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29 septembre 2014 1 29 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
P-3 K2 Orion hunts the ocean

22 sept. 2014 NZDF


New Zealand has one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, much of which is sea. The Orion is tasked with helping MPI find illegal fishing vessels out in the vastness of the ocean.

Luckily the Orion is equipped with new technology, great people and the ability to fly relentlessly all day.

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14 avril 2014 1 14 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
P3-C Orion and Frigate NIEDERSACHSEN photo Bundeswehr

P3-C Orion and Frigate NIEDERSACHSEN photo Bundeswehr


April 14, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued April 11, 2014)


Germany – P-3C Aircraft Upgrades and Related Support


WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Germany for P-3C aircraft upgrades and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $250 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 11, 2014.


The Government of Germany has requested a possible sale for the procurement, integration, and installation of hardware and software to upgrade the aircraft mission computer and acoustic systems, and non-integrated simulator equipment on 8 P-3C aircraft. The hardware and software include A (structural and electrical) and B (Weapon Replaceable Assemblies) kits for future integration into the simulator.


Also included are the design, development, integration, testing and installation of a ground-based mission support system (which includes the Portable Aircraft Support System and Fast Time Analyzer System); validation and acceptance; spare and repair parts; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support.


The estimated cost is $250 million


This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the military capabilities of a NATO ally and enhancing standardization and interoperability with U.S. forces.


This proposed sale will update hardware and software to ensure the P-3 aircraft maintain operational capability. The upgrades will enhance Germany’s ability to participate in future coalition operations and will promote continued interoperability. Germany will have no difficulty absorbing this upgraded equipment into its armed forces.


The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.


The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Owego, New York; General Dynamics in Bloomington, Minnesota; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta, Georgia; and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Manassas, Virginia. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.


Implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. government or contractor representatives to Germany.


There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.


This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 17:35
Revealed: When A NATO Aircraft Snooped On Vikramaditya


November 18, 2013 by Shiv Aroor – Livefist


Got my hands on a series of photographs of an incident last year that both the Indian Navy and Russian Navy have kept under wraps until now: a NATO P-3 Orion that flew in to snoop on the Vikramaditya as it conducted trials in the Barents Sea. It wasn't just any reconnaissance mission -- the aircraft dropped sensor buoys to snoop. Russians on board summoned a MiG-29K from shore to chase away the intruding P-3, after which a the incident was raised diplomatically. But all very hush hush.


My full report for India Today and more photographs here.

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4 novembre 2013 1 04 /11 /novembre /2013 06:35
photo US Navy

photo US Navy


01/11/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


Hot on the heels of China's recent nuclear submarine fleet unveiling, Taiwan has now showcased its first delivered submarine-hunting Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.


The first Taiwanese Orion made its public debut at a handover event staged on 31 October 2013, in the presence of defence officials and Ma Ying-yeou - the President of Taiwan. The aircraft is one of 12 ultimately set to equip the Republic of China (Taiwanese) Navy, with three more airframes scheduled to arrive in coming weeks and the remainder by 2015.


According to President Ma, the Taiwanese P-3C fleet is "the most advanced among the hundreds that are serving many countries in the world." He added: "I believe that after the aircraft join the air force, we will see our underwater anti-submarine, ship-to-ship and air attack capabilities greatly enhanced."


Taiwanese Navy Orions


The Taiwanese Navy Orions are refurbished P-3C models. Capable of carrying out sustained 17 hour patrol missions, each carries MK46 torpedoes and Harpoon missiles. Military experts suggest that, equipped with these advanced maritime patrol aircraft, Taiwan's submarine-hunting capability will become no less than ten times more effective than at present.


In Republic of China Navy service, the Orions are the replacement for Taiwan's Grumman S-2T Turbo Trackers, which arrived in 1999. 27 Turbo Trackers were supplied but barely 50 per cent of them remain active. All Taiwanese Turbo Trackers now serve within the Republic of China Air Force.


A key component of NATO's maritime patrol capability, the Orion was originally the US Navy's Lockheed P-2 Neptune replacement and has now been in service for more than 50 years. Adapted from the Lockheed L-188 Electra airliner, it was given a weapons bay and a MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) system, used to detect submarines.


Taiwanese Submarine Hunters


News of the Taiwanese P-3C submarine hunters purchase first emerged in 2007, after former President Chen Shui-bian stressed the need for strengthened defences against China.


Almost six years on, his successor yesterday announced: "Although ties with the Chinese mainland have improved significantly in the last five years, they have not changed their military deployments targeting Taiwan. We must not relax our military preparations."


Right now, it's thought that China's PLA (People's Liberation Army) has some 1,500 missiles pointed Taiwan's way.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
Taiwan Receives First US Anti-Submarine Aircraft

Sep. 25, 2013 – Defense news (AFP)


TAIPEI — Taiwan on Wednesday received the first of 12 anti-submarine aircraft from the United States, as it beefs up its naval defenses against China, the military said.


Television footage showed the P-3C Orion patrol aircraft landing at an air base in southern Pingtung county. Water was then splashed on the plane in a brief welcome ceremony.


The other 11 planes are scheduled for delivery by 2015, the military said.


Washington agreed in 2007 to sell Taiwan the refurbished P-3C Orion patrol aircraft, which reportedly will expand the surveillance range of Taipei's anti-submarine fleet tenfold.


The P-3C fleet, which will cost around $1.96 billion, is intended to replace the island's aging S-2T anti-submarine aircraft to carry out maritime patrol and reconnaissance.


Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou became Taiwan's president in 2008 on a China-friendly platform.


However, Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory and has refused to rule out the use of force against Taiwan. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war.


Taiwan has built up a defense force equipped with weapons acquired mostly from the United States, despite Washington's switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 19:35
Le drone Orion effectue son premier vol

17.09.2013 par Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com



Aurora Flight Sciences a annoncé ce 17 septembre lors de la convention de l’Air Force Association que son démonstrateur de drone Orion avait effectué son vol inaugural le 24 août dernier. L’appareil est resté trois heures et trente-trois minutes dans les airs et a atteint l’altitude maximum de 8 000 pieds.


Le drone MALE serait capable, selon les données fournies par le constructeur américain, de rester jusqu’à 120 heures en vol, soit cinq jours consécutifs. Il peut également voler jusqu’à 20 000 pieds et emporter Ses principales missions : surveillance, renseignement, information, relai de communication.

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 16:35


28 May 2013 naval-technology.com


The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy has received approval from the country's joint chiefs of staff to procure maritime patrol aircraft, to boost surveillance capabilities.


An unnamed military source told Yonhap News Agency that the navy is considering purchasing a total of 20 maritime patrol aircraft to strengthen its surveillance capabilities against North Korea near the guarded western sea.


The aircraft will complement the ageing squadron of 16 Lockheed Martin-built P-3C anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft.


The state arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration is currently working on the plan, which is likely to cost approximately $889m.


Potential bidders for the acquisition programme include Airbus Military's C295 multirole maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), Boeing's P-8 Poseidon aircraft, and Lockheed Martin's SC-130J Sea Hercules.


Meanwhile, the South Korean Navy has placed orders with L-3 Mission Integration and Korean Air team to upgrade its eight P-3C Orion aircraft to Lot 2 standards by 2016, according to Flightglobal.


Upgrades to the P-3C aircraft include installation of multipurpose radar to enable detection of fixed and moving targets, high-definition electro-optical/infrared cameras, digital acoustic analysis equipment and a magnetic anomaly detector, according to Defense News.


L-3 Mission Integration surveillance systems senior director Brent Billingslea said that the aircraft would be equipped with mission system to enhance capabilities, while being completely compatible and interoperable with existing P-3 fleet for the navy.


Under the contract, L-3 will be responsible for the design and development of upgrades, while Korean Air will integrate the equipment on to the aircraft.


Armed with Harpoon Block II air-to-ground missiles, the P-3C aircraft is equipped with four Allison T56-A-14 turboprop engines, as well as tactical information system interoperable with the KF-16 fighter jet.

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27 mai 2013 1 27 /05 /mai /2013 11:35
L-3 Mission Integration, Korean Air to upgrade navy P-3C Orions

27 May 2013 By Greg Waldron – FG


Singapore - L-3 Mission Integration has entered a contract with Korean Air to upgrade eight Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion aircraft operated by the South Korean navy.


The contract will see the US company and flag carrier Korean Air, which operates a major MRO operation, upgrade the eight Lot 1 aircraft to match the navy's eight Lot 2 P-3Cs.


"The mission system that we're putting on these aircraft will be completely compatible and interoperable with South Korea's existing P-3 fleet and will add significant capability," says Brent Billingslea, senior director of surveillance systems at L-3 Mission Integration.


Under the deal, L-3 Mission Integration will design and develop the upgrades, which will be furnished to Korean Air for installation in South Korea.

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28 février 2013 4 28 /02 /février /2013 08:35



Feb. 27, 2013 - By NICK LEE-FRAMPTON – Defense News


Wellington, New Zealand — New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence has issued a request for information (RfI) for an “Underwater Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (UWISR)” system.


It may seem axiomatic that such an obviously maritime nation as New Zealand would maintain a credible anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, yet in recent years the focus of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s six Orion aircraft has been on overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.


The missions system upgrade that marked the Orions’ transition from P-3K to P-3K2 status (in 2011) was accompanied by renaming the Maritime Patrol Force the Airborne Surveillance and Response Force.


In August 2008, Air Commodore Gavin Howse, then Air Component commander at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, told Defense News, “we will still be able to do maritime surveillance, but the capabilities on board will make [the P-3K2] an excellent overland surveillance aircraft.”


However, it appears the ASW role was neglected, for in December 2011 Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell, chief of the Air Force, told Defense News, “We are only maintaining a fairly rudimentary capability in the ASW world at the moment.”


However, he added, “There is certainly discussion around the need to modernize the airborne ASW role.”


Yet, in November 2012, when asked about ASW capability, Lt. Gen. Rhys Jones, chief of the Defence Force, said, “It is impossible for us to counter every threat, every issue, and that’s where we need to balance things up.”


“Submarine proliferation in the area is growing. Is it going to be an issue for us? Yes, it will in the future … but is it a greater priority than overland surveillance or other surveillance that we might need to have in our region?”


The UWISR RfI seeks information, by April 4, on a replacement for the P-3K2 Orion’s existing acoustics system, a magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system and an improved airdropped stores ejection system.


Ground training equipment, including a postmission acoustic analysis system and a MAD simulator are included in the RfI.


This suggests the Air Force’s ASW capabilities may not remain “rudimentary” as Asia-Pacific submarine fleets expand and modernize.

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3 octobre 2012 3 03 /10 /octobre /2012 17:15

MK-54 torpedo-test-03-2012


October 2, 2012 By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. – aol.defense


The Navy's jet-powered P-8 Poseidon patrol plane boasts plenty of advances over the P-3 Orion turboprops it will replace, but for the sensor operators the favorite feature will be very basic: They won't throw up as much.

The P-3's notoriously rough ride at low altitudes and the gunpowder-like stench from the launch tube shooting sonar buoys out the back meant that, "typically, every mission or two you'd have somebody get sick [and] start throwing up into their air sickness bag," said Navy Captain Aaron Rondeau, a P-3 veteran who now runs the P-8 program. "We haven't seen that much with the P-8."

With its more modern and less rigid wing, "it's a much smoother ride than the P-3," Rondeau explained, and the buoys are now launched by compressed air, without the old system's stink. And that just means, he said, that "If your aircrews aren't sticking their heads in barf bags, they can do their missions better."

Not everyone really cares whether the operators barf in the back and believe in the P-8's higher-altitude approach. "I don't think it will work as well," noted naval expert Norman Polmar said bluntly. "It's rather controversial."

In particular, after some waffling back and forth, the Navy decided to leave off a sensor called the Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), which can detect the metal hulls of submarines -- if the plane flies low enough. MAD was crucial to the P-3's traditional low-altitude tactics. Significantly, the P-8 variant that  Boeing is building for the Indian Navy will still have it; only the US Navy P-8 will not. Both Rondeau and Boeing argue that the P-8 can more than compensate with more sophisticated sensors and by using its superior computing power to interpret their data.

So with the P-8, the Navy is not just replacing a sixties-vintage propeller plane with a more modern jet, derived from the widely used Boeing 737. It's also betting on new technology to enable a high-altitude approach to both long-range reconnaissance and hunting hostile submarines.

Traditional "maritime patrol aircraft" like the P-3 spend part of their time at high altitude but regularly swoop down, sometimes as low as 200 feet above the waves, to drop sonar buoys, scan for subs with the magnetic anomaly detector, launch torpedoes, and simply eyeball unidentified vessels on the surface. But jets like the P-8 are significantly less fuel-efficient at low altitudes than turboprops like the P-3.

"There's a misconception," said Rondeau. "Some people think that that means P-8 can't do low-altitude anti-submarine warfare [ASW]. We can, and it's very effective down low, [but] we will eventually get to the point where we stay at higher altitudes."

For some of the new sub-hunting technologies, Rondeau argued, going higher actually gives you a better look. Today, for example, one key tool is a kind of air-dropped buoy that hits the water and then explodes, sending out a powerful pulse of sound that travels a long way through the water and reflects off the hulls of submarines, creating sonar signals that other, listening-device buoys then pick up. (The technical name is Improved Extended Echo Ranging, or IEER). Obviously, an explosive buoy can only be used once, and the sonar signal its detonation generates is not precisely calibrated. So the Navy is developing a new kind of buoy called MAC (Multistatic Active Coherent), which generates sound electronically, allowing it to emit multiple, precise pulses before its battery runs down.

"It will last longer and you're able to do more things with it," Rondeau said. And because a field of MAC buoys can cover a wider search area, he said, "we need to stay up high... to be able to receive data from all these buoys and control all these buoys at the same time."

An early version of MAC will go on P-3s next year and on P-8s in 2014, but only the P-8 will get the fully featured version, as part of a suite of upgrades scheduled for 2017. The Navy is deliberately going slow with the new technology. Early P-8s will feature systems already proven on the P-3 fleet and will then be upgraded incrementally. The P-8 airframe itself is simply a militarized Boeing 737, with a modified wing, fewer windows, a bomb-bay, weapons racks on the wings, and a beefed-up structure.

This low-risk approach earned rare words of praise from the Government Accountability Office, normally quick to criticize Pentagon programs for technological overreach. "The P-8A," GAO wrote, "entered production in August 2010 with mature technologies, a stable design, and proven production processes." (There have been issues with counterfeit parts from China, however).

"We had to have this airplane on time," Rondeau said: The P-3s were getting so old, and their hulls are so badly metal-fatigued, that they were all too often grounded for repairs.

So far, Boeing has delivered three P-8As to the training squadron in Jacksonville, Florida. They were preceeded by eight test aircraft, some of which have just returned from an anti-submarine exerise out of Guam. The first operational deployment will come in December 2013, to an unspecified location in the Western Pacific. There the Navy will get to test its new sub-seeking techniques against the growing and increasingly effective Chinese underwater force.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 17:30


P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft


22 February 2012 naval-technology.com


The Pakistani Navy has received its second batch of two upgraded US-built P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft at the navy's Naval Aviation Base in Karachi, Pakistan.



The delivery comes at a time when military aid for Pakistan has been almost completely halted by the US in the wake of a series of crises affecting the bilateral relationship between the two nations.


The navy had placed orders with the US Government under its Foreign Military Sales programme for the procurement of six modernised P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, to be delivered in three batches of two.


The upgrades to the aircraft include new communications, electro-optic and infrared systems, data management, controls and displays, mission computers and acoustic processing.


The navy said that the aircraft's extended surveillance capability and modified avionics/sensors will assist in conducting continuous patrols of its vital areas of interest in the North Arabian Sea.


In May 2011, Pakistan Navy's first batch of two P3C Orion aircraft, received in 2010, was destroyed during a terrorist attack on PNS Mehran, a key naval airbase in Karachi.


The Pakistani Naval aviation fleet includes Atlantique reconnaissance aircraft, Fokker F-27 transport and surveillance aircraft, Alouette, Sea King, and Chinese Z9EC helicopters.


The four-engine turboprop aircraft features advanced submarine detection sensors including directional frequency and ranging sonobuoys, and magnetic anomaly detection equipment.


The aircraft also incorporates an avionics system that can automatically launch ordnance while accepting sensor data inputs and providing flight information to the pilots.


The P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft is capable of supporting missions that include anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, economic zone patrol and airborne early warning and electronic warfare.

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21 octobre 2011 5 21 /10 /octobre /2011 07:50



10/20/2011  Defence Review Asia - defenceiq.com


The Cold War years pitted submarine forces of the United States and the Soviet Union against one another and spurned the development of sophisticated Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft to counter the undersea threat.
Vast expanses of the Indian and Pacific Oceans provided ideal submarine operating grounds and the Asia-Pacific region played an important part in the battle plans of both American and Soviet Navies.
Since the end of the Cold War the diminished submarine threat has evolved the role of Maritime Patrol Aircraft to focus more on Maritime Surveillance of crucial shipping lanes, border protection and fisheries patrol.

Several regional conflicts and the increase of terrorism and pirate-related activities has seen a proliferation of MPA assets, ranging from the top-of-the-range Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft to the relatively cheap to operate littoral surveillance platforms used by Coastguards and quasi-military organisations.


Arguably the most prolific MPA in the region is the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion, with no fewer than seven countries flying versions of the type. Several countries have either recently upgraded them, or have acquired second-hand aircraft which have been upgraded before delivery and there is an ongoing market for this work.

Boeing sees the737-based P-8 Poseidon Multi-Role Maritime Surveillance aircraft as the natural successor to the P-3 and India has become the first export customer for the aircraft to replace its existing fleet of ex-Soviet types. Australia also has a requirement to partially replace its upgraded AP-3C aircraft.
There is a growing market for a so-called second-tier platform, particularly among countries that need to safeguard their coastline and maritime approaches, but do not have the requirement to patrol vast stretches of open ocean. Typical of these are the ATR-42 Surveyor MP and the Airbus Military CN235MP Persuader. Locally, Indonesian Aerospace (PTDI) manufactures a variant of the CN235MPA to fulfil its own requirements and has also enjoyed some export success.

At the lighter end of the market, the Dornier/RUAG Do228 has enjoyed some success, alongside aircraft such as Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air 200T and Airbus Military C212 Aviocar. Unmanned platforms, such as Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Global Hawk are also set to proliferate.

Setting aside deployed US assets; the following is a brief overview of Maritime Patrol Aircraft activity in the region.


Australia has a fleet of 18 AP-3C Orions, which have maintained a continuous deployment to the Middle East since 2003. This has seen the mission set evolve from traditional Maritime Patrol to the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and has even added an overland surveillance role. They are subject to further upgrade, ensuring viability until replacement by both manned and unmanned platforms over the next decade.

In a similar manner to the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance project, the AP-3C will be replaced by the P-8A Poseidon and a High Altitude Long Endurance unmanned platform later in the decade.

In addition, the civilian Coastwatch organization has a fleet of Bombardier DHC-8-200 patrol aircraft in support of Australian Customs and border protection agencies.
Having previously held discussions with Indonesia over the purchase of CN235MPA or NC212 aircraft, the Bangladesh Navy announced in June that it would purchase two RUAG Do228NG (New Generation) aircraft.
The first fixed-wing aircraft to be operated by the Bangladesh Navy, the two specially-equipped aircraft will be used for maritime air patrol and search and rescue missions. Deliveries will begin in 2013.
The oil-rich state of Brunei currently uses three Indonesian-built CN235-110MP aircraft to fulfil its maritime surveillance requirements.
The 2011 Defence White Paper flags Brunei’s desire to enhance this capability, saying it wishes to ‘develop a comprehensive recognised Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance picture’, as one of its priorities. Local press reports suggest further MP aircraft, with a more extensive sensor suite, will be purchased as a priority.


Although historically not a major user of Maritime Patrol aircraft, the emerging ambitions of China to become a global naval power will see capability increase dramatically over the next few years.
China is set to join the exclusive ranks of nations able to project air power off the decks of aircraft carriers and has a fast-growing submarine fleet which need protecting.
The country has operated a small fleet of Shaanxi Industry Corporation Y-8MPA aircraft since 1984. The aircraft is a development of the transport Y-8, itself a locally-built variant of the Russian Antonov An-12 and equipped with western surface surveillance radar.
China is embracing UAV technology and is known to be developing a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) platform. It has also displayed CG imagery of one such vehicle detecting and engaging a US Carrier Battle Group at the recent Zhuhai Airshow.
Over recent years the Indian Navy has relied upon the Ilyushin IL-38 ‘May’ and the mighty Tupelov Tu-142 ‘Bear’ for its Maritime Patrol capability. The Il-38s were reportedly upgraded to IL-38SD configuration with the Russian ‘Sea Dragon’ Multi-Mission Avionics and EW suite a few years ago but twelve Boeing P-8I Poseidons are on order, for delivery from 2013.
A version of the baseline US Navy P-8A, the aircraft represent the first purchase of an American combat aircraft in India’s history and the first export order.
The Indian Navy and Coastguard operate the Pilatus-Britten Norman BN-2B Islander and locally-assembled Do228 for littoral surveillance, and both will be replaced by a second-tier MPA system. Airbus Military are offering the CN235MP, whilst SAAB has proposed an AESA-equipped version of its SAAB 2000 MPA. Other companies are expected to bid when a formal competition begins in the next year or two.
India is also a proponent of unmanned surveillance, particularly in the wake of the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks and has a mix of IAI Searcher and Heron UAVs for coastal patrols.
Maritime surveillance of the huge Indonesian archipelago is divided between the TNI-AU (Air Force) and TNI-AL (Navy) and both services are in the process of receiving locally-built CN235-200MPAs to fulfil future requirements.
Three Boeing 737-2X9 Surveiller aircraft were delivered to the Air Force in 1982, equipped with a Side-Looking Airborne Modular Multi-Role Radar (SLAMMR) and a single CN235MPA was delivered in 2009.
Three similar CN235-220MPAs were ordered for the Navy in December 2009 to augment three local conversions of the NC212-200MPA, the last of which was delivered in 2007. The three aircraft represent half of the planned capability required to fulfil the Indonesian Government’s Maritime Essential Force concept, and up to 16 may be acquired over the next decade.
Japan flew the first prototype of its indigenous Kawasaki Heavy Industries XP-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft in September 2007 and plans to acquire 65 aircraft for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force.
The turbofan-powered P-1 will ultimately replace Japan’s fleet of 100 (largely) KHI-built P-3C Orions acquired from 1981.
The JMSDF also operates a squadron of ShinMaywa US-2 four-engined amphibians for coastal search and rescue duties.
The Japanese Maritime Safety Agency (Coastguard) has a mixed fleet of Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200Ts, SAAB 340s and NAMC YS-11s on fisheries and border patrol and anti-pollution flights around Japan’s maritime areas of interest. 
The Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) has a small fleet of Hawker Beechcraft 200Ts for maritime patrol, with a requirement to acquire a new capability during the next few years. Press reports in 2009 suggested Malaysia would sign an agreement with Indonesia for four CN235-200MPAs, but there has been no official announcement of such a deal by either Government.
Malaysia’s proximity to some of the worlds’ busiest sea lanes, in particular the Straits of Malacca was a catalyst behind the formation of the Air Wing of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Two Bombardier CL-415 amphibians were acquired in 2009 and converted to Maritime Patrol configuration with the installation of a Side Looking Infra Red Radar, an EO/IR turret and observation windows. The two CL-415MPs operate alongside a small fleet of helicopters in Malaysia’s territorial waters.
Myanmar received a gift of two Pilatus Britten Norman BN-2B Defenders from the Indian Navy in 2006 and a further pair was transferred the following year. Indian press reports at the time foreshadowed the possibility of further deliveries, but it is not known if this has, or will, occur.
India had flown the aircraft in the Maritime Patrol role but local sources suggest the aircraft were stripped of role-specific equipment before delivery.
New Zealand
Six P-3K Orions are flown by the Royal New Zealand Air Force and are currently in the process of a major senor and systems upgrade. In the late 1990s they became the first P-3s to undergo a re-wing programme, extending their operational life until 2025.
The first upgraded aircraft, now designated P-3K2, arrived in New Zealand in April after being converted by L-3 Systems in the United States. The remaining aircraft are being upgraded by Safe Air NZ at Woodbourne and the largely Off-The-Shelf sensors and systems will provide enhanced ISR capability.
The country also has a requirement for a second tier MPA, to shoulder much of the fisheries patrol and border protection work. The 2010 Defence White Paper proposes a future force structure which will include a short-range MPA, which will also have a transport and pilot training capability. It also flags a P-3K2 replacement, to be studied sometime after 2015.

The Pakistani Navy first ordered the Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion in 1992, to replace a small force of Aerospatiale Atlantics, but these were embargoed by the US Government until 1996.
A second batch of eight ex-US Navy aircraft were acquired through a Foreign Military Sales deal in 2005. Seven are being upgraded by Lockheed Martin prior to delivery and the first was delivered to Karachi in January 2007 to join the two survivors of the first batch. Deliveries are to be completed in 2012.
Two P-3Cs were destroyed in the recent terrorist attack on PNS Mehran near Karachi, which is also home base to five Fokker F.27-200 Maritime aircraft.
Four Fokker F.27 Maritime aircraft were delivered to the Philippine Air Force in 1982 but it is thought only two are currently active. The Navy also has a small fleet of BN-2A Defenders and at least one has recently been upgraded with modern navigations and communications systems.
President Benigno Aquino announced an Air Force modernisation package in July last year, which included a single ‘long-range maritime patrol aircraft’ of an undisclosed type.
The island state of Singapore maintains a modern and well equipped defence force which, in technical terms, is second to none in the region.
Maritime patrol is currently provided by a squadron of five Fokker 50 Enforcers, but the Republic of Singapore Air Force has reportedly expressed recent interest in acquiring several ex-US Navy P-3Cs. Boeing naturally sees Singapore as a future P-8A customer when it comes time to replace the Fokker 50s.
Singapore deployed a Fokker 50MPA to Djibouti in April, as part of the multinational Task Force 151 charged with counter-piracy duties in the Gulf of Aden.

South Korea
The Republic of Korea Navy received the first of eight P-3C Orions in 1995 and has recently begun taking delivery of a like number of P-3CKs. The P-3CKs are ex-USN P-3Bs upgraded by Korean Aerospace Industries and L-3 Communications, first ordered in 2002 but delayed by systems integration problems.
The first three were handed over at Pohang in March 2010.
In January 2009, Indonesian Aersospace announced it would supply four CN235-110MP aircraft to the South Korean Coastguard by 2012.
South Korea has also expressed a desire to acquire the Global Hawk HALE UAV for surveillance operations but is yet to gain US approval for any FMS sale.
Taiwan is also in the process of requiring refurbished ex-USN P-3s to update its maritime patrol capabilities.
Plans to acquire twelve P-3Cs were announced in late 2004, but the deal was repeatedly frustrated by wrangling between the two Governments. Taiwan originally wanted to refurbish eight of the aircraft locally, but an agreement was finally reached in 2009 for all work to be carried out in the United States.
The first aircraft was inducted into Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Systems and Sensors Tactical Systems facility in St Paul Minnesota in January 2010 and the final aircraft is expected to begin refurbishment in 2013.
The Republic of China Navy currently operates around twenty turboprop Grumman S-2T Trackers.

The Royal Thai Navy flies a mixed maritime patrol fleet of three F.27-200ME Maritime Enforcers, seven Dornier Do228-212s, two Bombardier CL-215s and two P-3T Orions, the latter supported by a UP-3T trainer.
The service has also flown a number of piston-engined S-2F Trackers over the years, but it is not known if any of these remain in service today.

Vietnam took delivery of the first of three Airbus Military C212-400MPAs in August and a second will arrive by the end of the year. The last aircraft will follow in 2012.
Equipped with the Swedish Space Corporation MSS 6000 SLAR, they will be used for maritime patrol, coastal surveillance, fisheries patrol and anti-drug trafficking operations.
Four Soviet-era Beriev Be-12 flying boats have been flown on Anti-Submarine Warfare duties since 1981, but it is not known if these are still serviceable.
In 2005 an order for twelve PZL-Mielec M-28 Skytrucks was announced, but only two were delivered. Plans to fit these with a maritime patrol sensor suite were seemingly abandoned after one aircraft crashed shortly after delivery.
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12 septembre 2011 1 12 /09 /septembre /2011 12:55
DSEi 2011: Thales shows optronics products


September 12, 2011 Beth Stevenson,SHEPARD GROUP


London - Thales has demonstrated advancements in its ISR capabilities through a series of new products and platform upgrades.


At a pre-DSEi briefing on 13 July, Thales introduced the new Orion stabilised panoramic sight, and Video Eyesafe Laser Transceiver (VELT), as well as upgrades to its Catherine and Sophie systems.


The Orion is a new armoured vehicle sighting system, fitted with Thales’ Catherine MP IR camera, David Low, head of the vehicles optronics group at Thales said at the briefing.


In response to soldier demand for multiple functions to be delivered from one fighting vehicle, it has a gigabit ethernet data and video interface that is ‘easily upgradable and easily integrated’, and the company believes this is a market first in terms of being an all-digital sighting system.


‘It is an enhanced capability in terms of its panoramic capability. It is a fully stabilised sighting system, so you have got stabilised line of sight. It provides a full 360o continuous azimuth rotation capability, and is qualified for both tracked and wheeled vehicles,’ Low explained.


‘We have developed a number of fairly sophisticated algorithms and processing units that allow us to do automatic target tracking, automatic target detection, and wide area surveillance.’ The system was selected on 8 July as the primary sight for the Scout SV programme.


‘It provides what we believe to be one of the longest range surveillance and target acquisition capabilities within the vehicle market,’ Low added.


Fitted on the Orion is the new VELT eyesafe laser rangefinder (LRF), which comes in two variants, direct (VELT-D) and indirect (VELT-I).


‘We’ve introduced two variants, one for the other sights, the direct view, which has a direct view optical channel, and also a second colour TV,’ Richard French, head of the sensors product group at Thales, explained.


‘We have two cameras, both wide and narrow, for wide area surveillance and high performance identification.’


Features that distinguish it include: the expansion port for adding other capabilities; the reticle and symbology that is now software generated; the ‘industry leading’ athermal boresight stability; and the high-resolution digital colour video.


French said the system has received ‘significant interest from the US marketplace’.


The Catherine mega pixel (MP) medium wave (MW) IR camera is a ‘fully configurable’ medium wave and lighter addition to the Catherine MP family.


The original Catherine MP long wave camera was launched at DSEi in 2005, and ‘since then we’ve taken the fields of view of that camera from 5o down to 3.5 o in the long wave, and have two long wave cameras on the marketplace’, French commented.


‘We’ve introduced three fields of view to give 10o for wide area surveillance, dropping down to 2.3 degrees, to give us class-leading identification.


‘This medium wave megapixel camera adds to the already established 5o and 15o and 3.5o and 10o degree variants that we have on the marketplace.’


The camera has an extended range, is carried under armour, and has periscopic sight applications.


The Sophie UF2 is a long wave, dismounted soldier, handheld, thermal imaging target locator based on the Sophie UF released some three years ago, with Thales having sold some 10,000 of this type of system worldwide.


The ‘highly successful’ Sophie UF uncooled target locator has been bought by the British Army and is ‘highly successful’, French said, although soldiers still come back to the issue of how to make it lighter and smaller.


‘The message that comes back from the user every time we launch a target locator is “when can I have a smaller and lighter one?”’ French explained.


The new platform has the same functionality as the original system, but has dropped from 3.4kg to 2.4kg through better integration.


It is used for accurate infantry indirect fire control, ISR, enhanced force protection, and day/night operation.


All the Thales systems are at production standard and are available to order.

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25 mars 2011 5 25 /03 /mars /2011 22:00
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6 mars 2011 7 06 /03 /mars /2011 19:30
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