A French M51 submarine launched nuclear ballistic missile malfunctioned during a test launch Sunday, and had to be destroyed while in flight, the Ministry of Defense said. It was the 6th flight test of the latest strategic ballistic missile. For the test flight the missile’s nuclear warhead was removed. An investigation was immediately launched into the cause of the aborted test of the M51 missile over Normandy. Defense-Update reports.
Military officials told reporters the problem occurred in the first phase of the missile’s ascent and triggered a self-destruct order. The exact nature of the malfunction was not immediately known, Radio France Internationale said. According to the French MOD, the missile was launched form a test site at the baie d’Audierne (Finistère) and crashed into an area that had been cleared of civilian air and maritime traffic. The missile would have landed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean if its flight had been successful.
France operates four SSBNs in its strategic Oceanic force. Each of these submarines is carrying 16 M51 missiles. The M51 is a strategic ballistic missile is carried by four French Navy nuclear powered missile submarines. The missile was launched from the French Navy nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Le Vigilant S618; the ‘Triumphant class submarine has a length of 138 meter long and a submerged displacement of 14,200 tonnes. It is powered by a nuclear driven turbo-reactor developing 30mW of power. Each submarine is manned by two crews of 100 personnel. In addition to the ballistic, nuclear armed missiles, the submarine is also equipped with four 533 mm torpedo tubes firing Exocet anti-ship missiles or F17 torpedoes.
The French deterrent force
The M51 missiles were loaded on the submarine during the two-year upgrade that was completed in October 2012. Through the overhaul process the submarine’s combat information system was also upgraded, and a new navigation system added. Following the refit the submarine entered a testing phase which also included test firing of the missiles.The M51 is replacing the M45 currently in service. At a weight of 54 tonnes, the new missile is 40% heavier than its predecessor. One meter longer than the M45, the M51 has a larger diameter which corresponds to more powerful and energetic propulsion. The three stages carry the missile over a distance of 6,000 km. The first variant, M51.1 was fitted to the first SSBM Le Terrible in 2010. This model uses the same warhead as the previous SRBM – the M45. The M51.2 has a larger warhead, extended range and highly accurate stellar tracking navigation, augmenting the standard inertial navigation system. It is also designed with better penetration capability.
Working on the behalf of the French defence procurement agency DGA (French Ministry of Defence procurement agency), since the 1960’s, the company has produced the submarine-launched MSBS family (M1, M2, M20, M4) of the French deterrent force. The latest version, the M-45, is currently deployed on board France’s new generation submarines. The MSBS-M51, an ultra-modern missile with considerably enhanced performance, has been under development since 1992.
The recent escalation of tension in Syria comes at a time when the Assad regime, actively supported by the Iranians through their Lebanese proxy Hezbollah and backed by quiet nod from Moscow, is succeeding to turn the tide of repeated wins by the rebels. Until this turn, Sunni rebels were closing slowly on some of the regime’s power centers in Damascus and in other cities throughout the country. Defense-Update reports.
With their back to the wall, the ruling Allawis, backed by the Shiites turned to the use of massive bombardments and use of military forces, including ballistic missiles fired on areas held by rebels, indiscriminately hitting populated urban areas. In recent weeks more evidence came to light about the use of chemical weapons by the regime, although the means of delivery haven’t been clear. The world turned its back on this evidence, despite repeated warning. The main concern of the West was that such weapons would fall into the hands of islamic terror organizations and used elsewhere, causing massive casualties or extortion. For Israel, the danger that such weapons could fall into the hands of Hezbollah were unacceptable.
Whether the Syrians were using missiles, artillery, air attacks or unmanned aircraft, facts proving the regime deployed such weapons, despite international warnings, are now evident. Following the escalation Washington has been considering ways to change its policy to assist the rebels. However, given the conflicting Russian interests in Syria, a direct involvement of Washington seems unlikely. The Israelis are inevitably drawn into this vaccum, by taking advantage of the Syrian chaos by reducing the intervention of Iran and its proxies and destroying game changing weapon shipments from Tehran to hezbollah and destroying their strategic reserves based in Syrian arms depots.
With Hezbollah eagerly supporting the Syrian Assad regime with Iranian assistance, Syrian government forces have won back control of areas along the Lebanese border. But elsewhere, the situation is deteriorating as the country collapses into total chaos. Iran, which for years has used Syria as a protecting staging area sustaining its Lebanese proxy Shi’ite Hezbollah is realizing it is time to liquidate its investments, and seek a safer home for its assets – inside Lebanon. The missile storage at Mt. Qasioun served as one of their storage sites. On this mountain site, overlooking the capital Damascus, protected by the close proximity of the Syrian presidential palace and its prominent military installations, Iran stored ballistic missiles and ammunition which it planned to ship to Hezbollah in time of war.
But at the present Syrian chaos, Qasioun seemed no longer safe. In fact, the fighting turmoil became an opportunity to open a virtual ‘hunting season’, seeking and destroying these missiles, and other weapons, the Israeli military considers ‘strategic’ keeping their military balance with Hezbollah. Since Thursday night, May 2rd, 2013 reports from Lebanon indicated the Israeli air force repeatedly performed ‘mock airstrikes’ from Lebanese territory toward the Syrian border, in daylight and at night.
It seems now cleareniugh, that these manoeuvres were not mock attacks but the real thing – as the aircraft actually may have launched stand-off weapons such as the advanced SPICE glide bombs and Popeye missiles, made by RAFAEL. These weapons are capable of hitting point targets over 100 kilometers away. The SPICE is a glide weapon, which does not leave any smoke trail or other indication, until impact. Such tactics would keep the Israeli fighters immune from Syrian air defense missiles that are still actively protecting Syrian airspace. Indeed, seen in the videos apparently taken around Damascus during the attack only explosions could be heard, without the noise of the attacking jets.
The targets attacked on Thursday seemed to include a new shipment of missiles stored near Damascus International airport. They were actually targeted immediately after this very shipment of Iranian missiles landed on Damascus airport, indicating on the excellent intelligence involved.
According to US sources these missiles were the latest Fateh-110 Mod 4 missiles, offering increased lethality and precision. About that time sirens were also activated on the Israeli side of the border, although no attacks were reported. Authorities attributed the repeated alarms to ‘technical errors’ but bo further explanation was given. Another attack that followed on Saturday night aimed at four storage bunkers on Jabel Qasioun, west of the Damascus. It was actually a secret Hezbollah storage depot keeping their strategic reserves safe against hostile attack. Video clips taken after the attack show massive explosions that followed the initial attacks, apparently caused by secondary explosions of rocket fuel or warheads. By morning, as rescue forces arrived at the area, explosions were still heard throughout the scorched area.
Using stand-off attacks from Lebanon enabled the Israelis to achieve their goal while keeping risks at manageable level. Although Israel demonstrated more than once its ability to overcome the Syrian defenses. However going after such prime targets, where enemy air defenses are in high alert requires significant prior preparation and massive destruction of most of the enemy’s air defense before the attack starts. Such a campaign, as was brilliantly executed over the Lebanese Baka’a in 1982. Under the present conditions, it could however draw Israel, Syria and Lebanon into a massive missile exchange if not all out war.
The Israelis recognize the risk that the recent moves could draw some retaliation from Syria or Hezbollah, but considers such response short term and limited in its intensity. For good measure the Israeli Air Defense command has deployed two Iron Dome counter-rocket batteries to the north of Israel, protecting the major population centers and strategic sites likely to present targets to such missile attacks. The airspace in Northern Israel was also closed to civilian traffic, clearing the area for military operations; the Haifa municipality also increased its alert status, and announced that the 11 km long Carmel Tunnels would be providing a shelter in case the city is attacked as it was in 2006.
Update: On Monday afternoon two mortar bombs were fired from Syria at an Israeli outpost in the Golan Height, without causing damage. The Israelis filed a complaint with the UN.
But the likelihood of counterattack is considered low. Since the strikes were directed at Hezbollah and Iranian assets, not directly targeting the Syrian military, the Syrian regime can continue to threaten and promise painful retaliation as it did in the past, but refrain from punitive action against Israel, at least not in an act that would escalate the situation. For Hezbollah, it seems the worst time to engage Israel in a military conflict – with their Iranian supply lines clearly exposed, as demonstrated by the recent Israeli attacks they would prefer to bolster the safety of their precious weapons depots for the future.
Some U.S. lawmakers say Israeli airstrikes in Syria demonstrate that the United States could take action to protect Syrian civilians. Sofar the U.S. has provided non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels and humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees, but the administration has resisted calls for establishing a no-fly zone over Syria. Washington is reluctant to hand out military assistance to rebels, since some of the groups are extremist Sunni Islamists, including those affiliated al-Qaida. The U.S. had learned their lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya, where Islamists tend to sieze power when they have a chance. Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the administration is re-thinking a full range of options, including possibly arming Syrian rebels. He stressed that no decisions had been made (VOA).
Rapid economic growth and rising industrial activities amid security threats, fear of potential terrorist attacks has fuelled the demand for CCTV cameras evidently as government authorities and even private sector are investing huge amount of money in installing CCTVs to secure their offices and public places across the country.
The Indian CCTV market is witnessing immense growth from sectors such as city surveillance, hospitality, airport security, BFSI, retail, BPO, manufacturing, college campuses, infrastructure companies and education.
The government, in general, is the biggest segment in terms of volume demand. The private sector, enterprises as well as SMBs, shows potential although their demand is dwarfed by that of the government sector.
Following the December 16 Delhi gang-rape, the demand for CCTV and surveillance cameras is growing in the city.
The demand has risen by 10% in the past month and that is across sectors.
The Indian CCTV industry is going to emerge as a huge market in the next few years in wake of rising demands from sectors like hospitality industry, services, healthcare, retail and transportation.
The ease to inter-connect all monitoring systems, traffic systems, various market places with police stations and defense headquarters in the real time make the CCTV surveillance a prominent and feasible security solution.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has a proven capability to attack targets from standoff range. One such weapon is the Spice weapon guidance kit developed by the country’s leading missile developer RAFAEL. i-hlsreports.
The guidance kit has become more lethal and can now be used in a “variety” of attack techniques to achieve maximum impact in a short time. The locally produced Spice is now one of the “main systems” in the Inventory of the IAF, along with GPS-guided JDAM and laser guided bombs imported from the US. The kit has also been exported to a number of airforces that are using it on some of their bombs.
Spice has been adapted to a number of standard warheads, from Mk-84/BLU-109 (900 kg, 2000 lbs), Mk-83/BLU-110 (450 kg, 1000 lbs) general purpose bombs. The weapon has recently been adapted now to 113 kg (250 lbs) pound small smart bombs (SSB) that are increasingly preferred by airforces due to their lower collateral damage.
The kit uses an imaging seeker for navigation and terminal homing. The system uses image matching techniques giving the weapon a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of less than three meters. Spice can be loaded with 100 optional targets in a given area. In addition to the passive image-based navigation the kit also includes Global Positioning Satellite / Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) navigation for reference and backup. But the main sensor of the Spice is the CCD/IIR dual seeker that provides pinpoint accuracy and positive target identification and according to Rafael , overcomes target location error and GPS jamming. The Kit’s automatic target acquisition capability is based on a unique scene-matching technology that can handle scenery changes, counter-measures, navigation errors and target location errors. The technology is based on the continuous comparison of a real-time image received from the dual CCD/IIR seeker with a reference image stored in the weapon’s computer.
The basic kit includes a strap-on forward guidance section and fixed, stubby wings and tail fins aft of the main charge, heaviest Spice uses the MK-84 (2000 pounds) general purpose bomb, with a flatter trajectory the Spice kit extends the weapon’s range beyond 60 km. This version is operational in the israeli airforce and was used in combat. Another kit has been adapted to Mk-83 (1000 pounds) bombs, featuring a wing-set that further extends the weapon range beyond 100 km. The Spice’s deployable wings allow an aircraft to carry more bombs. The latest addition of the SSB type weapon enables a single F-16 to carry up to 16 small smart bombs.
The Americans do not believe in perimeter defenses around airports, in spite of the proven performance of these systems. i-hls reports
U.S. airport perimeter manufacturers — makers of fences, gates, sensors and cameras — will likely face a steep drop in demand over the next several years, a Frost & Sullivan report found.
In 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded airports $58 million in grants to improve safety, but a decline is expected through 2017, said John Hernandez, an aerospace defense senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, a Mountain View, Calif.-based market consulting firm.
Demand for airport perimeter systems and barriers skyrocketed after 9/11, Hernandez said. Between 2001 and 2011, they garnered nearly $650 million. But funding is expected to taper off as demand weakens, Hernandez said. “You will see some stagnation and a decline [in the market],” said Hernandez. “It will never go up to the point it went up to after 9/11.”
Hernandez does not foresee any major airports being built soon, and most work needed at existing airports will be limited to small repairs or refurbishing. Contracts to repair most perimeter control measures will be limited to local vendors.
In 2012, nearly $69 million was invested in airport perimeter-security measures. By 2017, that number will drop to an estimated $47.5 million per year, the study found.
While the outlook for the fencing-and-gate side of the market appears grim, the security enhancement sector — which includes cameras and sensors — looks rosier, he said.
As domestic economies change into a global market, dependent on the ocean for energy, food and transportation, the open seas becoming contested areas, and pirates, outlaws and terrorists using isolated littorals as safe haven, prowling waterways and the open sea along international merchant routes, no wonder that governments are looking for new means to deal with the new challenges. Defense-Update reports from IMDEX 2013.
Changing interest span from securing off-shore assets throughout littoral and Economical Exclusion Zone (EEZ), protecting economical rights including fishery, mineral resources and merchant marine routes. Coastal protection, particularly addressing terror threats and infiltration from the sea, is also critical in defending urban centers, key infrastructure, port facilities, power stations and other strategic assets.
With the rising costs of maritime security, government agencies are interested in smaller, highly versatile boats that could operate effectively in peacetime, emergency and at war. Boats that can effectively chase smugglers, and human traffickers, defeat well-armed terror attacks and become part of the nation’s maritime power in time of war.
According to Ramta, on the SMDR, a crew of 10 can effectively fulfill all tasks. The key to such efficiency is newly designed Combat Information Center (CIC) and operating consoles. Instead of dedicating specific console for each task (detection, identification, defensive systems, offensive systems, situational display, communications etc.) IAI introduced a common, compact operating station integrating all functions into a single display, similar to those used in the cockpit of fighter aircraft. Specific tasks are shown on different displays, integrated into the situational picture, which also supports routine operations. A typical CIC layout in the SDMR comprises three common and interchangeable workstations that support regular operations in peacetime and can be easily reconfigured into detection, defense and offense workstations at war. To simplify these tasks the system employs extensive automation to simplify and expedite certain processes by minimizing user interactions.
Eventually, IAI/Ramta plans to expand the Super Dvora to unmanned surface vessels, extending capabilities developed and fielded by the company in the past 30 years. Such autonomous vessels would establish routine patrols, generate the marine situational picture required for operation and security, supporting manned and unmanned operators with maximum security at an affordable cost.
The Iranians have developed an improved model of medium-range rocket Fateh-110. The current model is held by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Israel believes that the advanced model was on its way to the missile units of the organization. The Iranians have not provided many details about this new rocket model, but experts in Israel said yesterday that Iran’s rockets and missile industry make constant efforts to improve the directive mechanism, i-hlsreports.
According to foreign sources, the attacks carried out by Israel in Syria in recent days were aimed, among other things, at the delivery of these rockets. Rockets of the Fateh-110 model remain the primary medium-range rocket power held by Hezbollah. The Rocket has a maximum range of 250 km and its warhead weighs half a ton. With such a range – this rocket threatens Israel all the way to Beer-Sheba area in the Negev. The rocket was developed by the Iranian military industry, and is launched by a launcher similar to that used by the SA-2 surface to air missile.
Fatah-110 warhead is almost double in weight than warheads that armed the Scud missiles fired at Israel during the first Gulf War. These weighed about 300 kg. The length of the rocket is about 8 meters, diameter of 61 cm and overall weighs about three tons.
According to the expert, Fateh-110 is manufactured in two versions. One with “free flight” like that of Zelzal rockets and Katyusha missiles, the second uses inertial guidance, allowing it to hit preselected targets with higher precision. Insight Note (Members Only)
Missile defense systems such as the Israel Aerospace Industries Arrow II or the American Patriot PAC-2 air defense missile from Raytheon are capable of intercepting rockets such as the Fatah-110 rocket. Future systems such as Rafael’s David’s Sling are currently in development under joint US-Israeli program designed to improve the capability to handle massive attacks by such rockets. Syria was planning to locally produce the Fateh-110 under the designation M-600. In 2010 Israeli sources reported that Syria has transfered ‘hundreds‘ such missiles to Hezbollah. Israel estimates that Iran’s weapons industry analyzed the results of Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel during the Second Lebanon War and has improved due to several of its products, including the Fatah -110 model rocket.
Is this Syria’s “doomsday ” weapon? Intelligence sources say that the Syrian air force has adapted old Russian made MIG-21 fighter aircraft to fly unmanned and carry chemical warfare materials.
This information is now being investigated by a number of intelligence organizations i-hlsreports.
A Syrian MiG-21, that landed in Jordan in June 2011 flown by a Syrian air force colonel, had been adapted to fly unmanned and carry a “deadly volume of chemical weapons. According to intelligence sources there are indications that Russian engineers helped with the upgrade.
The Syrian pilot colonel Hassan Hamada, took off in his MiG-21 from al-Dumair military airport northeast of Damascus and flew to King Hussein Air Base just across Syria’s southern border with Jordan. Upon landing in Jordan, Hamada removed his rank and requested political asylum.
The Syrian regime immediately admitted the pilot had defected and called him a traitor. But unlike in earlier defections Syria has put heavy pressure on Jordan to return the MIG-21.