Last week, the Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Captain Henry Stevens, said that over months of at-sea testing, USNS Montford Point (MLP-1), the first ship of the U.S. Navy’s class of Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) demonstrated exceptional capabilities and inherent flexibility during her participation in a series of Post-Delivery Tests and Trials (PDT&T) events. These events, held in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, successfully evaluated and demonstrated the performance of the ship and her systems.
PDT&T began on Montford Point in April 2014, following installation of her Core Capabilities Set (CCS) and in advance of achievement of the ship class’ Initial Operating Capability (IOC), which the U.S. Navy looks forward to declaring in April 2015.
Montford Point participated in many of PDT&T events, including the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) end-to-end event, designed to determine the operational effectiveness and suitability of the program. Directly following completion of the end-to-end event, and without pulling into port, USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) displayed her capabilities during the Fleet’s Pacific Horizon 2015, a week-long scenario-driven humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise.
Throughout the course of these tests and exercises, USNS Montford Point demonstrated many of her capabilities by interfacing with prepositioning ships and the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) to offload equipment and supplies for transshipment to shore by Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). These capabilities are the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s seabasing strategy, further enabling large-scale logistics movements from sea to shore forces and prepositioned Marine Corps equipment from the Sea Base to the shore, significantly reducing dependency on foreign ports.
Mobile Landing Platform
The Mobile Landing Platform will become the centerpiece of the Sea Base. It will facilitate the selective offload of prepositioned equipment. In concert with JHSV (Joint High Speed Vessel) and prepositioned LMSRs (Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships), MLP will facilitate movement of forces and prepositioned Marine Corps equipment from the Sea Base to the shore via LCAC. The MLP is planned for use across the range of military operations including Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR), Theater Security Cooperation, and Major Combat Operations.
Dimensions and Performance
Displacement: 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Length, Overall: 785 feet/239.3 m
Beam: 164 feet/50 m
Draft: 29.5 feet/9 m (fully loaded); 39 feet/12 m (load line)
Sustained Speed: >15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Endurance: over 9,500 NM/17,594 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Twin-screw diesel electric
4 MAN/B&W medium speed diesel main engines
24 MW diesel electric plant
2 MW Azimuth Vertically Retractable Bow Thrusters
Skin to skin transfer to/from LMSR and JHSV
25,000 square feet of vehicle stowage
Fender stowage and handling gear
34 Military Sealift Command (MSC) personnel
Including hotel Services to support berthing modules
3 MW 60 Hz power
Over 100,000 gal potable water
Over 590,000 gal JP-5 (Jet Propellant 5)
3 LCAC spots
Space for LCAC support containers (O-Level support)
According to Rahul Bedi, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, India has invited Japan to compete in the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) long-delayed INR500 billion ($8.1 billion) Project 75I (India) requirement for 6 diesel-electric submarines with land attack and Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capabilities. Official sources said India had recently forwarded a proposal to Tokyo asking it to consider participating in the Project 75I tender with its 4,200-tonne Soryu-class submarine.
In this connection it is interesting to note that the Soryu class is currently under evaluation by the Royal Australian Navy as a replacement for its six Collins-class boats. India’s offer to Japan to join Project 75I is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort at forging closer strategic and defence ties with Tokyo and formulating a wider maritime quadrilateral grouping that would include Australia and the United States.
India is also in advanced negotiations with Japan to acquire 12 ShinMaywa US-2i (formerly Shin Meiwa) amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft for around $1.65 billion, a deal that is likely to be concluded in early 2016.
The Project 75I tender, delayed by nearly seven years, was approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in October 2014 and is likely to be dispatched later this year. It is aimed at boosting the IN’s underwater assets, which at 11 submarines is 13 fewer than their sanctioned strength.
Project 75I envisages licence-building a submarine shortlisted from multiple contenders, including DCNS (France), TKMS subsidiary HDW (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Rosonboronexport (Russia), under a Joint Venture (JV) with an Indian shipyard.
A committee headed by Vice Admiral A.V. Subedar recently completed an audit of seven domestic shipyards – five of them state-owned and two private – to evaluate their submarine-building capability. Officials said it would submit its report to the MoD in February, after which the selected shipyards, along with IN-approved overseas submarine manufacturers, would be invited for trials around 2016 and a platform shortlisted by 2018.
Price negotiations would follow, and IN officials anticipate the first Project 75I submarine being commissioned around 2025-27. Meanwhile, the MoD has for the third time postponed the deadline for local vendors to respond to its Requests for Information (RfI) to indigenously build more than 140 twin-engine Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH).
Industry sources said the RfI response date, for nine potential local bidders, was deferred to 28 February – from the earlier deadlines of 24 November 2014 and 24 January – as many had been unable to conclude JVs with foreign original equipment manufacturers.
India is keen for Japan to participate in its domestic materiel manufacturing programmes as it is seeking technology to boost its defence industrial base. It is also keen to propagate its bilateral strategic partnership with Japan to counter China’s growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Both countries have unresolved territorial disputes with China that erupt periodically. The United States has also been advocating increased defence co-operation between India and Japan and Australia, which shares their collective concerns regarding China.
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, along with the Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, announced the awarding of the build contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for the construction of six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). This contract, valued at $2.3 billion, marks the start of the construction phase under the NSPS (Source: Public Works and Government Services Canada).
The contract has been designed to ensure best value for taxpayers and sets out the plan for the delivery of six ships within a ceiling price.
The AOPS build contract will sustain approximately 1,000 jobs at Irving Shipbuilding as well as many jobs at suppliers across Canada. For example, today, Member of Parliament, Bryan Hayes, highlighted that the majority (60 per cent) of steel plate for the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship will be produced at the Essar Steel Algoma rolling mill in his riding of Sault Saint Marie in Ontario. To date, 197 companies in Canada have already benefited from NSPS work.
Construction of an initial block for the first AOPS is scheduled for the summer, while full production will commence in September 2015. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf class ship is expected in 2018.
It was also confirmed that Irving Shipbuilding will be the Prime Contractor for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project. As outlined in the NSPS RFP (Request For Proposal) and the resulting umbrella agreement with the selected shipyards, Canada retains the right to determine if the shipyard will be designated as the Prime Contractor. After discussions with industry and review by an independent third party, it was determined that Irving is best positioned to manage the contracts associated with the three decades of work to design and build these ships.
The $3.5 billion budget for the AOPS includes acquisition costs (for vessel design and build), project office operations, a provision for infrastructure costs (e.g. for jetties), as well as initial spares and support.
The build contract, valued at $2.3 billion, is a cost reimbursable incentive fee-based contract that provides incentives for Irving Shipbuilding to deliver 6 ships to the Royal Canadian Navy within a pre‑determined and not-to-exceed ceiling price.
The new DeWolf class Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be equipped with state of the art sensors and will also be able to operate and support the new Cyclone naval helicopters. Operating in conjunction with other capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard, the DeWolf class ships will play a critical role in protecting Canada’s offshore sovereignty in the Atlantic, the Pacific as well as in the Arctic.
Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships
Canada defends more coastline than any other country, as it is bounded by three oceans. Canada protects its maritime approaches from smuggling, trafficking and pollution, and also provides life-saving search and rescue as well as opportunities for scientific research. The fleets also act internationally to meet our commitments and protect our interests.
In June 2010, the Government of Canada announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Through this strategy, Canada will replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, which are reaching the end of their operational lives. First in line will be the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy in the combat package. These will be followed by the Canadian Surface Combatant. The Joint Support Ships (JSS) will be built for the Royal Canadian Navy under the non-combat work package.
The AOPS project will deliver six ice-capable offshore patrol ships that will conduct sovereignty and surveillance operations in Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone, including in the Arctic. The Royal Canadian Navy will also use the AOPS to support other units of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the conduct of maritime-related operations and to support other government departments in carrying out their mandates, as required. The AOPS project will also deliver associated jetty infrastructure in Esquimalt (BC), Halifax (NS) and Nanisivik (NU).
The AOPS are key to the Government of Canada’s ability to deliver on three of our guiding strategies – the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Northern Strategy, and the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
Proposed Ship Capabilities
The AOPS will have a number of capabilities that will allow the ships to assist the Royal Canadian Navy in carrying out missions. The following high-level draft requirements are examples of these capabilities, and will be studied and refined during project definition. AOPS will:
Be capable of performing independent open ocean patrols on the east and west coasts of Canada, and in the Canadian Arctic during the navigable season.
Designed to a Polar Class 5 international ice classification standard, which will allow for operations in first year ice up to one meter in thickness.
Have a capability to manoeuvre in ice, however AOPS will not provide icebreaking services to others.
Be able to sustain operations for up to 4 months.
Have a range of at least 6,800 nautical miles/12,593.6 km at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h.
Have a sufficient command, control and communication capability to exchange real-time information with the Canadian Armed Forces Maritime Security Operations Centres.
Have a cruising speed of at least 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h and a maximum speed of at least 17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h.
Have a gun armament.
Remain operational for 25 years beyond Initial Operational Capability (IOC).
Be capable of embarking and operating a variety of helicopter types up to and including the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Cyclone helicopter be capable of embarking and deploying a variety of boat types to support activities such as boarding operations and transfer of cargo and personnel for ship-to-shore transfer as well as arrangements for cargo and container storage to support CAF and Other Government Departments operations.
It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that the Republic of China Navy (RoCN) took delivery on 23 January of a newly completed fast combat support ship Panshih (磐石) AOE 532 (AOE, acronym used in the U.S. Navy).
Panshih was built by state-owned Kaohsiung-based shipbuilder CSBC Corporation at a cost of $130 million. Construction began in 2011 and the ship was launched in 2013.
According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Panshih AOE 532 is a multirole vessel and will be used as a transport, maritime rescue, and humanitarian assistance vessel. Defence officials say the navy will begin training personnel this month and that the vessel will enter full operational service by March.
Panshih is 643 ft/196 m long and 82.7 ft/25.2 m wide and has a full load displacement of 20,800 tons (light displacement around 10,000 tons). AOE 532 can carry a crew of up to 165 sailors at maximum speed is 22 knots/25 mph/40 km/h and has a range of 8,000 NM/14,816 km. Panshih is able to replenish two ships at the same time. Prior to its delivery, the RoCN had only one operational supply ship, Wuyi, which entered service in 1990.
Panshih has two 40-mm cannons, two 20-mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) and short-range air-defense system Sea Chaparral, based on Taiwan-made TC-1 missiles (itself derivate of AIM-9L Sidewinder). In addition, Taiwan’s new combat support ship does not only carry vital supplies for ROCN’s warships but is also able to accommodate SH-60 Sea Hawk (Sikorsky S-70) or CH-47D Chinook helicopters.
Combat support ships usually do not get the same amount of attention like major combat ships. However, they are absolutely crucial for keeping fleet on the open sea, especially under combat conditions when replenishment in ports may be restricted. In a peacetime, AOEs can conduct HADR (Humanitarian And Disaster Relief) operations. For that purpose, Panshih is equipped with medical facilities, including operating room and three regular and one isolation ward.
According to Gavin Phipps, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, delivery of Panshih comes as Taiwan’s government looks to invest heavily in the RoCN as a means of boosting the island’s defence capabilities.
The Ministry of National Defense took delivery of the island’s first indigenous Tuo Jiang-class missile corvette earlier in January, and the government approved a $94.46 million four-year design contract for an indigenous submarine in December 2014.
The government increased its 2015 defence budget to $10.7 billion, a 2.6% rise from 2014. Prior to that increase, the island’s defence budget had been in decline since 2009.
The budget was passed by a legislature forced to take a more bipartisan stance on defence spending and production of indigenous weapons systems, as the island faces both a growing threat from China’s fast modernizing military and current U.S. government opposition to the sale of advanced weapons platforms to Taiwan.
The Source: Posted on January 24, 2015 by Michal Thim
Ukraine has renewed development of heavy infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) based on the T-64 Main Battle Tank (MBT), Ukroboronprom has announced January 13. The Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau had previously created prototypes of a new IFV based on the T-64 but work is understood to have ceased some years ago. Now the firm has resumed development of the heavy IFV in order to ready the designs for serial production. According to Ukroboronprom, this work could be completed in time to allow for mass production to begin before the end of the year.
The heavy IFV is based on a heavily modified T-64 chassis and hull with its turret removed and the upper portion of the hull significantly raised in order to increase its internal volume and allow for the relocation of the engine forward. These changes allow the BMP-64 IFV, known variously as the BMP-64, BMT-64 and BMPT-64, to accommodate 10-12 dismounts in the rear of the vehicle as well as a crew of three.
Instead of the 125-mm armed main turret of the T-64, a new IFV turret has been added to the vehicle. Boasting an impressive amount of firepower, the original prototype features a turret armed with a ZTM-1 30-mm automatic cannon and a 7.62-mm machine gun. Two anti-tank missiles are mounted on the left-hand side of the turret, while two banks of three grenade launchers are attached to the front of the turret. In addition, the commander’s hatch on the roof of the turret features a cupola armed with a twin GSh-23 mm cannon and a 30-mm automatic grenade launcher.
The T-64 IFVs armour protection has also been increased with the incorporation of Nozh (Knife) advanced dynamic protection system (Explosive Reactive Armour – ERA), although a Defensive Aid Suite (DAS) was not known to have been installed on the original prototype.
According to Ukroboronprom, part of the resumption of development of the vehicle will include efforts with specialists from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to improve the design of the T-64 IFV. This will include improvements to the vehicle’s weapon systems and the installation of «more modern dynamic protection». The latter possibly refers to the Zaslon hard-kill active protection system, which has previously been installed on some T-64BM Bulat MBTs.
According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the Ukrainian military’s principal IFV is the ageing BMP-2, which offers protection only against small arms fire – and can be easily penetrated by shaped-charges, cannon fire, or even armour-piercing heavy machine gun fire. As a result, Ukrainian BMP-2s are understood to have been lost in numbers greater than any other vehicle type in Ukrainian service. While Ukrainian T-64 MBTs have also suffered a high loss rate, the additional armoured protection that a heavy IFV could offer would no doubt be welcomed by Ukrainian infantry and National Guardsmen.
The T-64-based IFV is understood to weigh in at around 34.5 tonnes, making it well over double the weight of the 14.3 tonnes BMP-2 and more akin to the 32.7 tonnes weight of the U.S. Army’s Bradley M2A3 IFV.
Converting MBT hulls into IFVs is not a new concept, with Israel in particular well known for converting first Centurion tank hulls, and now Merkava tank hulls into heavy IFVs – due to their utility in urban warfare, where speed is less relevant and all-round protection is key. The Ukrainian T-64 IFV is, however, dwarfed by the Merkava-derived Namer IFV, which weighs 62 tonnes.
The Air Force’s priorities for modernization and continuous improvement in the nuclear enterprise were the top of discussion during the Air Force Association’s monthly breakfast January 20 in Arlington, Virginia.
«This nuclear deterrent is as relevant and is as needed today as it was in January of 1965», said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. «And it will be, until that happy day comes when we rid the world of nuclear weapons. It will be just as relevant in 2025, ten years from now».
To remain relevant, Harencak explained the importance of investing in programs to modernize the two legs of the nuclear triad owned by the Air Force, including the long-range strike bomber and the ground-based strategic deterrent.
«It’s not going to be inexpensive, but it’s also not going to be unaffordable», he said. «It’s something we have to do to protect our nation. In this world, there still is a nuclear threat and our United States Air Force is there to meet it so we can defend our great nation and our allies».
The Air Force’s goal is to develop and purchase 80 to 100 LRSB (Long-Range Strike Bomber) aircraft. This modernization of nuclear-capable bombers will provide safe, secure and effective forces for generations to come, he explained. «In what world do we send our grandchildren into combat in 80-year-old airplanes»? Harencak asked. «There are a lot of hard decisions we’ve got to make out there, but this isn’t one of them. We want them (our children and grandchildren) to win: 100 to nothing, not 51 to 49. We can afford this, and it’s desperately needed so the United States Air Force continues to be what it always has been – the force that allows alternatives and options for our president to defend America».
In addition to investment in aircraft, the Air Force is continuously working on increasing morale and mission focus within the intercontinental ballistic missile community, with help and guidance from the Force Improvement Program.
«Our ICBMs have been referred to as America’s ‘ace in the hole,’ for more than 50 years», Harencak said. «They still are. They are still the ante into this game that is so high that no one out there would ever be perversely incentivized to attempt to become a nuclear competitor with us. They make sure no one out there has any illusions that they could accomplish anything through the threat or use of nuclear weapons».
To reinvigorate the ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) community, the Air Force is on track to modernize the Minuteman III weapon system until the ground-based strategic deterrent is underway. Last year marked many changes in the community, and Harencak said the Air Force will continue to make improvements. «What we’re doing is making sure this is a process of continuous improvement», he said. «I am 100% positive we don’t have it 100% right – but that’s okay. We do have the processes and organizations in place to make sure we continually improve and never take our eye off the ball of the needs of Airmen in the nuclear enterprise».
The bottom line is we must move forward to ensure America’s nuclear triad is still the best in the world, and the general said modernization and recapitalization is the way to go. «The triad has been proven and tried and true for decades – because it works», Harencak said. «We need to continue to make the modest investments necessary to make sure we have the absolute best nuclear deterrent going forward».
It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that AgustaWestland is offering the AW139M to the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) to fulfil an urgent requirement to replace Russian-made Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ medium transport helicopters.
The AgustaWestland announcement comes on the heels of a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) proposal made on 12 January to sell the Slovak MoD 9 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk medium helicopters for €300 million ($347 million) including spare parts and training via the Foreign Military Sales programme.
«AgustaWestland is ready to make an offer to Slovakia with the AW139M and, of course, associated training and support», AgustaWestland spokesperson Geoff Russell told IHS Jane’s. «The offer will be very competitive if compared to the €300 million Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk offer. We are sure that, with a much lower cost, the AW139M perfectly fits the country’s requirement», Russell added.
Slovak defence minister Martin Glvac said on 12 January that while the MoD is taking the U.S. DoD offer very seriously, it will also consider bids from other helicopter manufacturers. Glvac also made it clear that an ultimate procurement decision would be made by the Slovak government and Slovak Security Council.
According to Jiri Kominek, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, over the next six years the Slovak MoD is intending to replace 14 Mil Mi-17 medium transport helicopters that are rapidly nearing the end of their service life and proving expensive to operate and maintain. Furthermore the ongoing armed conflict in neighbouring Ukraine has prompted the Slovak MoD to not only modernise its armed forces with equipment in service with other NATO countries but also phase-out Russian-made legacy platforms over concerns of the availability and costs of spare parts.
The AW139M is the militarised version of the AW139, a new generation intermediate twin-turbine helicopter setting the standard against which all intermediate twins are now measured. Building on the considerable worldwide success of the AgustaWestland AW139, the AW139M has been developed to meet the specific requirements of military, homeland security and government users.
The AW139M can be used for a wide range of applications including Surveillance, Utility/Troop Transport, Special Forces Insertion/Extraction, MEDEVAC (Medical evacuation)/CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation), SAR (Search and Rescue)/CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue), Command & Control, and Fire Support.
Designed with inherent multi-role capability and flexibility of operation, the AW139M is capable of carrying up to 10 fully equipped troops or 15 passengers at very high speed in its large unobstructed reconfigurable cabin. Additional stowage is accessible both from the cabin and externally. Two large cabin doors enable rapid ingress and egress of troops and personnel. The AW139M provides the best power reserve of any helicopter in the intermediate twin-engine class. It fully complies with the latest stringent FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations)/JAR (Joint Aviation Requirements)/EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) requirements in terms of performance and safety.
Its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turbines together with a state-of-the-art 5-bladed main rotor deliver a high cruise speed, even in demanding conditions and at all weights. The AW139M has outstanding power agility and maneuverability, providing excellent handling qualities in a wide range of operating conditions including «hot and high».
Leading edge technology includes a fully integrated avionics system, 4-axis digital AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) with SAR modes, advanced NVG-compatible (Night Vision) cockpit, inlet particle separators and optional ice protection system that enable safe operation in day, night and all environments.
The AW139M can be tailored to meet specific user requirements utilizing a wide range of mission equipment kits including secure military V/UHF, HF and SATCOM radios, and heavy duty main and nose landing gear for operations from unprepared surfaces. As a result of the new design approach, the AW139M uses fewer components, benefits from integrated avionics and provides easy accessibility to all systems for simplified maintenance tasks.
Maximum take off (MTOW): 6,400/6,800*kg/14,110/14,991*lb
Maximum useful load: 2,650/3,050*kg/5,843/6,724*lb
* An optional MTOW (Internal) of 6,800 kg (14,991 lb) is available as a kit
Engine Rating (2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C – 67C)
Take off power (5 min): 2 × 1,252 kW/2 × 1,679 shp
Maximum continuous power: 2 × 1,142 kW/2 × 1,531 shp
O.E.I.* maximum contingency power: 1,396 kW/1,872 shp
O.E.I.* maximum continuous power: 1,252 kW/1,679 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Take off power (5 min): 1,641 kW/2,200 shp
Maximum continuous power: 1,491 kW/2,000 shp
O.E.I.* maximum contingency power: 1,193 kW/1,600 shp
O.E.I.* maximum continuous power: 1,044 kW/1,400 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Standard: 1,568 L/414 US gal
Auxiliary: 500 L/132 US gal
Pilots/passengers: 1 – 2/15
Length (rotors turning): 16.66 m/54 ft 08 in
Overall height: 5.17 m/16 ft 12 in
Main rotor diameter: 13.80 m/45 ft 03 in
Performance (ISA*, 6400 kg/14110 lb)
VNE (Velocity Never Exceed): 310 km/h/167 knots
Maximum cruise speed: 306 km/h/165 knots
Rate of climb: >10.9 m/s/>2140 ft/min
Hovering IGE (In Ground Effect): 4,682 m/15,360 ft
Hovering OGE (Out of Ground Effect): 2,478 m/8,130 ft
Service ceiling (MCP**): 6,096 m/20,000 ft
Max range***: 1,250 km/675 NM
Max endurance***: 5 h 56 m
* International Standard Atmosphere
** Maximum Continuous Power
*** With 1,654 kg fuel – no reserve – at 1,829 m/6,000 ft
Engine air particle separators
Closed circuit refueling system
Auxiliary fuel tanks (500 L/132 US gal)
Wire strike protection
Blade folding ship deck mooring
Single/dual rescue hoist (272 kg/600 lb) with utility hoist light
Cargo hook (2200 kg/4850 lb) with monitoring cameras
Self-contained EMS (Emergency Medical Supplies)/MEDEVAC kit
Snow skis/ slump protection pads
Cabin bubble windows
Marking for high visibility main rotor blades
Customising painting scheme with metallic colours
All weather covers
Troop seats and medevac stretchers
Rappelling/ fast roping kit
Armoured crew seats and armoured floor
Wire strike protection system
Defensive Aids Suite (DAS)
IR Suppression system
Self – sealing crashworthy fuel tanks
Cockpit Voice Recorder & Flight Data Recorder (CVR/FDR)
4-axis Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) with SAR modes & FMS SAR patterns
On January 15, 2015 delegation of NATO headed by Patrick Auroy, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, visited Antonov Company. Dmytro Kiva, President – General Designer, presented the enterprise possibilities in directions of development, testing and production of aircraft and modern programs to the guests. He also named a number of Antonov’s initiatives on extending cooperation with countries of NATO and EU.
Taking into account experience of successful interaction on the SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution) program on performance of strategic air transportations, Antonov suggests joining efforts on development of military transport aviation. The following programs can become a base for it: the AN-70 military STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) transport, the AN-178 new transport that can be considered as an effective replacement of the C-160 European twin-engine turboprop aircraft, joint development of the AN-148/AN-158 new special purpose variants, and further modernization of the world-known AN-124-100 Ruslan.
Within realization of the Open Sky international program a special purpose aircraft, based on the AN-148, is suggested to be used. It will be able to perform observation flights with visual, photo and apparatus information gathering. It will have equipment of observation on-board complex, working places of operators and international observers.
Besides, in order to perform tasks of Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre a special squadron of the AN-32P multifunctional was suggested to be used. In particular, they can provide delivery of humanitarian cargoes (medicaments, products, clothes, etc.) to the necessary place, evacuation of injuries, firefighting. The AN-32P proved efficiency, economy and reliability in operation under conditions of hot climate and highland, during firefighting in Spain, Portugal and Ukraine.
AN-70 – Medium Military Transport STOL Aircraft
The AN-70 aircraft belongs to a new generation of the short takeoff and landing tactical military medium transports. AN-70 is extremely required by army. This aircraft is capable of solving qualitatively new tasks beyond possibilities of previous military transports. It was proved by the wide programme of the Joint State Russian Ukrainian tests, main part of which had been completed. AN-70 can transport almost any item of aeromobile military and engineering vehicles used by armies of the world and to deliver them to poorly equipped unpaved runways directly to the destination. On this ability, AN-70 surpasses all the existent airplanes.
AN-70 can perform the typical transport mission (transportation of 20 t payload at a range of 3,000 km) from unpaved airfield of 600-800 m length only. There is no other airplane with such ability. Taking into account all likely possibilities it is possible to come to conclusion that the AN-70 STOL capabilities as much as twice reduce both the number of aircraft required for the mission and the cost of the operation. According to the design estimations, AN-70 can be operated from/to elevated airfields placed at altitudes up to 3,000 m over sea level. In comparison with the analogues aircraft, the AN-70 can perform air dropping of cargoes and parachutists with twice less scatter and its crew can guide the aircraft to the calculated touchdown point with a pinpoint accuracy.
Four D-27 engines with SV-27 counter-rotating propfans ensure a high cruising speed and 20-30% fuel economy in comparison with modern turbojet airplanes.
The built-in aerial delivery system ensures autonomous loading/unloading of a wide range of cargoes and their air dropping. The onboard loading equipment consists of four overhead rail electric motor hoists and two onboard electric winches. At customer request, the aircraft can be equipped with easily removable upper deck or roller conveyer to automate container-handling operations.
Onboard monitoring and diagnostic systems make possible the autonomous operation of the AN-70 aircraft from poorly equipped airfields without the need for any special ground facilities. Aircraft maintenance is based on the «on-condition» strategy.
The AN-70 is fitted with modern electronic equipment and systems of fully digital control. The AN-70 is competitive enough as for the airframe and power plant characteristics as well as airborne system. The first production AN-70s constructed at Antonov Serial Plant will have modern configuration of electronic equipment.
All three variants of the F-35 Lightning II continue on a path toward full weapons certification by successfully completing numerous milestones during the previous four months. Highlights included validating 2B weapons software and successfully executing several weapons separation and engagement tests. The most recent accomplishments are in support of the first military service Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration by the U.S. Marine Corps in July.
The program also surpassed 25,000 combined flight hours in December with F-35 military fleet aircraft (16,200 hours) nearly doubling the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) test aircraft (8,950) hours. Comprehensive flight test on the F-35A variant GAU-22 25-mm gun system is scheduled to begin mid-year at Edwards AFB, California, and will include ground fire tests, muzzle calibration, flight test integration and in-flight operational tests. The 25-mm missionized gun pod carried externally, centerline mounted on the F-35B and F-35C also begins testing this year to meet U.S. service’s desired schedule for full warfighting capability software known as 3F. The 3F software is currently planned for delivery with the Low Rate Initial Production 9 (LRIP 9) U.S. aircraft in 2017.
«The weapons development program continues to track forward on the plan laid out by the Technical Baseline Review approved in 2010», said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. «All weapons tests needed for 2B software, the software the U.S. Marine Corps will use to declare IOC, is complete and will be ready to go for their combat capability certification».
Specific F-35 Flight Test accomplishments during the past four months include:
First F-35 day and night Mission Effectiveness Close Air Support (CAS) flights completing 2B CAS testing (October 21).
Completion of live fire testing on an F-35B ground test article. (September 9).
Successful first (September 9) and night flight (September 18) with the Generation III helmet-mounted display with 3iR4 software.
Completion of final buffet, loads and high-angle-of-attack testing required for F-35A Block 2B software (November 18).
Successfully launched an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) from an F-35C, marking the last weapon separation test needed for Block 2B software (September 30).
F-35C set a record for 17 sorties in a day for a single F-35 aircraft (November 5) and a record 22 sorties with F-35C aircraft CF-3 and CF-5 combined aboard USS Nimitz for F-35C Sea Trials off the coast of San Diego (November 3-14).
First separation test of a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, a 250-lb. precision-guided glide weapon (October 21) and multi-separation test (November 20).
First F-35 external flutter tests flown with the AIM-132 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) (October 29) and Paveway IV missiles (November 13).
Three Weapon(s) Delivery Accuracy (WDA) live fire events completed in a week. The F-35 employed two AIM-120 AMRAAMs and one Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). These events included the first supersonic-guided missile launch and the first JDAM release on target coordinates generated from the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) (November 18-25 ).
It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a new ground based Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system from MBDA.
Known as the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) Land, the new SAM system will eventually replace the British Army’s Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) short-range SAM systems. Speaking to IHS Jane’s on 15 January, a MoD spokesperson confirmed that a development and manufacture phase contract had been awarded to MBDA for the programme. An MBDA spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane’s that it had received the contract in December 2014. The contract is valued at GBP228 million ($348 million).
According to the MoD FLAAD Land should be ready for entry into service at «the end of the decade». This should allow for a smooth change over with the retirement of the Rapier, scheduled to begin in 2020.
The quantity of FLAADS Land systems included in the contract is unclear, although the Royal Artillery (RA) currently operates five batteries of Rapier FSC missiles and these are likely to be replaced broadly on a like-for-like basis. The RA also deploys the very-short range Thales Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM).
FLAADS Land uses the MBDA Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) as its interceptor. CAMM is also under order for the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor primary-air defence system that will equip the services Type 23 frigates and future Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
CAMM is originally derived from the MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), while both Sea Ceptor and FLAADS Land also sharing a common command and control (C2) system.
CAMM for future Land operations
As part of a land based weapon system, CAMM will provide future land forces with an easily transportable and rapidly deployable local area air defence capability, which can operate as a stand-alone unit or be integrated within a future battlespace network. If 3rd party targeting information is available via the battlespace network then CAMM is capable of engaging Non Line of Sight (NLOS) targets. This NLOS feature is particularly attractive for engaging concealed Attack Helicopters and low-flying terrain-following cruise missiles.
The small footprint of a CAMM launch site and the low-signature of a CAMM missile launch increases survivability of air defence assets. CAMM is logistically easy to manage with CAMM canisters slotting straight into launcher frames, with no need for manhandling of actual missiles.
The CAMM missile in its canister is exactly the same whether used on a ship or by a land unit, opening the opportunity for common missile stockpiles across Navies and Armies in the future.
The FLAADS Land system will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.
CAMM as part of Sea Ceptor for future Naval operations
As part of the Sea Ceptor weapon system, CAMM provides a 360° air defence capability for naval forces out to ranges greater than 25km against the current and future air threat. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, CAMM can be cured by the ship’s own standard surveillance radar to provide high levels of protection against multiple simultaneous targets in Open Ocean and littoral environments. It can also be used against surface targets.
CAMM launch canisters are compatible with SYLVER and Mark-41 family launch silos with CAMM utilizing features such as folding missile fins to maximize launch canister packing density. The introduction of «soft launch» techniques reduces system mass and allows for more flexibility in terms of installation positions on a ship.
Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red); the missile offers true all weather capability.
The Sea Ceptor weapon system incorporates a 2-way data-link to CAMM missiles in flight and is intended for vessels of corvette size or larger, for either new ships or as a retrofit. In September 2013, the UK’s Royal Navy contracted with MBDA for the manufacture of the Sea Ceptor system for its frigate fleet. The weapon system is designed to be flexible enough for the ‘cross-decking’ of weapon equipment straight onto the Royal Navy’s planned Type 26 class of ships when they replace the Type 23 class in the future.
On May 21st 2014, the New Zealand MoD signed a contract for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) for the Local Area Air Defence (LAAD) system with MBDA. The CAMM missile and its associated ship’s equipment will be installed on the RNZN frigates HMNZ Te Kaha and Te Mana as part of the ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade project.
CAMM for future Air operations
The same CAMM missile design for Navies and Armies is easily adaptable by MBDA for Air Force use on Fast Jets. With MBDA’s experience from ASRAAM and Meteor ensuring world class performance will be achieved. MBDA has been working with the MoD on assessing how CAMM technology could be used to sustain or enhance the Royal Air Force’s ASRAAM capability in the future.