April 23, 2018

Satellite photos indicate precision of raid on Iranian military base in Syria


Satellite images taken before and after a raid on an Iranian military facility in Syria earlier this month reveal the precision and limited scope of the airstrikes, Channel 10 reported Sunday.

The images obtained by the channel show the charred remains of a single hangar at the Tiyas airbase, with the surrounding area relatively unaffected.

Iran, Syria, Russia, and some US officials have all said that Israel was responsible for the strike on the base, also known as T-4. Israel has not commented.
According to the TV report, the pre-dawn rain on April 9 attack was carried out with “surgical precision,” and was limited to the arsenal of Iranian weapons stored at the airbase outside the city of Palmyra.

“[The raid] was a barrage of small explosives designed to destroy the contents of the hanger, but not damage unintended targets,” Channel 10 said.

The April 9 strike killed 14 people, including at least seven members of the Revolutionary Guards, of which one was the head of its drone program, Col. Mehdi Dehghan.The strikes did not appear to target Russian military equipment or Syrian anti-aircraft systems that were also at Tiyas.

This was the second time the base was struck. Israel acknowledged hitting the base in February after Iran flew an explosive-laden drone into Israel. Israel says the drone was launched from the base.

The IDF said in February that it bombed “four Iranian targets that are part of Iran’s military establishment in Syria.”

This included a mobile command center on the T-4 military, from which an Iranian operator allegedly flew the drone that entered Israeli territory, according to the IDF.One F-16 fighter jet was hit while flying over Syria during the raid, but managed to return to Israel, where its two pilots bailed out of the plane, which crashed into a field in the Jezreel Valley.

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The Royal Australian Navy Demonstrates Cooperative Engagement Capability on AWD

The Royal Australian Navy has demonstrated the Cooperative Engagement Capability of its Hobart-class vessels. System provides the service with a layered and collaborative defence system against hostile aircraft and precision-guided weapons (all photos : RAN)

The Australian Defence Force’s ability to defeat enemy air threats has been boosted with the successful testing of the new Cooperative Engagement Capability, the first use of this cutting edge technology by a nation outside the United States.

Over the past few weeks off the coast of South Australia, Air Warfare Destroyers HMAS Hobart, and NUSHIP Brisbane, successfully tested the Cooperative Engagement Capability, which combines radar and fire control data into a common picture, allowing one ship to engage an adversary based on the other ship’s data. Cooperative Engagement Capability is one technology that will form a part of the Australian Joint Integrated Fires Capability being implemented in the Australian Defence Force.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, congratulated the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance on reaching this important milestone.

“The new Cooperative Engagement Capability is a significant step-change for Australia as we face increasing threats from cruise missiles and advanced aircraft,” Minister Payne said.

“Together Hobart and Brisbane bring revolutionary air defence capabilities – not by adding new radars or weapon systems, but by utilising existing sensors and weapons in a more effective manner.
“In the coming years, the Australian Joint Integrated Fires capability will link our ships, aircraft and land-based assets to create an increasingly sophisticated air defence network that can see over the horizon.”

“Not only does this capability enable us, for the first time, to share targeting data in real time between ADF assets, it will also enable us to share it with United States assets, providing new levels of interoperability within a coalition force.

“Australia is the first international partner outside the United States to gain access to this cutting-edge technology, further demonstrating the strong alliance between our two countries.

“This new capability will provide Australian and United States warships the ability to share targeting data in real time. This means a combat system can engage a target that it otherwise could not see, by using data from another warship’s sensors,” Minister Payne said.

The Australian Government is planning to integrate the CEC into other ADF capabilities, including the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft and our Integrated Air and Missile Defence program.

The CEC will also be integrated into the Future Frigate’s Aegis combat management system together with the Saab Australia developed interface and the CEAFAR phased array radar, as part of our strategic enterprise approach to combat management systems. This technology will provide the ADF with longer range, cooperative and layered air defence.

“When NUSHIP Brisbane joins her sister ship, HMAS Hobart, in the fleet later this year, it will mark the beginning of a new era for air defence in Australia and our partners,” Minister Payne said.

Thales’ FZ220 Rocket Launcher Completes Qualification for MD 530G Helicopter

FZ220 is a lightweight composite material high-drag, straight cylindrical 7-tube reusable launcher designed for helicopter use. The FZ220 is equipped with removable universal dual purpose FZ125 detent mechanism enabling to fire FFAR and WA rockets. (photo : FZ)

Thales Belgium’s FZ220 rocket launcher has completed its qualification process for MD Helicopters Inc’s (MDHI’s) MD 530G light attack helicopter.

The development follows comprehensive live-fire trials carried out in March at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) facility in Arizona, Thales announced on 17 April at the Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.
The munitions fired during the trials consisted of the FZ275 70 mm laser-guided rocket (LGR) and of unguided ammunition using the FZ90 rocket motor. The warheads fitted to the munitions were not revealed.

The company pointed out that the qualification comes as “McDonnell Douglas is helping modernise the light helicopter fleet for multiple countries across the globe”, including Malaysia, which ordered six MD 530G platforms in 2016.

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Belarus has transferred four MiG-29s to Serbia

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said in an interview with the Serbian Politika daily that the country has taken over four MiG-29s from Belarus.

Saab Receives Order for Australian OPV Situational Awareness System

Saab has received a contract from Luerssen Australia for the Situational Awareness System (SAS) for the Royal Australian Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). The contract is expected to run over the 12 year OPV shipbuilding programme, which will see the delivery of 12 new ships.

In addition to the SAS, which is based on Saab Australia’s 9LV Combat Management System, the OPV will be fitted with Saab’s EOS 500 (electro-optical fire control director).

“Saab Australia is pleased to receive this order from Luerssen Australia. This is also an important step towards system commonality for the Navy, with 9LV installed, or contracted for delivery, across four classes of ship.” says Andy Keough, Managing Director for Saab Australia.

“The development work being undertaken by Saab in Australia will also support export opportunities and position us well for future maritime projects.”

Saab Australia will carry out the majority of the work in its Adelaide facilities, which will create and sustain up to 50 jobs. Local Australian companies will be contracted to fabricate selected components of the SAS including command consoles and computer cabinets, providing a high level of Australian industry participation and sovereign capability. The contract is received within the business area Surveillance.

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4 PAF OV-10 Attack Planes up for Repairs

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is looking for suppliers of spare parts needed for the maintenance of four of its Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” attack planes.

The budget for the project, as stated in the bid bulletin posted at the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System website, is PHP52,753,000.

The spare parts are intended for the maintenance of OV-10 aircraft with tail numbers 136, 139, 145, and 402.Submission and opening of bids is on April 26, 9 a.m. at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, PAF Bids and Awards Committee chair Brig. Gen. Ferynl Buca said in the same bid bulletin.

The OV-10s are the PAF’s premier ground attack aircraft. Around six to eight units are still in service as of this posting.

BAE Systems will Set Up MRO and Vocational Training Centre in Malaysia

BAE Systems Inc, the wholly owned US subsidiary of the British defence, security, and aerospace company BAE Systems PLC, is planning to set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility and a vocational training centre in Malaysia.

BAE Systems International Ltd South East Asia managing director John Brosnan said the conditional assessment would be dependent on Malaysia’s decision to choose the company’s combat aircraft, Eurofighter Typhoon for Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) programme.

“Both developments will be based on a joint-venture with local players. It will also provide economic value to the local market about five times of the value of the aircraft purchase,” he told NST Business in an exclusive interview yesterday.

Brosnan said the investment’s facility would be spent over 25 years, creating more than 20,000 high-skilled jobs for the locals including the establishment of vocational training centre for the local aerospace sector.

“We will develop the technical vocational training centre in phases over 10 years with the involvement of Bristol University and Loughborough University,” he added.

Brosnan said BAE Systems had been working with the RMAF for nearly five years to test its combat aircraft.

“Hopefully, a deal will happen soon for the Eurofighter Typhoon,” he said, adding that there is a requirement for Malaysia to upgrade its aerial surveillance capabilities.

Brosnan said the fighter jet delivery could be made in about four years, subject to the RMAF requirements and negotiations.

The fighter jet package could include the unit, support services including maintenance and repair as well as training modules for local technicians.

Malaysia has been for several years considering to replace its ageing combat fighters, Russian-made, MiG-29s, which currently are not in service.

However, the decision to acquire new 18 fighter jets has yet to materialise as the country is preparing its focuses on the 14th General Election, which will be held on May 9.

It was made to understand that the decision could only be finalised after the election with regards to potential purchase either Eurofighter Typhoon or France’s Dassault Aviation, Rafale fighter jet.

“Every country has economic pressure. Defence is a significant cost, where governments have to allocate certain spending priorities.

Germany plans to order six C-130Js

German newspaper Handelsblatt says Berlin plans to go on a shopping spree for new weapons and 18 contracts are to be approve by the budget and defense committees.

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Lockheed Martin awarded $928 million for hypersonic conventional strike weapon

The U.S. Air Force on Apr. 18 awarded a $928 million contract to Lockheed Martin for “the design, development, engineering, systems integration, test, logistics planning, and aircraft integration support of” a hypersonic, conventional, air-launched, stand-off weapon.

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Turkish fighters harass Chinook with Greek Prime Minister on board

A Greek Chinook helicopter ferrying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came under harassment from two Turkish fighters near the islet of Ro on Apr. 17.

KAI to deliver six T-50IQs to Iraq this year

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April 17, 2018

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Ukraine’s MSB-2 has made its maiden flight

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Morocco withdraws F-16s from Saudi-led coalition

Morocco is reported to have ordered its F-16 detachment at Al Dhafra airbase, UAE, to return home. The fighters were there a part of the country’s contribution to the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in Yemen.

J-10C has entered operational service

China announced that the Chengdu J-10C fighter has entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) on Apr. 16.

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