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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 16:35
Indian Air Force to allow women fighter pilots

 

GHAZIABAD, India, Oct. 9 (UPI)

 

Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha told reporters women will soon fly fighter jets, as the force marks its 83rd anniversary on Thursday. Raha said women already fly transport aircraft and helicopters, and that the Indian Air Force has plans to induct them into fighter positions, according to Indian news network NDTV. "I have no doubt that women will be able to overcome any physical limitations to become fighter pilots," he said. Currently, there are about 1,500 women serving in the Indian Air Force, making up about 8.5 percent of total personnel. This includes 94 pilots and 14 navigators. Historically, women were excluded from fighter pilot positions, like other combat positions, out of fear they would be subject to rape or torture in the event they were captured by an enemy. Women also hold administrative, medical and education positions within the Air Force, and are sometimes taken on aircraft as observers.

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17 juin 2015 3 17 /06 /juin /2015 10:55
Portrait d’un pilote de chasse, formateur sur la base de Cognac.

 

14 juin 2015 par Anthony Maréchal - DCI

 

Il est presque midi à la base aérienne 709 de Cognac. Sous un soleil de plomb, la dernière rotation d’apprentis pilotes vient de décoller du tarmac. Le capitaine David Gonnet, qui rentre de mission, accepte de se confier sur son métier de pilote de chasse. Confidences d’un passionné…

 

• Pouvez-vous présenter votre métier ?

Mon métier, c’est d’être pilote de chasse. Je suis rentré dans l’armée en 2001. J’ai suivi une formation relativement longue pour exercer ce métier. L’aboutissement, c’est d’être en unité opérationnelle pour pouvoir aller sur des mission en opération extérieure pendant 2 mois où nous tentons de maintenir la paix en menant à bien des opérations décidées par le chef de l’état.

 

Suite de l’entretien

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24 mars 2015 2 24 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Two Turkish F-16s fly alongside a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over the North Sea.(Photo US Air Force)

Two Turkish F-16s fly alongside a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over the North Sea.(Photo US Air Force)

 

March 21, 2015 By Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News

 

ANKARA — Turkey's government and military leaders have agreed to speed up the country's crawling program for the design, development and production of an indigenous fighter jet.

 

Officials here said there is a broad "administrative agreement" over a need to give the program a boost.

 

"The program will gain notable pace after the [parliamentary] elections [on June 7]," said one senior procurement official familiar with the program, dubbed TF-X. "There is consensus among the president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], prime minister [Ahmet Davutoglu] and the Air Force that the program should go ahead with a 'priority tag.' "

 

An Air Force official assisting the program said the top brass in the service is "keen to go faster than before."

 

"Maximum [expert] input possible will be provided from our side," he said. "This is now an established policy."

 

Early in March, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) procurement agency released a request for information (RFI) for the ambitious TF-X.

 

In that document, SSM defined the scope of the fighter program as "indigenous design, development and production activities of the first Turkish fighter aircraft to meet Turkish Armed Forces' next generation fighter requirements and replace the existing F-16 fighter fleet starting from 2030s."

 

Companies or organizations capable of designing, developing and manufacturing the planned aircraft are invited to obtain an electronic copy of the RFI from SSM.

 

SSM officials say the release of the RFI marks a critical stage for the program, aiming "to see which companies would be willing to take part and which capabilities will be offered."

 

"We expect a satisfactory level of international interest," the procurement official said. "We already unofficially know that a number of foreign manufacturers hope to be part of this program."

 

He said a new roadmap also has been devised. The first thing Ankara will do, he said, is put together a team of SSM and Air Force officials that will be expected to run the program until the end.

 

"Soon there will formally be an enthusiastic team working on the ideal modality for the program," the official said. "That team is being structured at the moment."

 

Turkey's top procurement panel, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Davutoglu, officially decided on Jan. 7 to go ahead with the TF-X program after reviewing its feasibility.

 

At the meeting, the committee decided to move beyond the pre-concept design stage. It said a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

 

Other members of the committee are Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, Chief of Military General Staff Gen. Ncdet Ozel and chief procurement official, Ismail Demir, head of the SSM.

 

Davutoglu has said that a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

 

But the procurement official said this is not an irreversible decision. "We remain flexible on the choice of engine modality. Depending on our choice of a base model we may rethink that," he said.

 

He also said the "base model" could be both a NATO or a non-NATO product.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Turkey Releases RFI for Fighter Program

 

March 15, 2015 By Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News

 

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish government finally released a Request for Information (RFI) for its ambitious program for the design, development and production of an indigenous fighter jet.

 

The country's procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), defined in the RFI document the scope of the fighter program, dubbed TF-X, as "indigenous design, development and production activities of the first Turkish fighter aircraft to meet Turkish Armed Forces' next generation fighter requirements and replace the existing F-16 fighter fleet starting from 2030s."

 

Companies or organizations capable of designing, developing and manufacturing the planned aircraft are invited to obtain an electronic copy of the RFI from SSM.

 

"This is a critical stage for the program," a senior SSM official familiar with the program said. "We wish to see which companies would be willing to take part and which capabilities will be offered.

 

Turkey's top procurement panel, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, decided Jan. 7 to go ahead with the TF-X program after reviewing its feasibility.

 

At the meeting, the committee decided to move beyond the pre-concept design stage. It said that a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

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22 février 2015 7 22 /02 /février /2015 17:25
Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

 

February 22, 2015 By Wendell Minnick – Defense News

 

TAIPEI — London's successful blocking of the Gripen fighter sale to Argentina appears to have done little to stop Buenos Aires' determination to replace its aging attack and fighter fleet. Nor has it halted its threats to use force to "liberate" the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands from British control.

 

In October, Argentina's Defense Minister Agustin Rossi announced plans to procure 14 Saab Gripen fighters to replace its single-engine Dassault Mirage III/5, which saw combat during the 1982 Falklands War.

 

However, London quickly killed the deal. When that was nixed, Argentine's President Cristina Kirchner traveled to Beijing, Feb. 2-5, and announced Argentina and China were creating a working group to facilitate the transfer of a variety of military equipment, including fighters. To further sweeten the pot, China takes Argentina's position on the Falkland Islands and has compared the dispute to China's sovereignty claims over disputed islands in the East and South China Seas.

 

Two types of Chinese fighters are candidates: The FC-1/JF-17 and the J-10, both built by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC).

 

The JF-17 is the Pakistan-built variant of the FC-1. Both fighters have their advantages and disadvantages, said Doug Barrie, the senior air analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. The Chengdu FC-1 represents the cheaper and less-capable combat aircraft, he said. Argentina could purchase significantly more FC-1s, "although in capability terms this would not represent as great an increment in overall performance compared to the J-10," he said.

 

The Argentinean Air Force could face difficulties acclimating to non-Western equipment, but "we should understand that such a sale will have a special political importance for the Chinese. It brings prestige and opens doors to new combat aircraft sales to the region," said Vasily Kashin, a China military specialist at Moscow's Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. "They will likely provide good financing conditions and will probably pay special attention to subsequent maintenance and training work."

 

Logistics and follow-on support is still a question, and China's reputation with past fighter exports is dubious, said Roger Cliff, nonresident senior fellow, Asia Security Initiative, Atlantic Council. He said Argentina might have no choice in the matter since London will no doubt block any Western fighter sale. Russia could also be a contender, but also has a poor history in fighter support, Cliff said.

 

However, China's JF-17 fighter program in Pakistan has proven a reasonably successful test bed for joint fighter production programs. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and CAC developed the JF-17 and CAC's FC-1 in a joint program begun in 1995. Like Argentina, the Pakistan JF-17 replaced its Mirage III/5 fighters.

 

Richard Fisher, a senior fellow with the US-based International Assessment and Strategy Center, said that in 2013 CAC was in discussions with the Argentine aerospace company Fabrica Argentina de Aviones to co-build the FC-1 in a similar fashion as the CAC/PAC deal. Fabrica did not respond to requests for information on the issue.

 

China has been working hard to placate Buenos Aires. In 2011, Fabrica and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) signed a co-production deal for the CZ-11 single-engine light multi-purpose helicopter.

 

Future cooperation could cover co-production with China's Norinco for 100 eight-wheeled VN1 eight-wheeled armored personnel carriers, and joint development with China's Shipbuilding Corp. for five corvettes modeled after the P18 (to be dubbed the Malvinas-class after the Falklands dispute).

 

These agreements could complicate London's ability to protect the Falklands from another invasion.

 

Fisher said that with aerial refueling, which will be available from Argentina's new Embraer KC390s, "the FC-1 is able to carry two CM400AKG-derived hypersonic anti-ship missiles out to a reasonable strike range." With the element of surprise and a minimum of 20 fighters, "there is the potential they could launch up to 40 of these missiles at the likely single aircraft carrier that Britain would send to defend the Falklands from a second attack."

 

London does not have an aircraft carrier that can operate fixed-wing aircraft. The famed AV-8 Harrier jump jetss that made their name during the Falklands War were retired in 2010. However, two 70,000-ton Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers are under construction, with the first to be completed in 2017 with an air wing operational in 2020, Cliff said. The carriers will be equipped with short take-off and vertical landing F-35B joint strike fighters. "So the UK might be especially vulnerable at the moment, but that situation will not last long."

 

Fisher said the issue is more complicated today than it was during the war.

 

The other new element is that Argentina and China are now partners in space cooperation. China is building a strategic Southern Hemisphere tracking and control facility, and Argentina could get access to China's growing surveillance satellite network.

 

The scenarios Fisher paints are dark. "What if Venezuela gave Argentine aircraft base access to mount an early strike against a British task force? This could become a realistic option with Chinese ISR. This Chinese-Argentine military relationship is just beginning to blossom. Anti-ship ballistic missiles, over-the-horizon radar, and submarines could quickly join the list of possible Chinese exports.

 

"Look, there does not have to be a second war," Fisher continued. "If China sells Argentina enough weapons, a future British government could opt for a lengthy face-saving Hong Kong-like transfer. But in Latin America, such a 'surrender' would be viewed as much a Chinese as an Argentine victory."

 

The political and economic consequences for Argentina of making another grab for the Falklands would be severe, and even threatening to do so would not be in the country's interest. But that does not mean it could not happen, "as people in the country are still passionate about the issue", Cliff said.

 

"Argentina made things pretty dicey for the UK back in 1982 and probably could do so again, especially if they prepared carefully for it."

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27 juin 2014 5 27 /06 /juin /2014 16:40
UEC facilities will be used to create engines for fifth-generation fighter jets

 

June 27, 2014 by Rostec

 

A steering committee has been established for the PAK FA Prospective Engine Program at the Ufa Engine Industrial Association (UEIA), which is a subsidiary of the United Engine Corporation. The new division will receive most of the authority to manage the project to build the engine for the fifth-generation fighter jet. 

 

According to UEIA Managing Director Alexander Artyukhov, the program to build the engine for the prospective cutting-edge aircraft is currently one of the most advanced in all of Russian industry. Work on the project will be undertaken using the phase-gate system. Experts will identify key milestones with clear goals and objectives for each period.

Evgeny Marchukov, Chief Designer of the A M. Lyulki Experimental Design Bureau (a branch of UEIA), has been appointed head of the steering committee.

UEIA is the parent company of the "Engines for Combat Aircraft" UEC Division. It was awarded the status of chief designer of the prospective engine for the PAK FA fighter jet in 2013. In November of last year the technical plan was defended before a committee of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which is the project's customer. In 2014 UEIA was appointed chief manufacturer of prototypes for engine parts and assembly units.

Currently, the company and its subsidiary, the A M. Lyulki Experimental Design Bureau, are preparing to manufacture the first demonstration engine for the PAK FA.  

The main structural components of the T-50 fighter (the PAK FA project) are being produced by Rostec enterprises. The power plant is being developed by designers at the United Engine Corporation. The cockpit and fuselage exterior are being prepared by specialists at RT-Chemical Technologies and Composite Materials. Avionics satisfying the requirements for fifth generation aircraft are being created by the Radioelectronic Technologies Concern.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 19:45
Mozambican MiGs stuck in Germany

 

 

07 April 2014 by defenceWeb

 

Three MiG-21 fighter jets destined for Mozambique are stuck in Germany due to a lack of necessary permits. They are part of a batch of eight being shipped from Romania.

 

Romanian company Aerostar is overhauling six MiG-21bis and two MiG-21UM trainer aircraft for the Mozambique Air Force and is also providing training for Mozambican MiG-21 pilots. Three MiG-21s were seen flying at Aerostar’s Bacau facility last year.

 

On Sunday Germany’s Der Spiegel reported that three MiG-21s were transported from the Romanian capital Bucharest by train in six containers and were to have been subsequently shipped to Mozambique from the Germany port of Bremerhaven.

 

However, although the aircraft were declared according to procedure, their transport was done without the necessary permits and they were stopped. Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s public prosecutor will investigate the possible breach of arms control laws. The publication noted that Aerostar was found guilty of a similar incident in 2008.

 

In 2012 German customs officials confiscated MiG-29 engines for Algeria and Tu-142 engines for India over the lack of necessary permits.

 

The Mozambique Air Force is slowly rejuvenating, considering that until recently it was almost entirely inoperable, suffering poor serviceability since independence from Portugal in 1975 and the collapse of the Soviet Union and its financial support in the early 1990s. The arrival of the MiG-21s will give the Air Force a jet capability not had in years, as its existing MiG-21s have fallen into disrepair and are grounded.

 

In addition to the MiG-21s, Mozambique has apparently bought two Aerostar Festival side-by-side light aircraft and will get an overhauled Aero Vodochody L-39ZO jet trainer. Late last year it emerged that Mozambique’s Air Force would also receive two second hand Antonov An-26B transport aircraft after they have been refurbished in the Ukraine.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:40
Ukraine Puts Mothballed Mig-29 Fighter Jets Back in Service

 

April 7th, 2014 By RIA Novosti - defencetalk.com

 

Several mothballed Mikoyan Mig-29 Fulcrum fourth-generation fighter jets were returned to combat service in western Ukraine, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.

 

“Specialists of our team have already returned several planes to service,” the ministry quoted an unnamed commander of an Air Force unit near Ivano-Frankivsk as saying. “We are now conducting test flights. Soon, more mothballed fighter jets will take off again.”

 

The state of Ukraine’s armed forces came under close scrutiny when the new government took office in late February, after months of violent uprising.

 

Kiev launched extensive combat readiness checks of its armed forces in early March, following Crimea’s announcement that it was ready to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

 

Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh said in his report to the president that the checks revealed “unsatisfactory” condition of the armed forces.

 

He said that out of 507 combat planes and 121 attack helicopters, only 15 percent are serviceable. Air Force crews lack proper training and only 10 percent of them are capable of performing combat tasks.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Philippines DND will be Acquiring a Multi-Role Fighter by 2018

After F/A-50 contract has signed, DND announced that it will be acquiring a multi-role fighter by 2018.

 

07 April 2014 Defense Studies



PHL to get MRF by 2018

MANILA, (PNA) — With the country now on its way to acquire its first-ever supersonic jet aircraft in 34 years, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that it will be acquiring a "multi-role fighter" (MRF) by 2018.

This was revealed by DND undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo

2018 is the second phase of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

During this period, the defense and military establishment will determine whether to acquire additional units of the South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" or go full stream with the acquisition of the MRFs to enhance the country's external defense capabilities.

Studies are now underway to determine the best MRF designs for the Philippines.

The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last Friday. Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.

(Batita)

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5 avril 2014 6 05 /04 /avril /2014 21:50
photo Saab

photo Saab

 

 

April 4, 2014 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - Saab has successfully test flown a key passive detection capability for its in-development Gripen E fighter, using dedicated test aircraft 39-7.

 

Developed by Selex ES’s Airborne & Space Systems division, the Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) sensor will give the combat aircraft a long-range means of detecting and identifying potential airborne threats, without the need to first switch on its active electronically scanned array radar. Secondary applications include the ability to act as a navigation and landing aid during darkness.

 

“The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results,” says Hans Einerth, wing commander flying at Saab’s Linköping production and test site in Sweden. “Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified, and the system works perfectly.”

 

Skyward-G comprises a sensor head unit installed in front of the fighter’s cockpit, and an associated processor unit box, which is stowed in the nose avionics bay. The entire system weighs less than 40kg (88lb), says Selex.

 

“The [IRST] integration and development work is progressing according to schedule,” says Saab. The company is producing three dedicated E-model test aircraft, with its current 39-7 asset being a modified D-model Gripen. The new-generation version should enter use in 2018, with operators expected to include Sweden, plus export customers Brazil and Switzerland; both have yet to finalise planned orders.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
Russian war plane Su-27 crash-lands in Primorye

 

2 April 2014, voiceofrussia.com

 

A Sukhoi-27 fighter aircraft made an emergency landing during an approach operation in the Primorye Region in the Russian Far East in the small hours of Wednesday while performing a scheduled night flight, the Eastern Command press-service reports.

 

The incident was caused by failure of the fluid power system of the aircraft's fore carriage, the press-service specifies. So the pilot decided to crash-land on the main landing gear, Interfax was told. The report also says that the flights were performed without broadside ammunition.

 

The plane's crew came to no harm and there was no fire outbreak.

 

A special commission is working on the site of the incident. According to preliminary data, the plane requires minor overhaul, after which its technical availability will be completely restored.

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24 mars 2014 1 24 /03 /mars /2014 19:35
F-35 Stealth Multirole Fighters For South Korea

 

 

24/03/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

The Republic of Korea Air Force is upgrading its equipment, with plans announced to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole fighters and four Northrop Grumman Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles.

 

South Korea's aim is to revitalise its air force through deals set to be fully firmed-up between July and September 2014, with airframe deliveries tentatively scheduled from 2018 onwards. The Global Hawk UAVs' purchase price isn't known but, according to information given by defence officials to news agency Reuters, the 40 Lightning IIs will cost an estimated $6.8 billion in total.

 

Previously, South Korea seemed to have chosen the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle to meet the Republic of Korea Air Force's future fighter needs. However, in November 2013, it was hinted that, instead, the country's preference had swung towards the Lockheed Martin design.

 

South Korean F-35 Order

 

In a statement, Lockheed Martin expressed pleasure at the South Korean F-35 order announcement and pledged to support arrangements between the US and South Korea to set a contract in motion.

 

"We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements", explained its vice president of aeronautics, Orlando Carvalho. "We look forward to supporting the discussions between the Republic of Korea and US governments in support of a final agreement this year."

 

South Korea now becomes the tenth nation to have moved to acquire the F-35 Lightning II, alongside the US, UK, Australia, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey, Israel and Japan.

 

Lightning II Stealth Multirole Fighter

 

Produced by a US-led consortium, the F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole fighter features cutting-edge technology aimed at making it undetectable by enemy radars. Three versions are available - the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C. These are capable of conventional (runway-based) take offs and landings, short take offs and landings and aircraft carrier operations, respectively.

 

The Republic of Korea Air Force has been active since 1949. According to a 2010 count, it operates 760 aircraft, many of them US-origin. McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons currently make up the backbone of its fighter fleet.

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14 décembre 2013 6 14 /12 /décembre /2013 12:40
Russia to Develop Light-Class Fighter Jet

 

Dec. 12, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: RIA Novosti; issued Dec. 11, 2013)

 

MOSCOW --- Russia will soon start developing a prototype of an advanced lightweight fighter jet to supplement fifth-generation T-50 aircraft, a top government official said Wednesday.

 

The new aircraft is expected to be cheaper to produce and easier to maintain, but should also possess combat capabilities and performance characteristics comparable with those of heavy-class aircraft.

 

“The development of a light-class fighter has been included in the current arms procurement program. It will be created,” said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, addressing the lower house of parliament.

 

Rogozin, who oversees the defense and space industries, said light-class fighters were in greater demand abroad, compared to more advanced heavy-class aircraft, such as Su-30 or the planned T-50 fighter jets.

 

Russia is currently developing the heavy-class T-50 multirole fighter aircraft, also known as PAK-FA, which will be the core of the country’s future fighter fleet.

 

The T-50 is expected to enter service with the Russian air force in 2016.

 

Rogozin, who first voiced the idea of developing a second type of a fifth-generation fighter in February 2012, said Wednesday that Russia has always had at least two types of tactical fighters that in general supplemented one another.

 

The latest example is a MiG-29/Su-27 pair.

 

Rogozin did not specify which of Russia’s two main designers of combat jets – MiG or Sukhoi – will be assigned the development of the future light-class fighter.

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2 décembre 2013 1 02 /12 /décembre /2013 18:50
Sweden Providing Jets to NATO Military Force

 

 

December 2nd, 2013 By Swedish Radio - defencetalk.com

 

Sweden will contribute eight Gripen fighter jets and one mine-hunting boat next year to NATO’s Response Force, the alliance’s most elite military unit, news agency TT reports.

 

Sweden deepen its cooperation earlier this fall with the military alliance’s reserve force and the Swedish government decided on Thursday to make available eight JAS 39 Gripen planes, which includes a crew of 120 men, and one boat to sweep for mines.

 

“They will remain in Sweden, but they will be ready,” said Defense Minister Karin Enström. “They are sufficiently well-trained so that they are up-to-date.”

 

The main reason for Sweden’s contribution is so the country can take part in advanced exercises by NATO. At least one major exercise is planned for next year and Enström says participating will “strengthen our defense capabilities.”

 

The NATO Response Force is a multinational force that acts as a stand-alone unit for rapid deployment to support NATO missions as needed.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 08:40
Russian Navy Gets New Carrier-Based Fighters

 

November 26, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: RIA Novosti; published November 25, 2013)

 

MOSCOW --- The Russian navy has taken delivery of its first four series-produced MiG-29K/KUB carrier based fighter jets, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

 

“The MiG aircraft-manufacturing corporation has handed over two MiG-29K single-seat and two MiG-29KUB twin-seat carrier-based fighter aircraft,” a spokesman said.

 

The Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract with MiG in February 2012 for delivery of 20 MiG-29K and four MiG-29KUB fighters by 2015.

 

The aircraft will be deployed on Russia's sole serving carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, based in Murmansk with the Northern Fleet. The Admiral Kuznetsov currently operates Sukhoi Su-33 naval fighter aircraft.

 

The MiG-29K is a naval variant of the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet, and has folding wings, an arrester tail-hook, strengthened airframe and multirole capability thanks to its Zhuk-ME slotted array radar, MiG says.

 

Unlike the Su-33, which is capable of air defense missions only, the MiG-29K can be armed with a wide variety of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air weaponry and laser-designation systems.

 

The aircraft is also capable of “buddy” refueling other MiG-29Ks using the PAZ-1MK refueling pod.

 

So far, the aircraft has only entered service with India, for use on the refitted Russian-built carrier INS Vikramaditya, which was handed over to the Indian Navy on November 15.

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 13:25
Kfir fighters-photo-colombia-air-force

Kfir fighters-photo-colombia-air-force

 

 

Nov. 18, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - As its government and FARC rebel movement make progress towards ending more than 40 years of conflict, Colombia’s air force is planning to bolster its combat capabilities, with the purchase of an additional squadron of fighter aircraft.

 

Air force officials are now completing a study into potential candidates for the requirement, which air operations commander Brig Gen Eduardo Bueno Vargas says is likely to total 18 aircraft. To potentially include a mix of used and new-build airframes, these would be operated in concert with the service’s current Israel Aerospace Industries Kfir C10 strike platforms, he says.

 

Multiple types have been included in a potential candidate list, with Vargas identifying the Boeing F/A-18, Dassault Mirage 2000, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Sukhoi Su-30 as among a range of possible competitors at IQPC’s International Fighter conference in London on 14 November.

 

“We are performing an evaluation for the next Colombian fighter,” he says. “The study is almost ready – then we must wait for a political decision.”

 

The need to acquire a dedicated air superiority fighter was highlighted through Colombia’s deployment of eight Kfirs to the USA in 2012 to participate in a Red Flag-series air combat exercise flown from Nellis AFB in Nevada, Vargas says. “For us, it was something completely new and challenging,” he adds.

 

Colombia’s remaining Rockwell OV-10 Broncos are likely to remain operational for around another five years, Vargas says, before a multi-role replacement could be sought to work with its Embraer EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucanos. Operations with its Cessna A-37B Dragonfly counter-insurgency aircraft are expected to continue for some more years though, with the air force having recently acquired a low flight-hour example from Chile and to receive two more via the Dominican Republic.

 

Meanwhile, Vargas says the Colombian air force also has an interest in fielding an armed unmanned air system capability as part of its future force mix. This could initially involve adding air-to-surface weapons with its existing Elbit Systems Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 air vehicles, he says. The service also wants to field a new-generation airborne early warning and control system type, due to the age of its current one Boeing 707-based example.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

November 13, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

 

New J-10 Shows Comprehensive Rather Than Partial Improvements

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

On November 6th Zhang Jigao, deputy chief designer of the J-10 fighter, spoke about the improved model J-10 publicly for the first time in the AVIC flight test center. Zhang Jigao told People's Daily Online reporters that the overall performance of the J-10 will be comprehensively improved in areas such as aerodynamic layout, mission system, and the approach to maintenance.

 

In March 2009, pictures of our improved model J-10 fighters appeared for the first time on the Internet, and netizens quickly began to call it the "J-10B".

 

Over the last five 5 years, several images of the test J-10B have appeared online, attracting widespread attention from netizens, military enthusiasts, and even foreign media.

 

U.S. military expert Richard Fisher recently pointed out that the J-10B is a so-called "fourth and a half" generation fighter equipped with modern airborne technology and an advanced radar system, which is about to be delivered to the PLA Air Force.

 

Zhang Jigao disputed the term "fourth and a half" generation. In contrast, he suggested that the current international criteria to classify generations are more applicable.

 

He pointed out that single combat is rare in modern warfare, and that the majority of cases now involve system combat and network operations, so that the combat capabilities of a fighter depend on many factors. "This does not mean that the optimization of an aircraft's radar, avionics, and missile detection ranges are bound to improvements in operational performance."

 

Zhang Jigao added that further improvements to the performance of the J10 would focus on the aircraft's aerodynamic layout and mission systems, and the approach to maintenance. "Aircraft development requires constant optimization and improvement," he said, "and our modifications will be comprehensive rather than being confined to a specific area." (ends)

 

 

China Talks Up J-15, J-10B Fighters

Chief Designer Discusses J-15 Shipborne Aircraft's Performance Modifications

 

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

On November 6th, the 5th media day of AVIC, Wang Yongqing, chief designer of J-15 revealed that special design features have been applied to the J-15 in accordance with its deployment on aircraft carriers, in order to achieve the special requirements of shipborne aircraft.

 

Wang Yongqing, chief designer of the J-15 shipborne aircraft, explained to the media that the J-15 shipborne aircraft series no. 555 was a very important machine, although it had attracted limited media attention.

 

The J-15 is China's first generation shipborne fighter, developed on the basis of the J-11. Particular attention has been given to the special requirements of shipborne aircraft, in addition to the guarantee of its combat capabilities.

 

"This means addressing issues of how to take off, land, maneuver and conduct maintenance on board the aircraft carrier." Wang Yongqing pointed out that there are tremendous differences in the way that shipborne aircraft take off and land on an aircraft carrier and on the ground. Correspondingly, there are considerable differences in the overall design of the J-15 compared to the J-11 series.

 

As China's first shipborne fighter, the J-15 has excellent sea-air combat capability, and is equipped with a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea attack weapons. Its comprehensive combat capability has reached an internationally advanced level which reflects the extraordinary technical achievements of China's aviation industry.

 

We can conclude from the appearance of J-15 that special features have been added to its front wings, aerodynamics, and wing area, and to its airframe equipment used in takeoff and landing.

 

The takeoff and landing equipment of the J-15 are more robust than that of the J-11 series. According to Wang Yongqing, this is because the forces experienced by a shipborne aircraft while landing on an aircraft carrier are 4 times those experienced during a ground landing. In addition, the J-15 shipborne aircraft is also equipped with hook arrestment gear for the purpose of landing on aircraft carriers.

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29 septembre 2013 7 29 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
South Korea Forms Task Force to Revive FX Jet Program

September 27th, 2013 By KoreanInformation - defencetalk.com

 

The Ministry of National Defense launched a task force Wednesday to take charge of the F-X III project to purchase 60 fighter jets amid growing concerns over a lack of aircraft in the coming years.

 

The move came one day after Korea decided to reject Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle (SE) due to its lack of full stealth capability.

 

The third phase of the F-X program is aimed at replacing the Air Force’s aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s.

 

The team, divided into four subcommittees, is led by Lee Yong-dae, deputy minister at the office of force and resources management at the ministry, and will be fully staffed with members from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force, procurement office and aerospace researchers by the end of this week, according to Lee.

 

Participants at a preliminary meeting said officials discussed various alternatives, including altering the number of aircraft to be purchased, increasing the budget and purchasing the planes in phases.

 

With the rejection of Boeing, Korea’s plan to bring in new combat planes from 2017 is expected to be delayed for up to two years, and the Air Force is likely to suffer a lack of approximately 100 aircraft by 2019.

 

Defense watchers say that the task force needs to make clear the goal of the F-X III project so as not suffer another setback.

 

“If the goal is clearly set, the timeframe for a new tender could be shortened,” said Yang Uk, a senior researcher fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum.

 

Shin Bo-hyun, a professor at the defense acquisition department at Konkuk University, also said: “By putting all related organizations under the task force’s wing, unnecessary administrative procedures can be reduced.”

 

Yang also said that the formation of the team means the ministry is in a hurry to address the urgent need for aircraft. An F-5 fighter jet crashed into a mountain in North Chungcheong Province, Thursday.

 

“It has significance that a high-ranking official of the defense ministry is at the helm of the task force, which means the ministry is set to give full support,” he said.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:40
Russia unveils plans for new anti-missile system, 5th-generation fighter jet

Sep 10, 2013 (Voice of Russia)

 

Moscow  - Russia is developing a fifth-generation unmanned fighter jet and a completely new missile defense system which can simultaneously engage several supersonic targets in space, it has been revealed at the MAKS-2013 airshow.

 

The fifth-generation unmanned aircraft, weighing in at around 20 tons, takes after the T-50 fighter jet, with most of its characteristics modeled after it, Mikhail Pogosyan, president of Russia's united aircraft-building corporation, told RIA Novosti at the MAKS-2013 show in Zhukovsky, just outside Moscow, which displayed the latest in air combat technology.

 

"We are working in accordance with plans developed together with the Defense Ministry. At this stage this implies further preliminary testing. The current stage is largely based on the technological breakthroughs we have achieved in the framework of the 'fifth generation' program," Pogosyan told the Russian ITAR-TASS agency, in reference to the upcoming drone.

 

With a fifth-generation PAK-FA heavy attack jet already developed and planned to enter service in 2016, Russian aviation is also looking to the future of air combat, conducting research and development for aircraft that can dominate airspace by the mid-21st century.

 

The news comes on the heels of a Thursday announcement by the Russian aircraft construction corporation, which signed a $90 billion deal with the Defense Ministry. Under the contract, the ministry will have its technology and equipment built and serviced by Russia's aircraft builders for the next three years, Pogosyan said at the MAKS-2013 show.

 

National media reports that on top of the new deal, another $3 billion contract has come into effect, stipulating, aside from the servicing of equipment, that the Defense Ministry shall receive 65 new fighter jets by the end of 2013.

 

Another exciting development in the Russian high-tech weapons market is the possible 2017 launch of the promising S-500 anti-aircraft missile system. The Friday news comes courtesy of a top Ministry of Defense figure, speaking to ITAR-TASS.

 

"A promising anti-aircraft missile system S-500 is being designed now," the source said. "The Armed Forces may have it in 2017." The special feature of the formidable new lineup is the ability to lock on to and engage multiple targets in space, never allowing them to reach Russian airspace.

 

Moscow has been making attempting leaps in combat technology - especially missile defense - given the uneasy international climate it finds itself in currently. The plan for a better missile defense is a direct answer to the United States' idea for a missile shield in Europe, which it says is for defensive purposes against unpredictable regimes such as Iran and North Korea. Russia is not feeling very secure with the proposed system to be so close to its territories.

 

Aside from the pursuit of fifth-generation technologies, Russia is also actively developing an unmanned sixth generation aircraft, said a former Air Force commander. Unlike NATO allies who will use American F-35 5Gs, self-sufficiency is an absolute must for Russia, said the commander, so 6G evolution is inevitable.

 

With regard to missile defense, Russia is currently using the S-400 Triumph, which has a range of 400 kilometers. Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Armed Forces are to acquire 28 systems from the current lineup over the next 10 years.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Shenyang J-31 stealth fighter (Falcon Hawk)

Shenyang J-31 stealth fighter (Falcon Hawk)

September 5, 2013: Strategy Page

 

For over a year now China has been testing a second stealth fighter design. This one is called the J-31 “Falcon Eagle” (from an inscription on the tail), and while it looks like the American F-22, it’s also smaller than China’s other stealth fighter (the J-20, which has been around longer). The J-31 was built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (which makes the J-11, the illegal Chinese copy of the Russian Su-27). The J-31 has some characteristics of the F-35 as well and appears to be something of an “F-35” to the earlier J-20s effort to match the American F-22. It’s also possible that the F-31 is a competing (with the J-20) design that is hustling to grab sales the J-20 thought it had all locked up. The J-31 flew for the first time last October and there are at least two prototypes and the designer has talked of the J-31 being able to operate off an aircraft carrier (like the U.S. F-35 and the J-15, a J-11 variant).  One advantage the J-31 has is two engines, compared to one for the F-35. This means the J-31 could carry more weapons, but this is less crucial with all the guided weapons available.

 

The J-31 is further evidence that China is determined to develop its own high tech military gear. While China is eager to develop advanced military technology locally, it recognizes that this takes time and more effort than nations new to this expect. Thus China is trying to avoid the mistakes Russia made in this area. That means having competing designs and developing necessary supporting industries is part of that. All this takes a lot of time and involves lots of little (and some major) failures. The Chinese are doing it right and are willing to wait until they get military tech that is truly world class.

 

 

Both Chinese Stealth Designs Move Forward

The other stealth fighter, the J-20, was made by CAC (Chengdu Aircraft Company), which also produced the JF-17 and J-10. The J-20 made its first flight in 2011 and many more since then. There are at least two original J-20 prototypes and late last year a new prototype appeared that had several modifications and is estimated to have a max weight of 36 tons. While the J-20 looks like the American F-22 when viewed head on, it's overall shape, weight, and engine power is closer to the American F-15C. In other words, it's about 20 meters (62 feet) long, with a wing span of 13.3 meters (42 feet). J-20 has about the same wing area as the F-15C, which is about 25 percent less than the F-22 (which is a few percent larger than the F-15 in terms of length and wingspan). Worse, for the J-20, is the fact that its engine power is about the same as the F-15C, while the F-22 has 65 percent more power. With the afterburner turned on, the J-20 has more power than the F-15C and nearly as much as the F-22. But because the afterburner consumes so much fuel, you can't use more than a few minutes at a time. The new J-20 model appears to be able to supercruise, joining the F-22, Eurofighter and the Gripen as aircraft that can supercruise (go faster than the speed of sound without using the afterburner).

 

The J-20 has some stealthiness when it's coming at you head on. But from any other aspect, the J-20 will light up the radar screen. For this reason the J-20 is seen as a developmental aircraft, not the prototype of a new model headed for mass production. As such, it is only the fifth stealth fighter to fly, the others being the U.S. F-22 and F-35, plus the Russian T-50. The older U.S. F-117 was actually a light bomber and the B-2 was obviously a heavy bomber. Based on recent Chinese warplane development projects (J-11 in particular), the J-20 has a long development road ahead of it and will likely change size and shape before it reaches the production design. The J-31 may be an insurance policy, in case the J-20 effort goes off the rails in a big way.

 

While the shape of the J-20 confers a degree of stealthiness (invisibility to radar), even more electronic invisibility comes from special materials covering the aircraft. It's not known how far along the Chinese are in creating, or stealing, these materials, or the needed engines. China would most likely use the J-20 singly, or in small groups, to seek out and attack American carriers. To make this possible F-22 class engines are needed and that is still in development. Over the last few years China has admitted it has been developing the WS-15 engine (since the 1990s), a more powerful beast well suited for the J-20. No date was given as to when the WS-15 would be available for use or whether it would have the same vectoring (ability to move the hot jet exhaust in different directions in order to make the fighter more maneuverable) the F-22 uses.

 

For the J-20 to be a superior fighter, it would need electronics (including radars and defense systems) on a par with the F-35 and F-22. So far, the Chinese have not caught up with stuff used by current American fighters. But the gap is being closed, faster than it was during the Cold War when the Russians were creating, or stealing, their way to military tech equivalence with the West. The Russians never made it but the Chinese believe they can succeed.

 

Work on the J-20 began in the late 1990s, and the Chinese knew that it could be 25 years or more before they had a competitive stealth fighter-bomber. The J-20 is being tested in central China. The twin engine J-20 appears to be about the same weight class as the 30 ton F-15C. The F-35A is a 31 ton, single engine fighter, while the twin-engine F-22 is slightly larger at 38 tons. The Russian T-50 weighed in at 37 tons.

 

China is also developing other support technologies, like the AESA radar, highly efficient cockpit, stealth, and software to tie everything together. Developing, or even copying, this tech is not easy. But the Chinese already know that, having decades of experience adapting stolen technology to their needs. Thus it appears that China is planning on having the J-20, in some form, ready for service by the end of the decade. The key factor is their ability to develop or steal the needed technology by then. The J-20 appears to be a fighter-bomber, as this kind of aircraft would be most useful dealing with the U.S. Navy and key targets in Taiwan or Japan. In any event, the J-20 is an attempt to develop some kind of 5th generation aircraft, complete with stealth.

 

 

The only other competitor in this area is Russia, where fifth generation fighter developments were halted when the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. Actually, all development work on new fighters, by everyone, slowed down in the 1990s. But work on the F-22, F-35, Eurofighter, and Rafale continued, and those aircraft became, in roughly that order, the most advanced fighter aircraft available today. MiG resumed work on the I.42 in the 1990s, but had to stop after a few years because of a lack of money. Sukhoi has never stopped working on its T-50, funded by much higher sales of its Su-27/30 fighters. This fifth generation may come to be called the "last generation," after they are replaced by the second generation of pilotless combat aircraft (counting armed Predators and the like as the first).

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 16:35
Boeing Close to Winning S. Korean Fighter Deal

Sep. 2, 2013 - By JUNG SUNG-KI  - Defense News

 

F-15SE Emerges From Long-Shot To Favorite

 

SEOUL — Boeing is set to inch closer to clinching a multibillion-dollar deal to sell 60 F-15 Silent Eagle jets to South Korea, as its competitors have effectively been priced out of the contest.

 

Lockheed Martin and Eurofighter, which vied for the US $7.4 billion fighter contract, failed to submit proposals below the budget.

 

“The bottom line is that we can’t sign a final contract with any bidder offering a proposal over the budget,” Oh Tae-shik, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s (DAPA’s) program management bureau, said Aug. 28 in a meeting with local reporters.

 

“A bidder that offered a proposal under the budget is now only qualified for final evaluations,” Tae-shik said.

 

The DAPA will hold an executive committee presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin in mid-September to pick a final bidder.

 

The US government failed to submit a proposal below the budget for the sale of 60 F-35 joint strike fighters built by Lockheed Martin.

 

The Eurofighter consortium’s Typhoon was once thought to be competitive in a contest with Boeing, but the DAPA announced later that the European company was also priced out. The consortium includes Alenia Aermacchi, BAE Systems and EADS.

 

“Reviewing EADS’ final proposal in a careful manner, we found that some terms and conditions agreed upon by both sides in previous negotiations were modified arbitrarily,” a DAPA spokesman said Aug. 18. “We can’t accept such a proposal breaching bilateral agreements.”

 

According to the spokesman, for example, Eurofighter promised that it would modify 15 of 60 Typhoon jets into twin-seat aircraft at the request of the DAPA. In the final proposal, however, the European firm changed the number of twin-seat modification work to only six, apparently in order to lower the total price under $7.4 billion.

 

EADS also changed conditions regarding the costs of weapons integration, the spokesman argued, without specifying what armament integration it was.

 

Eurofighter officials rebut DAPA claims.

 

“We have repeatedly explained to DAPA why there was no operational rationale to opt for the number of twin-seaters requested to Eurofighter,” said Christian Scherer, Eurofighter’s chief sales officer. “Thanks to the present state of the art of the Eurofighter simulators, the twin-seater need is minimal, if any, as already proven by the Eurofighter operating in air forces.”

 

“We do not see any promises made but only different scenarios with preferences, which have been discussed respectfully by the parties all along the negotiation process,” he added.

 

Despite Eurofighter’s appeal, DAPA has reconfirmed that the Typhoon is not qualified for final evaluations.

 

Meanwhile, Lockheed spokesman Eric Schnaible said “The situation is DAPA and DAPA Executive Committee’s concern and we’re not going to speculate or intervene in their sovereign decision-making process.”

 

If a final contract is signed with Boeing, this will be the aerospace giant’s third consecutive win for South Korea’s F-X fighter jet acquisition project. The F-X aims to acquire 120 new high-end warplanes to replace the older fleet of F-4s and F-5s flown by the Republic of Korea Air Force.

 

Boeing won the two previous F-X deals to supply the Air Force with 60 F-15Ks.

 

Howard Berry, Boeing’s campaign director for the Korea competition, remains confident that the Silent Eagle is the right choice for Korea in terms of performance and cost aspects.

 

“Silent Eagle builds on a continuous evolution of capability in the combat-proven F-15 family of aircraft and with a bundle of additional advancements that allows Boeing to offer a ‘2-aircraft-in-1-platform’s solution that brings an unprecedented balance of survivability and lethality,” he said.

 

But skepticism remains high here about the F-15SE’s performances since the aircraft is still in development.

 

“The F-15SE is not the best choice. There is not even a prototype of the aircraft,” Lee Hee-woo, head of a logistics support research institute at Chungnam National University. “Stealth functions are not featured only by painting the aircraft and fitting the jet with an internal weapons bay. It is much better to buy more F-15Ks, not the F-15SE, which critics call a paper aircraft.”

 

The DAPA has been criticized for its zigzag stance on the F-X requirements.

 

This third phase of F-X, in fact, was launched to procure the so-called fifth-generation stealth aircraft. To promote competition, however, DAPA eased the required operational capability, including the level of radar cross section. As a result, the Silent Eagle and the Typhoon were invited to the contest.

 

“The [competition] has lost its original purpose to buy stealth fighters,” said Shin In-kyun, head of the Korea Defense Network, a civic group for defense affairs. “It seems like a boxer in the ring was knocked out by his sparring partner.”

 

Han Sung-joo, a former commander of the Air Force Logistics Command, is worried F-15SEs would lose an air superiority battle against neighboring countries.

 

“Japan will introduce 42 F-35 stealth aircraft and is expected to get more up to 200 eventually. China’s J-20 stealth jet is likely to enter service by 2016,” the retired three-star general said. “Then why do we have to choose fighter aircraft falling behind those of the neighboring countries?”

 

DAPA’s stringent cost evaluation is also at the heart of debate here.

 

The aircraft acquisition cost only accounts for about 15 percent of the total evaluation. Mission capability takes up the largest portion with 35 percent, while compatibility accounts for nearly 18 percent, operational costs, 15 percent. The remainder is about technology transfer and offset programs.

 

DAPA had sought to increase the third F-X budget by 20 percent this year, but the budget authorities rejected the request, according to DAPA officials.

 

Critics say DAPA was easygoing about the budget issue. Rejected by the Finance Ministry, DAPA was upset and offered the 15-percent acquisition cost as an absolute condition to sway all other evaluation results.

 

“Certainly, it’s not reasonable that the whole evaluation is swayed by a 15-percent element,” said Kim Dae-young, a researcher at the Korea Defense & Security Forum, a Seoul-based private defense think tank. “In terms of regulations, there is no fault with the DAPA, but the acquisition process is too stringent to shop the best-performance product.”

 

Andrew Chuter in London and Aaron Mehta in Washington contributed to this report.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Danish F-16 in flight - photo Danish Ministry of Defense

Danish F-16 in flight - photo Danish Ministry of Defense

Sep. 1, 2013 - By GERARD O’DWYER – Defense News

 

HELSINKI — Job creation will stand as the chief factor when the Danish government convenes to select a replacement type for its aging F-16 fleet in mid-2015.

 

Denmark will look for substantial long-term industry value from bidders in the restarted Fighter Replacement Program (FRP), said newly appointed Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen, who replaced Nick Hækkerup following a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt’s coalition government on Aug. 9.

 

The government, which hopes to use the FRP as a mechanism to inject significant new investment into an economy weakened by the global financial crisis, has set job creation as the cornerstone of its revised fighter procurement policy, Wammen said.

 

Moreover, the FRP will be used to bolster sustainable export growth within the country’s tiny defense industry

 

“All four candidates will be informed of our thinking and requirements. It will be made crystal clear that if there are not jobs coming to Denmark, then we will not be buying planes from that quarter,” Wammen said in a statement.

 

The bidding line-up includes Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Saab’s Gripen-DK NG and Cassidian’s Eurofighter Typhoon. Denmark is looking to begin retiring the first of its F-16 fighters in 2020.

 

Denmark is expected to purchase 24 to 30 new fighters at an estimated cost of $3.8 billion to $5.5 billion. A final decision on the number of aircraft to be acquired is anticipated in the next six months.

 

All bidders will need to bring real jobs to the negotiating table for what will be a “huge” capital investment undertaking by the Danish state, Wammen said.

 

Denmark’s defense industry has welcomed the government’s clear message to potential bidders. However, industry chiefs want the government to ensure any future supplier agreements with 100 percent countertrade guarantees.

 

“This is about maximizing gains for Denmark, the national economy and for industry,” said Jan Falck-Schmidt, CEO of Falck-Schmidt Defence Systems, a domestic supplier of missile, force protection and life-cycle systems and services. “It is not enough to ask candidate manufacturers if jobs will emerge. What is needed is for the Danish government to demand 100 per cent countertrade. This will focus attention on value-added contracts and serious job creation initiatives.”

 

Only time will tell if the Danish government is serious about pushing job creation to the front when it comes to implementing the FRP, said defense analyst Jens Ringsmose. Other considerations, including a wish to retain a strong political alliance with the U.S, can also be expected to play a crucial role in the aircraft selection process, he added.

 

“The message is that jobs will be the most important parameter in this massive acquisition. In this way [Wammen] avoids having to explain the other major contributory reasons that are at least as important; not least the alliance with the United States,” Ringsmose said.

 

While the FRP competition needs to be industry and value centered, it must also be run in a fair and equitable manner, said Lene Espersen, the opposition Danish Conservative party’s defense spokeswoman.

 

“This is a very large item of expenditure for Denmark, and we must derive as much value in terms of jobs and long-term economic growth as possible. The project must be used not alone to expand the order books of our defense groups but help them grow into more export-driven niche suppliers of weapons and military systems in the future,” Espersen said. “Above all this competition must be about buying the best aircraft from European and the American bidders in an environment of trust where all are competing on a level playing field.”

 

The government’s final decision could favor the purchase of a reduced number of fighters as part of a broader strategy to purchase specialized unmanned aircraft, Espersen said.

 

“Drones will never replace conventional combat aircraft, but they will play an increased role in international operations. They will become increasingly used in Denmark’s Arctic territories. The drone dimension could add an interesting feature to the fighter replacement competition,” Espersen said.

 

The mistakes made in the original competition, which saw Eurofighter withdraw from the contest due to what it perceived as a contest weighted in favor of Lockheed’s F-35 JSF, cannot be repeated, said John Dyrby Paulsen, the Social Democrat’s spokesman on defense.

 

“There is already a perception that Lockheed Martin has an advantage in this competition because Denmark has invested in the JSF project. This must be a real competition. We must not be bound by some sense of loyalty to choose an American plane. The final decision must be based on the economic value to Denmark on the one hand and the need to buy the best aircraft for our needs on the other,” Paulsen said.

 

Denmark, which is a Tier-3 partner in the JSF project, restarted the FRP in March after suspending the competition in 2010 due to a need to divert funds in a battle to fight off recessionary fears and support the country’s then-ailing banking system. As a Tier-3 partner, Denmark has so far invested around $200 million in the JSF development program.

 

“Industry’s position has always been very clear: Military procurements must result in concrete contracts for the Danish defense equipment and aerospace industries,” said Frank Hall, general secretary of the Danish Defense & Security Industries Association (DDSIA).

 

The DDSIA plans to hold regular meetings with all bidders in the coming months. Talks will be routed through the organization’s dedicated FRP unit, the Danish Industry Fighter Aircraft Team, which was established in 2008 to explore the potential for partnerships and contract work with all candidates in the competition.

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12 juin 2013 3 12 /06 /juin /2013 12:50
MiG-29A-Bulgaria-2007 photo US DoD

MiG-29A-Bulgaria-2007 photo US DoD

Jun. 11, 2013 - By JAROSLAW ADAMOWSKI  - Defense News

 

WARSAW — Bulgarian Defense Minister Angel Naydenov has announced that the much-awaited acquisition of new jet fighters for the Air Force will likely not be launched this year, reported local news agency BTA.

 

In early May, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said his country needs to purchase nine or 10 fighter jets to modernize its Air Force. Currently, the service has Soviet-built MiG-21 and MiG-29 jets in its fighter fleet.

 

Local media have reported that the government was aiming to buy nine used Block 15 F-16s from the Portuguese Air Force. The planned purchase was estimated to be worth about Bulgarian 700 million (US $464 million).

 

Other alternatives reportedly analyzed by the Bulgarian military include the acquisition of new Gripen fighter jets from Saab and the purchase of secondhand Eurofighter Typhoons from the Italian Air Force.

 

Meanwhile, the government of neighboring Romania also has expressed interest in acquiring a number of F-16s from Portugal to replace its fleet of MiG-21 jets.

 

Naydenov was appointed defense minister May 29 in a coalition Cabinet formed by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski from the Bulgarian Socialist Party.

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7 juin 2013 5 07 /06 /juin /2013 16:30
JAS Gripen photo Ernst Vikne

JAS Gripen photo Ernst Vikne

Jun. 6, 2013 – By BURAK EGE BEKDIL -  Defense News

 

ANKARA — Turkey has selected Saab to help shape its plans to design, develop and manufacture its first national fighter jet.

 

Ankara has already drafted three models, one of which likely will become its first indigenous fighter, although some analysts said Turkey should have opted for an unmanned model.

 

“After lengthy negotiations with Saab, we have come to the conclusion to go ahead with this company to finalize our feasibility studies,” a senior procurement official familiar with the national fighter program said.

 

He said that the Swedish aerospace and defense group already has assisted with the three models Turkish engineers have drafted, and these would be presented to top management at the country’s arms procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), as well as to the Air Force.

 

“We are working to make that presentation in September or October,” the official said.

 

The Saab group’s office here did not respond to questions by press time.

 

An official from Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI), the local prime contractor for the program, said that one of the three drafts is a twin-engine stealth aircraft and the other two are single-engine models, also stealthy.

 

The procurement official said the program has two problems to overcome.

 

“We need to pick up the right engine manufacturer with which we should be able to work out a long-term relationship. That will be essential. Also, we need to know that a meticulously devised cost-benefit analysis should prove this is a feasible program,” he said.

 

A government official said the final decision on whether to launch the manufacturing phase would be made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

“A lot will depend on the findings of the cost-benefit analysis in progress now,” the official said. “We would accept a certain margin that will make the Turkish fighter reasonably more expensive than available options. But if we find out that we could only manufacture a fighter, say, [at a cost] 40 to 50 percent more expensive than a proven, off-the-shelf buy option, then the prime minister would probably drop the idea.”

 

According to a draft plan, the country is aiming for a maiden flight for its national fighter jet in 2023, the Turkish Republic’s centennial. Production would commence in 2021, and deliveries to the Air Force are planned between 2025 and 2035. The aircraft would remain in service until 2060.

 

“This is a long-term plan, and given technological developments in the global aerospace scene, the Turks should perhaps have gone for an unmanned fighter,” a London-based Turkey specialist said.

 

Earlier, TAI signed a technical assistance deal with Saab to carry out conceptual design work. This followed an August 2011 deal signed with SSM to begin the conceptual design work for the fighter and trainer jets that Turkey hopes to build.

 

Designing the first Turkish fighter, according to defense analysts, is a necessary but not critical step.

 

“What is crucial here is whether this project would enable Turkey to earn capabilities to successfully integrate avionics, electronics and weapon systems into the chosen platform,” the London-based analyst said.

 

Saab produces the JAS 39 Gripen, a lightweight, single-engine multirole fighter. Saab has cooperated with other aerospace companies in marketing the aircraft and has achieved moderate success in Central Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia. More than 240 Gripens have been delivered or ordered.

 

In 2010, Sweden awarded Saab a four-year contract to improve the Gripen’s equipment, integrate new weapons and lower operating costs. Last August, Sweden announced it planned to buy 40 to 60 Gripen NGs. The Swedish order followed Switzerland’s decision to buy 22 E/F variants of the jet.

 

For its fighter program, dubbed TF-X, Turkey hopes to copy the method devised to co-produce T-129 attack helicopters with Italian-British AgustaWestland.

 

“We think this model has worked successfully and could be a template for our fighter program,” the TAI official said.

 

Turkey also plans to buy the F-35. But Turkish officials said they wanted to develop a fighter jet with another country to reduce Turkey’s dependence on Washington.

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 18:35
US To Buy 20 Fighter Planes For Afghan Air Force: Isaf

28 May 2013 by Abdul Wali Arian - tolonews.com

 

The United Sates has committed that it will buy 20 fighter jets for the Afghan Air Force, the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) Spokesman, Brigadier General Gunter Katz told TOLOnews on Tuesday.

 

The Isaf spokesman said that all Isaf member countries including the US are trying hard to equip and empower the Afghan Air Force.

 

The Afghan Government is also putting extra effort to own an equipped and powerful air and land forces in order to provide security for the country. The Afghan forces are currently facing lot of challenges and shortfalls.

 

"We know that the Afghan people are concerned about the equipment for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). And yes indeed, we already provided lot of equipments for the ANSF. But we have to acknowledge that there are still some shortfalls and we always said that individual nations sit together, discuss with representatives from the Government and the army how to overcome those shortfalls. And one example of those negotiations is the recent announcement of the US Air Force that declared that they are willing to buy 20 fighter air planes for the Afghan Air force," Isaf Spokesman, Brigadier General Gunter Katz told TOLOnews.

 

It is said that the Afghan security forces are facing lot of challenges even in the transportation section and it will take some more time, when the Afghan Air Force will independently lead air operations.

 

But, the Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD) believes that some of the challenges will be dealt with when the Afghan forces receive these fighter planes.

 

"The US has committed that 20 fighter planes will be given in the current year (2013). The fighter planes will be used for two operations: bombardment missions and discovery missions," MoD Spokesman, General Zahir Azimi told TOLOnews.

 

The shortfalls and inabilities of the Afghan security forces have cost them heavily. Because of the shortfalls it hasn't been able to carry out air operations independently. The MoD also accepted the shortfalls.

 

"Isaf in coordination with us is carrying out several operations within Afghanistan and we hope to become competent soon," General Zahir Azimi told TOLOnews.

 

MoD expects that Afghan military forces will be equipped with fighter planes, transport planes and drones within few years.

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