Royal Navy Gets 3D ARTISAN | Russia Now EW and SIGINT Capable in Syria | LM F-16V to Challenge Su-35 for IndonesiaOct 09, 2015 00:19 UTC
- Integration testing is underway to install a LITENING targeting pod onto the B-52H bomber, with ground laser testing recently taking place at Edwards AFB. The testing stems from calls by B-52H aircrews for additional targeting capability, with the LITENING pod using infrared and TV imagery along with three lasers to provide enhanced designation for weapon systems. The testing is due to move into flight testing next year.
- Two Air Force pilots have been cleared to fly the KC-46A Pegasus tanker, which performed its first test flight in late September. The pilots will be used for military certification of the aircraft, which is also required to pass FAA regulations. The Air Force is eventually scheduled to receive 179 KC-46A tankers under a contract awarded to Boeing in February 2011; the fixed-cost nature of the contract means that Boeing has been forced twice to absorb development costs, with the Air Force’s costs capped at $4.9 billion.
- The Enhanced Area Protection and Survivability System (EAPS) has demonstrated the ability to shoot down small unmanned aircraft during trials carried out by the Army. The counter-rocket, artillery & mortar (C-RAM) system uses fragmenting missiles to hit an expanded number of threats such as UAVs; development at the Army Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) is also looking to integrate a 50mm cannon with guided interceptors. The system carries out complex computing on the ground, relaying the information up to the round in order to hit a target.
- Russia is scheduled to complete testing of the KAB-250 guided bomb in coming months, a smaller version of the KAB-500 currently being used by the Russian Air Force in Syria. The bomb is reportedly capable of using either a laser designation to hit its target or the Russian equivalent of GPS, known as GLONASS. The new, smaller bomb is also thought to have been developed in response to the Small Diameter Bomb, which is currently in its second generation of development (SDB-II). The trials will use a Su-34 Fullback as the delivery aircraft, also currently used in Syria.
- The Royal Navy’s new carrier the HMS Queen Elizabeth has been fitted with the 3D ARTISAN (Advanced Radar Target Indication Situational Awareness and Navigation) radar system, capable of providing air surveillance out to 200km. Manufactured by BAE Systems, the radar – also referred to as the Type 997 – will also equip the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 Global Combat Ships, as well as retrofitted Type 23 Duke-class frigates. Integration trials began in September 2013, after successful tracking trials in July 2010. The radar was developed by BAE Systems through a $195 million contract in August 2008.
- Turkey’s Aselsan has successfully completed testing of the company’s bid for the Turkish Hisar air defense competition, with the system consisting of towed 35mm Oerlikon AA guns with a new Fire Control Radar System and airburst ammunition. The company unveiled a selection of Hisar air defense equipment in May, including the Fire Control System thought to operate the new system.
- Russia’s deployed forces in Syria now feature advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) assets capable of threatening NATO freedom of operation. These include the Krasuka-4 EW system, Il-20 Coot ISR platform and SIGINT systems. Russia’s contingent of advanced military systems also include the Pantsir-S1 air defense system. The Kremlin is testing much of its new equipment in the field for the first time, leading to some teething problems.
- Janes reported that Indonesia is in talks with French shipyard DCNS over the possible sale of a Scorpene 1000 diesel-electric submarine, despite reports that the country’s parliament approved the acquisition of Russian-built Kilo-class boats in September. The Indonesian defense ministry is thought to be considering a purchase of five Russian subs, with the Indonesian Navy currently operating two South Korean-manufactured submarines, with another two on order. The littoral capabilities of the French design may be the reason for a split purchase, with the Russian boats intended for use in deep water. DCNS signed a partnership agreement with Indonesian shipyard PT Pal in November, which included marketing of the Scorpene 1000.
- Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin is marketing the company’s F-16V to Indonesia as the country plans to replace its fleet of aging F-5E fighters. The company dispatched a cockpit demonstrator to the country this week in an effort to swoon the country’s Air Force chiefs, who appear particularly set on acquiring the Sukhoi Su-35. The Indonesian Air Force already operates 24 F-16s, with deliveries of these beginning last July.
- The Indian Defence Ministry has shortlisted the Samsung Techwin K-9 Thunder howitzer for the country’s self-propelled tracked gun requirement, a much-delayed competition thought to value approximately $800 million. One hundred guns are required for the Indian Army, with local firm Larson & Toubro partnering with the South Korean firm to offer manufacturing in India. The Thunder beat the Russian-designed MSTA-SP 2S19 howitzer mounted on a T-72 tank chassis, with the Russian bid partnering with the Indian state-run Ordnance Factory Board to satisfy offset requirements.