Tag Archives: Generation

Russian Engine to Power Chinese J-31 5th Generation Fighter

A Russian-made RD-93 engine will power the Chinese J-31 fifth generation fighter, Rosoboronexport official told RIA Novosti Monday.

“J-31 with the Russian engine RD-93 is considered to be an export program, able to compete with the American F-35 fifth generation aircraft on the regional markets,” Rosoboronexport’s Air Force Equipment Export Department Head Sergey Kornev told RIA Novosti in an interview.

“The program is ambitious, but very real, especially considering the high cost of F-35 and some problems with its development,” Kornev added.

Sergey Kornev, who is heading the Russian delegation at China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, told RIA Novosti that two fifth generation fighters are being developed in China, the J-20 and J-31, which demonstrates the high potential of Chinese science and aviation industry.

The J-31 fifth generation fighter flew a maiden flight in October 2012 and there is currently only one prototype available. The twin-engine jet bears some resemblance with the Russian T-50 or PAK FA fifth-generation fighter.

China has also been developing its stealth J-20 fighter, which first took off in 2011, and is expected to be operational by 2017 or later.

Russian RD-93 engines are a variant of the RD-33 engines, initially developed to power MiG-29 fighters. The RD-93 was developed by Russia’s Klimov design bureau specifically for the FC-1 fighter, known in Pakistan as the JF-17 Thunder.

The world’s only fifth generation fighter in service is the US F-22 Raptor, while F-35, Russian T-50 and Chinese J-20 and J-31 are at various stages of development.

Kornev also mentioned about the problem of China’s making copycat copies of Russian weapons, but pointed out that there is a resolution to that.

“The problem [of China violating copyright of Russian weapons] exists, but it is solvable, and both sides are seeking the settlement of controversial situations,” Rosoboronexport’s Air Force Equipment Export Department Head Sergei Kornev said prior to the Airshow China 2014 exhibition, which will be held in southern China’s city of Zhuhai on November 11-16.

He cited a 2008 deal on intellectual property protection in military-technical cooperation between the two nations as a good example of Russia-China cooperation on the issue.

“We continue joint activities on elaboration of working mechanisms of exposing violations. The problem is concealed in the inconsistence of local legislations as well as international acts,” Kornev added.

The defense official, however, underscored that military-technical cooperation between Russia and China has no hurdles which could not be cleared.

In 1992, China bought Russia’s Su-27 fighter jets. Fifteen years later, Beijing unveiled J-11B aircraft which Moscow labeled as a copycat version of Su-27.

Russia has also accused China of producing cloned versions of Su-33 fighter jet, S-300 air defense system, the Smerch multiple rocket launcher and the Msta self-propelled howitzer in violation of intellectual property agreements.

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NATO’s Next Generation Autonomous Systems In Action in the Ligurian Sea

By on Monday, October 27th, 2014

From 19 to 31 October 2014 CMRE research vessels are conducting a Collaborative Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) scientific experiment to advance autonomous ASW network technologies.

The COLLaborative Asw Behaviours-Next Generation Autonomous Systems 2014 (COLLAB-NGAS14) experiment, which includes the two research vessels owned by the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, the NATO Research Vessel Alliance and the Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo, and one Italian submarine, is ongoing off the coast of La Spezia.

During COLLAB/NGAS14 scientists from CMRE are testing technologies and software that have been developed at the Centre and by partner research institutions in NATO countries to study detection and tracking of objects in the marine environment. CMRE is also hosting members of the Next Generation Autonomous Systems Joint Research Project from Italy, Norway, Canada, Germany, USA, and Great Britain.

CMRE is performing experimentation with an autonomous collaborative ASW network using autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs and ASVs), with the Ocean Explorer AUV performing detections, and the Wave Glider, a wave-power operated unmanned surface vehicle, acting as a communications gateway. The NGAS partners study autonomous detection and tracking using deployable bottom nodes.

This experiment represents a valuable opportunity for CMRE and its NGAS partners to test cutting-edge ASW systems against a realistic target. It is also an occasion to see how new advances in research and technology, such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and bottom sensors, can be applied to NATO missions in the future.

In the last three years, CMRE (formerly called NURC) has participated in national experimentation with the Italian Navy during GLINT-NGAS11 and COLLAB13, as well as participating in two NATO Proud Manta ASW exercises in Sicily and in recent national experimentation with the Portuguese Navy near Lisbon, demonstrating cutting edge autonomous ASW network technology.

The COLLAB/NGAS14 experiment is conducted from and supported by the 93-metre NATO Research Vessel ALLIANCE, the only ship jointly owned by all NATO nations. The Centre’s 29-metre Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo, operated by the Italian Navy, is also engaging in limited activities during the experiment.

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Saab Launches Next Generation Carl Gustaf M4 at AUSA

By on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Defence and security company Saab is proud to present the newly-developed next generation Carl-Gustaf M4 at the 2014 Association of the U.S. Army exhibition in Washington D.C. The Carl-Gustaf M4, known in the U.S. as M3A1 MAAWS, is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario.

The new light-weight Carl Gustaf M4, weighing approximately 15 pounds, offers significant weight savings to the soldier. It is also compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition. With a wide variety of munitions available, it is a weapon system capable of handling multiple tactical situations, bridging the gap between full scale operations and low intensity conflicts, and providing the modern warfighter with unprecedented flexibility and capability on the battlefield.

The new generation Carl Gustaf is a further development of today’s widely deployed Carl-Gustaf M3. The M3 version has long been in service with the U.S. Army Rangers and has been employed by every U.S. Special Operations Force in the U.S. military. Versions of the system are in service with more than 40 nations globally.

The latest M4 design and capability enhancements were recently showcased to a select group of visitors at a ground combat systems demonstration held in Sweden in late September. The demonstration included a comprehensive series of successful firings with a range of ammunition types against a variety of targets.

The new Carl-Gustaf is attracting a high level of interest. Improved versions of Saab’s capable AT4 weapon are also under development; promising even greater benefit for users of those systems.

The Carl Gustaf M4 is the logical next step for users who already have great experience and confidence with the Carl-Gustaf system. And development does not stop here. Future complementary improvements to this new formidable system will include development of smart programmable ammunition, advanced sighting systems, and expanded confined space capabilities.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defense to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

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China confirms new generation long range missiles: report

China has acknowledged the existence of a new intercontinental ballistic missile said to be capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads as far as the United States, state-run media reported Friday.

A government environmental monitoring center in Shaanxi said on its website that a military facility in the province was developing Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) missiles, the Global Times reported.

The DF-41 is designed to have a range of 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles), according to a report by Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems, putting it among the world’s longest-range missiles.

It is “possibly capable of carrying multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles”, the US Defense Department said in a report in June, referring to a payload of several nuclear warheads.

China’s military is highly secretive, and the Global Times said it had not previously acknowledged the existence of the DF-41.

The original government web post appeared to have been deleted on Friday, but the newspaper posted a screenshot.

It also quoted a Chinese military analyst as saying: “As the US continues to strengthen its missile defence system, developing third generation nuclear weapons capable of carrying multiple warheads is the trend.”

China’s defence ministry in January responded to reports that it had tested a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle by saying that any military experiments were “not targeted at any country and at any specific goals”.

It made the same response last December when asked about reports that it had tested the DF-41.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen in recent months over territorial disputes with US allies in the East and South China Seas, and cyber-hacking.

Beijing has boosted its military spending by double digit amounts for several years as it seeks to modernize its armed forces, and now has the world’s second biggest military outlays after the US.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said last month that any confrontation between the two powers “will surely spell disaster for both countries and for the world”.

China’s previous longest range missile was the DF-5A, which can carry a single warhead as far as 12,000 km, according to Jane’s.

The DF-5A had its first test flight in 1971, and has to be fueled for around two hours prior to firing, limiting its effectiveness as a weapon, according to analysts.

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‘Live synthetic’ US Army’s next generation of simulation

Soldiers from a brigade combat team are at a combat training site doing a routine live-fire exercise. Well, maybe not so routine.

Suddenly enemy jets pop out of the clouds streaking toward them. The Soldiers scramble for cover as missiles rain down.

They hear the explosions from the missiles impacting all around them, see the flames and debris and smell the smoke.

But this is where it gets a little bit eerie.

Those enemy jets are being piloted a thousand miles away by fellow brigade combat team, or BCT, Soldiers, some in aircraft simulators and others on computer gaming stations.

The Soldiers see the visual recreations of those jets in real-time through special glasses that allow them to see the real world around them, while simultaneously viewing the simulations.

Data from the simulations stream in to the Soldiers’ glasses from satellites and ground relay stations.

In turn, the pilots in simulators and those using gaming stations see what Soldiers are doing in the live environment by satellite and unmanned aircraft video feeds and sensors on the Soldiers that transmit precise locations and activities.

Sounds of the battle are generated through special earpieces that harmonize with the visuals and the smells are pumped in through special odor machines.

Pipe dream?

Not really, said Col. John Janiszewski, director of the National Simulation Center, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

“We’re now looking at a concept called the Future Holistic Training Environment Live Synthetic” that will eventually do this and much more, he said.

“We’re now documenting the requirements,” he said.

By next year, Janiszewski plans to define the specific requirements for live synthetic and hopes to begin fielding systems by fiscal year 2022 and have them in place Army-wide by fiscal year 2025.

In the meantime, the National Simulation Center, or NSC, is having discussions with industry and experts in the science and technology community to “close some of those gaps” in capability.

Although simulators have been around for decades, the problem is that most were designed to be used in isolation. Live synthetic fuses them all seamlessly.

There are four basic types of simulations that will need to be fused to make the vision a reality. They go by the acronym LVC-G.

First is live simulation, or LS. This is “real people operating real systems in the field,” Janiszewski said. Soldiers have been doing this since the dawn of warfare.

Janiszewski said live simulations have improved significantly since he joined the Army 26 years ago.

Sounds and smells, mentioned in the setup scenario, have already been added to LS in mock towns at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Marines at nearby Camp Pendleton are using animatronics in their LS. Animatronics are computer-generated images of people or even animals that appear to be physically present — some are friendly, some not.

Another improvement is that Soldiers’ movements today can be tracked through radio frequency identifiers attached to their bodies, a quantum leap from The Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System introduced in the 1980s, which didn’t track movement, only hits from weaponry.

Although LS has seen significant improvements, “we’re not there yet,” he said, meaning the Army doesn’t have the glasses that would permit the use of “augmented reality.” Cloud computing capability will also likely play a role in this.

As troops draw down from Afghanistan, more and more Soldiers are doing LS at combat training centers and at installations.

Commanders didn’t have a lot of responsibility planning and executing training over the last 12 years of war, since it was done for them, he pointed out. Now, it’s their responsibility.

Mobile training teams from the CAC are helping them out with this, he said. “When we’re at peace, we’re an Army of preparation.”

Second is virtual simulation, or VS.

“This is real people operating simulation systems,” he said. “Like your child driving the racing car at the video arcade. The child believes he’s in a real vehicle with steering, gas, brakes and a display.”

VS is what most people think of when they think of simulation. The Army has had them around for decades now: tanks, trucks, helicopters, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and more. Tank crews and aircraft crews operate in separate simulators, but can share a common picture of the training exercise.

These systems are already sophisticated with verisimilitude displays, motion, tactile and auditory feedback, he continued, adding that he’s not seen any significant leap forward in virtual simulation since it’s pretty realistic already.

Third is constructive simulation, or CS. This is simulated people and equipment operating in a simulated environment, he said.

In a typical constructive simulation, operators are looking at a computer screen watching contours on a map and icons representing friendlies and enemy, along with their weapons, vehicles, aircraft and materiel. Operators can move objects around using their mouse.

Over the last decades, Janiszewski said CS has gotten more realistic, meaning the representations on the screen are more sophisticated and movements are more precise and closer to real time. Also, terrain mapping has gotten more detailed.

Entire, large-scale organizations can be represented this way, and while not as exciting as being in a virtual simulation, it is just as effective, he pointed out.

In fact, Janiszewski said his unit in Germany in 2002 and 2003, rehearsed the Iraq invasion and the roll up to Baghdad using CS.

The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command uses CS for analytical and experimentation purposes as well as gaming future scenarios.

Fourth is gaming simulation, or GS. This is similar to CS but instead of icons and contour lines on a map, the view on the computer screen looks real. Think of the popular “Call to Duty” or “Halo” video games.

Janiszewski said gaming is the simulation that by far has had the most advances, especially in the last few years.

GS is so new, in fact, that his office has yet to add gaming to its current acronym LVC-IA, or Live, Virtual, Constructive-Integrative Architecture, which describes the Army’s current efforts to integrate training systems across the simulations realm. Gaming is not yet officially part of the Army’s simulation syllabus — but he expects it to be soon.

“Gaming is probably the most prevalent and popular capability we now have,” he said.

That’s because one, it’s realistic and engaging, two, you don’t need a bulky, expensive piece of equipment like a virtual simulator, and three, there is a plentiful supply of computers.

Besides adding gaming to the mix and fusing the four simulations together, there are a few other challenges to get to live synthetic.

For one, NSC doesn’t have the accreditation that would allow it to operate simulations over the SIPRNet, or Secure Internet Protocol Router Network. Obtaining the certification and accreditation “is critical if we want to train the way we fight,” he said.

A successful SIPRNet workaround for now is the NSC’s use of something call the Global Simulation Capability Network. GSC Net “is a training network that allows the NSC to distribute constructive simulations from Fort Leavenworth to home station training locations in support of division and corps training events,” he said.

GSC Net also allows units that are strung out over several states, as is often the case with the National Guard and Reserve, to use the existing Defense Information Systems Agency operational network, he said.

For example, NSC at Fort Leavenworth recently pushed out a training simulation via the GSC Net successfully to Soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., he said.

Another issue in getting to live synthetic is funding.

“I worry about the budget every day,” he admitted. “I try to articulate why we need the resources, [and] try to show the positive effects [of simulation on] training and readiness of the Army.”

Janiszewski said he “doesn’t like to use the cost factor of why we want to do this, but in truth, it’s cheaper to train in a simulator” than live. For instance, he pointed to a study that showed it cost about $3,500 to fly a real attack helicopter per hour, while an attack helicopter simulator cost around $500.

The cost curve can also be lowered by simulating instructors and tutors on the simulators, he said. Scripts or even robots could mentor Soldiers doing the tasks. This would cut down on the need to hire more contractors.

Another benefit simulation provides in cost, as well as time savings, is that simulations can be delivered right to the installation.

“We want to provide the (simulation) environment to Soldiers at the point of need instead of them coming to a mission training complex,” he said.

That local delivery service is now being tested — with good results thus far, Janiszewski said.

Fort Hood, Texas, was the first to use LVC-IA in 2012, he said. Soldiers from a 1st Cavalry Division BCT used the three simulation components successfully in a feasibility assessment exercise to determine if LVC-IA could be rolled out Army-wide. It wasn’t true “live fusion” as envisioned for the future, but it nonetheless demonstrated that the three type of simulation could be used successfully in an exercise.

Then, Soldiers at Fort Drum, N.Y., used CS to train on logistics while interacting with Soldiers at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., who were doing LS. Data was transmitted back and forth live via a mission command information system which gave them a common operating picture, he said.

Along with Forts Drum and Hood, LVC-IA systems have been delivered to Fort Riley, Kan., Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Campbell, Ky., and 15 more sites will get deliveries between now and fiscal year 2016. The Guard and Reserve will be included in all simulation training, Janiszewski added.

In addition to that effort, it’s standard practice now at combat training centers for Soldiers to use CS as part of their leader development program prior to going to the live environment. This type of “progressive training strategy increases proficiency during the follow-on live event,” he noted.

Besides simulation efforts within the Army, Janiszewski said sister services and allies are sharing simulation ideas and interconnectivity, since “training together is critical for the U.S. in the future.”

Janiszewski likes to use a lollipop metaphor when describing his dream and plans for live synthetic. He sees the lollipop having two swirls of different colors. Those colors are the live environment and the simulated, merging as one.

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Self-correcting crystal may unleash the next generation of advanced communications

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have joined with an international team to engineer and measure a potentially important new class of nanostructured materials for microwave and advanced communication devices. Based on NIST’s measurements, the new materials-a family of multilayered crystalline sandwiches-might enable a whole new class of compact, high-performance, high-efficiency components for devices such as cellular phones.*

“These materials are an excellent example of what the Materials Genome Initiative refers to as ‘materials-by-design’,” says NIST physicist James Booth, one of the lead researchers. “Materials science is getting better and better at engineering complex structures at an atomic scale to create materials with previously unheard-of properties.”

The new multilayer crystals are so-called “tunable dielectrics,” the heart of electronic devices that, for example, enable cell phones to tune to a precise frequency, picking a unique signal out of the welter of possible ones.

Tunable dielectrics that work well in the microwave range and beyond-modern communications applications typically use frequencies around a few gigahertz-have been hard to make, according to NIST materials scientist Nathan Orloff. “People have created tunable microwave dielectrics for decades, but they’ve always used up way too much power.” These new materials work well up to 100 GHz, opening the door for the next generation of devices for advanced communications.

Modern cellphone dielectrics use materials that suffer from misplaced or missing atoms called “defects” within their crystal structure, which interfere with the dielectric properties and lead to power loss. One major feature of the new materials, says Orloff, is that they self-correct, reducing the effect of defects in the part of the crystal where it counts.

“We refer to this material as having ‘perfect faults’,” he says. “When it’s being grown, one portion accommodates defects without affecting the good parts of the crystal. It’s able to correct itself and create perfect dielectric bricks that result in the rare combination of high tuning and low loss.”

The new material has layers of strontium oxide, believed to be responsible for the self-correcting feature, separating a variable number of layers of strontium titanate. Strontium titanate on its own is normally a pretty stable dielectric-not really tunable at all-but another bit of nanostructure wizardry solves that.

The sandwich layers are grown as a thin crystalline film on top of a substrate material with a mismatched crystal spacing that produces strain within the strontium titanate structure that makes it a less stable dielectric-but one that can be tuned. “It’s like putting a queen-sized sheet on a king-sized bed,” says Orloff. “The combination of strain with defect control leads to the unique electronic properties.”

One key discovery by the research team was that, in addition to adding strain to the crystal sandwich, adding additional layers of strontium titanate in between the strontium oxide layers increased the room-temperature “tunability” performance of the structure, providing a new mechanism to control the material response. The material they reported on recently in the journal Nature has six layers of strontium titanate between each strontium oxide layer.

The new sandwich material performs so well as a tunable dielectric, over such a broad range of frequencies, that the NIST team led by Booth had to develop a new measurement technique-an array of test structures fabricated on top of the test film-just to measure its electronic characteristics.

“We were able to characterize the performance of these materials as a function of frequency running from 10 hertz all the way up to 125 gigahertz. That’s the equivalent of measuring wavelengths from kilometers down to microns all with the same experimental set-up,” says Orloff, adding, “This material has a much lower loss and a much higher tunability for a given applied field then any material that we have seen.”

An international team of researchers contributed to the recent paper, representing, in addition to NIST, Cornell University, the University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, the Institute of Physics ASCR (Czech Republic), Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain), the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (Germany), The University of Texas at Austin and Temple University.

*C-H Lee, N.D. Orloff, T. Birol, Y. Zhu, V. Goian, E. Rocas, R. Haislmaier, E. Vlahos, J.A. Mundy, L.F. Kourkoutis, Y. Nie, M.D. Biegalski, J. Zhang, M. Bernhagen, N.A. Benedek, Y. Kim, J.D. Brock, R.Uecker, X.X. Xi, V. Gopalan, D. Nuzhnyy, S. Kamba, D.A. Muller, I. Takeuchi, J.C. Booth, C.J. Fennie and D.G. Schlom. Exploiting dimensionality and defect mitigation to create tunable microwave dielectrics. Nature, 502, 532, Oct. 24, 2013. doi:10.1038/nature12582.

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Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle to be Seoul’s Next Generation Fighter

A flight demonstrator of the Boeing F-15SE Launches a Sidewinder AIM-9X from the conformal internal weapon bay. Photo: Boeing

A flight demonstrator of the Boeing F-15SE Launches an AMRAAM air/air missile from the new conformal internal weapon bay. Photo: Boeing

The South Korean defense acquisition program administration (DAPA) has indicated this week that the bidding process for the 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) program buying 60 new fighter aircraft has finally got to a conclusion. A single finalist, likely to be the Boeing Company remained in the race. With a single option now on the table offered at the right price, DAPA is expected to conduct further assessment and announce its final decision in mid-September. Boeing said it was still waiting to hear the outcome of the competition. Lockheed Martin also said it has not received an official notification from the Republic of Korea regarding the results of the price bidding for the F-X Program. Company officials said the decision is not determined on cost alone, and aircraft capabilities will also be considered in the month long evaluation process that will now proceed. “The F-X source selection process has multiple phases and we will continue to work closely with the U.S. government as they offer the F-35 to Korea,” Reuters quoted Lockheed Martin sources comment. The United States has proposed the fighter planes to Seoul under a government-to-government basis, through the ‘foreign military sales’ channel, with companies providing information on price and other details.

Seoul initially planned to pick a bidder by October 2012, with the goal of receiving the first delivery in December 2016. However, due to the extended process it is likely that the first batch of fighters will be shipped in August 2017. These new fighters will replace the remaining airplanes of a fleet of some 150 F-4Es and F-5E/Fs the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) has been operating for five decades. These aircraft are nearing the end of their operational lives and will have to be withdrawn from service around 2015.

Earlier it was reported that the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) has been eliminated from the selection, after ‘abruptly changing its contractual terms’. EADS submitted an offer for 54 single seater and six twin-seat Eurofighter Tranche 3 fighters, while DAPA required 15 twin-seat and 45 single seat planes. South Korea’s decision to eliminate EADS and the fact that the costlier F-35A is available only in a single-seat version has left left Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle as the sole final candidate, government sources said Sunday.

Lockheed Martin was also one of three bidders, offering the F-35 which is available only in a single seat variant. In addition to the lack of twin-seat configuration, the F-35A was said to be costlier than the F-15SE or Typhoon Tranch 3. Throughout the bidding process Seoul insisted not to exceed its target cost, thus repeating bidding sessions 55 times.

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