Philippines Defense Update


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    • Russian Air Force to Receive More MiG-29SMT Apr 16, 2014The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a 17 Billion Rubbles ($473 million) contract with the United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) MiG corporation for the delivery of 16 MiG-29SMT fighters, the Novosti news agency reported. The MiG-29SMT is an upgraded variant of the MiG-29. It is operational with the Yemeni Air Force since the mid-2000s and with the Russian Air Force since 2008. In the past this model was also offered to India, Syria and Venezuela but failed to gain orders. More recently it was offered to Egypt. Under the new order the 16 aircraft will be delivered over the next 3 years; the current order will help maintain the MiG-29 production line, expected to shift to the manufacturing of the MiG-35S. By that time, UAC is expecting the initial order for 100 MiG-35Ss from the Russian Air Force to be signed, with initial deliveries commencing after 2016. The contract also includes ground support and test equipment. The MiG-29SMT is an upgrade package developed for the MiG-29, bringing the avionics and weapons delivery capabilities of existing MiG-29 fighters (9.12 to 9.13 Build) to those of the more advanced MiG-29M (9.15 Build). These aircraft will help rebalance the heavy/light fighter fleet within the Russian Air Force, currently tipping toward the modernised heavy fighters (Su-34, MiG-31, Su-30), while the light fighter fleet is comprised of much older MiG-29s (about 220). The Russian Air Force already operates 28 such aircraft, primarily on air superiority missions. Introduced in 2004 and built in 2006-2007, these aircraft were originally destined for Algeria but were refused by the customer claiming they didn’t meet the agreed quality standard. Eventually the aircraft were handed over to the Russian Air Force. The 16 currently on order will be new build, receiving the SMT upgrade during assembly. As such, the new MiG-29SMT will be fitted with a multifunction, multimode Zhuk-ME ...
    • International Debut for F-35 at Farnborough, Air Tattoo in July Apr 16, 2014The F-35 Lightning II aircraft will make its international debut in July this summer, the British Defence Secretary has announced. The F-35 Lightning II will participate in the flight demonstration at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford (11-13 July, 2014). It will continue to the Farnborough International Air Show (14-20 July) where it will also participate in the aerial flight display. Current plans call for several F-35s to participate in these air shows, at least one will be the Short Take-Off and Landing (STOVL) variant F-35B ordered for the Royal Air Force and Naval Air Arm. The participation of the Joint Strike Fighter at an international airshow will undoubtedly support the positioning of the F-35 in several international fighter procurement programs currently underway in Denmark, Canada. It will further improve the exposure of the aircraft in countries that have already confirmed procurement but are still undecided about the quantities they will buy – Italy, Norway, Turkey, Israel and Japan. “The appearance of F-35 aircraft at Farnborough International Air Show and the Royal International Air Tattoo demonstrates the good progress being made on the Joint Strike Fighter Programme.” Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, said. The decision to fly the combat aircraft outside of the United States for the first time followed discussions between British defense minister Philip Hammond and his US counterpart, Secretary Chuck Hagel. The selection of two UK airshows also demonstrates the significant role that Britain has in the programme. Approximately 15 per cent of every aircraft is built in the UK. “The US and the UK have worked closely together on the F-35 project from the beginning. We are the only country that is a Level 1 partner in the project, which is sustaining tens of thousands of jobs in the UK.” Hammond said, “This ...
    • World First: Neuron UCAV flying in formation with Rafale, Falcon 7X Apr 13, 2014On March 20, 2014 Dassault Aviation has performed a unique formation flight in which the nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) was flown in formation with a Rafale fighter and a Falcon 7X business jet, both produced by the company. Organizing a formation flight like this was a daunting challenge, company spokesperson explained, for each maneuver in the planned sequence, aircraft from different holding points and with very different characteristics had to fly alongside each other in a confined space. An additional challenge was being able to control the pilotless aircraft flying near four other aircraft – all manned (Rafale, Falcon 7X and two chase aircraft for photography). Engineers had to plan ahead to take into account the risk of interference, including aerodynamic turbulence between the aircraft. Preventing unexpected electromagnetic interference (EMI) with communications between the nEUROn drone and its ground control station was also a concern that had to be dealt with. “This achievement clearly reflects our expertise in state-of-the-art technologies. Our skills in both military and civil aviation mutually enrich each other, enabling us to design exceptional airplanes suited for both the armed forces and Falcon business jet operators.” Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation commented. This was the first time in the world that a combat drone flew in formation with other aircraft. Drones are often escorted by chase airplanes, as part of flight testing, but these are not performed as part of a formation flying, in which the drone’s handling is coordinated with the other aircraft in the formation. The entire operation lasted 110 minutes and took the patrol out over the Mediterranean to a range of several hundred kilometers.Share this:SharePrintEmailStumbleUponRedditDiggTumblrTwitterPocket
    • USAF to complete upgrading the F-22 oxygen system in 12 months Apr 11, 2014Following a lengthy investigation into the cause of numerous incidents causing F-22 Raptor pilots to suffer from hypoxia-like symptoms, the U.S. Air Force is upgrading the Raptor’s life support system, installing an Automatic Back-up Oxygen System (ABOS). Existing back-up oxygen systems were manually activating. The upgrade will be completed within a year. Raptors in Alaska have already begun using the system. The Air Force denied that the cause of a fatal accident in November 2010, killing Alaskan-based F-22 pilot Captain Jeff Haney was caused by Hypoxia. “ABOS is automatically activated to supply the pilot 100% oxygen in the event of a rapid decompression or low primary breathing air pressure supply” The upgrade followed the recommendation of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board to improve the Raptor’s aircrew life support system, including the installation of an automatically-activated backup oxygen system. The Air Force awarded more than $30 million in multiple contracts to Lockheed Martin to install the systems. According to Mike Connolly, ABOS Program Manager at the F-22 Life Cycle Management Center at Wright patterson, the ABOS is a simply designed system that is integrated into the breathing regulator. It has a control panel in the cockpit within the pilot’s reach so that he or she can manually turn it on if backup oxygen is needed. Unlike the current system that requires manual activation by the pilot, the ABOS is typically left in the auto position, which will automatically provide the pilot 100% oxygen in the event of a rapid decompression or low primary breathing air pressure. Automatic activation prevents the risk of oxygen cutoff when the pilot may be unconscious or blurred, as some of the pilots suffering from hypoxia reported. Share this:SharePrintEmailStumbleUponRedditDiggTumblrTwitterPocket
    • Royal Air Force’s II(AC) Squadron foils insurgent bombers in Afghanistan Apr 10, 2014The following event demonstrates the force protection role of Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 strike fighters supporting ground forces in Afghanistan. On a recent mission in Afghanistan, two Tornado GR4s from II(AC) Squadron have yet again protected civilians and Afghan-led international forces on the ground by scattering insurgents who were attempting to plant a roadside bomb ahead of an ISAF convoy. Using the advanced Litening III surveillance pod, on 10 March the aircraft helped ISAF troops capture and destroy a lethal quantity of explosives that could have taken the lives of civilians or security forces. The jets’ aircrew spotted insurgents placing the deadly improvised explosive device (IED) just hundreds of metres ahead of the convoy of US and Afghan troops, which II(AC) Squadron had been called to support following an earlier IED blast. II(AC) Squadron pilot Flight Lieutenant Geoff Williams flew one of the aircraft above the convoy. He said: “Identifying insurgent activity from 10,000 feet can be challenging but in this case it was clearly suspicious. Two people on a motorbike rendezvoused with two others waiting by a small bridge. They collected items stored under the bridge and began digging in the road.”Alert to the risk that the insurgents were planting a roadside bomb, Flight Lieutenant Williams flew an intimidating ‘show of presence’ over them – flying low and fast and firing flares to startle and deter them and reassure the friendly convoy. He said: “Having been startled by our jet noise the insurgents fled by motorbike. The whole event was over in a minute. The presence of a Tornado provides a huge psychological impact, reassuring ISAF troops and the civilian population, and sparking fear in the insurgents.” The RAF is considering upgrading their targeting pods to the Litening 4 standard. These pods will be carried by the Eurofighter Typhoon as ...
    • Israel Launches OFEQ 10 Spy Satellite Apr 9, 2014The Israeli spy satellite Ofeq 10 was launched this evening, (April 9th 2014, 20:15 GMT) from the Palmachim Air Force Base on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Once the satellite enters orbit around the Earth, it will undergo several tests to confirm its serviceability and accurate performance. Few hours later the satellite reached its intended orbit and communicated with IAI’s ground control sending telemetry and images. Further tests are underway before the satellite begins its operationalservice. The deployment was completed with minimal manoeuvring, leaving more fuel for extended life cycle, IAI sources told Defense-Update. The new satellite is the third Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite built by IAI MBT Space Division and Elta Systems. The first two examples of this satellite were launched on the Indian PSLV rockets. OFEQ 10 carries a more advanced version of the EL/M-2070 SAR payload, introducing evolutionary enhancements over the first two models. For the OFEQ satellites Israel have utilized an indigenously developed three stages launcher called ‘Shavit’ which, according to foreign sources, is based on a ballistic missile system developed in Israel since the late 1960s, the missile itself was based on a French missile design. The current configuration of Shavit is sufficient to lift the weight of the TECSAR’s 295 kg, using the three solid fuel rocket stages and a liquid-propelled upper stage motor. According to IAI, since 1988 Shavit successfully launched several satellites, with maximum Weight of 290 kg (Westward). The advanced variant of the SHAVIT Launcher is configured to increase lift capability to 350 kg (Westward) which will be required to lift the OPSAT 3000, expected to weigh about 400 kg. Israel is determined “Ofek 10″ is an earth-observing remote-sensing satellite that employs SAR technology to deliver advanced, high-resolution imagery, capable of operating day or night and in all weather conditions.As its predecessor OFEQ 8, the ...
    • New ‘Samson’ C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft Lands in Israel Apr 9, 2014In a ceremony held today at the Nevatim Israel Air Force base, the new C-130J Super Hercules military aircraft landed in Israel. The new type is designated ‘Samson’ by the Israel Air and Space Force (IASF). This is the first ‘Samson’ C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to join the newly established ‘Samson’ squadron. Five more are scheduled to arrive in the coming years. The three currently being completed or under production will be delivered in July 2014 and over the course of 2015 and 2016. The goal is to provide the IASF with nine such aircraft, augmenting and later replacing the fleet of C-130H currently in service. “we will be able to operate faster, in all weather conditions, in greater distance, in lower altitude and in maximum discretion” The new transport aircraft enhances the IASF’s long-range transport and assault capabilities, with missions including airborne cargo delivery, transportation of paratroops and commandos, aerial refueling for helicopters and planes, electronic warfare, maritime patrol and special operations. According to the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, The new aircraft gives the IDF extended operational flexibility and strengthens our long range capabilities, making us more accurate and powerful than ever. The progressive systems the “Samson” aircraft is equipped with will allow us to execute more complex operations than in the past – “we will be able to operate faster, in all weather conditions, in greater distance, in lower altitude and in maximum discretion.” Gantz said. Over the past year, squadron members have trained in Italy and in the United States in order to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the aircraft and its capabilities. The new aircraft is joining the 103 Squadron already operating the C-130H from Nevatim. The delivery of the first C-130J is a first milestone in the modernization of the Israel ...
    • India test fires Brahmos supersonic cruise missile Apr 7, 2014India carried out a successful test firing of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile yesterday. The missile was launched from a land mobile launcher, at the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan in the northwest of India. The missile flew the maximum range of 290 kilometres on this test. The Brahmos is in service with the Indian military since 2007. Two variants of the missile are currently in service, the land mobile launchers deployed with two missile regiments of the Indian Army, and a naval surface-launched variant deployed on Indian Navy frigates. Some of the Indian Su-30MKI fighter jets will also be equipped with the missile, the first test flight of the airborne variant is expected to be held later in 2014. A submarine-launched variant is also in development.  Share this:SharePrintEmailStumbleUponRedditDiggTumblrTwitterPocket
    • The Ukrainian crisis – a cyber warfare battlefield Apr 5, 2014The crisis in Ukraine was the largest battlefield of cyber war since Russia’s cyber-attacks on Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008. Russian cyber operations in Ukraine were based on the experience and lessons learned from previous attacks; they haven’t left ‘fingerprints’ leading to the sources. Russia has managed to hit almost all Ukraine government websites and it was able to take control and to put on surveillance and monitoring all the Internet and telephone communications lines, before the invasion and occupation of Crimea by its military. Share this:SharePrintEmailStumbleUponRedditDiggTumblrTwitterPocket
    • North Korean drone incursions drive South Korean air surveillance revamp Apr 2, 2014In the past week South Korea recovered two unidentified unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) believed to be North Korean spy drones that were not detected by the South’s radar surveillance network. Following this incident Seoul is likely to probe its aerial surveillance capabilities, particularly with counter-UAV performance in mind. Alarmed by the incursions, Seoul stressed the urgent need to prepare more efficient countermeasures. According to Korean defense officials, the drones were on intelligence gathering missions but could be used on terror attack if adapted for such missions. The drones were likely on intelligence gathering missions, reflecting the intensive spying activities North Korea is directing at the South. In recent years the ‘Democratic’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) has invested significant efforts in the development of unmanned platforms, which include intelligence gathering and attack systems. Nevertheless, the level of sophistication demonstrated by the two captured drones is not as advanced as could be expected, as the two drones lack real-time communications or high resolution payloads expected from such platforms. The vulnerability of the South to North Korean drones was realized in 2010, during artillery barrages fired by the north, Back then, the North reconnoitered areas near Baeknyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands with a drone that flew undetected by radar and mostly invisible to the naked eye.“The military is preparing measures to deal with unmanned aerial vehicles, including North Korea’s lightweight aircraft, to complement the air-defense operation system,” a source at the defense ministry in Seoul said. “The ministry will also consult with the related agencies to draw up measures to control civilian UAVs and the registration system,” he added. The presidential national security adviser Kim Jang-soo presided over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to discuss how to beef up the country’s air defenses against such unmanned aircraft, sources said. The plan will ...

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