The 21st century has seen a quiet transformation of the UAE’s armed forces. Advanced AWACS airborne early warning planes and air and missile defense systems are just the outward signs of a push from a collection of purchased weapon systems, to an integrated defense force that can cope with the most modern threats.
Making that happen requires more than just planes, or missiles. It requires extensive back-end systems that help turn information from advanced radars and airborne surveillance into a coherent whole, and allow command staff to direct battles based on that information. DID explains the larger picture and where things stand now, as the UAE continues its strong Command, Control, Computing, & Communications (C4) push.
L-3 Flight International’s modified Learjets include uprated on-board power systems, internal electronics, and the ability to carry a range of external pods to help them simulate enemy radar and communications jammers in Navy training exercises. The modified business jets can also tow targets for gunnery training, and perform related tasks.
L-3 has performed this role for many years now, and chartered aircraft of various kinds play a significant role in US Navy exercises, within the commercial air services (CAS) program.
In June 2008, they secured the contract. That began a combination of infrastructure build-out, aircraft modification, and managed competition, aimed at fulfilling a contract estimated at up to GBP 6 billion (about $11.7 billion)… when it was signed. It’s hard to evaluate that number until Britain finally buys its training aircraft and associated training service, and as of 2012, they haven’t even put out the RFP.
The Marinha do Brazil’s 4 diesel-electric Tupi Class submarines (1,440t U-209/1400 variant) and single 1,550t Tikuna Class (Improved Tupi) boat must suffice to patrol a very large ocean zone, along one of the world’s longest navigable coastlines. The SS Tupi [S30] was commissioned in 1989, the other 3 Tupi class subs were commissioned in 1996-1999, and the Improved Tupi Class, aka. S34 Tikuna, was commissioned into service in 2005. Both submarine classes were designed by HDW.
The Tupi and Tikuna boats are currently listed as being capable of launching indigenous Brazilian torpedoes, as well as the British BAE Stingray. Adding the Mk48 heavyweight torpedo would increase the subs’ attack punch, and upgrading the combat system would also offer an easy path to integration of anti-ship missiles like the Harpoon if the Brazilians wished. In the intervening years, other electronics have also advanced, and keeping the Tupi Class modern requires an upgrade. Hence the recent contracts with Lockheed Martin MS2.
Each of the US military services runs Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) courses for its people, at 3 escalating levels of severity. They aim to teach soldiers the code of conduct they’re obliged to follow if captured; how to survive in the wild for brief periods, while evading capture and losing weight; and sometimes how to cope if evasion fails. L3 MPRI in Alexandria, VA recently won a $42 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide the US Army with full-spectrum SERE courses at Fort Rucker, AL, until Sept 31/15. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 5 bids received by the Mission Contracting Office in Fort Bragg, NC (W91247-11-C-0039).
The Fort Rucker, AL school primarily serves Army flight crews, who generally get SERE-B training that includes 3 weeks of all aspects, with a focus on survival, plus resistance after initial capture. SERE-C training is the full special forces/ high ranking version, with a week-long prison camp stay, and techniques like waterboarding that have drawn controversy when they were also used on a handful of high-ranking al-Qaeda terrorists. As a former Army SF vet points out, just about everybody in SERE-C ends up signing the false “war crimes” confession – but it’s possible to beat the system on rare occasions. The 6-pack of Budweiser was a nice touch, Jimbo.
In July 2011, the Australian government announced a 2-year, A$150 million (about $161 million) extension of the existing contract with BAE Systems Australia, to provide support for the RAAF’s Hawk 127 Lead-In-Fighter Trainers, plus accompanying full simulators (2) and computer training systems. The 33 Hawk Mk.127s are based at RAAF Williamtown near Newcastle in the SE, and RAAF Pearce near Perth in Western Australia. They provide the last stage of training before pilots graduate to Australia’s F/A-18A/B Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters.
As part of their Strategic Reform savings program, Australia’s DoD and BAE have arranged for more than 10% in savings over the extension’s life, via a revised maintenance strategy and overhaul program changes. BAE Systems Australia employs 180 people to support the aircraft, and has been providing that support since 2000. Australia DoD.
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing about Iraqi Security Forces developments since 2006. His Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle is an open-source compilation that attempts to map and detail Iraqi units and equipment, as their military branches and internal security forces grow and mature. While “good enough for government use” is not usually uttered as a compliment, US Army TRADOC has maintained permission to use the ISF OOB for their unclassified handouts since 2008.
This compilation is reproduced here with full permission. It offers a set of updates highlighting recent changes in the ISF’s composition and development, followed by the full updated ISF OOBs in PDF format. Reader feedback and tips are encouraged. Recent developments include:
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing on Iraqi Security Forces developments since 2006. His Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle is an open-source compilation that attempts to map and detail Iraqi units and equipment, as their military branches and internal security forces grow and mature. While “good enough for government use” is not usually uttered as a compliment, US Army TRADOC has maintained permission to use the ISF OOB for their unclassified handouts since 2008.
This compilation is reproduced here with full permission. It offers a set of updates highlighting recent changes in the ISF’s composition and development, followed by the full updated ISF OOBs in PDF format.
Latest updates: OC2 upgrades: good news, bad news?
In 2006, Great Britain signed a GBP 450 million contract to buy another 28 advanced Hawk trainers, as the first step toward a public-private partnership that would provide military flight training to the RAF, Army Air Corps, and Royal Navy for the next 25 years.
Britain already had plenty of trainers designed to train pilots, and many of them are earlier version of the successful Hawk jet trainer that also serves with at least 14 other countries around the globe. So what makes this contract significant, and why are Hawk LIFT aircraft different?
Artillery-locating radars like the AN/TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 Firefinder radars, and the lighter LCMR, automatically detect, track and locate enemy mortars, artillery and rocket launchers. Once incoming rounds are picked up, the radar system backtracks the projectile’s flight, in order to pinpoint the launcher before the incoming round has even landed. Meanwhile, back-end systems can trigger alarms, giving people in the target area the critical seconds they need to get under cover. The TPQ-36 radar is specifically designed to counter medium range enemy weapon systems out to a range of 24 km/ 15 miles, while the TPQ-37 can locate longer-range systems and even surface launched missiles out to 50 km/ 31 miles.
Mortars and rockets have been common threats in Iraq, and advanced counter-battery radars have been the first line of defense for military bases and key civilian sectors. The systems do suffer from “false positives,” but on the whole, they’re very valuable. Michael Yon, embedded with 1-24 (“Deuce Four”) in Mosul in 2005, offered a first hand description of counter-battery radars’ effect on enemy tactics. With American forces drawing down and leaving, it’s no surprise that Iraq wants some.