November 23, 2017

BrahMos-A debut launch from a Indian Air Force Su-30 MKI

November 22, 2017

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Brahmos cruise missile successfully test fired from Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30

India became the first country to test fire a supersonic cruise missile from an aircraft, with the test firing of the air-launched version of the BrahMos cruise missile on Tuesday.

The BrahMos-A was successfully flight-tested from an modified Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet against a sea based target in the Bay of Bengal.

The missile carried on a centerline fuselage pylon, was gravity dropped from the Su-30, and the two stage missile’s engine fired up and straightway propelled towards the intended target at the sea in Bay of Bengal.

The successful maiden test firing of Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) from Su-30MKI will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges.

Brahmos ALCM weighing 2.5 ton is the heaviest weapon to be carried by the Su-30 MKI, and the aircraft wings and fuselage has been strengthened by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to carry the weapon.

With a range of 290 km, the BrahMos can carry out precision strikes against ground targets within seconds, as speed can reach close to Mach 3.

The test complete the tactical cruise missile triad for India, with the Brahmos now having the air, naval(both submarine and ship) and land based versions developed.

Brahmos was developed as a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia, based on the Russian P-700 Onik supersonic missile.

Captive flight trials commenced in June 2016. Two Su-30 MKI fighters has been modified to carry out the flight trials.

Indian Air Force plans to modify 40 of its eventual fleet of 272 Su-30 MKIs to carry the BrahMos ALCM.

Pentagon spending $143 million to upgrade Jordanian airbase

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The Philippine Navy commissioned the first of five TC-90s into service with an activation and blessing ceremony in Sangley Point, Cavite City on Nov. 21.

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First Trial Of BrahMos Cruise Missile From Indian Sukhoi-30 MKI Aircraft today

India's air force version of BrahMos cruise missile is all set to perform its maiden flight from Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft on Wednesday.

Defence sources said that the aircraft will take off from an air force base by noon in West Bengal and fire the missile against a target over the Bay of Bengal.

"The launch window is 10 am to 12 noon. Two aircraft have been kept ready. While one has been integrated with the missile another will track all along its flight - from fire to hit. We all are excited for the mission," said a defence official from New Delhi.

Defence sources said the BrahMos Aerospace had to reduce the weight of the missile as it is to be launched from a moving platform unlike its army and navy versions. Some modifications have also been made in its design to easily integrate it in Sukhoi aircraft.

Jointly developed by India and Russia, the BrahMos missile is fastest in the world that has a strike range of 290 km and carries a conventional warhead up to 300 kg. With high-precision, it has devastating power at a supersonic speed of Mach 2.8.

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November 21, 2017

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Pakistan Navy vessels reach Iran for joint drills

Two Pakistani Navy vessels, a frigate and a sail training ship, berthed at Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday for joint exercises, Tasnim news agency reported.

The commander of the Pakistani vessels, Khalid Pervez, said his forces, which were on a five-day visit to Iran, would convey the message of peace and friendship, and seek to exchange experiences with the Iranian Navy.

Describing the navies of Iran and Pakistan as two of the most powerful in the region, the Pakistani commander expressed hope that such visits would strengthen ties between the two neighbours.Admiral Hossein Azad, the commander of Iran’s First Naval Zone, said the navies of the two country would conduct joint drills.

Pakistani and Iranian naval groups have made several reciprocal visits in recent years. They have conducted many joint war games in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

In March, a Pakistani flotilla comprising navy ships PNS Tippu Sultan and PNS Jurrat and a chopper visited Iran and participated in a joint drill with Iranian forces at the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

November 20, 2017

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AH-1W landed at ball field so that Marine can retrieve back his phone

A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1W landed at the athletics field of Bar Harbor town in Maine on Nov. 18 so that a crew member can retrieve back his cell phone that he left behind during lunch at the Thirsty Whale.

November 19, 2017

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November 18, 2017

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Two cheeky U.S. Navy lieutenants from VAQ-130 have been grounded after sparking an outcry for drawing an outline of a penis in the skies over Washington State in their EA-18G on Nov. 18.

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November 17, 2017

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"Blue-Flag" 2017 Has Ended

The largest international aerial training exercise in the IAF’s history has come to an end. 1,200 participants, including aircrew members, maintenance, administration and support personnel and about 80 fighter jets from all over the world participated in the two-week long “Blue-Flag” 2017 exercise.

The exercise’s goal is to simulate extreme combat scenarios and coalition flights as realistically as possible. Eight countries participated in this year’s exercise, the third overall - Israel, the United States, Poland, Italy and Greece, and for the first time, Germany, France and India.

“We learn from international air forces and the experience they have gained from aerial activity around the world – this is how we improve our combat doctrine over the years”, stated Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, IAF Commander. “If we want to influence the reality we see in a decade, we must prepare together, create common solutions and establish an international plan”.

The Israeli participants included a “Baz” (F-15) squadron, a “Sufa” (F-16I) squadron and two “Barak” (F-16C/D) squadrons alongside heavy transport squadrons, helicopters, RPAVs (Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles) and electronic warfare. The US, Hellenic and Polish Air Forces arrived with variants of F-16 jets, the French Air Force with “Mirage 2000” jets, the German Air Force with “Eurofighter Typhoon” jets, the Italian Air Force with two variants of the “Panavia Tornado” and the Indian Air Force with a C-130J Super Hercules Transport Aircraft.

“The situation in the region is very unstable, and the arrival of seven countries who say that they believe in the State of Israel, the IDF and IAF, is a significant statement”, said Brig. Gen Amnon Ein-Dar, Head of Training & Doctrine Division.

While the fighter aircraft trained in Ovda AFB, Indian aircrew members and commandos participated in an Aerial Special Forces exercise in cooperation with the 103rd Squadron (“Elephants”) from Nevatim AFB and SAR Unit 669. The exercise was viewed by observers from countries nominated to participate in the "Blue-Flag" 2019 exercise. "Every division has international exercises, but the 'Blue-Flag' connects them all. This exercise is the climax of the IAF's international program", noted Brig. Gen. Ein-Dar.

“The ‘Blue-Flag’ exercise is a central event in the IAF, as part of which we operate and train a vast aerial force for two consecutive weeks”, stated Col. Itamar, Ovda AFB Commander. “The ability to host seven air forces, train and debrief together, cooperate, reflects our international status and national resilience. In the world we live in today, a state must have the ability to create coalitions and we want to learn from other air forces, strengthen our deterrence capability and exhibit the IAF to our participants”.

Attacking Together, Defending Together

The “Blue-Flag” training exercise simulated a continuous combat scenario, with 100 sorties flown each day, adding up to about 1,000 flights overall. Every day different targets were destroyed and, every action, success or failure affected the rest of the exercise. Throughout the exercise, the participants performed border protection, air-air battles and two-sided "Blue vs. Blue" sorties, in which the participating aircraft are divided into attackers and defenders and fight each other.

Hard Work
The IAF has hosted the "Blue-Flag" exercise twice before: once in 2013, when four different air forces were hosted in Ovda AFB, and the second time in 2015, in which five countries arrived.
The 133rd squadron, the exercise’s leading squadron, dictated the content of the “Blue-Flag” 2017 exercise. “We began working on the exercise a year ago; it is a massive exercise, of an extent that has never occurred here before. As the leading squadron, we’re responsible for the aerial aspect of the training – what the participants rehearse, which scenarios and missions they perform and what their rules are”, added Lt. Col. Nadav, Commander of the 133rd Squadron.

Aerial Ambassadors
Some of the exercise's main goals include improving operational capability, mutual learning and setting the infrastructure for the upcoming "Blue-Flag" exercises. Besides the tactical benefit the IAF gains from training with hundreds of international aircrew members, aircraft and weapons, there is also a strategic benefit.

"The 'Blue-Flag' helps position the IAF's status. We see each participant as an ambassador", elaborated Lt. Col. Guy, Head of the Training Branch in the IAF Air Division. Lt. Col. (Res’) Tal, Head of the “Blue-Flag” Management Team added: "The IAF is Israel's 'display window' and the direct encounter between the air forces is an inseparable part of forming strong, continuous relationships with other countries, near or far".

Around the World
The exercise has become a focal point of international interest, and the cooperation with the participating air forces has improved significantly “We’re very grateful for the opportunity to train with so many countries at once as we usually train with one country at a time. There's no way better way to learn how to do something than to have different perspectives”, shared Lt. Col. Benjamin S. Freeborn, Commander of the United States Air Force’s 510th Fighter Squadron (“Buzzards”), Aviano Air Base, Italy. “Because we generally don’t fight alone in the USAF, we focus on interoperability, meaning the ability to understand each other and work towards the same objective. It’s very important for us to arrive at an unfamiliar place and learn how to support each other”.

"The differences between flying in Israel and flying in Italy is the operational environment", said Lt. Col. G' from the Italian Air Force. "In Israel, we practice low-altitude flight against a variety of threats and scenarios which are very complex to perform in Italy. The fact that this year's 'Blue-Flag' has a large amount of countries enables us to share more information, learn more and improve our capabilities. The Italian Air Force has already trained a number of times in Israel, and the current exercise continues to strengthen our relationships".

Greece also participated in the exercise, arriving with F-16 fighter jets from the 335th "Tigers" Squadron, the Hellenic Air Force's oldest squadron. The Greek pilots learned that their participation in the exercise also has a historic meaning: the squadron was established in Israel 78 years ago, in Ekron AFB (now known as Tel-Nof) as a part of the British RAF. At the end of the exercise, the HAF pilots will visit the home of the squadron's original commander, who is 97 years and old and the oldest living Greek fighter pilot. As they celebrate, they will tell him of their experiences in Israel. "We feel honored to be here again, flying over Tel-Nof AFB escorted by Israeli F-15s. We can go back home and tell him about our experience", said Capt. Vassilios Kalogridis, an aircrew member from the squadron.

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November 16, 2017

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November 15, 2017

Indonesia - South Korea to Continue Enhancing Defence Industry Cooperation

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his host President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo spent some time at a shopping center in Bogor, West Java, after their inaugural bilateral meeting.

Jokowi and Moon bought batik shirts before sipping hot jasmine tea from a small beverage stall at Bogor Trade Mall.

The blusukan (impromptu) visit on Thursday reflected the closeness of the two countries, which have agreed to enhance their ties.

The two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement in December 2006.
Earlier during their meeting at Bogor Palace, both leaders pledged to work for closer ties, targeting US$30 billion in two-way trade by 2022, and they urged North Korea to stop its nuclear program.

The presidents agreed that trade and investment are important vehicles for development in South Korea and Indonesia.

After the meeting, the presidents witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MoU) in transportation, industrial and medical sectors. The MoU were signed by the relevant ministers from both countries.

Jokowi and Moon also agreed that the special strategic partnership would involve the political and security sectors.Moon and Jokowi reaffirmed that cooperation in the defense industry was a symbol of mutual trust. They said they were determined to continue enhancing defense industry cooperation, with stronger emphasis on capacity building, research and development and joint production.

Moon also said South Korea would “continue to support” development of the KFX/IFX jet fighter that is under development by the two countries.

The KFX/IFX is a twin-engined 4.5 generation fighter jet, described as having capabilities above the venerable F-16 Fighting Falcon, but below the stealthy F-35 Lightning II, both of which are made by US defense company Lockheed Martin.

Indonesia bears 20 percent of the development cost and the remainder is covered by South Korea.Indonesia is also the first foreign user of South Korean-made single-engined KT-1B Woong Bee turboprop trainers and singleengined T/A-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainers.

For its part, Indonesia has sold CN-235 medium transport aircraft to both South Korea’s air force and coast guard.

Other defense industry cooperation includes the acquisition of three submarines made by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the third of which is to be assembled at the state-owned PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya.Previously, South Korea provided transfer-of-technology in the construction of four landing platform docks (LPD). Two LPDs were made in South Korea and the other two in Surabaya.

South Korea, Indonesia agree to elevate ties to special strategic partnership Two-way trade projected to reach $30b by 2020.

South Korea is seeking to enhance its economic relations with Indonesia, particularly in trade and investment, as it tries to exert greater influence in Southeast Asia.

CETC Scans for Asia Pacific Radar Opportunities

China’s leading electronics and radar systems developer China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) is eyeing opportunities to expand its regional customer base with its range of long-range air surveillance, counter-stealth, and weapon locating radars.

The company’s latest radar systems include the S-band phased array SLC-2E weapon locating radar (WLR), which is designed to support counter-battery missions against hostile artillery and rockets, as well as airborne threats with its air defence function.For long range air surveillance, the company has developed the SLC-7 radar wthich operates in the IEEE L-band range of 1-2 GHz. The radar is claimed to be capable of detecting stealthy aircraft or unmanned aerial systems at distances of over 450 km with a high degree of success. It can also be used to track ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile, its new YLC-8B 3D surveillance radar operates in the ultra-high frequency range of 300 Mhz-1 GHz to detect and track aircraft that are over 500km away as well as missile threats out to ranges of over 700km.CETC highlighted that these radar systems have been designed to be mobile and can be readily deployed with minimal set up and teardown times. The company is the primary supplier of advanced radar systems to the People’s Liberation Army.

Singapore Commissions Two Littoral Mission Vessels (LMV)

Singapore's Seaward Defence Strengthened with Commissioning of Two New Littoral Mission Vessels

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at the commissioning ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity at RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base today. The commissioning of RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity marks a significant milestone in the RSN's continued transformation to strengthen its capabilities, as the two LMVs join the rest of the Navy to safeguard Singapore's waters, protect its sea lines of communication and contribute to regional peace and security.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted the need to adapt and prepare for future challenges as the range of threats and spectrum of missions have expanded. He said, "Today, the RSN already contributes to regional and global security efforts… Going forward, the demands on our RSN will increase. Part of this reflects both the rising trade as well as the military build-up of regional navies in our surrounding waters." Dr Ng added that the LMVs are future-ready ships built to respond to these different mission requirements and fulfil the RSN's role in keeping Singapore's sea lines of communication secure and accessible for the nation's economic growth and prosperity. He added,

"The LMVs represent a quantum jump compared to its predecessor, the Fearless-class patrol vessels. Whether it is speed, endurance, anti-air or Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) capabilities, the LMVs outperform by leaps and bounds the Patrol Vessels that were built in the 1990s… With today's commissioning, RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity will join RSS Independence to expand the range and effectiveness in missions."

Jointly developed by the RSN and the Defence Science and Technology Agency, the Independence-class LMVs are equipped with smarter technology and sharper capabilities to enable the RSN to operate more efficiently and effectively. The network-centric ships possess advanced radars and sensors, as well as a 360 degree out-of-window view and improved sense-making systems to enhance situational awareness and accelerate decision-making. The LMVs also have lethal and non-lethal options to deliver calibrated responses to deter and defend against various threats. Their mission modularity further allows the ships to be configured for a wide spectrum of operations.

RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity are the second and third ships out of eight LMVs that will replace the ageing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels which have been in service for more than 20 years. The first-of-class LMV RSS Independence was commissioned on 5 May 2017 and the remaining five LMVs are expected to be operational by 2020.

Also present at the ceremony were Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, and senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces.
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