance was to best ensure the ship's sustained readiness for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief over the forthcoming Australian cyclone season between 1 November 2011 and 30 April 2012.


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13 novembre 2011 7 13 /11 /novembre /2011 08:20



KDB MUSTAED, a new Fast Interceptor Boat (FIB25-012) for Royal Brunei Navy (all photos : Mindef Brunei)



The Acceptance Ceremony and Flag Raising of the Fast Interceptor Boat (FIB-25)

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE, - The Royal Brunei Armed Forces reached another significant milestone with the official acceptance of a Fast Interceptor Boat (FIB25-012), named KDB MUSTAED.

On 26th March 2010, the Government of His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam, represented by the Ministry of Defence, Negara Brunei Darussalam signed an agreement with Luerssen Asia Pte.Ltd., whereby Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Defence will be supplied with one (1) unit of Fast Interceptor Boat Type FIB25-012. The start of Steel Cutting for KDB MUSTAED was initiated on 23rd December 2010 and the Launching Ceremony of the boat was inaugurated on 29th September 2011.



The acceptance of KDB MUSTAED by the Ministry of Defence, Negara Brunei Darussalam was held today, where the handing over and flag raising ceremony took place at Marinteknik Shipyard in Tuas, Republic of Singapore.

Accepting on behalf of the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was Dayang Hajah Suriyah binti Haji Umar, Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) of the Ministry of Defence.


The boat has successfully carried out its Harbour and Sea Acceptance Trials and the crews are at their final stage of training before KDB MUSTAED is scheduled to begin her voyage back and expected to arrive in Brunei Darussalam later this month. The boat will be fully manned by officers and men of the Royal Brunei Navy.


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12 novembre 2011 6 12 /11 /novembre /2011 17:45



2011-11-12 (China Military News cited from News Desk)


India's submarine fleet is dying of old age, and new boats are not going to arrive in time as it believes it needs at least 18 non-nuclear subs in service to deal with Pakistan and China.


It's not like this was a surprise, but the Indian defence procurement bureaucracy has long been noted as slow, sloppy and stubborn, especially in the face of demands that it speed up.


The twisted tale of the tardy submarines is particularly painful. The plan was to have a dozen new subs in service by the end of the decade. At present, there will be (with a bit of luck) six of them in service by then. The other six might arrive five years later. It's hard to say, because the manufacturer of the second six has not been selected yet. The defence procurement nabobs speak of 'fast track' for this project, but long-time observers of these officials are not expecting speed.


India's effort to build the first six subs (French Scorpenes), under license, has been delayed several times, and the price has gone up to $5 billion ($834 million each). While this effort will leave India with thousands of workers and specialists experienced in building modern submarines, all that will be wasted because the defence procurement bureaucrats seem to have learned nothing. These officials already caused numerous delays, and cost overruns, during negotiations to build the Scorpene diesel-electric submarines. The bureaucrats mismanaged this deal to the extent that it is nearly three years behind schedule. But it is even more behind schedule if you count the several years the Indian bureaucrats delayed it even getting started. The delays and mismanagement have so far increased the cost of $4 billion project by 25 percent. The first Scorpene is supposed to enter service in 2015, with one a year after that until all six are delivered.


There's some urgency to all this, because by next year, five of India's 16 subs (10 Kilo and two Foxtrot class Russian built boats and four German Type 209s) will be retired (some are already semi-retired because of age and infirmity). Two years after that, India will only have five working subs.


But the bureaucrats and politicians dithered for nearly a decade, and it wasn't until 2005 that India signed a deal to buy six French Scorpene class boats. The delays led to the French increasing prices on some key components, and India has had some problems in getting production going on their end. The first Scorpene was to be built in France, with the other five built in India. While some problems were expected (India has been doing licence manufacturing of complex weapons for decades), the Defence Ministry procurement bureaucrats never ceased to amaze when it came to delaying work, or just getting in the way.


The Scorpenes are similar to the Agosta 90B subs (also French) that Pakistan recently bought. The first of the Agostas was built in France, but the other two were built in Pakistan. The Scorpene purchase was seen as a response to the Pakistani Agostas. The Scorpene are a more recent design, the result of cooperation between French and Spanish sub builders. The Agosta is a 1,500 ton (surface displacement) diesel-electric sub with a 36 man crew and four 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes (with 20 torpedoes and/or anti-ship missiles carried). The Scorpene is a little heavier (1,700 tons), has a smaller crew (32) and is a little faster. It has six 533mm torpedo tubes, and carries 18 torpedoes and/or missiles. Both models can be equipped with an AIP (air independent propulsion) system. This enables the sub to stay under longer, thus making the sub harder to find. AIP allows the sub to travel under water for more than a week, at low speed (5-10 kilometres an hour). The Pakistanis have an option to retrofit AIP in their current two Agostas.


While India was largely concerned with the Pakistani Navy when the Scorpene contract was negotiated and signed, China is now seen as the primary adversary. The Chinese subs are not as effective as the Pakistani boats, both because of less advanced technology, and less well trained crews. India could use their Scorpenes to confront any Chinese attempt to expand their naval presence into the Indian Ocean. Thus the delays and cost overruns with the Scorpenes are causing quite a lot of commotion in India. But at the rate India is going, it will be nearly a decade before all six of the Scorpenes are in service. At that point, India would have about a dozen subs (including nuclear powered models' under construction). China will have over 60 boats, about 20 percent of them nuclear.

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12 novembre 2011 6 12 /11 /novembre /2011 17:40

PLA China


2011-11-12 (China Military News cited from APP)


Pakistan-China Joint Military Exercise aimed at sharing and enhancing expertise of both armies in countering terrorism, will begin from November 16 (Wednesday) in Pakistan The joint military exercise 'YOUVI-IV', spread over two weeks is also aimed at mutual exchange of experience and information through a comprehensive training programme in real time. The joint exercise will encompass techniques and procedures involved in Low Intensity Conflict Operations (LIC) environment.According to ISPR here on Friday, this joint interaction in form of military exercise aims at sharing and enhancing expertise of both armies in countering terrorism.


The exercise YOUYI which literally translates "Friendship" between the two countries started in 2004. Pakistan Army was the first foreign army to conduct any exercise on Chinese soil.


So far three exercises have been conducted; including two in China and one in Pakistan. These exercises were mandated to boost existing professional relationship between the two friendly Armies.


It may be mentioned here that Pakistan and China enjoy extremely close and brotherly relations since their inception, which have matured and strengthened over the years.


The joint military exercise YOUYI-IV will certainly pave the way for further cementing the existing bilateral relations between Pakistan and China.

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12 novembre 2011 6 12 /11 /novembre /2011 17:35



2011-11-12(China Military News cited from wsj.com and by Matt Durnin)


China launched two satellites Wednesday as part of a decade-long rapid expansion of earth-monitoring capabilities that also buttress the country's growing military prowess.


Yaogan-12, the primary cargo of the launch, is the twelfth model in a series of "remote sensing" satellites that many analysts believe are tasked with gathering military intelligence. China, which has never acknowledged a defense-related launch, claims that the satellite will be used for "scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring."


Piggybacking on the ride was Tianxun-1, a 35-kg micro-satellite with a low-resolution camera. A 2010 paper in China Science and Technology Review described the satellite's design as "low-observable," suggesting it may be a test bed for basic stealth technology that could make small satellites even harder to track from the ground.


Since China's controversial shoot-down of one of its weather satellites in early 2007, the U.S. defense community has churned with speculation about Beijing's military intentions in space.


China has recently shown more concerted focus on military reconnaissance satellites, which are key components of its plans for a more integrated and aware People's Liberation Army. This is a change from the 1990s when Chinese satellites were often dual-use, serving both military and civilian functions.


According to Kevin Pollpeter, deputy director of Defense Group Inc.'s East Asia Program, China's satellite projects have since split into distinctly different groups. "You see on one side China's satellites becoming more solely devoted to national security purposes," he says. "On the other hand, on the civilian side they have been increasingly open with other countries."


Earth-monitoring satellites will contribute to Chinese weather prediction, disaster relief and civil planning, but dedicated military variants will also amplify the effectiveness of PLA weapons.


Roger Cliff, a senior fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, says that such assets provide the PLA with crucial situational awareness.


"Ten years ago, if they had wanted to use their ballistic missiles to attack an airfield, they would have essentially been firing blind," he says. "That's not true anymore."


Today China's better reconnaissance satellites are thought to have ground resolutions under two meters, and perhaps as low as half a meter. Though these specifications pale in comparison to U.S. spy satellite capabilities, they are likely good enough for China's defense needs.


According to Pollpeter, focus on basic yet proven technologies is likely an effective and intentional Chinese strategy. "A lot of time with U.S. defense technology we go for the platinum-plated version, but you don't actually have to do that all the time," he says. "In our own weapon systems we usually demand solutions that work in 100 percent of circumstances, when often the 80 percent solution might suffice."


Though the price tags of Chinese reconnaissance satellites are not publicly known, they are thought to be a fraction of the cost of U.S. spy satellite programs, which frequently reach into the billions of dollars.


The relative low cost of Chinese satellite programs is complimented by a rapid launch tempo. Last year China successfully launched 15 rockets, matching the U.S. total for the first time. This year China may soar past that number.


Yuan Jiajun, deputy general director of China Aerospace and Technology Corp., told the state-run Xinhua news agency last week that China is scheduled to launch 25 satellites on 20 rockets in 2011. Since 13 rockets have carried 14 Chinese satellites into orbit so far this year, and one more has failed, Yuan's comments imply that 10 more satellites could reach space by the end of December.


Yet it is perhaps too easy to be starstruck by China's achievements in space. Cliff warns that although China has passed some impressive milestones, its limitations must be kept in perspective. He points out that China's satellite programs seem to have hit road bumps in several areas, including radar satellites that have failed in orbit or have been repeatedly delayed.


"We shouldn't make Chinese technological capabilities out to be ten feet tall," he says. "The things that they are doing are not cutting edge in the first place and they're not always going smoothly either."


Matt Durnin is a Beijing-based researcher at the World Security Institute’s China Program and associate editor of the policy journal China Security. He specializes in China’s defense modernization and space programs.

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12 novembre 2011 6 12 /11 /novembre /2011 08:50



November 11, 2011 By Christopher Whyte - the-diplomat.com


After years of development, U.S. government and defense industry representatives have actively started the process of selling the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) overseas. Recent focus has fallen on India and Japan, two Asian powers that Washington sees as important to its future involvement in regional affairs.


The United States’ 4th generation (F/A-18 and F-16) offerings were rejected by India, with European manufacturers Dassault and Eurofighter the only finalists for a whopping $10 billion contract. Still, the Pentagon recently invited India to consider information on the Joint Strike Fighter for future purchases, labeling the craft the world’s premier fifth-generation platform and highly suited to the requirements of the original competition.


This clear shift emphasis on the part of the Obama administration and the Pentagon underscores the U.S. government’s vision of close Washington-New Delhi cooperation, and demonstrates a growing willingness to interface with India’s military endeavors on a new level. With that in mind, and considering that India’s expanding military modernization plans go far beyond the current competition, it seems very possible that the F-35 may find itself based on the subcontinent in the foreseeable future.


In Japan, meanwhile, officials announced that the F-X program, a competition to pick the country’s next combat air platform, has become a two horse race between Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin’s F-35. With its previous attempts to purchase the F-22A, along with Japanese officials’ stated preference for fifth generation technologies, it’s clear that the JSF is in a favorable position.


For those policymakers that support JSF production, and those manufacturers that have become dependent on its success, these potential new markets extremely welcome. Pressure is mounting in Congress to include the JSF in future Pentagon budget cuts, but new export ventures could help alleviate both the rising price-per-unit costs (now almost at $150 million) and much of the mounting pressure to scale back production of the  new sophisticated carrier based F-35B variant.


In terms of tactical capabilities, the Joint Strike Fighter makes substantive sense for both nations. India and Japan are looking to create diverse forces that can provide advanced air superiority, interdictor and strike capabilities in the context of the relatively proximate threat posed by numerically massive Chinese ballistic and aerial units. Adding the F-35 would compliment the abilities of more numerous 4th generation aircraft and help build a strong balance of capabilities amongst powers in Asia.


This is particularly the case for India. From the Su-35 family of Russian aircraft to the advanced FGFA heavy fifth-generation stealth fighter, the capabilities garnered from New Delhi’s current range of procurements will enable the country to field a diverse force structure to meet future challenges. In India’s case especially, it’s worth noting that the FGFA, a future variant of the Indian-Russian PAK-FA fighter, is intended to serve in the same land-based air superiority platform role as the U.S. F-22A Raptor, with advanced thrust vectoring, stealth detection and air-to-air combat capabilities. This would complement the F-35’s primary role as a stealthy interdictor in modern aerial warfare mission profiles. Moreover, the naval variants of the JSF may well find themselves extremely attractive to the Indian navy in the future as an alternative to the current 4th generation HAL and MiG aircraft, with the F-35B and C models both capable of being launched from soon-to-be-introduced domestic- and Russian-built carriers.


Despite its many advantages, the biggest obstacle to the F-35 has been the snail-like development cycle and the rising costs associated with buying and operating such an aircraft. Selling the F-35 to India and Japan could remedy this and revitalize the JSF’s stagnant future. With the F-35 nearing full production, and with final testing underway on its naval variants, the United States has indicated its willingness to approve at least partial technology transfers, a move that makes JSF procurement more economically lucrative for all parties involved.


Ultimately, a future that sees the F-35 in Asia’s skies can only benefit the United States, both financially and strategically as the U.S. moves closer to key allies.


Christopher Whyte is a Washington DC area analyst and graduate student in Political Science in International Relations at George Mason University, Virginia.

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