Monthly Archives: November 2012

MI-26T2 and IL-78MK-90 Will Continue to Fight for Indian Order

By on Friday, November 30th, 2012

Rosoboronexport expects to win the Indian Air Force tenders on the delivery of heavy-lift transport helicopters and refueler aircraft in which Russia is offering the Mi-26T2 helicopter and Il-78MK-90 aircraft respectively.

Rosoboronexport disproves media reports about Russia’s losing the above mentioned tenders and informs that such publications are not true. The results have not been announced yet and any early announcements mislead general public and professional community both in Russia and India.

The Mi-26T2 heavy-lift transport helicopters and Il-78MK-90 tanker are worthy of winning both tenders not only because they are unique military air systems fully meeting specifications of the Indian side but also because they attract potential customers by cost-effectiveness.

The newest Mi-26T2 heavy-lift transport helicopter has the following obvious advantages:

  • Mi-26 type helicopters have been successfully operated for a long time in India which will not need to retrain pilots and technicians for them and has already the infrastructure required;
  • Mi-26T2s are the world’s biggest serially produced helicopters with 20-tonne lifting capacity comparable to that of the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft: in one sortie the Mi-26T2 helicopter can transport 82 troops with their equipment, quickly transfer a wide range of heavy-weight combat vehicles suspended on the external cargo sling, and in general implement important transport missions by a small group of the helicopters;
  • in one flight the Mi-26 type helicopters can perform transport as well as assault, search-and-rescue and special-purpose tasks similar to successful operations it carried out in hot and high areas in Afghanistan and other regions, proving its vast combat experience gained in difficult conditions, and high flight safety standards;
  • Mi-26T2 is sturdy in operation thanks to the installation of protection devices which practically do not reduce service life of its engines and accessories when operating in sand formations; this Russian helicopter also has high field repairability characteristics which speak in its favour too;
  • information field in the Mi-26T2 pilot cabin is formed by multifunctional “glass cabin” type displays, and its engines are electronically controlled.

The newest Il-78MK-90 refueller aircraft has the following obvious advantages:

  • Il-78MK-90 has been developed basically as a military transport aircraft: it can be quickly converted into a full-size military transport aircraft for rapid shipment of cargos, heavy combat vehicles and troops, but the multifunctional design allows its deployment as firefighting, flying ambulance, air command post and airborne early warning aircraft;
  • Il-78MK-90 can operate from paved and unpaved runways which means that the Russian aircraft can use more than 80 percent of runways available in India, and thanks to this fact there will be no issues with the dispersion of air refuellers over the national airfield network in case of necessity;
  • Il-78MK-90 is equipped to provide air refueling of other aircraft with two types of fuel in one flight, and on-ground fuel dispensing at the rate of up to 1,500 l/min for field refueling of up to four aircraft, transportation means and armoured vehicles;
  • Il-78MK-90 is checked for the capability of carrying out refueling operations with all heavy-weight aircraft in the Indian Air Force inventory;
  • The Il-78MK-90 power plant includes four engines which provides high level of combat survivability in case that one engine is damaged;
  • Il-78MK-90 features the new PS-90A-76 low fuel consumption engines, modified wing, reinforced landing gear, integrated avionics suite including the “glass cabin” with multifunctional liquid-crystal colour displays and “smart” control panels;
  • Il-78MK-90 can perform intercontinental commercial air shipment operations since it meets international ICAO noise and emissions standards.

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Russia Denies Losing Indian Arms Tenders

By on Friday, November 30th, 2012

Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport denied on Wednesday media reports that it had lost tenders on the delivery of heavy-lift helicopters and aerial tankers to the Indian air force.

“Rosoboronexport denies media speculation about Russia’s loss in both tenders as these reports are false,” the company said in a statement.

“The results of these tenders have not been announced, and any premature speculation on the subject misleads the public and professionals, both in Russia and in India,” the statement said.

Media reports in Russian and Indian media earlier indicated that the Russian upgraded Mi-26T2 Halo heavy-lift helicopter lost to the Boeing Chinook CH-47F, while the Il-78MK-90 aerial tanker lost to Airbus A330 MRTT.

The Indian media cited cost effectiveness and after-sales service as main factors that tilted the scales in favor of the US and European aircraft.

Rosoboronexport insists, however, that the Russian aircraft deserve to win the tenders as “they not only possess unique characteristics, but also satisfy all Indian requirements, including high cost effectiveness.”

Russia’s traditionally strong position on the Indian arms market has been recently undermined by fierce competition with the US and European companies and failures to fulfill several contracts.

Last year Russian arms exporters suffered two painful losses at Indian tenders. Russia did not win the contract to supply 22 helicopters to India, which preferred the US AH-64D Apache to Russia’s Mi-28N.

During the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender announced by the Indian Air Force to replace the aging MiG-21s, the Russian MiG-35 did not even make it to the finals, where the Eurofighter Typhoon twin-engine multirole fighter lost a contract worth at least $10 billion to France’s Dassault Rafale.

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Increasing Europe’s Strategic Tanker Capability By 2020

By on Friday, November 30th, 2012

During the meeting of the EDA steering board on 19 November, defence ministers from ten European states signed a letter of intent to work together to boost their military air-to-air refueling capacity.

Air-to-air refueling (AAR) is a critical enabler for air power projection and it is required to enable anything beyond short range air combat operations. A unique force multiplier, it is a fundamental capability embedded in modern aircraft design, not just in combat aircraft, but across the full spectrum of air platforms – including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

In the past, European armed forces have relied substantively on American assets. This was originally demonstrated in the Kosovo campaign, and the increased reliance on the US was a lesson from operations over Libya. Currently, Europe can field 42 aircraft of ten different types, which compares with US resources of over 650 of four types.

EDA’s approach
Defence ministers tasked the Agency in March 2012 to work on air-to-air refuelling capabilities as a priority. Consequently, EDA has developed a global approach with three objectives: increasing overall capacity, reducing fragmentation of the fleet, and optimising the use of assets.

This work has finally led to four complementary work-strands, on some of which EDA is cooperating closely with OCCAR:

  • Facilitating access to commercial AAR services;
  • Optimizationof use of existing capabilities which can include the sharing of surplus capacities for example;
  • Optimizationof the A400M fleet AAR capability including the option for acquiring additional AAR kits;
  • Increasing the strategic tanker capability in Europe by 2020.

Letter of intent
With the letter of intent signed by defence ministers on 19 November, defence ministers from Belgium, France, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Norway have now agreed to envisage buying or leasing new tanker aircraft together. The initiative is led by the Netherlands.

The objective of the initiative is to contribute to reducing the existing shortfalls in the field of strategic air to air refueling and transport whilst contributing to streamlining the European inventories.

The aim is to reach an initial European strategic Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) capability by 2020. The aircraft will be available for multinational and national use. EDA expects that the pooled acquisition will result in important synergies in terms of initial overall investment, interoperability and life costs.

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Wide Area Persistent Surveillance Revolutionizes Tactical ISR

By on Friday, November 30th, 2012

When it comes to combat, context is everything. Is the individual observed a lone gunman or the advance scout for a large army? Is there a weak spot in the adversary’s position that friendly forces can exploit? Was the IED blast the act of a single homicide bomber or part of a coordinated attack? Is a mass demonstration actually a cover for an organized, planned assault on an American consulate or military facility?

In the world of tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) context is provided by wide area persistent surveillance (WAPS). Traditional ISR systems either looked at a large area without the ability to provide detailed resolution of a particular object or provided high resolution views of specific targets, the so-called “soda straw’ perspective. Traditional systems could not provide both wide area and narrow focus ISR.

WAPS is the capability both to continuously monitor a relatively large area and simultaneously focus in on multiple specific locations or targets. With WAPS, context is maintained even as particular subjects of interest (individuals, vehicles, buildings, etc.) are examined in detail and over time. Because height is important for both area coverage and tracking multiple targets, WAPS systems typically are designed to be deployed on aerial platforms (tethered balloons, aerostats, unmanned aerial systems or manned aircraft).

WAPS has proven particularly valuable in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where the adversary seeks to blend into the civilian population. The ISR challenge has been to pick up specific nuggets of information from activities taking place across a large area that are indicators of hostile action. In addition, by stringing together a number of specific data points it is possible to develop a more comprehensive picture of an adversary’s forces, command and control system and networks. This allows intelligence analysts to identify the network that provided the homicide bomber with his orders, funding, training and device.

The demand for WAPS to support counterinsurgency and counter terrorism operations was immediate and intense. The Pentagon struggled to develop and integrate ISR sensors that provided a combination of wide area coverage and narrow view, high fidelity observation. The challenges included integrating the right combination of wide area and narrow field of view sensors in a single platform, achieving a day/night capability, creating appropriate algorithms moving information rapidly to the tactical user on the ground and developing a data storage and retrieval system that allowed the information to be rewound in order to reconstruct events and backtrack targets.

Over time and with enormous assistance from national laboratories and private industry a revolution in tactical ISR took place. The Argus-IS system using four sensors to provide an 8-by-8-kilometer broad field of view and at the same time the ability to select multiple independent high resolution tracks with 20-centimeter resolution. The even more impressive Constant Hawk not only provided improved resolution and a higher refresh rate but shrank this capability down to a 54 pound integrated turret that can be employed on an Army Shadow UAS.

The gold standard for WAPS is the Gorgon Stare system which is deployed aboard the Reaper UAS. The current version of Gorgon Stare uses five electro-optical and four infrared cameras to generate imagery from 12 different angles. Gorgon Stare can provide a continuous city-sized overall picture, multiple sub-views of the overall field and what are high resolution “chipouts” of individual views, each of which can be streamed in real time to multiple viewers. A single Gorgon Stare pod can generate two terabytes of data a day.

WAPS has tremendous applications to a wide range of national challenges. The capabilities provided by Gorgon Stare could be employed to support surveillance of drug smugglers and illegal immigrants, assist first responders in natural disasters, provide information to firefighters, conduct urban reconnaissance for law enforcement and even help in traffic management for large urban areas such as Los Angeles. Even corporate security could find uses for the kind of information provided by a Gorgon Stare-like capability.

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Thales to Upgrade Dutch Navy Goalkeepers

By on Friday, November 30th, 2012

The Netherland’s Ministry of Defence and Thales Nederland have signed an agreement for the update of 16 Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon Systems that are operational in the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The operational modification will bring the system to the highest operational status again, capable of dealing with current and future threats. In addition, this contract solves various obsolescence issues. The enhanced surface target mode of Goalkeeper, in combination with a new frangible ammunition, provides Goalkeeper with the capability to act also as a highly effective defence weapon against surface targets including speed boats.

Goalkeeper’s prediction capabilities will be substantially increased through the use of new algorithms and state-of-the-art Electro-Optic tracking capabilities. This enables Goalkeeper to successfully engage the latest generation of missiles. Multi-Goalkeeper deployment capabilities will also be improved. Goalkeeper was developed in the 1980s; these modifications enable its deployment until 2025.

The first Goalkeeper will be modified in 2015 and will be performed by Thales. All other Goalkeepers will be modified by the Royal Netherlands Navy at the naval base in Den Helder.

The contract includes an option for the two Goalkeeper systems on board of the M-class frigates of the Royal Belgian Navy. This option would ensure identical configurations and facilitate maintenance.

Goalkeeper is a close-in defence system against highly manoeuvrable missiles and aircraft. It is an autonomous and fully automatic system which detects and tracks targets, opens fire and performs kill assessment for several targets simultaneously. Continuous search with track-while-scan provides an automatic and fast switch-over to the next-priority target in multiple-target scenarios.

Goalkeeper assures timely detection of small and supersonic targets, even in dense clutter and jamming environments. Pin-point tracking of sea-skimming targets is assured by the unique dual-frequency track radar. Last but not least, the high-rate-of-fire Gatling 30-mm gun and special ammunition provide the lethal power necessary to destroy missile warheads. Goalkeeper’s excellent performance was clearly demonstrated during various live firing trials.

A total of 63 Goalkeepers have been sold to Navies in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

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PT. Lundin (North Sea Boats) Introduces 63m FMPV Trimaran – Stealth Fast Missile Patrol Vessel

28 November 2012
Export version of the 63 meters FMPV Trimaran (photo : Navy Recognition)
The Fast Missile Patrol Vessel (FMPV) Trimaran was designed by North Sea Boats, an Indonesia based shipyard, with input from New Zealand and Swedish engineers as well as the Indonesian Navy. The vessel employs a modern “Wave Piercing” trimaran design and some “stealth” characteristics.
An export version of the 63 meters FMPV Trimaran is available. North Sea Boats partnered with SAAB for this version, as a consequence most weapons and sub-systems are provided by the Swedish Defence group as shown in the picture below which was displayed on SAAB booth during Indodefence 2012.
FMPV Trimaran in export configuration would come with:
» Saab RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles
» BAE Systems Bofors 40Mk4 40mm main gun
» Saab Sea Giraffe LT radar
» Saab CEROS 200 radar and optronic tracking system
» Saab 9LV Combat management system
“Wave Piercing” trimaran design: This allows the vessel to cut-through waves rather than rise up and over them, and the increased beam provides inherent stability. This combination of features reduces both pitching and rolling, creating a stable weapons platform, and enabling the vessel to comfortably and safely maintain higher average speeds in adverse conditions.
The FMPV has “Stealth” design characteristics, and incorporate features that minimise detection by reducing Radar, Infra-Red, Acoustic and Magnetic signatures. Stealth properties are further improved as there are no reverse-angle bow overhangs to reflect radar signals, as seen on conventional hull forms. Weaponry, including missiles and naval guns, and the ships 11 m high-speed RHIB, are discreetly concealed or shaped to meld into the superstructure profile.
Construction is from strong and highly durable, lightweight composite carbon fibre sandwich, utilising vinylester modified epoxy resin and the vacuum resin infusion process. Thus ensuring improved fuel efficiency, and reduced operational, maintenance, and life cycle costs.

Missions :
» Patrol in international and territorial waters
» Patrol close to shores, in shallow waters
» Deployement of special forces
» Air and surface surveillance
» Intelligence gathering
» Disaster relief
Weapons

» 8x CASIC C-704 anti-ship missiles

» Chinese 6 barrelled gatling type gun
Sensors, Electronics
Electronic, CMS, Navigation Systems: Unknown type, Chinese origin
Communication Systems: Unknown type, Chinese origin
Engines/Propulsion/PowerEngine: 4x 1800 hp
Propulsion : MJP Waterjets
Specifications
Type : Fast Missile Patrol Vessel
Crew : 23 (+ 7 Special Forces)
Operators : Indonesian navy
Speeds:  sprint 30+ kts,  cruising : 22 kts
Range : 2000+ nm @ 16 kts
Endurance : n/a
Designer / Builder : PT. Lundin (North Sea Boats)
Displacement : n/a
Propulsion: MJP Waterjets
Dimensions
Length : 63 m
Beam : 16 m
Maximum Draft : 1.20 m

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Produksi Pesawat C295 Dipindah ke Bandung

29 November 2012

Pesawat CN-295 TNI AU (photo : Joseph Tonna)
Bandung, (Antara) — Seluruh aktivitas produksi pesawat transpor menengah C295 sedang dalam proses dipindahkan oleh Airbus Military dari Sevilla, Spanyol, ke PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Persero) di Bandung.
“Selain tingginya faktor kepercayaan Airbus Military kepada kami, ke depan mereka memang hanya akan memusatkan perhatian pada produksi pesawat transpor militer berbadan lebar A400M,” kata IP Windu Nugroho, staf senior Divisi Komunikasi PTDI, di Bandung, Rabu.
Dalam proses pemindahan itu, PTDI kini sedang membangun pusat pengiriman (delivery center) untuk pesawat CN295, sebutan selanjutnya bagi C295 setelah produksi bersama dilaksanakan.
”Kegiatan ini salah satu bentuk perwujudan program revitalisasi di tubuh PTDI,” kata Windu.
Proses pembangunan ‘delivery center’ disertai pula dengan proses pembangunan lini perakitan akhir (final assembly line) CN295. Pengerjaannya dibantu oleh tim ahli dari Airbus Military sebagai mitra bisnis. Delivery Center CN295 diharapkan selesai pada kuartal pertama 2013.
Setelah fasilitas itu siap, PTDI akan mampu mengirimkan pesawat hasil produksinya empat unit per tahun ke seluruh customernya, khususnya untuk pesawat ke tiga hingga ke tujuh pesanan TNI AU dari sembilan pesawat yang dipesannya, dengan dua sudah diserahkan ke TNI-AU bulan lalu.
Windu menjelaskan, Kementerian Pertahanan RI memutuskan pembelian sembilan CN295 pengganti pesawat-pesawat Fokker F-27 yang sudah dioperasikan TNI-AU sejak pertengahan 1970-an. Pengadaan CN295 untuk TNI-AU itu ditandatangani saat pameran kedirgantaraan Singapore Airshow, Februari 2012.
PTDI dan Airbus Military memiliki sejarah kerja sama panjang di berbagai bidang industri penerbangan sejak tahun 1976.
Dalam kurun waktu tersebut, PTDI telah memproduksi 102 unit NC212-200, 10 unit NC212- 400, 60 unit CN235 dalam berbagai varian dan misi, 200 unit CN235 sharing component untuk Airbus Military, 2 unit CN295, dan 88 unit C295 sharing component untuk Airbus Military.
Sebagai mitra, PTDI clan Airbus Military akan terus terlibat bersama dalam berbagai hal, diantaranya dalam pendistribusian teknologi dan pengetahuan seputar area manufaktur, manajemen proyek, teknologi informatika clan pengembangan komersil, yang tentunya akan menguntungkan ke dua belah pihak.
Terkait dengan proyek bersama itu, pesawat CN295 pertamakali diluncurkan oleh Airbus Military pada tahun 1996. Pesawat ini merupakan versi pengembangan dari CN235 yang sudah populer, dengan menawarkan kapasitas dan jangkauan lebih besar. Keduanya telah menjadi pesawat terlaris dalam segmen pasar masing-masing.
CN295 memiliki tingkat keandalan dan dukungan operasional tinggi seperti CN235, dan terbukti di medan pertempuran dan sukses dalam misi berkondisi panas, padang pasir, maritim serta kondisi dingin/es.
Pesawat ini dilengkapi “highly integrated avionics system (HIAS), sistem avionik terpadu modern berdasarkan Thales Topdeck Avionics.
Konsep arsitektur pesawat yang fleksibel dan penggunaan peralatan sipil/militer teknologi ganda memastikan kesuksesan misi taktis, potensi pertumbuhan untuk peralatan di masa depan, serta kesesuaian dengan lingkungan dirgantara sipil dewasa ini.
Ciri lain CN295 adalah avionik kokpit kaca pesawat terdiri dari empat matriks liquid crystal display berukuran besar (6×8 inci), kompatibel dengan kacamata malam hari. Sistem avioniknya terintegrasi dengan layar multifungsi untuk memperbaiki kesadaran situasional bagi pilot serta mengurangi beban kerja pilot dan meningkatkan efektivitas misi.
Pesawat ini juga memiliki alat perlindungan diri di lingkungan berbahaya seperti Irak dan Afghanistan, berupa pelindung kokpit, perangkat untuk mendeteksi radar (RWR), misil (MAWS) dan laser (LWS) serta memberitahukannya pada pilot, serta penglepas bunga api (flare dispenser).
CN295 juga mempunyai pilihan kapabilitas mengisi bahan bakar di tengah penerbangan. Pesawat CN295 memberikan tingkat multifungsi dan fleksibilitas yang luas, memenuhi kebutuhan kinerja dengan biaya rendah, dan lapangan udara yang kecil dan tidak beraspal, dengan layanan dukungan sepanjang usia pesawat.
CN295 pesawat segala misi, transportasi personel dan kargo hingga evakuasi, komunikasi dan logistik, ataupun kapabilitas air-dropping tersertifikasi. Semua ini dijalankan dengan waktu pengubahan konfigurasi tercepat, sehingga menurunkan risiko ketika beroperasi di lingkungan berbahaya. (*/sun)

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