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Thursday, December 31, 2009

AEW&C systems

The technology is inferior to the American Awacs long denied to Pakistan.— Photo from AP/File 

THE induction of the first ‘high-tech’ aerial surveillance system into the Pakistan Air Force has been hailed as a great leap forward for the country’s defences. But we are circumspect. Here’s why. First, the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) system purchased from Sweden is actually a mid-range technology, better than the rival French technology currently in use by the Pakistan Navy but inferior to the much-sought-after-but-denied American Awacs. Second, it is not clear yet to what purpose the new Swedish systems will be put. Handing the first over to the air force suggests that the war planners have an eye on India’s ‘cold start’ doctrine, which would theoretically make possible quick, surgical strikes inside Pakistan. But the fact is, the Swedish technology acquired can be equally useful over water, where the Pakistan Navy could use it to keep an eye on India’s submarines, particularly now that India is testing its first indigenously built nuclear submarine (though it is not yet clear if the Indian craft is merely a nuclear-powered submarine or a nuclear-missile-armed submarine).

Why Prime Minister Putin may be throwing a wrench in US-Russia arms talks

Russia Prime Minister Putin said there were problems with arms talks aimed at finalizing a new strategic arms reduction deal. Is it a hardball tactic or a bid to derail the negotiations altogether?

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs a Cabinet meeting in Moscow

Russia's powerful prime minister, ex-President Vladimir Putin, may have just tossed a wrench into the sensitive last-minute negotiations aimed at finalizing a new US-Russian strategic arms reduction deal early in the New Year.

"The problem is that our American partners are developing missile defenses, and we are not," Mr. Putin complained Tuesday. "In order to maintain balance, without developing the antimissile system just like the US is doing, we have to develop an offensive combat power system."

Some analysts say Putin, whose brief as prime minister does not include strategic policy, may be simply engaging in a bit of hardball negotiation aimed at securing fresh American concessions as talks for new treaty to reduce offensive nuclear arms wind down to an expected January finish line.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Japanese Budget Thrown Into Disorder

The election of the new more liberal government in Japan this year has led to major proposed changes in their overall budget and defense spending. The decision to delay spending on the PATRIOT PAC-3 air and missile defense system has already been discussed. The new budget is reflecting a proposed shift to more social spending and less on the military. This may disrupt plans for purchases of equipment and contracts with U.S. and other defense contractors.

PAC-3 Missile Elements Photo :

PAC-3 Guidance Approach Photo :

Northrop Grumman delivers New Mexico sub to Navy

Northrop Grumman Corp. on Tuesday delivered the submarine New Mexico to the Navy, meeting its end-of-year deadline to complete the sixth Virginia-class boat.

Virginia Class Photo:

Workers at the company's Newport News shipyard pressed to finish the sub by the end of the year after finding construction errors in the boat's weapons room that delayed its scheduled August delivery and November commissioning.

Iran subs get boost from North Korea

U.S. Navy confirms rogue nation working on underwater stealth technology

Iranian Sub

The U.S. Navy, worried by Iran's increasing underwater capability, has revealed for the first time that the rogue nation has acquired its submarine technology largely from North Korea, which has provided both mini-submarines and manufacturing know-how, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saab Signs Contract With LIG Nex1 For Localisation of Signal Intelligence Systems for Submarines

Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with LIG Nex1 for the localisation of Saab’s naval ESM system for the South Korean second batch of Class 214 submarines. The order value is close to MEUR 11 (approximately MSEK 114).

The contract, which sees LIG Nex1 localise parts of the Saab ESM (Electronic Support Measures) system, is for the delivery of ESM systems to Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) for the South Korean Navy’s second batch of Class 214 submarines.

 U-214 Class

Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 130th Consecutive Successful Test Flight

D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile Launched in Navy Test in the Atlantic Continues 20-year Record of Reliability

The U.S. Navy conducted a successful test flight Dec. 19 of a Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) built by Lockheed Martin ( LMT). The Navy launched the unarmed missile from the submerged submarine USS ALASKA (SSBN 732) in the Atlantic Ocean.

This test marked the 130th consecutive successful test flight of the Trident II D5 missile since 1989 - continuing a 20-year record of reliability that is unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.

 Photo :

"The professionalism of the entire Navy and industry team for the Trident Strategic Weapon System has made possible the 100-percent mission success of the D5 missile in 130 test flights over 20 years," said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy's Trident missile prime contractor.

The Navy launched the missile as part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) to certify USS ALASKA for deployment, following a shipyard overhaul period. For the test, a missile was converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

India to Receive Nerpa Submarine in May 2010

India would receive its first new generation Nerpa Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine by March next year on a 10-year lease with the vessel being inducted into the Russian Navy prior to its transfer.

Russian seamen line up on an unidentified submarine 
believed to be an Akula-class during a military parade in Vladivostok in July

The Nerpa submarine was today formally inducted into the Russian Navy with the raising of St Andrews Flag, shipyard officials said.

The commissioning of the submarine coincided with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to the region, but it was not clear whether he was present at the ceremony.

The submarine will be subsequently leased to the Indian Navy under the name INS Chakra in March under the USD 650 million for a 10-year lease.

The 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine belongs to the class of the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.

Monday, December 28, 2009

India Prepares For The Worst

India is preparing for the worst, when it comes to its submarine fleet. This can be seen by the fact that India paid the U.S. Navy $100,000 to be one of the countries that can have American SRDRS (submarine rescue equipment) flown in, on 48 hours notice. 

Foxtrot class

Indian Kilo Class

India is expecting a submarine disaster.  Indian admirals are resigned to the fact that their submarine fleet (of 16 boats) will shrink before new subs can be built. By 2012, five of India's 16 subs (10 Kilo and two Foxtrot class Russian built boats and four German Type 209s) will be retired (some are already semi-retired because of age and infirmity). Two years after that, India will only have five working subs. Meanwhile, the older subs still go to sea for training. While it would be safer to just keep these boats in port, without the training, these subs, and their crews, would be in even greater danger if war broke out.

Russia's Nerpa sub passes final trials

Russia's Nerpa nuclear attack submarine, damaged in a fatal accident during tests in November last year, has successfully passed final trials, a Pacific Fleet spokesman said on Monday.


On November 8, 2008, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials, its onboard fire suppression system activated, releasing a deadly gas into the sleeping quarters. Three crewmembers and 17 shipyard workers were killed. There were 208 people, 81 of them submariners, onboard the vessel at the time.
Following the repairs, which cost an estimated 1.9 billion rubles ($65 million), the submarine had been cleared for final sea trials.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Australia's First Submarine Lost with All Hands

Australia is slowly crossing off its list of unsolved war mysteries, yet one stubborn wreck seems determined to stay hidden despite new interest in finding it.

Australian Submarine AE-1 missing since 1914 (

With the recent finding of AHS Centaur off Brisbane, the location of HMAS Sydney in Western Australia and the return of the last two Vietnam MIAs, Australia’s military sleuthing seems on a roll. Yet, the tiny 55m (181ft) submarine AE1, the Royal Australian Navy’s first submarine, lies somewhere in Papua New Guinean waters.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Indian gov't committed to modernizing navy: president

INS Arihant

The Indian government is committed to modernizing the Indian Navy in keeping with the requirements of the 21st century, Indian President Pratibha Patil said Thursday.

In July was launched INS Arihant, an indigenously designed nuclear submarine that is an important milestone in the Navy's modernization process and to ensure an equitable balance of power in the region, she said, while on board the aircraft carrier INS Viraat off Mumbai harbor during a "day at sea."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

U.S. firm wins contracts to produce Patriot system for Taiwan

U.S. defense manufacturer Raytheon Company said Wednesday that it has been awarded contracts worth a total of US$1.1 billion to produce new Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for Taiwan.

The awards cover ground-system hardware through an initial contract valued at US$965.6 million and an initial spares contract valued at US$134.4 million, the company said in a statement.

It said the new Patriot fire units will feature improved man-machine interface and reduced life-cycle costs and will be produced in Massachusetts, Texas and Alabama.

The items are part of an arms sale package approved by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush in late 2008.

Photo : air-and-space

Astute comissioning date put back

THE commissioning date of Barrow’s newest submarine has been put back by three months to allow sea trials to continue.

Astute, which was delivered to the Faslane naval base in Scotland in November, was originally earmarked to be commissioned into the navy in a ceremony at Faslane at the end of January.

But a spokesman for the base said the commissioning date had “moved to the right considerably” and was now not expected to take place until April at the earliest. He said Astute - which technically still belongs to BAE Systems Submarine Solutions until the Ministry of Defence agrees to take it over - is getting on with sea trials.

Russia successfully tests long-range missile

Russia on Thursday said it had successfully test-fired an RS-20V intercontinental ballistic missile.

Russia on Thursday said it had successfully test-fired an RS-20V intercontinental ballistic missile as part of a wider attempt to extend the lifespan of its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.

"The launch was carried out as part of experimental construction work aimed at confirming the flight characteristics of the RS-20V missile and to extend its life span to 23 years," Russia's Strategic Missile Forces said in a statement.

U.S. Department of Defense Announces Latest Contract Awards


Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded a $163,800,000 not-to-exceed undefinitized contract action for the procurement of four S-70B anti-submarine warfare/anti-surface warfare aircraft for the government of Brazil under the foreign military sales program.  This effort includes associated non-recurring engineering, production and transportation.  Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn. (81 percent), Horsehead, N.Y. (10 percent), and Troy, Ala. (9 percent).  Work is expected to be completed in June 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.301-4.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0009). 


                 L-3 Services, Inc., Reston, Va., is being awarded a $55,656,285 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for integration, production, test and evaluation, fielding, training, certification, maintenance, and life-cycle sustainment management support of tactical satellite, telecommunications, information technology networking and psychological operations equipment for various customers.  The cumulative value of this contract, including this modification, is $150,300,000.  Work will be performed in Tampa, Fla. (70 percent), and Fayetteville, N.C. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2010.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command E-commerce web site, with two offers received.  Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, North Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-07-D-5879).

Russian defense minister insists on Bulava missile development

The Russian military will not abandon plans to develop the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the defense minister has said.

The latest launch of the missile, which Russia hopes will be a key element of its nuclear forces, from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea ended in failure on December 9. Only five of 12 Bulava launches have been officially reported as being successful.

"We will certainly not give up the Bulava. I think that despite all the failures, the missile will fly," Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on Thursday.

The minister cited a number of reasons for the failures of Bulava tests, including attempts to replace specific materials with cheaper substitutes and obsolete manufacturing equipment.
"Overall, there are a number of problems and, unfortunately, they cannot be solved as quickly as we would want," Serdyukov said.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Faulty contract jeopardises Indian Navy's submarine projects

The Indian Navy said Tuesday its underwater capability would be reduced 50 per cent by 2015 because of delays in construction of submarines. While its programme to construct the French designed Scorpene submarines at the Mazgaon Shipyard has already suffered serious delays, the follow-on programme for indigenous construction of six submarines is a non-starter.

Defence officials said the matter was discussed at the meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) which met on Tuesday.

Arms sale to Pak justified as India buys from US: Chinese official

The third of Pakistan's new Agosta 90B submarines, PNS Hamza. Photo: DCN.

A senior Chinese defense official has justified Beijing's sale of warships and submarines to Pakistan on the ground that India was indicated that China was conscious India might be worried about the sales.

"The initiative may invite concerns from its neighboring countries. But the doubts are unnecessary," Zhai Dequan, deputy director of China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, was quoted as saying in the official media.

The statement came in the midst of efforts by Norman Bashir, chief of Pakistan's naval staff, to persuade Beijing to sell higher capacity ships as compared to the F22P frigates that China begun delivering last June.

Zhai said Pakistan’s desire for high capacity systems is normal for an independent nation seeking to bolster its security. India has also entered into large deals for military hardware from the US and Russia, he said.

INS Viraat ready for President Patil's 'day out at sea'

President Pratibha Patil (

Mumbai: President Pratibha Patil will experience her first 'day at sea' when she steps aboard India's lone aircraft carrier INS Viraat Wednesday, an Indian Navy official said.

INS Viraat

The president, who is also the supreme commander of the country's armed forces and the first woman in the post, will board the vessel around 11 a.m.

"The supreme commander will be on board the warship as it is anchored offshore Mumbai. She will be flown to the aircraft carrier," the official said.

Navy sends SOS on ageing submarines

A top body in the military establishment went into a huddle today after the Indian Navy sounded an “SOS” — save our submarine fleet.

The navy has 16 submarines that are being retired faster than they can be replaced. The worry over the fast depleting submarine fleet occupied mindspace among the defence ministry’s top officials on the eve of President Pratibha Patil’s visit to INS Viraat, the navy’s aircraft carrier and flagship.

The carrier itself is more than 50 years old and is an example of how the navy has to operate its vessels through continuous refits. The Viraat resumed service only last month after being in the dry docks for two years.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma goaded the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) led by defence minister A.K. Antony to meet today after telling it that the submarine fleet of 16 vessels would be nearly halved in five years unless the Centre cleared a proposal for a new line. The proposal has been pending for more than six years.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweden offers new submarines

Swedish defence industry lost out when Norway chose new jet fighters. Now the Swedes want to offer new submarines to replace Norway's old subs which will have to be renewed in about ten years.

Sweden is one of few countries which still build submarines of the type which would fit the needs of the Norwegian Navy.

In a few years the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) will have to decide whether or not to invest in new submarines at a cost of NOK 3-4 billion each.
- International cooperation is absolutely of interest, says rear-admiral Arne R√łksund of the Norwegian Defence Department.(Original News)
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China wary of Russian naval repairs

Pic : FAS

China has procured from Russia 12 Kilo class submarines and four 956E/EM DDGs, or guided missile destroyers, since 1993. The first two Vasayanka-class Kilo submarines were exported to China in 1993, and the second two Kilo 636 submarines were delivered in 1996. The first two 956E DDGs were delivered in 1996 and 1999 respectively.

These battleships are now all due for overhaul or technical upgrading. But there are differences between China and Russia as to how this is to be done. Simply, China does not wish to trust its naval equipment to Russian technical experts.

A senior authoritative source from the Russian military industry said that for submarines, maintenance is more important that building the vessels themselves. Maintenance was not a major topic of discussion when the submarines were purchased, he said, but with the PLA Navy submarines due for overhaul, Russia and China have been involved in long drawn-out discussions.
In fact, the discussions have been under way for four years, the source said, adding that providing overhaul services was not necessarily included in the permit to export submarines.

Bulava Blues Blocks More Boreis

Russia has delayed, for at least a few months, starting construction of their fourth Borei class SSBN (ballistic missile nuclear subs, or "boomers"). Russia wants to have the new Borei class boats replace the current Delta IV class SSBNs. The first Borei is already in the service, but not yet commissioned, and two others are under construction. The problem, and unofficial reason for the delay, is the inability to make the new Bulava SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile) work. 

Pic : FAS

KVH to support Navy torpedoes

Pic :

Rhode Island-based KVH announced it will provide its TG-6000 inertial measurement units to support navigation requirements in the anti-submarine warfare MK54 torpedoes for the Navy.

Under the $6.4 million order, KVH will deliver its fiber-optic gyro-based TG-6000 units that officials say will measure the MK54's rate and acceleration in a three-axis configuration for the weapon system's navigation.

"The integration of the KVH TG-6000 within the MK54 torpedo clearly validates the precision, performance, robust design, and value offered by our fiber optic gyro technology and our inertial measurement units in particular," Jay Napoli, KVH vice president for fiber optic gyro sales, said in a statement.
"We are honored that the TG-6000 is a part of the technology that the U.S. Navy uses to complete missions and protect the United States and its allies around the world." (Original News)
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Northrop Grumman Wins U.S. Navy Submarine Maintenance Contract

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) subsidiary AMSEC LLC has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy for maintenance, repair and modernization of submarines home-ported or transient through Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is Hawaii's regional maintenance center for the U.S. Navy. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is located within the Pearl Harbor Naval Station complex, two miles southeast of the Honolulu International Airport.

AMSEC LLC was one of six contractors awarded a five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract that has a combined value of $140.4 million to all contractors involved.
"AMSEC is proud to support Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY) by playing a major role in maintaining the readiness of submarines in the Pacific," said Harris Leonard, vice president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and president, AMSEC Operations. "This award provides the U.S. Navy access to AMSEC subject matter experts and leverages our rich 28 year history of maintenance, repair and modernization support to the fleet."

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (Pic :

Work will be performed at the company's Pearl Harbor location and is expected to be completed by December 2014. The maximum value for each submarine maintenance contract is $23.4 million. The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) in Pearl Harbor is the contracting activity.

Brazil expands defense manufacturing

Brazil is expanding its defense manufacturing program and has set a target to make its own armored vehicles -- more than 2,000 in the first phase -- with Italian help.

Last year President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced a government-led revival of the armaments industry, which peaked during dictatorship years in the 1970s and 1980s but slumped at the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.

Lula's comments have indicated the aim of the defense industry's revival is three-fold: to open a new source of export revenue; to make Brazil self-sufficient in some of the frequently used equipment within its burgeoning armed forces, and to reassert the country's pre-eminence in Latin America.

Brazil has campaigned for a permanent seat on the Security Council as part of the effort to assume a leadership role in the region. Diplomacy and good manners have kept Brazil's neighbors quiet about Lula's ambitions, but a proactive foreign policy has involved vigorous contacts with distant partners like China, Iran and Russia.

Thales welcomes Royal Navy frigate’s sonar upgrade

One of the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) most advanced Type 23 frigates has re-entered operational service, fitted with Thales’s Sonar 2087 system, following a period of inten¬sive sea trials.

HMS Sutherland has been declared fit for operational service after trials of its major sonar and defensive systems, and now becomes the sixth Type 23 frigate to be upgraded with the Sonar 2087 system.

In November 2008 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that HMS Sutherland had left Rosyth dockland for the trials after a multi-million pound refit that included major upgrades to its sonar, Sea Wolf missile defence and gun systems.

The MoD has said the installation of Sonar 2087 will improve the frigate’s submarine-hunting ability. This type of frigate can also carry the Merlin helicopter fitted with Thales UK’s FLASH dipping sonar. The combination of 2087 and FLASH makes the Type 23 a formidable anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform.

Sonar 2087 is a towed array system that enables Type 23 frigates to hunt the latest submarines at considerable distances and locate them beyond the range at which they can launch an attack.

The system is a low-frequency active sonar, consisting of both active and passive sonar arrays. The system is manufactured at Thales sites in the UK (Cheadle Heath in Manchester and Templecombe in Somerset) and France (Brest).

Mike Waldron, Group lead for Sonar systems at the MoD’s Defence Equipment & Support facility, says: “Recent operational deployments using Sonar 2087 against actual ‘threat platforms’ has shown this to be a very capable ASW system, giving these platforms a significant capability enhancement.

“HMS Sutherland now enters the in-service reliability phase alongside the other five Sonar 2087-fitted platforms so that the MoD and Thales can fully test and assess the system performance.” (Original News)
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Russia to start construction of 4th Borey-class sub in early 2010

A Russian shipyard will start building a fourth Borey class (Project 955) strategic submarine in early 2010, the Navy's chief said on Monday.

The Borei class is a forth-generation ballistic missile submarine (

Vladimir Vysotsky said the postponement of the submarine construction from late this year to early next year was not linked to the latest unsuccessful launch of Russia's troubled Bulava intercontinental missile.

The latest launch of the missile, which Russia hopes will be a key element of its nuclear forces, from a submarine in the White Sea ended in failure on December 9.

Only five of 12 Bulava launches have been officially reported as being successful. The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).

The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear-powered submarines.

The Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, is expected to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry officials, who have suggested that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.

But the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put in service with the Navy. (Original News)
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